Socialist Alliance: an exchange on Indymedia


The strange pathology of a section of the DSP

[Around the time of the 2006 DSP national conference, a number of DSP internal documents were posted on Indymedia, mainly the Sydney and Melbourne sites. This led to a heated and sometimes illuminating discussion. The Indymedia records of these exchanges no longer exist.]

Bob Gould

A post by one of the more frenetic supporters of the most obsessional faction of the DSP leadership, who constantly publishes under various names on Sydney Indymedia, is a kind of classic of the genre increasingly used by part of the DSP leadership.

This group of the DSP leadership whinges when I point to the fact that its politics and style are those of Third Period Stalinism, the period when the Communist Party under Stalin’s tutelage called all non-CP left-wingers social fascists.

This bloke conflates the revolutionary left with the DSP. The problem he has is that everyone else on the revolutionary left, including a decent proportion of the DSP membership and leadership, are in conflict with the strange section of the DSP leadership that he supports.

So much for this group being synonymous with the revolutionary left. This sort of madness was absolutely typical of Third Period Stalinism and it’s typical of this group in the DSP leadership.

Consider carefully the extraordinary language this poster uses. Gould and company tail-end the Labor rats. What an eccentric view of the world.

I’ve been around, and active in, the labour movement for more than 50 years. Thousands of people know me, and what I’m mainly remembered for is a series of agitations during which I’ve stood up to conservative Labor leaders on a multitude of occasions.

If, however, I commit the terrible sin of disagreeing with the craziest faction of the DSP leadership, I become someone who tail-ends “Labor rats”. By Labor rats, this person seems to mean the whole membership of the Labor Party, and perhaps even people who vote Labor, which is pretty well the whole left half of Australian society. If I polemicise against treating that left side of society as anything other than the enemy, I become someone who tail-ends Labor rats .

This individual, who is so anxious to use people’s names, of course shelters behind anonymity on Indymedia, as he always does.

In another capacity, he has the hide to whinge when I point out the obvious fact that his section of the DSP leadership echoes Third Period Stalinism.

He describes Ozleft as a gutter website. Well, anyone can look for themselves at Ozleft, which is a very serious site with many articles and millions of words, but you won’t find anything out of the gutter and you won’t find anything using the kind of crazed invective this particular DSP cyberwarrior scoops out of his little gutter.

This bloke should get a life. Twenty-five years or so in the hothouse at Abercrombie Street, mixing only with people in DSP circles, obviously sends some people slightly stir-crazy.

Judging by the hysteria this bloke exhibits, I’d rather like to be a fly on the wall at the imminent DSP convention just to watch the fireworks and to study carefully the morbid pathology stemming mainly from this bloke’s side of the internal argument in the DSP.

Your friendly Newtown political clairvoyant

The DSP leadership cyberwarrior, under yet another name, asks how I know these things, and am I clairvoyant.

As a matter of fact, I am rather clairvoyant. Clairvoyance, as most literate people know, has little to do with spirits and a lot to do with careful observation, and most entertainer clairvoyants make a big fuss about the spirits helping them, when they’re actually basing their story on careful observation and drawing out facts from the person they are dealing with.

Political clairvoyance is the same kind of thing. You hardly have to be an Einstein to work out pretty clearly who the anonymous DSP cyberwarriors on Indymedia are.

As a matter of fact, over quite a long time, it’s pretty clear that most of the Percy supporters don’t, to their credit, participate in these absurdist cybergames. Ninety per cent or more of it comes from the other faction.

You don’t have to call on terribly many clairvoyant powers to work out which individuals are the political primitives and unpleasant sectarians who throw around pathological invective.

After all, several of these individuals throw around similar stuff, although not quite as ripe and fruity, with less attempt at concealment, on their own website.

Pitching to a perceived backward audience, the same cyberwarrior accuses me of sexism, as an unconsciously comic diversion. As a matter of fact, the particular cyberwarrior who is ferociously energetic at this kind of thing, and who in fact seems to make it his main political activity on behalf of his part of the DSP leadership, is unquestionably male.

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