No 1619 4th November 2022
International inflationary breakdown and collapse deepens, destroying ever more lives and livelihoods while the monopoly capitalist ruling class pushes the world into destruction and turmoil with its sick and degenerate nazi-NATO war on Russia, the prelude to total World War Three. But despite paralysis and degeneracy of the outmoded bourgeois system – most obvious with the British ruling class, now the weakest link in the imperialist chain as governments collapse one after the other – the struggle to end this sick and vile exploitation system remains hamstrung and hampered by continuing anti-communism, illusions in reformist pressure and bourgeois democracy. Fake-“leftism” of all shades continues to mislead – treacherously backing the West and its Ukrainian nazi stooges, or outright supporting the philistine Putin without challenging his anti-communist stupidities. Defeat for NATO yes but no support for such a philistine. Huge debate needed to re-establish Marxist-Leninist theory for revolution
The chaos and repeated collapses in British government – its “world beating” Union Jack hubris a humiliated global laughing stock; the faltering in US-led NATO’s Nazi-Ukraine onslaught on Russia; “left” reformist movement in Latin America; and rebellious eruptions from Haiti to Sri Lanka, all delineate more sharply than ever breakdown in the imperialist order.
Capitalism is out of time and heading for the rocks, dragging the whole world down with it into World War destruction.
But the scientific understanding of imperialist crisis that alone can explain this disintegration and war degeneracy continues to be evaded, ignored or even suppressed by the great spectrum of the fake-“left” fearful of the revolutionary conclusions it makes ever more necessary.
Worse still, most have lined themselves up with imperialism anyway, the “official” labour movement, Trotskyists and revisionists alike, either outright siding with NATO’s nazism in Ukraine, or effectively so as “pacifists”, by denouncing Russia as “the invader”.
Like the Second International in 1914, they capitulate to the deluge of lies and chauvinist hatred, stampeding public opinion behind this sick and degenerate Ukrainian war, initiated by imperialist aggression as an excuse to cover-up its global economic breakdown and as the next stage in its ongoing world war “solution” to its Catastrophe.
The few who at least stand against the Goebbels tide of scapegoating psyops lies and disinformation led by Washington and London, with the EU tagging behind, still muddy the waters with their outright support for the philistine Greater Russian nationalism of Putin’s Bonapartist Russia and shallow revisionist perspectives of “multipolarity” ie peaceful coexistence, still being promulgated by revisionism everywhere including sadly, workers state leaderships such as Beijing and Havana.
Their “defencist” line-up behind this backwardness only adds to confusion for the working class, a million miles from the Marxist-Leninist understanding they pretend to uphold, which calls only for defeat for the NATO onslaught without any illusions in, or victory calls for idiot Putinism (see EPSR No 1611 17-06-22).
What none of the “left” begin to tackle, explain or even grasp, is the historic scale and depth of the greatest Catastrophe in history as capitalism’s contradictions reach total impasse.
So they leave the working class misled and hoodwinked, unprepared for the giant class war struggles which are coming as capitalist society collapses around them into Depression poverty and World War, potentially far more devastating than the twentieth century World Wars, part I and II.
Economically and politically the entire 800 year old framework of the ever more complex and widespread profit making exploitation system – dominating the world with its brutal, wasteful, and ruthless giant corporations, multinationals, banks and international finance structures (hedge funds, megabanks, currency dealers and Stock Markets) – is imploding, trapped by the “overproduction” contradictions inherent in monopoly capitalism (see box page 6, Marx’s Capital, other great works, Lenin’s further understanding and the EPSR’s book and papers).
And this mind-numbingly complex and huge crisis breakdown has been underway for decades, always fended off with yet more inflationary credit creation but constantly breaking out into market failures, country wipeouts, regional currency disasters and “Black Mondays” (or Tuesdays etc etc), the boils, spots, rashes and eruptions indicating a fatally sick system.
It is about to get a lot worse and very rapidly.
Nothing can stop it degenerating ever deeper into inflationary or even hyper-inflationary chaos, Slump, ecological disaster and more and more vicious international trade and currency wars, culminating in the world wide war destruction long being deliberately readied by the ruling class as a “solution”, to wipe out the “surplus capital” clogging its system and already well in train.
Nothing can stop it, that is, except total overthrow of this bankrupt and historically rotten system by class war, bringing down its ruling class and taking all its factories, farms and mines, land, property and finance into common ownership, and forcibly suppressing the remnants of the degenerate and increasingly openly fascist bourgeoisie until socialism is built and class disappears.
To lead that titanic struggle and orientate the working class to grasp its real interests in the dizzying confusion the crisis is creating, of upheavals, wars, street rebellion, jihadism and “terrorism” against imperialism – as well as pseudo-revolts, counter-revolutionary provocations, and CIA “colour revolutions” on the other side – only an overriding and broadly encompassing dialectical grasp of the material world, class forces and its historical movement will suffice.
That revolutionary science must be constantly fought for, developed by polemical struggle and tested in action, and the deepest theoretical study in a purpose built cadre party in unity and conflict with the working class.
It begins with the economic crisis, the cause, not the result of the Ukraine war which is simply the next escalation in Third World War, in train since the sick 1999 nazi-NATO bombing of Serbia, and non-stop blitzing by inhumane and brutal Western imperialism ever since, (on top of its routine colonialist warmongering) already wiping out half a dozen countries in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa, butchering, maiming and torturing hundreds and hundreds of thousands while reducing tens of already deprived millions more to starvation, homelessness and refugeehood, a slew of barbaric mass torture and butchery already far beyond the relatively small numbers supposedly killed by alleged, vastly exaggerated (and often, even mostly, outright fabricated) “warcrimes” by assorted scapegoats or anti-imperialist resistance from Palestine, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba and China to Moscow itself, all hyped up with lying and grotesquely hypocritical “concern” by Western “democracy” which could not care less in reality about the lives it wastes.
Raging war in Ukraine has been cynically and deliberately provoked by years of Western imperialist plotting to build up outright Nazism in Kiev, from 2004 at least and the 2014 CIA-run Maidan coup, by NATO training for the subsequent fascist government, by escalated Western military and nuclear buildups in other countries all along the Russian borders, and by a deluge of psyops inversions, fabrications and propaganda pumped through a compliant and reactionary stooge media lie machine, setting up formerly communist Russia as the bogeyman, both before and now during the war.
And while it is not going well for US dominated NATO and its stooge “allies” like Britain, and particularly for the sacrificial Ukrainians, it will not stop.
Capitalism has no other way out; every part of the world imperialist order is facing paralysing meltdown from the crisis with inflation raging, profits tumbling and trade war ever more intensifying.
Nowhere is it more obviously expressed than in Britain, the weakest and most sclerotic link in the imperialist chain.
London, out-competed for decades by more efficient capitalist powers, (Japan, German-led Europe, rising contenders like Brazil and India, and the capitalist section of China’s workers state economy) is a total has-been, and is showing the deepest cracks with its tradewar setbacks and Brexit defeats exposing colossal weakness and paralysis.
Chaos and turmoil as government leader after leader is discredited, toppled and humiliated is not down to some aberration, “ghastly mistakes” or “excessive ideological positions” by an inadequate, corrupt, arrogant and degenerately vicious Tory ruling class (though it is all those things and more).
Nor is it down to “bad management crashing the economy” as the ever-more reactionary Labourites have been pretending, lying through their teeth about some supposed “programme for prosperity and stability” they would offer, which is completely impossible for as long as capitalism continues as these arch class-collaborating opportunists are fully aware (and whose criticism even in these terms is a bit rich anyway, after “crashing the economy” themselves in 2009’s global bank meltdown).
The fraudulent implication is that there is a way not to crash the economy – deliberately hiding the intractable, unsolvable nature of a crisis which inexorably rises from the nature of capitalism itself, relentlessly heading to disaster, and deliberately hiding the revolution needed to end it.
Nor is world disaster the result of “bad actions” by bogeymen “totalitarians” and scapegoated “dictators”, cynically and falsely set up to take the rap by the Western propaganda psyops machine, in a risible world picture filled with cat-stroking villains intent on “pure” evil for no particular reason at all, as if we were all living in some giant James Bond fantasy (which has always been part of non-stop anti-communist brainwashing itself of course like all Western news, “culture” and education).
The really “evil” dictators are those sustained, financed and encouraged by capitalism itself as part of its world domination, like the newly installed “Bong-Bong” Marcos in the Philippines (continuing the vicious deathsquad work of anti-poor intimidation and terrorising by former president Duterte and the original Marcos dictatorship of his father); president General Sisi in Egypt, installed by mass-murder coup in 2013 overturning the new Arab Spring democracy and now repressing all anti-Zionist anti-American revolt with violent police and prison crackdowns; and dozens going before them from the Duvaliers in Haiti, the Suharto family in Indonesia to Augosto Pinochet’s torture and slaughter in Chile, installed by Langley with outright coups or manipulated and twisted “democracy”.
The workers state “dictators” are the very opposite, leaders of proletarian dictatorship, the necessary response to capitalist violence and oppression and the only means to deal with it.
British turmoil now reflects the same kind of breakdown and collapse that paralysed the ruling class in the early 20th century as the hidden dictatorship which is the reality of “democracy” in the monopoly capitalist system hit the rocks in the run-up to the First World War and especially in the 1920s and 30s, before the even greater follow-on of the Second World War.
The then weakest link, the ossified and backward feudalism of Tsarist Russia, disintegrated into a mess of corruption, mysticism, brutal repression (via the “hangman” Pyotr Stolypin) and incompetent militarism, all famously personified by the rise of the astonishing priest-fanatic Rasputin’s hold on the royal family itself and his influence over state decisions (again a symptom not a cause).
It was the Bolshevik revolution which put an end to all that in 1917, changing the world forever.
As the remaining imperialist world economic system imploded again with the 1929 Stock Exchange crash and then the international banking meltdown triggered by Austria’s Credit Anstalt collapse, leading to the Great Depression, even greater instability ripped through the world as government after government was toppled and replaced, often after just a few months or even weeks.
Throughout Europe in Spain, France and particularly Germany’s Weimar Republic there were repeated elections and paralysis in parliament as governments were unable to cope with economic disaster, and the mass street turmoil and revolutionary upheaval it caused.
The ruling class was only able to survive by turning to outright military takeovers and open fascist repression, already begun in Italy under Benito Mussolini in Italy in the early 1920s and variously followed with the rise of Hitlerism in Germany, the Francoist onslaught in Spain from 1936 onwards, the halfway house Vichy collusion with Hitlerism in France, Ioannis Metaxas in Greece, the Catholic clerical reaction of Admiral Horthy in Hungary, the Pilsudskiite fascist dictatorship in Poland and more.
Britain too toyed with outright fascism using the Sir Oswald Mosley movement, a “left” populist break from Labourism (where Mosley had been a cabinet minister) memorably elevated by the “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” headline support from the establishment Daily Mail and with close ties to the royal family and particularly the future Edward the VIIIth, a Hitler supporter.
It was held back finally by sections of the bourgeoisie itself – including forcing the King’s abdication – only because there was still enough wealth and resource in the British Empire to sustain the hoodwinking “democracy” illusions which have always been the ruling class’s best means of control, (with its lying pretence of “freedom” and “having a say”).
A fearful ruling class wanted to avoid conflicts like the famous CP-led anti-fascist street battle in Cable Street in 1936 (not in itself the decisive “seeing off” that much fake-”left” mythology attributes to it, (see EPSR No 750 or 1085 eg) but certainly a warning to the ruling class of the kind of revolt that could grow more quickly if overt fascism was imposed, cutting through the parliamentary road illusions already beginning to hamper revisionist CPGB understanding by this time).
But despite the democratic pretences, the “solution” was the same from all sides of imperialism, the drive to World War Two (with Hitlerism egged on by the “good” imperialists, trying to push Germany eastwards onto communist Russia).
Over half a century later after the long artificially sustained post-war boom (which WW2 destruction made room for), it is relatively weakening US/UK Anglo-Saxon imperialism which is at the forefront of the aggression, and especially moribund Britain egging on the Kiev Zelensky fascists.
And it has to play the chauvinist warmonger card; despite the empire fantasies of current ultra-right Tory throwbacks, and the corruption of petty bourgeois and much working class opinion with still continuing chauvinist and racist fantasies about “British greatness” – as expressed in Brexit particularly and whipped up with anti-migrant and racist scapegoating – no great resources are now available to British imperialism for any other path, of reformist sops to maintain popular “loyalty”.
Just the opposite, Britain has been on a long road of decline and collapse, both absolutely and relative to the rest of imperialism, arguably all the way back to the Great War, from which it emerged only by the skin of its teeth, thanks mainly to mortgaging itself to then growing US imperialist might (the 1918 war debts only just fully paid off in the last few years).
Brexit floundering has not caused the problems (as the “Remainers” argue) but its attempts to stir up the required jingoism have simply made an already bad situation worse as some bourgeois accounts admit:
it is clearer than ever that the Brexit project is accelerating a long decline in the UK’s ability to pay its way in the world.
Whether it was the Corbynite fantasy of Brussels as a neoliberal project taking orders from multinational lobbyists or the free-market thinktanks’ scenario of a socialist citadel obsessed with overbearing regulation, the evidence that they were wrong about leaving as a route to unbridled economic success is hard to deny.
Last week, research from Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute (EISR) further strengthened the remainers’ case, building on an earlier study by the London School of Economics (LSE).
The EISR found trade from the UK to the EU had fallen 16% on the levels anticipated had Brexit not happened. Meanwhile trade from the EU to the UK was even lower, down by 20% on the same measure.
... the overarching conclusion of the Irish study, which is that the modest recovery in the UK’s trade over the past year leaves it well below the levels that would have been expected without Brexit.
In a similar vein, the LSE said in a joint report with the Resolution Foundation thinktank that leaving the EU dealt a blow to Britain’s productivity. Research published in the summer estimated that labour productivity – a key measure of output per hour of work – would be down by 1.3% by 2030. It blamed a decline in the openness of the British economy after Brexit, equivalent to losing a quarter of the efficiency gains achieved over the past decade.
Compounding the misery, it showed that dependence on imported food and other goods was adding to inflation and the pain for household finances. We also know that Brexit has made labour shortages worse – and in a bizarre act of self-harm, the government has cut budgets for skills training.
The Peterson Institute in Washington also looked at trade openness after Brexit and found that it had fallen by 6% in the UK. By contrast it increased by 13% in Italy. In October, despite the war in Ukraine, Italian goods exports remain higher than in 2019 while the UK’s are lower.
Many economists think the trade situation is unlikely to bottom out because they expect a decline in the UK’s services exports to accelerate.
The EU no longer recognises many British professional qualifications. Collaborations between universities on either side of the channel are finding it difficult to secure funding, even if they manage to exchange academic research and staff.
There are fears that the financial sector has only just begun to suffer death by a thousand contract terminations. Ambitions harboured by Paris and Frankfurt to build up their finance industries were brushed aside as a joke a few years ago. Now they are bearing fruit.
Without its parasitic dirty money laundering and tax evasion earnings through the City, the obsolescent British economy has little to live on, its industrial capabilities long falling behind rival powers (which mostly own them anyway) and still falling:
BMW is to axe all UK production of the award-winning electric Mini and relocate it to China, dealing a major blow to hopes that Britain could be a global hub for zero-emission vehicle manufacture.
BMW makes 40,000 electric Minis per year at its Cowley factory on the outskirts of Oxford.
The move is a further blow to the UK’s ambition to become a leader in global electric car manufacturing, following Honda’s decision to quit Britain in 2016.
BMW’s joint venture with Great Wall Motor means their hatchback and small SUV models will now be made in east China, as will the next generation zero-emission Mini Aceman.
A new, electric version of the largest Mini model, the Countryman, will, BMW has confirmed, be manufactured at its plant in Leipzig.
BMW’s decision comes after reports that Britain’s only planned large-scale battery factory, being built by Britishvolt in the north-east of England, will go bust if it does not receive a £200m rescue package.
Only a year ago, Boris Johnson, then prime minister, promised at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, to fund a “£1bn electric car revolution” in the UK “creating hundreds of thousands of jobs”. His predecessor, Theresa May, intended that Britain would become “a world leader” in electric vehicle manufacturing and made it one of the “pillars” of her short-lived industrial strategy.
Kwasi Kwarteng, who was sacked as chancellor on Friday and replaced by Jeremy Hunt, said last year when he was business secretary that the electrified automotive industry would be “front and centre of Britain building back better”.
Those commitments — and the seven-year model cycles typically employed by automotive companies — indicate that the Oxford plant will not assemble any new electric vehicles until the next decade.
The historic Cowley factory has been the subject of speculation that BMW wants to sell the plant to Great Wall, which has made no secret that its big sales push into the European electric market will eventually lead it to seek its own production facilities in Europe.
A spokesman for Great Wall confirmed that the possibility of producing its own vehicles at Cowley had been the subject of “internal discussion”.
Wurst also dismissed suggestions that British consumers may balk at buying a Mini made in China, saying she could “see no reason”, as UK motorists are already buying some BMW models made in China.
The “service sector” which the Thatcherites hyped up as the salvation for an “advanced” British economy, was always a myth anyway, says the British based Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang, pointing out that countries like Switzerland with a supposed “post-industrial knowledge economy” are actually those with the highest level of industrial output per head of population, their “hi-tech” skills an offshoot of manufacturing, not an alternative. Reactionary fantasies of a regulation free Britain as an “offshore Singapore” equally ignore that entity’s status as one of the most industrialised countries in the world (per head).
Relying on the mostly American technology sector with swanky new complexes in London etc, is a disaster too:
There’s always one deal that symbolises the end of an era. In the early 2000s AOL’s merger with Time Warner served notice that the dot-com boom was over. Royal Bank of Scotland’s over-priced takeover of ABN Amro was followed by the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The question now is whether Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter will be seen as the moment the global economy tipped into recession.
Even before Musk sealed the deal, tech stocks had seen a sharp sell-off. The stock market value of Meta, the parent of Facebook, fell by $80bn on Thursday after Mark Zuckerberg’s company announced a 50% drop in third-quarter profits. The reason was simple: advertisers are reining in spending in response to slowing global growth.
Some repricing of tech stocks was inevitable as economies opened up again after the Covid-19 pandemic. Facebook, Google’s owner Alphabet and Amazon were winners when consumers were confined to their homes during lockdown and were always going to struggle to keep such high levels of revenue growth as life returned to normal.
There was, though, another reason for rocketing tech stocks: the easy money policies pursued by the world’s central banks. Ultra-low interest rates and purchases of bonds through quantitative easing programmes meant there was plenty of speculative cash to go around.
What’s more, it wasn’t just tech stocks that boomed. Conditions were ideal for an “everything bubble” in which shares, bonds and real estate prices all rose sharply. In recent months, it has become clear that the “everything bubble” is over, pricked by the tightening of policy by central banks in response to higher inflation.
So far, it has really only been shares and bonds that have tumbled. There is, though, evidence that higher interest rates are starting to have an impact on the wider economy. The unwinding of the asset-price boom is about to enter a new and much more dangerous phase as central banks test the ability of their economies to withstand higher borrowing costs.
There is a fear the global economy is approaching breaking point. China’s property meltdown, the emergency Bank of England action to prevent a run on pension funds and the collapse of tech stocks are all part of the same story: a fragile global financial ecosystem coming under stress.
Dhaval Joshi, of BCA research, says 2022 was the year that central banks’ “monster tightening” killed bond and stock market valuations, and 2023 will be the year that this “monster tightening” finally reaches the economy and kills profits and jobs.
That may seem like a curious conclusion given that the recent economic news hasn’t been that bad. The US economy bounced back in the third quarter after six months of falling output, while Germany, France and Spain all expanded modestly. Unemployment rates remain low, with the jobless rate in the UK the lowest since 1974.
The good news won’t last, but while it does it is likely to encourage central banks to keep policy tighter for longer, so they can be sure they have squeezed inflation out of the system.
They won’t say as much but they are prepared to see dole queues lengthen to reduce upward pressure on wages. Higher unemployment will not be accidental.
The last tepid comments downplay the apocalyptic significance of the analysis.
But the bourgeoisie itself can see what is coming far better than even the best informed newspaper pundits, and is scared witless, which is why it has deferred its latest budget and the savage additional “austerity” it has to impose if it is to survive at all in the international inter-imperialist conflicts unfolding. Other middle class accounts spell out a little better the class impact:
But it is a tale of two crises, and only one is being told. Attracting far less fanfare is another set of statistics about cold and hunger. More than a million people are expected to be pushed into poverty this winter. Their slide into deprivation will test an informal support network already stretched to its limit. Last week, the food bank charity the Trussell Trust launched an emergency appeal for donations because need for food banks has now outstripped donations. Charities like this, private citizens and schools are mobilising to bridge the gap.
The hole is too large to plug. Half of all primary schools in England are trying to feed children in poverty who are ineligible for free school meals because their parents’ income does not meet the threshold. But there are 800,000 of them. It can be hard sometimes to grasp the scale of the problem through bare statistics, but vivid and haunting details can flesh them out. Children are eating school rubbers to line their stomachs and dull the ache and nausea of hunger. Others are bringing in empty lunchboxes then pretending to dine on their phantom food away from classmates, too ashamed to reveal that they have nothing to eat.
If these children’s families can’t afford to eat, they definitely can’t afford to keep warm as winter approaches and energy prices rocket. How can children expect to learn with their minds impaired by hunger and cold? Over the past year, reading ability among seven-year-olds from poor families fell at double the rate of those from affluent families, their future prospects receding before they have even begun.
But my goodness, the scenes in Westminster! Kwasi Kwarteng sacked on a plane, Suella Braverman gone for a data breach, reported manhandling, jostling and shouting outside the voting lobby. And if that wasn’t already enough to drown out the rumble of tummies and chattering of teeth, Liz Truss threw in the towel, kicking off another attention-sucking vortex of new leadership speculation and horse-trading.
“I worry,” Naomi Duncan, chief executive of Chefs in Schools, told me, two hours after Truss resigned, “that the ongoing political turmoil will divert attention.” The solution for her is simple: to give one meal a day to all children based on need, not an income calculation that has long since ceased to be relevant.
It does sound simple, doesn’t it? But the sort of government that tackles poverty, hunger and cold is not the government anyone who matters is clamouring for. As the emergency intensifies, politicians and opinion makers are calling not for a firefighter to treat this as the crisis it truly is, but for a “grownup” to make those economic charts read better.
“The grownups are back,” declared Liam Fox, after Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordaunt’s performance at the dispatch box last week. “If Truss cannot quickly sort herself out,” the Sun (of all papers) told us, ‘“the grownups need to get in a room” and “agree a peaceful transition to a sensible figure”. This trope exemplifies the detachment of both Westminster and Westminster watchers. As the country enters into the winter crisis proper, those at the top are looking for a leader with unspecified technocratic skills who, like a contracted management consultant, will be able to “stabilise” UK plc. It’s not the mouths of children that need feeding, but the markets.
If this new leader must have an ideology, it should be one that aligns with the aim of “fiscal responsibility”, itself a byword for reduced state spending. They must “look like a leader”, and enact whatever callous cuts they have to, preferably while exhibiting suitable regret at having to make “difficult decisions”.
there is [only] a bloodless anger. “The damage to mortgages and bills has been done,” tweeted Keir Starmer as if the economic impact is being felt by pieces of paper rather than people. It seems everyone has understood that injecting feeling and channelling the fear and deprivation that stalks people every day disqualifies you from being taken seriously as a politician. The “adult” approach seems to be keeping the markets happy and achieving abstract “growth”, rather than also prioritising the security of those so on the margins they cannot benefit
.. staying in that lane of acceptable politics has resulted in our political and social crises. The delusion is that if we try just one more time with someone like Rishi Sunak, a man who flat out complained of funding being “shoved into deprived areas”, the right or right of centre will crack it.
Despite the fact that this is the tribe which over the past two decades pursued the deregulation agenda of big businesses, allowed working conditions and wages to be run into the ground, slashed benefits, and failed to invest any money saved from painful cuts into, to take just one example, any future-proofing green energy that would have mitigated this winter crisis.
I wonder, even with attention constantly yanked back to the Westminster spectacle, just how many more chances the grownups can get away with when every day another adult or child starts to go without food, or another family bundle themselves up at night instead of putting the heating on. Just how much longer can people put up with a consensus that placates the financial system with an “acceptable” number of losers?
But with their numbers rising and their pain intensifying, that may be about to become an impossible task.
This Nesrin Malek piece recognises that explosive social upheaval is coming – in Britain and potentially the US too – but of course will not spell out the revolutionary implications and necessities any more than any other petty bourgeois intellectuals, all still upholding the notion of change through hoodwinking “democracy” and “parliament”, whatever minor complaints there might be about Labour as insufficiently passionate about their anti-austerity, or whatever warnings are issued about censorship, surveillance and “thought police repression” in the Public Order bill as another “left” pretender George Monbiot has just done.
Labour are not simply “bloodless”, they are 100% part of the system as they have always been and as was clear to Marxist-Leninism from the 1920s and spelt out 35 years ago (see EPSR Book Vol 10 Reformist socialism is finished) against reformist Trotskyist and Revisionist fake-“leftism” still calling for Labour votes or pursuing entryist politics back then.
Most of the fake-“left” groups were at the same opportunist game until very recently, only grudgingly giving up their careerist pursuit of “alliances” or assertions of “left progress” by “electing Labour” or “building a left section”, as it has become clear that Labour will be nothing but a straight replacement for the Tories should the latest throw of the dice, in Rishi Sunak, prove unable carry through the austerity savagery now demanded.
The vicious conspiracy to suppress the left wave of popular support which lifted the fake-“left” Labourite Jeremy Corbyn, by using a monstrous campaign of lying and absurd claims about “anti-semitic racism” against them – as just detailed in the useful three-part Al-Jazeera documentary exposé on the “Labour files” – has now been combined with such outright jingoist British nationalism at the most recent Labour conference, that the reactionary character of Labourism (and the official trade unionism of the TUC which spawned it) is more clearly than ever indistinguishable from Mosleyism in spirit, whatever differences there might be in modern details.
Starmerist reaction has bent so far over backwards to reassure the ruling class of its anti-working class credentials, picking up major bourgeois support to replace the Tories outright if needed, that the “left” mountebanks and frauds remain there at their peril, with their piggy backing opportunism more obviously exposed than ever.
So the fake-“left” are now making louder noises about “the need to build a mass communist party” or at least a “left alternative” ie a centrist party (talking anti-capitalism while still avoiding the critical revolutionary questions) – whether it be through the Resist/Socialist Labour Party merger, the academic murmurings of the Weekly Worker revisionist “theoreticians” or the potential revival of the Corbynite movement with a new party.
But none of them remotely indicate how any such movement is to be built and turned into a “mass” struggle for socialism, and least of all are tackling the philosophical and theoretical struggle which has to be waged if the revolutionary Leninist understanding is to be built which the working class needs to carry through the overthrow of this rotten system.
As such centrism coalesces, Leninism needs to pitch in, to wage the crucial struggle to correctly understand the world and particularly the battle against anti-communism, saturating minds.
One of deepest questions to sort out, and of ever greater significance as the anti-Moscow warmongering continues, is the central issue of the workers states and most of all the Soviet Union, both in its gigantic achievements over 73 years of working class rule and in the supposed “failure of communism” at the end, in reality no such thing but only the failure and retreat of revisionist leadership, culminating in Mikhail Gorbachev’s liquidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and disastrous embrace of the “free market”.
Until then the USSR not only survived but made steady progress without a sniff of the “free market” and profit motive alleged by capitalism to be the “only way” to run human affairs, but which is increasingly obviously the very cause of the slump and war sickness and depravity which simply gets worse and worse – literally dragging existence into the shit in the case of the bankrupt British water companies eg which have not only not invested in any kind of “efficiency”, but even have to borrow more to pay their rapacious shareholders, appalling even some Tory commentators like Simon Jenkins:
The spread of rationing via hosepipe bans, and the explosion of sewage into rivers and the sea indicates an industry that has lurked too long in the private sector cupboard. Under the Victorians, water was the noble face of municipal socialism. Now it is the unacceptable face of capitalism. The success of privatised industry depends on the effectiveness with which the state regulates its natural monopolies. Under Whitehall’s Ofwat, water regulation has failed. Its most radical suggestion to meet the current crisis appears to be for people to turn off their taps while cleaning their teeth.
Since privatisation in 1989, an estimated £72bn has been allowed to leak from the industry into dividends, money that should clearly have gone into investment, stemming leaks and building overflow tanks. As it is, roughly a quarter of England’s fresh water never reaches the consumer but escapes from unrepaired pipes. Meanwhile contamination means the UK’s swimming sites are so filthy they ranked last in Europe for water quality in 2020. Even the government’s own Environment Agency has called for water company directors to be imprisoned for the appalling decline in performance, after a rise to 62 of what it classed as “serious incidents” of pollution last year. Campaigners are also taking Ofwat to court for regulatory failure. The industry, in every sense, stinks.
There is no “acceptable face” obviously for a system which maintains this disgusting profiteering and cannot do otherwise (all “nice” capitalism” being wiped out by more ruthless competition).
This relatively trivial example is, of course, only the tip of the profiteering fatberg; far worse and more callous grubbing and multinational sweatshop exploitation keeps hundreds of millions, billions, in the Third World in permanent deprivation, hunger, penury, and poverty, often without even basic sanitation, clean water, health care or education, trapped in polluted landscapes like the oil-plundered Nigerian delta, Indian beach ship scrapyards, the mercury poisoned central American gold mines or insecticide saturated oil palm plantations of Indonesia and Malaysia etc etc.
Not so in the Soviet Union which for all the inevitable mistakes and sometimes serious errors of a newly developing society, for the first time in history provided not only universal health care, education, housing, decent employment, freedom from hunger, and freedom from the vicious and debilitating alienation, and conflict of the ratrace life under capitalism, with its hire-and-fire insecurity and tread-on-your-face “competitiveness” (virtually impossible to overcome for the disadvantaged majority), but huge incentive and inspiration for the development of every individual to fully realise their capabilities, leaving no-one behind in a steadily more rational and cultured society.
That some minor aspects of this Soviet past still linger under the bonapartist shallowness of Putinism, forced to accommodate to widespread working class nostalgia for the USSR after the economic implosion of restored capitalism in late 1990s is one aspect of the West’s hatred of Russia and the war it has created against Moscow.
Even Putin’s (limited) reversion to some of the old (and more efficient) soviet state methods to partly rein in the gangster oligarchs’ untrammelled carpet-bagging plunder of the former workers state and provide a few echoes of past social benefits like education, health care and pensions, veers too dangerously close to socialism the more rabid reactionary wing of the Western bourgeoisie fears.
In fact Putin’s purpose was to head off the development of revolutionary sentiment for a return to communism which the horrific conditions of the 1990s were leading to, (as in East Europe too) much as reformism has been used to placate the working class in the West and foster anti-communist class collaboration.
But while some sections of the Western ruling class saw this as a positive, overall capitalism wants to see an end to all ambitions for such provision and as the crisis deepens it requires the rawest exploitation and speed up to be imposed everywhere, cracking down on and reversing even the most timid of reforms which might hamper it or set an example.
Putin’s nationalist “principles” in standing up for a “decent life for the Russian people” may have won him some domestic support over the past years, but it has always been a bankrupt path longterm, relying on capitalist exploitation of the gigantic natural resources, oil and minerals, of the huge country, and their sale into imperialist dominated world markets.
These could only ever be completely corrupt, unstable and vulnerable and the more so as imperialism escalates its warmongering.
Disruption of the oil and gas sales is a now central part of the US induced war, for multiple reasons; first to play on this dependency by sanctioning to weaken Moscow itself; second to boost the USA’s own gas and oil industry sales by replacing shut-down Russian supply to European countries (by force and sabotage as well as political arm twisting), and perhaps most significant of all, to hamstring and undermine German industrial capacity, by cutting off the cheap gas and oil supplies it has relied on from Russia, and by debilitating all the competition in Europe, politically and by the physical and social disruption of the war itself, its refugee floods and the threat it poses to populations.
These factors underline that this is a war going far beyond an “attack on Russia” or even an “attack on Russia preparing for an attack on China”.
It is about creating mayhem in all directions for the benefit of US imperialist power, the dominant force on earth since the end of the Second World War but also now the most irredeemably indebted and ever more challenged by the rising competition of rival capitalist powers, notably Japan, itself subject to decades of Washington bullying, tariff blocks, and currency war, which helped bring Tokyo to a point of stagnation now lasting for at least two decades, and the European Union, dominated by the German economy and relentlessly outcompeting America (see Volkswagen, BASF, Airbus, etc etc). China too is steadily outcompeting the US.
These are the great grindstones pummelling the British economy, and leaving it desperately trying to balance between the Europeans and its American “ally”, an agonising judgement for the ruling class which has havered and vacillated for decades over whether to stay in the European bloc and its giant internal market, deliberately created to nurture and protect the great European monopolies, but at the humiliating cost of accepting German supremacy and its high regulatory standards (favouring the biggest most technically advanced monopoly combines), or whether to pitch in behind the US as the best shelter from the hurricane of inter-imperialist warmongering to come, which the Ukraine war foreshadows, whatever immediate outcome it might have.
The decision to go with the US is the real issue behind “Brexit” as the EPSR has repeatedly said, (warning the working class that it loses either way, and remains subject to international monopoly exploitation in or out of the EU).
Not for nothing did Boris Johnson cryptically declare “stick with the Americans” to his successor on the day he stepped down as prime minister.
Bringing out this world crisis understanding is the crucial task for working class leadership everywhere, and most immediately for the Russian working class being confronted with the deadliest of threats by imperialism.
But Putin’s Greater Russian world view does not rise above cod-christian moralising about Western imperialism, and while Moscow’s resistance to the Western encouraged and organised Kiev Nazism has stunned the NATO onslaught so far, it remains severely hampered not only by this limited nationalism but also its associated anti-Leninist philistinism.
Any set back for Western belligerence is welcome and so far, contrary to the propaganda deluge organised by the Western intelligence agencies and fed out via the uncritically reported stooge Kiev government to the willing and compliant imperialist media, the Russian military operation has been far from the disaster of plodding incompetence, corruption, demoralisation, technical backwardness and setback the psyops operation has painted it (a false doomy picture swallowed wholesale by the relentless petty bourgeois defeatism of Trots like the Weekly Worker); its often heroic battles and manoeuvres have continued to hold or even take ground, and have prepared strong defensive positions in the now annexed oblasts.
Certainly the huge $billions efforts to mount counter-offences by the Ukrainians, have had some success but from the accounts that can be found on the Internet from seemingly less biased sources than the Western Goebbels distortions, these have been at huge cost, with disproportionate levels of casualties and deaths, despite on-the-ground backing and covert supervision by advanced NATO military organisation and intelligence, as well as massive Western arms inputs.
In the soup of deliberate disinformation from the West, and the wild, lurid and utterly unsubstantiated assertions, claims and numbers from the swastika-toting Kievites, it is hard to make any kind of fully objective assessment but the glaring silence on the surprise Kharkiv advance since its initial push at least six weeks ago speaks louder than any propaganda that this much trumpeted advance has run into the sand – and its strategic significance was limited anyway, winning back large swathes of mostly empty countryside.
Admissions by the BBC and other Western reports that the more dramatic follow-on Kherson advance in the south towards the city itself “seems to have slowed up” or even “has stalled” also seem to indicate that far from being a “turning point” in the war the whole Ukrainian advance has been a costly showpiece, forced through against the advice of the more cautious Kiev generals by the Zelensky government stooges, under instruction from their Western paymasters.
So too do the sour complaints by the Ukrainians that the Russians have now reinforced the city with more troops and multi-layered defensive lines after carefully evacuating the civilian population, as if such preparations were somehow “cheating” – an astonishing twist to previous propaganda that the Russians were “incompetent losers” because they had not prepared defensive positions.
The huge cost in lives paid again by often hapless Ukrainian rookies, has been for the advantage and political prestige of the “Joe” Biden Democrat administration in the campaigning for the American mid-term elections this month, looking for propaganda “results” as the US and the European Union pour vast $ multi-billion sums in arms and money into Ukraine (much of which immediately finds its way onto the black market from one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, declares the former UN weapons inspector and military expert Scott Ritter who has consistently provided a relatively objective assessment of the war through the few Internet channels and discussions which have not been completely blanked out and censored by the “freedom loving free-speech” (!!!!) Western “democracies”).
The steady destruction of the Ukrainian power infrastructure with now weekly Russia missile and drone attacks in response to the vicious and reckless civilian-killing sabotage of the Crimea bridge, and of the NordStream pipelines, all obviously carried out by Western trained forces (if not directly by British and other NATO special operations teams as Russia has asserted) also gives the lie to Russian “setback” stories.
The escalation is neither for crude revenge as the psyops teams have immediately alleged, nor to wilfully “target civilians” as the Goebbels lies alleged from the beginning but to degrade Ukrainian military capabilities, stopping troop and equipment transport.
But the barmy Russian nationalism sustaining the Kremlin’s efforts is a gigantic weakness, some of which has already given the West subversive openings inside Russia, to stir up petty bourgeois “freedom” confusions, and which anyway is incapable of inspiring the kind of communist mass support and sacrifice that the Soviet Union made in the Second World War.
Even allowing for the defeatist bias in Western reports, and the gross lies of its daily fabrications about “warcrimes” attempting to provoke the very phenomena they pretend is happening, (and covering up or ignoring the real warcrimes by the Ukraine nazis) it does look as if significant numbers have tried to leave Russia in the face of Putin’s partial conscription call.
A restorationist society now operating for the benefit of a crew of corrupt and degenerate oligarch multibillionaires and riddled with all the same self-interest, petty bourgeois idealism and social fragmentation as any other capitalist society, is inevitably going to suffer such impacts, however much Putinism tries to overcome it with his correct contempt for the arrogance and exploitation of colonialist imperialism, as in his speech when the Ukrainian regions were annexed.
His mystical Greater Russian nationalism trampling over historical events, and dismissing the Leninist philosophy which led the giant Bolshevik revolution is total philistine garbage as these excerpts, reproduced from the Stalinist Proletarian website, demonstrate:
I repeat, it is an inherent right of the people. It is based on our historical affinity, and it is that right that led generations of our predecessors, those who built and defended Russia for centuries since the period of Ancient Rus, to victory.
Here in Novorossiya, [Pyotr] Rumyantsev, [Alexander] Suvorov and [Fyodor] Ushakov fought their battles, and Catherine the Great and [Grigory] Potemkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought here to the bitter end during the Great Patriotic War.
We will always remember the heroes of the Russian Spring, those who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, to preserve their culture, traditions and religion, and for the very right to live. We remember the soldiers of Donbass, the martyrs of the ‘Odessa Khatyn’, the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime.
[...]Behind the choice of millions of residents in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, is our common destiny and thousand-year history. People have passed this spiritual connection on to their children and grandchildren.
Despite all the trials they endured, they carried the love for Russia through the years. This is something no one can destroy. [...]
In 1991, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, representatives of the party elite of that time made a decision to terminate the Soviet Union, without asking ordinary citizens what they wanted, and people suddenly found themselves cut off from their homeland. This tore apart and dismembered our national community and triggered a national catastrophe.
Just like the government quietly demarcated the borders of Soviet republics, acting behind the scenes after the 1917 revolution, the last leaders of the Soviet Union, contrary to the direct expression of the will of the majority of people in the referendum of 1991, destroyed our great country, and simply made the people in the former republics face this as an accomplished fact.
I can admit that they didn’t even know what they were doing and what consequences their actions would have in the end. But it doesn’t matter now. There is no Soviet Union anymore; we cannot return to the past. Actually, Russia no longer needs it today; this isn’t our ambition.
But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, religion, traditions and language, consider themselves part of Russia, whose ancestors lived in a single country for centuries. There is nothing stronger than their determination to return to their true historical homeland.
For eight long years, people in Donbass were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockades; in Kherson and Zaporozhye, a criminal policy was pursued to cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now too, during the referendums, the Kiev regime threatened schoolteachers, women who worked in election commissions with reprisals and death.
Kiev threatened millions of people who came to express their will with repression. But the people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson weren’t broken, and they had their say.
I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the west to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever.
We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once.
But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to peace.
We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.
We will definitely rebuild the destroyed cities and towns, the residential buildings, schools, hospitals, theatres and museums. We will restore and develop industrial enterprises, factories, infrastructure, as well as the social security, pension, healthcare and education systems.[...]
Our compatriots, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who are part of our united people, have seen with their own eyes what the ruling class of the so-called west have prepared for humanity as a whole. They have dropped their masks and shown what they are really made of.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the west decided that the world and all of us would permanently accede to its dictates. In 1991, the west thought that Russia would never rise after such shocks and would fall to pieces on its own.
This almost happened. We remember the horrible 1990s, hungry, cold and hopeless. But Russia remained standing, came alive, grew stronger and occupied its rightful place in the world.
Meanwhile, the west continued and continues looking for another chance to strike a blow at us, to weaken and break up Russia, which they have always dreamed about, to divide our state and set our peoples against each other, and to condemn them to poverty and extinction.
They cannot rest easy knowing that there is such a great country with this huge territory in the world, with its natural wealth, resources and people who cannot and will not do someone else’s bidding.
The west is ready to cross every line to preserve the neocolonial system which allows it to live off the world, to plunder it thanks to the domination of the dollar and technology, to collect an actual tribute from humanity, to extract its primary source of unearned prosperity, the rent paid to the hegemon. The preservation of this annuity is their main, real and absolutely self-serving motivation.
This is why total de-sovereignisation is in their interest. This explains their aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures, their attempts to undermine international and integration processes, new global currencies and technological development centres they cannot control.
It is critically important for them to force all countries to surrender their sovereignty to the United States.
In certain countries, the ruling elites voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed or intimidated. And if this does not work, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies.
They don’t care. All they care about is their own benefit.
I want to underscore again that their insatiability and determination to preserve their unfettered dominance are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective west is waging against Russia.
They do not want us to be free; they want us to be a colony.
They do not want equal cooperation; they want to loot.
They do not want to see us a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.
They see our thought and our philosophy as a direct threat. That is why they target our philosophers for assassination. Our culture and art present a danger to them, so they are trying to ban them. Our development and prosperity are also a threat to them because competition is growing.
They do not want or need Russia, but we do.
I would like to remind you that in the past, ambitions of world domination have repeatedly shattered against the courage and resilience of our people. Russia will always be Russia. We will continue to defend our values and our Motherland.
The west is counting on impunity, on being able to get away with anything. As a matter of fact, this was actually the case until recently.
Strategic security agreements have been trashed; agreements reached at the highest political level have been declared tall tales; firm promises not to expand Nato to the east gave way to dirty deception as soon as our former leaders bought into them; missile defence, intermediate-range and shorter-range missile treaties have been unilaterally dismantled under far-fetched pretexts.
And all we hear is: the west is insisting on a rules-based order. Where did that come from anyway? Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them? Listen, this is just a lot of nonsense, utter deceit, double standards, or even triple standards!
They must think we’re stupid.
Russia is a great thousand-year-old power, a whole civilisation, and it is not going to live by such makeshift, false rules.
It was the so-called west that trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders, and now it is deciding, at its own discretion, who has the right to self-determination and who does not, who is unworthy of it. It is unclear what their decisions are based on or who gave them the right to decide in the first place. They just assumed it.
That is why the choice of the people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson makes them so furiously angry. The west does not have any moral right to weigh in, or even utter a word about freedom or democracy. It does not and it never did.
Western elites not only deny national sovereignty and international law; their hegemony has pronounced features of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid. They brazenly divide the world into their vassals – the so-called civilised countries – and all the rest, who, according to the designs of today’s western racists, should be added to the list of barbarians and savages.
False labels like ‘rogue country’ or ‘authoritarian regime’ are already available, and are used to stigmatise entire nations and states, which is nothing new.
There is nothing new in this: deep down, the western elites have remained the same colonisers. They discriminate and divide peoples into the top tier and the rest.
We have never agreed to and will never agree to such political nationalism and racism. What else, if not racism, is the Russophobia being spread around the world? What, if not racism, is the west’s dogmatic conviction that its civilisation and neoliberal culture is an indisputable model for the entire world to follow?
“You’re either with us or against us.” It even sounds strange.
Western elites are even shifting repentance for their own historical crimes on everyone else, demanding that the citizens of their countries and other peoples confess to things they have nothing to do with at all: for example, the period of colonial conquests.
It is worth reminding the west that it began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, followed by the worldwide slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India and Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which it was forced to open its ports to the opium trade.
What they did was get entire nations hooked on drugs and purposefully exterminated entire ethnic groups for the sake of grabbing land and resources, hunting people like animals. This is contrary to human nature, truth, freedom and justice.
While we – we are proud that in the 20th century our country led the anticolonial movement, which opened up opportunities for many peoples around the world to make progress, reduce poverty and inequality, and defeat hunger and disease.
Some good points are made about imperialism, albeit larded with holy pieties from the relic kissing Putin.
But Putin seems to forget that his glorious 1000 years of Russia history was as much one of colonialism “begun in the Middle Ages” as anything in the West – not for nothing was the violently repressive Tsarist order, sweeping across eastern Europe, the huge reaches of Siberia and down into the Urals, Georgia, and the khanates, known as the “prisonhouse of nations”.
Russia’s participation in the First World War was as much imperialism as Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany and the Ottomans - all the way up to secret treaties agreeing on the division of the world in the wake of the war, which Lenin’s Bolsheviks made public.
And far from a continuous 1000 years, this history saw the greatest break and overturn in all history, the Russian revolutions of 1905, February 1917 and October 1917 which ended that history of feudal serfdom and exploitation, beginning to build for the first time the completely new society of communism, which first and foremost is internationalist (despite the temporary need and possibility to get on with building socialism in “one country” until conditions develop for further international revolution - entirely possible, as Lenin set out, contrary to the defeatism of the Trots’ idealism).
It was Bolshevism, the opposite to the “glorious 1000 years” which “led the anti-colonial movement” because it had ended capitalism.
Lenin’s recognition of the rights of nations to self-determination, which Putin sneers at as “quietly demarcating Soviet republics behind the scenes” (which he says split up the Russian people) was the ending of the enforced subjugation of the minorities from nearly 200 nations, allowing them to voluntarily join the Soviet Union, (as the Bolsheviks advocated), the best way to clear away the divisiveness caused by national oppression and limited nationalist sentiment.
The insistence on Russian identity now in the four oblasts will surely play into the hands of the Ukrainian reaction as will Putin’s earlier statements that all of Ukraine is part of Russia?
What then becomes of the Ukrainian speakers in those territories? What too becomes of the Ukrainian workers in Ukraine, swept along or intimidated by the Western orientated reaction??
Most of all in this Putinite perspective, class is missing, and the movement of classes in the world, driven by the crisis, and so too is any grasp of the way that capitalist imperialism originated, from the early development of capitalism within the previous feudal class system, itself overturning tribal and slave based societies and empires, each contradiction-riddled form growing to a point where it could no longer advance mankind, and had to be overturned by the new more advanced forms.
Without this grasp of movement and progress through the accumulation and intensification of contradiction, and the revolutionary jumps that overcome the eventual paralysis, there can be no understanding of the full seriousness now of the crisis and of the unanswerable demand it places on the world’s masses to wage complete revolutionary war on the whole of imperialism until it is completely defeated and overturned.
This Putinite confusion comes nowhere near giving any even such lead.
It says plenty about the sick domination of the planet by Western elites, about their path to war, about the hunger and deprivation they are forcing on everyone; but nothing about the capitalist class domination at the base of it:
And the 1980s crisis – things came to a head in the 1980s again – the west emerged from it unscathed largely by appropriating the inheritance and resources of the collapsed and defunct Soviet Union.
That’s a fact.
Now, in order to free itself from the latest web of challenges, they need to dismantle Russia as well as other states that choose a sovereign path of development, at all costs, to be able to further plunder other nations’ wealth and use it to patch their own holes.
If this does not happen, I cannot rule out that they will try to trigger a collapse of the entire system, and blame everything on that,
God forbid, decide to use the old formula of economic growth through war.
Russia is aware of its responsibility to the international community, and will make every effort to ensure that cooler heads prevail.
The current neocolonial model is ultimately doomed; this much is obvious. But I repeat that its real masters will cling to it to the end.
They simply have nothing to offer the world except to maintain the same system of plundering and racketeering.
But this says nothing to answer the questions of why the Soviet Union allowed itself to be plundered or whether in fact it was “defunct” at all - and nothing about what went wrong with the leadership in Moscow which led to Gorbachevism and his liquidationism, other than a few comments about them “doing it without the approval of the people” and perhaps “not knowing what they were doing”.
This is hopeless, failing to begin understanding the revisionist rot which gradually developed in the Soviet Union from the early retreats from Leninist revolutionary understanding in the 1920s and 1930s (See EPSR Book 21 Unanswered Polemics) and dismissing the significance of any attempt to do so - not least with an offhand dismissal of the Soviet Union itself as “no longer needed”.
Putin can make bold with declarations of standing up to imperialism in a world which is “facing revolutionary change” and “will never be the same again” but in the end is making just as much of a retreat from the real struggle in the world - ending capitalism – as any of the bureaucrats who allowed the Soviet Union to be dismantled.
There is plenty more to disentangle from this Putinite confusion which can only hold back the fight the Russians find themselves in, not least by continuing to rely on the capitalist gangsters who now own and control Russia.
Worse still, by failing to challenge capitalism as the problem, it pretends that any and every regime on the planet is part of the struggle for the masses, however backward as Putin makes explicit by calling for “multipolarity”.
But this is no better than the idiot delusions of Gorbachevism itself, suggesting that there can be a world in which the US Empire is “balanced” by other powers and abandoning any grasp of the need for the revolutionary overturn of capitalism.
It is founded in the revisionist crap expounded by Stalin in the first place, suggesting that the world could exist in a state of permanent peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism, the foundation of the supposed Cold War parity.
Small wonder the Brarite Stalin worshippers can publish this Putin garbage with barely a word of criticism, except to elevate their hero even more with another swipe at Kruschev and a token comment about:
“Ultimately, the only way Russians will achieve lasting freedom from imperialist aggression and national division will be via the restoration of the USSR to their homeland”- a part of humanity’s great struggle to extend the socialist system across all of the globe.
Ultimately?????? In the middle of a raging world war???
And how is this “restoration” to be achieved anyway without taking up the struggle against Putinism which is anti-Lenin anti-communist and anti- the great stirring of hostility across the planet labelled “terrorism” – and in fact deploying Russian military might to suppress such struggles, which are nothing but the nascent world revolution struggling to find a way to strike blows against imperialist world domination???
Putin’s apeing of the West’s “war on terror” and declarations of hostility to “extremism” is another part of the problem facing the world working class, not a solution.
For the minute, the fight against imperialism that Ukraine has forced Moscow to take up, is the critical question, and any blows is its able to strike against NATO will be defeats for the greater capitalist power on the planet.
But Putin needs bringing down too as soon as there is a breathing space for the Russian masses to do so – opening up the only possible answer.
The revisionist “support” for Moscow equally needs to be taken on – its brain-dead pacifism, peaceful road illusions and parliamentary paths (all originating in Stalin’s “non-expanding imperialism” assessments post-WW2) a continuing obstacle to the understanding of revolution required now by the world’s masses.
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Polish restorationism’s reactionary imperialist role inflaming the anti-Russia war in Ukraine and its own expansionist ambitions
The Catholic clerical reaction now running Poland is one of the most aggressive elements feeding the NATO- Ukrainian anti-Russian war.
It has been on a path of historical backwardness since the counter revolutionary upheavals of the 1980’s (ending abortion, suppressing workers rights, imposing draconian censorship, backing US blitzkrieg in Afghanistan and Iraq) and harbours its own imperialist ambitions, like all capitalism.
Revisionist Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko has recently warned that Poland is preparing plans to take over parts of western Ukraine to fulfil its revanchist ambitions.
These are intimately intertwined with the Ukrainian nazi reaction in Kiev and especially because the western Ukraine, where the Stepan Bandera (fascist icon) worshipping nazis originate, was for a long period part of the greater Polish empire of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Warsaw fascists now dream of re-establishing their territorial control, just as did their pre-WW2 fascist dictator hero Jóseph Pilsudski.
To back up Lukashenko’s warning it is worth running a section of the EPSR 30 years back which looked in detail at the history of Polish imperialism (ILWP Bulletin (EPSR) No 542 18-04-90).
These expansionist dreams were already foreshadowed during the 10 years of disruption by the bogus “trade union” Solidarnosc, against the Polish workers state from 1980 onwards, culminating in its toppling (and contributing to the liquidation of the Soviet Union).
Solidarnosc was the most significant and successful of many CIA counter-revolutionary movements, funded by hundreds of millions of dollars from the corrupt Vatican coffers.
It rapidly put the Pilsudski imperialist symbol on the mastheads of its leaflets and booklets (produced on smuggled Western supplied printing presses).
But this and many other symptoms of its completely reactionary purpose, masquerading as a “workers movement”, were ignored by the petty bourgeois Trotskyists, who backed and supported this “pro-democracy” Western fraud.
They have a lot to answer for in helping imperialism fool and hoodwink Western public opinion and confuse the working class, as they continue to do, still pretending Solidarnosc was “progressive” or covering up and lying about their support for it (as the Sparts do - see EPSR No 1206 28-10-03).
The material below appeared just before the liquidation of the Soviet Union by the disastrous Gorbachevite bureaucratic regime:
West’s hypocrisy over Katyn won’t rescue imperialism or class-collaboration fraud [ILWP Bulletin (EPSR) No 542]
After a hundred years of colonial butchery and great power rivalry which has slaughtered scores of millions of innocent people and filled the record books with atrocities, the capitalist system is ecstatic at being able to misrepresent the Soviet execution of Polish officers.
Bourgeois propaganda is desperate for world opinion to brand the Soviet workers state as the ‘invader’ of Poland in 1939 and as having ‘murdered’ about 15,000 ‘prisoners-of-war’ of the ‘innocent party’ Poland.
Manufactured Western hysteria about Katyn matches the demented screams more recently that Afghanistanis were being ‘butchered by the alien Soviet invader’, and echoes the similar outcry over ‘poor little Finland’ when the USSR readjusted its borders in 1939 at the same time as the Polish frontier was pushed back West to its Curzon Line settlement (accepted by the imperialist powers in the Versailles Peace Treaty period.)
Far from being ‘innocent’ the Polish bourgeoisie under Pilsudski had taken a leading part in the imperialist massacre of the young Soviet republic in the 1918-1920 War of Intervention which reduced the USSR to a tiny unconquered territory around Moscow and put more than 10 million to death through firing squads and bombing raids or through epidemics and starvation.
The Poles hung onto the Western areas of the Ukraine and Byelorussia as ‘war booty’, and continued inflicting the same anti-communist terror on the population as had marked the entire Western War of Intervention by the armies of 14 capitalist states led by Britain, France and the USA.
When the world’s first workers state was finally strong enough to repossess the whole of its Ukrainian and Byelorussian territories in 1939 (as the West was preparing for a new inter-imperialist war, and was no longer in a position to all unite to impose new destruction on the Soviet Union), - the colonising Polish officer-corps bourgeoisie was caught stranded. The 250,000-strong Polish army of occupation was imprisoned. It is now alleged by the current revisionist bureaucracy in Moscow that the officer corps was sentenced to death by the NKVD Soviet state security forces. No NKVD reports or explanations have so far been quoted in the Western media.
The imperialist camp is desperate to excuse its own continuing history of colonialist bullying and atrocities which go on to this day in Panama, Grenada, Ireland, South Africa, New Caledonia, Chad, Occupied Palestine, Angola, etc, either through fascist-mercenary proxies or directly, - by claiming the Soviet workers state has a colonial-atrocity history of its own.
The fraternal aid to other revolutionary states to put down counter-revolution in Afghanistan in 1979, in Prague in 1968, in Hungary in 1956, in the GDR in 1953 are cited, plus the border realignments in 1939-40 in Finland, Poland, and the Baltic states to prepare for the coming renewed War of Intervention onslaught by the imperialist West (Germany, Italy, Spain, Vichy France, Quisling Norway, Hungary, Austria, etc, etc, who all sent forces) unleashed in 1941.
Equally hysterical were earlier allegations of ‘colonialism’ against Lenin’s regime in 1920 in the Caucasus as Communist Party detachments completed the final rout of the White Guard and Social-Democracy counter-revolutionary forces which had occupied or seized power in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
The Polish officers corps captured in Polish-Occupied Ukraine and Byelorussia were proven counter-revolutionary aggressors against the Soviet workers state with responsibility for millions of deaths on their hands, their atrocities having bloodied Soviet soil only 18 years previously, and not having ended on Polish-Occupied Ukrainian and Byelorussian soil at all at any point.
This is no mere technicality. Pilsudski Poland was as near to a fascist state as the decadent Polish ruling class could get. The world's first concentration camp with a specific anti-semitic racist purpose was set up not by Hitler but by Pilsudski to jail Polish Jews, in the 1930s.
Nor were the Pilsudski Poles only aggressively anti-communist or anti-Jewish (which petty-bourgeois public opinion in the West might nevertheless approve of in its increasingly chauvinistic-warmongering hysterical anti-communist condition.)
The Warsaw bourgeois regime had also occupied Lithuania’s capital Vilnius in 1920 and continued colonising it until 1939 when it was returned into Lithuanians hands by the same Red Army action which freed the Occupied Zones of the Ukraine and Byelorussia and which took prisoner the 250,000-strong Polish Occupation forces. (The current generation of fascist-minded Lithuanian petty-bourgeois nationalists, of course, like to forget that they only got their capital back for ‘independent Lithuania’ courtesy of the Red Army; otherwise it would still be occupied to this day and a completely colonised Polish city by now; it has only been able to remain a Lithuanian city for the last 51 years thanks to Soviet power, which first liberated the place from Polish Occupation, and then freed it from German imperialist colonisation again in 1944 at the cost of 100,000 Soviet Red Armymen’s lives. The Lithuanians, who have been in charge of the city ever since, could have achieved none of this on their own. And in the coming inter-imperialist war, they would stand very little chance of surviving again as an ‘independent’ minnow in war-torn Europe.)
Nor did Polish fascist-colonial aggression end in 1920. As soon as German imperialism, much admired by the Polish bourgeoisie especially its officers corps, resumed its colonising aggression eastwards in 1939 (by swallowing the rest of Czechoslovakia which had not been fed to the Nazis by the British, French, and US warmongering provocations in the Munich Agreement which deliberately directed Hitler's appetite eastwards to destroy the Soviet Union eventually), - the Pilsudski-inspired Poles seized parts of border-area Czechoslovakia for themselves and also colonised more of Lithuanian territory to boot.
The notion of the Soviet Union picking on ‘poor little innocent Poland’ in 1939 and ‘cruelly invading Polish territory’ and then ‘savagely massacring its defenceless citizens’ is the most complete infamous nonsense, and it is another wretched crime down to the present sick revisionist philistines in charge in Moscow for them to sit back passively and allow all this nauseating filth to be poured out by the stinking imperialist press-machine unanswered.
There is nothing to apologise for on the bogus charge of ‘Is it all right for the Red Army to murder its prisoners of war’ since there has never been any question of any such Soviet policy.
Every single Soviet military engagement or police action from 1917 onwards has always had a specific purpose, mistaken or justified, in strengthening the workers state and the world socialist revolution. Lithuania for example is currently counting the cost of compensation it ought to pay to the rest of the USSR for the higher education, advanced industry and technology, and military protection it got from Soviet power during the last 50 years. That is not the sort of ‘colonisation’-exploitation that Africa knew, for example, - and still knows in South Africa.
Colonialism, on the other hand, from the slavery trade onwards to the more sophisticated present-day plantation system which wrecks the local agriculture deliberately so as to make countries dependent on one-crop imperialist market commodities (the economics of which are always controlled by the Western monopoly-capitalist bourgeoisie), - is caught red-handed by even the most Tory-biased history book as having done nothing but slaughter and exploit the Third World for over 150 years purely for greed and profit for the West.
The USSR is in no such relationship with any part of the socialist camp, and never has been, nor ever could be.
As for its behaviour towards the Pilsudski-fascist Polish aggressors occupying the Ukraine and Byelorussia, there would certainly have been no point in gratuitous barbarism, but what is the evidence for that either in the Katyn incident or anywhere else in the history of the Soviet workers state?
The Stalin-Beria regime was responsible for arbitrary brutality and hideous errors but its greatest revisionist-opportunist ‘crime’ was in its retreat from pursuing the best interests of the USSR, not in greedily aggrandising them ‘and never mind the colonial slaughter’, which was the West’s sole longterm policy in its international dealings for 200 years.
If sick revenge for the 1920 Pilsudski-Poles’ slaughter of the Soviet workers state was all that the NKVD had in mind, this still proves nothing about ‘Soviet colonialism’, or ‘Soviet imperialist barbarism as a policy’. The same Stalin-Beria regime ensured Poland in 1945 its first stable frontiers in its entire modern history, and, - by including the once-Polish lands in Silesia and Pomerania, - on far vaster (and better-quality) territory than the Poles could ever have achieved under their own steam. And nearly a million Poles were returned to Poland courtesy of wartime Soviet protection to restart building up their own country.
The Polish government is now in reactionary hands once again, - benighted Church-fearing petty-bourgeois tinged with fascist nationalism and full of racist hatred once again against the ‘inferior Slavs’ in the Soviet Union.
If the USSR is ever called upon once again to defend its crucial strategic interests as a result of warmongering provocations emanating from or via a weak and reactionary Poland, Moscow might well have cause to regret its generosity towards the Poles.
The purpose of the Western furore over Katyn is pure anti-communism. One of the sickest and saddest aspects of it is the way in which the revisionist bureaucracy in Moscow has capitulated to this propaganda tyranny.
Instead of the international airwaves being constantly filled over the last 30 years with completely unbalanced and poisonous innuendoes about the significance (for 72 years of Soviet socialist development) of a minor incident during the Second World War, why are they not permanently filled instead with correct accusations against the actual Western colonial-imperialist barbarism going on non-stop from Algeria, Egypt, Malaya, Greece, Aden, Ireland, Kenya, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Korea, Lebanon, Palestine, Rhodesia, Timor, Mozambique, Sahara, Angola, Etc, covering more than 200 military or police interventions by the NATO powers since World War II to prop up their open colonial interests in the Third World, or prop up the West’s proxy fascist friends running military tyrannies in scores of capitalist backwaters from Haiti to the Philippines, from El Salvador to Chile, from Turkey to Thailand?
Hundreds of millions have been slaughtered by this non-stop capitalist-bourgeois-feudal aggression.
The bureaucratic philistines in Moscow have dropped the anti-imperialist struggle because of their own theoretical bankruptcy and their own complacent-stagnant hopelessness at leading the socialist system, - not at all because “imperialism has changed its spots” as the more crass revisionist opportunists like to pretend.
Gorbachev’s catchphrase of “leaving things to market forces” is nothing but a petty-bourgeois posture to cover a complete abdication of revolutionary leadership.
New circles of opportunist bureaucratic stooges now surround Gorbachev slushing out the sort of lying nonsense they think will get them somewhere.
The Soviet Weekly has just vomited over the intelligence of workers here with some creeping gibberish called “Leninism: April Theses 1990” in echo of Lenin’s famous April Theses in 1917 which set the course for the Great October Socialist Revolution to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat for the first time in human history.
These crap 1990 idiocies are as far from the anti-imperialist revolutionary spirit of Marxism-Leninism as it would be possible to be.
They lyingly assert that Lenin’s perspectives (for the worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat and the final crushing of the imperialist bourgeoisie internationally) “came to realise the need for economic mechanisms of commodity production and circulation, and the need to draw on the potential of various socio-economic modes for the development of society’s productive forces”.
This is a criminal distortion using the well-known facts of the New Economic Policy (for the temporary resuscitation of capitalism to get the Soviet economy off the floor after three years catastrophic civil war and imperialist War of Intervention solely in order to build a completely new socialist order of society), - but presenting these facts as though the continued survival of the capitalist system was part of Leninist aims. What a foul and disgusting corruption.
No wonder these liars then find it necessary to add:
“It is unjustifiable to strive to explain all the multiformity and contradictory processes of the present by references to Lenin and quotations from his works”.
You bet it is as far as these liars and criminal oafs are concerned.
By all means let these fat and philistine Soviet bureaucrats declare that class-collaboration with the imperialist system is now by far the easiest way forward for the Soviet establishment, - including capitulation to the world domination by the immense power of monopoly-capitalist market forces.
But let them not pretend that this has anything to do with Leninism. And least of all has any connection at all with Lenin’s heroic work of revolutionary science and leadership: The April Theses.[....]
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