Australia’s Revolution, Chapter 16
Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

E. F. Hill

Australia’s Revolution: On the Struggle for a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party


We have traced something of the development of the Communist Party in Australia. It has developed in struggle. Its mission is to lead the working class to the overthrow of capitalism. This cannot be done arbitrarily. The Australian revolution can only be made by Australian workers, working people and other anti-imperialist forces.

The working class develops along with the development of capitalism. The Communist Party of Australia (M.L.) is the party of the Australian working class. Its development is inseparable from the development of capitalism in Australia and the historical destiny of capitalism – its overthrow.

Our booklet commented on the miseries caused by capitalism. It showed something of the development of capitalism in Australia and it showed that the working class is at the same time both the product and the gravedigger of capitalism.

Capitalism is in final crisis. It will be overthrown soon, soon in the historical sense. Mao Tsetung put the question of “soon” very well when he said:

How then should we interpret the word ’soon’ in the statement, ’there will soon be a high tide of revolution’? This is a common question among comrades. Marxists are not fortune tellers. They should, and indeed can, only indicate the general direction of future developments and changes; they should not and cannot fix the day and the hour in a mechanistic way. But when I say that there will soon be a high tide of revolution in China, I am emphatically not speaking of something which in the words of some people ’is possibly coming’, something illusory, unattainable and devoid of significance for action. It is like a ship far out at sea whose mast-head can already be seen from the shore; it is like the morning sun in the east whose shimmering rays are visible from a high mountain top; it is like a child about to be born moving restlessly in its mother’s womb. (A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire, Selected Works, Vol. I, p.127.)

Australia is dominated by gigantic monopolies, mainly U.S. monopolies. This has caused a great socialisation of the process of production, that is, the workers are engaged in the factories in work where each worker’s work is dependent on every other worker’s work. In tracing the history of development of capitalism Engels said: “. . . production itself changed from a series of individual into a series of social acts and the products from individual to social products. The yarn, the cloth, the metal articles that now come out of the factory, were the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had successively to pass before they were ready. No one person could say of them: I made that; this is my product’.” (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.) But these products which in Australia are so socially produced are individually owned by the great monopolies, mainly U.S. “Now the owner of the instruments of labor always appropriated to himself the product, although it was no longer his product but exclusively the product of the labor of others.” (Ibid.).

Marx showed how this process worked out and how all people except the big capitalists were either thrown into the working class or must ally themselves with it. He said:

As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the labourers are turned into proletarians, their means of labour into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialisation of labour and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many labourers. This expropriation is accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic production itself, by the centralisation of capital. One capitalist always kills many. Hand in hand with this centralisation, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on an ever extending scale, the co-operative form of the labour process, the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour into instruments of labour only usable in common, the economising of all means of production by their use as the means of production of combined, socialised labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and this, the international character of the capitalistic regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolise all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated. (Capital, Vol. I, pp.836-7, Kerr Edition.)

Marx’s description of the magnates of capital aptly fits the U.S. magnates of capital who dominate and exploit Australia. It aptly describes their powerful but declining predecessors the British imperialists and it aptly describes their creature (a now rival) Japanese imperialism. It aptly describes the socialisation of the labour process in Australia, the product of imperialist exploitation which perforce sets up capitalist relations of production.

The thorough resolution of this contradiction can only occur in socialism. The path to socialism is through the revolutionary overthrow of these imperialist owners of Australia. Once they have been overthrown the revolution advances to socialism. There is production for use and not for private profit. War and crisis are abolished.

The Communist Party of Australia bases itself on this analysis. A fundamental contradiction in Australian capitalism (in all capitalisms) is this contradiction between the socialisation of the productive process and on the other hand, the monopoly appropriation of the products so socially produced. It lies at the heart of war and economic crisis and is the basis of the whole of the social antagonisms in Australia today. It is the root of the class struggle. The incompatibility of socialised production with capitalist appropriation has reached a critical point in Australia. The extent of the U.S. monopoly exploitation of Australia has been commented on. In all the main spheres of production U.S. monopolies dominate; they have developed the socialised process of production in Australia to an unprecedented high. And by doing so they have laid the foundations for their own destruction by the Australian workers and other anti-imperialist forces. It is these workers whom the Communist Party of Australia (M.L.) serves. This is the most selfless of all service. The Communist Party (M.L.) has the historical task of rendering that service well. It must sum up the past so that it can serve the Australian workers and working people in socialist revolution.