In a later comment on his attack on the Greens for being middle class, SAlt's Ben Hillier's final straw proof that the Greens crossed the class line was their support for Liberal governments .
I think Hillier's exposition in this post is very useful.
He maps out a sort of standard far left argument against the Greens. Despite their platform -- according to this POV the Greens are not 'of the left' certainly not of the left to the left of the ALP.
In the sense that the Democrats were also never supposedly 'of the left'...
The ALP -- because it has that old warhorse, "a trade union base" in its corner -- is supposedly, unlike the Greens, working class aligned (or is it contained?).
But is the ALP class aligned that way? Aligned that way at all in the sense that the Liberals supposedly aren't -- being avowedly with the bosses? And if the ALP doesn't support Liberal governments what has it been doing for over the past 100 years in parliament after parliament, state and federal , in peaceful coexistence, taking turns running the state apparatii so that the shift from one administration to another is seamless?
Maybe the class question is ruled by the fact that subjectively workers think that the ALP is their party? But the collapse in ALP's primary vote and the growing hostility to the party within the trade unions themselves doesn't suggest that notion rules the collective POV. In fact if you want to ascribe to the perspective that the ALP is a working class party you are keeping company only with some comrade Marxists and maybe a swag of 'true believers' -- and among those would be a loyal layer of trade union bureaucrats who see the ALP primarily as a career resource.Right wing ideologues similarly see the ALP as working class and thus held hostage to the trade unions.
The complication is that if you take the class argument up to the Greens -- or at least some Greens (how many we don't know) -- greens people are going to ask," what do you mean, it's Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. You are trying to tell us that regardless of anything the ALP does we need to support the ALP over the Liberals because one's supposedly got working class connections?"
The complication is that you then fall into the trap of having to argue that a Greens agenda will be better served by supporting Labor rather than the Liberals.
But do we know that to be true? If we think we do , on what basis can anyone say it?
I think supporting the Liberals would be nonetheless political suicide for the Greens, primarily , if we want to be concrete and not ideological at all, because 70-80% of their second preferences are usually sheeted to Labor.
That suggests to me that the more the Greens play up their support for the Liberals the less they will be trusted by their progressive electoral base and the more they will be blamed for the rigors of any Liberal/Coalition administration that may ensue and in which they will be complicit (...juist as they will be complicit in any ALP government they support).
The associated complication is that the more the Greens engage in the politics of hung parliaments -- and we are indeed in for a swag of hung parliaments around the country -- the more they leave themselves open for criticism, hostility and distrust for their manoevreing.
Of course, the Greens major problem is not so much whether they are with the Libs or Labor for the sake of cabinet guernsays or whatever -- but that their politics is contained totally by electoralism and -- to be frank -- if you passively accept the parameters of the capitalist state you are sentenced to its class alignment anyway. It wouldn't matter if you were prole rich or your reps were blue collar in origin.
Nonetheless, if the Greens are going to run an election campaign flagged by their determination to enter a coalition type agreement with the Liberals then we all face a major tactical problem -- not so much because we may or may not support the Greens , but because the Greens will take a progressive platform and trade it for a cheap pragmatism -- even before the polling day.
And let's be blunt about this: even if they backed the ALP instead of the Libs they would be indulging in the same realpolitick with the same or similar consequences for the progressive program.
So the main problem with the Greens(at least some Greens) it seems to me, is not so much their class demographic but their overriding pro-capitalist perspective wedded to parliamentarianism regardless of any other consideration.
The mistake that some Marxists are making in regard to the Greens is to try and rule their POV by schemata as though history doesn't move and the imperialist state and (what we called ) social democracy are static entities. These same Marxists may also be victim to the mistaken view that there has been a historical working class presence in parliament which in itself -- independent of the vagaries of struggle outside parliament -- has been significant enough to impact on the day to day business of the capitalist state.
I think it ironic that if the we seek to be ruled by which of either of the two major parties should be supported then we have two rural and regional independents who are more class aligned, albeit by default, than the Greens seem now willing to be in Victoria.