Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & 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

Back issues

No 1428 1st July 2013

Stitch ups and demagogy at the People’s Assembly demonstrate that the Coalition of Resistance of Trotskyists, “left” trade unions and assorted revisionists are still as far away from revolutionary understanding as they have ever been and still as desperate to avoid any open discussion and polemic that would expose their opportunism and constant cover-ups. More left pressure and “refusal to accept austerity” will not challenge anything essentially about the savagely unrolling capitalist Slump catastrophe and the war drive the ruling class is trying, to get out of its historic failure and collapse. A giant rally that avoids even using the word “revolution” is a million miles from building the only movement that can unify the working class – one of open polemic to establish scientific Marxist leadership

In the teeth of the unending and world shattering economic crisis and vicious war provocations in the Middle East, all forms of reformist struggle are being more deeply quickly exposed than ever as the giant opportunist fraud they always were.

The constant deluge of revelations about universal state spying, anti-left police provocateurs, horrific war torture and killing, concentrations camps, drone blitzing and remote assassination, along with the relentless degeneration of the catastrophic Slump bringing ever more savage cutbacks and “austerity” for the working class everywhere, should be enough to convince the dullest of brains that the old notions of persuading or “left pressuring” capitalism to improve things, is dead in the water.

Labourism no longer even pretends to have the interests of the working class in mind; the New Labourites’ disgusting capitulation to “austerity” workhouse savagery is barely capable of even the token protests and hoodwinking reformist promises of “better times” its “old” Labour forerunners would once have made, while the official TUC behind it has been supine and silent now for half a decade of economic meltdown, just when its union power should most be wielded.

Popverty and unemployment is rife in the USA - 40 million live without decency “Freedom and democracy” is a gigantic lie, capitalist prosperity a fraud and parliamentary change for the better the greatest confidence trick in all history.

The time is ripe for the working class to build the revolutionary politics that alone can take the world out of the worst catastrophic failure and disintegration it has ever seen. The world has hit the buffers, and the capitalist system has crashed into disaster, being strangled by its own contradictions (as Marx showed - see application page).

It is an epochal failure, not just “a crisis” but the slow disintegration of an entire historical class rule period, the 800 years of bourgeois dominance, now enmeshed in meltdown Depression and War caused by the nature of its ruthless exploitation and greed which, apart from being barbaric, grotesquely unfair, and tyrannically repressive, is also always bound to return to ever worse disasters of economic breakdown and war chaos.

There is no way out except to end this foul mess and completely rebuild the world on a new basis, tearing down the old corrupt, brutal and arrogant class rule and establishing a planned socialist society worldwide with the common ownership of all means of production.

The rotten fabric of this society has never presented a greater opportunity.

But it is a change that can only be directed and controlled by the authority of the working class taking and staying in power (dictatorship of the proletariat) to restructure and re-educate all society with its revolutionary leadership until rationality and self-control is sufficiently universal for all need of state authority to wither away and full communal, community, communism to flourish.

That can only be reached by the firmest of class rule to overturn and then suppress the reactionary and counter-revolutionary rule of the bourgeoisie, a struggle guided by the scientific understanding of the capitalist meltdown, and the balance of class forces with the ordinary people trying to move forwards and being held back by entrenched ruling class interests.

Without such a decisive transformation the capitalist crisis will continue to degenerate into the greatest chaos, collapse and destruction in history, already warmed up in non-stop warmongering and world terrorising by the US Empire.

Everywhere is suffering desperate stagnation as whole countries go bankrupt, and tilting over the edge of a far greater financial disaster than the collapses of 2008.

It is held off solely by the printing of endless fantasy money – the Quantitative Easing that has solved nothing and makes eventual “credit crunch” even more cataclysmic.

In the midst of this increasingly intolerable existence for ordinary people, which cries out for the widest and deepest revolutionary perspectives of Marxism-Leninism, what do the Heinz 57 varieties (and more) of petty bourgeois pretend revolutionaries throw up as a challenge to fill the vacuum (left by this rotten reformism)?

Yet more of the same old “left pressure” and demagogic protest which has achieved nothing but hamstringing workers understanding for decades, to judge by last week’s much heralded “People’s Assembly”.

Didactic speeches and tame rhetoric were pumped onto a passively accepting audience, supposed dutifully to make the occasional standing ovation and otherwise say little and think even less.

Not a word was heard about the depth and significance of the crisis, nothing about the war drive being used as a distraction and “solution” and least of all, nothing about the past successes and past mistakes of the world first staggering achievements in working class rule.

Revolution was on the back burner.

In other words, two years of organisation and campaigning by the “Coalition of Resistance” has produced only the usual, heart-rending emotionality, social-pacifist Stop the War pointlessness, bragging promises of piecemeal “action” to “demand” an end to slump, and unfulfillable bluster about “refusing to accept the cuts” that have been heard year after year after year to little practical effect but much increase in working class confusion.

Exactly how will “cuts be stopped”???

Or war???

Where has any such protest changed anything??

And even more what can “refusal” do in the time of the greatest credit-crash financial meltdown of all time, sweeping whole countries away at a time and stirring the foulest of war?

Currently has it altered anything in Greece? Ireland? Spain? Portugal? Or saved any lives in Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya or Syria???

Will it change anything, except possibly very temporarily, in Brazil, in Bulgaria, in Egypt or in Turkey? Just what is the nature of the uproar in these places anyway, triggered as the crisis deepens but without focus, leadership or even very clear demands and ambitions – and certainly no clear signs of wanting socialism.

Will it halt the disastrous economic stagnation, national debt collapses and appalling penury being forced on workers everywhere?

Not a hope, not by simply asserting “we will not let them disunite us.”

It may be true ultimately that “the workers united will never be defeated” but that simply begs the question of how they are to be united, how organised and how they are to fight.

Equally it begs the question of what they are to be united to do.

For the moment they are thoroughly DIS-united and shunted from pillar to post with scapegoating anti-immigration propaganda, blame poured on “scroungers” or “baby-boomers” or “terrorism”, or by being driven to a war fever frenzy by demented and hypocritical media onslaughts of lies, distortions and hypocrisy about “freedom” poured on the heads of this or that demonised victim country selected for the next war slaughter to be whipped up.

These massive lies campaigns need challenging constantly.

Meanwhile, ten thousand questions need answering.

How bad is the crisis? How can it be solved?

Is socialism even workable?

Did communism fail?

Was that really a “collapse” and was it “inevitable”?

If it did, then surely human beings are doomed by a rapacious and warmongering system already tearing the Middle East apart, and barely started yet on the war conflicts to come as the crisis deepens?

Two world wars have already seen horrors and destruction on an unparalleled scale in all history and the war chaos that will come this time can only be a thousand times worse.

It has already been rolling for two decades, deliberately set in train by the bankrupted US empire as its strategy for escaping the crisis, ruthlessly daring the world to keep providing it the lions share of the planet’s wealth or risk “shock and awe” blitzkrieg.

The war drive is stoked up daily with propaganda and media stampeding, arms and covert interventions, and demented lies, even before the full trade war crisis of collapsing world markets has made itself felt.

But if the human race is not in a dead end, unable to sort itself out – as shallow self-destructive pessimism sometimes declares because, allegedly, “it’s human nature to be greedy mate and we’re all doomed”, – then it needs to face up to the understanding of how it can go forwards and how it can get there.

The supposed “fatalism” of unchangeable human nature was long ago routed philosophically, by the understanding of constantly changing and developing societies in history (which have had many “fixed” forms, from tribalism to slavery and feudalism, but were all overturned and transformed) and by scientific grasp that humankind is the most flexible and consciously organised species of animal that has evolved on the planet, its capacity to understand, sacrifice and act together, the very basis of human success.

Now it can understand its own society and the changes needed, as established by 150 years of Marxist investigation.

Fatalism is anyway usually the cynical dismissal of uncomfortable truths by petty bourgeois complacency which actually likes things as they are, and the cosy niches that the middle class has always found within capitalist society, including all play-acting and posturing “concerned”, and even “revolutionary”, politics (as long as they remain safely within bourgeois tolerated boundaries, laced with anti-Sovietism, pacifism and parliamentarianism as all the fake-“lefts” are).

War can be stopped and was in 1917-18 – but only by the staggering and historic Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, turning the war and the rage of its masses onto its own ruling class and bringing it down, to build the new socialist order.

Repeat devastation in 1939-45 too was ended by the gigantic sacrifice and heroism of that same revolution, its revived heroism destroying aggressive imperialist Nazism almost single handed (85% of the fighting and devastation of the Second World War being by the Soviet Union).

It inspired and set in train the massive wave of national-liberation, anti-colonial and communist revolutions of the post-war period which for a period set imperialism back on its heels and appeared to be steadily overwhelming its rapacious might (which temporary setback, straight-line Stalinist thinking then declared was the future path of history, Moscow abandoning all dialectical grasp of the to-and-fro of historical contradictions and ruling out the re-expansion of capitalism, so failing to understand its ripening to impossible tension and conflict once again, until necessary revolutionary change would transform things – this Stalin revised “Marxism” disarming the working class with the deluded ideas of “peaceful progress” and even the “parliamentary road”).

So what went wrong with the first titanic achievements of the working class in building the USSR and the great wave of socialist inspired revolution that followed (and still exists in some form in China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba?

How can that be avoided in the future?

Finding answers to all these questions and dozens more means the broadest and deepest debate in all history, the arguments battled out in front of the working class and by doing so drawing the best of them in to build the party of scientific leadership that makes the arguments, exactly as the EPSR has struggled to do for three decades in the teeth of the same philistinism and opportunism once more on show at the Peoples Assembly.

Everything needs to be constantly re-assessed and understood, not in a soup of eclectic “everyone is entitled to their own opinion” petty bourgeois philistine “democracy”, which never reaches any conclusions (and says that agreement cannot be reached completely) but in a serious polemical fight to establish and test the truth about the world, verified against constantly developing reality to get the best approximation that human collective consciousness can make to the single and only material reality of the world and the class struggle, the truth in short.

Collective consciousness does not mean a lowest common denominator, nor the abandonment of leadership for some alleged “no leaders” “flat organisation” (whose aims are decided by whom??)

It is the high point of argument, fought to a conclusion to establish an agreed theoretical line.

It starts by building on the great foundations of existing Marxist and Leninist science, in multiple volumes of Lenin, Marx and Engels, established and proven in over a century and a half of communist theoretical and practical struggle and by taking on all the difficult questions.

That includes the deep analysis of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disastrous philosophical disintegration of Moscow’s revisionist leadership, as the EPSR has struggled to do, tracing all the way back to the mistakes in understanding the world first made by the Stalin-led Soviet communist party.

The misreading of the balance of class forces and international developments gradually undermined all confidence in revolutionary theory and practice, and the more so as the errors were in turn covered-up and papered over, the very process of suppressing Leninist open theoretical struggle becoming part of the problem.

The philistinism and anti-theory traditions deliberately inculcated by capitalism in the working class – nowhere deeper than in empirical British imperialism – have been reinforced by such retreats from the only way possible to develop a living understanding of the world, Leninist revolutionary polemic and struggle guided by a party of a completely new kind of cadres trained and developed through such argument.

Without a clear view of the great events of the world and their driving forces in capitalist slump, inter-imperialist conflict and the balance of forces in the deadly world class war, all fought for with vibrant discussion, there is no way to guide, inspire and coordinate the great struggles which are already erupting everywhere.

Without revolutionary theory there is no way the great strength of the working class, the overwhelming majority on the planet, can be unified to end this foul degeneracy.

Finding how to open up the discussion to both educate and develop the working class – drawing the best of it into the process of building leadership itself – is itself one of the great questions which needs to be grasped.

None of this will be answered by the COR’s suppressing and corralling of the discussion, using all the old organisational tricks and underhand procedures developed over the last 100 years of petty bourgeois trade union bureaucracy, CP revisionist censorship and Trotskyist “inner party” sectarian “debate”, all terrified of the revolutionary conclusions that will emerge and must be found.

Stalinist refusal to argue and polemicise, through fear of admitting to past mistakes (cascades of mistakes from the 1920 and 1930s onwards) which led to the completely unnecessary liquidation of the Soviet Union itself through retreat from revolutionary perspectives and kow-towing to the “free-market”, and Trotskyism’s even worse opposition which becomes outright anti-communist hostility from deep down hatred of the idea of workers state discipline and control, infected everything.

It was all on show yet again at the “great” Westminster Hall meeting, from its “plenary” of celebrities and knee-jerk standing ovations for demagoguery, to carefully packed meetings, the usual clutch of “safe” speakers and celebrities hogging the discussion and channelling it away from any mention of revolution, with assorted pre-selected minions from the floor to provide a token and short “discussion”, comprising the usual round of tame pacifist questions, single-issue individualisms like feminism, black nationalist multi-culturalism and gay rights, to patronising sentimentality for anecdotes from “those who have been in the struggle for 50 years” (but have nothing to say about revolution either).

Any challenges to this cosy petty bourgeois nonsense and smug self-congratulation were vetted and rejected with more rigour than the bourgeoisie’s own BBC Question Time, with intrusive pre-discussion “question slips” killing the momentum of open debate and anyway thoroughly censored, and with idiotic “minority quotas” ignoring all political relevance as long as the questioner was “a woman” or “a gay” etc, knocking out all political vigour before it could start.

Petty bourgeois tight-arse control freakery could not get more damaging.

It will certainly not win wide working class support, whatever transient “success” there might be because of the growing urgency of the crisis, and even this first day saw a variety of delegates leaving in disgust at the stitch-up.

“We don’t want rancour and argument” declared “left” Trotskyist comedian Mark Steel in the opening session (one of the main speakers whipping up the emotional atmosphere).

It is “the 59 minutes we all agree on which matters” he shallowly opined, “instead of ranting and arguing over the one minute of differences” .

This fatuous cliché, the epitome of petty bourgeois liberalism and reeking with philistinism, is the complete opposite of what is required.

Ranting should be avoided to be sure but even that is very often just the petty bourgeois description for “uncomfortable revolutionary issues” – and it is precisely these things on which discussion should be encouraged.

It is the differences that have to be hammered out if there is ever to be any real unity in the working class.

That has nothing to do with disruptive or stupid or obviously reactionary backwardness and endless repetitive sterile challenging of the established grasp of the working class expressed in party lines (though at an individual level it is constantly necessary to argue things through with workers who have been confused, hoodwinked, misled or poisoned by capitalist propaganda, explaining where racism comes from for example, and focussing on ending capitalism to end it, not on “condemning”).

The point is not to have the silly squabbles and academic rigmaroles (that the fake-“left” sects go in for), endlessly nitpicking over fine points of organisational structure.

These are tiresome fractious wasting of time precisely because they never deal with the real events of the class struggle erupting in the world or come near tackling the great unspoken and unanalysed questions of history, most of all in challenging the deluge of lies and disinformation about communism’s supposed “failure” and the alleged “horrors of totalitarianism”.

Brainwashing lies about communism have been capitalism’s major weapon throughout the long post-WW2 “boom”, and still are, even as it now, predictably and inevitably, is collapsing into the greatest disaster in all history.

Demented garbage about “gulags” and ludicrous nonsense about supposed massacres and terror have poured out from every cultural and media orifice of capitalism since the first great workers state was formed, even though its existence, steady growth, and staggering scientific and cultural successes (despite setbacks, difficulties and mistakes) were proving that the world not only does not need capitalists, owners and bosses to provide leadership and “entrepreneurial spirit” but can do much better without them, the great achievements of the society already outdoing imperialism in a period when socialism had far fewer resources, and was under constant sabotage and subversion (first man in space, numerous patents, the best ballet and orchestral music, stunning achievements in aerospace design, free higher education, free medicine, low cost housing. etc etc etc).

But just what did happen to the USSR to end the triumphant 70 years of building a super-power workers state that within four decades and starting from Tsarist backwardness and a country totally destroyed by war in 1914-1918 and two huge invasions of unprecedented barbarity afterwards (1918-21 and 1939-45) had reached a point where it could hold its own with the most greatest capitalist monopoly power the world has ever seen, the US empire?

The “let’s not argue” simply caves in to the imperialist anti-communist onslaught that “communism doesn’t work”, (precisely suiting the Trotskyist petty bourgeois who live in fear of actually having to stand up for the workers states.

These questions never get a clear run from the Trotskyist sourness, which writes off every real world struggle because it falls short of petty bourgeois fantasy standards, failing to be the “perfect” revolution carried out by perfect non-racist, non-sexist paragons and constructed solely and only in their own heads as they sit in their armchair comfort in Islington.

It has always remained in their own heads because such play-acting fantasies by these posturings have got nothing to do with the real world and have never led any struggles anywhere, at best riding on the back of anarchist disasters like the disruptive adventurism of the anarcho-syndicalists during the Spanish civil war, which damaged the military discipline and organisation for the anti-Franco front, and at worst encouraging anti-workers state hatred with more bile and poison about the supposed “totalitarian horror of life in Russia” (or Cuba, or China etc) than the Daily Mail could come up with.

At the Westminster hall the assembled “activists” did not even get the most basic understanding of the crisis, just more exhortations to resist the cuts.

But at the time of the greatest economic and financial turmoil in all history this is a glaringly hopeless perspective that misleads the working class and fails utterly to raise the crucial questions about monopoly capitalism’s unstoppable collapse and disintegration.

It is just a defensive “militant” version of the old reformism which the British working class has been fed for over a century.

Even when reformism “succeeded”, with the allegedly “left principled” Attlee government, it was always a fraud, throwing the working class a few “improvements” while the same old hire and fire system continued, with the same old dog-eat-dog societal antagonisms both at home and especially for the masses ruthlessly exploited by colonialist and neo-colonialist rule (which “paid for” the alleged democratic reforms in the first place at the expense of the sweatshop and plantation slavery from which the British ruling class raked in such super profits that it could afford a few concessions to head off the terrifying prospect of communism).

That was at a time when there was room to grow for capitalism which had wiped out for the time being the great clogging surplus capital accumulations which had paralysed the world economy in the 1930s, creating the terrible Depression agonies that killed hundreds of thousands directly and indirectly, and destroyed many, many more families and lives, even before the great slaughter of the Second World War.

War’s destruction was the “solution” to capitalism’s problems temporarily and there was room for the victors particularly to expand their industries and plug the market gaps left by the wholesale destruction of German and Japanese imperialist monopoly rivalry.

Attlee tapped the pro-socialist spirit of the working class to rebuild capitalist industry which in Britain especially was already moribund and bankrupt with an historically ossified ruling class incapable of organising the railways, mines, utilities or any of the other vital services required for running the rest of industry from which they milked their profits.

Like all Labourism Attlee’s 1945 government was a complete stooge for the imperialist empire, which was run with as much brutality and torture as anything the just-defeated Nazis had ever managed to impose.

Attlee-ism simply continued the vile anti-communism of the reactionary Churchill, including suppressing the Greek revolution (wrongly called a “civil war”)with the new fangled weapons like napalm for burning people alive, and waging barbaric war on the Malaysian post-war communist insurgency with concentration camps, beheadings, torture and scorched earth terrorising of the civilian population, all carried out long before the current world rebellion “terrorism” had even started.

But six decades of constant accumulation of capital since has jammed the pores of the capitalist system solid with desperate surpluses all seeking the ever tinier opportunities left for profit making, against all the other ever accumulating capital jostling for “a share” as well, driving the profit rate relentlessly towards zero.

Even the most “principled” reformism could not carry through any changes to benefit the working class now, because the cutthroat world competition for constantly shrinking profitable investment opportunities does not allow it.

On top of which, the incompetent and enfeebled empire-corrupted ruling class in Britain has steadily lost out in competitiveness against the major capitalist rivals, most of its industry and innovation demolished, sold off or bankrupted.

It lives only by assembling other peoples’ products, arms production for the most backward feudalist tribalism in the Arab world and usury, a parasitic syphoning of funds from the world flows of other peoples’ capital by virtue of geographical and historical accident putting the City of London in a convenient position.

This bankrupted shadow is permanently teetering on the brink of utter failure, as desperate as any of the weaker nations in Europe and it has NO ROOM to manoeuvre against the constantly circling monopoly capital sharks on the international currency markets who will take down a whole country at the first sign of speculative blood in the water.

It is an utter nonsense to suppose it could suddenly put the cuts into reverse.

In general the disintegration of the world credit system has underlined clearly the Leninist view, constantly battled for against all the fake-“lefts”, that the capitalist crisis is totally intractable and unsolvable which leads straight back to the impossibility of “stimulating the economy” or “boosting growth” and all the other disingenuous guff still poured out by trade unionism and reformism and the fake “lefts”.

The whole school of “the cuts are just ideological” is a denial of the reality of the crisis, a hopeless idealist view that somehow the world could be changed “if we all wanted it enough” or all pushed hard enough against “wilfully greedy” Tories.

Greedy they are and not about to renounce their wealth and privilege, but “aggressively pursuing a new level of exploitation and cuts because of sheer greed and ideology” is shallow nonsense.

This is a desperate ruling class barely keeping its head above water in the swirling maelstrom of the markets collapses.

It survives because there is no clear revolutionary understanding in the world and the overwhelming mass of people has not yet developed the crucial consciousness which can change things.

It will.

But the shallow view of “unity” as “not arguing”, needs thoroughly exposing.

For a start the differences are not some tiny irrelevancies – just a “minute in a hour of agreement” as pretended – but the most profound questions of all.

Scratch a supposed “minor difference” and the deepest of issues will surface usually, like whether you end up telling the working class to support the so-called “Libyan Arab Spring revolution” as virtually all the deluded fake-“left” did (with one or two slightly more honourable exceptions like Lalkar – which has its own flaws), or see it clearly from the beginning as a reactionary and violent counter-revolutionary stunt provoked and stampeded by Western subversion and a lying media onslaught of astonishing Goebbels proportions (actually far greater than the Nazi lie machine could have dreamed of) to head off the Egyptian rebellion next door and keep the imperialist crisis war atmosphere on the boil generally.

And reaching such an understanding demands the constant development of a world perspective within which, and only through which, the meaning of various emerging struggles can be assessed and which side they are on.

Shallow impressionism, soft-headed illusions in democracy, and petty bourgeois dilettantism, declaring every CIA-manufactured street demonstration to be ”the revolution” has been a disaster time after time, falling for (or willingly swallowing) counter-revolutions against the workers states from Hungary in 1956 and the Prague Spring in ‘68 to the Trotskyist cheering on of the bogus “trade union” Solidarnosc in Poland, which helped push the Moscow revisionist bureaucracy the last few steps into capitulation to the “free market” in 1989, liquidating the staggering and still continuing progress of the Soviet workers state.

Poland is now a foul, Pilsudski worshipping, fascist-minded capitalist restoration, sending troops to stand alongside US imperialist barbarities in Afghanistan and running an economy riddled with unemployment and torn-up workers rights (forcing the young and healthy to emigrate for work).

The notion that argument should be put to one side in order to “sustain unity” should be tried on the families of thousands of Libyans who were killed or had their lives wrecked by the NATO nazi blitzing which was excused by the notion of a “revolt” against Gaddafi, the political and imperialist propaganda momentum for which was given additional “left” credence by the ranks of fake-“lefts”, declaring this to be a “peoples’ revolt”, and an extension of the Arab Spring.

Their abandonment of all efforts to understand the world has left them prey to shallow illusions in “democracy” and reflex condemning of “dictators” (who should therefore be blitzed into the floor).

Such abstract “democracy” gibberish, is built on petty bourgeois individualistic rejection of the necessary firmness (class dictatorship) that every workers state has had to show to defend the new socialist order from non-stop subversion, economic blockade, sabotage, political undermining and outright invasions (as currently threatened against North Korea, Cuba etc and carried out against Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Nicaragua by proxy contra “freedom fighters”, Chile, Afghanistan, etc etc).

This comfortable pretend “socialism” swallows without question the gross lies and fabrications of the Western intelligence propaganda machine (which is utterly cynical in its hypocritical pretences to be for “freedom”).

The simplest of world perspectives was able to spot the falsity of what soon became clear in Libya was a nazi-minded movement of throwback monarchists, on-the-make stooge petty bourgeois, warlord gangsterism and racist thugs all calling for and getting a Nazi-NATO blitzkrieg to support them.

Within an overall perspective of world catastrophic breakdown and war, – the Marxist framework – the alleged revolt against a hated (by imperialism) anti-imperialist like Gaddafi was suspicious from the start, and particularly “convenient” in the wake of the genuine spontaneous Egyptian revolt against a pro-Western and heavily Washington subsidised gangster dictator like hosni Mubarak just next door.

Its reactionary character was confirmed within two days as it called for Western support and waved the monarchist flags, and a deluge of unsubstantiated “repression” stories poured out about Gaddafi in the compliant Western media.

These are not just lives but entire nations being destroyed and it is light minded cowardice and dishonest sly evasion to suggest it is “not worth getting in a tizzy over.”

What philistine ignorance!

What a cowardly and disgusting betrayal.

The Trots and revisionist remnants from the CPB to the Weekly Worker CPGB keep their silence, now that it is incontrovertible that this was a Western inspired stunt, which has left a festering scorched earth reactionary mess in Libya, (just as capitalism no longer fills the newspapers with the non-stop inhumanities and warlordism which has replaced Gaddafi’s oddball and individualistic but relatively equitable society).

They equally, and trickily, keep silence about Syria, the imperialist follow through to Libya and the scene of some of the most openly horrifying and disgusting atrocities in the world (since the last atrocities by imperialism in over 400 incidents and attacks since the end of WW2) perpetrated by an artificial “rebellion” instigated and heavily armed by the West and sustained and accelerated by the feudal Gulf and Saudi primitive pre-feudalists (tribal monarchists and a million miles from “democracy and freedom”) which grotesquely obvious Western hypocrisy keeps in place as part of its control of the Middle East and Africa.

The fake-“left”, again with the exception of the Lalkar Stalinists, jumped right in to support the alleged revolt, playing right into the imperialist plotting.

Just as with Libya the stunted-up and fraudulent nature of the “anti-regime” demonstration was clear from the beginning in multiple ways: firstly because it fitted imperialism’s needs so clearly to confuse and disrupt things as the crisis threatened to spread genuine spontaneous revolutionary turmoil throughout the crucially important resource rich Middle East region from Egypt – a country unlike Syria which had a Western favoured and funded gangster dictator in place, Hosni Mubarak; because Syria’s bourgeois nationalism was only tolerated but disliked by Washington and hated by the Zionists, because Damascus has long been forced by the “Arab street” mood over the years to back and support anti-Zionism, not least in two wars against it and more recently including aiding and arming partly the brilliantly organised and determined Hezbollah in Lebanon, (which itself has always been a particular hate target for Washington and Zionism and even more so since its dramatic military victory in 2006 forcing the Zionist army out for good); because of the obvious stunt nature of the early demonstrations, with tiny numbers deliberately filmed in close by the Western media to inflate their significance to help whip up a pretence of “mass support”: because the legitimate Syrian government was ignored or ridiculed, even when it produced filmed evidence of hidden sniper provocateurs; because of the general Goebbels deluge of the demonic Western media hate campaign and its stream of wild and unsubstantiated hearsay “atrocity” stories (in complete contrast to the non-reporting of Western favoured fascist regimes (see the latest film on the 1965 Indonesia anti-communist slaughter of 1965); because of the completely biased non-reporting of the terrorising, ethnic neighbourhood cleansing, fascist incidents and clear war crimes of the “rebels” (which leaked out infrequently here and there); because of the totally biased Western reporting which made no effort to give the legitimate Syrian government a voice: because of the arms and finance aid which started flowing from the first days from the ultra-reactionary Saudis, Qatar and other Gulf states; because the “demonstrators” were, from the off, calling for Western help and intervention (by NATO which was completing the destruction of Libya), which is as good a sign as any of petty bourgeois reaction; and because the nasty little fascist-minded William Hague, and the even nastier and truly fascist Hilary Clinton, fresh from laughing at the buggery-to-death of Muammar Gaddafi, were declaring it to be a cause for “freedom and democracy” with barely concealed cynicism and with even more gung-ho calls for Western military intervention from Vietnam bombing-killer republican John McCain.

And plenty more.

So did the cast of Trots, revisionists and “left” trade unionists take the chance to explain that they had been utterly mistaken and bamboozled, and how that had happened, in the sessions on war and the Middle East and how their mis-analysis had fed the western world war campaign?

Or that this fitted with a decade of past support for Western organised counter-revolution, and their craven capitulation to the entire Western “war-on-terror” and “condemnation” of terror, from the 9/11 incident onwards?

Not a chance; they had free and unchallenged reign to parade their “opposition to war” while slipping past the glaring responsibility they have for continued counter-revolutionary confusion and the now obvious exposure of their slimy capitulation to the imperialist demonisation of any and every regime which does not fully comply with Western demands, let alone offer any resistance to it.

The dissembling was in full flood from the Tariq Alis and Linsdsay Germans continue the “left” pretence that the upheavals in Syria are somehow a “genuine” revolt mysteriously “hijacked” by capitalism when the clear and simplest explanation is that they never were anything to do with taking the world forwards from the beginning whose past cheerleading for the “revolution on the ground” has left them hung out to dry with their politics exposed as fully lined up with the disgusting war posturing antics of William Hague and Hilary Clinton.

The nonsense about “organic” movements used to justify this specious crap is now once again being applied to mass upheavals in Brazil, Turkey and the ostensible “repeat” of the Arab Spring in Cairo.

All of these need carefully examining and so far have given no indications of any genuinely left perspectives and even significant anti-imperialist feeling.

Just the opposite, they have a strongly petty bourgeois character, a soup of “green” and reformist demands at best laced with calls for “less corruption” and for vague notions of “more democracy” which in the context of the gigantic hypocrisies of imperialist “democracy” support in the Middle East (and generally) are at best highly naïve and potentially reactionary.

Whatever genuine content there is among some of those in the street in such outbursts, and how sustained they might or not be, they are open to being led in all the wrong directions without beginning to take on revolutionary understanding.

The Cairo revolt is described by the bourgeois press as an eclectic mixture including “supporters of the old regime” which is hardly the strongest of evidence for calling for its success as the Trots are already doing.

Just the opposite, it underlines the need for total circumspection.

The latest outbursts may be the continuation of earlier revolt but is already different to the spontaneous upheavals of the Egyptian “spring” which burst out from under one of the most repressive, torturing and reactionary imperialist stooge regimes on the planet under Mubarak.

They are certainly not the “peaceful” demonstration begin pretended by laced with deliberate violence.

Just what is the downfall of Morsi supposed to lead to?

Clearly the Morsi government has failed to solve the crisis driven unemployment and poverty which is one of the factors of the 2011 uprising and has complied with IMF austerity demands on the economy.

It has not fully backed the Palestinian struggle, and continues a position of agreement with Zionism, and remained friendly with Washington.

Their sectarian ideology has left them siding with imperialism’s civil war provocations in Syria, including fighting directly with Hezbollah’s anti-Zionism and most damagingly of all, drawing the Palestinian Hamas, a Brotherhood offshoot, into doing the same, directly against their own interests because it strengthens Zionism and imperialism.

But none of that means the new regime is ideal for US imperialism and is no basis for the more lurid fake-“left” allegations that it is itself just more CIA trained stoogery.

Imperialism has been making the best of a bad situation, as it did in Iran in 1979 once the reactionary Shah was brought down and the mullahs were installed in preference to allowing the communists to make headway,

The Egyptian upheaval of 2011 was one of the greatest and most profound shocks to imperialist control seen for a long time, an explosion that came seemingly out of the blue and carried the Third World anti-imperialist rebellion to a new level, shocking and surprising the US masters.

Washington tolerated the election of Morsi in this desperate chaos where it has lost its grip after 30 years of apparently stable stoogery, as a better option than continuing revolt, which threatened to set the whole Middle East alight and could rapidly begin to develop a deeper consciousness.

It may well have leaned on the Egyptian military to manipulate the parliamentary elections last year in which all but two candidates were eliminated, one directly from the old Mubarak order and the other the most compliant of the Brotherhood in case the Mubarak man proved too much for the masses to be hoodwinked with, as proved the case.

But to suggest it wanted to install the Muslim Brotherhood, or even that they are Washington puppets, trained by the CIA is nonsensical, on a par with other fake-"left" conspiracy theories declaring the entire world revolt from 9/11 onwards to be run by US imperialism.

The Muslim religiosity may be backward, and far from the scientific rationality that the world must develop in order to end capitalism, but it is also carrying much of the anti-imperialist feeling in many parts of the Third World, including Egypt and imperialism would prefer to get rid of it as soon as a more West-orientated stoogery can be arranged.

There is no question of taking sides with Morsi, but neither is there yet reason to support the demonstrations, particularly in the light of bourgeois press reports such as this:

Some of the protesters called for another intervention by the military, which seized power from Mr. Mubarak and held onto it for more than a year. Chants were directed to the defense minister, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi: “Come on Sisi, make a decision!”

General Sisi, for his part, has stayed carefully neutral, feeding the protesters’ hopes. In a statement last week urging the president and his opponents to compromise, the general said the military would “intervene to keep Egypt from sliding into a dark tunnel of conflict, internal fighting, criminality, accusations of treason, sectarian discord and the collapse of state institutions.”

Many in the opposition saw the statement as an indication that if Sunday’s protests were disruptive enough, the military would take over once again. The military sent four helicopters flying low over a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sunday to reinforce its power and control, and many below cheered.

The Web site of the flagship state newspaper, Al Ahram, reported Sunday that soldiers had been ordered only to “protect the will of the people without bias to any side at the expense of the other, especially as the political forces have not reached any formula of consensus.”

The extrication of the military from power was the biggest achievement of Mr. Morsi’s first year in office. Last August, months after his election, the generals finally went back to their barracks and allowed him to take full power as president, although the military retains considerable autonomy under Egypt’s new Constitution.

But Mr. Morsi continued to battle institutions within his own government left over from Mr. Mubarak, most notably the judiciary, and some of those fights contributed to the protests that peaked Sunday. The protests began in November, when he tried to declare himself above the courts until the passage of a new Constitution, a move that reinforced the fears of his opponents and perhaps the general public that he threatened to become a new autocrat.

“He was of the revolution,” said Magdi Morsi, an airline flight planner demonstrating in front of the presidential palace who is not related to the president. He said he had voted for Brotherhood candidates for Parliament as well as for Mr. Morsi but had turned against them for failing to deliver on their promises. “I decided he was a big liar,” he said. “He must leave. The public is against him now.”

The police, another institution left intact from the Mubarak government, are in open revolt against Mr. Morsi. In anticipation of Sunday’s protests, the interior minister had already announced that the police would not protect the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood from attack. And when the protests began, police officers were almost nowhere to be found.

Several officers in uniform joined the protesters in Tahrir Square calling for Mr. Morsi’s ouster and asking the military to intervene. Two officers were seen in the vicinity of the attack on the Brotherhood’s headquarters talking on hand-held radios, but they did nothing to intervene.

Two armored vehicles from the interior security forces later arrived but also did nothing to stop the attack. The officers listened for a while as the attackers appealed to them to arrest the few Brotherhood members trying to defend their headquarters with birdshot, and then they left.

Equally in Turkey, the Muslim Erdoğan government is not imperialism’s first preference despite its cooperation with NATO over Syria, and its original election represented a shift under pressure of mass hostility, away from the past military dominated bourgeois governments which directly cooperated with imperialism. It shut down past military collaboration and joint exercises with Zionism and was tipping towards Iran for alliances.

It remains to be seen where the street demonstrations in Turkey, Brazil and now Cairo again will go next but to be “the revolution” is premature.

jumping to such conclusions suggests a complete failure to understand the significance and depth of the crisis and the profound trouble facing imperialism, which has shattered by the crisis eruption of 2008.

The fake-lefts have never grasped the catastrophic nature of the crisis at all, failing to grasp and explain the impossibility of imperialism getting out of its disaster (except by world war levels of destruction|).

The ruling class splits and turmoil will not stop imperialist brutality and its turn towards open dictatorship (in a fascist cloak or not) and more warmongering.

Just the opposite, they will accelerate the process making revolutionary perspectives ever more urgent.

But none of these factors had the chance to emerge from the COR’s fake-“left” posturing theatricality.

Not so much a People’s Assembly as Dissembly then, with an agenda set by a stitched-up top table with all the speakers’ slots reserved for a carefully chosen slate of anti-communists.

Every previous effort to build a “socialist” organisation and fighting force like the “Socialist Alliances”, the Scottish Socialist Party, the Respect alternative and many more, has fallen apart precisely because the “once minute in an hour” of difference proves to is no such thing, but a deep running and profound philosophical chasm.

Party after party on the “left” has disintegrated too, not because of the sexual scandals that it seems on the surface (SWP, SSP, WRP to name but three) but because their sectarian and secret discussion politics has been undermined and exposed by the relentless accelerating capitalist catastrophic crisis and the war drive being used by the ruling class to wriggle and slide away from the disaster that their system alone is causing.

Pretending it could all be changed, or that there could be some other kind of capitalism, kinder, or regulated, or fairer, or controlled, is all a giant evasion.

The reality is that the capitalist system is a dictatorship of big money capital, as brutal, warmongering and as “fascist” as it needs to be at any one time.

In times of crisis and collapse that is very brutal indeed.

All the supposed “gains” of the past are being torn up, the welfare state demolished and “freedom” to organise trampled on.

Worse still, the devastation of the monopoly capitalist economic catastrophe is being relentlessly imposed, with no end point in sight, no “upturn” to come, and the intention and desperate need of the ruling class to push the working class all the way to Third world levels of exploitation.

Alongside, the most depraved and foul war violence is being whipped up and provoked, with a level of torture assassination and horror already paralleling anything in history by the most jackbooted of Nazis.

Even that is only a taste of the real conflicts are still to come once the capitalist economic catastrophe resumes its plunge into Depression.

The lurch into even worse turmoil than 2008 is due any minute once the completely false “stability” of money printing Quantitative Easing is exhausted.

The Mickey Mouse credit of the last five years has solved nothing.

Worse - once the inflationary impact of this utterly valueless “money” soaks through the world trading system even the endless stagnation, national

Tepidly shouting “make the bosses pay” or “Stop the War” is not only pointless but disarms the working class by leaving them without the understanding of the full depth of the crisis, and the class was savagery being prepared by a desperate ruling class.

Any challenges that really start to threaten the ruling order will be very brutally suppressed, with the full force of police state violence as the miners great fight already showed in 1984-5 - but a hundred times worse.

The world is not going to change until the great masses take on board again the revolutionary perspectives of Marxist science.

Revolutionary leadership has never been about ”persuading and winning over” the working class – in the sense meant by the bourgeoisie who fearfully blame “outside agitators” for upheaval.

It is about clarifying and making clear the contradictions and causes of the Depression and War, and giving the working class, via its best and most thoughtful elements, the understanding to make its own fight.

The great debate about how mankind is to move forwards and escape the catastrophe is beginning and will get louder as the repressive tyranny of capitalism desperately tries to push down on the world revolt.

Leninism needs to be built at the heart of it.

Don Hoskins


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World Socialist Review

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


Haiti’s revolutionary leader –

Toussaint Louverture recalled in Cuba film show

210 years after his assassination, Toussaint Louverture has been vindicated cinematographically, in a project initiated after he was honored by unesco in 2004. The Havana premiere of the picture which bears his name, sponsored by the Itinerate Caribbean Cinema Program, will be a challenge for those who know little about Haiti, the first country in Latin America to free itself from colonialism and abolish slavery.

The figure of Toussaint Louverture, the Black Jacobin, reflecting the rise and fall of the French Revolution, is invoked in the medieval castle of Fort Joux, where the Abolishment of Slavery Route begins, proclaimed by the United Nations, on the initiative of unesco.

On the occasion of the 210th anniversary of his slow, cruel and premeditated death at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the frigid castle, at only 60 years of age, Louverture was honored in Cuba, roundly applauded after the Havana premiere of the film about his accomplishments presented in the city’s 23rd & 12th theater by Rigoberto Lopez, director of the Itinerate Caribbean Cinema Program, with Minister of Culture Rafael Bernal in attendance.

Haitian actor Jimmy Jean Louis won over the audience which came to see him on the screen and in person, supported, additionally, by the Haitian embassy and Hollywood Unites for Haiti. Louis portrayed his illustrious compatriot in an astonishing performance.

The glorious Louverture was taken with the ideology of the 1789 French Revolution, but ominously incarcerated in Fort Joux - a remote prison near the Swiss border - by the person who ensured the failure of the French revolutionary process, Napoleon Bonaparte. This first stop on the Abolishment of Slavery Route is a well-deserved tribute to the Haitian general, born 270 years ago, on November 1, 1743, as a slave, like his father who was captured in Dahomey, now Benin. Louverture led, along with Dessalines and Christophe the only successful slave rebellion in contemporary history, which initiated the first defeat of colonialism in Latin America.

However, Saint Dominque, re-baptized with the native name of Haiti in the early days of its independence, has paid dearly for its audacity. Once the planet’s richest colony, the country has become the region’s poorest.

It is a moving experience to see the castle cell, the final residence of the glorious General, in the hills of Lorena, at the foot of the Vosges Mountains, in the northeastern France Comte region. It is one of the coldest areas in the country and among the most long-suffering, since it is the route from Central Europe to the West and has faced the ravages of all the wars in which the nation has been involved, from the days of Roman conquerors to wwII. It is situated at a crossroads through which passed the armies of the Roman Empire, and later Germany and Switzerland. Fort Joux is a fine example of French military architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, sitting on the hillside 1,000 ft above sea level.

Toussant Louverture- Haiti slave revolt leader The ideas of the French Revolution had a powerful impact on Toussaint de Breda, as he was called, since he belonged to the Breda plantation, the owners of which sold him to another slaveowner who preferred to have him work as a driver, not in the coffee or cane fields. This provided him the opportunity to learn to read and write. He developed his first notions of strategy and tactics from the commentaries of Julius Cesear and other military writings and became such a good driver that he was called the Centaur of the Savanna.

In 1776, at 33 years of age, he obtained his liberty, coincidentally the same year the United States gained its independence.

Some 15 years later, on October 30, 1791, before his 48th birthday, he joined the Haitian slave uprising which took revenge on the brutal masters. Louverture was chosen to negotiate with authorities, who refused the offer and ignored requests made by the three commissioners - Sonthonax, Polverel and Ailhaud - sent by the revolutionary French National Assembly, who were aware of a planned British invasion of the island. They were convinced that losing the country would be disastrous for France.

Before the failure of negotiations, Toussaint, understanding the games, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the great powers, like a good statesman turned to the Spanish, who controlled the eastern pertion of the island (Hispanola, today the Dominican Republic) and were, at this point, allied with the British against France. Louverture and other rebel leaders were granted the rank of General by the Spanish Army and began to battle French forces on the island’s western coast. However, on August 29, 1793, before any indication of a British attack, the French commissioners proclaimed the abolition of slavery Louverture had demanded and freed all Black slaves on the condition that they support France. That same day, Toussaint issued his own declaration: “I am Toussaint Louverture. Perhaps you know my name. I have committed myself to vindicating you. My desire is that liberty and equality reign in all of Saint Dominque. I am fighting for that end. Come and join me, brothers, and struggle at our side for the same cause.”

When the National Assembly in France officially abolished slavery, Louverture broke with Spain, which was set to attack the French, supported by British troops. He welcomed the French emancipation proclamation with 4,000 soldiers. In 1795, the Spanish Army was defeated, primarily by Louverture’s forces, although defeating the English, who continued to send in reinforcements, took longer, until May of 1798.

According to historians, the British lost between 20,000 and 60,000 soldiers.

Louverture received help from the U.S. government, since President John Adams and Secretary of State Timothy Pickering still feared their former colonial power. Thus began the trade relations favored by Hamilton, since although Louverture built roads and schools, Napoleon refused to send teachers.

“Saint Dominque, of which I was the commander, enjoyed great tranquility, with a flowering culture and growing commerce,” (with the U.S.), wrote Louverture in his Memories.

Nevertheless, Jefferson won the 1800 Presidential elections and when he assumed office March 4, 1801, he turned against Louverture and told Talleyrand, Napoleon’s Foreign Minister, that he would supply France with whatever it needed to reconquer the colony.

After hostilities with Britain ended as a result of the Amiens peace treaty, Napoleon could count on U.S. support against Haiti and put together an enormous fleet to invade the island, under the command of General Victor Emmanuel LeClerc, married to his sister Paulina.

Once the island was taken, Blacks would be disarmed in order to reestablish slavery, Napoleon’s central objective.

The army of 20,000 soldiers arrived in February, 1802. LeClerc feigned his intentions, insisting he was there only to reinstate French authority. With the help of Haitian General Rigau, the French plan progressed. Toussaint was deceived, arrested, sent off to France, and imprisoned in Fort Joux, in June of 1802.

This absolutely impregnable prison, where no one could even get close, much less visit him, was Toussaint’s last home. In total isolation, under the personal orders and supervision of Napoleon, Louverture died on April 7, 1803. Years later the emperor recognized his mistake.

Unfortunately, the new film, which for the most part respects the historical record, does not address the negative role played by the United States in the diplomatic intrigue which turned against Louverture and Haiti. Nor is the sad part played by the French government fully revealed, in pursuit of a phantom treasure, so exploited in the film. France imposed an abusive indemnity on the new country, the payment of which added to the misery and limited its development.

France did Louverture justice too late, designating him the “initiator” of the struggle against slavery. As he wrote from Fort Joux, “With my defeat, only the trunk of the Black freedom tree was cut down. It will sprout again from its roots, since they are many and very deep.” These roots did in fact strengthen Dessalines and Christophe who ensured that Napoleon and his allies were defeated. Louverture’s ideas and example have spread throughout France and the Americas, even within the United States. •


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