VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
The May 21, 2022 federal election must see the removal of the Morrison coalition government.
As US author and humourist Mark Twain observed: “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
The observation loses some of its force, however, when the new set of diapers is likely to be as soiled as those it is replacing.
Except in a few areas such as minor changes to IR laws and increased spending on aged care, Labor has kept as close to Liberal policy as it can.
No-one regards this as an “It’s Time!” moment. There is enthusiasm for finishing off Morrison, but there is no sense in which people expect an Albanese government to make Australia a country less-controlled by giant local and foreign corporations, that it will end fracking or the disastrous reliance on fossil fuels, or make it a more peaceful and independent country in foreign policy.
This is not to denigrate the Labor Party’s working class and progressive rank and file members, supporters and the honest politicians who enter parliament, not as careerists and opportunists, but genuinely believing they can improve the lives of working people. But no sooner do the elected politicians enter parliament then their singular role becomes that of serving the interests of capital, not the workers. There are countless examples of this, especially in the history of the ALP-aligned section of the labour movement.
For some, despite all the betrayals by previous Labor governments, it’s hard to break out of a cycle of hoping for a better deal, and then losing heart every time Labor wins office and backtracks on its promises, to the point where it seems indistinguishable from the more open party of big business. We respect this sentiment, but do not share it. We need to break out of its dead-end cycle.
We can do this by uniting around key elements of an independent working class agenda, that is, a set of demands that go beyond Labor’s minimalist program. Demands and struggle for workers’ rights, including the right to strike, democratic rights, job security, the cost of living, climate crisis, self-determination for the First People, and peace and independence for the people of Australia and the region. We need to have confidence, not in elected representatives to the parliamentary talking shop, but in our own collective strength built in our workplaces and communities.
It is those places, where struggles can be built and maintained, that real change will come – not from the exercise at the ballot box once every three years. Real change always come from waves of defiant, militant and at times “illegal” struggle on the job, in the streets and in our communities.