"ONE STEP FORWARD - TWO STEPS BACK"

EMERGING LEFT ALLIANCE POLITICS IN AUSTRALIA

BY BOB LEACH

(Reprinted from 'Point of Change' edited by Ferrier and Pelan, Australian Studies Centre, UQ, 1998.

 

This paper deals with the implications for the left due to the present metamorphosis of the tradi- tional nation state global model of regulation. Unlike the crisis of demand of the Great Depression ( 1929 -1940), the present crisis is a structural global cri- sis of accumulation.

Formerly, national Marxist states dealt with the world capitalist system by autarchy. Social Democratic regimes dealt with capitalism by some form of external macro- economic cyclic controls and internal 'social con- traet'modes of regulation. Both types of states, based on their adaptations of the same industrial system of Taylorism/Fordism, are in crisis. Their external modes of national interaction and internal modes of regulation are being severely challenged by the rise of the New Right. The left seems to have developed few theoretical or practical political strategies to oppose this development.

This article offers a Marxist analysis of this present crisis from the conjuncture of thel970s. It offers some macro and micro left alternatives, particularly with reference to post-Fordist alliance poli- tics by case study references in Australia and New Zealand.

The present crisis has seen the near collapse of the Bolshevik autarchic model of nation state. It has also seen the re-entry of these states into the world system. This recent period has also seen the traditional mainstream parties in the Western capitalist democracies throw off the bipartisan postwar Keynesian class compromise built upon the Fordist politics of consumption. (694) They have adopted variations of neo-liberal economic rationalist ideology. Neo-liberal macro-market ideology, with a parallel emphasis upon a micro anti collectivise revolution in cultural values, has become widespread..( 695)

Traditional parties of change such as the ALP or the Democrats have dropped social democratic/ laborist economic programs of redistribution and full employment. Instead they concentrate reform on liberal issues of citizenship such as gender, sexual preference and race. On the fringes of society, however, conditions are forming for the rejection of this uniformity of political approach based upon the Thatcherite motto of 'There is no Alternative' (TINA) to capitalism..

This article will argue that the reasons for the ideological uniformity and market focus by the major traditional parties are, first, the crisis of the nation state as the political platform for the Keynesian consensus in post World War Two core-periphery nations (696) and, second, the global restructuring of capitalism built upon the new technology that transcends the class contractarian basis of the various nation states( 697). This new structure of capitalism, particularly in communications, allows far greater centralised control over new alignments of fragmented production groups around the globe. These are flexible, cheap and interconnected on a company rather than a national basis.(698) The Fordist system of production that underlay the previous core-periphery structure of the modernist nation state with its full employment program is now transported to the global site of the cheapest rate of exploitation and, hence, the highest rate of profit. The traditional semi-skilled/unskilled Fordist mass production jobs are being internationalised leaving former industrial core and semi-periphery nations with high tech manufacturing and services, a dual labour economy and a permanent underclass.

This process is accompanied by increasingly dominant demands by free trade Transnational Corporations and capitalists to remove national obstacles to the free flow of factors of production. Eventually, this process will also mean a commodified global labour flow especially under GATT (now the WTO). (699) In the previous period of core/ periphery nation states, built around a system of various European Imperial blocs with their own cartels and colonies, (700) protectionism was the common mode of national capital accumulation.

In this situation, particularly during postwar US hegemony and Keynesianism, global capitalism jumped frontiers as finance capital. This portfolio capital looked for investment opportunities behind national protection, as in the Australian Menzies period.(701) The various capitalist nation states of this core/periphery global nation state structure could strike internal 'class compromises' over the level of employment, wages, distribution and conditions.(702)

Naturally, this depended on the level of democracy and the position of the working class along

the 'continuum of coercion.' This process was sustained by the in-flow of foreign capital and the lopsided capital out of the third world due to interest payments and falling factor prices.

The politics of this Fordist period was one of 'technocratic' management of the Keynesian state

and 'class compromise.' Unemployment was cyclical. The system rested on 'the politics of consumption' (what share of production went to labour). Workers had foregone disputation over 'the politics of production' (who made decisions, capital or labour).

This was probably the greatest success of Taylorism [inside Fordism]... it was aimed... at a self aware working class... The workers... lost control of the productive process... in return they got the welfare state and the consumer society.' (704.)

The technocracy spawned by this system emerged both in the western capitalist nations and in the communist apparatchiki. The resentment by the masses of this lofty race of experts was to be tapped into by a New Right offering self empowerment for the individual by privatisation of public wealth and its distribution amongst the public to create a share-owning democracy. This also usefully diverted the politics of distribution away from the traditional capitalist class targets to an easily plundered public sphere. A similar resentment against the anti-democratic vanguard can be observed in the ambivalent anti-communism of recent East European elections. On the one hand the ideals of socialism are still attractive. On the other hand, the hierarchical Leninist party is rejected.

After the oil shocks of 1973, the US political elite crisis over Vietnam, and the Nixon protection- ist moves against Japan, unemployment became structural in the West as well as cyclical. This was recognised by David Rockefeller=s creation of the Trilateral Commission to study this conjuncture. (705) In this historical conjuncture, between the national class compromises or social contracts of the Keynesian era and the yet to be negotiated global era, the antinomies between capital/labour; supply/demand; polity/economy; and now environment/industrialism( 706) are loose again in a Graimscian war of manoeuvre.( 707)

In this process, the alignment of class fractions within the various nation states that

c made up the basis for the previous class compromise has come unstuck.(708 )There are no rules to this essentially political process except the recognition of the differing levels of pressure from the aforementioned enemies. They form what Hegel called the that shape and reshape awareness

and 'identity' over historical time. (709 ) As the mainstream left possessed mainly non global, nation based, anti-cyclical politics, they were especially shipwrecked by their re-emergence. The free trade New Right was better adapted to profit from this tectonic structural change.

For left politics, this realignment was thus a particular problem. Both social democratic and I.eninist/Stalinist political organisation (if not thought) was largely premised upon the Wilsonian/Leninist/Stalinist model of a global structure of sovereign states. Nationalism open or hidden was a factor in their view of the world (710 ). Inside this model of different level states there were different class compromises depending on that state's position on the 'continuum of coercion.'

The process of reformulation of left politics must take into account the new globalisation of economics and politics as well as the existing reality of the nation state. It must have one foot in the past (the nation state) and one foot in the future (the world system). This is the politics of defence and offence. It requires both an historical awareness and consistency and utopian vision. The Keynesian nation based mainstream left had in fact possessed neither. They had become parties of the status quo.

Unfortunately, there will be a major problem in putting together a new alliance of progressive forces for new politics of offence and defence. This is due to the time lag in national 'identity= change and the power of the receding 'identity' based on a lost mode of regulation reflecting a vanished constellation of global forces that can still motivate the polities of nostalgia. In this period, the left can expect a great resurgence of right wing populism based on such nostalgia. Gramsci outlined this conjunctural phenomenon: 'the old is dying and the new has not yet been born. And in the half light, monsters walk.'( 712)

To get some idea of some possible left politics of offence and defence in the contemporary system, an outline of some of the history and contemporary trends of the world system is needed. As Overbeek puts it:

"This is the greatest promise of the World Systems approach [as it recognises that capitalism and

capitalist relations have been located in a global context and not ip- national economies... [This recognition had been eclipsed by Stalinist Leninism and Keynesianism]... the fact that political power is organised in nation states, and that classes as such crystallise on a national level, presents us with a paradox that must be dealt with [in the new global politics] in theoretical terms." (713) Overview

World Systems theory argues that the period since the 16th century has been the long European era(714) This expansion has made the world over into its image, based upon one common capitalist system. This underlying mode of production has however been subject to the dialectical vagaries of its foundational antinomies.

On this stormy sea, a system of nation states has emerged as administrative units. There have been four basic historical developments of the nation state: the continuous old historical state such as England; their cultural offshoots such as Australia, NZ and the USA; recent Wilsonian creations and creations such as Latvia and Poland; and post- colonial states like New Guinea and Indonesia, lacking cultural cohesiveness and held together by a National Security state backed by the hegenionic nation's military power( 715.) Hegemons are important to the system. In Gramsci's terms, they armour their hegemony in coercion.'( 716). Their period of domination is limited and their ascent and decline in the world system can be historically traced. ( 717)

In the Australian/ NZ case, the important period was the British period of world hegemony. This

saw the rise of the nation state as the political unit. These empires were centres for various cartel capitalism which usually confined themselves to their Imperial markets. In the British hegemonic case, however., as British finance capital penetrated the world it used the Empire, seen as a secure monopo- listic area of capitalist accumulation, as a tailback position for investment in times of cyclic global long wave downturn. (718). The Empire's white settlers therefore had to be treated specially. In this situation' and particularly through the politics of identity' as overseas British, a mode of privileged regulation occurred for the 'white settler' colonies. Such colonial culturalism was first practised in Ireland from the 12th century as a mode of control and to offset assimilation which could lead to transfer of loyalties from the Crown. ( 719) In the Antipodean cases, however, a certain hybrid colonial nationalism did emerge. This hybrid did rest on the common global British identity; on its transported 'ideal types' such as the 'yeoman dream'; and on British capital. By the 1890s this included a junior partner/ local nationalism that could co- exist with Britishness in a niche of cultural and economic difference. The ruling class rarely adopted the symbols of the local nationalism. This bedevils the Republican debate to- day.

Within the British Imperial three tier political structure of core/ semiperiphery/periphery colonies, the semiperiphery 'white settler' countries acted as prophylactic outlets for the core discontented. This especially covered those married to the petit bourgeois 'yeoman dream.' They also acted as useful places for investment and military strategy. These were the mid 19th century dreams of Lord Ripon and Edward Gibbon Wakefield. These gentlemen had been disturbed by the class war and Chartism of the 'hungry forties.' Later, in the 1890s, Imperial decline, the rise of socialism and Imperial rivalry were to motivate Joseph Chamberlain and Cecil Rhodes towards similar ends (720.)

In Australia in this late 19th century period, the identity and mode of regulation that formed under this Imperial umbrella did so with a bipartisan liberal/ labor state support after the class confrontation of the 1890s. Such Deakinism named after its main exponent Alfred Deakin of Victoria was a mixture of left /right Populist aims. It included 'white racism; award wages; protectionism; and great power dependency.( 72 1) (This raises the question whether the next mode of regulation will be a simi- lar mixture of right/left populism.) Within these' Deakinite boundaries, state liberalism and laborism were to operate closely together for the next 80 Years.( 27). Radical left/fight solutions to the class war, such as Marxism, were marginalised. Only in times of global trauma which shook the certainties of EMPire such as the Depression (1929-1940), or World War Two or Vietnam, did Marxism make any inroads. Deakin thoroughly screened Marx from view. As long as the Deakinite mode of regulation worked in its major aspects, it satisfied the majority. Within the Deakinite mode of regulation, the major parties could lean far to the left or the right. Left Deakinites (such as Chifley) tried to expand the possibilities of the Deakinite mode of regulation. Right Deakinites like Bruce and Menzies attempted to contain it. The high point of Deakinism was the Menzies 2 1 -year era, embedding Right Deakinism as the formula for prosperity in the na- tional cultural memory. Right populists like Hanson tap into this memory.

Napoleon once said: 'I don't care if a general is good. Is he lucky?' Menzies wasn't very good - just lucky. He inherited the post-1945 boom in factor prices; the new Fordist basis of industry laid by La bor stressing intervention, import replacement and the politics of consumption, bringing the Australian worker into the middle class. He also inherited Cold war anti-communism; the Labor split of 1955 and Keynesianism. He developed no long term analysis of the weakness of Deakinism puticularly its racist base and its Great Power dependency. He simply rode the tide in until he and Australia were stranded.

In 1965, Menzies gave it away. He lacked a global vision of change - bourgeois or radical. Deakinism, a dependent mode of regulation tended to do that to most Australian politicians on both sides, unlike Deakin himself. Menzies wasted a whole era. The last left Deakinite government, Gough Whitlam's, walked blindly into the formal end of the Deakinite system. The UK entered the EEC (now EU) in 1972. This last left Deakinite government further cooked its goose by a 25% cut in tariffs and overtures to Asia - neither of which was well received by its largely urban constituency. But most of all, they were undone by the world conjuncture of the 1970s.

In 1965, Menzies gave it away. He lacked a global vision of change bourgeois or radical. Deakinism a dependent mode of regulation tended to do that to most Australian politicians on both sides, unlike Deakin himself. Menzies wasted a whole era. The last left Deakinite government, Gough V@ffitiam's, walked blindly into the formal end of the Deakinite system. The UK en- tered the EEC (now EU) in

1972.This last left Deakonite further cooked its goose by a 25% cut in tariffs and overtures to Asia, neither of which was well received by its largely urban constituency. But most of all, they were undone by the world conjuncture of the 1970s.

The collapse of national Keynesianisrn and global restructuring

The capitalist world system depended on, among other things, military Keynesianism in the Cold

War and continuance of the Eurocentric three tier world system with its cheap oil.

The collapse of this structure was initiated heav- ily by the oil shocks of 1973, the outcome of the Vietnam war, the Imperial overreach of the US, ( 723) and the end,of the postworld War Two long boom. ( 724). By 1975, capitalist think tanks such as David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission had met this accumulation crisis by suggesting a turn away from social democracy and the Fordist sys- tem. They also suggested there was a crisis in labour and student discipline an excess of democracy which had to be contained. This 'excess of democracy' attitude was the classic capitalist reaction to a challenge to their monopoly decision making in 'the politics of production.' This was a classic Kalecki political cycle' conclusion by the capitalist class. In such a 'political cycle,' some fraction of the ruling capitalist class realises that labour is starting to move away from the politics of consumption and beginning to question management rights taking the fight to the 'politics of production.'( 725) They have to be disciplined. Unemployment recommodi- fies and disciplines. The return of unemployment and, hence, labour discipline in-the core/ semi-periphery countries was aided by the long tenn success of the Hayekian Mont Pelerin society, ,founded in 1947, in its long march to dominate the universities especially economics departments. 'Hayek set out to exclude Keynes from the curriculum. By the 1971's, his progeny the New Right monetarists were on hand to dominate the advice demanded by unideological and often frightened governments facing crisis. ( 726) Their advice was for a macro return to classic economics as in 1929.

They also added a new micro element of reviving the individualist culture of the mid 19th century British Victorian liberals. Their enemy was the spirit of collectivism that had been nurtured by Keynes and the welfare state.

In the third world, National Security states that stressed anti communism were underwritten. They helped speed up the Pacific Rim strategy pushed by sections of the Japanese/US capitalist classes. (727) This strategy was aimed at offsetting the rise of the EU bloc; to integrate US/Japan regional production; to de-industrialise former privileged 'white settler' Pacific Rim countries; and to incorporate Pacific Rim socialist countries like China as cheap labour sources. ( 728.) This theory was incorporated in the Kissinger plan to speed up the development of the Asian Newly Industrialising Countries by giving them access to the US market. ( 729)

This historic conjuncture of events: the end of the long boom, Cold War politics, and the slow re- placement of a three tier Imperial cartel colonial world by a company controlled system of separated enclaves of production in trade free zones, finished the politics of the Keynesian era. ( 730.)' It also supposedly finished a meaningful notion of national sovereignty(. 73 1)'

The lynchpin of the old social democratic consensus resting on full employment disappeared, however. This consensus rested in Australia on the 1old language' of basic wages, awards, protection, ability to pay, PAYE taxation, subsidies and the social wage etc. This language became the micro- target of the New Right in its 'Gramscism of the Right. (732) This was the science of marketing val- ues by shaping receptive minds through 'knowing what ideas to replace, how to replace them; and with what.' This battle for the public mind included the technocratisation of education, the commercialisation of the universities, and the politics of socialism in particular.

This new generation of right wing thinkers stressed that it was necessary for the right to capture tl e idea of 'utopia that had always been dominated by the left. ( 733) The dominant social ideology had to be one that accepted the inevitability of the dual labour economy and a permanent underclass. This could only be achieved by cap- turing the university elite. This

acceptance of right utopia (or dystopia) was especially aided by the modernist/postmodernist debate in universities and elsewhere. This debate acted to split the left. Instead of the former state based meta-narrative of class politics, we now had the postmodernist concept of political engagement a Foucaultian plethora of social movement struggles that lacked any central focus such as class.

The effect on the Australian/ NZ mode of regulation

In the face of this Keynesian collapse, the Australian trend was to dismantle the earlier Deakinite foundations. This was initiated by the Hawke government (19831992). As John Dawkins, former Minister for Education has outlined, the ALP dropped its social democratic policies by about 1986. The New Right agenda of the business council ruled by 1988. ( 734 )

This process was accelerated in the ALP by the increasing domination of the new public middle class. The trend in the ALP, as in all contemporary laborist/social democratic parties, was to be caught in a lockstep to the right towards social liberalism. This stressed lifestyle radicalism rather than economic radicalism. Such market policies meant that by 1993, manufacturing, vital to the employment of the largely urban Australian work force, had fallen to 17 % below that of India. The welfare state was also being transformed from one of social defence to one of social compensation by dismantling protection and the arbitration system.( 735 )By the mid 1990s, Australian political parties occupied a range of liberal not social democratic positions. The Liberal/National coalition occupied an increasingly New Right 'dry' position. The ALP occupied a growing social liberal position with an increasingly empty Accord with labour. The Australian Democrats occupied a 'wet= left liberal Deakinite position. This panoply of liberal parties concentrated solely on accumulation rather than distribution.

As the traditional parties globally moved to the right in the 1980s, a vacuum opened on the left. A number of new left proposals, both macro and micro, have been put forward to fill this vacuum.

New left responses - macro and micro

The left faces a macro and micro level challenge for relevance. It needs to, do battle at both state and civil society levels. At the former level, there is the battle to have a firm structure - a party to deliver left policies. At the latter level is the battle between individuality and collectivism, a battle of values presently dominated by the Right. There is the problem of what policies to propose in this post-Fordist supranational era.

The pressing nature of this task is exacerbated by the structural changes leading to a global mode of production that are not quite understood at present. A dual labour economy is emerging In former First and Second World countries.( 736) This phenomenon plus the flight of jobs and robotisation may cause a permanent helot class. This tempts many analysts to write the working class out of contemporary history as a spent force ( 737). How- ever, this may be wrong. The traditional working class is expanding internationally while declining nationally. ( 738 ) These changes demand internationalisation of left forces and also integration into the left of the increasing lumpen proletariat national underclass. This class, as not just unemployed but superfluous to requirements, is demoralised and alienated and equally open to political approaches from the left and right. This is what Marx referred to in his 'socialism or barbarism' prophecy.

Macro suggestions

As 1 see it, there are three forms of left macro or state level developments: a neobolshevik state, a neo Keynesian state, or an Enabling state.

The prospect of a Bolshevik state is, I envisage, as far away as ever in Australia. This is not only because 1 believe it to be a Third World mode of insurrectionism, but also because 1 believe its fundamentally elitist Saint Simonian endorsement of vanguardism fits it neither into the traditional Australian democratic mode of regulation nor the times.

These times demand of socialists in countries like Australia a clear commitment to the democratic process at both state and civil society levels. Indeed, present history shows a widespread aversion to the apparatchik or 'expert mandarin' in both the East and West. The New Right has understood this. It has used the target of the expert to deflect criticism away from the capitalist class.( 739) Only by in- creasing, not constricting democracy can the left mount a feasible attack upon the New Right. The wheel of history seems to have swung around to the devolutionary theories of Fourier with decentralised states and parties. ( 740 ) 1 believe with Bernstein that democracy applied at all levels is socialism, including

the work place and the politics of production. ( 741).

The second choice a neoKeynesian state, while preferable to a Hayekian/Dickensian New Right state, still faces two problems: the problem of the expert and centralised power and the problem of its inability to solve the problem of a democratic politics of production.

The last alternative is the Enabling state. Such a state incorporates the notions of the politics of local socialism operating through local and regional councils ( 742.) It also operates on the basis of 'doing socialism' at the civil society level, as extant in the Ken Livingstone Greater London Council model based upon the Greater London Enterprise Board. 'Doing socialism' in the GLEB case was a collectivise challenge to Thatcher's attempt to privatise the mind of Britain. The GLC via the GLEB set out to democratise the market. This meant a challenge to the dominant form of property ownership had to be mounted in terms of collective versus individual values.

There are four major forms of property relation- ships: private, national, cooperative and collective. Three of these are collective forms. Capitalism mug attempt to show that only private property is viable or efficient. National property is depicted as the only alternative and as inefficient. It is purported to 'crowd out' private property. Cooperative or collec- tive property is ignored, so the battle is depicted as between the ordinary 'good' private holder and the 'bad' public mandarin. It is much harder to attack a collective or a cooperative arrangement. because 1 believe it to be a Third World mode of insurrectionism, but also because 1 believe its fundamentally elitist Saint Simonian endorsement of vanguardism fits it neither into the traditional Australian democratic mode of regulation nor the times.

These times demand of socialists in countries like Australia a clear commitment to the democratic process at both state and civil society levels. Indeed, present history shows a widespread aversion to the apparatchik or 'expert mandarin' in both the East and West. The New Right has understood this. It has used the target of the expert to deflect criticism away from the capitalist class.( 739) Only by in- creasing, not constricting democracy can the left mount a feasible attack upon the New Right. The wheel of history seems to have swung around to the devolutionary theories of Fourier with decentralised states and parties. ( 740 ) 1 believe with Bernstein that democracy applied at all levels is socialism, including

the work place and the politics of production. ( 741).

The second choice a neoKeynesian state, while preferable to a Hayekian/Dickensian New Right state, still faces two problems: the problem of the expert and centralised power and the problem of its inability to solve the problem of a democratic politics of production.

The last alternative is the Enabling state. Such a state incorporates the notions of the politics of local socialism operating through local and regional councils ( 742.) It also operates on the basis of 'doing socialism' at the civil society level, as extant in the Ken Livingstone Greater London Council model based upon the Greater London Enterprise Board. 'Doing socialism' in the GLEB case was a collectivise challenge to Thatcher's attempt to privatise the mind of Britain. The GLC via the GLEB set out to democratise the market. This meant a challenge to the dominant form of property ownership had to be mounted in terms of collective versus individual values.

There are four major forms of property relation- ships: private, national, cooperative and collective. Three of these are collective forms. Capitalism mug attempt to show that only private property is viable or efficient. National property is depicted as the only alternative and as inefficient. It is purported to 'crowd out' private property. Cooperative or collec- tive property is ignored, so the battle is depicted as between the ordinary 'good' private holder and the 'bad' public mandarin. It is much harder to attack a collective or a cooperative arrangement.

The GLC showed that one way to fi& this attack is not to defend national property per se; the masses are as alienated from the public as from the private expert. The democratisation of property rather than its defence as state property or private property was undertaken. This process is a form of alliance politics and means the mobilisation of un- ions, consumers, workers, community groups etc linked by production, markets or community. Decision making is widened rather than confined to state bureaucrats or single entrepreneurs.

Similarly, an enterprise board was set up to create small enterprises on collective and cooperative ownership bases. These firms were financed if they practised certain socialist and egalitarian criteria. These included firms being worker run or with worker participation; operating on a nonsexist, non- ageist basis; if they paid union rates and encouraged unionism; if they produced a social need; if they were community or ented as well as export earners. 743)

An Enabling state, however, has to come to terms with the re- ality of mass production, of Trans National Production fmns (400 of which control the world and 40 % of world production), and the necessity for areas of planning and national interest. As Friedman points out ( 744) national property should still exist, especially in

natural monopoly areas of public goods like roads, where prices should be controlled. The state at all times should aim for the most effec- tive and ecologically sound technology, price control and entry into the internal and external market. The initiative can be taken from the New Right by a move from Gross Domestic Product to Gross Social Product creating and negotiating a social charter including rights regarding property and employment. The referendum could be used to embed collective property including land ownership in the constitution.

At all times, however, the state should attempt to propound the argument for public or national property at the civil society level in terms of the collective good. The advantage of an alliance of parties is that it brings different perspectives to such strategic thinking.

Micro Suggestions

Only about 30 % of the workforce in Australia is presently unionised and this is falling. The younger generation, and women as a work group, are likely to be more receptive to issues about the dignity of work and worker participation than those In the . huge traditional Fordist plants. ( 745 )Unions have an edge over employers, The latter stress the prc motive. but unions can run the gamut of human rights as well as social justice and democracy is. sues. Unfortunately, unions often dismiss such 'identity' or 'human dignity' issues as secondary hard industrial issues. They may have it back to front.

Business schools have worked hard for the last 40 years to change the language of the work force. The old boss/worker concepts may not exist in the mind of workers or the public as a whole. A smart boss will have fogged over the class conflict by introducing team language or structural change. Team language identifies the team leaders and the team=s aims as identical. Structural change means the introduction via enterprise bargaining of the California model where every worker sells themselves for a fee to others; (746) alternatively, a Japanese core/periphery workplace model may prevail.

An indirect approach to workers caught up in this false consciousness may be necessary via alliances with social movements. This can be done outside the workplace by alliances around common interests and in the workplace by demands for a more democratic workplace. Of course, the real place to begin democratisation is within the union or party itself. The central argument of this article is that the future for socialism will be 'in doing' and 'to be seen 'to be doing socialism' (read ' democracy') at all levels of the state and civil society. This requires a new way of thinking for those dedicated to the vanguard principle or

the laborist numbers game.

The democratic socialist party of the future should be an alliance incorporating a central working class party and other progressive parties on the state level. On the civil society level this alliance should find and cooperate on issues with progressive social movements, unions and community groups. The alliance should be based on a confederate structure with each attendant party at the state level and group at the civil society level having th right to veto. The aim should be to find consensus rather than domination. If possible, there should b a time limit on office holding and a constitutional structure allocating positions on a non sexist non- ageist, non racist basis. Lenin in What Is To Be Done, militarised his party, producing a tightly organised and disciplined Bolshevik model to meet Tsarist penetration and oppression. Lasalle and Bernstein produced quite a different model to press for worker's rights in a semi democratic Germany. Similarly, Australasian and English labour created and adapted a labor party to reflect the values of their highly liberal society and reflecting the dominant role of petit bourgeois values in their working class. 1 feel strongly that a confederal alliance of parties built around a core working class party linked to other progressive parties/ movements of the postfordist age reflects the reality of our age. This is the age of declining blue collar working class but an increasing service industry casual working class and underclass. A highly skilled worker "tocracy is emerging along with the politics of 'identity' over life styles. By moving into alliance style politics, 1848, is linked with 1968. The individual who may have a liberal ideal- ist consciousness is linked to materialist battles of a class nature.

This battle for consciousness will be the central battle of this post Fordist age. Alliance politics and democratisation avoids the Foucaultian swirl of separate conflicts that have no central focus. We

many the modernist to the post- modernist age and values. The Alliance of Parties in New Zealand reflects this thesis.

Case study: New Zealand and Australia

The NZ Alliance began with a split in the NZ Labor Party in 1990 over the New Right direction of the party. The split was led by the former president, Jim Anderton. The youth wing and the most militant members and un- .onists fiollowed.The new party was named 'The New Labour Party' and, in its first election, won 8 % of the vote in a firstpastthepost poll. The Green party polled a similar amount. After negotiation, the Greens entered into an Alliance with the NLP on the confederal basis outlined above. Other parties joined this confederation. Today's Alliance has five parties: NLP, Greens, Mana Motuhake, Democrats and Liberals. This was an alliance to the right.

The Alliance has also been considering a lean to the left ta offset its number of right/centre parties. This would be useful to replace the Liberals who are a dying group, and the racism of NZ First. The biggest problem initially was to stop the attempt by left sectarian groups to colonise the NLP. The NLP's first congress, like the first conference of the Australian New Labour Party in Melbourne 1997, saw proscription of certain parties introduced after an open battle.

The other two problems concern future party structure and support. Some believe the decision making process with its search for consensus and vetoes is too slow and diverse. The public perception fed by the mockery of the press has a similar tinge.

The Alliance is up against the macho 'yeoman' culture inherited from the British Empire, plus the Social Darwinist culture of capitalism in its virulent NZ New Right form. The left has felt since its inception the effects of these dominant cultural 'ideal types' on its ultimately gentle policies.

The other problem is support. The Alliance has fallen to 8 % with the coming of Winston Peters and Multiple Member Proportional voting. However, the dust is settling after these electoral changes. It appears that NZ First may exit from the scene at the next elections. It would appear also that Labour cannot govern without the Alliance, unless it goes to a centre party or lures a party from the Alliance. Because of this, some Alliance thinkers argue now for a coalition rather than an Alliance. This would highlight the 'submerged' parties like the Greens who are restless. Others wish to see one party where the former parties would become factions as in the ALP. This would mean one central council and quicker decisions al- though it is likely that such factions would retain the veto.

One can only conjecture about the fate of the ALP if factions had had the veto. The Right de- spite their numbers would never have prevailed; and certainly it is unlikely that Hawke and Keating could have lured the party down the path of economic rationalism. It would have either imploded or been a very different beast today.

We are seeing the reshaping of the political spectrum and the mode of regulation in NZ. The war of manoeuvre is still underway, and Marx is alive in the trenches.

A New Labour Party has been formed in 1996 in Newcastle. 11 is now undergoing registration. This body hopes to replicate the Alliance movement as per NZ but with Australian characteristics. This mean's adaptation to our federal system and the

fact that there are six economies, and six state and two territory governments on the continent. Most of all, however, the party must attempt to counter the New Right ideologically at the civil societal

level. This will be the fundamental battle the battle for the mind, a battle the ALP long ago aban- doned.

 

References

694 Levitas 1988: 61.

695 Wallerstein 1991, passim.

696 Probert 1993: 1922. 697. Sassen 1993: passim.

698 F Cheong. 'GATS.' Australian 8 Sept. 1993:12. 699. Fieldhouse 1984: passim.

700 Catley and MeFarlane 1981: 1605. 701 Boyerl990: 14.

702 Gollan 1993: 324. 703. Lipietz 1992: 6869. 704 Marcus 1979: 103121.

705. Wallerstein 1991: 2022. 706. Grwnsci 1972: 161. 707. Aglietta 1979: 1920 708 Marx 1973: 3132.

709 Wallerstein 1991: 2022.

710. Boyer 1990: 14. 71 1. Lipletz 1992: 59.

712. Overbeek 1990: 13. 713 Wallerstein 1991: passim. 714. Ecidy and Schreuder 1988: Ch 1. 715. Lipietz 1992: 27.

716. Kennedy 1991: passim. 717. Friedman 1982: 927.

718. Wheelwright and BuckJey 1988: passim.

719. Phillips 1971: 4045. 720. Leach 1992: 101109. 721. Rowse 1978: 78. References:

723. Tylecote 1991: passim.

724 . Burawoy 1990: Introductinr.

725. Cockett 1994: passim.

726. Cately and MeFariane 1981: 132; Gollan 1993: 4045:

727. J Tokuywna, 'The Pacif ic Century,'Newsweek 21 March 1977:24.

728. David and Wheelwright 1989:127.

729. Probert 1993: 1922.

730. Vemon 197 1: passim; Frankel 1993: 45.

731. De Benoist in Levitas eel. 1988: 1 08.

732. De Benoist: 10710.

733. Murray 1995: 4353.

734. Castles 1988: 6583.

735. Mandel 1978: passim.

736. Gorz 1982: passim.

737. Mandel 1978: passim.

738. Cockett 1994: passim.

739. Leach 1992: 1 1 8.

740. Wallerstein 1991: 119.

741. Gyford 1985: passim

742. Leach 1992: 136.

743. Fri~an 1982: 27828 1.

744. Barbaro 1995:1417.

745. Lipietz 1992: 41.

 

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