Resolution on US imperialism
Congress re-affirms clauses 4 and 5 of our Programme which defines US imperialism as the dominant economic, political, and military influence within the ruling class in Australia, with the following amendments.
4. We live in the era of imperialism, that stage of capitalism when monopolies and finance capital (i.e. bank and industrial capital merged) dominate; when the export of capital as against the export of commodities assumes pronounced importance; when the world has been divided among big banks, financial institutions and multinational corporations and when there are no longer any new territories to be seized without imperialist conflict.
The extraordinary advance of technology over the recent period does not alter fundamental social laws. On the contrary, it illustrates and sharpens those fundamental laws.
5. The present stage in the struggle to end capitalism in Australia is the battle to win Australian independence from the foreign imperialist interests and their local allies which constitute the core of Australian capitalism. Though the Australian people have achieved an important measure of formal independence through struggle, US imperialism holds decisive political, economic, diplomatic, military and cultural influence. The US has taken over from Britain as the dominant imperialism in Australia. The key sectors of Australia’s economy are owned or controlled by giant foreign multinationals and a few big local monopolies which are bound up with them through joint ventures, foreign borrowings, and trade. US imperialism holds ‘de facto’ state power.
In recent years US imperialism has intensified its domination of Australia, using subservient Labor and Liberal-National Coalition governments and reactionary mass media collaborators to facilitate and promote its interests.
Although the US is declining internationally and the situation is fluid, the US will be the main enemy of the Australian people for some time to come.
Military domination by US imperialism has intensified by the permanent basing of thousands of US marines and warplanes in Darwin, and the increasing assimilation of Australian military and naval forces into aggressive US geo-political strategies.
Economic and political domination has intensified by the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership which undermines any remnants of national sovereignty, exposes the sham of parliamentary democracy and threatens living standards and the environment.
US imperialism is the main enemy of the people of Australia, the main bastion of monopoly capitalism in its never-ending attacks on the working class and working people in this country.
Resolution on working class leadership of the anti-imperialist movement
Congress re-affirms clauses 6 and 7 of our Programme which promotes the building of an anti-imperialist independence movement of the people, led by the working class, to wage revolutionary struggle to defeat and expel foreign imperialism in the struggle for socialism.
6. The great cause which unites the Australian people is the struggle for Australian independence. The nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of foreign monopolies. As a result millions of ordinary Australians suffer intensified exploitation, growing debt and insecurity, increased repression and discrimination, bankruptcy. Australia’s natural wealth and heritage are looted for monopoly profit. The resulting struggles against foreign imperialist domination at the heart of Australian capitalism are objectively struggles for Australian independence, although the participants in many cases may not make this connection.
7. The working class is the leading class in this struggle. While imperialism takes a heavy toll on the lives of the majority of Australians – workers, farmers, small and medium local business people, self-employed, professionals, shopkeepers, black and white, irrespective of ethnic origin – the centre of its attack is aimed at the working class from whose labour it derives maximum profit.
Large-scale production forces the Australian working class to be the most disciplined cohesive and politically-conscious class. With the working class as the core, peoples’ sentiment for anti-imperialist independence will be transformed into a mighty peoples’ movement building up to eventually launch revolutionary struggle against imperialist domination.
Socialism can only be won with the defeat of the class rule of monopoly capitalism and its state apparatus. In Australia, the core of monopoly capitalist class rule is US imperialism, its agents, lackeys and apologists. The path of the Australian revolution must go through an anti-imperialist stage with dominant socialist content which will then be strengthened, extended and deepened to full socialism in the next stage.
Resolution on working within the people’s movement and with other Left forces
Congress endorses the section of the Chairperson’s Report on building the people’s movement and working with other Left organisations and individuals.
We look to work with other individuals and organisations who are genuine in their support for the movement, who do not want to advance their own factional interests at the expense of the unity of the movement, who will not continually try to put a dampener on struggle or subordinate the movement to a mainstream social democratic party and to bourgeois parliamentarism. So long as they can be seen by their actions to be interested in uniting, interested in strengthening the movement and interested in raising the level of struggle then we should unite with them, work with them, talk with them and not ourselves divert the mass movement into self-defeating sectarianism and factionalism.
In striving to assist the building of a people’s movement (or United Front) against US imperialism we follow Mao’s strategy of “broaden the base, narrow the target”. We recognise the need to be always vigilant against the error of left sectarianism that works to isolate us from the people, and the error of right opportunism that bogs us down in reformism and economism. The main area of our work remains in the mass movements of the people – mass work.
Resolution on revolutionary politics and trade union politics
Congress upholds the leading role of the working class in the revolutionary struggle to break the chains of imperialist domination and continue the revolution through to socialism.
We encourage, support and promote genuine working class leadership at all levels of struggle, including trade union, community and mass issue struggles of the people.
While militant trade unions are good schools of study in that they teach workers the power of collective struggle, the need for unity, and the fact that victories are only temporary under capitalism, they are nevertheless institutions of the system.
The politics of trade unionism is geared towards the ebb and flow of bourgeois parliamentary politics and the fortunes of parliamentary politicians. It is geared towards wheeling and dealing for belated concessions on pay and conditions and occasionally, minor social reforms. This picture has become even clearer as the Labor Party has ditched “social democracy” in favour of neo-liberal acceptance of imperialist domination.
Revolutionary politics, on the other hand, seeks to raise political demands that expose and challenge the ruling class and reflect the aspirations of the workers, working farmers and producers, and other working people. These demands are independent of the bourgeois parliamentary parties and tame-cat union bureaucrats. Revolutionary politics builds mutual support between the struggles of the workers in their workplaces, whether in unions or not, and the struggles of the people in their communities and broader society.
Resolution on China
Congress endorses the section of the Chairperson’s Report on China; in particular the following extracts which deal with relations with Australia and its people.
The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed by negotiators from the respective sides in November 2014, although the text was only released in June 2015, and at the time of writing, has still to be ratified by the Australian parliament. Like the TPP created by US imperialism, it is not so much a trade agreement as an investment guarantee. It contains provisions which are unacceptable to the Australian working class, such as the right of Chinese companies investing more than $150 million to import temporary workers from China without testing whether Australian workers are available, and for those temporary workers to be paid at Australian minimum wage standards which can be below those negotiated in enterprise agreements. It also includes Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses which cancel national sovereignty by providing corporations with the right to sue governments over legislation which harms the investor’s interests. China is the more powerful partner in the ChAFTA and the provisions it contains amount to interference in our internal affairs, undermining of our sovereign right to enact legislation to protect the people and the environment, and an attack on the rights and conditions of Australian workers.
It is one thing for a socialist nation to trade extensively with the capitalist world. It is an entirely different thing for a socialist country to export capital. We have already characterised China as a country which has departed from the socialist road, a country being taken further and further down the capitalist road by a Communist Party which, particularly since Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” policy, no longer claims to represent the working class exclusively, and is in fact the Party of the millionaires and billionaires who, as “productive forces”, are entitled to its membership.
The capitalist orientation of China’s modern reforms coupled with its push to export capital to world markets invariably means that it is not just on the capitalist road but on the highway to imperialism. A country cannot export capital to the extent that China has without transforming itself into an imperialist power, into a partner with and opponent of already existing imperialisms.
We must take a principled stand against racism when we involve ourselves in campaigns involving the Chinese. We should oppose attempts to blacken the reputation of Mao Zedong and other leaders of the Chinese revolution and continue to popularise the Chinese Communist Party’s history of revolutionary struggle to end feudalism, imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism, and to lift these burdens from the backs of the Chinese people. We should uphold the example of China’s socialist construction during the period which saw the emergence of the theory of continuing the revolution under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We should repudiate cynicism and defeatism associated with China’s current embrace of capitalism. In terms of the dangers and provocations presented by a declining US imperialism attempting to oppose and contain China as a rival, we should support the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of China determined at the time of Comrade Mao Zedong’s revolutionary leadership.