The weird sectarianism of the DSP majority


It gets worse by the second

Bob Gould

Some time ago, unless I’m a complete dummkopf in using computer search (which is possible), Green Left Weekly appears to have dumped the once very useful list it used to have of coming events on the left.

Over the past couple of years, as the DSP leadership’s pretensions to being the centre of the leftist universe got steadily worse, the coming events listings became increasingly ridiculous. Because of a reluctance on the DSP leadership’s part to promote, or even mention, events organised by anyone else, and because of the DSP’s declining real mass connections, particularly in the major centres, the coming events gradually became quite absurd.

Eventually, it was almost entirely a list of places where Green Left was sold, and the times.

I mention this because of the DSP leadership’s bizarre behaviour towards the developing mass movement in NSW against electricity privatisation.

Green Left‘s very limited coverage of this, so far, has studiously avoided mentioning the revolt of ALP branches against the privatisation, which now has a very organised and widespread character.

This week’s Green Left carries that sectarianism to a very high point. Dick Nichols has a very long, rather complex and slightly abstract attack on the privatisation, which is all right as far as it goes, but Nichols fails to mention the two major coming events: the forum being organised by Labor Party branches next Saturday in the Sydney Trades Hall, and the unions’ rally at the opening of state Parliament the week after.

The latest issue of GLW should be the main one for publicising both events by any formation that has a weekly paper and the slightest nose for broad social agitation, but unless I’m blind, there’s not a mention of either event.

It’s quite predictable how GLW is likely to cover the two events after they happen. On form, it will possibly ignore the event at Trades Hall, and will look for any petty point to be scored on the unions’ rally at Parliament House, and the focus will be on any alleged defects of that event.

The failure to mention the event at Trades Hall is obviously in part motivated by a desire to insulate DSP members from the possibitity of corruption by the ordinary Labor Party members who are likely to turn up to the even in some numbers.

This is just another aspect of the Boyleites’ Potemkin Village sectarianism, but it’s particularly striking in the context of the broadening mass campaign outside and inside the unions and the Labor Party.

For discussion, see Green Left Weekly.


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13 Responses to “The weird sectarianism of the DSP majority”

  1. Tony Says:

    The only weird sectarianism is yours, Mr Gould. And your dishonesty would make even Stalin blush!

    BTW, to go to Green Left Weekly the url is
    The thing above pretending to be a link to GLW is actually a link to Mr Gould re-posting the above conspiracy theorising rant on the yahoo group that’s attached to GL.

  2. Ozleft Says:

    We wouldn’t want you to think there’s a conspiracy, Tony. The link above is to discussion, such as it is, of Bob Gould’s excellent post on the GLW discussion list. Because we’re not sectarians here, there’s a link to Green Left, the DSP, the Socialist Alliance and the GLW discussion list on our blogroll on the site’s front page.

    Your comment about dishonesty is beneath contempt and reflects your discomfort with open discussion, having been too long in a group that has a lot of difficulty with discussion and consequently imposes serious constraints on it.

  3. Tony Says:

    Thanks for fixing up the links on the blogroll.

    I stand by my comments on dishonesty because slaughtering straw people does not generate open discussion. It makes it almost impossible, in fact. If Mr Gould wants to critique SA or the DSP on the basis what either organisation actually stands for or their actual political activity then a debate is possible.

    If he continues to ascribe to us positions we don’t hold, accuse us of things we don’t do, patronise, pontificate, label people with weird invented terms of abuse (eg. “a bold, young Boylite”), accuse people who don’t share our politics of being “DSP-cyberconstructs” and so on, then the only discussion possible is something like the Punch & Judy show: “Oh no we don’t” – “Oh yes you do!”

  4. Ed Lewis Says:

    Tony, this is not very interesting. If you’ve got some substantive points to make about Bob’s post, get yourself a backbone, get on your hind legs and argue the point. You’ll take some lumps and if you’re good enough you’ll give some back, and out of the whole process some clarity might emerge. That’s what discussion is for.

    Your whingeing about others’ methods of discussion seems to indicate you don’t want to engage, but you’d just like the criticism to stop. In politics, that just doesn’t happen. Take up stamp collecting if you don’t like discussion.

  5. Tony Says:

    You’re right about this not being interesting. The substantive point I have to make about the original post is that it isn’t true.

  6. Ed Lewis Says:

    Tell us why, Tony. Wombo can do it. It’s not that hard.

  7. Tony Says:

    Why? Buy a copy of Green Left. Turn to page 23, which is the calendar and you’ll see for yourself that the premise on which the whole of Mr Gould’s, um, extrapolations are based is patently false.

    I’m not saying our calendar’s perfect but sectarian it ain’t: we miss our own events as much as we miss anyone else’s.

    Anyway, as you very correctly pointed out this isn’t interesting. At all. As I said in my first comment an interesting and clarifying debate would be one not based on slanders.

  8. Tony Says:

    BTW, I look forward to Ozleft promoting upcoming Socialist Alliance events.

  9. Ed Lewis Says:

    And I look forward to seeing a link to Ozleft, or any other non-DSP-linked left websites, on the DSP, Socialist Alliance or Green Left sites, but I’m not holding my breath.

  10. Tony Says:

    Try clicking where it says “Links” next to where it says “Contact Us” on the GL site. Then you have to click on a category down the side. Lots of non-DSP sites.

    I’m afraid Ozleft doesn’t appear to have made the grade but Mr Gould should be happy to know that there is a link to the ALP.

    Anyway, “not interesting” is becoming an understatement for this discussion…

  11. Wombo Says:

    This is preceisely what I was talking about in my comment on another post. The post here contains precisely the kind or reduction ad absurdam that leads anyone even beginning to delve into the left into confusion, or falling prey to sectarianism.

    There is NO way that this post is any less sectarian than the so-called “sectarianism” that Gould imagines to exist in others’ heads. It’s almost paranoiac.

    My understanding of the process with the Green Left calendar is that unless someone gets it to them on time, it doesn’tget into the calendar, and that this happens to EVERYONE’S events, because the whole apparatus is still a fairly stretched, volunteer, thing, where mistakes happen, and trhings get missed.

    It is, however, totally predictable that Bob turns this into some great theory of the “sectarianism” of the DSP. Rather than an outward focus, this blog is increasingly turnign into a “Bob vs the DSP” fest, rather like Bob’s posts to the GLW list.

    Given that some of the other posts on Ozleft are a lot more interesting, perhaps Bob could restrain himself for a while, in the interest of more constructive left debate…

    As for dishonesty or otherwise, well, when I first came to this blog, I couldn’t find a link to Socialist Alliance or GreenLeft. While they’re there now, I’m unable to place their appearance at any point before Tony’s post… Maybe I missed it…

  12. Ozleft Says:

    Wombo, Ozleft has linked to DSP-related sites pretty well from when it started in mid-2002. The Australian links list on the original site is still on the web, where you or anyone else can check it, and the intention always was to transfer the whole of the old site to this new one, including the links that are still current. The transfer is a big job and will take a bit of time and probably is proceeding a bit unevenly. Quite a few links have been added to the blogroll at various times in the past couple of weeks, and some more will be added over time, but links to some DSP-related sites have been on the new blogroll since pretty well day one.

  13. Wombo Says:

    I can accept that. I wasn’t insinuating anything, merely stating what I saw, and perhaps putting Tony’s post in context.

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