No 1461 8th February 2015
Left surge in Greece is a good sign but the Syriza “radical” government can no more end austerity than Cnut could stop the tide. Austerity not a choice but part of the capitalist catastrophe which will roll on inexorably imposing its burdens on the working class until they overthrow the entire stinking and ever more unequal, war bound capitalist system. Fake-“left” excitement only underlines their opportunism, still tying the working class to deadly electoral illusions which leave them disarmed and vulnerable. If “left radical” elections really challenged capitalism they would be overthrown as Allende in Chile. Syriza’s instant signing to EU war sanctions on Ukraine shows their true colours (and those of the “left” too). The revisionist opposition to Syriza looks better but still explains nothing to the working class. Continuing moral condemning of “terror” further exposes all the “left”.
Renewed public hysteria being whipped up for “kill them all” revenge warmongering on the Middle East Islamist insurgency, and the instant capitulation by the bogus new “left radical” Syriza government in Greece to EU and nazi-NATO warmongering sanctions on Ukraine, underline the philosophical bankruptcy of the fake-“left” everywhere.
Their “condemnations” of “terrorist jihadists”, compliance with Western war demonisation of Russia, and continued fostering of bankrupt illusions in bourgeois “democratic” voting as a way out of the deadly crisis enveloping the world, leaves the working class misled, disarmed and vulnerable.
Not only does it do nothing to develop an overall world perspective which places the ever-deepening capitalist catastrophe at the centre of events, the driving factor responsible for all the agony and turmoil tearing the world apart, but it capitulates totally to the scapegoating and Goebbels demonisation which capitalism is using to keep its non-stop warmongering underway.
In other words the “radical left” movement across Europe which is supposed to be sweeping away the austerity being imposed by the ruling class to ride out its Slump disaster is nothing but the same old class collaboration and reformism as for last 150 years, which has done nothing to end capitalism and whose “gains” are being dismantled totally, as Marxism has always warned they would be.
It has nothing to do with building the only understanding that can really change things, educating the working class in the need for a total revolutionary overturn of the bankrupt monopoly capitalist order.
Its “step-by-step” left protest politics are a hoodwinking fraud through and through, and disastrously so now that the capitalist crisis has broken wide open, with no possible “recovery” to come whatever temporary “upturn” illusions are conjured in a few pockets of the world economy from endless, valueless QE money printing.
The only lessons this new Syriza (and Spain,Podemos) style of “leadership” can teach the working class is in seeing the rush of all the assorted “left” Labour movement and Trotskyists to jump on the bandwagon exposing them clearly as the opportunist class collaborators they are, hopelessly hamstrung by their deep down anti-communism and fear of all truly proletarian movement – and particularly the dictatorship of the proletariat which must be established before a socialist and ultimately fully communist future can be built anywhere.
Their wooden, blinkered perspectives born of petty bourgeois class narrowness can only conceive of step by step “improvements” forelock-tuggingly achieved within the “rules” set by the bourgeois ruling class, to which they are in thrall, despite all the posturing pretences to be Marxists and revolutionaries.
Once more they are all calling for “left” votes in the next General Election for example, saying nothing about the most basic Leninist understanding that using parliament has one purpose only for revolutionaries, to denounce the parliamentary racket itself and explain revolution.
For all their occasional “daring” calls for “left pressure” these “lefts” never actually put forwards revolution as an answer and immediate urgent context for any of the great struggles being forced onto the working class.
Even now as the greatest crisis ever has broken and the question is no longer reformist “gains“ at all but a desperate battle against the dismantling of all welfare provision, speed-up, wage cuts and workhouse unemployment savagery, in even the “richest” countries, and deadly war destruction already aflame in many others elsewhere, they still fail to make clear the necessity for revolution.
Just the opposite, they head the working class off from such understanding, by guiding it back into “democracy” channels, just at the moment when the crisis is pushing a massive tide of working class opposition and anti-capitalist struggle to the surface, which is looking for answers.
Syriza is right up their street.
The “lefts” justify their pathetic timidity by blaming the working class for “not being ready” (even when it does move).
It is a cowardly shifting of the blame for their own weakness, and its reactionary consequence, namely the vacuum which has been left in working class understanding worldwide and distrust of “communism”.
But the masses of the entire world are being forced to move as never before by the crisis – only these “intellectuals” cannot see what is in from of them.
Their ponderous straight-line thinking is hemmed in by all the subjective idealist formulas, “morals” and numerous rigid “programmes”, party constitutional blueprints, and “politically correct” single-issue “principles” that get endlessly and tediously debated in fanciful abstract academic articles attacking each other (but endlessly suppressing any debate that challenges their petty bourgeois rigidity, as in the Left Unity “safe spaces” censorship for example).
These schemes are them imposed on the world from their heads, stifling all debate and discussion of the real movement in the world, which instead in their elaborations are forced to conform with their idealist fancies.
The outside (real) world upheavals are written off as “reactionary Islam” for example, or the great twentieth century attempts to build a new socialist world like the USSR, declared to be a “terrible failure and totalitarian nightmare” etc., instead of being the gigantic, if finally flawed, triumphs of history they really were.
Above all they deny the great historical importance of the USSR which made enormous strides forwards in its 73 years of purely working class existence, with not a capitalist boss in sight, providing a world of full, reasonably paid employment, cheap heated housing for all, universal education to university, general high level culture and development in science and arts (supreme musicians like Prokofiev, the first man in space, inventions and technical supremacy in many fields, film advances, etc) all while riskily supporting many other struggles (Spanish anti-Franco, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Nasserite anti-imperialist Egypt, socialist Afghanistan etc etc etc,) materially, politically and militarily.
Simultaneously it was fending off endless subversion, sabotage, wrecking and repeated near total devastation of it own country from the early White Russian counter-revolution backed by multiple Western armies, to Hitler’s barbaric destruction of one third of the country and nearly everything built until then, and then terrifying nuclear encirclement by the US Empire which alone in the world had demonstrated the savagery and fascist ruthlessness to use nuclear bombs.
Of course the philosophical weaknesses which finally caused it to limply give up its still growing socialism in 1989-91 in favour of idiotic illusions in the “free market” need to be debated and not glossed over or buried, as the museum Stalinist remnants of the Third International still do (their denial of the disastrous mistakes of Stalin and the Moscow leadership from at least the late 1920s in itself reflecting the same revisionist tradition of stifled debate which helped cause the errors, or prevent their correction, in the first place).
But facing up squarely the complexities of the revisionist decline and its terrible liquidation of the workers state, and to the failure to climb to a high enough philosophical level to succeed first time in transforming the world, does not mean either, utterly condemning the workers states and writing off socialism as a “terrible historic blind alley” as the Trots and “Labour Movement lefts” do, “conveniently” allowing them to go along with all the poisonous anti-communism which deluges out of every capitalist media, education and cultural orifice all the time, and most of all now as the crisis failure escalates the overt Western hate campaigns and war propaganda to a white-heat.
The underlying anti-communism which prevents these crucial questions being debated, polemicised and worked through to an agreed position (the only way working class unity can be built) is the petty bourgeois instinct which writes-off all the emerging struggles as reactionary or limits them to just single-issue “anti-racism” etc.
Only a revolutionary grasp of a world at the point of its greatest ever historic breakdown explains and connects together the huge eruptions of black working class discontent in the US, the ever spreading jihadist “terrorism” in the Middle East and Africa, the turning tide against Slump impositions destroying working class lives in Europe and America (and everywhere else too) and the working class rebellion holding out against the death-squad intimidation of the Western instigated fascist-coup in Kiev, seeing them all as part of the revolutionary breakdown of the capitalist world and the rising struggle against it.
They have a common cause, and are all signs of a growing mass revolt against the epochal collapse of 800 years of capitalism which can go no further in developing society, science and production but increasingly hampers it, imposing ever more insane levels of inequality and arbitrary privilege and while dragging the world into ever worse crisis failures.
Capitalism wants war because its system has hit a brick wall of contradictions that are imposing on the whole world the greatest Slump collapse in all recorded history, shortly destined to become far deeper than yet seen, whatever temporary “recovery” is engineered by smoke-and-mirrors Quantitative Easing and money printing.
Endless war is the ruling class’s deliberate and cynical “way out” to divert attention from its own historic failure, suppress the growing mass resistance to its exploitation and grotesque privilege for the tiny minority and to wipe out the gigantic “surpluses” accumulated in private hands which now clog the economic system and prevent virtually any profit being made at all.
In this capitalist future, piecemeal but continuous war degenerates into world war, not just because it is targeting bigger enemies like China (more straight-line logic from the Brarite Stalinists) but to destroy capital everywhere on a massive scale and to settle the question of which monopoly capitalist powers should pay the price of this “competition”, leaving the few still standing to start again, just as the Americans came out as top-dog in 1945 to re-invest in a shattered world (which, for a couple of decades only, could grow again on the wreckage).
However this time the collapse will be vastly greater, a hundred times worse than even the 1930s Depression and the Second World War which “solved it” and it threatens destruction on an unprecedented scale which will almost certainly be terminal for capitalism.
Even the bourgeois press constantly has the jitters about it, as in this typical story:
A hedge fund manager who made millions after correctly predicting the credit crunch has warned major economies are entering a recession that will be ‘remembered in a hundred years’.
In a letter to his well-heeled customers, [he] predicted that ‘equity markets will get devastated’ and described it as the best time to bet on shares slumping in value since the recent financial crisis.
Citing the current turmoil in the markets, including a dramatic slump in the oil price and a ‘faltering Chinese economy’, he said: ‘This downcycle is likely to be remembered in a hundred years’.
As one of the most successful hedge fund managers in the UK, he has made a fortune from betting on shares in companies plunging in value.
Mr Odey, 55, was one of the earliest to forecast that the borrowing binge that fuelled the economy would trigger a financial crisis.
Despite the strong economic recovery in the UK, Mr Odey has grown increasingly gloomy over the last six months.
In his newsletter to clients he warned of problems further afield, with the slowing Chinese economy dragging down growth in Australia, South Africa and Brazil.
He said the fall in commodities such as oil, which has plunged from $115 a barrel in June last year to under $50, is ‘bringing with it pain to those heavily exposed’ – such as the Middle East, Venezuela, Argentina, mid-west USA, Canada, Norway and Scotland.
Closer to home, he warned the European Central Bank’s drastic efforts to revive the eurozone by printing £45billion a month through quantitative easing, would fail to prevent a damaging downturn.
The “lefts” fail to understand and explain to the working class or in many cases see at all, this greatest breakdown failure of the monopoly capitalist system (and of all class rule ever), the disintegration of all human relationships it is bringing and the now total unsolvability of this collapse except by revolutionary struggle to overturn the rule of production for private profit.
The shallowness of the “left” pretences to be “Marxists” emerges completely in their gush about the Greek Syriza election victory, which reflects their relief at finding another way to avoid the revolutionary issues.
Listen to how the “left” worthies have all jumped on the bandwagon, from the “left” Labourites who prop up the democracy racket and run the capitalist system to the virtually supine class collaborating TUC which has barely stirred a finger against the crisis since it broke in 2008.
Right in there too are the assorted Trotskyist “lefts” and the direst of the once revisionist CPers, now mostly gathered together into the new Loach “Left Unity” lashup, (which is anything but unified):
The people of Greece have chosen a new path. They have chosen a government committed to ending the austerity programme. They have voted for immediate debt renegotiation. Repudiation of some and repayment of the rest linked to economic growth, to give creditors a stake in growing the economy. German postwar debt was managed like this in 1953. The Greeks have voted in a new sort of government that has placed addressing the humanitarian crisis at the top of its priorities. The government is taking immediate steps to support those suffering the most under the austerity programme.
The Greek election results have implications for the UK and the whole of Europe. Austerity policies have been a choice by those in power, and they have failed. Greece reminds us that different economics and politics are possible. Undoubtedly there will be pressure on the new Syriza government from the EU, the banks and their friends not to deliver their promises. We applaud the courage of the people of Greece in choosing hope – and a new direction in policy that can start to rebuild a sustainable Greek economy and faith in politics. It is in all of our interests to defend them. Solidarity with Greece at this time is an imperative.
Manuel Cortes President Greece Solidarity Campaign, Frances O’Grady General secretary, TUC, Ken Loach, Katy Clark MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Lesley Mercer Patron of Medical Aid for Greece, Len McCluskey, General secretary, Unite, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Matt Wrack General secretary, FBU, Paul Mackney Chair, GSC, Leslie Manasseh President, TUC, Peter Pinkney President, RMT, Ian Davidson MP, Diane Abbott MP, Kate Hudson National secretary, Left Unity, Rachel Newton Secretary, GSC, Steve Turner Assistant general secretary, Unite, Lutfur Rahman Mayor, Tower Hamlets, Salma Yaqoob, Imran Khan civil rights lawyer, John Hendy QC, Jude Woodward Stand Up To Racism, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Sam Fairbairn National secretary, People’s Assembly, Louise Irvine National Health Action party, John Rees, Editor, Counterfire, Andrew Burgin Coalition of Resistance, Gerry Gable Editor, Searchlight magazine, Mike Davis, Editor,
In just two paragraphs this manages to pour out more disarming and misleading poison into working class minds than the CIA could wish for in half a year of planted disinformation.
Of course the election result is objectively significant and represents a huge movement in the working class in Europe stirring into political discussion and action against the crisis disaster they are suffering.
Of course that is to be welcomed.
Of course it demonstrates a breakdown in the old parliamentary fraud which has hoodwinked and misled them for a century or more and a collapse in established illusions in social-democracy and reformism.
But of course the leadership which being lifted up by that movement is anything but what is required by the material conditions.
Just the opposite, it heads them away from a complete break with the parliamentary fraud, right back into the old illusions.
This is exactly the time when the long-incubated and carefully sustained fake-“left” movements come into their own as far as capitalism is concerned, filling the vacuum that might otherwise start to see a real Marxist revolutionary debate catch fire.
Small wonder that these fake-“lefts” have been getting yards of bourgeois press coverage and whole sections of the mainstream TV news programs recently to spell out their views of the world, ostensibly because of a new media interest in the “rise of the ‘left’” but actually to bolster this “left” anti-communism.
It differs not one jot from the hype poured out by the pet “lefts” of the bourgeois media, the Paul Masons, George Monbiots, Chakraborttys and the like who have been in overdrive to convince the working class and politically aware intellectuals that the anarchists street “democracy” of the Occupy movements, of Syriza, and its equivalent in Spain’s Podemos, and perhaps even Left Unity too, these political leadership movements represent a new political resistance to capitalism and the slump.
They represent only a hijacking of the true spontaneous revolt behind an amalgam of old reformism and petty bourgeois Trotskyist “perfect revolution” which is nothing but hatred of the real struggle and particularly of the discipline of the workers states, and the dictatorship of the proletariat which are at their core.
The eulogising gush from the “left” however “sincerely” it might be felt by some of signatories has only one objective effect, of playing into crisis wracked imperialism’s hands.
It is a total lying fraud and a sinister one at that, disarming the working class and leaving it open to the greatest dangers of coups and bourgeois counter-revolution.
First of all cheering on the Greek result as a “historic rejection of austerity” is an anti-materialist nonsense, pure wishful thinking which not only demonstrates profound ignorance of the most basic Marxist economics but consciously opposes it with the assertion that austerity is a choice.
Austerity policies are not “a choice” by those in power but an objective result of the contradictions built into capitalism and the crisis collapse that they produce, intensifying the cutthroat international economic warfare at the heart of world capitalism to unbearable levels as markets implode.
As Marx long ago demonstrated in Capital, the capitalist as a personification of his own capital has no more “choice” in pursuing its interests than a fish has a choice but to swim in the sea; and if he does not ruthlessly drive for the best profits, and largest expanding market share he will be swallowed up by a more ruthless capitalist shark.
The only “choice” involved by any of the modern monopoly capitalist imperialist blocs is to impose the crisis on its on its own working class or go under.
Or of course they could simply “choose” to hand over their wealth and power to the working class – but no ruling class in history has ever freely decided to give up its dominance, luxury and sweet power.
Syriza, Podemos (and the “left” circus celebrating them) are fooling the working class, and dangerously so.
They are no more a challenge to capitalism and its austerity (Slump) crisis than any other parliamentary social-democracy reformism, for all that they are tapping into a perfectly genuine street class movement driven into motion by the desperation of the crisis.
The much vaunted “defiance” of austerity has so far proved to be no more than a round-trip of the European capitals asking desperately for “a little more time” to pay back the outrageous usury and financial bullying which has savaged the working class everywhere but particularly harshly in this weakest corner of the monopoly capitalist European Union.
What a joke!
This is not challenging one jot of the capitalist exploitation at the root of the problem.
It cannot change the austerity crisis any more than King Cnut could change the tidal movements of the sea.
And the capitalists cannot give into it without jeopardising their ability to fight the great trade war conflicts which are rapidly sharpening between the great monopoly capitalist blocs.
Says the arch-capitalist former boss of America’s Federal Reserve for example:
The former head of the US central bank, Alan Greenspan, has predicted that Greece will have to leave the eurozone.
He told the BBC he could not see who would be willing to put up more loans to bolster Greece’s struggling economy.
Greece wants to re-negotiate its bailout, but Mr Greenspan said “I don’t think it will be resolved without Greece leaving the eurozone”.
Earlier, UK Chancellor George Osborne said a Greek exit would cause “deep ructions” for Britain.
Mr Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, said: “I believe [Greece] will eventually leave. I don’t think it helps them or the rest of the eurozone - it is just a matter of time before everyone recognises that parting is the best strategy.
There is “no advantage” in lending to Greece according to Alan Greenspan
“The problem is that there is no way that I can conceive of the euro of continuing, unless and until all of the members of eurozone become politically integrated - actually even just fiscally integrated won’t do it.”
Following the election in Greece of the anti-austerity Syriza party, Greek ministers have been touring European capitals trying to drum up support for a re-negotiation of its bailout terms.
However, there appears little willingness in Berlin, or at the European Central Bank, to alter the terms of its €240bn (£182bn) rescue by the European Union, ECB, and International Monetary Fund.
It is not ruled out that a calculating European bourgeoisie (read dominant Germany) may yet make a few compromises with Syriza on its debts at this stage of the crisis, just to muddy the waters, especially as the size of the Greek economy is just 1% of the EU and its bankruptcy or currency exit would be “containable” perhaps in economic terms.
Why? Precisely to sustain the reformist illusions being fed out by Syriza; letting it run into a brick wall would leave the underlying movement of the working class more directly confronted by the revolutionary necessities the crisis is imposing and could precipitate something more dangerous in the working class (for the capitalists).
Against that the European bourgeoisie is fearful that such concessions would lead to similar demands from Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy at least, spreading a dangerous instability which for all the similar anti-revolutionary perspectives of Podemos and other populist movements, could go out of control politically.
But even if some kind of temporary “deal” is established it will not long stave off the effect of the crisis which is set to lurch far deeper yet; wherever the Greek capitalist state finds itself the hurricane of world capitalist catastrophe will sweep through it, as through the rest of the interconnected globalised world profit system, as soon as the QE drug wears off.
What it will do is leave the working class wide open to, and unprepared for the real savagery of the bourgeois dictatorship which is the underlying reality of all capitalist rule.
The Greek working class already has long experience of the level of violence and repression the capitalist class will pursue to hold onto to its power.
The 1930s Metaxa fascist dictatorship is less well known than Benito Mussolini in Italy or Hitler in Germany but just as vicious; the 1960-70 military junta paralleled Franco repression in Spain and the civil war suppression of the working class in 1945-49 was a bloody terrorising barbarity.
Capitalism only ever reveals as much of its hard ruthless bourgeois dictatorship reality behind the “democracy veil” as is needed but is always ready to go to the wire of unlimited Nazi repression against the working class if it has to.
If it plays the “democracy” game it is because it is a more comfortable, and more certain way to rule when the conditions allow it, than by overt state violence and the confirmation that would give workers of the need for class war revolutionary resistance.
Over 150 years of Marxist theoretical understanding and revolutionary struggles, should by now have taught all the lessons needed about the reality of “democracy” under capitalism; and brutal fascist repression in crisis.
Either such “left” governments will be an utter class collaborating betrayal or, if they seriously start to challenge the capitalist ruling class, they will be destabilised and overthrown.
The British Labour government of 1945-49 is a first example, its alleged “left” credentials at least as valid a candidate as Syriza to being the “most leftwing ever in Europe” and it is constantly held up for hero worship by the “left”s.
But this was a government which ran British imperialism and its colonialist brutality, from Malaysian anti-communist concentration camp and Kenyan barbarities, to, most pertinently of all, the eager continuation of Churchill’s fascist suppression of the Greek working class.
The civil war to brutally wipe out the heroic partisan anti-Nazis and communist movement which drove the Hitler World War Two occupation out of Greece, and looked set to continue and establish a socialist state, coincided exactly with the stay in office of this parliamentary “leftism”, which was in charge of British foreign policy and wars and “dutifully” waged them for the British Empire with utmost savagery (see EPSR 1459).
Its great reforms, so lauded by the Trotskyist Ken Loach and the other fake-“left”, were only ever possible anyway because of the ruling class fears of the WW2 Red Army victories across Europe. In other words, like all reformist gains, the NHS and pensions etc were won by underlying revolutionary struggle.
And if this treachery, studiously ignored by the Greek Solidarity Campaign and their ilk, combined with the subsequent history of Labourite betrayals in one government after another, is not sufficient a lesson then the world pattern of toppled “democratic” gains and working class victories is even more decisive, with non-stop subversion, interventions, invasions, coups and all out bloody wars by imperialism for the last 70 years.
Chile is the most usually cited example, possibly the clearest cut as the first country to elect a majority socialist government under Salvador Allende in 1970, only to be toppled by a barbaric military fascist coup under General Pinochet three years later, all carefully sponsored and aided by the CIA, which was plotting Allende’s downfall from the moment he signed the nomination papers before the election.
And the biggest lesson from that was that the working class was misled by this Third International revisionist influenced Allendism, which dulled brains everywhere in the “communist movement” with its idiot faith in permanent peaceful coexistence, “democratic paths”, “non-aggressive imperialism” (eg the US, Britain and France) etc etc. and failed to build the fundamental understanding in the need for the firmest dictatorship of the working class to seize and hold power by dispossession of the ruling class.
So saturated was Allende himself with this deadly nonsense that he not only refused to arm the working class (with revolutionary theory and physical weapons against the coup) but actually had invited Pinochet into his cabinet in order to control the “disorder” being whipped up by CIA subversion!!
It was wilfully irresponsible, or cynically opportunist to ignore Marxist Leninist understanding then, criminally exposing the working class to the horrors that followed.
It is even more criminal to ignore these stark lessons from history now they have accumulated even more.
But the relentless anti-theory philistinism of the petty bourgeois “lefts” turns a blank stare against any such questioning, or simply brushes it aside with an off-hand sneer that “well, we shall see won’t we”.
Let the working class walk blindly into the situation and too bad if they have to pay the price should anything go wrong this criminally irresponsible attitude says.
What supreme smugness and disgusting complacency!!
Surely the entire purpose historical understanding and scientific class struggle theory is to learn such lessons and guide the working class struggle to not have to go through such agony, demoralisation and defeat all over again, and to lift the struggle to a higher level.
The lessons of past events and battles, and the titanic scientific understanding of class war struggle, capitalist collapse and revolutionary turmoil over centuries, built up, elaborated and refined in the multiple works of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Lenin and others, are to be ignored, or sneered at once again as “no longer relevant to modern times.”
What cynical gobshyte!
Modern times continue to be capitalist times, riddled with coups, invasions and blitzing and all the more so as the capitalist world grapples with the intractable difficulties of the crisis.
It is of course ONLY Marxist economic understanding and theory which predicted the epochal catastrophic Crash of 2008 against all other (bourgeois) economic “theories” and the sneering of the fake-“left” at “old hat catastrophist dogmatism belonging to ‘dead white males’ of no significance any more” and which continues to predict that the crisis can only continue to unroll into war and further disaster.
Not only are Allende’s Chile, the monstrous slaughter of 1,000,000 communist sympathisers in Indonesia in 1965 (using CIA and MI6 lists), Vietnam, Guatemala, El Salvador, Timor, Haiti, Grenada, Argentinian repression, Mexico Chiapas suppression, Nicaraguan counter-revolution (by vicious “contra” destabilisation), Afghanistan, Congo, Palestine, Libya etc etc etc post-WW2, which is “modern times” in most people’s understanding with the world, they continue to be run by the same unchanged ruling class as then.
The “gangsters” (read - fascists killers) who carried through the Indonesian counter-revolution are still in power and still strutting their thuggish intimidation stuff as the recent and very excellent documentary film Act of Killing graphically and sinisterly showed.
Pinochet’s grandson has just launched a reactionary political party to mass middle class support in Chile.
And if that is not “modern enough” then the lessons of the Middle East are even more contemporary.
The great spontaneous rebellion of February 2011 which toppled the dictator Hosni Mubarak (one of imperialism’s many fascist stooges running a vicious anti-working class Zionist colluding regime for three decades (including Saddat before him) was equally celebrated as “a victory for democracy” by the ranks of the same “lefts” now become Syriza supporters at the celebration meetings in the wake of the Greek election.
But the failure to build any kind of revolutionary understanding in the masses, and the repudiation of such Leninist leadership by upholding a general anarchic “principle” of ‘no leaders’ or ‘flat leadership’ (carefully bolstered by sympathetic capitalist press coverage and publicity) proved disastrously disarming.
This “people’s un-led democracy” (a cynical nonsense in itself since there will always be leaders in all movements) was totally vulnerable because there was no clear understanding of the class war which had been unleashed and the skulduggery of the counter-revolution.
So the revolutionary movement, a perfectly genuine sudden spontaneous mass upwelling (far too big and sudden to have been “organised by the CIA” as some of the trickier “lefts” pretend, trying to wriggle out of their capitulation to Western demonising of the Muslim Brotherhood) was overturned again in 2013 and extremely bloodily, by the effectively the same kind of “popular disobedience” that toppled Allende.
After two years of turmoil the Western agencies and skulduggery did have time to organise their counter-revolutionary demonstrations, pulling the middle class and wealthy onto the streets in demonstrations against the new Muslim Brotherhood government, which if far from a revolutionary anti-imperialist regime, was still a movement against the old military stooge government and its Washington and Zionist support.
Massively hyped-up figures of the anti-Muslim Brotherhood numbers in Tahrir Square duly appeared in the Western media, and the support of such warmongers as Tony Blair was used to pretend this was all part of the “continuing Arab Spring” against the mass popular MB government.
And the fake-“lefts” all fell for it, supporting this Western coup.
All their “principles” about “democracy” were as quickly thrown out of the window, stampeded along by Western anti-Muslim demonisation.
So much for all the gush now about “reclaiming democracy” demagogically” poured out over the Syriza revolt!!!
So much for defending the self-sacrificing Arab Spring of 2011 which had won a democratic government for the first time in Egypt.
Or course that “democracy” is in itself an illusion; the need is to press on to take power for the working class, but it opened up the chance for a huge mass debate in Egypt in which revolutionary leadership has a better chance to be heard.
Marxism did not support the Morsi presidency nor illusions in bourgeois democracy in itself, and has nothing to do with a religious mystical view of the world.
But it did say clearly that this new Muslim Brotherhood regime and the “granting” of elections by a reluctant imperialism was a victory over the stooge dictatorship that went before it.
If Morsi-ism was tolerated by imperialism (via the democracy racket it was setting up) it was not because it was “run by the CIA” either, but because it was better than leaving a vacuum that could be filled by much greater militancy, and potentially a movement that might begin to evolve into communist anti-imperialism.
Imperialism (or some more nervous part of it, perhaps its local Zionist extension in particular) was clearly determined to try and re-establish something “firmer”, fearful that even this much of a loosening would open things up too much.
The fake-“lefts” all reveal themselves as totally bankrupt in the subsequent events which saw Western intrigue pull itself together and whip up a “mass” movement of the counter-revolutionary middle class declared to be “secularist”.
Leninism says clearly that it is the defeat of the major enemy which is critical in any situation and that was imperialist counter-revolution.
Joining in this stunt as a “popular extension of the Arab Spring” was to be completely blinkered by illusions in “democratic paths” and a failure to see the whole movement of class forces in the world.
It was anything but “democratic” in fact, and opened the door to one of the most vicious counter-revolutions of modern times.
Thousands of ordinary Egyptians who had trusted in their new “democratic rights and peaceful demonstrations” have been slaughtered in cold blood on the street of Cairo and other cities by the General Sisi led coup, shot down unarmed.
The subsequent regime has reversed all the achievements of the anti-Mubarak revolt, including releasing all the corrupt and profiteering family and finally Mubarak himself.
It is proving itself one of the bloodiest and most draconian imperialist stooges in the world, well funded by Washington (John Kerry of the Obama “Democrat” government personally flying in to reinstate support for the military) totally repressive, censorious and exercising the most brutal state violence against all protest, including journalists, as a hand-wringing petty bourgeoisie has subsequently found out too, becoming part of the suppressed mass, as in this bourgeois press account:
Peter Greste, of the al-Jazeera English television network, has been released after 400 days of detention in Egyptian prisons. I am delighted. The detention of the three al-Jazeera journalists is a blatant example of the deterioration of press freedom in the country.
They were arrested while conducting their professional duties, but the court imprisoned them for allegedly spreading lies and distorted the image of Egypt.
Our happiness following the news of Greste’s release, however, remains incomplete. The other two journalists are still in detention. It has been reported that Mohamed Fahmy, who has dual nationality, has been asked to denounce his Egyptian citizenship so he may be deported to Canada; the third journalist, Baher Mohamed, has no foreign nationality and has still been given no prospect of release.
The court’s discrimination in dealing with him was evident from the very beginning. While his two colleagues were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment each, the court singled Mohamed out for 10 years. In fact, the detention of Egyptian journalists has now become customary – in a climate of repression and restrictions that did not exist even during the era of the former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Since the coup which overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, and the rise to power of former armed forces chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, scores of journalists have been detained; six were killed in the past year. The Committee to Protect Journalists has consequently classified Egypt as the third most dangerous country in the world.
The plight of the al-Jazeera journalists gained extensive international coverage. Many powerful voices were raised demanding their release; at the top of that list was the US president, Barack Obama.
At the same time, hundreds of journalists and human rights organisations launched a huge international campaign of solidarity with the detainees.
It is vital that this campaign does not stop with the release of the first one or two al-Jazeera journalists. Instead, it must continue until the last Egyptian journalist is freed from the regime’s jails.
The moral stand that the world adopted toward the al-Jazeera journalists must hold for all journalists, especially those in Egypt. They do not have foreign embassies to demand their release, or governments to raise their voices in their defence. There is, sadly, no equivalent uproar concerning their detention.
We must not distinguish between a western journalist and an Egyptian journalist. All were detained because of free speech and deserve our support and solidarity.
There is also the question of the Egyptian media. By declaring that it is in an open-ended war against what it calls terrorism, the regime hoped it would appeal to western governments. It felt it could justify sacrificing rights and freedoms because the war on terror requires an end to criticism of the regime. This charade, which has been repeated by several Arab regimes since September 11, should not deceive anyone.
More dangerous than arrests and detention is the use of the media against the regime’s political opponents, and the transformation of television stations and newspapers into weapons. In October 2014, 17 editors signed a document in which they pledged not to criticise Egypt’s army because it was engaged in a war against terror and all criticism of the organs of state should end.
This move angered hundreds of journalists who signed a statement criticising their editors’ submission to pressure from the regime. But the media organisations forced them to abide by the regime’s directives. In a few rare cases, presenters attempted to cover sensitive topics but they were stopped during the broadcast of their programmes.
An Egyptian court has sentenced 183 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death as authorities continue to crack down on Islamists.
The men were convicted of playing a role in the killings of 16 police officers in the town of Kardasa in August 2013 during the upheaval that followed the army’s ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Thirty-four were sentenced in absentia on Monday.
Egypt has mounted one of the biggest crackdowns in its modern history on the Brotherhood since the political demise of Morsi. Thousands of supporters have been arrested and put on mass trials in a campaign which human rights groups say shows the government is systematically repressing opponents.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Morsi, has described the Brotherhood as a major security threat. The movement says it is committed to peaceful activism.
The death sentences followed one of the bloodiest attacks on Egyptian security forces in years. Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated operations that killed at least 32 people on Thursday.
Sisi blamed the Brotherhood for the violence and told Egyptians in a televised address that the war against militancy will be a long, tough one.
Egyptian authorities make no distinction between the Brotherhood, Islamic State and al-Qaida, arguing that they have a shared ideology and are equally dangerous.
Security forces killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and arrested thousands of others after Morsi was ousted.
After the death sentences were read out on Monday, Brotherhood supporters held in metal cages shouted profanities at policemen. A defence lawyer looked at the Islamists and said “You have God”.
The Egyptian government’s human rights record has come under closer scrutiny since female activist Shaimaa Sabbagh was shot dead during a Cairo protest on 24 January, a day before the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Separately, an Egyptian police officer has been detained on suspicion of killing a suspected member of the Brotherhood in hospital, the interior ministry has said.
The suspect was being treated in custody for wounds suffered while he was allegedly planting explosives. The ministry said that the man had provoked the policeman by insulting him. “Then the policeman lost control of his feelings,” it said.
Not a word about all this has been heard from any of ranks of Labourites, Trotskyists and Stalinists alike, who all declared or implied the July 2013 events to be an “extension of the revolution” and who in some cases like the Lalkar/Proletarian tacitly approved of the “firm measures” taken by the new government “which was receiving the cheers of the crowds” etc etc.
Just the opposite they have poured the poison out against “jihadists” and headbangers”.
So how do they explain the release of Mubarak and this restored monstrousness, the shutting down of the tunnels and all support for the Gazan Palestinians (which the Morsi government was continuing etc)????
From the Brarites, the great advocates of “revolutionary theory” on their masthead, and the most gung-ho of all in support of the Cairo military is is yet another grotesque cover-up of the endless mistakes and errors of museum-Stalinism.
The smugness and duplicity is disgusting from all these lefts, who all supported the carefully stunted up anti-Morsi “revolt” and who all carefully avoid all mention of the subject now.
This confusion and dishonesty, now busy hyping up the next Allendes in Syriza and Podemos (and the Greens in the UK or Left Unity if the cracks in it don’t widen too rapidly) comes from total smug hostility to theory.
There is little better from the Greek KKE itself, although it has at least has declared Syriza to be nothing but social-democracy and a hoodwinking fraud on the working class.
The KKE even manages to say that the working class needs to “socialise the means of production” in Greece to solve its problems.
But does not make clear the way in which this should be done (through revolution??? - not stated), nor when, except as an “eventual” necessity for the “full solution” of the working class’s problems.
This is just the same old “in the long run” evasion which all the “lefts” use to evade putting the question of revolutionary necessity right now.
That is a different issue philosophically to judging tactical possibilities in the class war balance - whether or not it is the right moment to “build barricades” is a tactical question, but building the revolutionary understanding and the grasp that there is no other way forwards, and no intermediate solutions, is an immediate issue.)
The KKE no more makes clear that its participation in elections can only be for the purposes of explaining revolutionary politics to the working class than any other “lefts”.
It suggests that there are halfway positions such as “withdrawing from NATO and the European bank”.
But these measures would raise immediately the revolutionary necessities.
It is not Golden Dawn which poses the threat of counter-revolution
But despite marginally greater clarity on the dangers of Allendism in Latin America the overall perspective from the KKE is little different to the rest of the Third International revisionists.
A world capitalist crisis perspective barely features in its analysis of the Greek events. It suggests only that breaking away from the EU and NATO is the policy that separates it from the Syriza but without explaining to the working class that the capitalist crisis is the central problem and that there can be no solution without overturning capitalism.
It does not make clear that parliament is a hoodwinking fraud, which hides the dictatorship of capital.
This is how it concluded a piece (against the British CPB’s eulogies for Syriza in Morning Star). The KKE it says (of itself):
struggles to isolate fascism in the popular neighbourhoods and workplaces. It works for the regroupment of the labour movement, and the formation of a people’s alliance against the monopolies, against capitalism. The KKE calls on the workers to support it in the elections so that there can be a strong workers’-people’s opposition inside and outside parliament the day after the elections.
The KKE will not support any government that is bound by the anti-people strategy of the EU and capital. On the contrary, the KKE is ready to play its role in a workers’-people’s government, where the people will be the masters of the economy and control state-power, in a workers’-people’s government that will unilaterally cancel the debt, disengage from all the imperialist organizations, and socialize the monopolies.
Fine but how? Through elections???
And is the fascist threat really just the Golden Dawn reaction? Or is that just an expression of the counter-revolutionary nature of the capitalist state itself?
A lot more should be looked at the KKE perspective, but the immediate issue is that there is not the remotest connection in the KKE’s analysis to the other explosive developments in world anti-imperialist struggle.
Its understanding of the crisis is only that there could be war, not that capitalism is inexorably heading into the greatest war turmoil of history.
Nor does it tackle the great mistakes and flaws of past revisionism, and particularly the errors and retreats which built up in Moscow from the earliest days.
And where is there any analysis of the huge turmoil in the Middle East, which is only a short fighter plane ride away (which the Greek military forces carry out daily towards the Turkish border)?
The whole Third International has been part of the moralising “condemnation” of “terrorism” which leaves all the fake-“left” and its “Stop the War” peace protest tradition floundering without an argument against the imperialist “punishment” justification for “policing the world to punish this devilish evil etc”. and effectively lines them up with the demented “kill them all” imperialist war frenzy.
Tragically, even the still heroic and determined workers state in Cuba, one of the great and continuing examples of socialist construction for the entire world working class, has gone along with this capitulatory moralising, running a piece in its Granma paper supporting the Paris Charlie Hebdo march led by the most reactionary of capitalist leaders (which even the bourgeois cynics on Private Eye could denounce as hypocritical humbug), moralising about a “rejection of extremist violence” and declaring the jihadist attack to be “atrocious”.
International diplomacy demands expressions of polite sympathy and they can be sincere enough, but this fits entirely with past declarations by Fidel Castro and the revisionist Havana leadership that “terrorism in any form is always unacceptable”, (admittedly in order to expose (numerous) American atrocities).
So what then of suicide bombers from Palestine?
Or any such desperation by the great downtrodden masses in many parts of the world who can find no other way to fight?
Are they be declared beyond the pale?
Or does a Marxist understanding declare only that it sees better ways to fight, while recognising both the right of such people everywhere to fight as best they can and, beyond that, to see that this rising struggle is having a shattering impact on imperialist diktat, for all its crudity and the often weird and even sometimes partially reactionary ideology behind it.
The pained moralising of the feminist and pacifist “left” over the live burning of a captured Jordanian pilot underlines the point with the most sickening humbug and blinkered comfortable Western sanctimony.
Screaming that the ISIS is a “death cult” as the feminist “left” Suzanne Moore did in the bourgeois press Guardian is nothing but demented and irrational petty bourgeois hatred, a fearful mysticism akin to witch-hunting demonisation in the past and as at least as much a “medieval throwback” as anything the Islamists are accused of.
It helps no one understand any real material causes of the ever widening jihadist rebellion in the Middle East and Africa, but gives the ruling class all the justification it needs to declare that it is “beyond the pale and should be eliminated”.
On the back of this middle class frenzy yet more warmongering was instantly being canvassed in Parliament with MPs demanding even more blitzkrieging and bombing.
That is exactly what has poured out of the disgusting Western stooge regime in Jordan too which like the feudal Gulf states is closely intertwined with degenerate British royalty and the most reactionary military and empire-nostalgic sections of the monopoly capitalist ruling class.
Its hanging of two jihadist prisoners (after ten years in jail) is a barbarous new low point in the Western “rule of law” fraud, a sudden execution carried out with no judicial purpose or justification but for the cruellest of revenge and state intimidation on lines that would have been routine in Nazi Germany.
It is hardly likely to calm things down anymore than any of the rest of the meaningless “war on terror” by imperialist reaction has dealt with “the problem” for more than two decades.
Just the opposite. As every halfway rational commentator has said from the beginning such brutality and fascist destruction could only ever drive tens of thousands more of the masses into the ranks of the insurgents and fighters.
Its barbarity could also only intensify the desperation and ruthlessness of those fighting back.
The fake-“left” however much they posture and preen as “revolutionary anti-capitalists” are utterly intertwined with this petty bourgeois viciousness and anti-communism, both directly in condemning “reactionary Islam” and through their embrace of endless single-issue petty bourgeois causes like feminism and homosexual rights (all now constantly being used for Western war hysteria as for example against the Ukrainian working class and its Russian backing and against the spreading jihadist rebellion of the Third World).
Gruesome though it is, this hostage killing is utterly insignificant on the great scales of history, compared to the sick depravity of the Western imperialist and Zionist mass punishment blitzing and killings which have gone on non-stop for decades (on top of four hundred years of colonialist tyranny before that).
Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been maimed, slaughtered, blown apart and yes, burned alive by Hellfire missiles, B52 bombers, Apache helicopters and ground weapons of every vile description.
Whole countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, have been bombed and blitzkrieged into pulverised ruin (directly or by proxy), much of their populations being brought up for their entire lives in the terror, agony and pain of destruction all round, suffering endless bereavement, social fragmentation, fear and oppression by corrupt and racist warlordism and callous and arbitrarily murderous (and death-squad deliberate) military occupation.
The over 7 million strong nation of Palestine has been fragmented, murdered, dispossessed, terrorised and brutalised non-stop since Jewish land-theft occupation of their lands began early last century using the most savage and barbaric ethnic cleansing genocidal methods which have since continued continually at both low and periodically high intensity using every disgusting anti-personnel weapon possible from multi-flêche and cluster bombs to white phosphorus.
Of course the masses fight back using every weapon and method they can find, crude and desperate as they may be, learning eventually the “de-humanised” ruthlessness that the Western blitzkriegs, torture camps, arbitrary atrocities and killings, collective punishment and destruction of whole neighbourhoods have taught them.
None of the world’s horrors can be ended until capitalism is ended.
Condemning the rising struggle as “terrorism” and dragging the working class back behind the parliamentary fraud that in turn leaves them vulnerable to the coup torture and terror of capitalist Nazism, the ultimate real face of bourgeois dictatorship, will not end capitalism.
Only building a Marxist Leninist understanding and leadership to unify the entire world working class struggle to overturn the stinking capitalist world tyranny can do that.
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