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Economic and Philosophic Science Review

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

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No 1323 16th November 2007

‘Respect’ fragmentation and conflict reflects the real turmoil in the world which is leaving all sides of this rank opportunism high and dry. Trying to fool workers with yet more illusions in bankrupt left reformist promises is a losers game after a century of “Old Labour” trickery and even more so as the greatest capitalist disaster in history continues to unroll towards economic catastrophe and all-out war destruction. It is the rising tide of Third World rebellion which is where movement towards revolution is to be found against the disasters that is all the imperialist ruling class can now offer the world. The crucial missing ingredient is Marxist Leninist science which needs building urgently

The squabbling, infighting and breakdown now ripping apart (yet again) the latest assorted “peace” movements and reformist fronts of the pseudo-”left” groups in Britain, reflects their total theoretical sterility – unable even to see or challenge now routine revived parliamentary opportunism and being left high and dry by the onrushing war and slump crisis that threatens to engulf all world history any time soon.

It is the relentlessly developing dollar collapse and world bank debt disasters, and the goading effect this capitalist economic catastrophe is having on the US imperialist establishment, forcing it to deliberately whip up maximum war fever again, by hook or (mainly) by crook, which is throwing into starker and starker relief the utter pointless ineffectuality of the “peace” lobbyists and the decades long misleading opportunism of the onion layers of “left” support for reformism and its latest manifestation in “Respect”.

Their conceited opportunist posturing and prancing about contentless tactics and “blocs”, affiliations and “alliances”, programmed rallies “against war” and herded “marches for peace”, have always been completely without any point, because everything they organise is devoid of real revolutionary leadership at best and more usually bitterly hostile to any genuine efforts to struggle for, and build, real communist perspectives.

There can only be one justification for entering in any kind of alliance or newly emerging centrist type movements in the working class – and that is to have the chance to more broadly develop revolutionary understanding and leadership.

But the Respect party has been just the opposite, a continuation of the old game of pretending to the working class that there is headway to be made in voting and parliament.

It is a stinking lie.

So too is the parallel “extra-parliamentary” peace movement from which the Respect took off initially.

The pacifist/reformist tinkering protests advocated by the fake-“lefts” are a complete joke.

Oncoming capitalist slump and the open warmongering it has already pushed to the surface in Washington for a decade now, can never be stopped by “rejecting” imperialist war, and calling for “troop withdrawals” as Respect does and the Stop the War Coalition it sprang from (and most of the posturing fake-“left”).

However sincerely meant (which is not that often when such mountebanks dominate proceedings), such protest will always be utterly ineffectual as every example from history demonstrates and all Marxist theory understands. Even King Canute had a better grasp of material inevitability, 1000 years ago.

By all means there can be protests and marches and demonstrations – but unless it is part of a movement to overturn historically outmoded capitalism and its collapse into chaos, or part of building such a movement, it is worse than pointless, since it misleads the working class.

The war momentum is building up again.

Dominant but bankrupt US imperialism has no choice, its ruling class long ago decided, but to continue on this hell bent path if it is to survive as “top dog” after the oncoming inter-imperialist conflict that collapsing markets and trade will shortly impose.

Totally in defiance of all world rationality and appalled opposition – internal as well as external – the US conservatives are already winding up yet more Goebbels provocations against the Iranian regime, bent on restoring the demented “shock and awe” atmosphere which disastrous setback and partial defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan have temporarily suspended.

Sudan’s Darfur, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and other “rogue states” remain warmed over on the back burner with enough hate stories routinely planted by the intelligence agencies in the compliantly reactionary “free world” press, to permanently demonise them and keep them as backup targets to boost the war mood.

(Serbia has just been added back again too with a conveniently timed “heart-wrenching” story of supposed cruelty to the mentally ill – coincidentally just as the West is trying to push through further dismemberment of the old Yugoslavia with the outrageous Kosovo secession and always with possibility of setting up yet another bombing victim with a repeat run of 1998.)

The US is taking the lead in setting the aggressive fascist tone – getting in first against all rivals to ensure they understand that it will stop at nothing in torturing, blitzing ruthlessness to guarantee the continuation of the sweet high life and power for its tiny minority ruling class, the most powerful seen in all history.

Nothing but the complete revolutionary transformation of the world, through the defeat and overturn of imperialism will stop the demented and accelerating capitalist drive into Third World War, the only “solution” it has ever come up with to intractable overproduction crisis.

Only ending for good the private ownership of the means of production and the drive for profit as the basis for organising human existence, and its replacement by rational planned production, organised by internationally cooperative socialist ownership, can solve the inherent contradictions of capitalism which mean it cannot stop itself from plunging into chaos.

Economic disaster is built in to the pursuit of profit, routinely and regularly returning as slump and the follow-on of capital destruction by war, which gets worse and worse every time. From the periodic crashes and misery of the 19th century the ever globalising imperialist order has escalated to worldwide blitzing and devastation in the 1914-18 Great War and the ten times greater destruction of the 1930s Depression and its development into the Second World War.

The long deferred Third World War now breaking after decades of monopoly capitalist boom, (artificially sustained by non-stop credit creation and worldwide distribution of ever more inflationary paper dollars) threatens to be a hundred times worse than that, as the monstrous destruction and torturing brutality of just the opening skirmishes in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan already show.

Revolutionary communism is crucial in short.

But such perspectives were never on offer from the bandwagon parliamentary showmanship of Respect as the EPSR predicted when it formed four years ago (see archive box page 3). And neither was there the remotest indication that any steady struggle and argument for revolutionary perspectives would make any headway at all in this grouping, if it was to find space at all.

Tactical interventions are fine. There is not only scope for, but the greatest necessity for Leninism and the struggle for revolutionary politics to be carried into as many corners of working class and intellectual life as possible – pitching into all kinds of new movements that the gathering crisis will inevitably drive out, to patiently explain, and learn, to find the cadres who can build the revolutionary party and gradually build wider Marxist scientific understanding.

But it only makes sense only if there is room for revolutionary politics.

The EPSR plunged willingly into wholeheartedly building a new movement when there seemed to be potential, such as the historic breakaway from Labourism that Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party started as – a centrist unitary party with the fighting record of the miners behind it, and initially opening up the vital political and philosophical debate in the working class which decades of petty bourgeois “Labour movement rules” and Trotskyist and Revisionist Stalinist sectarianism, had stifled.

The traditions of “old Labour” class collaborating trade unionist ego and social pacifist bureaucracy proved too strong at this point and the SLP was rapidly strangled, once revolutionary argument and understanding was beginning to make too much headway: the EPSR’s revolutionary contribution dishonourably suppressed by a stitched-up kangaroo court secretive hearing in a Conway Hall back room - specifically because of its criticism of the defeatist and wrong-headed line being pushed forwards in the Socialist News on Ireland, and generally because of the impact of Leninist argument.

But if it is clear from repeated experience that a movement, from the beginning, is yet another repeat of the old reformist fraud of “pressure” on the system then what is the point?

Another variant of “Old Labour” parliamentarianism will not change anything. “Old” Labour was monstrous enough anyway, with even the 1945 Attlee government, so beloved by the “fake-“lefts” as supposedly the great socialist breakthrough, actually at the forefront of vicious imperialist military anti-communism and suppression of the post-war pro-communist tide in Britain and externally, with monstrous brutal put downs of anti-colonialist and communist insurgency (in Greece, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Kenya etc etc) and the establishment of the great nuclear encirclement of the Soviet Union by nuclear missiles and the NATO military alliance.

Follow-ons from Wilson and Callaghan were equally anti-working class, anti-union, anti-communist and pro-imperialist.

The working class has had a century of experience of this parliamentary fakery which is why hardly any of them will demean themselves by turning out in elections, except a decreasing few sometimes to give two-fingers to what they see as a particularly vile side of the whole lying opportunist “democracy” racket (like the smattering of Liberal, or Green, or any other votes – even Respect picks up votes this way – deliberately rejecting the slimy lies of Blairism).

The desperate last ditch re-branding of “New” Labour with slick spin and oily advertising has not survived long either before showing itself to be a monster of sleaze and Goebbels warmongering (trying to outdo even the Tory first team in imposing draconian “security” clampdown dictatorship measures and crawling up the behind of the US neocons).

But it was the Old Labour racketeering politics which led in straight line to this Blairism (and sleight-of-hand Brownism) anyway. A return to more “jam tomorrow” “left” promises and celebrity posturing in Respect is about as appealing as a dog’s return to its own vomit.

Respect was never anything but an opportunist racket (see page 3). The SWP and other assorted fake-“lefts” even agreed to bury such argument in a supposed “minimum” programme which avoided all the crucial questions.

But real stirrings of working class discontent are being driven to the surface by the oncoming slump and the re-started war blitzings it is bringing, almost certain with Iran the prime target.

The Third World is already in a ferment of widening hostility to imperialism which will eventually transform from the early “terrorist” and “insurgency” struggles into more and more mature mass anti-imperialist struggle, and beyond that as the need for revolutionary understanding becomes more and more insistent, into mass communist struggle.

Even in the richest countries, the disastrous implosion facing the “Western way of life” (and taking down the entire world with it) is being dimly sensed through even the thickest fog of shopping-and-celebrity philistinism with which capitalism swamps Western society, education, the media and culture.

The world is increasingly obviously going to hell in a handcart and on a downhill slope at that.

Capitalist crisis is unrolling with an accelerating pace into inflationary slump collapse, making itself felt to even the most consumerism-dulled petty bourgeois as well as hard pressed working class consciousness, in house price failures, food price increases, consumer retail collapse, personal bankruptcies and savings nervousness.

Up above the big bourgeois financiers are like a herd of nervous gazelles ready to stampede from the Stock Exchanges at the roar of a subprime bond dropping through the floor.

The “great and the good” have temporarily overcome the jitters that had some of them almost wetting themselves on TV during the Northern Rock implosion weekend in September, when the veil was drawn back just for a moment to give a glimpse of the stomach churning fear that now permanently grips the entire ruling class as its system hurtles towards the rocks of yet another unstoppable overproduction catastrophe.

The desperate move of virtually nationalising the banks with gold plated state guarantees for the banks gives away plenty about the completely sick topsy-turvy lies and carpet bagging tricksterism which capitalism from Thatcher onwards has used to justify handing out state fortunes to the property owning class via “more efficient” (!) privatisations.

But more significantly it also guarantees that the next major lurch in the credit collapse crisis could take with it the entire debt-ridden British state, with a plunge into instant uncontrollable turmoil and shattering implications for the workings of day to day society.

The unctuous salesman’s lies and emollient assurances of the slick New Labourite spinsters (and ruling class establishment) criminally assuring the working class that “the economy is fundamentally sound” cannot succeed for very long in disguising the deepening economic chaos and warmongering disaster that world monopoly capitalism has brought the world to.

The ruling class is still pissing itself behind closed doors.

They know how close the entire capitalist economic structure is to the edge; such a disintegration would rip through the entire world monopoly capitalist finance and credit structure, plunging the world into catastrophe on a scale orders of magnitude greater than the Great Slump of the 1930s, when a single bank failure in Austria unravelled the entire international trading structure.

The interconnections are much greater now and the stretching of the credit networks and money markets has been taken to far greater limits than ever before (to keep the wheels spinning past regularly recurring potential collapses, for the last six decades).

When it finally goes, it will be a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

Capitalist imperialism is failing on a scale never seen in history in other words, because its class ridden greed and exploitation no longer serve any useful motivating purpose in driving human progress along as it once did (however brutally). It is out of time, like feudalism before it and the slave empires before that.

It is not simply throttling rational human development but threatening it with utter war destruction once more, just as in 1914-18 and in 1939-45.

The whole of society is riven with tensions and fears caused by this underlying disaster-in-waiting, a nervousness deliberately headed off by the ruling class, with lavishly funded Hollywood fantasies and supposed documentaries, into non-stop hysterical doomsday scenarios of climate-change armageddon, or bird-flu pandemics, or meteor collisions with the earth, or the “clash of civilisations” and the “terrorist threat”.

Anything to avoid the finger being pointed at the real disaster – capitalist rule itself.

The entire world is in uproar but not from “evil people” who “hate our way of life” because of some weird ideas in their heads.

It is erupting with an emerging hatred caused by the centuries long history of oppression and brutal grinding exploitation that has been imposed by plundering imperialist colonialism and the power of capital (financial and military) on billions and billions of the Third World, kept in stinking poverty, starvation and ignorance to feed the sweatshops of the big corporations and the dividends of their minority ruling class owners.

Spontaneous rebellion is finding a thousand and one forms across the planet – temporarily expressed in religious, anarchic and nationalistic form but all driven by one thing, a maturing hatred of the entire capitalist order that will never die away.

The staggering scale of its economic, inter-imperialist trade war and world rebellion disaster, has been forcing a terrified ruling class ever more towards open dictatorship and state oppression at home, and brutal blitzkrieging warmongering worldwide - the only response the periodically destructive system can muster to its “overproduction” chaos.

The wardrums are beating ever louder from Washington’s desperate ruling class, scraping the barrel for as much justification as it can to get the war going:

US military officials are putting huge pressure on interrogators who question Iraqi insurgents to find incriminating evidence pointing to Iran, it was claimed last night.

Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, near the Iranian border, told The Observer that information on Iran is ‘gold’. The claim comes after Washington imposed sanctions on Iran last month, citing both its nuclear ambitions and its Revolutionary Guards’ alleged support of Shia insurgents in Iraq. Last week the US military freed nine Iranians held in Iraq, including two it had accused of links to the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force.

Brose, 30, who extracts information from detainees in Iraq, said: ‘They push a lot for us to establish a link with Iran. They have pre-categories for us to go through, and by the sheer volume of categories there’s clearly a lot more for Iran than there is for other stuff. Of all the recent requests I’ve had, I’d say 60 to 70 per cent are about Iran.

‘It feels a lot like, if you get something and Iran’s not involved, it’s a let down.’ He added: ‘I’ve had people say to me, “They’re really pushing the Iran thing. It’s like, shit, you know.” ‘

Brose said that reports about Washington’s increasingly hawkish stance towards Tehran, including possible military action, chimed with his experience. ‘My impression is they’re just trying to get every little bit of ammunition possible. If we get something here it fits the overall picture. The engine needs impetus and they’re looking for us to find the fuel - a particular type of fuel.

‘It now really depends on who gets elected President in the US. If nothing changes in the current course, I’d say military action is inevitable. But we have to hope there will be a change of course.’

He denied ever being asked to fabricate evidence, adding: ‘We’re not asked to manufacture information, we’re asked to find it. But if a detainee wants to tell me what I want to hear so he can get out of jail... you know what I’m saying.’

Other military intelligence officials in Iraq refused to comment, but one said: ‘The message is, “Got to find a link with Iran, got to find a link with Iran.” It’s sickening.’

Last week in Baghdad the US military showed journalists a recently discovered cache of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making materials it claims are of Iranian origin. Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, spokesman for Multi-National Force Iraq, said it was possible they crossed the border before a recent promise by Iran to stop the flow of munitions into Iraq.

He said: ‘Iran has had a historic malign influence here in Iraq. They have financed many of the activities of Shia extremist groups. In many cases they have done training, they have actually deployed some of their personnel here in theatre. The Qods Force (Iranian Revolutionary Guards) have come here - we know that, we’ve got some in detention. They have said in many cases they were not here and intend to support a more peaceful outcome in Iraq and we look for their excellence in achieving that.’

Multinational companies are coming under increasing pressure from the US to stop doing business with Iran because of its nuclear programme. European operators are facing threats from Washington that they could jeopardise their US interests by continuing to deal with Tehran, with increasing evidence that European governments, mainly France, Germany and Britain, are supporting the US campaign.

It emerged last night that Siemens, one of the world’s largest engineering groups and based in Germany, has pulled out of all new business dealings with Iran after pressure from the US and German governments. This follows the decision by Germany’s three biggest banks, Deutsche, Commerzbank, and Dresdner, to quit Iran after a warning from US vice-president Dick Cheney that if firms remain in Tehran, they are going to have problems doing business in the US.

The Foreign Office, while sympathising with City firms, has privately backed the US warnings in recent weeks, telling companies such as Shell and BP of the risks of continuing business with Iran. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has urged French energy firms Total and GDF not to pursue new business in Iran. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is joining him in pressing for new sanctions, probably at EU level.

The US is tightening its economic squeeze on Iran and last month unilaterally imposed a new round of sanctions. It regularly complains in private to the British and other European governments that American efforts are being undermined by European companies continuing to do business with Tehran. If economic sanctions fail to have an impact by next year, pressure will mount from Mr Cheney to launch air strikes against Iran.

The under-secretary for political affairs at the US state department, Nicholas Burns, and the under-secretary at the Treasury, Stuart Levey, have made frequent trips to Europe to warn companies they face the loss of American business if they continue to deal with Iran.

Iran has installed 3,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium - enough to begin industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel and build a warhead within a year, the UN’s nuclear watchdog reported last night.

The report by Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will intensify US and European pressure for tighter sanctions and increase speculation of a potential military conflict.

The installation of 3,000 fully-functioning centrifuges at Iran’s enrichment plant at Natanz is a “red line” drawn by the US across which Washington had said it would not let Iran pass. When spinning at full speed they are capable of producing sufficient weapons-grade uranium (enriched to over 90% purity) for a nuclear weapon within a year.

The IAEA says the uranium being produced is only fuel grade (enriched to 4%) but the confirmation that Iran has reached the 3,000 centrifuge benchmark brings closer a moment of truth for the Bush administration, when it will have to choose between taking military action or abandoning its red line, and accepting Iran’s technical mastery of uranium enrichment.

US generals are reported to have warned the White House that military action would trigger a devastating Iranian backlash in the Middle East and beyond.

The Coalition and Respect’s anti-war protesting will not change any of that, however fiery the anti-imperialist speechifying of its celebrity leads.

And the SWP’s finely tuned opportunist antennae now sense the overt parliamentary reformism of this racket could get rapidly left behind.

Hence its desperate floundering to push Respect “left”wards.

Hence the breakdown, since Respect never had any intention of going any further left than parliamentary play-acting will allow.

Even if Respect had any potential, it was never going to be drawn out by the equally dire compromising “tactics” of the SWP’s middle-class “revolutionism”.

Like all the fake-“left” the clearest characteristic is that it never does mention revolution except buried as deep as possible in token articles in back pages of its newspaper.

What analysis there is, is entirely episodic and totally devoid of the living revolutionary perspective without which none of the world’s developments make any sense at all and which should infuse all campaigning and reporting.

Most of all, it is drowned in poisonously rubbishing all the real titanic achievement of the working class throughout the 20th century, in the Soviet Union for 70 years, and in workers states like Cuba, Vietnam, China, North Korea.

For the sour Trotskyists all this real historic movement was long ago thrown out with the bathwater of their conceited individualist “criticism” of the workers states, which in practice only ever amounted to completely sour hatred of the all actual achievements made by the working class in power.

Unprecedented examples of development and determination (by the working class), have been made over the last century like nothing ever seen before on the planet, despite the sometimes cringe making revisionist leadership failings, illusions in permanent “peaceful development” and crude mistakes which have been part of it.

Even with revisionism’s complete failure to take revolutionary philosophy forwards, helping analyse and understand the capitalist crisis and struggle against it, these workers state achievements are the first great experiments in socialism which have permanently taken mankind’s future forwards.

But none of this ever emerges in Trotskyism’s small-minded hatred of everything that they have done. What really bothers them is the proletarian dictatorship discipline needed to do it.

So they write off all this titanic movement in favour of their unrealisable fantasies of “perfect” problem free revolutions, unfolding to a flawless blueprint, set out naturally enough by these superior armchair poseurs who would never have to deal with any of the ten thousand difficult problems of dirty reality and daily constantly changing practicalities.

They never have actually led any such thing. And in practice they never even raise these questions anyway.

As the current bitter squabbling shows they instead substitute non-stop backbiting and bureaucratic manoeuvring for position – exactly like the reformist Labour movement in which they belong, which continues to pump out all the old lies that voting parliament will eventually change things.

Extreme single-issue individualist reformism fills the political gap with endless posturing around diversionary campaigns over homosexuality, feminism, and black nationalism, issues which capitalism itself has eagerly embraced over the decades, and then subsequently promoted heavily (via local authority and educational “political correctness”, Hollywood film plots, TV plays, books, game shows, mainstream bourgeois political campaigning) because it challenges nothing essential about capitalist rule and leads directly away from world revolutionary and communist mass politics into particular grouses and subjective discontent.

This subjectivism does not simply block revolutionary theory, but becomes totally hostile, utter reactionariness, aiding imperialism’s continuous anti-communist campaigning.

It has long been illustrated by the demented self-concerned antics of the likes of gay campaigner Peter Tatchell and provocatory disruptions of serious revolutionary struggles such as the disgusting “counter-demonstration” a few years ago against a march by the Palestinians.

This narcissistic posing completely sabotaged a crucial political event by ridiculously equating alleged Palestinian “homophobic oppression” to the non-stop sixty year long genocidal blitzing and imprisonment of an entire people by fascist Zionism, one of the most barbaric expressions of colonialist imperialism in all history (and constantly, continuously and complacently ignored by the entire western petty bourgeoisie) [see EPSR 1242 July 20 2004].

But how much more deadly still is such posturing, in a world teetering on the edge of war, is currently emerging in the confusion around Respect and the STW Coalition.

A Tatchellite campaign to disrupt even this Coalition pacifist ineffectuality is under way by a major provocation by the stunted up Hands Off the Iranian People calling for internal revolt to be mounted in Iran.

Nothing could be more insanely irresponsible – or more dangerous, precisely as imperialism is stepping its demonisation up to fever pitch.

This nasty fake-”left” provocation objectively gives a significant boost to imperialism’s demented war campaign against Iran – the heart of Washington’s efforts to re-start the “shock and awe” warmongering agenda after the desperate setbacks caused by local defeats bogging down the aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan – and is a criminal treachery on a par with the support given to the imperialists by the Second International in 1914, voting for “defence of the fatherland” with war bonds.

It echoes too the universal condemnation of “terrorism” which lined all the 57 varieties of fake-“lefts” alongside Washington in 2001, helping slide through the initial Iraq and Afghanistan blitzings.

The whole vicious campaign, once more drawing on Tatchell’s reactionary screaming individualist hysteria, is created by the celebrity dazzled “left luvvies” of the preposterously named CPGB (a name hijacked by a tiny rump of weird ex-Stalinists when the revisionist capitulation of the USSR led to the disintegration of the original British CP) pumping out total hatred of the Iranian regime of President Ahmadinejad, declaring it to be beyond the pale because of its “intolerance of homosexuality and suppression of political dissent”.

To bolster this blatant reinforcement of Western “human rights” justification for endless fascist interventions and regime changes worldwide, the CPGBers put forward the “left” theory of “reactionary anti-imperialism” to help demonise the Iranians and line them up for slaughter, a twisting of logic so convoluted and devious that it would have had the ancient Greek Sophists standing and applauding.

It crucial conclusion is that the Iranian regime should be attacked internally and externally by the working class at the same time as it is being attacked by imperialism. But just in case anyone should accuse the CPGB of counter-revolutionary incitement, it covers itself with a cosmetic “statement of principle” that it is also “for withdrawal of troops from the Gulf”.

So that’s alright then - not.

The entire monstrous farrago is based on so many falsehoods it is difficult to know where to begin.

But first is this deranged Tatchellite onslaught of alleged homophobic atrocity which is to justify the potential slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians.

As the EPSR said in July 2004, it is a debatable issue anyway whether

“rejection decades ago in the West of the crude medieval traditions of persecuting homosexuals for public consumption (whatever went on in private within the ruling class) would ever necessarily develop in all cultures into an acceptance of the homosexual condition as “normal”.

Plenty in the West will still put up an argument, for example, against gay adoption; and many would argue for a franker assessment of the sexual histories and orientations of candidates for work in the schools service, or in orphanages and children’s homes, etc, etc.

Too many crimes have been committed in local government where suspects have been protected by a PC claque against “homophobia” for it ever to be possible for many people ever to agree automatically with the homosexual lobby’s insistence that heterosexual and homosexual orientations must always be regarded as completely equal.

Even if the draconian puritanism of the Iranian state - and much more - were accepted as being as backward as alleged by the CPGB, why should this single social reform issue be used to justify the mass destruction of a country of 30 million or more people?

In what way would this solve the difficulties facing anybody inside Iran, whatever their personal proclivities?

The actual result of this latest campaign is to help the ruling class push its way into a blitzkrieging onslaught on Iran that will have to be ten or twenty times more destructive than the previous invasions if it is to have any chance at all (in the neocons' estimation) of inducing the cowed terror that the US was aiming to impose throughout the Third World after Afghanistan and Iraq.

It means the killing and torture of hundreds of thousands of people is at stake, the possible use of nuclear weapons and appalling destruction.

The CPGB tries to bolster its case by listing a stream of celebrities who have joined its completely made-up Hands off the People of Iran movement – which not only highlights their petty bourgeois shallow bedazzlement with capitalism’s celebrity culture trivia but might do them more harm than good since it includes arch-opportunist Labourites as Dianne Abbot and John McDonnell, Trotskyist anti-communist Ken Loach and liberal journalist John Pilger - fresh from joining in imperialism’s CIA and BBC World News fostered “saffron” priests “democracy” revolution in Myanmar.

This anti-Iranian campaign is at least as foul as the totally artificial anti-Burmese “democracy” movement.

It is demented nonsense to declare that the Iranian regime stands on a par with fascist imperialism – bizarre ranting more usually heard from out-and-out reactionaries, neo-cons and Zionists, with their racist shouting about “islamofascists” etc.

There can be no other outcome intended in feeding this despicable line into the working class than to weaken dramatically any understanding of the need to stand against the attack being prepared right now by the enormous destructive power of the US forces.

The purpose is to undermine the clear Leninist understanding that it is defeat for imperialism that is crucial in moving the world forwards, since it is imperialism in this phase in history which is the sole and total source of chaos, reaction, and ignorance.

There is no need, nor sensible purpose, in supporting, as such, any of the possible forces that might inflict blows on imperialism if they are not clearly communist movements themselves.

Certainly there should be clear communist criticism of their shortcomings and backwardness.

But equally it does not make any sense to attack the very leaderships which are currently making the running on the ground in standing against imperialism.

As it happens the religious/nationalist regime in Iran has reflected as much as many other leaderships in the Third World the rising tide of hostility against imperialism which is now one of the dominating feature of world politics, forging alliances with the left reformist nationalism of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela for example, correctly denouncing the monstrous tyranny of the endless Zionist repression of Palestine, including the correct challenge to its right to exist at all as a state and much more.

The working class needs to stand alongside such challenges to imperialism when they are being made while continuing to build its own clear revolutionary communist understanding.

March separately and strike together is the famous dictum.

Setbacks for imperialism that such struggles will achieve are the best guarantee that progressive understanding will move forwards; far from strengthening the more backward aspects of the current nationalist leaderships like that in Tehran, weakening of world imperialism will create the space, and the need, for more rational leadership and strengthen the prospect for it to win over the leadership, transforming or supplanting the existing leadership.

It is a measure of how far out on a reactionary limb the CPGB’s despicable campaign lies that even the dull revisionism of the Morning Star CP and the SWP in the Stop the War Coalition has rejected this crude CPGB provocation outright, by refusing it entry in the Stop the War Coalition.

But it is a measure of the dulled dumbed down hostility to, and ignorance of, Leninist revolutionary theory which decades of numbing Stalinist revisionism and sour Trotskyism have imposed that both leading SWPer Lindsay German, and STWC Chairman Andrew Murray from the Stalinist CPB, then defend the decision by hastily declaring that they too have criticised the Iranians – without coming anyway near declaring the critical importance of imperialist defeat.

“Challenging British government policy in respect of the war” declares Murray, is the key policy. Fatuous reformist platitudes in other words which deliberately avoids all mention of revolution and can achieve nothing.

But this pacifist nonsense has shrunk to a tiny rump already as even middle class liberalism has abandoned the empty gestures of yet more pointless placards demanding “no more war”.

Only more war is the reality facing the entire world - and only revolutionary struggle is going finally to stop it.

It needs Leninist clarity and understanding more urgently than ever.

Don Hoskins

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EPSR archives

Extracts from issue No 1216

The formation of ‘Respect’ is just more reformist nonsense from the fake-’left’, continuing a long philistine tradition of class-compromise Labourism and trade unionism, built on “activism” and “pragmatism” (i.e. opportunism, and sentimental, impressionistic spontaneity), and hating class-struggle Leninism’s science on the need to build a party of revolutionary theory, and how to do it, more than anything else. Right on cue, its appearance merely marks the further collapse of Labour’s ability to hold back the working class much longer after a century of criminal pretence as “anti-imperialists” — while in fact crucially propping up the most vicious episodes of Western monopoly-capitalist colonial warmongering tyranny in history, — like now with the “war on terrorism” lunatic joke of the era. [EPSR 1216 –20th Jan 2004]

The need to quit fawning on “liberal” and “well-meaning” public figures who decide to throw in their lot with certain anti-imperialist or anti-monopoly causes was well established among class-conscious workers more than 150 years ago.

The bogus ‘left’ of the labour movement is back sucking-up again to “anti-war” worthies (plus every other “anti” which is fashionable) because real communist confidence is at rock bottom internationally after the twin catastrophes of Stalinism and Trotskyism.

Leaderless, the revolutionary anti-imperialist spirit is searching worldwide for any understanding to latch on to.

It will never find a scrap of serious, intended encouragement at ‘Respect’ whose commitment to “reformist pressure” is not only already fully spelled out, but whose worthies are guaranteed to be far more hostile to revolutionary agitation than to the “free world” delusions of “Western democracy” and “NATO peacekeeping” which is precisely where civilisation’s real problems begin and end.

It is, for example, almost as shallowly stupid and misleading to demand “Stop the War” as it is to declare a “War on Terrorism” in the first place.

Neither gets remotely close to the heart of the matter of what is wrong with the “new world order” society which is resulting in ever more warmongering, and ever more “anti-war” protesting.

Monbiot and Galloway, for example, like Benn and Scargill before them, can make blistering detailed exposures of the genuinely gut-wrenching horrors and hypocrisies of Western imperialism on all issues.

But NEVER will these accepted public figures even acknowledge that monopoly-capitalism’s unending exploitational and warmongering tyrannies might just form part of a historical pattern which is relentlessly building up towards a global REVOLUTIONARY denouement, where all-out class war finally has to step in so as to rescue civilisation itself, — let alone ever put such a perspective down on a ‘Respect’ agenda for serious consideration.

This is a mirror image of the same blindness afflicting the reactionary bourgeois. The pretence is a “war on terrorism”, but the reality is a Western-dominated monopoly-capitalist global economic system which THEY KNOW is heading for yet another periodic “overproduction” crisis of tradewar and shooting-war proportions, just like the joke “free world” degenerated into in 1914 and 1939.

In advance, just as in the previous two inter-imperialist world wars, the Big Powers are beginning to throw their weight around against all sorts of smaller nations, both as warmongering preliminaries just to show their rival powers how militarily mighty and ruthlessly determined they are, — and also to let the little nations know that they had all better watch their step and cause no “rogue regime” trouble of any kind or face a zapping.

Such “new-world order’ pre-crisis military aggression is almost EXACTLY what the imperialist system has always promised before (when preparing for a period of warmongering slump catastrophe); and Bush on this occasion has even brazenly spelled out the US superpower’s pre-emptive counter-revolutionary intentions IN ADVANCE, just to cow everybody with “shock and awe”.

So this petty-bourgeois ‘Respect’ exists to objectively play into the imperialist bourgeoisie’s hands, whatever subjective illusions any of the worthies may have about themselves.

The capitalist racket is not going to reveal that this entire “war on terrorism” global upheaval is solely to make sure that uncontrollable economic crisis does not result in world socialist revolution.

And the mirror-image “reformist” racket (which has never changed one whit of the capitalist class’s domination of the economic, political, social, and cultural essence of modern society) is not going to reveal that it will in fact prove eventually far easier to actually get rid of the capitalist system completely (by revolution) rather than force it to stop being regularly crisis-ridden and warmongering (which is impossible to achieve by the very economic and political nature of international monopoly-imperialist domination and competition).

The sole future for civilisation, — the revolutionary future when the working class is forced to take over power worldwide on behalf of the overwhelming mass-majority of mankind, — is thus, out of class instinct, conveniently kept hidden by all sections of the bourgeoisie.

Echoing the Punch & Judy show in Parliament, mass opinion is kept mesmerised by the “anti-war” agitation against the “pro-war” establishment where the antics of Blair, Howard and Kennedy no longer divert people.

But what does “anti-war” offer??? What has it ever offered in more than 400 wars that the western imperialist system has inflicted on the Third World since the supposed triumph of “democracy” in 1947 (wars via a variety of coups, police actions,  subversions, invasions, blockades, assassinations, bombings, etc, etc, etc).

“Anti-war” just offers a self-righteous moralising posture.

Even Suez and Vietnam were not victories for “anti-war” at all, but precisely spell out what is the real story about imperialist war; — which is that imperialist DEFEAT can alone be the only ever purposeful, worthwhile, and hoped-for quest. The war stopped in Vietnam because the communist revolutionary forces got the better of US imperialism. It stopped in Suez because the Soviet Union threatened to intervene (meaning DEFEAT for the Zionists, Britain, and France) and so the USA ordered a pull-out.

All of which leads back once again to the only real question worth asking: What is the perspective for putting an end to barbarous warmongering itself as any longer tolerable as a means of conflict in a modern world of potential plenty for all????

And once again, the only serious and proven theory is that imperialism itself, as a world system, must be DEFEATED.

Remarkably, of all the many divisive, bitter, and complex issues revolving around the war, it is the potential DEFEAT for US imperialism (i.e. humiliating failure to achieve its objectives in either Afghanistan, Iraq, or Palestine) which looms largest.

Even better, the potentially sensational background to the greatest economic “over-production” crisis ever to threaten the capitalist system’s survival, revolves around the likely collapse of the dollar as world currency which has been consciously and deliberately polluted for decades by Washington in order to:-

(a) keep the glitz of the world trade boom going “forever” in order to undermine the appeal of stable Socialist-Camp planned development; and

(b) to arrogantly tell the rest of the “free world” that any eventual markets and trade collapse because of a dollar crash would have to be paid for by the rest of the world holding worthless currency and reserves, not by the USA which would simply dishonour its huge (and unpayable) payments debts and balance of trade deficits.

This unique and threatening diktat is one of the many aspects likening this period of US imperialist crisis to the fall of the Roman Empire, hated by all but falling not to a single rival but to a historical revolutionary shift in society (out of slavery empires into feudal nation-states).

The only way that the US superpower’s dissolute corruption, now imposing universal war, might be most easily seen as facing doom in theory, might be through a new historical revolutionary shift in society, already overdue, from capitalist individualism to planned world collective socialism.

But ‘Respect’ and the like, are more often than not AGAINST the new Third World anti-imperialist masses, confused by their immediate past cultural origins in Islamic fundamentalism, suicidal terrorism, and the like, — just as these types never understood the priceless role of the Socialist Camp proletarian dictatorships in shifting history forward by leaps and bounds.

Many of these worthies were involved in the destruction of mass international communist confidence in their Trot or Stalinist earlier posturing.

But having helped create the anti-Marxist ideological debacle by either religiously worshipping Moscow and never questioning anything; or by taking Stalin’s Revisionist “peaceful road to socialism” idiocy and “peaceful coexistence” delusion the whole way to eventual CPGB self-liquidation; or by endless academic ultra-Trot posturing about how this new revolution, and that new revolution, and the other new revolution were all only not taking place because of the “counter-revolution having won power in the Soviet Union”, — by which insane logic the Trots to could even justify 57 varieties of their one constant passion which was to see ACTUAL counter-revolution prevail in East Europe, something finally achieved via the CIA and Vatican’s Solidarnosc stooges in 1990, quickly rampant everywhere due to the ultimate ideological suicide by Stalinist Revisionist imbecility, — — these anti-communist worthies all then walked away from the counter-revolutionary mess and have not gone back to their confused  mistakes ever since.

But discontent and mass suffering in East Europe from the self-liquidation by the proletarian dictatorship continue to grow relentlessly, and a return to planned economies, with all capitalist corruption and anarchy firmly suppressed, is the only logical future at some stage.

However, ‘Respect’ worthiness (embracing remnants of Stalinism, Revisionism, and Trotskyism) will NOT be going back to try to sort out exactly what went wrong to befuddle, mislead, and eventually completely undermine the world’s first workers states and simultaneously the mass international communist revolutionary movement, once the bulwark of many sincere and mighty anti-imperialist triumphs.

Its ingrained academic cynicism and conceit will safely stick to celebrity opportunism henceforth, and will philistinely refuse to touch with a bargepole any attempted return to re-establishing CORRECT revolutionary theory to wipe out the disastrous 80-year legacies of Stalinism and Trotskyism which drove Leninism from the scene.

But worldwide, the tide is flowing strongly against these philistine ‘Respect’ worthies.

The entire Third World is heading towards revolt against the ludicrous collapse effects of capitalism’s uncontrollable crisis anarchy, and against the bullying brutality of the American imperialism which threatens war or embargo to everyone who steps out of line.

Renewed communist revolutionary inspiration has resurfaced in some anti-Western struggles (Colombia, Nepal, Philippines, etc) while pseudo-communist talk has taken other crisis situations to the brink of major decision-making about how to fight on further against imperialism (Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, plus more regimes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the former Socialist Camp).

In the continued absence of any world revolutionary socialist understanding, all sorts of local cultural extremism is bound to feature in the anti-Western-imperialist struggle but will be no real obstacle to the universal triumph of a Marxist-Leninist scientific revival.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Genocidal policy of an economic war

Final declaration approved by the Fifth Forum of the Cuban Civil Society against the Blockade and Annexation

WE, participants in the 5th Forum of the Cuban Civil Society against the Blockade and Annexation, meeting in Havana on the 18th day of October, 2007, representing the broad range of Cuban civil organizations and associations active in diverse sectors of our national life:

1. Express our most vigorous condemnation of the intensified acts of aggression by the government of the United States of America, particularly its genocidal policy of economic, commercial and financial war against our people, aimed at “...causing hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the Cuban government...,” with the goal of returning our country to the condition of neocolonial vassalage in which it was kept for more than half a century.

2. Reiterate that the blockade is a flagrant violation of international law and the will of the community of nations, expressed in the 15 resolutions passed by the United Nations General Assembly since 1992. We demand the immediate and unconditional end of that genocidal war against our people, a war that qualifies as such under the Geneva International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), and that qualifies as an act of economic warfare under the London Naval Conference (1909).

3. Likewise denounce the permanent interventionism of the U.S. government, with the complicity of the anti-Cuba Mafia in Miami, against our institutions and their representatives, in their attempts to present as valid elements of Cuban civil society the miniscule groups of mercenaries financed and created by them to promote subversion in Cuba.

4. Once again repudiate the appointment of a paid imperialist agent to coordinate a so-called “transition” to capitalism in Cuba. Our resistance will lead to the failure of their artful intentions.

5. Accuse the U.S. government of a fascist and genocidal predilection, of being responsible for grave crimes against humanity. In its thirst for power and domination, it attacks and occupies nations, exterminates innocent civilians, violates international instruments, maintains an unjust and criminal international order, impoverishes entire continents, endangers environmental sustainability, disregards life, and hinders aspirations for development, justice and peace in the world, while at the same time fabricating the worst lies to justify its artful goals.

6. Agree that the main victim of the blockade is the Cuban people. Two-thirds of our population was born and has lived under the effects of this criminal policy. All sectors of our national life are affected by the impact it has on our country’s economy, particularly in relation to health, education, food security, sports, culture, transport, housing and the environment. Washington’s despicable actions most especially affect children, the elderly and retired, women and people with disabilities. Despite such difficult conditions, the iron will of our people to defend our revolutionary project and to continue advancing, has made it possible to attain high levels in diverse aspects of our social development, as is recognized by many specialized United Nations agencies.

7. Demand respect for the right of Cuban families to determine how and when to maintain their connections, independently of where they may reside. Neither the White House, nor the annexationist counterrevolutionary forces of Miami may decide who qualifies as family and who does not, or the frequency of family contacts.

8. Demand full respect for the right of organizations in Cuban civil society to maintain and develop cooperative relations and exchange with other groups in every country, without the hostility or intervention of the government in Washington. We demand a halt to the denials of visas and other restrictions on cultural and academic exchange with the people, scientists and

the representatives of women’s organizations, trade unions, student, religious, sports and other organizations, in the United States or any other country. The limits imposed by the U.S. government on the development of these relations are a manifestation of its fear that the citizens of that country will learn about Cuba’s reality, and, moreover, are in violation of their own constitutional rights.

9. Emphasize that the implementation of this insane policy of blockade and total economic warfare is an obvious and inadmissible violation of the basic rights and liberties of the Cuban people, and that it likewise hurts the interests, rights and liberties of the U.S. people themselves and Cubans resident in that country. It even affects citizens in third countries due to the extraterritorial effects of that policy and the “laws” it uses to try to hold it up.

10. Condemn the U.S. government policy dedicated to promoting forums, institutions and declarations against Cuba with the purpose of propitiating its isolation internationally. This objective is backed by the existence of an $80-million budget, under the ill-named “Plan for Assistance to a Free Cuba,” used to finance statements against our country by former government leaders and corrupt politicians, promoting hatred and intervention in our domestic affairs.

11. Repudiate the actions that are increasing media aggression against our country, particularly via the ill-named Radio and TV Martí. We support the full exercise of Cuba’s sovereign right and liberty to demand respect for our radio-electronic space and prevailing international regulations in this area, established by the International Union of Telecommunications.

12. Condemn the acts of state terrorism that historically have been committed and are still being committed against our people. We demand that the U.S. government cease sheltering criminal Luis Posada Carriles and that it proceed to his immediate extradition to Venezuela so that he may be tried for his abominable terrorist actions. The hypocrisy of President Bush’s government, which calls itself a champion of anti-terrorism, is shameful, as it continues to illegally hold five Cuban anti-terrorists in maximum-security prisons of the empire. We demand the immediate liberation of those five heroes.

13. Recognize and are grateful for the broad, effective solidarity with our country on the part of thousands of civil society organizations in the world, especially those that represent the most noble sentiments of the U.S. people, and we highly value the positions taken by them, and by governments and international agencies that have not bowed down to the growing pressures of the U.S. government. We ratify the need to continue exposing U.S. maneuvers designed to hinder and prevent relations of all kinds with Cuba, with the purpose of isolating and suffocating our people.

14. Urge civil society organizations in different countries to publicly state their support in solidarity with this proposed resolution, in the way that they consider to be most effective in their respective countries. This October 30, for the 16th time, the United Nations General Assembly will once again discuss and vote on the proposed resolution entitled ‘The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” which once again expressed, last year, the international community’s resounding opposition to this genocidal policy.

15. In response to the increased aggression of the United States government and its accomplices, we ratify our determination to deepen the work of the Revolution and to continue building a country that is independent, full of solidarity and just; which preserves its conquests, strengthens our humanitarian work with other peoples in the world, and defends our socialist Revolution and the unity of the people together with Fidel, Raul and the Party with whatever it takes.

Haste la victoria siempre! Havana, October 18, 2007 •


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