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 1604 12th February 2022

Monopoly capitalist plunge into the greatest economic breakdown in history is the real basis for the demented warmongering threats against Russia – an aggression by the West using Goebbels lies and inversions to blame it on Putin. Defeat needed for West but without supporting Moscow’s oligarch restorationism. The same terminal Catastrophe underlies the sick and degenerate sleaze and degeneracy of the Tory government, paralysed by the scale of the onrushing disaster, caused by the intractable contradictions of the private profit system, and the necessity it imposes for far greater “austerity” to be imposed on the working class. No amount of humiliation will make the ruling class leave the stage – instead it is preparing ever more fascist-minded repression and censorship. Biden’s US reign more unpopular than ever while Trumpism warms up civil war moves to impose the Slump. Lalkar/Proletarian support for Putin’’s reactionary role suppressing revolt in Kazakhstan underlines the treacherous role of revisionism

Lurid and topsy-turvy accusations over Ukraine, pretending Russia is a dangerous aggressor, are a desperate diversion by failing Western capitalism hitting the buffers of historic economic disaster.

The demented war and invasion scaremongering propaganda is deliberately manufactured hysteria and alarmism by the West to distract attention from the ruling class sleaze, paralysis, bankruptcy and breakdown caused by capitalism’s great Catastrophe and manifest in Tory disarray, splits and scandals.

Like Hitlerism, this signals overall weakness and breakdown.

Whatever the bluster about “sanctions” or “stopping NordStream 2” (really – who will pay the $8bn bill for its Western investors? – or explain to the German population why its energy bills have trebled?) the main story is one of desperation by a Western monopoly capitalism sliding into economic disaster, unstoppably coming whatever nasty and small-minded damage the ruling class might inflict.

The loudmouth threats sound more hollow by the day – particularly as none of them involve actually putting any troops or support into the Ukraine itself where the alleged “attack” is focused.

Even that is an upside down notion, a modern and sophisticated version of the big lie technique which the Hitlerites used in the 1930s World War Two run-up, blaming the victims for “causing” the blitzkriegs which then wiped them out.

Associated “defending freedom and democracy” propaganda is an astounding black-is-white inversion too, trying to bolster the filthy Nazi regimes built up by the West in the former Soviet countries of eastern Europe for the last three decades with coups, finance and CIA interventions.

Like the ludicrously convenient “sudden discovery” and “public warning” by the British MI5-gestapo spooks last fortnight of “Chinese spies” which, out of the blue, declare perfectly straightforward and open diplomatic and trade relations building, going on for years and known to all the establishment, to be a newly found “secret” (!!!) attempt to bribe and “take over” the government, or the even more nonsensical and risibly idiotic “Moscow coup plot” allegations in Kiev, this entire Ukraine war hysteria is a gigantic fraud, designed to pump up war fever and distract attention from domestic disaster.

But it would all be a lot easier to expose if Putin’s bonapartist balancing act between billionaire oligarch capitalism and the Soviet legacy expectations of the masses, was not so backward itself, still playing its own Great Russian imperialist games elsewhere, suppressing Chechen independence or propping up reactionary dictatorships like Kazakhstan against spontaneous revolt, and subscribing to imperialism’s meaningless and reactionary “war on terror” to justify it.

As discussed further below there can be no question therefore of supporting Moscow as such in any conflicts that might erupt in Europe if this game of bluff goes wrong.

That does not mean for an instant that workers do not have every reason to want the humiliation and failure of degenerate imperialism in Ukraine or even more widely in East Europe.

And if it should be Russian tanks which do roll in and impose a defeat on the monopoly capitalist warmongers, or force them into a military or diplomatic retreat or backdown, that would be no problem. Defeat for imperialist domination is the crucial need, whatever force imposes it.

There is no paradox here about backing restored capitalist Russia, just a normal Leninist dialectical understanding which focuses on the main enemy, world dominant imperialism – namely the US empire and its disintegrating dollar economic system, and its daily more threatened grip and influence.

From whatever direction, it is always setbacks for the much larger threat to mankind which are crucial, as the Bolsheviks understood in August 1917 when the Tsarist reactionary General Kornilov tried to overturn the initial February revolution’s bourgeois government.

Fight the monarchists alongside the government but at the same time the working class should put no faith at all in slippery bourgeois prime minister Aleksandr Kerensky said Lenin, or in this case the anti-Marxist backwardness now in charge in Moscow.

Only a Leninist revolutionary perspective is of any use in the world now as it plunges towards cataclysmic Slump and war, and there are no signs yet it is coming from Putin-ism.

Part of Marxist-Leninist understanding is precisely in seeing that the overwhelming danger for the world is the continuing war drive of the monopoly capitalist system, hitting the buffers of the greatest political and economic collapse in history and desperate to blitz its way out, while blaming all around.

A second parallel also applies here, that of forcing the hand of the victim in the way that 1930s Japanese imperialism was forced into “starting” the war on the US by its 1941 Pearl Harbour attack, a desperate attempt to breakout from years of strangling international sanctions and blockade, partly through the British Empire dominating the east, and especially by US imperialism deliberately hemming in Tokyo’s oil supplies, trade, and development.

The bottled-up petty bourgeois resentment and anger which the German Nazis tapped into and diverted into reactionary chauvinism were also massively intensified by rival imperialist pressure, from the Versailles Treaty sanctions and “containment” imposed by the “victors”, milking the German economy dry with “punishment” reparations after World War One.

The eight-year-old slow build-up of NATO weapon and troop aggression and encirclement of Russia, following the 2014, $5bn price-tag CIA organised coup in Ukraine, has put a similar squeeze on Russia to hem it in as well as to bully any tendencies there might be for a revival of Soviet communist sentiment (constantly re-emerging).

Throwback fascist regimes have been fostered since 1991 for the same anti-communist reasons in the Baltic states with their annual SS-marches; in ultra-reactionary clerical Catholic Poland (the endpoint of the Trot-supported Solidarnosc counter-revolution of the 1980s); in the counter-revolutionary Czech republic, in rightwing Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and in Kiev itself, now even more poisonously nazi to the point of official Swastika-toting, as the bourgeois press occasionally lets slip:

Ukraine’s newly decorated war hero remains troubled by an ill-chosen remark concerning the bones in the cage of his unit’s pet wolf.

By rights Dmytro Kotsyubaylo, nom de guerre Da Vinci, should be basking in glory. Last month the 26-year-old captain became the first living recipient serving in the ultra-nationalist Right Sector volunteer battalion to be awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by the country’s president.

Photographs of him shaking hands with President Zelensky at the ceremony in the Ukrainian parliament, where he was also decorated with the Order of the Golden Star for courage on the battlefield, marked not just a moment of personal glory for him but a political rehabilitation for a unit mired in controversy since its formation.

“The honour is a good recognition from the state, both for me and for other volunteers,” Kotsyubaylo said from the headquarters of the paramilitary unit in the eastern city of Avdiivka. He was seated beneath his unit’s flag: an emblem of three raging wolves’ heads and a winged dagger imposed on a stark red-and-black background.

Ukraine, the target of possible Russian attack, is preparing for an escalation in the eight-year conflict in its eastern regions and is looking to a wide array of fighters to bolster its chances — Right Sector nationalists among them.

The group originated in 2013 as a militarised movement that included both ultra-nationalist extremists and right-wing supporters, and quickly became a mainstay in the fight against Russian-backed separatists. Though its political wing flopped, failing to secure a single seat in the 2019 elections, the Right Sector’s volunteer units are widely regarded in Ukraine as a dedicated force of patriotic volunteers.

In Moscow, they are seen as fascists intent on purging ethnic Russians from Ukrainian territory. Indeed, scarcely had Kotsyubaylo time to relish his moment with Zelensky than the Russian media recalled a remark he had made to a New York Times reporter last spring. Asked about bones in the wolf cage maintained by his unit, Kotsyubaylo — all too aware of media tropes portraying Ukrainian nationalists as savages — replied that they came from “Russian-speaking children”.

At home, as the threat of a Russian invasion looms, the Right Sector has found itself in an era of revitalised prestige, exemplified by Kotsyubaylo’s public recognition as a national hero. Based behind the front line as a reserve force, Right Sector fighters are training reservists and volunteers across eastern Ukraine. “We are an integrated part of our country’s defence who co-ordinate at the highest level with

He took me on a tour of a training camp in the eastern town of Novohrodivka, where his unit runs three-month training courses for up to a thousand people a year. Basic soldiering and combat first aid are taught, along with specialist skills such as drone surveillance and target acquisition. School children are frequent visitors to the camp, where they are taught about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army of the Second World War, a nationalist force that fought as guerillas against both the Red Army and the Nazis, and in whose ranks Kotsyubaylo’s grandfather served.

Yet Ukraine’s volunteer formations have a chequered recent history. They played a key role in the early stages of the Ukrainian conflict, when they stepped in to fill the gaps fighting Russian-backed separatists in the east as the regular Ukrainian army crumbled.

The volunteer formations have attracted fighters of every persuasion; extreme and mainstream. “I am a warrior, trying to share my military knowledge based on ideas of Ukrainian nationalism, not Nazism,” Kotsyubaylo said. “There are many like me. To confuse our nationalism with what the Russians describe as fascism is a mistake.”

Right Sector units were also cited in multiple human rights reports concerning the abuse of prisoners, and in May 2015 Amnesty International wrote that detainees held by the group had endured “a horrifying spectrum of abuses, including mock executions, hostage taking, extortion, extremely violent beatings, death threats”.

Among the most infamous foreign members was Craig Lang, 31, an American former soldier now fighting extradition to the US, where he is accused of a double murder in Florida. He is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice for possible war crimes in Ukraine in 2015.

It is imperialism which is not only ready to add hugely to the devastation and pain already wrought by these fascist-minded stooges, whose hero Stephan Bandera in fact led open collusion with the Nazis during World War Two, and whose latter-day vicious rampaging has seen numerous anti-worker atrocities, torchlight parades to intimidate the population and a war imposed in the east of the country which has already killed 14,000 people because they object to the corrupt and dirty pro-Western Maidan “colour-revolution” takeover and its reactionary nationalist suppression of the Russian section of the population.

And it is imperialism which is ready to put the entire world at risk with this insane provocation, which could escalate rapidly out of control into European total war and world war beyond that in current world crisis conditions.

As one of the (halfway) perceptive “liberal Tory” bourgeois commentators Simon Jenkins says, there could be a “rational” solution:

Nothing in politics is as dangerous as a populist in trouble – unless it is two populists in trouble. Today we have Britain’s Boris Johnson and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, both with plunging popularity ratings and both desperately in need of a distraction. There is no distraction as enticing as war.

War across Ukraine’s conflict-ridden Donbas region is now said by western strategists to be just round the corner, imminent and possibly inevitable. President Biden clearly expects Russia to “move in” on Ukraine. The UK’s chief of defence staff, Tony Radakin, said that a Russian invasion could trigger conflict on a scale “not seen in Europe since world war two”.

The textbook triggers are in place: a toxic border, thousands of troops entrenched, alliances uncertain and everywhere reckless and confusing talk of “consequences”. There is bluff on all sides, and boys’ toys galore. But what on earth does it have to do with Britain?

I recall visiting Moscow in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union, when every Russian expert said the same thing: the west may have won the cold war, but above all don’t humiliate Russia. Don’t do what was done to Germany in 1919 and devastate morale. Moscow’s Boris Yeltsin begged the west not to push Nato to Russia’s borders. It would risk, he said, “the flames of war bursting out across the whole of Europe”.

The west blatantly derided the advice. Nato leaders feasted on victory, recruiting members eastwards through Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Baltic states. Pleas from Russian moderates were ignored, while London opened its doors to Russia’s stolen wealth. The result was predictable. In 1999, Vladimir Putin took power on a populist, patriotic ticket. To Britain’s former Moscow ambassador, Rodric Braithwaite, Putin was a master of articulating “the sense of humiliation Russians felt after the collapse of the Soviet Union”. He exploited Nato’s aggressive expansionism for all it was worth. When in 2008 America’s George W Bush backed extending Nato membership to Georgia and Ukraine (a move that was vetoed by Germany and France) Putin seized land in both.

Ukraine is an independent state but one that, like Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan, has usually maintained peaceful relations within Moscow’s sphere of interest. When Putin was in dispute with Ukraine and seized its province of Crimea in 2014, the west imposed economic sanctions on Russia that were pointless.

Putin has never indicated the slightest wish to invade, damage or interrupt trade with Britain or the US. He behaves outrageously towards his critics, at home and abroad, and offends western standards of decency and liberalism. The result is an ageing, emigrating and demoralised Russian population. But that is his country and his choice. We may choose to exert soft power over Moscow, through cultural, educational and economic forces but we cannot police Putin’s borders or stop him mistreating his neighbours. That is not our business.

Every European crisis becomes drenched in history. Lord Steel writes in a letter to the Times that the situation reminds him of Czechoslovakia in 1938 – or perhaps Poland. Or is this Serbia in 1914? Is Donbas another Cuba, or perhaps Kosovo or Bosnia? Does Putin want another iron curtain? Hitler makes an almost daily appearance. Yes, we can learn from history, but the greatest lesson is that history can be a trap.

In his 2021 essay on the “historical unity of Russia and Ukraine”, Putin left no room for doubt about his vision of a Russian domestic empire, a family of Slav nations – albeit without mentioning Stalin’s Ukrainian atrocities. With Belarus, Ukraine has for centuries formed Moscow’s outer bailey against the ever-turbulent politics of western Europe. But Putin also reiterated his commitment to the Minsk II settlement aimed at ending the fighting in Donbas, brokered with Kyiv in 2015 by France and Germany but never implemented.

Analysis of this deal by Anatol Lieven of Washington’s Quincy Institute frames it as a perfectly equitable way out of the Donbas conflict. It involves Kyiv granting extensive domestic autonomy to the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, the west backing down on Bush’s proposed eastwards expansion of Nato, and Russia pulling its troops back from a border restored to Ukraine.

In practice, the biggest hurdle to the Minsk II settlement was Kyiv’s reluctance to grant autonomy to Donbas.

[...]A problem, too, was the west’s refusal to acknowledge any justice in Moscow’s sense of border insecurity. As is drearily familiar, Europe’s politicians take belligerent stances and then, as Lieven points out, “leaders who do not intend to go to war may stumble into a situation in which they are unable to stop or turn back”.

Putin emerges from a deluge of recent biographers as a primeval Russian nationalist, steeped in the politics of oligarchy, kleptomania and violence. But his strategic outlook is not complicated. It is rooted in traditional Russian pride and paranoia. He has no desire to conquer Europe, much as the west’s defence lobby, bruised by Iraq and Afghanistan, may long to believe otherwise.

Reports from the frontline indicate that many Ukrainians expect Britain (and the US) to come to their aid, including militarily, should Russia move further into Donbas. Britain’s foreign secretary Liz Truss absurdly sits on a tank and warns Putin not to make a “strategic mistake”. The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, taunts Putin with destroyers careering up and down the Crimean coast. Johnson sends Ukraine a few anti-tank missiles. The invitation to Moscow to call Britain’s bluff is glaring.

[..]Russia’s border disputes with its neighbours have nothing whatsoever to do with Britain. And they certainly have nothing to do with saving Boris Johnson’s skin.

He is wrong on it not “saving his skin” however.

This insane warmongering – and on the grand scale, – is all about saving imperialism’s skin – just as were World War One and World War Two.

Even if this particular conflict should fizzle out into some temporary and even “rational” resolution – and for all its posturing bluster and threats the imperialist side does not look remotely confident at present about going through with an all-out onslaught, – hesitating about getting militarily involved; hedging on NATO membership for the Ukrainian fascists; and even about sending weapons; nervous about its “sanctions” (eg threats to the SWIFT banking system doing more damage to the West than to Russia); and split wide open between Europe and the US, despite much lying assertion of “unity within NATO” – the drive to war will not cease.

It cannot cease while capitalism continues.

Ukraine is part of a revolutionary crisis turmoil that will rip apart (and is already) all seemingly fixed societal relations established for centuries by the capitalist order (which itself ripped up feudalism and ended it by revolution).

It is the crash and collapse of capitalism itself, as analysed by Marx and Lenin (see economics box ), and constantly warned of by Leninist science against the ridicule, complacency or defeatism of fake-“left” “socialist” play-acting and posing, which is driving the whole world to an explosive breakdown.

In its writhing desperation to escape the inescapable contradictions of a profit based system which will always bring it to the point of collapse (through “overproduction” and the clogging of its system with “surplus” capital, unable to make a profit) the US empire led monopoly capitalism is taking the world into the greatest war inferno ever seen.

Already half a dozen countries have been destroyed and millions of lives too, with famine, devastation and blitzkrieg across the world, not least currently in the desperate agony callously and deliberately imposed on Afghanistan and the Yemen, and before that Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and constantly on the Palestinians and their allies in occupied Palestine and Lebanon by CIA/Zionist oppression.

Imperialism’s anti-communist and anti-revolt topsy-turvy “democracy” propaganda is more luridly exaggerated, hypocritical and ridiculously untrue than ever as a desperate and bankrupt ruling class pushes the world towards total world war and destruction, its only “answer” to the breakdown and collapse its profit-accumulation system always unavoidably returns to.

But the scientific Marxist perspective of unstoppable capitalist Catastrophe continues to be ignored, distorted, disparaged and denigrated across the board from bourgeois propaganda to the “leftest” of the fake-“left”.

Only putting these developments in the broadest possible context of the monopoly capitalist system and its intractable historic crisis can any real sense be made of any of the deadly upheavals, war destruction, torture and brutal massacre imposed by imperialism for the last 25 years from the Serbian blitzing onwards and especially Iraq and Afghanistan (on top of routine torturing oppression, wars, coups, blitzings, massacres and assassinations by which its exploitation tyranny is maintained anyway).

Ukraine is not driven by Moscow (at least primarily, as Jenkins hints) but the Western need for a distraction from a massive escalation in the crisis and domestic turmoil, and particularly in the Anglo-Saxon wing.

By no coincidence at all a hesitant European bourgeoisie hangs back, just as it did for the Iraq invasion in 2003 while the loudest noise, comes from the US itself and its “loyal poodle” British sidekick, both facing the most acute domestic breakdown and failure.

“Diplomatic” splits and hesitations reflect what are ultimately the biggest potential conflicts of all, those between the major capitalist powers, all necessarily at each others throats as the crisis drives the non-stop trade war inherent in this capitalist way of doing things, to new and cutthroat levels.

So great is the dominance of American imperialist firepower (military and economic) that none of the rivals are keen to stick their heads too far above the parapet yet.

But the doubts have been emerging even if quickly rowed back on:

The chief of Germany’s navy has resigned after arguing at a livestreamed event that Putin “deserves respect” and Kyiv will never ever win back annexed Crimea – comments that Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin said “massively” called into question Germany’s trustworthiness.

Vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, who has led Germany’s entire naval force and represented it externally since March 2020, made his comments at a talk organised by a thinktank in Delhi on Friday.

Taking questions after a short presentation, Schönbach seemed to downplay the possibility of a military conflict with Russia and Ukraine. “Is Russia really interested in having a tiny strip of Ukrainian soil, to integrate into their country?”, the 56-year-old said. “No. Putin is putting on pressure because he knows he can do it, he splits the European Union.”

What Putin really wanted, Schönbach argued, was “respect”. “On eye level, he wants respect. And my God, giving him respect is low cost, even no cost. It is easy to give him the respect he demands, and probably deserves.”

The comments come at a time when Germany’s stance in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is under increased scrutiny, and Europe’s largest economy is increasingly isolated in its refusal to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons, a position the government reiterated on Wednesday last week.

The navy chief also said the annexed territories of Crimea were “gone” and would “never come back” to Kyiv, arguing in favour of closer economic ties with Russia to contain China’s rise. “Having this big country, even if it is not a democracy, as a bilateral partner … probably keeps Russia away from China.”

Describing himself as “a very radical Roman Catholic”, Schönbach said Russia was also a “Christian country, even if Putin is an atheist, it doesn’t matter”.

...In a statement released on Saturday night, Schönbach said he had asked Germany’s defence minister, Christine Lambrecht, to relieve him of his duties with immediate effect, and the minister had accepted his request.

Significantly the most hawkish elements in Germany are the eco-reformists, the Greens, now in power and revealing the real reactionary destination of all such anti-communist liberalism.

The contradictions deepen relentlessly and will eventually force these antagonisms to much higher levels, as was already becoming clear in the Trumpite years, spraying populist belligerence and American chauvinism around in all directions, but particularly against Europe, as did the jingoism stirred by British Brexit posturing.

The British ruling class is now one of the most desperate and increasingly fascist-minded in its intensifying censorship and repression measures, making an even greater mockery of the pretence to be supporting “freedom and democracy” than usual.

The gobsmacking mess of dirty sleaze, infighting, bullying and blackmail, incompetence, lies, crony corruption, paedophile connections and cover-up at the heart of the British establishment – political and “upstanding Royals” – and the even greater popularity meltdown for “Joe Biden” and the nazi viciousness and near civil war in US politics, are both major symptoms of the great capitalist Catastrophe.

Bitterness, infighting, squabbling and recriminations all reflect the panic and paralysis of a bourgeois ruling class that has no idea of what it can do to survive the onrushing Catastrophe especially as the crisis forces it into massively increased inflation, tax squeezing and further “austerity” cuts.

They signal a ruling order which has reached the end of its tether, like the degeneracy of the “let-them-eat-cake” ancien regime in pre-revolutionary France in 1789, or the Rasputin and mysticism-riddled Tsarism just prior to its overthrow in 1917.

It was the objective conditions of crisis which gave rise to those bizarre manifestations, not personal peculiarities, and the same goes now for the squirming and lying of the Tory government over Brexit “parties”, incompetence, profiteering and callousness, and the equally risible “explanations” for the exposed humiliation of the Prince Andrew sexual abuse scandal and in fact the entire “Royal Family”, all expressions of the total venality, degeneracy, parasitical greed, snobbish entitlement, and arrant nastiness of a ruling class that is a century past its sell-by date.

It is almost incomprehensible that it survives at all.

But the dumbing down effect of consumerist and celebrity “culture”, a century of non-stop anti-communist brainwashing and the hoodwinking effect of at least two centuries of empire-arrogance and widespread chauvinist-racist assumptions of “superiority”, still being tapped by the flick-of-the-wrist disdainful “world beating” delusions of the most reactionary wing of the ruling class and its upper layers of middle class support, all penetrate deeply, and infect much of the petty bourgeoisie, holding back layers of the working class too.

It finds major expression in the grovelling tail-ending of the class-collaborating Labourites and its complete play-acting humbug about “principles” – currently making a faux-outrage moralising meal out of very particular Covid party transgressions of the prime minister in order to avoid directing working class attention to the general and serious understanding it requires of an entire systemic breakdown, and the need it imposes for a revolutionary overturn.

Certainly “partygate” is a disgusting expression of top-toff contempt and cynicism for ordinary lives and the pain suffered as a result of the pandemic is real among ordinary people: all such issues are grist to the mill of the growing discontent caused by the alienation, ever more gross inequality and sordid profiteering of collapsing capitalism.

But vital broader connections to the only possible answer to all this rotten degeneracy, revolutionary overturn of the whole bourgeois rule to establish socialist rationality under disciplined working class control, are just not being made by any of the “left” including those trumpeting their “revolutionary” credentials.

Quibbling about the exact definition of a “party” is a piece of grandstanding self-righteousness typical of Labourite collusion with capitalist system, picking on a relatively minor issue, full of empty and completely hollow bombast for a bit of pseudo-“opposition”, to fill the space where there should be an all-out class-war challenge to this stinking degeneracy.

The Labourites are just part of capitalism, doing nothing for the last decade except empty barrel braying on the “opposition benches” (where comfortable salaries, expenses etc come without any responsibility at all) and enjoying just as many “wee drams” in the 24-hour bars and restaurants of the Parliamentary club-on-the-Thames and its surrounds as any of the Tories.

To do anything effective would require taking a lead with a sharply delineated revolutionary perspective, including an all-out exposure of the foul racist chauvinism and Empire jingoism being whipped up for the last ten years, especially around Brexit, and including a denunciation of the total hoodwinking racket of Parliament itself.

None of this is ever going to come from the treacherous neo-Blairites and their attempted reprise of the gross opportunism and fatcat-loving reaction of the last near-fascist warmonger Labour governments.

Neither will it come from fake-“left” Labour outriders like the Corbynites, whose tepid (but immediately popular) foray into nostalgic reformist “socialism” was quickly stifled by the vile, lying and ludicrous “left anti-semitism” demonising Zionist/CIA conspiracy which this disgusting post-Blairite opportunism eagerly embraced (and which the Corbynites all went along with too, in fact, by accepting any validity to it at all – See EPSRs 1448, 1534 etc and EPSR Book vol 20 Occupied Palestine and the “left”anti-semitism fraud).

Beyond that, the Starmerites have made sure to deliberately wrap themselves in the Union Jack to go along with the xenophobic imperialist diversion belligerence, including over the Ukraine, and grovellingly demonstrate their readiness to step in as the capitalist B-team to rescue the ruling class if the rotting, stinking mess of Tory cronyism, incompetence and fascist arrogance should fall apart completely.

No rescue is possible however – and the Labourites would only be exposed even more deeply as the reactionaries they are, as the crisis rages on.

Even more significantly meanwhile America too is paralysed, its “new broom” Democratic “Joe” Biden presidency now already one of the least popular ever, just a year after supposedly restoring “democratic” normality from the fascist-tilting populism of the Trump period and unable to move forwards, as bourgeois press accounts spell out:

At the 12-month mark, the obituaries for the Biden administration are being written. The polls are terrible. Biden’s marquee legislation is stalled. In recent weeks, even appeals by the president to the hallowed legacy of civil rights have failed to move the Democratic party’s holdouts in the Senate – Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema – thus blocking the passage of voting rights legislation. While the president invoked Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Manchin countered with the need to preserve the 232-year tradition of conservative stability in the Senate. Not for nothing, 2022 starts with talk about civil war.

It is a depressing picture. It is, however, worth reminding ourselves of where the nation was 12 months ago. As 2021 began, it was an open question whether the United States still had a functioning government. There was no orderly transition. The Trump administration simply gave up on Covid. As we now know, America’s senior soldiers were deeply concerned about the nuclear command chain. Then on 6 January there was the riot in the Capitol – now a morbid obsession of the Democrats – and the news from Georgia of the double Democrat win in the Senate runoff. It is on that thin basis that the Biden administration has since attempted to govern.

The restoration of normality that followed in the spring of 2021 was undeniably a relief, affirmed by the rapid rollout of vaccines. In foreign policy, Biden announced that the US was back. America rejoined the Paris climate treaty. Biden reasserted presidential control of the military command chain, insisting on his policy of withdrawal from Afghanistan, whatever the price. There were to be no distractions. All America’s resources were to be concerted around the competition with China. He was even open to a deal with Russia.

In March 2021, the passage of the $1.9tn American rescue plan was a big win. On top of the two other stimulus packages carried by the Democratic majority in 2020, the rescue plan has catapulted the US to the most rapid economic recovery on record.

So large is the rebound that it has stretched global supply chains and engendered fears of a wage-price spiral. The inflation talk is now so deafening that it is worth reminding oneself that achieving a tight labour market was the point. As Biden remarked when employers complained about not being able to find workers: “Pay them more.” The problem for Biden, if there is one, is not that wages are increasing, but that they are not increasing rapidly enough. It is the erosion of real household purchasing power that makes inflation unpopular and means that Biden is not getting the credit you might expect given the surprisingly healthy state of the economy.

Nor, despite the triumph of vaccine rollout, has Biden earned much kudos on Covid. Over the summer, mortality surged among the unvaccinated in the American south and west. Now Omicron has exposed the fact that his administration did not establish an adequate system for mass testing fast enough. Rapid tests that are taken for granted in Europe have been desperately scarce. Across the country, school openings and healthcare systems are a mess. Among the discouraged and stressed are doctors, nurses and teachers, core members of the Democratic party constituency.

...To tackle the pandemic at source would require a global vaccination programme. On global vaccines, the Biden administration has upped donations and talked about liberalising vaccine patents. What it has not delivered is a well-funded, high-pressure global campaign.

When it comes to global policy, the Biden administration would clearly like to be seen as a serious climate leader – its climate envoy John Kerry played a suave part at Cop26. But what can the US actually deliver? The carefully calibrated Build Back Better legislation, valued at $1.75tn, which was supposed to drive America’s energy transition, is stuck on Joe Manchin’s opposition.

Nor is this merely a matter of one senator’s obdurate personality. The fact is that America is profoundly divided. There is a liberal majority, but the US constitution demands a winning strategy across states including the likes of West Virginia, represented by Manchin. He represents an electorate barely larger than that of the New York borough of Brooklyn. West Virginians voted for Trump by a margin of two to one and they have two Senators to represent them on Capitol Hill, just like California or New York. Manchin, meanwhile, has not articulated anything remotely like an alternative policy vision...He sees his ticket to survival in speaking not for miners but for mine-owners.[]

It is early to make predictions, but with the polls showing a huge slide in Democratic support, the president’s prospects in the midterm elections don’t look good. Like Clinton and Obama before him, he faces the prospect of governing with a hostile Congress. Both of those predecessors went on to win reelection to the White House, and Biden might stand a chance, but talk of 2024 brings up the awkward issue of his age. Were he to win reelection, he would start his second term of office at 82: that is old even by the geriatric standards of modern American politics. What is the alternative? Originally, the idea may have been that Biden would hand off to his vice-president, Kamala Harris. But nothing in the last year suggests that she would make a strong candidate.

If this feels like an impasse haunted by the spectre of Trump’s return, that should be no surprise. Biden-Harris was a ticket chosen in an emergency. In November 2020, for all Trump’s outrages, the electorate delivered a profoundly divided verdict. We are living with the consequences of that.

Adam Tooze is a professor of history at Columbia University

As always with bourgeois analysis this blames splits and inadequate policies for causing difficulties rather than the political paralysis inevitably arising from intractable objective crisis conditions.

That is, it starts with what is in peoples heads not the changes in the material world their ideas are reflecting.

And its “on the one hand, on the other” analysis has no grasp of the dialectical tangles imperialism is trapped in by the very nature of its contradiction-ridden system, which means even the Biden megadollar economic “rescue” that has “got through”, instantly turns into its opposite and becomes part of the problem, magnifying the inflationary surge which has been undermining the whole capitalist dollar trading system since the vast injections of Quantitative Easing credit used to rescue the capitalist bankers after the 2008-9 global credit implosion.

That meltdown in its turn was only the surfacing of the unstoppably and decades long brewing of capitalist system crisis which has been delayed, deferred and postponed repeatedly by even more non-stop dollar printing since 1971, when Richard Nixon was forced to take the dollar off the gold standard, the first of multiple foreshocks to what is now the greatest collapse in history.

Biden’s rescue plan was never a long term answer.

Instead it has been about buying time for the crisis beset billionaire class (faced with rising hostility and rebelliousness) to try and accustom the masses to “austerity” while brainwashing minds into the jingoism and scapegoating hatred needed to try and handle the full on Catastrophe while fixing the “democratic system” to guarantee the hidden bourgeois dictatorship which is its reality.

Trumpism is hard at it, manipulating in detail the already hugely fraudulent voting system state by state in the US to eliminate or intimidate black, hispanic and working class votes, and further bias the already heavily gerrymandered racket in preparation for a constitutional or judicial coup like those pulled off across Latin America in the last decade with CIA guidance, to head off the “left” wave there.

If it can be stitched up in that ostensibly “democratic” way, the capitalists can avoid the more obvious outright coup methods teased by the Capitol Hill incident last year, and kept on the boil with Trump’s outright lies of a “stolen result”.

All that has the danger of being too educative for the working class, as the already inflamed revolt like the antifa and black lives demonstrations indicate, and of ultimately becoming revolutionary.

Yet even as the bankruptcy and degeneracy of this done-for system becomes ever clearer, it remains unchallenged in the only way which can possibly change things, the development of conscious Leninist understanding for the class war which must end it completely.

Nothing else can guide the gigantic spontaneous upheavals inevitably already erupting (usually labelled “terrorism”) and shortly far more, as the crisis intensifies even into the heartlands of imperialism, pushing tens of millions into outright homelessness and foodbank poverty (far worse than the savage “austerity” already imposed) on top of the hundreds of millions whose suffering and oppression in the Third World is endless and getting even worse.

Ukraine is as yet only one small part of this relentless crisis collapse.

But it is delivering useful lessons, most particularly in exposing the confusion and opportunism in the fifty-shades of petty bourgeois fake-“left” from bilious anti-Soviet Trots, to the museum-Stalinists still pretending to themselves that Putin’s confusion in Moscow is somehow still a reflection of the old workers state worth supporting in itself.

That is a million miles from anything to do with Marxism.

The position advanced by the EPSR above, and even then tentatively, is that Putin’s compromise balancing act so far, using what remains of the machinery of the old Soviet state to rein in the greatest excesses of the gangster oligarchs arising in the 1990s wild-west conditions of newly restored capitalism and bringing the Russian Federation quickly to the point of collapse, would put a certain asymmetrical weight on any conflicts with US imperialist world domination.

Putinism was not reviving communism but trying to head off the danger of re-arising communist revolution which could have developed if the near implosion of the economy in 1998 had not been contained (and Russia has revolutionary form obviously).

It was necessary to try and rein in the most extreme reactionary and greedy gangster excesses of the carpet-bagging oligarchs (showing the raw reality of anarchic capitalism) in order to provide some pale shadow of the past social provision (such as health services, pensions etc) which was freely available for the working class in the Soviet Union until the USSR was liquidated by the Gorbachevism, the soft-brained endpoint of Moscow’s long-decline into revisionist capitulation.

But it is still possible to see this as at least a kind of tightrope act with mass Soviet nostalgia that would colour any assessment of war conflict between it and imperialist powers.

“Standard” Bolshevik understanding in the First World War was of need for defeat all the imperialist powers, calling for every working class to turn its guns on its own ruling class.

They should certainly reject chauvinist and “patriotic” defence of the Fatherland, the class-collaborating trap (willingly) fallen into by virtually every treacherously opportunist “socialist” party of the time making up the mighty Second International, save a few tiny groups including Lenin’s internationalist party, and groups in Serbia and Bulgaria.

The reformist “socialists” all led the workers into the trenches and industrial-scale slaughter.

In WW2 the same defeatist line was still posed for workers in all the imperialist countries including Britain and America (all as monstrous as each other, whatever sick and hypocritical pretence of “anti-Nazism” was hyped up by “good” imperialism to hoodwink its masses that somehow it was on the side of virtue and “freedom”) – underlining that only revolutionary overthrow of the ruling class could end war and precipitate the struggle for socialism.

That changed once the Soviet Union was attacked in 1941; now the fight against Nazi Germany, seemingly the same, was no longer just an extension of the 1914-18 inter-imperialist fight for world exploitation rights and plunder, but a means of taking pressure from the USSR and therefore aiding its workers state.

But the principle still remains and applies in many situations (such as Serbia in 1999, the blitzing of Iraq - not supporting Saddam but calling for imperialist defeat - and ditto for Libya’s Gaddafi, Syria’s Assad etc).

Because Russia is no longer a Soviet state, and a fairly big power, the “plague on all their houses” could perhaps be validly advocated again now if war breaks out.

It is the simplistic line advanced for example by some of the Trots like the SWP who have now applied their always incorrect and shallow “neither Washington nor Moscow” anti-communist line from Soviet times (with its poisonous implied denunciation of the brilliant achievements of the Soviet Union as being no more that just another form of capitalism) to the current hyped-up conflict, declaring all parties to be imperialists.

But that equation was treacherously wrong at the time of the USSR (and not surprisingly, as with all the Trots, rapidly turned into support for outright counter-revolutionary stunts like the CIA/Vatican backed bogus trade union Solidarnosc in then workers state Poland, the precursor to the clerical fascism now in charge, as Leninism identified it from the start).

And it is wrong now; as argued, the US Empire and Putin’s Russia are by no means equal.

But even if it were a correct assessment of the class balance now, this Trot philistinism remains far from any Marxist grasp, with not a murmur about the great crisis collapse driving events and especially not a murmur about defeat for imperialism on either side as the way forwards.

Like all the fake-“left” they have so far abandoned any grasp or feeling for revolutionary movement in the world that they barely take a stand at all – casually posting a few general platitudes about how capitalism “can” push countries into confrontations – and some limp “No to war” pacifist protest to be directed against British and American imperialism.

In Britain socialists should build opposition to the US and British states beating the drums of war

it declares.

That worked so well in 2003 and ever since of course, – just ask the bereaved, starving, tortured and droned masses in half a dozen countries, and particularly sickeningly at present in Afghanistan and Yemen where tens of millions are facing extreme cold and famine.

“Building opposition” was at least able to get 2 million people on to the streets to oppose “beating the drums” for the Iraq war and it still failed completely.

No pacifism has ever done anything but mislead and disarm the working class, (and petty bourgeois elements).

Hated by Lenin, social-pacifism is an opportunist hoax which simply disarms the working class, displacing any revolutionary understanding

Nor does it begin to tackle the complexities of Putin’s bonapartist Russia and its relation to this crisis bullying.

Just as dire are the one-time revisionists (and now virtual Trots) of the Weekly Worker, upholding their “more theoretical” leadership pose by taking some potshots at both the SWP and the various fake-“left” groupings around the Stop the War Coalition, for missing the glaring imbalances between encircled Russia and its probably limited ambitions anyway for just the Donbass region (rather than aiming at the whole of Ukraine) along the lines Jenkins’ piece spells out above.

Certainly the STWC line it quotes is even worse than the SWP if that were possible:

Britain should be advancing serious diplomatic proposals to defuse the tension and seek a solution to the crisis rather than ratcheting it up. This involves taking both Ukraine’s integrity and Russian security concerns seriously … There needs to be a new all-inclusive security architecture in Europe, not under the hegemony of any one state. We demand that the British government and the Labour Party distance themselves from the policies and priorities of the USA and develop an independent foreign policy.

But the justifiably gobsmacked WW cannot make any coherent response to this incredible class collaborationist pacifist pleading:

It is very strange, for someone of my age who came into radical politics as a result of the anti-war movement, to read phrases like “international security architecture” and “security concerns” in an “anti-war” statement. I have argued that Russia does have such concerns that ought to be intelligible to any ordinary observer; but to leave things there implies they are morally legitimate concerns, which thereby demand that StWC should give an account of its indifference to the “security concerns” of the United States.

For communists, this is in the end beside the point. We don’t want to live in a world composed of relatively less and more powerful states, with the less powerful tugged between the ‘spheres of influence’ of the greater. But to speak of such a world is to move from being abstractly anti-war to positively internationalist (and therefore to leave behind first-order concerns for “territorial integrity” of nation states …) The (notionally communist, by and large) forces behind StWC are happy to stay in a world where they can hop from Quakerish pacifism in one statement to Kissingerish ‘realism’ in the next.

The almost equally convoluted dismay from the WW cannot get to any kind of coherent explanation either because it is as lost in opportunism as the rest.

These CPGBers, like their Trot targets, still wallow in petty bourgeois hostility to the Soviet Union with all its giant and history shattering actual achievements sneered at and rubbished with the kind of bilious hatred and poison only the complacent and smug petty bourgeoisie can manage.

It is all bolstered week after tedious week in the Weekly Worker with endlessly long and academic crypto-Trotskyist diatribe “proofs” of how the Soviet Union could not possibly have “worked”, due to mechanical theories about “socialism in one country” not being possible and opportunist nonsense about “extreme” democracy (no different to the usual bourgeois sort).

Like medieval monks disputing the nature of non-existent angels or demons, this abstract theorising goes on and on disputing with itself the idealist notions of perfect revolution, an arcane debate only possible by ignoring the real world, denouncing all the real struggle and titanic achievement of the last century in the workers states, and ignoring all the huge rebellion and anti-colonial anti-imperialist turmoil it stimulated and facilitated (including and overlapping major communist advances in China, North Korea, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, all still continuing) and which is once more growing constantly as the crisis deepens (in all kinds of confused forms from left nationalism in Latin America, to Maoism, “jihadism” and other spontaneous revolt).

Since the WW writes off every giant historical achievement made by the USSR, and since it has lost any revolutionary grasp of defeat for imperialism the CPGBers are stuck; they are too aware of the disparity between the contending forces to accept the SWP simple-mindedness, but too sneeringly hostile to see anything at all in the historical soviet legacy of Russia.

Just as ineffectually therefore they end up following the SWP and its anti-Sovietism, and despite some vague unspecified “demerits” (so much for the WW’s much vaunted polemics) settle for the same ineffectual pacifist platitudes as the SWP in the end:

If that won’t do, neither will false equivalences of the sort Socialist Worker proposes when it characterises the whole issue as one of “sabre-rattling between US and Russian imperialism”. The SWP seems to be reverting to its old ‘neither Washington nor Moscow’ line, which - whatever its demerits - at least held somewhat true in an era of roughly-symmetrical competition between the two. With the ‘sabre-rattling’ coming down, in the end, to the right of one named party to encircle every significant rival, and the attempts of the other to avoid being so encircled, the attitude ends up like the typical pious statement of some bishop “condemning the violence on both sides”. The characterisation of both as ‘imperialist’ has at least the sense that both operate with a ruthless attitude to the questions contested between them; but it wholly obliterates the weakness of Russia’s position. There is, after all, no Mexican Maidan movement for Putin to exploit on America’s borders by sending extensive ‘lethal aid’.

The SWP at least concludes, correctly, that “in Britain socialists should build opposition to the US and British states beating the drums of war”. Indeed, that is our first and only duty, especially given our own state’s foul role in furthering the drive to a conflict that could - with a snake-eyes roll of the dice - wipe out human civilisation.

The SWP “correct” – could posturing be more exposed?

But while in the balance between the American world dominance and the capitalist restoration in Russia, the weighting is all one way, and it is a betrayal of the working class not to call for a defeat for NATO’s bullying and its stooges, it is just as disastrous to spread illusions in Putin’s bone-headed nationalism and hostility to Leninist science.

The historical legacy of the Soviet Union might continue putting some constraints on Putin, (reinforced by the slight upturn in the Communist Party vote in last autumn’s elections – for what little its dire revisionist outlook is worth) but Russia remains a restorationist monopoly capitalist state, pandering to the disgustingly gross indulgences of oligarchs like Roman Abramovitch and several dozen others, splurging the billions stolen from the former Soviet state, and now added to daily by the sweated labour of the working class and the wasteful plundering of the rich mineral resources across the Russian Federation, on $700M yachts, football clubs and the like.

(And incidentally providing a large part of British imperialism’s parasite City income - so much that threatened anti-Russian sanctions amount to the ruling class shooting itself in the foot).

There can be no question of calling for a victory for Putin – or even allies like Lukashenko in Belarus, slightly more disposed to maintaining some of the state ownership of industry and other aspects of the former workers state, but not showing any signs of Leninist clarity or grasp either.

To go further as some of the revisionist “left” do, particularly the museum-Stalinist Lalkar/Proletarian by suggesting or implying that Russia or Belarus are in some way a continuation of the Soviet Union, or at least to be treated as if they are, is to exhibit an extreme version of the brainrot which led to the demise of the Soviet Union in the first place.

The constant CPGB-ML equation of Russia with China for example, always mentioning the two in tandem in analyses of the international balance of class forces, is anti-scientific nonsense of the first water.

One, China, is a continuing workers state, a dictatorship of the proletariat with supreme authority lying with the Communist Party.

Its extensive use of capitalism in its economic development, for all the serious concern that might be expressed about its excessive extent and influence, is under the overall direction and planning of the state.

And the pandemic has demonstrated how the discipline and authority of a mass-supported proletarian dictatorship has been able to control the disease, rigorously but fairly, supporting the necessary lockdown measures which have kept its effects to a minimum.

The other is an anarchic plundering chaos and capitalist free-for-all which has only just reined in its mafia gangsterism and still predominantly serves the interests of the big capitalists.

For the moment it is able to maintain an uneasy truce with the working class by using oil gas and mineral wealth for just enough social provision to keep the lid on any reviving socialist sentiment, that left unchecked could turn back all the way to revolutionary consciousness, still deeply embedded in the country which led the way in the class war against imperialism, fighting three major wars for the proletarian dictatorship, the war against external imperialist intervention and then the civil war against White counter-revolution in 1917-21, and the unprecedentedly colossal war of 1941-5 against Nazi German led imperialist aggression and Japan.

Defeat for imperialism is one thing in a head-on confrontation but to defend this capitalist Russia is to disastrously mislead the working class everywhere.

As the EPSR said at the time of Beslan school siege in 2004, crudely and brutally suppressed by Moscow:

Until Putin or Russia start actual steps towards the restoration of SOVIET economic relations between all the peoples of the Federation, then every act of “greater law and order” under present circumstances can never amount to anything other than MORE IMPERIALIST TYRANNY.

The outpourings from pro-Soviet Revisionism all fail to avoid the most monstrous reactionariness and deceitfulness.

a) it is just grotesque fantasy to write about Chechen-Russian relations as though they still are the same as under the Soviet Union, or else should be.

b) as a result, the expectation or understanding of firm “Soviet” action being taken is nothing but an apology for Russia to mimic the most barbaric American imperialist repression measures, and get away with it.

c) if Putin doesn’t halt Russia’s economic course ever-closer towards imperialism, then Chechen separatism is not “invalidated” by any amount of neo-con/CIA subversion stirring things up. It would be absolutely normal, and therefore unobjectionable imperialist-world behaviour.

d) and if the claim is to be believed that all “Chechen” activities are in fact only al-Qaeda activities, then why would the neo-cons be allegedly dismissing all suggestions of an al-Qaeda involvement in order to continue to stir apparently “non-existent” Chechen separatism??? Why would not Russia’s giant military manpower be welcomed to join fully in the “international war against terrorism”???

e) and, supposing that all the Revisionist daydreams came true, a “Soviet” Putin justifying an American Empire “war against international terrorism” would only take the world back to the darkest days of Stalinist Revisionist confusion which “peacefully co-existingly” put the Moscow bureaucracy on the path of destroying the Soviet workers state in the first place. [EPSR No1248 14-09-04]

Nothing has changed significantly to alter this assessment.

To the contrary it is confirmed by the crudity and reaction of the latest intervention in Kazakhstan, sending Russian troops to bolster the infighting among the kleptocratic dictatorship which purloined the entire wealth of the country in the wake of the 1991 Gorbachevite Soviet liquidation.

Could anything be more sickening than to justify and approve of the “shoot to kill” slaughter used to suppress a spontaneous uprising of the working class against crisis caused cost-of-living increases?????

Whatever justifications are advanced by the ruling elite in Kazakhstan, by Putinism or by the assorted Stalinist groups voicing their approval – this is nothing but an imperialist intervention to prop up and sustain a reactionary oligarch and repressive regime, slaughtering dozens of working class street demonstrators to do so.

The alleged presence of “organised forces” taking advantage of the situation makes no difference; what business do Marxists have in siding with outright oligarch thieves and plunderers?

Justifying such support because it would help “protect the Russian borders” only makes the situation worse - the working class of Kazakhstan is to be brutally put down in order to prop up and protect an oligarch Russian state and its exploitation????

Completely specious and speculative accusations repeated as fact by the Kazakh establishment, by various Western Stalinist groups and tragically by revisionist backwardness still affecting Bejing’s assessments, that this upheaval was an attempted “colour revolution” organised by the West makes no difference and in fact no sense either; firstly there is not a scrap of evidence other than opportunist assertions for such involvement; secondly it makes little sense – Kazakhstan’s elite already has major tie up with Western multinational companies, with the London banking establishment (where large amounts of the country’s wealth has been siphoned off to anyway), and even with Western political influences like the sinister international “envoy” roamings of warmonger Tony Blair, paid millions by the Kazakh dictator in 2011 to help cover up and explain away a similar massacre of a workers revolt (obviously triggered by the 2009 breaking of world economic Catastrophe alongside the great spontaneous upheavals of the Arab Spring then caused).

A few of the basic details of the Kazakh upheaval should be given from the bourgeois press reports before further analysis of the outrageous Stalinist philosophical somersaults used to “justify” this gross treachery – on a par with past fingering of Black Bloc anarchists in the 2001 Genoa anti-capitalist demonstrations, blamed for the fascist Italian police violence (actually already coming - see EPSR No1102), or the elaborate convoluted and ridiculous theories “proving” that the 9/11 attacks later that year on the New York Word Trade Centre were “actually organised by the CIA” (to let these “lefts” go along with petty bourgeois “condemnations” and demented vengefulness against “terrorism” without being shown up or even explaining what uproar the capitalist crisis has created throughout the Third World (since they are not betraying growing world revolt you see, but only “standing against the dastardly activities of the imperialist forces”) see EPSR No1123 12-02-02):

For years, Nursultan Nazarbayev has been used to performative adoration from the citizens of Kazakhstan. The country’s leader for nearly three decades, he was showered with praise and adulation at showpiece events, and his image smiled down from billboards across the country.

When he stepped down in 2019, he was able to choose his successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and kept significant power as head of the security council and general behind-the-scenes powerbroker. He retained his official title of Elbasy, or leader of the nation.

Astana, the capital city he ordered built in the heart of the Kazakh steppe, was even renamed in his honour.

The events of the past few days might suggest that different lessons should be drawn. Statues of Nazarbayev, meant to be monuments to his legacy, have been torn down by protesters. Instead of chanting “Elbasy”, many angry Kazakh protesters are now chanting “Shal ket” – or “Old man, out!”

Discontent at poverty, inequality and corruption led to increasing unrest in the country in recent years, and much of the anger is directed at Nazarbayev himself, who for so long appeared untouchable.

Among Central Asia’s vicious and repressive autocrats, Nazarbayev always seemed the most nimble. Born in 1940, he rose through the ranks of the Communist party and became Kazakhstan’s first leader on independence.

He managed to hold the country together during the 1990s, and later to avoid the extreme repressive violence of his peers in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, while also avoiding the revolutionary sentiment of Kyrgyzstan.

He charted a delicate geopolitical course in the years after Kazakh independence, remaining friendly towards Russia, while also courting western leaders and energy companies, who turned a blind eye to the lack of democracy and instead focused on securing lucrative contracts in the country.

Western lawyers, accountants and advisers helped the new Kazakh elite invest their fortunes in London mansions and Swiss villas. His daughter and grandson are believed to own £80m of London property. Nazarbayev also engaged a steady stream of western architects and urban planners to build his new capital city.


Faced with a popular uprising, Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has responded in hardline fashion. He has ordered a security crackdown, called protesters “terrorists” and said those who take to the streets deserve to be wiped out. Tokayev has also cryptically hinted that “foreigners” are behind the unrest.

It is unsurprising that the veteran politician and diplomat has taken a leaf from the Kremlin’s conspiratorial playbook. Tokayev spent his formative years in the service of the Soviet foreign ministry. After graduating from school in Almaty – the scene of the worst disturbances this week – he studied foreign relations at a Moscow state institute.

Tokayev specialised in Chinese. He mastered the language, joined the far-east division of the Soviet foreign ministry and spent much of the 1980s at Moscow’s embassy in Beijing. When the USSR fell apart, he quickly became an adviser to Nursultan Nazarbayev, leader of the newly independent Kazakhstan.

It was Tokayev who persuaded other nations to recognise Kazakhstan diplomatically. China was especially enthusiastic. Narzabayev rewarded Tokayev by making him deputy foreign minister, as well as interpreter-cum-adviser on official delegations to Beijing.

By 1999 Tokayev became prime minister and in 2002 foreign minister. A staunch Nazarbayev loyalist, he was responsible for improving relations with Kazakhstan’s three key partners – Russia, China and the US. He met regularly with US envoys and helped Kazakhstan relinquish its inherited communist-era nuclear bombs.

Some of Tokayev’s private comments now seem ironic. At a 2005 lunch he told the US ambassador a popular Orange Revolution of the kind seen in other post-Soviet Republics was “unlikely” in Kazakhstan. The country, he claimed, was committed to “political reform” and decentralisation, according to a leaked US cable.

Further high positions followed. He became speaker and then chairman of Kazakhstan’s senate. When Nazarbayev retired in 2019 – formally at least – Tokayev succeeded him as president. Two-and-a-half years into the job, he is facing a crisis graver than anything seen by his authoritarian predecessor.

Tokayev’s decision to invite in Russian troops to restore order reverses years in which Kazakhstan has cautiously sought to tread an independent foreign policy, triangulating between Moscow, Washington and Beijing. From now on, relations with the west will be cooler. Those with Russia suddenly appear more fragile and subservient.


...A month later, and the picture is very different. Peaceful protests turned into violent clashes, Tokayev announced he had ordered security forces to “shoot to kill, without warning”, and troops from a Russia-led military alliance are on the ground after being called for by Tokayev....

There was a suspicion all week that there may be more in play than a straightforward popular uprising, and this was reinforced by the announcement on Saturday that Karim Masimov, a powerful former security chief and prime minister, had been arrested on suspicion of treason.

The move only increased speculation that the initial protests could have been used by groups within the country’s political elite to fight their own battles. A source in Kazakh business circles gave credence to this scenario, describing a situation over recent months of increasing tension between figures close to Nazarbayev and his successor, Tokayev.

“In the last six to 12 months there was increased squabbling, which was paralysing decision-making,” said the source. “It has been bubbling for some time.”

One of the more surprising episodes of the week was Tokayev’s transformation from placid placeholder to furious autocrat, promising to crush the revolt brutally.

“We were dealing with armed and well-prepared bandits, both local and foreign. Bandits and terrorists, who should be destroyed. This will happen in the nearest time,” Tokayev said in an uncompromising address to the nation on Friday, noting that there were 20,000 such “bandits” in Almaty alone. He also posted a message in English on Twitter: “In my basic view, no talks with the terrorists: We must kill them.” It was later deleted.

Amnesty International described Tokayev’s promise to shoot without warning as “a recipe for disaster”, and there is now a question of how much the government response will differentiate between peaceful protesters and violent groups.

“There is still very little independent information and a lot of uncertainty. However, one thing is clear: the peaceful protest was genuine and spontaneous,” said Diana T Kudaibergenova, a sociologist at Cambridge University. “People went to the streets to voice their grievances and we saw some self-organisation, especially in western Kazakhstan.”


[]many of those on the streets reported that on Wednesday and Thursday the demonstration was hijacked by violent groups, some of whom appeared to be well organised, and who attacked government buildings and briefly seized the airport.

Tokayev, in his address, spoke vaguely about “foreign-trained” attackers, but gave no details and did not specify who they were supposedly working for.

Many questions remain about the role of Nazarbayev in the week’s apparent backstage quarrels. Tokayev announced on Wednesday that he was removing Nazarbayev from head of the security council, without stating whether that was with or without the former president’s approval....

But the man himself has been silent during the most dramatic week in the young country’s history.

It was a surprising absence from a politician who has personified Kazakhstan for the past three decades. When he stepped down in 2019, the new capital city he had ordered created in 1997 was renamed Nur-Sultan, in his honour. But for all the excesses of the cult of personality, for a long time Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan was a much savvier autocracy than those of the other post-Soviet Central Asian nations.

Many western diplomats had a positive view of his leadership, despite the democratic shortcomings, in part because of the lucrative opportunities for western businesses the country provided.

“He was able to balance Russia and China, and other external influences, and he implemented some genuine reforms,” said a western diplomatic source.

At the same time, a small elite close to Nazarbayev became tremendously wealthy, while many ordinary people still lived in poverty. Over time, resentments only intensified. “In Kazakhstan, market economy means capitalism, which means big money, which means large bribes for the best connected,” as a former US ambassador put it in a leaked diplomatic cable from 2010, paraphrasing a conversation with a top Kazakh businessman.


“Well-organised and well-controlled groups of militants were used,” Putin, 69, told an online meeting of the CSTO, a Moscow-led collective security organisation that consists of six former Soviet states. “[They] had obviously received training in terrorist camps abroad.”

Putin’s claims came as news emerged of the deaths in rapid succession of three highly placed Kazakh security officials amid fears of a power struggle.

President Tokayev, 68, told Putin that the unrest in his country was an attempted coup that could have been planned for years.

“The main goal was obvious: the undermining of the constitutional order, the destruction of government institutions and the seizure of power,” he said. He promised to provide proof to the international community to back up his claims.

Tokayev also alleged that militants had taken advantage of protests in Almaty to attack the city like “a huge cackle of hyenas”.

“Militants outnumbered police and army servicemen by at least five times,” Tokayev said. “Two servicemen were beheaded and there were barbaric attacks on hospitals.”

Tokayev denied widespread reports that Kazakh security forces had opened fire on peaceful protesters, but claimed that the terrorists had broken into mortuaries to remove the bodies of their accomplices. “This is how they cover their tracks,” the Kazakh leader said.

Karim Masimov, the former Kazakh security service chief and ex-prime minister, was arrested at the weekend and charged with treason amid rumours of infighting among the country’s political elite. Masimov, 56, was dismissed by Tokayev last week at the height of the unrest.

This was followed by announcements today of the deaths of three senior Kazakh security officials.

Zhanat Suleimenov, the head of police in the Jambyl region, where protesters last week clashed with security forces, committed suicide, Interfax reported. Azamat Ibraev, a colonel with the KNB state security agency was found dead in the courtyard of his home in Nur-Sultan, the capital, after apparently falling from a window. Tanat Nazano, a police official in Almaty, died in his office of a heart attack, Kazakh media said.


The violent unrest in Kazakhstan that began with peaceful protests in early January has left 225 people dead, authorities have said in a dramatic increase on previous tolls.

“During the state of emergency, the bodies of 225 people were delivered to morgues, of which 19 were law enforcement officers and military personnel,” Serik Shalabayev, the head of criminal prosecution at the prosecutor’s office, told a briefing on Saturday.

Others were “armed bandits who participated in terrorist attacks”, Shalabayev added. “Unfortunately, civilians have also become victims of acts of terrorism.”

The unprecedented clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in the energy-rich ex-Soviet state prompted the president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to declare a state of emergency and call in help from a Russian-led military bloc.

Shalabayev said 50,000 people joined the riots throughout the country at their peak on 5 January, when crowds stormed and torched government buildings, cars, banks and shops in several major cities.

Kazakhstan had previously acknowledged fewer than 50 fatalities – 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers – from a conflict that exposed infighting at the top of the government. A higher death toll of 164 appeared on an official Telegram channel last week but was quickly retracted.

Asel Artakshinova, a spokeswoman for the health ministry, said that more than 2,600 people had sought treatment at hospitals, with 67 remaining in a serious condition.

Authorities in Kazakhstan have blamed the violence on bandits and international “terrorists” who they said hijacked the protests that saw the epicentre of unrest move from the west to the country’s largest city, Almaty. They have not provided evidence about who the alleged foreign bandits and terrorists were.

Allowing for inevitable bias/distortion/inadequacy in critical realist bourgeois accounts what emerges is a spontaneous mass revolt, against a monstrously unequal elite which commandeered the state resources after the Soviet liquidation and has squeezed the masses ever since.

Undoubtedly triggered by the world economic crisis forcing the monopolies to push through price increases, the revolt has been brutally suppressed by shoot-to-kill policing justified by the new president with allegations of “outside forces” echoed too by Putin and some of the fake-“left”, notably the Brarites and their own “British” popular front lash-up with arch-opportunist George Galloway in the Brexit chauvinist Workers Party of Britain, still sporting its Spitfire roundel jingoist symbol.

If there are other forces or “trained elements” intervening it would seem to have more to do with some kind of infighting in the now capitalist elite, than a “colour revolution”, a supposition reinforced by “security arrests” and mysterious “falling out of the window” deaths.

It is a strange “colour revolution” that is so easily suppressed and which attracts so little Western propaganda demonisation of the state and encouragement for the alleged and over-inflated “masses”; nowhere are heard the lurid and unsubstantiated “rape” “atrocity” and “massacre” stories which pour out non-stop against “rogue states” in support of the CIA painted “freedom” placards when a “crowd” is persuaded onto the street (say, in Sudan against the reestablished anti-imperialist military government) and against movements or governments which threaten imperialist interests, from Libya, Syria and Serbia, to Venezuela, Belarus, Myanmar and Ethiopia currently - and of course China.

Nor have there been any “international community” calls, UN resolutions, speeches and so for intervention, sanctions, no-fly zones and the rest of the armoury of propaganda and hypocrisy which deluges from the Western media and politicians.

Nor, just as strangely, is anything said against Putin by the West for his intervention, even as the demented propaganda and threats pour out over the Ukraine. Silence reins.

The difference is that this spontaneous Kazakh upheaval was a genuine revolt by the working class; in Ukraine the “threatened” masses and their preposterous claims to be “fighting for freedom” are the fascists who “hijacked” (to borrow a phrase) the Kiev government in a long planned and coordinated real colour revolution in 2014.

Putin is forced up against imperialism over the resisting Russian regions in Ukraine by his own nationalism and by imperialist belligerence.

But this nationalist “defence” in Kazakhstan is ready to slaughter the working class in order to maintain “stability” – propping up a grotesque oligarch dictatorship.

The justification for this, of an alleged plot by imperialism to seize even greater control by means of “trained terrorists” is specious garbage.

Firstly there is no evidence for such a plot, direct or circumstantial - as already pointed out.

Secondly, in what way would it justify the indiscriminate butchery of a working class protest anyway which all sources agree was the “initial” basis of this uprising?

Thirdly, this justification pivots around the now entrenched general acceptance across the entire fake-“left” that “terrorism” is inherently reactionary and to be condemned and denounced; a complete opportunist capitulation to the imperialist nonsense of a “war on terror”, one of the main means for stampeding petty bourgeois public opinion behind its international crisis war escalation (fooling and dragging the working class behind it too).

It is a completely unMarxist notion, suggesting there is another kind of reaction in the world, namely “terrorism”, so “evil” that it even takes precedence over the fight against imperialism (conveniently for opportunism).

To refuse to condemn terrorism and blame imperialism for all the turmoil in the world, does not mean remotely adopting or joining with its often bizarre ideologies and sometimes even reactionary notions but understanding all such blows and struggles against imperialism as setbacks for the ruling class and its system. Or as put in EPSR No 1195 (see in EPSR Book Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics - against museum Stalinist revisionism):

Whatever negative effects for the revolutionary struggle are envisaged as flowing from such “terrorist outrages”, Lenin insisted that it would be suicidally stupid for the revolutionaries to see anything else in these issues than further signs of a civil-war break-up of the old order in which the revolution should be on the side of EVERY defeat, setback, and humiliation for the ruling class, no matter where it came from or how, while yet keeping itself aloof from negative methods (if so they are judged) and from reactionary anti-establishment attitudes possibly behind such methods, - using the situation ONLY to tell the revolutionaries themselves that they are not yet doing their agitational and enlightening jobs nearly well enough, and seeing the preponderance or popularity of such hate explosions as a condemnation of the revolutionary party for its own weak influence.

Above all, the revolutionary party should avoid humiliating itself in irremediable class-collaborative shame by joining the ruling-class in “condemning” the “terrorist outrages”.

Already two decades ago in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attack the chorus of fake-“left” condemnation was deafening, as great an opportunist treachery to world revolutionary struggle as the Second International’s capitulation to national chauvinism and support for war in 1914.

Some groups like the museum-Stalinists, aware of such understanding, and not wanting to be seen obviously joining in, found a slippery sophistry to get round this, asserting that 9/11 and much subsequent jihadist upheaval was essentially “all organised by the CIA or Zionism”, so that “condemning it” was no different to anti-imperialism.

Well, phew!!!!!

Similar evidence free assertions are used by the Lalkar/Proletarian account to slide its way round the Kazakh upheaval, although it is obliged to concede that there might have been a genuine “component”:

Once again unrest is being manipulated by imperialist powers and their echo-chamber media. Now, it is the sovereignty of Kazakhstan that has been threatened – of course with a view to the further constriction of Russia and China.

The explosion of violence in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the year made it clearer than ever that imperialism is gearing up for war with Russia, habituating public opinion in the west to an endless drip-feed of provocations designed to undermine the independence of countries bordering on Russia.

Imperialism hoped that by such tricks as stoking up unrest in Belarus and crying wolf over an imaginary Russian invasion of Ukraine, public opinion would come to see these buffer states as needing Nato’s ‘protection’. Mainstream media coverage of events in Kazakhstan is calculated to reinforce this subliminal drum beat, falsely framing the ‘protests’ as a popular movement standing up for democracy.

And, indeed, some of the protests did originate with the organised working class. One commentary suggested that “In Kazakhstan, there is now a real popular uprising and from the very beginning the protests were of a social and class nature, since the doubling of the price of liquefied gas on the exchange was just the last straw in an overflowing cup of patience.

But as quoted, the Western media did not play down the violence, sympathetically reporting the gruesome fact that two police were found beheaded for example, nor did they particularly hype it up as for “democracy”, and they did report the possible presence of outsiders.

Lalkar/Proletarian quickly dismisses the genuine protests, with a sneer at the usual philistine Trot workerist assessment that street riot equals “good” with no deeper look at the class forces involved (which sees the Trots backing most staged stunts, counter-revolutions and petty bourgeois “democracy” movements in the communist or anti-imperialist states like Ethiopia or Sudan).

While that is fair enough, the “hijack” theory then essentially writes off the workers:

The reality is that whilst the proximate cause of the street protests was the hike in the price of LNG (liquid natural gas), used heavily in Kazakhstan to fuel people’s cars, and whilst at first this may have had the character of a gut reaction from workers already enduring economic hardship whilst the corrupt bourgeoisie lived high on the hog, very soon the protests were hijacked by elements whose sole agenda was to make the country ungovernable and vulnerable to imperialist meddling.

Viewed from this perspective, there were two distinct phenomena: a domestic revolt sparked by legitimate grievances, and an armed terrorist element imposed from without, probably with some overlap where the naivete of some protesters made useful idiots out of them.

This pattern cannot but bring to mind events in Syria in 2011, when some localised social unrest sparked by genuine grievances was hijacked by imperialist-backed jihadi headbangers, spawning a proxy war of subversion against the legitimate leadership that lasted for a decade.

America’s dreams of regime change failed miserably.

The “evidence” for all this is drawn from denouncing other imperialist plots (some as yet unfulfilled) for other parts of the world and, without any basis at all, declaring that they would also apply here plus some unattributed “reports” about the protestors.

But this is just as shallow as the Trots.

Its sly reference to Syria, is brought in just to muddy the water, without mentioning its use as an imperialist diversionary counter to the explosive Arab Spring in Egypt, the similar invasion of Libya, and then enormous complexities of the ten year civil war with multiple anti-imperialist facets, much “blow-back” and US military suppression of the ISIS for example, on the same side as the Assad regime.

The ISIS merging into the anti-occupation forces in Iraq is ignored completely and the American stooge nature of the Shia regime in Baghdad which they nearly overthrew is likewise not brought in as it would undermine the Brarites’ slippery innuendoes about Almaty.

Nor do they discuss their treacherous denunciation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and the Lalkar/Proletarian’s astonishing welcome for the bloody 2013 General Sisi counter-revolutionary coup which re-established brutal military repression and torture ever since.

And who does its sneering references to “headbangers” include? The non-stop Palestinian anti-Zionist revolt led by muslim Hamas and Islamic Jihad? The revolt against the capitalist monster Duterte by Islamists in the southern Philippines? The anti-Western oil company turmoil in Mozambique? The fight against French imperialist troops and their stooges in Mali, Chad and other parts of the Sahel? Or the simmering rebellion just beneath the surface in the 100 million strong Egyptian population?

And exactly what are “legitimate demands” anyway? Who decides that and how far can they go? Who intervenes if they “transgress”?

According to Lalkar/Proletarian it is OK to make a bit of noise about price rises, but the workers should be content now because the kleptocrats running the oil companies have backed off – a little and temporarily:

The broad protest movement (ie, not the armed mercenaries) called for two main things: ditching the fuel tax and curbing the power of Nursultan Nazarbayev. On both these issues the government acted decisively, withdrawing the fuel tax and moving against Nazarbayev.

The Nazarbayev family has long exercised great clout in the country. Nursultan himself ruled as president for three decades, from 1990 until he resigned amidst protests in 2019. But despite resigning and making way for the President Tokayev, Nazbarbayev remained on the political scene, dubbed ‘first president’ and chairing the security council.

Tokayev has now sacked him from that post. Whether this is just a spat between oligarchs, or has some deeper significance, is not yet clear.

Presumably they should all go home and not trouble their minds with any deeper questions, like revolution.

Or even bother that the only change is a transfer of power to a different wing of the dictatorship in a “spat”.

This disgusting and patronising reformist garbage is then compounded by gobsmackingly approving a quote from the Brarites’ new guru figure, the maverick one-time Labourite, Brexiteer and friend of Nigel Farage, George Galloway, with whom they are now intertwined in their chauvinist popular front WPB:

Invited on television to condemn the announcement by President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev that he would if necessary authorise the use of live fire on protesters, Workers party leader George Galloway declined, correctly pointing out that any country facing an existential threat from armed revolt would do the same.

Really? So that’s a big no to all revolution effectively unless it is approved in advance by the “legitimate” authorities - Lenin, Castro, the Vietnamese, and indeed the Chinese, not to mention dozens of others were all mistaken. The Irish national liberation struggle would be condemned too on this 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday?

At this point it is worth considering whether there is any point in treating these mountebanks with any seriousness at all.

Behind this cowardly nonsense lies the worst aspects of Stalin worship, taking to extremes the mistaken conclusions of his deepening revisionist errors and most particularly the full-on abandoning of revolutionary perspectives post-WW2 (see Unanswered Polemics op cit) in which it was posited that imperialism was now so hamstrung and contained by the Soviet camp, that a “peace struggle” containment of its aggressive tendencies could displace “provocative” revolutionary movements, leading in the fullness of time to a steady diminution of imperialist strength and influence until the world more or less toppled willingly into the Soviet camp:

Moscow’s weak-minded determination to discourage “revolutionary provocations”, which led the mighty German CP to sleepwalk into total annihilation in 1933 and the Indonesian CP (even bigger and even more impressive) to do the same in 1965, - never stopped pretending that anti-imperialist nationalism (e.g. the Sukarno regime pre-1965 in Indonesia) was just as good for the eventual triumph of world socialism (via the Soviet camp winning the peaceful competition with the imperialist camp) as all-the-way revolutionary socialist regimes.

In such Revisionist thinking, once Saddam had stopped being a totally tame stooge of US imperialist policy in the 1970s and had started doing arms deals with the Soviet Union, - then nothing further should be anticipated than the continued onward triumphal march of Moscow’s international “anti-imperialist” coalition of the Socialist Camp, the Non-Aligned states of national-liberation, and the world communist movement.

The obvious total collapse of this Revisionist nonsense post-1990 still cannot register with Stalin worship sectarianism. Naturally, in the world of such long-standing gradualist delusions, such spontaneous “anti-imperialism” resistance (as Saddamism had evolved into under decaying monopoly capitalist pressure would “inevitably go the whole hog one day into total socialist defiance and independence”; - just like it was supposed to happen the whole world over in the good old days of Stalinism. What sad rot.

Indeed. And now degenerated into outright counter-revolution it would seem, sending the workers home, and supporting their butchery by oligarchs if they should refuse to go, and writing off all the great world turmoil driven by the crisis as “headbanging” reaction to be put down for not doing things the “proper way”.

It is this Stalinist anti-revolutionary perspective which underlies another aspect of this confused crap – the notion that Putinism’s bonarpartist oligarch dominated empire also constitutes “progress just as good for the eventual triumph of world socialism” because its nationalism brings it up against the US.

Therefore, it follows, he should be supported in repressing any upheaval in neighbouring territories, a line which tramples over a dozen aspects of Marxism, and not least the right of nations to self-determination (valid here but not for Ukraine where it really is an obvious cover for imperialist warmongering and diversions).

(And indeed it underlies their mistaken support for the flaky Ba’athists in Syria or the equally off-the-wall Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – both targets for imperialism and therefore demanding the Kornilov approach of defeat for capitalism, but neither to be trusted or able to take the working class forwards).

One final coda needs to be added around Kazakhstan, which is the dire position adopted by Beijing, reflecting the deep running influence of revisionism on its thinking:

Moscow and Beijing should work together to resist external interference in Central Asia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, following accusations that foreign nationals were involved in recent unrest in Kazakhstan.

Wang’s comments came after a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in which the two foreign ministers discussed the situation in Central Asia’s largest country. Last week, the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) sent a multinational peacekeeping force to Kazakhstan after initially peaceful protests over fuel prices turned violent. Beijing has supported Moscow’s response to the crisis.

Both China and Russia have a land border with Kazakhstan, and its stability is seen as essential for peace in the region.

“The sides must continue to strengthen coordination and interaction, resist the interference of external forces in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries, and prevent ‘colored revolutions’ and the ‘three forces of evil’ (terrorism, extremism, separatism) from creating chaos,” Wang said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The top diplomat also said that Russia and China should work together to help Central Asian countries cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as assisting in the development of their economies.

Following the call, a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the two foreign ministers were “unanimous” in their assessment of the events in Kazakhstan.

“They stressed their concern about the interference of external forces, including the participation of foreign mercenaries in attacks on civilians and law enforcement officers, seizure of state institutions and other facilities,” the official statement reads.

In one fell blow this kind of complacency and dull-brained backwardness checks any major Leninist enthusiasm for the latest seeming advances in thinking in China’s leadership despite all kinds of positive signs about its firmness in the recent past, particularly over imperialist provocations, gross lies, Goebbels poison and “democracy” stunts in Hong Kong, Xinjiang province and the Uighurs, Tibet and Taiwan.

So Beijing too rules out “extremism” which obviously would include revolutionary upheaval, and joins with Western imperialism to denounce “terrorism” (as unfortunately it has done since 9/11).

And it too goes along with equating its own status as on a par with Russia, failing to explain to the world’s masses the enormous difference between a continuing workers state, where counter-revolution has (so far) been seen off, (EPSR Books Vol 16 China and Tiananmen) and the bonapartist capitalist mess in Russia.

The ideological influence of billionaire elements in China, allowed to develop as part of an extended use of capitalist methods to accelerate economic growth, (under ultimate workers state direction) has not been countered enough it would seem, despite frequent measures to tackle corruption and rein in some of the biggest of them.

Such shallow garbage, reflecting the worst petty bourgeois defeatism, narrow nationalism and hostility to Leninism is disastrous for the world working class and China’s – left to develop without any counter in the Soviet Union it finally dragged it all the way to the Gorbachevite fatuousness which liquidated the gigantic achievement of the Soviet Union (EPSR Books Vol 13 Gorbachevism).

Such handicaps only add to the difficulties of rebuilding Leninist understanding and science, which becomes more and more urgent as the world capitalist crisis implodes into outright Catastrophe.

But Leninism, built by a party of revolutionary theory, will be developed. Tony Lee


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World Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles)


Cuba’s assertion of proletarian dictatorship authority versus a bogus “freedom and democracy” stunt which attempted to destabilise its workers state

The US government is the real organizer of the November provocation

Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, member of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Secretariat and its Ideological Department, spoke about the plans of the u.s. government and its internal political operators in Cuba to overthrow the Cuban Revolution and their plans to hold marches in several provinces of the country.

In the presence of representatives of several youth and student organizations, Polanco Fuentes explained that the statement is part of the public denounce made but the First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of the Republic of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez in the closing of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee’s second plenum.

Polanco Fuentes recalled that between September 20 and 27, a small group of citizens submitted similar documents where they announced the decision to hold a supposedly peaceful march in the headquarters of the provincial and municipal governments in eight territories of the country.

This decision, he underlined, was more than a request since those submitting it were certain the march, conceived with national scope and in evident coordination with its promoters, would take place; meanwhile, the answer given by the authorities on October 12 provided precise arguments on the illegal nature of this act in relation with items 56, 45 and 4 de of the Constitution.

Among the reasons given to decline the request, he added, it was clarified that the public, projections of the promoters and their links with subversive organizations and agencies financed by the u.s. Government have the clear intention to promote a change of the political system in Cuba, therefore, the announced march is another provocation related with that strategy, which has been previously mounted by the United States in other countries.

He recalled that, upon its announcement, the march received the support of u.s. legislators, political operators and the media that encourage actions against the Cuban people, promote destabilization and call for a military intervention.


It is obvious that we are witnessing a new episode of the unconventional war, soft coup or the nonviolent struggle manual that the United States has executed during contemporary times in several countries such as Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, said the member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee.

According to the circular 18-01, one of the main doctrinal documents of the u.s. Army Special Forces on unconventional warfare, some of the elements of this kind of warfare include taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of the government they wish to overthrow, to make it distant from the population, turn the citizens with a neutral standing against the government, and to exploit these elements through subversion, he detailed.

Furthermore, he added, if these methods do not bring the desired results, they would resort to armed conflict, by promoting insurgence.

The most notorious example, he said, is the guarimbas in Venezuela, violent actions of the opposition of that country held during the years 2013, 2014 and 2017 to try to overthrow the Bolivarian government and, in that endeavor, the cause countless economic and human damages in that sister nation.

The evidences are collected in a report of the Venezuelan government entitled “Venezuela’s truth against infamy. Data and testimonies from a country under siege,” published in September 2020, where it is informed that the total toll of the violent protests in February 2014 reached the total number of 43 people, meanwhile, in the ones that took place from April to June, 2017, causing 21 deaths and 1,958 injuries.

Moreover, the u.s. State Secretary in 2014, John Kerry, issued a statement in which he said that the protests taking place in Venezuela that year were peaceful and accused the government of Venezuela of using the force to confront protesters, he noted. However, a detailed examination showed that most of the protests in 2017 broke international and national laws in force and they all ended up in actions of extreme violence.

In this sense, Polanco kept on, three unprecedented practices in the recent history of the country were registered: the burning alive of people identified as followers or supporters of the national government; the use of children and teenagers to prepare incendiary bombs, guard the barricades and attack security forces and the, combination of religious and patriotic symbols with high levels of violence.


Regarding the financing of subversive actions in other countries as a periodical practice of the U.S. Government, Rogelio Polanco Fuentes referred to the organizations created for that purpose, with millions in funding, including the National Endowment for Democracy (ned) and the us Agency for International Development.

There are plenty of references of ned financing events, courses and even organizations, especially the Center for Opening and Development of Latin America (cadal), which is part of the wide network of non-governmental organizations used by the United States to channel the financing and training of its political operators.

He gave the example of ned’s funding of cadal to the tune of $107,000 in 2017 and $100,000, earmarked for the project entitled “A regional approach to promote democratic values in Cuba.”

Two Cuban citizens, Manuel Cuesta Morúa and Yunior Garcia Aguilera, signatories of the letters announcing the intention to hold the marches in November, travelled to Argentine in 2018 to take part in the event organized by cadal and coordinated by the project “Times of change and the new role of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.”

Moreover, cadal and its director Gabriel Salvia have been actively supporting the provocation set to take place in November in Cuba, he noted.

Those two promoters, he continued, would also continue their preparation in 2019 in a workshop sponsored by the Universidad San Luis Campus Madrid, where they received lessons from Richard Youngs, an expert in public protests as a method of political change.

Regarding the financing, he stressed out that the u.s. Agency for International Development had granted, as of the end of September, $6,669,000 for subversive projects in Cuba, with of a total of 18 million available to allocate for these projects through 2023.

Among the beneficiaries are the digital media outlets dna, which received $2,031,200 and Cubanet, which received $708,003, in addition to an organization called Cuban Democratic Directorate, which received $617,500. The latter is headed by Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat, who has called time and again for military intervention in Cuba, and now publicly supports the marches as well.

Summing up, Polanco calculated that more than 70 million were reserved for subversion during the Trump administration, in addition to more than one hundred million dollars to the Office of Broadcasting for Cuba, which operates Radio and tv Martí. It should be added, he pointed out, the millions of dollars that the intelligence community and the u.s. military apparatus devote every year against Cuba.

“The u.s. government is the real organizer of the provocation staged for November. The facts and statements prove it. High government officials are directly involved in its promotion. The u.s. government threatened new measures against Cuba if its local operators are not allowed to act with impunity. Cuba does not accept threats, nor does it allow itself to be intimidated; our history of resistance and dignity confirms this. Keep your threats to yourselves, we are not afraid,” he said.

It is not surprising either, he added, the support of anti-Cuban right-wing organizations and the hate-generating media nucleus in Miami, as seen in tweets, publications, resistance assemblies, as if the march were to be held in that city.

Another of the enthusiasts, informed the head of the Ideological Department, is the Cuban American National Foundation, which has provided plenty of guidance on how to attend and what to do in the supposedly peaceful and independent march; while one of the promoters of the demonstration, Saily González Velázquez, acknowledged the support of the foundation through its director of Human Rights, Omar Lopez Montenegro.

Terrorist Ramon Saul Sanchez is also encouraging the march, added Polanco Fuentes, and showed evidence of his link with one of the main actors of the actions planned for November.

“The provocation for November 15 is doomed to failure, it was never authentic. Its attempt to cloak itself in some legality is a perverse manipulation. The promoters follow the u.s. script, carry out their orders and surround themselves with violent people and terrorists; and they dream of executing their actions with impunity”, he stressed. (Translated by esti)



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