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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 1375 24th August 2010

“Revolutionary” phrases from fake-“left” swamp are an empty cover-up for complete failure to grasp the transformatory nature of the capitalist crisis now unfolding and the civil war aggressiveness of the economic slump. Cuts are far more than a few belt-tightening moves, and represent an open declaration of class hostility by the ruling class to tear up all the concessions of the post-war years and re-impose brutal exploitation. “Say no to cuts” inadequacies of the Trots and revisionists expose their pretend “leftism”. Leninist science needs building

The rash of “fight the cuts” and “make the bosses pay” slogans finally emerging as the crisis Slump really begins to bite, will further expose the pointlessness, smugness, and sheer incomprehension of the fake-“lefts”.

Their complete inadequacy in the teeth of the onrushing Depression catastrophe will teach the working class valuable lessons in just how out of touch, opportunist, academic and simply downright fraudulent is the entire swamp of “left” Labourites, “firebrand left” TUCers, Trotskyists, and revisionists (“parliamentary road” and museum-Stalinist “old school” types).

Not a word of anything they say begins to touch the depth and seriousness of the capitalist crisis and its plunge towards total collapse and war or, even more significantly, the complete upheaval it is already causing all the old order.

Not a word from any of them begins to touch the giant historical responses that Marxist-Leninist science has continued to declare will be the only answer – revolutionary overturn of the whole capitalist system.

True enough some of the more sophisticated, more cleverly aware, of 57 varieties of fake-“lefts” dimly sense that the scale of the “recession” (as they mostly dumbly parrot the deliberately understating bourgeois terminology) is on greater scale than before, and that something more is required; they have begun to put phrases like “build a revolutionary party” or “dismantle the capitalist state” into their newspapers (after years of burying them in back pages or “theoretical journals” only).

But these are just phrases, empty mouthings entirely disconnected from any analysis of the real world.

What they then go on to offer as “leadership” is nothing different to the reformist Labourite “resist and pressurise” message that has poured out for 60 years (and in the pre-war years too in various forms), as if the latest crisis is simply another blip in an up and down “tug of war” for society’s wealth between the rich and the working class (which never really challenges ruling class privilege at all).

The Trots and revisionists dress things up a bit further in the pretence of “revolution”, as always, but without any feel or grasp of the changes now unrolling.

They fail completely to understand the transformatory character of the cuts and cutbacks now being imposed, as the ruling class tries to head off the disastrous, almost certainly terminal, failure of the world monopoly capitalist system, briefly glimpsed in the bank failures of 2008 and only very temporarily deferred.

The revolutionary answer is not at all a slightly more radical kind of militancy (like “extra-parliamentary action” or “demonstrations”) as the whole of the fake-“left” see it – if they mention it at all.

It is a process across the whole of world society, a movement of opposites which has been suddenly accelerated by the disastrous “credit crunch” collapse, and which is forcing the pace of the irreconcilable conflict between the old ruling class and the working class.

The only way to solve this problem is by workers becoming the new ruling class, establishing the power of the great majority, a dictatorship of the working class to suppress the otherwise endless rapacious power of big money, to develop a rational society based on the common ownership of production in which classes will eventually disappear, namely communism.

It is a conflict that in every new development now, will challenge the working class with new questions as bankruptcies, failures and economic chaos caused by capitalism alone, are blamed on them and forced down on them in massive unemployment, deprivation, homelessness and disruption.

Whether or not they want to take up the revolutionary question, it will be increasingly forced upon them.

The class responses to the crisis are driven by the need to survive on the one hand and the rapacious greed and panic of the ruling class at losing its centuries long wealth and power.

And this interaction and self-feeding conflict is unstoppable because the very nature of the production for profit system has reached the limits (long ago) of what it can achieve for mankind.

For dozens of generations since the Middle Ages, its swashbuckling, self-enrichment motivation has forced the pace of human technological and organisational development (albeit with piratical brutality and genocidal savagery) far beyond the stifling intellectual stagnation, rigidity, corruption and constant, destructive, aristocratic wars of the old degenerated feudalism (which it completely overturned, eventually, by revolution itself, cutting off kings’ heads in 1649 and 1792 in Britain and France).

But as Marx showed, and as over a century of monopoly capitalism since, topped by modern rapacious American corporate world plundering, confirms, organising the world for the private gain of a few rich individuals is not only permanently, tyrannically, exploitative and wasteful, but it builds up intolerable difficulties.

The need of the “owners” to maximise profit is not the same as the needs of the mass of humanity.

It directs human production, labour and ingenuity ultimately down the wrong channels into a destructive cul de sac.

The problems accumulate almost unseen until they erupt in collapse and slump, as Marx analysed.

And each time capitalism has started over again, building from the wreckage of the last commercial and market failure, the problems have got bigger, until in the modern imperialist epoch the always-returning collapses have turned into devastating World Wars, ripping the planet apart.

The breaking into the open of this endless crisis of capitalism once again has massively accelerated matters.

Every move now being taken by the ruling class to try and cope will only make the problems worse; every move to resist by the working class will force even more draconian measures and moves to open dictatorial control.

The terrifying (and guaranteed) prospect of further sudden lurches in the economic catastrophe of world capitalism, combined with its now never ending disastrous military failures and stalemates, and the ever-widening anti-imperialist rebellion, is sickening the ruling class to the pit of its stomach everywhere.

But it is just this desperate fear and uncertainty of complete collapse and defeat (already hammering its authority in Afghanistan, Iraq and increasingly the whole Third World) that is now driving it towards outright counter-revolution in even the most “advanced” and democratic countries, as well as continuing the vicious “war on terror” blitzing which US-led imperialism has been using to try and maintain its exploitation internationally in the teeth of rising international anti-imperialist hatred.

All the old assumptions established in the post-war reformist period in the richer countries, are having to be torn up by the ruling class itself.

Some of the revolutionary significance of the new fraudulent Tory “coalition” and its aggressive pretence of a “mandate” (a total hoodwinking pretence that elections still confer any authority at all, when hardly any votes are cast at all by the working class and those that are, only out of hostility for all pocket-lining bourgeois “politicians”) is captured in confused and stunned pieces in the bourgeois press:

ACROSS WESTERN EUROPE, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the euro has also undermined the sustainability of the European standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.

Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.

Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella. They have also translated higher taxes into a cradle-to-grave safety net. “The Europe that protects” is a slogan of the European Union.

But all over Europe governments with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes.

The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.

“We’re now in rescue mode,” said Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister. “But we need to transition to the reform mode very soon. The ‘reform deficit’ is the real problem,” he said, pointing to the need for structural change.

The reaction so far to government efforts to cut spending has been pessimism and anger, with an understanding that the current system is unsustainable.

In Athens, Aris Iordanidis, 25, an economics graduate working in a bookstore, resents paying high taxes to finance Greece’s bloated state sector and its employees. “They sit there for years drinking coffee and chatting on the telephone and then retire at 50 with nice fat pensions,” he said. “As for us, the way things are going we’ll have to work until we’re 70.”

In Rome, Aldo Cimaglia is 52 and teaches photography, and he is deeply pessimistic about his pension. “It’s going to go belly-up because no one will be around to fill the pension coffers,” he said. “It’s not just me; this country has no future.”

Changes have now become urgent. Europe’s population is aging quickly as birthrates decline. Unemployment has risen as traditional industries have shifted to Asia. And the region lacks competitiveness in world markets.

According to the European Commission, by 2050 the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1.

“The easy days are over for countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain, but for us, too,” said Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, a French lawyer who did a study of Europe in the global economy for the French government. “A lot of Europeans would not like the issue cast in these terms, but that is the storm we’re facing. We can no longer afford the old social model, and there is a real need for structural reform.”

In Paris, Malka Braniste, 88, lives on the pension of her deceased husband. “I’m worried for the next generations,” she said at lunch with her daughter-in-law, Dominique Alcan, 49. “People who don’t put money aside won’t get anything.”

Ms. Alcan expects to have to work longer as a traveling saleswoman. “But I’m afraid I’ll never reach the same level of comfort,” she said. “I won’t be able to do my job at 63; being a saleswoman requires a lot of energy.”

Figures show the severity of the problem. Gross public social expenditures in the European Union increased from 16 percent of gross domestic product in 1980 to 21 percent in 2005, compared with 15.9 percent in the United States. In France, the figure now is 31 percent, the highest in Europe, with state pensions making up more than 44 percent of the total and health care, 30 percent.

The challenge is particularly daunting in France, which has done less to reduce the state’s obligations than some of its neighbors. In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of 10 people work past 50. In France, only half do. The legal retirement age in France is 60, while Germany recently raised it to 67 for those born after 1963.

With the retirement of the baby boomers, the number of pensioners will rise 47 percent in France between now and 2050, while the number under 60 will remain stagnant.

The problems are more acute in the “new democracies” of the euro zone-Greece, Portugal and Spain—that embraced European democratic ideals and that Europe embraced for political reasons in the postwar era, perhaps before their economies were ready. They have built lavish state systems on the back of the euro, but now must change.

Under threat of default, Greece has frozen pensions for three years and drafted a bill to raise the legal retirement age to 65. Greece froze public-sector pay and trimmed benefits for state employees. Portugal has cut 5 percent from the salaries of senior public employees and politicians and increased taxes, while canceling big projects; Spain is cutting civil service salaries by 5 percent and freezing pay in 2011 while also chopping public projects.

But all three need to do more to bolster their competitiveness and growth, mostly by changing deeply inflexible employment rules, which can make it prohibitively expensive to hire or fire staff members, keeping unemployment high.

In Athens, Mr. Iordanidis, who makes 800 euros a month in a bookstore, said he saw one possible upside. “It could be a chance to overhaul the whole rancid system,” he said, “and create a state that actually works.”

But the moves being made have nothing to do with “making things work” - except in the sense of suppressing working class rebellion in order to get back to the old exploitation which once “worked” for the bourgeoisie, and which is its only means of class survival.

Only replacing capitalism with communism will create a “state that actually works”.

But that is precisely what the fake-“left” will not say, except in empty phrases at best while in practice simply calling for the same old world to continue, of supposed “gains” from reformist pressure.

It is no coincidence that some of the remaining pockets of support for Labourism in the last election were in the cities where “public sector” municipal socialism, one of the main channels of post-war reformism, still dominate the economy (if only because of the bankrupt decline of especially British industrial capitalism).

A major question raised by the current Tory onslaught is how far the savaging of these sectors will need to go before the complacency and hostility to communism which has been inculcated in these areas by the closed-shop and near freemasonry attitudes of Labour-ism, are finally cracked wide open.

Of course as best it can the working class needs to defend the benefits and improvements in conditions which have been won.

But that cannot be done simply by demanding that capitalism keeps them in place, because capitalism is bankrupt.

It is a fight that immediately raises the questions of ending capitalism. And until those questions are confronted the onrushing crisis will take its toll.

The dire philosophical vacuum partly accounts for the frustration and anger in this confused petty bourgeois account from Simon Jenkins, which for all its Tory illusions – and wrong identification of the fakery of 60 years of complacent welfarism and Labourite reform (bolstered by the Trots, and revisionists) with real left politics (which can only mean revolutionary communism), – still shows up “left” paralysis and woodenness, and at least dimly sees the revolutionary movement (in the sense of change) now accelerating:

...the coalition prime minister, David Cameron, clearly intends to challenge the ideological basis of our public services. Few corners are to be immune. The Liberal Democrats are riding the tiger. The left is nowhere. Like an arthritic Colonel Blimp, it merely cries, “Yah boo. All is well. The old ways are best.”

Cameron has recently said the unsayable on two tenets of the welfare state. Today he questioned the £5.2bn being ripped off the taxpayer by benefit and tax credit waste and fraud. He is hardly the first to do so, but he may be the first to mean it. Last week he also questioned the static “deserving poor” concept of public housing, adumbrated by Octavia Hill and long adopted by Labour to benefit its electoral base.

This is on top of Andrew Lansley’s bid to dismantle tottering NHS bureaucracy. He wants to do it not by slicing budgets, which seldom works, but by removing layers, which might. He has decided to give money for hospital care to frontline GPs, saying to the public: your health is your business; here is the money, but discuss with your GP how to spend it.

As a housing association trustee in the 1980s, I marvelled at the extravagance of giving people from a council list of “local and needy” a townhouse for life, removing it from the social housing stock. We were not making a dent in homelessness – surely the purpose of state subsidy – but selecting lucky people, mostly mothers, at a moment of financial stress and giving their families a subsidised house for life.

Council tenants were even luckier. They could bequeath the bonanza to husbands and children, irrespective of wealth, or convert it into capital through right-to-buy. As a way of relieving housing poverty, the system was grotesquely expensive and bore no relationship to ongoing need. There was no “stock” of social housing, rather a passing trickle.

I can’t recall a Labour politician ever questioning this system. It was holy writ, handed down from the Victorians. The left reacts to Cameron like an admiral whose pet aircraft carrier has been scrapped. It howls. With some five million people on waiting lists, Shelter said tenure security was not “a big question” and the Chartered Institute of Housing said housing subsidies should not be seen as “a last resort”. So what are they?

These three classic realms of welfare – housing, health and social transfers – were protected by Thatcher, Blair and their followers. Such articles of the faith as universal entitlement, nationwide benefit levels, centralised administration and distaste for means-testing have hardly been challenged in half a century. Spending soared under left and right, and ran out of control under Gordon Brown. Even when Margaret Thatcher cut council rent subsidies, housing benefit rose by an equivalent amount.

Tory governments railed against benefit cheats, invalidity fraud and unmarried mothers in council houses, but they dared not change the system. The same visceral terror resurfaced with Cameron’s kneejerk rejection of an end to the wartime milk subsidy to infant schools. With child obesity on rampant, nanny Cameron dared not even suggest replacing the milk with an apple.

He has sent a grim message to ministers: some cows are more sacred than others, especially if they give children milk. The list of the protected grows more eccentric by the week. Infant milk joins Trident missiles, Olympic horses, wind farmers, aid to Indian taxpayers and “free school” yuppies. At least the list is short. Beyond those in this state of grace, everything is up for grabs.

For whatever motive – and reducing a budget deficit is hardly dishonourable – Cameron is seeking to redefine the individual’s relationship with the state, more radically than anyone since the 40s. I may think the government should stall on some cuts, such as cash benefits, while the economy is stagnant. But when state revenues are static, claims rising and government indebtedness gargantuan, only those blind to reality refuse to discuss the structural basis of public spending.

From Labour we get not a peep. I have missed the draughty-hall hustings to which candidates for the leadership are traipsing this summer, but I have followed them on radio, television and blogs. They are like cement congealing round a mafia victim’s feet. Nor do I imagine these events represent the entirety of conversation on the left. But nowhere has Cameron’s challenge been really met, for or against. All we hear is a 1980s throwback to deploring “Tory cuts” and “defending public services”.

David and Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott can only blow a collective raspberry. They rabbit on about who said what during the Iraq war or the credit crunch. Like Stalinist courtiers they accuse each other of varying degrees of disloyalty to Blair and Brown, asking who said what, where and when. They try to curry favour with public sector unions, most of whom are way ahead of them in realism on government services. The candidates are intellectually barren.

Even on the left’s own terms, the coalition is challenging the road ahead for redistributive socialism. It is raising the spirits of Beveridge and Crosland. What should national insurance mean with an ageing population? How can we afford “higher education for half the people”? Which services could be paid for by the individual or discrete communities, rather than a universalist government?

Labour’s answer is metronomic: leave it all to the state … the state … the state. This answer has run into the sand. It has driven the country into a worse plight than Greece or Spain.


You are too kind to the coalition (Editorial, 18 July). One basic strand runs through the Con-Dems’ policy. It is the swift repudiation of the postwar social settlement and an unrelenting march back to the 1930s, enthusiastically led by Captain Cameron with Corporal Clegg nonchalantly bringing up the rear.

The promised cuts in public services are on a scale of which Stanley Baldwin would have been proud. They will reduce the public sector to much what it was in his time – crude basic provision for the worst off. The changes to health services mean the wholesale dismantling of Bevan’s 1948 comprehensive, equitable and publicly accountable NHS. In the 1940s the Conservatives tried to oppose the creation of the NHS; now they have succeeded. It will be replaced by an atomised system of private commissioning, through GPs and the private firms brought in to support them; and delivery through hospitals that are no longer publicly owned. NHS privatisation is not just in prospect. It is here now.

Likewise the introduction of free schools and academies, entailing as they do the effective abolition of LEAs and any semblance of fair admissions policies, are a huge rebuttal of Butler’s 1945 Education Act with its even distribution of power between government and localities. It will be replaced by a centralised system. The proposed cuts in social security benefits will undermine the “cradle to the grave” philosophy so eloquently expounded in the 1940s by Beveridge and built into postwar legislation.

It is understandable that Conservatives enthusiastically favour such changes. Quite why the Lib Dems are involved remains a mystery.

Robin Wendt Chester

The savagery and brutality of the cuts and cutbacks being threatened everywhere is an outright declaration of renewed class war suppression of the working class, to replace the long decades of reformist compromise and illusory “gains” and “improvements in living conditions”.

But within the confusion of the article above there are also hints at the nervousness of the ruling class, even now, at what it is going to unleash.

The “welfare” state and the celebrity consumerist culture it was extended into, were desperate concessions made at the start of the (now long overstretched) post-war “boom”, to head-off and confuse the raw revolutionary ferment of the 1930s Depression and World War shattered and disgusted working class, and sustained during the long Cold War stand-off with communism (which anti-revolutionary Moscow revisionism helped solidify).

Support for revolutionary change (inspired by the Red Army sacrifices and victories against capitalist fascism, and the enormous progress for the working class under socialism in the USSR) was universal in 1945.

It was diverted only by such major concessions from the capitalist ruling class, especially in Europe, fed to the working class as “socialism” and dressed up as “Labourism” or “welfarism”.

It was funded by all of capitalism including the fearful might of the US which was forced to pour Marshall Plan funds and Korean War subsidies into its smashed-up trade rivals, Germany and Japan, against its own competitive advantage, in order to prevent communism with a pretence of progress.

(The US’ original plan, after it had won world dominance in 1945 in the inter-imperialist great shoot-out, had been to permanently destroy its rivals, and it even set in train a policy of industrial demolition in Germany (the Morgenthau Plan) to prevent it ever challenging again for the markets, changing tack only because of the even further revolutionary ferment it caused while communist sympathies were rising.)

The “nationalisations” and “health services” were never socialism, just crumbs from the table (in the richer countries) to buy time while anti-communism was built up.

But they fed into, and extended, the “labour aristocracy” corruption of layers of the working class, a phenomenon of particularly the richest countries, where monopoly capitalism used a (small) share of the super-profits obtained from colonialist exploitation to buy the working class’ uppermost layers as Lenin describes:

The problem of imperialism and of its connection with opportunism in the labour movement, with the betrayal of the workers’ cause by labour leaders, was raised long ago, very long ago.

For a period of forty years, from 1852 to 1892, Marx and Engels constantly pointed to the fact that the upper stratum of the British working class was becoming increasingly bourgeois as a consequence of the country’s peculiar economic conditions (colonies, monopoly of the world market, etc.).77 In the seventies of last century Marx won himself the honourable hatred of the despicable heroes of the Berne International trend of those days, of the opportunists and reformists, for branding many of the British trade union leaders as men who had sold themselves to the bourgeoisie or were in its pay for services rendered to its class from within the labour movement.

During the Anglo-Boer War, the Anglo-Saxon press quite clearly raised the problem of imperialism as the latest (and last) stage of capitalism. If my memory serves me right, it was none other than Ramsay MacDonald who then resigned from the Fabian Society, that prototype of the Berne International, that nursery and model of opportunism, which Engels describes, with the power, brilliancy and truth of genius, in his correspondence with Sorge.78 “Fabian imperialism”—such was the common expression employed at that time in British socialist literature.

If Ramsay MacDonald has forgotten this, all the worse for him.

“Fabian imperialism” and “social-imperialism” are one and the same thing: socialism in words, imperialism, deeds, the growth of opportunism into imperialism. This has now become, during the war of 1914-18 and since, a universal fact. The failure to understand it shows the great blindness of the Berne yellow International, and is its great crime. Opportunism, or reformism, inevitably had to grow into a phenomenon of world-wide importance, socialist imperialism, or social-chauvinism, because imperialism brought to the fore a handful of very rich, advanced nations, engaged in plundering the whole world, and thereby enabled the bourgeoisie of those countries, out of their monopolist superprofits (imperialism is monopoly capitalism), to bribe the upper strata of the working class.

Only ignoramuses or hypocrites who deceive the workers by repeating platitudes about capitalism and in this way cover up the bitter truth that a whole trend in socialism has gone over to the imperialist bourgeoisie could fail to see the economic inevitability of this development under imperialism.

And from this fact two indisputable conclusions emerge.

First conclusion: the Berne International is in fact, from the angle of its real historical and political role, and irrespective of the good will and pious wishes of particular members of it, an organisation of agents of international imperialism operating within the labour movement, permeating that movement with bourgeois influence, bourgeois ideas, bourgeois lies, and bourgeois corruption.

In countries where democratic parliamentary culture is of long standing, the bourgeoisie has learned splendidly to use deception, bribery and flattery in their most subtle forms as well as violence. Not for nothing have the “luncheons” given to British “labour leaders” (i.e., lieutenants of the bourgeoisie whose duty is to fool the workers) have acquired notoriety; Engels in his day spoke about them. To the same category of facts belongs the “charming” reception given by M. Clemenceau to the traitor-socialist Merrheim, the courteous receptions given by Entente ministers to the leaders of the Berne International, and so on and so forth. “You train ‘em, and we buy ‘em,” a clever capitalist, an Englishwoman said to Mr Social-imperialist Hyndman, who related in his memoirs how this lady, a person shrewder than all the leaders of the Berne International put together, appraised the “labours” of the socialist intellectuals in training workers to become socialist leaders.

During the war, when the Vanderveldes, Brantings and the whole gang of traitors organised “international” conferences, the French bourgeois newspapers were bitingly scornful, and rightly so. They said: “These Vanderveldes seem to be suffering from a sort of tic. Just as those who suffer from lies cannot utter a couple of phrases without strangely twitching the muscles of the face, so the Vanderveldes cannot make a political speech without repeating, parrot-like, the words internationalism, socialism, international working-class solidarity, proletarian revolution, etc. Let them repeat any sacramental formulas they like so long as they help to lead the workers by the nose and serve us, the capitalists, in waging the imperialist war and enslaving the workers.”

Sometimes the British and French bourgeoisie are very clever and excellently appraise the servile role played by the Berne International.



The bourgeois parliament, even the most democratic in the most democratic republic, in which the property and rule of the capitalists are preserved, is a machine for the suppression of the working millions by small groups of exploiters. The socialists, the fighters for the emancipation of the working people from exploitation, had to utilise the bourgeois parliaments as a platform, as a base, for propaganda, agitation and organisation as long as our struggle was confined to the framework of the bourgeois system. Now that world history has brought up the question of destroying the whole of that system, of overthrowing and suppressing the exploiters, of passing from capitalism to socialism, it would be a shameful betrayal of the proletariat, deserting to its class enemy, the bourgeoisie, and being a traitor and a renegade to confine oneself to bourgeois parliamentarism, to bourgeois democracy, to present it as “democracy” in general, to obscure its bourgeois character, to forget that as long as capitalist property exists universal suffrage is an instrument of the bourgeois state.

...Such people [privileged workers - ed] will preach going back to capitalism, or, as the Mensheviks say, going forward to healthy-capitalism and sound democracy. A few hundred workers are to be found who will say, “We lived well under a healthy capitalism.” The people who lived well under capitalism were an insignificant minority — we defend the interests of the majority that lived badly under capitalism. (Applause.) ...

Against Liebknecht are the Scheidemanns, the Sudekums and the whole gang of despicable lackeys of the Kaiser and the bourgeoisie. They are just as much traitors to socialism as the Gomperses and Victor Bergers, the Hendersons and Webbs, the Renaudels and Vanderveldes. They represent that top section of workers who have been bribed by the bourgeoisie, those whom we Bolsheviks called (applying the name to the Russian Sudekums, the Mensheviks) “agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement”, and to whom the best socialists in America gave the magnificently expressive and very fitting title: “labour lieutenants of the capitalist class”. They represent the latest, “modern”, type of socialist treachery, for in all the civilised, advanced countries the bourgeoisie rob—either by colonial oppression or by financially extracting “gain” from formally independent weak countries—they rob a population many times larger than that of “their own” country. This is the economic factor that enables the imperialist bourgeoisie to obtain superprofits, part of which is used to bribe the top section of the proletariat and convert in into a reformist, opportunist petty bourgeoisie that fears revolution.

Between the Spartacists and the Scheidemann men are the wavering, spineless “Kautskyites”, who in words are “independent”, but in deeds are entirely, and all along the line, dependent upon the bourgeoisie and the Scheidemann men one day, upon the Spartacists the next, some following the former and some the latter. These are people without ideas, without backbone, without policy, without honour, without conscience, the living embodiment of the bewilderment of philistines who stand for socialist revolution in words, but are actually incapable of understanding it when it has begun and, in renegade fashion, defend “democracy” in general, that is, actually defend bourgeois democracy.

Letter to the workers of Europe and America Jan 21 1919


The post-war “gains” have continued this corrupting influence in combination with the relentless anti-communist propaganda poured out to constantly rubbish the achievements and progress of the great workers states (helped by the poison of the Trots and others).

Its illusions – and the philistinisation of society - have combined with the disastrous errors of revisionism in Moscow, to completely sideline revolutionary understanding in scepticism and outright hostility in large sections of the working class of the more advanced countries.

It has been the mainstay of capitalist rule, most cynically of all in the New Labour “spin and glitz” form.

It was the easy option for the ruling class (rather than direct class confrontation, despite the occasional skirmish under Thatcher for example) promising an endlessly prosperous future once the bogeyman of communism, which allegedly “threatened the whole world”, was done away with.

This has been sustained for decades by a combination of demented credit creation (saturation of the world with inflationary and eventually worthless paper dollars) and serendipity, most of all from the philosophical retreats of Moscow revisionism whose Stalinist mistakes already helped hold back this revolutionary momentum (e.g in Greece etc in post-war sphere of influence “deals” with imperialism) and which eventually degenerated into complete liquidationism, pointlessly handing the great achievement of the Soviet Union back to capitalist exploitation (and thoroughly undermining world grasp of communism which now has to be rebuilt from the ground up).

And most of all it was reinforced by the illusions fed to the working class by the fake-“lefts” that things could now be achieved by Trade Union militancy, parliamentary progress and some “pressure” from strikes and demonstrations here and there, making “all that talk of crisis and revolution” so “nineteenth century” and old fashioned.

But capitalist promises of a “sunny prosperous future” could never last, not for the great mass of workers even in the mightiest and most powerful nation on the planet, now hollowed out by debt and incompetence, shocking even the bourgeois press at times:

More than a thousand people gathered Wednesday outside a metro-Atlanta shopping mall in hopes of being placed on a waiting list for federal housing assistance.

Fights broke out, children were reportedly trampled, and police had to stop the crowd from storming a nightclub being used by the East Point Housing Authority in East Point, Ga, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Television station 11Alive reports that the line for Section 8 housing vouchers formed two days ago and grew into the hundreds Tuesday night. People even slept outside the nightclub despite repeated assertions from the housing officials that the line was unnecessary and everyone would receive an application.

By Wednesday morning, the crowd had grown so large that East Point police began patrolling the area in riot gear and first responders were tending to people who were overheating in the sun.

People became frustrated when officials, feeling overwhelmed, did not open the doors at 9 a.m. as they had planned, reports CBS Atlanta. Those waiting in line were told by officials to move from one location to another before riot gear-clad police and housing officials handed out applications.

“I find this amazing,” Ed Schultz said on “The Ed Show” Wednesday night. “One can only imagine watching this videotape ... how many other cities have it like this across America. And I think we have to ask ourselves the moral question, aren’t we better than this?”

East Point’s approximately 200 public housing units are full, according to 11Alive, and more than 400 Section 8 vouchers are already in use. It is unlikely that many of those waiting for the applications would ever receive the housing funds.

“A lot of these folks will never get off that waitlist, and the executive director of the housing authority acknowledged that today,” NBC reporter Ron Mott told Schultz. “Dozens upon dozens of people passing out from the heat, standing in the heat just to apply for public housing. ... I’ve got to tell you, the first thought that I had when we pulled up on the scene here was whether we were in America.”

According to the most recent data, the unemployment rate in Fulton County where East Point is located is 10.8 percent. The national average is 9.5 percent.

UPDATE (11:24 PM Eastern): Officials now estimate that a crowd of 30,000 turned out, three times what they had originally anticipated. Some in attendance may have been accompanying actual applicants even if they were not applying themselves. 13,000 applications were handed out.

The large numbers indicate a huge demand, but there is literally no supply. The housing agency director “stressed that none of her agency’s 455 housing aid vouchers is available at the moment.”


Just how badly the great recession has struck this fragile New Jersey city, which is currently the poorest in America, was recently spelled out to Gaines. In happier times – whatever that might mean for a city as destitute as Camden – local businesses on Haddon Avenue could at least rely on a bit of trade from those who made their money on the street.

Such a development, though, is just a snapshot of the deep problems still hitting the wider American economy. Growth rates are stuttering and a recovery is struggling to take hold. It may even now be showing signs of going backwards again, as countries such as Germany start to power forward. Joblessness has taken hold in America, with the numbers of long-term unemployed reaching levels not seen since the Depression of the 1930s. The figures are frightening and illustrate a society that remains in deep trouble.

The headline jobless figure of 9.5% is bad enough but does not begin to convey the problem as it fails to measure those who have stopped looking for work. Over the past three months alone more than a million Americans have fallen into that category: effectively giving up hope of finding a job and dropping out of the official statistics. Such cases now number some 5.9 million and their ranks are likely to grow as millions more find their jobless status becoming a permanent state of hopelessness. Surveys show that with each passing week on the dole their chances of finding a job get slimmer.

Though corporations, especially in the banking sector, are posting healthy profits, they are not hiring new workers. At the same time, government cuts are sweeping through city and state governments alike, threatening tens of thousands of jobs and slicing away at services once thought vital. Schools, street lighting, libraries, refuse collection, the police, fire services and public transport networks are all being scaled back.

America appears to be a society splitting down the centre, shattering the middle class that long formed the cultural bedrock of the country and dividing it into a country of haves and have-nots. “A once unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal,” warned Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman in a recent New York Times column. Or, as Steven Green, an economics lecturer at Baylor University, put it to the Observer: “We are really in a tough spot right now.”

There is a new name for those falling down the black hole of joblessness that has opened up in America’s economy. They are the 99ers.

It is a moniker that no one wants. It refers to the 99 weeks of benefits that the jobless can qualify for in America. Government cash helps those laid off keep a tenuous grip on a normal life. It keeps a roof over their heads, pays a phone bill, puts food on a table and petrol in a car. But once the 99 weeks are up the payments stop – as is happening now for millions of people – and they are 99ers.

For many, that moment, which America’s politicians have refused to extend, represents the moment of destitution; a sort of modern American version of the old Victorian trip to the workhouse. There are now more than a million 99ers and the number gets bigger each week.

But who are they? Despite Republican attempts to paint them as feckless or job-shy, they are usually anything but. The 99ers are people like Anne Strauss, 58, who spent 35 years working as a PR professional on Long Island. Despite spending every day hunting for work, she has not had a job since June 2008. She and her husband are now living on credit cards watching debts mount as they stare into the abyss. “Looking for a job is the hardest I have ever worked,” she said with a smile that conveyed no humour or happiness, only the deep stress that is common to many 99ers.

Strauss, along with about 50 other 99ers, protested on Wall Street last week, demanding an extension of the benefits that could keep them out of poverty. As bankers and financiers strode into the flag-draped Stock Exchange they chanted: “Shame! Shame!” and told their stories. It was a litany of middle-class lives shattered by the recession. There was Connie Kaplan, a corporate librarian who was desperate to resume her career. “We are not bums, we are hardworking,” she said. Or Lori Ghavami, a New Jersey financial analyst in her 30s, who had once worked on Wall Street itself and now was staring at landlords’ bills she was scared she could not pay. Or New Yorker Steven Bilarbi, 62, who had worked for the same employer for 37 years, until 2007. He has not worked since, despite refusing to spend daytime hours at home and engaging in a permanent job hunt. He is now living off savings and depleting his pension.

“I go to job fairs. I don’t feel like staying home. What would I do? Watch game shows and soap operas?” he fumed.

Meeting 99ers is to tap into a deep well of anger at lives that have been knocked off course, shattering the enduring vision of the American dream that many had felt they had achieved. Just take Donna Faiella, a 53-year-old New Yorker who lives alone in Queens. She spent 28 years working in film post-production and video-editing. She was successful and had a career. Now she is desperate for a job, any job. But she cannot find one. “I will do anything. I will sweep floors. You think I look forward to collecting unemployment? It is fucking degrading,” she said, almost quivering with anger.

Faiella is in dire trouble. Joblessness has eaten away at her sense of identity. “I feel like we are worthless. We are lost in the world. I don’t know what to call myself. I don’t have a title any more. What do we do? What do we do?” she implored. Faiella has one week of benefits to go. Then her 99 weeks will be up. She will have a title again. But not one she expected. She will be a 99er. “I am petrified. Do I become homeless?” she said, adding that she has begun making inquiries at local shelters.

If the 99ers are coming to symbolise a human segment of society that America is slowly abandoning to its fate, then Camden is the geographic expression of that marginalisation. Large stretches of the once bustling river port city seem to epitomise urban blight. Vacant lots and burned-out abandoned houses line many of its streets.

Its 79,000 residents have the lowest median household annual income of any city in the US at just $24,000 (£15,000). In terms of crime rates it was the nation’s second-most dangerous city last year. Some estimates reckon that about a third of Camden’s houses are empty. A third of its people are in poverty and a fifth are unemployed.

It is a deeply grim picture and it is getting worse. Camden’s city government is facing the prospect of massive cuts as its cash-strapped resources have run out and it has built up huge debts. Services have already been cut and only a last-minute rescue last week saved Camden’s three public libraries from being closed.

In a city that has had it tough for decades these are hammer blows to its residents. One woman who has watched in dismay as the recession unfolded outside her door is Dorothy Allen, 81, who has lived near Haddon Avenue for almost four decades. Known by almost everyone as “Mom”, she calls herself “the mother of the block”. She has never known anything like the area’s current troubles. “I have been here since 1971 and it’s the worst it’s ever been,” she said. Yet to listen to America’s politicians many would think recovery is just a matter of time. Yes, they say, the recession has been hard, but America will pull through and everything will be as it once was. Last week New Jersey senator Robert Menendez visited Camden, stopping at a local health clinic. He spoke of the achievements of the Democrats in staving off economic disaster.

Job creation was coming, he told his audience of health executives: “It is not going fast enough to get people back to work but it’s a dramatic turnaround.” It does not feel that way for millions of Americans all across the country. Camden is far from unique in slashing its services. In Colorado Springs more than a third of street lights have been switched off to cut the municipal electricity bill. The city has also sold off its police helicopters.

In Hawaii schoolchildren were told to stay at home for 17 Fridays to save costs. In a suburb of Atlanta local bus routes were closed, at a stroke wiping out public transport for thousands of people who relied on it to get to precious jobs.

Whether it’s the poor of Camden or Colorado Springs or Atlanta, or among the growing throngs of the 99ers, millions of Americans are discovering that working hard, doing the right thing and obeying the rules are no longer enough.

Back at the 99er rally on Wall Street, Anne Strauss felt that way. During her working life she had refused to claim benefits to which she was entitled as she thought she was doing just fine. Now, as a newly minted 99er, she was looking for help from the country that she had always believed in. But the help was not forthcoming. It is hard to see how the version of the American dream that Menendez described could now ever apply to her. For Strauss, living on credit, desperate to work, but with no job in sight, that dream looks a thing of the past, not the future. “This is not the country I grew up in,” Strauss said.

This cannot be blamed on “communist tyranny” because that was allegedly ended in 1990.

And since it did, removing the pressure for capitalism to pretend to offer any benefits to workers, the world has rapidly got far worse, the inequality and greed of raw capitalism unleashed again and the contradictions now exploding in catastrophic collapse.

Economic disaster is forcing the hand of the ruling class as unemployment and bankruptcy rips through the system.

And this is only the first phase of the breaking crisis, that took the world to the edge of complete financial chaos in October 2008, saved only by the demented printing of paper dollars on top of the tens of inflationary billions printed, decade after decade, by American imperialism in an effort to put off the evil day of reckoning and to force the problems of the inevitable disintegration and failure onto everyone else, the poor in the Third World, and the rival capitalist powers like Japan, forced by currency trade war into stagnation for the last 20 years, or currently China, India and Brazil etc forced to hold their savings and surpluses, from the labour of billions, in the form of worthless paper dollars.

It will not last, since such fantasy money creation has no basis in real production and real things, and will implode, in some way, once more, and soon.

It is such an enormous world shattering scale of crisis that the bourgeois journalists constantly blow hot and cold about it, unable to comprehend the awful economic vacuum ahead. But contemplate it they do:

Concerted international co-operation of a sort never seen before averted disaster that winter and by the middle of last year the world’s biggest economy seemed to be on the mend. American factories started to hum again, shares rallied sharply and growth resumed. The US was showing its traditional resilience when faced with adversity and all was right with the world.

That judgment now appears premature. The latest economic data from the US has been poor. Traditionally, America’s flexible labour market has meant job creation in the aftermath of recessions has been robust; this time it was weak even when output was growing strongly in late 2009 and 2010. Recently it has gone into reverse.

The official unemployment rate in the US is 9.5% but the real level of joblessness is far higher after part-time workers who would prefer to have full-time jobs are taken into account. In a country with a less generous welfare system than that in Europe, unemployment acts as a brake on demand, making consumers save rather than spend.

That sense of caution has been reinforced by the state of the US property market, which is also going backwards after the expiry in the spring of tax breaks to buy homes. Those states that enjoyed the biggest boom in house prices during the bubble years are now caught in a vicious downward spiral where a crashing property market leads to higher unemployment, rising foreclosures and further downward pressure on house prices.

Pressure on individual states to balance their budgets has made matters worse. Public sector workers are being laid off, leading to still higher unemployment and even lower house prices.

The risk of the US suffering a double-dip recession should come as no surprise given the profound nature of the shock provided by the seizure in financial markets two years ago. What happened then was that the flow of credit dried up as banks hoarded liquidity and became ultra-reluctant to lend.

Central banks and finance ministries everywhere rightly concluded that there would be a repeat of the deflationary slump of the 1930s unless they flooded the global economy with money. So they slashed interest rates, cranked up the electronic printing presses and announced massive fiscal stimulus packages.

This process has worked, but only up to a point. Excluding China, the annual growth rate in the global money supply has fallen from 10% at the height of the financial crisis to zero. Without the action taken by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and other central banks there would have been a collapse of credit every bit as disastrous as that seen in the Great Depression.

China’s stringent capital controls meant most of the benefit from its monetary and fiscal stimulus was felt domestically. Output rebounded quickly and strongly from the collapse in late 2008, and this in turn convinced investors that Asia could provide the engine for global growth while North America and Europe gradually recuperated. That explains why equity and commodity prices rebounded with alacrity from the spring of 2009 onwards, and why Germany – the world’s main supplier of the machinery to power industrial development in the emerging world – enjoyed an export-led boom in recent months. But welcome as it was, China’s emergency action was not cost-free. The economy lacked the capacity to cope with the sheer scale of the stimulus and showed signs of overheating. Policy has been tightened and China is now showing signs of slowing.

Provided China has a pause for breath rather than a sharp retrenchment there is still a chance that the global economy will muddle through. Factories in Germany and Japan will churn out manufactured goods for Asia, stock markets will take heart that a second leg to the global downturn has been avoided, and cheap money will start to stimulate demand growth in the US once consumers have built up their savings to a level they consider prudent.

But in the US, the Fed is starting to contemplate a much bleaker scenario in which the US and Chinese economies stall simultaneously, with knock-on effects on those countries (a vast number) seeking to export their way out of trouble. The fear, already reflected in global bonds markets, is of softer output, fresh trouble for the banks, and deflation. James Bullard, the president of the St Louis Federal Reserve Bank, noted last week that the US was closer to the deflation seen in Japan in the 1990s than it has been at any other time in its history.

This is a clear sign that the Fed is considering another dose of quantitative easing this autumn. It probably wouldn’t take much more poor economic news to trigger it. The mid-term elections for Congress are looming and plenty of the Democrats elected on Obama’s coattails two years ago are fretting about losing their seats in November. Ben Bernanke’s speech at the annual symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole on Friday will be scrutinised for hints that the Federal Reserve chairman might be preparing to live up to his nickname of “helicopter Ben” and spray the US economy with more money.

It would be a controversial move. Some would argue that the excesses of the bubble years have to be purged from the system and that any attempts to avoid the necessary adjustment merely prolongs the Great Reckoning and threatens a burst of inflation. Others believe that the problems of the US economy are too deep seated and intractable to be solved by regular doses of cheap money.

Giovanni Arrighi in his book The Long Twentieth Century argues that there have been four major phases of capitalist development since the Middle Ages, starting in Genoa and moving on to Holland and Britain before the start of American dominance during the Great Depression of 1873-96.

It was during this period, Arrighi argues, that commerce started to play second fiddle in Britain to finance, just as it had in Genoa and Holland when their phases of pre-eminence were drawing to a close. The financialisation of the American economy in turn can be traced back to the mid-1970s, so by this interpretation of history, the dotcom collapse of 2000-01 and the financial crisis of 2007-08 (with the military entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan sandwiched in between) are part of a much longer term development. According to this thesis, the concentration of economic power on Wall Street, the stagnation of incomes for all but the rich, the structural trade deficit, the military overreach, the switch from being the world’s biggest creditor nation to its biggest debtor add up to a simple conclusion: we are in the twilight years of the long American century.

Such a conclusion is contested in Washington but may help explain why, as Albert Edwards of Société Générale puts it: “Unprecedentedly strong monetary and fiscal stimulus has led to unprecedentedly weak recovery.

Arrighi’s academic account, interesting though it is, is only an elaboration of Marxist understanding and Lenin’s later analysis of finance capital’s parasitically throttling effect – and it misses out the key grasp of the revolutionary dialectic that is increasingly forcing the hand of the ruling class, into war and world “shock and awe” intimidation to maintain its rule.

The ruling class which will never give up its fabulous power and indulgent wealth and privilege:

There may have been a recession, but the combined fortunes of the richest people in Britain still managed to rise by nearly 30% last year, the biggest increase for more than two decades, according to annual ratings published today.

The Sunday Times Rich List suggests that the combined wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people rose by more than £77bn to £333.5bn, with the number of billionaires up from 43 to 53. That still leaves the list relatively poorer than at its peak in 2008, when the combined total was nearly £413bn and there were said to be 75 billionaires. But it still means that the richest 1,000 people are more than three times richer than when Labour came to power in 1997, when their combined wealth was less than £100bn. As an indication of the Rich List’s readership, the magazine’s pages include advertisements for executive helicopters and luxury hotels.

Heading the top 10 – as he has for the last six years – is the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal , whose fortune doubled from £10.8bn to £22.4bn last year, following the resurgence in steel prices. Roman Abramovich remained second, seeing his fortune rise by a measly 6%, which in his case meant an extra £400m, to £7.4bn. The highest Briton on the list was once again the Duke of Westminster, whose property empire rose by £250m to £6.75bn.

The Queen these days ranks no higher than 245th, with a fortune the compilers estimate at £290m, just behind Bhikhu and Vijay Patel, who transformed a chain of Essex chemists’ shops, and just ahead of Sir Rocco Forte, the hotelier.

The report’s author, Philip Beresford, says that although some tycoons are relocating – one, Guy Hands, now operates from Guernsey rather than Sevenoaks, and another, Jim Ratcliffe, has moved his chemical company to Lausanne in order to save an estimated £100m in annual tax – their departure has been offset by the arrival of foreign tycoons: 24 of the 53 billionaires are foreign-born. Among them is Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, a steel and mining investor, whose wealth placed him in 6th place, up from 18th, with a fortune of £4.7bn, up 213%.

Staggering as some of the wealth is, it pales in comparison with the world’s richest list, which brings the Mittals in at only ninth place, some way behind the US Walton family, owners of the Walmart supermarket chain, whose wealth is calculated at the equivalent of £53.3bn. Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecoms magnate, has £34.1bn, and Bill Gates of Microsoft £33.8bn.

It is becoming increasingly clear that deliberate moves towards civil war confrontation have now been decided (cloaked by the nonsensical Goebbels dissembling of the Tory “in-it-together” shallow cynical pretences).

It is designed not simply to push down the living standards and conditions of workers, in order to maintain the obscene wealth of the ruling class, despite the collapse, but for deliberate intimidation and demoralisation – to suppress as much as possible the upheavals and turmoil which the capitalist bosses know will be erupting in every country (and which have been erupting with increasing frequency in the brutally exploited Third World for decades and especially the last ten years – denounced by the West and even its spectrum of fake- “lefts” as “to-be-condemned terrorism”).

The ground has been prepared for years.

Domestically it goes hand in hand with the escalation of state and police violence, torture, kidnappings, and ever more intrusive and constant surveillance of daily life, and the deliberate whipping-up of divisive racism, anti-Muslim scapegoating and anti-communist hatreds (all of which New Labour eagerly extended for the last 13 years).

Internationally it goes with the endless warmongering designed to distract attention from the shaming and humiliating and unsolvable disaster of capitalist economic failure – blaming slump and collapse on “external forces” – and to habituate the world to an atmosphere of war and brutalised collective punishment. The world is being readied for the total war that is approaching as the end result of capitalism’s failure.

There is no solution within capitalism to the cataclysmic disintegration of the entire Western profit-making trading system except devastating slump wipeout and cutthroat trade war devastation, as the great capitalist rivals are forced to battle it out for shrinking markets, all the way to the even greater destruction of total war, the unstoppable outcome (as in the last two great monopoly capitalist crises in the twentieth century, in the World Wars of 1914 and 1939).

Only through the complete obliteration of the greater part of the accumulated capital, now clogging the world trading system and making it impossible to continue profitable sales of goods and products, is there any chance of the profit system ever reviving.

That cannot happen simply by a period of “recession” or a few factory closures, as some of the complacent middle class fake-“left” have argued, unable and unwilling to grasp the completely revolutionary nature of the crisis which has been developing for years and which broke into the open with the “credit-crunch” bank failures and collapses.

It cannot happen by merely bankrupting even large corporations or even entire countries.

The insane and inhuman “logic” of production for profit demands the complete wiping out of the “overproduction” which is filling the markets with “unsaleable” goods, and which will mean savage destruction on a mass scale of factories, whole regions, and whole countries.

It is as unstoppable as the laws of gravity.

And no amount of street marches, demonstrations, strikes and picketing will make a difference unless they are part of a growing mobilisation of revolutionary struggle, and led with a perspective of developing revolutionary struggle.

With such an understanding, which requires a party of revolutionary theory for its constant development, even stalemated or “defeated” partial struggles will take the working class forwards, since they will learn deeper revolutionary lessons each time.

Most of all it will reinforce the lessons the working class is getting day by day as the slump intensifies, that all the old “politics” have been hoodwinking them.

They will increasingly turn to the revolutionary politics that alone will change the world.

Human society moves on and can overturn the old laws, replacing them with rational organisation – planned socialism.

The obscene and demented notion of there being “too much” stuff, and “gluts” in a world where tens of millions are still starving, deprived and destroyed regularly by natural disasters for want of a few basic necessities (as in Haiti’s earthquake, or the terrible floods sweeping Pakistan) is the most powerful criticism and condemnation of the continued existence of capitalism, as Karl Marx wrote long ago in the Communist Manifesto.

All that has changed since then is that the scale, duration and extent of capitalist disaster has increased to world shattering proportions.

And the solution remains as Marx spelled out – the complete ending of the brutal and rapacious capitalist system by revolutionary overturn by the world’s masses in order to build planned socialism.

That is not revisionist compromise, or the parliamentary road.

Nor is it Trotskyist petty bourgeois hatred of the workers states.

Nor is it the idiocies of the museum-Stalinist’s “peace struggle” to “contain and prevent warmongering”.

It is not some new demagogic “21st century” socialism like Venezuela’s Chávez postures with, evading the need to develop and train the understanding of the working class to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat which alone can deal with ruling class constant counter-revolutionary violence and fascism (and left unchallenged by revisionism in Cuba, China etc.)

It is Leninist science.

Ending for good, by revolution, the private ownership of the means of production and the appalling antagonistic contradictions it imposes on mankind, of grotesque inequality and unfairness, to build a rational, internationally cooperative system of production, tailored to mankind’s needs (real needs, not advertising-inflamed consumerist waste, and pointless celebrity inanity) has long been the only possible solution.

Build the party for the struggle for revolutionary theory and understanding. Build Leninism.

Don Hoskins

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Cuban revisionism sees the threat of imperialist subversion clearly enough but still feeds disastrous illusions in “democracy” instead of arguing the need for the revolutionary dictatorship of the working class which is the urgent necessity if another Chile is to be avoided


The right still playing with fire

by Nidia Diaz

IN the weeks leading up to September 26, the date set for legislative elections for the National Assembly, the Venezuelan right and its sponsors in the United States are trying to revive a climate of instability that could, at least, justify not recognizing the election results, in the knowledge that these have not been at all favorable to them in the past.

Naturally, they are banking on more: snatching two thirds or less of the seats from the Bolivarian forces of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (psuv), thus plotting from within a coup against President Hugo Chavez, for a repetition of the Honduran coup d’état of last June.

While those are its dreams, as Quevedo, that Spanish literary giant, would say, “and dreams are but dreams...” it knows that it will not achieve that total of votes because is has not managed to form a serious and constructive opposition, but one of minimum credibility and unity. Each group and clique is acting in its own interest, while surveys - which one cannot take entirely for granted - give the Bolivarian candidates a positive lead.

And although a coup or assassination remain the most appetizing options for the Venezuelan right and ultra-conservative sectors entrenched in the U.S. government, it is a fact that, for now, these are banking on economic warfare utilizing the old imperialist script of provoking discontent among the population due to scarcities and lack of supplies in the markets as a detonator of ingovernability against the Bolivarian Revolution.

On June 4, Tania Díaz, minister for communication and information (MinCI), called on the Venezuelan people to be alert to speculation and hoarding.

According to Radio Nacional de Venezuela (rnv) on the “Dando y Dando” program transmitted by Venezolana de Televisión, Díaz explained that “the opposition has dedicated itself to posing socialism as the worst experience for human beings” and, in that context, spoke of the fallacy stated in a private radio program, where the moderators said that rotting produce recently found in the state of Carabobo was to go on sale in markets.

At the same time, the private media, the sworn enemy of the Revolution and the accomplice and backer of the internal coup of April 11, 2002, has launched a campaign of distortion and lies around companies linked to the food sector placed in administration precisely for being responsible for the de-stocking of many lines.

All of that is compounded by constant private media calls on serving soldiers to mutiny, with the to-date failed objective of finding a Pinochet within the ranks of the army.

In that context, President Hugo Chávez once again exposed on his “Aló Presidente” program the private news website, which claims the existence of “retired high-ranking army officers who are working in conjunction with active patriots to design a civil-military transition that will be inevitable and which is rumored to happen in 2010 or early 2011.

While that is going on and while the country dreamed of by the Venezuelan right and U.S. imperialism is only made material in articles published by its media, the Bolivarian people are advancing in the construction of a real participatory democracy and, in a strategy for unity, are organizing their participation in the context of the September parliamentary elections.

Not only have they organized around the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (psuv) as a vanguard force of the Revolution, but they have elected their 120 candidates for deputies and an equal number of reserves from 3,000-plus aspirants for what are unprecedented internal elections in the country. All of Venezuela’s constituencies have received the close to four million electors who will vote for their representatives in the “red tent” polling stations on September 26.

On the other hand, the divided hosts of the opposition have identified barely 15% of their candidates and currently, only a few months before the electoral battle, the psuv membership has collected 7.34 million bolívares to fund their candidates’ election campaign. This funding, in contrast to their opponents, does not come from abroad, or from the pockets of rich contributors or from the owners of the pro-coup media.

Alongside that, close to 13,000 Batalla Bolívar (Bolivar Battle) units are being formed with the mission of undertaking house-to-house campaigns starting July 5, when they will talk to all electors to explain to them, inform them and make them aware of the importance of the upcoming elections.

As in the majority of Latin American nations, internal elections do not have the convening intensity and enthusiasm of the presidentials. Reversing that historic trend is now a challenge for the Bolivarian Revolution.

Its enemies are also banking on a high abstention rate; it wouldn’t be the first time that revolutionaries, convinced of the power and justice of their cause, leave voting up to others on the mistaken basis that the elections do not require their presence. That cannot be the premise, and so it is not by chance that the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution is insisting on the participation of each and every Venezuelan patriot, for whom defense of the process underway, more than a right, is also a commitment and a duty.

Winning the majority of National Assembly seats on September 26 in the midst of the escalated imperialist aggression against the Bolivarian Revolution is a privilege of those who make it possible.

Chávez has his greatest hopes pinned on those inheritors of Simón Bolívar, the liberator of Our America. Like it or not, the upcoming legislative elections constitute a referendum on the Revolution and the genuine possibility of continuing to make it more profound.

In response to President Chávez’ call, Bolivarian Venezuelans have to come out in force on September 26 as the only way of defeating the enemy. •

USAID and the “contractors”: subversion against Cuba

Jean-Guy Allard

ON Monday, June 7, U.S. Congressional representatives released $15 million to finance subversive operations inside Cuba, which are carried out by contractors of the U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid) and mercenaries linked with the Cuban American mafia.

According to the Miami press, “in the next few months” the State Department and usaid will distribute the funds to paid agents of the U.S. Interests Section (usis) in Cuba via the “contractors.”

Acting as spokesman for these organizations which benefit from the U.S. annexation program for the island, Florida Republican Senator George Lemieux (Fla) stated that he was pleased that “the State Department released these funds.”

For decades the usaid has been developing plans of interference whose objective is to defeat the Cuban Revolution via a series of illegal actions, with a complete disregard for her sovereignty.

Those applauding the initiative included Mauricio Claver-Carone, director of the Political Action Committee (pac) of U.S.-Cuba Democracy. With a single stroke, this organization has given millions of dollars to the campaign funds of politicians demonstrating their hostility toward Cuba.

Among pac’s most influential members are millionaire businesswoman Remedios “Reme” Díaz Oliver, famous for having defrauded the Internal Revenue Service (irs). Claver-Carone and his man - a number of them members of the terrorist Cuban Liberation Council - consistently declare their support for the U.S. blockade of the island.

State Department officials and usaid kept the release of funds for illegal operations a secret, but Lemieux’ staff - he was elected thanks to his friends who live off “anti-Castro” activities - admitted that his office was verbally notified.

Under the shelter of the “secret” nature of the operations of this “Cuba Plan,” the State Department and usaid recognize their violation of Cuban laws and exposing their agents to the consequences.

For the U.S. people, the myth is always maintained that those millions go toward the distribution of computers, medicines and aid to families of detained mercenaries. Nevertheless, usaid’s more heralded operations correspond, among other things, to a much broader plan of sedition with multiple attempts to fragment Cuban society, strategic assessment of so-called “dissidents,” defamation campaigns, and the establishment of parallel satellite networks, a cia concept and a typical sign of its intelligence operations.

The funds now released were ? withheld in early 2009 due to various fraud scandals discovered by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (gao), in which the people involved were well known members of the Cuban-American mafia;

Frank Calzon, a former terrorist from the Abdala group, was implicated in the embezzlement in 2007, when an auditor revealed that his right-hand man, Felipe Sixto, had “disappeared” half a million dollars given to his organization by usaid.

Among the first to rejoice in the revival of the million-dollar dance are another two experts at siphoning off funds, Frank Hernández Trujillo, head of the Dissident Movement Support Group - who bought lobster, chocolate and nintendo games with his subsidies - and Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat, head of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, a veteran not only of the U.S. Army, but also in fraud.

Florida’s mafia press neglected to mention the fact that Caleb McCarry, former head of the Bush Plan for the annexation of Cuba, subsidized another contract business, Creative Associates International, to the tune of $6.5 million of usaid money, a company that he contracted two months after leaving his government post.

Neither is it mentioned that Adolfo Franco, former director of usaid’s Latin American Bureau, who covered up a whole series of diverted funds, has not had to face any charges to date.

President Barack Obama has just appointed to the same post one Mark Feierstein, a political campaign management expert with a sulfurous past as “project manager” in Nicaragua in the 90s, who directed the dirty operations carried out by the National Endowment for Democracy (ned), a usaid subsidiary, to overthrow the Sandinista government. •


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