VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
We greet 2023 with mixed expectations.
On the one hand, our Party has grown, has developed in struggle, and has a higher profile and a greater influence in significant areas of the mass movement for anti-imperialist independence and socialism.
This is a tribute to our members’ mass work, to their capacity to listen to the people and to learn how to absorb their views and take them as a starting point for raising their consciousness to higher levels.
Yet there are difficulties, and some of these have grown in recent times.
The fragmentation of the working class, the disappearance of large concentrations of workers and its replacement with the gig economy, casualisation and out-sourcing reduces opportunities for some of the traditional forms of organising around the class struggle.
Many young people in particular feel powerless, apathetic, cynical, and disengaged with the world. Even on the environment issue many young people feel powerless. The healthy momentum of the school students’ strikes over climate change has dissipated to some extent through the disruptions of Covid restrictions, and now, the election of a federal Labor government which pays lip service to the need to act on climate change.
However, young workers whose unions draw them into struggle (eg. during EBA campaigns), are more optimistic and positive, having experienced the power of the collective solidarity. We have carried some reports from younger members along these lines and they display real commitment and enthusiasm for practical tasks around the issues of the day.
Climate change activism in any case, will revive as more and more people are forced by extreme weather events to join the dots between declining standards of living and climate change, for example, in the devastating impact of bushfires and floods and the inability of the system to solve these problems.
First Peoples, likewise, have an ongoing momentum around demands for self-determination. On various fronts they struggle to win rights long denied them and to overcome persecution and harassment.
Good work was done in 2022 to alert the people to the danger of growing tensions in our region between the growing social-imperialist presence of China, and the reaction against that by a worried, but aggressive, US imperialism. Although our ruling class lines up with the latter, no-one wants to be dragged into yet another unwinnable US war, and there is growing concern, even among supporters of the “US-Australia Alliance” and of “AUKUS”, of the loss of sovereignty and the lack of an independent capacity for decision-making in matters of foreign policy and warfare. There is bound to be growing resentment, too, at the rising cost of living at the same time as billions are splurged on unnecessary “defence” acquisitions from foreign arms manufacturers.
We are a Party that seeks to end capitalism. It cannot be reformed into a fairer and more equitable system and requires the massive gaps that we see between a rich handful and the overwhelming majority, a growing proportion of whom are caught in poverty and homelessness. Even the comfortable middle class is becoming less comfortable as the cost of living continues to rise.
We cannot artificially create a revolutionary situation to bring about the changes we desire; however, we can build a revolutionary movement that will know how to respond and provide leadership when a revolutionary situation does arise.
Our politics, our ideology and our organisational principles are those of a revolutionary Party.
Young people wanting a purpose in life, wanting an outlet for their ideals, hopes and aspirations, will find these alongside those already committed to building the revolutionary movement in Australia.
The absence of a revolutionary situation and the presence of a revolutionary movement are two sides of the same coin.
We invite others to join us in making greater efforts in 2023 to build the revolutionary movement.