For the working class and other exploited people of every country, international crises are pressing in with greater and greater force. Climate change, imperialist wars, proxy wars and masses of refugees, an economic crisis and moves to cement global corporate dictatorship through trade and investment pacts – these are the matters negatively impacting upon billions of people’s lives. The size of the challenge is growing and millions upon millions of people are being drawn into struggle but, generally speaking, the struggles have been slow to link up. Solidarity with an international vision is required and this includes among the parties that make up the international Communist movement. This issue of the Australian Marxist Review is a contribution on the theme of internationalism, the obstacles it faces in this era of capitalist globalisation and the many opportunities to rally the forces working for socialism.
Issue 60 of the AMR opens with General Secretary Bob Briton’s: Alternative to global capitalist offensive: Asia’s response, a contribution for a seminar hosted by the Communist Party of India. Bob characterises the current international situation as one of capitalist military, economic and ideological offensive towards corporate dictatorship. He also explores possible Asian alternatives while stressing that the only final guarantee for the liberation of humanity is Socialism.
In his welcome to delegates of the 17th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Kemal Okuyan, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey explained the local struggle of the Turkish working class and its significance internationally. His inspiring speech includes such insights as: “patriotism is the will to liberate one’s country from the exploiters! Not the foolishness of showing empathy to the bourgeoisie of the country.”
In any discussion of internationalism among Communists, the name “Lenin” will inevitably be mentioned. Lenin’s theoretical contributions were drawn mostly from the experience of the Russian proletariat as it strove to achieve state power in Russia, but the lessons about revolutionary change were truly international in their scope and significance. His explanation of the role and significance of the three Internationals and the difference between proletarian internationalism and social chauvinism ring just as true today as they did almost 100 years ago. Lars Thomsen of the Communist Party of Denmark defends this legacy of Lenin in his piece Lenin’s analysis of imperialism – a pioneering work. He argues that Lenin’s theory of imperialism has stood the test of time and remains the best way of understanding modern capitalism, despite the claims of Marxist scholars who believe the peculiarities of current transnational capitalism render Lenin’s analysis obselete.
In the face of capital’s renewed international assault on working people, it is necessary for communist parties to strengthen their fraternal bonds. Michael Hooper’s article Communist cooperation: building links between fraternal parties emphasises fundamental principles that should guide links between communist parties, presents areas in which we can learn from comrades abroad and explores the possibility for deeper practical cooperation on an international scale.
Wadi’h Halabi, from the Economics Commission and the Centre for Marxist Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts and member of the CPUSA, writes on the continuing need for the working class to be educated in his article For an International University of Marxism. In times past, the Soviet Union generously hosted comrades from around the world and trained them through schools such as the early University of the Toilers of the East. Guided by this spirit, comrades from China and the US are working together on proposals to establish an international university of Marxism in China. Following the theme of inter-party cooperation, Michael Hooper’s speech at the 6th World Socialism Forum, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC proposes a novel way for communist parties to assist the CPC in regard to the political education of Chinese students abroad.
Finally, we have a special treat for readers in the form of Yang Chengguo’s The post-war Communist Party of Australia and its Prospects. This contribution by a guest researcher at the Research Centre of World Socialism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is a rare opportunity for Australian comrades to read an outsider’s perspective of our Party’s history and future prospects. Although the article’s analysis is limited by its length, the author shows a keen understanding of the circumstances of the communist and labour movements in this country. Dr Yang’s identification of religious belief in Australia as one of the significant obstacles facing the CPA is itself a window into the Chinese experience, where foreign-funded terrorists regularly use religious belief as a cover for their anti-communist activities.
From the Editorial Board of the Australian Marxist Review, we wish all readers a happy holiday season. See you in 2016!