4615Re: Bob's Reply to Nick Fredman, 10 "Verbals" in 5 paragraphs
- Feb 18, 2004By Bob Gould
The DSP leadership loyalist whose email address identifies
him/herself as BR, but who doesn't provide any other identification,
tries to heat up the political atmosphere as much as possible. In an
almost occult way, he/she claims acquaintanceship with company CEOs
who support Mark Latham and Labor in the coming elections as a useful
second party of capitalism.
I don't move in the same exalted circles as CEOs, plugged into the
wisdom of the ruling class as BR does, I just have to operate on
basis of my general political understanding and observations. It may
be true that after an uninspiring diet of Crean and Beazley some
working journalists are a bit excited about Latham.
Rather than the views of a couple of CEOs, a better guide to the mood
of the bourgeoisie is the editorial line of the major capitalist
newspapers. Their general line is that the Liberals had better
smarten up their game or Labor might beat them, which is presented
generally as a danger.
The Murdoch press and most of its stable of right-wing columnists,
such as Piers Ackerman, are mightily hostile to Labor. I repeat what
I said earlier: as a general rule, from the viewpoint of most of the
bourgeoisie, while they can live with Labor governments from time to
time, their general preferred option is the Liberals and Nationals,
and most of the ruling class doesn't like transitions to Labor
governments because such governments often unleash aspirations on the
part of the masses.
Different estimates of these questions are not, however, the main
issue. BR's extremely violent reaction to my careful critique of the
GLW school of "discussion" is at the centre of this argument.
I continue to assert a fairly simple proposition: discussion articles
are not carefully edited and angled items such as the Sue Bolton and
Kerryn Williams pieces. These two articles are presented as some kind
of discussion when they are actually, reasonably clearly, what people
who know about Marxist newspapers call "line" articles.
The quotes of people who have tactical disagreements with the DSP are
usually carefully edited and buried under other quotes that express
the political point of view of the DSP leadership. Such articles are
slightly deceptive, but quite effective, propaganda. The one thing
they are not, however, is serious discussion.
Serious discussion requires that people with divergent points of view
express and develop their points of view in interaction with each
other, and that doesn't happen when the editorial hand converts
interviews into line articles. The fact that these articles are
signed by individuals such as Sue Bolton and Kerryn Williams is quite
incidental to this point.
Once again, I make this extremely simple proposal to the DSP
leadership: for the moment put aside my proposal for nine topics of
discussion and just try a pilot project of one such genuine
discussion supplement, in which you give five or six representative
people on the left of the ALP-trade union continuum the chance to
express their point of view as to why they're in the ALP and what
their perspectives are for the coming federal elections and after,
and get five or six Socialist Alliance members to express their point
of view, in some real interaction between the points of view, with
minimal editorial intervention other than, perhaps, asking the
original questions and tidying up for coherence and syntax.
What could be clearer than this modest proposal? BR directs a lot of
personal abuse of me, but even he might deign to consider my
suggestion on its merits, and the GLW editorial board might put aside
any views they might have about me and consider this proposal on its
merits. What's wrong with conducting a discussion in such a way in a
socialist newspaper that desires to be accepted as a vehicle for
broad left discussion?
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