The Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) was an Australian Marxist political group, which operated as the largest component of a broad-left socialist formation, the Socialist Alliance. In 2010, the DSP voted to merge into the Socialist Alliance.
Democratic Socialist Perspective
|Merged into||Socialist Alliance|
|International affiliation||Fourth International|
The DSP started as the orthodox Trotskyist Socialist Workers League, founded in 1972 by members of the radical Socialist Youth Alliance (previously, and also currently, called Resistance) which grew out of the student radicalisation surrounding the Vietnam War. The SWL affiliated to the reunified Fourth International, under the influence of the American section, the Socialist Workers Party. It was also undoubtedly due to this influence that the SWL itself took the name Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
In 1986 the SWP broke with orthodox Trotskyism and disaffiliated from the Fourth International. While maintaining Leon Trotsky's critique of the USSR, the party replaced Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution with the view that socialist revolution in Third World countries (countries in which, according to Marxist theory, the development of capitalism has been distorted by colonialism and imperialism) will take place in two connected stages. In the early 1990s it was renamed the Democratic Socialist Party. It contested the 1998 federal election as part of the Democratic Socialist Electoral League.
In 2001, the DSP, along with several other socialist parties including the International Socialist Organisation, formed the Socialist Alliance, initially an electoral vehicle. In 2002 the DSP championed the idea of turning Socialist Alliance into more of a party formation, although at first it had to withdraw this proposal as the ISO's opposition threatened to destroy the alliance. In 2003 the DSP became the first (and so far only) Socialist Alliance affiliate to become an internal tendency within the Alliance, changing its name to the Democratic Socialist Perspective, in line with its view that SA should become a "Multi-Tendency Socialist Party", a view that the May 2003 National Conference of the Socialist Alliance subsequently adopted.
Each of these changes of name and tactics has been accompanied, like in many far-left groups, with a turnover of members. While the SWP and DSP recruited many activists from the radical student movement of the 1970s and from various social movements since, it failed to retain most of them for long as the sixties and seventies radicalisation wave has receded. Nonetheless, the DSP has retained a core membership drawn from each upsurge of political struggle, some of whom are founding members of the party back in 1972. The SWP, and then DSP, was led by Jim Percy as National Secretary from 1972 until his death in 1992.
The Socialist Alliance had been created in alliance with other forces in the hopes of using joint electoral work amongst Australian socialists to increase trust and collaboration between socialists, and in the process making socialist organisation a more attractive option to the left. But although it contested the 2001 federal election and the 2004 federal election, as well as several state elections, it has failed to attract significant support. The Socialist Alliance has had two electoral successes, electing Sam Wainwright to Fremantle City Council in 2009 and Sue Bolton to Moreland City Council in 2012 
A debate broke out in the DSP in 2005 about its Socialist Alliance orientation but the minority viewpoint that opposed continuing with the Alliance orientation was soundly defeated at the DSP's January 2008 congress. This caused a split, after the opposition was expelled subsequently forming a new organisation the same year, the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
In October 2009, the DSP National Committee proposed that the organisation merge itself into the Socialist Alliance. At the DSP National Congress in January 2010, the membership voted to go ahead with the merger.
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.Economists, political economists, sociologists and historians have adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire or free market capitalism, welfare capitalism and state capitalism. Different forms of capitalism feature varying degrees of free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition and state-sanctioned social policies. The degree of competition in markets, the role of intervention and regulation, and the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism. The extent to which different markets are free as well as the rules defining private property are matters of politics and policy. Most existing capitalist economies are mixed economies, which combine elements of free markets with state intervention and in some cases economic planning.Market economies have existed under many forms of government and in many different times, places and cultures. Modern capitalist societies—marked by a universalization of money-based social relations, a consistently large and system-wide class of workers who must work for wages, and a capitalist class which owns the means of production—developed in Western Europe in a process that led to the Industrial Revolution. Capitalist systems with varying degrees of direct government intervention have since become dominant in the Western world and continue to spread. Over time, capitalist countries have experienced consistent economic growth and an increase in the standard of living.
Critics of capitalism argue that it establishes power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor; prioritizes profit over social good, natural resources and the environment; and is an engine of inequality, corruption and economic instabilities. Supporters argue that it provides better products and innovation through competition, disperses wealth to all productive people, promotes pluralism and decentralization of power, creates strong economic growth, and yields productivity and prosperity that greatly benefit society.Democratic Socialist Electoral League
The Democratic Socialist Electoral League was a minor Australian political party that operated from 1998 until its voluntary deregistration in 2001. It supported a broadly socialist platform.Equal Love
Equal Love is an Australian-wide campaign initiated by the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby in an attempt to win gay and lesbian couples marriage rights in the country. The campaign involves a range of community, union, student and activist organisations whose aim is to influence public and government attitudes towards LGBT couples through education and direct action.Fourth International (post-reunification)
The Fourth International (FI), founded in 1938, is a Trotskyist international. In 1963, following a ten-year schism, the majorities of the two public factions of the Fourth International, the International Secretariat and the International Committee, reunited, electing a United Secretariat of the Fourth International. In 2003, the United Secretariat was replaced by an Executive Bureau and an International Committee, although some other Trotskyists still refer to the organisation as the USFI or USec.Green Left Weekly
Green Left Weekly is an Australian socialist newspaper, written by progressive activists to "present the views excluded by the big business media". It was initiated in 1990 as a proposal for a broad left publication from the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) which ceased publication of its own party newspaper in order to support the project.
Maintaining close ties to the Socialist Alliance, Green Left Weekly's 20th anniversary issue was published in February 2011, and in March 2014, had its 1,000th edition issued, making the newspaper the longest running explicitly left-wing publication in the country.Hidden Things
Hidden Things is an album by Australian folk rock group Paul Kelly & the Messengers released in March 1992 on Mushroom Records, which reached No. 29 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It also reached the Top 40 on the New Zealand Albums Chart. It is a collection of tracks recorded by Kelly and both his backing bands, the Coloured Girls and the Messengers, from 1986 to 1991, but were not issued on previous studio albums (except for "Bradman" and "Pastures of Plenty"). The album spawned a single, "When I First Met Your Ma", which was issued in April. Messenger band members provide lead vocals on "Hard Times" from its writer Steve Connolly, "Rock 'n' Soul" from its writer Jon Schofield. "Sweet Guy Waltz" is a slower version of "Sweet Guy" which was on 1989's So Much Water So Close to Home. The album was re-released in 2011 as Hidden Things: B-sides & Rarities.International Socialist Organisation (Australia)
This article is about the International Socialist Organisation in Australia. For other uses, see International Socialist Organization (disambiguation).The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) was an Australian Trotskyist political organisation, founded in 1971, originally as the Marxist Workers' Group (MWG) until it became Solidarity in a merger in 2008 with two other socialist organisations. It was the official representative of the International Socialist Tendency (IST) in Australia.Jim Percy
Jim Percy (1948 – 12 October 1992 in Sydney, Australia), was a founder of the Socialist Workers League of Australia, later called the Socialist Workers Party and the Democratic Socialist Party, and served as national secretary for almost twenty years.People's Movement of Kosovo
The People's Movement of Kosovo (Albanian: Lëvizja Popullore e Kosovës - LPK) was a political party in Kosovo active after the Kosovo War, having originally been founded as a political movement of Albanian nationalists in 1981.
Despite participating in several elections in autonomous Kosovo, its pre-war existence was its most historically significant period. Historically, its support and membership came from Albanian diaspora, especially within Switzerland and Germany, originating mainly from former Yugoslav republics.Revolutionary Socialist Party (Australia)
The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) was a small socialist organisation in Australia, formed in 2008 by a split from the former Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP). Members of the split were expelled from the DSP over debates about the organisation's participation in the Socialist Alliance. While the RSP saw the project of the Alliance as liquidationist, it still maintained the basic politics of the DSP. Van Thanh Rudd (the nephew of former Labor Party (ALP) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd) was a member and unsuccessfully ran against ALP Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the Victorian seat of Lalor in the 2010 federal election. The RSP eventually dissolved and joined former rival organisation Socialist Alternative (SA) in March 2013, after lengthy unity discussions.Sicilian Socialist Party
The Sicilian Socialist Party (Italian: Partito Socialista Siciliano, Sicilian: Partitu Sucialista Sicilianu, PSS) is a democratic socialist and autonomist political party in Sicily. The party was founded on 21 May 2013 and considers itself to be the re-foundation of the 1893 Sicilian federation of the emerging Italian Socialist Party (PSI), often referred to as the Sicilian Socialist Party, that was founded by the leaders of Fasci Siciliani popular movement during a congress in Palermo on 21–22 May 1893. The PSS re-emerged exactly after 120 years from the first congress of the Fasci and in the same place of the 1893 assembly (the historical see of the Fascio of Palermo at 97, via Alloro).
The party adheres to the ideas of democratic socialism and of sicilianism, without any isolationist view, but maintaining itself faithful to internationalism and europeanism. The party seeks the full application of Sicilian special statute and supports the unification of the Sicilian left-wing in a democratic socialist perspective. The members of the party come from the Sicilian sections of the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Socialist Democratic Party and the Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity.Socialism in Australia
Socialism in Australia dates back to the earliest pioneers of the area.Socialist Alliance (Australia)
Socialist Alliance is a socialist political party in Australia. With branches in all states and territories, it claims to be the largest party on the Australian left.Engaging in a combination of grassroots activism and electoral politics, Socialist Alliance currently has two elected officeholders across Australia, both of whom serve on the local government level. They are Sue Bolton, a member of the Moreland City Council and Sam Wainwright, a City of Fremantle councillor.
Socialist Alliance’s stated aim is to “replace the capitalist system with one in which the fundamental elements of the economy are socially owned and controlled and democratic systems of popular power established” through a “sustained mass campaign of total opposition to capitalism”.The party is involved with the trade union, climate change and student movements in Australia. It takes strong left-wing stances on numerous issues, including refugee rights, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, anti-racism and public ownership. Socialist Alliance also proposes nationalising the banking, energy and mining sectors. On workers' rights, the party supports raising the minimum wage, implementing wage theft and industrial manslaughter laws, increasing trade union bargaining to industry-wide status and reducing the working week to 30 hours. It opposes the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the building of new coalmines and any attempts to privatise public services such as Medicare. The party supports expansion of the public healthcare system to cover dental services and the cessation of public funding to private schools. Policies of state branches include support for public housing, public transport, public education and publicly-owned utilities, as well as advocating for less militarised and hard-line policing and justice systems.
The party also places a large emphasis on international socialist solidarity. It is actively involved in supporting many left-wing movements around the world, such as those relating to Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution in Latin America, Palestinian resistance, Kurdish self-determination in North Syria, as well as social-justice and pro-democracy ones in South-East Asia, particularly in West Papua.Socialist Alliance also opposed U.S. and Australian military interventions such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, and played a leading role in founding the Stop the War Coalition in a number of cities.
The party participates within the Victorian Socialists electoral alliance in Victoria.Socialist Alternative (Australia)
Socialist Alternative, commonly abbreviated as SAlt, is a revolutionary socialist organisation in Australia, identifying with the Marxist tradition of "socialism from below". Formed after its founding members were expelled from the former International Socialist Organisation (ISO) in 1995, It has branches across Australia, their membership operates within the trade union and student union movements and grass roots campaigns.
Though one of Socialist Alternative's stated aims is to contribute towards building a revolutionary party that can intervene in – and lead – mass working-class struggles, they do not consider themselves a political party at their current size and influence. Originating in the political tradition of the International Socialist Tendency, Socialist Alternative defend the position that a socialist revolution can only come about through "workers taking control of their workplaces, dismantling existing state institutions (parliaments, courts, the armed forces and police) and replacing them with an entirely new state based on genuinely democratic control by the working class".In March 2013, Socialist Alternative merged with the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) on the basis of agreement around a common revolutionary perspective outlined in an updated Statement of Principles which makes no reference to the theory of "State Capitalism" or other historical and theoretical differences that had previously prevented the two tendencies from uniting around their common revolutionary perspective.
Socialist Alternative host an annual far-left political conference in Melbourne each year called Marxism, which has grown to attract over 1000 attendees – which has featured international guest speakers such as John Pilger and Malalai Joya – becoming the largest conference of its kind in Australia. Socialist Alternative also host regular political meetings and events and produce political commentary and analysis through their own various publications and through other publishers in which the organisation puts forward their positions on Australian and international issues. In 2013, Socialist Alternative started distribution of a fortnightly newspaper and website titled Red Flag.The party participates within the Victorian Socialists electoral alliance in Victoria.Socialist Democracy (Australia)
Socialist Democracy (1985 - 2005) was a network of Trotskyist activists in Australia who were in sympathy with the reunified Fourth International.
Most had been members of the Socialist Workers Party. After the SWP's National Committee split that party from the International after its 1985 World Congress, supporters of the International found themselves outside the SWP. They formed Socialist Democracy, which was recognised as a sympathising section by the International's 1962 World Congress.Reflecting the International's encouragement for regroupment, Socialist Democracy supported and joined the Socialist Alliance.The group's initial experience of the Alliance was positive. It became the principal collective activity of group members. However, the success of the Alliance strained relations between the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP) and the International Socialist Organisation came to a head in 2002. The DSP intended to dissolve into the Alliance, a move which Socialist Democracy warned would lead to a terminal crisis in the Alliance.Socialist Democracy finally disbanded in December 2005.Socialist Labour Group
The Socialist Labour Group was a Trotskyist group in Britain between 1979 and 1989.Socialist Resistance
Socialist Resistance (SR) is an ecosocialist, feminist and revolutionary organisation in Britain, which publishes a Marxist periodical of the same name. In July 2009 the International Socialist Group (ISG) merged into it, making SR the British Section of the Fourth International.