Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Trotskyism’ Category

American Socialist Worker, “a momentous convention devoted to addressing the organization’s unaccountable leadership structures and a damaging internal culture.”

with 9 comments

Image result for international socialist organisation

 

As the British pro-Brexit Socialist Party’s ‘international’, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) appears to be disintegrating amid a dispute with the Irish group, the US International Socialist Organisation (ISO), which produces its own Socialist Worker (often a source of real news and serious analysis) is in trouble.

There are reports of acrid exchanges on Facebook and other social media.

From above which is publicly viewable:

I’ve been a member of the International Socialist Organization for 19 years and it’s time for me to speak some truth. It has recently come to light that Joe Richard, elected to our leadership body this year, raped someone in 2013. Instead of expelling him, Sharon Smith, author of “Women and Socialism”, and Nicole Colson, a leading contributor on gender oppression to Socialist Worker, covered it up and protected him. Luckily, Sharon and Nicole were not elected to leadership this year and Joe is no longer in leadership now that this has come out. I don’t yet know who else knew about this in our leadership when this happened.

The same year, in San Diego, it came out that a comrade who I had been friends with for many years, Chuck Stemke, attempted to rape someone. Another longstanding member, Avery Wear, protected him. It took other people outside of the organization making it public for Chuck to be expelled, but Avery is still a member.

I joined the International Socialist Organization because I wanted to fight for the liberation of women, of all oppressed people, and of the working class. I have fought within this organization for justice for survivors of sexual assault. At the same time, I have accepted or gone along with many destructive practices of keeping information internal (or among a select few) and enforcing ideological purity. Those practices have been harmful, particularly to people of color in the organization, women, and trans comrades. I am going through a process of grappling with what that means for me and how to make amends and build in a better way.

Because we have elected almost all new leaders and I trust a number of them to clean house, I am remaining in the organization for now. There is a lot to answer for. Some people need to be expelled. Some people, who were in proximity to the disgusting cover-ups, need to be removed from all leadership positions. A handful of people who were in leadership then remain on leadership bodies now and I think that might need to change.

There is a possibility that I will face backlash and/or disciplinary consequences in the organization for making this information public before our leadership bodies have decided to do so. I have determined that it is far more important for everyone to know what has gone on, than it is to protect my own standing or follow bureaucratic procedure. I firmly believe that any organization existing in our deeply racist, sexist, and exploitative society will face situations like these. The test for us is how we choose to respond. Many left organizations have fallen apart because they failed to root out sexism and racism from within. I am choosing to put everything out on the table because I think it’s the only chance we have to build a left that can change our world for the better.

The ISO has not responded in the attempts at papering over the difficulties, that is, following the way its |(former) British counterpart did to the Comrade Delta crisis.

A MESSAGE TO OUR READERS

 

THE INTERNATIONAL Socialist Organization (ISO), publisher of Socialist Worker, is in a deep crisis whose immediate cause is the exposure of a 2013 sexual assault case that was horribly mishandled by our national leadership at the time. Last Friday, Socialist Worker published a public version of the letter written by our recently elected Steering Committee to ISO members regarding the revelation and initial steps that had been taken in response.

The news about the 2013 case came shortly after a momentous convention devoted to addressing the organization’s unaccountable leadership structures and a damaging internal culture that had a disproportionate impact on people of color and others with oppressed identities. The convention resulted in a thorough change in our national leadership and a commitment to chart a new direction so the ISO could be more engaged in struggle and with the new socialist movement.

In the convention’s aftermath, many ISO members felt a mixture of hope, pain and uncertainty. Those feelings have been replaced by ones of rage, despair and betrayal. Some have felt they can no longer be a part of the ISO. Those who remain recognize how difficult it will be to reckon with this crisis and all the damage it has done.

Certainly, there is a shared understanding among all that the only future for the ISO begins with a frank and searching discussion. So regardless of what the future brings, the main goal of Socialist Worker in the coming weeks is to be of service to current and former ISO members and the wider left by providing a platform for socialists to grapple with the many issues that have led us to this point.

It’s unclear at what pace these articles will appear. We plan to begin this process with contributions from current or recently resigned ISO members, and we won’t rush those into publication. So as much as we want SW become a forum for continuing discussion and reflection, we can’t yet say how regularly we will be running articles in the coming days.

More via above link.

See (from the present blog (2014): The American International Socialist Organization (ISO): Facing its own SWP Crisis?

One can only commend the ISO’s present open approach to these issues.

LETTER TO THE ISO MEMBERSHIP

The International Socialist Organization’s Steering Committee sent this letter to members about a deep crisis in the ISO. We are sharing it publicly here on SW. We have edited it slightly to be published on a public website and have added updated information.

THREE WEEKS ago, the ISO held its most important convention (translator’s note, National Conference), which was also its most painful. Much of the convention was devoted to reckoning with the damaging impacts of our past practices and internal political culture. As branches have reported back and opened up these discussions, more examples of a damaging political culture have come to light. This brief letter from the new Steering Committee (SC) was written to update comrades on those incidents and on timelines with respect to mandates voted on by Convention delegates, while offering some thoughts on how to proceed.

As this letter was being drafted, the SC (as well as several members of the National Committee (NC) and several socialist feminist allies) received a document from a former member (FM from here forward) on March 11, detailing the ways in which the 2013 SC had badly mishandled an allegation of rape in 2013. Moreover, the document explained that the respondent in the allegation had recently been elected to our SC at this year’s convention. FM was on the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) that originally heard the case. FM’s account has been corroborated by other members of the NDC at that time who remain active members of the organization. We are grateful to FM for having taken the time to write this and reach out to us. FM also copied on the e-mail allies outside of the ISO whom we have worked in socialist-feminist and queer activism.

The SC held an emergency meeting on Tuesday night, and then a joint meeting on Thursday night with the NC and other members, including members of the National Branch Council ad hoc organizing committee, the survivors’ caucus and the #MeToo commission, to begin a discussion of the implications of this document and what next steps need to be taken. Here are some of the immediate steps we have taken:

 We immediately responded to FM and to the allies who were copied on the e-mail to thank FM for sending it, informing them that we would be sending it out and discussing as a leadership, and stating that we take this very seriously.

 On Tuesday, after SC members asked that the respondent identify himself and resign, he did, voluntarily resigned from the SC and said he would take a leave of absence. The SC voted to suspend him and stipulate that a decision would be made on his membership status later.

 On Thursday, the joint meeting of the NC, SC and other members agreed unanimously to expel the respondent according to the original decision of the NDC. In addition, the meeting voted to suspend from membership three members of the 2013 SC directly involved in the outcome of the case, while a complete investigation of what happened in 2013 takes place. The meeting also voted to suspend from a position on any leadership body any member of the 2013 SC, along with a recently elected NC member who had played a role in undermining the work of the NDC, for the duration of the investigation.

 We now need to empower a body independent of the current SC that can investigate the conduct of the 2013 SC and other participants in that 2013 process. Whether that should be the recently formed #MeToo commission, the NDC or some other body still needs to be determined, but will be soon.

 Another joint meeting of the same participants this weekend will continue the discussion and develop a process for a further public statement. It will also be discussing how to create spaces for membership-wide discussion. All members are invited to a meeting via conference call that is being set up for Monday.

 A member from Portland is organizing a support call for survivors or others triggered by this document. A survivors’ caucus is being formed and resources for survivors are being collected.

The document from FM is very clear, and rather than editorializing, we will leave comrades to assess it for themselves. We will be writing much more and providing space for analysis and discussion of what took place, lessons learned from it and what needs to change in the coming weeks. We believe it speaks both to failures of our political culture that we have identified as well as failures to adequately address the needs of survivors, a lack of understanding of the dynamics of rape and sexual assault, and the failure to create a process that could prioritize doing our best to determine the truth of what happened over bureaucratic proceduralism. This is not separate from the issues we have been reckoning with and the culture we are fighting to transform — though this experience is a particularly acute and devastating manifestation of this culture. There is no way to move forward from this without the utmost honesty and critical assessment.

The rest via link above.

Advertisements

Written by Andrew Coates

March 20, 2019 at 11:57 am

Socialist Party’s Irish Bust-Up Fall Out – from Irish Times to Socialist Democracy.

with one comment

Image result for Socialist party Ireland

“Like a hermit crab it lived for decades in the British and Irish Labour parties and patiently burrowed into lower level of the union bureaucracies to win positions.” (Socialist Democracy)

The Irish Times published this last week,

Socialist Party documents illustrate criticism from international comrades

The inner workings of the Socialist Party are not usually on display for all to see.

Its TDs – Paul MurphyRuth Coppinger and Mick Barry – are the most cogent left wing voices in the Dáil.

Also operating under the Solidarity (formerly Anti-Austerity Alliance) banner, they have led debates on issues such as abortion and water charges.

In our view a tendency has also developed of some leading Irish comrades seeing all struggles through the prism of the women’s movement, rather than seeing how it interconnects with other struggles

Documents recently circulated within the party, however, illustrate how their movement has been criticised by international comrades for an excessive focus on abortion and women’s rights issues.

And this:

Inside Ireland’s Socialist Party: telling the ‘digestible’ truth

Paul Murphy advocates ‘united front’ when dealing with Sinn Féin, documents show

The – well informed – article cites ‘Internal Documents’ – i.e. those made available on this site, not to mention elsewhere.

The Socialist Party will present the truth “in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time”, TD Paul Murphy has said.

In internal documents discussing Brexit and wider strategy, he asks: “Are we guilty of not ‘telling the truth’ to the working class when we don’t bring a demand to leave the EU?

“We always tell the truth to the working class. But we present the truth in the way which is most digestible to the working class at a particular time.”

In exchanges with members including Joe Higgins, he advocates a “united front” method of dealing with groups such as Sinn Féin.

“The guiding line for us all in this debate should be what Lenin, approvingly quoting Trotsky, argued, that ‘ideological struggle within the party does not mean mutual ostracism but mutual influence’.”

He also corrects his comrades’ “inaccurate historical description of the united front as ‘tactics the Comintern and revolutionary parties adopted . . . in the 1920s and 1930s’.

Irish Times readers were spared the reference to ‘Mandelism’, in this ‘debate’ a sugared almond only us hardened Trainspotters could chew over.

The below is definitely for the Trainspotters.

Irish Socialist Party internal debate

The issues should concern us all.

The programme of the Socialist Party is rather narrow and restrictive and it operates a vicious internal discipline. Like a hermit crab it lived for decades in the British and Irish Labour parties and patiently burrowed into lower level of the union bureaucracies to win positions.

Socialist Democracy.

The publication of internal documents from the Socialist Party has led to a gleeful attempt to rubbish the left by the Irish press and by an outbreak of gossip on social media.

In neither case has there been any real discussion of the issues arising in the SP’s internal debate. This is a pity, because the documents highlight key strategic contradictions for the Irish left that are not being addressed.

The areas of dispute are; feminism, relationships with Sinn Fein and the overall strategic direction of the reformist left in terms of a ”broad left party” and a “left government.”

Two issues stand out,

The Irish organisation is criticised by the British group for opportunism in the abortion referendum. That is the claim that they simply supported what young militants already believed and made no attempt to introduce socialist policies. Both sides of the argument are hampered by distorted ideas of what a socialist policy would be. For the critics, it is an orientation to the working class, by which they mean speeches in dusty trade union halls. For the Irish group, it was moving the front group ROSA to a more radical position focused on the right to choose.

And (this is where SD hits home),

The dispute around Sinn Fein inside the Socialist Party between Paul Murphy and the majority represents a much greater division than simply debates on feminism. Unfortunately that debate is poisoned at source, with both factions agreeing that Sinn Fein is a sectarian party.

What this means is that Paul Murphy, the advocate for a softer line, defines sectarianism as:

“trying to coerce the protestant working class into the southern state via a border poll”

The policy of the party is that a democratic majority vote for a united Ireland would be sectarian and coercive because it might provoke loyalist paramilitaries to violence. The extreme unionism of their position does not stop there. They routinely see far right loyalists as legitimate representatives of Protestant workers.

So at a fundamental level members of the Socialist Party exhibit a deep hostility to a unified Irish democracy. What then divides them?

Paul Murphy is in effect pointing out that their policy, brought to the fore, will alienate workers and limit their electoral appeal.

All this has happened before. The programme of the Socialist Party is rather narrow and restrictive and it operates a vicious internal discipline. Like a hermit crab it lived for decades in the British and Irish Labour parties and patiently burrowed into lower level of the union bureaucracies to win positions. Today the union leaders, locked in partnership with capitalism, are content to front protest activity led by communities and activists. This gives an area of intervention to the SP, but if the struggles are big enough they challenge the fixed ideology of the group.

So the bin changes campaign of 2003-2004  saw an electoral boost for the Socialist Party but also saw the expulsion of their national secretary and Joan Collins standing as an independent TD.

One cannot resist a laugh at this though,

Many sniggered at the use of Marxist theory in the Socialist Party’s internal debate. It’s true that it was somewhat turgid in places and self-serving in others. But it structures the debate around ideas that are themselves the fruit of many decades of struggle by the working class.

Now I wonder who that can refer to….

Written by Andrew Coates

March 12, 2019 at 5:48 pm

The Legacy of Lyndon LaRouche (1922 – 2019???).

with 2 comments

LaRouche really did not like us lot either.

The ultimate American politician and conspiracist is dead—at least according to Twitter. It’s hard to know where to begin, really. This video summarizes LaRouche’s thoughts on Walter Mondale and is as good a place as any to start. The waters run deep and wide; I cannot but suspect Prince Philip is pleased to outlive him.

Here.

This, well-established rumour, was widely tweeted.

Many of the views for which LaRouche is famous are, these days, mainstream conspi stiff, “September 11th was an “inside job”, that Global Warming is a myth, “The “Greenhouse effect” hoax: a world federalist plot” and, inevitably, George Soros, whom he identified as a puppet master back in 2008

Your Enemy George Soros.

This Report documents the takeover of the democratic party by George Soros. A Nazi sympathizer who continues in the destruction of peoples and nations around the world.

LaRouche’s loathing for ‘Zionists’ nearly equalled some of the European ‘anti-Zionists’ of today, ” the Zionist Lobby is “the most visible of the internal enemies of the United States–and of the human race–at this specific moment. Every policy it is currently pushing is pure evil.” In his take on this (back in the 1970s) he said, “calls for a national “Task Force” to “root out the cancer in the American body politic that is the so-called Zionist Lobby….Literally thousands of operatives for the Zionist Lobby have penetrated the halls of Congress, the State and Defense Departments, the CIA, and American business and labor organizations….Their loyalties lie not with the United States but with the Zionist-British organism….[A]nyone professing Zionist loyalties is by definition incapable of being loyal to the interests of the United States. He is, by definition, a national security risk. The Zionist octopus must be eliminated.” LAROUCHE & CO.: A CHORUS OF HATE

The writer of this Blog first learnt of the existence of LaRouche at the end of the 60s when I was about 15 years old.

The National Caucus of Labor Committees put its material in the old Collete’s ‘Bomb Shop’ in Tottenham Court Road.

It was hallucinatory.

Yet we learn that the group had its origins in the US New Left.

The NCLC had it origins in the 1968 convention of the Students for a Democratic Society. It comprised people who had been expelled from the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, an SDS faction, and students from Columbia University in New York City. It called itself the “SDS Labor Committee” or the “National Caucus of SDS Labor Committees”.[5][6] Led by LaRouche, it included “New Left lieutenants” Ed Spannaus, Nancy Spannaus, and Tony Papert, as well as Paul Milkman, Paul Gallagher, Leif Johnson, Tony Chaitkin, and Steve Fraser.[7][8] According to Dennis King, Papert and Fraser had been targets of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operatives.[9] The Labor Committee was known for promoting a “socialist re-industrialization” of the economy, combined with confiscatory taxes on what it saw as wasteful and parasitic investment. It was expelled from SDS for taking the side of the teachers’ union in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike.[5] It was originally a New Left organization influenced by Trotskyist ideas[10] as well as those of other Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg, but opposed other New Left organizations which LaRouche said were dominated by the Ford FoundationInstitute for Policy Studies and Herbert Marcuse.

Wikipedia.

LaRouche’s background is no less intelligible, at least to this Blog,

In 1964 he began an association with an SWP faction called the Revolutionary Tendency, a faction which was later expelled from the SWP, and came under the influence of British Trotskyist leader Gerry Healy.[23]

For six months, LaRouche worked with American Healyite leader Tim Wohlforth, who later wrote that LaRouche had a “gargantuan ego”, and “a marvelous ability to place any world happening in a larger context, which seemed to give the event additional meaning, but his thinking was schematic, lacking factual detail and depth.” Leaving Wohlforth’s group, LaRouche briefly joined the rival Spartacist League before announcing his intention to build a new “Fifth International”.[21]

In 1967 LaRouche began teaching classes on Marx’s dialectical materialism at New York City’s Free School,[24] and attracted a group of students from Columbia University and the City College of New York, recommending that they read Das Kapital, as well as Hegel, Kant, and Leibniz. During the 1968 Columbia University protests, he organized his supporters under the name National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC).[24] The aim of the NCLC was to win control of the Students for a Democratic Society branch—the university’s main activist group—and build a political alliance between students, local residents, organized labor, and the Columbia faculty.[25][26][27][28] By 1973 the NCLC had over 600 members in 25 cities—including West Berlin and Stockholm—and produced what Dennis King called the most literate of the far-left papers, New Solidarity.[29][30] The NCLC’s internal activities became highly regimented over the next few years. Members gave up their jobs and devoted themselves to the group and its leader, believing it would soon take control of America’s trade unions and overthrow the government.

Wikipedia.

This is the point where it all goes a lot more haywire.

It is hard to get a hold on it all.

Perhaps this may help.

There are many people in the US referred to as ‘left-wing’. Honourable people who do a lot of good. But in Europe their politics are centre-left, liberal, ‘progressive’.

The Marxist, or even radical, American left, has little practical influence on politics. Bernie Sanders, who would be on the centre mainstream of the UK Labour Party, never had the slightest chance of becoming President. The world was solemnly enjoined to take note when a couple of socialist councillors and  then a couple of mildly radical socialist inclined individuals (in all cases with something like the politics of the respectable centre of the UK Labour Party) got elected to Congress.

This means, some who know the US scene better than this Blog (not difficult)  say, that it is  made up of often frustrated and isolated individuals. It is claimed that they either live ‘dual lives’ (revolutionaries in their own minds, making daily compromises to the rest of the world), or keep the flame in enclaves (academic or cultural) shut off from the rest of the world, in academia or imaginary “Marxism lists”. However personally successful people may be in these conditions, however amiable and open-minded they are,  their politics are likely to be pretty adrift. This would naturally attract its share of odd-bods, as all unorthodox politics do.

But LaRouche was special.

Very special. 

Extract from the history of the group and actions which first brought him to wider attention

Operation Mop Up

LaRouche’s writings in the late 1960s displayed an intense curiosity about the history and methods of European fascism. His research, so his followers thought, was aimed at learning how to prevent fascism. But his analysis differed in subtle ways from that of other leftists. One of the first observers to spot something amiss was his old rival Tim Wohlforth. In a 1968 article, Wohlforth noted LaRouche’s “preposterous theory” that the Nazi’s murder of six million Jews had been motivated solely by economics. “It seems,” wrote Wohlforth, “that when [the Nazis] worked the Jews to a point where there was no labor power left in them, they simply sent them to the gas chambers to save the cost of upkeep for unproductive slaves.” Wohlforth saw LaRouche’s theory as just a one-sided analysis of Nazi motives. He didn’t suspect that LaRouche one day would develop his own brand of fascism.

In 1971, LaRouche published a major article on the prospects for fascist base building in America, Only with a mass base, he observed, could a “storm trooper” organization have “saleable qualities” that might attract support from “leading governmental and financial interests.” He predicted that such a movement would emerge soon on the basis of a “populist” ideology and diverse appeals to rival ethnic groups. This movement would begin to furnish the capitalists with gangs to “break strikes and break up socialist and union meetings.” Although at first it might include fascist-minded Jews, it would sooner or later turn on the Jewish community. The Jews, LaRouche observed, were “a most visible and thus ‘ripe’ ” candidate for the role of scapegoat.

LaRouche also predicted that a new type of left-wing group, defined as “left-protofascist,” would take part in the street violence on the side of overtly right-wing ethnic fascists. In subsequent articles he examined how the alleged controllers of fascism, the American capitalist class, might use advanced brainwashing techniques to transform leftist college students into precisely this type of left-fascist “zombie.” He meanwhile began to teach his own leftist followers to regard themselves as “Prometheans,” an elite far above the rest of humanity,

LaRouche’s implication was clear: The NCLC must learn from fascism and adopt some of fascism’s tactics. But his followers still regarded themselves as good Marxists (in spite of their elitist pretensions) and retained a visceral hatred of fascism. If LaRouche wanted to steer them to the right, he would have to turn the NCLC into a controlled environment for ideological reeducation—a political cult.

The NCLC’s transformation occurred in three overlapping stages during 1973-74. First, LaRouche ordered his followers into the streets for a campaign of savage attacks on rival leftist groups called Operation Mop Up. This forced them to either deepen their commitment or get out. It also isolated them irrevocably from the rest of the left.

Second, LaRouche staged “ego-stripping” sessions at NCLC meetings, instilling in his followers a sense of shame over any ideological wavering or lack of courage they might have displayed during Mop Up.

Finally, he whipped up an atmosphere of hysteria inside the NCLC based on allegations of an assassination plot aimed against himself. The acceptance of these bizarre allegations severed most of the remaining links between NCLC members and everyday reality.

Operation Mop Up was preceded by months of squabbling between the NCLC and the Communist Party USA. NCLC members had frequently disrupted CP meetings with long harangues from the floor. The CP began tossing them out and published articles alleging that they were government agents. Matters escalated in early 1973 when the NCLC announced a conference in Philadelphia to build a national organization for welfare recipients and the unemployed. CP members and other local activists started a campaign to discredit the conference, calling its NCLC organizers racists as well as agents. The NCLC leadership was furious. A New Solidarity front-page editorial, entitled “Deadly Crisis for CPUSA,” warned the CP that if it didn’t back off it would face an all-out counterattack. The CP failed to take the threat seriously.

On the conference’s opening day the anti-NCLC coalition sent a sound truck through the black community and staged a picket line with signs comparing the NCLC to the Ku Klux Klan. This failed to stop the event, which was attended by several hundred white middle-class activists and a handful of welfare mothers. The harassment did, however, give LaRouche the pretext he needed. He called an emergency meeting of the East Coast NCLC. “From here on in,” he declared, “the CP cannot hold a meeting on the East Coast . . . We’ll mop them up in two months.” The NCLC, he promised, would seize “hegemony” on the left—i.e., replace the CP as the dominant organization.

Many NCLC members were shocked and frightened by LaRouche’s announcement, but he anticipated their reluctance: “I know you better than you know yourselves, and for the most part you’re full of crap,” he said. “This isn’t a debating society anymore.”

For further information see  LYNDON LAROUCHE AND THE NEW AMERICAN FASCISM

There’s plenty more to say about his career, but this is a gem:

Britain, The Empire of Evil, Pushes Genocide and World War

2015.

As Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrived Wednesday in Germany for a three-day visit, the truly Satanic nature of the British Empire was on full display. Prince Philip’s top aide, Martin Palmer, is the principal organizer of a French government-sponsored Paris conference in July, peddling the same genocidal program of “Earth stewardship” that would-be mass murderer John Schellnhuber inserted into the recent Papal Encyclical on climate change. The Paris conference is part of the propaganda assault, leading to the next ‘Copenhagen’ conference at the end of the year, also in Paris. The Worldwatch Institute, founded by Lester Brown, has just issued a report, demanding an end to all subsidies for fossil-fuel and nuclear power, as part of the drive for a total conversion to renewables like solar and wind power.

Any such reversal of the core principle of increased energy- flux density means mass genocide, on the scale that Prince Philip and Schellnhuber have been advocating for decades. Leading Italian economist Nino Galloni has penned an excellent attack on the recent Papal Encyclical, precisely from the standpoint of the concept of “energy-flux density” developed by Lyndon LaRouche.

The question that must be posed to all sane citizens is: Are you for the British Empire’s genocide, or are you for the human race? Are you with Zeus or Prometheus?

This is no abstract question. With the entire European financial system just days away from potential complete meltdown, around the showdown with Greece, and with a British-led NATO explicitly provoking thermonuclear confrontation with both Russia and China, the very survival of mankind is on the line.

There is no question where President Obama stands. He is a British agent, fully committed to the genocidal agenda of Prince Philip, Martin Palmer, John Schellnhuber, and the rest. Yesterday, the internationally renowned Doctors Without Borders issued a highly unusual, scathing attack on Obama, for his Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade swindle, which, the release details, will shut off affordable medicine to at least a half billion people, under the secret clauses of the treaty, written in league with the major pharmaceutical companies. This is mass murder, plain and simple, and this is Obama.

The greatest danger to human survival is the British Empire’s plan for mass genocide, as expressed by the Queen’s agent Schellnhuber. This is a full-blown commitment by the British Royal Family to reduce the world population to under one billion people. Any other matters are distractions and intentionally engineered distractions to prevent any effective counter to the genocide plans.

The British Empire is a Satanic force, and is the continuation of the European Empire system that has been at war with mankind, ever since the launching of the 15th-Century Renaissance by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. The Empire’s response to Cusa and the Renaissance was the launching of 150 years of uninterrupted religious war on the European continent.

The latest expression of the British Monarchy’s commitment to that same mass extinction is the Schellnhuber operation run against the Pope. It is around this issue that the future of mankind will be decided in the immediate period ahead.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Labour Representation Committee (LRC) Heads For Oblivion as it Backs ‘Labour Against the Witch-Hunt’.

with 3 comments

Image result for labour against the witchhunt LRC

Top LRC Activists.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt, an alliance of Jackie Walker, The Weekly Worker (CPGB – Provisional Central Committee) and the Monster Raving Tony Greenstein Party is a at the fringes of the fringes.

This is from its recent (a few dozen strong) conference resolution,

Position agreed unanimously at LAW’s conference on February 2 2019.

The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn

The war of attrition against Corbyn as Labour leader, carried out by an alliance of the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the Party bureaucracy, the Israeli state, the pro-Israel lobby and the mainstream media, began even before he was elected. Corbyn was portrayed as a terrorist sympathiser, a security risk and an all-round danger to society.

That somebody like Greenstein is involved, and that the campaign makes statements like this, means, simply, that nobody with an ounce of sense will have anything to do with the group.

Not so the Labour Representation Committee.

They welcome them as affiliates and give their policies support.

LAW stands alongside a long list, including Gerry Downing (as an individual), Labour Party Marxists (the Weekly Worker wearing another cap) the New Communist Party, Britain’s Posadist (in fact a rather pleasant woman), the Brent Soviet, the late Ted Grant’s followers in Socialist Appeal, and other political confetti.

LAW stands out for its relentless, “absolute Anti-Zionism’. It has managed to piss off a lengthy list of would-be supporters, from Marc Wadsworth to  Michael Mansfield QC – who no longer have anything to with the clique.

Greenstein himself is launching yet another ‘crowd funding’ for a legal action against his numerous enemies.

Perhaps he would do better spending his time on holiday, as he did last summer, in Italy.

Yesterday this came out,

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) has written an open letter to John McDonnell, urging the Shadow Chancellor to “stop the double speak” or resign.

Stop the Double Speak John McDonnellTell the Labour Representation Committee conference this weekend that by referring to antisemitism as smears, they are the problem. Or resign from the LRC.

Dear John McDonnell,

We write to you as Jewish and non-Jewish members, supporters and former supporters of the Labour Party – but supported by the wider Jewish community. This weekend you will be addressing the conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which you are President.

Just this week you were clear that allegations of anti-Jewish racism in our party are real and not smears. The LRC believe that they have the right, without any input from the Jewish community to define antisemitism. For the conference this weekend the LRC National Executive have published a 48 point statement for debate and discussion, several points are dedicated to antisemitism and Jews. The language used mocks Jews who raise antisemitism and consistently claim that we are acting in bad faith. The amendments published that have been proposed by ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ in the name of expelled Labour member Tony Greenstein are even worse. LRC exists within and nurtures a culture of antisemitism.

LRC are affiliated with both ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ (JVL). Both organisations ridicule and minimise the real lived experiences of victims of antisemitism. Just this week also on LBC Radio, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrisi of JVL openly mocked our Parliamentary Chair Luciana Berger who has been a victim of death threats. Neither bodies nor individuals associated with these organisations should be given a platform and you should not be indulging these conspiracists.

The LRC completely reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism or any definition that the victims of antisemitism, the Jewish community, feel reflect the prejudice they experience. This approach is in no way consistent with any established conventions within anti-racism movements.

Such a culture feeds an environment whereby Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger receive death threats, abuse and threats of violence. It feeds a culture whereby Jews across the party are targeted for deselection, sanction or intimidation. It feeds a culture of not believing Jews when they are on the receiving end of hate. It feeds the cancer of antisemitism in our party.
It is not consistent to be honestly robust in an LBC interview without being equally robust to your own supporters at the LRC.

We hope and expect that you will be clear to the LRC that you will say that ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ are corrosive to our values and that the LRC should not work with them or indeed anyone suspended or expelled from the Labour Party.

LRC are feeding the problem and unless they change their position of condoning and nurturing this racism in our party then you cannot and should not have anything further to do with them and they also should have no place in the Labour Party.

We look forward to hearing your comments this weekend.

Now this is one of the issues in the controversy.

Labour’s NEC blocks parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and Jewish MP

The NEC decided Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt brought the Labour Party into disrepute.

Labour’s ruling body has decided not to back a woman to be a parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and the “Zionist sympathies” of a Jewish MP.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) decided not to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt to stand for Labour in South Thanet on the basis that she had brought the party into disrepute.

Ms Gordon-Nesbitt was selected in April, having joining Labour when Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

But, writing on Facebook on Tuesday, she said the NEC had decided not to back her over tweets posted from a think tank she set up which defended Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker over allegations of antisemitism.

One tweet posted from The Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account asked: “Has anyone looked into Hitler’s policy on Zionism? Might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions #Scapegoating #Corbyn.”

Another tweet called into question the “Zionist sympathies” of John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, who is Jewish.

 

 

This is the reply from the LRC Conference today:

Review: In Defence of Bolshevism. Max Shachtman.

with 6 comments

IDoB cover

“The force of things and the behaviour of men have contradicted all Lenin’s optimistic forecasts, his hopes in a superior democracy as much as his semi-libertarian ideas expressed in the State and Revolution and other writings of the same period, at the dawn of the revolution. Nothing in the individual theses of Trotsky has stood the test any better, in particular his wordy and abstract theory of the ‘permanent revolution’.”

Boris Souvarine, Stalin. A Critical Survey of Bolshevism, 1939.

The labour movement is striving “to renew and reconstruct itself in politics”, writes Sean Matgamma in his Introduction (The Labour Movement and Bolshevism) to In Defence of Bolshevism by Max Shachtman. (Purchase here.) How can this take place? The AWL’s best-known activist¬writer observes that many who identify with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership have “no conception of socialism at all as the negation of capitalism.” Most Corbynistas are enthusiastic and open¬minded people. It would be a mistake to patronise them. But some, the observer of past left wing surges states, may be first of all looking for a career in politics, think tanks and NGOs. Predictably there is plenty of flotsam and jetsam floated in the “social media age”.

A half-thought out “anti¬imperialism” linked to “absolute anti¬Zionism” has become a minefield of “left anti¬semitism”. There are “posh Stalinists”, close to the party chief, who reheat a Boy’s Own view of the gallant Soviet Union fighting Fascism. Socialism in One Country reappears behind efforts to portray Brexit as a working class revolt against elites. And, let’s not forget, in cyberspace, there are over-educated Corbyn supporters. Some see capitalism’s replacement, through Nick Land’s “accelerationism”, pushing forward immanent tendencies, as re-worked by Aaron Bastani, into “fully-automated luxury communism”.

British Labour Movement.

The opening essay, “The British labour movement and Bolshevism” is a settling of accounts with those who have returned to politics after Corbyn’s win and who have been supporters of the British “toy¬town Bolsheviks”. The “Little Great Men” of the far-left have considered their groups the revolutionary Party. One stands out. The Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) was sold to the “Libyan government and secret service”. Their state sponsored hatred of “Zionism” lingers on, in some cases through those who had been directly associated with the WRP such as one¬time London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, Matgamna’s sketch of the history of let-wing opposition to the European Union is also highly relevant.

This became a defining feature of the 1970s Broad Left (alliances of Labour left and the Communist Party of Great Britain, CPGB). An early version of a People’s Brexit, the Alternative Economic Strategy (AES) advocated “an amalgam of World¬War¬Two¬style state controlled ‘siege economy’ and Stalinist models of planning, but linked to bourgeois¬democratic liberalism”. (p.43) At present the Morning Star and its supporters, including advisers to Jeremy Corbyn, are fixated on the last point, asserting national sovereignty against “Brussels”.

This is not the centrepiece of In Defence of Bolshevism. To open a dialogue with Corbyn supporters and talk about socialism Matgamma offers the practice of the Bolsheviks in the years immediately after the 1917 Revolution. They created a “democratic class dictatorship exercised by the elected workers’ councils…” In this they are due honour amongst the “glories of the working class’s past”. The writer that is chosen to shed light on the Bolshevik achievement is Max Shachtman. For Sean Matgamna, the American one¬time leading figure in Trotsky’s Fourth International was the founder of “heterodox” Trotskyism.

Shachtman broke from Trotsky over the defence of the USSR when Stalin ordered the invasion of Finland in 1939. Shachtman’s current supported the judgement that the USSR under Stalin had become a new form of class society that could not be uncritically supported. The AWL has convincingly argued that this turned out not to be anything “new” but a blood¬stained historical by¬way in capitalist development, not any “transition” to socialism.

Marxism.

Under the Banner of Marxism, the main polemic reprinted here, was, as Alan Johnson indicates (Solidarity 5.12.18), directed against an attempt by Ernest Erber to trace the origins of Stalinist totalitarianism in Lenin’s political theory and practice. Most people, including this reviewer, will have never heard of Erber, or his split from the Shachtman group, which was a small minority within a small minority of Trotskyists on the already marginal American left. What is the importance of the writings from this dispute?

This document, and the articles also included in the book from New International and Labor Action, offer an independent defence of Bolshevik practice in 1917 and the immediate aftermath. They are clearly of their time and place. This is not entirely a bad thing. Shachtman was concerned not just to teach “muddlehead “ Erber a thing or two, with echoes of the purple prose of Engels’ Anti¬Dühring and Lenin’s “polemical” style. The heterodox Trotskyist that he was at this point aimed to stand against “apostates” who moved from revolutionary socialism to an acceptance of the “American Way of Life” and who “identify Stalinism with Bolshevism”. His pages are concerned with the “bourgeois struggle against socialism.” In other words, he stood up for Marxism and communism at the onset of the Cold War.

A wide range of quotations from the writings of Marx and Lenin supports the defence of the Russian revolution. His authorities include the Communist Manifesto, and AntiDühring. Lenin’s State and Revolution is cited to defend the power of the Soviets against the Constituent Assembly. The Soviet type of state is the best “genuine democracy”. As for the Bolshevik dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, elections in nation-wide ballots are no great shakes. “Like the prettiest girl in all of France, universal suffrage cannot give more than it has.” (p.127)

Shachtman is a relentless user of the argument “by circumstances”. This blames any repressive anti-democratic action of the Bolsheviks when Lenin was at the levers of power on conditions beyond his, the Bolsheviks’, and the democratic soviets’ control. Lenin gambled. They were “summoned to hold the first revolutionary citadel against frenzied and maddened besiegers until the relief columns of the Western proletariat could be brought forward” (p.175).

Bolsheviks Eliminated Workers’ Democracy.

One may accept that the alternatives to the Bolsheviks in that fight were worse without having a present need to join the defence on the battlements. Russia, telescoping democratic and working class stages of the uprising together, did not just fail to trigger any successful socialist revolution in Europe. It did not just set the path for the rejection of democratic representative forms, as Johnson rightly point out. It did not only, from early expulsions and splits and moral annihilation, turn to the policy of physically eliminating opponents. The Bolshevik leadership eliminated workers’ democracy in the Soviets themselves.

Inside the workers’ movement the Bolsheviks assumed the right to lead the proletariat above the wishes of wage earners. In June 1918 the All¬Russia Soviet CEC decided that the Left and Right Socialist¬Revolutionaries, and the groups of the Mensheviks, should be deprived of their mandates in the Soviets. They resolved that, “all soviets of workers’, soldiers’ peasants’ and Cossack deputies remove representatives of these fractions from their midst”. In these conditions it is a bold claim that Soviets run in the early 1920s — under Lenin’s rule — exclusively by one party plus “non¬party Bolsheviks” were a model for workers’ democracy and socialist practice.

Whatever the misdeeds of their political opponents, how could any different opinion be expressed freely without opposition parties? How exactly can socialist forms of the economy be run without open democratic debate? The purge included those, Mensheviks, who had been comrades in the same Russian Social Democratic and Labour Party (RSDLP) as Lenin, a party marked by a remarkable “freedom and an openness that was known to no other working¬class organisation of the time and has certainly had no equal since the rise of Stalinism.” (p.202) Sean Matgamma states, “The Bolsheviks did not say the last word on socialism. If there is a last word, it has not been said yet. But they said much that socialists now need to heed, learn, remember and work to apply in our conditions.” (p.68)

Indeed. Some socialists, including Corbynistas, explain the crack down on opposition by the disastrous Maduro regime in Venezuela and the repression in Nicaragua on the grounds that these “citadels” have to be defended against imperialism. They might learn from the Bolsheviks that eliminating democratic institutions is nothing but a deviation from the road to socialism.

Solidarity.

30th of January 2019. 

Leftist Trainspotting Quiz of the Year.

with 4 comments

Image result for chart of British trotskyist groups

2018 Leftist Trainspotter Quiz.

1. What is the name of the split from Socialist Party in the  Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) union?

  • Socialist Action.
  • Socialist Voice.
  • Socialist Future.

2. How often did the far-right millionaire Aaron Bank’s  funding of the Communist Party of Britain  and Socialist Party Backed Trade Unionists Against the EU get into the Morning Star and   the Socialist?

  • Never.
  • Absolutely never.
  • Why are you asking this question you Soros funded Neo-liberal Blairite?

3. Who replaced Comrade Harpel Brar as Chairman of the CPGB-ML this year?

4. What was the dispute and split in the International Bolshevik Tendency around?

  • Open answers, including the “real reasons”.

5. Where did Red London originate?

  • The  Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • Lambeth.
  • Eel Pie Island.

6. Which left-wing figures have attacked Momentum’s pickets of David Icke?

  • Jackie Walker
  • Tina Werkmann (Weekly Worker).
  • Alice Walker.

7. What was the “polemic against the Revolutionary Communist Group” about?

8. Why is there a  call to Unfollow the Movement for Justice?

9. Who  resigned this year from Tony Greenstein’s Labour Against the Witch-hunt?

  • Chris Willamson. M.P.
  • Michael Mansfield.QC.
  • Marc Wadsworth.

10. Who in 2018 Blamed Israel for the rise in anti-Semitism?

  •  Dieudonné.
  • David Irving.
  • Tariq Ali.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 21, 2018 at 2:08 pm

After Saturday’s Violence: the Politics of the Gilets Jaunes, La France périphérique and the Far-Right.

with 6 comments

On the Champs-Elysées, during the demonstration of yellow vests Saturday, December 1st.

Gilet Jaune: Sacred Heart, The Hope and Salvation of France?

The French government will consider imposing a state of emergency to prevent a recurrence of France’s worst riots in years, but while it is open to dialogue it will not change course, its spokesman said on Sunday.

France 24

Masked, black-clad groups ran amok across central Paris on Saturday, torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and fighting police in the worst unrest the capital has seen since 1968, posing the most formidable challenge Emmanuel Macron has faced in his 18-month-old presidency.

Disturbances also rocked several cities and towns and across France – from Charleville Mezieres in the northeast to Nantes in the west and Marseille in the south.

“We have to think about the measures that can be taken so that these incidents don’t happen again,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told Europe 1 radio.

According to figures released by the French interior ministry, around 75,000 demonstrators took to the streets across France on Saturday. The headcount was significantly lower than for the last two “Yellow Vest” protests, which drew roughly 300,000 and 100,000 respectively.

Authorities were caught off guard by Saturday’s escalation in violence overshadowing the spontaneous protest movement, dubbed the “Yellow Vest” protest because many participants are wearing the fluorescent safety jackets kept in all cars in France.

In Paris, police said they had arrested more than 400 people while 133 were injured, including 23 members of the security forces. Police fired stun grenades, tear gas and water cannon at protesters at the top of the Champs-Elysées boulevard, at the Tuillèries Garden near the Louvre museum and other sites.

The analysis below is gaining traction:

It is in this France périphérique that the gilets jaunes movement was born. It is also in these peripheral regions that the western populist wave has its source. Peripheral America brought Trump to the White House. Peripheral Italy – mezzogiorno, rural areas and small northern industrial towns – is the source of its populist wave. This protest is carried out by the classes who, in days gone by, were once the key reference point for a political and intellectual world that has forgotten them.

France is deeply fractured. Gilets jaunes are just a symptom  

Le Monde this week published David Goodhart. He employed his distinction between “somewhere” and “anywhere” people in The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics (2017) to say much of the above:  Gilets jaunes » : « La “France périphérique” demande à être respectée.

There is something in this.

The distinction taken from the writings of Christophe Guilluy, between better off urban areas to the left behind regions and “peri-urban” areas, exists. But there is a great deal of rhetoric, shared by Goodhardt,  about a “cosmopolitan” urban liberal electorate and and the “real” country, La France profonde, inhabited by  françaises de souche and (in the French case) the banlieue where there are large number of people whose origins lie in post-War and more recent immigration.

In the case of the Gilets Jaunes their principal complaint – fuel prices – is based on transport. That is, the need (and we would not dismiss the choice) of a car. This is easy for people across Europe to get to grips with: you can see it where I am writing from, where austerity has meant fewer, if any  bus services in rural areas, and villages described as “fossils” with few services at all.

The problem is that claims about a gulf between the Citizens of Nowhere and those from Somewhere is not a sociological portrait.

It is not directly a picture of classes, people are defined by where they live, and their culture, not their work or their ownership of economic agents.

It is clearly directed by those who oppose the Nowhere people and try to assert their authority to speak for the Somewheres.

The fiercest opposition to rootless cosmopolitans comes from  nationalists….

We would not reduce the Gilets Jaunes to this cultural-political-economic ferment at all.

But it’s not hard to see that this is fertile ground for the right, and we should not forget that the far-right has intervened vigorously in the protests.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Marine Le Pen et Marion Maréchal  droite tente de se rhabiller en jaune

This is an account of the presence in Paris of groups to the right of the above:

Gilets jaunes : à Paris, groupuscules nationalistes et d’extrême droite s’affichent.

The journalist noted the presence of groups equipped with catapults  umbrellas, hammers….

Libération was thus able to identify Yvan Benedetti, former president of the ultranationalist group “L’œuvre française”, dissolved in 2013 after the death of Clément Méric. There was graffiti from the GUD (Groupe Union Défense), a far-right student organisation, sprayed  on shop fronts and street furniture.

(Note, the GUD is notorious for decades of physical attacks on leftist students).

A little further on, we read this inscription:«On est chez nous.»  “We are at home.” A slogan taken up in chorus by a few dozen people, sometimes wrapped in blue-white-red flags, who threw stones and bricks at police vehicles. In another place, there was the“Justice for Esteban” that was made, in reference to the skinhead Esteban Morillo, sentenced to eleven years in prison for killing –  in a fight – the anti- fascist Clément Méric in 2013.

Several traditional Catholic groups, including the Saint Pius X fraternity, the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church are also present, recognisable by symbols such as the flag of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, adorned with the slogan “Hope and Salvation”, and royalist emblems  with the fleur-de-lis.

This has appeared on the Facebook pages of French leftists.

 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

And this violence:

Placed alongside this response from the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) seems feeble:  support for the Gilets Jaunes without qualification.

The French far-left, no doubt encouraged by reports which talk of “urban guerrilla warfare”  is said to be desperately searching for texts to justify backing tax revolts.

Amongst a call for a d’états généraux de la fiscalitée to plan taxes, referdums and Proprotional Representaiton, emerging from the Gilets Jaunes is the demand  for an immediate freeze on the tax rise on fuel, and for fewer checks on cars, that is MOTs in the UK. (Des Gilets jaunes lancent un appel : “Nous voulons être les porte-parole d’une colère constructivele Journal du Dimanche).

This morning it was noticeable how  carefully right-wing figures treated the violence – which would have been far from the case had it happened if young inhabitants of the banlieue had invaded the ChampsÉlysées.

Large sections of Marcon’s party (LREM), following nearly all the political class, have responded by demanding a Moratorium on Taxes.

Amongst the cacophony Jean-Luc  Mélenchon,  has called for the return of the tax on the wealthy, the impôt sur la fortune .

Although we discover he managed to find this programme, close  to his own, put out by the “gilets Jaunes”.

Spooky!

 

The US Jacobin has just published a piece defending the revolt. We’re With the RebelsAURÉLIE DIANARA

Even the moralistic criticisms that accuse the gilets jaunes of materialism and selfishness can be  called into question. as not the increase in the price of bread the main factor pushing the women of Paris to mount their furious march on Versailles in October 1789?

One can understand the appeal of calls to reduce, if not abolish, taxes, to the wealthy owner of this publication.

Though this justification for the movement looks like flaying at very dry old straws.

Brendan O’Neill would relish these lines, about left-wingers who criticise the Jilets Jaunes,

 Criticisms of their behaviour have been influenced by an evident contempt for the “lower classes”: social media are awash with jokes about the “pig-headed” “imbeciles” of the “France d’en bas.” Such derision also appeared across the social networks close to the autonomous “movement” left, before the powerful demonstration of November 17.

Oddly  attempts by the other side,  those to wish to “shape the movement” with wise left guidance,  have yet to discover the magic potion which will make the following problem vanish. Even somebody as wreathed in a halo as the author admits,

Ecologists and the defenders of nature have been, to say the least, disconcerted by the hubbub around a movement that basically asks to be able to burn more fuel at a lower price and that seemed initially uninterested in the government’s at least explicit intention to use this “carbon tax” to fund the ecological transition.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm