Australian Senate formally denounces commemorations of the Russian Revolution


Australian Senate formally denounces commemorations of the Russian Revolution

Nick Beams

23 October 2017

At the beginning of this year, on January 3, a statement published on the WSWS noted: “A specter is haunting world capitalism: the specter of the Russian revolution.”

Confirmation of that assessment came in the Australian Senate on October 18, when Senator Cory Bernardi, head of the Australian Conservatives since he split from the governing Liberal Party earlier in the year, and one of the most extreme right-wingers in the parliament, rose to his feet to move a resolution rejecting any celebration of the Russian Revolution.

It read:

That the Senate

(a) takes note of an event scheduled to occur on 26 October 2017 at the Australian National University entitled “Celebrating the 1917 Russian Revolution,” organised by Socialist Alternative;

(b) observes that this year marks 100 years since that revolution, which led to a litany of human rights abuses and approximately 10 million deaths;

(c) notes that the 1917 revolution promoted Leninist and Marxist teaching to a broader world; and

(d) rejects any assertion that the teachings of Lenin or Marx should be celebrated in a liberal democracy.

The motion was not debated; it was immediately put to the vote. It was carried 28-26, with a number of absent senators failing to take part. Government members supported it, together with Nick Xenophon, a right-wing nationalist senator on the cross benches. Labor and the Greens, clearly keen to disassociate themselves from Bernardi, voted in opposition.

As a man steeped in some of the most reactionary dogmas of so-called religious “teachings,” perhaps Bernardi thought that an incantation in the Senate might help exorcise the spectre of the world-shattering events of 100…

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