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From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Sat Nov 11 08:53:46 2000
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 22:40:35 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Jim Jaszewski <grok@SPRINT.CA>
Subject: Fwd: Australia: 25 years since fall of Whitlam
Comments: To: Labour Left Opposition <CLC_LO@listbot.com>, act-cuts-ont-l <act-cuts-ont-l@list.web.net>
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Subject: Australia: 25 years since fall of Whitlam
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 00 15:56:40 +0000
From: Socialist Appeal <socappeal@easynet.co.uk>
To: What's New at In Defence of Marxism <IDOM@socappeal.easynet.co.uk>

What's new at In Defence of Marxism

Lessons of the Whitlam Labor government and its overthrow

Socialist Appeal, Friday 10 November 2000

Tomorrow, November 11th 2000, marks the 25th anniversary of the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government in Australia. That dramatic dismissal by the Governor General 25 years [ago] has tended to overshadow the memory of the first Labor government to come to power in Australia after the years of Liberal-Country party rule that marked that era.

However, for the generation entering the ranks of the Labour movement today, 25 years on, the experience of the Whitlam Labor government holds many valuable lessons besides the clear demonstration of how the ruling establishment is prepared to act in defence of its interests against a properly elected Labor government. The Whitlam government formed one of the purest expressions anywhere of an attempt to put the ideas of reformism into practice and bring about a just and fair society within both the framework of parliamentary democracy and the capitalist economic system, but the Whitlam experiment proved to be a failure, and a spectacular one at that.

The Labor government that was overthrown by an unconstitutional conspiracy had already been dead in the water for over a year, decisively alienated from the only force that could have saved it from the intrigues of reaction - the organised Labor Movement. The reason for this failure lay in the fundamentally flawed nature of Whitlam's program itself. Thus genuine socialists need to look toward a correct strategy by which a Labor government can successfully overcome the resistance of the 'establishment' and carry out a socialist transformation of society, the only real solution to the problems of mass unemployment, chronic underemployment, declining living standards and the run down of the public sector taking place today.

For this reason, on the 25th anniversary of Whitlam's overthrow we are publishing a review of the course of the Whitlam government between 1972 and 1975, the events surrounding its dismissal, and how we propose a future socialist Labor government should act to avoid the same fate overtaking it. This is a slightly modified version of the text published in a previous edition of the Australian 'Socialist Appeal'. Please e-mail all comments and suggestions to this site as a discussion on this topic is important for today's Labor movement to ensure the lessons of Labor's defeat are absorbed to ensure victory in the next round of the class struggle.

Yours in solidarity,

Socialist Appeal's In Defence of Marxism web site
PO Box 2626
London N1 7SQ