How the Trotskyists Led the ALP up the Free Trade Path

Peter Myers B. A. Hons B. Sc.

6th March 2000

The main Trotskyist organisations have for many years condemned the economy we had in the 1950s - a time of government management of the economy, and government (i.e. socialist) ownership of Telstra, TAA, Qantas, ANL, the Reserve bank, the Commonwealth and State Banks etc.

Well before "economic rationalism" became fashionable, the Trotskyist organisations were condemning the Australia of the 50s because they condemn any form of "socialism in one country". Just as much as the economic rationalists, the Trotskyists were calling for the abolition of tariff protection: the capitalists never had better allies. As a result, the Australian people have lost the ownership of this country, and any sense of controlling it. As Aborigines were given coloured beads in exchange for their land, we are given cars, 4 wheel drives, and electrical appliances, in exchange for foreign debt and foreign selloffs.

Trotskyist organisations are small, but they have a lot of influence on the Labour Party. After the 1984 federal election, Peter Garrett and Senator Jo Vallentine quit the Nuclear Disarmament Party because, they said, members of the (Trotskyist) Democratic Socialist Party were taking it over. Especially at the Sydney branch of the NDP, DSP members were joining the NDP and voting as a block, having made their mind up on an issue before it was put to the NDP meeting. This is the same kind of Agenda-Setting that the Round Table, the Council On Foreign Relations etc. use to get their way in a democracy.

The Democratic Socialist Party claims that it is no longer Trotskyist. However, that is on the basis of a narrow definintion of Trotskyism, which places Trotsky above Lenin as supreme Bolshevik leader. The broader definition applies to Trotsky's battle with Stalin, as the champion of a World Socialist State over Socialism in One Country. On the broader definition, the DSP is certainly Trotskyist.

Trotsky felt that his vision would not be accepted by most people in Russia and China, because the majority there were small farmers who wanted to operate their own farms; that is why he felt that only in the cities, or in urbanised countries like Germany, could he get enough support. He concluded that the USSR must spread its system to Germany, if the leadership, which was Jewish-dominated, was to continue its hold over the people. Although Stalin later had Trotsky murdered, Trotsky himself had killed millions of people when he was commander of the Red Army. During the Civil War, he forced large numbers of "White" soldiers to fight for the "Reds", and he stationed special troops in the rear, with orders to shoot any of the front-line troops who deserted or retreated. It was by such methods that the Civil War was won.

The DSP is a political party; it is also known as the Democratric Socialist Electoral League, and has used various "Green" names as well. It publishes Green Left Weekly, and operates the Resistance youth groups. In short, the DSP concentrates on young people; it operates amongst HSC students at colleges, and organised the demonstrations for school children against One Nation .

The International Socialist Organisation operates at the universities. It is not a political party, so members are free to join the ALP, and try to influence its decision-making. As Australian National University staff have felt the pain of funding cutbacks, they have rallied to strikes led by ISO members: the most educated people in Australia follow the lead of those who deny the Bolshevik Holocaust, or justify it as necessary to "defend the revolution". The same situation applies when the federal public service goes on strike. I don't blame them for trying to defend themselves, but I wonder that they have no independent leadership.

The DSP has changed its name twice. Originally it was the Industrial Workers of the World, then it was the Socialist Workers Party. The first, then the second, published the newspaper Direct Action. In 1979 the SWP, through Pathfinder Press in Sydney, published a book entitled Socialism or Nationalism?: Which Road for the Australian Labor Movement?, by Jon West, Dave Holmes and Gordon Adler, which argued for Free Trade, for the abandonment of tariffs, and against the 1950s economic model. The book condemned all the other Communist parties as Stalinist and Nationalist. It came at a time when the ALP was desperately looking for a new policy which might bring it to government. Three years later, Gough Whitlam and Ralph Willis (who later became Treasurer) co-authored Fabian Society Pamplet No. 37 (published in Melbourne, 1982) called Reshaping Australian Industry: Tariffs and Socialists, in which they put the same Free Trade line. The Socialist Workers Party had led the ALP up the Free Trade path.

The Preface of the SWP book says, "Many of the most important of these debates have taken place over the question of internationalism and nationalism. ... This book is a further defence of Marxist internationalism and reflects the views of the Socialist Workers Party, the Australian Trotskyist organisation" (pp. 9-10). On page 19 they call for aboriginal self-determination: "The one policy which Australian governments have steadfastly refused to adopt is the right of Blacks to decide their own fate, i.e. Black self-determination. ... If we are to have one single united Australian nation, clearly an independent Black nation cannot be allowed to exist. ... In the clash between Black nationalism and white Australian nationalism, it is Black nationalism which is progressive and Australian nationalism which is reactionary."

Arguing against Tariff Protection, they write, "Perhaps the most obvious strategic conception which flows from the nationalist outlook for the labor movement is protectionism. ... Protectionists argue that the big problem facing workers is the competition from foreign goods on the Australian market; the development of industry overseas, primarily in Asia, which is supposed to take jobs from Australian workers; and a running down of Australian manufacturing industry" (p. 27). All of these things have happened since Free Trade was introduced; but the argument the book does not mention, is that without Protection, our government - the one we intend to represent us - cannot manage the econony, since under Free Trade it has no control of exports, imports, and foreign capital flows i.e. foreign nvestment and foreign debt.

But, "The Protectionist argument has a fatal flaw. It assumes that if the bosses are making higher profits they will employ more workers" (p. 28); and "Protectionism also fuels inflation" (p. 29). "Perhaps the worst aspect of the adoption of protectionism as a policy for fighting unemployment is that it is seen as a substitute for a class-struggle approach" (p. 29). In other words, a Protected economy looks after all the social classes, so there is less class antagonism between them, so the Trotskyists are out of business. Talking to one of the ISO workers at their weekly stall at the Australian National University, I pointed out that their Free Trade policy was causing hardship. "If we get power, we'll restore tariffs", he said. The Trotskyists are promoting Capitalism, because it leads to a polarisation of the country, which gives them the opportunity to lead a revolution.

This is the method outlined in the Protocols of Zion. I suspect that most Communists are genuine, but that some of the Trotskyist organisations may be a vehicle used by Zionist finance to break down the nation state, just as Soros destroyed the Korean and ASEAN economies in the so-called "Asia crisis". This does not imply that individual Trotskyists are deceivers, but it would imply that some of the leaders may be.

Having condemned for ALP for its "nationalist" policies, the book goes on to attack the non-Trotskyist Communist Parties: "The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) is also a nationalist party (as are all the Stalinist parties, including the Moscow-line Socialist Party of Australia and the Maoist groups)" (p. 36). It attacks CPA leader Eric Aarons for stating in 1977, "I have already said that we should put forward or support proposals to defend the economy of Australia against the depradations of multinational corporations, Japan and the United States, even though it is a capitalist economy. I also believe that we are justified in speaking about 'Australia's' interests, even though 'Australia' is one in which capital is in control" (p. 36).

The book then condemns the Maoists, led by Ted Hill: "The most strident, open and vigorous nationalist current in the labor movement today is the Maoists. They are mainly organised in the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)" (p. 38). It condemns them because they say that "an alliance between the national bourgeoisie and workers is needed. The Maoists make no bones about advocacy of this alliance" (p. 39). "Because, in their view, the Soviet Union is presently the imperialist force on the upswing it is necessary to make a tacit alliance with the United States in order to forestall their victory" (p. 39).

On p. 67, the book condemns those who reject Foreign Investment:

"The left-nationalists have proposed a variety of arguments to demonstrate that foreign-owned corporations are more damaging to the interests of Australian working people than corporations owned in Australia. Some of these arguments deserve attention.

"It is often argued that foreign investment slows Australia's econoomic growth because foreign companies ship home their profits instead of plowing them back into the Australian economy. Two replies are possible to this argument. Firstly, there is no evidence to suggest that Australian companies re-invest a higher proportion of their profits than foreign corporations ...

"Another argument is that foreign corporations tend to shut down, to lay off workers more frequently because large multinationals can transfer their operations to other countries if Australian wages are too high. However, Australian companies are just as susceptible to shifts on the international and domestic markets as multinationals ...

"A further argument is that foreign corporations are tending to invest in raw materials, primarily mining industries, and are thus turning Australia into a quarry for US imperialism. ... This argument has been advanced by the Communist Party of Australia, among others. It ignores the fact that Australian workers are being thrown out of work primarily due to the international recession and its effects on Australian industry (p. 67)".

The meaning of this is that, while the Trotskyists say that Australian workers should not do co-operate with Australian-owned business, they themselves are co-operating with Foreign Capital.

On August 19, 1998, I attended a meeting of Politics in the Pub at Olims Hotel in Canberra, on the subject of Globalisation. It was organised by the (Trotskyist) International Socialist Organisation; various union leaders were there. ISO leader Rick Kuhn, of the Australian National University, put the view on Tariffs presented above: he said that employers want to restore Tariffs, but encouraged workers to resist such a move. We support Globalisation, he said, because it draws people from different societies together; what we oppose is the exploitation that can follow. If I were a worker listening to such advice, I would wonder if the speaker were really on my side.

Fabian Society Pamphlet No. 37 (1982) carried an article by the Hon E. G. Whitlam, entitled Democratic Socialist Internationalism, in which he repeated the Trotskyist line:

"The supreme irony is that protectionism does not even serve the interests of Australian workers ... it is not jobs that protection defends, but profits. ... And because the most highly protected industries - particularly motor vehicles, textiles and footware - have an above-average concentration of foreign control, protection defends the profits of transnational corporations. On a world scale, protection takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

"The labour movement has to realise that the industries it is vainly attempting to prop up are in a state of inexorable decline."

At present, the U.S. is trying to get China into the WTO. If that happens, millions upon millions of poor Chinese peasant farmers will be out-competed by mechanised American agri-business. They will lose their livelihioods and be forced to crowd into the cities and roam the planet, as happened in England two centuries ago when the agricultural common land was enclosed. So much for the poor benefiting; and do we really need bigger cities?

Writing in The Australian of March 23, 1995, Frank Devine gave evidence, possibly from an "intelligence" source, of a connection between the ISO and the Zionist youth group Betar in Melbourne, co-ordinating a demonstration against the far-right National Action group. Devine wrote,

"The organiser of both Saturday's and last year's counter-crunch on National Action was David Glanz, a freelance journalist and part-time student at Flinders University. He is convener of the International Socialist Organisation, a coalition of the informal Left ranging from gay and lesbian groups through trade union members to communist remnants.

"It was Glanz who faxed Democrat Senator Sid Spindler and Betar advising them of the time and place of the National Action rally, and urging their attendance. It was ISO that distributed pamphlets, put up posters and kept the media informed of National Action's plans, assuring maximum attention for what would otherwise have been an almost invisible up-and-down march by 30 or so banner wavers. ...

"But where would the ISO be without National action to kick around?"

At the time, a "racial vilification" bill against free speech was being debated in Parliament. National Action came in on cue. According to the Citizen Electoral Council's newspaper New Citizen (Vol. 4 No. 10, August/September 1998), National Action itself was set up by "a featured speaker for the ISO", David Greason:

"David Greason. Australia/Israel Review columnist Greason helped found both of Australia's major neonazi groups, the National Front (a spinoff of the British National Front), and National Action, both of which serve as convenient foils for counter-demonstrations by such as Jolly and Glanz. ...

"Steve Jolly. The head of the far-left 'Militant' Trotskyist group, Jolly was, curiously enough, present at Tiananmen Square for the bloody demonstration in 1989. He has led violent demonstrations in Victoria, and has most recently spearheaded demonstrations to shut down Pauline Hanson's meetings. The powers that really stand behind Jolly are reflected in his recent comment to The Age of July 25, 1998, about how he would sue the Victorian police. 'Next April we are suing them in court - civil action. We have a lot of top lawyers who will work for us for nothing.'

China and Malaysia are obstacles to the formation of a World Government at present; if China enters the WTO, World Government will be imminent. I myself visited China in January 1987. I went to the "English Corner" in Kunming, where I met young Chinese practising their English. I was amazed that a number of them had American accents, even though they had never been outside China. "It's from listening to Voice of America", they said. That is the real source of the Tiananmen uprising. Those young people were courageous, but misled. Steve Jolly would have been there to lead the young Chinese against their own country. John Passant, formerly an ISO leader but now of Socialist Alternative (which split from it), wrote in a letter in the Canberra Times of 16/3/98, "I cracked a bottle of champagne to celebrate when the Berlin Wall fell. I participated in demonstrations against the butchers of Beijing". About 1995 an old DSP activist predicted to me, years before the "Asia crisis", civil war in Indonesia, with Australian troops being sent to quell it; and he thought that the Russians, after 20 years of post-Soviet chaos, "will finally get what they always wanted". That is, Trotskyism.

A few months before he died, I had a meeting with Bob Santamaria at his office. He told me that, to escape from capitalism and big business, we need a finance system like the USSR's, with the government issuing money, not borrowing from banks. He would have wanted to retain choice of religion, small business, free speech, elections, and multiple parties. The capitalists, Trotskyists and neonazis should not be banned - just exposed.

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