Volume 11

It is a measure of just how computer-challenged I am that I wrote these amendments the moment that I read the draft document weeks ago and have only just now figured out how to submit them!

I notice that the discussion has gone quite a long way since I wrote these thoughts out and I am in agreement with Renfrey's thinking on the two resolutions. In fact, what I am submitting here is my attempt to amend some of the weaknesses that he points to in the document.

This draft discussion paper was adopted at the Victorian state conference in 2010. Socialist Alliance does not have a national coherent policy on illicit drugs, which is problematic. I hope this contribution will help us get a step closer to adopting one in the near future. I certainly welcome and encourage input from comrades to this important topic.

In every paragraph of Adam Baker’s contribution (Alliance Voices Vol 11, No. 6) there is, I think, something I take issue with. But let me confine myself here to something I have particular experience of: the environment, and the environmental movement, in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia.

A world in turmoil

The 21st century is shaping up to be a pivotal one as human society faces a profound and deepening crisis.

Runaway climate change caused by soaring greenhouse gas emissions threatens the survival of life on the planet.

Alongside this developing ecological disaster the capitalist world is being shaken by what is perhaps its greatest ever economic crisis.

"Qaddafi was long demonized in the Western media. His claim that the rebels who rose against him were Islamists and monarchists was ridiculed, but turned out to be quite true." (1)

How do I submit contributions to Alliance Voices — the members’ discussion bulletin?

Any member can submit contributions, including reports on work, new policy and policy amendments by emailing it to Alliance Voices.

The deadline for submitting these items for this conference is January 10, 2012. The deadline for submitting all other contributions for this conference is Wednesday January 18, 2012.

No program — no Marxism. Previously, I used to openly scoff at the mere mention of this suggestion. I used to think, what sectarians are those that put forward this notion. As if you need to write down what you stand for somewhere — what a bizarre idea. You just need to do it. This seems to be the current discourse in the Socialist Alliance. If you take part in the struggle for a better world, this is far more Marxist than having your ultimate aims, purposes and strategies codified in an obscure document. Forget theory, Marxism is practice.

Comrades, I believe the time has come to address the crisis in the party. I refer to the crisis of identity. Are we a Marxist party, or are we a social justice organisation? Are we a Leninist party, or are we an Amnesty International style human rights organisation? Are we a revolutionary outfit, or do we focus on running in bourgeois parliamentary elections?

There is an interesting thread in the Alliance Voices blog leading into the 2012 conference regarding ecosocialism.

Comrades Sam Bullock and Adam Baker have advanced an argument for the Socialist Alliance to amend some of our public documents or whatever to say that we are an ecosocialist organisation would amount to some sort of watering down or weakening of our politics.

I suggest the following amendments to the Draft:

A world in turmoil

With the so-called Socialist parties in France and Spain, I think it is necessary to state that our party is Marxist and we are witnessing the last days of capitalism which Marx predicted.

World economy in meltdown

There is no mention of ecological catastrophes, nor miltiarism -- Iraq, Afghanistan, cowardly drones, nor the Australia/ US alliance.

Indigenous oppression remains

Since the Intervention, the Gap is widening.

Not having been a part of Melbourne branch, I am not able to comment on the Melbourne specific issues Comrade Ben Courtice raises in his contribution "Melbourne: We need a clean break and regroupment". Nonetheless, I would offer a brief comment on one of the issues mentioned.

Below is the thank-you letter that the National Union of Workers sent around to unions and community supporters for their support during the Baiada poultry workers strike.