Why did Trump lose? A materialistic analysis

Humberto Rodriguez

“The 2020 elections bury once and for all the mistaken notion that the 2016 elections were a historic accident, an American freak. Donald Trump won more than 70 million votes, the second largest vote in American history (behind only Joe Biden, who was elected). Nationally, he has more than 47% turnout in his votes and appears to have won 24 states, including his favorite Florida and Texas.” 

BBC, 9 November 2020

First, it should be noted that Trump got more votes now than four years ago. But the BBC explains Trump’s defeat by claiming that “people are tired of his aggressive style,” that is, from the political superstructure and superficially this result without being able to explain its concrete causes.

The election was the most polarized and had the highest participation of any in in U.S. history. 75 million votes for the Democratic nominee, 70 million for the Republican. Although the Democratic victory was inflated by the media, and the difference in delegates in the electoral college was more than 76 votes, in the number of voters the election was hotly contested. 3% was the amount of percentage votes difference. Pro-Biden polls were an instrument of the Democratic election campaign, supported by most of the financial capital and more than 90% of the world’s media monopolies.

Trump got more votes than four years ago, but lost the election because he lost in states with higher proletarian concentration, where he had won in 2016. Trump failed to repatriate industrial production to the country, as he had promised. During the current economic crisis, accentuated by the pandemic, Trump was no longer able to maintain full employment (supported by precarious jobs), which he had managed until 2019. This reflects the political turnaround in the Midwest and the Rust Belt in Biden’s favor. The Democrats recaptured most of the Rust Belt.

Historically loyal to the Democratic Party, or at least since the 1930s, the proletarian electorate of those states voted for Trump in 2016 in reaction to the deindustrialization policy promoted in recent decades by Democrats. Four years ago, the proletariat believed in the promises of the then-outsider tycoon to bring factories and jobs back to that region. The outsider found room to project himself onto the political scene after, in the eyes of the American proletariat, the Democratic and Republican establishment, associated with Wall Street’s financial capital and Silicon Valley’s “new economy,” promoted globalization and financialization.

Until the mid-1970s, 62% of the working class in the U.S. was made up of the industrial proletariat. This huge mass of factory workers was mainly concentrated in the regions of the Great Lakes and Appalachian Mountains. The states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, were considered the industrial heart of the USA and so were called the Manufacturing Belt of the country. The imperialist bourgeoisie that had reshaped itself into an immense productive force, which drove the creation of Fordism, had also produced its own gravediggers in the Manufacturing Belt. For political and economic reasons this region was dismantled. Monopolies feared the dangerous heavy battalions of the American working class, which exerted strong pressure for wage increases. Monopolies, mainly automobiles such as GM and Ford, wanted to reduce production costs and increase profits. Imperialist capital chose to strangle the proletariat economically and socially, replacing the internal labor force with cheaper foreign labor, promoting two movements: the emigration of industrial production to the East, and the immigration of Latin workers and those from other regions, made legally vulnerable by their precarious condition as poor foreigners and forced to receive less than those who were there already, to work in non-manufacturing services. The rentier, parasitic imperialist bourgeoisie chose to deactivate its own productive region and when it went into decay the industrial belt of the country was renamed Rust Belt. This tragedy is portrayed in the film Roger and I, the documentary that launched the career of Democratic filmmaker Michael Moore. In Roger and I, the filmmaker tries to find Roger Smith, president of General Motors, the largest automaker on the planet, to explain the mass layoffs and closure of eleven factories in Flint, Michigan. GM’s decision contributed to the collapse of the city in the late 1980s.

“Trump’s base in the rust belt of the former working class, was won over by his right-wing populist program of banning Muslims from the U.S., attacking ‘foreigners’ and oppressed groups that “stole jobs,” by protectionism against China to which huge industrial parks were transferred, supposedly keeping the U.S. out of aggressive wars in the Middle East particularly, in part because of powerless disillusionment with 40 years of neoliberal attacks, givebacks to employers, and the prolonged decline in living standards since the days of Ronald Reagan.” (Communist Workers’ Front, the U.S. Election: The Threat of dictatorship, 2020)

Where did Biden’s 10 million more direct votes than Hillary’s vote, come from? As soon as the working class saw that Trump’s promises of reindustrialization were not realized, as early as 2018, they returned to vote for Democrats in so-called mid-term Congressional elections and for Governors, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 Senate seats are decided. In Michigan, the state that has the largest number of industrial workers, and in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Democrats won the race for the Senate and state governments and expanded their seats in the House, defeating Trump-backed Republicans at all levels in 2016 and 2020, re-voting for Democrats, ensuring Trump’s defeat.

Trump had gained popularity among a working class tired of being cannon-fodder in the bosses’ wars when he reduced the intensity of wars opened by his predecessors (Democrats and Republicans) in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Libya. But the little he gained by reducing casualties and exhaustion in the external wars of imperialism, Trump lost with internal casualties, with his criminal denialism of the pandemic, which made the richest country in the world the one with most infections and deaths in the world, and exposed his real nature by supporting barbaric murders of poor black workers by police forces. This, given the aridity of proletarian organizations, allowed a mass resurrection of Democrats, regaining their traditional electoral spaces and aborting Trump’s second term.

And, answering the question we asked at first, where did Biden’s 10 million more votes than Hillary come from? This was the reverse of Trump’s social polarization, a reaction to white supremacism, xenophobia, Latinophobia, Islamophobia, machismo. Anti-Trumpism, associated with the disillusionment of a part of the ‘native’ proletariat, mobilized 10 million more votes in these elections. All this was capitalised on by an imperialist party, deceiving with all kinds of illusions which were again deposited in it.

From the desperation to fight for socialism even through rascals like Bernie Sanders, to the biggest anti-racist demonstrations in history

During Trump’s white supremacist and anti-communist tenure, the working class and new generations of U.S. social fighters destroyed the myth that america’s working class would be chronically reactionary. In fact, by its deep contradictions, it has taken a major turn towards socialism in recent years, although it was the fraction of the world’s working class that is most ideologically bombarded by its bourgeoisie, which suffers the most anti-communist brainwashing, which is most persecuted in offensives such as McCarthyism, the hunt for the Black Panthers, and by governments like Reagan and Trump.

In 2008, Barack Obama won in all states of the Rust Belt and the Midwest. In 2010, Democrats suffered heavy defeats there, losing governor’s races in all three states and also in Ohio. In 2012, Obama recovered and won again in 2012 in those states. As it turns out, the proletariat experiments at all times, not hesitating to vote against those who betrayed it in the last term.

In the 2018 elections, the growing voter base formed primarily by younger, non-white people and women spoke strongly across the country. The Democrats managed to elect the first two Muslim women to Congress, Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan. They elected the youngest member of the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley, the first African-American elected to Congress in Massachusetts.

Kamala Harris is part of a process stemming from a record number of women who increased their participation in Congress. However, Biden’s deputy, who is at serious risk of becoming president, the first black woman to become vice president, has built “her career within the imperialist policy staff for the Senate, and now the presidential ticket, through the office of California’s attorney, when she was responsible for a racist policy of mass incarceration of the poor and black population, condemning her to hellish U.S. arrests for petty crimes, so-called crimes without violence.” ((IDEM)

During Trump’s anti-communist administration was when the biggest wave of sympathy for socialism in the U.S. emerged. This wave adopted as father-figure a senator who presented himself as a socialist and supporter of “Medicare for all” in the U.S., but who was nothing more than a defender of imperialist military invasions against oppressed peoples. As soon as the wave grew enough to threaten control of the oligarchies over the party’s candidacies, Sanders allied himself with the leadership to sabotage his own candidacy and support Biden.

In the election was reflected the largest street struggles in the country’s history against racism. Trump represented the racist vote, which retreated when faced with these struggles. And that reflects the direct votes of the population. Trump also failed to meet the expectations of the ruling classes, Trump failed to regain the ground lost to China in control of world trade, despite the trade war he fiercely waged. He did not do so because it did not interest the parasitic imperialist bourgeoisie who fear the proletariat if there were a reindustrialization of the United States. This frustration is reflected in its way in the different states of the USA. Legally, the U.S. is the union of 50 sub imperialist states, some larger than countries like Italy and Spain in capital concentration. The frustration with Trump in the different states it was reflected in the setback he suffered in the number of votes in the Electoral College, from 304 in 2016 to 214 in 2020.  Given this trajectory whose early exhaustion widened after Sanders’ defeat in the primaries, the demand for a Party of workers independent of imperialism and employers becomes the main issue of the day for the Revolutionary Socialists of the United States. The illusions in any Democratic Party politician are substantially diminished, so now we clearly need a mass workers’ party, a Party supported by trade unions and popular organisations, a party fighting against racism, xenophobia, racism and homophobia. The potential is clearly there. We cannot let the right capitalize again on the discontent of the proletariat in the heart of the imperialist monster. It is necessary to give a revolutionary solution, with continuity, to the masses, otherwise their pendular condition dissipates very powerful struggles such as those of 2020. The Sanders phenomenon highlighted the potential of America’s working class. But they desperately need their own leadership and political party. And to this object the entire socialist left in the United States must be oriented. They all have to demand from all union leaders that they start forming an independent Proletarian Party in the US now. With no class alternatives to trust, the proletarian electorate zigzags to one of the wings of imperialism. For a workers’ party independent of its imperialist bosses, supported by trade unions, popular and multiethnic working-class organisations!

Corbyn’s Suspension shows Political Zionism is dangerous to the workers movement

IHRA fake definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a modern-day Nuremburg Law

The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, and removal of the Parliamentary whip, by the grovelling Tory-Zionist stooge Starmer, is an outrage that all socialists and class -conscious workers must condemn. The pretext for this is the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHCR) report into so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ under Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party over the last five years.  Of course, we must demand its reversal, and Corbyn’s immediate reinstatement. But it is a predictable outrage, and we would advise the left not to hold its breath waiting for the neoliberal Labour Party bureaucracy to relent. There are several possibilities: from Corbyn’s expulsion, to his capitulation, to a major conflict in Labour that destroys Starmer’s leadership, to a split of part of the left from Labour and the emergence of a new party.

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn

The prolonged smear campaign is simply a stratagem by the enemies of independent working-class politics to hobble the working-class movement. In this regard, given the odious politics of the right-wing of the Labour Party on virtually every question you can name, from Blair’s crimes in Iraq, to anti-immigrant chauvinism, to support for Tory austerity, and reactionary anti-union laws, they hardly have the political authority to pull off something like this by themselves. They are too discredited. So, Zionists had to step in and play the vanguard role as a bourgeois fifth column within the labour movement, providing a threadbare, barely plausible justification for bringing down Corbyn.

The smears lack coherence; the only reason that they have achieved currency is because every media organ from the BBC to the Sun to the Guardian repeats them ad nauseum and any voice that condemns them is excluded from being broadcast or published on the grounds that even to demur from, let alone full-throatedly condemn, the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign, is itself ‘anti-Semitic’ and of course, ‘anti-Semitism’ needs to be banned. So, dissenting voices are banned from the mainstream media.

This is totalitarian politics, similar to the mentality of the worst Stalinists in the late 1930s Moscow Trials, who smeared the leading cadre of the Bolshevik Party as terrorists and collaborators with fascism, and banned all dissent on the grounds that to dissent from the lie was prima facie evidence of fascist and terrorist sympathy in itself. The Nazis lied just as profusely, indeed the technique used by Nazis, Stalinists and Zionists was pioneered by the Nazi Propaganda chief Goebbels in the notorious technique of the Big Lie – it has to be big; it must be repeated incessantly and it will either come to be believed, or people will be so terrified to contradict it that it will be accepted through its power of intimidation alone.

This needs to be challenged, both in terms of labour movement democracy, and ideologically. Zionist totalitarian politics are poisonous to labour movement democracy, and to democratic rights generally. Starting with the aftermath of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War of conquest and the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1970s, and even more so since the collapse of the USSR as a perceived alternative to capitalist hegemony, and the renewed outbreak of predatory imperialist wars and conquests in the Middle East, Political Zionism has played a vanguard role for imperialist reaction.

This can be defined as the international bourgeois faction in the United States and several allied imperialist countries whose core is a disproportionately powerful layer (relative to the proportion of Jews in the general population) of  racist Jewish bourgeois who have citizenship rights under the racist Israeli ‘Law of Return’, and adhere to the Zionist ideology of exile and homecoming, claiming ‘Israel’ from the Palestinian Arabs as their homeland, even as a ‘reserve’ if they don’t actually reside there.

Racist Zionist McCarthyism

Notwithstanding Corbyn’s chronic weakness when confronted with their lying offensive, his numerous retreats and concessions to them, they were never going to be enough as long as he did not declare his support for Zionism ‘without qualification’ as Starmer did before becoming leader. Any Labour leader that professes any support for Palestinian rights in principle will be subjected to the same treatment. Indeed, the Zionist campaign over this began before Corbyn became leader, against Ed Miliband, though it was constrained by the fact that Miliband was even weaker on this than Corbyn, and because the former is Jewish himself.

It is highly likely that Corbyn will win in court if the suspension is challenged there. But as Chris Williamson found in 2019 when his suspension was overturned by a court, the tactic of the neoliberals when such legal setbacks happen is usually simply to manufacture another suspension on another pretext. Williamson’s double suspension was the doing of the Corbyn-supporting former General Secretary Jenny Formby, who was supposed to be part of the left. Whereas Corbyn’s suspension was formally the work of David Evans, Starmer’s appointee, an anti-working-class Blairite thug who has openly said that there is too much democracy in the Labour Party as it is.

In Britain today, the ousting of Corbyn from the leadership of the Labour Party and then his suspension is symbolic of the rise of a form of anti-working class politics just as sinister as the era of McCarthyism in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. While McCarthyism was not actually fascism, as it did not seek outright to crush the mass trade unions in the US that had grown out of the pre-war Great Depression, it sought to emasculate them by destroying their class-conscious elements through sackings and inquisitions organised from above, designed to deprive left-wing working class militants of the possibility even of earning a living through organised blacklists of socialists and communists.

The US working class, relatively quiescent at that point because of the considerable economic boom that was developing, was separated from its most class-conscious militants by this method. The neoliberal bourgeoisie and their vanguard, Zionist right, are trying to achieve something like this in Britain today. However social and economic conditions are considerably different here today from the McCarthy era and if the Labour left and the many tens, even hundreds of thousands of militants who have either been hounded out of the Labour Party, or left it in disgust, were to organise themselves politically to defy this, it could backfire in a big way.

Though it is a forlorn hope for the left to look to Corbyn himself to lead resistance to the new Zionist McCarthyism. This is shown by his response to his own suspension:

“I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.

I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.”

Appeasing racism: Jeremy Corbyn denounced celebrated cartoon by legendary pro-Palestine cartoonist Carlos Latuff when it was displayed on a banner outside Labour Conference.

This is pathetic. One again, there is not one word in defence of any of the many lifelong anti-racist and socialist militants who have been smeared in the Goebbelsian manner by organised Zionist racists in the Labour Party, while he witters on about how he “believes” that this “problem” will be resolved “amicably”. Corbyn is not so “amicable” towards the anti-racist, anti-Zionist left. Throughout his leadership, when leftists came under attack, he threw them under the bus. This reached its nadir at the 2019 Labour Conference. When an excellent cartoon, depicting the Zionist campaign to destroy him, by the acclaimed pro-Palestinian illustrator Carlos Latuff, was displayed outside, on a banner by Labour Party members, he bizarrely and libellously denounced it as ‘anti-Semitic’ and supported its removal by the police. But he wants to “resolve” things “amicably” with Starmer, who supports Zionism “without qualification” including the mass expulsion and massacres of the Palestinian people.

It is right to condemn the suspension, but this should not translate into any call for the left to seek to rectify the situation in the Labour Party. Corbyn’s capitulation and grovelling to organised Zionist racists in Labour above should illustrate why. That is a forlorn hope, a labour of Sisyphus. The hold of Blairite neoliberals over Labour, its bureaucratic machine, the Parliamentary Labour Party, its forces in local government, and much of the local apparatus around the country, is overwhelming and that was not overcome or really dented much by Corbyn’s five-year spell as leader, or even the hundreds of thousands of members who joined to support Corbyn. The rise of Corbyn to the leadership was the result of a tactical miscalculation by the right wing that is very unlikely to be repeated, and it is pointless to bank on anything like this happening again.

IHRA Pseudo-Definition: A Totalitarian Set of Amalgams

The EHRC of course was fully on side with the right-wing and Zionist campaign to enforce the fake, Zionist-inspired and racist, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ on the Labour Party. This definition, especially its accompanying ‘examples’, sanctions the dispossession of the Palestinian people in the 1948 Nakba by defining the view that Israel is a ‘racist endeavour’ as ‘anti-Semitic’.

There is a degree of sophistry in this ‘example’ that implicitly recognises how appalling that is, by using the formulation that defining “a state of Israel”, not “the state of Israel” as a “racist endeavour” is “anti-Semitic, leading some to disingenuously try to argue that it is the idea of Israel that is being protected from criticism, not the existing state. But that is absurd deception: no one believes for a single moment that this example is talking about some other state of Israel in a parallel universe where its foundation did not dispossess another people. In practice the Zionists in Labour treat criticism of Israel as a racist state as ‘anti-Semitism”, and thus it is that to speak out against the racism of Israel and its supporters is to court expulsion from the Labour Party. Since gaining the Labour leadership, Starmer has massively accelerated expulsions of supporters of the Palestinians.

The IHRA definition is thus an anti-Arab rule, that defines the Palestinian Arab victims of Zionism as inferior people with inferior rights. Various other ‘examples’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ accompanying the definition make the same point, e.g. “Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” This is really a joke, since Israel is not a ‘democratic country” even formally, as three quarters of its indigenous Arab population were violently expelled from the country within living memory; they and their descendants are the legitimate majority in that territory. If Israel adhered to basic democratic norms it would not be ‘Israel’ at all, but Palestine, an Arab country with an Arab majority.

Then there is “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” But Israel has a racist law, the Law of Return, that gives every person born Jewish anywhere in the world, the right to Israeli citizenship, while denying that right to non-Jews, i.e. Palestinian Arabs, who were born there, and those born to these victims since the crime.

Israeli law says that all Jews have an interest in Israel, on a racist basis. Thus, it is not unreasonable to question Jews, who have what the Zionists themselves call ‘birthright’ in Israel, whether they support this racist privilege, or not. Of course, it is also reasonable to suppose that a great many anti-racist Jewish people would regard such racist laws with abhorrence. But then comes the example of “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel”. It would obviously be unreasonable to hold anti-racist Jewish people who reject this atrocity responsible for Israel’s actions. But what of those who do not reject it? They do bear responsibility for it, just as white people who supported white supremacist South Africa on racist grounds bore responsibility for the actions of that state.

And then there is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. But one policy of the Nazis that was notorious was the Nuremburg laws, which deprived Jews born and raised in Germany of Germany citizenship on grounds that they were Jewish. Israel has deprived millions of those expelled in 1948, and their descendants, of citizenship of the land it now occupies, because they are not Jewish. This is equally racist.  

The set of ‘examples’ that accompany the IHRA ‘definition’, and is really essential to it, is a series of amalgams, that attempt, not particularly subtly, to equate criticism of Zionist racism with the politics of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Its main target is the pro-Palestinian left. But in passing, before it gets on to the main meal, so to speak, it has an obvious swipe at Muslims: “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion“ is a sign of ‘anti-Semitism’ it seems.

But of course, this does not mention the ethnic cleansing and forcible taking away of a people’s home country, justified by a claim of ownership based on the idea of “the Bible as a title deed”: a claim to land based on largely mythologised stories in a holy book much of which supposedly refers to events several thousands of years ago. It would be singularly appropriate to describe political Zionism as “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Arabs in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.“ Some might observe such behaviour tends to create its own complement or nemesis. But the IHRA definition amalgamates that nemesis with the Nazis, in passing.

And there is the crowning point of the amalgam. Attacking the Zionist project as a “racist endeavour” is placed alongside “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” and  “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”

So, to say that Zionism is a racist endeavour is to put yourself alongside “National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II”. That is the real message that comes across from this list of putative “examples”.

In fact, the example of “Accusing … Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust” treads on very dangerous territory for the Zionists. For while it is difficult to exaggerate something of the magnitude of the Nazi holocaust, the deliberate genocide of several million Jewish people by the devotees of a paranoid, inhuman and racist ideology generated by capitalist imperialism at a particular phase of its evolution, nevertheless the fact is that the Zionist movement has exploited the genocide for political gain in its own racist campaign against supporters of the Palestinians.

Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Twin Brethren

That is a key part of the totalitarian structure of the IHRA definition, and it is a prime specimen of the genre. In the first few decades after the Second World War, only neo-Nazis denied the Nazi genocide occurred, and their reasons for doing so were transparent and odious. That is no longer true today, because for decades the Zionists have exploited it to justify their own crimes. Because of that, a considerable number of those disgusted by these ongoing crimes, quite comprehensibly, at the very least are open to the suspicion that the obvious use of the genocide to justify todays crimes means that the event itself is questionable.

This is an example of the self-incriminating slander, a variation of the self-fulfilling prophesy. For if anything is responsible for the growth of suspicions about the truth of the Shoah it is the Zionist exploitation of it to justify their own crimes. The IHRA pseudo-definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a prime example of this. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the IHRA pseudo-definition is itself an incitement to anti-Semitism.

We hope it does not succeed in that incitement, but it would fit in perfectly with the history of Zionism, in collaborating with genuine anti-Semites from the Tsarist minister Vyachelav Von Phleve, one of the key figures who inspired the anti-Semitic forgery and propaganda caricature of Zionism, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose purpose was a hate campaign against Jews in general. In August 1903 the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, met with Von Phleve in St Petersburg, to discuss “the establishment of Zionist societies in Russia” and to propose “a Russian government request to the Turks to obtain a charter for Jewish colonisation of Palestine.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyacheslav_von_Plehve)

This was 30 years or so before the Zionists sought a similar deal with the Nazis, titled the Haavara Agreement, in August 1933 when in a financial deal to hand over emigrant property to the Nazi regime, the Zionists secured the emigration of around 60,000 German Jews to Palestine between 1933 and 1939. This agreement broke the boycott by leftist and (at that time) non-Zionist bourgeois Jewish organisations against the Third Reich.

This Zionist campaign, and the IHRA pseudo-definition, are not directed against anti-Semitism at all. It is purely and simply a campaign against socialism using Goebbels’ Big Lie. If the left really were anti-Semitic, the Zionists would embrace them, as anti-Semitism is useful to the Zionist project. As the founder of Zionism, Theordore Herzl, stated in his Diaries:

“In Paris, as I have said, I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.”

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/toi/chap3-11.html , The Other Israel

And in their scheming of the founder of Zionism anti-Semitism is seen to be positively helpful:

“It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people they would vouch for the fact that we do not wish to bring about the impoverishment of the countries that we leave. At first they must not be given large fees for this; otherwise we shall spoil our instruments and make them despicable as ‘stooges of the Jews.’ Later their fees will increase, and in the end we shall have only Gentile officials in the countries from which we have emigrated. The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”

https://www.truetorahjews.org/herzl, True Torah Jews, authenticated Herzl quote from Herzl diaries

The whole point of this Zionist affinity for anti-Semites is that the latter are seen as useful tools to coerce and stampede Jews into taking part in the Zionist project. The founder of Israel, David Ben Gurion, made it very clear that in his view saving Jews from anti-Semitic persecution, and even murder, where it was an immediate threat as in the Third Reich, was not their particular concern. Sending colonists to Israel was the main objective even if many Jews died, who might otherwise have been saved, to achieve this:

“if the Jews are faced with a choice between the refugee problem and rescuing Jews from concentration camps on the one hand, and aid for the national museum in Palestine on the other, the Jewish sense of pity will prevail and our people’s entire strength will be directed at aid for the refugees in the various countries. Zionism will vanish from the agenda and indeed not only world public opinion in England and America but also from Jewish public opinion. We are risking Zionism’s very existence if we allow the refugee problem to be separated from the Palestine problem.”

The Other Israel, op cit

And Ben Gurion drew the conclusion from this that:

“If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel.”

Biography of Ben-Gurion by Shabtai Teveth, pp. 855-56, cited at https://www.truetorahjews.org/bengurion
David Ben Gurion, founding Prime Minister of Israel

So, in the face of real anti-Semitic persecution, Zionists not only ‘pardoned’ anti-Semitism and thought it ‘empty’ and ‘futile’ to combat it but considered anti-Semites their “most dependable friends”. In that vein they actively sought out deals and collaboration with Tsarist anti-Semitic persecutors and genocidal Nazis alike.  The then-future founding Prime Minister of Israel actually said that he would prefer half of the children of his own people to die in an imminent genocide, than for all of them to escape to somewhere other than the Palestine he planned to seize by force from the Palestinian Arab people!

The “Anti-Semitism” Canard and Bourgeois Class Interest

Today, unlike in the circumstances before WWII, anti-Semitism is a rightly discredited and foul creed, discredited above all by the crimes of the Nazis. Real anti-Semitism is a fringe belief and hardly much of a threat to most Jews. The status of Jews in Western society was massively transformed after WWII from the pre-war situation where Jews were regarded as a semi-pariah population, where even the proportionately large layer of bourgeois Jews were excluded from the social circles of the bourgeoisie, or ‘country club discrimination’, to the situation described by Norman Finkelstein in his 2018 essay Corbyn Mania:

“Were popular stereotypes plotted along a spectrum from benign to malignant, most anti-Semitic ones would fall near the benign end whereas those of truly oppressed minorities would cluster at the opposite end. Yes, Jews must endure the reputation of being stingy, pushy, and clannish—but Muslims are profiled as terrorists and misogynists, Blacks are despised as chronically lazy and genetically stupid, and Roma/Sinti are loathed as dirty beggars and thieves. Nor do Jews suffer the losses attending actual victimhood. How many Jews qua Jews have been refused a job or flat? How many Jews have been shot dead by police or railroaded into jail? Whereas being Black or Muslim closes doors, being Jewish opens them. If whites occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other whites, and men occupying seats of power discriminate in favor of other men, it would be surprising if largely successful Jews didn’t discriminate in favor of other Jews. Not only is it no longer a social liability to be Jewish, it even carries social cachet. Whereas it once was a step up for a Jew to marry into a ruling elite family, it now appears to be a step up for the ruling elite to marry into a Jewish family. Isn’t it a straw in the wind that both President Bill Clinton’s pride and joy Chelsea and President Donald Trump’s pride and joy Ivanka married Jews?”

http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/08/25/finkelstein-on-corbyn-mania/

But though anti-Semitism is today a marginal and obsolete form of racist ideology, the Zionists pretend it is still rampant, as it is very useful for their own racist project. If they can somehow convince Jewish people that they are in some way at risk from slavering Jew-hating leftists, then that suits their agenda. Never mind that the idea of left-wing anti-Semitism, or any other kind of ‘left-wing’ racism, is an oxymoron. Anyone who harbours racist animosity towards any people, no matter how left-wing they flatter themselves to be, on that question is politically on the right.

However, the creation, by smoke and mirrors, of the belief that there is an ‘anti-Semitic’ threat from the left to Jewish people is an essential lie to Zionists. For two reasons: to try to find some kind of justification to themselves and others for the non-stop atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinians with their support. And two, to create a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality among those Jews they do influence, a fear of criticism and engagement, again to cement their domination over Jews because of fear of a supposedly anti-Semitic ‘other’.

What needs explaining is why this effort in deception gets such widespread bourgeois support. Why the entire bourgeois media, from the right wing Tory media such as the Sun and Daily Telegraph, to the Guardian and Independent, to the BBC and other publicly owned media who are formally under some kind of legal obligation to be impartial, join in promoting the fairy-tale that left-wing support for Palestinian rights and opposition to the racism of Zionist Jews against them is driven by racial antagonism to Jewish people.

There is only one explanation that is logically coherent. It is to be found in our Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism from 2014, which explains the extraordinary influence of Zionist politics in Western countries, to the point that representatives of virtually every single bourgeois party pay tribute to Israeli ‘democracy’, in the following way:

“There is a common ethnocentric project between the ruling class of Israel and the various hegemonic pro-Israel bourgeois Jewish organisations in a number of imperialist countries, centrally the United States. This pan-imperialist Zionist bloc within the bourgeoisie plays an active role in the oppression of the Palestinians. This bourgeois current, which extends from the ruling class of Israel to penetrate deeply into the US ruling class (and to a lesser extent the ruling classes of several European imperialist countries also) has some of the attributes of a national bourgeois formation without a single territory exclusive to itself.

“It is therefore both a powerful imperialist formation, and deeply unstable. In this epoch of declining capitalism, it plays the role of a kind of ‘vanguard of the bourgeoisie’ – not quite the mirror-image of Marxism but with aspirations along those lines. It has been instrumental in pushing the nationally limited imperialist bourgeoisies to partially transcend their own national particularisms. Hence the ‘traditional’ imperialist bourgeoisie, based on the nation-state, having overcome their previous fear of the supposedly proletarian-internationalist role of the Jews as a result of the outcome of WWII, now regards Jewish ‘cosmopolitanism’ and bourgeois semi-internationalism as a good thing, and to a considerable degree defers and follows the leadership of the Jewish/Zionist bourgeoisie.

“But this is unstable, and depends for its coherence on the maintenance of Israel as a Jewish state. Without that ethnocentric entity in the Middle East, the Jewish layers in the ruling classes in the imperialist countries would have no focus to unite them; their ‘internationalism’ (in reality tribalism) would collapse, and the Jewish bourgeoisie would simply over time disappear through assimilation into the national ruling classes of the imperialist countries. This bourgeois caricature of internationalism would collapse.

“Hence the rabid support of Israel by the bourgeois Jewish-ethnocentric fractions in the imperialist countries, their ability to maintain broader bourgeois support, and the failure of more seemingly rational voices in the ruling class to prevail over them. This represents a kind of bourgeois class instinct as to its interests against the proletariat, giving it additional political weapons against the genuinely internationalist aspirations of the working class movement. Unfortunately, due to inadequate political leadership, the left has until now failed to correctly deal with this problem.”

https://www.socialistfight.org/draft-theses-on-the-jews-and-modern-imperialism-sept-2014/

Therefore, the wider bourgeois support for the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear against the left for criticising Zionist racism is not arbitrary, it is driven by class instinct and class interest. Hence the phenomenon of attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Israel which is becoming a serious danger in all the advanced Western capitalist countries. It seems incredible that laws, legal judgements and political pronouncements are now commonplace forbidding a fairly distant, racist state from being criticised for its racism, equating such anti-racist criticism itself with racism, and demanding punishments from fines, sackings or even possibly imprisonment for such critics, in the West that frequently trumpets its supposed respect for ‘human rights’. But that is the reality of ruling class policy today. And the EHCR report on the Labour Party reflects that ruling class policy.

EHRC Report: Bourgeois Smears and Threats to the Right To Criticise Racism

In the detail of the EHRC report, there lie the germs of serious attacks on democratic rights that have implications beyond the Labour Party, serious sophistry that itself amounts to a rationale for attacks on the democratic rights of critics of Zionist racism. These are manifested in the two cases that the report does provide some commentary on, the cases of Ken Livingstone, who requires no introduction, and Pam Bromley, a councillor from Rossendale in Lancashire.

What is particularly egregious and dangerous to democratic rights is that the EHCR says that comments made by Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, that they were disciplined for in the Labour Party, are not protected by the article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. They say this in the context of condemning the Labour Party since, supposedly, as a member of the Labour Party NEC (in the case of Ken Livingstone at the time) and a Labour Councillor (as was Pam Bromley at the time) they acted as ‘agents’ of the Labour Party. That of course is the Labour Party’s business.

But the attacks on these individuals, who are no longer members of the Labour Party, having resigned (in the case of Ken Livingstone) and been expelled (in the case of Pam Bromley) are a threat to democratic rights outside the framework of the Labour Party. Regarding Ken Livingstone, the report states that:

 “The comments made by Naz Shah [which Ken Livingstone defended in TV interviews after she too was accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ and confessed, showing political weakness] went beyond legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, and are not protected by Article 10. Neither is Ken Livingstone’s support for those comments, or his suggestion that scrutiny of them was part of a smear campaign by the ‘Israel lobby’.”

(p108)

Regarding Pam Bromley, the EHRC report says:

“Some of Pam Bromley’s posts suggested that complaints about antisemitism in the Labour Party had been fabricated. We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.

“Some of Pam Bromley’s social media posts suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party, which we consider to be an antisemitic trope (for example, the reference to a ‘fifth column’).”

“The Labour Party received a number of complaints about Pam Bromley’s conduct on social media. Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members.”

“We therefore consider that the posts had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for members, and prospective members, of the Labour Party, particularly those who were Jewish.”

(p110-111)

Again, the report says that Pam Bromley had ‘gone beyond’ what is permitted in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This again has implications beyond the Labour Party. Because if these views are not protected by Human Rights law inside the Labour Party, then logically they are not protected by Human Rights law in British society as a whole. This is clearly an abuse of Human Rights law by the EHCR itself; if nailed down it is a license for state or public authorities to violate the democratic rights of anyone who holds similar views in wider society.

Let us look at the wording of article 10. It reads:

“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

“2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

This is a bourgeois document, obviously, and a number of the qualifications of it are in reality protection of the ruling class against the masses, for instance “national security” or “territorial integrity” which can be used to justify crimes and violations committed by the state, such as the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing state crimes (‘national security’), or the elected government of Catalonia, which tried to lead that nation to democratically secede from Spain after a referendum (that is ‘territorial integrity’).

But notwithstanding the anti-democratic nature of those qualifications, none of them apply here. Other qualifications, such as “the prevention of disorder or crime” are clearly irrelevant, as is “the protection of health or morals” which might relate to the enforcement of quarantine measures in the current pandemic, or the prosecution of those producing child sex videos. “The protection of the reputation or rights of others” refers to defamation of character, or laws against those advocating racial discrimination or inciting racial hatred. This is not involved here, or at least the report does not allege that the criminal laws on this are breached by these views – if it did this would be grounds for criminal prosecution. Nor is this covered by “preventing the disclosure of information disclosed in confidence” (data protection law, basically) or “maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary” (which is about contempt of court and similar things).

So despite the EHCR’s statement that these political views, publicly stated at the time, are not covered by Article 10 of the European Convention, none of the caveats or exceptions in Article 10 bear any resemblance to the views of Ken Livingstone or Pam Bromley, stated at the time.

The EHCR report, which claims these views are beyond the pale in terms of Article 10, does not quote from Article 10 and concretely demonstrate which of these caveats the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley, as expressed at the time, run afoul of. Because any literate person can see that they do not conflict with any of them. Indeed, nowhere in the report, neither in the text itself or in the footnotes, is the full wording of Article 10 reproduced. The reasons are obvious: sleight of hand. Article 10 is partially reproduced in footnote 6 on page 26, which elaborates on the statement that “speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do”:

“6. It may be proportionate to do so pursuant to Article 10(2), which provides that the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 may ‘since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, … for the protection of the … rights of others’.”

The list of derogations is conspicuously missing here since none of the views they are trying to proscribe even remotely fit them.

The report seeks to elide around this by roping in Article 17, which states the following:

“Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.”

The EHRC attempts to enlist this to justify the following:

“However, the ECHR does not protect racist speech that negates its fundamental values. The European Court of Human Rights has held that speech that is incompatible with the values guaranteed by the ECHR, notably tolerance, social peace and non-discrimination, is removed from the protection of Article 10 because of Article 17.4. This may include antisemitic speech and Holocaust denial.”

(p26)

They go on to quote various cases in Europe where individuals have been prosecuted under laws prohibiting ‘Holocaust Denial’ which the European Court of Human Rights have failed to overturn, and then claim that these have some relevance to the views of comrades Livingstone and Bromley:

“Furthermore, speech that is within the scope of the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 may still be restricted, or sanctioned, where it is proportionate to do so. In the case of harassment, conduct may be regarded as unlawful, and action taken on it, where this is proportionate to protect the rights of others not to have their dignity violated or to be exposed to an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

(p26)

And this is the basis of the EHRC’s claim that the views of Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley were in some way unlawful, that their expression constituted ‘harassment’ supposedly of Jews on the grounds of ethnic origin in and around the Labour Party, and that the Labour Party was responsible for the alleged consequences of their views being expressed as they were its ‘agents’.

These views are laid out as follows regarding Ken Livingstone:

“In April 2016, while he was a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Ken Livingstone made statements about antisemitic social media posts by Naz Shah MP, which we explain below.

“Naz Shah’s social media posts included an image suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States, with the comment ‘problem solved’, and a post in which she appeared to liken Israeli policies to those of Hitler. Naz Shah apologised for her comments in Parliament on 27 April 2016.

“In media interviews between 28 and 30 April 2016, Ken Livingstone denied that these posts were antisemitic. He sought to minimise their offensive nature by stating that they were merely criticism of Israeli policy at a time of conflict with the Palestinians. He also alleged that scrutiny of Naz Shah’s conduct was part of an apparent smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatise critics of Israel as antisemitic, as well as being aimed at undermining and disrupting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP.”

(p105)

And that’s it! What the report mysteriously does not mention is that Livingstone was also denounced, rabidly, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for talking extensively about the issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. This was one of the charges against him when he was initially suspended in 2016 and in his re-suspension when he reiterated his views shortly before the end of his initial suspension and it was effectively extended for another year. So, this is a rather odd ‘blank space’ in the report. The reason for this may be that the authors of the report were afraid of overreaching themselves if they characterised references to this historical event, as in some way unlawful. They would be treading into the same territory as Nazi genocide deniers, as the Zionists’ dealings with the Nazis are very well documented.

Regarding Pam Bromley, we have the following litany of supposedly ‘anti-Semitic’ utterances on social media:

“‘Some time back I got hammered for posting an anti-Rothschild meme. However here they are again. We must remember that the Rothschilds are a powerful financial family (like the Medicis) and represent capitalism and big business – even if the Nazis DID use the activities of the Rothschilds in their anti semitic [sic] propaganda. We must not obscure the truth with the need to be tactful’ (post, 8 April 2018).

• ‘A huge sigh of relief echoes around Facebook’ (comment accompanying a shared BBC News story with the headline ‘Israeli spacecraft crashes on Moon’, 12 April 2019).

‘This is what’s behind all the false accusations of antisemitism. This is what, despite international condemnation, Israel does to its neighbour Palestine … All hidden behind a fog of fake accusations of antisemitism’ (comment alongside a post about injuries in Gaza, 12 April 2019).

• ‘Looks like fake accusations of AS [antisemitism] to undermine Labour just aren’t working, so let’s have Chris Williamson reinstated’ (post, 20 April 2019).

• ‘Are you losing the argument? Or is it that you have nothing of value to add? Why not call your opponent an… anti-semite! This will make you feel like you have won the argument and you wont [sic] need to provide any evidence’ (post, 15 May 2019).

• ‘My major criticism of him – his failure to repel the fake accusations of antisemitism in the LP [Labour Party] – may not be repeated as the accusations may probably now magically disappear, now capitalism has got what it wanted’ (post, 15 December 2019).

• ‘Had Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party pulled up the drawbridge and nipped the bogus AS accusations in the bud in the first place we would not be where we are now and the fifth column in the LP would not have managed to get such a foothold … the Lobby has miscalculated … The witch hunt has created brand new fightback networks … The Lobby will then melt back into its own cesspit’ (post, date unknown).

(p108-9)

The problem with this is that none of the above can be demonstrated to involve hostility, or any advocacy of discrimination, against Jewish people, at all. Proof exists, in The Lobby, an 2017 undercover journalistic investigation by Al Jazeera Television, that pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party conspired with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot, to undermine Corbyn’s leadership by making false allegations of anti-Semitism against party members. They were filmed doing it. Masot and leading figures in Labour’s pro-Israel factions were filmed laughing and joking about £1 million of funding made available to them by the Israeli state for that purpose.

In this context, the allegation that Pam Bromley’s remark about a ‘fifth column’ in Labour “suggested that Jewish people were engaged in a conspiracy for control of the Labour Party” is simply a smear, as they referred to specific political trends composed of both Jews and others involved in undermining Corbyn, not Jews in general. All the remarks above about fake accusations of anti-Semitism are fully justified against those people, a mixture of Jews and non-Jews. None of them are directed against Jews in general. There is nothing anti-Semitic about a joke about a failure in Israel’s space programme, self-evidently, since the writer considers that state persecutes Palestinians. Even the link to the article she shared, which does contain material from a dubious, conspiratorial source about the Rothschilds, is qualified by her own commentary where she compares the Rothschilds to another example in history of a powerful banking dynasty, the Medicis, who were not Jewish. She is not therefore attacking them for being Jewish, whatever she may or may not think of their behaviour, either historically or contemporarily.

This statement therefore also contains a smear:

“One of the social media posts used an obviously antisemitic trope, namely that Jewish people control the world’s financial system. In her response to this investigation, Pam Bromley said that she was making general criticisms about capitalism and a legitimate political argument. In our view, this post goes beyond legitimate comment, referring to antisemitic Nazi propaganda.

(p110)

Mentioning ‘anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda’ while making an argument cannot by any normal logic be said to equate with agreeing with it. Pam Bromley’s argument was clearly that despite the Nazis making use of their activities for propaganda purposes to condemn all Jews, It is still legitimate to criticise this dynasty for what she evidently believes are their activities in support of capitalism and the racist state of Israel. To imply therefore that she was supportive of ‘Nazi propaganda’ is another deliberate smear.

The icing on the cake of this is when the EHRC says of Ken Livingstone “Furthermore, the Labour Party accepts, in its representations to the investigation, that he was acting as its agent in the specific circumstances identified”. In Pam Bromley’s case, since she is not a nationally known figure, they could not reasonably even say that.

But given the smears, self-serving omissions, and dishonesty about the above from the EHRC, its allegation that the sum total of these views, expressed legitimately by these two Labour Party leftists, constituted ‘harassment’, is also a smear. It contradicts itself blatantly when it writes first of all that “We find that Pam Bromley’s comments were unwanted conduct related to Jewish ethnicity, which, whether viewed individually or together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents, had the effect of harassing Labour Party members” (p110) and then follows that up with “ Labour Party members told us that her conduct, including the Facebook posts above, contributed to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members” (p111).

So what was this ‘hostile environment’ Pam Bromley is alleged to have contributed to, “together with other relevant acts of Labour Party agents” (i.e. Ken Livingstone, the only other named) “related to Jewish ethnicity”, or did it contribute “to a hostile environment in the Labour Party for Jewish and non-Jewish members”? Was it based on ethnic discrimination, or not?

This contradiction in the text is simply explained by the fact that the hostility they expressed was to supporters of the racist state of Israel, both Jews and non-Jews. It was hostility to Zionist racism, not hostility to Jews. That the Labour Party ‘concedes’ this in the case of nationally known figure Ken Livingstone simply reflects the views of its leader, Keir Starmer, who has publicly stated that he supports Zionism ‘without qualification’. Its of a piece with his conduct over the libel case by Zionist so-called ‘whistleblowers’, including those directly involved with smearing Corbyn in the notorious BBC Panorama programme fronted by Muslim-baiting ‘journalist’ John Ware, where Starmer conceded and paid damages in a case that Corbyn had earlier had solid legal advice advice that Labour would win, for reasons that Corbyn himself said were politically motivated.

Fight and Deconstruct the Smears, Don’t Grovel Before the Smearers!

There have been some unfortunate and misguided attempts to defend Jeremy Corbyn against Starmer’s suspension by evoking passages in the EHCR report that appear to chime in with what he says, such as where it says:

“Article 10 will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal Party matters, such as the scale of antisemitism within the Party, based on their own experience and within the law. It does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic.

(p27)

And about Pam Bromley it says:

“We recognise Pam Bromley’s right, under Article 10 of the ECHR, to express opinions about her own experience of the presence or scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party, within the bounds of the law, as we explain in Chapter 3. However, her posts go beyond this by repeatedly saying that allegations of antisemitism were fabricated.”

(p110)

But as pointed out earlier, accusations of anti-Semitism were fabricated by pro-Israel elements in the Labour Party in concert with an Israeli state agent, Shia Masot. When his activities were exposed, Masot was recalled to Israel because of the diplomatic storm the affair provoked. This is proof that accusations were fabricated in the Labour Party in a systematic manner.

So when Corbynites plead that Corbyn was only speaking from his experience about the scale of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party being inflated, and accuse Starmer of ignoring that even the EHCR report sanctioned the kind of difference Corbyn raised, they are legitimising this fraudulent report and allowing themselves to be gaslighted by the smear merchants who authored the report, who claim the right to say what is allowed and what is not allowed on the basis of … no objective criteria or proof whatsoever.

The statement by the EHCR that Article 10 “does not protect criticism of Israel that is anti-semitic” is totally dishonest, since they claim that saying things that can be proven to be true, on film, is ‘anti-Semitic’. For the EHCR, proven facts can be anti-Semitic. So presumably, in order not to be ‘anti-Semitic’, it is necessary to tell lies. This is another example of the totalitarian aspect of Zionist politics intruding into the politics of the labour movement. If facts are ‘anti-Semitic’, and citing those facts is also ‘anti-Semitic’ then we are getting into the realm of Newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984: ‘Truth is lies, war is peace’, etc.

The EHRC says that ‘criticism of Israel that is anti-Semitic’ is forbidden. But they do not define anti-Semitism. They do say of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism:

“The IHRA definition is not legally binding. To identify any unlawful acts by the Labour Party we need to apply the definitions contained in the Equality Act 2010. This is the approach that we have taken throughout this investigation. We do not comment on the IHRA definition for other purposes.”

(p116)

The problem that they have is that the Equality Act 2010 contains nothing to determine whether any kind of criticism of Israel, a foreign state, is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not. How could it? It is not about criticism of foreign states. It is about matters connected with equality and discrimination affecting people who live in the United Kingdom, where the legislation applies.

So, in aiming to determine that criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not, the EHRC are in practice working with the kind of material in the IHRA’s examples, which have already been analysed earlier.

Instead they say “We note the approach of the Home Affairs Select Committee, namely that it is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, to criticise the Israeli government, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.” (p116)

Well we also note the statement that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ which is not the experience of the Palestinian people that are its indigenous population. It is an ethnocracy that suppresses them. This is part of the IHRA definition. It is to be noted that there is no definition of anti-Semitism in the Equality Act 2010, which however defines ‘race’ as including “(a) colour, (b) nationality, (c) ethnic or national origins.”. Which is totally useless in deciding whether criticism of Israel is ‘anti-Semitic’ or not.

However, the Oxford Dictionary defines anti-Semitism as “Hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.” Mirriam Webster defines it as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” These definitions, unlike the IHRA Definition which explicitly says it is not legally binding, do have force of law. There is nothing in refusing to lie that Israel is a ‘liberal democracy’ or any of the other lies, amalgams and smears that litter both the IHRA pseudo-definition, and the EHRC report, that remotely fit those definitions.  Which is evidently why they are not even mentioned in the report.

So, when the EHRC conclude that

“We are satisfied that the unwanted conduct we identify … meets the definition of harassment without reference to the IHRA definition and examples. But we are also satisfied that it would meet the IHRA definition and its examples of antisemitism.”

(p116)

they are in fact engaging in sophistry and in practice using at least elements of the IHRA examples as the basis for their smear. They do not mention the definitions in authoritative dictionaries, they point to a putative definition in the Equality Act that does not exist. What they are actually doing is subliminally, by stealth, smuggling in the same approach as in the IHRA pseudo-definition, to brand critics of Zionism and its racism as ant-Semitic, and again by stealth, seeking to put those critics and their views outside the protection of Freedom of Expression protections as codified in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This is an attack on the labour movement, on the anti-racist movement for Palestinian rights, and on democratic rights more generally.

Threats to Democratic Rights

This is serious, because the EHCR is a state body that purports to define what is permissible for the whole of society, not just about the Labour Party. It is possible that sophistry of this kind could be used to build the basis for anti-democratic state repression against the left, for instance against a left-wing party that rejected the capitulations of Labour, including under Jeremy Corbyn, to Zionist racism, and which campaigned openly as a militant anti-racist and therefore anti-Zionist Party.

This is not at all far-fetched, as is shown by a variety of repressive measures against left-wing critics of Zionist racism passed, or proposed, by a variety Western bourgeois legislative bodies. For instance, even the ‘respectable’ bourgeois Human Rights Watch reports that in the United States:

“Twenty-seven states have adopted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations, or individuals that engage in or call for boycotts against Israel. The laws or policies in 17 of those states explicitly target not only companies that refuse to do business in or with Israel, but also those that refuse to do business in Israeli settlements. Some states whose laws do not explicitly apply to settlements have also penalized companies that cut settlement ties.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/23/us-states-use-anti-boycott-laws-punish-responsible-businesses

Then you have the US State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, who are proposing to label such tame NGOs as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam as ‘anti-Semitic’ simply for criticizing Israeli abuses.

Similar things have happened in France, with Macron’s sponsorship of a motion passed by the French parliament last year that says that:

 “Criticising the very existence of Israel as a collective composed of Jewish citizens is tantamount to hatred towards the Jewish community as a whole; just like collectively holding Jews accountable for the policies of the Israeli authorities is an expression of antisemitism”

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/12/4/france-adopts-resolution-equating-anti-zionism-with-antisemitism

Germany has adopted similar positions.

Another manifestation of this in Britain today is the very difficult legal action being undertaken by the expelled Labour Party Jewish socialist Tony Greenstein, who was smeared as a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ by the so-called ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ (CAA), a virulent Zionist body that aggressively targets opponents of Israeli racism with smears. The CAA is a registered charity that blatantly breaks the rules and extensively campaigned to smear Labour Party members during the entire period of Corbyn’s leadership and since. Rather than campaigning against anti-Semitism, in reality its political activity is a continual hate campaign against those who support the Palestinian Arab struggle against ethnic cleansing, to the extent that a correct name for the CAA would be ‘Campaign Against Arabs’. In In the recent hearing of Greenstein’s case, the CAA successfully applied to have Greenstein’s case struck out not on the grounds that their statement that Greenstein is a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ is true, but rather that it is their ‘honest opinion’. The judge agreed; it was struck out, and Greenstein has been landed with exorbitant legal costs.

Tony Greenstein

This is how state racism and racism in the legal system has evolved. Israel is a state created though the expulsion of three quarters of the indigenous Arab population of ‘its’ territory, a monstrous act of racism that renders its claim to be any kind of ‘democracy’ a sick joke. Yet a ‘definition’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ is propagated throughout Western society that states that it is obligatory to treat Israel no differently from any other ‘liberal democracy’. And yet those who oppose this racism can be smeared as ‘anti-Semites’, even though the authors of these smears do not even dare to claim that these abusive insults are actually true, with the blessing of racist judges and the ruling class as a whole

This is grotesque racist abuse against the victims of Zionism, it is similar to the ‘Dredd Scott’ judgement in a court in the United States shortly before the mid-19th Century US Civil War, when a judge ruled that black people had “No rights that the white man is bound to respect”. That is state racism, and all this paraphernalia: the IHRA pseudo-definition, the EHCR report smearing Labour Party members, the corrupt judiciary that brazenly allows racist fake charities like the CAA to lie about anti-racists with the audacity of Goebbels, without even pretending that their statements are true, all this amounts to treating the Arab victims of Zionism as effectively sub-human, to justify Israel’s genocidal crimes, criticism of which the Zionists and their supporters among the wider bourgeoisie aim to criminalise throughout the West.

Zionism: A Far Right Trend That Instrumentalises the Old Far Right

Yet another example of this concerns the role of far right, overtly racist forces in Western societies. As long as they are pro-Zionist, they are allowed to run riot, or at least treated with kid gloves. There is scarcely a far-right party in the West that does not pay obeisance to Israel. In Britain you saw the odd spectacle of the Labour Party being upbraided for so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ by the likes of Nigel Farage, whose entire political career has been built on inciting racism and xenophobia. In the print media we saw similar denunciations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from racist human garbage like Richard Littlejohn, who has long raved hatred at immigrants and rejoiced at every sadistic abuse of asylum-seekers from New Labour and Tory governments alike.

This kind of thing parallels Trump’s denunciation of the left-wing layer of minority and Muslim/Palestinian Congressional ‘Squad’ Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, as ‘anti-Semitic’, for vocally opposing some Israeli crimes. Some of Trump’s cohorts, like Stephen Miller, are Jewish and overtly pro-Zionist, both Jewish supremacist and white supremacist. Steve Bannon, who was the publisher of the alt-right portal Breitbart, which played a major role in Trump’s rise to the Presidency in 2016, described himself as a ‘proud Zionist’. Indeed the founder of Breitbart, Andrew Breitbart, was himself both Jewish and a fervent Zionist. Richard Spencer, another white supremacist and basically neo-Nazi, who is also part of the alt-right and was close to the Trump regime particularly at the beginning, describes himself as a ‘white Zionist’, and while he displays some classic old-style anti-Semitic views about Jews supposedly undermining white America, he was reported by Haaretz in 2017 as saying:

“In an August 2010 article called ‘An Alliance with the Jews,’ published on his Radix Journal website, Spencer argued that Israel could become an ally of white nationalists in the United States. He wrote that in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons in countries hostile to Israel, there would be ‘hard-liners’ in Israel who would prefer to see the extreme right in the White House.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/richard-spencer-to-israelis-i-m-a-white-zionist-respect-me-1.5443480

Thus far right trends that were historically anti-Semitic, or even ones that still echo this kind of verbiage, are tolerated as long as they are pro-Zionist. You can see this in Hungary, where the far right populist regime of Victor Orban is one of the few such governments that still indulges in hostile rhetoric against a Jewish bourgeois, George Soros, who for all his sins is not exactly a fervent Zionist. In 2019, at the European Elections Orban was supported by Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli PM, who wished him ‘good luck’, calling his party “true friends of Israel and the Jewish people”. Meanwhile in the Ukraine, Ukrainian state forces, who include open Neo-Nazis such as the Azov Batallion, are armed and funded by Israel. These forces look to Stepan Bandera, whose forces were overtly anti-Semitic nationalists, and committed atrocities against Jews, Poles and Gypsies while fighting alongside the Nazi invaders of the USSR during WWII. But they are just fine for the Israelis to arm, as they are fighting against Russia, and no doubt their historical dislike of Jews does not preclude them from admiring Israel’s single minded, overt racism.

In Greece, however, the overtly anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement has been violently suppressed by the bourgeoisie, eight of its leaders jailed for in excess of 13 years for involvement in murders. Similar murders have happened in Ukraine, indeed the Nazi forces there carried out a massacre of trade unionists in Odessa in 2014, which never deterred NATO powers from supporting them or the Israelis from funding them. The difference is that Golden Dawn eschewed relations with Israel. Indeed, its propaganda at one point involved broadcasting film of the burning of Israeli and US flags. So, they were stamped out with the utmost ruthlessness, not for being Nazis or similar to Nazis, or even for being killers, but for being overtly hostile to Zionism.

We shed no tears for Golden Dawn, though such suppression by a bourgeois state does set a precedent that the left should be wary of. A genuine working-class government would treat the likes of Golden Dawn even more harshly – putting them in front of a firing squad would be a fine remedy! But the same is true of the Zionists’ many far right friends and supporters.  More to the point is that the Zionists attitude to far-right groups, even overtly Nazi ones that are politically very similar to the movement that massacred millions of Jews in Europe during WWII, is purely instrumental. If they play ball and collaborate with Israel, they are indulged, helped, funded, even armed to the teeth, by Zionists with full support from the wider bourgeoisie. If they are mavericks who take their adherence to Nazism to the point of contempt for the Zionists, then, and only then, are they crushed in blood. This is because in essence, political Zionism is itself a far right, racist movement that makes use of a wide variety of collaborators but will not brook competition.

The statement in the IHRA pseudo-definition that its amalgams and anathemas are ‘legally non-binding’ is a temporary tactic. Already various social media platforms are either volunteering themselves, or being coerced, to remove ‘anti-Semitic’ ‘hate speech’ based on the IHRA pseudo-definition. The direction of motion is toward the gradual whittling away of the ‘legally non-binding’ caveat in favour of more and more blatant criminalization of anti-racist criticism of Israel’s crimes. The end product of this that the Zionists have in mind is a new version of Hitler’s Nuremburg Laws, this time directed against Palestinian Arabs and anyone who dares to defend them and condemn their ongoing persecution and ethnic cleansing; the ongoing Nakba that began in 1948 and still continues.

So, the labour movement needs to learn to see political Zionism from all angles, as a movement as dangerous to us, in its own way, as neo-Nazis are. We need to prepare a counter-offensive, to defend our democratic rights, to ensure that supporters of this racist movement are excluded rigorously from new working-class formations set up to regroup after their wrecking activities, and to drive them out of the traditional organisations of the labour movement.

Johnson’s Covid Class-War Ravages the Working Class

The confrontation over Manchester between the Johnson Tory government and the Labour Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, has brought to the fore that the Tories are using the Covid pandemic and the results of their own deliberate negligence and duplicity, to further their class war against the working class, attacks on living standards, and ambitions to impoverish people and create a fearful, passive population who are just raw material for exploitation. Burnham’s refusal to endorse the Tories’ Tier 3 ‘very high’ partial lockdown measures and sign up for the impoverishment of the Manchester working class, while it has not defeated the Tories, has galvanised the hatred of much of the working class population in this country against Johnson’s government.

The real point of the Tory intransigence in Manchester was not so much the quarantine measures themselves, but cuts to furlough pay. It is of a piece with the Tories’ voting to deprive schoolkids of meal vouchers during the school holidays, which was a concession extracted in the early part of the pandemic because of popular outrage over the further impoverishment of poor children. This has created a wave of outrage and class sentiment that even seeped into parliament when Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner lost her temper with some particularly vile Tory specimen and called him “scum”.

Of course, she apologised for briefly speaking a fragment of that truth parliamentary procedures are expressly designed to suppress; that the interests of working class people require war to the death against the bourgeois scum whose political representatives sit in parliament. Rayner is less directly such a representative herself; but being part of Labour as a bourgeois workers party her kind come under potent pressure from below at times like this.

Andy Burnham, despite his refusal to endorse the government’s latest pretend strategy to supposedly combat Covid-19 with its illogical, half-baked and arbitrary three tier system of graduated restrictions, has no coherent demands to counterpose to the government. He was bid down from £90 million initial demands for funding a local furlough as good as the 80% original from the spring, to a mere £65 million but refused to allow himself to be bid down to the £60 million the Tories were prepared to agree to, and their much reduced furlough. So, no deal was reached by the 20 October deadline.

It has been suggested that Burnham, now dubbed “King of the North”, may be positioning himself as a future Labour Party leader, in the manner of Boris Johnson, hoping to jump from Mayor of a major city to potential PM, as Keir Starmer has been so craven and ineffectual that even in this enormous crisis the Tory government still manages to head most opinion polls. Burnham, to his credit, refused to join the 2016 ‘Chicken Coup’ against Jeremy Corbyn, which also gives him a semblance of clean hands. However, his own craven neoliberal support for austerity, reiterated when he stood for the Labour leadership in 2015, and complicity in NHS privatisation under Blair and Brown, make him not supportable by socialists.

It is notable that some of the concessions Johnson made in the early stages of the pandemic to working class people, through the furlough scheme and some increases in benefits, were a product of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was still leader of the Labour Party until April and was in a position to make sharp criticisms of the Tory regime and act as a focus for working class discontent. Since Starmer became leader this has collapsed; he has grovelled in the most disgusting manner before the government, sacking ‘left’ shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey because she backed the Teachers Unions’ resistance to premature reopening of schools during the pandemic, with a smear about ‘anti-Semitism’. His sackings of other mildly leftist shadow ministers for voting against government measures like legalising murder and rape by ‘Spy Cops’, show what this was really about. Starmer is Johnson’s fag, Eton style.

One result of this is that the current tiered measures are much more geared to a bailout of big business than supporting workers than even the inadequate measures for the first wave. Starmer says virtually nothing about that, even though he has belatedly, along with SAGE, started calling for a two-to-three-week firebreak lockdown to arrest the current virus spread. And Burnham does not address this either.

As a former Blairite turned ‘soft left’ Burnham is not remotely capable of leading the kind of fightback the working class needs against this hard-right Brexiteer Tory government, though his observations about what is driving the regional lockdown policy of the government have often been quite sharp:

“Today we communicated our clear and unanimous view to the Government. It is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper support for the people and businesses affected.

“To do so will result in certain hardship, job losses, business failure. It will cause harm in a different way to people’s mental health and is not certain to control the virus. People are fed up of being treated in this way, the North is fed up of being pushed around. We aren’t going to be pushed around any more.

“”The Government is not giving city regions like ours and the Liverpool City Region the necessary financial backing for full lockdowns of that kind. That is why we have unanimously opposed the Government’s plans for Tier 3. They are flawed and unfair.

“They are asking us to gamble our residents’ jobs, homes and businesses and a large chunk of our economy on a strategy that their own experts tell them might not work. We would never sign up for that.

“While this is not necessarily Greater Manchester’s view, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer also told us last night that the only certain thing to work is a national lockdown. But the Government told us this morning it is unwilling to do that because of the damage it will do to the national economy. And yet that is what they want to impose on the North West.”

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1348229/manchester-lockdown-andy-burnham-tier-three-latest-coronavirus-boris-johnson

There is huge pressure building up on the Tory government about the likely death toll of many more tens or even hundreds of thousands from the escalating pandemic. Around 60,000 excess deaths have already resulted from the first wave, that is, on top of the 10,000 or so that generally die from ordinary flu in a ‘normal’ British winter. The campaign about free school meals is only a part of it, but celebrities such as football star Marcus Rashford, and the mass outrage behind them, have got the Tories running scared. They have good reason to be even more scared of the death toll from the pandemic that they have allowed to get out of control again.

Fighting the Working Class, Not the Virus

A comment in a recent Facebook discussion, by Martin Deane, a long-time election candidate for the Green Party, sums up where the UK under Johnson stands in the international scheme of things regarding Covid-19:

“The UK is one of 17 countries with over 10k Covid deaths. 195 are under 10k. Look it up on Worldometer. Most of the world has washed its hands of the virus! Of them 155 countries have under 1k deaths. The UK really is an outlier with its 65k spike, 50k Of which were Covid deaths. And now facing tens of thousands more…”

This is the result of a government stratagem of not fighting against the virus but fighting against the popular will and resolve to fight to eliminate the virus. The whole litany of behaviour of Johnson’s Tory regime since the pandemic emerged has been a more mendacious, camouflaged variant of Trumpism, extreme, demented neoliberal, free-market fundamentalism. This was prefigured by his bizarre speech in Greenwich in on February 2:

“…in that context, we were starting to hear some bizarre, autarchic rhetoric, when barriers are going up, and when there is a risk that new diseases like Coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation, that go beyond what is medically rational, to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage, then at that moment, humanity needs some government somewhere, that is willing at least to make the case, powerfully, for freedom of exchange.

Some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles, and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion of the right of populations, of the Earth, to buy and sell freely among each other. Here in Greenwich in the first week of February 2020, I can tell you with all humility, that the UK is ready for that role.”

https://www.facebook.com/185180654855189/videos/512321552989037

At the beginning of the pandemic, the likely toll was laid out for the government through SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) by scientists and epidemiologists from Imperial College, London:

“Unmitigated, the death number was 510,000… Mitigated we were told it was going to be 250,000. Once you see a figure of take no further action and a quarter of a million people die, the question you ask is, ‘What action?’”

Sunday Times, 22 March

These figures have been ridiculed by the many ‘Covid-deniers’ in part because one of the key scientists who warned of this scenario was Neil Ferguson, who later was caught out by the tabloid press as having been visited by a woman he did not live with as part of a personal relationship, in breach of the social distancing and lockdown rules at that time.

His projections were dismissed as rubbish, on grounds that he was a ‘hypocrite’ for not adhering completely to measures that he advocated, not only by Covid-deniers but also by those close to the Johnson government that embarked on a rapid and reckless winding down of precautionary measures beginning in June, ending up in early September with their public demand for most people to ‘go back to work’, to ‘save’ the city centres from economic regression.

But this is probably the sharpest expression ever of the logical fallacy of the ad hominem denunciation. Because his personal hypocrisy and his breach of the rules mean nothing in relation to whether his projections were correct, so not. They may well turn out to be correct. In this regard, Ferguson is now warning that it will be necessary to close at least secondary schools to control the currently resurgent virus. This is being ignored – for now, as was the call by Chris Whitty and SAGE for a 2-3 week ‘circuit-breaker’ national lockdown to slow the current ‘wave’ in mid-September, rejected by the Tories because it would damage the economy. ‘Herd immunity’ is still very much alive and kicking.

Johnson raised the possibility of a policy of allowing the SARS-2 Coronavirus to “move through the population” unrestricted, so the population would have to “take it on the chin” and thus develop “herd immunity” in a TV interview on 5th March. Having laid down this strategy as a possibility, he rowed back from openly endorsing it, saying it was necessary to “balance” this with other considerations.

In fact “herd immunity” was the government’s strategy to deal with the pandemic. Initially it was virtually open. As Dr David Halpern, a leading figure in the ‘Nudge Unit’ (‘Behavioural Insight Team’), a semi-privatised government body that looks for ways to manipulate the population to comply with Tory austerity, laid out in a BBC Interview:

“… and there’s going to be a point, assuming the epidemic flows and grows as we think it probably will do, where you’ll want to cocoon, you’ll want to protect those at-risk groups so that they basically don’t catch the disease, and by the time that they come out of their cocooning, herd immunity’s been achieved in the rest of the population.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1238097745971421184

Johnson’s ideological guru Dominic Cummings attended meetings of SAGE right from the early days of the pandemic: he is not a scientist or an epidemiologist.  He evidently had a major influence on Sir Patrick Vallance, one of the government’s two main scientific advisers to this day (the other being Chris Whitty). Unlike policy wonks like David Halpern, Cummings was well aware it would not be possible to cocoon elderly people from an epidemic that infected the bulk of the population, and laid out what the real attitude of central figures in the government is to the Covid pandemic:

“Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s senior aide, became convinced that Britain would be better able to resist a lethal second wave of the disease next winter if Whitty’s prediction that 60% to 80% of the population became infected was right, and the UK developed ‘herd immunity’

At a private engagement at the end of February, Cummings outlined the government’s strategy. Those present said it was ‘herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.”

Sunday Times, op-cit

This fits in very well with the incredible care homes scandal, with Covid patients discharged untested into care homes with the resulting carnage of many thousands, and the masks scandal, where billions were spent by privateers like Deloitte on substandard PPE, much of which went into the pockets of scammers.

And of course, Cummings’ own blatant undermining of the lockdown, driving from London to Durham, and to a local tourist spot, then back again, while he and his wife were infected in defiance of lockdown rules, getting away with it through a tissue of feeble lies, was designed to undermine popular support for public health measures by encouraging the view that they were all a racket to protect the privileged. This facet certainly was effective! In Britain, the first ‘wave’ was never defeated, because the measures taken to combat it were never remotely adequate. This was deliberate.

The battle to starve the virus of the chance to spread, driven by working class people from below from the beginning of the pandemic, was undertaken by the Johnson government only with great reluctance in late March, and by May they were already engaged in machinations to begin lifting it, even though there were still over hundreds of Covid daily deaths.

 The population refused to play ball: the attempt to reopen schools at the beginning of June was a flop, as more than half stayed away. But from then the quarantine measures were rapidly and prematurely lifted and undermined. And schools were re-opened on a compulsory basis in September even though teenagers at least are proven to spread the disease just as easily as adults.

The ‘NHS Test and Trace’ system that was put in place in June (after testing was scandalously abandoned by the Tories in March) is a privatised scam. It is nothing to do with the NHS: £12 billion was handed to Serco for not much in particular, to invest in obsolete spreadsheets for recording test results, so thousands of results were ‘mislaid’. Tests are slow and often unavailable: people are often told to travel as far as Cummings did just to get a test! And barely 60% of contacts of infected peopled are traced when to have an effective system it needs to be between 80 and 90%. Around £8 billion of the £12 billion given to Serco is unaccounted for, most likely having been set aside for dividends and/or salted away in tax havens.

Punctuated Herd Immunity

One serious attempt to deal with the effects of the government’s duplicity and the craven nature of the response to it has come from the Workers Party GB, led by George Galloway and Joti Brar. Their recent statement, published on the 17th October, is titled “Lockdowns are neither effective nor fair, but a further proof of government failure to manage the health emergency effectively”. This has given some people the impression that the WPGB is siding with the anti-lockdown, Covid-denying idiots and dupes of the far right, but this is not true, as you can see when you read the statement. It says of the government’s Three Tier policy:

“This policy is neither fish nor fowl; it is neither effective nor fair, and, by compounding increasing levels of hardship and poverty, it is taking a heavy toll on the British working class.

We have no confidence in the leadership of this government, and no confidence in the official Labour party opposition, to protect our interests and lead us through the crisis.”

https://workerspartybritain.org/2020/10/17/statement-lockdowns-ineffective-unfair-proof-government-failure-manage-health-emergency-effectively-covid-19/

It is clear that their view of how the pandemic could be fought was broadly correct:

“The Workers Party’s call for widespread testing, tracing and social isolation and care of covid patients – the public health measures that proved successful in eradicating the virus in China and elsewhere – was ignored. Travellers from the most affected parts of the globe (principally Europe and the USA) continued to fly into British airports throughout the worst months of the crisis, despite the supposed ‘lockdown’.”

ibid

And they have even come up with a sharp and synthetic characterisation of what the government’s real strategy is:

“It is increasingly clear that these lockdown measures simply represent a kind of ‘punctuated’ herd immunity, and that the government has no intention of taking the measures necessary really to safeguard the wellbeing of those unemployed, elderly or impoverished workers from whom it makes little money, and therefore sees only as a burden.

“For effective protective measures – including the reversal of NHS privatisation, investment in public services, the creation of decent jobs and livelihoods for working people – undermine the very essence of the government’s goal, which is to safeguard the interest of the billionaire class at all costs, and at workers’ expense.”

ibid
Johnson and Andy Burnham

Fight Covid! Human Need not Profits!

Unfortunately their demands for the crisis seem to somewhat passively accept that in losing confidence in Johnson’s mendacious government and its fake protective measures and lockdown, the whole idea of quarantine measures has “lost the confidence of a large section of British workers, who are tired of the fruitless hardships they have endured.”

Thus the mistaken emphasis of the headline, that “lockdowns” (apparently in general) “are neither effective nor fair” which despite the evident intention of the authors, does cause some confusion and can mislead honest militants into embracing the idiot Covid-deniers, despite the best of intentions.

The demands of the Workers Party in this situation are too modest. They demand

“… a free and comprehensive healthcare system. We want the NHS to be able to do what is expected of it, and for it not to be attacked at every opportunity by hostile governments.

“This is also why we are calling for a corona wealth tax – a 5% one-off tax on fortunes exceeding £10 million. Because the pandemic is just the tip of the inequality iceberg – for far too long now our nation’s problems have been socialised and the profits privatised.”

ibid

Even though these demands are correct as far as they go, what is missing is any immediate demands related to what is to be done about the pandemic itself. It appears that this is the result of despair and capitulation at the mood that they have noted in part of the working class, not necessarily the most advanced part, “who are tired of the fruitless hardships they have endured.“

This is not the most advanced layer of the working class; this is the layer that is most likely to be influenced by the right-wing populism that drove support for Brexit and Johnson in the first place, and maybe even by the Covid-denying right-wing idiots and the confused part of the left that is tailing them. The most advanced sections of the working class are very well aware that the discrediting of the government’s appalling duplicity and mendacity does not mean that Covid is any less dangerous. Without serious measures to suppress it, or without a vaccine to develop real herd immunity, many tens, even hundreds of thousands will die.

Whatever the mood in the working class, whatever the ‘concern’ about the economy, we must demand that all economic resources be devoted to protecting the health and lives of the population. We demand proper measures of social distancing/isolation to crush the virus and bring it down to manageable levels that can be handled by a proper testing and tracing system, be implemented and be paid for in its entirety by the capitalists. We demand full pay during this period for all workers, whether regular, casualised or self-employed, immigrant or non-immigrant, to ensure no one falls victim to destitution or starvation. We demand an end to all evictions and the housing of the homeless, not as a temporary, reversible stopgap, but securely and permanently. We demand a rise in benefits for all claimants to at least the level of a living wage, to be decided on by workers and claimants themselves, through them becoming organised in unions and similar bodies that may come into being in the struggle.

Above all, we demand that production and the economy be remodelled and re-organised to make its overarching purpose the preservation of life and considerations of human need, not private profit. The objective situation of the pandemic demands this, and in a sense, though fear of the disease in the short term makes it difficult to organise mass actions to force it, it can also act as a learning experience for the mass of the population as to the need for socialism, whose essence is production for human need instead of profit. The programme of any putative working-class party should be formulated as to make that more and more conscious among the most advanced layers of the working class.

Communist Fight issue no 3 out now!

Communist Fight issue no 3 is now available as a PDF. It is not currently available as a hard copy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we do plan to print and distribute our journal as hard copy as and when circumstances allow.

This journal is a product of our commitment to maintaining a high-quality Marxist journal based on the politics of Trotskyism and the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International.

There are a number of important articles in this issue including a treatment of the Trans question, which has become a subject of some controversy in parts of the left recently due to a certain dovetailing between a backward right-wing feminist trend and the ‘working class’ pretentions of right-wing populism, which have had a perverse impact on a weakened left.

We have major articles on the Tory government’s offensive against workers exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic, and the beginnings of class sentiment reasserting itself at the base of the labour movement because of theses outrages.

Also a crucial article on the US Elections and the threat to the working class and the oppressed from the atrophying of the US bourgeoisie’s pretence of democracy. And an important statement from the LCFI issued prior to the recent election in Bolivia, which was won by the leftist-populist MAS movement, by a very clear popular majority, in the face of the coup orchestrated by US imperialism.

And there is an important statement by the LCFI on the phenomenon of ‘hybrid war’, which has recently been seen in such diverse locations as Lebanon, Belarus and Argentina, the waging of irregular campaigns to destabilise halfway non-cooperative regimes by pro-imperialist forces as a currently more successful method than overt military interventions.

Fight Anti-Trans Regression in the Labour Movement!

In the last couple of years there has been a retreat on the question of the rights of transsexuals in the labour movement in Britain, and mockery and contempt for trans people has become a real problem even among a layer of putative left activists. Somewhat strangely, a key inspirer of this has been Joanne (“JK”) Rowling, the celebrity author of Harry Potter children’s books and sometime novelist, and an ideologue of the Labour right. Rowling, a long time Blairite, was an outspoken opponent of the left in the recent witchhunts and Blairite/Zionist destabilisation campaign that brought down Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, yet remarkably she has gained kudos among some of the left for a campaign against transsexuals that bears considerable resemblance to her pro-Zionist activities. She tends to fictionalise her obsessions: during the Corbyn period she wrote a novel called Lethal White about an imaginary anti-Semitic anti-Zionist. Her latest rendering, Troubled Blood, is about a transvestite serial killer, again crudely serving a political agenda.

She has been particularly outspoken in her attacks on the policy the Labour Party adopted under Corbyn, for extending anti-discrimination protections under Equalities legislation to change the ‘protected characteristic’ of ‘gender reassignment’ in the current legislation to ‘gender identity’. Where previously a medical ‘diagnosis’ of ‘gender dysphoria’, if not actual surgery, was required for such recognition (implying that transsexuality is some kind of sickness) now ‘self-identification’ would be all that is required. This change would remove the legal justification, which exists in current law, for the exclusion of transsexuals from some ‘single sex services’, for instance in refuges and prisons.

JK Rowling as depicted by her detractors

In the past two years there had been a ‘consultation’ on the table from the Tory government, as part of their previous efforts, begun under David Cameron, to show that they are ‘enlightened’ and ‘modern’, to amend Equalities and Gender Recognition laws in a similar way, that would allow transsexuals who have not yet gone through the protracted and often painful process of  gender-reassignment, including that involving surgery, to be recognised legally as being of their changed gender/sex on the basis of self-identification. However, under Johnson the Tories have predictably retreated from these promises and Johnson’s government now echoes the transphobes in all parties who demand the exclusion of trans women from ‘women’s spaces’ in the name of supposedly protecting women against predatory male sex offenders who decide to ‘identify’ as women.

What is more odd is that her arguments have been accepted by quite a few on the left and have become a source of significant divisions among those who are otherwise opponents of the Labour right, its pro-NATO militarism, pro-Zionism and neoliberalism. In Labour there are groups like Women’s Place, and the LGB Alliance (with the ‘T’ – for ‘Trans’ – conspicuously missing) which contain left-wing people who have historically fought hard against Blairism. It is a tragic regression that such people find common cause with the likes of Rowling.

The origins of Rowling’s school of thought are in one of the most egregious and bigoted strands of the neoliberal politics that dominated Labour during the Blair period, epitomised by Julie Bindel. Whose tirades against transsexuals accompanied her campaign, along with Harriet Harman, and the crooked neocon Denis MacShane, for the hypocritically-disguised ‘feminist’ ‘Swedish’ position on sex work. This put a ‘feminist’ gloss on the project of Moral Majority religious bigots, defining sex work as ‘violence against women’ and trying to deprive sex workers of income by criminalising their clients, pretending to be acting for the benefit of the sex workers (by trying to starve them). Bindel saw her campaigns against sex workers, and transsexuals, as complementary.

This is one of many strands of what Blair’s government stood for that has long been in deep disrepute, but this transphobic trend seems to have revived as a result of the adaptation of part of the left to right-wing populism and its ‘working class’ pretentions – to Trump and Brexit. Though the positions of individuals may vary considerably on such things, there does seem to be considerable overlap between those on the left who backed Brexit and showed softness on Trump, and those echoing JK Rowling’s bigotry today.

Popular Fronts with Trump and Farage

Thus, George Galloway and his new Workers Party of Britain boast about their backwardness on this: not only did Galloway notoriously ally himself with Nigel Farage and call for votes to the Brexit Party in the 2019 General Election. His bloc partners in founding the new ‘Workers Party’, the Mao-Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), led now by Joti Brar, with its roots in the ‘radical’ fringe of Maoism in India via the Indian Workers Association (GB), proclaimed at the time Donald Trump was elected president in 2016:

“Coming as it does on the heels of the Brexit vote in June, Trump’s victory is another blow at the imperialist system and the so-called liberal order. As such, it should be greeted with enthusiasm by the revolutionary proletariat and progressive humanity everywhere.”

https://archive.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=proletarian&subName=display&art=1247

This bizarre variant of Stalinist Popular-Front politics should cause the left to rub their eyes in disbelief. Instead of a Popular Front seeking a bloc with the liberal bourgeoisie against fascism, as was the norm in the 1930s (except for the period of the Stalin-Hitler pact, to which this bears some resemblance), we now see a Popular Front with part of the ‘radical’ neoliberal right against the liberal bourgeoisie in the name of opposing neoliberalism. This phantasm has its own roots, which are not the subject of this article, but it does have relevance, as Trump’s position on transsexuals is finding an echo among some on the left. And the kind of adaptation Galloway is now known for has a broader influence also including on some who were involved with the Corbyn movement.

On August 17, a US Federal Judge temporarily stayed the Trump administration’s overturn of the Obama administration’s definition of sex/gender. Forbes (17 Aug) reported:

“The Trump administration policy rescinds the Obama administration’s 2016 gender discrimination rule which redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity, which it defined as ‘one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.’

Trump’s policy returns to the government’s previous interpretation of sex discrimination according to ‘the plain meaning of the word ,<<sex>> as male or female and as determined by biology.’”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elanagross/2020/08/17/federal-judge-temporarily-blocks-trump-administrations-rollback-of-obama-era-transgender-health-care-protections/#5bb3be4f60d6

We hear similar things on some of the left, including from Galloway:

“I stand with JK Rowling. People can wear what they like – even their dead mother’s clothes – and identify as Moon-landing astronauts if they like, and I will do my best to accommodate them. But not to the extent of signing in my blood that they actually ARE what they identify as. … the ‘self-identifying woman’s’ freedoms are impinging on the freedoms of girls and women to their own spaces, privacy and self-expression.”

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/500868-galloway-psycho-jk-rowling-hitchcock/)

So here we see a rather strange confluence between the “socially conservative, but economically radical”, Galloway, and a brand of feminism in the left and labour movement, that for all the rhetoric against ‘identity politics’ that we see from some of those denouncing the ‘delusion’ of transsexuals about having changed their gender/sex, exhibit a prime characteristic of identity politics – smears that anyone who does not share their particular form of chauvinist hostility to another group, is hostile to the group they identify with.

Transphobic Identity Politics: A Threat to Gays Also

Thus Trans-Exclusionist Feminists frequently accuse those who do not share their exclusionism, whether male or female, of ‘misogyny’ (hatred of women). It only takes a moment’s thought to deduce that there is no logical reason to believe that those who defend the rights of transsexuals should have any reason whatsoever to hate women. It is just as intellectually lazy and insulting as the canard that those who are critical of the oppressive behaviour and activities of Zionist Jews towards Palestinians, hate Jewish people in general.

A classic manifestation of identity politics, apart from clear cases of outright separatism by an oppressed stratum under capitalism (which is generally mistaken and counterproductive), is when strata that are not oppressed, accuse members of a stratum that does suffer oppression, of bigotry simply for demanding basic rights. So it is when Zionist Jews smear their Palestinian victims (and their sympathisers) as ‘anti-Semites’ for demanding their rights. So it is when the small, vulnerable minority of transsexuals (and their sympathisers), demanding equal treatment to members of the sex they have transitioned to, are smeared as sexual predators and misogynists.

The counter-argument from transphobes is that transsexuality is itself a form of ‘identity politics’, that the very idea that anyone’s psyche can be at odds with their original biology is a ‘delusion’ which should not be ‘indulged’, that such people are in effect mentally ill, and should be treated as such, or as in some other way as deviant. Such people can never be fully accepted as female, or male, no matter what they do, is the logic of this argument which is heard regularly from those on the left who have capitulated in this way.

This argument is bigoted and inhuman, and in its logic threatens homosexuals as well as transsexuals. For if biology is paramount, if the psyche counts for nothing and no one can ever have a sex-related psychological makeup that is at odds with their strict biology, then how can homosexuality be a sexual orientation at all? The biological function of sex, by the same logic (applied consistently) as the transphobes use, is reproduction, and therefore ‘sexual’ activities between those of the same sex are not really sexual. By this reasoning they can only be acts that signify a mental delusion, as with the ‘delusions’ of transsexuals, that need ‘treatment’, that even should be ‘cured’. Medical orthodoxy used to say this about gays, as recently as the 1980s. When this is said about transsexuals it can just as easily be said about homosexuals. And it will: if the left retreats on trans rights in this manner it will open the way for further retreats on gay rights.

The current anti-trans regression on the left needs to be rejected, on the grounds Lenin laid out in What Is To Be Done, as early as 1903, that the job of would-be socialists and communists is to act as the “tribune of the oppressed, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression … no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects”. That unifying of the oppressed behind the banner of the working class as the universal emancipator, is the real negation of identity politics.

No political support for Biden / Harris! Break with the Democrats!

US ELECTION: THE THREAT OF DICTATORSHIP

Declaration of the Liaison Committee of the Fourth International

The 2020 US Presidential Elections is going to be the most dangerous and incendiary in many years, as the US ‘democracy’ and its aspirations for social and political stability are acutely threatened by the prospect that, even if defeated, Donald Trump will not accept that and will fight to hang onto power come what may. Trump appears to have got past Covid-19 and aspires to be a US reprise of someone like Louis Bonaparte, able to subvert and manipulate a highly undemocratic ‘democratic’ system to obtain and maintain power without obtaining a majority, or even a plurality, of the popular vote.

If Trump attempts to put his coup threats into practice, it is possible that there could be a major confrontation between different bourgeois factions in the election aftermath, and given the different social and electoral bases of these factions, this could produce major polarisations and even conflict between different layers of the working class population in the US, as well as posing a major threat to democratic rights and social gains.

From the point of view of a rational policy for US imperialism, Trump’s administration is dysfunctional. But then again, even from the standpoint of formal democracy, the US Constitution itself is dysfunctional. This is not something to celebrate for the working class, however, whose interests are fundamentally at odds with those of US capitalism. For the irrationalities of the US constitution and political setup do not in any way benefit the working class and the overlapping doubly oppressed sections of our class that are particular targets of some of the political system’s worst features.

The United States is not a ‘normal’ bourgeois national state as can be seen most classically in Europe and Japan. It is a colonial settler state, founded through genocide of the native peoples of the various ‘Indian’ nations, which marks it as a society founded on racist barbarism at its very roots. The other foundation of US ‘democracy’ is the abduction and enslavement of its black population from Africa. Its entire history has been particularly marked by the struggles of the black population for basic rights and equality.

Initially against slavery in the 19th Century, then against the Jim Crow forcible segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror that succeeded it, a struggle that culminated with the achievement of formal legal equality as a result of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights movement stopped at that point, failing to go further and touch the huge economic inequality and impoverishment of the black population that centuries of racial oppression under capitalism have given rise to.

The end of the Civil Rights movement saw the black population of Northern ghettos rise up and fight racist cops alongside their brethren in the South, partly under the banner of Black Power, and the Rev. Martin Luther King’s liberal-pacifism challenged by the rise of Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and other quasi-revolutionary movements such as SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), DRUM (Detroit Revolutionary Union Movement) and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, to mention only a few. But this radicalisation failed to crystallise an authoritative, working class and revolutionary party and over time, this led to these movements falling prey to repression from the state, disillusionment, and demoralisation.

Neoliberal attacks and racist offensive hand-in-hand

The failure of the Civil Rights movement and its semi-nationalist ‘radical’ sequel to lead to a struggle against the capitalist double exploitation and oppression of the black masses led from the late 1970s to neo-liberalism taking the offensive against the black population through cuts in poverty programmes, crackdowns on so-called ‘law and order’, restoration of the death penalty in 1976, which particularly targeted blacks who were disproportionately driven into a life of poverty and degradation. Such intensified oppression breeds a degree of crime that can then be exploited by racists to further impoverish the black masses, while at the same time promoting a middle-class black layer of collaborators with the system.

This carried on through the Reagan and elder Bush administrations with the ‘War on Drugs’ which was actually a war on the black masses, then intensified under Clinton with the passage of various ‘omnibus’ anti-crime bills and ‘effective death penalty’ acts, continuing under the succeeding GW Bush administration. This gave rise to the situation today, where the United States has 2.3 million people in jail, around 40 per cent of whom are black. The imprisonment rate of blacks to whites in the US in 2018 was 1501 per 100,000, as opposed to 268 per 100,000 for whites – a rate nearly 6 times greater.

Over the period mainly covered by the Obama administration, and the conditions that gave rise to it, it appears that there was a certain decline in the degree of disproportionality of Black imprisonment, from over ninefold in 2006 to ‘only’ close to sixfold in 2018 ( see here ). But the response to such a relative lessening of the worst outrages under the first black President was determined effort by the neoliberal right to raise up Trump, an overt racist, to succeed Obama.

The campaign of gerrymandering and voter suppression that drove the white supremacist backlash against the Obama presidency was considerable, and led to Trump being able to win the Electoral College in 2016 despite in the national popular vote losing to the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, by nearly three million votes. Even though Hillary Clinton was an integral part of the Bill Clinton administration responsible for earlier appalling legal attacks, she paid the price for her party bringing forth a black President. This underlines why the obviously undemocratic Electoral College system, the legacy of incremental white settler expansion and many racist wars, has been preserved – as a firebreak against the multi-racial big city populations where the working class can be most potent and political.

Vigilante State Racism in the United States. 
Trump sent federal agents to assault Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon. 
In the minor highlight, sniper Vigilante in Kenosha, Wisconsin, defended by Trump, murdered Black Lives Matter protesters after the police brazenly shot an unarmed black man in the back.

This is the nature of the class struggle in the United States. The struggle against the double oppression of the black working class and poor suffuses the entire class struggle of the US working class and gives it a special character, in which race and class are closely linked and class questions are modified by considerations of racial oppression. It also is at the root of the ‘gun culture’ in the US: the Second Amendment – the Right to Bear Arms – always was about arming the white settler population to massacre the native nations of this part of North America, and to keep the Black population enslaved and segregated.

The epidemic of ‘mass shootings’ in the US is linked to the pathology of a society poisoned by lynch law and the suppression of social issues by violence. It is not the mere presence of arms that determines the killings: in other societies where arms are widespread, from rich countries like Switzerland to poor ones like the Philippines, such mass shootings are rare, as the deeply embedded racist pathology that pollutes this racist settler society is absent.

There are other questions that modify the US class struggle. The question of immigration is of considerable significance in US racism, as the entire white Anglo-derived population stands on the shoulders of violent white settlers who slaughtered the native tribes to the brink of non-existence; hence the complaints of white ‘nativists’ about Spanish-speaking immigrants from poorer semi-colonial countries to the South have an overtly racist and hypocritical character. This also overlaps with the US imperialist brutalisation of the peoples of the entire territory of the Americas.

The United States is the most dangerous imperialist power in history, with a truly global reach and the weaponry to destroy humanity many times over. Therefore, its defeat and disintegration are in the interests of the world proletariat and that of the great mass of humanity.

Trumpian reaction and imperialist decline

The Trump administration and its irrationalities are a product of US imperialism’s decline and the ebbing of its power, getting involved in numerous wars that it has struggled with, most notably in the Middle East: Iraq, Afghanistan, and more covertly Syria. Two issues brought Trump to power: one being domestic racism, anti-immigration sentiment and support for white supremacy among parts of the former industrial, mainly white working class of the ‘rust belt’ states in the US interior, whose jobs have often been exported to lower wage developing countries by the US bourgeoisie, desperately seeking additional profits to offset the continuing decline of profit rates that are a crippling, fundamental contradiction of capitalism and endemic in this period of advanced capitalist decline and decay.

The other, linked element of Trumpism is a degree of reactionary, right-wing isolationism. This sentiment among ultra-reactionary sections of American business is not against imperialist militarism as such, but rather about their desire to ‘sort out’ uppity blacks, women and other oppressed groups who need to be ‘put in their place’ to re-establish unquestioned white, male supremacy at home. ‘Make America Great Again’ is about reimposing white supremacy as a path to a future imperialist offensive.

The abstract model of capitalism is that anyone’s money is as good as anyone else’s, the ethnic origin of those being exploited by capital being theoretically irrelevant.  ‘Actually existing’ capitalism, however, does not work like that, and the United States is a particularly extreme example. Its very foundation was bound up with racial supremacism, slavery, and genocide, whereas in Europe these things are often seen as external products of ‘empire’. So much of its ruling class, and much of the majority Anglo-European population, are deeply embedded in supremacism.

So you see major social tensions between different sections of the ruling class, one of which is ‘rolling with’ the demographic shifts and even basing itself to a degree on the black population and other oppressed populations, the other of which is either fighting against it, or at least seeking to exploit discontent among ‘left behind’ sections of the rust-belt lumpen semi-proletariat to promote a thinly-veiled white-male supremacist agenda.

The widespread involvement of Republicans in voter suppression is an indication of this, as is the overt support of Trump for paramilitary fascist/white supremacist groups like the ‘Proud Boys’, and the drive to appoint an ultra-reactionary anti-abortion Catholic fanatic,  Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court, obviously aiming at overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade judgement that prevented states from banning abortion, as well as possibly intervening on the side of Trump in any legal battle over a contested election defeat. Trump’s support for armed militia racist terrorists against the Black Lives Matter movement that has emerged over the past several years as a result of the unremitting terrorisation and promiscuous murdering of black people by the cops, is particularly ominous and indicates that he is quite prepared to support and incite fascist massacres to try to hold onto power. As indeed is his use of federal forces for similar purposes, particularly in Portland, Oregon over the last months.

No political support to Democrats!

The political conclusions that we draw from this analysis is that we can politically support neither side in this election. Both wings in terms of their programme and leadership are thoroughly bourgeois. Both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are in no sense creations of the working class. They are ruling class parties that it is a matter of principle for those who stand for the class independence of the workers to refuse to advocate votes for or politically support in any way.

However, that is not the end of it. The social bases of the two parties are different even if the class nature of them are both bourgeois. The social base of the Democrats is in the big city, genuinely multi-racial elements of the working class where there is an element of anti-racist, working class radicalisation that ought to be the seedbed of a genuine workers movement. This was illustrated in the last presidential election campaign, as well as this one, by the two bids for the Democratic Party presidential nomination by the social democrat Bernie Sanders, who ran on a programme particularly focussed on the demand for free healthcare, or ‘Medicare for All’.

Sanders was bidding for the nomination for President on the ticket of a bourgeois party. Yet in a sense he was propelled toward that by a class-conscious element within the base of that party. To say that is not to politically support the Democratic Party or anyone within it, including Sanders. It would be unprincipled to support Sanders’ battle for the nomination of the ‘liberal’ magnates’ party but it would be correct to demand that his supporters break from the Democrats and fight openly for the creation of an independent working class party in the US. If they could have been pushed into that, then revolutionaries could have given Sanders, or someone like him, very critical support.

Counterposed to that is Trump’s base in the rust belt ex-working class, who were won to his right-wing populist programme of banning Muslims from the US, bashing ‘foreigners’ and oppressed groups, protectionism against China, and supposedly keeping the US out of aggressive wars in the Middle East particularly, partly out of impotent disillusion with the 40 years of neoliberal attacks, givebacks to the bosses, and the prolonged decline of living standards since the days of Ronald Reagan.

Bernie Sanders sacrifices his political chances in favour of Biden

Class-based disillusionment with Obama drove some parts of the working class towards Trump in 2016. It was mainly a reactionary vote but not exclusively so. Sanders might have won over a layer, though not the bulk, of Trump’s support if he had been able to run, some Trumpers who had previously supported Obama. Obama won a landslide victory in 2008 driven by sentiment particularly regarding his promises regarding healthcare and to get the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, to close Guantanamo, etc. But while he delivered a healthcare reform that falls a long way short of universal free public healthcare, and while he signed a Deal with Iran that made a US attack on Iran less likely in the short term, he also launched new wars in Libya and Syria, that Trump was able to gain some support by criticising.

So while a section of Trump’s base were  driven to support him by his isolationist attacks on some recent US wars including Obama’s, and Trump has not been able to launch much in the way of any new wars in this presidency, the view of Trump as some sort of peacemaker are absurd. In recent decades more traditional US militarism has interlaced with the projects of the neoconservatives, a political trend in ruling class politics who regard support for Israel and Zionism as a sacred cause.

There has been a faction based on Jewish ethnic politics within the US ruling class for over a century, but it has become qualitatively more powerful with the rises of the neoliberal offensive and this kind of reaction has increasingly interlaced with more traditional US right wing racism. It has devoted a great deal of effort to promoting its agenda in both parties, but its affinity for Trump has been particularly marked – for good reason. So we see leading ideologues around the Trump administration, alt-right figures like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller – who are both Zionist and white supremacist –  and Richard Spencer proclaim their loud support for the most outrageous Israeli atrocities, and even calling themselves ‘white Zionists’.

Trump destroyed Obama’s Iran Deal, which originally had bipartisan support in the US, at the behest of Israel.  He made the Israel lobby rapture by implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, (which Clinton, Bush and Obama had paid lip service to but never implemented), moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and promoted his ‘deal of the Century’ which openly repudiates the very idea of a Palestinian state and tells Palestinians to accept and live with Israeli overlordship in perpetuity, encouraging Israeli plans to annex the West Bank.

Apart from that he has blown hot and cold in variety of conflicts, using his Twitter account to threaten North Korea and Iran with what sounded very much like nuclear war.  And then not doing much else. But he is also ratcheting up agitation against China, with threats, expansion of the military, trade war measures such as tariffs and abuse of China as supposedly responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Trump made many threats in Latin America, spurring moves to overthrow Chavez’s successor, Maduro in Venezuela, openly supporting the puppet ‘President’ Guaidó. Trump took advantage of the coup against the Workers’ Party in Brazil (orchestrated by the Obama administration) to project the rise to power of his Nazi puppet Bolsonaro.

We do not know in depth the secret coup plots of imperialism. The 2019 coup in Bolivia may have been the only coup articulated directly under Trump’s mandate. That may have been so, if that action was Trump’s favor with Elon Musk, owner of the Tesla electric car multinational. The White House may have done this to bring the owner of the $ 100 billion fortune closer, who has always been ambiguous to receive favors from both imperialist sides. However, our suspicions prevail that even the coup d’état in Bolivia, which occurred during Trump’s term, may also be the work of the Deep State, linked to the historic establishment and the Military Industrial Complex, most influenced by Democrats. Musk has much more political, ideological and strategic affinities with Democrats,

 However, in many of these theatres the US is no longer in quite such a strong position, and Trump’s bluster, and often his excessive preoccupation with far right agitation and causes at home, have meant that he has been a somewhat dysfunctional and ineffective President abroad. Imperialism is the expansionist compulsion of finance capital. Trump has not been very effective in expanding imperialist dominions in the 21st century, nor has he been able to contain the expansion of opponents of that imperialist dominance, especially from China, Russia and Iran. That is why he is dysfunctional. Theodore Roosevelt’s motto was that US imperialism should ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’. You could say that Trump’s practice has sometimes been ‘shout loudly and be seen as a bag of wind’. 

To this all must be added the characteristics of candidates for president and vice president. Trump already knows who he is. His deputy, Michael Pence, has been described as the most powerful fundamentalist Christian supremacist in history. These being the beliefs of the members of the Republican ticket, the credentials of the Democratic ticket’s acts are no better. Biden is domestically associated with the Maidan coup and the imperialist parasitism of Ukraine, having profited from the coup orchestrated by the Obama administration, of which Biden was vice president, control of the main Ukrainian Gas company, Burisma, which after Maidan became administered directly by the hands of his son, Hunter Biden. In other words, Biden is a candidate for president who directly benefits from imperialism’s coup foreign policy. 

Fight Fascist Dangers through Independent Workers’ Actions!

If Trump were to consolidate his position as Bush did by winning a clear second term on his overtly white supremacist programme, flirting with fascism as he does, it is quite conceivable that in his second term he could become a very dangerous militarist, particularly in an overtly racist war drive against China. The fictional events in the 2019 BBC/HBO drama Years and Years, set in the near future, that had a second-term Donald Trump launching a nuclear attack against an offshore Chinese island, are not at all far-fetched.

Though the twin bourgeois parties in US politics are both bourgeois, and in no sense politically or electorally supportable, there is a real difference in their social base at this point that does raise the question of which side the left should take in the event that Trump loses the election, but refuses to cede power and tries to hold onto it by force. With his overt support and incitement of white supremacist militias to attack anti-fascists, black militants and the left, such an event would constitute a fascistic danger to the black population and other minorities, and to the American working class movement in general. Trump’s armed supporters do not have the organisation and bourgeois support that was ranged behind Hitler and Mussolini, but they are not harmless either.

If Trump tries to maintain power against his electoral defeat, the left and the labor movement must fight for street mobilizations equal to or greater than the current ones to defeat the coup and fight for a workers’ own solution in the midst of civil war, for a workers’ government. Workers must take part in the front ranks of any struggle to defeat such a Trumpian coup, up to and including the use of large-scale armed actions and civil war, though a full-scale civil war seems unlikely. In immediate terms that would signify the tactical defeat of a reactionary, anti-democratic coup by a bourgeois figure whose views and actions are fascistic and pose a serious threat to our class. Participation by the left and organised labour in such a battle, while refusing any political support to the Democrats, has the potential to strengthen us considerably.

This will not solve the problem of the decline of US imperialism and the rise of barbaric forces out of that decline. Trump is not the cause, but a symptom of that and there will be worse to come if the US working class does not politically arm itself to struggle. The left needs to find ways to approach the large part of the US working class and oppressed populations that still look to the Democrats, to expose that bourgeois party to the vanguard, in order to make headway in rooting a revolutionary programme and party in the working class in the United States, in which black working class people, male and female, must play a crucial, leading role in the struggle for a workers’ government in the US through the socialist revolution, which builds a Soviet Republic of North America.

BOLIVIA 2020 – ELECTIONS UNDER THE COUP

Statement of Liaison Committee For the Fourth International

Coupists unite around the right wing against the MAS

In 2019 Bolivia suffered the most violent coup d’état in Latin America in the new era of coups initiated by the Obama-Hillary Clinton administration (2009-2017), with the coups in Honduras (2009), Paraguay (2012) and Brazil (2016).

The Morales government nationalized the country’s oil, gas, and mineral resources, enabling unprecedented economic growth and the reduction of extreme poverty by nearly 20 percentage points.

In Bolivia, Evo Morales emerged victorious in his campaign for re-election, but was pressured to resign by a civic-police-military coup on a broad political front.

Fascist militiamen and police coupists, backed by the Bolivian Armed Forces (FFAA) threatened to go north, stoned houses and made political arrests against the Morales-led Movement for Socialism (MAS) and its allies. The city hall of Vinto was burned and its MAS mayor, Patricia Arce, was beaten and dragged through the streets, forced to walk barefoot, having her hair cut. Another fascist gang broke into and robbed Evo Morales’ own home. The fascists burned several flags of Whipala, of Andean origin, one of the symbols of the Plurinational State of Bolivia which represents recognition of the diversity of the indigenous peoples that inhabit that territory. 24 people were killed in the clashes, 715 were injured and 50 were arrested. In Cochabamba, police murdered nine Morales supporters during a protest organized by cocaleiros’ (coca-growers) leaders on the president’s return. The new coup government of Jeanine Añez issued a decree to exempt the FFAA and the Bolivian National Police from criminal responsibility in the repression against demonstrations and allow the use of firearms.

Leading the coup against Morales were right-wing anti-communist lackeys, military, police militias, evangelical sects, driven by their own interests and those of billionaires such as Elon Musk, the South African-Canadian-American owner of the multinational corporation Tesla, interested in appropriating the country’s lithium reserves. Lithium is an alkaline metal used in the manufacture of batteries, including for electric cars. Most of the world’s lithium reserves are in Bolivia, which concentrates about a third of the entire world’s supply.

In September 2019, Evo Morales drove the first electric car manufactured 100% in Bolivia, by the Quantum plant in Llajta, Cochabamba, which launched its first cars. The government and the Chinese Embassy in Bolivia have signed a nearly RMB13 billion ($2.3 billion) deal for industrialization of Bolivian lithium and announced that the country would become the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles. Negotiations between TBEA Group and China Machinery Engineering were cursed by industry competitors in the United States, including Tesla, who were left out of that partnership.

Bringing up the rear, justifying the coup as being part of a supposed popular mobilization and not of the right and imperialism was the Bolivian Revolutionary Workers’ Party (Partido Obrero Revolucionario or POR – Bolivia’s original mass ‘Trotskyist’ party that capitulated to radical-talking bourgeois nationalism in the 1950s). As defender of the doctrine of an Anti-Imperialist United Front, the POR became a make-up artist of a Pro-Imperialist United Front.

Threatened, Evo Morales and his deputy, Álvaro Garcia Linera, were forced to resign and went into exile in the Argentina of Fernandez. Evo was prevented by the coupist judiciary from standing in the elections and even running for Senator, with his candidacy challenged on grounds of not residing in Bolivia.

The coup regime faces the contradictions of needing to restrict representative democracy in the country, prevent the return of popular former rulers and at the same time legitimize itself through new elections so as not to seem what it is, a dictatorship of capital and imperialism that seeks to monopolise/steal water, gas, lithium and the labour of the Bolivian proletariat. It does not even tolerate coexistence with sectors that seek to reform the extreme inequality created by the semicolonial condition of the Bolivian proletariat, and the country itself.

After months trying to ‘wait out’ the call for new elections, relying on the pandemic, the coup government is struggling to censor and manipulate polls that do not favour it. Worse, after the September polls, which indicated a possible victory, already in the first round, of Luis Arce, the presidential candidate of the MAS and former economics minister under Morales, the right urgently tried gathering the coup forces behind the traditional right-wing candidate, Carlos Mesa. Arce appeared to have 40 % of intending voters; Mesa 26 %, the far-right candidate Luis Camacho, 14 % and Jeanine Áñez, fourth, with 10 %. This picture forced Añez, the original coupist president of the country with Evo Morales’ resignation, to resign her candidacy. To avoid a runoff, the winner of the election must obtain at least 40% of the votes in the first, and a lead of at least 10% over the runner-up. Other polls since then indicate a growth of growth of support for Mesa, and a second round.

The coup government of Áñez suspended operations and negotiations initiated by Evo on the exploitation of Lithium. The programmes for presidential government of Mesa, Camacho and Áñez (when she was a candidate) advocated the privatization of lithium, its subordination to prices in the international market as traded on the Stock Exchanges and, as if trying to take the exploitation of the ore out of focus, minimized its importance to Bolivia.

Arce, the MAS candidate declared:

“Companies that want to extract our lithium will be welcome as long as they provide employment and produce in Bolivia. We want to produce our Bolivian batteries so that we can export them, obtaining another source of income for the Bolivian economy.”

He intends to keep the additional 32% tax on hydrocarbons. In Arce’s assessment, foreign interest in Bolivian minerals is so great that any exemption would be unnecessary and would represent an affront to national sovereignty.

Most Latin American left-wing bourgeois governments believed that they would be allowed to govern quietly as long as they did not break international economic dependency agreements with imperialism or threaten private ownership of the means of production. Bad mistake. After the 2008 Financial Crisis and China’s expanding influence in the world market, becoming the main trading partner, buyer and exporter to Latin American countries, the U.S. countered by overthrowing governments on the continent that operated this approach to China.

What is MAS?

The MAS, or MAS-ISPS (Movimiento Al Socialismo – Political Instrument por la Soberanía de los Pueblos) defines itself as a “political instrument”, because it acts simultaneously as a political party and a federation of social movements. THE MAS-ISPS presents itself as different from traditional parties, including the left, such as the Workers’ Party of Brazil. Article 42 of its Statutes provided that candidates in national and local elections should be chosen by direct vote in assemblies. From 1999 to 2002 most MAS-IPSP candidates were chosen by this method. From the 2002 elections some candidates were nominated by Evo Morales. As a party of social movements and trade union confederations, THE MAS-IPSP aggregates CSUTCB (United Confederation of Unions of Worker Peasants of Bolivia), CSCB (Syndicalist Confederation of Bolivian Colonisers) and the Bartolina Sisa Federation, the National Confederation of Rural Teachers, the National Confederation of Rivers and Pensioners, the National Confederation of Micro and Small Enterprise (Conamype), the National Federation of Mining Cooperatives (Fencomin, which claims to have about 40,000 members) and the combative Regional Workers Center (COR) of El Alto. The Bolivian Center of The Work Unit (COB) and the National Council of Ayllus and Markas de Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ) are not part of the MAS-IPSP but have critically supported the government.

MAS-ISPS has its origins in the organization of coca-growing workers in the Chapare region, under the leadership of Evo Morales in 1987 as Movimiento al Socialismo-Unzaguista. Evo’s election victory and nearly 14 years in office were based on the struggle of poor workers and Bolivian indigenous populations. THE MAS claims to be heir to the Bolivian Socialist Phalanx (FSB) a party founded in 1937 by Oscar Unzaga, who proposed a Bolivian nationalism in opposition to foreign currents such as capitalism, Marxism, and fascism. By this trend, the MAS government promoted several nationalizations of hydrocarbons, especially gas, the country’s main source of foreign exchange.

Subsidiaries of Hispana YPF-Repsol, British Ashmore and British Petroleum and the Peruvian-German consortium CLBH were nationalised; the state-owned YPFB Petroleum company transformed into a corporation to direct the nationalization of oil and the Bolivian Hydrocarbon Industrialization Company (EBIH) created. The Bolivian state acquired 100% of Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (in Peruvian and German hands) and the telephone company Entel, a subsidiary of Italian Telecom. It recovered the majority stake (50% + 1 stake) in Chaco oil companies, Panamerican Energy (British Petroleum group); It nationalized the Andean company, a subsidiary of Repsol YPF; and Transredes, a hydrocarbon carrier owned by British company Ahsmore and Anglo-Dutch Shell.

Evo Morales nationalized the Huanuni tin mine; the oil company Chaco, owned by British Petroleum (BP) and Argentina’s Bridas, whom it accused of taking $277 million out of the country in 2008. The Bolivian government expropriated 36,000 hectares of land from landowners (15,000 of the American larsen metenbrink family), accusing them of subjecting the Guarani Indians to servitude. It promoted the expropriation of the shares of four subsidiaries of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola; Air BP, a subsidiary of British Petroleum and dedicated to fuel distribution at Bolivian airports. Morales nationalized four electricity companies: Corani, 50% owned by Ecoenergy International, a subsidiary of France’s GDF Suez; Guaracachi, whose main shareholder (with 50%) was the British Rurelec PLC; Valle Hermoso, whose 50% of the capital was in the hands of the Bolivian Generator Group of the Pan American of Bolivia; and the distribution cooperative Empresa de Luis e Ferza Eléctrica de Cochabamba. Evo Morales has privately held the shares of Red Eléctrica Española (REEE) in the company Transportadora de Electricidad (TDE). [1]

Despite all these and other progressive measures, the MAS government is part of those governments that are not prepared to stand up to the reaction and resentment of imperialism, the bourgeoisie, and the local middle classes. The whole process has its particularities and singularities, in the Bolivian case, there is the historical racism of the bourgeoisie against the various indigenous ethnic groups, which turned against Morales and the majority of the population. THE MAS fell easily under pressure from the coup movement, after making concessions to pressure from the pro-imperialist right as in the surrender of the political refugee Cesare Batistte, former activist of the group Proletarians Armed by Communism, to life imprisonment by Italian imperialism.

The rejection of Marxism by MAS, its non-identification of imperialism and capitalism as enemies and its misunderstanding of class struggle took its toll. When the coup appeared, the resistance aimed at crushing coupists that had not been prepared for a decade and a half of government, favored the enemy.

Things happened differently in Maduro’s Venezuela, which prudently nullified the powers of the coup-majority Congress with a Constituent Assembly and armed part of the working population to defend the popular government in a political and military way, even though the conciliatory illusions of chavismo in Venezuela still keep it vulnerable by not advancing the social and economic expropriation of the coupist bourgeoisie.

By the time Morales and MAS recognized their mistake it was too late. In January 2020, a Bolivian radio station released a recording in which Morales reiterated that he had been the victim of a “coup d’état” during a meeting with supporters in Argentina. And ensuring that:

“I want you to know that in a short time, if I come back or anyone comes back, we have to organize the armed militias of the people like in Venezuela.”

However, under pressure from the coup government and bourgeois public opinion, Morales recanted in a letter saying:

A few days ago, my words were made public about the formation of militias. I retract them. My deepest conviction has always been the defense of life and peace. [2]

The workers, who are the biggest losers of the coup process, should have as a tactic an anti-imperialist united front in these elections, with a vote for the candidacy of MAS, but without feeding illusion that this victory will be respected by the coupists, and simultaneously must go beyond the limited program of MAS through strikes and battles in the streets, for the disarmament and expropriation of the coupists.

Notes

1.  https://www.lainformacion.com/economia-negocios-y-finanzas/empresas-nacionalizadas-durante-los-mandatos-de-evo-morales_MZ2g1pEpcncA9nan9xzzM7/

2. https://www.dw.com/pt-br/evo-recua-e-diz-que-n%C3%A3o-pretende-mais-criar-mil%C3%ADcias/a-52035045

US Election: The Threat of Dictatorship

Break with the Democrats! No Political Support to Biden!

The upcoming US Presidential Election is going to be the most dangerous and incendiary in many years, as US ‘democracy’ and its aspirations for social and political stability are acutely threatened by the prospect that even if defeated, Donald Trump will not accept that and will fight to hang onto power come what may. Trump’s infection with Covid-19 may have thrown a spanner in the works of his aspirations to be an US reprise of someone like Louis Bonaparte, able to subvert and manipulate a highly undemocratic ‘democratic’ system to obtain and maintain power without obtaining a majority, or even a plurality, of the popular vote.

Many of Trump’s supporters regarded it as a badge of honour to sneer at the pandemic and to refuse to carry out basic public health measures such as wearing masks: now a considerable and growing list of White House staff, Republican officials and even senior military officers have been infected, which promises to play havoc with his election effort and other Republican projects like packing the Supreme Court with anti-abortion fanatics.

But it is still possible that there could be a major confrontation between different bourgeois factions in the election aftermath, and given the different social and electoral bases of these factions, this could produce major polarisations and even conflict between different layers of the working class population in the US, as well as posing a major threat to democratic rights and social gains.

From the point of view of a rational policy for US imperialism, Trump’s administration is dysfunctional. But then again, even from the standpoint of formal democracy, the US Constitution itself is dysfunctional. This is not something to celebrate for the working class, however, whose interests are fundamentally at odds with those of US capitalism. For the irrationalities of the US constitution and political setup do not in any way benefit the working class and the overlapping doubly oppressed sections of our class that are particular targets of some of the political system’s worst features.

The United States is not a ‘normal’ bourgeois national state as can be seen most classically in Europe and Japan. It is a colonial settler state, founded through genocide of the native peoples of the various ‘Indian’ nations, which marks it as a society founded on racist barbarism at its very roots. The other foundation of US ‘democracy’ is the abduction and enslavement of its black population from Africa. Its entire history has been particularly marked by the struggles of the black population for basic rights and equality.

Initially against slavery in the 19th Century, then against the Jim Crow forcible segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror that succeeded it, a struggle that culminated with the achievement of formal legal equality as a result of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights movement stopped at that point, failing to go further and touch the huge economic inequality and impoverishment of the black population that centuries of racial oppression under capitalism have given rise to.

The end of the Civil Rights movement saw the black population of Northern ghettos rise up and fight racist cops alongside their brethren in the South, partly under the banner of Black Power, and the Rev. Martin Luther King’s liberal-pacifism challenged by the rise of Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and other quasi-revolutionary movements such as SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), DRUM (Detroit Revolutionary Union Movement) and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, to mention only a few. But this radicalisation failed to crystallise an authoritative, working class and revolutionary party and over time, this led to these movements falling prey to repression from the state, disillusionment, and demoralisation.

Neoliberal attacks and racist offensive hand-in-hand

The failure of the Civil Rights movement and its semi-nationalist ‘radical’ sequel to lead to a struggle against the capitalist double exploitation and oppression of the black masses led from the late 1970s to neo-liberalism taking the offensive against the black population through cuts in poverty programmes, crackdowns on so-called ‘law and order’, restoration of the death penalty in 1976, which particularly targeted blacks who were disproportionately driven into a life of poverty and degradation. Such intensified oppression breeds a degree of crime that can then be exploited by racists to further impoverish the black masses, while at the same time promoting a middle-class black layer of collaborators with the system.

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

This carried on through the Reagan and elder Bush administrations with the ‘War on Drugs’ which was actually a war on the black masses, then intensified under Clinton with the passage of various ‘omnibus’ anti-crime bills and ‘effective death penalty’ acts, continuing under the succeeding GW Bush administration. This gave rise to the situation today, where the United States has 2.3 million people in jail, around 40 per cent of whom are black. The imprisonment rate of blacks to whites in the US in 2018 was 1501 per 100,000, as opposed to 268 per 100,000 for whites – a rate nearly 6 times greater.

Over the period mainly covered by the Obama administration, and the conditions that gave rise to it, it appears that there was a certain decline in the degree of disproportionality of Black imprisonment, from over ninefold in 2006 to ‘only’ close to sixfold in 2018 (see https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/05/06/share-of-black-white-hispanic-americans-in-prison-2018-vs-2006/). But the response to such a relative lessening of the worst outrages under the first black President was determined effort by the neoliberal right to raise up Trump, an overt racist, to succeed Obama.

The campaign of gerrymandering and voter suppression that drove the white supremacist backlash against the Obama presidency was considerable, and led to Trump being able to win the Electoral College in 2016 despite in the national popular vote losing to the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, by nearly three million votes. Even though Hillary Clinton was an integral part of the Bill Clinton administration responsible for earlier appalling legal attacks, she paid the price for her party bringing forth a black President. This underlines why the obviously undemocratic Electoral College system, the legacy of incremental white settler expansion and many racist wars, has been preserved – as a firebreak against the multi-racial big city populations where the working class can be most potent and political.

This is the nature of the class struggle in the United States. The struggle against the double oppression of the black working class and poor suffuses the entire class struggle of the US working class and gives it a special character, in which race and class are closely linked and class questions are modified by considerations of racial oppression. It also is at the root of the ‘gun culture’ in the US: the Second Amendment – the Right to Bear Arms – always was about arming the white settler population to massacre the native nations of this part of North America, and to keep the Black population enslaved and segregated.

The epidemic of ‘mass shootings’ in the US is linked to the pathology of a society poisoned by lynch law and the suppression of social issues by violence. It is not the mere presence of arms that determines the killings: in other societies where arms are widespread, from rich countries like Switzerland to poor ones like the Philippines, such mass shootings are rare, as the deeply embedded racist pathology that pollutes this racist settler society is absent.

There are other questions that modify the US class struggle. The question of immigration is of considerable significance in US racism, as the entire white Anglo-derived population stands on the shoulders of violent white settlers who slaughtered the native tribes to the brink of non-existence; hence the complaints of white ‘nativists’ about Spanish-speaking immigrants from poorer semi-colonial countries to the South have an overtly racist and hypocritical character. This also overlaps with the US imperialist brutalisation of the peoples of the entire territory of the Americas.

The United States is the most dangerous imperialist power in history, with a truly global reach and the weaponry to destroy humanity many times over. Therefore, its defeat and disintegration are in the interests of the world proletariat and that of the great mass of humanity.

Trumpian Reaction and Imperialist Decline

The Trump administration and its irrationalities are a product of US imperialism’s decline and the ebbing of its power, getting involved in numerous wars that it has struggled with, most notably in the Middle East: Iraq, Afghanistan, and more covertly Syria. Two issues brought Trump to power: one being domestic racism, anti-immigration sentiment and support for white supremacy among parts of the former industrial, mainly white working class of the ‘rust belt’ states in the US interior, whose jobs have often been exported to lower wage developing countries by the US bourgeoisie, desperately seeking additional profits to offset the continuing decline of profit rates that are a crippling, fundamental contradiction of capitalism and endemic in this period of advanced capitalist decline and decay.

The other, linked element of Trumpism is a degree of reactionary, right-wing isolationism. This sentiment among ultra-reactionary sections of American business is not against imperialist militarism as such, but rather about their desire to ‘sort out’ uppity blacks, women and other oppressed groups who need to be ‘put in their place’ to re-establish unquestioned white, male supremacy at home. ‘Make America Great Again’ is about reimposing white supremacy as a path to a future imperialist offensive.

The abstract model of capitalism is that anyone’s money is as good as anyone else’s, the ethnic origin of those being exploited by capital being theoretically irrelevant.  ‘Actually existing’ capitalism, however, does not work like that, and the United States is a particularly extreme example. Its very foundation was bound up with racial supremacism, slavery, and genocide, whereas in Europe these things are often seen as external products of ‘empire’.  So much of its ruling class, and much of the majority Anglo-European population, are deeply embedded in supremacism. But demographic change, the decline of the industrial ‘aristocratic’ industrial working class in the rustbelt, and the continued expansion of the coastal cities through immigration have changed the demographic balance so that US residents of white European settler origin will cease to be a majority in the next two or three decades.

So you see major social tensions between different sections of the ruling class, one of which is ‘rolling with’ the demographic shifts and even basing itself to a degree on the black population and other oppressed populations, the other of which is either fighting against it, or at least seeking to exploit discontent among ‘left behind’ sections of the rust-belt lumpen semi-proletariat to promote a thinly-veiled white-male supremacist agenda.

The widespread involvement of Republicans in voter suppression is an indication of this, as is the overt support of Trump for paramilitary fascist/white supremacist groups like the ‘Proud Boys’, and the drive to appoint an ultra-reactionary anti-abortion Catholic fanatic,  Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court, obviously aiming at overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade judgement that prevented states from banning abortion, as well as possibly intervening on the side of Trump in any legal battle over a contested election defeat. Trump’s support for armed militia racist terrorists against the Black Lives Matter movement that has emerged over the past several years as a result of the unremitting terrorisation and promiscuous murdering of black people by the cops, is particularly ominous and indicates that he is quite prepared to support and incite fascist massacres to try to hold onto power. As indeed is his use of federal forces for similar purposes, particularly in Portland, Oregon over the last months.

No Political Support to Democrats!

The political conclusions that we draw from this analysis is that we can politically support neither side in this election. Both wings in terms of their programme and leadership are thoroughly bourgeois. Both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are in no sense creations of the working class. They are ruling class parties that it is a matter of principle for those who stand for the class independence of the workers to refuse to advocate votes for or politically support in any way.

However, that is not the end of it. The social bases of the two parties are different even if the class nature of them are both bourgeois. The social base of the Democrats is in the big city, genuinely multi-racial elements of the working class where there is an element of anti-racist, working class radicalisation that ought to be the seedbed of a genuine workers movement. This was illustrated in the last presidential election campaign, as well as this one, by the two bids for the Democratic Party presidential nomination by the social democrat Bernie Sanders, who ran on a programme particularly focussed on the demand for free healthcare, or ‘Medicare for All’.

Sanders was bidding for the nomination for President on the ticket of a bourgeois party. Yet in a sense he was propelled toward that by a class-conscious element within the base of that party. To say that is not to politically support the Democratic Party or anyone within it, including Sanders. It would be unprincipled to support Sanders’ battle for the nomination of the ‘liberal’ magnates’ party but it would be correct to demand that his supporters break from the Democrats and fight openly for the creation of an independent working class party in the US. If they could have been pushed into that, then revolutionaries could have given Sanders, or someone like him, very critical support.

Bernie Sanders

Counterposed to that is Trump’s base in the rust belt ex-working class, who were won to his right-wing populist programme of banning Muslims from the US, bashing ‘foreigners’ and oppressed groups, protectionism against China, and supposedly keeping the US out of aggressive wars in the Middle East particularly, partly out of impotent disillusion with the 40 years of neoliberal attacks, givebacks to the bosses, and the prolonged decline of living standards since the days of Ronald Reagan.

Class-based disillusionment with Obama drove some parts of the working class towards Trump in 2016. It was mainly a reactionary vote but not exclusively so. Sanders might have won over a layer, though not the bulk, of Trump’s support if he had been able to run, some Trumpers who had previously supported Obama. Obama won a landslide victory in 2008 driven by sentiment particularly regarding his promises regarding healthcare and to get the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, to close Guantanamo, etc. But while he delivered a healthcare reform that falls a long way short of universal free public healthcare, and while he signed a Deal with Iran that made a US attack on Iran less likely in the short term, he also launched new wars in Libya and Syria, that Trump was able to gain some support by criticising.

So while a section of Trump’s base were  driven to support him by his isolationist attacks on some recent US wars including Obama’s, and Trump has not been able to launch much in the way of any new wars in this presidency, the view of Trump as some sort of peacemaker are absurd. In recent decades more traditional US militarism has interlaced with the projects of the neoconservatives, a political trend in ruling class politics who regard support for Israel and Zionism as a sacred cause.

 There has been a faction based on Jewish ethnic politics within the US ruling class for over a century, but it has become qualitatively more powerful with the rises of the neoliberal offensive and this kind of reaction has increasingly interlaced with more traditional US right wing racism. It has devoted a great deal of effort to promoting its agenda in both parties, but its affinity for Trump has been particularly marked – for good reason. So we see leading ideologues around the Trump administration, alt-right figures like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller – who is both Jewish and a white supremacist –  and Richard Spencer proclaim their loud support for the most outrageous Israeli atrocities, and even calling themselves ‘white Zionists’.

Trump destroyed Obama’s Iran Deal, which originally had bipartisan support in the US, at the behest of Israel.  He made the Israel lobby rapture by implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, (which Clinton, Bush and Obama had paid lip service to but never implemented), moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and promoted his ‘deal of the Century’ which openly repudiates the very idea of a Palestinian state and tells Palestinians to accept and live with Israeli overlordship in perpetuity, encouraging Israeli plans to annex the West Bank.

Apart from that he has blown hot and cold in variety of conflicts, using his Twitter account to threaten North Korea and Iran with what sounded very much like nuclear war.  And then not doing much else. But he is also ratcheting up agitation against China, with threats, expansion of the military, trade war measures such as tariffs and abuse of China as supposedly responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. He has launched coups in Latin America, attempting to overthrow Chavez’ successor Maduro in Venezuela by overtly backing a stooge ‘President’ Guaido, inspiring and assisting the coup against the Workers Party in Brazil and rise of power of the Nazi Bolsonaro, and more recently the coup in Bolivia that overthrew Evo Morales.

 However, in many of these theatres the US is no longer in quite such a strong position, and Trump’s bluster, and often his excessive preoccupation with far right agitation and causes at home, have meant that he has been a somewhat dysfunctional and ineffective President abroad. Theodore Roosevelt’s motto was that US imperialism should ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’. You could say that Trump’s practice has sometimes been ‘shout loudly and be seen as a bag of wind’. It may well be that a Democratic party president such as Biden or Kamala Harris, repudiating Trump’s overtly racist and misogynistic preoccupations at home, could be more effective at defending the interests of US imperialism in the wider world. 

Fight Fascist Dangers through Independent Workers’ Actions!

But this is not clear: though at this point it appears remote, if Trump were to consolidate his position as Bush did by winning a clear second term on his overtly white supremacist programme, flirting with fascism as he does, it is quite conceivable that in his second term he could become a very dangerous militarist, particularly in an overtly racist war drive against China. The fictional events in the 2019 BBC/HBO drama Years and Years, set in the near future, that had a second-term Donald Trump launching a nuclear attack against an offshore Chinese island, are not at all far-fetched.

Though the twin bourgeois parties in US politics are both bourgeois, and in no sense politically or electorally supportable, there is a real difference in their social base at this point that does raise the question of which side the left should take in the event that Trump loses the election, but refuses to cede power and tries to hold onto it by force. With his overt support and incitement of white supremacist militias to attack anti-fascists, black militants and the left, such an event would constitute a fascistic danger to the black population and other minorities, and to the American working class movement in general. Trump’s armed supporters do not have the organisation and bourgeois support that was ranged behind Hitler and Mussolini, but they are not harmless either.

If Trump attempts to hold power against his election defeat the left and labour movement should demand the seating of the legitimately election winner, likely Biden, as President. They should take part in the front ranks of any struggle to defeat such a Trumpian coup, up to and including the use of large-scale armed actions and civil war, though a full-scale civil war seems unlikely. In immediate terms that would signify the tactical defeat of a reactionary, anti-democratic coup by a bourgeois figure whose views and actions are fascistic and pose a serious threat to our class. Participation by the left and organised labour in such a battle, while refusing any political support to the Democrats, has the potential to strengthen us considerably.

This will not solve the problem of the decline of US imperialism and the rise of barbaric forces out of that decline. Trump is not the cause, but a symptom of that and there will be worse to come if the US working class does not politically arm itself to struggle. The left needs to find ways to approach the large part of the US working class and oppressed populations that still look to the Democrats, to expose that bourgeois party to the vanguard, in order to make headway in rooting a revolutionary programme and party in the working class in the United States, in which black working class people, male and female, must play a crucial, leading role.

Lebanon, Belarus, Argentina: LCFI Statement

Exposing the operations of the new hybrid war “spring” of American, European and Zionist imperialism!

Statement of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International

The economic crisis, aggravated by the recession derived from the coronavirus pandemic, produced a new intercontinental “spring” of colour Revolutions in the second half of 2020. This process is most advanced in three countries: Lebanon, Belarus and Argentina.

Class war does not cease during tragedies. On the contrary, when the living conditions of their victims worsen, the predators of big capital take advantage to deal heavier blows. Reduced wages and mass layoffs are almost a worldwide practice of companies during the pandemic.

Large corporations in high technology, online retail and the pharmaceutical industry have seen their sales and share-prices skyrocket: this is the case for Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Tencent, Facebook, Nvidia, Alphabet (Google), Paypal, and TMobile, to list the top ten with the highest profitability. In the midst of a pandemic, the U.S. government orchestrated an attempted maritime invasion of Venezuela by mercenaries, accused Maduro of drug trafficking, and offered a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Also, during this period, the Trump administration maintained or escalated sanctions against Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and China. Israel attacked the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip mercilessly with air strikes and artillery fire. Domestically, bourgeois governments take advantage of the situation to remove democratic rights, carry out counter-reforms, reduce public investments.

In 2019, Evo Morales was re-elected with a large margin of votes. The pro-imperialist right’s candidacy did not admit the result and began a coup process with large demonstrations, fascist attacks, military-police blackmail until the coup d’état was consummated with the resignation of Evo Morales, who did not even finish his current term. On July 24, 2020, in response to a social media post that mentioned Elon Musk’s interests in preventing Morales from remaining in power, the billionaire, owner of the high-tech multinational carmaker, Tesla, and equipment supplier to the U.S. Air Force, wrote on his Twitter account: ” We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it. ” The largest lithium reserve in the world is in Bolivia. Lithium ion is the main component of Tesla electric vehicle batteries.

Lebanon

On August 4, a massive explosion occurred in the Port of Beirut. The attack destroyed much of the East of the Lebanese capital, killed approximately two hundred people, injured more than 6,000, and rendered 300,000 homeless. A large “mushroom” cloud was formed, very different from what can be seen in conventional explosions.

Mushroom cloud erupts in Beirut port explosion

Among the hypotheses raised for the explosion is that it was an attack of imperialist sabotage with a new weapon, similar to the explosion that was recorded in Syria in January 2020. It is no secret to anyone that Israel’s two main military defeats in the 21st century were directly influenced by the Lebanese guerrilla group and political party Hezbollah. In 2006, the Israeli infantry was humiliatingly defeated in their invasion of southern Lebanon to disarm and crush Hezbollah.

Since 2011, a hybrid war against Syria has been unleashed by the US and Israel as part of the “Arab Spring.” In this last war, Hezbollah was one of the main forces of the resistance, along with the Syrian Army itself, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Russian military. The hybrid war against Syria was defeated. Those allied with imperialism included the bloodthirsty ISIS, the so-called Islamic State. This was a great victory for the world proletariat against the expansionism of imperialist financial capital in the Middle East.

The Israeli right has long identified the Port of Beirut as an area controlled by Hezbollah. Benjamin Netanyahu had pointed to exactly the same location, and denounced it as Hezbollah’s weapons depot, at the UN Assembly on September 27, 2018. If Israel was behind the attack, it is very likely that Zionist military intelligence planned that a large-scale explosion in this port region depot, dumped in the Lebanese government’s lap could, with a single blow, impose political and military losses on Hezbollah.

Whether the explosion was the product of political irresponsibility or intentional sabotage of some secret service, is not yet known. That’s in the field of speculation. But it is a proven fact that the tragedy has provided supporters of Lebanon’s imperialist political agents, socially supported by fractions of the bourgeoisie and middle-class sectors, to reactivate protests against Hezbollah and the ruling coalition that houses it. The American and Zionist imperialisms set in motion their fake news machine to plant their versions of what happened.

Al-Arabiya TV news channel said the explosion occurred at an arms depot belonging to the ‘terrorist group’ Hezbollah. Fox News reported that many of the port’s operations are unofficially controlled by Hezbollah. Demonstrators took to the streets of Beirut with Lebanese flags and posters in English that said,

“Help! We are hostages to a corrupt government and an Iranian religious militia” (Lebanon, the Orange Counter-Revolution after the tragedy. https://frentecomunistatrabalhadores.blogspot.com/2020/08/libano-contra-revolucao-laranja-apos.html).

Under intense pressure, the entire government of the Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, was forced to resign. The first political battle of this hybrid war, initiated by means of this explosion, was won by imperialism.

Belarus

On August 9, an election took place in Belarus (formerly Byelorussia or White Russia). The results gave victory to former Stalinist bureaucrat Alexander Lukashenko against his rival, the “independent” candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, representative of a neoliberal and pro-NATO program. The result gave an overwhelming majority, 80% of the votes, to Lukashenko. It was probably tampered with and gave rise to a new protest movement in the country.

The Belarusian regime is an anomaly. Lukashenko’s local bureaucratic government came to power after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, but managed to avoid, through its declaration of independence, the massive neoliberal shock treatment and economic destruction that afflicted Russia under the Yeltin regime.

Belarus can perhaps be described as the only place in the former USSR where the old Stalinist oligarchy managed to cling to power after the August 1991 coup. Lukashenko came to personify this local bureaucratic faction. It cannot be argued that Belarus managed to remain a deformed workers’ state,but , as a local bureaucratic fiefdom, it slowed the process of capitalist restoration, more or less in the same way that ‘Gang of Eight’ directed by Yanayev wanted in August 1991 in the former USSR, keeping it under the control of sectors of bureaucracy. The Yanayev project was similar to that of Chinese bureaucracy, capitalist restoration, but in an organic way, planned and controlled by a state party whose origins were those of a degenerate/deformed workers state.

As Wikipedia noted:

“After the election of Alexander Lukashenko in 1994 as the first president of Belarus, he launched the country on the path of ‘market socialism’ (as opposed to what Lukashenko regarded as ‘savage capitalism’, chosen by Russia at the time). In line with this policy, administrative controls on prices and exchange rates have been introduced. In addition, the state’s right to intervene in the management of the private company was expanded, but on March 4, 2008, the president issued a decree abolishing the golden share rule in a clear move to improve Belarus’s international classification in relation to foreign investment. ” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Belarus)

We have no illusions in the Lukashenko regime, but the protest movement follows the modus operandi of all recent coups: it was orchestrated after the contestation of the election results, right-wing protesters, against corruption, national and Nazi flags, predominance of the middle class and a few disorganized workers. Something that is somewhat worrisome is the presence of red and white “Belarusian” flags, used by pro-Nazi elements in World War II, demonstrations, leaders’ links with Ukraine and the Baltic States, and the evocation of the Maidan movement in Ukraine as an example to be imitated.

Belarus Demo with pseudo-nationalist pro-Nazi flag

Unlike in Ukraine, under both Tsarism and Stalinism, a real national oppression in Belarus has not been historically true, as the national sentiment of Belarus was generally pro-Russian and emphasized Belarus’s affinity with Russia, even under Tsarism. Importantly, the use of symbols used by a fringe of Nazi collaborators in these demonstrations today has far less history behind it than Ukraine, and actually indicates that the inspiration of this movement comes from outside, from neoliberal tendencies, and not from something deeply rooted among the masses, despite Lukashenko’s despotism.

Behind the Nazi-neoliberal shock squad it is clear what the imperialists want. The World Bank’s prescription for the country is as follows:

“More urgently, Belarus’s state-owned business sector needs comprehensive restructuring. And what would that entail?

• First, keep for-profit state enterprises public or privatize them transparently at fair market prices.

• Second, keep public service providers and public regulators, but clearly define what they should provide in exchange for public funds.

• Third, restructure the loss-making state-owned companies that could quickly become profitable, providing a good return on any extra investment.

• And for everything else: closure or privatization.

The classification of companies in these categories should be made by independent experts in order to obtain objective assessments of which businesses are viable or not. “

(Why economic reforms in Belarus are now more urgent than ever, https://blogs.worldbank.org/europeandcentralasia/why-economic-reforms-belarus-are-now-more-urgent-ever-0)

Despite all Lukashenko’s corruption and undemocratic despotism, his government is the lesser evil. We saw the massive decline in life expectancy in Russia caused by Yeltsin’s economic shock in that country. The same will happen in Belarus if the neoliberals take power. We do not give him political support; in fact, the class-conscious proletariat in the former USSR needs to be rearmed politically through the creation of a new Bolshevik-Leninist Party in the region, but we defend the fragmentary social gains that have still been maintained in Belarus since the Soviet period, even if by bureaucratic inertia. We defend Belarus and Russia as relatively backward and non-imperialist capitalist countries. We consider Belarus as a semi-colonial country and Russia as a dependent country. We defend these two countries against imperialist representatives seeking “regime change” and “colour revolutions” like those now taking place in Belarus.

Against this offensive of our worst enemies, we call for a single anti-fascist and anti-imperialist front, with Lukashenko and Putin, against this revolution made by the CIA, to defend the social achievements still existing in Belarus, the nationalized property, against neoliberal privatization. This is one side of the objectives of our anti-fascist and anti-imperialist united front tactics. The other objective of this tactic is to struggle to overcome the illusions of the masses in Lukashenko and Putin. As in Ukraine, because of his bourgeois nature, Putin is not consistent in the anti-imperialist struggle or in supporting the fight against the fascist uprising inspired by NATO.

Argentina

Amid the decline of US hegemony, and divisions within US imperialism, sectors of the Republican political establishment itself are abandoning Trump.

Kichnerism and its allies take advantage of the crisis of US domination to deepen negotiations between the Peronist Justicalista Party and the Chinese Communst Party, boosting Argentina’s access to the ‘Silk Road’ and obtaining Chinese financing for infrastructure works in Argentina. In 2019, China became Argentina’s main buyer.

On August 6, 2020, 43% of the Argentine central bank’s reserves consisted of a swap in Yuan traded with China. In this swap financial operation, the Central Bank of China stepped in to pledge that it will invest billions of dollars to cover the devaluation of the Argentine currency, which may occur over the next three years.

Today, after Venezuela, Argentina is the closest country to the Russian/Chinese bloc in South America. That is why American imperialism uses hybrid warfare methods as embryonicly seen in the mobilization of August 17, to pressure and destabilize the government of Alberto Fernández.

Alberto Fernández also advanced measures such as freezing internet, mobile and cable television tariffs, declaring them public services. These measures harm the multimedia group Clarín, the main media consortium of Argentina.

Finally, since the formation of the official Frente De Todos (Front of Everyone) coalition, a judicial reform was instituted as a preventive measure against legal war, or  lawfare, which has been used in different countries by imperialism, such as the so-called Operation Lava Jato that began the coup process in Brazil in 2016.

In this context, the trends that have manifested since the mobilizations against the expropriation of Vicentin have taken a qualitative leap forward and demonstrate that in Argentina an incipient hybrid war driven by imperialism and its local agents is underway. Opposition sectors, mainly linked to former President Macri and his right-wing coalition Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) with an important element of the upper middle class that were supporters of the government, demonstrated against the Fernandez government. Macri supported the demonstration and his former Security Minister Patricia Bulrrich was one of the main drivers and participants in it.

Until the August 17 demonstration, the axis of the mobilisation was opposition to Fernandez’s judicial reform. In this war it is evident that the manipulation of online social networks, encouraged by all the opposition media, through disinformation: “news” that overestimates, nationally and internationally, the true magnitude of the opposition. In addition to this central political axis, the August 17 demonstration also incorporated the reactionary discontent of the merchant sectors, the small, medium and large bourgeoisie, against Covid-19 quarantine measures.

Argentina Demonstration against Judicial Changes

Under this same dynamic a new mobilization was called for August 26, when the Senate will vote on judicial reform.

Hybrid warfare is a weapon of imperialism that, ultimately, aims to consolidate parasitism on exploitation for surplus value suffered by workers. It aims to bring to power those who want political changes that represent their class interests, such as the end of social distancing.

Tactically, the working class require an anti-imperialist united front against the U.S. and its local Macrista agents because they oppose the rise of this parasitism. But it is necessary to organize in a politically independent way, criticizing the bourgeois limits of the Fernandez government in the struggle for national liberation against international big capital, including the social, economic and political costs of the Argentine debt to China.

The fight against the hybrid wars of imperialism, the national question and the Permanent Revolution

Imperialism lost almost all its colonial wars of military occupation. The US’s greatest trauma was Vietnam in 1975. So, it modified its methods of war against the oppressed, making use of internal agents, developing hybrid wars, false flag operations, lawfare, counterrevolutionary “popular uprisings”, etc.  So, the CIA and its arms around the world stimulate “revolutions” with anti-corruption programs, democracy and even trade-unionist programmes, like to some extent in Belarus now. These wars of position serve to divide oppressed nations, prevent unified national resistance of oppressed peoples, as has occurred with the heroic Palestinian resistance for more than seventy years.

Imperialism embarks on hybrid warfare campaigns with media and legal offensives to demonize its opponents for “corruption”, “electoral fraud”, “coups d’état” and “dictatorships”. But it is imperialism itself that exercises the dictatorship of capital on a planetary scale and is the greatest corruptor on the planet.  Strategically, imperialism seeks to privatize, loot, expand its parasitism when it is limited in some way by these immediate obstacles.

In the end, it is a struggle between imperialism and the proletariat of oppressed countries. In the fight against imperialism, the revolutionaries seek to overcome the limitations imposed on the struggle by bourgeois nationalist leaders, by Stalinist Parties, etc.

Revolutionaries fight for the strategy of the permanent revolution. Through the common struggle against imperialism, workers are helped to recognise, through experience, that the bourgeois or bourgeois-nationalist leaderships of oppressed peoples are incapable of consistently taking the necessary measures against imperialism. These traditional leaderships always seek agreements to coexist with the international big capital. Such agreements imply negotiations about the redivision of the surplus value created by the proletariat of oppressed nations between the bourgeoisie of the oppressed country and the oppressive monopolies of the imperialist metropolises. For this reason, Marxist revolutionaries maintain their complete political and organizational independence from the bourgeois and nationalist leaderships of oppressed countries, unmasking patriotism when it is used to conceal class exploitation by national exploiters

“The only ‘condition’ for any agreement with the bourgeoisie, because each separate, practical and convenient agreement must be adapted to each specific case, is not to allow both organizations and flags to mix directly or indirectly for a single day or even an hour; it consists in distinguishing between red and blue, and not believing for a moment in the capacity or will of the bourgeoisie to carry out a genuine struggle against imperialism or not to put obstacles to the political organization of workers and peasants.” (Leon Trotsky, The Third International after Lenin, Balance Sheet and Perspectives of the Chinese Revolution, his lessons for the countries of the East and for the whole of the Comintern, September 1928).

Today, organizations of the left globally, including many claiming to be revolutionaries and Trotskyists, give political support to the hybrid war maneuvers of imperialism, the colour revolutions, as if they did not know their results in Lebanon, Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia. By this traitorous policy, such left-wing organizations help the war campaign of imperialism. These organizations, in addition to acting as a transmission belt of imperialism, renounce, within the semi-colonial or dependent nations, the struggle to bring consciousness to the oppressed peoples against the influence of the neo-Stalinist, bourgeois nationalists and theocrats.

As Lenin said, referring to the nationalist, chauvinistic, opportunistic leaderships of the labor movement within imperialist nations, “the fight against imperialism is a hollow and false phrase if it is not inextricably linked to the struggle against opportunism.” (V.I. Lenin. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916).

The nationalism of oppressor nations is reactionary, it is the “mask of world banditship”, as Trotsky said, referring to Japanese patriotism in the war against China,

“Chinese patriotism is legitimate and progressive. Whoever puts the two patriotisms on the same plane has not read anything of Lenin, who did not understand the attitude of the Bolsheviks during the imperialist war and who does nothing but compromise and prostitute the teachings of Marxism… Efeilists and Oehlerists oppose the ‘national and social-patriotic’ politics of class struggle. All his life, Lenin fought this abstract, sterile policy. The interest of the world proletariat dictates the duty to help the oppressed people against their oppressors in their national and patriotic struggle against imperialism. He who has not understood this to this day, almost a quarter of a century since the World War and twenty years after the October revolution, must be relentlessly departed from the revolutionary vanguard as his worst inner enemy.” (Ultraleftism on the national question, September 23, 1937).

Those leftists who in the name of “class struggle” support the colour revolutions made by the CIA are unconscious or conscious agents of imperialism. They are traitors and internal enemies of the struggle for the national liberation of oppressed peoples. After recent experience in Libya,  Syria, Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia, such ultra-leftist “revolutionaries” are enemies who act within the workers’ organizations, which need to be treated by the current generation of fighters as they in fact are: part of the  coup offensive, in the service of imperialism and reaction.

No Extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuania! Picket Irish Embassy!

Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group

Picket Irish Embassy , 17 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X

Saturday 15 August 2-3 pm

● No Extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuania!

● Abolish the Diplock Courts in the North of Ireland!

● Abolish the Special Criminal Courts in the South!

● Free Brendan McConville and John Paul Wotton!

● Political Status for all Irish Republican POWs!

Liam Campbell

Liam Campbell was arrested in Dundalk on December 2, 2016 on a warrant issued by Lithuania and endorsed by the High Court in Dublin. Many Irish Republicans have been extradited from the Free State to the six counties in the recent past. When extradited they face the same inhuman torture, beatings and forced strip searches and anti-Irish bigotry from Loyalist screws endured by all Irish POWs there.

Liam Campbell is facing extradition to Lithuania pending an appeal against the 13th July order on 19th January 2021. If extradited and found guilty, he faces a sentence of 20 years. The IRPSG campaigned for Liam Campbell’s brother, Michael, in 2012 and 2013; we put a motion defending him to the 2013 Labour Representation Committee AGM.

In October 2013 Michael Campbell was acquitted of all charges in Lithuania because the court believed he was framed by MI5. His lawyer, Ingrida Botyriene, said:

“A person cannot be sentenced for a crime committed by state officials. He was acquitted because the court found that what he was accused of was a provocation. It was just an activity of the state security services. Michael Campbell was set up in a ‘sting’ operation by MI5, the Irish and Lithuanian intelligence agencies and jailed in Lithuania on 21 October 2011 for 12 years. The spooks had in fact initiated the arms deal on which he was convicted. He would never be involved in arms deals and would never go to Lithuania for such an affair if he had not been provoked by secret agents.”

The same judgement should apply to Liam now as the circumstances are exactly the same. Liam Campbell wrote to the IRPSG in 2011:

“I am held here in Maghaberry prison by the Brits. They want to extradite me to Lithuania, a country I was never in. So, I am here for two and a half now where I have no rights as an Irish man up in front of a Brit judge in my own country”.

This latest attempt to extradite Liam comes after a legal battle lasting nearly 12 years in the High Court in Dublin.

Abolish the Diplock Courts in the North and the Special Criminal Courts in the South

The Northern Ireland Emergency Provisions Act 1973 abolished the right to jury trial in many serious criminal cases, it authorized “preventive” incarceration without probable cause, abolished the right to silence, relaxed standards for admission of coerced confessions, and permitted reliance on the uncorroborated testimony of so-called “supergrasses”, anonymous witnesses who were allowed to testify from behind screens. This was the foundation of the infamous Diplock Courts, which sit today without a jury.

In 1993, the UN Human Rights Committee, a panel of experts established to monitor every country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said the Special Criminal Courts (SCC) established under the Offences Against the State Act of 1939 in the Republic of Ireland was not “justified”. In 2000, the committee repeated its concerns, and called for Ireland to “end the jurisdiction of the Special Criminal Court.” Amnesty International repeated its previous opposition to the courts in 1999 in its submission to the government initiated review of the Offences Against the State Acts, and the Special Criminal Court.

They urged that “the government make a proclamation to disestablish the Special Criminal Court, because the circumstances specified by international standards that might justify the operations of such a court are not apparent in Ireland. …Amnesty International considers that under international standards and the law of Ireland, the onus is upon the government to demonstrate that special courts are essential in current circumstances in the words of the law because “the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice, and the preservation of public peace and order”.

The Irish Council on Civil Liberties (which was co-founded by former Ireland President Mary Robinson in 1976) has repeatedly called for the abolition of the Special Criminal Court, and opposed its expansion in 2009, from a relatively narrow focus on state security-related trials to organised crime.

And it repeated its stance in June 23 2020; “The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), ahead of the mooted renewal of the Offences Against the State Act next week and the Dáil debate tomorrow, renews our call for repeal of the Act and with it the abolition of the non-jury Special Criminal Court.” They went on, “There is no jury at the Special Criminal Court and it accepts secret evidence from gardaí. This is in violation of our right to a fair trial, our right to trial by jury and our right to equality before the law. ICCL has opposed both the Act and the Courts since their introduction to deal with a terrorist threat in 1972. We continue to strongly oppose these emergency measures which have now become the norm in dealing with organised crime.” In February 2016 Fine Gael voted with the Fianna Fáil-led government in passing the bill retaining the SCCs, but Labour joined Sinn Féin in voting against it.

But on June 25 2020 Aine McMahon reported in the Belfast Telegraph that: “Sinn Fein has not opposed the renewal of Irish legislation that empowers the Special Criminal Court for the first time in its history. The legislation has been used in trials of dissident republicans and gangland criminals in a three-judge criminal court that has no jury in order to avoid any potential intimidation of members. The party have long been opponents of the non-jury court – similar to the Diplock-style courts in Northern Ireland – and have previously voted against the legislation.” The lure of office turns our former revolutionaries even further to the right, endorsing state repression against former comrades by a ‘justice’ system condemned by civil rights groups nationally and internationally, including the United Nations. The main focus of the IRPSG will continue to be campaigning for Irish Republican POWs in the North and South of Ireland.