VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


Military spending is an obscenity that must stop!

Imperialism, the modern system of threat and counter-threat, is depriving people all around the world of funds that could alleviate poverty, provide for better health and education, and help save the planet from global warming and environmental destruction.

Threats and counter-threats are the stuff of holding onto spheres of influence, of areas for investment, of markets for goods and for the cheapest sources of available labour. They are also the stuff of the struggle to redivide those spheres of influence according to the relative strengths at any given time of the of those powers in a position to exercise control, bullying and domination.

US imperialism is still the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation.  It survived the threat from its superpower rival, Soviet social-imperialism when the latter imploded at the beginning of the 1990s.  Puffed with arrogance, US imperialism boasted that it would seek “full spectrum domination” – that it would control everything, everywhere. 

It hasn’t.  

It has failed to impose itself militarily on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria. 

Although smaller and weaker Russian imperialism has contributed to its failure to dominate the Middle East, its most significant challenge now comes from the social-imperialism (“socialism in words, imperialism in deeds”) of China following that country’s restoration of capitalism.

Data from the website on military spending (they call it “defense” spending) of the ten leading nations, and their numbers of military personnel (they call it “man” power) are provided in the graphs below.

They show that US imperialism outspends China 3 to 1 in US dollar terms; China, however, leads the US in military personnel.  

The data also shows that the top ten countries globally control a military spending of $1.4 trillion as of 2020. That’s better written as $1,400,000,000,000!

That figure is a colossal act of social theft since its only purpose is to threaten and counter-threaten rivals for the control and plunder of the vast majority of us who do not want and do not need imperialism.

Where does Australia fit into this?  

The Australian ruling class long ago attached itself to its “great and powerful friend” – US imperialism. It had little choice in the matter as the Australian economy was penetrated by US capital and came under its near-complete control.

Part of that attachment is the humiliating exercise of proving our “loyalty” to US imperialism by blindly following it into whatever act of aggression it undertakes. What the Gurkhas were for the British Empire, Australia has become for the US Empire.

Not only do we send troops whenever and wherever US imperialism wants them, we spend enormous sums of money to keep ourselves ready to serve Uncle Sam.  Most of that money goes to the major multinational armaments manufacturers based in Australia (Raytheon, BAE, Thales etc), but a growing proportion is allocated to small local manufacturers slotted into the military value chain. Hardly a day goes by without some contract or other being awarded to local companies -  a great way to buy off the small national bourgeoisie and tie it into US domination of this country.

Australia stands in 13th place in terms of military spending. Yet our population is relatively small. When military spending is converted to per capita US dollars (see below), we suddenly sky-rocket from 13th place to second place, behind only the US imperialists themselves!

This is not a silver medal we can be proud of!

This level of military spending is an intolerable burden and we must end it.

Australia should be respected as a nation, peaceful and independent; instead we are viewed as little Americans, as US imperialism’s deputy-sheriff, as its latter-day Gurkhas.

Join the movement against war and against imperialism.

Support good organisations like the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Condemn the obscenity of military spending.