CPA (M-L) statement on imperialism
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At the request of the Indian comrades, the CPA (M-L) supplied a short statement for presentation at a seminar on imperialism as part of the 11th Congress of the CPI (M-L) Red Star.
Comrade participants of the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Star
A discussion of contemporary imperialism is indeed timely. Our party has tried to keep abreast of developments affecting global imperialism, with particular emphasis on our own arena of struggle within Australia.
We can refer you to two published documents available for download from our website. They are Australia and Imperialism in the 21st Century (published in September 2017 and available here
), and Who Owns Australia: Exposing the Multinationals (published May 2018 and available here
: ). In addition, we are developing a paper exploring the theoretical basis for the application of the term “social-imperialism” to China.
Our view is that a Leninist analysis of imperialism, based on Lenin’s 1916 publication, and further developed in the light of the emergence after WW2 of neo-colonialism, and after the mid- to -1970s, of the ongoing development of the domination in all spheres of finance capital (expressed politically as neo-liberalism) remains the key to peoples’ struggles against capitalism and for socialism.
We query the view that a country like Australia – a developed capitalist country dominated by imperialist monopoly capital is itself an imperialist country. Accordingly, we hold to a two-stage theory of revolution in which the seizure of imperialist assets by the working class is the basis for a genuine declaration of independence. This stage has socialist content in leading areas of the economy; it will be further extended and consolidated in a second, higher stage of socialist transformation. The current stage in the struggle to end capitalism and advance to socialism in Australia is the battle for anti-imperialist independence. Through this struggle the foundations for socialism, and the eventual move towards communism, are laid.
There is no intermediate stage between capitalism and socialism embedded in the Party’s two-stage theory of the Australian revolution.
We query the view that new imperialist countries are emerging within the Third World. To use capital export in an era when finance capital has removed all barriers to its own free movement, when it moves in and out of global capital markets in nano-seconds and according to the latest computerised algorithms, when it is not clear whether it belongs to an indigenous capitalist class accumulated as surplus value from this class’s “own” proletariat or to banks, super funds, insurance companies, hedge funds and private equity groups located in the imperialist heartlands, is, without further clarification, an inadequate basis for a theory of new imperialist countries.
We query the term “solely ruling imperialist finance capital”: in its ordinary use it fails to identify US imperialism as the dominant imperialist power, and fails to identify other centres of imperialist power and the state structures they command. It can lead to the mistaken view that imperialist finance capital is one single entity, that imperialist division and struggle can be subordinated to the needs of a “solely ruling” capital group carrying the characteristics of speculative finance capital.
We dismiss the challenge of “world system theory” to contemporary Leninist analysis of imperialism. The “core and periphery” model has some validity but tends to veer in the direction of Kautskyite ultra-imperialism. The concept of an unequal exchange of values between the developed and undeveloped nations of the world is worthy of further study.
So-called “Third Worldist” rejection of the proletariat of the developed nations as a completely bought off and counter-revolutionary “aristocracy of labour” overstates the case and fails to acknowledge the existence of contradiction in the essence of everything, including imperialist and other developed capitalist countries. This theory ignores the existence of antagonistic capitalist class relations and class struggle in developed countries and rejects the working class as the leading force against capitalism and imperialism. In doing so it does not differentiate between the social democratic aristocracy of labour leadership and the working class in developed countries.
Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
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