Number 10

What is ideology? Is ideology a good or a bad thing? What attitude should socialists take towards ideology? Should socialists engage with ideology, take part in an ideological struggle, or abstain from it?

May Day this year takes place in tumultuous conditions: the multiple crises confronting global capitalism are deepening, while mass resistance to its brutal rule grows. Taken all together, the people's uprisings across the Arab world, the mass demonstrations and strikes occurring in Europe, the Occupy actions in the United States and the ongoing efforts of Latin American revolutionaries to construct socialism of the 21st century pose a huge challenge to the capitalist system.

The state of the left in Australia in 2012 looks quite different to what it was at the turn of the century. In 2000, the socialist left comprised two large (for the standards of the left in an advanced capitalist country) parties or organisations, and perhaps half a dozen or more other smaller groups. The two largest were the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) and the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) alongside its youth organisation Resistance.

The Socialist Alliance expresses its full support and solidarity with the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane, and strongly condemns the actions of police and the Brisbane City Council in forcibly evicting the Aboriginal community members at the embassy on May 16.

Australian law has never provided for the unrestricted right to strike. The first Australian industrial law, the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1904, penalised Australian striking workers with fines and jail sentences.

We have been informed by the Labour Party of Pakistan that Baba Jan, Waqar and other activists in Gilgit district jail were severely beaten and tortured by dozens of Rangers, Police and Frontier Constabulary in the early morning of April 28, 2012.

The 1968 My Lai massacre of at least 500 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam was a turning point in the US war on Vietnam. Most of the victims of the US platoon outrage were women, children (including babies) and elderly people.

Billions of dollars — desperately needed for public health, education, transport, closing the shameful gap between Aborigines and non-Aborigines and a real response to the climate change crisis -- will be wasted if the Gillard Labor government hands out another 1% cut in the corporate tax rate.

Disclaimer — signed articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily the views of the Socialist Alliance unless otherwise stated. Responsibility for all electoral comment is taken by P. Benedek, 22 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007. Alliance Voices submission protocols.