No 1618 11th October 2022
Western pipeline and bridge sabotage makes clear the multiple agenda for the nazi-NATO run war in Ukraine. First is devastating Europe with sanctions and blitzing, to wipe out German-led European competition, long crippling US commerce and industry. Second dealing with Russia, its lesser competition and the potential for revived communism. Third, surrounding China for further war, and fourth, distracting working class attention from the universal Catastrophic failure of the monopoly capitalist system, long predating Ukraine and the CAUSE, not the RESULT of the war. It also is a deliberate distraction, heading off revolutionary fervour into chauvinist hatred. Above all, it is the next phase in WW III, building up since Serbia, Iraq, & Afghanistan – the only way out of crisis for the degenerate and vicious bourgeois ruling class. Grasping all that means understanding capitalism’s crisis, possible only with a Marxist perspective - the vital theory to lead revolutionary class war overturn, the only way out of disaster
Tory conference splits and budget meltdown chaos fears; Mosleyite Union Jack jingoism and reaction at the Labourites’ congress; the rapidly expanding nazi-Ukrainian proxy war on Russia and the EU by US-dominated NATO (now waged directly blowing bridges and pipelines); and the reactionary CIA/Zionist/feminist uprising to topple Iran’s new trade alliance with Moscow, all reflect the desperation of an imperialist ruling class facing Catastrophic historic breakdown and heading for world war to escape it.
The revolutionary perspective for the overthrow of this stinking, degenerate and deadly dangerous capitalist system is more vitally needed than ever as its crisis drives into Third World War but hostility to theory and/or fake-“leftism” blocks the way.
Domestically the rising strike wave, assorted protest marches and sit-downs (eco-disaster; global warming; anti-monarchy; Assange and other censorship repression; anti-racist-police protests over Chris Kaba and other black murders, over police misogyny, rape, abuse, and hidden nazism; hostility to US contempt over the Harry Dunn killing etc etc etc) and, worldwide, the anti-Western “terrorist”, “jihadist” and street turmoil, certainly all show that the ever-deepening Catastrophic collapse of the capitalist system is undermining all the bourgeoisie’s authority and confidence.
Spontaneous revolt will get much more explosive this winter as economic deprivation bites even harder, across Britain and all of Europe, with the impact of a decade of increasing economic austerity and collapse multiplied by the self-inflicted sanctions against Russia.
But all this disparate upheaval remains hamstrung, fragmented or even subverted by petty bourgeois anti-communism, single-issue-ism, PC-”woke” reaction, individualist idealism, “left” defeatism and hostility to revolutionary science, trapped by decades of bourgeois brainwashing about “democracy” and “freedom” (really? - so why is Julian Assange being slowly killed in prison, why are journalists murdered, imprisoned and repressed across the planet, why are the gangster sheikhs of Saudi and the Gulf grovelled to while they dismember journalists and torture or behead dissenters, protestors and women’s rights campaigners etc etc etc etc)???????
None of this turmoil has a philosophical perspective that can draw together all these threads, nor one that can expose the weaknesses and flaws which hold back their struggles, because there is an unwillingness to see the capitalist system itself as the primary cause underlying all the antagonisms and conflicts – and therefore to see the need for its revolutionary class war overturn in the violent and chaotic breakdown now being imposed.
The struggle for Leninist science remains stifled and repressed by bourgeois censorship and anti-communist (“anti-totalitarian”) brainwashing; by a century and a half of class-collaboration by narrow and corrupted “official TUC” trade unionism and its political progeny, the reformist Labour Party; and by the twin poles of idiot revisionist “Marxism” – the woodenness of Stalinist retreat from Leninism, and petty bourgeois Trotskyism, hostile to all the workers states.
The former disarms workers with fatuous “permanent peaceful coexistence” nonsense and its latest variant, the call for a “multipolar world” (sadly also from Beijing, the brilliant Cuban revolutionary leadership, a slew of international “Communist Parties” and even embedded in Putin’s reactionary Greater Russian nationalist backwardness).
The Trots poison minds with petty bourgeois individualism and impossible overnight “perfect” revolution dreams, hating the idea of real workers state collective discipline for the concrete struggle to build a new society.
Despite loud proclamations of “being for Marxism” they spend their time dressing up regurgitated bourgeois hate propaganda as “anti-Stalinism”, embellished with more poisonous epithets than the capitalists manage themselves.
Additionally their individualism seizes on every single-issue cause going, from feminism and black nationalism to animal liberation, eco-wars and LGBT(etc)ism, some with real enough grievances but all of them hostile to the only way out of oncoming World War Three destruction, revolution, thereby further muddying vital class war understanding.
None explain that there can be no deep or lasting solutions to anything until vicious and degenerating capitalist is overthrown, or if they use the term it is lip service only.
Above all none of them begin remotely to grasp or explain the great unrolling unstoppable crisis of the capitalist system, relentlessly plunging into the greatest Catastrophic breakdown of the system in all history, and the inevitable world war it is bringing (obviously in the nazi-NATO/Ukraine fascist war, already well underway since Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan and extended into the destruction of an additional half a dozen countries since, non-stop coup attempts, massacres and repression from Honduras and Haiti to Bolivia, Brazil, the Philippines, and more).
Some of the “left” groups more assertively claiming Marxist credentials (and less frequently, Leninist too) will certainly provide long technical and even erudite articles about Marx’s economics, ostensibly explaining the overproduction crisis resulting from the inbuilt contradictions of a system which has evolved historically with commodity production for profit as its target (rather than balanced and rational satisfaction of everyone’s real needs in a communal society, in harmony with nature).
But none of them really believe it, or understand the profound depths of its unsolvable historical impasse, causing mass suffering, turmoil, and confusion and paralysing a ruling class that is split into recriminatory infighting, no longer able solve its problems.
Mostly the more pretentious “lefts” bicker and squabble academically about which aspect of Marx’s Capital should be foremost and when and whether they “are true”, while completely ignoring the real world falling around their ears and eyes.
The working class is left deluded and disarmed, clinging to illusions in democracy and “steady progress” if only “enough militancy can be maintained and organised”.
At best such notions, used to bamboozle the masses for a century and a half, continue to keep the workers class away from the only possible way forwards, Leninist revolution, hamstringing its fight.
But as the crisis rapidly deepens into the full worldwide Slump Catastrophe that Marxist science has always warned of (against the hostility and sneering of every shade of fake-“leftism”) such reformism becomes brutally counter-revolutionary itself, just as before in history, notably in 1914 when the socialist Second International abandoned the class war for national-chauvinism, supporting the various warring imperialist powers.
Social-democracy, as communism was known at that point, became an instrument for brutal suppression of the revolutionary struggle, including such notorious barbarities as the assassination of German communist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnicht as Berlin masses were struggling to overturn capitalism in 1918.
The treachery of the social-democrat leaders Gustav Noske and Phillip Scheidermann who ordered the suppression of the uprising and the killing of the leadership, helped lay the foundations for the fascism of the 1930s.
The two mainstream political conferences in Britain underline these points; the Tories’ breaking up in splits and fragmentation because of the desperately weak position of British imperialism in the shark-eat-shark tradewar battling of international monopoly capitalist powers – the Labourites’ making clear their “loyalty” and willingness to step in as substitute for the ruling class, after 15 austerity years of these worms barely murmuring anything more than limited and token challenges to the Tories on inconsequential issues or single issue diversions – like having equal numbers of women MPs, (presumably Liz Truss therefore being an “advance”).
Their Liverpool rally was so obscenely jingoist and so ruthlessly suppressive of any hint of tame “left” “socialism”, like Corbyn’s, that it was indistinguishable from fascism (never forgetting the Union Jack pro-Hitler Blackshirts of the 1930s also emerged from the Labour Party where Oswald Mosley was a senior minister).
In Birmingham the sudden about turns, deep splits and barely disguised panic of the Conservatives all expressed the floundering and fearfulness of the bourgeoisie as its outmoded and bankrupt exploitation system implodes.
The coming slump savagery being lined up by the nasty arrogant little fascist minded crew around the nasty little pipsqueak “prime minister” Truss, leveraged into place by the staggering fraud of a “Tory leadership election” (!!!) will trigger far deeper revolt yet once the winter cold literally starts killing some of the poorest and most desperate, already hammered by a decade and a half of “austerity” (a euphemistic term for Slump) and facing “heat or eat” penury, even as the sleazy rich plunder the remains of the British economy.
No wonder the conference – an event usually better choreographed than a Nuremberg Hitler rally with slick PR, a glossy media façade and programmed standing ovations – was a mess of staggering incompetence, infighting insults, disdain and bitter divisions.
The ruling class knows it has to impose far greater economic savagery on the working class than it has managed so far if it is to stand a chance in the much intensified cutthroat trade war conditions of the crisis but is terrified of the explosive consequences.
But it is just as terrified of the monopoly pressures of the rest of world imperialism demanding its pound of flesh from the British economy, already largely sold off or mortgaged to hedgefunds, rapacious banks and foreign multinationals and up to its neck in sleaze and profiteering (including the assorted shameless Tory cronies “sipping champagne” with the new Chancellor the night of the budget, to be tipped the wink about what short or long selling deals they should make in order to profiteer from the plunging stock and currency markets).
The bourgeoisie has no idea what to do, covering up its nakedness with ridiculous “new broom” wishful thinking that would barely rate a mid-grade in GCSE bourgeois economics (and is only the same formula that has been failing steadily since Thatcher’s ignorant stridency with all the same exhortations about “growth”).
Hence the ludicrously destabilising money printing and borrowing, used to hold the big energy and other corporations at bay by paying them off, much as the Labourites paid off the banks to keep them upright when the 2008-9 Global Credit collapse first signalled total crisis failure of the world capitalist system.
That breakdown itself was the culmination of decades of partial, sectoral and regional breakdowns, “Black Monday” bankruptcies and currency collapse crises, all the way back to Richard Nixon’s forced detachment of the already weakening dollar from its Bretton Woods gold reference in 1971.
The British ruling class is trapped by a kind of scissors movement - afraid to impose yet more austerity directly but immediate damned by inflationary pressures if it “borrows” too much money (ie prints it) and a run on the pound.
Some technical sides of this failure-trap are partly explained by the Greek economist and pseudo-Marxist Yanis Varoufakis, for a short initial period the Finance Minister for the treacherous Syriza “left” coalition in Athens - jumping ship before its fake-”left” treachery and capitulation to the European monopolies and banks was full exposed:
While it’s tempting to draw the obvious analogy between zombie ideas such as the trickle-down growth effect, and the classic Hollywood horror film Night of the Living Dead, a more appropriate response to the seriousness of the situation is to follow the banker’s extra cash. The government claims the banker will invest it, thus promoting growth. If it were not a blatant lie, it might have passed as a touching example of unfounded faith. But unlike Adam Smith’s bakers, butchers and brewers, who would invest any spare cash into better and more bread, ale and meat, the banker will buy into some fund that will, in turn, purchase shares, derivatives and bonds.
These recipients of the banker’s extra money have a long track record of not investing in actual productive capacity. Why would they, when the masses out there can’t afford to buy new, high-value products? Instead, big businesses use any funds that come their way either to buy back their own shares (to boost their share price and, consequently, their bonuses) or to speculate in the derivatives market or in real estate. The dirty secret behind the zombie idea of trickle-down economics is that only one thing can prevent the vicious financial cycle from spinning out of control: the government’s (and, sometimes, the central bank’s) power to feed it.
Margaret Thatcher, whom Liz Truss pretends to idolise, understood this dirty little secret. She learned the hard way that tax cuts for the wealthy merely shifted income to the ruling class without delivering growth dividends. For her neoliberal policies to deliver a semblance of growth, she had to throw into the vicious financial cycle pre-existing public wealth: council houses and public utilities (gas, electricity, water) in particular. In short, Thatcher’s policies boosted growth not because trickle-down worked, but because swathes of society’s common wealth was liquidated at cutdown prices and thrown into the City’s cauldron.
Thatcher’s business model for the UK has remained more or less the same ever since. While the last Labour government did use its revenues from taxing the City to fund the NHS and social services, the UK’s productive capital base continued to shrink. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown not only maintained the financialisation cycle that Thatcher had begun, but boosted it in two ways: by removing all remaining regulatory constraints on the City, and by throwing into its circular flow the proceeds from deregulated public services.
Then, in 2008, under the weight of its hubris, the financialisation vicious cycle had its famous collapse. At once, the Bank of England combined forces with the government to re-float it. To that splendid example of socialism exclusively for the financiers, George Osborne added austerity, which, by suppressing aggregate demand further, eradicated any remaining drive toward actual investment in Britain’s productive base.
Four decades after the neoliberal experiment began, the evidence is in: trickle-down economics is dangerous make-believe. Growth is in fact impervious to the top income tax rates. Paul Krugman recently showed that neither Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts nor Bill Clinton’s tax hikes affected the US’s income path significantly. Similarly in the UK, the data dispels the Tory conviction that Thatcher put Britain on to a brave new path to higher growth. We find that in 1979, the output per hour worked in the UK was trailing France and Germany by 17% and 18% respectively. Did the UK catch up after four decades of trickle-down tax policies and assorted deregulation measures, which never happened in France? No, in 2019, France’s productivity remained 18% higher than the UK’s, and Germany’s 17%.
From this historical perspective, the recent backlash against Liz Truss seems almost unfair. Sure enough, the new prime minister and her chancellor blundered monumentally. Nevertheless, it is disingenuous of the Truss trashers to try to pin on her the sins of a business model inspired by Thatcher, modified by Blair, shored up by Osborne, undermined by Brexit and neglected by Boris Johnson. The hapless new PM’s rookie mistake was to try to beat Rishi Sunak (while also jettisoning Johnson’s levelling up agenda) by doing … a Thatcher. Alas, because she lacked Thatcher’s access to plentiful public assets to be injected into the financial sector, and with the Bank of England too spooked by inflation to print more money to revitalise financialisation, Truss ended up trying to achieve the impossible: to do a Reagan, but without the mighty dollar in support.
The problem with zombie ideas that refuse to die is that, once they re-emerge, they encourage other deadly undead ideas to rise up too. There are already signs that Kwarteng, instead of killing off the trickle-down zombie, will instead revive the austerity zombie. Impervious to the fact that tax cuts never generate growth, and austerity never arrests the growth rate of public debt, the UK is destined to be haunted by these two zombies for two more years.
But the fraud in this piece is its lame conclusion that if only things were done in a different way there could be “growth” and that reactionary Labourism will bring it about - the same LIE asserted by Keir “Oswald” Starmer.
What a giant confidence trick!
This subjective idealist explanation does not explain that there can be no “different way” other than minor tinkering, deliberately obscuring the material necessities driving the bourgeoisie’s decisions.
Its soft petering out into “wait for the election” is pure opportunism simply dragging back workers to vote again with the pretence that Parliament and “democracy” is anything but a giant lying fraud to cover over the dictatorship of big money and bourgeois interests and which workers have rightly been more and more contemptuous of for decades (see ILWP (EPSR) Book Vol 10 Reformist socialism is finished - down with Labour movement “traditions”).
There is no guarantee that the current “poll lead” for the Labourites (which is anyway only about filling a vacuum left by the bourgeois paralysis by default) will translate into a government at all.
Even if it did, the same repression and slump would continue because it must, driven by the real material conditions of the system which Labour has never challenged nor ever will because it is just part of the tweedledum-tweedledee confidence racket of bourgeois democracy.
Whoever is “in charge” must really push down the working class further than 15 years of austerity already has done, and strip away all the “benefits” and conditions of the boom years.
These were only ever won (despite sometimes bitter and heroic struggles by workers - bringing down the Heath government eg) because of the overall participation of the working class in the colonialist and imperialist repression of the Third World for the last four centuries, from which come the super profits to pay for the “advanced” conditions in the imperialist metropolitan countries.
The “nicer” (!!!) section of the Tories, fears the consequences as the savagery of “heat or eat” austerity hits millions and millions of families this winter.
Hence its near rebellion, not out of compassion so much as of fear for their own comfortable positions - and as the world degenerates, for their own survival as a class – in potential street eruptions like those seen across the world for the last decades from the genuine (Egyptian) Arab Spring in 2011, in the Bahrain and Houthi revolts, (as opposed to Western instigated Libyan and Syrian bogus upheavals); in mass revolts in Latin America, bankrupted Lebanon, and in “jihadism” and “terrorism” across the Middle East and Africa.
All are facets of growing anti-imperialist revolt however confused and ideologically confused, as opposed to Western “freedom” middle-class counter-revolution in Hong Kong, Sudan, Myanmar and almost certainly driving the Iran revolt.
[And how can you tell the difference cynical and anti-theory voices will demand?
By the workers state or anti-imperialist character of the “colour revolution” targets; by the obvious tightening of economic conditions or reactionary oppression provoking them; by the shallow “freedom and democracy” individualist demands of the often obviously overestimated numbers of “demonstrators” in the Western provoked events and the slick character of their symbolism (coordinated colours or the “umbrellas” in Hong Kong; by the enthusiasm or hostility or silence of the bourgeois press to each particular movement; by the amount of tear-jerking and usually unverified “personal agony” stories and allegations of “torture and “rape camps” etc; by the slick TV productions with silhouetted “witnesses” and doomy music, (or sometimes, conversely, by breathless pretend “danger” of “hidden camera” reporting).
But most of all by the entire context and balance of class forces in the world.
Precisely by theoretical understanding of economic and historical dialectical material development built on the study of 150 years of developing Marxist-Leninist knowledge and practice, advanced and improved constantly through polemical conflict by revolutionary cadres in a party deliberately set up for the purpose, in other words.]
Despite the splits and recriminations the core ruling class knows how severe is the crisis it faces it and may yet try to press onwards directly with the barmy gurning harridan Liz Truss and the crew of arrogant empire throwbacks assembled around her.
Worries about “losing votes” are not the concern especially as it can still pull all kinds of dishonest trickery just as Boris Johnson did, proroguing parliament on top of the “normal” manipulation, gerrymandering and advertising rackets that make up, and have always made up, the Parliamentary racket.
That was already a kind of coup by constitutional means and a fearful enough ruling class could go much further yet, if it can, all the way to armed military takeover.
But if the warmed up Labourites are used they will be as reactionary as any Tories, as their near Nuremberg Liverpool rally made clear.
And its sickest manifestation was not simply the dangerous chauvinism expressed by the gigantic Union Jack background but the eager backing for the Kiev Nazis, including a “guest speaker” from the reactionary Ukrainian “cause” and immediate expulsion for a single delegate who attempted to challenge this line as even the tepid social-pacifist reformist Morning Star felt obliged to report:
A LABOUR conference delegate who spoke against uncritical support for the Ukrainian government on Tuesday has been suspended.
Angelo Sanchez of Leicester South CLP was the only speaker to oppose Composite 13 at conference, which backed sending more weaponry to the authorities in Kiev as it battles the Russian invasion.
Pointing out that the Ukrainian government has ripped up collective bargaining rights and banned opposition parties, Mr Sanchez had told conference: “It means that the future Labour government would be sending money to a government, the Ukrainian government, that is repressing the left in their own country, a government that is criminalising socialist parties and imprisoning Ukrainian activists.
“If you support this motion, motion 13 on Ukraine, you are not supporting the Ukrainian people, you are supporting only the United States, you are supporting neoliberalism, you are supporting imperialism.”
Some delegates tried to shout him down as he spoke while others jeered that he was a “Putin apologist.” Another delegate, speaking at the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) fringe meeting on Tuesday night, said she had felt too intimidated to speak against the motion after seeing the way he was attacked, though she added that session chair Angela Eagle had stood up for his right to be heard and rebuked unruly delegates.
This soft rebuke comes nowhere near exposing the rottenness of the Labour tradition of course nor the TUC class collaboration which it runs parallel with.
Currently this is most sharply expressed by the new darling of the petty bourgeois end of the media like the Guardian, the RMT’s union leader Mick Lynch whose vaunted “militancy” covers up the most backward and reactionary hostility to the workers states and communism, as he told the petty bourgeois Zoë Williams in an interview:
Lynch was attacked in various newspapers last week as a Putin apologist, after accusing the EU of empire-building and saying: “There were a lot of corrupt politicians in Ukraine.” That was true before Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but has also been one of Putin’s attack lines. It is hard not to see it as a response to his popularity, an attempt to discredit him, but he is sanguine about it.
“Anyone that knows me in this organisation knows that I condemned the Soviet Union; I thought it was a murderous death cult. I never played with any of the symbolism of red stars and hammers and sickles. All oppressive regimes, without exception, are oppressive of workers and peasants. And then people tell me I’m a Putin apologist? I’m not. Putin should stop the war, get out of Ukraine and respect the sovereignty of that nation.”
Small wonder that Lynch also backs the Starmerite Labour Party.
And small wonder that railmen’s dispute remains limited to the narrow craft union approach of the past, which at its worst culminated in the closed-shop freemasonries like those run by the dockworkers and print workers (see EPSR books Vol 10 Reformist socialism is finished op sit).
Even if the railmen are not comparable to that past level of corruption, face bitter hostility from the Tory press and need to make significant sacrifices for the fight, the fact the dispute is waged within tight bounds, paying little heed to the wider class interests of the millions in Britain who face penury and despair this winter for example, is divisive of the struggle that needs to be waged.
If the besieged ruling class should be forced to pay off this dispute and settle, in the end the RMT is still shooting itself in the foot with such attitudes; there is no maintaining the conditions from the past whatever partial successes can be achieved as the EPSR has many times argued, and most of all over the heroic miners’ strike where delusions in a reformist future, via the unrealisable Plan for Coal, counting on a sympathetic Labour government, were the Achilles heel of the 18 month long fight, leaving it fighting a ruthless ruling class with one hand tied behind its back (EPSR No1219 10-02-04).
Good luck to the railmen if they are able to force such an outcome this time but it is disarming of the struggle overall to rely on it and will have to be done all over again in short order.
By all means let maximum advantage be won but as even as far back as 2002 it was clear that:
The Crow-Rix “pressure on Labour to be guided once again by trade-union militancy”...is a perfect example of the “cure” (which will never come) being worse than the “disease”; because all that such vain hopes achieve is to spread the false idea that only “steady Conference lobbying” will finally topple Blair’s pro-imperialist and anti-socialist treacherousness.
But it is vitally important for the working class everywhere to understand that it will be the present imperialist-system project and plans for world development, crashing down in ruins and disgrace, which will basically defeat the current Western world leadership and whoever immediately replaces them.
The economy is not going to return back to a past period when governments and Labour Party leaderships mythically were thought to listen to the sound advice from trade-union conference decisions.
The public services are not going to return to a mythical golden age of safe and reliable nationalised industries where the bolts which anchor the stretcher bars for working the railtrack points would not have been left off the securing structure by private enterprise contract maintenance cowboys, as has been hinted at over the Potters Bar disaster.
Instead, the insane ‘privatisation’ and ‘profit-driven’ mechanisms for running all commerce, industry, and public services – insisted on in Western imperialism’s last credit created boom flourish for “defeating world communism”, – are going to be driven to their final barmy conclusion in the utter anarchy of worldwide inter-imperialist tradewar and complete systemic breakdown, – the whole international ‘free market’ poisoned to a standstill by its own ultimately indigestible credit-bingeing.
...in all political perspectives to go with such demands, the LAST thing that wants to be implied is that there is any hope at all in the future that the capitalist ruling class and its various office wielders in its stitched-up parliamentary system, are some day going to admit their wrongdoing and agree to work forever after in the closest cooperation with the working class and the trade unions for the good of all.
There will be NO ‘progressive reasonable outcome’ to all this increasing chaos everywhere.
Economic necessities have FORCED the monopoly-capitalist system onto a historical course of all-out inter-imperialist conflict once more, replacing the cosy fraudulent illusion of class-collaboration which the West liked to maintain throughout most of the Cold War nonsense of “altogether in the fight for freedom against communist tyranny”, etc, etc.
And it is this increasingly dominant all-out class-war NATURE, and inter-imperialist war NATURE, of all political struggles to come, everywhere in the world, which it is most important of all to propagandise in the workers movement.
Otherwise, as happened to Germany and much of Europe in the 1930s, and to Chile in 1973, and Indonesia in 1965, etc, etc, - the working class will be taken unawares by the most devastating aspects of class war for which its fake-‘left’ Revisionist and Trotskyite leaders failed to give adequate warning, or any correct warning at all. [EPSR No 1136 14-05-02]
A society of reason, mutual community support ending all antagonism and helping every last individual succeed and develop, in harmony with nature, is achievable only through the discipline of a firm workers state, the dictatorship of the proletariat suppressing all the previous class influence and its constant counter-revolutionary attempts to restore capitalism.
As the old influences disappear (taking generations) it will then be possible to gradually draw in everyone to running society until it is essentially self-disciplined, guided by scientific reason and recognition of necessity, so that no further coercion is required (as Lenin explains in State and Revolution).
Absence of any such grasp leaves the working class vulnerable to the brutal coups and counter-revolution the ruling class is preparing (as mentioned above and now also including coup attempts again in Venezuela 2016 and 2019, in Nicaragua 2017, on Brazil, Honduras and Paraguay in the last two decades, successfully in Egypt in 2013, on Bolivia, with rumbling Trumpism, renewed fascism in Italy, the Polish Catholic reaction etc etc etc).
Above all at present it leaves the masses open to the tide of jingoism and hate-campaigning whipped up for warmongering against every kind of scapegoat victim, from Serbia and Iraq onwards, and most obviously around the Ukraine war, stampeding hoodwinked public opinion behind the vile and vicious fascism installed in Kiev eight years ago with a saturation CIA/MI6/psyops campaign of utter lies and black-is-white inversions, accusing the Russian separatist resistance and its Moscow backing of the very atrocities and crimes being carried out against them ever since 2014 (killing 14,000 mostly Russian speaking civilians long before the “war” allegedly began).
So, insanely, the obvious NATO underwater bombing of the NordStream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea is declared to have been “carried out by the Russians” when it clearly sabotages a major economic weapon of the Russians and is against their interests, namely their capacity to do a deal with hard-pressed Germany by switching the gas supply back on, thereby undermining Western unity.
Simple rationality is ignored, such as asking why anyway would they choose the most difficult end of the gas pipeline route for such a risky operation, in the NATO-dominated end of the Baltic Sea close to Danish military facilities, and why it would do it anyway when it could simply close off a valve or two on dry land to achieve the same end?
Endless equally topsy-turvy lies pour out about “civilian atrocities” like the horrific missiling of a queue of cars recently. But these were cars waiting to enter the Russian controlled sectors in the few hours before Putin declared them Russian territory. That meant almost certainly they could not return ie they were pro-Russian and probably ethnically Russian trying to escape the Ukrainian side. Why would Russia missile its own people?
But the nazis in Ukraine are capable of just such provocations as in Kramatorsk and other incidents, or repeatedly over alleged “mass grave” allegations, which turn out to be no such thing (around Mariupol) or, mostly the result of Ukrainian atrocities themselves, as in the “Bucha incident” where no bodies were found in initial days after the Russian pulled out, but were “discovered” after the “clean up” Ukrainian security and reprisal crews had been around “punishing” local “collaborators”.
Many other incidents either did not happen or are wildly exaggerated by a Western media reporting as fact the unverified assertions and massive exaggerations from Kiev’s Nazi propagandists, with no queries or attempts at objectivity, while blocking all information from the other side with blanket censorship.
Straightforward logic is abandoned; in the latest city and infrastructure attacks by Russia to counter the sabotage of its Crimean bridge, wild assertions are again repeated about “Russian terrorism which just wants to kill civilians”.
But the very fact that the cities have not been attacked so far gives the lie to such deliberate hate-mongering by the Kievites. Putin’s “reasonable approach” (itself laden with revisionist founded illusions about “fair outcomes” and “de-nazification” – as if a non-nazi version of imperialism could ever be established) – is the very opposite of the immediate overwhelming indiscriminate mass blitzing the US and its stooges (Britain in the lead) have repeatedly imposed, killing or maiming hundreds of thousands, in fact millions, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria and continuing on Yemen via its thug feudal allies in Saudi Arabia (guided and advised by British and American military experts), to mention just a few recent examples without going back to Vietnam, Korea, El Salvador or Guatemala.
The Crimean bridge sabotage is equally a lie – only NATO level special operations (or at least their training and equipping of Ukrainians) could have managed such a complex operation with such precise timing – the Ukrainian Azov swastika thugs would have done it months ago if they had any such capacity.
A recent Grayzone report indicates just such a possibility with details of plans prepared far back in March by British intelligence.
So shallow and deluded has Western society become, behind decades of brainwashing anti-communism (like Lynch’s) and shallow brain-dead individualist nonsense about “freedom” (non-existent under capitalism, particularly for the proletarian mass and most of all for any opinion verging towards genuine communism) that all this total garbage is ingested wholesale by the petty bourgeoisie, whipped into a frenzy of self-righteous “moral” reaction fed by decades of delusions in “free speech” and “democratic progress”.
It reaches the staggering point of swallowing the lie that the Tories, Washington and US-dominated NATO are “battling for freedom”, (Boris Johnson!!!!) without even straining as Humpty Dumpty had to do, to believe “one impossible thing every morning”.
Just as deluded is the same belief in the neo-Blairite Labour party – under Sir Keir Starmer, the man who put away Julian Assange, – backers of the NATO blitzing of little Serbia and the final dismemberment of any socialist Yugoslavian remnants, of mercenary intervention into Sierra Leone, of bombing benighted Afghanistan into the floor, and then jointly initiating the full-on savagery of the 2003 war on Iraq, helping push its mass civilian butchery through with the outright Goebbels fabrications about Saddam Hussein possessing “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ready to “hit London in 45 minutes”.
Labour has been four square behind non-stop war and hate demonisation of Libya, Syria, China, Myanmar, Venezuela, Zimbabwe etc ever since, and also supporting the “war on terror” excuses for non-stop warmongering.
Their record on Zionism is disgusting, backing the landthieving colonial Jewish occupation of Palestine and its constant genocidal persecution, repression and butchery of its people (living there for at least 1500 years) steadily being driven out by barbaric ethnic cleansing, massacre, and continuing fanatical “settler” (!!!) dispossession of even the tiny remnants of land they have, or left to rot in the giant concentration camp of the Gaza strip.
In fact Labour created the colonial monstrosity of the “state of Israel” in the first place on the British Palestine “protectorate” (itself stolen from the remains of the Turkish Ottoman empire as the imperialist powers carved it up at the end of the First World War).
Its record of war also goes all the way back to the disgusting post-war Clement Attlee Government which set up NATO in the first place, helped establish the world nuclear threat against the USSR, deliberately split “the Raj” apart into the non-stop conflicts between Pakistan and India ever since (also hair-raisingly nuclear), waged horrific counter-“insurgency” for years in Malaya complete with concentration camps and terror beheadings, and slaughtered the heroic Greek partisan anti-Nazi communist movement in the 1945-49 Civil War.
Most of the fake-“left” does nothing to challenge the warmongering either, at best limply adopting a social-pacifist position with calls on Russia to “withdraw”, effectively damning it as the “aggressor” despite token even-handedness calls for NATO to withdraw too. Presumably they would have made the same “demands” of Hitler in 1939.
This is hopeless, giving no clue to the working class about the causes of this warmongering or where it is going.
There is not the slightest understanding that Ukraine and all the endless warmongering since Serbia was bombed in 1999, is the Third World war, initiated, provoked and driven by dominant US imperialism, terminally threatened by the unsolvable crisis ripping through its entire world exploitation system.
Nor is it grasped that its main purpose is not to extend Washington’s power as such, (which implies that it remains in charge, dominating the world rather than facing disintegration – a classic defeatist line by the fake-“left” whose petty bourgeois souls are always in thrall to the ruling class) or to wipe out (very minor) Russian imperialism/bonapartism,
Nor is the main aim to move on to complete the nuclear encirclement of the great rivalry from the Chinese workers state, whose use of capitalism within an overall planned workers state economy has seen it grow faster than anything else in history becoming a huge trade competitor to the US.
Nor is aim the much more significant trade war target of Europe itself, using the gas shutdown sanctions, and the universal war turmoil and refugee movement, to cripple the European monopoly capitalist economic bloc, led by the growing efficiency and economic might and capability of the German-led European Union which for decades now has been outcompeting steadily declining US commerce and industry (since at least the 1980s).
Instead it is to wage war itself as the purpose, to destroy the surplus capital clogging the monopoly capitalist system.
All those different aspects certainly are part of the war, with both China and Germany very much in the frame – the NordStream explosions were as much to continue hobbling German industry as they were against Russian dealing.
Europe has been slaughtering US production, with, just as examples, Airbus outselling Boeing now almost two-to-one, and the latest Audi, Volkswagen etc electric cars already far better quality than Tesla’s mass output and certain to soon outsell them.
Another aspect too is the hatred by imperialism of the dim shadow of the socialist legacy from the Soviet Union’s 70 years of giant achievements, historically irreversible however buried it is by oligarch piracy and capitalist restorationism, by Putin’s dumb Greater Russian nationalism and equally idiot Orthodox church mumbo-jumbo, – a legacy that still influences Putin’s bonarpartism in Moscow, forced to rein in the worst gangster excesses of the monopoly billionaire carpet baggers in the 1990s and to provide some of the social advances (free health care, pensions etc) from the past to keep any revolutionary Leninist stirrings at bay (an anti-communist service for which one section of the Western ruling class was in favour initially, judging it the best way to prevent any socialist revival).
But focusing on any of these multiple aspects without the overarching grasp that all this is the inevitable ultimate consequence of insisting on running everything by the “free market” is to miss the crucial question of the entire world monopoly crisis. All these are targets in a turn to total world aggression by the dominant US, an aggressive isolationism overtly clear during Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” period but just as much guiding the other billionaire dominated wing of the US ruling class under Bidenism.
Making the point clear are the extremely aggressive interest rate hikes by the American Federal Reserve against virtually the whole world:
Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki has said that authorities stand ready to respond to speculative currency moves, a new warning that comes days after Tokyo intervened in the foreign exchange market to stem yen falls for the first time in more than 20 years.
The remark came after the government’s decision on Thursday to intervene in the currency market to stem yen weakness by selling dollars and buying yen for the first time since 1998.
The yen’s recent sharp declines, which have pushed up households’ living costs by boosting imported fuel and food prices, have been driven in part by widening divergence between the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening and the BOJ’s ultra-loose monetary policy.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will deliver a speech to business leaders in Osaka, western Japan, later on Monday where he may comment on the yen.
While government officials’ jawboning may keep markets nervous about the prospects of further intervention, stepping in repeatedly in the currency market and selling huge sums of dollars could be difficult due to the criticism Japan may face from its G7 counterparts.
The yen is not alone in its downward spiral. Several other currencies, including the British pound, the euro and the Chinese yuan have taken a hammering partly driven by the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate increases in recent months.
Despite the tsunami of jingoism and monstrous lies the CIA/MI6/GCHQ/military psyops pumps out daily, magnified by the grovelling collaboration of the bourgeois press, whose knowing journalists quite cynically embroider and magnify these accounts, querying nothing and leaving no breathing space for logical thinking or forensic analysis, hoping the next huge lie will push the last into the background before the glaring holes can be picked out, some “left” voices (and a few of the anti-Bidenist right as well in the US) have at least stood their ground against the barminess.
Some good points are made by figures like the maverick former Labourite George Galloway and his Workers Party of Britain and useful information disseminated about Ukrainian atrocities and lies, via various Internet channels and discussions, to cut through the blanket censorship by capitalism, which has shut down TV stations, social media outlets and newspapers (giving the lie to its pretence to be “fighting for the right to free speech” of course); and even by the former miners union leader Arthur Scargill.
His near moribund Socialist Labour Party has been given a slightly new lease of life by its recent merging with the just launched and completely reformist “Resist” group, containing some ex-SLPers and figures like the former Labour MP Chris Williamson, expelled for standing against the Starmerites and their “left anti-semitism” stunt, whipped up by Zionist/CIA conspiracy to suppress pro-Palestinian support against the “Israeli” occupation in general worldwide and, particularly in Britain, to torpedo the left surge which had coalesced around Jeremy Corbyn after his surprise election as leader.
But these pro-Russian stands are just as confusing as the social-imperialist reaction (outright supporting the West and NATO like the AWL or “celebrity lefts” like Paul Mason and others), the Stop the War and other social-pacifists, and those advocating a pseudo-Leninist 1917 defeatist line like the Weekly Worker CPGB or the Spartacists, calling for “defeat for both sides” because they are imperialist.
The latter is either a sly cover for doing very little in fact under the guise of “fighting the war against the ruling class at home” (which largely means continuing entryist piggy-backing on the Labour Party, pretending even at this late stage it can be a forum for revolutionary argument (!!!)) or an evasion of the reality that there is only one great monopoly power in the world, US imperialism (unlike in the early 20th century when several imperialist powers were jostling for topdog position and its world colonialist plundering rights).
The only slogan that makes any Leninist sense now is to call for defeat of US imperialism and its stoogery, in this case the defeat of NATO which is actually running the Ukrainian war, and has been since the beginning, behind the pretence of “just supporting the ‘plucky little Ukrainians’”.
As explained previously (EPSR No1614 08-08-22) that implies no support at all for the Putin oligarch regime and its bonapartist third tier imperialist nationalism.
There can only be bourgeois dictatorship rule or working class proletarian dictatorship rule in the world.
The workers in Russia need a return to Leninist revolutionary leadership just like every struggle and as soon as there is breathing space, need to bring down Putin’s philistine nonsense (which is overtly anti-Leninist).
But for the moment it is US dominated imperialism which needs defeating and so, as with many other struggles (revisionist Milosevic in Serbia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Assad in Syria and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya) that is the call.
None of the anti-Kiev-nazi fake-“left” comes close to making this clear, mostly taking a defencist position on the side of Moscow.
In Galloway’s case, despite some sharp points from a clever maverick “left” figure, this is compounded by the dire chauvinism of his pro-Brexit advocacy, and the Little Englander nationalism of the WPB (with its Spitfire roundel logo!!) which undermines everything – the warmongering atmosphere blaming foreign “tyrants” and scapegoated overseas “enemies” for the problems caused by international monopoly capitalism is only enhanced with this “British nationalism”.
Galloway is an arch-opportunist who can make sharp observations and anti-imperialist gestures when it favours his standing but who is interested only in furthering his own career, hostile to Leninism and revolution and supporting the illusions of “democracy” and Parliament which hold back the working class.
Scargill’s demagogic SLP is no better, saturated in as much deadly “British worker” chauvinism and pro-Brexitism as Galloway’s latest WPB lashup and just as hostile to the development of internationalist revolutionary Marxist-Leninism (which he suppressed in the SLP by a stitched-up kangaroo court expulsion of the then editor of the EPSR Roy Bull, on a bureaucratic nonsense about membership fees, but in fact because he refused to shut down the paper as censorially demanded by Scargill’s philistine anti-theory (see EPSR 994 14-04-99 & 1245 24-08-04 and many others).
By no coincidence at all the EPSR politics had been making huge headway in the SLP, leading to the election of Bull as vice-president, and leading then to massive Trotskyist pressure on Scargill to shut down the paper.
It is no surprise that Scargill turned up on the RMT picket line (no shame in that as such) but without a word to say about the dire and reactionary line being ventured by the Lynch leadership, the Labour Party and the TUC.
Scargill now advances a dire revisionist line on the Ukraine struggle demanding a “multi-polar world” in the IEMO Newsletter, (from the International Energy & Miners Organisation) another evasion of the revolutionary perspective that alone can rescue the world from its plunge towards disaster:
A multipolar world: reality and prospects
We publish below some excerpts from the interview given by Jean-Pierre Page (former head of the international sector of the French CGT) to the ‘People’s Daily’ - the organ of the Chinese Communist Party and one of the 10 most important newspapers in the world, according to UNESCO.
In this interview on the eve of the 20th CCP Congress, Jean-Pierre Page presents his new book “The ramblings of the anti-Chinese in France” which denounces baseless accusations and official campaigns whose goal is to demonize China.
Jean-Pierre Page also expressed his point of view on current international events and possible prospects for building a new safer multipolar world:
“If we want civilized and dignified relations, there can be no other answers than a renewal of international relations that is based on multipolar and not unipolar approach, on principles of equality and reciprocity between nations. ...
... It seems to me essential to take into account, even with their limitations, the numerous social and political struggles that express the will to find urgent answers to the concrete and immediate needs of people. By the free choice of the peoples to decide for themselves, by themselves, for themselves. That is to say a socialist project ?
... If we want to tackle the consequences of the systemic crisis, we must first address the true causes and also determine the responsibilities. All this requires clarification. This systemic crisis is above all the crisis of the capitalist mode of production as well as of the imperialist system of domination which endures notably through a desire for recolonisation on the part of the United States and its vassals.
... Let’s take the Ukrainian crisis. It touches on the problems of security in Europe and those of each State, including Russia, which is the subject of an aggressive encirclement, as a consequence of the renunciation of the commitments made by the USA, NATO and Europe, after the disappearance of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. This crisis of extreme violence highlights the objective of the USA and its allies to continue this war at all costs, and even to the last Ukrainian.
... The West still wants to dominate in international relations. It is necessary to assert requirements such as non-interference and reciprocity. Multilateralism is the backbone of this approach.”
The IEMO shares the opinion of Jean-Pierre Page, which overlaps with our analysis.
It is not the translation from the French which makes this such an obfuscatory heap of garbage.
That comes from the dire retreat back into the same peaceful permanent peaceful coexistence complacency and smugness that led to the downfall of the still viable Soviet Union in 1989-91, stupidly liquidated by the dull-wittedness of Gorbachev’s revisionist delusions in “democracy” and peaceful cooperation with capitalism in our “common European home”.
It is the most deadly and dangerous nonsense, pretending that there can be a permanent arrangement whereby capitalism will live alongside communism, maintained by the “balance” between different powers in the world.
This has nothing to do with Leninist understanding or Marx either and has nothing to do with the grasp of the contradictions in the class divided profit seeking world, forced by its very nature to relentlessly press forwards in capital accumulation and the competitive struggle to do down and wipe out all rivals, by fair means or the foulest mafia dirty dealing, and eventually by all out war.
And once the relentless monopoly growth of the system saturates the entire world, the collapse and slump is all that can come next, and the brutal warmongering to escape it, not just by “taking over other markets” but by necessarily destroying the great surpluses of capital, which can only mean world war – each bigger and more deadly than the last, exactly as now unfolding.
The tragic retreats of this Soviet era revisionism, which lost the plot of non-stop revolutionary struggle as the guide for understanding (whatever strictly temporary “peace” agreements might be necessary for tactical reasons at various points) date all the way back to mistakes and mis-analysis of pre-WW2 Stalinism and its mis-advice to struggles in China, Germany and Spain, and the popular fronts which hid the revolutionary necessity behind support for “anti-fascist fronts” for fear of “putting off” petty bourgeois elements, but thereby left workers without the Leninist perspective that is the only path out of the great Catastrophic collapse now unfolding.
All this is still being promulgated by the revisionist Stalinists like the Lalkar/Proletarian of the CPGB-ML, unable and unwilling to look at the brilliant history of the first great Soviet workers state in all its warts-and-all dialectical complexity, and still putting the flawed Stalin on a pedestal, elaborating nonsensical theories to blame others around him for the mistakes and errors which eventually led to Gorbachevism.
Revisionist garbage is still befuddling brains throughout the world, not least in the remaining workers states, like Cuba, Vietnam, Laos and giant China, pumping out the same “permanent peaceful coexistence” garbage that ultimately undermined the USSR, usually dressed-up as the theories of “multipolarity” sadly being published by the hugely influential Chinese workers state if Scargill’s quote is anything to go by, and ignoring completely Lenin’s understanding of the unstoppability of capitalism’s plunge into world war, as its crisis unravels.
Even if they are sound enough in their own defence against imperialist skulduggery and subversion (and heroically so, often, like Cuba), most of the revisionist leadership give little sign of even seeing the apocalyptic nature of the crisis contradictions driving the world to terrifying and deadly world war, let alone explain it to the working class of the world.
It is unstoppable, except by revolution.
Grasp of the crisis and its overriding importance as the engine of all the bloody warmongering imposed for the last decades (and all through history in fact), especially from the 1999 NATO blitzing of little, once-socialist, Serbia, of Iraq and Afghanistan onwards adding on Libya, Syria, barbaric coups, coup-attempts and fascist stoogery in Egypt, Bolivia, Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and more, as well as non-stop sanction sieges on Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and China too) is crucial.
It is no mistake that the Brarites have been intertwined with both Scargillism and Galloway for two decades, in the first case propping up the SLP for eight long years, six of them after the EPSR’s suppression made clear the centrist promise of Scargillism (as a forum in which revolutionary politics could be advanced, even if never becoming the revolutionary party itself), would not be realised, the party remaining forever trapped in the bureaucratic manoeuvring and careerism of the class collaborating trade union tradition.
The TUCism and Labourism evolved over 150 years in Britain is saturated with a spirit of collusion and “cooperation” with its Empire plundering, content to have a “fair share” of the superprofits ripped out of the colonies, and largely produced by the most brutal slave-exploitation.
And it is still entwined with the dire chauvinist WPB, sharing the chairmanship of this popular front - Joti Brar, daughter of Lalkar founder Harpal being the deputy alongside Galloway.
The rational for this lashup is supposedly to “win a bigger audience” for Marxist understanding by tailoring the analysis to what is currently understandable by the working class.
Such a “don’t frighten the horses” line is pure opportunism which Lenin railed against and denounced throughout the decades building the Bolshevik Party, knowing such a “cooperation” can only cause maximum confusion in the working class, fed with illusions in parliament and “peaceful coexistence”.
The working class everywhere is going to be rapidly pushed into revolutionary turmoil – is already – and needs the clearest Leninist grasp, not this kind of disarming horse-manure.
The latest Proletarian, staggeringly, even reproduces the confused nationalism of Putin’s speech at the annexation of the four Russian speaking provinces (in Ukraine), with barely a word of criticism of its anti-Leninist nationalist nonsense and with only a mild rebuke because Putin is not critical enough of their favourite shallow scapegoat Nikita Kruschev, blamed for all the revisionist errors which long predate Stalin’s death (see EPSR books Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics against museum Stalinism).
Putin’s 1000 year Russian empire building bullshit is nonsensical crap, and far from giving the Russian working class the inspiration and determination it needs to fight off the monstrous nazi-NATO attack, can only leave them vulnerable.
A fuller analysis of the CPGB’s position on this war, on the bonarpartist Putin and its latest shallow “explanation” of the implosion of the Soviet Union, will have to wait until the next issue.
But taking up and polemicising on all these questions becomes ever more crucial as the crisis hurtles towards total Catastrophic breakdown.
It is increasingly clear that the world’s masses are going to be taught these lessons in the most brutal way as the crisis bites much deeper into the shallow consumerism, the celeb-following and fantasy “culture” which distracts and diverts minds.
The working class cannot remain stifled by the sectarian rigidities of the long decades of fake-“left” posturing.
Leninism must be built.
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