|Charlie Hebdo Rally unites hypocrites and Zionist butchers Netanyahu with social imperialist Hollande, with Palestinian capo Abbas|
Most of the Left publications we have seen identify the violent attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo as an attack on the sacrosanct free press. We do not. All historical evidence says the “Free Press” is a fiction in class society. CLASS WAR and the Liaison Committee of Communists see this as a reactionary attack on what the perpetrators say is blasphemy. Far from being a “left” publication, it is a liberal after birth of the 1968 events; Charlie Hebdo’s satirical viewpoint today is decidedly bourgeois and in as bad taste as the term bourgeois connotes in France.
Revolutionary workers and socialists oppose censorship. Bourgeois laws that impose censorship are always directed against the publications of and speakers for the working class, sooner or later, and usually sooner. We see tremendous hypocrisy both in calls for censorship from the Wahhabi inspired right, presumably the backers of the assailants in Paris, and from the parallel calls by French and western liberalism who routinely confuse freedom for the bourgeois press with freedom of speech.
First and foremost these attacks must be put in the context of the “war on terror,” which is really an attempt by U.S./EU imperialism to contain the Arab National Revolution. To win the ideological and propaganda aspect of this war the ruling-class-owned “free press” reduces the class war to a “clash of civilizations” between the ‘barbarian’ hordes and the ‘enlightened and democratic’ west. The ‘free press’ wants to hide from you the fact that the war is a consequence and a cost of doing business in the region, because the subjective factor, the anti-imperialist aspirations of the masses, challenges the economic interests of declining U.S. imperialism and their comprador henchmen for control of states and aspirant states sitting atop the oil and on the geo-strategic pathways for the delivery of that oil.
We denounce individual terrorism as it is not a legitimate tactic of the revolution (democratic or proletarian). Individual terrorism, even for the most salutatory motives, permits propaganda victories for and repression by the enemy social class. We are for the effective action of the masses to wage decisive warfare against the ruling class oppressors and imperialist exploiters. The Charlie Hebdo event was a terror attack and does not correspond politically to any small unit action by any power of the working class. It does not advance the revolution; it pushes the masses already trapped by Social Democracy and the Stalinists’ forms of social chauvinism further to the right.
Some youth mistake the terror attacks of religious zealots for defense of Islam and are drawn, by the vacuum of leadership in the revolution, to jihad. Every Islamic warlord who wants to disguise his bourgeois ambitions to become an oil magnate as a caliph who exploits the weakness of the revolutionary leadership by calling upon oppressed and unemployed young Muslim workers around the world to join the jihad against the 'West'. Their military operations and terror attacks are then characterized by the corporate bourgeois media as “asymmetric warfare” initiated by the Sunni Fellahin and not as a response to the armed-to-the-teeth imperialists’ centuries-long history of brutal subjugation.
Let there be no mistake, CLASS WAR takes the side of the Arab revolution. But the forces of the religious right in the Arabic speaking world are not a part of it. They are the internal enemies of the revolution and are either past or future partners with the imperialist masters. What future could an ISIS or any Boko Harram regime hope to have while embracing the market and private property, as matters of religion and culture, without the sponsorship of some imperialist master? Each of these movements aspires to rule after the fashion of the Saudi monarchy, any of their professed republicanism not withstanding and even immaterial.
The revolution stands for the greatest religious freedom and this immediately puts revolutionaries in collision with all theocrats, each of whom seek a monolithic religious state and in this their enmity towards Iran and/or Israel is a fake. Only the greatest religious freedom can permit the organization of inter-communal militias to guarantee the safety of each and every community. The workers, as the revolutionary class, have the responsibility to organize these militias.
Right now Syria is the front line of revolutionary struggle; the working class position is for the defeat of the Assad dictatorship. Stalinism, in the form of the Syrian Communist Party and the neo-Stalinist sects (Marcyites, Castroists, etc.,) has played a reactionary role in Syria; consequent of their stagist theory of revolution, which finds progressive agency in the national bourgeoisie of semi-colonies. When the spark of the Arab Spring ignited the Syrian masses the neo-Stalinists ignored the butchery of the Assad regime, which they cast as progressive, and placed it in a “progressive” bloc which they have conjured out of the Russia-China alliance.
Alongside these fakers to leadership, the faux Trotskyists (ICL, IBT, Socialist Fight, Revolutionary Tendency, etc.) see the hand of the CIA behind every anti-Assad action and so ignore, denounce or oppose the legitimate uprisings of the masses that took form in the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC.). These LCCs struggle to maintain independence from imperialism while battling the Assad regime, the jihadists and now ISIS.
Now Washington is cozying up to Assad in its tack toward returning Iran to the pro-U.S. imperialist fold. The U.S. no longer objects to Iran’s building of nuclear facilities in areas under Assad’s control. And we hear none of the alarm we are accustomed to whenever the Geiger counter ticks in the region giving excuses for Israel to launch first strikes. Instead, Zionism is given a green light to attack anti-Assad rebels in Syria, expand settlements in East Jerusalem and welcomed as a victim in the anti-Semitic attacks that followed the Charlie Hebdo bombing.
We denounce the French regime and its entire response to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. The Hollande regime is social-imperialist in a way that is as brazen as any we have seen in the century since Social Democrats supported their bourgeoisie at the outbreak of WW I. We condemn the CP for being errand boys for Hollande and for supporting every imperialist attack going back to the days of the Algerian independence struggle.
France has played a nationalist propaganda card in support of the U.S.-led war no. 3 in Iraq, both by manipulating the mass revulsion against the political assassinations at Charlie Hebdo, the real attack on free speech of the Islamist right, and by redoubling its commitment to the U.S. war, sending the aircraft carrier and battle group Charles De Gaulle to join the U.S.-led air campaign.
Official France, of the bourgeoisie, has allowed itself to be viewed as an ally of Israel, which it is, a police force in Mali, Chad and the Central African Republic and the U.S.A.’s no. 1 client for threats, bombing and logistical support against the Libyan revolution.
We call for a “Lets go home” movement amongst the French troops and political strikes against Obama and Hollande’s wars. Revolutionary workers in the imperialist centers of the U.S., France, and the U.K. must take a defeatist position against their own bourgeoisie and advocate for their labor organizations to form up international workers brigades to support the Syrian, Kurdish and Iraqi revolutionaries that build the inter-communal fight against imperialism, Assad and ISIS.
France has deployed 120,000 troops to augment its police in defense of Jewish institutions. France with 500,000 plus Jewish citizens has the largest concentration in Europe, but we have no confidence that this deployment will prevent real anti-Semitic attacks. Similarly we don’t see the armed bodies of the bourgeois state protecting France’s Muslim population in any meaningful way. Quite the contrary, the police particularly suffer from the same racist reactionary mindset as their brothers in blue in the U.S.A. and are anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Roma and not incidentally anti-Semitic and belong to a variety of reactionary groups from Le Pen’s National Front to the Croix de Feu and latter day neo-fascist groupings.
We distinguish between real anti-Semitism and self defense by Palestinians and their supporters who stand against attacks by Zionists on the streets, as has happened numerous times over the summer of 2014, when tens of thousands in France protested Israel’s “Mowing the lawn” war on Gaza. The police, in all capitalist countries, are the guarantors of the availability of the option for authoritarian rule. The nominal champions of democracy, the Social Democrats, have as usual enabled the state forces of repression to expand their budgets and operations and this can only be bad for the working class and its manifestations.
France is right at the center of the capitalist crisis in Europe. The World Bank has just announced their 2015 forecast for the world capitalist economy and it is flat at 3% growth. The world population is expected to grow 3% and this renders the “growth” fictional. But in France there is no forecast for 3% or even a larger fraction of 1% growth, while France almost as much as Germany is the holder of the bad debts of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. So the bourgeois regime can be expected to attempt to take more austerity out of the life and flesh of the French workers and anti-Muslim hysteria will serve that purpose and has even begun to do so now.
Minority religious communities need to be defended and we can only entrust this task to the working class. The way to put an end to rightist violence against Muslims and Jews in France is for militant workers, their organizations and inter-communal defense guards to smash the fascists on the street, putting no faith in the troopers of the state. Unlike the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), and not them alone, we declare the plain truth that cops are not workers but the gunslingers of capital. Their only relationship to the means of production is their role as strikebreakers.
In the U.S.A. we are calling for the expulsion of the Police Benevolent Associations from all labor movement bodies and for the formation of workers tribunals and militia exactly to begin suppression of racist violence, racist police murders, and for community prosecution of racist murderers. In this way black, brown and immigrant communities will be defended by the working class as a whole. Naturally this puts the LCC in collision with identity politics which we see as ultimate props under bourgeois property relations. Since each identity politics denies or subordinates the class question to their utopian project, be it feminist, nationalist, or other separatist tendencies, each of which would leave the oppressor capitalist class fundamentally unmolested in the commanding heights of the reproduction of their social order.
Liaison Committee of Communists
30 January 2015
The specific wording of French law forbids “insult,” “defamation,” or “provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence”…“toward a person or a group of persons because of their origin or their belonging or non-belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race, or a determined religion.”
French citizens are perfectly free to challenge or blaspheme religious ideas, symbols, practices, and even leaders. Obnoxious, insulting, highly offensive speech is protected speech. Charlie Hebdo has been sued not only for its depictions of Muhammad, but also for caricatures of the pope. In fact, Catholic groups have sued it for anti-religious speech more often than Muslim ones. Charlie Hebdo prevailed in all of these cases, except for one (which was initiated by the Catholics).