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.
Opinion & Editorial
Issue 41 - February-March 2013
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.Well over 90% of African Americans voted for Obama, and over 70% of Latinos and Asians did likewise.
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
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.
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.Apart from its quasi-military structure of volunteers, door-knock appeals and sporadic invasions of pubs rattling tins of loose change, it would seem an unremarkable charity.
Issue 39 - May-July 2012
Dear Your Holiness,
I was most interested in your recent visit to Cuba and your comments, quoted by Reuters, that the Cuban system “no longer works” and that the Catholic Church was eager to help Cubans find a “new model” because – and this is the line that really floored me – “Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality”.
A fascinating article appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in March. Titled “Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail”, Matt Taibbi’s article cuts through the mystification of official economics and explains a major factor in the 2008 financial crisis. That central cause was fraud, corruption, theft: in short, crime.
Issue 38 - February-April 2012
Two important conferences were held in March for waterside workers in Australia and their comrades internationally.
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.
In a recent issue of Green Left Weekly, Peter Boyle published an article titled “An age of revolution: organise, don’t agonise”.
It has been more than two months since the Occupy Wall Street actions began in New York. The occupation in Zuccotti Park ended after the New York City government mobilised the police for a middle of the night raid. However, the political activity that it set in motion in the United States has not stopped.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
Discussions in several Occupy Sydney general assemblies have included debates about the nature and role of the police and whether to support the police union’s disputes and their November 22 rally (over injury compensation) with the NSW O’Farrell Coalition government.
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”.
Despite constant harassment from Brisbane City Council and the Queensland government and despite slander and misinformation from the corporate media, Occupy Brisbane has maintained a constant presence in Brisbane’s public spaces since October 15.
“Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.” “You speak of – ” said
San Francisco – No one predicted the phenomenon that has become known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS), nor could it have been predicted.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
In an attempt to “create our own moment and message” internet-based environment coalition Moving Planet declared September 24 a “day to move beyond fossil fuels – to demand solutions to the environment crisis”.
On September 5, the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Libya affirming, among other things, that “the Republic of Cuba does not recognize the National Transition Council or any other provisional authority and will only give its recognition to a government legitimately constituted in that country without foreign intervention and through the free, sovereign and sole will of
A day after BlueScope Steel Ltd. announced on August 22 that it planned to close a blast furnace at Port Kembla (in the Illawarra region of NSW) and its Western Port (Victoria) hot strip mill, shedding 1000 jobs, the Socialist Alliance issued a public statement on its website and publishing it in the August 24 edition of the SA’s paper Green Left Weekly.
Issue 35 - September 2011
It is 13 years since the Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign by a student-led mass protest movement. The current president, Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono, will complete his second five-year term in 2014. At the level of the state and government, Indonesia has experienced another extended period of “stability”.
The two largest organisations of the British radical left – the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the UK Socialist Party – have responded inconsistently to the wave of rioting, looting and arson that swept across English cities for four days in the wake of the police killing of Tottenham (London) resident Mark Duggan on August 4.
Issue 34 - August 2011
Rupert Murdoch is a union-bashing, racist, warmongering thief, hypocrite, liar and all round crook. That’s not news to anyone, nor are these characteristics unusual for his class of people – the capitalist class. In fact, they are prerequisites. What is unusual is that some of the crimes of his empire are being brought into the light of day.
Zack Furness is the author of One Less Car: Bicycling and the politics of automobility (Temple University Press, 2010). He was interviewed via email by Jon Lamb.
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
San Francisco – The assassination of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in a unilateral raid into Pakistan is being trumpeted by President Obama and the media. Raucous celebrations of the killing occurred in many cities, and Obama’s poll numbers went up among right-wing Tea Party types.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is a phrase that became popular with economists many years ago. The conservative economist Milton Friedman even used it as the title of a book he published in 1975. It’s shorthand for the idea that you can’t really get something for nothing: even if something seems free, you pay for it in one way or another. Is that true?