Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

V. G. Wilxcox

New Zealand Party’s Firm Stand


If you are not a member of the Communist Party, you may think this has nothing to do with you. Maybe you have only a vague idea of what is meant by “ideology”. Whether this is so or not, it is nevertheless a fact that the dispute within the world Communist movement does concern you. It concerns all people of goodwill who want peace and progress. The issues in dispute will decide whether we continue to proceed to the secure basis of world peace by the elimination of monopoly Capitalism (imperialism); whether the newly liberated former colonial areas proceed to Socialism free from imperialist influence; or whether neo-colonialism comes in the back door after imperialism has been driven out by the front.

In New Zealand, this dispute is full of big words and arguments about “peaceful” or “other ways” to Socialism, about whether the mass of people remain the decisive factor in a “nuclear world” or whether the time factor makes “leaders” dominant, about the nature of the state in the capitalist world in the era of the decline of imperialism, about the role of Parliament in the “new epoch”. But, in reality, it is something that goes right back to the early days of our own Labour movement. These things were being argued about long before the formation of the Communist Party and long before the nuclear age.

In earlier times, dropping what few elements of Marxism it had, the New Zealand Labour Party placed all hopes on the “inevitability of gradualness” (as the Fabians used to call it), on the Parliamentary road to Socialism, on “legislating in” Socialism. In the process, the mass of the people became unimportant – except on election day with a pencil. Today, after Labour Governments have been in office, we have as everyone knows not attained Socialism but a society in which Big Business, monopoly, becomes daily more dominant.

In the industrial field, after the decline of the old “Red” Federation of Labour after 1913, the Labour movement accepted the idea that industrial conciliation and arbitration formed the way forward. They relied on the capitalist state being “fair” to the workers. The only real weapon of the workers in capitalist society in the final analysis – the right to withhold their labour power, to strike – was cast aside by the majority.

History is proving how false this approach was. The workers are finding that in dealing with monopoly they have in increasing numbers to resort to their final weapon. Before his death we find the late Mr. F. P. Walsh, Federation of Labour President, saying: –

The trend of events is disproving already the statement made by Mr. Nordmeyer, leader of the Labour Party, to the last conference of the Federation of Labour, that the class struggle is an outworn concept, that today we have no classes and that in fact the interests of the workers, the farmers and small business and professional men are the same as those of big business.

You will find, if you think about it, that our attitude to these matters right now in New Zealand is based on the same principles as our views on the issues in dispute in the international Communist movement. They are directly related when brought right down to earth. So, even if you find the Marxist terms a little wearying, keep in mind that Marxism is a science, with its own special terminology like all sciences. And remember that this pamphlet is one not only for New Zealanders but will have a considerable international circulation. So many issues have to be explained a little more fully than for purely local circulation.

If you do that, we are confident that a consideration of the ideological views of the leadership of the Communist Party of New Zealand will not only clear your mind of the lies of capitalist propaganda and of friends who should know better. It will help you to see how to develop more effectively the growing class struggle in New Zealand. It will give you clarity on principles and tactics in the political and industrial field here in New Zealand.