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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 1355 23rd August 2009

German and Japanese upturns are not simply false dawns but pinpoint the problems of inter-imperialist conflict embedded in capitalist crisis, driving it towards World War – and the revolutions to stop it.

The “return to growth” trumpeted in the last week, firstly for powerful German capitalism and its European backup France, and now Japan, is a long way from the “good news” it is presented as, for the West.

It is not simply that the “upturn” is the shallowest and most superficial of turnarounds, no more than a quiet space in the middle of the biggest economic hurricane to hit capitalism in its entire 800 year long history, which will not change anything about the disastrous cataclysm of over-production crisis at the heart of the imperialist system, close to total implosion last October and inevitably returning at any moment.

Nor is it that the “good news” will pass most of the working class by, changing nothing about the savage speed-ups, wage cuts, imposed salary “holidays”, waves of redundancy, pension cutbacks, tax hikes and other burdens already imposed by bosses large and small as the “credit crunch” has bitten, and the much greater savaging of medical, local and social services that has already begun and which will be imposed with full violence once the cynical manipulations for the General Election circus are out of the way (if the insane and criminally irresponsible credit splurge effects even last that long).

Nor is it that ordinary people will have their faces rubbed even further in the already in-your-face contempt and arrogance of the ruling class, now pocketing ever greater fortunes plundered and stolen from the hard work of billions of proletarians and workers both in Britain and even more throughout the Third World (the only basis of all such “earnings” and “rewards”).

It is that the enormous and desperate efforts by leading US imperialism to stave off for another few minutes, the unstoppable whirlpool disintegration of the capitalist profit system by printing yet more trillions of paper dollars, (the central mechanism by which the post-war “boom” has been dragged out for decades beyond its “natural” collapse point caused by the relentless accumulation of “surplus” capital steadily overwhelming profitability and eventually choking the system in “too much” product to sell and “too much” investable capital to find a profit) – has benefited first of all the great imperialist rivals.

Giant tensions within imperialism caused by the massively uneven development of various parts, (the result of capitalist anarchy and competitive jostling for position by the great monopoly blocs) have broken into titanic war conflict three times already in history (Franco-prussian War, First World War, Second World War) once the underlying contradictions of basic capitalism have worked through to slump collapse again, (as they always must because that is the nature of capitalism as analysed by Marx and Lenin - see page 6) forcing the hand of the various ruling classes to try and wipe out their rivals and simultaneously destroy the “excess” production capacity (and workers).

The huge inter-imperialist rivalries and hatreds have re-emerged in the post-war period as the great blocs have re-developed, (allowed to do so, despite early post-war plans to completely destroy their industrial capacity and any further challenge, because of the fears of Second World War “winner” US imperialism that the horrify war destruction and millions strong deaths of capitalist conflict had shown its true nature, and massively popular communism, which had destroyed Hitlerism and promised a planned, peaceful, war free world, was sweeping the globe, especially in the “losing” countries).

Fears of the deadly competition of the old rivals, now organised into huge powerful blocs (European Union Franco-German alliance, Japanese dominated Asian countries), has been a crucial factor driving US imperialism’s “war on terror” agenda for pushing “shock and awe” blitzkrieging on the world, to demonstrate that it remains in charge, capable of controlling rising Third World rebellion on behalf of all imperialism and directly intimidating any challengers.

By the 1980s the competition from the increasingly superior and efficient rivals was eating away at the heart of US dominance. It triggered the temporary softening of the hugely expensive nuclear armageddon arms race Cold War encirclement of the revisionist Soviet Union (and its unexpected and utterly unnecessary ‘bonus’ liquidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat by the idiot end point of Stalinist revisionist complacency, Gorbachevism) in order to concentrate on trade, currency and finance warfare, which has seen oncoming slump (which is general throughout capitalism) forced onto various regions of the planet since, including Japan, south-east Asia, assorted sections of Latin America and to some extent Europe, along with the carpet bagging plunder of the old Soviet Union as an extra.

But the relentless unstoppable development goes on, including new rivals like Brazil, India and the capitalist economic development in China (supervised by the planned organisation of the still-in-control Chinese workers state and therefore growing even more rapidly than it would otherwise).

Giant tensions are building up which will eventually explode again in potentially the most destructive world war in all history (assuming nothing else like sweeping anti-imperialist and communist revolution does not come first), with hugely more parts of the world now penetrated and embedded in the world imperialist exploitation system, (and therefore directly part of capitalism).

But the now decade long efforts of the “Big Daddy” US imperialist power to re-assert its dominance (and continued unchanged by the supposedly “different” “black” presidency of Barack Obama – in fact escalated in Afghanistan and Pakistan) under the ridiculous excuse of “fighting terror”, have run into disaster, hitting a wave of rebellion and hostility in the Third World which for all its often bizarre forms and backward cultural traditions is becoming increasing well organised and capable, from Latin America to the Middle East, and Asia.

Shock and awe has become “laughter and contempt” eating away at US imperialist confidence.

It will equally be causing rising contempt for the US by the rival imperialists, who, while they support the general suppression of Third World insurgency and benefit from the super-profit exploitation as much as any capitalism, have been biding their time while they look for the opportunity to get rid of the hated dominance of “Anglo-Saxon” imperialism.

The complexities and jostling for alliances, diplomatic game playing are due to sharpen up hugely as the crisis returns in full force.

Every imperialist power is in a to-the-death battle for survival. On the one hand they face being wiped out by the vicious intensification of market conflict by rivals (car bankruptcies, bank failures, industrial shutdown,etc etc) , on the other being overturned by the huge escalation in working class discontent and rebellion that Depression wipe-out will bring as far worse conditions must be imposed than anything seen so far or even in the 1930s.

The current interlude, deluding the working class with promises that the system has been salvaged, (sweetened by giving them cynical token reforms like a black president) has one purpose only – to buy time for the ruling class to step up its repressive plans to control revolutionary upheaval and to further warm the world up for the war it desperately wants and needs to get it out of trouble (according to deranged capitalist thinking).

But it will be shortlived as even the most reactionary bourgeois press is declaring:

Too many steel mills have been built, too many plants making cars, computer chips or solar panels, too many ships, too many houses. They have outstripped the spending power of those supposed to buy the products. This is more or less what happened in the 1920s when electrification and Ford’s assembly line methods lifted output faster than wages. It is a key reason why the Slump proved so intractable, though debt then was far lower than today.

Thankfully, leaders in the US and Europe have this time prevented an implosion of the money supply and domino bank failures. But they have not resolved the elemental causes of our (misnamed) Credit Crisis; nor can they.

Excess plant will hang over us like an oppressive fog until cleared by liquidation, or incomes slowly catch up, or both. Until this occurs, we risk lurching from one false dawn to another, endlessly disappointed.

Justin Lin, the World Bank’s chief economist, warned last month that half-empty factories risk setting off a “deflationary spiral”. We are moving into a phase where the “real economy crisis” bites deeper – meaning mass lay-offs and drastic falls in investment as firms retrench. “Unless we deal with excess capacity, it will wreak havoc on all countries,” he said.

Mr Lin said capacity use had fallen to 72pc in Germany, 69pc in the US, 65pc in Japan, and near 50pc in some poorer countries. These are post-War lows. Fresh data from the Federal Reserve is actually worse. Capacity use in US manufacturing fell to 65.4pc in July.

My discovery as a journalist is that deflation is a taboo subject. Those who came of age in the 1970s mostly refuse to accept that such an outcome is remotely possible, and that includes a few regional Fed governors and the German-led core of the European Central Bank.

As a matter of strict fact, two- thirds of the global economy is already in “deflation-lite”. US prices fell 2.1pc in July year-on-year, the steepest drop since 1950. Import prices are down 7.3pc, even after stripping out energy. At almost every stage over the last year, in almost every country (except Britain), deflationary forces have proved stronger than expected.

Elsewhere, the CPI figures are: Ireland (-5.9), Thailand (-4.4), Taiwan (-2.3), Japan (-1.8), China (-1.8), Belgium (-1.7), Spain (-1.4), Malaysia (-1.4), Switzerland (-1.2), France (-0.7), Germany (-0.6), Canada (-0.3).

Even countries such as France and Germany eking out slight recoveries are seeing a contraction in “nominal” GDP. This is new outside Japan, and matters for debt dynamics. Ireland’s nominal GDP is shrinking 13pc annually: debt stays still.

Global prices will rebound later this year as commodity costs feed through – though that may not last once China pricks its credit bubble after the 60th anniversary of the revolution in October. My fear – hopefully wrong – is that we are being boiled slowly like frogs, complacent until it is too late to jump out of the deflation pot.

The sugar rush of fiscal stimulus in the West will subside within a few months. Those “cash-for-clunkers” schemes that have lifted France and Germany out of recession – just – change nothing. They draw forward spending, leading to a cliff-edge fall later. (This is not a criticism. Governments did the right thing given the emergency). The thaw in trade finance has led to a V-shaped rebound in East Asia as pent up exports are shipped. But again, nothing fundamental has changed. Deficit countries in the Anglo-Sphere, Club Med, and East Europe are all on diets. People talk too much about “liquidity” – a slippery term – and not enough about concrete demand.

Professor James Livingston at Rutgers University says we have been blinded by Milton Friedman, who convinced our economic elites and above all Fed chair Ben Bernanke that the Depression was a “credit event” that could have been avoided by a monetary blast (helicopters/QE). Under that schema, we should be safely clear of trouble before long this time.

Mr Livingston’s “Left-Keynesian” view is that a widening gap between rich and poor in the 1920s incubated the Slump. The profit share of GDP grew: the wage share fell – just as now, in today’s case because globalisation lets business exploit “labour arbitrage” by playing off Western workers against the Asian wages. The rich do not spend (much), they accumulate capital. Hence the investment bubble of the 1920s, even as consumption stagnated.

I reserve judgment on this thesis, which amounts to an indictment of our economic model. But whether we like it or not, Left or Right, we may have to pay more attention to such thinking if Bernanke’s credit fix fails to do the job. Back to socialism anybody?

The professors would do better to read Capital. And what none of the bourgeoisie will say is that the only solution they have to such capital surpluses is massive destruction (wiping out the physical production capital: World War Three in other words). A little “liquidation” of the odd company (or even General Motors) simply ratchets up the pressures of Slump imposition driving the working class into survival conflict and increasing the pressures on the ruling class.

The fake- “lefts” (all shades) are no better, only describing the crisis in formalised terms, which at best call by rote for the “overturn of capitalism” (and mostly avoid even that) and fail completely to see the Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan warmonger as an interconnected part of the whole crisis collapse.

“War for oil” or the “greedy expansion” of imperialism, sees the events episodically, one by one, and upside down, suggesting a confident growing imperialism.

It is not. The desperate near fascist hysteria in the US currently over the most tepid of reformist con-tricks on the working class (the federal health system extension) reflects terminal weakness and panic in a ruling class staring history in the face.

Capitalism is a mined-out system, once a motivator to drag humanity forwards (by piratical brutality) but long past its sell-by date and capable only of dragging the world into the greatest human disaster ever seen.

It must go and only the working class, led by Leninist clarity and science, can end it.

Revolutionary science is the crucial ingredient, which will emerge again as the Depression teaches people of the need for serious understanding. Study and build Leninism. Jim Wright

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“Patiently explain” not “accept patently reactionary garbage”

Objections have been raised, both generally and specifically, that the EPSR may have over harshly characterised one side of recent discussions about the need, or the means, to widen the revolutionary debate beyond the immediate core of supporters.

It is unfair to paint some elements of the EPSR into a corner along with the multitude of fake-”lefts” it is said, by drawing a parallel between the argument for tolerance in discussions with newly interested workers or intellectuals, and the “what do we do in the meantime” evasions of the reformist, Trotskyist and revisionist swamp, which always place revolutionary perspectives into the far future (if they mention them at all, in most circumstances).

Slyly these groups thereby can settle comfortably on yet more of the old “left” pressure games which have dominated the opportunist and bourgeoisified British working class leadership for 150 years or more, helping tie them down in parliamentary and petty bourgeois reformist illusions which have led full circle again to slump disaster, and the stripping away of all such painfully built “gains”, the more so as Depression intensifies and inevitable international trade conflicts head back into open World warfare.

Apart from these general doubts by some comrades, there is a specific objection from the opposite side of the discussion that they have been “fingered” as being exactly the same as fake-“lefts” and subject to an unfair hostile polemic, attributing to them positions they don’t hold.

Some clarity needs to be established therefore, about the comments at the end of the last paper (EPSR 1554) which were aimed at the broad swamp of the fake-”left” and their usual posturing around workers disputes, and not specifically at particular comrades in the EPSR as has been alleged. The quotes were used in a quite usual way, as often done previously in the paper, as part of a polemical exposure of the fraudulence and opportunism of these groups.

Political positions in quote marks were a stylistic shorthand to indicate attempts to sum up in a phrase or two the overall politics and philosophy of the groups generally – and however crudely or clumsily this might have been achieved, it was not, as assumed, anything to do with quotes being attributed to specific people, least of all supporters of the EPSR.

There was no intent to falsely imply such things had been said by the objectors. Were quotes to be argued against in such a specific way they would have been written as named quotes from either individuals or groups.

Equally, the aside in the paper that some comrades were “echoing” these fake-”left” attitudes, was intended to say just that – not that they were currently, precisely, joining in exactly the same arguments as the fake-”left” but that the positions being adopted in discussions have “echoes” – faintly enough perhaps, – of the fake-”left”’s and if continued would lead down a path that way.

What starts as an “echo” can more or less quickly become complete opposition. There are only two sides ultimately in the class war, and the pressures which will sharpen the differences are rapidly intensifying on the world stage as the imperialist crisis unravels.

But whatever the appropriate image or metaphor might be there are significant differences between the objectors’ politics and the core EPSR.

For all the protestation that the objectors consider the EPSR analysis to be the “best around” and “respected” etc, etc the actual political positions being discussed and raised are already indicating some major divergences – over Barack Obama, over China and workers states in general, over demonised states like Zimbabwe and over the significance of a supposed “African voice”, (irrespective of the political and especially revolutionary Leninist political position such a “voice”, may have, or more appositely, does not have). These issues will be discussed further below.

But first it needs to be said that it has been quite hard to pin down any concrete politics because quite frequently fundamental points of difference have been left unsaid, in open discussion at least, and such issues which do indicate differences have sometimes emerged only in side comments to one or two comrades with one or two exceptions, most notably China.

Written statements of positions on some major issues have only just emerged and even then the entire tone and spirit of the discussion, especially in the small amount of written contributions (letters) has been characterised by hostility to the EPSR, innuendo and much “taking offence” at supposed “insults”, rather than straightforward political argument.

The objectors, for example, declare that they have been “removed from the status of close supporters of the EPSR” with the clear background implication that there has been “inner party manoeuvring” or some such, pushing them out of discussion, and unstated innuendos of all sorts of underhand dealing therewith.

But again this is an exaggerated and deliberate misinterpretation of a phrase used as a perfectly usual polemical device, trying to indicate something about the political positions being adopted which, over a now sustained period of at least two years (as opposed to points made in recent letters to which the objectors refer) certainly have been moving away from the central understanding of the EPSR. “Once close supporters” was an attempt to describe the politics, not a statement about some official party status, or not, of comrades.

(Since the EPSR and its supporters are no more than a philosophical and political discussion arena at present without the elaborate organisation fetishes that have plagued the entire fake-“left” swamp and its “proper” or “official” or formalised ways of doing things, with no “positions” other than the paper editor, and since the EPSR’s central understanding is that the argument for Leninism needs to made in front of the working class as part of the process of drawing in more and more workers to building the scientific leadership the working class needs to end capitalism, with only the need to facilitate that process guiding any simple disciplines – it is difficult to see why such an objection would be constructed, or what it means, unless it is trying to deflect attention from the real issues, and muddy the waters for others who might be following the debate, by suggesting skulduggery etc.

But meantime there are a few issues which have been focused on.

The first, supposedly at the centre of discussion and the one raised initially, is an alleged failure of the EPSR to engage with the working class and the world around.

This is a tactical issue of course and notoriously such matters can generate much loud discussion and difference, precisely because tactics will always come in a thousand flavours, and be endlessly variable according to personalities and styles of individuals (see archive piece), and according to immediate circumstances, and minor changes which make one thing appropriate at one moment and another the next.

Mistakes are allowable, and unavoidable in this area precisely as comrades struggle to find the best way to win over the ones or twos of interested individuals possibly now being driven by the crisis now cataclysmically breaking, towards the revolutionary understanding of the EPSR, but who almost certainly will have disagreements or differences initially.

That debate is perfectly reasonable and struggling to understand why Leninist politics is unable to make much headway, and constantly reassess the way EPSR supporters tackle the world and the arguments in the working class, is part and parcel of building a scientific world view.

How to make the most of likely movement by individuals in the crisis is the surface issue.

It is argued that in conditions of almost universal rejection of communism produced by decades of relentless anti-communist brainwashing in the West; by the deliberate swamping of any culture of serious thought and argument in a tide of “you’ve got to ‘ave a laff” consumerist emptiness and celebrity philistinism; and by the class despair in apparent “communism” produced by the apparent “failure” of the Soviet Union after the Gorbachevite liquidation, as well as decades of slow revisionist withdrawal from revolutionary militancy which preceded it, – that there needs to be considerable tolerance of positions and attitudes which may not immediately match every part of the understanding developed by the EPSR over 30 years on a multitude of aspects of the world class struggle and its domestic expression.

The “baggage” of the false boom-time illusions and relentless demonisation by imperialism of numerous scapegoats and victims (e.g supposed “terrorists” in general and specifically in such place as Lebanon, Somalia and Palestine, and “rogue states” like Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar (Burma)) is not necessarily going to be shaken off overnight. Nor too is the confusion or misdirection of decades of poisonous anti-communist Trotskyism or deluded “peace struggle” revisionism, or the general petty bourgeois attitudes of petty nationalism and individualism.

So in arguing with workers for the EPSR’s revolutionary understanding there needs to be patience to hear out their positions and even gain valuable insights into areas of experience that the party has not made itself.

Anything else, it is further argued would be “sectarian”, partly responsible for keeping the small Leninist discussion isolated by failing to communicate with those potentially able to take up the discussion and perhaps even “putting them off” by too relentless or didactic an insistence on immediate full agreement with a rigid position that, in itself, is not recognising the need for constantly learning from new experiences.

But all this is in a sense tilting at windmills. There is no essential disagreement on these basic points.

All are agreed that comrades need to constantly explain the position of the EPSR patiently and in a two-way interaction, dialectically responding to the mood and understanding of multiple layers of society and constantly feeding that information and experience back into the core Leninist perspective.

As far as it is able with its tiny numbers and resources, it tries to participate as widely as possible in meetings, marches, demonstrations and the like.

But it does so with a crucial purpose, to raise and discuss revolutionary politics and perspectives, even where on many occasions that has demanded “rough and ready” willingness to challenge the formal stifling of argument and debate, (the blind chairman who does not “see” the request to speak etc) which passes for “proper” behaviour in the petty-bourgeois opportunist dominated “labour movement” and revisionist peace-nicking.

The EPSR also invites the widest possible polemic and debate on all these issues, in front of the working class and as much as possible drawing them in, as it is with this discussion.

But the entire fake-”left” continues to refuse any challenges or invitations to debate, with the minor exception of the Lalkarites on a single occasion, and even then done as a token gesture with no further attention to the arguments, and the need to work the discussion through to a conclusion. The Museum Stalinists clearly believe that if they ignore it, the (uncontestable) philosophical and political points made will simply go away again, or be of no importance.

But more is alleged by the objectors.

The current isolation of Leninist politics, it is suggested, is because of political perspectives and attitudes in the EPSR, or at least of some of those among its supporters.

The insistent allegation by the objectors, is that “the extreme pressure of bourgeois society, and the isolated way in which we have had to struggle have led to an increasingly inward looking and sectarian approach to discussion with ‘outsiders’”.

So severe is this problem declared to be that it is “essential now that the party to move forward and grow, we need to have a full discussion of the politics of how we engage with other people”.

A full discussion! The very politics of the party are being held urgently to blame for its isolation, though no details are given by the objectors as to what this political failing is in concrete terms.

Astonishingly, in a follow through letter it is denied that such an argument has been put; that is blaming “the isolated conditions in which we struggle” as the “fault of the politics”.

Why the retraction and especially after a long build up?

Partly of course because that was dealt with the current paper, and simply enough by pointing out that to blame the Leninist discussion for its isolation is like blaming the poor for their poverty.

And partly because the plea for general tactical understanding pf practice is not really the issue at stake at all.

The real issue is that “another perspective” is to be brought into the party under cover of “more tolerance” of “other opinions”.

And this other perspective has shown itself to be a completely non-revolutionary perspective based around supposedly meaningful and genuine African experiences to which the Leninist understanding should be in thrall.

That anti-revolutionary content is the answer to the objectors’ disingenuous query in which precisely the question is asked why “in trying to introduce the ‘outsider’ perspective” they have been met with “suspicion and hostility”.

Because anti-revolutionary understanding is being injected into the heart of the party under cover of “fair discussion”.

But initially, to finish the “sectarian” argument, it simply has not been the case that the arguments have been met immediately with hostility.

The bulk of the EPSR supporters have fallen over themselves to accommodate to discussion with new people that have been recommended by the objectors, bringing them into the heart of debate, (as it turned out, somewhat prematurely.)

It was even accepted, as the objectors have written, that “we would all benefit from a wider discussion with more people, who undoubtedly will not agree with every point but who are well worth talking with, and maintaining friendly relationships in which the Leninist approach of ‘patient explanation’ can flourish.”

But “not agreeing” with every point, and being patently hostile to the very basics of the revolutionary perspective, are very different things.

“Patiently explain” may have been a tactical slogan at the moment of massive revolutionary growth in 1917 when the tens of thousands of workers who flooded towards the Bolshevik party were fired with revolutionary fervour, driven by the intolerable crisis conditions of the First World War and the endless trench slaughter, economic meltdown and unrestrained capitalist profiteering (around war supplies, munitions, etc) which had escalated massively beyond ordinary conditions. Their need was theory, not to be convinced about revolution.

But a far more basic necessity and principle throughout Lenin’s entire lifetime was ruthless struggle to expose and clarify the truth about the world in endless polemic and argument with numerous supposed “lefts”, including some of the most respected former Marxists such as Kautsky and Plekhanov who retreated or collapsed into positions which lined them up with, or justified the social-chauvinists and social-pacifist positions of the Second International, which itself had capitulated lock stock and barrel to imperialist warmongering and “defence of the Fatherland” opportunism at the beginning of the First World War.

In other words, patiently explain does not mean unquestioningly accept outside views.

Additionally it turns out the outsiders to the politics, allegedly requiring such patience, are nothing of the kind. In fact a second argument put forward for why they should be listened to is their “deep experience” both from education in the workers states prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in Africa.

It turns out that far from being relative newcomers to politics, for whom patience in explanation would be a correct approach perhaps, the EPSR is being confronted with highly seasoned and experienced “outsiders”.

Robust, and well used to, and able to handle, the rough and tumble of political battling.

“Many hours of discussion” with these experts, say the objectors, have greatly increased the objectors’ own “depth of understanding of the worldwide class struggle, particularly in relation to Africa, the Middle East, and Palestine as well as confirming and strengthening the understanding of the progressive role of the former workers states”.

Unfortunately none of the actual concrete understandings, on any of these places or in general, that have been so deepened, have been spelt out to the EPSR, not a single sentence worth, so it is very hard to judge, leaving only the question why if these lessons are so valuable at least a little of their content has not made available in two years.

Because they would be exposed immediately as the non-revolutionary nonsense they are, perhaps?

That has already become clear on some specifics in the discussions (which have largely emerged somewhat shamefacedly via side comments to individual comrades rather than in open discussion).

First among these is the notion that Barack Obama represents “a stage in the struggle”.

Without elaboration exactly what that means is not clear but what it does not reflect in any way is the EPSR’s opinion that Obama is the biggest confidence trick pulled yet on the American and world working class, the playing of a “politically correct” black-nationalist card that has been prepared for over four decades by American imperialism, to head off and split class struggle.

To call Obama a “stage” suggests that the presidency is some kind of progress for the world, and a “step forwards” for working class interests.

What utter deluded shyte.

And what a dangerously misleading reformist nonsense to disarm the working class with at any period of history, let alone at the point of the greatest shaming failure of all time for imperialism.

Did Lenin declare Kerensky to be a “stage”? Or did he say support him only as a rope supports a hanging man?

First of all of course Barack Obama is part of the most cynical slick lying propaganda machine in the all history, the multi-billion American “democracy” industry in which no-one makes any headway without being utterly reliable for the interests of the ruling class. More than that, this highly trained bourgeois lawyer is part of the most slick and devious section of all, the Chicago Democrats, which has played a frontline role against working class interests since Mayor Daley and is up to its neck in intrigue, bribery and corruption, including massive recent scandals, the taint from which Obama himself has only just been rescued by some quick and fancy public relations work and strenuous denials.

But whatever such detail it is ABC Marxism to understand that the first duty of revolutionaries is to warn and expose to the working class what a giant racket the entire “democracy” game is within capitalism. It is not enough to declare limply that the outsiders “are not supporters of Obama” and then declare that “we do not know” whether he will end up as a “fascist” or “be assassinated by the CIA” (with the implication that he might be a genuine “left” trying to put forwards genuine reforms, (as if reforms are possible)), much as if he were an anti-imperialist figure like Chávez, who might end up going further, (though his demagoguery and failure so far to warn the Venezuelan working class of the need for the dictatorship of the working class is a bad sign).

It is horseshit.

There is no question that Obama serves only the interests of American imperialism, even by simply standing and declaring that the “presidential election” means anything, let alone by the numerous measures he took during the election to make clear he stood full square for US imperialism, most notably in flying to occupied Palestine to reassure the Zionists of his complete support for this fascist occupation, and the glaring silence during the barbaric and ruthlessly genocidal fascist onslaught on Gaza’s hapless imprisoned population at the beginning of the year.

The policy since has been to continue the US warmongering path, stepping up the blitzkrieging and “drone” missile civilian massacres in Afghanistan and much further into Pakistan, pushing the foul Pakistan army blitzkreig on Swat, supporting the entire spectrum of hypocritical and Goebbels lying demonisation of selected victim countries like Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe and especially Iran (even ordering the switching on of Twitter during the recent CIA sponsored stunt middle class “revolt”, to help spread the frenzy of disinformation and provocation).

The reversion of US imperialist influence in Honduras back towards the vicious death-squad coups it has used for decades in Latin America further demonstrates the point, with Obama only denouncing it weeks later and in the most tepid and glossed over diplomatic manner for forms sake (because of the outcry from throughout South America) while taking no action whatsoever in a country which has been virtually a client state of the US for decades.

In poverty stricken Nicaragua even the latest non-revolutionary democratic “left” incarnation of the Sandanistas has seen massive financial bullying and the withdrawal of vital aid money for opposing US interests.

Too early to say? This is not Marxism nor anything like it. Obama is heading US imperialism at a point ten years into its decision to turn to warmongering and blitzing because of the giant crisis of capitalism, (which the EPSR and its science alone has warned of continuously) taking the lead fascist role (which Germany was cast with in the 1930s) to try and make sure it stays on top of the enormous war conflicts to come.

He is only playing a “toned down” version of the Bushite fascism because that was defeated and brought down and US imperialism needs a breathing space before ratcheting up the war drive further.

It cannot stop heading down this path any more than bankers can stop themselves taking ever greater bonuses (courtesy of Obama’s rescue of bankrupt capitalism, incidentally).

So is Sarah Palin’s demented anti-health care insanity the fascism, or the figurehead notionally controlling the most powerful imperialist power on the planet, which is already embarked on a torturing, blitzing, terrorising “shock and awe” path to maintain its top dog position and continue its tyrannical slave driver levels of exploitation all around the planet ???? Including Africa, with intervention stepped up there by Obama.

One of the great battles of the EPSR has been to expose the soft-headed nonsense of revisionist peaceful road-ism and the Stalinist notions of “good and bad” imperialisms it spawned, and with it the idiot concept of “fascism” as something different to imperialism.

But apparently it was in vain as far as the objectors go.

Even if Obama were assassinated because the panicked ruling class in America is now so split and fearful of what is brewing beneath (nascent revolutionary ferment) that it dare not even make the token health service gesture which Obama is using to fool the masses and keep them four-square behind imperialism, it would not prove he was anything but the giant confidence trick which Marxism has said, Barack O’Bomber.

Just how the objectors have got into this nonsensical position and lost touch with Marxist understanding becomes clearer with further comments about Obama, asking “while it is obvious that US imperialism is to blame for many African problems, is it not true that some African leaders have an enormous responsibility too?”

One hardly knows where to begin. First this is an utterly unclear statement. Which leaders, doing what, where, etc???? And specifically – why Africa and the implication it is different to the rest of the world??

And anyway NO, NO, NO and a thousand times no. Basic Marxism is clear that the disastrous problems in the world are entirely the responsibility of imperialism, or more accurately arise from its domination. They do not emerge from people’s heads, (other leaders) which is a complete idealist nonsense but from material conditions. If there are colonialist stooges, and there are plenty, tragically, they have been subverted, bribed, bought off, created, trained etc etc 100% by imperialism.

Imperialism does not mean incidentally “those who trade” like China, which the outsiders declare, with total anti-communist hostility, (echoed by the objectors), means that it too is also imperialist (though slyly this is denied, by describing it as “behaving like imperialism but not so much”!!!!! What dishonest rubbish.)

More will be written on this next issue but it is fundamental Marxist understanding to show the working class the achievements of the workers states and to defend them unconditionally.

It was summed up succinctly in EPSR 1188 for example:

The EPSR was born because nothing existed that would champion the achievements, so far, of the existing workers states but at the same time denounce Revisionism for its refusal to understand that imperialist boom/bust even existed, let alone be the great significant driving force for all future developments on Earth, which could only be of a totally REVOLUTIONARY character, therefore.

There is plenty to criticise about China’s revisionist leadership failures which may yet still hugely threaten its giant achievements and these do cause massive confusion.

But the arguments put by the outsiders are simply repetitions of the outright imperialist slanders against China. Why should it not trade as a workers state exactly as Lenin urged? As numerous imperialist “sanctions” prove, trade isolation is one of the great weapons of imperialism against Cuba, Zimbabwe, etc. It killed half a million children in Iraq long before the blitzing,

China is big enough too, to have an enormous impact the other way, its trade good for Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and various others made pariah by imperialism,

“Full agreement” with the paper turns out to be nothing of the kind, when the details are examined.

It was enough for Kautsky not to denounce the Second International and to attempt compromises with it, to draw Lenin’s scathing criticism.

The point of the revolutionary party then was to insist on the revolutionary perspective.

Nothing has changed except the quantity and variety of anti-revolutionary garbage dressed up as “Marxism” has increased exponentially as capitalism has adapted to the existence, initially of the successful Soviet Union, and then numerous other struggles, generating an endless Heinz variety of fake-”lefts”.

Patiently explaining and going over the ground a million times if necessary to those coming in the direction of revolutionary understanding is one thing; capitulating to reformism and non-revolutionary “black nationalism” however “on the ground” its origins, is another.

It will soon become much clearer that far from leaving the EPSR “isolated”, an insistence on revolutionary understanding, battled for in unity and conflict with the working class will be the cause of an enormous increase in discussion – it is the frauds, opportunists, liars, and posturers of the reformists, parliamentarians, “stop the war” ineffectual protestors and the anti-communists and revisionist fake-“left” who will eventually be left high and dry for having so tragically misled the working class for decades and decades.

Don Hoskins

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EPSR archives

(edited extracts from past issues).

Discussion: Do it better, - but do it.

[From ILWP 411 16 September 1987]

Parts of the argument about decorum at public meetings are still missing the point.

There is no question of any battering-ram effect;and no wish for (or possibility of)any ‘approved’ aggressive style.

Methods of work will be infinitely varied for as many comrades as there are, - each one different, and each with its own value,and own part to play.

A variety of approaches can be adopted for any one aspect of the work, or to suit various occasions.

More than 99% of any one comrade’s time might well be richly spent deliberately being as diffident,uncontrov-ersial, or ‘respectful’ as possible, or as the situation demands.

All of Leninism could for the purposes of this is argument be described as having only one aim, - the triumph of reason, or reasonableness.

But only one path leads to the elimination of the harmful discord in human history inseparable from the epochs of class-divided societies, - the path of winning the class war.

Reaching the conscious revolutionary Leninist clarity, which all one can guide that successful proletarian class struggle, — defeating the divisive & misleading petty-bourgeois influences of reformism, revisionism,& Trotskyism,---- is itself part of winning that class war.

Fighting anti-Leninist complacency & cynicism within the capitalist class struggle can in essence only be a matter of implacable confrontation & hostility.

Under capitalism, conflict with anti-Leninist confusion can only be an antagonistic contradiction.

Revisionist defeatism, opportunism, and weakness must essentially ultimately retreat all the way into the class-collaborating camp of counter-revolution. This does not at all mean that every anti-Leninist individual must end up in the counter-revolutionary camp.

Just the opposite. Individuals will be argued with to concede they have the wrong values and a muddled view, and to start mastering the Leninist scientific socialist understanding of how history, society,and individual relations work.

But the prejudiced anti—communist propaganda attitudes renounced by individuals nevertheless continue to flourish as an anti-Leninist (petty-bourgeois)class orientation. Such outdated and bypassed ideological lumber can only degenerate to an ever—more reactionary position (relative to advancing Leninist consciousness).

It can only end up preaching counter-revolutionary hatred of Leninism,- just as happened to every, exposed & defeated rival tendency in the Russian Revolutionary movement, - no matter how previously august the leaders such as Plekhanov, Martov,Kautsky (on the international front), etc.

It is the future counter-revolutionary orientation (of this non-Leninist class stance ‘within the revisionist-reformist labour & trade-union-movement bureaucracy) which governs current implacable [conflict between its widespread influences land the struggle for Leninism.

Even though this muddled bureaucratic complacency damagingly has a monopoly control over most labour movement links with Moscow, Havana,and the socialist camp,— and even though the anti-Leninist backwardness of the revisionist-reformist Labour-CP trade unionist traditions dominating Western workers is constantly re-fuelled by the non-Leninist encouragement & support Moscow provides to the labour movement swamp in the West;----Leninism’s conflict with Moscow is, however, not antagonstic, unlike the irreconcilable differences Leninism has with the dominant revisionist-reformist treachery of the traditional labour movements under capitalism. Moscow’s revisionist stupidity (see ILWP Books vols 3,4,6,7,etc) is a weakness of leadership essentially contradictory (to the proletarian-dictatorship essence of the USSR (and all the socialist states which must prevail ultimately).

These basic uncorruptible material interests of the socialist states in fighting capitalist world-domination will always (however reluctantly at times in defeatist Moscow leadership circles) ensure basic solidarity between the socialist camp and the world socialist revolution.

There is no such unbreakable class affinity between the world socialist revolution and the revisionist-reformist leadership of the labour & trade-union movements in the West. Just the opposite, the class essence of anti-revolutionary reformism and anti-Leninist revisionism is petty-bourgeois.

This layer of worker-aristocracy mentality (if not all of the individuals currently representing it) must turn essentially counter-revolutionary - eventually, openly so.

It in effect acts in a basically counter-revolutionary way now, - whatever attitude it professes towards the world socialist revolution, - through this very method of “we don’t want any sharp arguments here”, “we don’t want any criticism of Castro here”,etc,etc (see last week’s Bulletin),- using all the vast array of labour movement tricks in the West by which the Leninist revolution nary challenge has always been silenced & censored since the 1920-1930 period when Leninist theory first began to be obliterated by the Labour-CP-Trot swamp of revisionist-reformist confusion in the West.

This widespread philistine fear of Leninist theoretical polemics (which should be the lifeblood for labour movement struggles, as it was for the Bolsheviks)has been paralysed ever since into ‘decorum’, ‘respect’, ‘chairman’s ruling’, etc, plus rituals of ‘Good Old Fidel’ replacing ‘Good Old Joe’ even when serious temporary & partial- setbacks urgently demanded that the lessons to be learned from those setbacks should be crucially studied.

The same cloying cosiness & complacency is being even more damagingly unscientific when stressing that because the revolutions in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Angola, Nicaragua, Ethiopia,Zimbabwe, etc, have regularly continued to crunch up imperialism, - then the revisionist—swamp international labour-movement relations ‘cannot be so bad’,- and that therefore there is ‘no need’ for anyone to get ‘too worked up’ about the mistakes made, for example, by the socialist camp over imperialist-nazi aggression succeeding in reconquering socialist Grenada.

This correct pointing to the triumphant general trend of the world socialist revolution misses out, however,the essential ingredient in all those victories, — namely that the communist leaderships locally insisted on following what their own understanding of Leninist revolutionary science taught them, - rather than capitulating to Moscow’s advice at key moments, which was always invariably wrong.

Maoism became Maoism against frequently bad advice from Moscow both before the final 1949 triumph of the Chinese proletarian revolution,and after. Ho Chi Minn frequently differed, correctly,from bad advice from Moscow (and Peking,subsequently). Castro carried out the virtually ‘unheard-of’ when storming to military-guerrilla warfare triumph in a Western country.

The old Cuban Communist Party never dreamed of leading any such thing, although the victory was there for the building & taking. The official Communist Party in Nicaragua actually opposed the Sandinista military revolution. The ANC/SACP in South Africa has had to break from Moscow’s ‘peaceful road to socialism’ stupidity to begin its triumphant revolutionary progress. The successful Philippines communist movement has equally had to follow its own revolutionary advice, not the useless counsel of Moscow & Peking. Mugabe’s ZANU revolutionary movement in Zimbabwe brilliantly fought a 14-year guerrilla war and communist political struggle against fearful white colonial dictatorship difficulties despite Moscow’s aid, recognition, & encouragement actually going to a rival organisation,- Nkomo’s useless & treacherous ZAPU,- in the pay of Lonrho monopoly-colonial interests then, and sabotaging Zimbabwe’s masterly socialist construction since (via help from South African fascism).

The CPGB in Britain is still favoured as the ‘official’ communist party,internationally regarded.

It is a complete cess pit of ignorance, cowardice,opportunism, insolence,and treachery,- not to mention thuggery & corruption.

The backwardness which screams ‘nazi’ at the Leninist challenge to the doomed complacency of the British labour movement is beyond repair.

The world socialist revolution will only roll on where greater Leninist understanding ousts the stupified revisionist-reformist capitulation & class-collaboration of the existing labour & trade union movements.

This begins essentially with new leadership And for argument’s sake, this can be reduced to someone being willing to stand up and shout ‘No’ to the self-deluding complacency with which the current labour movement, in the West,— diseased with endless anti-communist prejudice and/or revisionist defeatism associated with that Cold War blitzing, — is not ‘winning’ at all in specific countries,-despite the general world revolutionary socialist triumph,--- but is in fact facing certain fascist reaction unless Leninist, confrontation can overturn the existing leadership.

There is still no serious debate in the world socialist camp about the idiotic ‘peaceful road to socialism’ disaster which led the Chilean working class to fascist slaughter under its complacent anti-Leninist CP-Allende leadership. Castro happened to be hopelessly wrong on this issue too,- cheering Allende’s fatal illusion all the way,- and even posing with Pinochet to celebrate the latter’s allegedly ‘masterly’ introduction into the Allende cabinet which was supposedly going to peacefully resolve the threatening class conflicts. What a farce.

Equally, there is still no open debate on the tragic mistakes, misunderstandings, and plain anti-Leninist ignorance from Havana & Moscow which helped US imperialism get away with its fascist blitzkrieg to crush socialist Grenada.

As we know, the debate is still being censored & silenced, and the attempt to stand up and say ‘No’ to the nonsense, in order to give Leninist leadership,is being stifled.

A further expansion of fascist reaction is inevitable in the dying imperialist system if Leninist leadership cannot disrupt the present complacent ‘decorum’ and ‘respect’ holding the existing reformist-revisionist labour & trade-union movements together in the West.

The silly attitude which does not want to hear any discussion about the mistakes in the understanding & perspectives of Moscow & Havana (which allowed US imperialist-fascist aggression to blitz Grenada) is complacent revisionist philistinism, ready to walk straight into the concentration camps next time round,-disarmed by anti-Leninist ignorance & naivete (which is a direct farcical successor of the tragic revisionist weaknesses which hampered the German Communist Party(& others) in the 1930s under such nonsensical policies as ‘After Hitler,our turn’ and ‘Let’s settle scores with the social fascists (i, first’,etc.)

It is easy to envisage how that earlier generation right across Europe was intimidated into not persisting with ‘potentially awkward’ questions about possible mistakes that the ‘great Soviet Union’ might be making (or especially the ‘great Stalin’ might be making and influencing lesser ‘greats’ like Thaelmann etc,to follow),---on the grounds that such questioning would be ‘embarrassing’, or show a ‘lack of respect & decorum’,- and which could become ‘disruptive’ if continued with in the face of a majority wish to bask in the glow of believing that Moscow could not really do much wrong; and that things were going pretty well in any case, etc; or that ‘We’ll all be all right provided we all don’t get hysterical;- and accept the chairman’s ruling’,etc.

It is easy to envisage how, under the CP-Allende regime in Chile, it must have been very difficult to insist that Leninism knew of no such thing as a ‘democratic’ military under bourgeois rule, or indeed of no such thing as a ‘peaceful road to socialism’ when shallow majority sentiment(initially)would have all been echoing: ‘Don’t rock the boat’; ‘Don’t be so disruptive’;’Show respect for the leadership’,etc,etc.

What was needed in Chile was even one person with the guts to challenge complacent philistine sentiment and warn:”Parliamentary democracy is all a fraud. Unless proletarian dictatorship smashes every aspect of the old capitalist state, then counter-revolution will, inevitably crush all of us, - and sooner rather than later”.

Not one pro-Soviet Leninist element emerged to shout that warning, - above the uproar of ‘Sit Down’, ‘Obey the chairman’s ruling’,’Next business’ ‘No speeches’,’Show respect’,etc, — and insist on being heard.

In the electrifying conditions of the shortlived, besieged Allende regime,- just one such shred of Leadership could have quickly built a sizable movement which might just have rallied sufficient revolutionary forces (in the revolutionary conditions) to alter the whole outcome of the class struggle in Chile.

The one thing the whole complacent, philistine, opportunist, tail ending swamp mentality always loves to hate & deride is any scrap of independent leadership and independent thinking which wants to challenge the whole drift of events,and the whole reformist-revisionist status quo.

Build Leninism. Spread the ILWP Bulletin. Joe Harper


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Espionage, subversion and terrorism: USA holds the record

by Jean-Guy Allard for Granma

WHILE it has kept five Cubans in prison for 10 years on false charges of espionage after they infiltrated terrorist groups in Miami, the United States has the largest international network of spies in history, and a long list of conspiracies, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of terrorism has been extensively demonstrated.

In terms of numbers, Washington has held the absolute world record on intelligence activities for a couple of decades now, not just among its enemies or alleged enemies, but even in the government and business apparatuses of nations that most support it.

Expert sources on this issue estimate a minimum of 300,000 active agents on the staffs of 16 agencies that constitute the so-called intelligence community, without counting hundreds of thousands of informants, collaborators, corrupt politicians, officials and traitors frenetically recruited throughout the world.

A very conservative estimate of the budget for this gigantic secrecy machine is no less than $30 billion, a sum of money much greater than the gdp of several Third World countries.

While the Central Intelligence Agency (cia) is the best-known agency of the U.S. espionage machine, the National Security Agency (nsa), National Geospatial-lntelligence Agency (nga), Defense Intelligence Agency (dia) and National Reconnaissance Office (nro) are also extremely dangerous instruments of imperialist intelligence.

The nsa seeks to penetrate information held by other countries, friends and enemies alike. That is where the nerds of cryptanalysis, cryptography and digital information are concentrated...

The nro manages the entire mechanism of espionage satellites that pick up all information that can be collected from space.

The nga concentrates on observing regions where prioritized U.S. military interests are located.

The dia, which is attached to the Armed Forces, coordinates the intense activities of espionage by all defense attaches in the diplomatic network and soldiers spread all over the planet, and systematically looks for information of military interest via all channels.

The intelligence community’s members also include the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed by Mike McConnell, a former U.S. Navy vice admiral, and a purely fascist-like product of the Cold War, who reports to the president and runs the entire U.S. intelligence program. In other words, McConnell has been the czar of imperial espionage since February 13, 2007.

The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation provides analysis to the upper echelons of that Department regarding different events happening throughout the world.

The well-known Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also has a mission of internal (domestic) intelligence. With the arrest of the five Cuban patriots, we saw how they applied to the letter the orders of Bush’s White House in the case of collaborating with the mafioso Cuban-American fauna and supporting plans to annex Cuba.

This powerful U.S. state security apparatus is responsible precisely for identifying threats, false or true, to national security and for “penetrating” (according to official accounts) national and transnational networks that have the desire and capability to harm the United States. Obviously, Cuban-American terrorists are excluded.

These networks are followed by espionage organizations specific to each branch of the Armed Forces: Air Force, Army, Navy and the so-called Marines. The results of their searches, along with those of the dia , are added to those of the cia.

The Department of Homeland Security (dhs) and its Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate has the specific responsibility of spying, listening and observing anything and everything that is or could be in opposition, “terrorists within” or from outside and suspicious foreigners; in short, anything that moves but does not respond to the interests of power.

The Coast Guard, while part of the dhs, carries out its own activities related to maritime security, drug trafficking and especially immigration inconvenient to the powers that be. Luis Posada Carriles has nothing to worry about; they’re not going to bother him.

The Treasury Department spies on its own citizens who may have relations with certain countries. The ofac dedicates millions of dollars and most of its energy to spying on, detecting and punishing anyone who maintains contact with Cuba - individuals, businesses and institutions.

And then there’s the Drug Enforcement Administration (dea), which tries to combat drug trafficking in the name of the country that consumes the most drugs in the world, while the Department of Energy’s intelligence pirates foreign technology.

What comes behind this immense universe of state secrecy is totally repugnant: kidnappings, assassinations, conspiracies of all kinds, presidential assassinations, secret prisons, attacks, etc. — enough to fill an encyclopedia.

For the sake of space, we will limit ourselves to recounting one single episode.

In March 1999, German intelligence delivered to its U.S. counterparts —two-and-a-half years before September 11 — the identity of terrorist Marwan Al’Shehhi and a suspicious phone number after monitoring a conversation between this individual and an alleged “leader of Al-Qaeda.”

Based in Hamburg, Al’Shehhi moved to southern Florida a few months later, where he received training to carry out — along with 18 more terrorists, most of them living in this region — the most spectacular attack ever seen: the one on the Twin Towers.

The 16 U.S. agencies saw nothing. The FBI in Miami, then headed by special agent Hector Pesquera, which had Al’Shehhi and his friends in its backyard, did not write a single observation in his diary.

However, on September 12, 1998 —10 years ago — that same agent carried out a spectacularly useless operation to arrest, in their homes, a number of Cubans who had been infiltrated into criminal Cuban-American organizations dedicated to attacking the Cuban Revolution.

Even more serious, the police operation was carried out at the behest of the ringleaders of those same groups, with whom Pesquera was associated, with the active support of Republican congress members Lincoln Díaz-Balart and lleana Ros-Lehtinen, and the complicity of the staff of the office of the fbi director and Attorney General Janet Reno.

And all with the Bush family’s knowledge.

That’s how imperialist intelligence works. Sixteen agencies. Three hundred thousand agents. A $30 billion budget. And millions of victims of a diabolical mechanism with the sole purpose of dominating the world for big capital.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Peru: the 4th Fleet and a dangerous precedent

by Nidia Diaz

SINCE the Bush administration, in its final days, approved the reactivation of the U.S. Navy’s 4th Fleet with the goal of adding a naval component to its Southern Command for “patrolling and monitoring” operations in the seas of South America and the Caribbean, the Pentagon has embarked on a frantic race to find willing countries and accessible ports for the fleet’s warships as soon as it begins its patrol mission in the region.

While a number of Latin American and Caribbean nations and other regional parliamentary and social institutions — like the mercosur and Amazon Parliaments — have opposed Washington’s decision to reactivate the interventionist fleet after 58 years, information from Peru has shaken Latin America and the Caribbean and set a dangerous precedent.

On the proposal of the government of President Alan García, the Peruvian Legislature — dominated by the ruling party and in coalition with pro-Fujimori and ultra-right elements — has passed a law [frm [from page 8] authorizing entry into Peruvian ports of the U.S. 4th Fleet’s warships.

According to the new law, the U.S. 4th Fleet may use the ports of El Callao, in Lima and Salaverry, 550 kilometers from the capital throughout 2009. The fleet consists of 14 warships, 13 missile-carrying frigates and a cruiser that — according to information released — could “enter to refuel during patrolling missions.” The first of these warships to reach a Peruvian port is the missile-carrying frigate Rodney M. Davis, scheduled to arrive on February 11 and remain for 10 days before continuing on to South American waters.

But there is more regarding this closer “military cooperation” between the Peruvian government and the U.S. armed forces. It has just emerged that U.S. armed soldiers entered Peruvian territory for “tactical field training” missions and for “informational support.” In 2008, the current government authorized the entry into Peru of 1,000 U.S. soldiers, who were stationed on six different military bases in rural areas near the Colombian border.

In this context, the Argentine Página 12 newspaper published an analysis by the expert Ricardo Soberón, who stated that, “for the 4th Fleet’s operations, it was key to have a base in the south Pacific, and that has been achieved, thanks to this decision by the Peruvian government. Peru is becoming a station for the U.S. 4th Fleet’s operations in South America. The United States has the Peru’s unbridled support for engaging in military operations in the region. This is a cause for concern.”

A number of Peruvian and Latin American observers and press reports have linked these decisions of the current Peruvian government and its partners to a deal with Washington’s in exchange for the latter’s approval of a still-pending free trade agreement, and also to Ecuador’s decision not to renew an agreement with the United States for its use of the Manta base; this way, the presence of warships in the region compensates for the loss of the important point of support on the continent that it had in Ecuador.

Expert Ricardo Soberón of Página 12 adds, “The central objective of that (U.S.) pressure is Venezuela. By deploying the 4th Fleet, the United States is seeking to recover its political and military presence in the region, defend its strategic interests and demonstrate that South American waters are part of those interests. Washington’s intention is to have an operative force in Latin America that can respond to any eventuality. This is not going to change with the Obama government.”

In Lima, former Peruvian Congressman Javier Díez Canseco said in an interview with the yvke Mundial radio station that the new law implies a leap forward in military and political relations with the Untied States and turns its back on South America’s integration process.

He also stated that the increased U.S. military presence in Peru is part of Washington’s interventionist plans to expand Plan Colombia and eventually install military bases in the Amazon.

Regarding the latter possibility, Bolivian Congress-woman Ana Lucía Reis, currently president of the Amazon Parliament, warned that the Yankee fleet’s activities “threaten the sovereignty” of Amazonian countries, and the danger that that implies, ansa reported. “The U.S. authorities have stated that their ships will not enter the Amazon; we are not satisfied with that. We would like our governments and our national parliaments to ask the United States for an explanation.”

One South American country in which possible adventuristic actions by the 4th Fleet have created concern is Brazil, where it is believed that the reactivation of this interventionist naval force is directly related to the discovery of large oil deposits off the coast of that South American giant.

Pedro Simon, the influential senator of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (pmdb) told Página 12 that the ships will not be able to navigate within 200 miles of Brazilian sovereign maritime territory, which is where 33 billion barrels of oil exist, according to estimates by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Simon added that Brazil is hoping to expand its exclusive economic exploitation zone by up to 350 maritime miles, based on geological studies showing that its continental platform goes out to that point.

According to Página 12, almost all political forces in Brazil’s Congress and administration agree on this position and have already expressed their concern to the U.S. ambassador in Brasilia. They are considering the possibility of taking the issue to the recently-created South American Defense Council and “studying what course to take with countries in the region,” Simon affirms.

Based on all of the above, it is not difficult to conclude that the interventionist presence of the Yankee 4th Fleet in South America and the Caribbean will be a factor of instability, a threat and an external pressure on the region’s nations. •


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