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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


Latest Paper

No 1529 20th February 2018

Trots and rightwing tabloids play the same game, boosting Corbyn’s Labour revival, dragging workers back into democracy illusions just when the capitalist crisis is teetering on the edge of the greatest Catastrophe in history (deferred, not ended by post-2008 meltdown money printing). Tepid paid-for “re-nationalisation” hopeless to counter austerity savagery but the real issue with more Labourism is theoretical disarming of workers leaving them vulnerable to open violence and fascist coups being prepared by the ruling class for oncoming collapses. Complacent “couldn’t happen here” undermined Allende’s Chile too, just before Pinochet’s torture coup butchery. Remaining “left” revisionists and museum-Stalinists hopeless too, failing to raise need for revolutionary understanding to be built now, and continuing to refuse polemic and discussion. Brexit diversion remains unchallenged by all of them. North Korea nuclear defiance and Olympic diplomacy blows to imperialism good despite Pyongyang revisionism

Bizarre Tory and tabloid demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn as possible “Soviet spy” has a double purpose for the ruling class as its world crisis deepens inexorably.

First is to tap into still deep running anti-communist prejudice built up in the population at all levels through decades of non-stop Cold War brainwash rot about the workers states as “monstrous totalitarian dictatorships threatening us all” to keep workers well away from all socialist ideas and especially those of revolution.

But these Great Lies are increasingly played out, and failing to hold the ground, ironically despite near universal capitulation to anti-Soviet propaganda by the treacherous class-collaborating Labour and trade union “movement” itself, and most of the fake-“left” now “entry-ed” into it or Momentum (the Trots always especially poisonous in helping disseminate the Goebbels propaganda with their own lurid accounts of supposed horrors and “grey oppression” along the counter-revolutionary lines set out by their police fink hero George Orwell).

So, this crude propaganda swipe about “meeting East European agents” plays a double-think trick too, aiming to convince the more rebellious, and those moving left that “secretly” the tepid parliamentary “leftism” of the Corbynites really could be a “challenge” to the ruling class, instead of the reformist dead-end danger it actually is.

Though the “spy” allegations will obviously be dismissed as fantastical nonsense by anyone halfway serious including the “sophisticated” Corbynite supporters, they thereby still play a role, building up a “left bogeyman” image.

The inverted logic to be followed is that if the rightwing press is so desperate to rubbish the “ooh Jeremy” movement, “it must be having an impact”.

In this way rising discontent can be headed off into safe channels for the ruling class, hamstringing any real revolt by the usual pattern of slippery Labourite opportunist “compromise”, “realism” and prevarication, already apparent in assorted climbdowns and capitulations over questions like Palestine and ludicrously alleged “left-anti-semitism”, the Irish republican struggle, and Brexit chauvinism (of which more below), and in hopelessly ineffectual proposals for sorting out the crisis, such as John McDonnell’s plans for “renationalising the utilities” (by paying (!!!) the privatised fatcats, to get them back, just when they are facing collapse and failure like sucked-dry Carillion - i.e rescuing capitalism just as the Attlee government did in 1945).

The accusations simultaneously help to rein in the Labourites, acting as a shot across the bows reminder of how nasty the ruling class will be should they venture too far in their “left”-wards posturing (which in the current crisis is not very far at all).

The ruling class knows that growing hostility and hatred for the capitalist system and its Slump impositions will not be kept at bay forever with the crude anti-Soviet propaganda fostered during the once apparently endless postwar boom.

Demand for socialism, takeover and change is being driven by relentless “austerity” cutbacks dismantling the NHS, slashing social services, devastating education, stealing from the disabled and plundering pension funds while homelessness and soup-kitchen desperation rises inexorably, ever greater sums are squeezed from all for gas and electricity, rail and buses, rents and council taxes, and all while wages to pay for them stagnate or are cut and driven down in ever worsening conditions and zero hours exploitation.

Resentment is building up to socially explosive levels.

A universal sense that life is falling apart is present domestically while everyone can see that long after the Cold War supposedly ended the “communist threat” (a nonsense), and a new world of prosperity and harmony was supposed to come into being, there is nothing but worldwide chaos and devastating war butchery being imposed by the US dominated capitalist supremacy.

Country after country faces total destruction like Iraq and Libya or the still under-One legged girl bomb victim in Yemenreported horrors of the current Yemen blitzing by feudal/capitalist Saudi Arabia (using British and American bombs and military advice) which has put seven million people on the edge of famine and seen tens of thousands suffer cholera and typhoid; genocidal Nazi-Zionist persecution, repression and butchery of the dispossessed Palestinians continues non-stop; the endless bombing and shelling of workers in east Ukraine by the swastika-toting Kiev forces, installed by Western skulduggery, has killed over 10,000 and destroyed several cities; hundreds of thousands of completely unseen deaths leave agony and pain in the Congo through Western sabotage and provocation; huge cities in the Middle East like Mosul and Raqqa are razed flat by US imperialist forces and their stooge Kurd and Baghdad helpers, killing thousands (with much civilian “collateral damage”) while hundreds of thousands more are driven into refugee destitution; and capitalist corruption, economic sabotage and violent counter-revolutionary disruption impose hunger and deprivation on Latin America and particularly left-nationalist Venezuela’s attempts to bring social advance to the working class.

All this – only a sample of the horrifying mess created by collapsing imperialism as it tries to re-impose its exploitation dominance on the world and escape its ever deepening crisis – is just a start.

“Renovation” plans for the huge US nuclear arsenal and propaganda hate campaigns against Iran and the little workers state of North Korea for daring to develop a few nuclear weapons itself to defy the bullying world tyranny of US imperialism, bring much greater imperialist war horrors ever closer:

The world has been lucky so far to escape the launch of nuclear weapons through miscalculation, but the odds of such a catastrophic accident are increasing, according to the former US energy secretary Ernest Moniz.

Moniz, a nuclear physicist who played a central role in securing a landmark non-proliferation agreement with Iran in 2015, said the margin for error in avoiding disaster was getting thinner because of the introduction of new, smaller weapons, the broadening of circumstances in which their use is being contemplated, and a lack of high-level communications between major nuclear weapons powers.

As a result, Moniz told the Guardian, the chance of nuclear use “is higher than it’s been since the Cuban missile crisis”.

Moniz, who is now CEO and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, pointed to a recent false alarm by Hawaii’s public alert system as the sort of technological glitch that could lead to fatal miscalculation. The alert sent islanders running for cover, and it took nearly 40 minutes for the mistake to be rectified.

“Thirty-eight minutes is substantially longer than the decision time that President Trump or President Putin or other leaders with nuclear weapon states would have for a response to a warning about significant incoming missiles,” Moniz said.

“We know we’ve had those warnings many times in history and we’ve managed so far to dodge the bullet,” he said. “But dodging the bullets is more difficult when there’s not significant communications going on and a lot of tensions between the countries.”

Both the US and the Soviet Union came close to launching their nuclear weapons several times over the course of the cold war because technical glitches or faulty analysis gave the false impression they were under imminent attack.

Moniz said the risks of miscalculation had been further heightened by two elements of the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review, published earlier this month.

The review calls for the development of a low-yield submarine-launched missile, which critics say risks being seen by generals and political leaders as more “usable” than megaton thermonuclear weapons.

The same criticism is made of plans, inherited from the Obama administration, to spend $10bn modernising another tactical nuclear weapon, the B61 gravity bomb.

Trump’s nuclear posture review also expands the conditions in which the US might consider using its nuclear arsenal to include devastating attacks on infrastructure, including cyber-attacks.

And not just accidents raise the hair-raising prospects as the bourgeois press also reports:

Fifteen years ago this week, Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, spoke at the United Nations to sell pre-emptive war with Iraq. As his chief of staff, I helped Secretary Powell paint a clear picture that war was the only choice, that when “we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.”

At the moment, I thought all our work was for naught — we did not gain substantial international buy-in. But he did convince many Americans.

President George W. Bush would have ordered the war even without the United Nations presentation, or if Secretary Powell had failed miserably in giving it. But the secretary’s gravitas was a significant part of the two-year-long effort by the Bush administration to get Americans on the war wagon.

That effort led to war with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.

..Trump’s administration is using much the same playbook to create a false impression...[on] Iran.

Just over a month ago, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that the administration had “undeniable” evidence that Iran was not complying with Security Council resolutions regarding its ballistic missile program and Yemen. Just like Mr. Powell, Ms. Haley showed satellite images and other physical evidence available only to the United States intelligence community to prove her case. But the evidence fell significantly short.

It’s astonishing how similar that moment was to Mr. Powell’s 2003 presentation on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — and how the Trump administration’s methods overall match those of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Americans [should know] they are being driven down the same path as in 2003 — ultimately to war.

Only this war with Iran, a country of almost 80 million people whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain make it a far greater challenge than Iraq, would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.

the recently released National Security Strategy,.. positions Iran as one of the greatest threats America faces, much the same way President Bush framed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

...We’ve seen this before: a campaign built on the politicization of intelligence and shortsighted policy decisions to make the case for war. And the American people have apparently become so accustomed to executive branch warmongering — approved almost unanimously by the Congress — that such actions are not significantly contested.

Today, the analysts claiming close ties between Al Qaeda and Iran come from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which vehemently opposes the Iran nuclear deal and unabashedly calls for regime change in Iran.

....the president’s decertification ultimatum in January [was] that Congress must “fix” the Iran nuclear deal, despite the reality of Iran’s compliance; the White House’s pressure on the intelligence community to cook up evidence of Iran’s noncompliance; and the administration’s choosing to view the recent protests in Iran as the beginning of regime change.

As I look back at our lock-step march toward war with Iraq, I realize that it didn’t seem to matter to us that we used shoddy or cherry-picked intelligence; that it was unrealistic to argue that the war would “pay for itself,” rather than cost trillions of dollars; that we might be hopelessly naïve in thinking that the war would lead to democracy instead of pushing the region into a downward spiral.

The Nazi tone of the Trump administration, and its Pentagon-generals dominated White House, is not an aberration or an unfortunate mistake, but a true reflection of the level of desperation in the ruling class topdog US power; if there are splits with other parts of the establishment it is only because they are terrified of the potential revolutionary consequences of the hatred being stirred worldwide.

They all know just what a breakdown the sweet luxury and power of their lives is facing as the monopoly capitalist system runs into the buffers in the greatest collapse in all history, far beyond even the Depression of the 1930s and the World War which was generated by the ruling class to escape it.

Ten years on from the global meltdown which brought the entire world to the edge of an “economic nuclear winter” as then Labour chancellor Alistair Darling famously said, nothing has been solved.

The sudden extraordinary panic on the Stock Exchanges two weeks ago showed how close to the edge the whole system is teetering. The swift “explanation” that the great lurches downwards were just a “correction” is nonsense.

In truth the fatcat speculators all know that the Great economic Catastrophe of 2008 has not gone away and will unstoppably return soon, after a decade of bogus “recovery” and “boom” (for them at least).

The insanely inflationary Quantitative Easing “money” (value free credit) printed and poured onto that fire to keep the wheels spinning can only mean the next collapse is one hundred times worse.

The markets keep rising again only because no-one dares cut and run until the last minute, but they all know disaster is due.

Hence the jittery nerves and near stampedes in the trading rooms.

And hence once universally inculcated hostility to communism is breaking down among ordinary people, especially in hard pressed youth facing the bleakest future of all.

There is even some pro-sovietism back, as the “serious” press was recently reporting, albeit heavily larded as always with a “knowing” cynical derision and its own brand of “clever” anti-communism, at least as poisonous as anything the ironically named “redtops” can push out:

A ComRes poll last week showed that young people worry more about capitalism than communism: 9% of 18- to 24-year-olds thought communists were “the most dangerous in the world today” while 24% thought it was “big business”.

It was, in all honesty, a daft poll. It’s a bit like asking: “Who do you fear most – Jack the Ripper or the murderer now living in your road?” Nevertheless, it created ripples. On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, John Humphrys interviewed Fiona Lali, president of the Marxist Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She put up a defence of the Soviet Union. “It was [not] allowed to develop or flourish in the way that it could have done because the US, the British, were all involved in attacking it,” she suggested.

“Universities luring millennials to communism, leading don warns” ran the faux-shock headlines in both the Times and the Daily Mail. The don in question was Orlando Figes, professor of history at London University’s Birkbeck College and a Russia expert, who, according to the Times “warned that the drive for balance and moral relativism in universities risked minimising Stalin’s crimes”.

No, we shouldn’t minimise Stalin’s crimes. And, yes, some do, though those who wish to airbrush Uncle Joe are hardly either the loudest voices or the brightest sparks, even among millennials. Relativism among the young today expresses itself not through regurgitated Stalinism but in the embrace of identity politics. Worrying more about capitalism than communism is no more to minimise Stalin’s crimes than worrying more about the murderer down the road is to minimise the horrors inflicted by Jack the Ripper. What else should we expect young people to say? Communism is barely alive, while capitalism ravages their lives.

The west, some seem to have forgotten, won the cold war. The Soviet Union is no more. The Chinese Communist party has long ago embraced the market, albeit in a particularly statist and authoritarian form. In Europe, only rumps of the old communist parties remain.

But having won the cold war, capitalism is losing the peace. There is a growing backlash against the consequences of free market policies and a sense of alienation from mainstream institutions. The lives of most young people have been shaped not by Stalin’s purges or Mao’s cultural revolution, but by the financial crash of 2008, by the austerity policies that have followed and by the gross inequalities that disfigure the world.

It is not Lenin who has ensured that real wages in Britain today are lower than they were in 2007. Nor is it Castro’s policies that have led to the housing crisis. Nor yet is Pol Pot responsible for the collapse of Carillion. Anyone who imagines that young people (and not just young people) would not feel rage about what the free market has wrought are as much living in the past as those who are nostalgic for Stalinism. It is a measure of how little faith the right has in its own market-led policies that it is forced so often to wheel out the red scare, a scare that gets more pathetic with every outing.

What is striking about the ComRes poll is not that so many should despise capitalism, but that so few do: 24% of 18- to 24-year-olds may have been most worried about big business, but only 12% thought that capitalism was the biggest threat – not that different from the 9% that most feared communism. The fact that less than a quarter of young people worry too deeply about big business seems to suggest a strain of conservatism rather than of communism.

The problem we face is not that young people are being drawn once again towards Soviet-style communism but that most forms of progressive collective action have faded. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, not just the Soviet Union but much of the non-Stalinist left began crumbling, too. The labour movement has withered. Trade unions have lost influence. Social movements have faded. We are left with anger, but little progressive politics to give it shape.

Plenty of lies and confusion pour out here and plenty of defeatist pessimism too, with the choice of relentless reactionary anti-Soviet Figes as a quote-source indicating the bilious level of this “opinion” (typical for the “liberal” Guardian) but the sneering cannot cover up the shock impact this survey had, with the short “joke item” about it on the BBC’s Today programme creating more stir than anything else since the New Year.

If still only “a few percent” are willing to think about Sovietism (and far fewer seriously study and understand it), that is only because a fight for a revolutionary understanding and perspective has still not been taken up, to explain and educate the working class in the real history of the twentieth century, the workers states and their gigantic achievements as well as the struggle to understand how they went wrong.

There is not yet a serious revolutionary Leninist party in other words, fighting the battle to understand the world and provide leadership.

It is the crucial ingredient and it is coming.

The above-noted collapse in the old “progressive leftism”, etc can be no comfort for the ruling class because none of its was ever going to take the working class anywhere anyway.

Just the opposite.

The official trade unionists and the fake-“left” have helped block the way for decades and their failure clears the decks for the real debate for the first time.

The 57 varieties of Trotskyism and revisionism, for all their protest and claims to be Marxists, are part of the existing social superstructure of capitalism, not its nemesis.

Their essentially petty bourgeois reformist view of the world is completely intertwined with capitalism, boiling down to nothing more than wanting a “nicer” version of it (better “regulated” or “more rigorously taxed” or “with fairer distribution” or “like it was before neo-liberalism” etc etc).

It might involve a bit of heave-ho “street action” etc maybe some “doing-something” activism and even “general strikes”.

But it mostly plays an anti-theory tune, failing to understand how philosophical understanding and grasp can change anything itself, and pandering to a deeply established hostility to theory in the working class, which is declared to be “not ready to hear about revolution” (which is in fact a theoretical statement in itself, reinforcing this philistinism).

Or if it purports to develop theory for full on socialism, seeing this as achievable through “step-by-step” advances, supporting the flakiest of regimes so long as they are “a bit more progressive” - thus with the museum-Stalinists and their backing for the Syrian bourgeois nationalist for example, (and Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi and the revisionist-opportunist nationalist Milosovec) before that, and even tacitly approving of the oligarch-backing bonapartism in Putin’s Moscow.

Either way the crucial need for a revolutionary theoretical lead for the working class built on the great achievements of Marx, Engels, and Lenin particularly and developed in constant polemical struggle in a purpose built revolutionary party, openly in front of the working class and constantly drawing the best elements into the debate, (as those more advanced workers in turn take the discussion back into the working class) is not presented.

But the crisis is eroding all the past complacency in which this petty bourgeois academicism and Stalinist-nostalgia could survive and is driving a new demand to know what is going wrong and how to fight back against the never-ending austerity.

Its impact is irreversibly tightening its grip its grip on the poor and dispossessed, with shock events like the horrifying Grenfell fire (and the terrifying implications for thousands of people stuck in similar tower blocks), the soup kitchens, the deaths of street sleeping homeless, the sudden shutdowns of major companies wiping out family livelihoods (and plundered pensions) and closures of schools, libraries, pools, grinding lives daily.

At some point one of these will be the straw breaking the back of public tolerance and if not that, the oncoming bursting of the world financial bubble.

It is this which is going to rapidly educate the working class in the realities of the capitalist Catastrophe.

Expect explosive outbursts, riots, upheavals and turmoil in even the richest countries (and as hinted here and there in the 2012 UK riots, or the “Black Lives Matter” in the US).

It will add to the gigantic waves of anti-imperialist mayhem witnessed throughout the Middle East and increasingly further afield in Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand) all labelled “terrorism” by the West to justify its warmongering and to fool the masses (and help dragoon them behind chauvinism and blitzing), but really the first expression of the great revolutionary upheavals coming.

None of this spontaneously erupting revolt (potential or already underway) is yet the answer to the ever more depraved destruction, butchery and blitzing being imposed on the world by this bankrupted system as it writhes and squirms to avoid responsibility for the greatest collapse in history caused entirely by the historically out-of-time rapacious and greed ridden drive for private profit.

Indeed some of the jihadism, guided by bizarre and brutally sectarian religiosity, can be self-defeating or even counter-productive, and is vulnerable to manipulation by imperialist skulduggery, though be no means all of it and even those parts set going by Western covert interventions often “blowing back” and turning on imperialism.

It is certainly not totally under the “secret control” of the CIA etc as much of the fake- “left” asserts in one way or another, desperate not to have to go against fearful petty bourgeois sensibilities and chauvinist scapegoating, all stirred-up by imperialist propaganda to divert attention from its own warmongering responsibilities.

Many aspects, coalesced in national liberation struggles like that in Afghanistan, aspects of the Sunni anti-occupation war in Iraq (the ISIS fight there nearly toppled the US occupation stooge government in Baghdad), nationalist and even communist struggles in the Philippines, and particularly the huge street revolts of the 2011 Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, have shaken US led Western imperialism to the core.

From the 1990s onwards and particularly the shock World Trade Centre attack of 9/11 on American soil these outbursts have been shattering blows to imperialist hubris and confidence, certainly cheered on by large sections of the smouldering Third World masses.

Recent signs of renewed street movement outbreaks in Tunisia, and still seething discontent in Egypt under the thumb of the American subsidised Sisi dictatorship show that none of this anti-imperialist sentiment has gone.

Elements like the Hezbollah militancy in Lebanon grow increasingly organised and fighting capable, not least from their combat experience gained in the years of civil war deliberately fomented in Syria by imperialism.

All these spontaneous developments which continue to develop and will re-emerge with even deeper anti-Western anti-Zionist hatred and determination as crisis rolls on, can and will impose significant defeats on the domination tyranny of US-led imperialism.

But they still lack the revolutionary Marxist leadership that alone can transform and develop the fight into one for total overthrow and ending of capitalism.

What needs fighting for is understanding that the firmest possible dictatorship of the proletariat, needs to be established to deal with the inevitable counter-revolutionary violence that the ruling class will (and already does) use to get back its “property” and/or to prevent its takeover into common ownership so that planned rational and balanced peaceful cooperative world socialist economic development can be carried through.

Only under such firm control will it be possible to change society and develop all of itsMarx members, into a continuously widening democratic community as more and more people are drawn into rational constructive life, where for the first time man (and woman) can live for self-fulfilling productive and creative work as a prime need instead of being driven to work to survive – a society which will eventually be one of complete self-disciplined self-awareness requiring no state authority at all, not even the most open democracy (Engels’ “withering away of the State” - seeLenin- State and Revolution.)

This understanding, is one the working class will not reach on its own, but only by deliberate struggle to win such understanding.

But even as the need for such theory becomes even more crucial, the fake-“left” is heading rapidly in the other direction, most of it back for yet another round of Labourite entryism.

The thoroughly bourgeois Labour Party is never going to provide a route to socialism as they are once more pretending, even if Jeremy were a spy.

Worse still the pretence that “this time there is going to be a real move towards socialism” completely disarms the working class in the understanding it needs that the unrolling crisis is unsolvable and irreversible.

If the leftward surge starts to bypass Corbynism (as it inevitably will have to in this endless crisis) there will still be large sections of the working class who have been trapped once more into illusions about democracy and parliament, (many who correctly left Labour in disgust during the Blairite period) leaving them disarmed and vulnerable.

It is all a deadly trap for the working class which will face repression and suppression running all the way to outright military coups if necessary.

The current “left” complacency that assures everyone that Britain is “not that kind of country” and we would never see such repression here needs to pay attention to history beginning with the great lesson of Chile and the overturn of “majority democratic socialist” government in 1973 by a bloody coup led by General Augusto Pinochet, the man invited into the cabinet by the deluded Salvador Allende to oversee the “restoration of stability” of the “elected government”.

“Democratic normality” was restored by bringing down the elected socialist government in welter of butchery and horrific torture guided by the CIA and carried out by the very military that Allende had declared “honourable upholders of the democratic constitution and the country”.

The decades before and since have seen plenty of repeats including the bloody overthrow of the Honduras “left” presidency in 2009 cheered on by Barack Obama and his Secretary of State (foreign minister) Hillary Clinton, the toppling by judicial coup of assorted “left” governments in Latin America, and the deliberately engineered “popular” middle-class backed military coup in Egypt in 2013 to bring down the only-just-established democracy (after decades of brutal military dictatorship) and its newly elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pay attention too to numerous warnings and signals from assorted highly placed gold-braided generals and admirals in radio and TV interviews since Corbyn’s rise, about how it would be “necessary” for the army to “step in” if Trident was stopped for example.

This shallowness insisting that “Britain doesn’t do revolutions” anyway, needs challenging head on, but instead is pandered to by a “left” spectrum that has always called for “holding back” on the revolutionary talk, and certainly never understood that it needs to be the central understanding put forwards in each and every struggle no matter how seemingly parochial, or specific.

Not too much revolutionary talk but far too little is the real reason for an unresponsive working class; it knows the NHS is collapsing etc and needs to hear the only perspective that can change anything – all out class struggle against the whole rotten system.

The revolutionary party needs simultaneously to deepen its own understand on all kinds of issues, economic, international and social, alongside and in the working class, (in unity and conflict with it) so that it can guide understanding of the apocalyptic nature of the oncoming Catastrophe, an unsolvable crisis, a complete breakdown and collapse in which there is no means whatever for things to continue as they have done because the contradictions built into the private profit making system simply can no longer be accommodated.

It then needs to educate and explain that paralysis and chaos will only deepen into the ever greater destruction and war, which existing monopoly capitalist society (and any feudal remnants like the Gulf states) is dragging mankind into, with far worse savagery to come, and by building clear understanding give the leadership for the complete overturn of all class exploitation and tyranny, so that ever more unequal and Slump ridden class society is not just stopped in its tracks but completely smashed by all-out class war.

But the “lefts” explain none of this nor even mostly even see it.

And they leave the working not only vulnerable but filled with confusions, prey to the deliberate chauvinism, and endless scapegoating and divisions deliberately fostered by the ruling class as well as its non-stop lies that “communism” failed or does not work.

One of the major confusions, is around the entire Brexit issue, currently both an expression of the weakness of the ossified British ruling class torn apart more and more in its desperation as international cutthroat economic trade conflict intensifies but also a useful weapon for distracting and confusing the working class and some of the petty bourgeois layers, taking sides pointlessly.

Neither “leaving Europe” nor staying within it are going to solve anything of the austerity savagery being pushed onto the working class; either European monopoly dominance and power will push the working class down, or the savagery of the international markets and the great, largely American corporations and banks already waiting to privatise the juicy remnants of the NHS, takeover more of the financial sector, and dump US agricultural and industrial products.

Either way it the working class remains dominated and exploited by the power of the great monopoly capitalist combines relentlessly intensifying their profiteering grip.

Understanding the fearful frenzy leading to the current astonishing outbursts in the Tory ruling class as a sign of crisis weakness in their control is lost completely if the working class takes sides in this dispute.

Brexit is happening because the world has long been shaping up into great monopoly blocs, the European grouping developed so that the older European powers, German and French imperialism primarily could have sufficient size in their own markets to build corporations to cope with and counter rising US monopoly power, and the even faster developing clout of the other great bloc around Japan; the idealistic flannel about “never again going to war” was a forced compromise to hold down the restored German power which like all capitalism will relentlessly push once more for dominance (a “peace deal” which constantly threatens to break down under the never-ending vicious competitive antagonisms of national capitalism).

British imperialism, long on the slide as world revolt forced the dismantling of its colonial dominance (along with the competition from more powerful imperialist rivals forcing it out) has dithered endlessly over whether it should stay with the European bloc for protection within its market borders, as the crisis trade war gets ever more vicious, or go with the more traditional Anglo-Saxon alliance as a tail-ender to American imperialism.

Neither is very appetising for the ruling class.

In Europe it has to accept overall dominance of the powerful German economy which sections of the most reactionary “Empire” bourgeois have always found impossible to swallow anyway, and which comes at a heavy price, taking on many of the burdens of keeping the former East European socialist states sweet.

These are all bribed with Brussels “development funds” and given massive access to Western jobs markets (and particularly the UK for complex historical reasons to do with language and the weakness of its industries).

Without such bribery, the brutal reality of post-Soviet “restored capitalism”, – bankruptcy and unemployment through gangster oligarchism and plundering – would have already led to much greater growing pro-communist nostalgia than anyway seen and then revolutionary revivals.

The Franco-German bitter rivalry with Anglo-Saxon culture would never stop, threatening to overwhelm ever less efficient British capitalism.

But “escaping” means selling its soul to US imperialism, which for all the (mostly deluded British) posturing about “special relationships” cares not one jot about the future of the British ruling class except as a useful tool (as an aircraft carrier for US nuclear weapons, a Trojan Horse inside Europe, an extension of its world surveillance systems through GCHQ etc.)

Historically it has long been bitterly hostile to the protectionism of the British Empire for example, even planning pre-emptive war against it in the mid-1930s Depression and even now ready to screw British industry and financial interests, seeing only opportunities for privatising plunder, and the City of London finance access to world markets.

The potential punitive Bombardier tariffs (around 300%!!) which threatened aircraft production in Belfast (lifted almost certainly because of some Trumpite “deal” winning access to UK market plundering) showed the ruthless reality of the “relationship”.

These devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea choices explain much of the ruling class agony and astonishing levels of recrimination and outright hatred being expressed as it tears itself to shreds but they should be of no concern to the working class.

To get involved either way is to be diverted from the only point which matters, which is the crisis driving all this, and the fight to end it.

In fact all the Little Englanderism stirred up by some of the “left” - including Corbynism - is a most deadly danger for the working class.

Feeding notions about “reclaiming sovereignty” and “getting out from under the European monopoly controls and restrictions” plays into the hands of total reaction, rebuilding illusions in “democracy” just when it is ever more on the ropes, exposed by decades of failure and sellout as the gigantic fraud it is.

It is completely in line with the fake-“left” support for Labourite pretences in a “revitalised” parliament.

So useful is it, for splitting the working class and keeping it under the thumb of old illusions, that it is one of the main arguments for the entire Leave campaign, with its constant repetition of the “People have spoken” refrain and the use of the hoodwinking Referendum.

Centuries of ruling class experience knows a useful class weapon when it sees it.

It is the most gigantic confidence trick, exactly along the lines used by Hitlerism in the 1930s using the plebiscite to pretend that there was a new “direct” democratic choice.

The universal repetition of this “peoples voice” mantra by the Labourites, much of the “left” and UKIP too, is a cynical and conscious attempt by the entire slew of opportunism to pull the wool over the eyes of the working class; capitulating to the Leave strategy

It stands alongside the reactionary whipping up of crude chauvinism and scapegoating, blaming others for the crisis which is capitalism’s alone, again fed and helped by the grotesque class collaboration of trade unionism and reformism (such as “British jobs” backwardness) and Little Englander-ism.

It is all part of whipping up the atmosphere for dragging the world to war, also being inflamed by the non-stop fearmongering over terror, also played into by the Labourites and “left” and their craven “condemnations” of the rising world hostility to the West.

But challenging this by going along with the Remainer arguments, is just as diversionary and reactionary and pays no attention to the realities facing the working class when it high-handedly and pompously declares their anti-immigrant fears to be “racist”.

The Remain side of the establishment wants to stick with the economic advantages of the EU and its supposed certainties versus the “pie in the sky” risks of the ossified and most reactionary wing of the ruling class knowing that the likes of the “patrician” Rees Mogg, barely able to speak through his upper class vowels, is not going to hold onto working class support for long,(if at all).

But that ignores the great burden that massive immigrant labour import has imposed on the working class and the savaging effects of undercut wages, undermined capacity to organise because of broken solidarity, and the strain on cutback services.

None of these effects are caused by immigrants as such and scapegoating blame on them is not going to do anything but stir up divisiveness; but they are caused by the capitalist exploitation of immigration quite deliberately to undermine wages and conditions.

“Left” pomposity and sanctimonious political correctness lashing out at inevitable hostility in the working class is worse than useless.

Declaring that workers should “welcome all immigrants” is sanctimonious posturing that solves nothing and causes resentment, particularly when denouncing workers for being “racists”.

By its very uselessness in dealing with the reality facing the working class it plays into the hands of the reactionary and fascist groups who do suposedly confront these issues.

As often analysed by the EPSR (eg No 1133 23-04-02):

the ultra-left politically-correct bravado of declaring that “a welcome to all immigrants and to all asylum-seekers is the only progressive way forward” is the silliest dilettantism of all.

Insoluble economic ‘overproduction’ crisis, which can only end in world slump and inter-imperialist tradewar warmongering, is irrevocably driving the whole ‘free world’ towards increasing racial/communal strife.

And racist considerations will increasingly become part of OFFICIAL policy everywhere too (on matters of immigration, nationality privileges, law and order, language education, social engineering, etc, etc).

No amount of do-good ‘anti-racism’ can stop this growing tendency, - hence the Le Pen and BNP phenomena (and many more around Europe).

Nothing can stop fascism from taking advantage of this increasing sickening of capitalist society.

Nothing can stop victimised or abused communities from increased self-organisation to resist this persecution.

More and more conflict is inevitable, thereby unavoidably confirming the more ‘realistic’ scenario of fascist politics, and rubbishing the petty-bourgeois PC idealism of all “we will stop fascism” subjectivists.

More was said here and needs studying but the critical message is that only by going to a new level of revolutionary understanding and struggle, can this foul conflict and disintegration, be ended.

It is not a fight for “later”; it is the only possible answer now to war and Slump.

Don Hoskins

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Piccap: North Korea Olympics and nuclear

North Korea workers state's skilful use of soft diplomacy around the South Korean Winter Olympics is a useful blow against crisis driven imperialist warmongering. No illusions can be Cheerleaders for North Korea at the Winter Olmpics in the Southheld it is anything more, or can stop the deadly capitalist crisis-driven rampaging but any defeat for the world ruling class helps open the door for further revolutionary development, which alone can stop the plunge to WW3.

The joint team playing and high level visits drive a wedge between ordinary popular opinion and the US reactionary fascist stoogery of Seoul’s ruling class, which continues to collaborate with the huge and threatening nuclear-armed American forces which have thousands of troops still effectively occupying the country.

The move builds on giant popular upheavals in South Korea last year to topple the corrupt president Park, (daughter of a fascist dictator father) with half million strong weekly demonstrations reflecting a semi-revolutionary mood; the working class tips towards nationalist reunification, increasing anti-imperialism and even socialism.

Washington desperately pretends the conciliation is a climb down by Pyongyang in the teeth of US Trumpite war bluster; but the opposite is true. Imperialism uses the boycott weapon to demonise and exclude potential victim “rogue states” (as with Putin’s Russia at the same Olympics) and the participation is a blow to White House posturing. So too was suspension of the usual annual American-South Korean military “exercises” warmongering intimidation of the North - (scheduled to be larger than ever this year and far from a joke) - called off for the duration of the Games.

The reconciliation triumph strikes a counter-blow to deranged and poisonous black propaganda pumped out by the Seoul and CIA intelligence agencies, with lurid fantasy stories, eagerly reproduced by the Western media machine, of supposed “gruesome executions” (whose “victims” frequently turn up later alive and well) and of supposed “terrible starvation” and poverty. The cheerleaders looked healthy and well and the simultaneous reports from Pyongyang attempting to paint the regime as a “robotic totalitarian state” (etc etc) actually showed its brilliant developments and architecture; its synchronised marches and parades of many thousands are also astonishing.

Despite the weakness of Pyongyang’s revisionist/isolationist “Juche” ideology and continuing bizarre personality cult, its grasp of the need to use both the firmest weapons development and determination to fight any attack on it as strongly as possible - with every right to develop and hold nuclear weapons to do so - is a huge encouragement to Third World anti-imperialism everywhere.

Western social pacifism and fake-“left” “No to War” posturing, condemning North Korea for its nuclear arsenal needs to wake up and recognise that the only threat to the region and the world is from US dominated imperialism itself (holding thousands of warheads) and the sole basic source of aggression and danger.

It would be even better if North Korea addressed the working class internationally as well and spelt out the crisis Catastrophe driving imperialism into the greatest depravities. It could take up the dire compromises of Beijing revisionism too.

Imperialist crisis means deadly threats remain from an ever more belligerent system and they will not disappear for Pyongyang or anyone else until revolutionary struggle everywhere installs working class rule and builds socialism .

 

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World Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles)

 

Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence continues

EVEN in the midst of the difficult conditions in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, Edwin González, representative of the Puerto Rican Mission to Havana, stressed that his country’s struggle for decolonization continues to be a priority for all those committed to social emancipation.

On the occasion of the commemorations of the Grito de Lares (the Lares uprising of September 23, 1868), which continues to inspire current generations to fight for national sovereignty, the Puerto Rican activist noted that the struggle for true independence endures. The country continues to be governed by the United States, currently exerting huge pressure on the island to pay off its massive debt, much of which is owed to U.S. investors.

González explained that Puerto Ricans are currently facing a very difficult situation, after being hit by two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, with the destruction yet to be fully quantified. This is aggravated by the complex economic crisis, including the impossibility of accessing funds to repair damages, and the population’s lack of material resources.

He noted that the Financial Oversight and Management Board, appointed by the U.S. government to impose austerity measures, with wide-ranging power over local authorities, has approved just 2 billion dollars to respond to the emergency, despite the widespread destruction.

González added, “The positive aspect of the moment is seeing our people united, helping each other to conduct self-evacuation during the hurricane and now cleaning up their areas and streets to try to restore normality in the shortest possible time. This attitude strengthens us as a nation, and we advance in our struggle to achieve the decolonization of Puerto Rico.”

He thanked Cuba for the offer of aid to help hurricane victims, still awaiting a response from the United States. “Unity among the Puerto Rican people and that vision of the country, far removed from the North American territory, will help us triumph against colonialism, beyond the decisions of the Financial Oversight Board, the annexationist government, and economic problems faced at this moment,” he stressed.

Since 1975, a day of support for the decolonization of Puerto Rico has been held every year in the Cuban capital, coordinated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (icap). The event recalls the Declaration of Independence pronounced with the Grito de Lares and pays tribute to the founding father of the Puerto Rican homeland, Ramon Emeterio Betances, and independence patriot Filiberto Ojeda, assassinated on September 23, 2005, by agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (fbi).

During this year’s commemorations, icap President Fernando González Llort expressed his confidence that one day Puerto Rico will be free, and activities to mark this important date will be of a different character: “Perhaps at that time we will celebrate the national holiday, but keep in mind the commitment of Cubans to accompany the Puerto Rican people always.”

The decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba recalled Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, an educator of the new generations on the subject of solidarity with this sister nation, and stated that Cubans today have the responsibility to support the independence struggles of the peoples of the world.

He also referred to Filiberto Ojeda, asserting that “One day there will be schools and streets with his name and the people of Puerto Rico will have him in their hearts as one of the unyielding fighters for the country’s independence. He was able, at over 70 years of age, to leave us an example of resistance, of struggle, of being willing to make the greatest sacrifices for the dream of a free and independent Puerto Rico.”

The event concluded with a performance by Puerto Rican trova singer-songwriter, Roy Brown, who emphasized the feeling of his people in his chorus:

“Thus I shout at the villain: I would be Puerto Rican even if I were born on the moon...” •

Granma International 29 Sep 17

 

Oscar Rivera released after decades of US colonialist savagery kept him imprisoned

SHORTLY before completing his term in office, former U.S. President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar López Rivera on January 17, 2017; following a strong international campaign for his release, according to PL.

Oscar Rivera PuertoRican_indiependne hero returns after decades in US prisonsLópez Rivera was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico in 1943, and at 14 years of age moved to the U.S. city of Chicago with his family. Later, he was drafted into the army to fight in the war against Vietnam for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, reports Puerto Rican newspaper, El Nuevo Día.

In 1976 he joined the struggle for his country’s independence, fighting hard to defend his compatriots’ right to freedom and sovereignty as a member of the clandestine National Liberation Armed Forces.

In 1981 his activism saw him arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FIB) accused of “seditious conspiracy” against the U.S. government in the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico.

Rivera declared himself a prisoner of war under the 1949 Geneva Convention, which recognizes the right to struggle against colonial occupation.

His petition was rejected by the U.S. government and he was sentenced to 55 years in prison on August 11, 1981, and sent to Leavenworth maximum security penitentiary, in the state of Kansas.

In the 1980s he was transferred to another prison in Illinois, after being convicted of planning to escape from Leavenworth, a conspiracy which Rivera stated was devised by the government. The conviction saw another 15 years added to his original sentence, according to teleSUR.

López Rivera was later offered clemency by former U.S. President William Clinton in 1999, which the activist declined, serving a total of 36 years before he was finally released on May 17, 2017.

Many global figures, such as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and Puerto Rican band Calle 13 and singer Andy Montanez, called for his release.

The Cuban government and people also supported efforts to free the anti-colonial activist. Fernando González Llort, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba and current President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (icap), shared a cell with Oscar for a time, while they were both imprisoned, and led the campaign for the Puerto Rican activist’s release after returning to Cuba.

López Rivera was moved from prison in February 2017 to serve the final months of his sentence under house arrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before being officially released on May 17, 2017.

In June of this year, López Rivera denounced the impact and legacy of colonialism on his country during a session by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.

The Puerto Rican activist is set to visit Cuba this November, in order to thank the Cuban people and government for their support in securing his release.

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World Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles)

 

Guns in the United States

An enemy at home…

ONCE again we have seen that the United States does not need to continue looking for enemies abroad, when it has them right there at home, in the form of the over 200 million firearms in the possession of the population, causing more than 33,000 deaths and tens thousands of injuries every year.

It’s also worth noting that the United States continues to be the planet’s largest arms dealer, responsible for 33% of all weapons exports worldwide.

The U.S. military industry, a key part of the country’s Military Industrial Complex, contributes billions of dollars every year to a system based on excess and consumption.

Recently, U.S. society and the world reacted in dismay after a massacre was carried out from a hotel in Las Vegas, a story which has been and continues to be repeated in different areas across the northern nation.

US guns for saleA 64-year-old retired man, identified as Stephen Paddock, with no criminal record or links to international terrorist activity, was the author of a truly horrendous massacre, opening fire on a crowd of people attending a country music festival with an automatic rifle. At press time, the latest figures put the death toll at 57, and 527 injured.

However, neither Democrats or Republicans have done anything, or been able to do anything in some cases, to toughen gun-control in the U.S.

This in largely due to fierce resistance from the country’s staunchest pro-firearms sectors, as well as those that earn millions of dollars on the arms market, who barricade themselves behind the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which gives citizens the right to own and bear arms.

Today, the country is torn between sadness, uncertainly and, and belief that no reforms to gun-control legislation will be made.

Prior to this latest massacre, 46 people were shot and killed in a similar attack in a club in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016 - also carried out by a citizen who had freely and legally purchased the weapons.

However, this scenario could have as easily taken place in a movie theater, high school or sports stadium, just like the many other cases of mass shootings which have taken place over recent years, all of which share the same common denominator: they were all perpetrated by citizens who used firearms to either quench their hate, to enact revenge, or for the abhorrent enjoyment of a psychopath or extremist.

And who is at risk? Everyone, be it women, children, older adults, police officers, before they shoot these people don’t ask what political party you belong to, or if you support or oppose the irresponsible policy of allowing all citizens to purchase firearms in the name of national security.

This philosophy has been instilled in citizens by the U.S. government in order to justify its wars, occupations and interventions abroad, all supposedly to protect the country from criminal and extremist acions.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (fbi) has announced that it does not believe the Las Vegas shooting has any ties to international terrorism, proving once again, that those responsible for these regrettable acts must be sought out from within U.S. society and above all among those who profit from the arms trade, with no regard for the number of people that could be hurt or killed by them.

Following the Las Vegas attacks however, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee stated, “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.”

Such a response can be seen as an endorsement to continue selling these deadly devices, for their persistent and indiscriminate use, and in the end, for U.S. citizens to continue dying, victims of an enemy living in their own home: firearms.

According to figures from The New York Times, since 1970 more people have been killed by firearms in the United States than the total number of U.S. citizens who have died in every war the country has fought since its independence.

Nor does the U.S. government seem to care that the majority of its citizens are calling for tougher gun control policies and legislation.

THE world’s leading economic power is experiencing a complex social situation, with insecurity levels rising year after year. Kindergartens, schools, universities, churches, shopping centers, offices and recreational sites have been the scene of bloody events.

It is estimated that every day in the United States 93 people die from gun violence, while another 222 are shot and survive, equivalent to 33,880 deaths per year. For every ten inhabitants there are nine firearms, the highest proportion in the world.

These statistics are carefully recorded by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, named after James Brady, who served as White House press secretary under President Ronald Reagan. In 1981, both were shot and wounded during an assassination attempt on Reagan in Washington. Reagan recovered but Brady was left in a wheel-chair.

For the next three decades, he became a leading activist for gun control in the United States...

Despite this grim reality, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, approved in 1791, which states that the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” continues to be used to justify the lack of gun control in the country, with the massive support of the National Rifle Association (nra).

Just as there is no shortage of violent acts or massacres, public opinion is not lacking to promote a real change to the unsustainable gun control regime in the U.S. However, the deliberate action of the nra and other associated special interest groups continues to hold more sway, which “work” by providing generous contributions and threats of reprisals against any decision-making official on the issue within the government or Congress.

The largest organization defending firearms possession in the United States, founded in 1871, is one of the most faithful donors of congress members and presidential hopefuls, especially of the Republican Party. During the 2016 election campaign, this lobby group allocated more than 30 million dollars to help elect Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Once in office, on April 28, 2017, Donald Trump participated in the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting. He was the first President to participate in this event since Ronald Reagan, and expressed his gratitude for the NRAs contributions, noting: “You have a true friend in the White House.”

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