No: 4

Winter 2003

Join the ultimate struggle!

An address by Comrade Rob Gowland to an introductory meeting for new members of the Communist Youth of Australia in Sydney on Sunday 10th August, 2003.

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We Communists are engaged on a mighty undertaking: nothing less than the total transformation of society. We aim to replace the rule of the owners of capital by the rule of those who create the wealth of the land through their own labour or who would if the capitalists could provide them with jobs!

For apart from the fact that capitalism is a chaotic, inefficient and essentially unjust system, that requires war as part of its modus operandi, capitalism has for the last hundred years also been a moribund system.

Capitalism can no longer and never will again use all its productive capacity or provide jobs for all the workers available to it. And this despite all the shortages throughout the world crying out to be met, despite the desperate need of people all over the world for products and services that they lack, despite widespread homelessness, poverty and hunger, capitalism simply cannot organise itself to satisfy their needs.

We know that there is a better system, an historically better system that is not only better in theory but which has been proven to work in practice. That system is socialism.

The temporary overthrow of socialism in some countries at the end of the 1980s was an undoubted victory for capitalism, a setback for the working people of the world. But historically it is no more than a hiccup that cannot alter the general progression of history and that progression is towards socialism.

But when we say that socialism is historically inevitable, we do not mean that you can just sit back and wait for it to happen. That way would ensure that it did not happen!

Socialism is inevitable precisely because the economic conditions of capitalism force people to struggle for it.

Capitalism's economic conditions the great and growing inequality, the grinding of the poor, the constant drive to extract more profit from the labour of the workers these economic imperatives of capitalism inevitably drive the working class and other oppressed and exploited sectors of society to fight back.

In that struggle they develop revolutionary theory, form revolutionary movements and parties and build mass struggles for fundamental change.

This process is inevitable. And when, sooner or later, the revolutionary movement comes to be led by a revolutionary party armed with correct revolutionary theory, you will have the conditions for successful revolution.

The people, by their struggle, make it inevitable.

Organising, educating and leading the mass of the people to that revolutionary change, that is our job.

And there can be no greater or more rewarding task available to anyone. Nor a task that offers more scope for learning about the world and about society, or which offers more scope for initiative and personal fulfilment.

That does not mean it will be a bed of roses. In fact, it can deliver more disappointment and frustration than you could imagine. But the education that is an essential feature of the Communist movement will have given you an understanding of the processes at work in society that both explains these occurrences and sustains you through them.

Once you have embarked on the struggle for revolutionary change, you soon come to realise that it is the main or ultimate struggle, that all others are secondary to it. You may not be able to stick with it, for any number of reasons, but you will always know that to quit it is in fact to step back, to settle for less out of life.

Because concern for humanity, in fact life itself, demands that this struggle is necessary.

To participate in this great struggle requires commitment, self sacrifice and discipline. You cannot change the world in your spare time, or when you are in the mood. Your comrades must be able to rely on you. You need to attend not only the popular rallies and functions, but also the meetings that discuss and determine policy, for you cannot carry out decisions effectively unless you understand the thinking behind them.

At rallies, street stalls, marches, demonstrations, events large or small, you need to be thinking all the time: "What can we do to make this event - - or the CPA/CYA participation in it more effective?"

When given a task say giving out leaflets at a rally don't be content when you have given them all out: look for a new task, either another batch of leaflets or something else entirely. Don't just stand around; always remember, there are things you can and should be doing. Look for things to do, for they will not only make our participation more effective, they will make your participation more interesting and more satisfying.

For that is the essence of Communist work: it is collective, it is in a great cause, it requires dedication, commitment and discipline, and it is the most fulfilling activity that anyone can ever undertake.

Don't settle for less.

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