V. I. Lenin Economic and Philosophic Science Review

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Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V.I.Lenin

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Subscriptions (£25 p.a.) and circulation P&P Bulletin Publications. PO Box 50, London SW17 9NL [Post Office Registered.] Phone 0771 2639934 www.epsr-marx-lenin.co.uk or www.epsr.org (alternative site)

No 1295 July 5th 2006 25p Weekly Western tacit collusion with Zionist Palestine blitzkrieging is on a par with western Nazi support for Hitler in the 1930s. But the more monstrous capitalist “democracy” shows itself to be (its real and permanent nature) the greater will be the rising tide of Third World anger and hostility to the endless exploitation and tyranny of imperialist monopoly domination. Palestinian militancy grows ever more determined despite, and because of the genocidal Zionist murders, sieges and outrages against it. But all of imperialism is heading towards greater and greater monstrosities, the only answer (warmongering) the system has to its rapidly deepening crisis. World resistance is already causing defeats of imperialist arrogance in Iraq and ever more in Afghanistan. Leninism vital.

The latest even more deranged round of genocidal blitzing and siege strangling of the heroic Palestinian people by the fascist Zionist colonialist occupation of their homeland is a telling signal of imperialism’s desperation that its exploitation grip on the Middle East is slipping badly.

Such monstrous Nazi injustice is the most disgusting brutality yet in a more than six decades long history of ethnic cleansing, imprisonment, blitzing, intimidation, land theft, forced migration, terrorisation, and open massacre of an entire people, equalled only perhaps by the thousands of Palestinians brutally massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1981. Who knows how many the current shellings, and infrastructure destruction will kill as summer heat peaks in the next three months?

But such overt fascist lashing-out, and the tolerance (support) shown it by the major imperialist powers, is also a clear reflection of the western exploitative system’s growing panic that the whole Third world revolt is rising unstoppably – with the dogged and long-suffering but determinedly patient Palestinian struggle one of its pivotal points, demonstrating ever growing coherence, fighting capacity and political maturity under the very worst of conditions.

Beyond that (and partly inspired by it) the centuries long oppression and exploitation of the whole Third World is demonstrating that it is increasingly ready to challenge the west’s world domination and non-stop usurpation of its wealth, labour product and resources which uses the squeezed and wrung-out poverty of billions to feed the insane and repulsive excesses of the tiny privileged ruling class within the imperialist centres.

Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be a disastrous quagmire for the entire exploitative world – and Iran, Korea, parts of Africa, Nepal, and much of South America are all rising too.

The desperation of imperialism will lead to ever worse atrocities and murdering mayhem as its crisis slides further and further towards the edge. But it will increasingly teach the entire world just what a monstrosity the imperialist system of “democratic freedom” has always been and will increasingly become for all.

Only the ending of degenerate capitalist rule and domination can prevent it plunging mankind into ever greater chaos and destructive tangle – with rational planned socialism then made possible and with it the coherent peaceful development of all human potential for the entire 7bn or so humans on the planet. The can only be a revolutionary perspective to finish a system that will hang on with ever increasing chaos and viciousness until the working class consciously overturns it.

A slide in total World War Three is the only alternative imperialism can offer, to destroy “surplus” capital clogging up the world trading system and restore profitability – with a top-dog power in charge of the remaining “sorted-out” “losers”.

The cold-blooded and callous Jewish-Zionist brutality in Gaza is at a focal point of imperialism’s rule and its implications will be disastrous for the entire imperialist order – with negative consequences radiating off in all directions.

The attacks on innocent masses yet further undermine its paper thin play-acting democracy fraud “justifications” for endless interference and subversion of worldwide development and further discredit the entire western “blind-eye” hypocrisy support for Third World fascist intimidations and dictatorships (always with the Zionist conspiracy one of the main and central elements in suppressing and holding down the crucial Middle East and its surroundings), and further expose the lies of its “free press”.

The entire rational part of the world’s population is standing stunned, watching the tacit support of the entire imperialist system for this monster it has created and becoming increasingly aware (once again) of what unlimited destruction and hatred capitalism is capable of, as its system comes under increasing crisis pressure.

In a truly horrific dialectical twist of history, the once scapegoated victims of imperialism’s 1930s slump driven plunge into warmongering destructiveness are now one of its most practised scapegoating and oppressive exponents, more inventive in their barbarism than the German Nazis even (like in the jet plane sonic-boom sleep deprivation and heart attack inducing torture being imposed each and every night long across the entire civilian population of Gaza).

And even the German Nazis did not manage the truly astounding disproportionality of torture and slow killing of 1.1M people in reply for an attack on three soldiers – with two dead and one captured in what, correctly, the Hamas and other militant groups have insisted was a military strike against soldiers.

The incredible supposed “outrage” of the Zionists at the attack on them has all the validity of a Hollywood-film Mafia “Code of Honour” - in other words it is pure fascist posturing and strutting to justify monstrous thuggery and grotesque abuse.

The excuse of hunting for an Israeli soldier is clearly just that – the organisation and preparedness of the blitzings, targeted bombings on bridges and Hamas government offices etc, must clearly have been prepared weeks ago in order to be mobilised and carried out so swiftly.

It is the hate-filled response to the backfiring of imperialism’s own democracy game – which against all the ruling class manipulation, fixing and twisting (which capitalism has been refining for 300 years and more of “parliamentary” rule) elected by a landslide the Hamas militancy and its open and clear and correct rejection of the “right” of Israel to exist as a state at all.

“If parliament ever changed anything they would abolish it” as arch New Labour opportunist Ken Livingstone once said (in possibly history’s most stunning example of double-layered opportunist fake-“leftism”) and the Zionists are taking it one step further by trying to abolish the Palestinian people with it. The lesson should be learned by every “democratic way” revisionist and tepid anti-war “protester” – because imperialism will be teaching it on a far wider scale.

There is no end to capitalism by what the bourgeoisie declares to the be the rules of democracy and parliament; only revolution will do the job and the decades of reformist opportunism, “peaceful roadism” and class collaboration have been an utter disaster for the world’s working class, led round and round in circles and regularly pressed back and frequently slaughtered.

It is high time honest workers and intellectual got on with the job of building Leninist revolutionary politics; all else is evasion and pointlessness at best and foul anti-communist collusion at worst.

But the Third World is finding its way to militant resistance anyway; even if yet it is missing the objective scientific perspectives that are vital for finally ending the tyranny of US dominated imperialism.

The sturdy continuation of the Palestinian resistance in the teeth of the latest horrors demonstrates that imperialism’s “shock and awe” bullying tyranny is not working.

The crowded concrete warrens of the tiny Gaza strip are nothing but a prison camp on a large scale at the best of times, a decades-long concentration camp incarceration of an entire cultured, inventive, talented people, stripped of their land which they have farmed, fished, known and tended for the last 1500 years (longer than the “British” have held England for example), and stripped of the chance to further develop the proud and significant Arab artistic and scientific tradition, for centuries one of the most advanced in the world. Access to the very basics of trade, commerce and human interchange, let alone the resources for the elements of modern life, have been blockaded and throttled.

And the latest blitzing and smiting turns Gaza into a festering concentration camp punishment sweat box with even basic hospital and social facilities – already stretched to breaking point by the vicious and illegal siege imposed on these people after the Hamas democratic victory – now virtually destroyed, and the weak and old already dying.

But far from suppressing the struggle against it, the grotesquely deliberate injustice of destroying generators, water supplies, bridges and other infrastructure, with all the consequences that will bring in humanitarian disaster and suffering to innocent people (which a panic stricken UN is already wringing its hands over), has demonstrated the patient deepening of the Palestinian cause and will massively increase the already red heat of Third World rage and anger at the constant oppression they suffer.

The sight of more than a million population full of women and children, old people, ill and wounded, forced to live in searing summer temperatures without even basic cooling, electricity, water supply (as pumps go off) and food supplies will simply further fuel a worldwide rage that has already been pushed close to boiling point by the monstrous blitzings and cynical mayhem.

The insane BIG LIE of the entire specious “war on terrorism” is so heavily undermined by the primitive excesses of this Nazi violence and with it all the Goebbels “democracy and freedom” mendacity and trickery of the arrogant imperialist system that even the most compliant “liberal” (and mostly utterly anti-communist) intellectuals have been forced into nervous apologetics and worried debate.

And the bourgeois western press – normally totally compliant with the outrageous fraud of the Israeli “state” (as western imperialism has insisted on mislabelling the bullying and ethnic cleansing theft of Palestine from its artificially imposed beginnings in the early twentieth century and forced “legalisation” by the UN in 1948) has been so rocked back on its heels by the gangster behaviour of Olmert and his crew that it has even begun raising a few timid challenges itself, tentatively querying on the usually rampantly pro-Zionist BBC whether it is “quite legal” for the bombings and destruction to be carried out in quite such a “nasty” manner, and penning articles like this by arch-establishment “liberal” Will Hutton:

In a conflict as long-standing and bloody as the one in the Middle East, both sides know the rules and the impact of their actions on their enemies. The Palestinian factions, including Hamas militants, which captured Corporal Shalit last Sunday, will have known that Israel would respond fiercely, but also how the reaction would undermine Palestine’s emerging common front. And Israel, in turn, knew precisely the impact of its incredibly disproportionate response, both on its enemies and on the political balance within its own society.

Which is why, whatever the outcome, last week was so depressing. The calculations have been made by those opposed to any long-term deal. Israel’s destruction of Gaza and illegal political detention of members of the Palestinian government and parliament were to teach Hamas a lesson. But it was not the lesson Hamas needs right now as it gropes its way towards political reality and acceptance of Israel’s right to exist. Israel is now less safe than it was. It has betrayed its own deep hunger for a settlement and peace.

Israel has frequently resorted to the doctrine of disproportionate response: not an eye for an eye, but 10 or 20 Palestinian deaths for every Israeli loss. Twelve years ago, Yitzhak Rabin sealed off the West Bank to allow Israeli special operation units to rescue kidnapped Corporal Waxman. That operation ended in his death, but even by those standards, what happened last week was extraordinary.

Gaza, unlike the 1994 West Bank, is supposed to be a semi-autonomous sovereign territory. By bombing its main power station, Israel has deprived most of Gaza of electricity, including water-pumping stations. Sealing off access to water and food can only inflict acute discomfort on the people there; already, frailer Palestinians are dying.

Even more extraordinary were the overnight raids that led to the detention and arrest of eight cabinet members of a sover-eign government, including its finance minister, 30 members of parliament and up to another 30 officials. Israel threatens to put some or all on trial for terrorism.

In any other context, this would be a declaration of war.

It is breathtaking, but this is the Middle East. The Hamas government has not yet renounced its commitment to the elimination of Israel or to the use of terrorism. Missiles from Gaza are regularly fired at Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has committed to withdraw Israel from parts of the West Bank, regarded by the Israeli right and Zionist fundamentalists as the ultimate sell-out (even if Israel simultaneously confiscates compensating land). Olmert needed to show that he was no pushover.

But disproportionality on such a scale is self-defeating. It casts Israel as the rogue state and Palestinians as victims. These are not the actions of a government that wants to be a ‘partner for peace’.

Worse, it suggests that Israel will find it impossible to accommodate a just settlement.

Every parent, manager and successful politician knows the importance of achieving ends by consent and that entails respect. Subjugation, repression and humiliation do not work as strategies. Yet Israel, overwhelmingly the more powerful player, is governed by an attitude that would not survive days in a family, factory or political party.

Worse, it trashes encouraging developments. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas challenged Hamas to recognise that the only way out of the conflict was a two-state solution, in effect, recognising Israel and its gains in the 1967 war, or he would call a national referendum. Hamas backed down, knowing he would win, and reached a national unity pact with Mr Abbas’s Fatah. The basis for resuming negotiations was being put in place.

The dark interpretation of Israel’s reaction in Gaza is that it does not want a politically viable negotiating partner in Pales-tine. It suits Israel to characterise Hamas as terrorist fundamentalists who are beyond the pale. Thus it can proceed with its unilaterally imposed settlement, wall and land grab, in turn fanning the flames of Palestinian extremism.

We all have a stake in breaking this vicious circle. The best response to the rise of Islamic terrorism would be a just settle-ment in the Middle East. Israel’s actions are linked by a bloody thread to the next terrorist attack on us, now more likely. Brit-ain, with the EU and US, was right to insist that the incoming Hamas government had to recognise Israel and to back that de-mand with sanctions.

Now that Hamas signals changes, we must be no less uncompromising about condemning Israeli action. The mealy-mouthed reaction of the G8 that we have ‘particular concerns’ is pathetic. What happened last week was an international disgrace. We need to say so. We hold Hamas to account for its words and actions. The same applies to Israel.
But despite the tremulous opposition to the worst of the Zionist excesses, this piece still refuses to do more than fearful pleading with imperialism not to be “so nasty” because of fears of the rebellion it will inevitably feed in the world’s masses.

Long gone are the days when imperialism’s bullying would cow the “primitive peoples”. This is the epoch of the ending of the old class exploitation system with a world taught by globalisation about all the potential of modern science, technology and development – and taught equally how they are excluded from it (except when required to work for capital in its factories and plantations). They will never “go back in their box” despite the most monstrous punishment.

Hutton persists with the even-handedness of the liberals, reformists and fake-”lefts” (a single, mutually-reinforcing petty bourgeois continuum), suggesting that both sides “know the rules”, as if the occupation of Palestine is some gentleman’s dispute over card tables. But all this is part of the disgusting collusion with imperialism’s Middle East colonialist intrusion which has helped sustain the entire post-war domination of the imperialist system.

The doubts are interesting but these intellectuals cannot bring themselves to state openly and clearly the obvious conclusion that the entire “state of Israel” has never been anything but a sinister worldwide imperialist conspiracy from the beginning in 1948. Notice the sly way it is suggested that “eventually” the Palestinians will come to “recognise Israel”, completely ignoring the fact that the titanic Hamas victory in February was able to use capitalism’s own democracy machine against it so successfully, precisely because it so firmly rejected the long touted Arafatite “two-state” solution (sold into the world working class and proletarian masses as part of the confused and dishonest “peaceful road” revisionism of Moscow and Stalinism and its dutiful echoes throughout the post-war “official communist” movements).

As the EPSR said in April 2004 (NO 1229) :

The Zionist NAZI massacres continue BECAUSE THEY HAVE T0, out of the entire, sick, doomed “logic” of the Western imperialist system, post-1945, stealing the land of the Palestinian nation away from them to give it to the Jewish monopoly-capitalists (as compensation and a silencer for the filthy treachery to the Jews of the 1930s when the build-up of NAZI Germany was deliberately encouraged by the West (Munich appeasement, etc) as a barrier to growing Soviet socialist influence during the Depression’s devastating and incurable capitalist trade slump and mass unemployment.)

The WHOLE land of Palestine (now “Israel”) was ENTIRELY populated by the Palestinian people, — WHO ARE STILL ALIVE, but festering in refugee camps or in the Zionist-controlled barbed-wire reservations called Gaza and the West Bank.

The notion of “a Palestinian state, side by side with the Jewish state of Israel” has ALWAYS been a complete joke, even when first pronounced by the “United Nations” stooges for US imperialism.

The very nature of the ethnic-cleansing expulsions of the Palestinians by UN decree to clear 60% of the land for Jewish occupation and colonisation, initially, made it absolutely certain that there could NEVER be “peace” thereafter.

Enforced local tactics notwithstanding, only Western minds of the utmost political cowardice and political ignorance, and of considerable petty bourgeois nastiness and treachery, could ever have peddled the disgusting hypocrisy about “a two-state solution” for long.

It is absolutely tell-tale and typical of the ENTIRE fake-’left’ in Britain, all the way from the counter-revolutionary Alliance/Respect Trots and Greenies, all the way to the Stalinist-addled Lalkar and SLP, that this is Still their position.

This neatly maintains the same “Western” solidarity with Bush and Blair’s “road map” fraud as the fake-’left’ keeps intact by refusing to denounce its own past “condemn terrorism” stupidity, playing right into the hands of the imperialist “war on terrorism” brainwashing hoax (more on this later).

The only logic of this genocidal wiping out of the land of Palestine, effectively, is that the brutal Zionist colonising repression will have to go on UNTIL EVER LAST PALESTINIAN HAS BEEN KILLED.

And as the weekly EPSR has never ceased to regularly fully explain for the past 25 years, the phenomenon will be observed of rightwing Zionist terror going on, and on, and on to ever-more-unbelievable NAZI tyranny of assassinations, torture, collective punishments, mass killings, total humiliation of Palestinians, etc, etc, etc, — — in a word to the GENOCIDE which is the only “logic” of the original infamous imperialist-”UN” atrocity of giving armed Zionist colonisation the go-ahead in the first place.

But such historical “inevitabilities”, (predicted by scientific Marxist philosophy of the vast epochal movements of class and national forces in the monopoly-imperialist era which govern the outcome of all civilisation’s developments and struggle), are precisely what are so uncomfortable for every brand of bogus “Marxism” around.
And still the Trotskyists and revisionists persist in this line, some still touting the “two-state” solution overtly and others calling more slyly for a “return to the 1967 borders” (the addle brained and tricky Lalkarites among them – now peddling their revisionism in a new “party” the CPGB-ML, launched to give them a fresh face without having to deal with the awkward questions raised by their expulsion from arch-trade union reactionary Scargill’s SLP and more significantly the eight-year long “left” cover they gave this bureaucratic class-collaboration by keeping silent on every significant question, including eventual “condemnation of terrorism” by Scargill.

Accepting the 1967 borders is to suggest there is some prior “legality” in them which accepts the original UN 1948 recognition of “Israel” (and the validity of ALL the UN pronouncements and its supposed “world democratic arbitration” rather than exposing its stoogery and principle function of acting as a cover for imperialism – despite the use the non-aligned world has occasionally been able to make of it as a forum).

But it is the 1948 theft of Palestine which is the root of the entire struggle as outlined above, and none of the developments there and the struggle can be properly understood and characterised without total clarity on this. It is the question that above all imperialism wants to cover up.

But to deal with it would require tackling the disastrous mistakes of Stalin’s leadership, especially post-war, whose revisionist misdirection led to the Soviet Union’s recognition of the “Israeli state” and even offers to help arm it, a major factor in allowing this dagger to be thrust into the chest of the entire Middle East, to be twisted and turned forever more to keep the region on its knees (and beyond that to intimidate the entire Third World e.g. via South African apartheid).

So far Lalkar’s (and its CPGB-ML offspring’s) record has been one of avoiding and denying (in the Judas Iscariat sense) all polemics on this issue, despite years of challenges from the EPSR.

It is still possible that twists and turns in development of the crisis will lead the senior elements of imperialism to break with the deranged madness of Zionism because of tactical considerations and the shift of alliances as its warmongering crisis builds up.

But that is far from suggesting Zionism is the source of all mayhem. Far from it – imperialism is more than capable of carrying out its own blitzing as it has shown endlessly from US Agent Orange chemical warfare destruction of Vietnam and the total flattening of Korea’s cities in the 1950s, the School of the Americas taught death squad barbarism used for a century throughout South and Central America, the Japanese war horrors and the equally horrific firebombing devastation of millions of civilians in the Japanese islands, British imperialism’s long and appalling Empire record of concentration camps, kidnappings, collective punishments, bombings, chemical warfare, (see below) and its recently revealed 1950s and 1960s willingness to contemplate the use of nuclear bombs against China over Hong Kong and other imperialist possessions (small wonder North Korea is sensibly testing defences for itself).

And there has been plenty more:

A resurrection is haunting the British media, the bizarre apparition of “benevolent empire”. It takes the form of documentaries and discussions steered towards the conclusion that colonialism was not such a bad thing after all and that something of a celebration is in order. Trouble is, to get there, some creative reworking of the facts is needed....

Only the desire to recover some imaginary good from the tragedy that was empire can explain the elevation of the neoconservative ideologue Niall Ferguson to chief imperial historian on the BBC and now Channel 4. His aggressive rewriting of history, driven by the messianic fantasies of the American right, is being presented as a new revelation. In fact, Ferguson’s “history” is a fairytale for our times which puts the white man and his burden back at the centre of heroic action. Colonialism - a tale of slavery, plunder, war, corruption, land-grabbing, famines, exploitation, indentured labour, impoverishment, massacres, genocide and forced resettlement - is rewritten into a benign developmental mission marred by a few unfortunate accidents and excesses.

Soundbite culture thrives on these simplistic grand narratives. Half-truths and fanciful speculation, shorn of academic protocols such as footnotes, can sound donnishly authoritative. The racism institutionalised by empire also seems to be back in fashion. The book accompanying Ferguson’s current Channel 4 series on 20th-century history, The War of the World, tells us that people “seem predisposed” to “trust members of their own race”, “those who are drawn to ‘the Other’ may ... be atypical in their sexual predilections” and that “when a Chinese woman marries a European man, the chances are relatively high ... that only the first child they conceive will be viable.” Not far from the pseudo-scientific nonsense that once made it possible to punish interracial relationships.

Behind such talk and the embrace of the broadcasters is the insistence that we are being offered gutsy truths that the “politically correct” establishment would love to suppress. This is the neo-conservative as spunky rebel against liberal tyranny. Yet Ferguson peddles nothing more than the most hackneyed, self-aggrandising myths of empire, canards once championed by old imperialists such as Macaulay and Mill and rehashed now by the Bush administration: western imperialism brings freedom, democracy and prosperity to primitive cultures. The myth decorates US and British foreign policy spin while trendier versions have also emerged in platforms such as the Euston Manifesto. By anointing Ferguson and his fellow imperial apologists such as Andrew Roberts as semi-official historians, the British media are colluding in a dangerous denial of the past and lending support to contemporary US imperial propaganda.

The evidence - researched by scholars such as Amartya Sen, Nicholas Dirks, Mike Davis and Mahmood Mamdani, Caroline Elkins and Walter Rodney - shows that European colonialism brought with it not good governance and freedom, but impoverishment, bloodshed, repression and misery. Joseph Conrad, no radical, described it as “a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly”. Good governance? More famines were recorded in the first century of the British Raj than in the previous 2,000 years, including 17-20 million deaths from 1896 to 1900 alone. While a million Indians a year died from avoidable famines, taxation subsidising colonial wars, and relief often deliberately denied as surplus grain was shipped to England.

Tolerance? The British empire reinforced strict ethnic/religious identities and governed through these divisions. As with the partition of India when 10 million were displaced, arbitrarily drawn boundaries between “tribes” in Africa resulted in massive displacement and bloodshed. Freedom and fair play? In Kenya, a handful of white settlers appropriated 12,000 square miles and pushed 1.25 million native Kikuyus to 2,000 restricted square miles. Resistance was brutally crushed through internment in detention camps, torture and massacres. Some 50,000 Kikuyus were massacred and 300,000 interned to put down the Mau Mau rebellion by peasants who wanted to farm their own land. A thousand peaceful protesters were killed in the Amritsar massacre of 1919.

A collective failure of the imagination now makes it difficult for us to think about the globe before European and American domination. Greed and violence are hardly exclusive to one culture. But colonialism destroyed or strangled possibilities and potential for progress, such as Mughal Emperor Akbar’s “sul-e-kul” or “universal good” which underpinned his governance. The scale of European imperialism inaugurated a new chapter in the history of greed which still shapes all our lives. Natural resources - cotton, sugar, teak, rubber, minerals - were plundered in gigantic quantities. The Indian textile industry was the most advanced in the world when the British arrived; within half a century it had been destroyed. The enslaved and indentured (at least 20 million Africans and 1.5 million Indians) were shipped across the globe to work on plantations, mines and railroads. The stupendous profits deriving from this enabled today’s developed world to prosper.

The point isn’t for Europeans to feel guilt, but a serious consideration of historical responsibility isn’t the same thing as a blame game. Forgetting history is tempting but undermines a society’s capacity for change.

Among the many facile assumptions encouraged by these imperial apologists is that those who criticise colonialism are absolving tyrants and bigots in Asia and Africa from responsibility for their crimes. Of course it is possible and absolutely necessary to condemn both. Indians must acknowledge their culpability for atrocities during the partition, for example. But that in no way exonerates the British Raj from its pivotal role in the tragedy that led to over a million deaths.

...Free trade is another mythical western contribution to world history. Amitav Ghosh has reconstructed the forgotten history of a vibrant trade culture between medieval India and Africa. When the Portuguese arrived, they demanded that the Hindu ruler of Calicut expel Muslims, “enemies of the Holy-Faith”, from his kingdom. He refused and was subjected to two days of bombardment.

Indeed, one legacy of European colonialism that we all reckon with is the self-fulfilling prophecy of the “clash of civilisations”. The claim that east and west are bound to come into conflict is merely an extension of imperial practice which found it useful to seal off porous cultures into fixed categories. This tragic “lie of the colonial situation”, as Frantz Fanon called it, rebounds on us tragically in the terror unleashed in the name of Islam and Bush’s “war on terror”. If we are to undo the destructive legacies of empire, it won’t do to invest celebratory falsifications with credibility. To make sense of a shared present and look towards a more humane future, we need to start with a little informed honesty about the past.

Priyamvada Gopal teaches postcolonial studies at Cambridge University and is the author of Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence

Sadly despite its useful debunkings this piece is no more likely to get at the truth with its illusions in reformist “undoing the worst” than the revisionists above.

Imperialism can only get more overtly dictatorial and brutal as it heads towards a crisis that is inbuilt into its most fundamental profiteering nature as Marx and a later Lenin analysed and explained.

The big lie of “democracy and freedom” has always been exactly that for the entire imperialist capitalist system, a Big Lie, the greatest confidence trick in history, the Goebbels cover for the tyrannical oppression and exploitation of the capitalist system and the bourgeois class which runs it and benefits from it in a total dictatorship of capital and big money.

The complex superstructure of the “rule of law” and its backup of state forces, police secret intelligence services and prisons has only ever had one central purpose; to keep the working class under the thumb of property and capital, the only justice recognised.

It is not Islamicism which counts but the fact of world struggle and discontent (despite the cultural forms it takes currently on the surface in some areas of the world – used for shallow racist fear mongering and petty chauvinism by imperialism) which is erupting against imperialist rule.

It can only intensify. This is a system of crisis and slump and endlessly in antagonistic competition whose contradictions accumulate to the point of devastating overproduction and deadly destructive world monopoly sliding into world war.

But it is going badly wrong, reflecting the disastrous incompetence and out-of-time degeneracy of the entire capitalist era. Molecular revolutionary changes in world class society are almost ready to tip over into revolutionary transformation of the world.

The quagmire of incapacity in Iraq is a signal of the historical defeats facing the entire system, now finding itself even more entangled in growing disaster in Afghanistan.

It will get much worse and more chaotic yet.

Only a Marxist perspective (and much deeper and extended analysis to be continuously fought for by all who can be drawn into the open struggle for Leninism) can make sense of the developments in the world,

But it requires the conscious effort to build Leninism.

Don Hoskins

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