Socialist Fight reply to the Liaison Committee of Communists

2

10/04/2015 by socialistfight

 8 April 2014[1]

 Redrave0

The great uprising of December 2001 in Argentina brought Carlos Munzer and Philippe Cothoun together briefly before their acrimonious split.

The Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC) is an international grouping consisting of the Communist Workers’ Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Communist Workers’ Group (USA) and Revolutionary Workers’ Group (Zimbabwe). Until March 2010 it was a member of the Internationalist Leninist/Trotskyist Fraction (FLTI), the leading group of which was the LOI of Argentina, led by Carlos Munzer. Socialist Fight had a brief relationship with the FLTI following our revolutionary position on the Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes for British jobs for British workers in early 2009 (see No support for chauvinist, xenophobic strikes in SF No. 2). But Munzer only wanted a branch in Britain and allowed no differences or discussion. When we began discussions with the Groupe Bolchevik of France (Permanent Revolution Collective) led by Philippe Cothoun Munzer demanded we stop at once. We had stuff to learn from them, we felt and refused, hence the break. In fact the FLTI were correct about the pro-imperialism of the group it turned out over Libya and also correctly attacked the SF position on Israel AFTER they had decided to break relations with us and a more comradely intervention would have allowed us to correct our position sooner. In this regard the LCC are totally correct; the FLTI is an appallingly bureaucratic centralist international.

However this does not solve the question that was central to the 2010 split in the FLTI, is China an imperialist country or a semi-colonial capitalist one? In this split and on this question the FLTI are substantially correct against the LCC. Moreover it is the programmatic conclusions that the LCC and the RCIT (but not the Workers Power group even if drifting in that direction, see the two earlier articles in this blog) draw from their characterisation that is so reactionary. Here is their bald assertion:

“We clearly say over and over again that China is as reactionary as US imperialism. US imperialism is still hegemonic and its defence of its global interests must bring it into collision with an ascendant China. This is why we changed our position of China’s dual character in which we could defend it from a direct US attack, to that of a rapidly emerging imperialist rival that could not be defended in any situation. That is why we are for the defeat of both China and US.” [2]

The FLTI argue against this, substantially correctly:

“This new imperialist offensive to re-colonize China together with its plan of privatization- has split the Chinese bourgeoisie of the “red mandarins”. One faction is allied through the finances and the stock market to the US-UK financial capital and is for the immediate beginning of the privatizations. The other faction thinks that they could lose the source of their incomes as administrators of the broke state-owned companies. They also fear the Bonapartist Chinese regime’s sure loss of social base -and consequentially that of the CP of the “red businessmen”- in a layer of the working class that still maintains its gains in the state industry (nursery, health insurance, etc.).

Russia and China entered the world economy thoroughly ruined. Russia had a brutal devaluation of the Ruble, a restorationist bureaucracy who stole more than 200 billion dollars by making them flee out of the country to the safes of the Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, sharing out the state enterprises while leaning on the cannons of the counterrevolutionary coup of August 1991 launched by the mafia and the thugs of the old restorationist bureaucracy; all that led Russia to backwardness, to a lifespan of 50 years and to wars and genocides like that of Chechnya; meanwhile in Balkans the capitalist restoration was imposed by massacres like in Bosnia and bombs like those of NATO on Belgrade.

That Russia in ruins that lost Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, the ex-Muslim Republics where the 40% of oil lies, that is surrounded by US military bases established in those republics, with 49% of its oil and gas managed by the German BASF through that front firm called Gazprom, is called pompously “imperialist Russia”.

China that buys raw material and supplies of cereal, agro-industry, minerals and intermediate goods from the world market and in the semi-colonies from the own US, Australian, Canadian, French and England transnationals (that control Africa and Latin America), while financing the US monstrous deficits and foreign debt, and its labor force has been used by the international finance capital to sink the salary of the world proletariat like a comparative advantage is called pompously new “imperialist” power.

It is imperative to tell the truth to the world proletariat. If it buys, sells, covers deficits, bailout banks, lends for production, buys for the sake of third parties and administers slave labor, that is not monopolist capital that is not parasitism: it is to work under a master, it means being a privileged employee to the international finance capital.” [3]

CWG1Brics

CWG2Brics

We are aware that the ‘Spart family’ (the ICL, the IBT and the LFI) regard China as a deformed workers’ state still and we have polemicized against this position in In Defence of Trotskyism No 1. It is true that in that journal we were ourselves undecided as to the nature of China, we never took a hard position and did reprint a piece from Living Marxism that asserted that both China and Russia were imperialist. However the formation of the LCFI and discussions with our Brazilian and Argentinians comrades have clarified our position. We now hold that Russia and China, together with countries like Greece and Portugal and some of the former Iron Curtin countries are neither Imperialist nor semi-colonial countries but countries of Intermediate Development, with features of both imperialism and semi colonies which cannot become imperialist unless the USA suffers defeat in a major war and/or a catastrophic economic decline. We distinguish them from minor imperialist powers like Holland, Sweden or New Zealand or advance semi-colonies like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Very important in this definition is Nato and the alliances of imperialist powers under the hegemony of US finance capital and transnational corporations.

We are also aware of the similar position of the Revolutionary Tendency. A leader of the RT, Steve Argue, puts this position on Russia and China, with which we would agree in all the substance of the arguments. It is largely in line with the LTFI arguments above:

On Russia

“Today, the relatively weak capitalist class that has developed in Russia since the Yeltsin capitalist counterrevolution in 1991 is standing up, in its own national self-interests, against a U.S. engineered and fascist infested coup government in Kiev. That government hates Ukraine’s national minorities and seeks to hurt the entire working class of Ukraine through imposing the austerity and other dictates of the IMF, EU, and USA. It is a deadly threat to the working class of Ukraine and is a dagger aimed by the U.S. imperialists at Russia itself. A victory by relatively weak Russia against U.S. imperialism will be a blow for the world’s working class which suffers under deeply under the terror and exploitation of U.S. / E.U. imperialism. An anti-imperialist victory in Ukraine will also serve to protect the oppressed Russian nationality of Crimea, protect Russia from imperialism, and protect the deformed workers state of Belarus.”

On China

“For many on the left, China’s investments bringing development to numerous underdeveloped countries are seen as a form of imperialism. This ignores a few basic facts. First of all, the vast majority of these investments are by the Chinese mainland state run banks or other state owned sectors. Instead of being short-term speculative investments based on the profit motive, as imperialist capitalist investments are, they are investments that seek needed commodities for China’s economy which is still largely planned and socialist. Unlike the USSR’s planned socialist economy, which was built in a resource rich country, China is now building up its economy, largely through the vast advantages of socialist planning, in a country that is relatively resource poor. To do so they must invest in other countries in order to import needed resources for their collectivized enterprises back in China.”

“The false notion that China is imperialist only aids U.S. and Japanese counterrevolutionary aggression directed at the People’s Republic of China. Likewise, the lie that Russia is imperialist only aids western imperialist ethnic cleansing of the Russian speaking minority in Ukraine, imperialist aggression against the people of Syria as part of an intervention that formed ISIS and continues to back religious fanatics against the Syrian and Kurdish people, and aids imperialist sanctions against Belarus with its remaining socialist economy, as well as other western imperialist acts of aggression against the world’s working class and farmers.”

“To extract these resources China makes investments. For many in Africa and Asia these investments in schools, roads, railroads, and other needed infrastructure and enterprises are generally seen as a welcome change from the neglect and underdevelopment imposed by the imperial capitalists. This is not to say that there have not been abuses, but these well-known abuses have come from the small minority of private Chinese enterprises functioning abroad.” [4]

So we can see that whilst we differ from the ‘Spart family’ and from the Revolutionary Tendency that China is a deformed workers’ state and from the LTFI that it is a classic semi-colony nonetheless in programmatic terms we all agree to defend both Russia and China against imperialist attack. There is the basis for a united front with these forces and others like them on this question. The LCC do not agree on this so there is no basis for a united front with them on this question.

Dire consequences for the new LCC

This reactionary position had dire consequences for the new LCC. By 2011 and the Nato assault on Libya they were characterising the uprising of the Benghazi reactionaries as a ‘popular revolution’ and Gaddafi as the main agent of imperialism in Libya, which ridiculous position they still defend.

We have nothing to retract from our polemic against them in Socialist Fight No.6, Spring/Summer 2011:

“Statement of the Liaison Committee

In the Statement of the Liaison committee of the CWG (NZ) and HWRS (USA) Imperialism: Hands off Libya! The US and EU are planning a military intervention to protect their oil interests! (from the rebels??) we get the following:

“Libya is on a knife edge poised between victorious workers revolution that can defeat both the dictatorship and Imperialism, and turn the Arab Revolution into socialist revolution in the whole region, and the counter-revolution that will halt, reverse and defeat the Arab Revolution and prevent the formation of a United Socialist States of North Africa and the Middle East. The outcome will depend on whether or not the international working class can stop the US and EU Imperialists from invading Libya and imposing a new compliant national leadership. The aim of the Transitional National Council is to steer Libya during the interim period that will come after its complete liberation and the destruction of Gaddafi’s oppressive regime. It will guide the country to free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya.” [11]

This is a total capitulation to Imperialist propaganda, particularly the ridiculous notion that not only was there something called “the Arab Revolution” which was above class, but that it moved forward of its own objective volition irrespective of the leadership that it had and that the counter-revolution was represented only by Gaddafi and not world Imperialism. And why would they have to invade to impose “a new compliant national leadership” when they already supposedly had one? And the notion that the Imperialist-sponsored and CIA directed and funded ITNC was going to “guide the country to free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya” is just too silly for words; an idealistic and unachievable aspiration for a bourgeois republic and a two stage revolution.

They repeat as fact the obvious lies of the rebels:

“Such was the ferocity of this repression, employing the Special Forces and foreign mercenaries, that its failure to intimidate and defeat the unemployed youth rebellion forced the military to split. The defection of the Generals who had long been cronies of Gaddafi was forced only by the rebellion of the rank and file soldiers who refused to fire on the masses and were in turn executed by the Gaddafi forces.”

Where is the evidence for these lurid claims? There is none because it is a complete lie.

“We call on the Arab revolution that is under way in Egypt and Tunisia, and is beginning to rise up in Algeria and in the Middle East, to immediately send material and military aid to the liberated part of Libya to strengthen the revolution against the regime’s extreme repression, to complete the revolution and stop mass murder of workers on an even greater scale.”

No need for that, Imperialism is on the case on your behalf.

“We call on the workers in the Imperialist countries to take immediate steps to oppose the military intervention in whatever form in Libya. Imperialism is the No 1 enemy of the Libyan people. Gaddafi is a creature of Imperialism. His 1969 revolution had the guise of a national socialist liberation but in reality it installed a national bourgeois crony capitalist regime to serve Imperialism.”

Redrave1

Modesty is not Redrave’s (Dave Brown’s) strong suite.

And now the biggest lie:

“Imperialism is the No 1 enemy of the Libyan people. Gaddafi is a creature of Imperialism.”

The Liaison Committee cannot see the contradictions between Imperialism and bourgeois nationalist regimes, the Leninist distinction between oppressed and oppressor nations, and can imagine no good reason apart from subverting the ‘revolution’ for them to sponsor the rebels. This is indeed becoming a very tangled web. The truth is that what the Liaison Committee correctly labels a “national bourgeois crony capitalist regime” is at severe odds with Imperialism because there is a very great deal left of the Libyan revolution of 1969 worth defending and the masses now increasingly rallying to Gaddafi realise this. And the ranks of the rebels realise this also, they do not know why they are fighting, which is why they appear so cowardly and half-hearted in their struggle. Installing puppets for Imperialism is not a strongly motivating ideal so they run away from the first sound of gunfire.

And now the slander directed at Socialist Fight and our fellow anti-Imperialist revolutionaries (There isn’t any other kind!):

“All those who on the left who gave support to Gaddafi in the name of Communism or Trotskyism and were responsible for disarming the Libyan people in their long resistance to Gaddafi must be exposed and condemned. They share a large part of the blame for the failure to build a revolutionary workers party in Libya and the others states of the region to play a leading role in the Arab Revolution.”

It is true that Gerry Healy and the WRP did capitulate to the Arab bourgeoisie and that the present-day WRP continues that line. But Healy’s most vociferous opponent before the 1985 split was Sean Matgamna of the AWL. He supported Imperialism against the same Arab bourgeoisie and he has continued the same line ever since. Although we totally denounced Vanessa Redgrave’s attempts to bring the AWL to court for this I and another Central Committee member in the post-split WRP refused an invite from Matgamna to speak at a public meeting denouncing Redgrave because we would not be associated then or now with an attack on Gaddafi from the right. The nonsense about “disarming the Libyan people’ from those who are now the spokespeople for Imperialism is just total nonsense as is the stuff about the “Arab Revolution”.” [5]

In fact we missed the reference to “foreign mercenaries” above, the lie that was used to justify the wholesale lynching of black African workers who staffed the oil industry from the very beginning and clearly signalled the vile reactionary and racist character of this pro-imperialist counter-revolutionary rebel uprising. The notion that this was in reality an inter-imperialist conflict between ‘Western Imperialism’ and ‘Eastern Imperialism’ (Russia and China) will be contemptuously dismissed by serious Marxists and committed anti-imperialist militants worldwide.

The rest of the LCC document

The document begins thus:

“Facing a chronic global crisis of capitalism and intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry between the US and China blocs”

The previous two article in this publications and the arguments of the LTFI and Steve Argue rebut this starting point. Then it goes through the turgid rituals of accusing all his opponents of being centrists and not understanding the dialectic. Like the one about Gaddafi being imperialism’s agent whilst they were murdering him above, we must suppose. If you failed to see the logic in that you had capitulated to ‘empiricism and pragmatism’ apparently. We have “materialist roots in the imperialist petty bourgeoisie” unlike Dave Brown (Redrave), the Sociology lecturer (retired) who undoubtedly penned these line.

Then it goes on to accuse the LCFI of Healyism with no attempt to prove this and then goes on to assert that the whole LCFI is guilty of ‘national Trotskyism’ for not supporting the USA and its proxy wars in Libya, Syria and Ukraine. We are “social imperialism, adapting to Bonapartist dictators such as Gaddafi, Assad and Putin as the enemies of US imperialism” whereas the LCC is supplying Anglo American imperialism with its alibies for war against its rivals, we have no hesitation in charging.

“For both tendencies national self-determination as a bourgeois democratic right is always ‘progressive’ even if it is a counter-revolutionary ‘democratic dictatorship’ of imperialism” asserts Dave and we categorically refute this charge. This is a correct charge against both the RCIT and the Workers Power international but the LCFI and the SF before it has tirelessly unmasked this wrong position on the three Baltic States, Bosnia, Kosovo, Tibet, the Uigars etc. It is a totally false charge.

The next extract is a real peach:

“So the LCFI regarded Gaddafi’s rule in Libya as a genuine expression of self-determination against imperialism despite Gaddafi’s role in serving US imperialism and emerging Chinese imperialism. The LCFI denied the agency of the rebels fighting Gaddafi as an agent of imperialism by painting them as CIA agents or jihadists. Today the rebels are fighting both the US puppet Hefter and the newly branded Islamic State (IS) in Libya. The logic of this has escaped the LCFI because it cannot imagine that Arab and other masses in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are capable of carrying through permanent revolution against both imperialism and against the reactionary Islamic jihadists who are the agents of imperialism. One key aspect of social imperialism is its Eurocentrism, expressed today as Islamophobia.” [6]

It is, of course, a complete lie that “the LCFI regarded Gaddafi’s rule in Libya as a genuine expression of self-determination against imperialism” as even a curtsy glance at our statements on Libya from 2011 will show. In fact we polemicized strongly against those, like the WRP (News Line) and the CPGB (ML) who do just that and those like the ‘Spart Family’ that took a neutral position between the Benghazi proxy imperialist counter-revolutionaries before the Nato bombing began. And the notion that the rebels were “fighting Gaddafi as an agent of imperialism” is just too hilarious for words; imperialism was bombing Gaddafi and succeeded in murdering him because he was their agent and they were also sending in special forces, including some 5,000 Qatari troops to assist the rebels who were their sworn enemies because, seeing as they were genuine revolutionaries, what else could decent imperialists do? The poor old confused CIA needs assistance from Dave Brown in New Zealand who could instruct them on how to stop making such silly mistakes!

The next bit is just as bad. The praise the RCIT for being on the ‘right’ (read ‘wrong’) side in Libya and because they did “not call for the rebels to form an AIUF with Gaddafi against NATO, unlike the LCFI”. But something has gone badly wrong, surely. “Don’t be so pessimistic, we have only suffered a small set back”:

“The permanent revolution has since stalled in Libya (you can hum it!! SF) but so has imperialism which is unable to defeat the resistance and find a new bourgeois regime that can replace Gaddafi. This stalemate can only be overcome and the permanent revolution completed in Libya with the revival of the Arab revolution led by the workers’ and poor peasants’ armed resistance in Syria and Palestine, supported by internationalist workers.” [7]

Tripoli2

The LCC ‘revolution’, led by the Islamist militias of Libya Dawn, took control of Tripoli in August 2014. Here one of the leaders of the ‘revolution’ First Deputy President of General National Congress of Libya (GNC), Awad Abdul-Gader holds a press conference in Tripoli, on February 16, 2015.

This is a prayer because now something called the “permanent revolution” will soon be “completed in Libya with the revival of the Arab revolution.” We would respectfully suggest to comrade Dave the Permanent Revolution is a programme of revolutionary Trotskyism and not an objective process that can proceed through the medium of reactionary jihadists based in Tripoli with the support of Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. They are just as reactionary as the other ‘revolution’ represented by the CIA asset, the “US puppet Hefter” supported by Egypt and Qatar or that promoted by the ISIS forces there. It is obvious to even the most politically naive person that Nato has destroyed Libya with the support of the LCC and the RCIT, to name just a few, just as it has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and is currently destroying Ukraine. And they have many more wars in the pipeline. But for the LCC these are all “stalled revolutions”.

And what are we to make of the following paragraph:

“However, the RCIT’s slavish application of the bourgeois democratic schema as progressive can be seen in Egypt when the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dismissed the Muslim Brotherhood, elected to power on a reactionary constitution that defended the military regime. The Muslim Brotherhood was a weak Islamic bourgeoisie of the bazaar seeking to replace the dominant military fraction. The RCIT called this dispute between two fractions of the bourgeoisie a coup against ‘bourgeois democracy’ and an ‘historic defeat’ for the working class when the election of the Muslim Brotherhood did nothing to advance the interests of the working class. This was proven by the millions of workers who marched against it. Such ‘bourgeois democracy’ was in reality a reactionary bourgeois regime seeking to appease imperialism and imposing a theocratic barrier to revolution. Its removal meant that the SCAF was now seen openly as the power base behind the Mubarak regime and that it had always been the dominant fraction of the national bourgeoisie.” [8]

The RCIT took a very good position on the Egypt coup (afterwards, in correction a bad position before the coup) and the LCC an unbelievably bad one. So in the coup perpetrated by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi against the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013 the LCC not only took no side but positively welcomed it because of the, “millions of workers who marched against it” and “Its removal (what a weaselly word for that bloody coup! – SF) meant that the SCAF was now seen openly as the power base behind the Mubarak regime and that it had always been the dominant fraction of the national bourgeoisie.” This is an absolutely reactionary position. Thousands of poor workers were slaughtered and hundreds have been sentenced to death for the elementary ‘crime’ of defending their democratic rights and the LCC supports this! And all leftists and workers’ organisations suffered severe repression. This is easily the most degenerate and reactionary political position in the whole document, and there are many!

We do agree with the LCC about the manner in which the Workers Power tradition (including the RCIT) elevate ‘democracy’ over the defence of the nationalised property relations as shown in the USSR in August 1991 when they stood arm-in-arm with Boris Yeltsin outside the White House in Moscow and we have said so repeatedly. But there’s more:

“We define ‘democracy’ today as concerned only with ‘workers democracy’. Lenin talked of the epoch of the bourgeois ‘national democratic’ revolution as the formation of states unifying national markets. In the epoch of imperialism where monopoly capital dominates, nations and the ideology of nationalism are reactionary forces that divide the international proletariat. National oppression in the imperialist epoch has only one historic solution, the socialist republic within a world-wide union of socialist republics. This was the goal of the Bolsheviks before the Russian Revolution was isolated and bureaucratised. It was the program of the healthy Fourth International while Trotsky lived. Unconditional defence of the Soviet Union as part of the world revolution would usher in the epoch of the ‘international proletarian revolution’.” [9]

In terms of Marxism this is profoundly in error. We have seen above what is the consequences of a failure to defend the democratic rights of workers under a bourgeois democratic system against a coup from the far right military. This opening idiotic statement means we should have no ‘side’ in the Hitler coup in 1933, in the Franco coup in 1936 or the Coronals’ coup in Greece in 1967, for example. The point of course is that a ‘bourgeois democracy’ entails certain democratic rights for workers which military/fascist coups eliminate and we really do have an unequivocal side in that! And no serious Marxist would write that, “nations and the ideology of nationalism are reactionary forces that divide the international proletariat” without distinguishing between the nationalism of the oppressor and that of the oppressed, without supporting the struggles of oppressed nations against oppressing nations without acknowledging that this is the real meaning of Lenin’s imperialism which he tirelessly fought for. Instead Dave Brown turn the theory of Imperialism into its opposite, a Left Communist/Anarchist reductionism this is too cowardly to defend oppressed nations from imperialist attack, regardless of the leadership that they have.

Trotsky in 1937:

“But we, Marxists and Bolsheviks, considered the struggle of the Riffians against imperialist domination as a progressive war. Lenin wrote hundreds of pages demonstrating the primary necessity of distinguishing between imperialist nations and the colonial and semicolonial nations which comprise the great majority of humanity. To speak of “revolutionary defeatism” in general, without distinguishing between exploiter and exploited countries, is to make a miserable caricature of Bolshevism and to put that caricature at the service of the imperialists.” [10]

In these matters the LCC constantly repeats the mantra that what is needed in all countries is the socialist revolution led by a revolutionary Trotskyist party and we can take no sides on anything unless we have that. They then put forward the Shachtmanite/ Eiffelites line to excuse their failure to defend oppressed nations against imperialist attacks and the democratic rights of the working class against far rights coups in Egypt and Ukraine.

Trotsky again against the Eiffelites in the same article:

“In my declaration to the bourgeois press, I said that the duty of all the workers’ organizations of China was to participate actively and in the front lines of the present war against Japan, without abandoning, for a single moment, their own program and independent activity. But that is “social patriotism!” the Eiffelites cry. It is capitulation to Chiang Kai-shek! It is the abandonment of the principle of the class struggle! Bolshevism preached revolutionary defeatism in the imperialist war. Now, the war in Spain and the Sino-Japanese War are both imperialist wars. “Our position on the war in China is the same. The only salvation of the workers and peasants of China is to struggle independently against the two armies, against the Chinese army in the same manner as against the Japanese army.” These four lines, taken from an Eiffelite document of September 10, 1937, suffice entirely for us to say: we are concerned here with either real traitors or complete imbeciles. But imbecility, raised to this degree, is equal to treason.” [11]

The LCC on Bosnia and Libya

One of the great puzzles for the LCC is the very good and revolutionary position taken historically by the forerunner of the CEG USA, the LTT /Workers Voice (WoVo) in San Francisco led by Dov Winter on Bosnia in the 1990s and the completely opposite and reaction position it went along with in 2011 on Libya and Syria. Dov Winter took a courageous and correct stance against Workers Power line at the time and the evidence that that tradition lives on in the CWG in the very good article it produced in February 2014. [12]

The following is the comment Gerry Downing wrote on that article when he was struck so forcefully by that contradiction:

“I have read this article and it is excellent. It is the historically correct in line with the principled stance taken by your antecedents under Dov Winter against Workers Power. I have reassessed my own position as a member of the WIL/LTT at the time. However I fail to see why the method here is not applied today to assaults by Imperialism on Libya, Syria and Ukraine and have endorsed that of the ITO, the LCMRCI, the WRP of Greece and your own.

Whether the ex-Yugoslav states were still deformed workers states by 1995 and 1999 is a moot point. I am sure they were not nevertheless the principle remains the same. It seems to me that it is on this point you have fallen down. Trotsky includes them (deformed workers states and semi-colonies) in the same paragraph in the Transitional Programme:

“But not all countries of the world are imperialist countries. On the contrary, the majority are victims of imperialism. Some of the colonial or semi colonial countries will undoubtedly attempt to utilize the war in order to east off the yoke of slavery. Their war will be not imperialist but liberating. It will be the duty of the international proletariat to aid the oppressed countries in their war against oppressors. The same duty applies in regard to aiding the USSR, or whatever other workers’ government might arise before the war or during the war. The defeat of every imperialist government in the struggle with the workers’ state or with a colonial country is the lesser evil.”

I therefore do not see how you can be so right on Bosnia against Workers Power/RCIT and so wrong in agreement with them against Libya, Syria and the Ukraine. There seems to be two CWGs, one which can write that Bosnia document and another which thinks the Gaddafi was the main enemy in Libya and the revolution won a great victory there in alliance with Obama. And can take a third campist position on the Ukraine and fail to see what the Bosnian article sees.

Socialist Fight has written an article on the Ukraine and Bosnia out in a few days. It recognises that Workers Voice took a principled stance against at that time. This is an extract from that:

I was an opposition member of the International Socialist Group (British section of the Mandelite Fourth International) at the time but more in political sympathy with both the Workers International League, British section of the Leninist Trotskyist Committee (led by Richard Price) and the International Trotskyist Opposition (led by Peter Solenberger in the US and Franco Grisolia in Italy). The latter took the principled position on the Balkans as seen in the internal opposition document in the USFI, [13] as did Jose Villa, an oppositionist in Workers Power and his Latin American comrades in the Liaison Committee of Militants for a Revolutionary Communist International. Also principles oppositionists to WPB at the time were their US section Workers Voice in San Francisco, who failed to make a fusion with the LCMRCI, and the WRP of Greece. [14] The line of the WIL and LTT was gravitating towards that of Workers Power and I went along with that at the time. I am now certain that the ITO, the LCMRCI, WoVo and the EEK were far more consistently Trotskyist at the time.” [15]

Conclusion

We will leave the detailed defence of the political struggle in Brazil to our comrades there except to point out the obvious mistake that the LCC again make by equating the anti-imperialist united front with the popular front. This is to deny that Brazil is a semi-colonial nation, albeit an advanced one. Our Brazilian comrades have used the tactically flexible method of the Transitional Programme to relate to the mass movement’s correct political instincts of anti-imperialism. Brazil’s history of pro-imperialist coups and regimes demands this type of flexibility and our comrades have utilised the Leninist principle brilliantly, maximum flexibility in tactics, unyielding defence of principles. The result of this approach are well known; it is the victory of the Russian Revolution.

Now let us conclude with the theoretical arguments the LCC present in asserting that China and Russia are imperialist nations whilst, at the same time, correctly rejecting the Workers Power/RCIT contention that other imperialist powers, South Africa, for example, have emerged since WWII. Apparently this is because the degenerate and deformed workers’ states of Russia and China enabled the development of the productive forces to such an extent that even the restoration of capitalism in these lands was not sufficient to allow them to regress into semi-colonies; they remained Independent Countries (whatever that is). Therefore the process of permanent revolution (that objective programmatic thing that needs not programme or revolutionary leadership) has allowed them to develop as imperialist powers. We consider this to be absolute rubbish. Of course it is not the export of capital alone, although the Russian variety is exported simply for the avoidance of taxes by oligarchs in the main and both export not to dominate markets and oppress countries but to secure raw materials for their home industries. Nor is it monopolies, alone nor is it the political leadership of the regime nor the division of the planet into spheres of influence alone nor is military might alone but the mutual reciprocal relationship between all these factors that makes a country imperialist. And that really IS dialectical comrades of the LCC. We are entirely confident that this document has conclusively proved that you are wrong on this issue on all counts.

Tripoli3

Khalifa Haftar’s army now controls much of the eastern half of Libya. The CIA asset seeks to take over Libya on behalf of the USA in alliance with General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Qatar.

Notes

[1] Russia, China, and the Unfinished Permanent Revolution, April 04, 2014.

http://redrave.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/russia-china-and-unfinished-permanent.html

[2] Ibid.

[3] Towards the second congress of the FLTI. A document for contributing on the Chinese question, An impressionist minority, under the pressures of both US-UK imperialism and Obamamania, adapts itself to the labour aristocracy and aims to revise Marxism. February 20, 2010 http://redrave.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/flti-majority-document-on-china-as-semi.html

[4] Revolutionary Tendency, 1 March, Russia and China Are Not Imperialist, By Steven Argue

http://historyandcurrentcontext.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/russia-and-china-are-not-imperialist.html

[5] Socialist Fight No.6, The soft left’s foolish illusions in the Benghazi rebels. By Ret Marut 3 April 2011.

[6] Russia, China, and the Unfinished Permanent Revolution.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Leon Trotsky, On the Sino-Japanese War, (September 1937), https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1937/10/sino.htm

[11] Ibid.

[12] For the Bosnian Revolution 25 February 2014, https://cwgusa.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/for-the-bosnian-revolution/#comments

[13] Oppose the International Majority and ISG/Matthieu/SA Lines on Ex-Yugoslavia, Imperialism out of the Balkans!, Submitted by the International Left Tendency, 5 June 1995, http://home.igc.org/~itofi/usfi/wc14_yug.html

[14] Workers Revolutionary Party (EEK- Greece), hands off Yugoslavia! Nato, USA, EU get out of Balkans, Athens, 24/3/1999, http://home.igc.org/~itofi/mrfi/wrpgrwarstate.html.

[15] Ibid. Comment on the above article.

2 thoughts on “Socialist Fight reply to the Liaison Committee of Communists

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