No 1583 25th September 2020
Desperate crisis drives ruling class ever closer to open fascism as Trumpism whips up racist vigilantism to civil war levels in a frenzy of fearful hatreds and chauvinist belligerence, and prepares to steal the presidential election. British contempt for international law and Brexit jingoism similar. This new Nazism uses “democracy” delusions, just as Hitler did, to push through the open dictatorship and terrorising needed to suppress domestic revolt as Catastrophic economic collapse unfolds. The huge slump disaster not “caused by Covid” but brewing for decades, the inevitable result of the contradictions of this stinking, unfair, exploitative and degenerate profit system, heading once more for World War. The only way out is the class war overturn of capitalism to build socialism but vital revolutionary understanding remains held back by middle-class “freedom and democracy” delusions and hostility to communism, swallowing all the fascist CIA diversion stunts against China, Belarus, Venezuela, Cuba etc
The degeneration of world dominating US imperialism and its British Brexit stoogery into outright fascism grows more obvious daily as the capitalist crisis heads for total Catastrophe.
But not one section of the fake-“left”, forever striking poses about “Marxism” and “revolution”, gives the working class any real sense of just what a deadly path the whole monopoly capitalist system is unavoidably following, nor the mind-boggling scale and intractability of the crisis which is driving it.
They still pump out abstract “democracy and freedom” brainrot, disarming the working class and either falling for every poisonous and lying counter-revolutionary stunt going, like Belarus, Hong Kong, the Uighurs etc, and the entire “war on terror”, or heading workers into sterile blame-game Stalin-worship diversions to avoid understanding past mistakes and to cover-up continuing errors – all evading the central question of the fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Most importantly, none put at the forefront the obvious and vital need to build a serious revolutionary party to lead the inevitably developing and necessary class war to bring down this system and build socialism under the firmest workers state control.
A few voices (among the eclectic stew in the Weekly Worker paper for example) academically and partially raise concerns that “things are looking a bit like the Weimar republic” (– the hopeless anti-communist reformism which opened the door to Hitlerism in 1930s Germany –) in the same offhand manner one might comment “looks like rain”, while a few other Trots urgently declare that Trump represents the “danger of fascism” though presenting it as something “other” (implying therefore that “ordinary” capitalism would be better and “more democratic”, or could be made so with enough left pressure, a deadly illusion – Joe Biden and even the “left” Democrats will still run capitalism and its world exploitation).
It is capitalism itself, all of it, which is “fascist” and only ending it totally will stop this degeneration, threatening the whole world.
Of course Trumpite approval for vigilante murders and police death-squads, plans to steal the November presidential election and the Tory Brexiters’ contempt for international treaties and the “rule of law” (when it suits) are all giving notice that the ruling class is now turning to open repression domestically and stepped up belligerence internationally, feeding jingoism and hatred in preparation for oncoming international war.
But then what’s new after 20+ years of blitzing and “shock and awe” intimidation from the NATO destruction of Serbia onwards – and the routine racism and proletarian suppression?
Only that destroying half the Middle East has solved nothing as well as stirring up far more hatred and resistance across the world than ever before and that the ruling class is more desperate than ever (and therefore more obviously nasty).
Certainly more overt bourgeois dictatorship (“fascism”) signals the vicious determination of the ruling class to use every ruthless and dirty method in the book to stay on top, terrorising and intimidating all resistance – and going to any lengths to do so.
But it is forced to do that out of fear and weakness, as its system falls to pieces (as Marxism-Leninism has always explained is inevitable from the Communist Manifesto onwards).
Along with the collapse has gone all the authority and command which it had earlier in history when the rising bourgeoisie’s enterprise and gung-ho (and bloodily piratical) spirit dragged society out from the rural torpor of the once dominant feudal ruling class and its religious-mystical ideological backwardness, by a sequence of revolutions, into the age of technology and practical science (albeit still muddied with irrationality and religion).
But that one-sided capitalist class world is riven by social and economic contradictions (see economics page, Marx’s Capital etc) and even more so in the late imperialist phase of increasingly socialised production in giant monopolies but still controlled by private ownership.
The world scale "over-production" that must lead to, means eventual slump implosion, however dazzling and brilliant the boom on the way.
At which point this ruthlessly wasteful and vicious worldwide exploitation tyranny, with its ever-more grotesque inequality and arrogant privilege more and more concentrated in giant mega-billionaire monopolies; its philistine contempt for rationality, justice, science, serious culture and the destruction of nature; its criminality, fraud, and drug-addled depravity; and above all its warmongering belligerence, must head inexorably for the inferno of a third World War threatening the entire planet with destruction and chaos as this latest incident hair-raisingly underlines:
In another unprecedented show of force aimed at Russia, U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers flew from the United Kingdom to Ukraine airspace earlier today. ..they orbited for an extended period right at the edge of the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula and near areas under the control of Kremlin-supported separatists.
These sorties...come a week after a Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet performed a potentially dangerous maneuver in front of another B-52H flying over the Black Sea.
Three B-52Hs...departed RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom on Sept. 4, 2020. There are conflicting reports about whether the third bomber took part in the mission to Ukraine, but only two of them were ever visible on online flight tracking software. Regardless, the bombers subsequently returned to Fairford, where a total of six of them – all of which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons – have been forward-deployed as part of a Bomber Task Force mission.
the B-52Hs flew to the southeastern portion of the country and entered a racetrack-like orbit along the coast of the Sea of Azov. The orbit’s southwesternmost point was over the Ukrainian port city of Henichesk, which is around 20 miles, from the Crimean Peninsula. The northeasternmost tip of the route was just south of the city of Melitopol, around 115 miles or so from areas under the control of separatists in Eastern Ukraine that Russian forces are actively supporting.
There are unconfirmed reports Ukrainian Su-27 Flankers flew with the bombers during the sorties. In May 2020, Ukrainian Flankers, as well as MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets, flew with B-1 bombers in the region. At least one U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon, flying all the way from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea, also appears to have joined the bombers for a time.
In addition, a number of U.S. aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, as well as those from the United Kingdom, were seen operating in the area at the time. This included an Air Force RC-135V/W Rivet Joint spy plane, as well as an RAF Airseeker, which is derived from the Rivet Joint. A RAF Sentinel R1, a radar platform, was also present for a time.
[These] aircraft are all capable of collecting signals and electronic intelligence...to gather information about how Russia’s integrated air defense networks and other command and control nodes reacted...to add to the known “electronic order of battle” of Russian forces in the broader Black Sea region.
B-1 bombers also trained in the region together with Ukrainian fighter jets.
New and “improved” nuclear weapons are proliferating in parallel with the race for space. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), nine states – the US, Russia, China, Israel, the UK, France, India, Pakistan and North Korea – together possess about 13,400 weapons. While the overall total is falling, “retired” warheads and bombs are being replaced by more powerful, versatile devices, such as smaller, “use-able” US battlefield nukes.
...the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed over 200,000 people, but the absence of public debate or a sense of alarm about the grim advent of sophisticated new nuclear, hypersonic, cyber and space weapons is striking.
The battle for outer space is only getting going – yet deserves immediate attention. Russia’s alleged development of anti-satellite weapons is almost certainly matched by the US and China, and undermines past undertakings about the peaceful use of space.
Despite celebrated speeches supporting a nuclear-free world, Barack Obama authorised a $1.2tn plan to upgrade America’s nuclear triad while pursuing strategic arms reductions via the 2010 New Start treaty with Russia. Trump has doubled down, at the same time abandoning arms control pacts. His 2018 nuclear posture review proposed an extra $500bn in spending, including $17bn for low-yield, battlefield weapons.
Donald Trump looks set to scupper New Start, which expires in February, on the spurious ground that it does not reduce China’s much smaller arsenal (which it was never intended to do). He has previously reneged on the 2015 Iran nuclear treaty, the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, and is said to favour resumed nuclear testing in Nevada in defiance of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty.
...in relaunching US space command last year, Trump also pointed to space as the next great-power battlefield. Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance will not deploy weapons in space but is obliged to defend its interests, which include 2,000 orbiting satellites. For Nato, too, space is now an “operational domain”.
“All these states are either developing or deploying new weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so,” Sipri’s annual report said. The US and Russia each possessed about 1,550 deployed, long-range weapons, while China had about 300. Both the US and Russia were spending more and placing greater reliance on nuclear weapons in future military planning, it said, while China was rushing to catch up.
“China is in the middle of a significant modernisation of its nuclear arsenal. It is developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft. India and Pakistan are slowly increasing the size and diversity of their nuclear forces,” Sipri reported. Meanwhile, North Korea continued to prioritise its military nuclear programme, while conducting “multiple” ballistic missile tests.
While nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945, great-power military flashpoints are increasing the risk that they might be. These potential triggers include the South China Sea, Taiwan, the India-Pakistan and India-China borders, the US-Israel-Iran conflict, North Korea and Ukraine.
Heightened international tensions and collapsing arms-control regimes only partly explain the accelerating pace of nuclear rearmament. Resurgent nationalism, authoritarian rightwing populism, revived or new territorial rivalries (as in space), the bypassing of the UN and multilateral institutions, and a shifting economic and geopolitical power balance are all aggravating factors
Or more simply stated - capitalist catastrophe.
Meanwhile, domestic vengeance punishments for any rebelliousness, attempts to expose ruling class degeneracy like paedophilia and abuse, or warcrimes and torture, and most of all anything labelled as “terrorism”, including unprovable “intention to commit terrorism”, are ramped up to new heights of inhumane viciousness, (lifetime jail sentences, decades in solitary etc and worse to come) with barely a murmur from the “lefts”, even though they are the real target for this near-universal surveillance, suppression and persecution (or at least those with sufficient residual principles not to capitulate and to continue at least some kind of anti-capitalist posturing).
These are desperate moves by a ruling class torn apart with doubt, uncertainty and internal recrimination (Brexit especially), and even more since the 2008 global bank collapses signalled the full world economic Catastrophe, now accelerated but not remotely “caused” by the Covid pandemic (see past issues eg 1576) as ruling class lies try to pretend.
The virus chaos and callousness has simply underlined the disastrous contradictions of the monopoly capitalist order which not only make it totally unsuited for the further development of human society after 800 years in the saddle, but are putting much of it into reverse – as illustrated by its floundering Covid incompetence and cynical non-stop profiteering and corruption, hampering any reasonable response to the plague as Pharma companies compete instead of cooperating and lucrative contracts are handed to utterly unsuitable private companies without even a pretence of “competition” (secretly privatising the NHS at the same time).
It has also strongly highlighted the capabilities of the workers states and their collective society responses to the virus, humanely containing the impact, almost eliminating the disease, and already back on track with economic and social development, a lesson which a stream of demented “freedom” propaganda has been trying to rubbish ever since the pandemic broke (on top of the non-stop “totalitarianism” Goebbels gobshyte poured out against them anyway). The bourgeois press has been instructed to play down success stories but occasional comments emerge:
I have recently returned to Beijing after a number of months in involuntary exile in South Korea with my family. We eventually returned to China with a charter flight out of Italy.
When we quarantined at home, courtesy of our local neighbourhood committee, they placed an alarm on our front gate which was triggered when we left the compound around our house. The only excuses for opening the gate were accepting deliveries and putting out the trash. We had a sheet to complete to justify the gate being opened.
Of course we could have run away from the house and arranged to be let back in, but we, like most Chinese citizens, realised that the greater good of the many outweighs the individual needs of a few, and we made it to 14 days without any breaches.
I fail to see why this sort of system, relatively cheap and installed in two minutes, cannot be introduced around the world.
William Dawson Beijing, China
As various petty bourgeois commentators are noting, the West’s gross hypocrisy simultaneously is using the pretence of “protection of the people” from pandemic to slide through open bourgeois dictatorship moves, like the British Corona Act earlier this year allowing government to bypass even the usual parliamentary pretences with authoritarian decrees:
The legislation allows ministers to authorise no end of drastic moves, from much weaker oversight of government surveillance and sectioning powers under the Mental Health Act to the closure of the UK’s borders. Perhaps the most startling section – which Martha Spurrier, the director of the pressure group Liberty, calls “completely wild” – lays out how the police can be rapidly allowed to detain anyone deemed “potentially infectious”, without an upper time limit.
If most of these powers have so far not been activated, the nature of other new restrictions is already clear. These are formulated by ministers in secret, and come into force as a matter of diktat. In the case of the rule of six, only 30 minutes separated legislation being published and it coming into force.
But the pretence of class “legality” and “democratic” mandate will not be abandoned – just as the pre-WW2 Fascist and Nazi movements claimed parliamentary justification, - and especially for as long as there is no exposure of the whole hoodwinking democracy game as the cover for bourgeois dictatorship, and which fake-“left” opportunism helps sustain, misleading and disarming working class understanding of the giant fraud all “parliament” is and has ever been.
Part of such petty bourgeois confusion - driven by a deep down fear of working class authority – is the quibbling and academicism of much of the fake-“left” over “definitions” of fascism as mentioned above or as dismissed by mountebank “left” parliamentarians like George Galloway, declaring that “we cannot call this fascism yet” because that would be “devaluing the term”.
It is monstrous treacherous gobshyte to speculate on whether we are “there yet” whichever side is taken.
There is no great dividing line between what might be described as “real Nazism” and the draconian extremes to which bourgeois rule is being driven domestically by the inexorable dialectical logic of the crisis, every notch upward to revolt and protest adding to the ferment and, in crisis, producing even more of the very repression and brutality which has driven the explosive black lives and other demonstrations and the Third World “terrorist” wave.
Firstly, fascist barbarity has always been imposed anyway over centuries of colonialism, slaughtering, torturing and enslaving countless hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples; and post-war through a worldwide imposition, by the now dominant US Empire, of hundreds of invasions, coups, secret and outright wars and massacres, done directly or more usually through assorted bribed stooges, comprador bourgeoisies and local dictatorships from a slew of brutal tinpot tyrants massacring and butchering their way through post-war Latin America; the similar Duvaliers in Haiti and the invasion of Grenada’s Leninist revolution; to the primitive gangster tribalism of the Gulf and Saudi Arabia; to the Suhartos and Marcoses of the Far East and the Saddats and Saddams of the Middle East; or through imperialist insertions and occupations dominating local regions, like South Korea’s post-war dictatorships, South African apartheid white supremacy and above the land-stealing colonialist imposition of Zionism into Palestine (artificially called “Israel”), its Jewish supremacism intimately wrapped-up with US imperialism to serve as smiter-in-chief for its own expansionist ambitions and Washington’s (and all imperialism’s) general interests, permanently keeping a jackboot on the neck of the Arab nation and the wider Middle East too (see EPSR Book 20 - Zionism and the fraud of “left-anti-semitism”).
Secondly, it has also been imposed within America and other imperialist powers anyway, particularly against the slave-descended black proletariat (though not only) and the genocidally dispossessed First Nation peoples kept in appalling poverty and alcoholism misery within social-prison “reservations” for centuries, as well as against the Latino population also working in often semi-slave conditions and racistly persecuted and harried.
And much of the “white trash” proletariat and poor gets the same repression and contempt.
Rebellious leaders have been gunned down, bombed or subject to near lifetime prison regimes of medieval savagery, like the famous First Nationer Leonard Peltier, the Angola Three and many black nationalist fighters, and Puerto Rico independence nationalists Filberto Ríos and Oscar López Rivera to name just a tiny few.
Wikileaks informer Chelsea Manning, revealing the gross warcrimes of the 2003 Iraq invasion, has been brutally treated and publisher Julian Assange faces horrifying permanent imprisonment after the British bourgeoisie puts through its heavily biased stitch-up extradition trial in London, under conditions that will either kill him or be a living death.
Certainly the crisis is forcing the pace and it is not ruled out that the ruling class will use the specifically fascist parties it permanently fosters and encourages in the background at some point to intimidate and bully the working class and any intelligentsia that rebel, as Trump has started.
But it needs repeating that such specific forms of repression are not always necessary as when the European ruling class plunged the world into the First World War for example, and if they are tapped it is because the whole of bourgeois society is going rotten – they are symptoms not the cause (see EPSR Perspectives 2002).
This is even clear in the dominant USA which is now in virtual civil war as a great wave of proletarian revolt has exploded across the country, initially as anti-racist protest and against police brutality but rapidly incorporating a much more general anti-rich anti-ruling class sentiment (and incidentally already exposing the limitations of single-issue politics with the opportunist minority middle-class wing of black nationalism trying to limit the fight to “just our anti-racism”).
Outright fascist white-supremacist militias are being mobilised but the driving force is the mainstream bourgeoisie whose Republican wing, backed by most of the billionaire class, is solidly behind Donald Trump.
Jut as with German Nazism, the “democracy” mechanisms, mingled with “patriotic” jingoism are being used all the way, leading the working class by the nose to bloody suppression, as repeatedly seen around the world from Chile in 1973 and Indonesia in 1965 to Egypt in 2013.
Hitler-style, the demented Trumpite White House is already making ready to steal the presidential election if the usual twisting and lying electoral manipulations fall short this November, with the ground already prepared by the past four years of bent and reactionary stitch-ups and clearouts of the state and its institutions already imposed during Trump’s first term .
As with the German Nazis the full extent of the repression to come will emerge once the White House (Chancellorship) is secured but the pattern is already clear from the use of federal forces and the vicious border patrol against anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrations and particularly the open incitement of vigilante killing and state police street executions against anti-racist and other left protest and demonstrations.
Even more obviously, Trump’s open approval for the double murder and a maiming of protestors by a gun-toting 17 year old in Kenosha - approved of by the police around him - is outright Nazism, and particularly set alongside the killing of a “suspect” in a hail of police bullets in Portland for the shooting of a rightwing invader (who was chasing down a black demonstrator with murderous intent).
Reading between the not-so-obscure lines in the bourgeois press, the lethal “arrest” is a clear deathsquad vengeance killing by the hidden groupings of reactionaries (racist bike-gangs and the like) which riddle the US police and state forces, with no effort to actually arrest or properly “bring to justice” the victim:
A suspect in the killing of a far-right demonstrator in Portland, Oregon, was shot dead by law enforcement officers late on Thursday night, officials said.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was shot by a federally led fugitive task force as he left an apartment in Lacey, in Washington state south of Seattle, said Pierce county sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, according to the Olympian news site.
Four officers fired shots, officials said. A witness who was walking his dog in the area was quoted by the Olympian as hearing 30 to 40 shots being fired after two SUVs pulled up outside a block.
“As they attempted to apprehend him, there was gunfire,” Lt Ray Brady of the Thurston county sheriff’s office told the New York Times.
On Friday, the US attorney general, William Barr, echoed Donald Trump’s central re-election campaign theme when he heralded “a significant accomplishment in the ongoing effort to restore law and order to Portland and other cities”.
The details of Reinoehl’s killing remained unclear. Brady said officers reported Reinoehl was armed and had entered a vehicle when he was shot, but neither detail had been confirmed.
An arrest warrant had been issued earlier in the day. Reinoehl, a regular attendee of anti-racism protests in Portland, was suspected of killing Aaron “Jay” Danielson, 39, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, which staged a counter-demonstration in Portland last Saturday.
The counter-protesters drove through blocks occupied by demonstrators in large trucks with Trump flags, some firing paintball guns at the anti-racism activists.
Reinoehl is alleged to have fired on Danielson. In an interview published in Vice on Thursday, Reinoehl, described as an army veteran and father of two, claimed he and a friend faced an assailant armed with a knife and said he acted in self-defense.
“You know, lots of lawyers suggest that I shouldn’t even be saying anything, but I feel it’s important that the world at least gets a little bit of what’s really going on,” Reinoehl said. “I had no choice. I mean, I … I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.”
Critics of Trump accuse him of fueling tensions by sending unmarked federal troops to arrest demonstrators, by exaggerating violence in the city, and by cheerleading counter-protesters who have come from out of town to confront demonstrators.
In his statement, Barr said: “I applaud the outstanding cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement, particularly the fugitive task force team that located Reinoehl and prevented him from escaping justice.
“The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed, and the actions that led to his location are an unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs.”
This has immediately escalated:
Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were shot in their car near a metro station in the city of Compton on Saturday, the department wrote on its official Twitter account. It shared footage of the attack that shows a gunman walk past their vehicle, raise a weapon and open fire on both deputies.
The local sheriff said this is part of a growing trend in which officers are assaulted unprovoked.
The suspect is seen running away safely as one of the wounded tries to open the passenger door, at which point the video ends.
The chilling footage was shared by many on social media, including President Trump. “Animals that must be hit hard!” he wrote shortly after the incident.
Gravely injured, the deputies managed to radio for help and were rushed to hospital in critical condition, Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the media. The pair, a 31-year-old woman and her 24-year-old male partner, underwent surgery and emergency treatment for multiple gunshot wounds.
The sheriff’s department also reported that protesters swarmed the entrance and exit of the hospital’s emergency room, chanting, “we hope they die!”
The attack comes weeks after an intense shootout in Rancho Cordova, California. A gun-wielding man attacked two deputies and shot one of them in the lower body. The skirmish continued until the suspect was shot twice by deputies and died.
Random or even organised anarcho-terrorist violence is not in itself going to end capitalist domination but neither will the usual round of tutting from the fake-“left” deploying their “principles”, falsely declaring that terrorism is to be “condemned” - because it is “morally wrong” or is “reactionary” or “plays into the hands of the bourgeoisie”.
As the EPSR has often stated, such eruptions are going to happen anyway, just as they are doing more and more frequently across the whole world (and especially in the Middle East and across Africa), because that is where imperialist tyranny, exploitation and repression has driven things ie towards the greatest civil war and anti-imperialist uprising in all history.
All such hatred and hostility is caused by, and is solely the responsibility of, the capitalist system and particularly the terrorising warmongering and violence that it imposes as part of its domination, especially intensified as the crisis deepens and the “necessity” to impose ever more openly dictatorial repression is increased, to hold down and intimidate the growing revolt.
It is imperialism which is the true terrorism, bullying, intimidating and blitzing populations everywhere with unspeakable horrors as well as imposing the slow agonies of sweatshop and plantation exploitation, poverty, appalling sanitation, hunger and the humiliation of non-stop domination.
And clearly the anger and hostility it has long stirred up now runs very deep, cropping up in the heart of imperialism itself. As EPSR No 1248 (14-09-04) put it, quoting Lenin’s 1906 article “On Guerrilla Warfare”:
While not the revolution itself (in fact, frequently nothing like it and often a hindrance to it), Lenin nevertheless abundantly makes it clear that he “takes the stand of” the civil war activists, — all of them and any of them.
Society under capitalism is disintegrating, “so let it happen” is the revolutionary’s response.
Only petty-bourgeois minds with an incurable attachment to piecemeal improvements that feeds into and is fed by a natural not-properly-thought-through optimism that “things always get better”, stick to the treacherous reformist opposite which “condemns” such messy civil-war breakdowns as Beslan and such international “outrages” as 9/11 (which equally signal a disintegrating world)....
Only imperialist tyranny and deluded reformists think “this has got to be stopped”, damning the act of terrorism.
Revolutionaries think “this has got to be stopped”, striving harder than ever to see a way that the defeat, overthrow, and crushing of the imperialist system, every scrap of it, can be achieved.
The paper goes on to say that such analysis is nothing to do with supporting such movements in their politics, often backward and confusing.
Nor is terrorism the first or usual tactic that Marxism would advance, seeing mass revolutionary education and understanding as the best approach for guiding the giant class war which is brewing.
For that, a leadership party is required of non-stop analysis of the constantly shifting world balance of class forces, examining all possible phenomena in society - housing, corruption, drugs, education, colonialism, Zionism and ludicrous accusations of “left-anti-semitism” etc etc etc), - in the light of the great body of revolutionary understanding already developed (particularly Marx, Engels, and Lenin’s 100 volumes and the EPSR’s publications), and taking it forwards using constant polemical battling to find the best approximation possible to the ever advancing objective conditions.
Developing and fighting for such a correct understanding (against the confusion saturating everything) is the central criterion for winning the trust of the working class, firstly through its best and most advanced members who themselves will be drawn into the fight for ever improving understanding, through study and through bringing their own experiences into the party to enrich its knowledge.
But that will not include “blaming or condemning” terrorist upheavals.
The ruling class needs no such justifications except as a convenient means to fool the petty bourgeoisie and play on its fears of revolution as those around Trumpism are making clear:
Roger Stone, whose 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress and witness tampering in the Russia investigation was commuted by Donald Trump, has said Trump should seize total power and jail prominent figures including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg if he loses to Joe Biden in November.
The long-time Republican strategist and dirty trickster, who has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, lied about contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election regarding emails hacked from Democratic party accounts.
Stone did not turn on Trump and had his sentence reduced on the recommendation of attorney general William Barr. But he still faced prison before Trump acted. His conviction stands.
Both men were in Nevada on Saturday, Trump holding campaign events while Stone sought to raise money for himself. He outlined his advice to Trump should he lose in a call to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s Infowars online show, on Thursday.
Citing widely debunked claims of fraud around early voting, absentee balloting and voting by mail, Stone said Trump should consider invoking the Insurrection Act and arresting the Clintons, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tim Cook of Apple and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity”.
Stone also said: “The ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshals and taken from the state. They are completely corrupted. No votes should be counted from the state of Nevada if that turns out to be the provable case. Send federal marshals to the Clark county board of elections, Mr President!”
Nevada has not gone to a Republican since 2004 but is shaping up to be a crucial contest this year. Biden leads there, but polls have tightened.
Trump’s own rhetoric was not far removed from that of the man he spared prison. The president continued on Saturday to make unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. He and his campaign have also consistently claimed without evidence that “antifa”, or anti-fascist, activists represent a deadly threat to suburban voters that will be unleashed should Biden win.
Commenting on a Daily Beast report about leftwing activist groups planning what to do “if the election ends without a clear outcome or with a Biden win that Trump refuses to recognize”, Stone told Jones the website should be shut down.
“If the Daily Beast is involved in provably seditious and illegal activities,” he said, “their entire staff can be taken into custody and their office can be shut down. They wanna play war, this is war.”
Stone also advocated “forming an election day operation using the FBI, federal marshals and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections [to results] and if necessary to physically stand in the way of criminal activity”.
In an interview broadcast on Saturday night, Trump told Fox News he would happily “put down” any leftwing protests.
“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that,” he told Jeannine Pirro.
“We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in and we, we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that, because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes, within minutes.”
The Insurrection Act of 1807 allows the president to use federal troops to enforce federal law. Last used in 1992, it was much discussed this summer, amid protests over racism and police brutality arising from the killing of George Floyd by officers in Minneapolis.
Ultimately Trump chose simply to send federal agents to confront protesters, most prominently in Portland, Oregon, a move which proved hugely controversial.
In his interview with Fox News, Trump discussed an incident in the city in which US Marshals shot dead a suspect in the killing of a member of a rightwing group.
“There has to be retribution when you have crime like this,” Trump said.
He also said protests such as those in Portland would lead to “a backlash” from the political right, “the likes of which you haven’t seen in many, many years”.
Far from dismissing this as the ravings of a neocon maverick, the world needs to take it very seriously.
These events are just the prelude as the world is warmed up for much greater inter-imperialist conflict to come as economic and political catastrophe unfolds, and ever more cutthroat trade war (over Iran, China eg) eventually turns into all-out military onslaught.
That means between the great monopoly blocs not simply or necessarily first China or bogeyman Russia.
Tensions between Europe and the US ratchet up, ostensibly about Iran or Russia, but in reality over trade pressures, the real underlying conflict:
European leaders have warned the US that its claim to have the authority to reimpose sweeping UN-mandated sanctions on Iran has no effect in law, setting up a major legal clash that could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on its European allies.
In a joint statement on Sunday, France, Germany and the UK (E3) said any attempt by the US to impose its own sanctions on countries not complying with the reimposed UN ones was also legally void.
On Saturday, the US moved to reinstate a range of UN sanctions against Iran, saying it had the authority to do so as an original signatory of the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and other major powers.
The other signatories claim the US left the JCPOA in 2018 and therefore no longer has a unilateral legal right to either declare Iran in breach of the agreement or to reimpose sanctions in the name of the UN.
The dispute leaves the US at loggerheads with much of the world on whether UN sanctions have been reimposed.
The disagreement is not just a legal wrangle since the Trump administration claims the US now has the authority to act against any country breaching the reimposed sanctions.
The US also claims the scheduled lifting of the UN embargo on arms sales to Iran in October is null and void. There is also a risk that the US will claim it has a new mandate to interdict Iranian shipping, a move that could lead to a naval clash in the Gulf.
In a joint statement, the E3 said: “The United States of America ceased to be a participant in the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the agreement on 8 May, 2018. Consequently, the notification received from the United States and transmitted to the member states of the [UN] security council, has no legal effect. It follows that any decision or action which would be taken on the basis of this procedure or its outcome have no legal effect.
“Our goal remains to preserve the authority and integrity of the United Nations security council. The E3s remain committed to fully implementing security council resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA in 2015. We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear deal and we remain committed to continuing to do so.”
Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs chief, said the JCPOA was “a key pillar of the architecture of the world system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and by comprehensively addressing Iran’s nuclear programme, it contributes to regional and global security”.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said the legal uncertainty surrounding the US claim meant it was not possible to declare that UN sanctions had been reimposed.
Washington’s threats have led to a predictably fierce response from Iran, as well as claims by the the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, that the US is diplomatically isolated from the rest of the security council. The head of the Revolutionary Guards warned the US that Iran was capable of setting fire to all US bases in the Gulf “at once”, according to an interview on state TV.
Maj Gen Hossein Salamisaid the US army was “exhausted” and did not have the power to start a ground war with Iran. “Even if the snapback [in sanctions] is performed, it will fire blank shots,” Salami said late on Saturday. “We will go ahead and take our actions if our rights are not fulfilled within the nuclear deal. We’re not afraid of bluffs, threats and intimidations.”
As clear, the hysterical and vicious domestic and international belligerence still uses the forms of “democracy” and “international law and order” as its fraudulent and cynically hypocritical justification even as it tramples all over the content.
But it is usefully exposing the fake-“left” across the board as they continue to pump out its “democracy” confusion.
Anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together can see what a hollow joke it all is as the Saudi Arabias, “Israels”, Latin and central American reactionaries, Modi’s Hindu-fascist India, Duterte’s Philippines, the Ukrainian swastika toters in Kiev and many others pursue their crude gangster thuggery and genocidal coups, occupations and war provocations (Yemen reduced to horrifying near-famine, Palestine repeatedly blitzed, corralled in concentration camp conditions and constantly intimidated, coup and police slaughter in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, the invasion and suppression of Kashmir and border skirmishes and war threats are made against China, nazi destruction of working class cities in eastern Ukraine etc etc etc).
There is not a word of criticism or “sanctions” for any of them (and much political and military support, finance and arms supply) even as a non-stop deluge of sick bogus “concern” for “freedom” and “human rights” pours out against the remaining workers states or anywhere remotely like one (like left nationalist Venezuela).
Huge and growing China is the major target clearly, and especially as its calm and coordinated Covid response has exposed Western incompetence and individualist profiteering callousness (as mentioned above), the frenzy of Goebbels BIG LIE gobshyte about “totalitarian oppression” has exponentially increased as past EPSRs (eg No1575 24-04-20) have explored (Uighurs, Hong Kong, Tibet, even Mongolia).
China is a workers state and the authority and discipline it imposes is fundamentally different to the usually hidden bourgeois dictatorship of monopoly capitalism, being in the interests of the working class and its development, and to be unconditionally supported for all that Beijing’s often dire revisionist leadership can and should be criticised (but only from a Leninist perspective in the interests of strengthening it and improving Leninist understanding too).
The slew of fake-“left” who fall for the lies about democracy and “freedom” expose thereby their core fear and detestation of workers state discipline which is the only way to deal with imperialism’s diktat and tyranny, overturning and strongly suppressing the bourgeoisie, and the constant violent attempts it makes to restore its rule, and taking all production property (industry, finance, land, farms and mines) into common ownership to build planned socialism, ending hire-and-fire wage slavery and creating the only society in which the full development and participation of every individual is possible and necessary.
The latest stunt in capitalism’s endless subversion and counter-revolution, the CIA coordinated “colour revolution” in Belarus has exposed further the weaknesses and treachery of the fake-“left” and debilitating impact on working class understanding, helping prop up the democracy garbage and diverting attention from the disastrous economic crisis in the West.
The worst of them like the SWP have fallen immediately for this stunt which, entirely without evidence, declared the recent re-election to be “fixed” and subsequently was “not recognised” by the US and European Union.
Belarus is hated by the West because it retains some remnants of Soviet workers state organisation, set back in place in 1994 with the election of Alexander Lukashenko and defended ever since using much of the workers state machinery of KGB, state ownership and state planning.
His government, reflecting a rapidly growing mass popular discontent with the cuts and chaos of the new “capitalist free market” and wish for a return to Sovietism, (contrary to all the propaganda that the USSR was a grey repressive hellhole which every was desperate to escape), has blocked or reversed much of the capitalist carpet-bagging privatisation plundering which created the gangster-oligarch monopoly combines dominating and ripping of the rest of the former USSR since its liquidation in 1991, now Putin’s Russia.
And while by no means a return to full communism, this Belarusian bureaucratic stubbornness to allow the restorationists their way is sufficiently dogged to be a permanent thorn in the side of imperialism.
Lukashenko has been a prime target ever since for the carefully coordinated “protests” that are a speciality of the CIA and particularly around the former Soviet Union.
In the latest artificially hyped-up and grossly over-estimated “popular” demonstrations against the recent presidential election, won hands down by Lukashenko, street numbers have been pumped-up to absurd dimensions by the trickery and misrepresentation of the Western intelligence agencies, and bourgeois media which dutifully disseminate all its “human rights” gobshyte, along with pages of coverage poured out over every sick stunt by the “opposition” attempting to present the state forces as “brutally” violent, and their own people as “martyrs” (like the counter-revolutionaries in the Tiananmen non-massacre lying stunt in China in 1989, some have been looking “for blood” ie provoking violence).
As clear from the beginning (see last issue) the ideology behind the wildly exaggerated demonstrations is saturated in petty bourgeois individualism and reactionary hostility to socialism, hankering after the privileges and benefits it thinks it will get by selling out to capitalism, including joining the EU.
Rejection of the red-green socialist flag and adoption of the red-and-white colours of 20th century anti-Bolshevik Byelorussian nationalism, part of the attempt to drown the 1917 revolution in blood and a willing stooge later for German Nazism, tells the whole story, just as the Nazi-worship of the similar Ukrainian counter-revolution in the Maidan in 2014 spoke reams about the artificial “orange revolution” there which has demonstrated its savagery ever since.
The latest trick involves further mobilising the anti-communism of Western PC single-issue feminist sympathies (already tapped with the three “opposition” candidates) by having “women only” demonstrations – as usual quite tiny when the carefully staged photographs are examined, demolishing the hyped-up numbers reported - with the implication of terrible misogynist bullying and oppression, desperately hammed-up and a complete nonsense in a country with excellent state provision as one Stalinist website points out:
Women in the U.S. are not guaranteed maternity leave, but in Belarus, women are paid 70 days prior to giving birth and 56 days afterwards. Childcare leave can be taken for years following birth. (Reuters, March 6, 2019) Maternity leave and childcare in Belarus are just a couple of the many examples of Soviet-era practices that still exist in that country. (Workers World 22-09-20)
But the Stalinists revert to old style revisionist tailending which never said a word against Moscow’s dire leadership flaws right up to Gorbachev’s liquidation, and this same article makes no attempt to analyse the weaknesses and limitations of the Lukashenko government, slipping past them with a single unexplained comment about it having its “fair share of contradictions”.
As further considered below this is hopeless but at least these revisionists (and similar, like the Lalkar/Proletarian) are notionally more positive than the bilious hostility poured out by the Trot and similar groups against Minsk, blinded by their anti-communism born of their class position and their willing adoption of Trotsky’s conceited petty bourgeois hatred for the Soviet workers state (see eg EPSR books Vol 4,5,6 and 7) dressed up as “criticism of Stalinism”.
It was never constructive Leninist criticism, instead calling for the overthrow of the Soviet authority in a “political revolution” - a sly concept demonstrated to be a total nonsense and nothing but a call for counter-revolution once Gorbachevite liquidationism had run its course and capitalism’s carpet-bagging was restored.
The Counterfire/SWP ‘rank-and-file’-ist wing of Trotskyism for example has pitched in with comments by writer Chris Bambery falling 100% behind the nazi-provocateurs, even berating the monopoly capitalist “bosses club” of the European Union for failing to impose sanctions on the Lukashenko government, an astonishingly hypocritical demand from these Lexiters (“left”-Brexiters) and their denunciations of the EU.
Others are more slyly circumspect, like the more "cerebral" Weekly Worker CPGB-PCC recognising that the reactionary nature of the “opposition” is far too obvious to be caught out backing it, and therefore warning against any “illusions” in it,
But then it pours buckets of bile all over Lukashenko and his government, rephrasing in a “left style” all the capitalist press allegations of “the election result being highly implausible”, “opposition fierce” and Lukashenko “deeply unpopular” (really? on what actual evidence, other than a throwaway “hardly needs saying”, is such a comment founded?)
“Thousands brutally treated”, “almost certainly ballot rigging” follow on with an implicitly approving comment that the EU, Canada, UK etc have “inevitably refused to accept the result”. Well they would, being crisis-wracked imperialist degeneracy.
Finally after four columns of this regurgitated vomit it is acknowledged that well, yes, imperialism would “love to do a Maidan” and that the fragrantly feminist opposition are “front-persons for small and medium size businesses” (and the rest! big business too) and the whole movement is “pro-Western”, proposing moves that would “decimate the working class” turning the country into “a basketcase”.
And in the last paragraph it manages to spit out that “we have a classic colour revolution”.
Even so that
“does not mean that communists stand with the Lukashenko regime - it is repressive and anti-democratic to the core”
- in contrast to our civilised West we presume?
“The working class should be organised to overthrow it”,
these monstrosities then declare setting themselves down square in the middle of the counter-revolution.
Other Trotskyists get their knickers in even more of a twist, like the Socialist Fight splinter from the old WRP Healy group, still ploughing the Trotskyist anti-Soviet furrow of convoluted idealist moralising about “deformed” workers states, bureaucratic “castes” and “Stalinist oligarchies”, all twisted and hidden ways of saying that the Soviet Union was allegedly controlled by a new type of capitalist class, or just some form of capitalism, which was “exploiting the workers” but without being precise, because that would expose this unscientific gibberish for the hollow joke it is (see eg EPSR 1079 06-03-01 eg).
The entire elaborate post-war Trotskyist “theoretical” edifice suggesting the Soviet Union was just a kind of capitalism after a never-quite-definitely pinned down counter-revolution in the 1920s or 1930s (because there was none) allowed the Trots to preen and posture mightily around their middle class friends with their “revolutionary” credentials without ever having to actually defend the workers state(s) warts and all, and particularly at difficult moments.
But that all collapsed like the Twin Towers in 1989-91 when the revisionist Gorbachevite capitulation abandoned the fight for a workers state and a planned socialist economy.
Then it was clear that a counter-revolution really had taken place with a world shattering impact - which could only happen if there was something to counter, ie a workers state, which the Soviet Union was and had been for 73 years, and one which had not only transformed the Soviet states and their people from backwardness to giants of civilisation, but had hugely aided and influenced the entire world anti-imperialist and communist struggles, irreversibly transforming all world history and mankind’s understanding of what is possible.
The impact reverberates and continues and will come back powerfully as the crisis deepens and as the struggle for understanding picks up and moves forwards.
A pale glimmer of those changes comes through in SF’s recent letter to the Morning Star, and a political statement, in which it is forced to concede that positive advances took place in both the Soviet Union and then in the remnants clung onto by Lukashenko, grudgingly admitting to “a slowing of capitalist restoration” and gains like “low infant mortality”:
I read with interest A Bukhvostov’s letter (M Star September 2) advising us that his union, the Free Trade Union of Metalworkers of Belarus were against Lukashenko’s ‘dictatorial regime’ and making many correct points about the suppression of workers’ rights. Like Tony Burke’s article (M Star August 24), we learned what they were against but not what they were for in any detail apart from ‘the rights of freedoms of workers for democratic reforms’.
Very good but we would respectfully suggest that US and EU imperialism, who also say they support approximately those aims, do so for self-serving motives.
Trade union leaders should first of all acknowledge that Belarus has the lowest infant mortality rate in the region (the same as Ireland and better than Britain), the best life expectancy and a whole range of welfare state benefits like free education and healthcare, lost in the post-Soviet reaction in the states around.
Life expectancy fell by up to 10 years in places as the wolves of the free market feasted on the destroyed welfare states by the oligarchy created by Yeltsin in collaboration with the US/EU.
And workers in Belarus know this which is why it is believable Lukashenko won the election, even if the 80% is dubious.
The colour revolution leadership had to abandon their neoliberal programme and the independent trade unions still had to form a separate federation.
So, correct to fight for democratic rights but not as a cover for privatising nationalised industry and welfare states to enhance the profits of transnational corporations.
And if we can learn anything from Libya 2011 and Ukraine 2014 workers will get very little ‘freedom and democratic reforms’ from colour revolutions which won’t defend past gains and which they can’t eat.
Such is the tragically damaged Trot mindset that when obvious Soviet advances for the working class have to be conceded - “past gains” – the same old stale poison is mixed in and the same old illusion in abstract “democracy”.
Where did such benefits come from (which were even better in the full Soviet Union) if the “Stalinist oligarchy” was looking after its own interests at the expense of the working class - and how could “restoration of capitalism” take place if the USSR was already a kind of capitalism?
And what is this “Free” trade union anyway, promulgating the shallowest notions of petty bourgeois “freedom” against the authority of state planning? When and where did it suddenly spring into existence?
It has the same stamp of “CIA” (or possibly Euro-subversion) as all the rest of the “opposition” and only incurable anti-Leninism hostile to the dictatorship of the proletariat could fail to see it (which includes the soft class-collaborating revisionism of the Morning Star uncritically publishing such reactionary garbage in the first place).
The SF tangle here underlines what a disaster for the working class this entire fake-“left” has been and remains.
As such sniping has always done, it gets in the way of understanding what were the real problems with Third International revisionist leadership which eventually gave up the USSR – Trotsky’s “all is rotten” philosophy throwing the baby out with the bathwater and becoming completely counter-revolutionary.
Lukashenko needs criticising not because he has taken a robust stand against Western subversion, sabotage and monopoly intervention, arresting this attempted coup leadership for subversion, nor because his state behaves in some respects like a proletarian dictatorship with the trade unions (correctly) subordinated to the interests of the working class overall (see reams of Lenin on the role of unions).
These are all plus points and should be defended.
The issue is that his Moscow-trained plodding bureaucratism climbs no higher than the “mind the shop” defensive routinism and complacency of the Soviet Union leadership before it was finally undermined by Mikhail Gorbachev’s idiot delusions in the “free market” and cooperation with capitalism in “our common European home” (which were themselves just the logical extension of the same revisionism, traceable all the way back to Stalin’s mistaken assessments of imperialism in the 1952 Economic Problems of Socialism (see EPSR Books Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics), declaring it permanently hampered by the Second World War and the advances of the Soviet camp.
Thus unable to grow, Stalin said, deliberately revising Lenin, it would be “containable” by “peace struggle” and by implication eventually could be toppled without the need for violent revolutionary struggle.
All the “peaceful roads”, “parliamentary roads”, “no-to-war” pacifism, and “step down from armed struggle in favour of the electoral route” (as advised by Havana for the persecuted and slaughtered Colombian FARC revolutionaries during the last decade for example), derive from this error.
All have been a disaster, leading either to class collaboration and opportunist capitulations, misleading and miseducating the working class and blocking the building of Leninist revolutionary understanding, or leaving it vulnerable to coups and overthrows by Western skulduggery, as across Latin America (Allende’s “electoral socialism” bloodily deposed in Chile imfamously in 1973 and Bolivia’s massacring coup against Evo Morales last year the latest, with Maduro’s left nationalism in Venezuela under constant siege strangulation, attacks and provocations).
None of these struggles has been guided by a world perspective of capitalism in crisis and heading unstoppably for war, warning the working class that imperialism will always use the most brutal methods if it has to, to put down and suppress all rising struggle against it, and that trusting in “democracy” is to be trussed up like turkeys for Christmas.
The question of the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat has not been put to the fore theoretically and made conscious, even by those workers states which in practice correctly and vigorously put down and prevent counter-revolutionary challenges – as Havana does, making clear its readiness to face down outside threats and internal provocations and disruption alike.
Lukashenko falls short on such perspectives too and especially concerning next door Russia.
There has been nothing in Lukashenko’s public comments taking up any theoretical perspective of Russia’s restored capitalism or attempting to give the working class a understanding in general of the revisionist shortfalls and mistakes that led to the Gorbachevite liquidation.
Nor does he give an assessment of the crisis and its huge, ever more urgent significance.
Inevitably for historic, cultural, geographic and economic reasons - as well as military ones - tiny Belarus remains tied in many regards to Moscow and possibly constrained diplomatically, although this has not stopped it from criticisms in the past and nor from making perfectly valid trade arrangements elsewhere.
But that does not make it necessary to support Vladimir Putin’s backwardness and Bonapartist actions, least of all over Chechnya, as it is reported Lukashenko has just done on his visit to Moscow to request aid, declaring “sympathetically” to Putin that “we all have such problems”.
As explained before, the national-liberation struggle in Chechnya against Moscow was, and is, perfectly valid for as long as Russia remains a restored capitalist country, dominated by mega-billionaires and without moving back towards socialist relations.
Suppressing it is perfectly invalid.
In this respect, Russia is no different to any other part of imperialism however much the crudest aspects of the oligarch gangsterism might be reined in by the Bonapartist Putin’s thuggish bullying, using the residue of Soviet state institutions to restore a few past social provisions, (not for heading back in a communist direction but to head off such notions by smoothing the rough edges from capitalism as reformism tries to do everywhere).
Barbaric suppression of Chechen separatism, first by destroying much of the capital Grozny and terrorising the population and then installing a local warlordish “strongman” to intimidate any further nationalist revivals while handing out Moscow largesse (bribes) is simply apeing the rest of imperialism (EPSR 886,1247,1248).
Supporting Putin on this makes very clear the revisionist limits to Lukashenko’s perspectives, even if he has seemingly sound “differences” with Putin on other questions which seem to reflect a more dogged determination to stick with the bureaucratic socialist legacy against Putin’s outright anti-communist Russian nationalism.
Bourgeois and revisionist press reports do not make very clear his stance on Putin’s foreign adventures in the Middle East particularly but such silence is in itself another limitation.
Russia’s sometime allying with imperialism in its “war on terror” (cooperating with and coordinating air forces in Syria for example), is completely reactionary, declaring effectively that “jihadism and terrorism” is some kind of “other problem in the world” which has to be defeated separately to the fight against imperialism.
But since when has it ever been right to ally with the Empire and especially in blitzing anybody?
And on what class basis is it being suggested that “terrorism” is a problem in itself? There is none - the whole notion of a “war on terror” is scientifically meaningless, an excuse and cover for the warmongering that imperialism itself has instigated and needs.
There are complexities in such terrorist eruptions and historically Washington has attempted to manipulate the more backward and sectarian aspects of the overall world revolt which is driving them; Afghanistan during the Soviet period supporting the then socialist Kabul government is the best known instance, and so too the first stages of the Syrian war, attempting to topple the erratic anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism of the Assad regime.
But this has had highly mixed results anyway as such attempts have “blown back” like the Taliban in Afghanistan, or eventually ISIS inside and outside of Syria (and almost toppling the US occupation’s stooge regime in Iraq).
And “terrorism and jihadism” is now a major problem for imperialism all across Africa’s Sahel, and as far south as Mozambique, and into parts of the Far East like Indonesia.
It creates utter confusion to label all this as “headbanging reaction” as some of the Stalinist groups do. Apart from cravenly lining up with the West, this tangles up and confuses the working class understanding of all kinds of anti-imperialist struggles.
Is Hezbollah, declared a terrorist group by the West, to be condemned, or blitzed? By Putin? If it is argued, “but they are Shia and supported Assad as Putin did”, then how about the Gaza Palestinians’ Hamas, also labelled “terrorist” by the West who are Sunni and did not support Damascus, and came out against Assad?
Where does al-Shabaab fit in, the jihadist/insurgents in Somalia? To be bombed too and attacked too, working alongside the US and UK special forces operating out of Kenya etc?
Or what about all the French imperialist military, plus more US Africom “special forces”, CIA drone operations and UK secret troops and others fighting a range of “terrorists” in Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria etc? To be cooperated with because of some abstract and reactionary notion that world “terrorism” is a “bad thing” and has to be stopped even before continuing the fight against imperialism (conveniently).
The failure to make any concrete class analysis of all this upheaval, and to see it as the stirring of revolutionary turmoil – however backward the understanding and ideology of any particular part of it - reflects the complete abandonment of Leninism in theory and in spirit.
And it ends up allied with the wrong side as Putin is.
It is not enough to say either, that because Putin is constantly made a bogeyman target as well, (by the West) as with the latest ludicrous hype around alleged “Novichok poisoning”, he is "progressive".
This is mostly routine inter-imperialist belligerence and scapegoating.
The confusions and retreats embedded in all these questions leave the Stalinists with no better conclusion in their pieces than lame social-pacifist “demands” for “Hands off Belarus”.
Such limp sloganising is completely useless and in the case of the Lalkar/Proletarian made even worse by its assumptions of a steadily continuing world, with steady left progress as a giveaway phrase makes clear halfway through.
In slightly patronising tones they declare that:
Lukashenko is not the blundering despot he is portrayed to be in the imperialist media. On the contrary, he is a shrewd political leader with a strong grasp of the geopolitical realities that shape the choices Belarus must make if it is to survive and prosper.
The “geopolitical realities”?????
Such pompous phrasing means nothing in Marxist terms unless it spells out first the only “geopolitical reality” that should inform all understanding, the oncoming Catastrophic breakdown of the capitalist world and devastating Third World War it is heading for.
How is anyone to “survive” let alone “prosper” in the middle of such a hurricane??
How does merging politically with Moscow’s anti-communism (as opposed to making temporary pacts and trade arrangements as Lenin advised) help do that?
These pretenders can run long, sometimes useful articles about Marx’s economic theories, and even conclude academically that capitalism cannot go forwards and needs to be overturned.
They can give useful details on the Zionist occupation (though as always sweeping past errors under the carpet, like Stalin’s recognition and acceptance of “Israel” in 1948-9) or on various other colonialist tyrannies (like Zimbabwe eg).
But when it comes to examining any real issue, all revolutionary grasp evaporates just as it did with their hero Stalin.
The world needs to rebuild Leninist understanding taking up all these questions in the greatest debate ever.
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