The Forward Group was founded by revolutionary socialists around 1981, after debates with British revolutionary socialists. At that time the Socialist Party of Austria was a classic western social democratic party. It had a working-class membership, yet a pro-capitalist leadership. The Marxists of the Forward Group wanted the party to remain classic socialist, while the leadership wanted more compromises with the ruling class!
During the 80's, the conservatives came to power in many nations. Classic social democratic ideals were abandon as privatizations started. The social democratic parties went along with the wave of anti-socialism that right-wing liberals and conservatives spread. Leader of this anti-socialist wave was Margaret Thatcher, who claimed that socialism was just the next step to communism. Because of social democratic bureaucratism, the ruling class supported her fully. Leftists were forced in the defensive as pro-capitalist politicians claimed that the state should not control or regulate the market. Social democratic leaders got confronted with inefficient state industries and huge bureaucratic regulations many people hated. The conservatives in Europe were able to turn the social democratic leadership of workers parties to the right-wing!
In Austria, the right-wing wave was supported by the Freedom Party of Austria. This nationalist party is founded in 1954 and supports German nationalism and conservatism. They are deeply anti-socialist, mainly because many of their early members were former Nazi's. The Freedom Party of Austria is the face of the radical right-wing in Austria. While less nationalist, the Austrian People's Party is also conservative and anti-socialist. Yet the christian conservatives have worked with the social democrats, while the Freedom Party of Austria would never work with anything that claims to be left-wing!
As stalinism collapsed the social democratic leadership of the Socialist Party of Austria, decided to change the nature of the party. The party was no longer a workers party, but a people's party. A party for all classes, both workers and capitalists. In reality the new name and the new program only ended the degeneration that started years before world war 2. As the Social-democratic Party of Austria dropped its socialist principals, the Forward Group saw no reason to remain in the party!
The revolutionary socialists renamed their group into: Forward to Socialist Democracy. In 1996 the name was changed to Socialist Offensive Forward. Finally the group became a political party in 2000 with the name Socialist Left Party. As of today the SLP is the only Austrian party that is fighting for a genuine socialist alternative to the rule of capitalism. Even the Communist Party of Austria is not offering clear socialist alternatives to the crisis of capitalism!
Yet in a nation were nationalism is very high, it is not easy to gain votes. Many Austrians are nationalist and love their nation. The SLP is anti-nationalist and does not support nationalism. Also the party stands in solidarity with Austrians who are not born in Austria. When it comes to money, the SLP is not rich. They were able to collect less then 10.000 euro in support for the last elections. But while they are not the richest party in Austria, their ideals are the most genuine socialist of them all. This is why the Austrian working class should support the Socialist Left Party for the elections in September 2013!
We revolutionary socialists know that there is very little change that SLP members will be elected. Revolutionary socialists don't have the media on their side and not the money to spread huge amount of propaganda. That is why Revolutionary Socialist Media is reporting on this party, because Austrian workers must know that there is an alternative to the parties of capitalism. There is a leftist socialist alternative to the right-wing social democrats and conservatives!
In previous elections the SLP tried to work with other leftist groups. Unfortunate for the 2013 elections there is no alliance of the radical left. That is why the party stands alone. Again there is little change of a seat, but when it comes to a political program the Socialist Left Party is the party that is fighting for socialism in Austria. When elected, the SLP representatives will not earn a luxurious wage, like the other politicians. They will live on a workers wage and use the rest of their money to help workers fighting capitalism!