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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 1341 11th November 2008

Petty bourgeois Obama enthusiasm is really hatred of Bush and the disaster of capitalism’s shaming slump collapse. It will be sore disappointed. Whatever token “reforms” Obama makes, crisis will drive onwards, heading for even worse implosion and collapse and imposing slump poverty and Depression everywhere with an unstoppable slide in more torturing arrogant blitzkrieg war, and its eruption at some point into Third World War conflict between the great powers. Obama will become “O’bomber” soon enough, already hesitating on Guantánamo, ready to increase war agony in Afghanistan and in cahoots with Zionist fascism. Explosive mass reaction will come, needing Leninist theory and understanding to build revolutionary leadership

Contempt for the disaster, shame and humiliation of George W Bush White House was the main driver for the short burst of (limited) voter turnout “enthusiasm” towards the end of the American Empire election campaign.

In other words, the much vaunted “renewed democratic spirit” for the presidential election, such as it was, was driven primarily by a negative disgust at the collapses, failures and exposure of the Goebbels lies of the neocon warmongering, arrogance, fascist nationalism and international blitzkrieg bullying, of the last decade, pushing the whole world towards war.

That, deep down, is disgust at capitalism itself and its slide into Depression, collapse and destruction – exactly the pattern it has followed historically over and over again and most of all in the great imperialist epoch driving all the way to world shattering war and chaos.

The neocon arrogance, manipulation and torturing fascist trampling across the world’s humanity - dehumanising and killing not just tens of thousands of Third World victims but its own soldiery and population – may be identified for the moment particularly with Bush. But it had already begun with Bush Senior, the long Clinton years and back before that.

Bushism is no more than a general expression of the entire capitalist imperialist order, especially its dominant US Empire (but just as much any of the other capitalist powers if and when then can get away with swinging their fists around) as it reaches crisis failure and turns once more to international conflict and domestic repression.

Temporarily, in the teeth of a rising tide of disgust and potentially explosive hostility, fanned by the steady economic setbacks hitting ordinary workers for years and in-your-face, greed-is-good disparities in wealth and inequality, now driven to the limits by the financial meltdown, the ruling class has had to back off from its overt neo-con brash aggressiveness.

But it is only using yet again the illusions of “freedom and democracy” to try and fool the people one more time – exactly as the last ditch empty spin spivvery of the gushingly “genuine” Blairism was used in Britain in the 1990s – also promising “change”, but built around an utterly vacuous set of meaningless slogans and empty advertising phrases, like the ludicrous “Star Wars” inversion of “Change we need”.

Giving it all a highly spun gloss of “an American renewal” with trumpets blowing about the fanciful American dream of “anyone can climb to the heights” has cost vast amounts of money for slick advertising and media saturation, over a billion dollars, more than twice the amount ever spent before on a US presidential election campaign, and immediate proof of course precisely that the “ordinary Joe” has zero chance of being heard unless a slick establishment machine can mobilise vast resources.

This desperate move by the ruling class has not come without cost.

A very slick and manipulated campaign to play the race card in reverse has had to be used to try and give discredited and shamed American “democracy” this brief surge and superficial popularity, tapping into the legacy of the real victories and bitter struggle of the black civil rights movement in the 1960s which trod very close to the edge of revolutionary upheaval (including the leadership of the eventually Marxist leaning Martin Luther King, shot dead because of establishment fears about where he was going, away from simple racial oppression resistance into general anti-imperialist anti-Vietnam resistance and class questions).

A denatured reformist version of the civil rights struggle has since been deliberately prepared by “political correctness” as a defence and diversion against renewed rumblings of raw discontent, with a few safe token gestures and the creation of a black petty bourgeoisie to keep working class discontent at bay, along with further racist splits sustained against Latino workers, Muslims, Arabs, etc.

Even so the concession of the highly symbolic presidency by the old-guard, white, racist ruling class reactionary wing is a real enough defeat for its arrogance, and will stick in its throat.

It indicates just how desperately the Empire ruling class has been thrown back on its heels, first by the non-stop rolling failure of its “shock and awe” blitzkrieg plans to pull itself out of oncoming disaster (it deludely imagined) and now by the shattering impact of near-total meltdown of the globalised capitalist economy and its dominant beneficiary, the US.

But even this temporary euphoria at the first time ever election of a black president – combined with a female vice-president – will turn sour soon enough when the hopes and aspirations for total change are completely still born.

Potentially far greater upheavals and eruptive discontent will be unleashed once it is realised that the despair and hatred evoked by the last presidency will be continued more or less the same whatever cosmetic changes to (say) health provision, or token taxes on the ultra-rich are promised, or even delivered in a minor way initially.

Being fooled yet again is a recipe for a dramatic transformation into complete hostility to the democracy racket itself, in the historical period of capitalism’s greatest ever failure and catastrophic slump disaster.

The ruling class has also been playing with fire in developing new techniques of “mass involvement” through Internet “grass roots” fund raising among the petty bourgeoisie, tapping into an American legacy of more vigorous local involvement in “democracy” than in Europe which reflects (very distantly) a revolutionary spirit dating back to the overthrow of ossified British imperialism in the war of independence.

But that too will backfire when the result proves to be just as disastrous, as it can only be in the conditions of total implosion of the 800 year capitalist economic structure, with techniques ready made to turn to extra-democratic, potentially revolutionary struggle.

It was necessary because the grotesque manipulations needed to get the Republicans in previously had stirred dangerously hostile further contempt for the “democratic process”. As the EPSR has long declared, although bourgeois democracy is a nothing but a front for the total dictatorship of capital, the need to maintain the façade will constantly trip up the ruling class as it sinks deeper into desperate crisis.

The mass involvement just witnessed taps into much greater historical discontent with all aspects of life within antagonistic and alienated capitalism, driven by the failures of the system itself.

It is also a response to the defeats imposed on imperialist domination by the powerful rising tide of rejection and hostility rising throughout the struggles of the Third World, just as the dogged and determined struggle of the Vietnamese people triggered waves of revolt and rebellion in the West and the growing peace movement which followed the heroic 1968 Tet offensive.

Incoherent, backward and even reactionary in their ideology though many of the Middle East and other anti-imperialist struggles remain at times, these waves of insurgency and hostility to Western tyranny and exploitation are an extraordinary historical phenomenon of incipient world revolutionary hostility that is hammering the great globalised reach of capitalist imperialism.

In the period of modern technology, potential for human development and worldwide interconnection that now exists, none of these struggles can remain bound in by 7th century religious notions, limited “macho” culture or other prejudices for long, and will eventually turn, and have to turn, to developing more and more rational leadership.

At some point this has to converge with and respond to Marxist understanding and revolutionary leadership, to develop a cooperative world socialist future, the only route for mankind to go forwards from current depravity and disintegration.

The impact of all these fragmentary but common cause struggles on the major power on the planet is reflected in the Obama election.

But the slick lawyer Barack Obama is part of the biggest and most sophisticated ruling class “democracy” confidence trick on the planet, dedicated to “fooling all of the people all of the time”, covering up the reality that capitalism is run by and for the ultra-rich ruling class alone, with total dictatorial control over all serious non-trivial decisions in society, imposed on the mass without any comeback.

Part of that racket in America particularly is the myth of the ‘little guy’ making it big and “reaching the top”, a cynical nonsense but given one last lease of life by the “black opportunity” card being played finally.

But it is an utter joke that Obama somehow represents or stands for the ‘little man’ or “pulled himself up” by the bootstraps.

Parts of the reactionary British press, the tabloid Sun for example have been trying to milk this nonsense from both the Obama victory (and the Louis Hamilton Grand Prix driving championship), once more trying to suggest that the election proves that all that holds anyone back from “success” in capitalism is their own fecklessness – as if there would be room for 50 million or 60 million or more poorer people in the US to become president, or world racing champion, or even achieve some minor advance from poverty much of the time.

For a start neither Hamilton or Obama started from utter sink-hole deprivation anyway – even the reactionary Sun conceded that both had a major hand up from dedicated relatives and benefited in various ways; few kids have the chance to get a decent education or train on expensive go-kart courses day after day.

Even if they did, there is room for very few to win the complete lottery of existence within capitalism, even with the exceptional talent that the ruling class occasionally wants to buy for its own profit making purposes.

Even more rarely can it be done without the opportunist manoeuvring and Faustian soul-selling demanded by capitalist career ladders, most of all in the 100% corrupted world of bourgeois politics.

The few exceptions held out as examples will mostly anyway be hammered by the crashing economy all around, with sudden unemployment, bankruptcy and bank failure wiping out the achievement of even the most principled and determined few who have battled their way out of deprivation.

Oncoming world war destruction will leave only the most opportunistic spivs.

As the EPSR said when Blairism pumping out its “pull-your-socks-up” fascist-toned disciplining moves against the “lazy and unmotivated”:

Why the masses underachieve is because that is how capitalism in general, – and present-day long-decadent British imperialism in particular, – has always wanted and needed things to be.

If in the mass of people you wish to create no higher ambitions or incentives than for becoming factory workers or other low-grade (and low-pay) employment, - then gear the total influence of capitalist politics, education, and culture to produce that result and no other...

The essential class-divided pattern of capitalist society is already forming in every infant classroom where different children immediately start reflecting deep cultural attitudes from their families about responding to authority; being eager to cooperate; anticipating success or failure and behaving accordingly; being outgoing and friendly or the opposite; being honest with themselves; being confident; etc, etc, etc.

...But all that Blairism is discussing, and posturing about, is leaving exactly the same capitalist society class and social patterns in place, spending no new money at all to speak of, and nagging away via a bit of scapegoating pressure on ‘bad teachers’ and ‘bad parents’, etc, to achieve some minuscule percentage climb in general standards of literacy and numeracy at age 11, taking them to 80% or 79% of where they should be at such an age, by 2002. What a visionary!

Such marginal changes are a complete joke. Capitalist society’s influences will continue to predominate,

...All of this violence, corruption, and crime is an expression of the crisis of the very capitalist system itself. Its fundamentally alienating exploitation and class-hostile domineering is no longer remotely suitable for modern society and modern mankind. It can only increasingly breed frustrations in the vast majority of people who, by definition, can never hope to become big successes in cut-throat free-market competition since only a few million can possibly make it to the top, leaving the tens of millions of all the rest as also-rans.

Turning to crime and violence and assertiveness in many other unpleasant or inappropriate ways is the only perspective that millions can see or feel emotionally disposed towards.

Obama is already part of the cynical machinery of advertising glitz and empty soundbite fatuousness that the bourgeoisie is hoping will keep the masses back from any more deeper thought.

He neither can nor will, nor even wants to change anything significant about American imperialist power. He is a feint to head off mass discontent and unpopularity for the entire presidency and the election racket machinery which has reached a pitch rarely seen in US politics.

Should the bourgeoisie have miscalculated, there is no hope that the elaborate security service monitoring, CIA vetting and other threads of bourgeois state control would ever let him move two paces towards really dismantling capitalist control or significantly moving power or wealth over to the majority, the working class and poor.

He will run capitalism, and it is monopoly capitalism which is failing, tangled irretrievably in its inbuilt contradictions and spiralling into the greatest economic catastrophe in world history, with the already warmed up warmongering ready to erupt once again in world war mayhem.

The capitalist system has no other answers, and never has had any answers to its own crisis, other than to destroy the surplus capital which its unstoppably builds up over time and which eventually chokes the entire financial structure, driving even sound productive enterprises into bankruptcy in a bitter fight by the capitalist sharks to survive and dominate the “upturn”.

Over production slump collapses, regularly bringing misery, despair, and want to the working class throughout the past centuries in repeated market failures have become larger and more devastating in the expanded capitalist imperialist epoch, turning to deadly destructive world war on an ever greater scale each time.

Not just bankruptcies but total blitzkrieg destruction of rival nationally organised capitals has been imposed in all out war – with whole cities and even countries, and their hundreds of millions of ordinary people, pulverised and massacred.

It is completely in the nature of capitalism, as Karl Marx uncovered and analysed (see quotes page 6 e.g.) that such collapses are inevitable and always to be repeated, growing bigger and bigger as the domination of the capitalist system itself grows ever more widespread over the planet.

The complicating factor of revolution, taking some parts of the planet out of the capitalist orbit has not been sufficient yet to change the overall expansion and widening influence of capitalist exploitation and penetration (globalisation) – even discounting the dire impact of revisionist retreat from revolution which has re-capitulated to “market forces” and allowed already expanding post-war imperialism back into the former Soviet Union and East Europe.

The economic collapse this time, which is still unfolding and only marginally “stabilised” by mortgaging entire state finances to the fat cats, is described even by the bourgeoisie themselves as the “greatest financial failure in human history”.

It will eventually dwarf 1929.

The war that must unstoppably follow unless capitalism is overturned, will also be the greatest in human history making the tens of millions dead, homeless, bereaved and devastated in the first two World Wars look like a tea party.

The weaponry and firepower of the great imperialists is hundreds of times more vicious and destructive than ever before.

The depth and tension of the capitalist crisis (a continuous crisis teetering on the edge of collapse for the entire post Second World War period) has been stretched to an unprecedented extent by the creation of new credit mechanisms and is pregnant with the need for a catastrophic resolution far greater than any past crisis in the capitalist class dominated era, including the unspeakable horrors of World War One and World War Two.

As capitalist press cuttings make clear, the crisis can only dominate every move:

Both men have given detailed accounts of their economic policies and neither comes within a country mile of socialism. More important, they do not address the most fundamental and important elements of America’s current economic troubles, which are so vast that, at this point, it may not immediately matter who is elected.

One bank chief executive said: ‘The worst thing for the markets would be Obama getting assassinated. The second worst thing would be McCain getting elected.’

Obama or McCain will enter the White House saddled with the biggest deficit in history, the most volatile market conditions in almost a century, the weakest global growth outlook since the Seventies and a tinderbox of political instability in almost every corner of the world just waiting to be sparked into life by prolonged economic unrest.

Of these historic problems, the gravity-defying deficit is perhaps the most immediately troubling. The next President, Treasury Secretary and Fed chief have been backed into a cul-de-sac by a $438bn deficit likely to balloon to more than $1 trillion in the next year. The massive weight of this deficit, and the fact that it will dictate everything from the value of the dollar to levels of economic activity and growth for the best part of a decade, will overshadow any move the administration wants to make on expenditure or taxation.

Obama and McCain have both explained at length how they plan to tax different portions of society in an effort to pay for policy programmes and reduce the deficit. Obama plans to tax the wealthier end and cut taxes for many in the middle and lower echelons.

It was in trying to explain this to an Ohio man known as ‘Joe the Plumber’ - whose first name is not Joe and who does not hold a plumbing licence - that Obama earned his ‘socialist’ monicker. He told this purported pipe-fitter that, if elected President, he wanted to ‘spread the wealth around’ a bit with his tax policy.

Indeed he will, but his plans do not exactly read like the Communist Manifesto. For example, a man with a wife and two children earning $200,000 a year would get a $6,474 tax cut under Obama’s plan. In the $100,000 income bracket McCain will grant you a $2,759 a year tax break, while Obama wins with $3,043. At the bottom, the difference is more marked. Obama will grant a working couple earning $25,000 a year between them $1,287 in tax cuts a year; McCain will give them nothing.

At the top end of society though, in the $500,000-a-year bracket, McCain plans to leave taxes alone, while Obama will increase them by some $6,727 a year.

Wall Street bankers remaining after the crunch are the ones facing the real tax increase under Obama. If you earn $2m a year, the Democrats will hit you with an extra $108,704 a year in taxes - assuming you don’t salt it all away in a tax haven. McCain has a hike planned for the $2m bracket too, but only $1,122.

But there is one key figure missing. The point of taxing people is to give government money to pay for social policy and infrastructure and so on; and, in times like these, to help lower the deficit.

But, according to analysis of both candidate’s promises by an organisation called Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, both McCain’s and Obama’s economic plans would increase the deficit by more than $200bn in 2013. So it seems that both prospective Presidents plan to do no more than shuffle the deck chairs on this dangerously listing ship.

...It’s obvious to most people that Obama isn’t a socialist nor McCain the epitome of neoconservatism. Both are relatively moderate, especially on economic policy. The biggest differences in wealth distribution can be seen at the upper end of the income bracket. If Obama wins, the top 1 per cent of earners can expect a tax increase of about $19,000 a year. If McCain wins, they will receive a tax cut of about $125,000.

But these top 1 per centers will hardly be among the most important members of society for the next four years. If unemployment continues to rise, as it has in recent months, and big companies continue to lay off workers in the thousands, the bottom 1 per centers will need the most help. But neither candidate has very much planned for them at all.

It will rapidly deepen and transform into something much more serious. As the “left” posing wooden reformist Naomi Klein manages to grasp confusingly, the “nationalisation” bailout has simply given the capitalists a direct open door to the state treasury vaults, instead of money being distributed indirectly through government “consultancies” and “tax relief” etc.

All the old profiteering behaviour, which finally tipped the steadily deepening capitalist crisis over the edge into the blind panic of a month ago, is continuing. Only this time, not just the banks but complete capitalist state finances are under risk.

Several have gone already, such as Iceland, Argentina virtually back to the total penury of 2002, and much of the deluded “market”-following counter-revolutionary former communist countries of East Europe, learning the hard way exactly what the reality of capitalist glitz and glamour comprises – IMF imposed “austerity”, poverty and hardship (raising interesting questions about how the legacy of working class consciousness might respond within those societies),

The arrogance and hubris of capitalism knows no bounds and the ruling class is simply plunging down its greed ridden path to disaster:

When the Bush administration announced it would be injecting $250bn into US banks in exchange for equity, the plan was widely referred to as “partial nationalisation” - a radical measure required to get banks lending again. Henry Paulson, the treasury secretary, had seen the light, we were told, and was following the lead of Gordon Brown.

In fact, there has been no nationalisation, partial or otherwise. American taxpayers have gained no meaningful control over the banks, which is why the banks are free to spend the new money as they wish. At Morgan Stanley, it looks as if much of the windfall will cover this year’s bonuses. Citigroup has been hinting it will use its $25bn buying other banks, while John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch, told analysts: “At least for the next quarter, it’s just going to be a cushion.” The US government, meanwhile, is reduced to pleading with the banks that they at least spend a portion of the taxpayer windfall for loans - officially, the reason for the entire programme.

What, then, is the real purpose of the bail-out? My fear is this rush of dealmaking is something much more ambitious than a one-off gift to big business: that the Bush version of “partial nationalisation” is rigged to turn the US treasury into a bottomless cash machine for the banks for years to come. Remember, the main concern among the big market players, particularly banks, is not the lack of credit but their battered share prices. Investors have lost confidence in the honesty of the big financial players, and with good reason.

This is where the treasury’s equity pays off big time. By purchasing stakes in these financial institutions, the treasury is sending a signal to the market that they are a safe bet. Why safe? Not because their level of risk has been accurately assessed at last. Not because they have renounced the kind of exotic instruments and outrageous leverage rates that created the crisis. But because the market will now be banking on the fact that the US government won’t let these particular companies fail. If they get themselves into trouble, investors will now assume that the government will keep finding more cash to bail them out, since allowing them to go down would mean losing the initial equity investments, many of them in the billions. (Just look at the insurance giant AIG, which has already gone back to taxpayers for a top-up, and seems likely to ask for a third.)

This tethering of the public interest to private companies is the real purpose of the bail-out plan: Paulson is handing all the companies admitted to the programme - a number potentially in the thousands - an implicit treasury department guarantee. To skittish investors looking for safe places to park their money, these equity deals will be even more comforting than a triple-A from Moody’s rating agency.

Insurance like that is priceless. But for the banks, the best part is that the government is paying them to accept its seal of approval. For taxpayers, on the other hand, this entire plan is extremely risky, and may well cost significantly more than Paulson’s original idea of buying up $700bn in toxic debts. Now taxpayers aren’t just on the hook for the debts but, arguably, for the fate of every corporation that sells them equity.

Interestingly, mortgage fund giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both enjoyed this kind of unspoken guarantee before they were nationalised at the start of this crisis. For decades the market understood that, since these private players were enmeshed with the government, Uncle Sam could be counted on to always save the day. It was, as many have pointed out, the worst of all worlds. Not only were profits privatised while risks were socialised, but the implicit government backing created powerful incentives for reckless business practices...

To further boost market confidence, the federal government has also unveiled unlimited public guarantees for many bank deposit accounts. Oh, and as if this were not enough, the treasury has been encouraging the banks to merge, ensuring that the only institutions left will be “too big to fail”, thereby guaranteed a bail-out. In three ways, the market is being told loud and clear that Washington will not allow the financial institutions to bear the consequences of their behaviour. This may be Bush’s most creative innovation: no-risk capitalism.

There is a glimmer of hope. In answer to Senator Corker’s question, the treasury is indeed having trouble dispersing the bail-out funds. So far it has requested about $350bn of the $700bn, but most of this hasn’t yet made it out the door. Meanwhile, every day it becomes clearer that the bail-out was sold to the public on false pretences. Clearly, it was never really about getting loans flowing. It was always about doing what it is doing: turning the state into a giant insurance agency for Wall Street, a safety net for the people who need it least, subsidised by the people who will most need state protections in the economic storms ahead.

This duplicity is a political opportunity. Whoever wins on November 4 will have enormous moral authority. It should be used to call for a freeze on the dispersal of bail-out funds, not after the inauguration but right away. All deals should be renegotiated, this time with the public getting the guarantees.

It is risky, of course, to interrupt the bail-out process. Nothing could be riskier, however, than allowing the Bush gang their parting gift to big business - the gift that will keep on taking.

Klein’s brainless shallowness presents all this as a neocon Bushite conspiracy that could be “controlled” if only “the right person” is elected and is “firm enough”, missing the point that it is a crisis driven by the basic nature of the profit system itself. Bank “irresponsibility” and “excessive credit” is not something “out of control” but to the contrary an inevitable result of the relentless printing of dollars which the United States has used for the entire post war period to allow it to maintain the “anti-communist” world of post-imperialist neo-colonialist exploitation via non-stop bribery, paid stoogery and intelligence interventions and manipulations around the planet.

It is part of the strategy for stretching the capitalist “boom” to unheard of limits, guaranteeing that the unstoppable disaster of basic capitalism itself, which always reaches sudden slump collapse (see Marx’s Capital - all volumes and Lenin’s “Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism” etc) will be the worst in all history.

How long the temporary “relief” for the banks lasts is hard to calculate. But even worse implosion than seen in October (and already wiping out millions of lives in places like Detroit, for the car-living homeless in California etc, particularly in basket-case debt ridden UK and throughout the Third World) is due imminently.

It is part of buying time for imperialism to step up once again its drive to war, and the destruction of capital.

Bushism tried to get this going before the disastrous slump hit it, using “shock and awe” to intimidate the planet, suppress the unstoppably rising Third World struggle, and warn the upcoming major imperialist rivals, particularly Japan and the German led European bloc, to back off; hoping to force paper dollars on the planet (creating huge surpluses in Japan, China etc) and effectively allow bankrupt US imperialism to simply suck in products and raw materials without paying any real price for them..

It has failed, rocked back by world struggle.

But there is no other strategy for imperialism to survive. Deliberate indiscriminate fascist blitzing of civilians in Afghanistan continues (even on the day Obama was elected), in internationally illegal raids against Syria, Pakistan several times and Somalia, and via the proxy Zionists mad-dogs against the heroic and decades long genocidally suffering Palestinian people.

Obama is pledged to keep troops in Iraq - a huge permanent American base: to escalate the war in Afghanistan; to maintain excellent supportive relationships with the Zionists and despite talk of “diplomatic” solutions, to keep the demonisation of Iran, Sudan and others under way.

He is Barack O’Bomber already.

Warmongering will continue and escalate because capitalism is driving it and can do nothing else.

The financial meltdown was not the “end of capitalism” – just the end of its “free market” bullshit.

Its class rule system (and the long history of all class rule systems through slavery and feudalism before) has to be ended.

That means revolutionary ending of this rotten foul-smelling mess and the building of socialism worldwide.

That means re-building the revolutionary party, and the only scientific understanding, Marxist-Leninism, that has proven itself, and will be increasingly seen to be correct as slump deepens, against all the disastrous fake-”leftism” posturing and petty bourgeois lies.

Build the revolutionary party and vital revolutionary understanding.

Don Hoskins


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Lalkarite “Proletarian” postures mightily to cover years of failure to grasp capitalist crisis – or revolutionary theory

As the catastrophe of the monopoly capitalist crisis proves incontestably the revolutionary nature of all history, the sly charlatans of the Lalkar group have been trying urgently once again to convince the working class that their re-branded CPB-ML (Proletarian) “revolutionary party” is the real thing, and not just a tawdry repaint job to disguise the same old museum-Stalinist Brarite following under a new name.

But despite some “firework” polemics, this remains the same group which shamefully buried itself away in Scargill’s bureaucratic anti-communist Socialist Labour Party for eight years, until forced out by the “official” Trade Unionist demagoguery and anti-theory philistinism which had shown its reactionary hand years before when it pushed out the EPSR.

At that time there was never a murmur about this outright censorship of revolutionary perspectives (the reason for the EPSR expulsion) from the “principled” Lalkar “comrades” who continued to provide “left theoretical cover” for Scargill’s monstrous egotistical outpourings for over half a decade more – including total silence at his capitulatory post-9/11 “condemnation of terrorism”, lining the SLP up with all the other fake-”left” class-collaborating historic betrayals.

There were no explanations when ejected, and none since to the working class, as to why they stayed on so long.

Now with a flash of supposedly “fiery polemics” this bunch of Museum-Stalinists is attempting to lose all that inconvenient past history – sweeping the SLP days under the carpet along with a long list of disastrous mis-analysis of the world class struggle in the past, and continuing shamefully in the four years since, from their recent appalling support for the foul imperialist collaborating Mahmoud Abbas wing of the Palestinian struggle, (until its revisionist-influenced “two-state” excuse for collusion had become such foul outright stoogery for the Zionists and the US that its stink could be missed by no-one), to the empty bravado posturing of “total support” for assorted insurgents in Iraq, or Afghanistan, rather than the much less confusion-causing Leninist demand for defeat of imperialism.

There is a world of difference between wishing for, and willing, the total defeat of imperialism by whatever forces and struggles are driven into anti-imperialism by the ever mounting pressures of the crisis, and giving these leaderships total and uncritical support, implying that they are in themselves the answer to mankind’s problems.

For the moment that is the form that much of the rising Third World challenge to imperialism has taken as the EPSR has argued:


...behind the obviously ideologically-reactionary current superficiality of growing anti-imperialist resistance in the Middle East (Islamic fundamentalism, nationalism, Baathism, anti-semitism, etc) looms a seething mass of resentment possibly representing a historical turning-point at which EVERYONE is expressing the impossibility of the Third World living-on any longer under Western imperialist domination (EPSR 1198).

But the challenge for Marxism is to fight for complete clarity against all the confusion in the world, including patiently explaining that the cultural traditions which are leading the struggles at present, for all their dogged militancy and contemporary bravery (most of all in the anti-Zionist anti-Western Palestinian and Lebanese struggles), are likely to be insufficient and ultimately an obstacle to the complete revolutionary ending of capitalism, the only way out of slump disaster.

Staggeringly the Proletarian even implies that the sick Bonapartist balancing act of Putin in Russia, between the half-buried traditions of the workers state, and the new plundering capitalists, should be supported, because of its blow against Western imperialist intriguing in Georgia.

This is spreading utter confusion in the working class about who to trust and who to follow in the onrushing world revolutionary conflicts that the crisis will force to the surface.

Of course the shattering of the Zionist and CIA backed provocations over Ossetia etc is to be celebrated – and the further blow to “credit crunch” shattered confidence in the West may well have been an element triggering the October bank meltdown, exposing the real weakness of imperialism and opening up major opportunities to develop revolutionary clarity.

But the working class in Russia would want, as soon as such matters are settled, to deal as vigorously with the piratical oligarchs’ regime in Moscow, which has exposed the masses to as much chaos, arrogant exploitation and now economic meltdown as any Western capitalists and with even greater crudity and greed, if that is possible.

They would equally want to deal with the dunderhead Putin and his ingratiating comments to the Western press about how he is not recognised enough for helping “end communism”.

What a tragic final end point for the long philosophical degeneration of revisionism in Moscow begun far back in the mistakes and retreats of Stalin!

But Stalin is the worshipped guru for the Lalkarites and so any hint of mistakes which could be traced back, even this far removed in the middle of capitalist restorationism, are simply denied.

The Third World and former communist East European struggles will learn and develop more deeply, as the crisis teaches them bitter lessons, but they would find their way the more quickly if a clear Leninist perspective was constantly battled for.

But no such perspective is coming from the Lalkarites who long ago gave up a genuine struggle for theory because of the painfully difficult questions it threw up about the entire misbegotten post-war history of the Third International and most of all their guru figure Joseph Stalin.

(This has nothing to do with the vile lying anti-communist anti-Soviet poison currently being pumped out again by the BBC’s “history” documentaries, yet another simplistic stream of Goebbels lies about “tyrants”, trying to turn reality upside down and present the USSR as the real villain in the Second World War while the foul Hitlerite and genuinely witnessed atrocities of German imperialism (egged on for a decade by the whole West) are glossed over as a minor side issue.

It is everything to do with how once the Soviet Union had heroically destroyed Nazism at the cost of 25 million dedicated lives, (with minor and late support from the West) its leadership nevertheless fell back into the slow retreat from revolutionism which had already hampered its 1930s developments and especially the continuing great question of Stalin’s disastrously wrong “struggle for peace” and “containment of imperialism” strategies which emerged as a result of his 1952 “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”. [See anti-Lalkar polemic in EPSRs 1190-1196 and 1245].

But the Lalkarites (or “Proletarian” as they now hypocritically posture) have long ignored these difficult issues and the worldwide hamstringing of working class and proletarian struggle it created through massive philosophical disillusionment with supposed “communism” emanating from Moscow.

But the deep lurch into imminent Depression is raising urgent questions, that will not go away and will eventually exposure completely all posturing and evasion.

For the moment the immediate task for these mountebanks is to cover up their long failure to warn the working class of the catastrophic failure of capitalism – which has now broken and is rolling rapidly towards an even greater meltdown failure as the “bank rescue plan” is in turn eventually sucked into the hollow centre of the capitalist system’s overproduction crisis.

All the pretend “lefts” know that the stark realities of capitalism’s greatest ever economic implosion leave them high and dry in front of a working class facing desperate slump conditions in coming Depression and sure to become explosively angry as they realise how they have been lulled and misled by monopoly capitalism’s credit fuelled empty consumerism.

A flood of hastily written articles from the fake-“lefts” of all shades has been pouring out as they desperately try to cover their tracks after failing for decades to explain or warn the working class of the economic and social disaster on the way.

Most of the assorted “left” reformists and Trots (Weekly Worker, FRFI, Workers Power etc) continue to wallow in petty bourgeois defeatist whining, bemoaning the supposed “lack of organisation” in the working class and blaming the working class for not yet being revolutionary,

This tailending cowardliness is simply an excuse for precisely the lack of leadership and the opportunist jostling for “labour Movement” position that the lefts have continuously substituted for revolutionary clarity, and excusing themselves from any decisive lead now because of the declared mountainous difficulties of building a “new party” – meaning yet another “left” variant of “Old Labour” or “extra-parliamentary” reformism but always with an unfeasibly complicated and academic “constitution” (which their genius would devise of course).

Defensive action in plenty will be needed as workers have the burden of slump pushed on them but these can only be temporary tactical measures as part of overall revolutionary fight to end capitalism, the only way out of disaster.

The Proletarian’s self-labelled “only consistently anti-imperialist and revolutionary party” (!!) is knowing enough to avoid the worst of this deliberately defeatist drivel which ends up effectively supporting capitalism despite its call for various assorted desperate Dunkirk “resistance” proposals to the imposition of poverty and unemployment, slump and war.

Peddling much harder to keep up the Proletarian boldly declares in a special article on the crisis “Time to face it: capitalism must go!”.

Even better – to end this society it says:

The working masses must take possession of all means of production (factories, machines, raw materials, etc) now owned by the bourgeoisie, in order to be able to produce to meet the needs of the people, replacing the current system, whereby even the most basic necessities of life are only produced and/or distributed if there is a profit to be made.

The working class must smash the bourgeois state machine that is in place to prevent them challenging capitalist relations of production and must substitute its own state that will stifle all attempts to restore the right of the old order to return to continue its spreading of misery, war and destitution. This is the only way out of the mists of darkness.

Stirring stuff and no less than needs to be said about the only way out of the oncoming disastrous Slump and collapse for not just the working class in the advanced countries like the US and Britain, but for the oppressed proletariat throughout the world.

But this bravado is just so much showmanship, the loud roaring and face painting that early societies use to frighten their enemies, and a desperate pretence at the revolutionary perspectives that the EPSR has constantly struggled to understand and fight for over 30 years.

Despite a few further fine words a long way deeper into its article suggesting the American working class needs to “overthrow capitalism and establish socialism” there is not an ounce of genuine revolutionary spirit or grasp in the Lalkar’s account however.

In hundreds of words these quotes are the only time it comes near to the kind of understanding needed and it is an utter sham.

Most tellingly the long piece does not mention nor hint at the need for the working class to establish the dictatorship of the working class, the only way that it will ever be possible to “build socialism”.

Nor does it come anywhere near to being a perspective on world class struggle and explaining the intertwining of capitalist war escalations for the last ten years (Serbia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc.)

For space and time reasons the rest of this piece will continue next issue


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

No natural disaster can divert Cuba from its course

Three natural disasters (and another following now in November - ed) left damages totalling more than $5 billion in their wake, but even while the winds were still blowing, the Cuban people were already working for their country’s recuperation

By Lisanka González Suárez – Granma International

NO nation in the world can stand up to nature when it is unleashed in all its fury. That is what happened in Cuba, and almost the entire country suffered the worst devastation in the island’s hurricane history.

Three meteorological phenomena in a row, two of them powerful hurricanes, seemed to lay siege to the island. First Gustav, which entered as a Category 4, and eight days later, as everybody was concentrating on recovering from the damage left in its wake, the enormous Ike appeared, lashing the rest of the country and doubly affecting areas previously hit by Gustav.

The combination of wind, rain and flooding hit with unusual force, ripping off roofs, water tanks and other structures; overturning transport; sending boats into the air; felling trees and electric and telephone cables and posts; damaging thousands of kilometers of highway and roads throughout the country, and destroying the roofs, wails and floors of the homes of hundreds of thousands of families.

To a greater or lesser extent, all of the country’s 169 municipalities suffered the consequences of an atrocious blow and the island’s economic, social and housing infrastructure was devastated as never before.


As is known, Cuba is located in the path of tropical storms that, in many cases, turn into powerful hurricanes. For that reason, the country’s Civil Defense System, the institution responsible for protecting the population in face of these events, has worked for more than 40 years, accumulating experience, correcting errors and organizing in detail plans for ensuring that the population is safe and their belongings protected. The priority is to safeguard human lives.

Statistics show how, thanks to the coordinated actions at every level of the institution when needed, Cuba’s disaster preparation is recognized internationally by the pertinent agencies.

Therefore, all Cubans know how to protect themselves: where to go and what to take with them. That is why the number of reported deaths resulting from these phenomena is very low compared to figures in other countries, including those with more resources. This last time, more than three million people were evacuated from their homes, but only half a million of them had to be sheltered in state-run evacuation centers. The rest were sheltered by their families and neighbors. While there were no human lives lost in the first hurricane, seven people died in the second one.

According to a government report, the worst consequences of Gustav and Ike were in the housing sector: more than 444,000 homes were damaged, a good number of them with their roofs partially or totally destroyed. Of that total, 63,249 homes collapsed completely. The housing problem could be described as the most complex, the report said, not only because more than 200,000 people have been left without homes for some time, and hundreds of thousands more have damaged homes, but because building and repairing involves financial investment and resources in the millions, and obligatorily, years of intensive work.

In addition, thousands of tons of stored food were affected. Electricity services were damaged throughout almost the entire country. In some places, like the special municipality of the Isle of Youth, the first hurricane affected 100% of power lines.

Serious damage also was wreaked on facilities for public health, education, culture and sports. More than 2,000 schools, childcare centers and other educational facilities were damaged, along with 146 cultural institutions and 82 sports institutions. Nevertheless, classes gradually went back into session and healthcare services for the population were not interrupted.

In agriculture, thousands of hectares of diverse crops, mostly tubers and sugar cane, were destroyed by flooding or hurricane-force winds. Greenhouses and semi-protected crops were damaged, as were thousands of tobacco-curing houses, tobacco, forest farms and all the coffee-growing areas in eastern Cuba. More than half a million chickens were lost. Production was shut down at all factories for different reasons.


However, Cuba has been accustomed to facing tremendous difficulties for almost 50 years. Nobody stopped to lament, and recuperation work began as quickly as the disaster had struck. Specialized brigades were organized, who went from the least-affected areas to the most affected ones. The government began sending material resources from its reserves to the areas affected, and decided to prioritize food production, housing and restoration of electric power, the factors that most affect people’s lives.

Long lines of vehicles could be seen on the nation’s roads transporting food and resources to the hurricane victims. The country’s armed forces were placed at the service of recuperation work; soldiers could be found everywhere, cutting down trees, gathering coffee beans dashed to the ground by the winds, building bridges where water blocked roads, clearing debris, or involved in dangerous rescue operations.

Since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, electric power has been gradually provided to 98% of national territory. Some 80,000 homes and workplaces in mostly remote or small settlements — affecting some 250,000 people — were still without electricity, given the extent of the damage wreaked by the storms. By the last week of September, another 250,000 people had had their electricity restored via the use of generators. These generators are not supposed to be used continuously for long periods of time, but were used in this case to help make up for damages to the national power grid and to facilitate normal restoration of electric power to the population.

A total of 100 generators were operating in communities, involving a high additional cost in fuel. At this time, electricity is being guaranteed for 966 bakeries, 207 food processing centers, 372 radio stations, 193 hospitals, 496 polyclinics, 635 water-pumping stations, 138 senior citizens’ homes and other facilities.


Many friends, agencies, institutions and governments in countries all over the world, large and small, rich and poor, have reached out to Cuba. That solidarity is palpable from nations with poor economies who have not hesitated to send aid, but Cuba is aware that the essential effort needs to come from its own people.

Starting over is the main result of nature’s impact on the island. Almost the entire country was devastated, as if a war with powerful, modern weapons had taken place. That means that we must work even harder on our economic development projects and on ongoing improvements to the system, which will suffer obligatory setbacks; but will not be abandoned.

Cuban people are still the same, fighters and optimists, and their human values have grown during these difficult times; they will not abandon their course, in which they have the leading role. •


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Overwhelming UN General Assembly vote against blockade of Cuba

NEW YORK— (Mid-October) The UN General Assembly today approved by an overwhelming majority the resolution demanding an end of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, a vote passed by the Assembly over 17 years, the news agencies report.

Of the 192 UN member states, 185 voted in favor of the resolution, while three voted against (the United States, Israel and Palau) and two abstained (Marshall Islands and Micronesia). With this result, Cuba has gained another vote this year in relation to 2007, when 184 voted in favor, four against (the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands), and Micronesia abstained.

The resolution calling for an end to the blockade has been approved on 16 occasions with a backing that has grown from 59 votes in 1992 to the 185 of today.

Before the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque spoke before the Assembly and noted the special situation in which this resolution is taking place, an economic crisis that is being internationally felt and above all, the imminent U.S. elections which, he observed, will produce a new president who “will have to decide whether the blockade is a failed policy.”

“You are alone, isolated,” said the foreign minister, addressing President George W. Bush. Pérez’ speech was loudly applauded by the Assembly.


Cuba will never be defeated

UNITED NATIONS.—Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque affirmed before the United Nations on October 29 that the U.S. blockade, maintained for close to 50 years, will never defeat the Cuban people.

Speaking at the annual session that for 17 years has debated the U.S. economic, commercial and financial sanctions imposed on Cuba, the foreign minister commented that a new president of that country is soon to be elected.

“This new president,” he said, “will have to decide whether to admit that the blockade is a failed policy, which is constantly provoking greater isolation and discredit for his country, or whether to blindly and cruelly persist in trying to break the Cuban people through hunger and sickness.

“From this forum I reiterate; they can never defeat the Cuban people.

“Neither blockades nor hurricanes can dishearten us. There will be no human or natural force capable of subjecting the Cuban people,” he affirmed.

“If an example is needed, re are the five Cuban heroes, fighters against terrorism, who have already served 10 years of unjust and cruel incarceration in U.S. prisons, and who are a symbol of our people’s determination to defend with dignity their freedom and independence.”

Pérez Roque likewise condemned increased U.S. financial and material support for the actions of mercenary groups to defeat Cuba’s constitutional order. He said that, to this end, the Bush government has approved an additional $46 million for internal subversion on the island.

It has also channeled a further $39 million into maintaining illegal radio and television broadcasts against our country, the minister informed the General Assembly.

Pérez Roque noted that those funds are eight times the total of supposed U.S. donations offered to the Cuban people in the wake of two recent hurricanes.

The foreign minister mentioned a November 2007 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (gao) which recognizes that, out of the 20 sanctions programs imposed on different countries, the blockade of Cuba constitutes the most all-encompassing combination of sanctions ever imposed by the United States.

The minister said that every aspect of Cuba’s economic and social life is affected by the blockade, as is reflected in the extensive report from the UN secretary general on the issue, to which 118 countries and 22 international bodies and agencies contributed.

This ranges from the impossibility of having access to supplies and machines for cardiovascular surgery for infants or CAT scans that are essential for modern oncology, to the prosecution of U.S. citizens, with fines and prison terms, for traveling to Cuba, and even of the tourist agencies promoting such visits.

The U.S. government should explain to this Assembly why it considers Cuban children suffering from heart disease to be enemies, he stressed.

“The U.S. representatives lie to this Assembly every year when they repeat that such a blockade does not exist, that its measures are not the principal cause of the shortages and suffering that the Cuban people have had to endure over all these years and are still enduring,” he added.

In that context, Pérez Roque explained that the blockade is not an exclusively bilateral issue between Cuba and the United States. The extraterritorial application of U.S. laws and the persecution of the legitimate interests of companies and citizens of third countries who try to invest and trade with Cuba is a matter that concerns all the states meeting here, he said.

He observed that the blockade is also in flagrant violation of the rights of the U.S. people. It destroys their right to travel, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution itself.

In the last few years, he continued, the Treasury Department has intensified its strict policy of refusing licenses for religious, professional, cultural and student exchanges between the U.S. and Cuban people.

He also affirmed that the blockade impedes normal relations between Cubans resident in the United States and their families in Cuba.

In his speech, the Cuban foreign minister exposed the lies spread by Washington when it stated that it had granted licenses worth $250 million for agricultural sales to the island after the two hurricanes. He explained that those sales have been in place since 2001 and acquiring these products is only possible under strict supervisory measures.

He added that in order to make those transactions, Cuba has to go through a complicated and bureaucratic process of obtaining case-by-case licenses from numerous U.S. government institutions.

After thanking on behalf of his government all those who, in one form or another, demonstrated their solidarity and support to Cuba in the wake of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, he said that, in contrast, the Washington administration responded with its habitual cynicism and hypocrisy.

He noted that the United States refused a Cuban request to purchase, via private credits, food and building materials from U.S. companies, at least for six months, in order to recover from the damages caused by the two hurricanes.

At the same time, it has attempted to orchestrate a crude propaganda campaign charging our government with not taking care of its people, he stated.

For its part, Cuba has acted in line with its traditional positions of principle. “We cannot accept supposed aid from those who have intensified the blockade, sanctions and hostilities against our people,” he affirmed.

He added that despite the tremendous damage and devastation wreaked by the hurricanes, no sick person in Cuba has lacked medical care and all Cuban children and the 30,000 young people from 125 countries studying in our universities are attending classes.

The Cuban minister of foreign affairs affirmed that the blockade is the principal obstacle to the island’s economic and social development. These measures, in force for close to 50 years, are likewise obstacles to the recovery process of the Cuban people in the wake of the hurricanes.

“Like every year since 1992, we appear before the General Assembly to demand the lifting of the illegal and unjust blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for close to 50 years.

“Seven out of every 10 Cubans have spent their entire lives under this irrational and useless policy, which is unsuccessfully attempting to bring our people to their knees,” he stated.

“Highly conservative estimates reveal that the direct accumulated damage provoked by the blockade of Cuba is in excess of $93 billion. “At the current value of the dollar, that sum is equivalent to no less than $224.6 billion. It is not hard to imagine what Cuba would have achieved if we had not been subjected to this brutal economic warfare on an international scale for all these years,” he added.

During the UN General Assembly debate, Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the Group of 77 plus China; Egypt, representing the Non-Aligned Movement; and Guyana, for the Caribbean Community (caricom), spoke in support of the Cuban resolution, as did Venezuela, Mexico, Vietnam, China, Iran, South Africa and France.

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