No 1579 13th July 2020
Capitalism’s slide into ever more overt fascism starts to dawn on fake-“left” and liberalism as the economic meltdown of the system and plunge into trade war rapidly deepens into the total Catastrophe that Marxism alone has consistently warned the working class was unavoidable while the profit making system continues. Fake-“lefts” still avoid the conclusion the working class needs, that revolutionary class war to overturn capitalism and build socialism is the only way out from the greatest breakdown and descent into barbaric chaos and war in all history. Just the opposite, their opportunism still ties workers back to the lie of “parliamentary democracy”, mostly still propping up reactionary Labour and “official” trade unionism (or backing “alternatives" like the new Galloway chauvinist party). Escalation by Keir Starmer of gross “left anti-semitism” lie underlines the dirty counter-revolutionary reality of Labourism but grovelling to it also exposes the fraud of Corbynism and the fake-“left”. Leninism needed
Donald Trump’s July 4th Independence Day speech, accusing the “left” of “fascism”, is the most ludicrous Goebbels inversion of reality yet as a desperate US Empire ruling class (and its stooges) flounders in panic at the sheer scale and pace of the onrushing economic meltdown, looking to place the blame in all directions for its own system’s catastrophic failure and to force the burdens onto everyone else.
The real Nazi nature of capitalism exemplified by this hate-filled rabble rousing and warmongering belligerence from a fearful ruling class desperate to divert attention from its economic and political crisis by scapegoating hatred, is meanwhile dawning on some of the fake-“left” but still they refuse to explain to the working class what has to be done about it.
There is plenty of continued phrasemongering about the need for “socialism”, for “revolution” and even about “overturning capitalism”.
Some even are beginning to use the “catastrophe” word itself after years of mocking or academically disdaining Leninist understanding and warnings of the unstoppable slump cataclysm now unfolding as a result of the constantly intensifying contradictions inseparable from capitalist profit-making ways of running things.
And they are finally, correctly, emphasising that the spiralling collapse is not caused by the virus pandemic but is the result of the capitalist system’s own long-building “overproduction” crisis, which was about to implode into Slump and mass unemployment disaster anyway on a scale exceeding anything in history, far, far beyond the austerity already savaging many ordinary lives and far beyond the 1930s Depression too, as the EPSR has said from its beginning (No1573 24-03-20|).
While severe in its impact, the disease can be coped with both medically and economically, as the collectively organised societies in workers states like China, Vietnam and Cuba have been showing (instantly proving the enormous social and human advance of developing societies under workers control – even despite revisionist weaknesses in leadership).
That has not stopped the capitalist “individualist” West making a pigs ear of the Covid virus impact as well, because its profiteering spivvery and vicious trade war concerns interfered with any rational response from the beginning, as well as already having left it largely unprepared, and uncaring, anyway as infection ran rampant.
Beyond that, the suspicion remains that the disease was allowed to let rip, at least in America, Brazil and the UK, as the Trumpites (and stooges) took an ultra-cynical opportunity to cover up and disguise the capitalist Great Catastrophe with “caused by Covid” propaganda lies, to confuse and distract working class anger and revolt, and to steal a march on their capitalist trade war rivals.
Even bourgeois analysts concede that while the devastating crash into debt, bankruptcies, and imminent mass unemployment may have been triggered by the pandemic, and obviously worsened by the lockdown measures, it is the result of capitalism’s overproduction crisis, and not the Covid virus pandemic.
Crisis collapse was ready to implode anyway.
It is simply the extension of the 2008 global credit meltdown the Guardian’s business pages said recently, a systemic breakdown which could only ever be deferred to some extent for a limited period by the endless money printing and credit creation seen since, but not overcome.
But while some “lefts” are catching up with basic Marxism on this, to at least now spell out the severity of the immediate crisis, they still do not get to the nub of its historically intractable mind-boggling unsolvability (see Marx Capital, and economics box), and still avoid the glaringly obvious conclusion, that the entire system of grotesque inequality, greed and tyrannical world exploitation is now paralysed and capable only of heading into world war turmoil.
It has to be ended, possible only by class war revolutionary overturn.
For all their posturing and prancing about Marxism and even “overturn”, the “lefts” in reality say no such thing, all variously tying all perspectives back to notions of “left” pressure, austerity “resistance” and allegedly “real democratic change” as solutions in themselves, ignoring the hyped-up chauvinism and world war which is the only end point for capitalist anarchy and slump.
Even those “lefts” and bourgeois intellectuals who nervously see the shape of capitalism’s degeneration, baulk at its implications. So the environmentalist “left” favourite of the middle class, George Monbiot can make some useful observations for example:
From the White House, his Manhattan tower and his Florida resort, Donald Trump tweets furiously against “elites”. Dominic Cummings hones the same message as he moves between his townhouse in Islington, with its library and tapestry room, and his family estate in Durham. Clearly, they don’t mean political or economic elites. They mean intellectuals: the students, teachers, professors and independent thinkers who oppose their policies. Anti-intellectualism is a resurgent force in politics.
Privileged grievance spills from the pages of the newspapers. Opinion and leader writers for the Telegraph and the Spectator insist they are oppressed by a woke mafia, by the rise of Black Lives Matter and other cultural shifts. From their national newspaper columns and slots on the BBC’s Today programme, they thunder that they have been silenced.
Myths of national greatness and decline abound. Make America Great Again and Take Back Control propose a glorious homecoming to an imagined golden age. Conservatives and Republicans invoke a rich mythology of family life and patriarchal values. Large numbers of people in the United Kingdom regret the loss of empire.
Extravagant buffoons, building their power base through the visual media, displace the wooden technocrats who once dominated political life. Debate gives way to symbols, slogans and sensation. Political parties that once tolerated a degree of pluralism succumb to cults of personality.
Politicians and political advisers behave with impunity. During the impeachment hearings, Trump’s lawyer argued, in effect, that the president is the nation, and his interests are inseparable from the national interest. Cummings gets away with blatant breaches of the lockdown. Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, with his assistance for a developer who then donated to the Tories. With every unpunished outrage against integrity in public life, trust in the system corrodes. The ideal of democracy as a shared civic project gives way to a politics of dominance and submission.
Political structures still stand, but they are hollowed out, as power migrates into unaccountable, undemocratic spheres: conservative fundraising dinners, US political action committees, offshore trade tribunals, tax havens and secrecy regimes. The bodies supposed to hold power to account, such as the Electoral Commission and the BBC, are attacked, disciplined and cowed. Politicians and newspapers launch lurid attacks against parliament, the judiciary and the civil service.
Political lying becomes so rife that voters lose the ability to distinguish fact from fiction. Conspiracy theories proliferate, distracting attention from the real ways in which our rights and freedoms are eroded.
Politicians create chaos, such as Trump’s government shutdowns and the no-deal Brexit Boris Johnson seems to be engineering, then position themselves as our saviours in troubled times.
Trump shamelessly endorses nativism and white supremacy. Powerful politicians, such as the Republican congressman Steve King, talk of defending “western civilisation” against “subjugation” by its “enemies”. Minorities are disenfranchised. Immigrants are herded into detention centres.
Do these circumstances sound familiar? Do they pluck a deep, resonant chord of apprehension? They should. All these phenomena were preconditions for – or facilitators of – the rise of European fascism during the first half of the 20th century. I find myself asking a question I thought we would never have to ask again. Is the resurgence of fascism a real prospect, on either side of the Atlantic?
So far so good in pinning down symptoms and voicing the dangers but then Monbiot, forever the “left” reformist, backs off, afraid of his own conclusions:
Fascism is a slippery, protean thing. As an ideology, it’s almost impossible to pin down: it has always been opportunistic and confused.
It is easier to define as a political method. While its stated aims may vary wildly, the means by which it has sought to grab and build power are broadly consistent. But I think it’s fair to say that though the new politics have some strong similarities to fascism, they are not the same thing. They will develop in different ways and go by different names.
Trump’s politics and Johnson’s have some characteristics that were peculiar to fascism, such as their constant excitation and mobilisation of their base through polarisation, their culture wars, their promiscuous lying, their fabrication of enemies and their rhetoric of betrayal. But there are crucial differences. Far from valorising and courting young people, they appeal mostly to older voters. Neither relies on paramilitary terror, though Trump now tweets support for armed activists occupying state buildings and threatening peaceful protesters. It is not hard to see some American militias mutating into paramilitary enforcers if he wins a second term, or, for that matter, if he loses.
Fortunately, we can see no such thing developing in the UK. Neither government seems interested in using warfare as a political tool.
Trump and Johnson preach scarcely regulated individualism: almost the opposite of the fascist doctrine of total subordination to the state. (Though in reality, both have sought to curtail the freedoms of outgroups.) Last century’s fascism thrived on economic collapse and mass unemployment. We are nowhere near the conditions of the Great Depression, though both countries now face a major slump in which millions could lose their jobs and homes.
Not all the differences are reassuring. Micro-targeting on social media, peer-to-peer texting and now the possibility of deepfake videos allow today’s politicians to confuse and misdirect people, to bombard us with lies and conspiracy theories, to destroy trust and create alternative realities more quickly and effectively than any tools 20th-century dictators had at their disposal. In the EU referendum campaign, in the 2016 US election, and in the campaign that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power in Brazil, we see the roots of a new form of political indoctrination and authoritarianism, without clear precedents.
It is hard to predict how this might evolve. It’s unlikely to lead to thousands of helmeted stormtroopers assembling in public squares, not least because the new technologies render such crude methods unnecessary in gaining social control. As Trump seeks re-election, and Johnson prepares us for a likely no deal, we can expect them to use these tools in ways that dictators could only have dreamed of. Their manipulations will expose longstanding failures in our political systems that successive governments have done nothing to address.
Though it has characteristics in common, this isn’t fascism. It is something else, something we have not yet named. But we should fear it and resist it as if it were.
No, absence of stormtroopers notwithstanding, it really is fascism, or rather capitalist dictatorship – no “new name” is required – and it is far more than a “prospect”, having unrolled for decades and particularly since the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York’s WTC, a pinprick in world conflict terms but shattering for American hubris, frantic for revenge and the reestablishment of its “authority” ever since.
It has been driving war blitzing and terror intimidation to new levels and continues to escalate them as with the latest sabotage attacks by Zionist aggression on Iran.
Just as Monbiot says, “fascism” is a “protean” thing (shapeshifting and difficult to pin down) but that is precisely because it is not some different state or system.
It is the savage slump face of capitalism itself and the ruthless tyrannical world plundering which was its nature from its piratical beginnings, enslaving (ask the “black lives” demonstrators), terrorising, massacring and torturing, including genocidal wiping out of entire nations and indigenous peoples across the planet or their reduction to misery saturated rump populations.
Most of the “left” analyse fascism as a fixed category, with endless lists of supposed “necessary” features and symptoms so that, like Monbiot, they can declare that we are “not there yet”, and therefore continue to foster illusions in democratic paths, peaceful struggle and “peace struggle” No to War posturing, avoiding and evading revolution (except as a “theoretical” matter for the future – perhaps).
If fascism is “something different” to be stopped as a thing-in-itself then, it is implied, “normal” capitalist rule is “more acceptable” (especially if reforms can round off the sharper edges at home), and thus the need to bring down the whole, inevitably world-threatening, capitalist system is slid away from.
“Defining” it this way is the shallowest of mechanical one-sided thinking, completely superficial and unable to grasp what is really happening, which is the relentless world domination aim of imperialism itself, using whatever methods it thinks useful or workable, and to the extent it thinks necessary, cracking down and intimidating the working class and its resistance to the crisis while stirring up chauvinist frenzy around “America First” or “Getting back our sovereignty”.
“Fascism”, as popularly understood, is simply the open imposition of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, once it is in crisis and heading for war, using whatever tricks, lies and repression it can.
The key is abandoning of the democracy fraud, (ironically, or rather dialectically, using democratic methods to tear up “democracy” just as Hitler did, after “freely” being elected Chancellor in 1933) to impose more draconian and direct repression by the bourgeois dictatorship which is the reality of capitalist rule behind the hoodwinking pretences of parliament and the “democratic rule of law” etc.
Trump is on the same path, as his “emperor” decrees once more demonstrate, overriding due legal process for his criminal stooges like Roger Stone, while humiliating and sacking non-compliant and “disloyal” staff, ignoring or breaking “democratic checks and balances” and tapping irrational backwardness and ignorance for populist support.
Trump, Johnson and co and the aggressive and cynical wing of the ruling class around them are not exactly like pre-WW2 Italian and German Nazi theatricality only because historically that failed and humanity (or most of it) will not be fooled by an exact copy and pattern of the horrors used before to suppress communism and wind up inter-imperialist war.
Jackboots, militarism and Teutonic mythology and mysticism served their stampeding chauvinist purpose for German imperialism which had 200 years of mostly successful Prussian “discipline” behind it.
It would not do for now dominant American capitalism anyway, which is using a mixture of all-American hucksterism and rampant individualist philistinism, religious fundamentalism and civil-war white supremacism for its version.
But below the surface it is the same, and in fact is borrowing many of the same features as before with its racist scapegoating, vicious anti-communist hate-campaigning, whipped-up chauvinist frenzy, and above all, warmongering provocations preparing the world for the world war conflicts to come.
The media manipulation and methods are different now but the big and repeated black-is-white lie techniques are very much the same as those from Joseph Goebbels who was himself emulating the arrogance and disdain of the British empire ruling class.
And it takes an especially blinkered view of the world to declare that imperialism does not seem “interested in using warfare as a tool” when there has been nothing but two decades of blitzing and destruction imposed on the Serbian remnant of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, as well as the ten years of civil war induced and sustained in Syria, and the even greater butchery and slaughter in Yemen by the gangster-thug “royal” stoogery in Saudi Arabia, (guided, advised, armed and trained by US imperialism and its British sidekick for armsrace profits as well as strategic gain) not only killing and maiming thousands of innocents including women and children but reducing the entire country to the edge of famine and now pandemic agony.
As for “nowhere near the Great Depression” just see any capitalist press analysis of world economic disaster and of the latest Tory budget desperation for example to knock that down.
And “scarcely regulated individualism”??? The implication of “free speech” is a complete nonsense as at least 200 journalists attacked on the streets during the Black Lives protests will confirm, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, (the Saudi thugs again), Malta’s Daphne Galizia and many more, attacked, bombed and blitzed while trying to write about corruption, repression or imperialist war atrocities in the Middle East and elsewhere (now deemed to have “not happened” anyway or be “not answerable for” by US imperialism, threatening to sue any international warcrime investigation against it, or its British sidekick, declaring that accusations against its soldiers’ multiple war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan be written off as “vexatious” and those pursuing them, like solicitor Phil Shiner, be persecuted and character assassinated into the ground).
Or how about the continuing imprisonment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the outrageous extradition trial against him – for which he is kept in Britain’s highest security prison cell 23 hours a day in conditions amounting to torture in themselves, for having exposed the murderous civilian killing sprees and gross fascist mistreatment imposed on Iraq by the American occupation after 2003??? (Among many other exposés of imperialist war crime rampaging, corruption, and degeneracy).
He had already been subjected to a decade of monstrous hounding on trumped-up charges of “rape” (shamefully supported by petty bourgeois feminism, confirming its anti-communist reactionary nature, and insistently and consciously pushed through by Labour’s reactionary new leader, Sir(!!) Keir Starmer in his time as director of public prosecutions) which were nothing but a specious cover by the Swedish government‘s reactionary stooging for Washington as a way to get him extradited to America, to face a stitched-up espionage trial and a pre-ordained lifetime of revenge imprisonment which will certainly silence him or more likely lead to his death in notoriously inhumane US isolation prison conditions (as imposed for three or four decades on many First Nation Americans, Puerto Rican independence fighters and black “rebels”).
During his enforced asylum in the London Ecuadorian Embassy he was hounded and surveilled non-stop by the CIA and British intelligence (see eg 60 Minutes Australia TV interview on his “hidden family”).
What all this boils down to is that it is capitalism itself which needs to be seen as the monstrous murderous tyrannical system, blitzing and bullying the world in even the “best of times” and unstoppably dragging the world back towards World War Three.
“Resisting” fascism, as Monbiot and other “lefts” urge, might become one path by which workers take up the struggle, but without a full revolutionary understanding of the entirety of what the face, they are being deceived here too, fooled that they are “fighting for democracy”.
All the “lefts” currently continue to foster just such delusions in various ways, despite their claims to Marxist revolutionism.
They still do not break away from the old reformist framework of class collaborating trade unions and parliamentary parties.
Typical is the Trotskyist Socialist Appeal recently declaring that collapse is not an “ordinary crisis” but an “organic” one, presumably with this unMarxist term meaning “catastrophic” since it “represents the utter exhaustion” of the capitalist system, unable to go forwards and that means “an era of revolution has opened up”.
So far essentially correct, though with queries on the notion of “normal crisis” which sounds like a day-to-day excuse for reformism and with the slight quibble that Lenin’s understanding was that the whole imperialist period from the beginning of the 20th century was essentially an epoch of revolution from the outset and of endless crises (“organic” or not).
Periods of “boom”, achieved only after horrific destruction, are the exception not the rule, deluding the masses for decades (with fake-“left” help) that all that “revolution stuff” is “old hat”.
But then things go haywire in the SA account.
Last time, things were SO bad that the system plunged into World War Two, say the Trots, correctly enough, which destruction eventually allowed the system to climb back (which a deeper analysis would explain was because the surplus capital clogging the system had been wiped out, allowing a few decades of “boom” profit-making once more – see box)
But things are even worse now (correct) and technology far more advanced and dangerous with nuclear weapons (correct) so that “war is ruled out as it would obliterate the planet” (utterly INcorrect and idiotic to boot).
Of course the severity and planet threatening nature of the gigantic nuclear, biological and chemical arsenals held by the US empire, and to some extent other imperialist powers and stoogery like Zionist “Israel”, India, Pakistan etc is mindnumbing.
But that therefore capitalism will restrain itself is lightminded idealist gibberish.
Not in the real world where the contradictions of the collapsing system will find their most devastating expression in the inter-imperialist war conflicts that the deepening trade wars (already underway for decades – not “looking very likely”) are inexorably heading towards, as Lenin constantly warned.
No ruling class has ever given up power and “aprés moi le deluge” will rule again, with material factors relentlessly and unstoppably pushing events.
Even in the current run-up to total breakdown the likes of Bolsonaro and Trump make clear they pay no heed whatever to “planet threatening” dangers spelt out by rational science, be it in wiping out the vital Brazilian rain forests, virus mutating factory farming, or plundering the Alaskan wilderness for oil. Or dealing with pandemics.
The capitalist ruling class will stop at nothing in its desperation to stay in the saddle, taking the world all the way to armageddon as it almost did in 1939-45 and was preparing for in the years afterwards with Pentagon plans for massive nuclear destruction of China for example (500 cities), held back eventually only by its own weakness and the revolutionary strength and fighting determination of the Soviet camp, first destroying German Nazism virtually alone, and then developing its own nuclear and other weaponry, and by the tide of socialist and national liberation revolutions it inspired after 1945 (including China’s).
It was brain rotting idiocies about imperialism being held back from all-out war by “peace struggles” which helped undermine those determined achievements.
They were a key element in the revisionist philosophical retreats under Stalin’s leadership which degenerated further and further into the eventual bureaucratic complacency and idiocy of Gorbachevism and its liquidation of the still viable Soviet Union.
Restraining ultimate war was anti-Leninist crap then (see EPSR Book 20 Unanswered Polemics) and it is now, as Washington intensifies its belligerence in all directions with trade war and savage economic sanctions bullying and blood curdling threats (all a form of war) and military “exercises” and provocations off the coast of left nationalist Venezuela and Cuba’s workers state, on the North Korean border, around China and on the Russian European border, not to mention in the Middle East with the latest US/Zionist war-provocation sabotage blowing up major facilities in Iran:
It now seems fairly certain that Israel or its agents blew up Iran’s main nuclear fuel enrichment facility at Natanz on 2 July. A “Middle Eastern intelligence official” who told two American newspapers that Israel was behind the explosion was identified in Israeli media reports last week as Yossi Cohen, head of the Mossad spy agency and a close confidant of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After initially playing down the attack, which caused significant damage and exposed embarrassing security lapses, Iran blamed Israel. “The method Israel is using is dangerous, and it could spread to anywhere in the world,” a spokesman said, prompting fears of retaliation. Laying a possible smokescreen, a previously unknown dissident group, “Cheetahs of the Homeland”, claimed responsibility.
If Israel was involved, the attack would have been undertaken with the prior knowledge, if not active connivance, of the Trump administration. The two governments share a record of covert cyber-attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy may just have entered a new phase, with an ongoing sabotage campaign now seemingly in full swing.
The Natanz bomb was one of several mysterious incidents at industrial sites in recent weeks, including another big blast in eastern Tehran on Friday morning. Some were probably accidents. But last month’s explosions at the Khojir ballistic missile plant also appeared deliberate.
Both the US and Israel regard Iran’s missile programme as a threat.
“What the world is witnessing right now is someone (the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, possibly with Iranian dissident proxy help) hitting nuclear and conventional weapons and [Revolutionary Guard] facilities practically at will,” wrote Jerusalem Post analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob.
The pressure on Iran is unrelenting. Trump is simultaneously tightening sanctions, adopted after he reneged on the multinational nuclear deal with Iran in 2018.
The US wants the UN to extend an arms embargo that expires in October – or, failing that, re-impose sweeping punitive measures. France, Britain and Germany are opposed. But they are mere bystanders.
The US, Israel and their Gulf Arab friends hope the economic consequences of the pandemic, which has killed about 12,000 Iranians, will further weaken the regime. Falling oil revenues caused by a global surplus, rising food prices and unemployment, and a currency worth 70% less than in 2018 helped spark short-lived, harshly-suppressed civil unrest last year.
Sabotage, sanctions, sickness: it’s a brutal cocktail. The problem for Trump and fellow bully-boys Netanyahu and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is that their toxic recipe isn’t working. In truth, the very opposite of what they supposedly want is happening. And an opportunity to defuse the crisis is being squandered, perhaps permanently.
Iran, which has always maintained it does not want nuclear weapons, is now moving closer to acquiring a weapons manufacturing capability as a direct consequence of US bad faith. Britain and others warned Trump this would happen if he tore up the 2015 deal. The fact the latest IAEA inspection reports have proven them right is no consolation.
External pressure has not stopped Iran building missiles, curbed its harmful meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, or assisted democratic renewal. It is Trump, not the mullahs, who almost started a war by assassinating Revolutionary Guards general Qassem Suleimani in January – an extrajudicial killing the UN says was unlawful. Desperate to impress US voters, Trump may yet resort to more semi-clandestine military stunts before November’s election.
The crude idea behind the maximum pressure policy – that life in Iran is rendered so intolerable that the regime sues for peace or is overthrown in a people’s revolt – is bankrupt. Most Iranians, however badly misled, abused, oppressed and betrayed by a corrupt and incompetent theocracy, will nevertheless put their country first if attacked from without.
These are just the warmup, similar in some ways to the colonial skirmishing prior to World War One.
Pullback of US troops for the moment from interventions like Afghanistan and Iraq (which have seen millions of lives destroyed), does not contradict the picture; these are calculated responses to pacify domestic chauvinist/isolationist sentiment in America after endless quagmire defeats for the West’s initial attempts to impose a “shock and awe” New American Century of reestablished world control, which have proved too costly.
So resources are re-directed, away from the expensive imperialist “world policeman” role played by the US since 1945, against Third World rebellion and the bogeyman “threat of communism” (the trade-off it made with the rest of the imperialist powers in return for the topdog, lion’s-share of world exploitation) – into war preparations behind “America First” trade war and growing aggression against the competition, particularly Europe and China.
Troop placements world wide continue anyway with increased numbers in Afghanistan and Iraq since Trump came to power, increased use of drones and further troop deployments in North Africa and the Middle East.
The real intent of this Trot revisionist garbage is to pull the working class back behind the same old TUC/Labour left opportunism, still arguing that it can be “won over”.
With world war “ruled out”(!) the crisis contradictions will be “internalised” it says, intensifying the domestic class struggle.
In fact these are not alternatives; increased domestic class repression is inevitable as Slump poverty drives riots and turmoil, and one of the major purposes of imperialist warmongering is precisely for the ruling class to fight the class war, by whipping up jingoism to direct popular attention onto “enemies” elsewhere, dragging the masses into supporting their own ruling class in the process and slaughtering workers elsewhere as happened in both the First and Second World Wars.
The SA declares that this “internalised struggle” will deepen class consciousness and it will certainly teach bitter lessons to workers about the reality of the seemingly endless boom of shallow consumerism and “celeb” culture and decadence.
But that will lead on spontaneously to revolutionary conclusions “at least for some workers” says SA.
So there is no need for a revolutionary party and the non-stop battle for theory apparently.
Contrary to all Leninist understanding that a purpose built party of trained revolutionary comrades is vital for the understanding and development of revolutionary perspectives, it will happen of its own accord.
All the difficult questions on the nature of capitalism and its contradictions, on the history of the workers states and their triumphs and their philosophical retreats (crucially needed analysis and assessment as the great obstacle to understanding among workers), and endless issues arising from the development of the real world balance of class forces, can be overcome spontaneously.
So no need for constant polemicising debate to establish their significance and to take Marxism-Leninism forwards, deepening cadre understanding and advancing theory in a dialectical interchange inside the party, but in front of the working class.
No need either then for a Bolshevik party, the only instrument yet devised for this complex scientific struggle, and for the fight for this understanding, to give crucially necessary leadership in unity and conflict with the working class, challenging all its anti-theory prejudices and the anti-communist brainwashing it is saturated with, which remains the great obstacle to developing the mass struggle that really can, and will, end capitalism.
Obviously no need either to constantly expose the fake-“left” and its opportunism as Lenin insisted, and the Bolsheviks made constant practice, of which this nonsense is an odorously ripe example.
So what do the Trots, who nevertheless do advance themselves as a leadership by their very pontifications, based on endlessly unrealisable petty bourgeois dreams of “perfect revolution” carried out by perfectly gentlemanly means, (but never in the real world) want to do with these allegedly self-germinating thoughts of revolution?
Why, head them back to “transforming the trade unions and workers organisations” from being “labour lieutenants for capitalism” into revolutionary organisations.
This unrealisable fairy tale, echoed in assorted variations by other Trot and revisionist groups, including that odd amalgam of the two making up the CPGB Weekly Worker, all busy “entering” the Labour Party since the Corbynite “left” upsurge particularly, is precisely not what the working class needs to hear.
Just the opposite - the explanation needs to be made that all such reformism, and the continuing delusions in “democracy” and class collaboration it fosters, are deadly to the interests of the working class which can only be realised by the revolutionary overturn of capitalism.
Trade unionism and Labour cannot be transformed, however clearly and boldly such entryism speaks out against its rotten collusion with imperialism (which it never does, for fear of expulsion).
They are firmly set as part of the bourgeois order and are part of the problem for the working class, not the answer.
It is basic Marxism that parliamentary democracy is a giant lie, developed from the original bourgeois class “committee” rule of the property owners and bosses (who took power by revolutionarily overturning the feudal system in the “English Civil War” and the French Revolution etc), into the elaborate and complex pretence of “democracy for all” as suffrage was carefully extended over a couple of centuries to the petty bourgeoisie and down through empire corrupted layers of the working class, bribed with imperialist superprofits into class collaboration with the ruling class.
It has been a brilliant tool for pulling a veil over capitalist class domination and exploitation with the pretence of peaceful progress and reforms towards a “better society”, keeping the masses quiescent and headed away from the revolutionary understanding they need (and which is the only path forwards).
Labourism has been central in this.
And however much it is declared it can be “won over” or be “changed” for revolution, or be pressured to “move left” (or at least sections of it) it will always play a role disarming the working class, by continuing the hoodwinking illusion that capitalism is all there is and that “democracy” can change the world within it.
It is thoroughly reactionary and not only runs capitalism when it is in power, but is increasingly often a lead element in counter-revolution as with Blairite warmongering.
Fake-“leftism”, that does not spell this out, is also essentially counter-revolutionary, trussing the working class up for the slaughter with “democracy” and steady change delusions which will be brutally and bloodily torn up by the ruling class if it has to, (and which it has repeatedly done in country after country at a cost of millions of lives from Suharto’s Indonesia (1965) Pinochet’s Chile (1973), Sisi’s Egypt 2013 and Morales Bolivia (currently) to mention just a few) in order to continue its existence of unprecedented power and grotesque greed.
At an as yet unconsciously formulated level, distrust in Labourism is the actual spontaneous understanding of the working class, built up through decades of betrayal and treachery, grasping that the “official labour movement and its voice in parliament” is not only completely useless for producing better conditions for the working class (other than temporary, partial reversible “gains” like the NHS) but ultimately only serves the interests of the ruling class, running imperialism on its behalf.
It has done so in nearly a dozen governments when the Tory A-team has become split, tired or too mired in sleaze to continue (EPSR Book 10 Reformist “socialism” finished, including extensive Lenin quotes, and multiple EPSRs on Blairism etc).
Deep seated rejection is reflected in the steady collapse of all voting support for Labourism decade by decade (and all parliament in general), notwithstanding the odd slight blip around seeming “leftist” turns like Corbynism.
Understood dialectically, even the temporary shift by some of the working class into voting Tory in the last election was more of the same overall collapse into dismay and contempt for Labourism, albeit mingled with a bit of the deep-seated British chauvinism which has been inculcated by two centuries of world empire dominance. It was not a giant swing anyway, with a large proportion of the population simply not voting at all.
For all its superficial confusion, such a shallow movement in a period of massive crisis and turmoil can suddenly swing round into something completely different, especially in the face of defeats and setbacks for the ruling class and its hollow jingoism, just as the Russian workers and peasants swung from cheering on the Tsar and marching off to war in 1914, to climbing out of the body-filled trenches to go home in 1917, (shooting any officers who got in the way), and then making the world shattering socialist revolution in October under the clear and firm leadership of Lenin’s Bolsheviks.
Battling for the working class to turn such chauvinist warmongering onto their own ruling class, fighting civil war to bring it down, was a central element of the Bolshevik programme.
The great missing ingredient at present as crisis heads for huge leaps in Slump unemployment and economic implosion, is just such Bolshevism which needs to be re-built, starting from scratch in a sense though with the great advantage of all the past experiences, the titanic Soviet revolution itself, and 70 years of subsequent gigantic achievements, and the achievement of the other workers states and anti-imperialist movements, as well as all the invaluable 100+ volumes of collected works of Marx, Engels and Lenin, and selected aspects of writers like Lafarge, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and others and even early Kautsky and Plekhanov. Those are supplemented by ongoing Leninist theoretical struggle (the EPSR in particular over 40 years) which although yet tiny has made major strides in understanding, most of all in the philosophical mistakes and failings of Stalinist revisionist leadership in Moscow which finally saw the USSR’s giant achievements capitulate to Western ideological pressure, with the idiot Gorbachev liquidation of the still viable Soviet state in favour of the “free market” in 1989-91.
The Stalinist revisionist influence is still extant in Beijing, Havana and other remaining workers states hampering a return to vital Leninist revolutionism (as Latin American events have tragically demonstrated by missing out the crucial fight for Leninist science of the dictatorship of the proletariat).
The workers states remain invaluable in their brilliant practical resistance to imperialist counter-revolutionary sabotage and attempted economic strangulation (particularly against Havana and North Korea and now China) with heroic levels of doggedness and sacrifice which many would find hard to equal, not only to survive themselves but offering massive generous support and aid to anti-imperialist struggles like Venezuela and across the world, as during the Covid pandemic. They are stunning practical examples for the world.
But revisionism’s philosophical influence has long lost its revolutionary spirit and edge, and leaves a vacuum in the world where vital Leninist understanding is needed, in particular failing to battle for the understanding of catastrophe, and the need for defeat by any means for imperialism, as well as the need to fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Marxism says that only through economic, military, political and diplomatic defeats and setbacks for this foul and increasingly degenerate world imperialist domination and its tyrannous exploitation, will real movement take place.
In the broadest view, - keeping attention firmly fixed on imperialist monopoly capitalism as the source of all conflict, breakdown and war in the world, at all levels from individual antagonism in society (dog-eat-dog battles for jobs, desperation criminality, small minded racism and chauvinism, wife (or husband) abuse, both physical and psychological, etc) to international jingoistic bigotry), – it does not matter how such defeats take place.
That means through any and all kinds of struggle world wide, from anti-racist street revolts and other demonstrations to insurgencies and “jihadism” trying to get the US/Zionist jackboot off its back.
However crude, confused and ideologically backward such struggles might be, they are mostly driven by the crisis itself, and any defeats they impose weaken imperialism and open up the possibility for consciously led class war to completely overthrow this system, guided by a party of deliberate revolutionary theory which sees, assesses and understands the emerging struggles in the world and their significance and impact.
Without consciously building and fighting for such perspectives the growing spontaneous upheavals everywhere will be headed off into single-issue reformist channels like Black Lives matter is being, (adopted as a “safe” cause by bourgeois liberalism) or feminism, or simply left victim to imperialist suppression and warmongering, by being condemned as “just headbanging terrorism”.
The entire fake-“left” has shown itself to be on the wrong side on all these issues, either by pursuing such single-issue diversions themselves (feminism, LGBT “rights”, environmentalism, black nationalism etc) or by failing to take them on and expose them theoretically and practically with full out Marxist-Leninist understanding of the need for revolutionary politics, which alone can provide any permanent or deep solution to any of these societal problems and inequalities.
In fact the absence of the polemical battle to try and grasp these issues, caused by the philistine rejection of theory altogether by many “activist” groups, and/or sectarian refusal to take up the debate (in a Marxist scientific manner, working it through to a conclusion, as best as can be achieved with the latest unfolding realities, rather than just endlessly reproducing petty bourgeois egotistical personal opinion over and over under the banner of “open discussion”) or even the suppression of debate with monstrous PC “no platform” censorship, little better than book burning, is an enormous weakness.
It has left them all floundering after four years of supposed “left” movement under Corbynism has been dirtily and sinisterly sabotaged, with the main weapon against it a tide of petty bourgeois hysteria whipped up by the absurdity that the “left” is even more racist than imperialist reaction itself, because of supposed mass “anti-semitism in the labour movement”.
This extension to the worldwide Goebbels campaign run by Zionism and the CIA to paint all opposition to the artificial “state of Israel”, sitting like a giant cuckoo in the Palestinian people’s stolen land, as “nothing but racist anti-semitism” (see EPSR book vol 20 on Occupied Palestine and Nazi-Zionism) must be one of the most successful capitalist propaganda lies of all time.
It is also one of history’s sickest twists, turning the horrifying slaughter and scapegoated victimhood of the pre-WW2 Jews – (among many others such as Roma, homosexuals, the physically and mentally disabled, and first of all communists and trade unionists – none of whom have ever been offered a “homeland” or equivalent) – by capitalist imperialism, into a “justification” for and “defence” of, the violent dispossession and slow genocide of the Palestinian people.
But it is one that has only made so much headway because of the anti-Leninist rottenness of the “left” itself, afraid to grasp the nettle of analysing and exposing the stinking Nazi reality of the Jewish-Zionist colonial occupation of Palestine (courtesy of British and then American imperialism and its political, military and financial backing) and asking the core questions about why it is there and by what right it took possession (from the start in 1947).
The only possible answer of course is by “right of might” (or “right of conquest” in Donald Trump’s latest concessions to Zionist West Bank land grabs) expressed in the genocidal ethnic cleansing and terror oppression of the indigenous Palestinian people, hounded, exiled from their land, tortured, constantly persecuted, cruelly exploited and routinely subject to massacre after massacre ever since.
Worldwide hostility to this out-of-time tyranny and landtheft imposed by imperialist diktat and the terrorising of a whole people to drive them from their homes, farms, houses and cities, – particularly in the 300 million strong Arab nation, and more widely in the Middle East, and then throughout the Third World and proletarian elements in the metropolitan countries, – obviously has nothing to do with racism nor persecution of the Jewish people as Jews, and everything to do with global hatred for this tyrannical monstrosity, and for the imperialist domination and aggression it plays a leading role for, and is thoroughly intertwined with.
And such hostility spilling over onto the Jewish diaspora within imperialism, is not racist in origin either, but an inevitable consequence of the almost universal support that virtually the entire western imperialist Jewish freemasonry gives to the “Israel project”, mostly declaring themselves overtly to be Zionist, and to imperialist oppression.
Even those who say they are “anti-Zionist Jews” nevertheless overwhelmingly support the continued existence of “Israel” (bar an infinitesimal number actually opposed to it) or what amounts to the same thing, declare it to be “too late to do anything about it” (a monstrous capitulation followed by many in the fake-“left”) and certainly do nothing to campaign for the ending of this historical monstrosity, thereby in practice being inseparable from Zionism.
If some of that hostility takes a crudely “anti-semitic” form from political ignorance, it is only what this Jewish freemasonry has pulled down on its own head by its dissembling and collusion with imperialist domination.
It has nothing to do with the crude bigotry which imperialism has deliberately used to muddy the water by encouraging thuggish fringe elements of barmy Hitlerite anti-semitic nostalgia mingled with the violent white-supremacy it is desperately and degenerately stirring up as its system slides into deeper paralysed turmoil.
But that is a barmy fraction, stirred up solely to confuse the issue: the reality is that imperialism, including most of the Nazi-nostalgia rightwing fringes, supports Zionist aggression, one of the most explosive elements in the world war drive, a jar of nitroglycerine that could hit the floor at any time (and with at least 250 nuclear warheads to its name let it be noted by the “world war not possible” Trots).
All of which makes the “pro-Israel” embrace of the “left anti-semitism” lie by the Labourites one of the most degenerate and disgusting expressions of the foulness and reactionariness of the Labour “tradition” of class collaboration yet seen, an embrace of a sinister campaign that puts it even as squarely on the side of counter-revolution as the German “social-democrats” Gustav Noske and Philip Scheidermann, who suppressed the 1919 German revolution, butchering communist leaders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebnicht.
To keep the working class tied to this vileness under whatever specious reasoning about “better than the Tories” or “making steady progress leftwards” or “winning over sections of the membership” and/or transforming Labour to revolution, (via a “united front of a special kind” as the Weekly Worker weasels pretend) is criminal treachery.
It is certainly not enough to expose the reactionary history of “Sir” Keir Starmer and the Labourite establishment now back in charge, largely through the use of this sinister and degenerate campaign; the “left” Labourite Corbynistas have played just as slimy a role over the last five years.
The whole gang of them has done nothing but fool and delude the upsurge in left sentiment as austerity has bitten, encouraging one last throw of the “left Labourism” trick to head popular anti-capitalist sentiment into “safe channels” with the pretence that it was possible to “alleviate” global crisis cutbacks while continuing with capitalism (a “money printing” pseudo-solution that has now been adopted by the Tories to deal with Covid, proving that it was never anything to do with socialism at all, but simply desperate corporate capitalism).
The whole capitulation was not done out of “weakness” but is the essence of the “left” trickery role these opportunist “mavericks” exist to play, when needs must.
All of them are little opportunist landmines buried on the edge of the “labour movement” political landscape to scupper any movement into genuine understanding ie communism.
Their most treacherous trick (among a stream of concessions and betrayals of supposed “left” principles) was to go along with the entire “left anti-semitism” stunt by declaring it to be an actual thing, rather than a completely demented made-up nonsense designed to sabotage any and all support, however tepid, for the Palestinian struggle, and beyond that, support for the anti-imperialism it is inseparably bound into.
That in turn would lead onto all out pro-communist sentiment.
Just how treacherous the whole “left-Labour” movement has been is illustrated by the grovelling apologies from the appalling Rebecca Long-Bailey, supposedly a remaining “Corbynite” who played the usual posturing left-bravado game of tweeting about the connections between the brutal “knee-on-the-throat” suppression technique used by the US police, which killed George Floyd in Minnesota and triggered the wave of “black lives” revolts, and the Zionist training for US police, only to withdraw them under a barrage of sanctimonious and lying outrage from the Jewish lobby.
This was nothing but stinking humbug, pretending there to be no connection and beyond that self-righteously pretending that the accusation was “blaming the Jews for American racism”, and therefore allegedly was even worse “anti-semitism”.
This entirely nonsensical outrage was a ludicrous confection, illustrating the lying twisted nonsense of the entire “left-anti-semitism” campaign in microcosm since no-one had alleged any such “responsibility” for anti-black US racism lay at the doors of Jewishness (though it is thoroughly racist in “Israel” against the Palestinians and Arabs).
As some subsequent bourgeois press reports indicated, the original allegation was that the use of the “knee” as a technique, was linked to Israeli training, which it turned out, is more than likely:
Keir Starmer’s decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary after she shared on Twitter an interview with the actor Maxine Peake has focused attention on links between US police forces and their Israeli counterparts – and how those connections have been reported by some media outlets in recent weeks.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Independent, Peake made the claim – which she later retracted – that the brutal US police tactics that left George Floyd unable to breathe in Minnesota, sparking global Black Lives Matter protests, were a direct result of Israeli training.
“Systemic racism is a global issue,” Peake told the Independent. “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”
Long-Bailey retweeted the interview with Peake – which was headlined “People who couldn’t vote Labour because of Corbyn? They voted Tory as far as I’m concerned” – with the comment “Maxine Peake is an absolute diamond”. Starmer said he felt compelled to sack her because “I do not consider sharing that article furthered the course of rebuilding trust with the Jewish community”.
The Independent originally contextualised Peake’s comments with a denial from an Israeli police spokesperson that they would recommend kneeling on a suspect’s neck, before referencing a 2016 blog post by Amnesty International USA on how US police forces are regularly trained by Israeli officials.
Several hours later the interview was updated to include a stronger denial from an Israeli police spokesperson insisting “there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway”. An editor’s note was also attached, distancing the Independent from Peake’s claim: “This article has been amended to further clarify that the allegation that US police were taught tactics of ‘neck kneeling’ by Israeli secret services is unfounded.”
The connections between US police forces and the training offered by the Israeli state has come under increased media attention in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. This has generated viral posts and media coverage that has sometimes extrapolated from known facts to make broader unsourced claims.
There is no doubt that there are many programmes involving Israeli officials offering training to US police forces. Some programmes are conducted on US soil in conjunction with the Israeli embassy, such as a 2012 event where 100 officers from Minnetonka – a city 8 miles from Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed – were trained on how to combat terrorists. Other programmes, often organised by pro-Israel organisations based in the US, involved flying small groups of officers to Israel for training programmes. Such police exchanges are not uncommon.
The usual evasions and apologetics pretending there is “no connection” reflect the Zionist lobby’s powerful censorship pressure on the media.
But a Middle East Eye piece cited in the article above makes it clearer:
The Israeli police force has tried to distance itself from any perceived similarities, issuing statements denouncing what happened and stating that its officers are not trained to use knee-to-neck techniques.
But photographs taken as recently as March have shown Israeli forces using the same restraint on unarmed protesters just yards from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.
...Since the early 90s, hundreds of law enforcement officers, including police officers and agents from the FBI, CIA, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have either been sent to Israel through police exchanges, or attended summits within the US that were sponsored by Israeli lobby organisations.
Police forces from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington state and others have participated in the training, including one that took place in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd was killed.
Leading human rights groups have denounced the exchange programmes, warning that Israeli police standards and tactics only serve to exacerbate racial profiling and police brutality in the US.
“With a long record of human rights violations, Israeli security forces are an incredibly problematic training partner,” Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International USA’s researcher for arms control, security and human rights told MEE.
Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesperson, rejected criticisms of the training scheme, telling MEE that... no training exchange with Israel’s police forces would “involve such a measure” like the one Chauvin used against Floyd.
“It doesn’t exist in any [Israeli] police textbook,” he said.
But Fady Khoury, a Harvard Law School civil and political rights attorney with Adalah legal centre for minority rights in Israel, said textbooks and bylaws cannot negate the physical evidence of such tactics being used by Israeli officers on the ground.
“We have seen this not only in the occupied territories when soldiers perform arrests, but inside Israel by police officers as well.”
Days after Floyd was killed, Mohammad al-Qadi, a Palestinian marathon runner from the occupied West Bank, posted several pictures depicting uniformed Israelis arresting Palestinians by using knee-to-throat techniques similar to the one that resulted in Floyd’s death.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003 also established a special office in Israel, which has institutionalised the relationship between Israeli and American law enforcement.
..campaigns looking to abolish police exchanges have highlighted that Israel has long been criticised by human rights groups across the world for its “extrajudicial killings” and “disproportionate use of force” against Palestinians.
Even the US Department of State has in the past cited Israeli police for carrying out “arbitrary or unlawful killings”.
Khoury, who mainly represents protesters who have encountered police brutality, said it is uncommon for an Israeli officer or soldier “to be held accountable for the use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians”.
“In fact, it is more accurate to say that it is rare for an investigation to be opened,” he said....
...Police departments in Vermont and Massachusetts also withdrew from a trip to Israel organised through the ADL in 2018, following pressure from one of the JVP coalition groups.
The coalition group in Washington, Occupation Free DC, has also been working to end the DC Police Department’s partnership with Israel, as well as the force’s militarisation.
Scott Brown, an organiser with the group, said the training that takes place with Israel is as much about ideology as they are about tactics and equipment...“deepening relationships [to] build up really strong support for Israel and its actions.”
The reactionary willingness of the opportunist TUC/Labourite officialdom to pursue the grotesque inversions of this CIA/Zionist lie campaign, is only exceeded now by its proactive push to outdo the Tories in whipping up anti-Chinese hatred, more of the anti-communism it embraces.
No wonder the fake-“left" feels so at home within it.
Much more analysis is needed but that much is clear.
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