The MACG’s annual Anzac Day statement for this year was published on 25 April 2020.
Churchill had a bright idea in 1915 about helping Russia, Britain’s World War I ally: to secure a passage through the Dardanelles and knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. A landing was staged at Gallipoli to advance the plan. It was a disaster, conceived without reference to the terrain and executed without regard to casualties. The British Empire and French forces suffered over 300,000 dead and wounded before going home with their tails between their legs. Ottoman casualties were 250,000. Overall, it was a sideshow in the great crime of World War I, where two imperial alliances clashed over colonies, resources and markets, killing millions in the process.
Australian troops were central to Churchill’s botched strike on the Ottoman Empire. This is entirely in keeping with history, since they have been used since before Federation to strengthen the world order of the dominant imperialist power, in return for control in the South Pacific. All six colonies on this continent sent troops to fight in the Boer War. Australian troops fought on the side of imperialism, first British and then American, in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. In recent years, imperialist forces have massively out-gunned their enemies, thus needing fewer Australian troops and making Australian casualties rarer. The same cannot be said, though, for casualties amongst the subject populations. Because these wars are fought to defend a US empire that is no longer economically self-sustaining, they are never-ending.
Anzac Day in a Plague Year
The usual Anzac Day marches are cancelled this year, as well as mass participation in ceremonies across the country. The capitalist class in Australia has therefore been trying to find ways to mobilise popular participation in the annual wave of compulsory patriotism and militarism. This year, they have asked everyone to stand outside their home with a candle at dawn. It’s not yet possible to gauge what level of participation this has had, but we can confidently state that it will be enthusiastically boosted in mainstream media reports.
The US-dominated world order can only be maintained by endless war. Australia, a junior partner, has signed up to this to maintain its domination of the South Pacific and Timor L’Este. The situation would not be improved by allying with China or any other would-be hegemon, because that wouldn’t change the system. The working class needs to unite internationally and abolish capitalism. Only this can build the basis for a world of liberty, equality and solidarity, where war is no more and the nation state has been abolished. We can have a new world of libertarian communism.
END AUSTRALIAN MILITARISM
ABOLISH ANZAC DAY
Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group
macg1984 at yahoo dot com dot au
PO Box 5108 Brunswick North 3056
25 April 2020