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Australia

Australia’s Socialist Alliance urges a 10-point plan to cut atmospheric CO2

Sydney climate emergency rally, October 3, 2008. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

Climate action now!

September 25, 2008 -- The Australian federal government’s climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, has released his recommendations for medium-term cuts to Australian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

He calls for reductions by 2020 of just 5% if there is no comprehensive international agreement on emissions reductions, or reductions of 10% if there is an agreement. At the Bali climate summit in December 2007 many developed countries expressed support for goals of 25-40% reductions.

Financial crisis: working people will pay

By Dick Nichols

September 20, 2008 -- “Will my superannuation [pension] fund be next?” “Are my savings safe?” As working people in the developed economies watch the assets of one financial institution after another vaporise into nothingness, tens of millions are asking these dreadful questions.

 

 

Yesterday’s AAA assets are now junk and yesterday’s “risk-free” investments are losing money. No-one, not even the world’s central bankers, who are spending sleepless nights arranging rescue bailouts and emergency injections of trillions of dollars into a financial system frozen with fear and distrust, can answer them with 100% certainty.

Australia: Socialist Alliance Sixth National Conference, December 5-7, 2008, Geelong, Victoria

A great opportunity to learn, contribute and make a difference in Australian politics...

Socialist Alliance
Sixth National Conference
Friday, December 5 to Sunday,
December 7
Geelong Trades Hall
127 Myers Street, Geelong

The ALP and the fight for socialism

This resolution was adopted by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, then called the Socialist Workers' Party, at its eleventh national congress, held in Canberra in January 1986.

Resolution sections

  1. The formation of the ALP

  2. A party of the trade union bureaucracy

  3. A liberal bourgeois party

  4. Parliamentarism

  5. The ALP in office -- a capitalist government

  6. When and why capitalism favors Labor governments

  7. Why the ruling class prefers conservative party governments

  8. Reforms and reformism

  9. The further cooption of the labor movement during the postwar capitalist boom

  10. Recent changes in the ALP

  11. The Labor left

  12. The false perspective of reforming the ALP

  13. Preparing defeats

  14. An anti-capitalist political alternative

  15. The working class and progressive movements of labor's allies

  16. Support for all progressive breaks with Labor reformism

  17. The role of Marxist organisation

  18. A revolutionary transitional approach to the problem of the ALP

  19. The need for tactical flexibility

  20. Building a revolutionary current in the ALP

  21. United front campaigns

  22. Critical support

  23. Lesser evilism

  24. Our attitude to ALP governments

  25. Governmental initiative

  26. Socialist electoral campaigns

  27. United front electoral campaigns

  28. Trade unions are the decisive arena

  29. New opportunities

 


 

A history of the Australian Labor Party, 1890-1967

By Peter Conrick

Conrick's History of the Australian Labor Party originally appeared in Direct Action (the precursor to Green Left Weekly), newspaper of the Socialist Workers League of Australia, between December 21, 1972, and June 14, 1973, and was published as a pamphlet by the Socialist Workers Party in 1979. The SWP is now the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP). This digital version was created by Ozleft. The pamphlet reflected the DSP's attitude towards the ALP at that time, however significant changes were introduced to this viewpoint in the 1980s. This document should be read in conjuction with The ALP and the Fight for Socialism. See also The ALP, the Nuclear Disarmament Party and the 1984 elections.

For a deeper analytical treatment of the social origins of social democracy in general and the ALP in particular, please consult Jonathan Strauss' series of Links articles on the concept of the labour aristocracy.

Socialist Alternative gets the balance wrong on propaganda and action

Reviewed by Ben Courtice

From Little Things Big Things Grow: strategies for building revolutionary socialist organisations, by Mick Armstrong, Socialist Alternative, 2007.

As official politics continues to move to the right, a growing gulf is opening up between the hopes and aspirations of millions of working people and the agenda of the ruling capitalist establishment and its parties… Much of the time that disenchantment and discontent finds no outlet, but then it explodes in massive mobilisations like those against the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003, or the repeated giant rallies against Howard’s WorkChoices.[i]

Forests and climate change – examining the spin

By Susan Austin

Tasmania, Australia -- It’s easy to get confused about the issue of forests and climate change. Climate scientists say that preserving our forests is a quick, easy and cheap way to prevent further global warming, and Australia’s previous federal government allocated A$200 million towards preserving forests in South-East Asia. Yet both the federal government and the Tasmanian state government are overseeing the continuing destruction of Tasmania’s old-growth forests to feed a profitable wood-chip export industry and a soon-to-be-built pulp mill. And what’s more, they say that the industry is carbon-positive and sustainable. What’s really going on?

Pope's immoral stance a death sentence; protest the unholy father

By Tony Iltis

July 12, 2008 -- The visit to Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD), July 15-20, by Pope Benedict XVI and 300,000 Catholic pilgrims is set to become the scene for protests. Ironically, the protests are being fuelled by the clumsy efforts of the NSW state Labor Party government to suppress them — passing laws making it illegal to “annoy” pilgrims and defining “annoy” broadly enough to include having signs, or even wearing t-shirts, with messages that the doctrinally rigid pope or his followers disapprove of.

* * *

No to Pope Rallies, July 19, 2008

The DSP and the Fourth International

Introduction

On August 17, 1985 the National Committee of the Democratic Socialist Perpective (then named the Socialist Workers Party) voted to end the party’s affiliation to the Fourth International, the international organisation founded in 1938 by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his supporters around the world.

This decision, which was subsequently endorsed by the DSP’s 11th Congress, held in Canberra in January 1986, was the result of a process of rethinking within the DSP about many of the ideas it had shared in common with other parties adhering to the Trotskyist movement.

Nationalise big oil, enemy of the planet and its people

By Dick Nichols

June 17, 2008 -- The latest surge in the spot price of crude oil (to US$139 a barrel—87.4 cents a litre) dramatises the urgent need for society to wean itself off “black gold”. The longer we remain hooked the greater the devastation both to our environment and to the living standards of billions, especially the poorest peoples of the planet.

The challenge is huge. The response must combine defence against the threat to livelihoods from price rises with a plan to restructure economies and ways of living so that oil-intensive production and transport becomes a thing of the past.

BHP-Billiton: a corporation founded on apartheid plunder

25 April 2001

 

BY NORM DIXON

In late March, newspaper headlines hailed the announcement that giant Australian-owned mining, oil and steel corporation BHP and the huge Anglo-South African mining and base metals conglomerate Billiton had agreed to merge, forming the world's largest mining and second-largest resources corporation. The new monolith is worth A$57 billion at current stock market prices.

None of the capitalist “market analysts” who have churned out thousands of words on the merger thought it necessary to point out that Billiton's accumulated capital is the product of decades of collaboration with the racist apartheid system in South Africa.

Billiton's parent company Gencor formally came into being with the amalgamation of two companies formed in the late 19th century, the General Mining and Finance Corporation (later known as Genmin) and the Union Corporation.

Billiton was purchased by Gencor from Royal Dutch/Shell in 1994. In 1997, Gencor chose Billiton to be its off-shore investment subsidiary listed on the London Stock Exchange. Gencor's extensive non-precious metals assets (aluminium, titanium, nickel, chrome and manganese alloys, and coal) in South Africa, Mozambique, Australia, Colombia, Brazil, Suriname and North America were transferred to Billiton.

Gencor's gold and platinum holdings — Gengold and Impala Platinum — remain with the parent company listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

Resolutions adopted at the Latin America & Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum in Melbourne, October 11-14, 2007

International Solidarity Forum resolution: Statement of Solidarity

http://solidarityforum2007.org/?q=node/32

 

We came and met together from many different countries.
We came because we are some of those who have to struggle.
We have to fight the capitalists. We have to fight and win.

To fight we need to meet, and talk about our problems.
The ways we get defeated, the ways in which we are winning.

We have to talk together about our common struggle:
The issues that unite us, and where we don’t agree.
We need to make a plan that is a clear way forward.

The world is really ours. But capitalists have stolen it.

Climate action now! Socialist Climate Change Charter

Climate action now! Socialist Climate Change Charter

It happens to be an emergency...

Climate action now!

  • Download the Socialist Alliance Climate Change Charter here
  • Download easy-to-print version of the Socialist Alliance Climate Change Charter (with references) here
  • To see how the charter was created click here
  • SUMMARY:

    Warnings that can’t be ignored

    Climate scientists have been warning us about global warming for

    DSP Congress reaffirms commitment to broad left regroupment

    By Peter Boyle
    January 7, 2008 -- The 23rd Congress of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, a Marxist endency in the Socialist Alliance in Australia, reaffirmed its commitment o broader left regroupment.

    The Congress noted that a new political terrain was opening up with the
    election of the Rudd Labor government on the back of a mass campaign of opposition to the anti-worker "Work Choices" laws introduced by the former Liberal-National government.

    Australia: Conference builds left alliances and international solidarity

    Two articles reporting the October 11-14, 2007, Latin America and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum, held in Melbourne. The first written by Lisa Macdonald from Australia's Green Left Weekly and the second by Roger Annis from Canada's Socialist Voice.

    ***********

    Conference builds left alliances and international solidarity

    By Lisa Macdonald

    The labour aristocracy and opportunism in the history of Australian working-class politics

    By Jonathan Strauss

    The theory of the labour aristocracy argues that opportunism in the working class has a material basis. Such class-collaborationist politics express the interests of a relatively privileged stratum of workers who receive benefits supported by monopoly superprofits. Karl Marx and, especially, Frederick Engels, first developed this theory. It is most closely associated with V.I. Lenin, however, for whom it became “the pivot of the tactics in the labour movement that are dictated by the objective conditions of the imperialist era”.[1]

    The Democratic Socialist Perspective and the Socialist Alliance

    The following resolution was adopted by the DSP's 22nd Congress in Sydney, January 5-8, 2006, following extensive internal discussion about the experience as a leading force within the Socialist Alliance since its formation in 2001.

    ***

    Work Choices: a huge challenge for organised labour in Australia

    By Graham Matthews

    Work Choices is the Orwellian name given by the Australian federal Liberal-National (conservative) Coalition government to its second wave of industrial relations legislation, passed through parliament on December 2, 2005, and proclaimed as law on March 27.

    Socialists in the Australian women's liberation movement

    By Margaret Allan

    To understand the development of feminism in Australia, it is useful to briefly recap the political situation that gave rise not only to the women's liberation movement, but to the whole range of social movements that sprang up in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    During the Second World War, women were drawn into many non-traditional areas of work, such as making ammunition and ships. These were much higher paid jobs than women were used to, and many women who did not previously work for pay experienced life as working mothers for the first time. There was some public child-care provision, and the ideology that women were incapable of metal work and similar trades conveniently disappeared as everyone was urged to “do their bit for the war effort and the boys at the front”.

    When men began returning from the war in large numbers in 1945, women were forced to give up these jobs. It was the start of the “baby boom”: women were encouraged to have babies to repopulate. This was also the start of the economic boom of the 1950s.

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