Recently I decided to become more politically active. More politically active? You cry in mock indignation! How could you possibly get more politically active? Well, I reply, with the hint of a smug smile suppressed on my peeling lips, by joining a leftist political party!
Well, I’m a socialist, I reasoned, I may as well join the Australian Socialist Party and take it from there. Using the most supreme prism of the internet I started off for said party’s official website intent on bringing down the corrupt and moribund capitalist society I was part of…
However as soon as I search engined the words “Australian Socialist Party” I found myself in a curious dilemma. The Socialist Party (Australia) was a small and sadly impotent Trotskyist party mainly strong in Victoria. And we all know how things are in Victoria. Needless to say I looked elsewhere and came upon a veritable myriad of parties, organisations, lobby groups and ‘tendencies’ all claiming to be the most bestest and accurate Socialist parties in the land if not the world.
There’s the Socialist Equality Party, the Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Alternative to name a few. Now these fellows, like immature brethren constantly feud with each other, using perjoratives, superlatives and all sorts of other adjectives, verbs and nouns ending in -ist in a very public and seemingly endless argument.
Now it’s commonly accepted by all socialists that a union must be consecrated between the various factions of the left in a Popular Front, and that a long with a general strike, bring about the end of capitalism in a glorious velvet revolution. Velvet however is quite a rich material, and probably quite immoral to use when considering all the poor people and whatnot. Maybe a cotton revolution. Or a polyester one. I don’t know. The term ‘velvet revoulution’ comes from the bloodless shrugging off of the Stalinist regime in Czechoslovakia in the early 90s. I think it has something to do with the band ‘Velvet Underground’ who was touring around their at the time. Might not be though.
Regardless of semantics and other mammals, this popular front looks nowhere near completion. At first glance it seems if the socialist movement is comprised primarily of disaffected middle-class hipsters living in the interior of places like Melbourne, drinking coffees, wearing little hats inside and growing their stubble in the half-light of a southern sun. That may be a stereotype, but it’s probably true.
So until the various leftist groups can put their differences aside, and compromise their hubris in the interests of the common man, then their movement will be both impotent and irrelevant.
So what did I do? Me? I looked around, and settled finally on remaining indecisive, a loose cannon, a free agent, a most hypocritical individual collectivist. Then I complained, ate dinner and forgot about it.