CP of Australia, Contribution to the Athens Meeting 21J2002
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
COMMUNIST AND WORKERS PARTIES
ATHENS, JUNE 21-23, 2002.
CONTRIBUTION PRESENTED BY ROB GOWLAND,
MEMBER CENTRAL COMMITTEE,
COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA.
�THE NEW SITUATION IN THE WORLD AFTER SEPTEMBER 11�
The situation that has arisen following September 11, is a
continuation and intensification of the policies of US
imperialism to implement its aspiration for world
The terrorist incident of September 11, which was known to
be in preparation but not prevented by leaders of the
present US administration, has not, in itself, created a
fundamentally �new� situation. But, the event is being used
by imperialism to threaten war against a number of
countries, to introduce draconian anti-democratic
legislation of a neo-fascist kind, to intensify the
exploitation of labour, to destroy the sovereignty and
independence of nations and impose US imperialism's
objective of a New World Order of capitalist slavery. It is
significant in that it represents a point at which the US,
the EU countries and other imperialist powers accelerated
their offensive against the people of the world.
Capitalism, for all its apparent power, is in serious
economic difficulties and is beset by rampant
�over-production� in the midst of worldwide poverty, a
falling rate of profit and declining ability to use the
productive capacity available to it. All this points to a
system in the grip of a severe crisis.
At the same time it is bringing into ever more determined
action the forces of progress and of civilisation whose
mission it is to save the world from a new barbarity. This
force made up of millions upon millions of ordinary people
from diverse classes and social groups and in whose midst
the Communists are to be found, are more and more
resolutely and with greater clarity confronting capitalism
and imperialism. We must be optimistic that this mission
will be achieved in the not distant future, despite the
apparent strength and savagery of imperialism.
The US leadership has pursued its ambition for world
domination for a long time. Bush Senior announced it
publicly when he called for a New World Order. President
Clinton continued down this path. The events of September
11 were used to carry out the war against Afghanistan and
set up new military bases in Central and Southern Asia and
in the Pacific.
These are mere stepping-stones to the subjugation of the
Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China.
Following this the US corporations believe that the
remaining capitalist states including its imperialist
rivals Japan and the European Union could be brought
under its domination. World domination would then be
Because the US leadership is surrounded both at home and
internationally by an increasingly sceptical world, new
incidents and allegations against other countries are being
used to justify aggression and �pre-emptive war�. It is a
reminder of the mythical �Tonkin Gulf incident� that was
used to justify the intensification of war against
socialist Vietnam in the 1960s.
The terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre was just
such an incident. It was used to unleash a series of
actions by US imperialism and other compliant governments.
The most recent, but not the last of these concoctions is
an allegation that a US citizen was involved in the
preparation of a �dirty� nuclear bomb. Associated with the
allegation is the assertion that radioactive material was
obtained from Russia, thereby implicating Russia in the
supposed terrorist act.
The US leaders are following in the footsteps of Nazi
propaganda chief Goebbels who perfected the technique of
the big lie on the principle that if one tells a lie often
enough it becomes the truth.
The strategy and tactics of imperialism were openly stated
in �Re-Ordering the World�, a recent publication of the
Foreign Policy Centre in Britain. One of the contributors
to this book, Mr Robert Cooper, who is a senior serving
British diplomat and adviser to Tony Blair writes:
� when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states
outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to
revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era force,
pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to
deal with those who still live in the 19th century world of
`every state for itself'. Among ourselves, we keep the law
but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use
the laws of the jungle
�Weak government means disorder and that means falling
investment�, says Mr Cooper.
He goes on: �All the conditions for imperialism are there
the weak still need the strong and the strong still need an
�What is needed then is a new kind of imperialism If
states wish to benefit, they must open themselves up to the
interference of international organisations and foreign
Mr Cooper calls for a new commonwealth, which would, �Like
Rome, provide its citizens with some of its laws, some
coins and the occasional road.�
We see from this that the �war against terrorism� is itself
But behind this drive to war and compulsion lie the
inexorable laws of capitalism. Marx and Engels wrote of
them in the �Communist Manifesto�:
�The bourgeoisie has pitilessly torn asunder the motley
feudal ties and left remaining no other nexus between man
and man than naked self-interest, than callous `cash
�The need of a constantly expanding market for its products
chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe.
It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish
connections everywhere. It compels all nations, on pain of
extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production �
Neo-liberalism, the economic policy being forced on
countries around the world by the WTO, the IMF, the World
Bank and other imperialist agencies, is the means by which
immense transnational corporations plant their feet in many
countries. They manipulate huge financial wealth and
material resources. They have little need of a state
apparatus, not even a bourgeois state machine, except as an
instrument of repression. National boundaries and
sovereignty stand in the way of their operations. Public
enterprises are viewed as opportunities for private
investment, ownership and private profit.
But none of these developments eliminate the basic
contradiction of capitalism -- that capital needs a
�constantly expanding market� while, at the same time, it
intensifies the exploitation of the working people, thereby
reducing the market and the possibility of the commodities
produced being consumed.
It inevitably creates the working class as an �independent
movement of the immense majority in the interest of the
immense majority What the bourgeoisie therefore produces,
above all, are its own grave-diggers�, writes the
It is this situation and this contradiction that is driving
the bourgeoisie into a frenzy and impelling it towards wars
of conquest, pre-emptive strikes, the use of nuclear
weapons and the breaking up of nation states.
Associated with the war drive is the sweeping attack on the
democratic rights of the people won in more than a century
of struggle. The new so-called �anti-terrorist laws� are
overthrowing even bourgeois democratic rights.
In Australia, Parliament is presently considering so-called
�anti-terrorist� legislation. It is being met with strong
resistance. The proposed laws provide for the banning of
organisations and the jailing of members and supporters of
banned organisations for up to 25 years. State security
organisations are provided with powers to jail suspects
without recourse to legal representation. All forms of
communication may be tapped, a state of affairs already
implemented by the operation of the Echelon project.
The onus of proof, which is a corner-stone of the legal
rights of citizens, is reversed. Concentration camps have
been built, in the first instance, for so-called �illegal
refugees�. Areas of Australia have been proclaimed in which
some Australian laws do not apply. Racism and nationalism
are being whipped up. At the same time, Australia's
independence is being shamelessly surrendered to US
interests and commands.
It is timely to compare this legislation with that of the
Hitler regime. On February 28th, 1933, using the pretext of
the Reichstag Fire, an Emergency Decree was enacted. It
overturned the Weimar Constitution and declared that
�Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free
expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on
the rights of assembly and association; and violations of
the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic
communications and warrants for house searches, orders for
confiscation as well as restrictions on property, are also
permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.�
The aggressive war plans, the militarisation of all
capitalist economies, the intensification of the
exploitation of the working people, the grabbing by big
capital of any and every publicly owned enterprise and
service, the destruction of hard-won democratic rights and
liberties, the suppression of the sovereignty and
independence of nations and their recolonisation, the
attempt to disrupt and destroy the remaining socialist
societies are all an expression of the efforts of the
capitalist class to preserve the capitalist system and its
On the other hand there is the struggle of the people to
end exploitation and liberate nations from the shackles of
It is the same class struggle revealed by Marx and Engels
in the �Communist Manifesto�. But unlike the times of Marx
and Engels it is now worldwide.
It takes many forms and there are many issues peace; the
environment; living standards and working conditions; hours
of work; the rights of trade unions; the rights and needs
of women, students and the indigenous people; sovereignty
and independence; the maintenance of public enterprises to
provide education, housing, water and electricity supplies;
for socialism and much more.
The concept of �Workers of the world, unite!� is becoming
more and more a reality and an imperative of our times.
But the actions of the people are much broader than just
those of the working class. Other sections of society are
also suffering the oppression, suppression and exploitation
by the giant transnational corporations. They are coming
into action for their specific interests peasants,
academics, small business people, students, engineers and
technologists and the indigenous people are becoming the
natural and active allies of the working class.
Corporate globalisation has become the modern-day cross on
which the lives of millions upon millions of people around
the world are being crucified.
On the other hand, the worldwide actions of the people and
the fact that they are turning against the big corporations
and their docile governments and that capitalism is more
and more being questioned, are the modern-day spectre that
is haunting the evil and barbarous system of capitalism.
The inability of imperialism to get its own way in
international forums, or to defeat the heroic Palestinian
people or the people of the Congo are realities that
testify to imperialism's very real weaknesses.
The propaganda war and the ideological struggle are also
intensifying. The promotion of racism, xenophobia and
religious intolerance are major weapons in capitalism's
attempts to split and divide movements and struggles. They
promote individualism and the lust for money as the
objective of human endeavour and achievement.
Persistent attempts are made to hoodwink the people into
the belief that the interests of capital and workers are
the same, that the policies of the IMF and the World Bank
are good for all countries, that free trade will create a
level playing field, that so-called �competition� and
�choice� are the hallmarks of a free and prosperous
Sufficient time has now passed and experience accumulated
to demonstrate that these claims are nothing more than the
means by which transnational corporations impose their
policies and secure their interests. The intensifying
tragedy of the people of Argentina is living proof of the
fallacy of these claims and the failure of bourgeois
policies. The stark truth is revealed for all to see.
Social Democracy is playing a discreditable part in this
ideological struggle. By spreading illusions of class
peace, that the concept of class is now �old-fashioned�,
that classes have now been replaced by �communities�,
social democracy undermines the struggle of the working
people and brings grist to the mill of imperialism.
The Labor Party of Tony Blair and the Israeli Labor Party
of Shimon Perez are in the forefront of the war drive. They
expose the real role of social democracy in the present
In the struggle for truth and knowledge, the work of
Communist Parties for peace and the needs of the people,
for the liberating ideas of Marxism, have become ever more
vital in contesting the deception and the policies of the
leaders of the imperialist states.
In presenting an analysis of the present situation, which
more than ever has to be seen in its worldwide dimension,
we note the growing conflict of interests between the rival
imperialist blocks. This is particularly to be seen in the
differing positions taken on some important questions by
the US on the one hand and Europe on the other.
Needless to say they are united when it comes to their
common imperialist class interests while still being in
conflict when their particular interests do not coincide.
This may not yet have become a decisive difference but the
aspiration of the US imperialists for world domination
inevitably conflicts with the imperialist interests of
We must also underline the important role played by the
socialist states. The forthright role of the Communist
Party of Cuba and, in particular, the role of Comrade Fidel
Castro are examples for us all. The Cuban comrades contest,
day by day, the machinations of imperialism and their
ideological and propaganda arguments, which, if not
exposed, would mislead many. They are, at the same time,
building an exemplary socialist society under difficult
We warmly welcome the rapid economic growth of the People's
Republic of China and socialist Vietnam under the
leadership of their respective Communist Parties. Socialism
in these countries has to prove, not only to their own
people but also to the watching millions in other
countries, that socialism is able to provide higher living
standards, education and culture and a stable and humane
society. They are providing a living alternative to
capitalist societies built on the selfish interests of
those whose motivation is profit.
The US has these countries in its sights as well.
There is growing hostility in Asia to the plans of the US
imperialists for never-ending war. South Korea does not
want to become a launching pad for US war against China.
The objective of Korean reunification is also widely
All these factors, when taken together, constitute main
elements in the world situation following the events of
It is imperative that all Communist Parties together with
all other progressive and revolutionary forces step up
their unity, their common action and achieve a new level of
understanding of the common struggle.
It is in this direction that the assertion of Frederick
Engels that humankind would emerge from barbarity into
civilisation is to be fulfilled.