Monday, January 29, 2024

Nauru’s diplomatic switch to China is a setback for US imperialism


Above; Chinese Embassy opening, Nauru, January 2024    Photo Xinhua

Written by: (Contributed) on 30 January 2024

A brief, short diplomatic statement from the government of Nauru, that it had decided to switch diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China, was largely overlooked by western media outlets. It was not expected and obscured by the Taiwanese general elections only two days earlier. The timing of the diplomatic switch together with the terse nature of the statement, however, would tend to reveal a major diplomatic stand-off has taken place; it has, furthermore, been a major setback for US-led regional foreign policy.

On 13 January the people of Taiwan returned a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government for a third term of office with president-elect Lai Ching-te. It is, however, a minority government with 51 MPs as opposed to the Kuomingtang (KMT) with 52 seats. The small Taiwan Peoples Party (TPP) had eight MPs elected, ensuring that it holds the balance of power. The election results, nevertheless, were given high-profile through US-led media outlets, stressing the 'democratic' nature of Taiwan's political system.

Quite unexpectedly, only two days later, the government of Nauru announced it was switching diplomatic allegiance immediately from Taiwan to China. The diplomatic statement included that Nauru would 'no longer recognise Taiwan as a separate country but rather as an inalienable part of China's territory …. and ... Nauru said it would sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan immediately and no longer develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan'. (1)

No official explanation was provided about the diplomatic switch although a statement from Taiwanese deputy foreign minister, Tien Chung-kwang, said 'the government was ending diplomatic relations with Nauru to safeguard our national dignity'. (2) It was accompanied with an official statement from the Biden administration in the White House, that 'criticised the micro-state's distorted rationale'. (3)

Political intrigue inside the corridors of power in Nauru would appear to have taken place in secret. Following the elections in Taiwan on Saturday, Nauru was the first country to congratulate Taipei on the success of the elections the following day, while on Monday morning the diplomatic switch took place! (4) The timing was also particularly embarrassing for the Biden administration which had sent a senior US delegation to Taipei including former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, to assist president-elect Lai for what has been regarded as a 'tense five-month period before his inauguration'. (5)

The US is quite clearly concerned about Taiwan: last October, for example, Nauru president Russ Joseph Kun was given what was regarded as a hero’s welcome in high-level diplomacy with Taiwan; on returning home he was ousted with a no-confidence vote led by David Adeang who was responsible for the sudden announcement about the diplomatic switch to China. (6)

The diplomatic switch has been a further addition to the failed DPP New Southbound foreign policy which is now left in tatters; attempts to foster stronger diplomatic ties across the Indo-Pacific region have seriously backfired. Nauru is the tenth country which has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan since the DPP took office in 2016, with President Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan now only has official diplomatic links with twelve countries, none of which are major players in global diplomacy. A recent statement from a former senior Taiwanese foreign ministry figure, likewise, has also caused concern by suggesting 'another one or two of Taiwan's allies … could … be poached by China in coming months'. (7) More to come?  

While it is difficult to generalise about China's ability to marginalise Taiwanese diplomacy research conducted by AidData, based at the William and Mary University in the US, has established Chinese diplomacy remains strongly based in economic and financial criteria; Beijing is not reluctant to offer developing countries meaningful aid packages in return for mutually beneficial diplomatic ties. China's aid packages in the Pacific region have been particularly generous over the past two decades. (8)

It has been strongly speculated that Nauru's diplomatic switch away from Taiwan to China was caused by the Australian government winding down aid packages for its off-shore asylum-seeker facilities on the islands causing a shortfall with their budget. (9)

While Taiwanese officials have been invited to regional dialogues and forums, China has effectively forced them out, emphasising the One China policy. (10) Taiwan, nevertheless, maintains 112 representative missions in over seventy countries; in less than sixty years it has been transformed from a rural backwater to a highly developed economy and part of global supply chains for semi-conductors. (11) Its diplomatic future now, however, is beginning to look increasingly vulnerable and precarious, with dwindling diplomatic recognition.

The developments have been particularly problematic for the US; it is not difficult to track US-led regional miitary and security concerns and their inability to maintain traditional hegemonic positions in the face of competition from a strongly assertive China. The Nauru diplomatic switch is all the more acute for the US due to local politician, Barron Waqa, soon to become the next secretary-general of the highly influential Pacific Islands Forum. China, potentially, will be able to use its newly established diplomatic links with Nauru to present a favourable image to a wider regional audience. (12)

Taiwan is a component part of the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy and its diplomatic links are also used for intelligence-gathering. The increasing diplomatic isolation of Taiwan, therefore, rebounds strongly inside the Pentagon and also the 'Quad', used to contain and encircle China. (13) Countries switching diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China are regarded as problematic: Nauru, for example, has a relatively central position in the Pacific, the arc to US military facilities based in Guam also swings through sensitive Australian military signals facilities based in Queensland. (14)

Secondly, Taiwan is the vital component part at the head of US-led Island Chain Theory (above); small Pacific countries, such as Nauru, have huge strategic significance for access and egress across the wider region. 

Demands, from inside the ruling DPP presidential administration for eventual full independence, have a huge significance for the US and its allies, including Australia!

1.     Nauru switches diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing, Australian, 16 January 2024.
2.     Ibid.
3.     US says Nauru switching ties from Taiwan to China 'disappointing', The New India Express, 16 January 2024.
4.     China advances into Indo-Pacific, Editorial, Australian, 17 January 2024.
5.     Beijing warns of 'harsh punishment', Australian, 16 January 2024.
6.     Editorial, Australian, op.cit., 17 January 2024.
7.     Beijing 'buying up' allies in Pacific, The Weekend Australian, 20-21 January 2024.
8.     China's billions make new allies, Australian, 8 November 2023.
9.     Editorial, Australian, op.cit., 17 January 2024.
10.   See: Beijing keeps a wary eye on new US Taipei outpost, Australian, 18 June 2018.
11.   See: Democratic Taiwan proud to stand with regional partners, Editorial, Australian, 15 January 2024.
12.   Nauru gave Australia advanced warning of decision, SBS., 16 January 2024.
13.   See: The reasons behind Washington's push for GSOMIA., Hankyoreh, 12 November 2019.
14.   See: Peters Projection, World Map, Actual Size.



 Written by: Duncan B. on 30 January 2024

Nearly every day there are articles in the newspapers about China’s economy. These are some recent examples from the Melbourne Age.

Fading giant: Why China is facing a difficult future. (Nov 9); Weakened China badly needs a truce with the West (Nov 10); China’s tech billionaires bleed as Biden inflicts pain (Nov 22); China’s green surge could be watershed for the world (Nov 23); China’s financial cancer spreads and sounds alarm bells (Nov 28); Stay of execution for Chinese property giant (Dec 6); China put on notice as it tries to repair its economic mess (Dec 7); The Chinese tians making a killing, but far from home (Dec 20); Beijing shifts gears to avoid fate that trapped Japan (Jan 16); China hits it growth target, but no one’s impressed with data (Jan 19); Red Sea crisis is a serious risk to Beijing’s economic interests (Jan 20); China’s $9 trillion problem won’t be solved by quick fix (Jan25); Warning for investors over China’s market woes (Jan 27).

How do we work through this overload of sometimes contradictory information about China?

The New China Playbook  by Keyu Jin may help. The author is an associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was born in China and educated in China and abroad.

Keyu Jin was born in 1982, making her a member of the first generation of Chinese born in the era of Deng Xiao Ping’s economic reforms which started in 1978. She writes, (p23), “I was born into this era of China’s modern economic transformation and experienced its life-changing effects firsthand.”

On page 283 she writes, “The miracle of China over the past four decades is not the nation’s record-breaking span of dizzying GDP growth, but the unimaginable transformation that has taken place for hundreds of millions of Chinese and their children within a single lifetime. This was true for my family and for most families we knew.”

In The New China Playbook Keyu Jin traces the development of China’s economy and the transformation of Chinese society from 1978 when Deng Xiao Ping’s reforms started, to the present day. There have been many negative features accompanying this transformation such as environmental degradation and pollution, massive waste of resources, extremes of income differences, property speculation and corruption. (Of course these were a feature of the development of capitalism in England and the USA in the nineteenth century.)

On the positive side there has been a large growth in GDP, the considerable improvements in the Chinese peoples’ lives as described by the author and the incredible growth in technology in China. Keyu Jin is a supporter of the current state of affairs in China, to the point of being coming across as an apologist for the Chinese government and its policies. 

While The New China Playbook is useful to help us understand what is happening in China, as Marxist-Leninists, we must be aware of our Party’s position on China. In 1978, Deng Xiao Ping steered China onto the capitalist road, ultimately leading to the imperialist power that we know today.

The CPA (M-L) position on China is explained in the booklet Explaining China. How a Socialist Country Took the Capitalist Road to Social-Imperialism, and other publications such as the Australian Communist.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Reverse the decision to suspend funding to UNWRA


Written by: Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine on 28 January 2024

The anti-Palestinian Australian government has acted speedily to suspend promised allocations of recently announced funding to the United Nations Relief and Works for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

This was announced by Foreign Minister Penny Wong immediately following allegations by Israel that some UNRWA staff members had participated in the October 7 Hamas actions.

UNRWA has suspended those against whom the allegations have been made. Their involvement has not been proven, and UNWRA is investigating the Israeli claims.

It is significant that Israel’s claims have been made straight after the International Court of Justice decided to proceed with South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide. The ICJ accepted that there was a case to answer and issued provisional rulings ordering that Israel take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza, prevent and punish direct incitement to genocide in Gaza, and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel is not only continuing with its genocidal war – it has now manufactured the cessation of humanitarian aid.

Even if the actions on October 7 of a handful of the courageous and selfless UNWRA workers are proven, it is entirely wrong for the whole organisation, and the millions of desperate Palestinians who are dependent upon it for food and other supplies, to be punished by the withholding of funds.

Below, we publish a statement from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). 

We fully support its call for governments that are punishing UNWRA at the behest of the genocidal Zionist regime to restore funding to UNWRA as a matter of urgency – Eds.


A message from the “Foreign affairs Department at DFLP” to the world’s parties and societal frameworks: A new Israeli lie followed by Imperialist countries... and the victim this time is the UN Relief and Palestinian Refugees Agency.

Once again, it is confirmed that the Israeli plan goes beyond the aggression on the Gaza Strip to affect all aspects of the Palestinian issue, in an attempt by Israel to benefit as much as possible from the support provided by the Western coalition to it, and this time the goal is the Relief Agency and millions of Palestinian refugees. 

If the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip was based on the lie of killing children, burning civilians, and beheading, then some Western countries followed it and built on it their political positions and practices towards the Palestinian people, even though the White House confirmed that it has no tangible evidence to confirm the allegations of killing and burning, and that what the American President spoke about this matter was inspired by a phone call with “Stinky Yahoo” and from Israeli reports that were proven to be incorrect even by the Israeli police, who were unable to prove a single piece of information from the dozens of lies spread by Zionist propaganda in the first days of the aggression. 

A new Israeli-American project directly targets Palestinian refugees and their right to return, after Israel announced that 12 employees working for the relief agency in the Gaza Strip participated in the October 7 operation, which resulted in a number of Western countries announcing that they would cut their financial contributions to the agency. United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is considered the primary source in providing educational, health and relief services to millions of refugees who are spread in: Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

As a result, Israel quickly picked up on these positions and announced publicly and explicitly: that the UNRWA will not be part of the day after the Gaza Strip, which confirms that there is a real plan being worked on between a group of countries that targets the UNRWA and its future under the pretext of the participation of some of its employees in the October 7 operation. 

Although the Commissioner-General of UNRWA announced the dismissal of a number of employees pending the results of the investigation, which is a surprising and unacceptable measure, a number of Western countries (the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Finland, and Italy) anticipated the results of the investigation and suddenly announced the cessation of financial support for UNRWA, under Israeli pressure. Which accuses the UNRWA of corruption and subjugation, despite the United Nations confirming that it conducted a number of investigations, all of which confirmed the UNRWA’s commitment to the values and principles of the United Nations, and therefore the Israeli allegations are incorrect.

We in the “Foreign affairs Department of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine” cannot understand the Western positions regarding the UNRWA except that it is a cheap blackmail tool that some countries have resorted to in the context of continuing the war they are waging against the Palestinian people, and these are measures that can only be explained as a war of starvation. Collectively against millions of refugees in the context of exploiting the current conditions to eliminate the refugee issue and the right of return by targeting the UNRWA, as it is one of the basic foundations on which the right of return is based. 

We call on the parties of the world, especially in the countries concerned that support the Israeli aggression, to raise their voices in rejection of these measures that directly respond to the positions adopted by the Israeli government, which has been inciting for years against the UNRWA and its services, and we affirm that new attempts to target UNRWA on the financial level will be doomed to failure given Because the reasons relied upon are false and misleading and lack accuracy and objectivity in all their details. 

While we hold the concerned countries responsible for the repercussions of their positions and policies towards the Palestinian refugees who will defend their right to education, health and a decent life free from oppression and aggression. we reaffirm our right to return to our homes and properties from which we were displaced in 1948 by the force of murder and terrorism committed by Zionist terrorist groups with direct support from The British Mandate, which abused the trust of its mandate over Palestine and colluded with the Zionist movement in implementing its historical project of occupying Palestine and displacing its people.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

January 26, what’s to celebrate but struggle?

 Written by: Lindy Nolan on 26 January 2024

When Jacinta Nampijinpa Price outraged First Peoples by saying British “settlement” had a positive impact on them, she joked about her convict ancestors sent to Australia. 

It’s true, England wasn’t kind to a huge and suffering underclass created by rising capitalism. Forced transportation ripped families and lives apart. But stolen First Peoples’s lands eventually brought better homes and better lives for most of their children’s children.

On 26 January, 1788, over 700 convicts were still trapped on board. One in 18 who left England died on the trip. More horrors awaited, for them and the 160,000 prisoners eventually sent to slave here. The First Fleet did better than the privatised for profit Second Fleet, which killed 26 percent of convicts on board. The rest were so sick, forty percent were dead within six months of arrival. 

Convicts, sailors and soldiers were stunted from poor diet. Gadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Bidgigal and other clans grew tall and muscular. They thrived on the riches of the lands and waters. 

When they saw convicts flogged, flesh and blood flying as the knotted, nine-tailed whips were flicked clear, First Peoples cried. 

The invading British didn’t only destroy lives. The living stream flowing into what’s now Circular Quay became an open sewer.  

A reminder

No wonder First Peoples were outraged four months back, when Ms Price praised what she calls ‘settlement’.

“A positive impact?” she answered a Coalition audience. “Absolutely, now we have running water, readily available food.” 

She says Australia Day unites us, but her usual ally, Warren Mundine, disagrees. Like millions here, he wants to change the date. Why? 

Whether it’s a Day of Mourning, or Survival or Invasion, or all three combined, it’s a day of struggle that unites First Peoples. As a public holiday, it easily brings tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of First Peoples and their allies to the streets. 

Compared to a decade ago, a tiny number of flags now fly on houses or cars. 

Woolworths’ CEO cited small sales for not stocking Australia Day paraphernalia, and was given lots of free air on ABC 7.30 to explain that and sharper questions, like why it really wasn’t ripping off farmers and price gouging customers.  

Ms Price and her corporate backers use threats to Australia Day to bind their non-Indigenous followers more closely to them. A few target Woolworths.

Yet, struggle to change the date has become so strong, other corporations and their supporters seek to turn it into its opposite, a way of defusing struggle by First Peoples and their allies. 

Both groups may gain strength if the date is changed. But whatever Australia’s “celebration” date, fundamentals remain. First Peoples will never give up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Imperialists divided and isolated in the face of resolute Palestinian resistance

 Written by: Ned K. on 24 January

As the first month of 2024 draws to a close, Palestinian people's resistance to the Israeli Defense Force's aggression in Gaza and the West Bank remains strong. 

Global support actions for the Palestinian people continues to grow, whether it be action in small regional towns or major cities like Melbourne, London, Paris or Cairo or New York.

In Israel itself, the Netanyahu Government is powerless to stop the larger and larger demonstrations for a permanent cease fire and release of Israeli hostages in Gaza. Relatives of some of the hostages, such as Noam Dan, cousin of Israeli captive Ofer Calderon, accuse Netanyahu of "enacting on us the Hannibal Directive", an IDF policy according to which it was better to have Israeli soldiers killed by their own troops than taken hostage. Noam Dan says Natanyahu is intentionally killing captives in Gaza and refuses to negotiate their return so he can extend his political survival. "My government is annihilating them," he said. 

Israel's main imperialist backer, USA, has had to ramp up its military "aid" to Netanyahu at a time when the USA Biden regime is also facing demands from the Ukraine Government for more weapons for use against Russian imperialism. 

The Biden government also has its hands full ensuring safe passage of freight through the Red Sea. To add to its woes, Biden is facing electoral defeat in the Presidential election later this year and there is pressure on him to at least be seen to be bringing an end to the military spending for wars overseas in the Middle Est and Ukraine and to address the cost of living issues facing millions of people inside the USA.

While Biden faithfully carries out the wishes of the pro-Israel big business lobby in the USA, he is faced with a fast-growing movement of Jewish people in the USA who support the Palestinians through organizations such as Jewish Voice For Peace.

Faced with this deteriorating situation for the Israeli Government, US imperialism and its allies including the Australian Government, are busy hatching new "solutions" to end the armed struggle in Gaza and the West Bank on imperialism's terms.

Biden, echoed by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, calls for a two-state solution of a state of Israel and an ill-defined state of Palestine. 

They think they can impose such a solution on the colonized Palestinians and there are press reports of this so-called solution being attached to a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

There are also media reports of high-ranking military leaders in the USA admitting that the Israeli Defense Force goal of wiping out armed resistance by Palestinians in Gaza is just not going to happen.

The chances of their two-state solution happening, let alone succeeding from an imperialist perspective are pretty much nil.

Why is this so? 

Firstly, Palestinian people have had decades of bitter experience of what a so-called two state solution means in practice - increasing expansion of Israeli settlements and apartheid-like conditions for Palestinians.

Secondly, US imperialism's Biden government has lost full control of the fascist monster it created, Netanyahu and his henchmen. The latter want a single Zionist state with what is now Gaza and West Bank occupied territory to be part of that single Zionist state, colonized by Israelis. 

US imperialism and its allies like the Australian governments over many decades have been on the wrong side of history again and again, most notably in the Vietnam War when a small country, Vietnam, defeated US imperialism to signal the start of its decline as the number one imperialist power in the world.

The heroic Palestinian people are putting another nail in the coffin of the world's biggest but declining imperialist power.

They are sure to win and deserve the peoples of the world's continued visible active support. 

Their win will be defined by the Palestinian themselves.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The eclipse of economic rationalism?


(Above - this US cartoon from over a century ago reflects an enduring truth about capitalism)

Written by: (Contributed) on 23 January 2024

A recent report from the OECD has revealed how governments are increasingly using tax-payers money for state-controlled programs, as GDP continues to decline. (1) In fact, the global economy is on present track to record the slowest GDP growth in three decades. (2)

An official IMF projection has already concluded that Australia will face a major downturn to a mere 1.2 per cent economic growth this year. (3)

Economic rationalism became vogue thinking for the business-classes and corporate sector during the 1980s. International financial institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund foisted programs of privatisation, de-regulation and liberalisation through trade bodies in order to keep the US at the centre of the global economy; globalisation became the order of the day. A prominent feature of economic rationalism was 'trickle-up' patterns whereby the rich became even richer at the expense of the mass of the population.

An OXFAM report in 2020, for example, established the richest one per cent of the world's population had grabbed two-thirds of the $42 trillion of 'new wealth', while the remaining 99 per cent acquired the remainder. (4) It also established that the fortunes of billionaires were increasing by US$2.7 billion each day, while 1.7 billion workers lived in countries, such as Australia, where wages were outpaced by inflation and CPI. (5)

An IMF report in late 2023 officially recorded that the global economy was 'limping along … not sprinting … growth remains slow and uneven … with widening divergences'. (6)

It is important to note, therefore, that the latest World Bank report, Global Economic Prospects, noted 'a grim outlook beyond the next two years' … the outlook is dark … what looms … is a wretched global growth performance'. (7) There has been a general decline in economic growth over decades: during the 2010s, the average was 3.1 per cent, it is now barely 2.4 per cent and not expected to rise higher. (8) Global trade figures, likewise, have also declined: it is now expected to be only half this year, of an annual average during the decade before the pandemic. (9)

The recent Global Risks Report released by the World Economic Forum, likewise, forecast 'a doomsday scenario of events which could occur in the future'. (10)

The business-classes and the corporate sector, however, were well aware of the looming problems and have already taken precautionary measures to safeguard their positions and stabilise economic systems. It was done with very little publicity and was often hidden amongst indirect forms of support; in South Australia, for example, many companies use government subsidies for 'training provision', with numerous courses linked to private training agencies.   

A significant increase in the role of state spending in recent years, nevertheless, has included 'an array of new spending needs, from military priorities to industrial policy'. (11) It marks a shift away from previously held economic rationalist models which emphasised a reduction in state support for business.  

The change has been particularly noticeable in the European Union where government spending is now accounting for half of the region’s economic output in 2023. (12) Higher interest rates, globally, have also made their mark; re-payment on existing debt levels has already been recorded rising from 104 per cent of GDP in 2019, to 112 per cent in 2023. (13) They are set to rise even higher.   

What is significant is that the business-classes and corporate sector expect governments to use tax-payers money as subsidies, while continuing to gloat over their own profits. Some of their businesses, furthermore, do not even pay tax. It has led to an official statement from a major European bank that 'this means many rich countries … have no alternative to raising tax revenues’. (14)

In conclusion, the economic rationalist business model foisted on countries by international financial institutions can be seen to not have produced healthy, vibrant economies, but those which require government support to maintain their existence.

Ordinary tax-payers are paying subsidies for the business-classes and corporate sector.  

It is a disgrace!

The old trade-union slogan from a century ago of 'I work, you work, they profit', would appear to still be holding and highly relevant!

1.     Tax take on the rise as borrowing declines, Australian, 20 December 2023.
2.     World Bank's 'hazard' warning, Australian, 10 January 2024.
3.     Global economy still limping along: IMF., Australian, 11 October 2023.
4.     Survival of the richest, OXFAM publication, 2020.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Australian, op.cit., 11 October 2023.
7.     Australian, op.cit., 10 January 2024.
8.     Ibid.
9.     Ibid.
10.   Black swans on horizon, Australian, 11 January 2024.
11.   Australian, op.cit., 20 December 2023.
12.   Ibid.
13.   Ibid.
14.   Ibid.

Can Australian workers manufacture electric cars? Yes we can – dump the nuclear subs.


Written by: Ned K. on 22 January 2024

On Sunday 21 January 2024, there was a "Holden Day" event held at the beachside Adelaide suburb of Glenelg. Hundreds of Holden cars manufactured in Australia were on display for the thousands of people who attended the event. 

The display included the first Holden cars to roll off the production line in 1948 to the last Holden cars made at the Elizabeth production and assembly plant in Adelaide in October 2017.

The time and work done by these Holden car enthusiasts to maintain and where necessary restore the earlier models to their former glory demonstrates not only their individual interest in Holden cars. It also shows younger people that Australian workers are capable of producing forms of private and public transport that have a use value for the people of this country.  

The display of Holden cars at the Holden Day is a timely reminder that there IS an alternative future for manufacturing industry in Australia which serves the needs of people in Australia. The Holden cars on display embody the work and skill of hundreds of thousands of workers in Australia over three or more generations. This is conveniently forgotten by politicians who tell people that the country's future lies in spending $380 billion or more on other countries building a majority of “our” nuclear powered submarines and subsidizing multinational companies along the way.

Why do politicians continue down this war-mongering path rather than invest in public-owned electric vehicle manufacturing and manufacturing that will assist the people in the "war" against climate change, global warming and destruction of the environment?

Thousands of people in Australia and indeed throughout the world are taking to the streets demanding their governments take action to force Israel to stop its genocide against the Palestinian people.

People are "joining the dots" and seeing the disastrous ink between Israel's war machine and their own country's increasing dependence on a military related manufacturing base.

Our young people need to be able to look back at their lives when they are older and see that they were part of an Australia manufacturing useful products like electric cars, rather than feeding the US war machine. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Sovereignty, a message to whitefellas

(Yingiya Mark Guyula: We are sovereign people and we have been waiting a long time for a Treaty.)

Written by: Lindy Nolan on 19 January 2024

Blak Sovereignty sends a powerful message to whitefellas about what unceded land means to First Peoples. It tells us wherever we stand, we are on stolen land. It reminds us every part of these lands were defended in armed struggle and in so-called peace. It speaks of reckonings, of just treaties, of reparations to be won in ongoing battles.

For a decade or more the word ‘sovereignty’ has confronted Australia’s parliament in giant letters from the Tent Embassy. 

Yet, there is no word in any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language for it. The term only arose with capitalism. First Peoples’ society did not have classes. They did not need a capitalist state apparatus underpinned by a theory of national sovereignty to empower a ruling class to suppress, enslave or exploit others. First Peoples had no courts, jails, rulers, parliaments, army or police, no written laws.  

They had much more – tens of thousands of years of lore and ceremony, arising from the need to survive and flourish in ever-changing lands. Before he was elected to the NT Parliament, Yingiya Mark Guyula compared the Madayin system of Yolngu Lore that made him Djirrikaymirr (a senior leader), to Australia’s 122-year constitution. He called the constitution ‘just a piece of paper’.

An evolving meaning

Encyclopaedia Britanica charts sovereignty’s development. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t mention either class or capitalism, only nationalism: ‘Sovereignty, in political theory, the ultimate overseer or authority, in the decision-making process of the state and in the maintenance of order” but “has often departed from this traditional meaning.’ 

The encyclopaedia writes of this new concept used by political philosopher, jurist, parliamentarian and law professor Jean Bodin in 16th century France to strengthen “the power of the French king over rebellious feudal lords”. 

The overthrow of feudalism by capitalism took different forms in different places, so the concept of sovereignty developed different emphases. Feudalism evolved in violent struggle with previous slave owning societies, but sometimes – like capitalism and colonialism – incorporated slavery. In England it played out in wars and the rise of parliament. 

In North America, both British colonialism and later revolutionary independent US capitalists freely used slavery to secure their rule and profits in stolen lands. After the US civil war, winners and losers disagreed about what was ‘sovereign’. Sovereignty was claimed and argued over by states and their people, by the federal government, in the Supreme Court and in the constitution. 

Whatever the subtle differences, claims of sovereignty and sovereign interest (like claims of democracy) often underpin ruling class state apparatuses that deceive, divide and suppress the masses. 

It is regularly a weapon of current ruling classes to justify unjust rule and unjust wars against other nations also claiming sovereignty.

So called sovereign citizens use it, on behalf of far-right capitalists, to manipulate some First Peoples. 

“I come in spirit from the land”

This sovereignty is a totally different idea to what First Peoples mean when they use it. They don’t rule the land, they’re part of it. They have responsibility to it. 

As an elder on a 1970’s poster said, "The land is mine because I come in spirit from the land.”

But sovereignty also has a progressive content. It focusses strength for the people in struggles to overthrow foreign empires or imperialism. Revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Zedong led the defeat of Japanese invaders in World War Two and the US-backed Guomindang reactionaries after it. 

Under Chairman Mao’s revolutionary leadership, the Chinese Communist Party was still a Marxist-Leninist Party. It lifted more people out of poverty than at any time in history. 

At a time when national liberation struggles were exploding worldwide, it put forward the slogan ‘Countries want independence, nations want liberation, people want revolution.’ 

Controlling the commanding heights

Since World War Two, US imperialism has systematically seized sovereignty in Australia. 

It controls what Lenin described as ‘the commanding heights of our economy’. Australia’s military is part of the US war machine. It’s Kardashian culture bombards Australian minds. Our politicians dance to every US tune. 

The two biggest Australian capitalists may flirt with the other imperialist superpower, China, as market for their minerals. But even Gina and Twiggy are dwarfed by US imperialism’s power. They have to come to terms with US control of Australia. They help buy off mineworkers and others with high wages, making them prey to sovereign citizens movements with themselves as philanthropic heroes.

First Peoples cannot win their liberation against such power alone. The working class as a whole is the greatest potential ally of First Peoples and all oppressed. We have the same enemies – US imperialism and those who do its dirty work. 

Here sovereignty becomes a progressive term for both First Peoples and their allies. Sovereignty in the hands of the people demands independence and socialism from US capitalist domination.  

Class struggle is full of examples where ruling class weapons were turned against them. When First Peoples claim unceded sovereignty to demand justice, this is what they are doing. But their own lives – as part of the land and water and air they move in and on –  creates a far richer, more powerful and more generous concept than the word sovereignty can ever convey. 

Elders like Yaluritja 

When Nyungah were occupying sacred Goonininup, in Perth’s old Swan Brewery site in 1989, union organiser, activist and Elder, Yaluritja Clarrie Isaacs, travelled as their representative. 

Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour was occupied by workers. Of course, Yaluritja stayed with them! 

Land Rights flag he gave them flew alongside the Eureka flag from the Titan crane till the occupation ended three months after it began. 

Those two battlegrounds, four thousand kilometres apart, symbolise the power of working class and First Peoples’ unity. 

There can be no justice without justice for First Peoples. There can be no justice with these lands and our peoples dominated by US monopoly capitalism, or by their Australian collaborators. They are the murderous white heart of capitalism here.

Independence regained by First Peoples is independence won also by the working class and its allies. It’s the core of socialism. There will be a new ruling class – the working class and its allies who are the vast majority – whose key job in serving their peoples will be to end class rule forever.

On January 26 and every other day, it is a collective dream to work for, to organise for, to fight for. Elders like Yaluritja embody it. 

First Peoples have chosen to speak of sovereignty. They are loud, united and strong! 

When whitefellas dance Ceremony, it’s time for consequences

(Sovereignty banner faces parliament from tent embassy.  Photo: Will E. Clicket  Flickr Commons)

 Written by: Lindy Nolan on 18 January 2024

The so-called sovereign citizen movement is a puppet of the most vicious wing of US imperialism, that wants rules and laws only to benefit itself. The puppet master wants to make war, exploit lives and destroy environments with zero consequences. 

Sovereign citizens claim that laws, like taxes, are ‘illegal’ if they stop citizens ‘freely’ living their lives. 

Here they claim James Cook’s secret instructions from British Admiralty – to chart this continent and make agreements with inhabitants – was illegally broken by him when he claimed British sovereignty on Possession Island. They say all subsequent law here is illegal. A small but growing number of First Peoples agree.

Laws ALWAYS have a class content. The British didn’t reprimand Cook for claiming British sovereignty on Possession Island. 

They promoted him from lieutenant to captain. Eighteen years later, Britain invaded what is now called Australia.

They aimed to challenge the Dutch spice trade monopoly and create both a military base against France and a dumping ground for convicts. They knowingly brought the diseases and guns that decimated other First Peoples in other lands they’d already invaded. 

A birthright

When so-called original sovereigns invaded the Tent Embassy in 2022, allowing painted up whitefellas to dance “ceremony”, some claimed missing Aboriginal children were prey to paedophiles in tunnels under old parliament house. 

This divisive Q-Anon poison provides some First Peoples’ troops backing Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s demand for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. It will launch another witch-hunt.

False claims of paedophile rings run by male Elders was the excuse for the 15-year NT Intervention. In reality it was a land grab that humiliated and disempowered Aboriginal men and destroyed almost all NT First Peoples’ hard-won rights. By every measure it made their lives far worse. 

Recently sovereign citizens have bombarded native title meetings. Native title is not land rights. It can be divisive. It can be manipulated to favour lands councils over custodians. But it can have great positive impact for First Peoples too.

The sovereign crew use the negatives to trick and win over First Peoples, calling it ‘slave title’, saying ‘you’re actually signing the land away’.  

First Peoples themselves led the pushback against sovereign citizens’ hijack. In early January 2022 Birpai journalist Jack Latimore, quoted Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) spokesperson, Gamilaraay and Kooma woman Ruby Wharton, who slammed the attempt to “co-opt the First Nations Sovereignty rights movement.

Wharton said, “Sovereignty is our birthright.

“It’s our birthright to occupy our traditional homelands, it’s our birthright to speak language, it’s our birthright to practise our traditional laws and protect our Country.” 

She ridiculed so-called Australian sovereignty for belonging to the British queen or king. Parliamentarians still swear allegiance to them, and Britain’s flag dominates the Australian one. But like Australia, Britain now dances to a US tune. 

Wharton is right, Australia is not independent. Sovereignty is in other hands. Laws are in other hands. It’s time for consequences. It’s time to smash the foundations and build new ones. 


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Multipolarism – the new Kautskyism


(Above; Prominent leftist academics help sell multipolarity)

Written by: Alan Jackson on 14 January 2024

It is clear that U.S global hegemony is on the decline while economic formations like BRICS and Imperialist powers Russia and China are growing in global dominance. 

The U.S since the dissolution of the social-imperialist Soviet Union in 1991 has since been the most powerful economic and military power with little competition due to the destruction of its main contender, the U.S.S.R. This led to bourgeois journalists, think tanks, politicians, financiers and academia in their refusal to acknowledge Imperialism, to refer to the global relations situation and the supreme dominance of the U.S as one that was Unipolar. 

These same liberal bourgeois or modern day Kautskyites, are deducing that with the rise of contending economic powers (particularly China and Russia) we are on the road to a “Multipolar” world in which powerful states and their monopolies will keep each other in check. 
I would not bother myself writing an article against this modern day Kaustskyism if it wasn’t for the influx of self-proclaimed “Marxist-Leninists” (particularly in the Anglo sphere) that are picking this up as anti-Imperialist and genuine Marxist theory. 
Not only is this mischaracterisation erroneous and completely devoid of class analysis. The theory of Multipolarity is crippling if kept unchecked and is an exact reflection of the Ideology Lenin railed against in “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. This was the ideology of Kautsky, of the German Social-Imperialists who acted as radical Liberals and threw internationalism in the dumpster for war credits on the eve of the First World War. If we wish to avoid revisionism and dogmatism this rhetoric must be thrown to the dustbin of history. 
Why is Multipolarity a problem in the International Communist Movement and how does it relate to Kautskyism?
To answer the question of what multipolarity is and how it relates to Kautskyism, we must first make the statement and analysis clear that both China and Russia are Imperialist Countries. This analysis has already been undertaken so I will leave some works for further reading on this below. Now that we have made clear that Russia and China are in fact Imperialist and not bastions of the Proletarian Revolution like many delusional “Marxist-Leninists” so erroneously are stating, we can address this question better. 
These revisionists have quite a large following and include but aren’t limited to Ben Norton, who claims to be a Marxist-Leninist subjectively but objectively only combats U.S Imperialism to defend Russian and Chinese Imperialism. He has also appeared on the popular ML (Marxist-Leninist) Podcast “The Deprogram”, Midwestern Marx which is an organisation and “journal” which also has a large following, and has been published by Monthly Review. He has been defending Russian and Chinese Imperialism to an equally large extent and has even gone so far recently as stating “Russia is on the path to becoming Socialist again” (1). Supporters of multipolarity include Infrared (Haz), Jakson Hinkle, Caleb Maupin and Alexandr Dougan. 
There has also been some influence in Australia with the Communist Party of Australia publishing an article by Jesus Rojas in 2021 titled “Venezuela, Russia and China: the route to a multipolar world”, and its 14th Congress in 2022 passing a resolution which included: “Most countries support the trend towards a multi-polar world and against hegemony. China’s framework of win/win diplomacy and community for a shared future are much better suited for the increasingly multipolar world.’’
There is also a rather small group called the “Eureka Collective” who also seem to follow this theory. 
This large influence world-wide has led to many aspiring Marxist-Leninists supporting Multipolarity as a genuine and viable solution promoting peace. This is ridiculous as military spending has only gone up since the rise of other imperialist states according to Al Jazeera “reaching all-time high of $2.24 trillion”(2). 
Aggression has also only gone up with war and genocide resurrecting in Palestine. Genocide is being perpetrated by the Fascist Israeli Government and Settlers; Ukraine is being invaded by Imperialist Russia and is being fuelled and fooled by the Imperialist super power the US; Yemen, Afghanistan, The Congo, Sudan, Burkina Faso and the Guyana-Venezuela territorial dispute are further examples. 
Russia and China have been sinking their Imperialist teeth into African and Asian veins with loans as harsh as the IMF with Sri Lanka forfeiting “the port and over 15,000 acres of land around it for 99 years” (3). 
It is clear the Imperialist countries will not “keep each other in check” but carry on as Imperialism always has, as a blood-starved beast that will seek out Capital where it can no matter the consequences. But, how does this relate to Kautskyism and Ultra-Imperialism? 
Marx declared that ‘History repeats itself first, as tragedy, and then as farce.’ And farcical it is watching the lows these subjective “MLs” but objective defenders of Imperialism will drop to with ridiculous statements such as listed above in order to promote and defend their ideology. 
Kautsky presented his Ultra-Imperialism by saying “Cannot the present imperialist policy be supplanted by a new, ultra-imperialist policy, which will introduce the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital in place of the mutual rivalries of national finance capitals? Such a new phase of capitalism is at any rate conceivable.” (4). 
A new Ultra-Imperialist policy now emerges and presents imperialism as a desirable set of multiple poles (multipolarity) with different aims but a common goal of achieving a peaceful environment for their ongoing exploitation and plunder.
It sounds just as ridiculous as the ultra-imperialism that Lenin opposed, writing: “From the purely economic point of view,” is “ultra-imperialism” possible, or is it ultra-nonsense?” (5) and stating: 
“Therefore, in the realities of the capitalist system, and not in the banal philistine fantasies of English parsons, or of the German “Marxist,” Kautsky, “inter-imperialist” or “ultra-imperialist” alliances, no matter what form they may assume, whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or of a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a “truce” in periods between wars. Peaceful alliances prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one conditions the other, producing alternating forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle on one and the same basis of imperialist connections and relations within world economics and world politics. But in order to pacify the workers and reconcile them with the social-chauvinists who have deserted to the side of the bourgeoisie, wise Kautsky separates one link of a single chain from another, separates the present peaceful (and ultra-imperialist, nay, ultra-ultra-imperialist) alliance of all the powers for the “pacification” of China (remember the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion) from the non-peaceful conflict of tomorrow, which will prepare the ground for another “peaceful” general alliance for the partition, say, of Turkey, on the day after tomorrow, etc., etc. Instead of showing the living connection between periods of imperialist peace and periods of imperialist war, Kautsky presents the workers with a lifeless abstraction in order to reconcile them to their lifeless leaders.” (6). 
With everything so far it is very clear that Inter-Imperialist competition only breeds war and will never become a joint productive and co-operative endeavour between the most powerful of states. 
With everything presented it is clear and obvious the appearance of Multipolarism is only a rebranded and reskinned Kautskyite Ultra-Imperialism just like Kautsky’s Ultra-Imperialism was a rebranding and reskinning of Hobson’s Super-Imperialism which proclaimed  “Christendom thus laid out in a few great federal empires, each with a retinue of uncivilised dependencies, seems to many the most legitimate development of present tendencies, and one which would offer the best hope of permanent peace on an assured basis of inter-imperialism.” (7).  
Knowing that Multipolarism is only modern day Kautskyism, we can throw this crippling theory to the dustbin of history and carry on in our revolutionary mass work. Like Lenin said “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.” (8), and it is clear that Multipolarism is no revolutionary theory.
Sources – 
(4.) Kautsky - Die Neue Zeit, April 30, 1915, S. 144.
(5.) Lenin – Imperialism the Highest stage of Capitalism (Chapter 7)
(6.) Lenin – Imperialism the Highest stage of Capitalism (Chapter9)
(7.) quoted in Lenin – Imperialism the Highest stage of Capitalism (Chapter 9)
(8.) Lenin – What is to be Done?
Resources on Chinese Imperialism –