Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Communist Party of Britain Calls for Unity Behind Anti-Monopoly Alliance.

with 7 comments


Communists to Promote Unity Candidates Against Labour.

As the class struggle intensifies and working people are uniting in a struggle for popular sovereignty against state monopoly capitalism in the EU and Britain the British Communist Party has launched an appeal for an anti-Monopoly People’s Convention for all those against monopolies and for People. 




Britain’s Communists renewed their call for large-scale public ownership in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that research, development and manufacturing addressed people’s health needs at home and internationally, instead of seeking market share and maximum profits from the NHS and private treatment for the rich.  Mr Greenshields, a former trade union president, welcomed the growing readiness of workers and their trade unions to resist attacks on jobs, employment contracts, pay and pensions, urging greater unity between them in each sector of the economy.

The CP executive endorsed his call for an alliance of labour movement bodies, the People’s Assembly and other campaigning organisations to oppose monopoly domination of government policies and the economy.  ‘We need an Anti-Monopoly People’s Convention to highlight the negative role played by big business in our society – and to highlight an alternative strategy’, Mr Greenshields proposed.

Cdes frantically searching for old books on State Monopoly capitalism, the theory that a fusion of the state and big business has led to this stage of capitalism, will recall that, “The strategic political implication of the theory for Marxist-Leninists, towards the end of the Stalin era and afterwards, was that the labour movement should form a people’s democratic alliance under the leadership of the Communist Party with the progressive middle classes and small business, against the state and big business (called “monopoly” for short). Sometimes this alliance was also called the “anti-monopoly alliance”.”

Ally of the Morning Star, ‘Tribune’, has also been unearthing the theory.

The Era of State-Monopoly Capitalism

Grace Blakeley

The challenge we face is not, then, primarily arguing for more state intervention. Instead, we must concern ourselves with how state power is being used — and who is wielding it. By the end of this crisis, a tiny oligarchy of politicians, central bankers, financiers, and corporate executives will have further expanded their power in the global economy. The challenge for the Left will be to hold them to account.

The only way to do so will be making the case for radically democratising our economies and our states. Publicly owned corporations must be governed by workers, consumers, and representatives of the general public. Our economic institutions — most notably the central bank and the Treasury — must engage ordinary people in their decision-making processes.

When this crisis is over, our collective capacity to expand, manage, and plan economic activity will no longer be up for debate. The question we will face is who is undertaking that economic management, and in whose interests.

Few would dispute the important role of the state, acting with business, has played a central role in governing large areas of the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. Whether it is has reversed decades of globalisation, and the internationalisation of finance, trade and production flows to recreate a state monopoly capitalism is another matter. Brexit, which the CPB enthusiastically  backed, was not just a national neo-liberal project but an international free trade strategy. Those who supported ‘Lexit’ ended up paving the way for trade deals that will reinforce this internationalisation. The  ‘tiny oligarchy’  has bases beyond any one state. Amazon and Microsoft only some of the most visible indications of the depth of the process of globalisation. They show no signs of disappearing..

The political problem is equally,  what is the social force behind an anti-monopoly alliance? The CPB casts its net wide, out to ‘labour movement bodies’, though they are not as all-embracing as the kind of ‘democratic alliance’ which seems to be behind Blackley’s call to “ordinary people”.

Or to put it simply: how does standing candidates against Labour help build ‘unity’ for the CPB  alliance?

In another unity move the Socialist Party and the RMT are holding this conference soon.

Come to the TUSC local elections conference – 7 February

Fighting back against Starmer’s new, ‘New Labour’ – including at the ballot box!

Starmer’s Labour cannot be trusted to stand up for ordinary people. That is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is preparing to stand across the UK this May in the many elections taking place.

Howie reports on the latest:

Spelthorne Labour Councillors quit and may link up with far-left TUSC


Another unity campaigner Chris Williamson, who seemed to back TUSC, appearing on George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain (Communist Party of Great Britain – Marxist-Leninist, pro North Korean):




Written by Andrew Coates

February 2, 2021 at 12:50 pm

7 Responses

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  1. A “Peoples Convention” ? Perhaps not the best name. There cannot be any members left in the CPB who have any knowledge of the history of the old CPGB in the years of the Russo-German pact on 1939-41.

    david walsh

    February 2, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    • I lay a hefty wager on the bleeding obvious fact they know what it was though,

      John Strachey 1941

      The People’s Convention

      “No Mention of Resistance to the Nazis.”

      “If the reader will look back at the six points, the first thing which he will be struck by is that nowhere is there the slightest mention of there being any necessity to prevent the conquest of the British people by the Nazis. Now, the Nazis, as the Communist Party frequently affirms, are the fanatical representatives of German monopoly finance capitalism. Hence the omission must seem remarkable. Yet the reader may feel that it is not particularly significant. Perhaps the need to prevent a Nazi conquest is taken for granted, and the Convention merely concerns itself with those other issues which non-working-class bodies neglect?”

      “The conclusions to which we are driven by this analysis of the People’s Convention are, then, as follows.

      First, that the People’s Convention is an integral part of the general revolutionary defeatist work now being undertaken by the British Communist Party.

      Second, that the pursuance of a revolutionary defeatist policy cannot possibly lead to a Socialist Britain; that it can only lead to a Nazi-dominated Britain. Anyone who supports the People’s Convention and its campaign, whatever their intentions may be, is then ‘facilitating’, in Lenin’s words, the defeat of Britain at the hands of the Nazis.

      The Communist Party of Great Britain, of course, is well aware that the campaign of the People’s Convention is designed for this purpose. It does not mind, because it believes that a British defeat would not mean a Hitler victory but a Communist victory. But this delusion has been exhaustively exposed. However, a number – not a very great number perhaps, but still a number – of first-rate, extremely sincere, energetic and very influential shop stewards, trade unionists and other members of the labour movement are supporting, or may be induced to support, the campaign of the People’s Convention without for one moment realising that the effect of work directed along these lines can only be to produce a Nazi Britain.”

      Chapter V of Victor Gollancz (ed), The Betrayal of the Left, published in 1941 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, London. Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.


      Andrew Coates

      February 2, 2021 at 2:32 pm

  2. Indeed. One, rather dilettante former public school Poumista, had no illusions. Writing in his diary in January 1941, GO says “X is convinced, perhaps rightly, that the danger of the People’s Convention racket is much underestimated and that one must fight back and not ignore it. He says that thousands of simple-minded people are taken in by the appealing programme of the People’s Convention and do not realise that it is a defeatist manoeuvre intended to help Hitler. He quoted a letter from the Dean of Canterbury who said “I want you to understand that I am wholeheartedly for winning the war, and that I believe Winston Churchill to be the only possible leader for us till the war is over” (or words to that effect), and nevertheless supported the People’s Convention. It appears that there are thousands like this.

    Apropos of what X says, it is at any rate a fact that the People’s Convention crew have raised a lot of money from somewhere. Their posters are everywhere, also a lot of new ones from the Daily Worker. The space has not been paid for, but even so the printing, etc., would cost a good deal. Yesterday I ripped down a number of these posters, the first time I have ever done such a thing. Cf. in the summer when I chalked up “Sack Chamberlain”, etc., and in Barcelona, after the suppression of the POUM, when I chalked up “Visca POUM”. At any normal time it is against my instincts to write on a wall or to interfere with what anyone else has written.”

    I love that last sentence.

    david walsh

    February 2, 2021 at 3:09 pm

  3. Anti-Monopoly Alliance re-earthed? From one reactionary policy to another. As a “Communist” Party they couldn’t get further away rom Marx or Lenin. Marx and Engels saw state monopoly capitalism as a progressive development, indicating a transitional stage to Socialism. Lenin wrote,

    “To make things even clearer, let us first of all take the most concrete example of state capitalism. Everybody knows what this example is. It is Germany. Here we have “the last word” in modern large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organisation, subordinated to Junker-bourgeois imperialism. Cross out the words in italics, and in place of the militarist, Junker, bourgeois, imperialist state put also a state, but of a different social type, of a different class content—a Soviet state, that is, a proletarian state, and you will have the sum total of the conditions necessary for socialism…

    “. . . Try to substitute for the Junker-capitalist state, for the landowner-capitalist state, a revolutionary-democratic state, i.e., a state which in a revolutionary way abolishes all privileges and does not fear to introduce the fullest democracy in a revolutionary way. You will find that, given a really revolutionary-democratic state, state-monopoly capitalism inevitably and unavoidably implies a step, and more than one step, towards socialism!

    “. . . For socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly.

    “. . . State-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are no intermediate rungs ””

    (left-wing Childishness)

    And attacking Kautsky’s promotion of opposition to monopolies, he writes,

    “This argument of Kautsky’s, which is repeated in every key by his Russian armour-bearer (and Russian shielder of the social-chauvinists), Mr. Spectator,[11] constitutes the basis of Kautskian critique of imperialism, and that is why we must deal with it in greater detail. We will begin with a quotation from Hilferding, whose conclusions Kautsky on many occasions, and notably in April 1915, has declared to have been “unanimously adopted by all socialist theoreticians”.

    “It is not the business of the proletariat,” writes Hilferding “to contrast the more progressive capitalist policy with that of the now bygone era of free trade and of hostility towards the state. The reply of the proletariat to the economic policy of finance capital, to imperialism, cannot be free trade, but socialism. The aim of proletarian policy cannot today be the ideal of restoring free competition—which has now become a reactionary ideal—but the complete elimination of competition by the abolition of capitalism.” [5]

    Kautsky broke with Marxism by advocating in the epoch of finance capital a “reactionary ideal”, “peaceful democracy”, “the mere operation of economic factors”, for objectively this ideal drags us back from monopoly to non-monopoly capitalism, and is a reformist swindle…

    Kautsky’s argument can have no other meaning; and this “meaning” is meaningless. Let us assume that free competition, without any sort of monopoly, would have developed capitalism and trade more rapidly. But the more rapidly trade and capitalism develop, the greater is the concentration of production and capital which gives rise to monopoly. And monopolies have already arisen—precisely out of free competition! Even if monopolies have now begun to retard progress, it is not an argument in favour of free competition, which has become impossible after it has given rise to monopoly.

    Whichever way one turns Kautsky’s argument, one will find nothing in it except reaction and bourgeois reformism.”

    For “Communists”, these people sound a lot more like 19th century free market liberals!!!


    February 2, 2021 at 5:02 pm

  4. “Anti-Monopoly Alliance”? It’s just the Popular Front by which the working class subordinates its independent interests to this of small capitalists, isn’t it?

    Jim Denham

    February 2, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    • It’s just a slogan remote from any analysis of how capitalism has changed in the UK over the last forty years, from privatisation, decline of manufacturing and heavy industry, the outsourced state, the effects of globalised circuits of trade, finance and production circuits, the rise of information technology, and you can add o the list.

      Andrew Coates

      February 2, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    • Its the concomitant of the “anti-imperialist alliance”. Its the advocacy of Sismondist, petty-bourgeois moralism, i.e. the reactionary socialism of the petty-bourgeoisie, of the small capitalist. Yes, it is the application of the principles of the Popular Front, of the working class subordinating its interests to those of the petty-bourgeoisie, which also means of the bourgeoisie itself, but merely expressed in a confused and limited manner. Its the principle the Stalinists and reformists adopted in China in 1927, (that they wanted to adopt in February 1917, before Lenin slapped them down with the April Theses), its the strategy they adopted in France in 1934, Spain in 1936, each time with the same disastrous consequences.

      They dug it out again in the 1980’s to link up with the Liberals in the student movement, and with the God Squad in all sorts of popular movements. Now no doubt encouraged by Paul Mason’s conversion to their dogma, they are digging it out again.


      February 2, 2021 at 8:37 pm

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