Monday, March 25, 2013

The ABC of Bourgeois Politics

Written by Zoltan Zigedy   
From the Russian Revolution until the demise of Soviet and Eastern European socialism, one dominant, uncompromising and persistent theme has obsessed ruling elites in the capitalist world and their allies: Anything but Communism (ABC). The ABC doctrine has led to the seemingly contradictory consequence of “champions” of democracy and human rights embracing anti-Communist despots and torturers. It has led the same celebrated values to be compromised in capitalist countries by the violent repression of Communists, leftists, and workers.
The doctrine has placed arbitrary limits on the rights of self-determination for any emerging nation daring to flirt with a non-capitalist path. And when Communism threatens to breach the barriers constructed by the capitalist class, that class resorts to the most extreme form of Anything but Communism: fascism.

For the left, ABC has often appeared to be an insurmountable hurdle to the goal of peoples’ power and socialism. Too often the task of overcoming ABC overwhelms the advocates of socialism, leading to compromise, concession and ideological dilution. Certainly, many of the formerly powerful Communist Parties of Western Europe succumbed to this lure.

The self-described Euro-Communists, especially, hoped to convince their opponents that they were reliable and docile contestants unworthy of the class hatred embodied in ABC. They thought that by demonstrating their fealty to bourgeois standards of political conduct and by donning the trappings of civil parliamentarians, they would win the respect of their class foes.
But the illusion of acceptance through “historical compromise” and electoral coalition proved to be just that—an illusion. Today, these parties have thoroughly demonstrated their “trustworthiness” by totally abandoning Communism for tepid class-neutral reformism.

ABC and Syriza

In the wake of the twenty-first-century crisis of capitalism, the need for a revolutionary movement of peoples’ power and socialism becomes both more apparent and more urgent with every passing day. The material conditions of most poor and working people have sunk to a level demanding far more radical solutions than those offered by the traditional bourgeois parties. Their failure to correct, or even address, the harsh deterioration of mass living standards over the last five years confirms their political irrelevance.

Nor are the romantic and spontaneous movements of the recent past of any use in the face of the ravages of a capitalist economic, social, and political crisis. Subcommandante Marcos or the leader-eschewing leaders of the Occupy movement are incapable of combating the ravages of a wounded capitalism despite the enthusiasm and encouragement of much of the US and European left.

Indeed, the objective conditions call for an organized movement determined to overthrow capitalism and replace it with peoples’ rule and the construction of socialism.

Yet the US left and much of the European left are still captured by the mentality of Anything but Communism. They subjectively hope to manage capitalism and yearn to return to the pre-crisis world of life-style advocacy, promotion of social harmony and tolerance, and incremental social welfare; they imagine class struggle without class conflict; and they share the make-believe hope of class justice without class domination.

This hope is found in the most recent celebrity of the Greek party, Syriza, and its attractive and agreeable leader, Alexis Tsipras. Syriza embodies the delusions of the US and European soft-left in the post-Soviet era: it advocates a noisy but vacuous anti-capitalist posture attached to a program of “enlightened” management of capitalism.

Like its forebears in Social Democracy and Euro-Communism, it offers to appease the bourgeoisie while promising a distant goal with no more clarity than that of William Blake’s poetic Jerusalem.

Tsipras reveals the timidity and conservatism of the Syriza program in two recent documents: an interview with Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal published as a glowing opinion piece (The Conscience of a Radical) on January 28, 2013 and an article authored by Tsipras in Le Monde Diplomatique (The Greek Revival Plan, February 16, 2013).

The WSJ interview occurred when Tsipras visited New York to “meet with think-tank scholars, journalists and International Monetary Fund officials, and to be dined at the State Department,” to quote Stephens. It is hard to envision anyone frightening capitalism while maintaining this itinerary.

As the friendly Stephens noted: “It definitely amused me to meet him in the breakfast room at his hotel, the Helmsley Park Lane on Central Park South. Not exactly the cafeteria of the proletariat.”

The trusted spokesperson for monopoly capital, Stephens, found much to like in the spokesperson for Syriza. He concludes that: “If the radical in Syriza means a party capable of thinking for itself and posing the right questions, maybe the right answers won’t be far behind.”

Apart from this ringing endorsement, what answers does Tsipras offer to the growing devastation of Greece and the capitalist crisis?

Tsipras assures Stephens that he advocates neither a default on Greek debt nor an exit from the euro zone.
Instead, Syriza is committed to a “conference” with the European Union to discuss negotiating a restructuring of Greece’s debt (Tsipras writes of the “public debt” though he also calls for the recapitalization of Greek banks, presumably mainly private banks).

The model for this maneuver is the 1953 conference called to renegotiate the debt of the Federal Republic of Germany (Tsipras fails to acknowledge that there were two Germanys in 1953!) where 21 countries agreed to reduce the FRG debt and invoke less onerous terms. Unsaid in his proposal is the Cold War context of the 1953 conference.
Conferees remembered well the consequences for the world of the heavy reparations and debt imposed on Germany after World War I. They were equally anxious to draw the FRG into the Cold War (the FRG joined NATO IN 1955) and in need of the FRG’s growing industrial might. Nothing remotely like these considerations weighs on the other EU members in deciding Greece’s fate today.

But how would Syriza secure such a conference today? By moral suasion? By calling on historical parallels? Neither would move EU leaders or their Central Bankers to participate in a plan that they would perceive as disordering financial markets.

To believe so is to vastly misunderstand the logic of contemporary capitalism. There is something remarkably naïve in believing that the Greek crisis can be solved by merely calling a conference of EU leaders.

Tsipras, in both his interview and article, blames Greece’s sorry state on corruption. He does not place the capitalist system, the capitalist crisis, inequality, or any other systemic element or process in Syriza’s sights; rather, he sees Greece declining because of corruption and cronyism.

Surely the leader of a “radical left” party must recognize that capitalism breeds corruption just as surely as it generates crisis. Corruption is an inevitable byproduct of capitalism and will reappear and expand as long as capitalism exists. To attack it, one must attack capitalism.

But there is no attack on capitalism in Tsipras’ or Syriza’s plans. Instead, there is “…breaking with the past… working for social justice, equal rights, political and fiscal transparency—in other words, democracy.”

Fine. But these broad slogans are not socialist. They are not even anti-capitalist. In fact, they could be embraced easily by Social Democrats in Europe or even Democrats in the US.

For those who were quick to condemn the Greek Communists (KKE) for not joining with Syriza in an electoral coalition, Tsipras’ and Syriza’s program should cause pause to reconsider.

Like previous appeasers of Anything but Communism, Syriza trades on its differences with Communists. It offers a pledge of fidelity to the bourgeois rules of the game. Like other appeasers, it sacrifices principled advocacy of socialism to political expediency, a sacrifice that gets us no closer to peoples’ power or to socialism.
Once Syriza is compelled to come forth with a program, it is impossible to locate a common ground with revolutionary Communists.

Tackling global capitalism—essential to reversing the continuing devastation of this deep and profound crisis—requires more than a conference and a series of slogans. Real solutions are not to be found with those promising to guide capitalism out of an inhuman crisis of its own making.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Anti-Fasict AEK Fans

The goal celebration of the AEK football player, Giorgos Katidis, when he raised his outstretched right hand, reminiscent of a Nazi salute, has provoked intense reactions in Greece. The Press Office of the CC of the KKE, in its comment on the footballer’s Nazi salute, stresses that: “The behaviour of the AEK player and his Nazi salute provokes all the fans and the Greek people. It insults the memory of the millions of victims of Nazism, of the athletes who fought against Nazism in our country as well, who were even brought before the firing squads. It is important for this act to be denounced by the players of the team, by their colleagues across the whole spectrum of sports and above all that it be denounced by the fans of AEK and the other teams. The friends of AEK, with their historical memory of being refugees and being driven from their homes, as well as all fans, must isolate and cast out the fascist parasites, which act and use the rotten sports and the teams controlled by the big businessmen, in order to spread their Nazi poison.” The other political parties of the country also denounced this act, with the exception of Golden Dawn, which saluted this event, while after the reaction that was provoked the player stated that he regretted it and did not know what he had done etc. In their statement the organized fans of AEK denounced this act, noting amongst other things: “To give a fascist salute…. CANNOT BE FORGIVEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Our ancestors as well as our history of being refugees and our anti-fascist values … are turning in their graves! You are not much of a player and not much of a person in the final analysis! You are now unwanted and a marked man amongst us! Your tears do not convince us… neither do your excuses! The collaborators with the Nazis, the traitors and the servile, i.e. all those who saluted in the same way before you did, made the same excuses. History does not forget them! WE, THE GREAT FAMILY OF AEK, OF THE REFUGEES AND HUMAN VALUES, WILL NEVER FORGET!”

The Imperialist Pyramid


A. Papariga
General Secretary of the CC

The 19th Congress of the KKE will take place on 11-14 April 2013. Its main subject besides the review of the activity and the duties of the party until the 20th Congress is the elaboration of the Programme of the Party and its Statutes.
Among the issues that opportunism stirs up against our party is our assessment (which of course is not new, it is mentioned in the current programme which was elaborated at the 15th Congress in 1996) that Greek capitalism is in its imperialist stage of development, has an intermediate position in the international imperialist system, with strong dependencies on the USA and the EU.
It attacks the position that the struggle for the defense of the borders, sovereign rights of Greece, from the viewpoint of the working class and the popular strata, is inextricably linked with the struggle for the overthrow of capital’s power. The Greek people should not defend the war plans of the one or the other imperialist pole, of the profitability of the one or the other monopoly group.
The KKE has significant experience which absolutely confirms the Leninist position about the link between imperialism -as the highest stage of capitalism- and opportunism in the labour movement, an issue which of course is not related merely to Greece but to all capitalist countries. It is not a coincidence that the economic essence of imperialism, which is the monopoly with its characteristic features, is underestimated or put aside by the communist parties which have adhered to opportunism either before or mainly after the victory of counterrevolution in the socialist countries.

The opportunist view on imperialism and the denial of the existence of the international imperialist system (imperialist pyramid)

The term imperialism has become very fashionable recently, in Europe and in Greece, among forces which did not use this term that frequently or that easily in the previous years. The problem is that imperialism is being promoted as something different and discrete from capitalism, as a political concept detached from the economic basis, a position which was combatively advocated by the father of opportunism, Kautsky. Amongst other things, opportunism proves to be incapable of modernizing itself, it regurgitates Kautsky, resorts to anti-scientific arguments, focuses deliberately on the surface and not on the essence. It is not in its interest and as a consequence it cannot see the total picture of the world capitalist economy in its international mutual relations. Whoever does not want to understand the economic essence of imperialism and on this basis to see the ideological political superstructure, is exonerating it, supporting it, fostering illusions among the workers and the people’s masses that there is both good and bad capitalism, good and ineffective bourgeois management. In the final analysis opportunism desires a capitalist society without its alleged deviations, labeling as a deviation the very laws of the capitalist economy and their consequences. It conceals from the peoples the class essence of war which it criticizes from a moral point of view due to its tragic consequences. It fosters the illusion that capitalism can establish peace if the principles of equality and freedom are imposed, the political understanding between the rival capitalist counties, if rules are placed on capitalist competition.
Opportunism, reformism is repeating the most old, aged and outdated position as if it is something innovative namely that imperialism is identified with the military aggression against a country, with the policy of military interventions, blockades, with the effort to revive the old colonial policy. In Europe the opportunists identify imperialism with Germany and what they call the dogmatic authoritarian liberal viewpoint. The policy of the USA under the Obama administration is considered to be progressive due to its partial differences with its competitor Germany over the management of the crisis or it is considered to be imperialist only in relation to Latin America. The effort of the bourgeois class of France for instance or Italy to deal with the competition with German capitalism is regarded as progressive. The basic position of opportunism in Greece is that the country is under German occupation, that it is being transformed or has been transformed into a colony and is being plundered primarily by Mrs. Merkel, the creditors. The triad of the representatives of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF which supervise and determine the management of the internal or external debt, the fiscal deficits is seen as the main enemy apart from Germany itself. They accuse the bourgeois class of the country and the governmental parties as being treacherous, unpatriotic, subordinate and subservient towards Germany, the creditors or the bankers.
They accuse the KKE regarding our assessments concerning Greek capitalism in the international imperialist system while they do not accept its existence. They consider that Greece is a country occupied chiefly by Germany and above all that the regime is neo-colonial.
They use arbitrarily the assessment of Lenin in his well-known work IMPERIALISM THE HIGHEST STAGE OF CAPITALISM that a handful, a very small number of states plunder the vast majority of the states across the globe. As a consequence imperialism is being identified with a very small number of countries, which can be counted in the fingers of one hand while all the others are subordinate, oppressed, colonies, occupied due to their subservience to the liberal viewpoint.
Today there are few countries which are at the summit , in the first positions of the international imperialist system (it is illustrated with the schema of a pyramid in order to show the various levels occupied by the capitalist countries) a handful of countries one could say according to the Leninist expression. But this does not mean that all the other capitalist countries are victims of the powerful capitalist states, that the bourgeois class of most countries has submitted to the pressure, despite its general interest that it has been corrupted. It does not mean that the struggle of the peoples must be directed against Germany in Europe while in the American continent it must have a direction merely against the US. It is not a coincidence that the opportunists in Greece present Brazil and Argentina as positive examples for the overcoming of the crisis, that they extol the policy of Obama.
Their persistence in denying the existence of the imperialist pyramid namely the existence of international imperialist system (talking about a very small number of countries which can be characterized imperialist mainly due to their hegemonic position and their ability to decide on the launching of a local or general war) is not at all accidental or a product of a mistaken view but conscious. Their willingness to undertake responsibilities in a bourgeois government to manage the crisis arises from this.
The main thing is that they defend the existence of a stage between capitalism and socialism, with the clear purpose on the one hand of ensuring that the working class will give up the struggle for working class power and on the other, to promise that in the distant and unspecified future capitalism will be transformed peacefully with reforms and without sacrifices into socialism, their own “socialism” where capitalist ownership will coexist with some forms of self-management.
We underline that when they talk about an independent and dignified Greece that resists Ms Merkel, they clarify that Greece must remain in the EU as a member-state while they expect NATO to dissolve itself and hence Greece to disengage from the dependencies and the military-political commitments imposed by it.
They argue that Greece, always as an EU and NATO member-state can seek loans, credits, investments from other states such as the USA, Russia and China while they consider that the governments of Brazil and Argentina achieved the liberation of their people from the IMF. As if the investments of these states are not based on the achievement of the maximum possible profit and the utilization of cheap labour power , on the long-term utilization of the local natural resources and raw materials until their exhaustion.
They even argue that the capitalist restoration in the socialist countries abolished the Cold War and that the world has become better because it is multi-polar namely it has many centers and new forces. Nevertheless, they “forget” the fact that these new “centres” and “forces” are based on the development of the capitalist relations of production, on the dominance of monopolies in economy namely that we are dealing with new rising imperialist forces. As a conclusion, the world has not become better, more hopeful as there is no longer the contradiction between imperialism and socialism as the apologists of capitalism claim.

Opportunism justifies its downward spiral by interpreting quotations from Marx and Lenin in an arbitrary manner
Due to the existence and activity of the KKE and mainly due to their adventurous tactics to appear as substitutes of the communist movement they invoke in a fragmented way phrases of Lenin and even of Marx and Engels in order to accuse our party of abandoning scientific socialism.
Today it is absolutely necessary to remind ourselves of several basic elements of the Leninist concept of imperialism which have been confirmed as well as to highlight the developments which are being accelerated and make even more imperative than before the identification of the anti-imperialist struggle with the anti-capitalist one. The response to capitalism is not the, amongst others, impossible return to the capitalist period of free competition, of the scattered capitalist companies but the necessity and timeliness of socialism, the acquisition of readiness in the conditions of the revolutionary situation. Of course this readiness cannot compromise with opportunism in the daily struggle.
Even if we imagine the unconceivable, i.e. that it is possible to return to the capitalism of free competition, this will inevitably lead again to the birth of monopolies. The big companies carry inside themselves the tendency to become monopolies. Marx had already clarified that free competition gives birth to the monopoly.
History shows that monopolies as a result of the concentration of capital, as a basic law of the contemporary stage of capitalism are the general tendency all over the world and that they can coexist along with pre-capitalist forms of economy and ownership. At the end of 19th century the economic crisis accelerated the creation of monopolies as all the cyclical economic crises accelerated the concentration and centralization and the emergence of powerful monopolies, the reproduction of competition at a higher level. The emergence of monopolies and their development, their expansion and penetration is not taking place in all countries simultaneously, not even in neighbouring countries, but it definitely occurs in the same way, with capital export which prevails over the export of commodities. The emergence and strengthening of monopolies, even if they are restricted to several sectors at a national level, causes anarchy in the capitalist production as a whole. This was particularly characteristic in the 20th century and up to the present day and in the imbalance of industrial and agricultural production, the imbalance regarding the development of the various industrial sectors. The imbalance is not related merely to sectors of production but also the imbalance in the implementation and utilization of technology. The policy of plundering, the policy of annexations, the policy of transforming states into protectorates, the policy of dismembering states is not a result of political immorality on the part of the strong imperialist, nor is it an issue of subservience and cowardice on the part of the bourgeois class of the country that experiences dependencies but an issue of capital export and unevenness at national and international level which is inherent in capitalism.
Greece is one of the characteristic examples which of course has a universal value because the phenomenon is not merely Greek. Our country has significant productive potential which was selectively developed in the course of capitalist development while the assimilation of the country in the EU and generally its relation with the global capitalist market led to an even bigger restriction of the utilization of its resources. We note briefly that Greece has significant energy resources, considerable mineral resources, industrial and agricultural production, crafts i.e. resources that can cover a large part of the people’s needs in nutrition, energy, transport, construction of public works, infrastructure people’s housing. Agricultural production can support industry in various sectors. Nevertheless , as a result of the crisis and the whole course of the assimilation in the imperialist pyramid, Greece has been downgraded even further, it is dependant on imports while the Greek products remain unsold and are buried.
It is a feature of capitalism that shows the consequences of capitalist ownership and the capitalist competition both at European and global level.

Like Kautsky contemporary opportunism divides capital into separate sections, it focuses its criticism on one of its forms
We remind ourselves that Kautsky regards as enemy merely a section of capital, industrial capital which follows an imperialist policy and attacks primarily on rural areas and thus it creates an imbalance between the development of industry and agriculture. It is an allegedly structural deviation. The contemporary opportunists are supporting almost the same positions focusing their criticism merely on the banking system, the bankers, banking capital without taking into account –although they present themselves as Marxists- the merging of banking and industrial capital. The imbalances which manifest themselves even in powerful capitalist developed countries among the various sectors and branches are attributed to irrationality or to a tendency for speculation which they consider to be immoral as they make a distinction between profitability and speculation.

But the position that capital export was directed exclusively to rural areas was not borne out even in the period when Kautsky was at the height of his glory. In that period too the policy of the so called annexations that used finance capital as a lever affected industrial areas as well. If capitalism in its imperialist stage supported all the development potential of every country it wouldn’t have this level of capitalist accumulation so as to export capital and plunder the natural resources and the working class of large number of countries which were bound together with a variety of relations, of dependence and interdependence.
The invocation of patriotism in order to justify the strategy of the bourgeois class to take the biggest possible share from the re-division in conditions of a relentless imperialist competition
The opportunists and the nationalist parties in Greece are crying out that the bourgeois class the Greek state and the bourgeois parties are not patriotic, but treacherous. In reality the bourgeois class in our country as well as its parties are very well aware of the fact that the accession in an imperialist union is preferable, even under unequal conditions, because only in that way they can claim a part of the loot, and hope for an external political-military support in case that the system begins to shudder and the class struggle rises, so that they can break the movement with the assistance of the military mechanisms of the EU and NATO. The patriotism of the bourgeois class is identified with the defense of the rotten capitalist system.
In conditions when the inter-imperialist and the global contradictions lead to a military conflict then the Greek bourgeois class will have to choose which powerful imperialist power to side with , on the side of which imperialist alliance it will fight alongside for the division of the markets, in the hope of taking even a small part.

It is impossible for the bourgeois class to defend the sovereign rights for the benefit of the people, it will do this exclusively for its own interest. It will even ignore its own particular interests so as not to lose its power, so that it holds onto it for as long as possible.

The theory regarding a handful of dominant countries
When Lenin spoke about a handful of countries that plunder a large number of countries, he was highlighting with many examples and details, a variety of forms of looting regarding colonial, semi-colonial and non-colonial countries. A small number of countries are found at the summit of the pyramid, as finance capital (one of the 5 basic characteristics of capitalism in its imperialist stage as the merger of banking and industrial capital) spreads its tentacles to every country in the world.
The position regarding a “handful of countries” defines various forms of relations between the capitalist countries which are characterised by unevenness, this is what the pyramid describes in order to illustrate the global capitalist economy.
Above all, Lenin clarified that imperialism is monopoly capitalism, it is the global capitalist economy, it is the prologue for the socialist revolution in every country.
Lenin clarified the characteristics of imperialism: concentration of production and capital, merger of banking and industrial capital and the creation of a financial oligarchy, the export of capital, the formation of international monopoly unions. It does not deal with the policies of annexations and dependencies from a moral aspect nor is it a phenomenon which reflects a certain political view within the framework of the bourgeois political system, something which the opportunists systematically treat it as being. Imperialism is connected in international relations directly with the emergence of finance capital in the imperialist stage of capitalism and its dire necessity to continuously expand the economic terrain and beyond the national borders, with the aim of driving out competitors. The displacement of competitors can take place more easily through colonization, as well as through the transformation of a colony into an independent political state so that the capitalist country-metropolis will leave and another capitalist power emerging via the export of capital and direct foreign investments will take its place. A significant and extremely illustrative example was the difference in stance between the colonialist Britain and the emerging Germany as an imperialist power.
The re-division of the world at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century which Lenin referred to was between the strongest capitalist countries, but the other capitalist states were not at all uninvolved and passive regarding the game concerning the distribution of the markets and the formation of the generally negative correlation of forces. The strong capitalist countries divided up not only the colonies but also the non colonized countries, while next to the major colonial powers there were small colonial powers via which the new colonial expansion began. Indeed he mentioned small states that maintained colonies, when the large colonial powers could not agree over the division.
Indeed Lenin stressed that the colonial political line also existed in pre-capitalist societies, but that what distinguishes the capitalist colonial policy is that it is based on the monopoly. He underlined that the variety of relations between the capitalists states in the period of imperialism become a general system, they are part of the entirety of the relations in the division of the world, they are transformed into links in the chain of the actions of global finance capital. The relations of dependence and the looting of the raw materials appear at the expense of non-colonized countries, i.e. states with political independence even more so than in the period referred to by Lenin.
After the Second World War and the formation of the international socialist system, out of necessity there was the maximum rallying of imperialism against the forces of socialism-communism and its aggressiveness intensified, as well as its multifaceted economic, political and military expansionism. Under the impact of the new correlation of forces the dissolution of the French and British colonial empires rapidly began. The strongest capitalist states were forced to recognise the independence of the nation states, under the pressure from the national independence movements which enjoyed the many-sided support and solidarity of the socialist countries, of the labour and communist movement.
In the post-war period, a series of countries were not fully incorporated into the military-political and economic unions of imperialism, as they had the possibility of forming economic relations with the socialist countries, despite the fact that the correlation of forces remained in favour of capitalism. The variety of relations, interdependencies as well as obligations in the framework of the global capitalist market is borne out once again.
In the last decade of the 20th century the situation started to change, as a result of two factors which interact but also have their own relative autonomy. The now mature and strongest capitalist countries, which are at the top of the pyramid, with of course a different historical starting point but with the same strategic aim, follow a different pro-monopoly political line, particularly under the impact of the economic capitalist crisis in 1973. The contemporary strategy for supporting capitalist profitability, in conditions of emerging competition and more rapid internationalization, abandons the neo-keynesian formulas which were useful especially in countries which had suffered from the destruction of war. It proceeds with extensive privatizations, strengthens the export of capital, ceases and gradually abolishes concessions it had made particularly social ones, with the aim of curbing the labour movement which was influenced by the gains of socialism and mainly to buy off a part of the working class and intermediate social strata.

This is demonstrated by the fact that the contemporary pro-monopoly political line has a global character, and is not related to a contingent form of management but a strategic choice, as anti-worker and anti-people measures are being taken to deal with the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, in nearly all the countries, and not just in the EU, but beyond it, including Latin America. The measures which aim at abolishing working class gains are being taken both by liberal and by social-democratic governments, both by the centre-right and by the centre-left.
The capitalist restoration provided the opportunity for imperialism to unleash a new wave of attacks with less resistance, with the assistance of opportunism which had strengthened, while new markets were formed in the former socialist countries. A result was that the unity of the leading powers against socialism relaxed, something which had previously relegated the contradictions between them into the background. A new round of inter-imperialist contradictions flared up for the division of new markets, which resulted in the wars in the Balkans, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. States, which are not incorporated into the imperialist inter-state unions, took part in these wars, proof that the imperialist exists as a global system, and all the capitalist countries are incorporated in it, even countries with elements of backwardness and remnants of pre-capitalist economic forms. The leading powers are at its summit, there is a tough competition between them and whatever agreements they come to have a temporary character.
At the end of the 20th century there were three imperialist centres as they were formed after the World War, the European Economic Community which later became the European Union, the USA and Japan. Today the number of imperialist centres has increased, while new forms of alliance have also emerged such as the alliance centred on Russia, the alliance of Shanghai, the alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS), the alliance of the countries of Latin America ALBA , MERCOSUR etc.
The capitalist countries at the summit are not the only ones that implement an imperialist political line, the ones at the lower levels also do, even those which have strong dependencies on the stronger powers as regional and local powers. For example, Turkey is such a power in our region today, as well as Israel, Arab states and such forces through which monopoly capital acquires new terrain in Africa, Asia, Latin America, as a consequence we have the phenomenon of dependency and inter-dependency.
The dependency and interdependency of the economies are not of course equal and are determined by the economic strength of each country as well as certain other military-political elements, according to the particular bonds of an alliance.
And even if one or several countries are at the highest level and are the leaders in capitalist internationalization, in the re-division of markets, they do not cease to exist in a regime of interdependence on other countries. For example, Germany may be the leading power in Europe but its exports of capital and industrial commodities are dependent on the capacity of the European countries and China to absorb them. Already due to the crisis this capacity is starting to be limited, and for this reason the leading circles of the government and sections of the bourgeoisie especially in industry are concerned and thinking hard.
The course of the US economy is dependent on China to a great extent as well as on the opposed interests in the EU. The battle of the dollar, euro and yen is visible.
It is noted in the theses of the 19th Congress that the tendency for the correlation of forces to change amongst the capitalist states is also reflected by the shares of the various countries in the capital flows in the form of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) as well as in the capital stocks in the form of the DFIs which have flowed in.
The number of states is increasing which are regional powers, satellites of strong imperialist powers, countries which play a particular role in the alliance and partnership policy of the various powers in the pyramid. The inter-imperialist contradictions are in effect in every form of alliance, and all these multi-facetted relations, which embrace every capitalist country in the world without exception, constitute the imperialist pyramid.

Our reference to this does not at all imply that we agree with positions concerning “ultra-imperialism”, as some mistakenly accuse us of. On the contrary! We always highlight that inside the imperialist system, which we liken to a pyramid, strong contradictions continue to develop and manifest themselves between the imperialist states, the monopolies for the control of raw materials, the transport routes, the market shares etc. The bourgeoisie can form a joint front for the most efficient exploitation of the workers, but it will always sharpen the knives, when there is imperialist “plunder” to be divided up.
Another ridiculous accusation is that the reference to a “pyramid” is a “structuralist approach” to imperialism. Lenin as is very well-known had used the schema of the “chain”. The schema which we sue on every occasion is a way for us to help the workers understand the reality of imperialism as monopoly capitalism, capitalism which is rotting and dying, in which every capitalist country is incorporated based on its strength ( economic, political, military etc.). Something of course, which comes in to clear conflict with the so-called “cultural approach” towards imperialism, which like Kautsky did, detaches the political line of imperialism from its economy. As Lenin stressed, such an approach will lead us to the mistaken assessment that the monopolies in the economy can co-exist with a non-monopoly, non-violent, non-predatory manner of activity in politics.
Uneven development becomes even more apparent not only between the strongest capitalist countries in comparison to the weaker ones and also in the hard core of the strongest countries. It is characteristic that in Europe the chasm between Germany on the one hand and France-Italy on the other is widening. But the most important and characteristic phenomenon is the reduction of the shares of the USA, EU and Japan in the Gross World Product. The Eurozone no longer maintains the second position, it has fallen to third place, while it has been replaced by China in second place. The share of China, India in the Gross World Product has increased while the shares of Brazil, Russia and South Africa remain stable.
As regards the capital which constitutes the FDI stock, the trend for the strengthening of capital originating from or heading to the emerging economies of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is strengthening. China is being reinforced as a destination for DFIs, and its share is being strengthened in relation to FDI inflows, particularly after the outbreak of the capitalist crisis in 2008. As an exporter of capital it is increasing its participation in the global FDI outflows, which it doubled in the years 2007-2009 and has maintained high levels since.
In contrast the share of the developed capitalist economies related to the inflow and outflow of capital in the form of FDIs is tending to be limited, after the outbreak of the crisis. Of course, They did not lose their primacy (maintaining a distance from the countries of the previous group) as in the middle of the crisis, the lion’s share is directed to or originates from the USA and the countries of the EU.
A similar trend has been formed regarding the shares of the import and export of commodities. The strengthening of China’s share has been stable regarding the entirety of commodity exports as well as imports. The corresponding share of India has been strengthened but at a much slower rate, while Russia, South Korea and South Africa are moving in a consistently upward trend.
The only member-states of the OECD which outstrip the USA in productivity (volume of production per time unit) are Norway, Ireland, Luxembourg and Germany, while France, Belgium and Holland are approaching it.
It is underlined in the theses of the 19th Congress that the changes in the correlation of forces between the capitalist states increases the possibility of a total repositioning of Germany regarding the issue of Euro-Atlantic relations and the realignment of the imperialist axes. Decisive factors for this development are on the one hand the relations of inter-dependence of the EU-USA economies, on the other hand the competition between the euro and dollar as international reserve currencies and the strengthening of the cooperation between Russia and China.

On the position of Greece in the imperialist system
Those who talk of subordination and occupation do not acknowledge the export of capital from Greece (a characteristic feature of capitalism in the imperialist stage), which was significant before the crisis and continues undiminished in the conditions of the crisis. The export of capital is being carried out for productive investments in other countries and of course in European banks until conditions are formed so that they can re-enter the process of ensuring the maximum possible profit. They see a shortage of capital and not over-accumulation.
They do not see the issue of over-accumulation because they will be forced to admit the character of the capitalist economic crisis, something which blows to smithereens their pro-monopoly political proposal. The bourgeois parties as well as the opportunists, despite the various differences they have, support the safeguarding of the competitiveness of the domestic monopolies which inevitably brings the reactionary restructurings to the forefront, ensuring cheaper labour power, intensification of state intimidation, repression and anti-communism, and at the same time particularly focus on expanding Greek capital in the wider region (the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea area). This is amongst other things a vicious circle which leads to a new and deeper crisis cycle.
Lenin and his work on imperialism adds that the comparison cannot be made between developed capitalist countries and backward capitalist countries but between capital exports, an issue which opportunists everywhere do not want and do not dare to acknowledge because their view regarding the occupation of Greece, that Greece is a colony, is refuted by this criterion alone.
All this evidence confirms from this standpoint that the contemporary struggle must have an anti-monopoly, anti-capitalist direction, in no instance can it only be anti-imperialist with the content the opportunists give to this term, who identify imperialism with an aggressive foreign policy, with war, with the so-called national question – detached from class exploitation, from the relations of ownership and power.
It is a fact that the accession of a country into an imperialist inter-state alliance, and indeed one with a very advanced form such as the EU, limits certain capabilities for tactical manoeuvres on the part of the bourgeois class. It minimizes, for example, the margins and the options for handling monetary policy as this is subject to the jurisdiction of the European Central bank. But this issue is not only related to the period of the crisis, as they had signed it a long time ago, 20 years before the outbreak of the crisis in the Eurozone., agreements between the member-states according to which they consciously cede nation-state rights, the primacy of European law is recognized regarding many issues, irrespective of the fact that the Eurozone, more generally the EU does not have a federal form. And this is precisely the trend which is expressed by the class interest of the bourgeoisie for the promotion of elements of federalization of the EU in the instance when the related inter-imperialist disagreements are overcome.
The situation in Africa, in regions of Eurasia and the Middle East bear out the fact that all the capitalist countries are incorporated in the international imperialist system, irrespective of whether they have the ability to carry out their own expansionist political line. In any case, both the 20th and the 21st century demonstrate that even the USA, the first imperialist power cannot independently handle global imperialist affairs if it does not have the multi-facetted assistance and support of its allies, if it does not at least make temporary alliances. Greece is not just a member-state of the EU and NATO, a country which has an alliance of strategic importance with the USA, due to its geographical position, which is found where the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa meet, it constitutes a significant military launching pad and supply base for military operations, a country oil and gas pipelines pass through or nearby. Through the entire 20th century and the 21st when it was necessary for it to contribute to military operations and the maintenance of the imperialist peace, and with the provision of its military forces, as was the case in the wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, it demonstrated readiness, and in the instance that a military operation is carried out against Syria.
Consequently the position of the KKE that Greece belongs to the imperialist system, is organically incorporated and plays an active role in the war as an ally of the leading players is absolutely vindicated. This is the choice in the interests of the bourgeoisie that has twice invited British and US imperialism to smash the armed people with military forces, weapons and direct military operations.
The contemporary opportunists when they want to underline the need for their own bourgeois class not to be the poor relation in the division of the markets, remember the national question, however when the issue is the struggle for socialism they then proclaim that either socialism will be global or that it cannot be realized in one country, they eliminate the national terrain of struggle, i.e. they excommunicate the need to sharpen the class struggle, the need for the subjective factor to be ready in the revolutionary situation.
The struggle for the liberation of man from every form of exploitation, the struggle against the imperialist war, cannot possibly have a positive development, when it is not combined with the struggle against opportunism. Regardless of the political strength of opportunism in each country, it must not be under-estimated or judged using parliamentary criteria, as the root of opportunism is to be found in the imperialist system itself, because the bourgeoisie when it sees that it cannot stably manage its affairs supports opportunism as a widespread view and as a political party, in order to buy time, to regroup the bourgeois political system, to undermine the stable rise of the revolutionary labour movement. The concentration of forces, the alliance of the working class with the poor strata of the self-employed due to the objective conditions must develop in a stable anti-monopoly anti-capitalist direction, to be directed towards the acquisition of working class power. The anti-monopoly anti-capitalist direction expresses the necessary but advanced compromise between the interest of the working class in abolishing every form of capitalist ownership, large, medium, small and the wavering strata due to their nature (because of their position in the capitalist economy) which have an interest in the abolition of the monopolies, socialising the concentrated means of production, while at the same time they are permeated by the illusion that they have an interest in small-scale private ownership, they cannot understand that both their medium-term and long-term interests can be served by socialist power. The illusion that any other compromise can succeed in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, i.e. the imperialist stage of capitalism, is damaging, utopian, ineffective.
The KKE in the conditions of a non-revolutionary situation seeks not only to prevent the downward spiral, not only to win even some temporary concessions, but to prepare the subjective factor, i.e. the party, the working class and its allies for the realization of its strategic tasks in a revolutionary situation. In these conditions, which cannot be predicted in advance, the deepening of the economic crisis must be taken into account, the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions which reach the point of military conflicts, it is possible that such pre-conditions and developments will be created in Greece. In the conditions of the revolutionary situation, the role of the organizational and political readiness of the vanguard of the labour movement, the Communist Party, is decisive for the rallying and revolutionary orientation of the majority of the working class, especially of the industrial proletariat, to attract the leading sections of the popular strata.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

For the new USA Strategy in the World

Dr. Marie Nassif – Debs
Deputy Secretary General of LCP
Barak Obama's, the president of USA, in the beginning of his second presidential election, in January 21-2013, is still urging a lot of discussions, predictions… about the priorities of new USA administration for the coming four years.
In this field so many questions could be asked but in general all of them go round two titles, which are: Will Obama and his new administration limit their concern to find solutions to the crises that are storming his country, and in the capital system in general, after failing, till now, in driving it away, which was due to all the military adventures that took place in the first period of the third millennium and cost, as being reported, more than two trillion American dollars? Or he may go back to follow the famous "Wilson's Fourteen Points", which was implemented at the end of World War I (1918) a form of "International mandate" to manage the regions that are colonized or under control, mainly in Middle East, and distributing this mandate among the allies of USA, at that time, Britain and France, while USA was gradually extending its influence and control over the world?
USA Intelligence report about the "Global trends 2013" and Wilson's Fourteen Points:
No doubt that the imperialist USA, with the exception of its formal victory over Bin Laden, lost many wars from Iraq to Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear issue… also it is not able, till now after two years, to confirm its counter attacks on the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt or holding the cards of Latin America, even it achieved some progress lately in imposing its "peace" Africa or the region, which is named "Asia – pacific". These two regions are forming, today and tomorrow, an entrance to amend its critical economic situation.
Adding to all that the end period of mono - polar system, which came after falling of the socialism experiment which was achieved in USSR, and the emergence of "BRICS" (in specific Russia and China) we can say, as some over optimistic analysts say, that the leadership of Washington is over and the economical prediction of Paul Kennedy in his book "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000" started to be true and USA became on the edge of the cliff… specially that "Global Trends 2030" report, which was published by CIA last year, indicates to  the quick regression in what called "American peace" which was dominating since 1945 till today, in a world its population is 8.3 billion inhabitants, aging is a common feature, global warming, nutrition problems, water problems…  all will lead to a new sort wars.
All of these do not mean, unfortunately, close ending to imperialism especially that the radical opposite side did not form its headlines yet, and BRICS does not form an alternative to establish more humanitarian and social justice system.
Three basic conclusions in Obama's foreign policy:
So the reading must be deep and careful to the reality of the USA foreign policy. It must not be read only from Obama’s speech in the beginning of his second presidential period, and not only from “Global trends 2013” report but also it must be read from the field movements and military and economic agreements that USA is signing in more than one region and on more than one level.
This reading leads us into three main conclusions and to specify the USA role in our region, the Arab world, and in the ME in general.
First conclusion: Obama will not let USA to easily withdraw from its international role. He said it clearly: we are keeping our international spreading. That is why the USA foreign policy must be read on the bases of “Wilson’s Fourteen Points”, which means the second Obama’s administration will follow the steps of “special democratic” administrations which were in authority in the period previous to Cold War and during Vietnam War. It will interfere directly in struggles and wars which may escalate but it will leave NATO, which its role was reorganized and reprogrammed in Lisbon and Washington summits, to move. Also it will leave its main allies, Britain, France…., to move as it did in war against Libya, or as it is doing now in war against Tchad. It will observe and guide, allies support with some power elements, or direct interference only when it is necessary.
Second conclusion: complete and linked to first conclusion, it is the share of USA in reorganizing the capital control over the world and controlling the economy which goes side by side with wars, aggressions, to organize control over sources of energy and it its paths, control over new agricultural areas, in Africa and pacific region, unused water reserves in all the southern part of the earth, starting from Latin America up to Africa.
In this domain, we will go into the USA role in south of Sudan. This part has huge amounts of three sources to control the world (oil, fertile agricultural lands, water). In Indonesia, Obama meeting in 2011, led to put a complete strategic economic plan allows now USA monopoly companies to control more than 62 million acres of fertile land and collecting all the big areas in their hands. Adding to that moving Indonesia to be the gate into Asia and face China.
The theory of “Big Extended West”:
Third conclusion:
The imperialist USA, first, is aiming to renew itself from this behavior to be after that what Zbigniew Brzezinski names treating its international responsibilities, his book “Strategic Vision”, which means recontroling the international rhythm to strengthen its role and getting rid of dual polarity. In this frame, Brzezinski and “Global trends 2013” suggests Washington’s role in reorganizing the global system on the bases of the theory of “Big Extended West” which, first, depends on Western Europe, Starting from it to arrive to Russia and Turkey in later stage.
This “big extended west”, and able, can organize the international relations in extended global system and limits the Chinese role in the international theater.
The new USA role:
These conclusions push us to say, not only, that the USA role will not be limited on the international level but, to confirm, USA wars against the people of the world will increase, even though its executers would vary. If we go back to the days of renewing of British-American, especially in our region, and mainly from two parts: Lebanese – Syrian side (from Turkey as extended big west) and the Palestinian side (through the Zionist system).
So it so necessary to watch regional interests in the coming times, for not falling again victims of temporary speeches like Obama’s one in Cairo University about supporting the Palestinians to have a state,  while every day confirming the security of the Zionist system and the “Jewish state”.
We say that, because we are we are waiting the new visit of Obama to our region and while John Kerry is doing his tour in the Gulf we started to hear about deep “differences” between Obama’s administration and the Zionist lobby, which is represented by “AIPAC” the supporter of Israel in high political and financial levels… annual financial and military support which are presented to Israel and on the other level the security of Israel with relation to Obama’s administration to “the nuclear issue of Iran”.
This analysis is far away from being precise and it not enough for Obama or Benjamin Netanyahu to absent from the annual AIPAC conference to start talking about some changes in the general or specific relations between the two parts especially that one of the aims of Obama’s visits to the region is to confirm that nothing has changed in Washington’s policy toward the Zionist system. At the same time Washington is covering her eyes for not seeing the settlements policy of the Zionist system, its working to make Palestine pure Jewish state, to continue drawing a new map for the Arab region and the M.E depending on internal, ethnic and religious wars.
The imperialist danger is still existing and present. We have indicated to its existence not to surrender for it, even the balance of power is still not on the side of radical change forces, but the opportunities of change is still possible, on regional and international levels, to change this balance or through the struggle between the two poles, the old imperialist one and the new emerging one, we can benefit from the experience of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 or gathering again the forces, the social and political one, which are anti-imperialism and calling to change on the bases of building social society.

March 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

The millionaires vs the millions

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude knew exactly what he was doing when he suggested that motorists fill their cars and jerry cans with fuel in anticipation of a strike by tanker drivers, argues CP general secretary Robert Griffiths in the Morning Star.
His intention was to provoke a prolonged panic of petrol-buying at the pumps, stirring up fear and antagonism aimed at Britain's biggest trade union, which also happens to be linked to the Labour Party.
Whether his message was a ploy to divert public anger from the Budget is beside the point. Maude would have done it anyway. He and his ilk are always keen to take every opportunity to attack organised labour.
It's a class thing. Maude is yet another ex-public schoolboy, one of the 23 multimillionaires in this current Tory-Lib Dem Cabinet of 29. His background in big business includes a stint as the managing director of top merchant bank Morgan Stanley. He is a member of the unelected, illegitimate Tory-Lib Dem coalition cobbled together at the behest of the most powerful section of the capitalist class in Britain, the bankers and financiers. Here are the real "bully boys," who have so far squeezed financial assistance and pledges worth more than £1.4 trillion out of successive British governments, while demanding that public spending be cut by at least £213 billion up to 2016.
For the Francis Maudes of this planet, it is close to intolerable that workers should band together to defend their interests against powerful bosses. Like most other top directors of big companies, he would rather employers deal with employees on a one-to-one basis when it comes to such matters as terms and conditions of employment, rights at work and the rest.
It's all about us being "free individuals" in a "free economy" and a "free society" you see.
Of course, he is fully aware of the gross imbalance in wealth and power between the boss or his - and it usually is a "his" - representative seated on one side of the table and the employee standing on the other. Maude and his class would like things to stay that way. But trade unions have arisen to forge the individually powerless into a body with, potentially, the collective power to redress that balance.
That is why, behind all the pretence of accepting the legitimacy of trade unionism - providing it's "moderate" and "responsible," obviously - there lies the class hatred of Maude and company for organised labour. When organised labour dares to take industrial action, the haters can barely contain their fury. But they do, because people like Maude have been raised and trained to vent their spleen in calm, confident and well-spoken tones.
Although they hold the whip hand, behind their fury also lurks a little fear - that of the potential strength of the working class should it ever become as politically conscious and resolute as the ruling capitalist class.
A barrage of anti-trade union laws, backed up by English common law, shackles the unions to prevent their members from discovering and exercising their potential strength in full. The law does inhibit unions from taking action without jumping through all the statutory hoops first - and it provides a credible excuse for those leaders and officials who do not want their members to take justifiable action. But the courts and anti-union laws cannot always stop the most determined and militant workers from using their collective strength to win victories, as we saw with the Lindsey-inspired construction workers three years ago and the Balfour Beatty electricians this year.
Those who own and control the state and capitalist mass media play an important role in spreading false ideas, dividing people and filling their minds with trivia. That, for instance, is why in all the coverage of the "dangers" presented by a tanker drivers' strike, including Maude's scaremongering remarks and responses to them, almost nothing has been reported about the causes of the dispute.
Why have Unite drivers balloted overwhelmingly for strike action should no agreement be reached with the companies? The Morning Star is one of the very few media outlets to have outlined the workers' fears over safety and job instability. Nor has Maude or any other Tory minister been asked the question that is as rare as rocking-horse droppings.
Just once, when a Tory politician is attacking a trade union for threatening or taking strike action, why not ask them: "Has there ever been an occasion when any leading Tory has supported any group of workers taking industrial action, on any issue whatsoever whether pay, pensions, equal pay, health and safety, bullying, trade union victimisation or anything else?" Provided Poland in the 1980s is excluded, the silence would be deafening. Almost as silent has been the Labour leadership's feeble response to the Tory and mass media offensive against striking workers and the Labour-trade union link.
Ed Miliband and Ed Balls refuse to back workers who are struggling desperately to defend their pensions, wages, jobs and public services. They take union money, but appear to have neither the politics nor the courage to defend the Labour-union link in public. They support most of the cuts - the last Labour government planned £130bn of them - and refuse to reverse the privatisations of rail, water, gas, electricity or anything else.
So far, this Labour leadership will not even commit itself to carry out Labour Party policy to repeal the Tory anti-trade union laws. So much for talk of their "union paymasters."
Yet all the signs are that millions of people could be won to a bold programme for social justice, public ownership and peace to build a people's Britain in place of today's bankers' Britain.
That is the perspective that the labour and progressive movements, and the left including the Communist Party, need to project. When we do, we also know we can count on the Morning Star to help us do it.
Rob Griffiths is general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain.