Communist Party of Australia

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Journal of the Communist Party of Australia

ISSUE 67April 2018


Welcome to the first issue of the Australian Marxist Review for 2018. The 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Australia has come and gone, leaving members with a deep sense of what needs to be done to bring the Party to the People. Issue #67 explores the way forward for the Party before focusing on some specific challenges and opportunities.

The issue begins with General Secretary Bob Briton’s Contribution to the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. Given on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, the contribution focused on analysing the worsening international and domestic situation as it exists today, highlighting the re-emergence of especially repugnant anti-worker forces that were previously considered too extreme and the growing recklessness of imperialism. In the face of these challenges, Communists must demonstrate leadership and initiative.

The lessons of that momentous event one hundred years ago are, as Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) points out, still directly relevant to the struggles of workers today. In her address to the 2017 Trade Union Congress held in London, Brinda uses current examples of struggle in India to show how Communists can learn from the Bolsheviks and identifies key areas of work for the future.

Capitalism, like all class societies before it, is based on exploitation. In his article, “Culture and agriculture”, Wadi’h Halabi discusses the culture of exploitation as it relates to agriculture and the opposition between town and country before demonstrating how socialist countries previously approached the issue and the potential for agro-towns and ecological agriculture to increasingly resolve the contradiction. Of course, this can only be done under socialism!

The next article is the fourth and final part of Craig Ryan’s epic “On the illegality of war” series. In this part, he outlines the attempts by imperialist countries to entrench pre-emptive self-defence as a principle of international war and further demonstrates that international law isn’t simply a tool of international capital but is something that can be appropriated and used to “nourish other forms of progressive struggle”.

Culture, too, may be appropriated in the international struggle against capital. Nordahl Grieg, although largely unknown outside of Nordic countries, strived for peace and Communism through his work as a journalist, poet, novelist and dramatist. Lars Thomsen, in “Nordhal Grieg’s commitment to peace”, provides a biography of some Grieg’s significant works and adventures before his untimely death in 1943.

This issue’s book review, brought to you by Lars Thomsen, focuses on Emmanuil Kazakevich’s The Blue Notebook. Kazakevich’s work transports readers to the summer of 1917 and provides a very personal account of Lenin’s experience of writing The State and Revolution in exile.

The final article of this issue is a short piece describing the experience of a Spanish commune, Marinaleda, and their achievements in the face of overwhelming pressure from the rest of capitalist Spain.

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