Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & Philosophic Science Review

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

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No 1214 6th January 2004


Victory or defeat in the Middle East for Western imperialist domination will remain the most immediate and universally-observed indicator of trends in the international balance of class and national forces, deciding civilisation's future. But by already turning to aggressive warmongering and xenophobic hysteria in the midst of an unresolved global over-production economic crisis which can threaten destruction to ANY capital conglomerations at any time, — the "free world" leadership has long ago given the game away. The out-of-date international system of grotesque inequality, ruthless exploitation, and racist belligerence can only degenerate towards ever-worsening warmongering-terrorism, and ever-more-explosive revolutionary chaos.

Even if the wars, reasserting total Western colonial control, do manage to just keep avoiding total catastrophe; and even if the international dollar economy does manage to just keep avoiding total collapse, — the great, crucial, unanswered question still remains: — Why is warmongering back on top of the international agenda at all???

And why is the international dollar economy always hovering on the brink of collapse or disaster anyway???

Endless "excuses" for specific belligerent onslaughts for "peacekeeping" purposes, or for "security reasons", etc, keep on pouring out.

But questions are never now raised about why this "free world" system, — which supposedly so deservedly "won the battle of history" by prevailing against the allegedly "warlike communist system" to bring the world only "peacefully negotiated  democratic settlements" to all of mankind's problems, —— just sinks ever deeper into more and more bloody conflicts, and ever-rising hatred.

There is a similar telltale silence on the really big economic question, where the so-called capitalist "solution" to civilisation's production and development problems just makes endless piecemeal "excuses" for ever-repeating mass starvation nightmares; for spectacular total economic collapses in country after country; for corporate, currency, or investment disasters which routinely bankrupt or impoverish millions; and for terrifying "over-production" trade-war conflicts which threaten soon to plunge the whole planet back into a 1930s deep Depression.

Why is this system tolerated???

Its grotesque inequalities get worse every year, both within nations and between nations.

It never ceases to sow suspicions, envy, and resentment on a war provoking scale with its routine global empire building, which is all that capitalism can ever be, with the richest and the most bullying always winning, thus growing ever richer and ever more bullying.

The Marxist perspective is that the world's population has now been "modernised" enough by capitalist globalisation, and humiliated enough by imperialist exploitation, imposed by warmongering bullying and by the Western monopoly on weapons of mass destruction and their terrifying delivery systems, — that the Third World proletarian masses in particular are beginning to think in terms of mass revolt to end this hated Western domination.

At the same time, the most advanced monopoly capitalist societies themselves are all showing phenomenal signs of ever-quickening and ever more dramatic internal decay and cultural degeneracy.

The endless lies and hypocrisy, which alone now enable the governing establishment to nervously get through each day and hang onto power, are helping to feed the cynical pandemic of drugtaking, binge-drinking, and voting abstentionism, as well as growing criminality of all kinds.

If those who own and run the country are nothing but a bunch of lying crooks, then where can any official "morality" arise to curb any masses with villainous intent.

The original Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels was remarkably already describing in 1848 the essence of these "modernising" effects of monopoly-capitalism (imperialism) and the revolutionary consequences which would eventually be stoked up:

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment". It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.

'The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones.

All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle every where, settle everywhere, establish connections evervwhere.

The bourgeoisie has, through its exploitation of the world market, given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of reactionaries, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization.

The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past, the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that, by their periodical return, put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production.

The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property.

And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.

But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians.

In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed — a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Modem Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers.

The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modem industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portion of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.

The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus, the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.

But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalized, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour.

The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes.

All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.

Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.

In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or. less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat. And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling lass in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society. The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage labour. Wage labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own gravediggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

It was Lenin who later grasped that it might be the masses of the Third World who would play the battering-ram role for the crucial DEFEAT of Western imperialism, or series of defeats, in its regular warmongering adventures for maintaining world control, thereby opening the door for the completion of the world socialist revolution so that a proper international planned economy could be developed purely for the benefit of creative civilisation, — moving on from the limited, largely military defensive economy which "semi-asiatic" Tsarist Russia and its subsequent Soviet camp could alone aspire to.

'Left' sceptics are having a field day, of course, firstly doubting how applicable Marx now is in the light of the vast complications to the world perspective since the capitulation by the Revisionist leaders of the workers states and the Third International to the phenomenal dazzling success of the seemingly unending post-1945 imperialist world trade boom; and secondly wondering how much of a revolutionary threat to Western imperialism can be made out of the Islamic-nationalist resistance to Western neo-colonial domination which has been inspired by such bizarre fundamentalist extremists and by such anarchistically primitive suicide-terrorist sacrifices.

But this scepticism is undermined, once again, just by the phenomenon itself of an international "war on terrorism".

Is the world really being turned upside down in the way that the warmongering in Iraq and Afghanistan is doing; plus the threats to any number of further "rogue states"; plus the disruption to air travel and civic normality by endless "anti-terror alerts"; plus the crippling costs of this insane "war", and the shattering political upheavals such as have hit the Blair regime and disrupted the Western alliance; — — all because of a bunch of nutty Islamic extremists on the loose and trying to hi-jack aircraft to commit suicide in????

Is all this "war on terrorism" hysteria and warmongering bloodshed really nothing more than the routine "crazy" world, stumbling on as usual, with nothing really significant happening at all????

Quite the opposite; the analysis the EPSR has been struggling towards suggests that this volcanic eruption of blitzkrieg warmongering into the Middle East and beyond is CRUCIAL to the very survival of Western imperialist system domination of the era; and that despite the smallness in number of American casualties so far and the chaotic incoherence of the resistance to the USA's invasions, the vastly different period of history between now and the Vietnam war's days, and the vastly different conditions dictating what becomes truly significant in different struggles, could mean that the Iraq debacle will end up with a far bigger meaning for history.

The USA went into this war in the full knowledge of a coming global economic collapse in order to hammer home TO THE WHOLE WORLD the message that "Whatever economic catastrophes lie ahead, and whoever is held responsible for the coming monstrous messy suffering, and upheaval, — — the American imperialist warmongering system is going to remain in charge of international affairs VERY FIRMLY, and will deliver an armed assault on ANY state, nation, or coalition which dares to dispute the USA's right to rule the Earth or its military-technological ability to remain superior and do so."

Nothing remotely comparable was said about Vietnam; and the historical circumstances of world development then were completely different from now.

Then, the Socialist Camp and its revolutionary achievements were not effectively challengeable.

All that US imperialism could do was, at huge cost, try to inflict such suffering on any attempted Socialist Camp expansion (by any means) so that the Revisionist perspective communist revolutionary movement would, as a whole, think that the colossal costs of the Vietnam victory were not worth more major guerrilla war campaigns, especially since Stalinist "theory" was teaching that the whole planet would be "peacefully" falling into socialism's hands before too long, etc, etc, and that imperialist ability both for economic expansion and global warmongering onslaughts would remain strictly limited, easily containable by Soviet "peaceful coexistence" overtures and Chinese "paper tiger" derision, etc.

Thus, although defeated in Vietnam, US imperialist plans to halt the "domino theory" prospect (of world communist development) by inflicting huge costs on the Socialist Camp, proved successful in the long run.

The imperialist task undertaken in the Middle East and beyond, however, is so vast and so difficult to achieve that even ending up with some kind of "victory" in Iraq, or at least some partial "successes", might not prevent THE GREATEST DISASTER FOR THE IMPERIALIST SYSTEM EVER from nevertheless unfolding. Because the aim is no less than to  achieve the TOTAL COWING OF the whole planet from all further serious resistance to American domination, — whether revolutionary, or terrorist, or arms-race economic rivalry.

Bush's notorious pre-emptive challenge warned the world: "Don't even think about trying to catch up with American firepower. We will stop you." That meant everybody, friend or foe alike. And just to rub the message home, Bush then warned every state on Earth that it could either declare itself "with America" or "against America". And for any nation daft enough to earn the title "rogue state" there was just one message:

"We are coming to forcibly 'democratise' you".

And the USA is still spewing out this aggressive NAZI nonsense in Iraq today, even as a thin chorus of rational sanity is even being heard within Western imperialist bourgeois circles themselves suggesting that Washington's blitzkrieg policy is going disastrously wrong, reinforcing the minority arguments which said from the start that this warmongering was an unjust misguided strategy and could even prove to be unachievable.

But while now beginning to acknowledge all this, and to make apologies for the difficulties and the mistakes and the setbacks that this recolonisation programme has run into, the Washington/London-Coalition HQ high command has nevertheless spat out as its very latest policy reassessment this week:

"Strike even harder in Iraq at those resisting the military occupation.

"We are determined to enforce against the men of violence the right which all Iraqis have to self-determination."

Some "self-determination", enforced by Western imperialist bayonets!!!

The insanity of all this from Western imperialism's survival point of view is hugely added-to by the context in which this hysterical "greater security" alarm is being delivered whereby all the longer-term talk is now only of a speeded-up "exit strategy".

In other words, this demented imperialist blitzkrieg policy is itself now being forced to think about the possibilities of DEFEAT.

That the invasion might have provoked UNBEATABLE resistance, daily creating thousands and thousands of new "terrorists" where there were only dozens before, has now begun to penetrate even the dimmest most gung-ho minds inside the White House's neo-conservative circles.

But what is the knee-jerk response to ever mounting Coalition casualties???

Inflict even MORE monstrous arbitrary military-dictatorship TYRANNY on the Iraqi populace.

Even the pro-imperialist-warmongering Western press is now spilling over with non-stop admissions that this NAZI brutality on the ground is on its way to alienating the WHOLE of Iraq, — Baathists, non-Baathists, the lot:

Surrounded by upturned chairs and an abandoned turban, Sabah Al-Kaisey surveyed his ransacked office yesterday.

The American troops who burst into his mosque on Thursday morning had smashed down the front gate, broken the air conditioners and ripped up the carpets. They had also thrown several Korans on the floor and allegedly punched the man giving the call to prayer in the face.

"They even took our nuts," said Mr Kaisey yesterday, opening the door of the mosque's empty fridge.

 The troops who raided the Ibn Taymiyah mosque, used by Baghdad's Sunnis, appear to have been looking for weapons used by Iraq's resistance. They recovered a couple of AK-47s, hand grenades and an anti-aircraft missile, US military officials said. E Abdul Sattar, the mosque's imam, said the weapons were used by its guards. "They were there to protect ourselves," he told the Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera, which showed images of the damaged Korans.

The raid has served to increase the anger and frustration of Iraq's Sunnis, who feel marginalised and discriminated against in post-Saddam Iraq.

Yesterday, hundreds of worshippers demonstrated against the raid and US occupation.

"This is not the behaviour of liberators but occupiers," Mr Kaisey said, pointing to the metal collection box which had been smashed open by US troops.

They had taken the money which was supposed to go to the poor and also the mosque's computers, used to produce a biweekly newsletter, he said.


THE young Iraqi with a red checked headscarf wrapped over his face is bad news for the US Army.

Darting through the darkened, pitted streets of Rutba, a small town in Iraq's western desert, Muhammad and his Sunni guerrilla cell say that they have no intention of ending their fight against American forces until every last occupying soldier has left Iraq.

The United States-led coalition celebrated the capture of Saddam Hussein as a pivotal point in breaking the resistance, led by the former President's Baath party loyalists, but in Rutba the arrest has made no impact. That is because, Muhammad explains, none of the 95 guerrillas in Rutba is a Baathist.

"It's all lies that the resistance is led by Baathists. The resistance is Islamic, we are ordered by God, we have no relation to that party," he said, driving around Rutba at midnight after being picked up at a safe house in the town, five hours' drive from Baghdad.

He and a similarly masked guerrilla comrade refused to divulge their real names, and insisted on crawling the rutted, muddy streets after dark for security reasons. Driven by a go-between to their safe house in a nondescript back street, The Times was given five minutes to photograph three fighters with Kalashnikovs, grenades and copies of the Koran.

The men were jumpy: they had just learnt that seven of their comrades had been killed the night before in Fallujah, a town on the road to Baghdad where some of the worst fighting of the insurgency has taken place.

For them, the rationale of the struggle is simple, a credo of God and country that leaves no room for foreign troops on their Islamic soil. Far from the secular Baath party "deadenders" being rounded up every day by American forces, they idolise Osama bin Laden, and they are well-organised.

Within two months of the US-led invasion, small disparate groups began to coalesce. Muhammad said that they communicate by specialist couriers and hope soon to form a national resistance army.

A large part of the whole point of going into Iraq was simply to demonstrate that IT COULD BE DONE.

Having delivered a warning to the whole world after Sept 11 when US imperialist global domination finally became certain that the insoluble economic-crisis threat to its world rule was also inevitably going to be accompanied by endless armed revolts as well, from even the most backward and unlikeliest of sources, — the Washington circles of the most supreme monopoly capitalist arrogance resolved to put into full operation their longstanding plans to make use of the USA's now unique "superpower" status to MILITARILY impose America's "New World Order" as well as continue to manipulate all the international "democracy" agencies to Western imperialism's advantage (the UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc, etc), — and specifically to the United States advantage, of course.

And so scapegoats were needed immediately, and a whole range of "rogue states" were needed to be put on warning as to future blitzkriegs for them too if they did not all fall immediately into line with the USA's strategic world-control requirements.

Afghanistan and Iraq were the obvious first two targets, two of the most widely despised and unpopular regimes on Earth.

"Shock and awe" were supposed to deliver everything that this renewed all-out imperialist warmongering strategy needed to achieve.

The crisis-ridden imperialist 1930s came up with EXACTLY the same "world domination" delusions for preserving its arrogant racist "superpower" and even "master race" global-control desperation via German, Japanese, and Italian aggression during the terrifying Great Depression of the inter-war years, culminating in World War II.

And much the same bullying jingoistic bravado accompanied the "overproduction" crisis build-up towards World War I.

But World War III for the establishment and confirmation of the USA's lone-rule hegemony over all world affairs in order to "control" the crisis, (in reality uncontrollable), was supposed to be over almost as soon as it had started.

The fly-blown Middle East was expected to welcome Americas attention and the anticipated generous aid and reconstruction money, etc, etc, with flowers and open arms.

And if there was any resistance,that was going to be crushed with such "awesome' severity that no other nation would ever again DARE to challenge or even question America's right to rule the world however it thinks fit.

THAT insane programme is what is now in total trouble.

And it can be seen as unleashing a chaotic hiatus a thousand times worse than the ignominious failure of the German-Japanese "thousand year Reich" which resulted in bitter resistance and the spread of revolution from the (Soviet) world's first workers state to half way round the world.

For one immediate question is going to be: What can the West's control-desperation do for an encore???, —— if the chaos in Washington really does decide to scuttle away from this particular "unmanageable mess" in favour of pretending that the next "rogue state" to get it will "really be made to suffer", etc, etc, etc,(just as the NAZI warmongering occupations used to warn when inflicting "collective punishments" for retaliation against any acts of resistance or defiance).

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the spirit of the Third World (the spirit of the age) is what is showing that it will not be bullied around by Western imperialism any longer. It is nothing whatever to do with any "special powers of resistance" or to any "special conditions" supposedly resident in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not existing elsewhere.

Elsewhere, surely it is clear now, any continuation of Western aggressive warmongering,as a "crisis-solution" policy, is going to get even more of a hostile reception than it has received so far in the Third World. And indeed, the Palestinian experience is always the very best and most incontrovertible proof of this understanding, in that the Palestinians are now fighting Zionist military tyranny and occupation more successfully than ever before, in spite of having been daily butchered and brutalised for more than 55 years, and in spite of now ALL living behind barbed wire in what is virtually ONE GIANT CONCENTRATION CAMP, with no rights whatever.

Elsewhere in the world, that same spirit is going to give Western imperialist domination an ever bigger and bigger bloody nose the more that monopoly capitalism tries to crush and intimidate the entire Third World (and beyond) in its demonic NAZI "crisis-solution" blitzkrieg policy.

In Vietnam, the West's defeat was to the known communist 'enemy' which was already on the receiving end of the PERMANENT Cold War embargo which was always going to last the lifetime of the Socialist Camp (or forever whichever came sooner , — a seriously "alternative world" which would either prevail or succumb to imperialist boom sabotage in time.

So a great humiliation, but not necessarily world shattering, because the Socialist Camp was still being ruled by Revisionist "peaceful coexistence" stupidity in spite of general aid to the Vietnamese revolution, — and no new major revolutions necessarily had to follow on from Vietnam.

None did.

But can the imperialist warmongering setback in Iraq and Afghanistan end there?????

Now it is imperialist economic-crisis time, and a crisis without end unless WAR can once again come to the rescue of this sick periodically-destructive system of exploitation and domination.

And so Washington has duly announced "war without end", effectively, — warning all that American domination will now control the planet henceforth.

Now, obviously, the last thing that is going to happen is that the US Zionist warmongering axis is going to call a halt to its blitztkrieging tyrannies. As the EPSR has always argued, it is ONLY imperialist rottenness and savagery which CAN educate the MASS of the world population towards revolutionary consciousness.

And it will inevitably carry on doing so under its most influential monopoly-capitalist ruling circles because imperialism consists of NOTHING BUT domination and exploitation, — always more brutally so than ever at times of unresolvable global economic contradictions.

But what is the significance of this????

On one side, the irresistible force of desperate warmongering imperialism, in incurable economic crisis which is threatening to lose the system everything of its world control unless drastic pre-emptive measures of ENFORCED GLOBAL CONTROL are imposed.

But on the other side, the immovable object of a Third World of five thousand MILLION people who are showing every sign of refusing to be militarily subjugated by Western invasion-tyranny, and generally of no longer wanting to live under Western imperialist world economic and cultural leadership anyway.

Enough of the Third World had already had a fill of this warmongering destructive imperialist nonsense by 1911 to make the world's first communist revolution and proletarian state.

Even more had had enough by 1945, after inter-imperialist World War II, to spread the communist revolution half way round the planet.

Now the question is: Which part of the planet is NOT now ready to tell the dominating Western imperialist warmongers to go to hell with their rotten divisive destructive economic injustice and their grotesque exploitative domineering and murderous arrogance????

Of course there is no communist leadership now, and of course nothing worthwhile anti-imperialist can be COMPLETED until a new international revolutionary understanding is built.

But what else is civilisation going to find to fill the vacuum being left by the approaching warmongering collapse of the bourgeois imperialist system; bar workers states?????

It is commonplace now to hear Western press admissions that Afghanistan was better off as a workers state, and that the whole history of Western intervention has been nothing but a disaster:

Fighting is on a heavier scale, with US helicopters and aircraft conducting almost daily raids on Taliban groups. Swathes of the south have become no-go areas for UN aid workers and NGOs. More than 350 people have been killed by Taliban attackers or US air raids since August, a death toll greater than in Iraq.

In 1981, Kabul's two campuses thronged with women students, as well as men. Most went around without even a headscarf. Hundreds went off to Soviet universities to study engineering, agronomy and medicine. The banqueting hall of the Kabul hotel pulsated most nights to the excitement of wedding parties. The markets thrived. Caravans of painted lorries rolled up from Pakistan, bringing Japanese TV sets, video recorders, cameras and music centres. The Russians did nothing to stop this vibrant private enterprise.

Of course, Kabul was an invaded city, but most residents did not seem worried. Baghdad-style bomb attacks on Soviet troops were rare and the mujahedin who fought the Russians in the countryside never approached the capital. Unlike the Americans in Iraq, the Russians had enough intelligence from, locals to forestall sabotage attempts.

I was no supporter of the Soviet invasion. Although nominally a response to an invitation from Afghan leaders, the despatch of Soviet troops in December 1979 was foolish and illegal, as I vigorously argued against an official from the Soviet embassy at a protest meeting at the LSE a few days later. But what I saw in 1981, and on three other visits to several cities over the 14 years that the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was in charge, convinced me that it was a much less bad option than the regime on offer from the western supported mujahedin.

It's a view that surfaces continually. "Those were the best times," said Latif Anwari, a translator with an NGO in Mazar. Now in his late 30s, he studied engineering in Odessa from 1985 to 1991.

"There was no fighting, everything was calm, the factories were working," he said. I asked him about Mohammed Najibullah, the PDPA leader who ruled for more than three years after Soviet troops withdrew. Has universally known as "Dr Najib".

"He's still popular. If Dr Najib were a candidate in the presidential elections, he would easily win. No one likes the mujahedin," Latif said.

Or take Margaret Knill, a doughty Christian missionary from Britain who has worked at Kabul's Vocational School for the Blind since 1983. She has seen every regime for the past 20 years and has no hesitation in saying the 1980, was the high point. "The Russians re-opened the school in 1979. We had up to 130 pupils when I came. In 1993 the building was clear-eyed by shelling between the mujahedin factions. We moved closer to the centre but, under the Taliban, girls and the six women teachers were excluded."

The Russians removed a PDPA autocrat, Hafizullah Amin, and installed a more benign ruler from a different wing of the party. But by then the damage had been done. The PDPA's modernising agenda was easy for local tribal leaders and rural landlords to portray as anti-Islamic.

Internationally, the Soviet move was denounced as a push for global expansion. The west, which had already been covertly supporting anti-communist rebels, now massively stepped up its efforts to arm the fundamentalist resistance. This was not a war of Russia v Afghanistan, but a civil war in which the Russians supported secular, urban Afghans against Islamic traditionalists and their Arab and western backers.

Kabulis supported their agenda.

For a foreign journalist to make that case at the time was a lonely, unpopular business. Had the PDPA given more visas, they might have done better. Instead, they got a diet of romantic stuff about treks with the mujahedin.

The west's greatest mistake was not that it armed the mujahedin but that after Soviet troops pulled out, it failed to back UN efforts to broker a coalition between the PDPA and the mujahedin. Washington wanted revenge for defeat in Vietnam, and George Bush senior was not ready to accept a communist role in government, however much educated Afghans preferred that to victory for the fundamentalists.

Washington is worse off than Moscow was. For the Russians, the jihadi warlords were an external enemy, propped up from outside. Now they are in the country, and even in government, resisting modernisation.

The fiercest armed opponents — the Taliban — are not getting as much foreign backing as the anti-Soviet mujahedin did. Most Afghans have learned from their parents' mistakes. The mullahs' ability to manipulate people into mistrust of the world has faded.

Why did Afghans fight the Russians 20 years ago, but not the Americans now, I asked Nasir Rahman, a doctor. "Because they were ignorant," he said. "They didn't know the Russians were bringing schools and hospitals or that neighbouring countries would use Afghanistan to put pressure on Russia for their own reasons. Now people wish they hadn't caused all this suffering. People are tired of war."

I don't expect western leaders will revise their ideological image of Afghan history or accept that arming the mujahedin was a blunder.

The latter admissions remain disgraceful ones for their refusal even now to accept that what was really at fault throughout the Cold War was ANTI-COMMUNISM ITSELF, — and not just its more ludicrous prejudiced extremes where a slightly less-biased rationality might have preserved a certain few Third World backward spots from "unnecessary" counter-revolutionary excesses, as disingenuously argued here.

But while such a crab-like approach (to admitting that anti-communism was the great tragedy for human history, not communism) will never replace ideological constipation with any real political progress, — any MASS turn by any state back TOWARDS communism (after having once given it up under the sour influences of local opportunist petty bourgeois mentalities like Shevardnadze's plus the worldwide propaganda impact of Western "freedom" garbage and shallow temporary "economic miracle" glitz), — WILL have a colossal effect on world thinking.

That, of course, is still not communist leadership, but the EPSR has always maintained the view that the essence of that is the elaboration of a correct UNDERSTANDING of where the world is heading because of its international balance of class and national forces at the stage of historic development they have reached and are approaching, with every changing condition taken into account wherever possible.

If those ideas are correct and can find sufficient expression, then they can catch on.

Once the understanding catches on, then building a Leninist party of leadership should not be too difficult in a world which once boasted an international communist movement nigh hundreds of millions strong.

Among many things that need clarifying from 20th Century anti-imperialist history are what better ways might have been found for disputing the theoretical nonsense used by Stalinism to embroider its grotesque Revisionist retreats from Marxism-Leninism and to cover its gruesome paranoid mistakes and crimes, — other than going down the equally shallow and opportunist path,— suicidal from the start,and always making successful anti-Stalinism even harder, — of Trotsky's "political revolution" lunacy.

The entire international proletariat quite properly saw through this specious middle class garbage to the full counter-revolution beyond (which this conceited "I-should-be-the-leader" biliousness of Trotsky would lead to, handling Stalin's mistakes in completely the wrong way).

And only grotesque historical distortions by the Trots cover up the fact that EVERY time this "political revolution" nonsense appeared on the scene, it always did end in imperialist COUNTER-revolution eventually, as even the faintest grasp of Marxist-Leninist science would have explained every time was INEVITABLE.

The Trot weasels' counter-revolutionary cover-up is currently in full cry about how they mourn the loss of the Soviet workers state, what a triumph it was, and how bad things now are for the anti-imperialist struggle since the USSR's self liquidation:

Millions around the world burn with rage at the sight of Iraq reduced to rubble and humiliated by old style colonial pillage. The images of U.S. troops trampling with their jackboots over a country which American imperialism first starved, then bombed and bled white in a display of global dominance by the "world's only superpower" are truly obscene.

This just outrage must be raised to a political understanding that the enslavement of Iraq is yet another price that the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the Third World are paying for the destruction of the Soviet Union through capitalist counter-revolution in 1991-92. Today's imperialist global rampage was impossible when the USSR still existed.

Soviet Union represented the industrial and military powerhouse protecting every other country that had overthrown capitalist rule, from China to Vietnam to Cuba. It was only fear of possible Soviet retaliation that held American imperialism back from using nuclear weapons against North Korea and China in the Korean War of the early 1950s and against North Vietnam in the 1960s.

While the U.S. rulers are now grabbing more of the oil wealth of the Near East, their main and ultimate target is the People's Republic of China, by far the largest and strongest of those remaining states where capitalism has been overthrown. China is confronting mounting American military pressure, from the expansion of U.S. bases in the Philippines to new U.S. bases across Central Asia.

China (and North Korea) are among those states explicitly indicated as potential targets for a U.S. nuclear first strike as laid out in the Pentagon's 2002 "Nuclear Posture Review." This makes all the more clear our duty to fight for the unconditional military defense of China and North Korea, bureaucratically deformed workers states, against the imperialist powers. And that means defending the right of North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

Another result of the Soviet Union's demise is that the nominally independent countries of the Third World can no longer maneuver between the "two superpowers."

They thus face the unrestrained economic exactions and brute military force of the imperialists. Look at the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, where the overturn of the October Revolution has led to the intensification of imperialist bloodsucking, and with it, the increased starvation and bloodshed-ethnic group against ethnic group, country against country, everybody out for some advantage in a battle for survival. This has occurred because the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have demanded repayment of the money they had given previously as a sop to these African countries during the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

The greatest devastation brought about by the fall of the USSR has taken place on its own former territory. The face of the "new Russia" can be seen not only in the economic catastrophe that has befallen the population but in the degradation of women and national minorities and in the slaughter and destruction inflicted by Russian occupation forces in Chechnya. A central goal of the counter-revolutionary regime of Boris Yeltsin was to destroy the collectivized economy inherited from the former Soviet Union. Against all complaints over incompetence or corruption, Yeltsin's stock answer was to point out he had achieved the main thing he'd promised: no more communism in Russia.

And in place of what it destroyed, what has capitalism built in these 12 years?

Just as Soviet progress could be measured in the figures of concrete, steel and education, so now can capitalism's return be measured in figures of ruin, disease and barbarism. In these 12 years capitalism's profit system reveals itself as a deadly enemy of humanity — a machine not for the advancement of the international productive forces and culture-but for their destruction.

Capitalism has passed a death sentence on the Russian population: in absolute numbers deaths exceeded births during the first six years after the capitalist counter-revolution by 3.5 million; by 2001 this figure had become 6.75 million; and by now even conservative estimates of the population contraction are closer to 8 million! In 1989, average male life expectancy was 64.2 years. In Yeltsin's Russia of 1994, it dropped to 57.6 years. This historically unprecedented sudden drop in life expectancy equals, for the nine-year period from 1987 to 1996, the ghosts of 11 million stolen lifetimes. A 16-year-old boy has less of a chance to survive to 60 in Putin's Russia than in the benighted filth of 19th century tsarism!

Capitalism has wiped out a century of social progress, and what a century! What is being destroyed in Russia today is everything that Soviet workers and rural toilers had built, everything that their parents and grandparents before them had constructed with such sacrifice and heroism in the face of the Civil War and imperialist intervention.

But the sick and sinister contradiction appears right in the middle of all this phony eulogising.

Incapable of concealing their deeper petty bourgeois feelings, in reality horrified and terrified at the stark classwar reality of what the dictatorship of the proletariat had to be to survive those holocaust early decades of non-stop imperialist counter-revolution and sabotage, not to mention worldwide propaganda vilification and isolation, — these anti-communists simultaneously let rip with:

"the murderous excesses of agricultural collectivisation and forced-march industrialisation ....the horrors of Stalin's terror which reached every family .... Communist Party leaders and apparatchiks, so long falsely identified with "socialism"...a new conservative and bureaucratised layer in the party and state apparatus came to the fore, intent on preserving its relatively privileged status amid extreme poverty, scarcity and imperialist hostility .... the rigged 13th Party Conference in January 1924 marked the qualitative point at which the bureaucratic caste seized political power. From then on, the people who ruled the USSR, the way the USSR was ruled, and the purpose for which it was ruled all changed. This was a....counter-revolution."

Some "counter-revolution", which then proceeded to transform world development history over the next 66 years, as earlier described fulsomely by these self-same Spart 'left' posturers.

But the contradictory insanity of all this gets worse. Far, far worse, — certifiably so.

To work their way round to the justification for their OWN and REAL counter-revolutionary course, the Sparts continue:

Trotsky also explained that the Stalinist bureaucracy was capable of extensive but not intensive economic growth. What does that mean? It means that the Kremlin oligarchy could and did expand the Soviet economy by crudely transplanting advanced capitalist methods and even entire factories from abroad, but it was incapable of constantly raising the overall level of technology and labor productivity. As Trotsky put it in The Revolution Betrayed: "Under a nationalized economy, quality demands a democracy of producers and consumers, freedom of criticism and initiative — conditions incompatible with a totalitarian regime of fear, lies and flattery."

So how did the Soviet workers state get into space?? Certainly not by relying on the captured NAZI Werner von Braun which the mighty "freedom" of that mighty "democracy of producers and consumers", the USA had to rely on.

This planned socialist economy, which Trotsky's lost-leadership bile insisted could only "crudely transplant capitalist methods or entire capitalist factories" to survive at all, in reality completely outstripped international imperialism's best efforts by achieving the world's most sophisticated telemetry communications, most advanced fuel technology, and most efficient rocket-motor science to leave the entire "free" world utterly gobsmacked.

The same with nuclear technology. The US imperialists recruited the scientific genius of the entire planet to produce the world's first atomic weapons.

But with just one British defector to lend a hand, the Soviet workers state in only a few years after 1945, although devastated, completely out-developed the West in nuclear technology theory.

Two years after Trotsky's 1936 "Revolution Betrayed" attempt to demoralise the entire international working class with tripe about the USSR's incurable economic uselessness, the poisonous dilettante was at it again with his 1938 farrago the "Transitional Programme" to world revolution (!):

"The political prognosis has an alternative character: either the bureaucracy, becoming ever more the organ of the world bourgeoisie in the workers' state, will overthrow the new forms of property and plunge the country back to capitalism; or the working class will crush the bureaucracy and open the way to socialism."

Neither version of Trot defeatist bile proved true at that stage of history. Just the opposite. The next half-century saw epoch-making anti-imperialist revolutionary developments, despite ongoing and deepening Revisionist theoretical confusion.

In reality, of course, the Soviet workers state, which at that point had only existed for 20 years filled with non-stop imperialist military intervention, economic blockade, and counter-revolutionary sabotage, — in fact went on over the following 50 years to totally transform the international anti-imperialist situation (as the Sparts earlier admit), by aiding or protecting the OVERTHROW of capitalism for nearly half of mankind, from Korea and China and Vietnam in the East to Europe and Cuba in the West.

What to make of that Stalinist phenomenon, and how to fight it, remains one of the great unanswered theoretical challenges facing the working class, still very relevant today in that Stalin's Revisionist confusion still holds sway in Beijing, Hanoi, Pyongyang, Havana, etc, although these remain valuable workers states in the global balance against imperialism, as the Sparts themselves admit.

But the one clear way NOT to try to oppose or challenge this Revisionist-bureaucratic ageing process (observable in the Second International long before Stalin and the Soviet workers state had even been thought of) is to try to kill it via an armed putsch, — the "political-revolution" so-called.

A theoretical trouncing is obviously what is called for, — hardly served by this Trot decision to treat the Soviet workers state leadership as the "counter-revolution" from January 1924 onwards.

But as Stalinist paranoia and arbitrariness developed alongside the sickening cult of the individual, any theoretical opposition at all became more and more difficult and dangerous.

Worse still, the boundlessly joyous novelty of the world's first workers state having, been born at all, but then actually thriving in spite of the colossal hostility, destruction, and sabotage which worldwide anti-communist hatred was being created to sustain, — — rendered the entire international proletariat, and all the best of the intelligentsia too, almost reverently pro-Soviet.

But critical debates did break out from time to time, especially within the communist parties internationally; and many parties split frequently but then came back together again, most of the time without any over-heavy Soviet influence, and never at all with a Soviet labour camp or a Stalinist bullet being the decisive factor, as tragically could happen in internal Soviet party disagreements.

But what has never yet emerged clearly was the development of any totally coherent theoretical opposition to Stalin's ever-increasing departures from classical Marxist-Leninist revolutionary science into Revisionist feeblemindedness. The Chinese party developed the strongest doubts about the validity of Moscow policy while yet maintaining 100% principled solidarity with the Soviet state in all its necessary diplomatic dealings and propaganda campaigns over criticism, e.g., around all forceful actions by the Soviet proletarian dictatorship against endless imperialist provocations or counter-revolutionary stunts.

But Beijing itself never made a complete analysis of Stalinism's weaknesses and errors, and came up with even more useless Revisionist nonsense of its own when it started lashing out at the successors and continuers of Stalinist Revisionist nonsense.

Castro has started making critical comments on Moscow Communism's leadership and theoretical defects but has reached a level little better than what "Cult of the Individual" impressionistic shallowness originally came up with after Stalin's death, — the childish "bad man" view of history which gets no further than cataloguing personal and mass suffering.

History can never be re-run now, but clearly what was needed but never tried (in the 73 years of the Soviet workers state, marred and eventually wrecked by Stalinist Revisionist inadequacy), was a CORRECT Marxist-Leninist criticism of Moscow's mistakes, misjudgements, and misunderstandings, ALLIED TO the hindsight which these Trot counter-revolutionaries now brazenly trumpet that the WORST thing that could happen would be for the Soviet workers state to cease continuing to exist, despite all its leadership's faults.

Many independent Communist Parties outside of the USSR might have come up with the correct critique while still maintaining full propaganda solidarity with Moscow against the West, — especially the parties in China, Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, etc, where they had established their own revolutionary authority. Other parties too, as in South Africa, Greece, Malaya, Algeria, etc, who had their own undoubted revolutionary sincerity (and suffering to show for it), could hardly have been dismissed easily by Moscow counter-polemics as just "imperialist agents-provocateurs who want to spark war between the USA and the USSR" if they had spoken up against the "peaceful coexistence" and "peaceful roads to socialism" garbage which eventually spread from mere barmy headrot to the shamefaced dismantling of the Soviet workers state, the whole Socialist Camp, and then the entire Communist International, leaving behind just pockets of still-continuing Revisionist lunacy here and there (SLP, Lalkar, SACP, CPI, etc, etc).

But what can be made of what did happen in history??

Civilisation's immaturity is the only conclusion that can be drawn.

In the next round of workers-state-building after the coming revolutionary-explosion of insoluble imperialist crisis, the world will be an older and wiser place.

Crap theories from rubbish workers-state regimes should be able to get the criticism they need from the general scientific wisdom by then accumulated for building socialism and seeing off the last degenerate eruptions of imperialist-system warmongering and counter-revolution.

One curious footnote on the Trots. Some of the most self-righteously purist among them like the Sparts and the Healyites, — normally the readiest with the "Kill the scoundrels" standard Trot invective against the Stalinists, edged towards reformist dialogue with Moscow near the end, once it was much too late to develop a global correction to Stalin's fatal Revisionist theories.

WRPers came up with the fantasy that Gorbachev WAS the "political revolution" and started praising him for this joke "perestroika", — so desperate were they to make some sense of meaningless Trot theory now that a full flood of reform and change in Moscow (in fact nothing new at all in the Soviet Revolution) had become clear international knowledge, thus ridiculing the lifelong Trot dismissal since 1924 of an "ossified, totalitarian bureaucracy", etc, etc, needing counter-revolutionary overthrow, not dialogue and support.

Symbolically, — (doubting how much real international influence the Healyites had), this backing for Gorbachevism could not have been more damaging or come at a worse time (as well as being so ludicrous by these firebrand Trot-purist "revolutionaries" as to be almost incredible), — cheering Moscow on right at the moment when Gorbachev's words and deeds daily made it clearer to the EPSR from 1985 onwards that this latest Revisionist succession could take everything to self-liquidatory ruin, — for the Soviet Union, for the workers states, and for the Communist International, leaving nothing but wreckage behind.

The Sparts came up with a similarly catastrophic opportunist stunt when they took up Trotsky's "In Defence of Marxism" line (which gave sneering faint approval to the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland and Finland) to go right over the top to bellow "HAIL RED ARMY" to the 1979 Soviet intervention into Afghanistan, — Brezhnev's last fatal stab at gesture-politics in his rare moments of sober coherence, and a disastrous mistake.

Despite all their denials, the Sparts let slip their real feelings of counter-revolutionary venom towards the Soviet proletarian dictatorship soon after, when the far more blatantly counter-revolutionary Solidarnosc (far more of a danger to international anti-imperialism than were the tribal/feudal Mojaheddin reactionaries in Afghanistan) was in full flood, and Moscow was thinking of intervening militarily.

Although they try to hide it now, the Sparts first welcomed Walesa's "trade-union" CIA stunt with the words "Polish workers move" (5/9/80). They then scabbily followed this up 8 months later, when worldwide pro-Solidarnosc hysteria was at its height,with their SB32 pronouncement that

"Genuine proletarian internationalists must bitterly protest a Russian military intervention which would represent a defeat for the cause of socialism".

After capitulating 10 years later to the pilsudski-ite Walesa's fascist-nationalist "democracy", laughably programmed by his CIA and Vatican sponsors, the Polish workers state was rapidly liquidated, helping to bring down the Soviet workers state with it.

Now this joke "democratic" Poland is US blitzkrieg-imperialism's leading stooge regime in East Europe, currently providing troops in Iraq to help Washington's colonial barbarism there try to avert a justified come-uppance.

The Spart individuals sneered with prime counter-revolutionary biliousness at the proper (if too tardy) Soviet interventions to stop anti-communist putsches in 1956 (Hungary) and 1968 (Prague) and at the contingency plan for Poland in 1980, — all examples of correct Soviet understanding of its duty to put down REAL counter-revolution's preparations to restore capitalism (i.e. "free-market democracy").

How interesting that the one misjudged adventurism by the usually ultra-conservative Moscow, — the unwise expedition into totally unstable Afghanistan with no established workers state and where massive lavishly-funded CIA-organised sabotage and counter-revolution was ready and waiting to suck the Red Army into an endless bloodbath mounted from surrounding hostile territory, — the Sparts jumped up and sinisterly shouted "Excellent! Hail Red Army". Curious???

Charitably assuming that poor understanding and a lack of foresight explained the Sparts aberration, the EPSR has no qualms about noting its own failure,through romantic exuberance,to see the pitfalls that awaited the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan.

But the EPSR had spoken principled support to EVERY Soviet military action from 1917 onwards; and given its lack of wisdom to see the problem ahead, it would have been an aberration for the EPSR to have NOT been in favour of giving the CIA's counter-revolutionaries in Afghanistan a bloody nose, protecting the emergent Afghani workers state.

And even the Afghan adventure could have been turned round to Soviet workers state and global anti-imperialist advantage but for the Stalinist Revisionist delusions misleading Moscow into continuing its silly pledge to "overtake the USA" in economic production and living standards, — an impossible task all the time that monopoly imperialism still controlled well more than half the planet's wealth, and given that the entire relatively-backward Socialist Camp and non-aligned world was being lavishly aided by the USSR along egalitarian lines.

Spart venom, despite all its "We Fought to Defend the Soviet Union" bullshit, fails to make this crucial point about the REAL disaster of Revisionism, preferring to stick to its poisonous innuendo, inseparable from the entire Western bourgeois counter-revolutionary propaganda for 74 years, that the economy failed to come up to expectations (which made the Afghan war costs seem too pricey) because of its leadership being "hostile from the outset to workers democracy and the fight for international extension of the revolution as the road to socialist development", and because of "these privileged social strata" wanting "to further enrich themselves at the expanse of the working class".

In other words, more and more personal impressionistic venom based on despicable moral self-righteousness in the abstract, and about as far from a Marxist-Leninist historical-materialist analysis of the great movements of class forces and their accompanying delusions which really shaped the outcome of the 20th century, — as it is possible to be.

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