Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested.--- V. I. Lenin

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No 1602 9th December 2021

Tory floundering in lies and sleaze bluster shows a ruling class which is split and losing confidence as economic and political crisis rapidly deepens – and shows mass opinion increasingly dismayed and contemptuous of corruption, incompetence and profiteering as endless austerity drives the working class down into poverty, hunger, homelessness and despair. The collapse in “democracy” illusions will push the ruling class into ever more open repression, (fascism) stealthily stepping up censorship, surveillance and police state violence, tearing up the “democracy” pretence even further and confirming the Marxist understanding that it is, and has always been, a (hidden) dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Only revolutionary class war to replace it with a proletarian dictatorship and socialism can change things. Leninist theory crucial need

The desperate bluster of the Borisite Tory government caught out lying over Christmas parties, treachery on Afghanistan rescues, Covid callousness and sleazy pocket lining, and the imposition of escalated censorship and vicious new police repression of protestors while tearing up judicial and electoral control and regulation, are two sides of the same coin.

Both reflect a corrupt and degenerate monopoly capitalist order floundering in terminal crisis, and slipping into open dictatorship, – fascism if you will, – to try and keep a lid on explosively rising discontent, domestically and internationally.

Like bourgeoisies everywhere this British ruling class is in a blind panic at the world historic breakdown of the whole out-of-time imperialist profit-making system – but even more than most as a moribund has-been power, now one of its weakest and most corrupt links.

Like all of them it is lashing out in all directions whipping up primitive reactionary jingoism, scapegoating and war fever, to distract attention from its incompetence, failure and collapse in class confidence.

That was the main purpose of Brexit.

World war is growing, contradiction-raddled monopoly capitalism’s only solution to the repeated slump disasters its crises always bring, not just cyclically but in a spiral of ever worse Catastrophes, Europe’s Franco-Prussian war becoming the horrors of the Great War, and then the unbelievable depravity and destruction of World War Two.

World War Three, already underway in the Middle East and Africa, will be far worse.

So it joins in with the international warmongering propaganda currently scapegoating Russia and China, and a host of demonised smaller targets from Myanmar and Venezuela, to Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sahel, and Palestine, Syria, and Iran in the Middle East to put on a aggressive face, like some bull stag in rutting season.

But its posturing is completely hollow as even some more rational bourgeois commentators can see:

Relations between the world’s great powers are tenser than ever since the cold war. Troops are massing along Russia’s border with Ukraine. Chinese ships and planes are openly threatening Taiwan. Japan is rearming in response. Turkey is renewing its belligerence towards its neighbours. Russia is backing east-west fragmentation in Bosnia.

Where Britain stands in all this is dangerously unclear, drifting on a sea of Boris Johnson’s gestures and platitudes. The Royal Navy currently has a £3.2bn aircraft carrier waving the union flag in the South China Sea, completely unprotected. China could sink it in an hour. In the Black Sea, a British destroyer provocatively invades Russian waters off Crimea, showing off to the world’s media. Last week, the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, advanced her bid for her party’s leadership by sitting astride a tank in Estonia and warning Russia that Britain “stood firm” against its “malign activity” in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Britain’s outgoing defence chief, Sir Nick Carter, estimates that the risk of accidental war with Russia is now “the highest in decades”.

There is no evidence of a coherent strategy in these moves. Johnson is travelling a familiar path, seeking foreign glory to distract from domestic woes. He has announced a reversal of Britain’s 1960s withdrawal from “east of Suez”. He seeks something called an “Indo-Pacific tilt”, and a projection of what he calls “British leadership in the world”. His March defence review proposed a 40% increase in Britain’s nuclear stockpile, in flagrant defiance of the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty. To push home the point, he appointed the navy’s expansionist Admiral Tony Radakin as his new chief of defence staff, reportedly against military advice.

What this has to do with Britain’s defence is obscure. None of it falls within any treaty obligation. London has no obligation to get involved in China’s argument with Taiwan, nor does Taiwan even want it. Yet when Theresa May last month asked Johnson if his anti-Chinese Aukus treaty with Australia and America committed Britain to military action, Johnson played macho and refused to answer.

Nor has Britain any obligation to defend Ukraine, which is not a member of Nato. Yet Truss appears to suggest otherwise. As for Iran, Brexit ended Britain’s need to impose crippling – and useless – economic sanctions. Yet it continues with them, even using them to refuse to ransom the imprisoned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Most extraordinary, Johnson appears personally to have rescinded a pledge that Britain would never be the first to use a nuclear weapon in any future conflict. What conceivable credibility can be attached to such a threat?

None of these bellicose emanations from the prime minister has anything to do with British security. They are play-acting. Britain is at liberty to say what it thinks about the authoritarian regimes in Russia and China – indeed it has a moral duty to do so, as it has to accept refugees and extend aid to the needy. Such duties have nothing to do with defence. Yet Johnson’s ambiguous words and actions carry implications. Casual promises to confront and act, not stand idly by, can be misread and lead to no less casual commitments to deploy violence.

Just such a morass of bombastic threats and counter-threats were hurled into the fury of instabilities that preceded the first world war. It was a similar bout of sabre-rattling that led the great powers to the nuclear cliff-edge during the Cuban crisis of 1962, and the Andropov miscalculation of 1983. Recent analyses of both have shown how truly close was disaster, saved only by the luck of having sane leaders at the time. There is no such guarantee today.

The “rational” bourgeois position like this from Simon Jenkins still cannot grasp the breakdown of the capitalist Catastrophe as the cause of the “tension”, still swallowing the upside-down blame on victims like Russia or China, both surrounded by hundreds of up-close US and NATO bases bristling with nuclear missiles (and modern “autonomous” robot kill machines) on their borders.

Both are trying to defend from such permanent terrorising aggression and from fascist stoogery like the US coup-installed Kiev Nazis or the reactionary occupation in Taiwan, itself an open bourgeois dictatorship for most of its short existence (under the rule of the exile residue of China’s counter-revolutionary Kuomintang) and now a parody of “democracy” like all bourgeois “democracy”.

But the piece sees the hair-raising tinder-box dangers of Western war belligerence, stirring jingoism and hatred to escape the irreversible and deadly reality of economic and political failure.

Much of popular opinion is beginning to sense the depth and scale of capitalism’s historic disintegration and failure.

The sleaze ridden incompetence of capitalism grows more obvious by the minute; power blackouts in the freezing north because 40 years of privatisation profiteering has not invested in power lines; rivers and seas are full of shit because 40 years of water privatisation has not invested in process plant; the national health service is imploding because of 40 years of (stealthy) privatisation and all “investment” going to Big Pharma rackets and public-private construction scams; giant rubbish tips leach poisons into streams and lakes everywhere because of 40 years of deregulation and private cowboy flytipping; a creaking overcrowded rail system makes daily life a nightmare as does road transport on ludicrously expensive bus lines.

And so on.

The Covid pandemic has seen tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and bereavement through corrupt wheeler-dealing crony contract placing and pandering to the “business sector” desperate to avoid the consequences of the “free market” (ie if you can’t cut it you go bankrupt according the “survival of the fittest” competition justifications) first with subsidies and now by keeping the pubs and public venues running and to hell with the health consequences.

Idiot “personal freedom” petty bourgeois individualism blocks and hampers rational collective action to control the pandemic (as demonstrated by the discipline of China’s workers state).

Now inflation is running rampant as the chickens come home to roost from the artificial credit bailout of the 2009 bank collapses, which put off but could never stop the greatest financial collapse in history – exactly as Marxist science has explained:

The Bank of England’s monetary policy chief has said inflation is likely to soar “comfortably” above 5% next spring when the energy regulator Ofgem raises a price cap affecting millions of households.

Record high levels of vacancies are also likely to persist for longer than previously expected as the jobs market adjusts to changes in the economy brought on by the pandemic, said Ben Broadbent, the central bank’s deputy governor with responsibility for monetary policy.

The uncertainty surrounding the impact of rising wage demands by workers seeking to protect themselves against falling living standards meant that he was continuing to watch for signs of a wage/price spiral.

“If wage earners’ expectations of future inflation rise in response, or if they seek compensation for the rises in the costs of living that have already occurred, wages could also accelerate further, even without any additional decline in unemployment,” Broadbent said.

...he said inflation was on course to increase until at least April next year, when the price cap is due to be raised. “The aggregate rate of inflation is likely to rise further over the next few months and the chances are that it will comfortably exceed 5% when the Ofgem cap on retail energy prices is next adjusted,” he said.

He said the recent jump inflation for goods, especially cars, driven partly by a global supply chain squeeze, was likely to fade and in some cases reverse, before a Bank rate rise would have an impact.

He said: “I still think it’s more likely than not – looking a couple of years ahead as we should – that these pressures on traded goods prices are more likely to subside than intensify.”

If the rate does “fall back” – and it is already ahead of previous prognoses made just a few months ago, while in America, which sets the pace for the world, it is above 6% – it will be because no-one can afford to buy anything anymore.

And just how bad that might get is dawning on other bourgeois journalists, just beginning to grasp how far down the Catastrophe will drive things:

Five years after the 2016 referendum, there is a common view of Britain and its ruling politicians being stuck in the past. We tend to think of that condition in terms of Brexity nostalgia and faux-imperial arrogance, but the most appalling example of that failure to leave history behind is surely the return of a kind of poverty that often feels like some awful echo of the 19th century.

We all know what happened to the national insurance promise, and if Johnson and his ministers had any credible intention of reducing living costs, any such hope has now been quashed. Instead we’ve had soaring energy bills, higher inflation and the cruel end of the £20-a-week universal credit “uplift” – partially mitigated via changes in the budget aimed at people in employment, but still a grim reality for the 3.4 million people on that benefit who are not in work.

...the first lockdown saw an inspirational explosion of “mutual aid” and all those tributes to low-paid key workers – both of which, from an optimistic perspective, suggested public attitudes towards poverty and insecurity somewhat different from the mixture of indifference and old-fashioned moralism that we are often told form the views of a majority (“silent” or otherwise). ore likely to suffer Covid-19’s worst effects might prompt at least the first stirrings of a political watershed. The footballer Marcus Rashford began campaigning on so-called “holiday hunger” in the summer of 2020, and not only forced two government U-turns, but breached the walls of daytime TV and the rightwing press. But now normal service seems to have been resumed.

.. Last Wednesday, the Trussell Trust released figures showing that although its provision of food parcels had come down from its peak in 2020, the latest figure is 11% higher than it was at the same point in 2019. Over the ensuing two years, the number of food parcels it supplies for children has increased at double the rate for adults. In the six months to the end of September, its staff and volunteers provided around 5,000 parcels each day, and the trust expects that figure to rise to 7,000 by Christmas. “Food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution,” said its chief executive, Emma Revie.

A few days ago, I spoke to people in charge of a handful of food banks, advice services and community organisations. The cut to universal credit, they told me, was causing gradually rising hunger, and there was a deep sense of foreboding about rising fuel prices. Moreover, things were much more difficult because grants from central government to food banks ceased in April, and the kind of ad hoc help symbolised by the £500m household support fund (hastily created by the government when anger about the universal credit cut was peaking, and somewhat optimistically intended as a one-off source of help “during the final stages of economic recovery”) was simply insufficient. “It looks like a lot of money on paper, but it’s going to go in an instant,” one chief executive of a food charity told me.

In Somerset, my local food bank is part of an organisation called Fair Frome. When I spoke to the people in charge, they said that compared to October, need already seems to be up by around a third. New volunteers came aboard at the height of the pandemic, and have stayed. But they are endlessly dealing with the symptoms of very familiar problems, such as poorly paid work (around 40% of the people who need food parcels have jobs), and a paucity of affordable rented housing. The upshot? “This winter is going to be a nightmare for a lot of people.”

The Bonny Downs Community Association does its work in the East Ham area of the London borough of Newham. Its chair, David Mann, told me that the end of the benefits “uplift” had pushed many of the people it helps into borrowing money, “but that’s unsustainable, and our team are bracing themselves for a crisis period after Christmas, when people will run out of stopgaps”. Because of the rise in fuel costs, he said, “landlords are now demanding an increase of about £100 a month, which most people can’t pay”. One woman his people were helping, he went on, was currently living in a converted shed owned by a rogue landlord, with a monthly rent of £850, which left her with about £15 a month to cover basic expenses such as food and clothes. “With the cut in universal credit,” Mann said, “she won’t be able to cover her rent, and she’ll have no money for food, let alone clothing or transport fares.” He also talked about people victimised by the asylum and immigration system who had no access to any help from the state at all, and many services the association provides that were now completely overstretched: “Our debt advice centre is at capacity and we’ve had to stop taking bookings for the rest of this year.”

Amid all the news about food banks, one recent story made that point with a vividness worthy of a Dickens novel. Last Monday, only 13 or so miles from East Ham, Johnson entertained donors at the Conservatives’ fundraising winter party, held in the grimly appropriate setting of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Partygoers had paid more than £1,000 for their tickets, and were treated to an auction, at which £22,000 was successfully bid for a “karaoke session” with Liz Truss, and a game of cricket with Rishi Sunak came in at £35,000.

[...]poverty and everything that comes with it are being not just tolerated, but actively increased – even after all the horrors we have been through.

Sickening contrasts like this pile on the disgust and dismay:

The breathtakingly expensive gold-covered tomahawk steaks sold in the celebrity-packed restaurants of Nusret Gökçe, known as Salt Bae, have attracted many headlines and a fair degree of mockery. One example that went viral was a £37,023 receipt from the London branch of Bae’s Nusr-Et steakhouse chain. Top of the food bill was the £850 steak.

Disgusting and pointless decadence of this kind was a feature of the 1930s Nazi period.

It is also the other face of an historically bankrupt system, with an increasingly detached ruling class partying on the top deck of the Titanic, which can only inflame the mass of the population as it is forced into conditions which are not just “an echo” of the nineteenth century” as the John Harris piece suggests, but exactly the future facing all the working class until it throws off this degenerate ruling order.

The result is a now total implosion in the credibility of the parliamentary racket, long unfolding in the working class after multiple betrayals by the Labour Party, but now spreading deeply even into the petty bourgeois suburbs.

The total collapse of the Tory and Labour votes in the spring by-elections and even more in the just held Bexley by-election, with a tiny 34% turnout, indicates the utter dismay now penetrating into such solidly middle-class and relatively well off districts, the Tories only kept in place by virtue of the total bankruptcy of all the other contenders.

Predictions are that even the “solid” 22,000 majority held in rural and usually ultra-reactionary Shropshire by the discredited Owen Patersen could disappear in the forced by-election there.

Contempt is universal:

Trust in politicians to act in the national interest rather than for themselves has fallen dramatically since Boris Johnson became prime minister, according to figures contained in a disturbing new study into the state of British democracy.

The polling data from YouGov for the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows a particularly sharp fall in trust in the few weeks since the Owen Paterson scandal triggered a rash of Tory sleaze scandals.

In 2014, when David Cameron was prime minister, 48% of voters believed politicians were “out merely for themselves” as opposed to their country or party. This had increased to 57% by May 2021 after nearly two years of Johnson in No 10, and leapt to 63% last week in the wake of the Paterson affair. In the same poll, just 5% of voters thought politicians were in the job primarily for the good of their country.

While the polls have asked about politicians of all colours, the main opposition parties now believe the Tories are particularly vulnerable on questions of trust and sleaze.

For the moment most opprobrium might be directed at the Borisites and the astonishing braggadocio of the Brexiteer wing Tories, who have taken the “spin doctor” public relations school of vacuous politics, developed by Clintonism and Blairism in the 90s, to new heights (or rather depths) of black-is-white mendacity - the bluster over last year’s No10 Christmas party(s) in the middle of a lockdown just the icing on the cake.

It is magnified by the insouciant contempt and indifference as things fall apart, not to say bare-faced lying by a Cabinet crew of squirming wideboy toffs, public school spivs and hucksters interested only in lining their own and their friends pockets with outrageously inflated and stitched-up contracts, including those slid over to the big American monopoly corporations – the price to pay for an “American alliance” to replace the European trade sacrificed by Brexit to allow companies to cut costs by evading Euro-standards on environment and work practices, and to whip up chauvinism.

As the EPSR warned the working class, Brexit was no solution to their difficulties because they would only go from the frying pan of a European monopoly “bosses club” to exploitation by even more rapacious world monopolies, as in this example:

Ministers have agreed a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain’s Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government’s contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret.

The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a former senior US health official of “war profiteering” during the pandemic. In a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation to be broadcast this week, Tom Frieden, who was director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention under Barack Obama, said: “If you’re just focusing on maximising your profits and you’re a vaccine manufacturer … you are war profiteering.”

Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a US consumer advocacy organisation which has examined Pfizer’s global vaccine contracts, said: “There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it’s unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis.”

Rizvi said the UK needed to explain why it had agreed to secret arbitration proceedings. He said: “It’s the only high-income country we have seen that has agreed to this provision. It allows pharmaceutical companies to bypass domestic legal processes...

While AstraZeneca agreed to sell vaccine at cost...Pfizer wanted profits....The Channel 4 investigation reveals analysis by one biological engineering expert claiming the Pfizer vaccine costs just 76p to manufacture for each shot. It is reportedly being sold for £22 a dose to the UK government.

But while the irreversible and deadly reality of capitalist crisis may at last be getting through to ordinary people, it does not yet translate into a willingness to take up Marxist-Leninist understanding which has been warning of this disaster for decades, and the imperative it spells out for the revolutionary ending of the monopoly capitalist order to establish socialism.

Just the opposite, anti-“Catastrophist” cynicism, continuing illusions in “democracy”, and anti-communism (shallowly and confusingly called “anti-totalitarianism”) continue to paralyse all understanding of the scale of disaster the world is heading for.

In various forms (dozens) such fake-“left” complacency and revisionist retreat blocks all grasp of the necessary class war path the world must take – overturning the bourgeoisie and establishing workers states under the firm control of the dictatorship of the proletariat (guided by ever-developing Marxist-Leninist science) until it completes the generations long process of producing a society which replaces all external discipline with individual rationality acting in full consciousness of collective human and natural world necessities.

So, for example, endless academic quibbles fill the “left” journals about “the meaning of the word fascism” blinding every kind of petty-bourgeois fakery to the Nazi reality of open bourgeois dictatorship already starting to be imposed, as potentially deadly and warmongeringly dangerous as anything in the 1930s, little moustaches or not.

Some of it is beginning to dawn on various “left” worthies like eco-warrior George Monbiot writing urgently about the Tory measures being taken to shut down dissent and make street protest a criminal offence in the Police, Crime & Sentencing Bill.

These are “proper police state stuff” and a “blatant attempt to stifle protest” being sneaked through parliament under the radar, using a “series of terrifying amendments” trickily slipped in at the last moment during second reading stage and with essentially no resistance from the Labourite “opposition” (which is nothing but another bourgeois party in reserve, capitalism’s B-team in reality).

He wrote about these in a previous article showing how

measures would ban protesters from attaching themselves to another person, to an object, or to land...a crucial tool of protest the world over..

[] they are so loosely drafted that they could apply to anyone holding on to anything, on pain of up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment...

amendments would greatly expand police stop and search powers. The police would be entitled to stop and search people or vehicles if they suspect they might be carrying any article that could be used in the newly prohibited protests, presumably including placards, flyers and banners. Other new powers would grant police the right to stop and search people without suspicion, if they believe that protest will occur “in that area”. Anyone who resists being searched could be imprisoned for – you guessed it – up to 51 weeks.

He adds that:

the amendments contain new powers to ban named people from protesting. The grounds are extraordinary, in a nation that claims to be democratic.

We can be banned if we have previously committed “protest-related offences”. [] it will now be difficult to attend a protest without committing an offence. Or we can be banned if we have attended or “contributed to” a protest that was “likely to result in serious disruption”. Serious disruption, as the bill stands, could mean almost anything, including being noisy.

He says:

But now, it’s even worse. In a private letter to members of the House of Lords, the government says it intends “to introduce a new offence of interfering with the operation of key infrastructure, such as the strategic road network, railways, sea ports, airports, oil refineries and printing presses, carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both”.

Already, he says “interfering with construction of infrastructure” such as blocking road building or HS2 rail to preserve woodland etc, is criminalised with unlimited fines and up to 12 months in prison; as he commented a week before one of the Insulate Britain demonstrators has received a 51 week prison sentence.

Now the same measures are to be almost open ended.

The petrol refinery blockades, protests against billionaire-owned newspapers at their print plants and even filling the street outside a government building become criminalised.

These are “dictator’s powers” he states, correctly, especially taken in connection with

other attacks on democracy, such as the proposed requirement for voter ID, which could deter 2 million potential electors, most of whom are poor and marginalised; the planned curtailment of the Electoral Commission; the assault on citizens’ rights to mount legal challenges to government policy; and the proposed “civil orders” that could see journalists treated as spies and banned from meeting certain people and visiting certain places.

But as always, the Monbiots of this world, however useful their outrage might be in exposing the lies and twisting of the ruling class, will never draw the critical conclusion from their apoplectic denunciations – that the world is dominated a monopoly capitalist ruling class that will go to any lengths necessary to hold onto power. These measures are just a start.

The only possible answer is revolutionary class war.

Asking plaintively why there is a resounding silence from parliament and the bourgeois press when there “should be uproar” is only to reinforce the delusions about “democracy” being possible under capitalism that hamper and disarm the working class.

Or just as naïvely, to ask why the Labour Party does not do something “before it is to late”.

Because they are all part of the same racket George, the hoodwinking fraud of bourgeois “democracy” which has only ever been a cover for the class rule of capital and the tiny minority who own it.

So too are the few liberal minded peers he cites as at least speaking up.

Even the protestors against the bill, well meaning as they are, confound themselves with their own illusions in capitalism, continue delusions in “democracy” and “no to war” or “no to global warming” pacifism.

All of them are hostile to the great rebellious ferment across the planet, be it “terrorism” and “jihadism”, denounced as “the wrong way to fight” or even as “another form of reaction which has to be suppressed” or to “rogue nations” described as “totalitarian” ie not “democratic” – lining them up with imperialism’s warmongering under the lying guise of “policing the world to keep it free” from “attacks on our values”.

What “freedom” and what “democracy”?

For most of the Third World in their sweatshops and slave-level tea and banana plantations, the question never had any meaning.

Monbiot’s dismay is simply that of the comfortable petty bourgeoisie wanting to keep on with the smug and complacent world of the past and its class collaboration, taking a few crumbs from the imperialist table and ignoring the ruthless exploitation elsewhere which produced it.

But the crisis means the ruling class can no longer afford to give the petty bourgeoisie, and once privileged layers of the working class, the pleasant pretence of “free thinking” and “having a say” to win “steady improvements”.

The world does not advance through step-by-step improvement; it advances through intensifying contradictions which can only by resolved by a revolutionary leap to something new and more advanced.

Contradictorily, vicious though these measures are in tightening capitalism repression they are anything but a strengthening of capitalist establishment authority.

Just the opposite; they are signs of the weakness and desperation of a bourgeoisie in the face of the immensity and uncontrollability of the coming Crash (or to be more accurate the next dizzying lurch downwards of a Slump failure already unrolling), and the consequences most of all for a weak link in the imperialist pecking order like moribund British imperialism (anything but “world beating” as it blusters).

The bourgeoise needs new and draconian measures because its more “stable” rule behind the parliamentary cover has been steadily eroding for decades, not least in the collapse of working class faith in the reformist illusions sold to them by Labourism, which has lost support decade by decade as its true class-collaborating character was increasingly revealed as nothing more than a willingness to run imperialism when in power.

In the pre-WW2 its first forays into power saw it cutting the dole, imposing the Depression conditions on the working class and supporting the plunge of the ruling class towards the World War, part two of the imperialist gangster battle over how the colonies and markets were to be divvied up (confused halfway in by the additional swipes at the Soviet workers state by Hitlerism and the alliance with it by rival imperialists - rapidly abandoned).

Post-war it led the way to break that alliance and establish NATO anti-communist annihilation encirclement of the USSR, to wage barbaric war on socialist revolts in Malaya and Greece, to run more brutal colonialism in Africa (notoriously vicious in Kenya eg), in Ireland, and Asia; to develop world nuclear terror weapons, and to revive near collapsed capitalism in Britain by propping up the mines, the railways and the utilities behind the fraudulent pretence that such “nationalisation” was in the interest of the working class.

And of course the “great left” Attlee government also set up the Zionist-Jewish colonial occupation of Palestine, with its terror, massacres, ethnic cleansing and refugee exile of hundreds of thousands of its long established (1500 years+) population for the landtheft creation of “Israel”.

Collapse in Labour reflects a collapse in trust in “democracy”, which leaves a giant vacuum, deep into much of the middle-class too (despite the desperate efforts to bolster things up with the jingoist Brexit referendum).

It will not be revived by the neo-Blairite reaction of Starmerism.

It can only be filled with the great debate for revolutionary understanding.

That means studying and developing Leninism.

Jacob Tremain

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Discussion: Feminism shows its diversionary and reactionary face in the latest Western diplomatic onslaught on the Chinese workers state. Irresponsible public declarations of self-obsessed tennis “star” Peng Shuai, encouraged by the petty bourgeois lynch-mob atmosphere of the #metoo movement, have played into the hands of Western demonising big lie propaganda to try and cancel the Winter Olympics and bolster the failing “democracy” counter-revolution in Hong Kong and Uighur “genocide” nonsense. In Britain and the West, distortions and hysteria over “violence against women and children” divert attention from the true cause of social breakdown, capitalism itself, demonising men to split the working class

Feminist single-issue politics demonstrates its reactionary character more clearly than ever in the latest imperialist hate campaign against the Chinese workers state, built around alleged “sexual harassment” complaints of pampered tennis “star” Peng Shuai and the subsequent correct Chinese state suppression of this irresponsible accusation, sinisterly, not to say hysterically, painted by Western propaganda lies as a “disappearance” (rapidly disproven).

At the same time feminism’s usefulness to capitalism for confusion mongering and suppression of communism and anti-imperialist struggle is also increasingly apparent in the deliberately lurid man-blaming simplifications and one-sided anti-male generalisations pouring out in the wake of deranged and brutal assaults and murder cases in Britain and other countries, consciously heading off any deeper grasp of the capitalist system as the cause and source of alienation frustration and breakdown in social relations.

Deliberate exaggerations of the frequency and causes of these admittedly tragic incidents aims to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty on all sides; for women as terrorised victims and for all men as the allegedly “toxically masculine” targets to be blamed, shamed and even monitored by yet more sinister state surveillance.

Emotively exaggerated and distorted sensationalism is used to obscure and confuse understanding about the real basis for the violence, pain, degeneracy and social breakdown in society, ie the ever more rotten capitalist system itself, at the same time stepping up state surveillance, censorship and excuses for repression.

Whatever minor gains there might be from feminist reforms, they barely and infrequently touch the lives of most working class women and certainly not the billions struggling in the Third World sweatshops (who rarely get a mention by the self-absorbed #metoo-ers for example) and they do nothing to stop the plunge into appalling Slump and ultimately total war disaster that capitalist Catastrophe is bringing.

No wonder the ruling class is so willing to take up the feminist and other single issue causes, publicising and hyping their campaigns as part of the endless “human rights“ humbug it uses to build up its world war and repression aims.

In national politics the aim is both to create and inflame divisions in the working class, (and sympathetic petty bourgeois elements where they can be found) heading them away from the class unity and strength that is needed to fight the revolutionary class war to overturn this vile system.

“Anti-sexism” is taken in isolation (as opposed to being one further facet of the struggle against capitalist exploitation) to cover up and divert attention from this real and sole basis for the nastiness, murderous violence, human degradation and conflict in a crisis degenerating society.

Internationally these single-issues now provide ammunition for the deluge of sick Goebbels propaganda being poured out by a desperate and collapsing imperialist system in all directions but especially against workers state China, and against Russia, by no means a workers state since 1990 but with a legacy of historic socialist attitudes in the population which continues to unnerve the hate-filled Western ruling class.

Feminism helps foment hatred and jingoism, the main tool for the ruling class to cover up and distract from world capitalism’s failures and its Catastrophic breakdown, setting the tone for its “solution”, inter-imperialist world war, to settle the contradictions of “over-production” and the deadly trade war hostility which ratchets up day-by-day.

A further aspect of this single-issue self-regarding individualist “identity” politics, turning in on itself because of its petty bourgeois subjectivism, is the role it plays in aiding the bourgeoisie to impose open dictatorship and suppression of dissent, by fomenting aggressive levels of self-righteous “intersectional” squabbling conflict between different “identities” that can reach near fascist levels of censorship, exclusion, “cancellation” and virtual book burning in some cases (between feminists, gays and trans supporters for example) with vicious character assassinations seeing people losing jobs and livelihoods.

All three aspects increasingly come into play to muddy the water and spread division as capitalism’s crisis breakdown heads for the rocks of total economic Catastrophe, in raging inflation, mass unemployment, collapse of basic services and infrastructure, driving the masses in even the rich countries back to not just the 1930s Depression levels of deprivation and privation but all the way down to the levels of Third World sweatshops or the nineteenth century’s brutal exploitation as even some liberal bourgeois commentators are beginning to be aware.

As the EPSR has long declared, all such single-issue (identity politics) campaigns and causes, from feminism and gay (LBGTetc) rights, to animal rights, eco-protest and black nationalism, by their reformist nature are not only no answer to the conflicts, alienation, brutalities and unfairness of capitalist society, but ultimately express a philosophy that is completely hostile to the only possible solution, the complete revolutionary ending of the whole system and its bourgeois class domination.

Increasingly they are the

last refuge of anti-communism, and will provide history with the most reactionary last-ditch defenders of the monopoly-imperialist “free world” system in its final counter-revolutionary debacles.

as a past issue of the EPSR put it (No 1242 20-07-04), going on to explain that

When the “personal became the political”, it was endless variants of extreme individualist philosophy which were being deliberately aggressively promoted.

Forget the pretence that society “hated” having to accommodate improved rights for women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, etc, etc.

Just the opposite. Temporary conservative lifestyle discomforts apart, the culture shock was quickly adjusted to by Big Business, the media, and bourgeois politics, and quickly taken advantage of via “political correctness” bureaucracy, Blair’s Babes, the Pink Pound, and a huge new pool of “entertainment” clichés for the soaps, game shows, ever-more-extreme pop-music novelties, etc, etc, etc, etc.

So-called “human rights” became more successful than ever as a major battering ram for the Western imperialist controllers’ non-stop worldwide propaganda priority to wipe out communism.

That piece (well worth reading) was directed at a disruptive gay counter-demonstration led by Peter Tatchell against a London march by the benighted and endlessly persecuted Palestinians, which completely overshadowed and sabotaged their efforts to bring to international attention their plight as one of the world’s most brutally and continuously oppressed peoples.

As far as much of this gay lobby was concerned, as long as their own monomania was satisfied (and that essentially within the privileged countries) the Palestinians could continue being ethnically cleansed from their own stolen homeland by the barbarically reactionary colonial Jewish occupation (financially, politically and militarily sustained by US imperialism as well as the entire imperialist order) and continue to be subject to the already 70+ years of relentless slow genocidal persecution, torture, harassment, arbitrary imprisonment, individual killings, outright massacres and regular all-out blitzkriegs by a nazi-regime determined to destroy or drive away an entire people or reduce it to a pitiful rump forever.

So the self-righteously individualistic pursuit of the homosexual obsession to be declared “normal” – a contentious and by no-means universally accepted understanding across the world (and a different matter entirely to the ending of primitive and backward homophobic repression and persecution) – was allowed to push aside the far more urgent life-and-death question being raised, of imperialist/Zionist domination not only of the Palestinians but of the entire Middle East, being butchered and devastated non-stop and an ever-more likely flashpoint for world war, ripening rapidly in the volatile conditions being created by capitalist collapse and intensifying trade war.

Whatever might be alleged to be the shortcomings of the current cultural position of the Palestinian revolt on LBGT etc rights – and in fact of much of the widening anti-imperialist militancy condemned by imperialism and petty bourgeois opinion as “just terrorism or headbanging jihadism”, – to thereby denounce and sabotage its struggle against imperialism is pure treachery.

The critical need to concentrate on the main enemy and the overriding cause of all oppression, imperialism itself, is missed, or to be more accurate, deliberately evaded in true self-interested petty bourgeois style, just as the entire fake-“left” has always missed and evaded the point of world revolutionary ferment by “condemning terrorism” particularly since the 9/11 attack on the New York World Trade Centre.

Certainly Marxism does not subscribe to the backward ideological elements and religious or puritanical aspects of jihadist or terrorist struggles, but it never denounces or condemns those who are struggling against imperialism.

Whatever limitations they have in understanding, these are the fault of the oppression and exploitative domination of the capitalist and colonialist order and its deliberate maintenance of ignorance and violence, and to a secondary extent the failure of the Moscow revisionist retreat from revolutionary understanding from at least as far back as the 1930s.

The historically temporary vacuum in scientific Leninist leadership left behind has been filled by whatever local cultural expressions of militancy are available or can be coopted for the struggle against centuries of sweatshop and plantation slavery or near-slavery.

They are not only entitled to fight in whatever way they see fit, but when such anti-imperialist militancy does strike significant blows against the enemy, it weakens the whole capitalist order and opens the way for the development of fully conscious Marxist struggle to overturn the whole vile system.

By all means let there be a battle for better understanding, – in fact it is crucial to do so and win the leadership of the anti-imperialist revolt for the complete overturning of capitalism in order to end the deadly threat of its war destruction for the whole planet.

But sanctimonious denunciations of the huge upheavals and uproar because they do not fit with the “moral perfection” (no such thing anyway) of the well-off and smug Western middle-class are disgusting.

The same “righteousness” has been repeatedly witnessed since, its self-regard helping sustain and keep in place the imperialist system and its hoodwinking democracy lies even as non-stop destruction and blitzing, warming the world up for World War Three, has continued – particularly noticeable for example in the informal 2011 electoral “deal” between the Barack Obama presidency and the gay lobby’s wish for “gay marriage”, (a favourite feminist cause too), a vote which propped up already discredited Obamaism for a second term despite the blitzkrieg on Libya, the Honduras coup, the escalation of drone killing, the extension of the barbaric Afghanistan occupation and support for non-stop Zionist butchery among much else.

Forget any revolutionary struggle or even protest against the horrors of war, famine, pandemic and poverty imposed on tens of millions in other words it says, – and particularly forget any exposure of the giant fraud of “democracy” which within capitalism is nothing but a cover for the dictatorship of the bourgeois ruling class.

Instead the myth is perpetuated that all grievances, and problems (including the real enough persecution of homosexuals) can be solved by reforms, a disastrous anti-communist philosophical trap.

The feminist lobby’s #metoo self-righteousness and witchhunting plays a similar role, (EPSR No1528 02-02-18) most lately its own extreme self-obsession feeding the big lie propaganda and foul disinformation onslaughts on China, hated by imperialism both because of its underlying workers state nature, and because its rapid development using capitalist methods for a significant part of the economy (but under overall state plan direction), has outcompeted and undermined moribund and anarchic monopoly capitalism.

A cascade of utter poison and nonsense has bucketed out of the lavishly funded CIA and other disinformation and propaganda units, eagerly reproduced and embroidered by the compliant bourgeois media and mostly swallowed wholesale and regurgitated by the complacent Western petty bourgeoisie (including all the way down through the 50-shades-of-pink fake-“left”).

The anarcho-individualism of the Tiananmen square demonstrations, long since discredited as a violent counter-revolutionary attempt, dispersed with minimal bloodshed by the state, is constantly revived, lyingly declared a “massacre” (see EPSR Books Vol 16 on China, and many issues eg No 1206 28-10-03, or No 1558 11-06-19); there have been years of hyping similar petty bourgeois (and MI6/CIA) stirred anti-communist violent stunts in Hong Kong as “pro-democracy”; decades of lies about “oppression” in Tibet or “aggressive expansionism” by Beijing against Taiwan (both historically parts of China); and most recently the biggest fabrication of all, the psy-ops inversion of state anti-terrorism measures against violent Islamic fundamentalism in Xinjiang into alleged “genocide”, a slick demonisation campaign built on nothing but carefully coached axe-grinding “witnesses” and on ludicrous evidence-free assertion that re-education facilities constitute “concentration camps”, and that this giant province uses “slave labour”, again without a scrap of evidence other than the laughably coached testimonies of a few axe-grinding petty-bourgeois exiles, looking to justify their renegade “better life” in the West or even to earn a few shillings from murmured playacting as “witnesses” in silhouetted pseudo-tearfulness for CIA funded “documentaries”.

And it is all garbage because none of it happens.

The Chinese camps demonstrate the very opposite to the doom-laden Goebbels propaganda; this is the use of rational re-education to deal with Islamic terror and sabotage against a workers state.

Certainly it is done with the forceful authority of the dictatorship of the proletariat perfectly validly, to suppress and control the reactionary disruption and anarchic killings and bombings some of the Uighur’s have carried out.

But such firmness is nothing like the barbarity imposed by capitalism against jihadist or “terrorist” rebelliousness.

Indiscriminate massacres, torture, warcrimes and destruction of half a dozen countries has been the sick and depraved answer of imperialism to such revolt, killing hundreds of thousands.

There is no comparison.

And this brute Western butchery is all the more disgusting because suppressing such upheaval is a different matter entirely when its revolt is directed against imperialism and its domination.

The Uighur revolt is mistaken when it disrupts the building of a workers state, however flawed the leadership might be by revisionist shortcomings; the same rebels travelling to fight alongside others in anti-imperialist conflicts elsewhere, as some have done, play an entirely different role, whatever confused ideas might be in their own heads about Caliphates and the Koran.

Every situation needs analysing precisely and concretely but in the main they are striking blows against the real cause of world oppression, imperialism which has imposed the warmongering from the start.

But the deluge of lies does not stop there.

The moment the Covid pandemic broke out a cynical and deliberate attempt began to pin the blame for the virus onto China, an obvious “fake-news” scam consciously put forwards by Trumpism against a wall of bourgeois scientific opinion saying otherwise.

Even the WHO world health arm of UN-type stoogery long in the pocket of the US, could not bring itself to make any such assertions, albeit humming-and ha-ing with craven excuses about “not yet having all the evidence” when the utterly Goebbels nature of the accusations from Trump and his White House henchpersons was glaringly obvious.

So very clearly was it a nonsense that even the American intelligence agency “investigation” commissioned by incoming president “Joe” Biden to pick up and run with the same big lie (demonstrating the equally reactionary and mendacious nature of the “Democrat” wing of the billionaire ruling class) has been obliged to drop the whole thing.

All this is far from a joke or just a bit of trivial international diplomatic “banter”.

China is surrounded by a ring of dozens of US military bases armed to the teeth with missiles, bombers, and submarines with a nuclear capacity that is currently being renovated and upgraded by the Pentagon at a cost of $16bn (so much for “they’ll never use them” complacency).

It is subject to non-stop sanctions and financial bullying, supplemented by endless military terrorising provocations.

Deliberate overflights and sea-incursions are made daily around its borders and dangerously close to its sovereign territory (including the posturing of has-been British imperialism and the insanely expensive and pointless aircraft carriers it has built, in the middle of “austerity”, to sustain the hollow pretence it still has “global reach”).

And the instability and war frenzy, repeated internationally against Russia, Belarus, and a host of smaller fry like Ethiopia’s nationalism currently, can only keep escalating as imperialist crisis slips towards the edge of total collapse, making the situation more and more like a drunk playing with a loaded revolver in a crowded bar, and an aggressive, fascist steroid-bloated, bullying drunk at that.

The world is plunging towards the deadliest nightmare of slump disaster and horrifying war in history and anyone who is not concentrating on that crisis and its revolutionary implications is playing the vilest of roles.

And single-issue-ists, and the fake-“left” revisionists and Trots, who long ago either adopted these various causes outright (to avoid confronting the revolutionary question and particularly the need to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, while maintaining a façade of “militancy”), or who fail to challenge them, are doing exactly that.

Far from helping expose all this deadly dangerous propaganda deluge, their hostility and hatred of workers states and their authority has helped bolster it, not least with the latest propaganda stunt around the tennis champion Peng Shuai, using the reactionary backwardness of the #metoo movement to sustain an international hysteria of astonishing extent.

Her self-obsession now sustains a major Western hate campaign to cancel and block China’s Winter Olympics and other international sporting participation (in complete contrast to past hypocrisy about “not bringing politics into sport” etc – over South Africa apartheid for example or Zionist boycott).

Either through naïvity, subversion or simply through bending to the petty bourgeois individualist atmosphere which permeates the world of elite sports and its celebrity culture – in which she has done well (courtesy of the facilities built up by the workers state for education and then the sports training it offers) – she saw fit to raise an allegation of sexual coercion against a senior party official “former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli”.

Now, there is nothing necessarily wrong with making such complaints if that is what happened, and there is no way to tell from the outside whether the man in question, with whom she is quoted as having had a “consensual on-off” relationship prior to the alleged incident, coerced her or unreasonably used political influence to do so. Let the Chinese work that out (though a just published translation of her original allegation is highly ambiguous on this question, (see exerts further down page) its plaintive tone a long way from suggesting the kind of arrogant couch-casting bullying by powerful men that the Western #metoo movement was ostensibly about).

China’s worker state is not so new that it does not have well established systems of civil justice and complaint.

Certainly overall these offer ordinary people at least as good, if not far better a prospect of redress to that open to the great majority under Western bourgeois rule in even the most “well off” countries, where “justice” is usually exorbitantly expensive or outright bankrupting except for the very rich, (or those temporarily useful to the very rich).

Even the most trivial of grievances can cost an arm and a leg to contest and even then, judgements are likely to be bent in favour of the rich who can afford the slickest and best law teams (or simply be twisted by the state – witness the stitch-up over the Hillsborough football disaster, the Grenfell inquiry, endless cases of establishment sexual and paedophile abuse, and the ignoring, shutdown or delays of warcrimes investigations and probes in Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq and currently the Kenya rape and murder case to mention just a few).

In much of the capitalist controlled world justice is simply not available at all, and the very notion is a sick joke for the tens of millions of the very poorest in the barrios of Brazil’s Sao Paolo or Rio di Janeiro, the slums of Manila, of Lagos, Cairo or Nairobi, or the broken down districts of dirt-poor Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, or the Palestinians trapped inside their Gaza strip concrete hellhole etc etc etc etc. where a death squad shooting or police cell beating or collective punishment killing is the best you can expect.

But this self-regarding Peng issue ignores all that, to imply that Chinese society is unjust or intent on persecuting its own people, a snivelling counter-revolutionary accusation which forms one of the most illogical but persistent lies in the imperialist anti-communist propaganda toolbox (since why would the masses have made revolutions in the first place and willingly built them up subsequently if that was the intent?)

Whatever limitations and flaws there might be in China’s society and its revisionist leadership, and in a yet still young social development, including attitudes on sexism and other single issue questions, such an approach is reprehensible at best and plain allout treachery at worst.

The moment she mounted a public statement on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook and Twitter etc) – thereby tapping into the lynchmob ethos established by the metoo# movement and its expectations of “bringing down” various figures solely on the basis of unverified accusation which “has to be believed because it is a woman” whatever the evidence, the issue became one not of justice at all but an attack on the workers state.

The revealed expectation (of looking to the West and its “democracy” pretences to get “justice”) is the same underlying attitude as held by the wretched provocateurs in Tiananmen 40 years back and more recently in Hong Kong’s Western sponsored “democracy” anti-communist hate campaign.

Her implied attack on the Chinese workers state and the not very subtle implication that it is “just as corrupt as” or “no different to” Western imperialism has been eagerly magnified by Western skulduggery and media frenzy.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, this dangerous provocation might simply lie in individualist short-sightedness, twisted and inflated without thinking through the consequences – though that is not much of a defence since it would be no different to the attitudes which underlie all petty bourgeois subjectivism.

She has form for self-interest, as approvingly and gleefully spelt out by the reactionary Western press like a Sunday Times hate piece by Tory Dominic Lawson (among various reactionary cheerleaders and supporters that should make feminism think twice at least).

That piece mingled in stale old disinformation about the alleged sex practices of Mao Zedong (which his defecting renegade doctor dreamed up for the approval of his Western handlers) in the dirtiest of smear tactics admitted to be completely irrelevant anyway:

These victims (as we would now see them) bear little comparison to Peng Shuai, a 35-year-old woman of high status who had previously demonstrated her willingness to challenge the hierarchy. She downed racket, so to speak, until Beijing allowed her and her fellow Chinese tennis stars to keep more of their foreign currency earnings.

Women in China are now better off than in the days of imperial rule (although foot-binding was made illegal in 1912, before the Communists took over). But political power remains a masculine preserve. The politburo standing committee has always been exclusively male. It was this organisation that forced countless women, against their will, to have IUDs inserted into their bodies, and millions more to have abortions in compliance with the one-child policy.

This compulsion from Beijing, combining viciously with an ancient preference for male offspring, has led to a demographic implosion that the party is now ineffectually attempting to reverse.

The grudging pseudo-admission of “improvements” combined with a final swipe about sex ratios is just as dirty a slander; in as much as there is progress to be made (and whoever believes revolution transforms everything overnight is simply not serious) it reflects an entrenched backwardness abd tradition in a formerly peasant society of hundreds of millions that favoured sons for economic reasons during 2000 years of feudalism.

But it is changing.

Lawson does not mention the much greater female child slaughter problems in capitalist India, a closer ally and the obvious comparison to make with steadily improving China, nor the huge problem there of frequent barbaric gang-rape and killing, made even worse by the arrogance of the vicious caste system still prevailing and the turn to Hindu nationalist jingoism and sectarian hate.

If there is a criticism to make it would be of Beijing’s lingering revisionist perspectives of permanent peaceful coexistence with imperialism which do not make clear enough the depth and intractability of the crisis and the inevitability and unstoppability of its plunge into world war and which have either allowed the naïve Peng to flounder in ignorance or has not done enough to contain and explain the counter-revolutionary self-centredness which has been encouraged by the entire Western #metoo movement into this destructive and dangerous incident.

Correctly enough however the matter was quickly shut down to prevent the deliberate inflammation that the bourgeois media has been desperately trying to foster ever since.

Meanwhile if there is corruption or backwardness (most often associated with the possible over-extensive use of capitalist economic methods inevitably spreading “all the old shit” in backward attitudes and antagonism, to very approximately quote Lenin) then that is part of the continuing class war that needs to be fought for generations, again as Lenin explained would be inevitable as society steadily changed itself under the leadership of scientific Marxism.

It is not necessarily a mistake to use capitalism for economic development as long as it is kept under tight political control.

So in this case the aim is not to overturn the state, (as the anti-communist Trotsky started agitating for in the Soviet Union from the moment an ailing Lenin had to retire from the all-out political struggle in the early 1920s).

China remains a state of the working class which took power in 1949, and the aim is to defend and improve it, working inside the party and the leadership to push it back towards a Leninist revolutionary path.

Enough of the rich capitalists that have arisen as part of the extended “New Economic Policy” methods turned to in the 1980s to attract foreign capital, bring in international skills, and stimulate entrepreneurship, have been chastised, brought to heel and in cases of gross outright corruption, even executed, to indicate that a wary eye is kept, albeit with numerous doubts remaining about revisionist illusions and complacency.

It is the business of the Chinese themselves, of course, to battle with these issues; and certainly nothing to do with Western reactionaries who are not remotely concerned about anything but destroying China’s political and economic growth. And as said in EPSR No 956 even Leninist criticism would need to proceed properly:

Genuine communist opposition to revisionist leadership-decay has needed to accept the structure of a party-led proletarian dictatorship, to accept the authority of the existing party leaders and their leadership line, and concentrate on demonstrating how the policies have proved inadequate or demonstrated they are out of touch with actual world developments. Such a difficult and rarely-accomplished course could almost certainly only be envisaged as being conducted from within the ruling party, and from well within it. It is hard to see how sniping from the outside (against a party which has successfully-carried out the revolutionary overthrow of a capitalist regime in the camp of world imperialism) could fail to be counter-revolutionary nonsense.

That does not mean a Leninist perspective would then keep its understanding to itself – just the opposite, maintaining a world perspective and battling for it on the world stage is part and parcel of building and constantly developing the revolutionary science that mankind needs to move forwards.

Nothing about this shallow feminist attack and the grossly hypocritical “support” by imperialism, is aiming to improve China’s communist grasp and societal development, and instead opens the country to Western hostility, and it is no surprise that the state moved to shut down this inflammatory provocation, albeit perhaps clumsily.

That in turn has been followed by a deluge of even greater lies and anti-communist hysteria about people being “disappeared” – an obvious nonsense but used for dementedly exaggerated hysterical demands to shut down the Winter Olympics, cut off connections to international sports, impose sanctions etc etc., all so wildly exaggerated that they immediately give away the real underlying anti-communist hatred of the whole inflated incident.

And this real world war fever purpose is not remotely “concerned” about women’s progress in China or anywhere else.

So much is that so that when she publicly texted that she was OK and a video showed her alive, healthily “un-tortured” and eating in a restaurant, the hate campaigning continued in the bourgeois press, denying reality; and even when there was a fullscale interview a few days later by the International Olympic Committee, it was the IOC that got it in the neck for spoiling the propaganda message! (Notice how this “backlash” is presented as some objective event rather than the deliberate decision of the Western campaign):

As human rights organisations and the world’s media questioned the whereabouts of the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, the International Olympic Committee opted for a “quiet diplomacy” approach.

Yet the IOC’s approach to the Peng saga, which resulted in a half-hour-long video call between its president, Thomas Bach, and the player on Sunday, appeared to have failed to ease concerns. Instead, the committee was accused by rights activists of engaging in a “publicity stunt” for Beijing.

Such a backlash is a familiar recurrence for the IOC throughout its history since the late 19th century. Last month, in response to rights organisations’ calls to relocate the Winter Games, the IOC vice-president, John Coates, responded: “We are not a world government. We have to respect the sovereignty of the countries who are hosting the Games.”

This pragmatism from the IOC is not a new phenomenon, nor a feature unique to its dealings with China. Critics often cite the organisation’s response to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. Ten days before that year’s Games, government forces shot dead hundreds of protesters in the Tlatelolco massacre. “Olympic Games to go ahead in spite of Mexico rioting,” reported the Guardian in a front-page story on 3 October that year.

But Susan Brownell, a former nationally ranked US track and field athlete who is an academic at the University of Missouri–St Louis, said the IOC’s response to the Peng case marked a change to its previous practices. “In the past, the IOC’s sole mission was to ensure that the Games take place whatever the circumstances. But this time around, it did get involved in what is essentially a #MeToo case, despite the criticisms that ensued.”

She added: “Thomas Bach could have chosen not to get involved and left it to the International Tennis Federation. But since 2017, when human rights were added into the host city contract, the IOC is beginning to stand up for a wider range of human rights issues than it previously did, although critics will insist on their line that the IOC does not have credibility.”

The organisation has repeatedly come under fire in recent years. In 2014, for example, it was criticised for allowing the Sochi Winter Games to take place amid Russia’s deteriorating human rights record, in particular its hostility towards the LGBTQ+ population. And when Beijing became the leading contender to host the 2008 Summer Games in 2001, some urged the IOC to think twice.

“I would be most hesitant and most reluctant to award Beijing the Olympic Games, and give the Chinese government a substantial propaganda coup, in light of that human rights record and until there’s a clear improvement in that record,” said Donald Anderson, who at the time was the Labour MP for Swansea West and a former chair of the foreign affairs select committee, in a 2001 Observer debate.

Less than a month after Peng’s revelation on Chinese social media site Weibo, her saga is transitioning from allegations of sexual assault to precarious international diplomacy. There is a lot at stake for Beijing as it faces international scepticism and potential boycotts from some western capitals.

In the meantime, a parallel narrative is taking shape among pro-government actors. “For those who truly care about safety of Peng Shuai, her appearances of these days are enough to relieve them or eliminate most of their worries,” tweeted Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese state-run Global Times. “But for those aiming to attack China’s system and boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, facts, no matter how many, don’t work for them.”

Notice too the Guardian’s sly invocation of historic atrocities in the capitalist world, to paint China in the blackest of colours by innuendo, and its use of equally specious propaganda hostility against Russia and the 2008 Olympics, both foundationless but now adduced as “evidence”, demonstrating how the most sophisticated and sly of all at pouring out the anti-communist message is this petty bourgeois liberalism.

What desperation!!

This sick hypocrisy was already glaringly clear from the off for anyone capable of making simple comparisons, let alone looking at this from a serious Marxist theoretical perspective; all they had to do was consider the case of Princess Latifa, daughter of the thuggish feudal ruler of Dubai, kidnapped from a yacht by parachuted armed men and kept in isolation without any proof she was alive for months on end:

The campaign to free Princess Latifa, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has been disbanded after she was pictured in Iceland.

But it is unclear to what extent Latifa, who has not spoken publicly, is operating under her own free will.

The BBC broadcast footage earlier this year in which the princess said she was being held captive by her father.

It prompted an international outcry, with the UN calling for proof that the 35-year-old was still alive.

Several images of Latifa have since emerged.

The Free Latifa campaign issued a statement on Monday confirming that the princess had met her cousin, Marcus Essabri - the third person in the photo - in Iceland.

Mr Essabri, whose aunt is Latifa’s mother, said: “[We] had an emotional reunion... It was reassuring to see her so happy, well and focused on her plans.”

David Haigh, co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign, told the BBC that the princess’s current situation was “the best position she has been in in terms of freedom [...] for two decades”.

Latifa, one of the 25 children of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, attempted to escape from Dubai in February 2018.

In a video recorded shortly before she left, she said her life was heavily constricted. “I haven’t left the country since 2000. I’ve been asking a lot to just go travelling, to study, to do anything normal. They don’t let me,” she said.

But the escape went wrong: eight days into a journey across the Indian Ocean, the boat was caught by commandos who forcibly removed Latifa and returned her to Dubai.

No international calls for sanctions were made here over a years long period, no lurid front pages in the tabloid press, no punishments and no calls for cancellation of major sporting events like the just-held F1 Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia, or the next in the UAE – exactly the opposite, the Sheikhs has continued to be grovelling welcomed in Britain, fêted at Ascot and the royal palaces, Abu Dhabi the UAE capital is a major investor in the UK and all the tribal “monarchs” are eagerly welcomed by the bankers and sycophantic hordes of petty bourgeois “professionals” desperate to service the vast wealth of this thuggish feudal backwardness.

Additionally the UAE and Saudi Arabia etc continue to receive extensive British (and US) military aid and “advice” along with massive and lucrative arms supplies, much used for the horrific Yemeni war, which has torn apart the country, slaughtered tens of thousands and reduced millions of its people to not just starvation but outright famine (all barely mentioned by the British media and never at all by the “democratic” Tories or just as reactionary Labour feminist posturers).

Almost as gross as the outright ruling class campaign against China is the sick willingness of the petty bourgeois celebrity culture to jump in around the Peng Shuai with a chorus of self-righteousness from numerous sanctimonious film stars from George Clooney downwards, now reinforced by the World Tennis Association, ignoring now two interviews with Peng in order to declare a boycott – demonstrating that it is petty bourgeois anti-communism behind this deliberate escalation.

All of this was built around the feminist #metoo witchhunt which for all its origins in calling out genuine grievances against patriarchal privilege and manipulation of financial and cultural power to abuse and rape women via the sick “couch casting” permeating the huge entertainment and film industry (and most other commerce too),

The pain and damage of male chauvinist intimidation, bullying and violence has devastated lives, and on occasion has taken lives, and has to be fought against.

But the reformist notion that it can be fought against in itself, and a better society be created by doing so, is both practically and philosophically mistaken.

Firstly there can be no better society overall, while capitalism continues to exist and any such battle can only fought as part of an overall revolutionary struggle if it is to achieve anything.

That is ever more so the closer the great Catastrophe comes; in the middle of slump and world war, already underway, the point will be made in the most savage way possible overtaking all such moralising.

Humanity can understood all this now, and in fact rational Marxist-Leninist science has grasped it for more than a century, hampered and held back by such moralising and class collaboration.

But this reformism is not simply inadequate, it is actively hostile to the communist struggle reflecting a petty bourgeois fear and detestation of the working class taking power.

So the #metoo movement ends up with a lynchmob atmosphere imposing its own injustices and character assassinations, trampling across reason, evidence and fairness, destroying lives (EPSR No1528 15-02-18) in pursuit of vengeance on men.

Its most extreme forms are completely divisive, asserting that all women are victims, and innocent ones at that, automatically to be believed simply on the basis of their accusations; and that the world’s problems are down to maleness and masculinity. The barmiest fringes take such a line to such extremes of irrationality as in this letter, which the “liberal” Guardian chose to print:

Arwa Mahdawi claims that men are not responsible for climate change (Don’t blame men for the climate crisis – we should point the finger at corporations, 27 July). This lets men off the hook a little too lightly. Not only are they the instigators of the ruinous Industrial Revolution, which led to the vast contamination of air, water and land, but men have also spent the last 5,000 years fighting, killing, colonising, enslaving, marauding, and yelling about football.

Who invented the capitalist system that Mahdawi agrees is so destructive? And who owns the corporations she so rightly condemns? Men.

So, no need then to quibble with the cited Swedish study. Of course we shouldn’t blame individuals. We should blame all men.


It would easy to consider this absurd self-righteousness just a satirical Amazonian parody if it were not for more or less similar sentiments filling not just acres of bourgeois media space but entire books.

Its vicious effect is deadly.

First of course is the damage done to numerous individuals caught in the crossfire, like the shameful public demolition of filmmaker Woody Allen (see EPSR No 1558 referenced above) through hearsay and lies, and the expulsion of director Terry Gilliam from the Old Vic for objecting to views blaming “old white males” for capitalist society’s problems.

Of course neither of those is a Marxist and perhaps therefore sympathy might be reserved but what about this case, just revealed:

The bestselling author Alice Sebold has issued a public apology to the man who was wrongfully convicted of raping her 40 years ago in an attack that inspired her 1999 memoir Lucky.

“I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through,” Sebold said in a statement, adding: “I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will.”

The writer said she was “grappling” with the “fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr Broadwater did”.

Broadwater was convicted in 1982 after Sebold, then a Syracuse University student, mistakenly identified him as the man who had attacked her five months previously.

The rape and the subsequent trauma formed the basis of Sebold’s first book, Lucky, which launched her career, including the writing of the bestseller The Lovely Bones.

Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison, was exonerated by a court in New York last week. The case was re-opened after Timothy Mucciante, who was hired as executive producer of a film adaptation of Lucky, noticed discrepancies between the memoir and the script.

Sebold’s public apology came eight days after his conviction was overturned, as she had “struggled” to “comprehend how this could have happened.”

Almost 30 years after it was written, Lucky is still a powerful read: the account of Sebold’s rape at 18, the trial and the impact it had on her life. It is unflinching in its detail. Sebold recounts the feeling of being pushed to the ground; of having a tongue forced into her mouth and hands shoved inside her.

The pain of the experience this author went through was real enough, but even more so the man who essentially had his entire life destroyed through the self-righteousness of feminist “certainty” (which is only made worse by the fact the mistake in identification was possibly genuine).

This specific incident is not an isolated case; a slew of others highlight the feminist distortion of declaring men the sole cause of the world’s evils:

The MP Claudia Webbe has been sentenced to 10 weeks in custody suspended for two years after being found guilty of a campaign of harassment, including threatening an acid attack, against a woman.

Webbe was found guilty of harassing Michelle Merritt, a friend of her partner, with threatening phone calls. A trial was told she had called Merritt a slag, threatened to “use acid” and said she would distribute naked pictures of Merritt to her family.

The 56-year-old has also been ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of harassment.

The sentencing of Webbe, who was elected as a Labour MP but now sits as an independent, represents a dramatic fall from grace. In 2019, she was one of the most powerful minority ethnic figures in UK politics, a key aide to Jeremy Corbyn and the chair of the party’s disputes panel.

Webbe was elected with a majority of 6,019 but had the whip withdrawn last year after she was charged. She is expected to appeal against her conviction for harassment.

But her sentence at Thursday’s hearing will prompt an automatic recall petition in Leicester East if her appeal fails.


A woman who stabbed a man between the eyes with a kitchen knife has been jailed for three years.

Britanny Stone, 28, attacked her victim so violently that the blade penetrated his brain and he had to have an eye removed after the incident in Nottingham last year.

The unnamed victim had been drinking at his flat in Chilwell, with Stone when a row erupted in the early hours of July 4.

He walked outside but Stone followed him with a knife from his kitchen and stabbed him in the head.

Detective Constable Peter Burrows said: ‘This was a vicious attack which left the victim with life-changing injuries.

‘The force of the blow to his face resulted in the knife penetrating into his brain. He had to have his eye removed and is due to be fitted with a false eye.’

He also had a bleed on the brain.

Stone was arrested at the scene and later pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

She was jailed for three years at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, July 21.


A retired accountant has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years after being convicted of the murder of her husband, a former army lieutenant colonel.

Penelope Jackson, 66, was found guilty at Bristol crown court of the murder of David Jackson, 78, whom she stabbed three times at their home in Berrow, Somerset, on 13 February.

Imposing a life sentence with an 18-year minimum term, the judge Martin Picton said: “I have no doubt you intended to kill your husband and it was a pre-meditated murder. Your behaviour shows a shocking level of callousness. During the four days of giving evidence I did not detect a shred of genuine remorse on your part for the crime you have committed.”

He said he had given a higher sentence than the 15-year minimum outlined in sentencing guidance owing to the physical harm inflicted on David Jackson.

During the high-profile two-week trial, the defence lawyer, Clare Wade QC, sought to persuade the jury that Penelope Jackson had a “loss of control” after being pushed to the edge by decades of intermittent emotional and physical abuse.

However, the jury decided that despite the legacy of abuse, Jackson was in control of her actions on the evening when she stabbed her husband three times, and that her behaviour was not consistent with that of a person with a “normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint”.

Picton said: “There were no doubt tensions in the marriage, points of friction the lockdown will have accentuated, but I’m quite sure he was nothing like the person you claimed.”

To which could be added the appalling case of the six year old murdered by his manipulative stepmother and other tragedies.

The point of such examples is not to deny the existence of sometimes brutal male violence, but to demonstrate that attributing such degrading and degenerate behaviour to men alone and maleness per se – through the “toxic masculinity” mantra or the shallow sloganising about “rape culture” is to head attention away from the responsibility of capitalism for all human misery and alienation, including the frustrations and pain which drive violence to the surface on all sides.

Such a diversionary agenda is being deliberately followed by the neo-Blairites currently, particularly by “feminist” MPs like Jess Phillips or Yvette Cooper, making heavy weather of one expression of societal breakdown, in the form of domestic violence, and the highly sensationalised murder and rape cases of the recent past, in order to cover up their complete collusion with and support for the capitalist system.

Labourism is part of capitalism but wants to pretend to be “tackling society’s ills” – it seizes on such issues in order to distract attention from its complete class-collaborating treachery and support for this collapsing system; the famous “oh look over there, it’s a squirrel” technique.

The slogan “violence against women and children” is therefore being quite deliberately repeated multiple times during interviews, following the slick modern political practice of embedding a single thought in public opinion to avoid any deeper debate, and to foster splits and division.

It is a campaign built on a complete distortion using superficial aspects of highly visible murder and violence cases to distort and twist the understanding of actual causes.

Gross and tragic as they are, such incidents are deliberately dwelt on and their incidence hyped up frenzied levels of public panic and fright by the capitalist press and a cynical political establishment even though many such incidents are not primarily expressions of sexist hatreds at all.

The recent Plymouth mass shooting for example was not specifically about women, (victims of this horrific incident seem partly random), and the same is true of the heart wrenching stabbing of a 12-year girl in Liverpool by a 14-year old boy, which much more reflects the complex issues of gang culture and knife-crime in the terrified and alienated youth desperately trying to survive in the turmoil ridden inner cities produced by capitalist breakdown, than “misogyny”.

And even where there is a clearly sexual element to incidents, focussing on that as the underlying cause is both simplistic and diversionary.

Of course the Sarah Everard murder was horrifying for example but the critical aspects of it are to do with capitalism’s state authority (the police, army etc) and deliberately encouraged “forceful” (thuggish) attitudes in its personnel that turns a blind eye to all kinds of reactionary backwardness even when it tips into clearly deranged behaviours – misogyny, racism etc etc among them.

The ultimate purpose of the police and other state instruments is suppressing the working class and keeping it “in its place” using every kind of intimidation and violence all the way to civil war measures, as the miners learned during the 1984-5 strike and even more so the Irish national-liberation struggle, beset by murderous intimidation, torture, imprisonment and killing.

One high level general even said as much recently, though rapidly backing off as the rest of the establishment warned he was giving too much away:

The Head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, has said it was a mistake to argue that a “laddish culture” is encouraged in the Army because soldiers have to go and fight the enemy.

His comments were criticised earlier this month as he spoke to MPs on the defence select committee where he said there needed to be a “long-term cultural change” in the military to make it better for women.

Sir Nick has told BBC Newsnight’s diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, he would have “preferred not to use that term” and he’s “absolutely up front in admitting a mistake”.

He also discusses Conservative MP Sarah Atherton’s report into bullying and sexual harassment of women in the Army, which found almost two-thirds of female soldiers have experienced bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination during their career.

Similar cases, like the murdered sisters whose bodies were photographed and distributed for “a laff” by two of the investigating police equally reflect the depravity of capitalism, not men – and neither does the crime itself whose perpetrator is a severely damaged psychotic driven by deranged fantasies.

Another aspect of blame diversions is the virtual war against teenagers, playing on the inevitably guilty curiosity, confusions, mistakes and clumsiness of explosively hormone-driven adolescent experiment and forays into sex and relationships, to suggest there is some new and virtually out of control “rape culture” prevailing in schools and universities.

But much of that is no more than the attempted male brashness and unconfident cockiness which is normal in teenagers and has undoubtedly been so since the dawn of time – and which most women simultaneously learn to deal with – and often to manipulate and take advantage of in capitalist society – not some cause of societal collapse (certainly happening as the Catastrophe deepens).

Certainly sexual development is fraught with confusions and the lack of any leadership or cultural or community orientation, and some individuals get damaged by it.

“Too much porn” is one obvious blame target, or the highly distorted and often violent, weird or emotion free view of sexuality it offers, and undoubtedly the explosion of such Internet substitutes for “sex-education” is another factor in causing confusion and alienation – in both directions.

But first of all whose fault is that except, once again, a sick and exploitative capitalist system commodifying (and distorting) even the most basic of human instincts and behaviours, and simultaneously leaving society in general in a state of total confusion and inability to even start working out such complex matters? (See following archive perspective).

And anyway, despite the distorting misinformation such freely available imagery provides, is the younger generation in general really exhibiting signs of developing some horrible new repressive culture?

And how would that explain the violence and rape that was around long before computers existed?

But to extrapolate from attempted adolescent bravado to accuse all men of sustaining a “rape culture” and “toxic masculinity” serves only the interests of the ruling class – not least in giving it yet another bludgeon to hold down the working class in the form of proposed “laws against mysogyny” so that even wolf-whistling would be a “hate crime” and at the most extreme suggesting that sexual harassment be made equivalent to “terrorism” (a monstrous catch-all description applied to rebelliousness and anti-imperialism anyway), setting up men in general to be picked up and imprisoned by the state, a power that would obviously be used against the working class or protestors.

And anyway is the expression of interest and attention – the condemned “male gaze” – really evidence of some horrific general malaise affecting 50% of the human race just waiting to damage the other half who are all pure as the driven snow?

Sexual titillation pours out in the media - and even the presenter of a recent BBC 3 documentary ostensibly exploring these questions had to concede she was part of the problem too – making her living from appearances on Love Island and as an Internet “influencer” through bikini modelling, both part of a huge industry designed to provoke and maintain sexual interest and, obviously, “attract the male gaze”.

Meanwhile a whole other industry comes the other way, selling a raft of products and services (including sometimes dangerous surgery) for women to “beautify” themselves with the obvious intent of attracting the “male gaze”, often with the hope of controlling or taking advantage of men.

Blaming women for trying to get by exploiting their female attributes would be as pointless as blaming men. But it is pure hypocrisy to load responsibility for society’s ills onto men’s backs. Issue No 1032 again:

Prejudice of all kinds shames human society. But letting capitalism escape responsibility because of the self-righteous conceit of middle-class single-issue martyrdom just amounts to one of the darkest and daftest periods of reactionary irrationality in modern times.

Build Leninism Tony Lee


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Sunday Times translation of Chinese tennis player Internet posting

‘I know I can’t explain clearly, and it’s useless to say it anyhow. But I still want to let it out. How hypocritical I am, I admit that I’m not a good girl, I’m a very, very bad girl.

“About three years ago, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you retired, you asked Dr Liu from the Tianjin Tennis Centre to get hold of me again, and arrange to play tennis with me, at Beijing’s Kangming Hotel. After playing tennis in the morning, you and your wife Kang Jie together took me to your home. Then you took me into a room in your house, and, just like in Tianjin more than ten years ago, wanted to have sex with me.

“I was very scared that afternoon, I didn’t expect it could be like this at all, with someone keeping guard outside, because it was impossible anyone would believe that a wife would allow this. We had sex once seven years ago, and then you went to Beijing for the Standing Committee [of the Communist Party Politburo] and never contacted me again. I had long buried everything in my heart, since you didn’t intend to take any responsibility at all, why did you still want to come back for me, take me to your home [and] force me to have sex with you?

“It’s true I have no evidence, and it was utterly impossible to keep any evidence.

“Later, you kept denying it, but it’s really the case that you liked me first, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come into contact with you. That afternoon, first I didn’t agree, I kept crying. I ate dinner together with you and also auntie Kang Jie. You said that the universe is very, very big, the earth is just a speck of sand in the universe, we humans are not even a speck of sand. You said so much more, just to make me let go of the burden of my thoughts.

“After dinner, I was still not at all willing [to have sex], you said you hated me! You said you never forgot about me in those seven years, and would be nice to me, and so on . . . I was scared and panicking [but] given the feelings I had for you from seven years ago I agreed. Yes, we had sex. Emotion is a complicated thing, can’t be explained clearly. From that day on, I once again opened my love for you. In the days spent with you after that, and only based on our time together, you were a very, very good person, and treated me well. We talked from modern history to ancient times, you explained to me the knowledge of all things on earth, then talked about economics, philosophy, endless topics.

“Together playing chess, singing, playing table tennis, pool and tennis, we can always play happily, our personalities are so compatible, it seems that everything fits well.

“Leaving home early as a child, in my heart I was extremely deprived of love. Facing all that happened, I never thought I was a good girl, I hated myself, hated why I came into this world, and experienced this disaster.

“You told me you loved me, very, very much, and hoped that in the next life we can meet when you are 20 and I am 18. You said you were very lonely, so pitiful and alone. We had days of talking without end, and never ran out of topics. You said that in your position there’s no way to divorce. If you had met me while in Shandong (the province where Zhang was Communist Party boss before transferring to Tianjin), you could still get a divorce, but now there’s no way. I thought I could just quietly accompany you without attracting attention.

“It was fine at first, but slowly changed over time, too much unfairness and humiliation. Every time you asked me to go [to your home], how many ugly insults were said to me by your wife behind your back, all kinds of ridicules and sneering. I said I like to eat duck tongues, auntie Kang Jie would shoot back at me with — “ugh, so disgusting”. In winter, in the Beijing smog, I said that sometimes the air isn’t so good, auntie Kang Jie would tell me “that’s your suburb, we don’t feel it here”, and so on. She said so much like this, [but] when you were there she didn’t speak this way. That seems just like us: when it’s the two of us together you treated me one way, when there were other people you treated me another way.

“I have told you this, after hearing these words too often I felt very hurt and wronged in my heart. From the first day I knew you until now, I haven’t used a single penny of your money, and what’s more I haven’t sought to gain any profit or benefit through you. But a person’s status, this thing is really important. All of this serves me right, I brought disgrace upon myself.

“From the beginning to the end, you always made me keep secret our relationship, and even more I couldn’t tell my mum I had sexual relations with you, because every time it’s she who took me to the Church of the Saviour (in Beijing), and afterwards I changed to your family car to be able to enter your complex. She always thought I was going to your home to have fun — play mahjong and cards. We are in each other’s lives like transparent people in real life. Your wife was like the empress in The Legend of Zhen Huan (a TV drama set in the imperial harem), and I can’t describe how shameful I am. Many times I thought, am I still a human being? I thought that I was the walking dead, pretending, pretending every day, which one is the real me? I shouldn’t have come into this world, but I don’t have the courage to die.

“I really want to live more simply, but things don’t turn out the way you want. In the evening of the 30th (October 2021), there was a big argument. You said that we would go to your house in the afternoon of the 2nd and slowly talk it out.

“Today at noon you called to say you’re busy and will be in touch, you shirked everything, made the excuse you would contact me another day . . . and just like that “disappeared” the same as seven years ago. You play then dump me when you don’t want it anymore.

“You said there was never any deal between us. Yes, our feelings have nothing to do with money or power, but I don’t know where to place the feelings of the past three years, it’s hard to face. You were always scared I would bring some recording device, collecting evidence or something. Yes, apart from me, I don’t have any evidence to prove [what happened], no audio, no video, only the real experience of my distorted self.

“I know that for someone of your prominence and power, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you’ve said that you’re not afraid. But even if I am courting self-destruction like throwing an egg against a rock, or a moth darting into fire, I will tell the truth about you.

“With your IQ and wits, you will surely deny it or counter-attack against me, you can be cynical like that. You always said that you hope your mother in heaven can bless and protect you. I am a bad girl who doesn’t deserve to be a mother.

“You are a father with a son and a daughter. I once asked you if you would force your adopted daughter to do this? After all the things you have done in this life, will you go to face your mother with peace of mind? We all like to pose as people of high morals.”

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EPSR archives - items from past issues

Single-issue reformist lobbies like feminism are the most self-defeating diversions just helping capitalism maintain an ever-worsening society [from EPSR Perspectives 2001 - books Vol 17]

x In the class-war long term pattern of history which will need to see planned world socialism under the control of workers states everywhere replacing the 700-year international rule of the capitalist bourgeoisie (with its incurable built-in inevitability of exploitation, elitism, and repression, - and therefore of constantly-reviving prejudices and discrimination of all kinds, - before real equality and an end to injustice can become the natural way of life for all mankind, - - these single-issue reformist pressures to make the imperialist ‘democracies’ look blemishless from a ‘human rights’ point of view will only end up being identified for what their real essence is already, - petty-bourgeois class-collaboration. While capitalist states, economies, and societies can be coerced by agitation (which might even earn the description ‘revolutionary’ by its bravery, skill, determination, and energy, etc, in forcing significant retreats in established prejudice) to appear to capitulate to ‘human rights’ pressure all the way down the line, - the fundamental reality of bourgeois society everywhere remains the same: capitalist class dictatorship.

The ‘reforms’ against racism and sexism, etc, essentially benefit middle-class individuals. Job promotions and professional appointments for women, blacks, and gays, etc, have made progress, and legal discrimination is being tackled. But how does basic class exploitation get affected???? Not at all.[...]

Feminism is an even bigger ‘reformist’ fraud. The sexploitation of women today goes on more offensively than ever before in capitalism’s history. There is not an advert, game-show, or comedy hour that does not have sexual flaunting or innuendo as a theme, - films and pop videos the same. The only ‘equality ‘ achieved is that toyboys and male escort agency prostitutes are now spoken of almost as openly as their female equivalents, and the reverse sexploitation of the Chippendales and the pub hen-parties has added male strippers to capitalist culture. Many would argue that such sexual ‘liberation’ is only to be welcomed after the stifling hypocrisy and ‘universal prostitution by marriage’ of the Victorian era, and some would even argue that the increasingly open expansion of prostitution/massage parlour industry is a good thing too. Trade-union, legal, and feminist protection of ‘sex workers’, plus feminist champions of pornography as potentially ‘liberating’ for women as well as men, all now conflict with other feminists, just as adamant that the whole scene is merely a continuation of men’s degradation of women, with a patriarchal world having conned many females into collaborating in their own sexploitation, etc.

The reality is that no one can be sure of the route to ‘sexual freedom’ or what it should mean, either in this still-evolving society or in the post-capitalist future, because there are less and less quantities of stable mature community existence on earth where considered judgments over time can be made on such matters. Rational judgment is not what the fast-moving capitalist entertainment industry is guided by, and the huge profitability from exploiting sex-as-entertainment now flooding the internet, Channel 5, car adverts, pop music and the cinema, - basically providing endless sexual arousal/masturbatory material, - has audience-share and monopoly-balance sheets in mind, not the well being of society. In one sense, it is a scale of sexploitation of the whole world-population infinitely greater and more serious than the most patriarchal degradation of Victorian prostitutes (or ‘worthwhile sex industry employment requiring better pay and conditions’ if viewed from that ‘liberated’ feminist angle that can be imagined, - a prostitution trade which, of course, itself now runs on a far vaster scale than ever before, despite (or happily because of, depending on viewpoint) the total revolution in sexual ‘liberation’ that modern capitalism has brought.

An attempted Marxist analysis of what all this means, and where it is heading for, is obviously demanded, but the point being made here is that feminism, as a reformist political ideology pretending to ‘solve’ women’s problems in the modern world, is not just out of its depth on these questions, but is itself clearly part of the problem, and not remotely part of any solution.

Since its arrival on the scene as a major political force, feminism has unquestionably class-collaborated with the capitalist system as such, pretending to ‘reform’ it out of all recognition by challenging its patriarchal bias, etc, etc. But as seen above on the issue closest of all to the feminists, the matter of sexploitation itself, -- capitalism is profiteering out of human need, confusion, and difficulties in this area more than ever before in history, and leaving society with less general contentment or future stability and security than it has ever known. Feminists’ class-collaboration with the powers-that-be -- pushing to get their share of the ruling class spoils, rather than pushing to end a whole system run on exploitation, - have helped to prolong this ‘free-market’ way of life, - i.e. capitalist domination, which screws everybody in the end.

And away from the sexual-politics frontline in the handful of sophisticated Western countries, how has the lot of the overwhelming mass of women fared on earth, - working class women? Throughout the Third World, it faces more relative deprivation, hardship, and suffering than ever before in the 40 years since ‘feminism’ began making its mark on middle class minds. In the West itself, the female proletariat feels as well or as badly off as the rest of the working class feels, battling against poor schooling for the children, against patchy health-service care, demanding massive environmental improvement, and putting up with work-exploitation drudgery. In other words, no real change at all. And when the post-war trade boom finally collapses, and slump takes over again, the working class will see itself as worse off than ever before, men and women alike, - and will see that the class-collaborating feminist middle class folly has helped to put them there by its anti-patriarch agitation enabling the other 99% of the capitalist system’s real harmfulness to carry on just as before, or, if anything, even better concealed and better protected than ever before because of feminism’s huge posturing about incidental aspects of bourgeois-imperialist rule, - the ‘reform’ of which changes nothing about the system’s continuing essential class-domination which exploits everybody, in countless worse ways than any individual feminist ever suffered.

33. On capitalism’s continued crude sexploitation of the world population, in general, as with so many other things, it will not be until it is possible to restore life with any meaningful sense of community aspect to it that these and many other problems will get the chance to resume positive evolutionary progress. Even some versions of ‘communist’ futurism have relegated the family to being a casualty of ‘patriarchy-exploitation’ history; but for as long as a primary instinct of all childrens’ spontaneous play remains variations on a nest-building theme, and for as long as a primary spontaneous instinct in all little girls’ play remains dressing up to look as attractive as possible, it seems likely that the decisive role of women, whose most powerful sexual urges retain clear physical and emotional connection to the procreative cycle, will mean family life, in one form or another, remaining central to human society for the foreseeable future.

It remains to be seen what happens to all the group rowdyism and sexual exhibitionism that current youth are attracted to; but that ‘most people settle down’ contains truth as well as a cliché designed to cover up and dismiss legitimate youthful anxieties. For the rest of rebellious youth’s problems, look no further than the crisis of capitalist society itself. Nothing can be judged in advance about what post capitalist generational relationships will be like once real human communities are restored, - mankind rationally and reasonably working out all social and personal problems towards the point where the free development of every individual becomes the condition registering the free development of society itself. What is certain is that if the present total ideological confusion on the planet throws up a ‘youthism’ movement to imitate the reformist agitation of feminism and other single-issue individualist panaceas, then the class-collaboration involved will guarantee capitalism a yet further prolonged lease of life, ensuring ‘youth problems’ (like all other problems) will only get worse and be further from any solution than ever before. RB

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