Category: Imperialism
Modern imperialism goes on trial, and is found guilty
| February 4, 2018 | 2:19 pm | Imperialism | No comments

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/417776-imperialism-ireland-event-liberal/

Modern imperialism goes on trial, and is found guilty

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Modern imperialism goes on trial, and is found guilty
Imperialism – which today is usually referred to by the euphemism ‘liberal interventionism’ – went on Trial at the Waterside Theatre in Derry, Northern Ireland this week.

Five passionate and well-informed speakers, who included the former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, detailed the carnage and chaos that has been unleashed around the globe by the aggressive, warmongering policies of the US and its closest allies.

The event could have been called ‘War on Trial.’ It might have been called ‘Regime Change on Trial.’ Or ‘Economic Sanctions on Trial.’ But it was – thanks to organizer Gregory Sharkey – called ‘Imperialism on Trial’ and, as the first speaker, the writer and broadcaster John Wight declared, that in itself was highly significant.

For the truth is the ‘I’ word is the elephant in the room in contemporary discourse. We’re not supposed to acknowledge its existence. Imperialism, according to the dominant Establishment narrative, ended when the European empires gave their colonies independence in the 1950s and 60s. In fact, the ‘old’ imperialism was only replaced by a new variant which is even more destructive, and certainly more dishonest. At least the British Empire admitted it was an empire.

Today’s US-led neoliberal empire, which has Britain as its junior partner, does no such thing. Entire countries have been destroyed, with millions killed, and it’s been done under a ‘progressive’ banner trumpeting concern for ‘human rights’ and ‘enhancing freedoms.’

In an electrifying address, Wight lambasted the pro-imperial propaganda to which we are relentlessly subjected to in the West. How absurd is it, he asked, that NATO troops are on Russia’s borders, while Russian troops have been fighting in Syria the same ISIS/Al-Qaeda terrorist groups who have been killing British citizens back home? Citing Marx, Wight reminded the audience of how the ideas of the ruling class become the dominant ideas, and the demonization of Russia is a classic example of this. Ordinary Britons don’t regard Putin as a ‘threat’ as they go about their daily business, but they do – rightly – regard the terrorist groups that Russia has been fighting as a danger to them. But the ruling class hate Russia because it has thwarted its imperial ambitions.

Wight said that opponents of imperialism should never go on the back foot when confronted by supporters of criminal wars of aggression, such as the Iraq War – which has led to the deaths of around 1 million people and the rise of ISIS. He mentioned that these people hate the fact that there are now alternative media channels such as RT which challenge the dominant neocon/neoliberal narrative.

“Alternative media and those who go on it are under attack because they have the temerity to ask the most subversive question in the English language which is: Why? Why did we go to war in Iraq? Why are there sanctions on Cuba? Why are we going after Iran but are close friends with the Saudis? This question is so powerful. We are attacked because we ask the question, why? I am reminded of the African proverb that until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. Now with the alternative media, the lions have their historians. We can put the case for the Syrian people; we can put the case for the Venezuelan people; we can put the case why Russia should not be our enemy.”

Speaking next, Peter Ford, the former British Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain, drew on his firsthand experience of many years as a diplomat and UN official based in the Middle East, to explain the current geopolitical situation.

“People who are not regular readers of the Morning Star might be forgiven for thinking that imperialism ended when the colonies became free. Nothing could be further from the truth. We now have a new more insidious but more powerful form of imperialism – one which hides behinds words in order to extend its hegemony. Expressions like ‘protecting our allies,’ ‘countering weapons of mass destruction’ or ‘defending human rights’ – and this one applies as much to the left as the right.”

“We on the left have to be particularly alert to ‘liberal interventionism’: this is actually the new version of ‘carrying the white man’s burden,” Ford continued. “In each case we are intervening in less developed parts of the world which are generally not able to strike back. Consider the appalling war in Yemen – one of the poorest and weakest countries in the world. It used to be a British colony but independence has not made it free. When the Yemenis dared to get rid of their pro-Saudi government, the Saudis, with British and American backing, started bombing and blockading Yemen. Conditions under siege and bombardment have led to a terrible epidemic of cholera.”

Any genuine humanitarians would be greatly concerned with the dire situation in Yemen, but guess what? The ‘liberal interventionists’ who egged on ‘humanitarian interventions’ elsewhere have been silent.

Looking at the global picture, Ford described how the US Empire operates.

“The Americans have nearly 800 bases around the world, spread over about 70 countries and territories. You show me a country with an American base and I’ll show you a de facto colony or vassal state. It’s almost mediaeval: You have to pay homage to the sovereign – America. That is our (the British) condition today. We are equivalent to a vassal state,” he said.

In my address, I stressed how important it was to see the US-led attacks, interventions and destabilization campaigns against sovereign states of the past 20 years as part of the same war, one waged for total global domination. Independent, resource-rich countries usually with socialist/socialistic governments and economies which weren’t controlled by global corporations, have been targeted, one-by-one. In each case, the leaders of the countries concerned were relentlessly demonized. They were called dictators, even though in the case of Hugo Chavez and Slobodan Milosevic they had won numerous democratic elections and operated in countries where opposition parties freely operated.

The ‘target states’ were subject to draconian sanctions which created economic hardship and a ‘pressure cooker’ environment, which usually resulted in street protests against the government, egged on by the US. The governments were then told ‘the world is watching you’ and ordered not to respond, even when violence was used by protestors. The same strategy was deployed in Yugoslavia in 2000, Ukraine in 2014, and Venezuela in 2017. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we had a full-scale invasion (based on the ‘fake news’ that Saddam possessed WMDs) and in Libya (and Yugoslavia) a NATO bombing campaign.

There has been endless war for the past twenty years and it won’t end until we understand what’s been going on and demand a new foreign policy in place of the current racist one which holds that the US and its closest allies have the right to say who should or shouldn’t be in charge of other countries, but denies the same rights to the ‘inferior’ countries targeted.

Intrepid journalist Eva Bartlett, who had travelled all the way from Canada, came next and began by describing her experiences in the DPRK, another country that’s under threat of attack from the US.

“Many people believe that what is happening in North Korea is about a madman with a bad haircut and an itchy finger on the nuclear button. But no, it’s not about Trump,” she said to laughter from the hall.

Bartlett told how we’re encouraged to see North Korea as a threat but no context is usually given, nor is there mention of the utter devastation caused by US bombing back in the 1950s. Down the decades, there have been regular threats from leading US figures to obliterate North Korea.

“What the North Koreans are doing is defending themselves,” Bartlett said.

Having seen what has happened to Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and other countries targeted by the US in recent years, who can possibly blame them?

In addition to visiting the DPRK in 2017, Bartlett has also been to Syria seven times since the conflict started there in 2011. She described her experiences in the country and explained how the situation on the ground was often very different from the dominant imperialist narrative which holds the Syrian government and President Assad responsible for every evil. She gave as an example the liberation of eastern Aleppo from terrorists in December 2016, which was portrayed as a terrible thing by much of the Western media and the political establishment.

“Corporate media described Aleppo as falling, while Syrians were celebrating the full liberation of the city and Christians were able to celebrate Christmas for the first time in years,” she said.

The final speaker of the evening was the legendary George Galloway who dazzled us with his oratory, humor, and sheer bloody brilliance. Galloway quoted Dr. Samuel Johnson, saying that “the grimmest dictatorship of them all is the dictatorship of the prevailing orthodoxy. And that’s the dictatorship under which we live. We can argue about the color of the paint on the walls of Westminster, but on the things that really matter the parameters are very narrow. Neoliberal economics and neoconservative imperialist politics abroad – that’s the prevailing orthodoxy. So anyone who challenges it must by definition be portrayed as – and turned into – an outlaw. Isn’t that the world in which we live?”

Reminding people on the pivotal role the Soviet Red Army had played in the defeat of the Nazis, he declared “we live in an era where we’re encouraged to hate and fear Russia. But I will never, ever hate Russia and remain silent while others generate hate against her.”  

At time of writing the video of Imperialism on Trial on the RTUK Facebook page

has had 35K views. The event was such a success that a ‘Roadshow’ is already being planned. The ‘I word’ needs to be openly discussed. Because if we don’t speak out forcefully and fearlessly against modern imperialism, and call it out for what it is, we could well be heading for Armageddon.

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Political event for the 100 years of the KKE held in Piraeus: “Capitalism- imperialism are the past – the KKE fights for a new world”
| January 22, 2018 | 8:38 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Imperialism | No comments

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Political event for the 100 years of the KKE held in Piraeus: “Capitalism- imperialism are the past – the KKE fights for a new world”

http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/01/political-event-for-100-years-of-kke.html
“A century of struggle and sacrifice, the KKE in the vanguard”. Under this slogan, hundreds of workers, self-employed people, pensioners, trade unionists, students, people of sports and arts participated in the political event held on Monday evening in Piraeus, in honor of the 100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Greece.
The event, which was organised by the Party’s Central Committee, took place at the Piraeus’ Municipal Theatre, just a few metres from the historic building when, on November 1918, the founding congress of SEKE (Socialist Labour Party of Greece), later KKE, was held.
The General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, was the major speaker, presenting the Declaration of the Central Commitee for the Party’s 100 years which was published on “Rizospastis” on Saturday 13th January. The event also included a magnificent cultural performance dedicated to the 100 years of the KKE’s existence and activity.
Dimitris Koutsoumbas, the KKE General Secretary, began his speech by saying: “We are welcoming you in Piraeus, the city where the KKE was born in 1918, since it is here where the 1st founding Congress of the Socialist Labour Party of Greece (SEKE), which was later renamed into Communist Party of Greece, took place”.
“We are completing 100 years of struggles and sacrifices, remaining the only actually new party of the Greek society” said Koutsoumbas, adding:
“Because the KKE is the only party that fights for the definite abolition of the exploitation of man by man. In honor of the 100 years since the founding of the KKE, we will give all our powers for the Party to achieve even wider, deeper, stronger ties with the working class, the Greek people. We will give all our powers so that, with powerful Party Organisations, the struggle for the overthrow of the barbarity of capitalist power, for socialism, to be strengthened”.
In a powerful speech, Dimitris Koutsoumbas refered to both the heroic past of the Communist Party, as well as to the current political developments, sending a message of struggle for the future.
“Capitalism, imperialism are the past. The KKE fights for the new world.”
Photos from 902 portal.
Hands Off Syria! TKP and Turkey’s Peace Committee condemn Erdogan’s Afrin operation in Syria

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hands Off Syria! TKP and Turkey’s Peace Committee condemn Erdogan’s Afrin operation in Syria

http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/01/hands-off-syria-tkp-and-turkeys-peace.html
In a statement published on January 21st, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) condemns the military operation of Erdogan’s government against Syria. Noting that Syria has long been turned into an arena for the bloody games of the imperialist powers, and that the AKP government of Turkey has sought ways to integrate in these imperialist projects, TKP underlined that the Turkish AKP government’s recent military operation in Syria has “nothing to do with any national interest or security issue of Turkey.”
TKP reminded that Turkey is an allied NATO member and pointed to the hypocrisy of the AKP government for not “questioning the military existence of NATO in Turkey, but arguing about a threat in Syria.”
Saying that AKP’s operation serves imperialist plans aiming to divide Syria, TKP underlined that the people of Turkey “cannot be deceived with heroism or nationalist demagogy. Syria must be cleared of imperialist projects, interest conflicts between big powers and the fundamentalist powers of the region. It is the Syrian people who will do this.”
 
 
Baris Dernegi: No to foreign intervention in Syria!
From her side, the Peace Committee of Turkey (Baris Dernegi) has issued a statement condemning the so-called Afrin operation of the Turkish military forces in Syria:
The Afrin operation of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has nothing to do with our country’s national interests. This operation is a new link of Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) interventions against the sovereignty of Syria.
Attacks of imperialist-sponsored reactionary forces have turned the country into a bloodbath and displaced millions of Syrian people since 2011. Although the jihadist gangs were largely repelled, the recent developments prove that all powers are the enemies of stability and peace in Syria.
Liquidation of the Islamic State is not enough; it is apparent that peace will not be achieved until the Syrian people take full control of the country and all foreign powers withdraw.
Turkey’s attack with the consent of the U.S.A. and Russia is illegitimate, reinforcing the partition of Syria in the service of imperialism. AKP’s anti-American discourse is completely demagogic.
Escalating nationalism and chauvinism go along with TSK’s intervention, while warmongering is rising and war is attempted to be legitimatised through a religious discourse. It is necessary to reject this policy that functions as divisive not only in Syria but also in Turkey.
Various entities supported by the U.S.A. are pointed out as a threat. All U.S. attempts are extremely serious threats for all peoples of the region, particularly for Syria and Turkey. All policies paving the way for imperialism are anti-people.
It is necessary to put an end to all foreign interventions in Syria immediately and unconditionally. Imperialism and all big powers should leave Syria alone, and the people should determine their future themselves.
We call on all neighbouring and peace-loving people to unite against imperialism and reaction.
Macedonia naming dispute: Commentary by the KKE General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas
| January 20, 2018 | 10:14 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Imperialism | No comments

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Macedonia naming dispute: Commentary by the KKE General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas

http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/01/macedonia-naming-dispute-commentary-by.html

In an interview to “Real FM” radio on Friday 19th January, the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas was asked about the ongoing developments in the naming dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Below you can read abstracts from D.Koutsoumbas’ answers to the questions regarding this matter:

 
“It is clear that during this period, the Greek government and to a certain degree the government of Skopje as well, are facing powerful pressures for a solution in the naming issue, especially from the side of the USA and NATO. These powers are keen for the accession of FYROM in NATO because, as well know, the contradictions and competitions, especially in the Balkans, are very intense.
 
Large economic interests are clashing and Russia does not want to lose its influence that traditional has in the Balkan region and the USA are interested to abstract countries from Russia’s influence and to integrate them in the so-called euroatlantic axis, NATO and the EU. […] For that reason, according to our opinion, the nomenclature is preceded disconnected from the other issues. Its not that the name issue is not an existing matter, but I think we must get out of this sterile nomenclature.
A firm position of the KKE since 1992 was that the term “Macedonia”- if used in the name of the neighboring republic- must have a strictly geographical determination and on the same time- thats is why we are saying that we must get away with nomenclature- particular importance must be given to guarantees, to prerequisites for a solution that will be far from irredentisms, nationalisms, chauvinisms; a solution which will defend the sovereign right of the country, away from borders changes.
 
(And) of course, according to the KKE, all these issues must be disconnected from the accession of the neighboring republic in NATO or in any other imperialist alliance. After all, these organisations, according to the KKE’s historical experience and view, are the basic sources of “divide and conquer” in the region, of borders’ redrawing, which of course can be done only through war, that is with the people’s blood.
 
From this point of view we believe that nationalist demonstrations aren’t necessary, as they were not necessary in 1992, especially today.”
 

Regarding the irredentist aspirations of nationalist groups in Skopje, the General Secretary of the KKE underlined the importance of this matter for the Party.

The guarantees for our borders, the overall international borders of the Balkans, are the needed changes in the constitution of FYROM, that they must recognize- and guarantee -that there is no issue of macedonian minority. And I am saying this because that is the way to find out that there is not any kind of assertion towards our country or any other country. Under no circumstances should there be irredentist goals for a “Macedonia of the Aegean”.

We are also completely against- and that must be combined with tha name issue- the assignation of our relations with neighboring countries to powers like the USA, other powers of the EU and NATO which are responsible for the situation in the region, for the dissolution and the bombing of Yugoslavia, for the rise of nationalism, fascism, chauvinism. Of course, we are doubly concerned by the fact that the current Greek government moves towards the solution of the name-dispute under the pressure of NATO, for the quick accession of the former Yugoslav Republic in NATO’s “wolves-alliance” on July.”
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
V.I. Lenin- The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War
| January 9, 2018 | 8:59 pm | Imperialism, Leon Trotsky, V.I. Lenin | No comments

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

V.I. Lenin- The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/vi-lenin-defeat-of-ones-own-government.html
Vladimir I. Lenin – The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War.
Published in Sotsial-Demorkrat No. 43, July 26, 1915.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1974], Moscow, Volume 21, pages 275-280
Republished from Marxists Internet Archives.
 
During a reactionary war a revolutionary class cannot but desire the defeat of its government.
This is axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless satellites of the social-chauvinists. Among the former, for instance, is Semkovsky of the Organising Committee (No. 2 of its Izvestia), and among the latter, Trotsky and Bukvoyed,[2] and Kautsky in Germany. To desire Russia’s defeat, Trotsky writes, is “an uncalled-for and absolutely unjustifiable concession to the political methodology of social-patriotism, which would replace the revolutionary struggle against the war and the conditions causing it, with an orientation—highly arbitrary in the present conditions—towards the lesser evil” (Nashe Slovo No. 105).
This is an instance of high-flown phraseology with which Trotsky always justifies opportunism. A “revolutionary struggle against the war” is merely an empty and meaning less exclamation, something at which the heroes of the Second International excel, unless it means revolutionary action against one’s own government even in wartime. One has only to do some thinking in order to understand this. Wartime revolutionary action against one’s own government indubitably means, not only desiring its defeat, but really facilitating such a defeat. (“Discerning reader”: note that this does not mean “blowing up bridges”, organising unsuccessful strikes in the war industries, and ·in general helping the government defeat the revolutionaries.)
The phrase-bandying Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue. It seems to him that to desire   Russia’s defeat means desiring the victory of Germany. (Bukvoyed and Semkovsky give more direct expression to the “thought”, or rather want of thought, which they share with Trotsky.) But Trotsky regards this as the “methodology of social-patriotism”! To help people that are unable to think for themselves, the Berne resolution (Sotsial DemokratNo. 40)[1] made it clear, that in all imperialist countries the proletariat must now desire the defeat of its own government. Bukvoyed and Trotsky preferred to avoid this truth, while Semkovsky (an opportunist who is more useful to the working class than all the others, thanks to his naively frank reiteration of bourgeois wisdom) blurted out the following: “This is nonsense, because either Germany or Russia can win” (Izvestia No. 2).
Take the example of the Paris Commune. France was defeated by Germany but the workers were defeated by Bismarck and Thiers! Had Bukvoyed and Trotsky done a little thinking, they would have realised that they have adopted the viewpoint on the war held by governments and the bourgeoisie, i.e., that they cringe to the “political methodology of social-patriotism”, to use Trotsky’s pretentious language.
A revolution in wartime means civil war; the conversion of a war between governments into a civil war is, on the one hand, facilitated by military reverses (“defeats”) of governments; on the other hand, one cannot actually strive for such a conversion without thereby facilitating defeat.
The reason why the chauvinists (including the Organising Committee and the Chkheidze group) repudiate the defeat “slogan” is that this slogan alone implies a consistent call for revolutionary action against one’s own government in wartime. Without such action, millions of ultra-revolutionary phrases such as a war against “the war and the conditions, etc.” are not worth a brass farthing.
Anyone who would in all earnest refute the “slogan” of defeat for one’s own government in the imperialist war should prove one of three things: (1) that the war of 1914-15 is not reactionary, or (2) that a revolution stemming from that war is impossible, or (3) that co-ordination and mutual aid are possible between revolutionary movements in all the   belligerent countries. The third point is particularly important to Russia, a most backward country, where an immediate socialist revolution is impossible. That is why the Russian Social-Democrats had to be the first to advance the “theory and practice” of the defeat “slogan”. The tsarist government was perfectly right in asserting that the agitation conducted by the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group in the Duma—the sole instance in the International, not only of parliamentary opposition but of genuine revolutionary anti-government agitation among the masses—that this agitation has weakened Russia’s “military might” and is likely to lead to its defeat. This is a fact to which it is foolish to close one’s eyes.
The opponents of the defeat slogan are simply afraid of themselves when they refuse to recognise the very obvious fact of the inseparable link between revolutionary agitation against the government and helping bring about its defeat.
Are co-ordination and mutual aid possible between the Russian movement, which is revolutionary in the bourgeois- democratic sense, and th  socialist movement in the West? No socialist who has publicly spoken on the matter during the last decade has doubted this, the movement among the Austrian proletariat after October 17, 1905,[3] actually proving it possible.
Ask any Social-Democrat who calls himself an internationalist whether or not he approves of an understanding between the Social-Democrats of the various belligerent countries on joint revolutionary action against all belligerent governments. Many of them will reply that it is impossible, as Kautsky has done (Die Neue Zeit, October 2, 1914), thereby fully proving his social-chauvinism. This, on the one hand, is a deliberate and vicious lie, which clashes with the generally known facts and the Basle Manifesto. On the other hand, if it were true, the opportunists would be quite right in many respects!
Many will voice their approval of such an understanding. To this we shall say: if this approval is not hypocritical, it is ridiculous to think that, in wartime and for the conduct of a war, some “formal” understanding is necessary, such as the election of representatives, the arrangement of a meeting, the signing of an agreement, and the choice of the day   and hour! Only the Semkovskys are capable of thinking so. An understanding on revolutionary action even in a single country, to say nothing of a number of countries, can be achieved only by the force of the example of serious revolutionary action, by launching such action and developing it. However, such action cannot be launched without desiring the defeat of the government, and without contributing to such a defeat. The conversion of the imperialist war into a civil war cannot be “made”, any more than a revolution can be “made”. It develops out of a number of diverse phenomena, aspects, features, characteristics and consequences of the imperialist war. That development is impossible without a series of military reverses and defeats of governments that receive blows from their ownoppressed classes.
To repudiate the defeat slogan means allowing one’s revolutionary ardour to degenerate into an empty phrase, or sheer hypocrisy.
What is the substitute proposed for the defeat slogan? It is that of “neither victory nor defeat” (Semkovsky in Izvestia No. 2; also the entire Organising Committee in No. 1). This, however, is nothing but a paraphrase of the “defence of the fatherland” slogan. It means shifting the issue to the level of a war between governments (who, according to the content of this slogan, are to keep to their old stand, “retain their positions”), and not to the level of the struggle of the oppressed classes against their governments! It means justifying the chauvinism of all the imperialist nations, whose bourgeoisie are always ready to say—and do say to the people—that they are “only” fighting “against defeat”. “The significance of our August 4 vote was that we are not for war but against defeat,” David, a leader of the opportunists, writes in his book. The Organising Committee, together with Bukvoyed and Trotsky, stand on fully the same ground as David when they defend the “neither-victory nor-defeat” slogan.
On closer examination, this slogan will be found to mean a “class truce”, the renunciation of the class struggle by the oppressed classes in all belligerent countries, since the class struggle is impossible without dealing blows at one’s “own” bourgeoisie, one’s “own” government, whereas dealing a   blow at one’s own government in wartime is (for Bukvoyed’s information) high treason, means contributing to the defeat of one’s own country. Those who accept the “neither victory-nor-defeat” slogan can only be hypocritically in favour of the class struggle, of “disrupting the class truce”; in practice, such people are renouncing an independent proletarian policy because they subordinate the proletariat of all belligerent countries to the absolutely bourgeois task of safeguarding the imperialist governments against defeat. The only policy of actual, not verbal disruption of the “class truce”, of acceptance of the class struggle, is for the proletariat to take advantage of the difficulties experienced by its government and its bourgeoisie in order to overthrow them. This, however, cannot be achieved or striven for, without desiring the defeat of one’s own government and without contributing to that defeat.
When, before the war, the Italian Social-Democrats raised the question of a mass strike, the bourgeoisie replied, no doubt correctly from their own point of view, that this would be high treason, and that Social-Democrats would be dealt with as traitors. That is true, just as it is true that fraternisation in the trenches is high treason. Those who write against “high treason”, as Bukvoyed does, or against the “disintegration of Russia”, as Semkovsky does, are adopting the bourgeois, not the proletarian point of view. A proletarian cannot deal a class blow at his government or hold out (in fact) a hand to his brother, the proletarian of the “foreign” country which is at war with “our side”, without committing “high treason”, without contributing to the defeat, to the disintegration of his “own”, imperialist “Great” Power.
Whoever is in favour of the slogan of “neither victory nor defeat” is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; at best he is a conciliatory petty bourgeois but in any case he is an -enemy to proletarian policy, a partisan of the existing ·governments, of the present-day ruling classes.
Let us look at the question from yet another angle. The war cannot but evoke among the masses the most turbulent sentiments, which upset the usual sluggish state of mass mentality. Revolutionary tactics are impossible if they are not adjusted to these new turbulent sentiments.
What are the main currents of these turbulent sentiments? They are: (1) Horror and despair. Hence, a growth of religious feeling. Again the churches are crowded, the reactionaries joyfully declare. “Wherever there is suffering there is religion,” says the arch-reactionary Barr s. He is right, too. (2) Hatred of the “enemy”, a sentiment that is carefully fostered by the bourgeoisie (not so much by the priests), arid is of economic and political value only to the bourgeoisie. (3) Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie—the sentiment of all class-conscious workers who understand, on the one hand, that war is a “continuation of the politics” of imperialism, which they counter by a “continuation” of their hatred of their class enemy, and, on the other hand, that “a war against war” is a banal phrase unless it means a revolution against their own government. Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie cannot be aroused unless their defeat is desired; one cannot be a sincere opponent of a civil (i.e., class) truce without arousing hatred of one’s own government and bourgeoisie!
Those who stand for the “neither-victory-nor-defeat” slogan are in fact on the side of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists, for they do not believe in the possibility of inter national revolutionary action by the working class against their own governments, and do not wish to help develop such action, which, though undoubtedly difficult, is the only task worthy of a proletarian, the only socialist task. It is the proletariat in the most backward of the belligerent. Great Powers which, through the medium of their party, have had to adopt—especially in view of the shameful treachery of the German and French Social-Democrats— revolutionary tactics that are quite unfeasible unless they “contribute to the defeat” of their own government, but which alone lead to a European revolution, to the permanent peace of socialism, to the liberation of humanity from the horrors, misery, savagery and brutality now prevailing.
Notes
[1] See p. 163 of this volume.—Ed.
[2] Bukvoyed-D. Ryazanov.
[3] This refers to the tsar’s manifesto promulgated on October 17 (30), 1905. It promised “civil liberties” and a “legislative Duma”. The manifesto was a concession wrested from the tsarist regime by the revolution, but that concession by no means decided the fate of the revolution as the liberals and Mensheviks claimed, The Bolsheviks exposed the real meaning of the Manifesto and called upon the masses to continue the struggle and overthrow the autocracy.
The first Russian revolution exerted a great revolutionising influence on the working-class movement in other countries, in particular in Austria-Hungary. Lenin pointed out that the news about the tsar’s concession and his manifesto, with its promise of “liberties”, “played a decisive part in the final victory of universal suffrage in Austria”.
Mass demonstrations took place in Vienna and other industrial cities in Austria-Hungary. In Prague barricades were put up. As a result, universal suffrage was introduced in Austria.
‘Iran Does Not Bow: This is Its Real Crime in the Eyes of Western Ideologues’
| January 8, 2018 | 9:13 pm | Analysis, Imperialism, Iran | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201801061060554634-iran-western-ideologies/

‘Iran Does Not Bow: This is Its Real Crime in the Eyes of Western Ideologues’

Pro-government demonstrators march in Iran's holy city of Qom, some 130 kilometres south of Tehran, on January 3, 2018

‘Iran Does Not Bow: This is Its Real Crime in the Eyes of Western Ideologues’

© AFP 2017/ Mohammad ALI MARIZAD
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John Wight
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That Iran is not a free country is a self-evident truth. How could it possibly be free when it exists in the crosshairs of US imperialism?

In this respect, Iran shares the same status as Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Russia, and China – in other words it is one of a select group of countries that do not kowtow to the diktat of ‘Rome’. For strip away the obfuscation, the dissembling words proffered by the usual parade of well fed and handsomely remunerated Western ideologues, and the only reason, the single reason that Iran is being depicted as a “terrorist state” in which human rights are non-existent, is because under its current government it refuses to bow to Washington or its vassals in western Europe and the region itself.

This is not to suggest that the protests that have broken out across Iran have no basis in legitimate grievances. As British journalist and Middle East correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, points out in a recent article, “grievances [in Iran] are similar to those in other oil states where there is long-suppressed anger against corruption and inequality. Youth unemployment was 28.8 percent last year. The nuclear deal with the US and other major powers in 2015 reduced sanctions, but has not produced the benefits that many expected. A 50 percent increase in the price of fuel was announced in the budget in December. Egg and poultry prices recently rose by 40 percent.”

As night follows day, sudden price hikes of this magnitude are guaranteed to bring those impacted out onto the streets — and understandably so. People’s ability to survive, to feed themselves and their families, is a fundamental right that any government impedes or undermines at its peril. The problem for an economy such as Iran’s is that while it may assert political and geopolitical independence, they exist in a neoliberal economic reality, trading in a global marketplace dominated by economic nostrums devised in and which emanate from Washington.As such, until Iran, along with its other dissenting counterparts, makes a decisive break with neoliberalism, which by necessity also means breaking with the dollar as the international reserve currency, it will always be vulnerable to global economic downturns and shocks, such as occurred back in 2008. More crucially, it will be vulnerable to the machinations of dollar diplomacy, whether delivered via Washington directly, or indirectly via the IMF or World Bank. Ultimately, there can be no independence from the ‘Rome’ until there is independence from its currency.

Neoliberalism is the economic arm of US hegemony. Yet as an economic model it has been completely discredited as a result of the 2008 financial crash and ensuing global economic depression. The so-called Arab Spring of 2011, which morphed into an Arab winter with the eruption of Salafi-jihadism in Libya and Syria, was the product of this aforesaid crisis in neoliberalism. And in the Middle East, one of the most serious symptoms of this crisis has been the very youth unemployment that has bedeviled Iran. This particular social malaise was indeed a key factor in the tumultuous events that engulfed Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria back in 2011.Compounding Iran’s economic problems has been the sanctions regime imposed on it by Western governments, led of course by Washington. The much-heralded P5+1 nuclear deal, reached in 2015 between Tehran and member states of the UN Security Council plus Germany, is considered to have been the landmark achievement of Obama’s foreign policy, trading the lifting of economic sanctions in return for the guarantee that Iran’s nuclear development program would remain non-military in its objectives.

READ MORE: Peaceful Pro-Government Demonstrations Take Place in Iran — Reports

But lest we lapse into any romantic illusions when it comes to Obama’s tenure in the White House, we are obliged to recall that prior to the agreement the Obama administration had done its utmost to derail Iran’s nuclear program by nefarious means. US author and historian, Perry Anderson, reveals how the Obama administration “launched a massive joint US-Israeli assault on Iranian computer networks to cripple the development of its nuclear programme. A blatant violation of what passes for international law, the projection of the Stuxnet virus was personally supervised by Obama.”

This episode of US and Israeli covert actions in Iran, which also included the assassination of Iranian scientists working in the country’s nuclear program by the Israelis, should be borne in mind when we read various commentators dismissing out of hand allegations by the current Iranian government of Western involvement in the wave of demonstrations that have taken place during the current crisis. Too, no serious analysis of Iranian affairs today can abstract the role of the joint US-UK covert operation, Operation Ajax, that was mounted to topple the country’s democratically elected president, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953 in response to his decision to nationalize the country’s oil.

Replacing Mossadegh was Washington’s placeman the Shah. Over the next three decades Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to give the Iranian dictator his real name, set about plundering the country’s wealth for the enrichment of himself and his own, whilst keeping dissenting voices in check with his dreaded secret police and domestic security service, known by its acronym SAVAK, whose methods were a by-word for savagery even in a region where security services are notorious for their brutality. The point is that this history of Western imperialist intrigue in Iran and its internal affairs must be factored into the current crisis, as well as the overall state of the country’s development if we are to arrive at anything approximating to an accurate rendering.

Returning to the P5+1 deal, rather than the result of any Obamaesque reaching out to a former enemy, it was the product of realpolitik, recognition that Iran was just too tough a nut to crack militarily or by dint of economic sanctions, and that the received truth embraced by every US administration since the Iranian revolution of 1979 – namely that the Islamic Republic was a mortal enemy whose overthrow and destruction was non-negotiable – was no longer viable.However in Donald Trump we are dealing with probably the most capricious US president in history, whose animus towards the Islamic Republic — to the manifest delight of both the Saudis and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu — is all-consuming. Trump has made known his opposition to the P5+1 deal, and at his behest, the US Treasury reintroduced sanctions against Iran, which came on stream in July.

READ MORE: US Sanctions Five Iran-Based Entities as Key Parts of Ballistic Missile Program

The reasoning for the new tranche of sanctions has been given as “Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity. Iran continues to support terrorist groups such as Hizballah (sic), Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that threaten Israel and stability in the Middle East. Iran has maintained its steadfast support for the Assad regime, despite Assad’s atrocities against his own people.”

In the upside-down world that passes for reality in Washington, we are expected to believe that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism when in truth its role in combatting terrorism in the region has been crucial. Sorry guys but such base and transparent solecisms simply will no do. And neither will the blatant attempt to turn the UN Security Council into a rubber stamp of US foreign policy.The day that Trump’s otherworldly UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, blatantly abused the Security Council, scheduling a debate on events in Iran during which she took the opportunity to unleash a barrage of condemnation against the country’s government, irony died. Fortunately, Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, was on hand to deliver a righteous slapdown. “If your logic is to be followed,” he told Haley, “Security Council meetings should have been called after the well-known events in Ferguson, Missouri, or when violence was used against Occupy Wall Street demonstrations on Manhattan.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution: Message of the CC of the KKE to the Communist Party of Cuba

Friday, December 29, 2017

59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution: Message of the CC of the KKE to the Communist Party of Cuba

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/59th-anniversary-of-cuban-revolution.html
On the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) send to the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) the following message:
 
Athens, 29 December 2017.
 
Dear comrades,
 
we are delivering to you our comradely regards for the 59th anniversary of the victory of the Revolution in Cuba which created the first free territory in the american continent, liberated from imperialist repression and capitalist exploitation.
 
The KKE over time has practically expressed its internationalist solidarity with the Revolution and the people of Cuba. We condemn the measures and the anti-cuban rhetoric of the Trump government and criticize the insidious undermining policy of the EU. We support the struggle of your people for the removal of the criminal blockade of the USA, for the closure of the american base of Guantanamo, for the respect of the cuban people’s sovereign right to determine its own future.
 
Cuba, with the benefit of socialist construction, the aid of the USSR and the socialist countries and the internationalist solidarity of the world’s people, resisted the attacks of imperialism, having unprecedented achievements by the standards of the region’s countries and beyond.
 
The victory of the Cuban Revolution consisted a source of inspiration for the oppressed of the whole world. It confirmed the viability of marxism-leninism, of the revolutionary struggle and proletarian internationalism against defeatism and subjection to the negative correlation of force, against parliamentary and reformist illusions which were tormenting the labour movement. It (Cuban Revolution) will always remain in the heart of the working class and the people who are struggling for their liberation from capitalist exploitation and imperialist barbarity.
 
The Central Committee of the KKE”.
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.