Australian left-wing history online: SPA/CPA’s Australian Marxist Review


Alongside the growing collection of British left-wing historical material now online, I was very interested to see that the (new) Communist Party of Australia has uploaded a range of back issues of their theoretical journal Australian Marxist Review onto their website, going back to 1977. This version of the CPA was until 1996, the Socialist Party of Australia, a breakaway organisation from the old CPA. Those who formed the SPA left the CPA in 1971-72 due to the CPA’s ‘reformism’ and ‘anti-Soviet’ position, angered by the fact that the CPA leadership had criticised the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and its growing interaction with the various social movements of the late 1960s/early 1970s. For British left-wing trainspotters, the SPA could be seen as a similar organisation to the New Communist Party, which broke away from the CPGB in 1977 (there is a comparative paper to be written for anyone interested in this aspect of left-wing history). The Australian Marxist Review is thus a fascinating look at how pro-Soviet Marxism-Leninism developed in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, although there are many gaps in the back catalogue at the moment.

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