The Great Labor Split of 1955 stemmed from theoretical dilemmas that have always haunted the Western left’s fragmented socialism. 70 years on, Albo’s leadership is succumbing to those same socialist dilemmas.

There are three main dilemmas for socialists depending on where they sit on the communist spectrum. First, can government function within a social democracy to provide equality of outcomes, or is ‘the State’ an instrument of the bourgeoisie that must be smashed? Second, is religion ‘the opiate of the masses’ that keeps oppressed workers oblivious to their oppression, or is Christian goodness at the heart of democratic socialism? And third, is the role of the elite to negotiate a post-revolution, proletarian democracy, or is it to educate the plebs to live as communists?

The confusion stems from Marx refusing to write ‘recipes for the cook shops of the future’. He left those who tried to practice communism with little idea about how to proceed. And he never expected agrarian Russia and China to attempt to establish communist societies.

Instead, advanced industrial economies like Britain or the United States would sing the Internationale, and the State would eventually wither away. And we’d all live happily ever after.

The West’s fragmented socialism stems from the attempt to find middle ground between the liberal tradition and the authority necessary to socialise utilities, education, and health systems. Redistribution of wealth through a progressive tax system is also a legacy of socialist thinking.

But the real dilemma for socialists is in the transition from capitalism to communism. Essentially, whether to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat to teach the plebs how to live in a communist society, versus the socialist adage ‘the people, united, will never be defeated’.

Labor’s so-called outdated rule that party members must toe the caucus line stems from the latter. The former is what Young Labor are doing by trying to recreate the old guard in their new Woke image.

Albo is stuck in the same problem as socialists past. And the temptation to be less Bob Hawke and more Paul Keating in becoming a catch-all party, combined with his weak leadership, are hurting our nation.

Australia shares a history with the communist problem from its practical beginnings. Hundreds of Australian soldiers joined a multinational force during the Russian Civil War. They were on the side of the anti-Bolshevik White Russians. Two Australian soldiers earned the Victoria Cross during the conflict. The Civil War was essentially fought between the anti-communist Whites and the communist Reds.

The Bolsheviks (Those of the Majority), Lenin’s party, believed in ‘a highly centralised, disciplined, professional party’. The Red Army supported the Bolsheviks.

The Mensheviks (Those of the Minority), on the other hand, were ‘willing to work with the bourgeois left to establish a liberal, capitalist regime, which they considered to be a necessary precursor to a socialist society’. The Mensheviks were closer to Marx’s ideas.

The Socialist Revolutionary Party were the major alternative to the Bolsheviks. They represented the peasantry and conducted assassinations and terrorist operations but were ‘suppressed by Lenin after the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War’.

The transition from capitalism to communism would require a transitional phase. A dictatorship of the proletariat would seize control of the State until the peasants could be educated to live in a communist society.

Under Lenin, however, the dictatorship of the proletariat became a dictatorship of the party elite. Dissenters were suppressed, usually by unsavoury means.

During the Spanish Civil War, author George Orwell fought with the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), an anti-Stalinist party. Orwell, a member of the Independent Labour Party in Britain, advocated a better lot for the working class. In his work Homage to Catalonia, Orwell described how the POUM was eventually declared illegal, and its members were hunted down and summarily executed. By the other communists.

Throughout history, the struggle to overthrow bourgeoisie democracy and to establish proletarian democracy has only ever ended in dictatorship that suppresses free will and destroys productivity and ultimately living standards. It is only in the Anglo-labour tradition, what is often known as Christian socialism, that labour political parties functioning within liberal democracies have attempted to put a human face on the excesses of unbridled capitalism.

The gains of the Anglo-labour tradition have been important to improving the lot of everyday people. But excesses can hurt economies and some extremes of labour politics, such as the recent ‘right to disconnect’ laws, are difficult to police. These are Utopian at best and impossible for most workers to access at worst. Only in a hardline unionised workforce could such laws be enforced.

Which brings me to Albo’s socialist dilemma. He faces the ‘decolonisers’ – effectively the anarchists – who want to overthrow the State and remove the Christianity from Christian socialism; the virtue-signalling elites, who want to control everybody else and the energy grid while punishing thought crimes; and then Young Labor who want to support an ex-party member who embodies ‘the opiate of the masses’ while also ignoring the solidarity of Caucus. Solidarity has been an important element in the success of the labour movement in Australia. But the cracks are starting to show.

Ten months ago, Peter Hartcher wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald:

‘Labor’s greatest disasters are self-inflicted. Two stark examples are the ideological Labor split of 1955, which kept it out of office for 17 years, and the fratricidal Rudd-Gillard-Rudd convulsions that ushered it out for nine. The party sends clear signals when it’s unelectable’.

Albo’s dilemmas require him to make difficult choices. But Albo’s leadership is stifled by indecision. He is caught between the various dilemmas inherited from the practice of socialism and the practical realities of the Woke agenda. That agenda is trying to upend not just capitalist society but Christian socialism. And it is leaving Albo’s version of Labor in an unelectable shambles.

Labor’s demise has happened while Albo and Treasurer Jim Chalmers have been off on a tangent where they think they can thwart the laws of economics. Like all socialists past, economics trumps Utopian ideals. But unlike other socialists, Albo has pandered to anarchists.

Had Albo stood up against Hamas earlier, there would have been little opportunity for the Wokerati to foment unrest. Had he called out antisemitism without needing to mention ‘islamophobia’ at every opportunity, he could have made it clear where we stood in relation to global affairs. If Albo had restored order to our universities earlier and called out the desecration of our war memorials, it would not have emboldened those who hate our nation.

Instead, Mr Albanese has been weak at every opportunity. It is too late to stand for social cohesion once the bond has been undone. The caucus was the only place where any modicum of control could be maintained over the parliamentary party members. But Albo couldn’t even control Labor’s beating heart.

This is because socialism doesn’t work. It has been tried time and again and it fails at every opportunity. Key to socialism is compliance. But humans don’t comply. And economics doesn’t lie.

All we need now is another interest rate rise and that should be the end of Labor. It’s the socialist’s dilemma, and it’s in their DNA.

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