Bolshevik-Leninist Year in Review
For a lot of us, 2020 has been a long and eventful year. From bushfires to the coronavirus, the ugly sores of capitalism have come to the surface. Now, as 2020 comes to a close, we of Bolshevik-Leninist would like to recap the events which defined the year and our analysis of them. To do this we have compiled the articles published by us and our comrades month by month as they relate to important global events. For working people, this has been a year of turmoil and struggle, may next year be full of struggles and victories for the working class!
The first days of 2020 began with the escalation of a devastating fire season here in Australia. Summer ultimately saw 18.6 million hectares of land burnt, 5,900 buildings destroyed, major cities blanketed in toxic smoke, and at least 35 people killed. This unprecedented fire season was only made possible by climate change, it should serve as just a taste of what is to come as part of the worsening climate crisis that will define the coming decades. This ecological disaster is a crisis of capitalism which only socialist revolution establishing an international planned economy can genuinely address. We highly recommend this article on climate change by our comrades of the Brazilian organisation Reagrupamento Revolucionário (Revolutionary Regroupment).
This month also saw American imperialism escalate tensions with Iran, with the threat of another murderous imperialist war in the Middle East being a real possibility. This threat eventually subsided, replaced with the previous situation of deadly sanctions and low level threats directed against Iran. However the possibility of future aggression against Iran or any other official enemy of the US state department, remains ever present. Our comrades of Revolutionary Regroupment published an excellent article on these events and the tasks of Marxists in struggling for the end of imperialist plunder in the Middle East.
In March we launched the Bolshevik-Leninist project with the publishing of our founding document, “For a Marxist Nucleus in Australia”. Since then we have released a number of articles of Marxist analysis on key issues pertinent to the working class of Australia and the world. We encourage you to check out our program and get in touch with us.
March saw COVID-19 officially declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Of course, out of the many crises that defined 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be without a doubt the most impactful and wide reaching. With mass death across the world, as well as job losses and economic hardship for millions of workers, this pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the underlying crisis of capitalism. Our article on the topic addresses how Marxists must respond to this terrible crisis.
The pandemic continued to devastate the planet throughout April. In the United States particularly, thousands had already died and the virus spread uncontrollably (a trend which has not stopped even now at the end of the year). However, in China where the virus originated, the state of affairs was already very different. Far from the uncontrolled transmission in America and Europe, cases in China were already well under control. This is because despite it’s major bureaucratic deformations and capitalist inroads (which played a significant part in allowing the initial spread of the virus in Wuhan), China’s economic and political structure is fundamentally different to that of the capitalist US. As a workers state with a planned economy it was able to launch an effectively organised response to the virus and quickly stamp it out, despite China being where COVID-19 first spread on a wide scale. See our article on their response.
This article by Revolutionary Regroupment serves as a good comparison, as it examines early responses to the pandemic internationally. Like many other countries, Brazil has since been hit hard by the pandemic, with millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
In May the world witnessed the horrific police murder of George Floyd in the United States. In the wake of the countless police murders in 2020 alone, this event sparked a mass revolt across the nation, with months of protests and riots against racist police terror. Solidarity protests took place across Australia and took aim at our own police violence against Aboriginal people and immigrants. Our flyer on the topic deals with the necessity of Socialist Revolution to put an end to this racist police terror, and avenge those brutalised and murdered by it.
In June the Australian government announced a planned $270 billion dollar build up of the Australian military. The project comes as part of a push of imperialist military aggression against China. This is particularly evident in the South China Sea, which in July saw Australian warships enter the border of contested Chinese territory and encounter the Chinese navy. This article addresses Australia’s imperialist war drive, particularly in the South China Sea context.
September saw the largest and most significant protests in West Papua since the spate of protests, riots, and unrest in 2019. The West Papuan national liberation struggle against occupation and domination by Indonesia has been ongoing throughout the year, as the Indonesian government continues to enact violence and repression against Papuan people. As Marxists we support the heroic struggle for independence by oppressed nationalities such as West Papua, while at all points raising proletarian internationalism and socialist revolution as the only way to truly end national oppression. Our article on West Papua from earlier in the year examines the West Papuan struggle and the Marxist position on the national question.
This month saw the release of the Brereton Report into Australian Defence Force atrocities in Afghanistan. Documenting the extrajudicial murder of 39 Afghani civilians, this report has shone some light onto the utter horror and barbarity that is Australian imperialism and its role as a partner to American imperialist hegemony and domination. Our article addresses this report, the war in Afghanistan, and the complicity of the Australian bourgeois political order in the atrocities which took place.
The new decade has been inaugurated by a series of escalating capitalist crises in ecology, health, economics, and imperialist militarism. The choice, as always, is socialism or barbarism. Out of the horrors of this year we need to fight for victories for the working class and struggle for a future where this untenable system of capitalist barbarity has been destroyed. Through whatever the coming year brings, Bolshevik-Leninist will continue to advance the Marxist program.
For a Marxist Nucleus in Australia and the world!