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Economic and 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 1249 September 21th 2004

Blair's desperate "new war" idiocy will collapse ignominiously if military defeats in Iraq continue. The insane propaganda scapegoating of "terrorism", like it was some alien force instead of merely a way of violently resisting unwanted imperialist occupation, will also fail if the hugely costly military blitzkrieging continues to get nowhere. The reluctant bourgeois "opposition" to the warmongering will play a temporary role in the further disgrace of the imperialist Western system, demolishing Blair's "integrity" as a substitute for denouncing the whole rotten colonial-imperialist warmongering racket. The EPSR's Marxist-Leninist line of constantly emphasising the ultimate revolutionary end of capitalism in social and economic breakdown vindicated against a sick outbreak of cynicism.

This week's renewed upheaval in British bourgeois political arenas still being caused by the Iraq war controversy, coincides with continued confusion in some EPSR circles about the imperialist economic crisis, the drive to warmongering that it has imposed, and the wretchedness of Putin's agreement with Washington's "international crusade against terrorism".

Sadly, the confused circles still refuse to commit themselves to print, but the sniping's broad themes imply that there is no economic crisis, that Marxism doesn't connect economic crisis to social revolution directly, that imperialism can't see crisis well enough to make conscious preparations for war as a result, and that Putin's Chechen crisis therefore deserves no more attention than casting doubt on the self-determination claim, and accusing the EPSR of falling for this shallow fake-"left" posturing.

This mixture of complacent anti-theory Revisionism and petty-bourgeois scepticism has always been hovering provocatively in the background, but its usefulness on this occasion is as an extension of the way in which orthodox Western philosophical philistinism has been sent into turmoil by the upheaval of defeat in Iraq.

This profound shake-up which has already witnessed about a dozen resignations in governing circles, from the Cabinet onwards; the unprecedented sacking of the top BBC leadership for defending the truth and legitimate inquiry; the suicide of a leading defence scientist because of disagreement with the war propaganda; and the shattering of Blair's credibility, — is possibly going to produce even more dramatic consequences.

Blair has gone mental with his latest posturing to avoid the fallout from the cascade of new ideological blows last week from Greg Dyke's Channel 4 broadside; from Jack Straw's leaked pre-war memo saying civil war chaos or even worse dictatorship is all that Iraq's invasion will bring; and from Kofi Annan's belated United Nations verdict that invading Iraq was an act of international illegality.

Blair's hysteria that it is a totally "new war" now in Iraq which will see "either terrorism conquering the world or the world conquering terrorism", to paraphrase, only pushes his cause right off any scale of credibility.

This gibbering fantasy world was instantly easily answered by the resigned House Leader Robin Cook who commented:

"There were no international terrorists in Iraq until we went in.

"It was we who gave the perfect conditions in which al-Qaeda could thrive and recruit strongly across the world.

"In that sense, we are responsible for the conditions we find ourselves in now.

"We were told that the conquest of Iraq was a victory against terror. It now seems like a spectacular own goal."

This is a fake-"left" imperialist answer, of course. The posturing opportunist Cook never had problems with routine world domination by monopoly-imperialist blitzkrieging at any previous period of his careerist climb up the Labour Party's greasy pole; and this universal "critical" middle-class stance now against the war, led by the Lib Dems or by Labour/media refuseniks, has no wish at all to see Western imperialism defeated by the resistance to this criminal and murderous colonising adventure.

But even such limited ultra-careful "opposition" to the war is likely to end up unwittingly playing a temporarily significant part in the disintegration of American Empire rule on Earth.

Because imperialism hasn't had its anticipated easy triumph in Iraq (in which case all of this caveating would long, long ago already have been dead, buried, and forgotten) and because the war drags on and on, none of the bourgeois political ideological posturing disputing the war's running and propaganda justification will go away either.

What's more, this disgustingly bogus "democratic" posturing and back-stabbing is bound to grow more and more intense as the potential scale of this imperialist warmongering catastrophe grows more hugely menacing by the day, — as is always the way with the ruling-class system during defeats.

The splits in the warmongers ranks (remember that the Commons voted nearly unanimously on various aspects of this warmongering colonial outrage, — and still does on the question of "pulling out" or "finishing the job"), — can only get worse as the monstrous imperialist criminality of this blitzkrieging is made more and more un-ignorable by the growing scale of the international resistance to it.

In this sense, all the posturing of the Lib Dems, the Robin Cooks, the Greg Dykes, and the George Galloways is all grist to the mill of stage by stage embodying and deepening the disgraced and collapsing turmoil of the world system of domination by Western monopoly capitalism, on the way towards its ultimate revolutionary exposure and overthrow.

At every stage while it lasts, this "democratic" opposition tries to not let anti-imperialist sentiments go too far, but yet it is always pushed on and on itself in order to try to keep control of events.

Currently, the racket is to try to limit the outrageous scandal of this catastrophic warmongering lunacy to just the question of Blair's "integrity", ? maintaining the ludicrous myth that ANY bourgeois politics, Blair's or anyone else's, has EVER had any "integrity" when it comes to the business of the necessary hypocrisy and lies for enabling "democratic" imperialism to get on with its routine murderous blitz blitzkrieging domineering role in the world.

The game, which the whole "democratic" establish are playing, is to prepare for Blair's resignation as the "closure" of this warmongering disaster, if
and when things get that bad.

What workers need to steer a way through this ideological jungle protecting imperialism, is a clear grasp of where this class-war circus is heading next, and a scientific analysis, as best possible, of why this is SO (EPSR).

Only in this way can confidence begin to be built, once things start to unfold as analysed, so that workers organisations can get a firm grasp of all of society's problems, and come up with the answers to them. This practice can only be based, if Marxist science is the issue, on the founding grasp that history is essentially a revolutionary process, culminating in the international proletarian revolution which can at last usher in world-wide socialist cooperation under the dictatorship of the working class.

Quotes from Marx and Lenin below reveal their axiomatic belief in the umbilical chord between capitalist society crisis and proletarian revolution, particularly war-crisis, by the time monopoly-imperialist giantism was dominating the Earth, making warmongering economic contradictions increasingly routine.

Hitherto, there have been axiomatic EPSR understandings, and more conclusive Marxist quotes can be found if needed, but this is becoming somewhat negatively time-consuming in a period when keeping up with developments is task enough for such a tinily-resourced publication, and in circumstances where no useful printed polemic emerges due to either sloth, cowardice, or whatever.

The quotes are about the crisis break-up of bourgeois society from which Marxism rules out NOTHING as "invalid", including the scandal that Japanese imperialist money had tried to boost some dodgier elements of the 1905 anti-Tsarist revolution intervening at the end of the Russo-Japanese War, and including "left" dismay that the tiny petty-bourgeois character of the 1916 Dublin "putsch" had allegedly demonstrated little by way of "self-determination rights".

Beware, says Lenin, that repudiation of self-determination is not tantamount to repudiation of social revolution in hidebound inflexible minds.

The message throughout is that if the revolutionary Marxists do not constantly present revolution as the concluding point of all political agitation, and do not try to analyse a connection to the revolutionary future in everything that happens, then "left" posturing is all that remains; of which Lalkar, CPGB, Respect, SLP, etc, already supply enough:

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.

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 specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production.

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 equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing 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.

Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all times, with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for its help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie.

Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling classes are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or arc at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress.

Finally, in times when the class-struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling-class, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands.


The Basle Manifesto says: (1) that war will create an economic and political crisis; (2) that the workers will regard their participation in war as a crime, and as criminal any "shooting each other down for the profit of the capitalists, for the sake of dynastic honour and of diplomatic secret treaties", and that war evokes "indignation and revolt" in the workers; (3) that it is the duty of socialists to take advantage of this crisis and of the workers' temper so as to "rouse the people and hasten the downfall of capitalism"; (4) that all "governments" without exception can start a war only at "their own peril"; (5) that governments "are afraid of a proletarian revolution"; (6) that governments "should" remember" the Paris Commune (i.e., civil war), the 1905 Revolution in Russia, etc.

All these are perfectly clear ideas; they do not guarantee that revolution will take place, but lay stress on a precise characterisation of facts and trends. Whoever declares, with regard to these ideas and arguments, that the anticipated revolution has proved illusory, is displaying not a Marxist but a Struvist and police-renegade attitude towards revolution.

To the Marxist it is indisputable that a revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, it is not every revolutionary situation that leads to revolution. What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We  shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the "upper classes", a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for "the lower classes not to want" to live in the old way; it is also necessary that "the upper classes should be unable" to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in "peace time", but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the "upper classes" themselves into independent historical action.

The crisis created by the great war has torn away all coverings, swept away conventions, exposed an abscess that has long come to a head, and revealed opportunism in its true role of ally of the bourgeoisie. The complete organisational severance of this element from the workers' parties has become imperative. The epoch of imperialism cannot permit the existence, in a single party, of the revolutionary proletariat's vanguard and the semi-petty-bourgeois aristocracy of the working class, who enjoy morsels of the privileges of their "own" nation's "Great-Power" status.

The old theory that opportunism is a "legitimate shade" in a single party that knows no "extremes" has now turned into a tremendous deception of the workers and a tremendous hindrance to the working-class movement. Undisguised opportunism, which immediately repels the working masses, is not so frightful and injurious as this theory of the golden mean, which uses Marxist catchwords to justify opportunist practice, and tries to prove, with a series of sophisms, that revolutionary action is premature, etc. Kautsky, the most outstanding spokesman of this theory, and also the leading authority in the Second International, has shown himself a consummate hypocrite and a past master in the art of prostituting Marxism.

The proletarian masses—probably about nine-tenths of whose former leaders have gone over to the bourgeoisie—have found themselves disunited and helpless amid a spate of chauvinism and under the pressure of martial law and the war censorship. But the objective war-created revolutionary situation, which is extending and developing, is inevitably engendering revolutionary sentiments; it is tempering and enlightening all the finest and most class-conscious proletarians. A sudden change in the mood of the masses is not only possible, but is becoming more and more probable, a change similar to that which was to be seen in Russia early in 1905 in connection with the "Gaponade", 129 when, in the course of several months and sometimes of several weeks, there emerged from the backward proletarian masses an army of millions, which followed the proletariat's revolutionary vanguard. We cannot tell whether a powerful revolutionary movement will develop immediately after this war, or during it, etc., but at all events, it is only work in this direction that deserves the name of socialist work. The slogan of a civil war is the one that summarises and directs this work, and helps unite and consolidate those who wish to aid the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat against its own government and its own bourgeoisie.
the collapse of the second international

You are following the bad example set by Kautsky, we replied to the Germans; in word, you recognise the impending revolution; in deed, you refuse to tell the masses about it openly, to call for it, and indicate the most concrete means of struggle which the masses are to test and legitimise in the course of the revolution. In 1847, Marx and Engels, who were living abroad—the German philistines were horrified at revolutionary methods of struggle being spoken of from abroad!—called for revolution, in their celebrated Manifesto of the Communist Party, they spoke forthright of the use of force, and branded as contemptible any attempt to conceal the revolutionary aims, tasks and methods of the struggle. The Revolution of 1848 proved that Marx and Engels alone had applied the correct tactics to the events. Several years prior to the 1905 Revolution in Russia, Plekhanov, who was then still a Marxist, wrote an unsigned article in the old Iskra of 1901, expressing the editorial board's views on the coming insurrection, on ways of preparing it, such as street demonstrations, and even on technical devices, such as using wire in combating cavalry. The Russian revolution proved that the old Iskrists alone had approached the events with the correct tactics. We are now faced with the following alternative: either we are really and truly convinced that the war is creating a revolutionary situation in Europe, and that all the economic and socio-political circumstances of the imperialist period are leading up to a revolution of the proletariat—in which case we are in duty bound to explain to the masses the need for revolution, call for it, create the necessary organisations, and speak fearlessly and most concretely of the various methods of the forcible struggle and its "technique". This duty of ours does not depend upon whether the revolution will be strong enough, or whether it will arrive with a first or a second imperialist war, etc. Or else we are not convinced that the situation is revolutionary, in which case there is no sense in our just talking about a war against war. In that case, we are, in fact, national liberal-labour politicians of the Sudekum-Plekhanov or Kautsky variety.


The views of the opponents of self-determination lead to the conclusion that the vitality of small nations oppressed by imperialism has already been sapped, that they cannot play any role against imperialism, that support of their purely national aspirations will lead to nothing, etc. The imperialist war of 1914-16 has provided facts which refute such conclusions.

The war proved to be an epoch of crisis for the West-European nations, and for imperialism as a whole. Every crisis discards the conventionalities, tears away the outer wrappings, sweeps away the obsolete and reveals the underlying springs and forces. What has it revealed from the standpoint of the movement of oppressed nations? In the colonies there have been a number of attempts at rebellion, which the oppressor nations, naturally did all they could to hide by means of a military censorship.  Nevertheless, it is known that in Singapore the British brutally suppressed a mutiny among their Indian troops; that there were attempts at rebellion in French Annam (see Nashe Slovo) and in the German Cameroons (see the Junius pamphlet*); that in Europe, on the one hand, there was a rebellion in Ireland, which the "freedom-loving" English, who did not dare to extend conscription to Ireland, suppressed by executions, and, on the other, the Austrian Government passed the death sentence on the deputies of the Czech Diet "for treason", and shot whole Czech regiments for the same "crime".

This list is, of course, far from complete. Nevertheless, it proves that, owing to the crisis of imperialism, the flames of national revolt have flared up both in the colonies and in Europe, and that national sympathies and antipathies have manifested themselves in spite of the Draconian threats and measures of repression. All this before the crisis of imperialism hit its peak; the power of the imperialist bourgeoisie was yet to be undermined (this may be brought about by a war of "attrition" but has not yet happened) and the proletarian movements in the imperialist countries were still very feeble. What will happen when the war has caused complete exhaustion, or when, in one state at least, the power of the bourgeoisie has been shaken under the blows of proletarian struggle, as that of tsarism in 1905?
On May 9, 1916, there appeared in Berner Tagwacht, the organ of the Zimmerwald group, including some of the Leftists, an article on the Irish rebellion entitled "Their Song Is Over" and signed with the initials K. R.111 It described the Irish rebellion as being nothing more nor less than a "putsch", for, as the author argued, "the Irish question was an agrarian one", the peasants had been pacified by reforms, and the nationalist movement remained only a "purely urban, petty-bourgeois movement, which, notwithstanding the sensation it caused, had not much social backing".

It is not surprising that this monstrously doctrinaire and pedantic assessment coincided with that of a Russian national-liberal Cadet, Mr. A. Kulisher (Rech112 No. 102, April 15, 1916), who also labelled the rebellion "the Dublin putsch".

It is to be hoped that, in accordance with the adage, "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good", many comrades, who were not aware of the morass they were sinking into by repudiating "self-determination" and by treating the national movements of small nations with disdain, will have their eyes opened by the "accidental" coincidence of opinion held by a Social-Democrat and a representative of the imperialist bourgeoisie!!

The term "putsch", in its scientific sense, may be employed only when the attempt at insurrection has revealed nothing but a circle of conspirators or stupid maniacs, and has aroused no sympathy among the masses. The centuries-old Irish national movement, having passed through various stages and combinations of class interest, manifested itself, in particular, in a mass Irish National Congress in America (Vorwarts, March 20, 1916) which called for Irish independence; it also manifested itself in street fighting conducted by a section of the urban petty bourgeoisie and a section of the workers after a long period of mass agitation, demonstrations, suppression of newspapers, etc. Whoever calls such a rebellion a "putsch" is either a hardened reactionary, or a doctrinaire hopelessly incapable of envisaging a social revolution as a living phenomenon.

To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts by small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc. — to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, "We are for socialism", and another, somewhere else and says, "We are for imperialism", and that will be a social revolution! Only those who hold such a ridiculously pedantic view could vilify the Irish rebellion by calling it a "putsch".

Whoever expects a "pure" social revolution will never live to see it. Such a person pays lip-service to revolution without understanding what revolution is.

The Russian Revolution of 1905 was a bourgeois-democratic revolution. It consisted of a series of battles in which all the discontented classes, groups and elements of the population participated. Among these there were masses imbued with the crudest prejudices, with the vaguest and most fantastic aims of struggle; there were small groups which accepted Japanese money, there were speculators and adventurers, etc. But objectively, the mass movement was breaking the back of tsarism and paving the way for democracy; for this reason the class-conscious workers led it. The socialist revolution in Europe cannot be anything other than an outburst of mass struggle on the part of all and sundry oppressed and discontented elements. Inevitably, sections of the petty bourgeoisie and of the backward workers will participate in it — without such participation, mass struggle is impossible, without it no revolution is possible—and just as inevitably will they bring into the movement their prejudices, their reactionary fantasies, their weaknesses and errors. But objectively they will attack capital, and the class-conscious vanguard of the revolution, the advanced proletariat, expressing this objective truth of a variegated and discordant, motley and outwardly fragmented, mass struggle, will be able to unite and direct it, capture power, seize the banks, expropriate the trusts which all hate (though for different reasons!), and introduce other dictatorial measures which in their totality will amount to the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the victory of socialism, which, however, will by no means immediately "purge" itself of petty-bourgeois slag.


Marx in the Manifesto sees capitalism as nothing but conflict, including permanent inter-imperialist contradictions which teach the proletariat war-politics and drag parts of bourgeois society itself towards revolutionary upheaval.

Lenin says the 1912 Basle Manifesto was 100% correct to outline a complete revolutionary perspective for the Second International, despite that revolutionary anticipation having proved a complete illusion in the way it was foreseen.

Get ready for when war-crisis conditions have grown more acute than usual, Lenin advises, and, urging the correctness of revolutionary propaganda AT ALL TIMES, tells the Bolsheviks to think about "what will happen when the war has caused complete exhaustion."

To which the modern cynic would comment: "How do you know it will cause complete exhaustion?"

To which the answer, of course, is that you don't know, but that the whole point of the Marxist-Leninist goal to build a party of revolutionary theory was precisely to sensibly scientifically outline the future revolutionary perspectives as best possible, — as the EPSR has done.

The only serious reply of the "I don't believe it" kind is to PUBLISH the alternative scenario and have it debated. Everything else is just self-indulgent bar bravado.

The EPSR's routinely updated perspective in the weeks of Beslan so as to included these latest events in the imperialist-crisis picture put the emphasis on the sickening development from an anti-imperialist point of view of Putin declaring solidarity with American imperialism's most aggressive fascist-warmongering line of "we are coming to hunt down and kill you terrorists wherever you lurk anywhere in the world".

The EPSR has singled this out as the American Empire's declaration of World War III, coupled with the warning to ALL other powers to NEVER try to catch up with the USA's armaments supremacy or face a PRE-EMPTIVE battering.

For the humiliated Bonapartist cretin Putin to declare his APPROVAL of American warmongering intentions in this form (having joined the Euro-doubters over Iraq) was an ideological setback for the anti-imperialist struggle.

To disagree with this line because of doubts about the self-determination worthiness of the Chechens is to challenge just about everything the EPSR has argued-for over the past three years.

It accepts the Blair-Bush lunacy that there IS such a thing as "international terrorism", that it is some kind of hateful alien force, that it is coming to destroy all our lives, and that a world-economy-wrecking blitzkrieg crusade on a permanent basis is the only possible civilised response to this threat to "freedom".

So can we hear this challenge spelt out please?

To surreptitiously side with this Putin neo-imperialist Goebbelsism via insults that the EPSR has become a fake-"left" groupie of "self-determination rights" in the abstract is just degenerate.

The meaning of EPSR 1247's conclusion could not be clearer:

'Whatever one's doubts about the existing Chechen separatists and who might be behind them; and whatever one's doubts about whether the Soviet Union has really disappeared for good, and therefore should not its further break-up be resisted, — Putin's hopelessly tongue-tied opportunism leaves no choice formally:— the Chechens have the right to self-determination.

And their fanatical determination to fight and suffer for the national-liberation cause, — countered by Putin's dumb, brutal, and confused intransigence, — makes Beslan and Chechnya a Russian-imperialist tyrannical outrage until Moscow starts to see Soviet socialist sense again. Build Leninism. EPSR supporters.'

This is precisely saying that if any serious and conscious moves towards a renewal of the Soviet socialist workers state were to emerge, then the EPSR would look completely differently on the "formally correct" arguments for Chechen separatist agitation, — EXACTLY as it stood out UNIQUELY in resisting the imperialist-backed racket for Kosovo self-determination which was primarily, in terms of the international balance of class and national forces, an American Empire stunt to secure the total break-up of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation and to provoke Serbia so that it could be blitzkrieged, exactly as happened.

To be jeered as self-determination fake-"lefts" by people who made no particular contribution to that outstanding EPSR campaign AGAINST the fake-"left", and who have made no particular contribution to resolving the Putin conundrum this time round, is just laughable.

The derision only deepens when the unstated defence of Putin's neo-imperialist imbecility gets round the problem by heaping up blanket scepticism against the entire EPSR revolutionary perspective.

Key to this is the continued easy point-scoring cynicism that "this crisis is a long time coming: Where's the imminent collapse??"

The crisis is already here. To a Marxist-Leninist, the capitalist system has been nothing but one long crisis since the 1848 publication of the Communist Manifesto, and there have been five major inter-imperialist wars since then, to prove it, taking civilisation back closer and closer to barbarism each time; plus literally thousands of "smaller" wars so-called (frequently massacring millions nonetheless); plus the half-dozen greatest revolutionary developments in all human history, transforming civilisation; plus a complete education from "smaller" revolutions, coups, counter-coups, etc, etc, etc, from which Marxist-Leninist science could be drawing priceless enlightenment for the future revolutionary struggles of civilisation, if only some more serious M-L studying could be encouraged.

To reply to this with "but capitalism continues to create prosperity for a majority on the planet, and so will survive" is so far removed from a Marxist-Leninist way of viewing world developments as to doubt the worthwhileness of even responding to this almost barking provocation.

Strictly speaking, it is the technological advances produced by human ingenuity which have kept civilisation developing steadily, latterly (800 years or so) under capitalist class rule.

No work of Marxism-Leninism has ever concentrated on anything about this "capitalist" prosperity other than the regularly destructive and inhuman contradictions WITHIN this system of "free market" class rule which are relentlessly bringing its collapse ever closer, especially its non-stop barbaric warmongering of all kinds in its life-or-death need for new markets permanently.

"Prosperity" (class-domination blighted) is one outcome of this ceaseless conflict. Guaranteed war-destruction and fascist-militarist tyranny, ever more terrible, is the other.

The ongoing war-destruction crisis of the imperialist system is the EPSR's agreed perspective, honed and polished for the last 25 years.

This declares that imperialism knows it has reached an insoluble crisis of the "overproduction" of capital, and is consciously already tooling up for war as an inevitable consequence.

It is just childish abuse to say that this must mean that the EPSR thinks that the impressionist pragmatism of imperialism is as good as Marxist science.

Pure gibberish. Middle-class critical realism can never think beyond finding the next "solution" for capitalism's progress, or the next "way out" of capitalism's problems.

But what bourgeois ideology can do in terms of its difficulties can be partially read in any daily paper as the EPSR regularly reports, and as follows now.

The only thing missing from the following capitalist press admission, routine, is obviously what the war-command circles at the heart of the American Empire in Washington make of such information (which their own huge boffin think tanks supply in a thousand times more accurate and blood-curdling detail) and what they are going to do about it:

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Three years after September 11, the International Monetary Fund believes the threat to the global financial system has passed. The Fund sees nothing but well-capitalised banks becoming more profitable on the back of a strengthening global economy.

"Short of a major and devastating geopolitical incident or a terrorist attack undermining, in a significant and lasting way, consumer confidence... it is hard to see where systemic threats could come from in the short term."

Brian Reading, of Lombard Street Research, challenges this. He says the global economy is held together by a Bretton Woods-style fixed exchange rate regime that is doomed to collapse. Half the world, he says, is yoked together in a new dollar area, which has the US and Asia marching in step. The synchronised boom will end not in a soft landing but in synchronised diving in 2005-06 that could spawn a legacy of deflation and protectionism.

The modern "dollar area" is made up of an inner core of countries — China, Hong Kong and Malaysia — pegged to the dollar and an outer ring of Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Russia, managed against it. Including the US, these countries make up half the world's dollar GDP.

The original Bretton Woods collapsed in the 1970s, once the strain of holding it together proved too great. Bretton Woods was an attempt to revive the gold standard, albeit in a modified form. One difference was that under the gold standard a country running a deficit was forced to deflate while one operating a surplus had to reflate. This was painful but eventually restored equilibrium. In the 1960s, America — paying for Vietnam and the Great Society welfare programmes — was running a big current account deficit, but had no intention of dealing with it by deflating domestic demand. The Europeans and the Japanese were opposed to the idea that they should run inflationary booms, so the circle was squared by the Americans flooding the global financial system with dollars. Given that under Bretton Woods system these dollars could be exchanged for gold, it was inevitable that at some point, creditor countries would start demanding gold for their dollars.

Reading's point is that Bretton Woods 2 is less stable than Bretton Woods 1. It is a marriage of convenience, rather than a formal arrangement; it was created by the countries on the periphery so the US has no obligation to resist a devaluation of the dollar, it is not a gold exchange system, and it has developed when US imbalances — a 5% current account deficit and a 5% budget deficit — are extreme. "It is more like late Bretton Woods than early, but worse", he notes.

There are only three ways to reduce the US current account deficit. One option would be for the dollar to depreciate, making US exports cheaper and imports from Asia and Europe dearer. This is certain to be resisted by the rest of the dollar area. A second option would be for Asia to continue booming, which Reading says is implausible. Action to deal with inflation will expose over-investment and this will lead to a hard landing. This leaves the third option, slumping domestic demand in the US. That would amplify the downturn in China, the rest of Asia and Europe by reducing flows of imports into the US.

"The new dollar area, like Bretton Woods, must end in tears. The synchronised boom it has created cannot continue. There can be no soft landing for the US or China. Quite simply, Americans save too little and must save more, meaning demand and incomes must shrink. The Chinese invest too much and must invest less, meaning demand and incomes will contract. This is the recipe for synchronised sinking."

What they will do, of course, is step up the general blitzkrieg discipline (permanently maintained over the world)towards preparations for World War III. The USA knows from all the postwar evidence that it must lose the trade war in the long run, and slump ever deeper into state bankruptcy if nothing else is done.

Imperialism has been an epoch of permanent warmongering crisis precisely because the major powers have always been able to see ahead to the most lethal rivalries threatening their own flourishing, and have kept up the arms race and strategic manoeuvres to try to deal with these eventualities.

Both world wars were seen coming well in advance, and political/economic supremacy over world markets and influences, etc, was obviously the ONLY basic issue.

The USA's military-supremacy world-domination plans have been growing steadily since 1945 led by the CIA's worldwide intelligence and ideological control, and are more openly belligerent now than tiny have ever been, bluntly warning EVERYONE to not dare try to challenge America's armaments superiority or face PRE-EMPTIVE blitzkrieg in return, and telling any and every "rogue state" or "evil-influence axis" on Earth that they will NOT BE ALLOWED to continue in their ways.

Control of the Middle East is just one early priority, — hence the NAZI blitzkrieg onslaught there.

Let the complacent cynics who have jeered every EPSR attempted insight into what is going on, publish their own perspective about how "the Americans will soon pull out of Iraq (late 2003)" and "won't go into Iran" and "won't go into Sudan", etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Dismissing the EPSR's work for 25 years as just "getting it wrong about the imminent economic collapse" is beginning to be beyond a joke, and maybe these liverish distortions have now served their purpose.

Things do keep collapsing under capitalism, — from individual states, and individual currencies, and individual markets, to whole economic regions. From any one collapse, a whole chain reaction of collapses could take place at any time.

This is the EPSR's view of Marxist-Leninist science and it is determined to keep this as up-to-the-minute as possible, and to put it across relentlessly.

There are plenty of cynical fake-"left" groups out there to join who also dislike this kind of philosophical struggle.

Briefly, in this week's remaining time and space, attention can be drawn to the ongoing huge propaganda campaign to convince the world that something called "terror" and "terrorists" exist like some kind of new alien force threatening the Earth, or like a new disease threatening to wipe out mankind, or like a new country which is preparing to invade and enslave us all like a new NAZI Germany.

Sadly, the EPSR sceptic circles play into the hands of this monstrous brainwashing nonsense with their Revisionist-fired wishful thinking to dismiss the Chechen problem (which really emphasises what an actual catastrophe with huge consequential problems was the self-liquidation of the Soviet workers state), — as just a "terrorist" problem so that they can close their minds to what happened to the USSR.

But terrorism is not an alien force, or a thing, or an ideology, or a country, or a movement. It is just one description of just one kind of fighting or resistance. It is really used as just another name for violence.

What this worldwide anti-terrorism campaign is really aiming for is to outlaw all violent resistance struggle everywhere. The pretence is that if you only raise a protest banner when you are trampled into the dust by imperialist injustice and colonising military tyranny, then you will be tolerated.

But if you take up arms to defend yourselves in any way, then you will be branded "terrorists", and frowned upon all the way from the United Nations to the sceptical circles of the EPSR.

The pretence is crap of course. Within weeks of all violent anti-imperialist resistance ceasing on Earth, all peaceful protests against injustice would quickly start to be clamped down upon too.

And some corollaries are true too.

It is only because violent "terrorist" anti-imperialist resistance has NEVER ceased that the "democratic protest" bogus "alternative" exists anyway as a trap to snare fighting to its demise. And it is only because of the long undying history of revolutionary struggle, seeking to expose and attack imperialism's warmongering plans before they even begin (like the 1912 Basle Manifesto) that the "capitalist prosperity" which so impresses the EPSR sceptical circles, exists at all.

Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea, etc, are not feared, hated, and undermined just because imperialism does not want their independent example to be spread. Monopoly capitalism wants them out of the way so that exploitation rates can be stepped up without anyone thinking of a Castro revolution as an answer to the increasing tyranny.

Another point to note is the sinisterly continuing propaganda onslaught on Sudan to justify an imperialist blitzkrieg military intervention. The World Health Organisation has just issued a field report describing a disease epidemic hitting the Darfur refugee camps:

A study in the west and north of the region by the WHO and the Sudanese government pointed to a monthly death toll of 6,000-10,000 among the 1.2 million displaced people in the camps.

"Thousands of these are children," David Nabarro, the head of WHO's health crisis action group, said. "These mortality figures are of considerable concern ... What is disturbing is that we are already six months into this crisis."

The WHO says that diarrhoea is the leading cause of death in Darfur, particularly of children. "You should not be seeing these sort of figures six months into an emergency, and they reflect the fact that we still have a huge humanitarian challenge ahead of us."

The revolt in Darfur began early last year after years of skirmishing between African farmers and Arab nomads contesting the right to land.

Around a quarter of those surveyed in the camps said they had no access to safe drinking water, and between a third and a half had no latrines, Mr Nabarro said.

Insecurity and logistical problems brought on by the rainy season were hampering the relief effort, and the humanitarian agencies were suffering a cash shortage.

"The fact is our relief operation for a number of reasons is not doing the job," he said.

Nearly 10,000 a month have been dying for ages just for the lack of drinkable water, yet all that the imperialist West can think of, including fake-"lefts", is a prohibitively expensive and destructive military intervention to prevent "genocide".

If the West was really interested in saving lives, it would have solved this trivial disease problem months ago, and all for the price of just a couple of F-l6 bombs, or the price of a troop transport airlift.

For imperialism's continuing military and political catastrophe in Iraq, just capitalist press admissions will have to suffice. Build Leninism. EPSR supporters.

The corrosive impact of the Iraq crisis in almost all areas of international relations, as well as on Iraq's long-suffering civilians, was dramatically demonstrated yesterday by the UN general secretary Kofi Annan's blunt declaration that last year's war was illegal.

The recent spat between the US and Iraq's northern neighbour Turkey is a case in point. Since the war officially ended, Turkey has fretted about Iraq's possible fragmentation, Kurdish separatism, and the safety of Iraq's ethnic Turk minority.

When US forces attacked the city of Tal Afar, home to many Turkomen, last week, Ankara finally drew the line.

Unless they called a "total stop" to the fighting there, the foreign minister Abdullah Gul said, Turkey would suspend all cooperation, closing the vital supply lines to northern Iraq.

Thus has a "liberated" Iraq achieved by default something that Saddam Hussein never could: an open if temporary rupture between the US and a key Muslim ally which is now increasingly identifying with the EU.

Turkey's concern about regional stability is shared by Iraq's other neighbours. Jordan and Syria have good cause for alarm, and according to a new study by the Chatham House thinktank in London, full-scale civil war in Iraq would draw in Saudi Arabia in support of the Sunni minority.

The war has had a deeply destabilising impact on the House of Saud. It has further strained ties with the US already badly frayed by 9/11. Whereas in the past, Saudi jihadis, principally from al-Qaida, have gone abroad to pursue their terrorist aims, the US occupation of Iraq has drawn them to a new base, awash with arms, from which to attack western interests in Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday another Briton fell victim to a barely contained internal breakdown, fatally shot in Riyadh.

"In all likelihood, Saudi Arabia will be contaminated with jihadis in the same way as Afghanistan," the study says. "Osama bin Laden's ideological children are returning to his homeland."

One thing at stake is the west's oil supply. If the Iraq war really was about securing the Middle East oilfields, then George Bush may be well on the way to achieving the exact opposite.

Another ostensibly unsettling consequence is that Iran may emerge stronger, in regional terms; another potential case of the US shooting itself in the foot.

Iranian economic, cultural and political influence with Iraq's Shia majority is growing. An isolated Syria is ever more dependent on Iranian goodwill. And the US is so bogged down militarily that, it is argued, the chances of aggression against Tehran are now diminishing.

For these reasons Iran's dominant conservatives hope the US will agree to unconditional dialogue. However, civil war in Iraq could just as easily suck them in against the US on the side of the Shia. In this unpredictable, regional evolution can be heard the death knell for Mr Bush's "Greater Middle East Initiative."

And his infamous doctrine of pre-emptive strikes, preventive war and forcible regime change also seems to be dying in the aftermath of its first application in Iraq.

But it is not just the launch of the war which was illegal. Illegality continues today. Take the US helicopter attack on a crowd in Haifa Street, Baghdad, last Sunday, which killed 13 people and injured dozens (including a Guardian reporter). It was almost certainly a war crime.

The pilots' unarmed victims came into the street after insurgents had destroyed an American Bradley fighting vehicle, a cross between a tank and an armoured personnel carrier. The soldiers inside it were quickly rescued by comrades and withdrew. By the time the jubilant crowd gathered to gawp at the Bradley's smouldering remains, military activity had ceased.

Why then did the pilots shoot? The official version is that ground fire was being aimed at them. Even if true, questions remain. Why didn't the helicopters fly off to safety? Fire need not be answered, if there is a more sensible way of avoiding being hit, especially when the ground troops the helicopters were supposedly protecting had already left the scene. Secondly, did the pilots properly assess the risk to civilians from a disproportionate response? From the casualties caused, the evidence strongly suggests they did not.

The assumption has to be that the pilots' motive was revenge. If so, the incident would not be unique. In case after case, the behaviour of US forces in Iraq appears to be degenerating into vindictive killing, decided not only at the tactical but also at command level.

Lieutenant-general James Conway, who commanded US marines at Falluja in April, recently revealed he was unhappy with a higher-ranking decision to assault the town after four American contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated. He was against "attacking out of revenge" he now says.

His description of the offensive's primary purpose is surely right, although — as with the Haifa Street massacre — no war crimes trial is likely. Belatedly, and usually only after media exposure, abuses in US and UK-run military prisons in Iraq have led to court proceedings. The bigger issue of crimes against civilians perpetrated in the air above Iraqi cities and from tanks and other vehicles is still taboo.

Armies which resort to revenge are usually ones that are losing. Within the Sunni region, Ramadi, Falluja and Samaria have become no-go areas. The same is true of the Shia holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf. It is not that US forces are impotent. With their overwhelming firepower they are unbeatable. What is changing is the growth of resistance, both military and political, and the ebbing-away of US legitimacy. Increasing numbers of influential Iraqis tell US commanders to keep out of populated areas and withdraw to barracks, as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani did most notably in Najaf.

The US army's excessive use of force is a key factor. But there is also a growing sense among Iraqis that the occupation is causing more problems than it is solving. Polls have shown for several months that the number of Iraqis who say they would feel safer if foreign troops left immediately exceeds the number who would feel less safe.



Royston Bull calls for "a total Palestinian victory over the whole post-1945 Jewish/imperialist colonisation attempt" (Letters, September 2).

As an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist Jew, I have not been invited to take part. Perhaps Mr Bull can provide the address, so that I can claim my share of the benefits that I have gained from this conspiracy.

Roland Rance email

All Zionist?

Roland Rance in his witty note is presumably asking that the post-1945 ethnic cleansing of Palestine be termed “Zionist/imperialist” colonisation as opposed to “Jewish/imperialist” — telling is that he as a Jew has not benefited from this conspiracy yet (Letters, September 9): the implication is that the millions of Jews now occupying Palestine must obviously all be Zionists, and that no Jews in the rest of the world get any benefit or comfort at all from the building of the state of Israel into an enormous military power and the most dollar aided country on earth.

That anyone can have such naïve delusions would be slightly more credible if Roland Rance could be heard denouncing the foundation of the state of Israel and all its works.

Royston Bull Manchester


EPSR joining box

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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



The practical outcome of Zionism in the form of the State known as 'Israel' is completely alien to Judaism and the Jewish Faith and has been and continues to be the cause of untold suffering and bloodshed both Jewish and non-Jewish.

Torah true Jews mourn the fifty six years of the illegitimate State of Israel in Palestine and express their solidarity and deep sympathy with the Palestinian People in their suffering and struggle against the Zionist oppression. With a continuing chain of events over more than half a century, ranging from the withholding of the 'right of return' from the Palestinian refugees and leading currently to such issues as the 'wall' and 'extra judicial assassinations', Zionism has proven to be one of the greatest desecrations of God's name and the Jewish religion.

The Jewish Religion is a spiritual belief handed down through the generations for thousands of years. It is a basic part of the Jewish belief to accept willingly the Heavenly decree of exile affecting the Jewish People and not to try and fight against it or to end it by our own hands.

In practical terms, exile for us means that Jews must be loyal subjects of the countries in which they live and not attempt to rule over the established indigenous populations of those countries. The Torah certainly forbids us to form a State of our own. This applies whether in the world at large or in Palestine.

The Zionist movement, however, which was founded approximately 100 years ago based on secular nationalistic aims, was a complete abandonment of our religious teachings and faith in general, and in particular an abandonment of our approach to our state of exile and to the peoples among whom we live. The Zionist ideology is the antithesis of Jewish religious values and is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Jewish People.

One must add to the wrongs of Zionism and the state of "Israel", the fact, that in order to achieve an ill-conceived nationalistic ambition, a shocking contravention of the Jewish Religious values of natural and humanitarian justice was committed in setting up an illegitimate sectarian regime in Palestine, completely against the wishes and over the heads of the established population, the Palestinians, both Arab and God fearing Jew. This inevitably had to be based on illegal confiscation of property and loss of life.

According to the Torah and Jewish faith, the present Palestinian Arab claim to rule in Palestine is right and just. The Zionist claim is wrong and criminal. Our attitude to the 'State of Israel' is that the whole concept is flawed and illegitimate. It is a tragedy for the Palestinians and also for the Jewish people.

Furthermore, the Zionists have made themselves to appear as the representatives and spokespeople of all Jews, thus, with their actions, arousing animosity against the Jews. But, their claim is simply not true! Zionism is not Judaism. Zionists cannot speak in the name of Jews.

Finally, we stress that the connection between Arab and Jew goes right back into ancient history. Mostly the relationship was friendly and mutually beneficial.

Historically, the situation frequently was that when Jews were being persecuted in Europe they found refuge in the various Arab and Muslim countries. Our attitude to Muslims and Arabs can only be one of friendliness and respect.

We are awaiting the annulment of Zionism and the peaceful, speedy, dismantling of the State of Israel, and would welcome the opportunity to dwell in peace in the holy land under Palestinian rule.

"The Zionists, on the other hand, come to the issue of Palestine as a physical military entity and as an issue of materialistic national entity similar to how other nations reached their power through military victory," elaborated the expert.

Putting it in a nutshell, Rabbi Weiss said, "Judaism is a Godliness, Zionism is materialism. Zionists try to clothe their materialism in the cloth of religion, but it is false and criminal."

Weiss further argued that there is "a vast segment" of Jews all over the world, and particularly in the U.S., who "are silent in their opposition" to the Zionist octopus, because of the "intimidation of Zionism."

He also said that Neturei Karta exposed this intimidation through its website.

"According to our knowledge, a great percentage of Jews have given up on the whole Zionist ideology. They simply have a problem of how to become free of this monster," said the rabbi.

A majority of religious Israeli parties in the Knesset, according to him, are forced to join the political scene only to "save Judaism." "Host religious schools do not have an Israeli flag hanging over their building, do not celebrate Israeli Independence Day, and most Important, do not send their children to the Israeli army and do not study modern Hebrew," Weiss said.

He continued, "We find the Orthodox Jewish parties and members at the Knesset joined the Israeli government not because they held the view of the legitimacy of the Zionist state but rather in opposition to the Zionist state they were guided by certain Jewish rabbis and leaders to join the Israeli government to be able to in some way gain rights to the Orthodox community and to be able to fight Zionism from within the Zionist state."

"In 1929 the head Rabbi of Palestine and Jerusalem, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld of blessed memory, sent a letter to the heads of the Islamic community in Jerusalem declaring that the Jewish people have no want or interest to take anything which is under the Islamic ownership. And in fact he was referring to the Jews praying at the Western wall," Weiss explained.

"In the Jewish religion, there is no bias to the Muslims or their religion, and we don't know of a bias of the Jews to the Muslims. We know that the Muslim people and Islam are not in opposition to the Jewish people or their religion, and vice versa," he acknowledged.

Weiss hoped that the Muslim community will help his movement to spread their "message of peace."

This will sanctify God's name, bring peace and harmony between the Jews and the Muslims and will succeed in squashing the concept that the Muslims are somehow anti--Semitic by clarifying the truth that the conflict is between the political movement called Zionism, and that it has nothing to do with Judaism or the Jewish people," he Rabbi Weiss averred. 

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