Socialist Fight NATO Summit Statement

NATO Summit Statement by Socialist Fight, British section of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International on NATO aggression and the crisis in Ukraine 30 August 2014

 

 

The real rulers of Kiev; Cain the warmonger prowls the planet pushing the Pentagon’s war agenda, from Libya to Syria to Iraq and Uhraine he is seen organising wars for US finance capital

The working class of Eastern Ukraine are resisting heroically the violent onslaught of artillery, mortars and missiles unleashed by the Ukrainian army and the fascist gangs in an attempt to save their country from an ultra-nationalist, fascist leaning puppet government of the US/EU/IMF. American imperialism and its allies Britain, Germany and France have helped orchestrate the bloody events which have unfolded in the Ukraine throughout this year.

Imperialism cannot exist without war; 100 years ago the imperialist rivalries culminated in the First World War and the slaughter of millions mainly, of course, the working class. The leaders of the European labour and socialist movement united not with the working class in whose interests they claimed to fight for but with the ruling class of their respective imperialist states, the result was millions of people destroyed in the first mechanised war.

The working class, despite its leadership, showed heroic resistance to imperialism and a new revolutionary leadership emerged in Russia and Germany in particular as the war came to an end. Now a century later imperialism still has no way out of its internal contradictions, all it offers the working class is austerity, war and fascism.

This time, however, it is not the imperialists who fight each other; US imperialism is so powerful through the domination of world trade through the dollar that the smaller imperialists of Britain, France, Germany and Japan line up to defend US interests through various alliances such as NATO and the Asia-Pacific Alliance.

Imperialism now targets the developing semi-oppressed and semi-colonial nations, chief among these nations are Russia and China which the US can no longer tolerate especially as these nations along with the other BRICS nations threaten the supremacy of the dollar. The CIA has already created civil conflicts in Libya and Syria to spread its domination and supported ruthless military dictatorship of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi n Egypt that overthrew Muslim Brotherhood supporter Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history.

Now the turn is to the Ukraine as an important stepping stone to Russia and Eurasia and the vast resources of this region. The Maiden movement which was predominantly middle class and lumpen received open support from the US and at their behest toppled the elected if corrupt government of Yanukovych.

The result was a coalition government installed in Kiev of ultra-national chauvinists and fascists which sought close economic deals with the EU and the IMF to pave the way for EU membership and no doubt membership of NATO. The Svoboda party which is prominent in the government is a direct descendent of the wartime Nazi Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. There has been a groundswell of opposition from the working class in the east of Ukraine to this imperialist coup.

The east is heavily industrialised and many speak Russian or a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, they know that Svoboda wants them physically exterminated. Within days this government attempted to ban the use of minority languages. The working class of the east also understood that the IMF and EU deals would lead to privatisation, de-industrialisation, and slashing of welfare, they have to look no further than Greece to see the results, they knew that they had no choice but to resist first in Crimea then in Odessa, Donetsk and Luhgansk.

The Kiev government and the oligarchs who back it have wasted no time in creating a fascist based ‘National Guard’ to supplement the military operations of the Ukrainian army. These fascist gangs predominantly of the Right Sector have terrorised the organised working class, torturing and murdering revolutionary socialists and committing the terrible mass murder of anti-fascists in Odessa at the House of Trade Unions on the 2nd May, the anniversary of Hitler’s storm troopers attacking the German trade union headquarters in Berlin in 1933.

Kiev has now begun the process of banning the Communist Party of Ukraine, which has a following of some two million people. There can be no clearer indication of the fascist leanings which the regime is employing which is a tool of US finance capital.

The Western media has been quick to present this resistance as Russian ‘aggression’ especially as Russia was forced to re-incorporate Crimea into its territory. This was a defensive measure and not a parallel to Hitler’s annexing of Austria and then the Sudetenland in 1938. Russia has a naval base in Crimea, and the strategic military significance of Crimea had not gone unnoticed by the Pentagon who sought to take control of the peninsula once Ukraine had been sucked into NATO.

Russia acted first in order to prevent the further threat to its sovereignty and to protect the majority Russian population from a hostile Kiev. It is in fact the United States and the countries of the North Atlantic bloc who parallel the aggressive expansion of the Third Reich and the Axis powers. Since the beginning of the 21st century the US and NATO have meted out war and ‘regime change’ to any nation which would not allow economic and political domination by the interests of finance capital, which is now culminating in the military encroachment on Russian territory from the Baltic to the Black Sea and cornering the Peoples’ Republic of China in the Pacific.

Emboldened by imperialism and aggressive threats from NATO toward Russia, Ukrainian President Poroshenko has seen to it that there is no let-up in military attacks on the cities which resist the IMF government in Kiev. The mysterious downing of Malaysian flight MH17 has been used as a further pretext by the US and EU to impose sanctions upon Russia which are beginning to create economic hardships in Europe and will lead to growing resistance already shown by EU farmers. The chief representative of the EU ruling classes, Germany’s Angela Merkel, in a meeting with the dictatorial and Nazi praising Poroshenko, stressed there was to be no reversal of sanctions on Russia unless they cave in to imperialism.

 

The US and NATO now believe it can launch a pre-emptive strike against Russia or China and win, they now mass thousands of troops in Eastern and Central Europe, station combat-ready nuclear bombers in the Baltic and the Balkans and dominate the worlds seas with aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

The Third World War is already upon us, the slightest miscalculation could see Europe and possibly the world engulfed in the flames of nuclear war. Only the working class can prevent the extinction of our species and build a socialist society of peace and cooperation. Now at this crucial moment in history the existing leadership of the working class betrays us yet again as in 1914.

We must organise our class to call on the leaders of the labour movement to support the resistance to fascism in the Ukraine and this means forming an Anti-Imperialist United Front with the semi oppressed nations under threat from imperialism, foremost in this crisis Syria and Russia. Workers in Ukraine fighting fascism and imperialism have the same common interest in its defeat as does the Russian ruling class, the working class will be firing in the same direction against the same enemy.

This does not mean that we call for the political subordination of the class conscious workers to the Russian capitalists but that they march separately and fight together. Indeed no capitalist class can be trusted, we have already seen Putin try to accommodate to US and German imperialism with no results to show except the deepening humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ukraine and the further demonization of himself and Russia by the Western media.

The US is the foremost enemy of the world working class, oligarchs such as Putin are only secondary enemies, many on the left and the labour movement present them as equal or worse enemies of the working class lumping them all together and refuse to take a principled stand for the defeat of imperialism, thereby exposing themselves as liberals and not revolutionaries.

The struggle against imperialism and the struggle for socialist revolution require the working class to form a temporary alliance with the forces fighting US finance capital which dominates the planet. We also must recognise the need to form temporary alliances with the current mass workers organisations despite their pro-capitalist leadership and place demands on them which attack the basis of the rule of finance capital.

The mass movement and support of ‘Stop the War’ campaign against the second Gulf War in 2003 was betrayed by its leadership as no serious attempt was made to challenge capitalism and the state. If NATO and imperialism are to be defeated we need to build a mass movement to place demands on the leaders of the labour movement which challenge capitalism through occupations, strikes, mass demonstrations and demanding the nationalisation of the banks, finance houses and control of foreign trade.

We must build moral and material solidarity with the working class of Eastern Ukraine struggling against fascism and imperialism of the IMF and with the government forces in Syria who also fight against the stooges of imperialism which also include ISIS now dangerously out of control of their American masters and demand British withdrawal from NATO.

Ultimately we must expose the treacherous role of the working class leadership and forge a new revolutionary leadership capable of overthrowing US dominated world capitalism. Socialist Fight as a section of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International fights for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, World Party of Socialist Revolution.

  • Stop NATO imperialism! No to Third World War!
  • Freedom and self-determination for the Donbass!
  • Solidarity with the resistance to Poroshenko’s terror!
  • For an Anti-Imperialist United Front with all forces fighting global imperialism!
  • Britain out of NATO!
  • Withdraw troops from countries occupied by US/NATO!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p8CUf9eM9vU/U-dOuDtkdEI/AAAAAAAAJfQ/95LFiZx11pA/s1600/svoboda-party-nazi4.jpg

 

The BBC would elaborate on the nature of militias like “Azov,” who are undoubtedly the recipients of US, British, and other NATO member states’ aid, cash, and political support, in its article, “Ukraine conflict: ‘White power’ warrior from Sweden.” In it, it profiles a member of Azov Battalion, Mikael Skillt, and states:

“I have at least three purposes in the Azov Battalion: I am a commander of a small reconnaissance unit, I am also a sniper, and sometimes I work as a special coordinator for clearing houses and going into civilian areas.”

As to his political views, Mr Skillt prefers to call himself a nationalist, but in fact his views are typical of a neo-Nazi.

Dismissed by the West as “Russian propaganda,” it is clear that even the most “Western” media outlets cannot report on the Ukrainian conflict without coming across literal Nazis fighting for Kiev and operating in “civilian areas” in eastern Ukraine. The BBC would admit the Azov Battalion is far from a fringe group and was raised by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry itself. When NATO members announce “aid” to the regime in Kiev, they are also, by default, announcing aid to literal Neo-Nazi militant groups raised by Kiev’s Interior Ministry, like the Azov Battalion.

http://www.libertyroundtable.com/2014/08/23/nato-baiting-russia-into-war/

Why the Pentagon believes its missile defences could enable it to fight and win a nuclear war with “Iran”; read Russia and China.

 

The Pentagon’s Strategy for World Domination:

Full Spectrum Dominance, from Asia to Africa

By Bruce Gagnon, Global Research, August 25, 2014

Current US military space policy is primarily geared toward two countries, China and Russia.

In May 2000 the Washington Post published an article called “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront.” The article stated that, “The Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.” The article said the US would double its military presence in the region and essentially attempt to manage China.

The Pentagon’s missile system.

The Pentagon has become the primary resource extraction service for corporate capital. Whether it is Caspian Sea oil and natural gas, rare earth minerals found in Africa, Libya’s oil deposits, or Venezuelan oil, the US’s increasingly high-tech military is on the case.

President Obama’s former National Security Adviser, Gen. James Jones had previously served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. In 2006, Gen. Jones told the media,

“NATO is developing a special plan to safeguard oil and gas fields in the [Caspian Sea] region…. Our strategic goal is to expand to Eastern Europe and Africa.”

In a past quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair claimed that Russia “may continue to seek avenues for reasserting power and influence in ways that complicate U.S. interests…[and] China competes for the same resources the United States needs, and is in the process of rapidly modernizing its military.”

Using NATO as a military tool, the US is now surrounding Russia and easily dragged the supposedly European-based alliance into the Afghanistan war and Libya attack. The US is turning NATO into a global military alliance, even to be used in the Asian-Pacific region.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-pentagons-strategy-for-world-domination-full-spectrum-dominance-from-asia-to-africa/5397514

 

SFFlyerNATOSummit30-8-14

Plender’s Insight: A Marxist Deconstruction

The Financial Time’s pundit John P_lender

Plender’s Insight: A Marxist Deconstruction

 By Gerry Downing. 20 August 2014.

John Plender projects a new space for Market Forces via a new Il Duce,  

 

The Financial Times has a back page column by John Plender on 20 August 2014 of exceptional importance. This pundit begins by explaining that both US and EU bond yields have declined, so reducing government repayment debts. So far so good but it is because we are entering a deflationary epoch, too much like Japan of the last two decades to be welcomed. And he goes on to explain that Europe’s problems are “intractable”.

 

The core problem, he assures us, is “deficient demand”, an entity also know to Marxists as “under consumption”. Germany has been tightening fiscal policy, and as southern Europe cannot devalue their currency they must resort to “internal devaluation”; wage cutting and sackings so, “the future of a generation is now blighted by scarcely believable levels of youth unemployment”.

 

Of course serious Marxists beginning with Marx himself have long debunked this theory, which is a circular argument. If the problem is under consumption the answer is simple; print more money and expand more debt. Another version of the same thing is to plead for raising the minimum wage significantly, increasing welfare payments or encouraging wage rises for the lowest paid, increasing tax allowances for them, etc. Aside from the obvious fact for Marxists that this contravenes  the iron laws of the class struggle, the bourgeois only concede to the working class what its organised strength can force out of them by strikes or the threat of strikes,  even anti Marxists have lost faith in that non-solution.

 

Someone must pay the debt in the end, all but the blindest of reformist Keynesians like the Left Economics Advisory Panel (LEAP) McDonnellites have now realised. And Plender knows that too, as we shall see; he doesn’t believe his deficient demand thesis at all. ‎Or more correctly he does not believe it can work without a Milton Friedman style alteration in the balance of class forces, such as we saw in Chile in 1973. 

 

Increasingly serious articles and debates within academic Marxist circles (see “And yet it moves (down) by Estaban Ezequiel Maito, Weekly Worker August 14 2014 for the debate there) and practicing Marxist groups such as the Trotskyist Socialist Party/ Committee for a Workers International and elsewhere are asserting that the falling rate of profit is the root cause of the crisis. Plender and some self declared Marxists and Trotskyists would examine that in a serious way were they not so ideologically committed to the capitalist system. His solution comes at the end of his piece; for those who can read between the lines the hints leading up to this are very broad.  

 

There is a “huge debt overhang” in the euro zone, he observers and, as they have to “run primary budget surpluses” (before interest payments) they can find no way out by fiscal manipulation. The European Central Bank has not resorted to quantitative  easing (QE) as it probably would not work.

 

There is some relief to be had from exports to the  reviving US economy but this‎ is weak and additionally the US has already used QE to devalue the dollar against the euro, thus making imported goods less competitive. So far so bad. Then comes yet more exasperated pessimism: “Now geopolitics is set to exacerbated the debt problem because there are growing calls in the US for its allies to stop free – riding on the American military budget “.

 

The explanation here is that the USA spends 4.5% of its GDP on its military budget but its NATO allies spend a far smaller percentage; the US should reduce its spending to say, 2.5% of GDP, and its allies should take up the slack.

 

Why everyone could not reduce military spending and produce for need is another questions not posed; there are wars to fight, is the answer and Russia and China might catch up. Besides the global hegemon has to maintain a big military advantage over its reluctant friends (Germany and parts of the wider EU) and more obviously enemies or potential enemies (the BRICS)  lest they combine against it; the British Navy had to be twice the size of its biggest competitor in the heyday of the hegemony of the British Empire around it peak in the 1860s and 70s.

 

HMS Colossus, lead ship of the class, painted in 1891, Malta, aleady the British Empire was declining then, challenged b y Germany and the USA

It is premature to call this projected reduction  isolationism, Plender thinks,  but it is beginning to unite “conservatives and progressives”.  Ron Paul, the far right Republican reactionary, meets Bernie Saunders, the Social Democratic Democrat, here it seems.  Why Ron Paul thinks these thoughts is indeed enigmatic for some until these factors are considered.  But then there is renewed presence of US troops in Iraq, Plender says (does he know more than the rest of us?) . 

 

And, we might add, there is the factor of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and all those local jobs in manufacturing  those weapons of mass destruction (a branch of ‘industry’ that must remain in the USA by law) whose viability is decided as the pork belly is divided when the Senators and Representatives face the MIC and all the other powerful transnational corporation and other special interest lobbies like the Zionists.  

 

Moreover combined with the QE used by the USA to devalue the dollar its position as the trading currency of the world enables it to force all its rivals effectively to pay for its trade deficit, thus ensuring a deep resentment at their maltreatment by the USA which would immediately become apparent if the opportunity arose if an economic catastrophe befell the US economy. 

 

What’s to be done? There aren’t any easy options, speculates pundit Plender. Debt forgiveness in the euro zone? The German banks won’t have it as they might fold. Ah, there’s always that great standby, “structural reform”. European Central Bank measure in 2008 were intended to buy time for this but all governments have been slacking;  imposed austerity is just not of the order required to restore profitability. Time is short, growth is only projected  at 1.5% in the euro zone and 1.9% in the US in 2014-30 (barring another economic catastrophe, he might caution), the OECD thinks sufficient “structural reform” is being implemented or is on the way but few of us serious pundits are fooled by that.

 

Matteo Renzi appointed as Italy’s youngest ever prime minister in February 2014 – the new Il Duce?

Where to begin? ITALY, that’s where. Under its new prime minister Matteo Renzi things are looking looking up, “it has the best opportunity in years to break with the past”. How so? “The diminished power of the trade unions and the voter experience of protracted zero growth gives him a real chance”. “The guard of the Italian proletariat is down, let’s go for its throat!” is the nasty though behind this diplomatic language.

 

And he must be aware of the risks. Imposing the the type of “structural reforms” he clearly feels necessary on an already brutally  structurally reformed  working class would risk revolution. But “we seem to be succeeding in this in the Ukraine”, must be the motivating thought here.  

 

Sophisticated ruling class strategists will get the message but it’s best not to spell it out too clearly for any hostile class enemies that might peruse the piece; deniability must be preserved. But the final hint is indeed broad, we are heading for Japanese style deflation and with the ultimate ‎consoling thought of all the exasperated petty bourgeois of the planet who are trying to galvanise the forces of reaction for the first significant 1933-style strike on the working class of a major metropolitan country;  “The markets have realism on their side”. That might be rephrased as “history is on our side, we have to make this system work again no matter what it takes”.

 

And, given that this period in the twenty first century sees global inequality between nations at its highest ever and the gap between the rich and the poor within nations now wider that in Victorian Britain (and no more gruel available for the whining Olivers) the imposition of the far greater inequality proposed here by Plender in these brutal “structural reforms” would require severe police state oppression if not fascism itself. But  he thinks the bourgeoisie might just get away with that globally beginning in Italy today.

 

That’s ultimately how to deal with the unbelievable levels of youth unemployment in southern Europe for a start. If capital cannot make  profit ‎ out of unemployed youth and they are a drag on the welfare state a nice global war would solve that problem and destroy enough human and industrial capital to restore profit rates for a section of the biggest capitalists. Hitler’s rise to power in1933 inevitably led to war in1939, Trotsky observed at the time.   After WWIII the capitalist class would then be much smaller as a class but the remaining  would also be much more profitable and wealthier and the hegemony of the USA and its closest allies, finance capitalist centres like the UK, would be secured for another generation.‎ A big section of the middle and smaller sized capitalists have to be sarcaraficed together with all those unemployed youth to appease the gods of profit. 

 

Just as Il Duce saved the Italian bourgeois when he began his crusade almost a century ago which ended in triumph with the March on Rome again Italy will show  the whole world its future. Italy didn’t do do well out of WWII but they did successfully kick off the real struggle which ultimately benefitted the USA and finance capital  so handsomely, may be Plender’s thought here.

 

Fascism is now the only realistic choice for the world, is the undeniable implication. Inspired by events in the Ukraine, where the liberal Guardian-reading establishment pulled a major section of the centrist (in Marxist parlance) and reformist left after them to support the EuroMaidan and admire the courage of the fascist stormtroopers of finance capital we are certain  our time has come again, says the Plenders of today.  Tomorrow belongs to us.

 

“It does not and it will not”, every revolutionary socialist and every serious class fighter responds. Tomorrow belongs to the revolution and we will make sure that it triumphs by building the World Party of Socialist Revolution, the reforged Fourth International.

 

No Pasaran!

Vinceremos!

Beir Bua!

A misrepresentation of Trotsky on the Ukraine question by a petty bourgeois moralist: A reply to Michael Calderbank

A misrepresentation of Trotsky on the Ukraine question by a petty bourgeois moralist: A reply to Michael Calderbank
By Oliver Coxhead

In a recent post on the social networking site Facebook, LRC executive member and supporter of the ‘Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity’ Michael Calderbank attempted to give political and even revolutionary weight to his reactionary position on the current crisis in Ukraine. Under the entry ‘What Trotsky had to say to the “sectarian muddleheads” who opposed the independence of Ukraine’ we have the following article by Trotsky from 1939 re-posted: Independence of the Ukraine and Sectarian Muddleheads. Above the link to Trotsky’s article Calderbank quotes what we must assume he sees as the significant paragraph of the text and the justification for his position and his opposition to those in the Labour movement who take the anti-imperialist/anti-fascist position:

“To speed and facilitate this process, to make possible a genuine brotherhood of the peoples in the future, the advanced workers of Great Russia must even now understand the causes for Ukrainian separatism, as well the latent power and historical lawfulness behind it, and they must without any reservation declare to the Ukrainian people that they are ready to support with all their might the slogan of an independent Soviet Ukraine in a joint struggle against the autocratic bureaucracy and against imperialism.”

This is Trotsky’s call for Ukrainian independence at a time when Ukraine suffered under the Stalinist bureaucracy, he made it clear though that it must be an independent soviet Ukraine as an ally militarily to the USSR. Later in his article Trotsky states that Ukraine ‘will herself desire and know how to reach the necessary economic agreement with the Soviet Union, just as she herself will be able to conclude the necessary military alliance.’ Trotsky was clear that independence must be bound up with preservation of planned economy and socialised property created by the October revolution and, as such, would mean defence of the gains in the rest of soviet territory despite the rule of the degenerate bureaucracy. The national independence of Soviet Ukraine would mean the plan could be tailored to the needs of the Ukrainian people and not the Kremlin bureaucracy, but they would still support the plan of the rest of the USSR because it would ‘know how to make the necessary economic agreement’ and therefore improve the rationality of the plan. Consequently an independent Soviet Ukraine would not only weaken the Kremlin bureaucracy but also improve the plan for Ukraine and thereby give an impetus to socialist development in the rest of the USSR.

Trotsky was clear that the bureaucracy’s strangulation of the Ukraine had turned many of the masses, such as the peasantry and petty bourgeois as well as workers and emigrants of Ukraine, away from Socialism which they had previously supported. The official Communist movement headed by the Kremlin bureaucracy had no answer to Ukrainian independence as it stifled national expression and implemented disastrous agricultural policies. The loudest voices in favour of Ukrainian independence were the fascists and religious reactionary leaders:

“Of enormous political importance is the sharp turn away from the Soviet Union by Ukrainian democratic elements outside the Soviet Union. When the Ukrainian problem became aggravated early this year communist voices were not heard at all; but the voices of the Ukrainian clericals and National Socialists were loud enough. This means that the proletarian vanguard has let the Ukrainian national movement slip out of its hands and this movement has progressed far on the road to separatism.”

The answer Trotsky stressed was for the revolutionary workers movement to lead the desire for national independence as part of continuing socialist revolution, i.e. the political revolution against the Kremlin bureaucracy. In the case of Ukraine, to demand independence from centralised bureaucratic rule while defending the gains of the revolution and improving them by fulfilling the needs of the local population and to integrate with other soviet republics as part of the ongoing development for socialism. To ignore the desire for independence meant sections of the masses would be driven to bourgeois nationalism and fascism. Trotsky was therefore clear it must be an independent soviet Ukraine. This is in complete opposition to the Ukraine envisaged by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Nazi Stepan Bandera. This position must be seen in the context of its time, the late 1930s on the eve of imperialist war and military threats to the USSR, the world’s first workers’ state.

Now we must examine Calderbank’s use or rather misuse of Trotsky’s article today. Firstly, he is of course using it completely in the wrong context; the USSR no longer exists and, obviously, this has thrown back consciousness of many workers’ in Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine is independent as a bourgeois republic, not a soviet republic and its borders have altered several times since Trotsky wrote his article. It is not Trotsky who is wrong though but Calderbank who chooses to take the article out of context as justification for adopting an anti-working class position.

In the Ukraine now we have the corrupt but elected government of the oligarch Yanukovych deposed by an unelected coup-government comrpised of ultra-nationalists and Nazi descendent organisations such as Svoboda. Yet these nationalists plan to give up even their bourgeois independence to the imperialists of the EU and United States. We now have the situation where the Ukraine could become another vassal of US imperialism where once it had been a vassal of the Kremlin bureaucracy, a worse prospect! It would of course then become a NATO member, strengthening US imperialism’s military presence right up to the Russian border.

Clearly the imperialism of the US and EU means no true independence for Ukraine. There is more independence under the local capitalists of Yanukovych. Imperialism will mean the domination of Ukraine and Ukrainian workers by the IMF and World Bank as well as US corporations. The economic deals local oligarchs had with Russian capitalists were more beneficial to the population than would be imperialist domination. Russia is not an imperialist country, it is undoubtedly a capitalist one but has offered a better economic deal to Ukraine. The EU offers de-industrialisation, privatisation, wage cuts, social security cuts and debt. Workers in Ukraine can look to Greece, Ireland and Portugal to see their future, behind which is the finance capital and military of the U.S., ever too keen to enforce compliance using local fascist gangs. What sort of independence is that? Calderbank is silent on these facts.

In the Donbass region, focused around Luhgansk and Donetsk, there has been a groundswell of opposition by the working class to the Maidan and its coup-government which includes fascists. Calderbank’s lack of dialectical thinking means that he cannot conclude that today’s officially ‘independent’ Ukraine dominated by oligarchs and facing the domination of US/EU finance capital has developed its own internal movement for regional independence in the face of this imperialist onslaught. Trotsky’s method applied today means support for Ukrainian independence from US/EU imperialism and the self-determination of those regions which are at the forefront of the opposition to imperialism and its fascist gangs. Trotsky warned in the article Calderbank cites as his justification that ‘the very independence of the Ukraine would not be long lived in an imperialist environment’ and that ‘Imperialism can be overthrown only by the proletarian revolution.’ We see the proletariat of eastern Ukraine now in open revolution and expropriating the oligarchs, and Trotsky spoke of the Ukraine as having developed a strong working class: “A powerful and purely Ukrainian proletariat has been created there by the development of industry. It is they who are destined to be the leaders of the Ukrainian people in all their future struggles.”

This same proletariat has its very existence threatened and its own rights in particular the right to speak their first language. As mentioned earlier the borders of Ukraine have altered considerably since 1939 and many Russian speakers live in the east and have intermixed with Ukrainian speakers. The calls for Ukrainian independence and ‘national unity’ by Calderbank and the ‘Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity’ group mean a centralised ultra-nationalist state which suppresses the rights of minorities. Trotsky also had something to say about these opportunist supporters of ‘independence: “Opportunism consists in a passive adaptation to the ruling class and its regime, to that which already exists, including of course, the state boundaries.”

Calderbank and his ilk would rather preserve the state boundaries as they are at the expense of the working class in eastern Ukraine, even though they have expressed their will for autonomy through a referendum on this issue. Opportunists such as Calderbank line up with Svoboda, the US and EU to condemn the working class resistance as ‘terrorist’ and influenced by ‘Russian agents’, yet nothing is mentioned of the fascist terror gangs, CIA agents and mercernaries operating in Ukraine. Finance capital again uses fascism to impose its domination and, unfortunately, many on the left have chosen to support imperialism in the way they did at the start of world war one 100 years ago, exposing themselves now as they did then as liberals and not Marxists at all.

Throughout the debates on this fundamental issue of support for the movement against imperialism in the Donbass, many leftists have been outraged at military methods and personnel being employed by the Donetsk and Luhgansk Peoples’ Republics and the fact some have been kidnapped or tortured. The liberal prejudices of these middle class liberals and individuals such as Calderbank reveal their hostility toward the working class taking up the struggle against imperialism and fascism, in the course of such struggles that would mean enemies real or suspected will be given a hard time. This is a feature of revolution. They moralise about how ‘both sides are as bad’ and such arguments, the ‘moralizing philistine’s favourite method is the lumping of reaction’s conduct with that of revolution’ Trotsky noted about such leftists. (Source: Trotsky, L, Dewey, J, Novack, G, Their Morals and Ours, Pathfinder, 1973, New York, p13)

Of the middle class moralist, Trotsky wrote:

“Understanding neither the origin nor the sense of struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, discovers himself between the two fires, he will consider both belligerent camps with equal hatred. And who are all these democratic moralists? Ideologists of intermediary layers who have fallen, or are in fear of falling between the two fires. The chief traits of the prophets of this type are alienation from the great historical movements, a hardened conservative mentality, smug narrowness, and a most primitive political cowardice.”
(Source: Trotsky, L, Pathfinder, 1973, p14-15)

This is a fitting description for Calderbank and the ‘Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity’ and the social strata they represent, namely the middle class and labour bureaucracy. Meanwhile the working class in the Donbass continues to fight the fascists and imperialists in its quest for survival and self-determination.

Internationalism is the watchword of the day; from Gaza to Ukraine to Ferguson, Missouri

LCFI statement on the police murder of Michael Brown

19/8/2014

 

Michael Brown was shot and killed by a cop on Saturday, sparking protests and riots in Ferguson, Mo.

Michael Brown brutally slain by police Officer Darren Wilson on 9 August

“The Social-Democrat’s (i.e. Revolutionary Socialists before 1914 – LCFI) ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.” Lenin. [i]

Eighteen year old Black man, Michael Brown, was murdered on August 9, 2014 by Officer Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. He was unarmed and shot multiple times by Wilson. The details are given by his friend, Dorian Johnson, 22 as related by Trymaine Lee:

“…Brown and Johnson took off running together. There were three cars lined up along the side of the street. Johnson says he ducked behind the first car, whose two passengers were screaming. Crouching down a bit, he watched Brown run past.

“Keep running, bro!,” he said Brown yelled. Then Brown yelled it a second time. Those would be the last words Johnson’s friend, “Big Mike,” would ever say to him. Brown made it past the third car. Then, “blam!” the officer took his second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, Johnson says Brown stopped, turned with his hands up and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By that point, Johnson says the officer and Brown were face-to-face. The officer then fired several more shots. Johnson described watching Brown go from standing with his hands up to crumbling to the ground and curling into a foetal position. [ii]

Brutal police slayings of Black men in the US are frequent but only some provoke the reaction that this one did. The severe beating of Rodney King in 1992 provoked far wider and more violent protests, as Steve Argue relates:

“In the case of Rodney King, despite videotape showing the cops using enough force to kill a man, the police were acquitted in their first trial. In that case it took a mass six day uprising in 1992 that destroyed over a billion dollars in property to win a new trial for the criminal cops. In the subsequent trial, two cops, Koon and Powell, were found guilty. For a change, two brutal cops went to prison for their crimes. In addition, the 1992 uprising forced the resignation of LA’s Chief of Police. On a small scale, property was also redistributed through “looting”. Yet, the people paid a heavy price for this action with all kinds of repressive government forces mobilized in the streets including the Marines, 53 people were killed, around 2,000 people were injured, and nearly 20,000 people arrested.” [iii]

The Los Angeles riots of 1992 were the worst in the USA terms of death toll after the New York City draft riots in 1863. They were an incoherent outburst of rage at the terrible oppression of the Black and Latino communities. The majority of the dead were Black, but it included some 15 Latinos and 10 whites + a few Asians. They came in the wake of world historical events globally, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the break-up of the USSR and the obscene crowing of the neo-liberal establishment about the “end of history”. Wiki elaborates:

“The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?” published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government. “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Fukuyama’s position contradicts that of Karl Marx, who imagined that antagonistic history would end with communism displacing capitalism.” [iv]

We may be sure that the 1992 uprising was not a conscious response to these international events but we are equally certain that that was the material basis and objective driving force which was reflected in at least a very deep sense of foreboding unease in the consciousness of the masses who saw what was happening. The ruling class of America were predicting oppression and exploitation without end or opposition of every nation on the planet and the working class in the US and everywhere else. Whilst the USSR stood there was a hope that what was a distorted and bureaucratic opposition, but was nevertheless an opposition, might hold back and even defeat their oppressors. It was gone now but nevertheless the Los Angles oppressed gave them their answer to the question “will they fight?” George Bush’s New World Order was going to be challenged not only politically and in foreign wars but on the streets of the cities of the USA itself.

Appeal, successful, for race and class unity in the Lost Angeles uprising in 1992

Therefore, since humanity can only liberate itself from global capitalism and its modern expression, Imperialism, by slaying the beast in its lair, how the US working class goes about their historical task and if they succeed is of vital importance. Los Angles did succeed in driving back the offensive for a period but the altogether different political circumstances and response to the killing of Michael Brown has shown that that offensive has now taken a new and more deadly and threatening aspect than even 1992. To understand this we must take the global circumstances into account, we must take the US political circumstance into account and, most importantly, we must get the relationship between racial oppression and working class oppression right by understanding how this has evolved in the USA.

Today the global economic and political crisis leaves no room for illusions about the “end of history”. Wars are raging in Libya, Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine, chaos, broken states and plans for war against Iran, Russia and China are afoot to hold together US hegemony of global Imperialism. US ‘recovery’, far better than Europe or Japan, is essentially at the expense of their rival Imperialist powers and the semi-colonial world. Falling global profit rates is driving WWIII as the objective laws of capital impinge on the consciousness of the Republican Neo-Cons and Democrats alike. It impinges on the consciousness of the far left too but many are taking the side of Imperialism over its wars, Ukraine being the latest example. Our faith is in the working class and the new forces that are emerging to represent them in a revolutionary way.

Why the reaction to the Killing of Michael Brown was so violent

The riots in Ferguson were initially about the killing of Michael Brown and probably would have only lasted one night or might not have turned violent at all but for the extreme and violent reaction of the police. It is reported that people from Gaza were tweeting people from Ferguson on how to protect themselves from tear gas. Press photographers were instructed to stop taking pictures and leave the scene and two reporters were arrested. But it was the military riot gear deployed at what were initially peaceful protesters against what all knew to be a brutal police murder that amazed everyone. Jelani Cobb, a writer for the New Yorker, noted: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you have a tank every protest looks like an insurgency”. As Press TV reports:

“Slowly, every police department in the United States, at the behest of the Department of Homeland Security, is being trained by Israeli groups. As part of this training, there is an increased move to use of military uniforms, armoured vehicles, heavy weapons, illegal surveillance, lying to the people, press and courts and systematic interference in the electoral system. They are becoming “Israeli.”” [v]

Lest it be thought that Press TV are alarmists who only report in a sensationalist way we have the objections of a Republican Senator:

“The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote today in a column for Time, calling for police agencies to be demilitarized. Another U.S. Senator, Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, has said local law enforcement officials need to “demilitarize” the situation in Ferguson…Given the images from Missouri, some veterans have observed that they patrolled foreign combat zones equipped with less armour than the police in Ferguson, which is northwest of St. Louis. [vi]

For those leftists who think in their backward and syndicalist what that what happens in Gaza, Ukraine and Iraq is nothing to do with the working class in the US or UK and we can fight austerity through our trade union structures and “force the left bureaucrats to fight” by enough grass roots pressure here is the answer. The ruling class have prepared their answer; they have psyched up their police forces and given them enough military hardware to silence every protest. And they are again playing the race card in the USA, as ever.

Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

“The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky

Was the slaying of Michael Brown Race or Class?

Both, of course, and it’s how the dialectical interrelationship of the two plays out in the USA that makes the difference between commentating and leading politically. Unlike the 1930s today the vast majority of industrial workers in the USA are black. They make up a disproportionate section of the prison population, of the unemployed and ghetto poor. But an even more oppressed section are the “illegals” the 12 million + Latino workers who do all the menial tasks for dirt wages and who cannot complain or properly unionise because of their immigrant status. But their cause can only really be defended by the organised working class and the state’s prime object is to keep the class divided on race, sex, immigration and any other issue it can dredge up. The War on Terror never replaced race, it was rather a refinement of it as is the current anti-Immigrant children brouhaha on the Mexican border.

Let us affirm now that this was a racist murder, it was also an attack on the entire working class and oppressed so it is a class issue too. Only those lost in hopeless syndicalist dogmatism would make a rigid counterposition between the two in the USA in particular with all its history of Black slavery and Jim Crow lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan. Socialist Fight polemicised against David North WSWS/SEP on the killing of Trayvon Martin on just this point:

“This brings us to the posting on the WSWS site on 5 April by Joseph Kishore entitled, The killing of Trayvon Martin and racial politics in America. The piece seeks to prove that it was class and not race that motivated the murder and those who were trying to impute racial motives to George Zimmerman were defending the capitalist system and trying to divert the anger of the masses away from its real cause and into the blind alley of ‘identity politics’. Zimmerman, the killer, was not motivated ostensibly by a white racist agenda and the fact that Martin was black – this very likely had nothing to do with the case. We must be sure of this – because Kishore informs us:

“Racial prejudice may have played a role in the killing of Martin, who was African-American. The initial public reaction, however, did not focus on race, but rather on the gross injustice involved. As Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, put it, “It’s not about black and white, it’s about right and wrong.”

As if the two were counterposed. Again the gross reductionalism: all black people must forget about the history of Imperialist barbarism and slavery and get on with uniting with whites against capitalism.

Kishore, in directing his anger against the ‘ex-lefts’ makes the following outrageous counterposition,

“Toward this end, these forces have put forward a grossly distorted picture of American society, politics and history—one in which race, and not class, is the central issue.”

The history of the USA is about class and NOT race is it? Of course behind the Civil War and the Jim Crow laws is class, the divide and rule, the poor whites and the Ku Klux Klan but given this history then we absolutely cannot ignore, downplay or even dispute the racial content of this history or the racial motivation of the Zimmerman murder or we can justly be called racist ourselves.

…Every black workers is both black and a worker, they have a history of both race and class oppression and are experiencing it right now. To tell them to ignore the race and concentrate on the class, is itself lecturing, bordering on racism. To assert is is race and not class is equally wrong. [vii]

black life matters.jpg

To counterpose race and class is very wrong “Every black workers is both black and a worker, they have a history of both race and class oppression and are experiencing it right now. To tell them to ignore the race and concentrate on the class, is itself lecturing, bordering on racism”. To assert it is race only and not class is equally wrong.

Conclusion

We have sought to prove that the slaying of Michael Brown and the reaction to it by both the police and protestors is an integral part of the global class struggle now being waged from Gaza to Syria to Libya to Iraq and the Ukraine to mention but the hot spots. These are the global class struggle just as much as a strike or a general strike itself. We opened with a quote from Lenin to show how backward and syndicalist the model of the English trade union branch secretary was, “the ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears”. From the combination of Lenin’s insistence of the essence of Imperialism the rule being global finance capital and the division of the world into oppressed and oppressor nations there arises not only the duty of Ferguson to rally to the cause of Gaza and Iraq and the Ukraine and also to their own ‘illegal’ migrant workers. And, as the opposite side of that the duty of all those to rally to the cause of Ferguson. We think we have seen enough of that internationalism in the global and US wide demonstrations for Gaza and Ferguson to be confident that the great heart of the global working class is still beating strongly and Internationalism is becoming ever more their watchword. In this we place out trust and from these we seek to reforge the Forth International, the World Party of Socialist Revolution.

  • Justice for Michael Brown!
  • Fight Police-State Terrorism!
  • For Armed Workers’ Self-Defense to Protect Ourselves, Our Families and Our Homes!
  • Towards a Revolutionary Party of the Multiracial Working Class

 

Notes

[i] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, What Is To Be Done? Burning Questions of our Movement, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/iii.htm

[ii] Eyewitness to Michael Brown shooting recounts his friend’s death 08/12/14 By Trymaine Lee, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/eyewitness-michael-brown-fatal-shooting-missouri

[iii] Underground America, Missouri: Direct Actions Challenge the Epidemic of Police Murders in the United States, August 14, 2014,By Steven Argue http://copsrcorrupt.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/missouri-direct-actions-challenge.html

[iv] The End of History and the Last Man, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_History_and_the_Last_Man

[v] Press TV, American police now “Israeli-DHS trained,” precursor to dictatorship, http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/08/10/255432/us-police-now-israelidhs-trained/

[vi] Bloomberg Business Week; A Federal Effort to Reuse Military Gear Turned Cops Into Commandos, By Justin Bachman August 14, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-14/ferguson-shooting-how-military-gear-ended-up-with-local-police

[vii] The killing of Trayvon Martin and David North’s SEP, By Tony Fox July 2012, http://socialistfight.com/2014/08/16/the-killing-of-trayvon-martin-and-david-norths-sep-a-backward-workeristreductionalist-political-current-by-tony-fox-july-2012/

 

The killing of Trayvon Martin and David North’s SEP; a backward, workerist/reductionalist political current By Tony Fox July 2012

TrayvonZimmerman

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. SEP Counterposition: “Toward this end, these forces have put forward a grossly distorted picture of American society, politics and history—one in which race, and not class, is the central issue.”

The North group (SEP, WSWS) has become a backward, workerist, reductionalist current. For them the revolution is an objectively unfolding process without the need for human agency which will come knocking on their door when they have exposed the frauds and the fakers who now lead the working class.

They have the objectivism of the old post war ‘Pabloite’ legacy, only they have objectivised the working class and not the petty bourgeoisie. The world revolution is powering forward and it is held back not by the leadership of the trade unions and bourgeois workers parties, but by the various centrist groups on the planet that claims the name of Trotskyism.

The WSWS and the SEP is the sole remaining revolutionary working class current on the planet, they tell us, engaged in a life-and-death struggle against these centrist groups, now bizarrely dubbed ‘ex-lefts’. When these have been exposed and defeated, the Northites claim, the working class will turn to the SEP, because they will have nowhere else to go, and the world revolution will be consummated. They have adopted the worst features of the Gerry Healy’s catastrophism and political culture and exaggerated these, thereby reducing Trotsky’s Transitional Programme (TP) and the method behind it – to an absurdity.

  1. The SEP says bourgeois-workers parties (BWPs) and trade unions – “… are no longer part of the workers’ movement but mere instruments of state oppression”. Contradictions have been eliminated theoretically in order to avoid the struggle against and where possible within the BWPs. The primary direction of the TP is the struggle within the trade unions to set the base against the bureaucratic misleadership. This is dismissed with contempt as reformist practice.
  2. Abandonment of the struggle for the right of oppressed nations to self-determination thereby denying the Leninist division of the globe into Imperialist oppressor nations and colonial and semi-colonial oppressed nations. A failure to defend oppressed nation’s right to self determination is a total capitulation to imperialist ideology.

It amounts to a support to the strongest imperialist powers right to impose economic, social and cultural imperialism on all the oppressed. It is an ideological collapse before Wall Street and Coca Cola and Barak Obama. Marx made this very point in the First International when French delegates demanded that all the business of the International be conducted in French – they saw their own culture as the only model for humanity; French social chauvinism.

  1. A development of the backward social attitudes to Special Oppression of the old WRP, so dramatically exposed in the sexual abuse scandal that led to Healy’s expulsion in October 1985. The SEP supported Roman Polanski against the raped 14 year old (“a teenage model” they said) and Dominique Strauss-Kahn against the hotel maid in New York. Racist remarks by Healy were cited during the 1985 split and the Aileen Jennings letter accepted unquestioning the homophobia of the organisation. This is the opening lines of her letter to the Political Committee that blew the party into smithereens:

“… Dear Comrades, During the course of action on the Manchester Area certain practices have come to light as to the running of ‘Youth Training’ by a homosexual and the dangers this holds for the party in relation to police provocations. I believe the Political Committee was correct in stating that a cover-up of such practices endangered the party from a serious provocation” …”

North (and the Sparts incidentally), thought that these matters were simply being used to hide the real political issues i.e. they were of no political importance in themselves. Although it is true that Mike Banda, the WRP general secretary and other trends, were then using these questions in this way, to hold that these matters were of no political importance was backward in the extreme. After all the whole driving forces of a social revolution is to eliminate all oppression in every form and to dismiss such terrible acts of oppression as that which Healy committed, as having no profound political implications, was to repudiate the central aim of the revolution itself as being of no importance. A false and outrageous counterposition.

 

Joeseph Kishore, the World Socialist Web Site Editor thinks the killing of Trayvon Martin has nothing to do with his colour

This brings us to the posting on the WSWS site on 5 April by Joseph Kishore entitled, The killing of Trayvon Martin and racial politics in America. The piece seeks to prove that it was class and not race that motivated the murder and those who were trying to impute racial motives to George Zimmerman were defending the capitalist system and trying to divert the anger of the masses away from its real cause and into the blind alley of ‘identity politics’. Zimmerman, the killer, was not motivated ostensibly by a white racist agenda and the fact that Martin was black – this very likely had nothing to do with the case. We must be sure of this – because Kishore informs us,

“Racial prejudice may have played a role in the killing of Martin, who was African-American. The initial public reaction, however, did not focus on race, but rather on the gross injustice involved. As Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, put it, “It’s not about black and white, it’s about right and wrong.”

As if the two were counterposed. Again the gross reductionalism: all black people must forget about the history of Imperialist barbarism and slavery and get on with uniting with whites against capitalism.

Kishore, in directing his anger against the ‘ex-lefts’ makes the following outrageous counterposition,

“Toward this end, these forces have put forward a grossly distorted picture of American society, politics and history—one in which race, and not class, is the central issue.”

The history of the USA is about class and NOT race is it? Of course behind the Civil War and the Jim Crow laws is class, the divide and rule, the poor whites and the Ku Klux Klan but given this history then we absolutely cannot ignore, downplay or even dispute the racial content of this history or the racial motivation of the Zimmerman murder or we can justly be called racist ourselves. Kishore then makes an even more suspect claim in repudiating Jesse Jackson;

“Jesse Jackson, for example, writes in a recent comment in the Guardian, “Racial profiling is all too common in the US, and has led to the killing of a young man.” He compares the killing of Martin to that of Emmett Till, brutally murdered by racists in Jim Crow Mississippi in 1955.”

This is what Jackson wrote in the Guardian of 30 March;

“Yet police authorities accepted Zimmerman’s account of the killing – and proceeded to investigate the victim instead. It harks back to the case of Emmett Till, the young black man whose killers walked free in 1955; or the murder of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers, whose killers were not prosecuted for 30 years.”

From what standpoint of ‘Marxism’ can you take issue with this statement? How can you use this so obviously correct statement to then claim that this MUST lead to the conclusion Kishore draws that,

“Not only is race the basic issue in the killing of Martin, Jackson insists, it is the basic issue in American society.”

Jackson draws these wrong conclusions because he is, of course, a reformist bourgeois-Democrat politician. What he actually wrote is clearly wrong – an even “more perfect union” – led by capitalism, will never fight racism, it is a vital part of their armoury in dividing the US working class,

Let us take a moment to grieve for Trayvon Martin, whose life was so brutally taken. Then let us move from moment to movement, and revive the struggle for a more perfect union. That would be fitting legacy for Trayvon.”

Who would seek to prove that racism was not ‘the real issue’ in the US by proving that Jesse Jackson was an opportunist politician?

‘Unconscious Marxists’

Of course there are sections of the petty bourgeoisie that want to deny the class content of racial murders, there are ‘Pabloite’ (as they were termed in the 1950s) groups who seek substitutes for the building of revolutionary leadership to lead the whole working class in the taking of power, but to oppose this and go to the total opposite extreme, in the name of combating this, is politically criminal. The US SWP, for example, were clearly wrong in making Fidel Castro and Malcolm X into ‘unconscious Marxists’ and thereby abandoning the struggle the win the vanguard of the class to be ‘conscious Marxists’, (the only possible type of Marxist).

But, by the time of his assassination, Malcolm X was seriously studying Marxism and was drawing class conscious conclusions. This was why the Nation of Islam members assassinated him. Had the SWP fought for consistent Trotskyism there is every chance they might have won him to go on to be a great Trotskyist leader, in a party of leaders, but they had abandoned the struggle by then.

Two views on race from Malcolm X? No a developing understanding. and the above words are not his but from the blog Godfather Politics [1]

Kishore then goes on to attack the International Socialist Organization and complained that for them “race is a virtual obsession” and they have outrageously, “called for an end to the “new Jim Crow”,” and then, in a completely dishonest amalgam, falsely accusing them of taking Jackson’s stance on the matter. Kishore says,

“What is necessary is a “new civil rights movement,” the ISO insists—meaning a race-based movement subordinated to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Sharpton, and, therefore, the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.”

Well if that is really what the ISO think then Kishore will need a bit more than an assertion to prove it. Kishore then goes on to complain that every recent social movement from the Arab uprisings to the Occupy movement has begun with a struggle against injustice but have been hijacked by these ‘ex-lefts’ into bogus identity politics issues, thereby marginalising the issues of class. He tells us that,

“The politics of Jackson, Sharpton, the ISO and the entire coterie of “left” supporters of the Democratic Party represents the interests of a layer of the upper-middle class that is deeply worried that it is beginning to lose political control over the working class.”

There it is. The SEP would now be leading the revolution were it not for the above mentioned and their promoting ‘identity politics’.

Kishore claims,

“They are seeking to establish the political conditions for once again subordinating the working class to the election of Obama. More fundamentally, their aim is to undermine and pre-empt any development of independent class consciousness, which poses a threat to the capitalist system. They are exploiting the killing of Trayvon Martin for this deeply reactionary purpose.”

But Lenin had a far more dialectical approach than this backward workerism. Look at how he puts the matter in ‘What is to be done?’ – in 1902: … “In a word, every trade union secretary conducts and helps to conduct “the economic struggle against the employers and the government”. It cannot be too strongly maintained that this is still not Social-Democracy (communism), that the Social-Democrat’s ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.”

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/iii.htm

It is abundantly clear that the trade union branch secretary is the model here for North and Kishore (or would be if the trade unions (AND MEMBERS) had not now become part of capitalism, period.) The Marxist Social-Democrats (this was their name up to the 1917 Russian Revolution) looked to, “… every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation”.

There is the dialectical method as opposed the North’s turgid and rigid counterposition of race and class. Every black workers is both black and a worker, they have a history of both race and class oppression and are experiencing it right now. To tell them to ignore the race and concentrate on the class, is itself lecturing, bordering on racism.

North’s anti-dialectics

We recall North’s attack on Gerry Healy’s version of dialectics back in 1985 – and what his solution was. He claimed that:

“… as materialists, we cannot refer to man as a thinking body, because that would reject historical materialism, which insists that the essence of man is not consciousness but labour.”

As the late Sy Landy of the US’ League for the Revolutionary Party remarked earlier:

“… North’s unbelievable mechanical view cannot show the difference between mankind and beavers”…

Z.A. Jordan’s book The Evolution of Dialectical Materialism has a far more dialectical understanding of mind and body than the crudity of North.

“While the old philosophy has taken as its starting point the statement ‘I am an abstract, an exclusively thinking being, and my body does not belong to my essence’, the new philosophy starts with the statement ‘I am a real, a sensuous being, my body belongs to my being and, indeed, my body in its totality is myself, is itself my essence’.

The soul and the brain are mere hypostatizations of certain functions of the human individual and they disrupt what is in fact an inseparable totality; the separation of the soul from the body or of the sensuous from the non-sensuous essence of man is a purely theoretical act which we constantly refute in our everyday life and to which nothing corresponds in reality. Man is a ‘soul invested brain’ (das beseelte Gehirn) and an ‘embodied soul’ (die eingekorperte Seele). Feuerbach regarded man as a mind in a body and as a part of nature.”

From Z.A. Jordan’s book The Evolution of Dialectical Materialism, published by Macmillan, 1967. http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm

It really is time to take these questions far more seriously in the Trotskyist movement if we are not all to end up like North’s pathetically mechanical dead-end “Marxism”.

David North, WSWS/SEP leader and also CEO of Grand Rapids Printing as David Green. This duaity explains why his is the most difficult image to find online.

[1] Malcolm’s break with the N.O.I. did not set well with the organization’s leadership. This included Elijah Muhammad and Louis X, better known as Louis Farrakhan. While in Mecca on a pilgrimage, Malcolm wrote the following to his assistants at the Harlem Mosque:

“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races. . . . You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. . . .”

While Malcolm changed his views regarding race, it seems that there are people today who define everything by race. Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright are extremist examples of keeping the issue of race front and centre in American politics. There are others. But what’s most irritating is the way some people see race in everything and make a point of keeping the wound of racial conflict festering.

Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/1179/in-the-black-some-people-only-see-race/#4drJEAmJO7Tuewdz.99