Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vanguard September 2013

The only choice is struggle

Vanguard September 2013 p. 1
Alice M.

Above: Coal seam gas protesters greet cyclists on the Lakes Oil sponsored Tour of Gippsland as they pass through Sale, Victoria.  Peoples' struggles like this will intensify.

What can the working people expect when the dust settles after the 7th September Federal parliamentary elections?

Will the casualisation, insecure work and loss of jobs be stopped?

Will the offshoring of jobs out of Australia be stopped?

Will the offensive by big business and monopoly corporations on workers’ hard won wages, working conditions and union rights cease, or even be rolled back?  

Will the cuts to public spending on health, education, community services and benefits stop?

Will the rising cost of housing, utilities, child care and food be reined in?

Will the disappearing manufacturing and technological industries be rebuilt?

Will the rural communities’ livelihoods and the environment be protected from plunder by the multinational mining corporations?

Will the profits bloated mining corporations and banks be made to pay a superprofits tax?

Will the privatisation of a few remaining public assets stop?

Will a genuine Treaty be made with Australia’s Aboriginal people?

Everybody knows the answer is a resounding NO.

 In fact, whichever major political party is in government the attacks on workers’ rights, unions and working conditions will escalate.

 That’s because the main job of bourgeois parliament and its two main political parties is to make the economic and political system of monopoly capitalism work.

The Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council and Murdoch, representing the local and foreign monopoly corporations, are at the core of the ruling class that rules and owns Australian parliaments.

They issue instructions and directives to their lackeys in parliament to step up attacks on the working class to enable big business to squeeze more profits from the labour of workers (productivity). They demand that the economic crisis of monopoly capitalism is shifted on to the backs of the people through cuts to public spending on services for the people, privatisation, increasing taxes on the people and cuts to company taxes.

It’s true that in some circumstances Labor in government seems less ferocious than the Liberal Party in attacking the people.

Liberals act more openly on behalf of the more reactionary sections of monopoly corporations and US capital in Australia.

However, the final result is the same. Labor and Liberal both represent different sections of local and foreign monopoly ruling class. It’s merely a matter of differences in tactics between the most powerful sections of the ruling class on how to control the people, especially the working class. 

Experience repeatedly shows how Labor in power is useful to big business in dispersing and silencing organised working class struggle. The Accord is just one example.  And when Labor loses its usefulness in suppressing and diverting struggle the ruling class discards it. 

Bourgeois parliament and its two main political parties are mainly window dressing and a facade creating illusions that this is where the nation’s most important political and economic decisions are made and where the real power resides.

It sets up illusions of democracy.  The people exercise their democratic rights by voting for either the hard or soft tactics of monopoly capitalist class to rule over the majority of working people.  That’s why it’s called bourgeois democracy. 

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 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.

Some small changes can be brought about in parliament, but they are on the fringes and are not in any way allowed to tamper with the monopoly capitalist class rule.

For the working class and the working people the alternative to the cesspool and distraction of bourgeois parliament is developing our own independent agenda and organisations outside parliament, in workplaces and in the communities, in cities and the country-side. 

The future lies in building a powerful force for change around common demands, and struggle that defends and advances the interests of the people and unites the great majority.  This is where a genuine and vibrant people’s democracy will spring from and flourish, and lay the foundations for an anti-imperialist democratic and socialist Australia.


Vanguard September 2013 p. 2

In our historic 50th anniversary year of this paper’s publication, it is timely to reflect on our methods of communication.  There is no doubt that the Internet and social media have many advantages over the print medium around which our publications were originally based.

With our paper’s monthly format and distribution largely through the post, it is very difficult to keep readers as up-to-date as they need to be.  Nor have we fully utilised our online presence.  Our website by and large makes Vanguard available, but still in its monthly format.

If we are to succeed in providing relevant and immediate analysis and leadership to the people, we cannot continue to rely on a hard copy publication.   Nor can our writers and production people be shackled by the timelines and workload associated with publication deadlines.

Rising costs of production and distribution are important factors. Even more critical is the fact that younger people (and many older ones also) find much of their news, information, and opinions, etc. on the internet. It is essential that more young people are won to the revolutionary struggle for national independence and socialism.

With this in mind, and by decision of the Central Committee of our Party, the website ( is being re-designed with a more modern and dynamic look, and will be more comprehensive and appealing, with more downloadable content. The website will be updated frequently and will be more responsive to topical events. The future will see even more opportunities to engage with readers and supporters beyond those that will initially be available on our new website.  It is imperative that we train our people to utilise these with confidence.

In the meantime Vanguard will continue to be published as a newspaper, and will only transition to fully on-line when the new website has been trialled and consolidated.  It is hoped that we can make that transition during 2014.

Australian Communist will continue to be posted to subscribers and donors.

Sham contracting on the rise as economic crisis deepens

Vanguard September 2013 p. 2
Ned K.

Workers and their unions in industries including cleaning, construction, information technology and communications are fighting super exploitation of workers through sham contracting arrangements.

Sham contracting occurs when workers are paid as a franchisee or sub-contractor but receive take home income less than even the minimum safety net award under the Fair Work Act. It is common to find workers caught in these situations having net take home pay of a little as $8 to $10 per hour.


Take cleaning as an example. A worker on a temporary working visa needs to have a job for a continuous period of at least two years to stay in Australia and progress towards being accepted as a permanent resident. Their skills from their country of origin are not recognised, so they apply for jobs like cleaning to survive.

On application for the job they are told that they need an ABN and that this will be an asset to them with the Immigration Department, as they will be able to show they have their own business!

They are paid on a monthly basis an amount equivalent to say $20 to $25 per hour. This seems pretty good. However they soon find out that they have to cover themselves for workers compensation insurance, cleaning materials and equipment and they have no annual leave, no sick pay, no insurance and no superannuation. They are only paid the equivalent of three or four hours a night, but the actual job regularly takes five to six hours.

As they are a so-called sub-contractor, the principle contractor does not reimburse them for the extra hours. They are ‘free’ to work as long as they like!

If they are a franchisee, the situation is worse. They also have to pay back to the franchise holder up to 25% of the money they are paid each month in the form of a franchise fee. The holder of the franchise justifies this payment from the franchisee by saying that this enables the franchise holder to pay for the cost of bidding for other contracts for the future ‘prosperity’ of all!

Recently in the cleaning industry there was a case of two Indian cleaners receiving a take home pay of $6 per hour for cleaning a series of bank branches in a capital city.

The situation is even becoming an embarrassment for the Labor Government whose Fair Work Ombudsman recently announced it was going to audit 1,000 cleaning companies.

More workers caught in these situations are getting organised to oppose this super exploitation. This is a good development for the workers’ movement in Australia.

Broaden the base, narrow the target!

Vanguard September 2013 p. 3


This was the call by Mao Zedong to build a united front of workers, peasants and patriotic classes and sectors in response to the Japanese invasion of China in 1937.

It was a strategy based on distinguishing the major contradiction at that time – between the Chinese people and Japanese imperialism – from the other contradictions which then became secondary, such as the contradiction between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang.

The united front policy was not ‘lowest common denominator’ politics. Mao stressed the need for the Communist Party to have both ‘independence and initiative’ within the united front, maintaining its organisation and freedom of action while proving itself to be the most steadfast and reliable force in the collective resistance to Japanese imperialism. The unity with other forces and class interests was conditional on them both taking a stand against Japanese imperialism and not harming the interests of the workers and peasants.

These lessons can be applied to our situation in Australia where the major contradiction is between the Australian people and the economic, political and military interests of US imperialism and, to a lesser extent, European and Japanese interests. We need to build a united front to win our independence.

US imperialism dominates Australia economically through multinational corporate influence in the powerful Business Council of Australia, along with the US-based merchant banks and credit ratings agencies that dictate the flow of investment capital. Imperialism’s ‘free trade’ agenda is promoted by the World Bank and is being stepped up with the US-sponsored Trans Pacific Trade Agreement which will further erode Australia’s manufacturing base, the PBS and many service industries.

Parliamentary politicians from the major parties absolutely grovel before US imperialism, and readily agree to endorse every foreign policy position taken by the US. The same politicians have no qualms about handing over the Australian military and naval forces, bases and airfields to US imperialism, or committing Australian military personnel to whatever wars and adventures US imperialism wants to embark upon.

None of this serves the Australian people well. But at the present time many do not see the connections sufficiently clearly to take a conscious anti-imperialist stand. They lament the inroads being made into their notion of Australian independence, but do not yet see the need to build an anti-imperialist united front to ‘broaden the base and narrow the target’.

Nevertheless, in many struggles across the country, workers, unionists, farmers, small producers, tradespeople, students, professionals and unemployed people do come together to defend their environment, their towns, their jobs, their schools and hospitals and communities from the greed and destruction wrought by corporate monopolies.

Recent examples in Victoria have been the alliance between SPC Ardmona workers and fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley, the rally in support of the Yallourn power workers (page 10), the cavalcade from Seaspray to Melbourne against Coal Seam Gas, and the courageous battle of the residents of Tecoma against McDonalds.

From these beginnings, a powerful movement can develop to challenge the real rulers of Australia and expel foreign imperialism for good.

Major banks post record profits as the economy slumps

Vanguard September 2013 p. 3
Max O.


Whilst the Australian economy is worsening and wage costs collapse major banks are reporting record profits. The Commonwealth reported a 10 % rise in its full year cash profit to $7.8 billion and the ANZ a $4.8 billion profit , which is a 7% profit rise during nine months to end of June.

Contrast these record bank profits with the wage cost index, which was 3.2% up to the June quarter and you can see who is winning and losing in the world of economic survival. Wages growth is the same as it was it in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, which makes it equal slowest for 13 years.
Where are the banks striking it rich? Mortgages and deposits. Income from the Commonwealth's retail section increased by 13% for the year, but business and private revenue fell by 3%. The latter figure indicates a decline in economic production.

However the banks’ overall revenue is down with the Commonwealth losing by 5 per cent to $44.87 billion dollars. This is reflected in falling share prices: Commonwealth shares dropped by 1.4 per cent to $73.51 and the ANZ by 2.9 per cent to $29.49.
Whilst everything seems solid at the moment for the banks, it can all melt into thin air. Hence the Rudd Government's announcement of a bank depositor tax of 0.05 % on all deposits up to $250,000. The purpose of the levy, which is set to start in 2016, is to fund any future bailouts of failing banks.

Banks don't like this at all, they expect the Federal Government to either guarantee or bail them out like they did during the 2008 GFC. However not to worry, whilst it would be levied on banks and not account holders, it is expected banks will pass that on to depositors.
You will find that multinationals from the USA , Europe etc are behind the big 4 banks here, and the business sheet they operate from is essentially the same. One would think that if a bank fails it should be the shareholders who ought to pay for the losses, after all they took the gains and had their say in the running of the business.

But no the banks want more! Over the years the corporate tax rate has been cut from 49% in 1988 to 30% today and it could well go down by another 5% to 25%, if the Business Council of Australia gets its way.
Added to this is the well-known fact that corporations get their accountants to fiddle the books to "underestimate" their profits and so evade tax. Subsequently corporations like the banks are already on a lower tax rate than most workers.

Not so long ago the Australian Tax Office revealed that about 70 Australians (which no doubt would include the big 4 bank CEOs) with incomes of more than $1 million each paid no income tax for 2010-11.
The solution to spreading the wealth around would be to nationalize the banks under an anti-imperialist government. Not such a bad idea.


Australia as a client state: The US, Australia and the great cause of Australian independence

Vanguard September 2013 p. 4
Alex M.


In this the fiftieth anniversary edition of Vanguard it is pertinent to highlight one of the cornerstones of our political programme, namely the fighting for and attaining of Australian independence.

What does it mean to speak of Australian independence? Isn’t Australia an independent nation?

While Australia is independent from the standpoint of mainstream political analysis - that is, we are not formally subordinate to another nation state in a colonial relationship, for example - this level of analysis hides more than it reveals.

 What is hidden by using this analysis (mainstream political analysis) is the dependent status that Australia has with its ‘great and powerful’ friend the US.

 Gavan McCormack article

In a timely essay on the issue of the political servility and subservience that lies at the heart of Japan-US relations that appeared in the June issue of The Asia-Pacific Journal ( ) the Australian scholar Gavan McCormack eloquently summarises what he calls the ‘client state’ relationship:

“The division of world states into political science categories of independent (sovereign, nation) states and subject (colonial or neo-colonial) states tends to neglect the increasingly important, in-between category of ‘client states.’ The formal sovereignty of the client state is not in question, but it combines independence and democratic responsibility with renunciation of independence or deliberately chosen submission, such that it is to be described only by oxymoronic terms such as ‘dependent independence’ or ‘servile sovereignty.’

“I have suggested a definition that distinguishes it from other, related forms of colonial, conquered, or directly dominated, or neo-colonial territory as ‘a state that enjoys the formal trappings of Westphalian sovereignty and independence, and is therefore neither a colony nor a puppet state, but which has internalised the requirement to give preference to “other” interests over its own.’” [Westphalian in this instance refers to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia which marked the end of the Thirty Years War in Europe. In International Relations it is taken as signalling the start of state sovereignty.]

McCormack elaborates on how the subordinate party tends to act towards the dominant state:

“The puzzling but crucial fact is that submission is not forced but chosen. The client state is happy to have its ‘patron’ occupy parts of its territory, and determined at all costs to avoid giving it offence. It pays meticulous attention to adopting and pursuing policies that will satisfy its patron, and readily pays whatever price necessary to be sure that the patron not abandon it.”

He then outlines three relatively recent examples of leaders of client states:

“Though there is no agreed social science term to describe it, in common parlance it is what is known as the ‘poodle’ syndrome - the term the UK widely adopted to apply to the government of Tony Blair (PM, 1997-2007) in the United Kingdom. Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard (PM, 1996-2007) was in similar vein often referred to as a US ‘deputy sheriff.’ In Japan some critics referred to Prime Minister Koizumi (PM, 2001-2006) as a ‘pochi’ (pet dog) and within the George W. Bush White House he was known - at least to some - as ‘Sergeant-Major Koizumi.’”

McCormack in the essay goes on to examine the Australia – US client state relationship highlighting the concern that some former Prime Ministers have about increasing Australian servility towards the US.

Malcolm Fraser has been outspoken about being locked into ‘the United States purposes and objectives’ which limited our ability to ‘act as an independent and confident nation’.

Australia is a client state of the US

We are a formally independent country but the Australian ruling class has chosen to adopt the subservient role of underlings to a great power. Such an attitude has been a hallmark of the Australian ruling class since European settlement.

We can unite large numbers of people behind the cause of a genuinely anti-imperialist Australian independence because workers and others can see that it is positive for the all-round development of the country, a development in which they must take the lead and control the agenda. The great cause of Australian independence – worth fighting for!   

Business Council of Australia calls for class war against workers!

Vanguard September 2013 p. 4
Max O.

In late July the Business Council of Australia (BCA) released its demands for the economy called Economic Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity. Its wish list contains predictable demands from big business: Cut company tax by 5%, increase the GST, new taxes on home owners, reducing penalty rates, review the' high' minimum wage and a return to Work Choices.

And, as the  BCA likes to boast, its membership is made up of CEOs from 100 of Australia’s top companies. These are no idle commands, they bluntly require everyday Australians to harden up and pay more tax, so big business can pay less.
Their plan 'for Enduring Prosperity' was so blatant that the activist GetUp! organisation recently placed a fake BCA (re-badging it the "Business Citizens of Australia - We're mean business") advertisement in the Australian to satirise the serious and scary economic agenda of the Business Council.

The incredible thing is that GetUp! didn't have to exaggerate any of the BCA 's proposals. For example this quote from the GetUp! ad satire states: "Right now, Australia is spending beyond its means. We may have experienced 22 years of unbroken economic growth, but to ensure our economic prosperity into the future, we need to free up big business to generate more profits, and pay less tax. That balance can only be found by freeing us up to earn more by asking individuals to pay more."

If you pore through the BCA's 93 recommendations from the Economic Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity document, the above quote correctly presents the ruling class's attitude to who should benefit and who should pay for the current economic downturn.

And the 'wonder king', Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as he likes to say, "Is here to help." Big business that is! He launched his comeback trail for the September elections, by announcing a “national competitiveness agenda”. 
His little gem seeks to reform seven areas of the economy i.e. domestic electricity price regulation, labour market rigidity, business productivity, regulatory imposts on business, education and training, national infrastructure and improving operating conditions for small business. The goal being to lift the rate of annual productivity growth from its existing level of 1.6 per cent to two per cent or better.

How will he achieve this? By a 1980s 'Accord'-like pact between business, unions and the federal government. So far Rudd has discussed this agenda with the BCA, the ACTU and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten to shackle workers to wage cuts and to increase their labour time for the benefit of the capitalist monopolies.
If they win the 2013 elections, the likes of Shorten will enthusiastically police unions and force workers to succumb to the dictates of the BCA. Then there is the pretender  for the job of prime minister, opposition leader Tony Abbott, who presently avoids declaring his hand on the matter of 'work place reform', but will ferociously implement the BCA's demands and carry out a frontal attack on the working class once he wins government.

"Why Vanguard Is Published"

Vanguard September 2013 p. 5
Nick G.

In September 1963, the first edition of the first volume of Vanguard announced its appearance under the heading above.
“Its main task,” according to its inaugural editorial, “will be to give a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the major events of our time.”

At that time, Communists who had been expelled from, or who had broken with, the former Communist Party of Australia were still in the process of reconstituting revolutionary organisation.
On March 15, 1964, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) was born and Vanguard took on the role of expressing the viewpoint of the new party.

(Above: E.F. Hill, founding Chair of the CPA (M-L) led the struggle against modern revisionism in Australia)

The split in the international communist movement, with China on one side and the Soviet Union on the other, was the major backdrop to the split in Australia.
However, it oversimplifies differences in Australia on the application of revolutionary theory to this country to take the backdrop for the reality.

The truth is that there were major differences in this country over questions relating to the peace movement, to the ALP and parliament, to the trade unions, to Party organisation, to ideology.
The international schism provided the conditions under which these internal divisions were played out, but they had a life, an existence of their own.

The break with revisionsim
In reconstituting the Communist approach to politics, organisation and ideology in our country it was indeed necessary to break with the view that the Labor Party, by virtue of its majority working class membership and ties to the union movement, was a working class party or even a “two class” party.

[Above, Ted Bull, Secretary of the Waterside Workers Federation, Victorian Branch, and vice-Chair of the CPA (M-L)]

It needed to be said that it was a party of capitalism that operated within the confines of the capitalist parliament and within the limitations of policies that accepted the system of capitalism.
It was indeed necessary to break with the view that trade unions were vehicles for fundamental social change, even for revolution, and that winning positions of leadership within unions was a contribution to bringing about revolutionary change.

It needed to be said that trade unions were valued organisations for the defence of workers’ rights and conditions, but that trade unionism as an ideology tied the workers to capitalism and held back the political struggle by workers for the abolition of capitalism.

It needed to be said that the work of Communists as members of unions needed to penetrate to the depths of the workplace and that capturing positions of leadership created the danger of the isolation of officials from the rank and file or of unjustifiably elevating their importance within the Party compared to others working more directly with workers at the point of production.

[Above: Tribute CD to John Cummins, construction workers' leader and a fine comrade of the CPA (M-L)]
It was indeed necessary to break with pacifist illusions that rejected the role of revolutionary armed struggle against imperialism, and with views that imperialism had come to its senses and could be engaged in productive and genuine negotiations about ending its oppressive practices.

It needed to be said that so long as imperialism existed so did the danger of war and interference in others’ internal affairs. It needed to be said that the right to take up arms against oppression was a fundamental human right.
It was indeed necessary to break with methods of Party organisation that made Party members vulnerable to attack and persecution, and which pointed Party members in the direction of participation in local, state and federal elections.

It needed to be said that there was an ever-present danger of fascist reaction against the Party, and that the bulk of its members should be secretly organised in small workplace cells, and not declare their membership, rather than being public members organised into suburban or district branches.
It was indeed necessary to break with the watering down of the revolutionary teachings of Marxism-Leninism, for the revision of the ideology that guided the Party underlay all of the problems identified above. 

It needed to be said that there could be no peaceful transition to socialism and no state arrangement to protect and guarantee socialism other than the dictatorship of the proletariat.
It needed to be said that the approach adopted by Mao Zedong in leading the Chinese revolution to victory, and in continuing the revolution under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, was a new development and enrichment of Marxism-Leninism, and that his teachings on the danger of a restoration of capitalism were absolutely pertinent and necessary.

It needed to be said that embedded within the teachings of Mao Zedong was a consistent elaboration of the ethical standards to which Communists had to adhere in order to win the trust of the workers and the right to be taken as their leaders in struggle.
No mere observer

It was not as a mere observer, therefore, that Vanguard set itself the task of giving a “Marxist-Leninist analysis of the major events of our times”.

It described itself in 1968 as “not just a paper to be sold.  We do not want ‘sales’ so we can record higher circulation figures.  Vanguard is an ideological weapon and in the conditions of today can be used to combat and defeat the ideology of capitalism.”

Combatting and defeating the ideology of capitalism remains the major systematic task of this paper.
It does this in the absence of a staff of “experts”, drawing on the collective talents of writers and contributors who are embedded in their workplaces and their communities, active alongside the very people for whom they write.

However imperfectly, it strives to express the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) and to merge the Party with the struggles, aspirations and ideals of the working class.
Vanguard will eventually transition to an online format, enabling it to express the viewpoint of the Party on a daily, rather than a monthly, basis.  

This is a transition that must be accomplished with the support of the whole organisation and with the engagement of all of our readers so that we can provide a better service as we embark on our second half-century of publication.

Policies and positions of the CPA (M-L)

Vanguard September 2013 p. 6-7

The statements on these pages reflect the position of the CPA (M-L) on many of the issues currently confronting the Australian people. More detailed explanations and arguments can be found in the Party Programme and Resolutions of the 13th Congress, which are available on the internet at
US alliance and military bases

US imperialism is the main instigator of imperialist wars for the control of resources, markets and for its monopoly capital investments across the globe. The new US imperialist military expansion and provocations in the Asia Pacific region are a threat to peace and national sovereignty of countries and people in the region. Australia’s military integration into the US imperialist war machine assists the US to wage predatory wars against people and nations. The CPA (M-L) seeks to build active connections with the broad united front movement to kick out all foreign military bases and troops from Australia and across the Asia-Pacific.

Free Trade, TPP

Fair Trade between countries must be based on mutual benefit and mutual respect, not imperialist domination. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is all about an unequal partnership between countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the dominant power, the United States. It is all about facilitating the penetration of powerful US corporations into markets across the region. They seek to do this by sweeping aside local laws and protections that benefit the people. The CPA (M-L) supports all struggles of the people to expose and reject the TPPA, as it betrays the interests of the Australian people and the interests of the people in the Asia-Pacific region.


The manufacturing industry in Australia is being decimated. The globalised economy being foisted upon the people of the world by imperialism sets an agenda for plunder on an unprecedented world scale, driven by the escalating rivalry between the US, China, Europe, Japan and Russia. It has ignited a desperate frenzy to seize and control the resources and markets of lesser nations such as Australia. The CPA (M-L) supports all struggles by manufacturing workers, unions, employers and communities in opposing the foreign takeovers and the systematic running down of Australia’s industrial base.

Leading role of the Working Class

Based on our analyses of classes and class contradictions in Australia, the CPA (M-L) is of the view that the principal contradiction in Australia’s class struggle is between US economic and political domination and the overwhelming majority of the people, with the working class as the leading class in the anti-imperialist struggle for an independent, democratic and socialist Australia. When mobilised and infused with the far-sighted, revolutionary class consciousness and struggle it is the only class that has the capacity and power to liberate itself and the people from the exploitation and brutality of international monopoly capital (imperialism).

Environment and Climate Change

The CPA (M-L) supports the many struggles of the Australian people for environmental sustainability, led by the indigenous people’s struggle against the destruction of their lands by rapacious mining multinationals. We support the struggles of workers, community groups, small business and farmers for environmental sustainability, and to make the multinationals pay for the transition to a renewable energy economy. We recognise that the united struggle of the people can make short term advances to reduce pollution and protect the environment. However, it is only by winning an independent Australia under the leadership of the working class that the people can ensure an environmentally sustainable country.


The CPA (M-L) supports education workers in resisting the neo-liberal push to further privatise education.  We support the vision of a public education system designed to meet the holistic needs of students to develop as empowered and ethical citizens.  Instead of importing failed ideas from the imperialist heartland where education systems are performing badly, the education system should provide teachers with sufficient time and support for collaborative practises such as peer classroom observation, lesson preparation teams, and school-based research groups. Public education workers are the key to building a united campaign with parents, students, the public sector and the wider community.


The emergence and consolidation of private capitalist accumulation from the exploitation of workers and peasants, and the export of capital, mean that previous certainties about socialism in China are now obsolete. Our view is that forces working for the further entrenchment of capitalism in China have the upper hand in the Communist Party of China. The CPA (M-L) notes the significant growth of Chinese investment in the Australian economy, and will always put the interests of the Australian working class at the forefront of our activities and demands. The CPA (M-L) will base its response to international affairs on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism.

Treaty, Land Rights

The CPA (M-L) believes that there can be no genuine reconciliation between the ATSI peoples and the rest of the Australian people without a Treaty acknowledging ATSI people’s prior ownership of this country, and that the invasion of ATSI lands was essentially accomplished by force and violence. The Treaty must acknowledge ATSI communities’ rights to self-determination on the basis of real and lasting Land Rights.

The current Australian Constitution is out-dated and must be replaced by an anti-imperialist, democratic and republican Constitution that includes a Bill of Rights defining and enshrining the rights and liberties of all Australians.

Indigenous struggle

For more than 40,000 years, Aboriginal people were the sole custodians of the land and all its natural wealth, which they respected and protected for future generations. It was this relationship to the country and protection of the natural environment by the Aboriginal people that the colonisers and imperialists have been trying to wipe out with the successive government policies (Labor and Liberal) that serve the foreign and local mining monopolies and multinationals. The present struggles against the racist Intervention and seizure of their mineral rich lands by mining monopolies are not deterring Aboriginal communities from continuing the fight. They have wide support from many Australians.

Income Management

Labor’s extension of the welfare quarantining, Basics Card approach to people who need dignity and self-empowerment comes at the same time as Liberal Joe Hockey’s call to “end the era of entitlement” which attacks the same poor and marginalised communities from yet another direction. It shows that between social democracy and outright conservatism there is only service to the rich, and punishment for the poor.

Asylum seekers, Refugees

Asylum seekers and refugees hoping to settle in Australia are mainly escaping wars of aggression and occupation, poverty and oppression created by the brutality of imperialism. They should be treated humanely and decently. No asylum seeker should be locked up in prison camp conditions, off-shore or in Australia, but instead be provided with proper housing and support in Australia while their position is being considered. There is no real solution to the global plight of refugees whilst the world and its people continue to be plundered and exploited by capitalism and imperialism.


The issue of nationalisation raises the prospect of socialism. It demonstrates the fact that the capitalist class is not essential to society functioning and producing; in Engels’ words it “proves itself a superfluous class”. The CPA (M-L) supports the revolutionary nationalisation of key industries, such as gas, water, electricity, telecommunications, banking and mineral resources to benefit the people, to raise living standards, to create secure, sustainable and non-polluting jobs. In continuing the revolutionary transition to socialism, it is essential that the working class exercises control over the pace and extent of change through participatory democracy – at the workplace level, in the communities, in the government.

Trade unions

Unions express the collective power of workers in the ceaseless struggle to gain and defend the best terms and conditions within the capitalist system of exploitation. Trade union struggles in themselves do not challenge the fundamental economic, social and political system of capitalism. Nevertheless, unions are extremely important centres of workers’ resistance and a rallying point for wider sections of the people.

Big business employs the full force of the state – governments, legal system, media, and ultimately the police and army. Against this, fighting trade unions rely on empowering workers in the workplace, and forging solidarity across the trade union movement and community.

Parliament, elections

Parliamentary democracy enshrines the sacred freedoms of the capitalist class – to own the means of production, land and resources, to trade freely, to exploit and sack workers, and to enforce their class rule by a legal system ultimately supported by armed forces and other elements of the state apparatus. Parliament is a “talking shop” which monitors and tinkers with the engine of capitalism. The driving seat is occupied by unelected people; monopoly owners and shareholders of key industries, banking and financial executives, and high officials of the public service, police, armed forces and other bureaucrats, who ensure the continuity of the system, regardless of elections.

Socialist democracy

The CPA (M-L)’s conception of socialism is based on fundamental principles:

The working class controls a completely new state apparatus – a workers’ army, police, courts and other institutions of state, including the administrative bureaucracy.

There is a centrally planned economy with long-term development goals to meet the needs of the people.

There is sectoral and representational democracy in national, regional and local assemblies – to frame policies, and to implement and monitor them.

There is vigorous and deep-seated participatory democracy in workplaces and communities.

The role of the revolutionary party/parties is to guide and empower the masses in achieving these goals, continuing the revolutionary process of transforming society to liberate the full potential of all people.


Women’s rights under capitalism are subject to the law of uneven development, with some improvements made, then a move backwards. This vulnerability of women, and particularly of working women, will never be entirely eradicated under capitalism. Over the last decade, women have started to go backwards again in their quest for equality with men.

Imperialism is dictating that Australian workers must have their wages lowered and their rights in the workplace reduced. All workers are under attack, but women are additionally vulnerable.

There is no alternative solution in the pursuit of equality for women, outside of the creation of an independent and socialist Australia.


The big four banks in Australia; ANZ, Westpac, NAB and the Commonwealth effectively monopolise the Australian banking system.

With the deregulation of the finance sector from 1979-84, the government’s responsibility for the supply of money and of interest rates was taken away. The Reserve Bank is now independent of government control, and the private banks act independently of Reserve Bank decisions on official interest rates. This has facilitated the free flow of speculative capital and loans from the world’s wealthiest institutions.

Banks should serve the working people, small farmers and producers, not profiteers and parasites.

Nationalise the banks!


Migrant workers have always stood at the centre of Australia’s working class struggles and activism, going back to the days of Eureka Stockade.

In Australia today, migrant and refugee workers predominate in the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs with the harshest conditions and lowest wages, such as meat processing and storage, warehousing, process work, and cleaning. Many are involved in workplace struggles for job security, better wages and conditions and union rights.

The CPA (M-L) works to unite the great majority of Australian people from all cultural, racial and religious backgrounds in the struggle against multinational corporations’ domination of Australia and for anti-imperialist independence and socialism.

International Movement

The CPA (M-L) stands for the unity of the world’s working class and supports the struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples.  We reject the phony “patriotism” of the capitalist class which is simply a mask for that class’s betrayal of national interests and its continued acceptance of control by imperialism.  We uphold anti-imperialist national sentiment which is, at heart, proletarian internationalism under the conditions of workers’ existence in a client state of imperialism.

Left forces in Australia

The CPA (M-L) is striving to apply the principles of Marxism-Leninism to Australian conditions. It takes its theoretical guidance from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong and our founding Chairperson, Ted Hill. It seeks truth from facts. It relies on collective analysis to discern the principal and secondary contradictions in situations and social and political issues, and applies democratic centralism in formulating the strategies and tactics that arise from this.

The CPA (M-L) regards reformism, revisionism and sectarianism as the most harmful trends in the working class movement.