No 1443 19th April 2014
Without a world perspective of capitalist crisis, renewed outright Nazism in Kiev, civil war devastation in Syria, nuclear encirclement of China and reactionary “demonstrations” in Venezuela to topple reformist socialism make no coherent sense. The fake-“lefts” treat each episodically, half-heartedly pointing at Western interference but offering no answers. An understanding of total UNSTOPPABLE capitalist collapse and imperialism’s deliberate drive to war is the core grasp needed. All of humanity faces an epochal conundrum unsolvable within production for private profit society, and demanding a revolutionary end to capitalism. Scientific clarity and leadership to tackle it needs to be built, or re-built, on Leninist foundations
The astonishingly blatant new level of Western political and media machine lies being spun over the Ukraine fascist coup and the deliberately provoked reactionary violence in Venezuela against its reformist socialist government underlines both the increasing Slump degeneracy of the bankrupt capitalist system and the total failure of the entire spectrum of the fake-“left” to grasp the depth, seriousness and increasingly outright depravity of the capitalist crisis.
Neither the Trots or revisionist Stalinists, come anywhere near even connecting these two events, let alone seeing them along with the destruction of Syria and Libya as part of a Western world wide war stampeding campaign driven by dominant Washington imperialism for the last decade and a half, from Yugoslavia onwards, blitzing, droning and torturing a way into world war all in order to distract from and escape the utterly disastrous meltdown catastrophe that the profit making systems has reached.
Instead they rub their hands helplessly and evade the issue, able neither to grasp the sheer depravity of the Western propaganda campaign which has instantly recognised as the “legal government” a bunch of open Nazis who took power by a carefully orchestrated and well-funded violent putsch (backed by a demented Western lie campaign still ongoing) nor the underlying epochal failure of the profit making system which is driving the entire world towards total war.
At least some of the few more principled bourgeois journalists (a rare species) have got further than that:
In February, the US mounted one of its proxy “colour” coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly antisemitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism on the border of Russia. Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler’s Nazis, who were supported by the infamous Ukrainian Insurgent Army (the UPA) which was responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, of which the UPA was the military wing, inspires today’s Svoboda party.
Since Washington’s putsch in Kiev – and Moscow’s inevitable response in Russian Crimea to protect its Black Sea fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the “Russian threat”. This is fossilised propaganda. The US air force general who runs Nato forces in Europe – General Philip Breedlove, no less – claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops “massing” on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures proving there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is certain is that Barack Obama’s rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.
Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, invented a “nuclear rogue” in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy and backed jihadists in Syria, the US finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.
There is no equivalent to Stanley Kubrick’s [satirical Cold War] film Dr Strangelove today, yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same “invisible government”, as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.
In 1964, the year Dr Strangelove was made, “the missile gap” was the false flag. To build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John F Kennedy approved the CIA’s propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the US in the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This filled front pages as the “Russian threat”. In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in production of the missiles, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato enlargement project. Reneging on the Reagan administration’s promise to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato’s military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.
A Nato membership action plan – straight from the war room of Dr Strangelove – is General Breedlove’s gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. “Rapid Trident” will put US troops on Ukraine’s Russian border and “Sea Breeze” will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, Nato war games in eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia. Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on the US’s borders. Cue General Turgidson.
And there is China. On 23 April, Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his “pivot” to China. The aim is to convince his “allies” in the region, principally Japan, to rearm and prepare for the possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.
In an arc extending from Australia to Japan, China will face US missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. A strategic naval base is being built on the Korean island of Jeju, less than 400 miles from Shanghai and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the US. Obama’s “pivot” is designed to undermine China’s influence in its region. It is as if a world war has begun by other means.
This is not a Dr Strangelove fantasy. Obama’s defence secretary, Charles “Chuck” Hagel, was in Beijing last week to deliver a warning that China, like Russia, could face isolation and war if it did not bow to US demands. He compared the annexation of Crimea to China’s complex territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. “You cannot go around the world,” said Hagel with a straight face, “and violate the sovereignty of nations by force, coercion or intimidation.” As for America’s massive movement of naval forces and nuclear weapons to Asia, that is “a sign of the humanitarian assistance the US military can provide”.
Obama is seeking a bigger budget for nuclear weapons than the historical peak during the cold war...pursuing the longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe: a “manifest destiny” made right by might.
John Pilger is no communist and as much a victim of “democracy” illusions as many other petty bourgeois but at least this captures something of the astonishing Big Lie scale of the events underway now.
Without recognising it, he teases at the real issue – that it is not the swastika-tattooed thugs parading the “Maidan” square in Kiev that are the real Nazis nor even the Svoboda Hitler worshippers now running security, police and military affairs, but the Washington and London establishments and media who have instigated, and provoked events, who back these monsters as a “legal government” and now outdo Hitler himself in topsy-turvy logic, accusing Russia of being the “aggressors”. It is capitalism itself which is fascist.
He misses the real underlying crisis which makes these events far more unstable than the pseudo-balance of the Cold War; this US Empire agenda now is pursuing all-out hot war.
It is driven by the desperation of a ruling class facing the historic abyss; hoping to save itself by the only mechanism capitalism has ever had to deal with the enormous “surplus” capital it accumulates and clogs all production, i.e. massive world scale destruction, through World War, just as the last two great financial Crashes produced the 1914 and 1939 wars. But this time it will be a hundred times worse.
The alternative is for the working class to seize everything, taking power to end capitalism by revolution, and using the “surpluses” to rebuild the world under firm class rule on a planned socialist basis.
But for all their “r-r-r-evolutionary” pretences none of the fake-“left” comes near saying this when the chips are down. Even their long play-acting bluster about “halting the Nazis on the street” comes to nothing now there is real in-your-face Nazism; and capitalism itself is confirmed as the biggest Nazism of all (as the EPSR has always argued).
Some of the most off-the-wall Trots even support (!!!!) the Maidan revolt and others sit on the fence with academic floundering about “self-determination” rights instead of clearly calling for the defeat of this imperialist Nazi stunt (any way possible including even by the rancid oligarch leaning Bonarpartist Putin).
The posturing “hard-nuttery” of the Stalinist fake-"left" wing is equally flummoxed, helplessly wringing its social pacifist “Stop the war” hands and relying on Putin’s oligarchs to rescue the Russian speakers.
But this ludicrous extension of Stalinist defencism spreads total confusion for the world working class suggesting Putin’s restored capitalism offers them some kind of future, instead of being part of the problem. Let Russian resistance set back the world’s biggest imperialist’s plans by all means but no trust in Putinism.
And what about the rest of Ukraine anyway, now under the rule of a fascist government? – no mention of their future by Lalkar. Nor any mention of the world crisis implications of this warmongering and the revolutionary questions it raises. DH
Back to the top
Fake-“left” posturing and pretences over single issues like feminism and “gay rights” continue to block the open debate and discussion that alone can build the vital scientific agreed perspectives for revolutionary leadership. The Stalinists turn back to thuggish open censorship. Media publicity for “new” Left Unity boosts its useful stooge role.
The flurry of bourgeois press and television attention paid to new alleged socialist groups like Ken Loach’s “Left Unity” underlines once more how desperate the ruling class is becoming about its endlessly unravelling catastrophic crisis and the rising tide of contempt and hatred it is spawning in the working class everywhere and even more widespread rebellion throughout the Third World in various forms.
Despite its laughable pretences of “upturn” – engineered solely by insanely unsustainable credit creation, and leaving all but the ultra-rich savaged by cuts and uncertainty – the historic contradictions which created the 2008 credit crash, and a long sequence of currency collapses and regional economic failures before it, remain unsolved and unsolvable.
Economic disaster has not been overcome for the majority and there is far worse to come than the zero hours job slavery, welfare punishments, food banks, plundered pensions, and sanctioned dole which now makes up life as total trade and financial meltdown unstoppably returns, worse than ever and with it the turmoil of massive social upheaval.
Giant questions confronting everyone with their very survival are being generated as ordinary people grapple with the appalling prospects of never-ending Depression austerity and the non-stop warmongering that Washington (and its pet stooge in London) has instigated since the 1998 Yugoslavian blitzkrieg, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Ukraine, to divert attention from the disastrous economic meltdown it knew was coming, the inevitable end point of the contradictions in the capitalist production for private profit system.
It will raise ever more sharply the revolutionary issues.
The tension of the crisis is already exploding here and there, in riots in London, Athens, Rome, Paris and Lyons suburbs; in the continuing waves of hostility erupting throughout the Third World, as “terrorism”; suicide attacks; assorted chaotic and seemingly religious insurgencies; in the huge spontaneous revolts in Tunisia and Cairo – now temporarily suppressed by carefully manipulated middle class counter-revolution; in the left redshirt poor peoples’ movement in Thailand (also headed off by counter-revolutionary populism); and in the Russian nationalist anti-fascist occupations of the eastern Ukraine.
The middle class revolts in Turkey, Brazil, Cairo last July (against the Muslim Brotherhood and ridden by reaction to re-establish the generals), again in Thailand by the Yellowshirt monarchists, are further signals of the turmoil.
This is the background to the non-stop revelations of the sleazy and corrupt reality of parliament and the establishment – financially, in sexual abuse cover-ups, press bullying and lies, and in every other conceivable way including total abuse of state secrets, state surveillance, police and the legal system to cover it all up and protect the degenerate ruling class, with the deliberate, cynical and widely known connivance of the entire parliamentary political hierarchy on all sides – are both symptoms and causes of a further collapse in working class illusions which have been steadily falling away since the betrayals of the first full Labour government under Clement Attlee in 1945.
The rock bottom voting turn-out in the last election, save in the backward Tory counties still clinging to reactionary illusions, expressed the greatest dismay and contempt yet for the old order, leaving the “democracy” racket salvageable only by the last resort desperation trickery of the “coalition” – a final confidence trick on the protest vote which had gone to the Liberals solely to express disgust with the main parties’ corruption and failure, and which will backfire badly.
It already has, as the laughable UKIP/Liberal “leadership debate” demonstrated, with such hatred now felt for the Liberals that even the loopy fruitcake Little Englanderism of the Farage-ites was able to claim overwhelming success over Nick Clegg’s repellent establishment arse-licking.
The supposedly light-hearted anti-EU buffoonery of UKIP meanwhile, with its much more sinister undertones of anti-immigrant racism and revived British nationalism, – halfway towards open fascism – is being elevated as another last ditch stand by the ruling class (quite deliberately boosting it too with appearances on mainstream “satire” shows and more serious programmes) to try and fill the vacuum, using the long inculcated “Little Englander” notions that have poisoned working class politics for the entire period of British empire dominance.
Its washed-out chauvinism tapping a long-hollowed out and pathetic British imperial “pride”, blaming “foreigners” and the EU for the problems caused solely and completely by the profit-plundering capitalist system (inside or out of Europe), is as historically threadbare as the British ruling class itself, but it can still cause confusion among some workers, stirring the deadly jingoism that capitalism needs to get into further warmongering.
This shallow joke, coming to prominence only because ever other option has lost all credibility, would have less resonance among some still confused workers, if the rotten class-collaborating opportunism of Labour and the TUC (and the previous “left” coalition of the Socialist Labour Party), had not helped sustain the shallowest of “British jobs for British workers” petty imperialist nationalism and arrogance, built on two centuries of “getting a share” of the superprofits that imperialism squeezed (once upon a time) from the sweatshops and plantations of the colonially dominated Third World.
All that has gone but the dire ideology lingers on in the absence of clear revolutionary perspectives.
But despite some working class confusion the UKIP phenomenon exists only by default rather being a powerful new potential attraction; it does not need any clever “put them in to see the reality” tactics, in order to expose its barminess.
But it does underline the need to rebuild clear Marxist revolutionary science to give the working class the coherence and unity to counter all this garbage and wage the necessary class war struggle to completely end this foul system.
The UKIP stunt will not much hold this back.
The collapse of all faith in voting and representation is one of the greatest political shifts in all history, albeit still without any conscious expression and understanding or grasp of its consequences and with a continuing historical momentum that will keep its form continuing for a while like some abandoned oil tanker.
The desperate class-war slump impositions of “austerity” poverty and degradation, combined with the grotesquely exaggerated increasing bloatedness of ruling class greed (even as its system collapses into disastrous financial and credit meltdown) are more and more clearly seen to be the reality of capitalism and its future.
The ruling class desperately needs something else to fill the space left by near total collapse of all the old parliamentary methods of political control used to disguise the dictatorship of the capitalist class.
For the moment it sees the motley crew of assorted and squabbling academic “lefts” in the latest Left Unity manifestation as a useful stopgap to fill a vacuum that potentially could be filled by genuinely revolutionary ideas.
Hence the huge burst of free publicity for a still tiny collation of disillusioned “left” Labourites and assorted Trotskyists, (usually denounced and vilified as “destructive extreme left agitators” by the ruling class owned and controlled media machine, but now given a huge central space in the Guardian and on Tory Andrew Neil’s BBC politics programme).
It would only be surprising if it were assumed that these groups actually had anything to do with genuine Marxist politics or even “real socialism”.
But however radical sounding the fake-“left” politics seem to be superficially, the one guarantee the ruling class has is that they will be far from encouraging or even giving space to truly revolutionary ideas in the working class.
To the contrary; as many times before, this bunch of Trotskyite and middle-class anti-communists is the exact opposite of the allegedly “dangerous revolutionaries” that the capitalist media machine has been hyping it up as (including those forming part of Left Unity).
Though presented as a bogeyman threat they are in reality are a million miles from true revolution, the only possible solution to the onrushing slump disaster and war that the world is being dragged into and which continues despite all the lying charade of “recovery”.
Painting them as a radical “new left” with “dangerous” elements is part of the great hoodwinking racket that capitalism has always played; they would be little use if their “left” cover posing as a major threat to the establishment, was to be blown too easily.
For all the “revolutionary” posturing, in practice the groups making up this latest enterprise simply form a “left” wing of useless social-pacifist “protest” and “left pressurising”, which continues to give credence to the great parliamentary fraud, keeping the (correctly) more distrustful majority of the working class still roped in.
What the working class will get from “Left Unity” for example is yet another “left” buttress for discredited bourgeois reformist “democratic” politics under the “this time its for real without any sellouts” formula used repeatedly to breathe new life into the class-collaborating (previously Labour) politics which have kept the working class fooled for over a century.
Trotskyist Ken Loach’s declaration that the “socialist promise” of the post-war years was never implemented because it was “betrayed by the Labourite Attlee government”, says no more than that, calling for the “Spirit of ‘45” to be implemented “properly”.
What it does not do is explain that the enormous contradictions of monopoly capitalist production cannot be resolved at all, whatever measures are taken to more fairly distribute the wealth of society etc etc.
Firstly such measures will never be allowed while the ruling class remains in power anyway (as the now outright fascist coups underway in Ukraine and Venezuela illustrate); secondly even if they were, the fundamental problems of production for private profit would still bring the world economy crashing down however “fair” it was supposed to be (as in microcosm the bankruptcy of the “community orientated” Cooperative Bank is once more demonstrating).
Centrist party developments are of course a possibility as the crisis pushes the working class further and the demand for an anti-capitalist movement grows, and all such developments could represent a forum in which the growing discussion can take place and the arguments for revolution at least could get a hearing and be battled through.
But a crucial new feature in this fake-”left” blocking game, is the overt suppression of any debate and discussion.
In one sense that is just more of the same; the great left swamp of both Trotskyists and Stalinist revisionist have always blocked real debate with sectarianism, closed meetings, carefully loaded audiences at “public” meetings and the “blind chairman” avoidance of any “maverick” attempts to open up the revolutionary debate (though most have been forced to make at least a pretence of “openness” and “listening to the views of the working class” as the crisis has deepened).
But now the suppression of discussion and open debate is becoming much more obvious.
It is the crucial aspect.
There has never been a better moment for serious and deep discussion about why the world it falling apart under capitalist rule, and how the socialist alternative which can solve the problems, can come about under working class rule.
Far from the working class “showing no interest in politics” as the despairing and defeatist fake-“left” constantly moans , a huge vacuum is opening up politically, which is screaming out for clarity, understanding and leadership.
The central feature of the new Left Unity grouping therefore and so far its only real concrete political idea,– apart from routine openly expressed hatred of the entire history of the Soviet Union, declared absurdly to have “never been socialist at all”, (thereby writing off the entire working class history of the twentieth century in one dilettante swipe of unparalleled light-mindedness) – is the so-called “safe space policy”.
Ostensibly a way of “protecting minorities and giving a voice to the weaker and usually unheard elements” this effectively blockades all serious debate and struggle for theory by declaring the contributions of “the youth, the disabled, women and racial minorities” to be “more important”.
It declares that any argument or discussion can be immediately shut down (and the contributor possibly be expelled even) if just one person at a meeting “feels” offended or “feels threatened” with no proof required except the hyper-subjectivism of such sensitive souls.
It is utter humbug.
It takes to a new level of absurdity such single single-issue reformism such as feminism, black nationalism, environmentalism, “gay rights” and other diversions, using them directly and consciously to prevent revolutionary argument.
Already for decades, this single-issue “super-reformism” has been used by the petty bourgeois pretend revolutionaries to keep alive the notion of reformist change, long after general reformist methods and promises had been rightly discredited by the failures and treachery of Labourism, (all the way back to the Attlee government, as even Ken Loach declares).
Instead of explaining that such sell-outs and failures proved the impossibility of “slow steady improvement by peaceful means within capitalism” – and that the working class could only advance by revolutionary means – the fake-“lefts” have come up with new single-issue extensions to reformism, declared not only possible but necessary.
“Better conditions” can still be achieved for this specialist sector or that, it says, adding implicitly “without eliminating capitalism”.
In fact only a working class which “improves itself” according to petty bourgeois moralising principles (which in themselves can be challenged anyway - such as the insistence that “gay is normal”) is deemed capable of making a revolution.
It is the opposite of Marxist understanding that only by making revolution can all humanity transform itself and escape the divisiveness of the past.
Such apparent “bold radicalism” has thereby displaced the revolutionary argument, relegating it to a “long distance” ambition while “in the meantime” the working class “gets on with practical steps that “can be achieved now, for women, against racial oppression etc”.
As the EPSR has argued before (Issue 1009 11-08-99):
What they are all really doing, of course, is merely reinforcing the oldest capitalist-system trick in the book, - believing that reforms are pure cost-free gains achieved entirely by workers’ own protest efforts.
Utter nonsense. All reformist movements of all kinds can be a useful organiser and agitator of millions of workers. But all reformist ‘achievements’ are also ALWAYS a sprat to catch a mackerel at the same time as being possibly useful and educative too.
ONLY with communist ideas can ‘feminist’ re-educative pressure NOT become also a potentially destructive illusion squeezing out revolutionary philosophical understanding.
The final-analysis notion that ONLY revolution (or the threat of it) ultimately forces ruling-class policy to ‘see reason’ in concessionary changes to social and political practices of the country and its laws, - can get a fatal nail in its coffin with every reform.
But this implicit diversion from revolutionary grasp is no longer enough and is running into trouble as the crisis deepens.
The essentially reactionary role of single-issue politics is becoming more obvious, as with the “gay” lobbying against Russia recently, with such luvvy celebrities as Stephen Fry leading the charge to demonise Moscow over the Sochi Winter Olympics for example, luridly painting it as “just like Nazi Germany” using falsely alleged and wildly exaggerated “persecution of homosexuals” accusations, just when the West’s actually fascist coup in Kiev is stepping up the general warmongering atmosphere yet another notch.
This single-issue agenda is now finding another reactionary purpose directly, to block the political debate.
Allegedly to “protect the disadvantaged” (which can never be achieved effectively within deliberately divisive and exploitative capitalist society, even if it could be agreed just who was “disadvantaged” anyway), it is being aimed at preventing all argument and challenges which would expose the opportunism and misleadership of the fake-“lefts”.
Posturing about “giving the less advantaged a chance to speak in meetings” is nothing but a deliberate manoeuvre to block out awkward questions and contributions from “old white males” or to put it more accurately and with less cardboard-cutout prejudice, to block the contributions of more forceful and seasoned political fighters (who might equally be female or from other backgrounds).
It is piece of total sophistry to pretend that those who are disabled, or female, or teenaged, or black or Asian, are either inherently progressive or would have something more relevant to say by virtue solely of who they are.
Does that include the latest Asian Tory cabinet minister just appointed, or the grossly opportunist black and Asian MPs helping keep Labour afloat??? Etc, etc.
Let everyone have a fair chance to make their case of course, if they are seeking socialist change and have serious points to make.
No revolutionary party would do otherwise, and in fact only by encouraging the greatest participation in the struggle for theory can a Leninist understanding be built.
Of course the experience of all sections of the working class needs to be listened to.
But to give the views of the inexperienced, politically neonate or the youth such a significantly greater weighting that all other contributions are blocked out, is nonsensical.
In fact it is a racket, a pretence of egalitarianism wide open to manipulation, usable and already used, to fix the agenda.
It plays with nebulous “I’m offended” subjectivism to shut down all forceful argument and impassioned polemic, especially if they are considered “abrasive” (as the petty bourgeoisie will always declare Leninism to be) or heated.
No discussion, or objective hearings for points can be made, under such a regime and least of all with any resolution and reaching of agreed conclusions.
In this completely un-unified “Left Unity”, those with the strongest arguments and deepest analysis, will be shut out before they ever get to speak, or should they find a space after the crowd of “minorities” have been called, be shut down.
And that is the entire point.
The devastating catastrophe the world is plunging towards can only be solved by revolution, carried out by a working class which is united by a clear coherent leadership, where conflicting views of what the world is and how to go forwards are battled out to conclusion.
The refusal to do this comes initially from a completely philistine failure of the “left” to understand the significance of getting things right (and beyond that a fear of being exposed for having got things wrong and of the multiple layers of cover-ups already gone through – since at least the 1930s).
But the battle for theory by polemical struggle to establish the best available objective understanding was the essence of Lenin’s Bolshevik movement and without it there can be no clear leadership as the EPSR has many times explained, as here for example (issue 1003 23-06-99), after then editor Roy Bull was bureaucratically expelled from the Scargillite Socialist Labour Party (following his majority election as deputy chairman) because the Scargillites did not want “internecine strife”:
The scepticism and cynicism that correct revolutionary theory can ever really do the job required, or can ever be got across to people, — and the individualism which says “we just think differently, and we want to keep the right to think differently”, etc, — are all just sophisticated aspects of dull petty-bourgeois complacency taking advantage of the fact that the first model of Bolshevism started coming off the rails soon after its history making start, and eventually ceased to exist as an ongoing progressive force at all, even giving up in the last decade a huge part of the advances that had been made in the 20th century, and threatening the survival of all of them.
Lifestyle makes sceptics slither opportunistically; and sustained polemical rebuttal of the latest best-attempt at a rational Marxist-Leninist analysis of the current world situation is not on the cards; — so evasive cynicism is the only bolthole.
By closing down the EPSR’s polemical influence, the SLP has turned itself into just another example of Revisionist nostalgia of the ‘New’ CP, or ‘New’ Left-Labour, or museum-Stalinism kind, — conveying nothing but the most cynical, complacent, ‘practical’ contempt for revolutionary theory that could be possible.
Naturally, hundreds of capable and well-meaning comrades have been attracted to the rallying of a ‘new’ party in the face of the unsatisfactory bureaucratic sectarianism of the existing range of similar ‘left’ Labour/Revisionist parties; — and some of the formalities of a new ‘big’ party still seem attractive, — a national electoral stance; some publicly-famous members or supporters; many powerful or potentially powerful international contacts or recognition; a formidable reputation in working class and workers-movement history; etc, etc.
But what essentially went ‘wrong’ with 20th century anti-imperialist history that made necessary a ‘new’ party in the first place? What was wrong with all the different Revisionist and Eurocommunist CP sections, both nationally and internationally, and what was wrong with the remnants of the Third International itself? Why was there a vacuum for the SLP to try to fill in the first place????????
Surely it was the chronic inability of every brand of Revisionism to adequately explain to the international working class what had gone wrong with the original Third International and Socialist Camp model?
Which is exactly why the 20-year history of the EPSR’s struggle to re-establish Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world has taken place.
The EPSR’s theoretical achievements can be written off as slightingly, as often, and in as many different ways as anyone cares to wrap an abusive tongue around. And it can certainly be pointed out that it has led to no mass party construction at all.
But relative to the SLP, what have such abusive dismissals remotely got to do with anything at all relevant?
The question remains: Why was a ‘new’ party of the international working class needed? And the challenge remains: What has the SLP achieved, tried to do, or even faintly promised to look into concerning this crucial question???
And the answer obviously is nothing at all, or even worse than nothing at all by deliberately closing down the EPSR and deliberately encouraging the dreadful museum-Stalinism of Lalkar to consciously continue refusing to address its farcical historical blindspot (which simply won’t consider the clear origins of the ultimate Revisionist disaster in Stalin’s own ludicrous misunderstanding of the crucial role of imperialist crisis in world history, which then led on to all kinds of ridiculous international class collaborating confusion about postwar imperialism by the whole communist movement, the CPSU included.)
Without the vast scientific work needed to be done on this question, and with the imperialist crisis pressing more and more relentlessly on the necks of the whole world proletariat, the international working-class movement is going to remain hopelessly split, and unguided and un-unified by the universal application of a new Marxist-Leninist scientific understanding of class-war crisis and how the dictatorship of the proletariat can alone resolve it. Few workers are going to take on trust a mish-mash of old discredited Stalinism, Revisionism, and ‘Left’ Labourism, and, fingers crossed, hope for the best. It is an insult to the Marxist-Leninist science of history and, to the intelligence of the working class to suggest otherwise.
The difficult and unresolved issues of the class struggle will stay unheard until these issues are hammered out, and especially around the political and philosophical questions of what went right and what wrong in the now century long history of world shattering working class struggle, focused on the Soviet Union, its achievements and its failures.
Anti-communism is the greatest obstacle facing the working class as the heavy weight of the capitalist crisis bears down on the great majority, in both savage slump unemployment, social deprivation, cutbacks, hunger, and despair, and the deadly uncertainty and turmoil of non-stop brutal war, torture, surveillance and repression, teaching everyone that capitalism is heading only for world disaster.
Of course more and more people agree that capitalism needs to end but “communism doesn’t work” is the great philosophical hurdle for the masses to get past everywhere.
It is a giant lie but is fed by not only the non-stop deluge of brainwashing Goebbels propaganda poured out against communism day and night by capitalism but by the fact of the liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1989-91.
That was not because of inherent failure but because soft-headed Moscow revisionism, itself finally capitulated to the imperialist intimidation and brainwashing pressure in 1989, “voluntarily” winding up the still viable Soviet state and economy.
The first great historic attempt to work communism was sufficiently successful to be able to not only survive for over 70 years, but to dominate the history of the entire twentieth century, inspire a vast new wave of socialist and anti-colonial nationalist revolution after the Second World War (China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam still remaining in revisionist workers state form), to demonstrate the huge talent of the working class in pushing forwards science, technology, industry, culture and societal fairness in ways that often outpaced and shamed capitalism (great music, free health and education, more patents than the West, first man in space, better military weapons) all without any capitalist bosses and despite the non-stop subversion, sabotage, and outright blitzkrieg wars which destroyed much of its efforts several times over.
Its errors lie in the failure to carry Leninist understanding forwards and particularly the grasp that socialism will always be under siege until the whole of capitalism is ended, and that this revolutionary necessity to fight remains at the heart of all understanding.
Without understanding these questions the working class has nothing philosophically to counter the non-stop deluge of anti-communist lies, and is paralysed from going in the only direction that can solve things, towards the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
It means exposing all the stupid illusions in democracy and left pressure fostered by the “lefts” of all shades.
Socialism is achievable only by overturning the class rule of the bourgeoise, maintained not by “democracy” but by class dictatorship, long hidden behind the hoodwinking façade of parliament, but increasingly obviously being imposed by crude surveillance, police and military violence, and in Kiev, even by overt fascism once more.
The fear of the argument extends right across the fake-“left”.
The last ossified Stalinist remnants of that revisionist Third International tradition, still ignoring and denying all the philosophical and political errors that brought the Soviet Union to its final Gorbachevite liquidation have also turned to crude suppression of the debate.
After helping run the kangaroo court suppression of the EPSR in the SLP 13 years ago, the Stalinist wing of the 57 varieties fake-”left” swamp, is now returning to barracking, interruption and talking across contributions at ostensibly “public” meetings, cutting off the arguments and shutting down contributors unless they parrot the approved formulas presented by the “guru” leadership.
Recent times have seen a reversion to outright violence and thuggish threats to prevent the argument, with two incidents already taking place in recent weeks, by the museum-Stalinist Lalkar/Proletarian and the Stalinist orientated “Sons of Malcolm” black nationalists, both shouting down speakers, cutting over their contributions, ignoring the points raised and topping this suppression with violent ejection from meetings.
Both incidents have been larded with swearing abuse and in Lalkar’s case, threats to “beat you up if you are seen again”.
This cowardly thuggery, a reversion to the worst sectarianism of the Cold War epoch, is brought back to the fore because the onrushing crisis is deepening all the contradictions everywhere and exposing all the old posturing of the fake-“left” opportunists, leaving their muddle and confusion shown up as a tangle of ever more appalling nonsense, and of blatant opportunist cover-ups.
As just one single example shows, among many other things, the posturing bravado of the Stalinist Lalkar/Proletarian around the Western blitzkrieging of the Middle East, has left them in a total muddle, grotesquely declaring the July 2013 re-establishment of the Washington and Zionist backed and extensively funded military rule in Cairo to be a “step forwards for the peoples’ revolution” (whatever that is, certainly not a socialist revolution).
What could be more misleading and treacherous???
As the EPSR analysed, the Morsi presidency which was elected in Cairo after the 2011 street events, was a stop-gap measure which was temporarily tolerated by imperialism because its non-Marxist religiosity and illusions in “democracy” were preferable to the potential for something more serious to develop from the great spontaneous uprising of February 2011.
But once the momentum had gone from the anarchic anti-Mubarak uprising, the same CIA manipulations now being seen in Venezuela and Ukraine, to tap the fears of petty bourgeois and reactionary elements, were used to mount a counter-revolutionary “mass movement” which allowed the army to re-take control.
Like the counter-revolutions set going in Libya and Syria, as bogus “extensions of the Arab spring”, the July events in Cairo this year had an obviously different make-up and character to the original spontaneous rebellion which deposed the Western stooge gangster dictator Hosni Mubarak. (The gushing support from reactionary war criminal Tony Blair for the July events was a clue perhaps).
Without giving any illusions at all in the Muslim Brotherhood, the only Marxist line was to call for the defeat of the imperialist intriguing and counter-revolution in July.
The restored generals have proved the point, tearing up all pretences of “democracy” while immediately gunning down thousands of unharmed demonstrators in cold blood on the Cairo streets, sentencing hundreds of protestors at a time to death (529 in one case, allegedly for a single police death) and imprisoning even the naïve “secularist” demonstrators continued on into the July “revolution”.
All the liberal and anarchist minded journalists and organisers who were duped into bringing down the Moslem Brotherhood, and who cheered on the army helicopters flying past in July last year, are now finding out the hard way exactly how much the “revolution is moving forwards” as Lalkar declared – ie not at all.
The generals are protecting monopoly capitalist influence and interests in Cairo and have restored the shameful collusion with Zionism agreed by Mubarak’s military three decades ago.
They have shut down the tunnels and access to the besieged Palestinians in the giant concentration camp which is the Gaza strip – tunnels which the Moslem Brotherhood regime had mainly kept open despite some compromise with Western imperialist pressure – and are waging brutal war on the allegedly “terrorist” insurgency which is attempting to fight against the Zionists from the Sinai desert regions.
But the Lalkarites, staggeringly, have said nothing about this now glaringly obvious misreading of the Egyptian situation, and even take the side of the generals against the Sinai rebels, describing them grotesquely as “jihadist scum” (exactly as all the fake-”left” groups have lined up with imperialism’s denunciations of “terrorism” since 9/11 in various ways, objectively aiding the imperialist world war drive).
This monstrous support for the Cairo imperialist stooges, is part of a tangle of ever greater contradictions.
Supporting Cairo and denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood, helps the generals suppress the Hamas-led Gaza struggle against Zionism, which, completely contradictorily, the Lalkar elsewhere has declared must be supported as a “duty” of revolutionaries.
This in itself is another Stalinist wooden mistake, since such total support of the confused Islamism of Hamas can only mislead the working class. Defeat for imperialism and its Zionist offshoot is the need, however it happens, but Marxist science is the only possible way forwards for workers everywhere, both the Palestinians inside Gaza and everywhere else, and confused Islamic militancy can only go so far.
The insistence on “strike together but march separately” as the Bolshevik line in relation to Hamas (meaning fight the common enemy but keeping the philosophy clearly separate) has since been underscored by Hamas joining the opposition to Assad in Syria, ending up fighting against its own anti-Zionist allies in the Hezbollah from Lebanon who have fought for Assad.
So Lalkar “totally supports” both sides of the deadliest and most destructive civil war on the planet.
This is a disastrous failure of perspective, beginning with a failure to see imperialism and its crisis as the overriding factor in world history.
More generally Lalkar’s denunciation of the growing world rebellion expressed through multiple Islamic revolts as being just “Saudi funded jihadism” is equally caught in contradictions – if “Saudi funding” is the mark of Cain, why is the “Saudi funded” Cairo military not equally to be condemned??????
Far greater and more clear analysis of this error, and numerous others needs to follow.
The Stalinists’ desperate and crude censorship responses, underline not only the monstrous opportunism of the fake-“left” swamp, but further confirm how the onrush of the world capitalist crisis is throwing a sharp beam of light onto the preposterous idiocies of all the “lefts”.
They dare not discuss because it would mean facing up to all their past errors.
Recently the Stalinists and black nationalists have tried to justify themselves with an attempted philosophical counter to the EPSR’s battle for open politics. In the wake of the Sons of Malcolm ejection for example, the group attempted to argue against open discussion:
The idea that an open/public critical/conditional support to ANY actually existing struggles against white supremacy imperialism is somehow helpful, is in all reality a colonial-leaning and colonial-benefiting conceit and arrogance. Criticisms of our camp are important in general in strict avoidance of the ears and eyes of the enemy, we should develop appropriate and ethical (i.e.., non-arrogant critical engagement) with our allies in the GlobalSouth, its an aside that who on the earth is anyone not doing the hard work of the GlobalSouth and their struggles to criticise them!
The reality is that ‘criticisms’ and ‘conditionality’ are masks for unwitting or not joining in the colonial posturing AGAINST the struggle against neo-colonialism/imperialism/white supremacy etc.
All the while the GlobalSouth collective struggle is THE ONLY REAL force that buoys up ALL the radicalism in the ‘west’, whether western based polls like it or not, and also even if they people posture on radicalism or make careers out of radicalism past or present, its the CURRENT ACTUAL GlobalSouth revolution against imperialism which buoys them up to!
Criticising our side does nothing to help our struggle, whereas it serves as an echo chamber for the enemy. One surely positively and critically develop support for our side, but there is a very thing line between developing loyalty to our side with critical thinking, and critical thinking just feeding enemy prejudices: nearly EVERYONE who engages in ‘conditional/critical’ support falls into the latter category.
In a world where still the overwhelming had power (military) and soft power (culture and ethics) is in the control and direction of the ‘colonial matrix of power’, developing anything but a rigorous intellectual, moral/ethical (spiritual, even), political loyalty to our cause is only helpful in one war: towards the enemy.
Reflect on how being ‘critical’ is no use to us, but is a colonial-privilege-seeking (no doubt subconsciously and unintentionally often) or given posture to give distance between oneself and the ‘great unwashed’ ‘mad dogs’ ‘uncultured’ ‘ridiculous’ ‘dictators’ of the world, ie., those who are besmirched as such by the ‘greatest purveyors of violence on the planet’ (Dr MLK Jr) the regimes of london, paris and washington. colonial hegemony is a mind-games colossus that like water finds the tiniest cracks and seeps through, similarly colonial hegemony tricknology is ever present and potent in its corruption of us. Intelligence, ethical righteousness, and LOYALTY to ours is what we need. Sukant Chandan
Among the inflammatory insults and provocations, declaring all criticism to be “the work of the enemy” this short piece is riddled with philosophical contradictions.
First and foremost of course it completely ignores a century and a half of scientifically battled-for understanding and grasp of the world class struggle in order to elevate the concept of “racist oppression” as the basis and driving motivation of imperialism, in the process writing off vast sections of the working class throughout Europe and America as reactionary.
Racial oppression and racist divisiveness is a major part of imperialist exploitation and is clearly one of the major weapons of world monopoly capitalist domination.
But while it is part of the armoury of capitalist rule, racism, like every other kind of alienation and antagonism within capitalism arises from the fundamental class nature of the capitalist system (particularly from the long centuries of African slavery, but equally against the Chinese at one time, against Indians, against Native Americans, against Palestinians and still against the Maoris and Aborigines).
It is part of capitalism, will always be regenerated by capitalism and cannot be eliminated until capitalism itself is eliminated.
Constantly battling against racist attitudes where they have been inculcated into some workers within the richer nations by two centuries of imperialist propaganda and corruption is necessary, but eliminating something that is created by capitalism itself requires overturning capitalism itself.
It is majority of the same bribed and corrupted working class layers that will be part of the great world masses who will eventually make revolution, as the crisis forces the necessity of change onto workers everywhere, as it is doing now.
And it is only in the course of that revolutionary struggle that old attitudes will be stripped away and the great masses of people will rebuild their existence exactly as Marx and Engels understood:
Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.
Marx and Engels, The German Ideology, Moscow, 1962, p. 86.
Declaring anti-racism to be a primary struggle (or various other manifestations of particular divisiveness like the double oppression of women) plays into the hands of the ruling class by dividing and separating sections of the working class.
It also sustains exactly the anti-revolutionary single-issue reformism being used by the Left Unity for its “safe space” censorship and is more generally part of an entire petty bourgeois reformist industry of “race relations” opportunism completely bound into Labourite and official TUC class collaborating establishment, which keeps in place the capitalism which generates racism.
As well as writing off great masses of the planet, the inconsistencies in this Black Nationalist view are numerous, only beginning with the fascist surveillance, drone-killing, torture and warmaking of the black presidency of Obama-ism, the entirely white racist colonialist oppression of the Irish nation for seven centuries, the entirely “colour-free” Nazism of the CIA counter-revolution in Kiev, the rising conflicts in Greece and other crisis hammered European nations, or conversely the devastating horrors of the conflicts in Africa where entirely black capitalist dominated societies are as class ridden and exploitative as any European country, from Nigeria to Ethiopia.
South Africa makes the point well, where the heroic and brilliant armed nationalist revolutionary struggle of the ANC threw off the overtly imposed white domination of apartheid rule, only to leave continuing oppression and exploitation of the majority, this time by black as well as white capitalists and petty bourgeois opportunism.
The great victory of the ANC remains a shattering blow against imperialism (not a treacherous betrayal as the Trotskyists paint it) but it was only ever part of the fight, which now needs to go forwards on a class-based revolutionary foundation, against the same world capitalist crisis facing the rest of the world.
But this black nationalist, pure middle-class posturing opportunism laced with emotive and inflammatory reverse racism, is not the important problem in the piece above.
It is the notion that open discussion is in itself “dangerous” and “aiding the enemy”.
Just the opposite.
Only the widest possible debate and discussion is ever going to take the working class forwards
How else are the big questions going to be tackled at all?
Why should there be “loyalty” to any particular cause anyway, meaning any particular leadership, and even if that is accepted, how it is to be achieved? (A better term to begin with, would be “trust” in a working class leadership and how it can be built rather than “loyalty” which has connotations of unquestioningly following a “guru” figure, one of the continuing curses of the fake-“left” across the board).
How will workers decide which leadership to support and “show loyalty” to, when there are 57 varieties of alleged “leftism” offering their views???
How will the leadership itself work out which struggles are the right ones anyway???
The world is descending into ever greater mass confusion and turmoil as the contradictions of the capitalist crisis grow ever deeper.
How else will it be possible to untangle the huge confusions and contradictions of the struggle erupting everywhere in the kind of society shattering destruction already witnessed from Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yugoslavia to Somalia, the Central African Republic??
The SOM piece fails completely to explain at all which particular Third World struggles constitute “the GlobalSouth” – the insurgency against the Syrian Assad government, or the Hezbollah fighting for it, the black Christian government currently massacring the Islamic population in the Central African Republic or the Islamists themselves?
Is the fascist Hindu anti-Muslimism currently being promoted by the West in the Indian presidential election to be supported because it has black skins, or the opposition??? Or neither?
Should the Indian working class be given a revolutionary perspective instead?
How are these and a thousand other questions to be tackled and understanding be built?
The method for achieving this theoretical understanding has to be the most widespread polemical battling to establish the best understanding possible of objective reality and the unfolding class struggle. Once again this is the central philosophical point of Leninism (EPSR No 1007 21-07-99):
The EPS Review...cannot wait to drive home the advantages of such conflict which fit exactly into the EPSR’s longstanding conviction that a revolutionary ferment of discussion — — about everything — — will have to take place before the next serious great phase of anti-imperialist class war begins to make organised progress.
That development too will only advance through contradiction and argument, — the permanent requirement for permanently healthy expansion of revolutionary theory about nature and civilisation in general and about constructing a socialist society in particular, — but a sound base of agreement for a party of leadership must increasingly be settled too.
The fake-’left’ 57 varieties are of course pushed into controversial discussion, along with the rest of society, but disruption, collapse, and closure are the noticeable pattern in this area precisely because they have either never seriously entertained divisive polemics before, or else have harboured so much unthought-out political rubbish (as a result of not having really conflicting debate) that the new mood of inquiry and challenge into everything is totally demolishing their shoddy sectarian philosophical foundations to start with.
At the time of the astonishing CPSU self-liquidation and dismantling of the Soviet workers state in 1990, the EPSR explained, — as a sideshow on the main event, — the strange paradox that the Trotskyite 57 varieties of anti-communism would eventually be plunged into as much chaos by the disintegration of the USSR as all the Revisonist CP groups around the world would be.
This was because the destruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat by bureaucratic insanity in Moscow would
a) rob the fake-’left’ of the powerful formal anti-imperialist stage provided by Soviet-workers state strength on which the Trots everywhere in practice depended for their own ultra-left ‘revolutionary’ posturing (while all the while sneering abusively at that platform for being ‘degenerated’, or ‘not really socialist’, or even not there at all);
b) destabilise such shallow petty bourgeois non-Marxist posturing with confused impressionism about some imaginary all-powerful ‘imperialist New World Order’ which was supposed to ensue; and
c) totally devastate all Trotskyist credibility by demonstrating (via the collapse of the USSR’s anti-imperialist role) that it had NOT collapsed before 1990 (despite all the Trot lies for 65 years about ‘revolution betrayed’, and ‘gone over to the counter-revolution’ and become ‘agents of the imperialist system’ about the USSR, and by demonstrating that the only ‘revolution’ which could possibly follow the beheading of the Soviet workers state (that the Trots were incessantly calling for) would be not the non-existent ‘political revolution’ (which would supposedly restore non-existent ‘rank-and-file socialism’) but COUNTER-REVOLUTION.
So it has proved, and the paralysing doubt crippling the Trot groups now arises because these crucial unresolved questions of PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP are creeping back onto the agenda as the crisis of ‘freemarket economics’ and of all capitalist society relentlessly deepens, and as the achievements of the Soviet workers STATE POWER look more and more to be the only possible direction forwards.
But sorting out exactly where Stalinist Revisionism went wrong, on one side, and where Trotskyite opportunist idealism went just as sadly wrong on the other side, is exactly what the whole of the fake-’left’ WILL NOT DO but is exactly what must be exhaustively thrashed out in the coming period of great debate.
It is plain insanity for any ‘lefts’ to be throwing themselves excitedly into this or that ‘great socialist development’ (supposedly) when workers, still living in a world of total brain-washing anti-communist propaganda, are left clueless as to what they are supposed to make of the workers states that already have existed in the 20th century.
With non-stop anti-Soviet lies still pouring out 24 hours a day, some middle-class ‘socialist’ philosophy has so capitulated to this counter-revolutionary brainwashing tyranny that it advocates party-building on a deliberately ‘multanimous’ basis, — i.e. do without any agreed working-class view of the workers states at all.
This hopeless cowardly despair is, of course a typical petty bourgeois retreat from the difficulty of ferocious anti-communism and, equally obviously, leaves the field clear for the most reactionary bourgeois prejudices to prevail against the epoch-making achievements in the USSR, China, Cuba, etc.
The SLP nearly paralysed itself by pretending to simply ignore such ‘dead theory’ and paid the price in party-splitting conflict between incompatible Trot and Revisionist attitudes which brought some development to a standstill in some regions, in the women’s section, and even at NEC level, and which helped keep the party newspaper uselessly devoid of any serious leadership on difficult political questions by either ducking the issue, or a bit of facing-both-ways, or a complete down on all polemics.
Bizarrely, only the EPSR’s voice was silenced inside the SLP for supposedly stoking ‘internecine strife’ when it was precisely advocating the only way forward from unresolved contradictions, holding up party development, by the only means possible, — — namely via a much more detailed further elaboration of SLP philosophy to begin developing a firm attitude to fundamental historical questions, — on the imperialist crisis; on the role of theory; on how to build a party around purposeful discussion and conflict and how to train a mass leadership in that way; on the practical achievements of all 20th century workers-states experience, and their Revisionist weakening; etc, etc, etc.
A party formed from clear independently thinking cadres, all trained in the struggle for understanding, and constantly deepening their grasp, via a continuous process of being drawn into the debate and discussion is the need.
Such cadres face both in to the centre of the party and outwards into the working class, to draw in more and more of the advanced workers into the debate, and constantly in an interchange of theoretical questioning in unity and conflict with the working class.
The discussion is both with workers and inside the party itself tapping the skill and experience of the existing leadership, built on a foundation of already agreed conclusions but constantly reviewed and assessed as new evidence emerges from the concrete developments of the unfolding class struggle, via serious polemical debate.
The party of the new type which Lenin described is precisely the instrument for that constantly evolving dialectical interchange.
Trust can be won only by the working class seeing and connecting with a leadership that consistently gets things right in its understanding, or is clearly struggling towards a correct understanding and theory, drawing in the best and most serious of the working class as it does so.
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