Comment & Analysis

A step forward in the ultimate fight

Direct Action, January 14, 2013

By Jon Lamb — [The following is a slightly expanded version of a speech given at the launch of the new Socialist Alternative office in Brisbane on December 1.

US politics after the elections

Direct Action, January 14, 2013

By Barry Sheppard — One aspect of the recent presidential elections in the United States was the sharp racial divide. Nearly 60% of whites voted for Romney, and the number was higher among white men.

For the right for women to live freely without fear

Direct Action, January 13, 2013

[Following the brutal sexual attack on the 23-year-old paramedical student, mass protests erupted in Delhi and cities across India. On December 19, students and protesters marched on the house of the Delhi chief minister. The police tried to ward them off with water cannons.

What can be the basis of unity on the left?

Direct Action, December 14, 2012

By Allen Myers — The process of merger between Socialist Alternative and the Revolutionary Socialist Party has attracted no little interest on the Australian left. A number of activists around both organisations have joined or are considering joining in order to be part of the merged revolutionary organisation.

What role for socialists in the fight against sexist violence?

Direct Action, December 4, 2012

By Kim Bullimore — On September 21, ABC employee Jill Meagher was abducted as she walked home along Sydney Road in Melbourne after a night out with friends. Meagher was brutally raped and murdered, and her body was dumped in a shallow grave. In response to the abduction, rape and murder, more than 30,000 people marched on Sydney Road on October 1 as part of a loosely organised “peace march”.

Revolutionaries and reformists in contemporary Australia

Direct Action, November 18, 2012

By Max Lane — Rosa Luxemburg wrote the booklet Social Reform or Revolution in response to the writings of Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein was advocating an “evolutionary” path to socialism, counter-posed to revolution. “Reform or revolution?” became a fundamental question for the socialist and labour movements at the beginning of the 20th century. Defining the division between revolutionary and reformist politics remains a fundamental aspect of political life on the activist left today.

In Their Own Words

Go for an ‘Inchshort’?

“‘Subway Footlong' is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.” — Subway Australia’s response when a customer posted a photo on its Facebook page showing that the “Footlong” sandwich was at least an inch too short.


“This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.” — Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, on how to reduce government payments on medical care for the elderly.

Unlike the rest of us

“Fly-in fly-out workers don’t feel very much emotional attachment to their employers.” — Libby Brook, a researcher at Murdoch University School of Psychology.

Exploitable you

“Every school will be made to teach at least one priority Asian language … as part of a comprehensive embrace of the region aimed at exploiting its rapidly growing wealth ...” — Phillip Coorey in the October 29 Sydney Morning Herald, on the government’s Australia in the Asian Century white paper.

That didn’t do Gore any good

“He [Barack Obama] got more votes than we did. That’s how he won.” — Paul Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for US vice president.

Thinking ahead

“We won’t fight it because we need the savings as well [if elected to government].” — A federal Coalition MP, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on the Labor government’s mid-year budget.

Will equal marriage help destroy the family? Let’s hope so!

Direct Action — October 24, 2012

By James Crafti — A 2011 Roy Morgan Poll found that 68% of Australians support same-sex marriage, up 6% from a Galaxy Poll taken the previous year. Nevertheless, opponents of equal marriage for homosexual, transgender and intersex people still receive the support of the majority of federal politicians.

Reflections on starting ‘anew’: some experiences from the Australian left

By Max Lane — It has been almost five years since I was expelled in 2008 with 35 others from the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) or “Perspective”, as it had become by then.

The Salvation Army and refugees

By Andrew Martin — A common perception of the Salvation Army is that it is a well-meaning charity spreading Christianity through its care for the down and out — those who have fallen through the cracks of society’s welfare net.