The Spartacists’ collapse into Strasserite Trumpism

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20/09/2022 by socialistfight

“No more fucking lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands”

The Sparts’ ‘syphilitic chain’ includes the RCG and the YCL; in reality the Sparts have become Strasserite Trump supporters.

Introduction

The Covid-19 pandemic began in China’s Wuhan province in November 2019 and quickly spread from there worldwide because of a refusal of governments to take adequate precautions in time. In April 2021 Boris Johnson made his opposition to Covid-19 lockdowns clear; “no more fucking lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands” he ranted before reluctantly succumbing to pressure and approving England’s second lockdown. His opposition to lockdowns was the same politically as that of Donald Trump in the US and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil; defence of the profits of capitalism against the cost of defending the health of the public at large. All three contracted the virus, which also partially explains their subsequent limited concessions.

This approach resulted in Britain initially having the highest Covid death rate in Europe. The British Medical Journal informed us that, “by midway through last year (posted 26 June 2021 – SF) the UK had the highest cumulative excess mortality rate in Europe of 6.7% across all age groups.” [1]

The death rates did not begin to recover until vaccines became available in Britain first in December 2020 and thence in the imperialist counties only and then very partially later in the global south; the profit-hungry drugs companies refused to make the patented vaccines freely available to them. China was only able partially to fill the gap by making its own less effective vaccine available to them.

At over one million dead the USA follows Peru, Mexico and Brazil for huge death rates that resulted in refusal to lockdown in time and for long enough. There is no doubt that these figures would have easily doubled had there been no lockdowns; herd immunity as against zero Covid is a no-brainer.

Life expectancy in the USA has declined significantly in the last half-decade, not just from the pandemic but also the brutal austerity attacks on the working class and poor. This is in contrasts to its rise in China. The death rate from the virus in China was minuscule compared to the US and Europe. By the end of 2021 China’s life expectancy at birth was higher than that of the USA.

The Collapse to the Strasserite Right of the US SWP (Barnsites)

The left has widely commented on the political collapse of the US SWP, (which was personally tutored by Leon Trotsky from January 1937 to his assassination on 20 August 1940) under Jack Barnes. Again and again they pitch to backward Trump supporters; attacking the #MeToo feminists and the Black Lives Matter movements on his behalf and now defending Trump against the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago Florida fortress. This is their blatant right wing rant, going so far as to attack the “Never-Trump Republicans” who are witch hunting poor Donald!:

“The Aug. 8 FBI armed raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is the latest move by the President Joseph Biden administration, fellow Democrats and a coterie of Never-Trump Republicans in their over-six-year witch hunt — and is one of the most dangerous for the working class. The blatantly unconstitutional break-in and seizure of the files of the former president sets a precedent that will be used to target workers and our unions as we fight for better wages and conditions and take steps to organize independently of the bosses’ Democratic and Republican parties.” [2]

We have no difficulty in identifying that comment as Strasserite, in the political tradition of the left wing Nazis with the support of backward workers – the ‘lumpen proletariat’ as Marx referred to them. Otto and Gregor Strasser identified finance capital as the main enemy and sought to rid capitalism of this force which was causing all the trouble. They claimed finance capital was controlled by Jews so socialism could only come about by eliminating the Jews. The Spartacist Educational (not a front for the Spartacists, see below – SF) tells us:

“Adolf Hitler was highly suspicious of the brothers and disapproved of their socialist views. On 14th February, 1926, at the NSDAP (Nazi) annual conference, Gregor Strasser called for the destruction of capitalism in any way possible, including cooperation with the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union (in fact with Stalin, who had effectively eliminated the Bolshevik tradition by then – SF). At the conference Joseph Goebbels supported Strasser but once he realised the majority supported Hitler over Strasser, he changed sides. From this point on Strasser began to call Goebbels “the scheming dwarf” … On 30th June 1934 (Hitler had been in power since 30 January 1933 – SF) Gregor Strasser was arrested by the Gestapo as part of the purge of the socialists (the Night of the Long Knives, June 29 to July 2 1934). He was taken to Gestapo Headquarters where he was shot in the back of the head.”[3]

Otto escaped to the west and died peacefully in 1974. Our ‘revolutionary socialist’ Trump supporters might take warning what happens to the “socialist fascists” once the fascist state is firmly established and the Gestapo, the state police killers, given free rein. The leaders of the Strasserites and the brownshirt fascist street thugs were killed because they had become an embarrassment and were no longer needed. Ernst Röhm, co-founder of the SA [4] with Hitler in 1921 and SA Chief of Staff under him from 1931-34 was killed by the Gestapo on July 1; Joseph Goebbels and others persuaded Hitler to abandon his initial attempts to save him. Goebbels had propagated the lie that there had been a “Röhm-Putsch” and publicised his homosexuality, all the top Nazis knew about it but the public did not.

The wider political influence of the US SWP and the Sparts

We were alerted to a more widespread political collapse by a Facebook thread where David Walters (who does sterling work on the Marxists Internet Archive), whilst rejecting the  US SWP Militant claim that the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago was ‘unconstitutional’, euphemistically referred to “the militant minority of Trump voters”:

David Walters to John Homes: “I “suspect” that the BS (bullshit) “unprecedented” refers to one thing: a legal, inline-with-the-4th Amendment search of Trump’s residence was applied to an ex-president. That’s it. The Militant outright *lies* about the use of the search warrant, a method of “discovery”, often abused by the State, but considered “Constitutional” by those that are tasked with deciding what is constitutional: the Supreme Court of the U.S. As you (John Homes) noted this is just an appeal to the militant minority of Trump voters.”

Gerry Downing objected immediately:

Gerry Downing to David Walters: “Who are outright fascists. I think we should take self-declared fascists at their words and referring to them as a “militant minority of Trump voters” evades this very obvious fact. The Trump majority are obviously moving rightwards rapidly, emboldening the fascists.”

John Homes to Gerry Downing: “Trump voters, militant or otherwise, are rarely self-declared fascists. Even the Promise Keepers do not admit to being fascists, though they are. Patriot Prayer are, but they are a pretty discredited bunch, after their leader claiming that hey, they weren’t trying to take over the Capitol, they just followed the crowds. I’m sure the ghosts of Hitler and Mussolini were sneering.”

Walters’ and Homes’ claim that Trump’s ‘stolen election’ attack on the Capitol on January 6 2020 was not serious and had no support from the military is just a defence of his attempted coup, which will surely come again if he, or a proxy, stands and loses in 2024. Why were the National Guard troops from an armory just two miles away from the Capitol not deployed for four hours whilst the attack on the Capitol took place?

Vice president Mike Pence and others only just escaped with their lives. Five, including a policeman, died during the assault. Had Black Lived Matter or militant workers stormed it undoubtedly they would have been in place for hours (it was openly planned for several days on easily accessible online media) and would have opened deadly fire on them long before they got anywhere near the place.

The Spartacist magazine, No 67, August 2022, table of contents

The Collapse to the Strasserite Right of the Spartacists (Robertsonites, International Communist League)

1.      The Lockdown

This descent into Trumpism is very clear in the latest issue of the Spartacist magazine (No 67, August 2022 and in the previous issue of the British section, Workers Hammer, No, 274, Winter 2021-22).

The British publication was the first in two years and the US Workers Vanguard had likewise ceased publication whilst factions fought out internal disagreements. The outcome was a full overturn of the previous central committees and line on lockdown, vaccines, China, Donald Trump and the Canadian fascistic Truckers’ blockade on January-February 2022.

On lockdown they are totally opposed, meaning they are attacking Johnson, Trump and Bolsonaro from the right. There is no doubt that if this line was adopted from the beginning the death rates would have at least more than doubled in the west. But their article on China’s pandemic record zooms off into outer space politically:

“The CCP has indeed been successful in keeping the death rate low. But what this statistic hides is the real horror caused by the bureaucracy’s policies. It conceals the hundreds of millions locked up in their homes for weeks on end without proper food, medication or other basic necessities. Hospitals overflowing, refusing treatment, with medical staff pressed to the extreme limit. Imprisonment in Kafkaesque quarantine centers, separating families, including children from their parents. Workers chained to their machines and locked up in factories. Unemployment and the devastation of small businesses. Widespread censorship and arrest of anyone who dares question any of this. And all done in the name of building “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” which can only contribute to discrediting socialism in the eyes of workers and the poor and help the camp of counterrevolution.” [5]

The total number of deaths in China is 25,491 according to the World Health Organisation, 15,000 according to John Hopkins University, or 5,226 according to Our World in Data. If China had adopted the Spart’s line of no lockdown that it would have resulted in some 9 million deaths on the reasonable assumption that without lockdowns the US would have had 2 million dead. That would not have been “the real horror” visited on these unfortunate people, no, they were “imprisonment in Kafkaesque quarantine centers”, dreadfully inconvenienced but, irrelevantly from the Sparts view, STILL ALIVE! Of course if there were Sparts on the ground in China with authority and they began to implement that deadly perspective they would be quickly slaughtered by angry mobs.

The Sparts defend the fascistic Canadian Truckers’ protest backed by every reactionary on the planet including Trump and the fascist Proud Boys.
 

2.     The Canadian Truckers

The second outrageous article is that on the Canadian Truckers “Freedom Convoy” earlier in 2022. Let us firstly see who supported this blockade. A statement from the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) says the following:

A statement from President Trump, Chairman of TMTG
Facebook and Big Tech are seeking to destroy the Freedom Convoy of Truckers. The Freedom Convoy is peacefully protesting the harsh policies of far left lunatic Justin Trudeau who has destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates. Now, thankfully, the Freedom Convoy could be coming to DC with American Truckers who want to protest Biden’s ridiculous Covid policies. Facebook is canceling the accounts of Freedom Convoy USA, and GoFundMe is denying access to funds that belong to the Freedom Convoy. This is unacceptable and extremely dangerous in any country that values free expression. TruthSocial is announcing today that we are welcoming the Freedom Convoy with open arms to communicate freely on TruthSocial when we launch – coming very soon! TruthSocial will fight back against Big Tech so we can protect our rights to free expression. Also, on top of everything, it is big news that Facebook daily users went down for the first time ever, people are tired of biased social media like Twitter and Facebook, and it’s showing in their numbers!  [6]

Encouraged by Trump’s support the Sparts issued their statement, Canada: Labour Must Defend the Truckers! (Spartacist) 21 Feb 2022. They are outraged at:

“This is the backdrop to the truckers’ convoy on Ottawa, which has become a lightning rod for widespread discontent in society … the New Democratic Party and the reformist left immediately went into hysterical overdrive. Their propaganda barrage which portrays anybody participating in anti-government demonstrations as “far-right extremists” is but a lie to justify cracking down on them. What has pushed thousands of people in major cities to come out in protests is not “racism,” a “far-right agenda” or (as tinfoiled-hatted liberals would have it) a “U.S.-funded coup,” but the totally legitimate anger against the social disaster created by the bourgeoisie’s health measures … Outrageously, the loudest voices in the hysterical campaign against the truckers and protesters have come from the NDP and their fake-socialist left tails such as Fightback, Socialist Action and the Communist Party of Canada, which have pushed for more state repression.” [7]

But what were the “amorphous and non-proletarian expressions” exactly? Those of Donald Trump, MAGA (far right) Republicans and Fox News, to mention a few. The People’s World, the Stalinist US Communist party, tells us the truth about this in some detail in their article of February 8, 2022, Canada convoy protest a truckload of anti-vax and white supremacist BS. In it they reveal that crowd funding brought in over $10 million in a matter of days. But GoFundMe got cold feet and closed the account on February 4 because it was “no longer a peaceful demonstration”:

“Conservative outlets like Fox News in the U.S. and Rebel News and the Toronto Sun in Canada, meanwhile, act as the protest’s media arms … In the meantime a new fundraising page has launched on the “Christian” crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo with a goal of collecting $16 million. GiveSendGo is the same site previously used to funnel money to defend Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who in 2020 murdered two men during protests against racist police killings in Kenosha, Wisc. It’s also one of the preferred fundraising tools of the white supremacist Proud Boys, who played a role in the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol … Some of the leading lights of the capitalist class also chimed in with their wholehearted backing, Tesla boss Elon Musk among them.” [8]

Conclusion

There are images of the truckers’ protesters and supporters waving Confederate flags, giving the stiff-arm Nazi salutes and attacking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau obviously from the right. There are two advanced imperialist countries where the threat of fascism looms large right now; the USA and Italy. In an article in Weekly Worker Michael Roberts tells us:

“The UN has also developed an inequality-adjusted HDI, [10] where the degree of inequality of income is fed into the HDI to change the outcome. Every country has a degree of inequality. But some are much worse than others. Among the G7 economies, the level of inequality in the US and Italy is so high that it reduces the HDI in those two countries by over 11% and knocks them even further down the table.” [11]

Both the US SWP and the Sparts are purveyors of conspiracy theories with a left wing gloss. From the original small anti-lockdown movement promoted by Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, the fruitcake Pierre, it has morphed into a substantial global phenomenon, now merged with the anti-vaccine movement. The US SWP follows this line to the end but the Sparts are for “mandatory vaccination i.e., being forced to get a jab in your arm … it is in the interest of the working class that everyone on earth be vaccinated against Covid­-19.” The demand is obviously placed on the capitalist state who would not dream of forcing the vaccine on anyone if they had the power will to them by the Sparts! This is totally at odds with the bogus brouhaha by the Sparts against their former comrades in the Internationalist Group (League for the Fourth International) for raising the slogan; “jail the killer cops” which they said was fostering illusions in the capitalist state. They had to shut up when the capitalist state actually did jail some killer cops!

And here we get that ridiculous pseudo dialectical nonsense, an irreconcilable contradiction so beloved of old Uncle Joe Stalin:

“But we oppose its enforcement through policies which attack the working class in the name of vaccination. We oppose Trudeau’s imposition of vaccine mandates on the trucking industry, which would condemn unvaccinated truckers to lose their ability to make a living, just as we oppose similar measures against nurses and other workers.” [12]

So doctors, nurses and care home staff should not be vaccinated compulsorily, and should be allowed to infect their patients at will. Of course we must demand such foolish people are removed from frontline care, not sacked but reassigned to roles that do not deal directly with the public. As for the fascistic Canadian Truckers they must not be compulsorily vaccinated either, lest their service to Donald Trump be impeded. Of course it should go without saying that these Canadian Truckers did not support actual striking truckers in the US and Canada. Al Jazeera reports:

“A spokesperson of the United Trucking Association of British Columbia (BC), on Canada’s west coast, told Al Jazeera that, for example, there is a need for a “legislated rate” for truckers – or a minimum wage specific to the industry … In BC, if you are a strawberry picker or apple picker, there are specific guaranteed rates. There is nothing similar that exists for truckers,” Gagan Singh said from Vancouver. “There is not a single question about this real issue from those folks [protesting in Ottawa],” he added. [13]

Finally it should be noted that fascism’s first aim is to eliminate the organisations of the working class, all of them; right, centre, left reformist and revolutionary. The fascist leaders are not stupid thugs; they learn from the history of Nazism and fascism in general, they know that the trade unions are defence organisations of the working class so they seek to portray them as traitors to the nation who are merely the corporate arm of the capitalist state which is oppressing us all:

“On October 9, nearly 10,000 people – anti-vaccine protesters and critics of the government’s pandemic policies – gathered at Piazza del Popolo in Rome … They stormed into the headquarters of the major Italian trade union Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) with almost no opposition from the police and ransacked the building. In the clashes that followed, 38 police officers were injured and 12 people were arrested.” [14]

Of course the trade union bureaucracy of the CGIL, TUC, AFL-CIO etc. are defenders of capitalism in general but to portray the organisations as a whole as “fully integrated into the apparatus of corporate management and the state” is to believe that fascism has already triumphed, as David North’s World Socialist Web Site/Social Equality parties in a few countries foolishly believe. “The Socialist Equality Party calls for a rebellion against and break with these corrupt organisations” they say, as did Hitler before them, Forza Nuova (New Force, who led the assault) in Italy and all fascists do today. [15] They have junked to old Trotskyism of the 1938 Transitional Programme.

The rising militancy of the working class in all countries now is faced with the rising militancy of the far right. Those battles are close at hand and the solution to the trade unions bureaucracy’s abject capitulation to the capitalist establishment, as seen in the disgraceful calling off of strikes and the TUC conference due to the death of the queen, is the building of rank and file movements WITHIN the trade unions, as we saw in the Grass Roots Left that arose in Jerry Hicks challenges for general secretary of Unite in 2010 and 2013. The US SWP and the Sparts-ICL have no orientation to the head of the working class in struggle at all; they follow and seek to lead its rump as the Strassers did; the Trump-supporting lumpen proletariat. 

Fascists planing to look like ordinary workers, ‘tradies’.

Notes

[1] British Medical Journal, 23 March 2021, Covid-19: UK had one of Europe’s highest excess death rates in under 65s last year, https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n799

[2] The Militant, Terry Evans, Vol. 86/No. 32, September 5, 2022, Democrats, FBI attack against Trump is threat to working class, https://tinyurl.com/4khx53m9

[3] Spartacist Educational, Otto Strasser, https://spartacus-educational.com/Otto_Strasser.htm

[4] Wikipedia, Sturmabteilung, Storm Section, brownshirts, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung#Leadership

[5] Spartacist English edition No. 67, August 2022, Pandemic in China, Trotskyism vs. Stalinism, https://www.icl-fi.org/english/esp/67/china/

[6] Filed by Digital World Acquisition Corp, February 4, 2020,

Pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act of 1933, https://sec.report/Document/1849635/000119312522031023/d299769d425.htm

[7] Ibid, page 7, February 21 2022, Canada: Labour Must Defend the Truckers!, https://tinyurl.com/3xrjbzbe,

[8] Peoples World, February 8, 2022 C.J. Atkins, Canada convoy protest a truckload of anti-vax and white supremacist BS, https://tinyurl.com/u5sf6u8e

[9] Ibid.

[10] Wikipedia, Human Development Index: The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and per capita income indicators, which is used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores a higher level of HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher. It was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and was further used to measure a country’s development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Report Office. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

[11] Weekly Worker, Michael Roberts, September 15 2022, Measure for measure, Michael Roberts looks at the appalling life expectancy and human development figures in the 21st century, https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1410/measure-for-measure/

[12] Spartacist English edition No. 67

[13] Al Jazeera, Usaid Siddiqui, Febuary 18 2022, Canada border blockades, protests ‘nothing to do with trucking, Canadian truckers tell Al Jazeera protests against COVID-19 restrictions are distracting attention from real challenges they face. A vast majority of Canadian truckers, approximately 90 percent according to the government and an industry group, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/18/canada-border-blockades-protests-nothing-to-do-with-trucking

[14] Peoples Dispatch, Maurizio Coppola, October 17, 2021, The fascist assault on a union in Italy: Some thoughts, https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/10/17/the-fascist-assault-on-a-union-in-italy-some-thoughts/

[15] See: Statement of Principles of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), During this process, they (the trade unions) have been fully integrated into the apparatus of corporate management and the state … the Socialist Equality Party calls for a rebellion against and break with these corrupt organisations , https://www.wsws.org/en/special/pages/sep/uk/statementofprinciples.html

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