Starmer’s Labour: A Racist Party led by Pogromists
We Need an Internationalist Working-Class Party!
The recently leaked 851 page report on The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019, tells a lot of the story of the drive to destabilise and defeat Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership over that period. It is highly informative and a crucial primary source on the most scandalous, anti-democratic political attack on the labour movement and its political expression by class-enemy forces in British history for close to a century, since the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in the 1920s and the forged ‘Zinoviev letter’ that was used to overthrow the first minority Labour government in 1924.
It is very important despite the politics of its authors, which reflect the politics of the Corbyn leadership and its functionaries who had themselves capitulated to the political basis of the witchhunt even as they were being targeted by it. There is still decisive evidence in it, amounting to definitive proof, of a deliberate attempt to defeat the Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership and sabotage its activities by people employed by the party as functionaries, whose job was to advance the party and fight to win elections for it, not to conspire to bring about election defeats and overthrow the leadership.
There is also considerable evidence in it that those who smeared the left as racists and anti-Semites were and are the most despicable racists and bigots themselves, that thought nothing of joining in racially abusive campaigns against ethnic minority politicians like Diane Abbott and activists who supported Corbyn because of his reputation as a long-time opponent of racism and defender of the rights of immigrants etc.
The report reveals much about the racism, corruption and mendacity of the Zionists and Blarities who managed to get Labour referred to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), now pretty much a Tory puppet itself, for supposed ‘institutional racism’ against Jews. This ‘racism’ involved not expelling Palestine supporters and opponents of Zionist racism quickly and ruthlessly enough for the Zionist racists, both within and without Labour, who engineered the whole referral business in the first place, as a classic manoeuvre by pogromists and racist terrorists to cast themselves as victims, and their victims as monsters, a technique which the Zionists copied from Nazism.
The EHRC is essentially a Tory stooge body, which for instance has done nothing to investigate and condemn the crimes of the Tories against ethnic minority populations, against women, or other minorities. Most notably it has had nothing to say about the Windrush scandal, the vile racist persecution of Afro-Carribbean and other immigrants from the 1950s to the 1970s with theoretical citizenship rights who have been deprived of all rights including that to medical care, deported and often died because of this persecution. The failure to do anything about this marks the EHRC as a tool of racist governments. But precisely because of this it is likely to come up with some kind of hostile judgement against the left and anti-Zionists.
The response of the new Starmer leadership of the party to the leaked report has not been to address the numerous despicable acts of corruption and racism that it reveals, but to seek to suppress the report and launch a hunt for the whistle-blowers that leaked it. It seems the reason that the report was leaked is that Starmer planned to suppress it as evidence and not submit it to the EHRC investigation, as it contained too much damaging information about the activities of the Blairite/Zionist faction that Starmer was always part of.
Labour Zionism’s Big Fat Racist Lie
The cause celebre of the right-wing, neo-liberal, pro-capitalist witchhunt and counterattack in the Labour Party against the influx of left-wing inclined, working class members mobilised behind Jeremy Corbyn since 2015, has been outrageously false allegations of anti-Jewish racism.
The technique used was similar to the techniques of lying used by supporters of Hitler and Stalin in the mid-20th Century, that of telling huge, outrageous lies against political opponents, projecting onto the targets calumnies that the liars were guilty of themselves. These are similar to the lies of Hitler and Goebells that ‘the Jews’ were seeking ‘world domination’ while Nazi Germany sent its armies across Europe, East and West, and while it and its allied forces attacked and waged war on enemies on every continent in pursuit of just such an imperialist domination.
Or the lies of Stalin, that the Communist Left Opposition, who fought for world revolution and working-class democracy against the degeneration of the October revolution, were in league with Hitler against the USSR, when in fact it was Stalin who made pacts with Hitler, who trusted Hitler not to attack the USSR to the point of leaving it open to devastating attack in the Summer of 1941, which was no surprise to Oppositionists, but was to Stalin. His regime, while smearing the left as Hitler’s agents, handed over communists to the Gestapo when it suited them, to get rid of left-wing opponents of Stalin such as Marguerite Buber-Neumann, the partner of the leading German Communist dissident Heinz Neumann, previously murdered by Stalin.
The Zionist lies against the Labour left are of a similar ilk to those of Hitler and Stalin. These false allegations have been hurled over and over again against people whose overwhelming Impulse has been hostility to racism, to the racism of the Tories and their Blairite predecessors, to the anti-immigrant and racist persecution that was and is still involved in the ‘hostile environment’ against immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, overseas students, ‘unskilled’ migrantsn(e.g. many in the NHS) and other victims of the racism that certainly did not begin when Theresa May was put in charge of the Home Office by David Cameron.
In the thirteen years of Labour rule that preceded 2010, one grotesque bigoted thug after another abused migrants and roared their hatred of them: Straw, Blunkett, Charles Clarke, Jacque Smith, Alan Johnson. T hese are some of the worst chauvinists, migrant-baiters, torturers and racists, particularly Islamophobes, who ever personified the foul British imperialist Home Office.
But through the power and mendacity of the billionaire-owned, utterly corrupt and anti-democratic capitalist media, supplemented by the thoroughly purged, neoliberal-dominated BBC and other terrestrial broadcasting media, a lie was propagated, that was not so much widely believed, but accepted as the basis for a witchhunt. Even to the point that ‘comedy’ sketches appeared on some TV shows about the alleged hatred of Corbyn and Labour Party members for Jewish people and their resemblance to the Nazis.
This indicates not only corruption of the media and the crude intrusion of ruling-class politics into something that passes for ‘entertainment’, but a serious cultural decline in British society itself. It is also true that the main vehicle for this was Blairism, from the purging of BBC journalism by Alastair Campbell in the 2000s to the insidious commodification of liberal anti-working class bigotry under New Labour through the likes of Little Britain and Catherine Tate’s shows, with their lampooning of ‘chavs’ and supposedly sham-‘disabled’ figures of ‘fun’. They were grist to the Tory mill – Ian Duncan Smith’s televisual Dür Stürmer. More recently we saw sketches on Tracy Ullman’s show portraying Corbyn as a crude anti-Jewish racist in the most pathetic non-impersonation that, if those doing it had the slightest bit of cultural self-awareness, would embarrass the institution that once ran genuinely amusing satirists like Mike Yarwood.
The connection of Tracy Ulllman with Blairism is through Neil Kinnock, with whom she made videos in the 1980s when he was the left-bashing, anti-union Labour leader who fought long and hard to reconcile Labour with Thatcherism, stabbing in the back striking miners, printers, dockers … you name it, and laying the basis for Blairism. This is all part of the cultural corruption of the BBC by Blairite luvvies, who can sneak in where stuffed-shirt Tories – apart from perhaps Boris Johnson himself – would still have risked being lampooned like Sir Gerald Nabarro was by the Goodies and Monty Python in earlier, less repressive times.
Kinnock’s offspring Stephen Kinnock today is an arch-Blairite and one of Labour’s saboteurs, who preferred a Tory victory, as was visible by his obvious mortification and shock on election night in 2017 when Theresa May lost her majority. He was right in tune with the Labour apparatus that, as the leaked report exposes, actively fought to sabotage Labour’s 2017 and no doubt 2019 Election Campaigns.
Starmer: the Revenge of the Neoliberals
The election of Keir Starmer as Labour’s leader in April was the revenge of Labour’s contingent of the neo-liberal bourgeois elite for the ‘aberration’ of Corbyn’s election in 2015. Starmer’s election was a complete stitch-up and the mechanism of that stitch up is now clear. To obtain a place on the ballot, each candidate for leader had to get 10% of Labour’s MP’s and MEP’s to nominate them. In 2015 the percentage was higher at 15% but the left was more marginal; Corbyn was ‘lent’ some nominations by MPs who did not vote for him in the leadership election. This was because there was great trepidation among sections of Labour MPs that the party faced terminal decline in its fortunes after two Election defeats: that of Gordon Brown in 2010 and then Ed Miliband in 2015. The Tory-lite neo-liberal politics of the Blair/Brown period had led to Labour losing millions of its working class base and being reduced to a tiny rump in Scotland, among other places, particularly in 2015
The one-person-one-vote electoral system that was set up by Ed Miliband after the Collins review post-2010 was an attempt to revive some sort of popular enthusiasm for Labour by means of a ‘democratic’ gimmick. Labour would allow non-members to pay a one-off fee to become ‘registered supporters’ and have a vote in the election of the Labour leader, and also allow members of affiliated trade unions, instead of voting en bloc as previously, to have individual votes on a similar basis. Each vote from such ‘affiliated supporters’ and registered supporters being equal to those of party members themselves. The Electoral College that previously elected the leader was thus abolished. The idea was something akin to holding ‘primaries’ in the manner of parties in the United States ,and to generate enthusiasm for Labour as a result of ‘popular involvement’, and thus hopefully avoid a similar fate to the Greek PASOK. This social-democratic type party had, through adopting neo-liberal politics and alienating its working-class and left-wing base of support, declined to the point of no longer being a major party. It was taken for granted that these changes would mean a further dilution of Labour’s organic link with the organised Labour movement and lead to further defeats for the left.
But the neo-liberals miscalculated. Labour had lost a large chunk of its left-wing and working class base during the Kinnnock, Brown and Blair years, and Blair in particular had won elections by moving to the right onto Tory political territory in a period when the Tories themselves became dysfunctional and deeply divided, mainly over Europe. Blair had won over part of the Tories’ base of support not by ideologically combatting and defeating the Tories, but by posing as an alternative Tory Party. Hundreds of thousands of Labour supporters had taken to abstaining in elections as a protest against this right-wing politics, or voting Labour with great reluctance and unease.
Miliband’s scheme was first implemented in 2015 after Ed Miliband’s feeble soft-left campaign lost the election for Labour, as he ran on a programme that said austerity was not really wrong but ‘too far too fast’ and promised to ‘control immigration’, issuing special Labour Party mugs proclaiming this. Despite Miliband’s lip-service to the need for ‘working class representation’, his campaign inspired no-one. The Tories gained a working majority in parliament that they did not expect, and nor were they overjoyed about. The Cameron leadership preferred the coalition with the Lib Dems which kept the lid on some of the contradictions in the Tory Party particularly over Europe. With an overall majority Cameron had no choice but to carry out his unwanted promise of a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, which had fateful consequences later.
But Miliband’s emphatic loss of the election led to a popular backlash against neoliberalism among Labour’s base far greater than the limited leftward shift that had led to soft-left Miliband defeating his openly Blairite, neocon brother David for the leadership after the 2010 defeat. The Collins ‘reforms’ allowed hundreds of thousands of former Labour members and left-inclined younger working-class supporters to either get votes as ‘registered supporters’, or though their trade unions, without actually taking the step of joining the Labour Party. When Corbyn was put on the ballot with borrowed votes from some right-wing or soft-left MPs worried that if he were excluded the contest would be seen as a sham, the stage was set for rapid growth of the number of these supporters propelling Corbyn to victory on the basis of his reputation as one of the die-hard opponents of Blairism, its privatisations and openly anti-socialist attacks on traditional Labourism, and Blair’s neocon imperialist wars such as the invasion of Iraq.
Since then the priority of the bulk of Labour’s MP’s and apparatus has been to undo the victory of Corbyn that was the result of that seemingly almost accidental set of circumstances, which were in fact not accidental at all, but organically linked to Labour’s specific set of contradictions as a bourgeois workers party, and the specific relationship with neoliberalism as a predatory ruling class project that has been able to extend its tentacles within the working class movement, threatening social-democratic reformist parties like Labour with destruction.
A Rigged Election
It is very clear how the left was emasculated and, despite appearances, a genuinely democratic leadership election was denied to the Labour membership in 2020, after the sabotage and the internal destabilisation that played a major role in Labour’s General Election defeat. The mechanism was simply Zionist blackmail. All candidates for the leadership, quite early on in the campaign, were confronted by this, in the form of demands from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to sign up to ’10 demands’ including support for ‘fast track’ expulsions of Labour members at the behest of the racist Zionist factions within Labour, an anathema against even left-wing Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Labour, and a refusal to stand on platforms with or show solidarity to leftists accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ by the Zionist racists. Not to sign up for such demands would have brought the entire weight of the media, the Zionist apparatus, and the Labour apparatus down on the heads of the candidate who refused to sign. So the political cowards all signed up.
At a hustings organised by the Jewish Labour Movement, all of the leadership candidates declared they were either ‘Zionist’, or a ‘supporter’ of Zionism as did Starmer. Including the ‘continuity Corbynite’ candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey. It is an outrage that a racist anti-Arab movement that defends the Nakba or ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland (and is actually affiliated to the Israeli ‘Labour’ Party that constituted the government that carried it out!) should get to hold a Labour hustings.
Starmer in an interview expanded on his own statement of sympathy for Zionism by saying
“I do support Zionism. I said that last night. I absolutely support the right of Israel to exist as a homeland …. I said it loud and clear – and meant it – that I support Zionism without qualification.”
This happened concurrently with the blatant rigging of the elections for the Labour NEC by the repeated suspensions of left candidates for phoney allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’. The members, it is clear, were not to be allowed to have a say on any of this. This Sword of Damocles could easily have been used in the leadership election itself if the need had arisen. Only in the deputy leadership election was some laxity allowed on this, as Richard Burgon managed to get nominated and refuse to sign up for the BOD’s demands. But such was the demoralisation induced by the election defeat, the witchhunt and this blackmail that Starmer, who to give himself left-cover, endorsed the soft-left Angela Rayner (who also signed up for the BOD’s demands) as his running mate, won with around 56% per cent of the vote, much less than Corbyn who in 2015 and 2016 achieved 59.5 in 2015 and 61.8% respectively.
Another index of the anti-democratic stitchup in 2020 is in the turnout. In 2015 and 2016 the turnout was 76% and 77% respectively, whereas in 2020 it was only 62%: a massive drop. In fact more Labour Party members and supporters did not vote: 293,450, than the 275,780 that voted for Starmer in all categories as part of his victory, which clearly indicates that large sections of the membership considered themselves disenfranchised by the choice that was on offer. Long-Bailey’s capitulation to the racist, Tory BOD meant that she could not credibly be seen as a genuine candidate of the left and therefore large numbers of left-wing members did not see her as worth supporting.
A Pogromist Takes Control
The identification with Zionism of Starmer and all of his rivals for the leadership, his support ‘absolutely’ for Israel’s ‘right to exist’ as a homeland, and his statement that he supports Zionism ‘without qualification’ means that Starmer has, with crystal clarity, stated his adherence to a genocidal, far right, racist ideology. It has been extensively documented, and is not disputed by reputable historians, that the formation of the state of Israel was indissolubly connected with the expulsion of between two thirds and three quarters of the indigenous Palestinian Arab population. The foundation and existence of Israel would not have been possible without the majority of the population being Jewish. But the way this was achieved was the only way it could ever have been achieved: by a massive pogrom to drive out the Arab civilian population wholesale. These people were brutally driven out of their homeland to create the Jewish ‘homeland’ Starmer supports as part of his ‘without qualification’ support for Zionism.
In this you could in some sense claim that Starmer is acting in the traditions of Labourite social- imperialism, and its support for the British Empire, which was the sponsor of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, addressed to the leading British Rothschild, which promised a Jewish ‘national home’ in the Middle East as a quid-pro-quo for support by prominent US Jews for the United States entering the First World War on Britain’s side. Or at least that is how it was sold. It is also in the tradition of Labour’s support for the British Mandate in Palestine, which allowed the Zionists to expand their settlement project and eventually take control of Palestine and expel the Palestinians, with the rather obvious support of Attlee’s Labour Party at the time.
In those days, the Labourites ironically could say that they were behaving as a classic social-chauvinist party and defending the ‘welfare’ of the British Labour movement though defending British colonial policy against the colonial peoples. Today that is not really true as the British colonial presence in the Middle East is long gone. The relationship of Starmer’s leadership with the Zionists is direct and largely unmediated: a bloc forged through the destabilisation of Corbyn’s leftist Labour leadership by forces that were acting out of the Israeli Embassy, as revealed in the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby, which also revealed attempts by the Zionists to unseat politicians they regarded as unsympathetic in the Conservative Party, for instance Alan Duncan. The relationship between the Labour leadership and neo-liberalism, which is a largely post-WWII phenomenon with a close relationship with Zionism, is significantly different to the old relationship of the social chauvinist Labour bureaucracy with the British Empire. Which underlines that Blairism is somewhat different to the old right-wing Labour politics represented by MacDonald and Attlee.
In qualitative terms, the Nakba was a racist crime comparable to slavery and the Nazi holocaust. In stating that he does “absolutely support” Israel’s “right … to exist as a homeland” and that he supports Zionism “without qualification”, Starmer is confessing, and boasting of, his approval of the massive pogrom of the Nakba, the massacres at Deir Yassin and Tantura, at Dawaymeh, the use of typhoid as a bioweapon in Acre and Gaza, the whole genocidal edifice of the Zionist Plan Dalet to dispose of the Arab population as extensively documented by the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe in his seminal work The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007) and the premeditated motivation of which was documented equally extensively by the Palestinian historian Nur Mashlala in his work Expulsion of the Palestinians: the Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought (1992).
There is no political difference between publicly announcing one’s support for this racist crime and any other. In saying that he supports Israel’s right to exist ‘absolutely’ and the political Zionism that created it ‘without qualification’ he is saying that the Arab victims of the Nakba count for nothing. He is saying about those Arab victims what the racist pro-slavery United States Supreme Court Judge Richard Taney said about the freedman slave Dred Scott in the notorious Dred Scott judgement of 1857, when Scott sued for his freedom from being re-enslaved. In his judgement, Taney and the majority of the pro-slavery Supreme Court threw out Dred Scott’s suit with the judgement that blacks were:
“beings of an inferior order…; and so far inferior, that they had no rights that the white man was bound to respect”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford
This notoriously racist judgement, far from being accepted by anti-racists, was one of the key flashpoints that set off the American Civil War which destroyed slavery.
Indeed, this is not the only parallel that is obviously posed by Starmer’s position. His position amounts to unconditional support for a programme that involves getting rid of an unwanted population of Arabs without which Israel’s existence ‘as a homeland’ would be impossible because there would be an Arab majority. There is no difference in principle between defending that and defending Hitler’s mass murder of the Jews. The logic of seeking the removal of an entire population or ethnic group to make way for another is … genocide. And indeed, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian Arab population clearly fits the definition of genocide in the UN’s own Convention:
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
a) killing members of the group;
b)Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Israel is clearly guilty of (a), (b) and (c) at least. The deliberate blockage of access of pregnant women to medical care at Israeli checkpoints – a common occurrence – is a manifestation of (d). Israel does not seem to be guilty of (e). But it is not necessary, as the definition itself makes clear, to satisfy all the above criteria for the crime of genocide to be committed.
The killings of members of the group took place in numerous wars against the Arab civilian population beginning in 1947-8, as did the causing of serious bodily and mental harm to members of the group. The prolonged traumatisation of the population particularly in Gaza from regular, one-sided wars against a people that has been sealed up in what amounts to a huge concentration camp whose borders are controlled by Israel, the bombings, the shooting of protesters, the repeated ‘buzzing’ of the civilian population by supersonic Israeli aircraft, the deprivation of water and medicine: all are designed to cause serious bodily and mental harm to members of the group, to destroy at least part of the Arab population through making their land uninhabitable and thus forcing the dispersal and exile of the rest.
The only fig-leaf that the Labour Zionists have to hide their genocidal racism is their support for the two-state solution. This signifies that in their view, the Arab victims of Israeli crimes should be happy with a small fragment of their original homeland that would be obviously under Israeli domination. But that is not incompatible with a genocidal programme either. The Nazis, before they definitively decided upon extermination as their ‘solution’ to the existence of the Jewish population that they evidently did not want, explored the idea of using the island of Madagascar as a place where Jews could be exiled to. In fact the two-state solution is something Israel has often talked about but never agreed to. For one simple reason: a Palestinian state, even a small and weak one, would have more legitimacy internationally than Israel could ever have. Because it would be a state of an indigenous people, and not a settler state build on stolen land.
This is why Israel will never permit the emergence of a genuine Palestinian state; the Oslo agreement did not create such a state and was never intended to do so. What all wings of political Zionism are for, including the supporters of Israeli Labour in the Jewish Labour Movement, is a pseudo-state controlled by Israel in the manner of the current Palestinian authority, which is similar to the Vichy state in France under Nazi occupation and whose main function is to repress Palestinian resistance to Israeli crimes.
While there may be some utopian reformers, such as Norman Finkelstein, George Galloway and in his earlier period the late Edward W Said, who once put forward the idea of a genuine Palestinian state alongside Israel as the best that can be achieved under today’s political conditions, all of those people were compelled by developments in the real world to accept that this idea is in fact impossible to achieve. Today the two-state solution is simply a con-trick to justify demobilising the anti-racist struggle against Zionism in favour of something akin to the kind of reservations native Americans were imprisoned on as part of the genocidal colonisation of their homeland by European settlers.
This fig-leaf cannot hide the fact that Starmer is a genocidal racist and pogromist, and that Labour is now dominated by a far right, racist political trend with real similarities to the genocidal politics of Nazism. The political Zionists who dominate Labour today are as sinister and dangerous to the workers movement as neo-Nazis and the labour movement needs to be educated and won to recognise this.
Some on the left may try to play this down, and pretend that this is not a qualitative intensification of the Zionist trend that has long existed within Labour. But this is not a peripheral matter as it was back in 1945 when despite a deeply rotten pro-Zionist policy that approved of the Nakba in an international manifesto before it actually happened, Labour was still seen as a reformist party and was responsible in office for the creation of the NHS and much of what in the post-WWII period constituted the welfare state.
Nor are we even back in 2003 when Labour in power invaded Iraq in lockstep with George W. Bush and the very Zionist Project for the New American Century, but it was still claimed that this was really about some kind of liberal ‘humanitarian intervention’ on behalf of an oppressed population. Completely mendacious though that was, it was still somewhat in keeping with the traditions of pro-imperialist Labourism in its claim that Labour could shape imperialism in a ‘progressive’ direction. The pro-Zionism and thereby the acute racism was partly hidden and implicit.
But this was the central issue in the witchhunt against Corbynism, it was central in the Labour leadership campaign when all the candidates declared themselves either as Zionists or supporters of Zionism ‘without qualification’ and it has been central in Starmer’s leadership since as he has vowed publicly that ‘anti-Semitism’, which he defines as opposition to Zionism, will not be tolerated. It is also central to the leaked report. Therefore it is essential to examine this question in full and bring out its implications for working class politics in Britain in full.
Corbyn’s capitulation, and his symbiotic competition with the Zionists
The Labour Party’s tolerance of this genocidal racism is the monstrous fact that ought to spring out at anyone discussing the whole furore against so-called ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party, aimed at the left and supporters of the Palestinians. Corbyn’s definitive capitulation seems to have happened after the Zionist furore over the Mear One Brick Lane mural in 2018, which was deemed ‘anti-Semitic’ despite depicting half-a-dozen prominent magnates, including John D Rockerfeller, J. P. Morgan, Andrew Cargenie, and the bourgeois mystic Aleister Crowley, only a couple of whom, Rothschild and Warburg, were Jewish, sitting on the backs of the world’s poor.
Corbyn apologised for non-existent ‘anti-Semitism’ for having defended this mural six years earlier in 2012, when the story was dug up by the Zionist press, and after that was basically a broken man. There had been capitulations before that. Corbyn had abjectly failed to defend a number of left-wing people targeted by Zionists, such as Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Gerry Downing, and he had indulged the activities of Jon Lansman, who had destroyed democracy in Momentum and was purging it of anti-Zionists. But Corbyn’s capitulation over Mear One was a tipping point. This led straight to Corbyn’s acceptance, in stages, of the racist anti-Arab pseudo-definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ promoted by the pro-Israel International Holocaust Remembrance Association, whose whole purpose is to exploit the memory of the Nazi holocaust to justify Israeli racism today.
To expunge the ‘stain’ of anti-Semitism, his appointee, the new General Secretary Jennie Formby, as detailed in the report, embarked on a war with the remaining apparatchiks of the former Blairite GenSec Ian McNichol, as to who could be the most efficient witchhunters of supposed ‘anti-Semites’. Along the way, Labour’s most radical left-wing MP, Chris Williamson, the only one prepared to oppose Corbyn from the left, and prepared to defend leftist victims of the witchhunt, was hounded out by Formby. Which of course was a predictably suicidal strategy, as the most consistent reactionaries are invariably the practiced, committed right-wingers; when the left tries to outdo the right in chauvinism and reaction, it rarely succeeds. Those so inclined usually support the original article, not the imitation.
The capitulation to Zionist racism by the Corbynites is shown clearly in this passage from the report, which is a quote from Jeremy Corbyn as part of a primer on ‘anti-Semitism’ as part of his attempt to conciliate the Zionist witchhunters and show he was ‘doing something’ about anti-Semitism;
“In response to 19th Century European antisemitism, some Jews became advocates for Zionism, Jewish national self-determination in a Jewish state. Since the State of Israel was founded in 1948, following the horrors of the Holocaust, Zionism means maintaining that state. Jewish people have the same right to self-determination as any other people. Many Jewish Israelis are the descendants of refugees fleeing the Holocaust or from across the Middle East who faced discrimination after the founding of the State of Israel. Most British Jews feel connected to some extent to Israel and many have friends and family there.
There are many forms of Zionism both in Israel and around the world and for many Jews, Zionism represents national liberation. The concepts of Israel, Zion and Jerusalem run deeply in Jewish religion, identity and culture, and for many are symbolic of a homeland, refuge, or place of safety. The sensitivities around these concepts should be considered before using them.report, p600
Note the sudden jump over decades of history, and the thinly-veiled use of the Nazi holocaust to excuse the formation of the state of Israel in 1948, and to say that it is an expression of the right of Jews to ‘self-determination’ which they apparently have the same right ‘as any other people’. These are key tenets of Zionist ideology, and note what is missing from this passage. The discussion of the ‘sensitivities’ of Jews is to the fore; concern for the ‘sensitivities’ of the Arab victims of Israel is completely absent. Yet there is an oppressor-oppressed relationship between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs and for a supposedly anti-racist party, Labour,and Corbyn in this passage, clearly regards the nationalism of the oppressor as paramount over the national rights of the oppressed.
In fact, the idea that the ‘the Jews’ have the same “right to self-determination as any other people” depends on the idea that the Jews are a nation. But that is disputed by Marxist anti-Zionists, and is evidently untrue if you look at Jewish communities around the world, who may have elements of a common culture defined by religion, but do not have a common language in everyday discourse, and above all, do not have a common territory that they inhabit on a stable basis where they are a majority population and can exercise this ‘self-determination’ without violating the rights of others.
Nations have the right to self-determination, as they can liberate themselves from national or colonial oppression without fundamentally violating the rights of others. Jews are not a nation and their ‘self-determination’ is therefore a reactionary utopia. Zionism’s reactionary utopia has created an unstable semi-national formation that exits internationally, including in Israel, without a territory that it can inhabit without oppressing and dispossessing others.
‘National liberation’ through pogroms and ethnic cleansing
The Corbyn passage quoted above is disgustingly racist in its real content because of its use of the term ‘national liberation’ to describe the creation of the state of Israel. ‘Liberation’ as a concept implies ‘freedom’, and the concept of the ‘liberation’ of ‘Israel’ as defined by political Zionism (the only kind of Zionism that matters today) implies that Palestine needed to be ‘liberated’ from something to become ‘Israel’. What is this ‘something’ from which the future Israel needed to be ‘liberated’ to make this ‘homeland, refuge, or place of safety’ possible?
The obvious answer is its majority Arab, indigenous population. In other words, in order to become a Jewish ‘homeland’, ‘Israel’ had to be ‘cleansed’ of its Arab population, or at least enough of them to make a Jewish majority state possible. In the parlance of the Nazis, in their persecution of the Jews in Europe, when a country, or town, or village had its Jewish population removed, or murdered, the place was declared to be Judenrein, – cleansed of Jews, or free of Jews. The concept of ‘national liberation’ laid out here is identical, as there was no foreign oppressor these Zionists were fighting. They were fighting all along to ‘liberate’ the land from the Arab population themselves.
The equation between the Nakba and the Jewish exodus in the years following 1948 from the Arab states surrounding Israel, which was actively fought for by Israel against the original Arab response to Zionism, which, far from expelling Jews, involved banning emigration to Israel, is also mendacious.
This is the underlying issue that makes the whole ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against the left an outrageous lie. The entire thrust of the Zionist campaign against Corbyn was anti-Arab racism right from the very start, and Corbyn’s leadership began to fail the moment he made concessions to that. And he, and Formby, made major concessions to the point that there was a competition between them and the right wing as to who were the best smearers against the genuine left.
There are quite a number of outrageously racist, pro-Zionist statements in the Corbynite material that is used to illustrate they are not soft on ‘left-wing anti-Semitism’ at all: they can be just as racist as the right-wing when it comes to smearing the left. For instance, there is the following statement about the Nazi holocaust relative to other genocides, given the authority of both Corbyn and Chakrabarti:
“not only Holocaust revisionism, but also any attempt to ‘diminish’ the Holocaust through comparison with other genocides, had ‘no place in the Labour Party’”p531
This is clearly racist, and designed for the victimisation of non-Jewish oppressed minorities. It clearly states that other genocides and racist atrocities are of lesser importance than the genocide of Jews.
Why is this important? Because in social and economic terms, Jews are in a much stronger position than quite a number of non-white and Muslim oppressed populations today, and are in a position to exercise power over them. This is not an abstract and moralistic debate about which group was the most victimised in ancient history, but really about who oppresses whom today. And it is very clear from simple observation that Jews do not suffer today from disproportionate poverty, police harassment, racist deportations, massively disproportionate imprisonment, or habitually being targeted for racist attacks. Those in history whose victimisation and massacre the Labour Party deems less important than those that once suffered from anti-Semitism, do suffer from systematic oppression today.
Formby/Rich’s Zionist Blood-Libels: Black Socialists = David Duke!
This racist logic was in turn the grounds for the racist expulsions of the black-Jewish woman comrade Jackie Walker, for daring to ask why Holocaust Memorial Day does not commemorate the victims of slavery and colonialism, and long-time black activist Marc Wadsworth, who dared to complain that non-whites were being ignored and not represented at a Labour press conference that supposedly was about racism.
Both were falsely accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ and thrown out amid such smears, though it is notable that in neither case did the Labour Party dare to formally expel them for ‘anti-Semitism’ – it used the ‘disrepute’ clause instead. What was notable was that all through the saga of the prolonged suspensions of Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, the Corbynite leadership in classically cowardly fashion kept its head down and said nothing while the right-wing went for these comrades.
But this very Corbynite report clearly supports these expulsions, and reveals much about the thinking of the Corbynites and Formby. In the case of Jackie Walker, it make use of a letter from Dave Rich, a leader of the so-called Community Security Trust, to promote the following amalgam regarding her views on the co-responsibility of some Jews – some of which were her own ancestors – for slavery:
“This relates to an untrue and antisemitic theory that Jews were the major figures behind the slave trade. It is a theory that was first published in coherent form by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam in a 1991 book called The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. According to the Nation of Islam, the book “conclusively proved that Jews were in fact at the very center of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as merchants, financiers, shippers, and insurers and among the leading international marketers of the products of African slave labor.
“The theory that Jews were behind the slave trade is an antisemitic conspiracy theory specifically constructed to appeal to the black community and to divide them from the Jewish community. Farrakhan wrote and published his book in order to stir up antisemitism amongst African-Americans, as this article explains. The book has wider appeal, though, as antisemites of all types like it: for example David Duke; German Holocaust Deniers (this is from Germar Rudolf’s website); Islamist extremists at Radio Islam.”p363
So Jackie Walker’s observations as person of mixed heritage about the responsibility of her ancestors on one side for the oppression of her forebears on the other side, is twisted by this fascistic Zionist hack into an amalgam with David Duke, by involuntary association with Louis Farrakhan, who is in turn involuntarily associated with Duke!
It is worth noting that what Dave Rich and David Duke have in common is that they are both clearly supporters of racist oppression. Duke as a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan needs little introduction in that regard, though he has spent several decades after leaving that position trying to project a different image by dressing in smart suits rather than white sheets and running in Democrat and Republican primaries. But Dave Rich has views about Palestinians that are arguably not a million miles removed from those Duke holds about blacks, as shown by this passage from his book The Left’s Jewish Problem :
“Comparing the plight of the Palestinians with the Holocaust performs several functions. Its political goal is to undermine the idea that the Holocaust provided a moral justification and a practical need for the creation of a Jewish state.”loc 2875, Kindle edition
This is linked, once again, with the racist perspective put forward in the passage from Corbyn quoted earlier about Zionism and the foundation of Israel as ‘national liberation’. It is pretty explicit in saying that the Nazi holocaust provides a moral justification for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. In other words, that the ‘practical need’ for a Jewish ethnic state overrides the rights of the Palestinians, and any demand that their rights be regarded as equal to those of Jews, and any assertion that systematic racism against them is on the same level as similar racism as Jews, is illegitimate as it undermines the ‘moral justification’ for a Jewish ethnic state being established at Palestinian expense. It is doubtful if David Duke would be so brazen today in denying the right of blacks to equality with whites. The racism of the people who put together this report is shocking.
And here is the real reason for the racist amalgam mentioned earlier between ‘Holocaust Revisionism’ and people who dare to say or believe that other genocidal acts of racial oppression in history can be legitimately compared with the Nazi genocide. As the newly Zionised Corbynite report says:
“not only Holocaust revisionism, but also any attempt to ‘diminish’ the Holocaust through comparison with other genocides, had ‘no place in the Labour Party’”
Translated, this means that any attempt to make ‘comparisons’ between other forms of racism and the past suffering of Jews is ‘anti-Semitic’ because it denies the right of racist Zionist Jews to claim their ‘national liberation’, and their ‘moral justification’ for oppressing others.
On this basis not only are Palestinians, descendants of those who were forcibly expelled from what is now Israel, excluded from their own homeland, as justified by the likes of Dave Rich citing the Nazi holocaust, but those Palestinians who managed to escape this fate and remain in their homeland, second class citizens. There is no equal ‘Israeli’ nationality; Israeli citizens are divided into Jewish, Arab and ‘other’ nationalities, and under both the old ‘Basic Law’ and the newer, more explicit ‘Jewish Nation State’ law, the state, the land, and the country itself, belong to the Jewish ‘nationality’, not all its citizens.
On the same basis, non-Jewish migrant workers who work in Israel are unable to obtain citizenship because they are not Jewish. There are a considerable number of mainly female Filipino migrants in Israel doing caring and domestic work. Woe betide any who get pregnant, as they face deportation as the idea of non-Jewish children being born in Israel is contrary to the ethos of this racist state.
Likewise Africans who have sought asylum, and been unfortunate enough to take refuge in Israel face racist campaigns to deport them on the grounds that “If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state” says Netanyahu (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/may/20/israel-netanyahu-african-immigrants-jewish). This is what the ethnic nationalism that says that any equation of racism against other peoples with racism against Jews, implicit in the above amalgam, justifies in ideological terms. And one of Israeli’s most prominent Rabbis felt free to make a speech comparing black people with monkeys.
The Labour Party is now institutionally Jewish supremacist and therefore institutionally racist against all other oppressed groups, not just Arabs. This is why Jackie Walker was expelled for comparing the ‘African holocaust’ with the genocide of the Jews. This comparison can only be ‘offensive’ to someone who considers that black people are racially inferior to Jews and therefore black slavery and colonialist racist crimes are unworthy of being mentioned alongside the Nazi anti-Jewish genocide. This is particularly clear when you look at the murder of 10 million black African Congolese by King Leopold II’s Belgium at the turn of the 20th Century. Labour Party ‘guidance’ that forbids comparing the two events (Leopold’s crimes exceeded even Hitler’s!) express anti-black racial supremacism, pure and simple.
This is why Marc Wadsworth was expelled for complaining bitterly about the lack of representation of non-whites at a Labour press conference ostensibly to discuss racism, in which a well-known right-wing MP was seen to openly collude with the journalists from the foully racist Daily Telegraph, whose overt Zionism and dog-whistle racism against non-whites is no secret. In the Wadsworth case the case against him was so flimsy and obviously a complete and utter pack of lies that the Corbynite report-writers had difficulty in cobbling together a rationale for defending it at all. So they put together a feeble caricature of his defence campaign to justify suspending those who supported him.
As part of some ‘guidance’ on when to suspend members drawn up by Laura Murray, we find the following outrageous slur against his defenders (the ‘guidance’ is apparently divided into ‘columns’, with individual ‘columns’ dedicated to particular targets):
“One column is dedicated to ‘Defence of Marc Wadsworth’, and a suspension is recommended in cases where a defence of Marc Wadsworth involves ‘allegations that there is a Jewish war against black socialists such as Marc Wadsworth’.p758
Quite obviously this is an attack on the right to criticise the racism of Wadsworth’s accusers. The view that the smears against him had racist motivation is widely held, and completely obvious – a no-brainer. The smear that this is seen as a ‘Jewish war’ is worthy of a Sun journalist and implies that anyone who says his accusers, many of who were Jewish Zionists, were racist were accusing all Jews of being involved. But there is absolutely no reason why anyone would think that as many of Marc’s most outspoken defenders were strongly anti-racist Jewish Labour Party members. This is obviously a witchhunter’s racist fantasy, projecting their own racism onto anti-racists – a classic Zionist symptom.
The Labour Party may delude itself that because it attacks open white supremacism it cannot be institutionally racist. But Jewish-Zionist supremacism is a close relative of white supremacism, as the alliance of white supremacists and Zionists around Trump testifies, to the point that many of Trump’s white supremacist groupies embrace Zionism and give themselves political cover by calling themselves ‘white Zionists’. Embracing Jewish supremacism while denouncing white supremacism is an utterly duplicitous position. It amounts to throwing racism out by the front door only to allow it to stroll back in by the same front door with a rather obvious disguise.
This is so because in this period of neoliberal reaction Jewish-Zionist supremacism and white supremacism are partners. While there are some tensions at times between Jewish-Zionist supremacism and white supremacism, the former is usually the senior partner. Precisely because the history of the 20th Century inflicted material and ideological defeats on white supremacism, but in the same period Jewish-Zionist supremacism became much more powerful because of the creation of Israel as a transplanted capitalist-imperialist power in the Middle East, joining the dominant imperialist forces worldwide. So much so that its supporters, reactionaries emerging from the Jewish people who had provided many of the victims of the previous wave of world reaction prior to WWII, i.e. fascism and particularly Nazism, played a major role in bringing into being the current wave of world reaction that threatens the world with barbarism, that is post-WWII capitalism in its neoliberal form.
Such is the weight of Zionist racist bigotry and corruption of the right-wing of the Party that both the Zionists and the Corbynite converts to pro-Zionist witchhunting have had to confess, albeit in a manner that is remarkable in its disingenuousness, that what they falsely characterise as a wave of ‘anti-Semitism’ was provoked by the behaviour of the right-wing themselves. Thus the Corbynite report quotes the Zionist right-winger Adam Langleben making this strange admission:
“The blame I think, lies with the moderates who ran the Labour Party in the run-up to Jeremy Corbyn’s election. In that, by creating an atmosphere where anyone who had tweeted that they once voted Green was expelled or suspended or their membership was revoked from the Labour Party, it enabled a conspiracy theory to develop around the idea that the Labour establishment was trying to stop people from taking part in Labour Party democracy. And I think that was the sort of root as to how this sort of antisemitic conspiratorial thinking started in the party.”p120
But of course, as the report itself makes clear, the Labour apparatus was indeed involved in massive corruption, frameups and lies against Corbyn-supporters in 2015 and again during the ‘chicken coup’ in 2016. Even that bureaucratic chicanery is the tip of a very huge iceberg. The elephant in the room is the domination of the Labour Party right-wing, and now the party itself through Starmer, by organised racists, the JLM and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) supporters of this racist Middle Eastern imperialist state that is involved in a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people, now being manifested by Israel seeking to stop Palestinians protecting their people from Covid-19, closing clinics etc.
In around 99% of the cases of supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ documented in the report, the ‘evidence’ is simply doctored, mangled mendacious rubbish designed to slander left-wing, anti-racist people as anti-Jewish racists. But in a marginal number of cases, sometimes involving people not even on the left, there is evidence of some confusion about things like the truth of the Nazi genocide, and similar things.
In fact it not only the anti-democratic bureaucratism that Langleben confesses to that gave rise to that marginal phenomenon, but even more the blindingly obvious racism of the corrupt bureaucrats themselves. Insofar any marginal manifestations of genuine, incipient anti-Semitic rhetoric have crept into this situation at all, this is similar to the confusion about WWII and European history that sometimes manifests itself in the Middle East, the Arab world, and even among a fringe of very alienated anti-racist Jewish people. This fringe aspect, insofar as it exists, is entirely the responsibility of the Zionist racists who dominate the Labour Party and proved it by destroying Corbyn’s leadership.
Zionism, Neo-Liberalism and World Reaction
This brings us to the question of how it is possible, in terms of Marxist sociology and materialist analysis, that a far-right, bourgeois supremacist trend such as Zionism can come to play such an unusual role in the British Labour Party. Why is it that all candidates for the Labour leadership election that were voted on by the membership should swear what amounts to an oath of loyalty to the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD), a Jewish communal group that whose leaders were quite open about their applause for the Conservative Party in the recent General Election? A group who applauded the ascent of the candidate of the nationalist right, Boris Johnson, to the leadership of that party a few months earlier? This has to be one of the weirdest events in British Labour history.
This is very strange if you consider that Labour is a bourgeois workers party that was founded by parts of the labour bureaucracy under pressure from below, to give partial expression to the desire of the British working class for some sort of independent class party of their own. The party was always fundamentally deformed by the pressure of imperialism; its form of class politics always had pretty tame limits. Its bureaucracy always had a strategy of seeking crumbs for the workers from the table of British imperialism and later of the United States as British imperialism declined and increasingly became a junior partner of the US. However it did have a sense of party and class sentiment even when it involved itself in coalition agreements with bourgeois parties to its right. The idea that it would invite supporters of its main opponent party to interfere in its leadership election, in the guise of representing an ethnic minority closely associated with an overseas imperialist power, and offer such people control over its membership and disciplinary processes, is pretty strange.
One thing the Labour Party is not is a tribune of the oppressed. If Jews today were an oppressed group subjected to systematic discrimination and marginalisation in British society, then they would struggle to obtain any sympathy at all from the Labour establishment. Racial abuse of oppressed minorities is rife in Labour: the abuse of Labour’s most prominent black female political figure, Diane Abbott, far exceeds that directed against any other. Yet Zionist Jews as a particular minority communal group are able to get special treatment to the sense that all candidates for the leadership pledge it their special protection.
All through the report, the phrase “Jewish stakeholders” keeps occurring. It’s an intriguing concept and very revealing. Only Jews, and only pro-Israeli Jews at that, are referred to in this way. No other ethnic minority groups, or their organisations, are referred to as ‘stakeholders’. The way it is used and the deference shown to these ‘stakeholders’ by the apparatus on both sides of the divide, is such that the word ‘stakeholders’ comes almost to have the sense of ‘shareholders’. Ordinary Labour Party members are certainly not treated as ‘stakeholders’. Actually the use of this term makes it quite clear that the Corbynite authors of the report quite consciously see Zionist Jews, those who defend the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, as a rightly privileged group within the Labour Party, even those Zionist Jews who openly support the Conservative Party. The authors of the report clearly think this is good and proper. To others, it is both racist, and deeply bizarre, counterposed to the very existence of Labour as a supposed party of ‘labour’.
The question is: what does this signify? Actually it signifies the renewed dominance over the Labour Party of neo-liberalism, and the party’s incipient liquidation as in any meaningful sense a political expression of the workers as a class. Neoliberalism has re-taken the Labour Party after an aberrant, almost accidental, period of ascendancy of the left. But the leaders of that left capitulated under sustained political pressure from the neoliberal wing of the party, which is not really analogous to an old-fashioned labour bureaucracy in the mould of the party apparatus in the days of Keir Hardie, Ramsay MacDonald, Anuerin Bevan, Harold Wilson and Michael Foot.
The old type labour bureaucracies rested on mass working class organisations where workers to a very large extent worked in mines, factories and other large workplaces or concentrations of workplaces that had a real collectivity and class consciousness and were able to keep the privileged labour bureaucracies to a degree in check. There were limits to what such old style labour bureaucracies could get away with.
But there are very few limits to what the neoliberal ‘left’ bureaucracy can get away with. Such collectivism was linked to the classic reign of what is known as finance capital, the original basis of imperialism, which Lenin correctly defined as the union of industrial capital and banking capital, which sought to dominate the world through the export of part of its capital, and particularly sought domination over the underdeveloped parts of the world through colonialism and struggle to redivide the world and monopolise markets and sources of raw materials.
However, there has been a further development of imperialist capital beyond these classical forms, catalysed by the further decay of capitalism as classically expressed in Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The fall in the rate of profit meant that the classical unity of industrial and banking capital exploiting a large scale industrial proletariat in the advanced countries became less and less profitable, and so industrial capital increasingly sought to do away with the proletariat, or as much of it as possible, in the classical imperialist countries, and migrated to underdeveloped countries in search of cheap labour to manufacture goods, the bulk of which at least initially were still for realisation in the advanced countries, thus raising the rate of profit. At the same time, the further decline in profit rates gave rise to drives in the imperialist centres to privatise everything that moved. Everything from prisons to public housing, from air traffic control to schools to hospital cleaning to probation officers, everything that could possibly if privatised be squeezed to obtain a morsel of profit and hence raise the overall rate of profit, was so privatised.
This also modified the phenomenon of finance capital as a fusion of banking and industrial capital. The migration of important sections of industrial capital from the main imperialist countries, even though the funding, as before, came from the imperialist banking arm, produced a geographical separation between industrial and banking capital even though they remained a unity under the system of finance capital. This produced an emanation of finance capital which some Marxists, entirely reasonably, call financial capital, to distinguish it from finance capital in its classical form. Its function is not the methodical exploitation of the proletariat to generate surplus value, but tricks and novel methods of seemingly extracting value from nothing, by such means as the creation of asset price inflation (closely linked to the concept of ‘fictitious capital’), ‘futures’, or other innovative ‘financial products’ which also have the effect of seemingly conjuring up new value from nothing. Such as credit-default-swaps, which played a major role in the late-2000s financial crisis. Of course, speculation is not new under imperialism, but there are also questions of degree.
All these things today, more than in the earlier period of imperialist finance capital, constitute a unity. Indeed a key part of Marxist analysis and Marxist economics today must consist of the unravelling and detailed elaboration of how these things work. That is not the purpose here, however. It is rather to paint a broad-brush picture of what is going on as pointers for further work.
The classic era of finance capital was the period between the two world wars and in some ways the personification of finance capital, in its pure form, was fascism and Nazism. The state became simply the servant of finance capital, and employed both its own forces and an extra-legal army of plebeian, but anti-proletarian, thug-auxiliaries to forcibly brutalise and intimidate the concentrated industrial proletariat into conformity and compliance with the dictates of finance capital. This was only possible because of the betrayals of the labour bureaucracies, both social-democratic and Stalinist, of those imperialist countries, who between them colluded with the imperialist bourgeoisie to defeat revolutionary trends in the main advanced countries.
Today, with the modified finance capital and the expansion of financial capital and its increased importance, we see a different kind of capitalist reaction. Instead of the corporate state, in the mould of Mussolini, where capital appeared to fuse with a powerful economic state, we see the minimal economic state being touted, in the spirit of the likes of Ayn Rand, a key neoliberal ideologue, where the state is supposed to leave the economy alone as much as possible and merely act as an enabler for money making.
These are different models of capitalist reaction, which belong to different eras, fascism in the early period of imperialism, neoliberal reaction today. Both seek to subjugate the proletariat, fascism by brute force and political atomisation, neoliberalism by using economics to undermine the cohesion of the proletariat as a force within the classical imperialist nation-state by exporting their jobs and reducing them to insecure mass casualisation at best, if not starvation and permanent lumpenisation. This has also produced a nationalist, pro-imperialist backlash, as per Brexit and Trump.
This modified period of imperialism, where financial capital has become qualitatively more ascendant than in earlier periods of capitalist imperialism, is what we live under today. The key reactionary figures of finance capital now are not the Hitlers and Mussolinis, but the Friedmans, the Hayeks, the Rands, the Thatchers and Reagans, the Trumps and Boris Johnsons. Not the street-fighting leaders of brownshirts and dictatorships centred on industrial power, but the ideologues of the social and political dominance of money makers above all others, and the social marginalisation of the working class. Though that does not exclude, in turn, the emergence of neo-liberalised forms of fascism also, indeed these are also manifest today in the Tommy Robinson type milieu. But they are marginal.
In any case, this is what has undermined the Labour Party, and produced a new breed of ‘labour’ politician who is not a mere servant of finance capital in a political sense, like the old labour bureaucrats who fought for national welfare states and supported their ‘own’ imperialist countries’ struggles to maintain imperial influence, while trying to ‘humanise’ this imperialism. The old Labour bureaucracy was personified by Attlee, who while conceding independence to India (he really had no choice) nevertheless fought brutal colonial wars in Malaysia (including Singapore) and Indonesia, also helping the French back into Indo-China, and crushed the nascent Kenyan independence movement and workers movement. This kind of social chauvinism linked ‘welfare’ to support for colonial oppression.
But it is somewhat different to the ‘labourism’ of Blair and Peter Mandelson, with his infamous statement as to how Labour is ‘intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich”. The former was subordination to finance capital, the latter is subordination to financial capital. This is not, by the way, a moral difference. Both of these things are deeply reactionary and the social-imperialism of old-Labour was itself mortally antagonistic to socialism. It is however a sociological difference – the old social imperialist bureaucracy still had a material connection to organised labour, if only as a parasite upon it. Whereas New Labour has no such necessary connection at all.
And this is where Zionism comes in. The ideologues of reaction based on finance capital were not generally Zionists, or particularly sympathetic to ‘national’ aspirations of Jews at all. They tended to regard Jews with suspicion, in part because of the role of many prominent revolutionary Jewish intellectuals in the workers movement in the earlier period of capitalism, a reactionary suspicion which to a degree made the dominant ideologues of finance capital somewhat suspicious of even Jewish bourgeois. Their model of capitalism involved the banks financing the development of industrial capital; speculation was regarded as a source of instability if anything.
But after the second world war, with defeat of Nazi Germany, the profound discredit of fascism and Nazism, the formation of the state of Israel, and the long boom occasioned by the newly conquered world hegemony of US imperialism, a boom that lasted for nearly three decades, new forms of reaction emerged in the form of neo-liberalism in which Zionists played a crucial role. Look at the ideologues of neo-liberalism: while some, such as Thatcher and Hayek, were not Jewish, many other prominent ideologues, such as Rand, Friedman, Joseph, Sherman, Kissinger (one of the key architects of the Pinochet coup which used the Chilean people as guinea pigs for Friedman’s theories) were both Jewish and strongly pro-Zionist.
This incidence of Jewish-Zionists playing a prominent role in neo-liberal politics is just as striking at the prominent role that Jewish intellectuals played in the early working class and revolutionary movement. Both have deep roots in Jewish history; the progressive ideologues in the history of struggle against persecution and oppression that particularly arose in the late medieval and early capitalist eras when the Jewish merchant people-class, as Abram Leon described them, a commodity trading but not commodity-producing class in pre-capitalist societies where production was not generally for sale on the market, was rendered obsolete by the rise of capitalism as an economic system based on generalised commodity production.
The counterposition between the unambiguously progressive role of Jews in the working class movement in the pre-Hitler period (indeed that is precisely why Hitler had so many Jews murdered), and the reactionary role of Jewish-Zionists today, is a concrete example of why no people in history can be said to be either wholly progressive or wholly reactionary. It is also an example of how in the real world, Hegel’s observation about phenomena being transformed into their opposites, is manifested in reality.
But what we are interested in here is in accounting for the role of Zionism in neo-liberal capitalism. This is obviously simply a product of the fact that Jews, even today, are the remnants of a medieval commodity and money-trading class, which has long since dissolved into other classes. Insofar as a remnant of this trading and financial class was assimilated to the modern bourgeoisie, it tended to be biased towards that part of modern capitalism that was more concerned with money-trading and the like. Hence the connection of Jews with financial capital is no great mystery in class terms.
What to do now?
And likewise the role of Zionism in a dissolving bourgeois workers party whose bureaucrats and privileged layers are in transition from being lackeys of finance capital in the old sense, with its more concentrated industry and proletariat, to being lackeys of today’s imperialism with its qualitative enhancement of financialised capital. In a sense the phenomenon of a bourgeois workers party becomes obsolete when the bourgeoisie becomes interpenetrated with the elite of such a party though financialisation and the professionalisation of the bureaucratic elites, who then become socially very similar to the financial elite, no longer really a caste of labour bureaucrats in the old sense. To a degree this has also happened to large, white collar trade unions, but much more with the elite of a bourgeois labour party, which really is wide open to such a transformation into a naked tool of the wealthy.
Thus properly understood, the Blairisation and Zionisation of Labour heralds the destruction, the undermining, of the historic possibility of that kind of party which embodies a class contradiction, the bourgeois workers party, as subservience to the bourgeoisie leads, in this day of deindustrialisation, low profit rates and financialisation, to the party becoming very visibly a tool of the super-rich, and thus losing its whole reason for existence. This is known as Pasokification, after the miserable decline of the Greek social democratic organisation PASOK after it capitulated wholesale to neoliberalism. PASOK’s role was filled by the rise of SYRIZA, which looks to be at the beginning of a similar decline after it too capitulated to austerity in the Greek debt crisis of the early 2010s.
The strategic aim of Marxists in working with layers of militants such as those who are currently leaving the Labour Party in droves and beginning to coalesce around initiatives such as that of Chris Williamson, has to be to create a genuine working class party, where the functionaries are materially and politically subordinate to the working class membership, not the other way round. A key part of the political basis for such a party must be to draw a very hard line against Zionism, which is playing an insidious role as an anti-working class, destructive far-right force, seeking to destroy any trace of working class politics and consciousness in Labour. But the possibility of such regressions can only be fully overcome by the struggle for political clarity and for a revolutionary programme that can consciously put an end to capitalism itself.