Year One of the Lockdown “Left”

em.flinthillspagans.org

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”[1], 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.[2] 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”,[3] 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”.[4] It cannot be clearer – SALT defendthe capitalist state in the process of inflicting economic and psychological terror on workers,[5] 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![6]  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[7] 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 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”.[8] 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).[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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”.![14] 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.[15] The Communist Party of Australia (CPA), meanwhile, demands a worldwide rollout of the Covid vax![16]

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”.[17] 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.[18] 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[19] and its off shoots including the International Bolshevik Tendency,[20] the Bolshevik Tendency[21] and the Internationalist Group,[22] 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[23] and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.[24] 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!

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.sott.net/article/431860-How-to-Create-a-Fake-Pandemic (24-03-2021)

[2] https://www.epi.org/press/the-u-s-labor-market-remains-9-9-million-jobs-below-pre-pandemic-levels/ (24-03-2021)

[3] https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/17/covid19-evidence-of-global-fraud/ (27-03-2021)

[4] https://redflag.org.au/node/7453 (27-03-2021)

[5] https://www.aier.org/article/cost-of-us-lockdowns-a-preliminary-report/ (27-03-2021)

[6] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/second-wave-shutdowns-highlight-need-pandemic-leave (27-03-2021)

[7] https://www.globalresearch.ca/were-being-locked-down-infection-fatality-rate-less-than-0-2/5734799 (27-03-2021)

[8] Force Companies To Increase Hiring at the Expense of Their Bloated Profits! | Trotskyist Platform (28-03-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2020/12/29/theses-on-lockdowns-and-political-tasks-for-socialists/ (28-03-2021)

[10] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/03/27/scuk-m27.html (28-03-2021)

[11] https://summit.news/2020/07/29/un-officials-cite-study-that-finds-lockdowns-school-closures-killing-more-children-than-covid/ (28-03-2021)

[12] https://socialistfight.com/2020/12/02/wilhelm-speklin-no-longer-a-member-of-the-socialist-fight-group-12-11-20/ (28-03-2021)

[13] https://communistworkerspartyofaustralia.org.au/resources/THE%20AGITATOR%20THIRD%20ISSUE%20PUBLISHED.pdf (28-03-2021)

[14] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2021/2/12/goodbye-q-qanon-and-the-great-american-conspiracy-theory (28-03-2021)

[15] https://tottnews.com/2021/03/21/coverage-brisbane-freedom-march/ (28-03-2021)

[16] https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2021/1954/02-editorial.html (28-03-2021)

[17] https://goldenageofgaia.com/2021/03/19/world-freedom-day-march-20-2021/ (28-03-2021)

[18] https://www.winterwatch.net/2020/05/antifa-protests-against-ending-the-lockdown-in-germany/ (28-03-2021

[19] https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1172/covid-19.html (28-03-2021)

[20] http://bolshevik.org/ (28-03-2021)

[21] https://bolsheviktendency.org/2020/04/11/covid-19-a-geo-political-watershed/ (28-03-2021)

[22] http://www.internationalist.org/coronavirus-and-capitalism-2003.html (28-03-2021)

[23] https://www.workers.org/2021/01/53894/ (28-03-2021)

[24] https://www.liberationnews.org/workers-report-covid-19-health-violations-at-iconic-seattle-area-burger-chain/ (28-03-2021)

Who Was Behind the “March for Justice”?

21-03-2021: On March 15, thousands of women and their supporters around Australia rallied and marched[1] against the threat and reality of sexual assault and rape, shaking the foundations of the system which has denied them justice for generations. Or did they? At least, such is the narrative of the corporate media. Undeniably, many attendees believed that is precisely what they were doing. Yet there are progressive rallies and marches, and rallies and marches which are organised with an agenda which is not at all what they are purported to be. If the mainstream narrative was to be believed, these actions, triggered by the revelations of Brittany Higgins’ claims of being raped in the parliamentary office of the Defence Industries Minister Linda Reynolds in 2019,[2] were organised by a few women such as academic Janine Hendry,[3] who had “had enough”. Is this plausible?

Significant material support

How can nationally coordinated simultaneous rallies and marches take place specifically on the opening day of parliament, with booming sound systems providing amplification, and with one rally being joined by a Labor state Premier, other female members of cabinet, as well as a Liberal National Party Opposition leader and Opposition spokesperson for women? Quite frankly, such actions cannot come about through a handful of activists with meagre resources. Extensive funding and institutional support at the very least is required. And the real organisers are very cagey about revealing exactly who they are. The “March4Justice” website provides virtually no information about how this thing just happened to spring into existence. It is a flashy and professionally put together website[4], with little or no indication about which organisation or groups or individuals are behind it. All of this is deliberate, but also dishonest and disingenuous. Yet a look at the actual politics of the actions reveals plenty.

In Melbourne, an aeroplane flew over the “March 4 Justice” flying a banner which read, “Women vote too”.[5] This took place as the Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall spoke. Coincidence? Hardly. Such glaring red lights point to a presumption which is hidden in plain sight. We suspect the real forces organising the “March 4 Justice” were the liberal troika of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Trade Union bureaucracy, and the Labor Party feeder organisation GetUp![6] The liberal politics of these three are all over the March 4 Justice, as they gear up for a federal election later this year or early next year. It is transparently an attempt to put ALP politicians on the government benches in Canberra, and in addition, an attempt to re-gain political ground lost to the anti-lockdown movement. Just four weeks ago, tens of thousands of Australians protested in national rallies against the forced “Covid” lockdowns and supposedly voluntary and experimental vaccine on the eve of its rollout.

Not so radical

The bulk of the participants who were part of the “March4Justice”, ostensibly in support of women, were also firmly with the government – whether Labor or Liberal (or Green) – on the forced lockdowns which devastated Australia and much of the globe during 2020. This is hardly radical, because the government imposed lockdowns during the fake “pandemic” led to the worst year in history for domestic violence in Australia. Domestic violence is overwhelmingly inflicted against women, and the lockdowns during 2020 caused massive unemployment, increased inequality, anxiety and stress, leading to overwhelmed support services.[7] Where were the Labor Party, the Union officials, GetUp! and the liberal left at this time?  They blocked with the Liberal government to help enforce inhumane lockdowns which had not a shred of scientific justification.[8] They assisted the capitalist state (one could argue they are the capitalist state) in removing the most basic civil and democratic rights from all citizens, including half of the population who are women. Women bore the brunt of these actions, at the very least through job losses AND vastly increased domestic violence. And now this lot – with a federal election approaching – are concerned about women’s rights?

To be sure, Brittany Higgins may well have been sexually assaulted in Parliament House in 2019, and sexual assault and rape is a huge issue which needs to be confronted. Yet it is clear that at least one of the major causative factors of sexual assault and domestic violence is poverty, unemployment and inequality. This is ultimately caused by the stage that capitalism now finds itself in, and the lockdowns are part of a further ruling class attempt to assault the working class still further. If the liberal “left” are really serious about ending sexual assault, and making workplaces and society at large safe for women, they will need to break with the entire ideology and politics of the current form of class-divided society – based on private production for private profit. This certainly means breaking from the Labor Party (and the Greens), but it also means breaking from the entire parliamentary and political apparatus of the capitalist system, in Australia and internationally.

Yet the “March4Justice” was aimed in precisely the opposite direction. It was a conscious attempt to drive women and their supporters back towards the federal parliament, and therefore back into the arms of the very capitalist system which is itself the ultimate cause of violence against women. The demands put forward were so narrowly confined to parliament that it was basically a petition. Some of the demands were:
1. Independent investigations into cases of gendered violence

2.Strengthening of the Sex Discrimination Act

3. Mandatory gendered violence and sexual harassment training for MPs and their staff
4. For all Australian parliaments to have a 50:50 gender split by 2030

5. The enactment of a Federal Gender Equality Act, to include a gender equity audit of Parliamentary practices.[9]

Get the picture? To say that these demands are minor reforms to the system understates the issue. Liberals such as the Labor Party and the Union officials consciously try to paint the most minimal legislative amendments as a huge step forward. When in reality, it politically and ideologically reinforces “political change” as arriving through a bourgeois parliament – as if a bourgeois parliament is the end of historical achievement. If there was a genuine movement for women’s rights, such acts and processes of parliament may come about as a by-product of a struggle. But to restrict the aims of a movement entirely within a parliament which is in fact the direct foe of working women (and men) gives the game away.

For women’s liberation through socialism

The oppression of women is bound up with class society, which is thousands of years old. The oppression of women under capitalism, as Frederick Engels outlined,[10] is bound up with the nuclear family, private property and the state. A movement for women’s liberation therefore must have the goal of the overthrow of these three pillars of class society. Feminism, as such, only attempts to redress the situation of women within the confines of capitalism – irrespective of whether some feminists claim to be “socialist feminists” or even “Marxist feminists”. Feminism – with its cross class basis – is far too easily used by the political forces of the liberal wing of the ruling class for their increasingly minimal agendas. Granted, the “March4Justice” was not posited as feminism per se. Yet it was a conscious attempt to politically restrict and restrain women and their supporters from overstepping the boundaries of capitalist politics. More than this, it was even restricted to a not-so-subtle “vote ALP” drive.

In this sense, the “March4Justice” was a cynical and hypocritical manipulation of a genuine issue to drive conservative politics – shrouded in “progressive” verbiage – into women, the working class, and society at large. Violence against women today is the unfortunate product of the breakdown of the capitalist mode of production, most particularly represented by the descent of the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand into a barbarous form of lockdown fascism. Liberal political forces such as the ALP, the Union officials and their hangers on firmly defended, or joined with, the capitalist state during the time when it was arguably at its most repressive point in history. Liberals may oppose instances of violence against women today, but they are the foremost defenders of capitalist imperialism in its lockdown phase. Therefore, their railing against “sexism, misogyny, patriarchy” is mere hot air.

Women cannot be truly equal partners in society until and unless the working class is able to supercede capitalist oppression through revolution, and the march towards a classless society. This requires the forging of a Marxist vanguard party capable of leading workers in a pitch battle against finance capital for its own state and its own government. Such a party must champion women’s liberation as an essential component of the struggle for revolutionary internationalist socialism, which leaves lockdowns and all forms of repression as relics of a distant past.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] Look At Photos From Women’s March 4 Justice Protests Across Australia (pedestrian.tv) (17-03-2021)

[2] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-15/brittany-higgins-rape-claim-parliament-house-defence-minister/13154736 (17-03-2021)

[3] Black-clad women rally in Australia to demand gender violence justice (yahoo.com) (17-03-2021)

[4] Home – Women’s March 4 Justice (17-03-2021)

[5] Women’s March 4 Justice: Brittany Higgins addresses Canberra protest as crowds mass in Sydney and Melbourne – as it happened | Australia news | The Guardian

[6] https://www.getup.org.au/ (17-03-2021)

[7] https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/2020-australias-worst-year-domestic-violence/ (18-03-2021)

[8] https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/10/09/lockdown-is-a-terrible-experiment/ (18-03-2021)

[9] Home – March 4 Justice (17-03-2021)

[10] http://www.marx2mao.com/M&E/OFPS84.html (21-03-2021)

Strike for Freedom!

Statement of the Workers League

20-03-2021: As worldwide rallies for freedom take place on March 20, most of Western Europe remains under some form of lockdown or curfew, with protest remaining illegal. People can be arrested and charged for “being outdoors without a valid reason”. While lockdowns are being partially lifted in other parts of the world, the lies supposedly justifying previously unimaginable oppression continue. The attempt to vaccinate 7.8 billion people on the planet proceeds, for a virus whose very existence is scientifically disputed. These “vaccines” are entirely political, purely experimental, and are likely to be extremely harmful if not deadly. The same governments which forced healthy men, women and children into barbarous lockdowns now claim that the vaccine is not mandatory at the same time as preparing “Covid Passports” for international travel, domestic travel, and even for access to cinemas, concerts, sporting events and to shop at local grocery stores. This is already a reality in Israel.

Fraudulent removal of rights

Even though it may appear as though business is returning to pre-Covid times, this is also an illusion. Most governments around the world continue to hold the Covid card and are ready to wield it at any moment. Basic civil and democratic rights have either been removed or can be removed once again – with the excuse of “Covid” or “Covid variants”. The right to protest, the right to travel, freedom of movement, the right to purchase food, the right to leave your house, the right not to be forced into wearing an ineffectual and unhealthy facemask, the right to see your friends, the right to see your relatives, the right to visit the elderly and unwell in care homes or hospitals – all of these and more can be removed at any time the authorities deem it so. There was no “pandemic” and there is no “pandemic”. There are only mountains of lies from the corporate media and puppet politicians. Covid is a fraud which is used to increase political repression to levels which arguably exceed historical examples of fascism. In that sense, Covid is the highest form of class war against working people.

Covid was the shroud for the removal of employment for millions of workers worldwide. Whole sections of capitalist economies where shutdown or driven into bankruptcy. Millions of small businesses collapsed, while the largest and wealthiest monopoly corporations on the planet stepped into the void and subsequently amassed windfall profits. This happens in every recession, but this time it is much more apparent. This indicates that the real Covid agenda was a deliberate destruction of some sections of capital to secure and bolster the highest sections of finance capital. It was political action by the ruling classes of the imperialist West undertaken to protect capitalism regardless of the economic, political, and human cost to billions of people around the globe.

Covid is also geo-political. World imperialism, led by the ruling classes of the US and the EU, tailed by their lackeys in Canada, Holland, Australia, New Zealand etc., were floundering behind the economic rise of China, and the military power of Russia. Defeated and repelled at war in Syria, the imperialist powers used the cover of Covid to further develop internal subversion aimed at regime change in Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan, Venezuela and the list goes on. NATO uses the fig leaf of Covid to continue to militarily provoke Russia, China, the DPRK and Iran.

Liberalism the vehicle chosen by the elite

There is worldwide resistance to lockdown terror. Mass rallies and demonstrations repeatedly occur across Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. These are largely blacklisted or ignored by the mainstream media, as the ruling class actively attempts to deny there is mass public opposition – or deride it as being comprised of “anti-vaxxers” and “conspiracy theorists”. Yet the main reason these demonstrations are not overwhelmingly backed by the vast majority of the working class is the epic betrayal of Union officials and parties which falsely claim to be “left-wing” and “socialist”. These layers are not at all left-wing, as their enlistment in the service of the capitalist state over Covid makes crystal clear. These forces are liberal, i.e., they insist they are reforming the system in a progressive direction. However, the loyalty of these elements to capitalism is now so strong that they are prepared to enact fascist-like measures against workers fighting for freedom from lockdowns.

Hence, the “Great Reset” and the “New Normal” launched or backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) is NOT part of a left-wing agenda. It is a capitalist attack headed by liberals with left-sounding phraseology. It can appear as though it is the conservative and nationalist political forces which are resisting planet lockdown. This is only partially true, because while many conservatives and nationalists oppose lockdowns from the point of view of liberty, they of course do not extend this to recognise the need for the overturn of the capitalist system via the establishment of workers’ governments administering a series of workers’ states.

For a general strike!

The anti-lockdown movement thus far has more than demonstrated the bravery required to defy totalitarian rule. At the same time, to achieve its goals it needs two elements which are yet to materialise. One is clear political leadership, and the other is a firmly pro working-class orientation. Due to the nature of the assault issuing from finance capital, it is only the working class organised internationally which has the potential to stop and reverse lockdown terror. The petty-bourgeois class, despite being pummelled by lockdowns, is genetically unable to take a political line independent of big capital. To spur the development of both the political leadership and the proletarian orientation necessary, the anti-lockdown movement needs to call for a general strike against forced lockdowns, facemasks, vaccines, economic shutdowns, border closures, tracking and tracing and the use of state power to enforce absurd and offensive dictates which obviously have no medical basis. The organisation of a general strike requires the formation of strike committees, with the only stipulation for entry into such committees being a sworn opposition to every element of Covid oppression. If developed with vigour, such strike committees can then lead to organs of a new state, which will vie with the lockdown states for the loyalty of working and oppressed people. At the same time, all parties which oppose lockdowns will contest each other for workers’ political allegiance. Permanent relief from lockdown fascism will only arrive with this new power – a workers’ government.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

Milk Tea Alliance: The Empire’s Anti-China Hoodlums

The economic rise of the People’s Republic of China is the major concern of the US Empire. Image from http://www.msn.com

11-03-2021: The West’s flailing efforts to prevent being overtaken and left behind by the economic and political rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues. The capitalist economies of the United States of America (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), Australia, Japan etc., stumble along, either in recession or barely above it. The economy of the PRC, on the other hand, moves ahead in seven league strides[1] – even despite the lockdowns and shutdowns associated with  the fake coronavirus “pandemic”.[2] One could plausibly argue that the Covid lockdowns were part of an engineered recession in the West, as the capitalist ruling classes of the US and EU understood quite well that only the creative destruction of parts of their own capital would give them a chance to drag themselves out of a decade long slump. While the conservative and bureaucratic political leadership of the PRC double-crossed workers by enacting the Covid charade, its economy was largely protected due to predominantly public ownership of the means of production. The PRC does not run primarily on the basis of production for private profit, and this is the key to its indomitable economic rise.

Thailand

In response to the PRC’s inevitably increasing economic ties with its near neighbours and beyond through the Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road) and other means, world imperialism – headed by Washington – uses any means available to disrupt these bonds. The innocuous sounding “Milk Tea Alliance” is anything but. Ludicrous claims that the Milk Tea Alliance is an alliance of “pro-democracy activists” are fostered by the US Empire.[3] The reality is that Washington and London, politically backed by Canberra, are openly funding and organising anti-socialist and anti-government sedition ultimately aimed at regime change in the PRC itself. Any actions – up to and including street violence, physically attacking and provoking police and security forces – are then spun as a “democratic uprising”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Milk Tea Alliance is anti-China, and little else.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the public relations arm of the CIA, does not really attempt to hide the extent to which it funds the “opposition” in Thailand. Its own website lists dozens of “civil society” organisations it funds in Thailand, with amounts of cash attached which are likely understated. These fronts are far from being what they are purported to be about: law reform, democratic rights, human rights, civil society building and so on.[4] Rather, they are about ending any semblance of Thailand’s independence, and punishing the Thai government for extending and deepening economic, political and even military ties with Red China. The Thai government has no choice but to deal with the PRC, and not only because it shares a long border. The PRC, thanks to its gargantuan and expanding socialist economy, offers Thailand economic opportunities that exist nowhere else. Neither the US nor any government of the European Union (EU), due to their respective economic recessions and geographical distance, are in a position to offer Thailand much at all.

The PRC, on the other hand, is a next door neighbour with a vast and expanding economy, which offers trade and investment and much needed infrastructure building projects with zero political interference. For example, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and China have signed agreements to build a railway which connects all these neighbouring South East Asian countries for the first time ever.[5] The economic benefits for Thailand and Laos and Cambodia are obvious, but cultural and political co-operation will also flow as a result. This integration and co-operation will benefit the PRC at the expense of the US Empire – which cannot offer these perks in any case. This is what the Washington seeks to dismantle – and hence the Thai wing of the “Milk Tea Alliance”.

The Thai government also had little choice but to disqualify the “Future Forward” party of corrupt pro-US billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongraungkit for violating Thailand’s electoral laws. Thanathorn had “loaned” his party six million dollars out of his own pocket – which was clearly a donation and therefore illegal under Thai law.[6] In response there were predictable “student” rallies purportedly protesting further restrictions on “democracy”, many of whom would later spring up as the “Milk Tea Alliance”. Likewise, the “Thai Lawyers for Human Rights” (TLHR), led by Anon Nampa, are transparently bound with Washington in an attempt to break Thai links with the PRC under the entirely false guise of “human rights”. Anon Nampa, who springs up and often leads “democracy” protests in Thailand, has had to admit that TLHR “receives all its funding from international donors”. The international donors are of course the NED, meaning that Anon Nampa himself – far from being a disinterested human rights lawyer – is directly paid by the US state department.[7] The Thai “democracy” movement is in fact foreign funded subversion in the service of the US Empire. The Thai government has only recently moved to regulate at least 100 foreign funded “NGOs” which had been operating with impunity.[8]

Myanmar

The latest attempted colour revolution by the US created Milk Tea Alliance is in Myanmar, where the West’s corporate media is painting a picture of a military dictatorship cancelling elections and suppressing demonstrations. This narrative is oceans apart from reality. As we wrote in February,[9] US and UK government funded “democracy” fronts had been operating unimpeded in Myanmar for decades. One result of this has been the creation of the National League for Democracy (NLD) itself, another was the defacto installation of Aung Sung Suu Kyi as State Counsellor from 2016. The Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) had reasonable grounds to claim that the November 2020 election – which the NLD “won” in a landslide was fraudulent, and that the actions it took to prevent a total US/EU government takeover of the state of Myanmar was necessary. It was merely one action that the Tatmadaw has taken against the virtually limitless building of para-state organisations within Myanmar, funded by imperialism itself. For example, not only was Aung Sung Suu Kyi made State Counsellor in 2016, Pe Myint was installed as Minister of Information. Pe Myint was a former doctor who was literally trained in journalism by the NED and George Soros’ OSI (Open Society Institute) at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok.[10] The notion that Pe Myint would serve the interests of Myanmar rather than the US state department after such backing is fanciful at the very least.

Today, the West’s corporate media and their quislings are fanning the flames of violent unrest which they hope will lead to international (read: US/EU) intervention into Myanmar to confront and/or bring down the Tatmadaw. To do this, they must lie and lie openly about what is happening on the ground in Myanmar. They republish unsubstaniated United Nations (UN) claims that the Tatmadaw killed 38 people in one day.[11] These are baseless allegations aimed at liberals in the West, to soften up public opinion for a possible intervention into Myanmar by US forces or their proxies. At the UN, even Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN gave the three fingered salute (a sign reportedly adopted from the Hunger Games films and by anti-government mobs in Thailand) while calling on the “international community” to hold Myanmar’s military to account. Thankfully, both China and Russia at the UN are currently against international intervention into Myanmar, calling for respect for Myanmar’s internal affairs.[12]  The governments of the US and the EU, needless to say, have no such principles.

One sure indicator of the ultra-reactionary anti-socialist and anti-China nature of the Myanmar anti-coup protestors is the backing offered by Indonesian fugitive Veronica Koman. Ms Koman fled Indonesia to prevent charges for racial incitement being laid against her for false coverage of West Papuan separatist riots during 2019.[13] Ms Koman, who despite having Chinese heritage is virulently anti-Beijing, tweeted in support of the Milk Tea Alliance when Myanmar ex-pats in Sydney staged a “Save Myanmar” rally on March 6.[14] It is to be expected that the vast majority of ex-pat Myanmarese living in Australia – or anywhere outside of Myanmar – would be quickly recruited by US imperialism in its various forms. The goal is clearly to set up political conditions whereby working people internationally do not oppose US or UK or UN troops (or a proxy force) being sent into Myanmar to confront the Tatmadaw – under the guise of “peacekeeping”. This is yet one more step towards the military encirclement of PRC, again escalating the danger of a hot war.

Hong Kong

By far the most violent members of the Milk Tea Alliance are the US/UK government backed Blackshirts in Hong Kong. Throughout 2019, they terrorised Hong Kong citizens with frenzied attacks on police, hurling bricks, petrol bombs and other projectiles. On some occasions, police were struck with arrows shot from bows[15], with some of them dipped in fire before being launched. Fallaciously portrayed as “pro-democracy” activists, many Hong Kong residents argued and pleaded with them to stop destroying the city. One Blackshirt responded to a resident with a different opinion by pouring flammable liquid on him and setting him on fire.[16] Needless to say, the notion that the Blackshirts are somehow fighting for a progressive cause despite using repeated and unprovoked violence against those who disagree with them is absurd. In reality, the Blackshirts are unadulterated anti-socialist hoodlums attempting (in vain) to separate Hong Kong from the People’s Republic of China. This is despite Hong Kong officially being handed back to China as far back as 1997. There is no chance of this happening, given that Hong Kong is now linked to the mainland by rail and the longest land bridge in the world, not to speak of the fact that Hong Kong has been a part of China for millennia.

The Blackshirts – many of whom are too young to even remember 1997 – are acting as reactionary pawns for US/UK imperialist attempts to destablise China using any means necessary. For decades, the US and UK governments have funded thousands of NGOs in Hong Kong, in an effort to prevent Hong Kong’s capitalism being subsumed by the socialism (however deformed) of mainland China. The Blackshirts mobilised under the oxymoronic name of the “Civil Human Rights Front”, when multiple members of this reactionary alliance had directly received NED funding. These include: the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labor Party and the Democratic Party. Some 37 000 NGOs with staff in the tens of thousands operate in Hong Kong, many of which receive funding from US and EU governments.[17] It is no wonder that the Blackshirts then wave not only US and UK flags, but even the defunct British colonial Hong Kong.[18]  This wing of the Milk Tea Alliance is as right-wing as can possibly be conceived.

Defend the PRC against regime change

Taiwan, and even India and Indonesia are sometimes added to the Milk Tea Alliance, giving the game away yet again about who is really behind it. It is unequivocal anti-socialist anti-China subversion, funded and in many cases organised by arms of the imperialist states of the US and the EU. China’s vast population and previous openness to the functioning of foreign backed NGOs opens the door for the ruling classes of the West to attempt to overthrow the PRC from within. Hence the hysterical propaganda campaigns about “human rights” and “democracy” in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Tibet. It is also the basis for the fake “democracy” movements being funded and orchestrated by Washington and London in Thailand and Myanmar. The agenda is to encircle Red China with imperialist bases on their borders, while politically destablising the PRC in its extremities. Nothing less than the overthrow of Beijing will satisfy the CIA and MI6, but they understand that this is currently not a military option. Hence, political subversion is the main modus operandi.

The PRC remains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, the same one which emerged from the victory of its socialist revolution in 1949. The class character of that revolution, being overwhelmingly backed by hundreds of millions of peasants, was qualitatively different to the working-class proletarian revolution in Russia in 1917. Nevertheless, the PRC today is overwhelmingly based on public ownership of the means of production and a planned economy. This is the productive basis for the 30 years of 10% GDP growth which it experienced, and which would not be possible if the economy was “capitalist”. This is just one reason why workers need to defend the PRC against internal and external imperialist backed subversion. At the same time, the PRC needs a proletarian political revolution to oust the conservative and nationalist political leadership and replace it with workers’ councils comprised of all those who seek to defend modern China and build socialism internationally.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/04/get-ready-for-a-long-recession-408911 (06-03-2021)

[2] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-2020-worldwide-corona-crisis-destroying-civil-society-engineered-economic-depression-global-coup-detat-and-the-great-reset/5730652 (06-03-2021)

[3] https://time.com/5904114/milk-tea-alliance/ (06-03-2021)

[4] https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2020/ (06-03-2021)

[5] https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/thailand-to-sign-rail-pact-with-laos-china-asianewsnetwork? (06-03-2021)

[6] https://journal-neo.org/2020/02/28/thailand-protests-students-fight-to-save-washingtons-billionaire-proxy/ (06-03-21)

[7] https://journal-neo.org/2020/09/29/thai-protests-are-anti-chinese-not-pro-democracy/ (06-03-2021)

[8] https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2073783/govt-to-regulate-all-ngos (06-03-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2021/02/07/myanmar-military-moves-against-us-subversion/ (06-03-2021)

[10] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2016/08/how-us-took-over-myanmars-ministry-of.html (06-03-2021)

[11] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/5/myanmar-diplomatic-revolt-widens-as-protesters-regroup (06-03-2021)

[12] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/myanmar-ambassador-un-three-fingers-military-coup-b1808344.html (06-03-2021)

[13] https://redfireonline.com/2020/01/12/veronica-koman-human-rights-fraud/ (06-03-2021)

[14] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/world/2021-03-06-hundreds-gather-in-sydney-in-solidarity-with-myanmar-protesters/ (06-03-2021)

[15] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/arrow-fired-by-hong-kong-protester-hits-police-officer-12101294 (07-03-2021)

[16] https://news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-police-investigating-videos-man-set-alight-081053989.html (07-03-2021)

[17] https://iacenter.org/2019/08/12/international-action-center-statement-u-s-role-in-hong-kong-protests/ (07-03-2021)

[18] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3023817/are-hong-kong-protesters-pro-american-or-british-when-they (07-03-2021)

Biden Bombs Syria: The First Covid War?

Kataib Hezbollah fighters on the march. Image from RT.com

05.03.2021: Just two weeks after declaring the US would not return to forever wars under his administration[1], fraudulently installed President Joe Biden rained bombs on Syria, targeting Iranian supported militias fighting US backed Al Qaeda terrorists operating in the region. Biden was only 36 days into his first term before ordering the bombing of the Middle East[2], once again risking the escalation of an even more catastrophic regime change war. This comes hard on the heels of Biden’s re-invasion of Syria just two days into his Presidency, where 200 US troops and 60 military vehicles crossed the border[3] into Syria to “assist” US backed Kurdish separatist rule in northern Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated that the US airstrikes targeted facilities used by Iranian backed militias including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada. Stretching the limits of plausibility, Kirby claimed that the strikes were in response to rocket attacks on US troops but were deliberately calibrated to de-escalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.[4]

US Empire uses Covid to reignite regime change war on Syria

The US government claimed it gave notice to the Russian government before the strikes took place. It did – but the notice was only four minutes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that “This kind of notification does nothing when the strike is literally already on its way”.[5] Transparently, US imperialism is hell bent on attempting to reverse the defeat it suffered during the regime change war it attempted in Syria from 2011 onwards. The combination of resistance from the Syrian government, with military backing from Russia and Iran, arguably dealt US imperialism its first defeat since the Vietnam War. The Pentagon did not succeed in toppling Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, despite spending $500 million, at the very least, funding and arming deranged mercenary forces[6] to do so. The superiority of Russian air power, combined with the considerable skills of Iranian backed ground militias and heroic Syrian army martyrs – delivered a crushing of ISIS and, by extension, Wall Street.

Washington was stung by this defeat and has never accepted it. Now, their assault on the world’s working and oppressed people under the code name of “Covid”, opens a small window to re-start the regime change war on Syria. While the governments of Russia and Iran performed heroics to stop US imperialism in its tracks in Syria, during 2020 both entities unfortunately marched in lockstep with the US Empire by entertaining the Covid plot.[7] The coronavirus charade was always going to be used by US/EU imperialism against their opponents, and the Russian and Iranian governments’ acquiescence to the fear “pandemic” nonsense only slightly delayed a direct broadside from Washington. Russia and Iran’s mimicking of Western government lockdowns, forced facemasks and forced vaccines was never going to be accepted as currency for respect for their national sovereignty, or much else. Nothing less than regime change and substitute pro-US satrap governments in Syria, Iran and Russia would appease the ruling classes of the US/EU. Indeed, the war on Syria was arguably a stepping stone on the road to regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, by first eliminating one of Russia’s key allies.

Liberalism accelerates political disintegration

When capitalism enters a steep decline, parliamentary democracy soon becomes insufficiently repressive for the tasks the bourgeoisie needs to carry out to ensure the maintenance of its rule. Basic democratic and civil rights become an obstacle and need to be sidelined. This was one of the goals of the various forms of lockdown fascism initiated by capital in the West during 2020. This particular form of fascism, which was covered with the excuse of “Covid”, was NOT led by a far-right ultra-nationalist stormtroopers but by “left-wing” anti-socialists such as: Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the lockdown left who tailed the mind-bogglingly conservative Union bureaucracy. This liberal pro-corporate set heavily endorsed the fake pandemic and even – believe it or not – campaigned for longer and stricter lockdowns. While there is no doubt that these forces dragged along some youth and working people who believed they were doing something progressive, their leading lights knew exactly what their task was – to defend capitalist imperialism using any means up to and including violence.

The identity politics, the faux anti-racism, the disingenuous refugee rights activism of Antifa, BLM (which has conveniently disappeared from the streets now that there is a Democrat in the White House) and the lockdown left – combined with Union officialdom – has only strengthened finance capital. All of these forces endorsed and enforced the fake pandemic with its brutally anti-working class lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, and tracking and tracing. The Covid ruse enabled the fascistic repression the ruling class required to savage the cost of labour power – through hundreds of millions of job cuts, economic shutdowns and border closures. The extreme Covid political repression also enables the bourgeoisie to wage imperialist war, such as the one being reanimated in Syria. For working people can scarcely organise political opposition to a war when they are separated from each other, when meetings have been banned, and when state borders are barricaded.

What is required is political action which demands US troops exit Syria immediately, and a prompt end to US/EU sanctions and provocations against Syria, Russia and Iran. The threatened imperialist wars against Syria, Russia, Iran and even China are bound up with the Covid war on working people at home. This is despite the deceitful Covid cooperation with Washington by Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. Wars can only be stopped by overthrowing the government waging it – this is the cardinal lesson of the October Revolution of 1917. Then, as now, Marxist leadership of the working class is a critical first step towards the end of imperialist wars and the socialist liberation of humanity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] Biden Bombs Syria Just Two Weeks After Promising Not To Go Back To Forever Wars In The Middle East….. (thefolliesofdistributism.com) (28-02-2021)

[2] It Only Took Joe Biden 36 Days to Bomb the Middle East – 19FortyFive (28-02-2021)

[3] US Convoy Reported Moving Into Syria From Iraq – News From Antiwar.com (28-02-2021)

[4] ‘Joe Biden Just Dropped Bombs on Syria. Here We Go Again’: US Responds to Rocket Attacks With Airstrikes | Common Dreams News (28-02-2021)

[5] Mismatch: Biden bombs Syria while pushing progressive economic bill at home – People’s World (28-02-2021)

[6] https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/us-approves-500-million-fund-arm-moderate-syrian-25633715 (28-02-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (28-02-2021)