No 1493 15th June 2016
Referendum exposes ruling class splits, and confusion over future prospects for the moribund British economy, their vicious accusations of “lies and distortions” giving new lessons in the cynical truth of bourgeois “democracy”. Decades of growing disillusion now becomes universal contempt as the working class abandons all old parliamentary lies and class collaboration. Good that a great debate about crisis collapse of the capitalist system can begin – bad the vacuum is filled temporarily with UKIP chauvinism and Boris demagoguery like the reactionary Trumpism in the US. But the answer to stirred up nationalism, anti-immigration and “war on terror” hatreds is not high-handed Politically Correct moralising at a fearful working class – it is the fight for a revolutionary perspective explaining the unstoppable nature of crisis inside or out of the EU. Only total overturn of the entire capitalist system can now change anything as the crisis slides into the greatest Slump ever. Revolutionary science and the Leninist party must be built
It is not the Remain camp which is flinging round the biggest lies in the hyped up Referendum debate.
But neither are the Brexiters.
It is all of them.
It is not simply that workers will not “get a better life”, “have more say” or “defend their rights more effectively” wherever they are relative to Europe.
Nor is one path “more likely to lead to economic disaster” or “stop our resources being overwhelmed by immigrants” than the other.
It is that all these arguments are utterly irrelevant.
Firstly the entire working class will remain exploited and ripped off under whichever set of bosses dominate, the European Union bureaucrats, financiers and corporations or the hedge funds, multinationals and American banks making up the “international markets”.
Their rapacious plundering and profiteering will continue come what may.
Conditions will not be preserved by staying in Europe and wages and benefits will not be miraculously restored to “proper levels” if “all the immigrants are thrown out”.
Workers face devastating collapse either way inside Europe or out.
Why? Because it is capitalism itself and its worldwide system which is breaking down and its catastrophic disintegration goes far beyond anything even the most radical upheavals in Brussels could influence or change.
You might as well dispute whether or not to wear a straw hat in a hurricane as argue about “Europe”.
That does not mean ignoring the issue, declaring “it makes no difference - so just boycott it” as a few of the fence-sitting “left” argue (like the status quo supporting Weekly Worker).
“In or out” is an irrelevant answer and deliberately designed to be so, distracting attention from a highly relevant question, the need to end for good the whole capitalist system.
But such “active” (or “passive”) boycotting simply abandons all leadership and leaves the field to complacency and the fomenting of backward nationalism and chauvinist hatred.
What it fails to do as always with the fake-“left” is give the working class a revolutionary perspective.
It is only that way that any sense can be made of the entire debate and the gigantic issues which underlie it.
And the huge debate that has opened up indicates a massive hunger to grasp what is going on.
The working class faces the greatest crisis in history, a worldwide collapse into slump and war turmoil on a scale never seen before.
Inside or out, trade war will escalate, economic antagonisms intensify, currency and international loan impositions tighten.
Steel mills and factories will continue to be shut, zero hours escalated, Fenland farm slavery spread ever further.
Pension funds will be bankrupted, the NHS broken up and privatised, council services slashed and housing become ever more unreachable.
The stinking arrogance and greed of the fatcats will not stop driving conditions down ever further to the most vicious levels of exploitation, as already imposed on the Third World, while their greed ridden plundering of companies like BHS and their resources leaves thousands and thousands out of work, conned out of their retirement, thrown out of accommodation, and deprived of even the limited “opportunities” of the past.
Nor can these capitalist bosses choose to do otherwise if they, and the system of grotesque privilege and exploitation they run, are to hope to survive the hugely intensifying competition of the oncoming Slump, driving the normal vicious international backbiting and competition to red-heat.
The world faces epochal disintegration of the entire 800 year old private profit making capitalist order.
And it demands the greatest struggle and class war effort ever, to overturn its stinking festering incompetence and bankruptcy, now driving the entire world back into the devastation and agony of two past World Wars (but far,far worse), just to maintain the corrupt and degenerate privileges and power of the tiny minority ruling class.
The big lie in the referendum is in pretending that there is a “choice” in which, overall, life will go on as normal, or even that “Britain can become more prosperous”- an utter fraud consciously pushed out not just by the ruling class but the entire gamut of “left” reformists, class collaborating trade unionism (“left” and right) and even the fake-“left” pretend Marxists.
They not only ignore the worldwide crisis but deliberate turn attention away with footling details in this “debate”, filling the airwaves with pretences that the only argument is about fine-tuning world trade or “stopping immigration”.
The ruling class has been pumping out this lying nonsense to lull the working class and keep its understanding far away from grasping the real bankruptcy of its system.
But the “left” all goes along with it too, in various ways, still feeding the same old “left” pressure illusions or “step by step” advances towards socialism allegedly.
They none of them convey to the working class the sheer unsolvability of the unfolding contradictions which cannot be overcome by gradual reforms or even incremental “weakenings” of the ruling class.
Everything is being swept away in the greatest worldwide collapse in all history.
The slump disaster which finally unfolded in the global credit meltdown of 2008 proved once and for all that the Marxist understanding of capitalism as a system of crisis and repeated sudden (revolutionary) catastrophic disasters is the correct view of the world.
It confronts everyone with the reality that only revolutionary overturn of the entire world dominating capitalist system can now change anything about this epochal failure.
The conditions now rightly stirring the contempt and dismay of the working class are just the beginning of the greatest ever economic collapse and disintegration in history, far deeper and wider then ever seen.
The 1930s Depression wiped out millions of jobs and prospects, imposed hunger, homelessness and Slump agony, stirred antagonisms, societal breakdown and fascist mayhem (including the Spanish Civil War, Japanese invasion of China, Italian colonial slaughter in Africa etc) and led on to the greatest destruction ever seen as the Second World War erupted (just 20 years after the bloody devastation of WW1, itself the result of inter-imperialist battling to divide up the world’s colonies and plunder).
Japan, Russia and Europe, were utterly broken apart at a cost of 70 million lives amid horrors and massacres which outdid even the blood and mud of the Great War trenches.
This was the logical end point of capitalist monopolisation and its international conflict for markets and Third world exploitation plunder, and the desperation of its inevitable crisis collapse, plus the hatred of capitalism for the Soviet Union and its huge achievements growing solidly throughout the Slump.
Capitalism has spread far wider since, leaving nowhere untouched in the whole world while its credit and currency mechanisms have become a million times more sophisticated, stretching production to absurd, environmentally devastating wasteful and polluting levels.
But that means only that the inevitable overproduction crisis reemerging from its inbuilt contradictions is on a scale far beyond anything before.
Rumbles and crises in credit implosions, Stock Exchange collapses and currency meltdowns have shaken whole regions of the world for decades, spreading bankruptcy, misery and chaos, and always at the expense of the working class and poor.
Finally the Great Disaster surfaced in capitalism’s heartlands in 2008 when the entire Western banking system was 24 hours from total shutdown to prevent domino credit collapse across the interlinked world.
With every ATM closed down in the major cities of the world, hundreds of millions of people would have been shut off from food, petrol, and other necessities; the chaos and societal breakdown would have been unimaginable – like post-nuclear war said former Labourite Chancellor Alistair Darling in one interview.
Frantic money printing has gone on ever since, “papering” over the cracks.
But flooding the world with valueless Mickey Mouse dollars solves nothing; in fact it makes the eventual crisis far worse, and steps up the bitter inter-imperialist rivalries, using currency and credit wars to force the Slump onto other, smaller economies.
The cracks in the dam widen daily.
Country after country has already been wiped out by economic disaster, not simply in Europe but worldwide like Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, and other parts of Latin America, or is on the way like Chile, Saudi Arabia, (sliding into a bottomless abyss), Russia likewise, Ukraine, Turkey and even mighty Japan still lurching through non-stop stagnation and decline.
Europe is in chaos, not because “the Euro was always a bad idea” but because the bigger economic and military might of the US pushed the crisis outwards (by control of the dollar reserve, able to flood out the greatest volume of Quantitative Easing, sustain its own economy and step up world currency conflicts).
In turn the big Euro-powers have bullied small fry like Greece.
Elsewhere victims have been literally wiped out by the warmongering and terrorising imposed by Washington capitalism to try and escape the collapse – bullying and intimidating the world with “shock and awe”, blitz and torture and then by non-stop drone terror, provoked civil wars and chaos and ruthless suppression like the fascist slaughter of the Arab Spring in Egypt (via the stooge military).
Serbia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, and now Yemen have been utterly and horrifically pulverised, directly or by proxy and provocations.
And the hell goes on, deliberately stoked up by Western intervention, funding, arms supplies and demented media hate campaigns against “rogue states” and “terrorists”, and the most sustained demonising propaganda campaign ever seen against “Islamic jihadists”, or “Russian nationalists” (the whole country demonised and picked-on even in the European football championship), or “the Chinese”, blamed for “dumping”.
When the ever-expanding QE credit bubble bursts – as it must soon in some form - the narrowly averted disaster of 2008 will return not just in full force but worse than ever for having been deferred with yet more valueless dollars (on top of decades of inflationary dollar printing to keep the post-war “boom” riding over one collapse after another).
And with it will come a massive escalation in the agony and devastation already wrought on the world working class, where “austerity” has taken a savage toll for eight years (including in the rich US).
Without this revolutionary understanding placed firmly at the forefront there can be no countering the turn towards chauvinism and anti-immigrant hostility and racism which is making the running at present.
The working class is not naturally reactionary but without a clear understanding of the need to overturn this entire bankrupt imperialist order they can be hoodwinked and dragged behind finger pointing and blame, feeding the very chauvinism and nationalist hatreds that capitalist ruling class wants and needs as its crisis deepens.
Countering this deadly poison, which can only end in war and devastation, requires a leadership ready to raise the question of toppling this entire system, establishing the rule of the working class and taking over the vast wealth and resources of the indolent and arrogant ruling class.
They are not hearing any of it from the entire gamut of supposed working class leadership, least of all the class collaborating Labourites, and “official” TUCers that make up the “Labour Movement” (“left” and right) nor from the fake-”left” “anti-capitalists of all shades and their supposed Marxism.
It is obviously a giant lie to tell the working class that Europe can guarantee their future, safeguard workers rights and is the “best path to future prosperity” because there is no “prosperity” coming and least of all for the working class.
Savage working conditions, stagnant and slashed wages, speed-up and unemployment along with impossibly expensive housing, blighted prospects, closed factories and shuttered high streets are already the norm and unfairness and savaged welfare the order of the day.
Far worse is to come as the slump ravaged economies of Greece, Spain, Portugal and even France have already found out.
The same for Latin America where the collapsing world commodity prices – the result entirely of international capitalist overproduction – have savaged country after country like Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil (with problems intensified by deliberate bourgeois sabotage).
The vicious imposition of financial and market “discipline” has already made a mockery of the lying pretence that Europe is all about peace, harmony and new freedom from the old nationalist antagonisms.
Rising prosperity from the harmonisation of different cultures and the “commonality of interests”, ending forever the conflicts and wars of the past???
What a gigantic hollow joke of historic proportions that is, while the greed ridden profit chasing capitalist system prevails and its deadly cutthroat trade war jostling for markets and influence inexorably intensifies.
No wonder the continent’s 550 million people are not laughing.
But it is just as much a monstrous fraud to pretend that the problems arise because this is a “bosses club” that workers can escape by “leaving Europe” as some of the Trotskyists lkie the SWP say, the Stalinist Lalkar/Proletarian and various “left” trade unions.
What is the British ruling class if not a bosses club too? - and one in conflict with the other bosses.
“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is the only appropriate motto for the Brexit “solution”, trading the ruthless impositions of the European monopolies and banks and their “bureaucracy” for the vicious impositions of British bosses, international corporations (Indian, US, Russian, etc), American tariff wars and global currency markets.
They will find themselves even less protected from the great sweeps of world credit turmoil and speculative investment moves of the giant international crisis than even inside the Eurobloc.
Huge panicked movements of currency and commodity dealings have already taken down whole countries, or even regions, like the southeast Asian currency meltdown and two decades of stagnation still paralysing Japan, or the early 90s credit collapses in Latin America (wiping out Argentina’s economy for example).
Such gigantic world market movements would sweep over the British economy like a tsunami.
What a preposterous nonsense it is too, to tell workers they will “get back their sovereignty”.
Since when has the working class ever had a real say in things?????
Parliament???? Democracy??? You are having a laugh is the only sensible reply.
It has been the great longterm lesson made by the working class, that the whole racket of reforms and gradual change won through parliament is nothing but a giant confidence trick, the greatest fraud in history to fool the masses and cover up the reality that all of capitalist society is run by the capitalists alone, and for the capitalists alone - the dictatorship of the banks, Stock Exchange, and the network of “clubs” and freemasonries of all kinds that make up the bourgeoisie and its class interest.
That rejection of the whole pretence has grown steadily, in election after election, as every supposed “representation” for the working class has proved to be nothing but class-collaboration and treachery, self-interest and pocket lining chicanery, always running the capitalist system and in recent times (Blairism) abandoning even the pretence of being for “socialism and a new equal society”.
Votes are nowadays tiny and even those still turning out, do so cynically and contemptuously, not with any positive sense of marching forwards but usually to kick the opposition (as the Liberal Democrats were punished for pretending to be “different” and then just propping up the bankrupt Tories).
That collapse is even more obvious in the referendum with support for all the “traditional” parties hollowed out and a great mood of rejection now transformed into a mass class hostility for the whole of “Westminster” and the lying political racket they have been sold for 150 years.
That is a healthy transformation of the mood against the stinking lies of the ruling class through the disgust of ordinary people at the failure, disintegration and incompetent chaos that capitalist rule has created, riddled with greed, indolence and arrogant contempt for their lives while they are driven into the floor by economic collapse, surrounded by crime, drug degeneracy, and hopelessness.
What is not healthy is the channelling of this hostility and class hatred into chauvinism, and “anti-immigrant” scapegoating, the solutions offered by the rightwing pretence to be “tearing up the old politics”, and “standing up to the metropolitan elite” etc.
What is the multi millionaire stockbroker Nigel Farage except part of the elite; the “soft” British counterpart to the bigoted and fascist demagogue Donald Trump making similar promises in America when he is one of the multi-billionaires who run the system itself.
What is the sinister buffoon Boris Johnson except the Eton school chum and elitist Bullingon Club compatriot of the Cameron’s and Osbornes at the heart of the establishment?
The argument here is between two wings of the ruling class and their differences over how to survive the devastating crisis storm which is brewing – sticking with the European bloc to fend off the enormous monopoly power of the US and Japanese blocs or “go it alone”, which means in effect allying with US imperialism, as the Guardian’s “green left” George Monbiot explains:
The European Union is a festering cesspool of undue influence and opaque lobbying. Prompted at first by the tobacco industry, the European commission is slowly dismantling, through what it calls its “better regulation agenda”, many of the hard-won laws that protect our health, working conditions and wildlife. Once they are torn down, corporate power will be locked in place through the TTIP – the transatlantic trade and investment partnership – it is negotiating with the United States.
TTIP has two main strands. One is regulatory cooperation, which means standardising the laws on either side of the Atlantic – almost certainly downwards. The other is investor-state dispute settlement: allowing companies to sue governments through an offshore tribunal if a law threatens their profits. Democracy means being able to change those aspects of governance we do not like. TTIP, if it goes ahead, will ensure that this is not an option.
And if TTIP fails? Well, there are other means. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Europe and Canada, imposing much the same package, quietly transacted, now remains only to be ratified. The proposed Trade in Services Agreement – between North America, the European Union and 19 other nations – is a turbocharged version that has been negotiated behind closed doors for the past three years.
The trade secrets directive, approved by the Council of the European Union last month, threatens to treat as commercial property any information that a corporation hopes to keep out of the public domain. Whistleblowers and campaigners trying to expose corporate malfeasance – tax evasion, falsifying emissions tests, polluting rivers – could be subject, depending on how it is interpreted by the courts, to massive fines and compensation claims. If the EU sometimes looks like a matchmaker for wealth and power, that’s because it is.
By comparison with the British system, however, this noxious sewer is a crystal spring. Every stream of corporate effluent with which the EU poisons political life has a more malodorous counterpart in the UK. The new Deregulation Act, a meta-law of astonishing scope, scarcely known and scarcely debated, insists that all regulators must now “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth”. Rare wildlife, wheelchair ramps, speed limits, children’s lungs: all must establish their contribution to GDP. What else, after all, are they for?
Britain has become a power base for a legalised financial mafia that strips the assets of healthy companies, turns the nation’s housing into a roulette table, launders money for drug cartels and terrorists, then stashes its gains beyond the reach of police and tax inspectors. Through privatisation, outsourcing and the private finance initiative, the public sector has been repurposed as a get-rich-quick scheme for friends in the City, licensed to erect tollbooths in front of essential services. The media, largely owned by members of the same class, directs our attention elsewhere, blaming immigrants for the ills it has inflicted.
It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European commission insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find David Cameron’s bootprint.
Since the first states were established, they have sought power by making alliances. The splendid autonomy we are told a Britain out of Europe would enjoy is an illusion: we would swap one transnational system for another. The demand to leave Europe in the name of independence has long been accompanied by a desire to surrender our sovereignty to the United States. If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors, ceding the national interest to a foreign hegemon.
Sixteen years ago, the Conservative party published a draft manifesto in which it proposed that we should join the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). This remains a plausible outcome of leaving the EU: What this means is swapping a treaty over which we have had some influence for one in which we have had none.
How do we know that TTIP would tear down public protections? Because the same clauses in Nafta have already started doing so across Canada, the US and Mexico. A closer alliance with the US means surrendering to a system that has been signed, sealed and delivered to the power of money. A Congress bound and gagged with dollars; a police and military machine pressed into the service of plutocracy; a media that scarcely bothers to disguise its own corruption. ..
I suspect that Donald Trump, or at least Trumpery of some kind, represents the future of US politics, especially if the Democrats fail to connect with people who are catastrophically alienated from the system. Exciting as it will be to have a woman in the White House, Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars.
We do not release ourselves from the power of money by leaving the EU. We just exchange one version for another
Well and good, but what is the “left” poseur Monbiot’s answer? - an ineffectual call to “Remain” as the best of a bad job.
What a hopeless, defeatist and misleading capitulation!!!!
There is nothing but bleakness and oppression to come so so what? - knuckle down and put up with it in the vague hope the very worst edges can somehow be rounded of!!!!!
But the rest of the “left” is no better.
Not one of them declares for re-building the scientific understanding first advanced in detail by Karl Marx’s titanic 30 year long study of capitalist economics (Capital - and see EPSR joining box quotes) and the great revolutionary conclusion that follows.
Least of all do they call for rebuilding the revolutionary (Leninist) party of open polemical debate to establish and develop that perspective and the living, growing understanding of the ever developing world class-war struggle to seize power, take over all the industries, banks, farms and properties and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat to suppress counter-revolution while it builds socialism.
Working class rejection of all “established parties” as the mountebanks, opportunists, corrupt operators and twisters they are, shows that it is crying out for such leadership.
That is the most important lesson of all from this referendum (and equally extraordinary US presidential election).
As another bourgeois press piece concluded:
Neither party can claim to be mass any more, least of all the Tories – low on members, bankrolled by hedge funds and the City. This creates what Chris Bickerton, politics lecturer at Cambridge, calls “the crisis of political mediation”.
No longer claiming the same democratic legitimacy as their predecessors, Cameron and George Osborne have had to borrow their authority from other sources: Mark Carney and the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, the Treasury. These technocrats, much cited by broadcasters and jittery remainers, are one of the two main sources of authority in our democracy. The other is the post-truth brigade, as channelled by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, who advise voters to ignore the nuance, trust their gut – and blame migrants or the Brussels fatcats.
British democracy in 2016 comes down to this: a prime minister can no longer come out and say something and expect to be believed. He or she must wheel out a common room-full of experts. He or she can expect to be called a liar in the press and by their colleagues. He or she can only hope that some of what they say resonates with an electorate that has tuned them out.
And mainstream politicians have only themselves to blame. Over the past three decades, Britons have been made a series of false promises. They have been told they must go to war with a country that can bomb them in 45 minutes – only to learn later that that was false. They have been assured the economy was booming, only to find out it was fuelled by house prices and tax credits.
New Labour pledged an end to Margaret Thatcher’s unfairness, except that – as the Centre for Research into Socio-Cultural Change has shown – the richest 20% of households scooped as much of the income growth under Brown and Blair as they had under the Iron Lady.
Britons were told austerity would last five years, tops – although we will now endure at least a decade.
And the people of south Wales were told new industries would replace the coal and steelworks. Looking out of the shop window, Neil remembered how Pontypool on market days like today would be “rammed”. Now it was half-empty. “It’s dead now, because they took what they wanted,” he said. “Thatcher smashed the unions. There used to be coalmines all around here. Boosh – we’re out of here. They’ve moved on.”
Cameron and the rest of the political class are learning a lesson the hard way. You can only break your promises to the public so many times before they refuse to put any more trust in you. After that, you have to rely on Threadneedle Street and the Treasury to corrode their own finite reputation for impartiality.
Whichever way the ballots go on 23 June, the public will continue returning a vote of no-confidence in Westminster for a long time to come.
Not a “long time” but forever is the real point because the collapse is historic, and lessons about “democracy” under capitalism have been learned not “over three decades” but over two centuries of sellouts, trickery and betrayal, Slumps, war and pain, – slowly and deeply.
For the minute this is merely negative and the deeper need for positive revolutionary struggle has yet to be made conscious – or rather be made conscious once again when the great brainwashing lies of anti-communism (sustained as much by the fake-“left” as by the ruling class’ own propaganda) are seen through.
The giant vacuum is currently being filled by the Trumps, UKIPers, Borises and the wave of equivalent bigotry and reaction emerging throughout the world from the “True Finns” to the laughably named Austrian Freedom party (FPÖ) all playing to the notion that their “anti-Washington” or anti-Brussels rhetoric constitutes a “break with the old politics”.
All this chauvinism, nationalist reaction and racism (overt or implied) is obviously a disastrous and backward step which needs to be taken on and countered in the working class, explaining that it will only feed the international antagonisms and warmongering that is coming in the great market breakdowns that are the inevitable future of the capitalist system.
But it will not be done by the petty bourgeois moralising of the fake-“left”, its reformist “anti-racism” and its fatuous “welcome all immigrants” stand.
Declaring that fears about the migrants are beyond the pale and high-handedly condemning the UKIP supporters for their very real concerns, serves only to drive workers away from what they are told is “left” politics and its petty bourgeois single-issue reformism.
And this has long been the case as the EPSR previously has argued (substituting now the UKIP for the BNP quoted here) even before the question became so overwhelming:
(EPSR No 1085 17-0401)) With such crucial lessons facing workers everywhere, does it not make all the striving around the Leeds footballers’ case to shout ‘racist twats’ rather than ‘drunken twats’ or ‘thuggish twats’ or ‘authoritarian class-biased judge twat’ seem just a bit of a diversion???
There are arguments to believe that such politically-correct-tinged striving might be counter-productive, even. If it is only the National Front that is ever prepared to argue out loud that waves of economic-opportunist migrants coming into the country and taking up scarce welfare resources, housing, good jobs and good education opportunities, etc, is not necessarily to the immediate practical advantage of already-resident proletarians struggling to get the same scarce things for themselves, and that the unfair ‘foreign monopolist’ system was to blame for all this enforced (and condoned) migratory nonsense, – then would not such ludicrous diversions be as likely to attract proletarian support as the PC anti-racist ‘left reformists’ with their “end all immigration controls” and “welcome to all asylum-seekers, the more the better” slogans, which take politically-correct subjective-idealist philosophy to new heights of absurdity???
Hammer people too ridiculously and too relentlessly for being ‘politically incorrect’ and it is as likely to create a nationalist backlash as anything else.
And is telling people to ‘stop being racist’ a realistic way towards improving race-relations anyway???? In a similar area of backwardness, prejudice, and superstition which undermined workers and put them in thrall to a huge diversion, namely a faith in God, - Lenin concluded that urging workers to ‘stop being believers’ was completely counter-productive, and in fact played right into the hands of clerical fascism.
Lenin noted how petty-bourgeois do-gooders urged workers to shun clerical fascism by recommending a more universally altruistic religion instead, the ‘brotherhood of man’ stuff, but entirely for reactionary purposes, really, of still getting capitalism accepted, but minus the stain of fascism.
Is this not what the entire race-relations industry is really about, asking workers to shun the fascist trimmings of racist exploitation, but to still class-collaborate with capitalism nevertheless and its incurable system of universal exploitation?
(EPSR 1102 04-09-01) It is the fake-‘left’ deliberate defeatist denial of this all-out world revolutionary perspective which leaves their attempts to explain and give a lead to workers on these nationalist/racist questions in such confusion and chaos.
...In the context of ‘stable, reformist civilisation’, - of course there is an unanswerable humanitarian case for providing sanctuary to all ‘asylum seekers’, whatever the cause of their misery.
But if it really is a stable reformist civilisation, that response then is unanswerably challenged by the BNP objection that up to 500 million people in the Third World are unhappy with their lot. All have genuine cause for misery just as much as 99.99% of the existing flood of ‘asylum seekers’. Are all 500 million going to be welcomed to Britain too as a ‘solution’ to the problem?????
But if the notion of a ‘stable reformist civilisation’ is derisively rejected, as it should be, the issues change dramatically. The world is turned into one of unending revolutionary crisis caused by the very circumstances which drive individuals into asylum-seeking misery or peril. In which case there is a far better and more realistically constructive answer to the ludicrous challenge which ‘complete freedom for immigration’ otherwise presents. All who feel driven to flee their own homelands can be far more productively and satisfactorily urged to take help instead to achieve a revolutionary overthrow in their own countries, rather than eke out a miserable existence in a Glasgow reception centre.
Only the revolution will change and provide real social progress in Britain; but individualist refuge seeking Kurds, Afghanis, Iraqis, Latvians, etc, will be far closer to a revolutionary transformation of their miserable lives by making the revolution in their own countries than in remaining individually isolated in a Glasgow reception centre.
Genuine revolutionaries seeking political asylum as a respite from difficult revolutionary struggles in Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, etc, are one thing, - deserving all the help and encouragement they can be given.
Individuals who just want to opt out of their revolutionary struggle at home are a different problem entirely. They are individual ‘reformist’ cases which no more deserve to hi-jack the attention and struggle of the anti-imperialist revolutionary movement than do any number of domestic reformist cases of local people feeling miserable with their lot and demanding special treatment from the capitalist state authorities.
Opportunist economic migrants are no more an issue for the revolutionary movement than local people with housing grievances who decide to fight their own personal war against capitalism and to squat some better-off properties.
If it becomes a wholesale national revolutionary squatters movement, threatening to bring down the existing social order, so well and good; back it to the hilt. If it remains the personal crusade of isolated individualists, sympathy will be inevitable, but not any necessary need to make such protests a key part of the revolutionary cause.
The same with asylum-seekers/economic migrants. If they risk their lives to get here in order to raise the banner of proletarian revolution around the Glasgow reception centre, more power to their elbows. But if they are just breaking the ‘law’ in order to get an easier life as individuals, then let them and bourgeois ‘morality’ get on with it. Only the embarrassment to capitalism (from so much worldwide misery being in evidence from their system) is of much real use to the revolutionary struggle to overthrow capitalism.
Every other intervention on behalf of such migratory economic opportunism is the purest reformism.
Publicly campaigning to encourage more and more of such reformist situations (by encouraging more and more such opportunist migration) becomes positively reactionary politics by the ‘politically correct’.
By raising such bogus ‘revolutionary’ issues around these reformist asylum-seeking rackets, the fake-’left’ is just pointlessly playing into the BNP’s hands.
Turn the problem back onto the capitalist system. Why are millions unhappy in their homelands??? Because of insoluble imperialist crisis. Solution???? Free-for-all immigration solves nothing. Only world socialist revolution offers any solution.
(EPSR No 1117 18-12-01) Tragically, class prejudices are likely to be indistinguishable from racist prejudices for a while for many of the victims of the world slump, and it will require a massive rebuilding of an international Marxist-communist revolutionary movement to rally all spontaneous outbursts and struggles into a class war to take power to build a workers state, universally.
‘Reformists’ of all kinds, - New Labour, Black Nationalist, Lib/Dems, BNP, and dozens more to come, will be the main obstacle, - still all trying to sell to the working class the idiotic dream that the totally unstable, divisive, unfair, and unjust capitalist exploitation system can somehow be ‘reformed’ into a much happier society by this or that series of changes, major or minor.
It is garbage. If a capitalist country’s entire population was totally cloned like peas in a pod, they would still be bamboozled into taking it out on each other when things went wrong if they had been brought up in the brainwashed ignorance such as rules Western ‘democracy’ today, living a totally false economic existence based on worldwide racist exploitation and tyranny (see above).
All American and other Western history once again proves it. Since the 19th century, every new wave of exploited immigrant labour has been systematically vilified with officially condoned racism, always ready to divide and rule the working class in case of slump, and revolutionary necessity, - anti-Irish, anti-Jewish, anti-Polak, anti-Spic, anti-Spade, anti-Paki, anti-anything-that-goes.
Get rid of capitalism, and all need for such backward, lunatic, racist filth disappears.
The ‘race-reform’ lobby is not especially bad or stupid, but it is as misleading a fraud and diversion to the working class as any other reformist delusions. It disarms the working class from the crucial understanding that its historical destiny is to make the greatest revolutionary advance in the entire record of civilisation, to rid the world of class domination, by building the true democracy of workers states under the dictatorship of the proletariat. All idea of race prejudice, - and all economic and social basis for it, - will steadily disappear thereafter.
The moralising of the “lefts” is particularly hypocritical in the light of their condemnations of “jihadists” and “Islamic terrorists”, essentially racist slurs which line them up with the imperialist war onslaughts on the Middle East and Africa under the excuse of a “war on terror”.
The great demonising of this ever growing worldwide revolt is a mainstay of the capitalist-fascist agenda as the world slides deeper into the desperate crisis, a central plank for its worldwide terrorising “endless war” to suppress all revolutionary upheaval and intimidate and threaten the rest of the world against any thoughts of challenging the US empire’s overall dominance.
While the ideology of these multiple revolts is a long way from Marxism - and even sometimes reactionary in its ambitions - and while their sometimes gruesome fighting practices are not necessarily the methods advocated by revolutionary Leninism, contemptuously sneering at them as “Islamic headbangers” etc etc most certainly has nothing to do with Marxism and everything to do with racist prejudice and petty bourgeois idealism virtually indistinguishable from the rabble rousing demagoguery of Donald Trump and his “bomb them all” answer to declining American ruling class influence and power.
Nor does it help to dress up this crude hostility with allegations that the ISIS in Syria and Iraq is simply an “American plot” to foment “terrorism” using “jihadist mercenaries for imperialism”.
So why is imperialism putting so much effort into destroying and bombing ISIS? and, as the Western media is now reporting (C4 News eg), are there US “special forces” around Sirte in Libya for example where the newly organised and imported quisling government is fighting to suppress the ISIS enclave. Or similarly in the fighting in Iraq and Syria where Western planes bombing ISIS and more special forces are in place?:
Elite US military forces have been photographed for the first time in Syria as they join largely Kurdish forces on an advance toward, Raqqa, the Islamic State terror group’s capital.
A photographer with Agence France-Presse captured US special operations forces with Kurdish forces known as the YPG, part of the US-mentored Syrian Democratic Forces, in a rural village less than 40 miles from Raqqa. Some US troops wear the insignia of the YPG in an apparent show of support.
Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces’ mission in generic terms.
“Our special operations forces in the past have, yes, worn insignias and other identifying marks with their partner forces,” Cook told reporters on Thursday.
Cook denied any mission creep had occurred, saying the “advise-and-assist role has not changed”, and that the elite forces, the only ones thus far acknowledged in Syria, conduct “meetings” with indigenous forces “that are taking the fight to Isil”, another term for Isis.
It is not clear how far the YPG forces or their US mentors intend to push southward toward Raqqa, which has been in Isis’s hands for years, nor how robust their logistics and resupply chains are. But the commander of the US air war in Iraq and Syria heralded the advance and pledged fire support for it.
“As the air component, we’re able to strike ahead of the ground maneuver, and so that’s my goal. If I know where the next fight’s going to be, then what I want to do is actually soften it with strikes ahead of the ground component,” Lt Gen Charles Q Brown Jr told reporters on Thursday.
Kurdish fighters say US special forces have been fighting Isis for months
US special operations forces have conducted at least two raids in Syria that the Pentagon has acknowledged, despite the typical insistence that US forces are not conducting combat operations in the nearly two-year-old war against Isis.
In Iraq, the Guardian has also published accounts from the front of Kurdish commanders describing US special operators as full combatants. Earlier this month, the Guardian published cellphone video showing US forces amid a sustained battle near the Isis-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul.
Equally unsure is the makeup of Iraqi forces that will eventually move on the city centre, with large numbers of Iranian-backed Shia militias determined to join an attack nominally led by the national military. State forces number around 20,000, nearly a quarter of whom are Sunnis who have been positioned at the vanguard for the almost exclusively Sunni city. US airstrikes have been pivotal to the early days of the operation, the most ambitious launched by Iraq’s military since Isis overran much of the north of the country in June 2014.
A string of cautious early engagements, which are believed to have killed scores of Isis members and a smaller number of Iraqi troops, have set the scene for a protracted and difficult fight for Iraq’s fourth city that will likely expose large numbers of trapped civilians, whom the group is using as human shields.
A United Nations official in Baghdad said up to 40,000 residents were thought to remain inside Fallujah. “We think about half of them are able to leave. “There are about 20,000 people who cannot.”
Almost three days after Iraqi officers declared that troops had breached the outskirts of Falluja, they have stopped at three points near the city’s dense urban centre, which is thought to hold as many as 1,000 Isis members. Many are hiding in a fortified tunnel and bunker network built over the past two-and-a-half years.
Military planners say Isis leaders appear unsure about whether to stay and fight, as they did in the battle for the Kurdish city of Kobani in late 2014 and Ramadi late last year, or to flee and regroup elsewhere as happened during the fights for Tikrit and Sinjar, both of which fell within 48 hours of a final assault.
Isis had occupied Falluja for six months before then and, despite being besieged since late last year, has concentrated many of its most fervent fighters there. In messages on the group’s main social media sites, it vowed not to leave and threatened to take the fight to Shia forces. In an equally sectarian pitch, Aws al-Khafaji, the leader of the Shia Abu al-Fadl al Abbas brigades, was seen on video on Monday urging his members to “cleanse Iraq of the tumour that is Falluja”.
It is understood that the US military has partly conditioned its support on the Iraqi military taking the lead in the attack and the militias remaining on the outskirts. Air strikes have been focussed on the southern approach to the city centre, which is where the army assault is concentrated.
Some senior Isis figures had fought with the group’s forerunner, al-Qaida in Iraq, in two battles against the US military in April and November 2004. The first fight took a month and the second around six weeks to subdue similar numbers of militants to those now in Falluja.
Unlike in 2004, the western entrances to the city and many of the approaches to the cities of Ramadi and Heet, which Isis held until earlier this year, have now been cleared. US officials say the group maintains a small number of “rat runs” into Anbar province, which could potentially be used as an escape route. Paths to the north, which have seen more than 3,000 civilians flee in the past week, are controlled by militias and Iraqi troops, who are allowing women, children and elderly men to cross, but detaining all military-aged males for screening.
Aid organisations had previously accused Iraqi troops of detaining some young men without explanation after they fled Falluja in 2015 and earlier this year, but most detainees are now being released in less than a week.
Iraqi leaders say the move to retake the city is essential to the war against Isis, but it has caught US officials unaware. The offensive came as Washington urged that efforts be focused instead on Mosul, one of two main centres of gravity for Isis, along with Raqqa in Syria.
Falluja is deeply symbolic for Isis and its loss would be damaging for the group. It has, however, concentrated much of its energy in the fight for the two cities through which it imposed itself as a force in both Iraq and Syria, after shredding the sovereignty of both states in 2014. Ever since, the jihadis have shaken the regional order, pursuing a genocide against minorities including the Yazidi sect and attempting to act as a de facto representative of the region’s Sunnis.
“We will beat them in Mosul,” said a senior western official directly involved in the war against Isis.
Before the launch of the Falluja operation, Iraqi politics had been crippled by stalled anti-corruption reforms. Two mass protests that breached the country’s seat of government had also weakened the authority of the prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi. The powerful Shia cleric Moqtadr al-Sadr organised both of the rallies, demonstrating a formidable ability to harness public sentiment when the government could not.
Today, more than a week into the US-backed Iraqi forces offensive on Falluja, that trip seems very long ago, in the distant land that once was Iraq. The road north of Falluja is a road of bleak war – of mortars, rockets and bullets. It is brown and gutted and veined in places with tunnels built by Islamic State during their occupation there for the past two years. An Australian farmer who came to Baghdad in 2010 told me, as he sifted the dirt in his hands, that the land was so “traumatised” by war it would take generations for nutritious food to grow.
While the US-backed Iraqi forces, aided by Shia militias (backed by Iran), are now pushing back Isis in Falluja, farming or any form of ordinary life has vanished. Along with Isis, there are also 50,000 civilians trapped in the centre of the city who might become (that horrible phrase) collateral damage.
They are vulnerable to mortar and rocket attacks, and terror: reports of Shia death squads roaming the streets conjure up memories of another heavy-handed military “clearing operation” – in Tikrit in 2015, when many civilians fled their homes as Isis positions were encircled and pounded.
No water, shelling, fear of reprisals, endless killing. How much more can the Iraqi people take? During the first Gulf War in 1991, civilians in Falluja suffered the highest casualties in Iraq, according to Human Rights Watch.
A decade ago, US marines fought in Falluja, patrolling the streets, kicking down doors to root out insurgents (many of them foreign fighters). Thousands died. The name itself – Falluja – has become synonymous with failure.
And what of the long-term effects of this harrowing conflict? Any child born after 2003 who has managed to survive these last 10 years – including living under Isis rule for the past two – will no doubt be infused with hatred, vengeance and sorrow.
In terms of geopolitics, the battle for Falluja will also fuel sectarian and ethnic divisions, which will have reverberations far further than Anbar province. On a recent trip to Iran this spring – the first time I was granted access to the country in 15 years – I was momentarily hopeful. I felt, perhaps naively, that the post-sanctions Shia giant could move towards a greater harmony with its Sunni neighbours – in particular, the Saudis.
But it was rather idealistic. The combination of bloodletting in Syria – where Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters aid president Bashar al-Assad against opposition militias aided by Saudi, Qatar and others – and the Iranian involvement in Iraq will certainly not lead to healing. Arab papers have recently highlighted that the Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani is leading the offensive, along with other Shia militias backed by Tehran.
The marginalised Sunni populations in Falluja, and throughout Iraq, are at odds with the Iraqi government and coalition forces. And Isis has now exploited their vulnerability by creating an alternate narrative – that this is a Shia-based action which will wipe out Sunnis.
Hassan Hassan from Chatham House notes that the offensive plays into Isis’s twisted chronicle of being “custodian of the Sunni people” and providing them with a gift, for which, Hassan says, “they have long waited”. The clearing of Isis from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town in March 2015, left mistrust and anger among the Sunnis: the battle of Falluja will do far worse.
A fierce and clumsy military clearing operation would further alienate the Sunni people from the Iraqi state. The US-led coalition broke Iraq when it dismantled the country, then did not stick around long enough to fix it or build up the new government. It left the people to rot, just like the roads outside the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the “haves” – the ambassadors, the UN and the political elite – live and work. In the Red Zone, where real people live and work, nothing seems to work.
“There remains grave concern of potential human rights abuses against the Sunni citizens of Falluja during the ongoing battle,” General Mick Bednarek, who served in Baghdad from 2013 to 2015, tells me. “It is very sensitive. If the Shia militia groups ... stay on the outskirts of the city ... then there is a chance for success without political backlash.”
Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann, a former Green Beret based in Iraq, has said that while it is necessary to “clear” Isis from Falluja and other strongholds, “we are using the failed counter-insurgency strategies of the last 15 years, which actually will make things worse.” Mann believes the Falluja campaign will be a “short-term reprieve on Isis violence, but will be a disaster in the long run”.
The only winner in this game is Isis. It plays right into their master plan. “They have one – we do not,” Mann notes. “Theirs is to play up the story that the Sunni existence is in peril because of the Shia and the west. Let’s not forget that fomenting violence between Shia and Sunni has been part of the Isis strategy since their al-Qaida predecessors were bombing Shia mosques in 2006.”
We know too well the ruthlessness of Isis and how it will use innocent people – the civilians trapped in Falluja – to exploit its key message and to accelerate what Mann calls “a Jihadi call to arms”.
Iraq can only be stabilised by diligently working with Sunni locals, aided by special ops working from the bottom up. We need to re-examine strategies that are outdated and are counterproductive.
The crude conspiracy theories of the fake-“left” on “terrorism” especially since the 9/11 attacks have never been anything but a means to evade any revolutionary analysis of the giant Third world upheavals, either declaring them “reactionary” outright, or declaring them to be “all part of a plot run by the West” and therefore making it possible to “condemn” them without having too obviously to sacrifice their “left” credentials by being so clearly lined up with US and other Western “policing” actions and the atmosphere of demented “kill them all” hatred which it is based on.
Not only does this fail to give the working class any perspective of the huge revolutionary wave sweeping the world (for all that it is a long way from anything to do with socialism) but by declaring it “a Western plot” defeatistly suggests an imperialism still calmly in control of world - the exact opposite of the desperate loss of control that is hammering this out-of-time exploitation system as its crisis intensifies.
Understanding the weakness of imperialism and its defeats is a crucial aspect of the Marxist analysis needed by the working class.
And while the jihadist revolt is not yet the socialist revolution nor ideologically even close to it, condemning it as the “left” do, bar one or two odd exceptions, only plays into capitalist wamongering hands.
It also tangles them in all kinds of knots, not least as manifested by the Stalinist CPGB-ML for example whose outright support for the opportunist Assad regime, and repetition of Damascus’s denunciations of “terrorists” has led to all kinds of outright contradictory positions - notably its support for Iranian Ayatollahs (surely equally “Islamic headbangers” if that is the language being used) and behind that the Russian gangster oligarch-serving Putin bonarptism.
Most treacherous of all was the hailing of the military coup in Egypt in 2013 which with obvious Western backing, and a deluge of coordinated Western propaganda, toppled the Muslim Brotherhood’s legally elected president in a welter of cold-blooded street slaughter of unarmed men, women and children, over 3000 at the very minimum, suppressing all the gains of the 2011 Arab Spring and further burdening the Palestinian cause as the General Sisi regime set about closing down the supply tunnels between Sinai and the Gaza strip. The fascist coup’s subsequent onslaught on the Sinai rebels - claimed affiliates of ISIS and allies to the Hamas Palestinians in Gaza - is actually supported by these Stalinists, such is their wooden undialectical incapability to grasp revolution.
Lalkar/Proletarian remain very silent on Hamas too. Are they “headbangers” as well??
These questions demand much deeper analysis. And that demands building the revolutionary party to re-establish the open polemical fight for Leninist science.
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