Peter Camejo prepared this discussion piece in 1995, following the 16th national conference of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party in December 1994-January 1995. The piece was not published, even internally, in the DSP, and thus was not polished for publication. It circulated at the time in the leadership of the DSP and among some dissidents and former members of the DSP, and among collaborators of Peter Camejo in North America. Minor grammatical errors have been corrected in this digital version.
As we reach halfway through the 1990s certain errors that characterized much of the left in the radicalization of the 1960s and 1970s are now somewhat clearer. In this article I want to focus on the sectarianism and dogmatism that dominated much of the left for a period. Specifically I want to try to make an evaluation of the strength and weakness of the movement that based itself on Leon Trotsky’s interpretation of the rise of Stalinism (and therefore decline of Marxism.)
The reason I am returning to this topic is because I believe it is still an issue today in various organizations. Some, which are hopelessly sectarian, I do not wish to deal with concretely because there is no immediate hope to see them become part of the living struggles for social progress in the world.