Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1616      October 30, 2013


CPA anniversary

October 30 marks the 93rd anniversary of the formation of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920. In those 93 years the Party participated in and led many great struggles. In that time it endured attacks on it by the ruling powers, including being outlawed during the Second World War and an attempt to ban it by the Menzies government in the 1950s, an attempt thwarted by the combined forces of the trade unions, ALP and communities.

Today the CPA continues to be active and is part of the world-wide communist and workers’ movement. While there have been some international setbacks this movement remains the largest single political movement of our times.

Communist parties or their equivalent, provide the leadership of the governments of People’s China, Socialist Vietnam, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cambodia and Laos. Communists lead the governments of the Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura which have a combined population of 70-80 million. Members of the South African Communist Party are part of the coalition government of South Africa. There are strong and influential communist parties in a number of the countries of the European continent, such as AKEL in Cyprus, and the struggle of the Communist Party of Greece. Many parties work as part of national liberation movements or in coalition with other parties.

The members of the CPA are active and dedicated – as are our counterparts in other countries – to the interests of the working people. A look at our policies for democratic rights, secure and better living standards, for environmental protection, trade union rights, peace between nations, child-care facilities, equality for women, jobs, trade unions, student and the youth, for the rights of the Indigenous people, just to mention a few issues, confirms this claim.

But how to implement these policies and form a government that is also committed to the interests of the working people rather than to the interests of the corporations and “the big end of town”? At the present time, big money rules and has willing servants in both the major political parties – Liberal and Labor.

The CPA proposes that all the left and progressive forces should cooperate in a coalition which works out a program of agreed policies and works hard to implement them both inside and outside parliament.

In state and federal parliamentary elections a start can be made by progressive parties and individual candidates agreeing to exchange preferences. Later more formal coalitions could be formed.

It is this type of government that has won through in Brazil, Venezuela, and Uruguay and, as already mentioned, in South Africa.

Another feature of the outlook of communist parties is their internationalism. In just the same way that capital has become international in the form of transnational corporations, so it is necessary that working class organisations also go international and join with similar organisations in other countries. There are a number of trade union internationals and there are an increasing number of campaigns being waged on an international basis against specific international corporations such as Rio Tinto.

Communist parties also cooperate and wage joint campaigns, as seen in the Middle East, in Europe, South America and the Caribbean and in Asia.

It was Marx and Engels writing in the Communist Manifesto who put forward the slogan – “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”.

This month’s CPA’s 12th Congress resolutions incorporate all these ideas but to make more impact in Australia there is an urgent need to build the membership and influence of the Party.

So the Party makes this appeal to you. Why not consider joining up and becoming an active member in this great army of workers and fighters?

For decades, even centuries, progressive-minded citizens have been trying to change the world so that needs of the poor and exploited are given priority. But capital remains strong and tries to stop any and every progressive step forward. It is the communist parties and the new socialist societies that show that it can be done.

Next article – Ideologically motivated philanthropy

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