The Dördüncü Blok and the RCIT

2

29/09/2016 by socialistfight

LCFI Statement 25/7/2016, Extract

rcit-logo

The two joint statements of Dördüncü Blok (Turkey) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT/DKUE) came in the early morning and late evening of 16/7/2016. [5] [6] One puzzling thing for those not familiar with the politics of the RCIT is the use of the phrase ‘Great Powers’. This is a quaint term from the epoch of colonialism so we had to look up its modern application. It is the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Japan; China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Japan. Why not say ‘imperialism’, the modern Marxist term?

The LCFI has always identified the global hegemon, US imperialism, as humanity’s main enemy in this region, as it is in every other. Its subordinate imperialist powers in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. cooperate in exploiting the globe under its leadership still, however grudgingly and unwillingly for some. Neither Russia nor China or any of the other BRICS states, Brazil, India and South Africa, are imperialist in that Marxist sense of dominating the globe via their finance capital and forcing compliance via military superiority and its CIA-organised coups, though they are all advanced capitalist states with clear imperialist ambitions, Russia and China in the first place. These ambitions cannot be satisfied while the US remains the global hegemon. On the contrary the US is continually planning and manoeuvring to reverse its relative decline over the past several decades. The details of how the CIA and MI6 organised the 1953 Anglo-American coup that overthrew the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953 (codenamed TPAJAX by the CIA and Operation Boot by the MI6) were published in 2013 illustrating how they still operate today. [7]

On the other hand, the RCIT designates Russia and China as imperialist powers; [8] the LCFI are of the opposite opinion. [9] We will not go further into the arguments here except to note that neither statement examines the geo-political significance of the attempted coup as a possible explanation of why it was attempted. In fact, point 2 of the first statement makes the following claim:

2.The reason for this coup is that Erdoğan has not sufficiently served the interests of the western Great Powers and the Turkish capitalists. He tried to keep some independence while establishing a presidential police state with him in power. However, the coup is in the first line not directed against Erdoğan, but against the popular masses and the Kurdish people and their already limited democratic and social rights. Revolutionaries still have to consistently politically oppose the bourgeois-reactionary AKP which tried in the last years to undermine democratic rights and oppress our Kurdish brothers and sisters. But we oppose any military persecution of the AKP. This expresses not our political sympathy but underlines that the main enemy of the workers, peasants and poor is the military!

Would it not be better to say that the coup was directed against Erdogan in order to have the power to more immediately defeat ‘the popular masses and the Kurdish people’? And keeping the whole thing as a Turkish affair means we do not have to examine the geo-political manoeuvrings of the ‘western Great Powers’ i.e. imperialism proper in its wars in Libya, Syria Afghanistan and Iraq and whether this was another one of those attacks. And the use of the term suggests that the ‘eastern Great Powers’ are just as bad in their warmongering and global oppression, a manifestly false notion. Whilst the RCIT are close to the LCFI in many ways we have sharply differed with all those who seek to apologise for the crimes of US imperialism or to minimise them in any way. We have made our differences known on Libya and on Syria very stridently. [10]

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WRP/IMT/RCIT foolish illusions in al-Sisi: Egypt; the coup that wasn’t a coup and the revolution that wasn’t a revolution

The RCIT and the al-Sisi coup in Egypt

The RCIT are not so good on coups which involve reactionary mass mobilisations. On 2 July 2013 they issued a statement on the situation in Egypt. On the following day al-Sisi launched his coup. This statement was full of wild enthusiasm for the revolution then unfolding in Egypt, which was victorious the following day with the accession of the revolutionary General al-Sisi!! Under the heading ‘A New Revolutionary Wave’ counterrevolution was mistaken for revolution because the mobilisation was reportedly 15-17 million strong. The fact that these demonstrations were sponsored and/or supported by Egyptian billionaires, by the Army, by Israel and the CIA counted for nothing against such numbers:

The current revolutionary wave is the largest mobilization of the workers and the poor so far. Not tens of thousands as the supporters of Morsi hoped, not one million as the organizers hoped, but 15-17 millions took to the streets in different cities on 30th June! These cities did not only include Cairo, Alexandria or Suez but also for example the industrial proletarian stronghold of Mahalla where hundreds of thousands of workers were gathered at Al-Shoun Square.

Before, Morsi said that there would not be a second revolution in Egypt, but by the end of the day he was hiding while anger against Morsi swept the streets. At least seven people were killed and more than 600 wounded in clashes between the pro and anti-Morsi groups. Former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Tharwat Kherbawi said that President Mohamed Morsi is hiding now in an undisclosed location, in preparation for his escape out of the country. While Morsi declares no revolution will take place five Ministers deserted him. The rats are leaving the sinking boat. One year in power has been sufficient to expose the nature of Morsi regime. It showed to be a bourgeois regime in religious cloth, serving the imperialists and the local capitalists as well as an ally of Israel (as was Mubarak before Morsi). On June 30 different marches met in Tharir Square. The fact that the revolutionary masses took over Tahrir square is by itself an indicator of the relationship of forces in favour of the revolution. The march from Giza was led by Nasserite presidential candidate Hamdeen Sa-bahi and the Kamal Abou Eita, the leader of the newly formed Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions. This march merged with another one led by liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. [11]

It did note a few political problems with these demonstrations but nevertheless it was almost certain, we felt, that these problems would be overcome in the course of the ‘revolution’. Certainly the Revolutionary Socialists had crossed the line by joining an actual bourgeois alliance rather than by only collapsing politically to it as the RCIT did:

The lack of such a party is clearly visibly if one looks to those forces which claim to be revolutionary and pro-working class. The Revolutionary Socialists (sister organization of the British SWP) is part of the bourgeois-dominated alliance National Salvation Front. The RCIT is of the opinion that while it is necessary to take part in joint actions with those forces – even if they are bourgeois – who lead sectors of the rebellious masses against the Morsi regime, it is a betrayal to the principles of working class independence to join a political alliance with them.

So while it is correct to march with the June 30 coordination committee – including the forces of the Nasserite Hamdeen Sabahi and the bourgeois-liberal ElBaradei – as part of a united front, the question is which class will lead this revolution. This magnificent show of the power of the masses must not be wasted by the bourgeois leaders of the Salvation Front who simply want to take the place of Morsi in order to do the same-serving the imperialists and the local capitalist.

Surely it was not a united front it you allied with the likes of the ‘bourgeois-liberal ElBaradei’, unless you could portray him as some king of principled anti-imperialist, which clearly he was not. Such alliances are called Popular Fronts. Some six weeks later, on 14 August, the RCIT defended its stance of 2 July:

The protests against the al-Sisi regime are currently led by the Bourgeois-Islamist leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. The RCIT does not support in any way the politics of this party. Quite the opposite, the RCIT supported the mass protests against the Morsi government on 30th June and before. These protests were progressive because the workers and poor fought for bread and democratic freedom against the bourgeois-democratically elected Morsi government. However, the military coup created a completely new situation. The army command takeover was thoroughly counter-revolutionary albeit it claimed to be related to the 30th June demonstration. In fact, this claim was nothing but a fig leaf for the army command, the imperialists and the fulool (remnant of the Mubarak regime) to take power directly in their hands and to start an anti-democratic rollback. [12]

Oh dear! A good attempt as damage limitation but what a disastrous error! The ‘protests’ produced the coup, were part of the preparation for it, were consciously organised and orcastrated by the Army and the CIA and bankrolled by billionaire Naguib Sawiris to enable the coup. The claim that the coup and the protests were unrelated is nonsense on stilts. The fact that the counter-revolution encountered no resistance from the bogus ‘revolution’ shows that unquestionably they were the same thing!

Kudos to the RCIT for recognising it as a counter-revolutionary coup, others on the far left, like Rob Sewell, of Socialist Appeal/IMT and the Revolutionary Socialists/SWP and the WRP News Line refused to do even that; it was a stolen revolution! [13] [14] But mistaking a counterrevolution for a revolution is as bad as you can get; being unable to correct the error means that the method that produced has not been reassessed and it will be repeated. They were also in good company on Libya and Syria but some on the left were more sensible, like the CWI, and rowed back on Syria when that ‘revolution’ proved to have no revolutionary programme, leadership or followers and was only a ‘revolution’ because Barak Obama and David Cameron said so. On 12 June 2013 in Syria threatens sectarian middle east war Peter Taaffe wrote:

Initially there was a popular uprising of ‘hundreds of communities’ in Syria, inspired by the ‘Arab Spring’, against the monstrous police state of Assad. Previously, there had been movements of trade unions and workers against reductions in living standards and the privatisations carried out by Assad. It appeared in the first instance that a genuine movement had developed against a dictatorial regime and, moreover, one striving to bridge the divide between the majority Sunni population and the country’s minorities, including the biggest minority, the Alawites (a branch of the Shias) to which Assad belongs. But this changed with the outside intervention of the reactionary forces opposed to revolution in the region – notably the semi-feudal monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar – backed up by imperialist forces. They hoped to repeat their success in Bahrain and particularly in the derailing of the Libyan revolution. [15]

Of course the Benghazi rebels never led any kind of a revolution nor was any ‘revolution’ advancing in Syria, it was merely a legitimate struggle for democratic rights at the start, but such pragmatic accommodation to the facts from the CWI is the least we might expect from Marxists. The RCIT are even now supporting the jihadist ‘revolution’ in Syria.

Notes

[1] Financial Times 29 June 2016, Russia and Turkey seek to repair ties after Putin and Erdogan phone call, Kremlin raises prospects of lifting sanctions after downing of warplane, https://next.ft.com/content/210057f2-3df6-11e6-8716-a4a71e8140b0

[2] The Kurdish Question, 04/07/2016, Turkey Seeking Rapprochement With Syrian Regime, http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3268-turkey-seeking-rapprochement-with-syrian-regime

[3] The Economist 15 July: What is the Turkish for rapprochement? Turkey is suddenly making friends, not enemies, President Erdogan’s attitudes to Israel, Russia and Syria have undergone a sudden reset. http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21702311-president-erdogans-attitudes-israel-russia-and-syria-have-undergone-sudden-reset-turkey

[4] Statement by the Liaison Committee for the Fourth In-ternational:13-7-2015, https://socialistfight.com/2015/07/13/defend-kurdish-right-to-to-self-determination-no-self-determination-for-islamic-state/

[5] Joint statement of Dördüncü Blok (Turkey) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT/DKUE), http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defeat-the-coup-in-turkey/

[6] Ibid.

[7] CIA admits role in 1953 Iranian coup, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup

[8] RCIT, Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers, A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-china-and-russia/

[9] Russia and China are NOT Imperialist States, Statement by the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International on the US/EU/Nato attack on the Ukraine, https://socialistfight.com/2014/06/19/russia-and-china-are-not-imperialist-states-statement-by-the-liaison-committee-for-the-fourth-international-on-the-useunato-attack-on-the-ukraine/

[10] Reply by the LCFI to the Resignation of Laurence Humphries from the Socialist Fight Group/LCFI, https://socialistfight.com/2015/03/05/reply-by-the-lcfi-to-the-resignation-of-laurence-humphries-from-the-socialist-fight-grouplcfi/

[11] RCIT: Tasks of the Revolution in Egypt, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tasks-of-egypt-revolution/

[12] Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14.8.2013, Egypt: International Solidarity against the Army Crackdown! http://www.thecommunists.net, http://the-isleague.com/egypt-coup-14-8-2013/

[13] Gerry Downing 15/9/2013, The Morsi Coup and The Left, https://socialistfight.com/2013/09/15/the-mosi-coup-and-the-left-by-gerry-downing/

[14] Socialist Fight, 22/7/2013, Egypt; the coup that wasn’t a coup and the revolution that wasn’t a revolution Turn to the mass organisations of the working class! https://socialistfight.com/2013/07/22/egypt-the-coup-that-wasnt-a-coup-and-the-revolution-that-wasnt-a-revolution-turn-to-the-mass-organisations-of-the-working-class/

[15] Peter Taaffe, Syria threatens sectarian middle east war, Urgent need for independent working class socialist organisations, http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/keyword/Committee_for_a_Workers_International/article/16870/12-06-2013/syria-threatens-sectarian-middle-east-war . ▲

2 thoughts on “The Dördüncü Blok and the RCIT

  1. […] [2] The Dördüncü Blok and the RCIT on 29 September, LCFI Statement 25/7/2016, Extract, https://socialistfight.com/2016/09/29/the-dorduncu-blok-and-the-rcit/ […]

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  2. […] [2] Le Dördüncü Blok et le RCIT le 29 septembre, Déclaration LCFI 25/7/2016, Extrait, https://socialistfight.com/2016/09/29/the-dorduncu-blok-and-the-rcit/ […]

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