May–September issues 2000
FOUR. The world may seem an increasingly modernised and rational place where steady reforms of backward bits are all that is needed, but in reality, all development takes place only through contradiction and conflict, and that means at this stage of history that revolutionary class war is the only conceivable way forward from the ever mounting economic and social disfunctioning of the international imperialist system. Single-issue reformist lobbies like feminism are the most self-defeating diversions just helping capitalism maintain an ever-worsening society.
30. On the surface of things as they stand in Britain at present, most people would think that any talk of the capitalist system collapsing in revolutionary crisis was unrealistic if not certifiable. Soap opera and semi-pornographic television; football chauvinism; shopping and fornicating; binge-drinking Ibiza rave culture; etc, etc, manage to keep most people diverted, it would seem; and the ever-changing computerised technological wizardry of consumerism and work-prospects would seem to show that the many-sided revolutionariness of free-enterprise was the real business of life, not the dull dusty 19th century delusions of Marxism, so-called, which can get dismissed as compensatory fantasies for those who failed to make it in the modern world, etc.
Imperialist politics is seen as ever-more-smartly successful with new gimmicks all the time (Clintonism, Blairism; Thatcherism and Reaganism before that, etc, etc); and the 'liberalising' ideology of the fast-moving and even more rapidly communicating present-day society is thought certain to continue driving racism, sexism, and every other backward prejudice out of social relations altogether, etc, etc.
31. The real delusion, of course, is this vision of a rational and ever-more-perfectable structure as the essence of the free market and as making increasingly reasonable human beings out of all who play the system 'hard but fair'.
This is a nice idea, naturally, and the inevitable growing sophistication and relentlessly modernising pressures of still evolving market capitalism can persuade billions of people to easily believe in the basic respectability and reformability of how the current world is run.
But contradiction is the real catalyst for change, and antagonism has marked all civilisation's most significant turning points. It may seem to make sense that life just gets smoothly steadily better, and that working to improve it by reforms is the obvious way forward for everyone, instead of anticipating total breakdown and revolutionary upheaval. But it is an illusion. The dialectical-materialist science of how all things can and do change has the essential notion of contradiction at its core to start with; and secondly, the actual history of the world in the last 150 years has been the record of the most prolific sequence of the greatest warmongering and revolutionary upheavals there has ever been, all with irreconcilable contradiction at their heart.
If the path of progress of civilisation has hitherto only had class war and revolutionary upheaval as its most significant landmarks, and if one look at the impoverished Third World is enough to convince all that imperialism remains a system of class conflict and exploitation then only Kautsky's daft notion of super-imperialism, or anti-communist despair that the dictatorship of the proletariat (the only alternative to capitalism) can never be anything but clumsily bad or even viciously evil, can cloud the clear expectation that incurable class-conflict at the root of capitalist production, distribution, and exchange must mean that revolutionary crisis and conflict are firmly on the whole world's agenda no matter how super-modern and sophisticated the whole triumphant capitalist racket becomes.
32: One of the most seductive 'modernising' aspects of present-day capitalism which has helped to buttress the 'progressive evolution' delusion about bourgeois democracy (coupled with the abysmal failure of 'communist' revisionism which betrayed the epoch making role that the workers states could have, and should have, played in giving the world a continuous lead in social improvement) has been the role of aggressive single-issue reformisms such as feminism, black pride, gay pride, etc.
In the class-war long term pattern of history which will need to see planned world socialism under the control of workers states everywhere replacing the 700-year international rule of the capitalist bourgeoisie (with its incurable built-in inevitability of exploitation, elitism, and repression, and therefore of constantly-reviving prejudices and discrimination of all kinds, before real equality and an end to injustice can become the natural way of life for all mankind, -- these single-issue reformist pressures to make the imperialist 'democracies' look blemishless from a 'human rights' point of view will only end up being identified for what their real essence is already, petty-bourgeois class-collaboration. While capitalist states, economies, and societies can be coerced by agitation (which might even earn the description 'revolutionary' by its bravery, skill, determination, and energy, etc, in forcing significant retreats in established prejudice) to appear to capitulate to 'human rights' pressure all the way down the line, - the fundamental reality of bourgeois society everywhere remains the same: capitalist class dictatorship.
The 'reforms' against racism and sexism, etc, essentially benefit middle-class individuals. Job promotions and professional appointments for women, blacks, and gays, etc, have made progress, and legal discrimination is being tackled. But how does basic class exploitation get affected???? Not at all.
Black individuals can become as prominent as they like in politics, show-business & the professions, etc, but black working-class youth continue to be disproportionately represented in the prison population, in children excluded from school, and generally in the most alienated or disadvantaged sectors of society, which by huge volumes easily outnumber the ranks of black lawyers, black schoolteachers, black foremen, black civil servants, etc.
And the world community, which the United Nations and the G8 leading powers go on contentedly administrating, has exploitation, poverty, starvation, and brutal death for its non-white population (the overwhelming majority) which puts the 'anti-racist' agitational achievement of a soft job in corrupt local government somewhere or other, gained by 'positive discrimination', somewhat in perspective. Good luck for the individual involved, and more power to the elbow for embarrassing the system’s prejudices in all directions, but at what price in the end are such localised successes gained here and there? At the price of a hopelessly exploitational and discriminatory world imperialist economic system continuing essentially unscathed by means of accepting a few more black middle-class promotions here and there. No discredit to the agitators involved. They are only doing what white petty bourgeois reformist class-collaboration has always done. But discredit to all reformism which has never been anything else but a betrayal of revolutionary proletarian struggle to get rid of colonial-imperialist exploitation (the capitalist system) in its entirety, and which alone has struck the real blows against world bourgeois domination from 1871 onwards (the Paris Commune, echoed and even preceded or bettered by revolts in the colonies since capitalist-imperialism began) which have obliged the free-market ideology to steadily step-up its joke 'reformist' posture.
Reformists do the agitating, but it is only the long history of revolutionary blows against the capitalist system which has forced it to constantly pretend to be reasonable about 'human rights',' etc.
Feminism is an even bigger 'reformist' fraud. The sexploitation of women today goes on more offensively than ever before in capitalism's history. There is not an advert, game-show, or comedy hour that does not have sexual flaunting or innuendo as a theme, - films and pop videos the same. The only 'equality' achieved is that toyboys and male escort agency prostitutes are now spoken of almost as openly as their female equivalents, and the reverse sexploitation of the Chippendales and the pub hen-parties has added male strippers to capitalist culture. Many would argue that such sexual 'liberation' is only to be welcomed after the stifling hypocrisy and 'universal prostitution by marriage' of the Victorian era, and some would even argue that the increasingly open expansion of prostitution/massage parlour industry is a good thing too. Trade-union, legal, and feminist protection of 'sex workers', plus feminist champions of pornography as potentially 'liberating' for women as well as men, all now conflict with other feminists, just as adamant that the whole scene is merely a continuation of men’s degradation of women, with a patriarchal world having conned many females into collaborating in their own sexploitation, etc.
The reality is that no one can be sure of the route to 'sexual freedom' or what it should mean, either in this still-evolving society or in the post-capitalist future, because there are less and less quantities of stable mature community existence on earth where considered judgments over time can be made on such matters. Rational judgment is not what the fast-moving capitalist entertainment industry is guided by, and the huge profitability from exploiting sex-as-entertainment now flooding the internet, Channel 5, car adverts, pop music and the cinema, - basically providing endless sexual arousal/masturbatory material, - has audience-share and monopoly-balance sheets in mind, not the well being of society. In one sense, it is a scale of sexploitation of the whole world-population infinitely greater and more serious than the most patriarchal degradation of Victorian prostitutes (or 'worthwhile sex industry employment requiring better pay and conditions' if viewed from that 'liberated' feminist angle) that can be imagined, - a prostitution trade which, of course, itself now runs on a far vaster scale than ever before, despite (or happily because of, depending on viewpoint) the total revolution in sexual 'liberation' that modern capitalism has brought.
An attempted Marxist analysis of what all this means, and where it is heading for, is obviously demanded, but the point being made here is that feminism, as a reformist political ideology pretending to 'solve' women's problems in the modern world, is not just out of its depth on these questions, but is itself clearly part of the problem, and not remotely part of any solution.
Since its arrival on the scene as a major political force, feminism has unquestionably class-collaborated with the capitalist system as such, pretending to 'reform' it out of all recognition by challenging its patriarchal bias, etc, etc. But as seen above on the issue closest of all to the feminists, the matter of sexploitation itself, capitalism is profiteering out of human need, confusion, and difficulties in this area more than ever before in history, and leaving society with less general contentment or future stability and security than it has ever known. Feminists' class-collaboration with the powers-that-be -- pushing to get their share of the ruling class spoils, rather than pushing to end a whole system run on exploitation, - have helped to prolong this 'free-market'way of life, i.e. capitalist domination, which screws everybody in the end.
And away from the sexual-politics frontline in the handful of sophisticated Western countries, how has the lot of the overwhelming mass of women fared on earth, - working class women? Throughout the Third World, it faces more relative deprivation, hardship, and suffering than ever before in the 40 years since 'feminism' began making its mark on middle class minds. In the West itself, the female proletariat feels as well or as badly off as the rest of the working class feels, battling against poor schooling for the children, against patchy health-service care, demanding massive environmental improvement, and putting up with work-exploitation drudgery. In other words, no real change at all. And when the post-war trade boom finally collapses, and slump takes over again, the working class will see itself as worse off than ever before, men and women alike, and will see that the class-collaborating feminist middle class folly has helped to put them there by its anti-patriarch agitation enabling the other 99% of the capitalist system's real harmfulness to carry on just as before, or, if anything, even better concealed and better protected than ever before because of feminism's huge posturing about incidental aspects of bourgeois-imperialist rule, the 'reform' of which changes nothing about the system's continuing essential class-domination which exploits everybody, in countless worse ways than any individual feminist ever suffered.
33. On capitalism's continued crude sexploitation of the world population, in general, as with so many other things, it will not be until it is possible to restore life with any meaningful sense of community aspect to it that these and many other problems will get the chance to resume positive evolutionary progress. Even some versions of 'communist' futurism have relegated the family to being a casualty of 'patriarchy-exploitation' history; but for as long as a primary instinct of all childrens’ spontaneous play remains variations on a nest-building theme, and for as long as a primary spontaneous instinct in all little girls' play remains dressing up to look as attractive as possible, it seems likely that the decisive role of women, whose most powerful sexual urges retain clear physical and emotional connection to the procreative cycle, will mean family life, in one form or another, remaining central to human society for the foreseeable future.
It remains to be seen what happens to all the group rowdyism and sexual exhibitionism that current youth are attracted to; but that 'most people settle down' contains truth as well as a cliché designed to cover up and dismiss legitimate youthful anxieties. For the rest of rebellious youth's problems, look no further than the crisis of capitalist society itself. Nothing can be judged in advance about what post capitalist generational relationships will be like once real human communities are restored, mankind rationally and reasonably working out all social and personal problems towards the point where the free development of every individual becomes the condition registering the free development of society itself. What is certain is that if the present total ideological confusion on the planet throws up a 'youthism' movement to imitate the reformist agitation of feminism and other single-issue individualist panaceas, then the class-collaboration involved will guarantee capitalism a yet further prolonged lease of life, ensuring 'youth problems' (like all other problems) will only get worse and be further from any solution than ever before.
34. Some anti-communist fake-'lefts' are now attempting a philosophical ambush on Lenin on the question of 'freedom' in order to rationalise their counter-revolutionary betrayal of the Soviet workers state (resting on state-capitalist and Trotskyite 'Revolution Betrayed' lies and delusions which went up in smoke in 1991 when the real counter-revolution finally made its move).
In painful abstract theorising rigmaroles seeking to split the 'humanist' Marx from the 'brutalist' Lenin, these academics hope to cash in on the universal assumption (examined earlier) ludicrously accusing the workers states of seeking the deliberate destruction of large sections of their own populations. As throughout the USSR's existence, any garbage will do as long as these petty bourgeois can keep up 'left' appearances while maintaining an anti-Soviet position.
But in time, the actual sacrifices and achievements of the socialist camp in helping the Third World escape from colonial subjugation, and building powerful revolutionary workers states from one end of the world to the other to challenge imperialist aggression, will live on, and the ridiculous myths about deliberate, murderous tyranny will be discredited.
Cuba sensibly refused to follow Gorbachev revisionism's insane path of dismantling the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to curry favour with the West by embracing its market forces, and thereby it has evaded counter-revolutionary overthrow so far.
Now, despite having been an undeveloped backward island, typical of the worst of Latin American poverty and as corrupt and hopeless a country as any victim on earth of past Western colonial subjugation (next-door Haiti is officially still the world's poorest country), Cuba is poised for possibly one of the greatest socialist propaganda triumphs of all time.
In the teeth of 40 years non-stop US imperialist blockade, sabotage, subversion, and relentless brainwashing propaganda onslaught (which the fake-'lefts' all ignored, and ascribed all the consequent difficulties for Cuba down to 'Stalinist tyranny' and 'lack of basic freedoms' etc, etc), the dictatorship of the proletariat under Castro's party leadership is on the verge of ridiculing the American embargo, stifling the sneers that 'totalitarianism destroys human freedom and ingenuity', and getting inter-imperialist trade-war to disrupt the blockade around Cuba as a result of creatively outperforming in medical research the very best that the entire wealthy West can produce, and coming close to the holy grails of international commercial science.
The communist-hating capitalist press itself reports the following:
Clinical trials of a cancer therapy genetically engineered by the Cuban biotechnology industry are due to begin in London next month. It may prove to be a landmark both for medicine's struggle with the disease and Fidel Castro's attempts to break out of Cuba's US-imposed isolation.
Despite a stark lack of resources, laboratories in the impoverished suburbs of the capital Havana have made startling strides in developing revolutionary vaccines and antibodies against meningitis, hepatitis, and lung, breast, head and neck cancers.
But their use in other parts of the world has been hindered up to now by the Helms Burton Act, the US measure which penalises foreign companies for dealing with Cuba.
That hitherto impenetrable wall is now beginning to crumble in the more general thaw in US-Cuban relations, and western investors have found that Cuban scientists, subsisting on scarcely £10 a month, are ahead in some fields of their colleagues in the US and western Europe in the race to produce genetically engineered medicines.
After months of intensive lobbying, the British pharmaceutical company Smith Kline Beecham succeeded a year ago in persuading Washington to give it an exemption from the act, allowing it to develop and market a Cuban vaccine against the child-killing disease meningitis B. It is the only such vaccine in the world, and is undergoing trials prior to being launched in Europe.
In the past few weeks, as international investors have grown less afraid of US retaliation, a Canadian venture capital firm, York Medical, has secured funds for clinical trials of Cuban cancer vaccines and antibodies
Its director, David Allan, said that trials of a cancer vaccine would begin in Britain "in the next few weeks" on cancer patients who were not responding to conventional treatment. The hospitals involved cannot be named for contractual reasons.
"We already know it is effective," Mr Allan said. "What we are doing is confirming clinical trials. We all know the answer."
The vaccine does not prevent cancer in a healthy person, but it prevents existing tumours spreading. It works by provoking the immune system into making antibodies against epidermal growth factor (EGF), a naturally occurring protein which plays an important role in childhood development but seems to have no function in adults other than nourishing tumours.
The problem in reducing its supply was to find a way to provoke the immune system into fighting a substance normally found in the body.
The Cubans found a way by bonding EGF with a bacterial protein known as P64k, which promotes an immune response to both and thus mops up the supply of EGF.
York Medical says that the vaccine has already produced impressive results in Cuban tests, increasing the average survival time by 200%.
"There's a certain degree of inventiveness in Cuba, of thinking outside the box," Mr Allan said: `We all learn the same words, the same things in medical school, but the Cubans are not bound by what has been in the past:'
They have also developed an antibody which could provide a second line of attack against certain tumours. It works by blocking EGF receptors on cancer cells and prevents them connecting with and being nourished by the protein.
The strategy, first laid out by a Cuban scientist, Rolando Perez, in a scientific paper in 1984 , not only stops the tumour growing but weakens the cancer, making it far more vulnerable to chemo- and radio- therapy. To Cuba the success of these trials is essential. In the last 10 years, President Castro has ploughed an estimated $1bn into its cluster of biotech institutes, capitalising on a long term investment in medical expertise which has given Cuba more doctors per capita than any other country in the world.
Mark Rasenick, a University of Illinois physiology professor who watches Cuba's progress, said: "Because they have a surfeit of physicians, they are able to allow the best and the brightest to engage in work which supports a system of biomedical research. It's considered a national priority."
The investment also represents, in the words of a diplomat in Havana, "Fidel's moonshot" - a bid for national greatness and an impudent challenge to the US monolith in the great scientific race of the era.
But Jose Suarez, whose job it is to find foreigners to invest in Cuban scientific discoveries, points out that the country’s achievements save lives. It is not national vanity, he argues, but "a national necessity" :
"The world is not interested in paying to cure the diseases of poor countries," he said in his office in the Finlay Institute. "The existing cholera vaccine is for tourists. It works for 30 days, but if you live in a poor country there is no vaccine for you. We are testing a cholera vaccine for people who live in the third world"
The meningitis B vaccine was developed as an emergency response to an epidemic in the 1970s. The government gave 15 researchers the task of finding a solution in a hurry. They tested the prototypes on their own bodies, and finally came up with a vaccine that was 84% effective.
By 1990 meningitis was no longer a serious threat in Cuba. In blocking its international use until last year, Mr Suarez said, Washington was striking at Cuba but harming the world's poor and young.
The licence given to Smith Kline Beecham last July is the only one of its kind, and it is hedged. with restrictions which deny Cuba the right to cash royalties but allow it limited amounts of US medicines as a barter payment. It is a grudging exemption.
Mr Allan thinks that if the cancer trials prove successful it will be politically impossible for Washington to suppress the Cuban vaccines.
Two months ago, York Medical was on a knife-edge. It had bought the rights to the Cuban vaccines and antibodies but potential investors were wary of putting money into a project that would be ultimately strangled by Washington's embargo. The funds for trials, mostly from British and European investors, have only come in the last few weeks.
Mr Allan believes that investors have drawn the same conclusion he has: that the US embargo is "headed for the ash-can where it belongs":
The measure which is currently before the US Congress does not kill the Helms Burton legislation but will leave it vulnerable. And it is almost unthinkable that the American public will continue to tolerate the act if it becomes a barrier to importing effective cancer treatments.
Mr Rasenick believes that Cuban biotechnology will help to bring down the sanctions. "As a scientist, I would never continue the same failed experiment for 38 years," he said.
The anti-communist fake-'lefts' (SWP, SP, AWL, OP, CPGB, etc) will still sneer and dismiss Cuba's success in this as some kind of 'one-off exception due to special circumstances', etc, but still leaving the regime 'doomed for lack of democracy', etc, which is, of course, exactly the lying crap which the imperialist bourgeoisie spread around the world for these little petty bourgeois to pick up on.
But yet another recent capitalist press admission importantly gave the lie to this as well, confirming the analysis of Ellman and Kontorovich (see 16a and 17) which frustrated its own western anticipation and found, in spite of itself, that the planned Soviet economy was potentially as productive and creative as ever in 1990 but that Gorbachev's mismanagement and deliberate political destruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat alone wrecked it. This report concedes that Soviet science was phenomenally creative, comically describing these achievements as being in part produced 'despite being locked up', which pays homage to the myths bourgeois propaganda finds it necessary to keep going, but simultaneously makes a mockery of them by juxtaposing the very antitheses which rule each other out, being denied freedom, and producing pioneering creative science for mankind. Like Cuba, like the USSR:
Beneath the streets of Akademgorodok a maze of tunnels links key buildings so that academics in Russia's science town never need emerge into the harsh Siberian temperatures outside.
For the first 30 years the town – with its 37 institutes and thousands of researchers working together to push back the boundaries of knowledge was a symbol of the grandiose intellectual ambition of the Soviet regime.
Scientists were treated with deference in the USSR. Lenin began to promote their interests immediately after the revolution, aware of their importance in the creation of a powerful new society. In the lean years they received extra rations.
Later, under Stalin, a sense of national insecurity boosted the state's devotion to science. Most scientists escaped the repressions because they were needed to develop the country's ability to make weapons. Even those who were imprisoned continued to work in specially developed science research camps.
"We were slaves to the totalitarian state, but we didn't mind because we were doing interesting work and we felt that the state needed and respected us," said Vitaly Ginzburg, a physics professor, who worked during the 1940s to develop the Soviet atom bomb.
Science was not a mere adjunct of Soviet life it was at its core, the key to transforming Russia from a backward agricultural country into an industrialised mighty world power, equipped to defend itself against the capitalist enemy.
The government poured large measures of the budget into cultivating this scientific base, squeezing ideological pride from internationally acclaimed – and feared advances: pioneering aeroplanes, and later rocket technology; the first man in space; the first atomic-power station; the hydrogen 'superbomb’.
For most of the 20th century the Soviet Union raced on, matching the achievements of America.
Akademgorodok meaning small town of academics was part of that tradition. Sophisticated space technology was developed in one institute, while down the road mathematicians pioneered computer technology and biologists wrestled to make Russia's crops sturdier, using new genetic engineering techniques.
But in the past 10 years it has come to symbolise the disastrous decline of Russia's academic tradition.
It is generally accepted that there are two reasons why Russians move to Siberia either they are romantics or they come as prisoners. The scientists who founded Akademgorodok in 1957 were romantics. Many who remain see themselves as the prisoners of their own shattered project.
No one has forgotten the early optimism. Towards the end of the 50s it had: become obvious that Siberia had massive natural resources: petroleum, gas, coal,, timber, diamonds and minerals. But with the country's brainpower concentrated in Moscow and Leningrad now St Petersburg there was nobody to exploit its potential, so President Nikita Khrushchev backed a scheme to move leading scientists and research students from western Russia to the Siberian wilderness.
Just 12 years after the ravages of the second world war, the state somehow found enough money to establish the science oasis. The scale of the project was phenomenal. The main street, Lavrentiev Prospect, named after the town's founder Mikhail Lavrentiev, was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "the most scientific street in the world"; because of its high concentration of institutes.
As well as undertaking research aimed at developing Russia's conventional and nuclear military potential, scientists were encouraged to focus on pure science, to find answers to the big questions, simply for the sake of academic advancement.
Today the institutes physics, chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, mathematics, electronics and more all remain. A few, run by energetic directors, have transformed themselves into profitable enterprises by winning lucrative research contracts from western companies.
But they are a minority. As their funding dwindles, the rest have had to abandon research projects and survive on a fraction of their former income. Many are :dusty shells, virtually abandoned by their scientists, some of whom have been .forced to turn to manual labour to supplement their miserly or non-existent income. Meanwhile the most talented of the younger generation have slipped abroad and students, disheartened by poor job and salary prospects, stay away:
With a shortage of money for laboratory equipment, there is no question of even attempting to keep up with developments in Europe and America. And with the in flux of rich commuting businessmen, many young scientists can no longer afford the rents.
The privations suffered by scientists in this town echo the hardships of colleagues throughout the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In real terms Russian science now receives a seventh of the government funding it did in 1990, leaving hundreds of institutions struggling to survive. Genady Kulipanov, vice-chairman of Akademgorodok's governing body and a professor of nuclear physics, said: "In the late 1980s I found it hard to explain to friends in the west what the process of perestroika [rebuilding] really meant. Now I tell them perestroika it was destroyka. We didn't really rebuild anything, we just destroyed a great deal.
. "The government stopped funding projects. There were no new institutes. A lot of the more energetic and best-qualified people left and went abroad or went into business. The spirit of the town changed."
Scientists here remember the lean years from 1991 to 1996 with horror, proffering graphs with drooping curves testimony to the funding collapse --- and charts with soaring curves to demonstrate the flow of scientists abroad.
"It is impossible to go on like this. If the process of the last 10 years continues for another 10 years then there will be total collapse," said Professor Vladimir Likholobov, deputy director of one of Akademgorodok's more successful institutes, the Institute of Catalysis.
But for men such as the founder of the town's medical institute, Professor Vlail Kaznacheev, 75, who devoted their lives to developing the Soviet scientific dream, the changes have come too late. Sitting in the bare lobby of the House of Scientists Mr Kaznacheev is despairing about the events of the last 15 years.
"Our salaries have dropped radically, but we've lost everything else too. We used to get money for animals, laboratories, materials, equipment, expeditions and flats," he said.
"Without expeditions and new equipment, we can't continue the research. The process has been devastating:'
This demolition of Trotsky's anti-communist fake-'left' myth of the CPSU's 'destructive dictatorial rule' supposedly by 1936 ('The Revolution Betrayed') making all further creative productive economic progress by the Soviet workers state impossible, will nevertheless make no impression on the swamp of petty-bourgeois opinion demanding 'democracy' as the only way forward, who will argue (echoing latter-day Trotsky’s in Moscow; see above) that "maybe individual genius still worked in places; but there was no social development or distribution of these gains so that living standards and ordinary people could benefit", etc, etc.
So, the pretence is that despite having to overcome appalling initial economic backwardness and even worse imperialist destruction, disruption, and sabotage non-stop, first the Soviet Union and then Cuba can nevertheless organise the political and economic resources, and the philosophical enlightenment to go with it, to take civilisation forward in science where the entire fabulous wealth and bullying might of-the whole Western world was incapable of following, yet could not manage to get simple consumer goods mass-produced and into shops.
People who believe this garbage seriously need their heads examining. Despite its endless obvious bureaucratic failings, the Soviet workers state nevertheless fell into no incurable stagflation, or any terminal reversal of normal progress. The planned economy was destroyed by revisionism via dismantling the party-led proletarian-dictatorship control of the economy in pursuit of 'faster growth in order to catch up with the Western way of life via market forces',. an utterly insane and suicidal aim for socialism at that stage of world history.
But the anti-communist fake-'left' will argue that whatever the theoretical angle on Cuba or the Soviet Union, in practice Western propaganda has rendered them harmless, and the USSR even self-destructed because of it, so what difference does it make? As John Lennon sang, 'If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow' etc, etc.
These philistine delusions based on the West's complacent ' superiority' can be evaluated as part of fake-'left' philosophical armoury through the anti-communists occasional condescending assessment of other anti-imperialist struggles beyond the immediate pro-Soviet socialist camp (as was).
All the Trots, revisionists, and statecaps have consistently belittled the worth of Ireland's national-liberation struggle, e.g. on the grounds that it was 'not the real socialist revolution that we would have conducted', etc, etc,
One short answer to such lunatic humbug could be: 'So start a socialist revolution yourselves, and show us how'. Provisional Sinn Fein & IRA after all, only started with mere hundreds of supporters, far less than Militant or the SWP had, for example. And the anti-imperialist war they started was against the same UK government, UK armed forces, and UK police service that ruled just the same over Militant and the SWP. Both, indeed, had sections operating in the Occupied zone of Ireland, so-called 'Northern Ireland): So if socialist revolution is so easy, then why did not the Trots start one, instead of merely sneeringly telling Sinn Fein and the IRA what they 'ought' to be doing??? The same with Scargill's sneers from the SLP. He had over 100,000 of the best-organised potential socialist revolutionaries behind him, plus virtually the whole of the working class in sympathy, when the miners fought reactionary persecution (in the 1984-85 strike) just as vicious as the colonial war against Sinn Fein and the IRA in Occupied Ireland. So why does Scargillism still sneer at the national liberation strugglers achievements for 'not going far enough', or for 'capitulating to a failed peace process' as was disgustingly alleged, when the NUM's own struggle was called off well short of a full-scale revolt against the imperialist system???
The answer, of course, is defeatism. These fake-'lefts', sneering from the sidelines about how the Sinn Fein & IRA effort 'falls short', only adopt this academic ultra-leftism about 'socialist revolution' being the thing because it best covers their total defeatism in reality that anyone is going to win anything against imperialism. They constantly denigrate the national-liberation struggle's efforts because these anti-communist brainwashed stooges of Western ideological confusion don't really believe that imperialism is going to be defeated at all, and least of all by a backwardlooking handful of Irish nationalists. 'If we great leaders of socialism cannot do it, how can this Irish provincial movement do it???', etc, etc, etc. Little Englander chauvinism, the curse of the workers movement in Britain, to the last.
With total anti-theory philistinism, the entire fake-'left' parroted each other with the certifiable delusion that the imperialist 'new world order' was 'imposing' peace settlements on one 'hot spot' after another, all round the globe, Ireland included, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary (Iraq, Somalia, Palestine, Colombia, Mexico, etc) that imperialist will was not being imposed nearly as completely or easily as Western propaganda (and anti-communist defeatism) was content to pretend, and especially so in Ireland, on their very own doorstep of the fake 'left'. There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.
As the EPSR has spelled out week-by-week in enormous detail for over 20 years, for clear historical reasons, British imperialism has gradually been accepting the need for a snail's-pace withdrawal from Ireland for a long time, and also the implication that the illegitimate 'Northern Ireland' colonial statelet, as it existed after enforced Partition at bayonet-point in 1921, was doomed as well. Which clearly implies that Ireland's eventual reunification as a single independent republic is also inevitable in due course.
Which all amounted to an acceptance that British imperialism was no longer the world power it once was, that the world was no longer quite the place of imperialist domination it once was, and that the Sinn Fein and IRA’s determined and skilful national-liberation struggle was not going to be beaten.
All that was possible were rearguard-action delaying tactics to frustrate Irish self-determination for as long as possible; to undermine Ulster Unionism's Orange-loyalism as much as possible to reduce the dangers of UDI 'Protestant' violence to as little as possible; and to create a propaganda smokescreen as large as possible to hide the fact that essentially, British imperialism and colonialism was capitulating to Sinn Fein and the IRA’s national-liberation guerrilla war, their formidable weaponry and organisation still at hand, and un-decommissioned.
Only the most determined and incorrigible anti-Marxists could fail to see in this an outstanding, epoch-making anti-imperialist triumph, colossally significant for Ireland; importantly defining, for the world, the current period of imperialist decline; and priceless for the fight for anti-imperialist consciousness in Britain, now that triumphalist anti-Irish chauvinism has had its foul supremacism-punctured ('No surrender to the IRA'. Really?). Only the poisoned defeatist petty-bourgeois mentality of Trotskyism could, under the empty posturing ultra-left banner of 'socialist revolution now', jeer at the genuine anti-imperialist triumphs of the Irish national-liberation guerrilla war as contemptible 'green nationalist terrorism, no better than Orange nationalist terrorism', etc.
Only the most cynical academic dilettantes posing as 'communists', could launch ultra-reactionary agitation (like the CPGB) for allowing the defeated Orange colonial fascists to be granted a reduced four-county Partitioned hell-hole of the same old 'Northern Ireland' tyranny in which to strut their racist bullying stuff and persecute whatever wretched nationalist Irish were forced to suffer within yet another enforced artificial barrier of British-Occupied Ireland.
Nor do these incurable middle-class anti-communists stop their fake-'left' gibberish with Ireland. The whole Trot and revisionist swamp was at the same backward nonsense over Yugoslavia, the Trots playing into imperialism's hands for the NATO-Nazi blitzkrieg destruction of Serbia's workers-state remnants by falling for the CIA' long-prepared gimmick, of 'Kosovo self-determination' behind the notorious regional Albanian drugs-mafia; and the revisionists doing the same with the hopeless social pacifist posture of 'No to war', or the equally confusing nonsense of 'victory to the Milosevic regime', as bankrupt and demoralising a revisionist-nationalist mess as could be imagined. The workers-state remnants NATO was so keen to destroy, with premeditated long-term cunning, remained in the Serbian state in spite of Milosevic's rotten politics, not because of them. 'For an imperialist defeat' was the only way that workers internationally could possibly understand the priorities in this foul confused stew involving corrupt stooge 'nationalism', bogus 'anti-imperialism', but dominated by vicious Western intrigue, boding nothing but long-term disaster for all concerned. And defeat for imperialism by any means, it makes no difference. Exactly the same evaluation applies to the West's tussle with Saddam's dubious regime in Iraq. A defeat for string pulling imperialism is the only initial way forward and the only possible way forward for the moment.
The fake-'left' remains just as confused by its 'pro-democracy' anti-communism on the Palestine question, claiming now that 'history cannot be undone', nor the Zionist-imperialist colonisation and annexation of Palestine brought to an end (Weekly Worker). A war to reverse Zionism's wars of conquest would mean 'too much destruction'. A two-state 'solution' (but not even back to the infamous 1948 UN demarcation which first drove the Palestinian nation off its homeland, but which subsequent Zionist aggression has long since overrun) with 'full rights' for any Jews or Arabs left behind new state boundaries, plus massive compensation for the millions of Palestinians who would still remain exiled from their own lands, is the Trot-defeatist recommendation. Fake-'lefts' everywhere are doubtless contemplating the imperialist 'new world order' once again 'imposing' a 'peace-process' defeat on an unhappy but impotent anti-imperialist struggle.
This is the most hopelessly static way of allowing defeatist petty-bourgeois subjectivism to paint 'communist' perspectives which calculate things not so much in ignorance of Marxist historical materialism but in conscious revolt against all its proven scientific understanding. British imperialism established its military-conquest 'right' to govern Ireland over 800 years ago. Its Orange colonial plantation was first imposed on Ulster more than 350 years ago, making the northeast corner of Ireland 'British for ever more'.
This blatant Zionist colonial conquest of Palestine, driving out a settled nation four million strong (now five million) from its homeland, was completed only years ago. It was imposed in a period of world monopoly-capitalist boom when US imperialism could finance and militarily supply every reaction possible, and when the great anti-imperialist epoch of world history was still just in its infancy but already temporarily hobbled by class-collaborationist revisionist stupidity and defeatism in Moscow.
These conditions will pass. And five million Palestinian people will not forget, nor 250 million humiliated Arab people beyond that; nor a billion humiliated Muslim people beyond that; nor several billion humiliated anti-imperialist proletarians of the world beyond that. This imperialist-Zionist colonisation, conquest, and annexation of the Palestinian nation's home land in living memory is one of the most ludicrous, intolerable and unstable monstrosities of colonial tyranny ever perpetrated, bringing millions of Zionist fanatics from every city of Europe and America to usurp the lands of the Palestinian people and then subject them to the most unbridled savagery and violent prejudiced persecution, that any nation has ever suffered in history, doing exactly to innocent Palestinians what German imperialism (and other imperialists) did to the Jews (and far more others) which brought the deserved destruction of that imperialist aggression not long after. That 'unbeatable' thousand-year-Reich lasted 12 years. This one will have a longer run as Third World revolutionary might continues its incubation in the wake of revisionism's self-destruction and imperialism's unprecedented economic world boom. But not that much longer. These fake-'lefts' are nothing but a confusing defeatist menace to the working class. Build the EPSR's struggle for Marxist-Leninist science.
Continue to Part Five
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