ICO Platform

Internationalist Communists Oceania are a group of workers based in Australia who organise around and defend Internationalist Communist positions. As of 2021, we currently have a presence within South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland, along with sympathisers and contacts in Victoria and New Zealand. Our end goal is the abolition of class society. Our immediate goals are to regroup those dissuaded by the lack of organisations that uphold revolutionary working class positions in the Oceanic area. We also wish to aid new communists in coming to our positions through hosting regular educational and discussion sessions, these sessions are open for comrades around the world to attend.

Capital and Class

The working class (proletariat) is composed of all those whose survival depends upon working for a wage by producing goods and providing services. It also includes those who are unemployed (part of the reserve army of labour). The Capitalist class (bourgeoisie) are those who own the means of production – both private shareholders and the state – and employ the labour-power of workers, paying a wage in return.

Capital is a historic social relation between the Capitalist class and the working class. Most simply put, it is the domination of living labour-power by dead (accumulated) labour. We denounce capital as being a product of the exploitation of workers around the world and therefore stand opposed to capitalism, regardless of its apparent form of government. By this we mean that we stand against both the masked dictatorship of bourgeois democracy and the open dictatorships of fascism and one-party states.

Imperialism, Nationalism, and War

Imperialism is not merely a policy decision of this or that government, it is the epoch of capitalism as a global system. There is no such thing as an anti-imperialist state and there are no nationalist movements capable of advancing proletarian interests. The Nation is and always has been the name given to the regime of capital within a given geographic area, and nationalism is an ideology which seeks, first and foremost, to create a false community in which exploited and exploiting classes exist as equals in order to mobilise workers to defend capitalist interests. It matters not whether this is dressed up ideologically as the “nationalism of the oppressed”. The end result is the same for workers. We understand the proletariat to be a class of migrants who have no country and denounce all wars between states—the executive committees of the ruling class—as imperialist wars in which workers die for capitalist profits. We support the transformation of imperialist war into a revolutionary civil war between classes. The emancipation of all oppressed groups depends on the self-organisation of the working class and the success of the international communist revolution.

Electoralism, Dictatorship, and Democracy

Whether it be the Liberal-National Coalition, the Labor Party, the Greens, or Independent politicians, we reject the notion of “lesser evilism” and denounce the parliamentary and electoral system as a masquerade that serves to legitimise and mask the bourgeois dictatorship under which we actually live. Workers’ real political power comes from our own self-organisation along class lines, not the ballot box. There is no parliamentary path to a global communist society, such a world will only come about through the destruction of the bourgeois state by the international offensive of the working class.

Revolution, Counter-revolution, and the Left of Capital

The 1917 October Revolution in Russia was a proletarian revolution and not simply a Bolshevik coup or “anti-feudal” affair. However, the degeneration of the revolution set in near immediately, with its failure and descent into counter-revolution being influenced by various factors. Included in these are the events of the early 1920s – the introduction of the New Economic Policy, the banning of factions, the Kronstadt Rebellion, the defeat of the German Revolution, and above all else, the overall failure of the revolution to spread to the major imperialist powers of that time period.

Social democracy long ago demonstrated its bourgeois character when it lined up behind its national capital in sending workers off to be slaughtered for imperialist interests during the first world war. Adding to this, we understand Stalinism (so-called “Marxism-Leninism”), all its variations (Maoism, Castroism, Guevarism, Juche, Hoxhaism, Dengism, etc.) and Trotskyism to be expressions of the counter-revolution in Russia and the bourgeois nationalist “revolutions” that came to follow. We regard all “actually existing socialism” as state-capitalist regimes and see its actions and its parties – including its international organs – as instruments of the bourgeoisie. The political tendencies listed here are those which compose the left of capital (leftism).

The proletarian revolution must be international and internationalist, or it will be condemned to the same fate as struggles and uprisings before it. This revolution must be carried out at the hands of the proletariat itself and is the only route to communism.

Discrimination, Class Collaboration, and Single Issue Campaigning

Interclassist theories such as feminism and intersectional theory (among others) are alien to the interests of the proletariat and we understand class collaboration as being a symptom of low class consciousness. The ills of capitalism – alienation, homelessness, poverty, domestic and family violence, reproductive oppression, police brutality, and imprisonment, just to name a few – can never be solved within the capitalist framework, by organising alongside our exploiters, or through making demands to their state. We strongly oppose these atrocities and wish to see an end to them, along with the social antagonisms and discrimination (sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, disablism, etc.) that plague capitalist society. The only way for this to happen is through the self-organisation of workers from all backgrounds and identities along class lines.

Indigenous workers are disproportionately overrepresented when it comes to facing the previously mentioned ills and discriminations. The interests of working class Indigenous people, and the means to abolish their exploitation and oppression, are one and the same as their non-Indigenous counterparts. The interests of Indigenous capitalists lie with peddling theories of black nationalism and decolonisation, both of which exist in a capitalist framework, thus giving them more power as the exploiters of both working class Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike.

Prisons and the Police

We oppose prisons and police forces around the world and oppose all brutality inflicted by law enforcement on working people, whether that be as individuals, during organised actions such as strikes and protests, or during acts of social unrest such as riots or revolts. We recognise the existence of the police force and prisons as being immediately tied to maintaining the exploitation of the working class through upholding capitalist private property relations. This role is in direct confrontation with the interests of the working class and the unique position we hold as being the only class capable of bringing about revolutionary change to society and emancipating humanity.

Labour Unions

The unions rose to as defensive organizations formed by the working class against the savage conditions of 19th century capitalism; today they have become incorporated into the capitalist state as part of its security apparatus to stifle the resistance of the working class. They cannot be conquered or transformed into revolutionary vessels, this never has been their function or purpose and it never will. In practice, however, we are not opposed to individual rank-and-file membership for the purpose of attending meetings and engaging with other workers. Yet, in the heat of struggle, workers will have to form their own fighting organizations, which will necessarily function outside and against the unions, who will play a counterrevolutionary role by attempting to hijack workers’ struggles to impose a compromise with management that maintans labour peace.

Party and Organisation

If history and lessons of the last revolutionary wave have taught us anything it is not that the working class does not need a class party, it is that the party must be international and centralised before the outbreak of the next wave. It has also taught us that the party is to remain a minority of volunteer militants who intervene within working class organs (councils) with a communist programme. Although this party is not a government in waiting and is never to wield power on behalf of the class, its role of fighting for a revolutionary programme among the rest of the working class while fighting against the influences of bourgeois interests and ideology, is an important one nonetheless. We do not consider ourselves to be the party or its sole nuclei (the future party will not be the expansion of a single organisation), we simply work towards and advocate for its establishment to function as the nerve centre of the class. In other words, we are not the party, but we are for the party.

We believe that discussion and international meetings with other revolutionary groupings are an integral part of coordinating our intervention within the class and contribute to the process of forming the international party of the proletariat. We are not simply a group of propagandists or “armchair revolutionaries”, instead we organise and intervene in all struggles wherever possible in order to establish a meaningful existence within the working class prior to the formation of the party. It would not be any step forward for the future revolutionary movement for us to claim ourselves to be the party right here and now when our numbers are so few and the class is unorganised. It is from this that we cannot support any currently existing organisation claiming to be the class party.

Workers’ councils are not merely dreamed up by revolutionaries but are a historically discovered form that can allow the transformation of society through the participation of all workers who wish to be involved.  It will be workers’ councils—mass assemblies of mandated and instantly revocable delegates—which will exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat (proletarian democracy), until class society is overcome, at which point they will become the coordinators of economic activity – ensuring that no part of humanity suffers from want. As long as they are under the control of the entire working class and its delegates (not just a single part of it) they can be the tools needed for ending the capitalist system and thus paving the way to end all oppression and exploitation.

Internationalist Communists Oceania

May 2021