John Percy’s book, Keeping the Red Flag Flying was published in 2020 by Interventions. It focuses on the 1990s and early 2000s when the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) was the largest revolutionary socialist group on the Australian left. As it follows Percy’s two books, A History of the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance, Volume 1: 1965-72 (2005) and, Against the Stream, Volume 2: 1972-92 (2017), it will be referred to throughout as ‘Volume 3’.
This review is organised into three sections. The first explores the historical value of Volume 3. Not only do Percy’s writings provide a history of the 1990s and early 2000s, they also shed light on the histories of many contemporary left-wing groups. The second section will focus on the political value of the book. In particular, this section will draw out several key political lessons relevant in the current period.
The final section is the longest and is related to the DSP’s international solidarity work during the period covered in Volume 3. International solidarity, particularly in relation to the Asia Pacific, is of particular interest to me. I think it is a crucially important topic for the Australian left given the almost complete lack of organised international solidarity work in the current period. This section will end by outlining some steps that can be taken to increase the level of solidarity with the Asia-Pacific.
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