Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Editorial: Shifting the Australian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

In what seems to have been an attempt to win over Jewish voters in the electorate of Wentworth in the recent by-election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison floated the idea that the Australian embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to Morrison, there are a number of good reasons for doing so and the old chestnut of it reflecting the so called ‘national interest’ has also been trotted out by the PM.

Suggesting that such and such a decision is in the ‘national interest’ is fairly standard form for bourgeois politicians. Just whose interests constitute the ‘national interest’? Simply put, the ‘national interest’ or interests are particular class interests paraded as universal (national) interests. Using the rhetorical device of ‘the national interest’ is a ploy; what’s really meant by this term are ruling class interests. Moreover, sometimes ‘the national interest’ equates to the interests of particular sections of the ruling class. In the case of the mooted shifting of Australia’s embassy in Israel perhaps the ‘national interest’ aspect can be said to cover the interests of certain apologists for and supporters of the State of Israel and US imperialism.

What is also clear is that Morrison, in his desperation to shore up support for his beleaguered government, has simply ignored the negative consequences that such a move would have for the Palestinian people. In addition, Morrison’s Trump-like impulsiveness has led to a scrabbling to make good with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Widodo voiced his concerns about the impact that the shifting of the Australian embassy would have on Australian Indonesian relations. Former PM Turnbull has been pressed into making a fence-mending meeting with President Widodo to re-assure him that the mooted shifting of the embassy should not undermine the friendly relations between the two countries. Morrison’s plucking of a foreign policy thought bubble straight from Trump’s playbook is no real surprise. Like most bourgeois parliamentarians he is an unabashed supporter of US imperialism. Perhaps more surprising is the cavalier like approach; the seeming lack of care and/or foresight to understand that such impulsive ad hoc pronouncements would have far-reaching consequences.

Earlier in the year President Trump initiated the shifting of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, sparking demonstrations by Palestinians. The demonstrations ultimately led to the deaths of dozens and the wounding of thousands of Palestinians, at the hands of the Israeli Defence Forces. Palestinian protests were rightly directed at what they see as the unilateral decision by the US to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, a decision that runs roughshod over the claims that the Palestinian people have for Jerusalem as the capital of their own state. Such flagrant dismissiveness towards the Palestinian people’s aspirations on the part of the Israeli state and the US imperialists only adds to tensions in the region and puts back any chance to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Morrison’s impulsive effort to curry favour with reactionaries in Israel, Trump and other US imperialists by suggesting that the Australian embassy could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a craven response to Israeli state bullying and US imperialism. His opportunistic blathering in by-election mode has exacerbated tensions both in our region and in the Middle East. The shifting of the Australian embassy in Israel should not go ahead.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Civilian surveillance and imperialist plans for war



There is little ambiguity on the part of US imperialism toward its Chinese rival; it has recently been clearly defined by a leading member of the Trump administration.


The diplomatic position is not only confined to the US: Australia has been drawn into the fray through regional military alliances which have also included Japan.


It is, however, another feature of a revival of Cold War practices which has been particularly revealing; recent decisions taken by the Australian government have thrown light upon the Deep State.


In early October, US vice-president Mike Pence addressed the Hudson Institute, a right-wing Washington-based private intelligence and training body, laying down the Trump administration Cold War diplomatic position toward China. There was little ambiguity in the eight-dot point statement, which included, 'the US is not simply engaged in a trade war with China: it is much bigger and broader than that'. (1) While US diplomatic positions toward China had become tenser during the Obama administrations, the election of Trump as president effectively ended the decades of convergence between the two world powers. Official media releases from Canberra, in recent times, have noted, 'convergence is dead'. (2)


It is not difficult to establish why those around Trump have become so agitated in recent times. Their intelligence assessments about China were hopelessly inaccurate; they totally under-estimated the rapid economic rise of China. US economic growth has also been poor for many years although as late as 2006, 'America's economy was five times bigger than China's'. By 2017, it was only just sixty per cent larger. (3)

It has been noted 'the second Cold War will have enduring and equally profound global consequences', without clarification, although as the US and China have entered into longer-term rivalry, the Pentagon has revealed their military considerations and some intelligence assessments. (4) These have included an official statement from former US military commander, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, at a recent security forum that 'America will be at war with China in 15 years'. (5)

These developments have also included Australia through military alliances formulated during the Bush administrations which rested on earlier planning: Japan has been transformed from a client-state to a fully-fledged northern regional hub to serve 'US interests' with Australia as a southern counterpart. The triangular diplomatic relationship is now fully operational and masked in Canberra-talk as 'defence interoperability' with Australia as 'Japan's No. 2 security partner'. (6) It has also included Australia hosting the training of Japanese troops for regional deployment from Darwin. (7) A further dimension has also included both regional hubs, 'building up regional alliances', with the specific intention of containing and encircling China. (8)

The development has had two direct implications for Australia: domestic surveillance and a rising tide of militarism.

Studies of the previous Cold War have revealed widespread civil liberties abuses following US-led military training exercises with the Joint Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program which used manuals such as the Army Regulation AR 381-20 US Army Counter-Intelligence Activities. (9) A 1968 military manual, Employee Procurement and Utilisation, provided training procedures for widespread infiltration of a wide array of groups, political parties, labour unions, youth and student organisations, religious churches and publishing houses. (10) Whole civilian populations of host countries were subject to surveillance and listed as either black, grey or white, as potential adversaries with a view to elimination, if, and when, the situation arose. (11)


There was also provision within the US-led military training for a train-the-trainer mentality, where work considered unpalatable was out-sourced to avoid unfavourable publicity. An Australian military manual actually advocated during time of occupation either in Australia itself, or elsewhere, that 'operations are not hampered by the civilian population', and 'the most effective use is made of para-military forces'.
Another private security manual publicised its training programs for small group penetration, single operative assignments, psychological warfare techniques and interview and interrogation techniques. (12) There has also been little ambiguity in the chosen method of operation of such groups at the behest of the US and military planning.
Aginter Press, established by the CIA and Portuguese intelligence in the 1960s in conjunction with the Italian P2 masonic lodge, was used extensively throughout the Cold War in various sensitive areas including the Greek regime of the Colonels after 1967, Francoist Spain, Apartheid South Africa and elsewhere with extreme measures including Operation Condor in Latin America. (13) One of their strategic documents, Our Political Activity, for example, revealed their use of agents in pseudo operations to control civil societies:
          Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions
          favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regimes structures.....In our view the first
          move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state under the cover
          of Communist and pro-Chinese activities.....Moreover, we have people who have
          infiltrated these groups and obviously we have to tailor our actions to the ethos of the
          milieu.....propaganda and action of a sort which will seem to have emanated from our
          Communist adversaries.....these operations will create a feeling of hostility towards those
          who threaten the peace of each and every nation. (14)   
The wholesale domestic surveillance of a civilian population is a requirement for increased military planning for real-war scenarios. Military planners require continual surveillance as a means of establishing and maintaining internal balances of forces. Such planning can include extreme measures, as in the case of Aginter Press.

It is, however, the less extreme measures which take place within the corridors of power of so-called democracies which often prove far more revealing about the use of State power.
In August, the Coalition government announced the exclusion of the Chinese telephone company Huawei from the Australian 5G program. The stated reason for the decision included fear the company would enable Chinese intelligence to penetrate Australian telecommunications systems. The problem never arose with earlier G models, which included Huawei. The real reason for the decision, however, would appear more in line with emergency planning procedures and state control of civilian society, with reference to the new US-led Cold War waged by the Trump administration. A study of the previous Cold War military planning has revealed the most likely reason for the Australian government to ban Huawei involvement with 5G.
A 1975 Home Office circular in Britain established military planning for a Telephone Preference Scheme. The planning, intended for use during national emergencies, included three categories of subscribers: one, which was for those lines vital for the State; two, additional lines; and three, the mass of the general population. 'In appropriate circumstances', the directive stated, 'all category three subscribers can be turned off and rendered incapable of making any calls, though they will still be able to receive calls from categories one and two', (15) Category one and two people were to be placed in control of the State, issuing directives to category three when considered appropriate.
No specific clarification was provided about 'appropriate circumstances', the questions arising about emergency planning being left open and unanswered. It was, nevertheless, linked to other emergency planning procedures which included accommodation in safe conditions for about four hundred people, several months of supplies, power generation facilities, water-pumps, sewerage disposal together with sophisticated telecommunications equipment. (16)  Those provided with the safe accommodation were clearly categories one and two, with no reference made to the safety of category three.
The facilities detailed in the British Home Office circular have been implemented in Australia as a matter of course through usual Five Eyes procedures. Residents of South Australia nearly a decade ago, for example, received an emergency call on all telephones including mobiles from the Rann administration about bush fires. While most sensible people would thank the SA government of the day for the warning about personal security, the facilities could be put to other, nefarious agendas by a right-wing government of the future. Such an administration would not want category three people to be able to communicate and organise amongst themselves using telephonic equipment using external, Chinese-based facilities.
In conclusion, little has changed with the planning for Cold Wars past and present, the military rationale remains much the same. The method of operation by those in control is, however, now much easier. Advances in technology and telecommunications have made widespread surveillance and monitoring of civilian populations very easy: social media apps including Facebook provide easy access to personal profiling techniques, while all equipment can be tracked through telephone towers to within a metre. There is now no need for intelligence agents to either tap telephones or follow people around, the tasks can be conducted on a computer screen.
The sooner we leave this Road to Armageddon and the military planning which has accompanied it, the better!
We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     Pence Declares Cold War, Australian, 9 October 2018.
2.     Convergence is dead: how two superpowers developed into rivals, Australian, 22 October 2018.
3.     Cold Warriors Trade Blows, Australian, 24 October 2018.
4.     Swap Russia For China And We're Again at 'War' – It's Just A Cold Fact, Australian, 23 October 2018.
5.     US at war with China in 15 years: general, Australian, 26 October 2018.
6.     Japan deal to counter China rise, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 January 2018.
7.     Ibid.
8.     Ibid.
9.     Army's Project X Had Wider Audience,  The Washington Post, 6 March 1997; and, Website: AR 381-20, September 1975.
10.   Washington Post, ibid., 3 March 1997.
11.   Ibid.
12.   The Whores of War, Mercenaries Today,  Wilfred Burchett and Derek Roebuck, (London, 1977), page 31.
13.   Stefano delle Chiaie, Stuart Christie, (London, 1984) page 38.
14.   Aginter Press, Wikipedia, 18 December 201; and, Stefano delle Chiaie, ibid., page 32.
15.   Region One, An examination of the State's plans for repression in the north-east, Martin Spence, (Tyneside, 1978), page 9.
16.   Ibid., page 5.

Industry-wide collective bargaining – part of an independent working class agenda

Ned K.

One of the just demands of the ACTU's Change the Rules campaign is to change industrial laws to enable workers to struggle together to win industry or sector wide collective agreements.

The enterprise and/or workplace specific bargaining system was implemented under the Labor Government in the early 1990s and supported at that time by some union leaderships that had large union memberships in large production workplaces. It may for a while have provided improvements in pay and conditions for a small percentage of the working class. However, it quickly took a turn for the worse for workers when the then Labor Party Industrial Relations Minister Laurie Brereton introduced a non-union bargaining stream which enabled capitalists to have site specific collective agreements approved in workplaces across most industries where union membership was low or non-existent.

In 2018, the strongly supported campaign for industry or sector wide bargaining will need to build even more momentum after the next federal election. Whether it is a Coalition or Labor Government, the devil will be in the detail of any legislation on collective bargaining as to which class a shift in the law from enterprise to industry or sector wide bargaining favours.

Several union leaders in the last week's Change the Rules rallies around the country made the timely point that the struggle for better collective bargaining rights will need to keep building momentum after the federal election irrespective of the election result.

This was heartening to hear as it contributes to the building of an independent working class agenda that extends beyond parliamentary election cycles.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Chinese company threatens Australian workers

Nick G.

A Chinese-owned construction company has joined forces with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to threaten construction workers participating in national Change the Rules rallies with individual fines of $42,000.

The threat came in a secret email sent to its sub-contractors by the John Holland Group.

Established in 1949 by Australian national bourgeois John Holland, the company became one of Australia’s largest building and infrastructure construction companies.  In 1991, it was bought out by the widow of one of Australia’s richest capitalists, Robert Homes à Court, who had died the year before. In 2000, Leighton Holdings, created by an English capitalist but taken over by Spain’s Hochtief corporation, took over the John Holland Group. The Spanish owners of Leightons sold John Holland in December 2014 to China Communications Construction for $1.15 billion. They are the sole owner of the Group and a Chinese state-owned enterprise.  The Chairman of the Board of Directors in Lu Jianzhong.

Any thought that John Holland might have changed its anti-union and anti-worker agenda when it came under Chinese control, under the control of an enterprise of a supposedly “socialist” state, was soon dispelled. The Australian construction union the CFMMEU, alleges a litany of breaches of awards and enterprise agreements by John Holland and its sub-contractors throughout 2017, including non-payment of overtime and allowances, payment of below Award wages, failure to provide proper breaks, as well as breaches around payment of superannuation.

CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said the union had detailed 55 alleged contraventions of the Fair Work Act in its claim. The union is seeking the repayment by John Holland and its sub-contractors of $700,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements to workers on the Canberra Light Rail project.

When construction workers were called upon by their union to attend national rallies in support of the Australian Council of Trade Union’s campaign to Change the Rules and to seek long-denied wage rises, the Chinese-owned construction giant was caught out bullying its subcontractors into keeping records on workers who attend political rallies, threatening legal action and fines.  In a leaked email to its subcontractors, John Holland Group said that workers attending the national rallies might be participating in “unprotected industrial action”, that may lead to “investigation by the Australian Building and Construction Commission”. The union said the company’s action came after the ABCC last week threatened to fine construction workers up to $42,000 for participating in the national Change the Rules protests. Here we have a major Chinese investor in Australia working hand-in-glove with the hated anti-worker ABCC to threaten, intimidate and ultimately fine and gaol workers for simply taking time off work to exercise their democratic right to speak out in an organised and collective way.

When Chinese capital, state or private, is exported to other parts of the global capitalist economy, it can only follow the laws of motion of capital in general.  The state that promotes and encourages this export of capital is not a socialist state, but a capitalist state, a state that is socialist in words, but imperialist in deeds.

A socialist country during the era of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, China stood firm against imperialism and supported the peoples of the world in their revolutionary struggles against colonialism, feudalism and capitalism.  After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping introduced an era of significant “reforms” which saw China depart from the socialist road, do a massive political U-turn, and embrace global capitalism. 

It is now in conflict with, and not an ally of, the peoples of the world.

Workers rallying around the country defy intimidation

Danny O.

Workers around the country are rallying in their thousands with many bravely defying Australia’s draconian and restrictive industrial laws, as well as threats of fines and intimidation from bosses, the federal government, the ABCC and Fair Work.

The rallies, which are taking place over a one-month period between October and November, are part of the ACTU’s ongoing ‘Change the Rules’ campaign aimed at overturning Australia’s “broken work place laws” and follow similar union mobilisations in May earlier this year

Workers in Perth were the first to rally on Wednesday Oct 18 as over 4,000 people gathered in Solidarity Park to voice their anger at Australia’s growing inequality and demand ‘Australia needs a pay rise.’

This was followed on Tuesday Oct 23 with numerous rallies held around the country including in Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong, Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns, and Darwin.

Rallies are scheduled to be held in other various major cities and regional centres over the next month.

A tale of two rallies
In Melbourne, a massive sea of over 150,000 unionists and supporters filled the streets in a melting pot of diversity and colour. In contrast, the message coming from the union leaders on stage was uniform and monotone. They all spoke of a 3-step plan; 1) re-elect the Daniel Andrews ALP state government in one month’s time at the state election at the end of November 2) remove the Liberals at the upcoming federal election 3) Change the Rules. Just which rules and how we are going to change them wasn’t touched on.

Most alarmingly, not a single speaker spoke of the need to be prepared to continue the fight against a future ALP government after the elections. It was hardy surprising as ALP state premier Daniel Andrews marched side-by-side with union leaders at the head of the rally. 

The spectacle had many workers questioning if any lessons have actually been learned from the 2007 ‘Your Rights At Work’ campaign which elected an ALP government on promises of industrial relations reform only to be tied down by the ALP’s very own Fair Work Act.  

The rally in Sydney, by contrast, was smaller with 10,000 people taking to the streets, but was much more energetic and militant with workers leading the charge. Several striking construction workers spoke from the stage, as did union leaders from the ACTU and militant unions such as the ETU, CFMEU and MUA. Several speakers explicitly stated that unions and workers will need to continue to fight regardless of who was in government. New ACTU president, Michelle O’Neill told the crowd that it wasn’t “an elect Labor campaign” but a campaign to change the rules.

While more promising than the message coming from Melbourne, with the NSW state election 5 months away, time will tell just how long unions in NSW will continue to hold that line.

Tactics and illusions

To realistically change the industrial relations legislation in this country in the current conditions will require the removal of the Liberal Party from government. In a two-party system that means the election of the ALP. There is no problem of recognising this as a first step in a broader strategy. But to do so without preparing workers to continue to struggle for their demands regardless of whichever party forms government only spreads dangerous illusions. It spreads illusions that serious change can come from the ballot box; that workers can trust politicians, “independent umpires” or anyone else to fight their struggles for them; that great sacrifice, courage and determination are not required to make serious change.

History shows reality is far different. Only the most determined, defiant and resolute struggle in our streets, communities and workplaces by workers and ordinary people against all who stand in their way, including ALP governments, has any potential to bring about significant victories for working people. 

The fight to “change the rules” is no different.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Marxism Today: Building a Marxist-Leninist Party requires perseverance and commitment

Nick G.

We have recently posted CPA (M-L) founding chairman Ted Hill’s 1970 funeral oration for Jim Scott (go to the “About Us” drop down menu at the top of our website and then to “Our Comrades”).

Jim Scott had a unique significance among the departed comrades that we feature in this part of our website.  He joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1920, the year in which it was founded. He also joined the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) when revisionism in the CPA required its reconstitution as a revolutionary organisation.  Indeed, he participated in its founding Congress in March 1964.

Jim Scott made a life-long commitment to the study and application of Marxism-Leninism and to the cause of the emancipation from capitalism of the Australian working class. In his early thirties when he joined the CPA, he shared with it the first 50 years of its existence, including the six years to 1970 as the CPA (M-L).

Hill described Jim Scott as “a person of revolutionary integrity and principle…. he never wavered and he passed with great credit all the tests.” Hill could have been describing himself in these words.

Hill, Jim Scott and all the other veterans of our cause exemplified the perseverance and commitment required to build a genuinely Marxist-Leninist party and to extend its influence under the conditions of an advanced capitalism dominated by US imperialism and in both the highs and lows of working class struggle. We feature them in the “Our Comrades” section so that we can continue to learn from them.  Those of us who may be said to be the current generation of veterans of the Party are only too well aware of our own deficiencies and of the need to model ourselves on the Hills, the Scotts and others of previous generations.   We respect and learn from our veterans’ vast experiences and practice of building a Marxist-Leninist party and revolutionary movement in Australia. 

Renewed interest in joining the Party

We are living at a time when the CPA (M-L) is again attracting the interest of people who want to make a commitment to ending capitalism, to developing as Marxist-Leninists to serve the people in the protracted struggle for socialism as the contradictions and extremes of capitalism are becoming increasingly clear. There is renewed interest in joining the Party, especially from young people. It is a welcome sign that we are emerging from a period of relative stagnation, from a time when the edge had been taken off working class struggle by the witting or unwitting complicity of the unions in the legal and other restrictions placed on them, and by the continuing hold of parliamentarism on otherwise quite politically aware people.

It is important that there is ease of mind on the part of those coming into the Party about what their commitment means and about the prospects for involvement in struggle. Not anyone can or should join a revolutionary party.  The party works as a collective and there is no place for capitalist individualism, self-promotion or factionalism.  We are not a debating club or a left bloc.  Membership requires close connections to the people, particularly in struggles of the people.  Mass work and social investigation is the bed-rock of the Communist Party of Australia (M-L)’s ideology, political work and organisation.  

Hill, as founding Chairperson of the CPA (M-L) said he wanted the party to be hard to join and easy to leave. He was reflecting Lenin’s famous dictum “better fewer, but better” ( ), written in 1923 when Lenin argued for “extraordinarily strict” conditions on the recruitment of workers into the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party). 

“Hard to join” should not be misunderstood.  No-one joins a revolutionary party as a ready-made Marxist-Leninist.  We all develop over time.  Party membership should be open to any person who agrees with the Party Program, accepts its organisational principles and rules, and is prepared to put these things into practice. For any person wishing to have a merely platonic relationship with the Party, sympathising with it or only partially agreeing with it, and not being prepared to work for it, then there should not be a readily available open door. 

Likewise, “easy to leave” does not mean adopting a laissez-faire attitude towards one’s responsibilities. However, all development is uneven and some people can swing from commitment to indifference and apathy, or even embrace revisionism and outright factional activity. Or they might win the lottery.  With a change of social being comes a change of social consciousness.

Hill envisioned neither a tiny closed sect nor an open mass organisation.  In Party building, these two extremes constitute a unity of opposites and there is both attraction and struggle between them. What must be striven for is a balance based on the prevailing conditions of the consciousness of the working class and the level of stability or crisis in the system we are trying to abolish.

Learning from mistakes

It is inevitable that mistakes have been made, and continue to made, in a permanent cycle of building the Communist Party.  It is dialectical materialism. We are the first to admit that we have sometimes made mistakes.  We learn from the experiences of past and present mistakes and guard against repeating these errors, or veering to the opposite extremes in rectifying them.  There are times when we have not been bold enough in approaching people to join the Party – some very good people who should have been approached were not. At other times, people were brought into the Party, and then neglected, given no guidance in how to undertake work for the organisation.  They subsequently left, through no fault of their own or were driven out by bad leadership decisions.

New Party members must be helped to have a realistic view of what their membership of the Party entails.  At the height of the upsurge brought on by the battles against conscription and the Vietnam War, there was substantial recruitment of revolutionary workers and students. Some of those have indeed stood the test of the times; for others, joining the Party was akin to running away to sea to join the pirates. When the great upsurge abated in the late 70s and early 80s they failed to adjust to falling away of revolutionary activity.  Their romanticism foundered on the rocks of reality. The material conditions and the all-pervasive influence of social democracy took its toll on some.

Many young Australians (even some of our veterans!) have taken to the surf and will, perhaps, appreciate this analogy. You can have the healthiest physique and the best surfboard in the world, but to successfully catch a wave you need to have some experience and an appreciation of the laws of motion of the sea. Professional surfers pay close attention to this and develop from initial impressions to real knowledge.  Be that as it may, any surfer will simply waste their energy, burn themselves out, and ultimately give up if the first thing they do is wildly paddle when there is no swell coming through and no wave about to break. Or if the swells are irregular and the waves are slow in forming, and the sun is weaving its soporific charms, they may doze off and be caught unawares when a wave does approach.

The key thing with surfing is to practise, practise and practise, being prepared to fall off and take reasonable risks. You can know everything about the surf but unless you keep getting out and riding waves you'll never improve. The combination of involvement in struggle, with theory developing from that and being tested and refined again and again in struggle, is essential for every party member.

Also, we need to know our limitations. We can't be involved in giant confrontations with the state if we aren't properly prepared for it.
The lesson here is that Party building will inevitably occur in periods of both social stability and social crisis, both in the absence of a revolutionary situation and under conditions of revolutionary upheaval.  Objective conditions combined with the Marxism-Leninism practised by the revolutionary organisation determine the pace of Party building in different conditions. For many of us, our Party membership will cover more of the former period than the latter and will have to be sustained over the long haul by a more than instinctive grasp of the laws of motion of capitalism. It will be sustained by an appreciation that there is a revolutionary movement consisting of the comrades one has in the Party and the people who follow its analyses and pronouncements, and that this revolutionary movement exists even in the quietest and most non-revolutionary times.  Indeed, its existence is absolutely necessary to our ability to correctly anticipate and provide leadership when a revolutionary situation matures. The optimism of Marxist-Leninists comes from understanding the social and economic laws of capitalism and the unshakeable confidence in the collective power of the people in struggle.

Revolutionary movements prepare the way for revolutionary situations

Building a revolutionary movement in the absence of a revolutionary situation confronted the founders of Marxism-Leninism.  Marx took up his study of political economy in the social nadir that followed the revolutionary situation in 1848.  In 1858-9 he authored “A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, advising his comrades that “Just as one does not judge an individual by what he thinks about himself, so one cannot judge such an epoch of transformation by its consciousness, but, on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained from the contradictions of material life, from the existing conflict between the social forces of production and the relations of production.”.

In 1905, a democratic revolution led by striking workers and mutinous sailors broke out in Russia.  Even in that period of heightened revolutionary activity, Lenin had to warn that “It must not be forgotten that the current pessimism about our ties with the masses very often serves as a screen for bourgeois ideas regarding the role of the proletariat in the revolution” (Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution).

In January 1930, after the defeat of the Northern Expedition (First Revolutionary Civil War) and the bloody suppression of the Communists by Chiang Kai-shek in 1927, Mao Zedong had to fight Lin Biao’s pessimism regarding the development of the revolution and wrote his essay “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire”.

So, there is nothing new in the ebbs and flows of protracted struggle facing a revolutionary movement.  What we can learn from the lives of Comrades Scott and Hill, and from the Marxist classics, is the need for perseverance and commitment based on an understanding of the laws of motion of contemporary capitalism. Our new comrades will inherit the revolutionary style of building the Party free of both romantic impetuosity and soul-destroying pessimism. We welcome enquiries about membership and will respond as quickly as we can.