Class Struggle #109 April-June 2014

Iraq Blows Up
The US is pointing the finger at ISIS Islamic terror to
divert attention from its bloody history of war, invasion
and occupation of Iraq. But we don’t suffer from amnesia.
The story of modern Iraq is that of the wider esopotamia
carved up into artificial states by !estern imperialist
powers to grab their oil and other resources. The Sy"es
#icot carve$up after !!% drew lines in the sand to give us
the modern &rab "ingdoms and military dictatorships.
This split nations and tribes to divide and rule them under
compliant puppet regimes.
These &rab puppets allied with the Stalinists and when
necessary dispensed with them causing a vacuum on the
left. The &rab national revolution after !!' was
contained in this way and (ionist Israel was created as the
armed gendarme of the US to suppress the only real threat
of a new &rab uprising )in #alestine.
!hen rulers li"e Saddam bro"e with their imperialist
masters they were deposed and new puppet regimes such
as that of ali"i were created to suppress the masses and
manage the oil. The &rab Spring changed that and shifted
the balance of power towards the masses when their
uprisings overthrew dictators from Tunisia t* +gypt, and
which continue to threaten others li"e al Sisi in +gypt, al
&ssad in Syria and now al ali"i in Iraq.
Imperialism is in terminal crisis and cannot survive
without more wars and destruction. The rival imperialist
blocs led by the US and ,hina are behind the pro-y wars to
grab the diminishing oil resources. In some situations they
have to collaborate to defeat the rise of the armed
proletariat and oppressed. This has been the case in Iraq
where the failure of the US to win the war forced it to rely
on Iran and its .ussian and ,hinese bac"ers to install the
sectarian Shia ali"i client regime in an attempt to
stabilise the situation and restore oil production to the pre$
Saddam level.
In Iraq right now, after %* years of the US client state
repressing the Sunnis, a popular uprising has begun. Since
in the end the original US invasion of Iraq was about oil,
both the US and ,hina are committed to suppress the
Sunni uprising which threatens their control of oil
In all situations where the masses are rising against the
centuries of imperialist e-ploitation and oppression, it is
the duty of the international wor"ing class to oppose
imperialism and to actively fight for its defeat in the
imperialist countries. In semi$colonies li"e Iraq it is our
duty to fight alongside all genuine anti$imperialist forces
with our own independent program and armed militias.
!e do so opposing all reactionary, anti$wor"er petty
bourgeois and bourgeois elements such as ISI/ whose
interests are to fight imperialism only to negotiate better
terms and become the new agents of imperialism to e-ploit
and oppress the masses. !e are for the defeat of
imperialism, the e-propriation of all imperialist and
national capitalist property and the creation of a !or"ers
and #easants State within an &rab federation of socialist
See the article on Iraq in this issue.

Vote Labour & Internet-Mana!
!e will call for a party vote for Internet$ana and
constituency vote for /abour, e-cept for the aori seats
where ana is standing candidates1 to get more I# #s
into parliament to help form a /abour$led government.
The 2&,Ts have trampled democracy almost to death to
impose the direct rule of capital1 for e-ample the e-tra$
3udicial assassination by drone of 2( citi4ens, and 2(
bac"ing of a new war in Iraq against ISI/. !e are being
rushed down the road to an authoritarian surveillance
police state with few surviving democratic rights.
5et /abour is committed to propping up capitalism in
crisis at the e-pense of wor"ers. Its historic role is to
manage capitalism by "eeping wor"ers trapped in
parliament. It was formed in %6%7 in the middle of the 8irst
Imperialist !ar when the world’s wor"ers were in a
revolutionary ferment, to bury the threat of the .ed
8ederation of /abour and divert wor"ers onto the
parliamentary road. 9espite /abour’s repeated betrayals of
wor"ers, most wor"ers still see /abour as the lesser evil to
2ational. That is why we need to put it in power again and
again until we prove to the ma3ority of wor"ers that it is
treacherously anti$wor"er.
&t the same time the :reens and I# will discover that
attempts to reform capitalism are futile. ,apitalism cannot
afford to concede greater equality or an end to burning
carbon. So the fight for reforms will reveal that the needs
of wor"ers cannot be met by parliament and that the
capitalist state is in reality the instrument of domination of
wor"ers on behalf of the ruling class.
&s a result, those with illusions that the left can build a
movement to legislate reforms will be smashed. The role of
parliament as a facade to cover the na"ed power of the
bosses will be e-posed. !or"ers will fight elections only to
e-pose their class role in bloc"ing the building and uniting
of the class struggle outside parliament. !hen the ma3ority
of wor"ers are conscious of the need to use their united
power to bring the system to a halt the system the bosses
parliament will be retired to the museum for our children’s
Christchurch: End disaster capitalism
&s we wrote at the time of the earthqua"es, the 2&,T
regime will use the so$called natural disaster in ,h,h as a
blueprint for its economic reforms to radically restructure
capital and labour to raise stagnating profits in 2(.
&ccording to this analysis what is seen as a failure of :ovt
to deal with this disaster is actually the planned response
of ?disaster capitalism’. :ovt uses a natural disaster to
smash democracy and force through a plan to stimulate re$
investment of capital for quic" profits, while disciplining
labour to drive down its cost. This is why certain favoured
capitalist cronies are given rights to rebuild @8letchers etcA
on cheap land and farmers grab water rights while
unionised wor"ers are driven out of flooded homes to find
3obs elsewhere in 2(, and replaced by lower paid
casualised migrant wor"ers for the rebuild.
So when you hear the 2&,Ts crow about 2(’s ?roc" star’
economy, "now that this means a return to the ?wild south
blues’ of the ,%6th por"$barrel days when the gentry
controlled the state and gerrymandered democracy to grab
land and government subsidies. 2othing to do with the
?free mar"et’, it’s a rent grab by a new gentry. #ublic water
rights are now a private property right in ,anterbury lining
the poc"ets of the dairy farmers at the e-pense of city and
town wor"ers. +-amine carefully how the 2&,Ts have
used this ?natural disaster’ to impose a profit grab for their
cronies at the same time destroying wor"ing class rights
and living standards. That is e-actly the ?disaster capitalist’
roc" star economy that a Third 2&,T regime will impose
on the rest of 2( for the benefit of their international
ban"ster and crony capitalist mates0
/abour and the :reens don’t have a clue what is
happening. /abour’s plan for ,h,h is top down, too little
and > years too late. The :reens ditto. They are part of the
disaster not the solution. The liberal left blogosphere is
similarly dealing with symptoms. !hat is needed is a
wor"ers’ democracy, not patronising hand$me$downs from
!e say; 8or a /abour$left government that will restore
democracy to ,h,h and ,anterbury0 ,h,h should be
rebuilt by its citi4ens. 2o asset sales0 Bun" ,+.&0 8or a
peoples plan0 8ree public transport0 &ffordable ,ouncil
rental housing for all who need it0
aci!ic pro!iteerin"
Tal" about Shane Bones. Dff he goes to oversee the
plundering of the #acific peoples’ resources by
imperialism. The bac"story to Bones new 3ob is that the
crisis of global capitalism has opened up an opportunity
for both US$led imperialists and their semi$colonial
lac"eys to carve up the #acific and e-ploit what remaining
resources are not yet e-hausted ) fisheries, fish$farming,
timber, deep sea minerals, oil etc, and their rivals ,hina
and its dependencies for the same game of plunder. Both
blocs are sta"ing out their claims for a 4one of influence at
the e-pense of their rivals, and competing for support from
#acific nations to line up behind them.
2ew (ealand has a foot in both camps as the initiator of
the T##&, and is the born again very good nuclear friend of
Dbama, with # Eey visibly e-cited about the prospect of
military intervention in 2orth Eorea and Iraq. Eey has
endorsed the Dbama doctrine of e-tra3udicial
assassination of designated ?terrorists’ borrowed from the
(ionists. &t the same time 2(s economic eggs are
increasingly in the ,hina bas"et as its comprador capitalist
class profits from growing e-ports to ,hina, as well as
,hinese 89I and ownership of 2( domestic production.
2( has to play a double game of trying to please both
camps when the rivalry between them is creating a political
rift as big as the #acific ?ring of fire’. It is Bones mission to
play this double game watching out for 2( bosses’
interests as US and ,hina compete to plunder the South
#acific. http;<<<'*%'<*7<aotearoa$
#outh $!rica miners% stri&e ends
!hat is the balance sheet of the five$month long platinum
miners’ stri"e for %'.F** rand a monthG The upsides are;
first, the stri"e was staunch and united, a step forward
from the ari"ana massacre miners floc"ed from the
2U to 3oin the &,U. This represents a partial brea"
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

from ,osatu and the &2,. Second, the miners won a big
wage increase @for S&A rising to .C.6** after three years $
though well short of the .%'.F** they were demanding.
The &,U got support from other unions li"e the 2US&
also brea"ing from the &2,, although calls to generalise
the miners’ stri"e were not acted on and miners remained
isolated. See !IH# analysis here
The downsides are that first, the &,U originated as a left
bureaucratic split from 2U and the ran" and file has yet
to ta"e over the leadership. Second, the level of
understanding underlying the miners’ struggle is still
economistic or the trade union consciousness that sees
e-ploitation ta"ing place at the level of e-change. Third,
the owners are presented as monopolists who profit from
cheating on South &frica through ?transfer pricing’. This
leads to the demand to ma"e the foreign corporations pay
the true mar"et price as if that will solve the problem of
e-ploitation. +ven without transfer pricing the price of
production in S& will be less than the average world
mar"et price, given that the costs of production are lower
in S& than in all other competing countries.
There was no serious attempt by the ?left’ to e-plain to
wor"ers that capitalist e-ploitation ta"es place at the point
of production and that the answer must be the
e-propriation of the mines under wor"ers’ control.
Information that can prove the need for this is evident. The
platinum miners are still semi$slaves compared to miners
in other countries. The new wage increase wor"s out at
.%*C.7** a year compared to the .'.' million paid to
&ustralian mine wor"ers0 This difference is not due only to
productivity rates. Dwners "eep their costs down in S& by
forcing down wage costs by means of high unemployment
to below subsistence living standards. This cannot be
fought by appealing to the &2, to ta- the owners more, or
by nationalising the mines. Dnly by brea"ing with the &2,
and its slavish ,DS&TU and S&,# partners will S&
wor"ers be able to unite in a general stri"e and bring down
the &2, regime, e-propriating the mines and the farms
under wor"ers control. This must be accomplished by a
!or"ers and wor"ing 8armers :overnment that abolishes
capitalism and puts a socialist plan in place.
A Marxist review of Capitalism and Drug Use A Marxist review of Capitalism and Drug Use A Marxist review of Capitalism and Drug Use A Marxist review of Capitalism and Drug Use
.ecent news coverage has been a typical e-ample of 3ournalistic activism promoting a moral panic
about an issue )in this case psychoactive drugs. Ieadlines about psychoactive substances, @synthetic
cannabinoidsA raised the issue of the legal status of new drugs, and called into question the legal
status of old drugs. 9ramatic case studies showed huge numbers of people lining up outside one of
the limited @to 'F*A stores. Harious local newspapers gave plenty of space for anti$synthetic drug
campaigners, amounting to free support for the anti$drug campaign. These were frequently parents
distressed by their sons or daughters deterioration from addiction to Jlegal highsK. &fter a period
when 2( :ovts decided to e-periment with legal cannabis as a progressive step away from the ?war
on drugs’, a public bac"lash now forced an about turn from legalisation to wholesale ban. /egal highs
were put on the bac" burner. omentum swung bac" to the ?war on drugs’.
#ar on $rugs vs %egulation
8or decades the approach to drug use by the ruling class
was to ban some drugs and regulate others. The current
conventional approach to drugs; is the US led Jwar on
drugsK or JnarcoticsK. This is
contrasted with the right to sell
other equally or more
damaging drugs such as alcohol
and tobacco. The lessons of
prohibition of alcohol in many
countries led to organised
crime, and the same is true of
the prohibition on narcotics.
There is a growing recognition
that the social costs of
prohibition of cannabis vastly
outweigh its benefits. This has seen a swing away from
prohibition towards the introduction of legalised and
regulated synthetic cannabis. &fter years of playing catch
up with organised crime in drugs, 2( :ovts too" the step
to allow the sale of ?legal highs’ that have been tested for
safety and under strict controls.
8rom being sold in thousands of dairies and convenience
stores and little control over the distribution the Interim
&greement allowed for a trial of no more than F*
chemicals sold from up to '** stores with .%C rules.
& new frontier of capitalism was opened with this new set
of commodities; production, pac"aging and mar"eting
companies for these chemicals
ta"ing home super$profits. The
newly synthesised psychoactive
substances were capitalised by a
ta-able, profitable, urban cowboy
capitalism. They fitted a mar"et
segment ) cheaper than cannabis,
and thought to be a way to avoid
police harassment and beat
wor"place drug screening.
?/egal highs’ were not tested on
animals or humans; It was a grand
scale e-periment with the 2( population. & few chemicals
failed the safety test by causing direct harm that was
reported to the ministry of health, and were removed from
the ?legal’ @regulatedA regime. There are many other things
we don’t "now about the impact of the availability of legal
highs1 e.g. if alcohol sales were reduced by the introduction
of ?legal highs’1 if cannabis consumption fell1 if the
corresponding legal or illegal mar"ets were under profit
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

squee4eG !e don’t "now if drug @L alcoholA related traffic
crashes were reduced during the period of legality.
,apitalism has failed to measure the damage or ris" of
drugs. Instead drugs li"e alcohol L tobacco which are
profitable and ta-ed hugely and create massive damage1
cancers, etc, are legal. &n illegal drug li"e cannabis creates
less damage on an active component comparison. !hen a
technical e-pert such as @UEA #rofessor 9avid 2utt said
this, the conservative government did not li"e his advice.
Ie was dumped from his role on an JindependentK
government advisory panel. Ie went on to found an
Jindependent scientific committee on drugsK now on" Ie complains that illegal drugs
are much more difficult to conduct research on since the
bureaucracy required to obtain the drug for research
purposes creates a barrier to research.
2( 9rug classifications have followed the worldwide trend
) US driven Jwar on drugsK. !hile other addictive
problems such as gambling was legalised @regulated and
ta-edA, alcohol remains legalised @loosely regulatedA, but
those regulations are clearly unable to stop the social
problems related to alcohol. Tobacco regulation has
followed the &ustralian trend and introduced stricter
controls on advertising and mar"eting. !arning signs on
pac"aging have grown from small to bigger and more
,annabis being illegal left the door open to the new
technology of synthetic cannabinoids ) chemicals not yet
identified and banned by the governments, and not yet
detectable in standard drug screens.
#or&place $rug 'esting
In the name of Jhealth L safetyK the employers banned
detectable psychoactive substances. !or"place Jhealth L
safetyK has been an e-cuse for drug testing. So a drug
testing industry has developed in the last %F years. JIealth
L SafetyK avoids addressing the real ris" issues and labels
occasional substance users as ris"s in the wor"place.
!or"ers @L soldiersA have been trying the new chemicals
Jsynthetic cannabisK, because it cannot be detected in
wor"place drug testing. The ran"s of the US military have
been high users of synthetic cannabis ) e-actly because
they are not detectable in standard tests. Synthetic
,annabinoids became another product to mar"et to avoid
detection by those tests. Synthetics were a good option if
wor"ers wish to avoid being sac"ed or dumped into
But for what reason ) if cannabis detected in drug testing
it may have been used a month ago and not affect the
wor"er at wor". So the ,apitalist reaction was an over)
reaction, and made some wor"ers unemployed for no good
9rug testing ma"es a moc"ery of real concern for the
health and safety of wor"ers. The greater threat to the
health L safety of the wor"ing class is wor"er fatigue due
to e-treme long hours of wor" ) where a 7 day %*hr days
@7*hrA wor"ing wee" has now become common in many
2( industries. ,oal mines with malfunctioning gas testing
equipment and e-treme long wor"ing hours are the
failures of capitalism.
Dnly a united wor"ing class can fight these employers and
these employment practices. 8or fighting democratic
unions1 for living wages set by wor"ers committees and
achievable in a =*hrs wor"ing wee"0
,apitalism puts profits before people and this is true in
drug law. Short term profits for the alcohol, tobacco and
gambling JindustriesK @capitalistsA have been more
important than the damage done to people, their families
and communities. The ta- the government ta"es from
these commodities is more important to the government
than the long term human and health costs.
:overnment funding for treatment is pitiful, and so
treatment resources are pathetic, not at all near the level of
need. .eally treatment consists of individual assessment
and if you are really motivated to change maybe some
treatment. Tal"ing therapy is a poor substitute for lac" of
community1 family<friends wor"mates ) involvement in
what you really need.
& public health or education model treats the population
li"e farm animals; Eeep enough people alive enough to
wor", reproducing capitalist class relations.
The JillegalK drugs provide e-cuses for police to criminalise
the wor"ing class, with poor, aori and #acific Islanders
most li"ely to end up with drug convictions and rich and
white most li"ely to be let off with a slap on the wrist.
The 2( state now ta-es illegal drug profits through sei4ing
assets under Jproceeds of crimeK laws. & family caught
with illegal drugs could lose their family home, i.e. be
made homeless, while the state auctions off this and
poc"ets the money.
%egulate/ cri"inalise - decri"inalise
.adical youth may call for the legalisation of all
psychoactive substances ) perhaps in a reaction to police
state control. The Jwar on drugsK turns possession and use
of some drugs into criminal activities. 9rug related
oppression across racial and class lines, is state
In a previous statement on drugs ,lass Struggle called to
support legalisation, however this was mista"en. ar-ists
have no confidence in any of capitalisms laws. The whole
system is biased in favour of the rich while the wor"ing
class are controlled by the state forces M police, courts,
prison system, etc.
The legalisation of drugs could not necessarily reduce the
harmful effects of drug use. The legal cannabis e-periment
proved that regulation did not prevent more harm than
criminalisation. #eople actually died from legal highs.
!ould legalisation really assist the strength and
organisation of wor"ing classG 2o0
,alls to regulate, decriminalise or to legalise drugs all rely
on parliament to change laws. This fails to increase the
power of the wor"ing class. Instead diverts the struggle for
freedom from police oppression @the stateA bac" into the
capitalist state at another level; $ parliament and law
ma"ing. It limits the debate to legal status.
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

any states have legalised @e.g. #ortugalA or
decriminalised drugs. ,annabis is available in cafes in the
2etherlands. 2ow the UE and several states of &ustralia
have decriminalised possession of small amounts of
cannabis. !estern &ustralia runs a J,annabis
infringement noticeK system, which hits people caught
with small amounts with N%** fines. Several states of the
US have decriminalised medicinal use of cannabis. So
legalising drugs is possible within
capitalism. &nd does not necessarily
increase the power of the wor"ing
+ven a decriminalised drug regime is
unfair1 the poor would cloc" up fines
that the rich could avoid or easily pay
off. The poor are more li"ely to fail to
pay their fines and end up under
increased court pressure over this.
The /egal status of a drug does not
address the real driving forces behind
consumption of drugs. 2or does it
necessarily allow the wor"ing class
more organising potential li"e
democratic freedoms and union rights
& useful historic and psychological perspective from Bruce
&le-ander identifies a dislocation or Jpoverty of spiritK as
the underlying cause of addiction. Ie particularly blames
the Jfree$mar"et economyK.
&le-ander’s definition of free$mar"et economy is one and
the same as capitalism. Ie locates all addiction problems
as driven by individual doing their best to cope in this
JdislocatingK society. +ffectively his definition of
dislocation is the same as ar-’s alienation. But &le-ander
does not locate alienation at the point of production,
instead at the surface appearance of our relationship to
things @culture, place, people, etcA. In spite of his
limitations, Bruce &le-ander gets further down to the roots
of the problems than others from the field of psychology.
9rawing the ar-ist lesson from Bruce &le-ander’s
research1 capitalism is alienating and alienation drives
drug consumption and dangerous addictions more
generally. J.eligion is the sigh of the oppressed creature,
the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless
conditions. It is the opium of the people.K
que$hpr<intro.htm. ar- put drug addiction on the same
level as devotion to religion, and most significant this is all
in the conte-t of e-perience of alienation @oppression,
heartlessness and soulless conditionsA. ar- was
commenting about addictive devotion and alienation.
To legalise drugs disregards the alienating processes of
wor" under capitalist production and other harms of social
abuse and e-ploitation within capitalist society all that
need to be changed. So legalising does not develop unity of
wor"ing class in common consciousness of the e-perience
of alienation. Instead it distracts the wor"ing class by
offering more JlegalK options for Jself$medicatingK @drug
useA to cope with life under capitalism. The drug regulation
debate ignores the need for revolutionary change.
any societies have used music @drumming chantsA,
dance, and rituals to alter states of consciousness and
transition members or whole communities from child to
adult, from season to season, and in many societies
psychoactive substances were used in these ceremonies.
#rior to capitalism there is little evidence from history of
problem drug use ) e-cept the final years
of the :ree" and .oman civilisations
@see Bruce &le-anderA.
8reedom from enslavement by drugs will
be more possible when alienation
through capitalism is overthrown.
#or&ers) *ontrol
!e support wor"ing class control over
all drugs0 Instead of a ?no control’
situation of full legalisation there needs
to be some level of social control ) but
the power should be held by the wor"ing
class, not capitalist forces.
!or"ing class control is not possible
under capitalism; the current e-ample of
alcohol regulation shows this. In theory
2( JcommunitiesK have a say about alcohol premises <
outlets, however the capitalist alcohol lobby has alcohol
wholesale outlets spread li"e corner dairies in poor areas,
and less wholesalers, more Jon licenceK premises
@restaurants, cafOs, barsA in affluent areas. The distribution
of alcohol outlets follows the typical pattern of most
profitable to the capitalist1 and most dangerous or harmful
to the poor.
!hen the wor"ing class is in control of assessment of
safety of each drug then we may decide the level of control
needed. edicinal use should be allowed ) and production
could control quality @doseA and find safer ways to ta"e
some drugs @such as cannabisA. /egalisation does not
address harm related to substances, such as tobacco and
lung cancer, alcohol and liver cancer, caffeine and "idney
The .ussian revolution was an important e-ample of
wor"ers’ social control of drugs; The Bolshevi"s needed to
throw out alcohol. In %6%P)%6%C the revolution was under
attac" from the !hite army. ,ounter$revolutionaries had
been supplying alcohol to soldiers to create problems for
the Bolshevi"s. Bohn .eed JTen 9ays That Shoo" The
!orldK p'==, J!ine #ogromsK1 counter$revolutionaries
were promoting drun"enness and rioting through raiding
wine cellars to give freely to the soldiers. The revolutionary
council of people’s commissars appointed a Jcommissar
for the fight against drun"ennessK. They blew up cellars
and destroyed thousands of bottles of wine.
Trots"y commented on alcohol and drug problems after
the revolution, in JThe problems of +veryday /ifeK. The
theme following the revolution being wor"ers control by
means of the @wor"ersA state, and then as the state withers
away, a corresponding increase in more direct community
control. Ultimately, the need for drugs as opiates would
end with the elimination of class society and social
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

+or or&ers) control over all drugs,
+or or&ers) control o! health - sa!et. in the
%educe the hours o! the /!ullti"e0 or&ing ee&
until there is e"plo."ent !or all,
+or or&ers co""ittees to set living ages in a
/!ullti"e0 140hrs2 ee&,
#e "a&e these calls in the &noledge that true
or&ers control ill onl. be possible ith the
overthro o! capitalis". 'his shos that the
solution to capitalis"s proble"s cannot be !ound
ithin capitalis".

The Moral Statistics of Thomas Picketty The Moral Statistics of Thomas Picketty The Moral Statistics of Thomas Picketty The Moral Statistics of Thomas Picketty
#ic"etty’s ideas in their ,%6th form were demolished by Earl ar- himself. But #ic"etty couldn’t be
bothered reading ar- so he wouldn’t "now this. Iad he bothered he would have discovered that
capitalist inequality is inherent in the fact that the class that owns the means of production forces the
other class that is dispossessed of such means to produce surplus$value as the basis of profits. The
distribution of income that results is a mere symptom of these unequal relations of production.
!e will leave #ic"etty’s data and the conclusions he draws
from this date to the criticism of the bourgeois mice @an in$
3o"e reference to the 5oung ar- ) #ic"etty could start
with Early Writings which are much less ?boring’ than
CapitalA. Because anyone can prove that capitalism creates
income inequality. The
point is whether inequality
is good or bad. The only
thing that separates
#ic"etty from &nn .and is
not statistics but morality.
#ic"etty thin"s it is bad
because the widening
income gap is accompanied
by increasing profitability.
Those bosses are truly
bloody minded bastards.
ar- had anticipated his
mista"e because it was
common in his day. ar-
refers to a fi-ation on the
symptoms rather than causes of inequality as JThe Trinity
8ormulaK as in the father, son and Ioly :host.
This semi$religious fetishism of appearances has its
materialist roots in the alienation of human labour as the
value of the commodity which is e-plained in the first part
of ,apital Hol %. This is the best rendition of the adage that
we "now the price of everything but the value of nothing.
Ironically, it was the 8rench translation of Capital that
ar- thought the best since he had the chance to edit it
and since it was serialised and thus accessible to the
ordinary wor"er @and even the odd bourgeois intellectualA.
+ven so ar- had misgivings that the 8rench reader would
be impatient to pass quic"ly from the difficult analysis to
Jimmediate questions that aroused their passionsK.
#ic"etty has the disadvantage of writing a 7** page boo"
that instead of illuminating the causes of inequality, buries
the truth under a false theory. Ie whips up a moral
outrage because the bosses profits rise at the e-pense of
falling wages.
ar-ist economist ichael .oberts
pi"etty< shows that #ic"etty measures profits to include
?wealth’ as in property and housing values. Such ?wealth’ is
not counted in profits as by and large it does not directly
contribute to production. /and is a source of rent which is
deducted from wages or profits. But even using #ic"etty’s
measure of wealth to include land, .oberts argues that this
has been declining as land
becomes less valuable in
relation to financial assets,
also increasingly unrelated
to the production of profits.
#erhaps #ic"etty should
have read ar- on
?fictitious capital’.
So #ic"etty’s moral
statistics leads to rising
profits and a falling share
of wages where the political
solution that presents itself
is a moral condemnation of
capitalism, combined with
a practical push for the
poor to rise up and demand their ?fair share’ of income,
even though their production of profits was never fair.
In &otearoa<2ew (ealand a strong advocate for a
redistribution of wealth is :areth organ, a maveric"
entrepreneur capitalist. Iis method is a UBI paid for by
what is effectively a new 'FQ flat ta- on wealth including
assets and income. See his boo" The Big Kahuna.
Iowever writing an academic te-t of 7** pages over a
number of years means #ic"etty doesnRt have the e-cuse of
passion which leads him to condemn ,apitalism or 8rench
impatience li"e the :erman moral socialists that ar-
e-coriated in the Critique of the Gotha Program for
forgetting that capitalism leads to falling profits and that
any equalising of income requires a socialist revolution.
Iis language is bourgeois morality and statistics.
So li"e all those who thin" that climate catastrophe can be
managed by the ?adaptation’ of capitalism, #ic"etty may
Jthrow statisticsK capitalism but he doesn’t even entertain
the idea of overthrowing it.
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

China China China China S SS Socialists ocialists ocialists ocialists at odds over at odds over at odds over at odds over the the the the !ue ! !ue ! !ue ! !ue !uen uen uen uen strike strike strike strike
It’s one thing to say socialists all agree that the self$activity of the wor"ing class is the true basis of the
march for socialism, but what is the road mapG 9isagreements over the character of ,hinese society
as socialist, capitalist, or imperialist, ma"e all the difference to whether the road map leads the
marchers to socialism or not. This question was raised specifically during the 5ue 5uen stri"e. !e
reprint here an e-panded version of an e-change which too" place on the faceboo" page ?Trots"yism
is &live and Eic"ing’"

8irst, there are the ?state caps’ or ?third camp’ li"e the
,liffites @S!#$BritainA who claim that ,hina since %6%6
has been capitalist if not imperialist, Tell that to stri"ing
5ue 5uen wor"ers who see themselves loc"ed in a struggle
to defend their
?socialist’ pension
rights against the
return of capitalism.
The fact is that while
the ?third camp’ 3udged
the ,hinese revolution
from afar was a
bourgeois revolution
where the bourgeoisie
were e-propriated, the
,hinese masses "new
they had been in a
social revolution and
the bourgeoisie had
disappeared off the
stage of history. The
,hinese bureaucracy of the ,,# has cleverly staged a
capitalist counter$revolution by posing as the defenders of
the revolution in the apparent absence of a new ,hinese
bourgeoisie. It is necessary to e-plain to wor"ers who
struggle against the return of wage labour, to see the need
to overthrow the ,,# as the bourgeois defenders of
capitalism and not its destruction.

Then there are the dogmatic Trots li"e the Sparts and the
,!I who say ,hina became a bureaucratically 9eformed
!or"ers State after %6=6 and remains one today. They
reverse the ?third camp’ position and insist that the
bourgeoisie who were cast off the stage of history by the
revolution, cannot re$enter that stage e-cept in the guise of
individual capitalists. Incredibly they e-plain ,hina’s rise
to 2o ' world economy as the responsibility of the ,,#
bureaucracy thereby crediting a degenerate wor"ers state
with the capacity to develop the forces of production ahead
of the imperialist powers. Tell that to the stri"ing 5ue
5uen wor"ers who see the ,,# in bed with capitalist
corporations, super$e-ploiting them and getting superrich
in the name of ?mar"et socialism’.
Then there are the ?Trots"yistsK li"e the 8/TI who claim
,hina has restored capitalism but is not or cannot become
imperialist since it is oppressed by the e-isting imperialist
powers. 8or them, ,hina serves the interests of
imperialism as a capitalist semi$colony which allows
super$profits to be e-tracted from cheap ,hinese labor and
raw materials. Tell that to stri"ing 5ue 5uen wor"ers who
see their labor and lives pay for ,hina’s rise to the 2o %
world economy which is super$e-ploiting wor"ers in &sia,
&frica and /atin &merica.
The 8/TI is wrong on ,hina. ,hina is not a ?maquiladora’
of the US. Today ,hina and the US are rapidly converging
as the ma3or imperialist rivals. ,hina has moved very fast
since it opened up its S+(s to 89I '* years ago. +ven %*
years ago it was hard to
see it emerging as a new
imperialist power.
&ll three positions on
,hina have been
debated at length by the
/,, in a number or
articles. ost recently
we have ta"en up a
critique of the roots of
these different positions
in our article; J!hy are
.ussia and ,hina
Imperialist #owers and
not ,apitalist Semi$
5et today the US and ,hina are the two largest economies
and invest in each other where the costs of production are
nearly equal. !e are facing escalating trade, political and
military rivalry between the two. 2ot to ac"nowledge this
fact means you lac" the clinching argument against the
BolivarianRs popular front with ,hina for Rmar"et
socialismR in /atin &merica.
!orse it is a call for the defence of ,hina in wars with
other imperialist powers. Iere is recent data on
comparative costs of production of 'F countries including
,hina and the US;
"The country with the lowest manufacturing costs, we
foun, is not China! "t#s "nonesia, then "nia, $e%ico,
an Thailan! China comes ne%t&with Taiwan#s costs 'ust
a ta higher an the (!S!#s a )it more than that, ran*ing
+merica ,o! - in our stuy! +s Chinese la)or costs rise,
+merican proucti.ity, an (!S! energy
e%penses fall, the ifference in manufacturing costs
)etween China an the (!S! has narrowe to such a
egree that it#s almost negligi)le! /or e.ery ollar
require to manufacture in the (!S!, it now costs 012 to
manufacture in China, )efore consiering the cost of
transportation to the (!S! an other factors! /or many
companies, that#s harly worth it when prouct quality,
intellectual property rights, an long3istance supply
chain issues are ae to the equation!"
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

The response of 9avid !alters on faceboo" to the above is
typical of the 8/TI and others trapped in a dogmatic time$
4China plays )oth roles, as a e.eloping national state
capitalist country an as a 5(GE repository of
maquilaora!!!)asically all of the maquilaora inustries
ha.e eparte $e%ico for China! This occurre almost 67
years ago! "t is still going on! "t8s a great suc*ing hole for
low wage 8repetiti.e in'ury8 'o)s an capital!9
,!: replies; JThat ,hina
plays both roles is not in
dispute. Their relative
weight and role in the
direction of ,hinaRs
capitalist development is.
Since restoring capitalism
,hina has re$entered the
global capitalist economy
without subordinating
itself as a semi$colony.
Unli"e normal capitalist
semi$colonies, ,hinaRs
maquiladora role was not
a means of suc"ing out ,hinaRs surplus into the imperialist
countries, but a means of getting a trade surplus and .L9
transfer. Thus as the Businesswee* article above shows
,hina has gone up the value chain and is no longer the
worldRs cheap labour factory. &s the most recent D+,9
survey shows, ,hina has ta"en off so it is no longer so
dependent on manufactured e-ports of 8oreign Investor
+nterprises to maintain its dynamism. STotal 89I pea"ed
at %P.%Q of fi-ed capital formation in ,hina in %66> and has
declined since then to '.CQ in '*%*, even though it has
risen mar"edly in absolute terms.S
&nd consider that 2orth &merica has a tiny share of the
89I stoc" compared with other &sian countries. It is
,hinaRs emergence as a new imperialist power that
e-plains the rising competition between the US and ,hina
that we are seeing in every continent.
!alters replies; J+ll you are saying is that regular
monopoly capital equals state monopoly capital! "8m not
isagreeing for the sa*e of this iscussion! "8m saying that
for a state to )e imperialist, that finance capital has to )e
T5E ominant form of economy within the moe of
prouction! " see :ero e.ience for this! " see the
omination of manufacturing capital, )oth S;Es an
";<pri.ate forms, ominant! That such e%port of capital
from either pri.ate sources or, S;E is a small percentage
of the o.erall G=P! China loo*s essentially li*e a state
capitalist form of the (!S! circa 6>0>! BTW!!!" ha.e :ero
political sta*e in this iscussion! "8m really here to learn
an iscuss! /or China to really )e "mperialist, it woul
ha.e to o its in.estments, first, in terms of quic* return
of the ollar ?they o use ollars, not their own currency,
another issue in terms of )eing "mperialist )ut not
ecisi.e@ an seconly with a rising tenency for
speculati.e in.estment in finance! China is oing neither!
,one of its foreign in.estments, at least not significantly,
are esigne to return a thing e%cept raw materials
which woul )e more profita)le to use omestic resources
in many instances! "nstea they are )uiling up huge
stoc*piles in raw materials for further use own the roa!
This is totally unhear if in.estments were actually )ase
on profit!9
,!: replies; 5ou ma"e a fundamental and unfortunately
common mista"e. /enin defined finance capital as the
fusion of ban"ing and productive capital. #roductive
capital means productive of commodities. JState monopoly
capitalK was used by /enin to characterise the form of
finance capital at the more concrete level of international
relations and the global mar"et where finance capital was
fused also with the state. Unli"e the prevailing use of the
term, capital that quits the
productive circuit to
speculate in non$
productive e-isting assets
is not finance capital but
money capital.
Janufacturing capitalK is
a meaningless term unless
you are using it as a non$
ar-ist pro-y for
productive capital. If you
use /enin’s conception of
finance capital it is
immediately obvious that
the ,hinese state is fused with finance capital devoted
entirely to its reproduction.
&s for Squic" returnS. Since when has that been a criterion
for imperialismG Super$profits will obviously increase as
turnover time increases. But super$profits do not derive
from turnover time. SSpeculative investmentSG 2o.
+-port of capital is driven by the need to counter the T.#8
with cheap raw materials and labour power. !hen this
fails due to rival state monopoly capitals, surplus capital is
driven into speculation. Therefore speculation is a
symptom of surplus capital being diverted from
unprofitable production into speculation in e-isting values
as money capital.
&s yet ,hinaRs capital e-port is countering the T.#8 but
the increasing value composition as ,hina develops will
bring this to an end before long. This is part of the law of
capitalist accumulation. 5our argument rests upon
voluntarist policies of the ,,# able somehow to override
the determination of the /DH where ,hina is forced by its
need to accumulate capital to enter into a growing rivalry
with the US$led imperialist bloc. 2ot only that, you have to
e-plain the US encirclement of ,hina as a voluntarist
response to ,hinaRs voluntarist e-pansion. The result is a
position li"e Eauts"yRs ultra imperialism where the fate of
nations hinges not on the law of accumulation but the
respective policies of imperialist elites. Thus imperialist
war is an aberration and parliamentary socialism can
correct for it by ensuring that capital is invested
productively so it continues its historic mission to prepare
the conditions for socialism in the never$never.
'he *hinese revolution hich created a
degenerate or&ers state has not survived
capitalist restoration b. the **3. 4et "an. o! the
or&ers still believe the. are !ighting to de!end
socialis"5 but in truth the. onl. a. the. can do
that is to !ight !or a socialist revolution against the
ne capitalist ruling class that is toda.
responsible !or *hina)s e"ergence as a ne
i"perialist poer.
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

#ra$ Towards the %verthrow of the American #ra$ Towards the %verthrow of the American #ra$ Towards the %verthrow of the American #ra$ Towards the %verthrow of the American& && &
#ranian Pro'ect #ranian Pro'ect #ranian Pro'ect #ranian Pro'ect
Iere we re$blog this statement from on the situation in Syria from the Syrian /eft ,oalition, 5asar
ovement and Iraqi /eftists. !e do not necessarily agree with all its positions but agree that there
e-ists an independent non$sectarian wor"ing class resistance in Iraq that e-tends into Syria1 that a
radical left must intervene in this struggle1 that the ISIS is a counter$revolutionary force1 that we
defend an independent Eurdistan1 and that the US and Iran @for us in alliance with .ussia and ,hinaA
have installed a sectarian regime to divide and rule Iraq that has to be overthrown and its imperialist
bac"ers "ic"ed out of Iraq. !e would add that this requires the building of a revolutionary wor"ers
movement in Iraq and Syria that e-tends throughout the +2& under the leadership of a /eninist$
Trots"yist #arty with a program for permanent revolution"

J!e should not separate the latest events in Iraq, where
&l$ali"i regime is losing control over many areas, from
the historical conte-t that preceded this and especially
since the U.S$British invasion of Iraq in '**> and the
nature of the new regime and forces involved in the
political process under the patronage of the occupation on
one side, nor from the historical conte-t of the &rab
revolutions on the other side.
&s radical leftists emerging from the womb of the &rab
revolutions, we certainly stand shoulder$to$shoulder with
the revolution of the Iraqi people. !e see" with our Iraqi
comrades to protect
this movement from
e-ternal penetrations
and derailment. !e
struggle together to
radicali4e it, to reali4e
freedom and
liberation of the Iraqi
people and their
direct control over
their own destiny and
The U.S. imperialism
wor"ed together with
the Iranian regime,
since the beginning of
the occupation of Iraq
in '**>, and through
their puppets of Iraqi politicians and organi4ations that
participated in the so$called Spolitical processS, to establish
a corrupt sectarian and ethnic system. The &rab regions
have been tightly controlled by sectarian forces loyal to the
Iranian regime. These forces have wor"ed to marginali4e
and distort the representation of popular groups from
different denominations including the Shiite community,
in the regime. This appeared as retaliation against the pre$
occupation Iraqi state which was an obstacle to the
e-pansion the dominance of Iranian regime in Iraq and the
iddle +ast region.
Since the beginning of the &merican occupation in '**>,
the Iraqis have been living under difficult economic, social
and political crises, suffering from unemployment, poverty
and lac" of essential services. This situation has
encompassed all sects of the Iraqi society, including the
poor Shiite classes.
Dn this basis, resistance and protests appeared as a
unifying factor of the ma3ority of the Iraqi population,
struggling against the occupation and the foreign
domination as well as against the client regime. This was
shown by the harmony between the resistance of 8allu3ah
and 2a3af, and both were sub3ected separately to the U.S.
attac"s. This resistance was driven by the ma3or socio$
economic and political grievance, and has gained a broad
comprehensive popular support.
So the &merican
occupation and
Iranian hegemony
built, through the so$
called Spolitical
processS, a sectarian
regime to consolidate
their authority, to
assure their plunder
of Iraq, and to
prevent the
development of this
resistance politically.
oreover, they
sought to dismantle
and divide the social
structure of Iraq
through broad and
arbitrary detentions, and through fabricating daily
bombings that "illed tens of thousands of Iraqi people. &s
a result of this aggravating situation, all cities and regions
in Iraq witnessed widespread protest movements.
&lthough these protests were not coordinated, they
e-pressed the discontent and the anger of the people.
Bust li"e the other &rab regimes, the forces of the regime
faced brutally the peaceful protests and sit$ins in &l &nbar,
which called for economic and political rights and ending
the sectarian domination. &long with the intensification of
the military brutality against these protests and neglecting
the demands of the people, the popular and the political
dimensions of the revolution were developing. The popular
dimension is shown by the widespread support and
integration in the revolution, and the political dimension is
shown by the formation of political structures that are
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

organi4ing this movement. The speed of the e-tension of
the revolutionary movement is a clear sign of the active
involvement of the people in the revolutionary factions.
,onsequently, the military, third dimension did not come
in contradiction with the popular dimension, because it
emerged from the Iraqi people and not from a political
force hostile to them, nor from fundamentalist forces @as
ISISA, as the ali"i and the :ulf and the imperialist
hypocritical media claim. This is a popular revolution, and
there is no fertile ground for the ISIS in it or in the Iraqi
society in general. The ISIS is a counter$revolutionary
force that is being used in an attempt to penetrate and
degenerate the revolution. Ience, this force should be
marginali4ed, fought and eradicated by the revolutionary
forces as soon as it appears.
!ith the collapse of the official military and security forces
of the regime, the mafia regime in Iran has been wor"ing
through its puppets in Iraq, together with the religious
authorities under its control, to form sectarian militias,
and through their fabricated propaganda are urging the
poor Shiite youth to JBihadK, as an attempt to use them to
fight the revolution. &t the same time, both the Iranian
and :ulf hypocritical media are trying to show the
revolution as a terrorist invasion of the Iraqi cities by
fundamentalist forces, using fabricated materials to
threaten the people and push the situation into a sectarian
war, to protect the interests of the ruling mafias. By this,
they are wor"ing to derail the situation towards a
devastating sectarian war. Therefore, it is also necessary to
be aware of any sectarian practice which is counter$
!e call all Iraqi people, who are crushed under the
regimeRs policies, in all the provinces @including Baghdad
and the cities of the South in particularA to be involved in
this revolution, in order to overthrow this client sectarian
regime, as well as the terrorist sectarian militias.
!hile many JleftistK parties are analy4ing the situation of
Iraq from their offices, relying on the hypocritical media,
the Iraqi people are advancing their struggle. 2ow, while
the Iraqi cities are being liberated by their own
revolutionaries, successive statements are being published
by the different political organi4ations and community
groups involved in the revolution, confirming that the
main aim of the revolution is the elimination of the
sectarian regime and the liberation of Iraq from e-ternal
domination, as two interrelated entities, and to build a
democratic national regime that meets the interests of the
whole Iraqi people.
Because the main title of the revolution is the reali4ation of
freedom, democracy and social 3ustice, this revolution
meets the interests of the impoverished classes in the Iraqi
Eurdistan. Thus, we call them to support the revolution.
Under this revolutionary situation in Iraq with the wide
involvement of the popular classes in it, all the forces of
the radical left are called to play an active role in it.
Involvement of the radical left is a necessity to radicali4e
the revolution and prevent its degeneration or derailing,
and to open up hori4ons for the wor"ing class to hold
power and control the wealth.K
The Syrian /eft ,oalition
The /eft ovement @5asar ovementA
Iraqi /eftists
Dn the historical conte-t since '**> see

Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine Defeat the neo Defeat the neo Defeat the neo Defeat the neo& && &f ff fascist attack of the (iev ascist attack of the (iev ascist attack of the (iev ascist attack of the (iev
)egime on the anti )egime on the anti )egime on the anti )egime on the anti& && &(iev resistance* (iev resistance* (iev resistance* (iev resistance*
The +iaison Committee of Communists stands alongside ,orot-a and its call for an #nternational Day
of Solidarity against .ascism on / May 0elsewhere on May 1
2" At the same time we have no
confidence in ,orot-a3s program for self&defence against neo&fascism as independent of extreme pro&
)ussian forces" Proletarian anti&fascists must march and fight separately from petty -ourgeois and
-ourgeois nationalists even while striking at neo&fascist forces"

!e oppose those on
the left who see .ussia
as a degenerated
wor"ers state, a
capitalist semi$colony,
or a Rlesser evilR great
power to the U.S. and
+U, and therefore as a
progressive force
against !estern
imperialism and
fascism. !e have
pointed out before that
.ussia is imperialist
and is therefore driven
in crisis to resort to
fascism to smash the
.ussian wor"ing class.
!e also oppose self$
proclaimed Trots"yists
who say that because
there are neo$fascist
elements on both sides in
U"raine we should
support neither side in
the war that is brea"ing
out. Instead, therefore,
pro3ecting a picture of an
idealised proletariat that
does not e-ist in the real
world, rather than the
actual proletariat being
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

sub3ected to bloody terror and one capable of choosing

Because the two sides are
not equal0 It is clear that
the ultra$right U.S.<+U
stooge bourgeoisie is in
control in Eiev, and that
the aidan wor"ers ma"e
no effort to stop its neo$
fascist attac"s on +astern
wor"ers, while in the +ast
the anti$regime wor"ers
are for unity with all
U"raine wor"ers against
the illegitimate Eiev regime
and are not subordinated
to the .ussian -enophobes0

!hile .ussian imperialism has a clear interest in the
outcome of this struggle in U"raine, its main interest is to
prevent a war on its border that would 3eopardise its
economic investments in U"raine. Therefore it
collaborates with the 2&TD powers to prevent a
proletarian revolution brea"ing out on its border that
would spread quic"ly into .ussia. Its anne-ation of ,rimea
was an e-ception given its strategic position in .ussiaRs
defence against the encroachments of 2&TD.

The "ey factor at the moment is that the aidan forces are
being led by the radical right<neo$fascists. The proletarian
elements in the !est are supporting this illegitimate
regime as it attac"s the anti$aidan forces as RterroristsR.
They loo" for e-cuses to blame the anti$aidan forces for
the "illings in Ddessa and towns under occupation. But
they cannot hide the fact of deliberately planned
provocations and open "illings of unarmed protesters
initiated by neo$fascist thugs of the .ight Sector.

In the +ast while the anti$regime leadership includes
e-treme pro$.ussian elements, there is a popular ma3ority
to stay in U"raine but against the Eiev regime. This is a
clear proletarian class position that fights to defend a
united U"raine wor"ing class against a U.S.<+U bac"ed
ultra$right regime with open fascists in top positions.

!e support the demands for a referendum on self$
determination ta"ing the form of federalism aimed at
protecting the national and cultural rights of those in the
+ast from anti$.ussian chauvinism and neo$fascist
attac"s. They ta"e into account the rights of other
minorities, and unli"e the ,rimea, do not force any
minority into a secession or anne-ation by .ussia.

In this situation o! a neo-!ascist 6iev regi"e
attac&ing a "ainl. proletarian South 7ast as
8terrorists8 e are !or a or&ers united anti-!ascist
!ront ith 9: political support to an. ultra
nationalist pett. bourgeois or bourgeois !orces
siding ith either i"perialist bloc.

&t this point it seems that the big ma3ority in the +ast are
still for autonomy, or federalism, and not secession. They
are for the unity of the U"raine wor"ers against the Eiev
regime. Dnly a small minority are for 3oining .ussia.
Iowever it will be difficult to hold to this position when
wor"ers in the !est allow the
army to invade the +ast with
fascist shoc" troops. This will
drive the wor"ers in the +ast
into the arms of pro$.ussian

!e can stop the split in the
U"rainian wor"ing class and
the division of U"raine only
by ta"ing a strong
international stand in support
of defence of South and +ast
U"raine occupations, and
calling on !est U"raine
wor"ers and peasants to rally
to remove the Eiev regime and its neo$fascist forces.
4e must call on the army conscripts attacking
the 5ast to turn their guns on the officers and
neo&fascist militias*
6% political support to the white )ussian or Slav
xenopho-es in the 5ast attempting to incite
secession to )ussia*
.or workers 5ast and 4est to unite to -uild their
councils and militias against the open fascists of
the 4est and )ussian xenopho-es of the 5ast*
.or revolutionaries in the U"S"7 5U and )ussian
imperialist states fight the main enemy7 the
capitalist class at home*
.or the ranks in the military to mutiny and turn
their guns on the officers and the ruling class*
.or a 4orkers and Peasants 8overnment and a
program of expropriation of capitalist property
and a socialist plan* .or workers self&
.or a Socialist )epu-lic of Ukraine*
.or a Socialist .ederation of 5urasia*
.or a new 4orld Party of Socialism*
.ead our analysis of the crisis in U"raine
putschist$government< and the wider implications of growing inter$
imperialist rivalry between the US$led and ,hina$led imperialist blocs
/in"s in te-t http;<<<aTcallTforTsolidarity.html
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

Thailand Defeat the Coup Thailand Defeat the Coup Thailand Defeat the Coup Thailand Defeat the Coup d39tat d39tat d39tat d39tat* Polemic and * Polemic and * Polemic and * Polemic and
Program Program Program Program & && & A )esponse to the )C#T A )esponse to the )C#T A )esponse to the )C#T A )esponse to the )C#T
The )C#T analysis of the pro&Thaksin government overthrown -y the Thai military invests -ourgeois
democracy with real democracy it never had and this is methodologically of one piece with their
previous errors" See also the follow up :%pen letter to the )C#T3 ;.orward to Permanent )evolution in
Thailand3" http<<redrave"-logspot"co"n=<>?@A<?B<forward&to&permanent&revolution&in"html

The .,IT @.evolutionary ,ommunist Internationalist
TendencyA never tires of displaying their semi$,liffite
understanding of the actual democratic content of
bourgeois parliamentary democracy. +verywhere they
invest elected governments with a democratic legitimacy.
It is no accident that they have never been able to bring
themselves to critici4e the !or"ers #ower @/FIA position of
support for 5eltsin in %66%. In 5eltsin they saw the promise
of greater democratic rights and opportunities for self
organi4ation of the wor"ing class, completely
misunderstanding the true obtaining situation as a contest
between two capitalist restorationist forces for the
leadership of the counter$revolution against all survivals of
the Dctober revolution.
ore recently we have seen the .,IT invest the ursi
government of +gypt with a similar democratic legitimacy
based on a popular vote. That this election was a set up
and that the real power was the deep state that has ruled
+gypt at all times since %6F' ma"es no impression on our
Hiennese semi$,liffites. The reassertion of direct control
by the +gyptian &rmy high command @S,&8A was for the
.,IT a military coup of the character of the :ree" ,olonels
of %67P or the #inochet coup of %6P>. The .,IT initially
called for a United 8ront with the uslim Brotherhood in
defense of the ursi government. Shortening their 3ib after
this gaffe, they still continued to call for the restoration of
the ursi government claiming it was democratically
elected and called for a united front to accomplish this
restoration, and failing that called for a constituent
assembly to assemble democratic forces to fight the
The ay '*
coup by the commanders of the Thai army is
indeed a military coup by any classical criteria.
2evertheless, we are not champions of the "ind of
Jdemocratic electionsK that bring pro$Tha"sin #heu Thai
party politicians to power, anymore than elections that
lead to 9emocratic #arty governments. It is not
permissible for socialists to call upon the workers
to shed their own blood for the defense or the
restoration of any of these “democratically
elected” governments! 5ou cannot pass off any such
call as a /eninist United 8ront tactic. This has nothing to
do with /enin and everything to do with enshevism,
Eauts"yism and even Stalinism. !e re3ect the agency of
alien class forces and institutions as the necessary
precondition for entry of the masses onto the revolutionary
It is non$dialectical and it is schematic in the e-treme to
"eep repeating this idea that the wor"ers movement must
pass through a stage of bourgeois parliamentary when
concrete conditions show that the bourgeoisie has no
especial confidence in or patience for bourgeois
parliamentarism. 2ot only will they not fight for it
themselves, but in the general world crisis of capitalism
they find JdemocracyK unnecessarily e-pensive and
dispense with it at their earliest opportunity. Trots*y in
60A> thought )ourgeois emocracy might pro.e too
e%pensi.e e.en for the )ourgeoisie of the (!S!+! In the
concrete circumstance of the masses own discontent with
the Tha"sin dynasty to call for the restoration of the
status$quo ante is to pronounce a retreat in a revolutionary
To ma"e this criticism does not mean we re3ect correct
slogans which are easy enough to raise. In this case where
a real military coup d’Otat has ta"en place it is correct to
organi4e a revolutionary constituent assembly for the
defense and e-tension of real democratic rights and based
in the real organi4ations of the wor"ing class and the
peasant masses.
The coup shows that bourgeois democracy demobili4es the
wor"ers while the ruling class factions do deals over their
heads. The interests of wor"ers are to fight for wor"ers
democracy by mobili4ing for a .evolutionary ,onstituent
&ssembly @.,&A and !or"ers and #easant :overnment.
Still we wonder why the .,IT raises a special slogan for
the establishment of a republic. !hat would the class
character of such a republic beG &nd what does the
establishment of a republic have to do with the permanent
revolution the world has seen many dictatorships that have
been republics. The whole history of the west is littered
with them. ,onnelly’s program for a wor"ers republic in
Ireland and the Socialist .epublics of the USS. were
qualitatively different than any republic established by
capitalists. The five republics of 8rench history have
solved none of the problems of human"ind’s future
e-istence. So this is not an idle question for us. !e wonder
while reading the .,IT’s program how many stages the
wor"ers must endure before they can establish their own
In place of this call for an abstract republic we suggest that
what is needed right now are military blocs with anti$coup
d’Otat forces to defeat the coup. !e say this with the
understanding that it is only the socialist revolution that
will suppress the power not only of the army command but
of those who organi4ed the coup and for whom the army
wor"s at all times. Until bourgeois power is suppressed by
socialist revolution another military coup is always
possible as demonstrated in the modern history of
Thailand. !hat are required above all are the organi4ation
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

of wor"er and peasant councils and militia and a
convening of their delegates in a .evolutionary
,onstituent &ssembly and an indefinite general stri"e to
pull the economic rug out from under the military coup.
• Defeat the reactionary coup d39tat* Prepare for
mass demonstrations and an indefinite general
• %rgani=e workers and peasants councils"
• .orm up soldiers councils elect your own officers
and a-olish the authority of the army command
and the constitutional court*
• .or a )evolutionary Constitutional Assem-ly
controlled -y armed7 mass organi=ations of the
workers and peasants*
• )epudiate the reactionary constitution* Pu-lish all
secret treaties" The Thaksin government has a
worldwide reputation for corruptionC open the
government3s -ooks"
• .or the a-olition of the monarchy and the
esta-lishment of a workers3 and peasants3
• 5xpropriate -ig -usiness and nationali=e the
-anks* Place large industrial and service
enterprises under workers3 control* 6ationali=e the
media under workers3 control*
• 5xpropriate the -ig landowners and distri-ute the
land to the poor peasants*
• Unconditional support for the right of national self&
determination for the Muslim people of Patani in
the south of Thailand
• .or a 4orkers3 and Peasants3 8overnment*
• .or a .ederation of Socialist )epu-lics in South&
5ast Asia*
• .or a 4orld Party of Socialism*

,ra=il* ,ra=il* ,ra=il* ,ra=il*
Stop the 4orld Cup Stop the 4orld Cup Stop the 4orld Cup Stop the 4orld Cup* ,reak the Popular .ront* * ,reak the Popular .ront* * ,reak the Popular .ront* * ,reak the Popular .ront*

This is the workers -ig fight against the capitalist crisis in ,ra=il*
Down with the popular front of the PSTU etc" with the PT and the -ourgeoisie*
,uild 4orking class councils and militias to defend the class from the state forces*
.or the 8eneral Strike to unite the proletariat and to fight for a 4orkers and Peasants 8overnment*
Since the opening of the new worl crisis in B77- Bra:il e%perience a )ig hit to its economic growth
share )y all the other BC"CS e%cept China an Cussia which are rising imperialist powers an
ma*ing the other BC"CS semi3colonies! /acing the crisis the wor*ers )egan to fight against paying
for the crisis with loss of their wages an mass sac*ings! +ll wor*ers )egan to see the nee for unity,
)ut how woul that happenD /earing that wor*ers woul unite from )elow, the reformist an
centrist left parties an left )ureaucrats in the unions met the new militancy an the eman for
unity with a strategy of containment, the 4tactical unity of action9 which means unity with the
ruling )ureaucracy! But they i not e%pect that a mass mo.ement woul rise up against the Worl
Cup, at the .ery heart of the plan of the imperialists an Wor*ers# Party ?PT@ popular front regime
to ma*e the Bra:ilian wor*ers an peasants pay for the glo)al capitalist crisisE

'he bureaucrats tr. to trap or&ers into the
popular !ront /'actical unit. o! action0

The #SD/ @#arty of Socialism and /iberationA has long
demonstrated their capitulation to the popular front
government with their unity with the ruling bureaucracy in
the unions and bourgeois parties in the elections. The
#STU @United Socialist !or"ers #artyA unity with the
ruling bureaucracy began 7 years ago in the teachers union
of .io :rande do Sul, through the JTactical Unity of
&ctionK strategy of containment. It was implemented in
several union elections across the country. The e-periences
of this tactic are showing that it serves to strengthen the
bureaucracy and promotes the #STU version of the
popular front government.

The #STU went further with the JTactical unity of actionK
with the ruling bureaucracy and e-tended this tactic for a
national front in the unions, the Jspace of unity of actionK
@JespaUo de unidade de aUVoKA. This national popular front
was formed ' years ago and has won support in several
wor"shops and meetings, including that which raised the
demand against the ,up JIn the ,up, we will be fightingK
@J2a copa, vai te /utaKA. The leadership of #STU argued
that this tactic was important to unite the left. 9espite the
name, this is not unity for a specific action, but rather an
organised popular front where the groups shared a
common program of reforms tying wor"ers to the ,UT and

The ar-ist ?left’ in Bra4il, as everywhere, remains very
fragmented, but they see no problem in uniting behind the
flags of ,UT @8ederation of !or"ers UnionsA. 8or
e-ample, in education, while the government applied its
privatisation plan, the #2+ @The 2ational +ducation #lanA,
teachers were stri"ing in almost every state of the country
and ta"ing the fight nationwide was a need perceived by
all. But the bureaucracy failed to call for the unification of
stri"es. The ,UT ended up calling a stri"e for the #2+, so
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

the wor"ers were trapped again in the Jtactical unity of
actionK sponsored by the left of the popular front.

&s the class struggle intensified over this period, the more
did the treacherous left bureaucracy try to trap it in the
popular front behind the ,UT and the #T. This tactic
begun by the #STU in the union movement, eventually led
to an electoral front with the ruling party, ,ommunist
#arty of Bra4il @#,doBA in bourgeois elections in '*%' in
the city of Belem. 2ow the +S$#SD/ @ovimento
esquerda socialistaA has 3oined the left union federation
,S# ,D2/UT&S to promote the Jspace for unity of

'he #orld *up: a plan b. i"perialis" and the
national bourgeoisie to "a&e the or&ers pa.
!or the crisis
The !orld ,up brought the class struggle to a head. The
,up has deepened the class contradictions in Bra4il as the
bosses use the ,up to violently resolve the crisis by pouring
investments into here$today$gone$tomorrow infrastructure
3obs for some while smashing down wor"ing class
resistance to attac"s on their neighbourhoods, their basic
rights and their lives.

2o organisation could bring
itself to fight for the slogan
of the masses as the main
slogan of the movement in
action. The UIT)
@#SD/<,STA @Unidade
Internacional de
losTraba3adoresA supports a
general stri"e to stop the
cup, J2ao vai ter copaK @!e
will not have the ,upA, but
from inside the Jspace for
unity of actionK where it is
on the e-treme left of the
popular front. ost of the
left bureaucracy raised the slogan JIn the cup, we will be
fightingK against the masses demand J!e will not have the

This proves that the masses are far ahead of the left
bureaucrats who now struggle to contain the uprising. It
affirms that fighting Jin the cupK means aimless activity
that leaves wor"ers with no concrete tas"s. It means defeat
for wor"ers when the !orld ,up e-presses all that is
rotten and destructive about capitalism in crisis. But the
fight to stop the cup is already happening and the whole
class is demonstrating its support for this demand. Dur
tas" is to raise this slogan and to ma"e it politically

+ighting the #orld *up is part o! the global
or&ers uprising against !or the
bosses) crisis
Boining in the world uprisings in the new period of crisis,
the mass movement appeared against the !orld ,up in
Bra4il last Bune. Before it, there were some signs of the
transitional situation; teacher, construction wor"ers
stri"es all over the country, port, oil wor"ers’ stri"e,
homeless struggle, the .io de Baneiro firefighters’ uprising,
etc. In early '*%>, the youth movement against rising fares
for public transportation grew into the J,opa das
confederacoesK @8I8& confederations cupA which saw a big
surge of street demonstrations. The social media was the
"ey to building the demonstrations. The uprising was a
surprise to everybody, and nobody was prepared for it.
The slogan J2ao vai ter copaK came spontaneously from
the mass movement. No organisation gave the
slogan to the movement.

&fter the national demonstration on Bune '*th came a call
for a :eneral stri"e on Buly %
. The union bureaucracy
quic"ly united to say that this general stri"e was called by
the JrightK and JfascistsK and only they could call a general
stri"e. The central unions, ,S# ,onlutas @controlled by the
#STUA and Intersindical @controlled by #SD/A Junited in
actionK with ,UT @controlled by the government<#TA, and
other unions lin"ed to the employers and the bourgeois
@8S, U:T, 2ova central, etcA, boycotted the general stri"e,
calling for a J2ational day of struggleK on Buly %%
. The
general stri"e on Buly %
didn’t happen. But on the %%
, the
masses left the bureaucracy alone to stage its fa"e
manifestations and made a general stri"e. .io :rande do
Sul was completely stopped. any cities in the country
stopped. &fter the Bune uprising the movement 3ust grew.
Iomeless, youth, poor people from JfavelasK, proletariat,
teachers, and bus drivers
began stri"es. The stri"es of
.io de Baneiro teachers and
street$sweepers, and #orto
&legre bus drivers pro.e to
Bra:ilian wor*ers that the
main gains ha.e )een won
against the policies of the
union )ureaucracy!

In the "onth be!ore
the #orld *up e are
e;periencing a ave
o! stri&es and the
/9ao vai ter copa0
"ove"ent is groing

8or the popular movement, which is ta"ing the lead in
most protests, the slogan Jthere will be no cupK reflects the
needs of the people who are losing their homes and being
suppressed because of the ,up. 8or the labour movement
there is rising indignation and anger as the .Nbillions
spent on the !orld ,up go into the poc"ets of the rich
while toilers conditions of life and wor" only worsen. The
growing mass movement will not be limited to the ,up but
will also create a lot of popular protest in the upcoming
elections. 8or e-ample, radicalised youth li"e the self$
proclaimed 8I# @Independent #opular 8rontA that emerged
in the .io de Baneiro demonstrations last Bune @'*%>A,
raised the slogan, Jthere will be no cup or election0K

The left bureaucracy is forced to 3oin the Jthere will be no
,upK movement, proposing instead of the masses
agitation, slogans that have no tas"s for the class and
divert the fight away from the ,up. J,up for whoGK, Jif we
have no rights there will be no ,upK, Jin the world cup we
will fightK, etc. Such is the pressure from below that the left
bureaucracy, in its Jspace for united action,K will be forced
to call a general stri"e, but they have already shown that
they will try to contain it.

Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

The bureaucracy is already preparing to do so. The ,S#
,onlutas @#STUA in Jspace for unity in actionK with the
JleftK of the ,UT @,UT #ode aisA has had a national
meeting to discuss the !orld ,up. &s we have said, they
oppose the masses’ slogan Jnao vai ter copaK and call for
J2a copa, vai ter lutaK @In the world cup, will be fightA to
fight against the Jin3usticesK of the !orld ,up. They want a
clean ,up without attac"s on wor"ers and with no
corruption0 They argue that the masses slogan is too crude.
But the slogan came from the masses’ movement and
e-presses clearly their needs. 2o organisation or program
could raise this slogan because it "nows it cannot control
such a movement inside the popular front. 2ow it wants to
wea"en and contain it in a struggle to legislate for reform
of the ?in3ustices’ in the ne-t elections0

3repare !or a <eneral Stri&e,

!e must raise the
masses’ slogan and
politicise it. The general
stri"e is the way to unite
the wor"ers with the
popular movement and
the youth. It should be
lin"ed to repudiating the
national debt and the
debt for the ,up. It
should be united with the
stri"es in industry, auto,
education, construction,
etc. & general stri"e
against the ,up can be
the means to unite all the
isolated struggles. The
general stri"e is the way
to unite the wor"ing class
on the road to socialist
revolution. It ma"es
possible raising transitional demands which will allow
wor"ers to unite and organise to e-propriate i.e. ta*e )ac*
capitalist property, e-propriated from generations of
e-ploited wor"ers and peasants.

!ithin the currents stri"es, the general stri"e is already
being debated. The I!U$8I @UIT Unidad internacional de
los traba3adoresA is the first organi4ation that has called for
a general stri"e. +ven the organi4ations lin"ed with the
government have been obligated to adhere to the Jnao vai
ter copaK movement, li"e the ST, despite the government
having created the JHai ter copaK movement0 Dnly centrist
organi4ations li"e #,D @#artido da ,ausa DparWriaA which
acts as a left cover for the #T have not adhered to the Jnao
vai ter copaK movement. Unfortunately, those who call for
the current stri"es to be united and fight for a general
stri"e do not base this unity on stopping the ,up Jnao vai
ter copaK but on the reformists’ slogan Jin the cup, we will
fight,K so they continue to operate in the left bureaucratic
Jspace for unity of actionK and do not brea" from the
popular front.

This is why isolating the stri"es from the movement to stop
the ,up serves only the unity of the popular front0 8or
e-ample, the campaign of the ,,. @.evolutionary
,ommunist ,urrentA in the teachers union in Sao #aulo
calls for all the teachers to unite for a general stri"e, but
ignores the fight against the cup that can e-tend this unity
to the whole wor"ing class and ma"e a general stri"e
possible. &lready the ran"s of all those who are on stri"e,
and there are many, shout Jwe will not have the cupK and
threaten the government. Similarly, the 8/TI
@International /eninist$Trots"yist 8ractionA, calling for
unity of all struggles, focuses on the auto industry, and
ignores the mass movement against the ,up as the "ey to
uniting the whole wor"ing class behind a general stri"e.

The movement against the ,up is what unites wor"ers to
the popular movement and the youth, against the highest
e-pression of the alliance of the popular front government
with big business and imperialism ) that is the !orld ,up0
The purpose of the Jbureaucratic leftK is to divert the
masses into aimless JfightsK that go nowhere e-cept into
the upcoming elections, where they will install their
popular front in the
unions as a popular front
with the government and
#T. .evolutionaries have
a duty to e-pose the left
wings of the popular front
and replace their
treacherous leaders with a
#arty and #rogram
capable of leading the way
to socialist revolution0

#top the -orld Cup!
Brea& !rom the
opular .ront!
/epudiate the
national debt!
/epudiate the Cup
.or a li1in" wa"e2 !ree education2 health2
housin" and social securit3!
0own with the popular !ront o! the #4U with
the CU4 and 4 "o1ernment!
Unite all the wor&ers and peasants in stru""le in
a national con!erence to prepare !or a "eneral
Build wor&in" class councils and sel!-de!ence
.or a mass /e1olutionar3 art3 and
/e1olutionar3 ro"ram!
.or a 5ew -orld art3 o! #ocialist /e1olution!
E6propriate all imperialist and national
capitalist propert3!
Institute wor&ers control o! the means o!
production7 .or a national plan o! production !or
need not pro!it!
.or a -or&ers% and easants% 8o1ernment and a
#ocialist United #tates o! the $mericas!
Dnline http;<<<'*%=<*F<bra4il$
By a Bra4ilian /,, sympathi4er
Class #tru""le '() $pril-*une +(',

What We Fight For
%verthrow Capitalism
Iistorically, capitalism e-panded world$wide to free much
of humanity from the bonds of feudal or tribal society, and
developed the economy, society and culture to a new
higher level. But it could only do this by e-ploiting the
labour of the productive classes to ma"e its profits. To
survive, capitalism became increasingly destructive of
SnatureS and humanity. In the early '*th century it
entered the epoch of imperialism in which successive
crises unleashed wars, revolutions and counter$
revolutions. Today we fight to end capitalism’s wars,
famine, oppression and in3ustice, by mobilising wor"ers to
overthrow their own ruling classes and bring to an end the
rotten, e-ploitative and oppressive society that has
e-ceeded its use$by date.
.ight for Socialism
By the '*th century, capitalism had created the pre$
conditions for socialism )a world$wide wor"ing class and
modern industry capable of meeting all our basic needs.
The potential to eliminate poverty, starvation, disease and
war has long e-isted. The Dctober .evolution proved this
to be true, bringing peace, bread and land to millions. But
it became the victim of the combined assault of
imperialism and Stalinism. &fter %6'= the USS., along
with its deformed offspring in +urope, degenerated bac"
towards capitalism. In the absence of a wor"ers political
revolution, capitalism was restored between %66* and
%66'. Hietnam and ,hina then followed. In the '%sst
century only ,uba and 2orth Eorea survive as degenerate
wor"ers states. !e unconditionally defend these states
against capitalism and fight for political revolution to
overthrow the bureaucracy as part of world socialism.
Defend Marxism
!hile the economic conditions for socialism e-ist today,
standing between the wor"ing class and socialism are
political, social and cultural barriers. They are the
capitalist state and bourgeois ideology and its agents.
These agents claim that ar-ism is dead and capitalism
need not be e-ploitative. !e say that ar-ism is a living
science that e-plains both capitalism’s continued
e-ploitation and its attempts to hide class e-ploitation
behind the appearance of individual SfreedomS and
SequalityS. It reveals how and why the reformist, Stalinist
and centrist misleaders of the wor"ing class tie wor"ers to
bourgeois ideas of nationalism, racism, se-ism and
equality. Such false beliefs will be e-ploded when the
struggle against the inequality, in3ustice, anarchy and
barbarism of capitalism in crisis, led by a revolutionary
ar-ist party, produces a revolutionary class$
.or a )evolutionary Party
The bourgeois and its agents condemn the ar-ist party as
totalitarian. !e say that without a democratic and a
centrally organised party there can be no revolution. !e
base our beliefs on the revolutionary tradition of
Bolshevism and Trots"yism. Such a party, armed with a
transitional program, forms a bridge that 3oins the daily
fight to defend all the past and present gains won from
capitalism, to the victorious socialist revolution. 9efensive
struggles for bourgeois rights and freedoms, for decent
wages and conditions, will lin" up the struggles of wor"ers
of all nationalities, genders, ethnicities and se-ual
orientations, bringing about movements for wor"ers
control, political stri"es and the arming of the wor"ing
class, as necessary steps to wor"ersR power and the
smashing of the bourgeois state. &long the way, wor"ers
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.
.ight for Communism
,ommunism stands for the creation of a classless, stateless
society beyond socialism that is capable of meeting all
human needs. &gainst the ruling class lies that capitalism
can be made SfairS for all1 that nature can be SconservedS1
that socialism and communism are SdeadS1 we raise the
red flag of communism to "eep alive the revolutionary
tradition of theR ,ommunist anifesto of %C=C, the
Bolshevi"$led Dctober .evolution1 the Third ,ommunist
International until %6'=, the revolutionary 8ourth
International up to %6=* before its collapse into centrism.
!e fight to build a new, 8ifth, ,ommunist International,
as a world party of socialism capable of leading wor"ers to
a victorious struggle for socialism.

Class Struggle is the bi-=onthl. paper o! the Communist orkers! "roup o!
9e >ealand/(otearoa5 in a ?iaison *o""ittee o! *o""unists ith Communist
orkers! "roup 1@S(2 and #evolutionary orkers! "roup 1>i"babe2
*lass Struggle and "ost articles are online at"
3hone A64 02B2C000C0
7"ail cg200BDhot""
(rchive o! publications be!ore 2006 http://co""unistor&"/

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