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Recent spikes in youth suicides in Kawerau, Northland and Wairarapa have reignited the debate over the causes of suicide and speaking out on suicide advocated by the Chief Coroner. The NACTs and Maori Party pay lip service with a token fund to appoint Health workers in schools. But PM Key says suicide is too complex to be blamed on poverty alone. Yet the suicide rate always doubles or trebles for youth during recessions where Maori youth unemployment reaches over 30%. The reality is that suicide is a ‘social disease’ caused by capitalism’s alienation of our productive powers beyond our control. Economic depression concentrates that alienation by destroying our productive life. It leaves many youth powerless and without hope. Where they lack social support suicide becomes an option. The Coroners are finally speaking up against the failure to attack the social roots of suicide. We say youth should gang up to pull out those social roots. For youth to live capitalism must die. Kill capitalism not yourself!
Nelson police arrest and prosecute an undercover cop to give him street cred as a Red Devil motorcycle gang recruit. The Court throws out the case and criticises the police for making a ‘fraudulent case’. Police credibility plummets further after string of blunders from the Ureweras to Dotcom. This is not just a few bad cops. Independent reviews are jokes as we showed in the case of the killing of Steven Wallace. Most gangs are made up of working class youth who reject racist, class society where they are alienated, exploited and oppressed. They assert their own power as ‘gangs’ and chose a life style that is outlawed by capitalist society. Such outlaw gangs are criminalised for the use and production of illicit drugs, while the most respected legal gangs in NZ were the beer barons before they were overtaken by the shonkey bankers. The cops spend millions chasing the outlaw gangs because in the crisis ridden capitalist ruling class wants scapegoats to blame for the crisis rather than the capitalists who make the laws. We say the real gangsters are the capitalist parasites who live off the labour of the working class and criminalise the youth who refuse to shut up and do what they are told. Youth should gang up to fight for an end to capitalism and for a socialist society.
Recently a teacher was sacked by the headmaster of Pompallier Catholic College for supporting students’ right to support gay marriage. The Headmaster thought he could impose the Catholic teaching that homosexuality is a sin. What is sin? Catholicism is an antiquated religion which kept the peasants subservient to kings and nobles. If they failed to obey the Church they sinned. Religion has no place in modern education centuries after the Reformation and Enlightenment. If you want to see what Charter Schools are like, look at Catholic Schools. They are subsidised by workers to suppress free speech and impose medieval morality based on superstition. Karl Marx explained that religion was the organised theft of the power over our own lives by the ruling class using religion to make us obey a supernatural power. The criticism of religion was the beginning of all criticism. We say that individual freedom demands freedom of speech and assembly, and the right to criticise and disobey authority. These cannot be provided by religious schools of any kind. Freedom from superstition means taking back supernatural power as a social and natural power. It should start by reinstating Nigel Studdart and guaranteeing freedom of speech in the school.
Bio-security is competing with the Police, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development, to make the biggest blunders. Having ignored scientific advice and allowed Varroa virus into the hives and PSA into the kiwifruit vines damaging if not wiping out these industries, they now turn into ‘plant Nazis’ using the new Search and Surveillance Act to make dawn raids on plant nurseries looking to blame someone for importing exotic Kauri seedlings carrying the deadly PTA, or ‘Kauri Dieback’ for which there is no known cure. Confused? The first kills Kiwifruit vines and could have been stopped but wasn’t. The second kills Kauri trees but has been in the country for years. The NZ ‘plant Nazis’ were called out not for bio-security reasons but to protect the IP of a New York botanist who claimed a NZ nursery was engaged in ‘patent theft’ of a disputed species of Kauri from Vanuatu. Shades of Dotcom Redux foreshadowing the PTTA imposing a US right to arrest judge and execute anybody, anywhere. (see US vs China in Asia-Pacific). Capitalism in crisis is like a headless monster which only needs a shove to make it fall down dead.
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‘liquefaction’ of capital has seen 100,000s of thousands of workers relocated out of Christchurch. Business has been given a massive state subsidy to rebuild in the central city. But those workers left in town have no say in where they live, where they work, or where there kids go to school. NACTs are seizing on the earthquake to impose massive cuts on education and drive through privatisation reforms with PPPs, Charter Schools etc. Education will be concentrated and centralised to cut costs to business. The NACTs will use the ‘liquefaction’ of schools to prove that failure in education is not due to poverty but to education dominated by teachers unions. It is now admitted that ECan was sacked to stop environmentalist objections to more use of irrigation to drive the dairying boom. ECan remains in the hands of commissioners until 2016 when water rights are completely privatised. Canterbury is an ongoing capitalist disaster but a profits bonanza! Christchurch was a centre of working class politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in fighting the governments of the gentry and businessmen. Now they are being exploited by a new gentry and their parasitic cronies getting rich off the NACTs ‘rip, shit and bust’ economy, farming the rent, paying no capital gains, and turning the workers into a new class of serfs. The ruling class rules until the working class takes the power and rules for the vast majority of society. It is time to revive the working class tradition and take the power.
Class divisions in Iwi are being tested by the Asset sales. Iwi leaders are signing up to the NACTs Shareminus as a one off Treaty payment in advance for the privatisation of Maori water rights. Others like Ngai Tahu are happy with their existing settlements and not to challenge water rights. The Maori Council is taking the NACTs to court to get a judgement on Maori water rights and is opposed to their privatisation. The Maori Council is acting for Maori are one people not divided by pakeha class divisions. The recent Maori union hui also wants Iwis and unions to unite Maori as one people. The unions point to the success of iwi intervention in the Meat workers dispute with Affco. Is this class solidarity or class sellout? We predict that trying to unite working class Maori with Iwi leaderships under Maori capitalism will bring poverty and misery to the workers. One pointer: following the Affco dispute the Meat Workers membership at Wairoa plant fell from 75% to 44%. The answer to capitalism eating up Maori workers is to occupy and put the industry under workers control. Let’s see what side the Iwi leaders are on then.
Take back Tiwai!
Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter will be sold unless it can rewrite its cheap power contract with Meridian Energy. It used 15% of total electricity output. Owner Rio Tinto Alcan has been threatening to close unprofitable smelters including Tiwai Point. The creation of SOEs out of NZ Electricity has created a power monopoly and has inflated prices by 50% real cost of production. But Rio Tinto is an even bigger global monopoly and had the Manapouri power station built for it, gets free water, and gets a 75% discount of domestic prices. This means that Rio Tinto’s super profits are paid by NZ workers. The 750 workers want more state help to prevent closure and the Labour Party is talking of helping. But this will amount to more subsidised super profits. We say Rio Tinto is already dependent on state welfare. It is a multinational plundering NZ renewable resources. We say Take Back Tiwai, kick out Rio Tinto, socialise the smelter and put it under workers control. This will lower power prices to NZ workers and allow worker to plan production to meet actual social needs and not private super profits.
NACTs plan to privatise Solid Energy. This will put what is left of state mining in private hands. As the Pike River Disaster Commission of Inquiry is reporting back, the closing of Spring Creek the Huntly East mine, the NACTs are preparing Solid Energy by writing off poor performing assets and labour costs to prepare it for sale. So far, opposition has been vocal but not militant. Even the staunch grieving families of the dead Pike River miners have contained their anger to official channels. Opposition has to step up to direct action. The campaign against deep sea oil drilling off the East Cape proved that direct action was a success. Petrobras is unlikely to risk spilling oil over the mana of the Te Whanau a Apanuni and in light of the growing opposition to deep sea drilling globally, including in Brazil. The vocal opposition to proposed ironsand mining off Taranaki shows that support is building for more direct action. Mining must be put under workers control. That way the working class will decide what should be mined to meet the needs of workers without destroying the planet. For that to happen workers will have to overthrow capitalism and build socialism.
NACTs attack on Christchurch schools vindicates our warning of last year that Disaster Capitalism enacted in Christchurch will be the model for the rest of NZ. The
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China/US Rivalry for Asia-Pacific
US imperialism as the dominant world power is under threat. The global crisis of falling profits has hit the US and EU economy hard and the great recession must become a great depression to restore profits. As a result US rivalry with other imperialist countries is hotting up as they all compete with one another to increase their ‘spheres of influence’ and their superprofits. The US now faces China and Russia as new, expansionary imperialist powers. The main threat to US imperialism comes from China rising as we have argued for some time. China/US rivalry is the driving force behind global geopolitics today. Grasping this reality is the starting point for Marxist revolutionaries.
China is now the second largest global economy though still lagging well behind the USA. Yet it is overtaking the US at about 8% a year while the US economy lags between 1 or 2%. The US has responded with trade protection and a political and military ‘pivot’ into the AsiaPacific to contain China’s growing sphere of influence. It is also continuing to try to isolate China’s ally Iran and the influence of China in Central Asia, and stepping up its activity in Africa where China has made big inroads in the last decade. This raises the stakes globally and explains the political and military moves to contain China in the Mideast, Asia and the Pacific. sets the scene for more wars including a 3rd imperialist world war. Marxists reject crude dogmas that see the re-emergence of China as a world power as due either to its dynamic revival of precapitalist glory, or to a Maoist-type postcapitalist society outdeveloping capitalism. China is imperialist today because it had a national revolution that smashed the ancient semi-feudal landlords of precapitalist China, and then threw out imperialism and the weak Chinese bourgeoisie in 1949. The revolution was led by a Maoist bureaucracy at the head of a peasant army that nationalised bourgeois property but prevented workers and poor peasants from taking power. So the ‘post-capitalist’ society that resulted fell well short of a healthy workers’ state and failed to develop the conditions for socialism. The post-capitalist society did not have the capacity to develop the forces of production to keep pace even with declining global imperialism. China has huge resources and population yet the dictatorship of the Maoist bureaucracy together with China’s national isolation from the world market resulted in the planned economy stagnating. It could not produce enough to meet the needs of the masses nor increase the surplus
China as Emerging Imperialist power
China has become a world power today because it is now imperialist. Marxists define imperialism in the way that Lenin did, as the final stage of capitalism in decline when rivalry between giant monopoly corporations backed by their powerful oppressor states compete to divide up the world into “spheres of influence” to extract ‘super-profits’ from the colonies and semi-colonies. This economic competition inevitably leads to political and military conflict. Two imperialist world wars have demonstrated the truth of this theory. The current global crisis of overproduction
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for the parasitic bureaucracy. The bureaucracy decided in the late 1970s to reintroduce the capitalist market to revive the economy. But once introduced, the law of value began to spread and take over from the plan as the main driver of the economy. When the Maoist bureaucracy smashed working class resistance to the growing inequalities of the market at Tiananmen Square in 1989 the way was open to restore capitalism to the whole economy. At that point, China was ruled by the law of value. Prices were set by market competition and not state officials so that labour power now became a commodity. The state now served the interests of a new bourgeoisie which exploited wage labour. The top leaders of the Communist Party became a ‘Red Bourgeoisie’. The bourgeoisie began to accumulate surplus profits and China had to ‘go global’ in search of super profits from raw materials and labour. This rapid expansion as a new imperialist power brought it into conflict with the existing imperialist powers, in particular the US.
the extraction of super profits. Thus the US wants to enforce its domestic law in the members’ states allowing it to enforce its property rights (see Box). This political domination is backed up by a beefed up military deployment including a missile ring that encircles China (and the whole of East Asia) drawing in key US allies in the region.
China responds to US encirclement
China is building its military capacity (see cover photo of China’s first and only aircraft carrier) but in most parts of the world does not deploy it. It can compete economically and relies on trade and investment deals with national regimes on a socalled ‘win win’ basis in Asia, Latin America and Africa. It has formed economic and military blocs with Asian states to mark its shared sphere of influence over central and South Asia with other powers especially Russia and India such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). However, it sees East Asia and South Asia as its own sphere of influence, and has for years been involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea such as that with Philippines over Huangjang Island. China has regarded the Paracel and Spratly Islands as part of its territorial waters for centuries. The current reactivation of these disputes reflects first, the competition for control of rich economic resources, and second, control over China’s main sea route to the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Malacca, and a counter to US opening military bases in Australia and the Philippines. Also indicating the rising inter-imperialist rivalry in the China’s core zone of influence is the recent dispute in the ‘East China Sea’ with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands . This is a small scale version of the long standoff with the US over Taiwan. Like Taiwan, China regards these Islands as part of China much as it regards its ‘internal colonies’ in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia as Chinese territory. The closer to China’s heartland the more these territorial disputes become inflamed by extreme xenophobia and
US Imperialism takes up the Challenge
While China is a looming economic threat is lags well behind the US. However its growth trajectory puts it on collision course. The US has responded economically, politically and militarily. Economically the US is stepping up its ‘trade wars’ ramping up anti-China xenophobia, blocking Chinese investment and challenging ‘unfair’ competition. China’s threat to the US is most direct in the AsiaPacific where it wants an economic bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to advance its interests. The US has responded economically by joining the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which excludes and isolates China and could create a rival US- dominated Asia-Pacific sphere of influence. A second purpose is to compete more efficiently with China by using the TPPA to open up the Asia-Pacific economies to US investment on conditions which maximise profits and impose punitive rules to enforce
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China. China, to expand must sooner or later enter into military disputes with these powers. So far they are proxy disputes and civil wars ranging from Iran to Syria over control of oil in the Middle East and Central Asia. There are the makings of proxy wars in Africa, notably in Sudan where China and Iran are engaged in a shadowy war with Israel and the US. The most dangerous arena for military conflict, however, is in the breaking disputes over China’s claimed core sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific. In proxy wars between imperialist powers, and in direct military conflict, revolutionaries must be dual defeatists. This means that we oppose fighting on the side of any imperialist power to stop them grabbing of more resources, plundering and destroying humanity and nature. Where imperialism is at war with colonies or semi-colonies we defend them and fight to defeat the imperialist power, unless they are being used as proxies by another imperialist power. So for example in the South China Sea Islands we defend Vietnam and Philippines against China. But if these nations are acting as proxies for the US, we are for the defeat of both sides while fighting simultaneously for the independence of Vietnam or the Philippines. In the Diaoyu Islands we are for selfdetermination from both Japan and China and oppose them being used as proxies in a war between any imperialist powers. In the latter case it is enmeshed in Okinawa’s long struggle for independence from both the US military which has bases on the island, and Japan which claims Okinawa. Revolutionary Marxists call on workers to fight against all attempts by their ruling classes to rally workers behind their national flags into new imperialist wars. Workers have no country, we unite across borders as one international working class to fight to overthrow our ruling classes, seize state power and bring about a new socialist global society!
NZ: Stop the TPPA! For a Socialist Asia-Pacific!
“...behind the TPPA is the growing rivalry between the US and China. NZ workers have to reject NZ nationalism as nothing more than pulling workers into a reactionary nationalism to go to war as an ally of the US in the coming fight with China. Workers have to refuse to fight in such wars and reject the NZ national bourgeoisie and its subservience to the US (all the current political parties), break from their agents in the unions (the bureaucracy), and join forces internationally with workers in all of the Pacific countries and in particular, China and the US.” “Aotearoa/NZ is a US semi-colony and is about to lose what little it has of its national independence. There is no possibility of stopping NZ being locked into the US imperialist Pacific zone of influence under the NACT regime. A Labour/Green government will find itself unwilling and unable to break out of this Pacific lockdown. There will be no national sovereignty remaining that any government can exercise to assert NZs national independence. NZ will be at the total mercy of US imperialism just as Greece is at the mercy of the EU today. There is only one way of breaking out of NZ’s semi-colonial dependence and that is completing the national revolution by struggling to take that revolution towards a socialist republic and a socialist Pacific. This will become clear as workers in all the Pacific countries face mounting economic austerity, political disenfranchisement and military domination. While fighting against imperialist control (e.g. TPPA and military alliances) of the Pacific, it is important to realise that this applies to both the US and China. Rather than the workers of Aotearoa and other Pacific nationals being drawn into wars between the US and China they will discover that they can only be free when they are part of a Socialist Federation of the Pacific. public demonstrations against ‘foreigners’ and working class support of imperialist military adventures.
3rd World War vs Class War
New imperialist wars are inevitable sooner or later. Both the US and Japan are declining imperialist powers and belligerent in using military power to defend their spheres of influence against China. Japan’s Conservatives want to re-arm and redeploy to ‘contain’
Defeat US, Japanese and Chinese Imperialism! Defend oppressed nations against imperialism! For a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Asia-Pacific! For a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!
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Review “Occupy Wall St One Year On”
Pham Binh’s review of Occupy “One Year On” is rather lame. I would have thought Pham Binh capable of much more firepower than this, but I guess he is shell shocked by Syria as many of us are. Yet shock has to motivate us to examine our roots.
Occupy was an outgrowth of the Arab Revolution, itself a revival of the suppressed Arab Revolution of the 1950s, when ‘socialist’ dictators and Stalinists popular fronts froze the revolution at is ‘democratic stage’ (ha ha irony). So if Occupy is anything to celebrate one year on, it’s got to be linked to the same forces that conspire to destroy it as also conspire to destroy the Arab Revolution. Pham Binh is really pissed off by Obama for being a bloody Obomber who is stopping the Syrian revolution take out Assad’s superiority in heavy weapons. He says Obomber wants the regime to survive because whatever replaces it is more dangerous to Israel and US interests in the region than Assad. What’s new? This is US imperialism, remember, that has been exposed as the no 1 terrorist since when? Well before 2001 anyway. It just so happens that saving the Syrian revolution does not serve the interests of US imperialism in its terminal decline. Looking to US imperialism for an explanation of the failure of the global proletariat to break through its naked reaction is not the answer. It’s the self proclaimed Marxist left that we have to blame. The real betrayals are to be laid at the door of those who claim to be carrying the mantle of revolutionary Marxism. Stalinism has long since blown its cover, but in the absence of a revolutionary proletariat the petty bourgeois bureaucracy dominates the labour movement. It still plays a key role in locking the left into popular fronts with the national bourgeoisies and imperialism. Look at the ANC today and Zuma’s speech at the current Cosatu congress. ANC follows the Sacp concept of SA as undergoing a creeping national democratic revolution in partnership with international finance capital. Maoists are no better especially when they paint China as some sort of progressive ‘market socialism’. Then there is the crypto-Stalinist left that worships Chavez and Castro collaborating to delude Latin American workers that Capitalist restoration in Cuba and Chavez ‘socialism’ can resist US imperialism as part of an international popular front with Chinese imperialism. So, Stalinism lives, both as a real force betraying the working masses on all continents, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Therefore, the non-Stalinist left (mainly Trotskyist) are necessarily still isolated on the margins of the labor movement and pressured into either opportunist adaptation to petty bourgeois Stalinism and/or Social Democracy, or into sectarian positions in which correct but abstract demands are not translated into real politics. That’s why faced with the revival of the Arab Revolution most of the left split to either tail imperialism or reject the revolution once imperialism intervened. This proved to be a decisive test for what is left of the left, and most of the left failed it. The reason why it failed brings us back to the other area where Pham Binh has raised the question: how can there be any revival of revolutionary Marxism to provide the leadership to the revolution against the counter-revolution in all of its forms, such as the Arab revolution, fightbacks against austerity, and Occupy – and one should add South Africa after Marikana! Leninism is mooted, in particular a party form that allows revolutionaries to directly engage in the whole class, not as forays by sects with abstract ultimatums, but as a revolutionary faction (in the positive sense) with a transitional method and program. This brings us back to the basic question of the crisis of leadership. We cannot advance the struggle to the point of winning the working masses to a program of armed intervention in support of national revolutions; for a mass movement for the overthrow of finance capital; for a revival of trade unions in workplaces against the bureaucracy, etc without a democratic centralist vanguard party. But that party needs to be a ‘faction’ inside a party of the whole class which includes the majority of reformist workers. Trotsky saw the campaign for a Labor Party in the US as the necessary step towards this vanguard Party. But the rot had already set in. When he said give critical support to the CPUSA Presidential candidate to expose them to the Stalinist workers the SWP leadership baulked. That is the root of the problem where the rot set in. Unless we dig out those rotten roots there will be no revolutionary mass movement capable of destroying the al-Assads with heavy weapons, or bringing Wall Street down.
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Beware Falling BRICS: SA & China
The Marikana Massacre has exposed the reactionary ANC regime as a client state of imperialism. The ANC is attempting to head off a growing mass uprising of workers by building a new ‘strategic partnership’ with China in the hope that this will produce ‘win-win’ deals to allow the country to develop its economy and reap the wealth produced. China, however, is no saviour as it is no different to the former colonial exploiters. As an emerging imperialist power its interest is in the super-exploitation of South African workers. The global crisis is creating a militant opposition to the rule of capitalist imperialism everywhere. In South Africa, as elsewhere, for workers to live they will have to unite to overthrow capitalism. Forward to the South African Revolution!
Marikana – A South African Spring?
What is behind the Marikana Massacre? It is a reopening of the democratic revolution that has the potential for permanent revolution similar to that of the Arab Spring? Why does the national democratic revolution need re-opening? In 1952 the ANC and SACP joined forced to lead the national democratic revolution to power. The ANC adopted its program on national development, the Freedom Charter, from the Stalinist SACP which held that SA must go through a bourgeois stage of capitalist development to create the preconditions for socialism. We trace this Stalinist theory of stages to the Menshevik position in Russia in 1923 which Stalin reverted to once he was in power in the Soviet Union. The democratic revolution would empower the working class to nationalise the means of production to speed up the transition to socialism. This would be possible if the bourgeois state was under the control of the ANC representing the Black majority working class. The Freedom Charter written in 1955 made ‘nationalisation’ of the mines central to its program of national development. Thus ‘nationalisation’ meant ownership by the bourgeois state ‘governed’ by the ANC, not the social ownership of the working class in a socialist workers’ state. The working people would delegate this task to the ANC and not have direct control over its implementation. When the ANC came to power in 1994 the SACP program of ‘nationalisation’ was already realised in the Soviet Union by its return to state capitalism. The Stalinist policy of Perestroika and Glasnost had opened the road to the restoration of the capitalist market. Yeltsin in 1992 defeated any resistance to capitalist restoration forcing state property to be privatised or the remaining SEOs to be subject to the law of value in global capitalist market. This translated globally as a retreat from not only workers property, but from bourgeois ‘nationalisation’, to the ‘mixed economy’ dressed up sometimes as ‘market socialism’. So by 1994 the Stalinist world was already rejecting ‘nationalisation’ as the preferred road to socialism. Thus the bourgeois national revolution in SA was deformed at birth as part of a historic defeat of the world working class that brought the downfall of the degenerate workers states including the Soviet Union, destroying workers property, the main gain of the October 1917 Revolution.
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In coming to power in 1994 the ANC junked the Freedom Charter for a developmental state model of ‘market socialism’ where the state regulates the market to meet the goals of ‘socialism’. It wasn’t until 2002 that it succeeded in overcoming resistance to the nationalisation of mineral resources in the ground. Today the ANC leadership still rules out nationalisation of the mining companies’ assets as too costly and politically destabilising. It says the nationalisation of the assets of listed mining corporations would cost $1 Trillion and bankrupt the country leaving it at the mercy of a Structural Adjustment Program. It therefore continues to opt for a range of taxes, royalties and other ‘value-sharing’ measures to implement its particular brand of ‘national development’.
lion’s share of value pumped out of mining continued to go into the coffers of the mining multinationals, AngloAmerican, Lonmin, Glencore etc. The rate of superprofit remains massive. The minority share that came to the regime via royalties, taxes and minority shareholdings such as the BEES (Black Business Empowerment) did not benefit the mass of South Africans, but went into the pockets of a newly emerging Black bourgeoisie. The ANC is now shown up by its failed national revolution as the party of a new Black national bourgeoisie presiding over the superexploitation of the South African working class. All of this was predicted decades ago by revolutionary Marxists who fought the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union. The Stalinist popular front empowered a bureaucracy and a new bourgeoisie by disempowering the working class. These revolutionaries are once again vindicated by events in South Africa. The ANC Tripartite regime has trapped SA into dependency on Western imperialist super-exploitation. It has led to the rise of a Black bourgeoisie and crony capitalism, and the rising mass dissatisfaction with the successive leadership of the ANC, its statified union Congress, Cosatu, and of its political leadership in the SACP, is today beginning to rise up. The miners of Marikane are but the first wave of mass insurrection that rejects the ANC regime and its state force and is embarking on the road to workers power!
Has the national revolution created the preconditions for socialism?
The ANC/SACP policy of the bourgeois national revolution is one of using the state to redistribute surplus value towards the gradual social ownership of the means of production. Imperialism is understood as based on unequal exchange where normal profits (surplus-value) are inflated into super profits by extracting ‘super-value’. The two main mechanisms are using a reserve army to force de-value wages below the level of reproduction, and undervaluing the price of the commodities produced and exported via transfer pricing. This means that on top of normal capitalist profits (surplus value), imperialist corporations ‘steal’ super-profits (supervalue). The ANC/SACP policy is that the national revolution ‘empowers’ workers governments to tax or regulate imperialism to reduce or eliminate unequal exchange as the basis of super-profits. There have been ongoing attempts to achieve this using a number of rules including the latest attempts to stop transfer pricing. But there is now a growing consensus that this has failed and that SA is one of the most superexploited semi-colonies on earth. This means that in practice for 18 years the ANC has proven that its Stalinist SACP theory of the progressive national revolution is a fraud. It has presided over the return of EU and US multinationals into the mining industry and failed to put an end to imperialist superexploitation of low wages (reflected in the poverty living standards of workers) and transfer pricing. The
Despite the recent attempts at Polokwane to outline a new plan for national development based on a greater share of the resource rent these pathetic paper proposals have been overwhelmed by the global crisis and falling demand for minerals which has put pressure on the regime to contain and discipline mining workers to screw down labour and production costs to restore levels of super-profits. This created a wave of dissatisfaction with the NUM and the series of disputes that ultimately led to the Marikana Massacre. The ANC response to the Massacre has been to resort to police suppression of the militants to defeat and contain the miners’ strike, and at the same time try to keep control of the moderates by holding a public
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inquiry and promising major economic reforms. These reforms amount to promises to tax the mining superprofits via tougher Resource Rent Tax that will create a Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in national and economic social development. This conception of national development is tied to SA’s membership of the BRICS led by China. It is being promoted as an attempt to reduce its dependence on Western imperialism by collaborating with the ‘market socialist’ giant whose developmental model can be copied. Instead of ‘Western’ imperialist exploitation the ANC sees China as an alternative economic power with which it can enter a “win-win” partnership based on “equal exchange”. Thus in the SIMS plans launched in March 2012 the ANC proposes that on the back of a SWF funded by the 50% RRT it can develop upstream in energy (power and infrastructure) and downstream, manufacturing, education, housing etc much as China has. It wants to build Pilot Beneficients Hubs based on the Chinese SEZs which allow new investment, technology etc to drive up the ‘value chain’ to add-value and fund jobs and rising living standards. This, they say will allow SA to follow China’s path to national development overcoming the barriers of super-exploitation, unemployment and poverty. For some in the ANC this is not enough to stop superexploitation. By its own calculations, SIMS proposed 50% RRT taxes only half the super-profits of mining companies. Julius Malema, the expelled ANC Youth League leader, and his faction want to replace the leadership of the ANC and its policy of taxing profits. Their main demand is ‘nationalisation without compensation’. Here we can see that Malema is trying to contain the political radicalisation of workers to rescue the ANC and the Tripartite Alliance by promising a more radical reform than the current leadership. Malema is popular with the striking miners who support more militant moves to share the wealth. Many are now breaking with the NUM and Cosatu and calling for directly negotiated share of the profits. Malema’s factional fight inside the ANC does not break with the popular front. Nationalisation without compensation is still a bourgeois nationalisation. This is not a nationalisation from below based on workers occupation and workers control! ‘Nationalisation’ undertaken by the ANC would be a bourgeois nationalisation. The process will remain one led by the Tripartite Alliance of the ANC, Cosatu and SACP in which a bourgeois state is the agent of national capitalist development continuing to act as a junior partner of imperialism. Malema is unlikely to win a
majority in the upcoming ANC Congress for ‘nationalisation’ as a panacea, because the ANC leadership is confident that its reforms will be bankrolled by China. “This time round” the global crisis which has now burst to the surface at Marikana and spreading to all the mines is pushing the ANC leadership to ‘reinvent’ itself by modelling SA development on China’s ‘market socialism’. In other words ANC wants SA to “takeoff” and raise living standards like China and the other BRICS. “Not surprisingly then, the new investments from China will be centred on “geology and mineral resources” as well as on financial cooperation between the Development Bank of South Africa and China Development Bank. But according to Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s deputy president, things are different this time around. The deals, he said, are meant to “strike a healthy balance” in trade volume between the two countries.“This financial cooperation agreement is between development banks and the specific projects in which they are going to invest, they have to identify these projects,” Motlanthe, who is on a three-day trip China, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “To that end, the difference is, instead of just exporting these minerals as raw materials, there will be…value add to create jobs on both sides,” he added.” In other words a ‘win-win’ deal. China may be investing in the old ‘imperialist’ ventures of energy, minerals and banking, but it won’t be extracting super-profits! Or at least the super-profits will be divided equally – hence ‘win-win’ for both Chinese and South African bourgeoisie! A recent delegation from the province of Gauteng visited China to sign up to a deal on infrastructure projects. It was led by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane who said: "Our people's lives will improve because after this partnership is sealed, we will see a massive roll-out of infrastructure projects. Already in Tshwane, we have a number of flagship projects in the pipeline including the construction of the Tshwane International Conference Center and Rainbow Junction, among others," said Ramokgopa.
Can South Africa develop like China?
Let’s look at this prospect. The global crisis and the slump in demand for minerals as well as the hardship facing workers that led to Marikana, may speed up the China connection. China continues to keep the economies of the BRICS steaming along so long as its own economy is still growing rapidly. The current slowdown in China from 8% to maybe 7% is still a raging boom by comparison with Western imperialist states. In
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this sense China appears to be different from the established imperialist powers in continuing to keep the world economy from slumping into deep depression. So is Chinese investment an alternative to imperialist super-exploitation? Is China different to the Western Powers? Can it sustain the world economy and in particular the BRICS. Will South Africa be able to attract more trade and investment out of China, and also increase its share of the rent from mineral extraction? And will he Chinese model of development reproduce in SA an increase in added value based on transfer of technology and knowledge? Deborah Brautigam of China in Africa: The Real Story sees China as different from the European powers, but still expecting a commercial advantage from its investments in Africa. China is not copying European colonisation which sucks out resources and labour power without concern for upstream or downstream development, but can see the benefits in developing Africa after the Chinese model. Not only is China exporting its model to semi-colonies like South Africa but since 2000 and the policy to “Go Out” and membership of WTO, it is demonstrating this process of going up the value stream from cheap labour to high tech in its FDI in SA. This shows that China has used FDI in semicolonies like South Africa to launch its “Go Global”. It does not compete directly against the established brands of EU, US and Japanese corporate, but starts cheap or contracts to established brands to develop a competitive product and then develop its own brands globally. In SA Chinese FDI took off after 2000 where it used SA as a ‘learning arena’ for the globalisation of its banks and industries. So China is not only doing swaps of loans for resources, it is investing in upstream energy and infrastructure, and downstream consumer goods such as domestic appliances, electronics and communications. “Adding these estimates suggests that Chinese assets in South Africa in mining alone were probably worth close to US$700 million at end of 2007. This suggests that MOFCOM’s figure of US$702 million was reasonably accurate, in contrast to the SARB figure of US$70.” The Edge, p8. “The period since 2000 has seen a major expansion in the Chinese presence in South African mining with the doubling of Sinosteel’s investment
during 2006, and the entry of other mining companies as discussed above. Several major Chinese corporations have entered the banking and construction sectors.” Ibid p 18. Thus China’s ‘demonstration effect’ is a major factor in reviving hopes that ‘win-win’ deals will see South Africa and other African states make the same leap from underdevelopment to development made by China.
China’s 21st century imperialism
This is not the familiar 19th or 20th century imperialism, but rather a supersession of 19th and 20th century imperialism as a new form of 21st century imperialism. On the surface it is easy to see why semi-colonial governments can hope to do ‘win-win’ deals with China. Moreover, the Chinese developmental model which is regarded widely as a form of ‘market socialism’ fits snugly with the central role of the state in ownership and control of African economies in the ideology of the ANC, ZANU PF and other African governments. All of this hinges on the assumption that China is a new form of economy – a hybrid of a socialist state and the capitalist market – which is not governed by the laws governing the economies of the other big powers. Thus it appears that China has escaped the trap of Western imperialism and shows the way for the rest of the BRICS and other ‘developing’ countries to follow the same road. But on closer analysis, China is not essentially different from Western Imperialist economies as its policies are dictated by the laws of motion of monopoly capital and by the growing rivalry with other imperialist states. Standard neo-liberal economic theory argues that China’s Overseas FDI is different from established developed economies as they are not global leaders in any sector. This view is echoed on the left, that China cannot catch up with imperialism because it does not have competitive advantage in any global sector of production. Some argue that this fits with Lenin’s concept of imperialism where imperialist firms must be world leaders to monopolise a sector of production, e.g. oil, banks, steel, autos etc.
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What this theory overlooks is that China with its centralised state capitalist apparatus is able to leverage its 100s of millions of low paid workers to create huge surpluses to catch up with its stagnating rivals. This means that it has a massive accumulated super-profits to buy existing assets or resources and form joint ventures to break into sectors where seeks to dominate in the future. In South Africa as well as FDI in minerals and financial services China sought markets for assembled CKD goods and offer more competitive, cheaper, brands and services on the basis of technology transfer arising from FDI inside China itself. Thus, China has been able to ‘capitalise’ on its history as a Degenerated Workers State to accumulate surplus value rapidly and ‘go out’ by applying its developmental model in key countries like South Africa. So not only has China demonstrated by its rapid expansion that it is an emerging imperialist power, it is also proving that it is not immune to the deepening global capitalist crisis and is showing signs of overproduction of capital. This is now becoming evident as China’s economy is slowing down. Perhaps China’s slowdown is only because it is tied to the global market, and not due to any inherent crisis of overproduction? This is the most common view on the reformist left, a view shared by the ANC and other African regimes. Because the ANC views capitalism as capable of being reformed into ‘socialism’ by equalising exchange, China is ‘socialist’ to the extent that it can use ‘Keynesian’ state deficit spending to compensate for falling trade. But in a capitalist economy state investment in infrastructure will generate stagflation unless that infrastructure contributes to the production of commodities that China can sell in the world market. China’s crisis then, exposes for all to see, the limits of ‘market socialism’ as dependent on the underlying laws of global capitalism. The BRICS look to the ‘China model’ of state managed development to strengthen trade and investment relations and move toward swap deals where China provides long term loans or infrastructure deals in exchange for resources. Yet the BRICS categorised as ‘emerging markets’, hides essential differences behind surface similarities. The essential differences are that Russia and China are imperialist countries and have no interest in ‘developing’ the other BRICS unless they can reap super-profits. This means that BRICS like South Africa cannot escape the ‘sphere of influence’ of Chinese and Russian imperialism without a socialist revolution. Russia and China are newly emerging imperialist countries having made the transition from DWS back to
capitalism. Despite massive problems associated with capitalist restoration, their strong state and relative independence from existing imperialist states has allowed them to escape the fate of the other BRICS which remain trapped in their colonial dependence. We can see how Russia and China have formed a new imperialist bloc competing with the US led bloc by creating its own sphere of influence in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This sphere of influence now includes the other BRICS (Brazil, India and South Africa) as well as other intermediate states such as Iran, Venezuela etc. Yet inevitably this sphere of influence is one in which Russia and China dominate and super-exploit their semi-colonial clients. India, Brazil and South Africa are all characterised by the continued dominance of imperialist FDI which limits their ability to develop an independent bourgeoisie and accumulate capital on their own account.
Our conclusion is that the ANC cannot lead South Africa out of imperialist super-exploitation by following China’s development model. It has proven that the bourgeois democratic revolution cannot be completed by means of a popular front government but in fact holds back its completion by trapping the working class in a client state of imperialism. This will prove to be the case with China also. China is not a new form of society that can escape capitalist crisis. It is an emerging imperialist power that is now the main rival of the US bloc in Africa. The ANC’s strategic alliance with China will see it staying trapped in semi-colonial super-exploitation and its people trapped in poverty and misery. The miners of Marikana will not win freedom or economic security without leading a socialist revolution in SA. For that to happen the workers need their own Revolutionary Party and a program that opens the road to revolution. It is necessary to build a working class movement based on the mines; workers councils in every workplace and township; workers defence militias; for the seizure of power and formation of a Workers and poor farmers Government to expropriate imperialist and capitalist property and plan a socialist economy!
Build a Workers Party that unites the militant vanguard from China the Middle East to the USA! For a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!
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Trotskyism – Science or Religion?
The big problem Trotsky faced in his last years was the ‘crisis of Marxism’. This was the collapse of Marxism from a science into a secular religion. This was a retreat from dialectics to bourgeois logic, from essence to appearance. Trotsky replied with In Defense of Marxism
Marxist method of Dialectics
The retreat from the Marxist method of dialectics to empiricism or pragmatism was the same thing as retreating from production relations to fetishised exchange relations that Marx rubbished in the Critique of the Gotha Program. Marx used the term ‘fetishism’ deliberately to represent the view of capitalism as inverted idealistically in the same way that religion inverts material reality as an idealist figment. Here he was reverting to his critique of Hegel and of the ‘German Ideologists’ of the 1830s who mistook the material reality of capitalist society as its idealist appearances. In the 1930s Trotsky faced a crisis of Marxism as the Workers state in the Soviet Union degenerated under the Stalinist bureaucracy. Marxism-Leninism or Bolshevism based on Lenin and Trotsky’s rigorous scientific approach to socialist revolution retreated into a dogmatic Menshevism around national chauvinism. Lenin understood 20th century capitalism in all its raw destruction in the concept of ‘imperialism’. He and Trotsky both saw the overthrow of imperialism by the international proletariat as the task of ‘permanent’ revolution. Everything that happened from now on was in the last analysis the result of the contradiction between imperialist super-exploitation and monopoly and the working class struggle to overthrow it and replace capitalism with socialism. The revolution was international and permanent. The Soviet Union could not realise socialism without world revolution. All revolutions would have to move from national bourgeois revolutions to international socialist revolution.
The failure of the Germany revolution in 1923 isolated the Soviet Union and caused the degeneration of the revolution. Under the Stalinist bureaucracy scientific Marxism relapsed into pre-Marxist idealist ‘socialism in one country’. The Third International became a vehicle for Stalinism to create popular fronts with imperialist bourgeoisies in defence of the Soviet Union. Popular fronts automatically reduced to the national road to socialism. Nationalism is the unity of productive classes and exploitation becomes a matter of what Marx in The Holy Trinity called the fetishism of ‘revenue classes’ share in the income distribution. In this way socialism becomes reduced to reformism. Bolshevism was reduced to Menshevism and a stage theory of socialism in which all revolutions had to go through an extended bourgeois revolution to prepare the conditions for socialism. So the science of Marxism became caricatured as the Religion of Stalinist Socialism (cf the Communist Manifesto ‘petty-bourgeois’ socialism).
Trotsky defends Marxism
Trotskyism arose out of the Left Opposition to Stalinism and fought to defend Marxism as a science i.e. Bolshevik/Leninism (to clearly separate Bolshevism from Stalinism). Trotsky extended Bolshevism to explain the bureaucratic degeneration of the workers states; the fatal trap of the Stalinist popular front in Spain; and the role of the united front against fascism in Germany. When despite his critiques, the Stalinist betrayed the international revolution to fascism in Germany in 1933, Trotsky fought for a new revolutionary international. Nevertheless within the Bolshevik/Leninist Opposition the pressures towards
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idealism were strong as one Stalinist betrayal after another decimated the revolutionary forces. By the late 30s Trotsky was fighting a rearguard action against the degeneration within the ranks of the Opposition. Marxism as a science was in crisis and under attack by the fetishised forces of anti-Marxist religion. This took the form of a relapse into fetishised forms of capitalism as appearances against the scientific concepts of productive relations. Its focal point was the Marxist understanding of the character of the Soviet Union. Trotsky explained that the Soviet Union needed to be understood by Marxism as the science of dialectics. This showed how the fundamental analysis of modes of production based on relations production manifested in distorted surface appearances as exchange or distributional relations. Social revolution results from the revolutionary overturn of social relations (or property relations). The Soviet Union was a workers state as capitalist property relations were overturned and replaced by workers property relations. To restore capitalism it was necessary to reintroduce capitalist property relations. On this basis Trotsky maintained that until his death the Soviet Union despite gross deformation still had workers property relations. Those who disagreed were basing their analysis on superficial aspects of the Soviet Union – it’s distributional or exchange relations. So the biggest fight Trotsky had towards the end of his life was the defence of Marxism as a defence of the Soviet Union against lapses into a non-Marxist fetishised view of capitalism. The key to this was the law of value. Those who abandoned value analysis liquidated Marxism into Stalinist/bourgeois reformism.
So exploitation took place during production when more value than the value of labor power was created. But that value could not be realised unless commodities were sold in the market forming their “exchange value”. The exchange value of all commodities was therefore arrived at socially by the purchase and consumption of ‘use-values’ to form their ‘abstract’ values. This meant that while production created value, its social expression was the result of complex calculations in the market all of gave rise to the laws of motion of capitalism. Marxism as a science could show how value arising out of production was necessarily linked to exchange and distribution while vulgar economists mistook the calculations taking place in the market at the total ‘reality’ of capitalism. Let’s see how the failure to understand the law of value led to wrong positions on the Soviet Union. Remember to the end of his life Trotsky said that workers property remained despite the emergence of a ‘fascist’ bureaucratic caste. The conclusive proof of this was that the caste did not own property as a class and depended on workers property for their privileged existence. To make this proof stick it was necessary to show that the laws of motion of the workers state operated in the absence of the market. There was no capitalist production of commodities except in the margins of the plan. The plan set prices not the market. There was no exchange value since the production of ‘value’ by labor power is not ‘abstract’ value formed in exchange. Labour power was not a commodity. Hence the Soviet economy showed all the results of bad planning and not the anarchy of the market. Production stagnated over the long run rather than undergoing business cycles and crises of overproduction. The long term decline of the economy forced the bureaucracy to reintroduce market ‘reforms’ to stimulate the economy via the law of value. The defeat of workers resistance to market reforms led to the restoration of capitalism and the law of value. Thus the laws of motion of the degenerated workers’ states explain their decline and eventual collapse. Thus those who argued that the Soviet Union restored capitalism in 1929 or 1939 were already refuted by Trotsky. In effect they are labelling the Soviet Union capitalist but actually agreeing with Shachtman that it is not a workers state. They could not refute Trotsky’s ‘neither a workers or capitalist state’ so invented a new form of capitalism after his death claiming to correct Trotsky using his method – dialectics!!
Marx critical advance over the bourgeois political economists was his analysis of value under capitalism. The law of value is based on the view that labour creates value but that the value is realised only in the operations of the market. For Marx what distinguished capitalism was the commodification of wage-labour. The market predated capitalism by thousands of years, but only with capitalism was labour expressed as the commodity labour power. Understanding capitalism as a fetishised marketplace created the impression that exploitation resulted from underpaying the value of labour. Marx showed that the commodity that was bought and sold was labour power which had its own value, but which produced a surplus value.
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Historical Differences with the RCIT
Letter of August 19, 2012 Dear Comrades of the RCIT, Thanks for your reply to our latest letter [29 June 2012] on our historic differences and methods. It is good to finally get a serious response to what has always been a condition of developing our relationship – resolving our historic differences. You will remember that right from the outset we stipulated that, hand in hand with practical collaboration on drafting documents to test out our agreement on important current questions, we said we needed to open a serious discussion of our historic differences. We made it clear that we could not proceed towards fusion talks until these differences had been resolved. Our insistence on this was to avoid what happened in 1991 when the RTT was bureaucratically excluded from the LRCI for refusing to say that its differences over the ‘united front’ with Yeltsin was a ‘tactical’ rather than a principled difference. It was a principled difference then, and remains so today. The same happened with the Proletarian Faction and the POP and POB in 1995 when the LRCI regarded the question of NATO bombing in Bosnia as a ‘tactical’ difference, while we insisted it was principled. Thus our most recent letter was the third since September 2011 that spelled out our historic differences. The first on [Monday, September 19, 2011] summarised these. The second [Tuesday, November 22, 2011] repeated this summary with a bibliography of key documents. The most recent went further and facilitated your response by quoting large sections from some of these documents to make specific our critique of the LRCI/LFI program between 1989 and 1999. We have compiled the exchange of letters on this subject in an Appendix as a separate file. We also replied twice to your proposals that we form a Liaison Committee or Bloc (following the Bloc of Four). The first letter [Monday September 19, 2011] explained that we rejected a Liaison Committee because both the HWRS and CWG had our relations bureaucratically broken by the LRCI and we wanted to revisit this history before agreeing to a LC with you. This history is explained in detail in the RTT’s document “In Defense of Trotskyism” (IDOT). The second letter [October 14, 2011] explained why a Bloc with you modelled on the Bloc of Four was not possible since we had principled differences on the unconditional defence of workers states. We didn’t reply to your last letter asking us to explain yet again our approach to fusion though we were drafting a short letter restating our objections and informed you of this fact, but for some reason that letter was not sent. So you can see comrades that we have been upfront about our view of our relations from the start and fulfilled our side of this informal arrangement that resulted in the writing of two documents (on Libya and China) with RCIL collaboration, and amending and endorsing another on Greece written by the RCIT. As well as that we have reproduced a number of other RCIL statements such as that on the UK youth uprising and the more recent statements on the Greek elections. And at the same time we have tried to for nearly a year to get you to engage seriously on our historical differences. So there is no lack of cooperation and willingness to collaborate with the RCIL as the recent letter from the RWG also testifies (item 11 in the Appendix). Liaison Committee of Communists In replying to your letter of July 29 to the CWG we will respond as the Liaison Committee of Communists. Internal problems in the HWRS, compounded by the geographic isolation of our three groups have held back progress in putting our Liaison Committee on a stronger footing. Now that the HRWS has undergone a split, our three groups, RWG (ZIM), CWG (USA) and CWG (A/NZ) are committed to overcoming barriers to communication and to work towards more active collaboration. We see our common development towards a democratic centralist current which must aim for regroupment to form a new communist international. That is why we are very serious about continuing to discuss and resolve our differences with the RCIT to try to move towards fusion. However, as we will explain, though are differences are now being seriously debated and possibly narrowed, a big difference remains. For Trotsky the unconditional defence of the workers states became the most important question facing the Fourth International approaching the Second Imperialist War. Bourgeois democratic rights, including the right to self-determination were clearly subordinated to defence of workers’ property. We pointed out in the second letter on the Bloc of Four that Trotsky refused to bloc with those who did not unconditionally defend the USSR as a Degenerated Workers State. That is the substance of the main difference we have with you and the subject of our most recent letter. For us, resolving this difference is a precondition for further steps towards fusion. Meanwhile, while this discussion continues we will for our part continue to develop the collaborative relationship we have had in the last year. In this letter we will not reply to all the questions raised in your letter but try to concentrate the discussion on the key principled differences. We will also leave open the wider questions as to the material bases of these differences as they have been stated forcefully by both sides already. We will avoid large quotations and focus on a few key documents. The first of these is In Defence of Trotskyism which covers the
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LCC position on defence of the workers states as well as the way these were handled by the LRCI. The second is RTT Bosnia pamphlet (especially Part 3 p 55-75) that presents the LCC position on the Yugoslav war up to 1997. The third is the CEMICOR document on the Albanian-Serbian Question which deals with the 99 NATO/Serbian war over Kosovo. We hope that these documents will clarify any misunderstandings about our respective positions and so we can see precisely what differences actually exist. Unconditional defence of Degenerate Workers States When we (RTT and CLNZ at the time) first entered into fraternal relations with the LRCI we did so in broad agreement with its program, specifically the document that signified the MRCI’s adopting of orthodox Trotskyism on the workers states, The Degenerated Revolution, and the subsequent Trotskyist Manifesto. Trotsky would have no problem blocking with the MRCI/LRCI on the basis of this program since it clearly stood for the unconditional defence of the DWSs. “Whenever the bureaucracy is forced to fight against the bourgeoisie, genuine revolutionaries, if they are not able to immediately overthrow and replace the Stalinist bureaucrats, must act together with them in a united front in order to defend the interests of the working class. In such struggles the Stalinists do not cease to be a counter-revolutionary force. If their leadership is not broken in struggle then either the workers’ organisation or state will suffer defeat, or it will be defended or even extended, in a counterrevolutionary fashion.”( TDR, Chapter 8 ) However, we think that Trotsky would not have agreed to the LRCI leadership then abandoning its program as follows:  In 1990 the LRCI blocked with a reactionary nationalist restorationist government in Lithuania. (See IDOT). While Lithuania had the right to self-determination, this was not at the expense of political revolution. To subordinate political revolution to the right to self-determination is to put a condition on defence of the workers states. The LRCI changed its line to support a restorationist popular front between the Lithuanian national pro-restorationist bureaucracy which was being actively supported by imperialism, against the Russian occupying troops, thus subordinating the defence of workers property. Here the Russian Stalinist regime became the main enemy not the restorationist nationalists in a popular front with imperialism. The correct position in TDR was for Russian and Lithuanian workers to rebuild revolutionary soviets and militias and bloc militarily in defence of workers property against the national restorationists, appealing to the ranks of the Soviet troops to join them and build new soldiers soviets. This would to prove to Lithuanian workers that political revolution and a genuinely socialist USSR, and not a separate capitalist Lithuania aligned to imperialism, was in their class interests.  The LRCI also changed The Degenerated Revolution which called for a ban on all ‘restorationist’ parties, to a ban on only ‘fascist’ parties. Because workers had illusions in
bourgeois parliament, restoration and national selfdetermination, the LRCI adapted to ‘public opinion’ to allow the bourgeois democratic right to form political parties with open restorationist programs. Thus the LRCI was now calling on workers to support bourgeois democracy as the road to political revolution, when it was actually the road to social counter-revolution.  These changes prepared the ground for the popular front with Yeltsin in August 1991. Yeltsin was an open ‘fast track’ restorationist clearly allied to imperialism. Like most of the E. European Stalinist regimes, he sought to restore capitalism by means of bourgeois parliament. The LRCI changed TDR. Rather than fight the restorationists, and bloc with any bureaucratic faction defending workers property, the LRCI defended the open restorationist Yeltsin in a popular front with imperialism against the Stalinist hardliners who wanted to slow down the restoration process by suppressing bourgeois democracy. The result was that Yeltsin won and immediately set about attacking workers rights, banning the CP, dissolving the USSR and eventually using tanks to shell parliament to impose the rapid ‘shock therapy’ International Monetary Fund (IMF) plan for restoration. This is what we refer to as Yeltsin’s ‘counter coup’. The original TDR position was correct. No united front with restorationists (fast or slow track) was possible. Workers must oppose restorationists by rebuilding independent soviets and workers militias against both tanks and parliament. There was no essential difference between Yeltsin and the hardliners. But in terms of workers advancing the political revolution Yeltsin was the main enemy. Yeltsin used the restorationist parliamentary popular front with the IMF and imperialism to exploit workers illusions in bourgeois democracy and to disarm them in the face of the destruction of the workers state.  In 1995 in the Bosnian war the LRCI called for dual defeatism of NATO and Serbia when it considered that Serbia was still a ‘moribund workers state’. Not to call for a victory to Serbia is a clear rejection of unconditional defence of a DWS. Even if Serbia was a restored capitalist semi-colony we would have to call for victory against NATO. The LRCI justification for this break with unconditional defence was that Serbia was engaged in ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims. Worse, the LRCI called on imperialism to "send heavy artillery, tanks and planes to the Bosnian army" and "tanks and heavy artillery, and yes if possible planes and Scud missiles" and even "international volunteers" to support their Bosnian proxies. The LRCI slogan to defeat NATO is therefore pure centrist rhetoric while also failing to stop imperialism arming of Bosnian and Croatian proxy regimes in its war with Serbia. Even if Serbia was not a DWS, to put an equal sign on NATO and Serbia is to suppress the Leninist distinction between oppressor and oppressed states. As the RTT document on Bosnia argues, while workers have to defend those being ethnically cleansed on all sides, the main character of the war by 1994 was that between imperialist NATO and Serbia as a DWS undergoing capitalist restoration. We had to call
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unconditionally for the defence of Serbia, while at the same time mobilising Serbian and other ethnic workers militias to overthrow their nationalist restorationist bourgeoisies in league with imperialism.  In 1999 in the NATO/Serbian war, again the LRCI had an effective dual defeatism because while it argued for the defence of Serbia it didn’t call for armed workers to defend Serbia against NATO bombing. Instead it said that it would not defend Serbia from NATO where it was ethnically cleansing Kosovars. Thus the LRCI said: “Nevertheless, in the massive bombing by Nato air forces, revolutionaries defended Serbia/Montenegro against imperialist attack. This did not include, however, any concession to Serbian chauvinism - its oppression of Kosova, or its denial of the Kosovars’ right to self-determination.” Thus the defence of Serbia (still as a ‘moribund workers state’ for the LRCI) from NATO was subordinated to the bourgeois democratic rights of an independent Kosovo ‘Workers’ Republic’. While the Kosovars were nationally oppressed, support for their right to independence against Serbia was an obligation to be taken up by Serbian workers blocking with Kosovar workers against the Serbian nationalists, against NATO intervention and for the political revolution. Instead of calling for a political revolution by armed workers against the Serbian Stalinist regime, in a bloc with Kosova Muslim workers, to settle the national question within a Socialist Federation, the LRCI subordinated unconditional defence of a workers state to a popular front between the restorationist KLA and imperialism. What does this failure to defend workers property unconditionally have to do with the LCC/RCIT current political positions on Libya? The RCIT claims that the LRCI/LFI method on restoration in the DWSs is consistent with its position in Libya today, and it is the LCC position that has changed. But the unconditional defence of workers states is not part of the program of the bourgeois democratic revolution in an oppressed capitalist state. It is part of the political revolution in a post-capitalist state. The LRCI called for dual defeatism in wars between imperialism and DWSs subordinating the defence of a workers state to the bourgeois democratic program of the ‘democratic counter-revolution’. Dual defeatism between NATO and Serbia can only mean that the Stalinist dictatorship and not imperialism was the main enemy. The Marxist program for national self-determination in a counterrevolutionary breakup of DWSs in E. Europe, the USSR and Yugoslavia, is that the bourgeois democratic right to self determination of oppressed nationalities is subordinated to the political revolution. In 1995-1999 when the ex-Yugoslav DWSs were in the process of capitalist restoration, we were for the defeat of NATO, the defence of Serbia, for a multiethnic Bosnia, and for the right to self-determination of Kosovo as a socialist republic within a federation of Yugoslav socialist republics.
Libya is a semi-colony facing a global crisis of capitalism. It is an oppressed nation and has to be defended against imperialism, the main enemy. Our position on Libya shows that despite the complication of the NATO bombing (which we opposed), for the national democratic revolution to become permanent, it has to proceed on three fronts; against the incumbent national Gaddafi regime; against the preferred imperialist replacement regime the TNC; and against the direct intervention of imperialism. We do not call for dual defeatism. Imperialism is the main enemy while Gaddafi is the immediate enemy of the revolution. In this situation, imperialism is never called on by revolutionaries to intervene in a civil war or in a war of national independence, because it is always the main enemy. On the other hand, in some situations, revolutionaries can refuse to stop aid by imperialism when it is called for by a national liberation movement, as Trotsky explains in ‘Learn to Think’. How does Trotsky’s ‘Learn to Think’ relate to this? Trotsky argues against the anti-imperialists who deny the right of national democratic movements to make use of interimperialist rivalry to get material aid in their struggle against imperialism. This does not mean for a second, that imperialism ceases to be the main enemy, and we never stop fighting to defend the oppressed country and defeat imperialism. At the same time if a national liberation struggle calls for imperialist aid, which of course would only be offered to advance the interests of one imperialism against another, workers in those countries offering aid would not stop that aid, nor stop trying to defeat that imperialism at home. We do not call for it, we warn against the imperialist interests tied to aid, but we do not stop it if it aids the revolution. Those who signed the joint statement on Libya called for the defeat of imperialism and the victory of Libya. In the absence of proletarian aid the NTC demanded a limited NATO intervention. It did so in its own interests to help remove the regime. None of us were in the position to stop the NATO bombing and had we been able to do so we would probably also have been able to arm the revolution ourselves. Even so, had we made a decision to not stop imperialist aid to the insurrection, we would certainly not have demanded it, and we would certainly have warned against it. Conclusion In the early 1990s the LRCI made a major right-turn under pressure of capitalist restoration of the DWSs and imposed a condition on their defence – the political revolution must be subordinated to bourgeois democratic rights which included the right to form restorationist parties clearly linked to imperialism. Bourgeois democracy however, was the principle method by which ‘fast track’ restoration was imposed in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Those who warned against this right-turn said that this would represent a restorationist popular front with imperialism – the ‘democratic counter-revolution’. They were bureaucratically expelled from the LRCI. So we think that the LRCI at that point was a bureaucratic centralist organisation and that it
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subsequently has not overcome that bureaucratisation. While the comrades of the RCIT broke to the left from the LFI over fundamental questions of class orientation and the period, the LCC cannot move towards fusion with the RCIT until that organisation recognises the material basis of the LRCI’s right-
turn away from unconditional defence of DWSs to a restorationist popular front with imperialism. Liaison Committee of Communists
Defeat State Persecution of Argentine Socialist Militants of the LOI-CI LOISome of the leading members of the Trotskyist LOI-DO of Argentina have been subjected to house searches and confiscation of documents and cell phones by legal authorities on false charges of fraud. This is a capitalist state persecution of the “Movement for Workers’ Democracy” and an attack on the workers’ movement internationally. The Liaison Committee of Communists strongly supports the call for a campaign to fight the persecution of the socialist fighters of LOI-DO, to drop all charges and end the persecution of militants by the state. We reproduce part of the Press Release of the Movement for Workers Democracy below (any translation errors are ours). Communist Workers Group (USA) Communist Workers Group (A/NZ) Revolutionary Workers Group (Zimbabwe Press Release Democracy of the Movement for Workers The phone call in reply was to inform her that the prosecutor’s office had found cause to charge her with “fraud”.[...] As already happened with leaders of Quebracho 5-6 years ago, this fascist judge Melazo now accuses worker and popular fighters of “fraud” and “theft” as a means of political persecution. We face a repetition of this proceedure, this time against socialist leaders, labour lawyers, intellectuals, and sons and daughters of disappeared. They have been targeted by the Bonaerense Police (from Buenos Aires Province) [...].The judge Melazo, last April 2, said in the press that “here is a punch of the Quebrachitos – that hid their faces – till we break their faces”. Thus, this magistrate called for an attack like the murderous Bonaerense Police made when they “went to punch the picketers in Puente Pueyrredon” that killed Kostequi and Santillán in 2002. Some of the killers were caught not because a judge was investigating the Bonaerense police but because they were filmed by journalists at the moment when they killed the comrades in Avellaneda Station. We are facing a provocation. The raids against socialists including detention of people at their home address. People that have nothing to do with the search warrant and were detained in public, in the street like ordinary thieves. Dozens of policemen and prosecuting attorneys trashed the houses and lawyer’s offices seizing papers, mobile phones and computers. They sought telephone numbers, personal notebooks, names, ransacked wardrobes, turned mattresses over. They carefully checked the books on Marxism and socialism found in the houses one by one. The witnesses that supposedly “were passing by on the street” were arrested without the knowledge of
STOP THE ATTACKS AND PERSECUTION OF THE SOCIALIST FIGHTERS! Against the Trotskyists, no. Against us, no. We are with Aleppo and the workers and exploited who in Syria fight against the genocide to Al Assad on behalf of imperialism! Out with the judges of Mossad like the fascist Melazo and the bosses justice that attack the Socialist workers and fighters! October 1st, 2012 [...]On Wednesday, in simultaneous raids, in several houses of Argentinian socialist revolutionary leaders some with more than 40 years in the national political arena, were raided. The office of the labor lawyer Viviana Noguerol was raided also. She is member of the Promotion Board of “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” (Movement for Workers Democracy) in Argentina. Days before, Paula Medrano was phoned by the UFI 8 of the city La Plata in charge of María Victoria Huergo, prosecuting attorney of complex crimes in the [...] public prosecutor office where César Melazo, the Magistrate of “guarantees” works.Paula Medrano is a “daughter of the disappeared” of La Plata city. She had called the tribunal and public prosecutor’s office asking if the corpse of her mother had appeared in the year and a half since the corpse of her father “appeared”.
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anybody. [...] the police and experts opened their computers and mobile phones without the physical presence of the proprietors of the housing and without their permission [...] Nobody should be surprised by this attack, when the Macri, Chief of Government of the Ciudad de Buenos Aires is accused of listening telephone conversations of citizens demanding their rights. Nothing can be odd when all the political originators of the assassinations on December 20, 2001 are free, as well as of the assassination of Kostequi and Santillán and the thousands cases of “easy trigger” against the Argentinean youth, among others. [...] Of course, we will show, neither before judges of the dictatorship nor their prosecuting attorneys living in La Recoleta, but before the eyes of the working class and workers of Argentina and the world that the true criminal gangs are those who steal the rivers, minerals, water, oil, the Central Bank, 50.000 millions of dollars of the savers while all the bankers remain free.[...] we will denounce not before judges who belonged to the CNU, the fascists of the Triple A who killed students in Mar del Plata, who in partnership with Mossad persecute the fighters for the Palestinian cause. While the Triple A has kidnapped some of us it has not intimidated us. Neither did the military dictatorship intimidate us, let alone, the CIA, Mossad and CNU’s judges against which we fight. [...] Facing the provocation, against the courts of the oligarchy, we call for a public tribunal of the workers organizations and those who stand for true democracy to bring to trial the judges of the dictatorship, their collaborators, the prosecuting attorneys and the oligarchy and expropriators of the people. We will investigate them. We will judge them. And before the eyes of the people we will show they are impostors. [..]The internationalist socialists of world working class organizations will denounce the persecution of our comrades of Argentina because they dared to lead the Campaign of international solidarity with the workers and people massacred by genocides in Libya, Syria and Palestine. We accuse the political chiefs of these judges and the State as responsible. They are the agents of the oligarchy and imperialism that pillages the nation. We know that these threatens and arrogance and this attack against the democratic freedoms are a respond to a relentlessly fight in defense of the interests of the workers all around the world and in particular of the Argentinian workers.[...] The UFI 8 says it has an expert team with the best technology to solve “complex crimes”. They say to have the “best men” and the “best technology”…so, why don’t they find the kidnappers of Julio López if they are able to solve so many “complex crimes”? If they are of such “high quality” and “efficiency” where is Julio López? [...] where is the young Luciano Arruga and Daniel Solano-
delegate of the agriculture workers? Until they fi find them this is living proof that they only catch “chicken thieves” and allow the kidnappers, the murderous military-men, the corrupted politicians, and the transnational companies, plunderers of the nation, to go free. We know that we will get the support of the organizations that fight for democratic freedoms; the socialist and worker organizations of the world that support the fighters in Syria and Libya; those that in Wall Street and in Europe fight against the capitalists´ attacks. Those who fight for the freedom of the prisoners of Guantanamo, Chile, Colombia, Palestine will be side by side with us. [..] Thousands of worker fighters have been under prosecution for “the crime” of asking for what belongs to them with justice. The capitalists’ state needs hostages and worker organizations with their leaders having “the Damocles sword” over their head so they will surrender rather than openly fight against this rotten society. And they speak about “democracy” when there are thousands of worker fighters under charges and hundreds of youth killed by the police. Even they speak about “democracy” when there are peasant peoples massacred to take away their lands like Qom in Formosa, and there are policemen sent by judges of the same quality of Melazo and other repressors that in order to defend the exploiters’ lands don’t need signed search warrants, or orders for assassinations and humiliations of all kind. [...] This is one more of so many political fights that our socialist movement has made in the Argentinean, Latin American, and world working class. In the particular case of the “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” of Argentina which has begun its campaign to stand in the next electoral campaign to present, this time with electoral legal status, its positions in public. This provocation is aimed at preventing a socialist, independent, and intransigent voice being heard denouncing the interests of the exploiters and their political representatives in Argentina. They will not achieve it. We know of the great national and international solidarity that we will get through this appeal. [...] The “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” is member of an international movement in support of the Syrian masses to stop the genocide of Al Assad on behalf of all the imperialist powers of the world. We take up again the socialist tradition of the Argentinian workers that in the ´30s sent volunteers, money and medicine to the battlefield in Spain against Francoism. We know that the “franquist” Argentineans of today are the ones attacking us and they want to stop us. They will not achieve it. Paula Medrano, Viviana Noguerol, Juan Pico,W.M..
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What We Fight For
Historically, capitalism expanded world-wide to free much of humanity from the bonds of feudal or tribal society, and developed the economy, society and culture to a new higher level. But it could only do this by exploiting the labour of the productive classes to make its profits. To survive, capitalism became increasingly destructive of "nature" and humanity. In the early 20th century it entered the epoch of imperialism in which successive crises unleashed wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions. Today we fight to end capitalism’s wars, famine, oppression and injustice, by mobilising workers to overthrow their own ruling classes and bring to an end the rotten, exploitative and oppressive society that has exceeded its use-by date.
For a Revolutionary Party
The bourgeois and its agents condemn the Marxist party as totalitarian. We say that without a democratic and a centrally organised party there can be no revolution. We base our beliefs on the revolutionary tradition of Bolshevism and Trotskyism. Such a party, armed with a transitional program, forms a bridge that joins the daily fight to defend all the past and present gains won from capitalism, to the victorious socialist revolution. Defensive struggles for bourgeois rights and freedoms, for decent wages and conditions, will link up the struggles of workers of all nationalities, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations, bringing about movements for workers control, political strikes and the arming of the working class, as necessary steps to workers' power and the smashing of the bourgeois state. Along the way, workers will learn that each new step is one of many in a long march to revolutionise every barrier put in the path to the victorious revolution.
Fight for Socialism
By the 20th century, capitalism had created the preconditions for socialism –a world-wide working class and modern industry capable of meeting all our basic needs. The potential to eliminate poverty, starvation, disease and war has long existed. The October Revolution proved this to be true, bringing peace, bread and land to millions. But it became the victim of the combined assault of imperialism and Stalinism. After 1924 the USSR, along with its deformed offspring in Europe, degenerated back towards capitalism. In the absence of a workers political revolution, capitalism was restored between 1990 and 1992. Vietnam and China then followed. In the 21sst century only Cuba and North Korea survive as degenerate workers states. We unconditionally defend these states against capitalism and fight for political revolution to overthrow the bureaucracy as part of world socialism.
Fight for Communism
Communism stands for the creation of a classless, stateless society beyond socialism that is capable of meeting all human needs. Against the ruling class lies that capitalism can be made "fair" for all; that nature can be "conserved"; that socialism and communism are "dead"; we raise the red flag of communism to keep alive the revolutionary tradition of the' Communist Manifesto of 1848, the Bolshevik-led October Revolution; the Third Communist International until 1924, the revolutionary Fourth International up to 1940 before its collapse into centrism. We fight to build a new, Fifth, Communist International, as a world party of socialism capable of leading workers to a victorious struggle for socialism.
While the economic conditions for socialism exist today, standing between the working class and socialism are political, social and cultural barriers. They are the capitalist state and bourgeois ideology and its agents. These agents claim that Marxism is dead and capitalism need not be exploitative. We say that Marxism is a living science that explains both capitalism’s continued exploitation and its attempts to hide class exploitation behind the appearance of individual "freedom" and "equality". It reveals how and why the reformist, Stalinist and centrist misleaders of the working class tie workers to bourgeois ideas of nationalism, racism, sexism and equality. Such false beliefs will be exploded when the struggle against the inequality, injustice, anarchy and barbarism of capitalism in crisis, led by a revolutionary Marxist party, produces a revolutionary class-consciousness.
Class Struggle is the bi-Monthly paper of the
Communist Workers’ Group of New Zealand/Aotearoa, in a Liaison Committee of Communists with Communist Workers’ Group (USA) and Revolutionary Workers’ Group (Zimbabwe)
Online http://redrave.blogspot.com Phone 0064 027280008 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Archive http://communistworker.blogspot.com/