Thursday, February 05, 2009

How good are the Greens?

Nigel Carney has opened up an interesting debate on the value of the Australian Greens on his website here: . His critique has led to some debate about the responsibilities and credibilities of minor parties operating in capitalist parliaments. It's worth a read!
Without pre-empting your reading of Nigel's piece, this is my response:
Hi Nigel,
This is really an important issue: the role of minority capitalist parties in relation to the struggles of the people and particulaly, but not only, of the Aboriginal custodians and owners of the land. There seem to me to be two aspects to this:
(1) The Greens are a party of capitalism operating within the political institution that acts as the executive committee for the ruling class as a whole, Parliament, and they accept the economic system of capitalism. That is the underlying basis for their inconsistencies and vacillation, particularly in relation to the fundamental questions of the rights of capitalists to operate within parameters set by their need to make a profit. I understand your frustration and anger, but nothing is black and white and it is unrealistic to expect the Greens to be anything other than good on some issues and bad on others. We unite with them where we can and go our own independent way without them or even against them when we need to.
(2) Maybe on the scale of things, the issue at Arkaroola is less important than the issue at Olympic Dam. In that sense, you're correct that one can serve as a diversion from the other. However, a wise eastern gentleman once advised his comrades to learn to play the piano with all ten fingers. Even if the Olympic Dam struggle resounds with stentorian bass notes thumped out with force and majesty whilst Mt Gee/Marathon/Arkaroola is a little tinkling with the pinkie finger at the other end of the piano, the combined effect is better than each on its own. That’s a fundamental of good music. A fundamental of good struggle is to unite all the various arenas of people’s activity into one mighty movement that will shake heaven and turn earth upside down. In an environmentally sustainable way of course! So, I welcome Parnell’s support for the Arkaroola issue and agree with your criticism of his and the Green’s silence on Olympic Dam.

No comments: