No 1436 6th December 2013
Trotskyist dominated “Left Unity” foundation conference uses its Political Correctness posturing to censor the open debate and polemic that alone can hammer out an understanding of world crisis and necessary revolutionary struggle to end capitalism, the only possible way out of onrushing Depression and war disaster. Moralising about minorities covers-up outright poisonous hatred of the Soviet Union that motivates these mountebanks and frauds; they offer the working class only “Stop the War, Stop the Austerity” fatuousness which can not only do neither, but lays the working class open to the same illusions in “democracy” reforms and protest that have left it facing the greatest Slump and war disaster in all history. But revisionism is no better leaving the real issue of dictatorship of the proletariat unsaid too. Leninism is about just that and needs to be built
The astonishing inability of the entire fake-“left” spectrum of pseudo-working class parties to state sharply and simply the need for total class war to destroy and end for good the private profiteering capitalist system is more clearly delineated than ever as the catastrophic failure of the private profit system confirms the underlying reactionary fascist degeneracy of all “democratic” capitalism.
The callous and brutal Nazi reality of failed capitalist rule behind its fraud of “democracy and freedom” supposedly bringing “prosperity and opportunity to all” becomes ever more glaring as in-your-face ruling class greed and inhuman arrogance about its preposterous “IQ superiority” is shamelessly escalated – even as its incompetence and venality drags the world further into Slump devastation with the dismantling of all the “gains” of the welfare sate, (which was a complete hoax on the working class from the beginning, sold by Labourism, particularly under the “real Labour” Attlee government much worshipped by the Ken Loach’s of the world).
Simultaneously comes diversionary and world bullying “shock and awe” warmongering, deliberate civil war provocations, police state surveillance everywhere, gruesome torture and death squads, B52 carpet bombing and brutal prison camp inhumanity and injustice.
A revolutionary overthrow of the worn-out capitalist class rule order is the only possible answer to the Slump and war disaster being imposed on the world by capitalist collapse.
But it is still held back and hampered by fake-“left” petty bourgeois hostility to the workers state disciplines needed, writing-off the first great socialist achievements as “totalitarian nightmares” instead of understanding their triumphant victories and battling and mostly successful first attempts to build socialism.
Instead of analysing the errors that they did make – most notably in the retreats Moscow’s Stalinist leadership made from Leninist revolutionary principles and theoretical grasp, they join in the “all is rotten – communism is a failure” lies of capitalist ideology.
The latest “rebuild the left” flurries like “Left Unity” solve nothing at all, not only failing to deal with the crucial questions of the USSR but poisonously covering-up the vital revolutionary issues with yet more mind-rot defeatism and cynicism about the entire history of the twentieth century and the first great efforts of the working class to fight the class war to end the now imploding and deadly private profit system.
These issues get more urgent every day as the catastrophic meltdown of the capitalist system continues relentlessly, salvaged from total immediate collapse only by the insane and unsustainable printing of trillions of hyperinflationary Mickey Mouse “dollars” and “Euros” with zero real value and by the equally counterfeit ideology of “a recovery” punted out by Tory capitalism and its treacherous acolytes in New Labour, the official TUC and other class-collaborating elements.
All shades of “left” “end the austerity” protest equally feed the same false picture by suggesting it is possible to improve conditions while capitalism remains in place.
But while workers’ fightback and campaigns might slow down the onslaught here and there – and will inevitably erupt spontaneously – the future is one of non-stop warmongering chaos and the “endless austerity” now promised by Tory David Cameron while capitalism continues.
Unemployment bullying, homelessness and soup kitchen hopelessness are already ratcheting up and will only increase.
On top of that is endless war blitzing, military coups, invasions and provoked civil-war Balkanisations and dismemberment of whole countries (Egypt lately, Central African Republic any minute, Libya, Honduras, Paraguay, Syria - Serbia, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan already) all “justified” by imperialism as allegedly to promote “democracy and freedom” behind out and out reactionary “protests” instigated by its non-stop subversion.
“Politically Correct” stunts of feminism, environmentalism, “gay” rights, and assorted “minority rights” masquerading as “popular demonstrations for democracy” (eg in Ukraine, Russia, Thailand most recently) play into this game to overturn and suppress even the tamest and most ineffectual or compromised anti-imperialism or revisionism-confused regimes).
It grows worse daily as the inevitable international rebellion against the tyranny of world exploitation by the few rich nations, dominated by the over-arching super-power of US imperialism and its giant monopoly corporations, is stirred ever deeper by the vicious Nazi blitzkrieging and assassination of the laughable “war on terror”.
Far from solving the ruling class’s problems, caused by capitalism’s disastrous historic collapse and failure, the international torturing, concentration camp imprisonment, and drone and death-squad killing are all just adding to its crisis turmoil by multiplying a hundredfold the already massive grievances and sense of injustice which centuries of ruthless near-slave colonial exploitation has built up.
Its Nazi tyranny is recruiting endless further numbers of the hapless Third World near-slaves to rebellion and upheaval (however crude and weird their mostly religious ideology at times).
As the slump is also now imposed in the most “privileged” and “developed” countries of Europe, North America and Japan it is hammering home a dawning realisation among even the most complacent and once-corrupted layers of the working class everywhere (who have benefitted from the cheap goods out of Third World sweat shops and plantations – tea, bananas, clothing, chocolate, electronics etc etc etc) – that they face just the same oppression.
The great illusions of the post-war boom and the promise of a better life were just that, a hollow fantasy now turning to dust.
But the fake-“left” fails utterly to spell out this perspective and the vital revolutionary conclusions that follow, simply tying the working class back to more “protest” and “Stop the austerity; Stop the War” defensiveness, just a Slump variant of the old reformism which says nothing about the intractable and epochal crisis that CANNOT be stopped except by ending capitalism.
Its consciousness is so embedded with capitalism and utterly corrupted by 150 years of reformist class collaboration for a share (pathetically small) of the imperialist super-profits that it joins in the same non-stop anti-communist hate stories pumped out be capitalism (but with a “left” flavour giving capitalist propaganda an treacherous extra boost).
The workers states were and are “condemned” every time they resist capitalist subversion even remotely robustly, (eg China over the artificial and feudal reactionary “Tibetan self-determination” or its justified territorial claims in the East China Sea) while the current world revolt is declared to be “condemnable terrorism”.
Gibberish about fighting for abstract “democracy” to solve things with a little left pressure and pacifist organisation is substituted for the only possible class struggle - the revolutionary one.
Instead of correctly, like Lenin, exposing both parliamentary “democracy” and “Stop the War” protest as both unworkable within capitalism – and a huge disarming diversionary fraud on the working class, they condemn the only solution there is to the crisis - complete rebellion and its conscious self-organisation (by building a party of Leninist science) to establish firm working class rule via the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The grotesque story of collapse and failure of capitalism, driven by the inbuilt contradictions and antagonisms of the outmoded capitalist private profit system is barely understood, let alone made the central question by the fake-“left”, to guide and educate the working class in the deadly struggles for survival which are unstoppably being imposed on them which the current mayhem is just the prelude to.
Even the anarchist outbursts of celebrity Russell Brand can do better than the posturing pretences of “left” Labour parliamentary class collaboration, the supine non-activity of the official TUC, dire revisionist pacifism and “democratic” protest and the anti-communist poison of the Trotskyist swamp.
Brand himself needs to pay attention to the huge body of scientific understanding and theory built up by the great thinkers of Marxism and Leninism too, from Marx, Engels and Lenin themselves and by the continuing struggles to further Leninist development in the modern times, instead of deferring to the same collection of pretenders, posturers and poseurs in the Coalition of Resistance eg, that have misled the working class worldwide for the last hundred years and more.
But at least he expresses some spirit of revolt unlike the “left pressure”, single-issue political correctness moralising and pacifist stop-the-war and stop-the-austerity of all the fakers.
And he has not ruled out deeper understanding, declaring with apparent sincerity that he needs to learn from those who understand the issues.
But he will not find the answers on the old opportunist “left” of the bureaucratic class collaborating trade unions and Labourism, nor in the great swamp of sectarian Trotskyists and museum Stalinists.
For all their posing as “we revolutionaries” none of them makes clear that the world faces an epochal historic breakdown which will degenerate all the way to the greatest world war turmoil ever, unless and until the working class takes matters into its own hands.
But that cannot happen until the working class understands and is educated and guided by a clear grasp of the deadly class war it is in, imposed by the ruling class so that its tiny privileged minority can continue to enjoy its life of power and luxurious indulgence.
It can only be done by a deliberately conscious party of Leninist science built within and with the working class, to fight out all the issues of the class struggle and balance of class forces in the world.
At the heart is the issue of the dictatorship of the working class which is vital to establish socialism and allow the development of a new planned economy and rationally communal society.
All such attempts, building workers states, have been constantly sabotaged and subject to vicious Nazi counter-revolution not least by the deliberately built up (and universally Western supported and urged-on) German Hitler Nazism itself, destroying one third of the USSR and killing around 25 million (!!!) of its people, and leaving a wasteland which had to be painstakingly rebuilt in the post-war years (one reason for the economic difficulties of socialism sneered at by the Trotskyists).
The subversion and intimidation has continued ever since, with nuclear encirclement, constant disruption and demented ideological war as now being stepped up against China, North Korea and Cuba.
Without it a firm class dictatorship, (even more than the Soviet Union) any future attempts to take and hold power by workers will be met by far worse counter-revolution than even the vicious destructiveness now attempting to tear apart even the slightest hint of anti-imperialist resistance in Syria or Iran etc.
But raising the need for class discipline and firm proletarian rule immediately raises as well all the questions of “whether communism works” and of what happened to the enormous history-shattering transformation of the Soviet Union and its Bolshevik revolution, and all the subsequent communist workers states (with some still existing despite often dire revisionist leadership in Beijing Havana Pyongyang or Hanoi).
The great debate to sort out what really happened – as opposed to the deluge of lurid bile and lies poured out morning noon and night by capitalist ideology – is critical.
Without it, understanding and sorting out the chaos of war turmoil, civil sectarian strife, mass popular revolutions and deliberately fomented “popular” counter-revolutions like those set going by Western press and intelligence campaigns in Libya and Syria to head off and confuse the initially genuine Egyptian revolt (now itself subverted and artificially provoked to support the imperialist backed military coup - see below) is impossible.
Only with some grasp of the international class war realities tied into the entire pattern of history, particularly in the twentieth century and simultaneously with all the current developments in the world class struggle can any kind of leadership be built which can draw together the working class and unify it.
But debate and discussion is what the entire clutch of the fake–“left” rejects including, in practice, the “real democracy” fetishists like the ex-revisionist and now near Trotskyist Weekly Worker CPGB, whose idea of debate is an eclectic soup of multiple opinions that never resolve anything.
All these shades of lowest-common-denominator opinion were to be heard at founding meeting of the latest attempt at forced agreement by the Trotskyist Ken Loach’s doomed attempt to build “Left Unity” by covering up the differences.
“We should extract the bits we agree on from the various Platforms (party principles outlines) and agree to differ on the rest”.
“We should coalesce around as much agreement as a room full of “lefts” can ever manage.” was the unworkable notion, which rejected any discussion of difficult questions as “divisive”.
“We don’t want to descend into divisive debate that will tear up apart” it was declared.
No one wants deliberate disruption or splits but without sorting out the truth about the world, and about the politics being presented by various groupings, any such collection of pretenders is going to fall apart anyway, because the real world developments of bitter class struggle are forcing a great division on to everyone.
Working out who is on which side will become more and more crucial.
Far from splitting everyone, it is only the most robust debate that can fight through the great issues and establish a solid consensus about what is the objective truth in the world and its revolutionary future.
It is the only possible way to build the scientific leadership that really will unite the working class as the crisis inexorably deepens.
This is not some kind of “super-democracy” promulgated by the “sophisticates” like the CPGBers where nothing is ever argued to a conclusion leaving the working class in complete confusion.
It is a class war battle of understanding through polemic and scientific argument to reach an end point, establishing the best grasp possible at present of the single existing objective reality of the world.
Opinions about the world are not all “just as valid as anyone else’s” and, for all that any particular individual is inevitably hampered by subjective limitations, a scientific objective truth about the world does exist because the objective constantly moving and developing objective world exists.
It is by building a party as an instrument of polemical conflict and battle that individual limitations can be overcome, not by taking an “average” view and ignoring the “divisive issues” but by tackling all the most complex historical and philosophic issues, of both international and domestic class conflict and existence.
The widest possible polemical battling is needed to reach understanding, not to constantly go over the same ground, but sticking with positions worked out and acting upon that understanding in a disciplined way which can then guide the working class mass struggle through the confusion of unfolding crisis and the deliberate obfuscation, disinformation, trickery and misleadership which cascades onto its head every minute of every day from every possible bourgeois source from birth to death.
Even such revolutionary grasp is not fixed in stone and is subject to constant development as events unfold and more evidence becomes available by testing the understanding in practice – exactly as Lenin was able to do within the Bolsheviks in the fast moving and crucially important events of 1917, being the first to spot for example the new Soviet form of struggle and the development of dual power pushing towards socialism past the already achieved bourgeois revolution of February 1917 which most of the rigid “old guard” was still supporting.
Lenin fought for his arguments, he did not just “offer his ha’pennyworth” to some unresolvable pub discussion or open letters page, but pitched into the polemic to prove the truth and expose the mistakes of others and the deliberate falsehoods and sophistries of the multiple fake-“lefts” of the day like the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries.
Exposing fake-“left” confusion mongering is a major part of Leninist struggle.
At Left Unity the eclecticists even put forwards that the new group should “celebrate” unresolved argument, following the “principles” of the similar Greek Trotskyist “unity” group Syriza, whose leader Alexis Tsipras allegedly says “our differences are our strength.”
Just the opposite - unresolved argument can only mean DISunity and fragmentation.
Let the differences be aired openly in front of the working class (and drawing them into the debate), not kept behind closed doors as assorted “left” sects do, but in order to clarify and establish which is the truth, and then move forwards.
Syriza is nothing but a “left feint” to head the working class away from revolution.
Tsipras, for all the great pretence of “leftism” in Greece, the most sharply crisis-confronted of all the European countries, is full of nothing but the old “parliamentary pressure” and “this time it will be real democracy” lies.
It can only be the dictatorship of the bourgeois class, calling the shots on all important issues via money power and state control, and the thousand and one means of bribing, twisting, and bending “democracy” – or imposing open military rule, already seen before in Greece.
The Syriza soup has achieved precisely nothing in five years of the credit crunch, leaving the working class floundering with only yet more endless jam tomorrow promises.
Tsipras true opportunist colours have just been made very clear in his own words:
But, the human tragedy is not limited to Greece. Wages across Europe have been slashed and the welfare state scaled back at a rate unprecedented in the postwar era. Millions are struggling to pay their mortgages, electricity bills or medical and student debts. Europe’s humanitarian crisis is unlike anything experienced in 60 years, with 120 million people enduring conditions of extreme difficulty, according to the Red Cross. This is not a natural phenomenon, but is, to use Nelson Mandela’s words, “manmade” poverty.
Zealots for neoliberalism have turned ordinary people’s lives upside down. Their structural adjustment policies serve a model of economic governance that transfers risk on to the shoulders of ordinary workers and the young. But the response of EU and national leaders is hopeless. The main EU policy initiative on youth unemployment (“youth guarantee”) amounts, for example, to just €6bn or 0.6% of the EU budget for 2014-2020. Austerity, work precarity and the dynamics of the markets undermine the ability of low- and middle-wage earners to make a decent living. Household debt is extremely high in the Netherlands and Malta (almost 220% of GDP), while in Portugal, Spain and Italy many businesses are trapped in a spiral of debt.
Those European leaders who claim that the current medicine is a “success” are hypocrites. For millions of people, the European dream has turned into a nightmare. Eurobarometer surveys show the growing crisis of confidence in the EU and the catastrophic rise in the popularity of far-right parties. What should give us hope is the emergence of new solidarity groups and community-based movements. They can and will lead to greater democratic participation and control.
The European elections next May also provide an opportunity to start a real dialogue with the people – especially those who feel that no one cares for them – about a new basis for meaningful democracy and human dignity. It is time for Europe to stop the shocking breach of human rights by reshaping the state, restoring growth and creating high-quality, stable jobs with the protections that have historically contributed to the European social model.
Europe needs an anti-austerity and anti-recession front, a solidarity movement for its working people, north and south. This could deliver a pact for democracy, development and social justice. We must rebuild solidarity among the young, the workers, the pensioners and the unemployed to break down the new dividing line between Europe’s rich and poor, the “mur d’argent” to use a historical phrase that has become topical.
I will be standing for the presidency of the European commission on behalf of the European Left party, and that decision is motivated by our desire to reunite Europe and rebuild it on a democratic and progressive basis.
There is an alternative to the present crisis and it is our duty and destiny to fight for it.
This is the same old reformist garbage the working class has been fed for a century of Labourism Second International reformism and which Left Unity allegedly is founded to overcome.
Tsipras’ careerism is no different to decades of such petty bourgeois opportunism and it exposes what a giant fraud is this kind of fake-“left” unity in Greece, and what a shallow pretence is the “anti-capitalism” among all the Trotskyists and alleged “left” everywhere who support it and declare it to be a “new” phenomenon.
Polemic and argument is needed above all to expose this misleadership and posturing and the soft-brained revisionist philosophy of “democratic change” and “peaceful roads” that underpins it (fed equally by the revisionist weaknesses of the Greek Communist Party which has also failed to raise the arguments beyond protest and pacifist-style protest).
Avoiding polemic, either treating all subjective opinions as “equally valid”, or by avoiding debate altogether in order to “get on with action” is an evasion and a cover-up.
Without revolutionary theory, as Lenin famously said, there can be no revolution, – and therefore no end to the collapse and was disaster.
Such hostility to theory has particularly hampered the pragmatic British working class throughout its history.
And once again at Left Unity it was being cheered on with applause for such platitudes and gobsmacking philistinism as “we don’t want to get bogged down in arguments that will just dissolve into an eternal debate” and “we are not ready to listen to a lot of historical stuff that is not relevant to were we are today.”
Where we are today is built entirely on the history and developments that have gone before and the great previous struggles of the working class and the mistakes and failures they have made.
Humanity progress by learning from its mistakes in all fields and in the great movement of society itself.
But the point of Leninism is precisely to resolve issues, not endlessly and pointlessly go round in circles.
No “immediate action” that “we should get on with instead” can get anywhere at all without sorting out what action, by who, taking account of what factors, and above all clearly assessing who is on what side and what are the strengths and weakness of the various class forces.
All such “in the meantime” politics is an evasion of the need for revolution and a fraud on the working class because it pretends that something other than revolution can produce solutions or improvement.
More than a century of disastrous Labourite “steady change” has produced two world wars and now come full circle back to Depression and a Third World war already effectively underway in piecemeal but horrific destruction throughout the Middle East.
The “action” of the enormous spontaneous revolution in Egypt for example has dissolved into disaster, left wide open for the Western-approved military to carry through its coup partly because of its illusions in “democracy” and petty bourgeois anarchist rejection of any kind of Leninist party leadership and struggle – consciously pumped out by various Western “left” advisers and mysterious (and sinister) “bloggers” as a new kind of “flat leadership” with no leader figures allegedly being elevated to the fore.
The same anti-party, anti-polemic, anti-theory “principles” were pumped out throughout the “Occupy” movement, which has equally disintegrated.
The underlying philosophy of this “let’s not argue but work with what we agree on” is not only false, since the differences will emerge and the more sharply the crisis deepens, but is actually driven by hostility and anti-communism.
The debate is not wanted because it would expose the petty bourgeois individualism of all the Trotskyist groups which in practice cannot stand the class disciplines which would be necessary to establish working class rule.
Above all it would expose the anti-communism that results from this dilettantism.
It was ever thus, exactly with the Socialist Alliance grouping fifteen years ago (EPSR 1093 12-06-01):
The actual revolutionary future facing mankind is going to impose some tricky choices on mere ‘left’ posturing dilettantes around the middle-class ‘revolutionary’ groups.
Some of these sectarian posturers are bottling out already, dismayed at the threatened end to their Third Camp fence-sitting and being forced to say: “On to more Soviet-style workers states” (the only historical reality and the only possibility, generally speaking), or to turn openly counter-revolutionary and declare: “Anything but a return to the Soviet Union and the socialist camp”; — and even more dismayed at the prospect of aggressively powerful proletarian dictatorships actually returning to the historical arena and likely to play a dominant role again, or even more so than before.
The game played for decades of faking class instincts is nearly over. Rooted in the petty-bourgeois security of capitalist democracy, many fake-’lefts’, both Trotskyite and revisionist pretended to be ready to live under the quite harsh disciplines of proletarian dictatorships (facing non-stop imperialist encirclement, sabotage, subversion, and general hostility, — and often under quite badly damaged revisionist misleaderships).
But whenever it came to actually standing up in the West to publicly defend those proletarian dictatorships on principle at the most difficult crisis times when some major counter-revolutionary stunt or incident had gone off, (hysterically publicised by the West and with its own imperialist subversive influences on the provocation very well hidden), — then lots of these posturers fell off their “anti-imperialist” perches.
Now that history is about to produce a whole new wave of proletarian dictatorships around the planet, many of them possibly far harsher than anything that was necessary in 1917 or post 1945 even, — then a lot more phony “pro-communism in principle” is going to start biting the dust.
The second time round in history, when the only proletarian dictatorships which emerge look remarkably like the only ones hitherto known to the world, — or even ‘worse’, — then the pretence of being “really communist, but for a ‘real’ perfect socialist revolution, with endless instant liberty for everyone”, etc, — then starts to look provocatively stupid and would best be abandoned.
This fairweather phoniness was always there. The more some petty bourgeois sect had ‘communist’ or ‘revolutionary’ in its title, and the more hammer-and-sickle symbols it adorned its publications with, the more certain you could be that posturing charlatanism was behind it, adoring to pose as so “Marxist” because it produced such a frisson in polite society, but always so steeped in subjective idealism (unbalanced individualism) that in reality they would be the last people on earth who could actually adapt themselves to the needs of proletarian dictatorship in difficult counter-revolutionary circumstances, and who frequently made dramatic conversions to anti-communism whenever bourgeois propaganda succeeded in setting up some really successful anti-Soviet stunt.
The movement of the capitalist crisis, breaking into the open in 2008’s still unfolding global economic disaster, suggested some possibility that “Left Unity” might represent a new kind of centrist movement (revolutionary in words at least) tapping into rising working class frustration and growing discontent as the Slump bites harder, but it is looking more and more like yet another re-run of the old groupings that have gone before.
No evidence of a great workers’ presence was apparent at its founding conference in London; instead it was dominated by all the old Trotskyist faces pumping out politics more rancid than ever.
If anything the anti-Sovietism is even more overt than before with every single one of the “platforms” put forwards for discussion as possible party principles smuggling in clauses to write-off the Soviet Union as “never socialist at all” or “changing nothing about the condition of women” or minorities etc.
Such airy waving aside of the events that dominated the entire history of the twentieth century for seventy years, is beyond belief.
In fact it is not credible at all.
The Bolshevik revolution was the greatest mass upheaval in all history and possibly its greatest ever event, transforming world consciousness by building a society that did not need capitalists and which not only survived for 70 years, against the most devastating class war destructiveness, but took science, culture, military bravery and skill and societal development to heights never before achieved.
Its existence continues to impact on the world.
It was the pivot around which all Western capitalist policy and diplomacy was orientated including the deliberate build-up of Hitlerism as a “bulwark against communism” and the prosecution of the most barbarous destruction in all mankind’s history, followed by the even more threatening Cold War nuclear encirclement of the USSR, prosecution of numerous following wars, massacres and blitzes (notably the 4 million deaths caused in Vietnam and the two million in North Korea, the 1965 mass slaughter of Communists in Indonesia as well as numerous proxy murders by fascist dictators imposed to “stop communism” from Papa and Baby Doc in Haiti to General Pinochet in Chile).
It has led to non-stop ideological anti-communist brainwashing unparalleled by any past class rule.
The influence of Soviet communism after the Second World War was so powerful on the working class everywhere, and particularly in Europe where the victorious Red Army crushed capitalism’s Nazi face (for the moment) that imperialist capitalism had to back off its old exploitation and offer the welfare state bribery and boosting of the Marshall Plan to hold back true revolution with alleged welfare state gains (the same Attlee reformism so beloved of the Loach-ites).
And the influence of the great achievements of the USSR has continued ever since, despite the Moscow leadership’s philosophical disintegration set in train by Stalin’s early mistakes, retreats and cover-ups, which finally ripened into the full blown revisionist derangement of Gorbachev’s liquidation of the Soviet Union in favour of “free market efficiency”.
Declaring that all this was really unnecessary because the USSR was “not socialist after all” is light-minded childishness on many levels but very necessary for the Trotskyists because of the disastrous gangster-oligarch reality that their vaunted “political revolution” turned out to be after 1989-91.
While the Soviet workers state existed they pretended to be in favour of communism “but not in this form” (variously termed “degenerated” or “Stalinist” or “bureaucratic”) suggesting it needed “modifying” by “overturning the bureaucracy”.
But they are now left exposed by the counter-revolutionary outcome that such nonsense was always going to produce, and has, in the nasty fascism and backwardness reinstated across East Europe and the anti-communism of Putin’s bonapartist constrained oligarchic capitalism.
Writing it all off as “not even anything different” goes one step further even than previous assorted fake-“left” assertions that the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 had been overturned by counter-revolution – with an assortment of dates usually specified, none with any more credibility than another and all with no obvious historical upheavals or changes to Western policy, property relations inside the Soviet Union, or workers support.
Both Trotskyists and the Botox rigidity of museum-Stalinism, refusing to discuss or admit to any errors at all by Stalin (ignoring all scientific polemics pointing at the evidence) present this nonsense; the Stalinists just writing-off the Soviet Union after Kruschev.
Even these gibberish notions create a ludicrous tangle of questions about why the capitalist world made such a fuss from then on, why it continued the anti-communist crusading and Second World War onslaught, or what created such turmoil in 1989 if the USSR was nothing but capitalism by then and the same old exploitation as everywhere else (which is the only possibility as far as Marxism understands things - either private ownership of the means of production prevails, or common ownership, with the class relations dependent on which is in power),
If the Soviet Union never was socialist at all then what was all the fuss about??????
The arguments have more holes in them than a machine-gunned Afghanistan village, which is why the petty bourgeois grouplets want to avoid anything but the most carefully controlled discussion.
That was made certain too.
Under the guise of “promoting minority rights” the politically correct diversionary posturing of single issue feminism, “gay” rights and other moralising pretences, the Left Unity group makes sure that no real issues will get raised at all, and serious political contribution will be blocked out.
“I shall bias my selection of speakers towards minorities, the disabled, women and younger speakers” the chairwoman announced.
And if this nonsense failed to block out all revolutionary speakers there is always the monstrous “safe space” policy of banning or stopping any speaker that is “felt” to be “offensive”, a pre-declared political position that is self-fulfilling censorship (ruling out all discussion on minorities, homosexuals, and feminism to begin with, all policies related to such issues, and above all, any debate that someone, somewhere, does not “like”.
No need for ruling class repression at all!!!!
The class war robustness of polemic and debate has not got a chance.
The rights and needs of minorities of all kinds are part of the fight for socialism but can only be achieved by removing the cause of the additional oppression, capitalist exploitation.
All single issue-ism otherwise is a political diversion to begin with, impossible to fulfil and a moralising posturing designed to suppress and prevent the revolutionary debate, the real purpose of such pretend “concern” in the fake-“left” and preventing the development of socialism which alone will give all humans the chance to develop their full capacities and escape the antagonisms and unfairness of capitalism.
Beyond that, the “gay issue” in particular, feminism too and other single issue “causes” have become major weapons for capitalist reaction.
Firstly black emancipation and the feminist movement were used to install the Obama presidency whose “PC” credentials alone salvaged the completely discredited US presidency brought low by the Nazi warmongering failures and defeats of the Bush period; without the minority votes mobilised on the promises of change the Democrat would not have been installed.
When a single term of even greater warmongering and fascist world oppression, combined with a complete betrayal of the supposed reforms and “renewal”, collapsed the black and female vote, the gay lobby was mobilised, demonstrating its shallowness and self-interest by salvaging the vote for reactionary Obama - oblivious to the continuing droning, blitzing, torture, war and support for Nazi Zionism by Obama-ism so long as it was granted “gay marriage” rights.
The shallowness and blinkered petty bourgeois reactionariness of this rescue for imploding US presidential authority, sustaining the democratic fraud for another four years cannot be overstated.
Now the gay lobby and the feminists from the Pussy Riot petty bourgeois individualism are at the forefront of US imperialist slump warmongering in other ways too, helping provoke the alleged “popular democracy” demonstrations against Putin just (coincidentally!!) at the point where Russia is supporting the Syrian resistance to Western provoked civil war, and blocking the Goebbels war stampeding for yet another invasion blitzing.
Putin’s bonapartist anti-communism needs to be dealt with too, along with the grotesque oligarch counter-revolutionary gangsterism it sustains; it is not simply an extension of the old workers state as the wooden Lalkar/Proletarian Stalinists continue to present it, lauding Putin alongside Beijing revisionism in the same breath because of their unwillingness to go along with further US NATO war destruction and the lying Goebbels “chemical warfare” stunts set up by Western and Arab backed civil war disruption.
Beijing is still a workers state, albeit with huge revisionist confusions, which fail to completely control the ideological influence of the huge capitalist economic sector it has allowed to grow as a way of fast forwarding economic development in a backward economy.
Its revisionist complacency and bureaucratic smugness need constantly challenging, and particularly in its appalling capitulations to bourgeois ideological nonsense such as the “war on terror” over Libya for example where it effectively went along with the UN blockade and played into the hands of the NATO Nazi invasion, voting for sanctions on Gadafi, and abstaining on the air blockade UN motion.
It is far from a picture of “steadfast” resistance to imperialist warmongering in its “don’t rock the boat” idiot compromising with Washington.
But Putin runs a capitalist state, the result of out and out counter-revolution, tempered to some extent by the historic legacy of the Soviet Union in the state control he exerts, but as exploitative and profiteering as any other capitalist power.
It has its own bourgeois nationalistic ambitions to be “respected” as a “player” even though the capitalist world has no room for yet another major imperialist competitor in the slump crisis hit international markets. It gets by only by plundering its rich natural resources, which could be a disaster any minute if the Slump hits oil and mineral prices (already being felt in Australia for example and on the cards as the US develops its fracking oil isolationism).
Putin’s Russia stands against US war plans in the Middle East not out of residual communist principle as implied by Lalkar/Proletarian’s lauding of its alleged “steadfastness” (just like China) but for its own purposes, wary of the constant intriguing by the more reactionary wing of the US ruling class to further dismantle and break up the residual power of the still large Russian nation.
The latest Western intelligence fed stunt is the revived CIA “colour revolution” in Ukraine, the fascist “Orange” petty bourgeois populist “democracy” movement instantly declared to be a “revolution” by the Western media, and hyped to the rafters with the usual wildly exaggerated numbers and gushing biased interviews with millionaire “leaders” like the boxer Vitali Klitschko.
But since when has a genuine revolution called for “greater integration” with the capitalist European Union and demanded Western intervention and help???
Even some of the petty bourgeoisie could see this was a nonsense, even if the criticism goes along with the reactionary anti-Russian nationalist bigotry and somewhat tepidly “warns” the youth of “mistakes” rather giving a full on account of counter-revolutionary class interests at work, part of a long tradition of fascist collusion in the western half of the Ukraine dating back to the 1930s and Second World War Nazi collaboration and one of the earliest locations for the Jewish concentration camps:
The turmoil on the streets underscores the stark choice Ukraine faces between the long-term benefits of closer ties with its European neighbours or the immediate fear of a winter without cheap Russian gas.
Students held up banners in English that read “Ukraine is part of Europe!” and “Back to Russia? Oh bitch, pls!”. Their target was not local media but the TV cameras of the west, though in nearby European Square another rally has also been in full swing, with slogans in Ukrainian and political parties vying for a piece of the action despite the students’ request that they refrain from electioneering at this time. Never one to miss a trick, the jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko went on hunger strike again. It was partly the EU’s championing of Tymoshenko, claiming her imprisonment is political, that led to the breakdown of these talks.
It’s tempting to think of Tymoshenko as an innocent heroine imprisoned for speaking out against tyranny, a sort of Slavic Aung San Suu Kyi. Tymoshenko’s coiled plait of hair – the same hairstyle as my mother’s – represents traditional Ukrainian womanhood, custodian of older, simpler values, dressed in white for purity and carrying sheaves of wheat symbolising the land. But like macho Vladimir Putin’s oiled pectorals, it’s all part of a carefully constructed PR image. For Tymoshenko is no innocent girl from the countryside.
Stories of how she became an overnight billionaire following the collapse of the Soviet Union abound. The obscure charge she was jailed on in 2011 is to do with questionable gas contracts she awarded in 2009. But there’s almost certainly an element of government vindictiveness too.
Her nemesis, Yanukovych, was born in 1950 into a working-class family in eastern Ukraine, and rose steadily through the ranks of the Communist party to become governor of Donetsk, a coal and steel city that was once twinned with Sheffield. His political heartland is the rust belt of the Donbass region, with its struggling industries, high unemployment, Greek Orthodox religion, and a mix of Ukrainian and Russian as the everyday language.
Meanwhile, in western Ukraine, which had once been a part of the Catholic Austro-Hungarian empire and still sees itself as part of the west, a growing, vocal nationalist movement has grown ever more impatient with Kiev’s continuing links with Russia.
Kiev itself – home of the intelligentsia, poised between the east and the west, cultured, cosmopolitan and historic – is one of the great capital cities of Europe. These three regions are all part of the Ukrainian identity, but coexist under tension that occasionally erupts fiercely, as in the “orange revolution” almost nine years ago.
In 2004, Yanukovych ran for president. His opponent, the charismatic Viktor Yushchenko, seemed a different sort of politician, progressive and westward looking. When Yanukovych narrowly defeated him, the allegations of widespread electoral fraud erupted on to the streets of Kiev in the orange revolution, in which Tymoshenko first came to prominence. This forced a rerun, and Yushchenko won, appointing Tymoshenko as his prime minister.
In office, however, the former allies squabbled constantly, paralysing Ukrainian political life, and disillusioning many supporters. A year later, Yanukovych was re-elected, apparently legitimately. He promoted his allies, clamped down on independent journalists, and jailed his opponents. When Tymoshenko was put on trial, Yushchenko, once her ally, was among those who gave evidence against her, while canny Putin called for her release.
Putin now stands accused by the EU of applying economic pressure to grab Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit. He has already embargoed imports of sweets and chocolates from Ukraine, but the more serious looming threat is to do with gas. For gas contracts are at the heart of this story. If Ukraine throws in its lot with the EU, it will have to pay the full market price for gas, losing the concessionary rate enjoyed at present. Such a rise would be catastrophic for precarious Ukrainian businesses and families facing the country’s fierce winter with skyrocketing fuel bills. Set against this, the lukewarm blandishments of the EU, which come with IMF austerity strings and the sting in the tail of a pardon for Tymoshenko, don’t seem that attractive. No wonder Yanukovych is dithering.
Ukrainian nationalists, faced with Putin’s perfectly understandable display of self-interest, have whipped themselves into a frenzy of anti-Russian sentiment. Meanwhile, Yanukovych, finding himself suddenly courted by two great powers, clumsily tries to extract what he can from the situation. From her prison cell, Tymoshenko has requested that her imprisonment should not prevent the signing of the agreement, but she taunts Yanukovych, telling him he’s not clever enough to play off Russia and the EU against each other.
For the young people in the square, this whole game of political tit-for-tat is what they reject. For them, the EU represents modernity, transparency in political life, an escape from the stifling embrace of the past, and freedom from Russia’s zone of power. They see themselves as part of the global community of youth, complete with tent cities and Anonymous masks. Many young Ukrainians identify with the Scottish nationalists in pulling away from their former colonial power, and believe their nation too can be an independent, modern and prosperous state within Europe. They are educated, idealistic and full of hope.
Full of petty bourgeois individualist poison more like, hoping to benefit from the carpet bagging plunder that opening Ukraine to uncontrolled German, EU and American corporate profiteering would allow by getting lucrative jobs as local agents and stooges.
What precisely is “progressive” about the “Westward looking” of Yushchenko?? Try asking the European working class facing ever increasing austerity unemployment and dole misery if the European Union is “modern and prosperous.”
Or ask about the Catholic Hungarian history of the Western Ukraine when the clerical reaction of the 1930s behind the Admiral Horthy regime vied with the Croatian Ustaše Catholic fascism and General Franco’s Spanish Catholicism as one of the nastiest manifestations of Nazism in all Europe??
Comparisons with the petty bourgeois Oxford trained Western “democracy” stooge Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, another Western Goebbels “democracy” fraud, constantly trying to undermine an anti-imperialist regime the workers state (China) it is linked to only underline the reactionary nature of the entire racket.
She has shown her true colours in recent month by going along with the vicious Buddhist racist persecution of minority groups and Muslims which have seen dozens of foul killings and violence instigated by the backward monks, who were the leading element in Western approved (and undoubtedly instigated) “democracy” riots to try and topple the anti-imperialist flavoured regime.
Just in case the point is still being missed the bourgeois press itself tied the Ukrainian events together with the equally reactionary Yellow movement street demonstrations in Thailand, whose middle-class supporters are in a frenzy because of economic concessions made to the rural poor.
Lynchings and bloody violence have already been instigated by this fascist movement which is trying to topple the democratically elected reformist government.
As even the bourgeois reports concede, despite their outrageous tone of support for the “revolution” this fascist viciousness continues the counter-revolutionary nastiness of 2010 when dozens of the Redshirt movement from the rural poor and working class were killed. A later TV documentary exposed the army snipers operating during the riots who cold bloodedly shot down the red-shirt movement:
At least two people have been killed and more than 50 injured after a week of anti-government protests in Bangkok turned violent. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Sunday in what organisers said was a final push to topple the embattled government.
Some 30,000 protesters have gathered in various locations around the city – including government ministries, police headquarters, the prime minister’s office and television stations – to take part in the so-called “people’s revolution” with the aim of wresting control from the PM, Yingluck Shinawatra, and installing a “people’s council”.
Sporting whistles, flags and anti-government banners, protesters at Government House – home to Yingluck’s offices – were met with teargas as they repeatedly attempted to break through concrete barriers and razor wire protecting the compound. Teargas and water cannon were also used in two other areas in the city. Many central businesses, including five major shopping malls, were closed for the day.
The protesters believe Yingluck is a puppet of her brother Thaksin, the former PM ousted in a military coup in 2006 who was widely accused of being an anti-monarchist. The tycoon lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai after being convicted of corruption charges he claims were politically motivated.
The current instability in Thailand hinges on an ill-conceived amnesty bill promoted by Yingluck’s government as an attempt to help calm simmering tensions after the 2006 coup. But critics believed the bill would have seen Thaksin’s corruption conviction cleared and allowed the polarising former leader to return to Thailand.
The prime minister was forced to flee to an unknown location after a planned press conference was scrapped when protesters stormed the police building where it was to be held, Reuters reported.
While wresting control of the media is often seen as standard practice during a coup, the group leading the protests, the Civil Movement for Democracy (CMD), said it was not occupying the TV stations but merely negotiating with them to air an afternoon speech by the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.
The managing director of Thai PBS, Somchai Suwanban, one of the stations taken over by protesters, insinuated otherwise, however. “The longer the protesters occupy a public service TV, the more damage they have done to their pro-democracy claim”, he tweeted.
As protests continued late into Sunday afternoon, the government said it would send riot police to both the finance ministry and government complex in order to “reclaim space” from protesters, with unconfirmed reports of rubber bullets also being used against demonstrators.
Unarmed troops were sent to rescue stranded students from Ramkhamhaeng University, near the spot where at least two people were killed on Saturday night during attacks between anti-government protesters and “redshirt” government supporters in a sports stadium.
The two dead were a 21-year-old student anti-government protester and a 43-year-old redshirt guard. Fifty-four other people were injured.
Redshirt leaders attempted to reduce tensions by calling on their supporters to go home; many of them returned to their northern provinces by bus.
The head of the army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has offered to mediate between the two sides, the English-language paper the Nation reported, but it is unclear what Suthep will do next, as he has ignored repeated calls by Yingluck for negotiation and insisted that laws must be broken for protesters to achieve their goal – a vague plan for a non-elected “people’s council” to run the country with the king as head of state.
The current protests are the largest since the 2010 demonstrations in which nearly 100 were killed and 2,000 injured
Reestablishing direct monarchist rule is hardly the ambition of a Marxist “revolutionary” movement.
A pattern just might be clear in all this, taken together with the middle class protests in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt most recently, of a reactionary populism desperately lashing out in all directions as the capitalist crisis bites harder.
Marx has long been derided by the middle class in the privileged and super-profit bemused Western countries because “he predicted the middle class would be driven down into poverty and it hasn’t come true - ha-ha so much for your theories”.
But it just exactly the long complacent middle class, content to ride the tailcoats of monopoly capitalism’s world exploitation (perhaps putting in a few pounds to the Telethon charities to salve its conscience) which is now most fearful of the Depression which is being imposed everywhere.
Just as Marx described it is now being crushed between stepped up ruling class war crisis greed and the more dogged working class which has never had much to lose anyway and especially in the less powerful countries like Thailand.
The lashing out almost certainly reflects the huge crisis instability and ferment in the world, with the petty bourgeois writhing and twisting in all directions, as the historically unprecedented disintegration of the capitalist crisis unfolds.
The same unstable class phenomenon likely underlies the Egyptian coup events, with the anti-Muslim Brotherhood June demonstrations echoing the same petty bourgeois frenzy against the poor that have mostly supported Morsi’s Islamism (in the absence of any better communist and revolutionary leadership because the rotten long-term democracy nonsense of revisionism).
This is a transformation of the original Arab Spring revolt which was a much more broadly based spontaneous anti-imperialist eruption.
Petty bourgeois illusions in “democracy” and hostile to the disciplines threatened by Morsi-ism came to the fore, playing into the hands of imperialism.
Far from being “an extension of the revolution” as the fake-“left” declared directly or indirectly (by declaring that the MB was itself reactionary and had “brought things on its own head”) or outright like the revisionist Lalkar/Proletarian, this deluded counter-revolution opened the door to the mass cold-blooded slaughter of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters by the reactionary army funded by Washington and its reactionary feudal Saudi allies.
The poisonous denunciations of the MB are part of parcel of the fake-“left capitulation to Western anti-Islam “war on terror” propaganda, and expose the criminal consequences of their misleadership and petty bourgeois confusion.
Now even the fake-“left” within Egypt are paying the price:
Arrest warrants were issued for two of Egypt’s highest-profile activists on Wednesday, a day after 79 other secular campaigners were detained in Cairo in the largest crackdown on non-Islamist dissent since the fall of Mohamed Morsi. It was the first use of a draconian new protest law that was enacted on Sunday and has been condemned by the UN and human rights groups.
Ahmed Maher, the leader of a youth movement that helped spearhead Egypt’s 2011 revolution, and Alaa Abd El Fattah, an activist targeted by every administration since Hosni Mubarak, were accused of masterminding a protest outside the Egyptian parliament.
“We’re back to Mubarak’s time,” said Maher by telephone, while he considered whether to hand himself in to the police. “I feel it’s the same atmosphere as it was in 2008, when I was hiding and trying to escape the police, and trying to make my wife and family safe.”
Twenty-two female protesters, many of them well known for their activism during and since the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, said they were beaten and harassed by police during their arrest on Tuesday night before being abandoned in the desert several miles south of Cairo. At least 24 of their colleagues remain detained.
The activists were among the first to be arrested under a new law that demands protesters seek permission from the police to demonstrate in public. Those arrested had gathered without permission outside the Egyptian parliament to protest against the way Egypt’s new constitution is set to allow the army to try civilians in military courts – and police used the new law to arrest them within minutes. One activist who tried to apply for permission to protest said he was made to wait four hours at a police station before his application was rejected on the pretext that he had made a mistake on the form.
The UN has called the new law “seriously flawed”, while Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and 19 Egyptian human rights groups have said it threatens the right to protest.
The arrests capped a week in which non-Islamist activists re-emerged in significant numbers for the first time since Morsi’s overthrow.
Islamist supporters of the former president have turned out to protest across the country almost daily since July, calling for Morsi’s return and condemning the killing of about 1,000 of his supporters.
Fourteen female Morsi supporters were given 11-year jail terms on Wednesday for carrying pro-Morsi balloons and forming a human chain at a protest this month.
But non-Islamists have been far thinner on the ground, critical of the new army-installed government’s brutality but uncomfortable standing alongside backers of Morsi, whose government they saw as similarly autocratic and whose removal many of them supported.
Now some of them are making their street presence felt once more, starting last week on the second anniversary of a series of 2011 protests that left more than 40 dead, and continuing with Tuesday’s demonstrations.
After the new government enacted or drafted legislation impinging on the right to protest, free association and civilian trials, activists have begun to fear a return to the oppression of the Mubarak era and are raising their voices accordingly.
“What’s going on is putting us back to Mubarak’s age – and it’s even worse, actually,” said Gehad Yonis, a 29-year-old engineer and activist who was detained for six days last week for visiting his friend in hospital who had been shot by police during a protest.
Yonis said he and his friend Ronny were taken to a police station where they were beaten and Ronny was denied adequate medical treatment. “We started the revolution on 25 January 2011 against policemen,” Yonis said. “We were against torture in the police stations and the rough treatment of civilians. Now they’re dealing with civilians in an even rougher way, with more blood, and they know they won’t get blamed.”
Many revolutionaries still balk at aligning themselves with Morsi supporters.
Trotskyism and revisionism alike have got blood on their hands and have a lot to answer for with their criminal confusion and hostility to the building of Leninist disciplined movements.
Doubtless once again they will simply avoid their mistakes and will cover-up the errors instead of struggling to understand these disasters by open polemical debate in front of the working class.
The working class should pay close attention to the disastrous consequences of following this sectarian middle class opportunism.
It should built Leninism instead.
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