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


Honour the Past, Fight for the Future

With May Day fast approaching, we reprint the editorial from the 8-page Vanguard newspaper that will be distributed at rallies and marches. It is free of charge, so look out for our distributors and take your own copy – eds.

On May Day, class conscious workers come together to express solidarity with comrades across the world in their struggles for liberation, peace, justice and a decent life.

Only the working class has these deep feelings of international class solidarity, based on their recognition that they are all victims of the class system, all subject to exploitation, abuse, deceit, and all threatened by the murderous war policies of imperialism.

At gatherings, The Internationale rings out, “Arise ye workers from your slumbers, arise ye prisoners of want…” calling on the class to take up its historic mission of leading the masses through fundamental social change that eventually wipes out the class system altogether.

In places, The Red Flag is also sung, recalling the bitter struggles and sacrifices the working class has endured. It pays tribute to the heroes and martyrs that resisted the violence of the state, the hired thugs and fascists. “The workers’ flag is deepest red, it shrouded oft our martyred dead, and ere their limbs grew stiff and cold, their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.

In spite of defeats, oppression and betrayals, the working class never gives up, has no choice other than to struggle for survival and a better life, as the chorus rings out “Then raise the scarlet banner high, beneath its shade we’ll live or die, though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we’ll keep the red flag flying here.

Australia’s working class 
Workers in this country have won many hard-fought battles against local and foreign capitalists and multinational corporations. In the post-war years they achieved improving living standards and some progressive social benefits through union action and solidarity.

But, ever since the days of the Accord under the Hawke government, union membership has fallen away in many trades and professions, with most of the remaining unions falling in behind the parliamentary Labor Party and only mobilising members at election time.

Consequently, there is little strike action, little ACTU activity outside of the courthouse, and practically no solidarity actions which are now illegal.

Result – falling wages, unemployment, rampant cost of living increases, housing and rental crisis, small businesses going broke, banks and supermarkets screwing their customers ever harder.

Capitalism reasserts itself as always. The lesson for workers is that whatever is won by struggle will always be challenged and whittled away, and this cycle can only be finished when capitalism is replaced by socialism. 

Imperialism and the globalised economy 
But that is only part of the story. At the same time, this “restructuring” of the economy encouraged further multinational investment and eventual control of key sections of Australian industries.

Obscene profits and rampant speculation followed, as the rich get even richer while the workers go backwards.

The political influence of US imperialism has now become dominant, reflected in the operational control of Pine Gap, the AUKUS deal and the growing intrusion into Australian military bases and airfields by the US military, aided and abetted by the sucking up antics of the current and previous Labor and Liberal governments.