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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 1397 6th December 2011

Spiral of currency and bank collapse now stripping away all pretences of "recovery" and "upturns" to reveal the devastating Slump and world war future which Marxism-Leninism has always warned was the reality under capitalism, giving the lie to all reformism, parliamentary ways and fake-"left" jostling for position. Fascist "jokes" on TV reflect the starkest class war realities a paralysed ruling class is readying. Collapse of fake-"left"ism shatters illusions raising complex questions of leadership. Anarchist rejection of all leaders encouraged by ruling class to head off firm Leninist leadership needed

The question of leadership is being thrown up in a dozen different ways by the hurricane force of capitalist crisis.

Whether it is in the vacuum of understanding in the Tahrir Square demonstrations, which despite heroic sacrifices are still being shot down time after time by exactly the same state as before; in the crude class-collaborating "anti-dictator" shallowness of the fake-"lefts" feeding NATO warmongering against Libya, Syria and Iran; in the "flat leadership" or " no leaders" baby-out-with-the-bathwater rejection of all fake-"left" ideology by the Occupy movement, or in defections and breakaways from the EPSR itself since the crisis burst to the surface, the need for revolutionary perspectives and how to build understanding has gained renewed urgency.

Catastrophic failure of capitalism is now so strong it is shaking loose all cosy past assumptions and shattering every kind of bourgeois "democracy", reformist "socialism" and fake-"left" posturing, most of all the disastrous legacy of Third Internationjal Stalinist revisionism which has left the world empty of revolutionary leadership. It has also torn into the EPSR itself in a dispute over polemics and leadership.

All is shaken by the crushing pincer logic of capitalist failure as expressed in this nervous piece from arch-liberal reformist Will Hutton, typical of near panic now setting in about the unstoppability of the world historic collapse of the profit system:

Even for battle-hardened observers of the British economy, the landscape portrayed by last week's autumn statement was shocking. Now there is official acknowledgment that a country burdened by bank assets five times its GDP and chronically poor productivity is being dragged into the deepest and longest economic setback in modern times – with awesome implications.

Thus the continuing weakness in tax receipts that forces another £30bn of spending cuts if the government is to meet its self-imposed targets for budget balance, but two years later than planned. Thus the promise of decade-long austerity. Thus median incomes in real terms will be lower in 2015 than in 2002, the longest period of falling real incomes ever recorded. Thus more than 700,000 job losses in the public sector.

It could scarcely represent a bleaker picture. In the 1930s, Britain had an empire to fall back on as a protected market to help support recovery; in the 1970s, North Sea oil was to come to our rescue; in the 1990s, the great credit boom seemed to solve the economic question. Nothing like that is going to happen now. Britain has to answer the riddle about how to make its living in the world with no soft options – with a grossly unbalanced and underperforming economy.

It is hardly a surprise that the talk is of a lost decade and a lost generation, but still there are some who try to comfort themselves with the hope that, while Britain is going to be a drearier and more austere country than it was, we will muddle through with the rules of the game more or less unchanged.

The postwar settlement will hold, if in a more flyblown and tattered shape. Organised labour will continue to decline. British companies will carry on as they have, along with explosive growth of pay at the top. The City of London, albeit subject to more regulation, will continue as it has. England will remain the fiefdom of the Conservative party. Britain, the argument goes, remains such a great power with such distinctive resources that it can afford not to make common cause with other European countries. The EU will either split up or go its own way; Britain can at last live its euro-sceptic vocation.

It is an assessment supported neither by history nor by any honest assessment of our plight. For example, the last time Britain endured such an extended period of depression and falling living standards – the 1870s and 1880s – saw the mushrooming of the co-operative movement and the emergence of the Labour party as the more moderate expressions of anger that wanted to challenge the very basis of capitalism. Be sure that British civil society will not accept its grim fate as if nothing is happening. There will be organised and angry responses – and rightly. We are about to experience economic, social and political tectonic plates on the move.

What is going to make the years ahead doubly fraught is that the ideologies that used to provide the basis for our democratic discourse have been as torched as the economy. This is a first-order crisis to which socialism, certainly as conceived and practised over the past 100 years, is no plausible answer.

But equally, nobody can dare argue that the solution is to press ahead with yet more of the free-market capitalism that has laid Britain and the west so low. The simple-minded nostrums that have poured from the great American neocon thinktanks have been tried and found wanting. An ideological vacuum coincides with the most testing economic times for decades.

We need vision and visionaries – but what we have is journeymen espousing bankrupt world views. Perhaps the most dispiriting aspect of George Osborne's autumn statement was its lack of an organising or inspirational idea about what he wants the economy to be. Enveloped by the collapse of anything he has believed in, all he could do was reach for the grim economics of the corner shop with incantations about the menace of public debt. But governments are not corner shops. Osborne is operating within a framework that permits no vision for how the British economy can be re-energised and reimagined.

Any prospectus for the future must have as its alpha and omega the answers to two coherent and related questions. The first is how risk is to be managed and shared – whether risk for companies and entrepreneurs that the business models on which their finances rest might collapse as a consequence of lack of demand, new technologies or new competition; or the risk for ordinary men and women of unemployment, ill health and financial hardship. The second is how opportunity is to be generated and capitalised on – whether to build new industries, how to ensure genuine social mobility. The paradox of capitalism is that unless it is buttressed by collective and social institutions that share and distribute risk fairly, provide a social contract for its people and generate opportunity, it degenerates into what we are living through – business leaders preoccupied with their own remuneration, consumers frightened to spend, sectors such as banking bloated by vast, hidden subsidies and a poverty of innovation and investment.

What is needed now is for these truths to be understood and then addressed. This is a crisis of bad capitalism, a capitalism distorted by the ideological prattle that claims it is moral and efficient that all risk be borne individually. This is a world in which the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and everyone else can go hang.

But everyone else will not just go hang. They will ask ever harder questions about how reward and risk are distributed in our society. What are the 2,800 bankers in London estimated to be earning more than £1m a year doing to deserve such rewards? As the pension age is extended to 67, the education system Balkanised, unemployment institutionalised and workplace rights removed, what is the quid pro quo, the social deal? Are we happy to see the postwar social settlement whittled away with no coherent replacement? Why does the British private sector provide so few jobs, so little growth and so little innovation, but so much reward for those at the top? Is the sole purpose of government only to reduce its debt?

The only way forward is a good capitalism that solves these hard questions, commits to investment and innovation and builds new institutions that share the risks of entrepreneurship and of life, led by an enterprising government with a bigger conception of its role than debt reduction. Nor can Britain allow itself to become disconnected from the continent to which we are bound by geography and history.

The autumn statement exposed the raw truth of our national predicament and with it the promise of inevitable discontent and anger. It is a watershed moment. With sufficiently visionary leadership, it could mark a turning point; without it, decline could turn to rout.

Hutton's refusal to recognise that the game is up (and not just for Britain), even after saying so effectively, by doggedly chanting his fatuous wishful thinking mantra about "good capitalism", is an astonishing reflection of the bankruptcy that is now paralysing all aspects of petty bourgeois thought – as if the world has not been promised "better capitalism" or "reformed capitalism" (what Hutton, philistinely and wrongly, calls "socialism") for the last century via the Labourite and TUC "welfare" state, now being deliberately demolished, as Marxism has always warned it would be. Any parts left (pensions etc) are about to go bankrupt anyway or be swept away by mass international failures and defaults in the interlocked capitalist world finance system.

Hutton and plenty of others, like Polly Toynbee can spell out the callous crushing steamrollering of the Slump on ordinary lives but relentlessly turn away from the now glaringly obvious conclusion that not only has the whole reformist edifice collapsed but that the true face of capitalism is starkly revealed as a system of fascist repression and all out warmongering.

The Toynbees and Huttons even more still refuse to grasp the nettle of revolution as the only possible way out of disaster, and the only means to build a fair, stable, peaceful and rational world of planned socialism, instead flounderingly and desperately pleading for a "visionary" new kind of reformism to somehow avoid any such conclusion.

But the unstoppable logic built into capitalism pushes the ruling class the other way, escalating the disaster into ever more repressive measures and imposed "austerity" exploitation all the way down to Third World standards.

Cameron buddy and bigoted media buffoon Jeremy Clarkson may have been "just joking" when he called for strikers to be "shot in front of their families" last week but there is a sinister class war undertone to the remarks that had got nothing "ironical" about it, and there are plenty of others in the boardrooms, golf clubs, and huntin' shootin' and fishin' sets who would seriously put such measures into action if they though they could do it.

The terrifying nature of the chasm opening up is so obvious that it even saw nervous and very serious speculation on prime time television (Newsnight) of possible military coups and takeovers.

"Democracy has been blatantly overridden in Greece and Italy" mused one "expert" pundit "and the most severe 'austerity' is being imposed. But what happens if the masses there reject it? How will the police and military impose order when they have no authority?"

What happens everywhere, including Britain, as the reality sinks in that there is no end to the devastating meltdown – and that even the decade of cuts and penury threatened by the Tories is only a start to a world of class oppression and exploitation that can only increase (while bankers and bosses keep on taking their obscene rises)?

(Tory "revised economic forecasts" are anyway no such thing, but only the admission by the ruling class that the Slump is unstoppable. Forecasts a year ago were obvious pie-in-the-sky, joke promises made only to bolster illusions among the more gullible and buy time for a ruling class which itself is about as much in control as a rabbit caught in headlights).

And what parliamentary authority anyway in Greece?

There is no such thing as "democracy" in a bourgeois world.

The entire parliamentary charade is, and has always been, a gigantic historical fraud, a cover for the total dictatorship of big money and big capital, subject to gross manipulation at the best of times and now a discredited joke historically, limping on only through scandal, corruption, hostility and contempt which keeps most ordinary people away from the polling stations altogether and the few left, who still retain some false illusions that it matters, only voting on a "least appalling of a thoroughly bad lot" basis or, less, voting purely just to punish and humiliate the last lot.

The complete failure of the supine reformist Labourites to offer anything but joke opposition even in this powerless sham, deliberately abandoning any residue of real leadership (and the same just seen in the Spanish elections etc), and the big fraud "Coalition" stunt (and in Ireland etc) is yet another layer of trickery pulled off to keep the racket going a tiny bit longer.

The question of "what next?" goes straight to the heart of the matter; and it raises the crucial issue of Marxist understanding of the need for the working class to take power by revolution, establishing its own dictatorship of the proletariat.

As the EPSR masthead has constantly maintained this is the critical issue around which all understanding of the revolutionary struggle pivots. It separates Marxism from the whole swamp of fake-"lefts".

It has been so significant that it is the key thorn in the side of capitalism of the past eighty years, which concentrates its relentless anti-communist brainwashing on declaring that the imposed workers state authority is nothing but "tyranny" and "oppression".

This is the demented lie which feeds all the petty bourgeois fears about the working class and the reality of the workers states – built up into the massive Goebbels parody of history which is pumped out non-stop in bourgeois culture and media and which, were a tenth of it true would have meant the elimination of whole populations several times over, rather than the steady growth in populations and living standards that the have all shown (until the point of counter-revolution).

The reality of the workers states has been one of triumphant achievement and a staggering advances in science, culture and society against endless subversion, sabotage, blockading, and when capitalism could muster its strength, outright war, invasion, destruction and terrorisation (see Cuba piece in Socialist Review section eg) .

Mistakes have been made of course, and with tragic consequences, but that cannot mean writing off communism, ("you're stuck with capitalism" as the ruling class like to pretend), only re-doubling efforts to re-build it, better and clearer.

It is philosophical failings and retreat, from Stalin onwards, leading to a wrong view of the world, and the abandonment of constant revolutionary perspectives to guide and illuminate all state and social decisions, that has led to the mislabelled "failure of communism", not any practical or material difficulties (see numerous past EPSRs but especially 1190-96).

That is not to underestimate the enormous burdens of development carried by the first great historic experiments in socialism, dragging great populations out of backwardness and feudal stagnation into industrialisation and technological advance, the material impact of which, creating multiple problems of bureaucracy, limited resource and political failings, had to be overcome and struggled with.

But it was the wrong grasp of revolutionary action from the Popular Fronts of the 1930s onwards, and the mis-assessment of the potential renewed strength of capitalism post-WW2 which led to the mistaken calculation that capitalism could be "contained" despite its continuing warmongering tendencies.

From that came the steady degeneration of revisionism, despite continuing titanic achievements, which failed ultimately because it finally lost all grasp of the revolutionary perspective in favour of "the free market", with Gorbachev's idiot betrayal of 70 years of determined struggle, liquidating the workers state.

The result has been a disaster for the great masses in the soviet states, and the return of poverty and hopelessness for all but the tiny Moscow-concentrated middle class elite and the obscenity of the oligarch wealth and waste.

Working class dictatorship is the only route out of capitalism's dictatorship (hidden or overtly fascist) into emancipation for the great majority and the beginnings of socialist society which can eventually develop the full potential of all human beings in a rational and self-disciplined world.

It is a dialectical contradiction that the path to emancipation comes only through suppression.

But it is suppression of the tiny minority, the forcible holding down of the old bourgeois class once power has been taken to prevent all its subversion, disruption, sabotage and counter-revolutionary conspiracy re-emerging, which as every socialist state from the USSR to Cuba, China, North Korea and Vietnam have discovered, and plenty of demonised anti-imperialist regimes (Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, etc) goes on non-stop against all revolutionary and socialist development.

Forgetting that need has taught harsh lessons to the working class in country after country, notably in Chile in 1973 where the revisionist-inspired "democratic communism" path of Salvador Allende was drowned in blood and torture, and most lately in Libya where the erratic and bizarre egalitarian bourgeois nationalism of Muammar Gaddafi has just been savagely massacred, in a storm of barbaric NATO blitzkreig and fascist, racist death-squad pseudo-"rebel" brutality, culminating in the disgusting war-crime buggering and killing of Gaddafi himself (completely glossed over and unremarked by the alleged "rule of law" "human rights" principles of the hypocritical West, and its Washington leadership.)

The workers state, which has proved to be the practical embodiment of the dictatorship of the working class so far, via the Red Army, workers state security and other instruments, (including mass arming of the working class when necessary, as in the Second World War, to counter Nazi invasion) will eventually fade away, as Lenin elucidates in his crucially important book, the State and Revolution.

Gradually and slowly such a fair and rational society will be extended to embrace everybody via education, expanded opportunities, social links, culture and a rational media, until there is no longer a reactionary class influence left. The need for suppression of the old order will vanish.

There can be no immediate "ending of the state" as the shallow anarchists propose, hostile to the core against real working class discipline.

As the EPSR has stated in the past about the anarchists:

What is remarkable about all this naïve stuff, of course, is that it is earnestly but ignorantly struggling only to reinvent Marxism and the communist revolution. In other words; it is richly reconfirming that the Marxist analysis of exploitation, alienation, and destructive crisis at the heart of the class-war capitalist system was right all along, and that communist revolution is the natural way forward and the only force which can take stuttering civilisation into a completely new direction, finally truly emancipating mankind from the small-mindedness and negative conflict of capitalist society.

These petty bourgeois minded anarchists will pretend to fear the 'authoritarian violence of the dictatorship of the proletariat' but a) this philistinism relies entirely on CIA anti-communist propaganda to avoid any serious historical discussion on the mistakes and wrong turnings that can obviously be made in the difficult task of defending workers states from the total economic, diplomatic, espionage, and subversive war that surrounding imperialism has never ceased to inflict on any workers state which has ever tried to flourish; and b) these middle class anarchists always have a far readier appetite for gratuitous violence than any other revolutionary tradition.

But as they ride on the back of western anti-communist brainwashing to wallow in the 'triumph' over organised communist revolution, these anarchists make a hopeless spectacle, scarcely hiding their incoherence in failing to provide the working class with any kind of detailed anti-imperialist analysis to make an international revolutionary programme feasible; and failing to spread revolutionary influence building on actual bread-and-butter struggles. (EPSR 1042 02-05-00).

That contradictorily means the strongest possible leadership, a party of consistent revolutionary theoretical struggle based around open polemical struggle to examine and resolve all issues, including the confusions and past mistakes of the workers movements and the giant achievements of the twentieth century workers states, most of all the titanic Soviet Union.

Only with constantly developed revolutionary theory can the working class be guided, inspired, motivated and developed in its own understanding for the struggle.

"Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolution" as Lenin famously said and the lessons are being taught on how without this constant struggle for scientific rationality, the heart of leadership,.

The great spontaneous revolt in Egypt and Tunisia, shaking the world bourgeoisie to the core, has nevertheless been run round in circles, and has sacrificed hundreds of lives for nine months precisely because of its lack of theory, and of a party to build it.

The tens of thousands heroically filling in Tahrir, and the tens of millions of workers everywhere else inspired by, and sympathising with Egypt and Tunisia have also been twisted and manipulated by the Goebbels propaganda onslaught by Western intelligence agencies and willingly colluding media, which set up and provoked the completely artificial rebellion in Libya (and now Syria) which has partly been used to thoroughly confuse and intimidate genuine Arab Spring under one of capitalism's slickest ever stunts.

So too the Occupy movement which in London has even been duped into mounting a "live link-up" with the "rebels" in Syria, without even asking themselves why Western capitalism, busy mounting coups in Honduras, plotting against communist countries like Cuba and shooting down democracy demonstrators in Thailand (which has disappeared from the radar of the supposedly "human rights supporting" Western media), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and more, drone blitzing hundreds of anti-occupation fighters in Afghanistan and (illegally) Pakistan and Somalia, as well as even more children and bystanding civilians – why this capitalism is supporting these particular fights with massive military intervention or media and political stampeding and economic siege sanctions???.

Small wonder the Western media has consciously taken up this "no leader" question, recognising its usefulness in hampering and holding back the mass rebellion. The BBC Broadcasting House program for example, reporting from Cairo, elevated a local "small businessman" blogger "Big Pharoah" to prominence quoting his anti-communist view that the people of Tahrir Square would prevail by mass demonstrations if the new "democracy" and the army did not produce results, and specifically "without leaders".

And worse than the sick Clarkson's class war "joke" was the po-faced "outrage" of the public sector union leaders, not because of their "sense of humour failure" but in the shallow comparison of him to the foully demonised Muammar Gaddafi, swallowing and regurgitating the monstrous distortions and lies about "tyrannical dictators" which most of the degenerate Trots have also has pumped out, helping US, French and British imperialism "justify" and swing public opinion around for blitzkrieg.

But Gaddafi is the victim of a NATO-Nazi onslaught which has just destroyed tens of thousands of lives and an entire country, including the utter scorched earth destruction of the 100,000 population city of Sirte, a monstrous atrocity comparable with the bloody US massacre of Falluja in Iraq.

This official union comment in itself encapsulates and embeds all the backwardness and reactionary Labour and TUC class collaboration that has misled and held back the working class for over a century, opportunistically (and increasingly cynically) keeping it in thrall to illusions in parliament and "democracy" and corrupted with chauvinist backwardness and little Englander "superiority".

It completely leads workers away from the overriding issue, the defeat of imperialism and the ever fouler mess it, and it alone, is making of the planet.

It is crucial to expose this confusion and treachery as part of building a party of revolutionary consciousness.

Such a party needs to be continuously open to the widest discussion and debate, and ready to take up the polemical fight against all comers in front of the working class on all questions, with no restrictions:

while it is true that everyone can claim to be 'Marxist-Leninist' and that any notion of a monopoly of wisdom residing in one particular place is itself indeed a piece of prize anti-Marxist nonsense, the ONLY way to sort out the more correct understandings of the world (on which to build a reliable Bolshevik cadre party) from the more opportunist bureaucratic philistinism which will eventually kill it, is by allowing constant polemical conflict [and]...a polemical struggle WITH LIMITS is a contradiction in terms. (EPSR 1156 15-10-04)

That is in complete contradistinction to any of the revisionist traditions of contained or "private" inner party struggle and debate which have completely distorted their understanding, leading to mistake after mistake and then cover up after cover-up, of those mistakes, only compounding the difficulties.

A 'theoretical disputation' which dare not pursue a particular avenue of understanding of the world and party building, on pain of expulsion, - is just a sectarian bureaucratic joke, which is exactly where the whole vast world of Revisionism (which educated Scargill) ended up. (EPSR 1156 (as above)).

But an open discussion, not only allowing but encouraging all views to be aired, is not some open-ended eclectic soup as the crypto-Trotskyist CPGB are currently posturing about, a kind of "super-democracy" of the (supposed) bourgeois kind where everyone is "entitled to their own view".

Struggles in the party like any other consciousness are reflections of the real world and nearly always of particular class positions and they need to be fought out to a conclusion.

Struggles need to be carried out in a disciplined (or better self-disciplined) manner, guided by the most experienced members, capable of drawing out and moving forwards the discussion and avoiding constant and disruptive repetition (a difficult question in itself since new developments can make raising of questions valid again).

It is by a process of conflict and struggle, which will reflect the real issues in the world that new knowledge and grasp is gained, improving existing understanding in the light of new developments. Such polemical methodology acts like a seismograph detecting and then making sense of emerging phenomena.

The question of leadership and polemic has been emerging in the EPSR since the credit crunch broke, immediately reflecting the political lurch in the capitalist crisis.

A key aspect of the battles with dissenters in the southwest over Obamaism, (which they declared to be a "step forwards for the working class") has been a series objections to the full pursuit of the EPSR's understanding with newer supporters, proposing a compromise on understanding in order to "give people a chance to overcome the prejudices poured into them by capitalism", and an objection to vigorous polemic to challenge political positions under a smog of objections about "offending feelings" and "insulting people".

Of course the most disciplined and reasonable discussion is always to be aimed at, and despite the passions that these world important class struggles can evoke, the fairest hearing given to every position.

And it was in the southwest struggle.

But the obvious remedy, of taking up the arguments and discussions in open polemical replies to clarify everyone, which the EPSR has always kept open, were rejected, under a flurry of excuses and evasions, with not a single public written account of the objectors's position being made in a six month struggle.

The political positions which did solidify in the course of phone calls and verbal discussions at meetings have long since been clearly exposed by the onrush of the crisis; in what way, for example, is it now unclear that the EPSR was 100% right in its analysis that Obama was no advance for the working class but the cleverest piece of trickery to extend and deepen the US fascist warmongering worldwide ?

Obama-ism tapped deeply into the single issue illusions of "black nationalism" and feminism which the reformist and revisionist fake–"left" (all shades) have fostered and promulgated for decades, in a treacherous philosophical diversion from the revolutionary politics, which all of these groups have no intention of ever coming to despite all their posturing and pretence.

But the reality of not only continuing but escalated warmongering, support for coups, drone instigated remote death squad activity, torture and more, and the disastrous impact of the crisis Slump in the US while the bankers and bosses have not only been bailed out but boosted, has not seen one jot of an admission from the southwest, that their position has been proved untenable and wrong.

And despite much mighty posturing about getting on with building a movement themselves, in over two years not a jot or word of politics has emerged from them in public.

They are as dishonest, opportunist and unprincipled as the rest of the fake-"left", using their allegations of "too harsh polemic" as a cover for a retreat from revolutionary struggle.

The fallout from this battle has unfortunately continued with further "sympathy" resignations over the southwest, equally hiding a refusal to debate the politics openly behind a contradictory pretence of "more informal openness".

The notion of disciplined debate, with a confident political leadership, was derided as "old fashioned buggins turn politics" to be abandoned in a favour of an open free for all.

But this "fruitful pub discussion" has so far proved totally fruitless as far as the working class is concerned, what ever fruity state the participants got into in the process.

Without a means for the arguments to be set out, and elucidated, in chaired meetings or even better in print, no way to develop the sides of the struggle and reach greater clarity can begin to exist.

The pretence of fighting for "more openness" while in fact attempting to hold back polemic has seen another conflict emerge with a comrade who initially hesitated in the southwest struggle, declaring that the argument was unfair and "intemperate".

Were it so, the paper was open all the time for such comments to be made and the position be argued (which in itself contradicts all the dissenters' wild allegations about old style "instructionalist" methods allegedly hampering debate").

This latest extension of the split has seen a rapid degeneration into the wildest ranting about "the party behaving just like the WRP or Stalinism", based around outright slanders which it is pointless to waste tine on, but which nevertheless have been discussed and debated openly four times.

But far from sticking to the principles of discussion, debate and majority decision which the protagonist alleges he is making a principled fight for, he has simply rejected the decisions.

This arrogant individualism, which he is accusing others of, has been combined with a specific anti-leadership position, beginning with an assertion that a party can only be one of "equals", implying no leadership, and rapidly degenerating into sneering biliously "who made you God?" against the current chairman.

A seemingly squabble inside the EPSR has brought to the surface the critical philosophical issue - how should the question of the widest possible open debate and discussion be combined with the crucial need for leadership?

The answer the Bolsheviks emerged with, in the first great successful revolutionary leadership under Lenin, was "democratic centralism", with the firmest possible leadership based on, and guiding, the widest possible philosophical struggle (as debated in a large part of Lenin's valuable writings particularly in the period from 1902 -07.

The answer now needs even more discussion, beginning with a fuller re-assessment of the conflicts in the EPSR (to follow).

But the polemical method of challenging all assumptions and constantly battling for a higher level of understanding will remain the essence of the struggle for revolutionary theory.

Only by constantly attacking and exposing the fraudulence, complacency, opportunism of the ruling class, the reflection of that poisonous ideology in the working class (who are pumped full of it from the day they are born through every TV channel, book, school class, play, film or song) and in the petty bourgeois collusion, misrepresentation, opportunism and/or ignorance of the fake-"lefts" can the science be advanced.

Don Hoskins

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Leaflet for the Public Sector strike 30th November:

Public sector cuts only a first wave of ruling class attacks on workers, driving down conditions to near slavery to ride out the epochal failure of capitalism. Far worse to come than a "few years austerity" as the historic failure of the world class rule rapidly spirals into the greatest CATASTROPHE and warmongering ever. "Defending conditions" not enough, only revolution to overturn the doomed capitalist order everywhere can save the world from disaster. Rebuilding Leninist leadership vital

The anger and resistance unprecedentedly shown by millions of public sector workers against the Tory slump cuts will strike a useful blow directly, and by building class-consciousness and solidarity.

But it needs to rapidly widen its perspectives if it is to reach the kind of struggle that alone can challenge the disastrous slump conditions now being lined-up and imposed on all workers.

That is a revolutionary struggle, to end for good a capitalist system that not only inevitably always returns to Depression disaster and fascist warmongering, but does so on a far worse scale each time.

Collapse and crisis is built-in to the capitalist system, as Karl Marx long ago demonstrated and as endless crisis, world war and Depression has proven ever since.

The unprecedented "boom" post-WW2 has extended and stretched the capitalist production system to an unparalleled extent, based on the historical "top dog" dominance of US imperialism and its World War Two -won power over the world trading and finance system, giving it unheard of ability to pump out paper dollar credit to keep things rolling despite endless partial crises since 1945.

But this relentlessly inflationary expansionism has only ever been an artificial life-support to stave off the underlying crisis collapse which has been constantly growing, stretched beyond any limits ever seen in history.

It meant that when the total crisis finally did break, which Marxist Leninist science long ago demonstrated was inevitable, it would do so with a ferocity and speed never before witnessed.

Since October 2008 when the world was just hours away from complete credit meltdown (banks shutting down all cash machines and consequent chaos), Leninism's warnings to the working class have been confirmed 1000% – against every bourgeois and fake-"left" (Trotskyist and revisionist) dismissal of such "catastrophism" as "old hat" and "tired old dogma" etc etc.

And Marxist-Leninism continues to warn that the crisis cannot go away, that there is no "upturn" to come, no matter what "belt tightening" is done, and that the working class faces being pushed all the way down to utter penury and despair, unless and until capitalism is ended.

Worse, the capitalist ruling class is doing what it has increasingly done in the imperialist epoch to head off its failure and the revolutionary turmoil it must engender – whipping up fascist war distraction and scapegoating of "foreigners" both overseas and domestically, to distract attention from its own historical failure and shaming incompetence.

Country after country has already been totally bankrupted, with protest ignored and "democracy" torn up in Greece and Italy to impose "technocrat" savagery, or by the joke pretences of "coalition" government in the UK etc, all in thrall to the "markets", meaning big capital and big money.

Fifteen years of escalating Pentagon and NATO warmongering meanwhile, from the bombing of Serbia, "intervention" in Sierra Leone, to the blitzkrieg destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, killing hundreds of thousands, and ruining tens of millions more, is the prelude to the great war conflicts to come as the market crashes.

The latest pompous bombast from the British government against Iran (where vicious UK "sanctions" siege warfare provocation have stimulated anti-British feeling), the counter-revolutionary civil war provocations by the West in Syria, drum-banging constantly against other victims like Zimbabwe, Burma, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia and many more, are all part of the desperate manipulations to get the world into a war atmosphere, to blame everyone else for the failure.

The tensions between the "great powers" like Germany, France, the US, hopeless Britain and more are inexorably rising as they scapegoat and blame each other for the paralysed mess that the market collapses of their own credit-bloated cutthroat system has brought them to. Racism, finger-pointing, and chauvinist hatreds are all on the rise as the ruling class squirms and manoeuvres to distract attention from the total failure of their centuries long class dominance.

It can only get far worse yet. World war is the only possible outcome.

Meanwhile, the disastrous figures revealed in the latest Osborne financial statement are not "a revision" or "less optimistic" or even the "wrong policy" for getting to "the upturn" but the complete confirmation of the catastrophic failure that capitalism has reached.

There is no "upturn" to come, and there never has been (contrary to the lies and illusions punted around by the Labourite opportunists and barely, rarely, or never challenged effectively by the fake-"lefts") only the disastrous plunge of the entire world into the greatest Slump failure in all of history, the inevitable and only end point of production for private profit.

Even Osborne's latest predictions of "extended austerity" are a LIE; there is no way out of the disaster - except war.

Only this level of understanding (and much more) can draw in the entire working class to confront the class war savagery of a ruling class desperate to hold onto its obscene wealth and privilege even as its bankrupted profit making system slides deeper and deeper into the mire.

The fight must go far beyond resistance to cuts and cutbacks.

Defensively trying to restore things as they were and "hold-on" to past conditions is a start to a struggle and may pull workers into the fight.

Well and good if the ruling class can be forced back temporarily on its attempts to drive the Slump onto ordinary people.

But it will at best be a temporary gain.

The savage cuts in jobs and services being imposed on the public sector, and above all the slashing of pensions are only a start to far worse deprivations which the ruling class must impose if it is to keep its degenerate privileges, indolent luxury and arrogant power.

The full strength of all the working class cannot be mobilised by the old discredited reformist perspectives of official trade unionism and "Labour leftism" which have not only never challenged capitalism but which have spent years running it on behalf of the ruling class.

Concentrating on the conditions and livelihoods of just one sector of the working class is not enough either.

Just the opposite; it plays into the hands of the deliberately divisive ruling class pumping out sly provocations against the alleged "comfortable conditions of the public sector".

That is a complete nonsense for the great majority of badly paid nurses, school dinner ladies, teachers, council workers, and many more anyway, and a vicious stirring of deliberate jealousies and hostilities aimed at splitting the working class.

Of course because pensions have been slashed in the barbaric "private sector" is no argument to make other workers live in shit too.

But to rise over these petty envies and antagonisms, which capitalist society always gives rise to in even "boom times" (via racism, chauvinism, "closed shop" trade protections, "baby boomer" ageism, nationalism, localism, and so forth) needs the urgent development of revolutionary grasp and understanding, the great battle for scientific perspectives of the capitalist system and the great battle for communism.

Part of that is grasping that the "public sector", representing welfare and social improvement for all workers, is the great reformist scam of all time.

The NHS, pensions, education, and the rest were introduced only because of the great revolutionary achievements of the new Soviet Union which showed for the first time ever how the working class could not only live without bosses, inequality and private ownership of factories, banks, farms and land, but could rapidly start to develop human society, culture, science and technology on an unheard of scale.

Under the great upsurge of revolutionary sympathy post-WW2 and the huge victories of the giant sacrifices of the Red Army destroying Nazism, the Western ruling class retreated, producing a parody of these great socialist achievements in the reforms it "granted" (in the rich countries only while the Third World was exploited even harder to pay for it).

And now as Marxism warned, (while the entire fake-"left" carries on supporting the parliamentary illusions which fed this "welfare capitalism" lie to the working class) it is all being dismantled by a terrified and desperate ruling class in the teeth of its own generated disaster.

The Soviet Union suffered its own problems, not of "collapse" (the economy continued to work and grow into the Gorbachevite time) but of philosophical retreat from revolution, beginning with Stalin's failure to grasp the world, and culminating in the pointless liquidationism of the late 1980s into the "free market", one of history's most idiotic retreats.

Deep questions of that failure and the failure of "communism" (in fact failure of the revisionist retreat from revolution) need to be hammered out by the working class if it is to build a leadership that can guide the final ending of capitalism.

It is part of the tragedy of the great retreats from Leninism that the revisionism legacy of Moscow suppresses and covers up just that fight for clarity.

The rebuilding of Leninist polemical struggle to develop Marxist understanding to new levels, urgently needs to be done.

That is the process of creating and extending a revolutionary leadership.

It is leadership (not anarchy, "no leader" protests, or "flat leadership" liberalism) which is crucial.

The great gains which the working class was fooled into believing had been achieved by reform, can only really be secured by building a genuinely socialist planned economy under the leadership of the working class via its advanced sections.

That can only be done by the working class taking power (across the planet) and ending the rotten and festering fascist-heading profiteering capitalist order by establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat to permanently end the power and exploitation of capitalist class rule.

Build Leninism.

Don Hoskins



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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

The Brute force of poverty

Juan Diego Nusa Peñalver

FOR any visitor arriving in Haiti, devastated as it is today, sure to draw attention is the uncommon use of physical force by men, women and even children, in the country and the city, in the difficult struggle to earn a few gourdes for daily bread.

Underdevelopment, legacy of the colonial and neocolonial past, obliges Haitians to do work more often done by machines, with tools, cranes, tractors, trucks or animals.

Part of the nation's landscape are men using hammers or small picks to break rocks into gravel sized pebbles much in demand for the construction of bridges, highways and buildings; or dragging heavy carts loaded with sacks of charcoal, food or even the chassis of an old vehicle.

Physical effort takes a toll.

"Haitians do heavy physical work beginning at an early age," said Dr. Roig Pérez González, from the Cuban province of Las Tunas, a surgeon and specialist in emergency care.

"One of the health problems which Cuban doctors are confronting here is the high rate of groin hernias, especially among men, which is a result of poverty, the lack of information and practically nonexistent health services," he asserted.

"In the Aken community reference hospital, in the Haitian department Sud, for which Cuban health professionals are responsible, Granma was able to observe a medical team led by the Cuban surgeon from Guantánamo, Eurípides Cabrera Perez, a specialist in vascular medicine, who successfully operated on Petit del Cejour, 39 years old, who was suffering from acute hernia pain hernia.

"It was a preventative measure to avoid greater problems in the future," explained Dr. Cabrera Pérez, who was assisted during the surgery by resident doctor Abda Elena Carreto from Guatemala, recently graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, anesthesiologist Elba Pérez Labrada, from Las Tunas, and surgical nurse Aleida Gary Altamira, from Artemisa.

On this particular day, also receiving surgery to address this problem was Nodiel Michell, 73, who before the arrival of the Cuban Medical Brigade could find no way to alleviate his suffering.

The hospital's director, Dr. Mercedes Coello Vidal, from Santiago de Cuba, reported that of the 801 surgeries performed last year at the center, 281 were to repair groin hernias and through May 10, 2010, Cuban surgeons have performed more than a hundred such operations.

The patients are low income citizens, added Dr. Coello Vidal, who do not have the resources to pay for private surgery.



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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Parliamentary statement condemns new injustice against René González and calls for solidarity with (Cuba) Five


• CUBAN anti-terrorist fighter René González Sehwerert was released from Marianna Penitentiary in the north of Florida, United States this past October 7 after serving 13 long years of unjust incarceration.

Since his imprisonment in September 1998, René González Sehwerert, together with his compañeros Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernándo González Llort have been forced to endure cruel and degrading conditions and all kinds of pressure and abuse, including separation from their families. All the hatred to which they have been exposed has not broken their convictions and, with exceptional stoicism and admirable integrity they have always maintained exemplary conduct as prisoners.

This dignified and courageous attitude of our five compañeros, who have never renounce their principles under any circumstance, combined with motivations of political revenge which characterized the legal proceedings which led to their sentencing, was what prompted Judge

Joan Lenard to impose an additional punishment on Rene, by refusing last September 16 a motion to allow him to return to Cuba and the heart of his family and people upon his release.

The judge's decision to uphold the special additional requisite of prohibiting him, after leaving prison, "from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists.. are known to frequent," included in his sentence at the express petition of the U.S. government, is irrefutable evidence that anti-Cuban terrorists continue to enjoy total impunity and the support of American authorities.

For more than 50 years successive administrations in this country have protected terrorism against Cuba and harbored terrorist individuals and organizations in that same territory. Persons responsible for so much pain and death are living a completely normal life there, with priority access to the media and with total impunity to organize and promote terrorism against our country. The very recognition of this reality on the part of the judge and the government ratifies the "state of necessity" which obliged the infiltration of terrorist groups and demonstrates that the severe sanctions of the Five are directed at protecting the real terrorists who, like Luis Posada Carriles, are enjoying a problem-free life in Florida.

There is no doubt that the United States government is perfectly well aware that the fact that René has to reside in that country's territory constitutes a serious threat to his life and physical integrity. The U.S. authorities will be responsible for anything that might happen to him.

The cause of the Five is becoming more and more known throughout the world. Thousands of men and women from all latitudes and social strata have joined the struggle for their liberation, including many parliamentarians and legislative bodies. In the name of the Five and their families, likewise victims of so much injustice, we thank every one of you for your support in attaining their freedom.

However, it has not been, and is not an easy road, given that opposing it are the vengeful spirit, hatred and the obstinacy that have always predominated in the United States government's policy toward Cuba for not having been able to break our people. Also opposing us is the ironclad censorship around this case in the media, which has only referred to this injustice on a very few occasions.

We firmly believe that solidarity can achieve everything and that just causes must triumph over lies and injustice. For that reason, we call on all parliaments and members of these, on political and social forces and groups committed to the truth and justice, on all upstanding men and women on the planet, to exert all their influence so that President Obama does what he has to do: permit the immediate return of Rene to the heart of his family and to release his four compañeros in struggle and captivity.

Let us make it possible, among all of us, to see that justice is done.




International Relations Commission National Assembly of People's Power Havana,
October 11, 2011

Further injustice against René confirms that U.S. government acknowledges presence of terrorists in its territory

Speech given by Mercedes López Acea, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, for the Day of the Victims of State Terrorism

ARMY General Raúl Castro Ruz, family members of victims of state terrorism against Cuba, family members of our Five Heroes, Compañeras and compañeros:

Exactly one year ago, in this very place, our President, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, during the commemoration for the first time of the Day of the Victims of State Terrorism, recounted some of the long and painful history of terrorism against the Cuban people, sponsored by the highest echelons of successive U.S. governments, with the sinister Central Intelligence Agency playing a prominent role and the active participation of unpatriotic and mercenary counterrevolutionary organizations.

Raul evoked the fires, the bombings, the acts of sabotage -such as the perfidious explosion aboard La Coubre and the no less criminal one of the Le Van Than day care center - the hijacking of planes, boats and Cuban citizens, attacks on our offices abroad and the killing of diplomats; the machine gunning of facilities and the many attempts on the lives of the principal revolutionary leaders, in particular that of the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.

He also recalled the organization, financing and provisioning of the armed bands; the Bay of Pigs invasion; Operation Mongoose; biological warfare on cultivated areas, animals and human beings, with its particularly cruel manifestation in the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic; explosions in tourist facilities... The trail of suffering and pain inflicted on our people by U.S. imperialism has indeed been great!

Today, October 6, 35 years have passed since one of the most abominable acts in this history of terror against Cuba: the Barbados crime. The in-flight destruction from a terrorist attack of the Cubana passenger plane, the vile murder of 73 innocent people, Guyanese, Korean and Cuban citizens - most of them in the flower of youth - and among them the Cuban juvenile fencing team, shook the nation to the core.

The homeland elected this day to honor the 5,577 Cubans who have died or left permanently disabled as a result of acts of terrorism perpetrated against Cuba for more than 50 years, with the sponsorship, complicity and direct participation of United States authorities.

The list given by compañero Raúl one year ago, with undis-putable figures and arguments, relieves me of having to go into more details of events indelibly inscribed in history. Moreover, as he himself said then, "It would be impossible to include in just one speech the interminable chain of terrorist plots, actions and attacks hatched against our country."

For this reason, I will center my speech on detailing what has happened in these past 12 months. I have to say that, for yet another year, our people have waited in vain for justice to be done. One of the masterminds of the Barbados crime and many other felonies against Cuba, Orlando Bosch, died in Miami, pardon afforded by President George Bush Sr. That pardon was a retribution for the criminal services he provided for years. But, who was the director of the cia when the Cubana plane was blown up? The very same George Bush.

What happened this year with the international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, the other mastermind of the crime? It wasn't enough to charge him on minor counts and postpone his trial to the point of absurdity, which our press justly called "the El Paso farce." He was finally exonerated of all charges. Saying that a criminal like Posada is innocent is an affront not only to the Cuban people, but to all of humanity. We demand his extradition to Venezuela and that justice is done. This self-confessed killer must be tried for the crimes which he has committed.

Did the United States by any chance exclude Cuba this year from its spurious list of state sponsors of terrorism, an infamous measure like few others which, more than placing our country in the judgment seat, discredits that government even more?

No! Once again, it included Cuba, in order to justify its sanctions and its genocidal blockade.

The United States, the largest promoter of state sponsored terrorism in the world - of the savage nuclear bombardments of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took the lives of four million Vietnamese, godfather of the bloody military dictatorships and Operation Condor, of the massacres in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - that country which fails to fulfill international treaties signed in this context and which demonstrates notorious double standards in its supposed "war on terror," does not have an iota of moral authority for drawing up such a list.

The historical truth is that no other country has been the victim of this scourge, which originated years ago in the United States, as has Cuba. Precisely for this reason, and because of the principles which have sustained our Revolution, our country has resolutely condemned all forms or manifestations of terrorism in any part of the world, and has signed the 13 international agreements on the subject.

While an American politician, as Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann did recently, might make unfounded and irresponsible statements in this context, the reality is that Cuban territory has never been utilized, and never will be, to organize, finance or execute acts of terrorism against any country, including the United States.

Yet another year has gone by, and our government's proposal to U.S. authorities to sign a cooperation agreement in this sphere remains without response. We ask ourselves why, when it is in the interest of the people of the United States? Doubtless, there is no political will to do so.

The most compelling evidence of that is what has taken place with the five Cuban heroes. Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernándo and René have endured another 365 days of unjust incarceration. That is now 13 years of cruel and unmerited imprisonment. How much longer is this injustice going to prevail?

They should not have been imprisoned even for one day. They were not seeking classified information nor did they obtain any information on [U.S.] national security, nor did they affect any U.S. interests. Their mission was to contribute to averting the actions of terrorist groups acting against Cuba from Florida with total impunity. Their trials were arbitrary, they were held in Miami - the capital of anti-Cuban terror - in the midst of a climate of hostility, fuelled by an intense press campaign paid for by the yankee government. There is more than enough information, arguments and legal documentation demonstrating the rigged nature of these proceedings.

What to say about their conditions in these close to 5,000 days and nights? The confinements in the "hole," the prolonged periods of no communication, the difficulties in contacting their legal representatives, the unjustified separations from their families... How low the representatives of the empire have fallen with their merciless treatment of the Five, converting their imprisonment into a political vendetta against an entire people!

But they have not succeeded in the attempt to destroy their will, in spite of the pressure and the abuse. In spite of the unjust sentences and the inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment to which they have been subjected, the Five have maintained an exemplary conduct without making the least concession to their convictions, giving an unsurpassable example of dignity and steadfastness.

Now another injustice is being committed, an additional reprisal. Tomorrow René González will be released after having served the brutal and unjust sentence imposed on him. But he has been denied the right to return to Cuba to be reunited with his wife, daughters and parents.

Behind this decision of Judge Joan Lenard is the government of the United States, which is viciously persecuting our anti-terrorist fighters while, on the other hand, maintaining its history of protecting terrorist individuals and organizations located in its territory, responsible for the death, pain and suffering of thousands of Cubans.

In the person of René, a new injustice is being committed against the Five. Forcing him to live alongside terrorist elements in Miami, truly unpunished killers, is to endanger his life. We hold the U.S. government responsible for the consequences of this brutal and foolish decision, in particular for René's physical integrity.

The judge's additional requisite preventing him, after his release, from "associating with or visiting specific places where individuals where individuals or groups such as terrorists...are known to frequent," is absurd. It is illogical, because it obliges René to live precisely where these groups or individuals are flourishing and acting with total impunity. ...the government of the United States knows who the terrorists are and where they are.

What government body will update René on those places where terrorists currently meet? Has the government, at the same time, banned them from approaching René? With this requisite, ratified once more by the judge, the government of the United States is acknowledging the presence of terrorists in its territory with a long record of criminal acts against Cuba, and is once again revealing the double standards of its much-trumpeted and hypocritical "war on terror."

We reiterate, as was clearly stated in the editorial published in Granma, the official organ of our Party, on September 28: "Although it is impossible to undo the injustice after so many years of unwarranted imprisonment and political attacks, the only minimally decorous action the government of the United States could take at this point would be to grant René permission to immediately return to Cuba, to put an end to the vengeful sentences imposed on Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernándo, and to allow the return of all Five to their homeland."

The unjust and inhumane treatment meted out to our five compañeros, Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, who fought to protect the Cuban people - and also American people - from terrorism is fully known. International solidarity with them has grown year after year. Heads of state and government, other high-ranking government officials, 10 Nobel Prize laureates, outstanding figures, organizations and social movement from all over the world have added their voices and actions to the demand of freedom for the Five.

This struggle will be greater still every day. Now is the time to condemn, with all our forces, the additional punishment being imposed on René González, and to demand of President Obama that he end the injustice for once and for all, that he permit René's immediate return to Cuba and that he use his constitutional authority to end the vengeful sentences handed down to Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernándo.

This is the sentiment of millions of Cuban women and men, who will not cease for an instant until we see them all here, alongside their loved ones and their people. As compañero Fidel said in the Reflection which he titled "The supervised shame of Obama," the unyielding resistance of Cuban patriots is symbolized by our five heroes. They will never give in! They will never surrender!

Today, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the abominable sabotage of the Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados, and honoring all Cuban men and women who lost their lives or have been left disabled as a consequence of state terrorism unleashed by an imperial power against this heroic people, we demand justice!

Glory to our heroes and martyrs! Freedom for the Five! ¡Patria o Muerte! ¡Venceremos! •



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