Australian Rulers’ Union Busting Drive against the CFMEU Union Threatens Construction Workers’ Lives
22 November 2016: Remember the days when hardly a fortnight would go by without the Australian media reporting a major work accident in China that killed dozens of workers? To be sure, China is the world’s most populous country – with about 60 times the population of Australia – so everything both bad and good necessarily happens on a huge scale. Furthermore, the mainstream Western media have always been looking for any means to paint a bad picture of the socialistic Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Nevertheless, it is true that China did have poor workplace safety. The country is industrialising and developing so fast that there was a period when the technological level and safety systems simply did not keep up – leading to dangerous workplace environments. Furthermore, the late 1980s, 1990s and first couple of years of this century was a period when China’s private sector expanded in influence relative to the state-owned sector which, nevertheless, to this day still dominates the pillars of the PRC’s economy. But it is in the private sector where workplace safety is at its worst including in the foreign-invested industries owned by Hong Kong, Taiwanese, American, Singaporean, Japanese and Australian bosses.
Thankfully, all this is becoming in significant part old news. Through a combination of nationalisation of formerly privately owned mines, the closure of smaller, unsafe private-sector mines, a 2008 pro-worker industrial relations law, increased government emphasis on workplace safety and spirited repression of greedy bosses responsible for workplace accidents, the Peoples Republic of China has dramatically reduced deaths from workplace accidents over the last 15 years. China’s workplace safety issue is still serious and, as a gigantic country with often large-size operations, when China does have work accidents they are often on a huge scale. Yet, the PRC’s achievements in improving workplace safety are so dramatic and the failure of greedy Aussie bosses to provide a safe workplace here so harmful that it is now safer to be a worker in China than it is to be one in Australia.
So what are the hard facts on this comparison of workplace safety in Australia and the PRC. There are some complications in comparing statistics because each country lists workplace deaths in different ways. In particular, in China, a death in a traffic accident has long been listed as a ‘workplace death.’ The inclusion of traffic accidents Continue reading Workplace Safety Now Better in China than in Australia→
PROTECT THE GREAT BENEFITS FOR WORKERS & THE RURAL MASSES WON THROUGH THE REVOLUTION:
STOP IMPERIALIST FUNDING FOR THOSE NGOs THAT SEEK TO OVERTHROW SOCIALISTIC RULE IN CHINA
6th September 2016: Determined supporters of socialistic rule in China rallied this evening on the steps at the entrance to Sydney Town Hall. In this demonstration called at short notice, participants hailed the gains of China’s 1949 anticapitalist revolution and opposed the U.S. and Australian-backed anti-communist Chinese exile groups seeking to promote capitalist restoration in China.
The 1949 Chinese Revolution was one of the most momentous events in humanity’s entire history. The long-suffering Chinese masses overthrew their exploiters and took power. Tens of millions of downtrodden people participated in this heroic struggle. They achieved victory after a bitter three year civil war. On one side of the war stood the oppressed tenant farmers, workers, working-class women and idealistic students. They were organized by the Communist Party of China (CPC) which was led by Mao Ze Dong. On the other side were the brutal landlords and capitalists. These oppressor classes were served by the Kuomintang (KMT) government of Chiang Kai-Shek. The KMT was heavily armed, trained and advised by the U.S. regime. But still they lost to the Communist-led revolutionaries.
The 1949 anti-capitalist revolution freed the peasants from the tyranny of the landlords, made headway in liberating workers from capitalist exploitation and freed the Chinese people from humiliating subjugation by imperial powers. The revolution greatly uplifted women’s status from the horrific reality they faced under the previous Kuomintang regime – when many women were subjected to forced marriage and the barbaric practice of Continue reading Long Live China’s 1949 Anticapitalist Revolution!→
Above: China, May 2013: Prospective tenants visit a new public rental housing complex in Shanghai. In the first nine and a half months of 2015, socialistic China had started construction of almost 7 million public housing units. The Chinese government has planned for 18 million public housing dwellings to be built or rebuilt between 2015 and 2017.
STOP THE SELL-OFF OF PUBLIC HOUSING!
MASSIVELY INCREASE PUBLIC HOUSING JUST LIKE SOCIALISTIC CHINA IS DOING!
On 16 July 2015, a speakout rally was held in the multi-racial working class Sydney suburb of Auburn to oppose the cuts by governments of all stripes to public services. The protest was held under the slogans, Smash the Cuts to Services Working Class People Need the Most! Stop the Sell-Off Public Housing. Massively Increase Public Housing – Just Like China is Doing. No to Abbott’s Squeezing of Public Hospitals and Schools. Rollback the Former ALP Government’s Cut to the Sole Parent Payment.
The demonstration was held because the capitalist big-end of town and the governments that serve them are waging all-sided attacks on the services that working class people need the most. These attacks, alongside bosses’ cuts to workers’ conditions, are making life harder and harder for working class people. Whether we are employed workers, unemployed workers, single mothers, pensioners or students, we are all feeling the pinch.
One of the crucial public services that are under attack is public housing. We need public housing because the greedy private sector developers who determine what is built in the private sector know that they can make a lot more money building expensive homes for the wealthy rather than affordable homes for the masses.
So we need low-rent public housing to alleviate this situation. But what are governments doing? The very opposite! From Millers Point and the Rocks in the inner city to Auburn, Bonyrigg and Claymore in western and south-western Sydney to Bellambi and Wollongong in the Illawara, the authorities are selling off or demolishing public Continue reading SMASH THE CUTS TO SERVICES WORKING CLASS PEOPLE NEED THE MOST!→
Down with Capitalist Australia’s Military Build Up!
U.S., Australian Militaries: Stay Out of the South China Sea!
26 February 2016 – In October 2015, the U.S. warship, the USS Lassen destroyer (pictured above) sailed through waters, not far from mainland China, that are claimed by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as its territorial waters. This provocative action in the South China Sea was fully backed by the right-wing Australian government and the ALP Opposition. Moreover, yesterday’s Defence White Paper released by the Turnbull government announced a massive military buildup for the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) which the White Paper could not hide was squarely targeted at China. The government “defence” plan announced that the ADF would have its troop numbers boosted to 62,400 in five years. That means that the Australian military as a percentage of the population will be over 60% larger than the PRC’s military which, in contrast, is in the process of reducing troop numbers by 15%.
The White Paper also announced the ADF’s massive expansion of military hardware including the acquisition of 12 new submarines, 9 warships, 12 patrol vessels, 75 joint strike fighters, two fleets of drones and additional helicopters for special forces troops. Excited by this announcement, racist former defence minister in the Abbott government, Kevin Andrews called for Australia to join the U.S. in sending warships into China’s claimed territorial waters in the South China Sea. Yet it is not only hardline right-wingers like Kevin Andrews who are demanding such aggressive actions. Months earlier, Labor shadow defence minister Stephen Conroy started demanding the same thing(5). Meanwhile, Liberal defence minister, Marise Payne yesterday refused to rule out the possibility that the Australian Navy may take such incendiary action in the future. Continue reading Defend Socialistic China Against Military Intimidation By Capitalist Powers→
Chris Slee’s pamphlet is effectively a sequel to the former DSP’s previous pamphlet on China – The Class Nature of the People’s Republic of China.(1) That was largely written by the late DSP leader Doug Lorimer who in 2008 split from the former DSP to help found the former Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). As Doug Lorimer was no longer part of the former DSP or the Socialist Alliance, the task of reaffirming SA’s line on China fell to Chris Slee. Despite the splits, both the former RSP (which has now merged into Socialist Alternative) and the Socialist Alliance agree on what they claim is the class nature of the PRC – a “capitalist state”. One might think that socialists in the Asia Pacific region, of which Australia is a part, would have an obligation to politically support and defend a country which, led by a Communist Party, overturned capitalism via a socialist revolution and established a workers’ state. Indeed, this should be elementary for socialists. The only way to wriggle out of such an obligation would be to concoct a theory which posits the supposition that the socialistic state has been transformed into a capitalist one. And this is precisely what they did do. The former DSP invented the theory of capitalist restoration in China and this was formally adopted by them in 1999. The Socialist Alliance, travelling along a similar political trajectory, still adheres to this theory – hence Chris Slee’s pamphlet, released in 2010.
The DSP has historically not been politically opposed to all workers’ states. Indeed, it was famous for its position of political support for the Cuban revolution and the workers’ state of Cuba. But if leftists politically support a small workers’ state then why not a large one? It is a huge call for Marxists in Australia to call for the overthrow and destruction of the People’s Republic of China when there is no serious analysis that can show that the state of the PRC, which was established by one of the most significant anti-capitalist revolutions in world history, has reverted to a capitalist state. The PRC is a state representing 1.3 billion people, the largest nation on earth. It is threatened militarily on all sides by US imperialism, via South Korea, and recently, via Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan, ostensibly over islands in the South and East China seas. The capitalist Australian government actively builds an anti-PRC campaign as well and has recently approved the installation of a US military base in Darwin which will house 2500 armed US troops – a base clearly set up to intimidate the PRC, if not actually prepare for a “first strike” against it. At all costs, socialists in Australia must avoid dovetailing with the US political and military manoeuvres against Red China. Moreover, Marxists in Australia such as Chris Slee should also explain why the Cuban and Venezuelan governments, to which the Socialist Alliance extend a great deal of political support (although in recent years much more for Venezuela than Cuba) themselves regard the PRC as a socialist state and seek to build political alliances with the PRC on that basis.
section headings index Introduction China and Cuba “Bureaucratic Deformations” Tiananmen Square 1989
The “Overthrow” of the Socialist State
Foreign Direct Investment
The Capitalist Drive to War
The State Sector of the PRC
The State Advances, The Private Sector Retreats
The “Commanding Heights”
Industrial Relations in the PRC
Workers’ Struggle in China
Trade Unions in China
The Foreign Policy of the PRC
The Real Threat of Capitalist Counterrevolution
The Task Ahead
Appendix: Comparison Table between Socialistic China & Capitalist India
GREETINGS FOR THE OCTOBER 1 ANNIVERSARY OF CHINA’S GREAT 1949 REVOLUTION DOWN WITH YUPPY, ANTI-COMMUNIST HONG KONG PROTESTS
1 October 2014: Today in Hong Kong, the Western media are playing up the anti-PRC, anti-communist protests. The protests are indeed large but the Western media ignored a huge pro-PRC rally in Hong Kong just weeks ago. The main trade union federation, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, is pro-PRC. The parliamentary party with the biggest vote in Hong Kong is the pro-PRC, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong. It was formed by pro-communist people and leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions.
Hong Kong was stolen from China by the British in the 1840s as part of the Treaty of Nanking. That followed China’s defeat in the Opium War. The humiliating treaty for China allowed Westerners in China to have “extraterritoriality” meaning that they were not subject to Chinese laws.
Rents are rising. Wages are too low. And bosses are sacking workers. With rents so high, millions are struggling to make ends meet. The working poor and especially their children are suffering! People try to get lower rents by joining the public housing waiting list. But governments are selling off public housing! People are driven into ruin paying high rents while waiting up to twenty years on the public housing list! And it’s gotten so hard now to even get on this list that even full-time workers on the minimum wage aren’t eligible for it.
Yet while all this is happening, governments are letting big business owners like Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest, Frank Lowy and Richard Pratt get away with making billions by doing nothing other than exploiting other people’s labour. We need to fight to ensure that the wealth of this country is used to fund the public housing that we so badly need (and for properly funded public hospitals and schools). So we must rally to demand:
MASSIVELY INCREASE PUBLIC HOUSING! SOCIALISTIC CHINA IS DOING THAT
SO LET’S FIGHT FOR THE SAME HERE!
5 June 2012 – More and more of Australia’s poor are skipping meals because they can’t afford to pay for the food. In an annual survey by the Salvation Army of those who have sought its help, more than half the respondents admitted to skipping meals in order to pay for other necessities (ABC News Website, 16 May.) Other startling findings were that a third of those surveyed could not afford heating and a third could not afford medicine prescribed by their doctor.
Charities are reporting that an increasing number of people are seeking their help. Low-income people are being crippled by punishing rents and utility charges. And job slashing by business bosses are hitting working class people hard. The official spin about the supposedly low unemployment rate masks the reality that about 600,000 people are officially unemployed in this country. However, perhaps an even greater number of people are not recorded in official unemployment figures only because long-term lack of success in finding a job has discouraged them from looking for work or because they are a single parent unable to find affordable childcare. Meanwhile, one and a half million people are not able to get as many hours of work as they want to. They are not counted in the deceitful, official unemployment figures as those figures will not classify a person as unemployed if they obtain as little as one hour of work in a week. The drive of the business owners to maximize profits is forcing more and more workers into tenuous, low-wage casual jobs. That is why charities are reporting that an increasing proportion of those seeking help are not unemployed people but the working poor. These are typically people with young children who just can’t get enough hours in part-time jobs to get by or can’t make ends meet on the paltry minimum wage. Continue reading MASSIVELY INCREASE PUBLIC HOUSING! SOCIALISTIC CHINA IS DOING THAT SO LET’S FIGHT FOR THE SAME HERE!→
What Attitude Should Marxists Take to Proposals for Chinese Investment in Australia?
Takeovers, mergers and acquisitions of minority stakes are all normal parts of the corporate scene in capitalist Australia. Except, that is, when the companies investing happen to be state-owned enterprises from the Peoples Republic of China – in which case all hell breaks out. Proposals by PRC state firms to invest in Australian companies have caused a furore. Right-wing politicians, media commentators and some sections of the corporate elite have rabidly opposed such moves. As a result some major PRC investment plans have been stymied. Continue reading What Attitude Should Marxists Take to Proposals for Chinese Investment in Australia?→