communist left of australia

Number 118 
P.O. Box 260, St Peters 2044 N.S.W. Australia


Donald Trump is a man of action. During the Presidential election campaign he said that, if elected, he would declare war on the Islamic State and this he has done. One thousand troops are being sent to take over their capital, Raqqa. The Islamic State is losing their hold on Mosul. Losing Raqqa will be its death agony.

We must acknowledge that the Islam State is a state. Bourgeois commentators avoid this by calling it “The Islamic State Group”. The fact is that the Islamic State fits every criteria of a state: it has a political system and infrastructure. The imperialists simply don’t like those who establish states without their permission. The Soviet Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk are not recognised either.

Few people will mourn its passing. In fact, even many of the Sunni Muslims who saluted its formation will rejoice. Its practices — basing themselves on the most extreme variant of Muslim fundamentalism — are barbaric and reactionary. Woe betide any woman seen showing any part of her face. Discipline was enforced brutally. Children’s education involved learning how to use a gun rather than proper schooling. And if you weren’t a Muslim then you suffered barbaric repression, even death. The Christians were forced to suffer near genocide.

We have no love for the Islamic State but this invasion must be opposed. It is happening for these reasons: US imperialism does not like states established without their permission. The Islamic State is on land ripe for exploitation -- this war is a war for oil. The invasion will also consolidate imperialist control over Syria.

People are leaving Mosul telling horror stories. They are grateful for the efforts of the Iraqi armed forces. There could be a similar reaction from those fleeing the Islamic State. Irrespective of this, this invasion must be opposed.

A successful US intervention would facilitate imperialist control of the whole Middle East. It would also assist America’s loyal ally, Israel. Working people must take action against it.

There is some talk of Australian participation. As the Turnbull Government is a loyal ally of both the US and Israel this could happen. We in Australia must oppose any U.S. and Australian intervention in the Middle East. The consequences of Trump’s intervention and a subsequent victory would be to consolidate power and imperialist control. We must not let our hatred for the Islamic State get in the way of understanding that this is about imperialist domination, not about liberating innocent people from a brutal and barbaric regime. There must be Australian workers’ action against this invasion especially if Australia participates.


Before being elected Donald Trump complained that the USA electoral system was a rigged system. It's rigged all his favour. On votes cast Hillary Clinton should have won. Nevertheless Trump won and he won because of his support in the majority of states.

The labour aristocracy and large sections of the middle class, especially in rural areas, were on his side. He managed to win these sections over by the projection of power. Obama had played down America’s role as a great power. Trump wants to “make America great again”. He appeals to patriotic America.

Trump has played on Middle America’s racism both to Muslims and to Mexicans. Trump also appealed to those in the rustbelt states where manufacturing has collapsed. His solution is to promote America and American jobs as opposed to those in Mexico or elsewhere. This divides workers along national lines. This is what Trump is consciously trying to do. Part of this agenda is to oppose trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership which he has already withdrawn from. For much of working class America, capitalist internationalism means the rampant international movement of capital which is attacking their interests. Protectionism and promoting America seems to be the alternative which saves jobs.

We, the revolutionary left, must counter-pose international revolutionary action to fight for jobs in America, Mexico and elsewhere. National chauvinism plays the bosses’ game.

Donald Trump is now in office. He is being met with mass hostility. Unfortunately much of this hostility is in defence of mainstream America. Donald Trump has attacked the media as the enemy of the people. So the likes of John McCain promote the existing media, “defending free press”. He is backed by the Democrats. Trump, of course, is self-serving. He wants a media which blows his trumpet and woe betide it if it doesn’t. Let's not forget that the bourgeois media is the enemy of working people (the only media exempt in Trump’s view is Fox — owned by Rupert Murdoch — truly enemies of the people).

Trump promised a racist campaign against immigrants. And he is delivering. His attempt to ban all people from seven Muslim majority countries has
been blocked by the high Court. This is unadulterated racism. There is no evidence of terrorists coming from any of the countries named. Countries which terrorists have come from are actually not on the list. These include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It is suggested that this is because Trump has investments there. Whole peoples should not be collectively punished for the acts of a few.

Trump’s act is one of a racist and a bully throwing his weight around. The US High court stands in his way. He is promising to get around the order. He is now moving another piece of anti-muslim legislation: Iraq has been removed from the list of bad countries. We’ll see if there will be litigation this time. Irrespective of what bourgeois law demands, workers must defend the rights of Muslims in America and the rights of anyone to come and live in America.

Trump's election has been met with anger. Fully justified anger. Anger over racism and anger over sexism. Anger that Trump didn’t deserve to win on the number of votes cast.

What is the alternative? Hilary Clinton was an imperialist alternative, threatening or promising to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Trump is more ideological and explicitly racist about Mexicans and those without entry papers. But Obama attacked and deported “illegal” Mexicans as well.

Trump’s more blatant racism has made the Democrats appear more politically correct. But the Democrats believe in the racist system and it was Barak Obama who began the attack on Mexicans which Trump is continuing in a more consistently racist way. The worst possible mistake in opposing racist, reactionary Trump is to tail behind the reactionary imperialist Democrats with the suggestion they are some sort of enlightened alternative. The only alternative to Trump which is supportable is a revolutionary alternative.

Is Trump a fascist? Many politicians are justifying their block with the Democrats by claiming he is. Certainly his politics are similar and certainly much of his mass base is fascist. However, he is not a fascist. Fascism is a mass movement committed to smashing the working class and bourgeois democracy. This is not Trump’s agenda.

But he is fascist backed and has a social network which includes fascists. Certainly his social base includes the same class elements from which fascists recruit. The real fascists are backing Trump. They want to expose him, showing petty bourgeois, labour aristocratic and lumpen America that their methods work and parliament doesn’t.

Trump is not a fascist and those who falsely make this accusation do a gross disservice to the fight against real fascism. Workers must organise to fight the real fascists backing Trump.

Workers must organise to bring down the Trump presidency, the Republican congress and theSenate.

The only real alternative is a revolutionary alternative.


Recently Malcolm Turnbull went on the offensive against Bill Shorten alleging that he crawls to the rich. The Liberal faithful were impressed. Malcolm needed this lift in support. He is a man under siege, not only from Bill Shorten who leads him in the polls but from his fellow Liberals. The liberal-tory alliance on which the Liberal Party is based is falling apart. Malcolm may be parliamentary leader and prime minister but he faces a serious challenge from varying right-wing forces. These include hard line conservatives, hard line racists  and protectionists.

Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott when Abbott’s hard-line conservatism was clearly failing. It was a very clever coup led by Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison and included the politically correct young Turks of the party. Turnbull’s strategy was to have a more conciliatory and collaborative approach. By taking a relatively principled position on issues such as gay marriage, he thought progressive public opinion could be won over to the economically rationalist agenda. He has failed in this objective.

Turnbull cleverly manoeuvred to win over a majority of Liberal MPs but he faced hostility from the Liberal rank and file who are far more chauvinist. This was particularly notable in Queensland where last election saw the rise of One Nation. Opinion polls showed an upsurge of One Nation support.
Turnbull has made concessions to the right and in doing so has lost the support of the middle ground he was hoping to win over.

The Turnbull Liberal government plans to decrease the tax on companies. Labor opposes this, not out of any desire to tax the rich more but because Labour thinks that this is not the time to do it, given the high deficit. They have indicated to the bosses that they would cut taxes under other circumstances. The bosses want even greater tax cuts and so they have supported a right wing split called the Australian Conservative Movement. This is led by Cory Bernardi who has resigned from the Liberal Party. He is backed financially by mining magnate Gina Reinhardt. Less tax revenue will mean less money for social services. Poor people will feel the squeeze. Money for schools and hospitals will also be significantly reduced.

The main lesson from the Trump victory for the bosses is the importance of racism in wedging former Democrats and, in Australia, Labor supporters. They were won over largely because of Trump’s hard-line anti-Mexican and anti-Islam racism. The “war against terror” has fuelled racism against believers in Islam. Cory Bernardi plans to take advantage of this.

Malcolm Turnbull wants to include the mainstream Islamic movement in his broad coalition to fight terrorism. The racists want to blame all Muslims. Cory Bernardi hopes to wedge Liberal support with his anti-Islam attack opposing halal food and wearing the hijab. We don’t know how successful he will be but pressure will certainly be put on Malcolm. Fascism and anti-Islamic chauvinism is a key question.

The workers’ movement must be unequivocal in opposing racism and supporting the right of Muslims to practice their faith unconditionally.

Bernardi has to deal with the more consistent racist chauvinists — Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. One Nation is putting serious pressure on the Liberals to become even more racist. Cory Bernardi is an economic conservative. This will give him problems in South Australia where unions and others are on their knees begging the government to bail out local manufacturing. The most consistent supporters are the Nick Xenophon Team which not only has Senate seats but a seat in the house of Reps.

Malcolm Turnbull is under serious pressure. His government only has a majority of one. His party will be forced to capitulate to these pressures, leaving his liberal dream in tatters. This pressure will force the Liberals into becoming a conservative party seriously adapting to racism. To this end the conservative wing are even prepared to sacrifice the Turnbull government (though they will deny this).

Turnbull has himself gone to the right, caving in to conservative pressure. When he was elected leader by defeating Tony Abbott, many were euphoric for this new look, progressive Liberal leader. Now he has caved in and all the euphoria has gone. He has been out-manoeuvred by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Turnbull’s liberalism has seemed to lack direction. The most probable winner of the next election will be the Labor Party led by Bill Shorten. This will be another conservative government. It will be a Liberal-lite government. It will be countered by a new look Liberal Party with hard-line economic rationalist policies and hard-line racism.

It is very important that the workers’ movement fight this turn to the right. But it is important to do this not by propping up the apparently nicer conservatives called Labor. We must build a revolutionary alternative. We must fight to bring down the Turnbull government. Our alternative must not be a parliamentary Labor government administering capitalism more efficiently but a revolutionary workers’ and small farmer’s government. Malcolm Turnbull had a perspective of winning support from progressive public opinion for a conservative economic agenda. We do not mourn his failure.

The latest crisis for the Turnbull government concerns penalty rates. Basically, the Fair work commission, supposedly an independent umpire, has decided that those who work Sundays should only be paid the same rates as those who work Saturdays — at time and a half. The commission overwhelming sides with the bosses. Workers are angry as this will mean a massive loss of income. Shorten is in a position to cash in on this politically.

Turnbull accuses Shorten of hypocrisy. It was Labor who established the commission and not so long ago at that. Shorten said that he would adhere to the commission's decisions. We agree with Turnbull: Shorten is hypocritical. Nevertheless, Turnbull supports the courts and is feeling the brunt of workers’ justifiable anger. We share workers’ anger with the Turnbull Government but be warned: Shorten stands for the same system and the same arbitration system which attacks us.

We must not get sucked into Shorten’s agenda to administer the system at our expense. This is not our system. We must organise to overthrow it.
We need a revolutionary alternative to Labor.


The apartheid state of Israel has felt a bit friendless. Just before Trump was elected, the United Nations voted overwhelming against Israel’s not preventing Jewish settlements on the West Bank. For the past fifty years Israel has been stealing land from the Palestinians. The aim is not merely to accommodate Jewish settlers but to make the Palestinian state totally unviable. Overwhelmingly the United Nations supports the two-state solution. This included the U.S. Obama government.

Donald Trump has hedged his bets on whether he supports a two-state solution or otherwise, suggesting that the Israeli people would work it out. This plays into the hands of Zionists. Trump was really annoyed that the U.S. abstained from voting. Usually America works hand in glove with Israel.

One person who didn’t equivocate was Malcolm Turnbull. He attacked the resolution as “biased”. This is a case of one side right, one side wrong. It is the Israelis who are stealing land from the Palestinians. Turnbull’s solidarity was music to the Zionists’ ears. Netanyahu has honoured him with the first
trip to Australia by an Israeli head of state. Turnbull is happy to welcome him.

It is common knowledge that Netanyahu is a war criminal, a racist and a war monger. He has consolidated power by blocking with the extreme right on the Israeli political spectrum, including those who believe Israel has a religious obligation to displace the Palestinians.

We oppose Netanyahu as an extreme reactionary. We oppose anyone who represents that reactionary apartheid settler state known as Israel. Israel occupied Palestine. It was created partly as a way of solving the Jewish question. But it was also created as a bulwark for Imperialism in the Middle East. Israel kicked the Palestinians off their land and into the desert so that a new racist state could be created. The Palestinians have been fighting ever since and deserve military support. We have no faith in leaderships such as Hamas, the PLO, PFLP etc. However, when they fight the reactionary apartheid state, we are on their side.

Remember T.J. Hickey, John Pat, Lloyd Boney, Eddie Murray, Murinjiali Doomagee....

The police forces of Australia are racist institutions and Black people know it. They know it through every day harassment. They know it through the long list of black people murdered both in and out of custody. The point is to do something about it. Time and time again we see that there can be no justice through the capitalist system. No copper has been charged for killing a Black person. When Mulrinji Doomagee died in custody on Palm Island, his serious internal injuries which could not possibly have been self-inflicted nor accidental.

Revolutionary communists say: the workers’ movement must stand up against racist police attacks. There must be workers’ action if any black person is attacked or killed. There must be worker and black defence.
Workers have an interest in standing up against racism and the racist capitalist state. If we turn a blind eye or even support the state when it attacks Black people, then we can’t fight the capitalist state when it attacks us.


The W.A. elections offered two alternatives. One the pro-mining capitalist party called Liberal, the another called Labor. Labor won with a landslide majority. In no way will this interfere with the operations of capitalism, let alone challenge it.

The WA elections were a massive setback to both the Liberal Party and One Nation. It is a case of riding to power when the mining industry falls.
The Liberals are more pro-mining than Labor but they were in office.

They should take responsibility for the collapse of the boom and the economy. Voters took it out on Liberals with a vengeance. The Nationals were hit but only in mining seats such as Pilbara and Kalgoorlie. In rural electorates they were relatively unscathed. We think this was mainly a Western Australian phenomena and will not have repercussions nationally.

One party who suffered severely was Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. This party is a fascist-supported, right-wing broad front. It stands for malignant racism. It targets refugees and Muslims.

One Nation suffered a massive loss of support. Before the election polls put its support at more than ten percent. One Nation only polled five percent.
It is clear that this setback was due to an electoral alliance the Liberals made with One Nation. Both parties agreed to exchange preferences. This was opposed both within the Liberal and One Nation ranks and by the Nationals. It also was rejected by voters.

Great! The less support this fascist front gets the better. Beware - this setback may only be temporary. Many voters indicated that they were not
voting One Nation because of the alliance. They still support One Nation politics. They said so to Pauline. Could One Nation make a comeback? Maybe! It defends on how her supporters react to her reappraisal. Now Pauline  considers her deal to be a mistake. This is only a tactical setback for the fascist movement. It is not a massive political defeat. The political basis for a fascist movement still exists.

Overwhelmingly amongst the middle class and labour aristocracy there is Islamophobia and opposition to refugees. There is also frustration with and opposition to the economic rationalist agenda. This probably will crystallise politically. Maybe by One Nation, if Pauline can resurrect her credibility or if not, by some other malignant fascist force.

The workers’ movement must remain vigilant. We must have a clear agenda of international class solidarity as opposed to Australian chauvinism. We must clearly oppose Islamophobia. We must actively support refugees. We must have a clear position defending black people against racist police attacks and support Black self-determination.

One Nation’s electoral opportunism has led to a setback. We must take advantage of this and not be complacent.


Many hope The Greens will fall by the wayside just as the Democratic Labor Party and The Australian Democrats fell from view. Many of their supporters fear this too. A split could happen.

If you ask Robert di Natale or Bob Brown, the villain of the piece is Lee Rhiannon, a senator from NSW. She is a former member of the Socialist Party which changed its name after the demise of the Communist Party of Australia. In fact she was a hardcore Stalinist. Today she vehemently claims to be Green and not Stalinist.

We think the fault lies with the Di Natale leadership going to the right. This has angered a whole layer of rank and file Greens. They are former members of the Pabloite International Group led by Nick Origlass; former members of the Aarons-led old Communist Party (notably Jack Mundey); the Socialist Alliance, Maoists, anarchists and even the Spartacist League. They have been described as “watermelons” — Green on the outside, red on their inside. Their politics are a bit mushy.

There are some ways in which the Greens are Stalinists without the hardcore Stalinism. They support the soft parts of Stalinism like peace, popular front mass movements but reject the hard parts like the working class revolution and serious anti-imperialist solidarity. The Greens are a degeneration product of Stalinism. For them the working class is an interest group — they are not the basis of Green strategy.

The Greens are influenced by the Green Bans of the Jack Mundey-led NSW Builders’ Labourers’ Federation. Mundey was also a leader in the Aarons-led CPA. The Green Bans inspired Petra Kelly who founded the Greens in Germany.

On the other hand, there are the pure Greens who have no communist or socialist desires or allegiance. Then there are the respectable Greens, many of whom would, no doubt, like an Australian Democrats Mark2.

The Greens have been divided from the beginning. It is no surprise that respectable leaders would find the militant rank and file ex-communists to be ballast, an obstacle to their pursuit of electoral respectability.

The Greens are bound to split. We will not mourn their passing. We hope that oppositionists reject not only a respectable opportunist leadership but the whole anti-working class frame work. We do not need the Aarons’ style CPA Mark2 nor a coalition of popular frontists. We need revolutionary politics.


The Communist Left of Australia is a revolutionary propaganda group committed to building a revolutionary alternative to Labor.
We stand for a revolutionary workers’ and small farmers’ government as opposed to a parliamentary government.
We stand for the revolutionary expropriation of capitalist industry.
We stand for a shorter working week without loss of pay, in fact, with wage increases.
We oppose all immigration controls and fully support the right of all refugees to come to Australia, unconditionally.
We support self-determination for the Kooris, Murries, Nyongahs and all groupings known as “Aborigines”
We support self-determination for Torres Strait Islanders.
We support women’s rights and Gay rights including the socialisation of housework and child care.
We oppose Australian imperialist intervention both in the South Pacific and as part of the US war effort.
We support a Fifth communist International in continuity with the Fourth International established by Leon Trotsky

Make a free website with Yola