Communist Party of Australia

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Journal of the Communist Party of Australia


The Australian Marxist Review welcomes articles from readers and contributions
to AMR Dialogue, including letters and brief articles raising new ideas or presenting
short commentaries on issues raised in the current journal or in previous AMRs

ISSUE 65August 2017


Editorial notes

Welcome to the second issue of the Australian Marxist Review for 2017, a year that has already thrown down major challenges to the working class and its allies in Australia and around the world. Issue #65 has a strong historical and theoretical focus and begins with Rob Gowland’s article “Why Russia?”. In it he explains the unique conditions existing in Russia in 1917, that not only allowed for the overthrow of Tsarism and the seizure of state power by the working class, but also the maintenance of that power in the face of the seemingly overwhelming military might of imperialism. more ...

Why Russia?

In the early part of the 19th century the industrial revolution grew apace. As industry grew, so did the number of industrial workers. It was quickly and glaringly apparent that the people who actually created the wealth – those who toiled in the mines and mills and those who transported both the raw materials and the finished product – did not receive compensation commensurate with their actual input. The wealth they produced was in fact appropriated by a class who owned rather than toiled. The appallingly dangerous and unhealthy working conditions of those who did toil also prompted many serious thinkers to question the validity of a social system that would tolerate – let alone take advantage of – such iniquities. more ...

Cause and consequences:
Changes in Bolshevik policy from
the October Revolution until Lenin’s death

The following is part one of a multi-part series exploring the Post-October Revolution situation in Russia, the challenges facing the Bolsheviks and how they faced and defeated each of these immense challenges. Through this examination, Michael Hooper draws a number of conclusions that are relevant for examining the conduct of modern socialist states and improving the work of Communist Parties in countries like Australia. more ...

On the illegality of war

The argument for the appropriation of international law by the world’s progressive forces has particular application to the struggle to prevent war. Koskenniemi has identified a way in which a dialectical approach towards international law can be used in the anti-war struggle via incorporation of a deconstructionist sensibility. Identifying that a dialectical materialist approach is essential to “a properly historical view”, through its recognition that historical development is achieved through the conflict of opposites involving “moments of challenge, collapse and construction”, Koskenniemi has applied a dialectical understanding to the postmodernist philosophy of deconstructionism. more ...

The protection of nature
by the Soviet government

The Soviet Union developed some of the world’s most significant contributions to ecology, revolutionising science in fields such as climatology, while also introducing pioneering forms of conservation. Aside from its famous zapovedniki, that is, nature reserves for scientific research, it preserved and even expanded its forests. As environmental historian Stephen Brain observed, the USSR established “levels of forest protection unparalleled anywhere in the world”. Beginning in the 1960s the Soviet Union increasingly instituted environmental reforms, and in the 1980s was the site of what has been called an “ecological revolution”. more ...

Linking theory to practice
A response to David Matters

In the April issue of Australian Marxist Review, David Matters published an essay entitled “The study of theory is necessarily linked to practice”. While attempting to make a contribution to our understanding of revolutionary struggle, in many ways what is most important about the essay is what it leaves unsaid: why is theory important for practice? While its title promises to teach us something about the nexus between the two, the essay ultimately fails to adequately deliver on that promise. Matters presents some of the material conditions of contemporary 21st century capitalist life, albeit in a confusing way, but tells us little about why theory might be important for us as we confront that material reality. In the interests of dialogue and allowing Matters’ essay to fulfil its latent potential, I offer here a few thoughts about theory and why we need it for our engagement with contemporary capitalism. more ...


PDF version available.

Editorial Board Members:

Dr Hannah Middleton (editor)
Michael Hooper (assistant-editor)
David Matters
Bob Briton

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