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79663Re: RSP on progress towards merger with SA

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  • sherrife2008
    Oct 6, 2012
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      Hi all,

      First time poster on this list, and a member of Socialist Alternative.

      I think James (and Jorge, and the RSP's official statement) have pretty clearly enunciated the reasons for why they are for revolutionary unity. Here James C sums up my take on things too:

      "Well I am sorry but I don't want to have unity with the Greens or the ALP (maybe we should even have unity with the Liberal party by your logic!), the main game is building the revolutionary party to overthrow capitalism, the next step in that game is building a revolutionary cadre organisation i.e. Socialist Alternative."

      Those who disagree with this strategic orientation are free to do so, but it is a point of convergence for the SA and the RSP. Both seek to build an explicitly Marxist organisation. Both believe in the working class as an agent for change. Both see systematic transformation of the system as necessary. Both are opposed to oppression and imperialism. On all these questions there can be differences of opinions, but the principles are uncontroversial.

      Someone raised the point that the formal political programs of the RSP and the leaders at the core of the Alliance being more similar than those of the RSP and SA. So too in Greece, the abstract positions of the DEA and SEK are more or less identical. Go back far enough, the formal position of Lenin and Martov on the question of the coming Russian Revolution was pretty similar too, at least until Feb 1917.

      Clearly, in all these cases, strategic questions have proven to be far from secondary. SEK counterpose ANTARSYA (itself a failed attempt at broad unity) to building a new, genuine mass workers party of the left in the form of SYRIZA. Martov prioritised an alliance with the bourgeoisie over one with the working class/peasantry. And so on.

      An example closer to home, Solidarity at Melbourne Uni are in a campaign with the Liberal-dominated Clubs and Societies committee to disaffiliate us and sabotage the Marxism 2013 conference. Our agreement on the Russia question is relatively irrelevant; their rabidly sectarian shenanigans are the dominant barrier to unity and cooperation. Meanwhile the RSP (and the Alliance for that matter) are happy to discuss unity and have long worked with us in a comradely way.

      So, on the need to continue to build an interventionist, cadre, *Marxist* organisation, the RSP and SA are in agreement. On a whole series of general principles, the same is true. Where there are differences, they will be debated in a comradely manner, as we work together to build a revolutionary current in Australia.

      On questions such as Cuba, Venezuela etc., James rightly refers to the fact that people in existing campaign work will be allowed to continue that work. But the reality is that there are few instances where these issues will have direct import for Australian revolutionaries. Where differences do arise, open debate and democratic decision-making will be the default means of dealing with them. At the same time, it will be important to avoid unnecessary sectarian point scoring - there is limited value in rehashing historic debates endlessly.

      Finally, I would echo James's conclusion. Those who wish to be part of the exciting new developments on the revolutionary left should come to a meeting and/or contact our leadership for a more direct discussion.

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