- by Roland Boer
- The Guardian
- Issue #1992
As the CPA develops its Peace fraction and seeks to build up momentum to overturn the AUKUS pact, it is useful to look behind the scenes so as to gain a fuller picture of what is going on.
Let me build up the picture with some on-the-ground experiences. To begin with, early in 2020 the Canberra regime announced that the borders were firmly shut. No one was allowed to enter, few were allowed to leave, and all who were not Australian citizens were told to “go home.” Even Australian citizens overseas – about 40,000 – were effectively blocked from returning, and abandoned.
Further, as the last couple of years have unfolded, there has been a growing sense of unease among many in Australia. Some have expressed this in terms of a desire to flee, to escape at the first opportunity. In 2020, the number of those who managed to get out was 100,000. In 2021, the number is about the same. To put this in perspective: in the year 2019, there were about 200,000 people who moved to Australia – to study, work, and settle down. In other words, for each of the last two years, there has been a massive reversal of 300,000 per year.
We also saw the explicit manifestation of state-level racism. Usually, racism is understood in terms of bourgeois civil society. In these terms, racism entails acts by individuals or groups against others in bourgeois civil society. However, the real racism is at a state level. Initially, it was directed against China and Chinese people in a new wave of “yellow-red peril” hysteria. The media and regime spin doctors all sang from the same song sheet. The injustice of these attacks was not lost on many in developing countries, who identified very quickly the systemic racism being manifested. Then, it was turned against India. A travel ban was instituted, with an AU$65,000 fine for any Australian citizen in India who attempted to return. Of course, this was primarily targeted at Australians of Indian descent. Most recently, South Africa and seven other African countries were the target, with similar measures instituted.
A further telltale example concerns the recognition of vaccination certificates. Earlier in 2021, the Canberra regime moved to recognise vaccine certification from two countries, the UK and the USA. Given that these two countries lead the world in devastating mismanagement of the pandemic, this recognition was purely ideological. Meanwhile, recognition of certificates from European countries were delayed. Instead, Australian citizens overseas needed to enter the details of their vaccinations on an Australian website so as to get the clearance for travel – and only Australian citizens are allowed to enter the country.
This brings us back to the secretly negotiated “AUKUS” treaty: Australia, the UK, and the US would be part of an old-fashioned military pact. The uproar was massive and justifiably so. The immediate target seemed to be China, but let us look behind the scenes. Note carefully who signed up: the three countries of the world where English is the only officially recognised language. Further, in one act, Australia managed to alienate all of Asian and the Pacific (where it has always been seen as a regional bully), as well as Europe, led most vocally by France. Obviously, the French are displeased with the way the submarine fiasco unfolded. But there is more to the reaction of the French, to which I explain later in the article.
More examples could be given, but these are enough to indicate that we are seeing a last-ditch effort to establish in Australia an Anglo-supremacist racial state. There was always this dimension of the modern history of the capitalist state of Australia, founded on genocide – on a crime against humanity. In 1961, when I was born, there were about nine million people in Australia: ninety-five per cent were of Anglo-Irish background, and Aboriginal people were not recognised as citizens. My parents were part of the first wave of non-English speaking immigrants. However they were encouraged to immigrate from the long post-war depression in Europe for a specific reason: to populate the country with white people so as not to be overrun by the “yellow peril” – the previous wave of this hysteria. The “White Australia Policy” was still in force when I was born. Ostensibly, it was finally abolished in 1972, but it has never really disappeared from the state structures and nature of Australia’s society.
In all this, a question is left begging: why now? Why try to realise an Anglo-supremacist racial state when the West is falling apart and in serious decline? The last couple of years have brought to the surface the reality of this long-term decline: widespread systemic distrust, rampant conspiracy theories, social unrest, the anticipation of civil war in the US, and so on. In short, we are seeing the sunset of the West. The “Anglo-supremacism” of which I speak is also a clear manifestation of this sunset, in the sense that it further divides the “West.” How so?
Let us return to the French, who have let it be known in no uncertain terms that Australia is “on the nose.” The submarine fiasco was a signal of a deeper issue, as witnessed by this observation from the French that: “Australia is not ready to join the Congress of Nations, since it has no sovereignty, and it does not build its own submarines.” But is Australia the main target of French ire?
From a European perspective (where I am holed up for the moment), the main issue is not China, not the decline of the US, and not even Russia – it is Brexit. There is deep ill-feeling towards the country across the English channel, which has gone out of its way to insult European countries – especially the French. Yes, Anglo-French rivalry is back with a vengeance. And with this rivalry, the English have set themselves against all of continental Europe.
Let me put it this way: it seems as though the old ruling class in England is seeking build a British Empire II. They call it “Global Britain,” alluding to “Great Britain.” Alongside alienating continental Europe, there is also regular denigration of the US: after the rout in Afghanistan, it was opined that “Global Britain” would have done better in Afghanistan (forgetting their own disastrous imperialist ventures there) and that the US is no longer a superpower. Instead, it is becoming clear the English ruling class sees itself as the brains of a new Anglo-empire. The US will provide the dumb muscle, and the uncultured colonials like Australia can mouth off at other countries.
They are deluded, of course. In many respects, England has a society more broken and alienated than the US. Its economy is slipping further behind, London is fading as an economic hub in Europe, and racism at the state level and in civil society is rampant. For example, it is now possible for anyone born in the UK and with only UK citizenship to be stripped of it if they have another country to which they can go. It is no surprise who the targets are for such a measure.
On the surface, all of these developments may seem like economic madness, but let us consider the nature of the old British Empire. As the Lebanese communist, Ali Kadri, has observed, racism pays. The British Empire was always a racial project, enacting a brutality in colonised lands, with genocide and slavery that set new lows in human history. As Marx already observed in 1853:
“The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilisation lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked.”
We may add here Lenin’s comment from 1908:
“The most Liberal and Radical personalities of free Britain […] become regular Genghis Khans when appointed to govern India.”
Back then, this economically driven racism of capitalist imperialism was hugely profitable as it laid waste to many parts of the globe. But it cannot work twice.
It would seem that the English ruling class is in a final desperate effort to revert to type. The British Empire found in the past that racism pays, and its ruling class today desperately hopes that Winston Churchill’s Anglo-supremacist dream of recovering the empire might be realised. Further, as the Italian communist, Domenico Losurdo, has pointed out: the USA has always been a white supremacist racial state, manifested today in its master-slave culture. And in its effort to seize the opportunity of a pandemic, the Australian ruling class is seeking to realise, at last, the project which always laid at the foundation of the colonies – and became a country in 1901.
What is to be done? As the CPA works for a united front in seeking to dump AUKUS and ensure peace, it is useful to consider the broader picture. The CPA has always been at the forefront of the peace movement, but also against racism in Australia. Today, the two are once again connected and need to be addressed. The times are against the realisation of an Anglo-supremacist alliance, and indeed against the realisation of a racial state – think of Australia’s demographics, for instance. But we need to work hard to make sure the agenda loses its ideological traction.
On a global scale, Australia is the weak link here. It is not a global player and is not regarded so by other countries (although the regime in Canberra seems to dream that it is). But this is to our advantage. Working with our comrades in the UK and US, it would be useful to soberly assess and prepare for the implications of the decline, fragmentation, and social unrest in the UK and US. They are a danger not merely to themselves but also to Australia.