Introducing the Annual Report on the Development of the International Communist Movement (2019-2020)

The international Communist movement and Marxism-Leninism have in recent years proven themselves to be a major political force of the twenty-first century. It goes beyond our own Communist Parties into a movement that spans 95 different countries and every inhabited continent. To better understand and grasp this incredibly broad world political movement, we are particularly grateful to the work of Chinese Marxist researchers, and the World Socialism Studies Centre of the Academy of Marxism, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, for not only their passion for the advancement of world Communism but the academic yet revolutionary vigour which they apply when writing about the international Communist movement, whether the development and modernisation of the socialist countries or the progress and activities of Communist Parties in the capitalist countries.

The work of these researchers comes not just from a principled Marxist viewpoint, but a year’s worth of practical dialogue, exchange and cooperation with Marxists from many different countries to not only allow them to further understand recent progress in socialist modernisation in the People’s Republic of China, but to learn more about the theory and practice that is driving the world revolutionary forces from Havana to Hanoi, from Brussels to Budapest. The results of this are then compiled and discussed in journals such as World Socialism Studies and, most importantly, the Annual Report on the Development of the International Communist Movement.

Chinese audiences are well familiar with these reports, yet due to language barrier or lack of awareness, Communists in the West do not often get the full benefit of the incredible work that goes into these reports each year. That is an incredible shame, as the socialist struggle represented in their writing is an incredible inspiration. Since the time of Marx and Engels, the slogan “workers of the world, unite!” has been inscribed on the banner of world socialism. While Communists today still firmly adhere to that slogan, often practical knowledge of the Communist movements in other countries can be difficult to find. Knowing about these movements is incredibly inspiring as it shows the red banner of socialism is still flying the world over, and connects us all in a common struggle.

The NCPA is proud to republish the introduction of the 2019-2020 Annual Report on the Development of the International Communist Movement written by comrades Jiang Hui and Pan Jin’e as well as the abstracts of the different articles within the report in English for comrades both in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the globe. We were proud to welcome comrade Pan Jin’e and other comrades from the Academy of Marxism, CASS to observe our First National Congress of the NCPA in November 2019 and discuss with them some of the trends in world socialism discussed in this report.

I and other comrades in the “Rewi Alley” International Department of the NCPA hope the republication of these abstracts allow you to have a deeper understanding of the current position of world socialism and the incredible advances towards democracy, peace and socialism being made around the world.

Long live proletarian internationalism!

Long live socialism!

K. Buissink
Chair of the NCPA

Strengthening the War Machine is the Opposite of Collective Security

Today NZ Defence Minister Ron Mark announced that the Government would spend $1.5 billion on the purchase of five new Super Hercules military planes. Speaking to Stuff, the Minister lauded that the purchase of the five planes highlighted New Zealand’s commitment to its “role in collective security” to NATO and other countries in the imperialist bloc. Official Government fact sheets about the new planes show that the extent of this further commitment to US war plans, with the new planes slated to be used for both military operations in the Middle East and preparations for war in the Asia-Pacific such as the RIMPAC drills.

Further buildup of the NZ armed forces and further deployment overseas is a betrayal of the firm decision of all kiwis for a peaceful foreign policy and a commitment to a world without war and weapons of mass destruction. The purchase of these planes is not an isolated incident but part of a steady and stealthy reintegration into the US war machine. 

Mirroring the United States’ creation of the ‘Space Force’ and desire, in a sick return to the 1980s, to increase the military threat against the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, New Zealand is also developing its own space force to be fully integrated into the US militarisation of space. Rocket Lab, a space company based in New Zealand, is a US military contractor funded by Lockheed Martin and the CIA’s venture capital firm. The NZ Government is skirting with violation of the Outer Space Treaty which prevents the militarisation of space, as well as a war more damaging than anyone could have predicted at the height of the nuclear threat last century.

Collective security does not come from US/NATO warmongering, but from a policy of peace and looking after genuine socio-economic needs both in Aotearoa and across the Pacific. An extra $1.5 billion in our welfare system would allow for all beneficiaries to receive an amount they are actually able to live and thrive on. The current mass protests in the United States against racial and political brutality highlight the true nature of the US war both domestic and international, a nature of unbelievable brutality that has nothing in common with what we stand for and have consistently fought for in Aotearoa. 

We must demand withdrawal from Five Eyes, suspension of New Zealand’s partnership with NATO and a foreign policy of complete neutrality, peace and friendship. New Zealand is no longer part of the British Empire and our government must stop acting as if we are part of the American Empire. Our lives and the future of all humankind and our planet are at stake.

Joint Statement: Occupation is Terror, Annexation is Apartheid

On June 5th 2020 it is the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 aggressive war, where Israel had occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza strip, the Syrian Golan and Sinai peninsula.

This anniversary comes in the shadow of the Israeli government’s declared intention to annex the Occupied Palestinian Lands supported by the US Administration, as part of the disastrous “Deal of the Century”. Meaning, perpetuating the occupation, deepening the settlements and creating an official Apartheid regime, while clearing the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination, and preventing the end of occupation, settlements and the establishment of a Palestinian independent state on the borders of June 4th 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for refugeesaccording to international resolutions.

Netanyahu’s government and Trump’s administration are pulling the region to the edge as well as they both are perpetuating the conflict in the service of hegemony projects, they then are betting on the silence of the international community on these crimes – war crimes- especially as the world is preoccupied with COVID-19 implications on health, society and economy.

We, the undersigned workers’ and communist parties of the world, call upon the progressive anti-imperialist forces around the world to continue the struggle against this criminal Israeli policy and the impudent support of imperialism in liquidating the rights of the Palestinian People and exterminating any chance to exercise international law, and reach security and stability in the region. 

Down with the Occupation!

Forward the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination!

Signed Parties:

  1. Communist Party of Albania
  2. Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism
  3. New Communist Party of Aotearoa
  4. Party of Labour of Austria
  5. CP of Australia
  6. Progressive Tribune of Bahrain
  7. Communist Party of Belgium
  8. Workers’ Party of Belgium
  9. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
  10. Communist Party of Brazil
  11. Brazilian Communist Party
  12. New Communist Party of Britain
  13. Communist Party of Britain
  14. Communist Party of Canada
  15. Communists of Catalonia
  16. CP of Chile
  17. Communist Party of Cuba
  18. AKEL – Cyprus
  19. Communist Party of Finland
  20. French Communist Party
  21. German Communist Party
  22. Communist Party of Greece
  23. Communist Party of India (Marxist) 
  24. TUDEH Iran
  25. Workers’ Party of Ireland
  26. Communist Party of Israel
  27. Communist Party of Italy
  28. Italian Communist Party
  29. Jordanian Communist Party
  30. Communist Party of Mexico
  31. Popular Socialist Party – National Political Association, Mexico
  32. Communist Party of Norway
  33. Palestinian People’s Party
  34. Paraguayan Communist Party
  35. Peruvian Communist Party
  36. PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party
  37. Communist Party of Poland
  38. Portuguese Communist Party
  39. Union of Communist Parties-CPSU
  40. Communists of Serbia
  41. Communist Party of Spain
  42. Communist Party of the Workers of Spain – PCTE
  43. Communist Party of Sri Lanka
  44. Sudanese Communist Party
  45. South African CP
  46. Communist Party of Swaziland
  47. Communist Party of Turkey
  48. Communist Party of Ukraine
  49. Communist Party of USA
  50. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia

New Zealand COVID-19 Response Highlights Weaknesses of Neoliberalism

New Zealand’s first reaction to the coronavirus pandemic began on the 24th of January when its Ministry of Health set up a monitoring team. As the virus grew overseas, travel restrictions were placed upon affected countries, such as China and South Korea, and mandatory instructions to self-isolate were placed on overseas travellers coming into New Zealand. This response was mostly reactive: New Zealand only banned flights from Iran after having its first confirmed case from a person travelling from that location. It was not until March 19 that New Zealand closed its border to all but its own citizens. From there, the cases inside the country increased, and by the time New Zealand went into “Alert level 4 – lockdown” there were 283 cases. Alert Level 4 introduced mandatory social distancing measures which heavily limited usual social and economic activities. Parliament was adjourned, and like many businesses, government meetings and functions were either suspended or conducted via digital methods.

It has been five weeks since the lockdown at the time of writing and there have only been roughly 145,000 conducted tests, 1485 confirmed and probable cases, and 20 deaths from COVID-19. Widespread testing has been lacking with only roughly 3% of the population having been tested. Despite this, terms such as “effectively eliminated” have been used to describe the situation in the media. The New Zealand Government now considers the situation to be such that they have downgraded to “Alert Level 3 – Restrict”. The most significant change here is the ability for some businesses to reopen and relaxed social distancing measures. However, this has not been a smooth transition.  There have been increases in breaches of social distancing measures with large crowds gathering at some locations. Downgrading to level three is a result of the reprioritization of the economy which been influenced and supported by the economically focussed rhetoric of the media. This relaxation of conditions runs the risk of increasing the spread of the virus. In the absence of strong state-led initiatives and enforcement of social distancing conditions, some indigenous Māori communities have resorted to setting up their own checkpoints to protect vulnerable communities.

As part of its economic response to the pandemic, the New Zealand Government announced a multi-billion dollar economic response package. The package is predominately focused on business and employment, with some minor concessions for workers. The centrepiece of this package, instead of a Universal Basic Income or other direct-to-the-individual scheme, was a $9-12 billion dollar wage subsidy scheme. This scheme fails to cover the entire scope of businesses and employment situations, such as short-term employees and contractors. It also requires employers to actually adopt the scheme in order for their employees to receive money, as opposed to just saving wage costs by making them redundant. Additionally, it only requires businesses to pay a minimum of 80% of their employees’ wage. This means workers all over New Zealand are facing reduced incomes for themselves and their families. Businesses also benefitted from the inclusion of over a combined $12.4 billion for Government backed loans, tax loss carry-back schemes, business tax changes, business consultancy support, and changes to the Companies Act— changes which, unlike households, allow companies to place their debts into hibernation, and removes interest and penalties from those who do not pay their taxes on time. Other economic measures which have been instituted separate from the package include, cutting the official cash rate, and a $900 million-dollar loan from the government to the partially privatised national air carrier, Air New Zealand. Combined, all these schemes amount to billions in foregone government tax revenue, and in savings for the business sector. All of this is compared to the meagre $500 million and $27 million in increased assistance to the historically underfunded and overburdened health care and social services sectors respectively. The package did include a $2.8 billion expansion to the welfare system with an added permanent $25 increase to the unemployment benefit, and a doubling of the Winter Energy Payment. In reality, this amounts to a weekly increase of around $65 for an individual or $100 dollars for a couple. Compare this with the $585.00 per employee a company receives in wage subsidies.

While the full economic consequences of coronavirus have yet to be felt, hundreds of thousands have either already become unemployed, had their pay or hours forcefully reduced, or been illegally compelled to take leave. The unemployment benefit has increased by 16%, and in just the space of a single two-week period, 17,700 additional people signed up to the unemployment benefit. This does not include everybody who is unemployed, under-employed, or has applied for the unemployment benefit and is kept lower by the fact those who are now essentially unemployed are merely “employed” on a wage subsidy for the time being. While these people are still employed, it is dubious whether the wage subsidy will continue through the entire economic fallout. Companies have announced further planned layoffs of tens of thousands of workers, and in the long-term hundreds of thousands of jobs are predicted to be lost in the tourism sector alone. In a recent survey of New Zealand renters, two thirds had their incomes reduced by a third, while 92% of these renters were still paying full rent. 68% of households are now cutting spending or dipping into their savings; one in 10 tenants is expected to end up in debt to their landlords and a quarter are expected to have to go into debt to pay their bills. This situation is undoubtedly going to increase household stress in a country with already high rates of poverty, food insecurity, domestic violence, and suicide.

In the face of this dire situation for countless workers there has been no general mortgage or rent freeze. Some minor concessions from the government have been a conditional six-month mortgage payment deferral, a freeze on all rent increases for six months, and prohibitions of any no-cause evictions for three months. Given the lasting implications the coronavirus and economic depression are going to have, these measures are hardly sufficient. In actuality, the lack of concessions combined with the economic package amounts to nothing more than a wealth transfer to businesses and landlords. New Zealand, in comparison to other capitalist countries, has been more proactive with less severe consequences from this virus. However, these responses make explicit the capitalist neo-liberal thinking within the New Zealand political parties that allows governments to prioritise businesses and their own interests over workers and their needs.

This article was initially written by Diego Santagati as a guest post for the Connolly Youth Movement

Fair Pay Agreements: The Workers’ Most Dangerous Choice this Century

Today, Marama Davidson and Jan Logie announced the NZ Greens’ three point plan to support workers through the COVID-19 recovery. One, finally pass legislation enabling fair pay agreements for workers in the private sector. These agreements would set out occupation and sector-specific minimum employment standards, such as for wages, redundancies and overtime, and would be negotiated through bargaining between workers and employers. Once decided, they would become legal requirements for the sector. 

Two, the Greens are calling for pay increases for public sector workers up to the living wage. Notable about this is the scope of their proposal, going beyond the traditional civil service to community organisations funded by the government and contractors.

Lastly, the Greens want to convene a hospitality sector working group composed of unions, hospo bosses and the Government to “get the industry on a more sustainable footing going forward”. The Hospo Workers Union has already come out in support of this working group being formed. 

The most significant policy raised by the Greens here is definitely a renewed hope for Fair Pay Agreements (FPA), which had seemingly died on somebody’s desk in the aftermath of a 2018 working group. Not only are the Greens openly calling for them in some sectors, but it is likely that some form of FPA would be the end agreement of the tripartite negotiations within hospitality, whether a formal tripartite agreement or an informal agreement which leads to a de facto FPA through legislative changes to hospitality employment law.

The prospect of these FPAs is an interesting one and definitely one of the most significant proposed changes to the NZ employment relations framework since the Employment Relations Act 2000. What makes FPAs such a complicated thing for workers to consider is that FPAs could be excellent for providing opportunities to advance the workers’ movement and the class struggle, or could be one of the biggest blows to workers’ rights since the Employment Contracts Act back in 1991 which removed all trade union rights and protections .

The fact that Jim Bolger, the National Party Prime Minister who saw the introduction of the ECA, was picked by the Labour Government (!) to lead the FPA Working Group should be an immediate sign that the FPA framework was not going to be a significant win for the working class movement. 

The report presented by this working group presented a new, crippling form of social partnership unionism that would, if implemented, kill any significant legal opportunity for workers to take industrial action. FPA bargaining, which would cover whole sectors (i.e. not just on a union-employer basis) would ban all industrial action during bargaining. Furthermore, these FPAs would be covered by a “public interest” trigger, meaning that the government could (assuming weak trade unions) abolish workers’ rights to organise and take action by stroke of a pen, assuming that FPAs replace MECAs and enterprise-level collective bargaining as primary. Given the “essential worker” nature of many of the most recent high profile strikes: resident doctors, nurses, teachers, bus drivers, etc, what government wouldn’t pass up this opportunity to minimise disruption? It would also be a huge blow to private sector unionism. With the right donations and backroom deals, AFFCO and other big NZ capitalists could ensure a compliant workforce with no legal alternative. 

It is not clear from current FPA plans whether employers would be required to participate in enterprise-level bargaining when an FPA is in force. If that is not the case, this would be even more of a blow.

Why would this be so terrible? Because it would sharply shift the balance of class forces in favour of the monopoly capitalists by removing workers’ democratic rights. As anyone who has ever stood on a picket line knows, the strength of a collective agreement isn’t determined primarily by what goes on in the boardroom but the strength and solidarity of the working class.

As János Kádár, 20th century Hungarian trade-unionist and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party said in 1962:

“[The trade unions] have to argue, for instance, with the so-called “shopping-bag politicians” and convince them that it is incorrect to evaluate our achievements solely on the basis of what the shopping bag does or does not contain. The full shopping bag is of no avail when there is no stable power, because there is no certainty that it will continue to be full. As long as there is working-class power, continued supplies are ensured, and the shopping bag will never be empty.”

János Kádár, On the Road to Socialism, 1965, Budapest: Corvina Press, p. 23

Contemporary traitors to the working class are our “shopping-bag unionists” who will happily and gladly sell out the lifeblood of the working class provided they can backroom deal and politically wrangle favours from the capitalists and claim workers’ shopping bags are slightly more full because of it; when in fact the working class can win significantly more through genuine struggle.

Furthermore, these FPAs could kill any chance of legal class-oriented unionism. If the puffy, fat fingers of the right-wing pet trade unions grabbed hold of a sector and ‘won’ a FPA, the legal route to collective bargaining by a class-oriented, rank-and-file union could be almost entirely eliminated depending on the exact legal and customary arrangements of the FPA bargaining framework. The monopolists would have a hold over the future of the workers’ movement like never before.

A different model of FPAs, however, allows for significant expansion in workers’ rights. Any significant remodelling of employment relations gives the class-oriented workers’ movement and the NCPA opportunity to push for an expansion of trade union rights such as removal of restrictions on union entry into workplaces or workers’ democratic rights to organise and strike. 

It could also give opportunities for trade unions to strengthen the lot of the working class through militant struggle, provided that sector-level FPA were not employment agreements in a contractual sense but rather an increase in minimum industry standards that the workers’ movement could fight for that would simply provide a higher floor for traditional union bargaining and boost the balance of class forces slightly in favour of the proletariat. 

Therefore, the workers’ movement and indeed the parliamentary left (in the Green Party) stands at a crossroads. As Marama Davidson correctly identified, the fundamental role of the working class and public support for higher pay, etc is in the spotlight more than recent history. This however, conceals a fork in the road the workers’ movement travels bigger than any faced so far this millennium. Either we strengthen the fight and make new inroads in the fight against monopoly capitalism, or we capitulate into “shopping-bag unionism” and sell out the workers’ movement to new lows unprecedented in recent history.

Where does the Green Party stand? The Greens are not a social-democratic party, nor do they have any connection to the workers movement and trade unions in the sense that the Labour Party or the Socialist Unity Party did in the 20th century. They are rather a post-New Left party driven by abstract notions of “social justice”, which makes the direction of their response even murkier. They should clarify their conception of Fair Pay Agreements urgently to make sure they do not lead the Left into blind consent for the far-right crushing of the trade union movement and workers’ democratic rights.

The New Communist Party of Aotearoa alongside the class-oriented trade unions continues to hold the red flag high and fight for increased workers’ rights and the growth of the working class movement. Our response to this, and whatever else surfaces post-Coronavirus, is still developing, but we will never betray our Marxist-Leninist principles and the working class.

Political Committee
New Communist Party of Aotearoa

6/05/2020

Joint Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties: In the name of freedom, peace and truth — against fascism and war

The victory over Nazi-fascism in the Second World War is a major event in History, the memory of which must be preserved and defended in the face of repeated attempts at historical falsification aimed at making us forget the decisive role played by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, by the communists and by anti-fascists from around the world.

Generated by capitalism, Nazi-fascism was the most violent and terroristic manifestation of monopoly capital. It was responsible for the outbreak of this war of aggression and plunder that caused close to 75 million deaths, of which approximately 27 million were Soviet citizens, and for the immeasurable suffering and horror of the Nazi concentration camps. The peoples can also not forget dark pages, such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA, without any military justification, which represented a display of power and of their world-wide hegemonistic ambitions.

The Second World War (1939-1945) was the result of increasingly acute inter-imperialist contradictions and, at the same time, of the intention to destroy the first Socialist State, the USSR, which was namely expressed in the support and connivance of the United Kingdom, France and the United States with the rearmament and expansionist ambition of Nazi Germany.

In commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic Victory on  May 9, 1945, the undersigned communist and workers’ parties, certain in the knowledge that they portray the feelings and aspirations of workers and peoples from all over the world:

– Pay tribute to all those who gave their lives on the battlefields against the Nazi-fascist hordes and in particular to the heroism of the resistance movements and anti-fascist fighters and to the heroic Soviet people and Red Army, led by the Communist Party, whose contribution, written in heroic pages such as the battles of Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad, was decisive for the Victory over barbarism;

– Consider that the Victory over Nazi Germany and its allies in the Anti-Comintern Pact was achieved thanks to the decisive contribution of the USSR, to the class nature of the Soviet power with the participation of the masses of the people, to the leading role of the Communist Party, to the superiority which was displayed by the Socialist system. That victory is an enormous historical legacy of the revolutionary movement;

– Value the outstanding advances in the social and national emancipation of the workers and peoples that the Victory and the resulting advancement of the forces of social progress and peace made possible, extending the sphere of socialism within the countries of Europe, Asia and Latin America, creating the conditions for the advance of the labour movement in capitalist countries, the sweeping development of the national liberation movement and the resulting liquidation of colonial empires;

– Denounce and condemn the campaigns that aim to belittle, distort and even deny, the role of the USSR and of the communists in the defeat of Nazi-fascism and also to unjustly and falsely blame the Soviet Union for starting the Second World War, to expunge the responsibilities of big capital and the governments at its service in the promotion and rise of fascism and in unleashing the war, and whitewash and rehabilitate fascism, while destroying the monuments and memory of the liberating Soviet army, promoting anti-communism and criminalizing communists and other anti-fascists;

– Denounce and condemn the EU’s anti-communist resolutions and the slanderous historical falsification which attempts to equate socialism with the fascist monster;

– Warn that the most reactionary and aggressive sectors of imperialism are increasingly viewing  fascism and war as a “way out” of the deepening crisis of the capitalist system, whose inhuman character becomes particularly obvious when, even in the face of the very serious epidemic outbreak of Covid-19, imperialism, the USA, NATO, the EU and its allies capitalist powers, continue a criminal policy of blockades and aggressions against countries and peoples;

–  Consider that the struggle for peace, social progress and socialism are inseparable; and make a commitment  to seek a stronger common action of the working class, of the workers and peoples of the world, of the political forces engaged in blocking the path to fascism and in the struggle against imperialism, imperialist aggressions and a new war of tragic proportions.

The situation with which the workers and peoples of the world are confronted underlines the importance of strengthening the struggle against imperialism, for the sovereignty of the peoples and the independence of States, for the rights of the workers and peoples, as leading forward to the revolutionary overcoming of the capitalist system, a system which breeds fascism, war, the injustices, dangers and contradictions of the present. As it was 75 years ago, it is today the struggle of the communists and all those facing capitalist exploitation and oppression that will open the way for the future for Humanity.

Continue reading “Joint Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties: In the name of freedom, peace and truth — against fascism and war”

1 May 2020: A Day for the Workers of the World

The First of May has long been celebrated by the workers of the world as International Workers Day, commemorating the struggle of the working class for freedom from wage slavery and for a socialist society run by and for workers. All around the world for over a century, Communists and trade unions have rallied together on May 1 – but this year, that could not take place. Even in Havana, famous for millions-strong May Day parades, the Workers Central Union of Cuba asked all Cubans to celebrate in their own houses this year. As this shows, the social effects of the novel Coronavirus reach far beyond the realm of public health. COVID-19 provides significant new challenges to the working-class movement, but also provides new opportunities for advances.

Ubiquitous throughout the COVID-19 response has been the words “essential worker”. It has become more clear that is not the bankers and the politicians that are essential for the functioning of our society, but members of the working class. Bus drivers, supermarket workers, nurses, cleaners, teachers, and so on all have pushed themselves harder than normal, and often put themselves at risk (thanks to lack of PPE supplies), to ensure that we could get through Level Four with minimal strife. The return to Level Three has created more de facto essential workers who are putting themselves at risk, such as the hospo workers making sure we all have the takeout options we want each night.

The working-class movement, in particular the trade unions, have played an incredibly important role in ensuring that all workers are given the best pay and working conditions during this difficult time. The Hospo Workers Union has issued a call for the government to provide all hospo businesses with PPE supplies where small owner-operators cannot provide adequate gear. The NCPA was proud to donate a small supply of PPE to the Hospo Workers Union to help with this problem on a small level. FIRST Union, which represents supermarket workers, has also been fighting against physical abuse directed at these workers, up 6x from pre-Coronavirus levels. FIRST has also begun a “Show Some Heart” campaign against the removal of the bonuses given to supermarket workers during the lockdown. Many other unions and the Council of Trade Unions as a whole have been incredibly busy supporting the working class in defence of their rights at work during this exceptional time.

The recent strife within the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and the resignation of its president, Comrade Grant Brookes, along with a significant fraction of its Board, is a worrying development, however, and highlights the ongoing division between those genuinely committed to building workers’ power and the “social partnership” stooges. The widespread indignation within the rank-and-file of the NZNO highlight the creative and powerful political force of the working masses that drives the working class movement forwards from the bottom up.

We must also look beyond this short-term response to the Coronavirus lockdown and begin charting a new, alternative vision for Aotearoa away from the Rodger/Ruth neoliberal dogma that has been hegemonic within NZ politics for nearly forty years. In our joint statement with the Communist Party of Australia, the NCPA established the basics of what a worker-focused recovery programme could look like, including sweeping nationalisations, benefit system overhauls and a public digital infrastructure to reduce our reliance on US tech monopolies. In coming weeks, we will expound more on what this could look like.

Today marks the 1st anniversary of the beginning of public NCPA work. It has been an incredible year of hard but productive work regrouping Communist forces in Aotearoa and beginning to collectively rebuild the NZ Communist movement.

This day is a good one to meditate on, as we approach 100 years since the founding of New Zealand’s first communist party – the CPNZ. While many mistakes have been made in the history of our movement, there are just as many lessons that we can learn from. We are increasingly aware of our own place in history, increasingly carrying on the legacy of our predecessor groups. As our Chair of the Central Committee, Kat Buissink, said in her speech at our founding congress “We are not born from the void, but as a result of the workers’ struggle both internationally and at home in New Zealand.” In this, our second year, we look forward to continuing our activity within the workers’ movement and joint struggle with trade and community unions and working to grow a grassroots movement towards a socialist Aotearoa. The increased participation in the NCPA of former members of the SUP, CPNZ and WCL is a good indication of our growth. We send our comradely well-wishes to all workers and proletarian activists on this day commemorating the struggle of the proletariat.

Long live the working class!

Long live socialism!

Happy May Day!

Joint Statement of the CPA and NCPA on the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The New Communist Party of Aotearoa, NCPA and the Communist Party of Australia, CPA jointly commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution and founder of the first socialist state.

Lenin and the Bolshevik Party developed and extended Marxism into the modern era against the revisionism and social-chauvinism of the Second International with new thought on imperialism, colonialism, the state, dialectical materialism, socialist revolution and construction.

Lenin’s contribution to Marxism and the advent of the Great October Socialist Revolution brought Marxism to the Asia-Pacific for the first time and inspired progressive forces all over the Asia-Pacific from Chinese youth to Vietnamese patriots, Australian workers and New Zealand miners to hold the red banner of socialism high in their own struggles.

Despite the tragic disappearance of the Land of Soviets nearly three decades ago, the theoretical legacy of Lenin still guides the Communist and Workers Parties of the Asia-Pacific region. Guided by Leninism and analysis of the specific national conditions, our Parties construct a better, socialist future for the working people of our countries, and collectively, the region as a whole and in both Australia and New Zealand.

At the beginning of the new decade facing both new challenges and new opportunities, and during one of the greatest public health challenges the world has faced in living memory, it is important that we Communist and Workers’ Parties of the Asia-Pacific region take the time to commemorate the impact of Lenin on both Marxism and the development of our region.

Our both Parties stand for socialism in our respective countries and the region..

Long Live Vladimir Illyich Lenin!

Long Live Socialism!

 Signatories:

  • New Communist Party of Aotearoa
  • Communist Party of Australia

Capitalism and the Coronavirus Downunder

Joint Statement of the New Communist Party of Aotearoa and the Communist Party of Australia

The workers of Aotearoa and Australia, like those of other capitalist countries around the world, are facing serious health, social, and economic crises being likened to the beginning of the Great Depression. Certainly, COVID-19 is like little else in living memory.

The Australian Government greatly bungled in its actions to contain the spread of the virus, putting workers, especially port workers and healthcare workers at great risk. Despite early indications of the global spread of the disease, proper protective equipment and health checks were not made a priority for our frontline workers. Testing is restricted and inadequate and is not being extended to all people presenting with symptoms.

The New Zealand Government took more decisive action at an earlier stage of the spread of COVID-19 and has, at least at time of writing, prevented a large-scale outbreak and community transmission from occurring. Yet issues still remain around supply of proper protective equipment to essential workers, both in hospitals and other essential businesses such as supermarkets.

Continue reading “Capitalism and the Coronavirus Downunder”

Fighting COVID-19 in Cuba, China and the United States

The following article by W T Whitney Jr is reproduced from Monthly Review to highlight the difference in response to COVID-19 between capitalist and socialist countries. Whitney is a political journalist whose focus is on Latin America, health care, and anti-racism. A Cuba solidarity activist, he formerly worked as a pediatrician.

Continue reading “Fighting COVID-19 in Cuba, China and the United States”