Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & Philosophic Science Review

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


Latest paper

No 1571 18th February 2020

The fascist and racist reality of the capitalist international “order” sliding into trade war hostility, belligerence and degeneracy becomes clearer every passing day. But STILL the fake -“left” clings on to useless “democracy” and social-pacifist delusions, refusing to give the working class a scrap of understanding about the intractability of the rapidly deepening crisis, heading back to utter catastrophe and war (WWIII). Instead of building vital revolutionary perspectives they try to revive the corpse of “official trade unionism” and Labourite treachery, all saturated in the flag-waving jingoism that is the key symptom of capitalist breakdown and conflict, preparing the world for the hot war culmination of bitter trade conflict. Brexit “leftism” plays this tune and so too the more limited Scottish and Welsh nationalisms. But the Irish national-liberation struggle is another matter altogether, striking a blow against moribund British imperialism, as reconfirmed by the latest elections

The most bemusing aspect of the world capitalist crisis is how the entire spectrum of “left” parties and groups still cling on to the old reformist formulas and useless “protest”, when the crude reality of imperialism as a system of armsrace warmongering, slump austerity, trade war, international intimidation, tyrannical exploitation, torture, and domestic repression has never been more obvious.

The need for revolutionary perspectives has never been more urgent.

Yet even as the ruling class pretences of “democracy” are trampled across more brazenly than ever, - (Trump contempt for impeachment, or constitutional rulings, and for international law; Tory/Brexit manipulation for electoral dictatorship; open racism and fascist depravity; go-ahead for unrestricted “might is right” Zionist landtheft genocidal thuggery in Palestine); – as warmongering threats and Middle East devastation become non-stop and repression of “free speech” and the “free press” is intensified across the board, with persecution and killing of journalists worldwide; and as drug and crime degeneracy relentlessly deepens (now 95 murders a day in US corrupted Mexico alone eg), the fake-“left” reverts even more to its insipid and laughable calls for “more democracy”, hopeless “no to war” social pacifist bleating and its handwringing “protests” which never change anything and never will.

Only complete transformation of all human affairs, can now stop this plunge into Slump disaster, international trade war hatreds and its Third World War finale.

That is an historic revolutionary task which only the working class can carry out, through gigantic class war struggles to end the whole outmoded and increasingly corrupt, inefficient, and tyrannical monopoly capitalist order which is dragging the planet into horrific destruction through war, as it did in 1914 and 1939, as well as via a dozen subsidiary disasters including environmental collapse, ecological breakdown and unprecedented pollution (all solvable only by ending capitalist profiteering and establishing socialism).

To carry through this titanic struggle requires a philosophical upheaval to re-establish and further develop scientific understanding and revolutionary leadership (Marxism-Leninism) for and in the working class, demolishing the anti-theory philistinism and anti-communism which is pumped into brains morning, noon and night, so that the most advanced workers can organise the great fights to come.

But far from using the now glaring realities of economic decline and political collapse into fascist chauvinism, world hostility and barbaric brute bullying and intimidation, as the evidence and argument for rebuilding the vital revolutionary leadership party, needed for the struggle to overthrow this degenerate and historically bankrupt monopoly capitalist system, the “left” retreat deeper into the old failed reformism (fragmented and despised like never before as the last election showed).

It might even be dressed up as non-violent “anti-capitalism” or “steps towards” revolution by the more theatrically “left” groups, but never makes clear the vital need for the class war taking of power by force to bring all human production into common ownership to build socialism.

Least of all do they make clear the unstoppability of the gigantic economic implosion which is coming, the inevitable end point of the capitalist system’s pursuit of profit, as Marxist science has always warned (see EPSR box).

If there is lip service to Marx’s Communist Manifesto or Capital to maintain a “left” posture it sees the crisis only as an extra or background difficulty or a very distant prospect not really something to “keep going on about”.

For over ten years since the global bank collapse they have ignored the evidence of irreversible world economic breakdown, and its revolutionary implications, desperately clinging to pretences that a “fight against austerity” can be built by class collaborating left pressure (still within capitalism) and illusions in bourgeois “democracy”.

The working class already knows the worth of such “defence” of its conditions, as even the most tepid of petty bourgeois press social commentary can explain:

we have heard a lot of talk about Boris Johnson and his allies turning on the fiscal taps, and somehow marking the “end of austerity”. When he moved into Downing Street, the prime minister said he would be “answering at last the plea of the forgotten people and left-behind towns, by physically and literally renewing the ties that bind us together, so that with safer streets and better education, and fantastic new road and rail infrastructure and full-fibre broadband, we level up across Britain”. Some of this is likely to happen, but all over the country austerity is nonetheless grinding on.

Whatever paltry financial extras the government may now be granting councils, rising costs and increased need far outstrip them. Leeds faces cuts in the next financial year of £28m. On the Wirral, the figure is £30m; across the water in Liverpool, where the mayor, Joe Anderson, now says he will refuse to put through any further cuts beyond April 2021, there is a funding gap of £30m, only £7.2m of which will come from putting up council tax. In Doncaster, new cuts must total £18m; in Blackpool, to meet its obligations in children’s services, the council must somehow save £20m from its other work. In Newcastle, the council will have to cut £20m across its budgets in 2020-21 – and, on current projections, another £17-18m the year after that.

...For the people involved in councils, other aspects of the picture are equally confounding. Rather than being able to plan for the long term, they have to wait every year for news of what the government will give them; thanks partly to the December election, even with the start of the next financial year looming, the next set of figures was confirmed only last week. In the spring, the government will reveal its new system of so-called “fair funding”. Recent reports have suggested that allocations for social care in some of England’s most deprived areas (including many places that were until recently part of the “red wall” of Labour constituencies) will fall by £320m, while those in more affluent places will rise by around the same amount.

...other changes could balance these unfairnesses out – although many injustices would seemingly get worse. One report suggests that inner London boroughs could lose as much as a quarter of their funding. The consequences of that would be unimaginable.

....But whatever happens, most of the people I have spoken to are worried and angry for one incurable reason: the fact that after 10 years of cuts, so much damage has been done. Most of what has been closed will not come back; countless instances of need and hardship now feel like they are locked in. Brexit flags and banners, and some of those overhyped infrastructure projects, are hardly going to make up for the pain.

 

of all the lies he told, (Donald Trump)the president is proudest of the economy he claims is booming. Poor and low-income Americans know that the economy is, in fact, his greatest vulnerability.

Yes, the Dow is at a record high and official unemployment rates are lower than they have been in decades. But measuring the health of the economy by these stats is like measuring the 19th-century’s plantation economy by the price of cotton. However much the slaveholders profited, enslaved people and the poor white farmers whose wages were stifled by free labor did not see the benefits of the boom.

In America today, 140 million people are poor or low wealth. While three individuals own as much wealth as all of them put together, the real cost of living has soared as wages have stagnated. Since the 1970s, the number of people who are paying more than a third of their monthly income in rent has doubled, and there is not a single county in the nation where a person working full-time at minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Sixty per cent of African Americans are poor or low-income, as are 64% of Hispanics, but the largest single racial group among America’s poor and low-income – 66 million Americans – are white.

While Trump stirs racial fears by attacking “sanctuary cities” and black political leaders, there are more white Americans who are unable to meet their basic needs than at any time in this nation’s history. Every day in America roughly 700 people die from poverty. When seven young people died from vaping, Trump called it a national emergency. But for the past four decades, Republicans have racialized poverty while Democrats have run from it, adopting euphemisms like “those who aspire to the middle class” to talk about poor people. By accepting the lie that everyone does better when the economy does better, both parties paved the way for the extremism of a plutocratic presidency.

We know that elites whose stock portfolios and personal taxes have benefited from the Trump tax cuts are going to stand by this president. But those people are an extreme minority – a literal plutocracy – in this nation. The question in 2020 is not whether Trump’s most ardent supporters will stand by him, but whether Democrats will embrace an agenda that can inspire poor and marginalized people to engage in a political system that has simply overlooked them for decades.

And these symptoms, only half the story anyway, are those in the “rich countries” only, at just the beginning of the greatest ever Catastrophic breakdown which has been temporarily held at bay (for the rich) since 2008 with insane QE credit money printing (feeding share prices etc).

For the Third World the picture is already one of sanction sieges, mass blitzing destruction or daily intimidation by drone strikes (already happening or a constant menace), or the misery and despair of past war devastation, poverty and pollution, as in southern Iraq for example, or Libya, or Yemen, or the grind and sweatshop exploitation which has always been the reality of imperialist world domination.

It will rapidly worsen everywhere when the bank credit system inevitably gives way again, and 2008 returns, multiplied by the additional burden of all the extra valueless and insanely inflationary credit – perhaps with a world implosion of the dollar system.

It is this core crisis understanding, and the huge revolts it is already triggering (largely labelled as “terrorism” and cravenly denounced by the “lefts”, alongside the bourgeoisie) which is evaded by the entire swamp, unmentioned and usually not even grasped.

One of the most treacherous expressions of this fake-“left” retreat – (or rather, the increasingly crisis-exposed face of its pretend “revolutionism” shown up for the craven pretence it has always been) – is the turn to chauvinism and nationalism, most notable around “left” support for Brexit but apparent in many forms from Scotland, Wales, to Catalonia.

With the exception of Irish nationalism, (the working through of an unfinished revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle (discussed below)) these are no more progressive than the outright reactionary nationalism festering throughout Europe, in northern Italy, much of East Europe, and in Germany, France etc (not to mention Trumpism).

Jingoism, scapegoating and racist hatred is the hallmark of the imperialist period in slump crisis, as the ruling class whips up bitter divide and rule conflicts, and blame-mongering to divert attention from the actual and only cause of catastrophe, the overproduction contradictions which hamper and eventually paralyse its entire private profit system (see box, much of Marx, & Engels, Lenin’s Imperialism etc).

“Left” notions of backing such petty bourgeois breakaway “independence” simply play the same game.

It echoes the opportunist “patriotic” alignment of the “socialist” parties of the Second International in 1914 at the beginning of the imperialist epoch, each behind its “own” ruling class in “defence of the fatherland”, to justify the titanic “Great” war for colonies and plunder which eventually slaughtered tens of millions until they rebelled, taking up the understanding of Lenin’s Bolsheviks, virtually the only party to have stood against the ruling classes, calling for their defeat and for civil war against them in each country.

As the EPSR has explained many times, Brexit is an argument within a desperate ruling class between those that see British imperialism as having its best hope of survival staying in the European monopoly bloc as trade war reaches cutthroat levels, and those that believe that stooging in a traditional American “alliance” offers the chance to ride out the WW3 destruction, keeping out of the firing line as America First crisis-driven belligerence and bullying is stepped up against allcomers, with Europe heading the hate list (fearfully expressed again this week in European diplomatic hostility to the US at the Munich security conference, complaining that Washington is tearing up the “international order” – which it is - see recent EPSR’s).

This chauvinist Brexit line, sold to the working class behind the pretence that it will “regain sovereignty” and “shake off” the restrictions imposed by the “bosses club” monopoly dominance of Europe, leaving Britain “free to develop”, is –

a) a total nonsense even in ruling class terms as has rapidly become clear around the Huawei 5G telecoms issue for example - American and “allies” (stooges like Australia) have leaned, and will continue to lean heavily, on Britain to abandon contracts with the Chinese company, part of the international trade war aggression and bogeyman fearmongering being mounted against Beijing.

Even in the unlikely event the Tories don’t give way, the boasted “Britain now proudly standing alone” decision was a capitulation anyway, restricting the much better value Huawei to a paltry 35% non-essential part of the network at major expense to major UK companies like BT which even have to remove some existing equipment (!), and to future competitiveness of the economy in general.

In other words, Brexit means complete kowtowing to Trumpism and, for the working class, continued dominance by monopoly capitalism.

It is out of the frying pan and into the fire of international exploitation by even more rapacious US hedge funds and corporate monopolies.

And b) it not only solves nothing about continued capitalist slump, which will be imposed even in the unlikely (impossible) event of some token UK “independence”, since what few bits of the has-been British economy still remaining locally owned would be as ruthless as any other bosses, but lulls the working class with the idea that chauvinism and parochialism provides some answer in itself.

It does not. It leaves them without a grasp of the crisis and prey to the worst of misleadership and backwardness fostered by the fascist nationalist groups.

The fake-“lefts” who have run the working class around for years on Brexit, have taken past class collaboration to its limit in doing do.

They encourage a Little Englanderism rooted in the Labour-TUC tradition of “getting a fair share”, which in Britain above all, as the once leading Empire power, meant a share (though a small one and never “fair” even its height) of the superprofits ripped out of the colonies by near or outright slave exploitation of billions. And while it cost the working class dear even to win the reforms it was granted over the decades (with many militant and heroic struggle sacrifices), it also inculcated a petty bourgeois “Great Nation superiority” mindset deep into the working class hampering the struggle to overturn the whole system, the only possible future for mankind.

So deeply did this “labour aristocracy” permeate the working class that it willingly ran the Empire (the source of its benefits) when in power, as the “left” Labour Attlee government demonstrated for example, and took on the anti-communist crusade at least as vigorously as the ruling class.

Labourism including its “left wing”, is part of the bourgeois system, constantly grovelling to it to “prove its worth” (as around its collusion with the disgusting nazi-Goebbels campaign by the Zionist-Jewish occupation of Palestine and its worldwide Jewish support, to suppress all opposition to its foul and genocidal colonial settlement, by labelling as “anti-semitism” even the slightest querying of its barbaric non-stop blitzing, let alone raising the issue of what this violent landtheft pseudo-state is doing on another people’s land in the first place).

There is no British empire now but the essential anti-communism remains (despite all the posturing and petty bourgeois play acting at being “revolutionary” and “Marxists” by the 50 shades of “red” groups, Trot and Revisionist which still tailend Labourism, SWP, CPB, CPGB Weekly Worker, and others, or if not trying to revive it, still advocate “left pressure” and parliamentary politics). As the austerity realities (cuttings above) make clear, there is no reinstating or rebuilding of the bourgeois trade union tradition possible, and certainly no regulating, containing or ameliorating capitalism’s slump, let alone improving it and putting it on a path to socialism.

The jingoism alone remains, blocking off of class war internationalist perspectives, including most of all that of calling for defeat of imperialism, and especially workers’ own domestic ruling class.

It has become near universal, starting with the Labourites themselves all pleading their “loyalty” to the British capitalist state in the leadership contest and even “progressive patriotism” from the “left favourite” Rebecca Long Bailey.

Bizarrely Union Jack jingoism has gone deepest of all with the museum-Stalinist CPGB-ML revisionism and its alliance with the “maverick” ex-Labour MP George Galloway in the newly launched Workers Party of Britain, an extraordinary amalgam of crude nationalism with wooden hero worship for Stalin’s leadership (which, while it correctly supports the Soviet Union’s huge achievements over 70 years, fails to understand and explain the disastrous misleadership errors and crimes of Stalinism which led on to eventual liquidationism under Gorbachev).

Its red-white-and-blue Spitfire wing roundel symbol may have been hastily modified with some cogs for “workerist” symbolism, (following unacknowledged EPSR polemical derision) but it remains a tragic parody of 1930s “national socialism” with its paper sellers dressed ridiculously in Peaky Blinders caps and coat uniforms, and approval for the “patriotic wing” of the ruling class (the Brexiters) to the fore - Galloway even declaring for “British is best” economic solutions and suggesting Boris Johnson represents a “leftward move” because of the Tory big project spending plans!!!

Only in the way Hitler’s grandiose schemes were “left” - or Mussolini’s. And the autobahns and stadia had the advantage of actually being built, not pie-in-the-sky fantasy.

One of the most specious rungs on the argument bringing the Lalkar/Proletarian CPGB-ML in line with this disgusting and dangerous populist chauvinism is the proposition that by “splitting up” Europe, Brexit helps weaken imperialism.

But this is a useless perspective if not immediately combined with an understanding of the drive to war which this is all about, and of the need to defeat and bring down capitalism by class war in your own country. But the Workers Party of Britian so-called makes no mention of this as the crucial issue, leaving the illusion that such “weakening” is in itself a “step forwards”.

It is not, it leaves capitalism intact and worse still, encourages all the worst flag waving opportunism as described.

And it does not weaken all capitalism either, just one side of it, playing into the hands of dominant Washington.

No more does the more limited nationalist notion of a breakaway Scotland or Wales do anything except shift around the pattern of bourgeois alliances from the mountebanks and reactionaries in Westminster to the mountebanks and reactionaries in Edinburgh and Brussels – or to some other part of the world from where the circling vultures of international finance (European or not) will find it easier to take over completely, once this small country of five million population is separated off.

As the EPSR has analysed in detail before (No 866, 872, 998, 1057,1085, 1159 etc etc) there is no meaningful “democratic deficit” in Scotland or Wales, which both not only merged confusedly but more or less willingly with the English bourgeoisie 300 years ago to build “Britain”, but took leading roles in the Empire plundering. Neither is an “oppressed country”.

And while Marxism will always recognise the right to secede, to do so would not serve the working class well at all, causing more confusion by urging an “independent parliament”, when the crucial fight is to expose and overturn all such bourgeois “democratic” fraudulent institutions, which hide the actual dictatorship of capital. It is perversity itself, especially when the world has just declared its complete contempt and distrust for all such “democracy” (a 60% majority internationally according to latest studies, for what such academicism is worth).

The critical focus must always be the crisis and for this overriding struggle, splitting the militant working class in Scotland away from the English workers after a century and a half of many united struggles would surely weaken the fighting capacity of all of them, simply aiding the divide and rule tactics capital has always used.

Meanwhile those arguing that such a break up would pick up on, and add to the impact of, the Irish nationalist struggle are misreading historical developments – it is the very differences between them that undermines the argument, a point emphasised precisely by lack of enthusiasm, not mention ice-cold defeatism poured allover the Sinn Féin’s stunning progress towards Irish reunification, including by the same fake-“lefts” advocating Scottish independence or devolution, ever since the armed struggle began to push back the reactionary Orange colonists culminating in 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Ireland was an oppressed nation, brutalised and colonised for 800 years, and forced to win its independence by armed anti-imperialist revolution, repeatedly tried until victory in the early twentieth century.

It remained oppressed (and remains so to some extent) in the artificial “Northern Ireland” statelet, violently ripped out of the 32 counties at the point of a black & tan bayonet in 1921 despite the then overwhelming all-Ireland general election vote in favour of independence (so much for “democracy”) with a gerrymandered border deliberately enclosing a permanent majority for the settler-colonist descendents (labelled wrongly as Protestants) and leaving a brutalised Irish native population permanently disenfranchised.

The stunningly determined armed revolution continued inevitably until the IRA/Sinn Féin forced the GFA settlement, in which it is tacitly understood that Britain withdraws and reunification eventually follows, all done at such a snail’s pace that the reality of the guerrilla war victory behind it can be fudged over and eventually forgotten (it is hoped), pretending the “return to democracy” was nothing to do with it (see multiple EPSRs eg 1147, 1224).

The sour “no surrender” supremacism of the colonists has always found this defeat difficult to swallow, with the most bigoted sections constantly looking to renege on the deal, truculently putting obstacles in its way, puling off provocations and stunts against Sinn Féin post-1998 and only grudgingly giving way in 2006 finally.

They hate the reality of the peace settlement’s steady cross-border merging in practice, seizing the chance to try and turn it back by a using the crisis-driven hung parliament paralysis in Westminster to force back “direct rule”, with a sad, resentful and dishonest colonist political strike blocking the GFA’s Stormont power sharing arrangement for four years, (at great cost to daily life in paralysed services etc) and arm twisting the Tories to re-establish British backing for the colonist’s strutting fascist arrogance to rein again.

But this throwback attempt to reverse history by forcing Theresa May to mouth about “Northern Ireland always part of the UK” could never succeed, because British imperialism is even more moth-eaten and weak than two decades ago and has no capacity to police the occupied zone again with military and police repression.

The patient SF nationalist struggle has sat it out until the DUP was finally told just that (ironically by the Boris Johnson Brexit wing of the Tories whose empire nostalgic reaction helped inflame their nasty atavistic fantasies).

The now re-established Stormont is another step in the slow victory for the nationalists, including a colonist climbdown on the Gaelic language issue they were intransigently blocking.

It was immediately followed by further nationalist gains in the British general election, with the Orange colonists pushed out of a long held Belfast seat, all slyly misrepresented (lied about) by the bourgeois press as a “setback” for Sinn Féin because of a drop in their share of the vote.

But this was because of their electoral pact with other nationalists to allow a better prospect of defeat for the “unionists” – a correct tactic which gives the nationalists in general an overall majority for the first time ever.

This now combines with the staggering success of Sinn Féin in Dublin’s elections too, taking the largest vote and falling short of immediately forming a government mainly because it did not field a full complement of candidates, itself taken by surprise.

It adds to the momentum towards a so-called “border poll”, the electoral means by which reunification will eventually happen, the final stage in the GFA process, won by the revolutionary IRA struggle and its political Sinn Féin wing.

All these dramatic surges further confirm the 40-year long analysis of the EPSR which has insisted that the Irish struggle was winning, against the sneering dismissals of the fake-“left” across the board alleging the GFA was a “defeat” and the Sinn Féin “sellouts” because they had not “gone all the way” there and then.

Adding to this idealist posturing was criticism that the SF were “failing to put through socialist measures”, raised again in the relentless sniping at the stunning Dublin result.

The same is being shouted now, by the “lefts” once more missing the point and failing to clarify the working class.

But as the EPSR has always grasped and made clear, the SF/IRA war was always one of national liberation - the movement was never communist nor likely to become so.

SF’s victory remains an anti-imperialist blow for all that, and one that usefully counters the chauvinist nonsense being whipped up by Brexit.

Certainly its petty bourgeois reformist economic perspectives, which partly have won it the Dublin result against the reactionary “green tory” parties, because of the slump conditions facing Irish workers too, will now be a limitation, like all reformism unable to solve the crisis collapse.

It will become clear that it is necessary to build Leninism in Ireland too.

No such clearing the ground of nationalist oppression is needed in Scotland however. The need there as everywhere is revolutionary science.

Duncan Trubshaw

Back to the top

 

China’s swift handling of deadly virus outbreak delivers a powerful lesson to workers everywhere in the capacities of workers state organisation (even when hampered by revisionist perspectives), undermining Western anti-communism

The Western bourgeois world is reeling at the efficiency, skill and competence demonstrated by China’s workers state as it grapples with the appalling and dangerous Corona virus outbreak in Wuhan.

It significantly undermines the relentless Goebbels-lie propaganda drumbeat from the West about a “horrible totalitarian tyranny” which not only “does not care about its people” but routinely oppresses, tortures and even slaughters them, and which is supposedly incapable, backward and primitive.

The staggering achievement of building two giant hospitals in just two weeks, the organisation of a quarantine for an entire city of eleven million people, and subsequently for half a dozen smaller interlinked cities in Hubei province, and the demonstration of advanced medical skills and mass public health control measures has left the usual anti-communist demonisation and racist sneering poleaxed.

So too the coordination and planning for the epidemic/pandemic across the whole of China, a vast and complex country with its 1.3 billion population.

Images of the most modern equipment provided for patient care, of medical research laboratories and calm organisation have contrasted sharply with the usual propaganda lies of a population kept in “near slavery”, worked to the bone and in “appalling poverty” etc.

A huge lesson has been delivered to the working class everywhere about the capabilities and advantages of a giant planned economy, particularly one that was at a far lower level of output and capability just 40 years ago, both compared to the West and in absolute terms.

Contrary to the shallow and defeatist impressionism of the fake-“left” which has long written off China as having “gone capitalist” it remains a workers state.

And that is despite its extensive use (and possibly over-use) of capitalist economic methods to win investment and force the pace of development from rural backwardness to industrial and information age modernity.

Political state control remains in the hands of the working class, and a communist party with overall strategic authority, and even still a majority of ownership in the economy under the state.

The capitalism that it does use, despite embodying the inequalities, envies and contradictions of all capitalism, has been achieved and developed largely without the ignorance, deprivation, poverty, starvation, repression and inhumanity imposed on the masses throughout the eight centuries of raw capitalism’s rise from feudalism, and particularly the industrial revolution, and which is not only still imposed but intensified by modern imperialism in the brutalised and tyrannically exploited Third World, in the textile sweatshops of Bangladesh, the banana plantations of central America, the shoe factories and palm oil plants in Indonesia, the near-slave tea plantations of Sri Lanka and India, the cut-flower farms in Kenya, the oilfields of southern Iraq or Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s near slave construction sites, the surface cobalt mines in the Congo, the gold mines of South Africa, and everywhere else where “modern” monopoly capitalism’s writ runs (essentially most of the world).

China’s state was established by heroic and bitter revolutionary war led by a disciplined and scientifically advanced Leninist leadership party, over nearly three decades in the mid-twentieth century culminating in taking power in 1949 and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat following the pattern of the Soviet Union in its own way.

Despite many difficulties and mistakes, including a bit too much following of the USSR and its revisionist retreats, all the way to Gorbachev-style revisionist illusions in bourgeois “democracy”, by some sections of the CCP, which almost opened the door to Western counter-revolution in the 1989 pro-Western Tiananmen provocations by the pampered student elite, it has continued to defend and strengthen the workers state authority it had fought for.

It correctly dispersed that “Statue of Liberty” worshipping petty bourgeois counter-revolutionary revolt and almost without violence, contrary to the endless demented lies by the Goebbels Western propaganda machine and its fabrications about a “cold-blooded massacres” etc (still repeated despite the Western media’s own admissions it never happened (see EPSR Book 16 on China-Tiananmen) with the couple of hundred deaths that were unavoidable occurring in skirmishes outside the square because of deliberate violent assaults on state forces, trying to provoke scenes of “repression” for the dozens of Western cameras on the scene. Those lynchings and murder made up a significant part of the toll anyway, necessitating the limited fighting that did occur.

China has so far shown sufficient similar firmness and restraint against the West’s year-long counter-revolutionary “democracy” provocations in Hong Kong to confirm that it continues its workers state path.

Those upheavals have revived all the same privileged and pampered student and petty bourgeois youth and their reactionary opportunist dreams of an easy life in an imaginary prosperous West, once more using hate-filled anarchist violence to try to provoke police and military responses that can be filmed and then suitably edited for use as out of context propaganda clips, to fill the Western news broadcasts and pump up the “evil communism” bogeyman hype which saturates brains from the breakfast coffee to bed in the evening.

There remain many Leninist caveats to be made about Beijing’s revisionist leadership, and the shortcomings in the revolutionary perspectives it provides, both internally (failing to offer a constant Leninist revolutionary education to counter the brain-rotting nonsense of capitalist consumerism and its values for example, which are unavoidable when using such economic methods) and externally, in its “don’t rock the boat” permanent peaceful-coexistence line (capitulating to such imperialist warmongering “justifications” as the “war on terror”), complacency about the devastating oncoming crisis Catastrophe, and lack of revolutionary advice for world struggles (in Latin America particularly).

Yet for all these unnerving weaknesses, these epidemic events further confirm that Beijing’s workers state authority is capable of directing and commanding resources and manpower on a vast scale, quickly and sharply in the interests of the ordinary population, not only to provide care and support but to cope with the obviously enormous economic and social implications of the quarantine isolation being imposed.

It all deflates the great demonisation gobshyte constantly pumped out by the mainstream imperialist bourgeoisie (which has no doubts whatsoever that China is not remotely “just another capitalist power” as the Trots and most of the revisionists say, including the Stalinist CPGB-ML, ostensibly pro-Beijing but never quite bringing itself to declare it a workers state).

Huge difficulties remain with the epidemic but enough has been demonstrated already that workers everywhere will be asking themselves just how much more could be done in the world, if every country were under working class control and able to plan everything (not just emergencies), not only nationally but in cooperation on an international scale, in the interests of ordinary people?

It is unthinkable that the anarchic money-grubbing profiteering and chaotic confusion of a “free market” economy, intent on private individual enrichment at the expense of the overwhelming majority, could possibly carry through the necessary shutdown and isolation of a city of this population size - London? Paris? the greater Chicago region? - let alone redirect an entire national transport system of buses, highways, highspeed railways and planes and so on.

Nor would it even want to.

The lawyers’ injunctions and political and commercial squabbling, fighting for advantage would alone paralyse all sensible responses.

A state of emergency and military law would be the only possible response in the West, not to look after ordinary people but to keep them down, as dozens of “zombie” apocalypse films have fantasised, (that is if the overweight and under manned British Army could find enough soldiers anyway).

As one letter in the bourgeois press only half jokingly declared:

In response to the country’s coronavirus outbreak China began constructing the new 1,000-bed Wuhan Huoshenshan hospital in late January with the aim of opening by 5 February (Report, 29 January). Will Boris Johnson use the same rapid response to realise his election promise to build 40 new hospitals in the UK?

Sam White Lewes, East Sussex

Looking at the mess left by a single storm and floods in Britain, revealing the inadequacy of supposed controls and works promised three years ago, the answer is an obvious “no”.

And the insane cost rises for the HS2 railway, (for lavish overpriced contracts to keep the inefficient privatised construction companies and design consultancies from bankruptcy) say “no” too, should it get built at all.

There is obviously a long way to go with the epidemic in China and it could spread far and wide.

But while the World Health Organisation has obviously monitored the events, and there is some international medical cooperation for obvious reasons of self protection by all countries, the overall Western response has been simultaneously been one of sniping, sabotage and subversion, the very opposite of human solidarity.

They hate the example being set.

So Western intelligence, through the news agencies it controls and its numerous plants and reactionary cooperators throughout the media, has been pumping out a stream of poisonous lies and slanders, desperate to try and turn reality on its head and prevent workers from drawing any kind of favourable conclusions about workers state control.

They dredge up whatever tiny number of “dissident professors” they can trawl for among 1300 million people (obviously discarding all the pro-Beijing voices), or roll out mysterious “China experts” from various universities and obscure Western study centres (ie CIA units or Western billionaire funded “democracy foundations” etc), every single one being an on-the-make careerist or with a counter-revolutionary axe to grind.

Forced to concede that the Chinese have responded quickly and efficiently, much of this sniping has had to restrict itself to hype about supposed “repressiveness” of the Communist Party with the suggestion that it “covered everything up” and has “shut down discussion”.

But such “censorship” as there has been is primarily to keep control of the Internet and other rumour mongering and far from being “totalitarian repression” was perfectly sound public order control – in a fraught and difficult situation where an entire city has to be closed off and inevitably the population becomes frustrated and fearful, the spreading of inflammatory misinformation is at best hampering the emergency work and at worst potentially explosive, like throwing a match into a petrol station.

To sustain this nonsense the Western press has had to champion all kinds of dubious elements and “witnesses”, among them a supposedly “gagged” Wuhan resident shouting that she had been prevented from reporting online some inflated gossip about “1000s of people who have the disease at home and are dying”.

Such entirely unsubstantiated and potentially panic causing rumour mongering is no small matter when 11 million people are involved.

The suspicion must be that the hard-done-by “social media gaggee” was herself a plant and the reporting of the story another means of spreading disinformation.

On top of that the Internet is notorious for its hysteria and uncontrolled myth making anyway – another story circulated with criminal irresponsibility, suggested that drinking bleach could stop the virus!!!!!

And despite these daily attempts to inflame the situation, it is notable that no such “mass public discontent” has been manifest – and in fact very little grumbling considering the extraordinary public shutdown and restriction on ordinary lives.

Reports suggest that an efficient means of supplying those isolated at home with food etc has been set up.

The media interviews in the West have found it extremely difficult to get criticism to take off, particularly when talking to world health experts who have repeatedly said that China’s responses have been exactly along the lines necessary, of isolating and containing the disease as much as possible.

The palpable disappointment of the nasty little petty bourgeois worms fronting the Western news outlets is almost enjoyable.

Their desperation to get “China experts” to be critical can reach laughable limits as on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Saturday week, when despite a string of nudging questions (all of which even an amateur Perry Mason could have challenged as “leading the witness, your honour” and had thrown out of court) the head of something called the Centre for China and Globalisation refused to blame the state system for some early mistakes in making the issue public.

There clearly have been some errors, particularly in the first initial outbreak, when it might have been advisable to publicise the problem more quickly, and Beijing’s moves to sack two Hubei communist party leaders appears to confirm that not everything was done as efficiently as possible, not least in the suppression of early warnings of the disease from the young doctor Li Wenliang who tragically has become a victim of the virus himself (with the West instantly and hypocritically declaring him a “martyr hero” to try and stir dissent, somewhat in contrast the vicious manhunts to finger “whistleblowers” in the British NHS for example pointing out genuine incompetence and cover-ups).

While there may have been some possibly justified public disquiet around that issue, even that local organisation clumsiness is not necessarily straightforward incompetence; in the early stages of such an outbreak there is clearly a difficult balance to be met between proper alerts and causing unnecessary public fear, turning to panic before measures can be taken, or in fact before it is even confirmed that there is such an outbreak at all.

Panic mongering is a danger in itself, – and defeatist undermining of morale and discipline was so crucial a weapon that it became a capital offence during the three year civil war the Bolsheviks were forced to wage to defend the 1917 October revolution against the imperialist and white counter-revolutionary onslaught by no less than 14 armies.

No one is suggesting such extremes at this stage but it is an obvious tool to be used by Western subversion, as it has been many times, and will be further used, in the non-stop war by capitalism to try and suppress, disrupt and destroy all attempts by the world working class to throw exploitation off their backs and build socialism (and not only panic mongering – in the hated Cuban workers state there have been dozens of incidents of biological warfare instigated and introduced by American intelligence against humans, and against agriculture, from the deliberate spreading of deadly Dengue fever, and a pig-rearing disease which meant tens of thousands of animals had to be slaughtered, to crop plant diseases like tobacco viruses aimed at the vital Cuban cigar industry. All had the intention of undermining morale as well as causing direct physical damage.)

But even if, as is most likely, this disease has a natural cause (though CIA skulduggery can never be fully ruled out) it would clearly be a part of Chinese security to weigh all such factors in the balance.

As the EPSR has repeatedly said, the workers states are obliged non-stop to take firm measures to defend themselves from Western provocations and the most extreme and vicious skulduggery (such as the 007 Korean airline spy flight which overflew sensitive military areas in the Soviet Union and had to be shot down) and sometimes that might lead to mistakes:

The pattern of the whole 20th century overall shows unmistakably that surplus-capital-destruction crises rule on exactly as only Marxism has ever explained (and exactly as only the EPSR consistently explains to workers), and that communist revolution, - starting from whatever level of life and culture that proletarian Colombia or proletarian Indonesia can come up with in workers’ universal aspirations to build workers states, free of private bosses, private landowners and usurers, and free of armed imperialist monopoly domination, - drives on.

To a communist, ANY such workers state, no matter what mistakes and embarrassingly naïve voluntarist delusions it might get into while learning and growing, and even no matter what alleged ‘crimes’ might he committed, - nevertheless remains the ONLY POSSIBLE WAY OF MAKING PROGRESS ULTIMATELY. Capitalist-class rule can only go the way of World War III and international fascist aggression that will make Hitlerism seem like child’s play.(EPSR No1014 29-09-99)

*******

Instead of US imperialism getting the jeering it deserved at the time of Sept 11, it was the inevitably crude and wacky suicidal fundamentalist terrorism of al-Qaeda which drew the fake-‘left’ indignation and scorn. Ditto North Korea’s nuclear weapons response to US imperialist nuclear encirclement and non-step menace.

And throughout the history of Cold War conflict between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (the capitalist imperialist Western system) forcing the working class to adopt the dictatorship of the proletariat as socialism’s only defence against nonstop attack and subversion, and forcing those workers states inevitably into many wrong turnings, mistakes, or excesses, - - it was always the ‘crimes’ of the dictatorship of the proletariat that the fake-‘left’ came down against, never the West’s responsibility for imposing the whole Cold War situation in the first place by its continued worldwide imperialist domination. (EPSR 1161 19-11-02)

It remains to be seen whether the delayed actions by the local party might have any partial sound thinking behind them, or reflect complacency and bureaucratic woodenness – a permanent danger in building a workers state, as Lenin himself said was unavoidable, since pen-pushing organisers would be needed for the generations-long period of development of socialism (after capitalism is overthrown), until finally the whole of society is educated and advanced enough to be self-disciplined and self-organised and the need for any state at all, even of the most openly peaceful democratic kind imaginable, would wither away.

Bureaucracy is even more of a danger when the prevailing political climate is one of revisionism which has long abandoned Lenin’s revolutionary grasp.

So Beijing’s disciplining actions themselves will need careful thinking about; this might be a sound signal the leadership is getting to grips with some problems (in line with recent positive developments around Xi Jinping’s insistence on a return to Marxist theory) but could also be just a higher level of bureaucratic buck passing.

Initially it at least looks a slightly better and more open move, healthily admitting to errors, than was seen in the dire cover-ups and gross cynicism of Moscow’s responses to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a tragic symptom of Stalin’s revisionist leadership rot and bureaucratic complacency which had gone so far by the late 1980s around Gorbachev that it was on the edge of completely abandoning the Soviet workers state and its dictatorship of the proletariat, to liquidate the USSR altogether just a few years later (see EPSR Book Vol 13 on Gorbachevism).

But it might also be a response to Western hypocritical carping, which would only reflect lingering illusions in the “democracy” rot being peddled and a hopeless desire to avoid being seen as “too dictatorial”.

The very fact that it requires speculation and uncertainty to even try grasping what the Beijing leadership is doing, and what political lessons can be drawn, is part of the problem of revisionism in itself; it would be a more Leninist approach to try and sort out such issues with as much open debate and polemic in the party as possible and, within the bounds of necessary state security, in front of the working class, worldwide, to educate and develop understanding.

But this has nothing to do with the lying rubbish from the Western propaganda machine, ludicrously suggesting that without supposed “terrible repressiveness” and “more openness” there might not have been any outbreak at all.

Such unreal “more democracy” gobshyte is intended only to weaken and subvert the proper state authority and interestingly has mostly got short shrift in the current events (even if the fact that not everything might have been done perfectly gives the West its opportunity to pick away).

The interviewee on the Today programme for example, despite being critical of the early moves in Wuhan, refused to take such bait several times and “blame the system”, saying only that “mistakes happen and it takes higher authorities a while to correct them”.

An audibly frustrated interviewer was eventually obliged to tell him what to say in a long-winded “question” viz “Is it not that local governments and police are terrified of what might happen to them potentially if they do something central government does not like?” with the glaring innuendo that everyone will be taken outside and shot at the drop of a conical hat if they don’t toe the line.

To which Goebbels gobshyte our expert calmly responded “No. In China as everywhere else there is always room for improvement and not everyone is always in perfect mode. Since there are a few problems in the system everyone has the duty to review them and do the right thing”, adding that Xi Jinping in the “final analysis has the interests of the people in mind.”

Such rebuttals will not stop the Western deluge of bilious nonsense obviously as the Trot-saturated Guardian made clear just days later, grudgingly admitting that China had done well building its hospitals but slyly asserting that they were “not full yet”. As always the “liberal” petty bourgeoisie manage to be the most poisonously anti-communist of all, even turning the provision of further hospital space into a “damning criticism”:

Meanwhile, the city was setting up emergency hospitals in exhibition halls and a sports stadium, and medics were still turning some ill people away. China has the world’s largest army but it has not deployed any field hospitals to Wuhan.

The gulf between the vision of vast new hospitals created and thrown into action within days and the more complicated reality on the ground is a reminder of one of the main challenges for Beijing as it struggles to contain the coronavirus: its own secretive, authoritarian system of government and its vast censorship and propaganda apparatus.

Communist party apparatus well honed to crush dissent also muffles legitimate warnings. A propaganda system designed to support the party and state cannot be relied on for accurate information. That is a problem not just for families left bereft by the coronavirus and businesses destroyed by the sudden shutdown, but for a world trying to assess Beijing’s success in controlling and containing the disease.

“China’s centralised system and lack of freedom of press definitely delay a necessary aggressive early response when it was still possible to contain epidemics at the local level,” said Ho-fung Hung, a professor in political economy at Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Beijing did go public about the virus much faster than during the 2002-3 Sars crisis, and it has shared large quantities of information, winning praise from the World Health Organization for its transparency. But it has become increasingly clear that the local government was engaged in a concerted attempt to cover up the crisis during the early weeks of the outbreak, which allowed it to fester at a time when it would have been much easier to contain.

Two officials have been fired, Wuhan’s mayor admitted failings in a live interview on national television, and the central government has sent a team to investigate the treatment of the whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang.

Security forces punished Li, 34, for trying to warn colleagues about the risks of a dangerous new disease at the end of December. Just over a month later he became one of the youngest victims of the coronavirus. His death made him a household name and triggered a rare discussion in China about freedom of speech.

In a biting essay that laid the blame for the crisis with President Xi Jinping, a dissident intellectual claimed China’s centralisation and culture of silence had played a key role in the spread of the disease.

“It began with the imposition of stern bans on the reporting of factual information that served to embolden deception at every level of government,” Xu Zhangrun wrote in his essay Viral Alarm, When Fury Overcomes Fear, according to a translation by Geremie Barmé on the website ChinaFile.

The problems of officials trying to cover up scandals or mistakes are not unique to China. But without a free press, elections or much space for civil society, there are few ways for citizens to hold their rulers accountable. Instead, local officials answer only to a party hierarchy that puts a premium on stability and economic growth.

As opposed to a premium on rapacious profiteering and exploitation would that be, while rampant corruption and mafia gangsterism prevails everywhere, all virtually never “held to account” and in fact bailed out with public money when it collapses?

And that would be the same “press freedom” which is keeping Wikileaks founder Julian Assange incarcerated and tortured in Bellmarsh prison, ready to be extradited to America for either an outright death sentence or a three lifetimes sentence of permanent high security prison isolation (itself acknowledged to be torture and a slow-death sentence) for exposing the warcrimes, deathsquad murders, mass civilian butchery fascist brutality and worldwide secret torture of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, (still continuing in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen etc etc)???

Or the “freedom” which saw Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi dismembered in Istanbul (possibly while still alive) by the feudal reactionary gangster regime from leading Washington ally Saudi Arabia; which saw Maltese investigative reporter Daphne Galizia car bombed for exposing government corruption (and high-level European Union collusion); which sees the Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald and his colleagues under violent and death threat intimidation openly encouraged and sustained by the fascist Jair Bolsonaro regime in Brazil; which has stifled al-Jazeera’s reporting of fascist crackdowns by under the (US-funded) Sisi military coup “presidency” in Egypt by keeping its journalist imprisoned along with hundreds of other “dissidents” facing death sentences, the same Western supported regime which prevents any investigation of the brutal torture and murder of Italian trade union researcher in 2015 – and now another:

Egyptian police arrested an activist and researcher who was a vocal critic of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s government, the interior ministry and a human rights group said on Sunday.

Italy called on Egypt to release the researcher based at Bologna University, saying it had reason to believe the security forces had tortured him.

The incident has revived painful memories of the 2016 disappearance and murder of an Italian researcher in Cairo, a case for which the Italian authorities are still seeking answers.

Patrick Zaky, 27, a graduate student at Bologna University in northern Italy, was detained late on Friday as he arrived to visit his family.

He was held on a warrant issued in September after he left to pursue his studies, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a prominent rights organisation where he is a researcher.

They said he had been charged with “harming national security” and “broadcasting false news” - and that he had been beaten and electrocuted by security forces.

In a statement Sunday, Peppe De Christofaro, Under-Secretary for Education, expressed “great concern” for Mr Zaky.

He had a “well-founded fear that the young Egyptian researcher... is currently suffering arbitrary and unjustified detention and that he is a new victim of violence and abuse from the Egyptian security forces”, he said.

Or how about the dozens of journalists killed during the Middle East invasions, particularly those who refused to be “embedded” with the army (ie kept under censorship control), or strafed and shelled “by mistake” in attacks like that on al-Jazeera’s operating base in Baghdad.

Or how about the monstrous and vile “anti-semitism” nonsense turned on all who query the nazi-Zionist landtheft occupation of Palestine, and the endless violent terror persecution of its 8 million or more rightful inhabitants with exile, torture, military repression, and siege-warfare sanctions slowly starving and economically and culturally strangling its dispossessed, interspersed with continual genocidal hi-tech blitzing raids, all to shut down even the tamest of opposition and “holding to account”???

Or the deliberate non-stop campaign of anti-press intimidation, bullying and restriction imposed by the Trump White House on all media not falling into line with pro-government propaganda??

If this is not yet open incarceration, as in Cairo, it is on the way setting an atmosphere of hate and violence which is the reality of capitalist rule, the bourgeois class dictatorship of capital more and more openly expressed as the crisis and its drive into world war, makes the old pretences of “democracy” and the “rule of law” too costly to maintain.

Exactly the same repression is being imposed by the Boris Johnson government, extending the “soft coup” manipulated stitch-up of the general election and the “referendum” before that, into a crackdown against “non-compliant” press, initially with bans on lobby access and withdrawal from the news interview programmes at the BBC and such “liberal” outlets as Channel 4 News, combined with threats against funding.

All this is an astonishing declaration of the weakness of the ruling class which can no longer trust even its own “state-run” media outlets which have never been anything but conduits for bilious anti-communist anti-Soviet lies and propaganda brainwashing anyway, and always ready to jump into line if they should “go too far” and one or other zealous reporter should cross the tacitly understood boundaries of what is “safe” criticism (to maintain the “free speech” illusions), as happened with the Iraq war WMD-lie revelations for example, and the alleged suicide death of the whistle-blowing weapons inspector Dr David Kelly (again no martyrdom here) followed by top level resignations all round and a tightening up of the self-censorship the entire media imposes on itself when it comes to revealing ruling class dirty dealing.

Alongside this undeclared censorship, now comes the state intimidation and bullying of protest groups with even the most petty bourgeois single-issue liberalism being declared no different to “terrorist” groups:

Counter-terrorism chiefs ordered a formal assessment of whether Extinction Rebellion was a national security threat one year ago and then sent a secret report about the group to police forces, the Guardian has learned.

The revelation shows that counter-terrorism police’s interest in the non-violent climate emergency group began earlier and was more extensive than previously thought.

Police insist that the confidential assessment, which was titled Rising Up, concluded that XR was not a terrorist or extremist threat, and was sent to regional counter-terrorism units and “policing partners”. They have declined to give any more detail about what it covered.

The document from the Counter Terrorism Policing’s National Operations Centre (CTPNOC) was marked as sensitive and produced in February 2019, soon after XR was formed in October 2018. It was needed, police say, because the group was attracting a “large following” and counter-terrorism specialists needed to assess their “goals and methods”.

The Guardian first revealed that a counter-terrorism document from November 2019 labelled XR as extremist last month, which police apologised for and withdrew only after its existence was made public.

Then revelations about CTP documents from June 2019, titled “Signs and Symbols”, listing XR and other peaceful groups such as Greenpeace and Peta, alongside banned terrorists and extremists, caused anger and claims from activists that freedom of protest and thought were being threatened.

The non-violent groups were alarmed to discover that the documents had been circulated as part of Prevent briefings for teachers and medical staff, to help them spot people at risk of falling into terrorism. Both leading Labour politicians and one Conservative heavyweight have voiced their concerns.

The Guardian further understands that Counter Terrorism Policing headquarters (CTPHQ) produced documents about non-violent protest groups.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said: “We all agree public safety is paramount. However, if CTP is used as a blunt instrument, it is a threat to human rights.

“We are concerned about how far, how long and how intrusive this investigation might have been and the ongoing implications. We would request that the police make this top secret Rising Up report available to the public alongside any other reports.”

Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP recently re-elected as chair of the home affairs select committee, said: “Following the recall of CTP guidance on Extinction Rebellion last month, we need to know whether this report that was circulated to police forces across the country also contained wrong information or categorisation.

These police and state security disclosures go hand in hand with more sinister developments intensifying repression of potential street rebellion and upheaval under the guise of “cracking down firmly on terrorism” (which includes protest and “left” activism as just made clear).

The latest measures to “lock people up and throw away the key”, rescinding early release and rehabilitation for “terrorist sympathies”, are aimed not simply at “jihadists” but at all revolt, and particularly any signs of “anarchy” or revolutionary politics.

And to compound the intimidation, public opinion is being acclimatised to the notion of armed police actions and “necessary on-the-spot killing”, stampeded by the proposition that “certain individuals are too dangerous to take into custody”.

It is highly convenient, to speculate no further, that two recent highly theatrical individual terror attacks - at London Bridge and Streatham - have taken place just when public opinion needed mobilising, the second cementing general support for “firm action” after one of the victim’s family in the first attack spoke out against using the incident to justify punitively harsh new measures.

Few questions have been asked about how or why a team of police gunmen was on hand, or quite what happened with the slightly deranged individual beforehand.

All a bit too “conspiracy theory” and with a perfectly straightforward explanation? As the recent Chris Morris satirical film The day shall come highlights, deliberate “entrapment” manipulation by the FBI has been used in the United States to push individuals into terrorist actions which can then be “stopped”, in order to keep public opinion behind the “war on terror” excuses for imperialism’s warmongering and repression.

And ludicrous stunts have been constantly set up and used in Britain by the security services for similar reasons – the laughable “ricin” plot for example along with “anti-terror” shooting raids.

Whatever the particular details, the overall pattern is one of repression, crackdown and violent intimidation which can only intensify as the capitalist crisis deepens into Slump and the third world war which its cutthroat and vicious trade-war and armsrace competition is inexorably heading for.

Of course liberal voices will argue, the public disclosure of these security instructions might be taken as evidence in itself that the press “retains its freedom”.

But while it is true that the ruling class repression will run into major problems and stir up some resistance and disquiet, that would be a deluded head-in-the-sand argument.

What kind of a society is it that needs to be constantly facing moves towards open tyranny???

And such bourgeois press revelations are only a hint of the full story, and only go so far.

Their intention is to express a warning to the ruling class that its open crackdown could be counter-productive in stirring disquiet and dismay, and by shaking already threadbare illusions in the “democracy” racket, bring a turn to revolutionary understanding closer.

But a turn to revolutionary politics will come anyway because there is no other way out of the greatest collapse and disaster ever.

The ruling class is becoming more desperate as the intractable contradictions of its private profit system reach breaking point, when the crisis of capitalism will break into the greatest ever Catastrophic chaos and Slump disaster in history, culminating in world war on a scale never experienced before.

Much greater fascist repression is the only possible future on the way and will continue for as long as this system remains.

And it will only be countered by the total class war overthrow of its moribund degenerate system of grotesque inequality, with insane and pointless wealth and luxury for the few built on human degradation and exploitation.

Only the firmest workers state authority, as China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba continue to strive for, can counter this disaster.

And despite many errors and revisionist retreats, it is such class dictatorship alone that will take mankind into real freedom, that of a planned socialist world.

Illusions in “restoring” “defending” or “fighting for” democracy in the bourgeois world will only hamper such struggles.

Hopefully the Chinese and others will not give way to such fraudulent notions.

But whatever else happens the greatest battle must be to develop the revolutionary science of Marxist-Leninism, correcting previous errors and going further in its understanding, to lead the giant upheavals already simmering everywhere into the great class war to end capitalism.

Build Leninism.

Alan Moss

Back to the top

 

World Socialist Review

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

 

UN vote overwhelming to end inhuman Cuba blockade siege

Madeleine Sautié

A total of 187 countries cast their votes in favor of Cuba in the United Nations General Assembly, November 7, rejecting the unjust economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States, for almost 60 years, on an unwavering, dignified people, who do not bow down before domination. An ironic coincidence is that the Trump administration has adopted exactly 187 hostile measures to punish our country for serving as example of resistance to its domination.

Voting against were the United States and Israel, along with Jair Bolsonaro -who incidentally represents Brazil, but is not Brazil, and from whom not much else could have been expected. The abstentions of Colombia and Ukraine, completed the tiny percentage against Cuba’s resolution, a glimpse of the minimal support enjoyed by the failed policy of our malicious neighbor.

“Voting against Cuba is voting for the continuity of genocide. #SomosCuba, a victory for Cuba,” wrote President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on his Twitter account, adding, “The blockade is real and we will defeat it with the support of the international community that, in its overwhelming majority, today voted with Cuba against the blockade. Lackey governments showed where their affinities lie. And they are alone along with the empire. A victory for Cuba.”

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, whose words inspired the audience to cheer, tweeted:

“Unquestionable isolation for the United States. Its brutal pressures reflect the moral bankruptcy and degradation of the current administration. Another overwhelming victory for Cuba, for our heroic people.

Truth and justice triumph.” Unreasonable, if not outrageous, were the arguments of Kelly Craft, United States representative to the UN, who made clear her indifferent to the demands of the international community to lift the blockade, denying her government’s responsibility for damage caused by the genocidal policy toward Cuba. For her and those she represents, the economic, commercial, and financial restrictions savagely imposed on the island, have no harmful impact on the supply of medicine, food, raw materials; the irrational denial of necessities, the million dollar fines, the more than 22 million dollars to subvert Cuba’s socialist project. As if our people did not know the historical enemy that oppresses us.

Cuba must pay dearly, in the eyes of the empire, for the fact that here no child sleeps on the street, lacks a school to pursue dreams of the future. The country pays dearly for showing that the Revolution is growing stronger everyday, that elementary human rights are a reality here, while in the United States, for many, education, health, and peace are unreachable dreams.

We understand very well the reasons for the abuse. We have learned from our history, from our men and women, the determination to be free. The island of freedom and resistance is not alone. The world knows that the U.S. is committing an injustice against our people, and has expressed indignation with its vote. •

Truth and justice triumph: 187 countries against the U.S. blockade of Cuba

 

 

Return to top

World Socialist Review

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

 

Cuba has been the victim of the most unjust, severe, prolonged system of sanctions that has even been imposed on any country

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during the presentation of the UN resolution ‘The necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” New York, November 7, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

Mr. President;

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, permanent representatives;

Ladies and gentlemen delegates:

In recent months, the government of President Donald Trump has initiated an escalation in its aggression against Cuba, with the adoption of unconventional measures to prevent the supply of fuel to our country from various markets through sanctions and threats to vessels, shippers, and insurance companies. Its objective, in addition to affecting the economy, is to damage the living standard of Cuban families. The United States government is responsible.

In April of this year, the filing of lawsuits in U.S. courts against Cuban, U.S., and third-country entities was authorized, under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

The persecution of our banking-financial relations with the rest of the world has intensified.

Remittances to Cuban citizens were restricted; the granting of visas was reduced ... and consular services limited; an agreement between baseball federations was canceled; individual trips by U.S. citizens were canceled, along with cruise ship stops and direct flights to Cuban airports, except for Havana; the leasing of airplanes with more than 10% U.S. components and the acquisition of technologies and equipment with the same was prohibited; commercial promotional activities and cultural and educational exchanges ceased. The United States government is responsible.

It has aggressively intensified the extra-territorial impact of the blockade of Cuba on third states, their companies, and citizens.

The goal of economically asphyxiating Cuba and increasing damage, shortages, and our people’s sufferings is not hidden.

The U.S. government has also proposed to sabotage the international cooperation that Cuba provides in the area of health. With a slander campaign, U.S. politicians and officials directly attack a program based on genuine conceptions of South-South cooperation, which has been recognized by the international community.

Mr. President:

The United States Ambassador grossly manipulates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 3: Right to life.

The blockade causes incalculable humanitarian damage, constitutes a flagrant, massive, and systematic violation of human rights and qualifies as an act of genocide under subsections b) and c), of Article 2 of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. There is no Cuban family that does not suffer its consequences.

A Cuban child with severe heart failure cannot receive the most advanced system of circulatory assistance for pediatric use because it is of U.S. origin, and although its purchase has been requested repeatedly, no response has been forthcoming from the U.S. companies that sell it.

As a result of prohibitions imposed on Cuba, a person suffering from severe heart failure has no access to ventricular support equipment, which maintains the life of a patient in critical condition until it is possible to perform a transplant or, in other cases, until cardiovascular function is recovered.

As a result of the blockade, Bryan Gómez Santiesteban, 16, and Leydis Posada Cañizares, 19, of growth age, cannot receive expandable internal prostheses, but only fixed, and must therefore undergo frequent surgery for replacement. Expandable prostheses are produced by the U.S. company Stryker. Yes, your government is responsible.

The blockade also makes it impossible to access novel drugs for cancer treatment, only produced by U.S. pharmaceutical companies.

Mayra Lazus Roque, 57, is a renal cancer patient who could not be treated with the optimal drug, Sunitinib, only produced by the U.S. company Pfizer. Thanks to the treatment she has received with products from Cuba’s biotechnology industry, she is in good general health.

Eduardo Hernández Hernández, 49, has metastatic melanoma. The optimal treatment for this type of cancer is Nivolumab, a drug only produced by the U.S. company Bristol Myers Squibb, which we cannot access. He is being treated with other alternatives. Your government is responsible.

Year after year, the United States delegation at this headquarters, as the Ambassador just did, has expressed, with a good dose of cynicism, that her government supports the Cuban people. Can anyone believe such a statement?

The government of the United States lies and falsifies data on alleged licenses for sales of medicines and food to Cuba, which are very difficult to obtain.

The United States delegation in those seats should explain to this Assembly the conditions it imposes on Cuban purchases: there is no access to credit, official or private; payment in cash is required when goods reach the port; banks that process our transactions are persecuted; Cuban vessels cannot be used for transport. Yes, it is responsible. Who in the world conducts trade under such conditions?

The successful, effective Cuban model has ensured and assures Cuban men and women equal opportunities, equity and social justice, despite hostility and coercion.

Mr. President: •

The United States government does not have the least moral authority to criticize Cuba or anyone else in the area of human rights. We reject the repeated manipulation of this issue for political purposes and the double standards that characterize its use.

The Ambassador said that her goal is to reveal the truth, but her guilty conscience betrayed her words, and she says that she has not come to confess.

Article 3: Right to Life, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The deaths of civilians caused by U.S. troops in various latitudes, and the use of torture merit condemnation; as well as the murder of African Americans by police and migrants by border patrols; the deaths of unaccompanied minors in immigration detention, and the abusive and racially disproportionate use of the death penalty, applicable to minors and the mentally handicapped.

Article 5: Freedom from torture.

The impunity of the gun lobby is responsible for the increase in homicides, including among teenagers. In the first eight months of 2019, there have been some 250 mass attacks with firearms, with almost 1,000 victims, of which about a quarter were fatal. In 2018, 100 U.S. residents died daily and 274 were injured by guns.

In the United States, there are 2.3 million individuals incarcerated, a quarter of the planet’s prison population, and in one year 10.5 million arrests are made.

Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest.

Opioid overdoses kill 137 U.S. citizens every day: For lack of proper treatment, 251 die of heart disease and 231, prematurely, of cancer. Performed daily are 170 preventable amputations, associated with diabetes.

Article 25: Right to health.

Repression and police surveillance of immigrants, the separation of families, the separation of parents and indefinite detention of more than 2,500 children, and the deportation of 21,000, and brutal measures that threaten the children of illegal immigrants who were raised and educated in the United States are abhorrent.

Article 1: Right to dignity and freedom.

Article 11: Due process.

This government holds prisoners indefinitely, in legal limbo, without defense, courts, or due process,Jn the Guantánamo naval base prison, on our territory usurped by the United States.

Article 25: Right to personal well-being.

In the richest country, 40 million U.S. residents live in poverty, 18.5 million of them in extreme poverty. 25.7% of those with disabilities lived in poverty at the end of last year. More than half a million of its citizens sleep on the streets.

Article 23: Right to work.

At the end of 2018, there were 6.6 million unemployed in the United States.

Article 25: Right to health.

There are 28.5 million citizens without medical insurance, and millions with low incomes will be deprived of coverage with the measures announced.

Article 26: Right to education.

Quality education is not accessible to the majority. Half of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level. Equal opportunity in the United States is a chimera. Adolescents and youth rightly protest against their government for stripping them of environmental rights.

Article 2: Non-discrimination

Women earn approximately 85% of the average male income in the United States, and must work 39 more days a year to match them. There are widespread complaints of sexual harassment

The average wealth of white families is seven times greater than that of Afro-descendant families. The death rate of children under one year of age and mothers in childbirth is twice that of whites.

There is a disproportionate racial pattern in the U.S. prison population and in the length of prison sentences.

Corruption prevails in the political system and the electoral model violates postulates of Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, referring to the right to participate in conducting public affairs. There is a growing gap between government decisions and the will of the people. Powerful, exclusive minorities, particularly corporate groups, decide the nature and composition of the government, Congress, and institutions meant to impart justice and enforce the law.

The United States is a country where human rights are systematically violated and often massively and flagrantly. It subscribes to only 30% of international human rights instruments and does not recognize as such the right to life, the right to peace, the right to development, to security, to food, nor does it recognize the rights of girls and boys.

Article 13: Freedom to travel The blockade also violates the human rights and civil liberties of U.S. citizens, for whom the right to travel to Cuba is unjustly and arbitrarily restricted, the only prohibited destination in the world. The United States government is responsible.

Mr. President:

Over the last year, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and other U.S. agencies imposed fines on financial groups in third countries, such as the Italian Unicredit Group and the French Société Générale, for violating the sanctions system against Cuba. Dozens of foreign banks were intimidated, and limited or suspended their financial ties with our country.

Natural legal persons, that is, simply people, are also victims of the blockade. A German citizen who offers his services at the Cuban Embassy in Berlin received a notification of the closure of his Amazon account, allegedly on the basis of blockade regulations.

The illegal Helms-Burton Act guides the aggressive conduct of the United States against Cuba. Its essence is the open pretense of violating the right to self-determination and independence of the Cuban nation. It asserts U.S. legal authority over the commercial and financial relations of any country with Cuba, and establishes the supposed primacy of the law and the jurisdiction of the United States over third countries. The blockade, as a whole, is a serious violation of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Not everyone adheres to the illegal extraterritorial application of restrictions imposed by U.S. law. In June of 2019, a primary level judge of The Hague Court issued a ruling favorable to the company pam International, based in Curacao, in its lawsuit against the Dutch company exact Software Delft, now a subsidiary of the U.S. firm kkr, for its application of provisions of the United States blockade against Cuba. The judge ruled that the latter must continue offering its services to pam International, for the supply of software to Cuban companies and organizations.

Examples like this show that there are antidote laws, World Trade Organization bodies, means and ways to confront the extraterritorial application of the blockade of Cuba.

Mr. President:

The accumulated damages caused by the blockade over almost six decades have reached $922bn dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar as compared to the value of gold. At current prices, quantifiable damages of more than 138 billion dollars have been incurred.

For years, the blockade has constituted an impediment to the aspirations for wellbeing and prosperity of several generations of Cubans and continues to be the fundamental obstacle to the country’s economic development. It serves as a brake on the updating of our Economic and Social Development Model and the implementation of the 2030 National Plan, for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The effects of the blockade, particularly travel restrictions, affect the non-state sector of the economy with particular force.

With unearned revenue from exports of goods and services, and without expenses associated with the geographical relocation of trade, which imposes the need for extensive inventories, Cuba’s Gross Domestic Product would have grown, at current prices, some 10% as an annual average rate over the last decade.

The annual damages caused by the blockade far exceed the amount of direct foreign investment needed for national development.

For almost six decades, Cuba has been the victim of the most unjust, severe, prolonged system of sanctions that has been imposed on any country. The United States government is responsible.

Despite all the limitations and difficulties our people experience, Cuba has been able to counteract the manifest intentions of the blockade, its overwhelming effect for six decades, and unquestionable impact on the country’s potential.

It is the effectiveness of the Cuban socialist system, the state and the patriotism, revolutionary convictions, solidarity, consensus, and unity of our people that, despite the limitations, has allowed Cuba to overcome the serious challenges imposed.

One might ask whether even some industrialized, technologically advanced countries would be able to withstand such a prolonged and overwhelming attack, while ensuring modest but persistent growth of their economy, preserving development programs, moving toward a service and knowledge economy, and guaranteeing the exercise of all human rights, in conditions of equity, for all of their citizens, as occurs in Cuba.

Mr. President:

This Assembly has repeatedly confirmed its rejection of the application of unilateral coercive measures as contrary to international law and the United Nations Charter.

The United States applies systems of coercive measures against more than twenty countries and specific unilateral measures against dozens of nations, a trend that has been intensified by the current administration.

As the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, expressed on the United Nations 50th anniversary, at this same podium, we should aspire to a world “without cruel blockades that kill men, women, and children, young and old, like silent atomic bombs.”

Mr. President:

The United States government presumes to exercise imperialist domination in Our America, again invokes the outdated, aggressive Monroe Doctrine and “gunship diplomacy,” deploying the Fourth Fleet and increasing the presence and power of its military bases in the region.

The blockade policy’s definition is best expressed in the infamous, memorandum written by Undersecretary of State Lester Mallory, in April of 1960, who I quote: “...There is no effective political opposition (.. .)The only possible way to make the government lose domestic support is by provoking disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardships (...) Every possible means should be immediately used tp weaken the economic life (...) denying Cuba funds and supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with the objective of provoking hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the goverment.”

The United States representative offends this Assembly with unacceptable interventionist language, to refer to the heroic Venezuelan people, their civic-military union, and the Chavista Bolivarian government, headed by President Nicolás Maduro Moros, to whom we express unwavering solidarity

The United States government uses falsehoods and slander as a pretext to intensify its aggression against Cuba. I reiterate that neither threats nor coercion will extract a single political concession. Nor do we renounce our will to achieve a civilized relationship with the country, based on mutual respect and recognition of our profound differences.

As Army General Raúl Castro pointed out on April 10, before the National Assembly of People’s Power, “Despite its immense power, imperialism does not have the capacity to break the dignity of a united people, proud of its history and the freedom conquered with so much sacrifice.”

Cuba recognizes the ethical and political chasm that exists between the U.S. people and their government, and will do everything possible to develop the broad and deep ties that unite us with U.S. citizens.

Mr. President;

Distinguished Permanent Representatives; Ladies and gentlemen delegates:

We recognize with deep gratitude all those who have expressed their rejection of the blockade of our country and those who have always accompanied us in our incessant struggle for the end of this policy.

As the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, affirmed on October 10: Cubans are awaiting “intense, challenging days, but no one is going to take away our confidence in the future, which we owe our children, in the homeland that our parents won for us by standing firm.”

On behalf of the heroic, selfless, solidary people of Cuba, I once again ask that you vote in favor of the proposed resolution contained in document a/74/l.6, the Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.

Thank you very much. (Applause) •

November 15 2019 Granma International

What could be done in 24 hours with no blockade?

 

The cost of the blockade (US$) :Accumulated damages over near six decades

At current prices: 138,843,400,000

Considering the depreciation of the dollar 922,630,000,000

Average annual damages: 16,186,491,228

Average daily damages: 44,346,551

Daily damages in 2018: 12,000,000

 

Health: A single day with no blockade

Cuba could guarantee treatment of 194,371 persons with diabetes for five years.

Cuba could guarantee treatment of one cancer patient for 15 years, purchasing goserelina (acetate) trastuzumab and micophenolate mofetil.

Cuba could guarantee treatment, over two years, for 7,333 persons with cancer and hematological diseases in our country.

Cuba could assure treatment for a period of 490 days (1 year and four months) for 308,037 persons suffering diabetes, cancer, hematological ailments, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.

 

Transportation: A single day with no blockade

A locomotive costs $2.5 million, 17 could be bought in one day.

A passenger rail car costs $600,000, 73 could be bought in one day.

An articulated bus costs $255 000, 173 could be bought in one day. A standard bus costs $126 000, 351 could be bought in one day.

 

Foreign investment: A single year with no blockade

Cuba needs to raise 2 billion dollars annually for investment to accelerate economic growth. Iif the blockade did not exist, income now lost would be generated to meet the goal for eight years

 

Source:Cubadebate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to top