Issue #61 of the Australian Marxist Review is a reflection of the global scale of the capitalist offensive against the working class and other exploited people. It also brings out the extent of the resistance to this assault in the fields of economic and diplomatic relations. There is also the never ending battle of ideas, the contest between capitalist ideology, the application of which threatens the planet with war and environmental devastation and working class ideology, which has already shown its creative potential in many parts of the world.
The issue opens with a special double-length Taking Issue article by Rob Gowland entitled “Guns, paranoia and social change”. Americans live in fear despite their relative safety compared to the people US foreign policy endangers everyday. A culture of paranoia, fear and rampant individualism creates a perfect storm of circumstances causing 30,000 Americans to die from gun violence every year.
Harmful capitalist culture poses a risk to the Socialist countries as the students they send abroad bring anti-communist ideas home with them. Michael Hooper, in his article “Capitalist Trojan Horses: The danger of returning Chinese students” describes the historical political impact on Chinese society of students who studied abroad, the lengths to which institutions will go in capitalist countries to brainwash these students and the need for local communists to play their part in negating this process.
The insidious propaganda churned out by capitalist media seeks to win public support for the actions of Imperialism. The demonisation of the Democratic People’ Republic of Korea aids Imperialism in it's economic war against a socialist country that dares to pursue independence and an alternative to capitalism. “The crucifixion of North Korea, the demonisation of the DPRK: UN Security Council Resolution 2270” by Carla Stea provides a detailed report into this economic warfare and the campaign of lies and propaganda designed to justify anti-DPRK aggression.
Imperialism doesn't merely rely on physical and economic violence to attack working people, it also fights on an ideological and linguistic level. Bob Briton exposes the ideological attack on our movement in “Rescuing the word Socialism” and restates the need for public property and working class state power. Carrying out solidarity work in defence of the DPRK and to oppose imperialist aggression is an expression of Internationalism, one of the core principles of the Communist movement. Lars Ulrik Thomsen recounts important events and principles of Internationalism in his article: “Internationalism – past, present and future”.
Once the working class takes state power, it is faced with the massive task of building a new kind of society out of the poisoned foundations of the old world. Each successful revolution grappled with the problem of how best to organise agriculture based on non-exploitative relations of production, while improving productivity and protecting the environment. The late Marxist biologist Richard Levins who advised the Cuban government on agricultural reform and Wadi’h Halabi introduce their thoughts on how to achieve these three goals in their article: “Scientific development of agricultural productivity after a socialist revolution”. In Australia, any attempt to reorganise agriculture on a rational basis would first require sovereignty to be invested in the Australian people rather than a foreign monarch. David Matters in “The myth of terra nullius and Australian sovereignty”, provides a historical account of how indigenous people were dispossessed through the terra nullius doctrine and the need for Australian to cut ties with its colonial past.
This issue of the AMR introduces a new “Discussions” section where readers are encouraged to reply to articles they have read in previous issues. Don Wilson provides the first contribution to this section with a reply to Lars Ulrik Thomsen’s article “Lenin’s analysis of imperialism – a pioneering work” from issue 60.