Published: The Vanguard, Vol. 13, No. 19, May 27, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the economic crisis that engulfs Australia, there is only one solution. That solution is the mass struggle of Australian workers and working people.
Struggle against the multi-nationals and their collaborators, struggle for increased wages, for adequate social services, for extension of democratic rights. The direction of that struggle is to kick the multi-nationals and their collaborators right out of Australia, to establish the rule of the workers, working and patriotic people, that is of the vast majority.
Struggle must be uninhibited by any of the quack remedies offered such as wage indexation, tax indexation, penal powers against the workers, government ballots in the unions, wage restraint, spend more, spend less, buy a new automobile, tighten the belt, etc. etc.
Nor must it be inhibited by the parliamentary rigmarole that is going on designed to hoodwink the people. The economic crisis goes on outside parliament. Parliament is merely a talking shop, a sham. Grim reality is hardship for people. It is vitally important to cut through all this absolute rubbish and to see things in fundamental terms.
It is perfectly clear that neither Whitlam’s government nor the illegitimate (“bastard” would be better) government of Fraser is responsible for the economic crisis.
Economic crisis arises from social system of capitalism. (Both Whitlam and Fraser administer capitalism). It is a crisis of over-production. It results from the immense quantity of goods produced in the boom period being overproduced, incapable of sale. Because of overproduction, factories close down, cut production or go bankrupt, farmers are ruined. The idiocy of the whole thing is shown by mass slaughter of cattle when people in Australia live below the poverty line, let alone the starving millions throughout the world or the driving of dairy and other farmers from the land – poverty in the midst of plenty. And the very rich get richer while the poor get poorer and more and more people join the poor.
Inflation ruins the people still further. It contracts the purchasing power of the people so the already overproduced goods are even more difficult to sell. This is the crux of crisis.
In this situation both the Labor leaders and the bastard leader Fraser put forward a lot of lies.
They say that high wages are the cause of unemployment and inflation. Absolute rubbish! Wages are the price paid for the commodity labour power. Labour power is a commodity like all other commodities (with the one glorious exception for the capitalists that it is the source of profit). The price of all commodities including labour power rises because the currency is debased (inflated). The currency is debased (inflated) because the capitalist state is bankrupt and currency is printed to meet the state debts.
As a matter of fact, if the capitalists increased the real wages and income of the people, this would go a long way to solving the economic crisis of overproduction. People could then buy the meat, the milk, the cars, etc. that are overproduced. If that happened, it wouldn’t be capitalism. No capitalist is going to see his profit cut by increasing real wages.
Unemployment is the result of capitalism. It is criminal diversion to call unemployed people “doie bludgers”. It would be far more accurate to call Fraser a bastard rich bludger (or a rich bludger bastard) because in fact he has bludged on the exploitation of the workers on his huge estate called Nareen and he holds office as the illegitimate product of a conspiracy.
Nonsense about wage indexation (supported by Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke) is to conceal real wage freeze. Tax indexation gives with one hand and takes away with the other. The huge burden of indirect taxation (sales tax, excise, etc.) falls on the workers and working people. The attack on Medibank is aimed to destroy it in the interests of the multinationals and place new burdens on the working people.
All this is supported by repressive measures against the people – governmentt punitive action against workers in struggle, more interference with the independence of the workers.
Hawke and Egerton spent hours in secret talks with Fraser and Co. The parliamentary Labor leaders say next to nothing. They are all in conspiracy against the workers, working and patriotic people because they all serve capitalism.
Though the tactics of the Labor leaders may differ from those of Fraser (and this has certain importance), the essence of each of them is service to the rich and attack upon the poor. So Hawke, A.C.T.U. and A.L.P. President, makes a great show of bargaining – he says to Fraser “you drop the government ballots in the unions and in return we will join in economic talks with you”. Promptly, Fraser (as he has already secretly told Hawke he will) drops the ballot proposal. Hawke “agrees” to go to the conference.
It is all a sham, play acting, conspiracy.
The role cast for Hawke, loyal servant of capitalism, is that he is to use the structure of the trade unions to suppress the struggle of the workers.
It will never work. Whatever temporary success there may be in diversion and suppression, that “success” is merely the forerunner of gigantic failure and of gigantic rebellion of the workers and working people.
Workers, smaller farmers and other working people will certainly join hands in struggle to expose these scoundrels, to make the rich pay and to make Australia a people’s anti-imperialist democracy.