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
imperialism and, to a lesser extent, European and Japanese interests. We need
to build a united front to win our independence. US
Parliamentary politicians from the major parties absolutely grovel before US imperialism, and readily agree to endorse every foreign policy position taken by the
The same politicians have no qualms about handing over the Australian military
and naval forces, bases and airfields to US US
imperialism, or committing Australian military personnel to whatever wars and
imperialism wants to embark upon. US
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
against Coal Seam Gas, and the courageous battle of the residents of Tecoma
against McDonalds. Melbourne
From these beginnings, a powerful movement can develop to challenge the real rulers of
and expel foreign imperialism for good. Australia