Australian Left Review

Article Title

Tweedle Dum-dee and the A.L.P


Winton Higgins


For the left in general, analysis of social democratic parties is a traditional area both of over-sensitivity and of extreme confusion. This over-sensitivity and con fusion have their historical roots in the unaccidental tendency for marxists and marxist parties to collapse in to social democratic perspectives. The confusion is intensified by the emotional invective and internecine strife which tears the left apart whenever this tendency manifests itself. Preoccupied with the ego-centric problems of “liquidationism ” , “ ultraleftism ” , and so on, the left hardly ever gets round to a dispassionate analysis of social democracy itself — an analysis that must have far-reaching consequences for left strategy. Only this can explain why two academics produced in five weeks what the entire Australian left has failed to produce in over fifty years: a sustained enquiry in to the ALP and its “social model”.