Communist Party of Australia. 1958
Published: Ernie Thornton, Current Book Distributors, 40 Market Street Sydney, October 1958. Wholly set up and printed by Newsletter Printery 21 Ross Street, Forest Lodge;
Source: Left History Archive.
Almost every day in the newspapers we read something about the Communist Party or Communists. On the radio and T.V. there is frequent reference to this Party. Politicians accuse each other of being Communists, helping the Communists, putting forward Communist ideas and so on. We read about “Communist controlled” trade unions, Communist trade union “bosses”, Communist “inspired” strikes and so on.
What is this Communist Party that there is so much talk about? Who are these Communists? What are they trying to do? This pamphlet will attempt briefly to answer these questions and also show that those who shout loudest against the Communists do so to cover their own misdeeds.
The constant stream of unfavourable publicity that the Communist Party receives from the various sources of information or misinformation such as the press and radio creates ideas in the minds of many people which are very far from reality.
The writer has more than once had the experience of being introduced to people and being met with the comment: “You don’t look like a Communist!” Now what does a Communist look like? Obviously the picture has been created in the minds of people who make such comments of a rather strange looking creature, perhaps the caricature which appears in a Sydney paper regularly showing a Communist as a shabby, dirty, disreputable individual with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth and with a little flag with a hammer and sickle on it sticking out of his hat. Such is the power of propaganda when repeated over and over again.
All daily metropolitan newspapers in Australia are controlled by wealthy men, and all the biggest commercial radio and television stations belong to the same people.
The Australian Broadcasting Commission radio and television stations get their news from the same general sources as the commercial stations and have the same general policy.
The result is that the Australian public is treated daily to a barrage of propaganda emanating from one class in our country, the smallest class but the most powerful up to date in determining what governments should do, what direction Australia should take in foreign and home policy, what profits should be made from Australian industry, what the prices of goods should be, and so on.
This small class is the class of the extremely wealthy owners of industry and controllers of commerce who by the power of money and particularly of the power of monopoly, do as they like.
No government, Labor or Liberal, State or Federal has ever interfered with the privileges of this powerful monopoly grouping, with their robbery of Australia and the Australian people.
But the Communists believe and advocate that the power of the great monopolies should be taken away from them, that their industries should be run by and for the Australian people. Therefore these vested interests see, correctly, that the Communists are their main enemies; so, through their newspapers and other means of propaganda they set out to combat the activities of the Communists, to create prejudices against them, to make people think that the Communist Party is a sinister force which threatens harm to the Australian people.
In view of the fact that the average person depends on the daily newspapers and the radio for his information, it is no wonder then that many get a false picture of the Communist Party.
The Communist Party of Australia is governed by a set of rules which have been decided upon by a national congress of the party and which have been published in a booklet which anyone can obtain. The first two paragraphs of Rule I read as follows:
“The Communist Party of Australia is a working class party, having no interests separate and apart from those of the working class. The Communist Party combines the principle of defending and advancing the best interests of our nation with building international working class solidarity.”
Some years ago one of the top men in the General Motors Corporation in the United States was appointed by President Eisenhower to be a member of his cabinet. In answer to criticism the gentleman concerned said: “What is good for General Motors is good for America.”
This is a very doubtful proposition, and we do not believe that what is good for the big monopolies of Australia is necessarily good for Australia. But what we do know is that what is good for the workers is good for Australia. It is impossible to be a good Australian and be against the interests of the Australian workers, and those who devote the most energy to improving the position of the workers are true Australians.
We Communists are proud of the fact that since our Party was first formed we have always fought for the interests of the Australian workers and the Australian nation. Many of the best features of Australian life were first proposed by the Communists, and we know that the program that we advocate at the present time is the best program for the good of Australians and will eventually be accepted by the majority of our people just because it does meet Australia’s requirements.
It is not the Communists who bow and scrape to foreign millionaires, who hawk Australia abroad looking for the highest bidder. It is not we who give concessions to overseas companies to exploit our natural resources and the labor of our people. We believe that Australia’s riches should remain in Australian hands, should be developed for the good of Australians.
We do not wait until we get the go ahead signal from Washington or anywhere else before we make up our minds what to say and do on international questions. It is people such as Menzies and Casey who do this. It is the opponents of the Communists who are giving away Australia’s independence and her natural wealth while shouting that the Communists are agents of a foreign power.
We Communists love our own country but also we believe that workers all over the world, no matter what their nationality, have common problems and common bonds, that the rich men who control General Motors, for example, rob both Australian and American working men and that therefore we have common interests with American workers and the workers of other lands against the common enemy.
We rejoice when we learn that the workers of other countries have had victories which improve their standard of living or widen their liberties, we sympathise with them in their defeats.
It is this spirit of international working class solidarity which caused the Broken Hill miners to rally to the support of the London dock workers in 1901 with levies which gave the London strikers more money than was collected for them throughout the rest of the world. It was this spirit that caused workers all over the world to conduct a tremendous campaign to save the lives of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, two American trade union leaders who were arrested during World War I on false charges and who spent 22 years in jail until the world wide campaign forced their release.
Naturally if we give sympathy and support to workers of other countries when they are in trouble we rejoice with them in their victories. Therefore, together with workers of all countries we rejoice over the victory of the Russian workers who, in 1917, got rid of a Government of the rich employers and landlords and established a workers’ Government, and took control of the industries, mines, banks and transport.
Since then the Russian workers, together with the peoples of many other nationalities who were oppressed in the old Russian Empire and who now constitute the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, have changed their country from one of the most backward on earth to the most advanced.
The Russian workers have destroyed the myth that “you can’t do without the boss!'’ They have shown the way forward for the workers of all countries and this way has, already been followed by the workers of China, Czechoslovakia, and many other countries, so that now two-fifths of the people of the world are doing “without the boss” and are advancing by leaps and bounds.
Soon the Russian workers will have made their country even richer than the United States of America but with this big difference — that the riches they produce will be enjoyed by themselves instead of lining the pockets of multi-millionaires.
We Communists recognise the Russian workers led by their Communist Party as the pioneers of the new life tor the world’s workers, those who have shown the way to workers of all lands including the workers of Australia.
If our enemies want to call us Russian agents because of this, well let them; we remember that the Russian Communists were called by their enemies “German Agents” and the German Communists were branded as “British Agents”. We are “agents”, if anyone wants to use that word, only of the Australian workers and those sections of the Australian population whose interests are allied to those of the workers. We applaud the victories of the Russian workers because they are workers, not because they are Russians.
Of all political parties or groups the Communists are the most open and frank about their aims and objectives.
The first Manifesto of the Communist Party was written in 1848 by two Germans, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, who lived in England. In it they declared:- “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims.” This is still the position of the Communists 110 years later.
Some time ago a Communist was being questioned by a barrister in the Arbitration Court. He was asked: “Do you admit that you are a Communist?” The barrister was rather taken aback when he received the reply: “Certainly not! I announce that I am a Communist!”
Most other political parties disguise their real objectives. They even use names for their parties which hide their real character. For instance we have the so-called “Liberal Party”. The Oxford Dictionary says that “Liberal” in a political sense means “Favorable to democratic reforms and abolition of privilege”. Now this is just the opposite to the position of the Liberal Party in Australia. The Liberal Party is the greatest opponent of democratic reforms and the most stubborn defender of the privileges of the rich.
Then we have the equally misnamed “Democratic Labor” party: This party is neither “democratic” nor “Labor” but an appendage of the Liberal Party and sworn to defeat the Labor Movement at every opportunity.
These parties have chosen these inappropriate names in order to deceive people, to get votes under false pretences. They have the same attitude towards political programs. They make promises during elections which they have no intention of carrying out, such as the notorious promise of Menzies that if elected the Liberals would “put value back in the pound.” The result of this promise everyone knows. The pound has never stopped dropping in value, in purchasing power, since Menzies became Prime Minister.
And yet these parties which indulge in such dishonest practices have the audacity to refer to Communists as “conspirators” as people who do not work openly but in devious dishonest ways
The Communist Party does not stoop to using cheap election tricks to get votes. It states frankly to the Australian people what it considers should be done. Our Party Program says:- “What is blocking the way to economic and social progress? The system of profit-making, the ownership and control of industry by a few monopolists and bankers for their own gain and not for the benefit of the people. The solution for the ills of present day society is the Socialist ownership of the industries and national wealth of the country and production for the common good, instead of profits for the few.”
The Constitution of the Communist Party of Australia is also quite forthright. It says in Rule I:
“The aim of the Communist Party of Australia is socialism, i.e. ownership by the people of Australia’s natural resources and the means of production — the basic industries, financial institutions, transport facilities, and the large landed estates controlled by the monopolists and big, landowners.”
Both the Program and the Constitution have been printed in thousands of copies and are easily purchased.
Did anyone ever hear of “conspirators” who publicly stated their aims like this?
And how do we consider that these aims can be achieved? “Only the organised power of the people primarily the working class in alliance with the small farmers and led by the Communist Party — can achieve this aim” says our program.
No small groups of conspirators could bring about the changes we believe are necessary; this will take the power of the great majority of the Australian people organised and determined to make a change. When the great majority is determined to introduce Socialism and only the small minority of greedy and selfish rich want to hang on to their positions of privilege; who then will be the conspirators?
Of course there are some who believe that the people of our country are an unintelligent mass who can’t think for themselves, who will never move against the injustices that beset them daily, and that the fate of the people rests in the hands of a small number of the most intelligent or most courageous and active who will take action themselves without waiting for the “common herd”.
According to such people it is “individual heroes” who make history and not ordinary men and women.
We Communists are opposed to such ideas. We recognise, of course, that great men have played a big part in making the history of the world, and there have been and are great men in the Communist movement, but their ideas have only been effective when the people have been convinced that these ideas are correct, are beneficial for them. So all our efforts are directed towards getting the great majority of the people to right their own wrongs, to take action themselves in their own interests and we have. unquenchable faith in the ability of the people to do this.
We fight, and have always fought against those who have a contempt for the people and who take “short cuts” by acts of individual violence or sabotage which we know from bitter experience do not advance the peoples’ interests but hold them back.
But we are also opposed to the “arm-chair philosophers” who, with an equal contempt for the people, settle themselves back comfortably and wait for the people to “wake up”.
We Communists day by day lead and encourage working men and women to fight for higher wages, shorter working hours, decent housing, for full employment and so on. We do this because we know that unless the workers are organised and active they will make no improvements in their standard of living, in fact, what they have gained in the past will be taken from them.
We do this because we know that it is only in these struggles for the smaller things that people will gain the necessary experience and confidence to fight for Socialism. Socialism will not come of its own accord. It must be fought for.
Karl Marx said in his book “Wages, Price and Profit”
“... the general tendency of capitalistic production is not to raise, but to sink the average standard of wages, or to push the value of labor more or less to its minimum limit. Such being the tendency of things in this system, is this, to say that the working class ought to renounce their resistance against the encroachments of capital, and abandon their attempts at making the best of the occasional chances for their temporary improvement? If they did, they would be degraded to one level mass of broken-down wretches past salvation... By cowardly giving way in their everyday conflict with capital, they would. certainly disqualify themselves for the initiating of any larger movement”.
Karl Marx wrote these words as long ago as 1865 and we believe they still hold good today.
It is often said by our critics that the Communists want to see more and more poverty and misery because, they claim, Communism thrives on poverty and misery. How then do these critics explain the fact that the Communists are always in the front ranks in the fight for the abolition of poverty?
The Communists have always been the most staunch fighters for world peace and were the first in the field in stirring the people to fight against the testing and use of the horrible atom and hydrogen weapons.
Today there are millions who have joined the Communists in this passionate call for peace and against war.
Why are the Communists the most active and vigorous fighters for Peace?
It is because we desire a happy contented life, which we think only Socialism can bring. What is the use of fighting for a higher standard of living for. people who will not be living? We know that Socialism will succeed Capitalism as sure as day follows night. War is not necessary to bring this about. A third world war waged with modern means of destruction would cause colossal damage which would have to be repaired before the people of the world would be able to enjoy a decent standard of living again. Why should we desire such needless destruction? We, and all working people, have nothing to gain and everything to lose by war. Only those who make profits out of war, who own the great armament firms, who greedily grasp for new oil fields and basic metals and who are fighting to maintain their present rule over millions of poor people, only these people want war and they have recently brought the world to the very brink of catastrophe by their criminal acts in the Middle and Far East.
We Communists are opposed to the plans of those who would sacrifice millions, of lives for their own selfish ends and we will go on fighting for peace with all our energies.
It is often said that the Communists are opposed to democracy but few of the people who say this explain what they mean by democracy. Some of those who shout the loudest about democracy are the least democratic. For example, the Democratic Party in the United States is the party which controls the Southern States where men are not allowed to vote because their skins are black, where Negroes, Jews and Catholics are persecuted in every way. What sort of a democracy is this? In Australia every man and woman over 21 has a vote, that is if he or she is an Australian citizen, but even here the real Australians, the Aborigines, have no vote because they are not citizens of their native country. But even for the rest of Australians there is no real democracy. Our country is ruled by a minority against the, interests of the majority. It is ruled by the big banks and the big monopolies, and the “little man,” the worker, the small farmer and the professional and small business man has no say and his interests are ignored.
But, some may say, at least we all have a vote! Yes, we all have a vote, but do we all have an equal opportunity to influence and win the votes of others? Of course not! With all the big newspapers and radio stations in the hands of the small class of very rich men they have a tremendous advantage in shaping public opinion. On top of this the rich spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on propaganda to ensure the election of their men to parliament.
The working class parties cannot match this as they depend on their financial support from the section of the population with limited means.
And to make sure of their man the rich also indulge in straight out bribery to ensure that their interests are protected.
So this is not a democracy at all!
We Communists believe in real democracy, in rule by the majority with proper consideration for the interests of minorities.
We believe in Socialist democracy which is the broadest and most fair of all democracies.
In a Socialist democracy not only will everyone have a vote but workers and their organisations will have proper facilities for winning votes. Workers’ parties and trade unions will have their own daily newspapers, they will have proper access to radio and television stations. The finest halls will be open to the workers in which to hold their meetings etc.
For example in Moscow there is a daily newspaper, “Labor”, run by the trade unions, in Peking one known as “The Daily Worker”. In Moscow the trade unions own one of the finest halls in the city, the famous “Hall of Columns” which was given to them by the workers’ Soviet Government as one of its first acts.
If the Labor Movement in Australia had such facilities there would never be another Liberal government.
But the enemies of Communism, who talk so loudly about democracy, only believe in it if the cards are stacked in their favour and if they are sure of winning. In Czechoslovakia after World War II the Communists, in democratic elections, secured 40 per cent of the total votes of the people. In 1948, when it became clear that the Communists, would receive more than 50 per cent in the next elections, the anti-Communist parties organised a conspiracy to defeat the will of the people, which was only frustrated by the workers taking arms in their hands to defend democracy. In Italy a few years ago, when it seemed certain that the elections would result in a majority for the Communists and Socialists, the American millionaires poured millions of dollars into the election campaign and also threatened military intervention if the workers’ parties secured a majority. In France more recently in order to stop the election of a Government of Communists and Socialists the army generals blackmailed Parliament into virtually destroying democracy and giving dictatorial powers to General de Gaulle.
But there is even another side to this question. How can one say that democracy exists when the lives of the great majority of Australians are in fact ruled by a small minority who, because they own and control the industries, mines, ships, banks, etc., also control the livelihood of the workers who work for them? This small minority is actually a dictatorship which decides, on the basis of whether it is profitable for them or not, whether a man will work or not and how he will work.
The worker himself has no say whatsoever in this vital matter.
He and his wife spend years in planning, saving, working, in order to build a home handy to the worker’s job, planning so that the children get a decent education and also have jobs, and then overnight their whole world comes crashing around their ears because the worker gets the sack.
Typical of this sort of thing is the present situation on the northern coalfields of N.S.W. where thousands of miners have been dismissed.
These men were encouraged to build homes and plan their lives on the coalfields with promises from politicians, both Labor and Liberal, that there would never be another depression, that they need never again fear unemployment. Only the Communists warned the miners about the falsity of such promises.
Now the unemployed miner in Cessnock is cynically told that there are jobs to be filled on the southern coalfields! Sell your home which no-one wants to buy and buy another one where there is a shortage! Take your sons and daughters out of jobs in Cessnock and find them other jobs in Wollongong! Or just leave them behind!
All this personal tragedy because “it doesn’t pay” to employ the miner, not enough profit can be made out of him. But of course it is the “democratic right” of the mine owner to dismiss miners in these circumstances. But for the miner, where is the democracy?
Even when a worker is working does he enjoy “democracy” at work? Of course not! He has no say how his factory, mine or ship is run. That is the sole right of the boss.
It would be considered impertinent for a worker to suggest that this or that should be done; his job is to carry out orders. How different is the situation in Socialist countries such as the Soviet Union and China where it is impossible for workers to be dismissed without the approval of their trade union, where foremen and other executives cannot be appointed against the wishes of the workers, where bullying and arrogant managers would not last five minutes, and where the workers play an equal part in planning production and the general rules for running a factory. This is democracy.
Many sincere people will agree that the criticism we make of present day society is correct and will also agree that the day to day activity of the Communists is beneficial. In this category are many thousands of trade unionists who have felt from their own experience and (he weight of their pay packets that where the Communists are strong in a trade union and influence the policy of the union the results are good. But still many, in spite of their experience, will say:
“Is a Communist Party necessary?”
“Why can’t the Labor Party do the things that are necessary?”
“Why don’t the Communists get into the Labor Party and make it stronger?”
Such questions are honest and reasonable and need to be answered. But the people who ask these questions see only the similarities between the Labor Party and the Communist Party and not the differences.
Because we Communists believe in, and work for, unity between the Labor Party and the Communist Party we also stress those features of agreement between us and the Labor Party rather than the differences. But there are real differences nevertheless.
Although the Labor Party was formed by the workers and has the support of large numbers of workers it does not carry out a policy which is consistently in the interests of the workers.
The whole policy of the Labor Party is directed to winning elections at all costs and not to organising and mobilising the workers and allied sections of the people for action.
The result is that the Labor Party, in order to get votes tries to carry out a policy for all classes, tries to please the employers as well as the workers which of course is an impossibility. In fact, what happens is that such a policy leads to actions against the interests of the workers.
Time and time again the Labor Party has been elected to State and Federal Parliaments with majorities and always it has disappointed the workers. At no time has it taken steps against the privileged position of the rich or taken Australia one step forward to Socialism. On the contrary, on many occasions it has taken action against the workers’ fundamental interests. For example, during the depression the Scullin Labor Government was in office in the Federal sphere with Labor Governments in the majority of States but these Governments did not protect the interests of the workers, instead they sponsored the program of the big bankers and capitalists, the Premiers’ Plan, which placed the burdens of the crisis on the backs of the workers.
After World War II Labor had the majority in both houses of Federal Parliament and the people expected the Labor Party to lead the way to the “New Order”, the “Golden Age” which had been promised during the war. As the Program of the Communist Party says: “Instead the Chifley Government fell in with the plans of the giant monopolies and bankers of the United States for war against the Soviet Union and other countries where the working people held power. The Labor leaders joined in building up the ‘red bogey’.
“The Labor Government engaged in strike-breaking, opposed legitimate union demands, jailed workers and prepared for war. This policy of the Labor leaders once more strengthened reaction and led to the return to power of Menzies and his bitterly anti-labor followers.”
The history of the Labor Party here and also in Britain and other countries is one of being elected with the support of the workers and then disappointing the workers, destroying their confidence and subsequently being defeated.
This is due to the fact that the Labor Party is not a Socialist Party, does not set out to abolish capitalism and lead the way to Socialism but tries to prove that it can administer capitalism better than the Liberals and other parties of the rich. Although the Labor Party was created by the workers and, without workers’ support today, would mean nothing, it tries to serve the rich, tries to appear respectable in the eyes of the enemies of the workers. But political parties represent definite classes and the workers need their own party which will serve their own interests.
Such a party is the Communist Party, which in the first words of its constitution says: “The Communist Party of Australia is a working class party, having no interests separate and apart from those of the working class.”
There are other classes in society which have much in common with the workers, notably the small farmers, and the workers need to make common cause with them but there can be nothing in common between the workers and the big employers who get rich on their robbery of the workers.
The Labor Party tries to serve both these classes and, finishes up, as experience has shown often serving only the rich. The Communist Party represents the workers all the time and is against the privileged, dominant position of the rich.
Time and time again when the Labor Party has betrayed the trust placed in it by the workers, when it has disgusted the workers so that large numbers of them have said, hopelessly, “What’s the use? There is no difference between the Labor Party and the Liberals”, the Communists have kept alive the fighting spirit of the Australian workers and organised them to fight again.
In the depression, when Labor Prime Minister Scullin protected the interests of the rich while half a million workers were unemployed, it was the Communists who rallied the. unemployed workers to fight for the right to eat, for the struggle against evictions from their homes. Without this struggle the workers would have been “degraded to one level of broken-down wretches past salvation”, to quote the words of Karl Marx.
In the years following World War II when the Labor Party capitulated to the pressures of the “cold war” and joined in the American style witch hunts against the Communists, when the treacherous Industrial Groups were in control of the Labor Party, it was the Communists who fought back, who exposed the Industrial Groups for what they are, when even Dr. Evatt was praising them, and continued to fight for the fulfillment of those glowing promises made during the war for a “new order” for the workers when Fascism was defeated.
But above all it is the Communist Party and the Communist Party alone which at all times holds aloft the banner of Socialism, the inspiration for the workers, which shows the way out of all the difficulties for the common man.
Most certainly the Communist Party has proved itself and proved its value to the Australian working class.
But some may say: “Don’t workers get a better deal from Labor Governments than from Liberal Governments?”
It is true that sometimes Labor Governments are susceptible to pressure from the workers and under this pressure sometimes make certain concessions to the workers but it is also true that at other times Labor Governments succumb to the pressure of the rich and act against the interests of the workers.
But even if it was true that at all times Labor Governments bowed to pressure from the workers is this what we, the workers, want in a political party? A political party of the workers needs to be the leadership of the workers, not the tail. It should be the vanguard not the rearguard; the most advanced section of the working class not the most backward.
Only the Communist Party measures up to the standards required of a political party of the workers.
The Australian Labor Party is no stronger today than it was thirty years ago, its fortunes swing backwards and forwards like a pendulum, now it forms the Government and again it becomes the Opposition. Parties of a similar character in other countries are in the same position.
The German Social-Democrats are weaker today than they were fifty years ago, the French Socialists much weaker and the Social Democrats of the Scandinavian countries are at the best marking time.
The British Labor Party was swept into office in 1945 with a record majority but at the next elections was defeated and has been the Opposition ever since.
Nowhere have these parties led the workers to Socialism, nowhere have they destroyed the grip on their countries held by the big bankers and industrialists.
But the Communist Party has been successful in Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and other countries in leading the workers to make fundamental permanent changes in the social order which guarantee that the workers, in alliance with the farmers and other useful people, will run their countries for ever and the days of privileged wealth on the one hand and poverty and insecurity on the other are gone for all time.
The leadership of the Communist Party has been proved correct under a variety of conditions. It has been shown to be equally effective in formerly backward Russia, semi-colonial China, and highly industrialised Czechoslovakia.
It is by far the biggest party in Italy, France and Indonesia and is the recognised leader of the workers in many other countries. Why is this? Why is it also that the Communist Party in Australia continues to grow in influence despite all the attacks on it? Why is it that our Party is able to give correct leadership to the workers of our country and time and time again has been proved correct?
This is because the Communist Parties are scientific parties which don’t operate on a hit and miss basis but on an analysis of present day society, an analysis which has been developed over the last century and which has used the accumulated experience of the workers’ movement of all countries.
This science, which includes proper analysis of the economics of capitalism, the strategy and tactics of the workers’ movement and philosophy, or method of thinking, is known as Marxism-Leninism because it was first developed by Karl Marx and afterwards greatly developed by Lenin, the great leader of the Russian workers.
This science is constantly being added to by the experience of the Communist Parties and it is this that enables the Communists to see clearly ahead and to plan. the path for the workers to tread.
No other political party operates in this way, and many sneer at the attitude of the Communists to the question. Apparently to such people it is alright for sea and air navigation to be based on science, but not the navigation of. the road ahead for the working people.
For example, every worker wants to know whether there is going to be another depression such as the one which ruined the workers of most countries in the early 1930's. He wants to know this because he is anxious about the future for himself and his family. Surely a political party of the working, class needs to answer this question for the workers and it also needs to know the answer in order to work out its tactics and strategy for the future.
There are some weird and wonderful ideas put forward about this question. According to people like Menzies and Co., depressions are caused by people losing confidence and thinking and talking about depressions; an official of the United States Government said recently that the “recession” in the United States was caused by the Russian “Sputnik” because this had destroyed the confidence of the average American who when he lost confidence apparently refused to spend any money. So President Eisenhower appealed to his fellow Americans to “Buy! Buy anything!” The millions of unemployed American workers no doubt gave a lot of attention to the appeal of the President.
Then we have the idea, popular with many Labor politicians that depressions are caused by bankers who restrict the amount of credit they make available and deliberately cause depressions. According to such “theories” it would only be necessary to release mote credit in order to overcome a depression.
But in his great study of the economy of capitalist society written in the middle of the last century and titled “Capital”, Karl Marx showed, and life itself has proved conclusively since, that depressions, more correctly named economic crises, are caused by the fact that the workers produce, in modern industry, far more than they can consume with their limited purchasing power, and that periodically this brings about great surpluses which bank up to such an extent that the employers can not make sufficient profit out of more production, and they consequently dismiss labor and eventually cease production altogether.
The workers so dismissed have their earnings drastically reduced of course which again reduces the market and this vicious circle continues until the economy collapses, as it did in 1929.
Only the Communists correctly forecasted the 1929 crisis at a time when the people of Australia were being regaled with fairy tales about how Henry Ford had solved the problem of depression and there would never again be unemployment and so on.
Many other examples could be given to show the correctness of Marxist-Leninist theory, and to show how this theory and its application to practice has made the Communist Parties the most far-sighted, most reliable organisations for the leadership of -the working people.
But we Communists are not “Prophets of gloom” who are capable of forecasting economic difficulties and nothing else. On the contrary, we have our eyes set on a glorious future for mankind. We know that Socialism will come to our country and every other and our work is directed towards bringing this about as soon as possible. The same science of Marxism. Leninism which makes it possible for us and only us to predict the disastrous course of capitalist society, also shows us the way to Socialism.
Having gone so far we would like to say to the reader of this pamphlet, “What is your attitude to the Communist Party?” If you are a working man or woman your future is tied up with the progress of the Communist Party.
Your chance of a happy life for yourself and your children depends on the ability of the Communist Party to lead the workers of Australia in alliance with farmers, professional people and small business men to change the present order of society where everything is subordinated to the greed of a few men for profits. To introduce a system of society where industries are run not for profit but for the good of mankind, a system of society where unemployment will be unknown, where children will be able to secure the maximum education irrespective of the financial position of their parents.
In this society, Socialism, the wealth of Australia will really belong to the people of Australia and be used for their benefit.
Socialism will not only guarantee a more equitable distribution of the world’s goods but an enormous increase in the production of all that is necessary to make mankind happy.
Capitalism is a wasteful, unscientific system which operates not on the basis of producing what is good for the people, but only what shows the biggest profit. Great inventions are held back or even destroyed because they would affect the profits of the capitalists, while millions of pounds are spent every year to convince people to buy what they don’t want.
It is a common sight to see huge semi-trailers rushing from Melbourne to Sydney with loads of cars, passing others with cars made in Sydney and being sent to Melbourne. Tremendous sums of money are spent in building unnecessary service stations, but there is “no money” for hospitals, schools, etc,
It is impossible to estimate what genius is lost to our society today by the inability of the average working man to give his children advanced education, or allow them to develop their artistic talent. During the recent visit to Australia of the world famous violinist David Oistrakh one of the Sydney newspapers carried a story asking the question, “Why does such a genius develop in a Communist country?”
To those who understand the situation in the Soviet Union there is no mystery. The development of such talent as Oistrakh showed is encouraged in the Soviet Union because it is beneficial for the people, and the question of whether there is a profit in it does not arise.
So once the shackles of private profit-making are removed our country will march ahead to unheard of production of goods and men’s talents, and this will provide plenty of everything for everyone.
Man’s nature, shaped today by the hard battle to survive will begin to change, human selfishness will disappear and the world will enter an era of a higher society even than Socialism, the society of Communism from which the Communist Party gets its name, the society where each will contribute to the common wealth of society according to his particular ability and will receive all that he needs without any limit.
We Communists are working for such a society and although our numbers and our influence are growing, there are not enough of us yet to make the progress which the welfare of the workers demands.
What about joining us? Why not become Part of that Party which is working, organising and fighting for you? This would be good insurance for you for your future. This is not meant in the sense that you will get financial gain for yourself out of membership of the Party, no-one gets that, but in the sense that by helping the fight for Socialism you will he fighting for your future as well as the future of your workmates and neighbours.
But you will also get great satisfaction out of such activity. No-one gets more satisfaction out of his activity than a Communist. Why is that? Because every gain made by us is a gain for thousands, for millions. The nurse, the doctor, the scientific research worker know the thrill of achievement for others and they will understand how we feel when we see socialism advancing with mighty strides, knowing that every little success brings closer the world socialist system which will benefit all mankind. We would like to share with you the joy of our activity and our accomplishments. We would like you to have the proudest, most respected title in the world today, the title of Communist.