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

Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

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

Skip Navigation(?)

Recent paper

No 1338 23rd September 2008


It is enough to mention the commercial crises that, by their periodical return, put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented (emphasis added).

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels – The Communist Manifesto


Imperialist “free market” ideology and posturing bogus “lefts” of all shades are left high and dry as bewildered confusion and market disaster confirms the CATASTROPHIC nature of the capitalist crisis, erupting on a scale well beyond even the 1929 Crash. The entire world picture is transformed overnight. Desperate attempts to “stabilise” this New Great Crash can only add to the weight of contradictions building up to even greater disasters. The weakness of the imperialist epoch’s twilight, already revealed by a decade of crisis Nazi warmongering, is multiplied tenfold. World resistance will grow further – and Leninism is vital



“This economic crisis is unfathomably, unimaginably HUGE. To have kept an international communist triumph at bay for so long by printing unprecedented and uncountable volumes of fictitious capital via the “magic” of the bank credit system means to have stored up an eventual credit-confidence collapse; a markets crash; a trade war; a mass unemployment slump; and an inter-imperialist shooting war for vengeance and for survivals that will blast all other imperialist-crisis events (WWI and WWII) off the pages of history by their violence and their unimaginably dramatic consequences.” [EPSR 1202 30th September 2003]


The headless chicken panic of the capitalist markets last week is a powerful confirmation of the desperate deepening crisis which drives the conflicts and warmongering of the entire capitalist system and particularly the plunge into Third World War beginning with the Serbian, Iraq and Afghanistan blitzings for the last decade.

It is full of lessons for the working class in the reality of capitalist rule and hollow joke of its much vaunted “free market” bullshit about the “efficiency” and “drive” of the profit system.

It is full of lessons about the stinking hypocrisy and lies of the greed driven ruling class, prepared overnight to tear up all its “principles” about letting the “market rule” in order to save its wealth and privilege.

It is full of lessons about the posturing and pretences of the dozens of fake-“left” groups who not only have for decades failed to warn the working class about the oncoming disastrous collapse of capitalism (and even now are still mainly denying it!) but have constantly derided the EPSR’s 30 year long insistence on just such a perspective as “catastrophism”.

Even now the Workers Power is circulating a pamphlet “explaining” why it is not catastrophist!!!! – unchallenged polemically by any other of the fake-“left” groups.

For all their academic articles about the crisis nature of capitalism (now beginning to appear as they pedal hard to catch up with the real world after years of reformist complacency) and tracts “explaining” Capital (to varying degrees of usefulness) not one of the fake-“left” groups has ever mentioned such crucial and basic Marxist perspectives as the fundamental revolutionary background and driver for any of their wooden disconnected analyses of anything else, from the Iraq and Afghan wars to the provocations against Zimbabwe, Iran or Sudan, to the joke American election between bomber McCain and Barrack O’Bomber (not a cigarette paper between them effectively and both driven by the crisis) or the huge upheavals and counter-revolutionary plotting in South America.

But without understanding the unrolling – and catastrophic, – historic crisis facing the world capitalist system, nothing sensible or complete can be seen and understood of any world developments.

What a sick joke and what criminal misleadership of the working class these 57 varieties have been!

How they are shown up and exposed by this latest staggering overturning of apparent stable reality!

The sudden disintegration confirms totally the power and correctness of genuine Marxist (revolutionary Leninist) understanding, the only philosophy and science which was not only not taken by surprise by the sudden “Meltdown Monday” and “Terrible Tuesday” but which alone has been predicting just such disastrous, sudden unravelling of capitalist economic order.

This is a revolutionary turmoil, the surprise, super-accelerated turning over of the accepted structure of the world into something totally different, as slowly accumulating contradictions (unsustainable credit buildup and profit fall etc) finally reach breaking point and force dramatic, overnight change for their resolution, erupting like a volcano under the apparently fixed surface of things which dissolves and collapses with bewildering ferocity, defying all “normal” understanding.

There has certainly been no “normal understanding” in the bemused paralysis and shallow gibberish of the last week.

Such buildup of conflict and the overturning into something new and higher level (in this case collapse of debts, onrushing Depression and shattering of imperialist confidence) is exactly the process of development of all phenomena as understood by dialectical materialist philosophy, the philosophical underpinning of Marx’, Engels’ and Lenin’s understanding.

As every capitalist press and TV analyst has declared for an entire week, the apparently firm political, social and economic landscape is utterly changed for good by the collapses and spiralling failures of what just a week ago were the solid marble halls, high pillared porticos and awesome financial power of the multi-billion dollar New York insurance, broking and banking houses, the core of capitalist rule and exploitation, and now “financial Armageddon”.

The bullshit myth has been totally shattered of the “driving genius” of the profit system, the “efficiency” of “free enterprise” and the supposed all seeing wisdom and “impartiality” of the “judgement of the market” leaving only the strong and “the best” to create steadily increasing world prosperity (the mythical nonsense which even led to the inane liquidation of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev).

Hundreds of new questions are thrown to the surface which will gather huge momentum in the coming period.

If state intervention and nationalisation can be carried out on the giant unprecedented scale seen in the last two weeks to rescue the humiliated and shambolic US monopoly capitalist system, why can it not go the whole hog the ordinary person might be tempted to ask?

If the only way to guarantee stability and run things coherently in the long term is for the state to intervene, why not do it across the board?

Why not take over everything and run it on behalf of ALL society???

Why not have communism????

And if tens of hundreds of billions of dollars can be poured into the system to prop up the privileges of the wealthy and greed riven ruling class – still paying themselves giant multi-million bonuses in the midst of their greatest ever humiliation and incompetence, and the shaming disintegration of their preposterous “market system” – why can it not even more be poured in to transform life for the tens of hundreds of millions of exploited workers and exhausted sweat-shop and plantation proletarians of the planet???

If this “socialism for the ultra-rich” as one bourgeois commentary called it, can be imposed overnight, why not socialism for everybody???

Because the wealth is “owned” and controlled by the tiny super-privileged ruling class is the only answer – extracted and accumulated precisely only through the continuing system of capitalism, demanding and enforcing the “right” to appropriate the “surplus” (ie the greater proportion) of the value daily generated by the hard labour of each of the billions of oppressed and downtrodden on the planet (the only source of value – human labour, – other than natural resources themselves).

The fabulous power and sweet luxury of its position depends on keeping the great mass of the planet in thrall, tied down in ignorance and exhaustion at the best of times, kept just alive and energetic enough with the grudging provision of wages to cover living costs and basic needs, to do the work capitalism requires.

It is a sweet life the ruling class has no intention of ever giving up even as it hits the buffers, any more than any other ruling class has simply handed over power to a new order in the past.

Instead it is intent on ever widening and extending the grotesque inequalities of its rule into greater and more obscene super-indulgence, imposing greater and greater worldwide barbarities and warmongering to do it, where the bullying power of giant capital bribery and corruption has failed.

Only the total ending of the dominance and grip of the increasingly degenerate imperialist class rule will change anything.

That can only be achieved by revolutionary overturn of the historically completed and overripe capitalist epoch.

And just that question most of all is thrown dramatically to the surface by the “nightmare on Wall Street”, demonstrating the profound weakness, incompetence and hollowness of the “all-powerful” imperialist order.

Why not take over everything from this incompetent, degenerate, indolent, venal, corrupt, vicious, lying hypocritical and now historically pointless drone ruling class; its factories, its “private” lands, its laboratories, its plantations and the huge financial resources now being wielded by the US federal system in the markets, and make it all available for the use of the ordinary people of the world and their desperate needs, to climb out poverty, malnutrition and blighted development, exploitation and forced backwardness???

Why not use the huge power of the state to lift the education, medical health, job security and general conditions of the working class away from insanitary desperation, starvation and illiteracy, so that the massive pool of currently stultified and stunted human potential in the world can flourish and be tapped for the good of all for the first time in history????

Life could be transformed across the planet by orders of magnitude as the first hundred years of even the flawed and revisionist first socialist experiments have shown; in the titanic educational, scientific, cultural, technological, military and social achievements of the 1917-1989 Soviet Union (first man in space, brilliant music and arts, cutting edge science, more patents than any other country, no unemployment, universal health care, housing and education, best military technology); in the steady and rapid elimination of Chinese poverty afflicting hundreds of millions and its powerhouse economic and technological development under workers state authority; the dogged brilliance of Cuban welfare, industry, education, invention, medicine and security (under constant blockade siege conditions) compared to the death-squad horror and deprivation of life in the rest of South America etc, etc. etc, etc.

Even these magnificent but yet still limited achievements, endlessly subverted and sabotaged by the West, would pale into insignificance once the whole world was developing on a coherent, socialist, planned basis using the genius of its entire seven billion people.

Why not eliminate for good the chaotic anarchy of the market and its routinely recurring disasters and pain, and plan the use of resources on a world scale, the only way real stability can be achieved and, beyond that, life be transformed across the planet?

Not because planned economies are “inefficient”.

In the long term there is no greater inefficiency than the total meltdown disintegration and paralysis which gripped the entire capitalist world for the last two weeks (and with steadily mounting intensity for the fourteen months “credit crunch” before that) and which is going to bring untold misery, deprivation, unemployment, housing need, and pain unstoppably from here on for the ordinary working masses of the planet.

The real impact of the economic chaos will take months to work through but will hammer home to the world’s masses exactly what a degenerate mess the imperialist order has made of the world throughout the bled-dry Third World and right into the heart of even the richest of nations.

The Great Depression of the 1930s brought misery on a mass scale in the capitalist world (but not in the USSR) and this time will be worse still.

The tough life of the poor and workers everywhere (including the huge growing deprivation and poverty in the US Empire’s own great cities – as in Los Angeles racism and general poverty, New York Latino oppression, the blighting of Cleveland, New Orleans hurricane incompetence and callousness etc, etc) is going to become impossible and the questions non-stop.

The argument that workers state control planned economies are “inefficient” was never true anyway, only that routine slow-but-steady growth and development sometimes looked dull (not helped by deadening revisionist political leadership) and was easily outshone by the fashionista glitz and consumerist fireworks of capitalism, built on worldwide sweatshop exploitation to expand its capacities in huge surges (in the privileged centres).

The workers states never collapsed. Their worst problems were complexities of planning allocation, gradually being improved by maturing socialist economic development, the endless subversion of the West and its deadly nuclear encirclement consuming resources for defence, and the failure of Stalinist revisionism to provide the spark of revolutionary initiative and motivation that gives the whole thing its purpose and inspiration.

But even then, it was only when Western-bedazzled and revisionist-dulled Gorbachevism had thoroughly undermined socialist planning experience did rational economic development falter.

Then the deranged illusions of Moscow revisionism led to the pointless liquidation of the still competent and entire Soviet Union into the supposed stimulation and progress of the “free market” economic principles, abandoning decades of carefully won, and heroically defended (by the dictatorship of the proletariat), socialist planning experience in exchange for the chaos and growing inter-imperialist conflict now on offer.

Russia’s new massively unequal oligarch “prosperity – based on piratical plundering of its rich resources and past organisation, and with a degenerate apeing of imperialism mixed in – was shown to be as rickety and unstable as the rest of the interlocked capitalist order, with the Moscow Stock Exchange reflecting the same turmoil as the rest.

The fraud that capitalism has any longer got any kind of competence and ability at all is now starkly exposed as total nonsense in a week when the very most sophisticated analysts and market leaders could only stand gobsmacked with panic and complete incomprehension at the chaos their own mechanisms had created around them.

What a titanic historic joke!

And what a monstrous historical parody is the “rescue plan” abandoning all pretence of “market discipline” for the most corrupt corporate rescue plan in history.

But even as all these questions are raised, the ultra-billionaires in America are accusing the US Treasury of “making America more communist than China”.

They desperately fear that even this kind of intervention (saving their own system for a while at the expense of the state funds accumulated from the taxes of ordinary workers and the increasingly pressed middle class) will give the great masses of workers, inside and outside the mighty US empire, the “wrong” ideas, about revolution and overturning the degenerate profit-taking order.

They are absolutely right.

Even the most impeccably middle class of commentators in the bourgeois press are teasing the issues:

In May this year a score of private yachts anchored off Cap d’Antibes for a party during the Cannes Film Festival. Ranging in cost from $150m to $350m, the yachts were spread out in a pecking order, Watching these boats, I considered an incredible figure that I had been told that evening. If you buy a $150m yacht, you can expect to spend roughly the same amount again in the first two years of operation, which when you know how little the yachts are actually used makes the whole business of owning one doubly incomprehensible.

I was not the only one to stare into that rainy evening and think: this cannot last; this must not last. The owners of these yachts are so rich that they may not even be touched by the banking crisis and ensuing slump, but this display of wealth, the pressure on the Earth’s resources, the gross inequality that these craft represent in a world where 1.2 billion people live on less than a dollar a day is unsustainable economically and morally.

What has happened in the capital markets over the last few weeks is about more than the machinery going haywire and governments and institutions failing to regulate properly. We now understand - or soon will - that this particular era of capitalism penalised all but the super-rich and the super-greedy. It is a story about one tiny group of people amassing fortunes at the expense of a very large group of people, who stretch from the American Midwest to the eight million people said to be near starvation in the Ogadan region of Ethiopia.

In the developed world, the victims of the unfolding crisis are home-owners, people making an average income, small-scale entrepreneurs trying to create wealth and jobs by actually making something and those who were encouraged into debt by what Alan Greenspan called ‘irrational exuberance’, the idea that boom would never again be followed by bust.

The well-being felt in the boom years was an illusion fostered in the high-risk economies of the US and Britain by the rise in property prices and the credit bubble. The euphoria meant that we spent more than was ever sensible and this created growth. It was all founded on absurd debt levels, as many like George Soros, whom I met two years ago, were warning. Mr Soros is a very good listener. He pays attention like no one I have ever met and the few words he spoke that evening were devoted to the sub-prime crisis.

The truth of our actual condition in the last eight years is sobering, and the new understanding of it will affect our trust in institutions and government for a very long time. The crucial analysis was done a while back by the former President of Harvard and economist, Larry Summers, who pointed out that there was a very great difference between the fortunes of capital and labour during the boom. ‘While workers normally received three-quarters of corporate income, with the remainder going to profits and interest, the (US) Economic Policy Institute has calculated that since 2001, labour has received only one-quarter of the increase in corporate income, as real wages have failed to keep pace with productivity growth.’

The importance of this insight cannot be underestimated because it explains why when we were told we were living through an epic boom many people who were paying attention and did not borrow heavily felt no better off. Stealth taxes in Britain were an element in all this but the underlying truth is that corporations and banks were taking proportionately more for themselves, while benefiting from cutting edge technology and low cost labour abroad. Instead of feeling the advantage of real efficiencies and productivity growth, and becoming genuinely better off in the globalised world, ordinary people borrowed.

In effect the banks were skimming. The many have paid for the obscene enrichment of a few and will be doing so for years to come. However much Harriet Harman rails against city bonuses now, Labour cannot escape the reality that the government presided over the widening gap between rich and poor while helping bankers by deregulating and hedge fund managers with the special non-dom tax status. In terms of policy there is not a lot to separate Labour from the Republican Neocons.

The enormous personal wealth of a few has distorted much. The housing market and the sense of self-worth of those who struggle without seeing their incomes rise to name but two. But what about the hope of almost a fifth of the world’s population who, when food prices rose because of market speculation, suddenly found their dollar bought a lot less food?

The spectacle of what the very rich were spending their money on - the self-aggrandising homes, the jets, helicopters, art, jewellery and cars - gives the world’s poor every reason to feel a lot less hopeful about human nature. What do we imagine the people of the Ogadan would think if they knew about the £111m netted at the sale of Damien Hirst’s dead cows and butterfly paintings at Sotheby’s last week, and that like everything in the West these days the sale was apparently manipulated in the interests of a market by Hirst’s own dealers, who bid up the works in order to preserve the value of their own holdings of dead cows and pickled sharks?

A windfall tax on the sellers of worthless, gimmicky rubbish wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I suppose that is beside the point. What a new generation should fight for now is not just stability and the re-engineering of the financial markets but a fairer world where effort and creativity are rewarded but never excessively. In Jeffrey Sachs’s words we should ‘foster economic systems that spread the benefits of science, technology and the division of labour to all parts of the world’.

The banking crash offers us a rare opportunity to shape things for the better. And I wouldn’t stop at the City. The political system that has overseen this disaster in Britain is as culpable as any bank.

It is the crisis which drives out this much indignation but the anger from the righteous middle-class Henry Porter on the Observer gets no further than a focus on the recent spin lies depravities of warmongering Blairism and its Brownite continuation as the world imperialist system heads increasingly obviously down a path into renewed fascist domestic surveillance repression and international warmongering.

Telling enough, but like many of the bourgeois commentaries he limits criticism to recent “excesses” and the brigandage of the past decade of hyper-credit, unable to see and unwilling to contemplate that it is capitalism itself at fault, not some recent “version” of it.

Even the “greatest” were floundering, like Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz on Tuesday (before the Federal bailout admittedly):

Houses of cards, chickens coming home to roost - pick your cliché. The new low in the financial crisis, which has prompted comparisons with the 1929 Wall Street crash, is the fruit of a pattern of dishonesty on the part of financial institutions, and incompetence on the part of policymakers.

We had become accustomed to the hypocrisy. The banks reject any suggestion they should face regulation, rebuff any move towards anti-trust measures - yet when trouble strikes, all of a sudden they demand state intervention: they must be bailed out; they are too big, too important to be allowed to fail.

Eventually, however, we were always going to learn how big the safety net was. And a sign of the limits of the US Federal Reserve and treasury’s willingness to rescue comes with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, one of the most famous Wall Street names.

The big question always centres on systemic risk: to what extent does the collapse of an institution imperil the financial system as a whole? Wall Street has always been quick to overstate systemic risk - take, for example, the 1994 Mexican financial crisis - but loth to allow examination of their own dealings. Last week the US treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, judged there was sufficient systemic risk to warrant a government rescue of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; but there was not sufficient systemic risk seen in Lehman.

The present financial crisis springs from a catastrophic collapse in confidence. The banks were laying huge bets with each other over loans and assets. Complex transactions were designed to move risk and disguise the sliding value of assets. In this game there are winners and losers. And it’s not a zero-sum game, it’s a negative-sum game: as people wake up to the smoke and mirrors in the financial system, as people grow averse to risk, losses occur; the market as a whole plummets and everyone loses.

Financial markets hinge on trust, and that trust has eroded. Lehman’s collapse marks at the very least a powerful symbol of a new low in confidence, and the reverberations will continue.

The crisis in trust extends beyond banks. In the global context, there is dwindling confidence in US policymakers. At July’s G8 meeting in Hokkaido the US delivered assurances that things were turning around at last. The weeks since have done nothing but confirm any global mistrust of government experts.

How seriously, then, should we take comparisons with the crash of 1929? Most economists believe we have the monetary and fiscal instruments and understanding to avoid collapse on that scale. And yet the IMF and the US treasury, together with central banks and finance ministers from many other countries, are capable of supporting the sort of “rescue” policies that led Indonesia to economic disaster in 1998. Moreover, it is difficult to have faith in the policy wherewithal of a government that oversaw the utter mismanagement of the war in Iraq and the response to Hurricane Katrina. If any administration can turn this crisis into another depression, it is the Bush administration.

America’s financial system failed in its two crucial responsibilities: managing risk and allocating capital. The industry as a whole has not been doing what it should be doing - for instance creating products that help Americans manage critical risks, such as staying in their homes when interest rates rise or house prices fall - and it must now face change in its regulatory structures. Regrettably, many of the worst elements of the US financial system - toxic mortgages and the practices that led to them - were exported to the rest of the world.

It was all done in the name of innovation, and any regulatory initiative was fought away with claims that it would suppress that innovation. They were innovating, all right, but not in ways that made the economy stronger. Some of America’s best and brightest were devoting their talents to getting around standards and regulations designed to ensure the efficiency of the economy and the safety of the banking system. Unfortunately, they were far too successful, and we are all - homeowners, workers, investors, taxpayers - paying the price.

· Joseph E Stiglitz is university professor at Columbia University and recipient of the 2001 Nobel prize in economics

The reformist notion that it could all have been different “if only” regulation and control had remained in place is a total delusion. The pressure of capital to make a profit will force its way around the highest legal and financial barriers like water finding another way around obstacles and if necessary eroding and undermining everything in its path.

The same line is deliberately being taken by the “comrades” at the Labour conference, much more cynically and hypocritically since New Labour was instrumental in creating the recent “excesses” with their grovelling to the fat cat bankers and corporations, to give them a free hand in the non-stop plundering of the capitalist state economy, with their worship of “privatisation” and encouragement of spending on the never-never both state and private, while hounding the lowest and poorest as “scroungers” and constantly punishing them with ASBOs, exclusion orders, and a multitude of other disciplines.

The conference is the sickest expression yet of Labourite opportunism, mouthing a few anti-City platitudes and joining the same desperate and rapid retrenchment of the establishment into scapegoating finger pointing and blame mongering, conveniently demonising “short-sellers” or “irresponsible bank bonus payments” or “excessive loosening of the regulations” suddenly (as if everyone has suddenly just noticed all this).

But the shallow conclusions that there has been a “lack of regulation” or “a culture of greed” – with some bourgeois elements outrageously blaming ordinary workers for “using their credit cards too much” as well (when it is the leadership of society which is entirely responsible for setting the tone and the possibilities for existence, as Porter at least recognises) – is desperate tokenism.

Banning “forward” selling of shares is a completely cynical gesture like a greedy child who has been caught stealing all the sweets and now tries to hand one back to fend off retribution while holding onto the remainder.

But much more than that, it consciously avoids discussing the real problems.

There is an obvious glaring need for a massive debate to try and understand the world shattering implications of an event which even the most confused of the bourgeois commentators are declaring to be the most significant in the last century, to build some perspectives and understanding of what this unfolding crisis means for the great masses and to offer leadership.

But the Labourites have one obsession only: to save their shallow parliamentary political skins, self-obsessed rats squabbling on deck as the Titanic goes down.

The New Great Crash is not caused by the excesses and credit failures of the mortgage market and pumping out of unsustainable loans by the banks.

Nor is it solely to do with the “credit crunch” and nor does it “spring from a catastrophic failure of confidence”. None of these are causes but symptoms. They then become causes too, feeding back into the system, further compounding the crisis and accelerating the eventual downward spiral.

But essentially they are surface expressions of the much greater underlying crisis disaster that has been building since the end of the Second World War, and at an even deeper level is contained within the very fabric of capitalist production (see Marx and Engels quote on page one).

As Marx analysed so brilliantly and unanswerably in the volumes of Capital the process of production for profit is inherently unstable, riddled with contradiction and its periodic and repeated disastrous collapse inevitable.

Over and over again with worsening impact, as capitalism has widened its sway on the planet and as it has grown more technically sophisticated and savvy, it has collapsed into disastrous slump and destruction, hugely exacerbating the monstrous unfairness, exploitation, barbarity and suppression of the great majority into permanent servitude and inhuman degradation, which it already imposes.

In the imperialist epoch - which Engels and then Lenin analysed as beginning at the end of the nineteenth century with the rise of the huge conglomerate international corporations – the need to destroy the “surplus capital” clogging the system has translated into deliberate war destruction of capitalist rivals’ industrial and financial capacity in bitter conflict to impose the slump disasters on others, each horrifying war conflict worse than the last and introducing yet more unimaginable depravity and horror on the way.

The latest crisis has been building for decades, held off only by the astonishing creation of dollar credit on a scale unprecedented in all history.

The crises that were “due” in the immediate post-War decades, if the old boom and bust cycles had continued, would have repeated the 1929 Crash disaster yet again as the rate of profit fell worldwide (see Marx) and the capital surpluses once more clogged the system, but were held off by the enormous extension of credit and monopoly power of the dominant US Empire in particular.

The entire Western capitalist monopoly order was “stabilised” since the end of the Second World War with the endless pumping out of inflationary paper dollars, slowly and steadily polluting the entire international trading order even as it was expanded and pushed into every nook and cranny of the “free world” (and ultimately back into the fallen USSR).

The writing was already on the wall in 1973 when president Richard Nixon was obliged to take the dollar off the “good as gold” standard agreed at Bretton Woods (in 1947) because of the huge unsustainable spending on the Vietnam War – and the system lurched heavily with the misnamed “oil shock” – in fact a near miss Great Crash.

More inflationary dollars were pumped out.

Thatcher’s Falkland warmongering (setting the scene for revived jingoistic flagwaving after the supposed end of war in 1945) narrowly averted more economic disaster in the early 1980s; and then came the Great Crash of 1987, another Black Monday just about ridden over only by pumping a new surge of inflationary dollars into the system and by the fabulous luck for imperialism of the Soviet capitulation to Western market “guidance” hype – the greatest snake-oil-charm sales pitch in history.

It bought enough time and world working class demoralisation in communism – or rather in the revisionist parody that official “communism” had become after decades of Stalinist retreat – to set another spin “boom” going, at least for the mighty US Empire.

Elsewhere the shattering effects of the 1987 crash reverberated around the world in currency collapses, and economic meltdowns throughout South and Central America, and across Asia, pushing enormous misery down onto tens of millions of lives through a decade of stagnation and collapse in Japan, through the South-East Asian currency failures of the late 1990s and back to Latin America again, finally bankrupting Argentina into total soup kitchen slump catastrophe.

Only in the shallow glitz of the Anglo-Saxon world, buoyed up on a now insane level of credit creation and debt expansion – and then pumped up even further by the even larger and more deranged dollar printing required to fund the Nazi wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (with their famously uncontrolled handing out of pallette loads of dollars by the hundred million to try and buy political settlements locally) has there been the illusion of continuing “prosperity”.

This insane maelstrom of hyper-extended credit creation may have pulled the entire capitalist world economy forwards (and partially secures the acquiescence of other imperialist rivals in the meantime because of it) but it was always heading for disaster.

Basic Marxism shows that capitalism finds it increasingly difficult to invest anywhere in anything as the rate of profit tends inexorably to fall; one of the growing contradictions leading to its crisis. Creating mountains of additional credit only compounded the problem.

But the lending must go on if capital is to make a return, so the irrational business grew of pushing loans onto the backs of all and sundry, including those without the remotest chance of repaying their debts – the capitalist water finding a path through the cracks.

The “solution” of yet more credit to keeping the plates spinning only made the problem worse creating the trigger which has now imploded the entire structure.

To “solve” this problem by pumping in yet more credit by the federal government is about as useful as solving the obesity problem by offering cream cakes and bags of doughnuts for free on the National Health (not that the NHS would any more provide anything for free).

And at what cost? - stripping away the federal funds required for basic services and social provision which barely keep the lid on poverty and deprivation at present in the US economy, ratcheting up the social deprivation and extending the grotesque in-your-face inequality which will and must eventually turn to revolutionary ferment right in the heart of the Empire.

In what way will this not demand either giant cuts to pay for the bankers’ salvation – or a giant destabilising surge in inflation, wreaking further turmoil?

If it has any “beneficial” effect at all it will only be for the same reasons that the “boom” could be stretched a little further in the 1990s – because the rest of the world has been persuaded or coerced to soak up the ever growing pool of paper dollars allowing the massively imbalanced US economy to continue to draw in goods and services when by all past economic practice it was already bankrupt.

Central in this has been the rising growth of the giant Chinese economy – using capitalist investment methods but still a workers state (albeit heavily compromised by dire revisionist illusions) and therefore with a coherent planning framework which has allowed it to make historically unparalleled rates of growth and with an exponentially increasing weight in world markets.

But it is one of the great questions how long this will or can continue and what Beijing will do with its increasingly huge power.

Or the other rival major capitalist powers holding tens of billions of dollar bonds and investments.

All experience of past revisionist illusion suggest that it will be intent on “not rocking the boat or provoking imperialism” and ready to go on providing a stabilising buffer for as along as possible, tragically feeding even further the “peaceful road” brain porridge which has clogged revolutionary understanding as much as paper dollars have clogged the economic system.

But the contradictions continue to accumulate and there is no future stability.

Just the opposite.

These devastating upheavals are powerful shocks on the road to total revolutionary ending of capitalism.

Of course the market failure in itself is not an overnight collapse of the entire capitalist imperialist system on the planet as posturing opportunist lefts like Respect’s George Galloway immediately sneered – attempting to ridicule and undermine revolutionary understanding even as it being confirmed on a scale hardly ever seen before.

“I’ve been told of the collapse of capitalism many times before and it has not happened yet” Galloway’s ridicule attempted in the middle of the chaos, implying that it was nothing unusual and heading off the working class from the further understanding that it needs.

The dramatic global collapse on the markets is not in itself the end of an entire 800 year old class rule system any more than the 1929 implosion was the immediate end of imperialism in the 1930s.

Capitalism remains standing, despite its massive historic humiliation and weakening.

But one reason it does so is precisely because of such fake-“leftism” and its hostility to revolution which is increasingly one of the last remaining props for the degenerate profit making order.

Such mockery is a multi-levelled cynicism.

First of all it plays down the immediate events as if all the smoke and noise will all blow away again tomorrow and things will revert to “normal” (the secret belief of all the petty bourgeois lefts and opportunists who deep down neither believe, nor want to believe, that capitalism can be ended: it would immediately bring to an end the cosy little niches and posturing platforms they have carved out for themselves in front of the working class.)

But secondly it deliberately misses the point that the revolutionary process is an active one involving the class force of millions and millions and millions of the downtrodden worldwide becoming consciously and subjectively involved in transforming the world.

The Crash in 1929 was a massive turning point, heralding the slump Depression, agony and political inter-imperialist aggression last seen in the 1930s, which exploded ultimately into the Second World War, just as the economic turmoil, bank collapses and inter-imperialist trade and colonial skirmishings of the 1900s had exploded into war in 1914.

Both those events were the trigger for giant waves of revolutionary turmoil and struggle as the working class in various “weak points” in capitalism had no choice but to fight for its own survival, or go under in the enormous barbarity and destruction of the War.

It is all coming again only this time on a much greater scale.

The New Great Crash is part of a series of titanic world shattering transformations which are themselves building up to the greatest revolutionary upheaval in history.

These smaller revolutionary upheavals are part of the accumulation of contradictions on a massive world scale

But it will not happen without the active intervention of giant class forces and the struggle by the working class to finally throw off the capitalist rule.

They are part of the process, which is thirdly what Galloway and the entire fake-“left” circus do not and don’t want to understand; revolution has long unstoppably begun in a world now so thoroughly transformed and dragged forwards by capitalist production and technology that its great masses can no longer tolerate the oppression they are forced to endure, standing starving with their noses pressed against the restaurant window.

The rebellions and insurgencies across the planet against imperialist rampaging, whatever the immediate character and style of the leaderships (including some bizarre and barmy revivals of ancient cultural forms like hard-line Muslimism) will be given yet more of boost to their gathering momentum, and will be forced to develop and mature at the same time, to force out ultimately Leninist leadership.

Despite huge investment of troops and funds, and major compromises with the Iran linked Shias, Iraq remains a disaster after six years as bourgeois commentary occasionally reminds the world:

The departure of General David Petraeus from Iraq yesterday was accompanied by little of the triumphalism that marked previous attempts by the Bush administration to claim that a corner had been turned in this bitter war. Gen Petraeus’s departing words were not sotto voce - they rarely are - but his assessment of the Iraq he leaves was cautious and sober. Having noted when he took command of US troops at the height of the civil war in February 2007 that he had described the situation then as “hard but not hopeless”, Gen Petraeus yesterday amended this formula to say the situation was “still hard but hopeful”.

The surge of US troops has worked in cutting the numbers of civilian deaths over the last 18 months. According to figures compiled by the Brookings Institution, 3,500 Iraqis died violently in January 2007. This compares with 490 in June this year. But to claim as the Republican presidential candidate John McCain did that “there are neighbourhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk ... today” is far from the truth and a reminder that Mr McCain could simply reproduce President Bush’s worst mistakes in arguing that the war “could be won” by 2013. Barack Obama’s critique of the surge is closer to the mark - that it failed to produce the anticipated political gains. But the bald fact is that the next US president will still have a major problem coping with the aftermath of a war that should never have been waged.

Gen Petraeus can claim three achievements for his third and final tour. He recognised the significance of the Sunni al-Sahwa, the so-called Awakening movement, which developed autonomously and before the surge swung into action. The US general saw that it could be used productively. His policy of creating outposts of US troops reduced sectarian tension. And finally he recognised that there could be no military victory in Iraq. All that could be achieved was to prepare the ground for a political solution.

But this has yet to be done, and there are inherent contradictions in a policy predicated on improving the state capacity of Nouri al-Maliki’s government. The first is that government’s manifest concern with al-Sahwa, which the US funds. As the Guardian reported this week, the Iraqi government is in danger of pushing Sunni tribal leaders back into the arms of al-Qaida by failing to take more Sunnis back into the security forces. The arrests of dozens of al-Sahwa leaders in Diyala province is cause for particular concern. The second is that the greater Mr al-Maliki’s executive power becomes, the more he may be tempted to forge his own course, irrespective of US pleas to include the Sunni tribal leaders. This conflict is far from over.


Beneath the triumphant veneer that the 2007 surge of US forces to Iraq has “worked” exists the difficult reality that few people outside of Iraq are willing to face. Despite a relative decline in violence, millions of Iraqis continue to live in miserable conditions of insecurity, lacking basic needs like a job and regular access to food and clean water, and worried about the continued widespread presence of militias and criminal gangs. Until US and international efforts focus on the prosperity of the Iraqi people, Iraq will remain a tinderbox and a threat to regional and global security.

New reports released earlier this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Pentagon paint a complicated picture of today’s Iraq. The two reports acknowledge what everyone already knows – that, thankfully, the levels of violence have declined dramatically in the past year. But both reports also outline what has not occurred in Iraq. First significant steps forward on the country’s political transition have not been made. A handful of laws passed by the Iraqi parliament earlier this year have yet to be fully implemented, and the core issues related to power-sharing among Iraq’s factions remain unaddressed. Progress on power-sharing between Iraqi factions was the core stated objective of the surge - that it would provide Iraq’s leaders with the space to make these deals. That has not happened, and there are no clear signs of meaningful political progress happening anytime soon.

Even more troubling were the warning signs about the quality of life indicators for Iraqis. According to the Pentagon report, unemployment in some regions of Iraq is as high as 30-50%. Only one in three Iraqi children under the age of five has access to safe drinking water, according to the GAO report, citing UN Children’s Fund data. And to provide reliable electricity by 2015, Iraq will need an investment of $27bn. All of these problems point to a larger policy challenge - getting Iraq’s government ministries to spend its own money. According to the GAO report, Iraq only spent one quarter of the $27bn it budgeted for its own reconstruction efforts. Helping Iraq’s leaders spend their country’s considerable financial resources, which have grown to record levels because of historic increases in the price of oil, will be a key component of making Iraq stable.

Rather conspicuous by its absence from both reports was extensive mention of a major security challenge in Iraq - the millions of displaced Iraqis. The Pentagon report briefly mentions that “UN reports show that the total number of [internally displaced persons] and refugees is growing,” and it recommends that the Iraqi government “should take stronger measures to address this issue.” Iraq’s conflict has uprooted about one in six Iraqis - resulting in serious humanitarian and political challenges in neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Syria, as well as internal strains in Iraq - yet this does not receive adequate attention in the policy debates in the United States.

Addressing the core needs of the Iraqi people is the centrepiece of the struggle in Iraq - focusing on the prosperity of the Iraqi people is the right path to making up for lost time and past mistakes. The decline in violence represents an important opportunity to address the full range of security concerns facing millions of Iraqis. Without progress on meeting these basic needs and addressing the core conflict of power-sharing, Iraq and the region may backslide into more turmoil.


Yet the level of violence, were it taking place anywhere else in the world, would make headlines; only in Iraq have we become so inured to bloodshed that it is a good day if only 25 civilians get killed.

And the role of the troop surge in reducing violence in Iraq is not clear. Other factors were probably far more important, including buying off Sunni insurgents so that they fight with the United States against al-Qaida. But that remains a dangerous strategy. The US should be working to create a strong, unified government, rather than strengthening sectarian militias. Now the Iraqi government has awakened to the dangers, and has begun arresting some of the leaders whom the American government has been supporting. The prospects of a stable future look increasingly dim.

That is the key point: the surge was supposed to provide space for a political settlement, which would provide the foundations of long-term stability. That political settlement has not occurred. So, as with the arguments used to justify the war, and the measures of its success, the rationale behind surge, too, keeps shifting.

Meanwhile, the military and economic opportunity costs of this misadventure become increasingly clear. Even if the US had achieved stability in Iraq, this would not have assured victory in the “war on terrorism,” let alone success in achieving broader strategic objectives. Things have not been going well in Afghanistan, to say the least, and Pakistan looks ever more unstable.

Moreover, most analysts agree that at least part of the rationale behind Russia’s invasion of Georgia, reigniting fears of a new Cold War, was its confidence that, with America’s armed forces pre-occupied with two failing wars (and badly depleted because of a policy of not replacing military resources as fast as they are used up), there was little America could do in response.

Even the largest and richest country in the world has limited resources. The Iraq war has been financed entirely on credit; and partly because of that, the US national debt has increased by two-thirds in just eight years.

Meanwhile Afghanistan gets worse, without even the exhaustion which has temporarily “calmed” Iraq, having an effect:

What western intelligence and military officials call the most dangerous part of the world has reached a critical juncture – to use the recently fashionable phrase, a tipping point.

Stalemate is a word used by top military commanders. First-hand observers of the scene say it could go either way, it is in the balance.

The Taliban and their fellow insurgents are expanding their control over the country, including areas around the capital, Kabul, according to these close observers who do not want to be named because of the positions they hold.

There are not enough foreign troops on the ground to achieve their mission; bombing their way out of trouble is counter-productive; senior members of the Karzai government and the police force are corrupt; the Taliban and the other insurgents get rich through the opium trade and by protection rackets that allow convoys taking fuel to Nato troops get to their destination. And more and more insurgents are being supplied, and seek refuge, across the border in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

In response to this last development, George Bush issued a not-so-secret order enabling US special forces to cross the border and attack al-Qaida and others suspected of terrorism or insurgency. For the first time this month, the US admitted sending over grounds troops into Pakistan, though reports that US forces were repulsed by Pakistani soldiers at the border on Monday remain confused; not least, one suspects, because of the sensitivity surrounding the whole issue. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan says its sovereignty must be protected even though its government has no control over the tribal areas.

It is, indeed, a crucial time. The new Pakistan government is fragile (Asif Ali Zardari, its new president, met Gordon Brown in London this week and both were said to have used their short meeting to discuss their “shared agenda” in tackling violent extremism and radicalisation in both the UK and Pakistan

The war in Afghanistan is running out of control. The multiple attacks mounted by Taliban guerrillas on Nato occupation troops on Monday and Tuesday - in which 10 newly arrived French soldiers were killed near Kabul and a US base hit by suicide bombers - are the most daring since the US-led invasion of 2001. More than 100 people have been killed in fighting in the past three days, as the war against foreign occupation has spread from the south to the east and the area around the capital.

The assault on the French reinforcements follows the killing of nine US soldiers in a single attack last month, and the freeing of hundreds of Taliban prisoners from Kandahar’s main jail in a night-time raid in June. As Afghanistan experiences its own Iraq-style surge of US and other Nato forces, the death toll is rising inexorably. The number of occupation troops killed in Afghanistan overtook the Iraqi level in May. Attacks on US-led forces are up by 50% on last year, Nato air attacks have increased 40%, and more than 2,500 have already reportedly lost their lives in the conflict since January - getting on for half of them civilians.

In a damning indictment of the impact of Nato’s occupation on Afghanistan, aid agencies reported earlier this month that insecurity was spreading to previously stable areas and the killing of civilians by all sides rising sharply. The US air force seems to have developed a particular habit of attacking wedding parties - last month 47 civilians were killed in one strike - while British troops, who lost 13 soldiers in June alone, killed a woman and two children last weekend, which the high command naturally blamed on the Taliban.

This is the conflict western politicians have convinced themselves is the “good war”, in contrast to the shame of Iraq. Britain’s defence secretary, Des Browne, recently declared it “the noble cause of the 21st century”. Nicolas Sarkozy, who faces a similar level of domestic opposition to the Afghan imbroglio as in Britain, insists that France is fighting for “democracy and freedom”. Barack Obama calls it the “central front” in the war on terror and, like Gordon Brown, is committed to transferring troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to bolster the fight.

That will certainly jack up the killing and suffering still further. As Zbigniew Brzezinski - the former US national security adviser who masterminded the early stages of the mujahideen war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan - argues, putting more troops in is not the solution: “We run the risk that our military presence will gradually turn the Afghan population entirely against us.”

The original aims of the invasion, it will be recalled, were the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, and the destruction of al-Qaida in the aftermath of 9/11. None of those aims has been achieved. Instead, the US and its friends brought back to power an alliance of brutal and corrupt warlords, gave them new identities as democrats with phoney elections, and drove the Taliban and al-Qaida leaderships over the border into Pakistan.

Far from reducing the threat of terrorism, this crucible of the war on terror has simply spread it around the region, bringing forth an increasingly potent campaign of resistance and giving a new lease of life to a revamped Taliban as a champion of Pashtun nationalism. And as mission creep has detached the Afghan war from its original declared target of al-Qaida - let alone the claims made about women’s rights, which have been going into grim reverse again in much of the country under Nato tutelage - it has morphed into the kind of war of “civilisation” evoked by Sarkozy and Browne, a certain recipe for conflict without end. No wonder British politicians have talked about digging in for decades.

Meanwhile, the long-term cost of the west’s shameless support for Pakistan’s military dictatorship as the linchpin of its war on terror, while forever preaching democracy, became clearer this week. General Musharraf’s welcome departure has left the country in political crisis and exposed the contradictions at the heart of the US relationship with the nuclear-armed state.

The new Pakistan Government is fragile because it’s regime is nothing but a hollow joke, a hastily manipulated corrupt sleazy “democratic” government manipulated into place because the fascist runt General Musharraf has been brought down, unable to keep the lid on the Third World hatred which the West’s ludicrous and barbaric “war on terror” has now infected the masses of the entire Middle East with because of its heavy handed blitzkrieging and killing:

After claiming to have spent nine years nurturing democracy in Pakistan and festooning the country’s military dictatorship with $11bn in aid, the Bush administration’s policy is careering out of control, as US soldiers trade bullets with the forces of what was once a most-favoured ally in the “war on terror”. On Sunday night, Pakistan border troops fired on a raiding party of American commandos emerging from two Chinooks in an attempt to cross on foot from Afghanistan into the Pakistan village of Angoor Adda. They had no permission to be there.

This was the latest in a series of forays into Pakistan sovereign territory taken by US special forces at the behest of President Bush. In July he signed an executive order to sidestep Pakistan’s freely elected government in the rush to claim al-Qaida scalps - especially Osama bin Laden’s. In the past six weeks, US missiles have rained down on Pakistani villages, with Predator drones lighting up the country’s tribal belt and hunter-killer teams dropping into Pakistan’s villages in the dead of night.

All good timing for the Republicans: these red-blooded offensives play well in America’s heartlands; the ailing Bush and his party have been re-branded, Rambo-style, as sidestepping an untrustworthy ally to take the fight directly to the terrorists. However, it is spectacularly bad timing for Pakistan, the raids commencing just three days before Asif Ali Zardari was sworn in as president. During his inaugural speech in Islamabad on September 6, more than 30 civilians were killed by a suicide bombing in Peshawar as the local population vented its anger at the incursions.

Zardari has used a family trip to Britain to gain an urgent sit-down with Gordon Brown. Yesterday he flew in to see off his oldest daughter, Bakhtawar, 18, who is studying English literature at Edinburgh University. Today in Downing Street, Zardari will warn the prime minister that the latest twist in the war on terror will “only lead to greater disaster, more hatred, more alienation, more ghettos, more recruits, and more violence”. Without Britain’s help in holding back the US, buying the new Pakistan government breathing space, anti-American sentiment will wash over the country; Zardari and his Pakistan People’s party coalition will be unable to stop it spiralling out of control.

If it sounds like blackmail, with Zardari bargaining by placing a gun to his own head - an age-old diplomatic tactic of Pakistan leaders - consider the evidence. Pakistan is in the grip of Islamist-driven chaos with the white pennants of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the country’s home-grown medievalists, flying from government offices across North and South Waziristan. North-West Frontier Province, its once cosmopolitan capital of Peshawar and its former ski resorts in the Swat valley, have been encircled by the movement’s Vice and Virtue Brigades. The strategically vital province of Baluchistan is simmering; and the economic engine of Karachi is witnessing an explosion of violence.

Zardari does not convince everyone, given the welter of corruption charges that once circled him, but he is not the only one worried. The fears of the normally silent Pakistan armed forces were reflected this weekend in an extraordinary article by Lieutenant General Shahid Aziz, who served as the chief of general staff under Zardari’s predecessor, Pervez Musharraf. Gen Aziz accused Musharraf of inviting the Americans to fight their war on Pakistani territory, without consulting the army: “Militants will multiply by the thousands,” he warned. “The Pakistani army will not be able to support US operations. Financial crisis and street unrest will create chaos in the country and war will spread.”

Today Gordon Brown will be asked to put his faith in Zardari, an acquisitive man once reviled in this country and his own as “Mr 10%”. Days after the assassination of his wife, Benazir Bhutto, Zardari produced a handwritten will; and now he has resurrected a series of radical measures drafted by Benazir shortly before her death. The documents make for compelling reading: “The enemy the west has identified [a handful of al-Qaida and Taliban leaders] is the wrong target. The concern of the developed world is motivated entirely by a single consideration - its own safety. You cannot wage wars against ideas. Fight them with different means.”

One of these - already shown to the foreign secretary, David Miliband - is the formation of an intergovernmental counter-terrorist body. Its happy-clappy working title, United Against Terrorism, belies a serious ambition. Zardari will call for all of Pakistan’s regional neighbours or mentors - Russia, China, Afghanistan, Iran and India among them - to sit together and think through the crises. The US and the UK would also be present but in the background. “A consensus is necessary so the war on terror is not considered an American war but is owned by all countries,” the paper concludes. Not only would such a move distance Washington from Islamabad, it would also feed into the counter-insurgency strategy for Pakistan’s border areas that Zardari will also be revealing today in Downing Street.

Referred to by his aides as a new Marshall plan, it calls for an international consortium led by the UK to reconstruct Pakistan’s tribal areas, unravelling extremist infrastructure that grew massively during the Musharraf years - when more than a dozen proscribed terrorist organisations were allowed to regroup under new names, and pro-jihad madrasas trebled to 13,000. Zardari proposes a reconstruction budget to revitalise everything from local transport to water supplies. His aides have drawn up employment schemes and proposed wholesale reforms of partisan local police and local government. The families of those who die in the struggle against extremism are to be paid compensation, and those who are injured will have their medical costs covered.

Finally, Zardari is offering to establish a special intelligence cell at the Pakistan High Commission in London, which will act as a storehouse for information about Islamists and terror threats, tracking British Pakistanis as they make their way from the UK to Pakistan - a concrete boon to British counter-terrorism officials, who recently revealed that eight out of 10 current investigations in the UK have a close connection to Pakistan. Given the spectacular collapse of the airline bomb plot trial this month, this cell might tip the balance in Zardari’s favour. “We all want fewer blunders,” Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s high commissioner in London, said.

In a notoriously difficult foreign policy arena, injected with precious few new ideas, there are signs that Brown is ready to take Zardari seriously. The Foreign Office has already played a vigorous and little known role in getting Zardari elected president: Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the FCO political director, used his offices to elegantly strong-arm Pakistani political factions exiled to the UK into voting for the PPP’s presidential candidate. In a daring move, the MQM party, which has offices in north London - and was set against the PPP - was talked into becoming temporary champion of a PPP machine it had previously only bombed and shot at.


The ferment of revolt now running right through one of the largest and most significant countries in the East and a nuclear power to boot is a powerful sign of how badly wrong the crisis warmongering measures of imperialism have already gone.

The blitzing and bombing begun a decade ago with a “warm up exercise” pounding tiny Serbia after suitably demonising it with streams of lies about supposed “ethnic cleansing” and nonexistent “massacres” and “atrocities” (stunted up with the lying collusion of Western TV and press and still poured out in profusion ten years later despite the utter failure of the Western occupation forces to find any evidence whatsoever), and continued with the B52 pulverising of dirt-poor Afghanistan and the destruction of sophisticated and cultured Iraqi civilisation under the crude indiscriminate fascist US marine jackboot, was supposed to be an easy display of US ruthlessness and rampaging willingness to bludgeon and destroy all resistance to the continuing rule of US imperialism – the great sudden “shock and awe” display of intimidatory power, quelling all resistance in a few weeks.

This is imperialism’s “pre-response” to the desperate crisis running through its system, (which the ruling class has been completely consciously anticipating), hoping to get in first to quell the inevitable upheavals (food riots already, and not long to be limited only to the Third World) that Great Slump Depression will trigger, and equally to intimidate and shut down trade war challenges from rival imperialist powers.

Their role was to remain intimidated allowing the Empire to force on them its great debt burden.

The Great Empire wanted to make sure that entire world remained in awe allowing it to continue its seventy year dominance, and ultimately well placed to come out on top of the enormous destruction required to get through slump.

Exactly as before in two world wars, the plan has been to get the war atmosphere re-established for the necessary slump destruction to revive capitalist profit.

But the plan is horribly askew, bogged down precisely in the refusal of the great masses any longer to be intimidated and pushed down.

The now imminent Depression means that life is becoming impossible for the great masses who can no longer live in the old way.

The incapacity of imperialism to any longer contain Third World rebellion (however crude its struggles), or to intimidate the Russias, and other rising capitalist rivals, or successfully organise coups and assassinations, increasingly signals that it can no longer rule in the old way.

It is a recipe for revolutionary transformation.

Only conscious leadership is missing.

The great need is for Leninist parties to be built to take up the scientific struggle to understand the rapidly unfolding developments in the world class struggle and through unity and conflict with the mass of the working class battle for the revolutionary understanding that provides the leadership crucial for ending this foul and collapsing imperialist order, sweeping it forever from history.

Capitalism has revealed its disastrous weaknesses.

Study, develop, argue and build Leninist living revolutionary understanding.

Don Hoskins.


Return to the top