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Capitalism's Loyal "Opponents"
Monash Labor Club, Melbourne, 1967

Single-sided, small, coloured leaflet distributed at May Day march in Melbourne, 1967. It expresses radical student disillusionment, in the wake of the catastrophic election defeat of 1966, with the prospects of ALP electoralism. NB: ‘May Day Manifesto of Socialists for Victory’, Jasmine Street Caulfield. Jasmine Street was then the location of a house inhabited by some of the most prominent and militant activists in the Monash Labour Club.

Labor’s disastrous defeat in November 1966, following so soon after the tumultuous welcome accorded to President Lyndon Johnson, was a body blow that left the established peace forces depressed and disoriented. The student protestors, paradoxically, drew strength. During Johnson’s visit, savage violence was meted out to demonstrators by American and local security forces. This had a catalytic ‘radicalising’ effect on the Monash contingent and was then reinforced by the bitter experience of the election debacle. The leading elements of the Monash Labor Club turned their backs on parliamentarism and embraced a notional ‘revolutionary socialism’. Objectionable phenomena such as the Vietnam War were seen as an expression of the essential features of capitalism rather than merely mistaken policies reversible through reform. - [Ken Mansell]