15/08/2018 by socialistfight
Towards the end of the International Perspectives we established the global hegemonic position of the USA, its great finance capital institutions in Wall Street and its allied transnational corporations with corresponding military might to defend the dollar as the world’s trading and reserve currency. For all British workers and those in the metropolitan centres of global imperialism and primarily their vanguard who aspire to lead them in revolution or struggle for radical change opposition we must take as our guiding principle the following quotes from Trotsky:
“The struggle against war and its social source, capitalism, presupposes direct, active, unequivocal support to the oppressed colonial peoples in their struggles and wars against imperialism. A ‘neutral’ position is tantamount to support of imperialism.”
“The struggle against war, properly understood and executed, presupposes the uncompromising hostility of the proletariat and its organizations, always and everywhere, toward its own and every other imperialist bourgeoisie.”
Both from Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau (July 1936).
Morally Assad, Gadhafi and Saddam were no better than imperialism, although their crimes were but a tiny fraction of the crimes of imperialism. US-dominated global imperialism is still the main, central enemy of all humanity. Stalin slaughtered the entire generation that fought and won the Russian Revolution to appease imperialism, he allied with Britain, France and the USA up to August 1939 on the class collaborationist policy of the Popular Front, then with Adolph Hitler until 22 June 1941, when he invaded the USSR and then again with Roosevelt and Churchill, but Trotsky never wavered in his defence of the USSR.
Imperialism attacked semi-colonies and workers states then and now not because of their alleged ‘crimes’ – only the very naive or the politically pro-imperialist would swallow all that lying propaganda about ‘peace, justice and democracy’ offensive by the imperialist mass media that accompanies all invasion and attempts at regime change directly or by proxy – that has always been the hall mark of imperialism both in its pre-imperialist colonial phase and in its present imperialist neo-colonial phase.
No, it is the economies of these countries they wish to capture and dominate by their finance capitalists and transnational corporations to extract the surplus values directly to imperial9ism and deny it to the national bourgeoisie in the semi-colonies. The bourgeois nationalists collaborate with imperialists, become their agents when they can but when imperialism directly attacks them they are obliged to fight for their lives and therefore for what remains of the sovereignty of the nation they rule. Ans as with the Nazis in 1939: “Who marches in with the first German tank? / Herr Director Rasche from the Dresden Bank”
Therefore, support for Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria necessarily means support for the rulers of these lands against imperialism when and in so far as they fight imperialism. It does contradict those who say you must make a political and uncritical defence of these rulers and their politics. Trotsky defended the USSR against imperialist attack despite the crime of Stalin because he defended the remaining gains of the Russian Revolution in its nationalised property relations.
The same principle applies to semi-colonial world – against US imperialism, still the global hegemon and its subordinate EU/Japanese etc. imperialisms always, with the semi-colonial bourgeois in defence of the remaining sovereignty of the nation and with the petty bourgeois nationalists only when they fight imperialism – NOT with the ‘peace-process’ ones who sell out and betray their own people with the lie that this will stop the imperialist offensive. We are not afraid of exposing the vacillations of Gerry Adams, Nelson Mandela, Abdullah Öcalan, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, Chavez, Castro or Kim Jong-un, just as Trotsky before us was not afraid of exposing the crimes of Stalin. That is the principle of the United Front and the Anti-Imperialist United Front (AIUF).
Many amongst the populations of these lands are well aware of the crimes of their leaders. Assad is relatively popular because the Syrian masses do not want to fall victim to a far worse fate; there was never any kind of a ‘democratic revolution’ on offer in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria. The majority of the population of Syria knew that, and they correctly chose the best option. Those that demand the overthrow of Assad are, in reality, demanding the victory of barbaric Sharia law. If the US/UK bombing had gone ahead in 2013, and it nearly did, thwarted only by 13 votes in the House of Commons and the opposition of the House of Representatives in the US because of the mass popular opposition, ISIS would then have conquered the whole of Syria and have moved on from there.
Only by the truth can we make any appeal to the working class in the region and internationally and begin to forge the international that can unite the global working class in all lands to overthrow imperialism internationally. [i]
It is important to abstract the lessons of this struggle over Libya. This defensive concept has a wide application to other similar situations. A defeat of the remaining workers states of North Korea and Cuba, of any other oppressed semi-colonial nations or of any of the guerrilla organisations military fighting Imperialism; Irish Republicans, Colombian FARC, the Taliban, the Iraqi fighters, Maoists in India and Nepal, etc. is a defeat for the global working class in their fight against their own ruling classes; the anti-imperialist struggle is an absolutely essential part of the class struggle.
At the same time, we cannot be identified with those fake Trotskyists like Michel Pablo, Ernest Mandel, Guillermo Lora, Nahuel Moreno, James Cannon, Joseph Hansen, Pierre Lambert, Pierre Frank, Alain Krivine, Gerry Healy etc. who ideologically and politically capitulated to Stalinism and to semi-colonial petty-bourgeois nationalists like Tito, Mao, Ben Bella in Algeria, Peron, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini, etc. and many others. The 1964 entry of the Trotskyist Lanka Sama Samaja Party into the Sri Lanka Freedom Party of Sirimavo Bandaranaike on the false basis that this was a petty bourgeois and not a bourgeois party was a rejection of revolutionary Trotskyism and they were correctly expelled from the ‘Pabloite’ USFI for this betrayal. We must make the class differences in the orientation of our fight against the Imperialism. But we demand critical but unconditional defence of the bureaucratised workers’ states, all oppressed nations and all the guerrilla organizations fighting against Imperialism. This is the touchstone by which we judge all international movements; for or against global finance capitalism, i.e. Imperialism, the prime enemy of all progressive humanity.
Like the early Comintern we regard this as the natural extension of the United Front (UF) tactic in the domestic class struggle; with the trade union and labour movement leaders in struggle against the bosses where possible, without and against them where necessary to carry the struggle to victory. This is the UF from both above and below; demands on the existing misleaders of the working class, independently mobilising their base to set it against the leadership in struggle. As the Fourth Congress of the Comintern in 1922 said:
“Just as in the West the slogan of the workers’ united front has helped and is still helping to expose the social democrats’ sell-out of proletarian interests, so the slogan of an anti-imperialist united front will help to expose the vacillations of the various bourgeois-nationalist groups. This slogan will also help the working masses to develop their revolutionary will and to increase their class consciousness; it will place them in the front ranks of those fighting not only imperialism, but the remnants of feudalism.” [ii]
The capitulation of former leftists to imperialism
The new balance of class forces that the overthrow and murder of Gadhafi revealed saw the wholesale more pronounced capitulation of former leftists to imperialism. We will take but a few which we fought against at the time. And time has vindicated the position of Socialist Fight, the LCFI and the International Socialist League opposition, the ISL (R) and revealed the political stances of the pro-imperialist left as completely false and reactionary.[iii] For instance:
French president Nicolas Sarkozy, NTC head Mustafa Abdel Jalil and British PM David Cameron in Benghazi in September 2011 celebrating the great victory of the Libyan people with the bogus pro-imperialist leftists below.
The IWL (LIT), the South American political followers of the late Nahuel Moreno, produced a statement by the International Secretariat of the IWL-FI, on 24th of August 2011 which proudly headlined:
“Great victory of Libyan people and of the Arab revolution. People in arms demolish the Gaddafi regime!”
And it goes on in nauseating fashion to support this grovelling capitulation to the masters of life until we come to this purple passage explaining in ‘dialectical’ terms how a victory for world Imperialism is, in reality, a victory for the forces of the world revolution, a ‘win-win’ phenomenon:
“…Consequently, Imperialism staked directly on his fall. This is the great contradiction of the process. In the middle of a civil war – an element that did not occur in either Tunisia or in Egypt – Imperialism was compelled to intervene militarily in order to defeat Gaddafi… The contradiction is that, within military scope, there was a United Front between but with directly opposite ultimate aims: the masses wanted to free the country from oppression and Imperialism wanted to stop the revolution so as to be able to keep on looting the wealth of Libya and the Middle East.”
We examined the political shades of differences between the capitulations of the pro-imperialist left; Workers Power, Socialist Resistance, The Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism (USA), (now the Communist Workers Group, USA), the Communist Workers Group (Aotearoa/NZ), Revolutionary Workers Group (Zimbabwe), Revolutionary Communist Organisation for Liberation (RKOB, Austria, now leading the RCIT), the AWL, SWP, the IMT and CWI (Grantites).
CWI/SPEW did not avoid the bitter truth but even so reached the same ridiculous conclusion ‘win-win’, hilarious in their absolutely contradictory ‘dialectics’:
“While many Libyans are celebrating, socialists have to be clear that, unlike the ousting of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, the way in which Gaddafi has been removed means that a victory for the Libyan people was also a success for Imperialism. Without NATO acting as the rebels’ air force or the soldiers, weapons, organisation and training that NATO and some other countries like the feudal Qatar autocracy supplied, Tripoli would not have fallen to the rebels in the way that it has.” (our emphasis)
FLTI, LOI-Argentina, (then allied with the WIVL-SA), was perhaps the most farcical of all in outright lying:
“With the help of the intelligence and logistics for the U.S. Fifth Fleet and the Yankee imperialist army (????) Gadaffi tries to crush the heroic revolutionary upsurge of the masses … These teachers of red Qina Msebenzi, Socialist Fight and the Communist League, want us to believe that imperialism wanted to overthrow their strong man in Libya (!!!!)” (reference Qina Msebenzi, Socialist Fight and Communist League of Brazil march with the imperialist agent Gaddafi against the Libyan masses). “The masses smashed the state Institutions in the East (something which caught imperialism by surprise) and when they were marching on imperialism sent mercenaries from Chad and Niger to prevent Gaddafi from falling.”
[i] The Anti-Imperialist United Front 26-12-2015, https://socialistfight.com/2016/12/26/the-anti-imperialist-united-front-26-12-2015/
[ii] Fourth Congress of the Communist International, Theses on the Eastern Question, 5 December 1922, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/4th-congress/eastern-question.htm
[iii] See The Methodology of the Anti-Imperialist United Front, https://socialistfight.com/2018/06/25/the-methodology-of-the-anti-imperialist-united-front/ Military United Front but no political support for Gaddafi, Socialist Fight 18/3/2011, https://socialistfight.com/2017/11/21/military-united-front-but-no-political-support-for-gaddafi-socialist-fight-18-3-2011/