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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 1332 20th May 2008

Burma “outrage” by the Western petty bourgeois is nothing but crocodile tear “concern”, part of the cynical fascist demonisation of “rogue” regimes to wind up the crisis war atmosphere. Imperialism needs distractions and diversions away from the now catastrophic unravelling of its economic and political system, and with it the war fever to carry through the only solution it knows to its always returning slump collapses, world war destruction. Only revolution will end growing chaos – all other “protest and change” is ineffectual or vulnerable to plots and counter-revolution – as against Bolivia. Leninism is vital

Where does the stinking hypocrisy and sanctimonious moralising of the West get off with the non-stop poisonous abuse and contempt it has poured down in bucketloads on the Burmese (Myanmar) regime in the last two weeks?

All the way to firing up yet further the smug petty bourgeois “self-righteousness” that it needs to feed and support the warmongering atmosphere it has been creating for the last decade and which it must crucially keep escalating now as its desperate historic crisis unravels into total catastrophic slump failure and collapse – as revolutionary Marxist-Leninism alone has been warning the working class, against all the liberals and fake-”left” Labourites, Trots, and revisionists.

Genuine Marxist theory, so denigrated and despised by the “clever” middle class (and especially the fake-“left” who disguise their contempt behind endless shallow posturing pretences at being “Marxist” with utterly bent distortions of supposed revolutionary ideology) shows that regular disintegration into unemployment and overproduction disaster is built into the contradictions at the heart of the production-for-profit society.

Theory has been confirmed a thousandfold by the last 200 years of historical experience with its shattering inhuman and regularly returning slump disasters wiping out huge swathes of industry, imposing starvation and want and, in the imperialist epoch, their unstoppable transformation into horrific and world devastating war – the financial turmoil and crises of the 1900s breaking into the industrialised slaughter of the 1914-1918 war and the 1930s fascist ridden slump into the even greater and more widespread devastation of the Second World War.

It is being proven yet again.

As the “credit crunch” increasingly unravels the huge and elaborate financial edifice of capitalism, the hollowness at the centre of the long post-war boomtime (for the richer nations) will become increasingly obvious.

It must implode eventually into total collapse, on a scale a hundred times that of the last Great Depression in the 1930s.

And the warmongering “solution” capitalism has always used to get out of its difficulties will be a hundred times the appalling scale of the 1939-1945 World War war disaster, with far “better” weaponry and the hugely extended range of imperialist influence and worldwide penetration since the early twentieth century.

But the whole world has also learned the lessons of the past disasters and for sixty years has been promised “never again” and “everything has changed” with the richest countries promising “growing prosperity and peace” to the masses through “reforms” (albeit at the expense of the exploited Third World billions) to keep them away from the revolutionary politics which capitalist crisis must always engender and which have already made historic changes in world history through the brilliant achievements of the Soviet Union’s 70 years of socialism and the further strides of workers states like China, Vietnam and Cuba.

Setting the world back onto a path of blitzkrieg destruction has already proved a difficult challenge for imperialism, possible only because 60 years of dumbed down consumerism and philistinism has meant some of the masses temporarily have swallowed the most demented Goebbels lies and fraudulent inventions of “world threats” and “terrorist onslaughts”, like the WMD fantasies used to justify blitzing Iraq, or the Reçak “massacre” and invented “atrocities” laid at the door of Serbian nationalism (and the remnants of the Yugoslavian workers state it still carried).

Even that early warmongering has run into the quicksand of endless unresolved occupation and insurgency with the slow rolling defeats of imperialist intervention rapidly changing perceptions and mood in the West and bringing down the empty shallowness of the Blairite government for example.

Spontaneous world resistance to imperialism in various forms – increasingly with a revolutionary intent – is unstoppably growing especially in the Third World.

Everything imperialism has done to smash it down has failed, most of all in the disastrous “shock and awe” war blitzings of Iraq and Afghanistan. Far from intimidating the world mass hostility to the imperialist order it has multiplied it exponentially.

But the ruling class is not about to give up the sweet life of unprecedented power and wealth it has attained through the ever expanding grip of its exploitative system on the world, handing over peacefully to the now necessary rule of the mass of ordinary humanity.

War has only been “suspended” for the time being (though kept on the back burner in Afghanistan and Iraq) because of the stunning and ever growing resistance which has rocked imperialist arrogance to the core and appalled and dismayed the petty bourgeois and intellectual layers of society as all the old filth of civilian blitzings, torture, police state surveillance, arbitrary arrest and mass imprisonment are re-introduced, even in the heartlands of imperialism, proving just exactly what a joke and a fraud have been all the “civilised reforms” and “never again” promises which followed the atrocities and numbing horrors of two great 20th century wars.

But it must continue down the path of increasingly demented warmongering already begun at the turn of the century with the blitzing scapegoating of first tiny Serbia, then Afghanistan and then Iraq, and by proxy continued in Zionist blitzed Lebanon, Somalia and Palestine in one form or another.

Capitalism can come up with no other solution to the complete clogging of its production and finance system with “over-production” which Marx brilliantly demonstrated to be a fundamental characteristic of the profit system, inevitably bringing it to the point of ruin, drowning in too much output, or at least that can be sold to the impoverished masses.

There is “want in the midst of plenty” he famously says just as the world is finding out now as food prices escalate despite a huge capacity for increased farming production everywhere, and as the “overproduction” of capital itself via insane uncontrolled credit creation has produced the ludicrous “credit crunch” still yet only partly unfolded as the most senior of world bankers have just been warning again, and certainly not yet felt in its full impact on the ground.

Capitalism says “destroy the surplus” to restore profitability – and sets out to make sure it is the “surplus” of its rivals.

It has to persuade the masses to fall into line behind its renewed war drive.

Hence the now non-stop stream of demented propaganda and lies on a Goebbels scale of ranting hatred that has almost taken over rational news coverage to simply scream abuse and insults at suitable targets, from the entire Muslim camp in general (under the insane nonsense of the “war on terrorism” and “clash of civilisations” ) to specific victims painted in the most lurid lying colours as “monsters and tyrants” like Mugabe, the Burmese generals, Khartoum and North Korea, Iran and increasingly the Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia struggles, being lined up for counter-revolutionary invasion.

This Nazi-style onslaught has got nothing to do with saving the world from tyranny and bringing “freedom and democracy”.

Only the long decades of anti-communist propaganda which have completely puddled Western brains in a tide of fashion and celebrity consumerism shallowness has allowed this welter of Goebbels lies and abuse to get anywhere at all,

The latest attempt pulls on the heartstrings of ordinary people again – blaming the whole of the typhoon damage, endlessly reported in the lingering photography of suffering, on the Burmese regime.

But in what way is anyone but the most hate-ridden anti-communist petty bourgeois supposed to buy the idea that Western capitalism remotely cares about the desperation and suffering of the Burmese villagers in the typhoon wracked south of the country (whatever human response is evoked by the graphic pictures of suffering among ordinary people)?

Just around the coast is Bangladesh, where some of the most ruthless sweatshop exploitation on the planet, entirely run and controlled by the big Western retail and industrial corporations, keeps the population in dirt poverty and ignorance, stacked like factory chickens in rickety multi-level shanty apartments and brutally disciplined into long hours at the workbench, or eking a pathetic living from tentative delta land smallholdings, so that they are completely vulnerable to exactly the same routinely experienced typhoons and floods as Myanmar and routinely are wiped out by them by the tens of thousands – because the country has no resources, little infrastructure and no coherent government organisation of its masses, because the West has stripped them all away.

Further on is Iraq, blitzed and pounded and blasted and tortured for over five years into the complete destruction and humiliation of an entire people, driven down from one of the most advanced cultured societies in the Arab world into total plundered penury, social dislocation, crime, fear, dismay and disease, its cultural, industrial, medical and educational achievement broken into pieces under the occupation – by a West which claims it is “rescuing” them.

Northwards is the equally devastated Afghanistan, where the much trumpeted Western effort to “transform and rebuild” the country has left it as another strafed and tortured hellhole of poverty, displacement and drug-running gangster warlordism (becoming the major world supplier since the Western invasion) and blasted villages used by the West for live military training and gung-ho target practice on the locals, and to little effect in changing anything except the building of ever deeper and widespread hatred and organised resistance against the occupation and the West in general.

Just across the Indian ocean is Somalia, where the successful achievement of social stability and reestablished tentative economic development by the Islamic Courts movement in 2006, after 25 years of profiteering capitalist warlordism and gangster anarchy has been deliberately smashed into the ground by an international illegal military invasion by next door Ethiopia – determined to smash this incipiently anti-imperialist success into the ground in a welter of blood, more torture and grotesque atrocities, with a wave of starvation following on for the benighted population. Even the West’s own agencies – never very sympathetic to the anti-imperialist struggle, have felt obliged to report:

Soldiers, insurgents and bandits are routinely attacking Somalian civilians, carrying out murder, rape, and robbery on villagers, and destroying entire districts, Amnesty International said yesterday.

Gang rape and throat cutting - referred to locally as “killing like goats” - is prevalent. Incidents of gouging out eyes, beheadings and castration have also been reported. Amnesty’s report is based on interviews with scores of traumatised refugees who fled the war-ravaged country, where 6,500 civilians have been killed in the past year.

Unarmed civilians are reported to be caught up in the battle between Ethiopian soldiers and Somalian government troops fighting the remnants of the Islamic Courts Union, which was ousted by Ethiopian forces in 2006. Amnesty said the blame for civilian deaths was shared by all parties but it highlighted an “increasing incidence” of gruesome methods employed by Ethiopian forces following incidents in which the bodies of several Ethiopian soldiers were dragged through the streets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, by Islamist insurgents.

Ethiopia’s government dismissed Amnesty’s report as unbalanced and “categorically wrong”. A spokesman said hundreds of Ethiopian troops had died fighting the Islamist insurgency.

Guled, a 32-year-old refugee, described seeing neighbours with their throats slit, and their corpses left in the street. “Some had their testicles cut off,” Guled said, adding that a newly married woman who lived next door to him was raped by more than 20 Ethiopians. Another interviewee told Amnesty of a report that Ethiopian soldiers had cut the throat of a young child in front of the mother. “Even schools are being used as cemeteries, because people cannot take bodies outside the city,” Galad, a 60-year-old journalist, was quoted as saying.

Michelle Kagari, the deputy director of Amnesty’s Africa Programme, said: “The people of Somalia are being killed, raped, tortured; looting is widespread and entire neighbourhoods are being destroyed. The testimony we received strongly suggests that war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties to the conflict in Somalia and no one is being held accountable.”

The Amnesty report said: “Among the most common violations reported were an increased incidence of gang rape, and scores of reports of a type of killing locally referred to as ... ‘killing like goats’.”

It quotes Butaaco, a 30-year-old refugee from Mogadishu, as saying: “I saw girls get raped in my neighbourhood and on the streets. I saw people get slaughtered. I saw people killed in their houses, their bodies rotting for days.”

Somalia has been in a state of chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre after 21 years in power and then turned on each other. Last year, Islamist militants took control of most of southern Somalia, including Mogadishu. Ethiopia sent in troops in December 2006 and ejected them. Since then, Mogadishu has been caught up in a guerrilla war between the government and its Ethiopian allies and the Islamist insurgents. Up to 1 million Somalians are internally displaced.

Ethiopia is totally under the tutelage of the US and the West and has been ever since the covertly organised “self-determination for Tigre and Eritrea” wars were deliberately and artificially fostered in the 1980s to stimulate counter-revolutionary chaos and turn over the young Mengistu communist state which had overturned the reactionary British installed feudal Emperor Haile Selassie and was building an attempt at coherent socialised development.

Next door in East Africa is Kenya, where the Western stooge government, and the remnants of Western colonialism, continue their croneyism and lucrative collusion with monopoly capitalist exploitation at the expense of the masses, including those in Africa’s largest slums in Nairobi, largely ignored by the “concerned” middle class of the rich nations even now despite the flurry of attention that the recent spontaneous rebellion created for a few weeks. Nice place for a holiday perhaps?

Across the Sahara in Darfur in Sudan it has been clear for nearly a decade that a tiny fraction of the resources poured into the military weaponry used in Iraq and Afghanistan daily, and being readied by an increasingly desperate crisis-ridden imperialism for even more escalated blitzkrieging to come as the slump-beset Great Depression catastrophe of capitalism breaks out in full and turns to Third World War, – could provide all the clean water and food desperately needed by the refugees from the long running civil war there. But rather than supply aid the entire capitalist West would rather see the confusion and mayhem continue, the more to paint an agonising picture of unbearable suffering and blame it on Khartoum, as part of the non-stop demonisation of the regime to set it up for invasion so the oil wealth it has can be stripped out for the West, and simultaneously be denied to the ever more successful Chinese workers state influence in Africa.

And so on across the world. The delta oil region in the laughable joke “democracy” of super-corrupt Nigeria (which has routinely seen rule by coup and military “junta” with the tacit collusion of the British and other Western powers) is a festering hellhole of poisoned water and oil company indifference to the blighted lives of the millions who live there; the Filipino masses continue their desperate struggle for survival, some from the Manila slums still crawling over the waste tips for a living or desperately trying to escape through prostitution or crime; the homeless and desperate in Bangkok still build their cardboard shanties over the sewers and along the rail lines.

And right in the public eye again is the universal and non-stop agony of the Palestinian people and especially those in the Gaza strip, facing conditions as bad as any in the world, of imprisonment, beating, torture, random shelling and strafing, and utter deprivation under the ever tightening siege strangulation by the Jewish Nazi Zionist occupiers of their land – currently obscenely celebrating the 60th anniversary of the theft by terrorism and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people’s land, freedom, dignity and resources, by building yet more luxury Zionist only housing on remaining scraps of Palestinian land to rub in the non-stop nature of its Nazi-style colonialist occupation, solvable only by complete revolutionary overturning of this imperialist excrescence.

Throughout the world in other words there is the endless domination of imperialist big money and grinding exploitation of the masses in factories and on plantations, with the hidden or not so hidden threat of dismissal, hunger, torture and violence always around the corner if they should start organising or resisting, from the poverty ridden cemetery slums of Mubarak gangster dominated Cairo (with lavish Western funding) to the current or recent death squad intimidation in Colombia, Guatemala, and the rest of US “backyard” Latin America.

Starvation, appalling sanitation, filthy or inadequate water, disease, overcrowding, unemployment, crime and despair is the (unnecessary) lot for a billion of the world’s masses permanently and relentlessly from day to day, and little better for tens of hundreds of millions more, denied all but the most basic life, education and opportunity on the precarious edge of existence, and worked to the bone to produce the wealth that feeds the indolent and luxurious lifestyle of the tiny minority ruling class in the West and the petty bourgeoisie that services its needs for a few crumbs from the table.

But the moralising knights of the bourgeois media are going to give two barrels of “righteousness” to a tiny minority of countries based on the twisted logic, distortion, outright lies and racist arrogance of blaming them for a natural disaster.

So where do they get off these regiments of petty bourgeois commentators with their “won’t-be-fobbed-off” Paxmanite hard-man play-acting “interrogations” of diplomats and representatives from the few countries that dare stand against the world imperialist domination in one way or another?

Where do they get off with their innuendoes and lies?

The false piety of the corrupt medieval Catholic Church cardinals has got nothing on this disingenuous Goebbels filth.

Biggest lie of all is that the Burmese military (always referred to as a “junta” because of its evocation by inference of the appalling torture and repression of numerous actual juntas installed by imperialism throughout the post-war period from Argentina, Paraguay and Chile and others in South America to Greece, Turkey, and, until five minutes ago, Pakistan) has deliberately, for some bizarre and totally incomprehensible inhuman reason, simply refused aid and supplies to help its people.

But this is turning reality on its head.

Burma said from the beginning of the typhoon disaster that it would accept, and welcomed, supplies from all sources, and has taken aid from China, India and other surrounding countries, being forced to wait only for Western drops because of a reluctance to allow open access to unaccounted aid workers.

It is the West which refused to fly in supplies unless the generals agreed to allow complete open access to the country by these highly mobile “experts and aid workers”, and in the case of the US even to allow close approach to its shores by a small flotilla of highly armed naval vessels.

Constantly fudged news reports of “diplomatic” negotiations about access and visas concern exactly this inhumanity by the West, justified by the arrogance and contempt which off-handedly declares that the Burmese people and army “don’t have the skills” to distribute food and aid and therefore have to let in the hundreds of aid suppliers, along with the equally poisonous allegations that the Burmese government is simply trying to “hide” its incapability.

And, contradictorily as well, that it is corrupt and stealing the aid, despite plenty of reports and evidence to the contrary.

The fears of the generals of Western subversion may be preventing some aid arriving which might have got through, which is tragic.

But would America have let in outside government personnel on open visas during the New Orleans disaster? Not a chance – in fact it refused a highly generous offer of teams of doctors from Cuba with free medical aid at the time, and offers of support too from Venezuela’s Chávez, while its own police and soldiers were sent in to “protect property” and gun down those desperately foraging for food as “looters”.

The Burmese generals are not “mad and paranoid” as the more extravagant insults alleged from a series of unknown “expert commentators” wheeled on to every TV and radio news show, and intelligence-fed newspaper commentaries, singing a chorus of rubbishing abuse about the Myanmar government alongside the most emotive and heart wrenching pictures of the disaster.

Marxism can neither speak for the Burmese regime nor particularly support it as such; its halfway house once socialist orientated bourgeois nationalism is neither communist or even sympathetic to communism.

But the issue is imperialism and its plotting and pressure to force the anti-imperialist independence of the regime to capitulate to open Western corporate plundering and military influence.

And to set it up for war, and with broad brush implications, justify war elsewhere too against other alleged “axis of evil” regimes.

The worst of the petty bourgeois self-righteousness (and numerous giveaway Western imperialist Government commentaries from Bush to Brown and all shades of Toryism etc, making it crystal clear who stands for what) has been calling for “intervention” or bemoaning the “failure” of the West to invade the country, as Simon Jenkins did in the “liberal” Guardian.

What – to “sort it out” like Iraq?

Exactly. To set it up for total plunder.

The “charity” agencies are in general a highly suspect force on the planet, almost all thoroughly penetrated by the Western intelligence agencies or even funded and paid for by them (like the French Reporters san Frontières, echo of Médecin Sans Frontières, for which the Cubans have documented US intelligence connections and funding and which by no coincidence at all, has been at the centre of the organised spoiler demonstrations to try and disrupt the Chinese Olympic torch processions internationally).

Even where the staff are “genuine” and aid efforts well-intentioned enough, the entire ethos and philosophy of “charity” in capitalism is a backward and undermining ideology, based on the arrogant and usually racist assumptions of superiority of the “better off” in the world, “generously” giving away their wealth and reinforcing the assumptions underlying it, that they are entitled to it, and have “earned it” rather than getting it as a result of the centuries of Western capitalist “super-profit” exploitation and accumulation of wealth, physical and intellectual resources, and intimidating advantage.

And it is no mistake that the generals are doubly suspicious of a West which has kept it, Myanmar, under economic sanctions siege for two decades and which constantly fosters destabilising movements to overthrow the government, dressed up as local “self-determination” movements, backing the most reactionary of feudalist elements in the Buddhist monks (as violently provocative in Burma as they have been in Tibet, attempting to initiate chaos on the streets) or hypocritically running a fraudulent “movement for democracy”, a complete petty bourgeois counter-revolutionary stunt, like most of the other intelligence agency sponsored colour-coded “democracy movements” against the former Soviet Union for example, or against anti-imperialist struggles like Zimbabwe which refuse to kowtow to Western interests, and instead have pushed forwards national interests like confiscating and returning stolen colonialist land.

Failings and shortcomings in the generals’ regime there may well be, not least in denial of the full extent of the disaster – and a Leninist movement for a revolutionary workers state needs to be built in Myanmar as anywhere.

But to put the issue of overturning the generals to the forefront at this moment (if that is what is needed), as the posturing Trots do in various open or disguised forms, is not only to miss the point but to play into imperialism’s hands with “left” justifications for intervening – exactly the kind of opportunist capitulation the fake-“left” scumbags always make to imperialist interests at critical moments (most notably the universal watershed “condemning” of “terrorism” ever since the 9/11 events).

Past economic development may have been held back, limiting the resources now available for the disaster relief but far from sneeringly blaming the government which the Western journalists have done, the finger should pointed at the strangling grip of sanctions and the unrelenting and damaging hostility of capitalism to Myanmar over decades (because the monopoly corporations have been refused the same untrammelled access to its population that they have in Bangladesh or India or Indonesia etc.)

Behind Burma stands China, the much more hated target of Western imperialism for its proof that a planned workers state – even as badly hampered by non-revolutionary revisionism as Beijing – can transform the lives of hundreds of millions of once exploited people, coming to rival in prestige and economic might the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

Leveraging hostility to China is one of the major reasons for hysterical tirades against the generals, because of the links between them politically and the geo-strategic interests of the West in hemming in China, if it can force Myanmar to accept military installations for the US.

But the timing has been thrown for the Western campaign, which was taking advantage of the already carefully programmed and escalated Buddhist monk campaigns in Burma, and then Tibet, for a major attack on China and which thought an excellent new weapon had dropped in its lap from the earthquake.

Instead the brilliant, disciplined and collective effort by China’s workers state to organise massive rescue and relief operations after the enormous earthquake in Sichuan has temporarily taken the wind out of the West’s poisonous, vicious, hypocritical and warmongering campaign against Myanmar.

Even with its considerable revisionist illusions and shortcomings, Beijing has shown that a workers state can organise a largescale, humane and collectively supported rescue operation to deal with even the most devastating of disasters, and quicker and more effectively than capitalism has ever been able, even in its (now rapidly collapsing) boom time period.

And this by a country which for all its huge growth and stunning industrial and economic progress, is still orders of magnitude less rich than the resource bloated West, and with vast areas of relatively backward rural economy yet to be dealt with and hundreds of millions of people still to be advanced from the poverty that has beset them for centuries.

The huge Sichuan tremors were as close as earthquakes come to the edge of current human technological resistance, and similar events in the capitalist orbit have seen massive suffering and inadequate responses frequently in the past, not least in the Tsunami and huge events in India, South America and Iran etc, and most of all in the hurricane chaos of New Orleans. At one point the New Labourites, via the supposed overseas minister Claire Short even sneered at the Montserrat islanders for “wanting Golden elephants” - and such aid as went to the volcano devastated island has mostly gone into the pockets of consultants and companies.

A grudgingly impressed Western press has rapidly tried to downgrade the Chinese disaster mostly to the inside news pages because it can get little traction for stepping up the kind of hate campaign frenzy about “callous dictators” etc against China that it has been working up over the typhoon devastation in the Irrawaddy delta and previously with the poisonous “Tibet freedom” lies.

China’s astonishing forward momentum and development is hated a thousand times more than the nationalist resistance to Western bullying expressed by Rangoon (or similar rebellious leaderships against imperialist diktat like Mugabe in Zimbabwe) because it demonstrates the success of the dictatorship of the proletariat, albeit bureaucratically implemented and saturated with revisionist evasions of all revolutionary understanding about the world.

Stubborn petty bourgeois small-mindedness has been tapped by the capitalist press, led by the “liberal” Guardian which has had a tentative go at blaming the disaster on supposed “cowboy” builders in China, based on a few anger and grief driven hearsay comments by shock shattered and bereaved locals in the affected regions.

But it is thin, sour stuff. Even the most reactionary minded of structural engineers would testify that an earthquake of this strength, now revised to 7.9 Richter and made worse by being close the surface and lasting for a staggering three minutes with hundreds of aftershocks – most earthquakes are over in less than 30 seconds – is at the limits of structural resistance for all but the strongest of modern buildings, built at huge expense and with sophisticated computer analysis.

The traditional construction of the region and even standard price modern concrete frames would not have stood much chance.

There may well be some buildings which were badly built as the result of corruption, though this classic Western willingness to repeat anything derogatory against communism, however implausible or wild, from whatever casual passer-by, without confirmation, verification or even simple checking, hardly constitutes evidence, or even proper journalism.

And it is as well to remember the humiliating catching-out of the Guardian specifically just two years ago which ran a series of lurid and detailed accounts of a supposed Chinese peasant protester being “beaten to a pulp by armed state thugs and left for dead in a ditch so mangled that one eye was hanging out of its socket” which turned out to be completely untrue when the same man was discovered with nothing more than a few bruises in a hospital the next day.

How much more slips through which is not caught out?

Beijing’s dire revisionist retreats, and failure to constantly develop widespread Leninist revolutionary clarity, as the most important weapon to keep reviving capitalist notions in check (which arise inevitably and constantly in such a huge and partially backward society until full socialist economics can be established) may have let through all sorts of abuses, though China has a record too of catching up against corruption with severe punishment, (also used by the Western liberals to berate it) and has made clear it will investigate the building collapses in the earthquake zones.

Even the soundest Leninist control would have trouble keeping track of all the twists and turns of the petty capitalists that a poorer workers state like China (and Lenin’s Soviet Union in the first decades) have been obliged to use, to force forwards economic development.

But it is hardly the point anyway.

The staggering and immediate capacity to organise, and the collective will do so, is the point, as for other workers states, like Cuba which has handled repeated Caribbean hurricane disasters ten thousand times better than the world’s richest country.

Cuba uses its collective society to calmly organise evacuations and then equally calmly rebuild the damage, for the good of the mass of the people.

In exactly the same hurricane beset region, with the same conditions, the US demonstrated total inefficiency, chaos and indifference, using its vicious exploitative profit system to trample all over ordinary people both during and after the events.

So inefficiently, callously (and racistly) was the New Orleans disaster treated by ultra-wealthy US imperialism, and so brutal the way that profiteering landowners and tourist corporations have plundered the redevelopment, that it has spawned yet another populist theory from fake-”left” liberal Naomi Klein, her much hyped “shock capitalism” explanations observing well how monopoly capitalism uses such disruptions for its own ends to force through counter-revolutionary measures stepping up monopoly capitalist influence and exploitation, and to dismantle the welfare provisions and reformist gains of the post-war years.

Corruption and theft of aid money and land from those made homeless in such disasters is well testified to in the West from the ruthless “restructuring” of New Orleans post-Katrina to boost big time tourism at the expense of the poor working class areas with their devastated public housing and public school zones, and the callous dispersal of refugees and homeless to the four corners of the US away from family and neighbourhoods, deliberately breaking up communities, to the mafia expropriation of funds from victims in Italian disasters for example.

But Klein proves her shallowness and petty bourgeois stupidity by parroting the same specious allegations against China and Burma as the Guardian two days earlier, in order demonstrate their “repressive” nature supposedly, followed by a stream of even less provable allegations that the Burmese are “stealing the aid” for the army while busily “blocking the aid to the delta in order to “starve the farmers and use the typhoon to hand over the land to their business friends”.

Why did the “repressive regime” not simply do that anyway since it is supposedly totally in control?

And why would China, so clearly organised and compassionate in rescuing the earthquake victims, have just a week previously “blocked all humanitarian intervention in Burma” while sending shipments of aid, as numerous press accounts have made clear??????

This certifiable Nazi-minded garbage would have no impact at all if it were not for the brain-rotting philosophical and even educational vacuum created by capitalism in the West’s mass population (10% of whom cannot even find Italy on a map of Europe for example) during the long and deliberately dumbed-down credit-sustained inflationary boom (erratic) and relentless anti-communist brainwash campaigning to create unprecedented mass philosophic shallowness under a tide of consumerist celebrity hunting.

As it is, the capitalist lie machine can still to some extent get away with the notion of “intervening for democracy” despite the entire spectrum of universal tyranny and exploitation across the planet as outlined above, the cynical wheeler dealing and corruption around unsavoury and reactionary regimes like Saudi Arabia and endless incidents like the CIA and British intelligence backed coup attempt against Equitorial Guinea, set up and backed by the heart of the British establishment including such figures as Mark Thatcher.

The capitalist press occasionally reports a few more on its more hidden away foreign news pages:

There are many ways of measuring Omar Bongo’s rule. You could count the monuments: the Omar Bongo Triumphal Boulevard, the Senate Palace Omar Bongo, and the university, football stadium, gymnasium and military hospital that all bear his name. You could look at a map of Gabon, and find the name of his hometown, Bongoville, or work out how many French presidents he has befriended and outlasted: five, from Charles de Gaulle to Jacques Chirac.

Or you could gaze at any of the dozens of giant billboards dotted around the capital, Libreville, congratulating “Papa Bongo”, who is pictured with his trademark moustache and his hands clasped together, for completing 40 years as president in December...the world’s longest-serving leader that isn’t a monarch.

That is no mean achievement, considering Gabon’s neighbourhood. Since gaining independence, most countries in west Africa have experienced lengthy civil wars or successive military coups. Yet Bongo, who came to power in 1967 aged 31, has ruled largely unchallenged, and mostly without force, despite squandering much of the country’s natural wealth and leaving it facing a deeply uncertain economic future.

“The man is a political genius,” said Guy Rossatanga-Rignault, a political science professor at Omar Bongo University. “You think he’s coming near to the end, but it’s never the end with Bongo.”

Bongo’s rule has been a masterclass in the use of patronage. His ascent to the presidency coincided with Gabon’s rise to being Africa’s third-biggest oil producer, and he quickly realised that money could be more effective than bullets in keeping power.

He built some basic infrastructure in Libreville and, ignoring advice to establish a road network instead, constructed the $4bn (£2.02bn) Transgabonais railway line deep into the forested interior.

Petrodollars funded the salaries of a bloated civil service, spreading enough of the state’s wealth among the population to keep most of them fed and dressed. France, whose companies were happily extracting Gabon’s oil, guaranteed security by maintaining a military base in Libreville that still exists today.

When multipartyism was ushered in during the early 1990s following months of unrest, Bongo again found that money could solve any problem. Opposition politicians who criticised him in public, or showed any signs of popularity, were brought into the government, and soon compromised.

“This is Bongo’s main secret to remaining in power for 40 years: corruption,” said Mark Ona, the head of Brainforest, a leading NGO that was recently suspended by the government for speaking out about the misuse of state funds. “Nobody ever leaves the president’s cabinet empty-handed.”

The best cabinet positions, however, have always been reserved for Bongo’s family. His son, Ali-Ben Bongo, is the minister of defence, and, it is whispered on the streets, the heir apparent. Bongo’s daughter, Pascaline, is the head of the cabinet. Her husband, Paul Toungui, is minister of finance.

The scale of the high-level cronyism and corruption astonishes diplomats from other African countries. “In Gabon, government and business are one and the same,” said one. “If you want to do business here, you must know a minister, or at least somebody with the surname Bongo.”

Indeed, they may be one of the richest first families in the world. Bongo has a vast hilltop mansion, where passing motorists can view ostriches roaming the gardens and a couple of Rolls-Royces.

Most of his wealth is hidden overseas. In the 90s, US investigators found that more than $100m had passed through US bank accounts linked to Bongo, while in France it was alleged he had received tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from the oil company Elf.

Last year, French prosecutors found the Bongo family owned 33 properties in France alone, including a $27m villa. At the same time, Ali-Ben Bongo’s wife, Inge, appeared on a US reality television show, Really Rich Real Estate, shopping for a $25m mansion in California.

The theft of billions of dollars of oil money has stalled the country’s development. Nearly 50 years after independence, Gabon has fewer miles of paved road than it has of oil pipelines.

Even within Libreville - which can seem deceptively well-off if you keep to the seaboard, with its hotels, casinos and patisseries - the lack of infrastructure is glaringly obvious. Many houses are connected by tiny footpaths filled with rubbish and tangles of hosepipes that serve as the mains water supply.

There is a serious shortage of schools and clinics. On paper, Gabon has one of the highest per-capita incomes in Africa, yet half of the population remains poor.

Paskhal Nkoulou Nguema of the Bongo Must Go political party, said that Gabon, with its small population of 1.3 million and its vast natural riches, should be like Dubai. “Bongo has somehow put in the mind of all Gabonese that this is the best place in Africa, the richest country that everybody wants to visit. He is like Machiavelli.”

It is true that many Gabonese are proud of their country, and of Bongo. His success in keeping peace in a country with 40 different ethnic groups, while neighbouring countries have all experienced serious strife, is regarded as a significant accomplishment. But there is growing worry about what sort of legacy he will leave. Gabon’s oil, which still provides the vast bulk of government revenue, is fast running out.

Gabon produces some sugar, beer and bottled water. Despite the rich soil and tropical climate, there is only a tiny amount of agricultural production. Fruit and vegetables arrive on trucks from Cameroon. Milk is flown in from France.

And years of dependence on relatives with civil service jobs means that many Gabonese have no interest in seeking work outside the state sector - most manual jobs are taken by immigrants.

A future without Bongo? Shortly after winning the 2005 election, Bongo quashed any public talk of succession by saying that he would run again in 2012. “The best is yet to come,” he likes to say

Democracy by bribery and patronage (backed by imperialist force if needed – in this case from France) is not something strange or exotic as the slightly racist undertone of this piece hints but the absolute norm for imperialism. The election racket everywhere is a complete stitch up of heavy advertising, brainwashing persuasion by a media machine totally owned and controlled by the wealthy, focusing on shallow “personalities” and ignoring policies, of manipulation, bribery, vote rigging (detected and undetected), and gerrymandering to make sure that the ruling class always remains in charge of the key levers of state power and the economy, allowing reformist and working class “representatives” to get somewhere only if they are utterly safe stooge figures who challenge nothing essential – as the Labourites have always been.

All the real decision making remains behind the scenes, in the hands of the corporations, banks, Stock Exchange, capitalist state forces, the “clubs” and assorted freemasonries (the Freemasons among them) and informal backscratching links of the bourgeoisie.

Anything else is subject to endless sabotage, subversion, conspiracy and disruption as the south American democratic “gains” of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and the spreading left and proletarian surge against imperialism it stimulated and it is at the forefront of, are finding yet again to their cost.

The careful Washington plotting has already blocked much of Evo Morales’ reforms for the poor indigenous and working people in Bolivia for example, and with a mixture of violent street intimidation and bribery, is succeeding in breaking up the country with yet another of its specious “self-determination movements” artificially set up with the sole intention of torpedoing “left” changes and holding onto the minerals and other resources of the county for imperialism, as the capitalist press explains:

The tide of left-wing and indigenous movements sweeping to power across South America is about to hit a wall of resistance. In country after country the old order has collapsed, ending decades, and in some cases centuries, of rule by white elites. Their time is supposed to be up.

Santa Cruz, however, did not get the memo. Hundreds of thousands of people in this wealthy lowland region of Bolivia are expected to vote for autonomy today in a referendum seen as a repudiation of the so-called “pink tide”.

It is an audacious - and illegal - challenge which Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous President, has denounced as a separatist plot. Alarmed left-wing allies such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez claim to detect Washington meddling. The insurgents are a coalition of rich ranchers, establishment politicians, right-wing militias and ordinary voters. They want to defend Santa Cruz’s economic interests - its cattle, soy crops and gas reserves account for almost 30 per cent of GDP - as well as a sense of identity at odds with indigenous political ascendancy.

‘This vote will show a new path for Bolivia, one that is peaceful and democratic,’ said Branko Marinkovic, an opposition leader. ‘The right to vote has to be respected. It is people at the ballot boxes who determine the future of a country.’

Others see less noble motives for the initiative. ‘Bolivia essentially used to function as an apartheid state, and the psychology of the elite is very defensive,’ said Jim Shultz, director of the Democracy Centre, a Cochabamba-based think-tank sympathetic to government aims.

Opposition leaders will use a referendum victory to try to loosen the control of the capital, La Paz, and shield Santa Cruz from government efforts to ‘refound’ Bolivia. At least three more states in the relatively prosperous lowlands may follow with their own autonomy votes.

Analysts say that could derail Morales’s administration, or at the very least force painful concessions in the draft constitution at the heart of his ‘democratic revolution’. Santa Cruz’s defiance may appear quixotic, given that just two years ago Morales, a llama herder turned trade union leader, won a historic mandate to empower an indigenous majority excluded from power since the Spanish conquest 500 years ago.

South America’s left-wing tilt has since strengthened: Ecuador and Paraguay elected radical outsiders as Presidents, Venezuela continued espousing socialist revolution, and Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay retained left-wing governments. Santa Cruz has swum proudly against the tide. Large, jubilant crowds thronged the streets this week chanting ‘Autonomía’ and waving the region’s green-and-white flags. They denounced Morales as a socialist autocrat who siphoned their wealth to the western highlands.

Since the government has declared the referendum an ‘illegal survey’ some 6,700 students and members of the Unión Juvenil Crucenista, a quasi-militia which sports military gear and sometimes swastikas, will staff polling stations. ‘We’re so proud of these kids. With them we have nothing to fear,’ said one middle-class woman at a rally.

Local TV showed militia members roughing up indigenous street traders and knocking one over as they sped away in vehicles. Graffiti have sprouted across the city. ‘This 4 May grab your weapons, we’re going to kill all the Kollas,’ said one. The Kolla were a pre-Inca race whose name is now used as an insult. Other slogans call Morales a llama and Chávez a monkey.

Until a 1952 revolution, indigenous people were not allowed near the presidential palace in La Paz, let alone to vote, and their empowerment under Morales has discomfited many pale-skinned Bolivians. ‘Racism and exclusion is a part of this autonomy process,’ said Gabriela Montano, the President’s envoy to Santa Cruz. In a recent interview her boss was more forthright: ‘They do not accept a peasant and an indigenous person as a President of the republic.’

Old practices such as bonded labour endure in some haciendas where families were indebted to owners and could not leave, said Celima Torrico, the country’s first indigenous Justice Minister. ‘There are captive families in the areas of Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija. They are like slaves. Cows are treated better.’

...No one denies money is a factor. Santa Cruz wants a greater share of gas revenues and big ranchers want protection from a land reform act which is supposed to redistribute giant estates to peasants.

Marinkovic’s family, for instance, is accused of illegally acquiring 64,250 acres from Guarayo Indians, a claim he denies. Landowners have blocked inspections, including an American rancher and his son, a former Mr Bolivia beauty pageant winner, who have been charged with shooting at and detaining the deputy land minister when he visited their property.

Despite a plea from the President to stay away, several thousand government supporters have converged on Santa Cruz in the past 48 hours, vowing to disrupt a referendum they view as an attempt to destabilise their champion in La Paz. ‘We have to fight against this autonomy,’ said an indigenous woman in a traditional skirt and hat. ‘We would rather die than live like slaves.’

Opposition militants reportedly threw stones at buses of government supporters, prompting talk of retaliation by a radical indigenous group known as the Red Ponchos. ‘We want to defend national unity,’ said one Poncho member, Edgar Quispe.

It is the great tragedy of the post-war period that this basic lesson of Marxism which was clearly developed by the theoretical and practical developments of Lenin’s Bolsheviks at the turn of the last century, has been smudged and fudged by the decades of revisionist retreat from revolutionary clarity which began at least as far back as the 1930s in Stalin’s Soviet Union, and which led to the universally disseminated nonsenses of “containing” a supposedly moribund imperialism after its 1945 defeats, and gradually eroding its position “by peaceful coexistence pressure” and parliamentary means.

Even now, the reported and completely spot-on identification of Washington “meddling” (which means total controlling influence) by Chávez and Castro does not make the crucial point that only the complete revolutionary overturn of the capitalist ruling class and the establishment of the dictatorship of the working class will prevent the constant revival of counter-revolution as now being witnessed.

The savage lessons of the Allende experiences in Chile, the first supposed “democratic” revolution and communist victory, drowned in blood and torture by General Pinochet in 1973 (under CIA instruction), are not just forgotten but turned on their head, with the opportunist Allende still regularly heralded as a hero in the Cuban press.

Despite the Cubans’ own heroic revolutionary tradition and continuing understanding of the importance of keeping their own workers state, and its brilliant and inspirational achievements defended from lying subversion and “democratic” US intervention, they continue to declare the “democratic” movement throughout South America to be a progressive achievement, without any of the urgently important warnings which are crucial.

Naming the surge of working class anti-imperialism in South America as the Bolivarian “revolution” is doubly misleading.

It misses the crucial conscious explanation of the need for the dictatorship of the working class to be established as the heart of any revolutionary movement.

It will only be revolution when there is a resolution of the profound class antagonism at the heart of all bourgeois rule and the struggle is won to completely suppress the degenerate old order by the mass power of the proletariat, exercising its strength by force to suppress the minority capitalists, so that the great majority can develop a genuine democratic rule, on the road the abolition of all classes and the flowering of completely self-disciplined stateless cooperative society (communism),

The decision by Morales to call a “referendum vote of confidence” in three month only compounds the illusions in the bourgeois process, when he should be declaring total class war on the counter-revolutionary movement.

These bourgeois dogs in Bolivia (and throughout imperialism) have no such illusions in the “fairness” of the “popular voice” (when it goes against them) and will use every dirty and ultimately violent trick in the book, and with the growing military threat of the stooge Colombian regime, militarily powerful and armed by the US, standing immediately behind it.

Colombia has already upped the ante with its recent illegal cross-border attacks on Ecuador and subsequent Goebbels lie claims of a “Venezuelan plot” to take over – part of a growing US controlled campaign to suppress the entire South American movement – drowning it in massacres and death squad terror, just as for decades of CIA organised fascist counter-revolution from Guatemala to El Salvador and Nicaragua.

For Morales to defend what has been achieved needs the preparation and training of a mass movement with a leadership which makes all these issues clear – exactly what is missing in the illusions of “legislating” for change.

By all means the mass movement should use all weapons at its disposal including winning votes where it can – but only with total revolutionary clarity, explaining to the masses exactly what the truth is and that such use of bourgeois democracy is made precisely for the purpose of exposing its lies and the violent and brutal reality of bourgeois class rule it disguises.

That is what is missing throughout the world.

But Marxism will more and more draw the attention of ordinary people as it is increasingly obviously proved totally correct in its both its understanding of the vicious nature of imperialism’s worldwide exploitation and its scientific grasp of the inherent catastrophic collapse it is bringing closer daily.

The spectre of communism is back with a vengeance because every other “theory” and political trend has been proven utterly bankrupt.

Even now as the credit crunch expresses the hollowness of the entire profit making system, and the fake-“lefts” “catch up” with academic and “theoretical” articles about the slump, they still fail to make any connections with other events on the planet, making clear the crucial revolutionary connections of all developments.

Spontaneous Third World revolt, which has partially paralysed imperialism in the Middle East, will continue to grow.

Yet however far the many partial and national anti-imperialist movements might go locally, or for the moment, they will be forced eventually by contradictions and setbacks to turn to the struggle for Marxist revolutionary theory and leadership.

Only scientific objective theory can overcome the difficulties and contradictions of the struggle to carry through mankind to the ending of capitalism and building world socialism which is the only way to tackle the huge problems of development, fairness, resources, environment, and imbalance in the world, with an ending of monstrous exploitation and the realisation of the full individual potential of every single human on the planet through cooperative society.

The battle for Leninism alone has insisted on a total perspective of imperialist crisis and growing warmongering disaster, totally interconnected on a world scale – against the, at best, episodic and always shallow theories of the fake-”lefts” about “bosses’ greed” or the “growing” grip of imperialism on oil resources etc with each war and crisis examined in a completely contextless vacuum and at worst total anti-communist hostility to the remaining workers states.

Neither the petty bourgeois hostility of the Trots to China, Cuba, Vietnam etc and numerous anti-imperialist struggles, nor the opportunist Stalinist cover-ups of the revisionists has ever given any such overall context of the historic disintegration of the entire capitalist system and the economic crisis at the heart of it; worse, they have either ignored it or derided the EPSR for its insistence on this understanding of a world in catastrophic turmoil which can only be resolved by revolutionary transformation (the nature of all movement in history).

The fight for Marxist science is the key struggle in the world.

Build Leninism.

Don Hoskins



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Recent web debate

(edited extracts from a recent web discussion by an EPSR reader).

CHINA - Friend or enemy of the third world? Friend or enemy of the poor?

To many of the middle class liberals on this list, the answer would be immediately obvious - enemy of both. These people can “see through” China’s propaganda, due to their uncanny ability to sense the lies and interests of the rich and powerful.

To many of the world’s poor and oppressed masses, however, the answer would be diametrically opposite - to them, China represents an alternative model of development to the US/ European IMF/ World Bank-run systematic looting and rape of their countries - which, through debt bondage and “Structural Adjustment” economic genocide, imposes unemployment and malnutrition on generation after generation, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 250,000 infants every single month (see years of UN Annual Development Reports). Chinese trade deals are being taken up by country after country across the third world, from Latin America to Africa. In the eyes of the above mentioned liberals, no doubt, these deals are the result of “corruption”, wilfully oblivious as they are to the endemic corruption which accompanies every single major British contract abroad - and which is not even illegal under British law. Ask an African, however, and generally they will tell that actually these Chinese contracts are being accepted, quite simply, because they piss all over anything the West could ever bring themselves to offer.

The West’s joke “Make Poverty History” campaign, which changed nothing about the neocolonial trading, production and finance relationships that starve and brutalise the majority of the planet, represent the end of the West’s pretence to care about poverty, which has now, apparently, been “made history” by the unholy trinity of Bush, Blair and Bono.

Meanwhile, utterly unreported in the all the current China-bashing hysteria, China has lifted 300 MILLION people out of poverty since the mid-80s (again, check the UN development reports).

To the world’s poor also, China represents a political alternative to the countries of the warmongering NATO alliance, which have imposed unimaginable misery on millions upon millions in the Third World since the second world war, from Vietnam (3 million dead) to Korea (4 million dead) to Colombia, Grenada, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Malaya, Kenya, Indonesia (1.5 million dead), and especially in the last ten years, in Afghanistan and Iraq (1 million dead from the war, 1.5 million dead as a result of UN sanctions), as well as countless other countries. Such are some of the crimes of US and European imperialism. Such are the crimes China has consistently opposed. Africans know China not through their exploitation, bombing raids and concentration camps, as they know Europe and the US, but through their doctors, engineers, and, historically, massive financial support for their liberation movements.

The media are missing no opportunity to divert people from the hideous crimes of the West, by stirring up any and every issue they can find to slander the Chinese. From Darfur to Tibet to Burma to even Global Warming (despite the fact that China is building the world’s first ever eco-city in Dongtan Arup, and despite the fact that the Chinese themselves consume a tiny proportion of what their factories churn out), every police baton charge is analysed and discussed from every possible angle, whilst at the same time we have grown numb to the daily carnage in liberated Iraq – 50 dead here, another 100 there.

Can it really be that the overwhelming majority of the world’s poor and oppressed are wrong about China, and about the real source of their own oppression, and the full-bellied British liberals in People and Planet are right?

We live in the most parasitical and hypocritical society known to history.

We must put our whole political energy into opposing the misery and degradation which our country is heaping on the rest of the world.

To many on this list, this would seem obvious. Yet, it seems, in many specific cases, far too many forget this, and are willing to jump into bed with the CIA the moment the media demand it. People and Planet’s email below is essentially the policy of the US hawks. Just as with Iraq, the media are whipping up hatred and prejudice against various third world countries, lining them up for the next blitzkrieg, which capitalism cannot avoid, especially in times of crisis (fast approaching). It is NOT our job to put aside our anti-imperialism for the “sake of Tibet”. Which Tibetan or Chinese, or Sudanese would really like to be living in Iraq? And yet this is what we are lining them up for by going along with the CIA line on these countries.

There are many, many complexities around Darfur (where 70,000 died last summer for lack of food and dirt-cheap medicines, which aid agencies had been begging the West to provide, to no avail – the West preferring instead to see them die, as evidence of so-called “genocide”), Tibet, China’s approach to the third world and to socialism and the market, global warming, and all the rest of it.

But none of this should divert us from our main role, living lives of plenty in the belly of the beast – to oppose our own Government’s imperialism. China consistently stands with the Third World on all major international economic and political issues. It is sad to see that People and Planet (who have tellingly dropped their old, much more meaningful, name Third World First) do not. Without wanting to go into all the details of their email here, I think the claim that last week’s racist and violent riots in Tibet were all conducted by “peaceful demonstrators” is, I think, even to a Western audience, revealing.

Myself and others are currently in the process of setting up a group to counter some of the current despicable anti-China propaganda, and especially its corrupting and weakening effect on the international anti-war movement. Please be in touch if you want to be involved, or even just to debate these issues further.


...But Tibet has become an excuse for an open season on China, and an attempted refashioning of the anti-war/ anti-globalisation movement into an anti-China movement. China is not the world’s problem. US/ European imperialism is the problem.

Incidentally, I didn´t discuss Tibet in my email. For me, it is not about “supporting” China, but opposing British imperialism.

Calling on British imperialism to sort out Tibet, which is essentially what all these anti-China demos do, will not help anyone, least of all the Tibetans. Would you have them put the Dalai Lama back in power? (In other words, a US-backed feudal regime?) Or a straightforward occupation? Or would you simply call on the US and Britain to put sanctions on China?


You call yourself a pacifist, yet you are happy to go along with imperialist campaigns of demonisation against official enemies - a crucial part of modern warfare - and you are equally happy with the results of all the recent blitzkriegs, namely the “removal of twats” - in other, more meaningful and more honest, words, the imposition of segregated, ethnically divided client states whose economies are directed towards Western business at the expense of millions of unemployed families, not to mention millions of limbless and murdered civilians. Funny type of pacifist.

Would it be fair to say that you regret the fall of Milosevic’s regime?

The fall of Milosevic’s regime - a “regime” three times elected, and only defeated thanks to bombing, sanctions, the threat of further bombing, and a CIA-backed coup to prevent a second round of voting - is synonymous with the imposition of the new regime I have described above. Of because I regret it.

Milosevic was an arsehole; I have never discussed the matter with anyone that disagrees.

Would it be fair to say you have not discussed the matter with many unemployed Serbs? (or, indeed, ethnically cleansed Kosovan jews, gypsies, etc?) Beside, the character of Milosevic is absolutely immaterial to what the role of progressives living in imperialist countries should be when imperialism is lining third world people up to be carpet bombed.

If you are attempting to demonise Amnesty International, or the idea that people have rights that their government is not entitled to trample on, you will need to try harder. Can you provide any evidence that Amnesty supported the bombing of Serbia?

You are gratuitously missing the point. Their ACTIONS supported the bombing. As I said, they stayed silent, “neutral” on the bombing. Of course they didn’t voice open support for it, but neither did they voice opposition to it - indeed, on their speaking tour, their speaker (one of the well known lefty actresses - I forget her name) refused to answer “political” questions on the bombing, just about to start at that point. They did oppose the war in the end, two years after it had finished - completely useless. The only thing they said at the time, was what a nasty regime Serbia had. In other words, at a time when imperialism was preparing to unleash a devastating aerial assault on a civilian population, that would kill tens of thousands, they could only bring themselves to echo the slogans of Clinton and Blair on Serbia.

My point is not to discuss the worthiness of the Serb or Chinese regimes. My point is that we in the West need to get over the colonial arrogance that makes us think we have the god-given right to determine the nature of these regimes. My point is that by demonising them, we play right into the hands of those who would use economic or military blackmail to bend them to their will.

You object to me even pointing out China’s role in poverty alleviation - a role which is never mentioned on any of these lists. Because it disrupts the good guy/ bad guy narrative that you are determined to present.

Yes; but some of the people being lined up really are nasty.

!! This is the crux of the matter. To you, the Chinese regime are only nasty, end of story. This is why I say you helping to demonise - because this black and white approach actually dehumanises the Chinese Communist Party, in exactly the same way the Ba’athists were dehumanised. Will you only oppose imperialism when it starts to attack saints and angels?

So why do you object to these protests?

If you think the Chinese should be nicer to Tibetans, then what’s wrong with people saying so, in the streets?

Protest if you want. It just seems to me that at a time when your own government has brought about the slaughter of over a million Iraqis in a completely unprovoked attack, has ordered three new destroyers, more than doubling its fleet, is openly tearing up every international postwar convention to maintain peace and prevent torture, and is undergoing the start of a major economic crisis, the likes of which have historically only ever been solved by means of full scale world war, it smacks a little of a massive bloated pot calling an emaciated kettle black. Especially when you are calling on this same government to “protest”, in other words giving it an avenue to attempt to claw back some moral legitimacy and shift the blame onto someone else. Every time we are diverted from focussing on the crimes of our own government, they are rubbing their hands.



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