The need for a socialist workers’ party that could rebuild rank and file union organisation and mount sustained resistance to every ruling class attack could not be more sharply posed. This is a task that Socialist Alternative has dedicated itself to over the last fifteen years. While we are still far from being the mass party we need to be – a party that could intervene in and attempt to lead every struggle by workers and the oppressed – we have, despite the generally difficult political climate, made modest steps forward and are now the largest organisation on the revolutionary left in Australia. This article is an attempt to sum up the lessons of the debates in the International Socialist Tendency (IST) about the assessment of the political situation and perspectives for building revolutionary organisations that led to the formation of Socialist Alternative in 1995.
Corey Oakley looks at the discussions about socialist organisation that have been thrown up by unity talks on the Australian left.
John Percy looks at the "broad party" experience.
Allen Myers cuts through the debate on the so-called transitional method to expose how this important Marxist concept has been both used and abused by various currents on the left.
Mick Armstrong offers a critical assessment of Murray Smith’s approach to broad left parties – one of the key debates on the socialist left internationally over the last fifteen years.
Sandra Bloodworth argues that Lenin and the other great revolutionaries of the early twentieth century provide us with a theory of revolution for advanced democracies.
Mick Armstrong revisits the question of broad left parties to draw some conclusions after the experience of Syriza in Greece.
Omar Hassan analyses why the promise of a radical, democratic alternative to bourgeois parliamentary politics has evolved into a hierarchical party which has abandoned any serious pretence of fighting austerity even before being tested in government.
Mick Armstrong critically assesses the experience of the Workers' Party, concluding that a far more independent approach was required by revolutionaries who participated.
Sandra Bloodworth draws on the French experience to refute reformist calls for a revival of Popular Front strategies.