No 1566 15th November 2019
Election racket a giant fraud - only revolutionary overthrow of capitalism can stop austerity and plunge to war
An analysis of the election is held over until the next issue but the key point to make above all else is that none of the bourgeois parties, Labour or Tory, Brexit or not-Brexit are anything but a bunch of lying careerist twisters fooling the working class that their “policies” can change lives or improve conditions. Bring down the Tories by all means but no faith or trust in any of them.
The outcome is completely irrelevant to the problems and difficulties facing the working class - and worse still deludes them that there is a future within capitalism.
The deluge of promises about spending on this and that are complete fantasy – the world has hit the buffers of the greatest and most disastrous Catastrophic breakdown in all history, with British imperialism one of the weakest links. Only economic devastation is coming – and world war in its wake.
Ever deepening cynicism and contempt by the working class for the parliamentary racket (which includes referendums) is a sound response but it needs to turn to active revolutionary politics.
The brutal right wing military coup against Bolivia’s Evo Morales’ left nationalist reformism delivers yet another lesson in the dire continuing impact of revisionism and the retreat from Lenin’s revolutionary perspectives. Only the firmest dictatorship of the proletariat can give workers the defence against non-stop counter-revolutionary skulduggery but the fake - “left” of all shades continues to feed illusions in “democratic paths” and “peace struggle” pacifism. The Bolivarian so-called “revolution” has now been subverted and toppled across Latin America, with what remains in Venezuela under permanent strangling siege but still the revisionists refuse to correct their misleading “trust in democracy” advice. The same delusions leave China open to Hong Kong disruption
The counter-revolutionary coup in Bolivia, dirty lynch mob violence by reactionary “protestors” in Hong Kong, and foul butchering repression of the “terrorist” turmoil across the Middle East, all carried through by Western reaction and lauded and hyped-up by its craven media, underline yet again the disastrous impact that fake-“left” thinking has had and continues to have on mass understanding.
The world is on fire with revolt and rebellion against this stinking imperialist system and its plunge into despairing Slump austerity, vicious trade war and ever worsening outright war butchery, death-squad repression, torture and destruction, but its great masses remain hamstrung, confused and held back by lack of revolutionary class war perspectives.
Even as the Catastrophic scale of the monopoly capitalist crisis, paralysing world trade and finance, is ever more obviously heading for total inter-imperialist conflict the fake-“left”s all continue to foster all the old “democratic” illusions, “peace-struggle” politics and complacency about “potential” economic “progress” by “stopping austerity” (a sick joke at this stage of world collapse, the economy in even the wealthiest of countries being not only utterly impossible to revive but about to hit everyone with much worse Slump chaos as the global finance system implodes again, extending the 2008 meltdown but multiplied one hundred fold).
Garbage revisionist and reformist politics is deadly for the working class, lulling them to sleep with yet more “voting” delusions, and step-by-step notions of progress, as if the same world will more or less continue forwards and can be improved if there is enough “pressure”.
The world is not “slowing down” or in recession - it has hit a brick wall of unsolvable collapse, as the steady ripening of the contradictions built into production for private profit have reached at breaking point.
Capitalism cannot be reversed or modified or regulated and every move to tackle its antagonisms can only make things worse.
It can only be overcome by jumping to a new level – the very meaning of revolution.
So the need to overturn this system by outright class war has never been more urgent to express as the brute force fascist nature of the system more and more clearly shows its teeth with violent disruption, blitzing, torture, strangulation sanction sieges, and coups.
Yet workers are diverted from seeing the total antagonism and vicious cutthroat trade war which already rules, (on top of the ever continuing brute tyranny of neo-colonial exploitation and growing war horrors everywhere), and left without a scrap of awareness of what is coming down the line, ie all-out World War for a third time, which will be far worse than ever in history, just as WW2 was so much more devastating than the horrors of the Great War.
Worse still the class collaborating grovel of the Labourite reformists, the total confusion of the revisionists, the anti-Soviet anti-communism of the Trots, verges ever more into complete reaction tailending the bourgeoisie with “national-interest” “loyalty” or Brexit chauvinism, all feeding the atmosphere of war conflict.
Most also fall in behind the non-stop deluge of propaganda against socialism and workers state authority (labelled “authoritarianism”) pumped out by capitalism.
They all denounce and condemn most of the actual struggle which is erupting in the world as terrorism, and full on anti-Western street revolt.
Confused and backward as much of it is, and even counter-productive in its often sectarian and reactionary ideological notions, these spontaneous outbursts demonstrate the growing frustration and intolerance of oppression by the world’s masses that will eventually coalesce into a gigantic movement to end this capitalist system.
It has already kept Western tyranny reeling for nearly two decades.
But instead of seeing this great upsurge for the symptom it is of the overall historic breakdown and part of the crisis disruption of imperialist rule that is weakening and opening up its tyrannical grip on things, the “left” – including ostensibly “more communist” pro-workers state elements – all capitulate to imperialism’s vicious condemnations of it all as “terrorism”.
They cover their cravenness by painting such spontaneous revolt (though increasingly coherently organised) as either “morally unacceptable”, “really all run by the CIA”, or “by reactionary Arab funding”, giving a cover for actually lining up with imperialism’s “war on terror” Goebbels excuses for the blitzing and destruction which is warming up capitalism’s all-out war “answer” to its crisis.
While a Marxist approach does not advocate or support such struggle as such, and holds its distance from the barmier puritanical, religious and even reactionary ideology, it would never condemn or blame them, seeing only the need to develop a much better and believable revolutionary understanding which can take the leadership of the great inchoate hostility brewing everywhere, to transform it into the coordinated conscious mass fight to end capitalism, the only way to end the growing mess humanity is being plunged into.
The only possible path is total class war not just to overturn this degenerate ruling class, but to establish the firmest working class rule to keep it overturned and suppress its inevitable fascist counter-revolution, while the great majority builds a socialist planned world.
That means not just taking over the bourgeois owned factories and farms but breaking up the state structures of police, military, judges and prisons and replacing them with a workers army and state, the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Why? Because the state, far from being a neutral arbiter of justice and the “rule of law” as bourgeois hypocrisy pretends, is there to protect the class interests of the ruling bourgeois and its property against the working class and it will always move to do so with as much violence as necessary if those are threatened (by “democratic change”).
There is no “democracy” in other words, but only the hidden dictatorship of big money and capital heading increasingly for open civil war, domestic suppression and international conflict.
Only its total overthrow can allow the masses to genuinely build real democracy, (and then gradually dispense with it, as society becomes more advanced, rational and self-disciplined, needing no coercive rule at all, even by the great majority over the tiny minority).
This is the fundamental lesson of Marxism-Leninism, forgotten, ignored and mostly deliberately evaded, by the 50 shades-of-“left” saturated in rank opportunism, dilettantism and petty bourgeois idealism.
Tragically it even finds expression in the advice from the revisionist leadership philosophy of the workers states like China and Cuba – despite their solid practice domestically in rightly and heroically resisting “democratic” counter-revolution with the firmest of workers state control to shut down such provocations (though events in Hong Kong have seen some worrying prevarication by Beijing).
But the “left” retreats from this understanding, even where there are seemingly more “conventional” class struggles such as in Latin America, and the chance to follow a “proper” way to struggle ie the mass uprising of the working class against imperialism.
But this is no more than the other side of the revisionist coin so to speak, still essentially condemning the violence of world upheaval, but this time by declaring it not to be necessary, and advocating “peaceful democratic paths” instead, while trusting in the existing state forces to carry them through and even defend them.
It has been a disaster as the last decade has shown.
The proof comes yet again in the military ousting of indigenous left-nationalist president, Evo Morales in Bolivia, latest in a string of stitch-ups, legal, constitutional and judicial capitalist coups which have toppled halfway house “left” reformism from Paraguay and Argentina, to Brazil and Ecuador, with Nicaragua and Venezuela under years of deadly sanctions siege, non-stop big lie propaganda war, endless subversion, violence provocation and terrifying threats of invasion by the giant US imperialist military to the north.
Once more the army and the police, the capitalist state forces, have moved to force out left reformism, with the threat of as much violence and bloodshed as deemed necessary now, and to intimidate and prevent any comeback:
Evo Morales has announced he will resign as president of Bolivia after the military called for him to step down and the police withdrew their support following weeks of unrest over disputed election results.
In a televised address, Bolivia’s president of nearly 14 years said he was stepping down for the “good of the country”. but added in an attack on opponents whom he had accused of a coup attempt: “Dark forces have destroyed democracy.”
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, later said on Twitter that the police had an “illegal” warrant for his arrest and that “violent groups” had attacked his home in Cochabamba, a city in central Bolivia.
The commander of Bolivia’s police force said in a television interview that there was no warrant for Morales’s arrest. Video circulating on social media showed people walking through what was reported to be his ransacked home.
The announcement by Morales came shortly after the commander-in-chief of the Bolivian armed forces, Williams Kaliman, exhorted him to resign his “presidential mandate allowing the pacification and maintenance of stability for the good of Bolivia”.
In Bolivia’s main city, La Paz, people poured on to the streets waving the country’s red, yellow and green flags. There were reports of patrols by vigilantes guarding businesses in Cochabamba. Morales’s vice-president, Álvaro García Linera, also resigned.
The New York Times reported that Morales had flown from La Paz to Chimoré, in Cochabamba state, when it became clear that the military was turning on him. The area is populated by coca leaf growers, many of whom have remained loyal to Morales, himself a former coca farmer. His whereabouts in the early hours of Monday morning were unknown.
The departure of Morales, a leftist icon and the last survivor of Latin America’s “pink tide” of two decades ago, is likely to send shockwaves across the region at a time when left-leaning leaders have returned to power in Mexico and Argentina.
In a tweet, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said it would offer political asylum to Morales in accordance with the country’s “tradition of asylum and non-intervention”, if Morales sought it. He added that 20 other members of the government’s executive and legislature were already in the Mexican ambassador’s residence in La Paz.
Some of Morales’s leftist allies in Latin America, including the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and Argentinian president-elect, Alberto Fernández, decried the turn of events as a “coup”
In a recording broadcast on Venezuelan state television, Maduro said: “We have to take care of our brother Evo Morales … We must declare a vigil in solidarity to protect him.”
Maduro’s position has been bolstered by the return of left-leaning leaders in Mexico and Argentina. But Morales’s resignation could unnerve the Venezuelan leader, who has clung to power this year despite an opposition campaign to convince the armed forces to rebel.
The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, another longtime Morales ally, tweeted his “solidarity” and said: “The world must be mobilised for the life and freedom of Evo.”
Brazil’s government said it would back a democratic transition in neighbouring Bolivia and dismissed leftists’ argument that a coup had occurred.
Bolivia has been plunged into chaos and uncertainty as a power vacuum looms amid reports of looting, vandalism and arson carried out by both supporters and opponents of Evo Morales, following his announcement on Sunday that he would resign as president.
Morales’ decision followed several quick-fire developments on Sunday, beginning with the release of a report by the Organisation of American States (OAS) that said it had found “clear manipulations” of the voting system in last month’s presidential election and could not verify the first-round victory for Morales. The president responded by saying he would call fresh elections but stepped down after the head of the army publicly called for him to leave his post.
Morales remained defiant on Monday, using social media to accuse the opposition leaders Carlos Mesa and Luis Fernando Camacho of instigating a coup against him. “[They] lie and try to blame us for the chaos and violence that they provoked,” he said.
The news provoked mixed reaction around the world. Bolivia’s president for nearly 14 years and its first indigenous leader, Morales is an iconic figure for the international left and the last survivor of Latin America’s “pink tide” of two decades ago. But the country has been roiled by mass protests since last month’s disputed election result.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, issued a statement on Monday defining what had happened as a “military coup”, and calling for an urgent meeting of the OAS.
“What happened yesterday [in Bolivia] is a step backwards for the whole continent,” he said. “Military coups never bring anything positive and that is why we are worried.”
He also said Mexico had yet to receive a response from Morales to its offer of political asylum, and said “many more” than 20 others had requested asylum.
But Mesa, Morales’ closest rival in October’s disputed election, said the president was brought down by a popular uprising, not the military. He said the military had made a decision not to deploy in the streets because “they didn’t want to take lives”.
But in Bolivia, the immediate concern was the void left as resignations by Morales and his vice-president, Álvaro García Linares, were followed by the next in line, the senate president, Adriana Salvatierra. Her deputy, Jeanine Añez, is expected to assume the interim presidency.
In a wave of resignations, parliamentarians, local politicians and top brass in the army and police also stepped down.
“We are living in chaos with no one assuming the reins of power, said Carlos Cordero, a political scientist at La Paz’s San Andrés university. He said no clear timeline had emerged for scheduling a fresh vote.
Fiona Mackie, the Latin America regional director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said Bolivia was at a risky turning point and “social unrest is unlikely to die down any time soon”.
“It is worth remembering what came before [Morales] took office back in 2006, namely huge amounts of political instability and a series of shortlived presidencies,” she said. “It’s increasingly likely that we’ll see a return to a similar situation, as society is deeply polarised, and bearing in mind that Morales retains a loyal and vocal base of support.”
The US state department issued a statement calling for the OAS to send a mission to Bolivia to oversee the electoral process. “The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections,” it said.
The usual useless handwringing “protests” and lamentations have poured out of the fake-“left” and the do-gooding “support” groups, filled with Trots and Revisionists, all covering up their complete ineffectuality and complacency, and their outright past hostility to, and censorship of, the few communist voices which have consistently warned of the dangers of these “democracy” illusions (despite being shut down or ejected from meetings by these fake-“lefts” and opportunists).
Leninist philosophy now has to ask yet again “how many more times will this deadly lesson have to be learned by a working class and at what terrible cost?”
How many lives have to be destroyed before moronic revisionist philosophy is totally discredited (as it should have been 30 years ago when the Soviet Union and its gigantic achievements was stupidly liquidated and handed over to capitalist carpet bagging and gangsterism, still ruling the roost despite the idiot icon-kissing Putin’s bonarpartist reining in of the worst excesses (solely to head off a revolutionary reversion)???
Even now as the CIA-coordinated military rampages against the left reformism in Bolivia – letting loose all kinds of vigilantism and vengeful reaction, which has already seen beatings, torture and humiliation – the dunderhead Morales continues to ask for “dialogue” from his emergency exile in Mexico.
Is that a sick joke or just proof of profound stupidity?
The archetypal lesson in history comes from the 1973 Pinochet coup which drowned in blood the “democratic” socialist alliance majority government of Salvador Allende in Chile after three years of CIA instigated chaos, disruption, reactionary strikes and economic sabotage.
That brutal and barbaric coup was carried through by the “trusted” military invited into government by Allende’s revisionist influenced faith and delusion in “playing by the rules of democracy” to “restore stability”.
It was a disastrous misleadership then which left open the door to counter-revolution by pursuing the “democratic path”, ignoring a stream of massacring repression stretching at least as far back as Stalin’s Popular Front illusions in the republican “democracy” fighting against Franco’s fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War (and even to the “after Hitler our turn” democratic tactics in 1933 Germany), through the civil war slaughter of the Greek partisan-built wartime anti-Nazi revolution by Churchill’s imperialist treachery, to the 1965 butchery of the entire Indonesian Communist Party and all its sympathisers, at least one million strong, remaining to this day one of imperialism’s most horrifyingly cold-blooded massacres (see the film Act of Killing for example).
Allende was already stark warning for the notion of a “Bolivarian revolution” – made much of by Havana’s revisionist leadership – which has never been a revolution at all in the accepted Marxist understanding of overturning the bourgeoisie and establishing powerful workers control; even in the most “radical” of the Latin American “pink tide” cited in the cuttings above, Hugo Chávez’ Venezuela, and perhaps Nicaragua, the bourgeoisie has remained intact with much of its property remaining in private industrial and land ownership.
“Socialist” measures may have been carried out to redistribute wealth to the poorest, massively improving lives with medicine, education, food and housing etc – but without dismantling the bourgeois state and suppressing its instruments of propaganda it could only ever be a type of reformism and only ever drive the ruling class to a frenzy of hatred.
Despite the boldest of anti-imperialist rhetoric therefore and sometimes vigorous action to counter the local and international bourgeoisie such as Morales’ justified expulsions of US “diplomat” spies operating out of the embassy in La Paz, all these countries have been vulnerable to just such counter-revolution from the beginning, exactly as warned by volume after volume of Marxist theory, and particularly by Lenin’s development and expansion of the understanding of the state, first formulated by Marx and Engels as early experiences like the Paris Commune were made in the nineteenth century of proletarian struggle against the ever expanding and developing capitalist system.
It is worth restating some of it (though reading the whole of Lenin’s State and Revolution and other works would be even better):
If the exploiters are defeated in one country only—and this, of course, is typical,, since a simultaneous revolution in a number of countries is a rare exception—they still remain stronger than the exploited, for the international connections of the exploiters are enormous. That a section of the exploited from the least advanced middle-peasant, artisan and similar groups of the population may, and indeed does, follow the exploiters has been proved by all revolutions, including the Commune (for there were also proletarians among the Versailles troops, which the most learned Kautsky has “forgotten”).
In these circumstances, to assume that in a revolution which is at all profound and serious the issue is decided simply by the relation between the majority and the minority is the acme of stupidity, the silliest prejudice of a common liberal, an attempt to deceive the people by concealing from them a well-established historical truth. This historical truth is that in every profound revolution, the prolonged, stubborn and desperate resistance of the exploiters, who for a number of years retain important practical advantages over the exploited, is the rule. Never—except in the sentimental fantasies of the sentimental fool Kautsky—will the exploiters submit to the decision of the exploited majority without trying to make use of their advantages in a last desperate battle, or series of battles.
The transition from capitalism to communism takes an entire historical epoch. Until this epoch is over, the exploiters inevitably cherish the hope of restoration, and this hope turns into attempts at restoration.
In the train of the capitalist exploiters follow the wide sections of the petty bourgeoisie, with regard to whom decades of historical experience of all countries testify that they vacillate and hesitate, one day marching behind the proletariat and the next day taking fright at the difficulties of the revolution; that they become panic-stricken at the first defeat or semi-defeat of the workers, grow nervous, run about aimlessly, snivel, and rush from one camp into the other—just like our Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries.
In these circumstances, in an epoch of desperately acute war, when history presents the question of whether age-old and thousand-year-old privileges are to be or not to be—at such a time to talk about majority and minority, about pure democracy, about dictatorship being unnecessary and about equality between the exploiter and the exploited! What infinite stupidity and abysmal philistinism are needed for this!
Kautsky talks about anything you like, about everything that is acceptable to liberals and bourgeois democrats and does not go beyond their circle of ideas, but he does not talk about the main thing, namely, the fact that the proletariat cannot achieve victory without breaking the resistance of the bourgeoisie, without forcibly suppressing its adversaries, and that, where there is “forcible suppression”, where there is no “freedom”, there is, of course, no democracy.
But socialism is opposed to violence against men in general. Apart from Christian anarchists and Tolstoyans, however, no one has yet drawn the conclusion from this that socialism is opposed to revolutionary violence. So, to talk about “violence” in general, without examining the conditions which distinguish reactionary from revolutionary violence, means being a philistine who renounces revolution.
(From Proletarian Revolution & Renegade Kautsky by Lenin 1918).
With particular reference to Latin America:
According to Marx, the state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another. It is the creation of “order”, which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the conflict between classes. In the opinion of the petty bourgeois politicians, however, order means the reconciliation of classes, and not the oppression of one class by another - to alleviate the conflict means reconciling classes and not depriving the oppressed classes of definite means and methods of struggle to overthrow the oppressors.
For instance, when, in the revolution of 1917, the question of the significance and role of the state arose in all its magnitude as a practical question demanding immediate action, and, moreover, action on a mass scale, all the Social-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks descended at once to the petty bourgeois theory that the “state” “reconciles” classes. Innumerable resolutions and articles by politicians of both these parties are thoroughly saturated with this petty bourgeois and philistine “reconciliation” theory. That the state is an organ of the rule of a definite class which cannot be reconciled with its antipode (the class opposite to it) is something the petty bourgeois democrats will never be able to understand. Their attitude to the state is one of the most striking manifestations of the fact that our Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks are not socialists at all (a point that we Bolsheviks have always maintained), but petty bourgeois democrats using near socialist phraseology.
On the other hand, the “Kautskyite” distortion of Marxism is far more subtle. “Theoretically”, it is not denied that the state is an organ of class rule, or that class antagonisms are irreconcilable. But what is overlooked or glossed over is this: if the state is the product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms, if it is a power standing above society and “alienating itself more and more from it”, it is clear that the liberation of the oppressed class is impossible not only without a violent revolution, but also without the destruction of the apparatus of state power which was created by the ruling class and which is the embodiment of this “alienation”. As we shall see later, Marx very explicitly drew this theoretically self-evident conclusion on the strength of a concrete historical analysis of the tasks of the revolution. And — as we shall show in detail further on — it is this conclusion which Kautsky has “forgotten” and distorted.
Lenin State and Revolution 1917
The only “correction” Marx thought it necessary to make to the Communist Manifesto he made on the basis of the revolutionary experience of the Paris Commune.
The last preface to the new German edition of the Communist Manifesto, signed by both its authors, is dated June 24, 1872. In this preface the authors, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, say that the programme of the Communist Manifesto “has in some details become out of date”, and the go on to say:
“... One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the readymade state machinery and wield it for its own purposes’....”13
The authors took the words that are in single quotation marks in this passage from Marx’s book, The Civil War in France.
Thus, Marx and Engels regarded one principal and fundamental lesson of the Paris Commune as being of such enormous importance that they introduced it as an important correction into the Communist Manifesto.
Most characteristically, it is this important correction that has been distorted by the opportunists, and its meaning probably is not known to nine-tenths, if not ninetynine-hundredths, of the readers of the Communist Manifesto. We shall deal with this distortion more fully farther on, in a chapter devoted specially to distortions. Here it will be sufficient to note that the current, vulgar “interpretation” of Marx’s famous statement just quoted is that Marx here allegedly emphasizes the idea of slow development in contradistinction to the seizure of power, and so on.
As a matter of fact, the exact opposite is the case. Marx’s idea is that the working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery”, and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it.
On April 12, 1871, i.e., just at the time of the Commune, Marx wrote to Kugelmann:
“If you look up the last chapter of my Eighteenth Brumaire, you will find that I declare that the next attempt of the French Revolution will be no longer, as before, to transfer the bureaucratic-military machine from one hand to another, but to smash it [Marx’s italics - the original is zerbrechen], and this is the precondition for every real people’s revolution on the Continent.
And this is what our heroic Party comrades in Paris are attempting.” (Neue Zeit, Vol.XX, 1, 1901-02, p. 709.)14
(The letters of Marx to Kugelmann have appeared in Russian in no less than two editions, one of which I edited and supplied with a preface.)
The words, “to smash the bureaucratic-military machine”, briefly express the principal lesson of Marxism regarding the tasks of the proletariat during a revolution in relation to the state. And this is the lesson that has been not only completely ignored, but positively distorted by the prevailing, Kautskyite, “interpretation” of Marxism! Lenin State and Revolution 1917
And as Lenin adds further down referring to the destruction of the Commune with thousands of workers slaughtered by bourgeois reaction afterwards:
The Commune, therefore, appears to have replaced the smashed state machine “only” by fuller democracy: abolition of the standing army; all officials to be elected and subject to recall. But as a matter of fact this “only” signifies a gigantic replacement of certain institutions by other institutions of a fundamentally different type. This is exactly a case of “quantity being transformed into quality”: democracy, introduced as fully and consistently as is at all conceivable, is transformed from bourgeois into proletarian democracy from the state (= a special force for the suppression of a particular class) into something which is no longer the state proper.
It is still necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and crush their resistance. This was particularly necessary for the Commune and one of the reasons for its defeat was that it did not do this with sufficient determination. [emphasis added]. The organ of suppression, however, is here the majority of the population, and not a minority, as was always the case under slavery, serfdom, and wage slavery. Lenin State and Revolution 1917
“Their resistance” will always use as much trickery, corruption, bribery and outright violence as it needs, can organise and can get away with, to restore bourgeois rule and ownership, and recover or hold on to the sweet power and exploitation privilege it brings.
It has done so non-stop across the planet throughout the Cold War, in which there have been more than four hundred interventions, coups, topplings, assassinations (two more again in Gaza this week by the Nazi-Zionist imperialist stooges occupying Palestine – as always with civilian “collateral damage” and follow-up airblitzing massacres), invasions, massacres, genocides and especially since 1991’s capitalist restoration in the USSR which left huge areas of the Soviet camp, and smaller soviet orientated nations, without the protection of the dictatorship of the proletariat (KGB, Red Army etc) and wide open to infiltration and skulduggery.
Only meeting mass resistance and upheaval, or the fear of triggering it, and potentially pushing the masses towards revolution, (the inevitable long term - even medium term - future for mankind) ever holds things back.
But just where reaction wants to go is made clear for example by Brazil’s new coup regime installed by filthy manipulation of the constitution, rotten parliamentary corruption and judicial twisting but still claiming a “democratic mandate” (as Hitler did) as the bourgeois press reports:
Voices from across Brazil’s political spectrum have condemned the son of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, after he suggested hardline dictatorship-era tactics might be needed to crush his father’s leftist foes.
Eduardo Bolsonaro made the incendiary remarks – which many observers suspect were a deliberate distraction from renewed media speculation over the family’s links to organized crime – during a softball YouTube interview broadcast on Thursday.
In the interview the 35-year-old congressman claimed – without offering evidence – that the recent wave of Latin American protests and the left’s return to power in Argentina were part of a Cuba-funded conspiracy to bring “revolution” to Latin America.
“If the left radicalizes to this extent [in Brazil] we will need to respond, and that response could come via a new AI-5,” said Bolsonaro, who is the regional representative of Steve Bannon’s far-right group “The Movement”.
Brazil’s leftist president, João Goulart, was toppled in a coup in April 1964. General Humberto Castelo Branco became leader, political parties were banned, and the country was plunged into 21 years of military rule.
The repression intensified under Castelo Branco’s hard-line successor, Artur da Costa e Silva, who took power in 1967. He was responsible for a notorious decree called AI-5 that gave him wide ranging dictatorial powers and kicked off the so-called “anos de chumbo” (years of lead), a bleak period of tyranny and violence which would last until 1974.
Supporters of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime - including Jair Bolsonaro - credit it with bringing security and stability to the South American country and masterminding a decade-long economic “miracle”.
It also pushed ahead with several pharaonic infrastructure projects including the still unfinished Trans-Amazonian highway and the 8-mile bridge across Rio’s Guanabara bay.
But the regime, while less notoriously violent than those in Argentina and Chile, was also responsible for murdering or killing hundreds of its opponents and imprisoning thousands more. Among those jailed and tortured were Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, then a left-wing rebel.
It was also a period of severe censorship. Some of Brazil’s best-loved musicians - including Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso - went into exile in Europe, writing songs about their enforced departures.
Political exiles began returning to Brazil in 1979 after an amnesty law was passed that began to pave the way for the return of democracy.
But the pro-democracy “Diretas Já” (Direct elections now!) movement only hit its stride in 1984 with a series of vast and historic street rallies in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte.
Despite the warnings from Marx onwards, this brute tyranny is the central issue which has been completely ignored by revisionist politics.
Yet there has been lesson after lesson in counter-revolution in the post-war period from the 1950s CIA deposition of Iran’s Mossadeq, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, and the overthrow of Jacob Arbenz in Guatemala, through Chile and Indonesia, and a score of others to the break up of Yugoslavia and the stream of “colour revolutions” organised and set going by the CIA, Zionism’s Mossad, the MI6 and other Western intelligence in the wake of the disastrous 1991 Soviet liquidation by the Gorbachevite dregs of the ever worsening revisionist complacency and retreat which had steadily accumulated in Moscow’s leadership from the time of Stalin onwards.
Even more recent has been the deadly military takeover against the Morsi government in Cairo, voted for overwhelmingly (and democratically) in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring street revolt against the dictator Hosni Mubarak.
But it was immediately replaced by the 2013 Sisi dictatorship in a welter of civilian bloodletting on the Cairo streets and endless barbarous mass executions and torture ever since, all propped up by Washington and Saudi-thug $billions, (and collusion with the Zionists next door to suppress the Palestinian struggle which Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was aiding).
Of course Morsi was not socialism either, and likely to be hostile to it, but it was a “democratic” opening up in response to the street revolt that was not to Zionism/imperialism’s taste at all, which could see it leading on to all kinds of further anti-imperialist ferment that really might lose the country and with it, control of the entire region.
Its support for the Palestinians alone was a major problem.
The “left” across the board played into imperialism’s hands in Egypt by attacking the Muslim Brotherhood for its religious backwardness and calls for pure “secular” democracy, failing to understand the defeat for Western control that it represented.
As with many other non-communist regimes, there could be no question of supporting it, but it was still vital to wish a defeat on the imperialist skulduggery that toppled it using the pretence of a “popular opposition”.
The shallow pretence by the West that this violent Bolivian takeover – with even a $50,000 “assassination bounty” declared on Morales himself – has anything to do with genuine popular rebellion is a gigantic joke too, not least considering the role of the US controlled OAS assembly of Latin American stoogery and the CIA fingerprints allover the “street action” by middle class reactionaries (whose past record against Morales includes outright swastika toting violence).
This is the same violent counter-revolution inflamed several times in Venezuela in the better off middle-class areas, and among the bourgeois youth, deliberately fostering thuggery and murder as well as attacks on the nationalist state forces, and again set in train last year in Nicaragua against another halfway house “left” nationalist regime, the “democratically elected” toned-down version of the Sandinistas.
Reports of lynch burnings, like Venezuela, have already come in.
As the EPSR has said throughout its existence:
Getting the entire petty-bourgeoisie onto the streets in non-stop demonstrations is exactly the tactics the CIA employed to bring down the Mossadeq nationalist regime in Iran in a counter-revolutionary coup in 1953, and the same mass middle-class protest tactics to bring down Allende in Chile in 1973, - everyone out banging saucepan lids for days on end while the CIA and the fascist generals got their counter-revolutionary coup forces together. And as against Milosevic’s wavering revisionist regime now, exactly the same Washington-inspired stunts were used all over East Europe a decade ago to bring down the wavering workers states then in things like the ‘velvet revolution’ behind the West’s fulltime local agents. (No 1059 26-09-00)
The same was set in train in Libya and Syria as a bogus extension of the Arab Spring after Cairo’s 2011 mass uprising, in Ukraine to install a fascist government (flying similar swastikas to the Bolivian right) and attempted now and then against Russia.
And it is exactly what has been going on in Hong Kong clearly where the stunted-up “democracy” protest has long abandoned any pretence of peaceful struggle or even makes much attempt to cover up its visceral anti-communist hatred of the Chinese workers state and indulges in ever more crude violence against the state police and increasingly outright racist-class assaults on bystanders.
There are no swastikas as such but the old colonial British flag, Union Jacks and the US Stars and Stripes have served as substitutes, each symbolising an even more bloodstained record of colonialist oppression and genocidal slaughter (Anglo-Saxon imperialism wiping out far more nations, developing far “better” torture, – see Ian Cobain book Cruel Britannia – and enslaving far greater numbers than German or Italian fascism ever managed).
Acid attacks, Molotov cocktails aimed at setting individuals alight, deadly rock (not stone) throwing by hand and giant catapults, and in the latest incident an outright lynch mob attack on a Chinese bystander using flammable liquid poured on him and set on fire (he remains in hospital) are now par for the course, all outright fascistic methods of provocation. Demonstrators have been assembling life-threatening javelins, using hunting bows to fire arrows, and in one video beat a woman’s head with iron bars.
The disgusting Western media - notably Radio 4’s flagship Tory mouthpiece Today programme, with the Channel Four News and Guardian making the running alongside, (demonstrating the vile actual reactionariness of these petty bourgeois “liberal” outlets as always) – has monstrously exaggerated and “justified” this Nazism with endless favourable coverage in one soft interview after another with the instigators, and only the most token gestures towards “balanced coverage” (with the few official Beijing or Hong Kong spokesmen given the usual “hardnut” interview reactionary harassment).
They ignore the fascist atrocities while every incident of alleged “police violence” (in fact quite disciplined use of state force made necessary by the violence) has been wildly hyped without the full context made clear, such as the lynch violence attacks against outnumbered offices in the two shootings so far.
Both incidents follow months of now civil war levels of violence and were not fatal it should be noted, despite the hypocritical hysteria – just as the alleged “woman protestor who lost her eye” has not reappeared, because she was a) injured but not blinded, and b) is the only example of such in six months of this reactionary anarchism by the pampered and privileged middle-class students in Hong Kong.
Compare and contrast this with the actually anti-imperialist crisis desperation erupting in Chile, dirt-poor Haiti, Puerto Rico, Iraq, Indonesia and France where hundreds have been brutally killed in just a few weeks (300+ in Baghdad alone) or severely injured (dozens of lost eyes, and a number of lost hands in France’s confused but overall anti-capitalist gilet-jaune upheaval for example, still going), not to mention the thousands and thousands brutally slaughtered in Yemen by the gangster-thug tribal feudalists running Saudi Arabia, or the routine - weekly, daily, endless - butchery imposed on the Palestinians trapped in the Gaza hellhole or harassed and hounded from their land and homes in the West Bank (even what little notionally remains to them after 70 years of landtheft brute colonialist occupation.)
Few gushing one-sided sympathetic interviews get made here on a minimum weekly basis, no heartwrenching stories are told of the desperate search for “freedom”.
What does get pumped out is reams of misleading and confusion-mongering “analysis” supposedly exploring the reasons for these upheavals, deliberately conflating them as all aspects of the same phenomenon, so that Hong Kong counter-revolution and the upheavals in Iraq are all described as “protest against totalitarianism” or “authoritarianism”.
Bourgeois nationalist Catalan separatism, essentially playing a reactionary role at present (akin to the Lega Nord - now just Lega - reactionaries in Italy) is equated to Iraqi disgust with the corrupt Shia sectarian stoogery and the horrific deprivation facing much of the population after two decades of US murder and torture occupation, and now its continuation in corrupt Shia stoogery; to the growing revolt against the capitalist crisis austerity and poverty in Chile, or the desperation driving self-sacrificing protest in Haiti, in West Papua and Jakarta against Indonesian reactionary repression.
Certainly there is one common factor, the intensification of the contradictions in the monopoly capitalist domination of the planet (including the pressure it exerts on the few remaining workers states like Cuba, Vietnam, China and North Korea) as its crisis deepens.
But there are huge differences in the cause, nature and intent of the upheavals - and those carrying them out and the state forces suppressing them.
Each needs to be examined and understand fully in their concrete details, as Lenin always insisted for every phenomenon, particularly examining the class forces involved, and the historical development.
In Hong Kong the concrete details are clear enough, despite the deliberate confusion of “one country-two systems” imposed by departing British imperialism (with its long record of leaving as much division, nationalist sectarianism and obfuscation as possible in its retreats from Empire, from the horrific mess of partitioned India/Pakistan, the same in Sri Lanka, in Myanmar, Nigeria/Biafra, and Ireland to name a few).
Essentially Hong Kong is under a workers state control and the measures it takes are those of controlling and suppressing counter-revolution - as is clear from the facts above about its restraint and the vicious destructiveness of the “uprising”. This is a completely different situation to the fascist-colonialist repression of the Third World by imperialism.
Even if it were forced to take much firmer action, that would need to be 100% supported by any true revolutionary however luridly it might be painted as “totalitarian tyranny” by the inevitable Western media hysteria (and it has always been a test of petty bourgeois play-acting “revolutionariness”, Trots and Revisionists, that they baulk at the firmer actions the workers states are forced to take to defend themselves from now stop Western subversion and intimidation, from the shooting down of the Korean 007 passenger plane forty years back over Siberia, or the nuclear arming of North Korea, to the suppression of the Tiananmen “democracy” protests which the Hong Kong rioters are trying to emulate (the bulk of the “left” swallowed hook, line and sinker the wild lies and exaggerations about a supposed “massacre of 10,000” still being repeated ad nauseum, instead of exposing it for the utter BIG LIE fantasy it was – with only a couple of hundred deaths eventually, and many of those of state police and army lynchings by the most extreme students (or provocateurs) which made a firm suppression necessary [see EPSR Book Vol 16 on China].
The criticism that can be made is that the Chinese CP hesitated too long then, and that now things have been too restrained so far, with he Hong Kong government too ready to compromise and give way which, far from “satisfying the demands of the people” has only led to an escalation of the violence and anarchy – because the “demands” (over the extradition law etc) have only ever been a veil for the real purpose of this hyped up movement, which is to bring down Chinese workers state rule in Hong Kong and in the mainland as well (as the reactionary students and the MI6/CIA fancifully dream).
This is class war, and becoming rawer by the minute and Beijing should wake up from its revisionist delusions of not rocking the boat and its fears of “getting a bad press” if it acts too “harshly”.
It is already getting a bad press because the entire capitalist media machine will always pour out the lies (fed to it by the intelligence organisations and the press agencies they control) as well as hyping up every incident come what may, and the longer things run on, the more they have to feed on.
As the disappearance of the “freedom and democracy” movement after 1989 made clear, it was the firm suppression of counter-revolution which sorted things out. There was no dogged continuing die-in-a-ditch rebellion, save a few lingering “dissidents” making careers in the West – proving the hollowness of the Western-alleged supposed “mass” support.
But such prevarication goes all the way back to the disastrous philosophical retreats of the Stalin period and particularly the post-war 1952 Economic Problems solidification of complacent revisionism, believing that the Soviet Union was now essentially unassailable, and imperialism was so hamstrung by its WW2 setbacks and the expansion of the Soviet camp that if only the wilder outbursts of irrational imperialist belligerence could be restrained by “peace struggle” the world would see the gradual overtaking of capitalism with superior socialist development, until eventually it saw reason and capitalism fell altogether (see EPSR Book 21 Unanswered Polemics).
But while socialist planning definitely is far, far superior and will ultimately climb far beyond anything capitalism can do once the whole world is communist and able to coordinate its production - (and even the Soviet Union was able to quickly catch up and sometimes overtake Western science and culture despite starting from a very low cultural level and while today China’s use of workers state directed capitalist methods also proves the point, despite constant worries that it has overdone it) - such a perspective ignores the capacity of imperialism to use the most vicious exploitation in Third World sweatshops, rapacious plundering of resources and environment and monstrously exaggerated creation of false needs through consumerist shallowness and advertising, to grow even faster than ever before, despite simultaneously lurching into the ever deeper crisis contradictions now coming home to roost (2008 and its follow-on soon).
Denying that expansion capacity, and the inevitable Catastrophic crash it implies, reflected a retreat from revolution (which is in turn implied by Catastrophic breakdown - see EPSR Unanswered Polemics book op cit).
The result was the Stalinist permanent peaceful coexistence strategy (as opposed to Leninist necessary but temporary tactical peace diplomacy) and associated delusions in the existence of “good” (less aggressive) imperialists derived from the temporary wartime alliance expediencies of the US, French and British.
It was proved wholly wrong, and combined with its retreat from the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat led to the liquidation of the USSR – and on now to the disastrous Bolivarian events, in Hong Kong and in the mess in the Middle East and everywhere else.
China’s revisionist perspectives still reflect these weaknesses. Its use of capitalist economic methods has been a useful tool to accelerate development but it also allows massive illusions to develop along with a consumerist culture that constantly undermines the general socialist perspectives of its whole society - and that is a great worry constantly for Leninism.
It is encouraging that some firmness has been shown in Hong Kong, and although it may have as much to do with deep smarting nationalist memories of “coolie” humiliation at the hands of Western imperialism, as it does with asserting the importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat – it looks as if it will hold the line.
And its correct assertions about Western provocations and “colour revolution” skulduggery are useful.
But the hesitation still allows the West to cause unnecessary confusion in working class minds about “totalitarianism” and “democracy”.
And so too does the long silence from China’s Communist party about the international perspectives and the world crisis, which could help the world’s masses re-develop Leninist understanding - or help stimulate world debate.
Some views from Beijing on the disastrous Bolivarian illusions would be even better right now, perhaps challenging the similar revisionist weaknesses shown by Havana, which despite Cuba’s own heroic record of struggle and sacrifice building a workers state (or in fact because of the respect that properly gets from the world’s masses) has helped mislead the struggle into excessive trust in parliamentary methods (and still wrongly hails the disastrous confusion monger Salvador Allende as a “hero” instead of the anti-revolutionary who led thousands into torture and death).
And a major discussion is needed on the Middle East where the tangled revisionist perspective, offering outright support to local bourgeois nationalism (Saddam, Gaddafi and now Assad’s Syria) has produced some bizarre conclusions not least supporting oligarch capitalist Russia as if it were still the Soviet Union and even worse, backing the US funded General Sisi repression in Egypt.
The world urgently needs to get back to a Leninist understanding.
Build the revolutionary Leninist party.
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