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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 1339 12th October 2008


They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,

Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.

Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;

Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?


Capitalism, not “lack of regulation” is responsible for New Great Depression and oncoming war now staring mankind in the face. Saving the banks will not stop unemployment, misery, chaos and Third World War but guarantee further and deeper catastrophe. Only ENDING disgraced imperialism for good – overturning it for workers dictatorship – will solve the problems. Revolutionary theory and a communist party need building immediately

One of the two great props of the capitalist system – the illusion of endless technological success, glitz and boom time consumerist prosperity – is now completely shattered.

The complete confounding of illusions and belief in the triumphant “Western way of life” has taken just four weeks of devastating market turmoil and panic on a scale never before seen in history, and not over yet.

History, and assumptions about the world are turned upside down.

Except Marxism’s: The suddenness of the upheaval confirms the catastrophic nature of the profit system and the contradictions built-in to it, as Marx discovered (see economics page) and as the EPSR scientific understanding alone has been warning the working class for the last 30 years, against the ridicule, hostility, opposition and sheer incomprehension of the entire fake-”left” spectrum of posturing pretend middle class “revolutionaries” (Trotskyists and revisionists alike).

The petty bourgeois complacency and opportunism that has stifled political understanding and revolutionary politics for decades may persist for a while - but the growing unemployment and deprivation of slump and Depression will finish it off as the lies and posturing are totally exposed.

Pure survival questions will force the working class masses to rethink everything – and especially to ask why the disastrous warmongering capitalist system should continue at all.

Because there is no alternative the Western brainwashing ideology has always argued.

Relentless anti-communism has been the other great pillar keeping the Western imperialist system going.

Central to that has been not the just constant lurid CIA planted fabrications about the supposed “gulag oppression” and never-proven endless alleged “massacres” but the notion that planned state control is inefficient and unworkable (an illusion sustained by the mealy mouthed anti-communist Trotskyists despite their “revolutionism”).

The giant Goebbels LIE that “communism doesn’t work” pumped out non-stop by ruling class in its totally controlled press, TV, books, plays and Hollywood films (the greatest brainwashing instrument ever created) and tragically and falsely given extra credence by the pointless and cowardly Gorbachevite revisionist capitulation to the “genius of the market” (looking pretty sick now in Russia!!!!) has been the mainstay of post-war imperialist ideology.

As capitalism descends into utter chaos this shallow self-serving nonsense ideology about the “free world” of “choice and democracy” is virtually all that now prevents the entire working class from rising up immediately to finally end the foul world imperialist misery and exploitation system for good.

Staggeringly, it is the ruling class now tearing up this fantasy itself.

After decades declaring that the “free market” is sacred and the only possible way to run the world, it is abandoned overnight.

Contemplated total nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy must be used, it is declared, to rescue the fat cats and bankers from the shaming and disgraced disaster they have created.

The corporate state is back, just like it was in the Nazi 1930s.

But if totalitarian “we’ll do what it takes” measures are suitable for the ultra-rich, why not for the masses?

Why rescue a degenerate and incompetent system that is tearing lives apart and plunging the world back towards the disastrous warmongering of the First and Second World wars but on a scale and extent far beyond even that destruction?

Why should state control not be used to build a decent world for ordinary people?

The real value in the world, the useful things, rather than their money exchange properties, are still there. Factories, mines farms and plantations, as capable today of producing raw materials and making things as they were yesterday; and the working class that does all the labour (though most of its value is stripped away from them into the Mr Money Bags’ coffers) is still there too.

Why not take all the real resources of the economy into the hands of the working class, without compensation, and use them to build a fair and carefully organised cooperative world under the rational socialist planning of the working class?

It is called communism and it is the future.

There is only one answer.

Because the kind of state control now being installed (and argued for by the fake-“lefts” like Ken Livingstone), is control of the state by the ultra-rich capitalist class for the ultra-rich.

Another kind of state, firmly run by the working class is needed to suppress the capitalists, their greed and their ruthless wage-slave driving exploitation.

It is the dictatorship of the proletariat.

It will not be achieved by the “votes and elections” of completely fraudulent bourgeois “democracy” but only by revolution.

It is coming.

As the shock sinks in to tens of millions of “celebrity and shopping” bedazzled ordinary people, now facing utter penury, the rage and anger at the way they have been fooled, kept in ignorance and (mis)led by the nose, will rise unstoppably.

Resistance and turmoil is going to rise on a mass scale as the festering confusion and anarchic mess of capitalism turns not only into deprivation and Mad Max burnt-out car chaos (as one petty bourgeois commentator fearfully speculated this week) but rapidly heads into bitter trade war and the eruption of inter-imperialist hostilities and Third World War.

The same anger which has mounted over years in the Third World at the tyrannical exploitation, wage slave poverty and forced ignorance imposed by imperialist “investment” will now explode in heartlands of even the most advanced countries as well.

What are the great, poor but savvy streetwise masses of the US going to do in the gang-ridden slums of Los Angeles and housing projects of New Jersey, the hurricane devastated wastes of New Orleans or the repossessed housing estates of Cleveland and Pennsylvania as even the hard life most of them have already alongside in-your-face contemptuous wealth, is stripped away to pay for bankers bonuses???

What is going to happen in the banlieus of Paris and Lyons, in the “gastarbeiter” back streets of Berlin, the narrow housing lots of Tokyo, – everywhere.

What is going to happen in Moscow (an especially interesting question) where the promised dreamland of the “free market” is collapsing around their ears?

The anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist struggles which have erupted and spread throughout the Third World in a dozen sometimes crazy and bizarre ideological forms, but increasingly coherent, determined and united in rising hatred and hostility of the great US Empire dominance and exploitation, give the answer.

Humanity has grown up through the long centuries of capitalist and imperialist rule and the people of the world are not the same as they were in the early days of capitalist expansion; bemused and over-awed by the power and wealth and technology of rampaging colonialists.

They can no longer tolerate the enforced unfairness of edge-of-starvation slave-level exploitation and the tyrannical oppression used to impose it through constant coups, wars, death squads, torture, and antagonism at the best of times (over 400 assassinations, toppled governments, concentration camp dictatorships, fascist takeovers, massacres of communists and outright blitzing wars since 1945 by world imperialism and its leading US power).

Their hostility can only climb as once again the monopoly capitalist order shows that it is heading precipitously down a path into total war catastrophe and international conflict and destruction.

Everywhere the working class is driven back into want and deprivation again (and as Marx also predicted, the middle class too) and the structure of society is threatened with total breakdown.

However chaotic and anarchic the initial rebellions, the masses will be forced to develop the crucial revolutionary leadership that will eventually coordinate these struggles and fight for the overturn of capitalism.

That is why the ruling class is keeping in reserve ever more stepped-up police state surveillance, prisons, torture and fascistisation of society which it has been carefully preparing for the last decade, under the ludicrous “war on terror” lying cover (to lull suspicions). All the time it has been getting ready for open dictatorship, not mainly against “terrorism” (as it calls Third World insurgency and resistance by even the most heroic of oppressed peoples like the 60 year battle of the Palestinians against monstrous Nazi Zionist occupation) but against potential working class rebellion – and to prepare for war.

“Democracy” will finally be torn up under the excuse that “emergency powers” are needed, exactly as in the 1930s and the Second World War.

This is the real ”totalitarianism” – oncoming fascism, imposed directly by the ruling class (not by special little right wing “branded” fascist parties though they play a role as well) which again the fake-“left” entirely fails to warn anyone about.

Parliamentary “democracy” always has been a complete fraud anyway, a token gesture as a cover for the actual decision making in society which is done by the rich industrialists, financiers and landowners and their networks and state establishments; the Privy Council, the banks, the Stock Market, the private investors, the judges, the police, the military, the intelligence services, the private “clubs”, and in wider US dominated imperialism by the G7, the IMF and the World Bank.

It has been a highly effective way of class rule to give the illusion that “the little people” have a say, while in reality bourgeois dictatorship runs everything.

But the desperately fearful ruling class knows that capitalism always teeters on the edge of the abyss, and has been preparing firmer measures.

It is no surprise that one US Congressman, Brad Sherman, has declared publicly on the floor of the Senate (viewable on You Tube) that several congressmen, opposed the use of working class tax money for the $700bn (!!!) bailout of Wall Street (disastrously failing anyway), had been threatened in private with martial law being declared if the bailout vote for the banks did not go through.

But the bourgeoisie also wants to hold off playing this desperate Nazi card for as long as it can milk a little more time from the remaining illusions in a “free society” and “parliamentary“ or “presidential” elections, aided by the reformist “lefts” (McDonnell, Galloway, Livingstone etc etc, the fake-“revolutionaries” who support them, and the soft-brained “peaceful road” idiocies of revisionism.

The record of open dictatorship survival is not good; German Nazism lasted just 12 years before going up in smoke and flames.

It teaches the masses too many lessons about the dictatorial realities of capitalism in its most brutal phase (which is its normality).

Just for the moment, even as the disastrous endlessly failing nature of the monopoly capitalist economic order has once again become undeniable (except by the fake-”lefts”), the world bourgeoisie, behind its dominant US Empire power, is still trying to unite in saying “of course we have to rescue it”.

But the bullying assertion that “we all have to contribute to save Wall Street because otherwise we all go down in a markets crash” is the biggest fraud and lie of all – a capitalist financial “suicide bomber” threatening to destroy everything if the system does not get its way.

It is designed to do one thing only – blame the working class for the oncoming crisis and bully it into paying for it, suffering the burdens of the catastrophic disaster imposed by imperialism’s incompetence and failure.

Bail out the banks and the ultra-rich, they threaten, or suffer untold misery and chaos.

This is a total nonsense; utter disaster faces the world anyway, the result of the capitalist system, not some lately “unregulated” version of it or “unfortunate spivvery and dishonesty” or “unforeseen credit crunch”.

(It is another great lie anyway that all this is unforeseeable or, like a weather storm, has risen up somewhere else quite by chance. It has been entirely predictable exactly as the EPSR has been insisting, not to bang the drum about its own yet limited understanding, but to demonstrate the power of Marxist scientific analysis, a philosophy far beyond bourgeois critical realism.)

(The market collapse was all knowable and was known but covered up and consciously lied about by the ruling class and most disgracefully of all by the fake-“left” opportunists, from the cynical and manipulative New Labourites (Brown was doing these manipulations!!) right through all the onion layers of ever more “left” elements who tell the working class endlessly that eventually it will be “our turn” but who thereby keep the parliamentary “protest” and “slow-but-steady-change” reformist illusions fed in the working class, always heading off their more sound revolutionary instincts.)

It is capitalism itself – not bankers or bank failures, not “irresponsible” lending, not massive bonuses, not “lack of regulation”, not deceit and fraud (though they are all present) but the fundamental profit-making mechanism and endless accumulation of capital seeking more profit, which has been responsible for the mayhem now facing mankind universally.

Racketeering and fraud is always thrown up in the collapse phase of the capitalist cycle as Karl Marx had already noted in the mid-nineteenth century (see p6 and three volumes of Capital). But even if total probity was enforced (it never can be) the profit-making system would implode anyway.

Slump depression is unstoppably built into its fabric as Marx, Engels and Lenin long ago analysed and understood, part of the very structure of production for ever accumulated profit.

Mass starvation, unemployment, misery and despair has been the lot of the working class at repeated intervals throughout the rise and now long decline of capitalism.

Crisis collapse routinely occurs through the centuries on an ever worsening scale.

It is the continuing existence of that system which will be the biggest disaster of all for the world’s masses, far more painful and destructive than total collapse and revolutionary upheaval would be to end it for good

The New Great Crash is the signal and the evidence that the monopoly capitalist system is effectively dead, a historically outmoded society living on like a walking zombie, capable only of worldwide Depression, hatred and disaster, culminating, as after the last two great economic failures, in deadly destruction and war.

Bourgeois world cooperation cannot last as eventually the system fails utterly.

Already the huge “coordinated” interest rate cutting of the central banks – described by one economist as like the “last ditch throwing of the gun at the beast because all the bullets have been fired” – has itself been overtaken by further massive panic.

If, as seems increasingly likely, yet more hyper-credit is unable to stem the desperation and collapse in confidence, then open conflict is inevitable as the now unstoppable disastrous collapse of the system sucks everything into a black hole of debt default and profit collapse.

Even if things can once more be “stabilised” by yet more printing of dollars to prop up the banks it can only be a completely temporary holding off of ultimate disaster, which will be made even worse by feeding in yet more paper dollars.

The problem facing the world is not “too little liquidity” or “under-capitalisation”.

Exactly the opposite, it is that there is too much capital, too much money looking to make a profit in a world already jammed solid with accumulated capital looking to make profit.

As Marx explained, even without credit, the relentless accumulation of capital means ultimately there is not room for all the investments in the world to make a profit and the overall level of profit tends towards zero.

Something has to give and capital has to be wiped out.

Credit mechanisms help overcome some of the minor instabilities in the system and accelerate its expansion but ultimately just add to the contradictions making crisis much greater.

The weird and particular forms the crisis is now taking may manifest themselves as “credit crunch etc” but that is the result of the already insane levels of credit produced by the system.

In desperation the banks, first of all notably in Japan in the 1990s and more generally throughout the world, have had to lend money to increasingly risky prospects, because there was nowhere else to go for investment.

Ultimately the finance houses have taken to increasingly desperate measures to force loans onto people culminating in the bizarre phenomenon of lending money to the poorest in society that they know have neither the income nor any other resources to pay it back. Printing yet more money may (or may not) cover this particular default.

But it will simply feed more inflationary dollars into an already overfed finance system.

There is no way out that capitalism knows other than to reduce the surplus capital to a level where what is left - and its victorious owners – can once more make a profit.

A few bankruptcies will not suffice.

It means physical destruction of the capital; the farms and factories, ships and railways, that make up the productive capacity of society.

The demented end-point is world war – just as the dog-eat-dog capitalist trade and finance conflicts to survive in the great slumps of the early twentieth century twice exploded into deadly inter-imperialist destruction and chaos in 1914 and 1939, deliberately wiping out at the same time the “surplus” capital choking the system (and millions of surplus workers too), and rebalancing the distribution of power and influence among the imperialist nations.

The ominous threats being made by the British against bankrupt little Iceland, because of “money you owe us” are symptoms of the next chapter of devastating crisis.

It is no mistake that Reykjavik immediately noted it was being treated “like a terrorist” with the same legislation being used against it to confiscate its companies in the UK.

The bitter recriminations which began to emerge last weekend at the “go it alone” bank bailouts of Ireland, Germany and Austria are also the rumblings of inter-imperialist hostility which can only lead in one direction – open conflict over trade and eventual war as the imperialist rivals struggle to survive in the maelstrom.

Countries like the UK, reliant totally on “rentier” finance for their income, and with bank funding need four or five times GNP, now stand exposed to a hurricane of withdrawals in the stampede.

Just how deadly such threats are, is already revealed by the bankruptcy of the entire economy of Iceland.

Far bigger countries like Argentina have also been swept aside in capitalist turmoil in the recent past.

And almost unnoticed in the hurricane, the GATT international trading structure has utterly broken down too.

“This is dog-eat-dog beggar-thy-neighbour politics” the bourgeois press was screaming at the Germans one minute, stepping up the hysteria and chauvinist war fever exactly as planned by a jittery ruling class which has long known what is coming.

War measures which have been underway for a decade now (bombing Serbia, the lying fraud of the attack on Iraq, the endless civilian killing blitzes in Afghanistan and now Pakistan) have had an underlying purpose – to get the great masses used to the idea of torture, destruction and killing, as well as to intimidate all resistance, both from rising Third World revolt and as an example to potential rival imperialist challengers.

Planned socialism, built under the firm class dictatorship control of the proletariat, is the only possible way to end the chaos which has arrived.

Revolution is the only way to get there, with a revolutionary party and understanding to lead it.

But not one of the fake-“left” parties which for decades have postured and preened as “revolutionaries” has spoken out or will speak out on these questions.

They are all riddled with petty bourgeois class attitudes, fearful of the bourgeois collapse but ten times more fearful of any working class action and discipline needed to overturn the ossified and degenerate disgrace of bourgeois class society.

In various forms they completely sustain capitalist anti-communism or refuse to deal with problems of Stalinist retreat from revolutionism, simply denying or hiding away all the difficult problems.

As the EPSR declared in its 2001 Perspectives produced half a decade ago:

As a result of it now being doubted that any economic system could ever match the phenomenal innovations and technology-productivity of the ‘free market’, there is also now widespread doubt that anything remotely like the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution could ever happen again.

In turn, this muddle gets caught up with sneaking suspicions that the whole Soviet experience might have been a very unhealthy one-off cul-de-sac in history, a sick wrong turning utterly irrelevant to socialism.

Apart from a few groups of museum-Stalinists in some countries who simply deny most of the difficult problems of 20th century development, all the rest of the 57 varieties of Trotskyism, Revisionism, and Centrism on the fake-’left’ tend to capitulate to this all-powerful international anti-communist sentiment.

This widespread mentality not only challenges traditional Marxist ideas on how socialism could come about, but on how history itself works. Instead of class-struggle revolutions being civilisation’s driving force, idealist philosophy again rules. The fake ‘left’ spends its entire time manoeuvring for electoral ‘alliance’ pecking order position (LSA Trots); trying to recreate ‘left’ Labourism (CPB, SLP, SP,) etc or pretending to guarantee ‘mistake-free socialism’ by the pedantic peddling of abstract, generalised programmes, constitution; or standing orders of some wholly academic immaculate-party conception (CPGB, SLP, Open Polemic, etc).

Wholly shunned is any attempt to re-convince the international working-class that a further development of Marxist scientific understanding alone holds the key to civilisation’s future by demonstrating a correct analysis of the current stage of imperialist crisis and polemically defending it against all comers, rebuilding a party of revolutionary theory as Leninism did, in other words.

A party taking the lead in saying exactly that as the basis for building such vital struggle, urgently needs building.

The truth is that throughout the twentieth century the workers states, led by the Soviet Union, not only grew steadily and consistently (if at times seemingly boringly) but set the path for social fairness and development as well as enormous advances in world science culture and technology, far beyond anything the West had ever produced.

For decades during the Cold War these communist achievements were so attractive to the working class, that to head off revolution the West was obliged to parody them in the “free democratic” countries with welfare-ism “safety nets” and concessions, desperately trying to “prove” that capitalism was “just as good” as communism but with “better” consumer delights to boot.

It was tied to continuing the illusion of “freedom and democracy” versus ruthless demonisation and propaganda lies about supposed “totalitarianism”.

The bourgeois “democracy” fraud has been the ruling class’s most powerful weapon for keeping the lid on rebellion over the last 200 years, at least in the richest imperialist countries which have bled enough super-profits from their colonial and neo-colonial empires to sustain such parliamentary luxuries (in the ruthlessly exploited Third World, bribed gangster stooge corruption and/or fascist death-squad and torture dictatorships have been the only reality as in for example Haiti, Guatemala, Indonesia, the Philippines, Colombia, Egypt, Bangla Desh, Nigeria, apartheid South Africa etc etc etc etc).

But even by squeezing the life out of the hundreds of millions of Third World masses to extract maximum “surplus” value from their labour, and limiting the Western benefits to only privileged layers of the working class (the state sector bureaucracy, and local government, more powerful class collaborating trade unionised skilled labour etc, etc) this was unsustainable.

Endless dollar printing was needed, right from the end of the Second World War onwards, to bribe the Third World network of stooge regimes overseeing the exploitation needed to pay for the fantasy “prosperity of capitalism”. It steadily and relentlessly polluted with growing inflationary toxin the whole interconnected world capitalist trading order, even as that grew, penetrated and inter-penetrated further and deeper around the world than ever before.

This desperate inflationary paradox was ready to explode in crisis even by the 1970s, inflamed by the enormous expense of the endless unsuccessful and failed anti-communist blitzkrieg horror inflicted on peasant Vietnam, and has been lurching from disaster to disaster ever since through the Thatcherite 1980s recession, the Stock Exchange Crash of 1987, the devastation of the Far East currency collapses of the 1990s, and the crisis turmoil in Latin America.

Reagan/Thatcher efforts to discipline the working class only stirred again the revolutionary undercurrents of the working class despite anti-trade union victories bitterly and expensively won, against the miners for example, (at the cost of exposing for good the failings of opportunist and class-collaborating Trade Union-ism which tied the miners and working class to deluded “Plan for Coal” reformism, and failed to see or anyway warn about, the class war, civil-war, revolutionary nature of the 1984 struggle).

Trade Union-ism has done nothing but tailend reformist opportunism ever since and unions can do no more unless and until they acquire a revolutionary perspective.

Collapse crisis was held off, boosted by the fortuitous last ditch “bonus” for the West of the total capitulation of Gorbachevism (the degenerate and idiot end point of Stalinist revisionism), sold a complete pup of “peace with imperialism” and “free market efficiency” as the half-bankrupted US Empire temporarily wound down the Cold War arms race, to concentrate its energy against the rising capitalist challenges of Japan and German-led Europe, and various other growing small rivals like Brazil and Korea.

The completely unnecessary liquidation of the USSR (whose economy was still chugging along in steady if uninspiring growth) gave the West a short new lease of life with a return to yet more glitzy bribery and consumerism for the masses to keep them pacified, combined with relentless dumbing down with shallow fashion, “fun” clubbing, pornography, drugs and celebrities. and deliberate hostility to seriousness and thoughtfulness encouraged and lauded.

“Well you have to have a laugh don’t you” is the watchword for utter inanity, with even the most plangent social criticism hijacked and denatured into yet another safe TV “satire” programme.

Try telling these “politically correct” jokes to the slum dwellers in Rio, the near-slave Indian and Pakistani labour forces building the deranged Arab fantasy cities in the Gulf; to the desperate impoverished population of Haiti, forced to eat actual mud-cakes (made from dirt) to fill their stomachs, or the Niger delta dwellers swamped and polluted by spilt oil waste, without ever seeing a cent of the fabulous oil wealth ripped out of the ground around them.

Ruling class fearfulness found it easier to pump up the credit even more, throughout the 1990s, than to take on the working class for the imposition of slump discipline and the cutbacks which were becoming ever more insistently needed the longer they were all deferred.

The resulting astonishing hyper-credit “boom” time dot-com period and its even further extension post-2000 to escape yet more collapse disaster has been pumping the balloon way beyond bursting point.

It has been pumping up the already fever pitch contradictions of the world capitalist economy to the bursting point now seen of the greatest collapse of all time.

Hollow debt-fed “prosperity” was all that underpinned the fatuous emptiness of Blairism and “spin politics”, which was a desperate last ditch ruling class throw to sustain parliament after the disastrous sleaze collapse of the first-team ruling class Tory Party in the wake of the rebellious extra-parliamentary poll tax riots (a hint of the potentially revolutionary sentiment brewing in the working class).

Knowingly lying to the working class to stave off growing unease and disillusionment with all parliamentary and bourgeois politics has seen cynicism about “politicians”, already increasing with every Labourite betrayal from the pro-imperialist anti-communist “left” Attlee government onwards, turn into universal contempt.

The turnout for General Elections has become ludicrously tiny, and even the small remnant who still bother to vote do so only to express their disgust at the sleaze, fat cat pandering and venal warmongering mendacity of the New Labourites.

But the plan for the ruling class has been to use the extra time it has bought with this vacuous spin trickery to get the warmongering underway – which it consciously knows is on the way and both needs and wants.

The degenerate craven stooge New Labourites have put themselves out to help the ruling class whip up the world warmongering atmosphere and to step up the police state fascistisation of society, the two sides of the Nazi coin of degenerate crisis ridden imperialism.

Not for nothing just at the moment that the economy melts down does the government announce a staggeringly expensive £12bn scheme for a giant science-fiction-like Brainiac super-computer system to monitor and analyse every phone call, email and text message sent by anyone in the country.

As the EPSR alone has said the ten year sequence of blitzing started against the residue of once communist Yugoslavia in the 1998 Serbian bombing, the following Afghanistan war and the Iraq war, is utterly an expression of oncoming slump disaster, and completely integrated with the appalling economic armageddon now stunning the world.

It is the American monopoly capitalist Empire’s attempt (with British sidekick help) to get in first, and set the Third World war tone, riding out the crisis by “shock and awe” intimidation of all rising Third World rebellion.

The plan was to intimidate the world in advance of the onrushing slump collapse while the enormous advantage was still with the apparent overwhelming superiority in prestige, military and technological power and super-wealth of the greatest monopoly dominant Empire in history.

To some extent it has worked, buying the temporary world submission of all other potentially challenging imperialist powers and particularly ensuring the continuing acceptance of American debt around the world, allowing the the Empire to continue sucking in the world’s resources and the lion’s share of the value produced (by exploited human labour) in exchange for nothing more than yet more inflationary paper dollar credit.

The much more successful capitalist economies of Japan, and Europe, and the enormous growth of China through capitalist economic mechanisms, – (as yet still under the political planning control of the Beijing revisionist led Chinese workers state, directing overall development plans, investment zoning and regional infrastructure expansion), have soaked up the surplus dollars that would otherwise have already choked the world trading system.

But even with the best will in the world and most compliant acceptance of dollar credit surpluses to “maintain stable world economics” - which is undoubtedly one of the main illusions of the utterly unrevolutionary mindrot revisionism that dominates Beijing just like it does the rest of the old Third International, – counting on the “peaceful” overtaking of capitalism to finally establish socialism and “win the respect” of the West (the silly shallow bureaucratic ambition of the nevertheless brilliant Beijing Olympics for example) – there is no stopping the unevenness of imperialist development and huge unbalancing contradictions of the system from building up and breaking through.

Imperialism has already run into massive difficulties with its brutal, daily, civilian blitzing and torturing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Both, despite some cosmetic success in exhausted Iraq at enormous additional expense (on top of the billions already thrown at the problem) are trapped in disastrous stalemate with the Afghanistan war increasingly looking not only like a slowly drawn out massive defeat but now infecting the whole region with growing resistance.

This is world revolution developing however weirdly, crudely and inadequately.

The total failure by virtually the entire fake-“left” to understand this, see it, or explain it to the working class, or worse, hostility to this view, decrying as “reactionary” the Pakistani rebellions, the Afghanistan rising struggle, the Iran state anti-Americanism, the Iraqi insurgencies, the Nepalese revolution, the Somalian Islamic courts insurgency, the Islamic anti-Westernism in Egypt etc etc and most of all the dogged 60 year long and bitterly heroic militancy of the endlessly and genocidally suffering Palestinian nation (particularly in its most determined Gaza strip sector) is a measure of what posturing frauds they are.

It is utterly bound up with a narrow petty bourgeois idealist view of the world starting from what is (allegedly) in peoples’ heads and not from the material realities of the struggles, and most importantly of the giant capitalist crisis that has been brewing for decades and which constantly erupts around the world most of all in the warmongering long begun by the New American Century blitzkrieg plans of the neocon fundamentalist US ruling class (which the Democrats will equally go along with should Barack Obama, already in the pocket of the Zionists and statedly willing to bomb Iran - the next demonisation victim perhaps).

The intertwining of economic crisis and maturing Third World consciousness (which will be driven more and more to find and develop Leninist leadership by the incapacity of feudal religious notions to deal with the problems) have been completely ignored in the analyses of ALL fake-“left”s who are nothing to do with Marxism, even at their most preeningly “revolutionary” moments (few and far between in their actual newspapers and articles).

The opportunism and academicism of these groups, and their deep-down petty bourgeois awe at the power of the capitalist ruling class was nowhere better expressed than in the disgraceful universal capitulation of all of them to the “war on terror” nonsense used to justify the West’s blitzkrieging hatred against this rising Third World hostility and their willingness to “condemn” all of its resistance as “terrorism” and “crime”, lining themselves right behind reactionary imperialism.

It tells the working class everything they need to know about their politics especially now the economic meltdown confirms the real basis of capitalist warmongering.

Even as the real nature of capitalism is now heavily confirmed, the “lefts” continue their utter failure to lead the working class. Desperate articles suddenly on the meltdown and crisis are pouring out to try and pretend that the Trots and revisionists knew all about this (though even four weeks ago they were universally condemning such views as “catastrophist nonsense and exaggeration”).

Much of the reformist “left” continues to support capitalism, explaining the crisis only on its technical failures or offering technical solutions (too big bonuses, greed culture, need for public spending etc).

The Will Huttons, George Galloways and John McDonnells posturing around with such “left” ideas of “the need for regulated capitalism” would simply keep it going.

They are talking reformist pie-in-the-sky anyway; the only time such measures can be instigated is when capitalism is in difficulties, and potentially threatened by revolutionary change, as in the period at the end of the Second World War, when the world working class was disgusted with destruction and ready for socialism, and “democratic socialist” opportunism was used to keep their demands under control with a few concessions like the NHS and the pretend “workers” ownership of failed capitalist enterprise too by “nationalising” the mines, the railways, water provision etc – exactly as arch-Blairite duplicity (through the opportunist Peter Hain) is once again talking about now they are about to go bankrupt.

But when the ruling class it is back in the saddle, all such concessions and control hampering the “freedom to exploit” of the ruling class and its use of the state to sustain profit making (via privatisation, lucrative government contracts etc) will be withdrawn, as Thatcherism did.

Any “left” government that went against such ruling class interests would immediately be either manipulated out or forced out of office, with the threat of violent coups and imprisonment always as a backstop (notable in the 1970s crisis period of private armies etc).

The “revolutionaries” are no better, but hide their capitulation under relentless defeatism and academicism. Long tedious articles halfway explaining Marx’s analysis in the abstract, vaguely hint at capitalist turmoil “possibly” leading to conflict and international war without remotely identifying the past ten years of blitzkrieging as the major confirmation of the crisis.

But most of all they talk down the possibilities of revolutionary development; almost without exception declaring the working class to be defeated, without organisation, trade union militancy gone and with a long road to build any parties (Weekly Worker, SWP etc) on the complex academic constitutional formulae they discuss at tedious length.

But what is required is leadership, not tailending of the working class.

There has never been a better moment, nor more critical need, for arguing for revolutionary political clarity than in the now “interesting times” of the Chinese proverb, when turmoil and collapse has overturned all fixed and complacent assumptions,

Here is how Lenin argued against this petty bourgeois class defeatism and deliberate spreading of demoralisation:

Undisguised opportunism, which immediately repels the working masses, is not so frightful and injurious as this theory of the golden mean, which uses Marxist catchwords to justify opportunist practice, and tries to prove, with a series of sophisms, that revolutionary action is premature, etc. Kautsky, the most outstanding spokesman of this theory, and also the leading authority in the Second International, has shown himself a consummate hypocrite and a past master in the art of prostituting Marxism.

The proletarian masses—probably about nine-tenths of whose former leaders have gone over to the bourgeoisie—have found themselves disunited and helpless amid a spate of chauvinism and under the pressure of martial law and the war censorship. But the objective war-created revolutionary situation, which is extending and developing, is inevitably engendering revolutionary sentiments; it is tempering and enlightening all the finest and most class-conscious proletarians. A sudden change in the mood of the masses is not only possible, but is becoming more and more probable, a change similar to that which was to be seen in Russia early in 1905 in connection with the “Gaponade”, 129 when, in the course of several months and sometimes of several weeks, there emerged from the backward proletarian masses an army of millions, which followed the proletariat’s revolutionary vanguard. We cannot tell whether a powerful revolutionary movement will develop immediately after this war, or during it, etc., but at all events, it is only work in this direction that deserves the name of socialist work. (See EPSR 1249 for fuller quotes).

We are not yet in a revolutionary situation? Maybe – but conditions are ripening rapidly and the missing element which Lenin argues it is duty of the party to pursue, is precisely the revolutionary consciousness that the fake–“left” are busy declaring “premature.”

A few notable exceptions among all this include the Proletarian, calling for a “revolutionary party” to be built.

Well and good. But its museum Stalinism, unconditionally lauding the old Soviet Union and resolutely refusing to discuss the mistakes and philosophical retreats from revolutionary perspectives which marred is development from the 1930s and led to the dire peaceful roadism of the entire Third International, hampering revolutionary communist development for decades, is just as dishonest and opportunist as the other fakes.

Their cover-up of their own past tailending of the worst opportunism (eight years of uncritical support of the Scargillite bullshit and “left” reformist anti-communism inside the SLP eg: support for the monstrous two-state imperialist stooge Mahmoud Abbas in Palestine, and mistaken “victory” calls for the Iraqi insurgency (when Leninism calls only for defeat of imperialism)) are recently compounded by an uncritical support for “the Russian Federation” over Georgia. This is utter confusion. The Federation is restored capitalist and the fatuous Bonapartist Putin recently berated the West for not understanding his role in “ending communism”. Lenin would have celebrated only the defeat for Western warmongering intrigue over Georgia, not this addle brained misleadership.

Build Leninism. Don Hoskins

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Two views on Evo Morales’ referendum victory in Bolivia and US sponsored counter-revolution. From Cuba...

THE obstinacy of the eastern Media Luna departmental governors, who called for a civic strike on August 19 as a continuation of their strategy to block the process of change underway in Bolivia, cannot hide the fact that President Evo Morales came out of the repeal referendum stronger, with greater voter approval, winning a little over half a million votes more than those he received when he was elected president on December 18 2005, despite constant harassment from the oligarchic extreme-right forces and Washington’s interference.

The privately-owned media, as accomplices and companions to the separatist and counter-revolutionary adventure of right-wing political and economic forces, are using their front pages to praise the disrespect and disobedience of these prefects, like Rubén Costas of Santa Cruz, who called for slaughter in order to force a response from the government that they dare to label anti-democratic. However, that same media will have nothing to say, about the figures released by the National Electoral Council, which are irrefutable proof of the triumph of the Movement Toward Socialism government and the president and vice president.

The referendum not only upheld the mandate of “the Indian,” as the pro-secession leaders pejoratively refer to Morales, but confirmed a withdrawal of support for the opposition to the tune of 312,435 votes, a figure that they do not talk about, of course.

Another of the myths fabricated by the media is that of the alleged monolithic unity against the president in the country’s eastern region. The referendum outcome released by the Council shows that to be false. In Chuquisaca. after 100% of ballots were counted. 53.88% said “yes” to maintaining Morales as president; in La Paz, the percentage in his favor was 83.27%; in Cochabamba, it was 70.9%; in Oruro. 83%; Potosí ratified him with 84.87% and in the opposition-dominated Taríja, Santa Cruz. Beni and Pando, the “yes” votes totaled 49.83%. 40.75%, 43.72% and 52.50%, respectively. That means that of Bolivia’s nine departments, six voted by a wide margin to keep their president, which is the same as saying they are in favor of change. In Tarija, it was almost a technical tie between the “Yes” and “No” votes, with less than 400 votes more for the “No” vote. In regions where the opposition won the majority, the president still got more than 40% in his favor.

Such an undeniable reality should be accepted by any right wing with a minimum of intelligence, because that is why the much-trumpeted polarization of forces does not exist, and why President Morales has respectable backing at national and departmental levels to continue the process of change. This means, from now on, making a major, one-on-one effort to raise awareness, in order to be able to defend everything that has been achieved thus far. Likewise, this means attracting those groups who are confused by the propaganda, so that they will realize that the opposition governors are. in their class-based essence, anti-constitutional, anti-democratic and anti-patriotic.

For its part, the national government not only has been reiterating its appeals for national dialogue, but on August 16 initiated a series of contacts with representatives of diverse social sectors, to jointly strengthen democracy and the economic, political and social transformations that were, in the end, the trump card for the government in a demonstration that it has not betrayed a single one of its campaign platform points.

Led by the head of state, a meeting took place in the Quemado Presidential Palace Hall of Mirrors of representatives from the Trade Union Federation of Colonizers, the Single Trade Union Confederation of Rural Workers, the National Ayllus Council and Markas del Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ), the Federation of Indigenous Peoples and the Bartolina Sisa National Federation of Native Indigenous Rural Women.

The president listened to all of them, according to the Bolivian News Agency (ABI), and all of them .submitted requests for the president to make changes to his Cabinet in order to make progress more swiftly, and all expressed their concern over the approval of a new national Constitution, which is the new battle now that the repeal referendum has been won. It shouldn’t be forgotten that on the night of August 10, people gathered in the main plaza of La Paz to celebrate the victory of Morales’ ratification asked him to use a ‘firm hand” in the new era that is opening up, and in which, no doubt, the opposition will continue with its plans for mounting a coup or assassinating the president or balkanizing Bolivia, with all of the implied provocations, attempts to make the country ungovernable and destabilizing actions. For these options, they have the multi-million dollar and loyal support of the U.S. government, the architect of the counterrevolution in Bolivia, with its base of operations located in the U.S. embassy in La Paz.

After the referendum that also ratified the Media Luna governors, the latter are maintaining their agenda of making demands that signify a complete return to the departmental governments of the Direct Hydrocarbons Tax; the withdrawal of the project for a new Constitution, approved by constituents in Oruro; the implementation of statutes on autonomy; the creation of their own police and security corps, and tax collection offices.

These are conditions that they Know perfectly well are inadmissible for the popular and democratic government of the MAS and Evo Morales. To accept any of those conditions would be to govern on the basis of coercion, over and above national legislation and the aspirations of the almost 70% of Bolivians who voted for change, with the cornerstone of a new Constitution.

What is now being settled in Bolivia is not a racial or ethnic conflict, or even one between rich and poor, it is not just a matter of the fundamentalism of the Media Luna governors. What is being decided in Bolivia is the struggle between a colonialist, neoliberal system that is doing its utmost to persist in face of the first cries of a new system, which because it is inclusive, just full of solidarity and sovereign, is anticapitalist. That is the issue and whoever says that it is not is lying. •

...and from Ireland

BOLIVIA’S first indigenous president, Aymara Indian Evo Morales, won the recall referendum on his presidency held on 10 August with a massive majority, getting 68 per cent of the vote. The vote is a ringing endorsement for the Morales government’s progressive reforms aimed at overcoming the country’s colonial legacy, which has left the indigenous majority desperately impoverished and excluded.

Following the vote, Morales announced the government will be pursuing its plan to hold a referendum on a new constitution. The opposition has responded to the results with violence, roadblocks and civic stoppages in its eastern strongholds, enforced by armed far-right youth groups. Agribusiness associations in the east have begun organising a “beef boycott”, giving rise to beef shortages in the west.

A civic strike was imposed by militia groups last week that paralysed much of the eastern lowlands and anti-government forces beat up senior police commanders in front of TV cameras. Protests are continuing and Morales has mobilised the military to protect public buildings and institutions, and the nation’s gas and oil fields, all targets of the anti-government protesters. Morales has described the attacks as an attempted “civil coup” by “desperate people”.

Political divisions in Bolivia have deepened since Morales was elected with his Movement Towards Socialism party (MAS) in December 2005 and began asserting the rights of the poor - in the face of a shocked and indignant, mainly white, wealthy minority. Inspired by the Venezuelan example, the government started a process aimed at returning the country’s massive natural gas reserves to public hands. Morales has used the revenue from the re-nationalised gas industry to fund social development including health, education and pension programmes.

While this has brought about a significant improvement in the lives of many Bolivians, the powerful opposition based in the eastern lowlands have fought determinedly to prevent progressive reforms eroding their privileged position, pushing for autonomy from the central government in the resource-rich, industrialised eastern states, or departments.

The opposition organised a series of illegal referenda on autonomy in May and June in the eastern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija. Racist hostility towards the Indian majority has been a key part of their autonomy campaign. Together these four departments account for most of Bolivia’s industry, agribusiness and gas production.

The prefectures, or department governments, are now attempting to withhold gas revenue from the central government, money which is crucial to maintaining the momentum of reforms aimed at overcoming poverty.

The recall referendum, which was on the prefects of Bolivia’s nine departments as well as the presidency and vice-presidency, was initially proposed in the national assembly by MAS last December as a way to break the deepening political deadlock between the government and the opposition but had been blocked by the opposition-controlled senate. A sudden decision on their part to allow the passage of the referendum law in May seemed to be an attempt by the main opposition party in the senate, Podemos, to regain the leadership of the opposition movement from the Santa Cruz-based autonomists.

But the manoeuvre backfired spectacularly on August 10: not only did Morales win a victory more resounding than even the most optimistic of his supporters expected, the opposition also lost two of their prefects to pro-government candidates. At 68 per cent, Morales’s support was 14 per cent higher than when he was elected in 2005.

In his victory speech in La Paz the president declared his determination to continue nationalising natural resources. To cheering crowds he said, “What happened today is important, not only for Bolivians but for all Latin Americans.”

“We are no longer just a simple government, but rather the power of the people”.

The referendum also confirmed four opposition prefects in the eastern provinces. Morales called for a meeting of all the prefects to try to heal divisions and reach a national agreement but talks quickly broke down when the prefects called a shut-down in the eastern departments on August 19. The stoppage was against government plans to divert part of the national direct tax on hydrocarbons towards its proposed Dignity pension for those over 60.

The wealth redistribution and Latin American trade agreements based on mutual solidarity are impacting directly on the eastern elite through the hydrocarbon tax. The eastern prefects are demanding the government return $166 million already raised through the tax, and raise the price of gas exports to Argentina and Brazil.

MAS Congress member Gustavo Torrico said, “The Hydrocarbons tax isn’t a bag of money that we have hidden under the mattress, we’ve distributed it among the country’s senior citizens so they can have an income. This is irreversible.”

Morales’s support base is organising to move forward in the wake of the recall referendum victory with the vote on the proposed new constitution. The social, indigenous and campesino (small farmer) organisations said they would be “closing ranks to defend the government, the unity of the country and the process of change”.

If ratified the new constitution would “refound” the country. Its aim is to empower the indigenous majority by recognising indigenous rights to land and other resources, and by ensuring their increased political participation. It would also provide the firm constitutional basis for increasing public control over the nation’s natural resources. 28 August www.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Washington’s ‘good war’ goes wrong

By Emma Clancy

Bush’s parting gifts to the next US administration are the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Democrats have had the opportunity to stop funding the war in Iraq since they won a majority in the November 2006 Congressional elections and have chosen not to do so - for two reasons. The first is a cynical view that allowing Bush’s Iraq policies to proceed unhampered - but roundly criticised - will win the Democrats the election.

And while Obama himself voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he and the rest of the Democrat leadership share Bush’s goal of establishing a pliant, pro-US regime in Iraq backed up by a long-term US military presence in the region.

There’s no sign of “change we can believe in” on unconditional support for Israel. The Democrats are also careful to distinguish between the ‘bad’ (unpopular) war in Iraq and the ‘good’ nato war in Afghanistan and Obama has called for a redeployment of troops from Iraq to ‘surge’ into Afghanistan - and Pakistan if need be.

The Agency Co-ordinating Body for Afghan Relief recently reported that 2,500 people have been killed in fighting so far this year in Afghanistan with at least 1,000 of them civilians. US air strikes have risen by 40 per cent this year and such strikes have repeatedly hit groups of civilians. In July an air strike in Helmland province killed 47 people at a wedding party.

Even the Afghan president installed by the occupation forces, Hamid Karzai, has been forced to protest, saying “the use of air force in the war against terrorism in the Afghan villages will have no result but causing civilian casualties”.

Nobody knows how many Afghans have been killed since 2001 but estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. There are now more than 60,000 US and nato troops in the country. In the painfully predictable pattern of occupation, as the troop numbers have risen, they’ve provoked a rise in attacks, sparking the cycle of repression and resistance.

The Taliban-led resistance to the occupation has strengthened significantly since they were ousted from government by the 2001 invasion, and armed attacks on nato forces have increased by ten times since then. It is a standing joke in Afghanistan that President Karzai is referred to as “the mayor of Kabul” as the national government is effectively confined to the capital.

The number of roadside bomb attacks has increased fivefold since 2004, and as the attacks grow in number they also grow closer to Kabul. The past three months have been the deadliest so far for US forces, and more than 500 American troops have now been killed with almost 100 killed this year. On 18 August, 10 French troops from nato’s International Security Assistance Force were killed in fighting and 87 British troops have been killed since 2001.

A clear indication of the deepening popular opposition to the occupation was made after a 4 July air strike that killed 22 civilians, when local people joined a group of more than 100 insurgents the following week in an attack on a US base near the border with Pakistan that killed nine US soldiers and wounded 15 more. While the Taliban was despised and feared by the majority of Afghan people when the fundamentalist movement ruled in a backward and brutal social dictatorship, it has experienced a resurgence in popularity based on its effective armed resistance to the occupation.

Almost half the population live in extreme poverty, on less than US$2 a day, and the UN estimates that more than 50 per cent of the country’s gdp is now made up by the drugs trade with both pro and anti-government forces getting in on the action. Ninety per cent of the world’s heroin supply now comes from Afghanistan’s poppy fields and Karzai is notoriously ‘soft’ on the drug barons (which reportedly includes his brother as well as large numbers of corrupt officials).

Barack Obama’s solution to the problems in Afghanistan is to send in 10,000 more US troops. Republican candidate John McCain has also pledged to up troop levels. Bush’s solution so far has been to blame Pakistan for the rising insurgency. Both Democrats and Republicans reject the notion of negotiation with anti-occupation forces, let alone a withdrawal of troops.

There is bipartisan support for this war because it provides the US with the opportunity to lead Europe in a united nato effort - and to permanently maintain a large military presence in the heart of Central Asia under the terms of a deal signed with the Afghan government in 2005, in a country that borders China, Iran and Pakistan, and is close to Russia.

You wouldn’t know it from Bush’s press briefing responding to the resignation of Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf on 18 August in which he forgot Musharraf’s name (“General ... uh ... General urn ...I know he’s a general”) but Pakistan has been the US’s key ally in its Middle Eastern wars. The use of Pakistan as a base for the war on Afghanistan and the frequent border clashes - in one of which nato troops recently killed 11 Pakistani soldiers -helped fuel the popular rejection of Musharraf’s rule and efforts to impeach him that prompted his resignation.

The ruling coalition led by the Pakistan People’s Party will face massive pressure from the US to continue Musharaff’s unpopular policies. A more democratic Pakistani government that obliged the wishes of its people and withdrew support for the wars in the region is not a happy scenario for the US. Instability may provide space for the frontier militants to get stronger. Certainly the resignation will make Pakistan’s support less reliable in the immediate future.

And in Baghdad the call for a definite date for a US troop withdrawal from the government the occupation has helped install and prop up has grown from polite suggestions to an insistent demand. The US is negotiating a status of forces agreement with Iraq (in order to have a ‘legal’ basis for its occupation after a UN mandate expires at the end of this year) in which it is demanding the right to maintain a permanent military presence in the country and have immunity from prosecution for its troops. In a major policy reversal for Bush, the agreement will have to include firm dates for the withdrawal of forces in order to be acceptable to the Iraqi government, which fears it will lose out to anti-occupation political forces in upcoming provincial elections if it agrees to anything less.

21 August


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