SF36 Editorial: Fight for revolutionary leadership globally

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02/12/2020 by socialistfight

Socialist Fight has indicated its absolute dedication to defending the heritage of the Russian Revolution as the single greatest liberating act in human history against Third Wordists (pages 8, 9) and its unyielding opposition to fascism (pages 22, 23, 24). In Russia in October 1917 the oppressed working class and peasants, inspired by the great Bolshevik leadership, reached out to lead workers and poor of the entire planet to win the realisation of the real human essence as Marx identified it; we are co-operative co-producers who must closely collaborate with our fellow human beings in taking from nature what we need to live.

Capitalism is the last form of class society historically, and the most brutal and exploitative. The social relations engendered by its means of production produced Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco pre-WWII and now the neo-liberalism of Regan and Thatcher is morphing into the far right populism of Trump, Johnson and Marcon in the imperialist world.

They rely on their closest clients, Bolsonaro, Modi and Ramaphosa in the semi-colonial world. Putin, Xi (like their Stalinist predecessors in this respect) and Iran’s Rouhani/ Khamenei, are the main targets of the global hegemonic imperialist power, the USA. Although they are themselves brutal oppressive dictatorships, we are nevertheless obliged to give them unconditional but critical support against imperialism itself, the main enemy.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,  London – Henry Goodman as Arturo Ui – Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Fascism looms again

The words of Bertolt Brecht in 1941, implicitly against Hitler, resonate again today:

“Don’t yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!

Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,

The bitch that bore him is on heat again.”

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, epilogue.

2020 was heralded in by the defeat of  Labour  in December, the resignation of Jeremy Corbyn and the victory of the right-winger Kier Starmer,  Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension, his reinstatement by the NEC and Starmer’s subsequent withdrawal of the whip are examples of the  working class leadership crisis (pages 12, 13). He famously indicated left to get elected and then turned sharply right, using the bogus charge of anti-Semitism against his opponents on the left, sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey from his shadow cabinet embarking on the turbo-charges witchhunt of the Labour left on bogus charges of anti-Semitism (pages 14, 15)

Likewise, the defeat of Bernie Saunders in the Democrat primaries, although Marxists did not champion his cause. Nevertheless, they did aim to influence his left-moving supporters. This also indicated a move to the right in sections of the middle and working classes (pages 7, 18). As whole sections of capitalist society shifted right outright fascists groups began to appear in imperialist countries, not least in the USA.

In this polarising struggle for revolutionary leadership Socialist Fight has suffered the same fate as many left groups over the last year or so. We were forced to split with Ian Donovan and his followers at the start of the year and now we have been obliged to do the same with our former comrade in the Netherlands. The issues are essentially the same; minimising the rise of and dangers of fascism.

For Donovan the “Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie” constitute the main threat to the working class internationally; fascism is a lesser evil. Labour is not now a ‘Zionist-Labour party’ as he claims; it remains a bourgeois-workers party and we must still vote for it in the absence of a revolutionary or class-based centrist party.

The definite point of rupture was his defending Gilead Atzmon characterising the Russian Revolution as “a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy”.

Atzmon also defended Stalin against Trotsky and socialist revolution and he gloried in his anti-Semitism by recognising that “Stalin insisted eventually to give Russia back to the Russians and this clearly made some people upset … Stalin’s paranoia – he knew what he was up against.” He was up against “the Jews” of course. The following 2003 quote from Atzmon makes clear his fascist sympathies:

“Fascism, I believe, more than any other ideology, deserves our attention, as it was an attempt to integrate Left and Right: the dream and the concrete into a unified political system. … It was “overwhelmingly popular and productive for a while because it managed to bridge the abyss between the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘actual.’ And it is to our detriment that, in the post-WWII ‘liberal’ intellectual climate, it is politically impossible to examine centrisfascism and ‘National Socialism’ from an impartial theoretical or philosophical perspective… stifling honest examination of National Socialism has left open the question of whether the problems of global capitalism may be alleviated by combining socialism with nationalism (my emphasis).” (Being in Time p. 26).

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in February this year Wilhelm Speklin has become persuaded by conspiracy theories; it is all a ‘Plandemic’, that there is no need for lockdowns, for masks, for socialist distancing or for a vaccine to combat Covid-19 (pages 18, 19, 20). There was a point of no return when he began openly advocating alliances with the far right and actual fascists to combat the “Plandemic”.

The Workers League (Australia) has a very orthodox-seeming Trotskyist programme but has a red-brown Strasserite (the ‘left wing’ of the Nazis, eliminated by Hitler in the ‘night of the long knives’, June 30 1934) position on Covid-19. He changed the name of the Facebook group he administrates from Socialist Fight (Netherlands), to Workers League (Netherlands) to remove all doubt of his reactionary allegiances. This is a shocking, fascistic extract from the Workers League website:

“Without pigeon-holing any individual, there is a moderate wing which favours lobbying parliamentarians, a President Trump supporting wing which includes QAnon followers, a wing concerned about forced vaccinations and the potential effects of 5G telecommunications infrastructure, and a wing rightly concerned about civil liberties and privacy.

Revolutionaries are faced with the dual task of uniting all wings of the anti-lockdown movement, while simultaneously seeking to win the most pro-working class elements over to the side of socialism – despite prevalent suspicion as to its historical and current forms.” (our emphasis)

Crisis of Working class leadership

In contrast to this the Labour Left Alliance castigates “the Spineless Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs” but fails to fight for revolutionary leadership by omitting to point to the spinelessness of Jeremy Corbyn himself. A ‘decent man’ who agreed to knife and expel all his own strongest supporters and defend and promote his bitterest enemies in the name of ‘unity’ as exemplified by his failure to pursue disciplinary action against the rightist Zionist Margaret Hodge MP who called him a “fucking anti-semite and racist,” in the House of Commons. That approach could not work (page 4).

The British working class cannot break its own chains unless it ceases to support its own ruling class in its predatory wars and adventures abroad to secure the booty of empire which historically have bought off the aristocracy of labour in alliance with the corrupt trade union bureaucracy. The reformist bureaucracy is ideologically defended by the counter-revolutionary role of Stalinism in the workers’ movement and the role of Trotskyist centrist in defending imperialism (pages 16, 17).

 Nowhere do these defend imperialism more supinely than on Ireland. British socialist must champion the cause of Irish self-determination as a 32-county Workers Republic (pages 10, 11).

Absolutely central to building a revolutionary leadership in the class in the tradition of the Russian Revolution is to identify the class nature of modern society and who is the revolutionary class. We Are Always for a Labour Movement Orientation (pages 5, 6) examines the central task of Marxists today; to engage the working class in struggle in its own organisations, on four levels, philosophically, ideologically, politically, and organisationally. ▲

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