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


Current paper

No 1594 27th May 2021

Masses everywhere cheer Palestinian resilience and a new level of fightback against Zionist child-slaughter blitzing, bringing this fascist collective “punishment” up short. Ceasefire a gigantic victory for the dispossessed downtrodden of Gaza and the West Bank despite huge cost in lives and bereavement, and destruction of already inhumanly degraded infrastructure and prison-camp living conditions under Zionist siege. All proletarian sensibility will celebrate too despite the limitations of non-Marxist Islamic leadership. Demented “Greater Israel” reactionary wing of Zionism now forced to the historical limit with “kill the Arabs” racist street lynch mobs and “wipe Gaza off the map” demands, both the sickest conceivable inversion of capitalism’s horrifying pre-WW2 “final solution” scapegoating of Jews, Gypsies, and communists. Withholding Covid vaccine and bombing hospitals already genocidal. Fearful Washington calls a halt, not out of humanity and “rule of law” “principles”, but concerned mass street revolutionary turmoil be triggered in tinder-box Egypt and the 300 million strong Arab world, all the Middle East and throughout the anti-imperialist Third World (ie all of it). Rapidly deepening crisis means the ruling class is too late. Spread of “jihadism” and “terrorism” across Africa, and the Middle East is the pre-shock of great revolutionary earthquakes to topple this vile world monopoly capitalist system, the only answer to the specific tyranny against dispossessed Palestinians as well as general plunge into world-warmongering Catastrophe. But Leninist perspectives and leadership need building, exposing useless class collaboration and fake-”leftism”.

The stunning resistance to the genocidal Zionist blitzing of the Gaza prison hellhole in Palestine, led by Hamas; eruptions of anti-Western “jihadism” in Mozambique, throughout the Sahel including Mali and toppling of French stooge forces in Chad; mass street revolt in Colombia and the continuing retreat of British imperialism from Ireland signalled by the Ballymurphy massacre admissions; all are symptoms (among many) of an imperialist order losing its grip, as its historic crisis slides into intractable Catastrophic disaster.

Huge lessons for the world working class could and should be drawn from all these growing rebellions against the depravity and viciousness of the world imperialist system and the bottomless depths of violent repression and Third World War war it will plunge to (and is already) as its monopoly system collapses completely, paralysed by the historic contradictions of overproduction and profit collapse first analysed by Karl Marx (Capital and see EPSR box) and made obvious in the 2008 global bank meltdown.

But the ever more urgent need and possibility for imperialism’s defeat and total revolutionary overthrow by class war is obscured by continuing confusion-mongering and opportunism by the entire fake-“left”, all still capitulating to the fraud of “democratic” paths, step-by-step reformism and “no to war” social-pacifist delusions, like the latest ineffectual “stop bombing Gaza” slogans offered for the major demonstrations expressing worldwide public anti-Zionist dismay.

Such genteel “distaste” for, or pseudo-“principles” against, the raw struggles erupting everywhere ever since 9/11 are a million miles from even any basic instinctive proletarian sensibility, let alone the supposed conscious Marxism that the “left” groups claim to uphold.

It is a complete giveaway of their sour defeatism and anti-revolutionism.

The world’s masses think differently.

The whole Third World is inspired and energised by the astounding resilience in Gaza, fully justifying the Palestinians’ street cheering and celebration as the ceasefire was declared, giving an emotional and subjective boost to the great Arab masses and others in the Middle East, throughout the Muslim world and, beyond that, shared by hundreds of millions held down under and exploited under the imperialist tyranny and persecution.

What they need now is revolutionary Leninist understanding to take forwards this struggle to the full toppling and overthrow of capitalism, explaining that, until this private profit system is ended, there can be no long-term respite from the slide into Slump and devastating war.

But the doggedness of the Palestinians has pushed matters forwards. Not only is the horrifying destruction and butchery the sickest confirmation yet of the fascist extremes to which the Jewish fanatic colonists are being inexorably driven by the impossibility of continuing this land-thieving artificial colonial “state”, but it exposes the fascist world war path on which the entire capitalist system is inexorably set as its crisis collapse deepens.

It instantly gives the lie to the non-stop “freedom” stunts, “democracy” campaigns and deranged “genocide” and “totalitarian killing” propaganda big lies poured out against workers states like China, Cuba and North Korea, and every even halfway anti-imperialist regime or resistance movement from left nationalist “rogue states” like Venezuela, Bolivia and Zimbabwe to the FARC anti-capitalist armed revolt in Colombia.

In other words the backing given the Jewish-Zionist occupiers by the entire West instantly demonstrates the falsity and Goebbels bogeyman nature of all “democracy protests” and colour revolutions set going by the CIA, including those which have succeeded in stirring conflict and turmoil in Myanmar, Syria, Libya and the Yemen.

It blows holes wide open in the already threadbare post-war imperialist pretence of a civilised “international order” where the “rule of law” prevails and “democracy” is to be upheld against the alleged “totalitarian nightmare” of communism and, in lieu of that since the Cold War ended (and the scaremongering lies are obviously a transparent lie), whatever bogeymen remnants can be invoked like Belarus, or new ones invented, with lurid stunts and deluges of insane lies about alleged “genocide”, babies thrown out of incubators, non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” and endless “rape”, “rape camps”, and “rape squads fuelled by viagra” etc etc, and all rest of the Goebbels armoury of routine emotive accusations.

(As if capitalism, with its centuries long colonialist history of torture, repression, slavery, massacres, and elimination of dozens of extant nations or their reduction to rump populations (Native Americans, Aborigines, Maoris, Aztecs, Incas, Zulus etc etc etc) ever did, or could now, give a damn about “human rights”).

In the light of the extreme viciousness, civilian and child slaughter in Gaza, what now is to be made of the strident “war crimes” and “democracy” world-peace posturing of the US Empire and the international bourgeoisie tailing behind it?

Where are the instant crippling economic sanctions, intervention threats, UN podium denunciations, condemnations and moralising International Criminal Court “warcrime” investigations like those imposed against Beijing for the non-existent “Uighur genocide” or made the subject of pompous “declarations” by assorted parliaments on no evidence whatsoever????

Where is the petty bourgeois demand for “democratic rights” and access to the West, made so much of in the 1989 Tiananmen petty bourgeois pro-America demonstrations (lyingly declared to have been “massacred” ever since); in the violent Hong Kong “protests” provoked among the pampered student and other petty bourgeois elements, or even more sinisterly and violently in Venezuela and Nicaragua, in Myanmar, or in Syria, Libya and Egypt where such “freedom movements” have been used to instigate violent counter-revolutionary disruption and attempted balkanising of countries deemed to be tilting too much against imperialism and its “right” to exploit and dominate???

Or where are the terrifying nuclear-capable B52 bomber-runs repeatedly passing over the Black Sea just at the Russian-Ukrainian border, to threaten Russian bonarpartist nationalist support for the eastern Ukraine working class, who have been bombed and shelled for seven years now by the outright Swastika toting reactionaries put into power in Kiev by yet another “colour revolution”, instigated and manipulated by $5bn of US “democracy” NGO-fed “democracy” pretences.

Or where are the massive live-ammunition Washington-Seoul military and naval “exercises” held annually just kilometres off the coast of North Korea and always only an incident or “accident” away from igniting all-out war against a country that was utterly flattened in the 1950s? Or even triggering regional – or world – war in the crisis conditions unfolding?

Are there to be aircraft-carrier-group voyages off blockaded Gaza to “maintain international shipping ways” (or even just to let the blockaded Palestinian fishing boats freely into the sea), like those in the South China Sea (including the preposterous and grossly expensive Queen Elizabeth I) there solely to intimidate and suppress all anti-imperialism and especially the growing might of the Chinese workers state?

Or what is to be made of the latest spluttering hypocrisy by the West because Belarus has cleverly trapped a leading Nazi provocateur and counter-revolutionary poison spreader (see pic below) – not the “harmless neutral journalist” as pretended – by grounding a flight in Minsk?

The EU and US all shout mightily about “upholding journalistic freedom” for this sinister fascist, even as the Zionists deliberately and brazenly destroy two whole high-rise buildings housing the international media in the Gaza Strip, to prevent impartial reporting of the Zionist atrocities, as the Wikileaks journalist Julian Assange is brought near to death by illicit incarceration and as the BBC is yet again censored, punished and hobbled (for not being sufficiently rightwing).

What the masses everywhere, outraged by this latest fascist child-killing Zionist barbarity need to hear is a revolutionary Leninist understanding of the hurricane capitalist crisis oncoming, (with more and more fears of massive credit-fueled inflation) and the need it creates for the total overthrow of this degenerate and declining world bourgeois “free market” system.

That includes a correct assessment of the titanic resilience and determination of the Palestinians, demonstrating not only a capacity to take and absorb the most vicious and savage pounding slaughter but an ever growing confidence and ability to organise a resistance that has rocked the imperialist/Zionist occupation to the core.

What they get are continuing moralising condemnations of “terrorism” and “jihadism” from all across the fake-“left” spectrum (sadly still sometimes echoed by the continuing revisionist brain muddle still hamstringing Beijing, Havana and other anti-imperialism) which play into the hands of imperialism and its ludicrous “war on terror” excuses for the endless blitzkrieging and destruction being imposed on the world solely by the belligerence of the collapsing capitalist system.

It is preparing the world for the World War Three conflicts which its Slump disaster is inexorably driving towards.

The fake-“left” miss completely the significance of this accelerating upheaval.

As Marxism has always understood, defeat for the ruling class is crucial, opening up the path for the working class to take power, starting by building a party to develop (and redevelop) the vital revolutionary Leninist understanding, with the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat at its heart, without which there can be no successful long-term transformation of human society to socialism as needed.

For all the gross disparity in resources, military firepower imposing yet further agony, humiliation death and destruction on the endlessly terrorised and persecuted Palestinian people, it is the utter degeneracy, inhumanity and grotesque Zionist state-terrorism which is exposed, and that of the craven Arab stooge leaderships all around, and of the imperialist system which stands behind it all.

Washington only held the Zionists back eventually, – so much for the “left” delusions in Bidenism as “different” to Trumpism – trying to tread a path between letting the smiting run, and the ever growing danger of triggering more explosive rebelliousness all around the Middle East, particularly in giant Egypt whose 105 million strong multitudes are still seething beneath the heavy-handed and murderous General Sisi repression (which restored stooge collaboration with Washington and Zionism after yet another CIA “democracy and freedom” middle-class revolt was organised to murderously suppress the anti-imperialism of the 2011 Arab Spring).

The revolutionary spirit, discipline, organisation and sacrifice by the Hamas leadership is a signal of the unbeatability of the struggle by the world’s exploited masses, who have never had any choice but to wage armed struggle to get the tyrannical exploitation of capitalist off their backs, using whatever methods they could devise in their poverty and repression.

The biggest lesson from the Gazan upheaval is that even under the appalling suffering, siege deprivation of blockaded Gaza, subject to constant harassment not just by daily persecution, police and military bullying, arrests, torture, searches, intimidation and gratuitous beatings but vicious sniping and shelling, causing thousands of deaths and severe maiming injuries (deliberately done to hold down and hide the publicity causing death count) the resistance is unstoppable.

Not only that, it grows constantly more sophisticated and capable, now developed far beyond the desperate crude methods of first and second intifadas into a coherent missile offensive which has shocked and dismayed the entire imperialist order.

The astonishing salvos of sophisticated rockets, day after day, penetrating the high-tech defences of the Zionist “Iron Dome” indicate a new level of technical capability and a new scale of organisation, discipline and secrecy.

World consciousness has shifted dramatically in the last ten days as a result.

Suddenly there are even Western media journalists inside Gaza, pouring scorn on the Zionist rationale and barefaced lie “justifications” for the blitzing and its purported “war targeting”, and further unspoken scorn on the demented “anti-semitism” cry raised by the Zionists against any criticism, and which is usually repeated uncritically by the Western media, and grovellingly by class collaborating TUC/Labourism.

Such is the impact of this latest rebellious assault by Hamas-organised masses, particularly in the Gaza strip, that it could even be compared to the historic 1968 Tet (New Year) offensive of the Vietnam war.

The narrow calculation of gains and losses for that colossal military assault by the northern Vietnamese and the Viet Cong resistance on the US puppet forces in the South, could be seen as a failure for the liberation struggle.

But its political and military-morale shock impact was immense, both inside Vietnam, on the growing American intervention forces and more generally throughout the capitalist world where the post-war boom period was beginning to falter as the intractable contradictions of capitalist over-production once more became dominant.

The shock waves from Tet triggered a series of revolts across Europe, first in months of semi-revolutionary upheaval in Paris and then across France, in Berlin and other cities, in turmoil and anti-war demonstrations and violence in London and elsewhere, and all culminating in the infamous Chicago Democratic convention in the summer, (chanting “the whole world is watching”) with growing upheaval and protest across America against the Vietnam War – and with other ramifications like the black power movement developing.

These were only early crisis symptoms of a system still in post-war boom conditions – not a “failed revolution” as some fake-“leftism” deludes itself – and hampered by the lack of any Leninist leadership, by the still dominant influence of worsening revisionism prevailing in then Soviet Moscow (see EPSR Book 20 Unanswered Polemics on Stalinism) and by much petty bourgeois Trotskyist posturing “anti-Stalinism” (in reality anti-communism).

But the worldwide impact was decisive, delivering a blow to the topdog US ruling class which led on to the fall of Nixon and a defeat from which its morale has never recovered.

The religious puritanism and mystical sectarian Muslim ideology of Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) is not comparable with the highly developed Marxist consciousness of the Vietnam leadership and in many respects is reactionary in its overall outlook and perspectives of a society dating back to the pre-industrial capitalist period; it will ultimately not be sufficient for the necessary task of overthrowing the whole monopoly capitalist order, in which the Zionist entity is embedded.

But its zeal, ideological discipline and fighting comradeship fills a leadership vacuum left by the retreat from revolutionary perspectives by revisionism’s long decline in Moscow, the subsequent revisionist-imposed self-liquidation of the Soviet Union and the temporary historical hiatus before Leninist science and leadership can be restored on any wide scale.

It is far more revolutionary in spirit than any of the revisionist fake-“left”, be they ossified museum-Stalinist or bilious anti-workers state Trotskyist and the 50-shades-of-pink in between.

The impact of this defeat penetrates to the heart of the imperialist system itself as the huge numbers turning out for demonstrations across the world testify, despite years of bullying and lying “left anti-semitism” propaganda (either cravenly swallowed by the fake- “left” or remaining unchallenged because of the failure to examine the crucial question of the “right to exist” of “Israel”).

New connections and links in consciousness have been generated like the “Palestine can’t breathe” banners linking the anti-racist and anti-fa demonstrations in the US with the anti-Zionist cause, even if these are yet a long way from necessary Leninist perspectives.

Within Palestine, previous sectarian splits are shifting with a recognition of the revolutionary content of the Hamas fight. The near civil war revolt triggered within Israel itself among the 20% or so of “second-class” Israeli Arabs demonstrates further the huge impact of this victory.

Even arch Guardian “liberal” Zionist and anti-communist Jonathan Freedland has been forced to admit the damage done to “Israel” and the exposure of its reactionary lying, by the astounding growth of the Palestinian fighting ability.

But see how this sly anti-communist twists it round from the clear damnation of this occupation, and the service it does for Western imperialism as a dagger into the heart of the Middle East, into yet another whinge against the world for allegedly “picking on the Jews”.

Once again the worldwide Jewish freemasonry – the “diaspora” as he calls it – throws out the monstrous lie that international opprobrium against this jackboot apartheid occupation, is down to primitive anti-semitic racism and not the seething anger that its bloody violence, ethnic cleansing and barbaric oppression has caused, and will continue to cause for as long as the racist occupation of Palestine, all of it, continues:

It’s not over, because it’s never over. But there is at least the hope of a pause. After less than a fortnight in which nearly 250 people have been killed, both Hamas and Israel agreed late on Thursday to hold their fire, each crafting a victory story to tell the world and themselves.

For Hamas, the narrative is simple enough. Despite being caged in a tiny terrain, and with a fraction of their foe’s resources, they managed to surprise the enemy and strike at its civilian heart. They unleashed a torrent of missiles, more sophisticated than before, some of them breaching Israel’s Iron Dome defence system and landing not only on Israel’s peripheral towns but also its central city of Tel Aviv. It can claim, ahead of its Fatah rivals in the West Bank, to be the guardian of the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem. What’s more, it watched with satisfaction as a hole was ripped in Israel’s social fabric, with the country’s Jewish and Arab citizens attacking each other on streets they once shared.

For Israel, the generals are briefing that Operation Guardian of the Walls degraded Hamas’s military capacity, that most of those it killed were Hamas fighters, and that more has been done in the last 10 days than the equivalent offensives of 2009, 2012 and 2014 combined.

But they’re not fooling anyone. Israel knows that it has endured a strategic disaster, the “most failed and pointless border war” in its history, according to Haaretz’s editor, Aluf Benn. It did not see the Hamas attack coming and its vulnerability under fire will have been noted by Hezbollah to the north, which holds a much more powerful arsenal than Hamas’s, and by Hezbollah’s patron in Tehran.

Still, the bigger failings predate and go beyond this latest eruption. Israel told itself all was quiet on the Gaza front. More than that, it thought it had stilled the Palestinian issue altogether, convinced that its “Abraham accords” with Gulf states and others had made the Palestinians all but irrelevant. It has now seen the folly of that delusion.

Which points to the other strategic danger for Israel. It could yet prove ephemeral; the international attention span is short, people might soon scroll on to the next big thing. But plenty of credible observers wonder if a turning point was reached this last fortnight in the way the Israel/Palestine conflict is seen around the world and especially in the west. For a loud and influential segment of opinion, it is being reframed not as a national conflict of competing claims, but as a straightforward matter of racial justice. Note the placards at last weekend’s demonstration in London: Palestine Can’t Breathe and Palestinian Lives Matter.

Framed that way, #FreePalestine could be on its way to joining #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter as an issue that a global generation regards as of paramount importance, championed not just by politicians but by the leading lights of popular culture, from footballers to singers to fashion influencers with millions of followers. The intercommunal clashes between Jews and Arabs inside Israel reinforce that reading, with incidents of police brutality or discrimination in the criminal justice system that seem to map neatly on to the BLM template.

Those with a strong connection to Israel scratch their heads at this, wondering why, of all the appalling things going on in the world, this is the one that cuts through – bringing huge crowds on to the streets of European capitals, filling up social media timelines. They note that people who have barely stirred at the detention of a million Uyghur Muslims in China; who have not so much as “liked” a tweet about the tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims murdered by Myanmar; who rarely get agitated by the 200,000 civilians butchered by the Assad regime in Syria or by the 130,000 killed in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen; and who might be wholly unaware of the 52,000 estimated to have been killed in the Ethiopian-Tigray conflict since November, have nevertheless been filled with fury by events in Gaza.

Much of the explanation is that Israel/Palestine is simply more visible, with media coverage on a scale unmatched by any of those other catastrophes. When 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in a single month, the major broadcasters did not fly out their presenters to anchor coverage on the spot or nearby. There are no hourly updates of the death toll in Ethiopia, and few interviews with or photographs of the grieving relatives of Yemen. A former Associated Press reporter in Jerusalem has written that he was one of more than 40 staff journalists covering Israel/Palestine, which was then “significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined”. The effect, he wrote, is to signal to readers that Israel/Palestine is “the most important story on Earth” – and, by implication, that the wrongdoing there is worse than anything else on the planet.

You could fill many doctoral dissertations asking what explains this intensity of focus.

It can’t be the number of deaths, because many, many more have been killed in those other places. It can’t be the fact that Israel is a favoured western ally; so is Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it’s simply that the Israeli occupation has now endured for 54 years, though Turkey, a Nato member, has waged a war on the Kurds nearly as long.

In a way, the search for an explanation is secondary. More important are the consequences. Jewish communities know they have to brace themselves every time violence erupts: this latest episode brought a sixfold increase in reports of antisemitic incidents in the UK, according to the Community Security Trust. Of course, most pro-Palestinian campaigners stress they have no grievance against diaspora Jews. But the fervour stirred up by this conflict can get so hot, it is not always easy to control.

As for Israel, for its leaders to complain about the scrutiny they get is, as the old line has it, like a sailor complaining about the sea. Instead, they need to adjust to the fact that they could soon face a new strategic reality in which the politics of their closest ally, the US, is changing especially. No less striking than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez branding Israel an “apartheid state” was this week’s move by longtime pro-Israel Democrats in Congress to delay the transfer of an arms package to Israel.

At the moment, it’s easy to dismiss this as a passing fad – to note that even if Capitol Hill might be shifting, plenty of continental European politicians are heading in the opposite direction, becoming more, not less, sympathetic to Israel. But Israel should read the warning signs. Those of us who have long condemned the occupation always argued that if Israel did not do the right thing and end it, it would eventually be branded a pariah state.

No “doctoral dissertations” are required at all Jonathan, merely the willingness to declare the always buried truth and deliberately hidden reality that “Israel” is different, because it is not a country, or a “state” at all, but a colonial insertion into the Middle East, agreed by Britain with the “Jewish diaspora” (the Zionist wing) originally over 100 years ago and realised in full with the “generous gift” to atone for the WW2 mass slaughter of the Jews by a guilt-ridden Western imperialism via its stooge United Nations in 1947-8.

That international theft of a chunk of Palestine “democratically” handed over was supplemented by the massive theft of even more land immediately seized by bloody terrorist intimidation, torture and massacre, to force hundreds of thousands of Arabs out from their land and villages during the 1948 war.

The agonising Nakba expulsion of the Palestinians into dispersed exile, sinkhole refugee camps abroad or onto the scrappy bits of their own land they were left with, was escalated with the further seizures and annexations of the 1967 war, the 1974 Yom Kippur war, and the steady and unrelenting Jewish settlement programme since in the notionally still Palestinian West Bank, not only taking all the best land and water sources, but systematically fragmenting the remainder with “Israeli” only roads and non-stop intimidation, harassment and sabotage of farmsteads, wells, schools and olive groves.

Even the few able to remain inside “Israel” have had second class citizenship only, reinforced in the last three years by the “legal” imposition of Jewish supremacy in the racist-apartheid “Nation State Law”.

The whole of “Israel” is a colonial occupation, not simply the “illegally” taken lands after 1967 which the notionally-liberal Jewish Zionists like Freedland imply is the problem, pretending that somehow a withdrawal to “pre-67 borders” would solve things.

They blame the more rabidly expansionist and “Greater Israel” Zionist wing for “pushing things too far” – fearful that too greedy and aggressive a policy will lose them everything by stirring revolution.

It is a monstrous hypocrisy, simply wanting to be sure of keeping what has already been stolen.

And it is completely irreal anyway; there is no reversing the huge programme of annexation and construction since then.

Nor could there be without jeopardising the whole enterprise anyway. Like the ruthless shark it is, the Jewish occupation can only keep going forwards, and will implode completely if it stops.

Revolt is “never over” because the occupation must keep further smiting the dispossessed Palestinians whose struggle to recover their land and their rightful property, villages, houses, farmland and all, can never stop, except by wiping them out effectively and permanently suppressing the whole Arab world too.

Except it is the wrong time historically in a world that has long rejected direct colonialism.

But historical logic drives the Zionists towards imposing on the Palestinians the fate imposed on many other nations and peoples by imperialist colonialism; total destruction or reduction to a pathetic and miserable rump.

The nature of “Israel”, as the squatting of a colonist population on the lands of an indigenous people who have inhabited this region for a minimum 1500 years (far longer than most peoples have been in their national areas in Europe; mongrel England as such only forming around the time of Chaucer, 600 years ago) dictates the outcome as analysed in EPSR Book 20 Occupied Palestine and Nazi-Zionism p59):

To any materialist rational-thinking historical judgement, the whole notion of planting a Western armed colony in 1948 right in the heart of the Arab Middle East is simply an utterly insane idea which will become one thing only in due course, — a festering sore of unendable warmongering conflict in the region.

And so it is now proving, exactly as the EPSR has always explained was bound to happen.

And the brainwashing nightmare to try to ensure that this questioning of the very existence of “Israel” should never get debated by a zombiefied world, — was also predictable too.

But like all propaganda stunts which go against the grain of history, this one too will in time crash in flames.

The postwar world HAD TO include some genuine elements of retreat from empire, otherwise the mythical nonsense of the “victorious allies” who would “respect peaceful coexistence” could never have been sold to a naïve trusting world by Stalinist Revisionism (to get all-out war-revolutionary struggle put on the back burner, giving the delusions of “good imperialists” (as opposed to “bad, fascist imperialists”) the chance to fall apart peacefully under their own “going nowhere” steam, etc, etc)

And this physical empire-dismantling (as opposed to the financial continuation of Western monopoly capitalist global empires) was what the armed colonial establishment of the “state of Israel” went right against the grain of.

It was, then, (and can only be, now), purely a matter of time before this armed colonisation implantation of Western Jewish monopoly-imperialist — (for that is the reality) — interests right in the heart of the Arab Middle East, (itself in inevitable all-out conflict with the West eventually, — out of the natural progression of incurable periodic capitalist-world “overproduction” crisis and warmongering sort-out), — became nothing but an endless explosion point in world politics.

To a Marxist historical perspective, the whole of Western history since 1945 (and the whole of world history, effectively) has been nothing but one long run-up to the moment when the West’s monopoly-imperialist racket finally hits the buffers of Third World revolutionary resistance. That is the general historical period now being entered into with the reassertion of inter-imperialist conflict (the incurable crisis of the overproduction of capital — see EPSR box). And the racket of getting the world and the Arabs to swallow the colonising armed establishment of a warmongering Zionist imperialist tyranny in their midst, is bound to now be unravelling too.

The sick genocidal reality was underlined by many demands from “Israelis” during this blitzing that “Gaza should be eliminated once and for all” (vox pops on C4 News eg).

And events would have gone much further that way, if the planned ground attack by tanks and artillery had not been called off under American pressure. In 2012 and 2014 such attacks added hugely to the devastation.

A slower genocidal intent has been clear too from the deliberate blockade of vaccine supplies withheld from the Palestinians even as “Israel” pushed ahead to become the first fully vaccinated population in the world as the bourgeois press admits:

The difference couldn’t be more stark – two populations living under one regime, heading in opposite directions in the struggle with Covid-19. On the Israeli side, we see a country returning to normalcy: a re-opened economy; a vaccination certificate program that allows for entry into gyms, restaurants, and cultural venues; plummeting infection and hospitalization rates; a surplus of vaccines nearly seven times the small country’s population. On the Palestinian side, minimal vaccines, overwhelmed hospitals, and an economy in crisis. Including the 100,000 Palestinian workers with Israeli work permits that Israel finally agreed to vaccinate in March, Palestinians have received enough vaccines for just over 4% of the 5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While Covid-19 did not create health disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, it certainly highlighted them – and offered a window into how decades of occupation and discrimination have expanded the gaps between the populations. Just as it has all over the world, a virus that does not discriminate nonetheless reminded us of deeply ingrained practices and calculated policies that do.

Reports about the humanitarian crises coming out of the occupied Palestinian territories are longstanding. In 2012, the United Nations released a report that claimed the Gaza Strip would be “unlivable” by 2020 as a result of multiple ground wars and the crippling blockade. The West Bank has suffered from occasional bouts of violence, but its health system has been most depleted by the Israeli movement restrictions on goods and people both within and entering or exiting the territory.

These differences are evident across health outcomes between the Israeli and Palestinian populations, despite them all living in territory controlled by the state of Israel. An Israeli, on average, lives ten years longer than a Palestinian. Even Palestinian citizens of Israel have a shorter average life expectancy than their Jewish Israeli counterparts. Infant mortality, a standard global marker of health system performance, is more than five times higher for Palestinians than Israelis.

These stark imbalances are almost entirely manmade. The entrenchment of the occupation and the length of the blockade affect every social determinant of health, including increased psychological trauma, environmental health risks, food and water insecurity, and insufficient access to quality health care facilities.

Covid-19 has made these often overlooked pre-existing disparities unavoidable.

Israel’s initial vaccine drive, far outpacing any other country, made global headlines in the winter of 2020 but came under swift criticism for leaving out the Palestinian population in the territory Israel occupies. As an occupying power, Israel, under international humanitarian law, remains ultimately responsible for the health of the population under its military occupation.

Perhaps more urgently, the entanglement of Palestinians and Israelis - with Israeli settlers and soldiers on Palestinian lands and Palestinian workers entering Israel daily - should have made a clear and obvious health case to Israeli authorities. Even Israeli public health experts called for Israel to vaccinate the entire Palestinian population. But instead of implementing a comprehensive vaccination plan for the Israeli-occupied Palestinian population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to send thousands of doses around the world as rewards to countries that agreed to move embassies to Jerusalem and for other political considerations. This cynical vaccine diplomacy plan was frozen almost immediately due to legal challenges and significant global criticism. Israel faced further criticism when Israeli politicians delayed, and debated blocking completely, a small shipment of vaccines from Palestinians in the West Bank to Gaza, citing a desire to extract political concessions in exchange.

[]The return of the pandemic also has significant political implications. Palestinian officials have already floated the idea that the elections scheduled for summer 2021, the first in more than a decade, may be delayed or even cancelled if the rise in cases continues.

This is not a passing or abstract issue for Palestinians. Active cases are back near the highest rates they have been since the beginning of the pandemic, and nearly 3,000 Palestinians have died [mid-April figure].[]Palestinian hospitals are overrun.

The current pandemic will end. The global attention on vaccines will dissipate. The disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, however, will persist. As with the vaccine shortages, these disparities are largely artificial and induced by political decisions.

The United States – which provides Israel with billions of dollars in military aid annually [$3.8bn - ed], consistently deflects any criticism of Israel, and has turned a blind eye to Israeli actions that violate the United States’ own stated positions, such as on settlement construction.

[]But aside from one phone conversation in February where Secretary of State Blinken asked for more Israeli support in Palestinian vaccination, the Biden administration has not made any substantial requests for Israel to fulfill their legal obligations.

Yara M Asi is a Non-resident Fellow at Arab Center Washington DC, a Policy Member of Al-Shabaka, and a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the University of Central Florida specializing in health in fragile and conflict-affected states

Such essentially biological warfare (albeit by chance) has been accentuated by destruction of yet more hospitals and killing of doctors by the “high precision targeted” bombing on Gaza.

All of which explains for Freedland why “Israel” is “singled out” - because it is singular; an out of time intrusion like a giant piece of grit in the Middle East oyster, and not one that can become a pearl either.

It is also exceptional because of the double role it plays, not simply for its own fanatical purposes but as the main attack dog for imperialism to permanently control and suppress the entire region, constantly smiting all around it.

Iraq and Syria are repeatedly bombed, part of a full-on if low level war is underway against Iran, torpedoing its shipping almost daily and waging assassinations and physical and cyberwar attacks on its nuclear programme, (and with not a hysterical word about “acts of war”, like those against Belarus, stridently declaimed by the supposed “democracy and international law-and-order” upholders of the “international community” ie the imperialist nations led by the top dog power of the United States.)

On top of vast subventions from US imperialism – a minimum currently of $3.8bn annually in military aid, arms supplies – there is further financial and political support from the Jewish diaspora freemasonry, the overwhelming majority of which declares its close links with and support for “Israel”.

As Freedland puts it,

Those with a strong connection to Israel”

and its “right to exist” (at the expense of the 8 million strong dispossessed Palestinians) are intertwined with the Western bourgeois world and have a disproportionate impact on it.

And to suggest that analysing and declaring this is “anti-semitism” is a fascist lie.

Of course as Freedland says, the world hostility aroused by yet another Zionist blitzing sometimes finds expression in crude anti-Jewish sentiment.

And of course that is unjust and potentially tragic where it leads to attacks on random persons or property.

But what is the answer to that?

Such anti-Semitism is generated by anti-Zionism – and virtually the entire Jewish diaspora is Zionist in that they support the “right” of Israel to exist.

Moral declarations against it which do not recognise that cause, and particularly those which lyingly try to equate such anti-Zionist anti-imperialist hostility to the backward, primitive and foul racism of past centuries, and obviously the horrors of scapegoating pogroms and WW2 capitalist-instigated genocide, are simply asking for trouble and inflaming the situation.

The last five years of a deliberate-engineered establishment conspiracy, driven by the Zionist lobby – (eg see the four part al-Jazeera documentary The Lobby for some details of undercover measures and funding organised from Israeli embassies etc),– to sabotage perfectly rational anti-Zionist political opinion with such slanders, and simultaneously fragment and break-up the left tide which lifted Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party, has only contributed to growing hostility.

Inevitably that has occasionally found expression in simplistically crude anti-semitism, for which the Jewish/Zionist lobby can only blame itself.

The dissembling and whingeing of those like Freedland are not going to stop that (see EPSR Book 20 on Occupied Palestine pp 58-66).

And his twisted comparison examples can only make matters worse with their lying declarations that “nobody pays the same kind of attentions to these [other] atrocities”.

There are two reasons for that which Freedland deliberately conflates; first they are centred around completely made up Goebbels LIES about anti-imperialist regimes which imperialism hates and is whipping up Goebbels campaigns against, to both stampede Western public opinion and hopefully provoke civil war uprisings by inflaming middle-class opinions under cover of a “fight for democracy”.

In this category can be put the world-coordinated false propaganda lie campaign against China and the Uighur Muslims asserting an alleged “genocide” built entirely on lies, innuendo and wild misrepresentation of perfectly straightforward objects like detention centres and prisons, declared to be alleged “concentration camps” deliberately laden with all the sinister meaning such terms hold from the past and the German Nazi slaughter of the past; endless nonsense about “slave labour” in China and Xinjiang province, again entirely specious, and further rubbish about “forced sterilisation” embroidering testimony from a few carefully coached and axe-grinding “witnesses” (mostly living in the West as a reward), all designed to tug at the emotions and stampede opinion away from any rational assessments.

The lies about “tens of thousands” of Rohingya "killed by the Myanmar government”, which Freedland cynically parrots are again totally lying misrepresentation, falling into the “if you tell a lie tell a big one” category, part of a decades long Western demonisation of Myanmar as an anti-imperialist “rogue state”, now subject to deliberately instigated civil war moves by the same kind of petty bourgeois reaction that violently disrupted Hong Kong for a year (and in fact with some of the same faces mysteriously appearing on the streets to “help” the pampered and consumerist bemused petty bourgeois youth).

When were “6,700 Rohingyas killed in a single month” Mr Freedland, and where is the evidence? Maybe it did not get into the Western press because it did not happen?

There is absolutely no way that the capitalist media would not have gone to town if they had a scrap of TV film or the usual specious hearsay to work with, as they have done throughout with lurid descriptions of supposed “genocide” built up around complete non-evidence, like the Channel Four News report showing a patch of newly dug earth and declaring it to be proof of massacre because a local dirt-poor peasant said so.

At best it might have been big enough for two bodies but we could not know that from just filming what might equally have been the vegetable patch.

The same with the slick and sinister campaign underway against the bourgeois nationalist government in Ethiopia which has ousted the outright US stoogery of the TPLF, and which is now subject to a poisonous campaign of lies because it is undermining the counter-revolutionary role played by the Tigrayans in the whole bubbling Horn of Africa (see below).

The Syrian civil war has more complexities but falls in the same category when it comes to the Western campaign (which the Zionists play a leading role in) to topple the Assad regime, hated by Washington and Tel Aviv alike. Plans to undermine and bring down the Syrian government have been on the Pentagon’s “rogue state” list for at least three decades with non-stop subversion and sleeper agent penetration, hastily and prematurely activated after the 2011 Egyptian uprising, to prevent the Arab Spring being reinforced (using the deliberate confusion of calling the counter-revolution in Syria – and Libya too – more of the Arab Spring when it was the exact opposite).

And there is Belarus too, which filled the front pages for day after day recently in a campaign of publicity deliberately trying to inflame the middle class, with wild exaggerations of the middle class “demonstrations” numbers and crude lies and lurid nonsense about “torture" etc.

The capture of a Nazi agitator (pic story below) in the heart of these provocations, has filled the pages and TV news once again (conveniently diverting attention from Palestine) with reams of publicity.

Far from “not much attention” in fact these plots and lies always get huge publicity in the Western media, in politicians’ grandstanding pronouncements, in “war-crime” hearings, and the imposition of economic and political sanctions, etc etc.

To declare otherwise as this reactionary Freedland does, is total cynicism and knowing misrepresentation.

If they do not generate mass demonstrations it is not for want of trying by Western agitation and provocations – but public opinion, despite being blown around by all these fake-news winds, clearly smells a rat.

Anyway it is not quite true. The Western subversion certainly has got counter-revolutionary movements onto the streets in the countries themselves, as it did in Egypt, Libya, Venezuela and Syria among others.

Meanwhile Freedland slyly mixes in with these artificially generated “colour” revolution-type upheavals, other examples which tell the same story but from a different angle.

There are wars and massacres underway which justify such treatment and yes they do not get the public attention he complains of around the Palestine support marches.

But that is because the Western media machine, and the ruling class try to keep such news thoroughly suppressed, and the craven Labourites and class-collaborating trade unions say nothing either.

The horrors of the Yemen war and the monstrous civilian blitzing by Saudi Arabia, laden with village wedding slaughter, school bus massacres, and hundreds, thousands of “collateral damage” killings of innocent men women and children is virtually unremarked.

Barely a single politician even mentions Saudi Arabia, let alone calls for its immediate sanctioning, condemnation at the UN or arraignment before the International Criminal Court (“busy” with prosecutions against movements in Africa primarily, trials which in themselves raise major questions about imperialist bias and counter-revolutionary intent).

Nor do they draw out and explain the arms supply and “operational support” given to Saudi Arabia by Britain and America to facilitate and even manage the monstrous destruction visited on Yemen and its Houthi rebellion.

Tens of thousands have been killed and as in Gaza, infrastructure vital to daily life, (bridges, water pipes and wells, electricity generation, ports, historic buildings, schools etc etc) destroyed, bringing all existence to a primitive fight for survival.

That the full horror of the Yemen war can be dimly discerned is only because it is so devastating and huge that it is almost impossible to hide; the reality of the desperation there filters through from charity advertising about the incipient famine disaster threatening 12 million people, some occasional news of incidents so terrible they cannot be hidden at all, and from overseas news services like Al-Jazeera and RT (formerly Russia Today).

Nor is the steady defeat of Saudi Arabia given front page (or even middle foreign page) coverage; no news at all outside specialist sources creeps through of victories and resilience of the Houthi revolt, which is slowly having almost as much of an impact as the Hamas rebellion.

Once in a blue moon a report emerges of the missiles the Houthi have repeatedly launched into Saudi Arabia and the damage it has done and continues to do, it must be speculated.

But the overall political or military truth about this monstrous fascist genocidal war and the outrage it should cause does not produce a big public outcry as Freedland complains because the West does not give it any publicity and in fact censors such news.

In fact the West not only supports and props up Saudi Arabia, it has been busy bringing it into line with the Zionists through the Abraham Accords alliances, which abandon the Palestinians to their repression and set the pins in a row for anti-Iranian warmongering.

And Freedland knows all this in his cynical whining about the “unfairness” of “making a fuss” about the genocidal horrors in Gaza, which far from being fabricated around hearsay, bribed or petty bourgeois axe-grinding “witness” accounts (always “unverified” or “too difficult to check in a warzone”), are right out in front, clearly recorded on video and multiple witnesses.

It is not “anti-semitic” to say so either, and pretending it is, is a reactionary nonsense.

Meanwhile the fake-“left” is just as exposed for its craven and treacherous condemnation of “terrorism” particularly since the 2001 New York WTC attack.

If “terrorism” is to be condemned as “the wrong way to fight” as most of the Trots have held since then at least (and mostly before) or is to be declared to be nothing but “Islamic headbanging” or “CIA mercenary counter-revolution” as some revisionist Stalinist have said (to avoid too obviously capitulating to Western “war on terror” nonsense), – then what are they now to say????

Are the Gazans going to be condemned for a collective fight under Hamas leadership????

Will they be attacked for “terrorist methods” instead of the “left pressure” uselessness of the fake-“left”.

In fact the slippery answer comes from some already, sliding round the issue by declaring it is the upheavals of the Israeli Arabs inside “Israel” which were the “real factor” forcing the Zionists to pull back and specifically denouncing Hamas (SWP) or declaring that Hamas was “not really a factor” (the middle class’ favourite pseudo-Marxist posturer, professor Slavoj Zizek).

What sick and treacherous garbage!

The defeat of Zionism was achieved by years of organisation, discipline and fighting development and resilience.

Those Arabs living inside "Israel", with a (very) slightly more comfortable life, have always held back from the struggle before, during 70 years of occupation; that they exploded this time is because the lead given by Gaza in particular, and the blow it has inflicted on the Zionists, on top of decades of developing struggle, has transformed everything.

The "Israeli" Arabs were following, responding to a fighting lead.

If Zionism (and America behind it) was shocked and this contributed to it pulling back, that is because it indicates a new level of fighting unity by the Palestinians.

And it is not just the eight million Palestinians; the entire Arab world is affected.

Jordan’s ruling class monarchy is in turmoil for example.

And the rulers in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Bahrain are all feeling their collars, having made deals with the Zionists over the last year on opening borders and trade etc.

Hamas itself will now be confronted with a need for further development, to overcome the Sunni/Shia sectarianism that hampers the fight.

But the real challenge raised is to get past the religious ideology altogether and develop objective dialectical materialist leadership, – Leninism.

Alan Scott

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Pratesevich_Belarus_protestor_Nazi-saluteThe “journalist” Raman Pratasevich, just trapped by the Belarus diversion of a Lithuania-bound Ryanair flight to Minsk airport , is no such thing but a fascist counter-revolutionary organiser. He has close links to the Ukrainian Nazis who were sponsored by American $billions to pull off the Maidan Orange “colour revolution” in Ukraine in 2014. Pictures here show him delivering Nazi salutes and joining the Ukrainian fascists in toppling and breaking up a Lenin statue (obviously without any hypocritical “leave the statues alone” proscriptions). His “journalism” is nothing to do with “reporting” anything but spreading lurid anti-communist propaganda including sophisticated animated graphics filled with Pratavich_Ukraine_toppling_Lenin_statuegrotesque big lie imagery of alleged bloodshed, obviously created by Western intelligence agencies. Its parodic images of Lukashenko etc with hands dripping with blood, are like modern media versions of the propaganda postcards dropped by the imperialists during World War One alleging “bayoneted babies” and so forth. No such real imagery exists of course, because no such events have happened. The smarting Western confected “diplomatic outrage” is gross hypocrisy as an excuse to impose sanctions, and is the real “act of war” against the Lukashenko revisionist remnant of the former Belarus Soviet workers state. Minsk is acting proactively to correctly defend itself against months of Western disruption. Pratasevich’s links with the exiled “opposition” in Lithuania, itself run by an SS-celebrating government, further expose Western aggression. As always the Western media now pours out lies about “torture” etc based entirely no evidence whatsoever, but merely the “opinion of friends” who are “sure he has been”.

 

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A right (wing) Royal mess as the ruling class shoots itself in the foot discrediting its own reactionary BBC propaganda machine and its faltering monarchy and parasitical aristocracy

The extraordinary and vicious hatchet job against journalist Martin Bashir around the Princess Diana interview is a desperate attempt by the ruling class to rehabilitate the monarchy before the ailing and ageing Queen dies.

As the indifferent response to the death of Prince Phillip has already shown, public opinion is no longer in thrall to the pomposity and arrogance of this aristocratic and parasitical throwback system.

The world has moved on and grovelling class-collaboration and the corruption of “empire” is long gone (or at least going).

But the ruling class is more desperate than ever to maintain its “authority” as the world capitalist crisis heads for the rocks of the greatest ever economic breakdown, the Catastrophe Marxist science has been warning the working class about for decades and especially since the 2008 global bank collapse (see multiple past EPSRs).

Britain is one of the weakest links in an international monopoly capitalist order which itself is being savaged by the trade war, and it is losing badly even in the City finance arena which is one of its few remaining strengths, after destroying or selling off most industrial and other capacities (to suppress militant workers like the miners).

It now faces total disaster as it is outcompeted in the cutthroat conditions now prevailing and rapidly due to get worse as soon as the endless dollar printing implodes into massive inflation and even more ruthless international competition for collapsing markets.

To try and hold its ground British Empire nostalgia has been tapped heavily by the ruling class through its Brexit stupidity, using it to try and wind up the crude chauvinism and outright jingoism needed for all-out international warmongering, the only destination for the capitalist crisis.

It is why British nuclear war capacity has been expanded.

But the disastrous mess of a useless “Royal family” and its even more pointless accretions of completely useless hanger-on aristocrats who can barely speak properly because of their noses are so far in the air, (or up their arses), all sponging on the public purse to maintain their ridiculously serviced indolent “lifestyle”, is already a laughing stock, and certainly not a suitable focal point for inspiring a new round of world warmongering and sacrifice by the masses in the interests of “our British way of life” and “sovereignty”.

Such “validity” which has still been maintained in the royal racket among middle-class public opinion has been focussed around the Queen herself as somehow representing “dignified service” or somesuch piece of inverted lying nonsense, and a complete illusion anyway (remember the Canadian DJ hoax phone call she stupidly fell for – see EPSR No826 31-10-95), while contempt for the rest of them has steadily deepened.

Who wants a king who has to have a batman to put the toothpaste on the brush in the morning? Or has a brother who hangs out with degenerate gangster thug Sheikhs in the Middle East to sell arms (to slaughter masses in Yemen etc) by giving them a “royal” validation, and who uses his spare time to hang out with billionaire paedophiles (to say the least).

Was it “service to the people” for the Queen to cover that up? Or to share a carriage with the Dubai billionaire horse-owner sheikh who kidnaps and possibly does worse to his own daughters?

The foetid mess of this British figurehead establishment has just about survived.

But the revelations by Diana were a devastating blow against the stuffy arrogance, reaction and parasitical uselessness of the Royal Family from which it has never recovered.

Diana’s own playgirl vacuousness and upper-class privilege of was little better, living a high life of empty pointlessness and indolence, but she partly gave voice to anti-establishment feelings and yearnings for change as the EPSR said at the time of her death [EPSR No917 09-09-97]:

[..]sick hysteria about Diana’s death continued throughout the week of mourning, the funeral, and after.

The ‘star’-oriented elitist capitalist system continued to be milked for all it was worth by the imperialist media and the Establishment.

But alongside the exploitation of naïve gawping, innocent sentimentality, and crass posturing, - there could also be heard the rumbling of revolts[].

Many of the howls of contempt for the blatantly ludicrous hypocrisy of the press, – hounding Diana one minute mercilessly, but turning her into the saintliest woman that has ever lived the next, – aimed wider at capitalist-society humbug in general.

The emerging scepticism in the published letters columns did not quite reach the point of condemning the whole iconography of the hero-worshipping capitalist economic system, but it did grasp the confusion, inadequacy, and the wish to belong to something worthwhile, being expressed in the daft Diana-cult.

Diana’s rebellion against the vicious Establishment which thought she should have carried on her aristocratic duty as the loyal royal consort without complaining, whatever the provocations and injury, was not the cause of popular discontent with the ruling-class system, – but it has acted as a lightning-conductor for it.

People are beginning to loudly disapprove of the grotesque inequalities in this society, which are not only continuing but rapidly worsening.

It is a paradox that one vehicle for the popular expression of this discontent has been the bizarre story of an exploited upper-class female who decided to get her own back on the Establishment which used her.

Although a spoiled and unstable aristocratic brat herself, Diana shared enough contemporary ‘lifestyle’ features with ordinary people to win widespread identification in her quite ruthless war with the powers-that-be.

The sentimental sympathy the public expressed for her last week was sadly misplaced, - but its harder anti-monarchy edge was an interesting warning of trouble to come for the British imperialist system.

The dramatic open criticism of the royal family from all directions had far more to it than just indignation at the cruelties of arranged-marriage settlements when things go wrong, or anger at the unfeeling woodenness with which the monarchy pursued its vendetta with Diana.

Her albeit false appearance of ‘concern for everyone’, ‘openly shared suffering’, and ‘lively spontaneous dedication to duty’, etc, was also partly taken up so as to ask: ‘But what about all these other royals? What do they do? What use are they?’, etc.

The astonishing funeral-address attack on the royal family’s savagery towards Diana by her brother, the 9th Earl Spencer, even stirred the ‘safe’ official congregation in the Abbey to unprecedented applause.

Ironically it is now the same Earl leading the pack for the vicious and duplicitous establishment attack on Martin Bashir.

It monstrously picks up on a fairly trivial piece of journalistic sharp practice which the entire bourgeois press uses routinely in the shark-invested water of the battle for “scoops” and therefore circulation and prestige and turns it into an alleged “major scandal” supposedly on a par with Nixon’s Watergate or other historic scandals and breakdowns.

It is utter gobshyte, ridiculous hyperbole and glaring hypocrisy.

Most of the billionaire press, which has now joined the feeding frenzy against Bashir for its own profiteering purposes, hoping to sabotage the BBC and bite-off sections of its market share, routinely uses and continues to use far worse methods, witness the phone hacking scandals (and similar trickery also applied to Diana).

The utterly poisonous press and establishment campaign to discredit Bashir with non-stop self-whipping grovelling interviews at the BBC and a round of staged resignations and pompous exaggerated and completely meaningless lying rubbish about “never repeating the mistakes that were made” etc is aimed at Diana herself.

It wants to undermine the telling criticisms and exposures of the British ruling class she led to, by pretending that she was “not really herself” and “driven to paranoia”.

Somehow this is supposed to disprove the great slew of scandal, decline, stupidity and disdainful pomposity that was revealed.

It obviously does the exact opposite by further demonstrating the small-minded, vicious vengefulness and hate-filled scapegoating that comprises British ruling class behaviour.

On the back of a relatively minor transgression the pretence is being made that if the Bashir forgery – he allegedly fixed up some bank statements to persuade the family to give him access – had not happened Diana would have happily and calmly lived out the prescribed royal cipher life she was supposed to acquiesce to (like Princess Latifa perhaps???)

The working class does not need to feel too sorry for Bashir (or the reactionary BBC) who played in the same shark-waters, but the campaign to hang him out to dry demonstrates the full capacity of the vicious ruling class to wreak vengeance for any challenge to its privilege and pampered lifestyle.

Everything is now being piled on his head, with some of the most ludicrous and slanderous allegations even suggesting that Bashir was “responsible for Diana’s death” using the insanely twisted logic that the whole process had “made her paranoid, which led to her dismissing her security detail” – something that has nothing to do with her subsequent playgirl lifestyle but is implied to be the cause of the Paris accident.

But as just a few paragraphs in the less hysterical press tamely point out - in the most timidly apologetic manner, Princess Diana was already long embarked on such a course; an entire book had been written around this a year previously.

And far from being the naïve and influenceable little girl that the establishment is arrogantly trying to present, barely able feed herself and in need of constant protection, she was feisty and determined in this battle and in various causes she adopted like AIDS and landmines.

Of course such celebrity patronage and charity work itself is also a part of the entire racket of imperialism, diverting attention from the only way such societal horrors and arms race degeneracy will really be dealt with, by overturning the whole of capitalism which is driving war destruction all the way to the Third World War.

But it is a long way from the closed in world of “royal” moneygrubbing and parasitism on the back of the exploited masses.

Like this for example:

Claims that the Queen’s cousin was willing to use his royal status to sell privileged access to Vladimir Putin’s regime have raised questions over whether he should keep his honorary position in the British army, according to Labour.

Prince Michael of Kent allegedly told undercover reporters posing as investors from South Korea that he could be hired for £10,000 a day to make “confidential” representations to the Russian president’s team.

A recording allegedly suggests Prince Michael offered his royal endorsement in exchange for a $200,000 fee during a virtual meeting and was happy to use his home in Kensington Palace as a backdrop for a speech promoting a fake South Korean gold company.

His friend, the Marquess of Reading, later described the prince as “Her Majesty’s unofficial ambassador to Russia”.

Prince Michael has denied the claims, which were made by Channel 4 Dispatches in collaboration with the Sunday Times. Reporters set up a firm called House of Haedong and approached five members of the royal family with an offer of a role.

Michael’s office insisted he had no “special relationship” with Putin and that he had had no contact with the Russian premier or his team since June 2003, when they last met.

But John Healey, the Labour MP and shadow defence secretary, said that the investigation “raises serious questions” about whether the prince should retain his position as senior colonel of the King’s Royal Hussars.

The 78-year-old, who is a first cousin of the Queen, does not receive money from the civil list and earns a living acting as chair of his own private company, which offers consultancy advice.

He was also approached about a role helping the fictitious gold firm in Russia, it was alleged.

The programme said Prince Michael’s business partner, Simon Isaacs, formally known as the Marquess of Reading, had used an event at Kensington Palace in 2013, where Prince Michael was a guest, to sell access to Putin.

The event, to promote the Russian wrestling sport of Sambo, also offered opportunities to personally meet the Russian leader at a later date, Dispatches found.

In a recorded meeting with the undercover reporters, Isaacs said: “If he [Prince Michael] is representing the House of Haedong, he could mention that to Putin and Putin would find the right person who is interested in South Korea or interested in gold. It just opens the door, you know, which is so helpful.”

He added: “I think, if I can say this, this is kind of slightly discreet, we’re talking relatively discreetly here. Because we wouldn’t want the world to know that he is seeing Putin purely for business reasons, if you follow me.”

So, little different to the “commoner” Tories and the rest of the establishment and their scratch-my-back chumocracy pocket-lining with massive unchecked contracts and deals, revolving-door lucrative jobs, influence peddling and an overall tide of sleaze that is drowning the entire establishment.

And little different in fact to the reactionary Labourites who are as up to the necks in pigging at the trough through “consultancies” or MPs’ expenses etc and the general pocket-lining that goes on around parliament and the public purse.

Remember the similar 2015 sting against Tory MP Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw, – one from each side of the pretend “democracy” racket – both selling “access” for large “fees”?

Small wonder the Labourites make only the most tepid murmurings about the “need for an inquiry” over the tens of billions Covid handout scandals – obviously pushing everything in to the long grass as every other “inquiry” does or tries to (establishment child abuse, the Grenfell cladding corruption, the Iraq war, Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy massacre).

The whole parliamentary racket is one giant cover-up for the reality of capitalist sleaze and profiteering, taking advantage of the working class and bleeding it dry.

Or as one EPSR put it (No897 01-04-97):

British capitalism is governed by big business, and the all-party House of Commons is the place where everything is fixed up.

All capitalism is extortion and unjust exploitation, - the minority who have the property, the capital, the connections, or the know-how, profiting out of the majority who are less fortunate.

This domination and injustice is all repackaged as “fair, legal, and democratic” by the parliamentary system, which is inseparable from the lobbying influence of big business.

But it is precisely the essential corruption of the capitalist system which is the real issue.

Because all exploitation (profiteering) can only breed crookedness, deception, and cheating at some stage, then the whole system is built on “being economical with the truth”.

If crime and corruption are eventually accepted as impossibly incompatible with a truly civilised society, then capitalist profiteering has got to be seen as a backward way of running things.

Capitalism has to go.

Build Leninism.

Duncan Trubshaw

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Discussion:

Loss of Ethiopia’s brutal 30-year imperialist-stooge policing role in the Horn of Africa via the overthrow of the much reviled Tigrayan ethnic-chauvinists is a major defeat for imperialism and may even help clear the decks for the restoration of proletarian-dictatorship state control at some stage. The twisted Western media against onslaught on Ethiopia fight to suppress the US-backed TPLF gangsters confirms the anti-imperialist sentiment running through Abiy Ahmed’s pan-Ethiopian bourgeois democratic nationalism.

[ Part 1 - part 2 will further examine muddled and mistaken revisionist CPGB-ML (Lalkar/Proletarian) hostility to Abiy].

The deluge of fabricated and distorted intelligence agency-fed “rape and massacre” stories about Ethiopia pumped through Western imperialist and African media outlets since the initial routing of the counter-revolutionary Tigrayan US-stooges in November 2020, confirms that president Abiy Ahmed’s bourgeois-nationalist leadership of Ethiopia is not in the interests of imperialism [see EPSR 1587].

The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has played a key stooge role for imperialism on the Horn of Africa since its foundation almost immediately after the revolutionary Derg military committee took power following the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution – first in its vicious secessionist war against the Ethiopian workers’ and poor peasants’ struggle to build socialism and reform the land; and then, on seizing power, as imperialism’s regional policeman to suppress the emergence of local and regional revolutionary and anti-imperialist movements (invading neighbouring Somalia to fight the al-Sheabaab Islamists on US imperialism’s behalf; allowing the US military to set up the Arba Minch drone and surveillance base; hosting CIA “extraordinary rendition” torture camps, etc).

It was toppled by mass protests from 2015-18 and, with imperialist support, has waged an increasingly violent campaign ever since to destabilise the country and make it ungovernable for the new nationalist administration under Abiy Ahmed and his, so far successful, fight to remove its political and economic dominance of Ethiopia. The fall of the TPLF from power has been a major blow for Western imperialism in the region, which is why Abiy is hated.

A corollary to the increasingly demented CIA/MI6/Mossad black propaganda campaign to discredit Abiy is the conscious playing down or re-writing of alleged or admitted massacres committed by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and other ethnic-chauvinist militias, including last November’s Mai Kadra slaughter of over 600 Amhara migrant workers, and the rampaging killings and abductions of Amhara people by Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) thugs. Also largely “forgotten” are the rocket attacks launched by the TPLF on Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, including its international airport, on 12-28 November that provoked Eritrea’s military intervention.

The media reports on Tigray are of the same character as the other ongoing imperialist-orchestrated campaigns to destabilise assorted anti-imperialist regimes (Belarus, Myanmar, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria etc.) and the workers’ states (“Uighur genocide” lies, Hong Kong, etc). This includes the unquestioning credence given to unsubstantiated claims from unspecified sources, and the interviews of carefully coached “victims” of alleged “violence targeting civilians”, “sexual violence”, “starvation crimes” etc.

Credence is given, for example, to the partisan accounts of TPLF sympathisers (despite the admittance that the details are “unclear”) in this bourgeois press account:

Between 150 and 300 young men are reported to have been killed in a village near Dela, south of Samre, during fighting about six weeks ago. Though details of the incident are unclear, relatives of victims have contacted friends and sympathisers in Europe, telling them that after clashes with TPLF fighters, government soldiers rounded up men of fighting age and shot many in the fields.

Virtually the same allegations are made elsewhere in the piece from a shadowy human rights organisation’s report of an alleged “crime against humanity”, which it claims is based on the witness statements of local “residents”. No attempt is made to identify who these individuals are or what they were doing at the time.

Would they be the same “residents” who participated on the attack on Eritrean forces alongside the TPLF that preceded the alleged crime by any chance?:

On Friday, Human Rights Watch said the massacre in Axum occurred after Tigrayan militia members, joined by some residents, attacked Eritrean soldiers. The Eritreans called in reinforcements, then began searching for young men and boys, and executing them.

Suspicions as to the truth of such dubious claims is further aroused by the failure to separate the alleged executions from the killings that occurred in the midst of the battles said to be taking place at the time (in which under-aged recruits may have been involved), or raise the possibility that those said to have been executed may have been captured soldiers.

Such stories of “men and boys” executions echo the fabricated 1995 Srebrenica “genocide” claims [see Herman and Peterson’s The Politics of Genocide (2011)] used to demonise Slobodan Milosevic’s revisionist-nationalist leadership of Serbia in the former Yugoslavia workers’ state) and win petty-bourgeois sympathy for, or acquiescence in, its eventual bombing by Nazi-NATO four years later.

A further immediate “justification” for this blitzkrieg was the fraudulent “Racek massacre” in which the bodies of dead KLA fighters were re-arranged and dressed in civilian clothes, and then re-shot following a firefight [eg EPSR 995, 1089].

Neither is there any evidence of “the deliberate use of starvation as a weapon of war” as recently claimed by the reactionary World Peace Foundation in a one-sided Channel 4 report and follow-on interview with a research professor, and obvious TPLF sympathiser. None of the footage showed any actual starvation taking place today, although the report did concede that the TPLF itself used starvation as a weapon in the east of the country in 2008.

The allegation that Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Marxist-Leninist government starved millions of Tigrayans in 1984/5 during its war against the TPLF is a CIA lie disseminated at the time to discredit socialism and it is now repeated in the report unquestioningly as fact.

The opposite was the case. The TPLF leadership, including the future president Meles Zenawi, siphoned off millions of dollars of famine aid and used it to buy weapons to wage its separatist war against Ethiopia’s workers state and enrich themselves; the main road to the famine-hit areas in Tigray was under constant attack by TPLF forces, making it impassable for aid convoys.

However, it is plausible that there are current instances of hunger and malnutrition in Tigray, caused by the TPLF’s disruption of the regional infrastructure as the Ethiopian Embassy said in its response:

The facts on the ground are entirely detached from the situation painted in the report, which deliberately ignores the fact that the TPLF callously started the brutal attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Forces just before the harvest season. It should be made clear that 1.8 million people in Tigray were already living on safety programmes over the last two decades. Furthermore, recent events, such as the locust infestation, the Covid 19 pandemic and the TPLF’s warmongering have exacerbated the situation in the region.

In Yemen, just across the Red Sea, hundreds of thousands have been killed or maimed since 2014 by imperialist-backed Saudi Arabia’s coalition forces, and millions more deliberately brought to the point of starvation by blockades of seaports with barely a crocodile tear shed by the West’s media.

Why the sudden concern about alleged massacres and starvation crimes in Tigray???

The obvious answer is that there is an anti-imperialist content to Abiy Ahmed’s bourgeois-nationalism.

This Goebbels-level media onslaught on Ethiopia’s fight for national independence has nothing to do with establishing the truth of any of the claims made, and everything to do with imperialism setting it up for even more devastating war upheavals in the future if it can get away with it – including possible war with stooge Egypt over Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile.

For nearly thirty years following the TPLF’s seizure of power in 1991 from Mengistu’s Marxist-Leninist Workers’ Party of Ethiopia, Ethiopia served as US imperialism’s policeman on the Horn of Africa. Its overthrow was a significant defeat for imperialist interests in the region.

Abiy’s rise to power in 2018 came on the back of the huge waves of revolutionary upheavals that have engulfed the region since capitalism’s near-catastrophic financial collapse in 2007-8 – including the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, etc. (but not the CIA’s deliberately stirred-up counter-revolutionary war provocations against anti-imperialist Libya and Syria, bogusly dressed up as more of the “Arab Spring” but aimed at confusing and disorientating the Arab masses, and setting these two countries up alone for invasion and civil war) – as well as the recent Chad upheavals and the sustained Islamist insurgencies across the Middle East and north Africa, including neighbouring Somalia and nearby Yemen, and now spreading into the northern regions of Mozambique.

The developments within Ethiopia are driven by a desire amongst the petty-bourgeoisie and large sections of the national bourgeoisie to rise above the ethnic-nationalist clannishness and divisiveness that had become embedded in the federal structure cobbled together by competing anti-communist ethnic militias and other bourgeois reactionaries in 1995.

This backward ethnic-federalism had been holding back Ethiopia’s national bourgeois development before Abiy’s reforms. The devastating consequences of the capitalist crisis since 2008 had already exacerbated pre-existing ethnic, religious and class antagonisms within Ethiopian society and were pushing its federalist constitution to a breaking point.

Leninism recognises the right of nations to self-determination, but argues that each claim has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, paying attention to the balance of class forces and the over-riding interests of the proletariat in its struggle to overthrow imperialism and progress towards socialism.

On this point, a previous article (in EPSR No 1587) said that aside from the declaration of peace with neighbouring Eritrea signed in 2018, there was nothing to indicate that Abiy recognises the right of the nations that make up Ethiopia to self-determination, and suggested that this meant that his pan-Ethiopian nationalism could possibly have a chauvinist “greater Ethiopian” character to it.

But further research suggests this was overstating things. Whilst it cannot be ruled out that such chauvinism may be present, it should be pointed out that the existing 1995 federal constitution grants the right to self-determination to the point of secession to all of the 80-plus ethnic groups that make up Ethiopia. Abiy has not made any moves against this. Instead, he has added an additional state to the number of regional ethno-linguist states that make up the federal structure to improve the ethnic balance (possibly a temporary measure in lieu of a complete constitutional overhaul of the federal system).

The difficulty with Ethiopia’s previous federalist arrangements is that they have solidified pre-existing ethnic divisions, encouraged ethnic competition and rivalry over scarce resources, and granted privileges to the more powerful ethnic groups whilst marginalising minor ones.

This is not the genuine integration of nations into a united national entity with fully equal rights for all, including the right to secede, Lenin argued was necessary [See Lenin, The right of nations to self-determination, 1914].

Abiy’s 2018 reforms were aimed at addressing the injustices that arose from this politically, by transforming the governing ethnic-based coalition into a single party of national unity. Although the TPLF refused to take part and took up arms against the reforms, and others from Abiy’s Oromo ethnic group (eg. the OLA) have accused him of betrayal and also responded with violence and brutality, those reforms have brought previously excluded and marginalised minorities into the political process.

A key part of this process is the ongoing reforms aimed at transforming the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) into a modern bourgeois army, comprising all nationalities and loyal to the national constitution, by purging the sectarian pro-imperialist Tigrayan leadership from its higher ranks and restructuring the lower ranks. This included the redeployment of troops based at the highly important Northern Command headquarters in Makelle, Tigray.

The TPLF responded to these reforms by financing and organising opposition groups and whipping up violence and ethnic hatred to destabilise Ethiopia.

To sabotage the redeployment process they encouraged Tigrayan troops and officers of the ENDF to demobilise and defect to informal militia groups. They then launched their murderous assault on the Northern Command HQ and on other local bases on 4 November 2020 in collusion with treacherous Trigrayan officers within the ENDF, and looted its armoury of a large store of heavy weapons and other military equipment.

In contrast to the lurid hate-campaigning against Addis Ababa, no attempt has been made by the Western bourgeois media so far to investigate Abiy Ahmed’s claims that, following the assault, the TPLF identified and separated hundreds of unarmed Ethiopian soldiers of non-Tigrayan origin, tied their hands and feet together, massacred them in cold blood, and left their bodies lying in open air. He also claimed that the killers filmed themselves dancing on the bodies of their victims.

The ENDF had to respond militarily to maintain its own integrity, prevent the destabilisation of Ethiopia as a whole, and protect the Tigrayan people from the now heavily-armed TPLF militia gangs.

The TPLF was swiftly routed, but they have continued, with imperialist covert backing, in their attempts to sabotage the struggle for national unity.

There is no indication that Abiy intends to return Ethiopia to the path of revolutionary socialist workers’ state construction begun by Mengistu’s Derg military committee following the 1974 Revolution, but brutally cut short by counter-revolution in 1991. He has declared his commitment to capitalism as the means of solving Ethiopia’s deep economic crisis. But this does not mean that these pan-Ethiopian moves do not have any anti-imperialist content.

The wooden, straight-line thinking of the Lalkar/Proletarian Stalinist revisionists gets Abiy hopelessly wrong, and ends up implying that the Ethiopians would be better off under the deposed TPLF gangster-stooges:

Abiy Ahmed is no revolutionary. In order to attract yet more foreign investment, he is keen to privatise everything in sight, even though public ownership of much of the economy was undoubtedly important in assisting Ethiopia’s economic rise.

Any “economic rise” Ethiopia had achieved had more to do with the dangerously high levels of foreign indebtedness to fund huge infrastructure projects, as well as the huge levels of foreign aid received as a reward for stooging for imperialism, than the fact that large sections of Ethiopia’s economy remained in “public ownership”. Additional super-exploitation of the rural and urban proletariat by international monopoly corporations, and the forcible removal of agricultural communities to make way for large scale commercial agriculture (funded by British aid) has followed to pay off the debts.

Lalkar’s piece ignores the obvious question – Why would imperialism have launched a hostile and increasingly demented media campaign to discredit Abiy, build sympathy for the TPLF thugs and stir up ethnic and religious strife if his privatisation programme was about to open Ethiopia up to super-exploitation by the monopoly multinational corporations?

A privatisation free-for-all would have been met with jubilation from the rival imperialist powers, desperate to expand into whatever new markets they can to ensure that they do not come out the worst in the onrushing capitalist collapse.

His aim has not been to “privatise everything in sight” anyway. Much of the planned or initiated privatisations of key industries (in the telecoms, airline, shipping and electricity sectors) are partial privatisations that leave the state with the controlling interest. Others are to be partially or fully privatised.

This privatisation is not driven by any ideological subjective “keenness” on Abiy’s part but is, at least in part, a pragmatic bourgeois-nationalist response to the devastating effects the capitalist crisis is already having on Ethiopia and the rest of the third world, and imperialism’s strategy of pushing the burden of the crisis onto them first.

A key aim of his economic programme is also to remove the TPLF’s corrupting influence on Ethiopia’s national economy, as this bourgeois piece from last November explains:

The TPLF’s political and military power eventually gave rise to economic dominance as it enabled its leaders to exercise complete control of the country’s economy and natural resources—mainly its land—as well as aid flows and loans. In recent years, Ethiopia received, on average, about $3.5 billion per year in foreign aid alone, which accounted for about half of the country’s national budget during the late Meles years. The TPLF-led government also took significant amounts of loans from private creditors and governments, mainly from China, which had reached 60 percent of the country’s GDP when Abiy came to power. In fact, Abiy’s new administration, which inherited meager foreign exchange reserves, has been struggling to service this debt and was forced to request deferral and renegotiation of terms of these loans from creditors.

Furthermore, the constitution that the TPLF-led government introduced in 1994, which allowed only public ownership of land, gave government officials unfettered access to abundant land resources in the southern parts of the country, particularly in Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela regions, which they leased to foreign and domestic investors in a long-term lease, amassing billions of dollars in the process. According to Human Rights Watch, by January 2011 the Ethiopian government had leased out 3.6 million hectares of land, an area equivalent to the size of the Netherlands, to foreign investors.

Moreover, the TPLF was also able to dominate virtually all sectors of the Ethiopian economy through the companies under its massive conglomerate, the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), by far the largest conglomerate in the country. Until recently, EFFORT was administered by Meles’s widow, Azeb Mesfin, and TPLF officials are still board members of the major companies under this conglomerate, which enjoyed access to loans from a financial sector that is dominated by the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Development Bank of Ethiopia….

...Since coming to power in 2018, Abiy’s new federal administration has directly threatened the TPLF’s long-standing economic dominance in Ethiopia as a whole by seeking to limit its sphere of influence to the small Tigray region.

Abiy has unveiled or carried out important economic measures that threaten the economic dominance of the leaders of the TPLF. These include his administration’s plan to privatize the state-owned Ethio Telecom, the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, and companies in the energy sector with assets of over $7 billion.

More recently, the government introduced new currency notes, which, according to the prime minister, are designed to fight corruption and smuggling; some observers noted that this was principally aimed at controlling the money outside the financial system that is held by former government officials and their economic entities that authorities suspect are engaged in illegal trade and illicit activities.

Indeed, on Nov. 17, the federal attorney general announced that the government had frozen the bank accounts of 34 of these companies for funding “ethnic-based attacks and terrorist activities, having links with and providing financial assistance to TPLF, tax avoidance and corruption.”

Privatisation is nothing new to Ethiopia. On behalf of Western capitalist interests, the TPLF set about dismantling the socialist economic system established by Ethiopia’s workers’ state structure from day one by deregulating the markets, privatising state-owned enterprises, establishing bourgeois property rights, and expanding private markets in sectors where nationalised enterprises remained.

Corruption (including embezzlement of state resources and monetary fraud) was rife as financial rewards were dished out to TPLF-regime loyalists, and their economic mismanagement created the dangerously high, and worsening, debt burden that Abiy is attempting to resolve.

Abiy’s privatisation programme and other economic reforms are not driven by capitalist profiteering, or a capitulation to monopoly-imperialist plunder. They have the appearance of a bourgeois-nationalist attempt on the part of sections of Ethiopian bourgeoisie, previously marginalised by the Tigrayan TPLF’s ethnic-biased dominance of power and stoogery for imperialist interests, to gain a degree of national economic independence in the face of a potentially devastating debt crisis in the midst of a deepening world capitalist crisis.

Ethipoia's Megistu with CastroThe ethnic and religious disturbances deliberately stirred up by the TPLF and other reactionaries are being used by imperialism to put pressure on Ethiopia to submit to its diktat. However, although dangerous, they do not seem to date to have escalated beyond the level of local and border skirmishes.

Ethiopia has yet to see the sort of urban petty-bourgeois violent street provocations imperialism has managed to get going in Myanmar. Although they will be attempting non-stop to provoke a similar reaction in Addis Ababa and other major cities, the petty-bourgeoisie seem to placated for the time being by the hope that they will benefit from the privatisations and collapse the TPLF’s kleptocracy.

Also to be taken into consideration are the bourgeois fears that further lurches in the crisis will force the working class and poor masses towards proletarian revolutionary struggle once again (signs of which could be seen in the earlier 2018 mass protests to overthrow the TPLF). Abiy’s pan-Ethiopian nationalism would then become an obstacle that gets in the way of the workers’ fight for socialist revolution.

Petty-bourgeois acquiescence will only continue for as long as they feel they have something to gain from Abiy’s reforms. Revolutionary turmoil and growing proletarian stridency is likely compel sections of them to line up besides the working class, whilst others will turn to the out-and-out fascist reaction the TPLF represents.

These class war pressures will eventually supersede ethnic and religious divisions, and could potentially push the bourgeois forces around Abiy towards out-and-out collaboration and stoogery with imperialism, though this remains to be seen.

As with the Bolsheviks’ tactical response to the Kornilov rebellion in July 1917 when they prioritised the fight to oppose Kornilov’s fascist counter-revolutionary coup attempt against the anti-Tsarist gains of the February revolution whilst vigorously explaining that this in no way implied giving any support to Kerensky’s pro-war bourgeois regime, the [Leninist] approach to take now is to fight unconditionally alongside Abiy to defeat the TPLF, the other ethnic chauvinist reactionaries and imperialist intrigue, whilst warning the working class against providing any support to his bourgeois-nationalism and continuing to insist on the need for proletarian revolution.

Lalkar fails to provide any analysis of the balance of class forces, or explain the need to overturn the bourgeois state by revolution, and so the working class is left with the implication that “public ownership” is, in and of itself, “a step in the right direction”. This is class collaborating reformism.

[Part Two continues next issue]

Phil Waincliffe

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Death of a comrade: long standing EPSR comrade Rod George (usually signing as Chris Barratt) has died suddenly

With great sadness we must report the sudden and shocking death of comrade Rod George at the age of 63.

Rod George - sudden deathDespite previous relatively good health he suffered a massive stroke on the morning of Monday 17th of May and was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation. A large blood clot was found in his neck leading to serious and extensive brain damage and total brain death by midweek. Further medical investigation revealed another clot on his brain and smaller clots on the brain surface. Life support was switched off in the afternoon, Friday 21st.

He had received the second of two AstraZeneca Covid vaccinations the previous Friday and reported pins-and-needles on the Sunday. We have written to the hospital and local MP to ask what connection there might be in what seems beyond coincidence.

Comrade Rod was with the EPSR from early days (when it was known as the International Leninist Workers Party) and made continuous and multiple contributions to the polemic and discussion at a high level as well as putting the Leninist position in many meetings and debates. He made significant contributions after joining the Socialist Labour Party until the EPSR editor was forced out or face censorship. He also wrote numerous articles, leaflets and contributions. In recent past years he had significant, sometimes hostile, differences around the group on the leadership question but supported the paper. He was in polemical debate developing this philosophical line at his death with an article pending; that will be taken up in a future issue. DH

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