Trot Guide 2007 #2.0 : 2007 Federal Election

It’s Melbourne Cup Eve, and despite the title of this blog, we’re Racing! into 2007 with the Trot Guide 2007 #2.0 : 2007 Federal Election. This year, Murdoch’s Choice has set a cracking pace, easily dictating terms to its principal rival, HoWARd’s Way. In a field that is exceedingly well strung out, bringing up the rear are the minor parties, which on the left include:

1) The Socialist Alliance

Essentially now an electoral front for the Leninist Democratic Socialist Perspective (nee Party), and barely pretending otherwise, SA is fielding a total of 27 losing candidates, in all states and territories except the Northern Territory, and in both Lower and Upper House seats. Like every other SA electoral campaign, this one will witness little support for the SA, and simultaneously be reported as a triumph by its press (the Green Left Weekly). In NSW, Lower House seats being contested by the SA are Blaxland, Cunningham, Grayndler, Newcastle and Parramatta; in Queensland, Brisbane, Griffith and Moncrieff; in Victoria, Corio, Gellibrand and Wills; in WA, Fremantle, Pearce and Perth; in Tasmania, Denison and Franklin; and in the ACT, Fraser.

In the 2004 Federal Election, SA fielded 34 candidates in total, contesting many of the same seats. For example, in Victoria, in the seat of Corio, SA candidate (and Geelong Trades Hall Secretary) Tim Gooden beat the LaRouchites into last place, gaining 505 votes for the SA; in Gellibrand, Linda Waldron also beat the LaRouchites into last place, gaining 508 votes; while in Wills, David Glanz (a member of the ISO, a Trotskyist sect which has since left the Alliance) scored 867 votes, thereby completing the trifecta of defeats for the terminally unpopular followers of Lyndon ‘Genius or Madman?’ LaRouche.

2) The Socialist Equality Party

Obviously not composed of triskaidekaphobes, the SEP is running 13 candidates this election, hoping to sweep to power on “A socialist program to fight war, social inequality and the assault on democratic rights”. Most SEP candidates are running in NSW and Victoria: in NSW, Terry Cook for Charlton, James Cogan for Chifley, Patrick O’Connor for Grayndler, Alex Safari for Kingsford Smith (SA contested this seat in 2004, only to be rejected by 99.6% of voters), Noel Holt for Newcastle and Chris Gordon for Parramatta; in Victoria, Frank Gaglioti for Calwell and Will Marshall for Melbourne. In WA, Joe Lopez is in the running for Swan. In summary, in addition to Senate seats from NSW and Victoria, the SA will be competing with the SEP in the unpopularity stakes in three seats: Grayndler, Newcastle and Parramatta. Whose Ideology Will Reign Supreme?

3) The Progressive Labour Party (Klaas Woldring and Max Bradley)

Klaas and Max are appealing for the support of voters in NSW in an ambitious attempt to join the Senatorial class, made all the more so by the fact that the name of the PLP will not appear on the ballot: “The Progressive Labour Party was registered on 19 January 1998 and deregistered on 27 December 2006″.

4) The Socialist Party

…is standing a grand total of one candidate, Kylie McGregor, in the seat of Melbourne. This will mean the Socialist vote will be s p l i t between the SP and the SEP. (Note that the SP has the unique distinction of being the only member of Trot Guide to penetrate the bowels of Government.)

5) The Communist League

A late entry: Ron Poulsen of the Communist League is one of six candidates for the very safe Labor seat of Watson in Sydney, NSW. According to Soviet Man, the CL have contested a number of elections in recent years. For example, in 2004, Ron also stood for Watson. Unfortunately, Ron received just 335 votes, or 0.5% of the total — on the bright side, 13 votes more than his previous effort in 2001. In 1996, Ron stood for the seat of Grayndler, gaining 208 or 0.3%. Ron has also stood for the Senate, in 1998 and 1993 (receiving an initial count of 86 votes). Incidentally, Antony Green notes that “John Howard’s origins are in this electorate, growing up in the family home at Earlwood. Unfortunately for those who cherish national heritage, the house where the Prime Minister spent his earliest years has been replaced by a Kentucky Fried Chicken store”, which I think is comically appropriate.

In the meantime, the Committee for a Revolutionary Communist Party in Australia, the Communist League,* the National Preparatory Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Australia, the New Era Communist Party of Australia, the October Seventh Socialist Movement, Socialist Appeal and the Socialist Labor Party of Australia are all complete non-starters, yet to even make it on to the track.

Probably ‘cos they all remain dead.

Further, while the World Socialist Party of Australia maintains a PO Box in North Richmond, the Freedom Socialist Party has gone into meltdown online, making it very difficult to ascertain which party, if any, either advocates proletarian voters support. Direct Action (nee the Marxist Solidarity Network), while also appearing to be in limbo, at least for the time being, would likely advocate a vote for SA. On the other hand, the Communist Party of Australia advocates Communists vote Green, as does the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist), the Trotskyist International Socialist Organisation and Socialist Alternative.

Finally, note that, alongside the FSP, the websites of both Socialist Action and Solidarity appear to be down, although whether this means that the organisations themselves are too I dunno.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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43 Responses to Trot Guide 2007 #2.0 : 2007 Federal Election

  1. Andrew says:

    I was listening to “City Limits” on 3CR this morning (7/11) and I could have sworn one of them was saying that the Socialist Equality Party were giving the Libs their third preferences in the senate, after Labor and the Greens. Any further information?

  2. @ndy says:

    According to Robert Bollard on Leftwrites:

    “Whatever anyone thinks of this debate [on socialist voting] I hope no-one would consider voting for the Socialist Equality Party in the Senate. I was just checking out the preference allocations for the minor parties on the AEC website – just released today. It seems they’ve split the ticket three ways: one third will go to the Greens, one third to the ALP and one third to the Coalition!”

    In NSW, the SEP lodged three tickets. The first lodged with the AEC goes Labor, then Carers Alliance, ‘Ungrouped’, Liberals/Nationals, CEC, Family First, Pauline, CCC, Socialist Alliance, The Greens, WWW, LDP, J, Hear Our Voice, Senator Online, Democrats, CCE, DLP, P, O, CDP, One Nation, Non-Custodial…, Shooters…, V.

    Point is:

    “Where a party or group has lodged 2 or 3 VOTING TICKETS, the total number of ticket votes received by that party or group will be distributed evenly in accordance with those voting tickets.”

    In Victoria the SEP also lodged three tickets, with the Greens ranked second in the first ticket, the ALP ranked second in the second ticket, and the Liberals/Nationals ranked second in the third ticket…

    So yeah, the SEP is going for split preferences in the Senate, with equal votes going to the ALP, Coalition and the Greens.

  3. Ha what about the Stalinist League of Australia. We are supporting the Labour Party in the lower house and the SA in the upper house. We are running a candi[d]ate in Warwick’s electorat.

    Why Andy would you ignor the SLA.

  4. @ndy says:

    I have my orders.

  5. Yes I knew it. You and slackbastard are puppets of the international nerd-gothic-anarchist plot. Darp has ordered you didn’t he?

  6. grumpy cat says:

    okay so call me a nerd but a bunch of those groups are not “trots”… and Solidarity and Socialist Action should be getting mad props for moving away from sectarian party-building towards focusing on struggles; associating them with nut bars like the SEP does no one any favours…
    rebel love
    Dave

  7. @ndy says:

    G’day Dave,

    Nerd.

    Yeah, I know… it’s actually a complaint I’ve received in the past from gray inre to the World Socialist Movement (SPGB) mob. But I like the idea of a Trot Guide, not only in the sense that the majority of those within it are Trotskyist, but also because of the allusion to horse racing. As for Solidarity and Socialist Action, I know very little apart from the fact that they’re splinters from the ISO and SocAlt, but if they’re moving away from party-building, sweet. As I noted, both sites appear to be down… are they active online elsewhere?

    Pies in ’08,

    @ndy.

  8. Tell me Andy, who did you get the orders from?

  9. grumpy cat says:

    Hi Andy, I don’t think they have anything online, or publish their rag at the moment. This is normally a sign of demise on the part of Leninist groups – in the case of SAG/Solidarity it could be a sign of health! But I heard on the old commie grapevine that they might re-merge with the ISO – which would be a step back. As an old ISOer it would be good to finally see one of the grouplets dropping Lenin and letting out their inner Luxemburg! Okay must sleep have to be up for work far too soon. Good night all…
    Dave

  10. @ndy says:

    I think that oughta be in memoriam, but then again, maybe not…

  11. ANDY GET A FUCKING JOB. DOLL BLUDGER.

  12. Soviet Man says:

    A correction @ndy.

    The Communist League is most certainly contesting this election.

    In the division of Watson in Sydney comrade Ron Poulsen is seeking election and the CL has been very active in Bankstown and Western Sydney for a number of years.

    The CL has contested a number of elections over the years in the area and on this occasion, are the only explicitly socialist voice in the heartland of Australia’s most multicultural, diverse and Muslim electorate.

  13. @ndy says:

    Cheers Soviet Man, I shall add Comrade Poulsen of the Communist League to the list.

  14. Well isn’t that a waste of time. The Communist League shouldn’t be running in the election because it will split the vote. All socialists should get behind the Socialist Alliance. The Communist League should join the Socialist Alliance like the Stalinist League did.

  15. Adam says:

    peter you are aware that the socialist alliance is the voting front for the dsp and that the dsp takes the somewhat obvious position that stalin was a mass murdering anti-democratic un-communist/socialist moustachioed psycho …. and as little faith as i have in the alliance (pretty much none really) i know that they are over-obsessed about their image and they’re not going to have listed anything with “stalinist” as one of the affiliate groups

    oh yeah i’m assuming you don’t know this but there are or at least were affiliate groups in the SA. just because your 4 members paid dues doesn’t mean that the league has joined. it means 4 15yos joined the alliance

  16. The Stalinist League acts like the Socialist Alliance branch in Warwick. We have been handing out leaflets around Warwick and have been putting up posters.

    Also, Stalinists will be handing out how to vote cards for the ALP and SA.

  17. Adam says:

    wait a second shitheel, you criticize the other commie for running against the SA but you’re going to hand out leaflets against the SA … and yeah there is a big difference between wanting to be in a party/pretending you’re in that party and the party itself knowing you exist

  18. I am not handing out leaflets against the Socialist Alliance. The Socialist Alliance knows that I exist.

  19. Soviet Man says:

    For the record, the CL is neither anti or pro Moscow.

    I also urge comrades to read this article from today’s news:

    http://stgeorge.yourguide.com.au/news/local/political/conditions-worsening/1085412.html

  20. @ndy says:

    “RON Poulsen is adamant that contesting the St George seat of Watson for the third time is not about winning it – it is about the opportunity of getting the message about his convictions across to voters…”

    Judging by Ron’s previous performances, that’s just as well I reckon. By the way, how does Ron / the CL measure its ability to reach the masses via standing for election? I once queried a Serious Young Leninist (a DSP/Resistance member) on the subject, and he referred me to Engels. But Engels’ argument tended to suggest that, when applied to contemporary Australia, running in elections is something socialists should not do.

  21. Soviet Man says:

    Comrade @ndy,

    Almost every Saturday morning for the past year, a small group of dedicated CL members has set up a stall at the entrance to Bankstown Westfield campaigning against Workchoices, the war in Iraq, standing up for refugees, migrants and a whole plethora of other progressive issues.

    It is not much. Agreed. But that is the nature of grassroots campaigning in the suburbs. Socialist politics in 2007 is about retail, not wholesale politics, reaching out in 1s and 2s, not 100s and 1000s.

    The stark reality is that no trot / anarchist / political / union / greenie group of any colour can make much of an impact on Gen Y in any meaningful way. But still the show must go on.

    For SAlt, the CPA, the CPA-ML, ISO, the SP and others to all swallow hard and hop into bed with the Greens, I find their political convergence troubling.

    But what I find inspiring is that out of the 1421 candidates in this election, only 1 openly identifies as a communist. There is respect and honesty in that.

    Solidarity.

  22. @ndy says:

    Yo. Soviet Man.

    It’s good for the public to be provided with critical resources, but I’m not sure about your generalisations regarding Gen Y; I can remember precisely the same attitudes being expressed with regards Gen X — a term that was, in the end, based on a rather fatuous series of observations by a US futorologist (Douglas Coupland).

    And ah, why do you link to The Exile? It’s shit. National Bolshevik shit. Also, afaik, the SP — unlike the other parties — is not urging a vote for the Greens.

    For libertarian communism,

    @ndy.

    Howard’s South Park pals
    Young voters have flocked to the Prime Minister as the good times continue to roll, writes Caroline Overington
    The Australian
    February 27, 2006

    This is bullshit. So is this: “Before John Howard, the notion that young people leaned to the left was largely unchallenged…”

    You see, I was a young person “before John Howard”. (And hey, I know it’s been ten years, but before that whiny little accountant took over, remember that ‘we’ had thirteen years of Hawke-Keating rule!) And the funny thing is, throughout that period I received the exact same message from media outlets: ‘young people’ are politically apathetic. The lesson? That if you’re young, and you want to change society, you’re in a tiny, marginalised, minority.

    And that’s Overington’s basic — and quite crude — message; one apparently gleaned from reading the entrails of previous federal elections (a comparative analysis of the elections of 1972 and 2004 in particular). A highly tendentious argument, to say the least. To begin with, if young people have stopped voting for Labor as frequently as they did in the past, this does not, in and of itself, constitute evidence of any radical shift in political perspective. Secondly, the ‘irony’ — a technical term generally denoting the surprise liberals feel when the obvious cynicism of the authorities is exposed, again — is that Howard’s policies have been largely antagonistic to the interests of young people. Despite this, Overington feels comfortable declaring that: “…Howard has, over the past 10 years, been utterly transformed in the eyes of the young. To the horror of many baby boomers, Howard’s new constituency, the “young fogies”, adore him the way their parents loved to smoke dope.”

    And so on, one fatuous observation after another, each intended to reinforce in the reader’s mind the idea that the image middle-aged neo-cons have of young people is not merely the product of their own phantastic projections but one solidly based in reality. Further, it’s an image of ‘young people’ that relies on a very limited conception of what constitutes ‘politics’ and, moreover, completely fails to acknowledge the existence of inter-generational political community…

    NB. Overington is a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, now in trouble for electoral shenanigans.

  23. May I ask the Communist League this: what position does the Communist League have on the Socialist Alliance, Communist Party of Australia, Stalinist League, Australian Greens?

  24. Soviet Man says:

    In terms of my politics? My views are somewhere between communist and anarchist.

    I wholeheartedly support anarchists in the tactics, ideas and imagination they bring to the table in terms of anti-WTO, anti-globalization and the anti-capitalist movement as a whole.

    However here in Sydney, the anarchist ‘movement’ is centred around two small bookshops (both widely suspected to be infiltrated by ASIO and other spooks) run by a bunch of half stoned iPod carrying emos. Not much use to anyone.

    And a world away from the militant political struggles against capitalism in Nepal, the Phillippines, Pakistan and Latin America.

    Even a territory like Transnistria should be *critically* supported, as the sort of place that is on the pathway to a future removed from capitalist control.

    In terms of communism, I think groups like the Nat Bols serve to draw attention to the infinite possibilities of socialism. Even if their occasionally misguided propaganda (swastikas and whatnot) sometimes have a habit detracting from what is essentially a correct and ballsy political position in the face of immense state provocation and oppression.

    The CL should be given points for trying. The CPA has perhaps 20 members on the books in Sydney (and 4 paid staff) and their conservatism in not standing candidates and not engaging directly with the people is a shame.

  25. @ndy says:

    Leaving aside the degree to which ASIO and stoned emos have between them infiltrated Black Rose and Jura, “…the militant political struggles against capitalism in Nepal, the Phillippines, Pakistan and Latin America” are what, precisely? In Nepal, the Maoist insurgents aren’t struggling against capitalism, but against monarchical rule, and for a republic and representative democracy (ie, ‘modernisation’); in the Phillippines, the position of the NPA is more equivocal, but again, the struggle of a relatively small Maoist tendency within largely rural communities — while in many ways remarkable, especially in an (ostensibly) post-Communist era — is not necessarily to be assumed as being an ‘anti-capitalist’ one; as for Pakistan, there’s a number of leftist parties and other institutions, but these are easily overshadowed by both the military/police state and the various, far more numerous Islamic political formations. Latin America, on the other hand…

    “Even a territory like Transnistria should be *critically* supported, as the sort of place that is on the pathway to a future removed from capitalist control.”

    Um… that’s some pretty weird shit right there comrade.

    Speaking of which, I repeat: NatBols are shit. They exist principally as a means of self-aggrandisement for Limonov, who is a right wanker. “…groups like the Nat Bols serve to draw attention to the infinite possibilities of socialism” — er… that’s certainly one way of putting it. Of course, the same could be said for every single other political phenomenon that has or could be termed ‘socialist’.

    Which is lots.

  26. Dr. Cam says:

    I heard that National Socialism serves to draw attention to the infinite possiblities of socialism.

  27. Soviet Man says:

    The commonality in those five examples? In all cases it involves the eventual removal of a capitalist political situation *of some form* and its replacement with a system that is on a pathway toward socialism *of some form*.

    I think self evidently the Nat Bols would not seek, nor ever obtain an elected political office. In fact other groups like the KPRF would in many ways be superior to the Nat Bols in having more capability ideologically to administrate the machinery of the Russian government.

    Nat Bols nonetheless retain an important role in the current stage of political development in the building of a movement that is on a trajectory away from capitalism.

    I see Edward Limonov in the same light as say Kim Jong Il or Bob Avakian; merely a figurehead or a benign symbol.

  28. @ndy says:

    Soviet Man,

    I think you’re talking bollocks *of some form*, and quibbling over replacing oppressive social structures *of some form* with oppressive social structures *of some form*. It actually reminds me of that sketch…

    “King of Swamp Castle: When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.”

    …which then falls into a swamp, *of some form*. Actually, I would’ve thought the truthiness of Marx the scientician’s teleological version of history was brought into question by the irruption of revolution in Russia, let alone the collapse of Communism *of some form* back into the swamp of history in the late ’80s.

    As for the NazBols, an assessment of their character may take into consideration their popularity, but is far from dependent on it, so whether or not they’re in a position to do anything other than get arrest and go to prison is beside the point. Their status in terms of “the building of a movement that is on a trajectory away from capitalism” on the other hand is, in my opinion, pretty clear: they’re in the way. Finally, Limonov may be the quasi-equivalent of Avakian, but I think Kim Jong Il is in another category *of some form*…

  29. Soviet Man says:

    @ndy,

    I argue this.

    My concept for an ideal society would be built upon the idea of unifying a vanguard of intellectuals, artists, students, feminists, queers, academics, socialists, environmentalists, refugees and unionists – working both collectively and individually to create both a dynamic *political* and *physical* space to the Left of the ALP and Greens.

    It would be a Paris commune (or a ‘Nimbin’) in every capital city.

    By concentrating such a political community in one location (a ghetto effectively) the embryo of a new type of society could be created and then gradually expanded. If the existing anarchist and socialist formations in Australia were to concentrate their efforts into one suburb or geographic place, their imagination and creativity would yield very tangible results.

    Steve Jolly and the SP were somewhat on the right track in as much as the SP’s limited resources were concentrated on winning just 1 council ward – which they did. It is a start and an example the rest of the broad left should consider very carefully.

    But the problem in so much of this country is a lack of density and a lack of critical mass of people. That to me seems to be the fundamental problem in organising successful socialist and anarchist interventions.

    Witness the Arterial bloc at G20 or Mutiny at APEC. They want to smash shit up? … cool, wonderful, great, I’m all for it … but what’s the point when the following day capitalist life returns to the streets as usual? If only their energy, passion, activism and creativity could be channelled into one place, one suburb, one concentrated community of like minded people…

    For me – NatBols aside – that is the real starting point to replacing capitalism.

  30. Adam says:

    hey sovietman i have to point out one glaring problem with your idea. you want environmentalists to be part of your “ghetto” when overcrowding a portion of land to the point where you get a ghetto is about the opposite of environmentalism … sorta like al gore people say he is a great environmentalist but he was vice president of a country that covered another country in depleted uranium … human rights aside for a second i don’t know that DU does wonders for the rest of the world either. and also to the rest of the general line of thinking i have to go with BOLLOCKS! the idea that you get a equal society by crowding all the people like you away from the rest of society and then they later on become a shining example to the rest is crap, you end up with a split community with some more equal than others. while we may all want the spontaneous shaking off of the rich it won’t be so easy and the majority of people need to change and to lock yourself away from them will do little. wanting to create mini nimbins all over the place is something as someone who is getting evicted i can get behind cause the rent would go down at least in the short term … but there would still be rent. it’s not like nimbin is that evolved a place or that it is a beacon for the rest of the country, by locking themselves away to do their own thing instead of mixing with the wider community it comes off as a places where burnt out hippies and stoners live. not exactly the ideal that you are going to get a lot of people behind

  31. @ndy says:

    Dear Councillor,

    A few thoughts in response to your idea of letting one thousand hippies bloom:

    The notion of a vanguard or an avant-garde is problematic; doubly so from a libertarian or anti-statist revolutionary perspective. In my opinion, Vaneigem’s account of the vanguard being a game of pass-the-parcel is better; better certainly than most — if not all — of the organised rackets which have employed the term ‘vanguard’. Society, ideal or not, is created through the reproduction of everyday life. A mass movement which challenges capitalist and hierarchical forms of social relationships is what I would like to contribute to the development of; while at the same time acknowledging that its actual realisation is up to the big, dumb, ugly forces of history, and for the most part we’re barely on speaking terms.

    As to the unification of intellectuals, artists, students, feminists, queers, academics, socialists, environmentalists, refugees and unionists in a vanguard: I’m not sure how deliberate you are in this compilation of social groups, but obviously, some are occupational (artists, students, academics, unionists), some sociological (queers, refugees), some political (feminists, socialists, environmentalists), but not, essentially, economic, which is curious.

    I agree with you that space is the final frontier, but I’m not convinced of the utility, practicality or advisability of your construction of it in terms of ghettoes. What immediately springs to mind, in this instance, is the metaphor of the virus. The host city is infected with the disease of revolution, and it grows, organically, creeping slowly into neighbouring suburbs… first Brunswick and Coburg, then North Melbourne and Footscray… But whether considered as virus or not, such a conception is many miles, and many decades, removed from the example of the Paris Commune.

    A further problem with this proposal or conceptualisation of revolutionary activity is the extent to which it depends upon challenging the property market, and hence the state. Urban populations — especially the poorest among them — are subjected to regular forms of dispersal as a result of its workings, and this is very much in evidence in mainland Australian cities. Therefore, to simply maintain these spaces will, I think, increasingly require collective forms of action, whether legal and commercial-based or illegal and actively challenging the market’s notion of value… that is, squatting. In the absence of support from a labour movement that is thoroughly, and fundamentally, committed to social democratic cum neo-liberal forms of social control, this is going to be difficult (if not impossible).

    Oh yeah, and while I don’t think it’s very difficult to occupy a space to the ‘Left’ of the ALP — especially given the absence of a Left wing inside the ALP! — as the Greens become increasingly incorporated into governing structures, so too the task will become easier of doing so on the ‘Left’ of the Greens.

    “If the existing anarchist and socialist formations in Australia were to concentrate their efforts into one suburb or geographic place, their imagination and creativity would yield very tangible results.”

    …and if one is to ignore the real divisions that exist between existing anarchist and socialist formations. I’m also not convinced that anarchist and socialist formations are as free to concentrate their rather puny energies in this manner…

    As for the SP, they are remarkable not so much for the manner in which their politics are radically different to those of other socialist (read: Leninist) formations so much as they are in terms of their decision to strategise on the basis of winning representation on a local level. Examined more closely, this is both remarkable and not-so-remarkable. For one, I’m not sure too many other socialist formations have pursued this road. Secondly, it’s not as difficult as it might appear to gain some degree of success in this field. One could, for example, compare Steve Jolly’s success in Melbourne to that of Bruce Preece (far right, Australia First Party) in Adelaide. Thirdly, as elsewhere, the ALP has abandoned the role of being a ‘progressive’ voice, and this territory has been left open for other forces (from the Left) to occupy. Unfortunately, on the one hand, the Greens have obtained an early run; on the other hand, the most serious attempt to develop an electoral alternative has taken place via the DSP, whose sectarianism doomed the SA from the start.

    (It will be interesting to see how Kylie McGregor performs, as well as if there is any significant increase in the very low levels of support for the DSP/SA.)

    And yeah, any project requires a critical mass, and arguably, yeah, there’s not enough folks around who are committed to seriously ‘advancing’ revolutionary projects. On the other hand, I think the other missing ingredient is political clarity: what do we want? And how are we gonna get it? In the field of anarchist social theory, there’s really 4/5 of 2/3 of fuck-all going on, and what there is of a radical intelligentsia in this country is dominated by other concerns, and, in the academy, increasingly strict political and economic pressures. (The good news is that one day this is gonna burst.)

    “Witness the Arterial bloc at G20 or Mutiny at APEC. They want to smash shit up? … cool, wonderful, great, I’m all for it … but what’s the point when the following day capitalist life returns to the streets as usual? If only their energy, passion, activism and creativity could be channelled into one place, one suburb, one concentrated community of like minded people…”

    Ah man, that’s a whole other story. Put simply, the Arterial bloc, as I understand it, was a group of people dressed in white overalls; an ad hoc political formation which took part in some ‘riotous’ behaviour on November 20, 2006, but one which was hardly responsible for all of the alleged damage to police property (or pride) on the day, and whose activities in this regard were in any case supplemented by the involvement of others, who took part under their own steam and wearing their own colours. Further, I think it’s a rather obvious mistake to assume that those who take part in such activities are not also doing other things at other times and in other places, actions which are in keeping with or form part of the same political trajectory; finally, that part of this activity does not also involve some notion of ‘community-building’. I also don’t accept that the channeling of theirs (and others’) creativity and imagination (how? and by whom?) into one domain would necessarily, in and of itself, strengthen, or render more effective these ‘other’ forms of ‘activism’.

  32. grumpy cat says:

    hi all
    hey Andy, how is the idea of clarity reconciled with “Vaneigem’s account of the vanguard being a game of pass-the-parcel…”. or is the point that it is not reconciled but rather a creative tension?
    rebel love
    dave

  33. @ndy says:

    g’day grumpy,

    i don’t see there as being a contradiction, necessarily. by that i mean, clarity is not something that, once arrived at, remains. it evolves. it may be that at some point, in some struggle, a particular idea, which is associated with a particular group or person, dominates — ie, is widely and voluntarily accepted — but the idea (the anarchist or libertarian impulse) is to not allow this temporary authority — understood as being a form of authorship — to become institutionalised. this is where the idea of an assembly becomes important, and with it the need to maintain a space, both ideological and practical, within which such playful contests or articulations may take place… or something… here, your turn…

  34. grumpy cat says:

    In other words it is a praxis, a dialectic relationship between theory and activity? But instead of a two way vertical relationship it is now conceived as a multi-directional horizontal one?
    If that’s the case is their any role for specific ideologies, such as anarchism? Or is it just a signifier of an empty space?
    Does any idea of revolutionary organisation fit into this? Can you have an overt association of militants and still create such a free process?

    rebel love
    Dave

  35. grumpy cat says:

    damn it Andy my Internet connection is too slow to watch these! I hope it is a wicked reference

  36. @ndy says:

    ‘Can Dialectics Break Bricks?’ is the question Dave…

  37. My fellow comrades,

    I would like to announce that I will no longer take part in political activity. I have resigned as General Secretary and Chief Kommissar of the Stalinist League. I have also given up membership of the Stalinist League, Socialist Alliance, Australian Labour Party and the Australian Worker’s Union affective as of now.

    I was active in politics for over five years. Five years to many. I must move on now for I must find my self. I must gain life experiance. At 15, I am of no age to be in politics.

    Good bye my comrades. I will miss you. I give you my good luck.

    Comradly regards[…]

  38. grumpy cat says:

    Oh are they from the film? There are a bunch of Mai 68 films playing at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brissy including some by Debord which i have to go check out. And come on Andy i am pretty sure you know i am not into some kind of diamat determinism if that is what you are getting at. Doesn’t mean some kind of idea of the dialectic isn’t a useful tool for radical critique.
    rebel love
    dave

  39. grumpy cat says:

    i think i am missing some letter from that last sentence. trying to write too many different things at once i think
    redstars/blackskies/greencomets

  40. Amelia says:

    Just to clarify your comments on Socialist Alliance — Tim Kirchler is the SA candidate for Moncrieff and he is not a member (nor has he ever been a member) of the DSP. No member of the Gold Coast branch working on this campaign is a member of the DSP and we are proudly non-aligned to any faction.

    Media reports last night on radio credited this year’s active campaign by candidates in Moncrieff (as opposed to previous years where the campaign was non-existent) to a dramatic push by the left in the area.

    We are not a joke – thank you!

  41. @ndy says:

    Thank you Amelia. I’ll endeavour at some stage to determine which of the other 26 candidates are not members of the DSP/Resistance…

    Hmmm. Well, reading over the bios at the SA site, it appears that very few are members of the DSP or Resistance: Alex Bainbridge, Tim Dobson, Liah Lazarou and Trent Hawkins are the only ones listed as being such. Of course, it may be the case that there are considerably more than these four… but you wouldn’t know it from reading their bios.

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