A Fraction Too Much Factions?

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.

Socialist Clarity

Socialist Clairty. Is it Too Much To Ask For?


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.


8 thoughts on “A Fraction Too Much Factions?

  1. Fraternal greetings.
    We recommend against collaborating with the impotent. They should be left alone to concentrate on getting better. Socialist Alternative are alternatives to socialists, they are splitters and running dogs. (The joy that insult brings me!)
    Our further fraternal advice is that you concentrate on your studies now, so that you do not have to get a job in advertising.
    We sniff a K Rudd comeback on the winds. How this possible even is?

    • K Rudd? Return? Why like the great Aslan he shall be, with a ridiculous laugh and without the magnificent mane.

      As for the Socialist Alternative, they have a nice site, but sometimes rather silly opinions, just like Facebook and Wikipedia, but with neither the usefulness nor popularity, (arguable with Facebook of course).

      And advertising? Yuck. My cousin works in it. Like a dragonfly larva or horny teen, it impregnates you, and begins to eat your soul, until you are nothing save a consumeristic shell, a shell which laughs too loud and too often, and needlessly spruiks the advantages of the powerful. Spruiks. What a wonderful word.

  2. “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”

    Not really: http://www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=253
    Branches in Geelong, Ballarat, Armidale, Wollongong, Rockhampton, Cairns, Darwin, etc, doesn’t sound too much like the hipsters pointed to above. Just sayin’…

    Also, the Socialist Alliance was formed to overcome the differences of the various little (and some really are small – 2 or 3 people in some cases) socialist groups. After a few years, most of the wee groups went back to the safety of their perfectly-typed programs and inner-city beret-farming, but hundreds of “ordinary” socialists (ie, those not part of the Umpteenth International, or it’s variants) stuck around.

    • Ah well. It seems you have fallen prey to that disgusting intellectual movement that insists on using facts and reality in the stead of stereotypes and generalisations. Shame.

      In all seriousness though, of all the Socialists, the Socialist Alliance would have to be my favourite, due to their semi-reasonableness, unifying outlook, and some other unknown factor that makes me like them. I almost joined them a couple of months ago but then I got confused by their form, found something I didn’t like, and ran away.

      I find some things that the Socialist Alternative publishes inherently ridiculous. I attempted to criticise one of their more irrational articles, comparing the London Riots to a revolutionary uprising, and condemning leftists who opposed it, only to be suitably ignored and/or censored. I was most displeased and haven’t bothered with them since.

      Thank you for commenting, it’s good to get someone with actual knowledge and experience around here sometimes.

      • No wuckers. Also, I obviously can’t read (being, as you my have noticed, a wombat). By “Rockhampton”, of course, I clearly meant “Townsville”. 😛

        I’m a member myself (obligatory disclosure, etc). The bit I like the most is that it doesn’t have any single, “official”, socialist “tradition” (Trotskyism, Leninism, Kautskyism, Anarchism, De Leonism, Beardism, Etcism) that members are required to swallow and regurgitate week to week.

        There are classes and discussions (and disagreements) on various topics, and theoretical traditions, but it’s not a precondition to joining, and doing *actual* things) other than scream obscenities at your “competitors” (did someone mention the SEP? 😛 ).

        What bit didn’t you like on the form? I’m curious…

  3. I didn’t not like anything on the form, I’m just unfamiliar paying over the internet. I’d be perfectly however happy to submit my fees into one of their trendy inner city heardquarters.

    Wow, their inclusionism is really heartening. Is there any people they won’t accept? Could Andrew Bolt join?

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