Theory & History

Cambodia and Vietnam: Different endings to US war

By Allen Myers

Thirty years ago, at the end of December 1978, Vietnamese troops and rebel Cambodian forces crossed into Cambodia and in a few weeks overthrew a regime whose savagery rivalled that of Nazi Germany. The military conflict surprised most of the world, because the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Cambodian Khmer Rouge (KR) had, until 1975, appeared to be allies in resisting the US attempt to replace defeated French imperialism as the ruler of Indochina — Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. However, largely unseen by the rest of the world, there had long been crucial political differences between the two parties.

John McCarthy (1948-2008)

By John Percy

John McCarthy, a Brisbane doctor who in the 1970s played a significant role in the development of the revolutionary socialist movement in Australia, died on November 1 after a long battle with cancer. While in Britain in the 1960s McCarthy joined the International Marxist Group (IMG), the British group supporting the Trotskyist Fourth International (FI). Returning to Brisbane at the end of the 1960s, McCarthy was a key figure in establishing the Labor Action Group (LAG) in 1970, which supported the FI.

How competition produces monopoly

By Allen Myers

In its earliest stages, capitalism necessarily began from what was provided by the feudal economy that preceded it. This was primarily an extremely low level of productivity, based mostly on very simple tools and producers (peasants and artisans) with few skills.

Socialism and religion

By Owen Richards

The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Sydney in July for the Catholic World Youth Day festival has focused attention on the relevance of religion in the 21st century. One of the most bizarre spectacles of the 400,000-strong event was the grisly worship of the 83-year-old corpse of Italian Catholic Pier Giorgio Frassati, flown in for the festival. Venerated by the Catholic clergy as a model Catholic youth, Frassati died of polio in 1925.

Chicago 10

Review by Kim Bullimore

Chicago 10: Speak Your Peace
Written and directed by Brett Morgen
Limited release as part of the Australian International Human Rights Film and Arts Festival.
Visit for details.

Whatever happened to private property and free markets?

By Allen Myers

If you listen to capitalist economists, media commentators or major party politicians, two things you will always find treated with reverence are private property and free markets. These, we are told, are essential not only to economic progress but even to “democracy” and “freedom”. US presidents have used these holy concepts as justification for threatening, or launching, wars. But in reality, capitalism’s relations with private property and free markets are not so simple.

Battle for the spirit of the Seattle demonstrations

Reviewed by Dani Barley
Battle in Seattle
Written and directed by Stuart Townsend.
Starring Woody Harrelson, Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez and Andre Benjamin.
Australian release date unknown

Che: an extraordinary revolutionary

By Roberto Jorquera & Jorge Jorquera

On October 9, millions throughout the world will commemorate the 41st anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Che was central to the victory of the Cuban revolution of January 1, 1959. Since then his role and contribution to socialism in Cuba and to socialist understanding have been reflected upon and admired by millions of revolutionaries around the world.

Pedro (Peter) Miguel Camejo, 1939-2008

By Barry Sheppard

Peter Camejo, a Venezuelan-American and life-long revolutionary, died on September 13 in the San Francisco Bay area. The cause was cancer.

Where does capitalism come from?

By Allen Myers

Contrary to what some ideologues would like us to believe, the economic arrangements we know as capitalism are not of long standing. Capitalism arose fairly recently in history (in the late mediaeval period), in a particular place (western Europe, mainly in Flanders and England). From there, it spread through most of the rest of the world, by both economic and military-political means, in what is a fairly short time in historical terms.