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.
Campaign Tasks & Perspectives
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.
This report has to set forth our immediate party-building perspectives for the rest of this year, and also prefigure the perspectives we are likely to be presenting to the national conference in January to guide us internationally and in Australia for the following two years.
What is our balance sheet of the year, internationally, and in Australia, from a party-building perspective? Our fundamental assessment of the period, that we’ve analysed and discussed at recent party conferences and National Committee meetings, hasn’t basically changed.
Comrades, we’ve just come through a challenge to the party, a discussion, and a conference that make me even more confident about the party we have, the party we’re building towards, and the fundamental party-building perspectives we defend.