|Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin
Economic & Philosophic Science Review
No 1166 January 07 2002
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Southwest seminar on Feb 1, not Jan 25.
Anti-Blair 'revolt' is a fake-'left' farce. The imperialist economic crisis implies warmongering destruction without end, no matter how significant mere anti-war protests become. The fake-'left' are deliberately hiding the fact that imperialist competitiveness is DRIVEN to war in a monopoly capitalists' economic crisis by the very law of the market-accumulation SYSTEM itself. To stop warmongering, they would have to stop being capitalists. And yet the fake-'lefts' still refuse all talk of any anti-imperialist REVOLUTION. Instead, the SLP again urges the fraud of capitalist "parliamentary democracy" on workers as the "way to stop war" and achieve socialist progress. Allende was butchered in vain. Workers are also being left wide open by the fake-'left' to the war-hysteria stunts like these castor-oil beans, which come from the same counter-revolutionary coup box of tricks as the massacre of Allende, the coups against Chavez, and the spies riddling the labour, peace, and trade union movements (so that the authorities know where everyone lives, works, drinks, or clubs when the time comes for a British anti-Allende type coup). A party of openly revolutionary UNDERSTANDING is the only way forward. A defeat for imperialists will be the main educator. Insoluble economic crisis will drive them to it.
It is good that the cohesive credibility of imperialist warmongering should be damaged by a Labour Party revolt against Blair's role as a stooge "independent voice" so as to pretend that the demented bar-room thug Bush speaks for more than just a US monopoly-capitalist mafia in preparing blitzkrieg against the Arab Middle East.
But it is the worst thing possible for the working class that the serious anti-imperialist revolution that is required should be wiped out of socialist consciousness by the imbecile reformist delusions from the likes of Clare Short and the 57 other varieties of fake-'lefts'.
The self-preening posture about "persuading the US not to go to war against Iraq too early before the United Nations has agreed it" does nothing but continue a sick fascist aggressive warmongers' stance to start with. (Why should Iraq be singled out? There are far worse regimes on earth, - with far longer and worse records of brutal aggression, - and with REAL and BIG arsenals of mass-destruction weapons.)
But on top of that, the entire fake-'left' protest campaign against Western warmongering fatally harms international anti-war consciousness by peddling the idiotic philosophy that Bush & Co are just making "bad decisions" and can be "talked out of it", etc.
This is nothing but a grotesque and paralysing diversion against the working class, to hoodwink it into not taking up a serious Revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle.
It is the crassest philosophical GARBAGE to pretend that merely arbitrary subjective decisions by merely frail and vulnerable individual human politicians are the reason why the monopoly economy imperialist SYSTEM is lurching relentlessly and rapidly towards warmongering bloodbaths.
Making the creation of affluence, comfort, and wellbeing dependent on private capital accumulation puts society inescapably into the grip of the LAWS governing capital accumulation (see subscriptions panel) which can only culminate in monopoly-imperialist powers ruling the Earth and consciously engineering the destruction by 'fair' means or foul of the profits-killing 'overproduction surpluses' so-called (while the vast majority of the planet still lives in utter poverty).
The subjective decisions of individual politicians then can play a minor role on some details of how class and national conflict then degenerates, once world slump kicks in, but it is only within the framework of absolute imperatives driving ALL the owners of large capital.
They either carry on accumulating and winning in order to remain top dog at any price, or else they go under to the relentless competition of the 'free' market.
Such monopoly-imperialist decisions for top-dog-survival AT ANY PRICE remain totally dominant over all large-nation politics. The interests of neocolonial world-control and the industrial armaments lobbies remain paramount.
"Stop the war before it starts" screams the front page of the SLP and all the other fake-'lefts', with minor variations.
'Bush and Blair are not having it all their own way, however. The UN has been affected by growing international anger that's shown itself beyond the massive antiwar demonstrations. Lula elected in Brazil, e.g...Public blames Bali bombing on the US"],' the SLP goes on.
'This anger, wherever and however expressed, is against imperialist and capitalist oppression. A Socialist vision of peace and common ownership is the only one that makes sense in today's world.'
And that's all that is said in order to "Stop the war before it starts".
This silly embarrassing drivel barely even merits the label degenerate. It must surely be beneath the intelligence of anyone alive.
All it says is get elected president, like Lula da Silva in Brazil; blame the Bali bomb on the CIA itself; and have a vision of Socialism and Peace.
And that will stop imperialist warmongering, supposedly.
This nonsense is slightly worse than Clare Short's stinking 'left' hypocrisy (in that some Labour MPs will at least be encouraged to taunt or embarrass Blair in public).
But how useless is that in the long run?, - if the only aim is to make New Labour's enthusiastic stooging (for US imperialist warmongering) slightly more difficult in this one instance (of blitzkrieging Iraq without the slightest cause or purpose beyond the politics of the collapsing imperialist-world madhouse).
And what about the next blitzkrieg project along the line?
And the next? And the next? (etc, etc, ad infinitum)????
The world is in a REVOLUTIONARY crisis. To keep deliberately concealing this reality, as the front page of the SLP does CONSCIOUSLY and DELIBERATELY, - as do all the other fake-'lefts', is a form of treacherous stupidity to the working class which the fake-'lefts' can be abandoned to debate among themselves.
The serious-minded collective wisdom of the international proletariat has already moved on towards the first grasps that Western imperialism is only going to be stopped by REVOLUTION.
The Marxist understanding of capitalism's INCURABLE need to keep the arms-race going permanently, and to threaten war periodically, is not widespread yet. But workers everywhere, nonetheless, are suspicious of the link between a terrifying economic crisis to which capitalism has no solution, and this sudden apparent need to start blitzkrieging the Middle East to destruction in a mad rush and with no good reason.
A wide spread of the public is also noticing that the apologists for the imperialist system keep disagreeing among themselves about what is the best "rational explanation" for why war is necessary; about what is the war's purpose and aim; about which circumstances will make a war on Iraq justified; and about the chances of avoiding war at all.
In other words, the people smell a rat about imperialism's drive to war.
And alongside this grows people's contempt and suspicion about the "democratic process" itself, and properly so.
Workers worldwide are beginning to totally distrust the bourgeois electoral system which can fix a ballot result either by using enough money to bribe or brainwash sufficient of the electorate; or fiddle the counting (or hamper the voting) to get the right outcome; or else just ignore all the electoral promises and do the exact opposite of what was promised once voted safely into power.
And this is exactly why the bourgeoisie framed "democracy" the way it did when introducing it as the most masterful con trick ever to permanently tie the working class to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, (the sole reality of all capitalist 'parliamentary' government).
But where do the SLP and the fake-'lefts' direct workers' attention at this crisis time where "war must be stopped before it starts"??? To the bourgeois electoral process, to repeat Lula's 20-year compromise journey of dropping all his racier fake-'1eft' demagoguery in order finally to claim the presidential suit.
Lula may indeed become a thorn in imperialism's side, as Chavez is proving in Venezuela, and as Allende proved earlier in Chile.
But what will all the relentless COUNTER-revolutionary pressure on such elected 'lefts' eventually solely prove???? Any half-wit already knows the answer: That to get anywhere with all these 'left' electoral promises, eventually a real REVOLUTION will have to be carried out as the only way to stop the bourgeois counter-revolution from endlessly preventing the work of government, making it impossible, and preparing a fascist COUP at the first opportunity, - as is happening right now non-stop in Venezuela, and as will soon be the everyday norm if Lula does try to introduce even a tiny fraction of his 'left' promises.
And without that total proletarian dictatorship REVOLUTION, all such 'left' electoral successes, everywhere, - will always only end up like the Allende government did, - butchered in a CIA-run coup, and tens of thousands of deluded workers as well, alongside the 'left' "democratic" government they so believed in.
The time to explain all this to the working class, and to warn about the struggles to come, is NOW, - "before it starts", to coin a phrase.
The SLP and the 'left' made the totally WRONG and totally USELESS response to the BBC-TV's casual ADMISSION that of course the entire trade union movement, labour movement, and peace movement has always been riddled with police spies from top to bottom.
"We know all that" replied the tired old fake-'left' posturers.
But the lessons from WHY the spies are there, and what is means, were completely lost on the fake-'left'.
The authorities don't need spies to keep them informed about the long slow progress by the 'left' Charlie X inside the ABC Union and the peace movement and Labour Party, etc, etc. They KNOW all that from the left's own publicity, and all the words of the 'left' motions as they work their way up the labour movement agendas.
What the spies need is endless lists of names, addresses, relatives and relatives addresses, jobs, drinking haunts, clubs, car registration numbers, etc, etc, etc, for one REAL purpose only: to be ready to ARREST the entirety of active militant circles in the socialist, labour, trade-union, and peace movements THE MOMENT THAT THE COUP IS SIGNALLED at some future date when Britain elects its own Lula prime minister determined to carry out some of these fake-'left' promises.
So what is the conclusion? That the capitalist state openly admits that it has the whole socialist movement riddled with spies, but that all the workers need do is to keep on voting 'left'???
No. The only conclusion must be that the capitalist state has its own COUNTER-revolution already prepared and will use it with the utmost ruthlessness and brutality, learned and practised from long years of vicious British colonial repression.
Therefore, the working class needs to openly build a party trained in REVOLUTIONARY UNDERSTANDING and Bolshevik ways of polemical organisation (to cut out time-servers and other non-revolutionary-minded frauds and anti-communists), a mass party educated in exactly what to do should - coup be prepared against socialist advances of any kind, - either electoral, trade-union, strike, or any other activist agitational success.
Every day passed that sees no launch of such a party, is a day completely wasted for the working class.
The fake-'left' suffers a double defeat at the hands of bourgeois propaganda. Firstly, it basically loses EVERY battle. The massive television, radio, books, and press brainwashing machine at the service of the capitalist state will ALWAYS, as a general rule, win a straightforward propaganda contest against the feeble resources in the hands of capitalism's opponents.
And were the brainwashers to LOSE the odd propaganda battle by chance, then there is always the greatest standby of all to ball upon, - the PROVOCATION STUNT, - such as is now probably unfolding with the vicious arrest of various groups of Arabs around Britain in a grotesque scare about them having castor-oil beans in their possession (none found), with some so-far imaginary project of brewing ricin poison (none found so far), to spread on the turnstile barriers of the London Underground system!!!!
James Bond fiction can no longer compete!!
Someone locked away from public opinion in a cave for the past months might ask innocently on hearing this bizarre tale: What's been happening? Has the government by any chance been trying to justify some war against some Arab country in recent weeks, but not getting very far with it???
This is the Goebbels/CIA, Gleiwitz Radio/Gulf of Tonkin, effect via which the imperialist warmongers "justified" the launch of World War II and the Vietnam War on the grounds
that their "own forces were under attack", etc. As the EPSR 2003 Perspectives prophetically concluded: What next?
The point being emphasised is that workers must anticipate public opinion being temporarily flattened by a successful capitalist brainwash PROVOCATION STUNT or two, and must concentrate the anti-imperialist movement's attention on the far deeper truth about the issues of capitalism in crisis.
Having won the initial propaganda battle, the imperialist brainwashing machine then has to "win the war' (sometimes literally).
For example, it can be repeated till they are blue in the face by the US, UK, EU, IMF, etc that "economic recovery is on the way" and easily be temporarily believed; but once mass slump poverty takes hold, the bourgeois ruling-class are not just "failures" but also "lying failures", and virtually doomed.
American propaganda relentlessly told the world that the Vietnam War was being won, but the reality of defeat not only punctured that nonsense but left US imperialist consciousness permanently traumatised thereafter (with the effects still showing).
Like all the armies, Russian soldiers were told in the Great War that they "were winning and that homeland honour and security demanded that the victories continue", but despite the huge difficulties facing anti-imperialist propaganda, the soldiers knew from reality that a ludicrous and humiliating defeat was all that the Tsarist ruling class had organised, and so joined the Revolution.
Thus, all the concentration in this new outrage of international blitzkrieg warmongering to cure capitalism's insoluble economic crisis must be for a Western DEFEAT and humiliation somewhere along the line, - ANY defeat or setback, at the hands of ANY of the scapegoats that the imperialists are stunting-up to present as "justification, for this insane and degenerate eruption of blitzkrieg warmongering.
Thus the fake-'lefts' are making their crassest mistakes (?) of all in identifying with the imperialists over such bizarre (and partly irrelevant) phenomena as Sept 11 and the Bali bomb (and the castor-oil beans, come to that).
Stunts are like Iraq's entirely imaginary "weapons of mass destruction about to obliterate civilisation", - barmy and irrational excuse for Western imperialist blitzkrieg on the Third World as a cover-for and as a way-out-of insoluble economic crisis.
Certainly, Islamic extremists want to strike back at Western imperialism, but why shouldn't they????
The outrageous way that Western monopoly capitalism has manipulated, stitched-up, and frequently massacred the Arab Middle East, for example, over the past 100 years would merit several Sept 11ths all over the West every month for any "equality of injury" to be even remotely approached in the longterm historical record.
But STILL the fake-'lefts' insist on identifying with imperialism over Sept 11 and Bali, etc -, thus staying firmly in the camp of bourgeois fascist reaction.
"Now the USA will really smite this 'condemnable' terrorism" all the fake-'lefts' crowed in sick unison.
Socialist revolution has no interest in supporting Osama Bin Laden, or the Taleban, or the Bali bombers in the slightest.
And calling for imperialist DEFEAT in the Middle East implies not the tiniest scrap of confusion about the degeneracy of Saddam Hussein, or the remotest notion of "support" for such backwardness.
But there is one issue only. In the horrific mess of reactionary imperialist blitzkrieg now, on rotten regimes which the West itself deliberately and foully put in position in the first place, the SOLE POSSIBLE PROGRESSIVE thing to come out of it, in the whole world's interest, would be a defeat for imperialist warmongering.
It is imperialist warmongering crisis which ALONE is making the pace for ALL world developments. And ONLY by meeting defeat somewhere can that warmongering domineering pattern be broken.
Only when it is broken, - by whatever agency, it makes no difference, - can other POSITIVE developments than start getting a chance to take over.
By all means let workers somewhere go straight for a beginning to the world socialist revolution here and now, if such a development were possible.
But in the West, the fake-'lefts' will not even agree to the building of an OPENLY revolutionary party, or even to put forward an open theoretical analysis explaining that only revolution can now resolve the crisis of civilisation.
Imperialist DEFEATS, incapable of being explained away by propaganda brainwashing, are likely to be the start of opening the international proletariat's eyes to the real revolution beginning at last.
It is economic collapse that is leading Western imperialism into nonsensical disasters where it is going to LOSE.
Bush's barmy emergency budget, - a tax giveaway of $billions to the very richest Americans, - sets the tone for continued trade-war drift by the USA, offering no real change whatever to existing policy but merely hoping for a Stock Exchange recovery.
Trade-war is endemic, as the capitalist press itself admits:
The US last night threatened to take the EU to court over the refusal of Brussels to import genetically modified crops, in what would be a dramatic deterioration in increasingly bitter trade relations between the two blocks.
Robert Zoellick, the US trade representative, yesterday launched a ferocious attack on officials in Europe, describing their views on genetically modified food as "Luddite". He said the consensus was growing among the Bush administration that the European Union should be hauled before the World Trade Organisation.
"I personally am of the view that we now need to bring a case," Mr Zoellick said. "My sense is that there is pretty broad agreement on this [in Washington] " He called the moratorium a "total violation of the WT0".
The EU has annoyed US officials and farmers with a ban on the approval of any new genetically modified crops since 1996. The moratorium was put in place because of public disquiet about potential risks to health and the environment.
Genetically modified crops in the US are big business. About 70% of soybeans and more than 25% of corn in the us are now grown from genetically modified seeds. Farmers in the US claim to have lost billions of dollars in sales because of the European ban.
The US has accused Europe of leaning on poor countries and threatening to withdraw economic aid unless they prohibit modified crops.
"I find it immoral that people are not being supplied with food to live in Africa because people have invented dangers about biotechnology," Mr Zoellick said. He called it "extremely disturbing" that the "European anti-scientific policies are spreading to other corners of the world".
EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy said Europe would fight any case brought before the WTO. "If there was to be litigation, of course we would fight it and I believe we would win it;' he said.
Washington has previously been concerned that bringing a case before the WTO could backfire and cause further resistance among consumers.
Trade relations between the US and Europe have become increasingly fractious in recent months with disputes over steel and agriculture subsidies.
The US has also been putting Brazil under pressure to accept genetically modified seed and scored a victory last month when the new minister of agriculture argued for lifting its ban. But his view is opposed by others in the left-wing Workers' party.
Brazil is among the world's last large agricultural countries to resist biotech crops.
The hard line in Europe and Brazil contributed to the ousting of Monsanto boss Hendrik Verfailllie last month. Monsanto, the best known maker of genetically modified products, has been wrestling with falling sales and issued two profit warnings in the past 12 months.
At the same time, the USA's unstated trade-war tactics continue to have their disastrous effect on the Western economies all-round, - as again is quietly admitted by the capitalist press itself:
Manufacturers in Britain and Europe entered the new year in a dismal state, after the fall in the dollar undermined exports to the American market last month, new surveys showed yesterday.
The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply blamed the dollar's slide for the first fall below 50 in its key activity indicator for UK manufacturing since July. Readings below 50 signal that the sector is contracting.
"Total order books were reported to have been undermined by the uncompetitive nature of UK manufacturers abroad. US dollar markets were reported to have been particularly tight, owing to the weakness of the American currency," CIPS said.
Sterling rose 4% against the dollar in December and is up more than 10% on a-year ago.
"This is pretty gloomy and supports the idea that the sector is heading back into recession," said Jonathan Loynes at consultancy Capital Economics. "And it is not just global demand that is causing the trouble but industry just cannot compete at these exchange rate levels.'
Germany led the decline in mainland Europe where the activity index fell to 48.4 from 49.5 in November.
Washington's emergency budget, as stated, did not even bother trying to recast the economic structure, merely keeping all fingers crossed for a consumer led revival.
But meanwhile, this child-like religion of pure market-worship just continues to plunge catastrophically down.
The world's car monopolies have just agreed that in spite of record sales this year, profitability will not now return to the industry before 2005 at the earliest (instead of 2003 as had been previously hoped).
Cars are being sold, but nearly all at a discount because of the 'over-production' competition now either choking the market or else driving profitability down to the bone.
The next stop is spectacular bankruptcies of some of the great international car monopolies, and millions of redundancies.
Even without such a disaster, Britain's trade deficit has just broken 300-year-old records for renewed weakness, now running at a rate of trade loss more than 500 times WORSE than the trade gap figures which brought the Wilson government down only 30 years ago.
A payments deficit based on a trade gap of more than £50 billion a year has only one meaning in the longer run: state bankruptcy and a currency collapse.
British company profitability has just plummeted to a 10-year low; and simultaneously, the European Union concept is currently under siege from more than 1,500 legal actions against member governments of corporations because of trade war violations.
In other words, because of the pressures of the relentless economic crisis, the whole EU is now cheating for survival. Collapse is in view.
At the same time, Germany and France are causing Britain even more mental anguish about its international imperialist orientation (with the USA's fascist warmongering mentality all the way? - or not?) by starting up joint Cabinet meetings to cement the Franco-German alliance and to give renewed drive to the EU's putative polarised stance in opposition to American imperialist world dominance.
Parallel legislation to cement unity is envisaged, plus yet another new joint armed operation for a new force of Franco-German border-guard regiments.
Trade-war cohesion, politely called a "new joint centre for international economic analysis", is also on the cards.
Britain has pointedly not been invited to take part in any of these new initiatives, or even to discuss them, or even to hear about their being put forward in the first place.
Ailing British imperialism is left hanging forlornly around the gates, unloved by either of the main imperialist power blocs.
But though pushed in Americas direction, the UK is particularly badly treated by the USA. In what sounded like another infamous misspeak, but which must have been meant because it was repeated twice, and reported in the capitalist press itself, the demented barroom thug Bush only added further to Blair's mental pain with a New Year message which was even more catastrophically apocalyptic than Blair's own notorious tale of woe:
In his new year message President George Bush warned there would be an economic cost of going to war, but argued that that would be better than risking an attack from Iraq.
Mr Bush, who is staying at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, insisted that any attack from Iraq would "cripple our economy".
For the first time Mr Blair's brand of optimism seems tempered by the realisation that there are many forces, at home and abroad, that New Labour cannot control.
"The blunt truth is that there has never been a time when domestic and foreign policy were so closely Iinked," he says. "The world economy will be intimately affected by world events on peace and security, for good or ill. The British economy is hugely dependent on developments both in the US and EU economies.
"All this means that for many people the defining characteristic of the modern world is insecurity. People worry about the terrorist threat; the economic slowdown; the effect on jobs and pensions; and the sense that in key areas of social behaviour and in our asylum system, those that play by the rules are being damaged by those that don't."
But he also admits: "I cannot recall a time when Britain was confronted, simultaneously, by such a range of difficult and, in some cases, dangerous problems."
Where did this insane notion of Iraq ATTACKING the USA come from???? And what is it but a complete fantasy to yet again seek to justify why the American people should start thinking about their economy collapsing entirely, but never to consider that the capitalist system itself might have anything at all to do with such a calamity.
But just when it might be thought that nothing sillier could be heard out of American imperialist panic than this nonsense about an Iraqi invasion of the USA; Bush's Republican big business gangsters even managed to trump that:
INFLUENTIAL Republicans are urging President Bush to play his trump card - a nuclear. Japan - if China refuses to start pressing North Korea to drop its uranium enriching programme.
John McCain, who lost the party's presidential nomination to Mr Bush, said that the threat of arming Tokyo would help to make it in China's interests to persuade Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, to change his mind.
Mr McCain, a senator from Arizona, said on television yesterday that the best way to grab Beijing's attention would be "to remove our objections to Japan developing nuclear weapons". The justification for the idea is that North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile over Japan if it achieved the production of weapons-grade uranium, Japan would be in the firing line and entitled to defend itself.
And surely, NOTHING could be crazier than that? even in demented US imperialism???
How about sending up their Air Force pilots on drugs, with the result that their own side got bombed in Afghanistan????? The 'Times' put it as politely as it could: "US bomb tragedy pilots 'given drugs' " ran the headline, and then gave the following very carefully worded 'explanation', - that basically this lethal weaponry is flying around Allied skies in the charge of American pilots who are, frankly, intoxicated, - with official approval. In common parlance, they make lethal bombing runs while "out of it":
TWO US pilots who could face court martial for accidentally killing four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan were taking an Air Force-prescribed cocktail of "uppers" and "downers" and should be cleared, a lawyer for one of them said yesterday.
"To operate like this is a recipe for disaster," Dave Beck, a former pilot and Marine Corps lieutenant-colonel, told The Times. "They shouldn't be prosecuted. This is wrong."
The two men, who could face court martial for dropping a bomb on Canadian forces on April 17 believed they were under attack, but were accused in a US-Canadian investigation of being too quick to open fire under the rules of engagement.
The Air Force gave amphetamines to pilots in Afghanistan because they had to fly far longer missions than usual.
"Too quick to fire under the rules of engagement"??? The Latin meaning of intoxicate is to drug or to poison. A dictionary definition of intoxicated is "unduly elated or excited". Or drunk on a cocktail of officially-prescribed "uppers" and "downers", one might say.
But the fake-'left' still want to declare their solidarity with this degenerate, dying, and crazed imperialism against "terrorist violence". The Middle East's impoverished masses are being naively fanciful to make Osama their hero, it can be agreed. But only utterly reactionary fools could see more sense in backing imperialism and "condemning" the desperate Islamic-nationalist attempts to resist Western imperialist domination, currently marauding the skies of Afghanistan, bombing everything that moves.
Build Leninism. EPSR
E P S R
Leaving the world to be run by the greed of the capitalist monopolies can never stop resulting in periodic crises where trade-war destruction MUST rule, and to which the only antidote is Revolution and a strong workers state, --- as these essentials of Marxist-Leninist SCIENCE explain.
Only the crisis events of collapsing imperialist rule interpreted in this Marxist-Leninist light will educate a mass workers party of leadership to do the necessary tasks.
The Revisionist retreat from the Soviet workers state because of crawling to shallow Western glitz and shame at their own past bureaucratic mistakes has only proved the soundness of Lenin's 'State & Revolution' science about a very long period of proletarian dictatorship being the only way for the world to see-off monopoly imperialist warmongering, now back with a vengeance.
It is often said and written that the main point in Marx's teachings is the class struggle; but this is not true. And from this untruth very often springs the opportunist distortion of Marxism, its falsification in such a way as to make it acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the doctrine of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and generally speaking it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognise only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the boundaries of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the doctrine of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something which is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. And it is not surprising that when the history of Europe brought the working class face to face with this question as a practical issue, not only all the opportunists and reformists, but all the "Kautskyites" (people who vacillate between reformism and Marxism) proved to be miserable philistines and petty-bourgeois democrats who repudiate the dictatorship of the proletariat.
"The last cause of all real crises always remains the poverty and restricted consumption of the masses as compared to the tendency of capitalist production to develop the productive forces as if only the absolute power of consumption of the entire society would be their limit." (Capital. Vol III. P568.)
" For many a decade past", wrote Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, "the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crisis a great part, not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity - the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary...they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them."
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World Revolutionary Socialist Review
(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
[Bloody Sunday Inquiry]
"We were all in high spirits and when our Lieutenant said 'let us teach these buggers a lesson - we want some kills tomorrow'. To the mentality of the blokes this was tantamount to an order, i.e. an exoneration of all responsibility."
In his statement, 027 recalled an informal briefing his company received the night before Bloody Sunday, during which the possibility of "getting kills" the following day was discussed. "I cannot remember now whether these events were first voiced by the Lieutenant," he said, "but I do remember the comment being repeated by the soldier sitting next to me" - Soldier F.
"As I looked at my friends I could see that after all the abuse and nights without sleep, frustrations and tensions, this is what they had been waiting for. We were all in high spirits and when our Lieutenant said 'let us teach these buggers a lesson - we want some kills tomorrow', to the mentality of the blokes this was tantamount to an order, i.e. an exoneration of all responsibility."
In his account, written in 1975, 027 writes. vividly of the moment that 1 Para entered the Bogside. There were, he said, "army vehicles of all descriptions. With visions of gross Deutschland we swept past them and on to Rossville Street."
His section ran towards a small wall in front of Kells Walk. Soldier F arrived, knelt down and "without pause or hesitation, commenced firing towards the centre of the crowd". Soldier G "immediately jumped down beside him and also opened fire - INQ635 also commenced firing.
"One chap from Guinness Force ran up beside me, pushing his way between two other soldiers who were firing, so that he could commence firing himself. He indicated to me that he thought what was happening was great. He was exuberant.
"I looked through my sights, scanning across the crowd. I was as keen to find a target as anyone, but I just could not identify a target that appeared to justify engaging. I did not see anyone with a weapon or see or hear an explosive device - I lowered my weapon and looked at the guys firing and tried to locate what they were firing at. I still failed to see - and it caused me some confusion. I have a clear memory of consciously thinking 'what are they firing at?'."
Soldiers F and G, said 027, seemed to have had "a preconceived idea of, what they were. going to do that day and set about doing as a pair of oppos. I think I could see the whole frontage of the crowd and, no, I did not see anything that appeared to justify firing." When questioned further by Counsel, 027 confirmed his belief that the soldiers had opened fire entirely "without justification".
027 then received a order to cease fire over the radio and indicated this to the other soldiers with him. Soldiers F and G, closely followed by Soldiers E and H then ran towards Glenfada Park. 027 followed on and as he entered the area "shooting had already commenced".
"As I came on the scene, there was at least one body down. I saw a crowd of about 40 shocked and terrified people trying to get away," he said. "I saw no civilians with weapons, no threatening gesture, neither could I see or hear any explosive device during the entire situation." He recalled Soldier H firing from the hip into the crowd from a range of about 20 metres. One bullet "passed through one man and into another and they both fell, one dead and one wounded. He then moved forward and fired again, killing the wounded man. E shot another man at the entrance of the car park. A fourth man was killed by either G or F".
"I must point out," he said "that this whole incident occurred in fleeting seconds and I can no longer recall the order of fire or who fell first, but I do remember that when we first appeared, darkened faces, sweat and aggression, brandishing rifles, the crowd stopped immediately in their tracks, turned to face us and raised their hands. This is the way they were standing when they were shot."
Of the killings in Glenfada Park, Soldier 027 said: "I find it very difficult to explain by experience the very shocking and unspeakable incidents that unfolded in Glenfada Park North. I did not know how to feel. I was mentally overloaded and seized up. It was surreal, as if the events took place outside normal time."
When asked by Counsel to explain further his feeling about the events in Glenfada Park, 027 told the tribunal: "It is not something I can articulate or express in words; it is something I carry with me."
Afterwards, he said, there was an "intense wave of excitement" among the soldiers as they worked out how many rounds each of them had fired and as they discussed how they were going to justify the shootings.
His initial statement to the Royal Military Police on 5 February 1972 included "fabrications" he said, to the effect that there had been bombers and gunmen. He told the inquiry that he did so in order to, as Christopher Clark OC put it, "preserve the reputation of the battalion".
However, when he gave a statement to lawyers for the Widgery Tribunal he had begun feel "a certain disquiet" about what had occurred. In his 1975 statement he said that on that occasion "I rattled off everything I had seen and done. The only thing I omitted were names and the manner in which people had been shot. Apart from that I told the truth, which I wanted to convey".
"Then to my utter surprise one of these doddering gentlemen said 'dear me Private 027, you make it sound as though shots were being fired at the crowd, we cannot have that can we?'.
"He left the room and returned ten minutes later with another statement which bore no relation to the facts and I was told with a smile that this was the statement I would use when going for the stand. - What a situation. The Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, the symbol of all moral standing and justice and having, his minions suppress and twist evidence, with or without his knowledge, who can tell? I was amazed."
In his statement to the tribunal, 027 described how he had arrived in Belfast as a 19 year-old shortly after the introduction of internment, joining a regiment in which there was "... an element of enjoying the violence of the situation... Depending on our individual natures, we were all to various degrees brutalised by it".
He said that he had done things he was "ashamed" of in Belfast during his time there and recalled the common practice of "beasting" civilians; that is beating them up. "More men than I can remember took the severest of beatings at our hands," he said.
"Many of the blokes were getting rich from the wallets of people we searched in hundreds daily," he said. "In fact, they [civilians] often, as soon as they were asked to go up a back alley, would produce all the money they had and offer it to us by way of appeasement. Although I am sensible enough to have realised then and now the immorality and baseness of the situations we created, I confess to being filled with the martial spirit of power along with everyone else."
One incident which, he said, went into Parachute Regiment "folklore" was one concerning Corporal 036 who, after "having eaten in a Chinese restaurant in Bangor decided he was going to walk out without paying the bill. As a result a Chinese waiter followed him out of the door, brandishing a chair. 036 shot him with a 9mm Browning, ran to a pub where he knew some friends were drinking, gave them the pistol and continued with his night out."
The friends were soldiers G and F (two of the most seriously implicated members of 1 Para in respect of Bloody Sunday), who returned the weapon to barracks where "the Armourer brushed it through and the consequent investigation in the face of solid denials and no evidence came to nothing. I could recite many stories of a similar nature"
He was also party to, although he says he was not directly involved in, a number of particularly notorious incidents in Belfast. One was the blinding of Emma Groves, who was hit in the face by a plastic baton round fired through her kitchen window by a British soldier.
On another occasion, just days after Bloody Sunday, he witnessed the beating and abduction of Francis Creagh and Raymond Muldoon from the Divis flats by a number of paratroopers, including soldiers F and G. The two men were thrown into the back of a Saracen, beaten, and then driven to the Shankill Road, where they were dumped outside a loyalist bar and identified by the soldiers as Catholics. Somehow the men survived, but both subsequently received compensation for the ordeal they had suffered.
The violence, however, was not always confined to civilians or those considered to be the "enemy". 027 claims he was himself severely beaten up by another paratrooper identified as UNK180 - a man "totally lacking in the attributes usually associated with a normal human being" -shortly after arriving in Belfast. According to 027, this soldier, around the time of Bloody Sunday, took part in an armed robbery of a post office in Belfast. He was discharged from the army and became a "notorious" mercenary who he believed to have been killed in Africa. New recruits, it seems, were singled out for particularly harsh treatment at the hands of more seasoned soldiers. "I have seen blokes being held by their thumbs from the top of the toilet door, severely beaten and made to eat their own excrement," he said.
So far as 30 January 1972 was concerned, said 027, "I do not think any one of us would have had a single sensible thing to say about the Civil Rights Movement. To us what was more important was that it was an illegal march: As squaddies, our perception was that probably all the people in republican areas were IRA supporters."
During this hearing in London, 027 gave his evidence from behind a screen, often pausing for lengthy periods before answering the questions put to him. When questioned on his various statements, 027 repeatedly replied, in an accent suggesting a public school education, that he could no longer remember specific details, but said that he had no doubt that he had believed at the time that what he said was true.
In addition to his statement to the tribunal, much of the questioning of the former paratrooper Was based on an account of his experiences in the Six Counties that he wrote shortly after leaving the British Army in 1975, an account he sent to an American journalist, Sean Patrick McShane, but which was only recently re-discovered. •
World Revolutionary Socialist Review
(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
International views on Anglo-US warmongering conspiracy to encourage Zionist tyranny, put the blame on the Third World fightback, and screw everyone to pay for monopoly-capitalist crash
IN AN INTERVIEW with An Phoblacht, Dr Sharam Tomasari, a lecturer in Middle Eastern politics, explains that the war strategy against Iraq that US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are engaged in is about America pursuing its foreign policy objectives and new military doctrine.
He believes the United States intends to go to war against Iraq regardless of what the UN decides, because ultimately the Americans and British want to establish a neo-colonial hegemony in the Middle East, favouring governments that will protect American and Western Interests.
"The worry is that if the United States and its allies topple Saddam Hussein, they will then look at other countries In the region, such as Syria, and declare them as rogue states and target them," he says.
An Phoblacht: Why do you think the United States and Britain have decided to target Iraq and push for a war against Saddarn Hussein at this lime, especially as it is clear that the Iraqi leader has no connections with, nor does he harbour al-Qa'ida forces?
Dr Sharam Tomasari: Iraq has a history of anti-colonial struggle, in particular against the British Empire. The Ba'ath ideology was evolved around a mature of Arab nationalism, socialism and Islam, with the emphasis on a secular state and in total contradiction to colonialism, lslamic fundamentalism. Therefore, the Iraqi state is diametrically opposed to the ideology of al-Qa'ida. The interesting factor here is that the staunchest ally of the US in the region, Saudi Arabia, is the bedrock of this confused view of the world.
There are two factors why the US is targeting Iraq: One is political, which is the uncompromising stance of Iraq against Israel and support for the Palestinian struggle. The other is the economic factor. Iraq holds the world's third largest untapped oil reserves. Given Bush himself is backed by the US oil giants, I think one can see where he is coming from. The British motive, however, is more economic than political. They heavily rely on the balance of trade with the Middle Eastern countries and that enables them to have political influence when needed.
An Phoblacht: Most people seem to think that a war against Iraq is imminent. Do you think that is the case, given three members of the UN Security Council, China; Russia and France, seem reluctant to agree to the terms that the United States and Britain are dictating?
Dr Tomasari: Well, Bush's declared policy is clear - that he would go it alone along with support from Britain. The problem for other members of the Security Council and the wider world is the way in which war aims are defined. Under international law; no state has the right to go into a war of aggression with the view of changing a sovereign government. I think even the British realise how unrealistic this aim is. Many states have concerns, for example China and Russia have not the best of records as far as human rights are concerned, and another example is Iran, which has one of the worst human right records. They are heavily involved in the development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, with help from Russia and China.
So the problem it poses is the question of whether or where the US is going to war next? For many years in your own country the British government tried to sidestep Sinn Fein, but the reality was different. In Iraq also the reality is different. While the US and the British might not like the regime, in Iraq there is an absence of an opposition force to challenge the Iraqi government after ten years of economic sanctions and attacks against Iraq. So this could be seen as a factor - that the government in Iraq enjoys a kind of popular support - otherwise we would have seen a very strong opposition against the government there. The same rationale also applies to Cuba irrespective of what the US or anybody else for that matter claims, there is no internal opposition to the government of Cuba.
An Phoblacht: You have a wide knowledge of the Middle East: Based on that; what is the view of the Iraqi people of the possibility of war and how will the other Middle Eastern countries react?
Dr Tomasari: Public opinion in the Arab world post September 11 was very interesting. Many, although condemning the attack on the World Trade Centre, would identify with the reasons for such attack. Given that the attack was not carried out with the most forward-looking of ideologies, this becomes very scary. The frustration in the Middle East, where there is a lot of poverty when the countries are so rich in natural resources, has caused alienation among the populations of that region. Governments are often corrupt and serve their foreign masters.
In Iraq, many have suffered because of sanctions. It is estimated that 1 million Iraqi children have perished in the last ten years. The Iraqi people do blame the United States and the West for this hardship. Although we might not like it, the fact that Saddam Hussein is still ruling Iraq is in itself an indicator of the depth of feeling against the sanctions. I have spoken to people from Iraq; they are angry and afraid of what might happen in the near future, but the anger is directed at the West.
Now, with the Israeli crackdown on the Palestinian Authority and the peace process, I am afraid US policy will have disastrous consequences for the region and the rest of the world.
An Phoblacht: The war against the Palestinian people has brought the Middle East to the point of crisis. Surely a United States-led war against Iraq can only add to that crisis? People must be appalled at the hypocrisy of the United States and Britain, who cite the failure of Iraq to obey UN resolutions, yet totally ignore the. contempt that the Israelis have shown for resolutions calling on them to withdraw from the Occupied Territories?
Dr Tomasari: This is the problem that many people and even governments in the Middle East are faced with. They see it as the US deliberately refusing to provide a level playing field. Many Arab countries are concerned about the impact of Israeli policy for the whole of the region. It is radicalising and hardening opinions in the Arab countries. In Jordan and Egypt, anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment can result in the destabilising of these countries.
Senior Arab diplomats and statesmen openly accuse the US of double standards. The Gulf War was fought to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, but many Arabs are waiting with patience for the liberation of the Territories occupied by the Israeli forces. Despite numerous resolutions, it seems that those resolutions do not apply to State of Israel and only apply to Iraq.
An Phoblacht: What is the view from the Middle East of the relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush and of Blair's total support for the US war strategy?
Dr Tomasari: There is a great deal of uncertainty. What seems clear is that the US has committed itself to an attack against Iraq. The problem here is that Iraq is not Afghanistan, and Saddam Hussein is not the Taliban. If and when they execute their military plans, many thousands of innocent civilians, that both Bush and Blair say they are concerned about, will die. To change the Iraqi regime requires a massive military undertaking that can only result in huge numbers of civilian casualties.
What was interesting for me was a comment by an Arab academic who was critical of Tony Blair. He questioned how Blair could on the one hand be taken seriously in relation to the peace process in Ireland when on the other he shows total disregard for the peace of the Middle East.