No 1578 24th June 2020
The revolutionary spirit in Black Lives protests has shaken an imperialist ruling class already in disarray as the capitalist crisis Catastrophe (triggered but not caused by Covid) heads for a cliff edge of breakdown and turmoil never before seen in history. Racist repression and lynch-slaughter deserve mass fury and contempt. But single-issue sloganising fails to develop the revolutionary perspectives needed to take on the monopoly capitalist order which generates and uses such division and societal antagonism and which is increasingly heading for open fascist repression, particularly in the States. Heading genuine upheavals into PC channels just toppling statues and demanding reforms is at best misleading and worst, counter-revolutionary. Anti-racist protest needs to understand the world anti-imperialist movement labelled “jihadism” as driven by the same contradictions. Anti-communism is the main enemy and Western Goebbels hostility to workers states like China needs challenging. Leninism needs building
The rage and bravery of the anti-racism demonstrations in America and the echoing street protests internationally continue to push events and stir minds but the single-issue reform and PC nature of the “Black Lives” demands remains a limiting factor if broader questions are not taken on board.
Spontaneous revolutionary spirit and movement is revealed in the mass protests against gross and murderous police brutality, and even city no-go occupations like Seattle, which have shaken a bourgeois order and authority already split, confused and half-paralysed by the capitalist system’s unfolding economic Catastrophe, the greatest Slump collapse in history and now magnified by the pandemic, exposing the uselessness and callousness of monopoly capitalist rule.
But the spreading anger is being headed in entirely the wrong direction for as long as racism is declared to be a problem in itself, and to be the cause of inequality rather than one result of capitalism’s class war repression, exploitation and alienation in total.
That inversion gives free rein to every kind of rotten opportunist politics to try and head the working class elements away from the revolutionary theory and leadership that alone can end racism and every other form of oppression and exploitation, all capitalism can ever offer.
By turning the raw feelings which sparked the initial revolts into a protest about statues and symbols, this single-issue politics hobbles and denatures their content, diverting it from the broader understanding and perspectives that it needs and directing it into safe channels.
So unthreatening are these PC demands that the ruling class has been falling over itself to accommodate them with mea culpas across the board from the biggest of corporations.
Even the most reactionary Tory government yet seen, a twisted gang of election-stealing spivs and shysters who make the less reputable end of the used-car market look squeaky clean, can buy into these PC notions, sprinkling ethnic and minority representatives through the cabinet, including an Afro-Indian Chancellor (replacing an Asian Chancellor), and Ugandan-Indian Home secretary, and other assorted ministers like Sierra Leonan James Cleverley - all part of whipping up Brexit chauvinism and anti-migrant hatred.
All PC campaigns, like those carefully fostered around statue removals in Oxford and Bristol over the last few years and now riding the back of these genuine spontaneous protests, are complete humbug and playacting.
Their ludicrous “intersectionality” self-centred “identity politics” is pure middle-class idealism with its “no platforming” censorship and self-righteousness a gag for the necessary great debate which grows more urgent daily, to hammer out a revolutionary understanding in the working class.
They constitute a last line of defence for the capitalist system when its contradictions have reached breaking point, heading attention away from the communism that alone can change the world.
Any and all political perspectives – from single-issues like feminism and black nationalist reformism, (celebrity boosted or not), TUC/Labourite grovel, 50-shades-of-“red” fake-“left” pseudo-Marxist Trotskyism and revisionism, which declare themselves ready to “fight against racism” but which don’t put the anti-imperialist fight and the struggle to overturn capitalism by class war at the forefront, are therefore fooling and deluding the working class and play a reactionary role.
They have all jumped in variously by “supporting” or “supportively criticising” the demonstrations but without any serious revolutionary perspectives even where they label themselves “Marxist”.
Just the opposite.
They continue the pretence that calm and rational changes and improvements can be made through yet more “democratic voting”, - (or usually some supposed radical “real democracy” finally reached of course by their leadership, and supplemented perhaps with “left” or “street” pressure).
They are not only misleading this spontaneous upheaval but form a giant obstacle, disarming the working class just when the world is facing total disaster.
It is the necessary class war against the increasingly open fascist nature of bourgeois dictatorship and its worldwide tyranny that is left unmentioned or mostly belittled by all these fearful petty bourgeois pretenders, hostile to the discipline and firm control of the workers states that are the only way forwards for mankind.
Such evasion by the great swamp of fake-“leftism” and liberalism, is counter-revolutionary, feeding continuing illusions in “democracy”, and leaving workers with the notion that this capitalist order is permanent, when it has never been more hollowed out and ready to implode into the greatest failure and Catastrophe ever, finally opening up prospects for its overturn in the chaos it is leading the world into.
But the “lefts” are already effectively lined-up with imperialism’s world warmongering bullying to keep itself on top, by their two decades of acquiescence in condemning the great stirring of rebellion in the Third World, (“jihadism”, local insurgency fightbacks against occupation, and mass street revolt like Egypt), thereby giving credence to the Goebbels-lie “war on terror” by which desperate imperialism has wiped out half a dozen countries already and continues its mass butchery of tens of thousands in Libya, Yemen, and much of Africa.
Any struggle against domestic repression (racism, working class austerity etc) within the “metropolitan” countries, needs to see all this awakening Third World upheaval as driven by the same anti-imperialist hostility as their own.
Above all it needs to take on the debilitating anti-communism fostered by capitalist ideology and saturating most of the fake-“left” too (and all its output), which has crippled serious class struggle throughout the West for the entire post-WW2 period, with its lies and poison against the USSR and the Soviet camp, and against the post-war communist and anti-colonialist revolutions they inspired from Cuba to China.
The pretence that nothing was achieved by the USSR, instead of the stunning transformation of lives made possible over 70 years once there were no capitalist bosses, and that only a “dull grey” repression was imposed, is one of the greatest hurdles to ending the vile capitalist system facing workers.
The few seeming exceptions to the usual anti-communism in the “left”, claiming to be supporters of the workers states, nevertheless fail to overcome the propaganda onslaught because they refuse to tackle the mistakes that were made, by Moscow’s revisionist leadership retreating from revolutionary understands.
Their ossified Stalin worship (see EPSR Book vol 21 Unanswered Polemics means the working class cannot see why the Soviet camp eventually “failed” – (in fact, was unnecessarily liquidated by Gorbachevite revisionist stupidity while still moving forwards) – and that its huge achievements remain the greatest stride forwards in history, let down only by Moscow’s mistakes and misanalysis.
That too must be debated and understood so that leadership can be improved and the next inevitable great revolutionary advance can be done better.
Lack of clarity meanwhile means workers being fooled by the crude and aggressive demonisation of workers states like China, Vietnam and Cuba, and left-nationalism like Venezuela, painted in lurid Goebbels colours as “totalitarian nightmares”.
The propaganda lies pour out more intensively than ever as these countries deliver stunning new lessons in the advantages of disciplined collective society in containing the pandemic outbreak and preventing the massive loss of life seen most of all in the most threatened and belligerent imperialist countries, notably America, Brazil, Britain and other Western countries upholding their individualist “freedom”.
Even the bourgeois press has to concede something sometimes:
The World Health Organization has identified Latin America as the new centre for coronavirus pandemic, but over the last two months, cases in Cuba have fallen. Cubans are now 24 times less likely to catch the virus than Dominicans, 27 times less likely to catch it than Mexicans, and more than 70 times less likely to be infected than Brazilians.
Desperate for tourist revenue, Cuba closed its border later than most other countries in the region. But ever since the communist-ruled island shut out the outside world in late March, it has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the virus.
The state has commanded tens of thousands of family doctors, nurses and medical students to “actively screen” all homes on the island for cases Covid-19 – every single day. That means that from Monday to Sunday, Dr Caballero and her medical students must walk for miles, monitoring the 328 families on her beat.
“There’s no other country in the hemisphere that does anything approaching this,” said William Leogrande, professor of government at American University in Washington DC. “The whole organization of their healthcare system is to be in close touch with the population, identify health problems as they emerge, and deal with them immediately.
“We know scientifically that quick identification of cases, contact tracing and quarantine are the only way to contain the virus in the absence of a vaccine – and because it begins with prevention, the Cuban health system is perfectly suited to carry out that containment strategy.”
Cuba has so far reported 2,173 confirmed cases of and 83 deaths from coronavirus. Everybody who tests positive on the island is hospitalised. People suspected of carrying the virus are put into state-run “isolation centres”, usually for 14 days.
Alejandro Gutiérrez, a 26-year-old French teacher, decided to leave Havana in April to wait out the pandemic in his native city of Trinidad. He and his family were stopped at a military checkpoint and sent to an isolation centre where they were confined inside a disused holiday villa.
Though they weren’t allowed out of the villa, the family was scared of contracting the illness on-site. Food was left outside their door, and three times a day they received checkups from a doctor. After three days his family tested negative and were allowed to enter the city.
As he was travelling from the capital, where cases were rising, to a city with no active cases, Guitiérrez considered the measure “severe” and “rigid” – but “for the common good”.
Gail Reed, editor in chief of the journal Medic Review, believes Cuba’s universal health system has allowed the government to “direct a unified rather than a fragmented strategy”.
...tracing and isolation...is made possible by human resources. Cuba has the highest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world (even when the 10,000 or so doctors currently working abroad are subtracted from the total). And while health spending was cut during Raúl Castro’s time as president (2008–2018), the island spends a higher proportion of its GDP on healthcare than any other country in the region.
While 30% of the 630 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean have “no access to healthcare for financial reasons” according to the Pan American Health Organization, everybody in Cuba is covered.
In Cuba there is no judicial recourse to enforced isolation. The use of face masks in public is mandatory, and people who refuse to wear them can be fined or even jailed.
At a time when eccentric, anti-science populists run the region’s most powerful countries, Cuba’s evidence-based approach – and strict enforcement – sets it apart.
“Their real success has been applying the most important public health measures that physicians around the world know are effective,” said Reed. “And they’ve had the political will to make it work.”
Meanwhile the MI6/CIA inspired “demonstrations” in Hong Kong etc continue to be propagandised as “just the same” as the street riots in America, rather than the reactionary disruptions and colour revolution attempted state overthrow that they are, finally correctly suppressed by Beijing’s workers state firmness (EPSR last issue).
Falling for the crude “freedom” stunts in Hong Kong simply undermines the grasp of international class solidarity with workers states that is vital if the anti-racist upheaval is to contribute to the giant struggle necessary to overcome the plunge into total disaster and world war now underway.
Far more than just racism has to be overcome and all these questions need working through, to give the working class a total revolutionary perspective, vital against racism and every other inequality.
Racism does not emerge because capitalist society is racist as such; divisiveness emerges from class domination, often but not necessarily taking a racist form.
It is the step-on-your-neighbour’s-head viciousness of capitalism’s cutthroat “competition” which generates and regenerates endless division and antagonism of all kinds at all levels in society, and then uses it, including the vilest and most obscene lynching racist brutality, to maintain its dominance by splitting and dividing society.
Exploitation of the masses by the property owning minority is the real issue to concentrate on, and the resulting alienated struggle of every individual against every other in society, producing all the multiple forms of clannishness and prejudice in local, regional, and national conflicts – (desperate for “investment” and cheering when another town loses a factory, with terrible working class consequences there, so that yours can keep one eg as with recent Nissan closures in Spain).
The ignorant expression of such desperation, in deluded and poisonous scapegoating and often but by no means always, arrogant ethnic hatreds, - the Spaniards are white too - is always deliberately inflamed and in times of economic breakdown driven into a jingoistic frenzy, by the ruling class itself (Trumpism eg) or, if needed, by the more theatrical “fascist” groups capitalism encourages and keeps in reserve, winding-up populations for the inevitable nazi warmongering that is coming.
The revolt which has rightfully exploded over George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other murders is therefore about much more than simply mass rage at capitalism’s racist brutality and the police lynch killings in Minnesota and other US states (Atlanta’s Rayshard Brooks the latest) and more in other countries too (like Mark Duggan shot by police in Tottenham and never-ending stop-and-search bullying).
It contains all the uncertainties and fears of international economic breakdown and the ever more hair raising possibilities of war and destruction signalled by Trumpite trade war belligerence; by events like the aggressive skirmishing war provocations of India’s Narendra Modi-fascist (and racist, brown on yellow) Hindu nationalism against China in the Himalayas (with the bourgeois press siding with the ultra-reactionary Dehli of course); by decades of non-stop sanctions siege bullying and warmongering in the Middle East and Africa, including the continued horrifying blitzkrieg and civil wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq and with the genocidal Zionist oppression of Palestine at its heart (more “racism”, but between genetically identical semite peoples); by planet threatening ecological and climate devastation escalated by crassly contemptuous capitalist plundering, despite urgent scientific alarms and warnings, trampling over everything in its desperation as profit rates inexorably decline; and the continuing gross inhumanity of the arrogant Western ruling class’s callous and incoherent Covid virus response, deliberately letting tens of thousands die through indifference, incompetence and further trade war desperation (and with its own racist disparities too in the much worse death rates for the poor, forced to keep on working and who are disproportionately black or Asian).
They are all aspects of total world breakdown caused by the crisis failure of the out-of-time profit making system.
World monopoly capitalism is heading for the rocks and on a mind-bending scale – and in fact is already holed beneath the waterline and sinking fast.
It cannot be reformed nor any of these questions be solved while it lasts.
Only revolutionary answers, led by Leninist science constantly developed in a purpose-built party of leadership, to wage class war to overturn the entire capitalist system so that a planned socialist world can be built, will sort out any of this.
But the polemical battle for Marxist-Leninist theory and its disciplined development is eschewed by every flavour of “radicalism” despite their pretences.
Without such a perspective, there is a triple problem for the anti-racism struggle.
Recapping: first, racist oppression and gross inequality cannot be fought as such in any country, but has to be inseparable from the fight to end capitalism; secondly it needs to see this struggle as standing alongside the gigantic upheavals elsewhere against imperialism, including the enormous waves of anti-imperialist revolt in the Middle East, Latin American and Asia, in street revolts like Egypt as well as “terrorism” and “jihadism”, understanding that for all their bizarre and even reactionary ideologies they are stirred by the same material capitalist contradictions exploding in the anti-racist struggle; and thirdly and most importantly the great questions of anti-communism need massive debate, to grasp not only the enormous advances made by the Soviet camp in defeating capitalism, supporting anti-imperialism (and anti-racism) and building the first great advances towards socialism but analysing its revisionist failings so that things can be done better now, and rejecting the non-stop Western propaganda demonisation of the remaining workers states, especially China, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam.
On racism as such, only revolutionary answers can cut through the petty prejudices, vile hatreds and primitive backwardness which capitalism has inculcated into much, if not all of the white working class (or rather workers in the imperialist or semi-imperialist countries such as the edge of Europe) over centuries and which still poisons the outlook of many, despite it being completely contrary to their own long-term interests (and mostly contrary to their short-term interests too, since the economic “benefits” of the class collaboration and corrupting identification with Union Jack or Stars-and-Stripes imperialism (and tricolour etc) have been historically transient, unstable and minimal (witness the Covid implosion and privatisation of the NHS, on top of permanent welfare austerity cuts etc) and the political and psychological effects have been debilitating and shaming).
Most non-whites will declare that even among those workers and liberal middle class standing “against racism”, unconscious attitudes linger on from centuries of imperialist exploitation which need constantly challenging.
But these will never be fully eradicated by moral pressure and “kick out racism” campaigns, because the vile antagonisms of the class rule system will constantly regenerate them, as it does between many others like Caribbeans versus Asians, or even various intra-Asian conflicts with not a white face in sight.
Simply “ending racism” within this foully degenerate system would not change anything for the great majority even if it were possible.
In fact no amount of reforms, new laws, toppled statues and quota systems to redress the ethnic imbalance in education and career opportunity, police defunding moves, or forced corporate apologies and even reparations, will successfully or permanently change things.
Mostly they will not change anything much at all, even in the short term.
It can be argued that publicising the true nature of venerated bourgeois heros like Winston Churchill as the imperialist monsters they really were is usefully educative, and it is but even then can also be misleading: “Churchill was a racist” because he was an arrogant ruling class imperialist, not vice versa.
Mobilising celebrity figures to demand a better chance for “minorities” (which is actually a twisted misnomer in world population terms) to “win through” or find “success” in the grotesquely distorted and unfair ratrace and life lottery of capitalist society also disguises the real problems.
Even if enough “pressure” could be exerted to produce a “fairer society” in terms of skin colour, it will only benefit the few, as capitalism has already demonstrated, giving up some ground in order to hold on to its overall class rule by accommodating itself to a minority black middle class (and to LGBT rights, feminism etc).
Life is and will still be miserable, unequal, unjust and unequal for the great majority condemned to stunted lives of exploitation, frustrated hopes and blighted opportunities in the richest countries, and for the masses of the Third World there is only continuing tyranny and repression, keeping them in monopoly corporate wage (or actual) slavery.
The great majority – at least 80% – of the black and other ethnic populations will continue to be condemned to lives of hire-and-fire bleakness and stunted potential - alongside the great majority of white workers too in fact.
And that is before the oncoming capitalist crisis breakdown – brewing long before the Covid pandemic (see recent EPSRs eg No 1574)- massively escalates unemployment, deprivation and misery to levels never before seen in history, including those of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
It will hammer all workers.
Purely in number terms there is plenty of repressive and even fatal treatment meted out to white workers too as some “minority” journalists like Kenan Malik have pointed out in the bourgeois press:
“White people, you are the problem,” writes the Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton. “For white people,” the US-based British writer Laurie Penny insists, “acknowledging the reality of racism means acknowledging our own guilt and complicity.” White people wash the feet of black faith leaders as atonement for their sins and religiously acknowledge their guilt. Such demonstrations of public obsequiousness are performances that make individuals feel better about themselves but also keep the structures of power and discrimination untouched.
Viewing white people – all white people – as “guilty and complicit” distorts political issues and deflects from real causes. In America, black people are, as the Sentencing Project observes, “more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, and they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences”. And more likely to be killed by the police, too.
Yet studies also show that the problems faced by African Americans are not due simply to white people, or even to white police officers, but to a system of justice that is structurally deeply unjust.
Nor is it just African Americans whose lives are devastated by the injustices of the justice system. More than half of those killed by US police are white and while, proportionately, police killings of African Americans have fallen in recent years, that of white people has sharply risen. Some analyses suggest that the best predictor of police killings is not race but income levels – the poorer you are, the more likely you are to be killed. Other studies have shown that the startlingly high prison numbers in America are better explained by class than by race and that “mass incarceration is primarily about the systematic management of the lower classes, regardless of race”. African Americans, disproportionately working class and poor, are also likely to be disproportionately imprisoned and killed.
In Britain, there are far fewer police killings (292 deaths in custody and 40 fatal shootings over the past 15 years), but here, too, black people are disproportionately the victims – forming 3% of the population but 8% of deaths in custody. The majority of killings are, however, of white people – 249 of the 292 deaths in custody and 26 of the 40 shootings – and probably mainly poor and working class (though these figures are harder to obtain).
Or take Covid-19 deaths. The disproportionate impact of the virus on BAME communities is well documented. But class inequalities are important, too – people living in the most deprived areas in England and Wales have died from coronavirus at twice the rate as those in the least deprived areas.
Race and class are not competitive causal categories to be set against each other. Minorities are an integral part of the working class and they often have similar experiences of state authority. Race and class shape people’s lives in complex ways.
Given the volatility of politics, what feels now as a fundamental transformation of public consciousness may seem less so in a month or in a year. What is certain, though, is that inequalities, whether of race or of class, cannot be reduced to the question of white privilege or challenged by eliciting guilt.
Symbolism and rituals are important. But the heart of the problem lies in warped social relations and deformed institutional structures.
Or to put the last paragraph more straightforwardly, capitalism is the problem which causes racism - and there is no “un-deforming” (ie reforming) its structures.
Only demolishing them to allow a completely new type of society to be built under firm workers control, namely communism, will suffice.
Identifying capitalism as the problem has the double advantage of not only getting to the nub of what really generates division and hatred, and thereby identifying the only possible solution to racist barbarism and atrocities, – its overthrow – but also of forming a bridge between workers of all colours and nationalities, (and even the elements of the middle class increasingly being bankrupted and thrown into despair by the spiral of Catastrophic collapse).
They all have a common interest in ending this disastrous and collapsing exploitation system.
Moralising and finger-pointing not only solves nothing but inflames the divisions in the working class by blaming them for their corrupted condition that capitalism alone has created (much like blaming obesity on individual “greed” rather than the gross adulterations and distortions in agriculture and food production of monopoly capitalist corporations - by all means urge everyone self-responsibly to diet and take exercise, or challenge backward racism, but end this profit system to actually change things).
Taking on that struggle, historically huge though it is, is easier than “morally reeducating” and transforming the imperialist corrupted working class within capitalism and under its non-stop brainwashing and ideological conditioning, which will always re-assert their corrupting influence and dumbing-down philistinism and consumerist individualism.
Damaged human material, brainwashed with anti-communism from the moment of birth to old age, is what there is, and all that there is, from which revolution can and will be made.
So leadership, while it must always confront all backwardness and not excuse it, must also lift understanding past such prejudice and the petty antagonisms generated by rat-race existence, in order to change the world.
But none of reformism and the fake-“left” wants to discuss any such thing.
They not only avoid the difficulties of revolutionary politics, and the challenge of the fight but their class nature, rooted in the complacent middle-class, both fears and detests its implications and above all the core of all revolution, the need to establish the party discipline and firmness of working class rule in the form of the proletarian dictatorship.
Just the opposite, their single-issue moralising on every kind of question from feminism, and LBGT rights to eco-questions and animal rights, serves as a diversion from this fundamental necessity.
Hence the enormous splurge of liberal and “left” support for the Black Lives demonstrations and the sudden willingness to take up supposedly radical demands such as the dethroning of imperialist statues and the PC nonsense of “welcoming all immigrants”.
That does not show street pressure “finally making progress” but is the sickest of hypocrisy and posturing pretence by opportunism desperately pedalling to keep on top, by shouting loudly to fool the working class it is doing “something”.
The most obvious fraudulence is in the Labour Party itself, which suddenly finds itself ready to “take action” on the presence of “slaver” statues, with assorted local authorities and local councillors now passing motions to have them removed, after years of doing nothing at all about them.
Starting with the most trivial point, despite having a black Labour mayor elected in Bristol, the Labourites did nothing to remove the Edward Colston statue which became a focal point for the UK demonstrations, and just recently tipped into the harbour by the Black Lives demonstration. They resisted the campaign running for some time.
Suddenly this elected holder of an executive office finds that it is “important to listen to those who found the statue to represent an affront to humanity” which apparently was impossible before they expressed their outrage in a physical manner.
So much for “democracy” then. And so much for leadership.
But the real opportunism is that however many carved or painted “affronts” are removed, placed in museums, or re-labelled with a true history of brute imperialism, it will make no significant difference to the exploited and harried lives of most of the black, Asian and other minorities, nor in fact to the entire working class, let alone the Third World.
Labour’s grotesque hypocrisy is even more disgusting at the national level where the Blairite MP David Lammy, who fronts the Labourites in the media on this issue, and produced one of many reports detailing racist abuse and inequality, has poured out a deluge of self-righteous and thundering demands that “something must be done” – all the while consciously hiding the only thing that can be done which is to end the system that these grovelling sycophants and crooks continue to prop up.
That goes far beyond inaction: the Labourites and their TUC originators are now so far gone down the road of class collaboration that they are indistinguishable from the ruling class, and run the system when needed, including all of its vicious secret and not-so-secret counter-revolutionary police and security surveillance, spy operations, and of course its armsrace profiteering warmongering, providing the lies and twisted fabrications which set up the Iraq war and the continuing butchery still killing, maiming, torturing and starving tens of thousands in the Middle East (sustaining and running the Saudi bloodbath in Yemen for example) and helping set the chauvinist tone for the crisis conflicts to come.
So eager are they to prove their “loyal credentials” that apart from monstrous “support in the national interest” for the spivs and twisters of the Boris Johnson government, they are currently “criticising” the government for being insufficiently aggressive towards the Chinese workers state.
And this stinking service to the Brexit jingoist ruling class, which itself is busy crawling up the behind of the Trumpites in an effort to find shelter from the coming inter-imperialist conflicts, selling what remains of the bankrupt British economy to the America First corporations – (already striking deals to further sell off the NHS to big Pharma and deregulate British agriculture to let in unhygienic hormone filled crap US farm produce) – comes on top of four years of relentlessly dirty dealing against the Corbynites, built around the foulest of racist skulduggery, using the astonishing upside down Goebbels “left anti-semitism” campaign to deliberately and consciously sabotage the popular support which it was getting.
The “left” Labourites were never going anywhere anyway, since they too are only a prop to keep the same lying parliamentary “democracy” racket going, using promises of the most tepid reforms to hoodwink (some sections of) the working class and petty bourgeoisie just a little bit longer before the entire capitalist system gives way completely.
But such is the rabbit panic of the ruling class in the headlight glare of the crisis, that even this semi-accidental Corbyn leadership, offering a tame and ridiculously unachievable reformist move “left”, was deemed unsafe.
So the party “machine” and most of the opportunist “parliamentary party” of corrupt and degenerate careerist MPs, mounted a concerted campaign of gobsmacking treachery to rubbish the highly popular “left” movement, including as it has emerged recently, all kinds of sabotaging bureaucratic moves against election campaigns, kangaroo court expulsions and non-stop political poison poured out via media leaks and interviews, to stab the Corbynites in the back.
And at the heart of this filthy campaign, which Lammy and co have said nothing about, let alone exposed and denounced, was the willing embrace of the internationally coordinated CIA/Zionist campaign (partly run from its embassies etc) to brand as “anti-semite” all who even criticise the colonial monstrosity of “Israel”, let alone speak out against its land thieving occupation of the Palestinian people’s lands.
This gobsmacking inversion of reality, far beyond any “doublethink” the counter-revolutionary police fink George Orwell could have dreamed up, will go down in history as one of the most outrageous Goebbels lies of all time.
And it is racist to the core, covering up the persecution and dispossession of an entire people by terror, violence and ethnic cleansing, based on their nationality, in favour of the asserted rights of another people specifically characterised as superior (“chosen by God” no less according to some 2000 year-old mumbo-jumbo mythology) and given rights based solely on religious/national grounds.
Not only do the reactionary Labourites say nothing on this gross racism, but they have adapted and used this bent and twisted lie campaign to accuse any “lefts” with sufficient principles to speak out against Zionism of being “racist” themselves.
What utter multilayered cynicism!!!
Not only is there nothing racistly “anti-semitic” about calling out this Zionist occupation oppression, which willingly plays a central role in the Washington’s imperialist thug domination of the whole Middle East and even beyond, but there is also nothing racist in stating that virtually the entire Jewish freemasonry outside “Israel” in the imperialist countries is complicit with this colonialist monstrosity, founded in blood and violence and maintaining itself ever since by non-stop terrorising and torture of the hapless Palestinian people.
As the EPSR has analysed, unlike pre-1939, in the post-war period all but a tiny few exceptions in the Jewish “community” - ie freemasonry, – go along with the continued existence of this imperialist colonial robbery (see EPSR Book 20 on Occupied Palestine and the “left” anti-semitism fraud), declaring “Israel” to be “now a fact” and are thereby as much Zionist in practice as any overtly declaring themselves so.
And this is once against confirmed by the Zionists themselves, including assorted Labour supporters, as set out recently in a nervous “liberal Zionist” (!!) public objection to the latest settlement moves by the ultra-reactionary Benjamin Netanyahu government.
His Likud government is not simply turning a blind eye to even further fascist land theft (on top of the 78% already seized since 1947) by the ultra-reactionary “greater Israel” settlers, or even just encouraging it, but following through the Trumpite offer to outright annex the West Bank by “right of conquest”.
The worthies’ objection comes not from some sudden recognition of the right of the 7 million dispossessed and genocidally oppressed Palestinians, scattered in refugee camps, hounded on the West Bank or trapped in the stifling concrete inhumanity of the besieged Gaza strip, to have their land and properties back, but from fear that such settler greed will backfire and lose everything already taken:
Some of the most prominent and respected names in British Jewry have raised alarm over the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, saying such a move would be an existential threat to Israel.
Among more than 40 signatories of an unprecedented letter to the Israeli ambassador to the UK are Sir Ben Helfgott, one of the best-known Holocaust survivors in Britain; the historians Sir Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore; the former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind; the lawyer Anthony Julius; the philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield; the scientist Lord Robert Winston; the former MP Luciana Berger; the Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein; and the author Howard Jacobson.
Their letter to Mark Regev, conveying “concern and alarm” about the pledge by Israel’s new coalition government to extend its territory over swaths of the West Bank, is the latest indication of mounting disquiet among British Jews over the plan.
The signatories say their concerns are “shared by large numbers of the British Jewish community, including many in its current leadership, even if they choose not to express them”.
The letter says: “We are yet to see an argument that convinces us, committed Zionists and passionately outspoken friends of Israel, that the proposed annexation is a constructive step. Instead, it would in our view be a pyrrhic victory intensifying Israel’s political, diplomatic and economic challenges without yielding any tangible benefit.
“It would have grave consequences for the Palestinian people most obviously. Israel’s international standing would also suffer and it is incompatible with the notion of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state.”
The move would be seen as evidence of Israel’s rejection of a negotiated peace settlement involving the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli state. This would inflame tensions locally and cause regional destabilisation, the letter says.
“The damage to Israel’s international reputation … will be enormous,” the letter says, pointing out that the UK government has said it will oppose the annexation plan, and that the proposed move would bolster calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.
“The impact on diaspora Jewry and its relationship with the state of Israel would also be profound. The British Jewish community is an overwhelmingly Zionist community with a passionate commitment to Israel. We proudly advocate for Israel but have been helped in doing so by Israel’s status as a liberal democracy, defending itself as necessary but committed to maintaining both its Jewish and democratic status.
“A policy of annexation would call that into question, polarising Jewish communities and increasing the divisive toxicity of debate within them, but also alienating large numbers of diaspora Jews from engaging with Israel at all. Under these circumstances, the commitment to Israel that has been such a vital glue in sustaining and uniting Jewish communities, as well an asset for Israel, will decline.”
The letter adds: “If asked to make the case for West Bank annexations, however, we will not be able to do so.”
The policy “not only lacks merit, but would pose an existential threat to the traditions of Zionism in Britain, and to Israel as we know it”.
The letter comes after the Board of Deputies of British Jews rejected demands that it condemn the proposed annexation of parts of the West Bank, saying: “We don’t take sides in Israeli politics.”
Last month, more than 500 Jewish students and youth movement members called on the board to speak out against unilateral annexation. Their letter was followed by another signed by hundreds of “British Jews who support Israel’s right to thrive as a Jewish and democratic state”, including 10 rabbis and the Labour peer Jeremy Beecham. It said: “The board’s statements of support for a two-state solution are worth nothing if the board fails to speak up against a unilateral move of annexation.”
No wonder the “righteous” anti-”racism” Labourite pretenders are banging their diversionary drums even louder and the “anti-racist” Trots too, variously still entering or supporting Labour, despite “caveats”.
These admissions catch out some of the slightly more “aware” fake-"lefts" too, like the CPGB whose Weekly Worker continues to pretend it has an anti-Zionist agenda but which also declares it is “too late” to do anything about the existence of “Israel”, effectively recognising it as a genuine state instead of the fascist colonialist occupation it is, and can only ever be, until the Palestinians recover all their land, farms, houses and property.
Such a de facto pro-Israel position makes a nonsense of the WW claims to be vigorously anti-Zionist, however many denunciations they make of Zionist apartheid atrocities, persecutions, torture, blitzing and murderous bloodshed.
And so too does their continued insistence that there is a major difference between Zionism and Jewishness, which the above letter demonstrates to be complete nonsense - the “diaspora” being completely intertwined with imperialism and its interests.
On this basis the CPGBers have even carried through their own expulsions for “anti-semitism” against those in their group refusing to be silent on the Jewish “community’s” overall reactionary nature, a particularly egregious double standard in the light of their own loud “against the Witchhunt” campaign over expulsions by the Labour Party.
But such posturing is vital since they remain inside the Labour Party, still insisting that they are doing so for “revolutionary democracy” purposes, and claiming that yet more decades of entryism can finally “win the movement over”, while in practice simply providing yet more “left cover” for this thoroughly bourgeois party.
Labourism was a busted flush long before even the Kinnockite 80s (see EPSR Book Vol 10 on Labourism), already under Attlee clearly an instrument for running imperialism and since the crisis of 2008 not even trying to get elected as a pseudo-alternative to the Tory A team – (save the half-hearted, assassinated Corbynism) – for periods when it is too exhausted or mired in sleaze to continue, but simply propping up the historically useless and outcompeted British ruling class, as now personified by the disastrous floundering of the Boris Johnsonites and their almost mystical reliance on Rasputin “advisers” and manipulators like Dominic Cummings.
Their servility – summed up by cartoonist Steve Bell’s characterisation of Sir (!!) Keir Starmer as a Jeeves batman to Johnson - is total, proactively reactionary against “leftism” and laying the ground for a jingoist “national government” which will end all tissue-thin pretences of “opposition” for good.
The CBGBers’ have got nothing to do with revolution despite much long-winded academic posturing and their responses to the latest spontaneous revolts confirm it even further.
They are not so naïve as to simply jump aboard the “anti-racism” ban waggon, and in fact have a go at the SWP activist Trots for doing so, ironically by pointing out that they were caught out in the first two weeks by having none of the usual prepared banners, an omission since made up.
But in three long winded and academically turgid articles, pointing out correctly enough that single-issue politics distracts from the understanding that capitalism and its class exploitation is the problem to concentrate on, they never once explain anything about the crisis, spelling out the avalanche of economic and political collapse coming, or the only possible solution to it in class war revolutionary overturn.
Their criticism of the Black Lives Matter leadership is laced with low-level spite, however correct it might be in its sniping:
Such movements are characterised by spontaneity, a weak to non-existent organisational structure and an extreme lack of staying power. So too with Black Lives Matter, which Alicia Garza, one of its founders, describes as “leaderful” and others describe as “horizontal” - meaning that decision-making is loose, non-hierarchical and decentralised. This means that activists are free to do what they want when proper circumstances arise. But it leaves them high and dry, once circumstances change.
But what BLM lacks in political staying power, it more than makes up for in terms of business hustle. In 2016, it was the recipient, along with other black-oriented groups, of a $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic organisations, whose purpose was “to nurture bold experiments and help the movement build the solid infrastructure that will enable it to flourish”.2 If BLM could not marshal staying power on its own, then Ford would help it. BLM also announced that it would partner with the New York ad agency, J Walter Thompson, to create “the biggest and most easily accessible black business database in the country” and that it would team up with a black-owned, Boston-based bank known as OneUnited to issue a debit card aimed at black consumers.3
“The Amir visa debit card symbolises the continued fight for justice and the power of our dollars,” OneUnited Bank proclaimed in a press release. “Yes ... #BlackMoneyMatters #BlackLivesMatter.”
Never mind that OneUnited is a corrupt capitalist enterprise that provided its chairman, Kevin L Cohee, with a $26,500-a-month mansion in Santa Monica, California, free of charge; that provided him with a free Porsche with which to motor about town, and which benefited from a S12 million federal bailout that Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whose husband sits on OneUnited’s board, helped arrange in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But none of this matters, as far as BLM is concerned. What matters is that its aspirations are distinctly higher than those of the scruffy, lower-middle class Yellow Vests and that the ruling class is doing what it can to help it achieve its goals.
Needless to say, a decentralised power structure not only rewards spontaneity, but tends to obscure what a few well-placed insiders are doing in the movement’s name.
Like the Malek piece cited earlier it spells out that capitalism’s class oppression sees multiple incidents against white, Hispanic and other victims, but then immediately hedges its bets by declaring:
As for race, no anti-racist could possibly disagree with a slogan like ‘Black lives matter’. For years, cops assumed that they could whale away at people like George Floyd with abandon - so insisting now that such lives are no longer expendable amounts to a powerful demand for human dignity.
and then going in for some further sectarian sniping:
Except for one thing: BLM has raised eyebrows by preventing other groups from using the same slogan. As Alicia Garza wrote in 2014, just as the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was beginning to trend,
Not just all lives: black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters too. It does, but we need less watered-down unity and more active solidarities with us, black people, unwaveringly, in defence of our humanity. Our collective futures depend on it.
Thus - all lives matter, brown lives matter, migrant lives matter, women’s lives matter, and on and on - all such violations of the BLM trademark somehow “erase our existence”. It is as if Zionists objected to gays or Romani crying out, ‘Never again’, on the grounds that it detracts from the only holocaust that counts: that of the Jews.
So the WW says both that it does, and it does not, agree with the BLM slogan, a contradiction resolvable only by understanding this entire explosion as driven by the Catastrophic failure in capitalism and seeing that the underlying content of the turmoil is revolutionary, but obscured (or diverted) by making it solely a racism issue.
But the WW does not talk about revolutionary content and in fact sneers at the idea that any such spirit is emerging anywhere, pouring buckets of the usual fake-“left” defeatism typical of the Trots or crypto-Trots like the once-revisionist CPGBers allover things in its opening paragraphs:
It goes without saying that any Marxist worth his or her salt will give full-throated support to the vast multiracial protests that have shaken the United States since the police murder of George Floyd on May 25. But it also goes without saying that any Marxist will use the dialectical method in an effort to ‘peer around the comer’ and determine what the movement’s equally vast contradictions bode for the anti-racist movement - and to do so ruthlessly and unsparingly without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.
Any such inquiry must focus on three related questions: race, class and political organisation. If there is a sense of deja vu about Black Lives Matter, for instance, it is because we have seen all too many movements burst into life in recent years, burn bright for a few weeks or months, and then fade just as rapidly. The Arab Spring is one example, Occupy Wall Street another and the Yellow Vests movement a third. The last threw France into turmoil and inspired imitators from Russia to Australia. But, despite assurances by groups like Socialist Resistance that “the Gilets Jaunes are not going away” and “they are in no mood to give up”, within six months the movement was kaput.
“Looks like rain again” as Eeyore would say.
This matches entirely with the relentless petty bourgeois pessimism and gloom seen everywhere in the Weekly Worker, (and not so different to Trotskyist middle class despair elsewhere) all expressed in such hopelessness as its guru Jack Conrad’s letter in its latest issue (WW1304) setting a context of “a present period of confusion, disorganisation and retreat”.
But in the real world the BLM explosion is one of a series of gigantic foreshocks of revolt signalling the enormous world conflicts underway.
The gilet-jaunes did not simply “disappear in six months” and even if that movement in that form slowly declined, the discontent and hostility within it has gone nowhere.
The Occupy movement similarly, as such, petered out but the sentiment and movement in it has not gone anywhere.
Most of all the Arab Spring mass street explosions in Egypt and Tunisia have certainly not remotely “faded”; it took an expensive NATO invasion of Libya, a provoked civil war in Syria and a CIA/Zionist assisted middle-class coup in Egypt, establishing a brutally violent and torturing repression regime in Cairo, for a shaken Western imperialism to get things back under some semblance of control.
And even then, the dictator Sisi is sitting on a potential volcano; the Arab revolt might be smouldering behind closed doors but has not “faded” at all.
The West continues to be on the edge of losing the entire region, having to use the gangster feudal mafia in Saudi Arabia, alongside the ever nastier nazi Zionists, to control further outbreaks, as in Yemen at present, blitzed to smithereens for four years (courtesy of British Aerospace and “our boys” in the RAF etc) or to pulverise the “blowback” in Syria and Iraq of the ISIS insurgency, only contained and slaughtered with massive war crime barbarity razing entire cities like Raqqa and Falluja.
These suppressions have come at enormous cost to the West’s prestige and pretences to be “civilised upholders of prosperity, democracy and the rule of law” in the pursuit of world peace “now that the communist threat has gone”.
And the anti-Western “jihadism” spreads still, requiring more and more special forces, bloody hidden and secret torture, mass civilian “collateral damage” etc, cropping up throughout Africa as far away as Mozambique and especially across the desert countries of the West African Sahel as some bourgeois press reports reveal:
Imagine the reaction in Britain if armed Islamist jihadists were to burst in on a Sunday church service in a Surrey village, spraying automatic weapon fire at the congregation and killing the vicar and at least 23 worshippers. Horror and fury would be unconfined. The attack would be an immediate worldwide media sensation.
This is exactly what happened to Protestant churchgoers in Pansi, a village in northern Burkina Faso, on 16 February – though you would hardly know it, judging by the ensuing international silence. The increasing frequency of such atrocities in Africa’s Sahel region is one possible explanation for this apparent indifference, although there are others.
In January, Islamist militants killed dozens of villagers in Silgadji, in Burkina Faso’s Soum province. Days later, 20 people died in Lamdamol, a village north of the capital, Ouagadougou. Victims are reportedly chosen for their faith, their links to government, or their ethnicity. Whatever the “reason”, the effect is the same: pure terror.
Burkina Faso is the new hotspot in an expanding confrontation between Islamists and the ostensibly western-backed governments of the Sahel, a vast, semi-arid area south of the Sahara stretching from Senegal and Mauritania on the Atlantic seaboard through Mali, Niger and Chad to Sudan and Eritrea on the Red Sea.
It may not have made headlines in Europe and the US, but about 1,800 people died in insurgent violence in Burkina Faso last year. About 500,000 are internally displaced. The UN warns it could become “another Syria”. Add in Mali and Niger, and the 2019 death toll rises to an estimated 4,000, a fivefold increase since 2016. Millions more are in need of food assistance.
What began in 2012 as a localised, part-separatist revolt in northern Mali has spread inexorably. The Sahel is now seen as the new battlefront between Islamist extremists and the west. West African coastal states fear contagion. And Isis and al-Qaida affiliates, exploiting ungoverned spaces, endemic poverty, religious and tribal tensions, and disruption caused by climate change, have a growing presence.
In other words, the terrorist menace that first grabbed global attention in Afghanistan in 2001, and was later reconfigured in Iraq and Syria, has found a fresh centre of operations. Given recent history, it would be a big mistake to think this supposedly distant threat has no bearing on the future security of London, Paris and New York.
If Sahelian suffering is not a sufficient spur to action, self-interested calculations of this type surely should be. Yet the relative inertia of western governments, including Britain’s, suggests otherwise. The rising threat is widely recognised. But effective, joined-up action to combat it is lacking. France, with its colonial past and continuing Francophone links, has tried to show a lead. It sent 4,500 troops to Mali in 2013 and recently added reinforcements. In January, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, met leaders of the so-called G5 Sahel countries. At the end of February there was a follow-up summit hosted by Mauritania.
The problem is partly one of resources – of limited capabilities, logistical support and training. A plan by the G5 – Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad – to form a 5,000-strong joint military force has been delayed by lack of funds and equipment.
Other African countries have failed to step up, although the African Union (AU) claims that is changing. The UN maintains a 13,000-strong peacekeeping force in Mali, and the EU has allocated €8bn in development aid to G5 countries, but instability continues to rise.
Sudan and Chad, both negatively affected by the Libyan war, are particularly vulnerable. Sudan’s efforts to democratise following last year’s revolution have had scant reward in terms of western aid and sanctions relief. If disillusion sets in, an Islamist counter-coup in Khartoum could result.
“A surge in mobilisation, coordination or prioritisation is necessary,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, told February’s summit. He said the overall aim was to integrate security and development.
Le Drian’s interlocutors left him in no doubt about their pressing need. “More than ever the Sahel requires heightened and coordinated attention from states in the region and the international community to break the spiral of violence,” said Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. “We urgently need concrete victories against terrorism,” said the AU’s Moussa Faki.
The problem is political as much as practical. While Italy joined France at the summit in pledging to do more, Britain’s military involvement is minimal, as is Germany’s. Controversy also attends Macron’s interventions, which some find unpleasantly reminiscent of colonial times. Critics suggest France’s support for the status quo underpins undemocratic, abusive and corrupt governance – and that its approach relies too much on diktat and brute force. Far from vanquishing insurgents, it could boost them.
To these contradictions must be added the quixotic attitude of the Trump administration. American forces are no longer directly engaged in the Sahel, after sustaining casualties in Niger in 2017. But about 1,000 US troops provide vital back-up, including transport, air refuelling and drone surveillance. This support could be lost under developing Pentagon plans that envisage the withdrawal of all 5,000 US soldiers based in Africa. US ground commanders fully appreciate the Sahel terror threat, but for Donald Trump, who shows zero interest in Africa, the priorities are Iran and possible future confrontation with China.
Palestine’s revolt continues too in the heart of this.
Of course all these movements are not the revolution, and their weird and even reactionary ideology is not anything Marxism would support.
They may well come and go.
But they are symptoms of a giant breakdown and anti-imperialist turmoil everywhere (and elsewhere too in various forms such as East Ukraine, the Philippines, Indonesia, and much of Latin America) which only hopeless petty bourgeois anti-revolutionaries would write off or “condemn” and decry.
They demonstrate that world needs revolutionary theory and leadership like never before.
They will not get it from the CPGBs sterile programmes and contentless “need for organisation” that cannot even see the crisis, and the revolutionary movement it is causing – let alone ever consciously raise it as part of the revolutionary debate.
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