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
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No 1472 30th June 2015 25p fortnightly
Dizzying Athens crisis speedup underlines sharpening class war in the unstoppable world capitalist collapse. Syriza referendum an opportunist copout, abandoning Greek working class to impossible contradictions without leadership and “not my fault” excuse-making. Revisionist KKE “leave europe” plan solves nothing but misleads too; the world outside is ravaged by the same crisis disaster. Workers need to understand the incurable collapse reality of the capitalist catastrophe and the only way out, complete takeover and common ownership of all finance and factories. That means fighting for the dictatorship of the proletariat. “Stop austerity” by voting and “democracy” lies opens up counter revolution – overturn of the ruling class vital via dictatorship of the proletariat. Leninism urgent need The total abandonment of any kind of serious Marxist understanding by the “left” groups of all kinds is being even more sharply exposed as the capitalist crisis begins to unfold with ever more dizzying speed.
Events are piling one on the other with not a shred of revolutionary perspective or consistent rational explanation from the “lefts” – be it on the slide towards class civil war facing the Greeks, the Nazi savagery in Ukraine or the significance of the huge upheavals in the Middle East – including the eruptions of “terrorism” now coming thick and fast and constantly threatening even the heartlands of the capitalist countries (see next article) in response to the endless warmongering “solution” which capitalism is imposing to escape its catastrophic crisis.
In Greece the working class has been left without any kind of perspective by the latest Syriza “referendum” move, these posturing “left” frauds essentially playing Pontius Pilate and washing their hands of the problems they are supposed to be tackling in a “new way”.
Having floundered ineffectually for five months with their preposterous bluster about “refusing the cuts” because “the people say no”, and reneging on all their bold declarations about repudiating the European debts etc etc, they have now given up completely, walking away from the unsolved mess and leaving the masses to their own devices in the teeth of the arrogant and callous financial savagery of the international monopoly capitalist bankers.
Their gross misleadership and fake-“left” play acting about fatuous “voting to stop austerity” was a total lie from the beginning, a posturing fraud which has dangerously misled the working class with its idiot nonsenses about “democracy”, leaving workers open and vulnerable to the counter-revolutionary manoeuvres of the rich.
It has left the working class without any answers, confronting a seemingly inescapable “choice” between a future of even deeper Slump impositions, forced on them by the callous money-grubbing arrogance of the bigger powers in Europe and the IMF, or the unknown plunge into potentially even worse financial chaos outside the Euro, subject to the wild turmoil of the international capital markets.
This is no choice at all just as there is no “democracy” anywhere in capitalism, just the hidden dictatorship of the big money rich and their capital, a brutal oppression which increasingly comes into the open as the inevitable failure of the capitalist system returns, the result of the accumulating contradictions and collapses built-in to the private profit way of doing things.
The arrogant haute-couteure perfumed indifference of the “elegant” IMF boss Christine Lagarde’s refusal to talk until there are “adults in the room”, i.e until grovelling acceptance is made to the slump savagery the ruling class demands – expresses exactly the real contempt of the ruling class, with the same inhumanity and disdain which Marie Antoinette made manifest in 1789, reputedly sneering when told the starving masses had no bread that they could “eat cake” instead.
Marie Antoinette’s aristocratic ancien regime was toppled not long after and Lagarde’s equally out-of-touch capitalist order is heading the same way.
But it can only be confronted by all out class war to end this capitalist dominance by overturning it and establishing the power of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat.
That demands conscious revolutionary determination, organisation and struggle, focused around a deliberately built party of scientific revolutionary leadership.
At present the working class is being left utterly unprepared for the near civil war savagery that is pregnant in the latest anti-authority demonstrations and the counter-revolutionary manifestations of the rich and reactionary forces, which will already be lining up the most sinister plans behind the scenes in Athens.
It is being left in a seemingly paralysed cul de sac of penury and despair with no way out.
For as long as capitalism continues there really is no way out, except by a jump to a new level of human society altogether, the collective ownership and control of all the means of production and finance, achievable with a workers state (and the spreading revolution everywhere else too).
This is the one central conclusion that the fake-“left”s never make clear.
Only explaining the need for the working class to take power and take over the banks and farms, industries and ports, now offers any kind of path forwards in Greece – or indeed anywhere else.
But that is what these multiple fake-“left” groups have studiously avoided for decades of posturing and pretences despite claiming all kinds of “Marxist” and even “revolutionary” credentials.
The working class is “not ready” they excuse themselves, evading their responsibility while at the same time preening and posing as a cut above the worker class and “in the know” (with a tangle of “knowing” conspiracy theories) – a middle class arrogance that may not rival Lagarde but is just as contemptible.
And of course they are not “there on the day (comrade)” as they like to sneer they will be, whenever they are challenged on the absence of revolutionary perspectives.
Even now as the crisis is hitting a brick wall such perspectives are not coming from any of the “left” groups,
Just the opposite, their careerist opportunism is light-mindedly leaving the working class to it with a “don’t blame me” shrug of indifference.
And the fake-“left” outside Greece is painted with the exactly the same brush, having cheered on and celebrated the election of Syriza in February and told the working class that this is a “new dawn” and a new way forwards, opening up new possibilities for struggle everywhere, from Podemos in Spain to the Peoples’ Assembly here.
It is nothing but the same old class collaborating reformism and “left” pressure that at best is a complete waste of time and energy, distracting the working class and feeding it yet more of the deadly illusions in democratic change that have seen tragedy after tragedy for the working class, not least in Chile in 1973 and in many other coups and dictatorships (including the Nazi Kiev regime now and the vicious pro-Washington pro-Zionist Sisi military in Cairo) – and at worst keeps workers tied to the anti-communist brainwashing that capitalism instils in everyone from cradle to grave.
Not even the “militant” Greek KKE revisionist communist party, whose multiple strikes and seemingly correct “opposition” to Syriza seemed to stand aloof, is any different.
Its perspective, for all its token statements about the need to rise up etc is only an alternative anti-European version of the same “democracy” nonsense, still failing to state sharply and clearly the need for all-out class struggle, keeping the perspective limited to Greece instead giving the world crisis analysis required, and pretending the problem is “Europe” instead of the entire capitalist system, which is collapsing and imposing its disaster both inside and outside “Europe”: The government told lies to the Greek people. It promised them that they could be freed from the memoranda and austerity inside the EU and the capitalist development path and now it is trying to manage the collapse of this pre-election narrative.
The people must say no to both of them in every way and using every means available. They must reject the plan of the creditors and also the plan of the government. They must rise up and fight for the only realistic solution for their own interests, which is rupture with the EU and with the current path of development.” So what does “every means available” actually mean????
Such mush is the complete antithesis of Leninism, and its duty to clarify and explain things as clearly as possible.
It may be a phenomenally difficult task but there is an entire library of the Collected Works of Lenin and Marx and Engels to build upon and the constantly polemicised battle for such understanding that has been continued by the tiny numbers of Leninists in modern times (including the EPSR and its significant achievements in understanding the poisonous anti-communism of Trotskyism, the revisionist philosophical retreats which underlie the liquidation of the USSR, Grenada, the lie of “anti-semitism used to defend the Zionists, the great victories of the Irish nationalist struggle and much more, including the crucial polemical method of Marxist leadership itself).
And in what way does “rupture with the EU” solve anything at all????
Greece will still be capitalist, and actually subject to a far greater pressure from international “market forces” than ever.
Why is there not a word about taking over the economy, and the productive resources, ports factories and farms??? About working class control???
Too soon and the working class is not prepared??? Well who’s fault is that??
The non-revolutionary “left” itself.
This is hopeless, just like the rest of the entire spectrum of fake-“lefts” everywhere.
There is not a word from any of them giving the working class a clear perspective of the total worldwide and intractable failure of the monopoly capitalist order and the inescapable need it confronts the working class with now to end its tyrannical and exploitative dominance completely if the world is not to slide into the greatest Slump and war disaster in all of history.
Nor is there any attempt to go back over the vital questions about the devastating history of Greece itself and the savagery which it has already suffered, from the Metaxa fascist dictatorship of the 1930s, the brutal World War Two famine oppression of the German occupations, to the four-year-long year civil war which was then waged against the staggering heroism of communist partisans by the British (under the Labour Government of “left” Clement Attlee so eulogised by the fake-“left” in groups like Ken Loach’s laughably censorious Left Unity) knowingly using the very same Greek Nazi collaborators that had starved and tortured the population for the Germans in the war, and then the 1960-70s colonels’ junta dictatorship which the ruling class imposed because its pretend post-civil war “democracy” was useless and collapsing.
These are crucial issue for the masses in Greece right now, not least in understanding and avoiding the past errors made by the political leaderships, above all the KKE which despite its staggering sacrifices and heroism fought the civil war with its hands tied by Stalin’s illusions in a deal with supposedly “non-aggressive” imperialism, part of a catalogue of errors made by Moscow’s revisionist leadership (long before the usually-blamed Kruschev incidentally).
They are crucial issues everywhere for workers – part of the great disentangling of past confusions and mistakes, most of all the retreats by the leading revisionist world leadership, of the USSR, which led eventually to the giving up on the mighty Soviet workers' state, liquidating its enormous, painfully built and still growing achievements in favour of illusions that “free market” methods would speed up its steady if somewhat boring and sluggish growth (in fact an enormous achievement, for all that bureaucratic Stalinism had proved uninspiring, producing fair, planned development that exploited none of the far flung masses throughout the USSR’s disparate republics, all with jobs, housing, food, education, sport and culture (excellent) and opportunities wherever they were, if not quite receiving the glitz and glitter that capitalism pretended was available – as long as no-one looked at the sweatshop and plantation slavery of the Third World, paying for all the consumerist delights, such as they are and such as they are distributed anyway, leaving many in even the richest countries in total deprivation and persecution – see the black working class in the US eg and even many “white trash”).
Workers in Greece and outside are being misled even further by the “left” failure to make clear that the crisis is not just concentrated in Greece, for all it is being used as a vicious “example” at present by the European ruling class to deter everyone else.
All workers in all countries face these same desperations hitting the Greeks.
The complacent petty bourgeois acceptance of supposed “upturns” and the notion that austerity is “just done for ideological reasons” and can therefore “be resisted” by “saying no” is a giant criminally misleading posturing lie.
It is Leninist science alone which explains this is an epochal spiralling incurable catastrophe, and warns the working class about it in the teeth of complacent petty bourgeois scepticism deriding “old hat cranky Marxism”.
But the point is even better made when the bourgeois press fearfulness itself confirms it (as now almost daily):
The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank of International Settlements has warned.
The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scathing critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.
These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.
Claudio Borio, head of the organisation’s monetary and economic department, said: “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties.”
“Rather than just reflecting the current weakness, they may in part have contributed to it by fuelling costly financial booms and busts and delaying adjustment. The result is too much debt, too little growth and too low interest rates.
The BIS warned that interest rates have now been so low for so long that central banks are unequipped to fight the next crises.
“In some jurisdictions, monetary policy is already testing its outer limits, to the point of stretching the boundaries of the unthinkable,” the BIS said.
Policymakers in the eurozone, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have taken their interest rates below zero to support their economies, contributing to a decline in bond yields.
The decline of bond yields into negative territory is the “most unusual development” of the last year.
Extraordinarily low interest rates are not a “new equilibrium” said Jaime Caruana, general manager of the BIS, rejecting the theory of so-called “secular stagnation” which some economists blame for the continued decline in global lending rates.
The BIS report described the threat of a new bust in advanced economies as a “main risk”, with many reaching the top of the economic cycle.
The economies worst hit by the last crisis are now suffering the costs of persistent ultra-low rates, the organisation said, which could “inflict serious damage on the financial system”, sapping banks and weakening their balance sheets and their ability to lend.
And the continued misallocation of resources during busts prompted by central banks’s rockbottom interest rates has also hammered productivity growth, the BIS said, as a prolonged reliance on debt had been used in its place.
...politicians have relied too much on temporary growth boosts by using debt, rather than making painful choices, said the BIS.
Mr Caruana said that during booms, workers and capital are shifted to slow-growing sectors, with a “longlasting negative” impact on productivity growth. “Misallocated labour needs to move from these sectors to other parts of the economy,” he said.
The BIS said that the current turmoil in Greece typified the kind of “toxic mix” of private and public debt being used as a solution to economic problems, rather than making the proper commitment “to badly needed” structural reforms. “Structural reforms” is code for squeezing the working class even harder with speed-ups and longer working hours.
These bankers are warning the ruling class everywhere that it has to be more savage if it is to survive the oncoming disaster and keep its wealth and grotesque privileges.
But everywhere the capitalist bosses and politicians are fearful of the explosive revolutionary implications if they push things too far, exactly as the British Tories have constantly backtracked from imposing all their threatened cuts, even increasing borrowing to feed the housing boom etc and to sustain “welfare” supplements to wages for a moribund British industry that cannot keep up even with the other major capitalist powers – all themselves hammered by the crisis.
The entire capitalist world is heading for the impasse being expressed in Syntagma Square because the capitalist system has reached the end of an epoch, its once progressive historical class property relations and entrepreneurial profit seeking, which dragged the world out of stifling feudal agricultural backwardness and aristocratic land wars, now hamstrings human development in its turn with endless trade and shooting wars and intractable financial collapse.
Uncontrollable meltdown conditions that erupted in 2008 have not gone away and nor could they - this is a collapse built into the very fabric of capitalism as Marx painstakingly analysed and explained in the great masterwork of Capital’s three great volumes (and as subsequent developments of his understanding have further explained like Lenin’s Imperialism - the highest stage of capitalism) all highly important reading for the working class.
A new eruption of the crisis – and far worse than the pants-wetting domino bank credit failures seven years ago, for having been deferred – is due any minute if not already here:
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, has announced that the country will not be able to pay its £46 billion ($72 billion) of debt.
The news was confirmed in a public announcement by the Governor on Monday. The price of Puerto Rico’s bonds dropped during the day following the announcement, with some declining as much as 12 per cent.
“The debt is not payable” Governor García Padilla said in an interview with the New York Times. “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is maths.”
The Governor said that Puerto Rico’s economy is in a vicious “death spiral” and that it must either defer payments of its debt for as long as five years or seek concessions from many of its creditors, or both.
The creditors, most of whom are from the US, must negotiate or else they “will be shooting themselves in the foot”, the Governor said.
As a US commonwealth territory, Puerto Rico – like the 50 states – cannot declare banctruptcy under federal law.
In June last year Governor García Padilla proposed the Puerto Rico Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act which was passed by the Legislative Assembly in one day and would allow the country to default on its debt, which equates to nearly 70 per cent of its expenditure.
However, on 6 February this year, Judge Francisco Besosa of the US District Court in Puerto Rico struck down the new law.
It is possible for US states to declare sub-sections of their government, like utilities or municipalities, bankrupt and for whole municipalities to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
Cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Stockton, California followed this route last year, allowing them to reorganise their debt while paying back some money to creditors.
This is not currently an option, however, for US commonwealth territories such as Puerto Rico.
Economic analysts from the Wall Street Journal estimate that the Puerto Rican government will run out of money as soon as July which could leave to a government shutdown and further crisis.
An unconfirmed report from former IMF economists which was released today, said that “a crisis looms” for the commonwealth. “Structural problems, economic shocks and weak public finances have yielded a decade of stagnation, outmigration and debt”, the report said.
The report, which was commissioned by the Government Development Bank, called for a full-on approach to the situation which addresses together the “faltering economic activity, faltering fiscal and debt sustainability, and faltering policy credibility”. Argentina is constantly on the edge of similar collapse and even the biggest countries constantly on the edge; Japan has now seen over two decades of stagnation,.
The rest of the world is just as close to the abyss of complete disaster with war the only answer it has.
The working class more and more urgently needs to take power which means more and more urgently building a revolutionary party.