13-06-2021: “Papers Please..” This infamous phrase now needs updating in the dystopian world emerging from the on-again, off-again lockdowns imposed the world over since 2020. Now it may be a digital pass which is required to travel, to catch public transport, or even to shop at your local supermarket. Vaccine Passports have been launched in Australia, following the lead of the Zionist Israeli state, which issued a Green Pass. Israel’s “immunity” pass enables users to access supermarkets, theatres, concert halls, indoor restaurants and bars. While it will be difficult in a legal sense to mandate injections with the Covid-19 “vaccine”, there are other ways of forcing people to subject themselves to the dangers of an experimental gene manipulation system, which already has thousands of adverse reactions – including death – being reported. These include: No jab no job, No jab no school or university, no jab no sport, no jab no entry to cultural events, and on and on.
It is notable that in Australia a “vaccine passport” was renamed as a “digital certificate”, due to a potential public backlash. This is because many people can see – even if they fall for a version of the fear pandemic – that vaccine passports will seriously divide society into hostile camps. Dr Clare Wenham recently expressed the fear that many hold: vaccine passports are totally unethical, and they create a two-tier society which inevitably leads to civil unrest – “Vaccine Apartheid”. Dr Mike Yeadon concurs, and warns about a “Medical Apartheid”, which hands enormous coercive power to the state to wield against unvaccinated people. Indeed, vaccine passports appear to be deliberately designed to cleave society into two – those who blindly (or reluctantly) comply with government dictates, and those who refuse (or think for themselves). The latter can then be characterised as “Covid deniers” – the modern-day equivalent of a Holocaust denier. The possibility that the extreme divisions fostered by Vaccine Passports could well lead to another Holocaust does not seem to figure.
Just as the Covid-19 fear pandemic was never about healthcare, vaccine passports are not about a vaccine or a virus. During an interview, Naomi Wolf stated that “Covid-19” vaccine passports are really about your personal data. Almost any other digital functionality can be loaded onto a platform, not just a vaccine history. Financial history, payment plans, all of your medical history can be added – as has already happened in Israel. This has led to activists being ostracised and placed under constant surveillance. The prognosis is ominous. Vaccine passports build on the bitter conflict which has been deliberately inflamed by soulless politicians through the use of state power to enforce lockdowns, curfews, facemasks and a litany of ever-changing rules which make no logical sense whatsoever. Without exaggeration, vaccine passports are another dire step towards the “train to Auschwitz”.
Covid passport fightback
Many who have been swept up in the hype of the Covid vaccine are unaware that injection does not prevent infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (assuming it exists), nor does it prevent transmission. It does NOT confer immunity to anything, let alone the dubious coronavirus which allegedly causes “Covid-19”. It MAY reduce the severity of what are most likely to be cold and flu symptoms – while posing a huge risk to your health and even longevity. If the Covid vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission, it is patently obvious that Covid vaccine passports have another purpose entirely. Nor is the Covid vaccine itself exclusively about cold profit for Big Pharma – although there is plenty of that. Pfizer will take home a cool $15 billion in profit from 2021 alone.
Above all, a vaccine passport is part of the lawless political repression accompanying the largest assault on the working class in history – under the code name of Covid-19. The virtual abolition of freedom of movement signified by a vaccine passport is also aimed at working people, as any number of exceptions will be allowed for the wealthy elite. The longer the socio-economic system of capitalism has its life extended, at a certain point its regression into fascism becomes inevitable. The outbreak of the first World War in 1914 was the first clear sign that capitalism no longer served any historically progressive function and had begun to destroy itself. More than 100 years later, capitalism is lurching from crisis to crisis, as it is unable to pull itself out of the latest slump which began in 2008. This is the real material basis of lockdown fascism which reared its ugly head at the beginning of 2020.
While it is true that the nationalist bureaucracies leading the deformed workers’ states (principally the People’s Republic of China – PRC) have also played along with the coronavirus pantomime, it does not follow that lockdown tyranny is part of some kind of “socialist” oppression, taking place via the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). Nor does it follow that the political leadership of PRC is jointly pushing the march towards the “New World Order” in partnership with the ruling classes of the imperialist West. The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) behaviour in this sphere is merely part of the double deception of “peaceful coexistence” and “socialism in one country”. Under these mistaken theories, the CPC bends over backwards to preserve the status quo – even to the extent of assisting and facilitating political repression both at home and in the West.
This betrayal of the CPC is matched by the treachery of Union officials and the lockdown left (parties which claim to be “revolutionary”, but have in practice enforced lockdowns). Yet there is no reason for despair. Millions of workers energetically reject vaccine passports, reflected in the fact that many church leaders have openly stated that they will not prevent an unvaccinated person from entering their congregations. Mass protest can have the effect of rolling back vaccine passports, even if the ultimate battle against lockdown fascism is yet to be decided. This is why workers must strive to construct organs of workers’ power – with and alongside the anti-lockdown movement.
06-06-2021: Throughout April and May, armed West Papuan separatist militia rampaged through the Puncak Regency, causing mayhem and leaving a trail of blood and destruction. Ostensibly claiming to be part of a “resistance” to the “oppression” of Papuans within Indonesia, the sheer cruelty of their behaviour could well be interpreted as having another dark and sinister agenda. The noble sounding aims of “independence” and “freedom” for West Papua (the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat) remain abstract until and unless it is connected with a definite set of political ideas and, most importantly, a political program. Without concrete examples, on paper no one is opposed to “independence” and “freedom” per se. At the same time, these broad aims – if they are genuinely held – should not be used as cover or a shroud for any acts of wanton violence. The means and ends must have a feasible correlation. While it is understood that not all political struggles can remain wholly pacifist, any use of violence must be justified on the scales of history.
Terror in the highlands
In the case of West Papua, justifying the barbarity of the small handful of Papuans who are prepared to take up arms against “Indonesia” has become an impossible task. The Indonesian government refers to the armed separatist Papuan militia as KKB (Armed Criminal Group), and it is difficult to disagree with this designation. On the 8th of April, Papuan KKB entered the Julukoma Village of the Beoga District, Puncak Regency, and approached the home of Oktovianus Rayo – a local elementary school teacher. They shot him dead. The next day, the KKB entered the home of junior high school teacher Yonatan Randen, and also shot him dead. This was after the Papuan separatists had burned down three local schools. Clearly, the separatists were targeting, in the most brutal manner possible, the education system which they see as “Indonesian” – but which educates all citizens regardless of ethnicity. Needless to say, the execution of school teachers is hardly a campaign of political persuasion. It is outright terror, to intimidate anyone who does not back separatist “independence”.
On Sunday the 11th of April, the separatist militia torched nine rooms of the junior high school at Beoga. After being repelled from the Beoga airport, the KKB burned the local school and several houses at Dambet Village. Here, they were engaged in a firefight with Brigadier General Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha and seven other soldiers. General Putu was shot dead in this exchange. It took 100 military personnel to re-take Beoga airport from the armed separatists, from where 42 “migrants” (transmigrants from other parts of Indonesia) had to be evacuated to Mimika for their own safety. The fact that the transmigrants (who are generally Indonesians from Java, Sumatra or Sulawesi) had to flee for their lives under the protection of the Indonesian security forces speaks volumes. Advocates of “Free West Papua” will not admit it, but this extreme anti-internal migrant racism appears to be the central rationale for Papuan separatism. It is acknowledged that some tensions can be caused by an influx of non-Papuans over time, but threatening to kill them is something else entirely.
The KKB separatists did not let up during the month of May. On Monday May 3rd, the militia attacked in the Ilaga District of Puncak Regency. They set fire to the Mayubwri Elementary School, the teachers’ residence and the Puskesmas Building, which was used as a community kiosk. The separatists also sabotaged a number of local roads, as well as the Kimak Bridge. They didn’t stop there. A few days later, the KKB burned down a public community centre, used locally for learning activities, in the Ilaga Kimak Village. Tracing the trail of destruction illuminates the clear intent of the separatists. Attack, burn down, destroy or sabotage any public infrastructure provided by the Indonesian government. In fact, even attack and kill public school teachers as a “warning”. Again, the terror and intimidation towards the local community is obvious. Papua will be “free” – or else. Workers internationally cannot offer one iota of support to this blackmail.
Claims that the Papuan separatists only target Indonesian police and military forces are false – they also target civilians. On the 28th of May, residents from the Oksamol District reported that the community revolted against the attacks from the separatists which threatened civilians and also took the life of officer Mario Sanoi. They affirmed that they took up traditional weapons against the KKB – who did not reside anywhere in the local area – and drove them away, even as they fired at them with guns. So much for separatism being a popular choice amongst the community!
NKRI declares KKB to be “terrorist”
Not without reason, in response the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) declared the armed Papuan separatist groups to be terrorists according to Indonesian law. In a press conference on April 29, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, stated that the acts of the KKB and all organisations and persons affiliated with it are now regarded as terrorist under Law No. 5 of 2018 and associated amendments. Terrorists are people who plan, instigate and organise terrorism. And “terrorism” is “…any act that uses violence or threats of violence that creates a sense of terror….that can cause mass casualties…cause damage or destruction….[to the] environment…public or international facilities, with the motive of ideology, politics and security.”
When armed Papuan separatists execute public school teachers, set fire to elementary and junior high school buildings, attack and damage roads and bridges – it can hardly be argued that such acts are not terrorist. While workers internationally cannot offer the Indonesian government political support, especially its energetic campaign to inject almost all of Indonesia with experimental Covid “vaccines” in response to a pandemic of lies, there can scarcely be opposition to its moves to prevent separatist violence in West Papua. After being officially declared “terrorist”, the onus is now on Papuan separatist groups and their supporters to declare their real position in relation to terrorism. Further, they must utterly repudiate the killing and/or targeting of non-Papuan civilians, as well as Papuans who do not support separatist independence. If they do not, we are entitled to view West Papuan “independence” as a campaign of ethnic violence and terror with the most unsavoury of intentions.
Left parties alibi racial violence
The knee-jerk reaction of liberals the world over is to bow down before an indigenous population and excuse their misdeeds no matter how heinous. Self-proclaimed socialist and “Marxist” parties, on the other hand, should know a lot better. Unfortunately, many of them display a championship level of credulity when it comes to West Papua. While being the first to shout to the heavens about real or imagined racial discrimination against black/indigenous/”people of colour” in the First World, they often fall silent or shift uneasily when shown examples where Melanesian Papuan militia have targeted or killed Austronesians or others from the approximately 1300 non-Papuan ethnicities who transmigrate into Papua. Many of these “transmigrants” have in fact lived in peace in Papua alongside everyone else there for 30 years or more. Yet racial violence targeting transmigrants in Indonesia should not be overlooked when it is carried out by separatist Papuans, indigenous or otherwise.
The Socialist Alliance (SA) very selectively reports on incidents such as the one that took the life of Indonesian General Putu. In their Green Left newspaper, SA claim that General Putu was shot “while travelling” near Dambet Village in Puncak Regency. They do not mention that General Putu and his group of security forces were not “travelling” but were in fact in pursuit of the separatists which had torched the local schools and executed two school teachers. They go on to claim that there are around 5000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) in the Nduga Regency, who had to flee “Indonesian security operations”. They do not mention that these particular security operations were a response to armed Papuan separatists murdering 31 road workers in cold blood who were constructing bridges on the Yigi and Aurak Rivers in December 2018, and subsequent clashes since that time. Needless to say, the slaughter of any Indonesian – civilian or military – will naturally force the security forces to respond. Moreover, one can only imagine the response of the police and security forces in Australia, the US or Europe, if armed separatists attacked and killed anyone they saw as representing or working with the governments of those states.
Socialist Alternative (SAlt) likewise wave the flag for West Papuan “independence”, regardless of the consequences. In an article in Red Flag, SAlt decry the denial of parole for five Papuans charged with treason in relation to riots which erupted across West Papua and Indonesia in 2019. While initially claiming the charges related to a “peaceful protest”, the article later admits that in fact the rioters had burned down the local parliament in Manokwari, as well as prisons in Sorong and Jayapura. Again we must ask – what exactly would be the response of the authorities in Australia, the US or Europe if rioters torched a parliament building and a couple of prisons? Anyone who attempted this in the first world would themselves go to prison for a very long time. Why should it be any different in Indonesia? Moreover, as we reported at the time, these riots were sparked by reports of Papuan university students desecrating the Indonesian national flag on the eve of Indonesia’s national Independence Day of August 17. While it can be acknowledged that hurling of the label “monkeys” at the Papuan students by some soldiers was wrong, it is understandable that they were incensed by the gross disrespect displayed by separatist students. This is after the Indonesian government goes to some length to ensure Papuan youth have the opportunity to access various levels of education.
The Spartacist League (SL) are usually the last of the self-affirmed Trotskyist parties to fall for the “human rights” false flag, but they make an exception in the case of West Papua. After the riots of 2019, they even fell for the fake charms of Veronica Koman, who they hail as “courageous” and a “defender of Papuan activists”. They claim that Ms Koman “fled” to Australia after sharing videos of police brutality on social media. This is a distortion which could have been sourced from the corporate media. As we reported at the time, what actually occurred is that Ms Koman was spreading fake videos online, in an effort to whip up the protests which certainly did flare partially in response to her social media posting. It is an offence under Indonesian law to spread hoaxes online, and the penalty could be six years in jail and a $US 70 000 fine. What is more, the riots that occurred with the help of Ms Koman’s incendiary videos took the lives of 40 people – both Papuan and non-Papuan. After this, she refused to come forward for police questioning several times, and then fled to Australia. So in reality, Ms Koman fled to avoid a charge ofracial incitement. So much for the principles of a “human rights” lawyer! The SL seriously needs to check with whom it is aligning itself.
The Bolshevik-Leninist organisation uses extensive quotes from Lenin in an effort to justify their support for what they see as a West Papuan struggle for “national liberation”. They recognise more reality than others on the left in relation to Papua and Indonesia, and yet still come up short. They can see that West Papuan nationalism is a barrier that workers need to overcome, and propose that cross-national class unity between West Papuan and Indonesian workers should be the goal. This appears to align with “Marxist” theory, IF the reality of the basis of the “independence” movement is ignored. The unfortunate circumstance is the fact that the central pillar of separatist independence – armed or not – is racial tension and antagonism by Papuans against non-Papuans. In essence, Papuans want the transmigrants (mainly Indonesians of multiple ethnicities) out, so a Papuan only “state” can be formed. To achieve this, a small minority of Papuans are prepared to enact murderous racial violence.
This is why socialists cannot extend one iota of support to the notion of “Free West Papua”. ANY form of racial and ethnic hostility cannot be excused, regardless of who carries it out. Working people also have no interest in fostering and fomenting a national conflict, unless it is a rare case of using the methods of class struggle to combat national oppression in order to advance towards socialism. Papuan separatism has no such aims. The unity of Papuan, Indonesian and international workers is certainly needed; but only to ensure basic justice regardless of nationality, race and ethnicity.
30-05-2021: For the fourth time, the Australian state of Victoria has been crushed into an inhuman lockdown by compassionless politicians with the threadbare excuse of an “outbreak” of Covid-19. The restrictions imposed on 7 million people are possibly the harshest measures enforced globally since the start of 2020. Facemasks are mandatory virtually everywhere apart from inside your own home. All public gatherings, indoor or outdoor, are banned. No travel beyond a perimeter of 5 kilometres is permitted. Workers must work from home unless they are “authorised”. Weddings are banned, and there is a 10-person limit for funerals. No religious or church gatherings are permitted if they are in person. All schools and Universities must move to remote “learning” online. The bewildering list goes on and on. Victorians are expected to check a long list of “Covid exposure sites”, recall if they have visited a shopping centre, bar, restaurant, gym etc., get tested and quarantine for 14 days, or until they test negative. This nightmare scenario goes way beyond what George Orwell envisioned in his dystopian novel about future totalitarianism, 1984.
New round of job losses
At this stage, the lockdown may be lifted in seven days – but there is no certainty about that. At the very least, many workers will lose at least a week of income, and many may again be stood down or face termination. Under “Stage 4” restrictions, employees who remain employed must carry a work permit with them to attend their workplace, which must be downloaded and printed from a government website. The penalty for not having a “work permit” is up to $19, 826 for individuals and $99,132 for businesses that do not comply. Small Business Australia estimated that the lockdown would cost the state $1 billion in revenue, while the Grattan Institute estimated the losses would be $900 million. It is the working class which pays the heaviest price for lockdowns, as business owners can retain their assets while simply laying off staff. Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated that workers without work can go to Centrelink to apply for emergency payments but was unable to say whether any assistance would be offered.
Professor Patrick McGorry, a former Australian of the Year, said that the Stage 4 lockdowns in Melbourne have caused a 20% increase in calls for help with mental health issues, and that “the suicide risk is very serious”. Previous lockdowns in Victoria had already caused a raft of intense mental health issues, such as eating disorders amongst young people. Lockdowns remove social, work and usual exercise patterns, leaving people feeling suffocated. Stress, anxiety and depression are simply turbocharged, devastating wide sectors of society. Aloof politicians attempt to feign concern, by offering platitudes such as the lockdowns are “regrettable but necessary”.
Pandemic of lies
The claim that lockdowns and associated restrictions are about healthcare is preposterous. Lie after lie from politicians and the corporate media attempt to excuse the inexcusable. Lockdowns obviously cause immense suffering, and it is the working class that cops the brunt. While the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is disputed, there can be no doubt that the only “pandemic” is a pandemic of lies. Australia’s mortality rate has hovered around 7 deaths per thousand for the past two decades, including the year 2020. There never was, and is not now, a “pandemic”. What has occurred is a deliberately triggered recession so as to “reset” global capitalism. Bar none, it is the most savage attack on the working class in history. Paraphrasing Russian revolutionary leader L Trotsky, capitalism can only survive by drastically reducing the living and working conditions of the proletariat. Patently, this cannot be done without severe political repression – hence the lockdowns.
We do not hesitate to label lockdown mania as a particular form of fascism. Fascism becomes inevitable the longer the life of capitalism and imperialism is extended. The list of bourgeois democratic rights which capitalism brought in its train during its heyday is significant. Freedom of speech, the right of assembly, the right to protest, the right to a free press, the right to free expression, the right to a civil trial – all of these and more were won alongside the bourgeois struggle against feudalism. Now the system of private production for private profit is in terminal decline, so all of these rights and much more are junked as if they were so much human refuse. For these rights to return, and for humanity to survive, nothing less than the overturn of the profit system through a workers’ revolution will suffice.
For this, clear working-class political leadership is key. The traditional avenues workers have deferred to – the Trade Union officials and left parties – have so betrayed workers it is difficult to find words of description. All Union officials and almost all left organisations have universally backed, and even enforced, barbaric lockdowns together with the very capitalist state they disingenuously claim to oppose. The staggering perfidy and base treachery of these “left-wing” functionaries is epoch making, for all the wrong reasons. They must be unmasked as capital’s gendarmerie.
Despite this, there is no reason to succumb to despair. The vast majority of working people detest lockdowns, facemasks and unrestricted dictatorial power waged against them. The anti-lockdown movement has been, and still is, the only thing standing between the ruling class and an even worse fate. Therefore, it is crucial that workers join and build the anti-lockdown movement as a matter of urgency. It exists in Melbourne, other states of Australia, in Europe and other parts of the globe. Within this movement, Marxists must argue for a pro-working class orientation, as a “people’s movement” is self-limiting. FREE VICTORIA! FOR A PERMANENT END TO LOCKDOWNS!
30-05-2021: The death toll from the latest round of Israeli state bombardment of Gaza stands at 213, including 61 children and 36 women, while 23 Palestinians have been slain in the West Bank. The aftermath of the blitzkrieg by the Zionist Israeli state will be as difficult to deal with for the Palestinians as the unconscionable loss of life. The 11-day assault, which temporarily ended with a ceasefire on May 22, resulted in 800 000 in Gaza lacking access to clean water due to 50% of the water infrastructure being damaged by guided missiles. The United Nations’ (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that nearly 17 000 residential or commercial units were damaged or destroyed by air strikes, with 769 of them rendered uninhabitable. Schools in Gaza were closed, affecting 600 000 children.
The conflict was partially sparked by Israeli police being sent to arrest protestors in the Al Aqsa Mosque, who they claimed were throwing stones. In response, Hamas – the militant Islamist party which rules Gaza – requested the removal of police. When this did not materialise, Hamas began launching rockets on Israeli targets. It is claimed that Hamas launched 3300 rockets towards Israeli cities and towns, which took the lives of 10 people. Another trigger for the conflict were the forced expulsions by Israeli settlers in the East Jerusalem area of Sheikh Jarrah, with the tacit approval of the Israeli authorities. Since 2020, eviction notices have been served to 13 Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. These evictions are based on a 1970 law which exclusively allows Jewish Israelis to take back land they claim to have lost before the state of Israel was established in 1948. The fact that the Palestinian families have lived there ever since is virtually dismissed.
One sided war
The Israeli state attacks on Palestinians is the worst since the war of 2014, but this time there are additional factors – such as Israeli settler pogroms. In some of the towns of ’48 Palestine, such as Lydd (Lod), armed Israeli settlers have been patrolling the streets with the protection of the police, looking for Palestinians to harass or harm. There were scenes of these mobs shooting at Palestinian homes and vandalising and destroying property, including Mosques. In Bat Yam, Israeli mobs lynched a Palestinian man, who was lucky to escape with his life. In one incident in Haifa, an Arab driver found himself in the midst of a mob chanting “Death to Arabs”. As he tried to flee, he struck one of the rioters. He was later detained by police. Even though Israeli President Netanyahu denounced the Israeli rioters, there appears to be efforts to use the Zionist mobs as auxiliary forces to the military assault.
Regardless of the launching of some crude rockets by Hamas, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not one of “two sides”, but rather a one-sided war against an essentially defenceless population. The Zionist state of Israel has the backing of the entirety of US imperialism, with the assistance of the European Union (EU) and other Western allies. The US government supplies Israel with $3.8 billion in “aid” each year, and in 2019 all but 0.2% of this money went to the Israeli military. Without this material financial/military backing, the Zionist state of Israel effectively ceases to exist, as it would be overrun the Arab masses. Palestine, on the other hand, has no military to speak of, and does not have its own state. In this unjust and one-sided war, elementary justice is on the Palestinian side, and workers the world over should stand with them against US/EU imperialism.
At the same time, there is much to be desired politically from the Palestinian resistance. Hamas’ mixture of Islam and nationalism offers no political solution, and no way forward. Firing rockets in response to the assault of the Israeli state may win it sympathy amongst suffering Palestinians, but these salvos also give the Israeli state political ammunition for their murderous acts. The conservative Fatah and the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas cancelled Palestinian elections in late April, probably concerned that Hamas may perform strongly. Hamas labelled the indefinite postponement a “coup”, which is not far from the truth. The bitter rivalry between Hamas and Fatah obscures the fact that both parties ultimately base themselves on Palestinian nationalism, which creates a barrier to Israeli and Palestinian working-class co-operation before a match has been struck.
In addition, the vast majority of the Palestinian solidarity movement, especially that in the West, is mired in multiple and cascading levels of hypocrisy which beggar belief. One could well ask whether they are in fact as “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Israel” as they claim to be. For example, many of the Palestine solidarity organisations and self-proclaimed left parties who lead “Free Palestine” demonstrations do not question the risible claim that the world is enduring a “pandemic”. The very existence of SARS-CoV-2 is scientifically disputed, let alone “Covid-19”. It is more likely a cover for capitalism devolving into a cruel fascism, throwing millions of workers into unemployment, and driving down living standards alongside the elimination of basic civil rights. Many left parties became known as the “lockdown left” for ably assisting the state crushing innocent and healthy workers via lockdowns, facemasks and experimental vaccines. Their forceful backing of authority they otherwise claim to oppose was stark – but no more so in the case of the Israeli state. The Israeli state was arguably the most aggressive in enforcing lockdowns, as well as attempting to all but mandate the dangerous Covid “vaccine”. They enforced a Covid Green Pass which is so absolute it nearly prevents unvaccinated Israelis from being able to participate in society. So if the Zionist Israeli state is over the top with Covid, according to “progressive” Palestine solidarity activists – why is it not an ally?
Axis of Resistance and Palestine
Pro-Palestine and “left” Covid practitioners ignore this obvious contradiction, which only adds another layer to their stunning sanctimony in opposing the “Axis of Resistance” (Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and others) during the imperialist war on Syria from 2011 onwards. Palestinians themselves and much of its international solidarity movement was split during the dirty war waged by the US Empire for regime change in Syria. Some Palestinians and their backers inexplicably backed the proxy war on Syria, while some Palestinian militia based in the Yarmouk refugee camp actively fought on the side of the Syrian Arab Republic, Iran, Hezbollah and others against the US/EU led assault. The Islamic Republic of Iran covertly supplies Hamas with weapons and funding to resist the offensive of the Zionist Israeli state, for which Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh offered public thanks. Yet many pro-Palestine solidarity organisations and left parties effectively bloc with the US Empire with their dangerous regime change provocations towards Iran.
What is more, the Zionist Israeli state has bombed Syria more than 400 times since 2011, without a peep of protest from almost all of those now raising their voice against the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza. The real agenda of some Palestinian solidarity stands exposed when they vociferously oppose the Israeli state bombing Palestine, but barely lift a finger when the Israeli state bombs Syria. But it goes further. The Israeli state was exposed as providing material support, medical aid and air strike support to ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated groups waging war against Syria for several years. The Zionist Israeli state was effectively coordinating efforts with the murderous barbarian mercenary terrorists the US Empire falsely claimed to be combatting – yet none of this warranted a sprig of condemnation from most pro-Palestine left parties. Israeli state repression of Palestine is wrong, but Israeli state aid, assistance and material back up for ISIS and Al Qaeda is fine and dandy?
The Lebanese Hezbollah is likewise known for its support for the Palestinian resistance. Recently Hezbollah sent a delegation to meet with Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders, during which they pledged “complete support” to the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli enemy. Hezbollah inflicted a severe military defeat on the Israeli state in 2006 when it invaded Lebanon with the express aim of wiping out Hezbollah. As decisive as the military victory was, it was also a political defeat for the US government, which backed Israel to the hilt. Despite this, many supposedly pro-Palestine leftists not only ignore Hezbollah’s deeds, but undermine it by backing anti-Hezbollah uprisings in Lebanon. In short, without Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, the Palestinian resistance would not exist. Unfortunately, for many Palestinian solidarity types, acknowledging this would mean breaking with their de-facto overall backing of US imperialist foreign policy – something they are not prepared to do.
The liberal trap of BDS
Even though some Western leftists are sheepish about it, many of them abjectly fail to put forward a Marxist critique of the liberal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Every element of BDS is an appeal to non-working class elements, and even implore the direct class enemy to “join” the campaign. “Boycott” refers to consumer boycotts of Israeli produced goods and services – which assumes that people can change the functioning of not only corporations, but capitalism itself, by choosing to consume different products. It also assumes that working class people have the time and the disposable income to investigate the source of a product, when many of them only have time for a once-a-week grocery run, let alone a shop for expensive treats. The middle and upper classes have the luxury of time and spare wads of cash, but most workers generally do not.
“Divestment” refers to pleas direct to corporate vultures themselves to invest their millions anywhere else apart from Israel. It implies that if a corporation divests their financial interests from Israeli businesses, they are therefore no longer “bad” corporations, but very “good” ones. This is petty-bourgeois nonsense. A capitalist corporation operates by exploiting the labour of the working class and the natural environment. Its function is plunder, which is why socialists organise to expropriate corporations, or at least initially the largest ones, for public benefit. BDS “divestment” inherently recognises the right of capitalists to enrich themselves, which is anything but progressive.
“Sanctions” refers to plaintive entreaties aimed towards not only capitalist states, but the very imperialist states which provide the material, political, financial and military aid to the Zionist state itself! Its as if the open and organised imperialist states – the US, the EU, Canada, Australia etc. – can somehow be fraternal allies (!) in the struggle against “Israel”. A better definition of liberalism cannot be found. Such demands reinforce nationalist claptrap (“our government”!) amongst workers when its precise opposite – working class internationalism – is most sorely needed. If “our own” bourgeois class can improve their image by applying sanctions on “Israel”, why bother with class struggle?
Every political tactic used by Marxists must seek to raise the level class consciousness amongst workers, domestically and internationally. BDS does the direct opposite – it marshals the “people” of the world against “Israel”, when the aim should be to co-ordinate joint action by Israeli, Palestinian and international workers against capitalism and against imperialism. As much of a problem as Zionism (the ideology of an exclusively Jewish state for Jewish people) is, it can only be overcome by the removal of capitalism in Israel and Palestine. Zionism is not at all threatened by Palestinian nationalism, even when it is backed by millions of misguided solidarity activists worldwide. This is because the nationalism of a small state automatically leads to the recognition, in turn, to the nationalism of a large state. In fact, it recognises the “right” of even imperialist states to exist.
Neither the nationalism of Hamas, Fatah or BDS offers the smallest possibility of liberating oppressed Palestinians. What is required is a bi-national Arab-Hebrew workers’ state, as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East. Key to this task is the forging of Leninist vanguard parties throughout the region, which seeks to prepare a socialist revolution. As far away as that prospect now appears, the barriers of nationality and religion cannot be overcome without it.
Image from Al Jazeera (Placard reads “Duque is not my President”)
22-05-2021: The riot is the rhyme of the unheard. So goes the perceptive axiom which describes the fits of repressed anger impoverished masses occasionally release on an unsuspecting body politic. Tired of being ignored and marginalised, grinding poverty and oppression becomes too much to bear, and is expressed in a collective and sometimes violent lashing out at the public and private property of their own surrounds. At least, such was the case for hundreds of years. Today, however, the riot can be unleashed by dark forces attempting to achieve political ends for which they will not or cannot wait. Stir up the youth, overlay it with dollops of progressive, humanitarian and “left-wing” rhetoric, target a conservative political figure – and let them loose. Any violence then carried out by the mobs can then be minimised, explained away or even justified as a pursuit of a noble cause.
The first expression of the use of violent riots by liberal forces was the #ChileDesperto (Chile Awake) actions throughout Chile in 2019. Then, burning, looting and rioting – which included the loss of life of innocent workers – was covered over by an overtly nationalist upsurge which claimed to be against neoliberalism. As we wrote at the time, any wanton vandalism and criminal violence carried out by protestors – no matter how worthy the claimed cause – will naturally trigger the intervention of the armed forces, especially in Latin America. Indeed, the provocation of the police and security forces appeared to be a part of the plan to discredit a conservative leader, and presumably replace them with a social-democratic one.
Yet the game changing use of “progressive” rioting came with the suspect explosion of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement over the death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, in 2020. Suspect because BLM went on to orchestrate campaigns of burning, looting and rioting throughout the year, which were steered towards a political goal of removing then President Donald Trump by fair means or foul. In fact, BLM led 570 violent riots for three months in 220 locations across the USA, ostensibly against “systemic racism”. Mainstream liberal media outlet CNN was panned for its now infamous subtitle which stated that riots which included buildings set ablaze were “mostly peaceful”. The clincher in the BLM hypocrisy stakes came when its protests and riots were virtually deemed exempt from the Covid-19 nonsense, when 1000 health “experts” signed an open letter claiming that protesting against racism was just as important as combatting the (scientifically disputed) SARS-CoV-2 virus. Many thus made jokes about this coronavirus knowing how not to infect someone who was protesting against racism.
Covid cognitive dissonance
Now, “progressive” rioting comes to Colombia, with a twist. During 2020, the Colombian state imposed some of the harshest Covid lockdowns in the world, in response to a fraudulent and fake “pandemic”. Not surprisingly, the lockdowns caused the already high poverty rate in Colombia to climb even higher, with unemployment doubling during 2020. The police were the public face of enforcing lockdowns and were handed extraordinary powers. Police could enforce stay at home orders, prevent people from leaving home, meeting with others, or travelling. This Covid repression understandably caused fury amongst many already impoverished Colombians, some of whom targeted police with reprisals. However, the latest round of riots and protests which have occurred since April 28 over a proposed tax hike on the working and middle classes, do not appear to question Covid itself. In fact, many of the rioters wear facemasks while looting, setting fire to public transport, and blockading roads. How can one protest lockdown created poverty without protesting the lockdowns themselves – and therefore the plethora of Covid lies? Behold the logic of liberalism.
The similarity of the form of riot between BLM in the US and the 2021 Colombian disturbances are rather striking. They extend into the taking of more lives than that which occurred in the US in 2020. In one instance in the capital Bogota, a mob tried to burn alive 10 police officers in a small police station. In another reported instance, a police officer was stabbed to death by a mob while he was attempting to stop a riot. In other words, this goes far beyond what could be normally described as protests against police brutality – even by the standards of Colombia, which has been wracked by an armed civil war going back some 60 years. Physical and armed attacks – NOT those of defending barricades or something similar – are hardly a part of a genuine political movement. A genuine political movement would put forward political demands, and try to win public support for them in the process of taking action. In Colombia today, this is virtually absent – so there must be another agenda.
Something else which is bereft of political demands is the open vandalism of public transport by the rioters. It is the case that the TransMilenio bus system in Bogota is not well regarded, given the fact that it charges high prices, is often overcrowded, and does not even serve some areas of the city. However, even if the public transport is largely handed over to the private sector as a cash cow, a pro-working class or socialist response might be to attempt to occupy it and run it for the benefit of those who cannot afford private cars. Instead, today’s rioters have carried out mass vandalism on some 68 TransMilenio bus stations. Further, when a dispute between bus owners and the government over the implementation of a new public transport system developed, the bus owners took their buses out of circulation in protest. Then the replacement transit vehicles, covering the routes, were attacked by the rioters. To say the very least, these “protestors” seriously lack a sense of civic duty.
Road blockades cause food and fuel shortages
Even the UK Guardian, which has a track record of backing unsavoury imperialist campaigns (such as the proxy war on Syria) admits that people in Colombia are justifiably complaining about the road blockades the rioters have erected. Not only have the road blockades cut access to the seaport of Buenaventura, they have caused food and fuel shortages. In some cases, the grocery bill for some poor residents has increased by 80% within a week of the blockades starting. In addition, the road blockades have meant that garbage trucks have not been able to pass – which is leading to the unsanitary situation of piles of rubbish not being collected. The blockades have led to long lines at gas stations, with the army having to move in to prevent the theft of fuel. According to the Colombian government, the vandalism along with the blockades have cost the Colombian economy $1.6 billion and have prevented the transport of 700 000 tonnes of food. This alone exposes the motivations of the rioters. This is not about a tax hike – something else is going on.
Even some indigenous groups are in on the act. A report from May 10 in Cali has the Indigenous Minga claiming 12 of their group were wounded in a shooting by men in armoured trucks and SUVs guarded by police. Yet the Minga were maintaining a road blockade, which counter-protestors understandably wanted to be torn down. A National Police report of the incident is even more revealing. It states that it received reports of citizens being attacked by a group of indigenous people, who looted apartments and houses in the neighbourhood, “incited terrorism”, and injured people with sharp objects, and so they had to respond. Liberals the world over often sanctify indigenous people – due to their indigenous status alone. Yet while indigenous people may well face institutional discrimination in many ways, they are born and raised in the same overall political context as non-indigenous people. That is, it is generally a class divided capitalist society. Therefore the politics of indigenous people can go in any direction, in response to good, or bad, influences. In this case, it appears the Indigenous Minga have been in the presence of bad company.
So, despite the riots, the burning of buildings, the looting of businesses, the vandalism of public transport, the road blockades which cause food shortages, the attacks on police officers, the threats of intimidation against those who disagree with the disruptions – is there a progressive political message regardless? Hardly. An interview which took place on Democracy Now! should bury that body. Democracy Now!, once part of alternative media, has been tagged “Imperialism Now” for its soulless backing of the war on Syria and hysterical anti-socialism when it comes to the People’s Republic of China. True to form, Democracy Now! gives full backing to the riots in Colombia, and did not even question one of its interviewees when he effectively made an open call for the intervention of US imperialism in Colombia today. Manuel Rozental stated, “..if President Biden and his government are not just rhetoric, they have to show that they are not going to support this….the only…force and power that (Colombia) responds to is the United States….if the US stops this, it will stop fascism. If it doesn’t, they are in complicity with what is happening here.” That is, please save us President Biden !!
The chaos has a common thread
From Chile Desperto in 2019, to BLM in 2020, to Colombia in 2021, the violent rioting has a common thread – George Soros. The world’s number one anti-socialist, the multi-billionaire Soros and his euphemistically named “Open Society Foundation” (OSF) are specialists in global regime change operations which inevitably work hand in hand with the deep states of US/EU imperialism. These chaotic and deadly riots (“protests”) are given a liberal ideological cover of being “against neoliberalism” (Chile) or “against racism” (BLM) or even “against fascism” (Colombia). But in each case these are fake labels. The Chilean “non-profit” Ciudadano Inteligente (intelligent citizen) is funded by OSF, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED – the public relations arm of the CIA in the US) and Oxfam. BLM was handed $33 million by the OSF in 2016, and no doubt much more since. And Temblores, the Colombian “human rights” organisation currently disputing the riot death count with the Colombian government, is also funded by OSF, as even CNN itself admits.
It is preposterous to claim that a George Soros funded “NGO” such as Temblores is simply collating statistics on the Colombian riots and demanding accountability from the government. Rather, it is part of the OSF network which is orchestrating and facilitating the violence of the impressionable youths who are being manipulated by forces whose aims are the opposite of “social justice”. The OSF operates an office in the Colombian capital Bogota, and admits to a budget of $55.6 million for Latin America and the Caribbean just for the year 2020. It scarcely matters whether the Colombian President Ivan Duque is pro-US, and is even pro-Covid lockdown, which is not in dispute. Duque is conservative, and Soros wants a liberal in. When Soros does not get what he is after, the regime change riots will follow sooner or later. It is a well-designed trap, which hoodwinks much of the left.
Workers the world over need to grapple with the fact that the NGO industrial complex is not comprised of misguided souls who are trying to do the right thing. The NGO industrial complex, of which OSF is only the most well-known, is literally imperialism which has outsourced its operations. Instead of trying to win an ideological battle for capitalism, the deep states of the US and the EU utilise “philanthro-capitalists” to foment, foster, create and fund “oppositions” in any nation around the world where they see an opportunity for regime change. Just as liberalism has been used as the vehicle for lockdown fascism, liberalism can also be used as the political vehicle for deadly proxy regime change chaos. In the process, this can even make ultra-right political leaders appear as moderates!
There is no doubt that poverty and violence has plagued Colombia for decades. Yet the “Covid” lockdowns of 2020 made this even worse. Workers need to recognise that “Covid” is part of the capitalist attack, and that pro-capitalist NGOs can never be an ally. What is required is a genuine struggle for socialism, led by veritable Marxist vanguard parties, motivated by real working-class internationalism – from Colombia and Venezuela to the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and the world.
01-05-2021: May 1st – Labour Day or May Day – is the international workers’ day. Not only does it mark the historical winning of the eight-hour day, it honours the struggle of workers and their Unions and all of their victories for more than 150 years. Today, the working class is faced with the largest assault from billionaire finance capital it has ever faced – lockdowns, facemasks and forced vaccines. Workers have been subjected to a mountain of lies about an alleged “pandemic”, which is easily exposed with basic logic. Elementary critical thinking, let alone a smidgen of independent research, reveals that the “Covid-19 pandemic” is a fraud, and there is another political agenda entirely. Far from being a “public health emergency”, Covid-19 is code for civil war against working people.
Freedom is a right
Transparently, the lockdowns imposed by the capitalist state are not about “stopping the spread” of anything, let alone the most “lethal virus in history” – which, if it exists at all, has a laughably low infection fatality rate of 0.15%. Rather, lockdowns are aimed at preventing workers from organising and collectively resisting millions of job cuts worldwide, and the forcible closure of whole sections of economies. With workers and their families confined to their homes, obviously no protest can take place. At one stroke, the ruling class of an extreme minority imposed the harshest political repression ever seen in history. Bourgeois democratic rights – the right to protest, civil rights, freedom of movement – have been removed and only barely returned. Meanwhile, the world’s billionaires increased their wealth by 54%, or 4 trillion dollars, during the year of lockdowns!
The principal aim of lockdowns is to dramatically depress the cost of labour power, i.e., wages and salaries, and to remove basic working conditions won over more than a century of struggle. To do this, the capitalist state reverted to a form of fascism, in which the primary freedoms workers believed were guaranteed under liberal democracy were removed without apology. If workers cannot leave their homes on pain of prosecution by the state, protest is illegal, facemasks become mandatory, and vaccinations are used to set up a divide between the “clean” and “unclean”, fascism has arrived.
Moreover, tracking and tracing the movement of workers hands the capitalist state virtually unlimited power – even the power to detain entirely healthy people indefinitely. Lockdowns cause exponential health problems themselves – up to and including excess death. The psychological torment and despair of lockdowns, unbearable strain on working families, the resulting huge spike in domestic violence overwhelmingly against women is just for starters. This abomination must be fought.
Unions must fight
When finance capital and its government launch an attack on workers, Unions should be the first to lead the fightback. Unfortunately, virtually without exception, Union officials (as opposed to rank and file members) have rushed to the side of the government of the enemy class. From there they assisted the capitalist state impose lockdowns and the entire “Covid” narrative on their own members and all workers. This betrayal of workers has been all but universal. The capitalist state repeatedly dresses up every assault everywhere – including Anglo/US led wars – as justified by the need to “save lives”. These lies are whoppers, especially since these same governments have been shredding the public health system of funds for some 40 years, in the same way as they have gutted education and basic public services. The capitalist state and its government is the bitter enemy of working people – we are NOT “all in this together” against a barely dangerous virus! On the contrary, the “virus” is being used as a disguise so that workers will not blame the government for a crumbling decline into a dystopian hellscape. Union officials who mimic politicians need to be held to account.
One thing is clear – workers and Unions cannot and will not be able to defend themselves from the Covid assault until and unless they make a clear break with Covid ideology. ALL facets of Covid practice – lockdowns, facemasks, vaccines, bans on travel, state border closures, Covid passports, contact tracing, social distancing, bans on protests, gatherings, marches, religious worship etc – must be rejected in toto. Workers must not comply with ANY Covid dictates issued by the bourgeois state OR by conservative bureaucracies in the deformed workers’ states. Nothing about Covid is to do with healthcare, and everything about it is used as a club with which to beat workers and their Unions. Workers must resist individually where possible, but collective resistance is the most effective.
Build the anti-lockdown movement
This is why it is crucial that workers and their Unions join and help build the anti-lockdown movement. Worldwide, the anti-lockdown movement has mobilised millions across Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe, and is continuing to do so. It has somewhat stayed the hand of sadistic governments which force lockdowns in order to increase political repression and partially shutdown economies. But to permanently win an end to lockdowns, the anti-lockdown movement must at the very least take on a pro-working class political character. A mass movement of everyone who stands for freedom is an important first step, there is no doubt. Yet for serious gains and to drive back rapacious elite politicians, a movement for freedom needs to arrest the terrible intrusion of the capitalist state by permeating the resistance with working class demands. The demand for a six-hour work day is vital. In this way, the anti-lockdown movement can be infused with much needed political direction.
Fascism arrives at the precise moment when capitalism is driven into an impasse. As history advises, fascism can only be brought to heel via the entry of the organised working class onto the stage of history, via its preparation for the task of establishing its own rule. A vanguard party guided by genuine Marxism is vital for these urgent tasks, to propel the fight for freedom.
Above: Map showing US military bases encircling the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
25-04-2021: The threat of war in the Asia-Pacific looms as large as it ever has in 2021. Or should we say, the Indo Asia Pacific. The language emanates from the highest levels of Washington’s war machine, which operates a number of “Commands” in regions across the globe to maintain the US Empire. In 2018, the US Pacific Command was renamed the Indo-Pacific Command, as US imperialism sought to draw India into their efforts to militarily encircle the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Transparently, US imperialism and its allies such as the governments of the European Union (EU), Australia and Japan, are hell-bent on potentially apocalyptic military confrontations with Red China, demographically the largest nation on Earth. The PRC’s gigantic and still expanding socialist economy is rapidly overtaking the faltering capitalist economies of the West – something the US/EU ruling classes will risk anything to prevent from coming to pass.
The formation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, is another dead giveaway as to the intentions. Hardly an innocent undertaking, the Quad is a glaring attempt to draw more US allies into an explicit anti-China military alliance – containing the US, Japan, Australia and India. Its apologists deny that the Quad is being set up as an Asian NATO, but here the axiom of never believing anything until it is officially denied cannot be more apposite. The geographical surrounding of mainland China from Japan to its East, Australia to its South, and India to its West is easily triangulated by the briefest of perusals of a high school map of the region. As in the 1950s and 60s, the once supreme Western ruling classes are yet again embroiled in a deadly game to “contain and roll back communism”. This time, arguably, the stakes are even higher.
Military grade weapons expo
This is the geopolitical context which surrounds Brisbane hosting a weapons manufacturers expo in early June. The very title of the conference indicates not just a military grade weapons garage sale, but a subliminal message as to who the organisers wish to portray as the boogeyman “we” need to arm ourselves against. The first line of the publicity for the expo of Land Forces Australia Indo Asia Pacific International Land Defence Exposition states openly that the expo showcases “equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia and the Indo Asia Pacific”. The explicit exclusion of China, by far the largest component of Asia, gives the game away. The weapons manufacturers such as Thales, Rheinmetall Defence, Boeing, DB Schenker, BAE Systems, EOS etc., are joined by the Queensland Government and the Australian Army as event sponsors. The links between weapons manufacturers and the governments of capitalist countries have been well documented over the last century. Such governments prosecute wars which then feeds the profits of weapons manufacturers. Yet this does not occur without underlying politics driving it. Without being stated overtly, the prevailing politics of the corporate and government sponsors of Land Forces 2021 are directed against Red China.
To be sure, what exists in the PRC is not a socialist society but rather a socialist state. And this state is heavily and bureaucratically deformed, both by the multi-class character of its 1949 revolution, and the saddling of this state with the Maoist/Stalinist politics of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Despite this, the capitalist mode of production was overthrown, land was nationalised, the predominant and strategic means of production remain publicly owned, and the economy is administered through five-year plans. This – rather than the politics of the CPC – is what must be defended by working people. At the same time, to synchronise the socialist state of the PRC with socialist politics, what is required is the rule of elected workers’ councils comprised of all political tendencies committed to the defence of modern China. That is to say, genuine Leninist-Trotskyism must prevail over the distortions of Maoism/Stalinism, despite its relative popularity in the PRC due to 20th Century history.
Disrupt LandForces 2021
Unfortunately, neither the defence of the PRC state against US/AUST imperialism, nor even opposition to war on China is on the agenda of the activists organising a series of protests against the military expo, under the hashtag of “#DisruptLandForces”. In fact, by the omission of material opposing wars fuelled, led and directed by the US Empire, #DisruptLandForces can find themselves on the same side of the barricades as the US/EU/AUST imperialism, even if this is not their intention. The wars that threaten humanity in 2021 are wars waged by the imperialist bloc and their allies -US/EU/AUST/JAP/CAN/Israel/Saudi Arabia etc., against the non-imperialist bloc and their allies – China, Russia, Iran, the DPRK, Libya, Syria, Venezuela and so on. Most of these wars are proxy regime change operations waged by imperialism against the allies of the non-imperialist bloc. Examples are the destruction of Green Libya in 2011, the Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, the failed regime change war on Syria from 2011 on, and attempted regime change destabilisations in Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan, the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar. Workers must resolutely oppose all such regime change wars and attempted colour revolutions organised and funded by imperialism as a matter of self-defence, even if this means a temporary bloc with governments targeted by Anglo/US imperialism which could not be described as left-leaning or even progressive.
Moreover, #DisruptLandForces activists implore progressive folk to picket Land Forces 2021 primarily on the basis that weapons manufacturers will make millions from making weapons of war. While this is true in itself, the implication that there should be no army, or that no nation should maintain and operate a defence force will be automatically rejected by the working class. The working class cannot be won to a position that their nation-state should reduce all military spending to zero, and nor should leftists make such an attempt. This is effectively a demand for the capitalist state to abolish itself, and while workers are no automatic fans of capitalism, they recognise that states as such cannot be abolished overnight. Working people can, however, be won to positions which oppose imperialist wars, i.e. predatory wars of conquest waged by the Anglo/US Empire – which today includes proxy wars of regime change and Western funded subversion. Therefore, the left should attempt to convince workers to oppose particular wars, not the manufacture of weapons per se.
At the same time, there is obviously a need for working people to oppose the $270 billion by 2030 defence spending plan of the Australian government, which was announced in June 2020. This is because the Australian ruling class itself – through its government – hardly shies away from an admission that the vast bulk of this spending will be used to militarily confront and provoke China, albeit as junior sidekicks of the US government. They state openly that “we want a free and open Indo-Pacific”, i.e., one not “controlled” or even influenced by the PRC, but in fact presided over by the US and their allies. This is not even slightly realistic, as the PRC is the largest nation on earth, it is situated in the Asia-Pacific, and its economy is still growing rapidly. It is thus in a position to offer much needed economic development and infrastructure building projects to its near neighbours – something the Anglo/US powers simply cannot, given their geographical distance and their long-term economic woes. The only way the US/EU/AUST ruling classes can prevent this from happening is by sowing chaos, sabotage and destabilisation up to and including the collapse of states. Ergo, Myanmar today.
#DisruptLandforces proclaim their solidarity with the “people of Myanmar”. Here they display their loyalty – perhaps unwittingly – to the very “colonisers” they claim to be protesting against. British imperialism certainly did rule what was then Burma until independence in 1948. Since then, the UK ruling class has not ceased its efforts to virtually recolonise Myanmar. It works in concert with the US state department to create and fund an entire “opposition” movement which will politically serve London and Washington, e.g., Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD). They managed to subvert Myanmar’s societal institutions to such an extent that Suu Kyi became State Counsellor in 2015. The government of Myanmar had allowed this overt foreign intervention into Myanmar’s internal affairs for decades, as many third world countries generally welcome any financial assistance from the West. However, the NLD, with backing from Wall Street, London and billionaire regime change kingmaker George Soros, had ensured by around 2015 that only they could “win” elections in Myanmar. Finally, on February 1 this year, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) stepped in and said enough is enough. Thus the military “coup” was in fact an act which defended the national sovereignty of Myanmar.
The “anti-coup” protests in Myanmar since early February have in fact been the culmination of decades of US and UK government funding for scores of imperialist backed fronts posing as “civil society” organisations and “NGOs”. The narrative in the Western corporate media of the Tatmadaw mowing down entirely innocent and unarmed “protestors” in the streets of Myanmar is utterly false and is eerily reminiscent of the storyline spun by Western governments to cover their atrocious regime change wars in Libya and Syria. As much as the Tatmadaw is demonised via the corporate press, it remains the only institution standing in the way of a total takeover by Washington and London. In a similar way in which the Pentagon’s regime change war on Syria was aimed at Russia (and Iran), today’s “uprising” in Myanmar has been carefully prepared by years and decades of covert funding for ANY opposition which could serve the interests of imperialism in its losing economic war with Beijing. Patently, Myanmar’s “protests” today are in fact a US/UK proxy war of regime change against Red China.
If #DisruptLandForces fall prey to deception in relation to Myanmar, they double and triple their illusions in relation to West Papua (the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat). #DisruptLandForces, and many “peace” activists, imagine that the Indonesian government occupies West Papua, suppresses their culture, and uses armed force to take the lives of those who call for “independence”. This inversion of reality is regurgitated by liberals the world over, who are generally not aware that they are being ensnared by the very people they claim to be fighting for. The West Papuan “independence” movement is not an innocent campaign for “human rights”, but an armed separatist insurgency predominantly motivated by ethnic antagonism. This inevitably spills over into murderous anti-Indonesian violence, which the Indonesian government must respond to. For example, in December 2018, armed Papuan separatists slaughtered 31 Indonesian road workers constructing the Trans-Papua Highway. Papuans who do not necessarily support separatist independence can also be targeted with lethal intent, as in the case of the town of Wamena in September 2019. On that occasion, Papuan separatist militia attacked and burnt down sections of the town, killing 30, including 8 non-Papuan Indonesians.
This is not to say that there are no political and economic problems existing in West Papua. Yet Indonesia is far from an imperialist entity, and all indications are that the Indonesian government is attempting to include, rather than exclude, Papuans within the “Unitary State of Indonesia”. The Indonesian government regularly spends billions of rupiah in economic and social development in West Papua, and not only by building the Trans-Papua Highway. Where the geographical terrain does not prevent it, education (up to Year 9) and health care is provided for West Papuans free of charge. The Indonesian government is also pressing ahead with its plans to provide electricity to all areas of West Papua, in some places which have never before seen a light bulb. Would a separate West Papua, standing on its own, have such resources? To ask the question is to answer it.
For an end to hybrid wars
#DisruptLandForces is also silent on the major war underway against the global south and the workers of the world – the fake “Covid-19” pandemic. The “virus” provides a cover for lockdowns, which are a form of extreme violence against working and oppressed people – no less than physical wars waged with weapons. Thus we find that both #DisruptLandForces and Land Forces 2021 in fact both agree on just who is the enemy: Covid-19 and China! Needless to say, working people need to resist ALL hybrid wars waged by imperialism – against “Covid”, or China, or Russia, or whoever is the next target. Essential for this is the building of a vanguard party upholding genuine Marxism, with international sections dedicated to the supersession of capitalism and the inauguration of a socialist order.
15-04-2021: World governments are relentlessly driving ahead with what appears to be a desperate gamble – the vaccination of the entire planet. Supposedly this will guard against the “danger” of the SARS-CoV-2 “virus”, which allegedly causes a respiratory illness known as Covid-19. The very existence of SARS-CoV-2 is scientifically disputed, given that no institute anywhere has isolated and purified a sample of the virus. Needless to say, if the virus does not exist, there can be no illness which is named Covid-19. If we assume however, for arguments sake, that the SARS-CoV-2 virus does exist, there is a wealth of evidence which indicates that the infection fatality rate (the proportion of people who MAY pass away after becoming infected) is 0.13% across all age groups, whereas the regular flu is estimated at 0.1%. In other words, if SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating, it is no more dangerous than seasonal influenza which comes around every winter without fail.
Doing away with the infirm
The absurdity of attempting worldwide vaccinations for an alleged virus which around 99.98% of people survive without any ill-effects should be obvious. There is clearly another political agenda here, and it has nothing to do with “public health”. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is now notorious for triggering intravascular coagulation, i.e., blood clots. In the US, VAERS data from December 14 2020 to April 1 2021 indicates 2342 deaths and 7971 serious injuries from the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Covid shots. In Europe, Germany, Italy, France and Spain have suspended the administration of the Astra-Zeneca Covid vaccine over serious concerns about blood clots – even while their governments are cagey about specifically blaming the Covid vaccine. In Australia, those aged under 50 are now being turned away from vaccination hubs if they attempt to access the Astra-Zeneca jab. Rather than abandon these clearly dangerous “inoculations” altogether, the government switched to advising under 50s should now take the Pfizer injection!
Even by the standards of capitalist politics, the attempted rollout of Covid vaccinations is a farce – and a dangerous one. Even those who somehow still uphold the narrative of a “pandemic” are becoming wary. Combined with the lunacy of lockdowns and facemasks – also extremely dangerous to human health – the vaccine rollout is patently not about preventing any type of illness. The targeting of the elderly and the disabled to be the first ones to be vaccinated is another indicator that what could be taking place is a program of selective state-sanctioned murder. Arguably, the capitalist state is replicating the worst eugenicist programs of the Nazis in the 1930s – the elimination of the infirm.
Grappling with being targeted
Those who are struggling to deal with unbearable lockdowns and oppressive facemask mandates may well be tempted to just line up for a Covid vaccine, in the hope that with one shot, it will all be over and life can get back to what it was before 2020. Yet a recent statement from Pfizer CEO Albert Bouria definitively puts an end to these hopes. Bouria stated that it was “likely” that recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine will need a third shot within a year, and then an annual booster shot for “maximum protection against infection”. So even despite the temporary halt to the Astra-Zeneca blood clot special vaccine rollout (Denmark recently became the first country to permanently suspend use of the Astra-Zeneca Covid vax), the elites plan to steam ahead with a permanent “vaccination” regime. Citizens may well have little choice but to carry either an electronic or paper record of your Covid vaccination status, detailing whether or not you have been injected with the current version of an experimental gene manipulating cocktail. Basic democratic and civil rights be damned!
Microbiologist Dr Mike Yeadon is a former Pfizer Vice-President who has been straining to blow the whistle on what Big Pharma and world governments are trying to do with the Covid vax rollout. He maintains that it is certainly possible that what is being attempted is a eugenicist campaign, or a depopulation program, or both. He remarks that when he tells highly intelligent people that your government is lying to you in a way which could lead to the death of yourself and your children, they simply cannot comprehend what is being conveyed. Our governments are putting in place measures to kill off large portions of the population, so they don’t have to pay pensions or social security to the elderly and disabled, and even to knock off a few people who were previously healthy?
It is at this point that a Marxist political analysis helps achieve clarity. The governments of the imperialist bloc – the USA/EU/AUST/JAP/NZ etc. – are NOT “our” governments, as far as working people are concerned. They are imposed on the working class as instruments of the capitalist state, which means their class basis is that of the very Big Pharma corporations which will reap billions from a permanent vaccination rollout. Alas, the governments of the non-imperialist bloc – Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela etc. – are not “our” governments either, for they have colluded with the governments of the imperialist bloc to impose the gruelling lockdowns, facemasks and vaccines.
Permanent escape from the tyranny of the Covid vax and lockdown terror will therefore only materialise when the governments which have waged the Covid class war against workers are overthrown. In the West, nothing short of socialist revolutions will suffice. That is, working people need to establish their own government and their own state – one which will represent toiling humanity, and will therefore have no need for mass repression. Key to this task is the forging of Leninist vanguard parties. In the meantime, workers must demand an immediate cessation of the Covid vax rollout, and all associated lockdown constraints, in the interests of public safety and human survival.
Above: A march in support of the Tatmadaw and for the unity of Myanmar in Yangon, February 2019. Image from http://www.mmtimes.com
09-04-2021: According to Western corporate media, Myanmar’s military forces (Tatmadaw) are currently engaged in a “massacre” of innocent civilians who are objecting to a coup which cancelled popular elections. The Tatmadaw is apparently engaged in unrestrained and unprovoked violence against genuine citizens who wish to transition further towards “democracy” and become part of the international community, where the democratic and human and civil rights of all of Myanmar’s 54 million people are upheld. The Tatmadaw have allegedly engaged in ethnic cleansing and political repression in the past, and if the Western powers do not intervene to save the people of Myanmar, there will be a slaughter of unprecedented proportions which will forever stain history.
Upside down narrative
The only problem is that virtually none of this narrative contains a grain of truth. It is a storyline which is wilfully falsified and deliberately distorted. It is a portrayal carefully designed to pull at the heartstrings of liberals the world over, which invariably gives imperialism “humanitarian” cover to wage yet another regime change war by any means they see as necessary to address the dwindling fortunes of global capitalism. In fact, Western imperialism – led by the governments of the USA (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) is engaged in yet another proxy war of regime change on Myanmar, modelled on the “success” of NATO’s obliteration of Green Libya in 2011, the Ukronazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, and the failure of the ten year ISIS/Al Qaeda proxy regime change war on Syria.
Unlike the regime change operations in Ukraine and Syria – which were largely aimed at Russia (and Iran), the current fix in Myanmar is aimed squarely at the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Red China’s inexorable rise as a socialist economic power cannot be overcome by the floundering for-profit economies of the US and the European Union (EU), and nor can the US/EU offer anything remotely comparable to that which the PRC can with regard to South East Asia. It is not simply dollars that the US/EU forgoes when Myanmar chooses to deepen its economic partnerships with the giant state backed enterprises operating just across the border in mainland China. It leads to a changing of the political balance of forces in the region, and from a unipolar world to a multipolar one. This is what the US/UK seeks to degrade in Myanmar, and they are prepared to resort to the same internal/external regime change tactics that caused staggering loss of life in Libya and Syria.
UK government attempts to regain its “lost” colony
Until 1988, Myanmar was officially the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. Since then, it has been renamed the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. British imperialism ruled what was then Burma from 1885 until independence in 1948. During World War II, British imperialism used minority ethnic groups (e.g. Karen, Kachin, Chin) within the then Burma as part of its colonial army, a divide-and-rule tactic against the majority Burman ethnicity. Today, the Karen, Kachin and Chin armed separatist groups are used to politically and militarily destabilise economic and infrastructure co-operation with the PRC, to derail the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or New Silk Road) projects. They are also being used as a base for an alternative military to form a para-state with the aim of overthrowing Myanmar altogether.
The UK government is quite open about its formidable backing of Myanmar’s “pro-democracy protestors”. Loudly and openly on the British government’s own website, it states clearly that the “British government is encouraging and supporting Myanmar’s transition”. It lists its own Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), its Department of International Trade (DIT) and its Ministry of Defence (MOD) as “working closely together” with the British Embassy in Yangon to “support transition”. The aims here are so transparent that they are barely hidden. The UK government is involved up to its neck in a regime change war in Myanmar, whatever the consequences. It is aimed not so much at Myanmar as towards its gigantic neighbour, the PRC. The PRC itself cannot be overthrown by military means, so the UK embarks in not so subtle political subversion in one of its smaller neighbours. Chipping away at a building brick by brick, the UK hopes to bring down the leviathan of the PRC itself – the world’s most powerful deformed workers’ state.
US government funding scores of fronts
Needless to say, the UK government does not attempt to subvert Myanmar on its own. The US government has far more involvement in fostering unrest there, stretching back decades. The notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) even lists on its website just some of the “civil society” fronts it funds in Myanmar – but using the British colonial name of Burma. So called activists from the Karen, Shin, Mon, Arakan and Kachin states are listed, alongside claimed journalists, women’s rights centres, think tanks, so-called media empowerment, amongst others. It is farcical to claim that the NED – the public relations arm of the CIA – cares one whit about democratic and civil rights for working people in Myanmar. Rather, Washington and London (backed by Canberra) are creating and funding “opposition” within Myanmar which is reliant on the West itself. This “opposition” can then call for US intervention, which effectively facilitates a stepping stone toward the strategic goal of pressuring the PRC via the presence of US troops (or their proxies) directly on their borders.
The US ruling class is livid at the prospect of the deepening economic, trade and joint infrastructure development co-operation between the PRC and Myanmar. In January 2020, PRC President Xi Jinping became the first high-level PRC official in 20 years to visit Myanmar. At that meeting President Xi and then State Counsellor Aung Sung Suu Kyi released a joint statement committing to an acceleration of the building of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, a crucial part of their co-operation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Suu Kyi signed on for the obvious economic benefits for Myanmar, including much needed development, rather than any political backing of the PRC.
For decades, the US government – along with billionaire woke anti-socialist George Soros – has been openly funding fronts within Myanmar which masquerade as NGOs. For example, the plan for the development of the Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River in the Northern Kachin State was halted in 2011 due to “protests” allegedly about environmental issues and “disruption” caused by the dam’s construction. In reality, what occurred is that a network of US government backed organisations operated in cahoots with big capital outlets such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF), alongside NED funded “media” units in Myanmar such as The New Era Journal, The Irrawaddy and Democratic Voice of Burma. They made a ruckus about invented “human rights abuses” during construction. In reality, what these US fronts objected to was the involvement in the mega-project of several Chinese state-owned enterprises, such as the China Gezhouba Group and the China Power Investment Corporation.
The generation of vast amounts of electric power via the dam, in an underdeveloped region, will obviously benefit the surrounding population and the economy of Myanmar. Yet, these US government funded “activists” would prefer Myanmar remain without development, with less socio-economic advance – lest “China” should mutually benefit from the construction of such projects. The Myitsone Dam construction halt occurred almost ten years before President Xi and Aung Sung Suu Kyi agreed to advance the China-Myanmar economic corridor. It is absurd to go on to claim that today, some of the very same people and organisations in Myanmar with a history of blocking economic development projects are “peaceful pro-democracy protestors” or are “grassroots” organisations. The US state department does not fund “grassroots” organisations and armed separatist militias for no reason.
Parallel government part 2
As in the regime change wars on Libya and Syria, a parallel government has now declared itself in Myanmar. The “Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw” (CRPH), said to be composed of ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) members, is apparently operating in secret, and is appealing to foreign nations for recognition. This is a transparent call for imperialism – to which they are inextricably linked – to intervene. These US/UK funded fronts, from the NLD to each of the armed ethnic separatist militias, are well aware that they do not have a hope of displacing the military of Myanmar without the largest and most powerful Western states behind them. The US/UK funded political and civil organisations had effectively already formed a parallel government within Myanmar, to such an extent that it had become easy for them to manipulate elections to ensure “victory” for the NLD. Now, the CRPH is a second phase of a long-term plan to destroy Myanmar’s sovereignty.
Belatedly, the Tatmadaw has recently taken some measures against the virtual army of imperialist backed fronts posing as NGOs, which had been operating within Myanmar with impunity. In late March, the Tatmadaw seized the bank accounts of George Soros’ OSF, accusing it of violating multiple financial restrictions for such organisations, and of providing financial assistance to the “civil disobedience” movement. It also accused Aung Sung Suu Kyi of personally meeting with Soros. The strategy of Western finance capital is clear – fund and help organise political subversion, give political cover to ethnic armed separatist militia, foster a pro-Western “civil disobedience” movement which links with them, and then declare a parallel government which then calls for intervention, i.e. invasion, by the strongest Western powers. We should not need a reminder that this scenario could well be a replay of the catastrophic US led war on Syria, where for 10 years the Syrian government had no option but to militarily respond to heavily armed and barbaric mercenaries bent on destroying the country at the behest of their imperialist benefactors. The spillover into South East Asia in such an outcome would cause chaos for the PRC – precisely the aim of Washington and London in their dirty war on Beijing.
Workers must resist Covid enhanced imperialism
If anything, the US/UK proxy regime change war on Myanmar is yet another example that playing along with the Covid-19 fear pandemic nonsense is no guarantee that by doing so, imperialism will regard you as a partner, and will not move to obliterate your nation. Both the Tatmadaw and the internally subversive NLD adopted and practiced the illogical Corona rigmarole, to no avail. To that end, the governments of Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Iran, the DPRK, Cuba and Venezuela also danced to the tune of Covid fraud, and yet the danger of imperialist overthrow against them all is arguably more acute than ever. Imperialism will never regard you as an equal if you demonstrate one iota of independence from Washington. In Myanmar, it is ultimately the Tatmadaw which stands in the way between the last legs of its sovereignty and total control by Wall Street and the City of London. That, and its co-operation with the PRC, means that it is now Washington’s current cartoon villain.
A war on Myanmar would be catastrophic, and would likely spill over into Thailand, and possibly even the PRC. Workers must resist and push back US/UK led imperialism while defending Myanmar and, by extension, the bureaucratically deformed Chinese workers’ state. To be sure, if the Communist Party of China (CPC) operated through genuine Marxism, they would lead a campaign to appeal to the workers of Myanmar to rise against the ethnic armed separatists and US/UK funded faux “human rights” and “civil society” proxies, while linking up with the workers of China, South East Asia and internationally on a class basis. Alas, the political basis of the CPC is the twin Stalinist/Maoist (i.e., anti-Marxist) axioms of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence”, which means it does not even blink if it needs to lean on the workers of China and Asia to fortify imperialism itself.
As far away as it seems now, what is required in South East Asia are the forging of Marxist vanguard parties anchored with the theory of Permanent Revolution. Such organs would seek to prepare workers for socialist revolutions in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia which would link with proletarian political revolutions in Laos, Vietnam, China and the DPRK. In the meantime, workers in Myanmar should form a temporary bloc with the Tatmadaw against US/UK imperialism and their domestic proxies, i.e., armed ethnic separatists and those in Myanmar bought off by the Western funded and fake “civil society” organisations. These miscreants have no qualms about using dishonesty, deception, and even violence to achieve their aims. Workers internationally should act in solidarity with all attempts to drive the foreign funded saboteurs out of Myanmar and Thailand, to help re-establish their independence. Genuine self-determination only arrives, however, with the bringing to power of the proletariat, as part of the international triumph of socialism. US/UK: HANDS OFF MYANMAR!
29-03-2021: Late March marks one year since global capital launched arguably its most severe assault on the working class in history. Using the fig leaf of a patently false “pandemic”, the governments of the imperialist West threw society into deliberately stoked fear, which provided the cover for ordering whole countries and continents into lockdowns. Significant sections of economies were shutdown, hurling millions of workers onto the unemployment scrapheap. Workers who remained in employment were driven from workplaces and into working from home – if they could do so behind a computer screen. Ostensibly to protect children and teachers from contracting an allegedly deadly disease, schools were closed, and parents had to then supervise the education of their children from home. Lockdown orders in some places included “stay at home” orders, enforced by the police, for 23 hours a day. Protest, along with other cultural and sporting gatherings, were made illegal. Free speech, basic civil liberties and democratic rights were summarily abolished – and have barely been returned.
Lockdown left capitulates
The use of the cover of “Covid” for the most extensive historical attack on working people starkly demonstrates the level of decay of the capitalist socio-economic system. The system of production for private profit has degenerated to the point where it must degrade or kill off the holders of the very element which is its lifeblood – labour power. The capacity of the workers to labour is what capital needs to survive and grow, but workers’ expectations of maintaining living and working conditions together with basic political and civil rights at a certain point come into open conflict with this system in decline. Wars and recessions need to be waged or created, to protect the profits of corporations which in decades past were seen as part of the “free world”. Hence, the self-inflicted lockdowns.
Given the sheer magnitude of the broadside against workers, one would have reasonably expected leftist and workers parties to have been at the forefront of a spirited defence of workers in the face of such mortal blows. As we now know, almost the precise opposite occurred. Most left parties which for decades claimed to uphold the aims of socialism and Marxism were in fact the first organisations to utterly capitulate before “their own” bourgeoisie. With some exceptions, what previously passed for the organised left genuflected before the ruling class without batting an eyelid.
Generally speaking, it is somewhat to be expected that the Trade Union bureaucracy would fall into line so assiduously behind the capitalist class on Covid lockdowns. Union officials (not members) have a material interest in imposing the full spectrum of capitalist ideology onto their own members and the working class as a whole. Union officials often act as an auxiliary police force which keeps workers within certain bounds, even while organising them to defend or win a minor gain here or there. Their role is entirely contradictory, but almost always they fall politically on the side of the elite.
The bourgeois state as saviour?
Left parties which, for decades, had railed against the bourgeois state on any number of issues, flipped in the early parts of 2020. Many of those who previously swore allegiance to socialism, Marxism and revolution were now effectively arguing the capitalist state is imposing lockdowns and facemasks because they are primarily concerned with the health and well-being of the working class and the poorest sections of society. Needless to say, this is beyond laughable. It glaringly exposes these “revolutionaries” as bare reformists. The capitalist state consists not just of the apparatus of repression – cops, courts, prisons and armed forces. The extremely well remunerated education and health bureaucrats also form part of the capitalist state also. The maintenance of their careers is all they need to regurgitate whatever campaign the capitalist politicians and their masters dictate. As has been amply demonstrated during the fraudulent “pandemic”, any number of these bureaucrats can recite the very opposite of whatever scientific and medical research and training they may have conducted in the past. In the case of Covid, their lies match the lies of the corporate politicians, and many who are not politically experienced can be convinced that the government is “trying to save them”.
Yet there is no excuse for hardened leftists, many of whom have been activists for decades, to seemingly throw a class analysis of the state out of the window when they hear of a “health emergency”. As if the capitalist state, which has stripped its health care systems of funding for 40 or 50 years, is now trying to “save lives”!! The Australian so-called left capitulated almost universally. Socialist Alternative (SALT), the largest self-proclaimed socialist party in Australia, not only offered a full throated defence of lockdowns. They also argued that while workers should defend their right to protest and strike (thank goodness for small mercies!), it is “fundamentally misguided to see the main enemy in this crisis as state authoritarianism”. It cannot be clearer – SALT defendthe capitalist state in the process of inflicting economic and psychological terror on workers, while claiming to be left-wing radicals. With radicals like these, who needs enemies?
The Socialist Alliance (SA) is not as direct as SALT in ramming lockdowns down the throats of workers, as they are somewhat aware that they are loathed by the majority of workers. Yet they uphold lockdowns as necessary, even while acknowledging the lockdowns are causing massive job losses. Their response is not to campaign against lockdowns (which they sometimes term “shutdowns” so they do not sound as onerous), but to urge employers to pay pandemic leave! This is dressed up as a progressive campaign when some Union officials have made similar calls. They do not seem to be aware that such calls imply that workers should agree with employers on the need to sack or stand down workers from employment, and then plead with the same employers for leave payments when they do. Needless to say, SA has knelt down before ruling class ideology so far that they do not even challenge “Covid” job cuts. In fact, by then campaigning for “pandemic leave” they are further reinforcing the “pandemic” nonsense of the politicians they supposedly oppose. One would think the natural option for socialists is to reject “Covid” job losses outright and help to mobilise workers to defend jobs. Yet this would mean a political break with the bourgeois state, which appears beyond SA.
“Trotskyists” and Stalinists for the government
The Trotskyist Platform (TP), known for brandishing the hammer and sickle and claiming to stand under the banner of “communism” and “Trotskyism”, also jump on the purely reformist “paid pandemic leave” bandwagon. Like their allies in the lockdown left, they appear to lack self-awareness. The “coronavirus as a deadly threat” is unfiltered bourgeois ideology. Any acceptance and/or practice of bourgeois ideology renders the workers’ movement virtually unable to win gains. As soon as the left accepts the “pandemic” concept, it stands on the ground of capital, not labour. TP is aware that job cuts have occurred supposedly due to “Covid”, but merely complain that the employers are “using the pandemic as an excuse to cut jobs”. They don’t seem to realise that the main reason for the fake pandemic IS job cuts to ensure the suppression of the cost of labour power (i.e.,wages). And by falling for wholesale corporate media hype of a supposed world threatened by an imaginary black plague, TP have handed employers and the government the political fuel needed to impose millions of job cuts without mass resistance. TP enforce “pandemic” ideology (an entirely false pretext) amongst workers, and then act innocent as employers and the government use this political context to wreak havoc. These “revolutionaries” could almost be hired by the Prime Minister.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) formerly had possibly the largest online presence of any left party prior to the lockdowns of 2020. Then its renowned World Socialist Web Site switched to a position which is potentially more conservative than the imperialist bourgeoisie itself. These “Trotskyists” repeatedly called for harsher and stricter lockdowns and even for schools to effectively remain closed. Even the United Nations (UN) – hardly even a liberal organisation – has cited studies which show that lockdowns and other restrictions could lead to an additional 10 000 children dying per month. Yet, in the name of “socialism”, the SEP are more pro-lockdown than the wealthiest ruling classes in world history. If the vampire squids of finance capital are not prepared to go as far as you demand, how on earth can such a party claim to be pro-worker?
Socialist Fight (SF) paint themselves as pristine Trotskyists untainted by other interpretations of what became of the Fourth International. Yet from day one, SF crumbled in the face of manufactured bourgeois hysteria on an allegedly deadly plague besetting the planet. They took the extraordinary step of expelling one of their members without recourse (who subsequently joined the Workers League – WL) for having the temerity to enquire as to why the SF had apparently taken to the view that the states of imperialist capitalism could suddenly adopt a position of ensuring health care for the working-class and the poor majority as their raison d’etre. They went on to slander the WL for “red-brown fascism” for its position of building the anti-lockdown movement despite the presence of supporters of former US President Trump and QAnon devotees. On our part, the WL stands for militant opposition to capitalism descending into arguably its most politically repressive phase in history – the pinnacle of which are the inhumane and dictatorial lockdowns. As for the accusation of “fascism”, whether of the red-brown variety or not, we suggest the most apt axiom is the one which maintains “the one who accuses is the one who is”.
Australia’s Stalinist parties are universally onside with pandemic hysteria, placing them onside with the Liberal Federal government and the state Labor Premiers, irrespective of their rhetoric. The Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA) do not print one word about the forced lockdowns, facemasks and vaccines in the March 2021 issue of their publication The Agitator. It’s as if the entire machinery of corona state repression is something that can be regarded by workers as a footnote. Similarly, the Australian Communist Party (ACP) barely mention lockdowns, and when they do, they imply that only the likes of QAnon “conspiracy theorists” are opposed to “coronavirus restrictions”.! One wonders if they are even aware of the thousands of people who have regularly mobilised throughout the country against forced lockdowns and forced vaccines. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA), meanwhile, demands a worldwide rollout of the Covid vax!
One must wonder what the parties of the lockdown left actually plan to do in response to the capitalist state dispersing the proletariat through lockdowns, social distancing, the banning of gatherings, meetings, rallies and demonstrations. These measures are designed to make it extremely difficult to politically organise resistance. Their response is to either do nothing, or even virtually assist the police subject innocent working-class men, women and children to house arrest. Meanwhile, working people the world over have been resisting billionaire finance capital’s lockdowns in anyway they can. Despite a corporate media blackout, millions of workers and their allies have repeatedly demonstrated against the unstated but obvious agenda of severe economic and political subjugation under the false guise of a “pandemic”. The whole time, the parties of the lockdown left have been absent, or, as in the case of Germany, actively attempt to counter anti-lockdown demonstrations. Clearly, the “revolutionary” pretensions of the lockdown left have been shattered into a million pieces.
The end of the Spartacist tradition?
Arguably the most surprising card-carrying members of the lockdown left are the parties derived from the heritage of the Spartacist League. Seemingly without irony, the Spartacist League and its off shoots including the International Bolshevik Tendency, the Bolshevik Tendency and the Internationalist Group, fall like dominoes in thrall to the billionaire class they have sworn to overthrow for decades. We acknowledge the contribution that the Spartacist League and their “family” have made to the study and practice of Leninist-Trotskyism, whatever their shortcomings. Now though, this entire apparatus must be called into question. It is not for us to sling mud and label other left parties as “fascist”, as it hardly helps. However, we have characterised the use of lockdowns and the imposition of scientifically groundless rules (e.g.,social distancing, tracking and tracing, the banning of singing and dancing) as a form of fascism which uses liberalism as its political vehicle. We do not believe that the banning of protest, the effective cancellation of basic civil and democratic rights, and the use of state power to confine healthy and innocent men, women and children to their homes (for those that have homes) for up to 23 hours a day, for months on end, can be politically assessed in any other way.
The parties derived from the Spartacist tradition have openly joined with other left parties they have critiqued as reformist when it comes to the fear pandemic. These include the Workers World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. In fact, with a small handful of exceptions, “Trotskyists”, Stalinists, Maoists and others who identify as “Marxist” or “socialist” have crumbled before the limitless propaganda of the corporate media and capitalist politicians on Covid. The fact that the propaganda barrage is much more intense than usual capitalist messaging should not be used as an excuse. Even though there is horrendous online censorship, the internet has not (yet) been completely cut off. There is no reason why leftists and revolutionaries cannot research and study alternative information to that which the vast apparatus of imperialism disseminates. The failure to do so reflects the fact that on lockdowns – arguably the largest broadside against the working class in history – the lockdown “left” have taken a class position on the wrong side of the barricades. Whatever heritage and past activism they may have to their credit, their avid assistance to big capital for lockdowns is class betrayal.
Fascism appears whenever capitalism lurches into an existential crisis, and lockdown fascism is certainly no exception. Workers need not fear this development, for it signals an opportunity to rise and defeat it through workers’ revolution. Indeed, the descent into fascism is a sure indicator that capitalism can no longer offer workers even minor reforms, and it must use extreme political repression to save itself. Finance capital is showing its vulnerability in doing this, despite the appearance of dominance. The overwhelming majority of workers despise lockdowns, or at the very least suspect something fishy is going on. They could be mobilised alongside the existing anti-lockdown movement if the requisite political leadership of the working-class was at hand. As one of the few left organisations to oppose lockdowns, the Workers League commits itself to helping forge the Marxist vanguard the global working class so desperately seeks. Capitalism belongs the old world, and the time of socialism has arrived. The revolution is rumbling beneath, and we need to prepare. Join us!