Discussion on the draft Perspectives Resolution

Urgent appeal. Socialist Alliance needs to submit an updated list of over 1500 members to the Australian Electoral Commission to maintain our electoral registration and appear on the ballot at the next federal election. We're asking all existing members and those interested in joining to confirm your willingness to support our electoral enrolment by filling in this form.

There are several additional matters that could be included in the Draft Resolution:

Rural economy

The first is the rural economy and a policy for the small farmer, and those employed by farmers and graziers. Many small farmers want to stay on their farms, and have every reason to be dissatisfied that fruit they grow are also imported from overseas.

The concept of free trade and outsourcing the manufacturing of consumer goods such as clothing to countries where there are low wages should receive more attention as it has caused unemployment.

The Draft Resolution should include what our policies are for the struggling farmer under capitalism and socialism.

For the self-employed

There are many thousands of Australians citizens who are self employed. I am sure they would like to know how they would function in a socialist economy. I have in mind the grocer, butcher, hairdresser, plumber, handyman and many others. The argument will be advanced that Woolworths and Coles are putting small businesses out of existence. In spite of this, there will be for the future new people coming forward who choose to be self employed. That is the reality that we must recognise.

Then there are professionals who are self employed such as accountants, solicitors, barristers and real estate agents. They are entitled to know how they will fit into a socialist society. It is impossible to predict how long it will take for people who will want to be self employed.

Health services

It is imperative to state in the Draft Resolution and in our federal election leaflets our policy concerning health services. We firmly believe in free medical, dental, optical and audio services for those who need them and cannot afford them.

I also include crutches, walking sticks, and wheel chairs, artificial limbs for those that need them and cannot afford them.

Assistance to unemployed

It is essential to include the unemployed in both the Draft Resolution and in our election material for 2013. An increase in the unemployment benefit by 30% for single and married persons, and single person with children. 

A free travelling pass for the unemployed. A free TAFE training course for those who require it.

A federal government subsidy of $10,000 a month to Loaves and Fishes organised by the Rev Bill Crews and similar organisations that are providing meals and services to the unemployed. A 30% increase in the aged and invalid and services pensions.

The restoration of employment to all TAFE staff that have been sacked.

I think it would be adequate to state that we stand for socialism and popularly explain what this means. I think the words “revolutionary socialism” is inappropriate for Australian conditions and traditions.

The word socialism being the opposite of capitalism implies a revolutionary change.

I am of the opinion that the sentence - “We are for socialist revolution” - we should say so but also popularly explain what this means. I would be incline to state - “We are for a change from capitalism to socialism”, and explain what it means.

A bit of Australian history

In 1939, Fred Paterson was elected an Alderman on Townsville Council. In 1944 and 1947 he was elected to the Queensland State Parliament. The right-wing Hanlon government gerrymandered the electorate that made it difficult for him to retain the sea.

While inspecting a picket line he was brutally assaulted by a police officer and his health was seriously affected.

His success was based on the practical work that he had carried out in the electorate over many years.

In St Marys electorate, Mal McCalman was reelected many times to the Council because of the good locality work that he carried out.

Tom Wright had two terms on the City Council and Ron Maxwell one term. Bill Whiley was also elected to the Council in Broken Hill.

The point I want to stress is that their elections were a result of their locality work rather than their Marxist ideology of dialectical materialism.

Unity of socialist parties

The unity of socialist parties is essential for the advancement to socialism.

By working together for the attainment of common objectives we will convince the majority of members that is the only way forward.

The forthcoming federal election will give us a good opportunity to proceed in that direction. I hope we take advantage of it.

The last year, 2012, saw the election of Sue Bolton and Tony Oldfield elected to Moreland and Auburn Councils.

Both candidates were successful because of their consistent locality work.

If the reactionary state governments do not gerrymander the electorates, both comrades should be able to retain their seats.

They are following the path of their Communist Party predecessors and laying the foundations for further progress.

Bring Marxism up to date

Our Australian experience is a contribution to bringing Marxism up to date. We have competent Marxists who can do this.

A summary of the main technological changes, and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence since the publication of the Dialectics of Nature by Engels would be very helpful guidelines for the present and future.