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  VANGUARD  
 
Challenges and opportunities of the New Year
 
 

The author of this New Year reflection, Cde John B., was elected to a position reserved for youth on the Central Committee at our 15th Congress last year.  John has written several articles for the website already, is a very serious, hardworking and conscientious young comrade worker and has been directly involved in struggle at his workplace. We are very proud of the fine qualities that our newer and younger members are bringing to the Party. They inspire us to do a better job of fighting for independence and socialism.

Coming into the New Year, the working people of the world are met with a growing series of challenges. These intensifying contradictions all differ in the proportions of their constituent aspects (that is, whether they are of a primarily social, political or economic nature in their content). Some have been on the horizon for longer periods of time, whereas others have taken shape more recently; some are more, some less developed: all trace their origin to the capitalist mode of production and all affect and condition one another. They include:
 
  •  an accelerating and intensifying global ecological crisis;
  •  increased automation of the productive process, raising doubts as to future economic prospects for the working class;
  •  the continuation of a crisis of overproduction and the ramping-up of attacks against the working class by the State;
  •  the heightening of geopolitical tensions and deterioration of diplomatic relations between major powers, subsequent disturbances in global power relations;
  •  the militarisation of critical economic and strategic regions of the world and of national borders;
  •  the ongoing development of a sophisticated international surveillance network by numerous departments of various national governments in close co-operation with a large number of private companies and contractors;
  •  rapid and accelerating technological advancement in the production and capabilities of weapons systems;  
  •  the setting in of a crisis of US-imperialism and the rise of deep internal divisions and factionalism within the US ruling class;
  •  the rise of right-wing populism and proto-fascist movements in Europe, India, South America and other part of the world, and the ‘crisis’ of Western liberal democracy;
  •  US-backed coups and coup attempts against popularly-elected, progressive leaders in South America;
  •  further imperialist provocations throughout the Middle East fuelled by overproduction in oil and consequently glutted markets
As daunting as these challenges, and the tasks which they necessarily bring in their wake, can be, it is certain that from great challenges also come great opportunities for victory, and for the continued growth and development of the revolutionary movement.
 
Such challenges bring about rapid changes in the economic and social life of the working class and can serve as the catalyst for the development and deepening of class consciousness.
 
Such changes in the conditions of material life for the people of the world will bring dramatic and sudden shifts, as already, in the interplay of the various contradictory forces of society and of the global economic order. The Marxist-Leninist party must be prepared for such new developments, and for the developments upon the developments. In this regard, correct analysis of the changes in material conditions, their relation to the various social phenomena, guided by disciplined study of theory and refined through rigorous social practice, is indispensable in the formation and fortification of correct ideology.
 
Ideology that changes in accordance with the changes in material conditions, that continuously adapts to the fluctuations of the social material forces, this is the kind of ideology that alone serves practice and that alone is capable of correctly guiding practice. Ideology that is rigid and inflexible, which seeks to impose upon the natural world and the phenomena of society some absolute and eternal principle; which does not regard a thing in its relation to other things, which does not acknowledge the constancy of change, the law of contradiction in things, inevitably lapses into dogmatism, stultifies and decays. Constant revision of ideological forms is a necessary condition for the correct application of the dialectical method. It should not be equated or compared with the revision of the fundamental essence of dialectics, or of the class struggle itself.
 
Revision of form serves the enrichment of theory and practice; revision of the revolutionary essence of Marxism amounts to a breakdown in and rejection of the very tool or method by which the dialectics of natural and social phenomena is apprehended.
 
These principles naturally extend to, and are reflected in, the life of the Marxist-Leninist party itself. If the party is disconnected and cut off from the working class, if it has no presence in the struggles of the people against capitalism and imperialism, if it does not allow itself to grow, to develop as a living organism, to be conditioned by the class struggle, and to regard all of the contradictions of society in their complexity and interrelation, it will be incapable of developing a truly revolutionary theory and of effectively building a revolutionary movement.
 
The Draft Fighting Program of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) summarises the general aim of the work of the Party as such:
 
“Our rallying call is to organise and build a powerful and united peoples’ movement to fight for Australian independence and socialism. Our Party members place great importance on mass work. In other words this means immersing ourselves among the masses. It means listening to and learning from the people. It means active involvement in peoples’ struggles and having deep connections with the people and their struggles, to develop a full understanding of concrete conditions.”
 
Join the struggle for Australian independence and socialism!