Australian Left Review

Article Title

Discussion and reply: Political parties and mass consciousness


Peter Murphy


At the Marx Centenary conference on "Prospects for Socialist Change in Australia", held in Melbourne in April 1983, John Alford gave the opening speech on the topic "Class in the 1980s", He dealt with the opposing theoretical concepts pf ''false consciousness" and the Gramscian idea of "hegemony". From the discussion he concluded that a new orientation away from "the propagandist organ and the correctline political party" was necessary, if we were to get socialist change in Australia. Given the importance of these Strategic concepts, and the practical event of the resignations from the CPA in Melbourne in April 1984, it is worth taking a closer look at John Alford's argument, which was printed in ALR No. 84, 1983, and is also available on tape.