Australian Socialist Alternative conference: In the service of imperialism
26 April 2017
Socialist Alternative’s “Marxism 2017” conference, held in Melbourne from April 13-16, represented a milestone in the party’s integration into the imperialist war drive of the United States and its allies, including Australia, against Russia and China.
The event was attended by a heterogeneous crowd of several hundred people—mainly university students and what comprises the Melbourne middle-class “left” milieu—attracted to Socialist Alternative’s protest and identity politics. Over four days, more than 90 sessions were held on an eclectic array of topics, with no unified political analysis, aimed at attracting the largest number of people with multiple and divergent political interests and outlooks.
The conference was held against the backdrop of a qualitative escalation in the 25-year global war drive by the United States, backed by Canberra, aimed at offsetting its historic economic decline with military might. The eruption of US imperialism is now bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. On April 6, the Trump administration launched cruise missile strikes against the Russian-backed Syrian government, dramatically heightening the danger of a clash between US and Russian military forces. In Asia, it has raised tensions to fever pitch by threatening pre-emptive war on North Korea, an ally of China. On April 13, the day of Socialist Alternative’s opening session, Washington dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in history on Afghanistan, in a clear warning to its rivals everywhere.
In the face of these events, the gathering issued a full-throated defence of US imperialism and explicitly denounced any fight to build an anti-war movement of…