Comrades have now had six months to consider the specific amendments to the RSP Program that I presented at the June-6 NC plenum. These proposed amendments and (an accompanying report motivating them) have been available in the party’s internal bulletin since the beginning of the pre-congress discussion in June. As no-one has raised any objection to them, I will not repeat here the argumentation presented at the June NC report on them.
Transitional Demands & Slogans
Comrades, at the founding congress of the RSP I presented a report motivating a proposal to drop from the Program of the RSP the idea of “transitional demands”. At this NC meeting, I am presenting a specific set of amendments to the RSP Program in line with that motivation for consideration during the pre-congress discussion, and for vote at the Second RSP Congress.
Vladimir Ilych Lenin was the founder and, until his death in January 1924, the central leader of the Russian Bolshevik Party, the first party in history to lead a victorious socialist revolution. In doing so, the Bolsheviks proved for the first time in history that it was possible for the working class to forge out of its own ranks a revolutionary socialist party that was capable of organizing the workers and their allies to overthrow the political rule of the capitalist class, establish a working people’s government and to use this government to begin the construction of a socialist society.
We have seen how the DSP leadership uses the phrases “transitional method” and “transitional demands” to justify the public presentation of left reformist politics as something that is consistent with its formally revolutionary socialist politics. The latest example is DSP NE member Simon Butler’s claim in the current edition of Green Left Weekly that “demanding that Australia’s capitalist government guarantee full employment” is “an important transitional demand that can open the road to even more radical developments”.2* In my opinion, such pseudo-Marxist centrism is given a certain “Marxist” authority by the notion, expressed in the 1994 DSP program, that there can actually be such a thing as a “transitional demand”.