No 1492 27th May 2016
Without “democracy” delusions still fostered by fake-“lefts”, Trot and Stalinist alike across the board, the working class could easily see off CIA coordinated street provocations, judicial coups and economic sabotage across Latin America. But Allende lessons of the Chilean counter revolution remain unheeded by dull-brained revisionism and posturing anti-communist Trotskyism alike. The same with the EU referendum where only the overriding perspective of capitalist catastrophe and need for revolution can make any sense. 'In' and 'out' arguments are hopeless diversions and misleadership, feeding more “democracy” humbug when the working class needs Marxist-Leninist grasp of the fight to end capitalism and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat. “Old Labour” reformism, single issue “anti-racist” moralising and sectarian refusal to take up the revolutionary debate just benefits the rising demagogues like Trump and Duterte, promising to “tear up the old politics”. They are establishment liars but fill a vacuum which needs Leninism.
Violent counter-revolutionary street provocation and “judicial” coups provoked across Latin America, turmoil in the bankrupt “European Union project”, ever-rising drone terrorising, torture and blitzing of the Middle East and the rise of “kill-them-all” demagogues from Trump in New York to Duterte Manilla via Austria’s “Freedom party”, – all expose monopoly capitalism’s hollow pretences of “freedom, democracy and entrepreneurial prosperity” like never before.
What a stinking vicious racket this “free market” is!
And what a lie that the world can move forwards by “democratic” means and “steady change” or “step-by-step” advances.
Capitalist imperialism has reached its historic limit and for as long as it continues, will drag the world unstoppably to Slump, fascist chauvinist reaction and war disaster.
The ever intensifying contradictions of the private profit system mean that total chaos, fragmentation and disintegration is the only future until capitalism is overcome, possible only by revolutionary class war to end its stinking degeneracy.
But the hopeless misleadership and opportunism of the Trotskyists and Revisionist fake-“left” continues to foster faith in “democratic change”, pacifism and “step by step” advances, just when crisis-wracked capitalism is tearing up even the limited reformist changes achieved in the past with its counter-revolutionary skulduggery and violence.
Such “left reformist” advance is currently being set back in half a dozen countries from Argentina to Bolivia, all hailed and lauded for the last twenty years by most of the Trotskyists and assorted revisionists as a “new kind of revolution” built on supposed electoral progress by the likes of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Luiz Inácio Lula in Brazil.
This “21st century socialism”, supposedly doing away with all that “old-hat” and “Eurocentric” Marxism, (and certainly hostile to Leninism) is being sabotaged across the continent by the coordinated and very undemocratic depredations by the local bourgeoisies and their not-so-hidden CIA advisers.
Such anti-imperialist nationalism was never anything more than some re-distribution of wealth within a still capitalist economy, leaving the bourgeoisie largely intact and able to conspire to retake full and brutal control.
So while the working class benefitted temporarily, the social, educational, medical and housing improvements were always completely vulnerable to international market collapses, particularly in oil, both from the Slump price falls generally, and doubly so as victims of the world bourgeoisie’s financial manoeuvres.
Using power of the big banks, currency control and international finance organisations like the US-dominated IMF and World Bank, the dominant powers and most of all the US have been forcing the crisis outwards onto less powerful economies (as the Greek working class has also learned to its cost eg).
On top of that, the local bourgeoisie has taken advantage of the inevitable difficulties with deliberate economic strikes (holding back supplies to fix the market), sabotage, coordinated propaganda deluges and increasingly violent street provocations (killing dozens in Caracas), to stir up counter-revolutionary populist poison in the middle-class and even bamboozling some crisis-exhausted workers.
Clearly these “Bolivarian” or reform regimes tried to improve conditions for the working class, along with associated defiance of “Yankee” imperialism (all imperialism in fact) and no genuine Marxists would want to see anything but defeat for the dirty fascist skulduggery and manipulation trying to topple Chávez’s successor Nicolás Maduro, Dilma Roussef in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia, or which has already displaced Argentina’s “left” president Cristina Kirchner, among others.
All have been attacked, particularly in the last six months, using every kind of Goebbels lie campaign and media hate-onslaught about speciously alleged “fraud”, “scandals”, etc, etc and via twisted “legal” processes and bogus “impeachment” scandals (first practiced in toppling Paraguay’s “liberation theology” reformist president some years ago and in Honduras 2009), along with stirred up street violence.
It is no coincidence Liliana Ayalde, the present US ambassador to Brazil, served as ambassador to Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against President Fernando Lugo. Or this bourgeois press revelation:
Brazil’s new interim president, Michel Temer, was an embassy informant for US intelligence, WikiLeaks has revealed.
...Temer communicated with the US embassy in Brazil via telegram, and such content would be classified as “sensitive” and “for official use only.” Two cables were released, dated January 11, 2006 and June 21, 2006.
One shows a document sent from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to - among other recipients - the US Southern Command in Miami. In it, Temer discusses the political situation in Brazil during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Regarding the 2006 elections, when Lula was re-elected, Temer shared scenarios in which his party (PMDB) would win the elections.
He declined to predict the race, however, but said there would be a run-off and that “anything could happen.”
Temer said the PMDB would elect between 10 and 15 governors that year, and that the party would have the most representatives in the Senate and thus the House of Representatives. This would mean that the elected president would have to report to PMDB rule.
“Whoever wins the presidential election will have to come to us to do anything,” Temer reportedly said.
Temer has replaced Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office earlier this week, after the Senate approved impeachment against her.
Rousseff was suspended from her post for at least 180 days after senators voted 55 to 22 to punish her for manipulating budget data, ahead of her re-election in 2014.
The left-wing politician claimed that Brazil was in a strong economic position, but since she convincingly won the vote, the economy has unraveled, putting Brazil in the worst recession for decades.
But while standing alongside the reformist regimes against imperialism, it was always crucial to make clear the inadequacies and limitations of such figures as Chávez and their misleading complacency about “democracy” and failure to develop revolutionary understanding in the masses about the world imperialist crisis and the need to establish the dictatorship of the working class.
The “left” everywhere has mostly done exactly the opposite, simply “hailing” and “eulogising” these leaders for two decades, presenting them as a “new way forwards” not only for Latin America but as an example for the world working class to follow.
It is not new a new way, it is the same hopeless avoidance of basic Marxist principles that has been promulgated by Revisionist muddle-brained retreat from Leninism since before the Second World War.
It is not necessary to attack these “left” nationalist regimes as a few “pure revolutionary” groups have done, like the sinister American based Spartacist Trot group, declaring that they are of “no interest to the working class”, and offering a dissembling “theoretical” justification for undermining them because of they do not match up to the “perfect revolution” standards this posturing petty bourgeois idealism pretends to be for (just as they undermined the Soviet Union with their “political revolution” poison which turned out to be nothing but capitalist restoration and just as they always manage to be on the wrong side at critical moments, like support for the bogus “trade union” anti-socialist movement Solidarnosc in Poland during the first ten months of its existence - later lyingly denied).
That is outright treachery.
But it is vital to make clear that this shallow “left” Bolivarian bourgeois nationalism would never be let alone by imperialism, which would constantly escalate its plotting and sabotage until it could topple these thorns in its side, and the more so as the crisis has intensified, making even such reformism be seen as a threat and obstacle to the intensified exploitation needed in new cutthroat trade-war conditions.
The lessons have been hammered home over and over worldwide, most obviously in the vicious CIA-directed Augusto Pinochet coup against the “democratically elected” socialism of Salvador Allende in 1973, which butchered and tortured tens of thousands of the working class to re-impose a “free market” economy, but many times since in stitched-up populist coups, recently toppling halfway house oligarch bonapartism in the Ukraine to install outright Western-stooge fascism eg, and suppressing the potential anti-imperialism of the mass uprising Arab Spring in Egypt, by bringing down the Muslim Brotherhood’s newly elected President Morsi in 2013 (with most of the fake-“left” so confused and unable to recognise a defeat for imperialism that they went along with or even supported the CIA/Zionist stirred-up middle class populism which reinstalled the Western-backed General Sisi military coup and its subsequent street slaughter of thousands of civilians - still continuing with Washington-financed approval and additional reactionary feudal Saudi money).
As the EPSR warned at the time of the 2002 failed CIA coup against Chávez (No 1132 16-04-02):
The most cretinous lesson of all to draw from this coup debacle would be the idiot conclusion that some fake-’lefts’ will come to that “the strength of democracy and the power of people’s democratic protests proved mightier than the CIA’s big business and military plotters”.
This was exactly the mistake made by the ‘left’ about Allende in Chile, who also survived some initial coup-attempts against him during his ‘socialist’ government of 1970-73, only to be bloodily wiped out when the CIA decided to further escalate its coup preparations regardless of the ever-greater risk of public international exposure.
It will be no different in Venezuela. The only thing the Chávez regime can do is to carry out the measures which Allende foolishly refused to adopt from the Marxist science of proletarian dictatorship, the only possible way for socialism to start to take root anywhere, at any time in history, past, present or future, beginning with totally dismantling all the former capitalist state structures of control and propaganda/information, putting in workers militias and workers production councils in place of the police hierarchy, the military hierarchy, the capitalist press and television monopolies, the judiciary, etc, etc. It is tragic that Chávez had not really started on any of this, - and even more tragic that his first comments reported on being restored to office have hardly addressed this theme either (even though it is obvious that he might have to be treading with extreme caution on such matters in the predicament that he is in).
And it is a pity that the subsequent decade did not advance this vital Leninist education either it can be added, in Venezuela and outside, despite repeated attempts by the EPSR to raise the issue at the “solidarity” groups that the do-gooding liberalism of the fake-“left” likes to posture at.
If it has taken so long for the misleadingly named “Bolivarian revolution” to be undermined it is not because it was some “new path” but because of the same international crisis and the difficulties preoccupying imperialism everywhere, not least in the Middle East where its crisis warmongering has stirred and massively multiplied the enormous insurgency against it (and even mass popular revolt like Tunis and Cairo in 2011).
Washington has had its hands full with the early eruptions of world revolutionary turmoil in war devastated Iraq and Afghanistan, Somalia, and with trying to suppress the spread of the Arab Spring by provoking dirty civil war provocations in Libya, Syria etc, all backfiring into increased “jihadism” driven by the growing hatred of the imperialist world and which, despite ideological confusion, self-defeating sectarianism and even sometime reactionary primitiveness, is an early sign of world revolt.
It will one day find a rational path into the Marxist consciousness which is vital to topple capitalism completely.
But not with any lessons from the fake-“left”.
They continue to be one of capitalism’s remaining weapons, keeping the working class confused and ideologically disarmed, even as ruling class confidence and coherence collapses in the teeth of its system’s intractable contradictions, riddled with infighting, recrimination and uncertainty.
For all their lip service to “Marxist” philosophy, and even occasionally tacking the phrase “overthrow of capitalism” onto the (very) end of their otherwise shallow and academic “analyses”, none of the these groups understand or grasp the central importance of the worldwide crisis failure of the “free market” private profit system, the very basis of Marxism from the Communist Manifesto onwards.
They are blind to it because it immediately confronts the world with the revolutionary implications that their petty bourgeois instincts do not want to contemplate.
But such a perspective of complete collapse of the international class-exploitation economic system is the vital underpinning for any efforts to understand the world and change it.
It alone is the foundation from which the working class can begin to make sense of all the great turmoil everywhere from bitter Tory infighting over Europe, the riots, demonstrations and strikes erupting everywhere (France half paralysed, Greece permanently in uproar, six week Verizon strike and Black Lives Matter in America), to the CIA-sabotage underway of the South American “left” governments (above), all “suddenly” allegedly corrupt), and horrifying endless war destruction imposed on rising Third World revolt, labelled “terrorism” but actually the rejection of all Western corruption, oppression and blitzkrieg tyranny in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.But while crisis might be mentioned academically (because it is unignorable), it never the core perspective for this great fake-“left” swamp as Lenin christened it a century ago.
The European referendum demonstrates exactly this point.
All the “lefts” are taking sides, in the fatuous arguments about whether “Britain” would be “better off” in or out etc, failing completely to explain that a) capitalism is heading for total disaster and there is no “better off” for any workers b) and this collapse will hammer the working class wherever it is, inside or outside Europe.
Getting caught on such details is pure reformism, and a hoodwinking fraud pretending that the “world goes on”, a cynical diversion to head the working class away from the world crisis perspective.
That is why even after weeks of non-stop bourgeois coverage and hype, the working class is left confused and uncertain, not really sure what the argument is about, or why sections of the ruling class are suddenly resigning and flinging around wild accusation of lies, exaggeration, scaremongering and bad faith.
The first issue is to explain why this “great debate” has erupted at all, why now, and why the bosses and Tory grandees are knocking six bells out of each other.
Of course, the daily reality of parliamentary “democratic” politics is laden down with cynicism, corruption, pocket-lining self-interest, duplicity and mendacious trickery.
The whole racket has always been gigantic fraud from top to bottom, covering over the actual dictatorship rule of the bourgeois capital-owning class, and its networks of clubs, freemasonries, Stock Exchange, banks, military, police, judges, professors and fatcat bosses, with a hoodwinking pretence that workers “get a say” in “gradually improving things”.
But the normal game is to keep all that hidden behind a firewall of “my honourable friend”, “with greatest respect” and “utmost integrity” (!!!) and all the other “upstanding” bombastic bowing and scraping used to present a façade of probity and authority to the working class, and intimidate it with an impression of ruling class know-how, competence and class unity.
The bitterness and denunciations now (which usefully give away what lying humbug the usual statistics and “Treasury forecasts” comprise) reflect the desperation and panic of a ruling class at the oncoming crisis juggernaut.
Temporarily its bankrupted “free market” is propped up by manic Quantitative Easing credit creation but daily slides ever further into deflationary commodity price meltdowns, giant corporate failures, vicious trade war and wipeout of entire economies.
Western warmongering depravity rages non-stop while all the drug-ridden, crime saturated, consumerist shallowness of modern “entrepreneurial” society and its grotesque unfairness, lack of opportunity, sleaze, corruption and hopelessness for the great majority (in even the “rich” countries) has multiplied a thousand times over since the great financial crash of 2008 made it crystal clear that the anarchic capitalist system has hit the buffers, exactly as Marxist understanding has always made clear and warned was going to happen (against all bourgeois science and most of the sneering fake-”left” decrying “Old hat Marxism” as “no longer relevant.”)
A desperate pretence of “business as usual” has been maintained by the ruling class (aided by the Labourites) but total implosion will follow as soon as the smoke-and-mirrors insanity of this completely valueless QE electronic money printing works through the system, bringing far greater chaos than briefly glimpsed in 2008.
The bitching, hatred, and infighting are out in the open because of this devastating crisis, not some dispute about relative advantage inside or out of the EU, or a few percentage points on “growth” (a laughable nonsense in a collapsing world).
It is an issue of survival for the all international ruling class but particularly the British imperialists in a now desperately weak economy in the overall world markets as the cutthroat currency and trade conflicts intensify, pitching the great rival monopoly capitalist blocs at each others’ throats, using every possible ruthless method, legal, illegal and outright mafia gangster, to win.
Only the very most efficient and powerful producers and economies have any chance of riding out the devastating meltdown, meaning those able to command the greatest finance and production resources or link up with those who can help provide them.
The end point of that increasingly desperate world conflict can only be the wholesale destruction of the weaker elements, wiping out vast amounts of ever accumulating investment and production capital which clogs up the world markets with “too much” output, unsellable if a profit is to be made.
This incredible “surplus” (an “overproduction” only within the framework of production for private profit, since most of the world is dying for want of the most basic products and infrastructure – like tens of millions throughout southern Africa once more facing devastating drought and starvation) will not be ended by bankruptcies alone, or even by taking out whole countries like Greece.
It demands the physical elimination of huge swathes of industry and farming.
It demands war in other words, as it did twice in the first half of the 20th century.
Washington has been warming the world up for this with scapegoated victims since at least the 1998 blitzing of Serbia, and certainly since Afghanistan and Iraq were pulverised on the flimsiest of pretexts.
But the crisis simply worsens and far greater destruction is needed.
Just what the best alliances are for that conflict is the underlying issue for the moribund and ossified British ruling class; whether or not to stick with the European bloc, at the cost of playing second fiddle to overwhelmingly dominant German imperialism, thereby having enough weight and industrial/financial clout to at least consider taking on the other giant monopoly groups in the world, Japan and especially giant US power (– and the economic power built up by the Chinese revisionist workers state).
The alternative, if swallowing its ancient, desiccated imperialist pride is too much for ruling class arrogance to bear, and because it is calculated that “Europe” is already holed below the waterline by global credit meltdown, is to consider “going it alone”, whipping up as much racist chauvinist frenzy as possible in the process for scapegoating purposes and future warmongering.
But it is a desperate business, particularly for a ruling class that is now addicted to the cheap, even slave-level labour it gets from massive European migrancy, salvaging what remains of its industrial and commercial base from completely uncompetitive bankruptcy.
Taking sides with this rotten jostling, without drawing out and explaining the underlying crisis collapse and the revolutionary necessities it imposes, is to collude with capitalism.
The time is rotten ripe for the complete overthrow of this stinking greed-ridden, Slump-imposing, degenerate incompetence and its vicious stupid fascist brutality.
Mankind needs to build a planned world socialist economy instead - communism in a word.
But can only happen once the existing system is defeated, smashed and thoroughly destroyed, and the working class establishes the firmest possible class rule to hold down any attempted counter-revolutionary revival.
None of these sectarian groups will ever put such grasp at the forefront.
Just the opposite, most of them hate the very notion, including the anarchists and most of all the middle-class Trotskyist groups hostile to the past and present achievements of the great workers states, and more biliously anti-communist than the capitalist themselves, pouring out deluges of poisonous lies and hatred against them.
And even the notionally “pro-Soviet” museum Stalinists, run a mile from the real struggles in the world, “condemning terrorism” with the rest for example.
Their confusions and anti-revolutionary “step-by-step” pacifist and reformist diversions are right to the fore both in the “for” and “against” camps.
Pretending that a “united Europe” is the best path forwards for the working class or that “leaving Europe” would bring “economic advantages” or “more housing” or “better conditions" is to head workers away from the only truth that matters and is not just irresponsible but the most craven class collaborating treachery and misleadership.
Either way the incurable warmongering reality of capitalism is going to prevail, the only question being which side the working class will be dragged onto in the horrifying inter-imperialist fights to come, of which Iraq, Libya, Syria etc have just been a warm-up taster.
Pretending that staying or leaving is the “best option for winning socialism” is even more treacherous, and particularly when allied with continuing illusions in “winning the democratic battle for a united Europe” or “steps towards weakening imperialism by leaving Europe”.
It is most obviously so with the class-collaborating trade union tradition corrupted by imperialist super-profits and blinkered by its long-held hostility to revolutionary theory and national-chauvinist perspectives of “British jobs for British workers” (at the expense of workers elsewhere inevitably, like the Dutch steel workers whose jobs go if the Welsh plants are saved).
“Left” union figures and others from that bureaucratic tradition like the suddenly re-awoken demagogy of Arthur Scargill and his Socialist Labour Party have been pumping out the crudest nonsense about “restoring sovereignty” and the “right to make our own decisions” etc.
This stinking Little Englanderism is not only primitive nonsense barely distinguishable from the BNP’s Euro election stance or the crude anti-immigrant hostility of the Farage UKIPers but feeds the most backward and disarming illusions in “democracy”.
What “say” does the working class have or has ever had whether or not the decision were being taken by a “bosses club” in Brussels or by the ruling class arrogance of the imperial British ruling class?
It was the British ruling class which chose to mount the civil war savagery against the miners in 1984 (with all the callous and deliberate police and state brutality just finally admitted over the Hillingdon football disaster, but consciously and deliberately instigated at state level) and it is the British ruling class which will organise plenty more, all the way to military coups as publicly warned of last year by assorted gold-braid bedecked generals on TV.
All this was already emerging even two decades ago (EPSR 989 09-03-99 and subsequent issues 990, and 993)(quoted 994):
Imperialist crisis is going to devastate Europe, all parts, no matter who is in or out of the European Union. The SLP slogan incorrectly implies that being out of Europe is some kind of solution to capitalist crisis problems. It is not.
The SLP’s slogan and accompanying statement implies that the problem of monopoly-bureaucratic boss-ism is WORSE in Europe than in Britain or elsewhere. As far as the working class is concerned in bearing the burdens of the coming crisis and world slump, implying such a difference is utterly misleading. The monopoly-bureaucracy of the imperialist ruling class will be a tyranny for the working class to bear almost identically everywhere, whether inside or outside such an economic union.
Specifically, the SLP claims that a British capitalist economy still using the pound will fare better in the crash than a British capitalist economy tied up to the Euro. This is factually speculative in the extreme, with every likelihood of being quite WRONG. On the balance of probabilities, an economic union clinging closer to Germany might be expected to fare better in a slump for a while (when ALL will be doing badly in any case, which is the real point) than an uncompetitive economy on the fringes of Europe. This largely pointless and misleading claim is little more than a sop to crude nationalist prejudice.
The SLP notion that a British capitalist economy out of Europe would have ‘more sovereignty’ and ‘more ability to manage its own economy’ is not just pure nationalist self-delusion but lays workers open to quite monstrous class-collaborative illusions as well. Socialism has still not been mentioned at this point in the SLP’s latest ‘Euro-election' presentation, so all the assumptions are about what the SLP’s understanding will achieve for workers in Britain while still as it is, - a capitalist country.
And when the ‘socialist alternative’ is finally brought forward, it is presented only as the means for getting Britain out of the European Union, not as a means of getting the capitalist class out of Britain. Such a notion does not even get mentioned. A Britain is envisaged, - class-rule and mode of production unspecified, - which is part of “real internationalism” as opposed to being part of the EU ‘capitalist bosses club’, and where workers are no longer seen “only as fodder to be used at the lowest cost so that bosses can make the highest profits”.
Which leaves the door open to the assumption that a high-wage low-profit capitalist economy is both available in this world, and acceptable, - both of which are infamous nonsense-ideas. This SLP Euro-election propaganda is running into some very treacherous waters indeed.
Still not identified as socialist, a presumably still-capitalist Britain is then pictured in an idyllic trade-expansion area for its economic flourishing which will famously include Cuba and the Third World, - which is a nice if vague idea under continuing capitalism, but which so ludicrously avoids the question of what will the world-dominant imperialist economy be doing meanwhile that it renders this naïve SLP make-believe utterly incredible.
This Mary Poppins blurb concludes with confirmation of earlier assumptions that it is a still-capitalist Britain that is envisaged, with “coming out of the EU” described as “a crucial first step towards fighting against global capitalism”, but with still never a mention of any class war against the British capitalist class.
These are just the paltry warmed-up leftovers from the utterly discredited and failed CP/Morning Star anti-monopoly policy of Alternative Economic Strategy which marked Revisionism’s final spiral downwards into total class-collaborating pointlessness and deserved death and obscurity.
This historically-bankrupt Revisionist nonsense, imagining some kind of rational planned way out of global imperialist crisis, - a total and dangerous delusion, - is treacherously augmented by its inevitable nonsense-counterpart of import controls, spelled out in the national assembly elections spiel for reviving the coal, steel, and engineering industries in Wales and Scotland.
Again this is simply put forward by the SLP as the best policy of any party to meet the current economic situation. There is not the slightest suggestion that class war will first have to take place against the British ruling class, and then international class war against the domination of the world economy by imperialism, before planned revival out of capitalist slump can take place.
Any idea that “not everything has to be spelled out” or “why upset people by telling them more than they need to know at this stage”, etc, etc, is the most foul gross deception on SLP members and on the working class.
And it is utter nonsense as well. There is no mistaking that the SLP’s latest Euro-election and national-assembly propaganda is clearly putting forward ‘dramatic’ reform proposals for the economy and society AS IT IS NOW, -i.e. proposals for current capitalist Britain.
And if further proof were needed, the policy statement for Wales spells it out: ‘Halt imports’ to make the revival of domestic industries possible NOW, - thus confirming what Scargillism employed as a stunt in the joke disciplinary process against the EPSR editor, expelling him among other things for being opposed to import controls “which are SLP policy”, it was announced.
And import controls is the only possible ‘explanation’ for the insoluble conundrum posed by this SLP demand to restore basic industries NOW before even the slightest hint of class war against the present capitalist ruling class for the ownership of the economy and the industries has been mentioned. There is currently world over-production of all these basic commodities. That is why Britain’s industries have been knocked out by cheaper or better trading competition from supposedly cheap-labour international monopoly rivals. So where would revived British production of coal, steel, shipping, and engineering go if there is already a worldwide glut in all these things which is what is causing the slump and the growing mass unemployment in the first place? And the answer is: Import controls. The British economy gets out of its own unemployment crisis by forcing some rival producers somewhere abroad to close down instead.
As any fool knows, of course, this only raises further questions of an even more insuperable or terrifying kind.
If Britain stabs other countries’ coal, steel, and engineering exports in the back, what is then to stop them stabbing other British exports in the back such as textiles, or cars, or computers?
And once these capitalist trade-war cards have been played in full, which in all capitalist history have never led to anything else other than dramatic economic collapse for ALL parties involved in this beggar-thy-neighbour stupidity, - what then stops the still ‘surplus’ labour forces (the unemployed) being driven into uniform to take this trade-war conflict onto the political war-conflict stage, - i.e. an inter-imperialist shooting war, such as alone ended imperialism’s two previous great trade-war crises this century?
Scargillism is preparing the working class to be led into the most appalling and idiotic tyranny imaginable, - putting it into the ideological pocket of its own rotten ruling class on the eve of the most disgraceful devastating crisis and crash that capitalist private ownership has ever inflicted on mankind.
This is the price of Scargillism’s philistine fear of theory and its bureaucratic stifling of discussion and debate. It is a nightmare of demagogic conceit, and its crude populism is shamefully closer to the politics of the National Front than anything else.
Sixteen years on, some of the details might have changed marginally – and the world crisis is more sharply confirmed, – but the same backward chauvinism and “left” reformism is still being promulgated and the same shallow illusions in capitalism continuing onwards.
If anything the temporary “advantage” claimed for the British economy over the European economy (which has taken the brunt of the 2008 crisis pressure from American imperialist QE finance and banking domination) – has simply fostered more of this nationalist backwardness.
The Tory boasted British “recovery” is probably the shallowest of all, founded on volatile Russian oligarch property funds, laundered drug money and the deluges of the same hyped-up artificial bank credit, and “offshore” tax evasion funds, that led to collapse in 2008.
Right behind the regenerated Scargillites is an unholy alliance of “left” trade unions, “rank-and-file-ist” anti-theory Trotskyists, and the moribund CPB revisionists like those still gathered under the almost defunct “Left Unity” umbrella as another reactionary voice from the Trotskyist swamp, Alan Thornett recently reported:
The platform speakers were Tariq Ali, Lindsey German from Counterfire Liz Payne, chair of the CPB, Harsev Bains from the Indian Workers Association Aaron Bastani from Novara Media, Joseph Choonara from the SWP, and a speaker from the RMT. There was no sign of the Socialist Party who hold a similar vote for exit position.
The stance taken from the platform was that the EU is a reactionary anti-working class project. I suspect most in the room, including myself, agreed with that.
Just like Scargill in fact.
What a rotten crew of mountebanks and opportunists this “Lexit” and what betrayal, dragging the working class back behind reformism and “left pressure” etc. with not a word about the crisis and sneeringly contemptuous of Leninist theory.
The museum-Stalinists of the Proletarian/Lalkar are no different, despite supposedly breaking away from the Scargill line a decade ago (after eight years of propping up the SLP’s bureaucratic trade union backwardness).
They are worse in fact by pretending to have the authority of Lenin to justify their snivelling “leave Europe” position, which is nothing more than same chauvinist Little Englander-ism barely distinguishable from the Scargillite stuff they helped prop up before.
But the short two paragraph quote from The Slogan for a United States of Europe (1915) which they selectively present was never intended to be simply an argument for “stand alone capitalism” as these twisters pretend, suggesting that somehow that just being “outside Europe” (as a capitalist economy) would be an advance for the working class towards socialism.
This detailed analysis by Lenin (see more below) during the middle of the First World War, which is to say at the point of most intensive international crisis conflict, was for the working class not to hold back at all from revolution in each and every single country, and not to wait for some supposed European level advance as particularly Trotsky was implying.
Sprinkling a couple of afterthought phrases about “overthrowing capitalism” into the middle and tailend of a piece whose overall whole thrust is exactly the same as it was in 1999 (during the eight years the Lalkar/Proletarian Brarites uncritically propped up Scargill) is no Leninist emphasis - more a quick paint job to cover the cracks than profound grasp.
Both miss the point anyway, the one declaring that
capitalists regularly need to reduce worker’s living standards below what is sustainable if their enterprises are to survive - but that is precisely why the capitalist economic system needs to be overthrown
is just plain wrong in Marxist terms.
Capitalism does try to cheat and force workers down – and especially in the Third World the effects are obvious – but that is not why it is dysfunctional, and in fact in non-Slump conditions it cannot push living standards “below what is sustainable” or obviously the workers would not be sustained (ie would die) and be unable to produce the surplus value that the capitalists pocket.
It is because capitalism regularly becomes “dysfunctional” from its inbuilt contradictions (see EPSR box quotes, or Capital 1,2,3) that it then turns in crisis to unsustainable speed up and eventually slave labour and repression (even working millions to death as in Nazi Europe’s concentration camps for example) which only pushes it further to disaster and revolution.
The tacked on conclusion misunderstands even more in a desperate attempt to give some “revolutionary” cover by pretending that a capitalist Britain leaving Europe would weaken all capitalism (which leaves the question begging as to why so many of the ruling class want to go there):
Britain outside the EU would be less able to bully other countries, and the EU’s ability to do so would also be considerably weakened. US imperialism, too, would be weakened by the weakening of its EU ally. It must be added that, without the presence of Britain in the EU, the US-EU imperialist alliance would in all probability become a great deal more fragile, which would only be a good thing for workers and oppressed people everywhere.
Naturally, if the British ruling class becomes more fragile; if its ability to superexploit abroad is diminished, it will try to make good its losses at the expense of the working class at home. Life may become more difficult for the British proletariat for a time. But at the same time, we win be facing a weakened enemy class that will be a bit easier to overthrow.
Leaving aside the giveaway phrase “life may become more difficult for a time” indicating that these Proletarian brains really have not wrapped themselves around any concept of epochal capitalist collapse, and actually believe that the “UK workers will be better off outside” in a capitalist economy (since no mention is made of taking over everything, or even anything, at this stage) this is also upside down.
It suggests there is a way to break up the relentless monopolising tendencies of capitalism, which is impossible in a system where the bigger sharks constantly expand, buying-up, taking-over or just wiping out their market rivals, fairly or with every dirty mafia trick going. It is unstoppable.
But it also misunderstands the nature of these monopoly blocs, which are not some kind of Kautskyite “super-imperialist” alliance as implied here, but bitter enemies in the deepening cutthroat trade and international currency wars – America is no “ally” of the EU as stated, but its deadly enemy as is frequently made clear (over the Middle East warmongering for example – the French still sneered at as “cheese eating surrender monkeys” by sections of the US ruling class and the Germans still despised - especially obviously by Donald Trump. The great Volkswagen diesel emissions disaster is another case in point of vicious conflicts, the huge US fines not made out of some high principled American environmentalism - as if!!! - but brutal commercial conflict, as are Brussels tax investigations against Google, or restrictions on Microsoft. Aircraft manufacture is another to the death dog-eat-dog explosively fraught sector).
Britain’s is treated by Washington in this as a “special friend” only in the way a playground bully puts his arm round some victim’s shoulder when he wants an errand run to the chip-shop – America despises the British as much as the rest but it serves US purposes to keep it within Europe as a way of weakening the coherence of the central and more powerful Germanic section, which would possibly be a more dangerous rival if it consolidated - as the more right-wing sections of the equally conflict ridden German bourgeoisie want to see happen).
It is used, along with bullying by the Washington dominated IMF etc, to keep Germany paying out to sustain the EU periphery - bailing out Greece for example and stumping up the bribes that keep all the little countries like Portugal, Ireland and Eastern Europe from reverting to or turning to communism, a double win for the US.
Within the various alliances the national bourgeois rivalries are constantly at each other too, witness the current furore over the British sale of its Stock Exchange to Germany (itself a potential humiliation for the British ruling class which has no industrial base left to speak of and depends on its financial parasitism in the “City", euphemistically called “service industry”, to survive):
A planned £20bn merger between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse poses a threat to competition and the European economy, the French finance minister has claimed.
Michel Sapin said a combination of the two would make it too dominant and called on the European commission to intervene. He told Reuters: “I want to express the concern of the French government on this tie-up. We have doubts about the consequences this could have for the financing of the real economy in France and Europe.
“The merger of these two entities will result in a large group which could hold within it a majority of the tools that make our markets function efficiently. That poses a competition problem, and we want to make sure the European commission gets involved to avoid a situation where a dominant position arises.”
If the deal went ahead it would create a group similar in size to the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in the US, dwarfing smaller European competitors such as Euronext.
The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse claim that a merger would allow them to cut costs by €450m (£350m). Deutsche Börse shareholders would own 54.4% of the new company with LSE shareholders owning the remainder.
But even if these “overthrow” phrases made any sense they still would not change the whole thrust of the CPGB-ML’s stance which is a thousand miles from anything Lenin ever intended.
Telling the working class that leaving Europe would be an advance forwards to socialism in itself is just deception.
The world outside the EU is as subject to the rapacity and ruthlessness of the international mega-corporations, banks and currency market operators as inside - just a different set of them.
This plodding woodenness is totally non-revolutionary thinking completely in line with all the old revisionist dullardism of supposed “step by step” advances for the working class along a path to eventual world socialist construction, built on the disastrously wrong perspectives advanced by Stalin in the 1952 Economic Problems of Socialism (and emerging even earlier) which envisaged a supposedly WW2-hampered imperialism gradually being overtaken by “superior socialist production”.
Only the “peace struggle” was needed, it was declared, to hold back aggressive tendencies.
But imperialism, tapping the ruthlessly exploited sweat-shop and plantation labour of the Third World, could always outdo the relatively fair and equitable working conditions throughout every part of the Soviet world.
Its expansion, and the inevitable bursting of the subsequent overproduction bubble Slump and war, making revolution unavoidable, was revised away.
This nonsense (analysed in detail eg in EPSR Book 21 Unanswered polemics v Lalkar/Proletarian (2003)) led, philosophically, directly into the British Road to Socialism and other “democratic path” misguidance and Eurocommunist liquidationism, and the ultimate liquidation of the Soviet Union itself.
Its influence saturates this latest “advice”.
Revolution is not achieved by incremental steps of any kind but is a gigantic leap forwards to resolve complete disintegration as the old runs into unsolvable contradiction.
For all that it might coalesce from all kinds of struggles and battles to defend the working class, (as erupting in France and Greece eg) it requires a completely new Leninist understanding built firstly around the need for the working class to organise for the dictatorship of the proletariat, not pandering to the shallow “democracy” illusions of either British bureaucratic trade unionists, Latin American “left” reformists or flaky Middle East bourgeois nationalist dictators like Saddam Hussein or Bashir Assad.
Nor will it come without challenging all fake-“leftism”.
Workers are getting none of that in the great mishmash of “left pressure” and liberal apologetics making up this analysis.
Just the opposite; though, for example, it castigates TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady correctly enough for the risible TUC/Labour (and Corbyn agreed!) position that Europe is a “protector of workers rights”, it then goes on to advocate that
Ms O’Grady ...should not pin her hopes on a voracious imperialist outfit to safeguard workers interests. She should be getting the various unions...ready to fight within or outside the law, to defend the interests of their members and of the working class in general.
Of course workers will defend as much as they can, but unless an explanation is made of the complete devastation which is coming, this is nothing but the shallowest reformism, implying that the world will go steadily on and if it stumbles a bit, with enough heave-ho, conditions can be “maintained”, just like over the last 150 years.
The same with its seemingly correct warning that
regardless of whether Britain stays in the EU or not, EU human rights safeguards are to be removed in Britain.
Instead of going on to say that workers therefore need to lift their attention to the worldwide capitalist collapse as a whole, and the much greater, epoch-changing fight that they are therefore confronted with, this too tails off into more completely hopeless reformist defencism in which
workers will only be able to safeguard their rights by fighting for them and winning.
Safeguarding rights? Winning? Without being aware of the greatest hurricane collapse in all history which is wiping out not just whole industries but entire countries???
In just one tiny example the steel workers in Wales are seeing the entire post-war pensions system being dismantled (along with the rest of the “welfare state” as the NHS privatisation sneaks through by deliberate bankruptcy, and all the other creeping austerities are imposed on schools, legal aid, old peoples homes, local authorities, housing, libraries, transport, etc etc to remove even basic rights and conditions).
Agreeing to steadily increasing cuts in their miserable enough retirement money (worked hard for and paid for their entire lives) is the price they are being forced to pay to keep even some kind of employment - for some of them - as the international and universal overproduction crisis threatens to sweep everything away.
What “safeguarding” is possible?
What safeguarding could the Greek workers manage? The French, erupting in strikes against draconian national speed up and repression???
Within capitalism and its ruthless shutdowns as the Slump unfolds the workers have no choice - how do you strike against bankruptcy?
What they need is to see these fights as part of something much bigger, a gigantic struggle to end capitalism which alone can now produce a decent life – once the world is remade as a rational communist society.
But the entire tone of the Proletarian piece plays into the chauvinism and blinkered nationalism that the bourgeoisie is whipping up and feeds the most backward prejudices and scapegoating finger pointing of the UKIPs and the like.
Worse still the CPGBers realise exactly what a chauvinist tone comes across, hastily excusing themselves for sounding indistinguishably like the “xenophobes”.
But their shuffling excuses only make this so much worse by sneering at those who are fearful of the effects that overwhelming migration has had, deliberately used as it is by capitalism to undercut wages and conditions:
Of course, in opposing the European Union, socialists find themselves in extremely nauseating company - from the anti-immigrant, xenophobic and islamophobic sections of society, to the little Englanders harking back to the imperial glory days when Britannia ruled the waves all on its little own.
It is a little bit rich, first of all, to be sneering at “Islamophobes” when the CPGB-ML has been at the forefront in going along with capitalism’s “war on terror” demonisation, flinging around such insults as “Jihadist headbangers”, shamefully joining in with the imperialist “condemnation of terror” against the rising insurgency, including against the various movements fighting against the Egyptian Sisi dictatorship and allied with the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
As the EPSR has many times said, Marxism does not support any such ideologies, nor their methods in the main, but it recognises their right to fight as they see fit against the oppression imposed on them and that the blows they inflict are defeats and setbacks for imperialism, which are cheered on by the masses in the Third World; such condemnation is not only to stand with imperialism but to fail to see the rising tide of anti-imperialist hostility which the crisis has driven out and to fail to either grasp or explain its significance as part of the crisis breakdown.
But beyond this Islamophobe hypocrisy, and the further hypocrisy of denouncing “xenophobes” while advocating petty nationalism yourself, it is just sanctimonious moralising to write off the fears and worries held by some sections of the working class over migrancy as distasteful and “nauseating”.
Nothing is better guaranteed to drive confused and increasingly alienated working class towards the reactionary backwardness and nazi-thuggery of the BNP, EDF etc (and their “polite” UKIP alter ego) than moralising high-handedness.
This is no better than the rest of the “left”’s useless “anti-racism” and “welcome all migrants” shallowness which only inflames the fears.
Humanitarian instincts notwithstanding it does nothing to solve the problems, which can only be dealt with at a much higher level as argued before (EPSR 1133 23-04-16):
r .. racist considerations will increasingly become part of OFFICIAL policy everywhere too (on mattes of immigration, nationality privileges, law and order, language education, social engineering, etc, etc).
No amount of do-good ‘anti-racism’ can stop this growing tendency, - hence the Le Pen and BNP phenomena (and many more around Europe).
Nothing can stop fascism from taking advantage of this increasing sickening of capitalist society.
Nothing can stop victimised or abused communities from increased self-organisation to resist this persecution.
More and more conflict is inevitable, thereby unavoidably confirming the more ‘realistic’ scenario of fascist politics, and rubbishing the petty-bourgeois PC idealism of all “we will stop fascism” subjectivists.
And in these circumstances, all ultra ‘left’ ‘anti-racist’ posturing of the “open the doors to all immigration and all asylum-seekers” kind will only be seen by the whole working class as throwing more fuel on the flames, and will thus further play into the BNP’s hands.
....And although it is precisely all the OTHER problems of imperialism (slump, inter-imperialist trade war, etc) which make fascism the system’s final destination in crisis, (racism being the SYMPTOM of fascism and not remotely its CAUSE), ever-increasing confusion about ever-increasing social degeneration is not helping anything.
Only a programme which is nothing whatever to do with racism, or immigration, or asylum-seeking directly, can now affect this increasingly deteriorating situation, - the programme explaining capitalism as now declining irrevocably into revolutionary warmongering crisis everywhere, and at last giving the opportunity to start building a planned socialist flourishing for ALL, in workers states in every country in the world, stopping all need for emigration or asylum-seeking so cruelly placed on people of the Third World by imperialism for so long.
Far more needs saying on this aspect which underlines further the absence of any revolutionary ingredient in this Proletarian deceit.
But first its monstrous twisting of Lenin needs further exposure.
Lenin wrote his essay in the middle of the First World War in the context of a raging argument about the best way to show the working class the need for total revolutionary defeat of all the imperialists by their own working class and the rapacious nature of their conflict, nothing but a battle of thieves for plunder and possession of colonies.
It emerged from a previous Bolshevik call in 1914 for a “republican Europe”, a political demand which could only have been achieved by bringing down the hugely powerful German, Austrian and above all feudal Tsarist monarchies at a time when completing the bourgeois democratic revolution still remained the first task in Russia. It implied defeat for these ruling classes by their own working class and was an overwhelmingly revolutionary notion. It also fitted with the prevailing understanding, at a time when capitalism still was not universal, that the progress was associated with the breaking through of old narrow feudal localism – the bourgeois revolution for a national market and economy. Larger capitalist states implied more assimilation and therefore moved society forwards thereby making the next step to socialism, which is international, an easier one.
But on further analysis Lenin saw that the economic structure of a union would be only an agreement of gangsters to divvy up their spoils. Politically, overthrowing the monarchies still made sense, as he says to begin with.
But the thrust of the argument was not, as the Proletarian pretends with its selectively quoted two paragraphs, that a European union was more reactionary than the individual capitalist countries - and therefore leaving it, as capitalism, was (progressive) – only that it was not a progressive step in the way that the bourgeois revolution, that had yet to be gone through in still feudal Russia, was.
Lenin’s emphasis was revolution other words, pointing out most of all the danger that opportunities would be missed in the individual countries if the idea was held to that greater European assimilation had to come first:
But while the slogan of a republican United States of Europe - if accompanied by the revolutionary overthrow of the three most reactionary monarchies in Europe, headed by the Russian - is quite invulnerable as a political slogan, there still remains the highly important question of its economic content and significance. From the standpoint of the economic conditions of imperialism - i.e., the export of capital and the division of the world by the “advanced” and “civilised” colonial powers - a United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary.
Britain, France and Germany have invested capital abroad to the value of no less than 70,000 million rubles. The business of securing “legitimate” profits from this tidy sum - these exceed 3,000 million rubles annually - is carried out by the national committees of the millionaires, known as governments, which are equipped with armies and navies and which provide the sons and brothers of the millionaires with jobs in the colonies and semi-colonies as viceroys, consuls, ambassadors, officials of all kinds, clergymen, and other leeches.
That is how the plunder of about a thousand million of the earth’s population by a handful of Great Powers is organised in the epoch of the highest development of capitalism. No other organisation is possible under capitalism. Renounce colonies, “spheres of influence”, and the export of capital? To think that it is possible means coming down to the level of some snivelling parson who every Sunday preaches to the rich on the lofty principles of Christianity and advises them to give the poor, well, if not millions, at least several hundred rubles yearly.
A United States of Europe under capitalism is tantamount to an agreement on the partition of colonies. Under capitalism, however, no other basis and no other principle of division are possible except force. A multi-millionaire cannot share the “national income” of a capitalist country with anyone otherwise than “in proportion to the capital invested” (with a bonus thrown in, so that the biggest capital may receive more than its share). Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production, and anarchy in production. To advocate a “just” division of income on such a basis is sheer Proudhonism, stupid philistinism. No division can be effected otherwise than in “proportion to strength”, and strength changes with the course of economic development. Following 1871, the rate of Germany’s accession of strength was three or four times as rapid as that of Britain and France, and of Japan about ten times as rapid as Russia’s. There is and there can be no other way of testing the real might of a capitalist state than by war. War does not contradict the fundamentals of private property - on the contrary, it is a direct and inevitable outcome of those fundamentals. Under capitalism the smooth economic growth of individual enterprises or individual states is impossible. Under capitalism, there are no other means of restoring the periodically disturbed equilibrium than crises in industry and wars in politics.
Of course, temporary agreements are possible between capitalists and between states. In this sense a United States of Europe is possible as an agreement between the European capitalists ... but to what end? Only for the purpose of jointly suppressing socialism in Europe, of jointly protecting colonial booty against Japan and America, who have been badly done out of their share by the present partition of colonies, and the increase of whose might during the last fifty years has been immeasurably more rapid than that of backward and monarchist Europe, now turning senile. Compared with the United States of America, Europe as a whole denotes economic stagnation. On the present economic basis, i.e., under capitalism, a United States of Europe would signify an organisation of reaction to retard America’s more rapid development. The times when the cause of democracy and socialism was associated only with Europe alone have gone, for ever.
A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism - until the time when the complete victory of communism brings about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.
Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world - the capitalist world - attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, stirring uprisings in those countries against the capitalists, and in case of need using even armed force against the exploiting classes and their states. The political form of a Society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic, which will more and more concentrate the forces of the proletariat of a given nation or nations, in the struggle against states that have not yet gone over to socialism. The abolition of classes is impossible without a dictatorship of the oppressed class, of the proletariat. A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states.
It is for these reasons and after repeated discussions at the conference of R.S.D.L.P. groups abroad, and following that conference, that the Central Organ’s editors have come to the conclusion that the slogan for a United States of Europe is an erroneous one.
Slogan for a United States of Europe Sotsial-Demokrat No. 44, August 23, 1915
Physical Empires and their division of colonies have been superseded by post-WW2 neo-colonialist exploitation, where the division of the spoils is now made through the relative power of bank finance and corporate investment (backed by overwhelming US worldwide military dominance) but Lenin’s argument remains.
And while it does not support the “left-exit” case (absent an overriding revolutionary perspective), even less does it support the pro-European fake-“left” or those like the “sophisticated” one-time revisionist and now pro-Trotskyist CPGB in their Weekly Worker, who pretend a “working class neutrality” in order to avoid identifying too closely with the Blairite reactionaries and the supine TUC mainstream.
The WW position of “passive boycott” in fact supports the EU, (which has always been the long running WW position) because it argues the British ruling class is already too intertwined in Brussels to breakaway, and will override any “leave” vote, using further referendums and other trickery because it knows it cannot stand alone.
But the real point is to lay on thick the usual relentless Trot defeatism, abandoning all revolutionary perspectives:
In the unlikely event of a ‘leave’ majority, the Conservative government will not fall. Yes, Cameron will resign - to be replaced, quite possibly, by Johnson. The new Tory leader will then go through the motions of drawing up a new set of ‘conditions’, which, if met by Brussels, would allow Johnson to recommend a positive response in a second referendum. Like his predecessor he would return triumphantly waving an equally worthless piece of paper, on the basis of which he would recommend a ‘remain’ vote later in the year.
Either way, the Tories will not collapse. They will soon reunite against both the Ukip threat and, more importantly, the possibility of a left-led Labour government in 2020. We cannot avoid this scenario by siding with one reactionary camp or the other. The left should be campaigning for an active boycott of the referendum and the construction of an independent working class alternative.
And to multiply the doom its leading guru Jack Conrad has been running a long tedious multipart “analysis” of the Lenin quotes above, with the aim of “proving” that revolution does not work – especially in one country, – the mantra of the entire poisonous petty bourgeois Trotskyist tradition (unless it follows their carefully prescribed path of course, with them as the chosen leaders – which has never happened and never will).
The Lenin piece is clear however, so JC comes up with the astonishing conclusion that “he didn’t really mean it”.
This beyond-lame piece of sophistry is built on some retrospective cod-psychology according to which, in Conrad’s opinion, Lenin had “exaggerated”, because he held a personal grudge against Karl Kautsky, (who despite his World War One social-chauvinist betrayals and opportunism, is still lauded by the WW. They like him because he rejected the dictatorship of the proletariat which fits nicely with their “super” democracy posturing).
Lenin, objective to the end of course never revised the article and why would he since it was correct? And is it to be asserted that the giant achievements of the revolution were founded on a leadership based on such shallow and personally vindictive considerations?
And what then would we make of the other over 40 volumes of Collected Works?
In Conrad’s bizarre world meanwhile, the arguments of Trotsky, one who was tainted by self-conceit and subjectivism, (and shown to be so, over and over, by Lenin’s polemicising – 400 pages Against Trotsky), supposedly got it right on the “United States of Europe”, mostly to defeatistly declare there could be “no building of a socialist state in the one country of Russia” supposedly all proven by 1928, another of the arbitrary dates selected by the modern day Trots as allegedly the moment of “counter-revolution” and the beginning of a “serf and slave” life worse than capitalism.
Even Trotsky himself, riddled with sourness and petty bourgeois subjectivism, did not pour out this kind of anti-communist acid bile, conceding even a decade later in the 1936 Revolution Betrayed, that the young Soviet socialist state had made enormous cultural, industrial, educational and social progress, with no unemployment etc, at a time when capitalism was wracked with Depression and fascism.
Unfortunately for the WW (and all Trotskyism) a workers state was built in Russia, the titanically huge achievement of the Soviet Union, which not only survived for 70 years but had a profound and irreversible impact on world history (including destroying the capitalist Slump Nazi onslaught against it in the Second World War and inspiring massive anti-imperialism and communist revolution subsequently).
Unfortunately for the world, Stalinist revisionism did make mistakes and retreats leading to the liquidation of this first huge experiment in 1989-91.
Fortunately the lessons will be learned - rebuilding Leninism. Don Hoskins
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