The political context for our international work is the heightened crisis and rising stakes resulting from firstly, the real capitalist crisis arising from the failure of their neoliberal panacea, and secondly, the ruling class strategy of aggressive war and domination abroad coupled with domestic repression.
Conference & Internal Party Reports
Bush’s National Security Strategy document – his “manifesto” for imperialism – justifies aggression on a world scale, pre-emptive strikes, “regime change”, unilateral action. “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively.” It demands – asserts – total rule of the globe by US imperialism.
In this period of a stepped up ideological offensive by the ruling class, with the neoliberal attack on all past working class gains, the glorification of the market economy, the boasting about the end of communism, many on the left have retreated.
This is a report that tries to take a long-term look at building the party, as well as addressing our current party-building tasks and perspectives. It’s in the context of a significant change in the world situation, where although imperialism’s offensive against the people of the world is just as fierce, just as irrational.
Our party congress was held not much more than three months ago, and discussed thorough reports on perspectives for our work in Australia and for our international work. But some matters were left unresolved, with question marks over them. For example, we didn’t make firm projections for our election work. And we raised the question, “Let’s wait and see if the ISO here follows the line of the SWP in Britain.” We didn’t have long to wait. Certainly there’s been a rapid resolution on that front, with big developments in Australia.
The year 1998 has been a very eventful and successful year for the DSP. It’s been memorable enough to say that we’re in a new period. But what are the period’s new features?
The title of this report refers to the party having entered a “new period”. But what are its new features? Firstly, we all have to understand – even here in firewalled, comfortable, Lucky Country Australia – that we are now in the middle of a global economic crisis for capitalism.
It’s been a busy year, and many of us are feeling it. There’s been a wide range of issues we’ve fought on and campaigns in which we’ve intervened. Check Green Left Weekly, check our calendars. With this National Committee meeting it’s time for reflection and assessment. It’s time to do a stocktake of the immediate past and to set the next tasks, but also it’s sometimes useful to do a stocktake of our strategic perspectives, toss up problems, questions, for us to chew on collectively. This report will raise a number of those, for us to discuss here, and for comrades to think on over coming months.
As revolutionary Marxists, our internationalist outlook is fundamental. It’s not just being aware of international events and struggles, but totally identifying with the oppressed of the world, and willing to be part of their struggle.
We are now in a new period, blessed with a conservative government, led by Neanderthals like Howard, Costello, Vanstone, Reith and their gang. After 13 years of ALP government and Accord politics, this is certainly a new period. It’s the type of period, the type of government, that the majority of our membership, even the majority of our leadership here, would not have experienced.