Monday, November 13, 2017

Dual citizenship: blowing out the matchstick and ignoring the fire

Nick G

The ridiculous farce of politicians holding dual citizenship may be drawing to an end. A process for resolving the issue has been agreed between the two major parliamentary parties whereby Federal politicians will be required to publicly disclose their citizenship history and status by December 1.

This will hopefully bring to a close the imbroglio created, innocently enough, when Greens deputy leader Senator Scott Ludlum resigned on July 14 after announcing that he had just discovered that he held dual New Zealand and Australian citizenship.

In the ensuing four months pollie after pollie has come to grief on the rocks of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution. The only two to have acted with any integrity in the matter have been Ludlum and his Greens co-Senator Larissa Waters, who resigned after discovering she had dual Canadian and Australian citizenship.

Section 44 has a number of clauses, the first one of which reads: 44. Disqualification Any person who: (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power…shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

What makes the past four months ridiculous is that the whole of our parliamentary cohort have been gathering around each other trying to blow out the flaring match of dual citizenship while in the background there remains the massive and unaddressed bushfire of “allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power”.

In a previous article (see “Joined at the hip”, or “under the thumb”? here: http://cpaml.org/articles3.php?id=518 ) we listed various statements of lickspittle subservience, of craven allegiance, of anti-Australian adherence to the great and powerful states of which our ruling class has been merely a client, made by leading politicians of the day.

Not once in the capitalist press, which strives to hold public opinion within boundaries supportive of imperialist domination of Australia, has there been any attempt to compare the matchstick to the bushfire.

Not once has there been an attempt to compare a politician’s lack of knowledge about his or her dual citizenship status with the conscious pledge of loyalty required and made by all politicians to the world’s richest business-woman, the English Queen.

The oath (and the optional affirmation) says: “I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law. So help me God!”

The affirmation is: “I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law.”

Is it not remarkable that no Australian politician is required to swear to be  loyal to the Australian people, and to defend their rights and liberties?

Instead, they swear allegiance to the dual monarch -  to the Queen who is head of state of both Great Britain and (because our Constitution was a slap in the face to the Republican sentiment of the 1890s, and a pathetic compromise with the British imperialists) of Australia.

The Australian armed forces, who obediently follow foreign imperialist powers into whatever wars of aggression they decide to unleash upon the peoples of the world, have an even wider pledge of loyalty to the English Queen, promising to take on “her enemies”, whoever they may be, and however unrelated the case may be to Australian interests:  "I, (name), swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors according to law, as a member of the (insert Australian Navy , Australian Army , or Australian Air Force ) ... and that I will resist her enemies and faithfully discharge my duty according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!"

The only change to the various oaths of loyalty was that made by the Keating government in 1994 in respect of citizenship ceremonies.  All reference to the Queen was dropped and intending citizens were required to repeat the following: “From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”

That is certainly better than the ugly, antiquated and offensive parliamentary oath sworn by politicians.

But this is not about oaths; it is about actions.

It is about the representative institution of the Australian nation being an institution in the service of imperialist domination of Australian political life.

It is about the vast majority of politicians being active cheerleaders for the economic, political, military and cultural submission of Australia to US imperialism (in the first place at the current time).

It is about the acknowledgements of allegiance, obedience and adherence to US imperialism that are a consistent thread in the public utterances of those with parliamentary careers.

Yes, we elected them. Even at times of the greatest cynicism by the people towards politicians, there is an abiding loyalty to the principles of parliamentary democracy. Our role is to patiently educate the working class and other working people in the nature of the capitalist state, both as a coercive instrument of class rule, and as the shaper of all those compliant illusions that hold the people back from active struggle for independence and socialism.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

US imperialism encourages closer ties between Australia and Israel

(Contributed)
 
High-level diplomatic initiatives between Australia and Israel reveal the importance of the former for United States positions in the Middle East. Alliances and military treaties also tie Australia directly into global Pentagon planning elsewhere.
 
In the Asia-Pacific region US-led diplomacy is marked by a Cold War stance toward China, similar to another toward Iran in the Middle East.
 
Behind the scenes the rising influence of China has altered the balance of forces; the US are desperate to regain traditional hegemonic positions as the pivot has slowly tipped away from the supremacist stance.
 
In late October and early November Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the Israeli State in a high-level diplomatic initiative ostensibly to celebrate the centenary of Australian involvement with Beersheba, considered a turning point in Palestinian history leading to the creation of Israel in 1948. (1) There was no reference whatsoever to the Palestinian people, victims of one of the largest refugee problems in the world. In an obvious piece of historical fakery, an Israeli flag was part of the historic re-enactment of the famous Light Horse charge.
 
As part of the propaganda exercise the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized the opportunity to state 'Australia is a true friend of Israel'. (2) Turnbull, likewise, bolstered his Zionist credentials by stating 'relations between the two countries were as strong as they had ever been', then adding the real reason behind the exercise was 'growing cooperation in defence, defence industry, technology and cyber-space', and a common will to defeat Islamic terrorism'. (3)
 
No mention was given, however, to the role of the US using jihadists as 'intelligence assets to achieve US foreign policy objectives'. (4) There was also no mention of how the US planned the use of jihadists to destabilise the Syrian government and after their defeat to airlift twenty commanders out of war-zones. (5)
 
The planning of the full-scale US-led assault on Syria was also not hurriedly planned: In the 1980s British Special forces (SAS) 'were training the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, as well as secret camps in Scotland, and the SAS was largely taking orders from the CIA'. (6)
Both Australia and Israel are important hubs for US-led military planning, hosting sensitive facilities for regional defence and security provision. Israel, while having a relatively small economy, has a huge defence sector. It is also a large exporter of armaments. In recent years it has also been drawn closer to Australia as part of US-led initiatives.
 
Turnbull, in fact, has not even attempted to keep the defence ties subject to usual diplomatic silence. He was recently quoted in an official defence media statement explaining 'our defence ties have become a vital part of the relationship between Australia and Israel. As a result of this visit (Beersheba) we aim to upgrade the cooperation'. (7)
 
There was also no attempt to hide Australian involvement in the Middle East, a region far away from our shores. An official media release stated 'the two countries will establish an annual bi-lateral strategic defence dialogue to discuss strategic priorities and help Australian officials to better understand Israel's perspectives on developments in the region'. (8)
 
While the growing defence cooperation between Australia and Israel has raised serious considerations about the Palestinian question and insidious nature of US-led militarism, it is the covert nature of intelligence collection which raises issues for ordinary Australian people.
 
An Israeli software company, Bio-Nexus, for example, is in the forefront of cyber-communications with specific interests in medical records. (9) A mere click of a mouse could potentially download huge amounts of highly confidential personal information by those possessing ulterior motives, bypassing any civil liberties provision. Official media releases have already noted the linkage between the facilities and military facilities with 'the company's data-flow management technology is being used by a number of security forces globally, including the Australian Defence Force'. (10)
 
The development, and what has accompanied it historically, is not a departure from everyday Israeli diplomacy.
 
During the late 1970s and early 1980s Israel actively supported an odious and genocidal regime in Guatemala which was even subject to US sanctions due to widespread repression. Israel was responsible for providing the regime with computer systems designed to monitor electricity and telephone usage together with 'other records data on individual movements taken from police checkpoints' for counter-intelligence purposes. (11) Israel was also responsible for establishing the Army Transmissions and Electronics School in 1981 which was officially opened by Guatemalan President Lucas Garcia. 'At the official opening, Moshe Dayan, former Israeli ambassador to Guatemala called Guatemala one of our best friends'. (12)
 
There are numerous other examples of Israeli involvement with US-led connivance and repression, the outcome of military planning aimed at enhancing US hegemonic positions.
 
US military planning toward the Middle East region, for example, is conducted by a Cold War position toward Iran; the centre of Shia for the Islamic world and close to the Alawite leadership of President Assad in Damascus. The US-led attempt to destabilise Syria over five years ago was planned as the first stage designed to eventually topple the Iranian leadership, although failed to achieve objectives.
 
It is, therefore, not surprising to find references in diplomatic media releases about the Australian and Israeli initiatives which state 'they come at a time when Israel, the US and Australia are increasingly concerned about Iran's creeping influence in the region'. (13) The US-led initiatives clearly favoured a jihadist victory and all which accompanied it.
 
In fact, recent leaked US National Security Agency (NSA) documents made available through Qatar have revealed the 'armed opposition in Syria was under direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict'. A later statement from the Syrian government has drawn attention to the complicity ‘between four countries to destabilize an independent state, possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.’ Importantly, ‘this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.’ (14)
 
Following the defeat of US military planning and operations, Alawite and Shia-led forces are now stabilising their positions in the region.  The US, nevertheless, clearly still regard the jihadists as 'intelligence assets to achieve foreign policy objectives' at a later date. (15) Proof of the problem can be seen with US military equipment being used to airlift about twenty Daesh commanders to safety and for future deployment elsewhere. (16)
 
The US diplomatic position in the Middle East is also closely linked to similar positions taken toward China, with the specific intention of containing and encircling Chinese influence. The rise of China has, nevertheless, altered the balance of forces far afield from the immediate Asia-Pacific region. In 2001 the Shanghai Cooperation organisation (SCO) was founded; led by China, it was intended as a counter to 'US hegemonic positions in Central Asia', a region predominantly Islamic. (17)
 
Later, by 2004, Chinese links with Iran eventually resulted in over a hundred State companies operating inside Iran and large-scale involvement with economic development and infra-structure projects. (18) Chinese involvement with Iran has also included defence and security planning.
 
In October, 2007, the SCO signed an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) which included Iran together with the Russian Federation. Acting as a counter to NATO, the CSTO has successfully challenged traditional US hegemonic positions in both regions.
 
It is, perhaps therefore, not suprising to note the wave of US militarism is being stepped up a notch with the Trump administration likely to appoint Admiral Harry Harris, the present US Pacific Commander 'best known for his hawkish views on China' as the next Ambassador to Canberra. (19)
 
Harris is an advocate of so-called 'freedom of navigation' military exercises in the South China Seas. The exercises are regarded by China as provocative and a major threat to access and egress to highly congested shipping-lanes.
 
There remains a very real possibility the present US-led military exercises will eventually result in real-war scenarios as the balance of forces further swings away from their traditional hegemonic positions.

1.     Completing the arc of history,  Australian, 1 November 2017.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda, Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Research Montreal, Nexus Magazine, October-November 2010, page 80.
5.     In Shocking Interview, Information Clearing House, 30 October 2017; and US Aircraft Evacuates over 20 Daesh Commanders, Sputnik, Middle East, 7 September 2017.  
6.     Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda, op.cit., page 125.
7.     Turnbull bolsters Israel defence ties, Australian, 30 October 2017.
8.     Ibid.
9.     Bio-Nexus packages partnerships, Australian, 31 October 2017.
10.   Ibid.
11.   Israel: State Of War, PLO London Office, Information Department publication, pp. 16-17.
12.   Ibid.
13.   Australian, op.cit., 30 October 2017.
14.   In Shocking Interview, op.cit., 30 October 2017.
15.   Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda, op.cit., page 80.
16.   In Shocking Interview, op.cit., 30 October 2017, and, US Aircraft Evacuates over 20 Daesh Commanders, Sputnik/Middle East, 7 September 2017.
17.   Iran and the Russian Federation-China Alliance, Website: A New World War, Part 3, Andrew Gavin Marshall, 17 December 2009.
18.   Ibid.
19.   Admiral firms as US Ambassador, The Weekend Australian, 4-5 November 2017.

Lessons of the October Revolution: build the proletarian vanguard party

Martin O’Malley, former State Secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (SA Branch) spoke at an event at the Semaphore Workers Club in Adelaide to mark the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. His speech follows:​

What a momentous occasion today is, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

In 1848, 46 years prior, Karl Marx described the Paris revolution as the “first major battle between the two classes in which the modern society is divided”. This was the beginnings of modern class warfare.

The 1870-71 Paris revolution led to the first attempt at setting up proletarian revolutionary power, the Commune. Though very short lived (two months) the lessons developed and built on each day by the working class of Paris were invaluable. Unfortunately, the Paris revolution ended in defeat with the harshest lessons of all, absolute destructive reaction from the ruling class. Quelling the first attempt at proletarian control there was no mercy, no forgiveness, no justice, just slaughter to all and sundry whether involved or not, for challenging the absolute right of the bourgeoisie to rule.

The defeat in 1870 was the embryo of future success for working class battles, no more so than the Russian Revolution.

In 1917 Lenin led the revolutionary forces required to win working class control. He had studied the history of working class struggles and understood the fundamental lessons of the past. Through the application of Marxism, applied to the concrete conditions at the time and without sacrificing principles, Lenin shifted ground as required to meet the circumstances of the day, refusing to become bogged down in polemics when it was time for decision. He understood Marxism is a guide to action and all the conditions required were at hand. This was the key to success of 1917 and a fundamental lesson for all future battles including today.

While Marx declared the Paris revolution as the first battle between the working class and the ruling class (the proletariat and the bourgeoisie), the October Russian Revolution took a step further, which reverberated around the world, advancing the rule of the working class in a country consolidating a socialist state never before achieved.

100 years ago, the working class took total power and maintained it for decades, changing the world forever.

Huge changes for the working class were taking place not only in Russia but elsewhere in the world due to the achievements of the 1917 revolution and the USSR.

- Withdrawing Russia from the imperialist 1st world war. - Expropriated the big industries and made them public property. - Established 8 and 7 hours of working day and was about to make it 6 and 5. - Established free healthcare and free education, filled the schools and the universities. - Banned child labour -Established women’s rights, not only institutionally but in practice. - Guaranteed a complete welfare system for the helpless. - Created terror to the bourgeoisie all over the world forcing them to apply elements of social welfare and rights. - Pointed out people’s right in self-determination and fought against chauvinism and nationalism. - Clarified in practice just and unjust wars. - Won WW2 essentially losing 30 million people doing it. - Crushed fascism and Nazism.

The power and absolute rights of the ruling class had been shaken as never before. The fear of socialist contagion spread from country to country to the delight of the world wide working class. The vulnerability of the ruling class was open for all to see; they are forever more, “surplus to requirement”.

Since the 1917 revolution, China and other countries have also travelled the socialist road, some more successful than others, some reverting back through corrupt leadership divorced from the working class and the people. Capitalism is very resilient and has had the ability to reinvent itself time and time again through corruption and greed.

Historical facts about the revolution can easily be found in books and on the internet, but defining those historical facts will require more than the ability to read. To really make sense of it, we need to be part of the inevitable journey leading to the ultimate destiny of the working class as described by Karl Marx and continued by Lenin and many others.

Just knowing the history means nothing, unless we are prepared to participate and make our own history. We must concentrate on building a Proletarian Vanguard Party, which Lenin made very clear, is a prerequisite for the working class to successfully challenge the ruling class. This is a party for the most advanced and active working-class leaders to learn and teach and put into action lessons from the past tempered by current concrete conditions.   

In Australia we have a number of organisations which call themselves communist, socialist or other names, suggesting progressive politics. Each organisation has its own views as to what is required to combat capitalism (if that is their goal). Some of these organisations have working relationships with others, while some do not or will not. Some agree with Lenin, others do not. Those who do agree must continue working closer together and resolving issues which may cause division.

There is no longer a place for the ruling class or its system of capitalism, which, must be replaced with a system which shares the wealth produced by the working people and protects the fragile environment we all live in, ridding ourselves of exploitation and destruction of the earth. We need a Party untainted by the rules and the corruption of the ruling class, we will make our own working-class rules to benefit the masses of people not just the few.

The working class is not interested in what it sees as petty squabbles, it wants an organisation which will lead when it is required. It will not be led by pretenders or charlatans. The working class fully understands the consequences of getting it wrong. It is learnt at an early age through the workforce to keep one’s head down until the right time when workers are united with competent leadership.

The lessons of the past are good indicators of how we should organise. Listening to the working class is a good step in resolving these differences and is part and parcel of building a Proletarian Vanguard Party, showing the working class we do listen and understand what must be done.
 

A gift to the world’s peoples: lessons from the October Revolution

A speech by a CPA M-L comrade, at an event organised by the Communist Party of Australia in Sydney.

It’s an honour to speak tonight on behalf of the Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist, alongside CPA, union and international comrades, to celebrate the momentous Red October.

We meet on the lands of the Sovereign Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. In 1792, 500 metres from where we gather, Bidjigal man Pemulwuy led an attack against the invaders. May this celebration also honour their spirit!
The lessons from the world’s first socialist state, are an enduring gift to the world’s people. The most important one is to listen to, and learn from the people.
 
The Russian Revolution succeeded because, through detailed study of Russia, Lenin and his comrades crystallised the ideas of the masses and analysed the forces arrayed against them. Mao describes this in simple words, “Seeking truth from facts.”

Lenin did not confuse his desire for change with reality. To lead effectively we have to be able to retreat as well as attack, to make compromises that lay the ground for future advance. Lenin and the Bolsheviks did just that.

Marx and Engels are quite clear that the people need a communist party. October 1917 proved why. “The Russian revolution would not have happened, could not have happened,” a young comrade writes in the latest Vanguard, “without a committed, tightly organised and disciplined Party, to make the ongoing analyses, to develop the strategies and tactics, to agitate consistently across the vast empire, to organise the people politically and militarily, and to possess the accumulated collective wisdom and courage to brave the tsarist and bourgeois repression and know when and how to strike.”

Then came the hard part - creating an utterly new system on the heels of world war amidst mass starvation, civil war, invasion, and later rising fascism and another world war.

Class struggle does not cease under socialism
In August 1917, in The State and Revolution, Lenin summarised Marx and Engels’ ideas on the state – that it is an organ for ruling class dictatorship, and that taking over of the existing state machinery of army, police, spies, courts and gaols would lead to disaster for the working class and their allies. In order to protect the revolutionary gains of the people, the old state must be smashed.

The vast majority of the people, led by the workers would exercise their dictatorship of the proletariat, over the tiny minority of former exploiters, desperate to restore their own rule.  There were tremendous gains for the people but errors were inevitable and some did great harm. There was no blueprint, no map. Most arose because the party was not well-steeled enough in Marxism-Leninism, including Lenin’s mighty philosophical legacy, and did not seek truth from facts.

Facing enormous difficulties, Stalin’s leadership distorted the principles of democratic centralism, by undervaluing democratic discussion and overvaluing central control. Within the USSR itself, and in the Australian party, non-antagonistic contradictions among the people, were often treated as antagonistic ones, against the enemy. Here, sectarian abuse undermined discussion that could have charted a way forward.

An 1870’s idea - that all revolutionary parties should be directed from a common international centre – also took hold. Counter to Lenin’s theory and revolutionary experience, the Soviet party dictated what happened in Australia. In 1929, a Comintern official even ensured the Central Committee of the old Communist Party Australia was chucked out and a new one installed.

In 1989, Ted Hill, the CPA-ML’s founding chairperson, wrote in Communism and Australia, that the new committee demanded “direct transition from capitalism to socialism, and the immediate overthrow of capitalism in a country where capitalism was young, its working class immature and the Party also small and immature.” A political miracle! “Australians,” wrote Hill, “instinctively sensed the unreality of the Party’s position.”

But despite this, Stalin’s leadership oversaw great gains for the vast majority of Soviet people. They kept to the socialist path. Would we have done any better than they did in that uncharted new historical epoch? The point is to learn from the mistakes.

In Marxism, ‘Revisionism’ means talking socialism, while heading towards capitalism. Our two parties hold different views about why and when the revisionism arose, that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Vanguard outlines our view. But even deeper study of the facts, discussion and open minds are essential to a better understanding by us all. Revisionism reflects individual and collective failings, but the solution lies in thorough collective understanding, through all our individual efforts. We have to keep our eyes on the end point – the classless society of communism – to understand how to get there.

The ruling class uses this method. In Driving Disunity, the Business Council against Aboriginal Community Lindy Nolan quotes KPMG’s Peter Nash, that corporations “begin with the end in mind.”

Where are we now?
Across the world, people were inspired by newborn socialism. In China, Mao Zedong wrote, “All correct leadership is necessarily ‘from the masses, to the masses’. He meant, taking the scattered and unsystematic ideas of the masses and through Marxist study of reality making them concentrated and systematic, then going back to the people propagating and explaining the ideas till the people make them their own, and test them in action.  We do this over and over again, creating ever deeper understanding and more effective action.

Coming to that realisation has been a hard and slow process for Australian communists.

We strive to study Marxism-Leninism as a science, and integrate it into the minute details of Australia’s conditions. We stand against dogmatism, that squeezes facts into theory, like huge feet forced into Cinderella’s glass slipper. The ultimate test is practise, whether the Australian people take up our ideas in struggle.

We have to work closely with people who challenge the status quo, but if we only hang round in left blocs, with likeminded people, how can we know what the masses are even thinking, let alone lead them? Sectarianism at its heart, is separating ourselves from the masses.

However perfectly formed our denunciation of capitalism is, if it doesn’t correspond to the experience of the Australian people, we’ll soon be speaking to empty air. And like Lenin and Mao, we need to express deep truths in simple language.

That’s why the CPA ML worked with historian Humphrey McQueen to produce a booklet in everyday language summarising Marx’s Capital on this, its 150th anniversary, inviting them to read the real thing.

Many facts of where we stand are unpalatable. Yet other things are afoot too.

Most of my life, Australian people overwhelmingly believed the lie that we live in a democracy. Now they’re not so sure. And the word capitalism is more widely, and negatively, used than ever, so corporations are forced to construct, a human face for capitalism.

People are not stupid. They’re not rednecks. As facts accumulate, they learn. And right now, they know something is wrong – even those manipulated by a billion-dollar avalanche of divide and conquer lies.

The ruling class is right to fear our united peoples. Even without Marxism they are a mighty force. With it, they are unstoppable.

Invasion is the bedrock on which capitalism has been built here, when classless Aboriginal societies met the hideous class violence of penal colonialism and ‘civilisation.’ The battle cry of sovereignty has not been silenced down the years. It has much to teach us.

I stand with you tonight, on this CPA platform because the people’s needs demand it. Despite differences between how each party analyses the path to revolution in Australia, and the pitfalls of history, we have learned to challenge ideas, rather than throw labels at those whose ideas differ from our own.

The joint statement of our two parties, published in Vanguard, is evidence of this. I hope those who aspire to communism, and respect the people, can come together in the future. We have more in common than divides us.

We are a very, very long way from Lenin’s words about the state being acceptable to the peoples of this continent. But leave out the rhetoric. You don’t have to go far to find people who reckon it would be better if ordinary people ran this country – they just don’t believe it’s possible. The task is to create a communist party capable of leading them.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Australia and Imperialism in the 21st Century

A new publication from the CPA (M-L) denies that Australia is an imperialist country in its own right. Rather, its state power is controlled by US imperialism and its regional influence serves US imperialist agendas: http://www.cpaml.org/web/uploads/Sub+Imp+modified+1.pdf



October Revolution Celebration in Melbourne

Bill F.

At the invitation of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) 80-90 people attended a celebration of the Russian October Revolution, held in the Maritime Union hall in West Melbourne.

There was enthusiasm for unity and respect by people from different Parties, many of whom had dedicated their lives to struggle for a better world.
 
An extensive exhibition of revolutionary posters and old pamphlets drew much interest and sparked conversations and discussion prior to the formal proceedings. Some of the Parties and groups that had cooperated in planning the event also had tables with their literature and other items to sell or hand out.
 
There was a fairly positive emphasis on linking the struggles of the past to the need to step up struggle in the current conditions.
 
Eisenstein's film, Ten Days that Shook the World, traced the Russian Revolution through the turbulent years from 1895 to 1920, showing the enthusiasm of the united working class when their leadership is honest, dedicated, courageous and far-sighted like Lenin and his Bolshevik comrades.

This was followed by a Sri Lankan dance group, prior to the open discussion session. The celebration concluded with the singing of the ILPS anthem and then The Internationale in 4 different languages. There was a toast and a multicultural supper.

Discussion and comment In the discussion session, a comrade pointed out that the February and October Revolutions were not spontaneous mass outbreaks, but were the culmination of many years of organised, deep mass work by the revolutionary Bolsheviks; raising awareness and introducing revolutionary class consciousness, organising workers and peasants, leading struggles, listening and learning from the people, suffering defeats, enduring losses, and learning from experience.

​Armed with the principles of Marxism, Lenin and the Bolsheviks meticulously investigated and analysed specific conditions and class forces in Russia and the international situation.

​These, amongs many others, are important lessons that the revolutionary working class of Australia can learn from the legacy of the Great Russian October Revolution.
 
Another comrade offered a further contribution on “The factors which meant the working class were able to win this revolution …"

• An organised and disciplined Party with deep connections to the working class and working people

• The promotion of a revolutionary vision that a different society was possible, but this could only be achieved by replacing the old institutions and structures with new revolutionary forms

• The alliances built with the peasants – the main victims and cannon-fodder in the imperialist war1914-18 and also the soldiers and sailors at the front and the garrisons

• The courage and enthusiasm of the mobilised workers who had “nothing to lose but their chains” – who regarded the ruling class as discredited and bankrupt – who wanted Bread, Land and Peace, not war, famine and repression

• Finally, the inability of the ruling class to continue to govern in the old way: their decaying power in the face of the growing power and influence of the Soviets, the democratic working class bodies that carried the revolution forward. (Lenin’s Bolsheviks were not always in control. Only in the final months, after much struggle and harsh experience did the Bolshevik positions win out.)
 
“... the factors that meant the Bolsheviks were able to consolidate power and commence to build socialism…"

• The rapid formation of a Red Army to resist the counter-revolutionary White Guards and foreign imperialist armies which invaded Russia to crush the revolution

• The Brest-Litovsk Treaty that conceded land to Germany, but allowed the soldiers to return to bolster the Red Army and work in the factories and farms

• International support that frustrated the war plans of the imperialists – “Hands off Russia” campaigns, strikes, disruption of shipping, etc.

• And later, Lenin’s New Economic Policy that allowed a market economy to revive somewhat to provide greater food production and better distribution in the face of famine caused by years of war and counter-revolutionary sabotage – while the main industries continued to be nationalised

• And later still, Stalin’s Five-Year Plans which accelerated industrialisation, collectivisation and mechanisation of agriculture, set up the famous tractor stations, and smashed the hold of the kulaks over the rural communities”
 
Lenin fought on many fronts
At every stage – in the early years of Tsarist repression – in the complex political period of Dual Power in 1917 – and after the successful seizure of power in October, Lenin led the fight against opportunism and revisionism.
He resolutely condemned terrorism and the individualist tactics of the anarchists.
He struggled against the Mensheviks and class collaborators.
He fought against the betrayals of the Second International that supported national chauvinism and the imperialist war.
He stood against Trotsky’s positions on internationalist revolution and “neither peace nor war” at the Brest-Litovsk negotiations.
 
Lenin upheld the profound scientific teachings of Marx and Engels and led in the creation of a socialist reality that inspired workers all across the world. Our Party continues to honour his contribution to ideology and revolutionary practice and defines ourselves as Marxist-Leninist.

New booklet - 150 years young - Marx's Capital (pdf link below)

Karl Marx wrote his huge three-volume study Capital a century and a half ago.  It remains the single most influential study of the economic laws of motion of capital, of how capital is deployed in an endless quest for continued accumulation, and of how the labour power of the working class is exploited to produce surplus value for the profit of the owners of the means of production

The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) has commissioned this outline of Marx’s Capital from renowned Australian Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen whose pioneering study A New Britannia (Penguin, 1970) opened a new page in approaches to Australian History.

http://www.cpaml.org/web/uploads/150+years+young+final.pdf