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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 1405 11th May 2012

Europe teeters ever closer to the abyss as the world imperialist crisis is forced onto country after country. But despite total paralysis for the bourgeois "democracy" racket the fake-"left" of all shades still refuses to develop the wide revolutionary perspective for the working class that is the only way to end Slump disaster and degeneration into world war three, the only "answer" capitalism has to its historic failure and incompetence. Urgent universal debate led and guided by revolutionary philosophy to build Leninist parties is crucial for the development of Leninist revolutionary leadership

European election meltdowns are not just satisfying defeats for the ruling class in UK, Greek and French elections (and a half dozen more places recently) but a further disaster for the disintegrating fraud of bourgeois "democracy", ever more exposed by the hurricane of economic collapse and trade war the capitalist crisis is bringing.

Consciously or not, workers everywhere are rejecting all bourgeois rule and its parliamentary con-trick.

It puts the revolutionary implications of the catastrophic meltdown credit and financial failure squarely in the middle of the table, most of all in Greece where a total vacuum now exists in the old way of running things and no government can be formed.

The great question of "what next?" is already being posed – and utterly failing to be answered by all the fake-"lefts" and their disastrous illusions in "democracy" – including the powerful KKE Greek Communist Party saturated with museum Stalinist revisionism and cover-ups.

As most sharply shown in Athens, the ruling class cannot rule in the old way, and the working class cannot live in the old way.

These are the first two great components of a revolutionary situation as Marxism and Leninism have long spelt out.

The third, conscious revolutionary leadership, is all that is missing.

Greece - street rebellions are frequentDecades of soft-brained revisionism (and its Trotskyist anti-communist alter ego) have not got the faintest idea what to do about it because their politics long ago retreated from any notion of the revolutionary seizing of power.

The working class is not prepared.

But spontaneous developments are ripening fast everywhere, in the titanic rebellions throughout the Middle East and Third World (starting as "terrorism" and "insurgency" but transformed to a new qualitatively different level of mass revolt by Egypt and Tunisia) and now in the wave of collapsing governments throughout Europe, taking down the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Spain, Ireland and more, and now tearing the patchwork fraud of the LibCon coalition to pieces and destroying the Sarkozy presidency.

The historic breakdown of the centuries long trickery and lies of the democracy racket is being undermined ever more sharply.

"Popular vote"??

As the UK local elections showed most clearly of all, the steadily growing contempt of the working class for all "democratic" process is now almost complete.

The turnout for elections has been dropping decade after decade as the constant stream of betrayals, corruption and self-seeking pocket-lining that constitutes bourgeois politics has become more and more obvious, a long-term historical lesson for the working class that is irreversible.

For the local elections the numbers who bothered at all was minimal, no more than about one third of the population – and that only from "those eligible to vote" as the weasel bourgeois press always presents the figures, ignoring the additional 10+% unregistered section (which cannot vote) of the population altogether. Turnout numbers always come right at the end of any analysis, if they get mentioned at all.

Such voting as there was anyway, mainly comprised a complete hate vote to punish the incumbents – not some positive belief in the frauds, and self-seeking mountebanks who make up most "representation".

The press hyped "cheering" in France by petty bourgeois sections for the French Blairite "socialist" (!!) François Hollande, is not the real story either - it is the hatred against the Sarkozy slump impositions.

Even any shallow petty bourgeois illusions in Hollande will last only until the first betrayals and the next lurch in the capitalist crisis.

In Greece the reality of total rejection is even more strongly clear with voter after voter declaring that they went out simply to punish the bourgeois parties and their complete betrayal of the ordinary masses.

The paralysed turmoil following in Athens demonstrates most of all, the great masses are completely hostile to all the old pretence and the hoodwinking "representatives".

Beneath that they are increasingly hostile to the entire dictatorship rule of money, markets and banks which is the reality of capitalism and always has been.

But STILL none of the "left" opportunist Labourites and the 57 varieties of fake-"left" who constantly hang out on their fringes (despite ostensible "Marxist" credentials) will set out a revolutionary perspective as the overriding need for the working class.

Just the opposite. They have immediately rushed to prop up the teetering remnants of this old parliamentary game just when the vacuum is almost complete and the working class everywhere is showing its contempt for the bourgeois pretences to be "offering a choice" and "letting the people have their say".

Capitalist rule is in reality a dictatorship of the ruling class, using parliamentary pretences to cover over the fact that all the real decisions in society are taken by big capital, for the interests of big capital.

It is far easier to rule (and exploit) a compliant population hoodwinked into thinking things are changing through "representation and debate" (especially by the great reformist "socialism" racket of opportunist Labourism and variants) than to control open rebellion against injustice and oppression.

But that requires at least some bribery and oiling of the wheels to make it work – paid for in the rich countries with the super-profits extracted from the Third World (who have never got any taste of "democratic reforms" at all in the sweatshops and near-slave plantations that make up their lives).

But it cannot be afforded any more.

If it has to therefore capitalism will use the most violent and vicious means to impose its rule, as the Middle East masses are learning all over again in the run-up to their promised Egyptian "election", with dozens being shot down almost daily as they continue their great revolutionary upheaval against gangster Western stooge rule.

And even that pales against the slaughtered thousands in the Libyan "civil" war counter-revolution, started, provoked and supported deliberately by the West primarily to head off the true "Arab Spring" demand for change (as it is further whipping up civil war chaos in Syria now to intimidate the whole region – now with a new level of foul Western-inspired terrorism and car bombing).

The ruling class is constantly preparing and waging brutal class war and not just in the "fascist threat" of mass Le Pen national chauvinism and racism, the EDL in Britain or the Swastika wearing violence of the deliberately hyped-up Golden Dawn violent Greek nationalism in Greece, but in mainstream state violence, surveillance, and persecution (such as the savage court sentences against last summers rioters eg).

Coups, "national" governments, police repression, martial law and plenty more are all on the cards for the coming period.

Instability and turmoil is now reaching a stage like that in the early 1930s Great Depression when European and US state governments everywhere repeatedly tumbled within weeks or months, none able to deal with the disastrous failure and meltdown of world credit and trading system.

It ended in the tearing up of "democracy" (with all sides using the "coalition" trick and eventually imposing "emergency rule for wartime" and suspending elections, whether formally "Nazi" or not) and in the greatest war disaster and destruction even seen, a hundred times even more devastating than the horrific 1914-18 world war just twenty years previously (also caused by capitalist economic trade war conflict and struggles for world colonial markets).

Things are far worse now, the now US dominated monopoly capitalist world profit systems credit-stretched a thousand times further than ever before with paper dollars.

The unstoppable implosion begun in 2007-8 is the greatest ever historic failure of the profit system.

It is the underlying factor driving all historical development and conflict.

The catastrophe it is causing, inevitable and irrevocably unfolding, is already deeper and more widespread then anything before despite the ruling class pretence of "upturn and growth" being just over the horizon "as soon as we go throough a little belt tightening to sort out our finances".

There is no sorting out that can be done except a massive destruction of the great mountains of "surplus" capital that have continuously accumulated, all jostling for profitable investment outlets and unable to find them because the exploitation of billions of workers to make these accumulations, has left those same workers in relative penury, unable to afford to buy the products they produce (See Marx and Lenin quotes EPSR box and the huge body of Marxist and Leninist analysis of capitalism produced over 100 years and never disproved).

Twice in the twentieth century the world war path has been the only answer to this vicious spiral of collapse and Slump, diverting mass attention from the real cause of their misery onto "enemies abroad", and scapegoated victims like trade unionists, communists and then Jews and Gypsies, and eventual military destruction to clear the ground of competition, leaving space for the "victors" to start all over – their few remaining concentrations of capital temporarily able to grow again in the wreckage.

It is unfolding once more towards the greatest ever disaster, with war and war provocations by capitalism and particularly its dominant "topdog" USA power now non-stop for nearly 20 years since the Nazi-NATO blitzing of Serbia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somallia,much of Pakistan, Libya and Syria, and drum banging demonisation and scapegoating constantly readying the next victims like Iran and Sudan, to keep the war fever on the boil.

The unravelling disaster of the credit crunch has only just begun and it cannot stop this side of the greatest destructive "sorting out" ever seen in history if capitalism is to survive – far beyond the last great inter-imperialist fight in 1939 which killed 70M people and destroyed most of Europe, much of the USSR, Japan and parts of the Middle East and Far East.

Just what form it takes, in a world where the great dominant power of the US is a hundred times more powerful than any other of its nearest rivals, remains to be seen – piecemeal wars or a worldwide simultaneous conflagration is still unclear.

It might even be that the Nazi (shock and awe) intimidation of the planet underway for 20 years to make it pay for the continuing survival of the totally bankrupt US economy, forces its fearful lesser rivals to impose such deprivation that revolution erupts directly – as is partly the case with Europe now suffering under the lash of the "world markets".

The complexities need constant analysis.

But still the entire spectrum of fake- "lefts" has got nothing to say about the only way out of the unfolding world disaster - revolution.

Plenty of them claim to be Marxists and pay lip-service to the idea in masthead statements and formalised "what we stand for columns" but not one of them puts the urgent need for a total revolutionary perspective on world events at the heart of the all their understanding.

Until that happens the world can only flounder in ever growing disaster and confusion.

It is not a question of calling "to the barricades now, comrades" (though take a look at Athens currently and such slogans would not seem out of place even yet).

The tiny EPSR, struggling to rebuild Leninist perspectives and understanding in the world, is more aware than any that there is a mountain to climb to overcome the decades of philistinism and anti-communism deliberately foisted on the working class (by ruling class cultural and political dominance backed up by class-collaborating reformist opportunism), corrupting layer after layer with petty bourgeois complacency, great nation chauvinism, shallow consumerism and an overall defeatism that things can "never really change".

It is a question of making clear that the unfolding crisis offers the working class no other options but revolution.

But the entire fake-"left" spends its time doing the opposite.

The election of the French Blair-style "socialist" François Hollande in the French presidential election in particular is declared to represent a "triumph of democracy over austerity" a fatuous nonsense pumped out daily by the bourgeois "liberal" press, the opportunist Labourites and assorted Labour and TUC pandering "lefts".

A great hysteria about an alleged "renewal of the left" (meaning in the corrupt and self-seeking careerist parliament by the old reformism) has swept across Europe.

And if they do not directly parrot the same stuff, the entire fake-"left" circus of Trotskyite and Revisionist self-labelled "Marxists" (no such thing) more or less goes along with this, as they ALL, in various ways, called for voting in the last general election, with not a word of warning to the working class about the fraud that is parliamentary "democracy".

The Socialist Workers Party was once again calling on workers to "vote for Livingstone" in the municipal and mayoral elections, an even smellier prospect this time around than it was the first time, since Livingstone's pandering to the banks and "City" developers in office had further confirmed his rank careerism and opportunism, on top of his role in the first place in selling the fraudulent "mayoral" election claptrap to the working class.

The mayoral election was a diversionary nonsense by the Blairites to extend the whole confidence trick of "democracy" in the first place, pretending it "offered Londoners more control" when all it did was put an extra layer onto the "devolution" and "local government" setup, a cosmetic front of pretend localism which is entirely subservient to, and largely funded and therefore controlled by, national government.

And national government is entirely subservient to capital and big money interests anyway.

But none of this was being made clear.

The crypto-Trotskyite former revisionist CPGB Weekly Worker meanwhhile was calling for "critical support" (meaning support) for the "left" presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his lash-up with the Eurocommunist revisionist French CP in the run up first round French election.

But Mélenchon was offerening nothing but a more-radical-than-usual version of "left" reformism larded with phrases about "we demand a new distribution of wealth in favour of the workers and those in insecure employment; and we want public services that differ from those of a marketised society" and of course "rejecting austerity".

Not word about the only possible way to achieve such demands, or such convolutions as "use ecological planning to get out of the capitalist crisis; a greater public involvement in state affairs to counter our oligarchic democracy; and an exit plan from Nato and the Atlanticist strictures" which is the complete ending of capitalist rule.

What a gigantic fraud.

"Stopping austerity" is as fatuous a slogan as "Stop the War" pacifism, the other side of the idiot "protest" and "peaceful struggle" philosophies which post-war Stalinism fostered and stimulated because of its disastrous wrong turnings and retreat from clear revolutionary understanding, begun not long after the death of Lenin and steadily worsening and accumulating afterwards because of a failure to polemicise and hammer out political differences and establish the truth.

You might as well have a policy of "stopping the tide coming in".

That idealist notion – that man can impose his authority on the world by sheer willpower and wishes – was already being exposed as a philosophical nonsense by King Cnut's deliberate demonstration of royal powerlessness against the tide, over 1000 years ago.

No modern Cnuts - total Cnuts or otherwise - can alter the material reality of capitalist economies either.

Collapse and slump is built into a system of production for profit as Marx analysed in his titanic three volumes of Capital.

And degeneration into total war - underway now for two decades at least - is built into the modern imperialist form of monopoly capitalism as Lenin and later Bolshevik Marxists showed too, and as two devastating world wars have proven.

There is only one way to "stop war" or "stop Slump" and that is to end capitalism.

Hollande, or even "radical left" versions like Mélenchon, are not about to change anything.

Nor can they – however "sincere" their promises to "go for growth".

Whatever temporary band-aid economic gestures are made - like "holding the price of petrol for three months" – it is firstly insignificant in the teeth of the crisis, and secondly is simply part of pushing the crisis outwards from France onto the other, weaker, areas of capitalism, throughout the Third World, and on the fringes of Europe, already hammered by bankruptcy and failure.

The European bourgeoisie, fearful of riots, and the kind of vacuum now appearing in Greece, may allow a tiny relaxation in the harshness of the class-war crisis cuts being made, but only to lull the working class into dropping its guard and buying time for the real class war preparations being made, just as reformism has always made concessions in the teeth of revolution, most of all in the post-WW2 years throughout Europe when a disgusted European working class was in ferment at the Great Depression and war horrors.

But the scope for such reformist tactical manoeuvring is hugely limited by the crisis itself. Whatever scraps the more panicky bourgeois elements might want to "throw to the wolves" (and the ruling class is never going to give away much of the fabulous wealth it exploits from the masses), they are limited by the cutthroat competitiveness of the all powerful "international markets", (the concentrated expression of international bourgeois finance dominated mostly by US money) ready to move in and tear to shreds any economy which is not able to extract maximum surplus value from the working class (as Greece has suffered, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and more).

If the old reformism was workable any more there would not have been the 2008 credit crunch in the first place, which itself followed decades of extended credit (dollar printing), putting off the confrontations that the underlying contradictions of capitalism have been making more and more necessary for capitalism, for decades.

Hollande like the Labourite fraud in the UK is the most cynical cover-up of the reality of capitalist slump disaster with its pretences that austerity is a "policy" and not the expression of capitalist catastrophe itself.

Even more cynically they all know that the raging crisis has only temporarily been held off by the Quantitative Easting issue of hundreds of billions of completely fantasy and worthless dollars, Euros, and other currency, pumped into the world system to keep it upright, and to allow the most powerful economies like the US to push the crisis outwards (by devaluing their own currencies, cutting debt repayments, and the price of their exports, stepping up trade war pressures).

In various technical ways this manipulated "stability" must re-emerge, as it is in the "double dip" recession in the UK for example.

Far more disastrous and precipitous melt-down is pending as even the bourgeois economists warn, impressionistic and one-sided as their analyses are:

In May 2010, when David Cameron and Nick Clegg were negotiating the terms of their coalition agreement and Greece received its first package of financial support, the idea that Europe was about to be gripped by a crisis that would put monetary union in peril was ridiculed. On Monday, as the euro fell on the foreign exchanges, the Greek stock market plunged and investors piled into the safe haven of German bunds, it no longer seems quite so far-fetched.

The jittery mood in the markets reflects the fear that the turmoil of the past five years – the sub-prime crisis, the near-death experience of the banks, the deepest slump since the Great Depression, the sovereign debt crisis – is about to reach a climax over the coming months with a battle for the euro's very survival.

For two years, Europe has been force-fed a diet of unrelenting austerity. The crisis began in the private sector – in over-leveraged banks and wild financial speculation – but such was its impact on consumer spending, investment and trade that governments have seen their public finances dive deep into the red. Spending cuts have been imposed, pensions have been made less generous, and taxes have gone up. The policy has been an economic disaster. Growth has collapsed, unemployment has soared and – unsurprisingly – budget deficits have been much bigger than forecast. Election results from France and Greece show that it has also been a political disaster: voters have decisively rejected Euro-sadism and made it clear they want their politicians to chart a different course. Democracy has trumped austerity.

In the fantasy world of policymakers in Brussels, the eurozone would fast-track to full fiscal union, but there is no realistic chance of this happening any time soon. Nor does there seem much prospect of ameliorating austerity with a growth strategy that would give the more vulnerable countries a fighting chance of meeting the currently unrealistic deficit reduction targets.

Hollande may be talking about "a new start" but his slogan finds no real echo in Berlin, where the German government was insisting that the weekend elections change nothing of substance. To be sure, Merkel emphasised the need for growth in her message of congratulation to the new French president but while the rhetoric may change the German policy stance promises to be unflinching.

Greece, according to Merkel, must grind its way through its structural adjustment programme; France must adhere to the fiscal compact thrashed out late last year; there will be no Eurobonds to transfer resources from rich to poor parts of the eurozone, and no extension of the European Central Bank's remit so that it can emulate the quantitative easing programmes of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

The deep problems of monetary union are encapsulated in this tension. The eurozone is a currency union not a federal state, which means it lacks a single finance minister calling the shots and a centralised budget like that in the US or the UK. Germany is by far the biggest and most powerful nation in the eurozone, and, while committed to keeping the single currency alive, takes a conservative approach to monetary and fiscal policy. Over the past two years, it has been able to impose this approach on Europe's governments but not on their voters, who have thrown out incumbent governments whenever they have had the opportunity.

Forecasting what is likely to happen in financial markets is a mug's game, but it's a fair bet that the next few weeks will not be pretty. Fears that the election of François Hollande as the new French president will lead to a rift between anti-austerity Paris and pro-austerity Berlin is one concern. Yet Hollande's deficit reduction plan is not significantly different from that proposed by Nicolas Sarkozy, and it is likely that once he gets his feet under the table at the Elysée Palace, Hollande will soft pedal on some of his more controversial policies. While it is still early days, there was no knee-jerk sell off in French bondson Monday, reflecting the feeling that Merkel and Hollande will settle their differences to keep the Berlin-Paris axis strong.

A bigger immediate threat is that a Greek exit from the euro – rated as a 50-75% probability by Citigroup – will have a domino effect on Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Jason Conibear, director of foreign exchange firm Cambridge Mercantile, said the euro was currently as attractive to investors as a toxic derivative during the sub-prime crisis: "There's every chance the euro will go into freefall in the weeks ahead against all the major currencies. Investors are waking up to the fact that the once-ridiculous notion the euro could collapse is increasingly the most likely outcome."

On past form, the response of Europe's policymakers will be to muddle through, to kick the can down the road to play for time. But that is no longer a realistic option.

Europe is heading deeper into a double-dip recession, the banks are on life support, and there is nothing resembling a Plan B as opposition to austerity stiffens. As Tristan Cooper, sovereign debt analyst at Fidelity Worldwide Investments, noted: "The irresistible force of German austerity has clashed with the immovable object of Greek popular resistance." There is now a stark choice. Unless the terms of Greece's bailout are made less onerous, it is heading for the euro exit door. The warning signs for the commission, the ECB and the IMF are there: sow the wind and you will reap the whirlwind.

Slump agonies will anyway continue to mount up for the working class everywhere, with savage unemployment, wage and pension cuts, escalating homelessness, crime and chaos mounting day by day.

Scapegoating deliberate official racism, "terrorist" scares, police violence, universal thought control and surveillance are the nightmare picture of life domestically in even the "free-est" of countries.

Above all the monstrous hypocrisy of capitalism's now continuous international warmongering and oppression - the great Nazi diversion from its historic failure and incompetence – grows ever more grotesque.

No amount of pledges by movements, however "left", to "reject austerity" and "expand the economy" and "go for growth as a way out of the recession" can alter the economic disaster which is unrolling.

The catastrophe facing workers everywhere in the world is nothing to do with "austerity policies" any more than it was anything to do with "Labour profligacy".

Which is not to make excuses for any of them; forcing cuts on the working class is outright class war by the ruling class desperate to salvage its greed ridden system.

And Labour debt creation was a giant fraud to cover up the already unrolling collapse, hiding the oncoming catastrophe from the working class.

The entire fake-"left" went along with that reformist lie, deriding and denouncing the tiny voice of Leninism as "silly old-fashioned catastrophist dogmatists" for decades.

But what they never did was WARN the working class that the capitalist crisis is unstoppable and will roll on relentlessly whatever pretences are made about saying "no to unemployment" and "making the bosses" pay, the shallow mantras of the entire fake- "left" circus in practice, whatever their token pretences and lip-service phrases about "overthrowing capitalism".

Nowhere demonstrates this more sharply than Greece where the assorted fake-"lefts" of all shades have been shown up within days of the crisis election for their complete failure to give the working class the crucial revolutionary perspectives more and more glaringly needed and most of all to build any kind of unity and struggle in the working class.

The Syriza group of alleged ex-communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, socialists and greens, given a massive vote of around 17% on the basis of "rejecting austerity" and "refusing the European loan bailout conditions" has floundered, accepting that it is "unable to form a government" – a failure built entirely within the boundaries of the bourgeois parliamentary framework and accepted as such despite much blowharding about street action.

And by Thursday it was being reported by the bourgeois press:

Syriza has sent a letter to the European authorities about the Greek bailout terms. But rather than a flat-out rejection, Alexis Tsipras has a subtler message -- saying all side must "rethink the entire context of the existing strategy." A softening of the language from Syriza would help to mend bridges with Brussels, and perhaps indicate political progress in Greece.

Its posturing bluster against the German-dominated European imperialist bullying of Greece via loan bailouts said nothing anyway to the working class about the capitalist crisis itself and the need for building a movement to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, the only way out of increasing slump and war disaster for all workers in Europe as well as in Greece, for all workers in the world.

Nor can it because the entire foundation of this "left" posing is built on petty bourgeois anti-communism, in 101 flavours of Trotskyism, "eco-warrior" reformist environmentalism, feminism, and the most wooden "Euro-communist" end of the revisionist spectrum, which has universally shamed itself for decades with constant capitulation to every anti-communist stunt going, from the bogus "trade union" Solidarnosc movement in Poland in the 1980s, the first successful counter-revolutionary movement funded and sponsored by the CIA and the Vatican.

(Though not the first attempt - Hungary in 1956 and the "Prague Spring" counter-revolution in 1968 were equally backed and lavishly funded by the West – with the Trotskyists cheering it all on. They might like to dwell on a recent throwaway phrase in a review of London "political" restaurants which reported of the famous Gay Hussar in Soho that:

"Old Labour used to love eating there," says Shaun Hill, now the chef at the Walnut Tree near Abergavenny, who cooked at the Gay Hussar in the early 70s. "But many of the kitchen staff were rightwing Hungarians who had done a runner from the country in 1956 and Austrians who fought with the Nazis in the second world war.")

The entire spectrum has even more shamefully betrayed the working class in the last two years with its swallowing of the foulest whipped up bourgeois world press onslaught of lies and distortions about Libya and now Syria, the ideological and propaganda preparations for the NATO-Nazi blitzkrieg which has wiped out large parts of the infrastructure and achievements of the Libyan bourgeois revolution killing thousands.

The sly argument that "we are not in favour of the NATO interventions" is less than useless once the basic position has been set up of alleged "totalitarian dictators who deserve to be brought down", a tricksy hands-in-the-air pseudo-innocence to cover up the class-collaborating collusion of all the petty bourgeoisie in the initial "condemning", and repetition of every foul slander and exaggeration against Gaddafi, Assad etc.

There is no need either for over-the-top museum Stalinist support and "defence" for any of the demonised regimes in order to make the Leninist understanding that these attacks are part of the monstrous general war drive of capitalism to intimidate the world and to suppress the revolutionary upsurge of the Middle East, which is growing and developing all the time.

Far from it.

The only clear understanding for the working class can be to want to see the defeat and humiliation of imperialism, by Damascus if that is how the current low-level proxy warmongering (via discontented and deliberately whipped up sections of the Syrian population) pans out, but without implying the slightest support for this Ba'athist nationalism which is little better than Saddam Hussein, hostile to genuine revolutionary politics (as opposed to the local revisionist compromisers) and vacillating and compromising over its anti-imperialism.

Assad is not any kind of future for the working class, and to call uncritically for support of the bourgeois nationalist regime as the Lalkar/Proletarian does, not only causes confusion but is positively reactionary, when what is required for Syrian workers like all others is the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.

Suspend the anti-Assad struggle while the bigger enemy is attacking but without giving a sand-grain to support this bourgeois regime.

As the EPSR has many times said, and particularly over the Western onslaught against the similar Saddam controlled Iraq (also "supported" by Lalkar):

This sad jibber is all the same daft 'armchair socialism' but from different angles.

None start from imperialist CRISIS and the enormous possibilities coming soon of the history-making DEFEAT and overthrow of imperialism resuming, via communist revolutionary process.

"Defeat for Western imperialism" is the only slogan for the whole world in this situation.

But for lefts to continue to attack the Saddam regime themselves while making this call would make nonsense of it.

Yet it would be equally hopelessly misleading of the Iraqi masses to help create any illusions or confidence in the corrupt and degenerate Saddam regime by saying its presence is needed in a military bloc with the left if imperialist invasion is to be defeated.

Utter nonsense. The Iraqi people can defeat imperialist aggression, and in reality do it far better if there were no Saddam degenerate regime than if it staggered on.

But to press on with civil war actions and sloganising against Saddam while in the middle of an imperialist onslaught on Iraq which the Saddam regime for its own rotten interests was actually fighting against too, would be needlessly dangerous tactical folly.

"DEFEAT FOR WESTERN IMPERIALISM -but no confidence in Saddam" is the Bolshevik solution from the ABC of Marxism-Leninism (compare with the Kornilov-Kerensky situation, August 1917).


Meanwhile the KKE (Greek Communist Party) lauded by the museum Stalinist Lalkar/CPGB-ML has itself kept the perspectives for the working class equally bound within the parliamentary framework despite larding its speeches with talk of overthrowing capitalism and even of the need for a "revolutionary party".

But all this is talk "for later" while the current perspective for workers remains dismally limited, demanding:

A powerful KKE at the ballot box. We must rise up, altogether with the people. And if we are stronger, the people will be stronger against the offensive that will be launched against them in the following period (…) Every negotiator, whether right-wing or left-wing, will come away empty handed from the EU bodies in relation to the needs of the people. For that reason we must make steps forward so that we can develop a vision of the radical change that will come in Greece and other European countries".

But what "radical change" and how is it to be achieved? Simply pulling out of the EU seems to be the KKE's answer, according to the party website report of an election rally led by general secretary Aleka Papariga on Wednesday after May Day:

The working men and women, the poor employees, professionals and farmers, even if they did not participate in strikes and other mobilizations, can and must vote with their class and political instinct as the main criterion.

The participation of Greece in the EU has brought you the experience that the accession benefited the monopolies exclusively and was at the expense of the peoples.

All Europe has tried out the liberal and social-democratic parties, the coalition of liberal and social-democratic parties, coalition governments with mutated left and communist parties. You have seen centre-left coalition governments in France and Italy, unfortunately with communists inside, play an active role in the dismantling of Yugoslavia through war, blackmail and intimidation.

After the Maastricht Treaty which was voted for by all the parties with the KKE as the only exception, the plundering of popular gains in Europe began. They then found the opportunity to pass a treaty without the required popular resistance, as the labour movement was in retreat, while capitalist restoration in the socialist countries was underway. On this terrain, parties nostalgic for Hitler and fascism emerged, using the existing immigration problem as a pretext. A problem created by the EU and Greece, a country which supported the imperialist wars and the looting of the peoples.

The EU has played its own role in the emergence of such parties, as its official ideology today is the anti-historical equation of communism with fascism.

Only a very strong radical revolutionary labour movement with solid alliances can drive quasi-fascist and fascists views to the margins, so that they remain ridiculous little groups. No other proposal can deal with such phenomena in a substantial way, using just anti-fascist phraseology and curses.

We address all of you, whose interests are irreconcilable with interests of the monopolies. Try to find hope again by overwhelmingly strengthening the KKE at the ballot box. A strong KKE means a strong people. The KKE alone, before the clouds had even appeared on the horizon, predicted and issued warnings, when the other parties identified the EU with security and prosperity."

But this is disastrous. The KKE no more spells out a revolutionary perspective for the working class than the Trots and others – despite the phrasemongering.

And its "perspective" of blaming the European Union and the Euro structure is utterly misleading, no better than the reactionary Little Englander "solutions" advanced by the Scargillite SLP as "the answer to the problems of Europe".

Of course the Euro was a mechanism for the more powerful imperialist countries to bleed white the weaker economies on the periphery, but simply pulling out is no more than reformist nationalism at best and completely misleading and heading the working class off from the understanding of the real issue at worst.

Defy the banks and their impositions but without feeding out reactionary illusions that it will change anything about the crisis which will hammer the working class inside or out.

All this rigmarole in the end is to achieve a long list of...reforms.

No Leninist movement can or would rule out using all the available mechanisms and platforms presented by bourgeois "democracy" to reach the greatest number of the working class and battle and agitate for revolutionary understanding.

And that can mean all sorts of tactical and specific slogans appropriate to the circumstances.

But Lenin made it clear a thousand times over that the purpose of participation in parliaments could only be to expose parliament and capitalist rule for what it is, a dictatorship.

The Greek workers, like the working class everywhere need the broadest and widest ranging revolutionary perspectives of the entire world shattering and epochal crisis now unfolding everywhere, and setting the crisis struggles of the European working class in the context of the enormous rising Third World rebellion.

But what has the KKE to say about the world warmongering of US imperialism?

Only that :

• Any involvement of Greece to a possible imperialist war against Iran and Syria be prevented. The non-compliance with any "treaty obligation" that entails the direct or indirect involvement of our country.

• The base at Suda not be used and it be immediately closed.

• The return home of the Greek troops which are outside the borders.

• The cancellation of all the military exercises and the agreements of military cooperation with Israel."

This is just pacifist reformism, the hallmark of revisionism, without a word of explanation of the origins and significance of this latest scapegoating and demonisation, as imperialism's next step in stepping up its world warmongering, and as a continuation of its response to the Egyptian mass rebellion.

Zionism is preparing war on IranIn what way do such demands give the Greek working class any sense of the huge worldwide revolt against imperialism of which its own struggle is just part?

The world is desperately in need of the deepest and most wide ranging understanding of the enormous scale and scope of the crisis now unfolding and the challenges that it confronts the working class with, because that is the way in which the working class will be inspired and led to carry through the revolutionary struggles which will finally allow a rational socialist world to be built, under the firm control of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

It will get no such thing from a party which still covers up the disastrous role played by the Stalin-led Moscow retreats from revolution and the tragic mistakes that led to, including the abandonment and holding back of the Greek revolutionary partisan movement from 1944 onwards, because of Stalin's illusions in "doing deals" with allegedly "non-aggreesive" imperialism, primarily the UK and US which went on to slaughter 1000s of brave and heroic fighters.

Until these questions, and a thousand others, about the mistakes, flaws and tragic crimes of revisionism can be talked about and examined there is no means of building the kind of leadership in the working class which is more and more urgently required.

Build Leninism.

Don Hoskins



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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Guantánamo is, and will continue to be, Cuban territory

Manuel E. Yepe

WITH justified anger, millions of people throughout the world are demanding the closure of the detention center operated by the United States on the military base it illegally occupies in Cuban territory. But this demand overlooks another equally reprehensible crime committed by the same offender.

Surprisingly, some days ago Jonathan M. Hansen, a lecturer at Harvard University, wrote an article entitled "Give Guantánamo back to Cuba" which made it onto the pages of The New York Times, in which he denounces "our continued occupation of Guantánamo itself" and states, "It is past time to return this imperialist enclave to Cuba."

The illegality of maintaining this military base on Cuban territory has been silenced for over a century by a Western mass media ruled by Washington's propaganda interests, while Cuba has always taken care to make its claims through diplomatic channels in order to avoid facilitating any pretext for a military aggression on the part of the United States, arguing Cuban action regarding its unwanted presence.

Professor J. M. Hansen recalls in his article that "from the moment the United States government forced Cuba to lease the Guantánamo Bay naval base to us, in June 1901, the American presence there ...has served to remind the world of America's long history of interventionist militarism."

"Few gestures would have as salutary an effect on the stultifying impasse in American-Cuban relations as handing over this coveted piece of land," Hansen notes.

Guantánamo prison and torture camp illegally on Cuban territory

"The circumstances by which the United States came to occupy Guantánamo are as troubling as its past decade of activity there," he further stated.

Hansen recalls that in April 1898, U.S. forces intervened in the Cuban struggle for independence when it was all but won, thus transforming the Cuban War of Independence into what Americans still call the Spanish-American War. American officials occupied the island for three years, then excluded the Cuban Independent Army from armistice negotiations and denied the country a seat at the Paris peace conference.

Although U.S. statements made at that time included the assurance that it would not seek to "intervene in the sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control" of Cuba, shortly after the war strategic imperatives took precedence over respect for Cuban independence, the Times article reads.

General Leonard Wood, appointed military governor of Cuba by President William McKinley, introduced provisions that became known as the Platt Amendment, which were highly repudiated and included one guaranteeing the United States the right to intervene at will in Cuba's affairs, and another providing for the sale or perpetual lease of naval stations in Cuba.

Addressing delegates to the Cuban Constitutional Convention, General Wood informed them that the only alternative to the amendment was continued occupation. The Cubans got the message, underlined Hansen.

Over the next two decades, on repeated occasions the U.S. dispatched Marines "to protect its interests in Cuba," and approximately 44,000 Americans were established in Cuba to promote capital investment there.

Hansen compares the situation in Cuba with that of the United States had the French decided to remain in the country at the end of the American Revolution, refusing to allow Washington and his army to be present at the truce in Yorktown. "Imagine that they had denied the Continental Congress a seat at the Treaty of Paris, occupied New York Harbor, dispatched troops to quash Shays' and other rebellions and then immigrated to the colonies in droves, snatching up the most valuable land."

Hansen maintains that the U.S. occupied Guantánamo in a similar context. It is a history excluded from U.S. text books and neglected in the discussions about terrorism, international law and the reach of executive power. But it is a history known in Cuba and throughout Latin America, which explains why Guantánamo remains a glaring symbol of hypocrisy around the world, even without referring to the last decade, Hansen reiterates.

If President Obama were to acknowledge this history and initiate the process of returning Guantánamo to Cuba, Hansen states, "he could begin to put the mistakes of the last 10 years behind us, not to mention fulfill a campaign pledge.

"The act would rectify an age-old grievance and lay the groundwork for new relations with Cuba and other countries in the Western Hemisphere and around the globe," Hansen affirms in his recent article in the Times.



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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Notes from a Guantánamo inmate

Murat Kurnaz


I left Guantánamo Bay in a very similar way to my arrival five years earlier, hands manacled to the waist, from the waist to my ankles, and ankles to a bolt in the floor of the airplane. My ears and eyes were covered, my head hooded, and although I was the only detainee on that flight, they drugged me and I was guarded by at least 10 soldiers. This time, however, my track suit was blue instead of the orange of Guantánamo. Later they told me that my military flight in a c-17 from Guantánamo to my homeland's Ramstein Air Base, Germany, cost more than one million dollars.

When we landed, U.S. officers removed the chains before handing me over to a delegation of German officials. The U.S. officer offered to handcuff my wrists again with a new pair of plastic cuffs. But the German official in charge energetically dismissed that idea, "He has not committed any crime, he is a free man."

I was not a good high school student in Bremen, but I remember learning that, after World War II, the Americans insisted on trying war criminals in Nuremberg and that the trials helped to transform Germany into a democratic country. That's strange, I thought, while I was on the tarmac and observed the Germans giving a basic lesson to the Americans on the law of war.

How did I get to this point? This Wednesday [January 11 2012] is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the detention camp on the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. I am not a terrorist. I have never been a member of Al Qaeda nor have I supported it. I don't even understand its ideas. I am the son of Turkish immigrants who came to Germany in search of work. My father has worked for years in a Mercedes plant. In 2001, when I was 18 years old, I married a devout Turkish woman and wanted to discover more about Islam in order to lead a better life. I didn't have much money. Some of the old people in my city suggested that I should travel to Pakistan to learn to study the Koran with a religious group in that country.

I made my plans just before 9/11. I was 19 years old, I was naïve and didn't believe that the war in Afghanistan could have anything to do with Pakistan or with my journey. So I just went ahead.

I was in Pakistan, on a public bus, en route to the airport to return to Germany, when the police halted the vehicle in which I was riding. I was the only non-Pakistani on the bus - some people joke how my red hair makes me look Irish - and the police asked me to get off the bus so they could check my papers and ask me some questions. German journalists had told me that the same thing had happened to them. I was not a journalist but a tourist, I explained. The police detained me, but promised that they would soon let me go to the airport. After a few days, the Pakistanis handed me over to U.S. officials. At that point, I felt relived to be in American hands; the Americans, I thought, would treat me fairly.

Later on I found out that the U.S. paid a $3,000 reward for my person. I didn't know it then, but apparently the U.S. distributed thousands of flyers all over Afghanistan, promising that people who handed over alleged Taliban or Al Qaeda members, would receive, according to the text of one flyer, "enough money to take care of their families, their village, their tribe for the rest of their lives." As a result, many people ended up imprisoned in Guantánamo.

They took me to Kandahar in Afghanistan, where the American interrogators put the same questions to me for a number of weeks: Where is Bin Laden? Were you with Al Qaeda? No, I told them, I was not with Al Qaeda. No, I don't have the least idea where Bin Laden is to be found. I asked my interrogators to please call Germany to find out who I was. During the interrogations, they held my head under water and hit me in the stomach; they didn't call it waterboarding, but that's what it was. I was convinced that I would drown.

Once they chained me to the ceiling of a building and I was hanging by my hands for days. A doctor occasionally checked me over to see if I was all right; then they would leave me hanging again. The pain was unbearable.

After two months in Kandahar, they transferred me to Guantánamo. There were more blows, interminable solitary confinement, ice-cold temperatures and extreme heat, days without sleep. The interrogations continued, always the same questions. I told them my story time and time again, my name, my family, why I was in Pakistan. Nothing that I told them satisfied them. I realized that my interrogators were not interested in the truth.

In spite of all this, I looked for ways of retaining my humanity. I have always liked animals. I began to hide a slice of bread from my meals and feed the iguanas that approached the wire fence. When the officials found me out, they punished me with 30 days of isolation and darkness.

I remained confused about basic problems: why was I there? With all its money and intelligence, the U.S. couldn't honestly believe that I was from Al Qaeda, right?

After two and a half years in Guantánamo, in 2004 they took me before what the officials called a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, during which a military officer said that I was an "enemy combatant" because a German friend of mine had committed a suicide attack in 2003, when I was already in Guantánamo. I couldn't believe that my friend had done something so demented but, if he had, I had nothing to do with it.

A couple of weeks later they told me that I had a legal visit. They took me to a special cell and Baher Azmy, a U.S. law professor, came in. At first, I didn't believe that he was a real lawyer; the interrogators often lied to us and tried to mislead us. But Mr. Azmy had a note written in Turkish from my mother, which led me to trust him. (My mother found a lawyer in my native city in Germany, who found out that lawyers from the Constitutional Rights Center were representing Guantánamo detainees; the Center assigned my case to Mr. Azmy). He believed in my innocence and rapidly discovered that my "suicide attack" friend was, in fact, safe and sound in Germany.

Mr. Azmy, my mother and my German lawyer helped to pressure the German government to secure my release. Recently, Mr. Azmy made public a series of U.S. intelligence documents from 2002 to 2004, which showed that both countries suspected that I was innocent. One of the documents said that the U.S. military guards thought I was dangerous because I prayed during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.

Now, five years alter my release, I am trying to forget my terrible memories. I have returned home and we have a beautiful daughter. In spite of everything, it is hard not to think about my days in Guantánamo and to ask myself how it is possible that a democratic government could detain people in intolerable conditions and without a fair trial.

(Reproduced in Granma which declares it from Rebelión website - January 2012)

(*) All references to Guantánamo are to the U.S. Naval Base in the province, illegally occupied against the will of the Cuban people.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Inseparable part of Argentine national territory

by Laura Bécquer Paseiro

ON April 2, 1982. Argentina and the United Kingdom fought a war for sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands, which resulted in the death of 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British troops and three civilians from the islands.

This dispute dates back to January 2, 1833, when Captain John James Onslow of the British Navy communicated to the Argentine authorities on the islands that he was taking possession of them and asked them to leave the area.

Malvinas mapThe few Argentines who lived in these territories were forced to leave by the British expedition, which used violence to take control of the archipelago and established a small outpost there, thus confirming the colonial nature of the conflict.

The islands, steadfastly claimed by the Argentine government, are perceived as an inseparable part of its territory illegally occupied by an invading power. In this context, they are part of the province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, where they are located together with South Georgia, South Sandwich and the South Orkney Islands. The dispute includes the surrounding maritime areas.

Various analysts have put forward the theory of the existence of a British Intelligence operation in the 1982 war. Argentine workers were sent to Georgia and raised their national flag there. This provided the pretext needed for British indignation and the mobilization of its warships to the area. In this way, if Argentina had remained impassive to the provocation, it would have supposed an implicit renunciation of its sovereign rights over the Malvinas. The trap worked, as described by Bruno Tondini in the text "Malvinas Islands, their history, war and economy, and juridical aspects and their link with humanitarian law."

For the British strategy it was essential for Buenos Aires to play the role of aggressor. "The British objective was to seek the possibility of a military reaction with all the resources of the Royal Navy, as planned since 1976 and, ignoring the UN, act in its own defense and construct its "Falkland Fortress." Such a fortress would totally liquidate our assertion of sovereignty," Tondini states.

In her memoirs, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher highlighted the importance of the British victory as a personal triumph of her government. It contributed to her remaining in power for two further terms at a moment when conflicts were damaging the fabric of British society. It is a fact that the Iron Lady rejected any possibility of a negotiated solution.

In this context, in one of his Reflections, Fidel described the "criminal dispossession signified by stripping Argentina of a little piece of its territory in the extreme south of the continent. There, the British deployed their decadent military apparatus to murder rookie Argentine recruits wearing summer clothing in the middle of winter. The United States, and its ally Augusto Pinochet, shamelessly supported them."

It is totally correct that the U.S. shamelessly supported the United Kingdom during the war. Its objective: to shore up the latter's dominion in an area which is part of the nato integrated defense system and American military plans in the South Atlantic.

Declassified documents from the U.S. Department of State and the cia reveal details of White House participation during the Malvinas War. In Página/12, journalist Martín Granovsky notes a letter from President Ronald Reagan to his Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Reagan says, "after reading your report on your talks in London, the difficulty involved in achieving a compromise which will allow Maggie (Thatcher) to continue and at the same time pass the test of "equity" with our Latin American neighbors is clear. In those conditions there is not much margin for maneuver in the British position and one cannot be optimistic."

Reagan proposed that Haig should insist on a multinational presence and obtain from Leopoldo Galtieri (who de facto occupied the Argentine presidency from 1981 to 1982, during the so-called Proceso de Reorganización Nacional dictatorship), a commitment to withdraw his forces in return for what was being asked of the United Kingdom in terms of a minimum distance for its nuclear submarines.

Washington's backing of Britain ratified the farcical and inoperable nature of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, the Rio Pact of 1947. Its Article 3.1 establishes that an armed attack by any state on an American state will be considered as an attack on all American states. The Rio Pact has been invoked at least 20 times, but only in accordance with U.S. interests, whether to judge Cuba or to justify its so-called war on terror.


Thirty years after that military escalation, Buenos Aires is still demanding its rights over the South Atlantic archipelago, while confronting a London all the more intransigent and arrogant.

Dispatching Prince William to the islands and the presence of the powerful hms Dauntless destroyer in the waters of the South Atlantic, are not in accordance with the Argentine policy of negotiating and resolving the conflict through dialogue. Obviously, London rejects this line and has opted to ignore the recommendations of the UN Decolonization Committee and the General Assembly Resolution 2065, which urges both sides to seek a peaceful solution to the dispute.

Argentina described these recent actions as a provocation "to show the British military presence in an area of peace where there is no armed conflict."

In response, the UK government merely upped the tone by further militarizing the South Atlantic in violation of regional agreements for the area's denuclearization. Prime Minister David Cameron proclaimed, as did Thatcher in her time, the right to use nuclear submarines to kill.

Argentine political analyst Atilio Borón considers that, for a long time, "the country was trapped in the paralyzing consequences of the ignominious defeat inflicted 30 years ago - the result of the genocidal dictatorship's incompetence, bravado and demagogy - and the dead end of a diplomatic strategy which, despite perseverance, bore no fruit because the misnamed 'world order' is in real terms a cruel and unjust disorder in which the law of the strongest rules almost without exception."

However, valuable support for the cause in the Latin American region demonstrates that Argentina is not alone in its legitimate demand. The peoples south of the Rio Bravo have made common cause with this battle, waged for 179 years in rejection of British colonialism. The UK government seems unaware of the fact that the world is changing, and the contempt of the hemisphere and the majority of peoples toward the oppressor is steadily growing.

Regional bodies such as celac, mercosur, cosur, unasur and alba have expressed valiant, strong positions. Their statements share a call for the renewal of negotiations and the confirmation that this southern archipelago occupied by Britain is an inseparable part of Argentine national territory.

Although the solution to this prolonged controversy has not yet taken form, the firmness with which the Argentine government and people have maintained their just demand is admirable. [Granma]

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