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Pornography: Silence or Choice?

By Emma Webb

This pamphlet is based on a talk presented to the Network Of Women Students of Australia (NOWSA) national conference held in July 1995. Emma Webb is a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and of the National Council of Resistance, the socialist youth organisation in political solidarity with the DSP. 
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Socialism - the way forward

By John Percy

[The following is an edited version of a talk presented on behalf of the National Executive of the Democratic Socialist Party to the 1996 Socialist Activists and Educational Conference, held in Sydney, January 3-7, 1996. John Percy is the national president of the DSP.]

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Building the Revolutionary Party - An introduction to James P. Cannon

[This is the first section of Building the Revolutionary Party - An introduction to James P. Cannon, published by]


The 1990s have not been kind to those committed to building revolutionary socialist parties. The failure of any progressive reform processes in the old Soviet bloc countries, the subsequent collapse of those states and their move towards capitalism; the strong capitalist ideological offensive against socialism; and the big rightward shift of the labor and social-democratic parties and the key role they are playing in the harsh capitalist austerity drive-all these factors have contributed to working class retreat and confusion and a decline of the socialist left. 

However, the case for socialism is undiminished. Arguably, as we approach the twenty-first century, the need to replace destructive, profit-mad capitalism with a cooperative, solidaristic, democratic socialist society has never been greater. Moreover, on closer inspection, the left is certainly not finished. In a whole number of countries, important processes of clarification, realignment and regroupment are proceeding. And beyond the undoubted problems of the moment, the collapse of Stalinism and the unprecedented exposure of social democracy as an agency of capitalism actually create better, not worse, conditions for building strong revolutionary socialist parties. 

It is with this firm conviction that we put forward this book-to introduce a new generation of socialist activists to the life and work of the incomparable James P. Cannon. A Marxist of the Lenin-Trotsky school, his struggle to build a revolutionary workers party in the United States contains an extraordinarily rich legacy for socialists today. 

Dave Holmes' opening article gives a broad overview of Cannon's life, with plenty of references to the relevant reading for each stage. A chronology is included to facilitate the orientation of the reader. 

Doug Lorimer's contribution deals with a vexed question for adherents of Cannon: why did the party he founded and guided for so long-the Socialist Workers Party-suffer a sectarian degeneration after his death, under the leadership of Jack Barnes? Lorimer convincingly shows that it was precisely a sharp departure from Cannonism that underlay the SWP's decline. 

The reading guide is not meant to be a comprehensive bibliography of everything Cannon ever wrote. But it does include all the books and pamphlets by Cannon or containing material by him that are currently in print (or have been until recently). 

The Cannon miscellany is of considerable interest. The items in the collection "Don't Strangle the Party", together with George Breitman's introduction, complement the analysis made by Doug Lorimer. 

The letter "Intellectuals and revolution" is extremely valuable for what it reveals of Cannon's attitude to the intelligentsia. With good reason, Cannon was harshly critical of US academics and their subservience to Washington's cold war drive. But he shows a warm admiration for C. Wright Mills, a genuine radical intellectual who courageously engaged with the big issues of the day. 

In a period in which the international left is faced with the tasks of clarification, rebuilding and regrouping, Cannon's 1961 letter, "New revolutionary forces are emerging", offers a timely perspective. There is none of the dogmatic narrowness of the Trotskyist sects here, but a genuine broad and realistic vision of how a real revolutionary international might be formed and what the first steps might be. 

The final piece, Cannon's 1953 birthday tribute to his veteran collaborator Arne Swabeck, touches on so many enduring Cannon themes-a fervent belief in the socialist future, comradeship in the struggle and unswerving committment. "Our theory is a guide to action," he writes, "not only for the party but for each individual member…Faith without works is dead." This is a text for all socialist activists. A study of James P. Cannon's life and work can illuminate the way and fortify us in the struggle, whatever may lie ahead. 

Dave Holmes 

Submitted by DSPAdmin on Tue, 2006-08-08 08:24. categories [ ] read more

Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (with introduction by Doug Lorimer)

Introduction by Doug Lorimer

© Resistance Books 1999

Published by Resistance Books, 23 Abercrombie St, Chippendale 2008, Australia

This online edition published 2003.

I. Lenin's aims in writing this work

The term "imperialism" came into common usage in England in the 1890s as a development of the older term "empire" by the advocates of a major effort to extend the British Empire in opposition to the policy of concentrating on national economic development, the supporters of which the advocates of imperialism dismissed as "Little Englanders". The term was rapidly taken into other languages to describe the contest between rival European states to secure colonies and spheres of influence in Africa and Asia, a contest that dominated international politics from the mid-1880s to 1914, and caused this period to be named the "age of imperialism".

Submitted by DSPAdmin on Tue, 2006-08-08 08:14. categories [ ] read more

Labor and the Fight for Socialism

First published 1985. Second edition 1988.


For nearly 100 years the Australian Labor Party has dominated labor movement politics in this country. For all of that time it has been the main obstacle to the advance of the socialist movement.

Though socialists helped to found the ALP and have always been active within it, and though most of the more politically conscious workers have traditionally given it their support, the ALP has never been a working-class party. Today it remains, as it always has been, a liberal bourgeois party.

Submitted by DSPAdmin on Tue, 2006-08-08 06:02. categories [ | ] read more
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