Welcome to the first issue of the Australian Marxist Review for 2017, a year that is shaping up to be an important one for the international working class movement. Issue #64 focuses on international issues in a broad way with topics ranging from an examination of the tactical decisions of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) to broader strategic questions of international law.
The 2015 victory of Syriza in the Greek elections was warmly welcomed by forces across the left but greeted with antipathy by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). As events have shown, the KKE’s scepticism of Syriza was proven correct. In his article, “Syriza: A false left”, Elias Alevizos explains the KKE’s reasons for doubting Syriza and presents the dire consequences of Syriza’s betrayal.
In keeping with an international theme, this issue of the AMR features the first instalment of a multi-part series by Craig Ryan on questions of law, especially international law and how Marxists should understand and use struggles around law to further the goals of the working class. Part one of “On the illegality of war” focuses on describing different Marxists’ understandings of law and the potential for international law to be used in the interests of class struggle.
Discussions of international issues cannot ignore the Chinese elephant in the room. In “Opposite directions: NEP and China’s Opening and Reform”, Michael Hooper addresses the common comparison made between the Bolshevik New Economic Policy and China’s current “Opening and Reform”. He contrasts not only the specific economic aspects of the policies but the circumstances they originated from, their respective political characters and their differing aims. He concludes that while the Bolsheviks considered the NEP to be a temporary retreat, establishing state capitalism in order to bring about a centrally planned, socialist economy with no exploitation, the Communist Party of China has no such plans.
Questions of theory and practice are further explored in David Matters’ “The study of theory is necessarily linked to practice”. In this piece, David demonstrates the breadth of his theoretical and historical knowledge, arguing against a wide range of trends he considers harmful to the Party of the working class.
The final article of this issue is a review of artist Samia Halaby’s most recent work Drawing the Kafr Qasem Massacre. Eric Brooks summarises the author’s work as a “moving set of images melded with text into a seamless whole”, while explaining the background and significance of what the work represents for those readers who may not be familiar with the massacre.
As always, we encourage readers to submit articles and discussion comments for inclusion in the next issue of the AMR. Reader feedback and comments are also much appreciated! The editorial board of the AMR wishes all readers a productive year of activity and victory in the struggles ahead!