No 1601 15th November 2021
Dismay and protest over gross sleaze corruption & against the eco-cynicism of profiteering world monopolies are useful stirrings of rebelliousness but a long way from the revolutionary perspectives urgently needed to take on and overturn this degenerate collapsing world bourgeois system. Far more immediate dangers have to be faced, as a desperate and crisis ridden ruling class winds up international jingoism and scapegoating in preparation for the Third World War which is its only “solution” to the deadly hurricane of Slump collapse caused by its intractable contradictions. Economic catastrophe and international war will threaten planet wide destruction long before global warming and pollution, deadly and planet threatening as those are. Until Marxist-Leninist science begins to be taken seriously as the way forwards, the billions will be diverted and hoodwinked by “democracy” and “freedom” lies, trapped forever in exploitation and humiliation and the horrors to come. Condemning “terrorism” or blaming China for global warming simply stampedes minds behind warmongering jingoism – also fostered by the fake-“lefts” like the Stalinist CPGB-ML. Build Leninism
The pantomime pretences of international capitalist “concern for the planet” at the Cop26 jamboree in Glasgow and the brazen Tory attempt to justify pocket-lining lobbying sleaze by “re-writing” the rules for MPs, emphasise how even more grotesquely cynical the ruling class has become as the capitalism’s disastrous crisis collapse pulls their system to shreds.
On the grand scale, the great eco-circus has been essentially a giant public relations gimmick, aiming to distract increasingly frantic public opinion everywhere, which senses the world falling apart, and to fob off the exploited and endangered Third World with platitudes and promises there is no intention of fulfilling.
Its diversionary purpose also aims to throw the blame onto others, most particularly the Chinese workers state which now, as the world’s workshop (through Western investment and consumerist demand), is inevitably the world’s major energy user, and the place were the West has outsourced much of the production it consumes, and therefore has also outsourced the CO2 it is responsible for, on top of two centuries of past production.
At a more parochial level the British Labourite “outrage” against parliament’s routine sleazy practices (on all sides) is in the same category, making a huge noise about a side issue (however serious) to divert attention from the main question – or rather Labour’s craven avoidance of it.
What question is that?
The continuing plunge of the world capitalist system into history’s greatest catastrophe of all, economic collapse and war – and what can be done about it.
And the answer to that can only be all-out revolutionary class war to end the entire capitalist system.
That is a million miles from anything being discussed inside the Glasgow conference obviously.
But it is also far from the minds of the thousands of street protestors surrounding the international delegates, or from the increasingly bitter and dismayed Third World delegates.
Both groups signal growing hostility and discontent about the degenerate and deadly imperialist world order and signs of deepening rebelliousness and discontent.
But while they might be savvy enough not to be fooled by corporate and establishment PR flannel at the giant congress – the sainted Greta Thunberg expressing it well enough with her derision over empty “blah-blah” and slick “greenwashing” promises, – the whole event is a still a win for the ruling class at the moment.
It leaves capitalism untouched.
It mostly leaves illusions in the fraud of “democratic” process (and “democratic protest”) untouched.
And any Marxist understanding of the world, the only perspective in which any sense can begin to be made of all the cataclysmic chaos the world is being dragged into, is particularly untouched.
Even the most vigorously rebellious of the anarchist elements at such protests still share a universal hostility to the need for collective and disciplined workers states as the only way forwards for mankind, an incomprehension and ignorance which permeates virtually all brainwashed Western society (and most revisionism too unfortunately).
Or to put it more plainly, however sincere, brave, concerned, inventively militant and even self-sacrificing the demonstrators and activists might be, and often are, they do nothing to challenge the anti-communism and hostility to the dictatorship of the proletariat that hobbles and holds back all world struggle, particularly in the rich West.
Without such grasp, the foundation of Leninist revolutionary theory, there firstly can be no solution to their immediate declared aims of stopping global warming, species extinctions, environmental destruction and planet wide pollution, all serious threats to mass human and other life existence.
Multinational monopoly corporations and reactionary governments, driven by the unstoppable imperative to make profit and win cutthroat trade war, will ignore or override all but the most cosmetic “commitments” that have been made – and any that don’t do so will be swallowed up by the more unscrupulous, facilitated by such fascist monsters as the Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil or soon-to-return US Trumpism (and in fact the not really very different billionaire-friendly Bidenism and jingoist Brexit Toryism).
But secondly, even if there were any real progress (such as might partially be achieved by the Chinese planned economy’s genuine pledges and already extensive concrete alternative energy development, and a few of the most affected nations) it leaves untouched far greater and even more immediate threats.
Eco-devastation is only one facet of the greatest human Catastrophe ever, now unrolling – and which will culminate in worldwide war destruction if capitalism is left intact, and far sooner than the chaos of an overheated mid-century climate breakdown.
It already is; ask the Afghanis about to starve or freeze to death by their hundreds of thousands, even millions, because of imperialist vengeance after being beaten by the Taliban national resistance; Ethiopians being slaughtered by yet another cynically manufactured civil war, built with CIA provocation of reactionary Tigrayan stoogery, to restore slipping imperialist control in the Horn of Africa; the Haitians, driven into the floor by a long history of murderous fascist stoogery and US monopoly imposed poverty and incapacity to cope with earthquake, flood, hurricane and hunger (exploitation conditions which the West would dearly love to repeat in geographically almost identical Cuba just next door, if they could topple its endlessly siege-blockaded workers state determination); the heroic Palestinians, bombed, blitzed, sniped and terrorised daily by the America-backed Zionist Nazi-occupation in “Israel”, as they have been for 70+ years since their land was stolen from them by imperialist “United Nations” decree, subsequent colonialist wars and endless jewish settler persecution and terrorising; the Lebanese, left to fester in an economic implosion because of their anti-imperialist anti-Zionist doggedness, particularly embodied in the militant Hezbollah; the Yemenis, butchered and bombed for seven years by Saudi Arabia for the Houthis’ daring to challenge its sick gangster-thug feudalist monarchy; the working class in eastern Ukraine also suffering tens of thousands of deaths and seven years of destruction in its cities, shelled and bombarded by the US-installed Hitler worshippers in Kiev; once-prosperous and progressive Libyans reduced to non-stop war chaos for a decade and Syrians likewise by NATO blitz and deliberately induced sectarian civil war; as well as Iraq, completely wrecked since 2003; benighted Mozambique, the Indonesians, the Filipino poor butchered in their thousands by the night time vigilante squads (mostly off-duty police) under the guise of Rodrigo Duterte’s depraved “war on drugs”; the oil polluted and desperate poor of Nigeria; the siege-sanctioned Venezuelans and Nicaraguans; the deathsquad terrorised Colombians; the coup-ridden Paraguayans, Bolivians, Brazilians and Hondurans; the terrorised and judicially slaughtered Egyptians: the sweatshop workers killed by collapses in Bangladesh etc etc etc etc.
And all this, partly the usual face of centuries of imperialist tyranny and domination over the ruthlessly exploited Third World (including 400+ coups, blitzings, assassinations, massacres, deathsquad interventions, occupations and outright wars since 1945 despite endless hypocritical garbage about “human rights” and “freedom”) – and partly desperate imperialist “shock and awe” escalation since the turn of the century (including Serbia in 1998) to accustom the world to non-stop warmongering, is heading for all-out world war, not simply against these scapegoated victims but between the imperialist powers as the greatest crisis collapse ever unfolds.
By default and confusion, but mostly by conscious anti-communist evasion, all single-issue politics from feminism and black nationalist anti-racism to environmental protest like Glasgow, obscures the real question, the urgent struggle for a revolutionary overturn to this entire rotten capitalist system.
Small wonder the international capitalist establishment gives the Glasgow show so much favourable attention, or rather pretends to.
And small wonder the Tories can treat it so lightmindedly.
They know this empty charade helps turn attention away from the crisis of their own system and blunts the real class struggle that has to come.
This is a ruling class on the way to open jingoist fascism, desperate at the scale of the oncoming system Catastrophe.
And so it is barely able to conceal its disdain for the great fraud of “democracy”, knowing it will have to be torn up soon enough (and already is being).
Increasingly detached arrogance and hypocrisy is summed up by the blustering buffoon PM Boris Johnson’s private jet flight from Glasgow to London...simply to attend a luxury crony dinner at a snotty “gentleman’s club”, hosted by his former bosses at the reactionary Daily Telegraph rag.
Not only did such a fuel and CO2-emission-profligate journey deliver an in-your-face message of total contempt to the COP conference from the host, just hours after delivering a theatrically apocalyptic “keynote” warning to thousands of delegates from around the world about the dangers of climate change – “mankind standing at one minute to midnight, etc” – but it then set the scene for the next day’s in-your-face trample across “parliamentary standards” to justify yet more of the sleaze and corruption which is the overriding character of capitalism’s rule.
That (failed) attempt to re-write the rules (for what they are worth anyway) was even more contemptuously cynical, a “favour” for ultra-reactionary Charles Moore, Johnson’s former editor also attending the dinner, to get his friend the arch-Brexiteer MP Owen Patersen off the hook for sleaze and pocket-lining, demonstrating even further the backscratching reality of capitalist “democracy”.
And this has nothing to do with Johnson’s personal foibles and money-grubbing as such.
Every scrap of this bourgeois system, not simply parliament (on all sides, Tory, Liberal and Labour, and particularly under Blairite fatcat hobnobbing see eg EPSR No 874, 980, 1218), is an on-the-make ratrace of self-seeking tread-on-your-face competition mired in corruption, backscratching freemasonry, dirty dealing and narrow minded philistinism at the best of times and outright sleaze, cultural rottenness, prostitution, drugs and mafia criminality in crisis – and all at the expense of ordinary workers.
The whole democracy racket is nothing but a cover for the actual dictatorship of capital and the two-faced arrogant and greed-ridden bourgeois class which personifies it.
Private murmured conversations “over dinner” and other behind-the-scenes meetings with the billionaire media controllers, the state forces of the military, the judiciary and the open and the secret police (MI5, MI6 gestapos), big money corporate and banking interests, the Stock Exchange, and all the other privileged and wealthy elements that make up the bourgeois establishment, are the real basis for all significant decisions along with straightforward (though hidden) bribery and such formal ruling class mechanisms as the secretive Privy Council, – if general class interests and “values” (!!) have not already been clear enough to make a decision anyway.
Local authorities too are notoriously riddled from top to bottom with daily dirty dealing and influence peddling, particularly when it comes to planning and property and especially in Labour run councils.
Keeping this class dictatorship hidden, behind the parliament and “free speech” racket, is the best trick ever invented by the ruling class, constantly fooling and duping the masses that they have a say and can change things.
And such public opinion as does get expressed is heavily bent and twisted anyway by deluges of lifelong brainwashing propaganda, Goebbels level media campaigns, massive advertising and ever more slick social media “influencing”.
“Polls” are most often sounded out just after a massive deluge of disinformation (such as the poisonous lies against China over Hong Kong, Tibet, the Uighurs, or currently against the Ethiopian anti-imperialism, and ramping up against Cuba) has been bucketed out through every channel possible of press, media, and “independent”, mysteriously-funded non-governmental agencies, “research bodies” and “foundations”.
But even such a carefully stitched-up system is becoming more and more untenable as crisis deepens.
Maintaining “democratic” illusions is an expensive business, possible only in the richest of countries where the ruling class could afford to throw at least some sops and small “gains” to the petty bourgeoisie and better-off layers of the working class, to keep up the pretence that gradual improvements in conditions are possible, all the way to a decent life eventually and an end to hire-and-fire humiliation and uncertainty.
The something-today and jam tomorrow fantasy, all paid for with the superprofits tyrannically sweated and ripped out of colonial and post-colonial Third World exploitation, has been bolstered by the century and a half of class collaboration and treacherous reformist illusions about step-by-step permanent advances towards a better life, fostered by TUC/Labourism.
And it has been propped up further by all the fake-“left” critics, from Trot entryists to the Stalinist-inspired delusions of “peace struggle” being able to contain imperialist aggression, allowing ultimately parliamentary roads to socialism (an inevitable delusional philosophical conclusion from such social-pacifism (whatever token comments are made by a few about “overthrow” of the system) and still being promulgated by the CPs and revisionism worldwide, including homegrown Stalinists like the CPGB-ML).
But unavoidable crisis breakdown in the monopoly capitalist system, unfolding for decades as Marxism explains is inevitable, – (see economics box, the Communist Manifesto, Capital, Lenin’s Imperialism and multiple volumes of other works, as well as hundreds of issues of the EPSR), – and reaching Catastrophic levels with the global credit collapse in 2008-9, is shaking the whole structure apart.
Increasingly the bourgeoisie faces the need for censorship, repression and all the mechanics of direct dictatorship (essentially fascism whatever form it takes) if it is to impose the savage cutbacks in conditions required to keep its system going.
Hence the brutal repression against whistle-blowers and journalists like Julian Assange.
Hence too all the populist turmoil, jingoism, hate-fostering, racism and scapegoating, media controls and “anti-terrorism” secret police surveillance and “corrective programmes” (thought control and direct brainwashing), and the confusion-mongering of Trumpism and Brexit.
Far worse is coming.
For the moment trillions of dollars of even more credit (on top of decades worth before) have kept the system still operating, albeit at huge cost to the austerity hammered working class, and even more to the debt laden “developing” countries often paying out most of their GDP just to service interest payments.
But total collapse on an unprecedented scale is coming, as anyone with an inkling of Marxist economic and historical perspective is aware, and as even the bourgeoisie’s own commentators constantly declare:
Prices in Western economies continue to skyrocket – whether in real estate, stock markets, cryptocurrencies, food, consumer goods, or energy. We are consistently seeing massive price increases that far outpace wage growth. In recent months, the situation has been getting increasingly worse, and we have heard nothing but excuses from the political establishment: from bottlenecks in supply chains to allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin is personally manipulating the supply of natural gas. Of course, the Western establishment would never consider putting the blame where it belongs – on itself.
Although many in the financial industry and in business and politics try to disguise this fact, inflation is, at its core, an expansion of the money supply. Plain and simple. Price increases are merely a corresponding symptom of a growing money supply. The more money in circulation to chase goods, the more prices rise. Where price increases are most acute depends on how the newly created currency is distributed in society.
After the United States failed to meet its obligation to redeem US dollars for gold in the early 1970s, it was able to drag the world onto the fiat currency system. This system uses paper currencies backed by nothing more than government decrees.
The United States can print the dollar to great excess because its status as a reserve currency creates foreign demand for it, which allows the US to export its inflation to the rest of the world. As a result, the US has the ability to create massive deficits. This mechanism also allows the European Central Bank (ECB) to create massive deficits, as long as it coordinates its monetary policy with the Federal Reserve. Of course, any country that rejects the US dollar usually ends up in the crosshairs of the US government.
However, there is a catch. Every crisis is met with an expansion of the money supply and the manipulation of interest rates to stimulate artificial demand. This, in turn, lays the groundwork for the next, larger crisis by enabling ever greater mal-investment. In previous cycles, price increases resulting from a deliberate expansion of the money supply were largely confined to the stock markets and real estate, as much of the monetary expansion was concentrated in the financial sector, triggering a so-called wealth effect among holders of real estate mortgages and owners of stocks.
In the age of fiat money, central bankers and politicians would have us believe that inflation is a positive development. They set absurd “inflation targets” and insist that any inflation above their stated “target” of 2% per year is “transitory.” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expresses this sentiment at almost every Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, and ECB President Christine Lagarde has naturally echoed this belief.
Have you ever gone shopping and noticed that the price of your favorite product has doubled and jumped for joy because of the increase? No, of course you haven’t. Inflation only benefits central banks and governments trying to pay off their massive debts. The only catch is that they have to destroy your purchasing power to do it – a fact they want to hide from you.
The monetary expansion that followed the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, that is, the printing of money, or quantitative easing (QE), to allow interest rates to fall to near zero, began to lose momentum in the fall of 2019 when serious problems developed in the overnight lending market in the United States – also known as the repurchase agreement (repo) market. Essentially, the Federal Reserve was trying to roll back the support it had provided in the wake of the 2008 crisis, which in turn led to the repo crisis. Of course, the 2008 crisis itself was triggered by the monetary policy response to the 2000 recession.
Central banks desperately needed an excuse to once again expand their balance sheets and cut interest rates. The repo crisis provided the Fed with the pretext to resume QE and pump tens of billions of dollars of liquidity into the market every month. It refused to call it QE at the time, but that’s exactly what it was. Not long after that came the Covid-19 pandemic, which provided the perfect cover for Western governments, – and its issuer, the Federal Reserve, at its center, to once again conjure trillions of dollars and euros literally out of thin air and artificially manipulate interest rates to zero – even negative – in a desperate attempt to prop up the crumbling monetary system.
Much of the current round of monetary expansion has been distributed to citizens in the form of helicopter money, or direct cash payments. This is a new development and a clear signal that this monetary system is nearing its inevitable end. Trillions in newly created currencies are now chasing the same supply of resources that existed before the pandemic. Basically, we live in a finite system with finite natural resources. Yet, at least for now, we still have the ability to infinitely expand the monetary supply with which to chase those finite resources, resulting in what amounts to endless artificial demand.
And now the catch. We are now at a point where Western central banks are, frankly, trapped. Interest rates have been artificially manipulated to zero. But neither the Fed nor the ECB has yet begun to reduce their balance sheets, although they keep saying they will eventually do so. Central banks now have no policy tools to respond.
When the next crisis erupts, it will most likely come again from the repo market in the United States. Interest rates simply cannot be manipulated any lower as a countermeasure to the next crisis. If the central banks withdraw the current stimulus that our economies are currently hobbling along on, the whole system will collapse. That’s why they only talk about reducing their balance sheets and allowing interest rates to rise instead of actually doing so.
In the US alone, interest on the national debt is the fourth largest budget item – at interest rates of 0%! Imagine interest rates of 6%,7% or 8% percent! The US would be bankrupt overnight.
In response to the inevitable next crisis, they will have no choice but to flood the financial system with even more paper money, which sooner or later will lead to hyperinflation.
Western central bankers and politicians simply refuse to allow the necessary deflation that our system so desperately needs because over the last 50 years they have created a financial bubble so large that if left to burst unchecked it would plunge the world into a catastrophe that would make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a Sunday walk in the park.
What we need in the West is a strict, disciplined and controlled reduction in the money supply that would occur gradually over decades and a return to a sound monetary system. What we are currently experiencing and will continue to experience in the future is the exact opposite and will lead to the same catastrophic results that the uncontrolled bursting of the bubble would.
As the unsustainability of the current paradigm becomes increasingly undeniable, the status quo will do everything in its power to maintain control of the collapsing system, including using climate change as an excuse to create trillions in new currencies out of thin air.
In anything remotely resembling a free market, savings from productive undertakings are supposed to spur economic growth. Interest rates, which are simply the cost of borrowing money, are supposed to be determined by market forces, not a de facto politburo in the form of unelected central bankers. Businesses should grow because they remain competitive, not because they have access to cheap paper money conjured out of thin air by central banks. This is why Western mega-corporations never go away and just keep getting bigger. This happens at the expense of small businesses that don’t have access to this cheap fiat.
Hankering after a “free-market” and supposedly “purer” small enterprise as this piece does at the end is no solution at all of course, just petty bourgeois nostalgia for some reactionary fantasy of early days of open “fair” competition which was never any such thing anyway.
Even nascent capitalism six or seven centuries ago, was riddled with genocidal colonial plundering and piracy, rapacious usury, dirty dealing and brutal, often slave, exploitation domestically and overseas.
Such hopes of “real” or “proper” capitalism, pay no heed to the unstoppable concentration of capital as competition is forced out of business by ever bigger “sharks”, particularly in times of ever repeated crises (see Marx’s Capital eg).
Monopolisation is irreversible and relentless, and became the dominant feature of the system in the epoch of imperialism as Lenin identified, tying banking and industrial power into one huge finance capital force, and taking competition to a new level between great national blocs and their giant combines, all exporting capital and pushing to dominate the entire world’s markets.
And since there cannot be room for all of them, and even less so once the relentless accumulation of “surplus” capital leads to market collapse and implosion (again inexorably built-in to the very processes of capitalism), that intensifies the contradictions to unbearable levels, breaking out in ever more vicious trade wars and inevitably on to the great wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45.
The only “strict and controlled reduction” there can be to change things within continuing capitalism, is not of the “money supply” but of productive capacity and the mountain of ever increasing capital surplus (real and paper credit) all desperately hunting ever more elusive profit opportunities.
Capitalism’s only means to make that “reduction” other than the very limited effect of bankruptcies and closures, is through the anything-but-controlled devastation of war, taking out rival powers, exactly as happened in the two phases of twentieth century world war.
Horrifying devastation of major rival countries like Japan, Italy and Germany and even Britain, and many others, alone made space for the re-growth of capital in the short post-war boom, mostly that of the “victorious” United States and a few allied powers (including eventually revived German and Japanese imperialism, left in place to keep the lid on the expanded Soviet camp and the wave of anti-imperialist and sometimes communist struggle inspired by the Red Army victories over German Nazism).
The alternative to this ghastly imperialist “solution” is the strict planning and control of the world economy for rational production to suit human need in harmony with nature, curtailing the gross wastefulness, pointless resource plundering, idiot luxury, and consumerist philistinism of profit driven anarchy.
Such socialist planning is only achievable however under common ownership of production by disciplined workers states, established by the violent revolutions that the world’s masses are being forced towards by the warmongering destruction and repression that is growing more and more as the system heads for yet another all-out conflict, a World War Three, far beyond anything seen before.
But that revolutionary leap will not come without a conscious fight for communism – guided by a conscious Leninist movement.
The bourgeoisie meanwhile is consciously setting the scene more and more for conflict by whipping-up anti-migrant scapegoating, racism, and above all chauvinism and jingoism, long the most reliable card it has to play to cause maximum confusion and conflict.
Every major world power is either directly at it, or doing it via assorted “popular movements” deliberately fostered and given endless coverage – Italy currently has at least three neo-fascist or aggressive chauvinist groupings and Germany at least two.
Britain, one of the weakest of the major imperialist powers is right in the forefront stirring up as much enmity as it can - a major part of what Brexit has been all about.
Even the reactionary Nick Cohen in the Observer has noted this as the Johsonites’ strategy:
Shakespeare’s Henry IV tells his son, the future Henry V, that he must divert the attention of the barons before they threaten his rule. “Therefore, my Harry, be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”
Like Plantagenet warlords, Conservative leaders need foreign quarrels lest the voters realise they have presided over the stagnation of British life. Real wages in 2024 will be just 2.4% higher than 2008, compared with a 36% rise in the 16 years before the financial crisis. We are a sluggish, depressed and declining country, where hard work brings few rewards and most people cannot get on, however strenuously they try.
Henry V just invaded France to keep his subjects from turning on him. Boris Johnson needs a perpetual war with the entire EU.
On Ireland and fishing, we can see the battle lines, but there are many more to come. The truth that supporters of Britain remaining in the EU never properly communicated was that Brexit can never end. The EU has a population of 445 million people and the UK has 68 million. In any economic fight, there can only be one winner. Disputes the dilettantes of the Johnson administration may not even have foreseen over financial services, data sharing and carbon pricing are on their way.
Former Irish prime minister John Bruton therefore only got it half right when he said the other day: “I think there is a big incentive for the Conservative party to maintain conflict with the European Union.”
Obviously, Johnson needs to bellow and growl. Opposition to the EU bound the conservative right, middle-class nationalists and working-class voters together in the 2016 Brexit referendum and 2019 general election. His career has taught him that conflict brings personal profit. The stories he made up about Brussels for the Telegraph in the 1990s turned him from a disgraced junior reporter into a Fleet Street star and finally into a prime minister. He presides over a wider right filled with men and women who have spent their lives hating the EU. They will not stop now just because we have left. To keep party members who are not so much Eurosceptic as Euroneurotic on side, to stop the right of the party destroying him as it destroyed the premierships of his predecessors, and to prevent a resurgence of Farageism, Johnson needs foreign quarrels to ensure his survival.
When the battles are over subjects as inconsequential as Channel Island shellfish, few need care. Emmanuel Macron and Johnson can pose as tough guys to please their voters and sensible people can say the snobs are diverting the mob with scallops and circuses.
When Johnson starts a fight over the jurisdiction of the European court of justice in Northern Ireland, however, he risks inciting sectarian violence, which returned last week, and the EU responding by suspending the Brexit trade deal and delivering yet another haymaker to our economy.
It is hard to decide on the worst feature of Johnson. Rational people can reach different conclusions in good faith. But his willingness to endanger the peace in Ireland strikes me as the most repellent. Louise Haigh, Labour’s Northern Ireland spokesperson, describes it as a cynically political act designed to please his supporters in England without a care for the consequences in Belfast. Nothing better illustrates the collapse of the Conservative party from a great political movement into a toadying personality cult than the failure of his colleagues to stop him.
However tempting it is to deplore Johnson, the UK’s debilitation is not only the fault of the fanaticism of its leaders but a consequence of Brexit itself. We could have a new prime minister tomorrow and our decline would continue.
For example, after 2016, the EU’s indulgent attitude towards the City puzzled observers. Financial services are Britain’s last world-leading industry. EU countries clearly wanted a slice of the market and had an interest in stopping an intermittently hostile foreign state trading the continent’s wealth. Yet the EU was happy to allow City firms to carry on as before as long as they sent a token number of workers to the continent. Now, the European Central Bank is demanding large-scale transfers of capital and jobs. A City executive told the Financial Times his firm thought the ECB could not mean it when it told his bank to move hundreds more people to the EU. “Turns out they did mean that and they’re pretty good at enforcing it.”
Finance is just the beginning. Researchers at the Centre for European Reform have a list of future fights. For the moment, the EU allows UK firms to store their European customers’ data. But neither the European parliament nor civil rights campaigners are happy about the privacy risks and are likely to demand change. Meanwhile, the EU could introduce a carbon border with the UK and tell British exporters to prove their goods have not damaged the environment or pay a tariff. Arguments over gene-editing technologies, food safety standards and state aid to industry all threaten to turn toxic.
Johnson’s political imperative is to keep the right on side by inciting conflict. The UK’s economic imperative is to make whatever concessions are needed to stop the loss of European markets. That we would have to make concessions is indisputable because the EU is larger and stronger than we are. When the arcane arguments about trade deals and technical standards have finished, that is all you need to remember.
Staying in Europe or “making concessions” would not help either of course; it is the plunge of the entire capitalist system into Slump disaster which is the problem and which will drag everybody into conflict not the loss of specific markets (though clearly it does not help ailing British imperialism).
The “spats” with the French and the EU for example suit all sides, every ruling bourgeoisie facing the Catastrophe, and looking to divert its working class and petty bourgeoise as well.
Such conflicts arise from the very nature of the system’s collapse, as mentioned above.
And that began long before the Tories took back the government in 2010, or the minor “improvements” Cohen cites for the economy under New Labourism before that, built on previous huge US $ credit expansion (Greenspan), cheap mostly East European migrant labour, warcrime bullying of the Third World (Middle East, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan), oligarch plundering of the former Soviet and east European economies, and trade war aggression against Japan etc.
All this was in a world repeatedly shaken with “foreshocks” of the great global bank collapse to come, from 1987’s Black Monday onwards as Mexico, Argentina, Yeltsin’s newly capitalist Russia, south-east Asia and others were hammered by credit and currency implosions.
What the Cohen piece above does not grasp, is that the hostility and hatred being stirred is far from being a just a “tactic” ignorable by ordinary people though one that might “go too far”.
It is the whole point for a ruling class that is staring into the abyss of total world collapse and has no other way out.
Far from a “risk” of “ stirring up old sectarianism in Ireland”, that is exactly what is wanted by the most reactionary Brexit jingoist wing of the Tories.
A more fearful wing wants to keep on with the old practices, continuing to rely on the parliamentary game and pretences about standards, while sticking with Europe – as just expressed by astonishing frustrated outbursts by Tory “grandees” John Major and Michael Heseltine against the Johnson crew and its in-your-face sleaze.
As explained before, the useless and ossified British ruling class has been torn in two by the European question for decades.
The European Union was created as a protected market area to give its member countries’ corporations sufficient scope to develop without being wiped out or taken over first by the world’s big and ruthless, mostly US, monopolies and generally therefore to develop and compete in the ever-more cutthroat capitalist market arena once inevitable trade-war intensified.
But the empire nostalgic wing of the once-world-dominant British ruling class could not swallow its diminished status and hated the necessary cooperation with (subservience to) the Franco-German imperialist axis – and particularly the ever more dominant position of more efficient German imperialism.
It was barely able to keep up under the draconian public and finance regulations, and the rules and product standards deliberately imposed by Brussels to give an advantage to the biggest combines (Siemens, Volkswagen, Airbus etc etc) that alone could afford the necessary research and investments in technology.
The specious notion of restoring its “sovereignty” means the British economy can cut standards and worker conditions without being penalised - letting the privatised water monopolies ignore EU pollution controls on sewage discharges for example to “save money” and “pay dividends” from ever more squeezed water bills – and also prop up and subsidise such industry and commerce as it has still remaining (as the Tories have been doing, giving overseas corporations lavish taxpayer funded “investment incentives” and tax breaks, the only reason they have been willing to stay in Britain once factories come up for re-tooling or conversion to newer technology like electric cars).
It also allows the ruling class to let in the more of the big money from the Russian oligarchs and reactionary Arab gangster regimes – bending over backwards to grovel to their every wish in a sick and degenerate display of anything but “proud British sovereignty”.
The Brexiteer empire nostalgics also wanted to line up with US imperialism for the coming period of vicious trade war – particularly for when the US reverts again to the isolationism and belligerence in all directions that was foreshadowed by the Trumpite period, and which is certain to return once the splurge of even further dollar printing credit by the Democrat wing runs its course.
Though China was the main target for Trump’s populist blame and hostility, Europe was also clearly in the cross-hairs, as it had been during the initial Iraq invasion in 2003, its capacity to out-compete even such US giants as Boeing becoming a major problem for Washington.
If China is clever enough and powerful enough it may be able to keep clear of this inevitable war conflict, as the Soviet Union was able to do initially in 1939, cleverly turning the initial Nazi belligerence against other imperialist powers via the German-Soviet pact, and buying time before it was inevitably attacked too.
In some ways the huge Chinese workers state is in a much stronger position than the then just-industrialised USSR (though that is partly offset by its heavy use of capitalist economic methods that tie it into world trade and its crisis).
But as Lenin said, it is the inter-imperialist conflict that is unsolvable, and driving inexorably to war in the end, not anti-communism, vicious though that is (see EPSR book 21 on Unanswered Polemics against Stalin’s contrary view).
War with Europe is on the cards first.
Hence the British “empire wing” calculation that it needs to stay an ally with the overwhelmingly military and economic power of the US despite huge costs (lost trade with Europe, and humiliating subservience to American commerce – witness the desperate no-questions-asked payments recently for commercial CO2 (ironically) to the only two suppliers, both American owned).
The other side “remoaner” wing of the bourgeoisie wants to stay with Europe, believing the costs of breaking out too great and with no confidence that a moribund Britain can survive on its own, and with no confidence in the “friendship” of American imperialism either.
Major et al’s pomposity has nothing to do with “principles” - since just as much corrupt practice and self-interest was constantly being revealed during their time, such as the “cash-for-questions” scandal (eg EPSR No 897 01-04-97), or under New Labour and its endless favours for fatcats and bosses (the Hinduja passports for example) at both private level and simply by turning over much of the economy to privatisation plundering (like the PPP hospitals racket, whose eternal re-payments are still a millstone around the NHS).
But they are nervous that it is all too obvious, and at what might be stirred up, in the working class.
For the moment the US new paper dollar spending splurge has taken some the heat off US international conflict as well as calming the incipiently revolutionary civil-war turmoil that Trumpism was stirring right in the heart of America itself through the black lives protests and “antifa” anarchists.
But even getting part of the Biden spending legislation through has in itself caused bourgeois splits within the Democrats, as well as with the Republicans) so hair-raisingly unstable is the entire world capitalist market.
Such dollar “stability” will not last as the cutting above spelled out. And the signals are getting stronger:
Consumer prices in the US rose 6.2% in October compared with the same period last year, as Americans battle soaring food, gas and property costs, and the highest inflation rate since 1990.
Reporting the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures on Wednesday, the US Labor Department said soaring inflation has cut into the recent gains made in wages, as the country rebounds from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The department’s all-items index showed an increase of 6.2% over the 12 months ending October, marking the largest annual increase since November 1990.
Supply shortages and robust demand are driving price spikes as pandemic-related business shutdowns created shipment delays and backlogs at ports.
“The inflation overshoot will likely get worse before it gets better,” Goldman Sachs economists warned ahead of the release of the CPI data.
Centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin criticized the Biden administration on Wednesday, dismissing assurances that the situation will be short-lived.
“From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real,” he wrote on Twitter.
Hence the deliberate path down which the working class and even more so the petty bourgeoisie is being dragged and the contemptuous lightmindedness being displayed by the Borisites about democratic niceties – stitching up parliament and the election more crudely than every before, (abandoning or disbanding even the electoral regulations and “constitutional procedures” that give a legalistic gloss to the whole racket) and relying instead on populist chauvinism to carry things through.
For this, the bourgeoisie relies on the supine cravenness of the Labourites (nothing but a B-team for imperialism), and the fake-“left” in general who will not mount any serious challenge at all.
To do so would mean raising glaring questions about the validity of “democracy” and the need for vigorous class war action by the working class against the non-stop slump impositions – inevitably leading on to the need for the working class to take over, which is to say, raising questions of revolution.
After decades of revisionist retreat from, or Trotskyist outright bilious hostility to, actual communist revolutions (see EPSR books Vol 2,3,4,5,6,7 and hundreds of issues) and the warts-and-all workers states which they create (as a opposed to shallow middle-class fantasy ideas of morally correct, orderly and PC perfected “revolutions” producing instant utopia) the “left” in all its 50-shades-of-pink is not going to lead any such debate and struggle.
And if any “left” posturing should by accident be thrown into the ring threatening to stir up disillusioned working class anti-capitalist sentiment – well there is always the dirty skulduggery and character assassination of campaigns like the CIA/Zionist “left anti-semitism” hatchet job on Corbynism to be mobilised (helped along by the “lefts’” own cravenness, fearful of saying boo to a goose, and reneging on all its past anti-imperialism “solidarity circuit” speechifying – for the Palestinians clearly and just about every other “cause” from Venezuela and Cuba to Ireland).
Worse still the Labourites go along with the jingoist chauvinism, from the Starmer Labourites wrapping themselves in Union Jack “our boys” “patriotism” (fresh from covered up warcrimes in Afghanistan and Iraq) to half of the fake-“left” (the “Lexiteers”) such as the Scargillite Socialist Labour Party remnants with their “British jobs for British workers” philistine backwardness.
Such chauvinism is a deadly trap for the working class, tying them in behind the ruling class and unable to understand the only way out of their own subservience, which is to see their own ruling class defeated and thereby opening a path to its overthrow.
This was always the Leninist line, as most sharply delineated during the First World War when the Bolsheviks stood for the defeat and humiliation of the Tsarist regime and fought strongly against the “defencism” (ie continuation of the war) of the bourgeois government which took over in February 1917.
The Workers Party of Britain, the popular front lashup up between the Lalkar-Proletarian Stalinists and their latest guru figure, George Galloway (now replacing Arthur Scargill after they finally made a break with the SLP in 2004 (EPSR No 1245)) has become one of the most vocal.
As another issue says, what they didn’t break with is
Arthur Scargill’s “British jobs”...hostility to the “foreign bosses of the European Union”, etc, etc.
The universal assumption now is that the ‘free market’ has ‘won the battle of history against the planned workers states’ and that ‘never again’ will a major world slump ‘be allowed’ to disfigure civilisation’s progress, let alone another major world war.
So the inevitable influence on ALL thinking of such universal ‘popular’ understanding makes it necessary to weigh up how things are going to look once the total indignation and bewilderment of the whole of the Western world kicks in at the sight of the major ‘free world’ powers deliberately setting about destroying and damaging each others’ economies in a vicious trade-war slump conflict; and weigh up in addition how the world’s perspectives will look once racist political extremism has started to really cut loose, blaming ‘foreigners’ and ‘unfair competition’ for the closure of British factories and jobs, and locally blaming ‘immigrants’ for specific unemployment difficulties up and down every Western country.
What new Mosleys, Longs, Wallaces, Musslinis, Hitlers, etc, will emerge then to spice up the warmongering-chauvinist illusions, not to mention the Haiders, Berlusconis, Thurmonds, Griffiths, Koizumis, Le Pens, already making huge progress with nationalist aggression as the main political ingredient now - .
that paper (No 1125 26-02-02) goes on to ask.
And lo and behold the WPB emerges with its Spitfire-style “British” roundels and populist line pandering to every backward sentiment still holding back workers’ understanding and taking a lead in whipping up anti-migrant-foreigner sentiment such as this typical tweet from George Galloway:
The landings on our beaches of thousands of mainly young single men are making millions for people-traffickers. France and the EU are deeply complicit in the business. The men will be housed at British workers’ expense in hotels. Hard to figure why this is a left wing cause..
There is no need to go along with the fatuous fake-“left” demands for “welcome all immigrants” to understand this inflammatory comment for the populist scapegoating chauvinism it is.
Galloway trickily plays with the self-righteous PCism of the Trots and other “lefts” (including incidentally the Lalkarites themselves, who have put out just such pious sentiments about migrants “just wanting to better themselves” to cover themselves from charges of chauvinism during the Brexit debates) to put a line which can only stir hostility and backwardness.
Only in the context of explaining the crisis background to the forced mass migration of millions driven by imperialist financial collapse, tyrannical world exploitation and non-stop warmongering, and a revolutionary perspective, is it valid to challenge the pieties and posturing of the fake-“left”.
Clearly a capitalist state cannot accommodate hundreds of thousands of migrants, let alone hundreds of millions; and possibly a workers state under siege by capitalism would need to restrict entry too (though definitely accepting all revolutionary asylum seekers, with every intent of aiding them to return as soon as possible to make revolution in their own country).
Again a past quote (EPSR No 1133:
And in these circumstances, all ultra ‘left’ ‘anti-racist’ posturing of the “open the doors to all immigration and all asylum-seekers” kind will only be seen by the whole working class as throwing more fuel on the flames, and will thus further play into the BNP’s hands.
The anti-immigrant turn by ‘official’ social-democracy will solve nothing either, - other than possibly save New Labour some votes that Blunkett & Co might otherwise have lost to the BNP.
But increased racist legislation is still a further drift down the road to fascism, whether introduced by Blunkett or the BNP.
And although it is precisely all the OTHER problems of imperialism (slump, inter-imperialist trade war, etc) which make fascism the system’s final destination in crisis, (racism being the SYMPTOM of fascism and not remotely its CAUSE), ever-increasing confusion about ever-increasing social degeneration is not helping anything.
Only a programme which is nothing whatever to do with racism, or immigration, or asylum-seeking directly, can now affect this increasingly deteriorating situation, - the programme explaining capitalism as now declining irrevocably into revolutionary warmongering crisis everywhere, and at last giving the opportunity to start building a planned socialist flourishing for ALL, in workers states in every country in the world, stopping all need for emigration or asylum-seeking so cruelly placed on people of the Third World by imperialism for so long.
But no such context comes from Galloway and his CPGB-ML supporters.
Worse still they give a boost to reactionary backwardness in another critical direction, namely around the formerly occupied zone of Ireland where they have been supporting the cause of the colonists who rioted earlier this year, making great play of the deprivation of the more proletarian “loyalist” elements and supposed moves towards “socialist struggle”.
This is the most appalling garbage which completely dismisses the colossal significance of the national-liberation and class struggle in Ireland, sneering contemptuously at the Good Friday Agreement as just “the liberals’ sacred cow” and misrepresenting the class forces there.
It plays right into the hands of the British imperialist tip towards international scapegoating, blamemongering and belligerence which has been trying use the Irish issue to leverage the residues of fascist jingoism in the colonists to stampede working class chauvinism throughout Britain using the Brexit backwardness.
But the “sovereignty” posturing required for this “British exceptionalism” is completely pathetic if it is not even able to establish a border all the way around its territory.
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement says so effectively – its provisions completely transforming relations in the north, and ending forever the triumphalism of the Orange colonists which kept the Irish population in servitude and rightless humiliation within the artificial “statelet” violently carved out of the new Irish Republic by black-and-tan bayonets 100 years ago, in complete contempt for the 85% majority decision of the 1918 General Election for Irish unity (so much for “democracy”).
Along with multiple cross border institutions, and numerous shared arrangements on all kinds of commercial, regional, administrative and other regulations and practice, all done with the agreed participation of the Dublin government, the now porous “border” encapsulates this permanent change, won by the 30 year long national-liberation war (see EPSR books Vol8, 15,22, 25 and 26) on the Triumphant Irish national-liberation struggle Parts 1-5).
To try and reverse the decision is historically impossible, despite sulky footdragging by the colonists for years after 1998, requiring additional tactical compromises by the republican Sinn Féin to give an impetus for the final St Andrews settlement in 2006.
It has become less and less possible in the years of the peace agreement as even much of the former colonist population has grown accustomed to an existence almost without strife (despite some continuing thuggery initially) and increasingly turns away from the intransigence and bigotry of the dwindling diehard Unionist colonists, steadily losing ground in the (mostly) peaceful conditions.
Everyone knows that all the movement is forwards to a united Ireland, but to be done at an exceptionally slow snail’s pace, as tacitly understood and agreed by Westminster and the republicans in the GFA talks, in order to “save face” for the British, and obscure the reality of their defeat by armed revolutionary war amid much flannel about “democratic paths” - as if the Irish population had not wanted exactly that, turning to armed struggle precisely because it was denied by the stitched-up gerrymandered not-quite-six county borders and the permanent majority it gave the colonists.
Getting such a bourgeois nationalist settlement suited all the major powers (Washington, the EU), fearful that left to fester, the liberation struggle might incubate much less palatable all-out communist struggle (the same worries which led them to accept the bourgeois-nationalist ending of once-favoured apartheid in South Africa).
They had increasing leaned on ossified and vicious British imperialism during the “Troubles” to clear up the stinking mess of torture, concentration camps, secret deathsquads, non-stop Orange colonist thuggery and murder, secret police surveillance, army watchtowers, unjust Diplock courts, night raid intimidation of civilian districts and bent sectarian “policing” which made up British colonial domination.
Most of all, the colossal influence of the US was imposed, concerned about the political weight of its own huge, mostly independence sympathising, diaspora of Irish descendants and the wider general damaging effect such a glaringly undemocratic remnant of outright colonialism was having on the West’s overall “democratic and international rule of law” image, the bogus “justification” for its world wide interventions against any stirring of anti-imperialist revolt or communism.
So the porous border is sacrosanct for them, as they have repeated multiple times and particularly lately around the Brexit negotiations, and the gung-ho jingoism of the Johnsonites.
Which leaves the British ruling class caught in a bind, desperate to whip up belligerent distractions but equally desperate to stay on the right side of the US for the oncoming world conflicts.
That is disastrous for the “British sovereignty” posturing underlying Brexit, built as it is on centuries of empire arrogance and great nation chauvinism, with its absurd and racist assumptions of “world beating superiority” contaminating minds nearly all the way down through the working class.
The Brexit strategy to whip up jingoism – and the trampling on democracy that comes with it – is a fraught business anyway for a ruling class presiding over such a moth-eaten capitalist power as Britain.
Brash bluster and belligerence only just worked in the 1930s when a previous buffoon bully, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler strutted their stuff, succeeding for a while because of the universal collusion of the other imperialist powers (including a declining but still powerful British Empire) egging them on (doing nothing about German re-occupation of the Rhineland left bank, leaving both a free hand in the Spanish Franco fascist civil war, handing over Czechoslovakia and Austria to German invasion etc) hoping to turn them eastwards to find their “lebensraum” and in the process to destroy the ever more influential Soviet Union, whose brilliant workers state was enthralling the working class worldwide.
But the great 1000 year Third Reich lasted just twelve.
The Tories have only so far managed the laughable bluster and aggression around French fishing vessel access to British waters, a very minor aspect of the British economy, and even more by the deliberate provocations around the “Northern Ireland protocol”.
The attempt is to kick up an endless fuss about the arrangements which were (relatively gracefully) agreed by the EU at the British behest to make the north of Ireland a “special case”, with its own “Protocol” with some limited checks carried out across the Irish sea for commercial movements (checks which are unavoidable as a result of the British decision to leave not only the EU but all its market mechanisms (allowing maximum avoidance of product and working condition standards – for profiteering purposes to the detriment of the working class).
The aim is to pretend the new arrangements are so “unacceptable” to the sensibilities of the local population (so fanatically concerned to eat English sausages that they will throw themselves into mortal conflict for the right to do so apparently) that it will cause so much “social turmoil” at the “oppression of our British identity” – (which is more than a bit rich coming from the triumphalist arrogance imposed on Ireland since James 1’s land stealing plantations 400 years ago – and in fact even before that under the Tudors) – that it can be argued that arrangements must be suspended.
In this way the GFA “no land border” requirement might slyly be slipped past.
The diehard Orange colonist bourgeoisie, filled with hatred and smarting from its defeat 23 years ago, is always looking for an excuse to frustrate or even reverse the relentless progress towards reunification and of course has gone along with this hollow plan by ultra-reactionary Tory backwoods wing (which itself endlessly conspired for decades to sabotage the whole Irish settlement in conjunction with the most reactionary establishment elements throughout the BBC, the MI5 and the old universities).
But the efforts to get “trouble” going over the “border in the Irish sea”, despite much favourable press publicity, have been a damp squib.
The much hyped riots in April lasted just a week or so and involved no more than a few hundred mostly teenage participants, causing some media-spectacular bus burning and nasty injuries for the PSNI but nothing close to the brutal thuggery of the past.
Even less happened during the summer despite blood curdling predictions of full-on riots and trouble “once we reach the marching season”. The once triumphalist high point of the July 12 Battle of the Boyne celebration came and went with no more than some more than usually over-high traditional bonfires, threatening to topple dangerously onto nearby houses.
Recent incidents, of two buses being hijacked by armed men and burned, are even more of a parody, despite the fright they gave the bus drivers - and so much so the suspicion must be of some kind of put up job, especially as the Unionists and various paramilitary associations have all felt it necessary to denounce them.
Which all makes the CPGB-ML’s attempts to hype these riots look even more delusional than their already dire misanalysis of Brexit and their pandering to the jingoism it is trying to stir up.
Breathlessly they declare the April riots to be a symptom of potentially massive working class upheavals in the “protestant” areas in a desperate attempt to cover up another of their endless mistakes.
Not only is this wild exaggeration, which can only serve the propaganda interests of the diehards, but it completely misanalyses what they were about, suggesting them to be the prelude to possible socialist struggle developments among the “loyalists” in the sectarian pro-union areas.
These are described with an astonishing ignorance of Marxism from a group hailing itself as the “upholder of revolutionary theory” (!) as the “protestant working class”.
They are not, they are colonists, albeit those at the lower end of the social spectrum and remain so for the time being, until there is a full reunification of Ireland (steadily coming) or until they consciously renounce their “allegiance to the crown” etc.
And their limited flurry of street violence, such as it was, by mainly teenagers stirred up by troublemakers, was in pursuit of colonist ends, not the prelude to an incipient struggle for socialism and the downfall of the bourgeoise as the CPGB-ML dunderheads suggest, trying to justify their Brexit chauvinism by pretending the deliberately crass anti-European Westminster trade war provocations around the Irish Protocol have somehow “unlocked the class struggle”.
Certainly there are appalling conditions faced in the north and especially in deprived areas like the Belfast Shankhill Road, or Tiger Bay, to which the Lalkar CPGB-ML paper attaches blame for the street outbursts.
Certainly there is deepening discontent at low levels of educational attainment, lack of job opportunities, poor housing and much else, typical of exploitation of the working class, in this case they suggest, by the Orange unionist bourgeoisie (falsely pretending this class division is primary among the colonists).
What twisted sophistry!!
Such deprivation is being felt as everywhere in austerity hit Britain (and the world) – even more among republican area residents in fact – again falsely labelled, this time as “Catholic workers”, though later more correctly as nationalists.
But the critical issue is what were the politics being expressed? – and those were anything but taking up revolutionary or even reformist demands for an ending to capitalism and its imperialist domination.
Nor were they for a break with and overturn of the Orange colonist bourgeoisie.
They still vote for them (though with ever declining enthusiasm) and these were pro-imperialist demands, wrapped in the Union Jack, soaked in centuries of blood and slavery.
The hostility was directed at Westminster and the nationalist side of the fence.
The colonist workers are “losing out” because of the long slow pullout of British imperialism from the once-occupied zone of north Ireland, no longer able to sustain the artificial statelet.
They resent the loss of the privileges they had, in automatic jobs in the shipyards etc. (from where the Irish workers were driven out by showers of red hot rivets in the early partition years).
But this is a lost cause. If they are to overcome the deprivation and abandonment they feel, they will have to break with the past and its thuggish killer triumphalism and terrorising of the Irish population - recognising that it has been defeated and accepting the future which is one of a reunified Ireland.
The Brarites’ nonsense has the same roots as the dogged petty bourgeois defeatism still pumped out by the Trots, who long ago declared the Irish liberation struggle to be a disastrously failure forced to capitulate by an all-powerful imperialism (as in the nonsensical “hotspot” theory from the Weekly Worker CPGBers, in which the entire world remains in thrall to a Washington capable of suppressing local upheavals everywhere – an insanity which a swift look about a world totally on fire with Arab Springs, Latin America street revolt and African rebellions gives the lie to – see eg EPSR No945 07-04-98 or No1043 09-05-00 and many others).
That is, it does not see the gigantic significance of the Irish national-liberation struggle, which clears the path for socialist struggle on all sides once the colonists have broken with their illusions.
Reunification is rapidly coming closer as the Sinn Féin continues to make storming progress, on both sides of the border, with a border poll possible in the north within five years, (which puts the reunification question) and a government role in Dublin for the only party which has an all-Ireland presence:
Support for Sinn Fein has surged six points to 37 per cent, its highest position since the coalition government took office, according to a poll for The Sunday Times by Behaviour & Attitudes.
Mary Lou McDonald, its leader, was at 50 per cent, nine points clear of Micheál Martin, the taoiseach.
The latest survey follows an upbeat Sinn Fein ard fheis in Dublin a week ago...where delegates voted to abandon the party’s outright opposition to the operation of the non-jury Special Criminal Court, which is used to try cases linked to terrorism and gangland crime where juror intimidation is thought to be a risk. McDonald said such a court could be used in “exceptional circumstances”. Passing the motion was seen as removing a significant barrier to Sinn Fein entering a coalition government after the next general election.
She told cheering delegates: “The writing is on the wall for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, they’ve been in government for far too long. It’s now time for a government for you and your family, that puts workers and families first.
She said a Sinn Fein government would “tackle the scourge of homelessness” and build public and affordable housing “on a massive scale”, ban rent increases for three years, cut childcare fees and return to a pension age of 65.
That raises new questions of course; such reformism is no answer to the storming world crisis and collapse.
The Irish republicans have already shown their limits in past “condemnation of terror” over 9/11 and the 2004 Madrid bombs and will increasingly be an obstacle to building the Leninist leadership the world requires.
But clearing away the worst of British imperialist jingoism and Union Jack flag waving, which has held back not just the colonist proletarians but the British working class too is a major advance.
Marx said that the British workers would never be free until they repudiated all dominance and supremacy over colonial peoples, and most of all over Ireland, its first colony.
It is a sick and tragic parody of “Marxism” which advocates chauvinism, heading in a wrong reactionary and dangerous direction-.
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