Left & Alternative Politics

Issue 41 - February-March 2013

Socialist Alternative

The following is the editorial from the November issue of Socialist Alternative magazine.

By Mick Armstrong

The current discussion about unity on the left in Australia is an important one. It opens up the possibility of the socialist left making significant gains and being reforged on a new basis that transcends some of the historic differences that have divided the revolutionary left for decades.

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.]

Socialist Alternative

[The following article was first published on the Socialist Alternative website on 10 December 2012.]

By Diane Fieldes

If your only recent source of information about the Greens was media releases coming from acting leader Adam Bandt’s office, you could be forgiven for thinking the party was suddenly moving to the left.

(Email sent to the international friends and contacts of the RSP)

Dear comrades,

I’m writing to keep you updated on the important and inspiring project of revolutionary unity that is leading to the merger of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Socialist Alternative. The SA conference on December 15-17 voted overwhelmingly in favour of the unity.

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.

Socialist Alternative

Socialist Alternative’s 2012 National Conference voted to adopt a new Statement of Principles. The Principles will provide the foundation for the organisation’s broader political positions and analyses, and will guide the organisation’s political practice.

Socialist Alternative

[The following is part of a report issued by the editors of Socialist Alternative during their December conference.]

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.

Issue 40 - November-December 2012

By Max Lane

In June and July in the Netherlands, almost all polls were showing a strong surge in support for the Socialist Party (SP). The polls predicted that the SP would increase its seats from 15 to 35 in the 150-seat parliament.The SP was polling as the largest party with about 20% support, ahead of the historical party of social democracy, the Labor Party (PvdA).

By John Percy

Jim Percy, the founder of the Democratic Socialist Party and for two decades its national secretary, died from cancer on October 12, 1992, 20 years ago, at the age of 43.

(This resolution was adopted by the Third Congress of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, held in Melbourne September 29-30.)

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.(And I think there were another dozen or so who had to leave in other ways.) It was a sad, angry and frustrating moment. I joined the DSP in 1981.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) held its third congress on 29-30 September.

Socialist Alternative

In a very positive development for the revolutionary left in Australia, Socialist Alternative is engaged in unity discussions with the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). The initial discussions have been highly productive and have been conducted in a comradely and constructive manner.

By Max Lane

Timor Leste’s third parliamentary election since the restoration of independence in 2002 was held on July 7.

Issue 39 - May-July 2012

By John Percy

[This is the text of a talk to a forum organised by the People’s Liberation Party in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, on April 7.]

The central feature of the international political situation today is the extremely stark contradictions of capitalism internationally, combined with the severe limitations of working class leadership in nearly every country.

Reviewed By Doug Lorimer

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, volume I: The Sixties, A Political Memoir, by Barry Sheppard, Sydney: Resistance Books, 2005, 354 pages including index, with a rich collection of photographs.

Issue 38 - February-April 2012

By Andrew Martin

A common argument in the Occupy movement is that it is not about left or right politics, but about addressing inequality and corruption, giving a voice to the majority who are excluded from all the important decisions that affect our lives.

By Allen Myers

In a recent issue of Green Left Weekly, Peter Boyle published an article titled “An age of revolution: organise, don’t agonise”.

Issue 37 - December-January 2012

By Chris Slee

Dear editor

Allen Myers, in his article “What are we waiting for?”, (Direct Action no. 36) says:

“The Russian Bolsheviks did not become a real mass party until after the February 1917 revolution”.

By James Crafti

Accepting Australian political rock band Midnight Oil’s induction into the ARIA hall of fame, the band’s drummer, Rob Hirst, commented: “Bush finally admitted that Iraq may prove to be his Vietnam. But Vietnam inspired some of the greatest protest songs ever written.

By Doug Lorimer

Across the developed capitalist world, the Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired similar protests by thousands of people angered at the government bailouts of the banks and big corporations while the rest of us are forced to endure attacks on our living standards through government-imposed austerity. It has also attracted some weird hangers-on.

Issue 36 - October-November 2011

By Vivi Widyawati and Zely Ariane

Around 100 women and men took part in a rally, Miniskirt Protest – Women against Rape, at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia in Thamrin, Jakarta, on Sunday, September 18. Dozens of women, including several activists from Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women), wore miniskirts, as a statement that rape has nothing to do with the way women dress.