No 1532 31st March 2018
The world plunges ever closer to inter-imperialist conflict and war as “austerity” grip tightens further on the poor and exploited. Even soup kitchens, homelessness, service cuts, zero-hours and NHS collapse are nothing compared to the degradation the ruling class must impose as Catastrophic crisis continues (after Mickey Mouse QE false credit runs its course). Ludicrous provocations like the joke “Russian nerve gas” accusations preparing a chauvinist fear and frenzy for world war to come. Horrors already imposed on the Middle East killing millions still just a starter for imperialist belligerence, which has no solution but war for its greatest ever systemic failure. But the fake-“left” still refuses to talk revolution and drags workers back behind parliamentary “democracy” and Labour frauds. Leninism needed
Continuing refusal of the fake-“lefts” to explain bourgeois “democracy” as the giant fraud it is, remains a hallmark of their opportunism and treachery to the working class.
Even as it becomes ever more obvious that poverty, deprivation, homelessness, drugs and crime instability and grotesque inequality are relentlessly ramping up and deliberate trade war hostility and horrifying war destruction escalate, the “left”s prevaricate and evade any real struggle at all.
Instead of explaining the Catastrophic failure of this system, their “entryism” tucks in behind opportunist Labourism, covering up its “waiting for the next election” inaction and class collaboration.
This cravenness does not any more even offer a full reversal for the ever deepening agonies of post-2008 Slump austerity (eg over Grenfell horrors, dismantling the NHS etc), just hopeless palliatives, and those only as tepid “jam tomorrow” based on the gross lie that there can be a permanent economic “upturn” while capitalism continues, “if only we exert enough left pressure” and “keep it regulated and under control”.
Actual improvements in workers living conditions and then full scale socialism, once promised by reformism are virtually forgotten.
The anti-Labour “lefts” among the Stalinist revisionist wing of fake-“leftism” equally fail to expose the “democracy” racket, still telling the working class that “step by step” progress can be made in elections, by social-pacifist “peace struggle” or by supporting bourgeois nationalist regimes like Gaddafi’s Libya or Syria as such, (instead of calling solely for defeat of imperialist skulduggery against them, without trusting them in the slightest), or heading off the armed struggle in Latin America to trust in “peaceful electioneering” (Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina etc etc).
It is all the very opposite of the revolutionary politics that these self-described charlatan “Marxists” pretend to be advocating, all shades and even the most “militant”.
And it is the very opposite of leadership for the class war needed to totally overthrow this greed ridden degenerate system, the only way forwards for mankind as an increasingly desperate ruling class drags the world into worsening trade war Slump and arms race destruction (whatever temporary “relief” its credit creation has produced).
This “left” misleadership becomes more obvious by the minute as the ruling class descends into ever more ludicrous and luridly nonsensical Goebbels lies and diversionary blame-game stunts – against North Korea, Russia, Syria, or against “terrorists” and “jihadists”, (or both) – to whip up chauvinist belligerence and backwardness to bully the world into continuing acceptance of imperialist exploitation and escape its sole responsibility for the now endless horrors unfolding like Yemen (and much worse to come).
It is underlined too by the failure to expose the upside-down Nazi nonsense that opposing the landtheft Zionist occupation of Palestine constitutes some ridiculous new category of “left racist anti-semitism”, the absurd aggressive nonsense used to justify the endless genocidal oppression of the land’s rightful inhabitants and another key element in imperialism’s “might is right” populist armoury to stampede opinion behind its belligerence.
Half the Labourites, no better then “left tories” join in all this foul fascist stunt mongering, while the alleged Corbynite “left revival” compromises and grovels, capitulates and falls into line with the reaction, making clear its own opportunism and fakery.
And the “left” entryism keeps on propping up the whole stinking charade.
And why? Because their petty bourgeois sensibilities want to avoid at all costs the understanding that the capitalist system is heading all the way to world war - not “ultimately”, but right now – in its desperation to escape unstoppable crisis collapse.
This is exactly what it has done three times in history already, and as it can only inevitably and repeatedly return to, as explained by Karl Marx’s Capital, the great clinical dissection of this greed ridden system and the inbuilt inescapable contradictions of production for private profit.
Except this Catastrophe is not exactly the same – it is more universal and widespread than ever before, and one hundred more disastrous in breadth and depth.
The “lefts” cannot, and do not want to, grasp its scale and significance which threatens unprecedented turmoil and destruction, already well underway in the Middle East, Ukraine and Africa for over two decades.
Or more precisely they want to avoid the conclusion such understanding imposes – that only bringing down capitalism completely can change anything.
Only by establishing workers states on the lines already begun in the twentieth century, guided by a party of Leninist science and proletarian discipline for the long climb to planned socialism, and eventually the open and rational self-disciplined society of communism, can mankind set a path forwards.
The means a great debate to re-build an understanding of giant achievements like the Soviet Union, and those still continuing like China, Vietnam, North Korea and China, whilst examining, and facing the great philosophical retreats they made.
But whether it is Stalinist revisionism, or even worse Trotskyism, this false “leftism” comes no where near re-establishing Leninist perspectives or grasping the need the open polemical battle to constantly advance the understanding.
Endless endless long-winded sectarian and academic disputes with each other continue, sometimes very “left” sounding, but all avoid the core question of the need to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Their defeatism and ineffectuality, retreating into yet more electoral opportunism, is a disaster for the working class and proletarian masses, and needs exposing and denouncing constantly, as a crucial part of the fight to re-establish Leninist leadership as the EPSR has struggled to do for three decades (see 1530 issues of its paper and 21 books, [including eg Vol 6 “.. denounce reactionaries in the CP and anti-communist Trots] and Unanswered Polemics - against museum-Stalinism Vol 21].
The latest revelations about election Internet manipulation and bent advertising around Cambridge Analytica and Facebook shows up their failure, because even the bourgeois press says more about the twisted lies of the “democracy” fraud than they do.
The gross manipulation which make up the supposed “everyone has a say” of “democracy” is further revealed in the latest stream of exposés showing how billions of dollars are spent to twist the news, and tap every “psyops” (militarily developed psychological warfare) trick in the book to swing public opinion.
Of course such disclosures are not happening to educate the working class; they are a by-product of the crisis itself, an expression of the bitter and recriminatory infighting within various factions of the ruling class, as paralysis grips the entire bourgeois system and its contradictions become overwhelming.
All are desperate to blame others for the oncoming disintegration of their bankrupt capitalist system, including blaming each other, as well as diversionary bogeymen like the “evil Russians”.
That ruling class conflict is precisely the first point the “left” should be making, showing the working class the profound historic weakness of this out-of-time private profit greed and exploitation system.
In fact the “news” that bourgeois democracy is a manipulated racket is not new at all to Marxism; despite the advances in computer power and mass data collection and analysis now implicated, the bourgeoisie has always lied and twisted its way through the parliamentary election process (with the universal vote only grudgingly conceded anyway), using a thousand tricks of public relations, gerrymandered boundaries, slick image building, a billionaire dominated press swamping out capitalist propaganda, along with monopoly control of TV, meeting rooms and electoral facilities, excessive participation charges and vote “thresholds” etc and, if necessary, vote stuffing and other tricks (“hanging chads” in Florida 2004, “disallowed” mainly black votes in the southern US).
Carefully stitched-up selection of “representatives”, in a dozen different ways, makes sure that the “opposition” is only ever very limited and tame, if not, like the Labour Party, ultimately completely part of the bourgeois system itself and running capitalism (a lesson the working class has slowly and steadily absorbed – becoming correctly more and more cynical about the parliamentary racket over decades of treachery, pocket-lining corruption, sellout and cynical “spin”).
As was clear even a century ago, the most favourable election result does not determine what happens anyway, since all the big decisions in society are taken by the ruling class through its freemasonries, clubs, military, courts and the “thousand strings attaching it to the Stock Exchanges and banks” to paraphrase Lenin in State and Revolution. Money rules.
It is just a cover for the actual dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, a sophisticated multilayered racket, hoodwinking the masses.
Anytime these tricks do not suffice there is always cruder control, from brutality and intimidation to outright military coups, notoriously in the 1973 torture and slaughter imposed on Chile by General Pinochet, taking advantage of the disarming “peaceful road” delusions of Salvador Allende’s “elected socialism”, thoroughly saturated in the revisionist idiocies emanating from Stalin’s Moscow from the 1920s and 1930s onwards (and which steadily rotted Soviet leadership understanding even further to the point of total liquidation of the still viable USSR in 1989-91 – under the soft-brained Gorbachev delusions about the “market” and building a “common European home using the best features of capitalism and communism” - this supposed fulfilment of the Trots’ long cherished “political revolution” idiocy inevitably nothing but counter-revolution, producing only the current carpet-bagging gangster oligarchism).
But here too the “left” falls down, letting the propaganda off the hook which always paints capitalism as some harmonious world of “freedom and the ‘rule of law’” while demonising scapegoats like “the Russians” as the ones supposedly “trampling over civilised norms”.
But it is capitalism’s “civilised norms” in Chile etc not the transgressions alleged against Putin which tread “freedom” underfoot, as the occasional stories carefully buried in the foreign pages make clear:
On the streets of downtown Cairo, there is little evidence that anyone is running against Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the presidential election.
..outside the headquarters of the Ghad party, whose leader, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, is the sole competitor, there are no posters of Mousa.
Inside, however, there are floor-to-ceiling posters of the architect and longtime politician. Mousa tells the Guardian he is cautiously optimistic.
Mousa entered what remains a one-horse race at the very last minute, after five other candidates were jailed or otherwise prevented from running. Despite this, Mousa says he felt morally compelled to prevent the election from simply being a “referendum” on Sisi’s rule, and fends off criticism that he is simply there to give a veneer of democracy to elections Sisi is all but certain to win.
“I’m no puppet. I’m a leader, in all things including my business,” he says. “Puppet is an imaginary word,” he said.
The evidence suggests otherwise. Sisi won the 2014 election with 97% of the vote after coming to power following a popularly-backed military coup a year earlier.
This year, candidates seeking to present a challenge to Sisi were unable to get on the ballot. The former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq was deported from the UAE and subsequently dropped out of the race, the former military chief-of-staff Sami Anan was arrested for allegedly entering the race illegally and Col Ahmed Konsowa was jailed for making a campaign video in military uniform. Both the leftist lawyer Khaled Ali and Anwar Sadat, the nephew of Egypt’s former president, pulled out of the race citing intimidation.
Mousa was an ardent public supporter of the Egyptian president until the day he announced he would run. A screenshot of his Facebook page, circulated in the Egyptian press when he declared his candidacy, shows a pro-Sisi banner.
The impression that Mousa does not intend to challenge Sisi’s rule on the campaign trail is buoyed by his bland policy platform, which carefully avoids anything that could be interpreted as a criticism of the president’s previous term.
Since announcing his candidacy, Mousa has repeatedly refused to name the 20 members of parliament who reportedly endorsed him, allowing him to enter the race.
Mousa says he is providing a real choice for Egyptian voters when they go to the polls on 26-28 March, although he adds that should Sisi win, he will gift his programme to the president. His reluctance to criticise Sisi is being misinterpreted, he says.
Egyptian authorities threatened a British journalist with a military trial and expelled her from the country with no stated cause.
Bel Trew, a journalist with the Times, was arrested on 20 February while reporting in Shubra, a working-class neighbourhood of Cairo, and taken to a police station. Hours later, she was driven to Cairo international airport and forced to board a flight for London.
Trew wrote: “The charges were never revealed to me. [But] after seven hours of detention, I was threatened with a military trial, a legal process often used against terrorism suspects or dissidents.”
“Less than 24 hours after I was first detained, I was marched on to a plane with nothing but the clothes I was standing up in. The choice before me – a military trial or leave – was no kind of choice,” she wrote.
The arrest and deportation of a foreign journalist is the latest incident in a crackdown on press freedom in Egypt.
Foreign media workers have been subject to imprisonment or arrest in the past, but Trew’s expulsion has raised concerns about whether journalists are safe to report ahead of the country’s upcoming presidential election.
“We have since been trying to ensure her safe return to Cairo, in time to cover the election. It is now clear that the authorities have no intention of allowing her to return,” the newspaper said.
Since the current president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power in a 2013 military coup, the climate for Egyptian and foreign media has grown increasingly repressive.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 20 Egyptian journalists are behind bars as of December last year.
In a country which has become accustomed to fake elections, fake newspapers and fake parliaments, you have to wonder at the sheer courageous, all-purpose energy of those Egyptians who will turn out to vote. And I can promise you (let us not be presumptuous or even cynical) that Sisi – of whose face his people once made chocolate cakes and candy bars, so great was their affection for him when he rid them of the meddlesome if elected Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi – will win a vast, overwhelming and totally predictable majority.
Among his most faithful supporters will be – in fact, must be – the Christians of Egypt, for the Coptic Orthodox Church and its pope have shown only fealty towards the Great President who won 96.1 per cent of the vote in 2014. I say “must” because the Christians of Egypt, like the Christians of Iraq and of Syria, have a special place among the Middle East’s regimes. They are a minority, and minorities always need protection. And who can give protection more securely – remember the Copts are just 8 per cent of Egyptians – than the autocrats who rule them?
..Over past decades, Christian-Muslim violence was largely confined to upper (i.e southern) Egypt where village sheiks were often opposed by equally ignorant Coptic clerics. More recently, in Cairo, the Copts became far more political targets – slaughtered en masse by Isis and their fellow Islamists as part of their campaign to take over the Sinai Peninsula and destroy the Sisi regime.
So Sisi has been hard at work cultivating the Christians of Egypt.
In contrast with past rulers, Sisi has given at least five permits for new churches in Egypt, angrily bombed Islamists in Libya after they cut the throats of 21 Egyptian Coptic workers on a beach, constructed a church to their memory in their home village and – perhaps most important of all – was the first Egyptian president to attend mass at Christmas.
The problem is that those Muslim Egyptians who oppose Sisi – not just the Muslim Brotherhood (now, of course, all “terrorists” in official parlance) but any Muslim, even a middle-class Muslim, who is now being broken on the wheel of economic “reform” and enduring massive inflation under a president who has arrested or intimidated all serious opponents into abandoning their candidature in the elections – may regard his Christian fellow citizens as an integral part of the Sisi regime. This, unfortunately, is what they have become.
Thus the Copts will vote loyally this week for a man whose secret police now dominate political life in Egypt and which have now reinstitutionalised torture as a routine part of the security apparatus, who arrest and beat political opponents, bloggers, students, veterans of the original 2011 anti-Mubarak protests in Tahrir Square, journalists and free-thinking politicians. Hangings, deaths in police custody and disappearances – those almost natural phenomena of all security states – are now part of Egyptian life. Of an estimated 106,000 prisoners in Egypt, Human Rights Watch believes around 60,000 of them are political.
The destruction of Sisi’s electoral opponents before this week’s vote would have been farcical had it not been so tragic in a country which was once – during the British occupation, for example – so brave and so insistent in demanding national freedom and western-style democracy.
Ahmed Shafiq, the Mubarakite candidate to challenge Morsi after the 2011 revolution, announced and then withdrew his candidacy for the presidency after “pressure” from the Sisi regime. Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the nephew of the Great Man who actually looks like his assassinated presidential uncle, also chose to stand down as a candidate. Just over five years ago, he was supporting the “conservative Muslim” Sisi and told me in an interview then that the “security solution” (crushing Islamists in the Sinai desert) could only be temporary. “The people are just saying ‘these are terrorists’ about the Brotherhood and are putting pressure on the government,” he said then. “The media are all in one direction and this does not help. This makes life difficult for people who want to come up with compromise and flexibility. In Egypt, we have to learn to live together.”
But living together, it seems, must now be in a “deep state” under the all-wise and benevolent Field Marshal. Along with Sadat, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali dropped out of the “race”. As for a former Islamist who was a candidate for the presidency in 2012, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh – who argued that the army should not be held responsible for Sisi’s misrule – was simply arrested after a visit to London. Even the army itself is not immune to Sisi’s rule of law. Lieutenant General Sami Anan, the former chief of staff, was imprisoned shortly after announcing his intention to stand. One of his aides, Hisham Geneina, the former head of the national auditing agency, has since been arrested.
The only man to have escaped ignominy after deciding – with only minutes to go – that he would be a candidate, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, is a fervent supporter of none other than Sisi himself.
First, the result. I have a hunch it will be somewhere between 93.73 per cent and 97.37 per cent for the President. We’ll see. But my second gamble is a shoo-in. Will President Trump call Mr Sisi after his election victory to congratulate him? Of course he will. And he will call him “a great guy” who’s doing “a great job”. You betcha.
And not just Trump of course; this nazi-parody has been supported (and funded) from the beginning by the entire West, to suppress the great ferment of revolt which erupted in 2011 on the streets in Tunisia and Egypt against the previous dictators, a signal of the huge upheavals that are steadily brewing beneath the surface worldwide as the imperialist system becomes ever more rotten.
And not a word is said against it, unlike the deluge of ultra-hypocrisy poured out on the heads of the Russian scapegoats for far lesser repression (even if believed).
Tinpot fascism has been installed and supported for seven decades of the post-war American imperialist dominance, throughout the Third World – including in such recent coups as that in Honduras (2009), and the forcing out of Aristide in Haiti, the “judicial coup” overturns of left bourgeois nationalism in Paraguay, and Brazil, and effectively in Argentina using a heavily CIA manipulated “trial by media”, and as constantly being tried in Venezuela and Bolivia, alongside deliberately stirred up violent “street protest” and devastating economic sabotage. Brutal military rule in Thailand never gets mentioned, not the Swastika waving populism installed by the $9bn CIA “colour revolution” in Ukraine and Africa sees constant skulduggery.
As Cambridge Analytica’s covertly filmed bragging makes clear, even supposed “peaceful” elections in post-colonial but thoroughly capitalist corrupted countries such as Kenya and Nigeria are completely manipulated and distorted to keep pro-Western regimes in power and the corporate profits rolling in.
Of course these are conspiracies by the Western capitalist order – cascades of them (including the conspiracy to constantly mock conspiracy theories).
It is the dirty daily reality of capitalist “freedom” and it takes the most astonishing depths of ultra-hypocrisy and dissembling to assert that such things only happen in Moscow as Theresa May and her increasingly nasty but desperate boot-boy Tories are trying to pretend (echoed by the Labourites).
Undoubtedly Vladimir Putin’s bonapartism (balancing between the restored oligarch mafia capitalism and residual popular wishes for a socialist society) also uses press control and media dominance, convenient criminal charges against opposition candidates (usually outright pro-Western oligarchs or stooges like Kasparov) and possibly vote-fixing too (though in fact to a much lesser extent than the West).
But that is not the point; it is the outrageous pretence of “freedom” sustained by this BIG LIE and its diversionary finger-pointing away from capitalism’s sole dictatorial responsibility for collapse and war, which needs exposing.
But the “left” does not do it because it is completely entangled in this mess too, and cannot shake its philistine “democracy” delusions and has lost touch with any revolutionary spirit at all.
Even those doubting the evidence around the ludicrous Goebbels “nerve gas poisoning” Salisbury accusations like the maverick Respect leader George Galloway and the equally “maverick” expelled Labourite Ken Livingstone, fail to make the crucial point, which is not the completely hollow Reichstag Fire nature of the entire spy pantomime, but the weakness of the capitalist system which is driving it to carry out such preposterous diversionary provocations.
One of the sickest aspects of these “left” pretenders (Galloway included) is the way they all went along with the Egyptian military coup in 2013, effectively cheering on the General Sisi takeover or at least passively accepting it, by virtue of the way they lined up against the Muslim Brotherhood, which was legally elected in 2012 in Egypt (after “democracy” was “granted”, with the tacit approval of the “international community” i.e. Western imperialism, to try and head off the millions on the street who toppled Hosni Mubarak’s bloody rule in a ferment which Washington feared could have gone all the way to communism if unstopped).
The result was not socialism, and actually hostile to it (with the least radical candidate jostled into place behind the scenes) but it still represented a blow against imperialism’s preferred dictatorial repression, and expressed some of the anti-imperialist feeling, not least in its support for the Palestinian struggle across the border in Gaza.
The “left’s” “secular democracy” hostility played into the hands of the CIA engineered middle-class movement which was used to topple the elected Mohamed Morsi and led to the bloody Sisi coup of 2013 and its mass street slaughter of thousands - men, women, children - in cold blood.
And such is the confusion and failure of understanding by some of the Stalinist “left” that some of them continue to say nothing about it even now. It ties in completely with their “condemn terror” capitulations, lined up with imperialism.
Their wooden and completely undialectical world view leaves them unable to see things except in rigid categories – so that the Assad regime in Syria must be “good” because it is being victimised and attacked by imperialism and its stooges (which it is). “Therefore” says this clunking A, B and not-C logic, everything attacking Syria must be “bad” and everything supporting it “good”.
So the anti-Zionist and anti-Sisi fighters in the Sinai desert of Egypt, who happen to be Muslim and see their aims as a Caliphate alongside the Islamic State in Syria, must be “bad”.
So “therefore” the monstrous general Sisi, whose US-subsidised military have been blitzing and slaughtering the Sinai, and who have installed huge steel barriers at the Gaza border to block the tunnels and reinforce the vicious siege on the endlessly repressed and concentration camp confined Gazans, and even the Zionists (that they work with) must be.....well what????? “Good”???
And the Palestinians and their “terrorist” sections fighting the Nazi-Jewish colonialist implant of “Israel” which has stolen their lands by violent ethnic cleansing barbarism (with imperialist sanction) from 1948 on????
In this Cairo racket are intertwined all the “left” capitulations, still sustaining the fraudulent notion of democracy, the even more degenerate nazi pretence of an “Israeli” state, and the crude and meaningless “war on terror” used by imperialism to justify its Third World war rampaging, particularly since the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions were set going.
Instead of dragging the working class back behind parliament; instead of telling them to cringe before the outrageous CIA/Zionist Goebbels demonisation of the fight for Palestine as “anti-Semitic”; and instead of “condemning terror” as they have done especially since 9/11, the leadership of the working class should be explaining the truth about all these phenomena.
Parliament is a stinking fraud; the world hostility to the Jewish freemasonry everywhere is not “racism” but the justified response to the fascist oppression it imposes against the constantly brutalised, tortured and slaughtered Palestinian people, or hostility to the Jewish diaspora which almost universally accepts and benefits from the existence of “Israel” (including its “liberal anti-Zionists”); and the great upsurge of “jihadist terrorism” is a equally a response of the great masses of the planet to tyranny and exploitation imposed on them for centuries, and which they find ever more intolerable.
All kinds of confusion persist because of the total lack of revolutionary theoretical leadership for decades under the influence of Moscow’s revisionist retreat and eventual collapse; the jihadists’ substitute, and largely religious, ideologies suffer huge problems of sectarianism and are vulnerable to the manipulations and misdirection by imperialist skulduggery.
So it is that elements of the Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict, deliberately inflamed in Iraq by the American occupation, to suppress and divide the post-2003 anti-occupation resistance, were set alight again Syria (and unsuccessfully in Libya) by Western covert action in 2011, precisely to head off the next door Middle East “Arab Spring” revolt.
That was in danger of taking over Cairo and threatening the imperialist grip, not just on Egypt but on the entire region.
The brutal horrors unleashed against Assad’s not-compliant-enough government to deliberately sabotage its control, had all the hallmarks of the fascist disruptions set going in previous decades in Latin America (using CIA manuals and School of the Americas training).
But while some of it was directly the result of artificial stoogery, imperialist-trained and armed (out of the feudal Gulf states and Saudi Arabia particularly), much was just manipulated sectarian confusion, later “blowing back” against imperialist dominance itself, most notoriously the ISIS.
To describe this, and much other anti-imperialist jihadism and terrorism, as some “new, or different kind of reaction” as the “left”s paint it, is to miss the significance of this seething turmoil as the raw hatred which has been created within the world’s masses by centuries of imperialist dominance and tyrannically brutal exploitation.
It is not the socialist revolution but it is the turmoil induced by capitalist breakdown, declaring that it wants imperialism off its back.
All the “left” tries to squirm away from this raw anti-imperialist hatred, finding ways to denounce it instead, thereby avoiding having to stand against the petty bourgeois populist tide whipped up by imperialist propaganda hatred.
They squirm away from all the nascent ferment which has, and will, continue to erupt continuously as the world descends ever further into this greatest ever crisis.
It is the same aversion to revolutionary turmoil which keeps them all playing the parliamentary racket.
It is all posturing and a million miles from the clear revolutionary perspectives that alone can salvage the world from the ever deepening mess of war, poverty, crime, hunger and environmental destruction created by capitalism.
And the crisis has yet to return in its full chaotic savagery, once the towering mountain of Quantitative Easing Mickey Mouse credit finally collapses (which cannot be far off).
When it does the need and demand for revolutionary theory will be unstoppable.
It needs to be struggled for now.
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Barbaric and cold-blooded butchery of Palestinians inside the Gaza strip, and wounding of hundreds is further confirmation that the Nazi-Zionist occupation of their land is an historic monstrosity, an out of time colonial land-theft, imposed by imperialist diktat, that can never stop its genocidal repression for as long as there is a people to resist.
Only total ending of this grotesque false Jewish “country” provides an alternative future, intertwined with world socialist revolution.
Not the ludicrous allegations of “left anti-semitic” racism but such fascist violence generates the worldwide hatred of Zionism and of the international Jewish freemasonry which supports it, (including those posing as “anti-Zionist” Jews but still supporting the false “state” of Israel, (at the expense of 7 million violently dispossessed Palestinians) . The “anti-semitism” stunt (including Corbynite “probes”) is a reactionary diversion.
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Trotskyist polemic against EPSR on the Irish struggle simply underlines their anti-dialectical ignorance and petty bourgeois defeatism
Socialist Fight, one of the spin-off sects from the wreckage of Gerry Healy’s degenerate WRP, has emerged from the usual sectarianism of the fake-“left” swamp to take a written polemical swipe at the EPSR by rubbishing the Irish nationalist struggle with an outpouring of defeatist bile, among other things.
But while its willingness to engage at least is welcome, without which there can be no progress in winning the battle for understanding and revolutionary theory, the content of its cynical “criticism” serves only to underline the anti-dialectical, philistine and relentlessly defeatist character of its mechanical Trotskyism, saturated with all the anti-communist bile which this fake “leftism” has poured out ever since the Soviet Union came into being.
Trotskyism will never be anything but a petty bourgeois carping, and in its long record of theoretical mistakes has been hugely damaging to working class understanding.
Like all Trotskyism the Socialist Fight world view gets by only by mis-analysing or ignoring real events completely, and most of all the relentless development of the Catastrophic crisis collapse, partially obscured for the moment by Quantitative Easing money printing, but which is driving the entire monopoly capitalist system into the greatest economic and political breakdown in all history and bringing the world back to Slump and world war.
But instead of calling for the immediate development of urgently needed revolutionary perspectives and a party to build it, beginning with this great disaster, it is busy alongside much of the Trotskyist fake-“left”, doing the exact opposite by once again dragging the working class back behind the parliamentary racket (as detailed in the lead story).
Like most Trotskyism, Socialist Fight has barely moved on in its world view since the mid-1980s implosion of the WRP in a mess of political opportunism and crudely brutal sexual shenanigans (see EPSR (ILWP Books Volume 2) for analysis of the long developing political decay which led to the EPSR split from the WRP and then Trotskyism, in 1979).
Most of all it pays no attention at all to the total disproof of all Trotskyist nonsense in the events of the 1989-91 revisionist liquidations of the Soviet and East European workers states.
Instead of the revitalised revolutionary workers struggle which was supposed to result after this downfall of the alleged “Stalinist hijackers of the revolution”, the Trots long-called-for “political revolution to overturn the bureaucracy” turned out to be nothing but complete counter-revolution as Leninist politics had always said was obviously the case, and not any antidote to the revisionist feeble mindedness which simply abandoned the fight.
All that happened was the unleashing of the crudest capitalist accumulation through mafia gangsterism and chicanery, producing the current generation of oligarch multi-billionaires.
It was a capitalist restoration counter-revolution, albeit now slightly held in check by the anti-communist bonarpartism of Putin’s Cheka group (even feebler remnants of the old revisionist state structure), because its outright raw capitalism was heading for total collapse by end of the first decade and it was feared potential communist revival, despite Stalinist nostalgia hampering it, could potentially go all the way to revolution.
Just as devastating for its notions were the supposed “workers movements” supported by the Trots in the soviet camp, such as the CIA/Vatican funded and advised Solidarnosc pseudo-trade union in Poland whose ten years of Western guided sabotage in the 1980s equally produced only a capitalist restoration, savage impoverishment of the working class, and one of the most reactionary and fascist-nationalist governments in Europe, saturated in the very most reactionary Catholic clerical backwardness.
And much the same is true for the restorations in East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, proving that the 1953 Berlin events, the 1956 Hungarian “Uprising” and the “Prague Spring” all eagerly supported by the Trots, were nothing but major counter-revolutionary attempts too.
None of which is any vindication of Trotskyist “theory”, but its disproof.
Only wilful blindness to the real world class struggle could continue to advocate such politics.
And just such wilful blindness is on show in the Socialist Fight polemic which manages to ignore the first three-quarters of a major analysis of Brexit and the Irish border issue in issue 1530, whingeing that the article is “too long” and in “unreadable type” (9.5 point, similar to many bourgeois newspapers).
It was obviously so “unreadable” for Socialist Fight that it did not "fight" to read it at all or take in the facts outlined of the intractable tangle that the British throwback ruling class has got itself into on the question, requiring a “hard border” if it is to separate from Europe (with Brexit itself part of the desperate trade war tensions developing as crisis deepens) and fulfil international trade treaties, but unable to have one because of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
So why should not the British ruling class impose and then maintain such a border as it did with utmost military brutality in 1921 (despite an all Ireland 85% vote for independence) and for nearly eight decades subsequently?
Because it cannot, is the obvious answer, and it cannot because the nearly 30 year long Sinn Féin national-liberation struggle fought it to a standstill and into the British and colonialist retreat made manifest in the GFA.
And despite hangovers of the sectarian brutality and murders by some of the colonists still persisting, and community divisions, that agreement has seen 20 years of relative peace and the slow steady “snail’s pace” advance of the nationalist cause towards eventual re-unification (as was tacitly understood would happen in the settlement).
The Orange bigots have swallowed their “no surrender” triumphalism, many of the colonist workers have been neutralised in their pro-imperialist attitudes, the British military have gone, the nationalists have their civil rights and most importantly the capacity to further their cause without needing armed struggle.
It cannot go backwards without enormous (and essentially impossible) costs was the point, a victory for the nationalist struggle.
But the dull defeatism of Trotskyism ignores all that inconvenient reality in order to relentlessly continue to write off the entire staggering 30-year Irish nationalism liberation struggle as essentially a sellout.
And the main basis for this is that it is “just a national liberation struggle”, which does not fit with the shallow and long debunked Trotskyist posturing about “permanent revolution” in which only a struggle which instantly produces a fully fledged and total overturn of capitalism would count, and anything else is “no different to capitalism”.
Before disentangling this idealist nonsense it should be clarified that the EPSR is fully aware that the struggle in the occupied six counties since the 1960s has been a national-liberation struggle and not one for socialism (as the cuttings below spell out in more detail).
The Socialist Fight piece makes heavy weather to explain this with deepest sarcasm, even using a long, (and not bad!), quote from Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, declaring that the EPSR is “confused”.
But it is attacking a straw man.
There is no confusion, as a careful reading of the particular quote will clarify. It said that despite its great nationalist achievements the Sinn Féin was no role model for building revolutionary socialist politics in Britain, going on to explain that it is the lack of (Marxist) revolutionary theory which rules it out, despite a stunning record as a party of anti-imperialist revolutionary nationalist struggle.
We should repeat the full quote perhaps from EPSR 1224 16-03-04 (not 2001 as Downing cites it):
It remains the most outstanding political party of anti-imperialist achievement in the entire Western world, but it has no answer at all to the far more complex socialist revolutionary challenge facing Western civilisation as a whole.
Worse than that, Sinn Féin has no allegiance whatever to building a party of Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory, and becomes a bad role model at that point of future development.
And those weaknesses have already been showing for years, joining bourgeois confusion in the imperialist countries on a number of international issues, and missing the point and the opportunity for giving an even more severe kicking to the West’s counter-revolutionary skulduggery.
SF has just repeated the error, leaping in to “condemn” the Madrid bombings as “an appalling act” and “an atrocity”, — compounding the shallow opportunist nonsense Sinn Féin slipped into over Sept 11.
On top of all that, the SF role model for revolutionary socialist political struggle in Britain gets several crucial points completely wrong.
Firstly, without revolutionary theory for Britain, the socialist revolution will NEVER take place.
The reformist-’left’ pressure, advocated by the SLP and SF groupies, is WORSE THAN useless, utterly disarming the working class in Britain, and utterly disarming the international anti-imperialist struggle which can ONLY proceed by stepping things up towards TOTAL CONSCIOUS REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST struggle as rapidly as possible.
Secondly, the correct programme, strategy, and tactics, — the correct theory, — that Sinn Féin did have for its colossal anti-imperialist triumph in Ireland was STRICTLY LIMITED to a national liberation victory.
But national liberation and socialism are two totally different things entirely. In some specific historical circumstances, they have run on to each other. But they won’t be doing it out of the GFA. And they won’t be doing it in Ireland when Sinn Féin becomes the governing party there soon.
Capitalist “reformism” is all that is guaranteed, — such as has temporarily nearly killed off working-class struggle in Britain after 100 years of Labour/TUC class-collaborating lies and treachery in the interests of British imperialism and warmongering.
Downing takes this to mean that the EPSR was confused about whether Sinn Féin’s perspectives might have been socialist and thus allowing it to be a role model; but that was not the argument.
Perhaps some further context could have been added.
The quote above, in addition its specific analysis of Sinn Féin, was also making a point against several groups in or around Arthur Scargill’s reformist and trade union chauvinist Socialist Labour Party (the SLP, not remotely being mixed-up with the occupied zone’s SDLP, as Downing slyly suggests, trying to imply further “confusion”).
They were positing that building local community links “in the way that Sinn Féin had done, taking up local issues” was a useful strategy for building a revolutionary party in Britain, deeply connected to the working class; the EPSR was making the point that while all links into the working class can have value, such local community representation was still not the crucial question, which is the fight for revolutionary theory, without which the deepest of such embedded political activity will be fruitless for fighting capitalism.
Sinn Féin was being cited as a role model not for its theory but solely for its methods of “on the ground” community struggle, taking up local matters, and becoming a trusted representation.
Its theory was enough for the nationalist struggle but would not suffice for socialist revolution in Ireland or in Britain, (which was underlined with Sinn Féin’s weakness in joining in with the reactionary “condemnations” of terrorism over the Madrid bombings of the time).
But that does not detract from the enormous achievement of the nationalist struggle, which is a defeat for British imperialism and opens up the space for socialist revolutionary development (whether or not that should emerge from the nationalist ranks albeit not from Sinn Féin as such) with the national question cleared out of the way.
The Gerry Downing piece wants to ignore all this real movement in favour of a picky argument with solely the last part of the article, based on a mechanical perspective built on the usual Trotskyist defeatism and the laughably shallow nonsense of Trotsky’s “permanent revolution” theory, which was derided by Lenin and which managed to make wrong assessments time and time over, again by ignoring the concrete reality which was always the starting point for all Leninist theory.
Thus it was that Trotsky ignored the vital role of the gigantic peasant population (farmers, smallholders and agricultural workers) still existing in Russia in 1905, wanting to jump straight to a proletarian socialist dictatorship, straight from feudalism, while Lenin’s Bolsheviks said that only working within the limits of an alliance with the peasantry (which would not go beyond bourgeois democracy) could give the revolutionary forces enough strength against Tsarism.
Things were different by 1917 when social and industrial development had advanced 12 years (at a period of very rapid change) and the world war had added another dimension; after the February (bourgeois) revolution it became possible to see an opening for the proletarian revolution.
But it was not Trotsky’s shallow and mechanical theory to which the Bolsheviks “came round” (as the Trotskyists like to pretend) but Lenin’s extremely detailed April Theses analysis of the concrete conditions which were far more complex than simply “moving on immediately to socialism”. If in one aspect, the call to press on for a proletarian dictatorship seems superficially the same, a detailed reading of Lenin’s works of the time indicates a great depth of analysis of the extremely complex reality (where the new phenomenon of dual power, the Soviets alongside a new bourgeois government had emerged and the question of ending the war was overriding).
Even then the Bolshevik’s understanding was not to go past the peasantry, but to split it, allying with the poorer and middle elements and creating a proletarian led dictatorship which could “lay the foundations” for socialism. Details of this have been examined in recent EPSR discussions (eg 1523 with further parts to come).
But the laughable claim that “Lenin followed Trotsky” (who did not even arrive in Russia until May 1917, long after the crucial April Theses) is used to justify the endless vilification of the Soviet Union from then on, by pretending Trotsky’s ‘superior’ understanding prevailed, and thus implying all his subsequent poisonous attacks on the Soviet Union to be gospel.
The critical Trotskyist myth is then advanced that you “cannot build socialism in one country” (not Lenin’s view, nor Fidel Castro’s) which leads to the position that only revolution more or less everywhere simultaneously can succeed, and thus a becomes a grindingly defeatist view of any struggles in one country alone.
And arising from this and the schematicism of Trotskyite “permanent” revolution comes the notion that there can be no partial national steps forwards in revolution, a view derided as “Stalinist stageism”.
As an argument for holding back struggles, or for suppressing the need for socialist revolutionary perspectives, such “stages” can and have been misused by Moscow revisionism’s fearfulness at “provoking” capitalism with revolutionary talk, particularly post-1945 (witness too the support being given now to the unstable bourgeois nationalist regime in Syria or previously to such flaky figures as Gaddafi or Slobodan Milosevic, misleading the working class into trusting them as a path forwards, when all that is required was to call for imperialist onslaughts on Syria, Libya, Serbia etc, to be defeated, as the Bolsheviks had defeated the fascist Kornilov revolt in August 1917 without at all giving the working class any faith in the treacherous Kerensky).
But to declare that blows and advances against imperialism have no value unless they proceed all the way, as Downing does on this Irish question is to mislead just as significantly, and to pour a bucket of iced-water all over the advances that are made. As the EPSR has said in 30 years of analysing the Irish struggle (as a nationalist struggle) much of the twentieth century is the history of anti-imperialist advances and de-colonisation (excuse the “small type”):
Past Bulletins and ILWP Books vol 8 have quoted endlessly from the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin on the important strategic understanding to communists that bourgeois-nationalist and other defeats for the imperialist ruling class can frequently be of enormous help and significance for the subsequent success of proletarian-dictatorship revolution to get rid of capitalism altogether.
It is just numbskulled posturing to keep on pointing out that bourgeois-nationalist liberation is not necessarily a short step from communist revolution (although they proved inseparable in Vietnam and Cuba, for example). It is well-known that Sinn Féin are philistinely ignorant of Marxism-Leninism.
The crucial question, however, is whether or not this bourgeois-nationalist struggle can cause British imperialism an enormous setback.
To ask the question is to answer it. Why else has British imperialism been fighting all these years with more than half their main land infantry forces to ‘defeat terrorism’ in the Occupied Zone of Ireland (and beyond) if not to avoid a humiliating reversal with dire consequences for all the ruling class’s interests? The Spart slogan for proletarian-dictatorship revolution (although these opportunist sectarian cowards never spell this out scientifically) is not incorrect as an abstract theoretical statement but in practice is worse than useless, - a complete academic diversion.
To proclaim communist aims does not necessarily make it obligatory to rubbish national liberation aims. Just read Marx and Lenin on the subject.
And it is particularly stupid and reactionary sectarianism to denigrate a national-liberation struggle carried out in such a revolutionary manner, both politically and militarily, by Sinn Féin and the IRA, arms in hand. And especially so when that national-liberation movement turned out to be the only serious and effective anti-imperialist movement going, - and one with undoubted sensational success which has dramatically captured the world’s imagination, commanded wide international sympathy, and confounded the entire British ruling class leaving it utterly tongue-tied and undermined.
Obviously, the Sinn Féin/IRA triumph is not yet a ‘workers revolution’, or even remotely any ‘solution’ to the immediate capitalist crisis afflicting Ireland (and everywhere else, of course), or even any guaranteed immediate satisfaction of Irish national aspirations and an end to the ‘troubles’.
But it does represent a colossal retreat by British imperialism and reflects an enormous movement in international class forces which have felt obliged to force London to accept that it is potentially seriously damaging to the Western imperialist cause for naked British colonialism to keep on hopelessly brutally repressing a national-liberation fight which not only obviously will not be beaten but which could start to become an increasingly dangerous revolutionary beacon for the oppressed worldwide, as the international imperialist slump continues to deepen.(EPSR No 775 01-11-94)
For more than 15 years, the Leninist comrades supporting the Review have fought to put across an examination of the Irish national liberation struggle in its historical context (see ILWP Books vol.8, first published following the 1985 Anglo-Irish Treaty, - and countless Reviews since).
Briefly, this noted the repeated signs of retreat in the way British imperialism handled its Ireland crisis, and explained the background to this in the collapse of the British Empire’s economic and political viability which made subsidizing its Occupied Zone of Ireland no longer industrially, commercially, or strategically worthwhile, - and in the general unbeatability of national-liberation movements in the modern era ever since such colossal constraints had been placed on too-blatant colonial bullying by the history-making expansion post-1945 of the socialist camp of workers states, and the subsequent mighty movement for colonial freedom. It also noted the parallel beginnings of collapse of the old colonial-community solidarity and arrogance of the so-called ‘Ulster Unionist’ state of the entirely fictional ‘Northern Ireland’, - i.e. the British-occupied colonial zone of Ireland, which could not possibly survive much longer.
For nearly 15 years, the EPSR’s Leninist views have challenged the fake-’left’ in Britain to a polemic over its defeatism which hides an incapacity to understand the viability of a nationalist struggle and a fear of declaring unconditional solidarity with such uncompromising guerrilla-war terror tactics, making relieved predictions of ‘defeat’ for the IRA instead. To this is added obscene posturing about how the ‘real revolution’ should be fought in Ireland (all workers north and south against all capitalists, etc, - something the Trots never have the conscience and courage to unleash themselves against the UK state (of which ‘Northern Ireland’ is still part).)
It was even necessary to challenge Sinn Féin itself...for its own bout of traditional British-Isles defeatist hostility to theory which initially just could not grasp what a colossal admission of imperialist defeat the 1985 Anglo-Irish Treaty was, not a piece of triumphalist intransigence as Sinn Féin first tried to describe it.
The Review has continued to use the example of Ireland frequently to illustrate the philistine defeatism of the British ‘left’ (and the crucial role of correct revolutionary theory for the future of anti-imperialist struggle) because of the complexities of the national question, because of a particular blindspot among British middle-class ‘revolutionaries’, and because the possibly relatively-short timetable until the general lines of the outcome of this particular anti-imperialist fight become clear make it potentially priceless for the crucial testing process of putting theory into practice.
This is more a question of identifying general historical trends rather than making firm predictions of precise outcomes, but these broad outlines offer a clear-enough choice of assessments. ‘Defeat for the national-liberation struggle, or success?” “Retreat for world imperialism, or advance?” “Further decline for dying British imperialism, or continued successful vicious intransigence?” “Vindication of Marx’s historical materialism which analyses progress from the standpoint of objective necessity, or triumph for the ‘Marxism’ which postures its own subjective perspectives as reality?”(EPSR 854 21-05-96)
The attempted Weekly Worker justification for its sectarian confusion about Ireland and ignorance about Marxism, - that the Republicans “lack any class perspective”,- is just more petty bourgeois ‘leftism’, - sounding clever but saying nothing. It is just a glib ‘revolutionary’ phrase serving to conceal the poverty of the analysis.
Sinn Féin and the IRA obviously have a bourgeois-nationalist class perspective (whatever they like to claim for themselves). But it is just infantile ignorance to imply that this national-liberation struggle in Ireland could never win Marxist critical support, therefore. Just the opposite. Marxism-Leninism has frequently given enthusiastic critical support for anti-imperialist struggles led by nationalists on the obvious grounds that given the objective necessity of such a conflict, imperialism could well emerge gravely damaged, to the clear ultimate advantage of every prospective further anti-imperialist struggle. Marx and Lenin were particularly clear about the benefit which the proletarian class war in Britain would eventually derive from a successful national-liberation struggle in Ireland putting an end to Britain’s colonial-imperialist relationship to Ireland and the Irish, which was corrupting British workers (and obviously British workers in the Occupied Zone) along racist lines.
Of course the bourgeois nationalist Sinn Féin and IRA do not have a proletarian revolutionary perspective against all capitalism in Ireland. But it is dishonest and imbecilic to drop smart-alec hints about this as attempted ‘justification’ for a sneaky ‘left’ denunciation of Sinn Féin and the IRA, right in line with the imperialist bourgeoisie’s own hypocritical ‘horror’ at such ‘terror tactics’, etc: (ibid)
A starting difficulty in the 1960s launch of this finally triumphant offensive (the umpteenth in history) by the Irish national liberation struggle was its surprising base in the very Catholic, bourgeois-nationalist wing of the Provisional Sinn Féin and IRA, rather than in the Official wing with its strong Communist Party connections, where both wings had been involved in previous armed guerrilla-war struggle.
But it WAS the Provos who, willy-nilly, saw during the late 1960s Civil Rights explosion that the British imperialist colonial toehold on the last occupied Zone of Ireland (six of Ulster’s nine counties, artificially created as “Northern Ireland” by dog-in-the-manger British imperialist retreat from TOTAL occupation of Ireland following the 1921 National-Liberation War) was more vulnerable than any colonisation of Ireland had ever been before because the “secure back door” needs for the British Empire homeland were no longer a serious strategic consideration in the nuclear-rocket age of overall, severe, British imperialist decline; because the battleship-building industrial value of Belfast was similarly more of an economic burden than military use now; because the now-out-of-date but still tragically viciously deluded British triumphalist population of the OZ, - the Ulster Unionist colonists, - would be bound to become an increasingly difficult problem to cope with by retreating British imperialism over time (as indeed has happened with a vengeance); and because large parts of the London imperialist establishment were already indicating that they would quite like to extricate Britain from its Irish colonial involvement COMPLETELY if it could be done without any appearance of capitulation to Irish self-determination struggle, and if it could be got past Ulster Unionist reaction by one means or another.
The ignorant anti-revolutionary Trots and Stalinist Revisionists in and around the Irish Question scene all idiotically plumped for exclusively Civil Rights agitation thereafter. Only the Provos surprisingly grasped that unless seriously harried, sclerotic and demoralised British imperialist arrogance and complacency would take forever to find a way round these remaining difficulties for getting out; but that pressing Britain hard with an intensified national liberation war and a revolutionary political offensive could lead to a dramatic sensational triumph.
And so it proved, exactly as the EPSR’s Marxist-Leninist grasp of the movement of international class and national forces in this epoch of imperialist crisis, confidently explained would happen from its first publication 24 years ago.
The basic revolutionary question was: Who is actually waging the independence WAR against British occupation, - and having remarkable success with it, showing colossal heroism, fortitude, and imagination, with the Provos as the obvious answer.
And inevitably, in those national oppression conditions, the Irish working-class (the mass of poorest proletarians) throughout the OZ (and further afield in the Irish Republic itself) began to be uplifted into revolutionary hostility against imperialism quite regardless of Sinn Féin’s petty-bourgeois nationalist limitations, in support of the inventive revolutionary political initiatives of Sinn Féin, and in astonished admiration (universally shared) of the IRA’s remarkable courage and guerrilla war prowess, both in the OZ but particularly in Britain, despite the vilest and most brutal police-state repression imaginable, including torture, hunger-strikes-to-death, repeated home destruction terror raids, and a hideous shoot-to-kill state assassination policy and programme, all backed up by open-ended detention-without-trial in the Long Kesh concentration camp.
Yet every Trot and Stalinist variety in Britain came together in failing to call for a British DEFEAT in Ireland, with many of them going along openly with the imperialist bourgeois “condemnation” of “terrorism”, - both then, and STILL, in many cases.
The Ireland question also illuminated the Marxist scientific understanding that “defeat” for one’s own imperialist state does not necessarily at all imply any interest in wanting “victory” for the targets of the police-state tyranny by the imperialist colonial warmongering, - even in the hugely sympathetic case of the Irish national liberation struggle to which cause anyone with the slightest scrap of progressive humanity has been irresistibly drawn for centuries.
Nor is it just an academic hair-splitting point to stress that - in spite of the huge excitement (shared by Marx and Lenin among others) at the many highlights of splendid defiance, magnificently lauded in 800 years of world renowned Irish rebel culture, - the independence struggle is still by no means the end of the story, and probably particularly rapidly in modern times, the socialist revolution is still going to have its problems with this purely nationalist (inevitably bourgeois nationalist) “solution” in Ireland.
So there is still no purpose in creating confusion by popularly calling for “victory to the IRA” (apart from, of course, after the exceptional cultural circumstances of enjoying a few pints and a few rebel songs).
“Defeat for imperialism” really is much more accurate, scientific, and sufficient, fully reflecting the colossal importance for the British and international working class’s OWN socialist emancipation (well observed by Marx in Britain’s case that with Ireland unfree, the English working-class was obviously going to be still subservient to its own imperialist ruling class) that a DEFEAT for British imperialism would mean, “echoing round the world” as Lenin described the first modern era explosion of the Easter Rising 1916, which to Lenin’s disgust was dismissed by the Scargillite Revisionist opportunists of his day as “to be condemned as terrorism by middle-class religious putschists, and not TU-approved”, just like Sept 11 in fact, “condemned” by the cowardly Scargillite Stalinists, with their fellow Lalkar Stalinist Revisionists looking-on, keeping silent. (EPSR 1195 29-07-03)
And as the attempted analysis in 1530 suggested, the difficulties for British imperialism have deepened even though the Sinn Féin continues to fall short on any deeper understanding or explanation of the crisis, and of the great upheavals in the Third World particularly, and does not advance any perspective beyond an all-Ireland parliament.
The points above emerging from the Irish struggle apply equally to other national struggles, where Trotskyism equally gets everything glaringly wrong, notably over South Africa, where the ANC government is also written off as “no different to apartheid”.
Apart from the contempt such an assessment has for the huge and heroic sacrifices of the long uMkhonto we Sizwe armed struggle against former white regime, it is simply wrong in suggesting that no progress has been made.
Of course capitalism still prevails and not just local but international corporate capital, running and brutally exploiting the mining industry for example. International capital did not leave but recognised that it would have to “move over” and allow black participation, rather than maintain the old apartheid.
But that would have been its preferred option as the EPSR said before (No841 20-02-96).
Of course the anti-feudal anti-colonial black liberation movement was bourgeois nationalist dominated. Of course a Leninist party, instead of the hopelessly revisionist SACP, might have been in a position to lead the liberation struggle straight on to the socialist revolution, which will clearly be needed to combat deepening capitalist crisis under the dictatorship of the white-dominated bourgeoisie. But still none of these considerations remotely turns the long-fought-for overthrow of the apartheid regime (which Moscow revisionism did not in fact put itself out greatly to help) into a victory for imperialism
The Socialist Fight’s relentless defeatism even currently finds expression in the strikes and demonstrations erupting in France against the President Macron cuts and anti-worker legislative changes to hours and conditions.
Its conclusion? They are “doomed to failure”!!!
The “pure revolution” fantasies of the Trots can only declare sourly that the workers have no theoretical leadership (meaning they do not have the guidance of the idealist “perfect revolution” instructions worked out by these dilettantes in their front rooms, obviously) and therefore the cause is lost before it has started:
without a solid, militant organization and united action, the struggle exhausts the masses themselves, demoralize those who participate and lead to even greater defeats.
it declares hopelessly.
Now, Leninism would equally assert that the world suffers tragically from lack of revolutionary theory, the result of decades of Stalinist revisionist retreat and equally Trotskyism’s fraudulent “anti-Stalinism” which has never been anything in reality but bilious hostility to the workers states and the discipline of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
But it would also see such new upheavals as yet another hugely encouraging expression of the enormous difficulties facing the ruling class as its crisis deepens and spontaneous revolt develops, alongside turmoil in Greece, Ukraine, the Middle East (Palestine, Egyptian street revolt and now “jihadism”, much of the “terrorist” ferment etc) Africa (Nigeria, Somalia) and Latin America.
Anti-Zionist blows in Palestine, or against imperialism’s heartland in the 9/11 attacks, the backfiring in Syria of Washington’s attempts to manipulate sectarian jihadism, in Madrid, Paris and elsewhere, express all kinds of anti-Western hostility and while they are very frequently not the methods advocated by Marxism in these conditions and circumstances, they still shake the confidence of imperialist domination.
Inasmuch as such turmoil has and will inflict defeats, to whatever extent, it opens up the possibility to fight for theory - the very opposite notion to this numbing pessimism which like all the fake-“left”ism in the end, simply aids the ruling class, reinforcing the debilitating feeling which hampers the working class, that “you can’t win”.
Small wonder that the opening shot in the Irish polemic is to sneeringly write-off an EPSR paragraph on ruling class setbacks opening the door to revolutionary theory as “just phrasemongering”.
The phrases might well need improvement - but that will not happen by ignoring the real world.