No 1438 4th January 2014
More “condemn terror” platitudes pour out over the Sochi/Volgograd Winter Olympics attacks and as with every other moralising comment since 9/11 (and for decades before too) achieves absolutely nothing except playing into the lying Goebbels hypocrisy of Western imperialism, giving it even more “justification” for blitzing and smashing down the Third World in “kill them all” “righteousness”. Fake-“left” again joins the pious condemnations, finding a dozen ways to trail behind the imperialist sanctimony, declaring the fightbacks and confused upheavals of the world’s tormented masses to be “unacceptable” or “reactionary Islam” etc and effectively helping imperialist chauvinist warmongering. The world is in torment ONLY because of capitalist meltdown failure and Slump disaster, the ruling class dragging the entire world back into the savagery and despair of WW1 and WW2 rather than give up sweet class exploitation. Leninism ever more urgently needed
Yet another round of condemnations has poured out over the latest bombings and “terrorist” incidents, this time led by the Russian multi-billionaire oligarch-supporting (and supported) Vladimir Putin, decrying the “inhumanity” of the twin attacks on Volgograd (and possibly more by the time the Sochi Winter Olympics approach):
Vladimir Putin flew to Volgograd yesterday, the scene of two suicide bomb attacks that killed 34 people, to meet victims and pay tribute to the dead.
The first attack took place at Volgograd’s busy main railway station on Sunday. The second bomb was detonated on a crowded trolleybus during the morning rush hour on Monday.
After the meeting, Putin laid flowers at the site of the trolleybus attack and visited a hospital where some of the injured have been taken. State television channels showed him offering words of reassurance to the patients and asking doctors whether the hospital was sufficiently equipped to deal with the injured.
In a televised speech he said: “The heinousness of the crime committed here in Volgograd needs no additional comments.
“No matter what motivates the criminals, there is no justification for the killing of civilians, especially women and children.”
Following the two deadly blasts, the Russian authorities launched a major security sweep in Volgograd, targeting underground jihadist cells and sympathisers of radical Islamist movements.
As always this moralising pomposity will be echoed and repeated by the entire capitalist world ruling class despite their detestation of Putin and his connection with the last lingering residues of (or rather nostalgia for) Soviet life which his Bonapartism tries to balance against the worst excesses of restored gangster capitalism in Russia, (ineffectually enough given his rampant and bragged about anti-communism) to hold back the most obvious excesses and therefore the return of any revolutionary response to the grotesquely unfair realities of capitalist rule and the mass ambitions for restored socialism that crisis will inevitably stimulate at some point.
Trailing just behind them will be the fake-”lefts” of all shades, capitulating constantly to the imperialist propaganda tide as they have ever since 9/11, and declaring that “criminal” attacks are “not the way” etc etc, or are “not really representative of the “people” but are “really manipulated by the West and the CIA” etc.
Tragically too, even the best of the Third International workers state leaderships, such as the heroic Cuban revolutionary movement which built and sustains an inspirational workers state still after 60 years, will follow this moralising retreat from revolutionary understanding, as Havana has in the recent past, declaring that there can “never be any justification for ‘terrorism’”.
But world anger and frustration will continue boiling over.
Just as ever such sanctimonious “drawing of lines” and ringing declarations of how “impermissible” it is to carry through such terrible actions will achieve exactly nothing – except to feed the pro-smiting “collective punishment” "kill them all” propaganda of capitalist imperialism, ready for yet another wave of B52 bombing, fighter strikes, helicopter murder, drone assassinations, arrests, torture and even invasions.
It is total hypocrisy and beyond that, posturing nonsense.
It will do nothing to end the growing turmoil and more and more of such tragic events.
Instead imperialist industrial scale blitzkriegs and blasting will again take out hundreds, perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of poor and deprived people, including numerous women, children and innocent bystanding males, far more than the numbers of tragic victims in Volgograd (or Kenya, or Woolwich, or Zionist “Israel” or Cairo) but this will not get mentioned by Putin or any of the other politicians, commentators and journalists self-righteously denouncing the “terrorists”.
But as the EPSR said ten years ago at the time of the tragic child hostage killing in Beslan (issue No1247 07-09-14):
Not a single Chechen or sympathising Middle-East Muslim is going to be deterred from their growing hatred of Western imperialist world domination by hearing deluded “anti-imperialist” reformists tutting that “taking children hostage is not the way”, etc, etc.
Of course this real resistance to imperialist domination understands the terrifying injustice to the innocent victims of random terrorist strikes. They already grasped it far better than any “moralisers” in the West BECAUSE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN HAVE ALREADY BEEN ARBITRARILY BUTCHERED by imperialist rule.
The mounting proliferation of suicide bombers in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere should make it obvious to even the most limited intelligences that such hatred, determination, and willingness to sacrifice shows that the problem has already moved far far beyond anything that can be helped by a chorus of “condemnation” from the cowardly hypocritical swamp of middle-class “reformist” do-gooders in the West who will “do anything” to stop imperialist tyranny except actually stop it.
The Palestinian nation has been systematically butchered and thrown off their land into stinking refugee camps FOR 59 YEARS NONSTOP already.
No less than THREE GENERATIONS of this ancient and culturally-historically-rich people have suffered this ultimate humiliation and despair of virtually eternal stateless imprisonment and nonstop murderous bullying tyranny, — told by relentless Jewish-imperialist settlement activity that they will NEVER go home.
And throughout these 59 years, the Palestinian nation has been assured by three generations of Western “reformist” do-gooders that peaceful protest marches and demonstrations at the United Nations and around the Western capitals are “about to bear fruit”, etc, etc, etc.
But tomorrow, another Jewish helicopter gunship, supplied and armed and paid-for by Western imperialism, will again be slamming rockets into an “occupied territories” slum or a refugee camp “in retaliation for terrorist atrocities”, butchering scores more Palestinian children, women, and men, — terrorising the Palestinians into surrender EXACTLY AS HAS GONE ON NON-STOP SINCE 1945.
And here -
The appalling tragedy of the Caucasus school massacre IS A REALITY OF LIFE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE IMPERIALIST SYSTEM, and another such pitiable disaster will be along in a week or two somewhere on Earth, and more and more frequently.
Only imperialist tyranny and deluded reformists think “this has got to be stopped”, damning the act of terrorism.
Revolutionaries think “this has got to be stopped”, striving harder than ever to see a way that the defeat, overthrow, and crushing of the imperialist system, every scrap of it, can be achieved.
With every new “appalling outrage”, the unthinking majority forgets that the snarling imperialist threats of “we’ll get them for this”, universally applauded, are exactly what the imperialists said last time. And has this programme of blitzkrieg brutality led to the diminishing of terrorism???
No, it has only led to its dramatic worsening, exactly as the EPSR from the start has explained was inevitable.
As usual, there are claims that “the Chechen situation is different entirely” and “not supportable in any way”.
First, it is continued pure ignorance to see this Leninist scientific analysis as “supporting” all terrorism, simply because it refuses to condemn it and blames imperialism instead.
It is a failure of basic logic. It is the phenomenon of the imperialist system disintegrating which M-L sees as the historically positive continuity. The tragic details of HOW it is falling apart, of which Beslan is just a tiny part of a vast horror story in which 40 million children die painfully, prematurely, and needlessly every year around the world, are 100% the responsibility of the giant imperialist powers alone that no-one or nothing can stop them perpetrating EVERY year for as long as the capitalist system rules — EXCEPT the world socialist revolution.
Marxism-Leninism has always demonstrated its GREATER sympathy with human suffering, and its GREATER courage in trying to do something about it, in this way. The historical record of poverty-stricken and tragedy-stricken countries TRANSFORMED by socialist revolution is unequalled in the whole record of humanity.
In this as in everything, clear rational thinking is the highest expression of civilised development, not emotional day-dreaming.
And it is nostalgic sentiment which has got the better of rational thought over Russia’s involvement in this Beslan tragedy.
Until Putin or Russia start actual steps towards the restoration of SOVIET economic relations between all the peoples of the Federation, then every act of “greater law and order” under present circumstances can never amount to anything other than MORE IMPERIALIST TYRANNY.
This could still apply today, with the Palestinians joined in their suffering by the monstrous ethnic cleansing of the Beduin tribes in the Sinai by Zionism, by the populations slaughtered by the French imperialist re-colonising invasion of Mali and the Central African Republic, by the Somalian struggle against invasion and occupation by imperialist stooge Kenya and Ethiopia, by the Yemini fight and many more world wide.
Non-stop warmongering has gone on ever since and needs to be analysed as a key factor generating and escalating the “terror” (another name for any resistance that capitalism does not like) which will not only continue but will just grow more and more desperate and wide ranging, erupting throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia at present and the rest of the Third World soon enough.
The underlying crisis driving the warmaking will increase yet further the desperation and anger of the world’s masses who have lived lives of slavery, or waged exploitation in sweatshops and plantations (amounting to the same thing effectively) for centuries.
The chaotic hatred and rebellion is now universally breaking out throughout the world as the monopoly capitalist system reaches total crisis and catastrophic failure, continuing unrelentingly towards Slump collapse and “austerity” disaster despite all the pretences of an “upturn recovery” created solely by fantasy money-printing Quantitative Easing sleight-of-hand.
Few of the commentators and Western media machines ask the questions why such turmoil and desperate mayhem began in the first place, why it continues non-stop, why it increases year by year and why it is spreading further and farther?
Why has it been pushed even further by the crisis to a boiling point of anger, hatred and frustration????
They cannot of course because the answer – that the world population has become less and less ready or able to accept the tyrannical exploitation and near-slavery imposed on them for generation after generation by monopoly capitalist imperialism – would raise a thousand other questions, first among them of where this will all end up?
The answer to that is glaringly clear – in revolution to end the now historical bankrupted capitalist system which for all its still continuing technological genius is only capable of dragging the world back into disaster and all-out world war, exactly as it did twice in the twentieth century but a thousand times worse.
Its warm-up warmongering to get out this greatest crisis yet, has already left a stinking mess behind everywhere it pretends to be “smashing down the threat to ‘our way of life’”, achieving precisely nothing but the creation of more chaos, agony and turmoil as in Afghanistan, now conceded by the British establishment to be a totally pointless exercise and utter failure, simply costing hundreds of Western lives and tens of thousands of Afghanis and returning to the Taliban dominance as before the blitzkrieg; as in Iraq descending again into a hell of killings and confusion; in Syria, reduced to death, refugee despair and devastation; or, right at the start, Kosovo, now a bleak mess of Albanian drug and prostitution racketeering, ethnically “cleansed” of the indigenous Serbians, killed in their thousands or driven away from their homes and properties, appropriated by mafia gangsters.
South Sudan, is a new case, its three year old “nation” deliberately fostered by imperialism as another "self-determination” movement (to take in and sucker the fake-“lefts”) but with the sole intention of undermining and attacking another of Washington’s “rogue state” scapegoat victims in Sudan.
Khartoum has long been on the list of victims because of its refusal to fully comply with the US corporate interests and its deals with the Chinese revisionist workers state over oil and other economic trades.
But South Sudan has descended rapidly into squabbling civil war, torn apart by the greed and antagonisms that capitalist imperialism spreads everywhere.
It remains to be seen whether the bullying arm twisting and bribery in “peace talks” in Ethiopia (another US stooge regime installed by a bogus Western sponsored “self-determination” struggle in the 1980s to topple the Mengistu communist officers state which had overthrown the corrupt and degenerate Haile Selassi monarchy) will achieve anything but the overall turmoil just adds to the picture of chaos and failure of all imperialism’s recolonisation plans.
Some end of year bourgeois press accounts spell out part of it:
A suicide car bomb attack on a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya, has killed at least 14 people.
“The perfidious terrorist attack left 13 martyrs from our best sons including brave soldiers and security men,” a government statement said, confirming Sunday’s attack. It said three other soldiers were wounded, without drawing a distinction between civilian and military casualties.
Car bombs and assassinations of army and police officers are common in Benghazi, where troops have clashed regularly with militants from the hardline Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia.
But a suicide bombing would mark a shift in tactics, and fits a pattern common in other Islamist struggles in the Middle East, but not in Libya either during or since the uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
The attacker blew himself up in front of the military base in Barsis, 30 miles outside Benghazi.
“A Toyota truck approached the checkpoint and parked there. There was a young man driving, but when the army troops went to check it out, the vehicle exploded,” said Aymen al-Abdlay, a Benghazi army officer.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. But last month Ansar al-Sharia fought with soldiers who drove Islamists from Benghazi. Most countries have closed their consulates in the city and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there. Ansar al-Sharia are blamed for the attack in September 2012 on the US consulate in which the ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Western diplomats worry that the violence in the and around the city will spill over to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, which last month saw the worst fighting in months between militias.
Much of Libya’s oil wealth is located in the east where many demand autonomy from the Tripoli government. Protesters in the east have taken over key ports, blockading much of the north African country’s oil exports for months.
The prime minister, Ali Zeidan, and his government are struggling to control militias and tribesmen which helped topple Gaddafi in a Nato-backed uprising in 2011 but kept their guns and often resort to force to make political demands.
Violence in Iraq has reached its worst level since 2008, the UN mission to Baghdad has said, reporting that more than 8,800 Iraqis were killed in 2013.
The UN said 7,818 civilians died last year. The total including members of the Iraqi security forces surged to 8,868, with 759 people killed in December alone.
A report on Wednesday by Iraq Body Count, a British-based NGO, confirmed the trend, predicting that the coming year could be more bloody than the last. The NGO’s own figures suggest 9,475 civilians were killed in 2013, compared with 10,130 in 2008.
The group said: “Al-Qaida in Iraq has found fertile ground in all this discontent and has attacked the Iraqi government …by killing members of its army, its police forces, its politicians and journalists, as well as its Shia population.
“The last six months have seen the massacres of entire families as they sleep or travel to a holy place, sometimes five, sometimes 12 family members at a time.” It concludes: “The faults are now as wide and deep as trenches.”
The spike in violence can be attributed to several factors, including the crackdown by Iraq’s Shia-led government on a Sunni protest camp last April, in which 49 people were shot dead. These killings spawned numerous revenge attacks against Shia targets in Baghdad and across the rest of Iraq.
Amid discontent from Iraq’s Sunni minority and Shia majority, the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has in effect given up on cross-sectarian politics. He imprisoned high-profile Sunni politicians and forced others into exile.
Six bodyguards of a prominent Sunni protest leader, Ahmed al-Alwani, were killed in a shootout when security forces arrived to arrest him last week.
At the same time, al-Qaida in Iraq has spectacularly rebuilt itself. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), a radical Sunni militia, has taken advantage of worsening sectarian tensions as well as the war in Syria. The group is highly active in Iraq’s western and northern provinces. It is believed to be behind a wave of co-ordinated bomb attacks in Shia areas of the Iraqi capital.
The levels of violence are now comparable to the dark days of 2008, though back then the death toll was falling rather than rising. They are not as bad as 2006 and 2007 when the country came close to civil war. The resurgence has taken advantage of the departure of US forces in 2011 and an influx of foreign fighters.
An explosion has rocked a stronghold of the Shia Hezbollah group in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital, killing at least five people, setting cars ablaze and sending a column of black smoke above the Beirut skyline.
The nature of the explosion that hit during rush hour in the Haret Hreik neighbourhood was not immediately clear, but a Lebanese security official said it appeared to be caused by a car bomb.
If confirmed as a bombing, then it would be the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Lebanon in recent months as the civil war in Syria increasingly spills over into its smaller neighbour. The attacks have targeted both Sunni and Shia neighbourhoods, further stoking sectarian tensions that are already running high because of the war next door.
Lebanon’s health ministry said at least five people were killed and 20 wounded in the explosion, which left the mangled wreckage of cars in the street and blew out the windows of store fronts.
Images broadcast on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV showed firefighters putting out the smouldering hulks of several cars that had been set ablaze. The footage showed at least one building that had part of its facade blown off, and several neighbouring buildings were also damaged.
Al-Manar said the explosion occurred “a few hundred meters from the politburo of Hezbollah”. It said the political office was not the target of the blast.
Hezbollah security agents as well as Lebanese troops were trying to cordon off the area to keep crowds away from the blast site.
“Suddenly, the whole area went bright and we started running away,” Ali Oleik, an accountant who works in a nearby office building, said. “I saw two bodies on the street, one of a woman and another of a man on a motorcycle who was totally deformed.”
Authorities brought out bomb sniffing dogs, and at one point announced that there might be another bomb, setting the crowd scattering in panic from the area.
The explosion comes a week after a car bombing in downtown Beirut killed a prominent Sunni politician who had been critical of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his Hezbollah allies.
Hezbollah’s once seemingly impenetrable bastion of support Beirut’s southern suburbs also has been hit several times in recent months.
The Haret Hreik neighbourhood where Thursday’s explosion took place is close to the Beir al-Abed district where a powerful car bomb in August killed nearly 20 people.
The attacks raise the spectre of a sharply divided Lebanon being pulled further into the Syrian conflict, which is being fought on increasingly sectarian lines pitting Sunnis against Shias. Syrian-based Sunni rebels and militant Islamist groups fighting to topple Assad have threatened to target Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon in retaliation for intervening on behalf of his regime in the conflict.
But this mess is just caused by a chaotic stew of backward ideologies declare the fake-“left” of all shades, Trotskyist and Stalinist alike, “is not a world rebellion” and it certainly doesn’t look anything like “the revolution” – these are reactionary movements which are to be condemned as “reactionary Islam” (the Weekly Worker CPGB and their ilk) or “rent-a-jihadist” (the “principled” museum Stalinists such as Lalkar/Proletarian).
And anyway it is “the wrong way to fight” and unacceptable they declare from their armchairs in the leafier London boroughs and university common rooms.
It is true that the resistance left behind by capitalism’s hypocritical and lying pretence to be intervening to reestablish “democracy” can be all over the place – sometimes fighting each other, riven with sectarian conflicts and rivalries and sometimes manipulated by, infiltrated by or provoked by capitalist agencies into the civil war infighting which further spreads chaos and destruction in the scorched earth vacuum’s left by imperialist blitzing.
And it is equally true that every incident needs to be closely examined and analysed concretely, looking for all the influences at work in any particularly situation such as Syria, or the Lebanon now where Sunni sectarianism has been used, or rather provoked by, imperialism and its reactionary feudal stooges in the Gulf states, to whip up the vicious destructive civil war blamed in true Goebbels style by capitalism on the Assad regime.
Capitalism has a long record of trying to use and provoke supposed “street revolts”, with provocateurs, hidden snipers to foster a violent and confused atmosphere (in the Venezuelan coup attempt in 2002 eg, and in Syria at the start of the civil war), usually trying to take advantage of already existing tensions, conflicts and class movements.
But even that is not clear cut, the imperialists constantly fearful of what they have unleashed and of how it might turn against them at any point - as the “jihadist” Taliban turned from anti-Soviet fighting in Afghanistan to nationalist anti-imperialism - long since cutting loose from the “Free Syrian Army” and now trying to stop it.
Neither was the Morsi Islamic Muslim Brotherhood presidency to their taste in Egypt even though its anti-socialism and democracy illusions served temporarily to head off the huge spontaneous revolt of 2011 from deepening into a more serious anti-imperialism, allowing time to create a middle-class populism on which the reactionary military establishment could ride back into control through the brutal coup and its massacres in June this year, welcomed by the Zionists and still supported by Washington despite some token slapping of the wrists for their too-obvious slaughtering crack-down.
But the Sinai rebellion against the newly restored Egyptian military coup regime, and the wave of “terrorist” attacks now in Cairo demonstrate that imperialism has solved nothing.
Condemning that upheaval is also to join the Western hurricane of “war on terror” propaganda stampeding.
To declare that such upheavals and revolt are a problem in themselves, or in the case of some of the most extreme fake-“left” views, to declaring Islamic regimes and movements as “even more reactionary” than capitalism itself, is not only not looking at each situation in all its aspects, but a gross calumny and a cover to allow the fake-“left” to fall right in behind Washington’s international anti-Islam crusading.
Worse still, it diverts attention from the real issue.
There is only one source and cause of the antagonism, the capitalist profiteering and exploitation world order and the crisis it has unstoppably crashed into.
But the lefts neither grasp that, nor want to grasp it, for all the academic “analysis” of capitalist crisis which some of them put out.
They never connect such formal “Marxism” with the real world which means it is not Marxism at all; instead they “moralise and condemn” which only facilitates the “shock and awe” blitzkrieg and bullying strategy by dominant Washington imperialism to keep the rest of the world in thrall.
But incoherent, confused and often self-defeating as they are, such fundamentalist movements are the form in which (mostly so far) Third World rebellion has emerged and until a better leadership is developed, will almost certainly continue to emerge.
It is a denial of basic Marxist understanding to declare that the world’s turmoil and strife comes from the ideas in people’s heads, such as Islamic fundamentalism, inexplicably (except to Marxist materialism) breaking out around the world after centuries of quiet.
It certainly has nothing to do with the materialist grasp of Leninist-Marxism.
Why is it happening just at the point when the world economic system of capitalism hits the buffers and is imposing ever greater tyranny worldwide, along with domestic and relentless?
It is not coincidence at all but the result of the crisis which has been gathering pace for decades, constantly put off and suspended by new credit rushes at every point where things have threatened to collapse completely for imperialism – in Latin American credit collapses in the 1980s, in the currency meltdowns in south-east Asia, in the Japanese slump still running after 20 years of stagnation (and export squeeze by European and US rival imperialisms) etc etc and finally bursting forth in a global failure five years ago centred on the heart of world capitalism, the top-dog US financial system.
And this has not only not gone away but deepens all the time, covered over only by ludicrous money printing.
It will burst forth again soon, as every panicky Stock Exchange jitter indicates and every serious analyst knows and occasionally writes in the capitalist press.
The monopoly capitalist crisis strategy, led by top dog imperialist Washington, is to bully and blitz to intimidate the world into providing the trade, raw materials and much of the labour to keep the US super power going (as always) despite its now total bankruptcy and inability to ever pay the bills (except partially, in the worthless, rapidly devaluing, QE Monopoly-money paper dollars which temporarily staved off the complete collapse of 2008.)
Beyond that is the drive towards total war once more, to re-establish US imperialism’s supreme position and simultaneously to destroy the “surplus” capital now clogging the world markets with investment unable to find a profitable outlet and constantly increasing the already cutthroat competition to intolerable levels.
Market crises in 1908-14 combined with growing inter-imperialist rivalry for world colonial control led to the greatest slaughter in history in the 1914-18 War which imperialism is currently trying to whitewash and makeover in an extraordinary propaganda campaign for the centenary year.
But it was nothing to do with honour and principles (claimed on all sides, Britain, Russia, Germany and France - and America) but as Lenin’s Bolsheviks clearly stated, a fight among thieves for the biggest share of the world plunder they could take.
The Crash of 1929 with the 1930s Depression led to ten times the slaughter and destruction of entire countries, wiping out for a while the competitive rivalry to the US victor, free to take the lion’s share of world production and resources afterwards.
What outcome can be expected therefore from the greatest crash in history in 2008??
What is missing from the great revolt is the sharp material objective clarity and understanding that a Marxist-Leninist party will constantly battle for, the conscious revolutionary leadership of a cadre party that needs to be built urgently and which can guide the masses everywhere in what are the movements taking place and who is serving whose interests.
It starts with the realities of the crisis, as opposed the to ludicrous la-la fantasies of a “recovery” deliberately promulgated by the ruling class and even now swallowed by the shallow philistinism of much of the fake-“left”, which have already devastated the masses everywhere in the Third World and are already hammering the working class in the advanced countries as the ruling class withdraws all the alleged gains of 150 years of “steady left reforms”.
[Astonishingly some “lefts” (eg in the new “Left Unity” Trotskyist anti-communist lash-up) are still advocating the reformist step-by-step path! Turkeys and Christmas does not cover it.]
The world reality is one of bloody oppression, war, torture and domestic repression escalating daily via censorship, universal surveillance and police violence and with far more to come as needed by the ruling class if any of the “austerity fightback” should start to get anywhere.
In others words, of the steady unveiling of the dictatorship reality of capitalist class war rule and exploitation, returning to its real underlying fascist Nazi nature.
“But it’s too early to talk like this” say the wooden-top fake-“left” and their rigid undialectical formulas of what fascism is supposed to be, even as the revelations pour out about the non-stop Nazism of even the “nicest” of imperialisms (like the absurd image of British empire “tolerance and civilisation” which was actually a endless tyranny of genocidal slaughter, concentration camps, kidnapping and killing, barbaric executions and punishments, depravity and war-crimes, destroying completely, or partially, at least half a dozen entire ethnic peoples (various Native Americans, Maoris, Aborigines, Indians, Zulus, Eskimos, Sudanese)) and the revelations of domestic atrocities too.
All very much in the past? Not really - as all the disclosures and atrocity revelations from Iraq, Afghanistan Syria and Libya make clear.
And the “popular” stunt Orange pretend “revolution" in Ukraine?? The sick truth keeps pouring out, even if in the mealy-mouthed form of a capitalist press report:
About 15,000 Ukrainians attended a torchlit march across Kiev on Wednesday night to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in the times before the Second World War. Bandera is a highly controversial figure, praised in western Ukraine as a leader of the country’s liberation movement, and condemned for collaboration with Nazis in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country. In January 2010, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko posthumously decorated Bandera with the Hero of Ukraine award, which was annulled by a court in January 2011 under President Viktor Yanukovich.
Note the sly manner in which it is suggested he was an “honourable nationalist” and it is “just the communists” who condemn this out-and-out Hitler Nazi collaborator!
Even in the Great Miners Strike 30 years ago, as newly released state documents reveal, the ruling class was planning as much civil war violence as it felt was necessary if the heroic fight of the miners had come anywhere close to succeeding in pushing back the Government, which it twice did:
Margaret Thatcher was secretly preparing to use troops and declare a state of emergency at the height of the miners’ strike – out of fear Britain was going to run out of food and grind to a halt, government papers released today reveal.
The 1984 cabinet papers, released to the National Archives, show that Thatcher asked for contingency plans to be drawn up to use troops to move coal stocks, despite official government policy ruling out the use of service personnel. A plan involving the use of 4,500 service drivers and 1,650 tipper lorries was considered capable of moving 100 kilotonnes a day of coal to the power stations.
A separate contingency plan, codenamed Operation Halberd, to use troops in the event of a dock strike, had also been drawn up.
The files show that there were two moments during the government’s bitter year-long struggle with the miners when Thatcher and her ministers “stared into the abyss” and glimpsed the possibility of defeat.
The first came in July 1984, when Britain’s dockers joined the miners on strike. The Downing Street papers show that Norman Tebbit, then Thatcher’s employment secretary, wrote her a “secret and personal” letter warning that “I do not see that time is on our side”.
In the face of secret estimates that they would run out of coal stocks by mid-January, Tebbit suggested urgent measures be taken, including opening a new front against the rail unions, to win the strike by October.
“In practice, we could not go right up to the brink,” he told her. “I am much concerned that the NUR and Aslef [the rail unions]which are so reducing the transport of coal and coke to the power stations are being carried out at very little cost to the unions, and at no cost to the individuals taking this action,” said Tebbit urging legal injunctions be taken out against them.
The second moment came that October when the combination of doubts about power station stocks and a strike ballot by Nacods, the pit deputies’ union, threatened a total shutdown in British coal production.
The secret list of “worst case” options outlined to Thatcher by Whitehall’s most senior officials included power cuts and even putting British industry on a “three-day week” – a phrase that evoked memories of Edward Heath’s humiliating 1974 defeat by the miners that brought down his government and which must have sent a chill down Thatcher’s spine when she read it.
The Cabinet papers also reflect the violence of the dispute that saw its bloodiest battle between police and flying pickets at Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire in June 1984. They show that in August 1984, the Association of Chief Police Officers told the prime minister that the miners, “frustrated by the failure of mass picketing, are taking to ‘guerrilla warfare’, based on intimidation of individuals and companies”.
They also show that senior Home Office officials shared the popular picket-line view of the Metropolitan police. The Met units sent to the picket lines are described as having been “valued in violent confrontations” but more likely to increase tensions the rest of the time.
The Home Office also told Thatcher that the most notable development in police tactics during the strike – the policy of “stopping and turning back” busloads of flying pickets on the motorways – was not the “unmixed blessing” it had been officially seen as. Officials pointed out that while the police had to know where the pickets were heading to intercept them, once they had turned them back, they had no idea which other picket lines they had gone to join.
The Downing Street papers also provide further confirmation of the role of David Hart, a shadowy old-Etonian, charged with organising and funding the working miners’ anti-strike movement, and nicknamed the “Blue Pimpernel” in Tory circles. Thatcher’s personal diary lists at least three face-to-face meetings with him at Downing Street, and in October 1984 a note on the file shows that he had phoned her in alarm that the press had found out that he had direct access to her. He told her he was “infinitely deniable”.
The papers also show the widely publicised “return to work campaign” was in reality “no more than a trickle” during the first six months of the strike, with no more than 500 going back to the pits in July.
Thatcher’s own handwritten notes on “possible strategies for the coal and docks dispute” paper for the 18 July meeting of Misc 101, the special cabinet committee on coal that she chaired, outlines the details of the plans to use the army. It involved using 2,800 troops in 13 specialist teams that could be used to unload 1,000 tonnes a day at the docks, but would require a declaration of a state of emergency to ensure they had access to the port equipment, such as cranes, that they needed.
The “secret” paper for the meeting spelled out the dangers a week after the dockers had walked out: “The political and economic stake[s] are much higher for the government in the coal dispute than in the docks dispute. Priority should therefore be: end the dock strike as quickly as possible, so that the coal dispute can be played as long as possible,” advised Peter Gregson, head of the Cabinet Office civil contingencies unit.
The agriculture minister, Peggy Fenner, advised that Britain would not run short of food supplies within the next 10 days but panic buying could drastically alter that. There were however looming shortages likely of certain kinds of fruit and veg, bacon, oil and fats and hard wheat.
Gregson added: “Even if no problem over food and oil … serious disruption to industry will soon be felt and there will pressure on government to find a solution.” He reminded Thatcher that troops had not been used to break a dock strike since 1950 and could bring more severe picketing and law-and-order problems.
The prime minister asked the attorney general to advise on how far it was possible to use troops to unload the food imports under a state of emergency even though there was not an immediate threat to the “essentials of life”.
Minutes of the secret cabinet committee, Misc 101, reveal Thatcher and her closest ministers were unsure of what to do: “It was not clear how far a declaration of a state of emergency would be interpreted as a sign of determination by the government or a sign of weakness, nor to what extent to which it would increase docker support for the miners’ strike.”
Multiple lessons need to be drawn from this, not least the limitations of the Scargill leadership at the time, for all its determination, to make clear to the miners and to the wider working class just what was the depth and seriousness of the strike.
It was far more than just “a strike” but a complete rehearsal for the kind of civil war conflicts that the ruling class has lined up for the inevitable forthcoming battles by the working class against austerity and the slump conditions of speed up and wage cut savagery now being seen.
It was Scargill’s illusions in Labourism and the notion of a possible future Labour Government executing a “Plan for Coal” which was the problem instead of understanding the capitalist crisis meant the ruling class was no longer able to grant such “concessions” even in the early stages of the crisis in Thatcher’s period.
As the EPSR has long spelled out, the revolutionary perspective would have provided invaluable lessons for the current conditions, even accepting that conditions at the time were not quite ripe (Issue 1219 10-02-04):
The conclusions workers have alone been left with are either that another similar epic sacrifice by the working class would be a good thing some time, totally wiping out yet more brave workers communities which embodied some of the finest class spirit of the proletariat in Britain; or that the attachment to Labour Party politics really was the giant flaw in the whole miners strike struggle, condemning it to defeat from the start, but that replacing Labour by the SLP in workers affections and aspirations would make another such strike a really sound proposition now.
Both variants are an absolute catastrophe of further missed opportunities for learning priceless REVOLUTIONARY LESSONS in anti-imperialist struggle for the working class.
This is nothing to do with any crude mechanistic reductionism arguing that the ‘war’ for the right to picket, resisting the full might of the police state machinery, would have been better off if fought consciously for the seizure of government power in Britain, there and then.
Obviously, it was indeed pointless to have dragged the working class through an 18 month civil war against the full force of the police state machine, only to lose on the picketing right issue because of all the time fighting with one hand behind the back on the miners side, and then only to reach the realisation that the police-state/Tory/Labour/TUC establishment was NEVER going to let workers militancy, however justified, win on that basis anyway, therefore requiring the whole 18 month civil war to be gone through AGAIN, only this time with the working class fighting with the miners using BOTH hands for the power struggle.
THAT understanding (a matured revolutionary one) was probably not a realistic possibility at that time.
BUT neither was that completed version of revolutionary understanding necessarily needed at that time.
Truly colossal historical progress for serious and growing anti-imperialist revolutionary consciousness among workers could have begun to flow just from workers being given the FULL POLITICAL CONTEXT of that epic 1984 class war.
Scargill finally saw aspects of Labour reformism as merely part of imperialist police state never-ending tyranny ONLY when publicly forming the SLP in 1996.
But Marxist science and generations of good British working class communists and trade unionists had understood this and had FOUGHT capitalism on this basis for decades before 1984.
The miners strike should have been fought exactly on that basis, and NOT on the basis that a restored Labour Government and a restored reformist PLAN for COAL, both consciously supportive of working class mining interests (as perceived), were remotely possible, made possible by the steady post-1945 international maturing of insoluble imperialist system crisis which was slowly going to make the whole “reformist” delusion in the world utterly REDUNDANT.
Picketing to keep the pits open could have still been picketing to keep the pits open, but done on the basis that insoluble economic crisis would steadily be giving the Western imperialist system, loyally supported as ever by the Labour Party and the TUC, no choice but to steadily destroy all “reformist” concessions to the working class in order to allow unrestrained cut-throat market competitiveness back into the “free world” system for Britain to survive at all within a capitalist world economy.
That would have meant that the “legitimate” miners strike consciousness was ALREADY, there and then, about incipient REVOLUTIONARY consciousness for state power in Britain (or working class interests versus capitalist interests) right from the start.
Even better if this had been consciously made a fight for international working class interests (including workers state communist interests) against international imperialist interests from the start, which could have been well within existing NUM consciousness had the miners traditionally good leadership been even better.
It is not one man’s responsibility that it wasn’t, but it is definitely the rotten philistine traditions of fake-’left’ Scargillism on questions of political theory which were undoubtedly an unnecessary extra burden for the working class to bear in 1984, and a lesson which still refuses to be learnt.
All that has happened with the SLP is that Scargill has simply recreated Old Labour in all its reformist TUC struggle delusions, only “this time under a winning leadership”. Yeah, sure.
But instead of the Alliance, RESPECT, the SLP, and the 57 varieties, just inviting the working class on to more never ending “legitimate” struggles which police state ruthlessness will eventually only crush anyway, let workers consider that their whole life is always going to be just like a repeat of the 1984 dispute.
The latest variants of the SLP (apart from the continuing Scargillite rump) such as the People’s Assembly (Coalition of Resistance) and the dire “Left Unity” Trotskyist and reformist lowest-common-denominator salad, have not understood any of this, still pumping out the tired “No to Austerity” “No to War” reformist platitudes.
They ignore the most important lesson of all, that the ruling class will go all the way to the most ruthless force and suppression to salvage its sweet life of dominance and indolent luxury as the crisis bites; nothing is beyond its capacities and the more the ”anti-austerity” fightback succeeds in blocking the imposition of the slump the more the fascist face of capitalism will be made obvious.
The police civil war of 1984 which the EPSR quote talks of, it is now clear, could have become a military clampdown, one step away from a coup. Police were already illegally stopping pickets on the highways and martial law is a likely follow through for “troops moving supplies”.
Meanwhile the fake-“left” continues to ridicule as “catastrophism” the Leninist understanding not only of the unstoppable plunge of the crisis towards domestic fascist Nazi class-war, but its eventual conclusion in Third World War.
But this complacency and middle-class smugness does not need to listen to the EPSR - simply it should read its own bourgeois press more thoroughly:
Japanese bureaucrats are not much given to exaggeration. So when a senior government insider in Tokyo, speaking off the record, recently compared the deteriorating security situation in East Asia to Europe in the 1930s amid the rise of fascism, it was time to sit up and take notice.
“Tensions are getting very high in this part of the world,” the official said. “The security position is extremely severe. There are huge arms sales from Russia, the US and Europe. China’s defence spending has seen double-digit growth each year since 1989. They [Beijing] are not a responsible partner. US influence in the region is receding.”
Bad blood between Japan and China runs deep and, in the modern era, dates from the 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Following its defeat in 1945 and its adoption of a pacifist constitution, Japan became wholly dependent on the US for its defence. Some analysts claim it has long been in Tokyo’s interests to play up the China “threat”. But objectively speaking, the threat is real, and it becomes tangibly more worrying by the day.
Extraordinarily rapid economic growth in China in recent decades, which has seen it overtake Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, and the concomitant expansion of Beijing’s political, diplomatic and military might have set alarm bells clanging across the region as never before. Today the talk at embassy cocktail parties is not so much about how to “contain” China – the great, lost conceit of hawkish American geostrategists – as how to appease it.
Tellingly, the Japanese official’s warning came days before China unexpectedly declared a new air-defence zone in the East China sea, covering the Senkaku islands (Diaoyu to China) that are viewed in Tokyo as sovereign Japanese territory. The ensuing row saw Japan, the US and South Korea send fighter aircraft into the zone in open, dangerous defiance of Beijing’s strictures. A subsequent mediation mission by US vice-president Joe Biden failed to resolve the stand-off, in effect leaving a powder keg smouldering and untended.
Nobody is talking openly about a third world war, not yet at least. But there is a growing awareness that the seeds of a possible future superpower collision are being sown around the islands, rocks and shoals, and in the overpopulated sea lanes and airspace beyond China’s historic borders, to which Beijing lays claim with growing political robustness and ever-improving military capacity. The lack of a regional security organisation, the absence of a hotline between Beijing and Tokyo, and the ever-present menace represented by the nuclear-armed, Chinese-backed regime in North Korea all add to the inherent dangers of the current situation.
Like any empire in the past, as China’s power grows, that power is ineluctably projected to encompass immediate neighbours and, in time, geographical regions and even whole continents. For Beijing, the final frontier in this reverse engineering of manifest destiny is the Pacific basin itself. But to achieve dominance, it must first displace the US, the world’s most militarily powerful nation. This contest has years to run. But it is now kicking off, hence the whispers of war.
Three men currently hold the key to what may happen in 2014. One is Xi Jinping, paramount leader of the Chinese Communist party and People’s Liberation Army, who succeeded Hu Jintao as president last March. In a sharp change of tone, Xi has dropped Hu’s talk of a magnanimous China’s peaceful rise and substituted a tougher, nationalist-sounding message stressing pride in one’s country at home and asserting China’s rights on the international stage with “indomitable will”.
The ideological underpinning for this approach was set out in Xi’s “China dream” inaugural speech, an obvious attempt to provide an alternative to the American dream. As the People’s Daily commented, his idea was “to construct a more open and charismatic Communism that makes people excited to be Chinese”.
At a recent party plenum, Xi successfully pushed through an ambitious reform programme while strengthening his grip on power. ...
Xi’s rise to power has coincided with the emergence of a similarly hard-headed individual as Japan’s prime minister. Shinzo Abe, who took office around the same time as Xi, has his own agenda for dealing with China. It sometimes makes his American allies and the 10 members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) – China’s smaller neighbours – wince with anxiety.
An unrepentant nationalist, Abe says it is past time for Japan to drop its pacifist laws, recognise the many threats to its security, and stand up boldly for its interests and values. To this end he has increased defence spending, created a new national security council, strengthened alliances with countries such as the Philippines (which has its own territorial dispute with China), and plans to buy advanced new US weaponry.
“Japan is back,” Abe declared during a visit to Washington last year. For this and other reasons, Xi has refused to meet him, as has South Korea’s president. Official media denounce Abe as a revisionist and militarist. This chilly impasse has worsened the strains over China’s new air zone.
The third key player in this unfolding drama is Barack Obama, who has bigger guns and more ships and planes than the other two combined. Like the rest of the world, the US administration can think of a thousand reasons why a war in East Asia would be disastrously self-defeating for all concerned, starting with the negative impact on international trade, finance and American debt.
But aware of the perception that US regional influence is receding, and that the smallest spark could cause a conflagration, Obama has shifted his approach. His so-called “pivot” to Asia, giving the area a higher foreign policy priority, is principally aimed (despite denials) at countering Chinese blue-water navy ambitions in the Pacific and other unsettling manifestations of Chinese power projection.
Regional observers question how serious Obama is about the China “threat” and whether, for example, he would really come to Japan’s defence if the Senkaku dispute degenerated into a shooting war. Perhaps 2014 will provide the answer.
This heavily biased pro-Western “analysis” by the anti-communist Simon Tisdall on the Guardian turns reality on its head in pretending that the tension is due to “Chinese aggression, sliding quickly over the revanchism of Abe and the history of monstrous land grabbling aggression by Japanese imperialism throughout the early twentieth century from the 1904 war against Russia to the China invasion which saw sustained massacres of hundreds of thousands of Chinese in the 1930s (in the siege of Nanjng for example where Japanese officers competed for the greatest number of Samurai sword beheadings).
Another piece from the Chinese Ambassador counters this, again in the bourgeois press:
Last week, in flagrant disregard of the feelings of his Asian neighbors, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, paid homage at the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Class A war criminals – defined as those who committed “crimes against peace” – are enshrined.
They were among the 28 Japanese olitical and military leaders convicted by an international military tribunal after the Second WorldWar.
The Yasukuni Shrine was established more than 150 years ago, and Asian people know very well how it has since been used by Japanese militarists as a spiritual symbol to launch wars of aggression. In addition, it is deeply offensive to witness convicted war criminals being venerated.
These were leaders found guilty of inflicting indescribable suffering on countless individuals during Liu Xiaoming: China and Britain won the war together the war. Rightly, within hours of Mr Abe’s visit, there were strong condemnations from China, South Korea and across the international community.
Visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders cannot simply be an internal affair for Japan, or a personal matter for any Japanese official. Nor does it concern only China-Japan and Korea-Japan relations.
Deep down, paying this kind of homage reveals whether Japan is trustworthy. It raises serious questions about attitudes in Japan and its record of militarism, aggression and colonial rule.
At stake is the credit of that country’s leaders in observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and upholding peace. It is a choice between aggression and non-aggression, between good and evil and between light and dark. Regrettably, what Mr Abe did has raised the spectre of militarism rising again in Japan.
Mr Abe’s track record provides evidence. Since taking office in 2012, he has been talking enthusiastically about justice, democracy, peace and dialogue. But the reality is seen in his actions.
He is unrepentant about Japan’s militarist past and makes no apologies for it. He has openly questioned whether his country should be defined as an “aggressor”, and did his utmost to beautify its history of militaristic aggression and colonial rule.
In May 2013, Mr Abe caused great offence in China and Korea when he was photographed posing in a military jet boldly marked with the number 731: this was the code of an infamous Japanese biological warfare research facility performing human experiments in China during the war.
With these precedents, the world should be very alert. Mr Abe wishes to amend the post-war pacifist constitution, imposed on Japan by the USA. Close attention should be paid to his colleagues, such as Taro Aso, the deputy prime minister, who asserted that Japan could “learn” from Nazi Germany about revising constitutions. Mr Abe has worked hard to portray China as a threat, aiming to sow discord among Asia-Pacific nations, raising regional tensions and so creating a convenient excuse for the resurrection of Japanese militarism.
Last year, I explained in a newspaper article the key principles concerning the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, and pointed out the severe consequences of Japan’s provocations. This time, I believe Mr Abe has continued his brinksmanship by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine; it has rekindled bitter memories of Japan’s past-war crimes.
We know from history that a country that starts a war and ends up in defeat has two options. One is to face up squarely to its past, make sincere apologies and renounce militarism, as Germany did.
The German approach has contributed to regional stability and world peace. It has earned respect and acclaim from the whole world.
The other option is to deny past aggression, allow militarism to rise and raise the threat of war.
Unfortunately, Mr Abe’s actions confirm that he favours the second option: he seems determined to lead Japan on to a perilous path. The international community should be on high alert.
Next week, The Railway Man, a film based on a true story, will be released. It tells the tragic story of a British PoW tortured by the Japanese in the Second World War. The film is not only about the atrocities committed by his Japanese captors, but also how one of them is harrowed by his own past.
His redemption is only effected through deep remorse and penitence.
China and Britain were wartime allies. Our troops fought shoulder to shoulder against Japanese aggressors and made enormous sacrifices. Sixty-eight years have passed since that horrible war. Yet there are always some incorrigible people in Japan who show no signs of remorse for war crimes.
Instead, they seek to reinterpret history. They pose a serious threat to global peace. The Chinese will not allow such attempts. I am sure British and all other peace-loving folk will not remain indifferent.
China and Britain are both victors of the Second World War. We played a key role in establishing the post-war international order that has delivered great benefits for mankind. Our two countries have a common responsibility to work with the international community to oppose and condemn any words or actions aimed at invalidating the peaceful post-war consensus and challenging international order. We should join together both to uphold the UN Charter and to safeguard regional stability and world peace. Liu Xiaoming
Tragically this piece is saturated in the same revisionist gibberish about “non-aggressive imperialism and aggressive imperialism” that built up within the Third International under Stalin’s leadership, even before the Second World War, and totally disarmed the workers movement with notions of permanent peaceful coexistence and the possibilities of “containing imperialist war tendencies and eventually overcoming it by example.”
Germany is not only no different to Japan in its essential imperialist character but has already imposed Slump savagery throughout Europe.
The friction between it and the US over the Snowden revelations is a telling indication of potential conflicts to come; as many analysts said last year it should not come as a surprise to any intelligence service or counter-intelligence, that everyone else is listening in, and “they all do it”. What was being expressed was the much deeper tensions of the growing crisis and the inter-imperialist conflict for markets.
Just as the Japanese have for decades kept their heads down pretending to be all “pacifists now” so the German ruling class has been biding its time, waiting for the moment to make a move.
China is in the sights at present, the biggest of all the hated “rogue” states and is correctly building up its strength against a future imperialist onslaught (echoing the anti-Soviet build-up of the 1930s).
The ambassador’s remarks above may include elements of diplomatic manoeuvring to split imperialism, just a Stalin’s CP brilliantly split the pre-WW2 Western imperialist unity pushing the Hitlerite “bulwark against communism” to "go east”.
But the working class needs to pay attention.
The world has seen such massive economic collapse and disaster before and experienced the horrors of the world wars that capitalism imposed in its writhing efforts to escape its own contradictions.
Even greater war has already started again (as throughout the 1930s) and only revolution to establish socialism through the dictatorship of the proletariat will stop it.
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