Australia has a very rich tradition of people’s struggle. As was said earlier, imperialism has set up capitalism in Australia. By doing that, it has created its own grave-diggers – the workers, working and patriotic people.
Never in the comparatively short history of imperialism in Australia have those gravediggers ceased to fight against their oppressors. Even before the decisive imperialist investment in Australia, the black people struggled against their invaders, the convicts struggled against their oppressors, strike struggles occurred. Reference has been made to Eureka, to the Maritime Strike, to the general strike in N.S.W. in 1917, to the conscription struggles of the 1st World War.
These events are outstanding features in what has been in fact a ceaseless struggle, now open, now hidden, now ebbing, now flowing.
But it has never abated.
With the U.S. and Japanese imperialist “interest” in Australia before World War I and particularly after World War II, that struggle has taken on a qualitatively higher form. It has become much deeper in anti-imperialist consciousness, much deeper in its insistence upon independence for Australia. It has clearly identified the enemies – British and Japanese imperialism and more latterly, the even more vicious U.S. imperialist enemy and it is identifying the still more vicious Soviet social-imperialist enemy. It has embraced more facets of imperialist expansion and oppression by the imperialists and their Australian imperialist collaborators.
In its most immediate terms it centres around the struggle between the two superpowers U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism which grows more and more desperate.
This struggle penetrates into every nook and cranny of the globe.
It was summed up in this way.
U.S. imperialism has huge economic interests in Australia and very important military installations.
Measure of its interest in Australia is its assignment of a notorious U.S. imperialist hatchetman Marshall Green, as Ambassador to Australia.
U.S. imperialism keeps all its options open to maintain its rule in Australia. Its multi-nationals here straddle the economic lifelines and the Australian state apparatus is their apparatus. They keep open the option of parliamentary government but are ready at any time to supplant it with military dictatorship. They use the various states as imperialist vassalages; they promote as fascist fuhrers people like the demagogue Bjelke-Petersen; they dominate the army; support fascist organisations. Within the parliamentary parties they manoeuvre to maintain U.S. imperialist supremacy. They carefully husband their resources in Australia.
The operations of their multi-nationals exploit and oppress the workers, hit at all sections of the population except the very rich with high monopoly prices and remitting of huge sums to the U.S.A., ruin the smaller businessmen like shopkeepers, intermediate and even large capitalists who supply components to the multinationals or compete with them; ruin the smaller farmers by enslaving them to the multi-nationals and dispossessing them of their land. These multi-nationals pollute the atmosphere, the soil and the water.
They are the heart and soul of U.S. imperialism and the enemies of the Australian People. Very wide sections of Australians have an interest in struggling against them. The objective basis for the widest united front composed of these many sections of people exists. The working class is most directly affected but it has allies and potential allies in many other sections of the people.
The common factor which binds these diverse sections of people together is opposition to U.S. imperialism, to U.S. imperialism’s multi-nationals.
No stone should be left unturned in uniting all these people in this struggle.
U.S. imperialism is being very seriously challenged by Soviet social imperialism.
The great victories of the Cambodian and Vietnamese peoples have struck a resounding blow at U.S. imperialism and greatly weakened it. This is a matter for great rejoicing.
It has weakened U.S. imperialism’s grip everywhere including in Australia.
But Soviet social imperialism rushes in to fill the “vacuum” including in Australia.
Everywhere it seeks to take advantage of the weakening of U.S. imperialism.
There is much more vigorous Soviet social imperialist activity in Asia, in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and in Australia.
At the very time of the U.S. imperialist debacle in Cambodia and Vietnam, the Soviet social imperialists conducted world wide naval manoeuvres. They had huge naval concentrations right against the shores of Australia in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Soviet spy planes fly over Australia. Soviet oceanographic and fishing boats chart Australian waters. Soviet spies operate in Australia. Soviet social imperialism maintains its political party in Australia, the so-called Socialist Party of Australia. It seeks ties with the Labor Party, the Liberal Party and the Country Party.
Soviet social imperialism aims and plots to occupy the position of U.S. imperialism in Australia. Its activities menace those same wide sections of the people as do the activities of U.S. imperialism.
These activities flow from a common cause; that cause is imperialism.
Both U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism are imperialist expansionary powers. They constantly strive to extend their markets, their sources of raw materials, their spheres of influence.
One can only expand at the expense of the other.
The Whitlam-Kosygin talks should never be forgotten. They marked a new stage in Soviet social-imperialism’s interest in Australia.
All patriotic Australians have the deepest interest in an Australia for Australians, black and white. No section whatever of the population except the handful of rich Australian collaborators with imperialism can get anything whatever from imperialist domination of Australia whether it be U.S. imperialist or Soviet social imperialist domination. Such domination brings only ruin and disaster. Far from developing Australia it leads to crisis, unemployment, inflation and war. All of these, Australians have experienced. They want none of them.
An Australia independent of these superpowers is absolutely vital. Failure to win independence means involvement in the threatened war between U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism.
The interests of Australians lie with the Third World countries. Whitlam’s visit to Peru is in accordance with this. But on the other hand, his collusion with U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism is not.
The world scene is indeed changing. Its central change lies in the struggle and victory of the people all over the world. The people are asserting an irresistible trend where countries want independence, nations want liberation and the people want revolution.
• For the broadest united front of Australians against the superpowers.
• For an independent Australia.
• For the Pacific and Indian Oceans as zones of peace.
The united front of the people, the unity of all people who can be united, against the imperialist enemies and their Australian collaborators has deepened and broadened. It continues to do that.
There have been many highlights of the all sided struggle in Australia – the referendum against the Communist Party Dissolution Act, the struggle against the Petrov provocation, the struggle against the Korean and Vietnam aggression, the struggle against conscription, the O’Shea struggle against the penal powers. These too are only highlights in a deeply developed ceaseless struggle for Australian independence from imperialism.
It is this struggle from its very beginning, commenced as it was by the black people and in which they have continued to play a big part, which is the decisive feature of Australia’s history.
It is certain too this struggle will be long and hard. It requires the people to build up their own army and an armed people to deal with the superpowers and all imperialists and their Australian collaborators. It is certain that it will be victorious.