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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 1292 May 11th 2006

Local election meltdown is a failure of the capitalist parliamentary democracy fraud, not simply New Labour. No “change of leader” will save the scuttling Labour opportunist rats who have backed the whole warmongering, fatcat-supporting degenerate circus for nine years. Blairism hangs on to impose further closet-Mosleyite fascist dictatorship, needed to keep British imperialism tied in behind USA neo-con warmongering, the only strategy the bankrupt ruling class can devise to save its skin, tailending the US. Anti-Iran and Sudanese Goebbels lies are kept on the boil for the next victims once the crisis lurches again. But the world ferment of rebellion is growing as crisis deepens. Leninist theory and leadership vital to end chaos.

The astonishing professed “determination” of the Blairites not to be “pushed off course” despite the complete meltdown of New Labourism in the local elections, and the rat-panic of Labour’s disgusting opportunist MPs and councillors, expresses not just the arrogant out-of-touch contempt of these joke shysters and slimy racketeers for ordinary people, but of the desperation of the ruling class to keep control as its crisis rapidly deepens.

Only the “emperor’s new clothes” play acting of the media and establishment figures, solemnly discussing the “voting patterns” of a by now tiny minority of the UK adult population who actually still bother voting (down to less than 36% in this local election and most of that half-hearted at best) – as if it all meant something, now prevents the majority of the population collapsing in total cynical disbelief and laughter that they are supposed to continue supporting this rotten stinking mess, swallowing for all eternity the monstrous profiteering, unfairness, inequality, arrogance and sheer nastiness of the capitalist order.

The credibility of not just Blairism but all “parliamentary democracy” has virtually disintegrated but the ruling class is not about to give way to the “will of ordinary people”.

It is heading for ever more open dictatorship measures to try and keep control of the inevitable class hatreds that will eventually erupt as things get even worse. Blairite closet Mosleyism – glossed over backdoor fascistisation of society – is the instrument for the time being, along with complete support for the American neo-con war agenda, imperialism’s “solution” to its greatest ever historic crisis.

But it is thin stuff – and even thinner as the opportunist scrabbling of the frightened Labourites for a “change of leadership” further undermines what tiny scraps of electoral “stability” remain.

It is only more pretence anyway, since MPs of whatever flavour, and even the government itself is not “in charge” of anything. It is the relentless logic of the capitalist system itself and its ever hungry demand for profit, despite the increasing buildup of insoluble contradictions which undermine the possibility of everyone making a profit, which is the real driving force – but one that is tangled in the greatest problems it has ever had, able only to head for conflict and world war mayhem,

Which is why this historic collapse of New Labour credibility – already expressed in the mass indifference of the last laughable “general election” – goes far deeper than ignominious and humiliating end of a decade of shallow patronising spin. The whole parliamentary racket is done for, because the entire bourgeois order is out of time historically and being hammered by an international rising tide of class hostility to its world domination.

For two centuries the ruling class has held the revolutionary instincts of the working class at bay with illusions in parliament and the potential for “change and progress” – using the superprofits of empire to throw them a few crumbs of “improvement” for credibility when pressed – and to feed out little-Englander nationalist poison for confusion – using the opportunist class collaboration of “trade unionism” and the “Labour movement” to keep them tied to safe reformist “legality”, hamstrung and hobbled. The daft nonsenses of revisionist “communism” – urged on by Moscow delusions about peaceful road development, and the foul anti-communism sniping of the Trotskyists has reinforced the whole up-the-garden-path misleadership when it has wobbled or been in danger of exposure.

But a series of sleaze ridden Labour governments over the last 100 years has built up a deep experience in the working class of the anti-working class realities of Labourism. All have been as venal, tricksy and class collaborating as Blair – even the “left”-lauded Attlee “radical” post-war government, still worshipped by Benn and the “lefts”, which put the army into Burma, Malaysia, Kenya and Greece etc to suppress nationalist and communist rebellion with napalm, torture and massacre to restore and maintain imperial domination.

The inevitable failures of reformist perspectives in even the most heroic and titanic labour battles – like the disastrous Plan for Coal Scargillite blinkering of the 1984 miners’ strike (knowingly fought by Thatcherism as class-based civil war) has added to deep running lessons for the working class about Labourism, and the 57 varieties of “leftist” posturing which in one way or another have backed it up by urging votes for it, or for supposed “principled left” parts of it which “one day will swing things our way”, or for the principles of parliament and “peaceful road democracy” at least.

Cynicism about “politicians” in general and most professed working class leaderships has been growing steadily and deeply for decades, correctly but still insufficiently to change anything because it has been held back from turning to scientific revolutionary explanations of history and class movements – the only leadership that can take mankind anywhere - by the 57 varieties of nonsense and confusions poured out by the addle brained “left” groups and their failure to open up any kind of real debate in the working class.

The ruling class has been able keep ruling with its pre-fascist Thatcherite “firmness” – until that was undermined by historical incompetence and failure, and then by the Blairite spin game.

The first 1990s Blairism was a desperate last throw anyway for the bourgeois parliamentary system, using slick new American “personality” advertising methods and manipulation to try and stretch a bit further the rich historical seam of lying bourgeois “democracy” by which the dictatorship of big money interests and capitalist exploitation has long been hidden behind a sick fraud of “trusted representatives - people with integrity - family values - concern for their constituents” etc etc.

But as the EPSR has maintained from the very beginning of New Labourism, the deep contradictions of the greatest ever slump and trade war crisis in history, now held off only by the degeneration into the foulest blitzkrieging warmongering and set to escalate much further, would rapidly find out this slick shallowness for what it is - a deceitful fakery of supposed benefits which would prove to be utterly hollow (like the non-existent NHS “improvements”, pensions robbery, class-privileged educational “advances” for the better off middle class, draconian discipline and heavy-handed class-biased punishments for dealing with crime) etc, while the fatcats and bosses benefit richly through lucrative “consultancies”, “vital salary rises”, rip-off PFI deals, property racketeering, fixed high profit non-competitive pharmaceuticals and construction contracts and so forth, all paid for by ever escalating taxes, fare increases and charges on the working class. And the endless pumping up of unrepayable public and private debt.

Inequality and unfairness increases daily, and sleaze and arrogance with it. Marie Antoinette’s supposed “let them eat cake” remarks seem positively mild in comparison.

The New Labour charade of now glaringly exposed “black-is-white, life is good, employment is increasing, the NHS has never been so good, the world is getting more peaceful and more orderly day by day” insane lies and twisted “spin”, endlessly and slickly larded out in newspapers and on radio and TV is not so much threadbare now as completely holed through,

But the ruling class, seized in a paralysis of indecision by the onrushing tsunami of the world capitalist crisis, and the ferment of rebellion in which “extreme rentier” British imperialism, so entirely dependent on parasiting a living from “foreign investments” is one of the world worst placed of all to survive, has no more ideas for “fooling most of the people, most of the time”. There is nothing better to put in Blair’s place.

And aprés moi le deluge. The working class, just as the rest of the worldwide proletariat is already seething, will have nowhere to turn but direct action, which must eventually mature into revolutionary politics.

So fearful is the entire British capitalist order of the dangers it faces as world revolutionary ferment grows and setbacks and defeat hit the entire worldwide capitalist order, from the Middle East, and Asia to South America and Africa, that the old fraudulent game of reforms and steady “left” progress is having to be shut down.

Even the tepid pseudo-reformism of an alternative New Labourite leader, the only ever vaguely hinted at “Old Labourism” of Brown – aptly described by Respect MP George Galloway as “just the other cheek on the same New Labourite arse” – seems too unnerving for the bourgeois establishment, fearful that any hint of concessions to the masses would stir up too many dangerous thoughts and fearful of where it might lead.

And such is the stark manner in which the great flows of history leave things high and dry that the Liberal-Democrats, deliberately created in the 1980s to sabotage residual “left” Labourism (which was never going to do anything but dangerously stirred too many ideas around about socialism which the ruling class fear just might really catch on) is now considered so “dangerous” (as the New Labourites have hurtled rightwards past them) that not one but three leadership figures have had to be done in by deliberately planted press character assassinations (there is plenty of material to work with), in order to neuter any “seditious” anti-war talk.

This is a ruling class now so nervous it is jumping at shadows.

The Liberals would no more change anything of course, than Brown would, even if the desperate scrabbling by the desperate Labourites should finally overturn Blair himself. Brown is tied to the capitalist order, like all of them, and no renewal of a “New” New Labour is going to change its plunge into historical crisis.

Neither incidentally will the mightily trumpeted “Old Labour” style leftism of George Galloway’s Respect, as committed to parliament and the “proper” channels as the rest – i.e. to the “democracy” lies that will never give the working class any chance to change anything that matters. Alternative “Old Labour” renewals routinely run out by bureaucratic trade unionism are equally bankrupt and historically high and dry.

Only revolutionary transformation of stinking tyrannical torturing warmongering exploitative capitalism will now suffice to change anything.

None of these groups, including the posing “revolutionary” parties, like the SWP now twined so far around Respect gradualism that they are in danger of disappearing into George’s own arse, ever actually talk about the revolutionary dialectically contradictory nature of all development, and most of all human class society, which can only move forwards by overturning the ossified old order, now well into worldwide bloody destruction and war (Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Iran, Sudan and ultimately inter-imperialist mayhem) the prelude to World War Three.

They will under pressure, make token mumblings about it, or print a few token paragraphs in their papers, But it is a million miles from the core of their understanding about the world. The “left” fireworks and maverick image is simply something useful in reserve for the ruling class to head off militancy into safe channels when discontent really starts boiling, as it will once deluded consumerism and philistinism, currently sustained on a giant airbag of unrepayable worldwide dollar credit, finally explodes and the horrible reality of capitalist life is re-imposed universally.

Meanwhile the Tory direct-rule party, has been reduced to a complete disaster with its “firm Thatcherism” pre-fascist disciplining of the working class ultimately collapsing in a mire of sleaze-and-scandal as bad as anything the New Labourites have since aped – and still tainting them to this day (unsurprisingly since it is endemically part of the capitalist “way of life”.) It eventually stirred up such hatred that it could not hope to impose the needed firmness now.

The floundering public relations tailored “renewal” of the Tories supposedly with David Cameron as a youthful “clean” Blair Mark 2, is a totally doomed enterprise. Even if it was not immediately being caught out in ever more obviously fraudulent stunts, like the absurd “bicycling to work for environmental reasons” media soundbite posturing (but with a knobby Bentley gas guzzling car following on behind with the briefcase) it would be pointless anyway since, as one bourgeois commentator remarked ‘who wants a second Tony Blair?’

But a second Tony Blair, the closet fascist warmongering version, is already the best the ruling class can come up with, the same as before but stripping away the sound bite “niceness” and increasing imposing draconian dictatorship measures to suppress dissent, with the much noted tearing up of centuries old legal and human rights,

Blairism at least had already proved its credentials in backing up the monstrous lying war agenda of the US Empire, begun with the NATO blitzing of Serbia and then deliberately and followed through with the monstrous indiscriminate civilian killing and blitzing of Afghanistan and then the totally exposed Goebbels WMD lies of the Iraq war, of which more details continue to emerge as imperialism gets bogged down deeper and deeper and deeper in the quagmire of Middle Eastern and world anti-imperialist hostility.

The latest titbit is par for the course:

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that a key moment in post-war Iraq, the declaration by George Bush that “we have found the weapons of mass destruction”, was based on intelligence known in Washington to be false.

The president’s assertion on May 29 2003 that Saddam Hussein’s arsenal had been located was based on the capture of two trailers claimed to be mobile biological warfare labs. In Mr Bush’s TV interview that day, and for months afterwards, US officials used them to justify the invasion.

However, the Washington Post yesterday reported that the Pentagon had sent nine US and British weapons experts to Iraq to examine the trailers, who concluded they had nothing to do with biological weapons, and transmitted their finding to Washington on May 27 2003.

In response to the paper, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, yesterday admitted Mr Bush had used false information but said he had been unaware of the fact, and called the reporting “irresponsible”. “The president’s comments were based on intelligence assessments by the CIA and briefing by the intelligence community,” he said. “It’s not something that turns round on a dime.” However, by September 2003 vice-president Dick Cheney was still saying the trailers could have been used to make anthrax.

But none of this is stopping the criminal Blairism from continuing to parrot and market the increasingly vicious “war on terror” Goebbels justification for endless militarised bullying intimidation of the planet, which is the US Empire’s only hope for getting out (it thinks) from the intractably difficult contradictions that its long and increasingly decadent rule has got into – now spelled out by the Bushites and the Pentagon as the “Long War” to intimidate and suppress all resistance and simultaneously prepare for the inter-imperialist conflicts to come.

Capitalism has never had any other answer to the periodic slump collapses of “overproduction” which are built into the whole fabric of “production for profit” – caused by the inherent contradictions of the commodity system itself, brilliantly teased apart and explained by Marx (see quotes page 6) and further developed by Lenin, analysing the even greater complexities of the world imperialism phase of capitalism.

Three times the destructive pressures of trade war and slump have finally erupted into devastating world war to wipe out competition and destroy “surplus” capital and production capacity.

And to get there the ruling class needs to dragoon the working class behind the most barbaric warmongering.

The Iraq war is an early stage in escalating the world war atmosphere and simultaneously intended to make clear to the planet that “shock and awe” Nazi ruthlessness is to be used against all challenges to dominant US imperialism, aimed not only at rebellion and revolutionary development but the inevitable challenges of other monopoly capitalist powers as the desperate battle for profits intensifies in over-provided world markets.

The printing of enormous amounts of further paper dollars (or electronic credit) on top of the mountains of increasingly valueless dollars which been swamping and distorting the world trading system since the early post-war years has only succeeded in delaying matters temporarily because the massive take-up by rapidly growing Chinese production – and by rival imperialists like Japan running vast banking surpluses.

All the signals from the current massive increase in prices for stocks, commodities, houses, metals and just about anything else, are that massive inflations is working through the system, held in check only by the continuing Chinese (and to some extent) low wage economic growth.

But the ever expanding imbalances are a major signal of the huge contradictions in capitalism’s system, most of all the ever inflating deficits of the American economy as it simply sucks in resources and labour product from around the world.

It has no intention of paying the real value – which would mean with other real values measured at least the current value of the dollar. One way or another, by dollar collapse or simple refusal, it will renege.

For anyone who wants to challenge this agenda the Iraq destruction was intended to be a warning.

But the US imperialists have been stunned by the determined and growing hostility they have run into.

In the past imperialism could expect to intimidate and suppress most struggles against them with a mixture of violence and bribery (as for decades throughout South America e.g. - see Chávez piece following).

But far from giving the world a warning, and silencing any thought of opposition, they have stirred up and hugely magnified resistance throughout the Middle East, and reinforced anti-imperialist hostility throughout the world.

The stunning victory of the Hamas militancy in Palestine early this year, the anti-American defiance of Iran, growing indigenous and poor peoples’ movements in South America (Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, to some extent Argentina and even in Brazil though currently headed off by the arch opportunist pseudo-left Lula presidency) and the storming Nepalese revolutionary developments have all been giving wind by the failures of imperialism, and all in turn feed back into a growing general problem for capitalist rule.

History has moved on and mankind is no longer willing to tolerate this plundering tyranny.

The endless humiliation of failing to re-impose western dominance over Iraq, has shattered imperialist political and military morale – and is a hugely significant sign of its historical failure, a watershed moment of defeat not just in the Middle East and not even in the wider world, but as a cultural, political and economic system reaching the end of its 800 year old history.

It is all this that is reflected in the Blairite disasters.

But imperialism will wreak massive damage yet, until it is overturned. And such are the contradictions of development that at that at the moment of its greatest disasters historically it is also more powerful, and dangerous than ever before, armed to the teeth and as it gets increasingly desperate, ready to use even the nastiest of weapons.

The small minded chauvinism, big nation nationalism, racism and individualist self-interest will be stirred up with escalated intensity continue to be stirred up while voices raised against warmongering and the resistance of small people and small nations worldwide will suffer worse and worse oppression until the growing mass revolt spirit throughout the world fully matures into revolutionary struggles.

It has already been enough to drive out far worse oppression from imperialism.

The grotesque collective punishment starvation and siege being wreaked on the Gaza strip and West Bank by imperialism for the temerity of the Palestinian people to vote for Hamas, and overturn the decades of pointless and humiliating compromising with Zionist colonialism fostered on them by revisionist influenced Arafatism (continued now by the loser Abbas still aiding imperialist put-downs) demonstrates clearly how the crisis is ratcheting up the barbarity of the entire imperialist system , with all the major capitalist powers ready to watch the innocent Palestinian men, women and children dying for want of basic supplies in hospitals, starving and suffering deprivation and massively intensified poverty.

Imperialism has always covertly supported the Zionist mad-dogs – deliberately installed in the Middle East in the early years of the twentieth century to permanently keep a foot on the neck of the entire region to make it safe for the plundering and exploitation of its resources, and most obviously of course its oil:

As recent press accounts have revealed they were deliberately fed the resources and technology to obtain nuclear weapons - still completely outside the fraudulent non-proliferation treaty. And they have been subsidised to the hilt to ensure the laughable Zionist “state” (sadly and deludedly recognised by Stalin’s Moscow revisionism in 1948):

For many years the American media said that “Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid” or that “Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid.” Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.

Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that “Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.” That’s true. But it’s still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

...Israel received $62.5 billion in foreign aid from fiscal year 1949 through fiscal year 1996. People in the national capital area also can visit the library of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rosslyn, Virginia, and obtain the same information, plus charts showing how much foreign aid the U.S. has given other countries as well.

Visitors will learn that in precisely the same 1949-1996 time frame, the total of U.S. foreign aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined was $62,497,800,000--almost exactly the amount given to tiny Israel.

According to the Population Reference Bureau of Washington, DC, in mid-1995 the sub-Saharan countries had a combined population of 568 million. The $24,415,700,000 in foreign aid they had received by then amounted to $42.99 per sub-Saharan African.

Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person.

The per capita U.S. foreign aid to Israel’s 5.8 million people during the same period was $10,775.48. This meant that for every dollar the U.S. spent on an African, it spent $250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar it spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, it spent $214 on an Israeli.

Zionism has bullied a blitzed the Arab world for 60 years, and the Palestinians have taken the brunt. But now the entire gang, the US the EU and Zionism, has joined together to twist the arm of these long-suffering people with a new fascist barbarity not equalled by Hitlerism.

And this because they refuse to back down on the very principles that won them the election fair and square - that Israel is a monstrosity that can only ever make war on the entire region for its own artificial survival (for the benefit of imperialism) and should be ended as a state; that Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people and that a resistance movement is entitled to fight.

So much for the much declared “freedom and democracy” of imperialism!!!

And the democratic fraud and lies are even more exposed in Nepal where the token “democracy” established only in the 1990s in this backward, benighted and poverty stricken mountain never did anything for some of the poorest people on earth. Their turn to Maoist insurgency has exposed even more the fraud of western freedom, torn up by the corrupt and degenerate ruling monarchy in order to impose a fascist crackdown as the popularity of the countryside movement increased and with it its success in demonstrating that only revolutionary struggle will bring change.

The dialectics of developing crisis have been well exposed with the ruling class turning to increasingly brutal military and police oppression, terrorising of civilians and collective punishment for “supporting the rebels”, which in turn has drawn protest and dismay even from the “moderate” anti-communist middle class, who in turn were cracked down on and their illusions in “democracy” rapidly soured by the dictatorship realities re-imposed on them.

Now they have pitched into the rebellion too, driving back the ruling class, which offers...what? - more tokens and halfway house concessions and “constitutions” transparently without any real power (which parliamentary democracy never has anyway, anywhere).

This barbarism is directly supported by British imperialism:

Tens of thousands of protesters in Nepal have defied curfews and lethal force on the streets of Kathmandu and other cities to show their rejection of King Gyanendra’s rule...people have died, scores have been injured and dozens more arrested.

The general strike against the king, due to end yesterday, has been extended by an alliance of Nepal’s seven most important political parties, supported by the Maoist insurgents. The protests, which have been growing bigger each day, are reminiscent of pro-democracy demonstrations of the early 90s, which forced the king’s predecessor, Birendra, to make concessions. Now people are in the streets to resist Gyanendra’s attempts to turn back the political clock.

The king, recently accused of embezzling national emergency funds for his daughter’s wedding and to decorate elephants for a coronation that has not taken place, seized absolute power in February 2005. Now his future is looking increasingly doubtful. But beyond the dramatic scenes in Kathmandu there is mounting evidence that his forces are using increasingly indiscriminate tactics in their stalemated war against the Maoists. And in some of the most brutal incidents, equipment supplied by the UK government is directly implicated.

Britain is among several countries that have supplied military and dual-use equipment to Nepal, despite the objections of human-rights organisations that such exports put civilians at risk. Last year, Amnesty International condemned the supply of helicopter gunships and 25,000 rifles from India, 20,000 M16 assault rifles from the US, small arms from the UK, military communications equipment from South Africa and light machine guns from Belgium.

For the UK, the most embarrassing development in the military tactics of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) involves two Islander aircraft given to Nepal in 2004, ironically as part of a $4.8m package from the Conflict Prevention Fund. Britain claims not to have supplied lethal aid to Nepal but, as Amnesty International says, there was no end use monitoring to ensure that the aircraft were not later fitted with armaments. Several witness reports have described the use of the Islanders to support the RNA’s most lethal tactic - the bombing from helicopters of Nepalese villagers.

In recent incidents, attacks by helicopters with machine guns and mortars have been preceded by the passage overhead of Islander aircraft, apparently for reconnaissance and targeting. IN one incident witnesses reported that an Islander circled as the helicopters rained bombs on civilians and Maoists alike.

British “democracy” is no more a reality than anywhere else. Blair hangs on despite total discrediting because he is the best tool the ruling class have for pursuing the increasingly obvious imposition of dictatorship (as numerous bourgeois commentators are noting and protesting). This closet fascism is needed to suppress inevitably growing working class hostility and to pursue the war agenda which is being kept on the boil. Even the monstrous Jack Straw has now been ditched because he is not sufficiently behind the American neo-con agenda, hell bent on whipping mass hysteria against Iran, and Sudan, the next likely victims.

But imperialism is still failing. And world rebellion can only grow.

Leninism is the urgent need. Don Hoskins

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South American revolts are part of growing world discontent against the outmoded capitalist system – but lack of Leninist theory remains its greatest weakness. Working class dictatorship is the best defence against subversion.

Continuing refusal to study Leninism is the greatest weakness of the South American left upheavals against rapacious American imperialism’s decades long exploitation and plundering of its arrogantly assumed “backyard”.

The gathering momentum of the indigenous peoples’ rebellions and workers struggles, in Bolivia, Venezuela and perhaps Peru, is hugely inspiring to billions of ordinary people across the planet, as well as the masses of South and Central America themselves, as Cuba has already long been. And the further it goes the more inspiring it will become.

But the further it goes the more vicious will be the imperialist plotting to try and overthrow it, driven to a frenzy by the gadfly stinging of left populist figures like Chávez and Evo Morales in Bolivia, and increasingly worried that the “infestation” will spread on a much larger scale, throughout the southern continent and even eventually into the inequality-riven USA itself.

A revolutionary perspective on a world scale and a long historical view, of the whole picture of imperialism and the gathering momentum of its crisis is the best way for the masses to grasp and understand where they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are in struggle, and how best to counter the inevitable attacks that imperialism will make to end this “upstart” movement.

The widest possible fight, by as many of the masses as can be drawn into it, for scientific revolutionary philosophy across all aspects of struggle and organisation is the only leadership ultimately that can transform the world from the endless counter-revolutionary mayhem, destruction and chaos of the now bankrupt capitalist epoch.

No-one needs to teach the South American masses to suck eggs. Their movement has hard-won grasp, from the long history of tyrannical and brutal US interventions in South America (as well as the rest of the world) of just how dangerous an enemy it is up against.

Chávez encouragingly warns against coup attempts and is organising mass self-defence squads, arming the poorer and working class elements against US invasion.

The masses have been brutally mistreated over and over again, and lessons have gone deep. The story of imperialist domination in South America (just like everywhere else) has been an endless litany of death squad barbarity and fascist torture and oppression throughout the 20th century, including the horrors of the 1974 Pinochet coup in Chile, the 1980s Nazi brutalities of the CIA trained contra forces which bled white the Nicaraguan Sandinista revolution, the assassinations, terror squads and genocidal brutalities of the Guatemalan, Argentinian and El Salvador struggles (a by-word for the worst of imperialist thuggery) and much more. [See School of the Americas item in Socialist Review].

And with it has gone the endless plundering of the continent, leaving the masses in desperate slave driven poverty and desperation, and sometimes bankrupting entire countries.

Kidnappings, atrocities and killings continue relentlessly in Colombia, where the paramilitary forces (connived at and tacitly supported by the imperialist stooge government and monopoly capitalist interests) make sure even the most tepid and timid of trade union resistance, or left leaning municipal government, or outspokenness by human rights observers, or liberal intellectuals, is bloodily taken out and terrorised.

The escalating presence of US military “advisors” continues in the long struggle against the FARC revolutionary movement in Colombia which has long been struggling to overturn imperialist domination and exploitation.

But the whole movement needs to understand even more deeply about the entire spectrum of capitalist skulduggery and plotting, manipulation and intervention, which is inherent in the rule of capital itself. Only communist organisation of society with common ownership of the means of production can end it all.

And that means establishing a dictatorship of the proletarian masses and workers to prevent the endless regeneration of counter-revolution to re-establish the tyranny of the exploiting minority.

There is no sign yet that the Chavistas understand or are willing to explain these crucial issues. To the contrary, it still concedes that it would stand down if “elections went the wrong way”. Imperialism will be working overtime to manipulate and bully them to do just that under threat of violence.

Tactical considerations may mean that small populations and limited resources need to tread carefully in how far they go at present. It is not unreasonable to struggle for only for “fair dealing” with the powerful international corporate forces as Bolivia has said it will recently, when occupying the oilfields.

But continuing illusions in “democracy” and the prospects of peaceful development, fostered by the addle brained nonsenses of Stalinist revisionism, and unchallenged by anti-communist Trotskyism – are still hamstringing the entire anti-imperialist movement throughout the world.

The willingness of even the determined and heroic Cuban revolution to go along with the West’s Goebbels lies of an international condemnation of “terrorism” – declaring recently that “all terrorism is bad whoever does it” – is a tragic flaw, writing off the incoherent ferment of struggle that has erupted all around the world from Baghdad to Bogota.

So are the Nepalese Maoists to be condemned, and repudiated, as “terrorists” as the west has done - or the Palestinians in their long and bitter struggle to climb out of genocidal Zionist concentration camp oppression in the Middle East front line against imperialist barbarity??? Were the ANC wrong to fight as they did? Or the IRA nationalist armed struggle which has now won the withdrawal of British imperialism from “Northern (occupied) Ireland?

Is the enormous ongoing resistance in Iraq to be “condemned”?

No-one needs to advocate particular methods – it is the mass revolutionary communist struggle which needs to be built to end warmongering capitalism, not individual terrorism.

But it is a disaster of understanding to “condemn” such upheavals, as all the lefts have been caught out doing since 9/11. It disowns and repudiates the growing hostility to imperialism – lining all the “left” frauds up with the capitalist lies and repression of all struggle – and more significantly fails any scientific grasp of the world which can see that these growing eruptions are the signs of massive international discontent with the once accepted imperialist globalised rule of the planet.

It is the incoherent beginnings of an enormous worldwide struggle and this ferment can only rapidly transform itself into a much deeper movement – as signalled by the enormous maturity of the Hamas militancy in Palestine e.g. now being monstrously starved out by Nazi genocidal collective punishment siege.

The answer to such struggles is not condemnation but better leadership to build the mass revolutionary action that is needed to change world forces on the planet.

And such leadership requires the clearest understanding of just what such events mean - – not cowardly petty bourgeois dismissal, but scientific explanation of the balance of class forces.

These are historically profound developments reflecting the bankruptcy of the entire 800 year long capitalist order which is long overdue for replacement by rational socialist planned development in the world.

Imperialism remains overwhelmingly rich and powerful, armed to the teeth and deadly, and ruthlessly prepared to do anything to hold on to its wealth and privilege.

But it has suffered massive setbacks by the struggle in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia. And of course in South America including the hidden impact of the continuing FARC fight in Colombia.

The Venezuelan “Bolivarian revolution”, and the general movement in South America has benefited hugely, as well as becoming more and more part of the overall upheaval of the entire planet against imperialist domination and the debilitating effects on its ruling class of the massive contradictions of the rapidly deepening trade war and overblown credit crisis, threatening international mayhem at any time.

But that is both a positive and a negative. It means also that Washington has been distracted with bigger fish to fry, taking its eye off the ball and giving tiny Venezuela the space to develop its Chavista rebellion, without the tempering that longer harder struggles have imposed on other revolutionary movements.

With its massive oil wealth the country has had the leeway to do the “nice” parts of social development, favouring the poor without necessarily forcing class confrontation to the limit, echoing the “niceness “ of the failed Nicaraguan revolution which so impressed the “left” chorus, precisely because it did not emphasise the need for the firm political control of the working class.

Naturally imperialism has tried several major stunts to overthrow Chávez. But it remains intriguing that it did not take the chance to imprison or assassinate him when it had him in its grip during one major coup attempt.

The suspicion remains that imperialism calculates it is better to have a maverick left-demagogue in place, even at some cost to the major oil and finance corporations, than to drive home an even deeper lesson and see the emergence of full scale Marxist revolution. -

And the gushing sycophancy of the “lefts” for Chávez– who can all sniff out and oppose genuine Leninism from 1000 metres – is worth noting too, including the approval of arch-opportunist New Labourite Ken Livingstone.

There are also echoes in Venezuela of the oil funded left individualism of the “charismatic” leader of Gaddafi-ism in Libya, and its equally maverick “Green Book” philosophy, which for all its anti-imperialism was not Marxist science and has eventually accommodated to imperialist pressure.

The Chavista anti-imperialism is enormously contradictory. It remains to be seen how it will develop. Wooden academic condemnation of Chávez as a “petty bourgeois nationalist” “enemy of the people” as the anti-communist Spartacist Trots have attempted to paint him, is a sinister undermining of this real movement against imperialism for example.

Continuing refusal to battle for Leninism by the Chavistas – and reluctance to embrace communism – may be a response to the decades of revisionist failure in the world which have historically temporarily been an enormous setback to working class confidence. Or it may reflect the confusions of revisionism.

Either way it is a weakness the masses in South America will to have overcome. Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary progress. EPSR London


World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Four preventable deaths per minute

Through their domination of technology, human beings reached the moon years ago and are now investigating the limits of outer space. However, here on Earth, two out of 10 people lack potable water - more than one billion - and four out of 10 do not have access to basic sanitation - some 2.5 billion human beings.

Half of the planet’s inhabitants do not have potable water in their homes and it is estimated that between 30% and 40% of water distributed through pipes are lost through leakage.

As a result, this year, 2006, the sad truth is that hundreds of thousands of people, particularly boys and girls, are going to die of diseases caused by lack of potable water and adequate sanitation.

Many of them die from diseases transmitted by vectors that are born in or live in stagnant waters, like mosquitoes. Diarrhea, typhoid fever and cholera claim a sinister number of lives every year.

Boys and girls are the top victims of contaminated water or lack of water. Some 400 million children lack that vital liquid, and every day 4.5 of them die from that scarcity, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (unicef). The scarcity of potable water and sanitation has a negative influence on the lives of children and disrupts their right to education, among other things.

Women are also victims of this situation. Many must make long trips every day to search for water and firewood for their families, and they themselves are victims of health problems associated with non-potable water.

The UN has launched countless alerts regarding this tragic situation. The General Assembly proclaimed the 2005-2015 period as the “Water for Life” International Decade of Action, and called on member countries to carry out national actions and others coordinated among themselves to eliminate the tragedy associated with lack of water and sanitation.

Within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, the world’s governments have committed to reducing by half the number of people without potable water by 2015.

On International Water Day, March 22, the UN noted that every day 6,000 people in the world die - more than 4 per minute - due to lack of potable water.

The 4th International Forum on Water, held in Mexico to mark International Water Day, was an opportunity for learning about new technology to obtain, use and conserve potable water, and alternative methods for basic sanitation.

In spite of being a praiseworthy effort, the key to solving the problem continues to lie within countries, whose national governments are responsible for detecting the problem and working toward its eradication.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Guantánamo Bay –

seized by piratical US imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century; used to bully the exploited South American “backyard” for 100 years and now part of US imperialism’s World War Three Nazi intimidation of the planet to “solve” its crisis
During its century of existence, the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo has been the scene of shameful episodes and events.

Once the base was established, U.S. capital investment accelerated, first with the construction of the base’s necessary aqueduct and then in the sugar industry, railroads and electric power. Gambling, prostitution and contraband proliferated with the arrival of the Marines, and became lucrative businesses for the national bourgeoisie.

The enclave’s presence also had repercussions on the region’s political life. In 1917,1919 and 1922, the Marines were sent out from the base to “protect” the sugar mills and other U.S. economic interests in response to the revolt by the Par-tido Independiente de Color (Colored Independence Party), the Chambelona uprising and that of the liberals against the Menocal government.

During the final liberation war led by Fidel and the Rebel Army, the base was used as a supply point for the Batista dictatorship’s air force, which indiscriminately bombed and fired on campesinos and civilians in the liberated zones. The base was also a launching point for U.S. troops invading other countries, like Haiti in 1915 and the Dominican Republic in 1918.

After the revolutionary triumph in January 1959, the base became a refuge for the old regime’s murderers and torturers, and has been used as a platform for aggression against Cuba, including infiltration by enemy agents; the protection of counterrevolutionary bands; pretexts for justifying direct aggression against the island; a center of radio-electronic espionage and a point of concentration for ships and planes enabling a naval blockade to be imposed on the island in a short space of time.

Throughout these years, the military enclave has been the center of provocations and violations against our country and against the Border Guards responsible for patrolling the exterior perimeter. According to official figures, from 1962 to August 1992, more than 13,000 such incidents have been registered, including shots fired with rifles and pistols (taking the lives of two Cuban Border Guards); aiming with machine guns, tanks and cannons; the throwing of objects; obscene gestures; breaking through the border fence and violating air and maritime space with ships, planes and helicopters.

The most recent ugly episode in the base’s history is its use as a prison, where more than 500 prisoners accused of being terrorists or having links to terrorism have been held and subjected to physical and psychological torture, without the right to legal assistance or a decent trial. The world has been shaken by the spine-chilling images of chained men being subjected to extreme degradation and force fed after waging a hunger strike to protest conditions in the prison, where they are denied access to their lawyers, humanitarian organizations or the United Nations.


• ON February 7, 1901, President Tomas Estrada Palma signed the agreement ceding Cuban territory to the United States in order to construct its naval base in Guantanamo.

Guantanamo Bay is one of the country’s deepest and largest bays. Christopher Columbus discovered it during his second voyage to the New World on April 30, 1494. It has some very special natural characteristics: profundity, security and the capacity to receive large ships.

For centuries, it was virtually under-utilized, given that the Spanish colonizers were not capable of appreciating its qualities.

After an attempt by the British to occupy the bay in July of 1741 in the hope of establishing a base of operations there, the colonial government understood the site’s strategic importance.


In the early 19th century, the United States publicly stated its interest in taking over Cuba on realizing that the island had a privileged geographical location, natural resources, as well as its historical, economic and social characteristics and those of its population.

Attempts to buy the island from Spain were made in 1805, 1807 and 1808, but according to the Central Report of the First Congress of the Communist Party, “if Spanish obstinacy ever served Cuba’s cause, it was in its systematic refusal to assent to the buying and selling operation that the United States repeatedly proposed to that country during the last century.”

In 1823, John Quincy Adams, the U.S. secretary of state, articulated the “ripe fruit” thesis, holding that Cuba would inevitably fall into U.S. hands as soon as it was no longer a Spanish colony. And that same year, President James Monroe developed the doctrine that bears his name, warning the European powers that America was reserved solely and exclusively “for the Americans.” At the same time, his country obstructed and discouraged the Cuban people’s attempts at independence for years.

In 1895, U.S. investments in the island totaled some 50 million pesos, particularly in the sugar and tobacco industries, along with iron, chrome and manganese deposits.

Thus, in 1898, the Americans understood that conditions were propitious for intervening in the armed conflict before the imminent end of the Spanish colonial empire and the unstoppable advance of the Liberation Army.

Taking advantage of the growing sympathy among U.S. Americans for Cuba’s cause, the U.S. Congress in April 1898 approved the Joint Resolution that brought about the Northern giant’s intervention in the Spanish-Cuban conflict.

The Spanish-Cuban-U.S. War, described by Lenin as the first imperialist war of pillage, was centered primarily in the eastern provinces of Cuba and the Guantanamo region. On July 16, 1898 the surrender was signed and on December 10 that same year the Treaty of Paris was signed. The United States took over Puerto Rico, the Philfppines and Guam; Cuba remained as a “special territory” from which the Americans were to withdraw after the “appeasement.”

The administrative government with General Leonard Wood heading it, convened a Constituent Assembly charged with drawing up the Constitution of the future republic. But in order to firmly establish future relations between Cuba and the United States, the occupying forces brought heavy pressure to bear and imposed the notorious PTatt Amendment, with two clauses that atrociously encroached on national sovereignty and represented serious implications for the nascent republic’s self-determination.

Clause 3 of the Amendment reserved the right of the United States to intervene for the preservation of Cuba’s independence and the support of a government appropriate to its interests, while Clause 7 forced Cuba to cede part of its territory for the establishment of naval bases or coaling stations.

Historian Miguel D’Estefano Pissani, in his book Derecho de Tratados (Treaty Law), explains: “The Platt Amendment became a Damocles Sword, whose edges were the naval and coaling concessions. The strength of the Constitutional appendix was based, precisely, on the military base clause.

On November 8, 1902, the U.S. government asked for a permanent lease of land in the bays of Nipe, Honda, Cien-tuegos and Guantanamo. But due to a violent reaction by the people, it was limited to the Honda and Guantanamo bays.

One of the most outstanding individuals of our independence struggles, Juan Gualberto Gomez, made his voice heard, warning that Articles 3 and 7 of the Platt Amendment “...were the same as handing the keys of our house over to the Americans, so that they could come in at any hour..., day or night, with good or 6ad intentions...” and that “...its purpose is none other than to reduce the power of future Cuban governments and the sovereignty of our Republic.”

Finally, after various negotiations, on December 10,1903, the United States took possession of the territory for its naval base in Guantanamo. Via a supplementary agreement signed on July 2, 1903, the U.S. government promised to pay 2,000 pesos per year in U.S. gold (about $4,085 at today’s values), a risible figure that it would continue to deposit but which Cuba has refused to accept or cash since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

According to Doctor Fernando Alvarez Tabfo, in his article “La Base Naval de Guantanamo y el derecho Interna-cional” (The Guantanamo Naval Base and International Law”), the leasing contract for the naval base lacks legality and juridical validity because it is marred in its essential elements: (...) due to the inability of the Cuban government to cede a piece of its national territory in perpetuity... and because the consent was snatched via irresistible and unjust moral violence...

Rejecting Honda Bay, the United States concentrated on Guantanamo. That choice was due to a strategic objective. Because of its exceptional value and geographic characteristics, it made it possible to assure military predominance in the Caribbean and fix its eyes on Panama’s inter-ocean canal, for which it had obtained the construction rights that year as well, in 1903.


The Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, approved by the people on February 24, 1976, says in Article 11 that our country “...rejects and considers null and void the treaties, pacts or concessions agreed to under unequal or unknown conditions or that diminish its sovereignty or territorial integrity.”

Thus, Cuba demands the return of that territory because, as Fidel affirmed, “...That base is in their possession against the will of our is a dagger thrust into the heart of Cuba’s land...” •

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

The School of Terror of the Americas

The School of the Americas (SOA), now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), was originally opened in Panama in 1946 and was transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, in the United States in 1984.

Its objective, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was the transfer of military operation techniques for maintaining “security in democratic countries.”

Over 59 years, the SOA has trained more than 61,000 Latin American soldiers in torture and combat techniques, commando tactics and military intelligence.

It is a U.S. Army institution, established early in the Cold War. It fulfilled a double mission: increased political control over Panama - exercised since 1903 via the semi-independence of that nation - and the consolidation of military intervention to counter sovereign Latin American development. The soa spread neo-imperialist ideology through training courses for Latin American soldiers. That intervention would come to play a central role in suppressing the independence of those countries, always in the name of the supposed “communist threat,” a pretext for consolidating liberal capitalism during the 1946-1970 period, and subsequently neoliberalism during the era of the dictatorships.

Under the pretext of helping to preserve the Security of Latin American countries, Latin American soldiers continued to be trained at the SOA, which is currently instructing almost 1,000 soldiers and police annually.

For decades, the U.S. government maintained death squads, supported dictators and helped to overthrow democratically elected leaders while simultaneously declaring that it was bringing democracy to Latin America.

It has constantly been the Latin American nations with the highest rates of human rights violations that have sent the largest number of soldiers to the SOA. That was the case of Bolivia under General Banzer; Nicaragua under the Somoza family; El Salvador during the bloodiest years of its civil war; Chile under Pinochet, and likewise the dictatorships of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

The strategic reason for the continual training given by the United States to Latin American soldiers is to ensure that military forces will remain prepared to oppose the will of the people whenever that may be necessary. Above all, it is to guarantee that natural resources and cheap labor will remain at the disposal of the national oligarchies, multinational corporations and U.S. geopolitical interests.

This year, Venezuela formally stopped sending its soldiers to the soa. It has been followed by Uruguay and Argentina, when just recently, Tabaré Vazquez and Nestor Kirchner decided to drop training courses for soldiers in that institution. There is no “military reason” for Latin American armies to receive this type of specialized training in the United States or anywhere else. •


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