Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

E.F. Hill

Imperialism in Australia

The Menace of Soviet Social-Imperialism


Internally in Australia the contention and struggle between U.S. imperialism and Soviet social imperialism is a powerful contributing factor to the near crisis parliamentary situation and to the upheavals in the political parties of capitalism. As has been seen, capitalism in Australia is largely imperialism in Australia. It follows that contention and struggle between the 2 big imperialist powers must have repercussions in Australia.

Because of its contention and struggle with Soviet social-imperialism and because of Soviet social-imperialism’s interest in Australia, U.S. imperialism must husband all its resources including those in Australia. It must review its forces, tactics and relations with its local collaborators in Australia.

Hence on March 27, 1975, this was written:

One can learn a good deal by studying the parliamentary crisis in Australia and the crisis of the parliamentary parties.

Parliament is the classic institution of “democracy” in Western countries. Its classic form is one party in office and the other out of office. Its elections every few years are designed to create the illusion that the people govern themselves.

Reality shows the utter falsity of this and in present times, the mask is being torn off the deception. “. . . this so-called two party is nothing but a device for maintaining the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; it can never guarantee freedom to the working people.”(Mao Tsetung – “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”).

In Australia the two party system functions. But it is complicated by the existence of both the Liberal Party and Country Party and up till recently, was complicated by the DLP.


The classic functioning of the 2 party system is by a party which bears the name Labor supposedly representing the workers and on the other hand, a party openly representing the capitalists. Thus the parliamentary contest is represented as competition between the workers and the capitalists and sometimes represented as between the socialists and capitalists. In reality, it is simply competition among the capitalists for the spoils of governmental and parliamentary office.

Big sections of the bourgeoisie did not at all favour the DLP because the DLP complicated the operation of the 2 party system. Thus newspapers like the Age and Sydney Morning Herald not uncommonly criticized the DLP for its presence in parliament. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie and particularly the U.S. imperialists used the DLP to make ideological preparation for diehard reactionary fascism in Australia. The DLP was particularly important when U.S. imperialism was commencing its qualitative leap in investment in Australia in the post World War II period and when it was pursuing its aggression in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. But the DLP outlived even that degree of parliamentary “usefulness”. It declined and fell from parliament, dumped even by the diehards in the Liberal and Country Party leadership. U.S. imperialism had established an aggressive investment in Australia and was retreating, defeated from Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. Hence it reduced its commitment to the DLP: the DLP headed by Santamaria, responded by a certain criticism of U.S. imperialism. Still they maintain a connection on a reduced level.


The Liberal and Country Party alliance has been “the other” Party in the 2 party system.

That alliance has been subject to immense strain in recent years. At times the Country Party and Liberal Party get into bitter and open conflict. In the election campaign for the 1974 election, Anthony quite openly espoused policies on oil prices, price pegging and other matters that conflicted with Snedden. Certainly personal ambitions and conflicts enter into these things and accidental conflicts do occur. But such things were by no means the decisive factor. There are much more fundamental reasons.

Capitalism in Australia, and that largely means imperialism in Australia, is in deep crisis. Crisis intensifies competition. Each monopoly group attempts to get on at the expense of each other monopoly group.

U.S. imperialism with vast interests in Australia is in acute crisis. Its search for raw materials, markets, spheres of influence and strategic military and naval positions is pushed on inexorably by the very mechanism of imperialism which at the present time, expresses itself in the contention and struggle of U.S. imperialism with Soviet social-imperialism. This contention and struggle for world domination lies at the root of upheaval in the world and it is reflected in Australia.

U.S. imperialism has been defeated in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. It has been forced to retreat. At the same time, Soviet social-imperialism, with a big base in India, is relentlessly pursuing expansionist aims in the Indian Ocean, in Asia and in this part of the world generally. U.S. imperialism therefore carefully husbands its resources. This it is doing in Australia.

The Labor Party fairly quickly took advantage of increasing difficulties of U.S. imperialism and its contention and struggle with Soviet social-imperialism to push a certain independence for Australia.

The U.S. imperialists responded at first by rather crude counter attacks.

As time went on, they mended their fences (never really seriously broken) with the Labor Party but they also intensified their collusion with Australian traitors like Anthony, Snedden, Bjelke-Petersen, Askin, Court, etc.

All of this has led to a certain distortion of the two party parliamentary system and has created a chronic parliamentary crisis.

Anthony is the quintessence of a diehard. He is in the pocket of the multi-nationals particularly interested in Australia’s raw materials. The Country Party is a party of big business and it has connections with the big landowners and it has a certain traditional support from the rural community. Anthony thus is an ideal person for the U.S. imperialists to use to get Australian minerals from the Australian countryside. Anthony’s clamor, for example, for rises in the price of oil is solely for the U.S. oil companies. His divergences from Snedden are explained by this position.

Anthony projects an expansion of the Country Party and an extension of its base into the cities. He threatens to move into Tasmania (where traditionally the Country Party has never organised intensively), he opposes the parliamentary redistribution.

All this in service to the multi-national mineral, oil etc. companies.

It is directed at replacing the Liberal Party or reconstituting it and the Country Party either being the alternative party in the 2 party system or a reconstitution of the Liberal and Country Parties being that. Anthony’s proposal to merge with the DLP served the same purpose.

Then this diehard section intensifies use of the States to oppose the central government. Or put another way, it takes advantage of the colonial past to get State protection for the multi-nationals. Classic illustrations of this are Anthony’s close alliance with Bjelke-Petersen in Queensland and Court in Western Australia.

Thus Anthony emerges in Australia as most closely connected with the U.S. multi-nationals, particularly the mineral and oil multi-nationals.

In husbanding U.S. imperialism’s resources in Australia in U.S. imperialism’s contention and struggle with Soviet social-imperialism, Anthony and Co. are not too careful about preserving the 2 party system in Australia. The interests of the U.S. imperialist multi-nationals transcend the party system in Australia and transcend, for that matter, parliament in Australia.

Hence Anthony, particularly, is closely connected with U.S. imperialism’s contingency plans for military takeover in Australia.

Also because of the power of the backing for him, Anthony is able to say and do things contrary to the “coalition” line that years ago would have spelt disaster for him.

What then of the Liberal Party?

The Liberal Party is torn with dissension. Again this reflects the dissension and competition amongst the monopolies. (It also reflects the crisis of capitalism that no authoritative leader can be found. Its “leaders” are poor, pathetic, little men).

The Liberal Party tries to serve the imperialist monopolies as a whole; it does not have the same close sectional ties as the Country Party. Today it is more difficult than ever before to serve the monopolies as a whole because crisis makes their competition more bitter.

The Liberal Party even encompasses some service to the Australian national bourgeoisie.

But again the pressure of U.S. imperialism, intensified by its contention and struggle with Soviet social-imperialism, elbows the national bourgeoisie even further out of the way.

The multi-nationals demand of the Liberals, service similar to that given by Anthony.

This leads to divisions in the Liberal Party. There is a never ending struggle for leadership in it. The pressure is to an even more diehard leadership.

The Liberal Party sees itself and the Labor Party as the two parties in the two party system. Hence it attempts to push the Country Party aside. Again such newspapers as the Age and Sydney Morning Herald from time to time criticise the Country Party’s interference with the two party system. The Liberal Party toys with a redistribution which the Country Party rejects and which would undermine the position in parliament of the Country Party. At the same time, all this is hedged in by the demands of the multi-nationals and their more militant servant Anthony.

Thus it is all a witches’ brew.

In the Labor Party, similar factors can be seen operating. They work out in a different way because the Labor Party has even less direct sectional connections than the Liberal Party and more decisively strives to serve the national bourgeoisie.

But the Labor Party has “turned to the right”; has come to better terms with U.S. imperialism.

Still there is violent dissension within the Labor Party which has the added difficulty of having to appear to look after the interests of the workers.

All this has led to great parliamentary upheavals and a certain crisis in the parliamentary system.

U.S. imperialism is quite happy with the parliamentary system so long as it gets its own way. But it does not scruple to complicate its operation and if need be, to throw it overboard.

It is imperative for U.S. imperialism to husband its Australian position.

And this is a powerful factor in the upheaval and chaos in Australia.

The Australian workers, working and patriotic people alone have no imperialist axe to grind. They are opposed to U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism.

They are learning rich lessons from the parliamentary crisis, the chief of which is that they must take matters into their own hands and oppose both U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. (“Vanguard”, March 27, 1975.)