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

Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

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

Skip Navigation(?)

Back issue

No 1372 14th July 2010

Call for mass rebellious refusal of Tory-LibDem Depression cuts is a start but falls way short of telling the working class what kind of devastation is on the way in capitalist crisis, what sort of depths the ruling class is aiming to push them to, and what sort of civil war fights are on the way. Ruling class viciousness, violence and depravity knows no bounds when holding on to its wealth and privilege which catastrophic economic meltdown threatens. Revolutionary overturn is the only answer. Revolutionary theory and Leninist leadership vital

The call by “left” RMT union leader Bob Crow for general strikes, sit-ins and mass disruption looks on the surface like a more spirited response to the vicious Tory/LibDem class-war cutbacks and unemployment measures than seen so far from the TUC/Labour establishment and its supine capitulation to anti-union laws and the fraud of a parliamentary “will” (capitalist class dictatorship).

It undoubtedly reflects a powerful stirring of justified anger and discontent in the working class as the Slump crisis begins to bite, and is an excellent and vital sign of class combativeness for the future, which is one of enormous battles for the development of society and the planet.

But the working class needs to be warned immediately that this “firebrand” posturing and posing falls way short of making clear just what kinds of battles and struggles the working class is heading for.

It says nothing of revolution, which is the only possible response now to the disastrous collapse and catastrophic crisis of the entire capitalist financial order, and of the non-stop warmongering blitzkrieging that capitalism has been using for a decade now to divert attention from its disastrous failings (still being escalated with drum banging threats over Iran etc despite the defeats and chaos which have pushed back the blitzing in Afghanistan and Iraq) and to prepare the world for all-out destruction to come.

It says nothing of the universal trade-war, currency and finance hostilities which are unstoppably growing and which will only intensify hugely, culminating in all-out war blitzing and fighting between even the greatest powers on the planet, combined with devastating slump conditions to put the 1930s into the shade and the Second World War which it led directly to.

The kind of “fiery language” and threats of non-stop “action” from the “lefts” may send tremors through the nervous middle-class readers of the Daily Mail, but it misses out completely anything to tell the working class about the real issues they need to prepare for.

Even the parallels drawn with the miners’ strike underestimate completely the scale and scope of the lurching seismic collapses now underway, which are threatening the entire world with disintegration and disaster, with war and rebellion erupting across the planet.

While the ruling class tags on to the US Empire’s wild thrashing “war on terror” blitzkrieging, it is domestically driven by the crisis to step up its exploitation exponentially if it is to have a hope of surviving, far beyond the cutbacks of the Thatcher period, and with a viciousness and brutality on a new scale too.

The cuts announced by the Tories already are only a prelude to the full viciousness which is brewing, as soon as the inevitable financial meltdown returns.

The dialectical logic of history and crisis demands that the more resistance the ruling class meets the more barbaric it will become, whatever lulls and feints there may be, all the way to complete open fascist dictatorship (which is the true face of the bourgeois dictatorship, normally masked by “democracy” pretences).

The capitalist system is facing total meltdown disintegration threatening its very existence historically, but no ruling class ever willingly left the historical stage without using every possible mechanism of ruthless oppression to hold on to power.

Crow’s language at least starts with the right tone:

Rail union boss Bob Crow yesterday called for ‘a sustained campaign of generalised strikes’ to fight the Government’s ‘fiscal fascism’.

Furious about the cuts announced in last week’s Budget, he declared: ‘Clegg and Cameron started this fight with the working class and we are up for it.’

He called on other trades unions to join the movement, which threatens to unleash a summer wave of militancy which would bring the country to a standstill.

Fellow union leaders immediately signalled their support.

The Government argues its cuts programme is vital to protect Britain’s economic credibility.

But Mr Crow, whose Rail Maritime and Transport union has the power to bring Britain’s transport network to a halt, said it was ‘a savage assault on jobs, living standards and public services’.

He added: ‘This ConDem administration has thrown down the biggest challenge to the trade union movement since Margaret Thatcher took on the National Union of Mineworkers.

‘We say, “Don’t fear them. Fight them”. Our trade union has a slogan, “Never on our knees”.

‘We want those words to ring out on the Millionaires’ Row of Clegg and Cameron.’

Warning that there was ‘no time to lose’, he issued a ‘call to arms’ for all unions to join in ‘the biggest show of united resistance since the success of the anti-poll tax movement’.

To maximise the impact, he wants to spread the net beyond the union movement, urging campaign groups, pensioner organisations and community groups to take part.

‘Waving banners and placards will not be enough’, he said. ‘It will take direct action to stop the Cameron and Clegg cuts machine.

‘We cannot sit back and wait while a generation is consigned to the scrap heap as part of the price we are told to pay to clear up the

‘If we’re talking about an extra million people in the dole queue, and the knock-on effect that will have on the rest of the industry, I believe myself that hundreds of thousands of workers will take to the streets.’

Last night RMT sources said they were prepared to do ‘whatever it takes without resorting to violence’.

This could include blocking motorways, a tactic used successfully during the petrol price protests.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said the cuts would be fought with all the union’s power.

‘We agree that, if the Government continues to blame low-paid workers and vulnerable people in our communities for the economic crisis, that we will need to defend ourselves,’ he said.

‘Under these circumstances, strikes are inevitable and should be coordinated by the TUC.

‘We will work with the RMT and others to organise local and national opposition to these cuts that are being driven by ideology, not necessity.’

Unison, which has 1.4million members, has also joined the battle, after recently warning that the Government ‘won’t know what hit them’.

General secretary Dave Prentis said his members were ‘angry.’ At his conference earlier this month, he talked of ‘stepping up the campaign against cuts’, which will include ‘building alliances nationally and internationally’.

He said: ‘Unison will work with the TUC, with unions in Europe and elsewhere across the world, to bring millions of people together to fight for a fairer future.’

All this may well show up and challenge the fuddy-duddy dusty mentality of bureaucratism and supine capitulation of the mainstream (rightwing) TUC to the crippling Thatcherite anti-union “legality” (continued seamlessly, and even extended, by the Labourites) which has hedged all trade union and working class organisation with hamstringing “ballot procedures” and “democratic” rules which were never anything of the kind, but instead simply delaying tactics, only ever designed to disrupt all class momentum, and break up mass meeting solidarity (and confidence) by fragmenting it into individual and isolated decision making, vulnerable to capitalist propaganda and pressure.

Dispute after dispute driven out by the newly intensified crisis has seen half-hearted capitulation by the comfortable and well-paid class collaborating leaderships (which never anyway go much beyond ineffectual and cowardly whingeing pleas not to cut “too many” jobs, or “too much off wages”) with the calling-off of yet another dispute because the judges found some footling and irrelevant clerical error in this or that ballot or count:

A ballot that could have brought more than half of BT’s staff out on strike has been cancelled following legal advice.

The Communication Workers Union abandoned the vote after its lawyers warned that “technical breaches” meant BT would probably have overturned the result in the courts.

It is the latest in a series of strike actions to have been defeated by the lawyers, and comes six months after British Airways won an injunction against the Unite union in the high court that prevented a strike over Christmas. In May a later BA injunction was lifted by the court of appeal.

Neither BT nor the union would reveal precisely how the CWU’s ballot might have broken Britain’s trade union legislation. It is understood that BT’s employee relations department had written to the union several times in recent weeks, flagging up potential problems with the balloting process.

The decision to abandon the ballot is a blow to the CWU, which had been due to announce the results today. Its deputy general secretary, Andy Kerr, said the decision showed that Britain’s trade union laws are unfairly restrictive.

“We’re bitterly disappointed that this ballot has had to be cancelled. It’s devastating for our members and for trade union rights in the UK and it doesn’t help to resolve the outstanding issues over pay which we have with BT,” Kerr said.

Several other attempted strikes have collapsed in the past year, after lawyers argued that balloting processes were not fully in accordance with Britain’s labour relations laws.

“Today’s outcome would suggest that the CWU has accepted that the company has made a decent case that the union made errors in the balloting process,” said Marc Meryon, industrial relations lawyer at Bircham Dyson Bell. “For BT to make headway it must have shown that these mistakes were significant ... The union is the author of its own misfortune to have got into this predicament.”

The CWU’s climbdown comes as relations between unions and the government come under pressure. Today the Cabinet Office denied that ministers were planning to cut redundancy terms due to civil servants, a move that could have lowered the cost of slimming down the public sector. Employers groups are also calling for further tightening of trade union legislation. Last month the CBI said unions should need to secure the support of at least 40% of all workers before a strike would be legal as well as a majority of those who vote.

But the left “militants”, for all that they take things a step beyond this, are offering nothing of the perspective and leadership urgently required in a world which is seeing the greatest ever universal crisis failure of its system unroll and which confronts all humanity with the need to finally end this degenerate, greed-driven exploitation tyranny in favour of planned socialism or see the world go up in flames.

It is not “fiscal fascism” used as metaphor that needs to be talked about but the real fascism of a system heading down the tubes and already up to its eyes in torture, civilian blitzing and world intimidation, and that before the full crisis has yet erupted.

The firebrands’ dogged and philistine refusal to study and develop the great Marxist questions and understand the perspectives and history of a revolutionary momentum driving class war forwards, leaves the working class completely disarmed.

It is left with just a “bit more” of the old-style militancy.

This completely misleads the working class.

Crow, Serwotka etc go no further than to suggest (falsely) that the crisis can be stopped, within the existing capitalist framework, by declaring that it is firstly just a deliberate class-war move by the “toffs” of the Tories and LibDems motivated by “ideology” (and therefore it is implied, merely a question of pushing and shoving between a greedy, out-of-touch ruling class and the fairness that allegedly could prevail), and following on from that, secondly, that it is reversible as long as there is sufficient “left pressure”.

It suggests that more militancy in itself, without any kind of perspective of what is happening in the world and most of all, without any understanding of the capitalist system and its intractable contradictions, is enough of a solution to the problems, just demanding “firmer action”, better coordinated “across the board” with not a mention of the need by the working class for a complete perspective of the total disintegration of the profit-making order which is unstoppably driving the world to disaster and war destruction.

In other words it is the same old petty-bourgeois compromising reformist philistinism which has led the working class-up the garden path for the entire nineteenth and twentieth centuries, promising a “jam tomorrow”, “fairer future” which never arrived across the board for the working class, even in the glitziest of boom times, which delivered only the patchiest and piecemeal advances anyway, and which is now due to be slaughtered in unprecedented attacks on the working class benefits and what public services still remain, including the flagship National Health, universal pensions and housing provision.

With that goes the saturation of the “leadership” in the same old devious class-collaborating tricksiness, as confirmed by its total avoidance of any commentary at all on the Labour Party, (and its backing from the riches of the TUC establishment union dues).

It is not as if the reality is not glaringly clear.

Labourism has only just finished 13 years of arse-licking central stooge management for the ruling class – (as it has served time and time again before it, including the mythical supposed “leftism” of the actually imperialism-running Attlee 1945 government) – during which “high office” period it has not only a) completely failed to warn the working class about the nature of capitalism and of the inevitability of oncoming crash catastrophe (which Marxism has known and warned about for decades and was completely obvious) and b) completely failed to prepare it for the onslaughts that are coming but c) has actually run the system for capitalism with the most grotesque collusion with, and cozying up to, the fatcat bankers and City money men, including helping remove the controls (for what it matters anyway) from banking and credit piracy which left the finance system even more unstable and vulnerable to collapse than it was already, and d) included covering up the already glaring bankruptcy and international trade war instability and devastation of the world monopoly capitalist order by lying to the working class about the supposed “achievements” of its economic tinkering reforms which were either nonexistent (like child poverty reduction, better education, fairer housing), or built on the shallowest on-the-never-never basis of flogging assets to the private sector (meaning profiteering combines) at knockdown prices, mortgaging the public sector future to PFI and other carpet-bagging plunderers at incredible cost and huge incompetence and inefficiency (railways, BP oil, banks etc etc), or just plain built on debt and borrowing, reforms on tick, which could not be paid for ever and would certainly be withdrawn by capitalism as soon as it could be done, (or it would be bankrupted anyway), and which were therefore the most grotesque illusion mongering and trickery.

Everything the Tories say, (for their own monstrous, class-selfish, grasping purposes of cutting and further profiteering of course) about overspending debt “irresponsibility” is in one sense true, not because their sanctimonious rich-man “sacrifices” and belt-tightening parsimony are anything but utter humbug, but because it underlines the sheer fraudulent lies of New (and old) Labour policies “for workers”.

All has been surrounded by the development of glitzy, celebrity-decorated lying spin to new levels of cold-blooded cynicism and contempt for the working class, with the building of a draconian recriminatory culture to “discipline” the poorest and least privileged in society, and “deal with” overstretched and under-resourced social services, schools etc in a punishment atmosphere more redolent of a James Bond villain’s “you know the price of failure” methods than a civilised society.

And finally of course it has played a lead role in setting up and initiating the now non-stop fascist, blitzing, warmongering “solution” to the crisis which aggressive American imperialism has been trying to impose on the world, from the NATO bombing of tiny Serbia onwards, using victim after scapegoated victim particularly in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as its chosen means of “shocking and awe-ing” the planet into continued acceptance of its tyrannical exploitation dominance, to avoid responsibility for its complete crisis bankruptcy by forcing the rest of the world to pay for it, swallowing mountains of unsustainable paper dollar debts.

The glaring vacuum of any mention of the Labourites for blame by these new militants is even more tricky since it further avoids mentioning that this gang of parliamentary mountebanks and fascist warmongering tricksters would have been making just as savage an onslaught on the working class now (give or take a few months difference in timing of the multi-billion cuts, or a per cent of tax here or there) as the Tories, if the ruling class had failed to manipulate its own A-team into position – (which was touch and go in a world where the working class rightly have learned utter contempt for the old parliamentary rackets fraud through bitter experience) – and with at least as much stepping up of state class war surveillance, harassment and torture to boot, which the grovelling Labourites have already excelled at in their keenness to prove their usefulness to the ruling class.

The entire corrupt, self-seeking Labour establishment, and its TUC collaborators, lied and twisted its way through the laughable charade that remains of parliamentary “democracy” in the last election with nary a mention of the swingeing crisis savagery to come, which like the Tories, the LibDems and the entire ruling class, they all knew was going to be immediately imposed, and which they all equally know is only just the start of it.

If the idea is to lead the working class in a real fight, why would you deliberately avoid pointing the finger at who the enemy is?

The Labourite illusions and the entire reformist official trade union philosophy which it has been built on, tying the working class to the lie of “parliamentary democracy” and “steady change for the better” has helped sustain the biggest confidence trick ever pulled on the working class, that there is a way forwards through peaceful legally sanctioned “democratic” change.

So, far from rightly being led into much needed battles to overturn the capitalist system as the only means to fight its slump, the working class is by default being dragged into yet more support for the totally failed and discredited reformist illusions which have seen it sold and betrayed, time and time over, for the last 150 years and which have degenerated so far in their petty bourgeois stoogery as to be at the forefront of the worldwide blitzing which the crisis is dragging the world back to.

That is completely intertwined with a failure to grasp - and lack of a wish to grasp - the scale and intensity of the crisis now crashing down on workers heads across the planet.

Like the entire panoply of fake-“left” groups, which say essentially the same as the Crows, the “recession” is falsely seen as just a one-off economic setback, a lurch in the capitalist world order which will be “got through” eventually; the question they all say, is to have sufficient militant firmness to prevent the working class being forced to suffer too much.

Crow declares to the union congress that with sufficient fire in their bellies the working class can “stop the cuts” and “prevent one million workers being consigned to the scrap heap”. The fake-“left”s call on workers to “make the bosses pay”.

Running like a thread through all shades of the “Labour movement” from the most cynical opportunism of the Labour mainstream to all the fake-”lefts” is the notion that an upturn is coming eventually and that the battles are all about riding out the tough bit in between.

It is the most disarming nonsense.

The credit-crunch now is part of an unfolding crisis collapse of the imperialist order which has been developing in fits and starts for decades, each time ridden over by the creation of yet more worthless paper credit but always re-emerging in an ever more severe and widespread form, made worse still by each deferment and the additional hollow credit mountains created each time.

Monopoly capitalism is in catastrophic failure, the greatest of all crises in all the centuries of capitalist dominance and power, as long analysed and predicted by Marxist science and made clear to the working class as the absolute core of its understanding (see quotes EPSR economics box).

The science has been triumphantly vindicated and re-confirmed by the October 2008 meltdown failure of the banks and credit agencies which took the entire bourgeois world by surprise in its scale and suddenness (save a few “bear” pundits who had felt the early tremors) including the full panoply of fake-“left” Trotskyist and revisionist parties, not one of whom, for all their ‘revolutionary’ and ‘Marxist’ claims, actually believes that the very nature of existence, human society, and currently the bourgeois class rule of capitalism, is revolutionary in its very structure, and which had either ridiculed or aggressively rejected such analysis as “silly catastrophism” right up until the crash.

The hurricane financial turmoil continues uncontrollably to sweep the world ever since and whatever temporary “upturn” is engineered by capitalism here and there, can only get far worse.

Only the insane super-inflationary “Quantitative Easing” money printing, to saturate the world in even more paper dollars (and now Euros too in the Greek bailout), temporarily holds off even greater meltdown disaster which is unstoppably going to return in some form or other (savage deflationary Slump or hyper-inflation both possible) and with re-doubled disastrous impact precisely because of the trillions of valueless dollars added to an already overblown system.

The domino collapse of banks and Stock Markets threatened at that moment in 2008 was the incontrovertible proof once again that the entire promise of the upward climb of world prosperity and the steady progress of working class conditions through reforms and struggle for a “fair share” was a giant fraud, as Marxism has always insisted it was.

It was the re-statement and re-confirmation of the reality that capitalism cannot take mankind forwards and will always hit the buffers over and over again, with increasingly life and community shattering impact on a wider and wider scale, destroying everything that society has built and more in slump disaster after slump disaster, constantly recurring.

As history has repeatedly shown in the modern monopoly capitalist epoch, that can only lead to wilful and universal world war, wiping out production, and cities,and even whole countries (2nd WW Japan, China, Germany, East Europe, most of the USSR etc etc) on a mass scale, and workers with it, all to restore the rate of profit for the few ruling class survivors left standing at the end of the Armageddon blitzing “competition” for dominance.

Capitalism is a system of inbuilt contradictions which must always break in disastrous crisis collapse and conflict, and on an ever worsening scale.

There is no stopping this devastation and destruction except by ending capitalism itself, to build planned cooperative socialism.

And all this is glaringly clear and no longer in any way possible to contest (as the illusions of post-war boom and consumerism have allowed for a while in the richer countries if a sufficiently blinkered and self-interested view was taken).

The working class now is confronted with a total battle for survival which can only be won by totally ending capitalism and establishing a coherent planned economy organised and structured with all the real resources of the world turned over to the needs of everyone fairly and rationally.

And this intractable reality comes to the surface in every dispute now.

When British Airways declares that it has to “trim costs” and cutback, or face bankruptcy in international competition, it really is so.

It would remain so even if the bosses could be forced to sacrifice their “wages” too right down to average worker level (which will not happen of course).

In general, whatever exceptions might be found here and there, the capitalists have no choice but to impose cuts and job losses, or go under completely, in companies or at state level as the entire ruling class.

And there is no other answer for the working class, except to completely end the system of production for profit and its insane and vicious “competition” (or watch themselves be driven into the ground).

Cuts are not being made because the capitalists simply want to keep a bigger share of the wealth produced by workers (though they always do and that is always a battle to be fought, over their sheer rapacious greed) but because there is no choice for the capitalist ruling class if it is to survive, other than to impose massive speed-up and worktime increases to extract every last ounce of surplus value from workers, in order to fight the cutthroat trade wars now erupting.

The world is falling apart because the capitalist system has hit the buffers historically and cannot be put back on the rails.

Yet not one word of this passes the lips of the great TUC leaders, however “firebrand radical” they pretend to be.

Just the opposite. The confusion is deliberately fostered that the cuts are “ideologically driven” (Serwotka) with the implications that this is just perversity and greed from the ruling class.

It needs stating again that the devastation and Depression crisis now being imposed are an absolute necessity for the ruling class if the capitalist system is to continue (which they could not comprehend being anything but the case), and therefore their own sweet lives of overwhelming power, astonishing indolence and unfathomable luxury.

They have no choice in the teeth of the vicious cutthroat fight to the death which emerges between the great capitalist rivals when the markets collapse as they always and inevitably must because of the insane contradictions of organising the enormous resources and production of the world for the benefit and profit-making purposes of the tiny minority who “own” everything, while the desperate and most basic needs of the huge and overwhelming majority are trodden into the ground.

And their lack of choice is expressed in their panic at sovereign debt defaults which will be imposed on whichever national ruling class shows the slightest sign of weakness in dealing with its own working class, via the savagery of the markets and the world finance system’s constant, circling, speculative presence ready to take down whole economies.

In the extremely concentrated parasitical form of finance capital is expressed the sharpest edge of the already intense inter-imperialist competition and rivalry for collapsing profitable market shares in the world, and woe betide the ruling class which does not bow to its demands.

Smaller capitalist powers such as Greece have already been close to complete wipeout by the circling sharks, and only saved by further loans and credit created (arbitrarily printed) by the bigger European powers, fearful of the impact of a complete collapse within the elaborate EU finance and trading alliances set up as a post-war bloc to allow production on a large enough scale to challenge the overwhelming post-war monopoly dominance of the “topdog” USA.

And such is the instability ripping through all capitalism that even this desperate avoidance of collapse (and working class upheaval too) has shaken even the largest European power to the core, shattering its ruling class into splits and recriminations once more, with a major government crisis for the Angela Merkel Chancellorship.

The currency war pressures are demanding that every ruling class impose savage speed-up and discipline or go under and the maintenance of the Euro (or pound) with cutbacks in credit and debt are part of that discipline.

Capitulating to Greek demands for bailout funds weakens the entire European ruling class trade war position by diluting the Euro currency.

But the German, British and other national ruling classes cannot afford to endlessly extend credit in the teeth of the market pressures.

And while they are desperately fearful of stirring the working class into the turmoil already witnessed in Athens and threatened by the firebrands in the UK they are trapped equally by the devastating ruthlessness of international finance.

Ruling class nervousness remains but as the crisis slips deeper the needs of ruling class survival will begin overriding even the basic concessions made to the working class through “democracy”.

The working class will need to be driven right down into the ground and the ruling class will use every brutal and fascist depravity in the book to do it, as all of history has always proven, and as the constant escalation of police violence, torture, militarisation, spying, total societal surveillance, and intimidation is already showing.

That it “can’t happen here” is the most deadly illusion saturating the working class and particularly in the most advanced countries where the bribery of imperialist super profits has allowed supposed “gains” for the better-off sections of the working class, built on the soft-headed delusions of revisionism and reformist confusion.

It expresses a smug chauvinist complacency that deep down believes Western workers to be a cut above everyone else, with wages and conditions to match, and which tips into outright reactionary nationalism at the drop of a hat.

Crow even came close to this point in a recent radio appearance (Broadcasting House), where he pointed to the savagery of conditions for workers in the Third World, such as a pension-age cleaner at Singapore airport forced to work till he dropped, for a pittance.

But Singapore itself is privileged and anyway he ended up making the point only to declare that British workers needed to defend themselves so they would not be driven down so far – in other words with the assumption that British workers will maintain their privileged position.

That is built on the development of a “labour aristocracy” as Engels and later Lenin referred to it.

[Imperialism and the split in Socialism. 1917]:

But on the other hand, every imperialist “Great” Power can and does bribe smaller strata (than in England in 1848-68) of the “labour aristocracy”. Formerly a “bourgeois labour party”, to use Engels’s remarkably profound expression, could arise only in one country, because it alone enjoyed a monopoly, but, on the other hand, it could exist for a long time. Now a “bourgeois labour party” is inevitable and typical in all imperialist countries; but in view of the desperate struggle they are waging for the division of spoils, it is improbable that such a party can prevail for long in a number of countries. For the trusts, the financial oligarchy, high prices, etc., while enabling the bribery of a handful in the top layers, are increasingly oppressing, crushing, ruining and torturing the mass of the proletariat and the semi-proletariat.

On the one hand, there is the tendency of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists to convert a handful of very rich and privileged nations into “eternal” parasites on the body of the rest of mankind, to “rest on the laurels” of the exploitation of Negroes, Indians, etc., keeping them in subjection with the aid of the excellent weapons of extermination provided by modern militarism. On the other hand, there is the tendency of the masses, who are more oppressed than before and who bear the whole brunt of imperialist wars, to cast off this yoke and to overthrow the bourgeoisie. It is in the struggle between these two tendencies that the history of the labour movement will now inevitably develop. For the first tendency is not accidental; it is “substantiated” economically. In all countries the bourgeoisie has already begotten, fostered, and secured for itself “bourgeois labour parties” of social-chauvinists. The difference between a definitely formed party, like Bissolati’s in Italy, for example, which is fully social-imperialist, and, say, the semi-formed near-party of the Potresovs, Gvozdyovs, Bulkins, Ghkheidzes, Skobelevs and Co., is an immaterial difference. The important thing is that, economically, the desertion of a stratum of the labour aristocracy to the bourgeoisie has matured and become an accomplished fact; and this economic fact, this shift in class relations, will find political form, in one shape or another, without any particular “difficulty”.

On the economic basis referred to above, the political institutions of modern capitalism—press, parliament, associations, congresses, etc.— have created political privileges and sops for the respectful, meek, reformist and patriotic office employees and workers, corresponding to the economic privileges and sops. Lucrative and soft jobs in the government or on the war industries committees, in parliament and on diverse committees, on the editorial staffs of “respectable”, legally published newspapers or on the management councils of no less respectable and “bourgeois law-abiding” trade unions—this is the bait by which the imperialist bourgeoisie attracts and rewards the representatives and supporters of the “bourgeois labour parties”.

The mechanics of political democracy works in the same direction. Nothing in our times can be done without elections; nothing can be done without the masses. And in this era of printing and parliamentarism it is impossible to gain the following of the masses without a widely ramified, systematically managed, well-equipped system of flattery, lies, fraud, juggling with fashionable and popular catchwords, and promising all manner of reforms and blessings to the workers right and left—as long as they renounce the revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. I would call this system Lloyd-Georgism, after the English Minister Lloyd George, one of the foremost and most dexterous representatives of this system in the classic land of the “bourgeois labour party”. A first-class bourgeois manipulator, an astute politician, a popular orator who will deliver any speeches you like, even r-r-revolutionary ones, to a labour audience.., and a man who is capable of obtaining sizable sops for docile workers in the shape of social reforms (insurance, etc.), Lloyd George serves the bourgeoisie splendidly,* and serves it precisely among the workers, brings its influence precisely to the proletariat, to where the bourgeoisie needs it most and where it finds it most difficult to subject the masses morally.

The post-WW2 “stability” of a “balance” between imperialism and communism saw this corruption and hoodwinking of workers extended even further, most of all in Europe which came to the brink of communism everywhere in 1945-6 after witnessing most closely the horrors and destruction of capitalism, and the heroism, communist motivation and victory of the Red Army.

Particularly Europe, but with welfarism in the States too, the demand for socialism was headed off and the pup sold that things could be “just as good” in capitalism, or in fact better, with health services, housing etc provided to rival the great socialist achievements of the workers states, but with consumerist delights as icing on the cake.

It went hand in hand with a relentless philistine shallowness culture and thickly applied anti-communist brainwashing lies of alleged “totalitarian greyness and horror” in the socialist countries.

For decades the endless printing of dollar credit by the monopoly dominance of US imperialism and its use to bribe and manipulate the whole planet into subservience (with lardings of CIA manipulation, coup violence and outright Pentagon blitzkrieging to back it up) has allowed the ruthless exploitation of the Third World to put off the evil day of final collapse, and feeding the illusion in the rich West that “things are different now”.

Steady upwards progress achieved by “legal and peaceful” struggle was supposedly going to gradually change the world forever, a disastrous illusion fed by these long years of artificial consumerist “boomtime” (for the few rich countries only – the near slavery of the Third World tasted none of it).

It was bolstered by the post-war retreat from revolutionary perspectives of world “communism”, the disastrous complacency and “peaceful road” delusions of Moscow revisionist leadership sprouted from the seeds planted in Stalin’s 1953 “Economic Problems of Socialism” perspective that the Second World War defeats for imperialism, and the bitterly won partial advances of the socialist order in East Europe etc had finally tamed the capitalist system.

As long as a sufficiently firm working class “containment” was imposed on its last remaining warmongering tendencies by judicious “peace struggles” it was deduced, the supposed economic and cultural and organisational superiority of socialism was going to gradually smother imperialist power and influence everywhere (even if some outbreaks of regional war were unavoidable).

Anti-colonialist independence and the transformation of the advanced countries to socialism and progress would be achieved without “rocking the boat” by “unnecessary” violent revolution “provoking” the sleeping giant which would eventually be transformed into part of world communism with scarcely a shot fired.

It was always a pipedream, not because the huge organisational and human advantages of planned socialist production are not a thousand times better than capitalist anarchic misery, exploitation and inefficiency, and the wastefulness of resources, human energy and human potential and inventiveness of the masses kept in ignorance, but because in the short run of history, capitalist sweatshop slavery (for the neo-colonial areas) will always outproduce fair and reasonable hours worked in fair and reasonable conditions.

And why would anyone have fought for socialism to have anything but a fair and reasonable life, as was increasingly provided in the Soviet Union e.g. and East Europe (or in Cuba, or China now despite the distortions of possibly over-used NEP capitalist methodology).?

So the glitz and might of the wealth of capitalism (in the concentrations of the rich few mainstream powers only) easily overwhelmed the competition of steady if stodgy development of the USSR etc, helped by the funding of endless subversion and sabotage, and paid for the illusions of reformist “progress” and “better conditions” in the rich countries to boot.

But it is all collapsing because the endlessly accumulating contradictions of capitalism have brought it to the point of worldwide bankruptcy and disaster, and for all the petty bourgeois analysts’ vacillating and uncertainty, there is no way out except the war and destruction exactly as has been in preparation for the last two decades.

The story of Allende-ism, the great example supposedly of peacefully achieved communism drowned in blood by the CIA prompted fascism of “trusted” General Augusto Pinochet, is one of the great warnings to the working class, once more being taught in the coup controlled death-squad terrorising of modern Honduras (though still ignored by the “peaceful electoral path” shallow demagoguery of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and the entire revisionist Cuban line on the Bolivarian revolution, (Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador etc) failing to urgently warn the working class of the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat).

The “we live in a civilised country” complacency of the century old “Labour” traditions should look to the record of British imperialism everywhere, including the stream of revelations of torture and army thuggery emerging from the blitzed and devastated Middle East (Iraq killing recently confessed to be double those already admitted to; torture cover-ups continuing including Cameron’s deliberate shunting of the whole issue into another “inquiry” so that more court case revelations can be suppressed) and the steady confessions of murder and mayhem enacted against the Irish national struggle (Bloody Sunday 1971).

The “firebrands” continue the long hostility of particularly the British working class to battling for theory and perspective on the world and it leaves them wide open.

“Waving banners” may not be enough, as Crow says, but neither is all the running around and direct action (carefully declared to be “non-violent”) in the world in the teeth of the greatest capitalist crisis ever, unless it is done in the context of a revolutionary war against the bankrupted and failed capitalist system.

“Paralysing” the country may well demonstrate the strength of the working class, and even make the ruling class think twice about the speed with which they impose the slump and it is a weapon it will need to use in many of the giant class war conflicts to come, but it will be an energy and struggle pointlessly dissipated if there is no perspective and framework for the working class to grasp how the desperate Depression can be truly fought against.

Nothing better however is emerging from the great spectrum of the fake-“left” Trotskyists and revisionists and their supposed “r-r-r-revolutionary” leadership for the working class which does not challenge this limited trade unionism and protest at all. Or mention revolution. The SWP:

It’s important that union leaders are making tough statements—but we need pressure from rank and file union members to ensure we get action, including national strikes, that can win.

...But there are also plenty of other things that can be done now.

The unions could call a national demonstration against the cuts to show the strength of our side.

There can be a local campaign against every cut. We can raise solidarity when workers strike.

And there is one major date that everyone can focus on to turn the anger at the Tories into real resistance—Sunday 3 October.

The Tories will hold their annual conference in Birmingham on that day. ..The Right to Work campaign has called a protest, already formally backed by the UCU union.

...The Tories’ spending review on 20 October will unleash more, wrecking the lives of working class people.

A huge turnout on 3 October can make them think twice. It will also be part of building a bigger movement of resistance—one that can stop the Tories and their cuts.

(!!!) It would be easier to make water run uphill.

But the revisionists are no better, including those who at least say the working class will have to dismantle the capitalist state, like Lalkar/Proletarian. Their great heroes in the Greek communist party do little better, marching the working class here and there in Athens and all over Greece. Again for all the formality of declaring the problem to be capitalism they say nothing about revolution as the means by which capitalism can be ended and slump and war stopped (the only means).

This is Duke of York politics marching everyone up to the top of the hill and back, but learning nothing.

Study and build Leninism. Build the Leninist party and the struggle for theory, the crucial revolutionary leadership.

Don Hoskins

Return to top



Fake-‘left’ betray need for real revolutionary struggle to defeat Zionism and its Western imperialist backers

The recent well-attended demonstration against Zionism, and the massacre of the Gaza aid flotilla activists highlighted all the foul illusion-mongering of the British fake-’left’.

Speeches and leaflets at the demo relentlessly just call for more protest; and continue to utterly ignore Lenin’s maxim for genuine revolutionary solidarity - to “fight for the revolution in your own country” and “fight for the revolutionary line in all countries without exception”.

For example, the conclusion of the Trot opportunist SWP’s lead Socialist Worker article on the attack on the flotilla runs:

“Israel is a rogue state, lashing out against all who oppose its oppression of the Palestinians.

We must rise up to ensure that it becomes a pariah state and that the Palestinians are freed from its dominance. We must force Britain to break all links with Israel, including shutting down its embassy.

Join the protests this weekend.”

So nothing but futile protest is proposed! More of the same exercising of the bourgeois state’s safety valve of useless “protesting” in a bourgeois-democratic country; coupled with the mock-heroic-adventurist (but interpret it as cautiously as you like, because the SWP certainly will!) “we must rise up to ensure that it becomes a pariah state” --- what a contrived, fraudulent posturing phrase, merely meaning “pressuring” the British state to break links. How ludicrous! This is just a call for more completely futile “left” pressure ie. asking the Western imperialists to change their minds, but dressed up as something magnificently courageous!!

Hardly surprisingly, far too many speeches by the ‘left’ at the end of the demo just became quasi-religious-sounding performances of rising cadences of indignation and urging of... yet...more...protest....often concluding with more specious phrase-mongering that grossly exaggerates the role of reformist-pacifist protesting against the crimes of Zionism into the POWER to change the way Western imperialism goes about its business of supporting its armed to the teeth Zionist-fascist occupation of the land of the Palestinians.

Why do the fake-’left’ carry on inflicting this rubbish on people? To avoid saying “Build a revolutionary communist movement to overthrow the British state -- and thereby live and breathe real solidarity with the Palestinian struggle”.

And because a struggle for the socialist revolution is made necessary in even the richest capitalist countries by the collapse of global capitalism into a new round of 1930s-style or even worse Depression-era bank collapses, corporate failures, mass unemployment, national bankruptcies, currency panic and international economic meltdown that capitalism will attempt to solve by world war (for the third time).

Build Leninism. Build the EPSR.

Chris Barrett

Return to top




World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

China UN sanctions vote is a capitulation, helping imperialism step up scapegoating, crisis war plans against Iran. But correct Cuban disquiet on this dangerous revisionist idiocy is smothered by the stultifying influence of its own revisionist confusion, avoiding open revolutionary polemic with Beijing and thereby failing utterly to enlighten the world working class.

One of the current situations is the hackneyed defense in relation to Iran and the assumptions that its nuclear energy program is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Iran is a danger to the area, says the West in chorus, forgetting that Israel has possessed nuclear weapons for many years, but nobody is accusing it of anything. The fact that Saudi Arabia has carried out military exercises to create an air corridor to Tel Aviv to provide a shorter route for Israeli bombers for the announced attack on Iran does not seem to be provoking any problems either.

That piece of news, revealed by the British Times newspaper and based on information from Pentagon sources, confirms, “The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” according to the anonymous informant, who adds that all of that has been done “with the agreement of the [US] State Department.” It involves an “air strike that would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq”, the Times continues, with the potential objectives being uranium enrichment facilities, a gas storage development and a heavy-water reactor.

With the slogan “Israeli nuclear capacities,” a bloc of 18 Arab nations finally succeeded in placing that issue on the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, despite the direct rejection of the United States and the European Union. The latter, so passive in the face of the Israeli military aggression on May 31 against a ‘ peace flotilla of civilians transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza, has called for no more solidarity actions of that nature to be organized, almost endorsing both the aggressors and the attacked.

At the IAEA executive meeting in Vienna, the Arab nations secured, for the first time in close to 20 years, a debate on the examination of Israel. The assault on the maritime convoy provided a spur for studying and regulating the nuclear state condition of a country which is threatening peace and security in the region, given that it has not signed (and refuses to do so) the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is thus outside of the remit of the international agency, which is implementing controls in the case of India, Pakistan, DPR Korea and indeed Iran, Israel’s potential victim.

It recently emerged that Israel offered to sell apartheid South Africa weapons of mass, destruction, including nuclear and chemical ones, in addition to conventional military supplies. A lethal combination designed to defeat the resistance movement of the indigenous inhabitants of that territory. The fact, which emerged from original documents, was ironically discovered by a U.S. researcher, and confirms exposes of the Israeli possession of this type of weapons since the 1960s.

One detail of this Pandora’s Box should not be overlooked: the secret military agreement, sighed in the mid-70s, bears the signatures of the then South African defense minister P.W. Botha and Shimon Peres, then the foreign minister-and now the president of Israel (the same man who, in 1993, signed with Yisak Rabin the violated Oslo Accords granting limited sovereignty to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank). There are persons who dress like doves without wings or any real will to pursue peace.

The NPY review conference, which took place very recently in New York, agreed to work toward the Middle East becoming a region free of nuclear weapons, an impossibility while Israel possesses them, above all if they remain outside of any investigation or caution.

If Israel threatens to attack Iran and receives U.S. government backing for such an action - as one can deduce from the quoted reports - 7.2 million Iranians would be in danger.

It could mean embarking on an extremely grave episode out of political blindness or on account of hostile leanings and revanchist sentiments, given the slip-up U.S. imperialism suffered with the revolution that dethroned Iranian Shah Reza Pahlevi and, in passing, U.S. privileges in the area.

In failing to accept Brazilian-Turkish-lranian agreements on the exchange of enriched uranium, the empire closed the door on diplomacy. Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, responded to Arab demands by saying that a debate on Israel’s nuclear weapons would be inopportune, impertinent and prejudicial. But, how to come anywhere close to a non-nuclear Middle East without distinguishing those of the only country in the area with offensive weapons?

The habitual U.S. stand has for years prevented any attack on Zionist Israel for acts against the Palestinians or those aimed at unarmed persons, actions to which German Jews and those of other European countries preparing to sail at the end of July with humanitarian aid for besieged Gaza are also susceptible.

China has stated that it is not excluding any negotiable option in relation to Iran and Vladimir Putin responded to press questions in France that increasing sanctions rarely achieves the objective pursued. Despite those observations, if everything that is evidently going ahead is put into practice in haste and with scant common sense, whether on the U.S. or Israeli side, it will be almost impossible to return to the road that should never have been abandoned.

...the option of constructive dialogue aimed at a stable peace is not what is wanted by the powerful U.S. Jewish lobby and many others backing it at the highest level of the U.S. Establishment. Granma


Reflections from Fidel Castro on Iran vote

A blow waiting to happen

ON Tuesday, June 8, I wrote the Reflection “On the threshold of tragedy” around midday; later I watched Randy Alonso’s “Roundtable” television program, broadcast at 6:30 p.m. as usual.

That day, the outstanding and eminent Cuban intellectuals taking part in the Round-table replied to the program director’s acute questions with eloquent words which greatly respected my opinions, only that they did not believe that there would be any reason for Iran to reject the possible decision - now known -adopted by the Security Council in the morning of June 9 in New York - doubtless one agreed among the leaders of the five powers with a right to the veto: United States, Britain and France, with those of Russia and China.

At that moment, I expressed to the close people who usually accompany me: “How much I regret not having ended my Reflection by stating that nobody desired more than me that I should be mistaken!” but was already late, I couldn’t delay sending it to the CubaDebate website and to Granma daily.

The next day, at 10:00 a.m., knowing that that was the time of the meeting, it occurred to me to tune into CNN in Spanish, which would surely transmit information on the debate in the Security Council. Thus I was able to hear the words with which the president of the Council presented the draft resolution promoted a few days earlier by the United States, backed by France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Various representatives of the principal members involved in the draft resolution also spoke. The United States representative explained why her country had approved it, with the usual pretext of sanctioning Iran for having violated the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In his turn, the representative of Turkey, one of whose ships was the victim of the brutal attack by Israel’s elite forces which, in the early hours of the morning and transported in helicopters, assaulted the flotilla that was taking foodstuffs for the one and a half million Palestinians blockaded in a fragment of their own homeland, stated his government’s intention to oppose new sanctions against Iran.

In its news slot, CNN presented various pieces of footage of hands raised while members stated their positions with visible gestures’, among them the representative of Lebanon, the country which abstained in the vote.

The serene presence of the members of the Security Council who voted against the resolution was expressed by the firm right of the hand of a woman, the Brazilian representative, who had previously expressed in a steady tone the reasons why her homeland was opposed to the agreement.

Speaking in Natal, in the northeast of Brazil, President Lula da Silva expressed two immortal phrases: that the sanctions were imposed by “those who believe in force and not in dialogue,” and that the meeting of the Security Council “could have served to discuss the disarmament of those [countries] that have atomic weapons.”

It would not be at all strange that both Israel and the United States and its close allies with a right to the veto in the Security Council: France and Britain, would want to take advantage of the enormous interest aroused by the football World Cup to calm international opinion, indignant at the criminal conduct of the Israeli elite troops facing the Gaza Strip.

It is thus highly probable that the blow will be delayed for a few weeks, and even be forgotten by most people in the hottest days of the northern summer. One will have to observe the cynicism with which Israeli leaders respond to press interviews in the next few days, when they will be bombarded with questions. Opportunely, they will set about raising the severity of their demands before squeezing the trigger. They are anxious to repeat the history of Mossadegh in 1953, or to take Iran back to the Stone Age, a threat that pleases the powerful empire in its dealings with Pakistan.

The state of Israel’s hatred of the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send one and a half million men, women and children from that country to the gas chambers in which millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis.

The Führer’s swastika would seem to be Israel’s banner today. This opinion is not born of hatred, but of the sentiment of a country that gave solidarity and shelter to the Jews when, in the harsh days of World War II, the pro-yanki government of Batista tried to send back from Cuba a boatload of Jewish refugees escaping from France, Belgium and Holland on account of Nazi persecution.

I knew many members of the numerous Jewish community resident in Cuba at the triumph of the Revolution; I visited them and talked with them on a number occasions. We never expelled them from our country. The differences with many of them arose on account of the revolutionary laws which affected economic interests and, on the other hand, the consumer society attracted many people, as opposed to the sacrifices implied by the Revolution. Others remained in our homeland and lent valuable services to Cuba.

A new and sinister stage is opening up for the world.

Yesterday, at 12:44 p.m. Obama spoke on the Security Council agreement.

I have some notes of what the president stated here.

“Today, the UN Security Council voted overwhelmingly to sanction Iran for its continued failure...

“This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.”

“For years, the Iranian government has failed to live up to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

“While Iran’s leaders hide behind outlandish rhetoric, their actions have been deeply troubling.”

“Indeed, when I took office just over 16 months ago, Iranian intransigence was well-established.”

“...we offered the Iranian government the prospect of a better future if lives up to its international obligations.”

“So there is no double standard at play here.”

“Iran further violated its own obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions to suspend uranium enrichment.”

“That’s why... these serious consequences.”

“These are the most comprehensive sanctions that the Iranian government has faced.”

“This shows the united view of the international community that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is in nobody’s interest.”

These sentences that I have selected from his brief speech are more than sufficient to demonstrate how feeble, weak and unjustifiable are the politics of the powerful empire.

Obama himself admitted in his speech at the Islamic University of Al-Azhar in Cairo that, “In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government,” although he did not say when or for what intentions. It is possible that not even he will remember how it was effected against Mossadegh in 1953, in order to install in government the dynasty of Reza Pahlevi, the Shah of Iran, whom it armed to the teeth as its principal gendarme in that region of the Middle East, where the satrap amassed an immense fortune derived from that country’s oil wealth.

At that time the state of Israel did not possess a single nuclear weapon. The empire had an enormous and unanswerable nuclear strength. It was then that the adventurous idea occurred to the United States of creating in Israel a gendarme in the Middle East, a country that is now threatening a considerable part of the world population and is capable of acting with the independence and fanaticism that characterize it.

Fidel Castro Ruz June 10, 2010 11:59 a.m. •


Return to top