VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
This is the Editorial from the July 2020 edition of Vanguard. Download a pdf of the whole edition here.
The toppling of statues around the world representing colonialists and racists has received wide publicity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is right that they come down. Statues of colonists, monarchs, and slave owners reflect the values of the ruling classes of the era in which they were erected. They are an affront to the people whose lands they had stolen, to the descendants of those whom they enslaved and oppressed.
Their continued veneration reflects that the values they espoused continue to resonate with the ideology of the capitalist ruling class today – a legitimate target in the class struggle. Hence, all class conscious workers who recognise their own liberation as bound up with the liberation of all oppressed peoples cannot but support the movement to remove such statues.
It is not a matter of erasing history. It is an act of the masses taking the historical narrative out of the hands of the rich and powerful oppressors, asserting instead that it is the oppressed masses themselves who are the makers of history. It is the oppressed and those who have fought for the liberation of the masses who should be memorialised and not forgotten.
In this vein, on June 20 the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) scored a great victory. After fending off a legal challenge by the local city council and moves by the rightwing Christian Democrats (CDU), they successfully unveiled a statue of Vladimir Lenin in front of their party headquarters in the city of Gelsenkirchen.
“Today we are experiencing the most dramatic crisis of capitalism since the Second World War,” said MLPD leader Gabi Fechtner. “So, it is high time to raise the first Lenin monument in West Germany and hold a broad societal debate over revolutionary perspectives.”
The struggle over the interpretation of our past is at the same time a struggle over the direction of our collective future.
That future must be socialism – or it will be barbarism.
Statue of Lenin unveiled by the MLPD in the western German city of Gelsenkirchen