Volume 11

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.

Over the last couple of years, the two most consistent areas of campaign work that Socialist Alliance has been involved in have been climate work and refugee rights.

Amend clause 56 to read:

We need a system of popular democracy that empowers the majority of people - the workers and other people currently exploited and oppressed by capitalism .

Amend clause 66 to read:

I think Adam Baker's political approach in his two contributions to Alliance Voices (Who are we? and Socialism or Ecosocialism) is totally mistaken. It is mistaken in political method and presents a distorted view of what we are doing in the Socialist Alliance.

The following contribution is adapted from a report by the same name that I presented to Brisbane branch of Socialist Alliance on December 13.

International situation: 2011, a year of democratic revolt:

The world context for this year has been set, on the one hand by the international capitalist recession, and on the other by the international, popular upsurge for democratic rights and against corporate power.

This is based on a report to the Sydney Socialist Alliance branch. It is being submitted to the pre-conference discussion of the Socialist Alliance and the Resistance Conference.

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Something has been bugging me ever since I saw Gina Rinehart on the back of a ute speaking to a rally of struggling mining executives against Kevin Rudd’s ill-fated Resource Super-Profits Tax.