No 1625 17th March 2023
Near propaganda silence on Ukraine, save usual “warcrime” psyops fabrications, indicates growing failure and trouble for imperialism’s nazi-NATO war provocation and World War Three plans to escape the economic and political Catastrophe inevitable in capitalism (further intensified by new bank collapses and renewed global finance implosion). BBC “tweeting row” indicates even the migrant scapegoating trick is faltering (for the moment) and petty bourgeois faith in the lie of “freedom and democracy” is being shaken. Twisted Jewish-Zionist “left anti-semitism” demonisation of rising anti-capitalist opinion also runs into the buffers with latest nazi-settler rampages showing the true reactionary nature of the artificial “Israel” landtheft colonisation of Palestine and the rising coherence of Third World rebellion. But the fake-“left” still comes nowhere near offering the working class the revolutionary perspectives needed to overcome crisis cataclysm – and most capitulate to imperialist war hatred and backward chauvinism. Leninism must be built
Defeat for the Kiev nazi-NATO stooges in Bakhmut; the Jewish diaspora’s hypocritical disowning of the Zionist fascist-settlers (but too late); public outrage over BBC censorship: Tory climbdown over the Irish EU border protocol; and petering out of the petty bourgeois feminist “revolution” in Iran are all disastrous developments for the ruling class.
But the ignorance and treachery of the fake-“left” still fails to draw out the real crisis significance of all these events or offer the working class the revolutionary lead it needs.
The imperialist world is falling apart but 101 shades or reformist Labourism, Trotskyism and Revisionism still leave the working class without the slightest inkling of the deadly and unstoppable Catastrophic failure of the whole capitalist way of doing things which is driving all this mayhem, desperation, blitzing, lying, destruction and chaos.
That means workers are also left without the revolutionary understanding which alone will bring it to an end – fed instead the same old reformist “improvements” and “defence of living standards” through “left pressure” and piecemeal trade union activism which have left them open to the disasters of the Slump collapse, food bank austerity and “heat or eat” despair now entrenched – and trapped behind the flag-waving jingoism and scapegoating the ruling classes everywhere are whipping up as their inter-imperialist (trade war) conflicts intensify.
The “lefts” essentially avoid the overarching perspective of an entire world-spanning historical period – the 800 year bourgeois ascendancy – now hitting the buffers mired in the unsolvable contradictions identified and analysed by Karl Marx in his Capital and the Communist Manifesto.
Without the Marxist-Leninst perspective of class war to overturn this filthy billionaire exploitation system, there can be no ending to the vicious slump and brutal war disasters being imposed on mankind by imperialism despite, and because of, its ever greater crisis weaknesses.
Just the opposite. With every economic political and military setback the historically outmoded imperialist order can only be driven into greater frenzy and fascist barbarity, unrelenting until stopped by outright overturn.
History is heading for the most intensive class war struggle – essentially and necessarily civil war – in all history.
It will only be ended by establishing the firmest possible dictatorship of the proletariat to control all major means of production in common ownership.
Only in this disciplined way can rational planned society be developed in harmony with nature under the leadership of Leninist scientific theory, constantly studied, developed and polemically advanced by a cadre party, built for the purpose and drawing more and more of the population into the struggle for understanding (the only true democracy).
Such “totalitarianism” horrifies the petty bourgeois souls of the multiple variants of fake-“leftism” from trade union bureaucratism and Labourism to the Trots and revisionists, who for all their pretences of anti-capitalist revolutionism and Marxist Leninism, cling like leeches to supposed “democratic paths” of bourgeois parliamentarianism, (outright or behind social-pacifist “peace-struggle” notions); trade union class-collaboration and “negotiation after ‘left-pressure’”; or behind single-issue “improvements” like feminism, environmentalism, black nationalism and a dozen other shades of “wokeness”; or indulge endless useless anarchic indiscipline laced with off-the-wall petty bourgeois individualist conspiracy theories from anti-vaxxism to “all anti-West terrorism really run by the CIA”.
Whatever temporary “gains” might have been made in the past – and many of those questionable – all this reformism is now at best a diversion and mostly completely hostile to exposing the true reality of so-called “democracy” within capitalism, which is outright dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, hidden to varying extent from country to country and in better “boom periods”, behind the pretences of “universal suffrage” and “free speech” and the allegedly neutral “rule of law” (as if law were not created in the first place to serve ruling class property and exploitation interests).
So, for example, few if any of them are going to draw out the real significance of the BBC row and its extraordinarily explosive eruption of middle-class popular support over a relatively minor anti-racist tweet by a very well-paid sports presenter at the state-owned, state-funded and state-controlled BBC.
Far from being vindication for the “right of free speech” and the “power of democracy” or “anti-racist campaigning” the very manner in which this incident has ballooned rapidly into a crisis – catching both sides, Tory and liberal pundits by surprise, – is yet another symptom of the incompetence, nervousness and weakness of the ruling class facing rising public anger over the slump and war disaster it is dragging the world into.
The attempted high-handed suppression of footballer Gary Lineker’s opinion, suspending him from programmes, is the culmination of a stream of gross censorship and bullying moves by the government which precisely confirms the assertion (in what was only a half-meant lightweight political hyperbole) about a “1930s fascist tone” to political developments and the scapegoating of migrants.
But the ruling class really is turning to increasingly vicious and draconian open dictatorship moves with all the hallmarks of fascist suppression (whether or not they are accompanied by the “formal” stereotypes of Nazism) and being forced to tear up all pretence of democracy exactly as Marxism has warned will happen as monopoly capitalist trade war economic collapse accelerates.
It is telling that just that “nazi” phrase has now vanished in the latest tweets, after a compromise settlement made by a humiliated ruling class, reappointing Lineker and the other pundits and sports journalists who backed him up.
For while the establishment climb-down is a useful setback for bourgeois plans to keep the crudest jingoism and scapegoating on the boil, to distract attention from the crisis and feed the hate atmosphere needed for the full-on warmongering “solution” to the world economic collapse, there are strict limits to this protest.
It usefully shows a loss of ruling class grip over the petty bourgeoisie, but liberals like Lineker, however boldly well-meaning, are never going to go very far, and least of all into taking up the kind of class fight which is coming and must come.
Just the opposite, in various ways, over illusions in maintaining the “impartiality” of the BBC, in the single-issue “moral exhortation” battle against racism or over wider illusions in the great democracy racket, the working class winds up fooled once again, it and the increasingly also-threatened smaller end of the petty bourgeoisie (small business etc), left vulnerable to the oncoming crackdowns inevitable as the Catastrophe worsens, and the monopoly ruling class is obliged to intensify its exploitation, far beyond even the “austerity” for workers and gross profiteering for the rich already seen in the wake of the 2009 global financial collapse.
Firstly, the BBC is a giant lying propaganda machine carefully created 100 years ago by the then relatively still-powerful British Empire bourgeoisie and steadily refined since as one of the world’s most effective brainwashing tools, which buckets out the foulest bourgeois propaganda morning, noon and night.
Its output is pure bilious anti-communism and fascist lies from top to bottom and never more so than over the last year in the monstrous tide of hatred, poisonous fabrications and psyops “warcrime” lies against Russia in Ukraine, or over two decades previously in the stream of made-up “genocide”, “rape camp” and massacre lies and exaggerations against Yugoslavia and Serbia, the East European Soviet camp, Iraq, China, Libya’s Gaddafi, Syria’s Assad or Myanmar, or Zimbabwe, Venezuela and many others. As EPSR 1213 said:
And since the BBC is forever the trusted voice of Western imperialist interests in general, and has willingly and knowingly kept such international lies going as, — that the fictional “Gulf of Tonking incident” justified the USA’s launch of the Vietnam War; that the fictional “Reçak massacre” in Kosovo justified the NATO blitzkrieg on Serbia; that Pinochet’s overthrow of Allende was not a CIA coup; and that US imperialism had to invade Grenada because of totally fictional danger to some American medical students on the island; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; — then how is it that at the crucial immediate moment of any international crisis, when the BBC always automatically puts forward complete CIA propaganda nonsense with a totally straight face, only daring to risk a little bit of exposé about 20 years later on average, it becomes “eccentric” or “unreadable” to remind anti-imperialists everywhere that this BBC is a TOTAL stooge of Western imperialist interests at key moments of history?????????????.
Occasional “revelations” of Western corruption or skulduggery there might be but all are part of the racket, either because scandals become so foetid they cannot be hidden or sometimes simply mixed in here and there for verisimilitude, (but even then many of those exposés are actually directed at the West’s “rogue state” targets or the “left” end of the establishment).
If critical realist reports by the odd, relatively more honest petty bourgeois journalist go too far they are slapped down, as the Blairite reactionaries did during the Iraq war after their WMD lies were revealed, sacking the chairman Greg Dyke for one of its few transgressions, exposing the lie of Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction (and driving weapons technical expert Dr David Kelly to his death – EPSR No1198 02-09-03 and No1218 03-02-04 etc).
It is fear of how rebellious the crisis-wracked world is becoming that has now seen the ruling class crudely push down on Lineker and the “anti-racists” – too unnerved by the staggering scale of the great crisis to let even such relatively tame challenges to the imperialist war aggression pass by, just as Jeremy Corbyn’s tepid “Labour leftism” was torpedoed (by BBC dirty dealing propaganda lies about “left anti-semitism” alongside the other bourgeois media) because all the ruling class is too nervous to maintain even such once-tolerated fake-“left” “safety-valves”, and the cover they give to the TUC/Labour class-collaborating fraud.
That a compromise has been reached in this case reflects the desperate calculation that preserving the BBC intact as a propaganda output is worth the small sacrifice of a bourgeois figure or two, like Tory appointees director-general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharpe left to carry the can (they will be well looked-after anyway if that is what happens – just as Tony Blair has been or Gregg Dyke).
Not least in the balance is Lineker and the others’ swallowing of the propaganda deluge over Ukraine – like assorted luvvies and celebrities from the posturing Elton John to the sanctimonious Sean Penn, as well as much of the petty bourgeoisie, all stampeded into supporting the Stepan Bandera worshipping Nazi-NATO stooges (Bandera was the infamous WW2 Hitler-collaborator and mass killer officially celebrated by the current Kiev government) under the play-acting CIA-NATO puppet Volodymyr Zelensky.
The footballer has even taken in “plucky Ukrainian refugees” (whose true quality overall – whatever exceptional individuals might be found – has been clearly racist itself from the nasty treatment given to black fellow refugees in the early days of the war to outright anti-Muslim anti-black comments here in Britain).
The whole fake-“left” “Stand up to Racism” campaigning which has pitched in behind, is just as much a problem in general, its moralising exhortations not only useless for really stopping the increasingly poisonous scapegoating but always associated with hostility to the Leninist theory which explains that only by the struggle to end capitalism can racism be dealt with.
The EPSR has explained many times that:
no matter how noble, the important point is not just to persuade everyone to avoid childishly ignorant prejudices against their neighbours because of any ethnic or cultural differences, – as obviously civilised and to-be-wished-for goal as that is.
The much more vital question is to do something about whatever the appalling conditions or atrocities are which force people to flee from their homeland and family roots in the first place, often getting out under the most desperate circumstances of danger, separation, and humiliation, and all in order frequently to experience a life of continuing wretched poverty and discrimination in the country they are so desperate to move to.
It is a very, twisted, smug, and self-regarding ‘civilisation’ which feels so self-righteous about its ‘anti-racist’ stand (when forced to it by the glare of publicity in England), but has not the faintest thought of asking why conditions should at times be so intolerable in parts of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the West Indies, Africa, etc, to force millions of people annually to want to sever their links with their own homeland, language, culture, history, and family in order to risk the very uncertain life of an ethnic immigrant minority somewhere in the two dozen or so most affluent monopoly-imperialist countries around the world. Why should any human beings have to suffer this degradation and humiliation in the first place?
And the reason that the ‘liberal’-minded have no interest in pursuing their ‘concern’ for Third World suffering any further than the odd contribution to Oxfam or the occasional gesture saying ‘let us not be beastly to the immigrants’, etc, is because their petty-bourgeois caution instinctively tells them that any deeper probing of why there is such grotesque injustice and unevenness in the distribution of wealth and poverty in the world would almost certainly force them to admit that communist revolution against Western imperialist exploitation (and against the falsified lifestyles of the West) is not only probably inevitable but would also have to be accepted as a ‘good thing’, which no middle-class soul could ever happily contemplate.
The leftist “no barriers to immigration anywhere in the world” stance in order to ostentatiously adopt a totally heroic ‘anti-racist’ pose, – is just as great an avoidance of the real issue.
In a fully planned rational and stable world, it will no doubt eventually be possible for everyone to live just about where they want to (assuming reasonable coordination to avoid 5 billion people turning up with their suitcases on Bali).
But just posturing in this ‘principled’ way is hardly even a ‘transitional’ demand (supposedly demanding reasonable reforms which really require a revolution to make possible).
Full ‘freedom’ for the entire planet to settle just where they want to in the immediate future is both economically and politically unrealistic even with the most far-reaching revolutionary perspectives in mind, and is also a potentially contradictory minefield when the case, say, of Occupied Palestine is considered where the native Arab population is only just clinging onto life as it is, overwhelmed by Zionist colonisation.
The real issue is being avoided. Not ‘full immigration rights everywhere now’ which is a diversion, but ‘the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist market-forces system everywhere now, and its replacement by the dictatorship of the proletariat everywhere, now’.
But conscience-mongering ‘liberals’ just do not want to know about what is really going to make a difference to an increasingly nationalist-divided and racist-divided bourgeois society deep in fascist slump everywhere on earth (EPSR No718 21-09-93).
All ‘struggle for socialism’ which opts out of this resurgence of Marx’s original Communist Manifesto analysis is not only doing no good but is the biggest part of the problem, as was seen in France.
The sad decrepit philistinism and nastiness of Le Pen is old hat. The story is the utter uselessness of the fake-‘left’, – every scrap of it, – in how fascism’s ‘appeal’ was fought against, and how the next developments are to be combated.
Le Pen’s vote reflects primitive incoherent disgust at how capitalist ‘democratic’ society is falling apart in crime, political lies, and decadence, and at how France is caught up in general imperialist-system insecurity, muddle, and mess, (just like everyone else, of course).
Neo-fascist parties are growing all over Europe, and the BNP’s vote will grow too.
But ‘anti-racist’ campaigning is the most pathetic fake-‘left’ answer imaginable.
[...] It is not what Le Pen stands for which makes French society sick. It is what Chirac stands for which is poisoning life.
Le Pen merely REFLECTS how demoralised, cynical, and small-mindedly bitter, people are being made by the INCURABLE failure of capitalist society to any longer remotely satisfy vital human needs.(EPSR No1133 23-04-02)
Beyond this specific anti-racist aspect, very few are speaking up about the real constraints on free speech, like the slew of TV stations, Internet links and newspapers shut-down, censored and traduced as “fake-news” or “nothing but disinformation” by Western psyops operations over the Ukraine war, an extension of the non-stop censorship and blocking by both state and billionaire owned media, of all really working class or anti-imperialist opinion, (let alone Leninist revolutionary theory).
That has been a constant over decades in various subtle and not-so-subtle ways, from simply never giving any such analysis a voice and its non-stop rubbishing, to outright censorship as was imposed on the heroic Irish national-liberation struggle for 20 years and the effective blocking of any context for Ukraine, presented as if it was a sudden unprovoked “invasion” rather than the continuation of an eight year long war imposed by the ultra-nationalists installed by the West.
And that context of course is part of a wider world war of blitzing and destruction begun by imperialism against the former Yugoslav workers state and its Serbian revisionist nationalist remnant in 1999 behind the equally specious excuse of a total lie about a “massacre in Reçak”, followed by non-stop massacre and torture destruction of half a dozen countries, bombed and invaded directly like Afghanistan and Iraq or using stooge proxies like the sick and murderous feudal tribal backwardness in Saudi Arabia still massacring and butchering the Yemen, where hundreds of thousands have died, been maimed, driven out and now face deadly famine.
Other places have been balkanised and dismembered by manipulated and provoked bogus “Arab Spring” rebellions as in Syria, Iraq again and Libya, whipped by CIA and Zionist manipulations into deadly sectarian civil wars (also ongoing).
All have been accompanied by lurid lies and propaganda elaborately taken up and embroidered with endless “heartstring tugging” accounts avoiding all analysis, context or validation, by the anything-but “impartial” BBC and others.
What sick joke!!!
Noone has to believe Russia Today, or the Middle East channels, various “pro-Russian” or “anti-NATO” sources, neutral analysts like former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, or brave-enough journalists reporting on the ground from the other side of the front line (despite death threats from Kiev and harassment from the Western authorities like Berlin confiscating money and possessions or blocking visas etc etc) all on the Nazi-style “death-lists” maintained by Ukraine’s intelligence services which has already seen assassinations.
But it takes some severe “double think” (a term invented by the nasty little imperialist spy stooge George Orwell for use against Soviet communism but actually reflecting capitalist reality then and now) to believe that such in-your-face suppression constitutes a “defence of democracy” and “our way of life”, as the brass-necked Western politicians mechanically repeat, barely concealing their contempt for the gullible herd – or especially that the likes of Boris Johnson and other throwback Empire-Tories, France’s president Macron, the reactionary head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg or the war-mad “Green” foreign secretary in Germany, Annalena Baerbock – are fighting for “peace, stability and free-speech”.
Mind-bending sophistry of this order requires a philosophical agility that could win Olympic medals (as does the rationale for the just announced escalation of the AUKUS submarine pact – massively upping war intimidation against the Chinese workers state in particular – a new Anglo-Saxon aggression declared by Richi Sunak to be for the “defence of a peaceful, free world”!!!!).
It is not “just like in Putin’s Russia” as hypocritical petty bourgeois opinion mouths but “just like in Western backed Thailand” where a someone has just got three years in prison for making “images that disrespect the king” and coup massacres have been imposed; or “just like in Egypt” where the Sisi dictatorship tortures and imprisons dissidents and journalists on a routine basis (including killing an Italian student investigating trade unions) with barely a murmur from the “freedom lovers”; “just like in Saudi Arabia” where merely for tweeting on women’s rights Salma al-Shehab was sentenced to 34 years, US citizen Saad Ibrahim Almadi was given 40 years for “disrespect” and notoriously the regime despatched a cold-blooded team to (literally) butcher journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
And so on across the “free world” including into the heart of the “advanced countries” where billionaire ownership of the media already is de facto censorship but just in case, the state is tightening its grip too:
A wave of Republican enthusiasm for banning concepts, authors and books is sweeping across the United States. Forty-four states have proposed bans on the teaching of “divisive concepts”, and 18 states have passed them.
Florida’s Stop Woke Act bans the teaching of eight categories of concepts, including concepts that suggest that “a person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex”. Many of the laws also target Nikole Hannah-Jones’s influential 1619 Project.
These laws have already started to take effect. Administrators and teachers have been forced out of their positions on the suspicion of violating these laws, and what has started as a trickle may soon become a flood.
In January, Florida’s board of education banned AP African American studies, on the grounds that it included concepts forbidden by Governor Ron DeSantis’s law, including critical race theory and intersectionality, as well as authors such as Kimberlé Crenshaw, bell hooks, Roderick Ferguson, Angela Davis and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The College Board chose to remove these authors and subjects from its curriculum.
In Britain too state surveillance and censorship is being ratcheted up to unprecedented levels under the guise of “fighting terrorism” and the Ukraine war:
This government is stripping out fundamental liberties with the speed and determination you would expect in the aftermath of a military coup. Knowing that their days in office are numbered, the Conservatives seem to be snuffing out democracy as quickly as they can.
Even before the latest amendment, the public order bill was the most repressive legislation of the modern era, potentially criminalising all meaningful protest. If Rishi Sunak’s new proposal is passed, protests can be stopped before they begin on the grounds that they might be “disruptive”. Disruptive protest was redefined by last year’s Police Act to include noise.”
To this list is added the recent judgement against wild camping on Dartmoor giving rich landowners new rights to suppress basic common freedoms and the thundering conclusion that:
The Tories bleat endlessly about freedom. But the only freedom they respect is the freedom of the rich and powerful to treat other people as commodities and the living planet as their dustbin. Democracy in this country was only ever skin-deep, our power and personhood delegated to a pantomime performed by 650 people in central London, few of whom are permitted to speak their minds.
Despite this tirade, correct enough, that democracy has only ever been a hollow hoodwinking lying fraud, the typical petty bourgeois conclusion is still an upside down limp end saying the exact opposite, desperate to avoid drawing the obvious conclusion of the working class needing to take power:
Without the regular participation that would make the word meaningful, protest is the only vestige of real democracy we retain.
Small wonder the author, George Monbiot, a lead figure in the “liberal” Guardian’s crew of fake-“left” mind-gymnasts, is now one of the social-imperialist supporters of the NATO run war on Russia along with other such treacherous “intellectualism” such as Paul Mason, John McDonnell (and other once-Corbynite opportunists) and groups such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty.
Another wing of imperialist censorship now being glaringly exposed has been the demented lying CIA/Zionist campaign to denounce and undermine all support and solidarity for the dispossessed people of Palestine, (whose country have been occupied and stolen from them since the 1940s by barbaric Zionist-imperialist colonialism), as being “nothing but anti-semitism” founded in “racism”.
Using this fascist contempt and self-justifying arrogance to “justify” the repression and terrorising of an entire people, Zionism and its imperialist backers have waged an ever more aggressive world campaign to not just suppress but completely wipe out all objections and resistance to its ever extending occupation.
It plays on and hides behind the obvious world sympathy for the victims of the horrifying mass slaughter of the 1930s and 40s Nazi holocaust, but concentrating only on the Jewish aspect and ignoring the multiple other scapegoats also murdered by imperialist fostered Hitlerism, including the physically and mentally disabled, homosexuals, Slavs and, first off, communists and trade unionists.
Instead of identifying the true cause of the mass slaughter as the depravity and inhumanity of monopoly capitalism spiralling into slump disaster, using scapegoating and chauvinism to whip up a frenzy of hatred for the brutal warmongering needed to get out of the crisis (by wiping out “surplus capital” through destruction of much of Europe, much of the Far East and the most populous third of the giant Soviet Union – including Ukraine) the Zionists deliberately present the horrors as an aspect specifically of anti-Jewishness.
They cynically trade on the horrifying fate of the victims and misery and pain of survivors, and on the Western middle-class subjective guilt about it and past medieval persecutions, to obscure the objective fact that they were butchered simply because they were a conveniently useful target (but under other circumstances might have been a different group – Armenians, black people, the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, or as currently, Islamic peoples deemed “terrorists”) and perhaps with an overlap with anti-communism (with many Jews in the early revolutionary movement).
In a dialectical inversion, with victim becoming oppressor in one of the sickest ironies in all history, this subjective distortion and misrepresentation has been used a weapon to justify the Zionists’ own vile repression and genocidal persecution of another entire people, the now 8 million strong Palestinians.
The “anti-semitism” slur has been used to head off all opposition to this forced colonisation by deliberate terrorising, ethnic cleansing and war (backed up by imperialist diktat through the stooge “United Nations” parody of “world government” in 1948) which has created one of the nastiest elitist apartheid-racist regimes on earth as multiple “anti-Zionists” have detailed.
Its belligerent presence as a dagger in the heart of the Middle East further sustains the wider repression of the entire Arab world which the Zionist thugs impose, acting on behalf of imperialism and its interests in the mineral rich and strategically important region, and on other nations in the region too, notably Iran.
And the “anti-semitism” accusation, with its repressive censorship of any objective analysis and in fact all anti-Zionist anti-imperialist regional struggle sentiment and thought, has also been hugely extended from a tool to hold back world anti-imperialist sympathy and fellow-feeling over the Middle East, and solidarity for the Palestinian and Arab cause, to a general weapon for suppressing and hobbling left opinion of all kinds, most obviously in Britain and the demolition of the great wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn sabotaged by mobilising the same sanctimonious petty bourgeois public opinion now stampeded into chauvinism and hostility against Russia and support for the Kievite Nazis (who despite their Hitler worship and Swastika-type symbols have the astounding cheek to use the “anti-semitism” argument too, via Zelensky’s tenuous family links to a Jewish background!).
The whole outrageous CIA/Zionist campaign has been particularly effective because of the avoidance by the fake-“left” of revolutionary Leninist politics and their substitution for decades with super-reformist single-issues and petty bourgeois moralising, combined with straight-line step-by-step thinking about steadily improving human attitudes, individual by individual, (to be “good enough” to be revolutionaries).
The consequent terror of being labelled as less than the “perfect” humans demanded by such an idealist approach – (reflecting the unrealisable petty bourgeois “perfect revolution” conceived of by most Trot fantasies, transforming the world to socialist heaven on earth overnight and, the same idealism expressed in another way by revisionism, brooking no criticism of their “perfection” in guru-hero Stalin, – all equally refusing to engage in, criticise and yet still unconditionally defend the difficult and inevitably problem and mistake-filled class struggle reality of building workers states) – leaves them all wide open to such monstrous browbeating.
Some of the “left” can still make some scathing exposures of the crudeness of the most reactionary of the Zionists and especially the settler wing which increasingly obviously tramples across even the most cynical pretences of there being a “place for the Palestinians”, albeit one which forces them to accept the occupation and landtheft of the lion’s share of the country by the occupying Jewish incomers, leaving them with little more than a fifth of the whole country even under the most optimistic of “arrangements” and that the worst bits, with the poorest water supplies in a dry climate and other significant geographical and economic drawbacks.
The gross repressiveness of the second-class status for non-Jewish citizens within the artificial “state of Israel” and the huge disparities in rights and treatment by the state will be highlighted and protested.
The Proletarian/Lalkar-ite museum-Stalinists have produced some very useful history on the origins and development of Zionism.
But none ask “why” this monstrosity “Israel” exists in the first place.
Instead various “solutions” are advanced.
A few outliers cling to the absurd and never-workable “two state solution” still ludicrously pretended to be possible by imperialism, and advanced until recently by the revisionists, which at its liberal “best” demands the Zionists “withdraw to the 1967 borders” which condemns the Palestinians to the loss of most of the country in perpetuity and all their previous properties, businesses, homes, olive groves, and farmland in the 1948 onwards occupied sectors.
The rest call for a “democratic one-state” solution which is a) complete pie-in-the-sky mysteriously coming about in some unspecified peaceful way which will never happen and b) still involves a so-called “fair settlement” in which the Zionist occupiers get to share out the country, still leaving the Palestinians dispossessed.
What a monstrous outrage, based on the fascist minded acceptance of the “rights” of the Jewish Zionists because “it is all too late to put in reverse now”.
And that in turn is part of the even bigger conspiracy by the whole of imperialism to completely bury the entire question of why this “country” exists and the land-thieving terrorising occupation which created it in an act of modern day colonialism on a par with the brutal world plundering of the last five centuries by European (and later American) capitalism, but even worse because it has been imposed in the period of world rejection of such crude imperialist domination (even though neo-colonialism has supplanted it for the moment). As the EPSR has analysed in detail there can be no solution to “Israel” until the entire 1948 imposition is dismantled and the land and property of the Palestinians is restored to the fullest extent possible (EPSR Books Vol20 Occupied Palestine, Nazi-Zionism...and the “fraud of “left anti-semitism”).
But none of the “lefts” ever put that forwards nor explain that it will never happen without revolutionary struggle, merging more and more into the world conflict against imperialism.
Until then the contradiction will continue, driving the Palestinians to ever more heroic and intensive struggle and forcing ever more barbarism from the Zionists, now abandoning ever the pretence of some halfway “justice” for the indigenous people, as latest events are confirming to such an extent that even the Jewish “diaspora” professes itself shocked and dismayed:
There is a large rolling gate at the entrance to the small Palestinian village of Za’atara, in the north of the occupied West Bank, but it is rarely closed. On Sunday, however, wary that Israeli settlers living in the area were seeking revenge for the murder of two brothers shot dead by a Palestinian gunman in nearby Huwara, Za’atara’s residents were braced for retaliatory violence.
It didn’t take long for the settlers to arrive. Villagers said that by dusk, about 100 armed Israelis, accompanied by a dozen Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers, had massed on the road outside the entrance, and after the troops tried to intervene several of the settlers began shooting. Sameh Aqtash, a 37-year-old blacksmith who had just returned from earthquake volunteering efforts in Turkey, was shot in the stomach. Because the army would not clear the road for an ambulance to reach him, he bled to death, Aqtash’s nephew Fadi said.
Aqtash was somehow the only fatality during an unprecedented hours-long settler rampage in the vicinity of Huwara overnight: more than 350 Palestinians were injured, while dozens of homes and businesses and hundreds of cars were set alight, according to rights groups and Palestinian officials. In an article published on Monday morning, a prominent rightwing Israeli commentator, appalled by the reported inaction of the IDF, dubbed the events “Kristallnacht in Huwara”.
Sunday’s riot was triggered by the murders of Hillel Yaniv, 22, and Yagel Yaniv, 20, from the nearby settlement of Har Bracha. Route 60, the Israeli road running north to south through the middle of the territory, cuts right through the middle of Huwara, making the village a well-known flashpoint.
A gunman rammed into the brothers’ car while they were driving through, reports said, and shot them several times at point-blank range before fleeing the scene. Israeli forces are still searching for the as-yet unidentified attacker, who is believed to have been able to escape arrest owing to the chaos caused by the settler rampage.
“Of course there are lots of settlers and army around here and sometimes that is difficult but they have never come to Za’atara before like this,” Fadi Aqtash said, as he put his arm around one of Sameh’s five children outside the village mourning tent. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the distance. “We are very worried about what will happen now,” the 29-year-old said.
Incidents of settler violence across the West Bank happen every day, and have steadily increased over the past few years: many of the 700,000 or so Israelis living in the territory and East Jerusalem are motivated by what they see as a religious mission to restore the historical land of Israel to the Jewish people. Settlement communities are viewed as illegal under international law, and one of the biggest obstacles to peace.
Shootings, knife attacks, burning crops, vandalism and the theft of land and livestock are supposed to make life for Palestinians so unbearable they have no choice but to leave. On many occasions, the Israeli army has been documented failing to stem the violence, or even joining in.
No one the Guardian spoke to in the Huwara area on Monday, however, could recall such an intense and widespread episode, which both Palestinians and Israelis fear could lead to more attacks on both sides and a return to full-blown conflict.
Stability in the region has arguably already broken down. Last year was the bloodiest on record in Israel and the West Bank since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, of the 2000s. About 63 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed so far in 2023, mostly in IDF raids and Palestinian terrorist attacks.
Also on Sunday, Israel and Palestinian security officials met in Jordan for the first high-level talks in years aimed at calming tensions before the imminent Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is often a catalyst for escalation.
It does not seem likely that the situation on the ground can improve. The Palestinian Authority (PA), the West Bank’s semi-autonomous governing body, is weak and corrupt, viewed by many Palestinians as little more than a subcontractor for the occupation. It has all but lost control of several areas in the north of the territory to newly formed militias that do not take orders from the traditional Palestinian factions.
At the same time, Israeli security forces appeared to be unprepared or unwilling to deal with the scale of the settler violence in Huwara on Sunday, despite the fact that settler leaders made public calls for a march to “wipe out” Huwara in revenge for the deaths of the two brothers.
The Israeli military estimated that between 300 and 400 people took part in the rampage, although only 10 arrests have been made, and anonymous security officials told Israeli media that plans made by the IDF’s central command were “faulty”.
A joint communiqué from the Jordan summit expressing “readiness and commitment to work immediately” to prevent further violence was not just undermined by the rioting in Huwara, but by members of the Israeli government.
Several elements of Israel’s new far-right administration are fully fledged members of the settler movement, who have variously called for the full annexation of the West Bank, relaxing the rules of engagement for Israel’s police and soldiers, and harsher punishments for Palestinians who commit terror attacks. Their plans to neuter Israel’s supreme court have also prompted the biggest political crisis in the country’s history, bringing hundreds of thousands of Israelis to the streets in protest against moves they say will erode democratic norms.
While the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a video statement on Sunday night calling on people not to “take the law into their own hands”, members of his coalition fanned the flames, telling the IDF to show “no mercy” and visiting the scene to support the rioters.
By Monday, they had melted away, and the streets of Huwara were deserted except for soldiers and armoured patrol vehicles that roared up and down the main road. At Tapuach junction, a settlement known for violence to the south of the village, settlers carrying pistols and automatic rifles mingled with IDF units as they waited to march on Huwara again in the evening as part of the funeral procession for the killed brothers. Meanwhile, in the south of the West Bank, reports emerged of another shooting attack that killed a 27-year-old Israeli-American dual national.
At least six Palestinians have been killed and 10 wounded in an Israeli army raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, according to Palestinian officials, the latest bloody incident in a new chapter of violence across Israel and the Palestinian territories.
A fierce gun battle erupted in the crowded refugee camp on Jenin’s western outskirts on Tuesday afternoon after the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) mounted an operation to find the Palestinian gunman suspected of killing two Israeli brothers as they drove through the West Bank town of Huwara last week.
That attack triggered a violent response from Israeli settlers living illegally in the area: about 400 people stormed Huwara and three surrounding villages later in the day, damaging dozens of homes and businesses, setting hundreds of cars alight and killing one man. The rampage – the scale of which made it the worst single episode of settler violence against Palestinians ever recorded – horrified people on both sides of the green line and drew international condemnation.
On Tuesday afternoon, rounds of machine gun fire and the boom of explosives could be heard on the outskirts of Jenin camp, as at least seven drones circled in the sky above. A wedding celebration was put on hold when the fighting broke out; the children present ran outside to see how many drones they could count. “They are not letting anyone in and they are shooting ambulances,” said one wedding guest on the phone with a relative trapped in their home by the shooting.
Footage circulated by members of the Palestinian Red Crescent on social media showed an ambulance with bullet holes in the side, and witnesses said that medics were prevented from reaching the injured. A spokesperson for the IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Later on Tuesday the Israeli army named the suspect from the Huwara attack as Abd al-Fattah Hussein Ibrahim Gharusha, a 49-year-old member of Hamas, adding that he had been “neutralised” in the raid and two of his sons were arrested in a simultaneous operation in the nearby city of Nablus. Large funeral processions for the dead got under way in Jenin’s city centre shortly after sunset.
The Jenin brigade, a loosely organised armed group based in the camp, said on Telegram it had opened fire and thrown explosive devices after the IDF surrounded a house in the camp and fired shoulder-launched missiles. They claimed to have shot down two Israeli drones and injured several soldiers. The IDF said it was aware of those reports.
Tuesday’s raid comes amid a year-old Israeli campaign in the West Bank that the army says targets militants planning attacks against Israelis, but has seen the death toll in the occupied territory surge to the highest level in years. Jenin and Nablus have borne the brunt of the violence, and raids during daylight hours – once rare – appear to be increasing.
At least 70 Palestinians, about half of them combatants, have been killed by Israeli fire so far this year, according to tallies by human rights groups and news organisations. Palestinian “lone wolf” attacks have killed 14 Israelis, all but one of them civilians.
The bloodshed has sparked fears of a return to full-blown conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a possibility made more likely by the recent election of the most rightwing government in Israel’s history, which has made no secret of its intention to fully annex the West Bank and alter the status quo on Jerusalem’s holy Temple Mount complex, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sherif.
On Monday night, a group of settlers celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim returned to Huwara: CCTV footage showed them throwing stones at a supermarket and cars, while unverified mobile phone footage appeared to show Israeli soldiers dancing with the settlers on the town’s main road. Paramedics said one Palestinian man was hospitalised being hit in the head.
Such is the endless imperialist bias that even these reports – and half a dozen more – still cannot refrain from suggesting there is some kind of “parity” between Palestinian resistance and the fascist intimidation.
It is a monstrous calumny as the EPSR has often said (eg No1144 16-07-02):
But the only real issue of course is that, as throughout history, the sole effective class-war and national-war means against absolute tyranny (the existence of ‘Israel’ means the stealing of the best part of the Palestinian homeland for keeps) is to fight total conflict. The ‘violence’ of the Palestinians, all of it, is 100% justified both historically and ‘morally’. There is no other way.
The ‘violence’ of the Zionists, all of it, is 100% contemptible fascist brutality and criminal aggression.
So obvious is the outright fascist nature of these latest events that the comfortable Jewish freemasonry in the “diaspora” throughout the imperialist world has felt it necessary to distance itself from its usual near-universal support and identification with “Israel” and its claimed “right to exist” (a might-is-right nonsense that makes Zionists of virtually all post-war modern Jews in practice whatever “reservations” they profess or “anti-Zionism”). The same too with the liberals in “Israel” themitselves mounting demonstrations:
British Jews must speak out over the “complete disintegration of the political and social compact” that underpins the state of Israel, the historian Simon Schama has said.
His call comes amid mounting disquiet among Jews in the UK and the US at the threats to Israeli democracy, violent attacks on Palestinians and a police crackdown on Israeli protesters.
Next Sunday, Israelis living in the UK will take to the streets to voice their opposition to the actions of the most rightwing Israeli government in the country’s 75-year history.
Protests are also planned by expat Israelis and Jews in other countries in solidarity with huge demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against the government.
In a sign of the changing mood, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, considered to be a conservative and staunchly pro-Israel body, issued a rare statement condemning a call by a senior Israeli minister that a Palestinian town in the West Bank should be “wiped out” in response to the murder of two Israelis.
“We utterly condemn Bezalel Smotrich’s comments calling for the Israeli government to ‘erase’ a village which days ago was attacked by Israeli settlers. We hope that this and similar comments will be publicly repudiated by responsible voices in the governing coalition,” the board said.
The board’s statement was a reflection that British Jews across the political spectrum are deeply troubled by “dangerous extremists” in the Israeli government, said one insider.
Speaking to the Observer, Schama said that Israel was at risk of becoming a “nationalist theocracy” with the inclusion of ultra-religious, far-right parties in the coalition government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Key government posts have been handed to extreme hardliners Itamar Ben-Gvir and Smotrich – both ideological settlers committed to Israeli annexation of the West Bank.
The government has begun moves to undermine judicial independence and expand Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
The army has failed to contain a surge of settler violence, and the police last week fired stun grenades and water cannon at peaceful protesters in Tel Aviv.
“This is of concern to Jewry all over the world,” said Schama. “It’s absolutely, utterly horrifying.” Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence – “a noble document, which promised equal civil rights to all religious and ethnic groups” – had disintegrated, he said.
Jews must speak out, he added. To do so was “not a betrayal of Israel, it’s a passionate declaration of support for the enormous number of people [in Israel] who feel as anguished as we do. We should not be lily-livered about it”.
Margaret Hodge, the veteran Labour MP and parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said an “assault on democracy” combined with “vicious attacks on Palestinian rights” was creating a “dangerous moment” for Israel.
She had always been a “critical friend” of Israel, but said she and other British Jews must now be “more vocal. The voice of the Jewish diaspora must be stronger, we must exert what pressure we can to curtail the excesses of the Israeli government.”
Anthony Julius, one of the UK’s most prominent Jewish lawyers, said the Israeli government incorporated “the worst features of the populist, anti-liberal democratic parties that operate in Europe and in America as well, but with a special kind of antinomian Jewish intensity”.
Sweeping reforms to give the government total control over the appointment of judges and to allow parliament to override supreme court rulings were “destructive”, he said in Haaretz newspaper last month.
According to Rabbi Jonathan Romain, the “vast majority” of his congregation in Maidenhead, Berkshire, was “deeply worried” about what’s happening in Israel. “The extremist faction in the government is anti-gay, anti-women, anti-civil liberties, anti-pluralism, hostile to Palestinians,” Romain said.
“The mood is shifting from British Jews being out-and-out supporters [of Israel] to being critical friends – and voicing that criticism publicly.” His constituents were “more worried about the direction of Israel than at any time previously”, he said.
Reuven Ziegler, a law professor at Reading University, who will be speaking at the protest, said: “The demonstrations are a very patriotic act because they are an attempt to save Israel from making substantive mistakes that would ultimately change its character. They are anything but hostile to the Israeli state.
“Since this government was formed, it has given many reasons for people in the diaspora to find themselves alienated from it.
“In the past, faced with certain expressions of antisemitism, many Jews have felt the need to defend Israel, right or wrong. That sentiment may be weakening, but ultimately the blame for that lies squarely with the current government.”
Hannah Weisfeld, the director of Yachad, a UK organisation that advocates for a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said: “There is real disquiet in the community over Smotrich and Ben-Gvir. The settler attack on Hawara was quite a gamechanger.”
Amid growing protests about plans to overhaul Israel’s judicial system, the author and academic Yuval Noah Harari addressed a pro-democracy demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday. This is an edited version of his speech:
We are in the midst of a historical hurricane. This hurricane stirs in us not anger or hatred – but fear. We’re anxious, we don’t sleep at night, we are simply terrified. And this is perfectly OK. There are moments in history when fear is the most sane reaction. There are moments in history when fear is necessary to propel us to action.
Today we have an excellent reason to be afraid, and we have an excellent reason to act. Don’t let anybody fool you: what this government is carrying out is not a judicial reform, it is an anti-democratic coup. This is exactly what a coup looks like.
Coups are not always carried out with tanks in the streets. Many coups in history were carried out behind closed doors with pens and papers, and by the time people understood the meaning of what was written in those papers – it was too late to resist.
History is full of dictatorships established by people who first came to power through legal means. It’s the oldest trick in the book: first you use the law to gain power, then you use your power to distort the law. When examined together, the laws this government is currently legislating have one simple meaning (and you don’t need a PhD in law to get it): if these laws are passed, the government will have the power to completely destroy our freedom.
Sixty-one members of Knesset [the Israeli parliament, with 120 members] could pass any racist, oppressive and anti-democratic law they think of; 61 members of Knesset could also change the electoral system, to stop us from replacing the regime. When we ask the leaders of this coup what will keep the power of the government in check under the new regime, and what will protect basic human rights, they only have one answer: “trust us”.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Justice Minister Levin, MK Rothman, chair of the constitution committee, we do not trust you! You’re tearing to shreds the contract that has somehow held our society together for 75 years, and then you expect us to trust you?
We don’t trust you, because we know very well what you want. You want unlimited power. You want to shut us up and to tell us how to live, what to eat, what to wear, what to think and even who to love.
But you don’t understand who you’re dealing with. Israelis are not good raw material for making slaves [The enslavement of the ancient Hebrews is a core part of Jewish holy texts, remembered especially at the festival of Passover]. We Israelis are stubborn, we’re free-spirited, and nobody has ever managed to shut us up. We will not allow you to turn Israel into a dictatorship.
All this is the grossest of self-satisfied hypocrisy and historical blindness which ignores the entire history of “Israel” and its foundation and continuing maintenance by brutal violence and terrorising to drive the local population from the land they had lived on for a minimum of 1500 years (far longer than the modern English nation has existed) and which has imposed imperialist dictatorship there for the last 75 years of alleged “democracy” - serving world imperialist domination interests over the anti-imperialist and communist struggle.
Its existence has been mired in blood and butchery with names like Deir Yassin, Qibya, Sabra and Shatila, Jenin, a roll-call of grotesque massacres (among many others) as well-as the repeated blitzing and destruction of the Gaza strip, non-stop brutal intimidation and harassment of the Palestinians using every barbarous collective “punishment” method devised by imperialism in its centuries long bloody world rule.
What “democracy” have they ever had???
Or the discriminated against second-class “Arab Israelis”??
So the sudden sensitivity of “intellectuals” like Schama, David Baddiel etc is not anti-Zionism at all, but merely “anti-extreme fanatic Zionism”, not out of “democratic reason” but out of fear that the ever-more-more demented settlers and their berserk bible fanatic pursuit of the complete possession of all Palestine (“Greater Israel”) – which means inevitably the destruction of the Palestinian nation, by genocidal intimidation and violence to either kill them or disperse them to the four winds – will jeopardise everything gained so far.
That is to say their concern is to hold on to the juicy gains in what has already been stolen and not stir so much hatred and resistance that it could be overturned.
It is too late and has long been so as the Palestinian struggle has deepened and gained skill and momentum over the decades despite staggering losses, pain, bereavement and humiliation inflicted on them and the miserable lives they are forced to live in wretched permanent refugee camps and the effectively concentration camp conditions of the hemmed in and besieged Gaza Strip, and its barely human conditions.
The rising militancy which has already fought two Intifadas, – or perhaps three – might have been hampered by its lack of Marxist-Leninism and the backwardness and sectarianism of the Islamic mysticism which has filled the vacuum but it is growing more coherent all the time; as witness the organised mass rocket salvoes fired in May 2021 (EPSR No1594 27-05-21) indicating a new level of fighting capacity, despite the vast difference in resources compared to Washington subsidised Zionism and its high technological level.
But the latest struggles are overcoming differences in the resistance:
The streets of the occupied West Bank city of Jenin are awash with black-clad men wearing balaclavas and toting M-16 rifles, a favoured model because the ammunition is cheap. The crack of near-constant gunfire is deafening, almost drowning out chants of: “We will teach Tel Aviv a lesson.”
On Tuesday, the bodies of two militants killed in an Israeli army raid the day before were wrapped in Palestinian flags and carried through the centre towards the refugee camp on the city’s western edge. The huge number of armed men, and the mingling of flags belonging to several different militias – Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – spoke to a new dynamic in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In defiance of the West Bank’s semi-autonomous governing body, the Palestinian Authority (PA), armed resistance to the Israeli occupation is growing, and the boundaries between factions are becoming blurred as their interests begin to merge.
“The PA are against us, they arrest and torture us. They sold out for money while we protect this land with our blood,” said a 25-year-old wearing a silver headband and the insignia of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades, who spoke on the condition he was not named. “I have come from Nablus today to support our brothers. We face the occupation wherever it is. You can see by our numbers, look how many are here today. For every martyr they kill, 10 take his place.”
Six men – three affiliated with Hamas, one from Islamic Jihad, one from Fatah, and one man who was apparently a defecting member of the PA’s security forces – were killed in a rare daylight Israel Defence Forces (IDF) raid on Jenin camp on Tuesday afternoon targeting the Palestinian gunman who killed two Israelis in the West Bank town of Huwara last week. That attack had triggered a revenge rampage by nearby settlers living illegally on Palestinian land that even IDF officials described as a “pogrom”.
At the scene of the fighting, a car had slammed into the front of the targeted house, its bonnet crumpled like paper; witnesses said a shoulder-launched rocket fired by Israeli troops had thrown it several metres, as well as blasting iron gates off their hinges, and sending breezeblocks from destroyed walls tumbling to the ground.
Pools of dark red blood, still wet, shimmered in the sunlight. Inside the building, the orange and white kitchen, remarkably intact, looked at odds with the carnage on the other side of the missing living room wall.
“We had no idea this was going to happen, but when we heard the soldiers shouting in Hebrew, we knew a raid was starting,” said 30-year-old Islam Fayed, who lives in the neighbouring building.
“We are worried about the impact of all of this on the children. They don’t sleep any more, they keep waking up from nightmares.”
Last spring, the IDF launched Operation Breakwater, a campaign of near-nightly raids across the West Bank mainly targeting the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus, in response to a wave of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel. A year later, not only have terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians increased, but the campaign’s soaring Palestinian death toll has also galvanised a new generation of Palestinian fighters.
Signs are emerging that the groups of young men who organised in their home towns to fight back against the Israeli incursions are beginning to coordinate strategy across different cities: that the Huwara shooter, a Hamas member from Nablus, chose to hide out in Jenin’s refugee camp, where he was sheltered by local fighters, suggests those links are strengthening. Such coordination lays the groundwork for a return to full-scale conflict with Israel, even if the PA is against it.
Overnight in both Nablus and Jenin, imams broadcast a message from Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, asking the people to rise up together in solidarity, a missive met with cheers and fireworks. The two cities, as well as the West Bank’s administrative capital, Ramallah, observed a general strike on Wednesday in protest against the militants’ deaths in Jenin – the kind of collective action the weak and corrupt PA can only dream of inspiring.
For the residents of these cities, war has already returned. About 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far in 2023, around half militants and half civilians, according to rights groups. Over the same period, Palestinian “lone wolf” attacks have killed 14 Israelis, all but one of them civilians. The bloodshed follows 2022, which was the deadliest year on record in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, in the 2000s.
“I think this is worse than the second intifada. Now, every time [the Israelis] enter, they kill. They don’t distinguish between civilians and militants,” said Nadja, a 55-year-old resident of Jenin camp.
Originally a shelter for Palestinians who fled their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948, Jenin camp today, along with 18 others like it across the West Bank, resembles a ghetto: jobs are scarce, guns are plentiful, and resistance to the occupation has always been strong.
In the 30 years since its creation, the PA has done nothing to improve life here. If anything, matters have become worse, as the Israeli army has secured agreement to find the militants the PA’s own forces are too weak, or ambivalent about, to apprehend themselves.
As the Palestinian death toll steadily climbs, and settlers commit violence like that in Huwara with impunity, the little respect the PA still enjoys is evaporating. In videos circulated on social media on Tuesday night, frustrated Palestinians praised what they described as “the heroism of the martyrs”, while berating the PA as collaborators.
It is not possible yet to tell how far this step-forwards in the struggle by the heroic and determined self-sacrificing Palestinian revolt will go, how quickly the stooge PA will crumble completely and how advanced such a consolidated revolutionary consciousness will become immediately – and whether even some kind of Marxist element might start to take hold.
But the splitting of the reactionary world Jewish freemasonry in fear and dismay is of huge significance anyway.
It reflects the weakness of the Zionist occupation driven to a frenzy of fascist barbarity because its fears of Palestinian resistance increase daily, and because of fear of the Third World anti-imperialist sentiment intensifying everywhere as the capitalist Catastrophe deepens and because of the blows struck against imperialism, not least in Palestine.
There will potentially be an enormous blowback in the anti-capitalist fight in the West too and not least in Britain.
The monstrous “left anti-semitism” campaign to suppress and discredit the wave of working and middle-class sentiment against the slump and austerity programme which pushed Corbynism to the fore eight years ago has relied on the stinking calumny that all hostility against “Israel” must be at base founded in some kind of deep-seated and undeclared “racist hatred” for Jews, since it “could not possibly be caused by the behaviour and existence of ‘democratic Israel’”.
It relied on the notion that the Zionist occupation should be held out as completely different to the “primitive and backward” attitudes of the Muslim world surrounding it, by such Zionist mouthpieces as David Aaronovitch (EPSR No1233 18-05-04) in sneering rants that were nothing but pure racism themselves barely distinguishable in tone from various fascist groups.
But once that grotesquely false image of “Israel” as an island of “democracy and freedom” in a sea of primitivism is burst so wide open by the stepping up of the fanaticism of the most reactionary wing of the occupation to such a level of murderous hate-filled savagery that even the “diaspora” is obliged to wash its hands of the Jerusalem government, the whole stinking self-righteous edifice collapses.
It is notable that even the loathsome Zionist Labourite MP Margaret Hodge, one of the most reactionary driving forces for the vicious (and extremely un-democratic) witchhunting and purging in the Keir Starmer Labour Party against the Corbynite fake-“lefts” is among those now forced to back away from the corrupt and degenerate Netanyahu regime, trying to pretend that this is not the inevitable path that the occupations has been on since the Stern gang etc terrorist and civilian massacre beginnings in the early 1940s.
Having relied so heavily on this monstrous big lie political pogrom to undermine and head off the great surge of left sentiment which lifted up Corbyn’s accidental leadership, the bounceback now can only be magnified by its discrediting.
The same is true into the American heart of imperialism.
The EPSR has long speculated that the deepening contradictions of the crisis would split it from Zionism:
On the ground, every Third World ‘nationalist’ regime which in reality only ever acts as a doormat for US imperialist interests, is being pushed further towards crisis (approaching anyway because of impending economic collapse) by association with America’s vicious blitzkrieg.
And non-stop Zionist colonialist aggression has been edged towards total intransigence by Washington’s pressure to curb its worst excesses. Open conflict between Zionist imperialist interests and US imperialist interests, a serious possibility which the EPSR has regularly referred to over the years, has come more into potential focus (No 1108 16-10-01)
Not all of Zionist aggression’s wag-the-dog warmongering (to please the USA’s master-race-plans to kick arse worldwide as a cover and diversion from insoluble economic crisis), is necessarily going to please Washington all of the time.
It is not completely impossible (although still a long shot) that American blitzkrieg repression might just have to exert some of its authority on Zionist colonial-military wildcatting itself in order to preserve its credibility in the world’s eyes, and possibly to see through any particular aspect of strategy or tactics that the US warmongers decide, in their confusion, is “vital” for imperialism’s chaotic “plans”. (No 1190 24-06-04).
And in some respects just that might be what is coming to pass:
The Biden administration is under growing pressure to block a visit by Israel’s extremist finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, over his call to “wipe out” a Palestinian town that was the target of an attack by Jewish settlers.
Smotrich’s plan to speak at an investment conference in Washington, DC next week has drawn unusually strong criticism, including accusations that he is promoting “Jewish supremacy”, from individuals and groups that are more usually ardent defenders of Israel.
More than 100 Jewish American leaders signed a statement opposing the visit by leader of the Religious Zionism party in Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government. It said they “reject the notion that someone must be accorded respect simply by dint of serving in the Israeli government”.
“We call on all pro-Israel Americans to understand that welcoming Smotrich here will harm, rather than help, support for Israel,” they said.
“Smotrich has long expressed views that are abhorrent to the vast majority of American Jews, from anti-Arab racism, to virulent homophobia, to a full-throated embrace of Jewish supremacy. To this list, we can now add his endorsement of violence against innocents based on their ethnic heritage.”
The pro-Israel lobby group, J Street, called on the Biden administration to consider the unprecedented step of refusing a US visa to a senior Israeli government minister, and to refuse to meet him if he is allowed into the country.
“We agree with Israeli opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapid that Smotrich’s comments constitute ‘incitement to a war crime’,” it said.
Israeli media reported that the US has yet to approve the visa amid discussions among White House officials about how to proceed.
Smotrich has been widely condemned for comments after a mob of several hundred religious settlers attacked Hawara a week ago, burning dozens of buildings and cars, and killing a Palestinian in what an Israeli military commander called a “pogrom”.
The Israeli finance minister, whose position gives him authority over settlement construction in the occupied territories, criticised the settlers for taking matters into their own hands but said the military should act instead.
“I think the village of Hawara needs to be wiped out. I think the state of Israel should do it,” he said.
Smotrich later claimed to have made “a slip of the tongue in a storm of emotions”, and that he intended only to target “terrorists and supporters of terrorism”.
His statement added to diplomatic tensions with Washington over Netanyahu’s rightwing policies after the Israeli press reported that the US ambassador, Tom Nides, said that if he was on the flight to Washington with Smotrich he would “throw him off the plane”.
The US embassy denied the remarks but Smotrich responded by accusing Nides of endangering his life, albeit unintentionally.
The signatories of the statement include three former US ambassadors to Israel; the former director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Abraham Foxman; and the leaders of the Reform and Conservative Jewish religious denominations.
The former chief executive of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Thomas Dine, also signed. Aipac itself has remained silent on Smotrich’s comments but said it has no plans to meet the minister.
Despite these monstrosities the propaganda steamrollers on across deluded public opinion and nowhere more than where it connects to imperialism’s overall wamongering programme.
So it is for example that one time Pink Floyd celebrity Roger Waters has been drenched in poisonous vilification by sanctimonious petty bourgeois reaction including his smug former band mates – not least in war-guilt-ridden Germany with concerts cancelled across the country (and elsewhere) – not simply because he speaks out for the Palestinians but also against the Ukrainian nazis.
Waters himself is no Marxist – and his grasp of the war does not climb far beyond some even-handed blaming in all directions, declaring the Russia too to be “wrong for invading” but that has been enough for the complacent and threatened middle-class (who sense the severity of the oncoming crisis and fear the loss of their relative good life built on imperialist world exploitation) to lash out with the most disgusting hate-campaigning.
The dialectical complexities of the Ukraine war have partly been analysed by the EPSR previously, explaining that Putin’s bonarpartist oligarch pandering is nothing progressive in itself, (and with as much tendency towards imperialism as any other capitalism – as in the Chechen war) and in no manner can be supported, but that the real problem for the world is the now super-concentrated monopoly dominance of the American imperialist power and its stooge “allies” like Britain.
Defeat for imperialism is the overriding question and that means defeat for the gigantic central power – even if the instrument for that is the secondary and minor imperialist power of restored Russia.
But Putin’s idiot anti-communism and Greater Russian nationalism not only is no future for the former Soviet Union’s masses (any more than any other capitalism) but actually is a drag on the capacity to fight, hampered by its moralising and religiosity.
Further analysis is required on this and its roots in the decades long revisionist theoretical degeneration which began under Stalin and led to the Soviet Union’s liquidation in the first place.
Certainly, Russia’s costly and agonising fight is going far better than the similar responses of Serbia to monstrous NATO blitzing in 1999.
While Belgrade was obviously facing a vastly greater imbalance between victim and antagonist, its showed the ultimate hopeless capitulatory thinking of revisionist nationalism (see eg EPSR 1006 14-07-99).
Currently there are even indications that an overall defeat is being inflicted, certainly on Ukraine and even the NATO puppet masters, reflecting the long-term crisis decline of imperialism and its inability to organise, fears of the anti-imperialism further stirred up throughout the world and the domestic impact (a return to “guns not butter”, forcing down already hammered living standards into further “heat or eat” poverty while hugely escalating arms spending – really??????).
But defeat is not yet a certainty and even if Russia “wins” it leaves all the giant contradictions of imperialist collapse unsolved (revisionist inspired idiocies about “de-nazification” notwithstanding).
What workers need to hear is that the greatest and most destructive breakdown in all history is underway which will inevitably culminate in a Third World War of potentially far greater horrors than the two great wars of the twentieth century.
Even if Ukraine does set back the imperialist war plan it will not stop it because the capitalists have no other way out save handing over to the working class to build planned socialism.
“Yeah-right, that’s going to happen” as the teenagers say.
World War Three has long started, since Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, all through the suppression of the Arab Spring and the imperialists’ demented and meaningless “war on terror” and now escalated by the vicious Nato onslaught on Russia - while belligerence and war plans are ratcheted up - against China obviously but also against the other major imperialist rivals.
Ukraine is as much about destroying European competition in the trade war, particularly in “taking out” the German powerhouse built on cheap Russian gas, as it is about fighting Moscow itself.
Much deeper understanding of all these complexities is required but will not come from the “left” half going along with this Western NATO depravity, as the “socialist” Second International traitors (Labour and their European equivalents) all went along with imperialist warmongering in 1914 (and 1939 too).
The working class needs revolutionary grasp and is ready for it as this recent bourgeois press letter indicated despite its misplaced illusions in Corbynism:
Sonia Sodha ... ignores the fact that under Jeremy Corbyn thousands of previously non-active voters became both party members and activists, many, including myself, for the first time. Before Corbyn, I was neither a voter, nor a member, nor an activist.
Sodha writes about ejecting Corbyn as if it were a sign of democracy, yet what could be less democratic than denying the voters of Islington North their choice of Labour MP – the much respected and hard-working Corbyn..?
Keir Starmer clearly feels threatened by the mere presence of Corbyn on the backbenches. Why? Corbyn is correct to point to the one thing that, according to Starmer, we aren’t supposed to talk about: Palestine. But it’s more than that. Starmer represents preservation of the status quo, whereas Corbyn represents change. Some of us are more than ready for change and Sodha cannot ignore the fact that 12 million of us voted for that.
Exposing fake-“leftism” and the battle for Leninist science is the issue now.
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Aside from its willingness to challenge Western imperialism’s non-stop lying anti-Russian propaganda onslaught around Ukraine, ‘No2Nato, No2War’ is no advance from the now exposed Stop the War Coalition’s social-pacifist illusions. Its embrace of soft-headed revisionist notions of “multipolarity” and smuggled in social-chauvinism are disarming misleadership and dangerously divert the working class from Marxist-Leninism’s correct revolutionary internationalist perspective of imperialist defeat and communist revolution as the only means to end capitalist collapse and stop war.
The ‘No2Nato, No2War’ “conference” in Bolivar House, London, on 25th February demonstrates the disastrous impact soft-headed revisionist notions of ‘multipolarity’ are having on British pacifist opportunism in a world capitalist system hurtling towards catastrophic slump and war, as discussed in EPSR No 1624.
Ruling class fearfulness that even such “no to war” timidness might tap into a growing anti-imperialist mood is exposed by the mysterious attempts cancel the event beforehand through threats and intimidation of booked venues. Pacifist illusion-mongering has long been a useful tool to head workers away from revolutionary Leninist perspectives on the world capitalist crisis and the need for communist revolution to bring it to an end.
This censorship follows on from the Blairites’ vicious Zionist-inspired campaigns of lies and slanders about bogus anti-semitism from 2015 onwards against supporters of even Jeremy Corbyn’s class-compromising pale “left” reformist leadership of the pro-imperialist Labour party, including, and most notably, Chris Williamson (now a member of Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party “revival”) and his fellow Labour exile George Galloway (also a target of sustained hate-filled Zionist attacks, including physical assaults) – both of whom initiated this latest pacifist diversion.
In his contribution to the rally, Williamson correctly spoke of the deeply sinister military coup warnings made in public by assorted gold-braided generals as soon as Corbyn was elected Labour leader in September 2015.
He also rightly defended himself against the smears (now adopted enthusiastically by Sir Keir Starmer’s increasingly Mosleyite, “patriotic” National Anthem-singing Labour party as a means of suppressing all left opposition) and castigated the entire parliamentary Labour party for capitulating to imperialist pressure, including members of the Socialist Campaign Group (with the sly Trotsky-influenced “left” Labour MP John McDonnell at the heart) whose decades long reformist class-collaborationism and grovelling has degenerated so far into reaction that they now call on the British ruling class to send ALL surplus military equipment to Ukraine!!
Williamson then went through a list of all Labour’s manifesto pledges in support of NATO since its foundation in 1949 ( which, as Williamson said, the colonialist Clement Attlee’s “reformist” Labour government helped to establish – having signed the Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance with France in 1947 against the Soviet Union and Germany on which the NATO alliance was based). That may have been just enough to disabuse one or two waverers of any notions that Labour had ever had anything to do with socialist internationalism, but it would have had a far greater impact had he also surveyed Labour’s entire foreign policy history of sheer savagery and ruthlessness to suppress communist and anti-imperialist movements in the service of imperialism and to restore colonial rule after WW2.
Under Attlee’s “progressive” leadership, Labour re-armed defeated Japan’s troops in Indo-China to brutally suppress indigenous nationalist forces and restore French colonialist rule in Vietnam and Cambodia (now Kampuchea), and, again with Japanese prisoner of war, launched a murderous direct military invasion and blitzkrieg of Indonesia’s cities on behalf of the Dutch colonialists (slaughtering up to 16,000 Indonesians in Surabaya alone); continued the warmongering fascist Winston Churchill’s war to re-establish a monarchy-restorationist fascist government in Greece against the Greek communists’ anti-nazi partisan fighters; launched the savage 12-year war against Malaysian communist guerillas in 1948; orchestrated the vindictive and murderous 1948 partition of India; turned a blind eye to Kenya’s white settler occupation’s vicious persecution of an emerging pro-independence general strike movement; assisted Zionist settlers in depopulating Palestinian lands to create the Jewish colony of so-called “Israel”; put in place secret plans for a coup against Mussadeq’s bourgeois-nationalist Iranian government (who was later toppled with US imperialist support in 1953); joined the US imperialism’s genocidal war against communism in Korea; backed their anti-Soviet Union re-militarisation of western Europe through the Marshall Plan etc., etc.
Whilst all this horror was taking place, Attlee stepped up British imperialism’s systematic super-exploitation of its colonies to levels unseen up to then, and diverted some of the spoils of empire towards his “welfare state” reforms to bribe workers and head them away from the revolutionary example set by the heroic achievements of the workers of the Soviet Union and their proletarian dictatorship.
Attlee also put through the utterly fraudulent “nationalisation” of the mines and the railways, lyingly sold to the working class as a “socialist advance” but in reality a state-capitalist takeover to rescue the post-war near-bankrupt British imperialist industrial base because previous private ownership could not provide the infrastructure and energy required. All of this is the true legacy of Attlee’s alleged 1945 “progressive democratic socialism”, not the NHS or welfare reforms that would have been unachievable had Britain not had an empire to plunder remorselessly.
It is a legacy that has been enthusiastically continued by every Labour administration ever since - from playing a key role in the 1965 slaughter of up to two million or more Indonesian communists and sympathisers by General Suharto’s fascist thugs (through propaganda support and aid from Britain’s espionage and military base in newly-created Singapore (whose merger in 1963 with the Federation of Malaysian was sabotaged by British imperialist intrigue)); imposing direct colonial rule in South Yemen (1965) and escalating Britain’s brutal war of terror and torture against the revolutionary Marxist NLF;, providing covert support (including arms) to US imperialism’s bombings of North Vietnamese villages and cities, and launching a secret counter-insurgency war in Oman;and triggering the 30-year brutal military occupation of the north of Ireland and dirty war against the Irish nationalist movement.
Tony Blair’s wars of aggression and terror in the service of British and US imperialism in Serbia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Starmer’s wholehearted support for the Ukrainian nazis, are not aberrations committed by warmongering interlopers. They are a continuation of the Labour party’s disgraceful historic role as servants of imperialism that pre-dated even Attlee colonial outrages (including Ramsay McDonald’s pre-war governments – see his 1924 government’s involvement in the partition of Ireland, for example – and Labour’s participation in the war-time national government dictatorship).
By focusing solely on Labour’s manifesto commitments to NATO, Williamson misleadingly pulls his punches.
The impression he leaves is that Labour would somehow not have been imperialist had it not supported NATO throughout its history. However, aside from NATO’s terrifying nuclear encirclement of the Soviet Union (and later, the Russian Federation) and its wars of aggression against Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, Labour’s imperialist wars and military interventions listed above were committed outside the direct auspices of NATO (in part, and particularly in the post-Soviet era, because of the divergent imperialist interests within NATO, principally between the US, Germany and France).
Given Labour’s bloody pro-imperialist record, what was Williamson) doing for decades in the party before he was witch-hunted out in 2019??? (And Galloway before).
And why, in 2018, when asked by the Mail Online who was the best ever Labour leader was, did he reply:
“I think it is a combination of different ones. So, I think Attlee put down some great foundations for welfare and health. And I think Blair and Brown as a combination brought Labour values back to government. I would go for those two periods.”
Given this admitted respect for such imperialist warmongers, Williamson’s professed opposition to NATO is shown to be pure demagoguery.
As is the whole No2Nato jamboree.
Its “stop the NATO war-drive” sloganeering is worse than futile, it is gross confusion-mongering, and, aside from its resistance to much of the non-stop lying anti-Russian propaganda from capitalist media corporations, it is no different to the social-pacifism of the equally useless “Stop the War Coalition”.
(It is to be suspected that this new anti-war front was cobbled together because Galloway’s acute opportunistic instincts sensed the possibility of reviving STWC-style pacifism in a new “tougher” form after its Trotskyist-inspired “neither Washington nor Moscow” position stood exposed by its capitulation to imperialist pressure to condemn “the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine” and demand their immediate withdrawal. After all, he was a founding member of the STWC before the Iraq invasion in 2003.)
The only meaningful line to take (because it immediately puts the question of the need for revolution at the forefront) is to call for the defeat of NATO and its Ukrainian nazi stooges without giving any illusions in Putin, his idiotic greater Russian nationalist illusions, or the bourgeois-oligarch state he leads (just as defeat for imperialism was the call in Iraq with no support for Saddam see EPSR 1173,1233).
Such a revolutionary position is a million miles from the minds of the speakers at the rally. None got anywhere near to ascribing the war to capitalism’s catastrophic Slump crisis, which now is bringing humanity to the abyss of inter-imperialist world war yet again, just as 1930’s Great Depression did, and the 1914 financial crash before that.
Instead, such light-minded gibberish as this was mooted without blushing by Williamson:
“Wars come about as a result of lies peddled to the British public, and the American public, and the public all over the world.”
Or partial, but still superficial, explanations were advanced never getting to the warmongering’s capitalist-crisis roots either, such as this revisionist-inspired explanation from Fiona Edwards of the ‘No Cold War” group:
“It is decades of NATO expansion bringing an aggressive military alliance right up to Russia’s border that has caused this war.”
All such positions imply that war can be stopped – “if only politicians told the truth”, “if only someone stopped NATO from expanding”, “if only someone applied the breaks” (Galloway), “if only the military-industrial complex was dismantled” (former British diplomat Craig Murray) etc. etc.
If only pigs would fly.
As Leninism has always understood and argued, imperialism’s drive to all-out war is unstoppable.
Only imperialist defeat and revolution can and will bring it to an end – as Lenin’s Bolsheviks demonstrated in 1917, and as did the Red Army’s heroic victory against German imperialism (and reaffirmation of the Russian revolution) in 1945.
Alongside all this pacifist wishful-thinking, is the declaration from Galloway, and echoed by others at the rally, that
“This is the period imperialism ends…”
not because its Slump and war catastrophe will inevitably trigger revolutionary upheavals around the world, but...
“because of the tectonic shifts the [Ukrainian] war has provoked around the war” [that have led to] “the rise of a multipolar world.”
Such notions of “multipolarity” claim that US imperialist aggression can be contained by the steady peaceful development and expansion of China in alliance with Russia, pulling the third world towards its orbit and, thereby, breaking the USA’s hegemonic power and forcing it to negotiate its way to peace.
“Multipolarity” is just the updated form of world revisionism’s dunderheaded conception that an international balance of class forces can be achieved that allows for permanent peaceful coexistence between the socialist camp and imperialism. It is rooted in Stalin’s 1952 revision of Leninism in his pamphlet ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’ where he claimed that capitalism can no longer expand, and that “peace struggle” can prevent wars.
Stalin was ignorant of the fact that this idiotic theory was already being disproved, as imperialism was already at the early stages of the greatest credit-expansion boom in all history in 1952, which escalated to unprecedented levels, even after the Bretton Woods war-time agreement to peg the US dollar to gold – and all other currencies to the dollar – collapsed in crisis by 1971, due to a four-decade orgy of inflationary money printing.
Its eventual collapse in the Great Crash of 2008 has been followed by even more insane credit creation since, desperately trying to stop total implosion. But it has only stretched out the crisis.
(Which is about to hit the buffers even more as the Silicon Valley Bank collapse and near meltdown of giant international bank Credit Suisse foreshadows - ed).
No imperialist wars were “stopped” by struggles for peace throughout that time (the Vietnam war ended with the defeat of US imperialism at the hands of the Viet Cong in 1975 and undermined the confidence of the American ruling class to engage in direct military conflict from then on. The anti-war peace movement was by-product of that defeat when the body bags starting coming home).
Stalin’s revision of Leninism disarmed the world communist movement in theory, and engendered bureaucratic leadership complacency and confusion in practice, in the face of a still expanding, and still aggressive, imperialist system, thereby ultimately precipitating the tragic revisionist-Gorbachev liquidation of the still economically viable Soviet Union by 1991, with disastrous consequences for international proletariat (see EPSR Book Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics against Stalinism).
Galloway’s ill-conceived references to a multipolar world “heaving into view” gives a surface impression of an internationalism that recognises the equality of all nations and their “right” to independent peaceful development, but in practice it is used to mask a petty-bourgeois national-chauvinist outlook. See, for example, the comments made by this peacocking John Bull tribute act about “elect[ing] our own dwarfs”, “our country sinking in decline” and “our own people”. All Galloway needs to do is replace his fedora with a little topper hat to complete the picture!
Even the “anti-imperialism begins at home” strap-line on a No2Nato free-sheet reinforces this reactionary national particularism, as does as the absence of any international coverage in the Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain’s publicity rag handed out at the rally.
It follows on logically from Galloway’s (and the CPGB(ML) museum Stalinist’s) advocacy of Brexit – which has only served to line workers up behind the British ruling class in its inter-imperialist trade war rivalry with Europe.
Given all this, it was no surprise to see WPB members greet the rally’s attendees whilst proudly wearing red-white-and-blue rondelesque pin badges – one member even loudly declared “I am a British patriot!” twice when challenged on this outside the meeting.
(The WPB is an opportunist lash up between Galloway and the CPGB(ML)– some of whose members had presumably camouflaged themselves behind the badges too as their own party presence was virtually invisible).
It all is of a piece with the Labour party’s now ubiquitous (giant) Union Jack flag-waving and recent adoption of Brexit.
By tapping into and tail-ending the still present backward attitudes of the empire-corrupted layers of the British working class, such social chauvinism dangerously heads workers away from the revolutionary internationalist perspective of Marx, Engels and Lenin required now just as the ruling class is using its Ukraine provocations to step up the warmongering atmosphere as a scapegoating diversion from capitalism’s intensifying crisis, and in preparation for the all-out inter-imperialist war “final solution” it needs to destroy all the surplus capital (and people) clogging up the capitalist system and (it hopes) restore the rate of profit.
Andy Hudd, ASLEF’s vice-president, made some useful points about the trade union’s national protectionism, particularly in the arms industry, stating that “they can challenge the capitalist production industry on this”, but he still goes along with Brexit (ASLEF was the first trade union to come out in favour of withdrawal in the 2016 election), and he is not making an all out challenge to the opportunist TUC on these questions.
Craig Murray, the former British ambassador, raised some interesting questions on nationalism and national self-determination in his speech that are worth further analysis. He also made some good points on the war profiteering of the arms industry. However his contribution was larded with vicar-ish petty-bourgeois moralising about “bad people on all sides” and a rejection of all wars as “evil” (including revolutionary wars and wars of national liberation – “war is not an answer to people’s struggles”).
No2Nato’s founders declare that they want to build the broadest possible movement in opposition to imperialist war (“from the left to the right”), and there was an openness to discussion questions of revolutionary theory when raised amongst many the attendees at the rally.
This reflects a growing centralist mood, and is worth testing in practice; but social-chauvinism in all its forms needs battling against and to be defeated alongside social-pacifism as part of the struggle to re-establish Leninism’s revolutionary internationalist perspective.
Build Leninism now.
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