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- "transitional" state capitalism not ecological
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Socialist Alternative (Australia)
For more on the transitional method, click HERE.
By Dave Holmes
[Text of a talk given to the Geelong branch of Socialist Alliance on December 3, 2013.]
December 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The unity discussions between Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative have come to an end. In a November 3, 2013, letter on behalf of the Socialist Alternative national executive, Mick Armstrong wrote: “The overall political projects of both organisations are not sufficiently similar to carry through a sustained and productive unity that could advance the cause of the revolutionary left in Australia and the broader class struggle.”
Building effective campaigns and coalitions is extremely important. Socialist Alliance members at the Sydney national day of action on climate change, November 17. Photo by Peter Boyle.
By Dave Holmes
[The following talk was presented at the Socialist Ideas Conference held in Melbourne, November 2, 2013, organised by the Socialist Alliance.]
November 18, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Arguing for Socialism -- In Australia, as in all the imperialist countries, the capitalist class is carrying out a massive assault on all the gains won by working people in more than 150 years. Every TV news bulletin these days features reports of cutbacks, selloffs and outsourcing, attacks on workers' rights and attacks on civil liberties — as well as wars and massive misery abroad.
With social democracy firmly in the neoliberal camp and the left marginalised, the capitalist class sees its chance and is pressing home the attack as vigorously as possible.
September 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Australian Socialist Alliance national executive member Simon Butler gave this speech, "Marxism and the ecological revolution", at the Marxism 2013 conference, which was held in Melbourne, Australia, over March 28-31. The conference was organised by Socialist Alternative.
In the talk Butler explores Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' much neglected insights into the anti-ecological dynamic of capitalism, a system based on the dual exploitation of labour and nature. He also discusses the relevance of Marx's ecology for meeting today's crises and makes an argument for why 21st century socialists should also be ecosocialists.
By Jonathan Strauss
By Karen Fletcher
August 6, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Tony Cliff was characteristically blunt when he set out what was to become the International Socialist Tendency’s (IST) position on “the feminist movement” in his 1984 book, Class Struggle and Women's Liberation:
Read some of Doug Lorimer's writings HERE.
By Pat Brewer
July 27, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Doug Lorimer, a life-long committed revolutionary, died on July 21 in Sydney after a year of fighting deteriorating ill health and long-term hospitalisation.
Lorimer was born April 17, 1953 in Dundee in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents Connie and Bill when he was four years old to settle in the South Australian steel town of Whyalla.
Lorimer radicalised as a high school student. He first became involved in left politics through the Australian movement against the imperialist war in Vietnam, when he and his mother joined the moratorium marches in Adelaide in 1970.
Lorimer was recruited to the Socialist Youth Alliance — which later became the youth organisation Resistance — aged 16 in late 1971 in his final year in high school. He then went on to enrol in a science degree majoring in physics at Flinders University.
He dropped out of the degree during his first year as his commitment to building a revolutionary party grew. However, his interest in science never waned.
The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume I: The Sixties, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, Resistance Books (Sydney), 2005, 354 pages.
The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume II: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, Resistance Books (London), 2012, 345 pages.
By Daniel Lopez
Australia: Revolutionary unity to meet the capitalist crisis -- Socialist Alliance responds to Socialist Alternative
Socialist Alliance national convenor Peter Boyle speaks at Socialist Alternative's Marxism 2013.
[A response from Socialist Alliance to "What kind of organisation do socialists need?", published in the Summer 2013 issue of Socialist Alternative's Marxist Left Review. This article first appeared in Marxist Left Review, Winter 2013 and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]
By Nick Fredman, Pip Hinman and Susan Price
Photo by Alex Bainbridge.
The following talk by Socialist Alternative member Jorge Jorquera was presented on June 9, 2013, part of the panel on “Socialism in practice: Bridging socialist theory and social movement struggles” with Socialist Alliance’s Dave Holmes. It was a session of the “Organising for 21st century socialism” seminar organised by Socialist Alliance and held in Sydney on June 8-9. The seminar also featured US socialist Paul Le Blanc. See also Dave Holme's contribution, "How should a united socialist party work?"
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By Jorge Jorquera
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Invariably some comment on the current period is a good place to start any conversation on the left. Both Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance generally concur on the basic contours of the Australian political situation.
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The above talk was presented by Paul Le Blanc to the "Organising for 21st century socialism" seminar in Sydney on June 8, 2013. The seminar was organised by the Socialist Alliance. For the full text of the talk, go to http://links.org.au/node/3394. Film produced by Green Left TV.
More by Paul Le Blanc can be found HERE.
Paul Le Blanc: Organising for 21st century socialism -- Reflections on the history and future of Leninism
The following was presented by Paul Le Blanc to the "Organising for 21st century socialism" seminar in Sydney on June 8, 2013. The seminar was organised by the Socialist Alliance. Le Blanc also addressed meetings in Wollongong, Melbourne and Adelaide. Photo by Alex Bainbridge. A video of the presentation can be viewed at http://links.org.au/node/3396.
More by Paul Le Blanc can be found HERE.
* * *
By Paul Le Blanc
In the first portion of these remarks I want to explain, first of all, why Leninism is worth talking about not only for understanding some of what happened in history, but also for helping change the world in the here-and-now of the early twenty-first century. I want to explain what I mean by the term Leninism, then touch on several historical controversies that may shed light on how to make use of this tradition in our ongoing political work. In the second portion of my remarks, I will offer thoughts on ways to apply and contribute to the Leninist tradition in our practical efforts for the coming period.
Leninism’s meaning and value
[This is a slightly edited text of a presentation made by Dave Holmes at the “Organising for 21st century socialism” seminar, held in Sydney, June 9, 2013 (pictured above, photo by Alex Bainbridge). Holmes is a leading member of the Socialist Alliance in Melbourne.]
By Dave Holmes
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Today I want to talk about how socialists need to work to win mass influence and how that relates to the unity process between Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative.
On May 21, 2013, in Melbourne we held a very well-attended joint forum where our two organisations presented their views on the unity process. There is a report of the meeting in the May 29 issue of Green Left Weekly.
I want to expand on some points touched on there and to raise some others. Hopefully most of what I say is uncontroversial but in any case I want to be clear and unambiguous on what I consider some key questions of socialist activity.
World in crisis
Our world has clearly entered what is arguably its deepest ever crisis.
May Day message from the Socialist Alliance, Australia
May 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.
Last month, for the first time in 3 million years, the carbon concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere reached 399.7 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In several other parts of the world that day, the reading exceeded 400 ppm.
When CO2 concentrations were last above 400 ppm it was the Pliocene era, when temperatures were 3-4 degrees Celsius and sea levels were 5-40 metres higher than they are today. Capitalism is throwing our planet into dangerous climate change.
Sadly this is no surprise. Capitalism has already devastated the lives of billions of people through exploitation, war and poverty.
"Waterside worker', by Noel Counihan, 1963.
By Chris Slee
March 18, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In his article entitled “Is there a labour aristocracy in Australia?” (published in the Socialist Alternative magazine, Marxist Left Review) Tom Bramble criticises the concept of the “labour aristocracy” on a number of grounds.
Australia: 'School of Rebellion: social justice education for children and young people' (March 29-31, 2013)
'Transitional Program': 'a program of action from today until the beginning of the socialist revolution'
The demand for shorter working hours with no loss in pay has been a key transitional demand.
By Doug Lorimer
[This is the introduction to Resistance Books' The
Transitional Program and the Struggle for Socialism. For discussion on the left about the significance of the transitional method for socialists, see "In defence of the transitional method" by Dave Holmes.]
Sue Bolton speaking at a rally for refugee rights in September. Photo by Aneleh Bulle.
By Dave Holmes
[This talk was presented on January 18, 2013 at the Socialist Alliance (Australia) national conference, held in Geelong.]
January 18, 2013 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialist Alliance is currently engaged in a process of discussion and clarification with Socialist Alternative, with a view to exploring the possibilities of greater cooperation and unity. How this will ultimately develop is an open question. But I think it is fair to say that on both sides today there is a much greater interest in the political positions and approach of the other.
December 13, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance -- The National Executives of the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative agreed on December 13 to terms under which Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly will endorse and participate in the Marxism 2013 conference to be held in Melbourne, March 28-April 1, 2013.
This first significant national co-operation between our two organisations is a product of discussions that began between the two organisations on November 4, 2012, to explore the possibility of closer collaboration and unity.
Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly will be promoting Marxism 2013 as an important opportunity for all socialists and other progressive activists and thinkers to discuss how we can advance our common cause.
"If we are going to get anywhere with left unity today we are going to have to find a way to get beyond a false argument within the left about who is really 'revolutionary' and who is not, and start discussing, in a constructive way, how best a united left can engage in the struggles against the ills of capitalism."
By Peter Boyle, national co-convenor, Socialist Alliance
December 8, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance -- Once again the question of left unity is on the agenda in Australia. There have been exploratory talks between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative and also between the Socialist Alliance and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). The Socialist Alliance and the CPA worked together in a Housing Action election ticket in the Sydney City Council elections earlier this year.
Audio of the talk, "Marxism and Women's Liberation", presented by US International Socialist Organization leader Sharon Smith at Socialism 2012, on June 28, 2012.
See "Left debate: Organising women against sexist violence". For more discussion of feminism, click HERE.
By Rosa Louverture