Attention!! If you can see this message it means you are viewing the web with an old browser (web viewing programme such as NETSCAPE 4.x or earlier) or a handheld or mobile phone type reader. That means you will see only a basic version of the pages — the content should be perfectly readable but will have a basic layout. For a printable version you can click on a link to download. A better webpage layout will be shown in modern browsers(eg Opera7, InternetExplorer6, Safari or Mozilla). If you are not limited by small memory in older computers, you can download these programmes from the Internet. Installation is usually quite simple and usually safe from viruses.

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

Skip Navigation(?)

Recent paper

No 1290 April 9th 2006

Imperialism’s desperate crisis is the common underlying cause for the worldwide ferment of insurgency, marches, riots, demonstrations, strikes, ‘rogue state’ defiance and “left” South American electoral victories. Ultimate coalescence into conscious universal revolutionary struggle still headed-off by the tired imbecilities and sour anti-communism of the fake-“lefts” and limited narrow perspectives capitulating to imperialist lies about “democracy” and “terrorism”. Revolutionary theory vital to end capitalism’s degenerate plunge into Third World War.

The bankruptcy and failure of the entire spectrum of fake-”lefts” becomes more contemptible every day, and not least in its total inability to even register, let alone explain and give a lead on, the enormous general significance and connectedness of the wave of demonstrations and rebellions breaking out across the planet.

From anti-government corruption marches and riots in Thailand to the tens of thousands of “illegals” marching in Los Angeles and Dallas against repressive and potentially racist immigration persecution laws; to the street battles in Paris and the rest of France against capitalism’s growing speed-ups and unemployment and uncertainty; the sudden eruption of anger and destructiveness by thousands of previously “invisible” and apparently docile near-slave like expatriate Indian workers in the ultra-rich and concentratedly decadent Dubai, the world’s masses are variously demonstrating their impatience and frustration with the exploitation and tyranny of the outmoded and historically worked-out capitalist system.

But not a word of this wide perspective is heard from the fake-”left” posturers.

Each of the new mass upheavals may well be explainable with its own specific and immediate causes, its own subjective grasp of its aims (working right through from an echo of Luddism in Dubai e.g.) to “reform of the employment laws” in France, each can be analysed and explained simply by particular and local circumstance and each can be the subject of “solidarity” action with the downtrodden workers involved, calls for “changes” or sympathy for the rejection of grotesque bribery, or be given explanations or attempted direction and “better organisation”.

But Marxist scientific understanding, a thousand light years beyond any such partial and limiting confraternity (even when it is genuine and not just theatrical Trotskyite posturing or revisionist confusion) sees in these far-from-coincidentally simultaneous eruptions further deepening confirmation that the imperialist system as a whole has reached the buffers historically.

And grasping just such broadest possible perspectives is increasingly crucial for all struggles for the best guide to strategy and tactics as they are increasingly forced to confront the imperialist crisis, which is pressing ever more heavily, even before the devastating and catastrophic economic disintegration which the contradictions of the profit system are piling up.

For a start the widening upheaval gives the lie to the insane “war on terror” lies of the Bush/Blair warmongering that the world is in a “clash of civilisations” or fight with bizarre ideologies (supposedly fanatical Muslimism) bent on destroying our “Christian values”. Most of the millions of rebellious ordinary people in South America are Catholics, the Thais and Nepalese are Buddhist, the Indians in Dubai have a variety of assorted beliefs, in as much as it means anything at all.

The common element between billions of people now beginning to make their voices heard, is the grotesque unfairness (rapidly increasing) the inhuman exploitation, and the tyrannical oppression that most have suffered at the hands of monopoly imperialist capital for the last two centuries or more.

The world is in uproar because they are no longer prepared to put up with the enormous disparities of wealth in the system, their own grinding poverty and despair and the strutting arrogance of western tyranny and profiteering. And it is in uproar because that tyranny is beginning to lose its grip everywhere as the shattering and resounding setback and continuing sticky defeat of imperialism’s “shock and awe” world subjugation plans in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown the entire planet.

The momentum can only grow.

Imperialism is at a watershed point in its centuries long growth and ever widening globalising domination, unable to take mankind anywhere except into rapidly deepening and terrifying all out warmongering (with Iran next in the sights), blitzkrieging of scapegoat “rogue” regimes and Nazification of society in preparation for the all-out conflicts and destruction to come as the profit system finally reaches slump collapse and trade disintegration once more.

But its ever deepening crisis and historically outmoded pointlessness is equally undermining its willpower and capacity to push forwards into World War again (to repeat on an even larger scale the horrors of WW1 and WW2 which “resolved” previous profound crises), despite the intended ruthlessness, torturing thuggery and “shock and awe” intimidation by its leading power, the enormous and massively powerful and heavily armed US Empire, now playing the lead aggression role as Germany once did, threatening in its Pentagon plans “decades” of policing war against just about everyone.

And it has equally driven the sometimes anarchic and confused but determined Third World resistance of tens of millions of ordinary people into fighting struggle against it on an ever widening scale, particularly in the pivotal Middle East.

Failure and defeat – in the sense of a complete incapacity to impose its will – has been the outcome, most of all in Iraq where the latest visit by “soft cops” Condoleezza Rice and UK-sidekick Jack Straw has only emphasised the extent of the quagmire it is in - unable to create even the pretence of a “democratic government” in Iraq (at least partially stooging for the imperialists) and with rapidly spreading hostility throughout the region.

The monstrous lying Rice and Straw hoped in some way to soothe the disastrous chaotic mess that the extreme Bushite warmongers have created (generating only much more hostility and resistance than before) by banging heads together to end the three month long paralysed mess the western collaborationist elements are in since the last election and get some kind of coordination to present the illusion anyway of government and authority, sympathetic to the west and its fraudulent “democracy”. That would allow the US to pull out of its ever worsening intervention without being too obviously simply driven away by the increasing militant insurgency and violence against it.

But the world’s masses have already felt the hesitation in the world’s overwhelmingly powerful Empire force.

A rash of new anti-government and anti-authority demonstrations worldwide has appeared along with growing Asian rebellions like the Philippines and Nepal, and hostility in Pakistan, and Indonesia; with the ever more nervous disquiet of the intelligentsia throughout Europe (including various upright Establishment elements) at the opportunism, corruption, sleaze and scandal of spin-and-lie supported governments which have been hanging on by their fingernails for imperialism in the UK, Italy, France, Germany and elsewhere, and their now increasingly obvious turn to desperate fascistic dictatorship measures behind an ever thinner screen of “democracy” and its hyped-up “war on terror” hysteria.

Domestically the UK and US are torn by corruption and sleaze scandals, right to the top of government like the massive US Congress corruption scandals, (or rather the exposures of them since such backscratching freemasonry is a totally normal day-to-day part of capitalism), the exposure of the White House “leaks” scandal over the “outing” of CIA operative Valery Plame, etc and the overall plunging popular support for Bush and his neo-con henchmen.

It is all part of an implosion of fear and recrimination in ruling class circles at how badly things are going wrong.

And as if that is not enough there is also the now accelerating tide of anti-imperialist sentiment sweeping throughout oppressed and long suffering Latin America which is about to pick up further momentum by the potential election of yet another “dictatorial” (read: anti-US Empire interests) president in Peru, as the bourgeois press reports:

Ollanta Humala, the former army officer and maverick populist-nationalist who leads in the run-up to Sunday’s presidential election in Peru, says he wants to construct a “Latin American family” of like-minded peoples and governments. That has triggered fears in Washington that Peru could soon join Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Evo Morales’s Bolivia and Fidel Castro’s Cuba in an anti-American, or at least an anti-Bush administration, radical front.

But if he is to achieve his ambition, Mr Humala will have to sort out his own extraordinary family first. His brother, Antauro, is in jail after leading a bloody insurrection last year against the outgoing president, Alejandro Toledo. In a recently broadcast tape, Antauro apparently demanded that Mr Toledo and the entire Peruvian congress be executed by firing squad for treason.

Mr Humala’s father, Isaac, founded an ultra-nationalist movement, etnocacerismo, that stressed the racial superiority of “copper-coloured” Indian and mixed-blood mestizos over lighter-skinned Peruvians of Spanish descent. His mother suggested gay men should be shot to end “immorality in the streets”. Another brother, Ulises, is running against him in Sunday’s election.

Mr Humala, whose first name means “warrior who sees all”, also faces persistent questions about his own democratic credentials. He previously supported etnocacerismo and, like Mr Chavez, he launched a failed coup, in his case against the now disgraced president Alberto Fujimori in 2000. He has been accused of human rights abuses when he commanded a remote army base during the Shining Path Maoist insurgency in the 1990s - charges he denies.

And although he insists he is not anti-American, his stated admiration for General Juan Velasco - who ran Peru in a dictatorship from 1968-75, nationalised industries and snuffed out independent media - has increased worries about a return to the age of the authoritarian caudillo and anti-market policies. Where Gen Velasco courted the Soviet Union, Mr Humala might look to China.

“We must impose discipline, we must bring order to the country,” Mr Humala told a rally in Lima. If elected, he pledged (again like Mr Chavez, who has controversially endorsed him) to rewrite the constitution, industrialise coca production, cancel a free-trade pact with the US, and increase state control of the important mining sector. “Our motherland is not for sale,” he said.

But these and other efforts to present himself, the child of a privileged upbringing, as a champion of the oppressed in a country where about half the population lives on $1.25 a day or less have prompted accusations of opportunism and worse.

....Unemployment and insecurity, typified by low incomes, a widening wealth gap, high urban crime, drug trafficking and a lingering rural threat posed by leftwing extremists, were key issues.

...political volatility across Latin America was socially rather than ideologically inspired. It reflected a lack of confidence in “existing institutions and traditional elites”, rather than a desire for revolution. But in badly governed, alienated and angry Peru, that could amount to the same thing.

“The division in this country is not right versus left,” Mr Humala said; “It’s the business elite against the rest.”

Even if the desperate manipulations of the CIA and sour hatred of the bourgeoisie expressed in this piece should succeed in blocking this latest upheaval, the sweeping momentum in South America is leading even the usually conservative establishment of the BBC to raise extremely awkward questions:

There is trouble ahead for Uncle Sam in his own backyard. Big trouble.

It is one of the most important and yet largely untold stories of our world in 2006. George W Bush has lost Latin America.

While the Bush administration has been fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, relations between the United States and the countries of Latin America have become a festering sore - the worst for years.

Virtually anyone paying attention to events in Venezuela and Nicaragua in the north to Peru and Bolivia further south, plus in different ways Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, comes to the same conclusion: there is a wave of profound anti-American feeling stretching from the Texas border to the Antarctic.

And almost everyone believes it will get worse.

President Bush came into office declaring that Latin America was a priority. That’s hardly surprising. It’s been a priority for every American president since James Monroe in 1823 whose “Monroe Doctrine” told European nations to keep out of Latin American affairs.

In pursuit of American interests, the US has overthrown or undermined around 40 Latin American governments in the 20th Century.

For his part, President Bush even suggested that the United States had no more important ally than... wait for it... Mexico.

None of that survived the attacks of 9/11.

Mr Bush launched his War on Terror and re-discovered the usefulness of allies like Britain.

While Washington’s attention turned to al-Qaeda, the Taleban, Iraq and now Iran, in country after county in Latin America voters chose governments of the left, sometimes the implacably “anti-gringo” left, loudly out of sympathy with George Bush’s vision of the world, and reflecting a continent with the world’s greatest gulf between rich and poor.

The next country to fall to a strongly anti-American populist politician could be Peru.

The presidential frontrunner is Ollanta Humala, a retired army commander who led a failed military uprising in October 2000 and who is now ahead in the opinion polls.

...Like President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and President Evo Morales in Bolivia, Mr Humala talks of the evils of what he calls “the neo-liberal economic model that has failed to benefit our nation”.

He dismisses the role of multinational companies that “offer no benefits” to the people of Peru, and he speaks of a new division in the world.

Where once Cuba’s Fidel Castro could harangue the US with talk of the colonisers and the colonised, Ollanta Humala attacks globalisation as a plot to undermine Peru’s national sovereignty and benefit only the rich on the backs of Latin America’s poor.

“Some countries globalise, and others are globalised,” is how he puts it. “The Third World belongs in the latter category.”

All this may discourage foreign investment, but it is mild compared to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

He compares President Bush to Hitler.

“The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the US president has no limits,” Mr Chavez says. “I think Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George W Bush.”

If you were to colour a map of anti-Americanism in Latin America, for nearly 50 years Fidel Castro’s Cuba has been the deepest red. Three of the most economically developed countries - Brazil, Chile and Argentina - are now in varying shades of left-of-centre pink.

Peru - if Mr Humala wins - would join Venezuela and Bolivia in bright post-box red, with two other countries - Mexico and Nicaragua - possibly about to follow.

Enormous uncertainty remains around this and the Venezuelan, Bolivian and other developments – none of which claims to be Marxist and sadly at times specifically reject Marxism as such, despite links with Castro’s Cuba, (perhaps because it is hampered by dire revisionist illusions itself and retreat from a world revolutionary perspective, robustly defensive of its own gains but too ready to buy western imperialist notions of “world terrorism” etc).

So far the South American masses’ pragmatism and the long experience of CIA subversion and counter-revolution – still brutally at work with daily death squad barbarity and terrorising of civilians (backed with US military and intelligence ‘advisors’) to suppress the FARC and other revolutionary forces in next door Colombia – has just given these leaderships enough edge to see off the obvious attempts at counter-revolution especially in Venezuela, and to even prepare for mass defence and resistance by training peoples’ militias.

As the EPSR has many times noted before the process of struggles will (as it has already) teach the masses the necessary revolutionary-communist ways of fighting.

But a conscious turn to Leninist revolutionary theory would be even better, to make the best use of the experiences already gained by 100 years of struggle and the titanic achievement of the first great workers states.

Only the widest possible world perspective and the longest, deepest grasp of historical development can begin to make the real sense out of these apparently disparate events and, by struggling to do so at the highest philosophical level, also offer the leadership that can both guide and inspire these struggles and give the world’s masses the direction and confidence to help counter the thousand and one influences and opportunist diversions which bourgeois ideology is trying to head them off with, disarming their consciousness to give the ruling class space to smash them down again.

Embryo spontaneous revolutionary upheaval remains vulnerable to misdirection, and loss of morale, to sabotage and betrayal, as long as it has not got the depth and grasp of a clear world perspective to guide it.

But crisis pressures are certain to keep it erupting and as this piece shows, developing in the struggle:

At the heart of a vast construction site in the centre of Dubai is a cone-shaped building that is rising at the rate of one floor a week. When it opens in two years, the Burj Dubai - the flagship among a dozen lavish building projects in this boomtown emirate - will be the world’s tallest skyscraper and home to a Giorgio Armani hotel. Lawns and trimmed hedges surround the site, along with seductive advertisements for apartments that promise “a tribute to fine living”.

A few miles out in the desert is the Dubai that the tourists never see: the labour camps that house the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who build these skyscrapers. There are no lawns, hedges or dreamy adverts. Labourers, most from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, trapped into working here by crippling debts, sleep eight to a room and work long shifts for paltry wages and with no job security. They spend hours on bus trips to the sites each day, frequently go for months without pay, and are left penniless when contractors go bankrupt.

For the first time, years of accumulated frustration and resentment have now boiled over into a series of strikes and demonstrations. They began in September when 700 workers blocked a major road, complaining about poor salaries and bad conditions. That alone was remarkable in a country where public dissent is forbidden, and was a display of the mounting anger and despair among the migrant labourers.

At least eight other strikes and demonstrations followed at building sites across the emirate, culminating last week in a rare and violent protest at Burj Dubai. In one evening rampage, 2,500 workers downed tools and attacked security staff, broke into offices and smashed computers and files. They ran through the building complex damaging more than a dozen cars and construction equipment, and caused several hundred thousand pounds’ worth of damage. The next day, workers at the site and other labourers working on the international airport went out briefly on strike.

The protests are growing more organised, and for the first time are challenging the image of Dubai as a peaceful and prosperous hub of investment in the Middle East. Similar protests have sprung up among migrant workers in Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.

“I had big dreams when I came to Dubai,” said Umprakash, 30, an Indian from Rajasthan, who has worked as a labourer here for a decade. “But we’re in a miserable condition.” Late one afternoon, he and a group of other workers in overalls sat on the concrete floor outside their small accommodation block in the al-Quoz industrial area of the city.

Although a university graduate, he struggled to find work in India and was lured to Dubai by promises of quick money. Like most others he was forced by a recruitment agency in India to buy his visa - a £1,300 cost that, legally, his employer should have covered. He raised the money by selling some land and taking out the only loan he could, with an interest rate of 36%. It took him the first five years just to pay it back.

Now he earns £120 a month, the average for a worker here. He sends about half back to his wife and two children, whom he sees for just a few weeks once every two years. He could have earned the same in India. Like most of the workers, he promises himself he will leave soon, just as soon as he’s made a little more. “I’ve forgotten all of my studies. Now I just use a hand shovel. This is no life for educated people,” he said. “I wish I’d never heard of Dubai.”

Some are pushed into severe depression by their circumstances. Last year 84 workers committed suicide. The number who die on site in accidents is thought to be even higher, though there are no official figures.

...much of the labour law favours employers, and there are only a few dozen inspectors to monitor up to 800,000 construction workers. Few companies keep within the rules, even though the government has begun to blacklist and publish the names of some of those who do not. Workers who complain fear losing their jobs.

Abdullah al-Mamun, 28, came from Bangladesh two years ago expecting to work as a skilled electrician, but was given a job as an unskilled labourer, for which the wages are lower. He earns £86 a month, far less than he was promised before he left his home. He is also struggling to pay off the heavy debt he incurred buying his visa. His company gives him no holiday entitlement and it will take him three months to save the money for an air ticket home.

...Workers can complain as individuals, but trade unions and workers’ associations are banned, and the country has still not signed important conventions of the International Labour Organisation.

“There is no accountability and nobody questions the system because there are no political rights,” said Mohammed al-Roken, a human rights lawyer and the former head of the Emirates’ Jurists Association. Mr Roken has been banned indefinitely from writing in local newspapers, appearing on local television or continuing his job as a university law professor. His public speeches are frequently cancelled at the last minute. He and others have lobbied for two years to set up the country’s first human rights organisation, but have been refused permission.

This waste-hole of exploitation and arrogant feudal/tribal dictatorial oppression was built, trained and given shape, by British imperialism’s empire needs (for naval bases) out of a couple of desert inlets, water holes and the local sheikhs around them – and has been developed ever since as an “ally” for the continuing western domination of the oil rich region and for the lucrative arms deals and other wealth that can be extracted, with never a thought for the “democracy”, “freedom” and “civilisation” that Straw and Rice bared-facedly proclaimed in Iraq to be imperialism’s “altruistic” purpose in blitzing and burning the entire region.

Even Goebbels would have blushed at such lies. (Though various factions of the revisionist and reformist lefts continue to swallow them, or at least the notion of “democratic progress and movement”)

It is not ruled out that masses variously involved in these upsurges against endless oppression and exploitation, may be able to win or hold their ground on some limited specific issues even within the confines of late and degenerating imperialism (though it increasingly has less to give as it faces ever greater difficulties from the ever deeper contradictions of the profit system forcing it to try and drive up the rate of exploitation everywhere to save its system from the inevitable collapse in profit levels that its mountains of accumulating “surplus” capital are unstoppably creating – the contradiction at the heart of the anarchic greed ridden capitalist system (see economic quotes)).

But any such victories will be partial and achieved in reality only by revolutionary pressure whatever reformist explanations are given by the legions of trade unionists, and the Trotskyist and revisionist fake-”lefts. And as Lenin pointed out, the ruling class will duck and dive with apparent retreats and concessions precisely to ensure it holds onto the key levers of power and control, ready to take everything back when it can, or must.

They may equally be temporarily suppressed and might peter out as the banlieau riots in France did last autumn, only to flare up at a new level in the latest youth and student protests and strikes.

The better the world’s masses understand the full context of the struggle and all the struggles around them the better they will understand that they are being drawn into the crucial revolutionary battles which are the only path forwards for mankind out of the turmoil, tyranny, exploitation of capitalism and its rapidly increasing warmongering destruction.

And the better they will understand their own strengths and achievements in the planet wide struggle which is now erupting against imperialism’s increasingly obvious return to world warmongering and blitzing as its “solution” to devastating crisis.

The huge ferment of discussion and necessary battling for understanding that the now developing and even greater forthcoming struggles against the imperialist system are creating, will unstoppably produce in the course of a multitude of steps forwards and back, a coalescing and a lifting of the existing disparate world struggles, and their partial, sometimes oddball, nationalistic or religious hostilities into a more and more commonly and deeper grasped philosophy that will eventually have to turn towards Marxist and Leninist scientific objective grasp.

But they would get there a lot quicker without the continuing legacy of the decades of confusion, defeatism and retreats of the fake-”lefts” and their over-awed capitulation to imperialist power, endlessly backing away from the raw realities of revolutionary struggle, and the rough edges of the masses' hostility, and deep down expressing a fear and distaste of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the heart of the disciplined struggle by which the masses can resist the endless subversion of imperialism (and the deluded liquidation of which, by the Gorbachevite end point of Stalinist revisionism, ended the first great workers state achievement of the USSR).

The latest supposed revival of a mass workers party in the UK, the Trotskyist Socialist Party (once Militant) dominated “Campaign for a New Workers Party” is typical in making it a founding principle even to avoid discussion of revolutionary politics on the grounds that “workers are not ready for it”.

But as the EPSR put it in issue 1038:

Fears that an accurate scientific Marxist analysis of the current world imperialist crisis can never be got out and circulated against the colossal CIA grip of worldwide media brainwashing now, - are just defeatist subjectivism. Huge class material forces are building up worldwide to demand just such a conscious expression of their proletarian-dictatorship needs that Marxist-Leninist science can alone articulate. The EPSR makes no claims to be that science. It offers its analysis of world developments, and eagerly follows all other attempts to do likewise, particularly inviting allcomers to point out mistakes in the EPSR’s understanding or put forward an improved version, - or alternatively to completely refute its analysis of imperialist revolutionary crisis entirely.

The response is still slow. Before too long, the pace and level of polemics will be of the highest. The problem of EPSR-type struggle will be that it has not taken theoretical analysis nearly deeply or far enough, - not that it has failed to bureaucratically organise a sufficiently-large sect of workers circles around itself. Once some worthwhile victories are won in the battle for understanding (see the above nonsense peddled by 57 varieties of opportunism), the working class will build its party of genuine philosophical revolutionary-socialist understanding very effectively.

Fears that even if a Marxist understanding does spread internationally, the working masses will refuse or fail to respond,- are equally worthless subjectivism, reflecting nothing more than personal scepticism that Marxist theory is a useful tool but nothing more than that in a world where the traditional venality and weakness of the human condition means supposedly that the established patterns of status quo power are infinitely harder to break up in history than theory would suggest, no matter how brilliant.

In other words, there is a widespread suspicion that the relentlessly accumulating wealth and power of imperialism (mainly meaning US imperialism) will continue to get away with it and bribe, brainwash, or crush all attempts to end its corrupt, decadent, and wasteful domination of the earth, maintained with the aid of seemingly never-ending technological innovation and new wealth-creation.

All this scepticism amounts to a great failure of imagination. The dismaying stumble that the development of workers-states in history has taken with the astonishing self-liquidation by the Soviet revisionist bureaucracy has bred an unstoppable avalanche of doubt and cynicism as well as some healthy self-criticism in the struggle for Marxist understanding. But however crushing and demoralising this setback, the procedures for a Marxist method of analysing imperialism’s crisis have remained demonstrably valid.

The “huge material forces” have most obviously built up since as imperialism has tipped over into overt neo-colonialism and sheer naked Nazi bullying of the insanely propagandised “war on terrorism” to try and bring the Third World into line and to prepare the ground for the inter-imperialist conflict which must inevitably come once the crisis breaks fully.

But far from successfully intimidating and pacifying brewing world mass resistance to the Empire, and simultaneously demonstrating the sheer ruthless nastiness of the pre-emptive strikes the US ruling class now states overtly it is prepared to make against all rivals to maintain its madly distorted luxury lifestyle and power privileges, these initial military terror onslaughts by the west have simply intensified the hatred and disgust of the poorest billions of the planet.

Already brought to a pitch of frustration and anger by the educative process of recruitment into capitalist wage slavery, the entire globalised world population is now ready to fight to throw off this monstrous burden of exploitation and ruling class parasitism which stifles all human potential and rationality.

And the war blitzkrieging has simply made matters a thousand times worse – exposing all the lies about “freedom” and “democracy” and escalating the struggle. Even the UK government’s own bureaucrats give the lie to the nonsenses about “evil ideologically driven monsters who hate ‘our way of life’ “ (completely without cause seemingly) and the twisted Blairite and Bushite denials that the “Big-Lie” supported Iraq onslaught by the west is causing massive escalation of the hostility:

The war in Iraq contributed to the radicalisation of the July 7 London bombers and is likely to continue to provoke extremism among British Muslims, according to reports based on secret assessments by security and intelligence chiefs.

A draft of a “narrative” about events leading up to the bombings drawn up by a senior civil servant says Iraq was a “contributory factor”, the Observer newspaper reported.

References to Britain’s role in the invasion of Iraq and continuing military presence there are made in a section of the report dealing with the radicalisation of the four British suicide bombers.

The draft narrative, ordered by Charles Clarke, the home secretary, after calls for a public inquiry into the bombings, is said to refer to economic deprivation, social exclusion, and disaffection with community leaders as other “motivating factors”.

The document echoes views in a top secret report by the Joint Intelligence Committee, leaked yesterday. It states: “Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalisation of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the UK as legitimate.”

The report, International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq, was drawn up in April last year - before the London bombings - and sent to senior ministers, including Tony Blair. It warns that Iraq had “reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the west and motivated others who were not”.

It adds: “We judge that the conflict in Iraq has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism and will continue to have an impact in the long term.”

...The report is also said to express concern - echoed by MI5 - that Iraq could provide a training ground for potential terrorists returning to Britain and other countries.

Last year MI5 said on its website that while extremist groups and individuals in Europe shared a range of aspirations and causes, Iraq was “a dominant issue”.

What might be true in Britain is certainly so in Iraq – and there the difficulties of the occupiers look ever deeper as endless bourgeois reports make clear:

For Iraqis in Baghdad, duck and cover is already a metaphor for daily life. On each of the seven visits I have made here since Saddam Hussein was toppled, security conditions have worsened. The downward slide since my previous trip for the December elections seems particularly steep.

The spate of sectarian revenge killings that followed the bombing of the golden-domed shrine at Samarra last month is not yet over, in spite of an 8pm curfew imposed in Baghdad. Abductions and murders continue relentlessly. Bodies, often scarred by torture and with their hands tied, have been turning up on lonely roadsides at a rate of 13 a day. Shops close their metal shutters and streets start emptying at 4pm as people flee home well before the curfew. Many Baghdadis rarely venture out except to the corner store. Those who drive to work vary their routes. A doctor who uses taxis to get to her hospital says she tells the driver she’s a patient, “since it makes kidnapping a bit less likely”.

Even shopping has become risky. Eight people at an electrical-appliance store in the middle-class suburb of Mansour were lined up against a wall and shot dead this week by masked gunmen. Two money-exchange dealers and three other shops were also attacked by armed raiders in Baghdad. Whether the motives are criminal or political, the result is terror and chaos.

Iraqis who work for the government or have jobs in the Green Zone are especially vulnerable. Soldiers in the national army and policemen usually go home in civilian clothes. Some dare not tell their families, let alone their neighbours, what their jobs are. Throughout Iraq policemen are dying at a rate of 150 a month, yet new recruits never stop coming forward, attracted by the pay in a rock-bottom economy.

Senior civil servants are key targets. Inspector generals have the task of auditing ministries for corruption and other abuses. Two of the 31 have been assassinated, and at a press conference on Tuesday the two who came declined to be filmed. The UN mission is back in Baghdad, working on human-rights, constitutional-reform and rule-of-law issues, but it now shelters in the Green Zone after the catastrophic suicide bombing of its old headquarters in 2003. As a result, contacts with civil society are more difficult and the UN is planning to build a video centre in town so that Iraqis can hold conference calls with officials rather than take the risk of walking into the Green Zone.

While the violence grows, the political deterioration over the past three months is also remarkable. Iraq’s elected leaders have failed to agree on who should be the country’s next prime minister and president, leaving a vacuum of authority that is making Iraqis increasingly cynical about democracy and eager for a strong hand at the top.

Relations between Iraq’s majority Shia community and the Americans are at their lowest point since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The group that stood to gain most from his departure is turning on the US. Leaders of three rival Shia factions united this week to condemn an attack on a mosque complex by Iraqi troops with US support, in which at least 20 people died. The US military claims the raid targeted militias and hostage-takers, but its explanations came late. Denouncing the action as a slaughter of innocent worshippers, senior Iraqis had already taken public positions from which they could not easily retreat.

Already suspicious of last autumn’s American “tilt” towards the Sunnis, Shia leaders feel the US is undermining their election victory by interfering in the choice of prime minister. Before the December elections, US and British officials were giving firm hints that they hoped Ibrahim Jaafari would be replaced by another Shia, Adel Abdel Mahdi, or if the secular parties did well, by the former prime minister Ayad Allawi.

Recently, US diplomats have been careful not to express any choices and there seems to be no truth in claims by Shia politicians this week that Bush sent a message to the leader of the Shia bloc via the US ambassador last Saturday saying he did not want Jaafari to be prime minister. US diplomats believe the story is being put out by Jaafari’s rivals, who dare not break Shia unity and confront him personally but prefer to blame the Americans for allegedly exerting pressure while privately hoping the said pressure succeeds.

When these Byzantine games are over, and a new government is finally formed, the real difficulties will begin. For the new parliament to reach agreement and pass legislation on how to divide oil revenues, what power to allow the regions, and how to define the role of Islamic law will be even harder than choosing a prime minister. Confronting the militias and re-establishing order are titanic challenges. And all this will have to be done in the blinding heat of a summer in which people only have six hours of power to run their fans.

...On Wednesday the US president proudly proclaimed: “Despite massive provocations, Iraq has not descended into civil war, most Iraqis have not turned to violence and the Iraqi security forces have not broken up into sectarian groups waging war against each other.” ...When progress is defined in negatives, you have a measure of how bad the situation is.

This chaotic mess may be difficult to disentangle in all its threads from outside, but whatever the details it overall represents a colossal class-war disaster for imperialism, hatred of which is increasingly uniting multiple disparate elements and factions in the country and far beyond it.

The entire Middle East, one of the most vital areas for imperialism to keep under control because of its enormous natural resources, and pivotal strategic position between Africa, Asia, and Europe has been re-energised in its bitter hatred of the imperialist yoke.

And the almost equal disaster of Afghanistan continues to degenerate also - despite the calculated lies of New Labourites like Kim Howells declaring it to be showing a “healthy democracy”. Only for the tiny minority in capital Kabul, sustained on the inflated funds of overpaid UN agencies, NGOs and western military advisors.

The reality of course is that for the majority throughout the Middle East the imperialists simply have no other answer than to continue the punitive raids, and terrorisation (casually taking out civilians either deliberately or by ‘collateral damage’ accident) which is their only means of “pacifying” the increasing rebellious world:

Correspondents in Iraq have come upon a number of incidents in which the US military, especially the marines, have appeared to act with excessive force. Here are some examples.

After suffering heavy losses in the southern city of Nassiriya, US marines were ordered to fire at any vehicle which drove at American positions, Sunday Times reporter Mark Franchetti reported. He described how one night “we listened a dozen times as the machine guns opened fire, cutting through cars and trucks like paper”.

Next morning he said he saw 15 vehicles, including a mini-van and two lorries, riddled with bullet holes. He said he counted 12 dead civilians lying in the road or in nearby ditches.

One man’s body was still on fire. A girl aged no more than five lay dead in a ditch beside the body of a man who may have been her father. On the bridge an Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey. A father, baby girl and boy had been buried in a shallow grave. Franchetti said the civilians had been trying to leave the town, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks or heavy artillery. He wrote: “Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition’s supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved.”

A surgical assistant at the Saddam hospital in Nassiriya, Mustafa Mohammed Ali, told the Guardian’s James Meek that US aircraft had dropped three or four cluster bombs on civilian areas in the city, killing 10 and wounding 200.

He said he understood the US forces going straight to Baghdad to get rid of Saddam Hussein, but added: “I don’t want forces to come into [this] city. They have an objective, they go straight to the target. There’s no room in the hospital because of the wounded.” When he saw the bodies of two dead marines, he revealed that he cheered silently.

Meek also told the story of a 50-year-old businessman and farmer, Said Yagur, who said marines searched his house and took his son, Nathen, his Kalashnikov rifle and 3m dinars (about £500). The marines argued the money was probably destined for terrorist activities. After protests by the father, who rose up against Saddam Hussein after the last Gulf War and had his house shelled by the dictator’s artillery, they let the son go and returned the gun and money.

Reporters have seen more than a dozen burnt-out buses and trucks and the bodies of at least 60 Iraqi men on the road north of Nassiriya. A photograph carried in the Guardian last week showed a bus which had been attacked by US troops. Bloodstained corpses lay nearby.

Reuters journalist Sean Maguire said there were four bodies outside the bus and - according to the marines - 16 more inside. The Americans told him the dead men wore a mix of civilian and military clothing and were in possession of papers “that appeared to identify them as Republican Guard”. But Brigadier General John Kelly admitted to Maguire: “We have very little time to decide if a truck or bus is going to be hostile.” The reporter described the bullet-ridden bus and the bodies as “evidence of the ruthless efficiency with which lead marine units are clearing the road north of Nassiriya to make way for a military convoy”.

It has no alternative either on the world scale to continue pushing towards intensified warmongering, lining up more “rogue” states like Iran – and with massively increased “shock and awe” to “make sure this time” almost certainly with nuclear weaponry.

But as the astonishing election of Hamas showed in Palestine which has suffered this oppression for sixty years, it ultimately forces forwards class consciousness and philosophical revolutionary development and leadership. The contemptuous Zionist and western bullying of the Palestinians, now withdrawing aid and Palestinian (!) tax funds to try and starve out their militancy (and once again blitzing, assassinating and bombing them) gives the lie again to bourgeois “democracy”, and will only widen and deepen the lessons that the masses of the whole planet have been getting in the sick degeneracy of capitalism.

The maturity and determination shown by Hamas in its statements (despite the cowardly attempts to hamstring them by the Abbas remnants of the old Arafatite class compromisers) underlines the growth in understanding.

It will accelerate a process that can only finish ultimately in full scale Marxist understanding throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world.

The fake-”lefts” lining up behind imperialism’s condemnation of the growing militancy as “criminal terrorism” (now applied by imperialism to all anti-imperialist fighting struggle) is a sick betrayal. No-one needs to advocate or “glorify” particular methods.

But the disarming fraud and lies of “democracy” which the lefts continue to remain in thrall to (despite lip service to revolutionary slogans) are being seen through more and more. The insurgency and fighting of the masses using whatever methods they have to hand, is what has set back the imperialist war drive.

It will not stop capitalism’s hurtling pace towards World War three – but revolutionary grasp which will increasingly be pushed to the surface will eventually understand that it needs to go all the way to complete overthrow of imperialism.

And the crucial weapon is revolutionary theory.

Don Hoskins

Return to the top


World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

How imperialism is whipping up yet another “independence” breakaway to disrupt and fragment anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist movements and revolutions, just as it has endlessly stunted up feudal reactionaries in Tibet against Chinese communist development, the Albanian mafias in Kosova to help break up the remains of Yugoslavia, the Baltic states against the ussr, Georgian reactionary nationalism against post-Soviet Russia, the Eritreans against the former Mengistu-led socialist regime in 1980s Ethiopia. These and many more utterly false “freedom” struggles (unlike the Irish anti-imperialist struggle eg) have helped muddy the class struggle waters for decades, aided and abetted by the academic nonsenses of the Trotskyists and other fake-”lefts”, whose mechanical analyses glibly supporting “the right of self-determination” without reference to the balance of world class forces play right into imperialism’s hands. Their blindness and gullibility follows from their hatred and fear of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the workers states. But the growing South American struggle seems clear however of the true sabotage intended, [in Venezuela and hopefully in Bolivia where a similar stunt is already in preparation] though less revisionist confusion (about the “war on terrorism” eg) and more firm understanding of the deadly stop-at-nothing ruthlessness of imperialism would be even better.

Shady strings of separatism being pulled in a new attempt to destroy Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution

BY JUANA CARRASCO MARTIN —Special for Granma International—

• CLOSE to 40% of the 2.5 million barrels of oil produced by Venezuela is daily pumped from the oilfields of Zulia, its agricultural produce supplies 80% of what is consumed by the country, it possesses an important port and Maracaibo Lake that increase internal economic life, and that state of four million inhabitants in the west of the country - one million of them legal or undocumented Colombians - has a governor opposed to the government of Hugo Chavez.

Possessing a strong regionalism expressed in a particular way of speaking, a diverse folklore, more conservative social procedures and even separatist intentions that have flowered on more than one occasion, the Zulia scenario is a tempting one for a new Washington maneuver within its many and unfruitful attempts to defeat the Bolivarian Revolution. At this juncture, a group known as the Rumbo Propio (Own Way) has planted a claim for autonomy and a referendum in October on such a thorny issue.

Manuel “Manny” Rosales, landowner and proprietor of Miami trade centers, the elected governor of Zulia, and the U.S. embassy in Caracas headed by William Brownfield, have denied having any links with the separatist organization and, while it could be difficult to prove such a relation, neither is it easy to believe that those ties do not exist, bearing in mind the money that the George W. Bush administration has assigned to confronting Chavez and his social project, constant attacks by the highest levels of the Republican White House and the ferocious external propaganda campaign reiteratedly echoed by the powerful Venezuelan media.

Other closer indications of something being plotted, although still not evidence, are the excellent friendship between Rosales and Browning and the frequent visits by the U.S. ambassador to Zulia, which he has described as the best state in Venezuela. In May last year, he affirmed in Maracaibo: “I lived for two years in the Independent and Western Republic of Zulia 25 years ago and because of that I know perfectly well what it means to be in a climate of warmth.”

However, an investigation is underway into Rumbo Propio, the organization headed by Nestor Suarez, former minister of agriculture; university professor Alberto Mensueti; and retired soldier Hildemaro Ferrer, that could result in treason or conspiracy charges, as noted by Venezuelan Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez, who for now has dismissed their links with the Zulia governor and the U.S. diplomat, although President Hugo Chavez has made a public accusation.

“U.S. imperialism is going back to its old ways by trying to utilize that alienated, denationalized fifth column that is on the march to separate Zulia from Venezuela and seize” the oilfields of Maracaibo Lake, Chavez affirmed in his weekly “AI6 Presidente” program.

“It is such a crazy idea that it would not merit any commentary, but as head of state, as president, as commander in chief of the national armed forces, I am saying to Venezuelans and will guarantee them that if anyone attempts that, they will fail, because they will be coming up against a united Republic, a united people, against the armed forces of Venezuela,” he added.

One has to look at the facts to see what is in play. Maracaibo, capital of the state of Zulia, has seen publicity hoardings with secessionist messages, demonstrating a map of that region from which an arrow emerges with the slogan “Rumbo Propio for Zulia” and messages such as: “The family, the market and private property: the pillars of a free society” or “Liberal capitalism, hope for the poor.”

In real terms, throughout its entire history of liberal capitalism prior to the Bolivarian process, the Maracuchos - as Zulia’s inhabitants are known - their many poor never saw a shadow of that hope that they now want to promise them; however, only when the Bolivarian Revolution put into practice its beneficial social missions, landowner Manny Rosabal gave himself the “task” of undertaking taking similar actions to counteract them.

As more than a few analysts have pointed out, there are attempts to create a similar result with Zulia as when the United States helped to “create” Panama at the cost of Colombia so as to construct the Canal and thus control world maritime transportation; or the Kuwait “created” by the United Kingdom at the cost of one of the rich oil areas of Iraq.

Oil is behind all the actions of the U.S. government and if a catastrophic war like the one in Iraq was launched for that fuel in the process of extinction, what would it not do to regain control of the nearby Venezuelan oil that has escaped from its hands and for which it now has to pay world market prices, and without the guarantee that it will not flow to other international markets.

The current way selected by the counter-revolution of right-wing Venezuelans and Washington imperialists is by passing through the division of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the parallel intention of weakening and defeating the Chavez process.

With Rumbo Propio a new card is being played in the inappropriate way of “troublemakers” and “little governments”, as the liberator Simon Bolivar described in his time those opposed to his project of unity for the great Colombia for which he was prepared to die. On January 8, 1823 he wrote: “The five viceroyalties and five captaincies of the Spanish empire are fragmented in 25 countries; the 13 U.S. colonies are united and make up the most powerful nation on earth. Divide and you will defeat; unite and you will reign.”

Bolivar’s legacy is present today in Venezuela and unity will be a determining factor in burying another conspiracy on the part of those who want to belittle the Bolivarian Republic which, from this March, in a symbolic response, has an eighth star on its flag, despite the hoardings announcing “autonomy,” a press loud-mouthing “separatism” and sudden attacks to sow confusion, like that of Manny Rosabal celebrating Zulianity Day.

One has to say, like the Venezuelan journalist and writer Luis Britto: “when the media sounds, it is bringing secession;” however, he adds: “the nation that gave five countries their independence will not lose its own.”

And the people of Zulia are also Bolivarian, and thus in Washington’s sights. •

Return to top


World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Irish Republicans stand firm after murder mayhem of British agent Donaldson – confidently patient to keep pushing the now peaceful progress towards eventual unification underway as accepted by British imperialism (however prevaricatingly and snail’s pace), further confirming Marxist understanding of the victory of the Sinn Fein/ira’s long struggle against colonialist domination. Even the compulsory knee-jerk diehard Unionist innuendos were toned down - going through the motions only.

Decisive political leadership needed

On the eve of the announcement by the Irish and British Governments of their plans to inject momentum into the political process in the North, Sinn Fein Chief negotiator Martin McGuinness spoke to An Phoblacht editor Sean MacBradaigh.

Asked about the possible affects of the murder of Denis Donaldson on the backdrop to current moves to resurrect the political process in the North Martin McGuinness believes it adds an imperative to the situation. What the process requires now, he believes is decisive political leadership. Sinn Fein has been calling for the suspension of the Assembly to be lifted and for the institutions to be restored. “We have made the point to both the British Prime Minister and the Taoiseach at recent meetings that the sole purpose of calling any assembly together is to form a Government. That’s Sinn Fein’s only interest in recalling the Assembly. What is the point of producing a talking shop particularly if you have one party who refuses to speak to another party?

“The murder of Denis Donaldson should be an incentive to everybody to reinstate the primacy of politics. I think that all the key players in the peace process know that the ira wasn’t involved in the murder of Denis Donaldson.

“I think everyone is wondering, and rightly so, who was behind the murder. The question that most people are asking is who had the most to gain? There is nothing about the murder that would make any case that republicans stood to gain from it and naturally I unreservedly condemn it. In fact I see his murder not just as an attack on him and his family but as an attack on the entire peace process.

“I want to extend my sympathy to the Donaldson family, to his children, his wife and his brothers. All these people are completely innocent in all of this. I think that in the midst of all the media reportage you need to take into account the fact that Denis’s family are good, decent republicans who have been dragged into something not of their making.”

McGuinness said that many theories had been offered up as to who was behind the killing. Ian Paisley had said he didn’t know who killed Donaldson and then went on to point the finger.

“Denis Donaldson had been an agent for nearly 30 years and along with his British intelligence handlers effectively brought about the collapse of a democratically elected government. And of course, last year it was clear to us that British intelligence, for whatever reason, were determined to expose him as a British agent and Denis Donaldson himself pointed the finger back at British intelligence and their role in the demolition of the power sharing institutions in Belfast. So I think we would be very wise to keep an open mind as to who the perpetrators of this murder were.

“I think that the statement from the British Prime Minister and the Taoiseach clearly indicates that there can be no going back on the need to have the suspension of the assembly lifted. There needs to be a huge effort to restore the political institutions and if it becomes clear during the course of all of this that Ian Paisley is not prepared to do the business, then the two governments need to move on with all the other aspects of the Agreement, building on the all-Ireland dimension whilst ensuring that the British respond to the human rights and demilitarisation agenda.

In relation to what the two Governments’ plans might look like McGuinness said: “Their approach has been widely documented in the media. They appear to be determined to embark on a course of putting the institutions up on 15 May for a six-week period, going into some sort of a recess, and then resuming two further six-week periods in September of this year. What we have said to both governments is that there is no point in trying to elongate this process. What we have to do is take Ian Paisley at his word. He stated quite clearly on Sunday that he regarded the Governments’ plan as nonsense. The only legitimate way forward is to lift suspension, restore the institutions, attempt to put a government in position and if that fails then effectively move on.”

McGuinness said that after several decades of bullying that Ian paisley was not going to change his spots but that one thing was sure- he was not going to bully Sinn Fein. But it was incumbent on both governments not to pander to Paisley and he rejected the idea of scrutiny committees which would have the power to veto important legislation such as that on the 11-plus.

McGuinness said that it should not be lost on people that the dup are now very isolated within the process. “You have everyone else saying that its now time to put these institutions back up again”.

The Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator said that any failure to put up the power sharing or all-Ireland institutions means that a fundamental aspect of the Good Friday Agreement has been destroyed by unionist opposition to change. That would impose a huge responsibility on both governments to press on with the implementation of the Agreement. Sinn Fein would not accept the continuation of British Direct Rule in the North. He said there would then be a very powerful argument for new implementation bodies and that the argument in terms of an all-Ireland approach has been largely won. In any so-called Plan B Sinn Fein would argue for a much more powerful all-Ireland dimension.

In terms of the Sinn Fein membership across the country and their response to a failure of political progress McGuinness said that Sinn Fein would listen to what was said by the Taoiseach and Prime Minister, and in the days that followed the party would seek more information. “What we will then do is sit down and discuss all of these matters with our Assembly team, with the Ard Chonhairle before we take any big decisions. But what is clear is that we will not tolerate a situation where we are expected to give our consent to scrutiny committees.” He said recent sdlp proposals for British appointed commissioners was “ludicrous beyond belief and was a very decisive move away from the Good Friday Agreement.

He said republicans were coming at the current situation from a number of different directions. “Understandably there will always be republicans who are very anxious and angry and frustrated that things are taking so long. Other republicans will be philosophical because they know the game is up for unionism, that there is an inexorable move towards all-Irelandism which will lead eventually to a united Ireland. Even unionists, including Ian Paisley know that. One of the principle reasons Ian Paisley will not support the establishment of a power sharing government is that he knows that he is then duty bound to have his Ministers sit on the all-Ireland Ministerial Council.”

[If]...efforts to implement the Agreement often represented crises, they represented even greater crises for the dup. Republicans needed to work out how any successful implementation of the Agreement or any successful implementation, minus the power sharing aspects, fits into republican strategy end to British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a 32-County Republic.

Return to top