Resolution adopted at the Sixth Congress of the SEP (Australia)

The COVID disaster and the political crisis of Australian capitalism

From September 24 to 27, the Socialist Equality Party in Australia held its Sixth National Congress. After extensive discussion, the following resolution and three others were unanimously adopted. The resolution “Build an international movement of the working class against imperialist war!” was published on October 9. The WSWS will publish the two other resolutions in the coming weeks.

1. The ongoing global COVID-19 disaster—now nearing its fourth year because every capitalist government, except for China’s, has increasingly dismantled virtually all basic public health protection measures—has deepened and intensified the development of a public health, social, economic and political crisis in Australia, as it has internationally.

Staff prepare to collect samples at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. [AP Photo/Mark Baker]

2. Far from having ended, as governments and the corporate media claim incessantly, this catastrophe is continuing. Despite systemic official efforts to hide the human and social toll by closing down testing and reporting, the full impact of the worldwide pandemic is still emerging. Estimates of excess deaths related to COVID already stand at over 22 million internationally—more than the total death toll in World War I. Moreover, the profit-driven demand of the ruling class for the population to “live with the virus” has created the danger of potentially even more transmissible and deadly COVID variants, as well as further pandemics, like monkeypox, and the return of previously conquered diseases. This criminal policy has also led to a “mass disabling event,” now affecting millions of people, rendering them unable to work and often largely confined to their homes. Numerous studies have shown that roughly 10–30 percent of COVID-19 patients develop Long COVID, which can affect nearly every organ in the body, endangering lives and causing lifelong illness and incapacity.

3. Throughout this monumental failure of the capitalist profit system to protect lives and livelihoods, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its sections, including the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia, has been the only party internationally to fight for the necessary program to eliminate COVID-19 and for the independent mobilisation of the international working class to take control of society to achieve that.

4. This Congress endorses the resolution, “The COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for socialism” adopted by the SEP (US) Congress last month. It states:

The tragic experience of the last two and a half years has demonstrated that the fight to end the pandemic depends upon and is inseparable from the struggle against capitalism and for socialism. This requires the building of a mass movement of the international working class, grounded in science and a political-historical understanding of the forces responsible for this massive social crime. The Socialist Equality Party (US) and its sister parties in the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) must continue to provide leadership in this struggle. Alongside the fight against imperialist war, for social equality and in defense of democratic rights, the fight for global elimination is today one of the central components of the class struggle in each country.

As that resolution states, on August 20, 2021, the World Socialist Web Site published a critical statement which clearly explained the scientific and political distinctions between the three strategies toward the pandemic: herd immunity, mitigation (or suppression) and elimination-eradication. The central significance of this statement was its clarification of the reformist character of the mitigationist strategy and the need for workers and scientists to adopt the revolutionary strategy of elimination-eradication, summarised in this passage:

Mitigation is to epidemiology what reformism is to capitalist politics. Just as the reformist harbors the hope that gradual and piecemeal reforms will, over time, lessen and ameliorate the evils of the profit system, the mitigationists nourish the delusion that COVID-19 will eventually evolve into something no more harmful than the common cold. This is a pipe dream totally divorced from the science of the pandemic.

In reality, as long as the virus spreads it will continue to mutate into new, more infectious, lethal and vaccine-resistant variants that threaten all of humanity. Unless it is eradicated on a world scale, the embers of COVID-19 will continue to burn and create the conditions for the virus to flare up anew.

5. As the ICFI analysed when pandemic erupted in early 2020, it has proven to be a “trigger” event for a new period of political convulsion and revolutionary struggles, no less than the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which set into motion the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and later the Russian Revolution of 1917 that finally ended the world war. Globally the COVID-19 disaster has fuelled the mounting contradictions and class tensions wracking the capitalist profit system.

6. As well as the tragic impact of millions of deaths on working-class households and communities, these convulsions have included the breakdown of already chronically-underfunded and under-staffed public health systems, acute labour shortages, and a deepening global economic and social crisis. The unprecedented pumping of trillions of dollars worldwide by governments and central banks into the financial markets and corporate bailout packages has produced a staggering acceleration of social inequality to the benefit of the super-rich, as well as a devastating inflationary spiral for workers. The resulting social tensions, eruption of working-class struggles and escalating geo-strategic conflicts have triggered and fuelled the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, in turn further driving up food and fuel prices and shortages. The war is now threatening a cataclysmic third world war, ignited by US imperialism and its allies, including Australia, against both Russia and China.

7. The criminal “let it rip” pandemic policies of governments—invariably enforced by the labour and trade union bureaucracies—have exposed the brutality of capitalism, and its readiness to sacrifice lives for corporate profit and private wealth accumulation. Workers confront ongoing serious health problems, as well as intolerable workloads and working conditions, and the biggest real wage cuts since the 1930s Great Depression. Those worst affected include those in health care, aged care, schools, transport, distribution, retail and others most exposed to the pandemic. This is intensifying the class struggle on a global scale, and further undermining support for the ruling political parties and associated union apparatuses, already discredited by decades of mounting attacks on working-class conditions.

8. Australia has proven to be no exception to this crisis. In fact, nowhere has the worldwide COVID calamity intensified more rapidly since late 2021 than in Australia, alongside New Zealand. There were relatively low levels of infection and virtually no deaths for 10 months from October 2020 to July 2021. That was due to basic, if often inadequate and belated, suppression measures implemented by governments under the intense pressure of demands by working people for protection from the catastrophe. Now Australia has recorded some of the worst fatality rates per capita in the world this year.

9. As a direct result of the criminal “live with the virus” policies increasingly imposed by Labor and Liberal-National governments alike since December 2021, the number of recorded deaths in Australia is already near 15,000. In just 10 months, that toll has reached more than six times the total of 2,239 for 2020 and 2021 combined. Infections exceed 10 million—more than a third of the population, even on the vastly under-reported official figures. The victims are overwhelmingly members of the working class, young and old. This deadly offensive has only intensified since the Labor Party took office on May 21, with almost 7,000 deaths since then. Under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government, remaining pandemic measures are being scrapped, even as the number of deaths, including in aged care, has risen to new heights. The sharp and brutal shift to a program of mass infection, in line with the homicidal “herd immunity” policy in the US and Europe, has heightened a political crisis that intensified from the outset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 deaths in Australia

10. The immediate response of the Australian political establishment as the pandemic hit was to close ranks and resort to anti-democratic methods, deeply fearful of mass unrest. In March 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the state and territory government leaders—the majority from the Labor Party—formed a wartime-style “National Cabinet,” a de facto national unity regime that has no constitutional standing and is bound by strict secrecy and confidentiality. The federal and state parliaments were virtually shut down for months, meeting only to rubberstamp business bailout packages.

11. At the very same time, in March 2020, as was only revealed in August 2022, Morrison took a second unprecedented step, having the governor-general secretly appoint him as dual minister in the health and finance portfolios, arrogating sweeping powers to himself, including the potentially-dictatorial “biosecurity emergency” powers. Those powers were expanded a year later, as the Delta wave of the pandemic loomed. Morrison was installed in the treasury and two super-portfolios—home affairs and industry, science, energy and resources.

Centralised in the prime minister’s hands was control over all federal emergency measures, government finances, border control, and the federal police and the ASIO domestic intelligence apparatus. The repressive arms of the capitalist state were prepared in case the National Cabinet, with its preponderance of Labor leaders, assisted by the trade unions, was unable to suppress the discontent of working people.

Scott Morrison and David Hurley (Photos: AP/Kiyoshi Ota, Office of the Governor-General of Australia) [AP Photo]

12. The resort to authoritarian methods of rule was not a sign of strength but of enormous weakness in an already widely detested and discredited government and parliamentary elite. In justifying post-facto his assumption of control over key ministries, Morrison declared in August 2022 that it had been necessary because of “the prospect of civil disruption, extensive fatalities and economic collapse” in “the nation’s biggest crisis outside of wartime.” By mid-March 2020, demands and protests were growing among educators, health workers, warehouse workers and other frontline workers for closures of schools and other unsafe workplaces.

13. As working-class opposition grew, the governments collaborating in the National Cabinet were initially forced to shut schools and many workplaces, always with exceptions for broad sections of business operations, classified as “essential services.” On March 18, 2020, the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), the rank-and-file educators’ committee established by the SEP, issued its first statement calling for the emergency closure of schools and for the formation of rank-and-file action committees of teachers, parents and students to fight for such safety measures. At the same time, in scenes comparable to those of the 1930s Depression, hundreds of thousands of jobless workers began to join long queues outside government Centrelink offices trying to access sub-poverty dole payments.

14. Confronted by this crisis, the Morrison government and the National Cabinet enlisted the trade unions. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) rushed to collaborate with the government and employers, starting with the reversal of basic conditions of workers—penalty rates, standard working hours and pay rates—and pushing workers back into unsafe workplaces. Labor and the unions joined hands with the government to introduce the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, which kept workers tied to their employers, while handing billions of dollars to big business. If Morrison did not use the extraordinary ministerial powers that he had covertly assumed, it was because the unions were prepared, in ACTU secretary Sally McManus’s words, to give employers “whatever you want” that was required to salvage corporate profits. Throughout the pandemic, the unions have suppressed workers’ opposition to returning to dangerous workplaces, including schools and universities, aided by their minions in the pseudo-left groups, which have kept virtually silent on the pandemic and insisted that workers must not break out of the straitjacket of the union apparatuses.

15. JobKeeper and other Labor and union-backed business stimulus packages, together with Reserve Bank money-printing, resulted in the transfer of more than $400 billion to corporations. This was 10 times more than that issued during the 2008–09 global financial crisis. The SEP warned that these handouts would have to be paid back through a deepening assault on the working class.

16. In April 2020, once the bailouts were in place, the National Cabinet explicitly rejected the option of elimination advanced in a report from health and other experts. This option, the report stated, “should lead to fewer total infections, hospitalisations and deaths, and better protection of vulnerable populations than any of the alternatives” and “should be achievable within our system with reasonable additional investment.” Instead, while espousing a suppression policy, the National Cabinet soon began to dismantle restrictions, seeking to reopen all businesses for the sake of corporate profit. On June 3, 2020, as the National Cabinet moved to axe these measures, the SEP issued a statement, entitled: “Oppose the premature lifting of COVID-19 safety restrictions!” It warned: “Via decrees agreed by the so-called national cabinet, Liberal-National and Labor governments alike are gambling with the lives of the population.”

17. The warning was soon confirmed. A second wave that erupted in July–August 2020 was eventually curtailed by a lockdown in Victoria, but the National Cabinet then began to undo restrictions again. This “reopening” program proceeded despite strong working-class support for public health restrictions, which did end infections for months in many parts of the country. That public support saw the Queensland state Labor government retain office in October 2020 by insisting on keeping its borders shut to protect its population, followed by a landslide victory for the Western Australian Labor government on the same basis in March 2021, decimating the Liberal and National parties in that state.

18. Efforts to isolate Australia from the disasters being witnessed internationally by closing the international border unravelled after Delta began to hit the country in June 2021, facilitated by leaks from the hotel quarantine system and breakdowns in contact tracing, as well as a disastrously slow vaccine rollout. Delta soon spread, due to government delays and pro-business limitations in implementing shutdowns. There were then punitive lockdowns in working-class areas, enforced by unprecedented police-military patrols, even though many workers were compelled to still stay on the job, and wealthy suburbs were largely free of restrictions.

19. The corporate elite and its political representatives, who had long bridled against the population’s “addiction to lockdowns,” seized on the emergence of Delta to claim that the previous policies were no longer viable. In July and August 2021, the National Cabinet adopted a blueprint to gradually and permanently end shutdowns, border closures and other safety restrictions, based on arbitrary vaccination targets. It ignored the warnings of epidemiologists that inoculation, as critical as it is, cannot end the pandemic alone.

20. The SEP’s warnings were further vindicated in November, with the eruption of the highly infectious Omicron variant as the international border was opened. Omicron arrived amid mounting pressure from the international financial elite and media to end Australia’s “isolation,” summed up by a letter from 80 of the world’s largest corporations, featured by the Financial Times, declaring that Australia must “open up.” At the end of November, the National Cabinet agreed to do nothing to stop Omicron from spreading. Governments, health officials and the media perpetrated the deadly illusion that Omicron was “mild” and could even be a “Christmas present” if it spread throughout society.

21. To back the “reopening” drive, the corporate media promoted far-right, anti-vax and anti-mandate protests, but again it was the Labor leaders, backed by the unions, that played the pivotal role. In particular, Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews worked closely with Morrison and right-wing New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet. Previously identified with lockdown measures instituted by his government under pressure from the working class, Andrews led the drive to reopen schools and overturn safety measures as quickly as politically possible.

22. The SEP was the only party to oppose the corporate-government-media offensive, and to give a lead to workers. As 2022 opened, we joined the SEPs internationally in issuing open letters to workers, urging them to reject government lies that nothing could be done to stop the coronavirus crisis. “The working class, basing itself on science and the needs of society, has to act collectively and finally put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letters explained. They set out the principles for such a movement, based on a policy of global elimination, the adoption of public health measures as an unconditional priority over all corporate-financial interests, and the formation of rank-and-file committees as the basis for collective action to stop the spread of the pandemic.

23. Decisive political lessons must be drawn throughout the working class from these bitter experiences. From the outset, the ICFI and SEPs have been in the forefront of exposing the falsifications and misinformation pumped out by governments and official health agencies—from “herd immunity” to “children are not affected”—and calling for working-class action to fight the disaster. With the exception of the zero-COVID policy pursued with substantial success by China, governments have, however, adopted a “let it rip” policy in order to fully reopen schools and workplaces for the sake of corporate profit. The working class is being made to pay for the economic breakdown and the trillions of dollars poured into propping up big business and the financial markets. The result has been a still-widening public health calamity.

24. The refusal of capitalist governments to address the existential threat of climate change, despite the warnings of scientists since the 1970s, has further increased the danger of future pandemics, as well as catastrophic floods, fires and other extreme weather events, such as those already experienced in Australia and internationally. A recent major study modelling the impact of climate change on zoonotic spillover events found that the coming decades will see approximately 300,000 “first encounters” between species not previously in contact, with cross-species dispersals of viruses occurring some 15,000 times. The 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns that climate change has already caused “[w]idespread, pervasive impacts to ecosystems, people, settlements, and infrastructure.” The report estimates that 3.3 to 3.6 billion people “live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change.”

The political crisis and the turn to extra-parliamentary rule

25. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the economic, social and political crisis of Australian capitalism, which was already well underway. Economic volatility, the deepening social divide between rich and poor, growing class tensions and rifts in ruling circles amid rising geo-political tensions and wars have all contributed to heightened political instability over the decade since the global financial crisis of 2008–09. The ousting of one prime minister after another, ever since John Howard became so reviled that he lost his own seat in 2007, led one international media commentator to label Australia as the “coup capital” of the world.

26. From the beginning of the COVID crisis, the Morrison Liberal-National Coalition government was one of immense fragility. It had barely scraped back into office at the 2019 election—surviving only because Labor’s vote hit a century-low, reflecting widespread hostility in the working class. Morrison’s government was further hated because of its criminal indifference, in the black summer of 2019–20, to the impact of one of the worst bushfire crises in Australia’s history.

27. The erosion of public confidence in any of the establishment parties—Coalition and Labor as well as the Greens—was compounded by their unified, criminal response to the pandemic. This was expressed in the May 2022 general election. The combined primary vote for the chief parties of capitalist rule—Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition—fell to a record low. As a WSWS Perspective explained, this “revealed a historic crisis of the two-party set-up that has been in existence since the end of World War II.” It marked a further turning point in the decay of the Australian political establishment, after decades in which successive governments, both Labor and Coalition, have enforced deepening attacks on working-class conditions.

28. Most acutely, support further imploded for Labor, the party on which the ruling class has relied to shore up capitalist rule in every period of crisis. Labor narrowly scraped into office yet gained less than a third of the vote—a precipitous decline from previous Labor governments. Labor’s vote in working-class seats stagnated or declined because for decades Labor and its trade union partners have functioned as the chief police force of the cuts to jobs, wages and conditions. Labor could form government only because the Coalition government literally imploded, and its electoral base fractured too. The very future of the Liberal Party, and of its coalition with the regional-based Nationals, remains in question.

29. The result graphically demonstrated why Labor and the Coalition joined hands in 2021 to pass anti-democratic electoral laws that deregistered more than a dozen parties, including the Socialist Equality Party. As the SEP alone warned in conducting a powerful campaign against these laws, the legislation was a pre-emptive strike against the widespread support that can be won for a socialist perspective and program advancing the interests of the working class.

30. As in every previous period of war, economic turmoil and rising working-class struggles, a Labor government has been installed, supported by big business and the corporate media, to seek to impose on the working class what the Coalition proved incapable of implementing. However, the Labor Party, and the trade unions on which it rests, are no longer the political mechanisms on which the ruling class has previously relied. Their plummeting memberships are one indication of the hollowed-out shells they have become, devoid of any significant active support in the working class.

31. Today, Labor and its union partners confront a much deeper social, economic, geo-strategic and political breakdown amid the worsening global crisis of capitalism fuelled by the failure to eliminate COVID-19 and now the US-NATO war against Russia. The response of ruling classes around the world to the economic dislocation and raging inflation is class war on the working class, including the imposition of a high interest rate regime aimed at contracting the economy and driving up unemployment in order to batter down wage demands.

32. Labor’s phony 2022 election pledges of a “better future” and “no one left behind” were ditched as soon as the polls shut, replaced by demands for “sacrifice,” “tough medicine” and “pain.” The warning issued by the SEP in its 2022 election statement was quickly confirmed: “Whatever the shape of the next government—Coalition, Labor or a minority government backed by various independents—it will make the working class pay for the huge budget deficits and spiralling government debt created by pouring billions into military spending and big-business pandemic support packages.”

33. Adding to the explosive political situation is the acceleration of social inequality. The corporate elite has profiteered from the pandemic like never before. During the first two years of the pandemic alone, Oxfam estimated that the wealth of Australia’s 47 billionaires doubled to $255 billion, as part of the global bonanza for the financial oligarchy. For the working class, by contrast, the pandemic has brought public hospital and ambulance service breakdowns, mounting aged care deaths, ongoing infections, workforce shortages, soaring food, fuel and energy bills, and deeper cuts to real wages, jobs and conditions. Escalating interest rates and rents now threaten millions of households with foreclosures, evictions and homelessness. Convulsive class struggles will develop against the pro-business Labor government and unions, as part of the rising tide of workers’ struggles globally.

34. An upsurge of strikes has already begun in Australia over staff shortages, unbearable workloads and real wage cuts—all intensified by the pandemic—despite the efforts of the unions to block or isolate these struggles and prevent any mention whatsoever of COVID-19. Significantly, nurses and teachers have held their first statewide stoppages in a decade, and there have been strikes by others on the pandemic frontline, such as aged care and childcare workers, bus drivers and rail workers.

35. Previous political crises in Australia have seen the façade of parliamentary democracy brushed aside. On each occasion, Washington’s fingerprints were evident, reflecting Australian capitalism’s key role as a partner of US imperialism. In 1975, the “reserve powers” of the governor-general were invoked to dismiss Gough Whitlam’s Labor government after it failed to contain the explosive strikes and struggles of the working class amid the global upsurge of 1968–75. In 2010, as documents published by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks demonstrated, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted through an inner-party coup led by protected US sources in the Labor leadership, after he proposed an accommodation to the rise of China. Rudd was replaced by Julia Gillard, who unconditionally aligned behind the Obama-Biden “pivot” to Asia to confront China. In 2018, Morrison was installed as prime minister, and hailed by US President Donald Trump, after a Liberal Party knifing of Malcolm Turnbull, whom Washington regarded as insufficiently reliable in the mounting offensive against China.

36. Under these unstable conditions, there has been a growing bipartisan resort to authoritarian measures. These include the strengthening of a police-state framework created via the “war on terrorism,” the anti-democratic “foreign interference” legislation and moves for expanded federal emergency and military callout powers. Significantly, Albanese’s government has retained the National Cabinet as a mechanism of rule and is attempting to bury the anti-democratic implications of Morrison’s five secret ministries. It has particularly sought to shield the governor-general, who is the linchpin of the capitalist state with potentially dictatorial powers in times of political crisis, as shown in 1975.

37. Around the world, similar developments are taking place as the façade of democracy proves incapable of containing the class and geo-strategic conflicts—from the collapse of the Johnson government in the UK, to installation of a repressive regime headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe in Sri Lanka, President Jair Bolsonaro’s coup moves, aided by the military, in Brazil and the creeping return to martial law in the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr. Most starkly, this is evident in the United States, the headquarters of global capitalism, as demonstrated by the January 6, 2021 coup attempt by outgoing President Trump and substantial sections of the Republican Party and military-intelligence apparatus, mobilising fascist paramilitary groups. Far from receding, that threat is continuing, aided by the feckless response of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party.

38. The SEP has warned that a Labor government will be no less ready to resort to repressive methods as working-class struggles erupt. Not a single party outside of the SEP has sought to mobilise popular opposition against the turn toward autocratic forms of rule. That underscores the reality that the defence of democratic rights depends upon the political struggle for socialism. The SEP alone fights for the independent organisation and political mobilisation of the working class, breaking from the Labor and union apparatuses and taking forward the struggle for the conquest of power, and the socialist reorganisation of social and economic life.

The pandemic disaster and the tasks of the SEP

39. With its sister sections of the ICFI, the SEP will deepen the fight for the policy of global elimination, to end all human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This is the only alternative to unending mass infection, debilitation, and death. We will develop our campaign along the following lines: (1) There must be the global deployment of every weapon to combat the virus, including mass vaccination, testing, isolation and contact tracing, along with the temporary shutdown of schools and non-essential production, with full income to workers and support for small businesses. (2) The health care and pharmaceutical industries must be placed under public control globally, to ensure the mass distribution of treatments and life-saving resources. (3) Securing an end to preventable, premature death as a basic social right for all is inseparable from the fight against climate change, which threatens billions of lives and the habitability of the planet. Capitalism has proven incapable of resolving global warming, and the only realistic perspective is one aimed at the reorganisation of the world economy on a scientifically-planned, socialist basis. (4) This struggle requires the building of a mass movement of the international working class fighting for world socialism, against the capitalist system’s subordination of lives, and every aspect of society, to the ruthless pursuit of profit and private wealth accumulation.

40. The SEP will take forward its work with principled scientists and anti-COVID activists who agree with the strategy of global elimination. Last year the WSWS and the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC) hosted two powerful webinars on the pandemic bringing together scientists and workers, and initiated the Global Workers’ Inquest into the COVID-19 Pandemic to obtain statements from health experts and workers to break through the cover-up and disinformation responsible for the avoidable deaths of millions. The SEP will work with the other sections of the ICFI to deepen this work, with an emphasis on bringing forward the experiences of workers in every industry.

41. Under conditions where governments and the corporate media are trying to silence opponents of their murderous policies, including workers, health experts and scientists, the SEP will come to their defence. It will develop its campaign in defence of Dr David Berger, a widely-respected GP and advocate for zero-COVID whom the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has threatened to deregister for denouncing the “let it rip” disaster.

Dr David Berger (Image: Supplied) [Photo: Imagen suministrada/WSWS]

42. The profound political crisis of bourgeois rule generated by the COVID-19 pandemic reveals the enormous political weakness of the ruling class, but that underscores the urgent necessity of the working class establishing the political means for intervening to fight for its own diametrically-opposed class interests. From the outset of the pandemic, the SEP has called on workers to establish democratically-elected rank-and-file committees, independent of the unions and Labor Party, whose support for the policies of big business has already cost the lives and health of tens of thousands of working people. The development of this struggle, as part of the building of the IWA-RFC, is bound up with the fight for a workers’ government committed to the reorganisation of society from top to bottom on socialist principles that put the social needs of the working people ahead of the profits of the super-wealthy few.

43. Above all, the SEP is committed to the expansion and development of the ICFI as the world party of socialist revolution, including the building of the Australian section, and new sections in the Indo-Pacific region. The mounting struggles of the working class are creating the conditions for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of a socialist future. This poses historic challenges and tasks before the ICFI, including the SEP, its Australian section. In this decisive period, the active interventions of the revolutionary party are of the most critical importance, taking every opportunity to fight to lead workers’ struggles, and recruit and develop workers as party members, based on the heritage of Marxism and the Trotskyist movement.