No 1469 25th May 2015
Tory escalation of “anti-extremism” censorship and surveillance, and tearing up “Human Rights”, are not aimed at anti- “terrorism” but open censorship and clampdown on working class resistance to oncoming Slump catastrophe “austerity”. But such fascist repression is a desperate move, revealing further the already threadbare pretence of bourgeois “democracy”, confirming it as a hoodwinking lie and underlining the need for a revolutionary answer to the crisis. Tory election “victory” is a joke, an electoral coup confidence trick only possible because of Labour meltdown – itself confirmation that the working class is no longer taken by the voting fraud. But the vital Marxist understanding it is ready for, to fill the leadership vacuum, is still missing; instead the fake-“left” still props up the Parliament fraud; laughably calling for a referendum to oppose the very clampdown measures that prove democracy a lie. Trotskyist and Stalinist fakery will be swept aside too; Leninist science urgently needs building.
Near universal despair and misery among the fake-“left” in the wake of the UK election further underlines their total disconnection from any serious revolutionary politics.
Only an incurable reformist or revisionist, saturated in “democracy” delusions could see mass withdrawal of working class support from the Labourite mountebanks as a setback.
Far from the result being a “defeat” for the working class it indicates a growing class maturity and ability to reject the lies and illusions of capitalism’s so-called “democracy”.
For the minute this is expressed only as a new level of cynicism and contempt for voting Labour but it applies to the entire corrupt and degenerate parliamentary racket.
While this is not yet a conscious turn to revolutionary politics it opens up the greatest opportunities yet for the building of a revolutionary movement in the working class, where there is now a giant philosophical and leadership vacuum.
The onrush of capitalism’s disastrous crisis make this a vital necessity.
It is not a gap that will be filled by the “lefts”, dragging workers back behind the parliamentary fraud in one way or another, pinning them down again to reformism.
Everyone of them went along with the election during the campaign, going against the flow of correct working class indifference and urging them to vote – either by picking allegedly “more left” figures in Labour, or for other supposed “more left” candidates, or standing themselves for various “left” reforms and impossible “anti-austerity” reductions in the cutbacks (along Greek Syriza lines – already failed).
In other words none of them talked to the working class about their professed “Marxist revolutionism”, just at the point when the working class is becoming ready to hear it, and needs to hear it.
In the wake of the election their talk is equally narrow and regressive of how “avoid disaster” next time, picking over the Labour party meltdown or the tiny votes they achieved and still saying nothing about the only possible way forwards – revolution.
Only the likes of Russell Brand’s rejectionist politics has picked itself up, recovering from an erratic “vote-Labour” blip during the election which itself reflects the limited theoretical grasp of Brand’s emotive anarchism and so-far anti-communist stance.
It remains to be seen how far Brand’s willingness to try and analyse daily events will take this shallowness forwards to overcome this greatest of Western brainwashed lies, but it at least rightly declares the struggle must continue on a revolutionary path.
The remaining “left” defeatist resignation only confirms the complete woodenness and blindness of all these groups to the unfolding reality of the capitalist slump catastrophe and the unstoppable revolutionary contradictions it is building up everywhere as the world slides towards universal war devastation (deliberately fostered by capitalism to “escape” its epochal disaster of overproduction).
Serious Marxism begins with the understanding that the world is never going to be changed until the defunct centuries-old capitalist system is totally ended by the overthrow of its ossified and arrogant ruling class and the establishment of the firm class rule of the working class alone under which socialism can begin to be built, developing steadily to a rational, fair and eventually completely open and free society.
That can only be done by total class war to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, guided by the highest level of agreed, coherent, scientific, Marxist understanding, constantly polemically fought for, within and around the building of a Leninist party leadership.
Only taking power totally will suffice, breaking up the old and vicious bourgeois state which is nothing to do with “democracy” at all but a class dictatorship of the rich, hidden behind a lying pretence that “everyone gets a say”.
Its threadbare lie is clearer with every passing election – the latest a bigger fraud then ever, essentially a manipulated coup by the ruling class.
Parliament, “free speech” and the “rule of law” has always been a cynical pretence by the owning class to hide the truth about their total control and domination, imposed by the intimidatory financial power of big capital and with the brute force of the capitalist state to back it up, from police violence, judges and prisons (and military level suppression – coups – when necessary).
All decisions in capitalist society that have anything beyond the most trivial significance are taken behind the scenes by the networks of clubs, freemasonries, Stock Exchange links, corporate investment power, banks, generals and judges that make up the ruling class and its well-paid hangers on like accountants and lawyers.
This understanding has been one of the foundation stones of Marxism-Leninism since at least the Paris Commune of 1871 and the terrible cold-blooded slaughter of thousands of workers which followed its downfall and defeat, as these and many other quotes make clear (see particularly Lenin’s State and Revolution for example):
It is sheer mockery of the working and exploited people to speak of pure democracy, of democracy in general, of equality, freedom and universal rights when the workers and all working people are ill-fed, ill-clad, ruined and worn out not only as a result of capitalist wage-slavery, but as a consequence of four years of predatory war, while the capitalists and profiteers remain in possession of the “property” usurped by them and the “ready-made” apparatus of state power. This is tantamount to trampling on the basic truths of Marxism which has taught the workers: you must take advantage of bourgeois democracy which, compared with feudalism, represents a great historical advance, but not for one minute must you forget the bourgeois character of this “democracy”, its historically conditional and limited character. Never share the “superstitious belief” in the “state” and never forget that the state even in the most democratic republic, and not only in a monarchy, is simply a machine for the suppression of one class by another.
The Scheidemanns and Kautskys speak about “pure democracy” and “democracy” in general for the purpose of deceiving the people and concealing from them the bourgeois character of present-day democracy. These words are designed to conceal the truth, to conceal the fact that the means of production and political power remain in the hands of the exploiters, and that therefore real freedom and real equality for the exploited, that is, for the vast majority of the population, are out of the question. It is profitable and indispensable for the bourgeoisie to conceal from the people the bourgeois character of modern democracy, to picture it as democracy in general or “pure democracy”, and the Scheidemanns and the Kautskys, repealing this, in practice abandon the standpoint of the proletariat and side with the bourgeoisie.
Marx and Engels in their last joint preface to the Communist Manifesto (in 1872) considered it necessary specially to warn the workers that the proletariat cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made (that is, the bourgeois) state machine and wield it for its own purpose, that it must smash it, break it up. The renegade Kautsky, who has written a special pamphlet entitled The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, concealed from the workers this most important Marxist truth, utterly distorted Marxism.
Firstly, this argument employs the concepts of “democracy in general” and “dictatorship in general”, without posing the question of the class concerned. This non-class or above-class presentation, which supposedly is popular, is an outright travesty of the basic tenet of socialism, namely, its theory of class struggle, which socialists who have sided with the bourgeoisie recognise in words but disregard in practice. For in no civilised capitalist country does “democracy in general” exist; all that exists is bourgeois democracy, and it is not a question of “dictatorship in general”, but of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, i.e., the proletariat, over its oppressors and exploiters, i.e., the bourgeoisie, in order to overcome the resistance offered by the exploiters in their fight to maintain their domination.
In explaining the class nature of bourgeois civilisation, bourgeois democracy and the bourgeois parliamentary system, all socialists have expressed the idea formulated with the greatest scientific precision by Marx and Engels, namely, that the most democratic bourgeois republic is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie, for the suppression of the working people by a handful of capitalists. There is not a single revolutionary, not a single Marxist among those now shouting against dictatorship and for democracy who has not sworn and vowed to the workers that he accepts this basic truth of socialism. But now, when the revolutionary proletariat is in a fighting mood and taking action to destroy this machine of oppression and to establish proletarian dictatorship, these traitors to socialism claim that the bourgeoisie have granted the working people “pure democracy”, have abandoned resistance and are prepared to yield to the majority of the working people. The bourgeoisie are compelled to be hypocritical and to describe as “popular government” or democracy in general, or pure democracy, the (bourgeois) democratic republic which is in practice, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the exploiters over the working people. The Scheidemanns and Kautskys, the Austerlitzes and Renners (and now, to our regret, with the help of Friedrich Adler) fall in line with this falsehood and hypocrisy. But Marxists, Communists, expose this hypocrisy, and tell the workers and the working people in general this frank and straightforward truth: the democratic republic, the Constituent Assembly, general elections, etc., are, in practice, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and for the emancipation of labour from the yoke of capital there is no other way but to replace this dictatorship with the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The dictatorship of the proletariat alone can emancipate humanity from the oppression of capital, from the lies, falsehood and hypocrisy of bourgeois democracy—democracy for the rich—and establish democracy for the poor, that is, make the blessings of democracy really accessible to the workers and poor peasants, whereas now (even in the most democratic—bourgeois—republic) the blessings of democracy are, in fact, inaccessible to the vast majority of working people.
Take, for example, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. The Scheidemanns and Kautskys, the Austerlitzes and Renners assure the workers that the present elections to the Constituent Assembly in Germany and Austria are “democratic”. That is a lie. In practice the capitalists, the exploiters, the landowners and the profiteers own 9/10 of the best meeting halls, and 9/10 of the stocks of newsprint, printing-presses, etc. The urban workers and the farm hands and day labourers are, in practice, debarred from democracy by the “sacred right of property” (guarded by the Kautskys and Renners, and now, to our regret, by Friedrich Adler as well) and by the bourgeois state apparatus, that is, bourgeois officials, bourgeois judges, and so on. The present “freedom of assembly and the press” in the “democratic” (bourgeois-democratic) German republic is false and hypocritical, because in fact it is freedom for the rich to buy and bribe the press, freedom for the rich to befuddle the people with the venomous lies of the bourgeois press, freedom for the rich to keep as their “property” the landowners’ mansions, the best buildings, etc. The dictatorship of the proletariat will take from the capitalists and hand over to the working people the landowners’ mansions, the best buildings, printing-presses and the stocks of newsprint.
But this means replacing “universal”, “pure” democracy by the “dictatorship of one class”, scream the Scheidemanns and Kautskys, the Austerlitzes and Renners (together with their followers in other countries—the Gomperses, Hendersons, Renaudels, Vandervelde and Co.).
Wrong, we reply. This means replacing what in fact is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (a dictatorship hypocritically cloaked in the forms of the democratic bourgeois republic), by the dictatorship of the proletariat. This means replacing democracy for the rich by democracy for the poor. This means replacing freedom of assembly and the press for the minority, for the exploiters, by freedom of assembly and the press for the majority of the population, for the working people. This means a gigantic, world-historic extension of democracy, its transformation from falsehood into truth, the liberation of humanity from the shackles of capital, which distorts and truncates any, even the most “democratic” and republican, bourgeois democracy. This means replacing the bourgeois state by the proletarian state, a replacement that is the sole way the state can eventually wither away altogether.
But why not reach this goal without the dictatorship of one class? Why not switch directly to “pure” democracy? So ask the hypocritical friends of the bourgeoisie or the naïve petty bourgeois and philistines gulled by them.
And we reply: Because in any capitalist society the decisive say lies with either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat, while the small proprietors, inevitably, remain wavering, helpless, stupid dreamers of “pure” i.e., non-class or above-class, democracy. Because from a society in which one class oppresses another there is no way out other than through the dictatorship of the oppressed class. Because the proletariat alone is capable of defeating the bourgeoisie, of overthrowing them, being the sole class which capitalism has united and “schooled”, and which is capable of drawing to its side the wavering mass of the working population with a petty-bourgeois way of life, of drawing them to its side or at least “neutralising” them. Because only mealy-mouthed petty bourgeois and philistines can dream—deceiving thereby both themselves and the workers—of overthrowing capitalist oppression without a long and difficult process of suppressing the resistance of the exploiters.
From the point of view of bourgeois society, once there is “democracy”, and once capitalist and proletarian alike take part in the voting, this is the “popular will”, this is “equality” and an expression of the people’s will. We know what an abominable fraud this talk is, which only serves as a cover for butchers and murderers like Ebert and Scheidemann. In bourgeois society, the mass of the working people are governed by the bourgeoisie with the help of more or less democratic forms. They are governed by a minority, the property-owners, those who have a share in capitalist property and who have turned education and science, that supreme bulwark and flower of capitalist civilisation, into an instrument of exploitation, into a monopoly.
I would respectfully remind Mr. Kautsky, who has Marx and Engels off pat, of the following appraisal of the Paris Commune given by Engels from the point of view of... “pure democracy”:
“Have these gentlemen” (the anti-authoritarians) “ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is an act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon—all of which are highly authoritarian means. And the victorious party must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries. Would the Paris Commune have lasted more than a day if it had not used the authority of the armed people against the bourgeoisie? Cannot we, on the contrary, blame it for having made too little use of that authority?”
Here is your “pure democracy”! How Engels would have ridiculed the vulgar petty bourgeois, the “Social-Democrat” (in the French sense of the forties and the general European sense of 1914-18), who took it into his head to talk about “pure democracy” in a class-divided society!
“Democracy” and dictatorship 1918
First Congress of the Communist International 1919
Second all-Russia trade union congress 1919
Proletarian revolution and the renegade Kautsky
How Engels would have ridiculed the “lefts” now, who continue to call for “real democracy” or “proper democracy” or even the ludicrous “extreme democracy” advocated by the Weekly Worker paper from preposterous self-declared CPGB revisionists, now as near to Trotskyism as it is possible to be, in their poisonous hatred of the former Soviet Union and other workers states.
Like all the fake-“left” they refuse to draw the obvious and urgently needed conclusion – that only the revolutionary struggle to overturn the entire degenerate capitalist system and establish working class rule can bring true freedom and democracy for the great majority, precisely by establishing the firmest control over the reactionary counter-revolution.
The necessity for a revolutionary party and scientific struggle for leadership has long been hampered by the illusions of slow and steady change for the better, “within the rules of democracy” fed by the class collaborating traditions of “official” trade unionism and the reformist Labour Party which evolved from it, heading off raw class struggle for the last 150 years.
The whole system has effectively been propped up even longer past its historic sell-by date by an assortment of “lefts” who for all their claims to Marxist (therefore revolutionary) principles, constantly suggest the same old voting racket can deliver “gains” if only it is pushed in the right direction by “more principled” representatives or “left pressure”.
The long slow retreat of Moscow’s Soviet leadership from Leninist revolutionism was a particularly pernicious influence – (because built on the authority of a titanic revolution and the continuing great achievements of the Soviet workers state), – concluding, from a Stalin-revised understanding of imperialism’s capacity to continue expanding after World War Two (Economic Problems of Socialism 1952), that the entire capitalist system was fatally wounded and hemmed in by the new socialist countries.
Capitalism needed only to have its worst aggressiveness “contained” by peace campaigning (social-pacifism) it was concluded, in order for the world to steadily transform to a socialist path.
That led to disastrous notions of “peaceful roads” to socialism promulgated post-war virtually worldwide by assorted national CPs of the Third International (approved by Stalin) which underpinned fatally flawed revisionist struggles across the world, including the many in Latin America where the working class was repeatedly misled into believing that parliamentary majorities could deliver socialism, only to be brutally overthrown by military coups such as in Chile in 1973 or by massive sabotage, disruption, vicious “low intensity war” and manipulated elections as in Nicaragua, or by undermining vital proletarian discipline, as was done by populist Maurice Bishop did on Grenada, ignoring the Leninist party leadership and opening the revolution to splits and disruption that gave imperialism the opening it needed to invade the tiny Caribbean island, destroying the socialism it had built and killing or imprisoning its leadership for decades.
Brutal coups, wars, bloody massacres on an industrial scale and the installation of fascist dictators from Suharto in Indonesia (at least one million butchered), Marcos in the Philippines, Papa Doc in Haiti, to Saddat and Mubarak in Egypt, the Vicious Savak Shah regime in Iran and multiple others have constantly made the reality of Western “democracy” clear.
But the “lefts” across the board have never broken free from the “democracy” delusions fed out by the ruling class and in fact do not want to, fearing more the inevitable conclusion – the explosive revolutionary upheavals that are inexorably developing everywhere and the bitter struggles for working class power that must be established.
They excuse themselves by saying the “working class is “not ready” and would be "put off by revolutionary talk” - a complete stinking opportunist BETRAYAL and ever more so as the Labour reformist tradition is rejected precisely because it has failed them.
Just as cowardly is the assessment of the museum-Stalinists, loudly proclaiming the need for revolutionary theory (or rather their own anti-polemic revisionist Stalin-worship version, never open for challenge or correction despite its glaring errors) but never actually putting the conclusions forwards, again blaming the working class for “apathy”.
So much for their constant calls for a “break with Labour” – when it happens they retreat and fail their part of the bargain – the active fight for revolutionary understanding.
The whole posturing “left” is a complete opportunist joke and a lying misleadership of the working class, failing to prepare it with the crucial education and fight for theory and understanding about capitalism that it needs if it is not to be pushed back by capitalist barbarity.
So much have the Trotskyists and Revisionists alike abandoned any real grasp of the Marxism they profess to be offering, that they can no longer see the giant movements of history even when it is under their noses as now.
But the collapse of support for Labour, expressed most of all in the disintegration of its last remaining militant voting stronghold in Scotland, makes clear that a giant philosophical obstacle, the hamstringing illusions in “democracy” have been cleared out.
That is the real significance of the Labour meltdown.
It is via Labour (and its “official” bureaucratic trade union genesis) that the deep running petty bourgeois reformist tradition, hostile to communism and perpetuating the lie of “slow steady change”, penetrated the working class so far that it was called just “the Labour Movement”, with “voting”, always for Labour, as natural as a morning teabreak.
Not any more.
A long and slow disintegration has been underway for the entire post-war period as the working class has tried out over a dozen Labour Governments, from the allegedly “left” Attlee majority of 1945, given an overwhelming landslide of support for building a socialist New Jerusalem, only to run imperialism and anti-communism just as before despite a few token welfare concessions (some like “nationalisation” (of railways, mines etc) being more to rescue bankrupt inefficient capital than to achieve “workers ownership”); through the wage controlling, trade union suppressing, slump-bringing, cuts and betrayals of subsequent Wilson and Callaghan years to finally the vile, slick, empty spin, FatCat-loving privatisations and sell-offs of the Blairites, not only running capitalist crisis and wars but even making up the Goebbels lies about WMD etc to justify it for Washington’s neocon finest, as well as the British ruling class.
The Blairite’s meaningless spin and hype was already a last ditch revival for the parliamentary system, almost shattered by the demented petty bourgeois stridency of Thatcherism and the sleaze and corruption that emerged afterwards as British imperialism’s worldwide competitiveness and influence declined ever further relative to its big rivals (themselves increasingly facing desperate world crisis).
But its petty castles in the air of hype and glitz to keep the working class bemused covered the imposition of a moralising “anti-shirker” sanctimonious “discipline” culture little different to the Scrooge-echoing workhouse ethics rolled out for the last five years by the Tories themselves.
It was brought down by the slow rolling defeat of Western imperialism in the appalling military quagmires and failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, draining money, matériel and young lives into the sand to achieve nothing but brutal warlordism, drug-running corruption, civilian blitzing, psychopathic torture and chaos and ever-rising recruitment to the anti-western revolt of Islamic jihadism and suicide bombing.
Far from staving off the onrushing crisis that the capitalist ruling class has long known was approaching and cynically and fearfully has covered up, these war blitzings have simply added to the disastrous catastrophe now engulfing the entire Middle East, Ukraine, etc.
By the end of “Blairism”, parliament was so discredited that the next Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had to be manoeuvred into place without risking an election at all.
It has taken the grossest trickery and manipulation since to keep the pretence alive and particularly as the underlying capitalist world catastrophe has broken to the surface.
The 2010 election was a disaster of lost confidence by a working class already saturated with contempt for all politicians as “all-the-same” corrupt money-grubbing sleazebags, and it either stayed away or in some cases came out only to punish the major parties, by voting Liberal etc, then once again finding itself stitched up with the dirtiest of deceptions when the three-card-trick Coalition was formed to put the Conservatives into power.
The trickery and manipulation this time has been even greater, achieving an alleged “mandate” only by an even more obvious lying electoral trickery, manipulation and twisted and distorted “electioneering” than ever before, reaching a new level in content-free “debate”, evasion, spin trickery and outright black-is-white lying, all combined with even more sophisticated media and balloting manipulation and gerrymandering than ever before in the absurd counting system which passes for a “fair vote”.
The glaring world economic crisis and the workhouse Slump poverty it is forcing down onto workers everywhere were brushed away, lied about or simply ignored for the entire farcical hustings “debate”; the non-stop destruction, killing, torture and refugee agony of millions imposed everywhere by capitalist warmongering, made to disappear.
Voting patterns were even more cleverly manipulated and plotted with US style “campaign management” than ever before and a stream of black-is-white lies poured out about prosperity and artificial credit pumped “upturns” to fool the complacent or blinkered petty bourgeoisie.
The result was what even the bourgeois commentators described as the most “boring” and regimented election ever; in reality it was the most content free, by a ruling class too fearful to allow even the tamest of discussion, dissent or open debate.
What votes were garnered for the ruling class were even more themselves a fraud, built on fooling a mixture of complacency and fearfulness among the bourgeois and petty bourgeois elements of the rural and smaller town areas away from the cities (which are always ahead in social and intellectual development).
The numbers were tiny as even various bourgeois press commentators have pointed out - no more than 35% of a voting population which already excludes some 6 million unregistered adults.
Even within the framework of its own democracy pretence the Tories did not “win” anything, but were simply the detritus and rubbish left on the shore as the tide went out on the entire parliamentary game.
The illusion has been sustained by the ludicrous Tartan Tory Scottish Nationalist masquerade as “left” reformism (a sick joke) to soak up the Labour disaffection and by the UKIP’s petty nationalism.
The historic process of breaking with parliament is not a clean sweep of course, and some layers of the working class and minor petty bourgeoisie still cling to the process itself, swinging around from one shallow “alternative” to another.
But the 2010 Liberal “surge” has paid the price for its treachery and the SNP will be equally despised once it is clear that the imperialist world catastrophe is not going to leave Scotland alone.
UKIP reformism, despite its nastier racist undertones, deliberately fostered by the ruling class, can fair no better.
It attracted sections of the working class mainly because the fake-“left” has failed to say anything rational about the very real fears and concerns within sections of the working class about the capitalist migration racket, which serves multiple purposes in providing cheap labour, undercutting existing conditions and using up scarce social and welfare resources.
Migration is being actively escalated at present to save moribund British capitalism from its disastrous uncompetitiveness, with huge numbers of cheaper east European workers currently imported to undermine wage costs (hence the Confederation of British Industry opposition to UKIP); it serves a secondary purpose too of rescuing those counter-revolutionary once-socialist economies like Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary and Romania, from the mass unemployment and desperation that is the reality of their newly restored capitalism, now the weakest most plundered parts of European capitalism.
Of course the dog whistle racism and minority scapegoating by UKIP (and effectively by Labour and the Tories too, always promising to “control immigration”) is designed to split the working class and stir up narrow chauvinist divisiveness.
And blaming immigrants as such for the Slump impositions hammering the working class will solve nothing, simply transferring workers’ attention from the real culprit, the capitalist crisis and the ruling class, the classic Nazi tactic of the 1930s.
But the sanctimonious moralising “solution” of the “lefts” calling for an “open door” welcome for migrants is useless, and even has helped drive some workers towards UKIP, because fails to give any real perspective at all that can really solved the problem. This was already clear 15 years ago when Oldham exploded in riots over immigration as the EPSR analysed then (EPSR 1093 12-06-01):
(the nationalist stimulus in Oldham which brought the BNP an astonishing 16% of the vote was obviously negative; but at the same time it raises enormously interesting and useful question marks against the hopelessness of the SA and SLP electoral-opportunist philistines, firstly for not standing, and secondly for having nothing sensible to say about the immigration/asylum-seeker issues anyway.
Just parading their utterly abstract and academic ultra-’political correctness’ line of “no immigration controls” and “welcome all asylum-seekers”, etc, is worse than useless. If the literally hundreds of millions who would willingly exchange grinding Third World poverty and/or political disillusionment, despair, or repression for First World affluence could actually make it to Britain, then the practical stupidity and pointlessness of this ultra-’politically correct’ posturing would become all too apparent.
But even as things stand, the ‘nobility’ of the gesture is the vainest and emptiest show imaginable since in reality all it is doing is giving a fake-’left’ cover to existing bourgeois reformist practice, legitimising the very manipulativeness of the capitalist state which it claims to be setting out to expose as ‘racism’.
Changing Britain’s immigration laws is pure reformism and not ‘revolutionary’ at all, no matter how apparently extreme the “no immigration controls at all” academic posture might seem. And not once throughout this whole immigration controversy has the fake-’left’ exposed the deliberate imperialist political encouraging of worldwide emigration for more than a century as a safety valve to take the more enterprising away from crisis-ridden countries where revolution would be the only other option. A socialist revolution in Britain would have the immediate clear internationalist duty, - as posturingly accepted by both the SA and the SLP, - to instantly start helping every other nation on earth to achieve their own socialist revolution. Tens of thousands don’t like life in Kosovo, or Iraq, or Sudan, or Nigeria, or Bangladesh, etc, etc????? Fine, great. So instantly equip them with training, revolutionary education, and material support for an organised return to their homelands to fight for a revolutionary improvement in conditions there. It would be all-round entirely reactionary, to just encourage the individuals who had the drive and ambition to leave their homelands for something better, to just swell the catering and cleaning casual labour force in Britain, or help British backwardness to continue to ignore its gap in training sufficient doctors and nurses of its own, or teachers, etc, etc.
So what is the ‘revolutionary’ point of encouraging reforms for “complete freedom of immigration” now, under capitalism??
There isn’t any. It grants the capitalist state the right to play God over human lives when the only thing worth thinking about any capitalist state or any of its activities is that they are al1 out-of-date and irrelevant and that the only worthwhile future is to abolish all capitalist states immediately. It pretends even more stupidly that sound ‘reforms’ to a capitalist state’s immigration laws can make a capitalist state quite a worthwhile and tolerable thing after all, pure reformist nonsense. And it says to the native working class that the only real problem is their racist intolerance of all the immigrant newcomers. “Welcome all asylum-seekers” working-class communities everywhere are instructed. “Any problem you think you might have with this rests entirely in your own backward racist prejudices”.
It is the slicker and ostensibly less aggressive UKIP which has benefitted this time but the argument is the same, that without giving a better and much broader revolutionary explanation to the working class then some of them will turn to anti-immigration racism .
Without this complete failure of the “left”, hiding away from revolution behind its shallow PC posturing over racism and other single-issue diversions like “gay rights” and feminism, moralisingly dismissing real concerns of the working class, the discontent with parliament would be even sharper.
Building a revolutionary understanding is needed to mobilise the working class, and turn it away from such reactionary backward nationalist chauvinism (fostered too by “left” groups like TUSC and its Little Englander “No 2 EU” backwardness) and to turn abstentionism into active class struggle.
Workers cannot just stay at home, - the onrushing crisis is rapidly deepening and pushing the exploited millions ever closer to the edge of survival.
The giant realities of the catastrophic breakdown of the private profit system cannot be wished away, or be swept under the carpet by slick advertising hype and grovellingly compliant media manipulation.
They are the driving contradictions of an 800 year old capitalist system which is out of time, and facing the greatest political and social failure in all history, imposing an unstoppable necessity on the working class to finish with it.
Until that is fought for by building the revolutionary party it will be filled by all kinds of spontaneous outbursts.
The bosses and rich know very well that the severity of the Slump conditions they have to impose will trigger huge revolt, far beyond the sporadic and anarchic riots and turmoil of recent years.
Disastrous world failure of the entire bankrupt capitalist system leaves the ruling class no choice but to massively increase speed-up, wage cuts, slashed social services and squeezed welfare provision if it is to survive, and continue its luxury and power.
This will be intensified by the gigantic upheavals already ripping apart the Middle East and Africa, and emerging in east Europe and Latin America, threatening the imperialist super-profits which have helped the ruling class buy off some layers of the middle class and more privileged working class until now in the rich metropolitan countries.
While the fake-“lefts” wallows in defeatism (thereby helping hold back the working class) the ruling class knows very well that the democracy fraud is almost a worked-out seam and is desperately stepping up its direct dictatorship.
Small wonder that the very first moves to be announced by the ruling class via its Conservative electoral coup was a massive stepping up of state censorship, universal surveillance and suppression of all “left” politics, hidden behind the pretence of “protecting public safety and anti-terror”.
But this is a massive weakness making even clearer the total lie of “democracy”.
Moves to “ban extremism” (which in fact means all left and working class opinion), censor all criticism, and tear up basic Human Rights Act freedoms further confirms the dictatorship class rule reality of the capitalist system.
The epochal failure of the production for private profit system leaves no room any more even for the pretences of “everyone gets a say”.
Hence the clampdown on political opposition and Nazi style insistence that everyone “support democracy”, the nation, “our boys” (whatever war repression, torture, massacre barbarity and destruction the capitalist military imposes across the world, tearing country after country into agonised refugee and dispossessed fragmentation). Even sections of the bourgeois press are dismayed:
The Tories are planning to change our ‘tolerant society’
Obeying the law will no longer be enough to guarantee you are able to live peacefully in the UK without harassment from the state.
David Cameron is set to announce a string of new powers that are seen by many as a challenge to our basic civil liberties.
This sentence from the Tory leader is particularly chilling:
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.”
Well, in simple terms: obeying the law will no longer be enough to be enough to ensure you escape retribution by the authorities.
Even if you are not suspected of committing any crime, you could be hit by orders preventing you from speaking in public or associating with specific people.
The planned “snooper’s charter” will give the police the right to read your private messages, even if you’re not suspected of any wrongdoing. Now, it seems that if they see anything they don’t like (even if it isn’t criminal) they won’t be obliged to leave you alone.
We know that the Tory government are also planning to scrap the current Human Rights Act and replace it with one that would introduce a “threshold below which Convention [human] rights will not be engaged” - allowing UK courts to strike out certain cases.
This could leave you with no legal recourse to challenge any controls you are subject to.
It’s all a bit...
No longer a cliché, more a fact of life
Why is David Cameron doing this?
He wants to preemptively combat extremism and terrorism. But we already have a number of laws which allow police and counter-terrorism officers to monitor and arrest anybody suspected of being involved in terrorism, or in planning a terrorist attack.
Although these fundamental changes are being brought in under the guise of combating terrorism, this isn’t the limit of their application.
These new changes have the potential to be used against all of us.
It is nothing to do with the meaningless nonsense of world “terrorism” which is nothing more than the great eruption of the Third World against the centuries of tyrannical oppression and exploitation it has suffered. It is to suppress the working class.
So this is the age of 1984 double-think and permanent day and night Big Brother surveillance, but not imposed by “Stalinism” or “socialist totalitarianism” as the reactionary police and MI5 snitch George Orwell presented it, in one of the greatest pieces of anti-communist propaganda ever devised, (eagerly embraced by the Trotskyist petty bourgeoisie) but by capitalism itself.
The reactionaries want to create an atmosphere akin to the 1930s in Nazi Germany where those who did not “Heil Hitler” enthusiastically enough would find themselves dragged away to a concentration camp.
An absurd parallel??
But the monopoly capitalist class is already supporting, lavishly funding and egging on, open Nazism in the Ukraine for example, dutifully backed up by a craven yellow bourgeois press, a fascist regime installed by a Western funded coup, and one of the many fraudulent “colour revolutions” set going by the intelligence agencies around the former USSR, to hem in any possibility of revived sympathy for the communism of the past now developing fast in the crisis.
The depraved fascists in Kiev have already launched deadly war on the working class in the Eastern part of the country, which was opposed to their violent takeover, killing so far more than 6000 people, mainly civilians and operating death squad raids as savage and depraved as anything as anything WW2’s Nazism managed.
This barbarity, supported outright by the craven Western media has been losing, driven back by for the moment by heroic determination the working class in the east (and undoubted Russian support).
Kiev too has turned to desperate censorship and clampdown, its hostility to socialism and working class politics larded with grotesque eulogising of the Second World War Nazism that lined itself up Hitler and carried out many of the pogroms and atrocities of the time. It throws a sharp light onto Theresa May’s censorship clampdown:
Two new laws that ban communist symbols while honouring nationalist groups that collaborated with the Nazis have come into effect in Ukraine, raising concerns that Kiev could be stifling free speech and further fragmenting the war-torn country in the rush to break ties with its Soviet past.
The first law “on the condemnation of the communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes” forbids both Soviet and Nazi symbols, making something as trivial as selling a USSR souvenir, or singing the Soviet national hymn or the Internationale, punishable by up to five years in prison for an individual and up to 10 years in prison for members of an organisation.
It also makes it a criminal offence to deny the “criminal character of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine” in the media or elsewhere.
The second law recognises controversial nationalist groups – including the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – as “independence fighters” and makes it a criminal offence to question the legitimacy of their actions. While these two groups at different times fought both Soviet and German forces, they also collaborated with the Nazis and took part in ethnic cleansing. One of the authors of the law is the son of UPA leader Roman Shukhevych.
Supporters of the laws say they are a way to build a national identity and condemn totalitarianism, but the legislation has been roundly condemned by academics and human rights organisations, as well as Ukrainian activists. While other eastern European countries have also banned communist symbols, Ukraine’s law is more wide-reaching than previous measures.
The laws could also have a divisive impact on a fragmented country in which many citizens, especially in the southern and eastern regions, are in favour of close ties with Russia rather than Kiev’s pro-western policies and sympathise with the Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Long a hot-button issue, Ukraine’s Soviet past has become especially contentious after the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych last year and the conflict against Russia-backed separatists in two eastern regions, which has claimed at least 6,100 lives since April 2014. In what has become known as “Leninfall”, activists have torn down more than 100 monuments to Vladimir Lenin around the country, sometimes clashing with pro-Russian protesters.
Two other laws taking effect on Thursday open up Soviet archives and officially replace the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War” with “second world war”, in common with western countries.
In an open letter after the laws on independence fighters and communist symbols were passed by parliament, 70 scholars and experts on Ukraine from around the world called on president Petro Poroshenko not to sign them, arguing that their content contradicts the right to freedom of speech.
The letter read: “Not only would it be a crime to question the legitimacy of an organisation [the UPA] that slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles in one of the most heinous acts of ethnic cleansing in the history of Ukraine, but also it would exempt from criticism the OUN, one of the most extreme political groups in western Ukraine between the wars, and one which collaborated with Nazi Germany at the outset of the Soviet invasion in 1941. It also took part in anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine.”
It warned that the “wholesale condemnation of the entire Soviet period as one of occupation of Ukraine will have unjust and incongruous consequences,” noting that even someone who speaks positively of the perestroika market reforms under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, for instance, could be condemned.
Dunja Mijatovi, the representative for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on freedom of the media, said the “broadly and vaguely defined language” in the anti-communist law “could easily lead to suppression of political, provocative and critical speech, especially in the media”. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum also condemned the independence-fighter legislation.
Even if the laws are not invoked to send souvenir sellers and historians to prison, they will promote ultranationalism and “anti-communist hysteria”, said Denis Pilaš, an activist with the Ukrainian group Left Opposition, who co-wrote a scathing analysis of the law in the journal Commons.
“The main danger of these laws is the movement of the political discourse to the right and the violence of the far right against leftwing activists,” he told the Guardian. “It’s a further step toward the legitimisation of these things – conservatism and violence against leftists – which have been growing for the past three to four years.”
In addition, the anti-communist legislation could entail millions of dollars in expenses for renaming the huge number of cities, streets and other places connected with communist figures or the Soviet Union at a time when Ukraine is in economic crisis. Already local politicians have discussed a new names for the cities of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad, which were renamed in honour of communist revolutionaries Grigory Petrovsky and Sergey Kirov during Soviet times.
Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution abstaining from certain international human rights obligations, specifically to allow those detained on suspicion of terrorism in the “anti-terrorist operation” against separatists in eastern Ukraine to be held for more than 72 hours, as well as for the creation of military administrations in some cities.
According to Yulia Gorbunova of Human Rights Watch, the move is a legal step to allow Ukrainian authorities to deviate from certain norms in these treaties as they take measures against the separatist uprising, as long as these deviations are proportionate.
“They can deviate from certain human rights obligations because of the situation of emergency, but it is by no means carte blanche for human rights violations,” Gorbunova said. “Where the state abused its right to deviate from human rights treaties, that will be decided by the United Nations Human Rights committee or by the European Court of Human Rights.”
These desperate moves reflects the fears of the ruling class that despite decades of non-stop anti-communist propaganda, and the blitzkrieg world war intimidation of the entire planet to escape the irresolvable capitalist crisis, all it has succeeded in doing is stirring up mass popular resistance – now mass “terrorism” in the Middle East and the sweep of “left” populism in the West from the Syriza “left” in Greece, to the equally on the rise Podemos in Spain, making huge strides in Barcelona and Madrid for example.
None of these movements in themselves come anywhere close to the necessary communist revolution needed to end capitalism – and are in many respects obstacles to it, particularly the anti-communist posturing of the “No to Austerity” movements already proven to be completely useless opportunism in Greece, as will Podemos, or Britain’s own People’s Assembly be.
But they are signs of mass movement which can only stir deeper debate as the limitations of their philosophies run into a brick wall – with the building of communist understanding destined to emerge eventually.
The call for a return to Soviet times is already significant in Ukraine for example, though with its own problems to overcome in dealing both with the philosophical failings of Stalinist revisionism which led eventually to the Gorbachevite liquidation, and with the backward nationalism which the fatuous Bonapartism of Putin is substituting for real leadership.
And the usual diet of anti-communist stunts and lies is running into ever greater problems, not only reaching new heights of absurdity in the standard Goebbels big lies about the “horrors” of socialism but being caught out doing so.
One of the most demonised workers states for example has long been North Korea where the propaganda has reached surreal levels, such as last year’s nonsense about “purges” allegedly involving “execution in public by rabid dogs” tearing apart the uncle of Kim Jong-Un, later retracted.
Like all such nonsense, this was based on mysterious “intelligence sources” and alleged disaffected escapees, and their unverified and unverifiable axe-grinding accounts.
The latest was just as lurid, suggesting that a senior central committee member had been sentenced to death for ”falling asleep” and that he had been executed by being “blown apart by anti-aircraft gunfire”. Four days later what should emerge?:
Recent reports that the once-powerful general, Hyon Yong-chol, had been executed by firing squad because he fell asleep in a meeting with the ruler have since been downplayed, with South Korea saying he has been “purged” but “not necessarily killed”. But both occurrences point to vulnerabilities at the very top of the DPRK.
If confirmed, analysts say Hyon Yong-chol’s execution is the latest attempt from the insecure North Korean leader to exert his authority
Cancelling the Russian trip because of “internal Korean affairs” raised questions of exactly what Kim is frightened of. Has he realised that he cannot rely on the repetition of the Kim family myth alone for political legitimacy?
Ongoing purges suggest that some of the elite have forgotten the volatility of the young Kim, displaying a lack of respect for the institutions that sustain him and unwillingness to indulge his need to be the focal point of all adulation.
After two years of prefatory propaganda and three years of rule, it is revealing that analysts believe his authority is in question. “Internally, there does not seem to be any respect for Kim Jong-un within the core and middle levels of the North Korean leadership,” said Michael Madden, an expert at the 38 North thinktank.
Surely the events of December 2013, when Kim Jong-un approved the purge and execution of his own uncle, should still be fresh in minds of North Korean elites.
The damage has been done of course with the initial bizarre “report” circulated worldwide, while the “correction” (reports have been “downplayed”) is buried away some days later, leaving the supposed “truth” lodged in minds everywhere as intended, to become part of the anti-communist mythology.
(As it was in Libya against Colonel Gaddafi where the “shooting with anti-aircraft guns” story was first put around by the Western intelligence agencies via the BBC and other media; again totally unsubstantiated and never followed up, verified, checked or proven – because it could not be – just like the other relentless lying off-the-wall invented nonsense like “viagra-frenzy rape squads used to terrorise the population” etc etc etc etc).
But it is telling that the report has had to be withdrawn demonstrating that the impact of this monstrous campaigning is loosing its influence.
It would do so far quicker if it were not for the fake-“left” which not only capitulates to the Western anti-communist deluge but on the Trotskyist side at least, helps feed it, with denunciations of the alleged deprivations and privations of “totalitarian Soviet rule” every bit as poisonous as the lies of Western imperialism.
But sticking to such craven servility to Western ideology will be a disaster for the “lefts”. Already in east Europe (Hungary, Ukraine, Romania etc) a hankering for the socialist times is growing stronger, giving the lie to capitalism’s (and the fake “left”) assertions that the masses there “could not wait to escape tyranny and oppression etc”. It can only increase once the effect of Quantitative Easing wears off and the deferred capitalist crisis returns with hurricane force.
The world will be looking for clarity and understanding, which for all the confusions of the Middle East, and complexities of unfolding trade war, is what Marxism can provide, so long as the battle for understanding is engaged.
Small wonder the ruling class is heading for total censorship. Build Leninism.
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