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Submitted by martin on Thu, 18/04/2019 - 15:45

S Alt has published an article on "why we need to be organised". The article does not mention the ISO collapse, but presumably is a tacit response to it. We've commented before on what we see as inadequacies in S Alt's previous explication of what building a revolutionary party is all about. The new explication adds a new dimension of inadequacy.

It cites, as models of what a revolutionary socialist organisation is good for, these two cases:

"In the early 20th century, the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World led the first mass struggles against racism and war, defeating conscription and building unity between white and immigrant workers. In the great radical movements of the 1960s and ’70s, it was the strenuous organising of Communist Party members that made the Australian working class among the most militant and socially conscious in the world." No mention of what Trotskyists have done.

So the revolutionary socialist organisation is seen not in terms of a programme, a "memory of the class", a political tradition, an evolving body of revolutionary theory - but only in terms of energetic and militant organisation.

The praise for the Communist Party is particularly revealing.

True, in the early 1970s, the CPA became perhaps the most "left" left-Eurocommunist group in the world, with some internal life, and a semi-demi-quasi-Trotskyistic Left Faction.

But that whole period culminated in the CPA union leaders diverting and demobilising the great mass strike triggered by the Kerr Coup of 1975, those same union leaders only a little later devising and sealing the union-ALP "Accord" which wrecked Australian working-class militancy, and the Left Faction quickly dissolving into nothing.

In other words, all the "good bits" of what the CPA did were fatally vitiated, on the political and ideological front at least, by its politics.

We need good activist organisation, but more than that, we need politics and theory. And if S Alt presents the case for itself just in terms of being a good organisation to push along general militancy, then, given its still relatively small size, in case of any disappointment its members are likely to think: what's the point?

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