No 1620 30th November 2022
Workers’ anger at crisis & Slump grows daily, ever more ready to fight against it. So why does the TUC not call a full-on coordinated General Strike against this stinking corrupt, arrogant and incompetent ruling class, combining all the power of the working class instead of frittering away class strength in piecemeal mini-strike fragments?? Answer: because it instantly raises questions over WHAT HAPPENS NEXT – which means explaining the collapse and disintegration of the whole monopoly capitalist system into Slump and war, the revolutionary perspective which alone can now take the world forwards. But class collaborating anti-communist union leaders and the Labourite “political wing” are part of the system. They will never give the class the lead they need to overturn this system. Build Leninism, which will.
The wave of militancy and fighting determination against the slump from railworkers, firemen, postal workers, and dockers, and even middle class professionals and vocational workers like from doctors, lawyers, teachers and nurses and more, is brilliant but their strength is being wasted by piecemeal and hamstrung industrial action, each section restrained by the union leaders to its own interests.
But why is the working class not being brought together to use the full weight of class-coordinated action?
Why does the TUC not call a general strike in other words and bring down this stinking government and every other stinking bunch of reactionaries that might replace them?
Because they are hamstrung by regulations and anti-union laws? By clamp down on protests? Because it’s “not allowed”.?
Because things might get “violent”?
Then all the more reason to challenge this vile ruling class and its degenerate, arrogant rule, its vile inequality and ever more insane and grotesque consumption growing out of control and destroying nature, while millions face heat-or-eat agony - and with far worse to come next winter, and the one after that. And on into the future as capitalism unstoppably continues its collapse into bankruptcy and “overproduction” breakdown.
A bit of nudge-nudge knowingness about it “making sense sometimes to coordinate” as RMT leader Mick Lynch has said, is just a joke.
The union leaders should be giving a lead.
The real reason is because such action raises giant new questions – those of revolution and ending the whole of the capitalist order.
The working class needs a perspective that explains just why everything is falling apart, why the promises of a “New World Order” climbing towards a golden upland of prosperity and ever more wonderful technology has turned to shit, why billions in the Third World face disaster, starvation and war, and hundreds of millions in the “advanced countries” now face the same.
It has to begin with understanding the great Catastrophe of the capitalist system and the Slump it is heading for.
The notion that it can be countered with wage deals to “defend living standards” is nonsensical – even if one or two struggles get a full settlement (unlikely) it will neither restore past conditions in any particular industry, nor bring back already hammered social and public services.
It will certainly not improve life.
And it is impossible within capitalism for all sectors to win.
Certainly they should wage the most determined fight they can and for what ever concessions can be won - but reinforced by revolutionary science to grasp the real necessity of ending capitalism as the EPSR has said for decades (No 677 01-12-92):
For every ‘reformist’ protest (strike or whatever) which temporarily prevents monopoly capitalism from immediately carrying out some specific slump-closure destruction plans of allegedly ‘surplus’ investment, there will always be one hundred more such ‘retrenchment’ offensives which pour straight through the feeble confused trade-union defences. Capitalism will go through with its crisis whatever the ‘reformists’ say, or whatever the capitalists themselves want.
Frontline pitched battles to frustrate ruling-class slump plans are in themselves, of course, brilliant and important examples of proletarian willingness to fight back against the savage injustices and torment of the crisis. And many of these spontaneous struggles will of course help to spark off further resistance and even inklings of embryonic revolutionary consciousness here and there.
But the ‘left’ swamp rhetoric which sets out in advance to say “’Ere we go, ‘Ere we go, We’re going to stop the pit closures”, etc, is pure poison for the working class. This clowning is going to do nothing of the sort.
The Marxist scientific understanding is deadly serious in stating that at this stage of the capitalist crisis, it would in fact be far easier to carry out the complete socialist revolution than to persuade the capitalist ruling class, by protest actions, to reverse all its slump-closure plans.
The smug and overpaid union leaders, wallowing in bureaucratic complacency want none of it however “militant” and popular.
Their class collaboration and the reactionary Labourism it has bred for more than a century is part of the problem, not the solution.
They deliberately keep silence and above all refuse to pull together the millions whose power could overcome the degenerate repression, decadence and arrogance of a cynical and incompetent ruling class tomorrow if mobilised and coordinated, with a clear idea of where the struggle must go and how it can get there.
The problem is anti-communism and hatred of the dictatorship of the proletariat, labelled “totalitarianism”.
So Lynch for example spews out the most disgusting anti-communism, regurgitating the bourgeoisie’s poisonous lies about “totalitarianism” and the Goebbels nonsense of its supposed “horrors and atrocities”.
But there are dictatorships and there are dictatorships, with utterly different class interests.
Stooge fascists across the world have been put in place and sustained by imperialist bribes, military aid and subventions across the world to secure imperialist exploitation interests.
But the workers states’ authority is used to suppress the old order.
Either the bourgeoisie rules with its dictatorship – always running capitalism behind the scenes, veiled by the lying manipulated fraud of “parliamentary democracy” - and now increasingly in the open, tearing up the “freedom” pretences as it heads for total collapse and the need to violently suppress the mass upheavals it is bringing.
Or the workers take over and impose their control, inevitably a forceful dictatorship too, but a dictatorship of and for the great majority, the only way to suppress the fascist degeneracy of bourgeois rule to get on with the work of building socialism, ending class for ever and with it any need for coercion in a rational future.
The task is to finish off this depraved and rotten bourgeois order for good, overturning its domination and taking finance, industry and agriculture into their own hands to allow the building of planned socialism, developing a rational human society of cooperation and universal development in concert with nature.
The giant power of the world’s masses and their increasing disquiet and hatred for imperialist oppression is more than capable and ready for such a huge leap forwards.
But it needs to be made conscious.
Of course such mass understanding needs to be fought for with a revolutionary scientific leadership constantly developed by a purpose built Leninist party.
But imperialism’s world crisis will be the greatest persuader.
The sick and deadly nature of capitalism grows ever more glaring as its Catastrophic breakdown imposes further devastating Slump “austerity” on the domestic working class and on Third World masses; as it cynically steps up its gross eco-plundering; as it fosters more and more open repression and most of all as it relentlessly continues the fascist depravities of warmongering like the Nazi-NATO’s Ukrainian war against Russia (see following article).
Only the privileged, the wealthy, the venal or the brain dead could possibly still insist that the “free market” offers mankind any future at all except horrific devastation, let alone an improving life for all, or would continue the nonsense that it is defending “freedom and democracy”.
Right now the hair-raising extremes of the Nato-backed fascist murderers in Kiev and twenty years of destruction and massacre before that by US led imperialism, obliterating half a dozen countries since the blitzkrieg on Serbia in 1999, daily confirm Leninist understanding of the need to finally end this historically bankrupt system of vicious exploitation and wasteful, pointless overproduction.
But the swamp of reformist class collaboration or pseudo- “Marxist” posturing refuses to seriously put forwards the revolutionary perspective of class war to end the vile, and destructive bourgeois domination of the world, even as worldwide discontent and revolt intensifies.
Instead they still push for reformist “left” pressure and diversionary single-issue protest campaigns which are long out of time, not only ever more useless against capitalism’s rapidly deepening and unstoppable Slump Catastrophe but mostly reactionary anyway, saturated with anti-communism.
And they side with imperialism against the ever-growing revolt, fearful of “instability” disrupting their more or less comfortable lives (however “militant” they pretend to be).
Plenty of posturing fake-”left” groups claim a revolutionary role but do the very opposite as is more and more exposed by events.
Instead ignorance of history, hostility to theory and the non-stop polemic needed to develop and test it, and petty bourgeois individualist stupidity, complacency and narrowness, - in short anti-communism - keeps the world’s workers and proletarians from understanding what chaos is coming, or grasping their own strength.
TUC bureaucratic limits on the growing strike wave in Britain, limp liberal dismay over Qatar’s slave labour World Cup (more concerned about posturing armband protests on “gay rights” than the slave conditions which built the stadiums), the feminist campaign lining up with imperialism to topple Iran’s nationalist regime (just as posturing but forced to stand against imperialism to some extent), and the cynical greenwashing pretences of the giant COP27 global warming conference (in repressive Egypt, helping prop up a country even more repressive and brutal than Qatar or Iran) all variously express the confusion.
Most treacherously of all, bar one or two honourable exceptions) they all fall in behind the twisted warmongering imperialist conspiracies, swallowing the tidal wave of astonishingly inverted lies and hypocrisy against Moscow, China, Cuba etc while still promising “better days tomorrow” with a little “left pressure” or “more trade union activism”.
Even some sections of the bourgeois press better call out the obvious cynical fraud of the Ukraine war and its diversionary use to cover up the unstoppable implosion of the capitalist system itself:
Britain is getting poorer. Independent forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility published last week predicted a 7% drop in living standards over the next two years – an average of £1,700 per household, wiping out eight years of growth. Real wages will not return to the levels at which they were before the 2008 financial crisis until 2027.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, described this as a “recession made in Russia” in his autumn statement last Thursday. Of course Britain is affected by the same recessionary drivers as the rest of the world: the Covid pandemic, followed by the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global energy and food prices. But it is dishonest to pretend that Britain’s grim growth outlook is purely a product of global shocks. Other countries have proved more resilient, even as Britain’s economy is showing its fragility. The reason for that is 12 years of Conservative economic policy and political instability: what the Institute for Fiscal Studies has described as a series of “economic own goals”.
Those began with George Osborne in 2010. As shadow chancellor, he had promised to rebalance the economy away from consumption driven by an inflated housing market towards investment and export-led growth, and away from growth driven by the financial sector in London and the south-east towards more evenly distributed regional economies. He used the financial crisis as an excuse to impose deep and unnecessary cuts to the public sector, underfunding the NHS, schools, adult education and public infrastructure, while eroding the welfare safety net for low-paid parents and people with disabilities.
These cuts have made Britain a much harsher place to live, where pain-relieving operations routinely get cancelled during the winter and working parents are forced to rely on food banks to feed their children. But they have also harmed Britain’s long-term growth potential: more people out of the labour market because of long-term ill health, more people without the skills and qualifications they need to succeed economically and more businesses impeded by poor infrastructure outside the south-east.
Then came a Brexit driven not primarily by a democratic mandate – people did not vote for a Brexit that constituted a drastic cut in economic ties with our biggest trading partner – but by the takeover of the Conservative party by its Eurosceptic ideologues. They knew they could not win a mandate for Brexit by being honest about its costs so took advantage of a country suffering some of the biggest regional inequalities in Europe, worsened by Osborne’s spending cuts, to offer a populist solution: a fantasy Brexit that would lead to prosperity through cutting migration and freeing more public spending for the NHS. In short, a series of lies.
The Brexit delivered by Boris Johnson has corroded the country in two ways. It has depressed Britain’s growth potential for the medium term at a time when the country could scarcely afford it. Far from the rebalancing Osborne promised, it has impeded export-led growth. People will be poorer for decades to come as a result. It is a big part of the reason why the UK’s economy remains smaller than at the start of the pandemic, while the German, French, Italian, Canadian and American economies have all grown. All those who warned Britain could not afford to leave the single market and customs union have, sadly, been proved right. The areas of the country that can least afford it will be hardest hit by the Brexit penalty.
[...]This is the reality of the situation Britain finds itself in. It is not a “recession made in Russia”, but a global shock to which Britain is uniquely vulnerable as a result of 12 years of Conservative government. It is why Hunt has had to raise taxes across the board: because decisions taken by Tory prime ministers and chancellors have cost the economy big, so Britons are being forced to swallow not just the impact of record levels of inflation on their real pay, but higher tax bills.
It is true that Hunt loosened his self-imposed fiscal rules enough to allow him to reduce the scale of the immediate pain, so that working-age benefits will increase in line with inflation and the worst of spending cuts are pushed beyond the next election. [...]But the pain felt by many will still be profound and it has been sharpened by Tory economic incompetence. People who had no give in their budgets a decade ago will be significantly poorer by the next general election as a result of years of cuts in support for working parents and people with disabilities. The NHS will continue to be underfunded and understaffed and so deliver substandard levels of care as a direct result of a lack of resources.
But while correctly ridiculing the Ukraine war Tory “excuse” for Slump savagery which began long before the war in Ukraine this too is a “series of lies” - just different ones.
For a start it does not expose imperialism’s responsibility for starting the war (by outright CIA backed Nazi coup in 2014) and its non-stop butchery since, as a deliberate cover-up and blame target for the crisis collapse solely caused by capitalism alone.
Instead it pretends that austerity was unnecessary, that just “incompetence and dishonesty” over 12 years has caused the problems.
But the entire capitalist system has been plunging back towards disastrous collapse for decades, its unprecedented “boomtime” kept going solely by inflationary money printing and insane electronic credit creation to keep the plates spinning.
Financial and economic firepower to ruthlessly squeeze the tyrannically oppressed Third World and increasingly their own domestic working classes, especially by the bankrupt supergiant of American imperialism, has been supplemented with non-stop CIA subversion and outright military violence and blitzkreig – including unparalleled genocidal wars and coups like Korea, Vietnam, to make sure the rest of the world suffers the consequences.
Sudden contempt for the Tories (after years of complete or partial silence) by the reactionary bourgeois press), is nothing but sly trickery to desperately bolster up the Labour Party, – which has only ever been the B-team for capitalism and imperialism, – because direct Tory rule is now held in utter contempt.
So the Observer in this case suggests a switch to Labourism and its pretences that “directing investment differently” would solve problems by “restoring growth”.
What a joke!!!
It was Labourism which was in power when the capitalist order finally hit the iceberg, in the great global bank meltdown of 2009 – the culminating point of endless crises shaking the profit system for decades, growing ever larger.
Nothing is going to restore growth, least of all in Britain, the weakest link in the imperialist chain, and even if it could, there would be nothing in it for the working class except more of the alienation, relentless hire-and-fire exploitation, lack of opportunity, racism, poverty and wretchedness which makes up the capitalist rat race.
A society raddled with drugs, emptiness, crime and antagonisms at all levels, which leaves the great majority deprived and hopeless, is the offering, one philosophically bankrupt and at best providing shallow consumerism, and fatuous pop, celeb, social media and games “culture” to keep minds preoccupied and diverted, and increasingly imposing inhuman poverty and despair, while fostering every kind of division, racism, hatred, scapegoating and eventual war savagery.
There is no going back to the supposed “golden days” of the post-war reformist period when the working class was thrown a few concessions like a national health service to head off the near universal contempt for the monopoly capitalist system which had brought worldwide WW2 horror and devastation – and that only 20 years on from the “never again” and “homes for heroes” promises which followed the blood and mud carnage of the First World War.
Universal revolutionary sentiment and hatred for the Depression and War ruling order – with stunning communist victories over imperialist-created Hitlerism by the titanic Soviet Union at the centre – forced reform improvements from the bourgeoisie, in the only way reforms have ever been won, under incipient revolutionary pressure.
Even then it was all a bamboozling fraud sold to the working class by a cynical Labourism and “official” TUC bureaucracy which has only ever treacherously and cynically kept the system going whenever the bourgeois class itself (the Tories) has run into complete disaster, paralysis and splits, unable to even pretend its system is “working”.
The last general strike in 1926 was treacherously sold out by the TUC then and the great miners strike of 1984 likewise; though also partly because its own faith in the system, with Arthur Scargill’s excellent militant leadership undermined by his misplaced faith in Labourism pushed by “left pressure” and the possibility of a reformist Plan for Coal rebuilding of the British capitalist economy .
But Britain was already doomed as one of the weakest links in the imperialist chain and suffering badly against rival capitalisms in growing trade wars; it was the reason the stridently narrow-minded anti-union petty bourgeois Margaret Thatcher has been put in place at all.
There is no chance at all for a future Labour government to do otherwise now than the Tories, whatever pretence is made about redirecting investment. Such Keynesian tinkering was dead even back in 1992:
[...]the cynical Keynesian revivalism being pushed vigorously by ex-Trot Guardianites of all descriptions in their Philistine attempts to reinvent the New Deal ‘reformist’ delusions of the 1930s which so evilly helped to crush the anti-imperialist movement then, preparing it for the slaughter of World War II’s inter-imperialist bloodbath.
The utter philistinism of Keynesianism is now more glaring than ever, – today still tinkering with this or that micro-economic adjustment while totally and deliberately ignoring or failing to see the very broadest picture of how completely intolerable the very system of capitalism itself now is, – cynically manipulating human existences hither and thither under the phony ‘anonymity’ and ‘impartiality’ of shifting interest-rates up or down, or ensuring money-earnings rise less than prices, or whatever, etc, - all in the service of some insane, distant, abstract gobbledygook as described by the lady letter writer, - which has never ever been shown to work consistently anywhere, and is almost certainly nothing but total econometric self-deception.[...]
It is simply not true that ‘Keynesian’ New Deal policies helped the world out of the Great Depression of the 1930s or could have even prevented Hitler’s rise if they had been applied more vigorously.
Firstly, inflationary government spending is as old as the hills and did not have to be ‘invented’ by Keynes or any other stooge of the capitalist system. Secondly, the ‘free’ world did not get out of the Great Depression as such, - only managing to stumble out of the frying pan of slump and trade war into the fire of all-out inter-imperialist shooting war. Thirdly, it was precisely so-called ‘Keynesian’ policies which won Hitler his support in Germany, – building the autobahns with public funds, and starting the state-owned Volkswagen car enterprise, etc.
But no apologetics for bourgeois ideology could ever afford to respect historical-materialist objectivity.
By treating the crisis of capitalism as a philosophical question, Marxism helps human understanding concentrate on the issue of who holds state power as crucial to all political and economic analysis and perspectives.
The ‘task’ of history is to transfer social and state power totally from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. From that historic transformation, and from that alone, - all else will follow in due course (No 675 17-11-92)
The ambulancemen are the latest to join the wave of militancy. Like all the rest they need a revolutionary perspective.
That means building a revolutionary party to study and develop Leninist science to lead the working class, exposing the false and fake-“leftism” holding it back.
Despite strategic retreats, Russian progress against the NATO-backed Kiev Nazi war in Ukraine continues. Hesitation and splits grow in Western “alliance", as sanctions backfire and winter arrives. Imperialist failure to stampede G20 nations behind its bullying adds to problems as world anti-Western sentiment deepens and economic alliances shift. Imperialist pysops bluster over Russian ‘failures’ and mega-lies on warcrimes ever sicker. Trot & revisionist fake-”left” exposed supporting Western fascist diversion but museum-Stalinist support for Putin’s “Great Russian” nationalism a major obstacle too for world revolutionary understanding. Lalkar/Proletarian eulogies for Putin’s gibberish reflect stupidity over disastrous and disarming “multi-lateralism” & lack of Leninist revolutionary grasp
Last issue the EPSR quoted parts of long speech given by Vladimir Putin after Moscow’s formal “annexation” of the mostly Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine, the whole of which had been cited in the Lalkar journal which the CPGB-ML alternates with its Proletarian paper.
The point was to show the shallowness of both the reactionary Greater Russian nationalism expressed by Putin himself in his presentation, and the Brarites’ almost uncritical reproduction of it (other than a routine dishonest jab at Kruschev), without pointing to its real flaws (see EPSR last issue).
Putin’s backward nonsense, the distorted legacy of decades of revisionist brainrot, traceable back to Stalin’s pre-WW2 shying away from revolutionary perspectives, is currently the biggest flaw in Moscow’s increasingly successful fight against the Nazi-NATO onslaught in Ukraine.
It is a potential weakness not only in Ukraine but for the entire worldwide struggle against the ever more unequal and tyrannical monopoly capitalist system, historically degenerate and now well down the road into Third World War to escape its Catastrophic crisis collapse.
Making these points is not to try undermining the war against NATO reaction or to dismiss the already heroic Russian sacrifices against the Western funded and sustained Nazism in Kiev, nor any questioning of correct anti-imperialist sentiment.
Just the opposite; the point is strengthen it by clarifying understanding with the only philosophy that can pull mankind from the horrific Slump-austerity and destruction now being imposed by collapsing monopoly capitalism, namely constantly developing Marxist-Leninism.
The Bonapartist Putin’s continued upholding of the restorationist oligarch capitalism which plundered (and continues plundering) the former Soviet communist state after the 1991 Gorbachev liquidation, not only undermines the dogged and correct resistance of the largely Russian speaking Ukrainian “separatist” anti-fascist masses in the Donbass, and the resolve of the ordinary Russians sacrificing their lives to defend them, but misleads the entire world.
Its philosophical limitation of the struggle to Ukraine itself, and mistaken notions of “denazification” or even “demilitarisation” (both impossible while leaving capitalism intact) leave the world’s masses in confusion just at the point when imperialism is being driven back and suffering massive defeat, opening up new possibilities for building revolutionary grasp everywhere.
And as explained below, that is also reflected in the Lalkar/Proletarian’s reproduction of the speech and now a subsequent analysis full of gush about Putin, which almost declares him a “Leninist”.
Has “Putin perhaps been reading Lenin in his spare time” its piece coyly speculates.
Not a word, at least not approvingly or with any understanding, it can confidently be replied with somewhat less fluttering of the fan in front of the face.
Worse, it fosters even more of the disastrous revisionist nonsense which led to the liquidation (rather than overturn) of the USSR under Gorbachev.
To their credit, unlike the great majority of the reformist TUC/Labourites, and the Trotskyist or revisionist fake-“left” groups, the Lalkar/Proletarian has not bent before the hurricane wind of carefully calculated lies, exaggerations, distortions, outright fabrications and fit-ups about alleged “warcrimes” and “genocidal intent by Russia” which have poured out of the Western imperialist intelligence agencies, and psyops divisions from the beginning of the war, and all the way back to the Maidan fascist coup which set it going in the first place in 2014 with vicious repression imposed on the Russian minority, banning their language in schools and media, shutting newspaper and harassing them with murderous violence and deliberate civilian butchery by the Kievites, costing 14,000 lives before the “Russian invasion” to protect them.
Nor have they swallowed the West’s defeatist sneering and racist contempt (referring to “stupid orcs” etc) for the Russian offensive, constantly declaring its military and logistical operations to be on the point of collapse because of “incompetence, corruption, uselessness and demoralisation” (all these insults now backfiring badly, as these “predictions” and “assessments” by NATO advisers, four-star generals, military “thinktanks”, bourgeois “experts” (Chatham House, Royal United Services Institute, the Pentagon etc), stooge Western journalists and fake "lefts" are repeatedly proven not only wrong and discredited but outright propaganda lies in the first place).
The Brarites have also delivered some useful, if academic, scholarship about the long history of fascist subversion, collaboration and outright Hitler-Nazi worship which has poisoned some parts of the Ukrainian population for decades, especially in the western, formerly Catholic areas, back to pre-WW2 days.
But all that is undone by this uncritical support for Putin’s Bonarpartist balancing act in Moscow, and its Russian exceptionalism (see last issue).
Only the world wide class war to overthrow imperialism, and especially its dominant empire power in Washington, can change things and only such a perspective can really inspire and motivate the masses (Russian and otherwise).
For the Ukraine war Lenin’s dialectical understanding, of defeat for imperialism, is what needs to be applied – defeat from whatever source however confused, while not compromising with any ideological backwardness.
That is to say the focus must be firmly on the real enemy and cause of world war without any deviation – standing alongside any struggle which is taking up the anti-imperialist fight however crudely and to whatever degree but only for as long as it does so, is not superseded by better, Marxist, understanding, and always keeping politically separate from confusing or even reactionary ideology (such as Islamism for example).
Strike together but march separately has always been the summing up.
Not just for Russia but for all the billions in the world, the only possible future lies in ending the capitalist system, and that cannot be achieved by pandering to the gangster thugs and shysters who stole the huge resources and wealth from the USSR workers state after its liquidation in 1989-91 and continue to plunder and exploit its workers ever since the (re)introduction of the “free market”.
Putin’s bonapartist balancing act with these billionaire plunderers and operators might have made some concessions to the legacy of, and nostalgia for, Soviet times which remains strong in the population, with expectations about the conditions of past communist life still alive (as the speech reflects) but comes nowhere near reestablishing the soviet societal relations which prevailed for all but the last couple of the 73 years the USSR existed.
In fact this bonapartism has served to suspend any return to communism, providing just enough in the way of benefits to head off, or perhaps freeze, the revolutionary sentiment that was reviving during the 1990s in response to the appalling collapse in living standards and life conditions, and the collapse into mafia-gangsterism, which was the immediate result of Gorbachev’s “return to the free market” and liquidation of proletarian dictatorship.
Which means, as the EPSR has argued since the beginning of the year there can be no question of support for Putinism unless or until Moscow moves to reestablish Bolshevik relations and there is no indication of that in Putin’s overtly stated hostility to Leninism.
Unless it does change there must be a fight to topple Putin’s regime as part of the battle to reinstate vital Leninist revolutionary understanding.
That has to wait however while the far greater threat, crisis-wracked imperialism is fought.
But even if a direct struggle is suspended, the exposure of its philistinism and shallowness needs to continue constantly, just as in the Bolsheviks' unrelentingly continued exposure of the underlying treachery of the “left liberal” Alexander Kerensky even while standing alongside his bourgeois democratic government to fend off the Tsarist/fascist coup attempt by General Kornilov’s march on Petrograd in August 1917.
That is not what the Brarites are doing as their latest Lalkar paper makes clear, not only leaving Putin’s deranged and almost mystical ideology (and associated Russian Orthodox religiosity), uncriticised but implying that its gibberish is unalloyed theoretical wisdom.
Its enthusiasm is beyond unctuous:
The speech Vladimir Putin made on 30 September 2022 to set the seal on the accession of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Zaporozhye Region and the Kherson Region to the Russian Federation went far beyond ceremonial backslapping. It was a thorough history lesson, a penetrating analysis of the past, a sober estimate of war and the threat of war in this transitional period, and an optimistic mapping out of the future multipolar world whose outlines are daily becoming clearer.
He dealt swiftly with critics who dispute the validity of the accessions, asserting “It is undoubtedly their right, an inherent right sealed in Article 1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”
He turned the spotlight onto the eight years of war which preceded and necessitated the Special Military Operation, eight years which are consistently airbrushed out in the imperialist media, saying “We will always remember the heroes of the Russian Spring, those who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup d’état 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 Katyn,’ the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime… 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.”
Here is Putin taking a panoramic view of how imperialism (‘the West’) made its rake’s progress through the last century, concluding with the current drive to war against Russia and China:
“And here it is important to recall that the West bailed itself out of its early 20th century challenges with World War I. Profits from World War II helped the United States finally overcome the Great Depression and become the largest economy in the world, and to impose on the planet the power of the dollar as a global reserve currency. 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, or, God forbid, decide to use the old formula of economic growth through war.”
Putin knocks the nail on the head in his account of how imperialism (“the West”) is endlessly parasitic, forever driven by the pursuit of maximum profit and domination:
“The West is ready to cross every line to preserve the neo-colonial 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.
“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.
“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.
“They are exporting grain from Ukraine now. Where are they taking it under the guise of ensuring the food security of the poorest countries? Where is it going? They are taking it to the self-same European countries. Only five percent has been delivered to the poorest countries. More cheating and naked deception again.
“In effect, the American elite is using the tragedy of these people to weaken its rivals, to destroy nation states. This goes for Europe and for the identities of France, Italy, Spain and other countries with centuries-long histories.
“Washington demands more and more sanctions against Russia and the majority of European politicians obediently go along with it. They clearly understand that by pressuring the EU to completely give up Russian energy and other resources, the United States is practically pushing Europe toward deindustrialisation in a bid to get its hands on the entire European market. These European elites understand everything – they do, but they prefer to serve the interests of others. This is no longer servility but direct betrayal of their own peoples. God bless, it is up to them.
“But the Anglo-Saxons believe sanctions are no longer enough and now they have turned to subversion. It seems incredible but it is a fact – by causing explosions on Nord Stream’s international gas pipelines passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they have actually embarked on the destruction of Europe’s entire energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who stands to gain. Those who benefit are responsible, of course.”
Has Putin been studying Lenin in his spare time?
Not anything published in 50 volumes of his Collected Works.
In fact Putin has made clear his disdain for Lenin’s profound understanding many times, declaring that “we don’t need to go back to the Soviet period”.
His clumsy Greater Russian nationalism tramples all over Lenin’s subtle and dialectical grasp of the national question, for example, declaring it mistaken in its recognition of Russia as divided into many separate nations, each open to freely choose whether to join with and merge with the Soviet Union.
He correctly upholds the “right of nations to self-determination” as cited in the United Nations charter, and berates the gross hypocrisy of the West’s “international humanitarian principles” supposedly held by the UN (a giant fraud like all the rest of the bourgeois world’s bogus “democracy and the rule of law” pretences).
But Putin’s correct demand that it be applied for the Russian speakers in eastern and southern Ukraine is trampled over when it comes to Russia itself which allows for no such “self-rule” in the oligarch-billionaire controlled exploitation of its huge spaces and their mineral resources, as well as other industries, siphoning off this huge output for a life of inconceivable luxury, depravity and indolence, where giant yachts, major football clubs and entire islands or mountain ski-resorts become playthings and party-grounds.
In the USSR period, national grievances were either minimal or overridden by the common interest and the struggle against imperialism.
Yet since 1990 Russia has twice carried out the most bloody war repression against Chechnya’s separatists, as well as the crude and brutal massacre of their nationalist “terrorists” gassed in a Moscow theatre and later in the crude massacre storming suppression of the Beslan school hostage incident (see over a score of EPSRs including No 870, No 1159 and No 1247 07-09-04).
As explained, the Chechen nationalists, however far themselves from Leninism, had and still have a valid independence cause against Moscow domination, and will do for as long as it continues its capitalist path.
The current “stability” was achieved only by brute force and the use of the thuggish Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov, son of turncoat Ahkmad, imposing a violent and repressive Moscow rule and leaving such a scar of nationalist confusion that some Chechens have turned up on the Kiev Ukrainian side and elsewhere joined ranks with ISIS jihadists. There is no merit in siding with imperialist fascist forces, but such are the hatreds and antagonisms stirred around by crude chauvinism that all kinds of antagonisms and confusion are caused.
That is one aspect of Lenin’s reasoning on this question, that national issues requires a high degree of sensitivity – granting the right of nations to self-determination in the Soviet Union was insisted upon as the best and most lasting means of winning the working class from smaller and formerly oppressed nations:
The discussion on self-determination summed up (July 1916)
Socialism, say the Polish comrades (I, 3), “will be able to give the underdeveloped peoples of the colonies unselfish cultural aid without ruling over them”. This is perfectly true. But what grounds are there for supposing that a great nation, a great state that goes over to socialism, will not be able to attract a small, oppressed European nation by means of “unselfish cultural aid”? It is the freedom to secede “granted” to the colonies by the Polish Social-Democrats that will attract the small, but cultured and politically exacting oppressed nations of Europe to union with great socialist states, because under socialism a great state will mean so many hours less work a day and so much more pay a day The masses of working people, as they liberate themselves from the bourgeois yoke, will gravitate irresistibly towards union and integration with the great, advanced socialist nations for the sake of that “cultural aid”, provided yesterday’s oppressors do not infringe on the long-oppressed nations’ highly developed democratic feeling of self-respect, and provided they are granted equality in everything, including state construction, that is, experience in organising “their own” state. Under capitalism this “experience” means war, isolation, seclusion, and the narrow egoism of the small privileged nations (Holland, Switzerland). Under socialism the working people themselves will nowhere consent to seclusion merely for the above-mentioned purely economic motives, while the variety of political forms, freedom to secede, and experience in state organisation — there will be all this until the state in all its forms withers away—will be the basis of a prosperous cultured life and an earnest that the nations will draw closer together and integrate at an ever faster pace.
From Ninth All-Russia Congress of Soviets Pravda No 292 December 25, 1921
And the first precept of our policy, the first lesson that emerges from our governmental activities for the past year, the lesson which must be learned by all workers and peasants, is to be on the alert, to remember that we are surrounded by people, classes, governments who openly express the utmost hatred for us. We must remember that we are always a hair’s breadth away from invasion. We shall do all in our power to prevent this misfortune. It is doubtful that any nation has experienced such a burden of the imperialist war as we have. Then we bore the burden of the Civil War forced on us by the ruling classes, who fought for the Russia of the émigrés, the Russia of the landowners, the Russia of the capitalists. We know, we know only too well, the incredible misfortunes that war brings to the workers and peasants. For that reason our attitude to this question must be most cautious and circumspect. We are ready to make the greatest concessions and sacrifices in order to preserve the peace for which we have paid such a high price. We are ready to make huge concessions and sacrifices, but not any kind and not for ever. Let those, fortunately not numerous, representatives of the war parties and aggressive cliques of Finland, Poland and Rumania who make great play of this—let them mark it well. (Applause.)
Anyone who has any political sense or acumen will say that there has not been—nor can there be—a government in Russia other than the Soviet Government prepared to make such concessions and sacrifices in relation to nationalities (emphasis added) within our state, and also to those which had joined the Russian Empire. There is not, and cannot be, another government which would recognise as clearly as we do and declare so distinctly to one and all that the attitude of old Russia (tsarist Russia, Russia of the war parties) to the nationalities populating Russia was criminal, that this attitude was impermissible, that it aroused the rightful and indignant protest and discontent of the oppressed nationalities. There is not, and cannot be, another government which would so openly admit this, which would conduct this anti-chauvinist propaganda, a propaganda that recognises the guilt of old Russia, (ea) tsarist Russia, Kerensky Russia—a government which would conduct propaganda against the forcible incorporation of other nationalities into Russia. This is not mere words—this is an obvious political fact, absolutely indisputable and plain for all to see.
It might be argued that this self-determination principle should also apply to the modern Ukrainian nation, giving grounds for “standing with the people of Ukraine”. But Lenin was very clear that this principle is relative, subsumed by the much greater question of defending the workers state or the advance of socialist or anti-imperialist interests in general:
As long as no nationalities engage in intrigues against us which bind them to the imperialist oppression, as long as they do not help to crush us, we shall not be deterred by formalities. We shall not forget that we are revolutionaries. (Applause.) But there are facts incontrovertibly and indisputably showing that in Russia, that has defeated the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, the smallest, completely unarmed nationality, however weak it may be, may and must absolutely rest assured that we have nothing but peaceful intentions towards it, that our propaganda about the criminality of the old policy of the old governments is not weakening, and that we are as firm as ever in our desire at all costs, and at the price of enormous sacrifices and concessions, to maintain peace with all nationalities that belonged to the former Russian Empire, but who did not wish to remain with us. We have proved this. And we shall prove this no matter how great the curses rained on us from all sides. It seems to us that we have given excellent proof of it, and we declare to the meeting of representatives of the workers and peasants of Russia, to the many millions of workers and peasants, that we shall do our utmost to preserve peace in the future, that we shall not shrink from great sacrifices and concessions in order to safeguard this peace.
There are, however, limits beyond which one cannot go. We shall not permit peace treaties to be flouted. We shall not permit attempts to interfere with our peaceful work. On no account shall we permit this, and we shall rise to a man to defend our existence. (Applause.)
Even though Putin’s Russia is a restorationist capitalist state, the huge imbalance between Moscow and NATO means the essence of the question is the same in the Ukraine war situation.
It is still clear that the “national demands” by Kiev are both for crudely fascist repression of the other minorities within Ukraine, and also serve as a tool of imperialist subversion and counter-revolution.
Initially this took the form of tying Ukraine to the European Union, opportunistically selling the country to the big multinationals and monopoly corporations (which have already bought up vast tracts of Ukrainian land and industry and established the uncontrolled dominance of big monopoly finance), a policy which the former president Viktor Yanukovitch backed away from just before the Maidan coup, in favour of a Russian alliance. Even though no more than a corrupt oligarch himself this enraged the reactionary petty bourgeois sections of the population and their delusions about taking jobs in Western corporations and the supposed “better life” they could get by joining the imperialist club at the expense of the ruthlessly exploited Third World.
It was the same with Yugoslavia and the Kosovo breakaway where the Albanian KLA gangster elements making up much of the population, willingly turned themselves into a tool for imperialism’s war against the Serbian remnants of the former workers state in the hope of winning the province for themselves and their mafia drug-running and white slavery – ejecting the local population in the process (see EPSR 999 19-05-99) as they have succeeded in doing (and are once again doing by provoking new conflict with Belgrade, which is siding with Russia over Ukraine):
A row over car number plates in Kosovo is threatening to erupt into open unrest and one of the most serious regional crises in years as tensions between Serbia and its breakaway former province continue to mount.
The EU, US and Nato have expressed alarm after more than eight hours of emergency talks in Brussels on Monday failed to resolve the dispute over Kosovo’s plans to fine ethnic Serb residents who refuse to surrender their Belgrade-issued plates.
Hours before a 7am deadline when police were to start issuing the €150 (£130) fines, the Kosovan prime minister, Albin Kurti, agreed early on Tuesday to hold off for another 48 hours, saying he was “happy to work with the US and EU” to find a solution.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said both sides had shown a “complete lack of respect for their international obligations” and would bear “full responsibility for any escalation of violence that might occur on the ground in the following days”.
The US state department spokesperson, Ned Price, expressed Washington’s concern, calling on both sides to make “concessions to ensure that we do not jeopardise decades of hard-won peace in an already fragile region”.
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato – which has 3,700 peacekeeping troops still deployed in Kosovo – said he was “disappointed it was not possible to solve the licence plate dispute” and urged “pragmatic solutions” to avoid any escalation.
Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina have flared in recent weeks as the number plate issue has become the focus of a long-running sovereignty dispute that dates back to Kosovo’s formal declaration of independence in 2008.
While about 100 countries have recognised Kosovo, whose 1.8 million inhabitants are majority Albanian, and it has been granted membership of several international institutions, Serbia and its key allies, Russia and China, refuse to do so.
Serbia’s constitution defines Kosovo as part of its national territory and many of the estimated 50,000 Serbs in the north of the former province remain fiercely loyal to Belgrade, which provides them with significant financial and political support.
Locals in a dozen or so Serb enclaves reject Pristina’s authority, fly the Serbian flag, use its currency – and an estimated 10,000 are steadfastly refusing to swap pre-independence Serbian number plates for new Kosovo Republic plates.
Pristina began implementing its multi-step exchange plan – involving warnings, fines and finally road bans – on 1 November, sparking heated resistance and the mass resignation of Serb police officers, judges, prosecutors and other officials in Kosovo.
Putin’s anti-imperialist economic theorising is just as far from Marxist-Leninism as his nationalist views.
World War One did not “bail out” the West from its challenges as Lenin explained in all his later works – it had only suspended the conflict because of exhaustion and fear of the revolutionary upheaval it had triggered.
But the underlying contradictions were still there and ever intensifying, and most importantly, relentlessly driving the system back towards renewed world war, which he predicted would be at least twice as savage and destructive as the Great War and include a major element of war between the US and Japan. All Lenin got wrong was to underestimate the depravity and destruction of WW2 (see multiple quotes in the EPSR Book Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics against Museum Stalinism).
Nor did US imperialism overcome the Great Depression in the 1930s by the profits it made from World War Two, though undoubtedly the sick and depraved arms manufacturing profiteering played a role in boosting slump hit US production.
It was the destruction of the war, mostly imposed on the loser powers like Germany and much of Europe, and even more on Japan, (as well as on Soviet Russia which suffered hugely despite its eventual victory over Hitlerism), which was the critical issue, the wiping out of the “surplus” value produced by ever accumulating capitalist production (see economics box p6 and Marx’s Capital etc) and the overproduction crisis (a non-stop string of smaller crises eventually reaching Catastrophe) which allowed space for capital investment to get underway again at full steam (with the top dog victor the US, free of major competition).
But even that was quickly fraught with problems and growing conflict, already clear in growing anti-imperialist revolts and by the end of the 1960s explosive social eruptions like the Vietnam war and other revolts, and then in Nixon’s forced 1971 retreat over the new “world currency” dollar, having to detach it from the gold standard which was supposed to underpin a new era of international trade harmony and growth.
And far from emerging unscathed from the 1980s because of plundering the Soviet Union (though again that might be a minor part of the picture), this was when the symptoms of world wide crisis really began to gather speed with non-stop Stock Exchange turmoil, countrywide bankruptcies like Mexico and Argentina, the currency collapses in South East Asia, the dot.com crash and of course the global bank and credit collapses of 2008-9 (still working through the system with austerity and now massive inflation from all the money printing QE which “bailed it out” (on top of decades of money printing before that)).
Worst of all in this shallow garbage from the ignoramus Putin is the comment that if they cannot further plunder Russia they “will try to trigger a collapse of the whole system.”
No, no, and thrice no.
It is the collapse of the whole contradiction ridden system – unstoppable, unavoidable and intractable – which is driving the world to war because that is the bourgeoisie’s only possible hope of clearing the decks, by massive destruction.
Capitalism does not choose a collapse as an “option”. It is a system of collapse and slump by its very nature – and only a giant leap to a new way of doing things, planned socialism, can stop it.
He gets cause and effect inside out – and not least the liquidation of the USSR itself which was the result of the Reagan/Thatcher retreat (to a small extent) from Cold War Rambo aggression because of the growing problem of trade war competition from re-built German and Japan (and other smaller new capitalists).
Gorbachevism made the idiot assumption, that the minor pulling in the horns of US belligerence as it re-directed intelligence and other resources onto trade rivals, signalled an end to the imperialist war threat, and would allow a new cooperation with the free market in “our common European home” - going all out then to barmily unravel the crucial dictatorship of the proletariat to do it (see EPSR Book Vol 13 Gorbachevism).
It was the ultimate expression of the “permanent peaceful coexistence” strategy which Stalin had relied on, and its extension by many CPs around the world into disastrous and coup-vulnerable “peaceful road” policies.
It is all derived from the mistaken analysis of imperialism as no longer able to grow after the Second World War because exhausted and “hemmed in” by the newly expanded socialist camp which would increasingly outcompete imperialism, as Stalin said in his 1952 book Economic Problems.
All the socialist camp had to do was battle against the unstable aggressive tendencies of capitalism, to contain outbursts that would lead to wars (he implies between various powers – not world war) and the superiority of socialist production would look after the rest, steadily constraining imperialism until it, assumedly, simply shrivelled up and the world followed the socialist path.
It was the crassest idiot nonsense and more obviously became so since as the Soviet Camp more or less gave up and as imperialist warmongering has destroyed country after country, completely disarming the working class’s grasp on the inevitability of not just piecemeal wars (as Stalin correctly said imperialism could not avoid) but of total world war (which Stalin did not say but Lenin did), dragging the entire planet down into horrific conflict.
The shape of the world war is still emerging, though the development of provocations and invasions across the Middle East, so far blitz-destroying at least half a dozen countries directly or by proxies like Saudi Arabia and the UAE at a cost of millions of lives, and the non-stop sanctions strangulation, boycotts, intimidation, Goebbels megalie campaigns (Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Myanmar, Haïti, Syria and China at present to mention just a few) underway, as well as or combined with, subversion, trying to provoke “colour revolutions” and anti-communist civil upheavals, (Hong Kong “democracy”, Iran feminism, warlordism in Libya etc) gives some shape to the EPSR’s twenty year old analysis of the American Empire lashing out in all directions.
And it goes hand in hand with stoogery which supplements the war drive like, above all, barbaric Zionism, now openly making its fascist-apartheid nature even clearer with the election of the ultra-right Jewish Power party and leader Ben Gvir’s appointment to the crucial Security Ministry.
The Zionist “kill them all” racist answer to the “problem” of the now 8 million indigenous and diaspora Palestinian population from whom the Jews stole the entire country of Palestine by never-ending terror, massacres and intimidation from 1947 onwards, goes hand in hand with its further warmongering abroad.
The artificial state of “Israel” implanted by outright landthieving colonialism under UN diktat (see EPSR Vol 20 Palestine and Zionism), pays its dues to the Empire it is intertwined with, by violently suppressing the region, bombing and threatening Iran, Lebanon, Syria and the rest, and especially helping keep the lid on a seething anti-West hate-filled Arab street, (not least in the biggest country of all, Egypt, where smouldering rebellion in a 105 million population can only be suppressed with the crudest of fascist brutality under the General Sisi regime, installed and propped up in 2013 by Zionist/CIA coup).
The often confused and complex picture of the long drawn out and fragmented descent to World War is complicated by setbacks imposed on the Empire by the ever surging world revolt its tyranny increasingly causes (finding multiple forms in jihadism, national insurgencies, and sudden street revolts, like the Arab Spring itself, and lately in Colombia, and Sri Lanka, Brazil and most damagingly in Afghanistan, in the dogged Houthi struggle in Yemen and in the nationalist anti-imperialism of Abiy in Ethiopia - all labelled “terrorism”).
But while these multiple fragments make the concrete analysis extremely difficult, not least because of the capitulations, and opportunist treacheries of all the “lefts”, Labourites, Trots, or revisionists (and their petty bourgeois “condemnations of terrorism” or of any upheavals that do not fit the polite petty bourgeois idealist notions of the “proper way to do things”) the overall picture steadily emerging is of the decline of imperialism into total war.
This is what none of the “lefts” say or see, most of all because none of them really grasp or want to grasp the paralysing and overwhelming nature of the crisis of capitalism, however much lip-service they pay to Marxism or however many academic articles they produce about Capital and Lenin’s further understanding in Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism – let alone develop the understanding to keep up with the relentless ever deeper monopolisation process and the extension of credit mechanisms to insane proportions, blowing the bubble of coming collapse ever larger.
The revisionist perspective - across the board - still does not grasp or want to grasp the complete breakdown underway, seeing the struggle as just steady progress for the anti-imperialist forces, and rejecting the turmoil and chaos which is inevitable.
So virtually all the turmoil and upheaval in the world is decried as “terrorism”, to be condemned, or declared to be nothing but “organised by the CIA”, writing off virtually all revolts and standing effectively with imperialism’s war on terror.
The contradictions are rampant - what then is to be said about the Palestinians and their desperate “terrorist” struggle against genocidal Zionism, particularly when “headbanging Islamism” is denounced elsewhere but happens to be the form in which militancy holds the leadership for the moment through Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
Or what to say about the murderous and torturing barbarism of the General Sisi government in Egypt, which overthrew the revolution established Arab Spring “democracy” and its Muslim Brotherhood president??
How does Lalkar explain the welcome it gave to the coup because of the undialectical failure to understand or see the revolutionary content in the street revolts, whatever the complications of backward religiosity?
It does not of course, sweeping all such contradictions and difficulties under the carpet, as it always does.
No wonder the revisionists find it so easy to laud Putin’s backwardness and his ponderous wooden “keeping order” suppressing all such upheaval as “extremism” or “terrorism” apeing the West’s policing “war on terror” by bombing the ISIS in Syria to protect the bourgeois nationalist Assad, or helping suppress the workers uprising in Kazakhstan on behalf of its kleptocrat oligarch government.
The long retreat by Stalin from Leninist grasp of revolution into “step-by-step” advances through an overall policy of permanent peaceful coexistence “balance” with imperialism, using “peace struggle” to hold back warmongering (impossible) while essentially “democratic” methods advanced the socialist cause finds its finds its modern expression in the notions of a “multi-polar world” which the Lalkar commentary elevates at the beginning of its Putin glorification.
It is utter garbage, and deadly garbage at that, pretending that the world can hold back imperialist aggression and belligerence by creating a counter-balance of “other centres of power”.
That worked so well for the Cold War balance didn’t it???????
The advent of the BRICS nations, growing significantly and a shift in economic activity away from the US empire’s world dominance through its military networks and the supremacy of the dollar, is real enough.
And the Ukraine war has clearly accelerated the process, finding notable political expression in the G20 summit in Indonesia where the usual bullying of the US and the rest of the imperialist crew failed to herd these rising nations together behind Washingtons’ interests, especially for any coordinated action against Russia, either military or for sanctions.
Just the opposite, they are accelerating or even increasing trade with Moscow, and all kinds of new finance and commodity interactions are being established.
But it is revisionist nonsense, unfortunately spouted just as much by the revisionist leaderships in Beijing, Havana and other workers states, to suppose that these arrangements represent a way to “contain” the Empire.
The very term “multi-polarity” implies as much, suggesting a permanent arrangement, implicitly stable.
But the Leninist understanding is that these developments add to the giant contradictions of the crisis, intensifying the Catastrophe and making its revolutionary resolution ever more crucial.
The Western ruling class faces mass upheaval as it is forced to impose ever nastier slump measures, and trade war gets more vicious, and is lashing out in all directions, as witness the latest provocations in Iran and China, trying to turn discontents with religious backwardness or bureaucratic insensitivity over Covid woodenness, into counter-revolution.
In as much it has been thrown back on its heels for the moment it is the fighting spirit of the Russian forces and its anti-imperialist content which counts and so far has prevailed, against the gross depravities and warcrimes of the Kiev regime, giving the lie to the hollow triumphalism around the recent Kharkov and Kherson offensives.
Both have been bought at enormous cost, both financially in Western aid and equipment and in the slaughter of the Ukrainian forces cynically thrown forwards – pyrrhic victories only by the fanatical Kiev stooges and their NATO organisers, to give the Western imperialist lie machine enough propaganda material to keep public opinion behind its desperate war-making.
Moscow is so far not only holding its ground overall but pressing forwards.
For all the lies about the Ukrainian people’s resolve being “strengthened by every blow they take” the truth is that the outlook for Western imperialism and its Nazi stooges is looking increasingly bleak.
The relentless missile bombardment of infrastructure systems, particularly electricity stations, is undermining both the population’s morale and the military capacity to move equipment and supplies across the huge distances required.
And contrary to the lies that this is a “war crime” – an outrageous hypocrisy from Washington-led imperialism which has systematically and deliberately bombed power and other infrastructure in its numerous wars for decades, notably trumpeting the fact when bombing Serbia in 1999 and later Iraq – the precise targeting has indicated the Russian policy is not to “deliberately bomb” civilians with “genocidal intent” as Kiev constantly and lyingly asserts.
It is a controlled escalation of the war in response to the sabotage and terror attacks carried out by the West, almost certainly illegally (if that means anything at all) using British special forces and British trained Ukrainians, such as the criminal sabotage of the NordStream gas pipelines and the Crimea bridge, and in response to the costly offensive against Kherson, which has tragically seen the slaughter of huge numbers of Ukrainian conscripts, many young and untrained (an accusation thrown by the West at the Russian troops which inverts the reality and mirrors it back, as fascist propaganda often does – Russian conscripts being mostly drawn from reservists who have already had past military training).
Most of the cities remain intact including Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and Lvov, and damage is in the areas only where the Ukrainian nazis have holed up (or have even staged propaganda stunts like the lying “bombing of a theatre” in Mariupol) and the hard fought towns like Izium, part of Ukrainian lines built during the eight years of war on the Russian-speaking provinces since 2014, or where there are military facilities or storage.
That does not stop the BBC and other parts of the Western lie machine from routinely and unquestioningly allowing the Ukrainian government propagandists to declare that there has been targeting of civilians with “carpet bombing” of cities, which would by now have flattened most of them and cost tens or hundreds of thousands of lives, just as Western B52 bombing did in Vietnam, Korea and later Afghanistan (which also saw the completely unnecessary detonation of the 10t MOAB “Mother of all bombs”).
Incidentally, against such huge alleged numbers “killed” why would the Western media have to keep making a meal out of small events and accidents where two or three, or even a dozen civilians are killed (and often enough those proving to be military holed-up in apartments etc – as the now totally suppressed Amnesty International report declared)?????
Because those are the only ones which actually happened????
Any deaths are tragic but these are clearly accidental, reported as “deliberate” to demonise the Russians and keep Western petty bourgeois public opinion on the boil – part of an utterly sick propaganda onslaught that has turned truth on its head, inventing “mass grave” nonsenses (always “investigated” by Ukrainian “war-crime teams”!) and blaming the Russians for killings which it is clear were carried out by the Ukrainians themselves (such as the Goebbels scale Bucha “massacre” accusations, made only after the Ukrainian “clean-up” squads had gone in to the Kiev suburb, days after the Russian pullout, to find “collaborators” ie to shoot Russian speakers or anti-nazis who had welcomed the Russian army, as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has demonstrated).
All other contrary information is quickly suppressed too, such as evidence of atrocities and war crimes against the Russians like the repeated video crowing by the swastika tattooed thugs as they have shot prisoners in cold blood or, in Mariupol early on, bragged of castrating them.
Western bluster about “seeing the struggle through to the end” and readiness to back up with arms supplies and military training for the Ukrainians, particularly by Britain and America, is ever more hollow.
As pointed out by various reasonably objective Internet commentators or military analysts (if only on this question), such as Ritter or the New Atlas, cutting through the near blanket censorship imposed by the Western governments on Russian or neutral media (making further mockery of the risible “free speech”, “everyone can say what they think” lies of the West’s “democracy” and “rule of law” charade) the resources being provided are minimal in comparison to the demands of the enormously long front lines, often not even reaching the badly trained troops.
A few limited admissions by the bourgeois press have confirmed the points:
In Ukraine, the kind of European war thought inconceivable is chewing up the modest stockpiles of artillery, ammunition and air defenses of what some in NATO call Europe’s “bonsai armies,” after the tiny Japanese trees. Even the mighty United States has only limited stocks of the weapons the Ukrainians want and need, and Washington is unwilling to divert key weapons from delicate regions like Taiwan and Korea, where China and North Korea are constantly testing the limits.
Now, nine months into the war, the West’s fundamental unpreparedness has set off a mad scramble to supply Ukraine with what it needs while also replenishing NATO stockpiles. As both sides burn through weaponry and ammunition at a pace not seen since World War II, the competition to keep arsenals flush has become a critical front that could prove decisive to Ukraine’s effort.
The amount of artillery being used is staggering, NATO officials say. In Afghanistan, NATO forces might have fired even 300 artillery rounds a day and had no real worries about air defense. But Ukraine can fire thousands of rounds daily and remains desperate for air defense against Russian missiles and Iranian-made drones.
“A day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan,” said Camille Grand, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who until recently was NATO’s assistant secretary general for defense investment.
Last summer in the Donbas region, the Ukrainians were firing 6,000 to 7,000 artillery rounds each day, a senior NATO official said. The Russians were firing 40,000 to 50,000 rounds per day.
By comparison, the United States produces only 15,000 rounds each month.
So the West is scrambling to find increasingly scarce Soviet-era equipment and ammunition that Ukraine can use now, including S-300 air defense missiles, T-72 tanks and especially Soviet-caliber artillery shells.
The West is also trying to come up with alternative systems, even if they are older, to substitute for shrinking stocks of expensive air-defense missiles and anti-tank Javelins. It is sending strong signals to Western defense industries that longer-term contracts are in the offing — and that more shifts of workers should be employed and older factory lines should be refurbished. It is trying to purchase ammunition from countries like South Korea to “backfill” stocks being sent to Ukraine.
There are even discussions about NATO investing in old factories in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria to restart the manufacturing of Soviet-caliber 152-mm and 122-mm shells for Ukraine’s still largely Soviet-era artillery armory.
NATO countries — often with great fanfare — have provided Ukraine some advanced Western artillery, which uses NATO-standard 155-mm shells. But NATO systems are rarely certified to use rounds produced by other NATO countries, which often make the shells differently. (That is a way for arms manufacturers to ensure that they can sell ammunition for their guns, the way printer manufacturers make their money on ink cartridges.)
And then there is the problem of legal export controls, which govern whether guns and ammunition sold to one country can be sent to another one at war. This is the reason the Swiss, claiming neutrality, refused Germany permission to export to Ukraine needed antiaircraft ammunition made by Switzerland and sold to Germany. Italy has a similar restriction on arms exports...
In February, when the war in Ukraine began, stockpiles for many nations were only about half of what they were supposed to be, the NATO official said, and there had been little progress in creating weapons that could be used interchangeably by NATO countries.
Even within the European Union, only 18 percent of defense expenditures by nations are cooperative.
For NATO countries that have given large amounts of weapons to Ukraine, especially frontline states like Poland and the Baltics, the burden of replacing them has proved heavy.
Smaller countries have exhausted their potential, another NATO official said, with 20 of its 30 members “pretty tapped out.” But the remaining 10 can still provide more, he suggested, especially larger allies. That would include France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has advised the alliance — including, pointedly, Germany — that NATO guidelines requiring members to keep stockpiles should not be a pretext to limit arms exports to Ukraine. But it is also true that Germany and France, like the United States, want to calibrate the weapons Ukraine gets, to prevent escalation and direct attacks on Russia.
Note here how profiteering competition undermines the “solidarity” and splits are growing between the “allies”.
Ukraine is losing.
The recent “missile in Poland” incident with two Poles killed, underlines even further scale and depth of the West’s cynical lies and psyops operations.
The fanatical swastika-toting Zelensky regime in Kiev, immediately tried to declare this to be grounds for a hair-raising widening the war to all the NATO countries with all the deadly threat of uncontrolled escalation and dangers of nuclear conflict that would imply.
NATO hastily moved to shut down this clear provocation attempt to stampede it, leaning on Poland to back off from any inflammatory response, and declaring that it was almost certainly a stray Ukrainian air-defence missile.
That was not done out of any rationality or “fairness” or truth – Western imperialism has a long record of set-ups and artificial stunts being used as a lying excuse to launch all-out war, from the infamous Gleiwitz radio station bogus attack by German Nazi troops dressed up as Poles in 1939 to the Gulf of Tonkin non-attack “justifying” the American bombing of Hanoi and entry into the Vietnam war; the Racek “massacre” in Yugoslavia of re-arranged and re-shot bodies from a firefight with the Serbs to bomb Milosevic’s revisionist in 1999; and the laughably obvious CIA-paid “protests” in Libya and Syria (and later Egypt) to justify NATO war or provoke civil war as part of toppling the new “democracy” resulting from the 2011 anti-imperialist Arab Spring eruptions in Cairo.
So it has no problem as such with the Zelensky-ites’ continued brazen-lie insistence that the Poland missile was deliberate, against all the evidence.
Large sections of privileged Western petty bourgeois public opinion, including assorted luvvy-liberal celebrities and most of the fake-”left”, might swallow it despite the glaring obviousness of these Goebbels stunts.
But Western imperialism has been stunned by the scale and strength of the Putinist response (finally) to its NATO expansionism, and is riven by splits and difficulties as the sanctions war has backfired on the European economies.
Experts quickly declared and ultra-rightwing reactionary Poland accepted (albeit under obvious strongarm pressure from NATO headquarters) that an off target anti-missile air defence projectile launched by Ukraine itself was the cause, with the suspicion that it was not even “misdirected” but deliberately sent over the border, precisely to let the desperate and suicidal fanatics in Kiev to pretend a causus belli for NATO.
Belgium immediately declared this incident to be an accident and others too behind the scenes.
Discontent with the Washington/London aggressive pursuit of the war has been growing and particularly the damage it is doing to major European powers, especially Germany, facing industrial cutbacks because of gas supply shutdowns and potentially street turmoil too as energy prices go haywire just as winter cold starts to bite on already austerity savaged populations.
Industrial/economic damage to Europe has been a deliberate aim by Washington from the beginning, reflecting the ever-intensifying trade war contradictions between the major powers in crisis-wracked capitalism.
Contrary to the revisionist arguments that these bourgeoisies are just capitulating, it is ratcheting up the tensions to unbearable levels.
Taken on top of its war and occupation failures and humiliations in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya, and further blows and setbacks in Latin America, this is weakening the alliances, and imperialism.
But it cannot create “stability”.
There is no end to the crisis and no end to the inter-imperialist trade war and ultimately hot war pressure dragging the whole world to disaster.
No ruling class ever left the stage willingly and dominant US power will go all the way to stay on top.
Only conscious revolutionary struggle can finish it off and start to build a world of rationality, equality and harmony with nature.
The great need is for a revolutionary party battling for an ever deeper study and polemical development of Marxist theory to tread through the minefields of disinformation and revisionist confusion.
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