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Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 11:29:59 -0500
To: worldlst@rednet.org (World List for Rednet)
From: the guardian <guardian@peg.apc.org>
(by way of Scott Marshall <scott@rednet.org>)
Subject: SPA Congress Political Resolution

Political Resolution

Of the Communist Party of Australia,
published in the Guardian (CPA)
16 October 1996

(The following article is to be published in "The Guardian", newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia in its issue of Wednesday, October 16th, 1996. Contact address: 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills. Sydney. 2010 Australia. Fax: 612 281 5795. Email: <guardian@peg.apc.org> Subscription rates on request)

Presentation of the Political Resolution
by Anna Pha, Central Committee member and
Editor of "The Guardian".

The Central Committee received 270 amendments to the Resolution, and 215 of these were incorporated in some form or other in the final draft.

Anna Pha pointed out that the Resolution, unlike the Party program, has a more immediate focus. "It is a document which should see us through to the next Congress in four years time, but of course that does not mean it does not look beyond the year 2000 -- it must do that too, to determine what actions to take now."

The Resolution deals with some key features of the present period: characteristics of capitalism, where it is heading, government policies, the forces behind these, consequences of policies and the opposition to them.

The Resolution is both global and local in its focus and two- thirds of it is specifically on Australia and our work here.

"This is an extremely rich document, dealing with change and the world around us. It is not the last word on these questions. We must go on discussing them, testing our ideas against reality."


Anna Pha summed up the Resolution's analysis of the transnational corporations: the growth of monopoly capitalism since its free competition last century; the economic degradation and war which brought about the first socialist revolution in Russia in 1917; the great depression of the 1930s; the integration of monopoly capital and the state.

"During the post-WW2 boom, a period when state monopoly capitalism was consolidated, the working class won, through struggle, many concessions in the form of wage rises, improved working conditions, reduced hours of work and social welfare."

Rapid advances in technology, communications and transportation paved the way for even more rapid expansion of capital around the world.

Huge sums of finance capital were being transferred around the globe to finance take-overs and make speculative profits (as well as losses).

The growth of TNCs and the globalisation of production created a situation where nation states with their differing constitutions, laws and regulations became a barrier to the unfettered operations of TNCs.

Economic rationalism is bringing about significant changes and is a "comprehensive set of policies reflecting the demands and interests of big business and facilitating the globalisation process."

"The political objectives of economic rationalism include replacing the state apparatus with the direct political rule of capital ... "

United Nations

The United Nations Organisation is undergoing a restructuring and there is debate about its future structure and functions.

"The UN is under siege from the US which has done its best to hijack the organisation at the same time as not paying its bills."

The General Assembly is generally progressive. Unfortunately the General Assembly does not have the power to enforce its resolutions.

The smaller Security Council has the power but consistently ignores the decisions of the majority. It is dominated by the leading imperialist powers.

The Resolution puts forward proposals for reform including:

  • Strengthen the powers of the General Assembly -- make its decisions binding and enforced;
  • Reduce Security Council powers, take away the right of veto of the big powers;
  • Widening of Security Council to have permanent members from Asia, Africa, Latin American countries;
  • Bring World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation under UN control;
  • The strengthening of the UN on the basis of its existing charter;


The Resolution describes Australia as a middle-sized imperialist power, with $141 billion invested overseas.

Australian-based TNCs are involved in the exploitation of the people and resources of PNG, West Papua, Bougainville, Timor Sea and South Pacific nations.

Australia is also exploited by other imperialist powers. The Resolution points to a number of encroachments on Australia's sovereignty and independence. Apart from foreign investments there is the ANZUS alliance and the presence of US bases.

"The establishment of Australian independence and sovereignty calls for the building of a powerful people's movement against Australian monopoly and foreign capital, the removal of US bases and the abrogation of the ANZUS Treaty", says the Resolution.

Foreign Policy

The section on Australia's foreign policy deals in particular with our role in the Asian Pacific region. Australian governments support the operation of Australian companies overseas and protect their investments and trade interests.

The Australian government shows little respect for the sovereignty and independence of the small Pacific Island countries. The "Security" Treaty with Indonesia is one such example.

The other, not unconnected, important aspect of Australian Foreign Policy is the US Alliance.

The Resolution proposes a number of specific objectives for peace and solidarity movements.

Environment and jobs

There is an important section on the environment, jobs and the capitalist system which identifies key issues and the important question of relations between workers and environmentalist.

The environment movement is described as an across-class, broad- based movement in the Resolution, but that does not mean the question is not a class one, or that everyone is equally responsible for the crisis.

Australian society

The section on Australian society describes Australia as a class society and reiterates the definition of classes and the nature of capitalist society.

"Australian society is divided into classes and social groups" -- the working class, which is the most numerous, the numerically small but powerful capitalist class which is powerful because of its control over the economy -- and holding an intermediate position, small business people, self-employed, professionals and part of the managerial personnel. The Resolution also looks at the role of individual farmers.

Trade union struggles

The Resolution puts forward some main points for struggle. These include:

  • Maintenance of award system;
  • Strong opposition to individual work contracts;
  • 32-hour working week;
  • Protection of full-time permanent work;
  • Repeal of anti-union legislation;
  • Building on-the-job trade union organisation of shop committees and shop stewards.


The Resolution argues the need for a left and progressive alternative to break the cycle of Liberal/National Party and Labor governments.

Throughout the Resolution there are references to the need for change, for a new type of economics, a new type of government -- one that serves the people and protects the environment.

A few key points are:

  • Building the mass movement for change;
  • Building the left and progressive political alternative;
  • Building communist unity;
  • Building the Communist Party.

The left and progressive forces come from the Greens, Australian Democrats, the progressive women's movement, those involved in indigenous struggles for land rights, small businesses, smaller farmers, and many other community groups. The Resolution has specific sections on some of these groups.

The core of the movement has to be a strong and unified working class. This in turn entails rebuilding a strong, united and militant trade union movement.

Basis for unity

Towards these ends, the Resolution proposes discussions to find a range of common policies held by left and progressive parties, organisations and individuals and the formation of a coalition or alliance to campaign collectively around agreed policies and to win seats in parliament.

It also suggests a number of policy points that might provide the basis for agreement by such left and progressive forces.

"The final sections of the Resolution reaffirm our commitment to winning a socialist Australia and outlines some of the main objectives and principles for the construction of a socialist society in Australia and the building of communist unity."

Congress made the final amendments to the Resolution which was then adopted unanimously.

The Guardian
65 Campbell Street
Surry Hills. 2010

Phone: (02) 212.6855
Fax: (02) 281.5795