Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested.--- V. I. Lenin

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No 1640 22nd March 2024

World dismay deepens over the horrific Zionist warcrimes in Palestine as genocidal famine-siege and blitzing of the Gazan masses continues, but remains far from grasping the full significance of this inhuman depravity – another step towards the total breakdown of the whole “free world” of imperialism and its plunge into OPEN fascist warmongering as the only “solution” to the greatest crisis collapse in all history. Continued protest reflects mass disgust but demands for “ceasefire” are hopeless pacifism from fake-“leftism” evading the real questions of the great Catastrophe of the monopoly capitalist system which is driving into slump Depression and World War Three, not just in the Middle East but against Russia in Ukraine, China, Latin America and Africa. Upheavals in Yemen, the Sahel and now Haïti join the Palestinians in growing Third World revolt against centuries of oppression which will unstoppably develop into all out revolution. But the great need is conscious revolutionary theory, built by a fight for Leninist science exposing all the crooks, liars, and charlatans of bourgeois “democracy” and “freedom”

The explosive upheavals in dirt-poor Haïti show an imperialist system in deeper trouble than ever before as revolt after revolt breaks out against its disastrous Catastrophe ridden world.

So does its non-stop warmongering in Ukraine where its backing for (and management of) the deliberately provoked Nato war on Russia by the Swastika-toting Kiev Nazis is stuck in the mud, literally.

And as fast as the Zionist-imperialist monsters butcher and brutalise the Hamas-led rebellion in occupied Palestine with unspeakable genocidal barbarity, wilfully killing, maiming and starving two and a half million men, women and children, another revolt erupts in the Yemen, in solidarity with Gaza and in continuation of its own 10-year long anti-imperialist revolt.

When the US empire and its stooge “allies” try to put that down with more depraved warmongering slaughter, missile blitzing and bomb destruction, the other side of the world erupts, with Haïti’s reactionary government toppled.

Tellingly this time it has nothing to do with “jihadism” or “fundamentalism”.

Nor is it “gangsterism” creating the Port-au-Prince rebellion, as the bourgeois slanders try to describe the poverty-ridden slum-based armed upheavals, in lieu of the usual abstract “terrorism” designation, used for decades to justify the butchery and slaughter of the anti-Western turmoil in the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and particularly the persecuted and dispossessed Palestinian people.

As the masses can see these are all incipient revolutionary movements driven by hostility and resistance to the centuries long oppression and humiliation of the slave-level colonialist exploitation the Third World has suffered, continues to suffer and will continue suffering for as long as imperialism’s tyrannical world exploitation continues.

It is increasingly clear that the vicious and brutal imperialist world is losing its grip as its crisis deepens, forcing it into ever greater warmongering horrors.

All these eruptions are part of the same growing revolt by the mass of humanity, and they and dozens more like them will keep on recurring, drawing in millions and tens of millions, driven by the huge philosophical and social changes capitalism has irreversibly created everywhere among the ordinary masses, becoming bigger and more coherent however gruesomely and inhumanely they are suppressed now (and as they were in the past), not least in the Middle East, Afghanistan and across the whole anti-imperialist hotbed in Africa’s Sahel, in Asia and throughout Latin America.

In the modern period of imperialism’s decline, all this bludgeoning suppression is only creating the conditions for even more revolt, as warned of and then happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, and more, with every strafed city street or drone-blasted village wedding sending tens or hundreds more recruits into the insurgency and rebellion, just as the current US/UK bombing and missile blitzing of Yemen’s Houthi anti-imperialism has already added 250,000 more to its ranks.

And it will not only grow in numbers but in skill and coherence too, as the Palestinian resistance has done.

Even while still hampered by its religious notions it is now a hundred times more capable and organised than in the past, and undefeated still after six months of utterly fascist genocidal blitzing, siege starvation and collective punishment ethnic-cleansing terror by the Zionist usurpers of their land, and as the Houthi rebellion has too, capable of taking on even the hi-tech Western naval forces.

At the same time the deadly slump conditions now intensifying in the bankrupt imperialist countries will increasingly drive their workers into revolt too, as the monopoly capitalist economic collapse forces the bourgeoisie to try imposing the same sweated labour and poverty on much of their own populations as prevails in the rest of the ruthlessly exploited world (though always aiming to leave a small privileged minority layer of workers and petty bourgeois elements to try and maintain anti-communist opportunist (scab) confusion – as during the miners strike eg).

Eventually these disparate movements will sufficiently merge and organise to a level where they defeat imperialism and head towards the conscious revolutionary communist struggle which will transform mankind’s history, bringing to an end the current imperialist trajectory towards ever greater decadence, desperate poverty and suffering, planetary ecological disaster and the already started World War Three which is its crisis “solution”.

But they are as yet a long way from stopping the demented and insane class war savageries now being inflicted by the collapsing imperialist order – and the intensifying domestic police state surveillance, intimidation and repression of all protest and dismay against it, which is also being escalated.

Just the opposite.

The vicious and brutally fascist face increasingly shown by the whole of the imperialist order is the inevitable opposite side to the world’s growing revolt.

And it is coming whether or not particular “fascist” forms are mobilised; as Leninism has always explained fascism is no more than the reactionary and vicious end of the spectrum of the bourgeois dictatorship which actually runs things behind the great lie of “democracy”, once it is obliged to crack down because of its crisis difficulties and the rising discontent that causes.

The dialectical contradiction of counter-revolution is sharpening to increasingly unbearable levels as this class system implodes into Catastrophic breakdown and the ruling class position becomes increasingly desperate.

Monopoly capitalism’s rulers are being driven to an ever greater frenzy of smiting, smashing down and “kill them all” depravity in response, at an appalling new level of open barbarism and violent repression, as the Zionists and their imperialist backers have made clear in Palestine, and as the constantly wheeled-out gold-braided Nato generals (who elected them???) have suddenly started warning in Europe and Britain, with lurid upside-down lying hysteria about a non-existent “Russian threat” to sustain their insane war belligerence (which set the conflict going in the first place).

Despite the setbacks for the Ukrainian Banderite fascists, war-threatening Nato is building up for much more yet.

However many Ukrainians are killed, there is no end point to the warmongering as the European nations are making clear, sending yet more weaponry and arms and pushing and prodding Kiev.

Imperialism wants and needs war itself as its only “way out” of the greatest crisis breakdown in all history.

Every and all depravity is now possible, with a ruthless ruling class prepared to go to the limits of inhumanity to keep its grotesquely unequal, arrogant, damagingly wasteful and pointlessly luxurious lifestyle in place, just as it was in the mud-and-blood of the Great War and far more in the Nazi 1930s as imperialism plunged into the Great Depression and the subsequent Second World War devastation.

That was the only path out of the revolution-threatening slump collapse, mass unemployment, homelessness and starvation (by destroying the surplus capital clogging the system – as Karl Marx analysed and explained 150 years ago – see box and the Communist Manifesto) and it is the “solution” capitalism is returning to now, on an even greater more savage scale.

Dementedly and irrationally destructive as the system is, even for its own ruling class eventually (threatening planetary destruction), it will not stop and cannot stop until it IS stopped – and that is possible only by the revolutionary struggle to completely finish off this bourgeois exploitation system and its bourgeois class rule.

And THAT is only possible when the masses grasp just what kind of a fight they are in, and how to organise for it, namely by building a leadership party of conscious revolutionary understanding founded in the constant development of Marxist-Leninist science, exposing and breaking with the treachery, class collaboration, pacifism and anti-communism of trade union and Labour reformism, revisionist retreat and the fifty shades of fake-“left”ism which have spread confusion, lies, and poisonous anti-communism for the last century, playing into the hands of the ruling class.

Not coincidentally there is a new burst of Trot and revisionist nonsense pouring out now as the turmoil, underway for decades against the impositions of imperialist rule and its turn to all-directions warmongering, is all about to get far worse, driven by the brutal lessons of the crisis.

But for all its pretences of Marxist “revolutionary” understanding the great slew of this “leftism” does not come close to explaining material reality.

Instead it remains tied to the old notions of “more militancy”, more “activism” and reformist demands to “stop war”, establish “ceasefires” and “escalate strikes” just when the crisis is bringing society to a point of mind-numbing paralysis which only revolution can break.

It is disarming garbage misleading workers with pacifism and anti-communism.

A history spanning grasp of the complex balance of ever changing and unfolding international class forces in the struggle, is what is needed, built on the great achievements of Marx, Engels and Lenin and developed through non-stop polemics and fought for against all the illusions and complacencies of the brainwashed shallow philistinism and facile consumerism of the decades-long anti-communism saturated “boomtime”.

It needs a continuous fight for a correct theoretical understanding, producing in the process, dozens, hundreds or thousands of trained party cadres, struggling constantly to take the understanding forwards inside the party and fighting to explain it to the working class around them.

In turn they will draw more and more into the fight for a correct grasp of the world and deepen their own understanding of the enormous complexities of the class war to come (and already unfolding in earnest).

But first it starts with theory and correct understanding.

And what needs to be grasped first of all is the underlying crisis of the capitalist system, the motor driving all the depravity, war and destruction as imperialism lurches yet again towards completely unsolvable breakdown (with all promised upturns, productivity improvements and “growth” promised by the Labourites and other such reactionary class collaboration to be exposed as the totally cynical and knowing lies they are).

All the old “protest”, reform struggles, “battles to save jobs”, “save the NHS”, “return to previous living standards” strikes and even all-out occupations (as would be a first step at Port Talbot steelworks for example) are useless in themselves without a broader perspective.

By all means let all such battles be starting points, generated from inevitable spontaneous anti-ruling class hostility (as the pro-Palestine marches can be too).

But they can only be the very beginning and that only if the vital revolutionary perspective is being fought for, which can make sense of, and benefit from such struggles whether or not they “succeed”.

In that way for example even 40 years on, the “loss” of the great and heroic 1984 miners strike can deliver powerful lessons in grasping the limits to the old trade union struggles (and limits to reformism like the Scargill-advocated “Plan for Coal” etc, relying on treacherous Labourism – see EPSR No1219 10-02-04, No1239 29-06-04).

From the vicious civil war reality that was imposed, it can be seen just what an all-out class war necessity confronted the working class, with a ruling class tooled up for complete suppression.

That was directed not just at the miners but against the whole working class by the capitalist state, a reality which confronts them a hundred times more now.

Without comprehending the staggering historic scale and worldwide scope of monopoly capitalism’s Catastrophic breakdown there can be no deep understanding of the revolutionary impasse that history has reached which is surmountable only by a revolutionary leap.

The proletarian masses have to smash the tyrannical rule of the bourgeoisie and all its class collaborating offshoots like reactionary trade union bureaucracy and Labourism, (and the fake-“lefts” propping them up) to establish a completely new system of society, guided by the dictatorship of the proletariat to build socialism and the rational international and domestic planning of production and community, in harmony with nature.

Without revolutionary perspectives the ruling class can continue to run rings round public opinion, such as with the pretence that the Ukraine war was “caused by a Russian invasion”, that there must be a “war on terror”, that “private enterprise” profiteering and corruption is the only way to run things; that Haïti’s anti-imperialist upheaval is just “criminality” and that the world can contain imperialist war by “peace struggle and multipolarity” as still extant revisionist brainrot still declares.

The whole of the fake-“left” nowadays pretends to understand “the crisis”, declaring themselves Marxists and even reading and quoting Capital and other works more or less diligently (and perhaps Lenin’s equally valuable Bolshevik advances, though these are often evaded) with their deep analysis of capitalism’s inevitable breakdown because of its “overproduction” (see box).

Such lip-service became unavoidable after the great global credit failure in 2007-8 when the whole world currency and banking system imploded, exposing all the “left’s” past ridicule and disparagement of “old hat Marxism” and petty bourgeois hostility to “hysterical Catastrophism that no longer applies”.

But they still do not give workers the slightest grasp of the sheer intractable, paralysing impasse that human society has reached and could not avoid reaching and which can only be overcome by the total class war overturn of this stinking, festering, collapsing system.

They do not explain the crisis as anything but a kind of additional factor “making things worse” but not really as the fundamental contradiction facing humanity.

They mostly see 2008 as “a crisis” with a new one developing now, not the continuous state of imperialism heading for utter disaster.

Things “being worse” is bad enough of course as the miserable breakdown of the economy and the savagery of cuts, local authority bankruptcies, and austerity on “normal” society since 2008 makes clear, certainly in the Third World but right through into the major imperialist powers where economic reverses, austerity, savage cutbacks, profiteering, corruption, incompetence and uncertainty are deepening rapidly, even in such powerhouses as Japan and Germany and for the poorer proletariat in rich America.

Total breakdown – the financial “nuclear winter” described by Labour chancellor Alistair Darling – has only been deferred since 2008 by massive credit generation by the US and European banks and also by the now vast Chinese workers state economy whose planned overall control allowed it to step in with massive “demand creation” (though whether that revisionist-complacent, revolution-avoiding rescue of Western “free market stability” was a good thing is open to discussion).

It could only ever put off the “evil day” for a while and all the signs are now on red alert, paradoxically in symptoms like the insane rise in stocks and shares in the US – though not all, only those of the half dozen ultra-giant monopoly technology companies, doubling their share price in just one year. It smacks of the insanity of 1929’s great Stock Market collapse and the bourgeois press is getting nervous:

The US economy zips ahead on fantastical stock market valuations and off-balance-sheet accounting reminiscent of the years before the 2008 financial crisis; both these habits could bite back in a big way, much as they did in 2008, and pretty soon.

While Europe wrestles in a largely transparent fashion with the fallout of deindustrialisation and an ageing workforce with high levels of welfare and state subsidies (giving rightwing commentators all the ammunition they need to knock slow-moving social democratic societies), the US hides many of its problems.

One of those costs is a looming insurance crisis chronicled by analysts at Bloomberg. It is an off-balance-sheet exercise that ranks alongside student loans and public service pensions for its sheer size, but outranks them for the nightmarish instability of the whole scheme.

The financial data provider has documented the switch by millions of homeowners from private insurers to a “last resort” state-run insurer in areas affected by the climate crisis and the hurricanes, wildfires and floods that rising temperatures bring. Those plans have more than doubled their market share since 2018, and their liabilities crossed the $1tn threshold for the first time in 2022, according to Property Insurance Plans Service Office, a research company that tracks the programmes.

Critics of the way private insurers have offloaded liabilities worry that even a modest wave of claims in any of these states will overwhelm the finances of the scheme. Still, one could argue that when this happens, it will be the US government that picks up the tab, keeping a bad problem relatively self-contained.

A looming banking crisis may not be so easy to stop at the border. Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that US banks were at risk from the impact of high interest rates on the value of commercial property.

Office blocks that have seen their value soar in the last 15 years are now seriously underwater, financially speaking. Analysts have been worried for some time about the huge liabilities on bank balance sheets, but the lack of demand for office space, as a result of the trend for working from home, means a crisis is now imminent.

We all remember how the sub-prime residential property markets of California, Florida and many other US states became a bubble after several years of aggressive mortgage selling to people with low incomes. It burst, triggering the 2008 financial crisis, after a series of interest rate rises meant the mortgages were unaffordable and owners handed back the keys.

The IMF said a “sizable subgroup” of banks were in trouble, “with fears that the failure of one institution could precipitate a broader loss of confidence in the sector”.

It added: “Beyond the unrealised losses due to higher interest, the credit risk carried by some institutions, particularly their exposure to corporate real estate, is at the centre stage of investors’ fears today.”

Staff at the credit rating agency S&P have also signalled concerns about high interest rates, though they make a separate point, saying rising debt bills could trigger a wave of corporate failures in the US next year.

At a recent briefing, some of the agency’s analysts said thousands of companies had hedged their interest rate exposure, betting that they could refinance when rates fell back. What if rates only tick down gently? These companies will find their loans unaffordable and go bust.

Another concern is the exuberance seen in US stock markets. Could it be that increases in share values over the last two years, pushing the US S&P 500 to a record high, constitute a speculative bubble and a rout is imminent?

A great admirer of the US, Rishi Sunak appears to believe the UK would be well placed sitting in Washington’s slipstream. That means loosening the constraints on financial companies and banks, letting them join the dash for profit, while running down the capacity of public services, including health.

It also means becoming more dependent on foreign investment and imports of essential goods from countries that have lax health and safety laws, weaker workers’ rights and more autocratic or unstable governments.

Whatever kind of potential shock you care to think about – health, financial or trade – the UK is becoming more, not less, vulnerable.


The price of gold has hit a record high amid investor jitters over tensions in the Middle East and speculation that US interest rates will be cut by the summer.

Investors piled into the “safe haven” asset on Tuesday, with the spot price reaching a record $2,141.59 (about £1,685) for an ounce, beating the previous record of $2,135 in December, before easing back again to about $2,128.

The US Federal Reserve is increasingly expected to cut interest rates – now at 23-year highs – in June. Reductions in borrowing costs typically push gold higher because it does not offer any interest.

The precious metal is also used as a reliable store of value during periods of political and financial uncertainty. It has risen by more than $300 an ounce since the start of the Israel-Hamas war and some analysts believe it could break the $2,300 mark.

Ricardo Evangelista, a senior analyst at ActivTrades, said: “Concerns surrounding global economic prospects, geopolitical tensions, and shifting expectations towards earlier interest rate cuts have fuelled increased demand for the precious metal, leading to its upward price trajectory.”

Patrick Farrell, the chief investment officer at Charles Stanley, argued that the gold price would probably soon peak. He said: “It has been a grim year for many commodities. A confluence of weakening economic growth, particularly from China, plus an adjustment after some post-pandemic exuberance, has seen the prices for energy, industrial metals and ‘energy transition’ commodities such as copper and nickel drop.

While commodities such as gas have fallen this year, investors have put funds behind other assets including bitcoin – which has also reached a record, breaking $69,000 on Tuesday – and overseas stock markets, driven by enthusiasm for artificial intelligence.

As Marx explained in Capital, gold has real value, established by the historical development of human production and commodity trade, well before the capitalist period.

To a certain extent paper money and credit notes can represent real value too, if ultimately related to gold or equivalent commodities.

But unless tied back to real value all the other “symbols” can float off into wild realms of speculation and the more so as the relentless accumulation of capital continues and ridiculous levels of credit build up around it – all still necessarily (under capitalism) seeking a profitable investment outlet but mostly unable to find anything because there is so much accumulated capital clogging the system.

Instead of being invested most ends up chasing all kinds of fetishes, like Paul McCartney’s bass guitar or the red shoes used in the “The Wizard of Oz” film which can suddenly be declared “worth” millions of dollars (as the BBC reported breathlessly recently) or the already imploded fad for “non-fungible tokens”.

The dollar was detached from the gold standard by Richard Nixon in 1971 because of the impossible expenses of the Vietnam War and has been inflating ever since, a gargantuan Ponzi scheme kept going endlessly because of the huge and overwhelming monopoly dominance of the United States and the complexities and enormous extent of monopoly world production, trade and finance, particularly in the post-war period.

So long has the artificially credit-extended “dollar boom” continued that all kinds of deranged, eclectic, elaborate and fanciful bourgeois “theory” has built up that somehow “fiat” money (that issued by the biggest central banks like the Federal Reserve) no longer needs any backing with real value, and can even overcome crisis problems, the mere idea of its value sufficing to do so (the economic expression of bourgeois idealism effectively) as the “government picking up the tab” comment in the cutting above implies.

But materialist philosophy wants to know why the monopoly capitalist world needs such rescuing and why it is repeatedly shaken by huge crises bankrupting whole regions or sectors of the economy, such as the currency meltdowns in Asia in the late 1990s, repeated credit failures hammering Latin America, the near breakdown of most of slum-ridden Africa, (put off by “debt relief” reform for a while to prevent revolution but back again post-2008), and culminating in the general collapse of the dotcom boom and then the terrifying 2008 implosion of world credit.

Marx understood that capitalism cannot escape repeated and ever bigger crisis and the lesson is about to be retaught.

This time it could be the complete implosion of the dollar system itself and the American dominated economic order it is a part of, as the EPSR has long speculated (but realising much deeper study is needed).

Such is the extraordinary concentration of capital in this very late monopoly capitalist period, the vast US economy at its centre has been able to continue attracting investment and credit from around the world like a financial “black hole”, propping up its ever more moribund commerce and industry, even as it has been more and more outcompeted by other rising capitalist powers (notably former imperialist powers Japan and Germany, and increasingly new kids on the block like Brazil or India, and most of all, the somewhat special case of China, still a workers state, but whose economy has used capitalist methods to a large extent, while remaining under the overall control and efficient planning of the proletarian state, albeit with revisionist leadership flaws).

All have huge surpluses invested in the US.

But America is long, long past the point where it could repay the debts – ever.

Increasingly the most belligerent wing of the US ruling class says “recognise reality, screw the debtors and threaten any who don’t like it” – it’s called Trumpism and isolationism.

Instead, prop up its flagship industries which are creaking at the seams.

For example, once world dominant Boeing is now massively outsold by Airbus (and potentially China’s new aircraft industry soon):

Boeing has ousted the head of the 737 Max program as the planemaker fights to repair its reputation following a terrifying cabin panel blowout.

Ed Clark, who was also general manager of Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington, is leaving the business with immediate effect, according to an internal memo.

The company has scrambled to reassure regulators, airlines and passengers since a brand-new 737 Max 9 jet was forced into an emergency landing last month.

The dramatic incident during an Alaska Airlines flight – which prompted 171 Max 9 jets to be grounded for several weeks – has sparked the biggest safety crisis for Boeing since the crashes of two of its Max 8 jets, in 2018 and 2019, in which 346 people were killed.

Clark will be replaced by Katie Ringgold, who is currently vice-president of 737 delivery operations. Boeing also created a new role of senior vice-president for quality in its commercial airplanes business.

It comes after an initial report by the US safety regulator found the Alaska jet’s cabin panel appeared to have been missing four key bolts. The bolts meant to hold the door plug in place were absent, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

In a message to Boeing employees on Wednesday, Stan Deal, who leads the company’s commercial airplanes division, said the changes were made as part of its “enhanced focus on ensuring that every airplane we deliver meets or exceeds all quality and safety requirements. Our customers demand, and deserve, nothing less.”

The shake-up followed a meeting of Boeing’s board.

Dave Calhoun, Boeing’s chief executive, has acknowledged the business faces a “serious challenge” to win back the confidence of regulators and airlines.


Another Boeing jet is facing scrutiny after the planemaker told airlines to check the cockpit seats of 787 Dreamliners following a terrifying drop during a flight from Sydney to Auckland.

Dozens of people on Latam Airlines Flight 800 were said to have been hurt this week when the plane fell sharply, throwing passengers around the cabin.

Boeing has recommended that airlines inspect cockpit chairs of 787 jets for loose covers on switches, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported that unnamed US industry officials said the incident was the result of a mishap: a flight attendant serving a meal hit a switch on the pilot’s seat, pushing the pilot into the controls.

In a memo issued late on Thursday, seen by the newspaper, Boeing said that closing a spring-loaded seat back switch guard on to a loose rocker switch cap could “potentially jam the rocker switch, resulting in unintended seat movement”.

The company is already grappling with a safety crisis after a cabin panel blowout during an Alaska Airlines flight of a brand-new 737 Max 9 jet in January.

Earlier this week Boeing said it was “in contact” with Latam and “stands ready” to support an investigation.

Japan still outsells much in America. And China does so too:

It happened very quickly, so fast that you might not have noticed it. Over the past few months, America’s Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the oddly named company that owns Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep — landed in big trouble.

I realize this may sound silly. Ford, General Motors and Stellantis made billions in profit last year, even after a lengthy strike by autoworkers, and all three companies are forecasting a big 2024. But recently, the Big Three found themselves outmaneuvered and missing their goals for electric vehicle sales at the same time that a crop of new affordable, electrified foreign cars appeared, ready to flood the global market.

About a decade ago, America bailed out the Big Three and swore it wouldn’t do it again. But the federal government is going to have to help the Big Three — and the rest of the U.S. car market — again very soon. And it has to do it in the right way — now — to avoid the next auto bailout.

The biggest threat to the Big Three comes from a new crop of Chinese automakers, especially BYD, which specialize in producing plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. BYD’s growth is astounding: It sold three million electrified vehicles last year, more than any other company, and it now has enough production capacity in China to manufacture four million cars a year. But that isn’t enough: It’s building new factories in Brazil, Thailand, Hungary and Uzbekistan, which will produce even more cars, and it may soon add Indonesia and Mexico to that list. A deluge of electric vehicles is coming.

BYD’s cars deliver great value at prices that beat anything coming out of the West. Earlier this month, BYD unveiled a plug-in hybrid that gets decent all-electric range and will retail for just over $11,000. How can it do that? Like other Chinese manufacturers, BYD benefits from its home country’s lower labor costs, but this explains only some of its success. The fact is that BYD — and Chinese automakers like Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and Polestar brands — are very good at making cars. They have leveraged China’s dominance of the battery industry and automated production lines to create a juggernaut.

The Chinese automakers, especially BYD, represent something new in the world. They signal that China’s decades-long accretion of economic complexity is almost complete. Whereas the country once made toys and clothes and then made electronics and batteries, now it makes cars and airplanes. What’s more, BYD and other Chinese automakers are becoming virtually global car companies, capable of manufacturing electric cars that can compete directly with gas-burning cars on cost.

[]Ford and GM plotted an ambitious E.V. transition three years ago. But it didn’t take long for them to stumble. Last year, Ford lost more than $64,000 on every E.V. that it sold. Since October, it has delayed the opening of one of its new E.V. battery plants, and GM has fumbled the start of its new Ultium battery platform, which is meant to be the foundation for all of its future electric vehicles. Ford and GM have notched some wins here (the Mustang Mach-E and Chevrolet Bolt are modest hits), but they aren’t competing at the level of Tesla and Hyundai — companies that operate factories in less union-friendly states in the Sun Belt.

The response? Aggression, chauvinism, finger-pointing lies and totally barmy scapegoating hysteria about “spies” and “underhand practices” (as if the US did not have the biggest city-sized eavesdropping station in the world and the greatest covert (and not so covert) intelligence, subversion, sabotage and psyops establishment in history).

And all this not even from Donald Trump:

President Biden took steps on Thursday toward blocking internet-connected Chinese cars and trucks from entry to the American auto market, including electric vehicles, saying they posed risks to national security because their operating systems could send sensitive information to Beijing.

The immediate action was the opening of a Commerce Department investigation into security threats, which could lead to new regulations or restrictions on Chinese vehicles.

But administration officials made clear it was the first step in what could be a wide range of policy responses meant to stop low-cost Chinese electric vehicles — either manufactured in China or assembled by Chinese companies in countries like Mexico — from flooding the U.S. market and potentially driving domestic automakers out of business.

The administration’s actions on Thursday come as Mr. Biden’s likely opponent in November, former President Donald J. Trump, criticizes him for pushing automakers toward electric vehicles — and as each of the candidates tries to cast himself as tougher on China.

The measures stemmed from conversations with Detroit automakers, union autoworkers and the E.V. giant Tesla, which was recently supplanted by Chinese company BYD as the world’s biggest seller of electric cars.

“China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices,” Mr. Biden said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “China’s policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security. I’m not going to let that happen on my watch.”

At Mr. Biden’s direction, the Commerce Department has begun an investigation into the threat from technology embedded in Chinese electric vehicles. That includes Chinese-made versions of common automotive software, which administration officials said could track where Americans drove and charged their vehicles, or even what music or podcasts they listened to on the road.

Administration officials noted that American auto manufacturers that sold vehicles to customers in China were essentially forced by Chinese officials to use Chinese software in their vehicles.

The announcement was the latest example of Mr. Biden’s moving to ramp up technology restrictions on China, and continued a bipartisan trend toward more antagonistic trade relations between the world’s largest economies.

China is “flooding foreign markets with their autos,” Ms. Brainard said. “Many of those vehicles can connect on a continuous basis with our infrastructure potentially, with the drivers’ smartphones, with nearby cars. So they’re collecting a tremendous amount of information.”

Ms. Brainard stressed that Thursday’s action was limited to software concerns. But she added, “It’s also very important for our economic security and our national security to have a strong and vibrant U.S. auto industry, with U.S. autoworkers.”

For the moment in the States the economy by some measures is “holding up” at least for some sections of the population – but it does so because the “Joe” Biden Democrat wing of the billionaire ruling class has created yet more colossal amounts of credit in such measures as the absurdly Alice-through-the-Loooking-Glass named Inflation Reduction Act.

But this a) involves even more gigantic borrowing at the expense of the rest of the world and b) is deliberately economically trade-war aggressive, aiming firstly to pull in the rest of the world’s corporations to the US by huge subsidy bribes, undermining everyone else’s capacities and secondly to outcompete everyone else in whole sectors, such as high-end microchip production, a belligerent move aimed at China but likely also to wipe out Taiwan, currently the world’s only producer of the most advanced types (ironically wiping out a “country” the US pretends to “protect” as part of its attempts to wind up anti-China hatred and aggression).

Not only is more borrowing unsustainable but these measures exacerbate and inflame the already explosive international trade tensions which are part of the crisis, brewing for decades (see multiple past EPSRs) and relentlessly driving the world towards war as the cutthroat battles for markets push closer and closer to explosion point (Europe has announced its own giant tens of billion Euros microchip fund for example, to compete with the US).

America long ago decided that its only hope is to bully and bluster the entire planet into continuing compliance as it was losing ground more and more in the international trade war (already intensifying hugely by the 1980s – one unlooked for “bonus” consequence of which was the Gorbachevite full liquidation of the revisionist hampered Soviet Union as Thatcher/Reaganism turned some of its attention from Cold War anti-Soviet antagonism to industrial and commercial espionage against trade rivals, particularly Japan and the European powers like France and above all Germany - see EPSR Perspectives 2001 eg).

So, “shock and awe” world intimidation was warmed up with the US-dominated Nato blitzing of tiny Serbia in 1999, usefully putting an early shot across the bows of growing German imperialist confidence which had begun reasserting itself in earnest in the Balkans by pushing the breakaway Slovenian and Nazi Ustashe Croatian fragmentation of the old Yugoslav workers state in the early 1990s, while inoculating world public opinion with the idea of open warmongering once again after decades pretending a “New World Order” of harmony, justice, democracy and prosperity could prevail (especially once the “Communist threat” was “seen off”).

That was always a fantasy of course, since blitzing, assassination, torture and war destruction had been continuous since 1945, (and the for the whole capitalist colonial epoch) but either kept out of view in the tyrannically suppressed Third World or aimed at “the communist threat” like Vietnam.

But it was unleashed in full with the long pre-planned New American Century invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003 (after twelve years of vicious siege sanctions had killed more than 3 million of the population), with a side diversion first for the revenge bombing of Afghanistan after the surprise terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in September 2001.

As explained by the EPSR, the purpose of the warring was not simply or even mainly “about oil” or “winning enough plunder to rebuild and expand” the faltering economic fortunes of the imperialist monopoly corporations (though undoubtedly that was not refused by the Halliburtons and other giant corporations) as the revisionist “left” declared.

It was about the much more strategic need to reestablish the Empire’s topdog authority and dominance, intimidating and suppressing challenges of all kinds, not only from the already steadily developing world rebellion from “terrorists” and “rogue states”, either communist like Cuba and North Korea or those designated as “terrorist sponsors” (meaning those refusing to follow Washington diktats) but against the whole world including the biggest rival capitalist powers.

At the same time it set the world up for non-stop destruction to wipe-out surplus capital.

As the EPSR alone was already warning when Iraq was picked on (No1174 04-03-03):

The real target for imperialist warmongering fear, anger, and tyranny is the ECONOMIC DISASTER of their own rotten system.

The imperialists’ REAL ARGUMENT is with each other over who is to blame for the coming “free market” collapse into unbelievable bankruptcies, slump, and mass unemployment; - and, even more importantly, WHO IS TO BEAR THE WORST BURDENS OF THIS ECONOMIC DISASTER.

This growing crisis started out with a routine escalation of Western warmongering to boost the industrial-military complex; get “emergency” deficit spending through parliaments; splatter the Third World (Serbia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Iraq next, etc) to let it know who still rules; and reaffirm the imperialist military-power pecking order.

But the “recovery” this was all supposed to help on its way has not materialised.

Exactly the opposite. Trade war between the Great Powers is now getting ferociously sharp, and a terrifyingly serious currency crisis (for everyone) now threatens the dollar because of American imperialism’s degenerate military overspending and corrupt political-influence buying through bribery and handouts (which the rest of the world pays for, – see last week’s EPSR) at the heart of all this rottenness.

And suddenly the casual brutal NATO tyranny that was to be increased again (it has never ceased) on Iraq, stopped being a routine useful flexing of imperialist warmongering muscles, and became instead yet another issue on which to disagree about, and bicker over, between the now-frightened and hostile imperialist powers, already shaping up into TWO OPPOSED CAMPS.

The Iraq war and Afghanistan have solved nothing in two decades since and were both dismal failures as far as sorting out imperialism’s problems, soakpits for vast expenditure and brewing huge hatred and “terrorist” resistance and insurgency, inflamed even more by revelations of new levels of imperialist torture and killing atrocities in Mazar-i-Sahrif or Abu Ghraib etc, by the crude Nazism of Guantánamo’s prison camp (as vicious as anything the Germans ever imposed), and non-stop warcrimes by Western occupation forces, made even worse by fascist silencing of whistleblowers and journalistic exposés (not least the years of brutal imprisonment of figures like Wikileaks’ Julian Assange or the career destruction of solicitor Phil Shiner for exposing warcrime atrocities, and now the deliberate murder targeting of dozens of journalists in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank).

Just the opposite: once the 2008 crisis broke and intensified the world economic breakdown, the full extent of brewing anti-Western ferment exploded into the new phenomena of mass demonstrations in the 2011 Arab Spring.

That in turn forced even more barbaric responses and deliberate destruction, with a Zionist/CIA backed military coup needed in Egypt to suppress its nascent democracy movement with utmost brutality and massacring violence (sustained ever since); NATO destruction of prosperous and relatively equalised Libya reduced to warlordist anarchy; and the deliberately incited Syrian civil war (a bogus extension of the Arab Spring set in train by Western/Zionist skulduggery) to suppress any support for the Egyptian uprising from that direction.

But all this has blown back too, with the complexities of the fanatical fundamentalist ISIS insurgency, initially encouraged by Western subversion against Assad but rapidly turning against the West (causing huge problems for “left” understanding across the board, lining up with imperialism once more to “condemn terror”) and the development of movements like the Houthi “democracy” revolt in Yemen.

All have attracted savage blitzing suppression – ISIS “contained” by the horrifying air bombardment and shelling destruction/razing of city after city in Iraq and Syria and the Houthis barbarically bombed by Saudi Arabia (guided and aided massively by British and American arms, technology and military interventions) killing 700,000 and deliberately bringing the country to the edge of famine. But far from restoring imperialist authority the blitzkrieging has only added to the problems in Yemen, and the rest of the Middle East, spurring on the development of the anti-imperialist resistance, not least in the astonishing development of the Houthis themselves, who against all the odds have turned into a movement capable of pushing back the Saudi and UAE war against them, and defeating their barbaric and inhuman onslaught despite the vast disparity in technology and military equipment between them.

Like the little Dutch boy trying to stop a leak in the seadyke, every time Washington tries to plug one revolt more spring out.

And the biggest leak of all is the Ukraine-NATO war, now two years in and failing miserably in its superficial ambition of defeating and humiliating Vladimir Putin’s Russia (the deeper purpose being inter-imperialist war on Europe by the US), with devastating losses for the Kiev reactionary regime, led by the croaking little green toad fascist figurehead Volodimir Zelensky.

And that means a fearfulness for all the capitalist regimes who have been controlling and egging on the Banderite Ukrainian reactionary nationalists and particularly the ultra-right and fascist-loving governments that imperialism had to install in the old east European sector of the former Soviet camp, tapping the backwardness of the anti-communist middle class in order to suppress the nostalgia and longing in the working class for the previous workers state life, still seen as better than capitalism by sections of the population (as Putin plays to).

All kinds of splits, corruption exposures and squabbles have emerged as a result inside the Kiev stoogery itself, pushed back and defeated all along the line but also between the Western “allies” and most notably in Europe where France’s jumped-up little Napoleon wannabee Emmanuel Macron is trying to egg on the cautious Germans to greater involvement in the war despite the hair-raising risks of escalation beyond the borders of Ukraine.

All this fiendish complexity in the diplomatic spats within Europe, between Europe and the US, and within the US itself where further support for the war in massive finance and arms is causing huge internal splits, is mindbendingly difficult to analyse.

But the first point to make is that the Ukraine war is itself more confirmation of the great crisis of imperialism both in its non-stop destructiveness and in the way it was provoked by the West.

Far from being a response by the “freedom loving” West for the protection of “plucky little Ukraine” – (anyone who swallows the idea the West’s most reactionary figures like Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Macron and NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg turn up in Kiev as champions of democracy and the little people, needs serious psychiatric help) – it was deliberately engineered by Western skulduggery over two decades, first by installing outright fascists in Kiev with the 2014 Euromaidan “colour revolution” coup (costing $5bn as spelled out by US envoy Victoria Nuland) and then training their already reactionary nationalism (Azov Brigade etc) through Nato.

Their suppression of Russian speakers in the east, combined with deliberate NATO buildup provoked the Russian “invasion” much as Japan was provoked into the 1941 Pearl Harbour attack by years of US sanctions and trade strangulation.

Its purpose is to distract from the crisis, to blame an external bogeyman for capitalism’s own problems, and stampede public opinion behind the plunge into the World War Three “solution”, aided and abetted by the treachery and/or stupidity of TUC/Labour class collaboration, backing NATO reaction and promulgating its CIA psyops anti-Moscow propaganda.

And the “left” has got itself into a complete tangle as well, most of it directly, – or by various “pacifist” evasions or crude pseudo-Leninist sophistries declaring “all sides to blame because all are imperialist” (as do nearly all the Trot groups from the Sparts and Socialist Appeal to the CPGB Weekly Worker), – siding with imperialism against Russia and demonstrating once more its craven capitulation to Western chauvinism, just as it has from 9/11 onwards, “condemning” terror and backing up the risible “war on terror” which was never anything but a justification for imperialism’s turn to crisis warmongering.

Even the few oddball groups who have managed to avoid this monstrous treachery, still cause confusion by outright support for Russia.

But since Gorbachev’s liqudationist idiocy, Russia has been an oligarch restored-capitalist power, albeit still reflecting in some ways the nostalgic legacy of 73 years of Soviet development which Putin’s state balances to an extent against the outright gangsterism of the new billionaires (a tightrope act between class forces known as Bonapartism).

But it is only a third division imperialist in a period where history has concentrated monopoly power on a scale never seen before.

Thrown against the US Empire and stoogery, it can potentially cause some setback to the overwhelming capitalist influence on the planet (and is doing so at present) which far outweighs any imperialist ambitions of its own.

Such a defeat but no more is important for the working class – just as the defeat of monarchist general Kornilov was so crucial in 1917 that the Bolsheviks lined up alongside the avowed bourgeois enemy of the working class, Kerensky, to fight off his army.

But they formed no alliance and warned the working class that he remained their enemy to be fought as soon as the bigger threat was dealt with.

To support Putin’s pro-oligarch Great Russian nonsense now would cause Popular Frontist confusion when what is needed in Russia, like everywhere is revolutionary Leninist clarity (which Putin’s Great Russian chauvinism is opposed to).

This revisionist line also fails to draw out the inter-imperialist aspect to the Ukraine war, its destructiveness aimed at least as much at hamstringing European and especially German monopoly output as it is at Russia – as becomes clear once the capitalist crisis is put at the centre of analysis.

The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was aimed at German industry primarily, not Russia alone, removing the source of cheap energy which allowed German competition to hammer the US (both its own output and its huge trade and investment collaboration with China); it has also forced Germany into dependency on US gas supplies.

Longer analysis is still required but a key point to take away is that imperialism’s Ukraine stunt is currently failing.

And that helps explain the all-out support by Washington for the staggering horrors of the Gaza slaughter – reinforcing its own faltering warmongering by “borrowing” the most demented “kill them all” mentality on the planet, the Zionist occupation of Palestine, founded in terrorising and war from the very beginning and maintaining its dominance by non-stop barbarity, massacre, intimidation, torture and racist suppression ever since.

No one save the most fanatical Zionists doubt any more the berserk fascist barbarity of the ethnic cleansing onslaught – even that institution of “liberal” reactionary anti-communism the Guardian (as ever more disgusting in its self-righteousness than the Tory press) is obliged to more or less admit it (though still repeating the lying CIA/Zionist psyops “rape” propaganda and other fabrications about the October outbreak, debunked thoroughly by multiple investigations such as the Intercept’s). Among several Guardian pieces:

Earlier this month, a doctor who had recently returned from Gaza provided shocking testimony about the scale of human suffering that Palestinians are enduring under an Israeli military onslaught that has entered its sixth month. There exist no moral arguments that can justify the continued sale of weapons to Israel by states that respect the principle of the universality of human rights.

During my work as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights defenders, Palestinian human rights defenders have emphasized to me the importance of a ban being placed on such sales, given that Israel has demonstrated time and again that it will use such weapons indiscriminately against Palestinians.

Any claims of Israeli self-defense in reaction to Hamas’s illegal, immoral and appalling attacks on 7 October – which, according to the UN special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, likely included horrific acts of sexual violence – have long since been invalidated by the disproportionality of the response.

The concept of proportionality in conflict is included in article 51 of the first additional protocol to the Geneva conventions. What we now have, instead, are ideological arguments for continued weapons sales, which I can only conclude place the value of Israeli lives over and above the value of Palestinian ones. This is unconscionable.

Human rights defenders work to uphold the rights agreed upon as universal in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and codified in the various covenants and treaties adopted since then. Last December, to mark the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, more than 150 countries made pledges outlining how they would make those rights a reality. Some of the strongest pledges came from the US, the UK, Germany, France and Canada, all of whom highlighted their steadfast support for human rights defenders.

Yet these same states continue to arm Israel, with devastating consequences for human rights and for human rights defenders. Between 2013 and 2022, 68% of weapon sales to Israel came from the US. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said four months ago that “far too many Palestinians have been killed”, yet the Biden administration has maintained its steady supply of arms to Israel, apparently unable to make the connection between Palestinian deaths and US supply of weaponry.

The cognitive dissonance is striking. Similarly, Germany increased military exports to Israel nearly tenfold in 2023 compared to 2022, according to data from the German Economic Ministry cited by Al Jazeera.

Earlier this month, I received the awful news that another two female human rights defenders in Gaza, along with scores of their family members, had been killed by Israeli bombs. Nour Naser Abu Al-Nour and Dana Yaghy both worked for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, where they documented violations against women and children. I knew Nour personally and also know that in her last days she continued to gather testimony to add to the mounting evidence of war crimes committed by Israel.

These are two of thousands of women killed in what must be described as a war on women and children, who account for a reported 72% of the more than 30,000 Palestinians estimated by the ministry of health in Gaza to have died since the beginning of the recent conflict. On 12 March, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) wrote on X that “[t]he number of children reported killed in just over 4 months in Gaza is higher than the number of children killed in 4 years of wars around the world combined”. That number is 12,300.

Canada, France and Germany have all proudly subscribed to a feminist foreign policy that “aspire[s] to transforming the practice of foreign policy to the greater benefit of women and girls everywhere”. In its 2023 National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the US stated: “Wherever the rights of women and girls are under threat, so, too, is democracy, peace and stability.” I fully agree, which is why I am horrified by the situation in Gaza and what may follow.

Some human rights defenders may have been explicitly targeted, including journalists whose role in bearing witness to the horrors have helped us understand the levels of destruction wrought. As colleagues in UN special procedures and I wrote last month, the information we have received about the targeting of clearly identifiable journalists by the Israeli Defence Forces suggests a deliberate strategy to obstruct coverage of the conflict and to silence critical reporting. Some journalists in Gaza have been killed at work, covering the war while clearly visible in press vests and helmets, and some reportedly received death threats before the attacks. This is also a war on journalists.

We further noted that more than 122 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to UN reports. The US, UK, France, Canada and Germany are all members of the Media Freedom Coalition and signatories to the global pledge on media freedom, which commits them to promoting media freedom at home and abroad; Germany is currently co-chair. Recently, in remarks celebrating the work of Ukrainian journalists, the US under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs said: “[I]t is our commitment to continue to lift up, empower, advocate for, and resource the voices that are showing what is happening on the ground.”

Not, it would seem, if those voices are Palestinian.

Health workers are another category of human rights defenders who have been killed or wounded by Israeli weapons in alarming numbers. Israeli attacks on hospitals, medical facilities, ambulances and now aid convoys continue as if there were no international legal prohibitions, including in the first and fourth Geneva conventions, against such attacks. This is a war against humanitarian personnel: 162 staff members of UNRWA have been killed, as have 404 internally displaced persons sheltering in their premises.

Late last month, an Israeli tank attacked a “clearly marked” Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders) shelter in Al-Mawasi, killing two people. The MSF said it had provided the Israeli army with the shelter’s precise location as a precaution. No warning was given before the shelter was shelled.

Ambulances have been targeted. An Israeli air strike on an ambulance outside Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital in November reportedly killed at least 15 people. MSF reports that in recent weeks “patients have voiced their fear of entering the hospital due to systematic attacks in and around healthcare facilities across Gaza”. The UN Security Council, on which the US, UK and France hold permanent seats, has adopted repeated resolutions on the protection of humanitarian personnel and healthcare facilities in armed conflict.

All of this may have repercussions outside Israel-Palestine, too. While I was on an official country visit to Algeria in December, a human rights defender there told me that he was seeing increasing resistance to his promotion of international human rights standards and mechanisms because of the slaughter that was being permitted in Gaza. In meetings I have had on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, states from the global south have railed against the “lecturing” they say they have traditionally received from states in the global north on the promotion and protection of human rights, while those same states now veto or abstain on votes at the Security Council calling for a ceasefire.

The international human rights architecture is creaking under the weight of the hypocrisy of countries who profess support for a rules-based order yet continue to provide weapons to Israel that kill more innocent Palestinians. Above all, this is a war on human rights.

The continuing illusions that “human rights” and the entire panoply of “international law” “justice” and “freedom” were ever anything except the most gigantic fraud on humanity, is one reason the bourgeois press will run pieces like this, as it tries to cope with the grotesque turn to real barbarism made clear by the Gaza horrors, while simultaneously upholding the whole racket, the great “democracy” pretence which has been capitalism’s greatest weapon holding back working class understanding.

Decrying the “hypocrisy” of states “not upholding” the whole hoodwinking framework is missing the point by assuming it ever meant anything in the first place.

There is no “democracy” in capitalism – only a cover for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie which really runs things.

Of course the imperialists continue the pretence – because it hides the capitalist reality of raw inhuman class domination and exploitation, which were it grasped fully by the masses would see permanent upheaval until they finally ended this out-of-time and now destructive system.

It clearly is becoming grasped more fully, as the piece admits, already seeing rejection of the whole “human rights” framework in the Third World.

What this agonised liberalism will not do however is concede the “human right” of the Palestinian people to fight against the outright theft of the land they have inhabited for the last 1500 years at least.

Instead it swallows the “justification” that the Jewish occupiers, installed by imperialist diktat in order to create a reactionary Middle East bastion against the entire Arab people and the wider region, are entitled to “self-defence” based on a “promise” from some mystical being cited in some tribal texts from 3000 years ago.

So this artificial Western imperialist imposed enclave called “Israel”, founded in blood and terrorising ethnic cleansing expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people, is declared to have the “right of self-defence” to maintain its psychotic violent rule while massacring or forcibly expelling whatever remnants of the Palestinian people remain.

And it is the armed resistance of the suppressed people which is declared “illegal terrorism” with its latest outburst deemed the “cause” of the collective punishment being inflicted while 75 years of brutality, settler violence and murder, endless blitzing, imprisonment, siege suffering, humiliation, deprivation and exploitation is ignored.

It would be laughable if it were not the foundation for the most openly depraved and genocidal barbarism.

So nonsensical is this lying “justification” and the entire self-righteous edifice erected around it by the Israeli Zionist Jews and the Zionist supporters throughout the Jewish diaspora (the great majority, many with dual nationality) declaring anyone who disputes it to be an “anti-semite”, that new draconian laws and state persecution have to be introduced to enforce its demented irrationality – part of the fascist thought-policed “reality” being imposed by the bourgeoisie throughout crisis-threatened imperialism now tearing up all reason and rationality to suppress even the tamest of “left” opinion.

Its hysterical “logic” that disputing the foundation and existence of “Israel” is tantamount to calling for elimination of Jewish people is the most outrageous and offensive slander which deliberately heads off the key discussion about how and why this “artificial” state was founded in the first place and particularly of who paid the price – namely the brutally expelled Arab people as yet other bourgeois press accounts make clear:

The people of Gaza are enduring “catastrophic” levels of hunger, and famine is imminent in northern Gaza as Israel continues its devastating war and siege of the Palestinian territory. That stark warning came in a report on Monday from a global authority on food security which was set up 20 years ago by UN agencies and humanitarian groups to sound the alarm on famines.

While Israel bears much of the responsibility for this human-made famine, it’s not alone. Joe Biden and his administration are also complicit in this unfolding catastrophe: the UN and international relief groups have been warning about the potential for widespread starvation in Gaza since December. The Biden administration could have acted then, pressuring Israel to allow more aid into the territory and enforcing an existing US law that bars weapons shipments to US allies that obstruct humanitarian aid.

Instead, the US president and his aides dithered, as they have done repeatedly since Israel launched its war against Gaza after the 7 October attacks on Israel by Hamas. And it’s now too late to prevent a famine. As Martin Griffiths, the UN’s top emergency relief official, wrote on Twitter/X: “The international community should hang its head in shame for failing to stop it … We know that once a famine is declared, it is way too late.”

The aid group Refugees International was even more direct, noting that the “opportunity to avert famine in Gaza has been lost. A famine is now getting underway”. The group’s president, Jeremy Konyndyk, a former Biden administration official, wrote on X that a formal declaration of famine is retroactive, and often lags behind reality on ground. (For example, about half of the estimated 260,000 people killed by starvation in Somalia, between 2010 and 2012, had already died by the time a famine was formally declared in 2011.)

The Biden administration and Israel’s other supporters in the west can’t claim that they did not know the severity of the hunger crisis in Gaza, and the impact of Israel’s policy of intentionally starving a population of 2.3 million into submission.

The UN’s hunger monitoring group, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) – which includes the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and other agencies – warned in a report in December that Gazans were facing widespread starvation within several months. The IPC cautioned that by early February, half of Gaza’s population would be in an “emergency” phase – defined as high acute malnutrition and excess mortality, and one level below the highest phase on the IPC’s scale, “catastrophic” conditions.

In its latest report on Monday, the IPC adjusted its projection – saying that 1.1 million people, nearly half of Gaza’s population, are now facing the highest level of malnutrition and catastrophic shortages of food. The report declared that famine is imminent in northern Gaza and “projected to occur anytime between mid-March and May 2024”. While the world often hears warnings about famine as a result of war, the IPC has only raised this kind of alarm twice before: in Somalia in 2011 and South Sudan in 2017.

In other words, the IPC is fairly conservative in its assessment of food insecurity, and the Biden administration should have listened to its warnings about impending famine months ago. But Biden continued his strategy of unconditional backing for Israel, which he announced soon after the Hamas attacks. During a visit to Tel Aviv in mid-October, Biden embraced Benjamin Netanyahu in a bear hug, a gesture that has come to symbolize the dysfunctional US-Israeli relationship.

Biden’s aides have insisted that the president’s unwavering public support for Israel would allow him to exert pressure on the Israeli prime minister’s government behind the scenes. But Netanyahu and his hardline ministers continue to openly defy the US, Israel’s most important ally, without paying any price.

For months, Biden’s aides have been leaking stories claiming that the administration is close to a break with Netanyahu over his handling of the Gaza war – one report even said he called Netanyahu an “asshole” at least three times in private. But Biden’s supposed exasperation with Netanyahu has not translated into a change in US policy: the administration continues to provide US diplomatic cover for Israel at the UN security council and other world bodies, and a steady flow of weapons that allow Israel to sustain its brutal war.

And Netanyahu continues to flout Biden. In the latest example, he told Israeli legislators on Tuesday that, despite US opposition, he plans to press ahead with a ground invasion of Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken shelter. A day earlier, during a phone call with Biden, Netanyahu had promised to send a delegation of Israeli military, intelligence and humanitarian officials to Washington to discuss alternatives to a military invasion of Rafah.

Netanyahu has consistently embarrassed and broken his promises to Biden since the start of the war. In January, during a call with Biden, he pledged to facilitate a shipment of US flour – enough to feed one million Gazans for a month – through the Israeli port of Ashdod. But Israel’s extremist finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, blocked the shipment for nearly two months, as the UN and international relief officials continued to warn of the risk of widespread famine.

The Biden administration proved itself unable or unwilling to force Israeli officials to reverse their policy of obstructing large portions of the food and other aid mobilized by the international community from reaching Gaza as starvation loomed. At that point, Biden could have invoked a legal justification to stop the massive US weapons shipments to Israel: one part of the Foreign Assistance Act, passed in 1961, forbids the US government from providing arms to a country that is blocking American humanitarian aid.

Biden has clung to his failed “bear hug” policy toward Netanyahu and his rightwing government. Since October, the Biden administration rushed tens of thousands of bombs and other munitions – approved under more than 100 separate military sales, the majority of which were not subject to Congressional or public scrutiny – to help Israel carry out one of the most destructive bombing campaigns in modern history.

Netanyahu will continue to be emboldened to defy and humiliate Biden, as long as Biden avoids using the most effective leverage he has over Israel: Washington can force a ceasefire by cutting off the supply of bombs that Israel drops on Gaza.

But the Hamas revolt continues - its 6 month survival in itself a defeat for imperialism and its sick and depraved Zionist stoogery.

And the rebellion elsewhere will not go away either however much the press accounts try to write it off as “criminality” with all the usual smearing allegations and “unverified” accusations poured out against the “gang leader” Jimmy Cherizier in Haïti, along with the usual “analysis” pretending that decades of fascist violence and American imperialist repression, by propped up fascist dictators or direct invasion should really be blamed on the self-defence forces of “leftwingers”:

Scenes of unrest in Haiti, as Ariel Henry announced his resignation as prime minister amid a violent gang uprising, have brought a strong sense of deja vu.

An international proposal for a transitional council to rule the country appeared to be crumbling on Wednesday. But those jostling for influence are familiar figures associated with political parties, coalitions, and the tiny oligarchic business elite that have been key players in the country’s long-running crisis of political legitimacy.

Haiti has been here before, repeatedly, in the turbulent decades since the 1986 fall of the François Duvalier dictatorship. There have been coups, transitional governments (sometimes military), ineffectual leaders and politicians who have cynically employed criminal gangs to pursue power.

The leftwing president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former parish priest and anti-poverty champion, employed armed gangs known as “chimères” – ghosts – and established a template for political violence when conflict flared up.

Henry’s predecessor, Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated by Colombian mercenaries in 2021, reportedly was allied with the G9 gang alliance, which in turn played a key role in Henry’s removal. Figures seen as potentially influential in the country’s next chapter are said to have their own gang links.

All of which makes it likely that, whether or not the gangs that pushed out Henry are explicitly given a seat at the table – as they have demanded – the threat of violence will remain unless there is radical rethinking of political accountability in Haiti.

Among the factions jockeying for influence is the Platfòm Pitit Desalin party, run by the former senator and presidential candidate Moïse Jean-Charles, an ally of Guy Philippe, a former police officer and coup leader with ties to politicians and the business elite. Philippe was instrumental in the 2004 rebellion against Aristide and was recently released from a US prison having served time after pleading guilty to money laundering.

In a video posted on social media, Philippe rejected a proposed transitional council which had been backed by the Caribbean regional bloc and the US.

“The decision of Caricom is not our decision,” he said. “Haitians will decide who will govern Haiti.”

Underpinning the succession of crises of governance is a more urgent issue: the fact that since US marines landed in Haiti in 1915 to start a 19-year occupation, Washington has played a key role in either anointing or sustaining the country’s leaders, who have mostly emerged from the same small elite.

Among those who have criticised the latest negotiations for a transitional council has been Jake Johnston, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. In a blogpost this week, he wrote: “Though negotiations have been taking place for the better part of a week, none of the participants or discussions has been made public, leaving the vast majority of Haitians in the dark.”

Johnston added: “It was US and foreign support for Henry that pushed the situation to its dire state. But rather than letting a truly Haitian-led process play out, those same foreign powers have opted for a stability pact that, it would seem, is likely to lock in an unsustainable status quo at least in the short term.”

Washington and the wider international community have bet heavily on a Kenyan-led intervention force to stabilise Haiti. That has been put on hold since Henry’s resignation, although Kenya’s president, William Ruto, insisted on Wednesday that his country remained committed to the plan. But previous interventions have had troubled histories: a 2004-17 UN mission was tarnished by widespread sexual misconduct allegations, and sewage from a UN camp was implicated in a cholera outbreak that killed nearly 10,000 people.

Dr Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at the Chatham House thinktank, is among those who sees history being repeated. “We are seeing all the usual suspects,” he said, adding that “in moments of crisis the void is filled by the old guard of the ancient elite”.

Negotiations in Jamaica that led to Henry’s resignation were aimed in large part at ending the current gang uprising, but he suggested that holding elections quickly could actually empower the gangs.

“The rather ad hoc effort to cobble together an exit strategy for the current president and move to elections quickly risks opening up space for gangs. They have the organisation and the rhetoric,” said Sabatini, who described Jimmy Chérizier – the leader of the G9 Family and Allies gang and apparent architect of the current unrest – as an effective “political entrepreneur” in a country lacking any social mechanisms to generate significant political renewal or reform.

Aristide was only ever a soft-“left” stooge to head off revolution in fact, and even that was too much for America which kidnapped him to force him out in 2004 (EPSR No1222 02-03-04).

Between the lines it is clear that desperate Western manoeuvring is under way to discredit and head off the armed rebellion in the poorest districts of this poorest and most ruthlessly exploited country, with a Western imposed Government “selected” by America and stooges in Jamaica.

So far it has failed and while Chérizier may not be the revolution yet, though his admiration for Che Guevara, Castro and the like is significant, this characterisation of a self-seeking manipulator is pure CIA planted lies, trying to discredit a mass movement in the poorest areas which has at least the signs of a revolutionary uprising.

Chérizier pulled together the better community armed groups (misleadingly called “gangs”) into the G9 which has coordinated resistance to other outright gang anarchy, kidnapping and plundering which has filled the vacuum since the mysterious Moïse assassination.

The West has desperately being trying to suppress the G9 which looks just a bit too much like a popular movement but failing, fearful of sending its own forces.

But whatever develops here and elsewhere the need above all is to build Leninism.

Tony Lee

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