No 1480 29th October 2015
Tory split on Slump cuts, grovelling to despised Chinese planned economy for investment and failure to stop UK industrial job wipeout, underlines the desperation of a ruling class unable to keep up in the maelstrom of world economic catastrophe. Pretences about “upturns” will soon be cut away as the QE boost peters out. But fake-“left” and Labourite “resistance to austerity” renewed reformism solves nothing; worse, it disarms and distracts from the only possible way out of crisis, the revolutionary overthrow of the entire stinking capitalist order. “Anti-dumping” calls feed the worst petty nationalism as does anti-EU Little Englanderism. “Left” calls to “bomb ISIS” capitulate to meaningless “war on terror” demonisation but Palestine 3rd Intifada “terror” shows their hypocrisy. Leninism must be built
Tory helplessness as the Slump unstoppably wipes out steel industry jobs; nervous splits and dissent over Tax Credit cuts; and humiliated grovelling to the Chinese workers state, all point to a ruling class on the bankrupt edge of desperation.
Worldwide failure of the imperialist economic order continues to unroll, and it is tearing jobs and industries apart exactly as Marxism has long warned was inevitable (see economics box, the Communist Manifesto and Capital).
And throughout the Third World there is now an ever growing angry ferment of hatred – labelled “terrorism” and frequently nihilistic or confused but the signal of worldwide breakdown of a bankrupt capitalist order.
It is happening not because of “ideological choices” or simply “more greed” but the inbuilt logic of capitalism itself and it cannot be changed by “better economic management” and “ending profligate spending” on the one hand, or by “saying no to austerity” on the other.
The only “ideological choice” is in a ruling class determined to hang on to its sweet privilege and power, even as its entire system spirals into utter catastrophe and renewed (deliberate) World War destruction.
The ruling class, and its class-collaborating reformist “opposition”, are powerless to stop this disaster however many concessions or reforms are conceded or won; however many battles fought to defend conditions.
Let all such struggles unfold as they inevitably will spontaneously, and should, but always with the central grasp that they are part the fight for revolutionary overturn of the whole system, and must be.
Only that can change anything now in the imploding Slump conditions of “overproduction” which characterise the rotten ripe conditions of the inexorable capitalist crisis.
The working class has no other way to stop or turnaround the collapse being forced on it, a lesson being sharply imposed most lately with brutal callousness on the sacked steel workers in Teesside, Scunthorpe and Scotland, in the docks of Piraeus, and the German car factories.
Unsellable “glut” in all kinds of products from oil to steel, cocoa to cars, is the ultimate endpoint insanity of a system that produces only to make profit for the few, completely uncaring of actual human needs that human labour and effort should really be satisfying (needs which most of the world is crying out for).
Over and over again, for all its “brilliance” and “entrepreneurial inventiveness”, eventually capitalism cannot sell everything that is produced (while taking a profit, the entire rationale of its existence) – and the world enters a spiral of catastrophic collapse and the completely pointless human deprivation which Marx described as “want in the midst of plenty”.
Corruption, desperate trade and currency war, and increasingly belligerent monopoly bloc conflict becomes the norm.
“Kill them all” scapegoating and demonisation, and international finger-pointing blame hatred against rival powers, is being driven to a frenzy, to divert attention and escape the real truth, that capitalism has reached a terminal contradiction and epochal failure.
At home a fearful ruling class knows that if it is to survive at all against other ruthless capitalist monopoly powers in this vicious cutthroat competition of disintegrating world markets it must squeeze the rate of exploitation of the working class to unprecedented levels, pushing wages and conditions all the way down to Third World level (or even beyond as the Nazi labour camps did in the 1930s).
As Marx explains in Capital this cut in wages, speedup and extension of the working day, is the only way to sustain some profit as the markets force prices down.
But the working class has been told that “things are getting better” and bribed (for the moment, to buy time) with the hoodwinking fraud that “competent economic management” will provide.
Hence the “rebel” MPs’ and Lords’ panic over imposing the latest savagery; it is nothing to do with “treating hard working families fairly” or “doing what was in the election manifesto” and everything to do with fear of the potentially explosive reactions that will erupt as ordinary people increasingly realise they have been gulled once again, and that there is no way out of the crisis (while capitalism lasts).
Memories of the Poll Tax upheavals and the explosive city riots that followed the “austerity” impositions of the Coalition are fresh in ruling class minds.
They know full well this cataclysmic breakdown has only just begun, the world capitalist future one of much worse bankruptcy and collapse.
And for all its pie-in-the-sky boasting about “growth rates” and transient “upturn”, the British economy is more hollow than most.
Its pretences about Northern Powerhouses etc are so much joke bravado and spin bluster.
This sclerotic chinless-wonder ruling class, one of the weakest, most finance-parasitical and moribund of all the major capitalist powers, is suffering even more than the desperate floundering of every other capitalist economy, seeing its manufacturing and industry destroyed while it survives only on the unstable “fees” and “commissions” creamed off from the world currency flows by its City “financial services” sector, and cheap migrant labour.
But all that is highly vulnerable, and could easily be wiped out too by ruthless competition as soon as the Quantitative Easing artificial respiration falters again.
Only these injections of utterly valueless paper and electronic credit have kept the entire world capitalist system upright at all after the global meltdown of 2008, which nearly plunged the world into utter chaos anarchy.
The QE effect cannot last; in fact it will deepen and accelerate renewed collapse, and especially of the finance sector.
A return of terrifying breakdown is due anytime as the capitalist press endlessly confirms:
On Friday, the central bank in the world’s second-biggest economy cut the cost of borrowing for the sixth time in a year.
This move has implications, none of them especially cheery despite the knee-jerk increase in share prices that followed. Those investors who thought the announcement in Beijing was a big buy signal should ask themselves whether this was a sign of strength or a sign of weakness.
...The good news for the People’s Bank of China is it has plenty of scope to cut rates further from their current level of 4.35% should the economy not respond to the stimulus provided. Unlike other central banks, it has not already cut the official cost of borrowing to zero (and in some cases below zero). The bad news is that it might need all the leeway it has available. ...
But it is not just in China...On the day before the European Central Bank dropped the broadest of hints that in December it will announce new growth-boosting measures for the eurozone. Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, has options. He could cut the ECB’s deposit rate, already -0.2%, still further and thus penalise banks that want to park money with the central bank. More likely, though, the ECB will turn to its version of quantitative easing and increase its bond-buying programme from the current €60bn (£43bn) a month.
Japan is also poised to provide more stimulus later this week when official figures are likely to show the economy back in recession. As with the ECB, a central aim of the policy is to secure a competitive advantage by bearing down on the exchange rate. But if the yen and the euro are weakening, something else has to be strengthening, and the upshot will be that the US dollar will rise.
With the US economy showing signs of slowing, the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, will put on ice any plans to raise interest rates, for fear that this will drive the dollar even higher.
Problem number one is that by deliberately weakening their exchange rates, countries are stealing growth from each other. Central banks insist that this does not represent a return to the competitive devaluations and protectionism of the 1930s, but it is starting to look awfully like it.
Problem number two is that the monetary stimulus is becoming less and less effective over time. There are two main channels through which QE operates. One is through the exchange rate, but the policy doesn’t work if all countries want a cheaper currency at once. Then, as the weakness of global trade testifies, it is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The other channel is through long-term interest rates, which are linked to the price of bonds. When central banks buy bonds, they reduce the available supply and drive up the price. Interest rates (the yield) on bonds move in the opposite direction to the price, so a higher price means borrowing is cheap.
But when bond yields are already at historic lows, it is hard to drive them much lower even with large dollops of QE. In Keynes’s immortal words, central banks are pushing on a piece of string.
Nor is that the end of it... periods when interest rates are stuck at zero are likely to become more frequent, resulting in a greater reliance on unconventional measures such as QE that are subject to diminishing returns.
This is a time for caution. The fact that central banks feel the need to provide more stimulus more than six years into a recovery is ... is a sign of trouble ahead. If the global economy requires a fresh growth boost, it means that an already feeble recovery is waning. If it doesn’t, it means there is a heightened risk of a new financial crash or higher inflation.
All capitalist powers are trapped in this maelstrom of market failure and ever more vicious struggle for imploding and shrinking markets, all are heading ever deeper into the only answer the degenerate system has ever had, non-stop warmongering and destruction.
Their system of world profiteering is always one of plundering, brutal exploitation, Third World tyrannising fascist dictatorships, sweatshop and plantation slavery, poverty, hunger, disease and deprivation for the masses, as well as careless, widescale environmental destruction, and growing ecological disaster, at the best of times.
But as inter-imperialist trade and cutthroat currency war unstoppably escalates, all out World War Three becomes the inevitable end point to impose the crisis on others and to wipe out the “surplus capacity” (like Middle East oilfield production) clogging the markets.
It has been in preparation for two decades with the ludicrous and meaningless “war on terror” (meaning whichever demonised scapegoat, or anti-imperialist rebellion the West picks on next to justify its blitzkrieging) used to get the world back in the mood for “kill them all” slaughter, keeping hatred, recrimination and destruction on the boil for when the crisis finally implodes completely (soon).
The sheer depravity and hypocrisy of the Washington led war-drive puts laughable Western pretences about “democracy” and the “rule of law” beyond even the hollow joke they have always been, with torture, civilian massacres, hospital blitzing and arbitrary death-drone butchery routine, and victim after victim “rogue state” set upon and torn to agonised shreds, while the most venal, degenerate and fascist are bolstered, pandered to and encouraged (Saudi Arabia, Zionism, Ukrainian Nazis, Latin American dictatorships, Indonesian “gangster” fascist supremacists, Thai military, Polish “Solidarnosc” clerical Catholic reactionaries, Filipino oligarchs, the Modi reactionary nationalism in India, Egypt’s murderous and repressive miliary and of course the genocidal Jewish land thieves occupying the Palestinian’s lands with the nuclear-armed, torturing, thuggery of the “Israeli” pseudo-state etc etc, etc, etc).
The same fate will await the weaker capitalist powers as the shark-frenzy international competition intensifies.
So everywhere domestic repression grows ever more overt and intensified, through universal surveillance, police brutality, press and media character assassination, bureaucratic “Prevent” brainwashing censorship of “extremism” (pretending to be about “jihadism” but actually targeted at all “dissenting thought” and, most of all, at revolutionary communism), and more and more obvious open contempt for “democracy”, by government trampling over parliament (bombing Syria, eg) and open threats of coups by military and judicial elements.
But coups couldn’t happen here as the smug “democracy” befuddled middle class and complacent “left” pretenders dismissively declare?
Even the reactionary middle class readership of the Daily Telegraph is concerned (albeit for its own petty nationalist reasons):
Portugal has entered dangerous political waters. For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.
Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Leftwing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EUIMF Troika.
He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.
Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership.
“In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of antiEuropean forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO,” said Mr Cavaco Silva.
“This is the worst moment for a radical change to the foundations of our democracy.
“After we carried out an onerous programme of financial assistance, entailing heavy sacrifices, it is my duty, within my constitutional powers, to do everything possible to prevent false signals being sent to financial institutions, investors and markets,” he said.
Mr Cavaco Silva argued that the great majority of the Portuguese people did not vote for parties that want a return to the escudo or that advocate a traumatic showdown with Brussels.
This is true, but he skipped over the other core message from the elections held three weeks ago: that they also voted for an end to wage cuts and Troika austerity. The combined parties of the Left won 50.7pc of the vote. Led by the Socialists, they control the Assembleia.
The conservative premier, Pedro Passos Coelho, came first and therefore gets first shot at forming a government, but his Rightwing coalition as a whole secured just 38.5pc of the vote. It lost 28 seats.
The Socialist leader, Antonio Costa, has reacted with fury, damning the president’s action as a “grave mistake” that threatens to engulf the country in a political firestorm.
“It is unacceptable to usurp the exclusive powers of parliament. The Socialists will not take lessons from professor Cavaco Silva on the defence of our democracy,” he said.
Mr Costa vowed to press ahead with his plans to form a tripleLeft coalition, and warned that the Rightwing government will face an immediate vote of no confidence.
There can be no fresh elections until the second half of next year under Portugal’s constitution, risking almost a year of paralysis that puts the country on a collision course with Brussels and ultimately threatens to reignite the country’s debt crisis.
The IMF warned that Portugal’s “export miracle” remains narrowly based, the headline gains flattered by reexports with little value added. “A durable rebalancing of the economy has not taken place,” it said.
“The president has created a constitutional crisis,” said Rui Tavares, a radical green MEP. “He is saying that he will never allow the formation of a government containing Leftists and Communists. People are amazed by what has happened.”
Mr Tavares said the president has invoked the spectre of the Communists and the Left Bloc as a “straw man” to prevent the Left taking power at all, knowing full well that the two parties agreed to drop their demands for euroexit, a withdrawal from Nato and nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy under a compromise deal to the forge the coalition.
President Cavaco Silva may be correct is calculating that a Socialist government in league with the Communists would precipitate a major clash with the EU austerity mandarins. Mr Costa’s grand plan for Keynesian reflation – led by spending on education and health – is entirely incompatible with the EU’s Fiscal Compact.
...Mr Cavaco Silva is effectively using his office to impose a reactionary ideological agenda, in the interests of creditors and the EMU establishment, and dressing it up with remarkable Chutzpah as a defence of democracy.
The Portuguese Socialists and Communists have buried the hatchet on their bitter divisions for the first time since the Carnation Revolution and the overthrow of the Salazar dictatorship in the 1970s, yet they are being denied their parliamentary prerogative.
...The Portuguese conservatives and their media allies behave as if the Left has no legitimate right to take power, and must be held in check by any means.
These reflexes are familiar – and chilling – to anybody familiar with 20th century Iberian history, or indeed Latin America.
...Greece’s Syriza movement, Europe’s first radicalLeft government in Europe since the Second World War, was crushed into submission for daring to confront eurozone ideology. Now the Portuguese Left is running into a variant of the same meatgrinder.
Europe’s socialists face a dilemma. They are at last waking up to the unpleasant truth that monetary union is an authoritarian Rightwing enterprise that has slipped its democratic leash, yet if they act on this insight in any way they risk being prevented from taking power.
This sudden concern by the right-wing press for the rights of a “left” coalition has its own reactionary purpose of course; firstly to reinforce the “electoral democracy” illusions fostered by the reformists and soft revisionist (as with the Portuguese CP above who long ago abandoned anything remotely to do with working class taking power), while also pretending these elements are the “left threat” (in order to bolster them up with the working class, and thereby head workers away from any real Leninist revolutionary understanding); and secondly because this wing of the ruling class has its own nationalist agenda.
But it does make the important point that the pretences of “democracy” are being torn up everywhere, including into the heart of Europe (as they have already been in Italy previously, with a bureaucrat imposed, ditto for Spain and most of all on Greece, bullied into the floor by bank and financial coercion).
Trying to pin all this on the “nasty Germans” with the stridently UKIP anti-EU tone being developed is nonsensical however. The threat of open repression, inside or out of Europe, is universal in capitalism, being simply the real face of all bourgeois dictatorship which actually rules things, now coming out more and more from behind the slick hoodwinking pretence of “parliament” and “democracy” because of the crisis and the need to impose draconian speed-up on workers (as in the 1930s Depression alluded to above).
If Germany is leading the pressure in Europe it is because it is the most successful of the capitalist powers, not some inherent “Teutonic evil” being implied.
Direct dictatorship moves everywhere are increasingly the only option for all the ruling class and all the more because the threadbare lie of “democratic paths” is virtually finished historically and especially in Britain; after 150 years of shattered promises and illusions,the working class has virtually rejected Parliament altogether, seeing it (correctly) as nothing but a racket of mountebanks, careerists, attention grabbers, self-seekers and pocket-lining corruption pulling the wool over their eyes.
Bullied Portugal or Greece are just the start of it too; the fascist repression unleashed in the Ukraine, the military coup in Thailand (never mentioned let alone demonised for “sanctions” etc), the support for the grotesque beheading and crucifixion backward feudalism of the Gulf states, or the mass street slaughtering military coup by the General Sisi’s regime in Egypt (provoked by the West only a year after “granting democracy”) are better lessons; and multiple examples around the world even more so, most particularly the brutal savagery of the bloody and torturing General Augusto Pinochet military coup in Chile which overthrew Salvador Allende’s “peacefully voted in” socialism in 1973.
It is also a path trodden previously by even the most “advanced democratic ” capitalism in the last great crashes and world war crises.
It was Europe’s most cultured and civilised nation, Germany, land of philosophy, music, science and engineering, (and the world’s most powerful working class socialist movement) which became the most barbaric at the beginning of the 20th century.
But this was nothing special about “Germans”; the rest of the Great Powers were as depraved, with the centuries of Italian sophistication turning to Mussolini fascism for example and as much brutality and direct rule as necessary imposed in Britain, France, etc with “emergency conditions”, Coalitions and “wartime suspension” of the democratic pretence, while rounding up and imprisoning “aliens” or “traitors” (anyone opposing the warmongering for example).
Brutal repression in the colonies was intensified, in order to extract the wealth that allowed the richest powers, like Britain, to avoid the most open Nazism, still providing the super-profits crumbs to buy off the petty bourgeois and upper working class layers (though it was touch and go in the mid-1930s).
The Telegraph piece above shows that the same indecision which nearly made a British ruling class alliance with Nazi Germany in the 1930s Slump, via the Hitler sympathising Edward VIIIth and an entire “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” Daily Mail wing of the Establishment, is now paralysing the British ruling class again as the two wings of the bourgeoisie split wide open around the “European question” and which capitalist trade bloc to ally with finally, once all-out conflict begins.
This time the post-Empire enfeebled British ruling class is desperately uncertain about how to avoid being ground between the giant monopoly power of the US and the German dominated European bourgeoisie, which is one of the American empire’s main competitors, and increasingly a threat to it in the crisis.
Either way, what the working class needs to grasp is that the entire capitalist world is being torn to shreds and Greece or Portugal or the UK would be as subject to the hurricane force of “market forces” and the great panicked surges of credit, currency and investment movements outside the European Union as they are inside.
But even as the working class is given savage lessons in the reality of capitalist prosperity and the hollow joke of the supposed “golden uplands” of the “New World Order” which was supposed to follow the “collapse of communism”, the system continues to be propped up by the fake-“left” circus of all kinds from class collaborating Labourism to the Trotskyists and the Revisionists.
Instead of making clear that this deadly disintegration is relentlessly bound to continue, for as long as the capitalist system continues, they talk of “ending austerity” and “renewing democracy”, lulling the working class into the same reformist delusions and notions of “slow but steady progress towards socialism through constitutional means” (supplemented by varying levels of “left pressure” or “extra-parliamentary action” according to how “radical” the posturing is) as have kept them tied to the system for the entire two centuries long period of the modern working class.
As the steel crisis has unrolled for example the Labourites, led by the new “left” Corbynites pandering to ossified bureaucratic TUC opportunism, have stirred up the chauvinist blame game of denouncing “international dumping”, encouraging the most backward “British jobs” Little Englanderism, and finger-pointing denunciations of overseas villains supposedly responsible.
It is a deadly trap for the working class to be led into, leading them towards the most primitive “our boys” and “our country” mindrot that can only line them up for the international conflicts to come, just as the working class was persuaded into the trenches for the 1914-18 industrial carnage, each fighting for their own ruling class against other workers, to give one imperialist power or the other the right to plunder and exploit the rest of the world, and again in the Second World War essentially (though with the complication that the fight later (in 1941, but not initially) also became a fight to defend the Soviet Union and its workers state).
And in various ways most of the fake-“lefts” either go along with this deadly confusion mongering, by outright advocacy of a “British jobs” line, or continuing to support the Corbynite surge without any useful criticism, desperate to piggy-back its transient upwelling whatever “principles” are abandoned to do so, or by failing to address the real crisis question at all, despite self-righteously posturing against the nationalist line.
One of the few correctly to come out against the import controls demands now being stepped up, is the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, saying that they are neither “effective” nor helpful for international working class solidarity.
But while that is true enough the SWP offers the working class no kind of explanation about the real solutions except some hopeless “left pressure reforms”:
Union and Labour officials have set their sights no higher than lobbying the government for import controls on Chinese steel. That will not save jobs.
Union leaders, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the TUC have the same demand—stop the “dumping” of Chinese steel at low prices to save jobs.
Import controls have long been a demand of the Labour left—and never an effective one.
As far as the markets are concerned “excess capacity” in global steel production needs to be cut back. Import controls don’t change this.
At most they can spare workers in one country at the expense of those in another.
This competition on national lines puts workers in a race to the bottom that only the bosses can win.
It’s how Vauxhall got Unite to sign up to attacks on workers in Ellesmere Port in 2012—when workers in Germany were laid off instead of them.
No amount of protectionism will make Britain a more profitable place for bosses to invest in than China.
Steel manufacturing has uses beyond bosses’ profits. It could be nationalised and run as a public service.
The alleged “solution” is beyond vacuous. The whole of capitalism is sliding into the greatest disaster in history and utterly bankrupt and these posturers want to pretend some Christian-style do-gooding, partial and particular reformism can save the day, achieved it is to be assumed by the same old “left pressure” and “street action” which has failed for the last 150 years.
Perhaps the whole of bankrupted capitalism could be run as a “public service” then?
That would be a much better idea in fact, but then how to achieve that?
Only by taking everything over and running it on a controlled and planned basis for the benefit of all is how.
But that is communism!!!
And the ruling class is not about to step aside for that as the coup signals make clear. Just the opposite, it will go down in blood and barbarism before conceding what amounts to a total takeover by the working class.
Which brings everything back to the basic problem, that the working class needs to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat to firmly control and develop society towards socialism and ultimately communism with the participation of all, and to suppress all the endless counter-revolutionary skulduggery that any “left” moves would face for generations from the remnants of the bourgeoisie, until a new and conscious society had emerged.
No such message emerges from any of the fake-“left” and least of all from Trotskyists like the SWP who hate and detest the discipline and class control of the workers states that this means and which have made the first great historic steps towards it, most of all in the gigantic 70 year long achievements of the Soviet Union (failing ultimately only because of the philosophical retreats and weakness of Stalinist revisionism).
Berating workers for “backwardness” as they did in the Ellesmere dispute – says nothing about the crisis and its only possible revolutionary solution and therefore is nothing but high horse moralising - petty bourgeois self-righteousness on a par with the reactionary PCism over “feminism” or “gay rights”, “black nationalism” or environmentalism which is not one of the main obstacles to revolutionary understanding but increasingly a reactionary prop for the ruling class (which has embraced all these issues like “gay marriage” without any problem at all) being used to stir up the vilest hate-campaigning war fever against Russia, the Islamic world and particularly “jihadist” anti-Western rebellion.
With hundreds of thousands already bombed into the floor, this is no irrelevant side issue but a deadly part of the worldwide war stampede.
The unfairnesses, double exploitation, racism etc which is the starting point for all these PC campaigns is real enough, but cannot be solved except by ending the society that generates all such splits and exploitation divisions.
The SWP self-righteousness is total hypocrisy anyway - these Trots have been part of the TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) “left” electoral grouping which firstly continues to pretend that there is a “left” solution to the crisis through parliament, and now officially backs Corbynite “left” Labour opportunism, and secondly is one of the leading elements in spreading petty nationalism in the working class, having just officially (!!) joined the Exit campaign against the European Union, blaming “European bosses” for the disasters facing “British workers”.
Worse still the poisonous hostility of the Trots to the workers states like China, leaves workers even more confused, and effectively “blaming” China anyway as allegedly part of the capitalist world, instead of a still continuing workers state, albeit with major revisionists illusions.
What is needed is to make clear the complete humiliation and failure of the Tory ruling class, forced to grovel to the once despised Chinese “coolies” in order to keep the UK economy going at all, even while simultaneously its media was pouring out non-stop venomous propaganda about alleged “human rights violations”, dredging up from 1200 million people a few dozen disaffected petty bourgeois “feminists” and the like to rubbish the huge achievements of the Chinese planned economy, which has climbed from extreme backwardness and poverty to world leading status in just 50 years.
The Chinese deal with the UK makes major strategic sense from the point of view of the Beijing, an alliance with Britain helping split the Western bourgeoisie, just at the point where crisis warmongering atmosphere is being escalated by Washington’s provocative aircraft carrier passages in the South China Sea.
It is like the very clever 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact, which deflected WW2 Nazi aggression away from the Soviet Union and onto the other Western monopoly capitalist powers, buying vital time for the Soviet Union to prepare for the capitalist onslaught it knew would eventually come, (moving its European factories away from the German border and back to the Urals in the two years it had).
Xi Jinping’s UK state visit was a triumph in that sense, underlined by the total failure of the pathetic Hong Kong “democracy” demonstration stunt, the intelligence agency provocations easily outfoxed by the Chinese students here and correctly so, being nothing but deliberate counter-revolutionary disruptions – the pretence of “restoring democracy” in Hong Kong one of the most outrageous of all hypocrisies in a country which ran the place as a total colonial dictatorship under a “Governor” for 150 years, treating the Chinese as no better than dogs for much of that period.
Any Leninist assessment also needs to point workers squarely to Beijing’s disastrous theoretical failings.
Its revisionist “don’t rock the boat” notions of slowly and steadily outpacing imperialism while abandoning all efforts to give the world any kind of revolutionary perspective, remain a constant problem which could yet threaten the enormous gains of the Chinese workers themselves, and which certainly leave the rest of the world working class in a theoretical vacuum, instead of getting the kind of grasp about the collapsing imperialist order (and inevitable war) that is increasingly crucial.
Xi Jinping may herald an encouragingly new firmer “anti-corruption” leadership – (a BBC Panorama programme even managed to turn that cleanup into a condemnation by declaring that “1000s of CP members had been “persecuted”!!!) – but he fails to ask the question why there is such a philosophical leadership vacuum in the first place which has allowed it to run rampant.
It also leaves untouched the illusions that Beijing has in being able to control the capitalist sector of its economy; while better placed as a planned economy to ride out the crisis it cannot stop the collapse worldwide.
The revisionist wing of the fake-“left” certainly will not ask any such vital questions.
Nor is it any better than the Trots on exposing chauvinism and nationalism.
The Stalin-worshipping Proletarian paper of the CPGB-ML and its sister paper Lalkar have kept out of the fake-“left” herd stampeding behind the Corbyn Labour surge at present and might therefore seem to avoid the worst of the petty nationalism. But in fact they get things doubly wrong - sneering that the “resurgence of left social democracy” will be “short-lived” while pandering to anti-EU nationalism.
Of course Corbynism, for all its newly “left” flavour is no different to the ”this time it’s for real” parliamentary illusion mongering of the past in itself, but that is missing the movement which underlies it (just as the Brarites missed the significance of the great abstentions in the General Election as being a sign not of “apathy” but a historic break in the working class with the old illusions - slyly correcting themselves only after the EPSR had made the arguments and as always, simply covering up the mistakes without a word – as Stalinism covers up all its endless disastrous errors).
The great surge of popular enthusiasm behind Corbyn over the summer, and similar movement elsewhere in the world, like the surprise victory of the “left” Trudeau Liberal government in Canada, the storming grassroots progress of Bernie Sanders in the US Democratic presidential race (despite a coordinated bourgeois press campaign to back the monstrous warmongering harridan Hilary Clinton, with the same kind of vilification against Sanders as was seen against Corbyn) are interesting signals of stirring in public opinion.
What they indicate is that the crisis is driving a great debate and stirring against capitalism – which demands more than ever the building of revolutionary politics, offering the leadership and perspectives that explain this movement, and can take it forwards as soon as it has made whatever lessons are needed to understand the hopelessness and inadequacy of a “revived Labour Party”
It is certainly not ruled out yet that this “leftism” might break further with Labour and along with various other movement (like the Peoples Assembly etc) coalesce into a real centrist movement, in which case there is real scope for the revolutionary perspective to be argued, and in fact duty for it to be argued.
The Brarites, for all their formalism in denouncing “left” Labour still go along with parliamentary campaigning, failing like all the “lefts” to make clear to the working class that such electoralism cannot change anything, even if it is for “lefter” candidates.
The parliamentary platform should be used by revolutionaries, as Lenin advised, but the only policy permissible is to use it precisely to expose the illusions of changing things through elections, and to develop the revolutionary possibilities for the working class.
The Proletarian not only does no such thing but joins the clamour against the EU, astonishingly dressing this up as anti-nationalism:
For all his ‘left’ credentials, Jeremy Corbyn has remained a member of a bloody, racist, warmongering party, which long ago showed its complete subservience to imperialism. He is already declaring his support for the EU, the imperialist character of which he doesn’t mention, on the grounds that it offers “protection” for European workers’ rights, and also because:“I do not want barriers to British lorries driven by British workers and British products made by British workers springing up, which would be one of the consequences of Britain leaving the EU as so many Tory MPs believe should happen.”
He prides himself on taking ‘ the same pro-EU stance as Pasok and Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain - what does it matter if we belong to a bloodthirsty imperialist bloc so long as our workers can say “I’m all right Jack”? Or even, it would seem, if ‘they can’t, but are at least better off than workers in oppressed countries? (Leaked: Jeremy Corbyn’s speech ..., Social Europe, 27 September 2015)
So are the capitalists outside the EU any less “bloodthirsty”?????? Or the economic prospects any better??
This disastrous nonsense was the line the revisionist KKE Greek Communist Party took over the last year in opposition to the “No to Austerity” posing of the Syriza collation of Euro-communist revisionists and Trotskyists; correctly denouncing their opportunism but offering only an alternative version of “left” parliamentary pressure as a route to change, and saying nothing about the need to build a revolutionary world view and the party to do it.
Leaving the EU while capitalism continues, is no solution for the working class of Greece nor for any others.
But even worse than this is the capitulation of all the fake-“left” in one form or another to the now endless “war on terror” and the denunciations by all the “left” of the ISIS and other jihadism as “reactionary evil”.
It feeds the war atmosphere which capitalism wants.
Their “condemnations” of terror look particularly sick as the Third Intifada gathers pace among the benighted Palestinian nation.
Are the desperate suicidal knife attacks of various youths and young fighters from the West Bank and, for the first time, from the “Israeli Arabs and Palestinians too, to be condemned?
Of course not one “left” group will do anything but support their struggle declaring that their outbursts are “understandable”.
So if they do not condemn these explosive outbursts, why do they condemn the “terrorism” which is expressing the Third World rebellion everywhere else??
It is pure capitulation to imperialist war pressure.
And where does it put the Putin Bonapartism supporting the monstrous cabal of billionaire oligarchs running the new Russian capitalist restoration???
Last week it was busy condemning “all terrorism” while offering the US a cooperation deal for bombing ISIS.
Fanatical religious ruthlessness is no answer for the working class, but even less is siding with capitalist “anti-terror” hypocrisy to stir “kill them all” warmongering.
Ending capitalism is the only way to stop it.
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