No 1462 23rd February 2015
Instant capitulation of Syriza “no to austerity” bravado in Greece quickly exposes the posturing mis-leadership of the fake-“lefts” who have cheered it on, fooling and diverting the working class from urgent need to build revolutionary understanding. “Sceptical” groups like the SWP and the revisionists are no better, still tying the working class to electoral “democracy”, and failing to warn them of the counter-revolutionary dangers that any REAL efforts to fight the crisis will immediately pose – despite renewed coup violence lessons from Venezuela, Ukraine and Egypt in capitalism’s fascist skulduggery and hidden bourgeois dictatorship brutality. Continuing condemnation of “terrorism” reflects their bankruptcy and inability to see rising Third World revolt, lining them up with capitalism’s demonising and scapegoating of “evil Islamists” etc, driving mass hatred and chauvinism towards WW3 “solution” to economic catastrophe meltdown
The woodenness, straight-line thinking and non-dialectical rigidity of the bogus fake-“lefts” is being exposed daily by the unfolding and accelerating capitalist economic catastrophe and war crisis in the world.
Trotskyists and Stalinist revisionists alike, see the world in fixed categories and static logic, their idea of “revolution” nothing more than greater extended “left pressure” than usual, or a bit more abstract “democracy”.
They use the terms “crisis” and “financial collapse” but without the remotest understanding of the sheer historic world shattering significance of the still unravelling catastrophe and its unstoppable slide into world war, deliberately being fomented by imperialism to divert attention, which can only be changed by the most titanic class war struggle to overturn capitalism and establish the firmest possible rule of the working class.
This ideological bankruptcy, originating in petty bourgeois fearfulness and complacency, married to a fear of working class discipline, cannot really believe that there ever will be an end point to capitalist rule and is fearful of the great worldwide chaotic breakdown now underway.
The assorted varieties of “lefts” see such confusion, as in the great Middle Eastern, African and east European “terrorist” turmoil, not as the expression of capitalism’s failure, weakness and historic incapacity to go any further, from which revolutionary development can and will emerge, but as a threat to their academic formulas and step-by-step programmes, which for all their “revolutionary” pretensions can only see the world in terms of winning steady gains.
“Revolution" is nothing but a kind of “super” reformism in other words, built on pacifism and a muddle-brained faith in abstract “democracy”.
But all phenomena in the world develop as contradiction and conflict, with sudden revolutionary transformations and jumps to qualitatively different new levels, and sticking to such philosophical narrowness not only prevents an understanding and conscious analysis of emerging developments but leads them into deadly confusions, and outright class betrayals, lining them up with the worst capitalist reaction in various ways.
All of them have found themselves supporting the foul and brutal Egyptian Sisi military dictatorship in Egypt for example, one of the vilest counter-revolutionary and massacring regimes on the planet now, temporarily, suppressing the gigantic 2011 Arab Spring revolt, which remains one of the most significant spontaneous upheavals yet seen against modern imperialism, multiplying a hundredfold the already powerful long term struggle of the Palestinian nation, and rising Middle Eastern anti-imperialism from Afghanistan to Somalia.
Their support for this desperate Cairo capitalist stooge barbarity, heavily funded and armed by US imperialism and totally in thrall to Nazi-Zionist interests, comes from their equally reactionary denouncing and condemning of “terrorists and jihadists” across the Middle East and Africa, declared to be the “work of evil reactionaries” (or blamed on the West via ever more convoluted conspiracy theories) instead of seeing this expanding rebellion as not just the symptom and consequence of capitalist collapse but, for all its confusions and contradictions, an embryonic part of rising fightback against Western domination and tyrannical exploitation.
Alongside they join in the condemnations of the “terrorist” attacks in the Western heartlands, from New York’s 9/11 to the Paris Charlie Hebdo and the latest Danish shootings, adding their voices to the capitalist media inflamed petty bourgeois moralising hysteria.
This does nothing to explain or deal with the alienated causes of such discontent and suicidal desperation.
It does plenty however to feed imperialism’s smiting “punishments”, playing into the hands of the war frenzy atmosphere the ruling class is deliberately fermenting everywhere under the guise of “suppressing evil”, but which is solely driven in truth by capitalism’s own war needs, to escape responsibility for its disastrous epochal systemic collapse and “solve it” with massive world war destruction of the “surplus” capital clogging the international monopoly capitalist economy.
They equally fail to understand the importance of the defeat being inflicted on imperialism’s war provocations in the Ukraine by the so-called “separatists”, a shattering blow to the vile Swastika-tatooed Nazism installed by crudely manipulated coup in Kiev which can only help working class interests everywhere, but while simultaneously grasping that the struggle there remains hampered by its reactionary nationalist Russian ideology; that Putin’s counter-revolutionary oligarch-dominated Bonapartist balancing act is an obstacle for the working class, even while it is being forced to aid and strengthen the fight against capitalist barbarity.
That expresses yet further inability to grasp all sides of the complex new struggles.
Rigid one-sided thinking for example cannot understand the basic Leninist principle that defeat for reactionary imperialism does not imply at all support for confusion and backwardness, just as in many past upheavals such as imperialism’s massacring blitzing and wars on Iraq where the need for, and call for, defeat for the barbarous Nazi shock-and-awe Washington invasion implied not one whit of support for the thug rule of Saddam Hussein.
Putin’s restored capitalists and their grotesque carpet-bagging plundering of the doggedly built Soviet state and industry, need to be toppled too as soon as there is a breathing space in the fight against the main enemy, international monopoly capitalism led by the US Empire.
But for the moment defeat for the overt fascist provocations of Washington is the priority, and it can take advantage of Russian matériel then so be it.
Nor can the “lefts” understand the revolutionary implications of the slump impositions on the working class in Europe and the States too, driven by the crisis, their shallow “left pressure” resistance notions all being taken in by the shallow “No to Austerity” careerist flannel of the Syriza crew of pretend revolutionaries in Greece – (echoing equally ineffectual pacifist “No to War” posturing), – either directly joining its ranks, declaring it do be “an advance” (instead of a misleading fraud) or offering only alternative versions of its “left pressure” electoral opportunism.
This is gross treachery to the working class, deluding them yet further with the pretence that parliament can still solve their problems and leaving them unprepared for the counter-revolutionary crackdowns that will follow if any serious threat is made to the capitalists’ desperate speed-up and workhouse poverty plans to intensify exploitation to get them through increasingly savage international trade and currency war.
Disarming the working class with the reformist “democracy” racket is a useful function of the fake-“left” as far as the ruling class is concerned and to underline the point the mainstream capitalist press has been devoting acres of newsprint to such “left” thought and philosophy, in spite of its allegedly Europe-wide threateningly disruptive “left” nature.
The Socialist Workers Party Trotskyite anti-communists were recently given a complete long in-depth item on BBC’s Newsnight (sneakily presented as an overview of general “left thought” while featuring only SWP worthies in separate interviews).
But a long rambling essay published by the Guardian from the new fashionable leather-jacketed Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis soon makes clear why this “radical threat” to the existing order is getting so much bourgeois attention.
As ever when the capitalist media chooses to “warn” against supposed “leftism”, while in effect giving it the ‘oxygen of publicity’ to assorted Trotskyist or revisionist groups, it is because it is not left at all despite its self-promotion.
As the latest Athens capitulations to European Union austerity demands are already demonstrating, barely a month into its government, Syriza is a hollow fraud no different to dozens of fake-“lefts” who have gone before.
Varoufakis declares himself to have been “influenced all his life by Marx”.
But unlike the lifelong class-war revolutionary combativeness of communist founders Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, he pours out the purest of defeatist drivel.
His particular view, self-confessedly only “erratic Marxism” despite the cheers and plaudits of much Trotskyism and ossified revisionism, does not even hide its colours away (as most of the fake-“left” usually do):
If ... we are not facing just another cyclical slump soon to be overcome, the question that arises for radicals is this: should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising European capitalism?
To me, the answer is clear. Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism than it is to unleash dangerously regressive forces that have the capacity to cause a humanitarian bloodbath, while extinguishing the hope for any progressive moves for generations to come.
For this view I have been accused, by well-meaning radical voices, of being “defeatist” and of trying to save an indefensible European socioeconomic system. This criticism, I confess, hurts. And it hurts because it contains more than a kernel of truth.
I share the view that this European Union is typified by a large democratic deficit that, in combination with the denial of the faulty architecture of its monetary union, has put Europe’s peoples on a path to permanent recession. And I also bow to the criticism that I have campaigned on an agenda founded on the assumption that the left was, and remains, squarely defeated. I confess I would much rather be promoting a radical agenda, the raison d’être of which is to replace European capitalism with a different system.
Yet my aim here is to offer a window into my view of a repugnant European capitalism whose implosion, despite its many ills, should be avoided at all costs.
So the strategy for this “radical”, and presumably the ranks of the whooping celebrations of the alleged “revolutionary” groups and anarchists who piled into Syriza in Greece, and who have jumped into similar groups across Europe – Podemos in Spain, Left Unity in the UK, the forerunning Occupy movements everywhere etc and all the “Greek solidarity groups”, – is nothing but the old reformism.
Even reforms have to wait, it seems, while Syriza actually defends and sustains ailing capitalism “in order to make it strong enough to demand reforms”.
What Alice in Wonderland topsy-turvy logic is this???
The logic of misleading anti-communist opportunist garbage is the answer.
Not only has 150 years of such reformism failed totally to achieve anything permanent for the working class, with all its “gains” like pensions, the NHS, unemployment safety nets etc, being dismantled and demolished, but now it has to help the capitalist system along too!!
The greatest crisis collapse of class rule in all history is inexorably unfolding, along with endless warmongering defeats for the imperialist world system, such as the hammering just sustained by Kiev’s fascist coup forces in east Ukraine, all opening up the greatest opportunities ever for the world working class to finally throw off this stinking murderous warmongering exploitation and greed system, – and the “left” weighs in to keep it going.
In case anyone should contest the immediate capitulations and betrayals made by Syriza, signing up to imperialism’s European Union war sanctions on Russia by day three, and to continuing acceptance of EU financial rules and institutions within a month – which it was specifically elected to reject – this Varoufakis “Marxism” then goes on to completely rubbish the whole foundation of communist thought in a long rambling exposition whose dilettantism and amateurishness would make a first-year student blush with its crass dinner party “expertise”, sweepingly declaring that, of course, Marx “made several major mistakes”, the greatest being that:
his assumption that truth about capitalism could be discovered in the mathematics of his models. This was the worst disservice he could have delivered to his own theoretical system. The man who equipped us with human freedom as a first-order economic concept; the scholar who elevated radical indeterminacy to its rightful place within political economics; he was the same person who ended up toying around with simplistic algebraic models, in which labour units were, naturally, fully quantified, hoping against hope to evince from these equations some additional insights about capitalism.
Well the great insights have in fact come from Marxist economic methods and most of all the correct prediction, alone against all other “economic theories” that the world would return to disastrous and catastrophic Slump disaster and associated world war destruction degenerating into World War Three, exactly as is now unrolling.
(The alternative theories should now be ditched as disproven even by the narrow nonsense of bourgeois mechanical Popperist science “philosophy”, still ruining brains in most universities. It would help clear out the “too many theories” excuse used by various fake “left”s around Left Unity for example that there is no possibility to discover a clear understanding of the world around which the working class can unify its struggle).
It is not bad going for a “no longer relevant” understanding, which of course is far from the “old hat dogma” which the opportunist reformists and Trotskyists deride, but a live and kicking philosophy.
But this petty bourgeois Greek critique declares there to be a flaw due to Marx’s inability – apparently – to understand his own theories about use-value and exchange-value, or as the obfuscatory language of this pompous, conceited prat declares:
How could Marx be so deluded? Why did he not recognise that no truth about capitalism can ever spring out of any mathematical model, however brilliant the modeller may be? Did he not have the intellectual tools to realise that capitalist dynamics spring from the unquantifiable part of human labour; ie from a variable that can never be well-defined mathematically?
He understood, or had the capacity to know, that a comprehensive theory of value cannot be accommodated within a mathematical model of a dynamic capitalist economy.
Having thus airily dismissed the rigorously worked through analyses of the first six chapters of Capital, (which are nothing to do with a wooden ‘mathematical methodology’ but the profound application of dialectical materialist deconstruction and synthesis) on which all of Capital Volumes One, Two, and Three rest, and therefore just about all of Marxist understanding, as well as equally extensive subsequent developments, including Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, all that remains is to rubbish the 73 years of actual titanic achievements of the Soviet Union and the other workers states, and many great anti-imperialist struggles of the last century:
...[Marx’s] “laws” were not immutable...his theory was indeterminate and, therefore, his pronouncements could not be uniquely and unambiguously correct. That they were permanently provisional. This determination to have the complete, closed story, or model, the final word, is something I cannot forgive Marx for. It proved, after all, responsible for a great deal of error and, more significantly, authoritarianism. Errors and authoritarianism that are largely responsible for the left’s current impotence as a force of good and as a check on the abuses of reason and liberty that the neoliberal crew are overseeing today.
So “erratic Marxism” is not really Marxism at all then!
This Greek thinker is certainly not a subscriber to the need for the working class to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, in order to completely end the private ownership of the means of production, against a ruling class that will not only never let go of its wealth and privileges but will use every foul, ruthless and violent method of repression against anyone who tries, as the entire Middle East can already testify.
His philosophy is just the same old poisonous anti-communism that has filled every crack and cranny of capitalist culture and education since the Soviet Union was first established, and which every “official” trade unionist and Labourite has always subscribed to, as well as well as poisonous anti-workers state Trotskyism and cretinous “peaceful road” Stalinist tail-ending revisionism, brains addled with “left-pressure” notions and illusions in abstract “democracy”.
It only use for the working class is in seeing the open expression of this defeatism, (which is actually the content of all fake-“leftism” in one way or another), terrified of the implications of the onrushing crisis now dragging the world into ever-deepening Slump and non-stop warmongering.
Not one of them is prepared to carry through any kind of analysis that articulates the real truth being faced by workers in Greece and everywhere else in the world, that the disintegration underway everywhere in war turmoil, “terrorist and jihadist” rebellion, and economic meltdown is intractable, unsolvable and unavoidable for as long as the capitalist system remains in control of the world.
In other words that only revolutionary struggle to completely end the capitalist system everywhere by overturning it using the class power and strength of the masses of the planet, can now get mankind out of the slide into deadly Slump and terrifying deliberately provoked Third World War mayhem.
So dire is rapid exposure of the Syriza posturing that some fake-“left”s are either backpedaling fast from this rank smelling capitulation, or have kept their distance, like the “rank-and-file” Socialist Workers Party pitched in behind the tiny Antarsia activist Trotskyism in Greece, calling for “more street demonstration” and a “break with the EU”.
Antarsia declared after Syriza’s capitulation to the EU bailout terms this week that:
“What has happened has proved yet again that the EU is the most reactionary, undemocratic and authoritarian construct in Europe after Nazism,” it announced today.
“We have a Greek government that in reality accepts the overwhelming debt and the immediate obligations that derive from this, commits itself to [pulling off] a primary surplus (that is to say austerity) has asked for an extension of the current loan agreement and declared that it accepts 70 % of the memorandum.”
All fine and dandy but it is difficult to distinguish such a “left” pullout from the European Union, from the anti-EU reformism put forwards by the likes of such reactionary petty nationalist groups as UKIP in the UK, or the Front National in France, except there is less of the overt or covert racism.
In what way does this petty nationalism (also punted by the British TUC, the Socialist Labour Party, and TUSC etc) actually solve anything? It does not do anything but feed the chauvinism the ruling class wants for its war drive and scapegoating.
And more time on the street says nothing about the gigantic capitalist crisis failure underway across the world, nor the turmoil of the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Latin America, which is all inseparably intertwined in a universal breakdown collapse of which the events in Athens are only a tiny part.
Without such a perspective, a revolutionary perspective of a world which has hit the buffers, Greek workers nor workers anywhere can begin to orientate and unite in the kind of coherent struggle necessary to overcome this end-of-an-epoch failure.
Going it alone as a capitalist state simply leaves the Greek economy exposed to the hurricane of capitalist crisis outside the EU.
Re-establishing a de-valued drachma will leave the population with less spending power whatever “new flexibility” it creates, and suggesting that it will allow a “local recovery” through “saying no to austerity” is just fanciful nonsense (whatever transient effects money printing QE might cause).
The fake-“left” continues to declare that “austerity is just an ideological choice”, a notion reflecting the shallowest of petty bourgeois subjective idealism and ignoring material reality.
But in the real world the entire capitalist system is inexorably crashing into the worst catastrophe ever, an epochal collapse fended off for a few years for the larger monopoly capitalist powers only by insane levels of fantasy money creation, desperate near zero interest rates and cutthroat international currency and trade war competition.
One of the first things it does is force the burdens of collapse onto other smaller powers and the working class, and even from the biggest capitalist powers like the US onto others like Germany or Japan.
If Europe as a whole is being hammered by the Federal Reserve Quantitative Easing dollar dilution, what chance does tiny Greece have?
Other ostensibly scathing denunciations of Syriza have come from the revisionist KKE, (Greek Communist Party) and its chorus of Stalinist supporters in such groups as the Lalkar/Proletarian.
Correctly enough the KKE, which maintains a solid base among the working class, declared the Syriza to be nothing more than a left version of social-democracy even before the election.
But its own “solution” of pulling out of the EU finance system and out of NATO, does not go much further than the activist SWP Trots.
What happens then???
As all the “lefts” have desperately grappled to explain in the past weeks, teasing through all kinds of “what if” debt and currency scenarios, there is no way out for the Greek economy within existing frameworks (as essentially there is no way out for all the world’s capitalist production-for-private-profit system from ever-deepening crisis contradictions).
Europe’s bigger capitalists, with Germany at the heart, have no choice but to force their problems onto the periphery; the alternatives are all disastrous – give way to Greek “anti-austerity” demands and see Portugal, Italy, Spain and even France demand similar unaffordable (in capitalist terms) debt relief; allow Greek default and see the European bank system face potential destabilisation and implosion; or see the Euro unravel, also potentially imploding the entire European economic structure.
What none of the “lefts” do, after working through all these possible developments is to draw the inevitable conclusion that there is no way out except the ending of capitalism itself.
The world is trapped at the end of a blind maze of contradictions and class rule (which Capital describes).
But like all the “left” the KKE does not say any such thing.
It makes a few references to the need for taking over the means of production, rather oddly worded as “socialisation” of the major industries, but this is an “eventual” target.
And like all the “left” groups the KKE, despite proud origins in the Second War World anti-Nazi armed partisan struggle, and in the Greek Civil War, says nothing about when or how all this might be achieved.
It simply calls on the working class for “more support” to build on the increase in its vote this last election (from 4.5% to 5.5%).
But this is just tying the working class back to the illusions in elections, expressing the same muddle brained faith in bourgeois “democracy” as a path to socialism which has not only failed but proved disastrous for workers over and over again from the Pinochet coup against Chile’s Allende in 1973 to Greece itself, and Honduras recently, Ukraine and in some senses in Egypt too in 2013.
The Stalinist Lalkar/Proletarian flounders even more reporting on the Greeks declaring that
the communist KKE needs to put before the Greek people not only a policy of opposition but also a “very concrete programme of how affairs will be arranged under an socialist economy”.
Talk about jumping the gun!
Just how is the Greek working class going to achieve a true “socialist” economy??
It is not explained.
A real struggle to end capitalism in Greece – the only answer –would instantly bring a cascade of new consequences and implications.
Within Greece itself is the ruling class simply going to hand over the means of production, the banks, and all the other commanding heights of the economy??
Just to ask the question in a country that has already seen three fascist dictatorships since the 1930s (Metaxa, the fascist and brutal civil war suppression, run by the British under its Attlee Labour government between 1945 and 1949, and the colonels’ junta of the 1960s-70s) is to get the answer.
But in case the point is not clear another “elected socialist” government, that of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, is being taught further lessons in the subversion and counter-revolutionary disruption with yet another coup attempt by the reactionary capitalist forces and undoubtedly with US CIA backing and support, as many times before in Caracas and throughout Latin America:
A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.
Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.
Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.
Maduro explained that a video of masked military officials speaking out against the government had been recorded, which was set to be released after the planned assassination was carried out.
Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez stated via his Twitter account that the armed forces remain loyal to the constitutional government.
“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces remain resolute in their democratic beliefs and reject coup schemes that threaten the peace of the republic,” said Padrino.
According to Maduro, one of the suspects was already under surveillance and had been suspected of plotting against the government during last year’s violent demonstrations, but was not charged. Nevertheless, he continued plotting against the democratically-elected government.
The four-stage plan involved creating an economic assault on the country, creating an international debate around a supposed humanitarian crisis, a political coup involving officials who would turn on the government, and finally a military coup that would lead to the installation of the transitional program.
Maduro stated that the plot, which was scheduled to coincide with anti-government demonstrations planned for the one-year anniversary of the start of violent, opposition-led demonstrations which began last Feb. 12, was uncovered after military officials who had been approached to participate reported the schemes to authorities.
Maduro called on the Venezuelan people to be on alert and prepared to maintain peace in the country in the face of continued attempts by sectors of the right wing who seek to overthrow the democratically-elected government.
The lesson that needs learning is not “to be on the alert to support a democratically-elected government” but that it will always be undermined, subverted and sabotaged for as long as the bourgeoisie continues to exist if it pursues any real changes in favour of the working class.
“Democracy” in class dominated society only emerged to regulate the activities of the ruling class among themselves – the currently celebrated 13th century Magna Carta was entirely and only about balancing the feudal barons’ interests against the monarchy – and then later adapted to the interests of property owners; universal suffrage only emerged, grudgingly conceded, once the bourgeois dictatorship was well established and could hide its control behind a hoodwinking pretence of “changing things by voting”.
If imperialism’s plotting has failed once more this time in Caracas – a welcome defeat – that will not prevent the constant destabilisation and disruption that saw deliberately violent and destructive middle-class anti-socialist demonstrations in Venezuela last year and, so far, seven coup attempts including that which nearly brought down Maduro’s forerunner Hugo Chávez in 2002.
The illusions fostered by all the left’s in “democratic paths” are a deadly misleading of the working class as the 1970-73 democratic socialist government of Salvador Allende discovered, drowned in blood and foully tortured for years afterwards by the Augustus Pinochet-CIA coup, and as many slaughtered workers and peasants have discovered too across Latin America, Asia and Africa, including in Obama’s time the overturned presidents in Honduras, and Paraguay and of course the new democracy established in Cairo, only to be overturned by a military coup now proving itself up among the bloodiest.
Failing to take up these questions, rebuilding Leninist revolutionary understanding of the vital need for the dictatorship of the proletariat, shows up in the theatrical “solidarity” with Venezuela engaged in by all the “lefts” and their uncritical eulogies poured out for Chávez, hailing the “new 21st century” path to socialism which is supposed to do without all the advice of “dead white Russians” and “old hat Marxism”.
But they are leaving the working class as disarmed as Allende did, open and vulnerable to counter-revolution.
By all means let any progress be celebrated including reforms for the working class in Latin America but not by deluding them and workers everywhere that somehow capitalism has changed its spots.
It has changed but only towards much greater warmongering desperation and increasingly open fascist repression as the crisis deepens.
Failing to educate the working class in this reality means that all fake-“leftism” is a giant play acting pose, basking in reflected “glory” from such reformist socialism but precisely heading the working class away from the only understanding that can safeguard them from such counter-revolution, the need to suppress the old bourgeois order and its counter-revolutionary subversion, allowing the only real democratic path to be built, that of breaking up the old capitalist state and building a workers state (KGB, Red Army, local peoples’ revolutionary defence committees etc or whatever forms might emerge).
Even worse is calling on the bourgeoisie to condemn the coup attempts – you may as well politely ask great white sharks to stop eating seals:
We note with grave concern the announcement of the discovery of a plot to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in a coup on 12 February (Venezuelan general arrested over plot to topple president, officials say, 13 February). Officials have said the plans included violent attacks on the presidential palace and other government buildings. The thwarting of this latest coup attempt comes as leaders of Latin American countries have warned of a similar situation developing in Venezuela to that which preceded the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, which led to the horrendous dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Sections of Venezuela’s rightwing opposition have previously used violent and anti-democratic means to destabilise and seek to overthrow the country’s elected government, most notably the temporarily successful coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002, and many rightwing opposition groups in Venezuela committed to overthrowing the elected, constitutional government continue to receive funding from the US. We call on all governments internationally to respect Venezuela’s elected, constitutional government and condemn this latest coup attempt.
John Pilger, Tariq Ali, Linton Kwesi-Johnson, Victoria Brittain, Andy De La Tour, Ian Davidson MP (Lab), Dave Anderson MP (Lab), George Galloway MP (Respect), Neil Findlay MSP (Lab), Bethan Jenkins AM (Plaid Cyrmu), Lord Nic Rea, Kate Hudson CND, Derek Wall Green party, John Hendy QC, Manuel Cortes TSSA, Steve Turner Unite the Union, Kevin Courtney NUT, Dr Francisco Dominguez Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Richard Gott, John Smith Musicians Union, Jeff Cuthbert AM
This list of “the usual (anti-communist) left suspects” has not said a word meanwhile about Syriza’s decision to form a coalition with the reactionary religious party Anel and hand over the Defence Ministry to its control as the price for support.
Allende’s biggest mistake was to invite the generals – including Pinochet – into his cabinet, relying on the bourgeois state to control destabilisation being whipped up by the same bourgeoisie and its hidden CIA backing, ignoring the basic Marxist understanding derived as far back as 1870 from the heroic Paris Commune after it was broken up and thousands of workers were slaughtered, that if the state is left intact, it will always act for counter-revolution and ruthlessly and bloodily so.
Now Syriza hands the control of the state to a bourgeois reactionary party!!!
Not one fake-“left” group says a word.
But their silence says a thousand words about their pretended Marxism.
The same dirty dealing lessons are available from the Ukrainian fascism established by deliberately provoked mayhem in Kiev last year, stampeding the petty bourgeoisie behind the thugs and Nazis who seized power after years of Western subversion and manipulation.
Suddenly popping up on the BBC in an obscurely buried Newsnight piece is the admission that the “sniper shooting” which was used to inflame the situation by unproven Western media allegations against the elected Yanukovitch regime, was actually carried out by the Nazis themselves:
A day of bloodshed on Kiev’s main square, nearly a year ago, marked the end of a winter of protest against the government of president Viktor Yanukovych, who soon afterwards fled the country. More than 50 protesters and three policemen died.
But how did the shooting begin?
It’s early in the morning, 20 February, 2014. Kiev’s Maidan square is divided - on one side the riot police, the protesters on the other.
This has been going on for more than two months now. But events are about to come to a head. By the end of the day, more than 50 people will be dead, many of them gunned down in the street by security forces.
The violence will lead to the downfall of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Moscow will call 20 February an armed coup, and use it to justify the annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
The protest leaders, some of whom now hold positions of power in the new Ukraine, insist full responsibility for the shootings lies with the security forces, acting on behalf of the previous government.
But one year on, some witnesses are beginning to paint a different picture.
“I was shooting downwards at their feet,” says a man we will call Sergei, who tells me he took up position in the Kiev Conservatory, a music academy on the south-west corner of the square.
“Of course, I could have hit them in the arm or anywhere. But I didn’t shoot to kill.”
Sergei says he had been a regular protester on the Maidan for more than a month, and that his shots at police on the square and on the roof of an underground shopping mall, caused them to retreat.
There had been shooting two days earlier, on 18 February. The 19th, a Wednesday, had been quieter, but in the evening, Sergei says, he was put in contact with a man who offered him two guns: one a 12-gauge shotgun, the other a hunting rifle, a Saiga that fired high-velocity rounds.
He chose the latter, he says, and stashed it in the Post Office building, a few yards from the Conservatory. Both buildings were under the control of the protesters.
Under attack, the police retreated from their position near the front line in the square, falling back along the street on the north side of Hotel Ukraine.
Protesters then advanced towards the police, where they were shot by retreating security forces and snipers from surrounding buildings.
More than 50 people were killed.
When the shooting started early on the morning of the 20th, Sergei says, he was escorted to the Conservatory, and spent some 20 minutes before 07:00 firing on police, alongside a second gunman.
His account is partially corroborated by other witnesses. That morning, Andriy Shevchenko, then an opposition MP and part of the Maidan movement, had received a phone call from the head of the riot police on the square.
“He calls me and says, ‘Andriy, somebody is shooting at my guys.’ And he said that the shooting was from the Conservatory.”
Shevchenko contacted the man in charge of security for the protesters, Andriy Parubiy, known as the Commandant of the Maidan.
“I sent a group of my best men to go through the entire Conservatory building and determine whether there were any firing positions,” Parubiy says.
Meanwhile the MP, Andriy Shevchenko, was getting increasingly panicked phone calls.
“I kept getting calls from the police officer, who said: ‘I have three people wounded, I have five people wounded, I have one person dead.’ And at some point he says, ‘I am pulling out.’ And he says, ‘Andriy I do not know what will be next.’ But I felt that something really bad was about to happen.”
Andriy Parubiy, now deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, says his men found no gunmen.
But a photographer who gained access to the Conservatory - shortly after 08:00 - took pictures of men with guns, although he did not see them fire.
Sergei’s account also differs from Parubiy’s.
“I was just reloading,” he told me. “They ran up to me and one put his foot on top of me, and said, ‘They want a word with you, everything is OK, but stop doing what you’re doing.’”
Sergei says he is convinced the men who dragged him away were from Parubiy’s security unit, though he didn’t recognise their faces.
By that time three policemen had been fatally wounded and the mass killings of protesters had begun.
Kiev’s official investigation has focused on what happened afterwards - after the riot police began to retreat from the square. In video footage, they are clearly seen firing towards protesters as they pull back.
Only three people have been arrested, all of them members of a special unit of riot police. And of these three, only two - the lower-ranking officers - remain in custody. The unit’s commanding officer, Dmitry Sadovnik, was granted bail and has now disappeared.
The three policemen are accused of causing 39 deaths. But at least a further dozen protestors were killed - and the three policemen.
Some were almost certainly shot by snipers, who seemed to be shooting from taller buildings surrounding the square.
Lawyers for the victims and sources in the general prosecutor’s office have told the BBC that when it comes to investigating deaths that could not have been caused by the riot police, they have found their efforts blocked by the courts.
The overwhelming majority of the protesters on Maidan were peaceful, unarmed citizens, who braved months of bitter cold to demand a change to their corrupt government. As far as is known, all the protesters killed on 20 February were unarmed.
This piece still maintains the Western lie that the Maidan demonstrators were “just peaceful” when the TV and press pictures of the time and numerous reports made it clear that right wing thugs armed with wooden staves, knives and guns constantly patrolled and intimidated, and there were numerous violent provocatory attacks on buildings and the police.
And most of all it glosses over the key point that whatever the truth about alleged police shooting (which may or may not be true – the Yanukovitch semi-Bonapartist oligarch regime, albeit elected, was hardly a paragon itself) it was this sinister hidden sniping by the Western-backed Nazis which triggered the events - exactly as hidden snipers had tried to trigger violence in Venezuela during the 2002 coup attempt on Hugo Chávez.
This manipulated thuggery is the reality that will always be imposed by capitalism if any real challenge is made to its “right” to exploit workers everywhere for the greed and power of the ruling class.
And it exactly what the European ruling class will impose on the Greeks if “anti-austerity” should come to anything at all especially as it inevitably would inspire workers everywhere.
Is the European bourgeoisie going to stand by and watch the contagion spread?
The “intellectual” wing of the fake-“left”, the CPGB Weekly Worker has its own disastrous answer to this question, declaring that the Greeks would be foolish to try it anyway, as a:
any party taking power in Greece alone is in no stronger a position than taking power in the Cotswolds.
This wet blanket on all revolutionary fervour, at least as defeatist as Varoufakis himself, is supposedly justified using the sly petty bourgeois “logical” excuse that:
The struggle of the working class is an international one at its very core, and quite plainly so in the situation that obtains in contemporary Europe. A million mass demonstration in Athens are not worth five that spread across its borders and all the protests in the world will not suffice to achieve the tasks before us. We need a revolutionary political alternative to capitalist decay.
So we do but it is not going to come from this kind of sophistry which under cover of “internationalism”, holds back struggle.
Such a line just echoes the hostile sneering of Trotsky from the 1920s onwards at the building of the workers state in the Soviet Union, again defeatistly declaring it could not be done, and thereby constantly undermining it, in Soviet and the world working class’s eyes.
Sniping of this kind was the prelude to Trotsky’s eventual counter-revolutionary declarations in books such as Revolution Betrayed and Stalin - Hitler’s Quartermaster that there was no difference between capitalist fascism and the Soviet bureaucracy, allegedly become a ruling class (sneakily hiding the accusation behind the term “ruling caste”) and “even worse” than capitalist reaction.
But it was the workers state and its Red Army, led by Stalin (flaws and all) which defended the still communal ownership of the USSR, destroyed German Nazism and inspired a huge post-war wave of anti-colonialism, and further revolution in Cuba, China, Vietnam etc which struck blow after blow against imperialist control.
Trotsky’s carping was deadly poison then and it remains so today.
It was not the impossibility of starting to build “socialism in one country” that was the problem facing the USSR after the 1917 Revolution – building socialism in the new workers state was exactly what Lenin consciously set about doing, as argued in his writings.
But what was a problem was the philosophical retreat from revolutionary perspectives which led Stalinism to see the associated and necessary “peaceful coexistence” diplomacy with the West as an essentially permanent strategy, instead of a temporary tactic to buy time while the world revolution developed further.
This revised world perspective of simply waiting for imperialism to suffocate because it could “no longer expand” as Stalin eventually declared (Economic Problems 1952), led to the continuing philosophical degeneration and complacency of Moscow’s leadership – starting long before WW2 and ending with the disastrous Gorbachevite liquidation of the planned economy and its proletarian state defences.
Stalinism gradually abandoned the international revolutionary perspective (and along with it abandoned support for the Greek communist struggle in 1945, amongst other things) .
Of course today’s Greek (or any other) revolutionary perspective needs to take in the widest possible international view, and be argued far and wide to win support – the best “solidarity” of course being the struggle for revolution at home in any particular country.
But an international view is exactly the opposite of this miserable WW sourness.
Meanwhile avoiding the question of Stalinism’s errors, as the KKE does and the revisionists like the Lalkar/Proletarian Brarites does not help either. Their limp suggestion on Greece that
The KKE has an important opportunity to blaze a trail in restoring the faith of the people in communism and blazing a trail to be followed throughout Europe.
is not only fatuous but evasive, posing the very question that has to be answered.
The working class throughout Europe and everywhere else has mostly temporarily given up on communism precisely because it appeared to have “failed” after the retreats and liquidationism of Stalin-planted revisionism, and the alleged “failure” of the Soviet Union (no such thing).
Until those questions are sorted out, which means an open polemical struggle of the widest possible nature, no “faith” in communism is going to be restored.
But all the “left” avoid any polemics and discussion.
The disgusting Lalkar/Proletarian cover up of its support for the Egyptian Sisi counter-revolution, is a case in point, born from its tangles of “condemnation” of “headbanging jihadists” even while simultaneously and uncritically supporting the equally “headbanging” Islamist regimes in Iran, Syria and the Hezbollah.
It has lost sight of the Leninist focus on the defeat and only that of the main enemy, imperialism.
So too has its uncritical support for Putinism, with never a mention of the counter-revolutionary restored oligarch capitalism which now runs Russia.
Telling the working class it should support workers states and “former workers states” – even though they are now run by gangsters, –is beyond muddle.
Leninist science does not say it has definitively worked everything out as Varoufakis alleges Marx had said.
But it does say that all these posturing pretenders to “revolutionary politics” have not got the first clue about the profound unsolvability and historic intractability of the capitalist crisis relentlessly unfolding, nor of the total breakdown of human society, relationships and interactions which are the result, compounded by the ruling class’s deliberate push towards international war.
Now will they until the debate is opened up to rebuild an open discussion to hammer out the objective truth of the world, building the Leninist party and its open polemical methods as the crucial instrument for that scientific struggle.
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