No 1511 8th May 2017
Workers should defeat and bring down the Tories’ un-”democratic” electoral coup being stampeded by frenzied xenophobic hate campaigns and sinister behind-the-scenes database computer trickery, and chicanery. But tactical voting against them only, with absolutely no faith or trust in parliament or bourgeois “democracy”, and least of all in craven, supine “left” Labourites, reformist Greens, chauvinist-fascist UKIP or “pro-Europe” groupings; all are anti-communist and say nothing about capitalism’s Great Catastrophe, economic breakdown and plunge to international trade-war and outright shooting war, nor that it is stoppable only by revolutionary overturn. Compromising uselessness of Corbynism & opportunism of the Trot fake-“left” riding behind is as inspiring as a bucket of cold sick, – and total contemptuous lazy incompetence of PC opportunist Dianne Abbott reflects bankruptcy of all reformism which doesn’t even want to win. French election result solves nothing either. Leninist theory and party needs to be built
The glaring cynicism of the Tory election call, casually trampling over supposed new “fixed terms for parliamentary stability”, highlights even further the utter fraud of bourgeois “democracy”.
Far from producing “strong and stable” government it will underline the total weakness of the ruling class, desperate to manipulate the pretence of a “mandate” before the economic disaster of capitalism’s Great Catastrophe kicks back in, far worse than already seen.
Steamrollering through this electoral coup - one step short of outright open class dictatorship – is not about “Brexit” at all (a diversionary nonsense in itself), but preparing for the hurricane of economic breakdown which is coming.
The ruling class knows that devastating crisis cannot be held off much longer with fantasy Mickey Mouse QE money printing.
Unprecedented levels of cuts savagery and speed-up will have to be imposed (far more than post-2008) and is desperate to keep its bogus façade of “democratic legitimacy” in place for as long as possible.
Brexit is invoked solely in order blame and scapegoat others for the epochal failure of monopoly capitalism.
And soundbite brainwashing, suppression of facts and debate, sycophantic media “interviews” and supporter-packed “public” meetings are even more obvious than the normal hyping lies, gerrymandered voting boundaries, ballot fixing, brainwashing adverts, slick public relations and endless “personality” image building chicanery which make up “democracy”.
The “issues” and certainly real grievances of wage-cut workers and the food-bank poor never get a look in, or are twisted, misrepresented and distorted – and even such “debate” as there was in past elections has never been anything but a worthless parody since the notional pretence of “mass decision making” applies for a frozen five minutes just once every five years.
On top now is all the latest computer trickery, and psychological manipulation (as during the equally fraudulent “Referendum”) as some of the more aware intelligentsia are fretting in the bourgeois press:
The single thunderous lesson from the EU referendum is that new technology trumps arcane democratic safeguards. Artificial intelligence, algorithms and invisible money sources can overwhelm democratic rules.
An elite group is shaping world politics to suit their private beliefs, and their behaviour has untold and unquantifiable effects. While the plot reads like a comic book, this cyber-manipulation is no fiction and played a role in the EU referendum and Donald Trump’s election.
Lobbyists and billionaires are wilfully manipulating the media and public opinion in defiance of transparency regulations. Cambridge Analytica, while the most high-profile group, is only one element of this sordid tale.
Botnets are online tools programmed to manipulate public opinion through social media platforms. A significant number of Twitter users are bots that can act to spam and manipulate public opinion on current affairs.
But a much more troubling narrative is emerging. The use of algorithms and artificial intelligence was probably a significant but invisible element in the campaigns.
There is no evidence that Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm linked to the Leave.EU campaign, used botnets – it seeks to use the web to manipulate public opinion through legal means...[but] the sinister nature of this manipulation requires robust regulation.
Broadcast advertising is subject to strict controls in the interests of fair play, as it traditionally had a wide reach and great impact. Recent shifts have proved unfair advantages are now to be gained from targeted online activity.
Exceptional investigative work by Carole Cadwalladr has exposed the wide-reaching implications of this issue. It’s not just the EU referendum. Billionaire Robert Mercer is Trump’s biggest donor. He is also reported to be an owner of Cambridge Analytica. Nigel Farage’s links with Mercer led to Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the Leave.EU campaign. The company proved to be instrumental and taught the campaign how to build profiles, target people and gain data from Facebook profiles.
...Facebook was the key. A Facebook “like” was their most potent weapon. “Using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”
There is contempt for the electoral process. Leave.EU admits that Cambridge Analytica helped the campaign but was not paid. It seems clear that this type of work should have been declared to the Electoral Commission as a services-in-kind donation. It has not been. Arron Banks of Leave.EU has since declared: “I don’t give a monkey’s about the Electoral Commission.”
Cambridge Analytica may not use bots, but others do. Research from University College London explains how a large group of bots can misrepresent public opinion. “They could tweet like real users, but coordinated centrally around a specific topic. They could all post positive or negative tweets skewing metrics used by companies and researchers to track opinions on that topic.” Bots can even “orchestrate a campaign to create a fake sense of agreement among Twitter users where they mask the sponsor of the message, making it seem like it originates from the community itself”.
Evidence from Oxford Internet Institute suggest that a third of all Twitter traffic prior to the EU referendum was actually bots.
The delusion here is that capitalist parliament has ever been “done fairly”.
“Democracy” was always the bourgeoisie’s best hoodwinking trick, played by Labour as much as the Tories, and particularly Blairite “spin” and empty image building in recent times, to give the racket a last desperate lease of life.
Fears above about new levels of cynicism by professional “campaign managers” and their slick tricks are really fears that old “certainties” of all capitalist society are breaking down completely.
The middle-class worry is that if “arcane safeguards” are too obviously overridden, the Wizard of Oz levers will be seen behind the curtain.
But it indicates how fearful the ruling class is about the future that it will take that risk – even the once useful standby of Labourite class collaboration stoogery, as the “B-team” to run capitalism when the Tories are too hated (as after the Poll Tax riots for example), is now considered “too destabilising” and “too risky”.
Tweedledee-Tweedledum no longer works: the working class has learnt deep running lessons over many decades - a whole century – about the fraud of “change through parliament” and the craven arse-licking of the “Labour movement”.
Whatever the “result”, it will be bad news for them, they know.
If they don’t consciously articulate it yet (much the fault of all fake-“left” non-leadership) they are increasingly made aware that it is the power of money and capital alone which calls all the shots in society.
Quite rightly they have become ever more disillusioned by the entire corrupt, twisted and lying parliamentary racket, refusing more and more to turn out or even register for voting, knowing the outcome is manipulated.
Local election turnouts are miniscule at around 20%: those for general elections increasingly small too.
The pretence this “represents” anything at all, even in its own fraudulent terms is nonsensical.
“Democracy” is just a cover for the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
The astonishing corruption and wool-pulling racket would be exposed even quicker if the “left” of all shades did not still keep the working class trapped behind continuing reformist illusions, “rebuilding the Labour Party”, “this time we can get real socialism” and “fighting austerity” – or, from those formally denouncing Labour, still advocating “left” voting strategies etc.like some of the revisionists.
They all drag the working class back behind parliamentary notions and social-pacifism (“No to War”, No to Austerity”) protest etc.
The supposed “opposition” of Labourite and TUC “leftism” (Corbyn, McCluskey etc), and its Trotskyist entryist supporters in Momentum, is utterly craven, capitulating on all its supposed “principles” like support for Venezuela’s currently besieged left reformist government, or for the Irish national reunification, or kow-towing to the gross Little Englander nationalist backwardness of Brexit and giving way to the nonsensical lying Zionist conspiracy alleging “anti-semitism” against anyone speaking out to support the genocidally suppressed Palestinian people (see last issue).
The revisionists, ostensibly supposedly “standing firm” on such issues are just as craven, nearly all feeding the Brexit confusion, and in their wooden “support” for the likes of the capitalists Assad and Putin (instead of calling only for defeat of the imperialist attacks on them) are even more dementedly ready to “condemn terror” and Third World revolt.
Thereby they play into the hands of imperialist warmongering in the Middle East.
It is not as if conditions are not rapidly ripening for revolutionary politics to be taken up in the working class, at least among more thoughtful elements.
On top of correct working class rejection of “parliament” the deepening crisis itself poses the issue (of ending capitalism) ever more urgently.
Economic disaster is inevitable and unstoppable and the desperate crisis bankruptcy of 2008 will shortly re-emerge.
All that has kept the motors spinning for the last ten years has been insane swamping of the world economy with totally valueless Mickey Mouse dollars, – so called Quantitative Easing credit creation – and stagnation levels of interest rates.
But if such money printing were the answer, why not issue photocopiers to everyone???????
In truth massive inflationary and credit bubble effects of QE are working through the system and the Great Catastrophe is going to hit the world a hundred times harder than before.
Even within the temporary, artificial and completely false “recovery” from “global meltdown”, currently propping up the rich economies (only) while forcing the crisis onto others (from Washington onto Europe and Latin America largely, north and central Europe onto the southern countries, and with China and Japan soaking up surplus dollars), there has been nothing but “austerity”, stagnation and cuts savagery.
Huge trillion dollar surpluses of uninvestable cash meanwhile sloosh around the “offshore” tax havens because they cannot make profit.
Far, far, far greater Slump conditions must be imposed soon – as emerges in the financial columns. Even oil - “black gold” – cannot be sold despite the production cuts caused by Middle Eastern destruction and Russia “sanctions” (making a nonsense of the fake-“left” “its all about a war for oil” non-explanations in book-length posturings):
05 May: Oil prices have fallen sharply along with other commodities as the prospect of slowing growth in the US and China blunts optimism about the global economy.
Stocks fell across the Asia Pacific region for the third day running thanks to a 5% drop in the oil price on concerns of a supply glut. Analysts have forecast further losses amid signs that demand will not be strong enough to soak up the excess production.
Iron ore and copper also fell sharply and analysts warned of a gathering commodities rout.
“The falls in commodities prices definitely tell us there is some kind of a moderation under way in the global economy and I would advise taking some money off the table at these levels,” said Cliff Tan of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ in Hong Kong.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said: “The commodity optimism of earlier this year looks to be in the process of being completely unwound. Last night’s sharp drop in the oil price and further weakness in metals prices will deliver another negative start for [resource stocks] today.”
Oil prices plunged to five-month lows on Thursday amid record trading volume in Brent crude, as Opec and other producers appeared to rule out deeper supply cuts to reduce the world’s persistent glut of crude.
The property boom bubble, keeping the British economy propped up, is about to go too:
3May2017; London estate agents have begun to offer free cars worth £18,000, stamp duty subsidies of £150,000, plus free iPads and Sonos sound systems to kickstart sales in the capital’s increasingly moribund property market. The once super-hot central London market has turned into a “burnt-out core” according to buying agents Garrington Property Finders, prompting developers to offer ever greater incentives to lure buyers.
At one development in Muswell Hill, a relatively affluent part of north London, sales agents said this week they would be giving away a Renault Zoe electric car (RRP £18,045) to every house buyer. They would also pay stamp duty on the £1.99m homes, at £153,000.
Apart from the free prosecco and gourmet pizzas available to those viewing the properties, anyone willing to put down a £2,500 deposit at the development’s launch night this week will also walk away with a free iPad.
The developer, Jamm, insists that sales are robust and that “this is absolutely not a sign of desperation”. Director Tim Jackson said: “There is a lot of nervousness out there with the election and Brexit, and buyers are looking for excuses not to buy. We’re giving them reasons to buy.”
Free furniture packages worth up to £20,000, John Lewis vouchers, and free three-year travel passes have all been offered to potential buyers in other developments across the capital.
Property agent Henry Pryor estimates that there is a pipeline of 59,000 high-end apartments under construction in London alone, yet annual sales of new-build flats in the city are only 6,000. “Developers will sell their first-born to shift them. It’s last-chance-saloon stuff. About the only incentive they have not tried is a bogof [buy one, get one free].” The developer behind the giant Battersea Power Station development of 4,360 apartments in south London last week slashed its profit forecasts amid rising costs and wider economic uncertainty.
House prices have begun to fall nationally – Nationwide said typical prices fell in both March and April – and the steepest drops have been seen in London.
Land Registry figures show that in the heart of the city’s financial district, average property prices plummeted from £861,000 at the time of the EU referendum to £773,000 in February, a decline of 15%, although in London’s outer boroughs prices are still up over the year.
Transactions – the lifeblood of estate agents, who rely on turnover rather than high prices to make money – have also fallen steeply. Garrington said the “hipster hotspot” of Hackney saw sales collapse by more than a third in 2016, and there have been few signs of a recovery since.
Chinese buyers had melted away, Pryor said. “The Chinese are finding it more difficult to borrow from their own banks and the gloss has gone off the London market. Foreign buyers were a very significant part of the new-build market, but they can’t get a yield, and they now can’t flip them for capital gain.”
Pryor reckons it could be years before prices for new-build flats start rising again.
But tenants are winners from the post-Brexit decline in the property market. Rents in London have fallen sharply, with new tenants in the capital typically paying almost £100 a month less than their counterparts a year ago.
The most devastating cutthroat international markets, currency and trade war is deepening all the way to all out conflict - war in other words just as in 1914 and 1939.
It is the inevitable result of the “overproduction” inherent in monopoly capitalism, always returning to ever worse crisis collapse as Marx analysed long ago (see still brilliant Communist Manifesto and Capital) and Lenin further explained (Imperialism).
Surplus must be wiped out and rival capitals with it - in fact whole countries.
Savagery in the Middle East is not enough, and the great conflict must destroy on a far greater inter-imperialist scale.
Trump’s trade war calls, the turn to petty chauvinist nastiness in Europe (Brexit Little Englander-ism, Le Pen, Wilders, Alt-Deutschland etc) and scapegoating of blame targets like “Muslims” all reflect and then feed into incurable antagonisms brewing for decades and increasingly bursting to surface.
The vicious, antagonistic, competition driven nature of the whole system is sharply revealed.
Just as in WW1 and WW2 the ruling class faces a fight to the death with the great monopoly rivals.
It has no choice but to escalate exploitation to brutal levels (on a par with the Third World slavery) if it is to have a chance (it imagines) of riding out the coming battles.
But none of the “lefts” make clear for the working class that this devastating future can be changed only in one way – total ending of the degenerate and corrupt greed-ridden monopoly capitalist order and its “private” ownership of the means of production (banks, land, farms, factories and housing etc).
The crisis of this system cannot be stopped by “regulation” or “controls” or “reining in neoliberalism” (which is only another word for the same old capitalism tearing up reforms and rules).
It can only be done by revolution, taking up the class war (which is permanently imposed by capitalism itself, not “invented by the left”) to take all such means of exploitation into common ownership for the planned development of rational society.
It requires the establishment of the firmest dictatorship of the proletariat, (for the majority) after which, and only after which, the masses can be increasingly drawn into the truly democratic running of society (a democracy which itself will become more and more unnecessary as rationality and universal self-discipline becomes the norm).
Playing the parliamentary game says and does the exact opposite and is a total misleading of the working class – unless the election platform is used solely to denounce it all for the lie it is, and to advocate revolution.
But none of the Labourites or “left” say this loudly and clearly, nor even the pretend “revolutionaries” strutting their MayDay red flags and hammer-and-sickle banners, claiming “Marxist” credentials, all so much empty barrel posturing, and largely wrong anyway.
They are not really revolutionaries at all, for all their endless academic discussions about Marxist classics, formalised procedures and long-winded “theory” articles.
As crisis deepens their posturing and pretences will be found out.
Complicity and opportunism will eventually see all the fake-“left” circus just as despised as the ruling class as Slump disaster intensifies and “upturn” lies turn to dust.
“Why did you not warn us?” the working class will soon demand “and educate us?”
“Why did you feed out illusions that things could be changed, that austerity could be reversed, that war be halted within capitalism”? “Of course cutbacks and speed-ups should be protested, hospital, school and local service cuts be resisted and wages fought for, but why did you not always put in the boldest of letters at the top of the agenda and on your protest banners, that cuts will be imposed anyway; that the only way get out from the world slide into economic collapse, international conflict and horrific war disaster is to end this private profit system completely by overturning it?”
“Why not explain the intractable disaster of capitalism and its contradictions, which will always bring it to total bankruptcy and warmongering antagonism on the vastest scale?”
Whatever Tory nazi-populist alleged electoral “landslides” are pulled off meanwhile, the working class will have no choice but to turn to revolutionary upheaval, just as great sections of the Third World have already done, seething with turmoil and “terrorist” revolt for decades as brutal imperialist massacre, torture and blitzkrieg has torn countries apart, and the economic crisis savagery has made life increasingly impossible.
The mess of sectarian jihadism, religious suicide fighting and insurgency in the Middle East and further afield, is not yet coherent socialist or nationalist revolution or necessarily even on a direct path towards it, but it is the symptom of same worldwide breakdown and upheaval that will increasingly confront imperialism and ever more so as it non-stop fascist savagery “punishes” the masses throughout Middle East and elsewhere.
And it is not just “Islamic revolt” which is boiling and raging.
Gigantic general strikes, and bus burning riots are now tearing near bankrupt Brazil open following the recent reactionary judicial coup stunt there, overturning a soft “left” reformist government; and such revolt has or will erupt against similar US-advised subversion and trickery in Paraguay (huge riots recently), Argentina, Chile.
For the moment the masses are fighting to hold on too against the deliberately violent middle class counter-revolution instigated by the wealthy and the CIA in Venezuela (no “peaceful democratic protests” here as always lyingly claimed by the Western media for such subversion) to topple the “left” reformism of Nicolas Maduro (and currently being hyped by the poisonous Western media, including the “liberal” Guardian, eager to see a Chile style overturn).
South Korea has just jailed its president after months of huge demonstrations, and further revolt has erupted against installation of US missile systems (THAAD) threatening the North Korean and Chinese workers states; Thailand is a permanent ferment kept down only with brutal military dictatorship (never criticised by the “democracy and freedom” West!) and the Philippines also sees the poor and rebellious suppressed by state-fostered barbaric deathsquad killing and summary police execution encouraged by the thuggish Duterte (just fêted by the fascist Trump presidency) under the hollow pretence of “fighting drugs”:
Donald Trump has revived US relations with two of Asia’s most authoritarian heads – leader of Thailand’s junta and the president of the Philippines – by inviting them to the White House.
Trump spoke with Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former general who took power in a 2014 coup, and Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who is accused of mass murder.
The calls aimed to rally regional allies as Washington takes an increasingly hard line towards North Korea. Pyongyang ran another failed missile test on Friday.
The governments of Thailand and the Philippines had cooperative but strained relationships with the US before Trump took office.
Neither was offered an official visit, although Prayuth did attend a summit in California. Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after the Filipino strongman referred to him as a “son of a whore”.
Duterte was non-committal, telling reporters: “I’m tied up. I cannot make any definite promise. I am supposed to go to Russia and go to Israel.”
Thailand’s deputy government spokesman, Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak, did not mention North Korea but said “[the US and Thailand] stand ready to enhance bilateral cooperation in all dimensions”.
Bangkok’s ruling generals have promised elections yet repeatedly delayed. With Prayuth as prime minister, politicians and activists have been detained as part of a countrywide clampdown. An Amnesty International report on torture in jails last year was blocked by police.
In Manila, Duterte has used his first 10 months in office to conduct a devastating crackdown on crime in which thousands of suspected drug dealers and alleged addicts have died. More than 7,000 people have been killed by police and vigilantes.
Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch’s deputy director for Asia, said: “Countries with close bilateral ties to the Philippines, particularly the United States, have an obligation to urge accountability, rather than roll out the red carpet for state visits with its mastermind.”
Kine said Duterte was an “enthusiastic cheerleader” for thousands of extrajudicial killings, adding: “He has made repeated calls for the public to kill drug addicts.”
Last week, a Filipino lawyer filed a complaint at the international criminal court accusing Duterte and 11 officials of mass murder and crimes against humanity.
The 77-page complaint alleged the president had “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed extrajudicial executions or mass murders over three decades, amounting to crimes against humanity. Duterte’s aides have denied the allegations.
The White House said the discussion with Duterte was “very friendly” and Trump specifically praised his deadly campaign,
Duterte, an anti-establishment candidate who rode a wave of populism to overthrow the country’s major political players, has sometimes been labelled the “Trump of Asia”.
Since taking office in January, Trump has expressed admiration for many of the world’s most prominent authoritarians. He was the first western leader to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his victory in a controversial referendum that handed the Turkish president vast powers. Trump also welcomed Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the White House, despite the Egyptian president’s crackdown on Islamists, journalists and dissidents.
Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, was also given a White House invitation over the weekend.
Endless strikes and demonstrations in Greece, street turmoil in France too, and the 2012 city burning riots in supposedly “better off” Britain as austerity started to be imposed (held back by subsequent Cameron Tory retreat from full austerity with inflationary housing credit etc), are all early signals in Europe too, as are major strikes and the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
Those are only early signs of spontaneous unfocused revolt, or limited reformist revolt, but the frustration and anger of the working class will boil over eventually.
The ruling class knows very well upheaval is coming everywhere, which it why it is ramping up the chauvinism and backwardness everywhere to head it off.
To counter that confusion and backwardness inculcated over centuries of “superiority” notions particularly in the white working class, something far beyond mere “anti-racism” and half-hearted reformism is crucial.
Revolutionary leadership and grasp alone can to make sense of the struggle, ready always to confront the confusion deliberately fostered by imperialism in the working class but most of all by leading the struggle to overturn capitalism – which alone can overcome the xenophobic backwardness which is automatically produced in capitalist society.
The failure to deal with these questions has produced a gigantic mess of contradictions throughout the pseudo-“left” currently, seeing them tied up in knots supporting all kinds of backwardness in the world, one well known “left” revisionist professor (James Petras) even going so far as to support the Le Pen movement, taken in by pretence this is challenging “old politics”.
Well yes and Hitler’s movement claimed to iconoclastic, “socialist” and “anti-establishment” too.
Other revisionists either support or at least go softly on Trump, or Duterte, through similar undialectical “reasoning” - or support the General Sisi street-massacre tyranny in Cairo.
The Trots meanwhile cheer on the gross opportunism of the petty bourgeois Kurdish nationalists who are teamed up with American special forces and US stooge Iraqi army slaughter (barbarically wiping out civilians and the jihadists alike) on the anti-occupation rebellion in Iraq (the ISIS Sunni revolt) even though they have rowed in previously with all “insurgency” where it really has been artificially stirred up, trained by the CIA and funded by the Gulf billionaires sheikh feudal primitivism (as in Libya and the early stages of the Syrian war before great chunks of the cynically used jihadists “blew back” and merged with the Iraqi anti-US-occupation fight (smouldering and bursting into flames repeatedly since 2003) to emerge as ISIS.
This total confusion is now all over the place because of its failure to see the complete universal breakdown nature of the crisis and the rebellion it is causing; stuck with wooden formulas and “programmes” laced with a petty bourgeois sensibility that emerges as complete capitulation to such nonsense as the “war on terror”.
Only a party along the lines of Lenin’s Bolsheviks can rise above this confusion to start building the scientific revolutionary understanding of this chaos and barbaric degeneration needed to lead the great unavoidable revolutionary battles to come.
It needs to leading the (inevitable) ferment of debate to untangle things, and get to grips with the dialectical complexities of all these unfolding events, battling for a correct understanding in unity and conflict with the working class and in the process necessarily achieving even greater heights of theoretical clarity than the Bolsheviks achieved 100 years ago (see 45 volumes of Lenin’s Collected Works eg).
As well as the complications of current struggle, the entire history of the last century and the giant achievements of the working class in 73 years of the Soviet Union, further communist struggle post-war in East Europe, China, Cuba, Vietnam etc and huge anti-imperialist anti-colonialist struggle everywhere all need re-thinking.
A complete willingness to look at all questions, reconsider and understand all the mistakes and errors of past attempts to go forwards and of the disasters or even crimes that they led to, is required, but not by throwing out the baby with the bathwater as Trotskyism does (its poisonous hatred of the workers states writing off all the colossal advances made in science, culture, society, education and health in seven decades of the world’s first astounding workers state), but neither like museum-Stalinism covering-up and failing to get to the truth of its leadership weakness and the liquidation of the proletarian dictatorship that they developed into.
Conscious guidance for this unstoppable great discussion will not come from the 57 varieties of the “left” and their traditions of sectarianism, suppression of debate and woodenness (and in the more workerist groups (SWP, Militant etc, even basic hostility to theory at all) - and their capitulation largely to anti-communism and hatred of the workers states, particularly from the middle class poison of Trotskyism and its (false) elevation of the shallow dilettante Leon Trotsky above even Lenin.
Neither will it comes from notionally pro-Soviet revisionism whose uncritical eulogising of Stalin and caricaturing denunciations post-Stalin leaderships leave them (despite their ostensible support) effectively siding against the still viable USSR after the 1950s (declared to suddenly have become revisionist counter-revolution out of the blue).
Their uncritical “hailing” of current revisionism like Beijing, continues their nonsense, and ties them up in knots, - right now having to explain to the working class why they are also uncritically “hailing” Pyongyang’s revisionist leadership whose firm (and thoroughly correct) determination to resist American imperialist nuclear and propaganda bullying, building its armed defences, is being undermined by Beijing, whose Stalinist-Maoist revisionist “don’t rock the boat” anti-revolutionism leaves them currently siding with the US to impose sanctions against North Korea!!!
Only a willingness to fully criticise mistakes in these leaderships even while giving full unconditional support to the workers states like China, Cuba, North Korea - is of any use to the working class.
That is the only way to give them real support in fact.
Such contradictions are crucial to get to grips with and there are plenty more from the Stalinists – (supporting the murderous General Sisi in Egypt? ditto Duterte? backing the oligarch funded Putin? still accepting the lie of an “Israeli state” squatting on stolen Palestine??? failing to call for the dictatorship of the proletariat in Venezuela?) - all covered up (which refusal to look at errors or engage in polemic is itself another cover-up).
Many of the “lefts” are now so bankrupt they have abandoned their “party building” anyway to enter and ride the “left” Labourism, which has been temporarily pushed to the surface by growing working class discontent, all of them opportunistically pretending once again that Labourism can be “won over” to “real socialism”, thereby helping give this burnt out “freedom and democracy” racket another round on the life support machine.
But the tepid modifications to capitalism’s ruthless crisis desperation proposed by the Corbynites would be totally useless even if this “Labour leftism” was not anyway being deliberately undermined by the reactionary fifth-column stoogery of the Blairites and their stinking treachery.
That this sniping Blairite anti-working class poison making up the bulk of the careerist parliamentary side of the party can continue its sabotage at all, and is not only not exposed and denounced by the Corbynites (out of opportunism) but accommodated, in itself demonstrates the hopelessness of this “left”ism.
But even without being systematically hamstrung by these scum (and their anti-“left” chorus in the media), this “left”-Labourism – and most fake-“revolutionism” too, Trotskyist and Stalinist – itself is nothing but bad news for the working class.
It capitulates all down the line on the main questions where the ruling class is whipping up as much chauvinism and xenophobia as possible namely, Brexit and the demonising “war on terror”.
That both are disastrous for the working class cannot be explained or understood without the broadest revolutionary perspective.
Only when it is understood that the ruling class is desperate to drag the entire world back into war and destruction, using any possible pretext, to divert attention from its culpability and incompetence for the Great Catastrophe (as explained above and in page 6 quotes) can the deadly trap set by both issues can be grasped.
Both are aiming to whip up maximum war hatred and chauvinist hostility, preparing the working class for the crisis conflicts to come and trapping them behind “national interest” illusions that serve the most reactionary purposes.
The first trick of the Brexit issue, is to tie up the working class into this argument at all.
While a real enough wrangle within the ruling class about how best to survive the emerging cutthroat market and eventually physical conflicts (and a very telling expression of their crisis panic in the brutal recriminatory swipes the two sides are taking at each), it is also a trap set by the ruling class to divert attention from the real nature of the collapse, affecting the whole capitalist system.
Getting caught taking either side is the wrong line for the working class because it is not “Europe” which is the problem facing them.
In or out of Europe the big world monopoly corporations and finance powers will keep on stepping up their exploitation; in or out they will continue tightening the ratchet on wages and conditions; and they will all face ever intensifying competition for the stagnating and ultimately collapsing markets no matter which part of the world the originate from.
Whether wage cuts are imposed by a US owned company, redundancy made from a Japanese car firm, or production speed-ups imposed in European owned works – it will hammer the working class just as much.
Failing to make this clear to the working class is the first mistake.
Going along with Brexit is even worse, playing into the national-chauvinist backwardness now being stampeded, and which is setting the foundations for outright overt fascism (which is no more than an extension of what is already happening in international hostility, surveillance, “anti-extremism”, slump impositions and the warmongering in the Middle East etc).
“Left” Labourite Corbyism, does exactly that, tagging along behind populist backwardness and supporting Brexit justifying it with classic opportunism as “doing what the people want”!
Would they then have gone along with Hitler’s election as Chancellor because it was the “democratic will of the people”????
This does nothing to stop the stampeding towards war and slump.
It does sustain shallow illusions about “getting back sovereignty” (!!!), blaming of other workers “over there” (or over here), or other entire countries for “dumping”.
It feeds the xenophobic atmosphere, tapping old illusions and reactionary notions in “British superiority” built on centuries of Empire exploitation and bribery of multiple layers of the petty bourgeois and working class, where “class” politics becomes distorted into a reformist class-collaborating battle largely for a “bigger share” of colonialist superprofits.
Arguments to and fro about the importance of the financial “City” - which lives by parasitically creaming off huge fees from world superprofits flows squeezed mainly out of the near-slave labour of the Third World’s factories and plantations, - all reflect this same corrupted politics.
Without dipping in this stream of Third World exploitation the ossified and incompetent British ruling class would already be bankrupt, all its real production hopelessly inefficient or foreign owned anyway.
Nor do the unions and “left” groups which have gone along with Brexit do any better in their “defend jobs” and “stop Brussels oppression” lines.
Workers have never had any “sovereignty” to get back- only class collaboration with imperialist world exploitation.
Trade barriers and nationalist job restrictions only intensifies the world antagonism and simultaneously puts the burden onto workers elsewhere – helping capitalist divide-and-rule conflict and hostility generation.
“Dumping” is the result of capitalist overproduction, not “unfair” working conditions and is solvable only by ending capitalism not by tariff-wars which will only exacerbate the antagonisms and economic collapse a hundred times over.
“Left Brexit” groups have wriggled and squirmed since the Referendum because the backward chauvinism it inevitably stirs up, whatever supposed “left” anti-boss effects are claimed, has become more obvious.
Their post-event caveats and riders, moralising against “xenophobic attitudes” or “against racism” are completely useless, once they have asserted that simply “leaving Europe” will “improve lives”.
It will not at all, but it will stir up hatred and hostility at all levels of society and wind up a scapegoating atmosphere of finger-pointing blame and recrimination to distract attention from the rich and their crisis.
And the same applies to the Stalinist “Lexit” slyness pretending that “weakening the European monopolies will weaken imperialist world exploitation.”
Firstly it is not true. Britain’s pullout just shifts the balance between the various competing monopoly blocs of world capitalism all still heading for conflict, and the faster so with such nationalism brought to fever pitch.
It is capitalist crisis which is shaking the great monopolies.
And secondly, any weakening or splits can only be of use to workers if combined first and foremost with a conscious assertion of the need for total class war to defeat and bring down the ruling class.
But did not the Brexit vote carry a significant element of contempt for the establishment?
Undeniably: many those who did vote Brexit were trying to express exactly their distrust of the old system as many interviews indicated (though the same dismay also led to many other workers not vote at all in the referendum, distrustful of the out and out Union Jack reactionariness mingled in with the Brexit voting).
But without being willing to take on and challenge their misconceptions to lift understanding to a new level altogether, such rejection of “old politics” leaves only a vacuum into which the greatest reactionary nationalist backwardness can flood - via the UKIPs or as it turns out, directly by the ruling class itself, taking on the chauvinist mantle itself.
No “special” party is needed for the British ruling class to now turn up the hate campaigning, revelling in how nasty it can be for “negotiations” and already ramping up a “loyalty to the Leader” nazi atmosphere, along with international warmongering aggression.
And it will trample all over the tepid and supine class collaboration of Corbyism.
Calling for a “nicer and more restrained” version of Brexit is useless.
If Brexit is agreed to be a “solution” to their problems, then why not go for the party most aggressively pursuing it, is the obvious logic to follow for uneducated and backward workers, and petty bourgeois elements.
It leaves workers currently declaring they will vote for the class enemy Tories, deludedly making a rod for their own back as austerity is imposed and the most basic workers rights are torn up.
Such is the disastrous confusion much of the “left” leaves things in, with its complete failure to develop the most basic anti-capitalist grasp let alone revolutionary Leninist perspectives.
But taking the “Remain” side does not help either as some groups have done, (Left Unity, the Weekly Worker CPGB by default, the abstentionist RCG of “Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism”).
“Welcome all migrants” simply plays into the hands of nationalist reaction and fascism.
Workers are concerned about loss of scarce resources and services but without a better perspective they can easily be misled behind fascist reaction which offers easy scapegoating answers for cuts and Slump.
“Proving” that migrant labour “does not affect jobs”, or even “contributes to the economy” cuts no ice with a working class which sees wages stagnating, and the employment market dominated by uncertainty, zero-hours contracts, and anyway rubbish prospects - and which can grasp full well that capitalism would not use migrant labour in such huge numbers if it was not helping it suppress wages and undercut conditions.
The logic of asking for open doors when most of Africa and Asia would want to come here tomorrow if it could, simply does not register and for good reason since for as long as capitalism exists, there is no possibility of coping with the at least 500 million more who would come.
Within capitalism it could only result in a disastrous economic impact, solving nothing for either those here or those coming here.
Even “full employment” notionally existing at present (because of money printing only) is felt to be transient and uncertain, as it certainly is in an economy sustained only by smoke-and-mirrors QE credit.
Of course this clannish protectiveness can, will and already does translate into racist defensiveness at best and increasingly into outright fascist thuggery and scapegoating which is a disaster for the working class across the board and must be challenged constantly.
But moralising condemnations and statistics about migrants “improving the economy”, (meaning the capitalist economy (!!!)) are not just ineffectual tweaking, but completely misleading the working class by failing to raise the question of capitalism itself
That is the source and endless generator and constant re-generator of all kinds of dog-eat-dog viciousness in the struggle to survive at all levels, including racism and “anti-foreigner” hatreds, even during rare periods of “boom time” but especially in Slump when such hatreds are inflamed to white heat (by the catastrophe itself and deliberately by the ruling class.)
Only a world based on cooperation and common interests, to build communities and not alienated production for private profit, will allow such brutishness to be overcome.
Only when they can see that it is capitalism, as an international system, which is the cause of the problems and which has to be dealt with completely can their narrowness be overcome.
As the EPSR has previously written before the great wave of East European migrants began but applying equally now:
[No 1085 17-04-01] And once unemployment starts to rise and there are not enough jobs to go round of any description, how are longer-established residents expected to react when hard-to-come-by jobs start going to ‘economic migrant’ newcomer ‘foreigners’???? How are longer-established residents likely to respond to the ‘explanation’ that “these poor people have only come here to better themselves”, especially in an ‘advanced’ and ‘sophisticated’ a country of extravagant consumerism such as Britain where mindless unserious smut, advertising gimmicks, and trashy pop music are relentlessly heaped on people’s heads as ‘culture’ to try to guarantee that there is no room for the tiniest scrap of political philosophy in anyone’s brain????
The backward basis for racist responses and disastrous divisions in the working class is there as the crisis deepens towards serious social conflict. Capitalism’s degenerate cultural trap for a massive diversion to split the working class (so that the chances of a united revolutionary reply to deepening slump and poverty should be as close to zero as possible), has been well laid.
The worst way to fight this diversion is to denounce workers for racism. All that this does is take everyone’s eye off the main issue more than ever. Reactionary ‘political correctness’ is the Council of Europe’s sinister game. The hypocritical ‘moral’ pressure on ordinary people to feel guiltily ‘xenophobic’ because they react enviously and politically backwardly to what they see as ‘foreigners’ taking their jobs is almost certain to drive more and more of the poor, lumpen, and petty-bourgeois minded into the arms of the nationalists like the BNP.
The only hope of a solution to this threat is a massive education-drive to explain the degenerate rottenness of the whole capitalist system and society, - for all countries in the world whether they have immigrant-population minorities or not, - a decay that is menacing everyone on earth with horrors far worse than mere job losses; and which warmongering tyranny can only be halted and reversed by communist revolutionary action by the whole proletariat of the planet.
But this is the one thing that the ‘politically correct’ hordes, wagging a finger at racist backwardness, will make certain is not said and never explained.
[No1091 29-05-01] It is the petty-bourgeois fake-’lefts’, posturing around this & pretending that capitalism can be ‘reformed’ into something nicer (even while posing as ‘real revolutionaries’), that merely opens the door wider to fascism because of their own anti-communist and anti-proletarian-dictatorship prejudices, thinly concealed behind the scab exterior of Trotsky’s theoretical bankruptcy (worse than Stalin’s).
By rejecting any serious Marxist revolutionary analysis of imperialist crisis, the self-righteous posturing against racism in the working class by the fake-’left’, pretending to be able to drive it out, will only add to widespread disgust against all ‘reformist’ posturing of any kind.
The impractical and empty-gesture politics of “end all immigration controls” and “welcome all asylum-seekers from everywhere” teach the working class absolutely nothing about the disruptive stunts, rackets, and breakdowns indicative of the whole imperialist system in terminal crisis, but only tend to add to local communities’ immediate worries or confusion, playing right into the hands of the fascists.
Immigrant refugee floods and opportunist economic migration are both safety-valve features of imperialist economic-crisis-management which can only continue to help defuse Third-World revolution while yet adding to the already grotesquely belittling and intimidating imbalances in wealth between the First and Third worlds. People big enough and determined enough to abandon their own homelands and cultures in order to suffer the constant humiliation of being unwanted immigrants in backward imperialist countries need every encouragement to become anti-imperialist revolutionaries either here or back home, but hardly need it for stimulating individualist betterment or immigrationist reformism.
Opportunist reactionaries do not cease to be such just because they become immigrants somewhere, and while opposing anti-immigrant prejudices could close off one avenue of racist backwardness, adopting the purely reformist challenge to the imperialist state to drop all immigration controls could just as easily help the establishment to play into fascism’s hands, creating fresh ‘racist’ grievances ripe for exploitation.
The same with its capitulation across the board to the meaningless “war on terror” and non-stop “condemnations” of the great rising tide of Third World terrorist jihadism.
All the “no to war” posturing and pretending is rendered useless, if it is accepted and asserted that the this great wave of upheaval and struggle is a “new form of reaction”, “an evil backwardness” or “actually all part of imperialism itself manipulated and controlled by the CIA” (though why the imperialists would want to spread destabilisation and revolt everywhere is never explained and most of all for Palestine where the Hamas current leadership of the anti-Zionist struggle is as “headbangingly” religious and Sunni sectarian as the rest).
It is imperialism that is driving the world into Slump disaster and imperialism which has provoked and instigated war - and which has “created” jihadism only in the sense of inevitably producing a great revolt against itself, just as it produces eventually the great working class revolution itself, which will come, ending this stinking world exploitation for good.
That much anti-imperialist revolt at present takes this religious form with all its confusions, brutality, despairing and individually heroic suicide bomb sacrifices, mingled with much often self-defeating sectarian confusion, reflects the absence of any better philosophy and coherent leadership.
And that is the result of the great retreats from revolutionary grasp, starting long back in the revisionist mistakes and then complacency of Moscow revisionism and its abandoning of a firm grasp on world developments and the inevitable Crash of capitalism and the need for revolution to be always at the forefront of understanding (see EPSR Book Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics against museum-Stalinist revisionism).
The “anti-terror” collusion of all the “left” reflects a craven capitulation to the imperialist warmongering atmosphere that makes a mockery of their social-pacifism and “No to War” protesting, and ever increasing sophistries on a par with the treacherous betrayals of the Second International at the outbreak of World War I .
And this undermines and makes a mockery of all its posturing.
All this is reflected in the hopeless tactics of the “left” around the current wave of elections in Europe.
For the British election the working class should first and foremost look to bring down the Tories’ and all the skulduggery, media manipulation and constitutional coup manoeuvres; while not stopping the plunge towards open dictatorship, it can usefully trip things up.
But without combining campaigning with a full revolutionary exposé of the whole parliamentary lie - including the 100% petty bourgeois anti-revolutionary class-collaboration of all the Labourites and other “change through parliament” – any benefits from such tactics will be overwhelmed by the dis-benefits of further confusion for workers.
The point is made with the frantic call by various “lefts” to “stop fascism” in the French presidential election, celebrating victory for the “new broom” capitalist Macron.
As pointed out when Marine le Pen’s father was running (EPSR 1133 23-04-02):
The sad decrepit philistinism and nastiness of Le Pen is old hat. The story is the utter uselessness of the fake-’left’, - every scrap of it, - in how fascism’s ‘appeal’ was fought against, and how the next developments are to be combated.
Le Pen’s vote reflects primitive incoherent disgust at how capitalist ‘democratic’ society is falling apart in crime, political lies, and decadence, and at how France is caught up in general imperialist-system insecurity, muddle, and mess, (just like everyone else, of course).
Neo-fascist parties are growing all over Europe, and the BNP’s vote will grow too.
But ‘anti-racist’ campaigning is the most pathetic fake-’left’ answer imaginable.
And all the fake-’lefts’ combining to make sure that Chirac defeats Le Pen in the second round is an even more useless response.
It is not what Le Pen stands for which makes French society sick. It is what Chirac stands for which is poisoning life.
Le Pen merely REFLECTS how demoralised, cynical, and small-mindedly bitter, people are being made by the INCURABLE failure of capitalist society to any longer remotely satisfy vital human needs.
Voting for Chirac merely continues capitalism’s unstoppable process of more and more alienating (see Marx) the majority of people who have to live under this ludicrous elitist class system. Voting for Chirac will only ADD TO and MAKE WORSE the “Le Pen problem”.
Exactly the same nonsense is all that is being achieved by the ‘anti-racist’ campaigning and ‘stop the BNP’ coalitioning that is going on in Britain. Cynical fascist philistinism will continue to increasingly feature as an end-product of capitalist ‘culture’ and particularly of capitalism’s ‘democratic’ political culture, which is pure lying hypocrisy and opportunism, from far Right to far fake-‘Left’, (especially the Trotskyites (SWP, Nellistites, Alliance, etc) and the Revisionists (CPB, Lalkar, SLP, etc).)
When Le Pen and the BNP denounce “old politics”, it is no answer at all to just say “then vote for REAL socialism, vote for FULL socialism” as a reply.
‘Voting for socialism’ has been THE CHIEF PART of the whole fraud of bourgeois ‘democracy’ FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY.
Substitute Macron for Chirac, the Brexit Tories for BNP and the point is just the same.
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