[These articles were first published in Green Left Weekly in 1995 to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Australia.]
By John Percy
September 27, 1995 -- Seventy-five years ago, under the impact
and inspiration of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Communist
Party of Australia was founded. It was a modest beginning, but an
historic event. The CPA formed in 1920 finally dissolved in 1991, but
for most of its life it was the dominant party on the left in Australia
and an important force in the workers movement.
There are many
proud chapters in its history -- the numerous trade union struggles
led; organising the unemployed, women, Aborigines, young people;
important civil liberties fights; and solidarity with international
struggles, in Spain, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and East Timor,
to name a few.
The CPA's founders had a vision of socialist
revolution in Australia, and this was the goal of most of its
rank-and-file members over the years. The party inspired dedication and
commitment from thousands of men and women, and organised the most
militant, idealistic, self-sacrificing section of the Australian
But it was also a history of mistakes, of betrayals, of lost opportunities.
To mark this important anniversary, Green Left Weekly will be carrying a series of articles on the history of the CPA.