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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 1345 16th February 2009

Fake- “left” berating of workers for nationalist ideas carried into struggles against the slump is not just dishonest smug moralising but even more divisive than the “backwardness” they criticise. It is the failure to put revolutionary perspectives which has left class collaborating notions dominant – filling the vacuum the “lefts” created. They still say nothing. But Leninism will. It should be built

The explosive outburst of working class struggle around the Lindsey refinery, and the import of Italian contract labour, has thrown a harsher light than ever on total bankruptcy and opportunism of the entire spectrum of the fake- “left” and their rejection in practice of revolutionary understanding as the starting point for all politics (and the end point too).

The 57 varieties of pseudo-militants and revolutionaries have split wide open, for and against, the strike.

But without arguing their case within a revolutionary perspective, explaining the total catastrophic collapse of capitalism into slump disaster – and crucially its inevitable further degeneration into warmongering inter-imperialist conflict as the only “way out” for the profiteers – no position taken on the strike can begin to make sense.

But not a word from the swamp of fake-“lefts” says any such thing.

Yet there has never been a better moment to make the revolutionary argument.

This sudden eruption of workers struggle is highly significant, breaking at one stride through two decades of government bans, laws and “regulations” about picketing, secondary action and organisation that had supposedly “tamed” the unions.

So it had – as far as the comfortable officials were concerned. But not the working class which is taking up the fight against the catastrophic crisis that capitalism is imposing.

Whatever confusions surround the strike, it is first of all movement and a fight.

For years the fake-“left” have declared that “when the time is right they will put forwards the call for revolution”.

But for a struggle coming in the greatest crisis in history there is not a word about the overthrow of the degenerate capitalist order despite a tide of leaflets, statements and articles pouring out to “justify” or “condemn” the dispute, with supposedly clever and “principled” argument.

The fake-“lefts” just muddy the water, siding with one or other wing of the bourgeoisie over Europe, for or against.

Worse still pompous, arrogant, pious, lecturing about “reactionary nationalism” from the Trots in particular, just adds to the divisions.

No one suggests that one strike would or could turn into revolution overnight.

Nor that it is not hampered with limited attitudes.

Of course “British Jobs for British workers” is a backward slogan tainted with narrow-minded trade and national protectionism and potentially playing right into the hands of the international war conflict that capitalism is rapidly sliding into as its collapsing industries and finance systems jostle for the scraps of a disastrously shrinking credit-crunched world market.

But the refusal to present to workers the one means there is to overcome such backwardness and hampering bourgeois ideological confusion, namely the struggle for a revolutionary fight to end capitalism and build a new kind of society in which all the old ideological and philosophical rubbish can be scraped clean and new cooperative communities and international links be built, is a thousand times more reactionary than any alleged shortcomings that the working class may have.

National and regional interest, chauvinism and even racism are an inevitable consequence of capitalist society.

Deliberate division is continuously and repeatedly whipped up by the bitter dog-eat-dog struggle for survival and jobs imposed by the uncertainty and massive inequalities of the “life” it creates for people.

Local, regional, and national clannishness will only intensify with the trade war conflicts on the way and ultimate blitzing and bombing.

They are endlessly generated by capitalism and will only be ended by the total ending of its system.

In this dispute it was not even the case that simplistic narrow nationalism is the issue anyway, for all the slogans on the placards.

The strike was opposing the deliberate undermining of hard fought terms and conditions by “free movement” rules for the big monopolies of the European Union, which the workers rightly see as primarily a bosses club, using Brussels for class war purposes.

So it is a fight against the undermining of hard fought for conditions and wages.

Maybe the fight does risk intensifying protectionism and causing tit-for-tat job losses.

But job losses are coming anyway because of capitalist slump. Is it suggested that, if only they support the EU, there will be jobs?

Utter nonsense of course.

Supporting the interests of the British bourgeoisie by defending “British jobs” and “British industry” solves nothing either.

The entire interconnected capitalist world is collapsing.

A revolutionary movement is what the working class needs to fight the massive Depression disasters ahead.

Which is why a Marxist-Leninist perspective is the only way to slice through the difficult complexities of this dispute.

These are tangled up with the British bourgeoisie’s own long running splits and doubts over Europe, and the oncoming trade war devastation.

Bitter trade rivalries that always exist, and repeatedly surface between the major monopoly capitalist powers, are now ripening rapidly into vicious antagonism which will eventually erupt in world war, just as twice before in the twentieth century, pitching the giant economic monopoly capitalist blocs against each other in deadly destruction.

Already for decades the slowly declining faded “glory” of the British Empire ruling class has been torn to shreds over whether its best prospects lie in hanging on to American imperialism’s tail or merging fully with the German-dominated European bloc which has been built up again to counter the other great imperialist monopoly powers like Japan, or the US.

Now this uncertainty is becoming a fevered panic as the capitalist crisis has broken into the open.

Protectionism is rapidly rising everywhere, from Barack Obama’s Buy American policy to the financial “insurances” and bailouts being made by country after country to protect their currencies and banking systems (at the expense of everyone else).

Industries too are being bailed out, especially the critical car manufacturers, like Renault in France.

In the 1930s this protectionism turned the screw on the already imploding economic system, cutting trade and jobs still further everywhere, and it will do so again now – but worse.

Wherever the British ruling class finally hangs its hat, this disintegration is unstoppable.

And either way, it is only disaster and slump facing the working class.

So Europe or outside Europe, it is essentially all the same for the working class.

The entire world is being plunged hell for leather into the greatest disaster and chaos in all history – by the capitalist system itself and its demented competition for profits.

War is the end point already put squarely (and deliberately) on the agenda by a decade of scapegoating and blitzing of CIA fingered “rogue states” like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The conflicts continue, despite heavy setbacks and defeats for “shock and awe” neocon imperialism, because the need for war is built in to capitalist crisis.

The devastation of World War Two which put US imperialism at the top of the heap wiped out around 100M lives and destroyed much of Europe, Russia and Japan.

This time the destruction will be magnitudes greater because capitalism has grown and penetrated far more of the world.

The technology is far more “efficient” and the need for accumulated capital destruction to rebuild profitability for the “surviving” capitalists, far greater.

For the working class the only question and the only solution is ending the regular and ever worsening slump disasters of capitalism – by ending capitalism.

But the fake-“lefts” say none of this. Instead they echo the bourgeoisie’s own splits – because deep down their long history of class collaboration always tail-ends the bourgeoisie.

All of them, with their opportunist games of “pressure from the left” and “winning trade union positions”, “tactical” backing for assorted elements of the opportunist trade union movement etc have helped prop up, one way or another, the onion layers of reformism and opportunist Labourism, which has steadily evolved from a fraudulent cover for imperialism into the degenerate New Labourism which is now the mainstream bourgeois party for over a decade (following the complete humiliating disintegration into sleaze and incompetence of the first-team Tories).

In other words the fake-“lefts” never actually get round to the supposedly revolutionary politics that they strut and pose and posture about, and claim to be the leadership for.

Consciously they have done exactly the opposite, always blocking any attempts by the tiny numbers of remaining Leninists to raise such issues, or ignoring the discussion of past mistakes and errors.

Instead they have reinforced the idea that workers struggle is about “getting something out of capitalism” or “preventing capitalism getting away with too much”, or “stopping it going to war”, always reinforcing deliberately or by default the bankrupt idea that capitalism will continue to exist,

Some revolutionaries!

They have got by with decades of arcane hair splitting arguments among themselves about the “perfect revolution” (Trots – writing off real workers achievements like the Soviet Union or Cuba), or opportunistic rowing in with parliamentary struggle because the “time is not ripe” or “it would be provocative” or “there is a peaceful way forwards now” (revisionist peaceful coexistence and “containment” of imperialism nonsense).

Now when it comes to the greatest slump disaster ever, and an historically unprecedented collapse of the capitalist system’s entire structure on a scale that grows worse by the minute, arising entirely from the internal workings of capitalism without any real “outside interference” (save the laughably implausible excuse that “terrorism” is a major threat, to replace the old bogeyman of the Soviet Union) these charlatans have nothing to say.

Worse. Some of them want to call off what struggle is bursting out – while the rest want to pander to the worst reactionary nationalism, identifying the workers struggle with the interests of the national bourgeois class.

Pandering to such Little Englander narrowness by supposed “left” firebrand union leaders like Bob Crow and New Labourite “left” John Cruddas, as well as some of the revisionists and assorted revisionist Stalinist legacy CPs, fits entirely into decades of reformist misleadership of the working class and total class collaborationism.

This “left pressure” tradition long ago forgot utterly how to distinguish itself from the imperialist establishment and its “national interest” and slipped decades ago into total acceptance of the relentless anti-communist brainwashing that “capitalism is all there is” – with a few changes to be pressed for to “improve conditions” for the workers.

Now that capitalism is imploding on a scale never before seen in history, – as Marxist-Leninism alone has insisted was historically imminent based on scientific analysis and observation, – this reformist way forwards is being proven to be the opportunist pretence it always was, with hard won gains in standard-of-living, social conditions and education etc are being torn to shreds, and much more besides in the way of human and legal “rights”.

The plunge into open capitalist dictatorship, which is always the true reality of the bourgeois system behind its fraudulent “democracy”, is accelerating rapidly because the whole of society has to be put under the lash of slump discipline and readied for the vicious fighting breaking out against imperialist monopoly capitalist rivals in trade skulduggery and ultimately war destruction

It makes little difference that the Labour and TUC “lefts” claim to be against this repetition of Gordon Brown’s crude (and completely deliberate) nationalist slogan of “British jobs for British workers” (eagerly picked up by the BNP) as such, because they “are not calling for action against foreign workers”, but “just the chance for British workers to compete for jobs in their own country.”

Maybe so. But “fixing” a problem in Brussels legislation still implies that reforms are the way, just at a European level.

Concentrating on this limited reform, they suggest yet again that capitalism can be improved.

But opening a few more vacancies at home, at the indirect expense of some other workers, somewhere else instead of specific foreigners, will make the tiniest difference to overall employment devastation that the hurricane force of capitalist collapse and failure is bringing across the planet, if any at all.

Some of the “left” firebrands are anyway boosting the most backward illusions of defending British jobs, like Bob Crow saying the that recent Japanese train order “should have gone to Britain”.

Will that stop the slump?

Not a chance,

It sums up entirely what these “lefts” are about: deliberately avoiding the real issues posed by the slump collapse and continuing the “left pressure” reformist fraud which has helped keep capitalism in place for the last century and a half.

Revolution is specifically not on the agenda.

Supposed “principled” opposition to the strikes by the Trot wing of the fake-“left” swamp by such as the SWP, AWL and Workers Power, ostensibly taking a stand against racism and “narrow chauvinism”, is even more backward.

First of all it is missing something crucial – that the strike expresses a spontaneous upwelling of anger and bitterness at the onrushing slump and the contemptuous plundering of the public purse by the ultra-wealthy to pay for their disastrous failings and incompetence, part of an explosive groundswell of rebellion across the planet which will eventually turn into outright revolution.

There is far more going on here than simple chauvinism and anti-foreigner hostility.

That becomes clear by taking the widest possible view of world developments and anti-imperialist struggle.

A pattern of spontaneous upheaval is visible worldwide, from “terrorism”, “piracy” and “insurgency” in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to the groundswell of anti-imperialism by the dispossessed and indigenous peoples of Latin America, ridden by populist “left” demagoguery, and the “rogue” state anti-Americanism in places like Sudan and Iran which equally ride a growing hatred of the West and its degeneracy.

Riots and “anarchist outbursts” in Greece, France, and the Baltic states, have brought it into the heart of Europe.

Save a few Maoist struggles in Nepal and India, few of these outbursts large and small come anywhere even close to declaring themselves Marxist struggles, and carry a weight of backward ideology and cultural traditions that will either hamper their development or perhaps even hamstring it completely.

But they are organising and inspiring anti-imperialist and anti-exploitation struggle, like most heroically of all, the ever more determined Palestinian struggle against the genocidally murderous fascist Jewish Zionism.

Pressure can only increase, and rapidly in the onrushing Depression and trade war conditions, for more consciously scientific leadership (Marxism-Leninism) to develop ultimately, which understands the world perspective of collapsing capitalism as the fundamental source of human world society’s ills and alienation, and its overthrow in favour of socialism, under the control of the working class, as the only answer.

Even now this tide of incoherent and partial world upheaval, and the depth of hatred and rejection it shows of the old exploitation and tyranny of imperialist domination, is throwing the ruling class into turmoil in all the major capitalist countries; and no more so than when it erupts in their heartlands.

Combined with the disastrous failure of their economies it is giving them nightmares about the future.

The ”wildcat” strikes in Britain sit in the context of this worldwide ferment.

And despite the petty nationalist flavour they do not necessarily suit the ruling class at all.

Nor was the public sympathy they got generated by reactionary instincts, but by a spontaneous sympathy, pleased to see a challenge to the credit-crunch contempt and arrogance of the ruling class.

It is telling how quickly the strings were pulled behind the scenes to suddenly conjure up mysteriously 102 “extra” jobs in the current dispute to settle the strike and get it off the front pages.

It suggests this is a ruling class far more fearful of the stirring up of the working class, and the public support for it and any kind of fight against the slump, than one intent on turning out a fascist mass movement, or remotely convinced that it would be possible.

Not that it will not try; the BNP and its potentially racist nationalist backwardness was ready to test the water, with plenty of oh-isn’t-this-interesting “impartial” capitalist media coverage giving it all the attention and prominent exposure it could desire.

But that is a reserve; in case the paralysis gripping the mainstream, war blitzing, Zionist supporting, bourgeois ruling class gets too much as the slump accelerates.

As well noted, the reactionary capitalist tabloid and Tory press, which is always the first in to denounce and castigate strikers and any working class struggle, was right in behind the strike, pumping up the “British” (and its unstated implications of “white”) workers demands and emphasising all the most narrow minded aspects of the struggle.

But that is going to happen anyway.

Opposing the strikes for this reason, with high-handed moralising calls to withdraw the actions, is academic posturing by the Trot wing of the fake-“lefts”.

It is entirely in line with their craven “condemnation” of the Third World struggles all around the planet as “criminal” or “nothing but terrorism” as they rushed to do straight after the Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001 and have continued ever since.

Deep down the Trots are as fearful as the ruling class of the upheavals and raw energy that the struggle against the imperialist system is unlocking as it heads rapidly into chaos and breakdown.

These petty bourgeois dilettantes sitting in their college ivory towers and Islington sitting rooms demand only the “perfect” revolution, and wash their hands of the “dirty” reality of mixed up, confused, sometimes self-defeating humanity which is driven into fighting while still full of illusions, prejudice and ignorance.

Such holier-than-thou high-handedness is a smug petty bourgeois pose that echoes the equally self-satisfied pieties which the EPSR has analysed in the past around the immigration question (EPSR 1135 May 2002):

Firstly, moral exhortations and cultural level-raising will never on their own stop clannishness, racial awareness, and racial prejudice in current society where gross income inequalities, consumerist envy, and serious economic competitiveness, between individuals for a particular job, between regional factories for a particular contract, and between countries for trade-war survival, - - are the very way of life.

Secondly, the exposure of the statement “immigration is a problem” as racist, itself deliberately leaves out even more important truths which become clear if the notion is analysed a bit deeper.

Specifically, is “immigration a problem”? After eliminating all kinds of philosophical prejudices to do with “unchanging human nature”, plus genetic voodoo, plus racial/religious obscurantist traditions, etc, etc, - - the only certainty is that “immigration is a problem” under the capitalist-competitive system in a period of deepening economic crisis and insecurity when jobs and livelihoods, and whole aspirations in life, start coming under threat from slump and even worse, - civil-war, war, etc, which historically have always been inseparable, in modern times, from major economic crisis.

Combining these two aspects of race-awareness together, what emerges as the real problem is not the cultural-difference POTENTIAL for prejudice (which might theoretically linger on, dwindling-away slowly, for centuries since it cannot be simply eliminated by moral exhortations or deliberately improved conditions BY THEMSELVES); nor the nastiness of political opportunism for either exploiting brazenly people’s race-prejudice, (Le Pen, BNP), – surreptitiously playing up to it (New Labour), – or self-righteously ‘condemning’ its very existence (fake-‘left’).

And just as well that none of these are the real problem, because nothing can be done about the existence of any of them.

Civilisation must simply outgrow all such backwardness, very slowly.

The REAL problem of race-prejudice-flaring “due to” economic and social pressures which are complicated by immigrants and asylum-seekers, is the underlying issue of capitalism’s economic crisis.

And most interesting of all, the one great thing which society can actually DO to eliminate circumstances and conditions which breed racism and to help eradicate this primitive backwardness from civilisation completely, is, oddly enough, just to get rid of capitalism.

What would seem to be so vast an undertaking as to be absolutely impossible, is, in fact, the only thing that IS possible in this whole, menacing, racist-crisis mess that society is now facing (Le Pen & BNP votes; racist and ultra-right parties mushrooming all over Europe; etc).

By all means warn the working class about the dangers of petty nationalism – and challenge overt fascist backwardness – but the only way to take hold of the scrubby imperfection of real struggle is to broaden and clarify the working class’s understanding of what is really going on, fighting to take the lead with revolutionary Marxist perspectives.

The revolutionary party is in unity and conflict with the working class, battling against the dire capitalist politics and culture which is all that has ever informed the great mass of workers, but on its side.

But all such perspective is glaringly absent from the leaflets and commentaries put out by the Trots.

Consider this for example from the SWP which tells that:

Economic crisis is threatening the jobs and living standards of every worker. Just last week giant multinationals announced 76,000 job losses across the US, Britain and Europe. The world is in the deepest crisis since the 1930s with spreading mass unemployment, pay cuts and poverty.

Worse than that but clear enough. Workers should fight back it says and that’s right enough. But then it goes on:

Right wing ideas gain a hold among workers when they see their lives being torn apart and the unions offer no lead.

Apart from the insulting and defeatist implication that workers will naturally gravitate to the right, which is not where their class position takes them, (it is the reformist class-collaborating Labour and Trade Union legacy of imperialism which does that) what does the SWP intend to do about this?

Trust in the same old trade union leaders that have just betrayed the working class apparently, but with a bit of “left” pressure. And if that doesn’t work then leave the workers to get on with it alone, seemingly. So much for a leadership party!

Instead of turning against workers from abroad, everyone should be organising in a united way to pressure the union leaders to fight. And if the union leaders won’t fight then workers will have to organise the resistance themselves.

Let’s demand an end to the system where foreign workers are housed separately from the British workforce. Let’s bring workers from abroad into the unions and link arms against the bosses and their system.

And how is this to be done, assuming anyone understands what it means?

Our unions should learn from the general strikes in Greece and France that we need mass, militant action directed at the bosses and the government to win.

• Fight all job cuts

• No deals that cut wages or accept lay-offs

• Smash privatisation and sub-contracting

•Unity against the bosses, no to racism and the BNP.

So we fight sweeping unemployment and job cuts by all job cuts.

These platitudes say nothing about the realities of the devastating capitalist crisis and the only perspective there is for fighting against both the slump and the tide of right wing ideology that capitalism will always generate – building a revolutionary movement.

Incidentally the general strikes, in Greece particularly, were a deliberate holding back of the explosive street demonstrations and actions against the police which the Greek CP cravenly characterised as “anarchist provocations”.

Normally the Trots spend their time denouncing the Stalinist legacy such as the CPs in Europe. So how come they so uncritically want to follow their lead now?

Because it is meaningless bravado of course, or a copout.

A general strike would have to have a perspective and a purpose – and it means anything at all that would be to challenge and bring down the government (unless, as in Greece, the strike is a token afternoon event which heads off the real struggle and counterposes itself to the spontaneous upsurge, in a shameful revisionist holding back - EPSR 1343).

“General strike” raises all the questions of what happens next – which can only be answered sensibly by seeing that it would be part of a revolutionary upheaval.

But in truth the SWP and Workers Power, and other like-minded Trots don’t want even the “perfect” revolution and the workers state control (dictatorship of the proletariat) it would impose to build a new cooperative socialist world.

But then neither do the Labour-“lefts” and revisionists, equally guilty of evading and avoiding all references to the need to overthrow capitalism, and leaving the working class floundering yet again in philistinism and hostility to theory.

Even the few who drew the connections to other world struggles, had nothing coherent to say.

The Proletarian/Lalkar Brarites pointed to protests in Greece and France and said:

In Britain, there has been a wave of protest strikes whose underlying cause is really the rapidly rising levels of unemployment in Britain today. Unfortunately, the stranglehold of social democracy and social chauvinism on the minds of British workers prevents them from seeing unemployment as a global problem of the capitalist system. Therefore, the strikes that have been taking place at oil refineries in different parts of the UK are not directed against capitalism and the government that serves it, but are a protest at foreign workers being brought in to effect temporary project work.

The strikers’ demand is the Gordon Brown slogan ‘British jobs for British workers’ – a slogan eagerly parroted by the BNP, just as keen to save capitalism in its time of crisis as is the Labour party, and even more openly prepared to incite racism and abandon democratic rights when this becomes necessary for that nefarious purpose. British workers need to find ways of escaping the ideological and organisational thrall of social democracy so that their fighting spirit can be pitted against the real enemy – capitalism.

So what is that way? Parliament? Strikes? The erection of statues of Joseph Stalin and suppression of all discussion about the dire revisionist legacy that Moscow’s retreat from revolution has created for sixty years, hampering revolution and Marxist understanding so completely that the masses worldwide turned away from what they were (wrongly) told was communism ? It does not say nor can find the space for just two tiny words – revolutionary perspectives

Finally the bizarre former revisionist CPers turned crypto-Trotskyists in the CPGB (Weekly Worker) lambast the rest of the fake-“lefts” for a supposed lack of internationalism, declaring that the issue should really be about forming a European communist movement and fighting at a European level, for common European wages levels etc.

The EPSR has challenged this sophistry before, which self-satisfiedly counterposed itself to supposed Little England nationalism (EPSR 907 10 June 1997) as a way of demolishing and sabotaging the then promising development of the Scargillite Socialist Labour Party.

Despite early promise and open discussion the SLP never did manage to climb out of traditional Labourist bureaucratic trade unionism and petty nationalist class collaborating limitations, once again echoed by former SLP fellow traveller Bob Crow and other “left” Trade Union “firebrands”.

But that did not stop the Weekly Workerites’ position being a fraud then, virtually advocating support for the EU as a step towards international cooperation by the working class, and more importantly being a distraction from the real struggles taking place within the national frameworks that actually exist in capitalism.

And it is a fraud now. Look as hard as you want and there is no mention of revolutionary perspective.

It is just the same old opportunist reformist jostling for position applied artificially at a European level, echoing the same old mistakes of the Socialist United States of Europe slogan that Lenin savagely demolished when it was proposed by Trotsky (see EPSRs 890 or 907 e.g.).

But more than that it covers up another major development, as the crisis pressures now threaten increasingly to tear Europe apart too, with massive tensions erupting over subsidies and support for the French car industry etc.

The centrifugal force of crisis gets ever more intense, breaking up more and more.

The need for revolution will get clearer and clearer.

The battle must be to build the revolutionary party, studying, arguing, polemicising and developing scientific Leninism, the only way out of capitalist disaster.

Jacob Tremain

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Letters: --

Desperate attempts by fake-“lefts” to police protests and meetings against the rising tide of militancy engendered by Zionism’s Nazi atrocities in Gaza and the Slump generally are doomed to failure.

Deranged “anti-semitism” taunts against the EPSR by the loopy anarcho-Zionists of the Alliance of Workers Liberty at a Gaza protest in Leeds were entirely predictable and reflect wider unease among fake-“lefts” of all shades at the growing revolutionary understanding that the jewish-Zionist colonisation of Palestine is completely Nazi and needs to be smashed totally if there is ever going to be peace in the region.

What made these AWL Zionists apoplectic was the EPSR’s correct assertion in its well-received leaflet on Gaza that jews could stay on in a future Palestine “if asked”, ignoring the historical fact that colonial settlers have always had to negotiate with the leaders of the liberated states if they wanted to remain in the countries they occupied – see the history of the dismantling of the apartheid South Africa and white Rhodesia regimes for example. Why should a post-revolution Palestine be any different?

The answer is that they and the rest of the fake-lefts either support a Zionist colony in some form (a “two-state solution” or a “bi-national” unitary state, for example), or are so incapable of envisaging that the embattled and beleaguered Palestinian masses can (and will) defeat Zionism and imperialism, that they can only see a “compromise” solution as the only possible outcome. And they are all fearful of the revolutionary example the heroic Palestinian struggle is giving to the rest of the world.

Reality is proof of this. The Zionist onslaught on Gaza has been a total defeat. Now the entire world knows that the Zionist construct is a complete Nazi monstrosity, prepared to wipe out the entire Palestinian population in its demented drive to head off revolution, and has to be destroyed.

World sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle has escalated dramatically in response – with Indonesian groups considering sending international brigade fighters to Palestine, for example.

The three weeks, so far, of vibrant spontaneous protests and meetings in support of the Palestinian struggle in cities across Britain have been marked by sympathy for a single Palestinian state covering all of historic Palestine – a revolutionary solution because it entails the complete destruction of the imperialist armed and funded jewish-Zionist colony – and a growing anti-imperialist militancy. It is a militancy that is sending shivers down the spines of fake-“lefts” everywhere – fearful that their social-pacifist grip over the anti-war movement is about to be prised away. Take this account of discussions from Leeds Stop the War minutes as an example:

Also, there was discussion of some larger issues:

Some felt that we should have more inclusive slogans - the view was expressed that some of the slogans that were chanted on Saturday may put people off (e.g. chants of “Allahu Akbar” may lead some to think “it’s just the Muslims”). It appeared to be generally acknowledged that we should be leading with inclusive chants through the megaphone. However, we cannot suppress other people’s chants.

While the trouble on the marches in Leeds and London are regrettable, it is unsurprising that emotions run high in the current situation. Compared to the immeasurable violence in Gaza, what is seen on the demos is minimal.

Suggestion that speakers on Saturday should make the point that a Ceasefire is not enough - for a lasting peace, the injustices done to the Palestinian people need to be addressed.

There was discussion about whether we need to take the protests further, and engage in non-violent direct action.

It was felt by some in the meeting that any defence of Hamas would alienate potential supporters, particularly among the Jewish community.

“Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, but if we defend Hamas, we lose the media. For peace, all current players have to leave the stage. Can’t engage with Jews if we defend Hamas.”

The Stop the War movement is united in a focus on the barbarity of Israel. Some of us are supportive of Hamas as the representatives of the Palestinian people. Would not go on a march in support of Hamas but we must not get side-tracked and end up legitimising the view of the US and UK governments.

In London there was quite large Jewish contingent. The Jewish community split – there were pro-Israeli rallies in London and Manchester yesterday, but many are opposing the war. A Jewish Anti-zionist school-teacher would like to speak at the demo this next week.

The Stop the War Coalition was set up from the start to head people away from revolutionary understanding with its “stop the war – bring the troops home” pacifism, as the EPSR has always pointed out. It has completely and inevitably failed. Imperialism is desperate to step up the warmongering destruction all the way to World War 3 as the only solution to get out of its new Great Depression crisis and no amount of rational argument or white flag waving will stop it. Revolution is the only way out for the Palestinians and the working class everywhere.

Self-righteous pacifism is completely reactionary anyway. The notion that the Palestinians and their supporters should “fight against injustices and for a lasting peace but don’t do anything to alienate jews or provoke imperialism” is actually calling on the Palestinians to give up any notion of “righting any injustices” and accept the Zionist jackboot stomping over their homeland forever because even suggesting that Zionland might have no historical validity as a state is considered as “beyond the pale”, “provocative” and “dangerously close to anti-semitism” – as the Lib Dem Jenny Tonge found out recently on BBC1’s Question Time when she suggested that the Palestinians are being forced to pay for the 1940s Nazi holocaust of jews. If pacifism has its way, Palestinians would not be allowed to do or say anything except hold out begging bowls and plead for charity.

“What about the Israeli working class and the Israeli peace movement? Surely we should be building links with them?” ask the social-pacifists in a vain attempt to give the Zionist state legitimacy by suggesting that there is an indigenous jewish working class living there – and to imply that not talking about them is evidence of bigotry – as the AWL loons alleged about the EPSR when they bleated that “there is no anti-racist statement in your leaflet” (without having read it!).

But there is no “Israeli” working class. There is, instead, a jewish colonial settler population that will have to one day accept the inevitability of Palestinian rule – in the same way that the mad dog Orange loyalists in the North of Ireland are being forced to accept the eventuality of a united Ireland – a result of decades of heroic armed struggle by Irish nationalists, not by “peace” campaigning or fake-“left” idealistic calls to “unite the catholic and protestant working class against their own leaders and the British state” (as the quotes in the above minutes mirror – substituting catholic and protestant for muslim and jew).

That there is some sort of jewish settler “peace movement” and “splits within the jewish community” in Britain is a reflection of the defeats inflicted on Zionland by Hezbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. These jewish “peace” campaigners are fearful that Olmert and his thugs have let the Nazi cat out of the bag by demonstrating to the entire world that the jewish colony is nothing but a fascist monstrosity and, through its belligerence, has endangered the entire Zionist colonial project. The Arab world is turning to revolution, as this Gush Shalom Israeli Peace Bloc campaigner fears:

The very fact that a guerrilla force of a few thousand lightly armed fighters held out for long weeks against one of the world’s mightiest armies with enormous firepower, will look to millions of Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims, and not only to them, like an unqualified victory.

In the end, an agreement will be concluded that will include the obvious terms. No country can tolerate its inhabitants being exposed to rocket fire from beyond the border, and no population can tolerate a choking blockade. Therefore (1) Hamas will have to give up the launching of missiles, (2) Israel will have to open wide the crossings between the Gaza Strip and the outside world, and (3) the entry of arms into the Strip will be stopped (as far as possible), as demanded by Israel. All this could have happened without war, if our government had not boycotted Hamas.

HOWEVER, THE worst results of this war are still invisible and will make themselves felt only in years to come: Israel has imprinted on world consciousness a terrible image of itself. Billions of people have seen us as a blood-dripping monster. They will never again see Israel as a state that seeks justice, progress and peace. The American Declaration of Independence speaks with approval of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. That is a wise principle.

Even worse is the impact on hundreds of millions of Arabs around us: not only will they see the Hamas fighters as the heroes of the Arab nation, but they will also see their own regimes in their nakedness: cringing, ignominious, corrupt and treacherous.

The Arab defeat in the 1948 war brought in its wake the fall of almost all the existing Arab regimes and the ascent of a new generation of nationalist leaders, exemplified by Gamal Abd-al-Nasser. The 2009 war may bring about the fall of the current crop of Arab regimes and the ascent of a new generation of leaders – Islamic fundamentalists who hate Israel and all the West..

In coming years it will become apparent that this war was sheer madness. The boss has indeed gone mad – in the original sense of the word. Uri Avnery

The Zionist flag will forever resemble a Nazi swastika in the eyes of the world’s oppressed – a piece of symbolism that the fake-left are desperate to suppress – as seen by numerous angst-ridden comments to fake-“left” blogs. Is there any surprise that AWL provocateurs were chased off a picket of the “Israeli” embassy in London when they waved the jewish colonial settler flag alongside the Palestine flag, supposedly to represent a “two state” solution?

There is a huge Mossad-inspired campaign to smear Hamas and the Palestinians who elected them (democratically) as nothing but fascists driven by an irrational desire to “kill every single jew,” quoting texts that supposedly come from Hamas’s founding charter. Similar “Nazi” allegations emerged in a Leeds Hands Off the People of Iran meeting and suggestions that the “Islamicised” Stop the War Coalition should “split with the Islamists” – that is, those muslim protesters who have taken to the streets and packed meeting halls in their thousands in response the slaughter. (650 Indian muslims packed into a community venue in Batley, for example – and patiently put up with a jewish “two stater” and “lover of Israel” signatory to an Observer letter that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, who accused them of anti-semitism for “singling out Israel” for a boycott campaign whilst not boycotting muslim Sudan for its supposed “genocide“ in Darfur – another piece of stunted-up warmongering propaganda).

So chants of “Allahu Akbar” by British muslims in in solidarity with Palestinian muslims are now to be seen as “sinister” by these sour anti-communist fake-lefts!

The reason why Islamist movements in Palestine and the rest of the Middle East are currently leading the struggle against imperialism in that region is because of the vacuum left after communism was temporarily discredited by Stalin’s disgraceful recognition and funding of the Zionist project in 1947-8 and the subsequent Stalinist “peaceful coexistence” two-state solution that chained down the Palestinian nation for decades, with the connivance of much of the fake-left (Stalinist, Trotskyist and Labour movement) ever since.

The Islamist movements emerged out of material necessity. The poor and oppressed of the Arab nations are struggling to get imperialism off their backs and have turned Islamism as the vehicle for doing this in the absence of a more rational, scientific and revolutionary movement dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialist co-operation world-wide – Leninism, in other words.

The experience of struggle against imperialism has already compelled Hamas, Hezbullah, the Taliban, and the Somali Islamic Courts, for example, to shift from their communal social-support for survival network origins to become more sophisticated and disciplined fighting forces dedicated to liberating their nations from imperialism – and carrying along a broader range of the population with them.

How far this process will go remains to be seen. The capitalist Slump will either force their leaderships to develop a more scientific and revolutionary perspective for the overthrow of capitalism or they will be pushed aside by a leadership capable of making that leap – because the working class has no choice if it is to survive. But condemning them for being muslims and organising their struggle as muslims is complete treachery and turns Lenin’s 1906 “Guerilla War” science on its head (see EPSR 1343 for full quote).

The HOPI anti-communists preferred to ridicule the EPSR for raising these questions at the Leeds meeting – and quickly brought discussion to an end – because it calls into question their own support for the Zionist entity in essence and their complete failure to warn the working class of the now rapidly developing world war-inducing Slump.

They and the rest of the fake-“left” will find it harder and harder to control and manipulate meetings and demonstrations (only accepting questions written in advance so that uncomfortable ones can be filtered out at the Batley Indian muslim meeting, for example) as the capitalist Slump further exposes them and their inability to give revolutionary leadership to an international working class, that is forced to turn to revolution everywhere in order to survive. Phil Waincliffe


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
50th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution

Never again will pain return to the hearts of mothers nor shame to the souls of all honest Cubans!

Speech given by General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, for the commemoration, Santiago de Cuba, January 1, 2009


Women and men of Santiago; People of Oriente; Combatants of the Rebel Army, of the underground struggle and of every combat in defense of the Revolution throughout these 50 years; Compatriots:

On a day like this, our first thoughts are for those who died in this long struggle. They are a paradigm and a symbol of the effort and sacrifice of millions of Cubans. Closely united, taking up the powerful weapons signified by the leadership, teachings and example of Fidel, we learned in the rigors of battle how to transform dreams into reality; how not to lose our heads and confidence in the face of danger and threat; to raise our spirits after major setbacks; to convert every challenge into victory and to overcome adversities, however insurmountable they might have seemed.

Those of us who have had the privilege to experience this stage of our history in all its intensity are well aware of the accuracy of the warning that he gave us that January 8,1959, in his first speech after entering the capital:

“The dictatorship has been overthrown. The joy is immense. However, there is much to be done. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves by believing that in the future everything will be easy; maybe everything will be more difficult in the future,” he concluded.

For the first time, the Cuban people were attaining political power. On this occasion, alongside Fidel, the Mambises did enter Santiago de Cuba, leaving behind exactly 60 years of absolute domination by the nascent U.S. imperialism, which would not delay in demonstrating its real intentions by preventing the entry into this city of the (Mambí) Liberation Army.

The great confusion and, above all, the enormous frustration generated by the U.S. intervention were likewise left behind. But the Mambí Army, despite its formal dismantling, never lost its fighting spirit and the ideas that guided the arms of Céspedes, Agramonte, Gómez, Maceo and so many other of our forebears and combatants for independence.

For more than 50 years our people lived through corrupt governments and fresh U.S. interventions, the Machado dictatorship and the frustrated revolution that defeated him. Later, in 1952, the coup d’etat, with the support of the U.S. government, reinstated a dictatorship, a formula applied in those years to ensure its dominion in Latin America.

It was clear to us that the armed struggle was the only way. Once again, revolutionaries would have to face - as Martí did before us - the dilemma of the necessary war for independence, truncated in 1898.

The Rebel Army once more took up the Mambisi weapons and, after the triumph, was transformed for ever into the undefeated Revolutionary Armed Forces.

The Centenary Generation, which assaulted the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons in 1953, had Martí’s significant legacy, had his humanistic global vision that reaches beyond the attainment of national liberation.

In historical terms, the time between the frustration of the Mambisi dream and the triumph of the War of Liberation was a brief one. At the beginning of that period, Mella, one of the founding members of our first Communist Party and of the feu (Federation of University Students), became the legitimate heir and bridge linking Marti’s thinking to the most advanced ideas.

Those were years of a maturing of the awareness and action of workers and campesinos, and of the formation of a genuine, valiant and patriotic intelligentsia which has accompanied us to the present.

Cuban teachers, the loyal repository of the fighting traditions of their predecessors, sowed those traditions in the finest of the new generations.

From the very moment of the triumph it was evident to every humble man and woman that the Revolution was an avenging social cataclysm of justice that was knocking on every door, from the Fifth Avenue mansions in the capital of the country to the most miserable and remote shacks in our rural and mountain areas.

Revolutionary laws introduced not only fulfilled the Moncada program but exceeded it in bounds in the logical evolution of the process. Moreover, they established a precedent for the peoples of Our America, which 200 years previously, had initiated the movement of emancipation from colonialism.

In Cuba, American history took a different turn. Nothing morally valuable has been at a remove from the whirlwind that even before January 1,1959, began to sweep away opprobrium and inequalities, while opening the way to the immense effort of all the people, determined to give themselves what they deserve and have raised with their own sweat and blood. Millions of Cuban women and men have been workers, students or soldiers; sometimes all of these as circumstances demanded. Nicolas Guillen’s masterly synthesis summed up the significance for the people of the triumph of January 1959. “I have what I had to have,” says one of his poems, not in reference to material wealth, but to being the owners of our own destiny. This is a doubly meritorious victory, for it has been attained despite the sick and vindictive hatred of the powerful neighbor.

The promotion and support of sabotage and banditry; the Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs] invasion; the blockade and other economic, political and diplomatic acts of aggression; the constant campaign of slander aimed at denigrating the Cuban Revolution and its leaders; the October [Missile] Crisis; the hijackings of and attacks on civilian planes and sea vessels; state terrorism, with its terrible result of 3,478 dead and 2,099 maimed; attempts on the life of Fidel and other leaders; the murder of Cuban workers, farmers, fishermen, students, diplomats and combatants; these and many other crimes bear witness to the obstinate insistence on extinguishing, at any cost, the beacon of justice and honor signified by the dawn of that 1st of January.

One after another, all the U.S. administrations have constantly tried to impose a regime change in Cuba, using one way or another, with greater or lesser aggression. Resistance has been the key word and the explanation for every one of our victories throughout this half-century of uninterrupted battling, in our invariable starting point was to fight for ourselves, while acknowledging the widespread and decisive solidarity we have received.

For many years, Cuban revolutionaries have abided by Martí’s apothegm: “Freedom comes at a heavy price, and one must either resign oneself to living without it or decide to buy it cost what it may.”

In this plaza, on the 30th anniversary of the victory, Fidel told us: “We are here because we have been able to resist.” Ten years later, in 1999, from this same balcony, he affirmed that the Special Period constituted “the most extraordinary page of revolutionary and patriotic glory and determination [...] when we were left totally on our own in the middle of the West, just 90 miles away from the United States, and we decided to continue forward.” End of quote. Thus we repeat it here today.

It has been a firm resistance, far from any fanaticism, based on solid convictions, and on the resolution of all of the people to defend them at any cost. At this time, our glorious five heroes are a living example of that unshakable determination. (Applause and exclamations of “Viva!”)

Today, we are not alone facing the empire on this side of the ocean, as was the case in the 1960s when, in January 1962, the United States imposed on the OAS the absurdity of the expulsion of Cuba, the country that, shortly before, had been the victim of an invasion organized by the U.S. government and escorted to our coasts by its warships. As it has been confirmed, that expulsion was precisely the prelude to a direct military intervention only prevented by the deployment of the Soviet nuclear missiles leading to the October Crisis, known to the world as the Missile Crisis.

Today, the Revolution is stronger than ever and has never ceded a millimeter in its principles, not even in the most difficult circumstances. That truth is not changed in the least by the few who might tire or even renege on their history, having forgotten that life is an eternal battling.

Does that signify that the dangers have diminished? No, it does not. Let’s us not delude ourselves. As we commemorate this half-century of victories, it is time to reflect on the future, on the next fifty years, which will also be ones of constant struggle.

Observing current turbulences in the contemporary world, we cannot think that the coming years will be easier. I am saying this not to scare anyone, but because it is pure reality.

We should also keep very much in mind what Fidel told us all, but especially the youth, at the University of Havana on November 17, 2005: This country can destroy itself, this Revolution can destroy itself; those that cannot destroy it are them [the enemy]; it is us who can destroy it, and that would be our fault,” he stated.

In the face of this possibility, I ask myself: What is the guarantee that something so terrible for our people would not occur?

How to avoid such a numbing blow that it would take a very long time to recover from and to attain victory once again?

I am speaking on behalf of all those who have been fighting from the moment the first shots were fired on the walls of the Moncada barracks 55 years ago and of those who fulfilled heroic internationalist missions.

Of course, I am also speaking in the name of those who fell in the Wars of Independence and, more recently, in the War of Liberation. I am speaking in the name of them all, and in the name of Abel and Jose Antonio, of Camilo and of Che, when I affirm, in the first place, that that demands from tomorrow’s leaders that they never forget that this is the Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble; (Applause); that they should never be misled by the siren songs on the enemy and should be aware that, given its very essence, the enemy will never cease to be aggressive, dominating and treacherous; that they should never distance themselves from our workers, our campesinos and the rest of the people; that Party members must prevent the destruction of the Party. Let’s learn from history.

If they act in this way, they will always have the support of the people, even if they err in matters that are not in violation of basic principles. But, if their actions were to be inconsistent with such conduct, they wouldn’t even be able to count on the necessary strength or opportunity to rectify, because they would have lost the moral authority that the masses only grant to those who never yield in the struggle. They could end up impotent in the face of external or internal clanger and incapable of preserving the work that is the fruit of the blood and sacrifice of many generations of Cubans.

Nobody should be in any doubt that if that were ever to happen our people would put up a fight, and today’s mambises would be in the frontline; they would never be ideologically disarmed nor would they ever lay down their swords. (Applause and exclamations)

It befalls the historical leadership of the Revolution to prepare the new generations to assume the enormous responsibility of continuing to move ahead with the revolutionary process..

This heroic city of Santiago and all of Cuba were witness to the sacrifice of thousands of compatriots, the accumulated anger at so many lives cut short by crime, the infinite pain of our mothers and the sublime courage of their daughters and sons.

This was the birthplace of a young revolutionary, killed when he was only 22 years of age, a symbol of that disposition to sacrifice, of that purity, courage and serenity, and of that love for our people: Frank País Garcia.

This eastern land was the birthplace of the Revolution. It was here that the clarion call was made in La Demajagua and on the 26th of July; it was here that we landed in the Granma and initiated the battle in the mountains and the plains, the same struggle that later extended to the entire island. As Fidel said in History Will Absolve Me, “Here, every day seems as if it is going to be once again that of Yara and Baire.”

Never again will poverty, ignominy, abuse and injustice return to our land!

Never again will pain return to the hearts of mothers be filled with pain nor shame to the soul of every honest Cuban!

That is the firm resolution of a nation on a war footing; a nation that is aware of its duty and proud of its history. (Applause)

Our people are well aware of every shortcoming in the work they have raised with their own hands and defended with their own lives. We, the revolutionaries are our own fiercest critics. We have never hesitated to publicly discuss our flaws and errors. There are plenty of past and recent examples.

From October 10, 1868, disunity was the main cause of our defeats. After January 1,1959, the unity forged by Fidel has been the guarantee of our victories. Our people have been able to preserve that unity despite all of the vicissitudes and attempts at division, and have lightly placed shared aspirations above differences, crushing petty self-interest by dint of collectivism and generosity.

Revolutions can only advance and endure when the people take them forward. Having comprehended that truth and having invariably acted in accordance with it has been a decisive factor in the victory of the Cuban Revolution over its enemies, and over seemingly insurmountable difficulties and challenges.

As we arrive at the first half century of the victorious Revolution, let us pay tribute first to our marvelous people and their exemplary decision, courage, loyalty and internationalist and fraternal vocation; to their extraordinary demonstration of will, spirit of sacrifice and their confidence in victory, in the Party, in its maximum leader and, above all, in themselves. (Applause)

I know that I am expressing the sentiments of my compatriots and of many revolutionaries in the world, when I pay tribute to the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz. (Applause and exclamations)

One individual does not make history, we know that, but there are some indispensable people capable of decisively influencing its course. Fidel is one of them; nobody doubts it, not even his bitterest enemies.

In his early youth he adopted as his own one of Martí’s thoughts: “All the glory in the world can be fitted into in a kernel of corn.” He converted that into a shield against the fatuous and the transient, into his principal weapon for transforming praise and honor - even if well-deserved - into greater humility, honesty, fighting spirit and the love of truth, which he has invariably placed above all else.

He made reference to these ideas, 50 years ago, in this same plaza. His words that night are totally valid today.

At this very special moment when we meditate on the road we have trodden and, above all, of the even longer journey ahead, when we reiterate our commitment to the people and to our martyrs, allow me to conclude by recalling the premonitory alert and the call to combat made by the Commander in Chief in this historic place on January 1,1959, when he stated:

“We do not believe that all of the problems are going to be easily solved; we know that the way is fraught with obstacles, but we are people of faith, who always stand up to great difficulties. Our people can be sure of one thing, and that is that we might be mistaken once or many times, but the only thing that can never be said of us is that we stole, that we betrayed.” And he added:

“We will never let ourselves be led astray by vanity or ambition, [...] there can be no greater reward or satisfaction than fulfilling our duty,” he concluded.

On this date full of significance and symbolism, let us reflect on these ideas, which constitute a guide for true revolutionaries; let us do so with the satisfaction of having fulfilled our duty up until now; with the guarantee of having lived with dignity the most intense and fruitful half-century of our country’s history and with the firm commitment that, in this land, we will always be able to confirm with pride: Glory to our heroes and martyrs! (Exclamations of “Glory!”) jViva Fidel! (— “jViva!”) jViva la Revolucion! (— “jViva”)) jViva Cuba libre! (— “jViva!”) .(Ovation).*

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