The centenary year of the Gallipoli landing has been a challenging one for progressive participants in the battle of ideas. The resources of all levels of government and the corporate media have been thrown behind the myth-making and exploitation of the waste of Australian and other lives during that ill-conceived WW1 campaign. This issue of the AMR contains a contribution on the ANZAC centenary, by Nic Maclellan, that challenges the self-serving official commemorative themes of the “defence of our way of life” and the “birth of a nation”.
The year began with an upsurge in racism and xenophobia fanned at the highest levels of government at home and abroad. The killing of the journalists at the extremely provocative French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, unleashed a wave of hypocrisy regarding the superiority of “western” civilisation and freedom of expression. The contribution from Sepehr Samiei examines the murky origins of modern “political Islam” and its false promise of social justice outside of the struggle for socialism.
This year has also seen changes in the political landscape in Greece. Steve Mavrantonis questions the high hopes and claims of a dramatic challenge to the capitalist institutions of the EU arising from the election victory of SYRIZA. The sober assessment underscores the scale of the task before the workers of Europe to shed the capitalist yoke and move towards socialism.
A piece by renowned Australian ex-pat journalist John Pilger regarding the history of and current motivations for the dispossession of the Aboriginal people appears in this issue. An impressive movement is growing in opposition to the closure of remote Aboriginal communities and this article describes very well the reasons for the anger at the core of that movement.
The devastating impacts of capitalism and militarism on the global “south” are picked up in a contribution Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice from the US Pacific island territory of Guam originally presented United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Attacks on the right of Australians to housing are taken up in a thought-provoking contribution by Max Solling. The history of public housing since WW2 is a reminder of how much ground the capitalist class has made in the struggle to take back the hard-won gains of previous generations of the working class.
Developments in global capitalism are examined in articles by Lars Thomsen of the Communist Party of Denmark and in the contribution from the German Communist Party to the 19th annual International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. The description of the processes taking place across the capitalist world, the lack of international solidarity and the problem of social democratic illusions will resonate with Australian readers of the AMR.
Finally, we are proud to reproduce an AMR article from 1987 by the late Alan Miller on the nature of left unity and the need for a Marxist-Leninist party. Comrade Alan was a member of the Communist Party for almost 70 years. In that time he served as a functionary of the Party, it’s Deputy General Secretary, a member of its Central Committee Executive, the editor of its national newspaper, the Guardian and took on leading roles in the Victorian and South Australian organisations of the Party. He played a major part in re-establishing a Party in Australia on the basis of Marxism-Leninism in 1971. He was also a regular to the AMR. His flowing style and ideological clarity were greatly appreciated and we are sure readers will enjoy re-reading one of his many insightful contributions.
AMR Editorial Board