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Engraving of Lenin busy studying

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 1253 October 19th 2004

Iraq already in class-war civil-war. Let imperialist drift towards World War III turn this - and many many wars to follow, into revolutionary wars. Elaboration of 2005 Perspectives on WWIII.

Iraq is already in a sort of class-war civil-war.

Saddam ran a bourgeois Iraq on behalf of the world imperialist system, (owned and run by the American imperialist bourgeoisie, backed by mostly European opportunist monopolists plus a few from the Third World, — all united to say that there is now an "end to history", and that we "now live in the best of all possible worlds", etc, etc, etc.).

The entire planetary fake-"left", — mostly ex-Trots and ex-Revisionist CPers, have thrown in the towel to go along with this unscientific ignorance, and to help the "free West" put down (militarily or verbally) all "violent" (i.e. revolutionary) challenges to this Western imperialist world domination.

Having run a bourgeois/capitalist Iraq, albeit in a farcically and brutally dictatorial way, Saddam then agreed to go to war on the American Empire's behalf against the Ayatollahocracy in Iran which captured the spontaneous anti-imperialist revolution there in 1979 by coming out against The Great Satan, meaning the American Empire. But that was a failed imperialist war. Not like the Bolshevik eventual overthrow of the WWI failed imperialist war, Saddam's Iraq subsequently imploded in ignominious collapse in 2003 after 13 years sanctions and a further Western blitzkrieg, (as had followed Saddam's naive attempt to believe he had Washington's green light in 1990 to reward himself with the re-absorption of Iraq's Kuwait province in gratitude for his efforts in Iran in 10 years war.)

The "class-war, civil-war" which has followed in Iraq is perfectly normal spontaneous mass response to Saddam's rotten war-failure rule.

Its weakness is its lack of a revolutionary party leadership.

The official Iraqi Revisionist CP and the neo-Trot "breakaway" Worker-communist party of Iraq demand an end to "terrorism", and "reform" of the American Empire war-occupation project, to be assisted by "international forces"(i.e. by the other cowardly imperialist powers who trail along in the American Empire's wake, like Britain, Germany, Italy, etc, etc).

But this can change with the development of a new world revolutionary Marxist-Leninist understanding, and a new world revolutionary communist party to lead it.

When and how?? The great ideological debate is beginning to unfold now.

More and more of the international bourgeois intelligentsia are declaring their disgust with the blatantly irrational and lying "justifications" for the warmongering, its conduct, and its objectives now being put out by the thick-skinned leadership of the American Empire and its immediate stooges in Britain, etc.

More and more of the anti-communist fake-"left" are stirring uneasily in their automatic assumption that "Western free-world rule" is all that is now impossible, and will always "muddle through" somehow.

It won't "muddle through". It is leading to an utterly tyrannical, anti-"civil liberties", warmongering disaster for the planet.

And simultaneously, it is philistinely failing to even address the Marxist "overproduction of imperialism's economic crisis problems, let alone come up with a workable planned solution for all the people on the planet. Instead, trampling imperialist exploitation just gets worse and worse, nastier and nastier, the whole world over.

And this great imperialist "free world" society just becomes more and more dumbed-down in the interests of commercial domination. Civil community existence is breaking up, getting worse, or becoming impossible in more and more parts of the world.

The imperialist Western system, in Marx's words, is no longer of any benefit or use to the planet. It must go.

But it will not go just because mankind wishes it to go and be replaced.

Scientifically, it can only disappear under the impossible weight of it own internal contradictions, producing spontaneously (at first) from within it its own frustrated grave-diggers, — the international proletariat, driven and developed by imperialism to being no longer able to live on in the old imperialism-exploited way any longer, and making it impossible for the old imperialist world ruling class to rule on in the old ways any longer, (not that they will not keep trying by blitzkrieg-military means, but less and less effectively, and more and more easily stoppable. They will have to be stopped from their warmonger "solution" by conscious world revolution in the end.)

But it is beginning very successfully spontaneously, - in Palestine for years, and now in Afghanistan and Iraq, and soon to spread to Iran, to Syria, to Egypt possibly, to Pakistan possibly, to Colombia, to Venezuela, to any number of frustrated and suffering second and Third world countries.

Possibly to the USA itself as their apology for "political truth" and "national honest and good-sense economic-management" becomes more and more dangerously and irresponsibly stupid in pursuit of smug high office, and the sweetness and corruption of power.

Britain is going the same way.

Germany under Schröder has decided to ditch the welfare state and pursue a lame imperialist-arms-race path, becoming now the world's third largest armaments maker, supplier, and seller.

The world is doomed to imperialist warmongering.

Civilisation can only now start re-advancing via a world of proletarian dictatorships founded on a class-war, civil-war overthrow of failed and disastrous inter-imperialist war.

Because it will NOT be anywhere near enough to "solve" the imperialist system's "overproduction" crisis problems for the American Empire just to beat up any number of fringe Third World players like Iraq, Iran, Colombia., Venezuela, Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc, etc, etc, having done Serbia and Palestine already.

No, the American Empire, to escape collapse from economic disintegration via universal warmongering, will HAVE to wage war eventually on Japan, Germany, France, Britain, and the minor monopolists who are making it no longer easy for America to rule the world:

Rolls-Royce has smashed General Electric's 30-year stranglehold on the Japanese civil jet engine market by landing a $1 billion (£556 million) contract with All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The British engineer's Trent 1000 jets will be used for the first roll-out of Boeing's next-generation 7e7 series of passenger aircraft in Japan. The aircraft will be in service on some of the world's busiest routes from 2008.

Although Rolls-Royce had a foothold in the Japanese market in the early 1970s, General Electric has enjoyed a virtual monopoly relationship with Japan's two main airlines that stretches back nearly 60 years. By ending that, Rolls-Royce has opened the jurisdiction outside the US, where the Boeing-GE axis was strongest.

As one of the industry's largest airlines, ANA's decision to award the engine contract to Rolls-Royce is expected by analysts to be highly influential as major carriers around the world update their fleets. The choice will hold particular sway in Asia, where airlines are expanding most rapidly.

ANA's domestic rival, Japan Airlines (JAL), is also understood to be mulling medium-term fleet-renewal plans that could involve the new Boeing series.

This year ANA became the first airline to buy the new 7e7 Dreamliner passenger jets from Boeing when it placed a $5 billion order for 50 aircraft in April. But until yesterday the Japanese carrier had not decided whether to opt for Rolls-Royce's Trent or General Electric's GEnx engines. Both engine makers threw all their marketing powers into securing the deal because of what was at stake beyond the initial sale to ANA.

Both Boeing and GE had established ANA and JAL as "backyard" customers and the nature of Japanese corporate relationship-building made those links virtually unbreakable.

The Japanese airline market has for many years been a key indicator of worldwide trends. The busiest commercial route in world is between Tokyo and the northern Japanese city of Sapporo; the second and fourth-busiest are both domestic Japanese connections.

Foreign investment into Britain dropped from $27.8 billion (£15.5 billion) in 2002 to $14.5 billion in 2003, driven by disinvestments and fewer new investments by European companies. The EU accounts for 47 per cent of the Britain's foreign direct investment.

Britain was ranked seventh last year behind China, America, Mexico, Poland, Germany and India. Britain has bounced back, while India has enjoyed strong gains on the back of developments in outsourcing. Banks and multinationals are increasingly moving functions to India.

The recovery of the US dollar was cited by as the development most likely to influence foreign direct investment decisions. Other key considerations include the overheating of China's economy and increased regulation.

Mr Laudicina said: "Britain remains closer than ever to the US: the figures speak for themselves. EU investment into the UK tumbled by almost 80 per cent from 2002 to 2003 and Britain's refusal to adopt the single currency has led to great investment from the US."

THE remarkable eagerness of Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, to breach postwar taboos by selling weapons to foreign crisis zones has helped to propel his country up the league of leading arms exporters.

Germany has overtaken Britain to become the world's fourth-biggest arms supplier, according to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Herr Schröder, who is taking a business delegation to see Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, tomorrow, has become, in the words of one diplomat, the "most active arms salesman in Europe, second only to Jacques Chirac".

Despite a German law that bars the sale of weapons to so-called "areas of tension", this month the Chancellor discussed the supply of submarines to India. The Government also decided this month to supply 20 Fuchs armoured transporters to Iraq, despite Germany's resistance to taking part in military operations there. During the Chancellor's recent Asian tour, he again urged the lifting of the European Union arms embargo against China.

None of these initiatives has translated yet into firm statistics. But they represent a push by the Chancellor to boost Germany's standing in the lucrative arms market. Since he came to power, German military co-operation has risen sharply with Israel and other countries in the Middle East.

The move marks a U-turn for a Government that was committed, when it came to power in 1998, to putting human rights at the centre of foreign policy. Early attempts by the Chancellor to relax strict arms export rules were rebuffed by the Greens, the junior coalition partner, and the Government came close to collapse when Herr Schröder broached the idea five years ago of selling tanks to Turkey.

Germany's neo-Nazi parties have formed an alliance that could propel them into the Reichstag, the national parliament, for the first time.

The National Party of Germany (NPD) and the German People's Union (DVU), encouraged by recent election successes in eastern Germany, have decided to fight the 2006 general election on a joint platform.

Many around the world are surprised at how little attention the economy is receiving in President Bush's re-election campaign. But I am not surprised: if I were Bush, the last thing I would want to talk about is the economy. Yet many people look at America's economy, even over these past three-and-a-half years, with some envy. Annual economic growth — at an average rate of 2.5% — may have been markedly slower than during the Clinton years, but it still looks strong compared with Europe's anaemic 1%.

But these statistics mask a glaring fact: the average American family is worse off than it was three-and-a-half years ago. Median income has fallen by over $1,500 in real terms, with families being squeezed as wages lag behind inflation. In short, all that growth benefited only those at the top of the income distribution, the same group that had done so well over the previous 30 years and benefited most from Bush's tax cut.

For example, some 45 million Americans have no health insurance, up by 5.2 million from 2000. Families lucky enough to have health insurance face annual premiums that have nearly doubled, to $7,500. Families also face increasing job insecurity. This is the first time since the early 1930s that there has been a net loss of jobs over the span of a presidential administration.

Bush supporters ask: is Bush really to blame for this? Wasn't the recession already beginning when he took office?

National debt too has risen sharply. The huge trade deficit provides the spectacle of the world's richest country borrowing almost $2bn a day from abroad, contributing to the weak dollar and representing a major source of global uncertainty.

Joseph Stiglitz is professor of economics at Columbia University and a Nobel prize winner

Britain has now sunk into near-total philistinism. Donald Anderson, head of MPs foreign affairs committee, can cheerfully-exonerate the latest admission of war-guilt from Straw and Blair by hamming it up about "bereaved Iraqi mothers by Saddam's brutal despotism" while forgetting deliberately about the tens of thousands of bereaved Iraqi mothers coming on stream now thanks to the despotism of the current illegal Western occupation of Iraq which his House of Commons still approves.

And the press is no better, hamming it up again this week about "mass graves" allegedly newly discovered and allegedly attributable to Saddam Hussein, an unsupportable propaganda story already shown many time as utterly useless and misleading bunkum, many of the "victims" being part of the CIA-run Kurdish separatist bid to betray Iraq many years ago for which they paid in civil war defeat, inflicted with American and Western-supplied (and approved and financed, frequently) weapons, like the poison gas at Halabja.

All done to save the "free press" from having to finally get to the real story about Iraq, — namely that it is just an old-fashioned part of a general WARMONGERING programme for the world, utterly illegal and useless, by the American Empire to "save" the world from imperialist economic slump and Third World communist Revolution in its wake, - all inevitably on the way towards WWIII.

The far-from-admirable Clare Short leads the way in accepting publicly on behalf of middle-class opportunists everywhere that the world is going badly wrong, and that fighting back by the Third World masses with "terrorist" violence is "wrong" but understandable.

CLARE SHORT, the former cabinet minister, has provoked outrage by describing the cause behind Osama Bin Laden's terrorism as "just". In an interview with a Dubai newspaper, the MP, who resigned from the cabinet after the Iraq invasion last year, makes a fierce attack on the prime minister.

"The author says Osama Bin Laden considers it a war, a defensive jihad, because the people in the Middle East are being crushed and destroyed and their resources, their oil, misused and they have got to defend their civilisation and their religion," she said.

"So I think the killing of civilians is always wrong, all the Prophet Muhammad's teachings said it was wrong, but I think the cause is just."

Short saw little difference between the actions of British and US troops and terrorists, claiming allied forces had deliberately killed innocent people.

"I think all of us should criticise the immoral message of targeting innocent civilians and it's clear the coalition has done that to innocent civilians in Iraq as well," she said.

Parts of the interview, in which Short compares Iraqi insurgents to French resistance fighters in the second world war, appeared last week. However, The Sunday Times has now obtained a copy of the full interview.

Short is closely followed in influence by former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, who has in the past kept explaining that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq at American warmongers' insistence, and now reveals that the CIA was using the UN all the time to look for warmongering excuses, - and that the Iraqis knew all about it:

Bush and Blair have argued that because the Iraqi government had failed to comply with previous security council resolutions regarding Iraq's obligation to disarm, the right of enforcing these resolutions is implicit. Duelfer's report slams the door on that line of thinking, since it is now clear that Iraq had in fact disarmed in compliance with security council resolutions.

One of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that the Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution 1441, submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by Bush and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most accurate compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq's WMD programmes (more so than even Duelfer's 1SG report, which contains much unsubstantiated speculation).

Saddam Hussein has yet to be contradicted on a single point of substantive fact. Iraq had disarmed; no one wanted to accept that conclusion.

Charles Duelfer has to date provided no documentation to back up his assertion regarding Saddam's "intent". Nor has he produced any confession from Saddam Hussein or any senior Iraqi official regarding the same. What has been offered is a compilation of hearsay and conjecture linked to unnamed sources whose identities remain shrouded in secrecy.

There is one source I am certain will not be quoted in Duelfer's report — a former officer in Saddam Hussein's intelligence service, who was interviewed by the ISG repeatedly in the summer of 2003. Given the ongoing violence in Iraq today, this officer, who is well known to me, has asked that his name not be published. From 1992 until 2003, he headed a branch of Iraqi intelligence responsible for monitoring the work of the UN weapons inspectors. His office intercepted their communications, and recruited spies among their ranks in Baghdad, Bahrain, New York and elsewhere.

The mission of this intelligence unit was to discern the true intent of the UN weapons inspectors. Conventional thinking would hold that this was being done so that Iraq might better hide its WMD stockpiles. The Iraqi officer has long denied this, stating that instead his job was to find out why the UN refused to accept the Iraqi version of events, and to determine if the UN weapons inspectors were operating inside Iraq for purposes other than the disarmament.

This officer claims to have intercepted conversations between Charles Duelfer, during the time he served as deputy executive chairman of the UN inspection teams, and senior US government officials, in New York and Baghdad, where a US agenda (supported by the British) for removing Saddam Hussein was discussed. I can confirm that such discussions frequently took place.

According to this officer, after 1995 UN weapons inspectors were blocked by Iraq only when their actions were determined by the Iraqi government to represent a direct threat to the president of Iraq, a reality the intercepted Duelfer conversations and ongoing CIA efforts to mount a coup d'état would seem to underscore. I believe a full review of all material relevant to the ISG's report will instead portray a dictator whose only desire was to retain his hold on power in the face of a US government which intended to do anything, including violate international law, to prevent this.

During this critical time in both our nations' histories, with the war in Iraq playing such a central role in the selection of America's next president as well as the political future of Britain's prime minister, the American and British people deserve to know the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the casus belli that collectively got us into the ongoing quagmire that is Iraq today.

That the Western imperialists know clearly that they now have a class-war on their hands in Iraq which they must prevent from going to communist revolution eventually, is clear from their latest actions in bribing the vast Baghdad proletarian slum Sadr City into a truce in its spontaneous anti-imperialist activities by trying to buy up all the weapons there and by promising vast aid for reconstruction at last.

The latest new concentration on Hit in the West of the Sunni Triangle confirms this new counter-revolutionary understanding slowly gripping the planet's Philistine Empire warlords:

IT WAS an almost routine sight in this isolated smuggling town, which has mostly escaped the 18 months of fighting that have plagued the Iraqi Sunni Triangle: a van full of masked gunmen chasing a speeding car along the main road, before the lone driver screeched into the police station seeking salvation.

Hit's police headquarters may not be an obvious sanctuary for a wanted highwayman, but the gunmen on his tail were the local muqawameh, or resistance fighters. Until the war finally arrived in the desert town on the Euphrates this week, they were the law.

The police knew better than to interfere. The guerrillas sealed off the building and brought down the hijacker with a bullet in the leg. Witnesses said they then amputated the man's hand as a warning to others.

The muqawameh are local tribesmen who have run Hit for months, largely supported by a population that does not want American troops and does not trust the police to do the job. Dressed in black, scarves covering their faces, they patrol the streets in convoys with machineguns mounted from sun roofs and assault rifles poking out the windows.

Checkpoints are manned by fighters with rocket-propelled grenades.

They enforce a rough brand of frontier law, but residents are at least grateful that there is a law, and one enforced by Iraqis rather than occupation troops. They are glad that the notorious local tribe, the El Bunemar, has been reined in.

Most of the muqawameh patrol the town; a few with specialist training venture out on to the main road to set explosives for passing US convoys.

"This is not what we really need, because imposing the law in such a random way will eventually lead to chaos," Kanaan al-LJbeidi, 35, a car salesman, said. "Today we couldn't tell if the pick-up was Mujahidin [fighters] chasing a hijacker or hijackers chasing a motorist. We didn't know which one to help."

Hit, 90 miles northwest of Baghdad, was spared the unrest that has spread up the Euphrates from Fallujah and Ramadi to the east and from al-Qaim on the Syrian border to the west. By agreement with tribal leaders, US forces steered clear of the town of 70,000 people. In the security vacuum, Salafist religious hardliners blew up several local shrines that they claimed were sacrilegious, but the town was largely spared.

But with Iraq's first elections only three months away, the interim government and its US allies have decided that they finally have to bring the fiercely independent Sunni Triangle under their control.

On Monday the war arrived here for the first time, when US forces showed up at the edge of town after yet another highway ambush on one of their vehicles. Intense clashes ensued, in which US Marines called in an air strike on a mosque they said was being used to fire on them.

Across the Sunni Triangle, families packed their bags and fled. For the people of Hit, the irony was bitter: during the US invasion, hundreds of Baghdad families had headed here for shelter. Now, they were running for Baghdad.

Abu Kanaan, the car dealer's father, said from Baghdad: "We had to leave, but it was very difficult for all of us. It's the first time we've had to face American guns. "

US commanders have given warning that they intend to move into the town, although negotiations were under way yesterday to avoid a repeat of the bloody fighting that has reduced Fallujah and Ramadi to war zones. The Iraqi Government is standing firm, and US forces were poised outside Hit, even as 1,000 soldiers marched into Baquba, another trouble spot to the northeast of Baghdad. Heavy fighting also erupted in Ramadi.

"We'll be next for sure," Abu Kanaan said.

IYAD ALLAWI, the Iraqi Prime Minister, yesterday threatened to use force against the rebel-controlled town of Fallujah unless insurgents there hand over the murderous Jordanian extremist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

His warning came as al-Zarqawi's group, Tawhid wal Jihad, who murdered Kenneth Bigley, released yet another video showing the beheading of two Iraqis accused of being members of the state intelligence services.

"We have asked Fallujah residents to turn over Zarqawi and his group," Dr Allawi told Iraq's interim parliament. "If they don't do it, we are ready for major operations in Fallujah."

Allawi, the longserving CIA Iraqi stooge, fronting for the American Empire, - the "trusted agent" who gave the world the "information" about Saddam's nonexistent "WMD ready to blitz the world at 45 minutes notice", - is now prepared for the final push to make the whole world safe for the American Empire dictatorship.

And the world is in a mental balance over whether this can be achieved.

No one doubts the US military superpower. But wiser science (Marxism) ought to doubt whether (a) the world is prepared to put up with this irrational philistinism any longer from an increasingly arrogant new "master-race"; and (b) even more so whether the world economy can simply be bullied into overcoming its inevitable and unavoidable "overproduction" crisis at some point via making the whole world jump through military-blitzkrieg and civil-rights-restrictions hoops.

The only science of history, - Marxism - says this is impossible.

Crucially, what the world needs again is a perspective for world revolution, something the whole international proletarian planet vaguely believed in after WWII and the beginning of the collapse of Western direct empires.

It was only a deliberately indistinct and totally unscientific world perspective, thanks to the sad win by Stalinist Revisionist theoretical imbecility post-l945. But it still vaguely united the whole planet (by now screamingly opportunistically and treacherously behind "social-democracy" like the Labour International where it had deliberately lyingly festered as "socialist" since passing Clause 4 in 1918 in honour of the world's first workers state, but still sufficient to keep the Labour Party a totally majority working-class party, still believing in "socialism" one day.)

The rest of the non-communist world was cleverly made similar by retreating direct imperialism, preparing the neo-colonialism (now going back to direct imperialist occupation and blitzkrieg) which still just as disastrously dominate the world to this day, all then still believing in "eventual socialism".

There is only one socialism possible, - under the dictatorship of the proletariat, after anti-imperialist revolution. Build Leninism. EPSR supporters.

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["Deconstruction" - anti-Marxist obfuscation]

Trust safe establishment Stalinoid Terry Eagleton to come out with a defence of Jacques Derrida's disgusting postwar anti-communist "philosophy" at the death.

Derrida took anti-Marxist "logical positivism" to the ultimate for Western imperialism, declaring that the meaning of anything (any text) could never be firmly established.

In other words, there was no such thing as scientific anti-imperialist world history (Marxism).

Of course human language and ideas have ALWAYS lagged behind reality, and always will.

Words and ideas are always only a pale and approximate attempt to reflect and recapture for analysis the much more complex living vivid reality of real life and material world.

But civilisation has only been built on this constant struggle. All human understanding rests on this alone.

It IS the struggle of civilisation. It is ALL that civilisation consists of.

The trick for dying imperialism, aided" by the likes of "philosophers and academics" like Derrida and Eagleton, has been to deny that any clear or fixed understanding of the internal contradictions of the 800-year Western monopoly-capitalist rule of the Earth,which is now bringing it down in outdated disgrace, has EVER been truly established.

So not only "Goodbye for ever" now to Marx since the triumph of Stalinist Revisionist "peaceful coexistence" in the 1930s and l940s, but nowadays "Marx was NEVER reliable. The age of Marxist science NEVER existed", according to safe opportunists Eagleton and Derrida.

What disgusting world-Revisionism. EPSR supporters.

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Against crude determinism, which wishes to demolish the fanciful non-material notions of bourgeois "freedom" and "free-will" by simply denying they exist, or by dismissing the notion with brutal scepticism, Marxist science has argued the following, in part, to seek to WIN the ideological argument by simply explaining that the common and traditional-enough idealist delusion that we all have full "freedom of will" needs better interpreting as only ultimately meaning that this "Freedom" is more real the closer it gets to accepting that the materialism of life itself makes the greater awareness and acceptance of NECESSITY as the only real way to act fully freely. That ultimately, freedom and Free-will are only real when they accept that NECESSITY must be their ruler.

Lenin wrote in Materialism and Empirio-Criticism in 1908:

Engels says: "Hegel was the first to state correctly the relation between freedom and necessity. To him, freedom is the appreciation of necessity. 'Necessity is blind only insofar as it is not understood.' Freedom does not consist in an imaginary independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends.

Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject. Therefore the freer a man's judgement is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgement will be determined... Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity {Naturnotwendigkeiten)." (5th German edition, pp. 112-13.)65
Engels takes the knowledge and will of man, on the one hand, and the necessity of nature, on the other, and instead of giving any definitions, simply says that the necessity of nature is primary, and human will and mind secondary. The latter must necessarily and inevitably adapt themselves to the former. Engels regards this as so obvious that he does not waste words explaining his view.

[]the recognition of the objective reality of the external world "and of the laws of external nature, and of the fact that both this world and these laws are fully knowable to man but can never be known to him with finality. We do not know the necessity of nature in the phenomena of the weather, and to that extent we are inevitably slaves of the weather. But while we do not know this necessity, we do know that it exists. Whence this knowledge? From the very source whence comes the knowledge that things exist outside our mind and independently of it, namely, from the development of our knowledge, which provides millions of examples to every individual of knowledge replacing ignorance when an object acts upon our sense-organs, and conversely of ignorance replacing knowledge when the possibility of such action is eliminated. For Engels all living human practice permeates the theory of knowledge itself and provides an objective criterion of truth. For until we know a law of nature, it, existing and acting independently of and outside our mind, makes us slaves of "blind necessity". But once we come to know this law, which acts (as Marx repeated a thousand times) independently of our will and our mind, we become the masters of nature.

The mastery of nature manifested in human practice is a result of an objectively correct, reflection within the human head of the phenomena and processes of nature, and is proof of the fact that this reflection (within the limits of what is revealed by practice) is objective, absolute, eternal truth.

What is the result? Every step in Engels' argument, literally almost every phrase, every proposition, is constructed entirely and exclusively upon the epistemology of dialectical materialism.

Mach, Avenarius, Petzoldt, and all the other authorities of theirs have not the slightest inkling of how Hegel and Marx solved the problem (of freedom and necessity)because they were and are philosophical obscurantists. Here is the argument of one such obscurantist, the philosophy professor-in-ordinary at the University of Vienna, Ernst Mach: during the investigation every thinker is of necessity a theoretical determinist" (Knowledge and Error, 2nd German edition, pp. 282-83).

Is this not obscurantism, when pure theory is carefully partitioned off from practice; when determinism is confined to the field of "investigation", while in the field of morality, social activity and all fields other than "investigation" the question is left to a "subjective" estimate? In my workroom, says the learned pedant, I am a determinist; Mach utters banalities because on the theoretical problem of freedom and necessity he is entirely at sea.

" ...Thus, he also who in theory defends extreme determinism, must nevertheless in practice remain an indeterminist..." (283). And so things have been amicably divided: theory for the professors, practice for the theologians! Or: objectivism (i.e., "shamefaced" materialism) in theory and the "subjective method in sociology"96 in practice. No wonder the Russian ideologists of philistinism, the Narodniks, from Lesevich to Chernov, sympathise with this banal philosophy.
But it is very sad that would-be Marxists have been captivated by such nonsense and are embarrassedly covering up the more absurd of Mach's conclusions.

Lenin comments on Hegel:

Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, p. 294: ..."Necessity is blind only insofar as it is not understood...."
necessity does not disappear, when it becomes freedom
Ibidem, p. 295 "it happens to him" (dem Menschen *)... "that from his activity there arises something quite different from what he had meant and willed...."

Necessity reveals itself. Necessity does not become Freedom because it vanishes, but only because its identity (as yet an inner identity) is manifested." (241-242)

Marx from German Ideology:

We find again in Kant the characteristic form which French liberalism, based on real class interests, assumed in Germany. Neither he, nor the German burghers, whose whitewashing spokesman he was, noticed that these theoretical ideas of the bourgeoisie had as their basis material interests and a will that was conditioned, and determined by the material relations of production. Kant, therefore, separated this theoretical expression from the interests which it expressed; he made the materially motivated determinations of the will of the French bourgeois into pure self-determinations of "free will", of the will in and for itself, of the human will, and so converted it into purely ideological conceptual determinations and moral postulates.
Hence the German petty bourgeois recoiled in horror from the practice of this energetic bourgeois liberalism as soon as this practice showed itself, both in the Reign of Terror and in shameless bourgeois profit-making.

Since German economic relations had by no means reached the level of development to which these political forms corresponded, the burghers accepted them merely as abstract ideas, principles valid in and for themselves, pious wishes and phrases, Kantian self-determinations of the will and of the people, such as they ought to be.

The social structure and the State are continually evolving out of the life-process of definite individuals, but of individuals, not as they may appear in their own or other people's imagination, but as they really are; i.e. as they operate, produce materially, and hence as they work under definite material limits, presuppositions and conditions independent of their will.

The social power, i.e., the multiplied productive force, which arises through the co-operation of different individuals as it is determined by the division of labour, appears to these individuals, since their co-operation is not voluntary but has come about naturally, not as their own united power, but as an alien force existing outside them, of the origin and goal of which they are ignorant, which they thus cannot control, which on the contrary passes through a peculiar series of phases and stages independent of the will and the action of man, nay even being the prime governor of these.

This illusion of the jurists also explains the fact that for them, as for every code, it is altogether fortuitous that individuals enter into relationships among themselves (e.g. contracts); it explains why they consider that these relationships [can] be entered into or not at will, and that their content rests purely on the individual [free] will of the contracting parties.



In actual history, those theoreticians who regarded power as the basis of right, were in direct contradiction to those who looked on will as the basis of right. . . . If power is taken as the basis of right, as Hobbes, etc. do, then right, law, etc. are merely the symptom, the expression of other relations upon which State power rests. The material life of individuals, which by no means depends merely on their "will", their mode of production and form, of intercourse, which mutually determine each other—this is the real basis of the State and remains so at all the stages at which division of labour and private property are still necessary quite independently of the will of individuals. These actual relations are in no way created by the State power; on the contrary they are the power creating it. The individuals who rule in these conditions, besides having to constitute their power in the form of the State, have to give their will, which is determined by these definite conditions, a universal expression as the will of the State, as law—an expression whose content is always determined by the relations of this class, as the civil and criminal law demonstrates in the clearest possible way....Their personal power is based on conditions of life which as they develop are common to many individuals, and the continuance of which they, as ruling individuals, have to maintain against others and, at the same time, maintain they hold good for all. The expression of this will, which is determined by their common interests, is law. It is precisely because individuals who are independent of one another assert themselves and their own will, which on this basis is inevitably egoistical in their mutual relations, that self-denial is made necessary in law and right, self-denial in the exceptional case, and self-assertion of their interests in the average case (which, therefore, not they, but only the "egoist in agreement with himself" regards as self-denial). The same applies to the classes which are ruled, whose will plays just as small a part in determining the existence of law and the State. For example, so long as the productive forces are still insufficiently developed to make competition superfluous, and therefore would give rise to competition over and over again for so long the classes which are ruled would be wanting the impossible if they had the "will" to abolish competition and with it the State and the law. Incidentally, too, it is only in the imagination of the ideologist that this "will" arises before conditions have developed far enough to make its production possible. After conditions have developed sufficiently to produce it, the ideologist is able to imagine this will as being purely arbitrary and therefore as conceivable at all times and under all circumstances.

Like right, so crime, i.e. the struggle of the isolated individual against the prevailing conditions, is not the result of pure arbitrariness. On the contrary, it depends on the same conditions as that rule. The same visionaries who see in right and law the domination of some independently existing, general will can see in crime the mere violation of right and law. Hence the State does not exist owing to the ruling will, but the State which arises from the material mode of life of individuals has also the form of a ruling will. If the latter loses its domination, it means that not only has the will changed but also the material existence and life of the individuals, and only for that reason has their will changed. It is possible for rights and laws to be "inherited",) but in that case they are no longer ruling, but nominal, of which striking examples are furnished by the history of ancient Roman law and English law. We saw earlier how a theory and history of pure thought could arise among philosophers owing to the divorce between ideas and the individuals and their empirical relations which Serve as the basis of these ideas. In the same way, here too one can divorce right from its real basis, whereby one obtains a "ruling will" which in different epochs becomes modified in various ways and has its own, independent history in its creations, the laws. On this account, political and civil history becomes ideologically merged in a history of the rule of successive laws. This is the specific illusion of lawyers and politicians. . . .

Plekhanov "On Individual's Role in History".

Carlyie calls great men Beginners. This is a very apt description. A great man is precisely a Beginner because he sees farther than others do and his desires are stronger than in others. He solves scientific problems raised by the previous course of society's intellectual development; he indicates the new social needs created by the previous development of social relations: he assumes the initiative in meeting those needs. He is a hero, not in the sense that he can halt or change the natural course of things, but in the sense that his activities are the conscious and free expression of that necessary and unconscious course. Therein lie all his significance, all his power. But it is a vast significance, and an awesome power.

What is meant by the natural course of events?

Bismarck remarked that we cannot make history but must wait while it is being made. But who is history made by? It is made by social man, who is its sole "factor''. Social man creates his own, i.e., social, relations. But if he creates certain relations, and not others, in a definite period, then that does not of course take place without cause; it is determined by the state of the productive forces. No great man can impose on society relations which no longer conform to the state of these forces or do not yet conform to them. In this sense, indeed, he cannot make history, and in this sense he would be trying in vain to shift the hands of his clock: he would not be accelerating the passage of time or turning it back; even at the height of his power, Bismarck could not have returned Germany to a natural economy.

Social relations have a logic of their own: while people are living in definite mutual relations, they will feel, think and behave in a definite way and no other. Attempts by any public figure to combat this logic would also be in vain; the natural course of things (i.e., the selfsame logic of social relations) would nullify all his efforts. But if I know in what way social relations are changing because of changes in the socio-economic process of production, I also know the direction social mentality is moving towards; consequently, I am able to influence it. Influencing social mentality means influencing historical events. Hence, in a certain sense, I can yet make history, and there is no need for me to wait until "it is made".

there are no grounds to contrapose the activities of great men to the "slow movement" of the conditions and institutions mentioned. A more or less slow change in the "economic conditions" periodically confronts society with the necessity of altering its institutions more or less rapidly. That alteration never takes place "of itself; it always needs the intervention of men, who are thus faced by great social problems. Those figures are called great who do more than the rest to facilitate the solution of those problems. But solving a problem does not mean being merely a "symbol" and a "sign" of the fact that it has been solved.

Can we now drop this time-wasting issue for good after 25 years, going round in circles.

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Latest exchanges. Weekly Worker


The attack on Roland Rance, a comrade and friend for many years, by Royston Bull is quite amazing (Letters, September 16). Anyone active in anti-Zionist or Palestine solidarity work in the past 20 years would have had difficulty in not coming across Roland. He was editor of Return, a magazine of Jewish and non-Jewish anti-Zionists, and active in a score of campaigns such as that to free Samir and Jawad, the two Palestinians framed for the bombing of the Israeli embassy and the Zionist headquarters, Balfour House, in London.
Indeed, strange as it might seem, I don't seem to have come across the name of Royston Bull before in connection with Palestine. There are only two possible explanations. Either Mr Bull has never lifted a finger to become involved in solidarity work with the Palestinians and prefers to use the issue as a stick to berate others; or it is because of some variant of the world Jewish conspiracy. I leave it to your readers to judge.
What is astounding is not the anti-semitism (and homophobia) of Mr Bull, which can be found among the more lumpen and conspiratorial sections of society, but how such a creature could have risen to a position of influence within the Socialist Labour Party. For this Arthur Scargill owes us all an explanation.
Tony Greenstein Brighton

Creature rant

More abuse, conceit, and saccharine single-issue sentiment from Tony Greenstein, but still not the remotest sign of any ability to discuss the political questions raised (Letters, September 30).

This self-righteous abusiveness and shallow refusal to place their individualist concerns in the context of the broader interests of world revolutionary perspectives is just the sort of thing by which older communists (life-long anti-Stalin's imbecile revisionist theories, which destroyed the international communist movement; lifelong pro the dictatorship of the proletariat) recognised the single-issue freemasonries of 'the personal is the political' era as products of the CIA's 'human rights' worldwide brainwashing campaign to halt the spread of communist ideology, and as demented and naturally spontaneous anti-communists for every giant CIA stunt.

So there was every Trot, fanatically cheering on every Solidarnosc move, swearing that 'rank-and-file socialism' was the aim of the blatantly anti-communist stunt cleverly dreamed-up and financed by the Vatican, the CIA and the known Pilsudski fascist, Lech Walesa.

The outcome? Crap bourgeois 'democracy' which wrecked the east European welfare, states; consumerism, courtesy of exploitation by western corporate imperialism; and Polish state forces now helping the vile imperialist warmongering occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the 'left' mostly protesting in reformist terms instead of agitating for the American empire's defeat because their shallow anti-communist mentality has effortlessly translated into a fully counter-revolutionary, petty bourgeois cringing at 'terrorism'(read Marx, Engels and Lenin on this cringing), and at every scrap of CIA garbage propaganda about 'Saddam's mass grave's' etc, etc - missing the World War III that imperialism in crisis is now preparing.

Not a "world Jewish conspiracy", Mr Greenstein, to create 'Israel' as a desperately-needed belligerent toe-hold on the Middle East in an inevitably anti-imperialist post-war world with communist revolutionary ideology gaining rapidly in all directions (in spite of Stalin's monstrous efforts to curb it), but a clever imperialist conspiracy.
And Scargill opposed the election of this "creature", to quote your disgusting abuse, as Socialist Labour Party vice-president, which was achieved without the block vote of the fantasy North West, Cheshire and Cumbria Miners Association, but because older communists, responding to actually reading the Economic and Philosophic Science Review (instead of just scurrilous anti-communist leaflets lampooning it) agreed there was a chance to get back to a real Bolshevik Party.

Stalinist Scargill's programmed expulsion of said "creature" put a stop to that hope.

Royston Bull Manchester

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Cuban Revolution

The ever-tightening economic trade and financial embargo on Cuba has the support of just three dissident members of the UN in the General Assembly: the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands. It is in contravention of the aims of the UN Charter, which guarantees the sovereign equality of nations, non-intervention and non-interference in their internal affairs and the freedom of international trade and navigation.

The blockade meant the loss of 35% of GDP. Over 50,000 workers were affected. The cost was not only economic but social - with thousands of unemployed sent home with nothing to do. The government initiated a programme that allowed all to study and to retrain.
As the blockade has intensified, not a hospital or a school has closed as a result. Not one person has gone hungry, though developments in housing, nutrition, employment and energy are under continuous threat, and rationing, to ensure distribution is widespread, has been common.

Despite all of this, education, including university level, is free. Secondary schooling is compulsory. All health services are free and widely available through a system of family clinics. The 25% illiteracy rates at the time of the revolution are virtually eliminated. Only recently, Cuba became the only country in the world to introduce one-year maternity leave.

About 5% of the labour force works for foreign companies in joint ventures, but all are hired by government. Neoliberal influences have argued, in the International Labour Organisation particularly, that one state union is not consistent with free unions, independent of the government, or with freedom of choice.

But it is just this policy which has given Cuba the freedom to achieve extraordinary social standards: the unions, the workers, in conjunction with the government, work to raise the standard of living of the people. Government as the sole employer means that discriminatory conditions between workers do not develop.

The social achievements in Cuba are amazing. In 1959, Cuba had 6,000 doctors, and infant mortality rate was 60 per 1,000 births. Today, there are 60,000 doctors and the infant mortality rate is 6.2 per 1,000 live births, Life expectancy is 77 years. These are rates that are the envy of many 'developed' countries.

"Human rights are the right of all, of human beings - not just the rights of the poor," said Noel Carrillo, a member of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

"Human rights means no discrimination. Opponents of Cuba talk of representative democracy. What about participative democracy? They talk of Muslim fundamentalism. What about Christian fundamentalism?

"We don't give 'rights' to 'free, independent' unions because it is the way to divide and to exploit. We have a single party system, but a system that elects 800,000 members, who discuss our problems together. There is not always agreement on all issues - but it important to discuss mistakes, or we will commit the same mistakes again. We must be able to respond to our own problems and mistakes.

"In the past we were immersed in administrative problems. We were authority-based and neglected the moral point of view, our link with the rest of society. We were able to correct these things in the party."

"Membership of the party is based above all on whether people who want to join have the human capacity, whether they take care of their fellows in their workplace and have the political strength to make sacrifices. It's about a way of living, whether you look for things for yourself or you work to take care of those around you.

"Our opponents claim there are not human rights in Cuba, but you can't talk about human rights without talking about economic rights," Noel said.

Cuba has shown that the countries of Latin American need not be condemned to poverty and backwardness - that progress can be made and the highest standard of health care and social welfare achieved.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
USERS OF Indymedia got a shock on Thursday, 7 October with the temporary closure of 20 of its sites due to FBI intervention, supposedly in behalf of the Italian and Swiss governments.

The network of websites, which allow individuals or organisations to post alternative information on their sites to be accessed ail across the world, are one of the key elements of the anti-globalisation movement when it comes to exchange of ideas, opinions and information.

The network was established during the 1999 World Trade Organisation protests in Seattle, as mainstream media tailed to adequately cover the news. Indymedia defines itself as "a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate and passionate tellings of the truth".
On Thursday, 7 October around 6pm, two Indymedia web servers hosted by Rackspace, a US company, in Britain went down.

However, Indymedia said in a statement it "had been asked last month by the FBI to remove a story about Swiss undercover police from one of the websites hosted at Rackspace".
The statement added, "It is not known, however, whether Thursday's order is related to that incident since the order was issued to Backspace and not to Indymedia. According to Rackspace, they 'cannot provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order.'

So far, the FBI has acknowledged that a subpoena had been issued but said it was at the request of Italian and Swiss authorities.

The effect of Rackspace's handing over of the servers to the FBI was not only to take Indymedia off the air but to allow access to all the files held.

This is not the first time that indymedia has suffered legal harassment. Last August, just before the Republican National Convention in New York, the FBI attempted to shut down Indymedia. NY Indymedia revealed how the secret services had harassed the company that provides their server, Calyx Internet Access. In this case, the court order referred to the publication of the list of delegates attending the convention.

Aidan White the General Secretary for the International Federation of Journalists said "we have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism".

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