No 1455 10th October 2014
Fake-“left” hysteria over “evil” ISIS plays into West’s hands and its 3WW stampeding. Opportunism and cowardice expose their non-Marxism and misses the point that capitalist crisis is the source of all war. Defeat for imperialism needed
The latest US imperialist war blitz escalation in Iraq and Syria has seen the sickest capitulation yet of the alleged “revolutionary left” to the “war on terror” idiocies of capitalism.
Their fraudulent claims to be Marxists are completely exposed by their hysterical denunciations of the ISIS rebels as “intolerable monsters”.
Without exception, from “left” radical, to Trotskyist to “orthodox” Stalinist, they have all now denounced the rising tide of fundamentalism and “jihadism” – particularly around the ISIS group – as “reactionary”, or “unacceptable” or “evil”, the work of “demons”, or produced by “fattened rats” and “noxious weeds”(the CPGB-ML).
A new enemy is stalking the world, they all say, which is so horribly “evil” that all other considerations and the class war itself have to be abandoned or suspended while such “dark forces” are “eradicated”.
What a mockery of their “No to War” social-pacifism to join in this demented hysteria!
The betrayals begun in their “condemnations of terrorism” after the staggering 9/11 WTC attacks in New York are now complete.
This mystical nonsense and totally idealist nonsense has nothing to do with the understanding of Marxism and Leninism and everything to do with a complete surrender to irrationality and the ruling class ideology producing it.
Lurid descriptions, playing on emotions and primitive fears, do nothing to reach an objective and coherent understanding of the complex and confused civil war and social breakdown in the Middle East and the rising tide of rebellion breaking out everywhere against the existing monopoly capitalist world order.
All perspective has gone out of the window, and faded into the background are nearly two decades of capitalist atrocities, bombing, massacres, torture, death squadism, blitzing, drone terrorising, and outright destruction of country after country from Serbia to Afghanistan, Libya to Iraq and Syria, and most of all the endless horror inflicted on the benighted besieged and genocidally blitzkrieged Palestinians.
Instead the focus is put solely on the activities of the confused Muslim rebellion, shocking only because it is developing and proving to be as ruthless and deadly as the imperialist forces that have been teaching the world new levels of violence and depravity everywhere throughout the Middle East (and in Ukraine too, where nearly 4000 have been killed since April by the West supported and “advised” Kiev Nazis).
Imperialist ideology presents this upheaval as if it has come “out of nowhere”, just from the heads of “hate priests” who simply want to destroy “our peaceful democratic way of life”.
What utter gobshyte.
It is imperialism, led by “top-dog” Washington, that has deliberately fostered and escalated “shock and awe” destruction to evade and avoid its own bankruptcy and collapse, plunging the world towards yet another World War as the ultimate “solution” to the historic impasse that the private profit system has unavoidably reached.
For fifteen years at least it has been escalating its anyway non-stop worldwide tyranny (400 wars, coups, massacres and invasions since 1945) in order to try and reimpose its domination and control, forcing the exploited and tyrannised billions of the Third World to continue their near slave-labour for rapacious Western corporations.
What the “left” do achieve is to play right into the hands of the Goebbels hysteria and demonisation (literally in this case) poured out by the crisis wracked capitalist ruling class as its twists and turns its scapegoating repression and bullying, to try and suppress all resistance and to keep the world on course for total World War Three conflict and destruction.
So far gone is the opportunism and craven capitulation of the “lefts” to this atmosphere of hate-frenzy and “kill them all to ‘eradicate’ the threat” demented Nazism, that half of them are now debating not whether to cooperate with imperialism but simply “to what extent”.
Could betrayal and cowardice get any worse???
Could stupidity??? Since when has capitalism ever rescued or protected anyone?
It is not remotely interested in “saving the Kurds”, or protecting Christian minorities.
Could confusion go deeper than a welter of convoluted and tacking and weaving conspiracy theories (all designed to “justify” the “left” by pretending ISIS is “all run by the CIA” anyway)?
Capitalism does all kinds of skulduggery but it is not masterminding a chess game against the hapless masses.
Just the opposite, it is facing its greatest revolutionary challenge in all history, still confused and self-defeating, but rising remorselessly.
To get out of its intractable historic disaster the ruling class is interested purely in war, using this hysteria to further stampede the entire world into the destruction and chaos which it sees as its only way out.
There is no way out in fact and this will only recruit and mobilise tens of millions more into the anti-imperialist hatred that is unstoppably rising and which will eventually reach an understanding of the need for communist revolution.
There is only one enemy in the world, and one cause of war and mayhem, and that is the capitalist monopoly system itself, and its breakdown collapse into the greatest catastrophic failure in all history, about to lurch downwards even more severely than in 2008.
Defeat for that imperialist enemy is the only Marxist line, however it comes about.
Keeping the eye on that anchor point of understanding, must be the start and focus of all attempts to analyse the Middle East and other struggles.
That implies no support whatsoever for any of the bizarre ideologies that which have currently coalesced in the chaos and confusion - but neither does it mean condemning and demonising them.
Celebrity “revolution” calls around single-issue and eco-campaigns are an interesting sign of growing crisis but a long way from vital Leninist understanding needed, and potentially an obstacle. Confronting anti-communist lies is a crucial task
Public calls for “revolution” from assorted TV, film, fashion and music celebrities are an interesting further sign of how capitalism’s catastrophic crisis is breaking down old petty bourgeois “democracy” certainties and illusions in the capacities of the ruling class to stay in control.
But these outbursts and alternative leadership offerings are still a million miles from the kind of philosophical and political grasp needed for the working class to take power and end this degenerate and more and more openly fascist warmongering system, the only possible way out of the giant economic crisis now unravelling into a Third World War “solution” currently in the Middle East and Ukraine.
While the “revolutionism” advocated by the likes of Russell Brand, Emma Thompson, Vivienne Westwood and the Happy Monday’s Bez (among others) may be a step beyond, or at least more outspoken and energetically direct, than the continuing “left pressure” tactics advocated by an increasingly moribund fake-“left”, most lately around the Scottish referendum for example, it does not begin to confront the deep and urgent questions of how revolution must emerge, be led, inspired, coordinated and carried through.
Least of all does it tackle the glaring “elephant in the room” of the great USSR and other workers states and the huge discussion needed about their massive achievements but also dire philosophical failures that led to their liquidation and the defeatist (and utterly false) conclusion that “communism doesn’t work” (greatly adding temporarily to the impact of capitalism’s constant Goebbels anti-communism and the pernicious poison that many “left”s pour out too, especially the Trotskyists).
The myth of the “failure of communism” is one of the great obstacles, if not the greatest, facing the world’s masses, and particularly the working class masses of the “advanced” industrialised world and their petty bourgeois influenced complacency about having a “better life than grey old communism” (soon to be permanently shattered by the savageries of oncoming Depression, when the achievement of the workers states will be seen in a different light).
The deluge of anti-communist lies, poison demonisation and Goebbels disinformation which has poured out about the workers states from the very first days they took power and which continues to this day, (and also against even the most limited of anti-imperialism) is the central weapon of imperialism.
If “communism” is allegedly so horrible, than what is there to fight for against the historically bankrupt capitalist order?? That is the rhetorical question. History is ended, there is nothing else and you may as well live with it, the implied answer.
That grasp will change as bankrupt capitalism shows itself capable only of running starvation level Depression exploitation (way beyond the austerity so far) and of dragging the whole world into the kind of destructive mayhem which has already devastated at least four perfectly sound and peacefully developing countries in the Middle East, and is heading to far worse than the two twentieth century world wars (with far bigger nuclear, chemical and biological destruction all likely).
Even the complacent petty bourgeoisie will be forced to realise what the true source of tyranny is in the world – monopoly capitalism only.
Without taking this nonsense on directly, all claims to be the “revolution” will only ever amount to a kind of super-”left-pressure”, mostly tied to often confused “politically correct” single-issues and environmentalism, laden with middle-class NIMBYism, crude anarchism and a general petty bourgeois backwardness completely hostile to Marxism and communism.
Unless any such calls for “revolution” begin to accept and embrace the struggle for communism, and the need to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat as the central tool for achieving and building the planned socialist world that alone can stop the rapid slide of capitalism into war chaos and Depression disaster, then they will at best be extremely limited in the impact they have, and at worst and most likely, a positive obstacle to the development of the real revolutionary struggle.
They will certainly tangle themselves in confusions and the kind of shallow conspiracy theories which cannot see the wood for the trees, and obscure the building of the necessary long historic view and broad international perspectives of revolutionary Marxism, tackling all aspects of class society and its crisis breakdown.
The worst of these confusions even tip towards the kind of near-fascist fantasies promulgated for over a century, such as elaborate and bizarre stories of Hitler and Stalin being “agents of the British bankers”, which, apart from expressing a severe anti-communism by likening Stalin to Hitler, and thereby writing-off the entire Soviet Union as “just another totalitarian state” (as all of bourgeois propaganda constantly declares, and as Trotsky was finally foully reduced to repeating too), puts forwards a crudely idealist view of history as being driven and controlled by powerful men and the ideas in their heads.
But history is driven by the unfolding of great material development in the real world.
The intensifying contradictions of capitalist society are an objective reality which is either correctly reflected in human’s heads leading to an understanding of the necessities of struggle or deliberately distorted and misrepresented by class interests to confuse and hold back the working class.
Some supporters of the EPSR have argued that such wild anti-communism is “merely” the result of decades of Western cultural and educational brainwashing which saturates capitalist society, and that those coming into the struggle are “well-meaning” enough and will shake off such reactionary baggage as the struggles extend.
It is further argued that it would be wrong, off-putting or counter-productive to confront such backward opinions, and that “even using the word communism” is best avoided at mass meetings because the “public would not accept it”.
But this reliance on spontaneous Leninist consciousness is nothing to do with Marxism.
It is similar to the mantra of the entire fake-“left” which has always covered over its avoidance of revolutionary communist theoretical struggle in practice, (despite lip-service) with the “practical issue” of “what do we do in the meantime” (while waiting for the day of the revolution supposedly which, of course, never actually arrives as far as the fake- “left” are concerned).
But it is the whole purpose and requirement of Marxism to challenge the deluge of anti-communist bile, lies, fabrications and poisonous hatred painting a black and entirely false picture of the workers states as one of non-stop tyranny, “evil” and relentless suppression and slavery.
Such theoretical challenges can certainly be made as sensitively as possible but they remain the essential task of the revolutionary party, and its entire reason for existence.
To begin with, without an overall struggle to end all of capitalism, no sense can anyway be made of, or least of all solutions be found, to any of the particular devastations and damage being objected to by such movements.
The pollution, poisoning and suicidal waste of planetary resources being done by the worldwide profiteering and piratical plundering is and has always been the norm for the capitalist system, as are all the other disasters it is creating from massive species depletion to Arctic ice melt, ozone holes, or floating plastic wastelands in the Pacific Ocean.
Capitalism will keep doing what capitalism has always done because that is embedded in the very nature of a production for private profit system and the vicious cutthroat rivalries that it imposes, so that any “nice” capitalist that might emerge to “do the right thing”, or “better regulations” will simply be driven aside by the more ruthless, bribing, corrupt and rapacious combines and corporations, themselves driven by the relentless need to out-compete and ultimately destroy all challenges and rivals.
But more importantly still even if solutions could be devised or found, most of these partial and single-issue questions will be swamped and overtaken by the far greater devastation and destruction which the ruling class is dragging the world towards, stampeding the entire planet into a Third World war to divert attention from the greatest ever slump disaster in human history, and to maintain its domination and “right” to exploit the whole world by suppressing all resistance to its continuing rule despite the total historic bankruptcy.
Limiting the struggle to such issues or seeing the purpose of revolution as being a way to reach a fixed single-issue target is to turn a real understanding of revolution upside down.
Such conflicts that draw people into political action may be a starting point for their political development (though they may also be blinkered petty bourgeois self-interest) but can also be a distraction and diversion from the only possible way in which the world is going to be sorted out, by the total overturn of the old capitalist order.
That is not to declare that the mass hostility to capitalist arrogance and domineering stirred up by most such arising issues bringing people into conflict with the ruling class, from trying to defend hospitals and the NHS, to fighting to save jobs, against the Bedroom Tax and workhouse dole sanction harassments, cannot be jumping-off points for a deep understanding.
But if they are then all the more reason to insist on the conscious struggle to raise the crucial Leninist understanding immediately, exactly as Lenin insists (see final quote on joining box).
And this has been clear since the EPSR began – here writing on the Prague anti-capitalism (EPSR 1058 26-0-9-00):
The naïve mixture of anarchism, ecologism, anti-globalisation, anti-monopoly reformism, and single-issue politics (feminism, etc) has attracted every petty-bourgeois bandwagon going, as well as more purposeful anti-capitalism.
But the superficial level of the intended challenge to the ‘free-world order’ has only gone so far because the sick historical epoch of Western-inspired hostility to communism has not been confronted. Until the bureaucratic-revisionist failings are assessed rationally and critically-creatively, - and the disastrous effects of the internationally-orchestrated brainwashing by CIA mindless philistinism understood,- then all such ‘anti-capitalism’ will remain mere gestures.
There is nothing wrong with new generations experiencing the feeling of “finding out for themselves, and in their own way” what is wrong with monopoly imperialism; but having decided that they do not like the influence on the world of Nike, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft, etc, or the way they operate, - the debate really does then need to move on to what human science has already discovered previously about the imperialist bourgeoisie, and what mankind tried to do about it, - and how far it got, and why it got no further.
Reinventing the wheel is as pointless in historical science as in any other science. The Marxist-Leninist analysis of capitalist economic crisis and imperialist war is now proven science to the point of predictability (for more than a century past) about ‘over-production’ trade-war disasters and Great Power aggressive warmongering, both against each other and for the export of capital to the colonies, (now reinvented as neo-colonial ‘globalisation’).
The need to maximise profiteering exploitation (or be swallowed up by a bigger rival) drives monopoly-capitalists forward exactly the same as ever; and class war remains the only answer to the effective dictatorship over the world by bourgeois private-enterprise and the ‘free market’, controlling things through ownership of the media and the capitalist state machinery, and beyond any serious challenge by ‘democracy’.
But exactly what should be done about it all, - and why, - are the very elementary questions about philosophy and human relationships which the ‘new’ anti-corporate protest movement has not even started to seriously discuss, - precisely because prejudice against the history of the workers states since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution is as massive (and as ignorantly unexplored) among these near-anarchists as it is throughout the rest of bourgeois opinion (i.e. all spontaneous, deliberately non-Marxist opinion).
What the mass protesters are clumsily, hesitantly stumbling towards is the most colossal philosophical conclusion that history has ever presented, - consciously summed up by Lenin as “Either the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, or the dictatorship of the proletariat”. There are no alternatives. There is nothing in between, one, or the other.
The ‘democracy’ and ‘reformist’ gibberish continues pouring forth in a flood of anarchic cynicism, - never really believing it will work, and often just protesting for protest’s sake - as a lifestyle. GM crops are rubbished; ‘No to wars’ is chanted about Kosovo; airport runway sites are occupied; fascist racism is targeted; asylum-seekers are campaigned-for; Third World debt is denounced etc, etc, much of it performed heroically, and some whales have even been saved from some kinds of death.
But a planned logical harmonious way of running the planet is as far away as ever, and many of the perceived ecological problems just grow worse (global pollution; natural disasters from harmful geopolitics; waste of planetary resources; etc) while the vast majority of grotesque economic injustices and inequalities become so monstrous that the ‘reformers’ are just humiliated routinely.
So safe are these protests thought to be (or relatively harmless) that bourgeois press and television coverage is now giving wide publicity to all sorts of demonstrations and direct action movements.
The well-meaning and more seriously thoughtful elements in some of these movements may yet coalesce into, or join with the eventual more general centrist movement that Marxism has long anticipated would have to emerge as the capitalist crisis really began to exert its baleful effects, massively intensifying the class war in even the “wealthy” imperialist countries, driving the working class downwards into Depression poverty and escalating international war conflict, but for the moment most of groupings remain tied to their own obsessions about global warming, or fracking or nuclear pollution.
The particular issues are clearly all aspects of capitalism’s money-grubbing contempt, incompetence and cynical disregard for ordinary humanity, for the environment and the disastrous prospects for future generations, and being drawn into battling around them may possibly be the route into a much fuller understanding for some people.
But if things develop even that far - into a major party or movement which calls for revolution in words while still hanging on to all the old reformist baggage of the past - it will only underline further the need to confront and take on the anti-communist poison that has been poured into minds through every orifice of the media, education, arts and bourgeois politics.
Exactly that was the lesson of a first seeming advance from Labourite class collaborating betrayals in the 1990s, when Arthur Scargill broke away to form the Socialist Labour Party, with apparent anti-capitalist views, but which finally showed itself to be stuck with the old bureaucratic official trade union methods and class collaboration, precisely because of the Leninist battle for understanding in its midst, which was finally censored and suppressed.
What matters most of all in the world is the defeat and overturn the imperialist order and keeping the old reaction suppressed while socialism is built.
Without that, no international planned and coordinated economy focused on the needs of all humans and under their socialist control can be reached, and without that there is no possibility the balanced and harmonious development of mankind, in tune with nature, its resources and the dynamics of the planetary ecosystems can ever be achieved.
Getting there requires the greatest development of revolutionary consciousness yet, above and beyond even the giant scientific achievements of Marx, Engels and Lenin, powerful as they are and crucially important foundation stones for the conscious revolutionary leadership of the enormous class war to come, which will finally bring to an end the 800 year long epoch of production for private profit.
The real understanding of revolution is not that it is a “method” like a more extended strike, to end capitalist rule or even simply, in the limited imaginations of the protest groups and single issue politics, a necessary strategy to achieve whatever particular aim it is that they are fixated upon.
It is the process of a long unfolding of deep lying contradictions in the nature of capitalist class society itself which are inevitably and inexorably reaching a crisis, pushing the great masses of the world into ever deepening and widening struggle.
Quite often the initial aims of any of the single-issue fights need themselves to be seen in a full context of that world class struggle.
The initial burst of industrialisation in the Soviet Union for example was obliged to use dirtier, more polluting methods than might be acceptable in a perfect world in order to grow faster, and thereby reach the kind of economic strength that allowed the USSR to fight and destroy the until-then most horrific warmongering ever seen in history as Nazi Germany attempted to obliterate the Soviet Union and communism.
This strategic necessity may have been lost sight of in the retreats of the revisionist bureaucracy (whose complacency and dull-witted carelessness certainly worsened the environmental problems along with failing to inspire the working class) but it remains a critical factor in future developments.
The same applies to the revisionist Chinese workers state which can now stand up to US warmongering encirclement the better precisely because of its economic, scientific and industrial strength bought at the costly expense of fairly severe environmental damage.
But it is also the case the China now leads the world in environmental technology and for the same reasons. Cuba, another workers state, is also a leader in developing sustainable energy and farming as best it can.
Further development of the fight to end capitalism might still, or rather certainly will, require such difficult compromises, in order to finally win the battle for world wide socialist control, which then and only then will have the resources and control to allow mankind to sort out all the issues of environmental damage.
Only then will it even be possible to build a clear picture of what the damage is, currently deliberately obscured and hidden by capitalist profiteering and exploitation leading to all kinds of unverifiable Internet claims and theories about conspiracy.
Even the true economics cannot be worked out because oil is only as “cheap” as it is for example because it is extracted with cheap labour, and all other commodities too. Every other “cost”is distorted as well making all overall calculations distorted too.
To put these issues into context even more sharply, how much attention is a Syrian or Iraqi refugee, or a blitzed and devastated Palestinian, going to pay to, or be able to pay to, the possibly damaging effects of badly executed localised fracking when they are facing the genocidal slaughter and blitzkrieg of their entire populations – nine million refugees created by the civil war deliberately fostered and inflamed by capitalism in Syria and an entire population desperate to survive by any means it can on the Gaza strip.
Or to underline the point as starkly as possible, might the Palestinians even welcome a chance to get energy from fracking if it were the only means they had to keep the lights on in Gaza, a near concentration camp permanently gripped by the throat by Zionism’s strangling genocidal siege and, equally significantly, if fracking were a critical means to sustain their fight against the monstrous Nazi Jewish onslaughts ???
And if they did would the anti-frackers and environmentalists wash their hands of the Palestinian fight??????
It would be a devastating confirmation of narrow horizons and an inability to see the real struggle in the world, if they did, since the Palestinian battle has been a pivotal part of the Middle Eastern rebellion for 70 years, remains central and is a huge inspiration for the masses not just of the Zionist/imperialist smitten region but the entire world.
All fights are relative and the need is to lift the consciousness everywhere to understand the overall crisis and the overall battle of world’s masses against imperialism is the central matter.
The scientific revolutionary perspective needs to be built and fought for and it is this the revolutionary party exists to explore and develop, and above all to educate and explain in the working class, both through explanation as such and by battling out its own understanding in the open in front of the class, whereby workers can learn from the very process of the necessary polemical struggle (a dialectical interaction which brings in contributions from advanced workers too, which in turn enriches the party’s understanding).
Meanwhile the bourgeois press and television coverage for these single issue protests continues apace as the above EPSR quote suggests; the world wide “peoples” marches just organised “against global warming” were given lavish front-page and inside spread treatment in the MI6 linked Observer, and elsewhere in the bourgeois media and press, adding to a non-stop campaign by the bourgeoisie on these issues for the last decade.
Why would Al Gore, leading reactionary presidential candidate for the slick reactionary Democrat Party machine in the US (which put the fascist warmonger Barack Obama into power) have got millions to fund a film and worldwide tour, for example to “raise awareness of global warming” if this was at all a threatening “revolutionary issue” for the ruling class?
Why would the TV and press media machine serving capitalism, and turning up and turning down its coverage of world conflicts as dictated (when was the last full or front-page report of the Ukrainian workers resistance to the Kiev fascists seen? – weeks ago despite major developments and horrific massacres by Kiev’s Nazi gangs, followed by a humiliating victory against the West for the anti-fascists) – why would this carefully controlled ideological instrument be so full of global warming fears and ready to report Emma Thompson’s (perfectly genuine) rage?
Because it helps build the real struggle?
Not a chance of course and the highly sophisticated Western ruling class knows just what it is doing in publicising such views – taking attention away from any Leninist perspective, the only real threat to its class rule.
It is no surprise that great slabs of newsprint have been given over to eulogising the latest “radical” offering from the arch proselytiser for “people’s movements” Naomi Klein, as always making sure the supposed radical agenda holds very tightly to a reformist perspective and larding her work with feminist side-kicks at the “nerdy males” and their “incomprehensible” science, at the “old left” because their economic analysis is “too depressing” and most of all at the Soviet Union, written off as “Stalinist self-delusion”, and the source of “the largest environmental catastrophes” which is not only rampant anti-communist poison but straightforward lying .
Some years on from her defeatist Shock Doctrine book, which pretended that capitalism was unfazed by its 2008 crisis because it was able to use it as a “pretext” for imposing draconian new anti-democratic corporate control, she has become a “global warming” warrior, just when it peaks as a major distraction from the real threat to the world, capitalism’s continuing economic collapse and deliberate warmongering.
Jut as in 2008 the latest account tells a partial truth.
Back then capitalism did use the vulnerability of austerity reeling economies – too hammered by bank failures to safeguard past reforms – as an opening for additional corporate plunder.
But that was not some new phenomenon, just the standard piratical plundering which it has always done even if she was able to cleverly show latest trickery and manipulations to slide past “democratic safeguards and regulation”.
They were described and observed sharply enough but thereby underlined her completely reformist perspective in supposing that anything else was ever going to happen to all the “concessions” granted to the working class during the height of the boom to by off and bat away any revolutionary movement.
Most significant was the tone of the book suggesting that capitalism will always win.
But the reality of the “global meltdown” in 2008 was actually one of universal bowel-moving panic by the ruling class which stood on the edge of a precipice of world bank collapse, headed off at the last minute only by a sleight of hand injection of Mickey Mouse pretend money which has solved nothing at all.
That some plundering occurred does not change that or overcome the epochal failure of capitalism as a system, which cannot go any further in history nor deal with the global meltdown, still unravelling and ready to collapse even more disastrously.
Taking back reformist gains – however greedily, is less of a new triumphant advance for the rich, than a weakness in the middle of a chaos that threatens their entire system.
The “stable” democracy period of capitalism with the working class pacified with a few crumbs from the table is far less troubling than overt dictatorship control (fascism) having to drive them back down into penury, with the enormous dangers of revolutionary anger (and action) building up as a result (as is happening all over the Third World in various, usually Muslim, “terrorist” guises).
The Shock Doctrine slyly turned potential revolutionary anger into defeatist despair.
The latest foray on global warming, This changes everything: Capitalism v the climate” is just as hopeless but with the added element of deliberately turning attention away from the now glaring horrors of non-stop warmongering which are the real “changers of everything”.
It equally heads everyone away from the revolutionary view with its sly (and carefully honed) deliberate implications that “big” movements have failed and the world will have to rely on the “radical energy” of localised protest.
Global warming demands a concerted action by the mass of humanity she says, which is true enough, which involved confronting capitalism (again true) which is
“a collective problem demanding collective action the like of which the human race has never actually accomplished.”
So much for the Russian revolution, the staggering and even more mass collective Chinese revolution (roughly one fifth of all humanity), the enormous, tens of millions strong, collective struggle to destroy imperialist-prodded German Nazism by the USSR, the stunning victory of the collective communist Vietnamese peasantry and workers over the most powerful and richest nation on the planet, the collectively achieved Cuban revolution and multiple examples of other collective human actions, right down to the 1984 miners strike in Britain, all giving the lie to this total despair.
But this requires world wide action, she will reply.
Well and good, but the missing element is not human capacity for joint collective sacrifice and combat, but worldwide common leadership with a worldwide agreed perspective about what needs to be done.
To achieve that means first of all a great battle to overturn capitalism without which, profit anarchy, anti-science philistinism, antagonism, dumbed-down consumerism, and philistinism will rule forever more.
And to do that needs the development of worldwide revolutionary leadership.
But the struggle for such leadership is decried by Klein.
In case anyone does not get the point she has scattered sharp anti-communist and snide feminist asides through a dozen different interviews, radio appearances and articles which an enthusiastic capitalist media has been more than willing to offer her and this supposedly “radical” environmentalist agenda.
“I’m not advocating ‘big state’ centralised socialism” she said on the BBC’s Start the Week for example, sneerily implying that “big states”, which obviously refers to the Soviet Union and various other workers states, are always doomed to be unworkable failures.
She also makes it clear that she has nothing but contempt for revolutionary theory anyway, which the preserve of a “marginalised left” who cannot “reach the masses” and “spread hopelessness”.
“I have seen these figures on the American left who just get up on stage and do these doom and gloom apocalyptic presentations and it can be quite compelling but I have seen it enough that I have told myself that if I ever get to that point I will stay at home.”
So an anti-catastrophist position then, meaning much like the rest of the fake-“left”.
She would never get to that point even if the “lefts” she was listening too, who are at least correctly describing the economic crisis it would seem, were giving a full Leninist perspective.
Though Klein declares seemingly boldly that the environmentalists have to challenge capitalism to end climate change she declares that problems essentially began in the 1980s which she describes as
“the blast off point for the crusade to spread deregulated capitalism around the world”.
So the problem is not capitalism itself but a special form of it, the “prevailing type” of capitalism? And so clearly the answer is just to regulate capitalism again?? So it seems:
“I don’t know if capitalism wants anything. The system itself doesn’t think as an entity – it thinks as a collection of self-interested profit-seeking units.” Asked why Obama is such a peripheral figure in her book, Klein is ambiguous. “I do think Obama is interesting but more in the sense of an absence,” she says. “Obama should have used the economic bailout of 2009 to impose new rules on car companies,” she says. (In fact, Obama used the bailout to spend up to $100bn on home retrofits, subways, and other climate-friendly measures. Klein overlooks these entirely.) “The fact that Obama blew that moment, to me, is one of the great tragedies of our times.”
Obama of course did not “blow” anything, but is a tool for a capitalist system that is interested in only its own survival as it heads for economic disaster.
And the great new “revolutionary thinking” the new book advocates (which is not to be confused with revolution says Klein during interviews) is nothing but pure reformism.
The “great new movement”, built around multiple localised movements and resistances, including anti-fracking groups, which somehow spontaneously will “come together” are to be left leaderless, just as the Occupy movement was left.
The “politicising effect” of Klein is precisely the politics of anti-revolution.
This is just like the “politicising effect” of the Scottish referendum, alleged to be “generating a new energy” against the established order but which actually ties those stirred into action into the old structures of bourgeois parliamentarianism.
But despite these diversions the working class will be forced to take up the revolutionary questions more and more as the crisis heads once more for a disastrous lurch downwards, and the temporary pretence of “solving the global economic problems” with fantasy QE money printing collapses again.
The inter-imperialist tensions which have been intensifying, (particularly between Europe and the US, bullying the EU to impose costly warmongering sanctions on Russia) will soon be breaking into much greater antagonisms.
The bourgeois press is getting very edgy:
The global economy faces a growing risk from big financial market bets that could quickly unravel if investors get spooked by geopolitical tensions or a shift in US interest rate policy, the International Monetary Fund has said.
The IMF said in a report it still expects economic growth to pick up in the second half of 2014 after a rough start to the year.
But it also warned that financial market indicators suggested investor bets funded with borrowed money looked “excessive” and that markets could quickly deflate if there were surprises in US monetary policy or the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.
As the IMF put it in its technical language: “New downside risks associated with geopolitical tensions and increasing risk taking are arising.”
The IMF prepared its report for the Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Australia this weekend, and just before the US Federal Reserve’s regular meeting on Wednesday.
Global debts have reached a record high despite efforts by governments to reduce public and private borrowing, according to a report that warns the “poisonous combination” of spiralling debts and low growth could trigger another crisis.
Modest falls in household debt in the UK and the rest of Europe have been offset by a credit binge in Asia that has pushed global private and public debt to a new high in the past year, according to the 16th annual Geneva report.
The total burden of world debt, excluding the financial sector, has risen from 180% of global output in 2008 to 212% last year, according to the report.
The study by a panel of senior academic and finance industry economists accuses policymakers in many countries of failing to spur sustainable growth by capitalising on historically low interest rates while deterring exuberant lending.
It called for Brussels to write off the debts of the eurozone’s worst-hit countries and urgently embark on a “sizeable” programme of electronic money creation or quantitative easing to push down long-term interest rates.
It said unless policymakers kept a lid on risks in the financial system, especially overvalued property and stock markets, a trend for investing in assets with borrowed money could run out of control.
The Geneva report, which is commissioned by the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies, follows a study earlier this year by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), which diagnosed the same problem, but said risky borrowing could only be discouraged by higher interest rates.
The Geneva report instead argued a concerted effort to tackle the after-effects of the crisis was needed to mitigate a “poisonous combination of high and rising global debt and slowing nominal GDP [gross domestic product], driven by both slowing real growth and falling inflation”.
Arguing that the European central bank had taken several mis-steps in efforts to orchestrate a broader revival, it said: “Further procrastination in implementing these by now urgent policy measures would risk, in the medium term, the resurgence of pressures on the sustainability of the eurozone itself.
“Contrary to widely held beliefs, the world has not yet begun to de-lever and the global debt to GDP ratio is still growing, breaking new highs.”
A lack of sustainable growth dates to the 1980s, according to the Geneva economists, who document the rise of debt-fuelled household and government spending over the past 30 years. After the financial crisis, debts increased dramatically in the west, but efforts to reduce them have been outstripped by a rise in borrowing across Asia.
Similarly to an earlier BIS report, the Geneva economists are particularly worried by a borrowing binge in China, which they said Beijing should reduce, though this would slow growth and have a negative knock-on effect on global recovery.
Luigi Buttiglione, co-author of the report and head of global strategy at the Brevan Howard hedge fund, said: “Over my career I have seen many so-called miracle economies – Italy in the 1960s, Japan, the Asian tigers, Ireland, Spain and now perhaps China – and they all ended after a build-up of debt.”
Global stock markets came under renewed pressure on Friday in a widespread sell-off prompted by fears of a global economic slowdown, tensions in the Middle East and the spread of the Ebola virus.
After another volatile week, the FTSE 100 slumped to its worst level since 9 October last year, falling 91.88 points or 1.4% to 6339.97. The index fell for the third week in succession for the first time since March.
Since its recent peak of 6878 in September, the FTSE has dropped around 8%, close to the 10% level which stock market analysts label as a correction.
Meanwhile Germany’s Dax dropped 2.4% on Friday to 8788 and France’s Cac closed 1.6% lower at 4073.
On Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lost 334 points or nearly 2% on Thursday, made an uncertain start and was down another 20 points the time London closed.
Emphasising the uncertainty facing US investors, the Vix volatility index jumped 8% to its highest level since December 2012.
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