The Federal Election 2019
If people attached importance to pre-election polls, the result of Saturday’s federal election would have come as a great shock. The outcome will be analysed at great length by the corporate media but at a very superficial level. Bill Shorten lacked “charisma”, the Coalition targeted their pork barrelling well and carried out an effective and misleading scare campaign about increased taxes, and so on.
This may well be true, but it is the tip of the iceberg of class realities that are beneath the political farce that has just played out. Workers didn’t trust Bill Shorten to do anything to markedly improve their declining prospects for well-paid and secure work, a roof over their head and free, public, accessible services. Shorten exemplifies the opportunist elements that have dominated the labour movement for many decades and from which the ALP draws its parliamentary representatives.
Their attachment to the working class is phoney. Their loyalty to the capitalist agenda is unshakable. At the end of their service to the corporate world in the trade unions, legal firms and parliament, they are often rewarded with lucrative positions on company boards. Workers know this and are no longer fooled by Labor’s claim to be an enemy of the “big end of town”. Few now doubt there is little to choose from between the Coalition and Labor.
The ALP rejected even nominal recognition of the class struggle many years ago. Bob Hawke, who passed away last week, made this official during his term in office. ALP-affiliated unions used to pay lip service at least to working class political economy. They rejected the capitalists’ insistence that increased wages and better conditions drove inflation, reduced job opportunities and weakened the “economy”.
They now accept that and that Australia must be “competitive” in a world economy and make it attractive to speculate and “invest” here. The ALP opened Australia to unstable global markets that are anything but “free”. Former Prime Minister John Howard and the ex-member for Warringah, Tony Abbott, were glowing in their praise for Bob Hawke for leading this radical shift in policy direction. People who used to work in the country’s significant manufacturing sector know that the two major parties sing from the same hymn book on macro-economic questions. The “choice” at election time was never about fundamentals but now there is no pretence of class allegiance on the part of the ALP. They may have proposed the end of franking credits for wealthier retirees but they will never be so bold as to suggest an increase to shrinking corporate tax rates where corporations pay any tax at all. Workers know this. They are not persuaded the Greens that they have the interests of the working class at heart because they don’t. But while workers are aware of their narrowing “choices” at election time, they also do not have the analytical tools to seek out their true interests. The total ideological capitulation of Labor and the trade union movement mentioned above has been accompanied by a huge ideological push by all the mechanisms of the capitalist state including the education system and what is now called the “media-industrial complex”.
There are no longer any well-resourced sources of alternative political analysis. Working class political economy has been crushed for the time being. The awareness that workers are the source of all wealth created in the economy and that the producers should control the distribution of it has been suppressed. That work by the architects of global capitalism has been almost completely effective in this well-planned project. Almost – because commitment to the workers in the class struggle and the raising of class-consciousness among workers are basic to the program of the Communist parties of the world. In Australia, the Australian Communist Party is building to shoulder this mighty task. Workers’ interests are not served by electing one batch of servants of capital over another every three or four years. They are served by becoming organised to win back more of what they produce and eventually to completely control the destiny of their societies. The Australian Communist Party is committed to playing its part in that revolutionary change.