From New International, Vol.4 No.11, November 1938, p.351.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
Both Comrade G. and myself are members of the Australian Labor Party, becoming so after disillusionment with Stalinism. The bulk of left wing elements here and we believe throughout Australia disagree with your position on the Workers’ State in Russia – we regard Trotsky as rationalising his reluctance to recognise the nature of the counter-revolutionary victory of an apparatus which has developed into a joint stock trust controlling a servile state. In Sydney there is more activity of a left opposition nature than here. But there they have repeated the Stalinist line on the waterfront (the union to which I belong) – amalgamation with the strikebreakers of 1917 and 1928 and the scabs who have since reinforced them. The Waterside Federation is consolidating without the scabs. The ALP defeated conscription in Australia in 1916 and again in 1917. In 1917 it declared openly in favor of ending the war and ever since has declared its opposition to this country taking part in any other war. The last Federal Elections were fought by them very largely on the neutrality issue and opposition to conscription; also they pledged themselves to put the question of war to a plebiscite before any action was taken. The Stalinists are at present carrying on a campaign of infiltration and disruption against them with a limited measure of success – the object being to force the alteration of the peace platform in the direction of Collective Security through the League of Nations. An original Ludlow amendment in Australia would not be nearly so Utopian as in USA.
G. and myself do not agree with Trotsky on Morality. To the capitalists as a class we do not conceive of the workers as having any moral responsibility; but to take up a position to our fellow-workers of moral superiority – of regarding them as children to be told anything that suits us at the time it suits us – No. That is egotism more fitting to Stalinism. On this point and on the nature of the Russian State The New International is tending towards a very dangerous surrender to Stalinism. That way went Zinoviev and Kameneff. At best it can only confuse. For myself I have had some twenty-five years activity in the ALP and the Victorian Trade Unions and the problem here is the need, with the leftward tending workers, of exposing the pseudo-nature of the revolutionary claims of Stalinism. Some of the issues of The New International you sent us we had had before, but although on order the person supplying us sold our later copies elsewhere. G. and myself have no organization apart from the ALP, but we are trying to dispose of that which you send us through our circle of friends, myself personally carrying any loss.
Yours in Unity,
Last updated on 6.8.2006