No 1457 November 22nd 2014
G20 bullying of Putin’s Russia and continued “kill-them-all” hate-frenzy whipped up against demonised Islamic rebellion are twin facets of the imperialism’s historic crisis breakdown. Such sick and foul warmongering destruction is the only “solution” capitalism has ever found to its repeated and ever-worse cataclysmic economic breakdown. War and “terrorism” is entirely the responsibility of monopoly capitalism itself, deliberately fomented by a desperate ruling class. Supine Labourite and fake-“left” failure to identify the capitalist system as the problem, through fear of confronting the only real answer, working class revolution, helps create the vacuum currently filled by backward nationalism and vicious scapegoating. No “end to austerity” or “upturn” is possible, only the intensification of inter-imperialist currency and trade war, with the working class everywhere being driven into poverty and slave-level exploitation. Revolt is building worldwide but needs scientific Marxist leadership
Doubling of US troop numbers in Iraq to escalate the ludicrous “war on terror”; Hitler level bullying and diplomatic bluster against Vladimir Putin in Brisbane; and hypocritical condemnations of the latest dogged Palestinian attacks on the foul Nazi Zionists, (still dripping with blood from the August mass killings of civilians and children in Gaza), all demonstrate the Nazi depths to which imperialism has sunk.
The ever more crude and barbaric threats to smite and kill in all directions are the desperate answer of this degenerate and murderous system to its unstoppable unfolding crisis failure.
It slides ever further into vile warmongering depravity to cover up and avoid its own Slump responsibility, ready to take the entire planet down with it to continue its disastrous profiteering despite bringing the world to total collapse.
The barbaric “destroy them all” threats also expose the total confusion and craven capitulations of the fake-“lefts” of all shades, all grovelling before the “anti-terrorist” demonisations and hypocrisy of the Western powers, as they have done ever since 9/11.
Most of them equally go along with the demented hate-campaign against the Russians too.
They all miss the point of the need for total defeat of this historically bankrupted system, and line up with its cynical moralising pretences, instead of welcoming every blow struck against its sick and fascistic belligerence now dragging the world all the way into a Third World War.
Without supporting any of the non-Marxist ideologies currently making the leadership running in world wide rebellion, be they militant Islam, idiotic nineteenth century revivals of “Great Russian” empire ambitions or even a return to Stalin’s fatally flawed revisionism, these phenomena all need to be explained as part of the rising world revolt which has been pummelled into existence by capitalist brutality and which, however crudely, is pushing back against the historic collapse and degeneracy of the outmoded profit system.
No such understanding emerges from any of the fake-“lefts” (including the posturing Stalinists).
If the desperate masses are not yet socialist as such and lack the clear conscious scientific understanding of Leninist philosophy, of the need to totally end the capitalism which alone and only is responsible for the antagonisms, confusion and chaos in the world, and the deliberate return to horrific war destruction and killing of hundreds of thousands, then that can only be blamed on the decades of fake-“left confusion itself, consistently failing, or in fact opposing, the open polemical battle to rebuild Marxist scientific understanding.
But revolutionary leaderships will emerge.
As the contradictions of the crisis ripen and the necessities of the world struggle to bring down capitalism increase, these disparate struggles will eventually be forced to return to the battle for conscious scientific revolutionary leadership.
Such understanding begins with the epochal meltdown failure of the capitalist production for private profit system.
Slump Depression and war is the unstoppable catastrophe that the internal contradictions of production for private profit will always unravel into, and on an ever worse scale.
It is a catastrophe for which the ruling class has only one escape plan, the deliberate imposition of total war intimidation and destruction, with the leading “top dog” imperialist power, the USA trying to ride out the Slump by ruthless “shock and awe” intimidation of the rest of the world.
War has been underway for over two decades already (on top of the non-stop tyranny of “normal” world domination, invasions, coups, fascist dictatorships and exploitation) and is being wound up daily against the demonised Middle East, Latin America and Africa through the meaningless “war on terror”, pumped up by the most insane frenzy and ranting about “devils” and “evil jihadists” (which the entire fake-”left” shamefully and treacherously goes along with).
Degenerate war hatred and bluster was all the utter bankruptcy of the historically outmoded capitalist system was able to show at the G20 congress of “leading powers”.
There was only one real “action plan” among the 800 measures issued in the PR-spin declaration at the end, cynically pretending there was going to be a “climb back into growth” and a “new prosperity”.
That was war, expressed in the sick browbeating and baiting of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.
This farcical G20 circus had no other purpose than to extend and deepen these belligerent antagonisms.
Its sheer posturing macho bullying hit a new low for even the Hitlerite bluster that now passes for diplomacy in a world being stampeded towards ever greater horrors and blitzing.
The “black-is-white” topsy-turvy provocations and criminal hate-lies poured out against Russia, turning upside down the reality of the degenerate murderous mayhem and civilian blitzing which has been whipped in the Ukraine by the West’s carefully installed fascist stooges, provoked from the beginning by years of Western subversion and encouragement for overt NAZI intimidation and thuggery, (funded by $5bn of Washington money since 1990) and escalated after several failed tries into the outright coup to install the Nazi Kiev government and instigate the civilian blitzing barbarity which has already killed over 4000 in East Ukraine.
Blaming Russia’s defensive responses for this criminal murderousness, which has been instigated, guided, backed, supported and pushed by Washington constantly (and Berlin too), echoes exactly the tone of the 1930s Hitlerite rallies and rabble-rousing, blaming Czechoslovakia for “oppressing the German people” for example or accusing feeble and backward Poland of “aggression”, both done as preludes to invasion and war.
German Nazism was backed then also by all the major capitalist powers who did not simply “appease” Hitler throughout the 1930s but pushed and egged him on, wanting war destruction but hoping to turn it east for a Nazi-German attack on the Soviet Union, to head off inter-imperialist slump conflict.
The older Empire powers needed and wanted war to destroy the surplus capitals clogging world markets, hoping only that they could exhaust the major new rival Germany while it was dealing with communism, leaving them to finish off the Germans later and remain still standing at the end.
The real driving force was the Slump itself and bitter inter-imperialist trade war conflict.
It is the crisis driving the latest bellicose strutting and posing.
Of course the West’s frenzy has been additionally inflamed by Putin’s support and backing for the anti-fascist rebellion which has spontaneously erupted in the east of Ukraine, and by the defeats that this working class revolt has managed to inflict on the West’s skulduggery so far, humiliating the tinpot thugs in Kiev (albeit at the cost of over 4000 lives).
Such setbacks hamper the Western capitalist war momentum and dangerously stir revived sentiment for the old Soviet Union which could rapidly deepen much further into momentum for communist change.
But while this useful blow for overall working class interests has added to the war atmosphere, it is not the cause of it.
Along with the escalation of US troop movements into Iraq and Syria under the equally laughable pretence of “fighting a new terrorist evil more horrible than ever before seen” this anti-Russian hate propaganda frenzy is all about stampeding the world towards total world war.
All the better in the minds of the Washington ruling class, if it simultaneously further fragments the old Soviet Union and dangerously reviving sentiments among the working class that “maybe socialism and the old workers state was better after all” but it is not the essence of what is happening.
That is purely and totally down to the collapse of capitalism itself.
Least of all is it about Putinism, and the working class should have no illusions that Moscow is leading a fight against capitalism.
This unstable Bonapartist balancing act tries to hold back the most gangster-like excesses of the oligarch capitalists now running Russia, only in order to head off too much revolutionary anger building up in a country with a long history of Bolshevism, where mass discontent with the disaster of re-installed privatised capitalist exploitation could turn back towards the communist past at any time (and Ukraine hints at just that).
Putin’s philosophy is a historical joke of blinkered anti-communist stupidity, religious superstition and reactionary Great Russian “patriotism” that can only let the working class down, just as Slobodan Milosevic’s backward revisionist nationalism did in Yugoslavia for example or a dozen other revisionist regimes in East Europe did such as the Ceauscescus in Romania.
His ludicrous “strong man” PR posturing is a million miles from the Bolshevik class understanding and leadership needed by the working class in either Ukraine or the former Soviet Union.
Rebuilding Leninist revolutionary science is the crucial need for them to stand up to the degenerate war dangers now being deliberately intensified all through the former East European states around Russia (most now run by nasty little fascist governments, more or less overtly celebratory of former Nazi links to the 2WW SS or with deep running connections to the most reactionary Catholic clerical-fascist past, as in Poland).
Putin’s dull-wittedness exceeds even that of the “great” liquidator revisionist Mikhail Gorbachev himself, who surfaced from pizza-advertising obscurity a fortnight ago to whinge like a bullied child in the playground that the Americans were not “playing fair”.
He complained that they were ignoring their promises not to move troops and weaponry into East Europe and up to Russia’s borders, a deal supposedly agreed by the Reagan/Thatcher axis in 1989 when the West was forced to wind down its impossibly expensive “Star Wars” missile shield programme in return for a “peace deal” temporary suspension of the Cold War (driven by Western, not Soviet, economic stagnation and desperation).
But - duh!! Mr Gorbachev, (and Putin) even Homer Simpson could have spotted that trusting in Western imperialism, and abandoning the workers state – the dictatorship of the proletariat – in favour of the supposed “efficiency benefits” of the “free market” would be like putting your head in the mouth of a rabid wolf and “trusting” it not to bite you.
Constant subversion, carpet bagging plundering and non-stop sabotage of any hint of revived communism was inevitable.
And military intimidation (NATO) was inevitable too.
The opening of the Soviet Union to Western “democracy” influences was an unexpected bonus, for the West, of Moscow’s complete revisionist stupidity and pacifist Christian illusions in “building a new common European home”.
Such dull-brained revisionist faith in the illusions of “democracy” was the crass end-point legacy of steadily accumulating Stalinist philosophical mistakes dating back decades (eg believing capitalism was essentially hamstrung forever by the World War Two destruction and therefore “containable” by “peace struggle” as Stalin’s 1952 Economic Problems declared in a deliberate revision of Lenin).
The biggest failure of Putin and Gorbachev (and all the Western fake-“lefts” too) lies in not explaining or even grasping the real basis of the warmongering now underway.
It is not even about Russia as such (nor “all about oil”, nor “predatory expansion” or “shock doctrine” plundering for corporate advantage, much as all these are facets of capitalist world oppression).
It is about drumming up war destruction to wipe out rival capital powers, suppress world rebellion and distract attention from its sole and only responsibility for worldwide failure and disaster, the sole cause and origin of the barbarity which has been blitzkrieging, droning, torturing and terrorising the world since the brutal NATO bombing of tiny Serbia in 1998.
There is no recovery coming in capitalism and the constant pretence about “the upturn” is the biggest hoodwinking lie of all, sold to the working class by the Tories and opportunistic Labourites alike, to keep them passive and ignorant of the real situation in the world.
Every one of the capitalist heads of state gathered in Brisbane knew very well what a cynical lying fraud are their promises of “recovery” and “growth”.
And bang on cue, the point was confirmed by a panicky British Tory ruling class even while the ink was still wet on the final laughably optimistic resumé from Australia, making front page headlines:
David Cameron has issued a stark message that “red warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” in the same way as when the financial crash brought the world to its knees six years ago....there is now “a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty” that presents a real risk to the UK recovery.
His warning comes days after the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, claimed a spectre of stagnation was haunting Europe. The International Monetary Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, expressed fears in Brisbane that a diet of high debt, low growth and unemployment may yet become “the new normal in Europe”.
Cameron has adopted the more sombre tone in the runup to the chancellor’s autumn statement on 3 December, when the Office of Budget Responsibility will produce new growth forecasts and spell out the impact on public finances.
“The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too,” Cameron writes. “Emerging market economies which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery are now slowing down. Despite the progress in Bali [trade talks in 2013], global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty.”
The emphasis on potential dangers, balancing some more hubristic ministerial accounts of the state of the UK economy, reflects Cameron’s concern – underlined by conversations at the G20 – about the extent to which Britain can detach itself from gathering economic storms.
...Some recent polling has seen the economy decline as an issue for voters, partly because there is a belief that the recovery is secured, leading to issues such as the health service and living standards, which have been seized upon by Labour, to rise in importance.
But with Germany, Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse, growing by just 0.1% in the third quarter, the eurozone economy appears to be faltering.
A European Central Bank (ECB) survey showed that inflation would remain at worryingly low levels before picking up slightly next year. The annual inflation rate in the eurozone was near a five-year low of 0.4% in October and the ECB expects a rate of 0.5% for 2014 – well below the target of close to 2%.
The EU may also be only one or two new rounds of sanctions away from pushing Russia into a deep recession as punishment for its interference in Ukraine, a point made in Brisbane by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Cameron stresses that retreating from the world or imposing extra tax and borrowing may seem easy solutions but they would instead prove only to be a repeat of the mistakes of the past....
The summit, dogged by controversies over Ukraine, extra aid to fight Ebola and climate change, was hailed as “a weekend of achievement” by the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott. He said the group of leading nations had managed to “shift a gear”, by moving from a responsive to a proactive stance on world events.
World leaders pledged 800 separate measures designed to lift their combined economic growth by an additional 2.1% above the current trajectory by 2018 compared with 2013 – a measure the IMF and OECD have calculated would add more than US$2tn (£1.3tn) and millions of jobs to the global economy.
Much of the growth would come from infrastructure investment and getting an extra 100 million women into the labour force.
None of the commitments are binding on national governments, so there is some scepticism that the Brisbane action plan will be able to have the transformative effect it promises,
..But the TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Too many world leaders seem to think any jobs will do when they should be thinking about the security and quality of those jobs. The same story of casualisation, part-time work and insecurity in the labour market is spreading across the world.”
Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “David Cameron claims his policies are working, but as even Sir John Major admits, most people still aren’t feeling the recovery.
“Working people are £1,600 a year worse off under his government, borrowing is going up so far this year and exports have fallen behind our competitors. David Cameron should be trying to strengthen growth and make sure working people finally benefit from it, not making excuses for slower growth.”
The fatuous comments by the Labourites and pathetic whingeing of the TUC class collaborators at the end of this story simply underline the bankruptcy and opportunism of the entire reformist Labour movement which has been completely supine ever since the world economy went into a spiral of disastrous failure in 2008.
As the EPSR alone has constantly warned, against the complacency and straight line thinking of the petty bourgeois fake-“lefts” (still all advocating “left” pressure, peace campaigning and “No to Austerity” protest), the bank meltdown of 2008 was not a one-off crisis but the start of the greatest cataclysm in history which has only been temporarily suspended by the non-stop Mickey Mouse money printing of Quantitative Easing (which will only magnify the disaster as it resumes).
Of course Cameron and the ruling class are trying to panic and frighten everyone into going along with more cuts and exploitation – but it is a desperate measure.
While capitalism exists there really is no choice for the ruling class (other than giving up its wealth and power voluntarily which has never happened in all history).
Pretending there could be a return to the welfare reformism of the past is to disarm the working class from understanding that there is no way out while the profit making system continues.
But the opportunists do not want to go near the obvious revolutionary conclusion that leads to.
The same evasions emerge from all the “left” including those who pose as “Marxists”.
They are echoed by various “left” intellectuals like this revisionist flavoured piece from the Guardian:
Four years into the coalition, most people’s living standards are still falling. ..yesterday’s figures showed that real earnings fell by 1.6% over the past year. That continues the longest drop, of seven consecutive years, since records began in Victorian times.
The fall in living standards is greater still for the poorest, who effectively suffer higher inflation. Add in the fact that business investment as a share of national income and productivity are still declining, and no wonder David Cameron’s red lights are flashing. Of course the Tories like to boast about employment growth. But since only one in 40 of the new jobs are permanent, the number of people in enforced part-time work has doubled to 1.3 million, and there has been an explosion in artificial self-employment, the experience on the ground is something else entirely.
The most spectacular failure, however, is in the government’s central economic objective – for which all the pain was supposed to have been endured. After four years in office, the budget deficit and debt are growing, when the original plan had the books as good as balanced by now. The government’s core policy has failed on its own terms – let alone anyone else’s.
A crucial factor in that failure is falling wages and job insecurity. Cuts in real pay and growing low-wage employment have meant lower tax receipts and greater demand for benefits. Almost all the pain of benefit cuts for the most vulnerable has come to nought.
If cuts aren’t working, and low pay and insecurity are shrinking tax revenues and boosting benefit costs, you might think that would be cause for a change of direction. Not a bit of it: £50bn more cuts are lined up for the next parliament – and the government is doing everything to drive down wages and job security still further.
Take compulsory unpaid labour – or workfare as it’s politely known. Under the punitive regime of Iain Duncan Smith at the Department of Work and Pensions, hundreds of thousands are being dragooned to work for free, often for months at a time, for private companies, local authorities and charities. There are now six different schemes under which claimants can be coerced into unpaid work under threat of benefit “sanctions” – imposed on 900,000 jobseeker’s allowance claimants last year, often on bizarre and arbitrary pretexts.
Councils helped themselves to half-a-million hours of unpaid labour in the same period, as did scores of household-name companies. Not only do such “placements” do little to help the unemployed into work, they are clearly replacing and undercutting paid employees. There is now a determined backlash. In Mortherwell in Scotland, a man who refused an instruction from his local jobcentre to work for his previous employer for six months without pay had his dole money stopped as punishment. Last week, the firm pulled out of the scheme after it was the target of “slave labour” protests.
The combination of savage benefit cuts and sanctions has driven the growth of hunger in Cameron’s Britain – and the rise of food banks, which supported more than 900,000 people in 2013. That has the advantage for the Conservatives of taking the burden of the hungry off the public purse, shrinking the state and preparing the poor for a harsher labour market in the process. That’s the casualised, zero-hours, agency-working world the government is fostering so enthusiastically. In case anyone doubted it, whenever renegotiation of Britain’s membership of the EU comes up, the limited employment protection offered by Brussels directives is the first item Tory ministers want to ditch.
This week Ed Miliband singled out the rapacious Sports Direct, which employs most of its shop workforce on zero-hours contracts, for its “Victorian practices”. Such exploitation would be banned by a Labour government, he said. At Sports Direct’s main warehouse, in Derbyshire, however, the company relies on agency working for its 5,000-strong workforce. In a grim symbol of post-industrial Britain’s race to the bottom, the plant is built on the site of the former Shirebrook colliery, which closed in the early 1990s.
Most of the workers are east European migrants – on rock-bottom pay and effectively without employment rights – as is the case in the largest private employer in Newark in neighbouring Nottinghamshire. “They’re mostly too scared to speak to us,” a local union organiser says, “and it’s becoming a benchmark for other employers.”
In the runup to today’s byelection in Rochester, Labour promised to extend the period before EU migrant workers could claim out-of-work benefits, while the Ukip favourite, Mark Reckless, appeared to endorse migrant deportation – while accusing the Tories of pandering to the BNP.
In reality, fewer than 3% of EU migrants claim out-of-work benefits, while any party serious about halting downward pressure on wages from the exploitation of migrant workers would put a crackdown on the full range of abuses at Shirebrook and Newark centre stage. It’s the fall in living standards and the impact of austerity that has recruited working-class voters to Ukip.
But far from trying to relieve that pressure, the government is doing everything to encourage it. How can that be explained, when falling incomes are derailing Osborne’s plan, boosting the deficit and draining support from the Conservatives?
Part of the answer is that austerity isn’t only – or even mainly – about balancing the books. It’s also about restoring profitability and the whiphand to the corporate world, which six years after the crash is still sitting on a £500bn cash mountain and won’t invest on the scale needed for a real recovery until it’s convinced of secure returns.
So wages and taxes are cut to coax the corporate giants – transferring wealth from the poor to the rich – even though credit-cushioned wage stagnation helped trigger the crisis in the first place. That contradiction at the heart of austerity and the havoc it’s wreaking is why the alternative – ditching a broken model for a public investment-led reconstruction of the economy – is an ever-more pressing necessity.
Even if this manages to describe the viciousness of Victorian workhouse disciplining now underway, its disingenuous end-point complaining that “they should realise it is not working” and “this is hurting ordinary people” is beyond pathetic.
It deliberately avoids the only question that matters, that only all-out class war to end this rotten and outmoded private profit system can change anything.
The shallow eclecticism of the Labourites, TUCers and fake-“left”, pointing to the US as demonstrating that austerity was “the wrong course” is total opportunism.
Most of all it deliberately avoids the fundamental understanding of Marxism that the historic contradictions within capitalism accumulate and dialectically intensify until they reach breaking point – that however much is done to alleviate problems it can never stop them worsening and growing to the point of complete paralysis of the old system, which is hitting a brick wall and cannot go any further.
For all that technology and science continues to advance (and even accelerate) society itself is locked into ever more destructive contradictions and in fact the advances of technology simply make those worse - witness the ever greater possibilities of the Internet for open knowledge, locked down into ever greater surveillance and private claims on “intellectual property” where even human genetic code is “privatised”.
As the famous and still highly valuable Communist Manifesto long ago declared, the possibilities of modern methods of production, organisation, and communication to produce a world of enormous plenty (in terms of mankind’s real needs as opposed to fatuous, wasteful consumerist excess) in balance with nature and the environment, are huge, but hobbled and hampered by the historic mode of production for private profit, which threatens by its inner logic to not only smother future advance but to wipe out much of what has been achieved though world war destruction and on a scale never seen in history.
Nuclear war has been held off for decades but has not gone away; to the contrary it grows more and more likely by the second as the capitalist system becomes more and more desperate.
Increasingly fascist repression is emerging in the world, in the most “democratic” of countries as their ruling classes desperately battle against the insane logic of capitalist production.
To survive each is obliged to try and sustain the rate of profit by intensifying exploitation to counter the constant tendency of profitability to fall.
The enormous contradictions of the crisis are thereby made even worse, as the world’s exploited masses have their conditions driven down further and become even less able to buy the ever increasing produce pouring out of the capitalist factories, each producing levels of output not balanced for rational human needs, but trying to seize the greatest possible market share, which in the late imperialist monopoly capitalist phase means trying to dominate the entire world market. Every competitor is doing this, producing great mountains of overlapping “excess” - millions of unsellable cars, computers, TVs etc, while billions of humans languish without even the basics of life.
Great gluts of “surplus” production, and behind that $trillions in “surplus” capital, fruitlessly looking for profitable investment opportunities to extend production even further, now clog the economic system, because there is no profit to be made.
Plan production on a world scale and it could not only be controlled but developed to provide for all mankind, lifting huge populations to decent levels of education, health and welfare, and tapping the great reservoir of human talent and energy that currently is wasted in the ignorance, superstition, poverty, hunger, disease and exploited degradation of the great majority.
But that would mean overriding the very core of capitalism and its production for private profit.
It is not going to happen by “rational” protest and “democratic change”.
Austerity and cuts are not “mistaken policy” but the deliberate class-war savagery of a ruling class that knows its only possible hope of surviving deepening crisis is to force total speed-up and intensification of labour exploitation on the working class – not simply “some” speed up, but driving all workers down onto a par with the sweat-shopped Third World – and even ultimately beyond, into the levels of total slave labour (as already being imposed sporadically in the UK) which desperate capitalism used during the Second World War throughout central Europe under the Nazi jackboot and its workcamps, and throughout the British Empire, both under the British and then newly imposed Japanese domination.
The ruling class truly has “no alternative” while capitalism continues, because of the bitter struggle between the all capitalist powers to stay afloat in collapsing markets, all imploding in devastating overproduction crisis, just as Marx’s original Capital analysis discovered was the inevitable end point of production for private profit (see joining box).
“But some capitalist countries are making headway and ‘beginning to grow’” say some petty bourgeois commentators, pointing most of all at the US itself where the collapse in wages has been less than elsewhere “and they did not impose such draconian austerity measures” after 2008, supposedly proving that “cuts are unnecessary”.
This is either utterly philistine in its shallow impressionism or wilfully and deliberately disingenuous and misleading.
Firstly normal conditions for millions of US workers, particularly in the black and Hispanic communities, but also generally for many white workers too, are already on the edge of poverty and gross deprivation with homelessness, unemployment and often untreated severe ill-health widespread (for lack of money); despair-driven drug and alcohol degradation and violent crime rampant; and prejudice, brutal discrimination and abuse the norm and frequently fostered by the state, pushing to the edge of mass social civil war eruptions as in the riots over the killings and intimidation by police in Ferguson, Missouri this summer and still smouldering.
Secondly the “recovery” in the US has only slowed the pace of the crisis impositions on the working class relative to other parts of the capitalist dominated world and that on top of nearly three decades of stagnant real term growth in an economy in hock to international debt anyway (while the capitalists have massively increased their wealth and “earnings”.)
Thirdly, even flatlining wages have only ever been “achieved” on the back of the super-profits extracted from the rest of the world and its ruthless exploitation.
Finally it is no more of a genuine “recovery” than anywhere else, being built entirely on the constant federal Mickey Mouse money pumping of Quantitative Easing which is entirely valueless.
QE is simply diluting even further the value of the already highly false-credit polluted dollar, which has been fed with massive inflationary credit for decades, particularly since Richard Nixon was forced to take the dollar off the gold standard at the beginning of the 1970s because of the bankrupting costs of the Vietnam War.
Even before QE George W Bush was pumping out hundreds of billions in tax cuts, and via uncounted pallet loads of paper dollars flown into Iraq and Afghanistan to try and bribe them into submission, inflationary dollars that have long soaked into the world economy.
If Washington has temporarily salvaged the banks, the financial system and big corporations, it is only through a gigantic “pyramid finance” scam, throwing unpayable promissory notes into the world trading system, which take a while to circulate through the entire complex interconnected trade networks, but which constantly bring the dollar closer to the point of total collapse.
If America seems to have ridden out the crisis more effectively so far it is only because this QE money pumping is forcing the crisis onto everyone else; through them receiving ever diminishing real value for the goods and services that the US imports – most obviously to the countries that run giant dollar reserve surpluses with it, China in the first instance and Japan, and Germany-dominated Europe, and behind that, the BRIC countries; then through the artificial sustaining of bankrupted and inefficient US industries and agriculture with credit subsidies; and then by the massive undercutting of world markets by cheapening the prices of American exports, as the real value of the dollar declines and rival currencies are driven upwards.
Different countries are not all separate zones “trying out” different ways of managing their economies out of crisis but an interconnected whole, spiralling into disaster.
It is an interlocking system of imperialist capital export and plundering exploitation dominated by the overwhelming power and might of the American Empire which seizes “by right” the lion’s share of the world resources and the value produced by its billions of labouring masses.
It is to maintain this “right” of exploitation that the US has taken on the mantle of the aggressive fascist war power in the world (which the German axis took in the 1930s) to make clear that despite its total bankruptcy it demands and expects to continue sucking in the world’s wealth and generated value (which comes only from the labour of humans).
In other words the most gigantic trade war and cutthroat competition for markets is underway between the major powers, as led to the First and Second World Wars and exactly as Marxism has long said was the case and as was already emerging three decades ago.
Germany and Europe are not stagnating because they are imposing austerity; they are imposing austerity because they are under immense international competitive pressure, from the overwhelmingly most powerful top dog imperialist power on the planet and terrified of the potential inflationary explosion that money printing will bring.
Japan is constantly pushed back by the dollar competition too. It has tried its own QE Yen money printing in the “Abenomics” but making little headway:
31 Oct 2014: The Bank of Japan has stunned the world with fresh blitz of stimulus, pushing quantitative easing to unprecedented levels in a bid to drive down the yen and avert a relapse into deflation.
The move set off a euphoric rally on global equity markets but the economic consequences may be less benign. Critics say it threatens a trade shock across Asia in what amounts to currency warfare, risking serious tensions with China and Korea, and tightening the deflationary noose on Europe.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) voted by 5:4 in a hotly-contested decision to boost its asset purchases by a quarter to roughly $700bn a year, covering the fiscal deficit and the lion’s share of Japan’s annual budget. “They are monetizing the national debt even if they don’t want to admit it,” said Marc Ostwald, from Monument Securities.
In a telling move, the bank will concentrate fresh firepower on Japanese government bonds (JGBs), pushing the average maturity out to seven to 10 years. It also pledged to triple the amount that will be injected directly into the Tokyo stock market through exchange-traded funds, triggering a 4.3pc surge in the Topix index.
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the fresh stimulus was intended to “pre-empt” mounting deflation risks in the world, and vowed to do what ever it takes to lift inflation to 2pc and see through Japan’s “Abenomics” revolution. “We are at a critical moment in our efforts to break free from the deflationary mindset,” he said.
The unstated purpose of Mr Kuroda’s reflation drive is to lift nominal GDP growth to 5pc a year. The finance ministry deems this the minimum level needed to stop a public debt of 245pc of GDP from spinning out of control. The intention is to erode the debt burden through a mix of higher growth and negative real interest rates, a de facto tax on savings.
Mr Kuroda’s own credibility is at stake since he said in July that there was “no chance” of core inflation falling below 1pc. It now threatens to do exactly that as the economy struggles to overcome a sharp rise in the sales tax from 5pc to 8pc in April.
Marcel Thieliant, from Capital Economics, said the BoJ already owns a quarter of all Japanese state bonds, and a third of short-term notes. Its balance sheet will henceforth rise by 1.4pc of GDP each month, three times the previous pace of QE by the US Federal Reserve.
There is little chance that the BoJ will meet its 2pc inflation target by early next year, showing just how difficult it is to generate lasting price rises once deflation has become lodged in an economy. Household spending fell 5.6pc in September, though there are tentative signs of an industrial rebound.
The latest move - already dubbed QE9 – sent the yen plummeting 2.6pc to ¥112 against the dollar, the weakest in seven years. The currency has fallen 40pc against the dollar, euro and Korean won since mid-2012, and 50pc against the Chinese yuan. This is a dramatic shift for a country that remains a global industrial powerhouse, with machinery and car producers that compete toe-to-toe with German and Korean rivals in global markets. “They are going to be screaming across Asia if the yen gets near ¥120 to the dollar,” said Mr Ostwald.
Hans Redeker, from Morgan Stanley, said Japan is exporting its deflationary pressures to the rest of Asia. “It is not clear whether other countries can cope with this. There have been a lot of profit warnings in Korea. The entire region is already in difficulties with overcapacity and a serious debt overhang. Dollar-denominated debt has risen exponentially to $2.5 trillion from $300bn in 2005, and credit efficiency is declining,” he said.
Albert Edwards, from Societe Generale, said Japan is at the epicentre of a currency maelstrom, a replay of the Asian financial crisis from 1997-1998, though this time the region is a much bigger part of the global economy. “China cannot tolerate this kind of shock when it already faces a credit crunch and has suffered a massive loss in competitiveness. Foreign direct investment into China has already turned negative,” he said.
It was a yen slide in 1998 that led to the most dangerous episode of the Asian drama. China threatened to retaliate, a move that would have threatened the disintegration of the regional trading system. It took direct action by Washington and concerted global intervention to stabilise the yen and contain the crisis.
This yen-yuan dynamic is looming again. China has for now stopped buying foreign bonds to weaken its currency but this has let deflationary forces gain a footing in the Chinese economy. “If China’s inflation rate falls below 1pc, it will be forced to devalue as well. Currency war was always how this was going to end, and it risks sending a wave of deflation across the world from Asia,” he said.
As each country resorts to a beggar-thy-neighbour policy in moves akin to the 1930s, deflation is dumped in the lap of any region that is slow to respond - currently the eurozone.
...Japan has to move carefully. The world turned a blind eye to the currency effects of Mr Kuroda’s first round of QE because the yen was then seriously overvalued. This is no longer the case.
(Immediately after this report new figures showed the Japanese economy back in recession).
These tensions are building up along the same lines they did before the Second World War and are ready to break out in warmongering in all directions, with a renewal of the Japanese-USA conflict always just below the surface and US-European tensions too.
For the moment US imperialism is trying to turn the antagonisms onto the revisionist Chinese workers state whose use of capitalist economic methods, but with planned overall workers state direction, has transformed its economy in just 35 years from largely peasant backwardness to one of the most dynamic in the world, a staggering achievement compared to the centuries of development required in the West.
Out competing the capitalists on their own terms brings problems too, particularly with the dire limitations of Beijing’s revisionism failing to educate and inspire the population with any coherent Marxist perspectives, and it must be suspected a lack of grasp of the overall capitalist crisis which leaves it over reliant on economic success, and “not rocking the boat by ‘provoking’ imperialism”.
Capitalist trade war antagonisms against China currently unite US and increasingly resurgent reactionary Japanese imperialist interests, with Washington using a military alliance to direct dangerously revived Japanese militarism and trade war antagonism in the direction of Beijing.
But it remains to be seen how this will unfold and does not eliminate the underlying inter-imperialist conflict with Tokyo which is building up as America forces its problems on to everyone. Pearl Harbour came “out of the blue” after years of such trade war pressure.
The same underlying inter-imperialist conflict has long been building in Europe against the potentially even more powerful Germany, and the European bloc around it.
It was already taking shape in the early 1990s when German manoeuvring and intrigue managed to push first Slovenia and then its old Nazi-stooge Croatia into breaking out of the former communist Yugoslavian federation, provoking the foulest Ustashe-Nazi ethnic cleansing war against the Serbian core, to further break up even such dire revisionist remnants as remained of the socialist past.
America stepped into that sabotage via Bosnia to head off any advantage that Germany might get and to prove it remained top dog, eventually manoeuvring into the NATO blitzkrieg of Serbia after the bullying Rambouillet agreement and the Goebbels lie over a supposed “massacre” at Racek.
Inter-imperialist tensions have emerged around Washington’s Middle East war lies, with the French and Germans holding back on the falsely provoked Iraq war and Germany still cautious around the nazi-NATO Libya destruction and Syria.
The same pattern as Serbia has followed with the Ukraine, an old target of German imperialist expansionism from the earliest days of the First World War and the 1917 Brest-Litovsk Treaty which forced the tiny new besieged Russian Revolution under Lenin to handover the country to German domination for a period (until the Versaille Treaty), and then repeated invasion and seizure of Ukraine by Hitler’s Nazis, a major part of the “Lebensraum” expansion east demanded by resurgent German capitalism (demanding the same colonial exploitation “rights” that the Great Powers like France and Britain already had).
Much of the EU intriguing which saw the initial 2004 Kiev revolts was fostered by German intelligence, expressing the same expansionism, this time using the financial power of the EU to induce a capitulation to Western corporate plunder (with big agricultural and industrial corporations lining up to “invest” as the tariff barriers dropped).
Again US rivalry has stepped in to take command, itself fostering the Nazi backwardness of the bogus “Orange Revolution” anti-communist coup, with the undercurrent of anti-German hostility from Washington re-emerging in the leaked US diplomatic insults last year, and in the deliberately stepped-up bullying insistence by the US that Europe take on the brunt of the economic “sanctions” against Russia, hurting the European economies almost as much as victimised Russia, calculatedly so.
These underlying conflicts are not yet the main story with the common interests of Western imperialism to suppress world revolt and continue exploiting the billions of the Third World still taking precedence.
And such is the overwhelming firepower of the US Empire that a direct challenge by rival imperialisms would seem unlikely immediately.
The joint bullying aggression against Russia seems likely to continue for the while, as one of the main expressions of capitalist warmongering.
But Russia, for all its restored capitalist economic weakness with a highly distorted economy dependent on oil and gas sales mainly, still has the world’s second largest military and is no pushover.
And as already clear in East Ukraine, the warmongering and crisis destruction is stirring all kinds of revived class sentiments, expressed in increasing calls for a return to old Soviet conditions.
It is not Leninism yet and a simple restoration of the old Stalinism would do nothing to solve the problems which led to the Gorbachevite liquidation in the first place.
Nor does uncritical support for cretinous Putinism as now idiotically voiced by Stalin-worshipping groups like the Lalkar/Proletarian, provide an answer. Describing this oligarchic dominated restored capitalism as part of an “axis of resistance” to imperialism, implying that it is a solution to their problems, is beyond opportunism.
By all means let there be defeats for imperialism and if they come with the aid and military strength of Russia, so be it, but simultaneously the working class needs to be warned precisely that continuing Russian nationalism is a disaster.
As with Serbia, or the war on Iraq, or Libya and many other onslaughts by overwhelmingly dominant imperialism, the crucial issue of defeating US led imperialism in no manner implies defending or supporting the regimes which are scapegoated or victimised, and particularly does not imply giving the working class the illusions that these regimes are any solution for the future.
But neither does that mean attacking Russia at this particular moment as the Trotskyist denunciations of Putinism as “just another imperialist regime”, imply.
It is no better than the barmiest of the fake-“lefts” like the Alliance for Workers Liberty which, incredibly, sides with the reactionary fascist “peoples movement” in Kiev, the massed gun-toting and baseball bat wielding thugs who mounted the spring coup, and have intimated the ordinary people ever since, particularly through the farcical election pretences since.
They line up directly with imperialism.
The remaining Trots like the SWP and the revisionist crypto-Trots like the Weekly Worker CPBG, are a little less crude, pretending to be “on the side of the workers on the ground” in Donetsk but “against Putinism too.”
But this “neither Washington nor Moscow” line is a shallow capitulation to Western imperialism because it is by far the overwhelmingly dominant power in the world, whatever the reactionary ambitions of Putin’s nationalism.
Any defeat of Washington’s skulduggery is important, including those aided by Russian forces.
Taking a stand against Russian involvement, and advising the Ukrainian workers to reject such aid simply weakens them in practice.
And far from reinforcing the imperialist ambitions of the oligarchs, the necessity of supporting the working class in east Ukraine, is more likely to weaken and diminish this side of Putin’s precarious bonapartist balancing act between the gangster capitalists and the old remnants of working class influence.
The need to tackle and overturn this restored capitalism remains, but at the right moment when the bigger threat is seen off.
The Trotskyist “righteousness”, washing their hands of any “tainted” involvement of Russian forces fighting the Kiev fascists, is so much posturing.
More, it reflects their deep down petty bourgeois class position which senses the potential strengthening of the working class.
It derives from the same hostility to the workers states which helped imperialism’s long decades of post-war sabotage and anti-Soviet subversion in East Europe, most of all around the bogus “trade union” Solidarnosc (fed by hundreds of millions of US and Vatican dollars), the precursor of the reactionary fascist regime in Warsaw, one of the first to collude with the Nazi “rebels” in Kiev and to demand further NATO troop expansionism eastwards.
The same class instincts underlie the denunciations by all the fake-“left” groups, without exception, of the “jihadists and terrorists” in the Middle East and Africa, once more playing into the hands of capitalism and its propaganda hate frenzy, to justify blitzkrieging and war.
Trots and revisionists alike have gone along with the insane descriptions of the Islamist revolts as “evil monsters” and “devils”, giving imperialism a free hand to pump its “kill them all” frenzy to full volume.
This is a foul betrayal of the growing Third Wold revolt which is now bursting out across the Middle East and through Africa in multiple forms, from Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Tauregs in Mali and Boko Haram in Nigeria, to the Sinai uprising against the new repressive and brutal military coup dictatorship in Cairo, heavily funded and subsidised by imperialism (exposing completely all the fake-“left” groups who either supported the Sisi coup outright, as did Lalkar/Proletarian or implicitly as the remaining “lefts” did, condemning the Muslim Brotherhood and backing the petty bourgeois “democrats” who opened the door to the imperialist organised coup by failing to understand the real enemy.)
Most of all they go along with the fascist frenzy against the Islamic State, painted as the absolute “heart of darkness”, and declared to be “even worse” than imperialism, driven by what can only therefore be some mystical “absolute evil”.
This is certainly not Marxism and nor does it make sense in any other terms.
Capitalist crisis has imposed 25 years of non-stop genocidal depravity on the Middle East, beginning with the first Iraq war and then more or less non-stop blitzing, torture, sanctions siege (killing hundreds of thousands) and civilian killing all the way through the Afghan and Iraqi wars, Libya,the civil war destruction of Syria, the fascist coup in Egypt and barbarous repression in the Gulf and Yemen, and all to a background of the endlessly repeated and escalated terrorising, ethnic cleansing, blitzing and genocidal oppression of the Palestinian people by the Nazi Zionist land-theft occupation of their country.
That the revolt, which imperialism has provoked, inevitably begins in the crudest and sometimes self-defeating of forms, has long been analysed by Leninism (EPSR 1227 06-04-04):
Once literally BILLIONS of people, — the poor of the world, start to stand up and say that they are prepared to fight against being intimidated and pushed around, regardless of the terrifying dangers as is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, — then the writing is on the wall for ALL rubbish, conmen, and exploitation eventually, — mullahs too.
The small-minded racist envy of the powerful and competent White West is not a problem.
It is natural and predictable that this long-awaited further revolutionary development in the human spirit should be being finally brutalised into life by this Anglo-US sick re-run of 19th and 20th century Western colonial warmongering tyranny and LIES at their very worst.
The Third World billions whose willing and rapidly-educating cooperation can alone turn the whole world into a harmonious success story at last, got halfway off their knees (and their backwardness) with the post-1945 movement for colonial freedom which FORCED the physical Western empires out of existence.
And until still-unresolved (and still largely unanalysed) internal unexpected weaknesses and mistakes laid them low, some parts of the world went three-quarters of the way towards real self-emancipation and enlightenment,plus fierce and competent independence, — in Cuba, China, USSR, Vietnam, etc, and other workers states.
This time round, the horrors of imperialist economic crisis and imperialist warmongering will eventually DRIVE mankind into as-yet-unborn mass movements which will take global human culture and construction into unheard-of realms of achievement and cooperation. But only via imperialist DEFEAT.
...This fightback in the Middle East shows encouraging signs of being the possible first steps of the beginning of a major turning point in human history.
But paradoxically, its start can only be in something like the negative and destructive violence which seems to be all that is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the suicide bombings in Palestine and the terrorist atrocities elsewhere....
...All anti-imperialism needs to get its head around the philosophical reality of the present world crisis.
The “fundamentalist extremism” of the Third World is in fact typical of new-found self-assertiveness of emerging class forces and national forces in every period of major world upheaval.
But this adopted puritanism is never destined to prevail longterm. It is always a temporary vehicle of identification.
Puritanism in Britain was a powerful signal of the eventual Cromwellian Revolution that brought down the corrupt decadence of feudalism and destroyed the absolutist power of the monarchy, — but the serious historical movement which emerged into power was capitalism. Puritanism dwindled to a harmless cult.
The Third World masses can only be on their way to one workable worthwhile goal, - which is worldwide economic cooperation, or planned socialism.
In this scientific age, fundamentalist extremism will dwindle to nothing even more rapidly than puritanism did.
The reactionary primitiveness of some aspects of fundamentalism and extremism in the Third World are obviously good for an imperialist propaganda laugh about how we will all end up being forced to pray to Mecca five times a day, and how “neo-NAZI military hordes” wall be conquering the planet unless Iran is blitzkrieged, following Iraq, etc, etc, and unless HAMAS leaders are put to the sword like Sheikh Yassin, etc, etc, etc.
It is all TOTAL codswallop.
The most advanced “threat” to the West from Iraq was largely secular. The most successful national liberation movements throughout the Arab nations post-1945 were largely secular (Nasser in Egypt, Kassem in Iraq, Mossadeq in Iran, the FIN in Algeria, the PLO in Palestine, etc, etc. etc.).
It was the temporary Revisionist collapse of the communist movement’s serious revolutionary anti-imperialism which has momentarily given Islamic fundamentalism the brief chance to play a rabble-rousing “leadership” role (while the total fraud of Stalin’s “peaceful coexistence” continues to sink-in worldwide, now having totally undermined the Soviet workers state and having left the Third World virtually defenceless against any imperialist military tyranny that American monopoly-capitalist domineering chooses to inflict).
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have played important armed resistance roles in challenging Zionism’s genocidal colonising tyranny to steal the country of Palestine away from its rightful owners in the monstrous post-1945 Western imperialist diktats — ONLY because Arafat’s “coexistence” capitulatory nonsense has taken as long as Stalin’s Revisionism to die.
But it is secular Palestinian revolution which will finally drive the Jewish imperialists back to the west from where they came...
...Such colossal energy and indignation cannot possibly remain purely destructive, resentful, and disorganised for ever.
It is also not the point that some of these movements have been manipulated at times by imperialism. The point is that they have also turned against it and will continue to do so.
They are not the only signs of mass world discontent, nor the only form it is taking. Apart from the Ukraine there is also giant Mexico and all poverty stricken Latin America:
Tens of thousands of people dressed in black have marched through Mexico City in the largest demonstration yet against the government’s response to the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 student teachers seven weeks ago.
The march was marked by an outbreak of violence as a small group of protesters clashed with riot police in the city’s central Zócalo plaza. Earlier ion Thursday there had been battles between police and protesters who were trying to blockade the airport.
The disturbances threatened to overshadow the overwhelmingly peaceful march, in which bubbling anger was channelled through noisy chants that drove home the depth of the growing political crisis facing President Enrique Peña Nieto.
These included counting in unison from one to 43, followed by a single cry of “Justicia.” Protesters also intoned the historical chant dating back to the dirty war against leftist dissidents of 40 years ago – “They took them alive. We want them back alive” – as well as the more combative “It was the state.” There were also constant calls of “Get out Peña.”
The students disappeared on 26 September after they were attacked and arrested by municipal police in the southern city of Iguala and then, according to the subsequent federal investigation, handed over to a local drug trafficking gang and then probably massacred. They had gone to Iguala, from their radical teacher training college about two hours drive away, in order to commandeer buses to use in a later protest. The attacks initiated by the municipal police also left six people dead.
The missing students immediately became a symbol of the country’s security crisis, which has already produced countless massacres and over 20,000 disappearances, and which protesters blame on a combination of warring criminal groups and widespread corruption and negligence that gives them free rein.
Carrying a sign saying “Mexico Smells of Death,” retired accountant Alicia Mercado said the events in Iguala had woken the country up.
“People are realising that the government is rotten,” she said, “They are seeing that the entire political class is rotten too.”
The protests in the capital were part of a day of action held across the country. The Mexican community abroad also organised demonstrations in many cities around the world amid a growing feeling that the country is facing a watershed moment.
“This movement shows that we are fed up and that real change is necessary,” capoeira teacher Alejandro Ruíz said, as he marched in Mexico City. “What we don’t know, and what everybody wants to know, is where it will end.”
The Mexico City march was headed by parents of the disappeared students, mostly poverty-stricken small farmers, but the river of people behind them epitomised the diversity of the protest movement.
Students, workers, accountants, housewives, performance artists, academics, and nurses joined together in the chants. The prevalence of hand-made banners underlined the spontaneity of the anger.
Some echoed common slogans, such as “I’ve had enough,” a phrase originally used by the attorney general Jesús Murillo to cut short questions at the harrowing press conference where he revealed the government’s conviction that the students were probably killed in a rubbish tip the same night they disappeared. Others were more poetic, such as “What can a country harvest if it sows bodies?”
As well as the crisis over the students, the president is also struggling to contain the fallout from revelations that a company favoured with a number of lucrative contracts by his government owns a multimillion dollar mansion specially built for the presidential family.
Rodrigo García, who works in an art gallery, said he was attending the first protest of his life because he objected to “being treated like an idiot” by this week’s release of a video by the first lady that sought to explain away the mansion as a property she was buying with the money she earned as a telenovela star before marrying the president in 2010.
“That was my limit,” the 37-year-old said, drawing a parallel between the suggestion of corruption around the house and the backdrop to the disappearance of the students. “We need to change things at their core.”
Many protesters also said they were angry about the president’s recent accusations that outbreaks of violence in some of the numerous protests held since the students disappeared was part of an orchestrated effort to destabilise the country.
One banner proclaimed: “It is the not the people who are destabilizing Mexico, it is the state.”
Thursday’s march was preceded by photographs circulating on social media of youths in plain clothes travelling in army vehicles, and claims that the government was preparing to spark violence with the help of provocateurs in an effort to discredit the march.
Revolutionary discontent and upheaval is breaking out everywhere, and this will by no means be the last of it. Imperialism will soon have more on its hands than it can possibly cope with.
But still the fake-“lefts” say there is “no revolutionary movement in the world” and its “too early to raise these questions”.
They are not revolutionaries at all, but posturing frauds and opportunists. They hold back the understanding needed.
What the world needs is Leninism and the positive effort to build the party that fights for revolutionary understanding.
Back to the top