What does the Left Want?

March on Queensland, Coolangatta 1978

Every year my friends gather on New Years eve and try to predict what will happen in the coming year.

We place these predictions in a book and then in the following new year’s eve we read them to compare prediction with what actually happened.

Many of the predictions are light-hearted and some go out on a limb — participants often not expecting their prediction to come true.

However one friend did predict the 2008/9 Global Financal Crisis GFC and, what is more interesting, the reasons for it i.e. the home loan debt crisis in the financial services industry in the US as long ago as 2005.

In this thread and elsewhere there have been attempts to analyse and even to justify positions held by Left Groups in Brisbane. There is a clear danger in this, especially given the human tendency to retrospectively align their predictions with what happened. That is why we have records. The other danger is the negativity associated with trying to justfy yourself all the time.

A comrade has written to me today asking that Left Groups record what they would like to achieve over a period of three years (if you wish the timeframe to be difference please specify).

  • Is it to achieve membership for your group and then this is to achieve what?
  • Do you want members of Parliament? And to do what?
  • What sort of civic change do you want? What do you expect?

These are just some questions that groups may wish to address. These may be more desires than expectation. My friends’ prediction book may different and light hearted but I raise it here to show that difference between desires and expectation can be subtle.

Here is one opportunity for people who belong to Left groups to put forward what they would like to achieve and what they expect.

You do not have to give up any secrets, just a broad statement of what you wish to achieve.

By the way, my predictions for the 2010 year were:

1) There will be a ‘double dip’ global recession with the second dip in 2010.

2) If the double dip recession occurs as predicted the Rudd government (and state governments) will not have the funds to spend their way out of it.

3) As a result of this second global recession:

  • Obama will become (like Jimmy Carter) a one term US president,
  • Anna Bligh will lose power in Qld, and
  • Kevin Rudd will emulate former Prime Ministers Gorton and Keating and will suffer an ignominious defeat in the 2010 federal election to become that rare phenonmenon in Australian politics, a ‘oncer’ [i.e. a leader who wins only one election. Even Whitlam, a mildly reformist PM in a conservative electorate, managed to win two].

If my analysis is correct there is no point in the Left kowtowing to the social democratic parties or the parliamentary process, they should get on with the struggle against capitalism.

in solidarity
Ian Curr
18 January 2010

The following newspapers were contacted:

  • Direct Action — Direct Action aims to help build the movement for socialism. It has been initiated by the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
  • Green Left Weekly Green Left Weekly, launched in 1990, by progressive activists to present the views excluded by the big business media…
  • National Indigenous Times — Murri & Koori Business
  • Socialist Alternative — surely there is no alternative to socialism.
  • Solidarity Website of Solidarity – an Australian Socialist Group
  • The Guardian Newspaper of the Australian Communist Party
  • The Wobblies
  • Vanguard
  • Workers Liberty — Aims to build solidarity through struggle so that the working class can overthrow capitalism…

6 responses to “What does the Left Want?

  1. I would be incredibly happy if the workers of this country decided to stop imitating a flock of sleep walking sheep and started acting like reasonable, thinking subjects of their own fate rather than objects of their masters greed and incompetence. I would like to see a rising of combativeness in the workplace and solidarity with each other. I would like to see the widespread disdain for politicians and the trade union officials attached to that withered refrigerator of our desires the ALP go beyond the moaning stage and actually result in something being done. I would like to see democracy reassert itself – this manifesting as an increasing power and influence of the common bloke and bloke-ess as they start to organise and a nervous looking over the shoulder from the rich and the powerful.

    Like

  2. The Industrial Workers of the World would like to continue to educate, agitate and organise towards achieving One Big classwide democratic Union of the workers, dedicated strategically to abolishing wage-labour and taking, holding and operating the means of production under common ownership of the producers themselves. To this end we plan to push for shorter working time e.g. four hour day with no cut in pay and better working conditions, while at the same time struggling to build a new society based on production for use and need. We are committed to living in harmony with the Earth in an association of free producers, all with equal political power.

    We realise that workers can only emancipate themselves from wage-slavery through classwide conscious action and organisation. We’re well aware that the working class and the employing class have no more in common than other sellers and buyers in the marketplace for commodities do. We are not a political party; we are a union of all class conscious workers, regardless of political or anti-political views.

    See http://www.iww.org.au/

    Capitalist Pyramid

    Like

  3. This isn’t exclusively a left group, it is a group focussed on stopping internet censorship. However, internet censorship has massive political implications.
    Democracy

    http://rosengren.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/it-cant-happen-here-but-it-did/

    Internet censorship is an example of an issue – the kind of thing I was talking about above. This is a blog post about the way it relates to the ongoing struggles of the left http://rosengren.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/it-cant-happen-here-but-it-did/

    Al local (Brisbane) anti-censorship organisation is http://www.stopinternetcensorship.org and they organise via face-to-face meetings and via a public wiki at http://wiki.stopinternetcensorship.org/

    It can’t happen here… but it did!
    By Pam Rosengren

    Like

  4. This isn’t exclusively a left group, it is a group focussed on stopping internet censorship. However, internet censorship has massive political implications.
    Democracy

    http://rosengren.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/it-cant-happen-here-but-it-did/

    Internet censorship is an example of an issue – the kind of thing I was talking about above. This is a blog post about the way it relates to the ongoing struggles of the left http://rosengren.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/it-cant-happen-here-but-it-did/

    Al local (Brisbane) anti-censorship organisation is http://www.stopinternetcensorship.org and they organise via face-to-face meetings and via a public wiki at http://wiki.stopinternetcensorship.org/

    It can’t happen here… but it did!
    By Pam R

    Like

  5. Hi Ian

    Left groupings are correctly responding to things that happen in
    Australia and the world.

    It would be good if we got broad statements in you blog or just as
    letters about a list the groups in Brisbane from (and perhapse the Greens ) of 3 things they would want to achieve over the next 3 years.

    If it is to achieve membership for their groups -then this is to achieve
    what? Do they want members of Parliament? and to do what? What sort of civic change do we want. What would be a development?

    You could express youself better but it would be good to do in a broad
    way without them loosing their strategy or iniatives, crown jewls or
    secret agendas.

    Then we can look at the basis on which the left can have discussions. I know this has been done before and their is a history but that doesnt mean we should stop. I know it is so easy to be devisive and I know I have fault here as much as anyone else but the organization of the film festival involved a number of groups and to succeed in organizing something else can involve more. I think of that Nazi Party book ‘Everybody Wants To Be Furher’ and we have had plenty of that.

    Negative people draw on negative experiences and build their beliefs and opinions around them.

    Negativity has the power to hold you down well below your potential.
    Often the anxiety expressed or the hopelessness found on the Left has its basis in negativity rather than politics.

    Negativity often lashes out at circumstances and people. The strategy of the Left must be focussed on the abolition of the domination of the many by a few.

    Negativity on the other hand, is about the individual and what’s going on inside. Negativity attempts to justify its stance by quoting experience. However we must stand firm in our determination to
    succeed, because the moment we begin to justify ourselves we’ll cut off opportunities to change and grow.

    Don

    PS I really dont want them to predict what will happen to us necessarily but what we want to do.

    Have our own weekly newspaper
    Have members of parliament to rasie questions and argue for public free speech…
    to pass a bill of rights
    bikeways , buses and cheap public transport.

    Anything that we want to achieve in Brisbane. and I asked for at least 3
    items to get past initial blockages.

    Like

Please keep comments brief (moderated for spam only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.