cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgPatriotic “Anti-Capitalism” for Fools

 

Yet Again on the CWG/LCC’s Support for “Workers’” Immigration Control and Protectionism in the US

 

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30.5.2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Every political position has its own inner logic. Consciously or unconsciously, its protagonists follow a certain political method. If an organization does not possess a fully developed revolutionary program based on a Marxist method, it ends up in a centrist labyrinth of zigzags and eclecticism. This is the sorry fate of the so-called “Liaison Committee of Communists” – a group with a presence in the US, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Brazil.

 

During the last two months, there has been an exchange of polemical articles between the RCIT and the LCC on the issue of immigration control. This began when the LCC’s New Zealand group issued a new slogan advocating immigration control by the working class, due to problems for New Zealand workers as a result of cheap migrant labor and the rising cost of housing. According to the LCC, these problems are caused by or have at least been tremendously exacerbated by increasing migration. (1)

 

In response, the RCIT strongly refuted this slogan as an unwarranted concession to social chauvinism based on an incorrect analysis. (2) We explained that, in a world characterized by imperialist exploitation and increasing inequality between rich and poor nations, socialists residing in rich capitalist countries must oppose all forms of immigration control. Such immigration control only serves as a weapon in the hands of the ruling class against the poor, semi-colonial countries. It is used by them as an instrument to limit the freedom of movement of poor people and as a means of dividing the international working class and rallying its domestic national working class behind the cause of chauvinism. (3)

 

Recently, the US group of the LCC published another reply to the RCIT. (4) In this article they again defended the slogan of “workers immigration control” and also applied it to the US. Essentially, the LCC denies that there are divisions between the white working class in the US and the workers and migrants from poor semi-colonial countries. By ignoring the issue of the labor aristocracy, the upper sector of the working class bribed by the extra-profits of US monopoly capital, they don’t perceive a problem when the working class of an extremely rich imperialist country is given the right of veto against the migration of workers from poorer countries.

 

They also claim that Lenin’s explicit and unambiguous opposition to any restriction of immigration to imperialist countries is not relevant for today. According to the LCC, Lenin “is speaking in a historical moment before industrial underdevelopment took root in what were then colonies of empires, not in the present of ‘neoliberal’ globalism.” As if in a world like today’s, opposition to imperialist immigration control should somehow be less important and urgent for Marxists!

 

 

 

LCC calls for the ban of foreign capitalists from the US

 

 

 

However, in our current reply we will not repeat the arguments and analysis which we have already elaborated in our previous articles on this issue. Here, we will deal solely with a new position which the LCC has recently introduced into the discussion. In their latest contribution, they justify their policy for “workers immigration control” by citing problems ostensibly caused by the migration of wealthy people and capitalists to the US. To illustrate the supposed problems caused by rich foreigners immigrating to the US, they focus on both capital flight and the gentrification of important metropolitan centers like San Francisco and New York.

 

At the conclusion of their “analysis”, the LCC raises yet another new slogan: “Ban business migrants and capitalist investors!

 

This new slogan is certainly worthy of its association with the LCC’s call for “labor aristocratic immigration control,” and is merely just another manifestation of the organization’s vulgar social-chauvinism. To put it bluntly, this new slogan is nothing less than an adaption to the most reactionary prejudices among pro-Trump supporters!

 

First of all, it is reactionary nonsense to maintain that it is not, or not mainly, the US capitalists who are transferring their capital abroad, but rather foreign capitalists residing in the US. Likewise, is it really the case that gentrification in San Francisco or New York is not caused by US speculators in real estate and wealthy middle class American but instead by foreigners?! We think that the LCC’s blaming of foreigners for these developments is utterly reactionary babble!

 

The LCC’s call for the banning of foreign capitalists from the US is, in fact, merely a repetition of vulgar protectionism. There is a long tradition of bourgeois forces – both in the US as well as many other imperialist countries – calling for the ban of foreign business competitors. One just has to recall the chauvinist campaign of US trade unions against Japanese car producers or, more recently, against Chinese competitors.

 

The LCC is just adapting to this chauvinist sentiment against foreign competitors, irrespective of the “anti-capitalist” rhetoric in which it is clothed. The concrete meaning of such chauvinist slogans is an indirect preference for US capitalists relative to their foreign competitors. In other words, the LCC’s slogan to ban foreign capital and capitalists is nothing but a capitulation to imperialist protectionism!

 

In effect, calling for the ban of foreign investors means that the LCC considers capitalist exploitation by foreigners as somehow worse than exploitation by US-American capitalists. To such chauvinist nonsense we can only repeat the words of Marx, directed against supporters of protectionism: “If they [the protectionists, Ed.] speak consciously and openly to the working class, then they summarise their philanthropy in the following words: It is better to be exploited by one’s fellow-countrymen than by foreigners.” (5)

 

 

 

The Marxist tradition against imperialist protectionism

 

 

 

Authentic Marxists have always been intransigent opponents of any concession to imperialist protectionism. Faced with the alternative of free trade or protectionism, revolutionaries in imperialist countries oppose both and call instead for a policy of, by and for the international working class in the context of an internationalist class struggle.

 

While supporting free trade versus protectionism in capitalism’s epoch of ascent, Marx and Engels nevertheless later warned the working class that they should support neither option of capitalist trade policy. This is what Engels wrote in an article on “Protection and Free Trade“:

 

The question of Free Trade or Protection moves entirely within the bounds of the present system of capitalist production, and has, therefore, no direct interest for us socialists who want to do away with that system. (…) If a country nowadays accepts Free Trade, it will certainly not do so to please the socialists. It will do so because Free trade has become a necessity for the industrial capitalists. But if it should reject Free Trade and stick to Protection, in order to cheat the socialists out of the expected social catastrophe, that will not hurt the prospects of socialism in the least. (…) In the meantime, there is no help for it: you must go on developing the capitalist system, you must accelerate the production, accumulation, and centralization of capitalist wealth, and, along with it, the production of a revolutionary class of laborers. Whether you try the Protectionist or the Free Trade will make no difference in the end, and hardly any in the length of the respite left to you until the day when that end will come.” (6)

 

Such a perspective has become even more appropriate during the epoch of imperialism. Rudolf Hilferding, the author of the famous book Finance Capital, which played an influential role for Lenin’s theory of imperialism, summarized quite well the Marxist attitude towards the issue of protectionism and free trade. Indeed Lenin reprinted the following quotation in his book on imperialism.

 

While capital can pursue no other policy than that of imperialism, the proletariat cannot oppose to it a policy derived from the period when industrial capital was sovereign; it is no use for the proletariat to oppose the policy of advanced capitalism with an antiquated policy from the era of free trade and of hostility to the state. The response of the proletariat to the economic policy of finance capital – imperialism – cannot be free trade, but only socialism. The objective of proletarian policy cannot possibly be the now reactionary ideal of reinstating free competition by the overthrow of capitalism. The proletariat avoids the bourgeois dilemma – protectionism or free trade – with a solution of its own; neither protectionism nor free trade, but socialism, the organization of production, the conscious control of the economy not by and for the benefit of capitalist magnates but by and for society as a whole, which will then at last subordinate the economy to itself as it has been able to subordinate nature ever since it discovered the laws of motion of the natural world. (…) It is precisely in those countries where the policy of the bourgeoisie has been put into effect most fully, and where the most important social aspects of the democratic political demands of the working class have been realized, that socialism must be given the most prominent place in propaganda, as the only alternative to imperialism, in order to ensure the independence of working class politics and to demonstrate its superiority in the defence of proletarian interests.” (7)

 

Lenin based his own, no less cogent refutation of any support for either protectionism or free trade in imperialist countries by explaining that both are simply variations of monopoly capital’s essence:

 

Official science tried by a conspiracy of silence, to kill the works of Marx, who by a theoretical and historical analysis of capitalism had proved that free competition gives rise to the concentration of production, which, in turn, at a certain stage of development leads to monopoly. Today, monopoly has become a fact. Economists are writing mountains of books in which they describe the diverse manifestations of monopoly, and continue to declare in chorus that “Marxism is refuted”. But facts are stubborn things, as the English proverb says, and they have to be reckoned with, whether we like it or not. The facts show that differences between capitalist countries, e.g., in the matter of protection or free trade, only give rise to insignificant variations in the form of monopolies or in the moment of their appearance; and that the rise of monopolies, as the result of the concentration of production, is a general and fundamental law of the present stage of development of capitalism.“ (8)

 

Trotsky and the Fourth International continued this approach and emphasized that the working class must be opposed to all forms of defense of the imperialist fatherland (including the “preference” of domestic to foreign capitalists):

 

The defense of the national state, first of all in Balkanized Europe – the cradle of the national state – is in the full sense of the word a reactionary task. The national state with its borders, passports, monetary system, customs and the army for the protection of customs has become a frightful impediment to the economic and cultural development of humanity. The task of the proletariat is not the defense of the national state but its complete and final liquidation. (…) A “socialist” who preaches national defense is a petty-bourgeois reactionary at the service of decaying capitalism. Not to bind itself to the national state in time of war, to follow not the war map but the map of the class struggle, is possible only for that party that has already declared irreconcilable war on the national state in time of peace. Only by realizing fully the objectively reactionary role of the imperialist state can the proletarian vanguard become invulnerable to all types of social patriotism. This means that a real break with the ideology and policy of “national defense” is possible only from the standpoint of the international proletarian revolution.” (9)

 

Hence, the working class must give no support either to protectionist or to free trade measures.

 

One of the pretty clear reactionaries inside the British Labour Party, Dr. Haden Guest, a chauvinist, a militarist and a protectionist in parliament, mercilessly poured scorn on his own party’s line on the question of free trade and protectionism: MacDonald’s position, in Guest’s words, has a purely negative character and does not indicate any way out of the economic impasse. That the days of Free Trade are over really is absolutely obvious: the break-up of Liberalism has also been conditioned by the break-up of Free Trade. But Britain can just as little seek a way out in protectionism. For a young capitalist country just developing, protectionism may be an unavoidable and progressive stage of development. But for the oldest industrial country whose industry was geared to the world market and had an offensive and conquering character the transition to protectionism is historical testimony to the beginning of a process of mortification, and signifies in practice the maintaining of certain branches of industry that are less viable in the given world situation, at the expense of other branches of the same British industry that are better adapted to the conditions of the world and the home market. The programme of senile protectionism of Baldwin’s party can be countered not by an equally senile and moribund Free Trade policy but only by the practical programme of a socialist overturn. But in order to tackle this programme it is necessary as a preliminary to purge the party both of the reactionary protectionists like Guest and reactionary free traders like MacDonald.” (10)

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

 

When the LCC began advocating immigration control by the working class in imperialist and rich countries, we immediately warned that doing so opens the door to the hell of social-chauvinism. While they first limited this slogan to New Zealand, the LCC now extends it even to the most advanced imperialist country – the United States. Confirming our warning, they have now taken the next logical step and call for the “ban of business migrants and foreign investors” in the US. In other words, they have adopted a so-called “Marxist” version of the arch-reactionary “America First” policy of Trump and Co. In fact, this is nothing but patriotic ”anti-capitalism” for fools!

 

We cannot deny the inner consistency of the LCC’s positions. There is an inescapable inner logic in their social-chauvinism: when one grants the domestic, relatively privileged working class of the imperialist and rich countries the right to veto all issues related to the migration of workers from poorer, semi-colonial countries, one is perfectly capable of giving preferential treatment to domestic capitalists by calling for the ban of their foreign competitors. In both cases, the LCC’s inner logic inevitably leads to its favoring, whether in the US or in New Zealand, domestic white workers to migrant workers and the domestic capitalists to their foreign competitors.

 

It is obvious that this has nothing to do with the most basic teachings of proletarian internationalism and the tradition of Marxism. It is nothing but a vulgar adaption to the social-chauvinist ideology of the privileged labor aristocracy which is currently experiencing a certain revival under Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rhetoric.

 

In conclusion, let us draw attention to the fact that the sad fate of the pseudo-Trotskyist LCC is an example of the fate of sterile sects. Such groups typically believe that they can avoid the traps of opportunism by divorcing themselves from the systematic, practical participation in the class struggle. In this way, according to their view, such sects can immunize themselves against contagion from reformist mass consciousness. This is, however, an idiotic delusion, as it invariably also isolates them from the dynamic pulse of class struggle. One cannot fight the pressure of reformism by self-isolation, but only by combining an authentically revolutionary Marxist method with systematic interventionism in the living class struggle, both in theory and in practice.

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) The first CWG(A/NZ) article is — Aotearoa.NZ: For Workers’ Control of Migration, March 17, 2017, http://redrave.blogspot.co.at/2017/03/aotearoanz-for-workers-control-of.html; Their first response to ours was —CWG(A/NZ): Worker or Capitalist control of borders? Reply to RCIT, April 30, 2017, http://redrave.blogspot.co.at/2017/04/worker-or-capitalist-control-of-borders_30.html.

 

(2) Michael Pröbsting and Andrew Walton: The Slogan of “Workers’” Immigration Control: A Concession to Social-Chauvinism, 27.3.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/workers-immigration-control/; Michael Pröbsting and Andrew Walton: A Social-Chauvinist Defence of the Indefensible. Another Reply to the CWG/LCC’s Support for “Workers’” Immigration Control, 14.5.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/cwg-immigration-control/

 

(3) For a more detailed elaboration of the RCIT’s position on migration and the internationalist program of revolutionary equality, we refer readers to various documents which we have published and which are accessible on our website. See e.g., RCIT: Marxism, Migration and Revolutionary Integration, https://www.thecommunists.net/oppressed/revolutionary-integration/; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, chapter 8.iv) and 14ii), https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism, August 2015, Chapter II.2, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/part-5-1/, RCIT-Program, chapter V: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/fight-against-oppression-of-migrants/, RCIT-Manifesto chapter IV: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/chapter-iv/; and various actual statements and articles here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/articles-on-refugees/. See also Michael Pröbsting: Migration and Super-exploitation: Marxist Theory and the Role of Migration in the present Period of Capitalist Decay, in: Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory (Volume 43, Issue 3-4, 2015), pp. 329-346. We have also published a detailed study on migration and the Marxist program in German. See Michael Pröbsting: Marxismus, Migration und revolutionäre Integration (2010); in: Der Weg des Revolutionären Kommunismus, Nr. 7, pp. 38-41, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/werk-7

 

(4) LCC vs RCIT on Immigration, May 26, 2017, http://www.cwgusa.org/?p=1890

 

(5) Karl Marx: The Protectionists, the Free Traders and the Working Class (1847), in: MECW Vol. 6, p. 280

 

(6) Friedrich Engels: Protection and Free Trade. Preface to the Pamphlet: Karl Marx, Speech on the Question of Free Trade (1888), in: MECW 26, pp. 535-536

 

(7) Rudolf Hilferding: Finance Capital. A Study of the Latest Phase of Capitalist Development (1910), Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1981, pp.366-367. Lenin reprinted this quote in Imperialism. The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) ; in: LCW Vol. 22, p. 289.

 

(8) V. I. Lenin: Imperialism. The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) ; in: LCW Vol. 22, p. 200

 

(9) Leon Trotsky: War and the Fourth International (1934); in: Trotsky Writings 1933-34, pp. 304-305

 

(10) Leon Trotsky: Where is Britain Going? (1925), in: Trotsky’s Writings on Britain, Vol. 2, New Park Publications, London 1974, pp. 115-116

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgThe Pseudo-Trotskyist L5I Congratulates the British Police for Their Service

Another capitulation to the imperialist pressure in the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack

 

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 25 May 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

The terror attack in Manchester has not only provoked a wave of right-wing Islamophobic hatred like Katie Hopkins’ outrageous call for a “final solution” against Muslims, but also an acceleration of state repression like the positioning of the British army on the streets of the UK. It has also pushed various centrists to adapt to this social-chauvinist pressure. (1)

 

An example of such adaption to this social-chauvinist pressure is that of the “Red Flag” which has been operating within the Labour Party for nearly two years now, and which was known for decades as “Workers Power” – the British section and flagship of the “League for the Fifth International” (L5I). Formerly this was a revolutionary organization from which the founding cadres of the RCIT were expelled in 2011. (2)

 

We have recently drawn attention to the huge shift to the right of this organization. In particular, we have pointed out that the leadership of this organization has changed its traditional position of consistent anti-imperialism and now “critically” supports the imperialist European Union and its Single Market against populist right-wing forces. Similarly, the L5I has adapted to the Islamophobic hysteria in Sweden, calling all Islamists “fascists” and supporting state repression against them. (3)

 

The latest link in this chain of pro-imperialist social-chauvinism can be found in Red Flags’ statement regarding the Manchester terror attack. It contains a position which has never been heard in the more than 40 years of this organization’s existence. While Marxists – and hence, until recently, also our former comrades – have always stood in fundamental opposition to the imperialist repression apparatus, Red Flag has now substantially softened this position. (4)

 

In its statement on the Manchester attack, Red Flag writes: “We share in the universal appreciation for the members of the emergency services who risked their own lives to organise medical and security for the victims.” (5) As everyone knows, and Wikipedia confirms, the police are a crucial part of the emergency services of the state. (6) The police – in addition to the medical services and the fire fighters – naturally played an important role in the reaction to the Manchester terror attack. Together with the army they play an even more important role in the advancing the machinery of state repression which is going to terribly impact the Muslim migrant communities in Manchester and throughout the entire country. Just ask their brothers and sisters living in France!

 

Naturally, there would be nothing wrong in the L5I’s congratulating the nurses and fire fighters – who are part of the working class – for their helping victims of the attack. But to congratulate our class enemy – the police, a critical part of the imperialist state apparatus of repression – is nothing but an adaption to social-chauvinist pressure.

 

Such a collaborationist attitude to the police has a long tradition in the camp of reformism and centrism. The left social democrats and the Stalinists often support the police against “extremists.” Likewise, centrists like Peter Taffee’s SPEW/CWI, flirt with the police and consider them “workers in uniform.” As the examples of their British and Swedish comrades demonstrate, the L5I has now joined the camp of these opportunists.

 

Lenin insisted that the state question was a clear line of demarcation that would completely separate off authentic Marxists from all sorts of revisionists. He emphasized that the working class must stand for “the destruction of the entire bourgeois state apparatus from top to bottom“. (7) The L5I’s “share in the universal appreciation” for the police is nothing but a collapse into vulgar reformism and in utter contradiction to such a Marxist approach.

 

Unfortunately, this is not the L5I’s first capitulation to imperialism nor, we fear, will it be its last. We can only hope that revolutionary militants inside the L5I will revolt against this scandalous degeneration into naked anti-Marxist centrism.

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) The statement of our British comrades on this tragic event can be read here: RCIT Britain: Terror Comes To Manchester – War Comes Home, 23.05.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/manchester-terror/

 

(2) The RCIT has dealt with the centrist degeneration of the L5I in various documents. See e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism. The recent change in the L5I’s position towards support for EU membership represents a shift away from its own tradition, of the Marxist method, and of the facts; August 2016, in: Revolutionary Communist No. 55, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent “Bourgeois Democratic Progress”? Once again, on the EU and the Tactics of the Working Class – An Addendum to our Criticism of the L5I’s Turn to the Right and Its Support for EU Membership, 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/; Manfred Meier: Nachbeben des Brexit – Zur Rechtswende von GAM/L5I: das „JA“ zum Verbleib in der EU, August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/gam-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism (chapter III.3.), August 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; RCIT: Where is the LFI drifting? A Letter from the RCIT to the LFI comrades, 11.5.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/centrist-degeneration-of-lfi/; On the history of the RCIT and the L5I, see our book by Michael Pröbsting: Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice. Looking Back and Ahead after 25 Years of Organized Struggle for Bolshevism, December 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/

 

(3) See Michael Pröbsting: The Guardians of Swedish Imperialist Democracy. Another remarkable document from the ex-Trotskyist L5I, 09 May 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/l5i-opportunism-2/; Michael Pröbsting: The Market Marxists. Two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist L5I, 25 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/l5i-opportunism/

 

(4) Our position on the terrorist attacks which took place in Europe in recent years can be read in RCIT: Terror in Brussels: The War comes Home. Daesh-Terror is the Result of Imperialist Terror! Oppose any State of Emergency and Repression against Muslim Peoples in Europe!, 23.03.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brussels-attack/; RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! Stop France’s and other Imperialist Powers’ Warmongering! No Mobilization of the Army inside France! Defend the Muslim Peoples against Chauvinist Hatemongering and State Repression! 14.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/; RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), 23 January 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/; RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/; RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; Michael Pröbsting: France: “Communist” Party fails to Vote in Parliament against Imperialist War in Iraq! 15.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/french-pcf-iraq-war/; Michael Pröbsting: After the Paris Attack: Socialists must Join Hands with Muslim People Against Imperialism and Racism! Reformist and Centrist Forces try to derail the Workers Movement by Failing to Stand up for Solidarity with the Muslims and Against Imperialist War-Mongering! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-defend-muslims/; Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/racist-charlie-hebdo/

 

(5) Red Flag: Manchester Arena: the war on terror has turned all civilians into targets, 23/05/2017, http://www.redflagonline.org/2017/05/manchester-arena-the-war-on-terror-has-turned-all-civilians-into-targets/; in German: Selbstmordanschlag in Manchester, http://www.arbeitermacht.de/infomail/946/manchester.htm

 

(6) See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_service; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/999_(emergency_telephone_number)

 

(7) V.I.Lenin: Theses on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International (1920), in: LCW Vol. 31, p. 186

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgBrazil: Out to the Streets to Bring Down the Temer Government!

For a United Front of Struggle! Organize a General Strike and Popular Uprising Now! No to the Ongoing Coup of the Ruling Class! For a Workers’ and Popular Government!

 

Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 19 May 2017, http://elmundosocialista.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

  1. The Temer government is in a deep crisis. What everybody already previously knew has now been proven by audio tapes. Temer himself, as well as other leading figures of the government, are deeply entangled in the web of corruption of the ruling class; grotesquely so, as this government itself illegitimately came to power last year under the banner of the “struggle against corruption” which in fact was an institutional coup d’état against the elected PT-led government of Dilma Rousseff.

 

  1. The real reason for this coup was the desire of the ruling class to accelerate the attacks on the working class and the popular masses. This is why Temer wants to push through the widely despised labor and pension reforms. These reforms would destroy our social gains for which we fought so hard in the past!

 

  1. Given the popular resistance against these reforms – including the biggest general strike for decades on 28 April with 40 million people participating – the ruling class is now prepared to let Temer fall. They will try to continue their coup and to enhance its achievements for them, via parliamentary maneuvers (and with lots of bribery!) to bring another hard-line reactionary figure to power (e.g., the current president of the Supreme Court, Carmen Lúcia).

 

  1. We must put an end to the cynical power games and institutional coup d’états of the ruling class! We must take advantage of the current crisis of their corrupt government! We can and must strengthen the power of the working class and the popular masses!

 

  1. How can we achieve this? First, we must stop the conspiracy of the ruling class with their obscure parliamentary maneuvers. We must bring down the corrupt Temer government ourselves! For a general strike and a popular uprising!

 

  1. We must call upon the CUT, MST, MTST, Frente Brasil Popular, Frente Povo Sem Medo, PT and all popular mass organizations to form a united front for struggle. We call these organizations to organize a general strike! We must force the vacillating and conservative bureaucrats at the heads of these organizations to organize the resistance.

 

  1. But we must not trust them! These bureaucratic leaders have proven in the past that they are willing to subordinate the struggle for our interests in exchange for the participation in the bourgeois power institutions. We must put demands on these leaders, but we must carefully watch and control them.

 

  1. We must build popular action committees. These committees should be elected in popular assemblies in which all workers in workplaces and all people in neighborhoods participate. They should discuss the most important issues of the struggle and elect their delegates. These delegates should then convene a national congress that will discuss how to advance our struggle. These action committees should also control the leaderships of the mass organizations and lead the struggle against the Temer government themselves if the bureaucrats hesitate and betray it. Furthermore, such action committees should also create popular self-defense units to defend the people against the unavoidable attacks of the police and the army.

 

  1. Many people are calling for a direct election for a new president. While we understand the motivation for such a demand, we think that it is misplaced. The elections are controlled by the ruling class. They will do everything in their power to get rid of Lula – currently the most popular candidate for president – by putting him on trial. And even if Lula should be elected, they would do everything to undermine his government as they did with Dilma Rousseff.

 

  1. In light of the fact that many people are currently following the lead of the CUT, MST, MTST, FBP, FPSM or PT, we call upon these popular organizations to take power into their own hands in the wake of the general strike and popular uprising. For a government of the CUT/INTERSINDICAL/CTB/MST/MTST/FBP/FPSM/CMP/PCO/PT and all popular mass movements! This could be a first step towards the creation of a workers’ and popular government!

 

  1. Naturally, we call upon the workers and poor not to put any blind trust in the leaders of these organizations. They must be watched and controlled. Such a government should be put under the control of a national congress of action committees. In the end, it is such action committees, expanded to authentic workers’ and popular councils, which should form their own government – a workers’ and popular government!

 

  1. In order to advance such a strategy and to put it into practice, we need to create an authentic revolutionary party. We call upon all activists to share such a perspective of struggle and to join the CCR in our efforts to build such a party as part of a new revolutionary workers’ international!

 

 

 

CUT- Central Única de Trabalhadores

 

INTERSINDICAL-

 

CTB- Central dos Trabalhadores do Brasil

 

MST- Movimento de Trabalhadores Sem terra

 

MTST- Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem teto

 

FBP – Frente Brasil Popular

 

CMP-Central dos Movimentos Populares (CMP)

 

FPSM – Frente povo Sem Medo

 

PT- Partido dos Trabalhadores

 

PCO- Partido de Causa Operária

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgBritain: Terror Comes To Manchester – War Comes Home

 

Statement of the RCIT Britain, 23.05.2017, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com

 

 

 

On Monday the 22nd May at 10.35 pm, while Aria Grande a pop singer was giving a performance at the Manchester Arena, a lone suicide bomber suspected of being a member of Daesh caused an explosion. He killed himself and 22 other people who were attending the performance. 59 innocent bystanders were injured among them several children. [1]

 

The British supporters of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unreservedly denounce this cowardly and reactionary attack on innocent people including migrants and refugees from Muslim countries. Daesh/IS never select military targets but attack innocent victims who have no connection to the imperialist bombing campaign in Syria and other Arab countries like Libya, Iraq and Yemen.

 

This is not the first time that Daesh have brought the terror campaign back home to Europe. We reemphasise what our international organization already said in its reaction to the attacks in Brussels in March 2016:

 

“The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unequivocally condemns these attacks as utterly reactionary. Like the Paris attack, indiscriminate deadly violence was directed not against a military target but against ordinary civilians. The ruling class of the imperialist powers will use these attacks to justify and intensify its reactionary offensive against the oppressed peoples of the Middle East, as well as its repressive policies domestically targeting the working-class in general and Muslim migrants in particular.

 

This attack clearly demonstrates yet again the reactionary character of Daesh/IS. This hateful organization wages war mainly against oppressed people, not against imperialism or reactionary regimes. The RCIT repeats that it is the task of the workers and peasants organized in popular militias to wage the struggle against Daesh/IS. Workers and the oppressed must oppose any actions by the Great Powers and their allied butchers, like Assad, since it is the imperialists and their dogs who are the biggest terrorists of all, and they are cynically using the struggle against “terrorism” only as a pretext to advance their own interests. We say: Fight Daesh by fighting its causes – the exploitation and wars of the Great Powers and their crony dictators in the Middle East!” [2]

 

This attack must not be used by the capitalist state to increase its dictatorial attacks on migrants and refugees. The RCIT Britain reiterates its principled opposition to all forms of racism and oppression and for the defense of democratic rights. We will continue to campaign for open borders and defend the democratic rights of migrants and other oppressed sections of the working classes.

 

The RCIT Britain reemphasizes the absolute necessity for European workers, migrants and youth to unite in the struggle against racism, state oppression, and attacks on democratic and social rights. Furthermore, it is urgent that we mobilize in order to drive the Great Powers out of the Middle East. We also call upon the workers and oppressed to support the Arab Revolution against the dictatorships and the refugees of the Middle Eastern wars who wish to come to Europe.

 

We warn against May and the Tories using this terrible event to shore up her struggling campaign for the 8th June election with racist propaganda. The workers movement must make sure that she can not utilize this as a kind of Thatcher’s Falklands/Malvinas moment!

 

We put forward the following demands to unite the working class against all forms of racism and Imperialism.

 

* No to Daesh and its terrorist attacks!

 

* Against any “State of Emergency” regime and mobilization of the army!

 

* Fight racism and repression directed towards Muslim migrants in Britain and the whole of Europe!

 

* Drive Britain and all other Great Powers out of the Middle East! Support the Resistance against the imperialist aggressors!

 

* Support the Arab Revolution against the region’s dictatorships!

 

* Open the Borders of Europe! Down with the EU’s Iron Wall against refugees!

 

* Forward in the building of a revolutionary World Party!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

1) See e.g. http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/suspected-attack-in-manchester-live-updates/ar-BBBq69L?ocid=SK2MDHP

 

2) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brussels-attack/

 

 

 

On our position on recent terrorist attack in Europe see:

 

RCIT: Terror in Brussels: The War comes Home. Daesh-Terror is the Result of Imperialist Terror! Oppose any State of Emergency and Repression against Muslim Peoples in Europe! 23.03.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brussels-attack/

 

RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! Stop France’s and other Imperialist Powers’ Warmongering! No Mobilization of the Army inside France! Defend the Muslim Peoples against Chauvinist Hatemongering and State Repression! 14.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/

 

RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), 23 January 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/

 

RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/

 

RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/

 

Michael Pröbsting: France: “Communist” Party fails to Vote in Parliament against Imperialist War in Iraq! 15.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/french-pcf-iraq-war/

 

Michael Pröbsting: After the Paris Attack: Socialists must Join Hands with Muslim People Against Imperialism and Racism! Reformist and Centrist Forces try to derail the Workers Movement by Failing to Stand up for Solidarity with the Muslims and Against Imperialist War-Mongering! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-defend-muslims/

 

Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/racist-charlie-hebdo/

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgSyria: Condemn the Reactionary Astana Deal!

The so-called “De-Escalation Zones” are a First Step towards the Partition of Syria and a Conspiracy by the Great Powers to Defeat the Revolution

 

Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 7 May 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. The governments of Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement on 4 May in the Kazakh capital, Astana, according to which four so-called “de-escalation zones” are about to be created. These zones cover significant parts (but far from all; Qaboun for example is not zoned) of those areas which are currently controlled by the Syrian rebels fighting against the tyranny of Assad. (1). While the plan officially calls for the cessation of hostilities between the rebels and the pro-Assad forces in these zones, it makes important exceptions. It explicitly states that the “guarantors” (i.e., Russia, Iran and Turkey) will continue to fight against all “terrorists,” both inside and outside of these zones. In addition to Daesh, the agreement refers to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), among other groups, as being “terrorist.” Furthermore, the deal envisages that Russia, Iran and Turkey (and possibly other “third parties”) will administer these zones and station troops (“armed foreign monitors”) there. (2) The US government, as well as that of Germany, has already released a statement welcoming the Astana deal and its support for the liquidation of the HTS “terrorists.” (3)

 

  1. The so-called High Negotiations Committee, a “moderate” coalition of several forces of the Syrian opposition led by Riyad Farid Hijab, who was Prime Minister under Assad from June to August 2012, refused to sign the deal and criticized it as “vague” and “illegitimate.” In fact, more or less all relevant rebel factions published statements rejecting the agreement. This is hardly surprising, as these negotiations are extremely unpopular among the Syrian people and, thus, there is massive popular pressure on the delegations of Syrian rebels not to become a party to the deal. However, several of the rebels’ negotiators in Astana merely focused their criticism on the inclusion of Iran as a “guarantor,” i.e., the presence of military forces of the Teheran regime in the administration and enforcement of these “de-escalation zones.”

 

  1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) calls upon all forces supporting the Syrian Revolution to unconditionally condemn the Astana agreement and openly refuse any cooperation with the Assad regime or the so-called “guarantors”! This deal is nothing but a dangerous conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Syrian Revolution by force of arms and placing the still-liberated areas under foreign occupation. All forces loyal to the Syrian Revolution must condemn the Astana deal, primarily for the following reasons:

 

  1. i) The deal hands over control of the liberated areas (“de-escalation zones”) to the reactionary regimes of Putin, Khamenei/Rohani and Erdoğan. The Russian and Iranian forces have supported the Assad regime’s massacring of the Syrian people for years. Handing over control of the liberated areas to these regimes is equivalent to handing them over to Assad, i.e., abrogating very important gains achieved by the revolutionary struggle. Troops from Russia, Iran, and Turkey will be responsible to militarily secure the “de-escalation zones.” Sergei Rudskoi, an official with Russia’s military general staff, explicitly stated that the “work of checkpoints and observation posts, as well as the management of security zones, will be carried out by the personnel and formations of Russia, Turkey and Iran“. (4)

 

  1. ii) The deal legitimizes the continuation of the reactionary war by Assad, as well as the interventions by the Great Powers, against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham – which is the largest and most disciplined single force defending the liberated areas against the pro-Assad terrorist forces – as well as other so-called “terrorists” throughout all Syria, i.e., both inside and outside the “de-escalation zones.” (The deal is actually not relevant to Daesh, as only small units of its forces are found in any of the designated “de-escalation zones.”)

 

iii) Furthermore, the deal advances the long-sought goal of the Great Powers of liquidating the Syrian Revolution by partitioning the country. As a result, the Assad regime – in reality its Russian and Iranian backers – would control most of the country, while Turkey and the US, together with their Kurdish YPG allies, would control sectors of the central and eastern parts of northern Syria. A few enclaves would still remain under the control of some rebel factions who have expressed their willingness to act as the local gendarme for the Great Powers.

 

  1. iv) Finally, a crucial, if not the most important, goal of the deal is to split the rebel forces and to encourage the leadership of several factions to become accomplices in the liquidation of the liberation struggle. Behind the scenes, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, as well as the US and EU, are actively attempting to bribe the leaderships of various rebel forces into directing their struggle away from the forces of Assad and towards Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

 

  1. We also draw attention to the fact that key powers of Western imperialism, like the Trump Administration and Germany’s Merkel government, have already expressed their fundamental support for the Astana deal. (They only publicized reservation is about the role to be played by Iran.) This once more affirms our warning that all the imperialist powers involved – Russia, the US, and the EU – share a common interest in liquidating the Syrian Revolution by any means necessary. It also demonstrates, yet again, the idiocy of all those Stalinists, Castro-Chavistas and numerous centrists who claim that US imperialism is supporting or even controlling the Syrian rebels with the aim of overthrowing the Assad regime. In fact, such reactionary slander is designed to discredit the legitimacy of and popular support for the Syrian Revolution.

 

  1. The RCIT repeats its warning that the biggest current danger to the Syrian Revolution – in addition to the direct threat of the daily bombardment by the forces of Assad, Iran and Russia – is the ongoing conspiracy of the Great Powers behind the scenes. They are pressuring the leaders of several rebel factions to turn their weapons against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and others who more consistently fight against the Assad tyranny. It is this imperialist conspiracy which explains the repeated recent acts of aggression by Ahrar al-Sham against HTS in the Idlib region as well as those of Jaish al-Islam against HTS and Faylaq al-Rahman in the East Ghouta enclave. While both attacks against HTS failed and provoked popular outrage, it is clear that the imperialist powers, Russia and the US as well as their regional allies, will continue to encourage these forces to attack and weaken the more consistent defenders of the Syrian Revolution. It is hardly an accident that the leadership of Jaish al-Islam is part of the negotiation team in Astana and Ahrar al-Sham, while not part of the delegation, supports the participation of the Astana “peace process.” In fact, it is revealing that the negotiators of the Syrian rebels attempt to justify their rejection of the deal by emphasizing the role of “co-guarantor” to be played by Iran, when this is, in fact, is a rather minor detail of the thoroughly reactionary Astana agreement. The imperialist conception of the “de-escalation zones” would involve the liquidation of the Syrian Revolution with or without Iranian participation! From this smokescreen tactic of blaming Iran’s role, we understand that the leaders of various rebel factions are currently laying the groundwork to sell-out the revolution in the interests of the imperialist Great Powers!

 

  1. All these developments re-affirm our previous warnings that both secular and Islamist petty-bourgeois leaderships are incapable of consistently fighting for the interests of the democratic revolution. Rather, they are all prepared to betray the struggle and to serve the interests of a regional or Great Powers. In the long run, this is also true of the HTS leadership, despite the fact that they are currently refusing to capitulate.

 

  1. In the present situation, it is crucial to put massive pressure on the rebel leaderships not to support the Astana deal. In fact, all those who are authentically true to the Syrian Revolution must demand that all negotiators claiming to represent Syrian rebels must immediately stop their participation in the so-called “peace negotiations” at Astana and Geneva. Similarly, all forces which instigate armed provocations, in the interests of the Great Powers, against rebel factions fighting against the Assad tyranny must be denounced.

 

  1. In the present situation, all loyal supporters of the Syrian Revolution must call for the creation of an anti-capitulationist united front of all forces which unambiguously reject the Astana deal, which oppose the partition of the country by the Great Powers and their regional allies, and which support the continuation of the struggle against the Assad tyranny. We call upon all revolutionaries around the globe not to stand idly aside in this crucial hour, but to rally in defense of the Syrian Revolution. Organize rallies in support of the continuation of the Syrian Revolution and against the Astana deal! Organize material support for the Syrian revolutionaries who are continuing the liberation struggle against the Assad tyranny and their imperialist backers!

 

  1. Finally, we repeat that the only way forward for the Syrian Revolution is to create popular councils and militias, under the control of the workers and poor peasants, which will fight for a workers’ and peasant republic. We call for an international workers’ and popular solidarity movement in support of the Syrian Revolution. Furthermore, we urge all authentic supporters of the liberation struggle to unite and found a revolutionary party in Syria and a global revolutionary international based on a program of permanent revolution.

 

* Down with the Assad regime! Victory to the Syrian Revolution!

 

* Condemn the reactionary Astana deal! No participation in the Astana and Geneva “peace talks”!

 

* Down with the interventions by the US and Russia in Syria! Defend the Syrian people’s sovereignty! Drive all Great Powers out of Syria!

 

* The international workers’ movement must support the liberation struggle of the Syrian people! Organize rallies in support of the continuation of the Syrian Revolution and against the Astana deal! Organize material support for the Syrian revolutionaries!

 

* For the creation of popular councils and militias! Fight for a workers’ and peasant republic!

 

* For the founding of a revolutionary party in Syria and the establishment of a new international!

 

 

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) Zone 1: Includes Idlib province, as well as northeastern areas of Latakia province, western areas of Aleppo province and northern areas of Hama province (with at least one million civilians currently living in these zone); Zone 2: Contains the Rastan and Talbiseh enclaves in the northern part of Homs province (with approximately 180,000 civilians residents); Zone 3: Comprised of eastern Ghouta in the countryside north of Damascus (with a population today of about 690,000 civilians); Zone 4: The rebel-controlled south along the border with Jordan that includes parts of the Deraa and Quneitra provinces (with up to 800,000 civilians currently living there).

 

(2) The full text of the Astana agreement can be viewed by visiting the following link: https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/860208101714255877

 

(3) See e.g., https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/860191046101323776

 

(4) Al-Jazeera: Syria’s ‘de-escalation zones’ explained, 2017-05-06, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/syria-de-escalation-zones-explained-170506050208636.html

 

 

 

For the RCIT analysis of the Arab Revolution in general and the Syrian Revolution in particular, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents accessed from the Africa and Middle East section of our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. In particular we refer readers to the following documents:

 

Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/

 

Johannes Moraga: Syria: Was the Chemical Attack a “False Flag” Operation? Let’s make Syria the graveyard for Assad, Putin and Trump! Victory to the Revolution! 14 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-false-flag/

 

RCIT: Syria: No to Trump’s Missiles Strike! Drive all Great Powers out of Syria! Victory to the Syrian Revolution! 7 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-air-strike-in-syria/

 

RKO BEFREIUNG: Press Conference on Assad’s Chemical Weapons Attack and the US Air Strike, Report (with video) on a press conference of the Syrian Community and the Austrian Section of the RCIT on 7 April 2017 in Vienna, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/press-conference-syria-7-4-2017/

 

Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/

 

RCIT: Down with the Assad Tyranny! Victory to the Syrian Revolution! For a Workers and Peasants Republic! Draft Platform of Syrian Revolutionaries in Political Solidarity with the RCIT, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/draft-syria-platform/

 

RCIT: Defeat the Imperialist Invasion in Syria – Victory to the Revolution! Down with the American and Russian interventions! No to the imperialist plan to divide Syria! Down with the butcher Assad and his imperialist allies! 13.03.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/imperialist-invasion-in-syria/

 

RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-4/

 

RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/

 

 

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgUK General Election 8. June 2017: Vote for Labour – but organize the resistance!

Critical electoral support for Jeremy Corbyn on an anti-war and anti-austerity program! For a constituent assembly, peoples assemblies and action committees to fight for a real workers government!

 

Statement of the RCIT Britain, 25.04.2017, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com

 

 

 

The ruling class in political crisis and turmoil

 

 

 

The conservative, Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to call a General Election in Britain on the 8th June 2017. May has said that the country is behind her in her campaign for a hard Brexit, this means to abolish the single market and to get rid of free movement of migrants in Britain. She is opposed in parliament by the Labour Party , the Liberal Democrats , the SNP and a minority of remain supporters in the Tory party. The parliament is sabotaging her political plans and therefor she wants to change it, in the hope that she could go forward with her agenda.

 

As the RCIT said in Liberation 14   May faces an enormous crisis of British imperialism.

 

“The decision to leave the European Union has caused an immense crisis amongst the ruling class in Britain. Theresa May, who succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister, is trying to negotiate Brexit amongst a deeply divided and split Tory party. She is desperate to hold her party together while she negotiates terms to leave Europe by activating Article 50.

 

A section of the ruling class wants to desperately stay in the EU to have access to the single market. Another section wants to get rid of the restrictions of Strasbourg and other European nations. The situation has been complicated by the legal challenge to Brexit which insists that any decision to leave the European Union must be discussed by Parliament”. [1].

 

This weak and divided Tory Government hopes by calling an election before the expiry of her full term in 2020 to strengthen her position with the European Negotiators to leave the European Union.

 

 

 

A divided Labour Party

 

 

 

The Labour Party also remains a deeply split party between the left reformist Corbyn and the pro-war and pro-austerity Blairite section of the party who is opposed to both Corbyn and Brexit. The Blairites want a relationship with the EU and the single market. Tony Blair – who is a war criminal – although nominally a member of the Labour Party is pushing his democratic alliance to support the Liberal Democrats, which is the most, committed party to remain in the European Union.

 

The Blairites are hoping that Corbyn is defeated and that the party will return to its Blairite fold. The bourgeois press and others are touting Yvette Cooper, a former Minister in Blair’s government, as a possible replacement in the event of a Labour Party defeat.

 

“The Labour Party with the left reformist Jeremy Corbyn as leader is deeply split. Although Corbyn is nominally leader, the control of the party remains in the hands of the Blairites who as well as controlling the Parliamentary Labour party are in charge of the bureaucratic structures as well. Tony Blair, ex-Labour leader and indicted war criminal, has returned to lead the attack on Corbyn and his supporters in Momentum. The Blairites through the PLP have attempted two coups against Corbyn but have been roundly defeated. The issue of Brexit has given them the opportunity to remove Corbyn and his supporters. Corbyn has capitulated to the Blairites at every turn even inviting some of them into his shadow cabinet. Blair is now involved in setting up a new centre coalition of pro-Europeans including Tories and Liberal democrats. His aim of course is to try and reverse Brexit”. [2]

 

The weakness of Corbyn and Momentum was revealed when McNichol the General Secretary of the National Executive committee and a Blair functionary announced that candidates would be imposed on the Labour party membership and sitting Blairite MP’s without any discussion from the membership will be imposed on them. There will be no ‘trigger ballots’ or reselection of sitting Labour MP’s. But we call for a critical vote for the Labour Party and we call upon the rank and file to push the leadership to more radical actions. We answer the following to our “orthodox” (in fact sectarian) critics who will tell us but that is an adaption towards reformism: “We are not adapting our program just one inch towards reformism, but we will try to put Labour in power, so that the more radical rank and file workers can make their own experiences with Corbyn in power and we will try to organize the rank and file and to make Corbyn go further than he wants!”

 

In fact Corbyn and Momentum expect the vast majority of Labour party members to campaign for openly pro-war and pro-austerity candidates. To date Corbyn has said nothing about   the undemocratic procedure now being followed.

 

The RCIT in Britain has consistently followed a revolutionary socialist perspective. We would patiently explain to the masses and the oppressed the necessity to organise a General strike to bring down the May Government in the event of a Labour Party defeat at the polls. If Corbyn was elected  and that is very doubtful, May has an 18-21 points lead in the opinion polls, we would patiently explain to workers and the oppressed our anti-war and anti-austerity message and the urgency for a General strike as a first step towards the establishment of a real workers government, which will be based on workers and popular assemblies, the mobilization on the streets and which will not be simply a bourgeois government, sitting in Westminster and simply lead by the Labour Party.

 

 

 

From Brexit to a united socialist Europe!

 

 

 

In the RCIT open letter after the Brexit result we pointed out the wrong positions of the main centrists groups in Britain who supported either the Leave campaign or the remain campaign.

 

“The results of the BREXIT referendum in Britain have ignited a political crisis not only in the UK itself but throughout the entire European continent. On the one hand, the referendum has obviously strengthened reactionary nationalism, as is reflected in the increasing numbers of hate-crimes against migrants in Britain as well as in the surge of the far right in other Western European countries. On the other hand, the vote to remove Britain from the EU has also created confusion, uncertainty and nervousness among the forces of monopoly capital both in Britain and in Europe in general. Shamefully, in the months leading up to last week’s historic referendum, large sectors of the left in Britain had called either for the country to LEAVE or REMAIN in the EU. In both cases, the proponents of these diametrically opposed positions were guilty of adapting to one of two imperialist camps. Those who supported LEAVE unabashedly adapted to the reactionary “UK First” imperialist camp dominated by the most extreme right-wing forces like UKIP; those in the left who called for a REMAIN vote no less shamelessly adapted to the pro-EU imperialist camp of the big bourgeoisie and the leadership of the Labour Party. Again, we contend that both strategies were and remain nothing more than variants of social-imperialism”. [3]

 

Centrists either of the ultra-left variety or the opportunist’s variety   have never being able to understand the role of the Marxist united front as practiced by Vladimir Lenin or Leon Trotsky. The RCIT in a major study of the Marxists classics explained our attitude to the United Front and our tactics towards Reformist parties like the British Labour party.

 

The RCIT calls for the formation of people’s assemblies and action committees to organise the struggle throughout the country. Their main goal should be to organize mass demonstrations and an indefinite general strike in order to bring down the (May) government (if elected on June 8th). The road ahead is to confront and defeat the government on the streets and in the workplaces, not by means of political manoeuvring behind the scene. Socialists should demand that the leaderships of the Labour Party and the TUC organize such mass actions to bring down the government! Instead, the RCIT Britain raises the slogan of a Constituent Assembly. Such an assembly would have the task of discussing the political and social system in which the people of Britain wish to live. There must be no pre-conditions on what type of constitution and what laws are possible. In particular, there should be no a priori commitment to protect of the property of the rich, the capitalists, and the financial institutions. Such a Constituent Assembly should be based on direct democracy grounded in workplace and residential constituencies; delegates should be elected proportionate to the numbers in each constituency; any delegate should be subject to instant recall if deemed appropriate by the electorate he or she represents; and each delegate must earn no more than the wage of an average skilled worker. After elaborating a new constitution, such a Constituent Assembly would dissolve itself.”[5].

 

In this period of international global crisis the RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands as a proposal for to workers and the oppressed who want to join the fight.

 

* Critically support the Election of a Jeremy Corbyn Labour Government on an anti-austerity and anti-war program. Expel and purge all Blairite MP’s and cleanse the party of all pro-war and pro-austerity elements.

 

* In the event of an election of a May Tory government: for an indefinite General Strike and the formation of a revolutionary Constituent Assembly with peoples assemblies in all areas of the country!

 

* For self-defense guards of the workers and migrants to defend our communities against fascist attacks and police provocations!

 

* Battle for open borders for all refugees’ full equality for all migrants’ equal wages full citizenship and rights to speak their native language.

 

* Self Determination for the people of Scotland!

 

* For a Unified Ireland as a 32 County Workers Republic as part of a united Socialist states of Europe!

 

* For a workers government pledged to bring down Capitalism and destruct British imperialism!

 

We call on all workers and the oppressed to join the RCIT and help to build a new World Party of the socialist revolution, which will be the Fifth International.

 

(1) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brexit-and-uk-crisis/

 

(2) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brexit-and-uk-crisis/

 

(3) https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

(4) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/bring-down-cameron/

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgThe Guardians of Swedish Imperialist Democracy

Another remarkable document from the ex-Trotskyist L5I

 

A comment from Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 09 May 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

A few weeks ago we published a reply to two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist “League for the Fifth International” (L5I). (1) In one of these documents, our former comrades called for the “defense of the single European market” in the upcoming UK election in June. In the other document, published by their Swedish section, they denounced all Islamist currents as “fascist” and called for a policy of “no platform” for them, i.e., to physically attack them wherever they appear in public.

 

In our reply we explained that such a characterization of all Islamist currents as “fascist” is utter nonsense and, in fact, a capitulation to the Islamophobic wave which currently characterizes European politics. Despite their backward, petty-bourgeois character, many Islamist forces play an important and leading role in various liberation struggles (e.g., Hamas in Palestine, various factions in Syria, etc.). Others have a reactionary, but rather bourgeois-democratic and certainly not fascist character (e.g., Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).

 

Instead of joining the camp of Islamophobic imperialism à la Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, Le Pen, Strache and Assad, Marxists have to support mass struggles against the Great Powers and dictatorships. This includes the defense of such Islamist forces against US, Russian, Israeli and European imperialism or the Assad tyranny while, at the same time, combating the influence of such Islamist forces among the workers and oppressed. (2)

 

We pointed out that these new positions of the L5I reflect the tremendous shift to the right by this former revolutionary organization. (3) We characterized the statement by the Swedish section as a kind of 1914 bonsai war cry because, with it, the L5I joins the camp of Islamophobic social-chauvinism.

 

Since we wrote our comment, L5I Sweden published yet another longer article which explains more in detail their Islamophobic position. (4) This document is remarkable, since it goes further in drawing the inevitable practical conclusions from the L5I’s Islamophobic social-chauvinist capitulation.

 

The author of this latest article states that the Swedish section of the L5I supported and joined the official demonstrations which were organized by the country’s political establishment in response to the run-down truck terror attack in Stockholm by an alleged supporter of Daesh which cost the lives of four people. (“We Marxists participate without doubt in such mobilizations.“) These demonstrations – which were similar to government-sponsored demonstrations in Europe after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015, were addressed by various bourgeois politicians and “personalities from public life” and served as a rally for ideological support for Swedish (and European) imperialism. (5)

 

The L5I in Sweden is certainly aware of the character of these mobilizations as they explicitly mention the “(Swedish) nationalism” and the “tribute to the police.” However, they downplay these facts as “unfortunate elements” which do not hinder their supporting and joining these reactionary mobilizations! The L5I members have become guardians of Swedish imperialist democracy!

 

As the RCIT has explained many times, Marxists sharply condemn such reactionary terrorist attacks against civilians. But we certainly do not support or even join the pro-imperialist mobilizations which only serve as ideological support for the oppression of Muslim migrants and the Great Powers’ wars in the Middle East.

 

However, the L5I is Sweden is not content with simply supporting such government-sponsored mobilizations. They now also call the Swedish bourgeois state to accelerate the repression of “jihadists” who return from Syria. As we know, the imperialists in Europe denounce everyone as “jihadist” (and not only the counter-revolutionary Daesh) who joins the liberation struggle in Syria against the Assad regime: “Jihadists returning to Sweden should either be punished here or deported to, for example, the Kurdish self-government in Iraq or to Rojava and be subjected to war crimes there.

 

In contrast to the L5I, authentic Marxists do not support the repression of the so-called “jihadists” by the European imperialist states, without, of course, lending any political support to these Islamist groups. (6)

 

Finally, the L5I also calls upon the Swedish state to send heavy weapons to the Kurdish PYD/YPG in Syria: “One demand must be that Sweden immediately donates large amounts of heavy and advanced weapons to YPG in Rojava / Syria, to facilitate their fight against IS.

 

As every observer of the Syrian civil war knows, for some time the YPG has been acting as foot soldiers for US imperialism in their offensive against the Arab-populated territories in Raqqa and other parts of northern Syria. In the very same article, the L5I itself is forced to admit: “The PYD was even so effective [in fighting the ‘jihadists’, Ed.] that the United States was forced to enter into a limited partnership with them in order to strike the IS.

 

In other words, despite being aware that the PYD/YPG currently acts on behalf of US imperialism in their efforts to take control of northern Syria, the L5I in Sweden calls for the Swedish imperialist state to send heavy weapons to them. This is equivalent to openly supporting US imperialism! (7)

 

In our earlier reply to the two articles cited above, we characterized the statement by the L5I Sweden as a kind of 1914 bonsai war cry. Given the shocking deepening of their Islamophobic social-chauvinist capitulation, we can now probably delete the adjective “bonsai.” In any case, there can be no doubt that the L5I in Sweden has positioned itself on the wrong, imperialist side of the barricade on the issue of Sweden’s and the Great Power’s war against the Muslim peoples.

 

It is quite possible that there are comrades in the L5I who are pulling out their hair in light of such a social-chauvinist flip-flop. But their internal criticism has no practical consequences insofar as the L5I has not published a single criticism of the vulgar ideological capitulation of their Swedish section. And even if they would do so, those would-be critical L5I members have to ask themselves: how is it possible that an old section (the Swedish comrades joined the L5I in 1994) has degenerated to such a low social-chauvinist level before the eyes of the whole international organization?! How is it possible that such people are tolerated in a “Marxist” organization?!

 

The uncomfortable truth is that the L5I as a whole has shifted radically to the right, towards centrism, and towards adaption to the petty-bourgeois prejudices of the left-liberal intelligentsia. The L5I Sweden represents only the most “advanced” (or better: regressive) sector of the whole L5I’s political degeneration. It’s high time to break with such centrism and to draw the practical conclusions!

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

(1) Michael Pröbsting: The Market Marxists. Two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist L5I, 25 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/l5i-opportunism/

 

(2) We have elaborated the Marxist approach to Islamist forces in various documents. See e.g., our numerous articles on Syria, Palestine, Egypt and other countries on our website in the section: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. See also, Yossi Schwartz: The Marxist View of Religion in General and Islam in Particular, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxism-and-islam/; ISL: Islam, Islamism and the Struggle for Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/islam-and-revolution/; RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; Michael Pröbsting and Simon Hardy: Theses on Islamism, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-islamism/

 

(3) The RCIT has dealt with the centrist degeneration of the L5I in various documents. See e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism. The recent change in the L5I’s position towards support for EU membership represents a shift away from its own tradition, of the Marxist method, and of the facts; August 2016, in: Revolutionary Communist No. 55, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent “Bourgeois Democratic Progress”? Once again, on the EU and the Tactics of the Working Class – An Addendum to our Criticism of the L5I’s Turn to the Right and Its Support for EU Membership, 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/ ; Manfred Meier: Nachbeben des Brexit – Zur Rechtswende von GAM/L5I: das „JA“ zum Verbleib in der EU, August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/gam-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism (chapter III.3.), August 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; RCIT: Where is the LFI drifting? A Letter from the RCIT to the LFI comrades, 11.5.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/centrist-degeneration-of-lfi/; On the history of the RCIT and the L5I see our book by Michael Pröbsting: Revolutionärer Parteiaufbau in Theorie und Praxis. Rück- und Ausblick nach 25 Jahren organisierten Kampfes für den Bolschewismus, Dezember 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/rcit-revolutionare-partei/

 

(4) L5I Sweden: Efter terrorattentatet i Stockholm, 2017-04-18, http://www.arbetarmakt.com/2017/04/efter-terrorattentatet-i-stockholm/

 

(5) See e.g., RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! 14.11.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/

 

(6) See on this e.g., RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/

 

(7) On the RCIT’s analysis of the current US offensive against Raqqa see Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/. On our analysis of Daesh see RCIT: The Revolutionary Struggle against Daesh and the Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/resolution-daesh/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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