Campaign strengthens hearing for revolutionary socialism
By Kathy Newnam
The Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for the Queensland seat of Griffith, Hamish Chitts, believes that the campaign was highly successful in raising the banner of revolutionary socialism. The campaign almost doubled the socialist vote in the seat itself and spread the word about the socialist solutions to the crises of capitalism far and wide beyond the seat. The campaign gained some excellent media coverage, and thousands of RSP statements were distributed at many protest actions during the course of the campaign.
“Our uncompromising stand against capitalism was very well received. There is a lot of hatred for capitalism and its ills — perhaps more than many people realise”, Chitts said.
“There is a ‘manufactured consent’ — the creation of the idea that everyone agrees with the status quo, which in turn influences people’s ideas — that encourages them to strive to ‘fit in’. A central part of this is the deliberate attempt to isolate and silence those who dissent. In the media and in mainstream politics, it is the racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-worker views that are presented as being the majority.”
The effect of this, Chitts said, is that “often people who don’t support the status quo are silenced because they feel that they are on their own. It is only when we start to speak out that we realise that there are others around us who feel the same way, and more again who can be influenced by radical voices.
“That’s what we aimed to do through our election campaign: to help challenge the illusion that everyone agrees that capitalism is the only option for humanity.
“While we can make inroads through speaking out through election campaigns and consistent propaganda, as long as capitalism exists, the ruling class will have hold of the means by which to ‘manufacture consent’ — through the media, popular culture, the education system and the political system itself. The only way to break this down is through strengthening the organisation of the working class — through our unions and through social struggles against injustice.”
An important part of this strengthening, Chitts points out, is “the organisation of revolutionaries, working together to build these struggles and to build the hearing for revolutionary solutions. We think that our election campaign contributed to this, both in terms of the support that the campaign received and in introducing our party to many people for the first time.”