Danielle Ni Dhighe | 1 Nov 01:24 2002

IRSP: Costello Commemoration Speech


20 October 2002
Bray, Ireland

Speech delivered by John Martin, IRSP Political Secretary

Comrades, friends, socialists, republicans: I have been given the
honour to speak on behalf of the organisations that Seamus Costello
founded. That is, for me, a great honour and one that I hope I can
adequately fill.

I know that others will speak of Seamus the man and of their memories
of him. My own memories include a fierce argument with Seamus in
1969, 33 years ago, in downtown Belfast on the merits of radicalising
the civil rights struggle.

Needless to say history proved Seamus right. Seamus's experience, his
farsightedness, his political acumen, his leadership skills were all
lost not only to the Republican Socialist Movement when he was
assassinated but lost to the people of Ireland. The loss of such an
outstanding leader damaged our movement but it also removed from the
scene a workers' leader who I believe would never have allowed the
class question to be isolated and then removed from the struggle for
national independence.

The Good Friday Agreement has benefited the middle classes not the
working classes. As we predicted when the Good Friday Agreement was
signed, sectarianism has not only been institutionalised, it has
spread like wildfire. This movement took the extremely difficult
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Peter Boyle | 1 Nov 02:02 2002

Re Peter Boyle and the labour aristocracy

Bob Gould wrote:

>>Two weeks ago, Peter Boyle made a convoluted assertion of two contradictory propositions: firstly that
the concept of the "aristocracy of labour" applied to the whole of the Australian working class; and
secondly that it applied to part of the working population in modern Australia. He also implied that in
some way this social category of the "aristocracy of labour" had some bearing on the political views of
Marxists in advanced capitalist countries who took up the question of Zinovievism in Marxist
organisations, and he also implied that in some way the social category of the "aristocracy of labour" had
a direct relationship with the reactionary character of the Australian Labor Party, as an expression of
the "aristocracy of labour".>>

The question is whether there is a material base for the
persistence and dominance of opportunist politics in the
labour movements in the imperialist countries. Both Engels
and Lenin identified the relative privilege of certain
sections of workers (whether considered at a national or
international level) as importat to understanding the
contradictions in the general consciousness of the working
class. Engels' observation that the British working class
(even in the era of competitive and pre-imperialist
capitalism) had been "bourgeoisified" because of their
relative privilege on an internalional level was followed by
Lenin's observation that opportunism in the working class
movement had a material base in the labour aristocracy in
the imperialist countries. 

These are two separate (though obviously related) arguments,
Bob, get it? 

Both it would seem to me are applicable to the imperialist
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Peter Boyle | 1 Nov 02:27 2002

US-style "anti-terrorism" comes to Australia

Bush Administration-style "anti-terrorism' has come to

"They woke me up and they put a gun to me and put me in
handcuffs," he said. "All my children were crying."

His elderly mother-in-law was so shaken he feared she would
have a heart attack.

The other man whose house was raided, David Suparta, said he
was sad and upset. The family feared retribution from the

The Suparta family, who have been Australian citizens for
six years, said they had been treated like criminals even
though they had not done anything wrong.

"I am still totally shocked," 17-year-old daughter Yulyani

"If it can happen to Australian citizens like us it can
happen to anybody."

These are brief excerpts from one newspaper's coverage of
armed raids against Muslim families carried around the
country in the last few days. More than 80 Muslims (mostly
of Indonesian origin) have been detained, almost all for
alleged immigration irregularities. Even the establishment
media seems a big shock, even though they have been trading
heavily on Bali bombing scare stories.
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Alan Bradley | 1 Nov 03:23 2002

Re Peter Boyle and the labour aristocracy

From: Peter Boyle
> Bob's position is for a "strategic united front with the
> ALP" something which he needs to spell out in more detail
> and not just wave it around like a flag.

Yes. This is the great weakness in Bob's position. He advocates a "united
front" without explaining what he means. Without a concrete meaning it is
just a stick to beat people with.

Alan Bradley
abradley1 <at> bigpond.com

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

Peter Boyle | 1 Nov 03:41 2002

More debate on Australian Socialist Alliance

From Socialist Worker Issue 503, November 1, 2002, Page 11

Clarifying Politics

I WOULD like to comment briefly on some of the issues in the
important and welcome discussion which the Democratic
Socialist Party has opened up around left unity.

The term "united front" is being used in a very confusing
way in the discussion to cover virtually every form of
united action.

Given that comrades in the Socialist Alliance come from a
range of different political backgrounds it is important
that we understand just what comrades mean.

There is a very large literature on the issues raised by the
difference between a united front and a popular front,
issues that go to the heart of a series of historic
betrayals of the working class.

Marxism is not a dogma and it is correct to develop concepts
in the light of new developments, but if comrades want to
jettison or modify the traditional meaning of terms like
united front, they should clearly explain why they are doing

The DSP's offer of Green Left as a vehicle to build
Socialist Alliance is welcome, but it should be treated with
some caution.
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Ed George | 1 Nov 11:27 2002

'Marxists are retards'

'Marxists are retards' 

Recently unearthed documents reveal that Franco's psychiatrist carried
out bizarre experiments on members of the International Brigade in 1930s
Spain. His aim: to prove that leftwingers are mad. Giles Tremlett

Friday November 1, 2002

The Guardian 

For dictator General Francisco Franco's chief psychiatrist, Dr Antonio
Vallejo Nagera, it must have seemed obvious. If the generalissimo and
his fellow right-wing rebels in the Spanish civil war were crusaders for
justice, God and the truth, then their leftwing opponents had to be mad,
psychotic or at least congenitally subnormal. 

Full at <http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,2763,823707,00.html>

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

Hunter Gray | 1 Nov 13:26 2002


This is posted primarily for ASDnet -- but I am putting it on a couple of
additional ones:

On other lists on which I find myself, the "gun issue" is occasionally
discussed and, when so, it's in an essentially rational fashion. There seem
to be a couple of reasons for this:  it's often seen on those as a basically
class issue -- i.e., the employing  class et al.  trying to disarm the
working class and others "of the fewest alternatives" [including
minorities] --
a Marxist view, obviously, with which I agree.
The other reason is that, on those other lists, there are people with direct
personal experience as firearms owners and users.

Only on ASDnet has there been, with the  exception of Issodhos, no visible
evidence that anyone other then myself knows much of  a substantive  nature
about firearms.  For the most part, the anti-gun voices on ASDnet are coming
essentially from a Democratic Party perspective -- hardly a genuinely
socialist one in the remotest sense -- and one which swims in the tepid
Rivers of [shallow] Political Correctness [while the really heavy
and historically  demanding  sanguinary Rivers of No Return press in on us
from the very Four Directions.]

For those of us who have grown up with firearms, a gun is literally "no
better or worse than the person who uses it."  To many others, guns are
something they can at least discuss objectively.  To the anti-gun folk on
ASDnet -- and to at least some of the New York DSAers et al. especially --
mechanisms of which they have no direct and personal knowledge are seen as
inherently evil and threatening.  Obviously, in addition to missing the many
benefits [primarily good meat and skill-testing] from hunting, none of them
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Mike Friedman | 1 Nov 14:52 2002

Oil Vultures Already Fighting Over Spoils of War

Oil Vultures Already Fighting Over Spoils of War

Lord Browne, chief executive of BP and one of New Labour's favourite 
industrialists, has warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil 
companies in the aftermath of any future war.

BP chief fears US will carve up Iraqi oil riches

Terry Macalister
Wednesday October 30, 2002
The Guardian

Lord Browne, chief executive of BP and one of New Labour's favourite 
industrialists, has warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil 
companies in the aftermath of any future war.

The comments from the most senior European oil executive, who has 
impeccable political connections in the UK, will be seen by anti-war 
protesters as further proof that US president George Bush has already made 
his mind up about an early attack.

They will also serve to underline concern that the US is primarily 
concerned with seizing control of Saddam Hussein's oil and handing it over 
to companies such as ExxonMobil rather than destroying his weapons of mass 

Britain's biggest company is reviewing what impact a regime change in 
Baghdad would have on its own business and global crude supplies.

Both London and Washington have been lobbied by the UK oil giant, which is 
(Continue reading)

John M Cox | 1 Nov 14:51 2002

Brazil Election Victory and Global Capital

(This article is by a member of a dissident wing of Lula's Brazilian
Workers Party (PT). Sorry I don't have a URL.)
The Workers Party Electoral Victory of Oct. 27th and
the Trap of the "Participatory Budget"


SAO PAULO, Oct. 29 -- Immediately after the Oct. 27
landslide election of Workers Party (PT) presidential
candidate Luis Inacio (Lula) da Silva, editorials in
the world major financial daily newspapers began
telling Lula, as he is known widely in Brazil, exactly
what he must do in the economic arena if he is to be
true to his electoral pledge of fiscal responsibility
and respect for the terms of the recent US$30 billion
IMF "rescue" package.

The Financial Times editorialists (Oct. 29) wrote:

"Mr. da Silva must act quickly to gain a reputation
for economic responsibility. That means making the
right appointments to senior economic positions,
delaying pledges for social change and concentrating
instead on a credible commitment to even tighter
fiscal policy [than the current Cardoso government]
until the debt to GDP ratio has fallen."

For his part, Kenneth Rogoff, senior economist at the
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John M Cox | 1 Nov 15:10 2002

SWP and Oct. 26

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I couldn't help but notice that the
Militant made only one brief mention of Oct. 26 over the last few weeks,
and that was in a sales article in the current issue. This paragraph
appears at the end of the article:

On October 26, socialists set up tables with communist literature at
several demonstrations opposing the White Houses foreign policy in the
Mideast. They met many demonstrators looking for a deeper understanding of
Washingtons war moves in the Middle East and Far East. At the protest in
Washington, socialists sold 28 subscriptions to the Militant and more than
250 copies of the paper, as well as 31 copies of New International and
Capitalisms World Disorder. In San Francisco, socialist campaigners of Nan
Bailey for governor and William Kalman for lieutenant governor of
California sold another six subscriptions and 70 copies of the Militant.
More than $1,500 in Pathfinder literature was sold at the various protests
that day.

	Not the patronizing "for those looking for a deeper
understanding"; for the small number of such people, lost in the sea of
petty-bourgeois liberalism that supposedly characterized the demo, the SWP
offered an outdated copy of "New International" (their "theoretical" journal,
three issues of which have appeared in the last decade), "Opening Guns of World
War III: Washington's Assault on Iraq." The subtitle might catch
someone's eye at an antiwar demo, but they would be astonished to
discover that this book is over 11 years old.

Despite not contributing
even one line in their newspaper to publicizing the demo, much less
participating in the various antiwar coalitions around the country, the
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