Saturday, April 30, 2022

May Day 2022! Only Class War Can End Imperialist War!

 


People attend an anti-war protest in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Thursday after Russian President Putin authorised a military operation in Ukraine.  Photo: Reuters/Anton Vaganov

This May Day the workers of the world face once more war between imperialist powers that could easily escalate into a Third world war. The causes of this war are well known to Marxists – imperialism is capitalism in decline, parasitic on workers and nature. When the parasite exhausts its host, nature, there is no way out but to destroy everything it has created including its support system, the biosphere. So the ruling classes of rising great powers challenge the declining powers for hegemony over the ruins of civilization. Humans, the vast majority of which are workers and farmers, are part of nature and they too are expendable. This terminal crisis of capitalism is what has brought us to the war in Ukraine.

In this war we cannot take sides between the warring imperialists without being part of that destruction. Marxists have always seen socialism as rising out of capitalism as its legacy for a classless society. But Marxism itself is in such a crisis that it, like communism, and socialism, has become twisted into a justification for workers sacrificed as cannon fodder to resuscitate capitalism. We say NO! Marxism is the legacy of scientific socialism which empowers workers and farmers to oppose imperialist war with their class war. Workers have the power to smash what is left of rotten capitalism and create that new classless society that restores harmony with nature. But first we must organise to unleash that class power necessary for the task. That is why on this May Day we call for a New Zimmerwald, an anti-war movement that turns imperialist war into socialist revolution! The survival of humanity rests on it!

Why we need a New Zimmerwald today

We are for a new Zimmerwald because the farcical betrayal of Marxism by the fake left today over the war in Ukraine is an echo of the tragic betrayal of Marxism by social democracy on August 4th 1914. Zimmerwald marked the split by the left from the 2nd International over its capitulation to war.

Zimmerwald kept the legacy of Marx alive. It took as its starting point Marx’s view in 1850 that the bourgeois revolution was no longer progressive and must be replaced by the proletarian revolution. Sixty-four years later the Zimmerwald Left made socialist revolution its policy against imperialist war. It explained that the opportunist capitulation to capitalism by the 2nd International majority was rooted in its celebration of bourgeois democracy paid for by the blood and dirt of imperialist exploitation.

A century later we find ourselves repeating this episode as a tragi-comic farce where the opportunist left is now bragging about its open betrayals with even more bankrupt phrases than in 1914. The need for a New Zimmerwald to restore Marxism from its desecration at the hands of this gruesome crew could not be more urgent.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the Western left has been divided over which side to support. Most argue that Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine’s national resistance should be backed by the Western nations. Others blame the US for creating the situation which forced Russia to invade Ukraine to defend itself. In effect, the majority of the left supports one or other imperialist power in this war in the name of the national independence of Ukraine. This is a lie. No semi-colony can win national independence until liberated from imperialism and capitalism. The war is an inter-imperialist war which uses workers as pawns in deciding the pecking order of the imperialist powers. We argue that inter-imperialist war prevents the self-determination of nations unless workers transform inter-imperialist wars into civil, that is, class wars and world socialist revolution. Only then will the permanent revolution allow nations and peoples to freely express their right to self-determination. That is why we call for an “independent Soviet Ukraine” now.

Social imperialists

Those who support Russia do it mostly because they don’t see Russia as an imperialist power. For them, Russia is a semi-colony or ‘independent’ state, subordinated to and therefore oppressed by, Western (especially the US) imperialism. Therefore these ‘tankies’ support the right of Russia to defend itself against the expansion of US and NATO in Ukraine. They present Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the lesser evil to US/EU/NATO dominance of Ukraine which has installed a puppet fascist regime. (NTI-CI)

The other social imperialists either see the US/EU/NATO bloc as the lesser evil to the Russian invaders or as not belligerents until they put boots on the ground or planes in the air. For them Russia may or may not be imperialist, but its invasion against Ukraine’s ‘national sovereignty’ makes it an oppressor state. Russia’s defeat, then, even at the cost of Ukraine’s subordination to US/EU/NATO, is seen as the lesser evil. (ITO,Tempest)

Thus, the opportunist left finds itself in the opposing camps of either the US/EU/NATO bloc or the Russia/China bloc. On both sides the left has capitulated to social imperialism, the political position that defends democratic imperialism while benefiting from exploitation and oppression of the exploited and oppressed colonies and semi-colonies.  

Much less has been heard from those revolutionaries who are for the defeat of both imperialist blocs in the war in Ukraine. The Leninist position on war between two semi-colonies calls for dual defeat and for the unity of their workers and poor peasants in an anti-imperialist war, i.e. a class war against all capitalist forces. Where semi-colonies act as proxies for imperialist powers, we call for the defeat of both the imperialist ruling classes and their proxy bourgeois regimes. By proxy we mean an imperialist power using a colonial or semi-colonial national bourgeoisie to wage a war as a means of advancing its aims in defeating an imperialist rival. We base our position on Lenin, Luxemburg, Liebknecht and Trotsky who agreed as the leaders of the Zimmerwald Left in 1915 to oppose workers taking sides in the First World War as a war between imperialist powers.

The Zimmerwald Left

They agreed that in a war between two or more imperialist powers, that is, an inter-imperialist war, workers should be for the defeat of both sides’ ruling classes at the hands of their own working class. Instead of taking orders and going to war to kill one another in the interests of their bosses, workers should regard their own ruling class as their main enemy. This position is called ‘dual defeatism’ meaning that it is in the interests of workers that their own capitalist rulers are defeated.  

Most of the left is social imperialist and does not believe in the necessity (or even the possibility) of workers revolution. The petty bourgeois Menshevik intelligentsia tasks itself to lead the workers to this false and demoralizing conclusion.  In reality the social imperialist left believes imperialism is a social policy they can tweak to fulfill both the requirement for reforms and lessons in civics for the ‘developing world.’ If pushed from below these petty bourgeois who want to manage capitalism will always blame workers as not ready for ‘the’ revolution.

But imperialist war itself taught workers that killing one another was barbaric, and by 1918 many were ready and willing to mutiny. In line with the war position of Lenin, Liebknecht and Luxemburg, and the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution, they recognised that armed workers had the power to overthrow the old society and create a new one. This created revolutionary situations as armed workers in several states, in particular, Austria Hungary, Vienna and Bavaria (e.g. Kiel mutiny Germany), attempted to take power.

In Russia, workers had already taken power in the Bolshevik Revolution. The workers’ state demanded a ceasefire and attempted to make peace at Brest-Litovsk in early 1918 to spark the German revolution. That propaganda coming out of the successful Bolshevik revolution helped fuel the wave of mutinies in late 1918 that set the scene for revolution. 

The fear of the spread of revolution saw the warring imperialist powers quickly arrange an armistice to release troops to put down the revolutions. The revolutions in Hungary and Germany, lacking a revolutionary party, were easily defeated, but in Russia it was the invading imperialist armies that were defeated in the Civil War. The huge war effort saw the Bolsheviks compromise on their program for international revolution, using wartime methods to suppress the national rights of non-Russian republics, specifically Ukraine, which led to the botched armed invasion of Poland in 1920 and the failure to directly support the German revolution.

Sadly, the economic and political damage done by the Civil War, followed by the death of Lenin, encouraged the unreconstructed Mensheviks in the Bolshevik party to take control and the revolution succumbed to bureaucratic degeneration. The survival of the Soviet workers’ and peasants’ state, even in its degenerated form ruled by the Stalinist bureaucracy, became from that point on, the paramount threat to global capitalism and the target of its political, economic and military adventures.

Ukrainian edition of the Zimmerwald Manifesto (1915)

The Fourth International on War

The failure of the first Imperialist War to resolve the rise of competing imperialist powers soon created the conditions for the second Imperialist War. Germany, punished by the Treaty of Versailles to pay war reparations paid for by the working class was in constant upheaval and the Weimar Republic could not stop the threat of revolution. In response, the rise of fascism came to a head when the ultra-left Stalinist 3rd International refused to form a united front with social democracy against fascism allowing Hitler to come to power as Chancellor in 1933. This betrayal of the revolution by the Stalinists prompted Trotsky to declare the 3rd International dead and the Left Opposition began to plan for the founding of the Fourth International in 1938.

The new international stood on the legacy of Marx and Lenin marked by the Left Zimmerwald and rallied the healthy forces of Marxism and Leninism around the question of war. The Manifesto of the Fourth International on Imperialist War and the Proletarian World Revolution restates Lenin’s theses on war and self-determination. Trotsky puts socialist revolution, including the political revolution in the Soviet Union on the agenda of the day. The fight for national rights is again subordinated to the international class war. Or rather the national war becomes the class war, that is, a part of the wider permanent revolution. Trotsky writing in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second Imperialist War writes:

“At the beginning of the last imperialist war the Ukrainians, Melenevski (“Basok”) and Skoropis-Yeltukhovski, attempted to place the Ukrainian liberation movement under the wing of the Hohenzollern general, Ludendorff. They covered themselves in so doing with left phrases. With one kick the revolutionary Marxists booted these people out. That is how revolutionists must continue to behave in the future. The impending war will create a favorable atmosphere for all sorts of adventurers, miracle-hunters and seekers of the golden fleece. These gentlemen, who especially love to warm their hands in the vicinity of the national question, must not be allowed within artillery range of the labor movement. Not the slightest compromise with imperialism, either fascist or democratic! Not the slightest concession to the Ukrainian nationalists, either clerical-reactionary or liberal-pacifist! No “People’s Fronts”! The complete independence of the proletarian party as the vanguard of the toilers!” https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/fi/1938-1949/emergconf/fi-emerg02.htm

After the assassination of Trotsky in 1940, the 4th International capitulated on the war against fascism, making democratic imperialism the ‘lesser evil’. The post war-boom reinforced social imperialism allowing a pseudo decolonisation falling far short of national self-determination gaining “flag independence” leaving a comprador bourgeoisie subordinate to imperialism. New imperialist institutions ruled the roost. The Second Imperialist war failed to resolve capitalism’s recurring crises and wars. Stalinism was not overthrown and claimed a greater share in the division of the world by the great powers. The degeneration of the Fourth International adapted to Stalinism and/or third-world ‘revolutionary’ leaders. The healthy forces within the Fourth International were tiny and succumbed to splits and fusions not capable of creating a new international on the program of the Fourth International. The crisis of leadership became the crisis of the Fourth.

However, so long as the Soviet Union, and China to a lesser extent, survived, they kept alive the possibility of a new society superior to that of capitalism. And even when the cold war to defeat ‘communism’ seemed to be victorious in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the fall of soviet Russia and China did not end the fear of a return of ‘communism’. For one thing while the restorationists in Russia around Yeltsin made much of the end of communism, in China the ruling CCP claimed that socialism adapted to the market was still ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. 

For the Western imperialists, who lack confidence in the ability of the ‘leadership’ of the proletariat to suppress revolution, the cold war must be revived against the ghost of ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’. They ignore the fact that Putin is also in favour of ‘de-communisation’ in order to exploit the cold war ideology to confront not only the fear of communism, but the rise of Russia and China as new capitalist imperialist powers. The object is to re-colonise what was lost to global capitalism as the result of socialist revolutions, and pass this off as a continuation of the cold war against ‘communism’. This brings us to the present war in Ukraine, which can now be seen as a continuation of that cold war, but one which has taken the turn towards hot war. 

Dual defeatism in Ukraine

The bourgeois doctrine of self-determination of nations means the democratic right to elect governments to create a national market for national capital. As we know, the limits set by national borders to capital accumulation was the cause of capital export and the rise of imperialism more than a century ago. As capitalism overflowed the limits of national markets (inevitable as capital must expand or die), the stronger nations colonised the weaker nations until the world was divided between the big powers and their ‘spheres of influence’. This has led, several world depressions and wars later, to the current situation in which the US bloc and their client states (NATO, ANZUS etc) are in a zero-sum fight to the death with the Russia/China bloc and their client states (BRICs, SCO etc).

The fate of semi-colonies (politically independent but economically oppressed) and colonies (still ruled by imperialist powers), is to be occupied, partitioned, and turned into client states of whichever great power wins the political, economic and military wars. Which means when imperialists are competing to dominate semi-colonies to expand their sphere of influence, no one imperialism is more or less evil than the other. They are equally oppressive in search of their privileges. And so is the opportunist social imperialist left desperate to hold onto its privileges.  In Ukraine, the right to self-determination, as with all bourgeois rights, emphatically facing the terminal crisis of capitalism, can be realised only by permanent revolution. Lenin, writing in 1914 a few months before the outbreak of war states:

“To the workers the important thing is to distinguish the principles of the two trends. Insofar as the bourgeoisie of the oppressed nation fights the oppressor, we are always, in every case, and more strongly than anyone else, in favour, for we are the staunchest and the most consistent enemies of oppression. But insofar as the bourgeoisie of the oppressed nation stands for its own bourgeois nationalism, we stand against. We fight against the privileges and violence of the oppressor nation, and do not in any way condone strivings for privileges on the part of the oppressed nation….The bourgeois nationalism of any oppressed nation has a general democratic content that is directed against oppression, and it is this content that we unconditionally support, at the same time we strictly distinguish it from the tendency towards national exclusiveness; we fight against the tendency of the Polish bourgeois to oppress the Jews, etc., etc…we firmly uphold something that is beyond doubt: the right of the Ukraine to form such a state. We respect this right; we do not uphold the privileges of Great Russians with regard to Ukrainians; we educate the masses in the spirit of recognition of that right, in the spirit of rejecting state privileges for any nation…In this situation, the proletariat, of Russia is faced with a twofold or, rather, a two-sided task: to combat nationalism of every kind, above all, Great-Russian nationalism; to recognise, not only fully equal rights, for all nations in general, but also equality of rights as regards polity, i.e., the right of nations to self-determination, to secession. And at the same time, it is their task, in the interests of a successful struggle against all and every kind, of nationalism among all nations, to preserve the unity of the proletarian struggle and the proletarian organisations, amalgamating these organisations into a close-knit international association, despite bourgeois strivings for national exclusiveness…Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations—such is the national programme that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/

In the Ukraine today, the proxy war of the national bourgeoisie retains no democratic content, led by the regime resulting from a fascist coup, embarking on a ‘de-communising war’ against the right of Donbass to self-determination, and incorporating fascist militias into its national army. National self-determination today, meaning independence, and economic equality, like all bourgeois rights, cannot be won by a militarised ‘peoples’ front’ as the proxy for US imperialism. It is possible only as the result of the armed workers and small farmers, led by a revolutionary party, overthrowing the capitalist Bonapartist regime, imposing their program, forming a workers and small farmers government, imposing their ‘workers democracy’, overthrowing the ruling classes, ending the imperialist war, and allowing the right of self-determination of all peoples to be realised through political and economic unions or federations of socialist states.

For a New Zimmerwald and a new International based on the method and program of the 4th International!

For a United, Free and Independent Workers’ and Peasants’ Soviet Ukraine!

– International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency (ILTT)



Sunday, March 06, 2022

The Dawn of Humanity

 

 Cave art depicting rhinoceros, Chauvet cave, France. 30,000-32,000 years ago.

Chris Night in his review of David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything says the book is not about the ‘dawn’ of humanity but its ‘tea time’ around 30,000 years ago. It misses most of humanity’s first 200,000 years of hunting and gathering in Africa before the migration to Eurasia. Oh how boring. There is a reason for that. It erases the ‘first revolution’ won by mothers who used their sex strike to negotiate terms with men, socializing human reproduction to create egalitarian communes surviving many millennia. It projects private property and free market entrepreneurism back in history and cherry picks case studies to reinforce the bourgeois ideology that human nature is fixed for all time in the image of the possessive individual male.

Following Marx, Engels and Luxemburg, Marxists claim that women were the first revolutionaries who managed to create and defend the communal order on the basis of matrilineal kinship over many thousands of years. The overthrow of ‘mother right’ by the patriarchy established the first ‘class’ society.  As we fight to end all class society in a future communist society, women’s resistance to the rise of class society in defense of the commune for millennia, offers both inspiration and important lessons for our fight for socialism and the commune today.

Chris Knight comments on Rosa Luxemburg: 

“In her last book, Einfuhrung in die Nationalökonomie, she argued that “primitive communism, with its corresponding democracy and social equality [was] … the cradle of social development”. She went on to claim that “the whole of modern civilisation, with its private property, its class domination, its male domination, its compulsory state and compulsory marriage [is] merely a brief passing phase, which, because they first formed from the dissolution of primitive communist society, in future will become higher social forms … A communist and democratic society, even if in different and more primitive forms, embraced the whole long past of cultural history prior to present-day civilisation. In this way, the noble tradition of the ancient past, thus holds out a hand to the revolutionary aspirations of the future, the circle of knowledge closes harmoniously, and the present world of class domination and exploitation … becomes merely a minuscule transient stage in the great cultural advance of humanity.”

Chris Knight’s theory/program of ‘blood relations’ gives more substance to the contested social relations of Marx, Engels and Luxemburg’s concept of “primitive communism”. He argues that approximately 40,000 years ago women began a revolution in hunter-gatherer clans by organizing a sisterhood to protect their children from men. They synchronized their menstrual cycle with the full moon and went on a sex strike to compel their husbands to go hunting to provide for the children. This social relation allowed women to resist for many thousands of years the rise of the patriarchy. And it is that undying resistance that survives today in the emerging struggle against the Patriarchy especially in the form of trans-ideology which claims that men can become women.

This is an explanation for the recent emergence of trans-ideology today intensifying the backlash against second wave feminism just as capitalism slides into terminal crisis. The crisis this time is more extreme as Capital is destroying nature as the condition for its existence. Facing death Capital pulls out every trick in the book to divide and rule the proletariat. This must include the neutralization of women as part of nature’s fightback against capital over control of children. It is here that we can see the postmodern, idealist and voluntarist reprise of the overthrow of ancient ‘mother right’ behind the trans claims to be ‘menstruators’ and ‘uterus bearers’. Just as the original patriarchs sought to neutralize women’s power in reproducing blood relations by staging men’s menstrual rituals, trans-activists today claim that women do not have the exclusive right to motherhood. (Blood Relations p36-37)

Since transwomen claim to be ‘women’ they insist the term ‘uterus bearers’ must include men. So the trans-cult is not just woke, or the commodification of sex by a profit-driven new industry, it is the patriarchy attempting to erase the solidarity of the sisterhood grounded in sexual reproduction, and to separate ‘sisters’ from ‘brothers’, to divide the proletariat with charges of transphobia and fascism, taking us all down the road to extinction.

The original sisterhood solidarity worked for millennia, supported by mother’s brothers and the maternal clan. It was disrupted by men to form the original class society, the patriarchy, which survives today in the continued exploitation and oppression of women as unpaid or underpaid reproducers and producers. We need the return of sisterhood solidarity as an integral part of the working-class struggle for permanent revolution.

The model of ‘mothers’ brothers’ role in the matrilineal clan relations (see Blood Relations p 26-29) can inspire the solidarity of men with women’s reproductive and productive rights. That means standing up for women as an historic sex class defending nature from capitalist destruction. It means uniting the working class to defend women’s spaces from men who want to invade them. We don’t dispute the right of trans people to identify as men or women. It is their insistence that gender identity replaces sex that attacks the legacy of the first social revolution today as part of the permanent revolution for the new commune.   

https://www.focaalblog.com/2021/12/22/chris-knight-wrong-about-almost-everything/

https://libcom.org/history/did-communism-make-us-human-anthropology-david-graeber-chris-knight

How workers are used as fascist fodder to create a fascist state and smash the socialist revolution

 


"Freedom Campers" face police line outside NZ parliament. Once an ‘event’ such as the occupation of Parliament grounds by Convoy is understood in terms of the class struggle, the task of revolutionary socialists is clear – build a workers’ antifascist movement!


So far there are a range of opinions on The Daily Blog about the Convoy occupation of Parliament Grounds. Chris Trotter calls for the police to remove the protestors. John Minto sees this as a revolt of workers fed up with neoliberalism and the failure of their political leadership. Bomber is sort of neutral tolerating the ‘clowns’ and against using the cops to recruit more ‘clowns’. Somewhere in all this the distinction between the petty bourgeois leadership and the ugly mob is lost.

Let’s go further. This is an ugly mob that demands their individual rights without reference to the rights of others. But clearly the mob is one of mainly workers who are the victim of decades of antiworker attacks. But what Bomber sees as ‘clowns’ is a populist mob hyped up by fascist demagogues into a confused and distorted expression of the class struggle.

The struggle that is represented by the Convoy on the Parliamentary lawn is not about the use of violence, or whether most of the mob are workers. It is about how an international fascist movement is using declassed workers as fascist fodder to win state power to launch systematic fascist state violence against the working class.

Appearances are always deceiving. There is much more to the Convoy than a legitimate protest of angry workers. It is the creation of the international rightwing project of Bannon and Trump for a white supremacist fascist movement. The NZ Convoy is part of a global plan to save the white European world from the rising flood the poor black and brown masses.

So it is not a question of the mob vs the capitalist state. They are part of the same project which is how to monopolize state violence to smash the working class. Fascists are not against the capitalist state, they want to control it. They want to remove the ‘communist’ Jacinda just like the January 6th attempt by a populist mob to force the US Congress to give Trump the election victory over the ‘liberal’ Biden. Fascism is a long story.

Fascism is the last-ditch attempt by the capitalist class to hold onto power and hang onto its wealth in the face of rising mass resistance against its destruction of society. The effect of this destruction is the collapse of all the gains that workers have won over generations. Many millions of working people are thrown out of work into poverty. Having nothing to lose, their potential power to overthrow capitalism becomes a revolutionary threat. ‘Potential’ because that threat has first to be organised before it can be realised.

So, while globally workers can unite to overthrow capitalism with strikes and occupations halting the production process, workers remain divided as a class by income, nationality, religion, race and gender. Identity politics is one result which erases class identity, ‘declassing’ workers as bourgeois individuals in the dog-eat-dog market. Unless workers are united and mobilised against the ruling class and its state, the class enemy will make use of these divisions and recruit workers as fascist fodder to smash those workers who so retain their class solidarity and consciousness.

Since WW2 capitalism has undergone a long structural crisis of falling profits where the share of value produced going to workers has shrunk relative to the share of profits. Increasing labour productivity has casualised labour, weakened if not destroyed trades unions and thrown many workers into self-employment. This declassing of workers sees social democracy move right into the liberal centre, and those left behind become prey to populist demagogues who recruit them as fascist fodder against organised labour.

The upshot is what we have today. Capitalism facing terminal crisis, layers of workers declassed and turned into fascist fodder, prey to petty bourgeois ‘leaders’ who blame the crisis on the working class and any govt, labelled ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ even ‘liberal’, destabilised by a populist mob to get fascist leaders into power.

Once an ‘event’ such as the occupation of Parliament grounds by Convoy is understood in terms of the class struggle, the task of revolutionary socialists is clear – build a workers’ antifascist movement!

Fight all attacks on workers on the streets, expose and discredit the bourgeois funders of fascism like Bannon and Trump, ridicule the puffed-up petty bourgeois leaders like Eftpostle and Demented who want to bring down the Labour Government.

Because the ruling class is preparing an international fascist movement to take state power, we have to defend bourgeois democracy. But only as a means to advancing the revolutionary struggle, not as a dead end. We never appeal to the bosses’ state to defend our rights.

We do it by class struggle methods. We show how parliamentary democracy is a sham. That the ‘human rights’ demands of the populists are a delusion. Only a workers’ state can deliver ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ from exploitation and oppression.

So once the socialist left has got its arse into gear, builds independent fighting anti-fascist militias to dispense with fascism, we will be prepared for the task of smashing the capitalist state and replacing it with a workers’ state.

First published on The Daily Blog 13 February 2022

 

Update

March 2. Police managed to break up the camp in a running battle with protestors. Revolutionaries do not call for the state policing of right-wing protests as it usually sides with their rotten politics against us. The suppression of fascist-led protests is the job of the workers anti-fascist movement!

 


 

ILTT Statement on the Inter-imperialist War in Ukraine

 



1.    Up until the restoration of capitalism in the USSR, NATO was organized as a counter-revolutionary bloc as part of the encirclement of the USSR and China with NATO, SEATO and CENTO. This bloc was to contain the degenerated workers’ states and maintain the authority of US imperialism in Europe been augmented by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and the AUKUS tying Japan, Taiwan, Australia and the UK to the US encirclement project.

2.    After the restoration of capitalism in Russia, NATO moved eastward embracing the color revolutions as Russia wiggled out from under control of the western vulture capitalists to assert the rule of the oligarchs’ consolidation of economic and political power. Russia sought to consolidate its sphere of influence despite the loss of the Baltic states. Russia fought back against the color revolutions and western influence in the former Soviet States, eventually losing control of Ukraine in 2014.

3.    The trajectory of Russia’s emergence as an imperialist power became evident in 2008 based on the inability of the west to subordinate it as a semi-colony, its military strength and its ability to subordinate former Soviet states. The state control of former institutions of the Soviet state gave the new oligarchs the power to resist subordination to western imperialism and chart an independent course and act both financially and militarily as a counter-revolutionary force to put down the permanent revolution in Syria and most recently Kazakhstan.

4.    The German bourgeoisie had split allegiances, which were reflected both in the NATO 2030 Making A Strong Alliance Even Stronger and them Russian Strategic Goals 2021 documents as their dependence on Russian gas exports have played an important role in its stability. Some in Germany and the west hoped to break Russia from China to join NATO and push the western imperialist bloc eastward while the Russian’s looked at Germany as a vulnerable weak link in the western bloc which could be leveraged to split up NATO.

5.    Trump and the isolationists fed the Putin dream of breaking up the western bloc but the US ruling class put its foot down, displacing Trump with Biden and the hawkish Democrats committed to containing Russia and maintaining Germany in their sphere.

6.    The Putin/Xi meeting on February 4th consolidated the Russia/China imperialist bloc, something that has been obvious for a long time since BRICS, SCO and CSTO built the alliance of the two emergent imperialists power into a rising imperialist block facing off against the declining US/UK/EU imperialist bloc in the ‘Great Game’ for Eurasia. Now they are contending for Africa, Latin America and into Eastern Europe, first with the looking outward strategy and the Win-Win tactics of competitive loans and development projects which bring Chinese capital, corporations, managers and labor to the semi-colonies. More recently China and Russia are further integrating with the Belt and Road initiative.

7.    Ukraine won its formal independence from Russia in 1994, but the true independence has never existed and can only be won under the slogan and implementation of an Independent Soviet Ukraine which recognises the national rights of Donbass and Crimea. Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Europe, but it has an untapped wealth of fertile soils ripe for the picking by the imperialist power that succeeds in drawing it into its sphere of influence. This civil war in the East, which is in reality a proxy war between Russia and the US to claim control of this prize, reflects the intensity of the struggle. See “Chartbook #81 Permanent crisis or Black Earth agro-giant? Alternative futures for Ukraine (Adam Tooze)

8.    Both the Kiev and the Moscow governments have made use of fascist reaction. Today the fascists are a minority in Ukraine and the break-away People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk which raised a socialist program in their struggle have bowed to Russian power at their back. Russia in turn employs Russian fascists in a paramilitary role.

9.    The Ukraine government, caught between the two imperialist blocs, nevertheless is economically and militarily subordinated to the western bloc and NATO. Russia correctly identifies the western bloc and NATO as an economic and strategic threat. Thus, as a pawn in the great game the workers and peasants of Ukraine have no way out from under the thumb of imperialism but the path of permanent revolution.

10. This means that the call ‘neither Washington nor Moscow’ of the Third Camp socialist tendencies is in fact a social patriotic slogan in favor of US imperialism since there can be no Ukrainian independence as a vassal of Western or Eastern capital.

11. To secure Ukrainian independence socialist revolution is required. And this requires open hostility. Class against class, with fraternization and mutinies and a proletarian military policy turning the war drive of the imperialist powers into class war. The ILTT takes the side of neither imperialist bloc and rejects the theories of sub-imperialism of the opportunists who seek to support Putin and Xi against the socialist revolution.

12. The Stalinist parties take an unapologetic pro-Moscow ‘peace’ position reflective of their origins of the Moscow parties in the USSR days and without reference to which class holds power in Moscow today. According to the Stalinists, capitalist Russia is a leading force in the anti-imperialist bloc of nations. In reality, Russia as an imperialist power, like the United States and the EU, is a leading counter revolutionary force against proletarian permanent revolution internationally.

13. We call on workers in the US and Russia and all nations to turn inter-imperialist war into a civil war at home to bring down the capitalist class, bring the workers to power in Workers States, to expropriate the capitalists, bring the troops home and build national and international centrally-planned economies, world peace and rational socialist economic development.

14. As the martyred German socialist Karl Liebknecht said: “The main enemy of the German people is in Germany: German imperialism, the German war party, German secret diplomacy. This enemy at home must be fought by the German people in a political struggle, cooperating with the proletariat of other countries whose struggle is against their own imperialists.”

February 14, 2022

For an International United Front against Inter-imperialist War!

 


The terminal crisis of capitalism drives the various imperialist nations into conflict with each other for control of foreign markets and resources. It was only a matter of time before the war of words, the trade and currency wars turned into a hot war such as unfolding in Ukraine today.

To prevent the mushrooming of this war we need a united front that promotes rank-and-file rebellion against the imperial adventurism of inflammatory deployments. Likewise, we need to promote labour political strikes and mass actions on each continent to shut the war drive down!

The international workers movement struggles to end the wars of capitalist and imperialist rivalry which drags our class, our youth and our communities into the death spiral of hot wars for geo-strategic advantage and profit. A hot war can quickly escalate into a nuclear face-off that could easily destroy life on the planet for thousands of centuries.

It is imperative that the international working class mobilize its forces to stop the imperialists’ war unfolding between the NATO/US/EU imperialism on the one side and Russian imperialism, its allies and proxies on the other.

At this moment at the end of February, the position of the PRC is anomalous. We call on the workers and enlisted ranks of the PLA to refuse support to Russia’s empire project and to block the Beijing leadership from carrying out its own expressed expansionist gains.

We call on all workers organizations which oppose both NATO militarism and Russian advances into Ukraine to form an International Workers United Front against Imperialist Wars that initiate direct actions by workers organizations and opponents of wars for profit and national chauvinist aims.

We call for a conference of organizations to set a time and place for joint United Front actions internationally, that ensure each organization’s representatives have the right of democratic participation with the right of full freedom to express their programs and criticisms. The international conference will discuss the demands of the movement and the methods of opposing and ending inter-imperialist war.

International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency (ILTT) Integrating the RWG (Zim), RWG (BR), CWG (A/NZ), CWG (USA)


 

No to Capitalist War! Fight the Class War!

 

                                                            Russia invades Ukraine

Terminal crisis is more than late capitalism, it’s too late capitalism. It’s the dying society making way for the birth of the new society. But it won’t go quietly. The ruling classes fall back on their atavistic origins and fight wars to scavenge what is left of nature. But war today intensifies the attack on nature and sacrifices the working people as cannon fodder. Only an international socialist revolution can save humanity from destruction.

In the Ukraine the Western aligned elite relives the past glories of the white supremacist European fascism. In Russia the Bonapartist regime of Putin relives the blood and soil triumphs of the Tsarist empire. Both are symptoms of terminal crisis   

In this issue, read our Statement on Ukraine and our call for an International United Front Against Inter-Imperialist War. Two imperialist powers – the US, and the other NATO powers, are fighting Russia over the prize of semi-colonial Ukraine. Political and economic warfare has escalated to military warfare. In that situation we are for the defeat of all opposing imperialist powers. This is called dual defeatism. But who and what will defeat them? Only class war can defeat imperialist war and open the road to socialist revolution!

By class war we mean, first, the Ukraine workers and small farmers whose class interest is to be free from the oppression of imperialism, by forming self-defence militias and appealing to the ranks of the Russian army and of the Ukraine army, which is a proxy for NATO, to fight for an ‘Independent Soviet Ukraine’. Second, workers and poor farmers in Russia and the NATO powers must appeal to the ranks of their military to refuse orders, unite to launch strikes and mutinies to cripple the military machines, and fight for Workers and Farmers Governments in a world federation of Socialist Republics.

Aotearoa/NZ is embedded in the US imperialist bloc as a weak semi-colony. Its national bourgeoisie prides itself on its ‘independent’ foreign policy and taking acting on UN collective security resolutions. But when imperialist wars break out, Labour and National governments both fall into line with the US bloc.

Workers in Aotearoa/NZ must reject acting as cannon fodder for the US/NATO bloc that wants to colonise Ukraine! We must fight imperialist war by joining the international class war! For an independent Socialist Ukraine! For workers and poor farmers militias to defend Ukraine! International support for workers militias fighting for independence from both US/EU and Russian imperialism!

The articles in this issue about the recent uprising in Kazakhstan and the teachers’ strike in Zimbabwe also show how imperialism is the main enemy in the global class war. In the formers, only the independent organisation of the workers and poor farmers can end the client regime that rules the state on behalf of Russia. In Zimbabwe, only workers coming to power can overthrow the military regime that came to power with the support of China.  

The Aotearoa/NZ version of the anti-vax Convoy Camp occupied the Parliamentary grounds for more than 3 weeks before being evicted by the police. It shows how the global extreme right is taking advantage of capitalism’s terminal crisis to recruit declassed petty bourgeois and workers as fascist fodder, and why we urgently need a mass anti-fascist movement to smash capitalism in its embryo!

Finally, we argue that the first revolution by women 40,000 years ago to create ‘primitive communism’ until it was overthrown by the Patriarchy 10,000 years ago, has an echo today in the attack on women by trans ideology to neutralise their revolutionary power.    


 

Monday, September 27, 2021

AUKUS ON THE WARPATH AGAINST CHINA! NO TO IMPERIALIST WARS! FOR WORLD SOCIALISM!



The arrival of AUKUS, the recent military alliance between the US, UK and Australia, is another fateful step towards World War 3. Why? Both previous World Wars resulted from the economic rivalry of the great powers to repartition the world in their interests. But capitalism in its imperialist epoch is in terminal decline and each world war brings it closer to total destruction. This time, a WW3 will arise from the outbreak of hostilities between the US bloc and the Russia/China bloc, driven by the laws of capital to take their economic rivalry to the political/military level. 

The emergence of Russia and China as new imperialist powers nearly two decades after capitalist restoration, can be tracked back to the Soviet Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent partition of the capitalist world from the soviet world over what we can call the ‘short Soviet Century’ from 1917 to1991. The threat of socialist revolution spreading to Europe explains the rise of fascism between the wars. That in turn, split the imperialist powers, freeing the Soviet Union to join the fight for ‘democracy’ against the fascist Axis, to extend its border into Eastern Europe and to sponsor a wave of decolonisation that culminated in the Chinese national revolution in 1949. 

The expansion of the soviet bloc was countered by the Atlantic Alliance between the US and Europe, and the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in the attempt to contain the ‘red menace’. The ‘cold war’ (from 1948 to 1991) was essentially the Atlantic Alliance raising political and economic blockades against the soviet bloc, driving the Stalinist leaderships towards capitalist restoration. Despite the defeat of the Soviet Union and opening up of China to foreign investment, China and Russia have emerged from these defeats resisting re-colonisation by the West. The relative independence from imperialism, achieved by permanent revolution in the USSR from 1917-91and China from 1949-92, afforded Russia and China the breathing room to avoid subordination as semi-colonies after the capitalist restoration and the tools to emerge as new imperialist powers in the subsequent decades. 

Far from the dismemberment of the soviet bloc and a return to imperialist exploitation, Russia and China retained control over most of Eurasia, and embarked on an imperialist course themselves, emerging around the new millennium as rivals to the US and EU powers. 

China and Russia become superpowers 

The arrival of QUAD and AUKUS signifies the US ramping up its military containment of China because it is losing the economic contest for Eurasia. China and Russia have both made big economic gains against the US bloc in Eurasia, penetrating the EU and challenging NATO members’ loyalty to the US. 

The defeat of the US in Afghanistan and the Middle East marks the failure of 20 years of US military intervention to win control of Eurasia. It has handed US, British and French influence over to Russia, China, Turkey and Iran. Russia has survived pressure from NATO to break-up the Russian Federation, annexing Crimea, reaching a stalemate in Donbass, and stabilising the Caspian region. Putin’s 2021 New Security Strategy spells out the need for a multilateral world in which Russia acts to ‘deter the US, ignore the EU, and partner with China and India.’ Turkey while still a member of NATO is also tied to Russia’s security reach into Syria against ‘terrorism’, in order to contain the Kurds. In the aftermath of the US defeat in Afghanistan, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran are poised to share the rewards of a new client state in the battle for Eurasia, and as a potential member of the SCO. The fissures in NATO are widened in spite of the NATO 2030 agenda, an out of touch plan that ignores the inter-imperialist competition among its own members. 

On the strength of a more self-reliant and self-confident Russia and an expanding China globally (BRICS and Road and Belt) China’s Xi ‘thought’ and Russia’s Putin ‘thought’ both see a multilateral world as the goal in which China and Russia are strong, independent, strategic partners, alongside the US and EU powers. SCO can be presented as defensive rather than offensive because they are winning the economic war. The weakness of the SCO is that India (also a member of BRICS), Pakistan and Iran (the new regime is expected to get full membership this month), do not share in the super-profits of the economic war. Clearly the Indian ruling class resents China and is hostile to Pakistan, and rejects sharing the defence of its neighbours in a war with the US. India, under Modi, has preferred the alternative of hanging onto the coat-tails of the fading Anglo-American alliance to boost the national ambitions of his clerical fascist regime. 

US in decline faces more defeats 

The US in decline is forced to meet this strategic defeat in Eurasia, by rallying its remaining allies and recruiting new ones to contain the Russia-China bloc. 

QUAD brings India, Japan and Australia into a closer political alliance with the US against China. It exploits India’s internal crisis and drives a wedge between it and Russia which regards it as a ‘special strategic partner, weakening the SCO. Including Japan escalates the provocation as Japan is an historic enemy of China. Australia has long played the role of a ‘deputy sheriff’ of US imperialism in the Pacific, and is engaged in a rowdy trade dispute with China over minerals, and an international debate about China’s agents of ‘soft power’ taking over Australia. 

AUKUS brings the historic Eurocentric, white supremacist Anglophile nations, the UK, US and Australia together in a military alliance targeting China in the Asia-Pacific, plugging Australia into the South China Seas with US supplied nuclear submarines, and a British Pacific fleet, to complete the steel ring from India to Japan to contain China. It ‘shares’ the pathetic Trumpite illusion of making the US great again, and reliving the memories of the glorious British Empire of Johnson and Morrison, with the Abe-ist project of reviving the Japanese ‘warrior greatness’ of the ‘Forever War’ (1895 to 1945) as a grotesque empire revivalist comic opera. 

‘Make America great again’ was a Bonapartist venture by Trump to rally the populace behind the flag while pulling back from engagement in Eurasia to face China in the Pacific. Biden’s pivot to the Asia Pacific is a feeble attempt to follow where Obama went, reconstituting the failing Atlantic alliance as an Asia-Pacific Alliance. But this time most of the EU don’t want to know, France is positively hostile at having its contract to build submarines for Australia cancelled, and Germany is far too dependent on Russian gas to play Oriental war games. Australia, the Wild South mining state owned by the US, is sucking up to Biden to police the South China Sea with the big boys’ toys – nuclear powered and conventionally armed submarines with stealth-like capabilities. These rag-tag states pulled along in the orbit of the US death star will all go down in history as a Quixotic gesture attempting to bully China into submission. 

China’s Response 

As the AUKUS military provocation was being announced, China formally applied to join the CPTPP, the trans Pacific trade pact between Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and New Zealand. China responded pointedly to the US Asia Pivot by seeking to advance its economic interests with countries that are increasingly dependent on trade with it. A few days later, Xi Jinping pointedly announced a halt to the financing of coal mining outside China. Australian mining could be the biggest casualty of this policy. No doubt this move is part of China’s strategic course plotted by the ‘President for life’. 

Xi’s ‘thought’ begins with China’s historic grandeur and its humiliation by imperialism. The members of the QUAD and AUKUS comprise China’s main historic enemies. Britain from the Opium Wars in the 1840s, Japan from 1895 to 1945, the US from 1949 to the present, and India under Modi. But his solution is to make China great again by out-capitalising and out-imperialising his rivals at their Great Game. Xi’s thought, seconded by Putin’s ‘thought’, is more than a match for the Trumpite remake of US, UK, Indian, Japanese and Australian ruling classes’ deluded dreams. 

The US, clearly failing to maintain its economic lead, allied to decaying crisis-ridden imperialist Britain, and its bankrupt former colonies India and Australia, are forced to adopt military provocations to disrupt such plans. The prospect of military flashpoints such as in the South China Sea and Taiwan escalating into wider regional wars, dragging many other states into a conflagration, is becoming more likely. 

World Revolution 

The imperialist epoch is that of wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions. As capitalism comes to the end of its life, facing a terminal crisis of falling profits, climate collapse and pandemics, destroying nature by exploiting it to death, it has no way out but counter-revolution. The declining imperialist states led by the US, is leading that counter-revolution inexorably to war against the Russia/China bloc. Revolutionaries need to make it clear that we reject imperialist wars between the two blocs in a fight to divide what is left of nature’s resources, and that the only alternative to total counter-revolution is socialist revolution. For that to happen, workers must be better organised than the global capitalist ruling classes, formed into armed workers’ councils and led by a revolutionary communist international party of class conscious workers to the seizure of power. 

In the imperialist countries revolutionary workers are for the defeat of both sides in the event of war, as the lesser evil. We are prepared for the defeat of our ‘own’ country because as workers we have no country that exists by super-exploiting and oppressing other countries. We turn our guns on our own ruling classes, to overthrow the state and to bring the working class to power. In the process we become part of a united international working class war against imperialist war, making the permanent revolution to prepare the conditions for world socialism. 

In the semi-colonies, dragged into war by their national bourgeoisies, we workers fight for national independence against imperialism, and against the national bourgeoisies that serve one or other imperialist bloc. We oppose our nations’ involvement in all imperialist wars, but at the same time defend ourselves from imperialist attacks, leading the permanent revolution to liberate our nation as a socialist republic that joins forces with others in a global union of socialist republics.

Our program against war is that the class enemy is at home. We demand the closing of all foreign military bases. We call on soldiers, sailors and air force personnel to organize a COME HOME NOW movement on every overseas base. We oppose forced conscription and the “economic draft” into the capitalist state. We refuse to fight workers in other countries, and call for mutinies in the ranks, that raise the question of power – which class shall rule, the class that destroys nature and can only survive by wars, or the class that can unite workers internationally to overthrow that ruling class and create a socialist world. 

For a new World Party of Socialist Revolution grounded in the method and program of the Fourth International. 

International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency