Saturday, February 21, 2015

NZ troops out of the Middle East! End the War of Terror!

Image result for Leon Sedov brigade in Syria
Members of the Leon Sedov Brigade in Syria
The Middle-East today is a morass of bloody revolution and counter-revolution. Despite the growing rivalry between the US-led and China-led blocs, they collaborate as a ‘lesser evil’ against the ‘greater-evil’ of the Arab Revolution in the name of the ‘war on terror’. The nominal target is the IS, a creation of the US, but the real target is the Arab Revolution. The NACTs and Labour are both sucked into this. NACTs want to be in the US “Anglo-American Club”, Labour doesn’t want to oppose the war, just NZ sacrificing lives. Only an Arab socialist revolution can end the US led War of Terror. 

On the so-called ‘left’ there is the bullshit that ISIS are Islamic fascists and so NZ should fight that war like NZ workers went to fight the Spanish fascists in the civil war in the 1930s. The irony is that this ‘left’ doesn't see that NZ was part of the British Empire then and Britain did all it could to prevent fighters joining that war. Just as the Key client state of the US does all it can to prevent NZ workers joining the revolutionary side of the Syrian civil war.

In Spain a bourgeois democratic republic was attacked by a fascist army. Volunteers from the Western left of all shades joined the ranks of the republican army to defend it against the fascists. Some mistakenly joined the bourgeois Spanish regimes in Madrid and Barcelona rather than forming a militia independent of these regimes. The Stalinists did so because they feared an independent working class at a time when they were in alliances with the Western democracies against fascism. In Barcelona the anarchist leaders betrayed their rank and file by joining the bourgeois regime also.

The Spanish civil war was lost because the fascists were armed by Italy and Germany while the republic was dis-armed by the ‘democracies’. They did all in their power to prevent the arming of the republic.The only way that this war could have been won, was the formation of popular councils and militias independent of the bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, backed by massive workers brigades from all over the world, that would have begun a revolutionary war to smash fascism right across Europe.

In Syria we have a fascist dictator, Bashar Assad, opposed by a popular democratic revolution. Some in the leadership of that revolution, the FSA for example, want to form a bourgeois republic as an alternative to Assad. But many revolutionary fighters reject these bourgeois leaders as aligned to one or other imperialist powers. There are numerous militias that are locally organised and loosely coordinated so effectively that they have resisted Assad despite being ‘dis-armed’ by the ‘democracies’, so that without SAMs Assad’s planes dominate.

Moreover, because most of the Western left has defended Assad and parroted his line that he is being attacked by foreign terrorists (an irony since he has mercenaries from many countries including the Iranian Republican Guards) funded by the Saudis, Turkey, the CIA, you name it. Assad also released from his jails many who went on to form the ISIS in Syria.

Because of this reactionary campaign in the West the revolution and its democratic objectives has been largely ignored, and unlike Spain there has been no massive flood of left wing volunteers to join the militias.

Yet these popular militias that organised Local Coordination Committees that are run on a democratic basis have been able to survive for four years against Assad, and in the last 2 years against the jihadists armed by the West and its local allies. Unlike the Kurd PYG that has fought to defend Rojava from the IS with the benefit of US etc air support, the Syrian revolutionaries have been starved of military support by the US bloc (including NZ) supported by the Western left, except for a few notable exceptions.

One is the Leon Sedov Brigade made up of Trotskyists that still exists as an example how to organise independently of the FSA bourgeoisie, the imperialist powers and their local stooges, and fight on three fronts to link the Syrian revolution to the Palestinian revolution and the wider Arab Revolution. 

Check out the articles on the ongoing popular Syrian revolution here, in particular this recent overview.

The Guardian underscores that the US is now in an informal alliance with Assad to deal with IS. So sending NZ troops to fight IS and jailing (as in Australia) those who want to fight Assad, is siding with the worst enemies of human rights; the US, it’s convenient ally Assad, its military ally Israel, against the target, IS, that originated in the US funding the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the 80s and 90’s. 

Against this coalition of the evil, perpetrators of terror, is the coalition of the masses, popular militias armed and supported by the international working class to defend and extend democracy and socialism.

No Kiwi troops to the US imperialist war of terror!

Build international brigades to fight on the side of the Arab Revolution!

For mass revolutionary parties to lead the fight for socialist revolution!

For a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East and North Africa!

Yanis Varoufakis, fake Marxist saving European capitalism

 Yanis Varoufakis
In several articles and an interview Varoufakis claims to be an erratic Marxist. Michael Roberts comments that Varoufakis is more about burying Marx and keeping Keynes alive. Unlike Piketty, Varoufakis at least has read Marx even if he got stuck on the maths in Capital Volume 2.  He cannot forgive Marx’s basic errors that led to dogmatism and authoritarianism. He was “dogmatic” and produced a “closed system” based on his exposition of capitalism on his Volume 2 ‘reproduction schemas’. Keynes, however, was genius because...

“It was this determination to “have the ‘complete’, ‘closed’ story, or model, the ‘final word’, is something I cannot forgive Marx for. It proved, after all, responsible for a great deal of error and, more significantly, of authoritarianism. Errors and authoritarianism that are largely responsible for the Left’s current impotence as a force of good and as a check on the abuses of reason and liberty that the neoliberal crew are overseeing today.”

Robert’s continues: “This erratic Marxist, now negotiating with the neo-liberal Euro leaders aims “to save European capitalism from itself” so as to “minimise the unnecessary human toll from this crisis; the countless lives whose prospects will be further crushed without any benefit whatsoever for the future generations of Europeans.” Apparently socialism cannot do this. YV says “we are just not ready to plug the chasm that a collapsing European capitalism will open up with a functioning socialist system”.

“Instead, according to YV, “a Marxist analysis of both European capitalism and of the Left’s current condition compels us to work towards a broad coalition, even with right-wingers, the purpose of which ought to be the resolution of the Eurozone crisis and the stabilisation of the European Union… Ironically, those of us who loathe the Eurozone have a moral obligation to save it!” Thus YV has campaigned for his Modest Proposal for Europe with “the likes of Bloomberg and New York Times journalists, of Tory members of Parliament, of financiers who are concerned with Europe’s parlous state.”

Let’s see what the Greek people think of this attempt to “save European capitalism from itself.” 

Monday, February 02, 2015

Nous ne somme pas Charlie Hebdo!

Charlie Hebdo Rally unites Zionist butchers with imperialists leaders and Palestinian   Compradore
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).