This was originally published as the platform of the Trotskyist Faction within Socialist Fight, our predecessor organisation. It has now been edited to remove personal and factional references, but is otherwise politically identical to the original. It certainly encapsulates what we stand for.
Obviously this is a central document to ourselves and is reproduced, both in its current version, and the original, on its own page on our site here.
Our platform is Trotskyist and stands on orthodoxy as elaborated in the article The Marxist Theory of the State on the concrete nature of post war Stalinism, the need for defence of the degenerated and deformed workers states against imperialism combined with political revolution to bring the proletariat to command of the workers state politically, while opposing counterrevolution. We saw and see today the proletariat as the only force that can defeat the counterrevolution whether emanating from the bureaucracy or elsewhere, with particular regard to the two remaining deformed workers states in Cuba and North Korea.
We are defenders of semi-colonial countries, including Russia and China, against imperialism. We support the unification of Ireland and a single multi-ethnic state of Palestine, in the context of permanent revolution and in the case of the Middle East, a regional revolution centred on the Arab workers and leading to liberation of the Palestinians from Zionism.
Regarding Zionism and its international manifestation we endorse the 2014 Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism, and note that this was the basis for our tendency’s activity in Britain on this question over the last five years. We think this was fundamentally correct and principled, and is the only materialist explanation for the very visible and powerful role of Zionism in Western imperialist politics.
We still stand for the historic politics of our tendency in Britain on special oppression with regard to oppression based on perceived ‘race’, sex or sexual orientation. We stand for workers defence guards and a workers’ militia to crush fascist threats to workers and the oppressed, and we advocate that the workers movement take independent armed action to suppress fascist political activity, which is never about persuasion but mobilising for murder, as a matter of physical self-defence.
We reject male chauvinist, homophobic and transphobic ideology and stand for the liberation of women and also oppressed sexual minorities through socialist revolution. We reject both all kinds of sexual abuse of youth, and moral guardianship of youth by bourgeois and reactionary moralists. We reject all state interference in the personal lives of consenting adults.
We stand as did Trotsky for the renewal of trade unions through rank-and-file activity and the advancement of new militant leaders against the bureaucracy, and the sensitive, tactically intelligent use of the transitional programme and the transitional method to build a revolutionary opposition in the trade unions.
Likewise we endorse the Trotskyist approach to bourgeois workers parties and class independence embodied in the approach of the Trotskyist movement, as maintained in our previous practice and the material we published and republished rejecting the anti-Marxist, sectarian distortions of the Spartacist tradition.
We condemn Brexit as fundamentally anti-immigrant and we stand for the abolition of all anti-immigrant laws and controls. We endorse Trotsky’s 1923 essay calling for a United States of Europe and seek to apply this transitional approach to the current situation.
We also endorse the corrective on the question of the right of public criticism put forward by our tendency previously, to the errors of the 3rd and 4th internationals regarding such criticism, which ultimately led to phenomena like Healyism, ie. to sects and cults which disgrace the name of Trotskyism, to its fragmentation and degeneration.
On this and on all other outstanding questions which cannot be addressed in full here, we stand on the politics of Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, which we consider to be the same movement. We therefore defend the programme of our tendency in Britain.
The war in Ukraine is reaching a crucial point. Western sanctions against Russia, aimed at defeating their defensive Special Military Operation (SMO) to protect and liberate the Russian and Russian-speaking people of South and East Ukraine, are clearly failing. They are inflicting far more hardship on the people of Western Europe than on Russia, including a prolonged stagflation recession in Britain triggered by high energy prices which these sanctions are contributing to, as well as a similar, wider recession in the EU which appears also to be imminent. Germany, the economic powerhouse of the EU, is being crucified by gas shortages and energy prices because of its own sanctions in defence of Nazi Ukraine. This was put on a more permanent basis by the evident US/British act of terrorism against the two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic in September, which can also be considered an act of war against Germany as well as Russia. The moronic British ex- PM Liz Truss is personally implicated in this as Russian intelligence made public the results of their hacking of her phone. She texted “its done” to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken only a couple of minutes after the Nord Stream bombing took place, before the press got hold of it, which speaks volumes about who was involved in the plot to blow it up and who actually did it.
Terrorism has become a modus operandi of the Western military operation in Ukraine particularly over the last few months, as they have got more desperate, knowing full well that Ukraine is going to lose this conflict despite all the NATO weaponry shipped in. This has not been particularly effective in doing damage to the Russian military but has caused a steady stream of civilian deaths and horrendous injuries particularly in the liberated and semi-liberated areas. Donetsk city has been a particular target for NATO civilian murder and maiming. The desperation has been evident in such actions as the 8October bombing of the Kerch Bridge (road and rail) to Crimea with a truck bomb apparently driven by a duped driver who was unaware he was carrying a bomb. The Russian response to this was a massive counterattack right across Ukraine, which did not kill civilians but attacked the power infrastructure – substations and distribution points were destroyed by Russian missiles right across Ukraine, affecting both the ability of Ukraine to continue waging war and causing considerable problems to the civilian population with a lack of power and warmth for the coming winter.
Both the Kerch Bridge bombing and a 29 October drone attack on the Russian Navy in the City of Sevastopol, again in Crimea, used the concessions made by Russia earlier in the conflict to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports and relieve an international grain and hunger crisis, as means to mount terrorist attacks. Russia responded to the second attack by suspending the agreement earlier made with Ukraine, only for it to be un-suspended in days when NATO member Turkey insisted that Ukraine give additional guarantees that the agreement not be so abused again. The escalation of terrorism by Ukraine has been met by repeated waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electricity system, so much so that Ukraine’s whole energy system is close to collapse as we go to press at the end of November.
After one particularly effective wave of such strikes, on November 15th, a missile was fired from Zelensky-ruled Western Ukraine over the border into Poland, which hit a farm and killed two people. Zelensky immediately accused Russia of being responsible, trying to manoeuvre NATO into intervening directly in the war, which would signify the actual outbreak of World War 3. Zelensky is desperate to provoke such a war if he can. He was repudiated by Biden, by the Polish President Duda, and then by an anonymous NATO official who told the Financial Times (16 Nov) that the Ukraine regime is “destroying our confidence” and “openly lying”. This was so brazen, and its possible consequences so serious, that the imperialists were forced to repudiate their protégé on this occasion. This has certainly opened many eyes in the West as to the real nature of the conflict.
But usually they lie, as other examples clearly show, such as the very dangerous and persistent shelling by Ukraine of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has been under Russian control since March, being routinely and absurdly blamed by Western media and politicians on Russia. And another very dangerous example of this that appears (so far) to have been foiled by Russian intelligence and diplomacy was the threat to set off a Dirty Bomb (an ordinary explosive bomb laced with nuclear waste material) as a false flag to try to accuse Russia. Such an action would contaminate surrounding countries and cause similar or worse effects to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Similar false flags about chemical weapons have been mooted and ascribed to Russia in the media as part of the information war; these have also been exposed at the UN, among other international forums. Such false flags were used on more than one occasion to justify US bombing attacks in Syria. And there is the notorious presence of dozens of US funded biological laboratories in Ukraine, whose sinister nature was let out of the bag by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in April, who said that the US was working with Ukraine to stop their work falling into the hands of “Russian forces”, indicating clearly that these biolabs have a military purpose. They flinched from Zelenksy’s open attempt to initiate WW3 over his missile attack on Poland, but they have been flirting with such things for years.
Chinks of Light in Western Media
As the fortunes of the Nazi Maidan regime are going down, some of their habitual war crimes have recently been getting some coverage in the Western media. Such as the recent film of captured Russian soldiers being summarily executed, shot in the head at point-blank range by their Nazi captors. This was authenticated by the New York Times, while it continued to promote all other kinds of ridiculous allegations against ordinary Russian soldiers as a matter of course. But the declining fortune of the Ukrainian Nazi puppet regime has its own political impact, as its crimes cannot be indefinitely covered up and those who try worry that they might one day be held accountable. They need some wriggle room. Not only that, but there have been some cryptic indications in some media that there is pressure from the US on Zelensky to agree to negotiate with the Russians at some level, and even speculation in some quarters that he might be replaced, though nothing very tangible to substantiate such speculation. But perhaps these are straws in the wind.
Murders committed in Kherson after the recent Russian retreat from there were covered in the Daily Mail (16 November) as various civilians were shown lined up against a fence, blindfolded, with ‘bloody’ faces. No doubt in preparation for being murdered. The Daily Mail has a long history of supporting and applauding fascism, but such boasting of attacks on civilians has generally been kept out of the Western media in favour of phoney nonsense about Russian soldiers raping babies and attempts to attribute similar murders of ‘collaborators’ to the Russians, with the pretence that the victims of such Nazi executions are Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian troops. At Bucha, at the end of March, the giveaway was that the corpses of the killed were wearing white arm bands that were given them by Russian troops precisely to identify them as civilians to avoid them being misidentified as enemies by the Russians. This naïve tactic led to them becoming targets for Avov Nazis when the Russians left, and they were simply butchered.
Imperialist Russophobia: Nazi-like Racism and Counterrevolutionary Demonology
The mendacious Western media just parrots the propaganda of Ukrainian Nazis and attributes all such killings to the supposed barbarity of Russians in racial terms. The Ukrainian Nazis are less sanguine about this, as they call the Russian-speaking people and Russian soldiers in Ukraine ‘orcs’, which really has a similar connotation to ‘n****rs’ or ‘y*ds’. But the racist nature of this imperialist proxy war is also starkly visible in the West, not only in terms of boycotts of Russian state institutions, but also the bans against Russian sporting stars, cultural figures, and even long dead Russian authors such as Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, composers such as Tchaikovsky, and celebrated Cosmonauts such as Gagarin. The Western racist Russophobes in NATO claim to be objecting to Putin’s supposedly terrible regime, but that is evidently nonsense as such long dead figures never knew of Putin.
This kind of disgusting bigotry has reared its head throughout the imperialist world and reflects a racialised hatred of Russians that is actually similar to the racialised hatred of Jews that drove Hitler, among others. Recall that the Nazis hated Jews fundamentally because they considered them a kind of bacillus bring ‘communism’ to supposedly civilised imperial Germany. The contemporary hatred of Russians is driven by a similar antipathy: they are seen as the nation who above all embodied ‘Communism’ and whose workers’ state endured for three quarters of a century, far longer than any other. And now, even after the counterrevolution, they have rejected and retreated from the neoliberalism the Western powers prescribed for them and are among the most active opponents of Western imperialist world domination.
For all Putin’s social conservatism, the assertiveness he personifies is seen as crypto-communist by many imperialist ideologues, and despite all the mendacity in the Western media about Putin’s supposed weakness, he has a huge approval rating among Russians. That is how Russians are seen as a people by the Western imperialists, and the antipathy towards them is like that about Jews in the ideology of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a mixture of ethnic animosity and counterrevolutionary demonology.
The response of the Western powers to the recent referendum votes in the four Donbass provinces to join Russia is indicative of the same hatred. The Western media mocks them as supposedly fraudulent, as it did over Crimea earlier. But where such issues arise at home, as over Scotland and Catalonia, it seeks actively to prohibit such exercise of the right to self-determination. What it is really saying with these hysterical slurs is not that the mass sentiments of those that voted in these referenda are inaccurately represented in the results, but these populations are Untermensch who have no right to vote to separate in the first place. So that ‘justifies’ the Western supply of HIMARS to them to destroy their apartment blocks and petal mines to kill and maim their children and elderly as punishment for the whole population. This is an index of how the Hitlerite mentality has undergone a renaissance among the Western imperialist bourgeoisie.
Sanctions Backfire: Imperialist Decline
The West’s punitive measures have failed to hurt Russia very much economically – the Rouble has been the best performing currency in 2022, despite sanctions. This has its swings and roundabouts, as with all currency swings, but it is hardly a sign of weakness – since Russia’s main business worldwide is energy sales. These have been maintained despite imperialist sanctions as there are plenty of other customers outside the imperialist world. Russia’s clout in energy markets was demonstrated recently when the Biden administration demanded that the OPEC+ countries agree to a substantial increase in oil production to send prices downwards and ease the US ability to cope with the results of its own sanctions regime. They refused, with the West’s traditional allies like Saudi Arabia deferring to Russian, not US, sensibilities. Which caused a near-apoplectic response from Biden.
Western attempts to isolate Russia diplomatically have failed: the alternative bloc of non-imperialist nations, BRICS, has grown considerably stronger. Even without any new accessions, it represents 43% of humanity, and such countries as Argentina, Algeria, Iran, Turkey (also a NATO member), Egypt and Saudi Arabia have applied to join it, with Indonesia also a strong possibility. Part of its aim is to create a new ‘basket’ currency comprised of several important currencies from the non-imperialist world, to counter the decades-long domination of the world economy by the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This looks set to eclipse the G20, the bloc the imperialists try to use to control the stronger non-imperialist powers.
This is itself a strong symptom of the decline of the United States as the world imperialist hegemon, and arguably a symptom of the decline of imperialist capitalism itself. NATO’s decades-long anti-Russian campaign which has culminated with this war has backfired enormously and threatens imperialist stability itself. Which is why this situation is generating such a hysterical response from the imperialist bourgeoisie and underlines the severe danger that imperialist capitalism represents to human existence, as it provides a motive for a potential fight-back against such decline by the methods of world war.
A Winter of Anti-Imperialist Victory?
The war has proved more protracted for the Russian forces than might have been hoped. When the SMO began on February 24th, eight days after the Maidan regime began a major bombardment of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, far from being a long-planned ‘invasion’, as per the Russophobic propaganda bombardment the jingo media in the West has long been emitting, it was done as a stopgap. 200,000 troops were sent in, but apparently on short-term, six-month contracts. Heavy reliance was placed on the volunteer militiamen from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Ukraine has suffered enormous casualties and losses in its various conflicts with the Russian Army in the last 9 months but has also been given by NATO massive numbers of the kind of weapons that are designed to kill and maim civilians. It is likely that the contradictory outcome of the US mid-term elections will have little impact on this. This includes such weapons as petal mines – supposedly outlawed small, disguised bombs that look innocuous and kill and maim the unwary – particularly children and the elderly. Along with the kind of rocketry – HIMARS etc — that such a murderous regime has no problem firing at civilian buildings. They had been doing it for 8 years previously, since the Maidan Nazi coup of 2014, and killed many thousands of civilians.
The stalling of the SMO over the last three months or so and the retreats of Russian forces first in the area around Kharkov in the North-East, and more recently to just outside the city of Kherson in the South, were caused by the makeshift and unprepared nature of the original SMO. In Kherson Russian forces decided to evacuate as many civilians as possible from the Right Bank of the Dneiper, where the bulk of the city is situated, retreating to the Left Bank, a more defensible position. This was dictated by a dangerous situation where undermanned Russian troops faced the possibility of an important dam being destroyed by the Nazis, and thousands of troops and many more civilians being trapped in a flooded city with their escape route cut off, because of the Dneiper, with its vulnerable bridges, being in the way.
However, both the Russian forces and the Donbass populations have been fighting back against the imperialist inspired Maidan counter-offensive. There is considerable evidence that, given the massive casualties sustained by the Ukrainian troops in the earlier part of the SMO, that the forces involved now are being commanded covertly by Western, including British, intelligence officers, and that many of those fighting, aside from the ideological Nazi elite forces like Azov, Aidar etc, are foreign fighters and mercenaries.
So, in September Putin announced a new mobilisation of 300,000 troops, mainly reservists who would be called up for as long as it takes. A new commander was also appointed over the SMO: General Sergei Surovikin, with a strong reputation from the victories he was able to win in Syria against the imperialist ‘regime change’ attempts and proxy war there. He is nicknamed “General Armageddon” by his own troops for his military unorthodoxy and determination in that conflict particularly. It is also worth noting that he was one of those in the old Soviet military who supported the August 1991 coup that was the last attempt by elements in the state apparatus to preserve the workers’ state. As opposed to Putin who resigned from the KGB at the time in protest at the August Coup. An interesting political distinction. He took the decision to withdraw to the Left Bank at Kherson in the interest of preserving both military and civilian lives in a dangerous situation which he lacked enough troops to deal with.
While Russia was withdrawing from Kherson, military activity has resumed in the Donetsk republic where slow advances were being made until the effective pause in Russian military activity after the earlier retreat from the Kharkov area, which prompted the September levy. Out of the 300,000 additional troops mobilised in late September, around 80,000 are now trained and operational, and are mainly being deployed in the heavily fortified Western Donetsk area. Bakhmut is once again being fought over. It seems likely that as the remaining 220,000 or so troops become fully operational, likely in December, there will be considerable Russian offensives, which will once again change the course of the war and see a Russian victory, the re-liberation of Kharkov and Kherson, the liberation of Odessa and the Russian-speaking part of former Ukraine up to the border with Transnistria, and the possibility of a democratic outcome of the war through the partition of Ukraine. It is not easy to predict outcomes of such a war, but that seems like a just and democratic outcome that could be negotiated, incorporating the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine and a rolling back of NATO’s aggression against Russia, which overtly began in Ukraine in 2014.
Officially declaring the so-called Holodomor as ‘genocide’, as the Bundestag proposes, means Germany, which invaded the USSR in 1941 to carry out the worst holocaust in history, re-embracing Nazi ideology. Stalin’s famine convulsed the entire USSR and had no ethnic element to it. A famine is a terrible misfortune but this was no genocide. The same disaster engulfed much of Russia and even parts of Soviet Central Asia. The forcible collectivisation was an irrational implementation of a desirable goal. It was ‘merely’ an gargantuan economic adventure and idiocy.
The Kulak insurrection that Stalin supressed was an agrarian petty bourgeois insurrection. Obviously it needed to be defeated to defend the workers state. It is correct to give critical support to defeating it without endorsing the brutal means that were used. The problem is that the collectivisation was carried out forcibly and entirely from above. What should have been done is to mobilise the mass of poorer rural workers and peasant against their exploiters, the Kulaks, to carry out expropriations from below. But the Stalin regime feared the independent mobilisation of the masses, with good reason.
Collectivisation should have begun earlier as there was a period of at least four years (1925-29) when the opposite policy was pursued, of urging the kulaks to “enrich themselves” and allowing them to get strong enough to wage a grain rebellion. The Left Opposition advocated gradual collectivisation through material and moral incentives but were denounced as ‘super-industrialisers’ and suppressed by the Centre-Right bloc. That Centre-Right bloc was only broken by the Kulak rebellion, which was suppressed by means of civil war, which could not fail to lead to a famine.
What the ‘Holodomor’ slur reveals is that anyone can be slandered by unscrupulous opponents. Even Stalin can be so smeared and the ‘Holodomor’ slur against the USSR is an example of such a smear. It equates the USSR with Nazi Germany and thereby Stalin with Hitler. And that is now the position of German imperialism, which invaded the USSR.
The post war myth of the ‘Holodomor’ is designed to evoke the Nazi holocaust to camouflage and excuse the role of Ukranian Nazis in slaughtering Ukrainian Jews. And to justify the Nazis murdering Russians by the tens of millions in WW2. Which the US-funded Nazis would like to repeat today. Including Zionists like Zelensky who repeatedly pay tribute to the SS.
There’s no getting away from it. The runaway rise in fuel costs will drive working class people to their deaths. Within the framework of the current neoliberal regime in Britain and pretty much all the imperialist countries, as well as many of the oppressed dependent and semi-colonial countries under the imperialist thumb, it determines everything else. The characteristic lie of the ruling classes is that in some way Russia and Vladimir Putin are responsible for fuel prices going through the roof. But this is an absurd lie: for a start Britain gets less than 8% of its total oil and gas from Russia, and less than 3% of its natural gas. Furthermore, the rise in energy prices is not caused by any price rise from the Russians – if it did it would be marginal here as any numerate person can calculate. In any case, in Britain in 2020 43% of Britain’s electricity was generated from renewable sources (wind, solar and biomass), and since then it this has fluctuated, but is gradually continuing to grow. These ought rationally to be completely separate in price from fossil fuel sources such as oil and gas wherever it comes from.
But in fact, it is nothing Russia has done, but rather the sanctions against Russia that have escalated energy prices upwards, prices that were already on a sharp upward trend before the conflict in Ukraine started. What is actually happening is massive profiteering by Western oil and gas monopolies are driving up prices. This is seen by looking at the profits of the leading companies involved. A series of major oil and gas companies either have, or are credibly forecast to have, massively increased their profits in 2022 over the same period in 2021. This includes Shell, rising from $12.8 Billion in the period Jan-September 2021 to $30.1 Billion in the same period in 2022 (actual, not estimate); BP rising from $8.2 Billion to $20.7 Billion over the same period (estimate); ExxonMobil from $14.3 Billion to $42.7 Billion (estimate); Chevron from $10.7 Billion to $27.3 Billion (estimate), TotalEnergies from $11.3 to $28.7 Billion (actual, not estimate); Eni from $2.6 Billion to $10.3 Billion (estimate) and ConocoPhillips from $5 Billiion to $13.8 Billion (estimate). (source, Guardian, 27 October 2022, https://tinyurl.com/2ttv9dj5). These are staggering increases in profit, and completely debunk the bizarre propaganda that Russia somehow to blame for the fuel price catastrophe for defending its co-nationals in the Donbass from Nazi terror. What is actually happening is concerted operation to fleece the population of the Western countries, and the wider world, using the Ukraine conflict and the mendacious information war being waged as a cover for doing so.
The sanctions against Russia are driven by predatory political objectives – the expansion of NATO, which has been underway since 1997, even when the West’s favourite lackey, Boris Yelstin, was in power. Even under Yeltsin, the arch privatiser and agent of the West, who starved his own people for the Western privateers and banks, Russia was cast as the ultimate enemy of the West. This is because of what is called the Brezhinsky plan, after former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezhinsky, to split Russia into at least three effective US colonies, promoted by such imperialist predators as Dick Cheney, architect of the WMD lie and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2014 the United States, acting through the so-called National Endowment for Democracy, the outsourced ‘soft power’ wing of the CIA, organised a coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian President Yanukovitch and placed a puppet regime dominated by Nazis in power.
This regime abolished the equal status of the Russian language, the main language of almost half the population, and began persecuting and killing Russian speakers and waging war against the South and East of Ukraine and its mainly Russian-speaking population. The two Minsk agreements that were supposed to guarantee rights and autonomy for the Russophone population were repeatedly broken leading to civil war. Thousands of civilians from the Donbass region were killed as the Ukrainian Nazi regime waged war against them over the past 8 years. Despite the phoney refugee crisis in the West involving usually quite wealthy Ukranians pretending to flee from Western Ukraine, which is not occupied, more refugees – over 3 million – have fled to Russia, from the Nazi bombardment
Finally, Russia undertook a limited Special Military Operation in February to protect the Russian-speaking population. The sanctions are aimed at punishing Russia for protecting its people from Ukrainian Nazis. Zelensky is just a puppet and a front man for these types. We are in an economic mess because the West is funding bloodthirsty Nazis not to defend the Ukrainian-speaking people who mainly live in Galicia – the West of Ukraine – there are ZERO Russian troops deployed there. They are supplying arms to the Ukrainian Nazis to massacre and ethnically cleanse the population of the Donbass and Crimea. British intelligence has been involved in terrorism against the people of the Donbass provinces and Crimea who overwhelmingly voted to leave Nazi Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The West regards such self-determination of peoples as a threat to imperialist interests, as shown also by the banning of an independence referendum in Scotland, and the persecution and imprisonment of elected Catalan leaders by Spain for calling such a referendum
Billions are being spent on weapons to murder Russo-Ukrainians for their vote, swelling the profits of military profiteers also, which should be spent on supporting the living standards of working-class people at home facing an economic cliff-edge, hunger, cold and homelessness. Or at least that is what would be done if we lived in a society not ruled by a predatory imperialist ruling class. Instead, they are using this war, as they used the Covid 19 pandemic, as a means to engineer a massive shift of money and wealth from the poor to the super-rich, leaving a huge pile of corpses in their wake.
Austerity Means Mass Murder
Cameron’s austerity killed 330,000 mainly disabled and elderly according to a recent study. Johnson in the Covid pandemic killed at least 150,000. The discharge of infected elderly into care homes was mass murder in plain sight. Poorer countries with larger populations protected people and had a quarter of our 200,000 deaths. Now another massacre, likely even bigger, is being engineered by Sunak and Hunt. That’s half a million murdered in a decade, with many more coming.
And we also see the deliberate endangerment of the lives of migrant workers and asylum seekers. The illegal orders to the Navy to ‘push back’ desperate people in small boats, who have NO legal way to seek asylum in the UK. The failed attempts to deport refugees to Rwanda, which has been carefully chosen for its brutal abuses even of the imperialist concept of ‘human rights’ (as opposed to the universal rights of the working class and oppressed) and for its subliminal association with genocide. And there is the Manston scandal, where refugees were deliberately put into desperately overcrowded conditions in the hope that disease would kill them off. As a result, we have an outbreak of diphtheria, a barbaric throwback to the days of typhus in Nazi concentration camps. The populist neoliberals would like to divide workers by portraying these people as undeserving of any rights, on a nationalist/racist basis. But how they treat refugees is an index of how they would like to treat us all. The ‘hostile environment’, which began under New Labour’s Alan Johnson, and all these murderous actions directed against the poor majority of workers show the need to unite with immigrant workers to do away with the neoliberal vermin completely.
We should fight for full restitution and vengeance for all this as a means to mobilise the mass of working-class people to conquer their own emancipation from this predatory class rule. Madame Guillotine is an excellent leveller and a life for a life is the correct solution to these killings. The entire capitalist/neoliberal elite – Tory, Blairite and ‘Populist’ – needs to be disposed of in the vintage French manner and their property – stolen from working-class people – collectivised.
The rise in food prices is being driven by the voracious profiteering of neoliberal parasites. The creeping rise in housing costs and interest rates was also underway in parallel to that, but In Britain the moronic Voodoo economics of Truss gave a new boost to inflation and provided the ruling austerity mongers with the wafer-thin ‘justification’ for a new round of austerity. We, the working class, are supposed to pay for the lunacies of the Tory membership in imposing the monstrous imbecile Truss with new cuts to the NHS, with tax increases in coming years, and declining real pay in the face of relentless fuel-fuelled inflation. That was the message of Hunt and Sunak’s mini-Budget on 17th November. While they hope their fiscal measures will blunt the rise in interest rates and protect homeowners – the wealthier portion of whom make up much of the Tories’ electoral base – the pay off for this will be the expiry next April of Truss’ totally inadequate average £2500 limit on annual fuel bills – which is itself over double the cap at the end of 2021 – and its likely to rise as high as £4000 pa in April 2020. After that there will be means-tested aid to the poorest, those on benefits etc, who will still be crucified by the doubling before the limit was created, and the rest will have to pay the profiteers in full.
Develop the strike wave towards a General Strike. No support to Starmer!
None of this should be tolerated. It is good that there is a fightback developing in the working class, and one-day strikes have been bubbling away for a few months now. Rail workers, Royal Mail workers, dockers have set some sort of pace for others to follow. Now we see nurses having voted to strike: their pay has effectively been cut by at least 20% in real terms by the refusal of pay rises to keep up with inflation since the beginning of the original Tory austerity programme in 2010. The NHS has been hammered by the same austerity, and by the rampant corruption, malign neglect and profiteering of Boris Johnson and his cronies since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone knows the difficulty now in getting to see a GP. Everyone doubly fears being taken ill today, not only because of the illness itself, but the fact that the Ambulance Service and A&E and Hospital Admissions have been wrecked and plundered by the profiteers, so that Ambulances are forced to queue for hours outside A&E’s before discharging their patients into understaffed hospital facilities, instead of being available to often desperately ill patients within a reasonable time.
But the revival of trade union struggle is still at a relatively early stage. A crucial obstacle to the movement is forty years of anti-trade union laws, which impose a very restrictive legal framework on strikes. And they have a bureaucracy that is long used to manoeuvring around these laws, and often squashing struggles that objectively need to go beyond the repressive legal framework to have a chance of winning. Such struggles are routinely betrayed by the bureaucracy, and have been for decades, particularly since the 1984-5 Miners strike. We need a series of strategic demands and aims centring on further deepening of collaboration and coordination of union actions between different unions, aimed at what is objectively necessary – a General Strike to defeat these attacks and defend the WHOLE working class.
At the same time, we should be wary of such bodies as the TUC, which have the authority to call a General Strike, and given a huge increase in pressure from below, could at some point be forced to comply. History says that the TUC is likely to betray such a strike, as it did in 1926, calling off the strike after 10 days. The only antidote is to build a political class movement at the grass roots that can take the strike out of the hands of such misleaders. Such a movement could strike a severe blow against repressive anti-union laws and force their abolition. We must demand workers control of all prices; a sliding scale of incomes and benefits, and of course the establishment of a workers’ government to put the workers collectively in command of the whole economy so we can expropriate capital and plan the economy in working-class interests.
A crucial obstacle to this is any continued loyalty of the trade unions to the Labour Party. Today the Labour leadership is openly hostile to unions and strikers, and the leadership in one case even sacked an MP from a shadow ministerial position and orchestrated their de-selection as and MP, for refusing to obey an edict not to show support for picket lines. This is entirely consistent with the whole war Starmer has waged against the left since he was elected as Labour leader on a slew of brazen lies in 2020, promising to be a ‘unity’ candidate maintaining many of the mildly left-social-democratic politics of Jeremy Corbyn.
He immediately declared war on everything remotely working class or socialist within Labour. Any support for workers in struggle is proscribed. Any support for Palestinian rights draws the Goebbellsian lie about ‘anti-Semitism’ and the chop from Labour, propelled by the powerful faction of fascistic Zionists of which Starmer is part. Jewish-Zionist racists are indulged in Labour; non-whites, Muslims or other representatives of the genuinely oppressed, even anti-Zionist Jews, are sent to the back of the bus. And any opposition to NATO’s war in Ukraine on behalf of its Hitlerite puppets likewise attracts being purged. Starmer, who says that he supports Zionism “without qualification” at the same time defends the Hitlerite scum like Azov, and Ukraine’s US-quisling Zionist President Zelensky who posts approving pictures of his troops wearing SS Insignia on his Instagram account.
The Tories have reached the end of their line as a currently viable ruling party. It is clear that the ruling class want them out, not least so that they can resolve their huge problems with erratic right-wing populism that were summed up in the bizarre and dysfunctional regime of Johnson and Brexit, and the even more bizarre short-lived Truss regime. The ruling class is actively pushing for Starmer to take their place, as a surrogate, substitute Tory who will maintain austerity and their repressive anti-union laws, their hostile environment for migrants, their racist persecution of minorities, their privatisations and above all their absolute fealty to neoliberalism and the defence of the interests of the super-rich ruling class core against the working class and the oppressed on all questions of any significance.
There should be no indulgence, no support, for Starmer’s New Labour by trade unions. There should be no voting or campaigning for New Labour by socialists, trade unionists and anti-racicsts. Starmer follows in the footsteps of Blair, who kept 95% of Thatcher’s anti-union laws, engaged in its own privatisations including in housing and the health service, and was the chief promoter of the predatory war in Iraq. Trade unionists should involve themselves in the struggle to create a genuine working-class party open to programmatic development towards revolutionary solutions.
Such things are needed across the imperialist countries, and indeed among all those victimised by the current crisis around the world. Neoliberal capitalism needs to be destroyed by the international working class!
One of the most troubling aspects, but least reported in the West, in the Special Military Operation has been the discovery of US/Ukraine biolabs with documents and paraphernalia of scientific investigation despite the instructions from Kiev to destroy all such evidence on the 25th February 2022.
The UN continues to refuse all requests to investigate the written and physical evidence of the Pentagon’s bioweapons programmes in Ukraine which were being carried out in clear violation of Articles 1 and 4 of the Biological Weapons Conventions, despite the eventual admission by the Pentagon that such biolabs and programmes did exist, albeit described by the US as “defensive”.
The UN refusal, under pressure from many Western nations, is at odds with their willingness to announce war crimes by Russia without any such evidence or even legal precedence. The current revelations of US programmes of “gain of function” on viruses in the current in the U.S. House Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions shows that this call for investigation by Russia should be subjected to proper scrutiny and full investigation.
The anti-lockdown protests in China are another piece of hybrid warfare aimed at fomenting a colour revolution and overthrowing the Chinese government. The involvement of overseas journalists in fomenting these events is clear, and what is particularly notable is the virulent support of the liberal media in Britain in supporting them. A BBC operative has been thrown out of China for an evident role in, not merely reporting on these events, but inciting them. The support of the Guardian for these protests recalls their recent applause for the truck-bombing of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea. Formally these shitlibs oppose lockdown-breaking and covid denialism, as well as terrorist attacks on civilian targets. Except when it suits them part of an imperialist campaign or potential right-wing coup.
They are a reminder that the Covid movement in the West is a two-edged sword and that the imperialists will use anything at all to try to gain an advantage. What is outrageous is that many of those liberals in the Western media and ruling classes who accurately scored the likes of Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro for criminal neglect of the welfare of the population in the worst period of the pandemic, not least by sabotaging quarantine measures and allowing the virus to run riot, are opportunistically trying to make use of social discontent in China at lockdown measures as a political weapon. They denounced anti-lockdown protests in the West but are opportunistically making use of them here.
They are just as cynical as Trump was in playing with the lives of the US population, with this playing with the lives of the Chinese people. No one likes lockdowns, as they interfere with normal life and cause major problems for everyone subjected to them. But in circumstances of a dangerous illness running amok, as happened in the last three years with Covid, they are by far the lesser evil. This is shown by a comparison of the death rates of those countries where it was allowed free rein, with China. China, remember, is where the Covid pandemic was first discovered and may well be the place where it started. China has something of a problem as the virus being allowed to run riot externally has led to over 6 million deaths, of whom China’s share has been minuscule, but has also eventually led to the emergence of milder variants. As a reflection of this change there has been some relaxation in China, more reliance on vaccination. But this is incomplete, and something that has to be handled with great care, and those who are trying to exploit this dilemma certainly do not have the welfare of the Chinese population at heart.
The United States had the worst aggregate death rate from Covid-19 in the whole world. Its total deaths from Covid to date is 1,104,879, according to the Worldometer (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries), and it has had over 100,000,000 recorded cases. China, which has over four times the population of the US, has had only 5,233 deaths, and 315,248 cases overall. That is a remarkable record considering that China is relatively far less wealthy than the US, and indicative of a ruling layer that at least can be said to have some real social responsibility in dealing with this problem. If China had been criminally negligent in the manner of the US in dealing with the pandemic, it is obvious that the result would have been over 4 million deaths!
The imperialist attempt at exploiting this issue is deadly in its implications and should be regarded with contempt. The BBC is complaining that their operative who was apprehended by the Chinese government was not treated well. But given the sinister import of playing with people’s lives by this cynical exploitation of the Covid issue in China, he should think himself lucky he was not put in front of a firing squad.
Lula obtained more than 60 million votes. The largest vote by a president in the entire history of Brazil. His highest vote was among the most exploited and oppressed sectors of the country. The North-East region, with high levels of misery and unemployment, guaranteed this historic victory, as well as the industrial centers of the country. The elections distortedly expressed the class struggle in the country, with the proletariat supporting Lula, despite the broad front, and the urban and agrarian bourgeoisie supporting Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro obtained almost 8 million more votes than in 2018, demonstrating a nationalisation and growth of the political forces of the extreme right. However, in 2022 Bolsonaro lost votes in the three richest and most industrialized states, São Paulo (-12.7%), Rio Janeiro (-11.5%) and Minas Gerais (-8.4%). Noting that Bolsonaro lost the election in Minas Gerais. This means a shift to the left of working class battalions.
Bolsonaro’s defeat was a victory for the working classes. Even under threats of dismissal by the bosses, with vote buying, with the Federal Highway Police (PRF) blockades and pressure from religious leaders, the masses elected Lula to defend their rights.
Now, Bolsonarism is not accepting defeat. Bolsonaro remains silent for the press, but frantically coordindating with the military and other reactionary segments that are carrying out actions to refuse to accept the electoral result as a ban on federal highways.
On Monday, October 31, the National Confederation of Transport and Logistics Workers (CNTTL) published a note of repudiation of the protests, classifying them as “undemocratic”:
“We are experiencing an anti-democratic action by some segments that do not represent the category of autonomous truck drivers of non-acceptance of the results of the polls. We need to respect what the people decided at the polls: the victory of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva”.On the 31st, there were 338 obstruction points in 23 states and the nation’s capital. It is mainly about two segments: a group directly mobilized by the owners of the transport companies (employer lockout) and, another group, a fascist current among the truck drivers. In addition to these sectors, some police officers and farmers joined the blockades, which, despite this, ebbed in the last few hours, mainly due to the action of the population .
In fact, the coup blockades started on the voting day of the second round of elections, November 30th. They were initiated by the Federal Highway Police (PRF), which mobilized 5,000 agents to block passenger traffic in regions where Lula won in the first round with more than 70% of the votes. The graph shows that places where the PRF made it difficult for voters to access the polls coincide with regions where the former president had more votes.
The coup blockades of the bosses, farmers and police were a continuation of those of the police of the previous day. However, on Monday itself, the working population, especially the proletariat of poor neighborhoods and workers leaving the workplace, began to sweep the coup plotters off the roads. In São Mateus (Espirito Santo), the population threw stones at trucks so an ambulance could pass , and shipbuilding workers in Angra dos Reis (Rio de Janeiro) armed with clubs drove the coup plotters off the highway.
During the elections, Minister Alexandre de Moraes, president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), assured in a press interview that the PRF’s action was legitimate and necessary. The roadblocks by the coup plotters in almost every state in the country lasted more than 24 hours without the Supreme Electoral Court (STE) taking a stand against them. It was only after the working population itself began to clear the roads through their direct action that the Supreme Court (STF) took a formal position.
In view of this, trade union centrals, left-wing parties, popular leaders and progressive politicians must go beyond the policy of simply despising the coup action, believing that it unravels itself. Also, they cannot trust the judiciary to ensure legality. These leaders must join, summon and help organize the initiatives of the working population to sweep the Bolsonarist gangs from the streets.
As the workers of the Global South understand deeply, it is the region that suffers the most from US-led imperialism, it is where it obtains the greatest profits and prosecutes its most vicious wars and coups.
The Global South, for centuries, has been the centre of bloody exploitation of its people and its lands by the imperialist powers. It is, however, an arena not just of exploitation and oppression, but also of resistance and revolt against western colonialism and imperialism.
The Global South’s popular leaders who resisted or crossed imperialism, such as Allende, Lumumba, Ghadaffy, Hussein, Arbenz, Najibullah and Mosaddegh have been assassinated, to name just a few.
Cuba has suffered more than 60 years of economic blockade.
Vietnam and Korea were devastated, with millions murdered by the US military, in bloody wars.
Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded, with millions killed and millions more made into refugees.
Indonesia saw the greatest mass slaughter, of over one million communists, in 1965, in a US sponsored coup that installed the Suharto military dictatorship.
US-led imperialism economically supported and supplied military aid to the Expansionist Indonesian ruling class’s massacre of 200,000 Timorese people, one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century!
Argentina’s Malvinas Islands are still occupied by the US imperialist subordinate ally, the UK.
Venezuela continues to be sanctioned by US-led imperialism, and its gold reserves were stolen, while a US puppet, Juan Guido, is purported to be its ‘Real President’!
Haiti is currently occupied by US sponsored “UN Troops”, after the US military kidnapped its elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristede.
The Dominican Republic, in 1965, after the people overthrew its US supported dictator, the revolution was bloodily crushed by the invasion of 50,000 US marines.
Syria is still suffering under US occupation of its oil producing areas, after suffering huge US sponsored terrorism, resulting in massive death and destruction and millions of refugees.
The Palestinian people have suffered 74 years of oppression at the hands of the US imperialist backed Israeli Apartheid Zionist state. Israel’s role in the Middle East, is to punish all enemies of US-led imperialism in that critical oil-producing area.
The countries of Central America have suffered, repeatedly, from coup after coup, that were sponsored by the ‘Monster’ from the North’.
Half of Mexico was seized and colonized, by the US.
Somalia has been made a bloody victim of the bombs of US imperialism.
The Congo has suffered millions of dead, in civil wars, as a result of the US sponsored coup that overthrew Patrice Lumumba.
Libya has been reduced from the richest country in Africa, under Ghadaffy, to a crushed, blood-soaked area of civil war, in an utterly destroyed country, by US-led imperialism.
US imperialism is threatening global war, over the issue of Taiwan, which virtually every country, including the USA, recognizes as part of China.
Pakistan has suffered coup after coup, sponsored by US-led imperialism, including one just a few months ago, along with numerous drone strikes from the US military, against its own population..
The list of US imperialist crimes against the Global South goes on and on! The Global South has been victimized by their colonialist master for too long!
The Global South is, now, gravitating towards the China-Russia alliance, for obvious reasons! The Global South, if anything, has a greater stake in the outcome of the Ukraine War, than does the people of the Global North!
The war in Ukraine is a pivotal moment in the global struggle against imperialism. It’s outcome will help determine the global balance of class forces.
The war in Ukraine, under the leadership of US imperialism, is now a grand imperialist alliance of imperialism that seeks to return Russia to the status of a semi-colony. They will then turn their attention to crushing China.
The Kiev regime, established in 2014 by the Euro-Maidan coup, is fascist. It is racist, and it destroys even basic bourgeois democracy. Moreover, the US imperialism is using that fascist and racist in order to expand its terriotry for exploitation. The essence of the Kiev regime is that it is an imperialist subordinate regime.
However, Putin regime is not a revolutionary regime of the working class. The difference is that the Kiev regime in western Ukraine is a subordinate of the imperialists, and Russia, on the other hand, has been treated as prey by imperialists. The Putin government is a bourgeois Bonapartist formation that oppresses the working class at home, that is compelled to fight the pro-imperialist Maidan Nazi project to defend itself. The working class has a common interest with that government in that, but must maintain its own class independence and support Putin militarily but not politically.
The US is the dominant colonial power controlling the world, but it is being threatened and weakened by the economic challenge of a rising China and its alliance with Russia.
The defeat of US-led colonialism will be an historic victory for the Global south!
Now is the time for the Global South to move to action! Your future depends on a Russian victory.
Now is the time to take to the streets to:
Support the victory of Russia against Imperialism!
To support the struggle of the Donbass people against NATO imperialism and Nazism
To oppose all sanctions against Russia!
To fight to close all US foreign military bases, north and south!
Whilst the workers of the Global North must fight to overthrow imperialism in its centres of power, a victory over imperialism must be waged globally.
Comrades of the Global South will you take up this banner and carry it proudly forward? We have a world to win! Now is the time to act!
The following is a statement released under the umbrella of the WORLDONFIRE (Worldwide Network against Fascism, Imperialism and Exploitation). Endorsees are listed below:
The US and Zelensky are getting desperate about the looming prospect of defeat in Ukraine. They know full well that their vaunted ‘triumphs’: the limited advances they have made in the environs of Kharkov and in parts of the Donetsk Peoples Republic are worth very little. All they have done is expose that Russia’s Special Military Operation to defend the Donbass people and De-Nazify Ukraine, should have been done as a proper mobilisation, not run on a relative shoestring as has been the case so far. Their outrageous terrorism against the Donbass and Crimea has finally provoked Russian retaliatory attacks by conventional forces on Ukrainian infrastructure – a strategically inevitable response .
Zelensky has not a prayer of subjugating people who clearly don’t want to be ruled by his Nazis once their volunteer militias, which have suffered from NATO’s covertly deployed mercenary troops, are reinforced by the full complement of 300,000 extra Russian professional troops whose deployment is being prepared now.
So Zelensky, and his US backers, have shifted from war fighting to acts of international terrorism, taking a leaf out of the book of Osama bin Laden and ISIS.
First we had the political murder of Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russia’s right-populist cheerleader and theorist of a multipolar world, Alexander Dugin (claimed by some to be directed against supposed ‘fascism’, but carried out by agents of the Ukrainian regime that worships perpetrators of the Nazi holocaust like Stepan Bandera and Roman Shushkevitch, who are celebrated with statues and murals all over West Ukraine).
Then there is the blowing up of the Nordstream 1 and the Nordstream 2 gas pipelines between Russia and Germany by US imperialism. And following that there is the truck bomb on the Crimean bridge, an act of terrorism against civilian infrastructure by Nazis aimed squarely at the mainly Russian population of Crimea, who as with the mainly Russian-speaking population of Donbass, don’t want anything to do with Nazi-Maidan Ukraine whose government supresses the Russian language and even murders those who speak it.
Both of the latter two actions have failed: part of Nordstream is still intact, and it is still possible for Russia to supply Europe with gas. And the rail bridge, and one of the road carriageways to Crimea, are still operating. The other will be rapidly repaired.
Comrades of Europe The bombing of Nordstream particularly was not only an economic ACT OF WAR against Russia, but it was also an even greater economic ACT OF WAR against the people of Europe!
Comrades of Europe: Are you going to allow the economic DESTRUCTION of Europe, by such ACTS OF WAR against the people of Europe, that was done by US imperialism and its Nazi proxies?
The economic sanctions on Russia, imposed by European governments at the behest of US imperialism, have completely backfired! They have strengthened Russia’s economy, while sending Europe into an economic crisis. Europe’s economy depends on Russian gas, Russian grain, and Russian fertilizer!
US imperialism was becoming alarmed by the developing political situation in Europe, where massive demonstrations began to demand that European governments ditch the sanctions on Russia, by reopening Nordstream 1& 2.
Comrades of Europe: Are you going to allow Europe to be put at risk of becoming the front line of WWIII, against Russia, at the service of US imperialism?
Are you going to allow Europe to continue to defend the fascist Ukraine regime, that was installed, by a coup, in Kiev, by US imperialism, in 2014?
Do you really want to be on the side of the Nazis, in this current battle against fascism, led by Russia? Do you want Berlin, Paris or London bombed by these terrorists once they become angered that NATO has not bombed Russia as Zelensky demanded, triggering off a nuclear war? Do you want these US-backed Nazis, who would happily see all of us vapourised, calling the shots in Europe?
Comrades of Europe: Now is the time to organize MASS DEMONSTRATIONS against all US military bases and US embassies in Europe, DENOUNCING the US imperialist ECONOMIC WAR against Europe as well as the US/NATO sponsored PROXY WAR against Russia! European economies are crashing!
NOW IS THE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE TO ACT FOR THEIR OWN DEFENSE!
Comrades: We can do this! We must do this!
Anti-War West Sydney ClassConscious.org Liaison Committee for the Fourth International (GB, BR, AR, US) US Friends of Soviet People Socialist Labor Party (Costa Rica) Socialist Fight (GB)
Mike Gimbel (US) Karin Hilpisch (Germany) Robert Montgomery (US) Fernado Ximenes (East Timor)
To endorse this statement please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Popular fronts are fronts between workers’ parties and parties of capital. They can be divided into 3 categories and even more than 3 as we will see later. Lula’s Broad Front with Alckmin is a more bourgeois expression of the traditional popular front.
The Communist League supports Lula’s candidacy as the only instrument to defeat the fascist Bolsonaro at this time and on the ground of bourgeois elections but criticizes the broad front as a trap of class reconciliation with the bourgeoisie and the golpismo that can cause us serious future problems.
The popular fronts were born as a theoretical formulation after a 180° turn in the tactics of the 3rd International, then under the control of Stalinism. Until the adoption of this tactic, almost in the mid-1930s, the political orientation for CPs was to avoid alliances with social democracy against fascism.
Despite the strength of the USSR and the size and influence of the mass support for communist parties and social democracy, such a sectarian tactic allowed the conversion of Nazism from marginal force to mass party and Hitler’s rise in Germany in 1933.
Georgi Dimitrov, then secretary general of the Communist International, communicates the new policy in a May 1934 Pravda article, which went on to comment favorably on socialist-communist collaboration. The reorientation was formalized at the VII Congress of the Communist International in July 1935 and reached its apotheosis with the proclamation of a new policy: “Popular Front Against Fascism and War”.
Since then, Communist Parties have been instructed to form broad alliances with all “anti-fascist parties”, not only parties of working-class origin, such as social democrats and labour, but also bourgeois parties, with the aim of ensuring social advancement in the conjunctural internal struggle of countries.
Less than a decade later, Stalinism was forced to do the same zig-zag, to extend this nationally waged politics, also to the military and international level against Nazism.
A Worldwide Popular Front
At the international level, the change in orientation of Stalinism also underwent a 180° turn, only later. Although since 1934 there has been official guidance for CPs to build the “Popular Front Against Fascism and War”, on August 23, 1939, the governments of Stalin and Hitler signed the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), known mainly as the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, due to the names of the German and Soviet Foreign Ministers, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Viatcheslav Molotov, respectively. This pact was followed by the German-Soviet Trade Agreement in February 1940. The pact lasted until June 22, 1941, when Germany, without notice, began the invasion of Soviet territory in Operation Barbarossa.
Just as after Hitler’s rise in Germany, after the massive invasion of the USSR by the Nazi army, surprising Stalin, who had believed in the treaty of non-aggression, Stalinism also performed a turn in its international front policy and created an alliance with the Anglo-Saxon imperialist countries against the former Nazi ally. At that time, the USSR’s alliance with the Anglo-Saxon imperialist countries, which in the previous decade set up Nazism against the USSR, may have been the first worldwide popular front.
This worldwide popular front with the Western big capital resulted in the extinction of the 3rd International (which was created by Lenin in 1919) in the middle of World War II! The Communist International was extinguished on May 15, 1943. In 1949, imperialism created its international anti-USSR, NATO. With this front with the USSR, imperialism also managed to establish a policy of containment of the European revolution, at a very favorable time due to the almost lack of regimes and bourgeois states after the war and when anti-fascist resistance sprees animated by the Communists defeated the Nazi-fascist occupation in several nations. Imperialism has fueled this restraint with the counterrevolutionary agreements of Yalta and Potsdan, of dividing the area of influence with imperialism, which smothered revolutions such as in Greece, Italy, etc.
From the historical experience of the development of popular fronts at the national level, we evaluate three perspectives for the development of the popular front tactic:
1) FASCISM: The popular front in its most classical conception can give way to fascism as it did in France, Spain in the 1930s, or chile in the 1970s. After frustrating the expectations of its social bases, aborting the possibilities of social revolution, disarming political and militarily the organizations of the proletariat, the popular front leaves the way clear for the triumph of fascism.
2) BROAD LIQUIDATION FRONT: The popular fronts can constitute broad fronts where they progressively dissolve in the capitalist state machine until they completely disintegrate. An example of this we have in the Italian Communist Party, the largest communist party in the entire West.
In the process of this liquidating degeneration of the broad front, the PCI justified its strategy with so-called Eurocommunism. Under the guidance of Togliatti, with the fall of Mussolini in Italy, already in April 1944 was proclaimed the “turning point of Salerno”, a commitment to the traditional bourgeois parties giving rise to a government of national-bourgeois unity.
From that immense communist movement, very little is left and after decades of liquidationism, neofascism emerged with force in Italy in 2022. This broad-fronted policy has been responsible for the demoralization and dissolution of left-wing organizations in all the countries in which it is applied, as in Chile after the Pinochet dictatorship and in Uruguay, with the Broad Front.
It should not be ruled out that in the short or medium term, this second demoralizing variable of alliances with the class enemy does not result in the triumphant return of fascism or neofascism, which in Brazil is represented today by Bolsonarism.
3) SINGLE ANTI-IMPERIALIST FRONT (FUA): Uniquely popular fronts can evolve into Anti-Imperialist Fronts. As considered in the Fourth International’s Transitional Programme:
It is, however, impossible to categorically and in advance deny the theoretical possibility that, under the influence of a combination of exceptional circumstances (war, defeat, financial breakdown, revolutionary offensive of the masses, etc.), the small-bourgeois parties, including stalinists there, can go further than they wanted on the road to rupture with the bourgeoisie.
This possibility is not ruled out and under exceptional historical determinations the popular front was broken by capitalist or imperialist allies, advanced the expropriation of imperialism and permanently from capital as in the Yugoslav, Chinese, Cuban and Vietnamese revolutions. However, these experiences did not create Soviet-type governments, supported by popular councils, as in the early years of the Bolshevik government.
In these circumstances, deformed workers states were created, most often the anti-imperialist fronts develop as political revolutions not advancing in the expropriation of the bourgeoisie as a class, not advancing in the social dimension, or at most advancing partially and with time receding in the face of the reaction that is strengthened and returns.
Examples of this latter variant can be noted with different singularities in Iran and Nicaragua in 1979, Burkina Faso in the 1980s, especially after the beginning of the imperialist offensive of financialization, dismantling western industrialization processes. Perhaps you can also put in this category Angola, Mozambique and South Yemen. The set of these revolutionary processes and their lessons need to be studied on a case-by-case basis.
A Single Anti-Imperialist Front Worldwide
At the international level, imperialist decay in its financialisation phase (1970-2022), marked by deindustrialisation, trade war and sanctions against oppressed peoples and workers’ states, caused, after the financial crisis of 2008-2010, the breakdown of the capitalist balance in the struggle between nations.
China, industrialized through global labor arbitrage (John Smith) by imperialism itself, has made the capitalist world dependent on its production chain, both in the import and export of goods, designed to become the nation holding the largest Gross Domestic Product since the 2008 crisis.
To try to contain Chinese influence derived from China’s conquest of world markets, the U.S. sought to strike through mechanisms of hybrid warfare, lawfare, parliamentary and military coups with governments that have approached China politically. This is what happened with Honduras, Libya, Paraguay, Ecuador, Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia…
Russia, after suffering a decade of Pinochetist shock doctrine, a speculative attack in 1998 and NATO’s military expansion to the East after the end of the USSR (1991), seeks to defend itself by renationalizing part of the economy and disputing political, military and indirectly the former areas of influence of the USSR with imperialism.
From then on, China and Russia were forced to establish a defensive alliance against the onslaught of the U.S. and its NATO allies, and AUKUS in the Pacific, a strategic alliance supported by the dialectics of a new Cold War, stronger than the political ties that Stalinist bureaucracies possessed and which were easily disrupted by the imperialist harassment that threw China against Russia in the 1970s.
This alliance, also made up of other oppressed nations such as Venezuela, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria, and the workers’ states of Cuba and North Korea, is a single anti-imperialist front. The most advanced, proletarian and open-war fraction against imperialism of this AUF is in the People’s republics in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. As NATO recreated Nazism in Ukraine for its Russophobe offensive, the anti-imperialist struggle in Ukraine was forced to turn into an anti-fascist struggle, so the current AUF is anti-imperialist and anti-fascist.
The hostility and pressure of imperialism are, by denial, a driving force of the anti-imperialist and socialist struggle, forging the “antagonistic cooperation” of the oppressed, historically forced non-revolutionary leaderships to lead revolutions, to go beyond where they desired in the line of rupture with the world system dominated by the US. If as Moniz Bandeira said, “empires are more dangerous when they decline”, at this time of decline of imperialism then this driving force is greater and more tensioning in favor of an opposing resistance.
Can the world proletariat triumph without taking advantage of the contradictions of the class enemy, the decay of imperialism, the breaking of the inter-State capitalist balance? With the Single Anti-Imperialist Front as a tactic, as a starting point, it must have the Permanent Revolution as a strategy, as a point of arrival. It cannot triumph without taking advantage of the dispute between financial capital and productive capital, to fight for reindustrialization, to expand the number of our class, which embodied by its greatest advantage, its number, to advance towards its own class strategy that goes far beyond the strategy of the governments of the nations that make up the AUF, to convert the fight against imperialism into an internationalist struggle, proletarian, revolutionary and permanent, for socialism.