Veronica Koman: Human Rights Fraud

Crowds look on as the Manokwari Parliament building is set alight on 19.08.19. Image from http://www.ucanews.org

Veronica Koman: Human Rights Fraud

07-01-2020 – When leftists hear the term “human rights lawyer”, suspicions are, or should be, immediately raised. “Human rights”, so-called, has been twisted and distorted by the paid and unpaid scribes of Western imperialism into something which no longer corresponds to what these words originally meant in the English language. Wholesale wars of regime change, outright invasions and occupations of countries deemed too independent of the Anglo/US Empire, the funding and very creation of an “opposition” in countries seen as too friendly to Russia or China – all of this and much more is justified under the deliberately misleading rubric of “human rights”.  The case of Veronica Koman in relation to West Papua is yet another page in this sorry tale.

Ms Koman is currently being paraded around Australia by swindled left parties eager to promote their blind support for West Papuan “independence”. The Socialist Alliance (SAll) featured Ms Koman on a “World in Revolt” panel at their national conference in December last year.[1] Socialist Alternative (SAlt) are also billing Ms Koman as a featured speaker at their (misnamed) Marxism 2020 conference in Melbourne on April 11.[2] While not hosting Ms Koman, the Spartacist League (SL) chimes in with the other left parties they chastise as “reformist”, to sing her praises. They even use the term “human rights lawyer” to refer to her (Australasian Spartacist, No. 239, Summer 2019/20), which could be a first for a party which so proudly proclaims its revolutionary credentials. Solidarity (Sol), which usually has a policy of physically excluding the SL from their public forums, nonetheless echo SL and other left parties employing the liberal approved “human rights lawyer” vernacular.[3]

Why did Ms Koman flee?

The corporate media narrative is that Ms Koman fled into exile, in fear of her life, to Australia after bravely defending West Papuans from the Indonesian armed forces. Like almost all of the narrative spun by supporters of Papuan separatism, this is fiction. Ms Koman has been accused by Indonesian police of “incitement” for the spreading of fake videos and hoaxes online, some of which led to ultra-violent protests across Indonesia and West Papua in the second half of 2019. Under Indonesian law governing online activity, if found guilty Ms Koman could be jailed for six years and fined $US 70 000.[4] So she fled to Australia to avoid a lengthy jail term, NOT because she was merely “reporting” on events in West Papua. The riots which were partly fueled by Ms Koman’s social media posts led to the deaths of at least 40 people – both Indonesians and Papuans. (For clarity, we use the terms “Indonesian” and “Papuan” even though Indonesians regard Papuans as part of the Republic of Indonesia.) This was an extremely serious matter, and the Indonesian police followed procedure by asking her to step forward to be questioned. Ms Koman refused, point blank. Indonesia’s national police spokesperson, Argo Yuwono, speaking about the request sent to Ms Koman, said “We have communicated it with the international relations division..to make her available for questioning. We really hope that she would come. If she refuses to come, well, what else can we do? We have to respect rules”.[5] From this statement, it is clear that Ms Koman was under no physical threat by turning herself in for questioning. What she feared, instead, was being charged and convicted of racial incitement. To avoid this, she fled to Australia, knowing that the corporate media and even sections of the Australian government would shelter her. So much for the high principles of a “human rights lawyer” !!

Ms Koman, who grandstands with sombre intonations about the “human rights” of West Papuans, is silent about even the right to live, and the right not to be slaughtered by maniacal Papuan separatists, if you are an Indonesian living in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia. According to the Jakarta Post, on September 23 last year, a mob of Papuan militia descended upon Wamena and proceeded to set ablaze hundreds of shops, government buildings, vehicles in the street and also “attacked other residents with weapons.” (Emphasis added)[6] Papuan Police announced that they were searching for those responsible, who they regard as provocateurs, and who they believe are members of the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) and/or the ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua). The Indonesian government suspects that the life-taking violence in Wamena last September was orchestrated by UK based Papuan exile Benny Wenda through contacts with the ULMWP and KNPB.[7]

If Ms Koman was indeed a “human rights lawyer”, if such a thing exists, wouldn’t she offer to defend the Indonesians attacked with hand weapons by Papuan separatists? Further, wouldn’t she offer to assist the families of those who were burnt to death after being trapped in the buildings which were set alight by rampaging Papuans? We won’t be holding our breath. From what can be observed, not all Papuans support separatist independence, and only a small minority of Papuans are prepared to take up arms in a Papuan militia. An even smaller minority of Papuans are prepared to use wanton and life-taking violence against neighbours who have a different ethnicity. i.e. non-Papuan Indonesians. Yet Ms Koman has decided to hitch her wagon to these very types – while claiming the exalted mantle of one who is waging a noble battle for “human rights”. The hypocrisy is stunning.

What is the basis of West Papuan separatism?

Ms Koman, and the Australian left parties singing hosannas to her, have to face up to an uncomfortable truth. In large part, West Papuan separatism is based on ethnic animosity and violence towards Indonesians, as opposed to claimed oppression and institutional discrimination by the Indonesian state. Needless to say, the left cannot support ANY political movement based on ethnic antagonism. In the main, what Papuan separatists are opposed to is the large-scale transmigration of Indonesians into West Papua over several decades. While it is true that the numbers of transmigrants are significant, figures from 2017 indicate that Austronesian transmigration has not turned the indigenous Melanesians into a minority, as separatist Papuans had feared.[8] Out of an overall population in the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat (West Papua) of 3.6 million, it is estimated that the Melanesian population comprises 66% of the total,[9] meaning that largely Austronesian transmigrants make up 34%. Moreover, many “transmigrants” have been residing in the Papuan provinces for several decades, making the “migrant” term misleading. However, West Papua researcher Dr Jim Elmslie has also pointed out that in some regencies of West Papua, largely Austronesian settlers have become a majority, outnumbering Melanesians. These are the regencies containing the coastal cities such as the capital Jayapura. Yet in the highland regions, indigenous Melanesians still comprise the overwhelming majority.[10]

If, and it’s a big if, the Indonesian state was systematically discriminating against, excluding, or even attempting a physical genocide of Melanesians in Papua, a separatist movement for independence MAY be one of the political options. But there is scant evidence that anything approaching this is occurring. There is no “genocide” in West Papua, in terms of a military occupation which is attempting to expel, much less exterminate, the indigenous population. On the contrary, there is much more evidence that the Indonesian government is attempting to integrate Papuans into the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia. This does not mean, of course, that leftists should endorse the Indonesian government or its politics. But it does mean investigating the claims of the Papuan separatists, and not taking their word for it.

In politics Marxists must be able to distinguish the essence of phenomena from its form. Under most circumstances, generally the left would support a movement aimed against an imperialist power. But here’s the rub: Indonesia is not imperialist!  Not even our presumed Australian socialist parties who loudly proclaim their backing of West Papuan independence – SAll, SAlt, SL, Sol – would claim that. On the contrary, Indonesia is a third world nation which is still in the process of developing, which means it cannot approach even Australia in terms of labour productivity, for example. While it is true that Indonesia operates a capitalist economy, Indonesia itself fought for its independence from 350 years of Dutch colonialism. Again, this does not at all mean that Marxists politically support the current Indonesian government. At the same time, Marxists should side with the third world nation when it comes to a question of meddling or interference into their affairs by imperialism.

Lies for Empire

Ironically, Papuan separatists actively collude with, and cultivate, liberal yet pro-imperialist elements in order to prosecute their movement for “independence”. Ms Koman is but one example. Liberal pro-imperialists today line up with the conservative imperialists they feign to criticise when it comes to war, and even national sovereignty. For example, US imperialism was (or is) engaged in counter-revolutionary intrigue in Hong Kong, funding and encouraging ultra-violent separatist riots throughout 2019, with the ultimate aim of overturning socialism in mainland China. Blackshirt fascist leader Joshua Wong, openly courted by the US state department through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)[11], is the poster boy for this reactionary movement. In the middle of all of this, on the 18th of June 2019, none other than Veronica Koman tweets a happy snap of her alongside Mr Wong.[12] Two days later, Mr Wong would incite a riot at the Wan Chai Police Station in Hong Kong, for which he was later arrested and charged. One wonders if our purported Australian socialist parties can see the connection. Mr Wong incites racially charged riots (reports of anti-mainland Chinese racism among the Hong Kong Blackshirts are legion) in Hong Kong at the service of US/UK imperialism, while Ms Koman incites racially charged anti-Indonesian riots in West Papua also at the service (albeit covertly) of US/UK imperialism. When ethnic based riots (containing ethnic violence in the case of the armed Papuan separatists) forms part of your politics, you are not in good company.

Examples of Ms Koman’s lies for Papuan separatism are tweeted (on Twitter) frequently. In a tweet dated 21-08-19 from the Fakfak regency, Ms Koman posts two images, with claims that one West Papuan protestor had his stomach slashed and his intestines were pouring out, and another claiming that a protestor was hit by stray bullets.[13] The images are clearly fakes, with staged actors, and with faces blacked out. If it came to it, the photos would be thrown out of any court of law as unverifiable. Five days later, in a tweet from Wamena, Ms Koman claims the protest rally gathering there would contain healthy people from among those displaced by the Indonesian military operation in Nduga, which allegedly “caused the death of 186 civilians”.[14] The lies here are palpable. Numerous sources will confirm that what actually happened was that Papuan separatists armed with guns executed 24 road workers constructing the Trans Papua Highway. Eight more fled, only for seven of them to be tracked down and butchered the next day.[15] Behold the real intentions and actions which underpin West Papuan “independence” !

Anti-China gun for hire

Despite Ms Koman’s ethnic Chinese heritage, her anti-Chinese anti-communism knows few bounds. The fake Western media concoction of Uyghur “oppression” in China’s Xinjiang province has been in full swing in the last 12 months. As we wrote in July last year[16], the West is not concerned in the slightest about “human rights” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Washington – backed by Canberra – are attempting to demonise socialism in China by inventing boundless fictions such as Uyghur “concentration camps”. This is because China’s stupendous economic growth and concomitant advances in science, technology, education etc., is in the process of surpassing the failing capitalist economies of the US, Europe, Australia and the rest. Chiming in with the utterly deceitful Uyghur “human rights” corporate media hoax is – you guessed it – Veronica Koman.

Ms Koman tweeted dolefully that the Indonesian government would “never” speak out for the Uyghurs because it needed the Chinese government’s support on the Human Rights Council over West Papua![17]  Much more likely is that the Indonesian government can see a fake “human rights” campaign orchestrated by Washington when they see one. As a Muslim majority country, most Indonesians can see that the US government and their Western allies cannot possibly be concerned about the Muslims of the XUAR, when it has waged horrific wars against other majority Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, slaughtering well over 1 million adherents of the Islamic faith.

What price integrity?

Lest anyone imagine that it is only the “Trotskyist” Australian left parties (SAll, SAlt, SL, Sol) which fall for the torrent of tall tales from the West Papuan separatists, the fact that they are joined by two “Stalinist” (and/or “Maoist”) Australian left parties should kick this misconception. Both the Communist Party of Australia (CPA)[18] and the Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist (CPA-ML)[19] make firm calls for Papuan separatism, with both demanding a referendum take place. They don’t appear to notice that this is ultimately a call for imperialism itself to “oversee” the referendum – either through the United Nations (UN) or US/UK/AUST troops on the ground. The CPA-ML try to deflect likely questions about the fact that Australian Union members and Waterside workers, including Communists, aided and assisted the Indonesian struggle for independence from Dutch colonialism during World War II. Yet the contradiction is too large to ignore. Both the “Trotskyist” and “Stalinist” parties have been fooled by the habitual lies and falsification which drives West Papuan separatism.  It could be understandable why liberals would not have the basis on which to question the political claims of an indigenous people, which is covertly backed by sections of world imperialism. Socialists, however, should know better, and should be able to apply basic Marxist investigative skills in ANY sphere, especially when dealing with claims of a “human rights lawyer”.

Veronica Koman, and by extension, the Papuan separatist movement, is a fraud. Regardless of the actions of its government in the past, or in other situations, Indonesia is not “imperialist”. Armed Papuan separatists especially are guilty of anti-Indonesian violence, and the likes of Ms Koman sell vast fake narratives placing the blame on Indonesia, with the assistance of the corporate media in Australia and elsewhere, to an eager Western audience. Indonesian workers are aware of what is happening, and don’t buy it. A political movement based on truths, facts, and actions against basic injustice is one thing. A quasi-political movement based on lies, distortions, ethnic antagonism and violence is another thing entirely. The left, at the very least, should be able to sense when it is being hoodwinked.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.greenleft.org.au/video/world-revolt-free-west-papua (02-01-2020)

https://www.facebook.com/events/539475839964278/    (02-01-2020)

[3] https://www.solidarity.net.au/international/students-shot-dead-as-west-papua-protests-continue/ (02-01-2020)

[4] https://asiapacificreport.nz/2019/09/05/indonesian-police-target-veronica-koman-for-west-papua-incitement/ (02-01-2020)

[5] https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/Papua-rights-defender-11212019184820.html (02-01-2020)

[6] https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/08/papua-police-name-13-suspects-for-deadly-wamena-unrest.html (03-01-2020)

[7] Ibid, 6.

[8] https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201830960/west-papuan-demographics-update-highlights-disparity (03-01-2020)

[9] https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/post/pacific-news-minute-new-statistics-show-indigenous-melanesians-remain-majority-w-papua#stream/0 (03-01-2020)

[10] https://www.globalresearch.ca/indonesias-west-papua-settlers-dominate-coastal-regions-highlands-still-overwhelmingly-papuan/5569676 (03-01-2020)

[11] https://www.mondialisation.ca/hong-kong-gets-new-us-backed-party-funded-by-washington/5520536 (04-01-2020)

[12] https://www.dimsumdaily.hk/veronica-koman-human-rights-lawyer-based-in-australia-who-advocates-for-west-papua-pursued-by-indonesian-government/ (04-01-2020)

[13] https://twitter.com/VeronicaKoman/status/1164181784612859905 (07-01-2020)

[14] https://twitter.com/VeronicaKoman/status/1165821234174496768 (07-01-2020)

[15] https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2176302/indonesia-probing-reports-rebels-executed-31-construction (07-01-2020)

[16] https://redfireonline.com/2019/07/24/xinjiang-the-wests-big-lie/ (07-01-2020)

[17] https://twitter.com/VeronicaKoman/status/1204991932927115264 (07-01-2020)

[18] https://cpa.org.au/guardian/2019/1898/05-papua.html (07-01-2020)

[19] https://www.cpaml.org/lostfiles.php?id=1568513614&catid1=9,15 (07-01-2020)

No War on Iran! US: Get Out of Iraq and Syria!

Mourners mark General Soleimani’s assassination in Baghdad. http://www.politico.com

No War On Iran!  US: Get Out of Iraq and Syria!

05-01-2020: In an act of cold blooded murder, the US military assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’eb Hezbollah, in air strike on Baghdad Airport on New Year’s Day.[1] General Soleimani was the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and was overwhelmingly popular as the key leader of the military defence of the 1979 Iranian revolution. In every sense of the word, General Soleimani is a martyr in the cause of resistance to the scourge which threatens the world – US imperialism.

Absurdly, US President Donald Trump claimed in the aftermath that the US “took action to stop a war…we did not take action to start a war”.[2] Defying reality, Trump also claimed that the US does not seek regime change in Iran. Little could be further from the truth. For four decades, the US has remained in better enmity to the Iranian Islamic revolution which overthrew the US backed Shah of Iran and proceeded to build an anti-imperialist and independent Iran. Iran is now almost the only country in the Middle East without a US military presence. It is encircled by US military bases in neighbouring countries, in a similar way in which the US is attempting to militarily encircle Russia and China.

US defeat in Syria

This latest unparalleled act of war is more related to recent setbacks for US imperialism, it is not a demonstration of US success. After destroying Libya in 2011, Washington – with the backing of Canberra, London, Paris, Riyadh and Tel Aviv amongst others – set about engaging in a terroristic and criminal war of regime change against the Syrian Arab Republic. Hordes of unhinged mercenary barbarians in the form of ISIS, Al Qaeda and others were armed, funded, trained and sent into Syria to slaughter innocents using extreme violence. The Pentagon was the key supplier of weaponry for the deranged Daesh cutthroats[3], along with its allies. Thankfully, the sadistic imperialist war on Syria was defeated – arguably the first time that US imperialism has been defeated since the liberation of Saigon in the Vietnam War in 1975. The defeat of US imperialism – via their ISIS proxy – came about in no small part due to the painstaking efforts of General Soleimani and the IRGC.

Crucial assistance also came from the Russian government, which turned the tide in the regime change war after it was invited to do so by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Russia’s superiority in air warfare, particularly the use of the SU-35 jet fighter, cut US/Saudi supply lines to ISIS, and prevented their advance throughout the country. Yet even with Russia’s technologically superior air power, a war cannot only be won from the skies. Ground reconnaissance and securing areas won with the air power is necessary. This role was heroically played by the Syrian Arab Army, the IRGC and also the Lebanese Hezbollah. Though not playing an active role, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offered some forms of aid for rebuilding and helped to block attempts by the imperialist Western powers to enforce sanctions against Syria at the United Nations (UN). The PRC had a direct interest in stifling Saudi financed Wahabist terrorism, as some 5000 extremist Uyghurs had enlisted with ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria.[4] The PRC correctly sought measures to prevent these misanthropic loons from returning to China to carry out even more terrorist attacks against innocent civilians.

Iraq colour revolution derailed

The event which preceded the criminal assassination of General Soleimani was the US backed phony “uprising” against the Iraqi government last October and November. As we wrote at the time,[5] this was no “revolution”, but yet more US backed subversion aimed at breaking the ties the Iraqi government of Adel Abdul Mahdi to Iran, Syria and the PRC. The Iraqi government has little choice but to join with Iran for collective security, and little choice but to join with the PRC for economic assistance. For example, signing on to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”), a huge infrastructure development program largely funded by the PRC’s still booming socialist economy. Washington was doing all it could to prevent this from occurring – now to the extent of assassinating the key General who defeated its proxy ISIS forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

Some have suggested that Iran’s recent discovery of a new oil field containing an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil[6] was what pushed Washington to move yet again against Iran. Iran’s oil wealth is certainly a part of the US Empire’s concerns, but by no means the only one. Even if US troops are still in Syria to illegally steal Syria’s oil despite being expelled from almost all other parts of the country[7], regime change in Iran is the supreme aim of Wall Street. One could say that the wars on Iraq and Syria were only preliminary wars waged by Washington in order to get to Iran. And taking out Syria, Iraq and Iran are key aims in the overall (failing) strategy to weaken Russia and China.

Needless to say, a new US war on Iran would be catastrophic for the world, not only the Middle East. Capitalist imperialism cannot function without horrific wars against anyone, socialist or not, who attempts to stand independently of political control from Washington. Workers of the world have a vital interest in preventing a new calamitous war from being waged not only on Iran, but also on themselves via “their own” governments. The threat of imperialist war is directly linked to the global warming fueled bushfires threatening large parts of Australia currently, and is linked to unemployment, homelessness, relentless funding cuts of government services and falling or stagnant wages. The struggle against imperialist war is simultaneously a struggle for a workers’ government. NO WAR ON IRAN!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/update-qassem-soleimani-and-abu-mahdi-al-mohandes-confirmed-dead-after-us-strikes/ (04-01-2020)

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/jan/03/iran-general-qassem-suleimani-killed-us-trump-drone-strike-baghdad-reaction-live-updates?page=with:block-5e0fa0dd8f08c397226445f2#block-5e0fa0dd8f08c397226445f2 (04-01-2020)

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-military-aid-to-al-qaeda-isis-daesh/5548960 (05-01-2020)

[4] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2133064/china-step-aid-syria-war-winds-down (05-01-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2019/10/13/iraq-deadly-chaos-through-subversion/ (05-01-2020)

[6] https://apnews.com (05-01-2020)

 

[7] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-has-no-right-syrian-oil-adviser-president-assad-n1106846 (05-01-2020)

XR: False Friends of a Safe Climate

Image from the Queensland Times

XR: False Friends of a Safe Climate

15-12-2019 – Australia is on fire. During November, even before summer began, raging bushfires razed parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. New South Wales was the worst hit, with six people losing their lives, and over 600 homes destroyed.[1] It is undeniable that the fires have been fueled by catastrophic conditions related to the drought conditions, which in turn are related to the rise in temperatures due to global warming. Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are the main culprit, a fact effectively denied by all Australian governments to date – which not only have failed to act, but enabled the acceleration of carbon emissions, through the approval of new coal mines. What is particularly alarming about this year’s bushfires (they now happen every year) is the occurrence of rainforests burning – something previously thought to be impossible.[2]

Climate action, however that is defined, is a dire and urgent necessity. The question is what type of climate action should be taken, and by whom. Into this breach has stepped Extinction Rebellion (XR), with XR activists in Brisbane organising and calling for a shutdown of the Go Between Bridge on December 13, during morning peak hour.[3]  XR effectively claim that due to the recent bushfires, their hand has been forced, thus they are impelled to shut down business as usual. Yet XR’s misguided attempts to attract attention to the need for climate action may very well lead to even less climate action than current conservative governments and corporations are doing now – which is almost zero.

Working people need to be won to climate action

The most counter-productive effect of blocking major bridges in peak hour is that working people, the overwhelming majority of whom support climate action, could be turned away, and even turned against climate activism if they find themselves blockaded on the streets by people waving the XR insignia. The careless attitude of XR towards working people getting to work or going about their daily lives exposes XR’s anti-working class tactics. Anti-working class tactics flow from anti-working class politics – something XR demonstrate in spades. Their open support and backing for the police who arrest them at actions is but one expression of this. Their reporting of some fellow “rebels” to the police for pickpocketing – who were subsequently subjected to immigration checks[4] – is another.

Many in the climate movement, such as it is, demand a cross-class climate movement, even if they don’t use such terms. That is, they imagine that everyone from all social classes (workers, small business owners, capitalist magnates) can all work together on climate because “everyone” is affected. The climate movement is different, they claim, from a workers’ struggle for improved conditions, so it is not an “us and them” scenario. This is radically false, but XR exemplify this, being a classical movement of the despairing petty-bourgeoisie. It is an elementary Marxist tenet that the petty-bourgeoisie (small business owners, start-up entrepreneurs and so on) cannot lead and independent struggle against capitalism, by virtue of their class position. Some layers of this class can be won to an anti-capitalist struggle for socialism under certain conditions and for certain periods. But essentially it is only the working class which has a material interest in the overturn of the private ownership of the means of production – the main source of the imminent climate danger.

Thus it is imperative that working people be won to climate action. Yet the XR cavaliers do not even aim at winning the majority of working people to climate action, let alone leading them to a struggle for the public ownership of the means of production. In fact, XR are priests of anti-socialism. Irrespective of their rhetoric about a “toxic system”, they see little wrong with capitalism, just that it is led by the wrong people – the politicians in parliament. Replace these politicians with those who are prepared to “do something”, and the climate problems can be addressed, or so they imagine.  Attempting to solve inherently social political problems with individual solutions is a hallmark of the world outlook of the small proprietor.

The right to protest is limited under “liberal democracy”

XR’s lack of a class analysis feeds their stunning naivete of the nature of the capitalist state. The right to protest under capitalism is a result of a historical balance of class forces between labour and capital. It is not an absolute right that the establishment is bound to uphold. It can be taken away at any time the ruling class feels the balance of class forces tip in its favour. That is, when they sense that the working class will not (yet) act to prevent the ruling class increasing its power over them. Already, XR in Brisbane have played with fire by repeatedly disrupting traffic, resulting in the Palaszczuk Labor government passing “anti-protest” laws. In fact, these laws only ban lock-on and similar devices,[5] but they could well empower police to expand their “stop and search” powers.

XR protested the introduction of these laws, seemingly oblivious that their actions themselves had provoked the ruling class into putting them in place. If XR continue to defy the bourgeois state without the majority of the working class actively (or at the very least passively) backing them, the ruling class could well decide to ban all climate protest altogether. This may lead to a banning of all protest, and a return to days similar to the Civil Rights movement in Queensland in the late 1970s, when former National Party Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen banned street marches. It is possible that a Labor or Liberal government could enact such a ban, because the majority of the working class right now does NOT endorse the appalling tactics (provocative bridge and road blockades) of XR even at the same time as they understand and support the need for climate action.

XR are entitled to put forward whatever their ideas are in amongst the climate movement – or what passes for it currently. If they wish to argue for mindless traffic blockades, they are welcome to do so. However, like every other political organisation or group, they must be subject to a critical appraisal of their tactics and their proposals by all concerned, and most especially by working people. XR must not be allowed to monkey with the right to protest under capitalism. At this stage, workers cannot afford to lose that right, as temporary as it might be under bourgeois democracy. If this occurs, next to no climate demands will be put forward, and thus no “climate action”. And XR will be to blame.

Intelligentsia for climate?

As if to underscore their commitment to the political rights of the middle classes, XR in Brisbane have organised a “Graduation March” specifically appealing to “graduates, academics and professionals”. XR bill this as a supposed action where emerging professionals will declare they will not sit idle while the climate crisis looms, but will “approach their lives with the health of the planet at the forefront of their minds”.[6] Decked out with academic gowns and mortar boards, this spectacle march is no doubt intended to show that young graduates are “woke” with the urgent need for climate action. It is true that XR is not a political party per se, but XR defends the rights of the petty-bourgeoisie arguably better than a real one. Elementary Marxism, however, stresses that the educational institutions of any society are always controlled by the class which holds state power. Right now in the Western world at least, capital rules, and therefore their Universities will ultimately reflect the interests of its benefactors.

While it is true that some genuine dissidents emerge from the halls of Universities, as a general rule academics will ultimately justify the rule of capital, even if only because their income is dependent on a state stipend. Here, though, XR is also encouraging young people with University degrees to become small-business owners, as consultants, private practice physicians, marketers and so on. These new professionals will carry on the “business as usual” that XR crows about the need to stop – but this will presumably be enlightened small business as usual. Business as usual “for the planet”, that is. Needless to say, small business engenders big business. The professionals who engage in small capitalism spontaneously engender big capitalism, but it is the entire capitalist system which must be overturned if we are to have a chance of preventing ecological collapse. No matter how aware highly trained professionals are about the need for climate action, the very process of privately owned business seeking private profit grates against it.

The urgency of the climate crisis requires not millions of small businesses competing with each other (and with big business) to increase their market share, but public ownership of the means of production, and state ownership of industry, banking, finance, telecommunications, transport – so as to serve the needs of workers, not small proprietors per se. A single economic plan needs to be drawn up, which uses all available resources for economic goals and priorities decided upon by working people themselves. In other words, a government of workers’ councils administering a workers’ state. Social production must be brought into correspondence with social ownership. In the transition from climate destroying capitalism to socialism, some degree of small enterprise may be required – but this would need to be strictly controlled, to prevent the re-emergence of capitalism. Professionals and academics will also be required, not for careers in themselves, but to build a society without exploitation of labour and the environment.

XR remain silent on imperialist war

Small business, on its own, is always nationalist, and therefore pro-imperialist. The petty-bourgeois XR strut like bulls on parade, in an ostentatious display of their supposedly progressive credentials. Yet with one mention of imperialist war, and XR reveal themselves to be downright reactionary. At the height of the ultra-violent US/UK government backed pro-capitalist Blackshirt terror in Hong Kong, some representative of XR openly claimed to be using “Hong Kong” style tactics for the climate.  We perhaps should be thankful that, so far, XR have not emulated the anti-socialist and US flag waving Hong Kong separatists to the extent of setting people on fire, beating up bystanders who disagree with them on the street, burning and destroying train stations, or using bows and arrows to fire on police. The last one might be too much even for the pro-cop XR.

From pillar to post, XR remain dead silent on the US war machine, even as it has gone into overdrive in the last ten years. It has become mainstream news that the US military emits more greenhouse gases than 140 countries.[7] The US global military empire uses more ships, trucks, bombs, cargo planes and other materiel than any other, all literally fed by fossil fuels – with the possible exception of nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Washington has occupied Afghanistan, invaded Iraq, bombed and destroyed Libya, and waged internecine war on Ukraine and Syria over the last 17 years. This has been backed to the hilt by London, Paris and Canberra, amongst others. Imperialist war is, needless to say, devastating for the environment, and not just in terms of carbon emissions. Yet XR’s lips remain sealed. The potential world war machinations of Washington and the West against Russia, China and Iran also merit not a word from the pontiffs of XR. Here, silence really is consent.

It may seem a contradiction that some parties that call themselves socialist – such as Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance – remain card carrying members of XR despite XR’s avowed anti-socialism. XR allow these  parties to take part in their actions because they agree on the “need” for imperialist war against China, Russia, Syria, Iran the DPRK (North Korea) and so on. The twin SAs may complain about war in general, but they loudly back US led destabilisation attempts in Hong Kong, Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and on and on. Needless to say, the governments preparing imperialist wars and imperialist backed subversion cannot be allies in the need to take action on climate change!

Public ownership key

Life threatening climate collapse is here now – only a few inconsequential cranks now deny the need for climate action. Unfortunately, XR build dangerous illusions in the very political and economic system which is the largest driver of extreme climate. Despite their seeming appearance as radicals, XR still limit themselves to placing demands on “the government” which they imagine is “ours”. XR reject the very element which has the possibility of saving us from extinction – a socialist revolution. Without the public ownership of the major means of production – the banks, strategic industry, transport, telecommunications, road, rail and port infrastructure – linked to a planned economy based on priority decisions made by workers themselves, “climate action” is impossible. Workers need their own government, and their own state, which would seek to link internationally with all workers across the globe. With the corporate magnates expropriated, the vitally important work of reversing climate catastrophe, imperialist war and economic collapse can begin in earnest.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/22/australia-bushfires-factcheck-are-this-years-fires-unprecedented (01-12-2019)

[2] https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/why-are-our-rainforests-burning (01-12-2019)

[3] https://www.facebook.com/events/481665399120050/ (01-12-2019)

[4] http://gal-dem.com/this-is-what-extinction-rebellion-must-do-to-engage-with-people-of-colour-on-climate-justice/ (01-12-2019)

[5] https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/dangerous-protest-devices-banned-as-laws-pass-queensland-parliament-20191024-p533vs.html (01-12-2019)

[6] https://www.facebook.com/events/767281987070381/?active_tab=about (07-12-2019)

[7] https://www.newsweek.com/us-military-greenhouse-gases-140-countries-1445674 (12-12-2019)

Release Julian Assange!

Release Julian Assange!

10-12-2019 – The life of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is in extreme danger. At stake is not just the well-being of Assange himself, but the very right to political dissent. Detained in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom (UK) where it is likely that he will be extradited to the United States (US), his health is failing due to the inhumane physical and psychological conditions of deprivation to which he has been subjected. On November 22, 80 medical doctors wrote to the UK government voicing their grave concern that Mr Assange could die before his farcical “trial” is set to take place. The letter has been sent to the Lord Chancellor, the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Justice.[1] The deliberate denial of medical care, at the very least, is a flagrant breach of basic medical ethics. It also makes a mockery of noble sounding declarations of a “democratic” society.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are guilty of nothing. Supposedly under capitalist “liberal democracy” all citizens have the right to engage in political discourse, have the right to free speech, the right to publish and distribute information, and the right to question how revenue collected for taxation is spent. The governments overseeing Western imperialism – the US, the UK, Australia and others – clearly breach virtually all the rights of citizens piously claimed by its defenders, when push comes to shove. Right now, Western imperialism is in a state of perilous decline due to yet another capitalist economic downturn which has lasted for the last ten years. In this condition, capitalist governments are in the process of removing the basic democratic rights many imagined were guaranteed. The whistle-blowing of Julian Assange and Wikileaks proves the opposite.

Canberra loyal to Washington

Born in Townsville, raised in northern New South Wales, Julian Assange is as Australian as can be. Yet his Australian passport has almost no meaning, given the appalling lack of action from the Australian government. In December 2018, Australian consular officials apparently met briefly with Julian Assange while he was still effectively held in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. This was reportedly the first contact with Mr Assange in six years.[2]  Incredibly, the Australian government released a statement on May 31 this year, claiming that the appropriate level of consular assistance and health concerns had been raised and addressed during two visits to Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison.[3] Even if these visits did take place, Canberra is lock-step with Washington in vain attempts to re-establish the global domination the US enjoyed for a period after the capitalist counter-revolution destroyed the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) in 1991. To do this, they must not only threaten and wage endless imperialist wars around the globe, they must intimidate into silence every last vestige of questioning over their reckless policies from “their own” citizens.

The West is the dystopian nightmare, not China or Russia

Julian Assange, alongside Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, are proof positive that the Orwellian style totalitarian states now in existence are in the capitalist West – they are not China or Russia – the propaganda bogeymen of the corporate media. Chelsea Manning was jailed for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, bravely defying the US authorities even after previously being incarcerated.[4] Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, cannot return to his home in the United States, after he exposed to the world the fact that the CIA is effectively spying on everyone through the internet.[5] There is surveillance of  virtually every computer user in almost every country which is routinely handed over to the CIA for monitoring, and whistleblowers such as Assange, Manning and Snowden are living proof.

Despite this, working people in Australia, the US, Europe and elsewhere are subjected to a non-stop barrage of hysteria in the corporate media claiming that China and Russia are totalitarian states which suppress democratic rights!  The hypocrisy is staggering. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), born of a momentous revolution of hundreds of millions culminating in 1949, is today surpassing the technological, scientific and economic former power of the US Empire. In doing this, it does not threaten war against anyone. Yet deliberately deceitful Western press complain that the PRC uses facial recognition technology, implying a mistrusting government monitoring its citizen’s every move. At the same time, police in Australia use the very same technology – but of course in the name of “security”.  Russia is accused, without a shred of evidence, of “meddling” in US elections, of invading Ukraine, and of shooting down flight MH17. This, coming from the Pentagon which has overtly waged endless regime change wars around the globe, routinely funded and created “opposition” parties in countries they don’t like, and arming Nazis in Ukraine.[6]

Julian Assange despised the cant of those in power, and set out to hold them to account, whatever the cost. He may pay the highest price, unless a world-wide movement can be mobilised. This movement must be so powerful that the ruling classes of the West realise that they will lose a lot more by making a martyr, than by making a concession. Crucially, it will take actions of the working class, in defiance of conservative Union officials and other liberals who have abandoned him, to achieve results. At stake are the very rights to “life, liberty and happiness” that capitalist society always promises but never delivers. Workers are in dire need of a Marxist vanguard party not only to blaze a path to socialism, but to help free those who sacrifice themselves for a better world. RELEASE JULIAN ASSANGE!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/05/doctors-intensify-pressure-on-britain-over-assange/ (08-12-2019)

[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australian-officials-pay-visit-to-julian-assange (08-12-2019)

[3] https://dfat.gov.au/news/media/Pages/statement-on-julian-assange.aspx (08-12-2019)

[4] https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/722059301/chelsea-manning-is-freed-from-jail-faces-new-subpoena-in-wikileaks-case (08-12-2019)

[5] https://www.wired.com/story/after-six-years-in-exile-edward-snowden-explains-himself/ (08-12-2019)

[6] https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-arming-assisting-neo-nazis-ukraine-congress-debates-prohibition/5673930 (09-12-2019)

Bolivia: The Empire Oversees Another Coup

Image from The Intercept

Bolivia: The Empire Oversees Another Coup

24-11-2019: It was one of the fastest nullifications of an election result for decades. On October 20, Bolivian President Evo Morales was re-elected with a margin of 10 percentage points, only to resign on November 10 in the face of a right-wing opposition with links to the US Empire. The opposition groups claimed the election results were fraudulent, but statistical analysis found that there were no irregularities with the process or counting of the votes.[1] One of the opposition groups has members of a Christian fascist organisation from Santa Cruz,[2] a hotbed of US government linked separatism. The main opposition candidate in the election, Carlos Mesa, is a named member of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington based “think tank” funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).[3]  The Organisation of the American States (OAS), a Cold War alliance of Latin American anti-communist governments led by Washington, chimed in with the call for “new elections”. After reported raids on his home, Evo Morales and former Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera have fled to Mexico, which offered them asylum.

US in regime change frenzy

Over the last eight years, the US ruling class has left no stone unturned in efforts to overthrow and depose governments from countries around the world seen to be too independent, or resistant to global US domination. In Libya, the US used NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) to destroy Green Libya, leaving a hellhole in its aftermath. In Syria, the US and its Western allies armed and funded barbaric ISIS mercenaries in an effort to remove the Syrian government. Here they were defeated by a combination of military and political defence from Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. Seething from this loss of face, Washington redoubled its regime change machinations, repeatedly attempting a coup in Venezuela, fostering fake uprisings in Sudan and Algeria, and funding faux “human rights” fronts in Cambodia and Thailand, to name but a few. Most brazenly, Wall Street has overtly and covertly backed ultra-violent right-wing separatists in Hong Kong, in a vain attempt to spread political unrest throughout China.

Unfortunately, the faulty political basis of Morales and his (misnamed) Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) offered Washington the easiest path to install domestic right-wing collaborators at the crucial time. Evo Morales was the first indigenous President of Bolivia, in a nation where the majority of the population are indigenous. Morales and Linera managed to govern Bolivia for 13 years, repeatedly winning elections, sometimes by landslides. The MAS government used redistributive social-democratic policies which resulted in some gains for Bolivian workers and the poor. Under Morales the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was a steady 4.9% per year, and per capita GDP grew by over 50%. Poverty fell from 60% in 2006 to 35% in 2017. Unemployment nearly halved, the minimum wage increased threefold, and social transfer payments were given to millions of poor Bolivians, enabling many to enter full-time education for the first time.[4] Such measures were the basis of the popularity of the Morales government, especially amongst the Indian majority.

Reformism no solution

At the same time, the Morales government made repeated concessions to the agribusiness class and sought partnerships with capitalist industry in order to spur growth. It is not entirely wrong to use private sector capital to develop agriculture and use mineral resources, but it was often done at the expense of Bolivian workers, with little regard for the environment. In fact, Bolivian workers had to struggle and often strike against the Morales government, and in response Morales had little hesitation in sending in heavily armed police to severely repress them. In 2016, the COB (Bolivian Workers Central) trade union body called a strike in response to Morales closing Enatex, the state-run textile company, causing the loss of 1000 jobs. Hundreds of workers were arrested by the police repression ordered by the MAS government.[5] In 2013, miners launched a general strike against the Morales government for continuing the anti-worker pension scheme of the previous government, demanding “retirement with dignity”. The police repression was severe, with the arrest of 400 miners, with the Morales government in some cases demanding prison terms of up to six years![6] In 2011, some 5000 rural teachers embarked on strikes against the Morales government for a reasonable wage increase. The COB had to settle for less than their demands, after hundreds of riot police were unleashed against the teachers, resulting in nine wounded.[7]

The police Morales ordered to repress striking workers were the same police who in turn turfed Morales when the signal was given. Far from “socialism”, the Morales/Linera government was reformist at best, which used the armed forces of the bourgeois state against workers when they saw fit. There was no effort to build workers’ power, or workers’ militias, because Morales only sought a few reforms within the capitalist system, regardless of his rhetoric. Morales may have railed against capitalism, against US imperialism, and against the extreme danger of climate collapse in words – but his loyalty was always with the very system he denounced. Bolivian workers paid a heavy price for this. Now, Bolivian workers and the poor are left almost defenceless to face the fascist right, in paramilitary or government form, while Morales and Linera themselves have deserted the sinking ship.

Workers in Bolivia, and their peasant and Indian allies, need to politically break with MAS before they can take steps forward in their defence. Workers internationally need to resolutely oppose the US backed coup, while offering no political support to the remnants of the legacy of Morales. It is another lesson that capitalism cannot be reformed, and that real socialism begins with workers in power.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] http://cepr.net/press-center/press-releases/no-evidence-that-bolivian-election-results-were-affected-by-irregularities-or-fraud-statistical-analysis-shows (24-11-2019)

[2] https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/11/bolivia-coup-fascist-foreign-support-fernando-camacho/ (24-11-2019)

[3] Ibid, 2.

[4] https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/democraciaabierta/evo-morales-la-caída-del-héroe-de-la-transformación-boliviana-en/ (24-11-2019)

[5] https://nacla.org/blog/2016/07/05/why-bolivian-workers-are-marching-against-evo-morales (24-11-2019)

[6] www.internationalist.org/boliviageneralstrike1306.html (24-11-2019)

[7] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/04/boli-a28.html (24-11-2019)

Colour Revolution Stalks Lebanon

Protestors in Lebanon block roads, preventing traffic from passing. Image from The Daily Item.

Colour Revolution Stalks Lebanon

10-11-2019 – Lebanon has the distinction of being one state where almost all domestic issues are automatically international. Any political movement which arises there is automatically intertwined with the Middle East and further afield. The protests sweeping through Lebanon over the past four weeks are no exception. While the catalyst was ostensibly a “WhatsAppTax” – a tax applied to phone app communication technology which is widely used, the demonstrations occurring have much more to do with the US Empire losing its footing after the (not at all total) pullout of troops from Syria. There is no denying that Lebanon suffers from an economic malaise similar to the decline of capitalist economies in the West. Lebanon has no potable water supply, functioning public transport, and sporadic garbage collection.[1] Nevertheless, the current protests display disturbing signs of being co-ordinated from abroad.

Veiled move against Hezbollah

Lebanon’s Islamic based national resistance movement Hezbollah played an undeniably heroic role in the US/Saudi led war for regime change on Syria. Hezbollah’s military wing actively assisted Syrian, Iranian and Russian forces in the defeat and expulsion of imperialist funded ISIS and Al Qaeda mercenaries. It is primarily for this reason that foreign forces – the prime suspect being Washington – have organised the current demonstrations in Lebanon which are effectively calling for regime change. In practice, it is a regime change operation aimed at Hezbollah, even though Hezbollah is not actually the regime!  While Hezbollah’s political wing does retain some seats in the national parliament, its primary political power does not reside there. Its popularity also stems from its role in the military defeat of the Zionist Israeli state’s attacks on Lebanon in 2006. This is of course another reason why the Pentagon would like to see them sidelined.

Hezbollah’s leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah initially voiced support for the protests, even at the same time as warning that they could be used to “create a political vacuum”. He warned rally participants that their efforts could well be hijacked by certain political actors and/or foreign forces.[2] This soon came to pass, and subsequently Nasrallah signalled that Hezbollah was withdrawing its support for the protests. Reportedly at one recent rally in Lebanon, fist fights broke out against some who were chanting against Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah, after he warned that (unspecified foreign forces) were exploiting the protests to plunge the country back into civil war.[3] Few other conclusions can be drawn from the nature of the demonstrations, when, for example, roadblocks with eerie overtones of road blocks set up by the right-wing pro-US Hong Kong separatists emerge.[4] Not only roadblocks, but human chains have also been set up by Lebanese protestors[5] – a classical colour revolution tactic, from Hong Kong to the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Needless to say, colour revolutions – “internal” regime change efforts organised and funded by imperialism – are often the last resort of Western capital, especially after its defeat in Syria.

Linked to moves against Iran, via Iraq

The staged protests in Lebanon are not only aimed at Hezbollah, but also against the Islamic Republic of Iran – and similarly for its heroic role in the defeat of US/UK/FRA/AUST imperialism in Syria. The Iranian state has supported Hezbollah for some time, although the extent to which it does remains unclear. Simply for regional security against the ongoing threat of US imperialism, Iran is justified in cultivating allies in the region. Likewise in Iraq, Iran’s security can only be guaranteed by good relations with the government of Iraq, which came about as an unintended consequence of the US led invasion and overthrow of Iraq from 2003. Given that recent demonstrations in Iraq featured the protestors banging their shoes against posters of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the formidable leader of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard elite Quds Force Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s fears appear to be confirmed.

The Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) appears to have played a treacherous role, in defiance of anything “communist” or even progressive. Despite some moves to target the banks for the declining economic situation[6], the LCP has given overall backing to the contrived movement[7], despite its rather obvious links to imperialist efforts to destabilise and even reverse the result of the war on Syria. It is extremely dangerous for any self-described party of the left to come behind the political manoeuvres of imperialist forces, even inadvertently. By doing so, the LCP demonstrate that the hammer and sickle they brandish as a party symbol is, at the least, misappropriated.

Irrespective of its defeat in Syria, US imperialism has not scaled down, but scaled up, its regime change operations in the Middle East and elsewhere. This time it is using internal (political destabilisation) rather than external (arming of barbaric mercenaries) methods. This must be opposed by working people in Lebanon, Iraq and internationally. Despite the governments of Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Syria not approaching workers’ states, the left should call for the military defence of them against US imperialism. This includes Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard, despite the socialist view of the role of religion in history. Marxists need to continue to recruit to their own banner, while striving to derail US backed colour revolutions, and to undermine international political support for them, wherever they appear.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box   66    NUNDAH   QLD    4012

 

[1] https://www.globalresearch.ca/lebanon-revolution-without-revolutionary-ideology/5693597 (10-11-2019)

[2] https://www.globalresearch.ca/color-revolution-lebanon/5693606 (10-11-2019)

[3] https://www.timesofisrael.com/protests-in-iraq-and-lebanon-pose-a-challenge-to-iran/ (10-11-2019)

[4] https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Lebanon-Protesters-Step-up-Roadblocks-to-Keep-Pressure-on-Govt-20191028-0003.html (10-11-2019)

[5] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/lebanon-s-protesters-keep-anti-government-revolt-alive-by-blocking-roads (10-11-2019)

[6] https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2019/Oct-13/493420-communist-party-protests-economic-situation.ashx (10-11-2019)

[7] https://peoplesdispatch.org/2019/10/21/in-lebanons-streets-there-is-no-longer-any-fear/ (10-11-2019)

Iraq: Deadly Chaos Through Subversion

National Flag of Iraq

Iraq: Deadly Chaos Through Subversion

13-10-2019 – It’s a familiar pattern. In a region where the US led Cold War against Iran is reaching fever pitch, protestors take to the streets of Iraq supposedly to demand an end to corruption and action on unemployment. Once again it is claimed that the “movement” is leaderless, and is composed of youths disenchanted about their future prospects. If you have seen this movie before, don’t be surprised. Sudan, Algeria, Hong Kong, Russia, China, Venezuela – all of these have sustained attempts at internal destabilisation in recent times, and all of them can invariably be traced back to one source – Washington.

In recent years, Tehran and Baghdad have been forming increasingly close ties, much to the chagrin of the US Empire. The US waged a criminal war which slaughtered at least 1 million Iraqis from 2003 on, in an attempt to undermine the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since that catastrophe, and the gradual withdrawal of US troops, Iraq and Iran have naturally forged closer ties for security and economic reasons. Now, Tehran is viewing the deadly protests as an attempt to drive a wedge between them and the Iraqi government. Iran’s state news agency IRNA publicly suspected the recent riots were the work of the governments of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, and were an attempt to dislodge recent co-operation between Iran, Iraq and Syria.[1] The defeat of US imperialism in its war for regime change against Syria has only diverted similar attempts to neighbouring countries, and others who refuse to bow before the waning influence of Wall Street.

Burning of government buildings, snipers on roof tops

Current Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi is at pains to point out that Iraqi people have a right to protest, and even agrees that corruption and unemployment are issues that need to be addressed. But his office is also concerned that outside forces are once again taking advantages of economic grievances to advance a totally different agenda. “Protests” where 8 members of the security forces perish, and government buildings are torched causing infernos, are plainly aimed at violent destabilisation, if not regime change. Some party buildings were also reportedly razed to the ground by the fires. Mysterious snipers on roof tops appeared, as if out of nowhere. They apparently shot at the protestors[2], and it is likely at government security forces as well. This deadly ploy played out in the Ukrainian “Maidan uprising” in 2014, where pro-US proxy forces, carried out shootings of protestors – not the Ukrainian security forces.[3] It is not unreasonable at all to suspect that a similar reoccurrence took place in Iraq over the last week.

Why would Washington be so displeased with Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi as to launch a cookie cutter colour “revolution” against him?  PM Mahdi declared the Israeli state responsible for the destruction of five warehouses of the Iraqi security forces. He opened the crossing at Al-Qaem between Iraq and Syria. He expressed a desire to purchase Russia’s advanced anti-aircraft S-400 missile system. He gave a $284 million dollar electricity deal to Siemans – a German company, rather than a US one. He also rejected the US’s “Deal of the Century” which will likely permanently end the legitimate rights of Palestinians.[4] But this is only just for starters.

Ties to Red China expand

Iraq was one of the first countries to sign up to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) historically unprecedented Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”). The BRI is a massive network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks which will attract trillions of dollars investment, and will link Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.[5] The US simply cannot accept being eclipsed even by an imperialist rival, let alone an upstart socialist power! The clincher was a visit by Prime Minister Mahdi to the PRC in September, which culminated in the signing of huge trade and investments deals in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 23.[6] In May this year, Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao stated that trade between Iraq and the PRC had exceeded 30 billion dollars in 2018, where China is the largest trading partner of Iraq, and Iraq is the second largest oil supplier to the PRC.[7] This staggering amount of trade, combined with the overt willingness of PM Mahdi to be a part of the New Silk Road, is reason enough in itself for the CIA to send in its operatives.

As if this wasn’t enough, in the recent trip to Beijing, the Iraqi delegation signed an “oil for reconstruction” deal. Under this deal, Chinese firms will work in Iraq in exchange for 100 000 barrels of oil per day.[8] And this deal stretches out for 20 years! The US, with its capitalist economy seemingly in terminal decline, is not in a position to cover anything near what the PRC can. And even if it somehow could, the for-profit basis of imperialist industry means it would not be considered. The PRC’s economy, despite whatever inroads of free enterprise which have been allowed, does not primarily run on the basis of production for profit. The investments that the PRC makes through the Belt and Road Initiative and other mutually beneficial bi-lateral deals it makes with countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, are primarily socialist state investments. This does not mean that there aren’t occasions where privately owned PRC firms cash in, or even mistreat those they deal with overseas. Overall, however, the PRC’s gargantuan economic success derives from its predominantly public ownership of its means of production, and thus must be defended by workers internationally.

Working people have no stake with the nefarious ends of the US Empire, whether it be dangerous and reckless war provocations against Russia and China, or the intense propaganda against states deemed to be not sufficiently pro-US. Workers also have an interest in opposing and exposing, US led regime change efforts wherever they occur, such as the current unrest in Iraq. When socialism is victorious on a world scale, the concept of regime change will be considered a relic of a violent past.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

 

 

[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/iran-sees-iraq-unrest-plot-undo-bilateral-ties-191008052830021.html (11-10-2019)

[2] https://www.france24.com/en/20191004-iraq-protests-abdul-mahdi-cabinet-reshuffle-violence-baghdad-curfew (11-10-2019)

[3] https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-03-14/who-were-maidan-snipers (11-10-2019)

[4] https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-iran-silent-war-transformed-iraq-uprising/5691311 (11-10-2019)

[5] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/iraq-to-join-china-s-belt-and-road-project-11935462 (11-10-2019)

[6] https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/09/iraq-china-economy.html (11-10-2019)

[7] http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-05/06/c_138036250.htm (11-10-2019)

[8] https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/10/iraq-china-india-oil-construction.html (11-10-2019)

US vs China: Workers Must Defend Their Side

US vs China: Workers Must Defend Their Side

26-09-2019 – Anti-China hysteria has been set at fever pitch. The attempt to besmirch Liberal Party Member of Parliament Gladys Liu as an agent of the Communist Party of China (CPC) eventually ran out of steam, as the case collapsed for lack of evidence. Gladys Liu’s conservative and pro-capitalist politics can be confirmed not the least by the fact that she has backed the anti-communist Hong Kong riots publicly, saying she admired the “passion and commitment”[1] of the largely US and UK government funded separatists.[2]  Regardless of Ms Liu’s past membership of groups associated with the Chinese government, she also admitted organising an overtly homophobic and transphobic WeChat social media campaign against equal marriage rights for same sex couples, and the “Safe Schools” program during the 2016 election campaign.[3] Yet Ms Liu’s ultra-conservatism, and membership of the Liberal Party, was not enough to shield her from a New Cold War witch-hunt.

Day after day, workers in Australia are beset by a corporate media (especially the government owned ABC) slur against virtually anything to do with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Lurid tales of the PRC allegedly repressing ethnic minorities, overtly monitoring their people with social credit systems and facial recognition cameras and supposed debt-trap lending to Pacific nations, are retailed ad nauseum. All of these stories distort the truth beyond recognition, yet they still appear. Capitalist states must have an adversary, or create one, lest its own workers turn their justifiable grievances against their own rulers. This becomes even more urgent when capitalism enters economic crisis, and even more urgent again when a large country in its region is literally running laps around it.

Socialism in the PRC, capitalism in Australia

China’s rise as an economic power is noted by all classes, but it is causing serious concern for Australia’s ruling elite. They, like their patrons in the USA, are well aware that they must “do something” before being overtaken by the PRC economically, politically, financially and diplomatically. Australia’s capitalist economy is now stumbling along, effectively in recession. Many of the key economic indicators for Australia are at their worst point ever, and Australia is plummeting down the rankings of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) countries. Australia now ranks 18th (out of 36, 36 being the lowest) for total numbers of unemployed, 21st in youth unemployment, 18th in economic growth, 20th in terms of lack of wage growth, 19th in terms of gross national savings, and 28th in terms of unequal wealth distribution (the Gini coefficient).[4] In short, Australia is following the USA, Europe and Japan in a long recession, which shows no sign of ending, and is plainly getting worse.

Compare this bleak outlook to the situation of the PRC. In 2018, despite economic growth “slowing” to its lowest point in 28 years, it still had a growth rate of 6.6% – compared to Australia’s average 1.5%, which is now 1.4%. The PRC’s economic output for last year was 1.4 trillion, which surpassed the total output of Australia for 2017, at 1.32 trillion.[5] Yet it is not just sheer economic data which is damning for the capitalist West. In January this year, the PRC became the first country in history to carry out a soft landing on the dark side of the moon,[6] demonstrating its scientific and technological advances. This is also reflected in the top 500 world supercomputer ratings. PRC based companies in 2019 claimed 219 of the fastest and most powerful supercomputers, compared to the USA’s 119.[7] In terms of high speed rail, the PRC has built and installed more than 25 000 kilometres of dedicated lines since 2008, which represents more than the total operating in the rest of the world.[8] Australia, on the other hand, has no high speed rail, and is unlikely to obtain any in the foreseeable future.

More figures demonstrating the contrast would be easy to find. It should be clear though, that in economic terms the PRC is moving forward, and Australia is moving backwards. This is because socialism in the PRC is the dominant mode of production, whereas in Australia we are stuck with capitalism – for now. The PRC has never had a recession, because the strategic means of production are all state owned or majority state owned, and the government runs five year economic plans. The PRC’s state ownership of the banks is a key factor in fireproofing their economy from the shocks of the recessions of the capitalist world. Economically, the PRC runs a socialist system – despite the inroads of free enterprise allowed by the CPC. There is much to criticise politically from a working class point of view – but mainly in terms of the lack of decision making power. Despite political limitations, the state and the economy of the PRC is still delivering gains for its workers, 70 years after its socialist revolution.

Neutrality?

One might assume that in an atmosphere of New Cold War red-baiting raised to unprecedented levels, a priority for Australian left parties would be to defend the PRC against what is essentially war propaganda from the liberal intelligentsia right up to the highest political offices of Canberra and Washington. Unfortunately, what prevails amongst most of them has recently been a rash of attempted neutrality, or a position of “we are against both sides”.  Yet even accounting for some justifiable left criticisms of the PRC and the CPC, the US vs China is a very real case of capitalism versus socialism. In this battle, working people internationally have a vital stake in the defence of socialism (even in the distorted form of the PRC) against capitalism (largely represented by Anglo-US imperialism). The shortcomings of socialism in the PRC (lack of workers’ decision making power, disallowance of non-CPC yet pro-socialist organisations) can only be addressed while defending the PRC against internal and external overthrow. Paraphrasing Leon Trotsky, those who will not defend past gains will not be able to win new ones. Therefore, workers defence of the PRC is bound up with any further advances for world socialism.

Alas, some Australian left parties not only refuse to defend the PRC, but in practice join with imperialist propaganda against China, albeit with “left” overtones. The newly formed Australian Communist Party (ACP), in a review of the Netflix documentary American Factory, goes overboard with denunciations of alleged “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”[9]. The China based Fuyao Glass took over a defunct General Motors plant in Ohio, and began employing American workers. This in itself is indicative of the state of US capitalism versus the prosperity of the Chinese economy. The ACP review goes on to denounce the practices of Fuyao management, who allegedly attempt to prevent workers in America from forming a Union, and mistreat them by threatening them with the sack if they do. The American workers struggle to understand why the Chinese workers generally accept what management expects of them, even if they receive poor treatment.

The ACP infer that the actions of one Chinese owned company operating in the United States is symptomatic of what occurs in the PRC, and that it is as bad, or worse, than what occurs in the US. The nature of work in the PRC compared to the US is a huge discussion – but the ACP dismiss this as their superficial analysis of the PRC is that it is “capitalist”, where most industry is allegedly privately owned. This is a long way from reality. Suffice to say that Unions in a workers state which is attempting to build socialism play a very different role to Unions in a capitalist state which is a mainstay of world imperialism. The role of Unions in a workers’ state is not that of total opposition to their own government or to their own building of socialism. It is to protect workers interests while also assisting and defending the basis of their independence from world imperialism – the socialist state. Unions in a capitalist state, on the other hand, need to oppose both their own government and “their own” capitalist state – which is the basis of their oppression. This is anathema to the ACP, however, who overlook the vast differences between the PRC and the US, and dismiss both as “capitalist”.

In real world politics, it is impossible to be “neutral” or to imagine that one is against both the US and China. As long as imperialism exists, taking a position of “neither the US nor China” means in practice siding with imperialism, despite intentions. The US Empire can skilfully use “defence of workers’ rights” to aid their political, economic and military campaign against Red China. This fools some workers in the capitalist West, and even some self-described “Communist” parties. The ACP is the first cab of the rank on this score. One does not have to look very far to discover that, in fact, American Factory was produced by none other than the former President and First Lady of the United States, the Obamas!![10] The recent former Commander in Chief of the US Empire did not just endorse American Factory, but helped to produce it. By your friends ye shall know thee, as the saying goes. The ACP finds itself in very unsavoury company indeed.

China as “imperialist” ?

A graphic demonstration of how it is impossible to remain neutral in a Cold War is proffered by Socialist Alternative (SAlt). In an editorial of Red Flag, they declare that the new Cold War is being fought by “two reactionary imperialist states” where there is “no good side” ![11] The falsity of this position is immediately brought into stark relief, as in the same editorial, they grandstand about “standing with Hong Kong and the Uyghurs”.[12]  It should hardly need explaining that right now, Hong Kong and Xinjiang are the key crystallisations of counter-revolutionary CIA backed intrigue against Red China. Imperialist backed rioters in Hong Kong have wreaked havoc for the last three months, terrorising bystanders going about their daily lives, who might disagree with them.[13]  The far Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XAUR) has also been targeted by the Pentagon, over transparently false claims that the PRC government is preventing Uyghur Muslims from practicing their religion. The outrageous claim that the PRC is detaining one million Uyghurs in detention camps has been exposed as a furphy.[14]

The irony is strong. SAlt claim to oppose both US (real imperialism) and Chinese “imperialism”, but in practice go on to openly and loudly assist key US imperialist political assaults on the PRC. SAlt’s forerunners in the International Socialist Organisation proclaimed “neither Washington nor Moscow” in the 1980s when the Soviet Union was still in place. In practice, this position always meant support for Washington against Moscow, by way of reserving the strongest opposition to “totalitarian” socialism through covert endorsement of “democratic” imperialism. In the same way, today’s effective slogan of “neither Washington nor Beijing” means in practice political support for Washington against Beijing. In reality, this means siding with capitalism against socialism – clearly the wrong position for workers.

Not to be outdone, the Socialist Alliance (SAll) also chime in with the China bashing, under the guise of “a plague on both your houses”. Echoing SAlt, SAll write that “In the conflict between the US and China, we should not support either side.”[15] But this is immediately exposed as false, as SAll shout to the heavens about the need to support “democracy” (!) in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. These three regions are targeted for destabilisation, chaos and – the US state department hopes – the spreading of anti-government action throughout China, leading to regime change. The more the PRC necessarily builds up its military defences – vital for defence against an external imperialist assault – the more the US state department depends on the funding of internal pro-capitalist (“democracy”) dissidents within China. The capitalism allowed in Hong Kong has meant a substantial section of right-wing youth are able to be recruited as counter-revolutionary rioters. The separatists still remain wholly in the minority, however.

The imperial left are wrong – workers have a vital stake in the conflict between the real imperialism of the US and the rising socialism of the PRC. Regardless of justifiable left-wing criticism of the CPC, workers internationally must act to defend the PRC workers’ state, whether deformed or not. This means calling for unconditional military defence of the PRC against internal and external political, diplomatic, economic and military moves against Beijing. It is vital that socialism be defended and extended from the workers’ states to the centres of Western imperialism – the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH QLD 4012

[1] https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/gladys-liu-paranoia-and-the-chinese-communist-party-20190912-p52qhz (22-09-2019)

[2] https://www.workers.org/2019/08/16/whats-behind-hong-kong-protests/ (22-09-2019)

[3] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/completely-abhorrent-julia-banks-slams-former-liberal-colleague-liu-20190416-p51ek1.html (22-09-2019)

[4] https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australias-economy-has-deteriorated-under-the-coalition,12644 (22-09-2019)

[5] https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2188404/china-says-last-years-gdp-growth-was-worth-more-australias (22-09-2019)

[6] https://www.space.com/42883-china-first-landing-moon-far-side.html (22-09-2019)

[7] https://venturebeat.com/2019/06/17/top500-china-has-219-of-the-worlds-fastest-supercomputers/ (22-09-2019)

[8] https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2019/07/08/chinas-experience-with-high-speed-rail-offers-lessons-for-other-countries (22-09-2019)

[9] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2019/9/17/capitalism-with-chinese-characteristics-key-lessons-from-american-factory?fbclid=IwAR2XbjHqDMiALF2v_A9n4b5MoMmApdvoYdrCTE4jWzo-1spu025rvXXOYps (25-09-2019)

[10] https://qz.com/quartzy/1700915/american-factory-makes-barack-and-michelle-obama-2020-oscar-contenders/ (25-09-2019)

[11] https://redflag.org.au/node/6876 (25-09-2019)

[12] Ibid, 11.

[13] http://socioecohistory.x10host.com/2019/09/08/hk-protesters-rioters-besiege-innocent-bystander-on-street-beat-him-and-smash-his-car/ (25-09-2019)

[14] https://thegrayzone.com/2018/08/23/un-did-not-report-china-internment-camps-uighur-muslims/ (25-09-2019)

[15] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/china-scare-campaign-ignores-greater-threat (26-09-2019)

Hong Kong: Towards Capitalism or Socialism?

Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)

Hong Kong: Towards Capitalism or Socialism?

25-08-2019 – As the staged provocations in Hong Kong enter their 12th week, it is becoming more obvious that the Blackshirt separatists have the (unofficial) backing of the US state department. It is likely that the violent pro-capitalist demonstrators have been given an assurance that they will continue to receive covert support if they do not let up with their efforts to destabilise Hong Kong. The aim appears to be to provoke a military response from Beijing, which, if it occurred, would again give the Western world the chance to manufacture another 1989 Tiananmen Square type propaganda coup.[1] One of the reasons that Julian Assange is now in prison facing possible extradition to the US is the fact that Wikileaks revealed that in 1989 in Beijing, there was no “massacre” in Tiananmen Square – it was manufactured by the West’s corporate media.[2]

This has not prevented Washington convincing almost half of humanity – or at least those who reside in the first world – that moves for “democracy” in China will be crushed by a “totalitarian communist government”. But as the People’s Republic of China moves to surpass the West economically, scientifically and technologically, more and more people are beginning to welcome the rise of the world’s largest socialist state. This is alarming for Washington, London, Canberra and other acolytes, as they need “their own” people in a state of fear and loathing of China, in order to shoehorn them back behind their capitalism – despite the fact that it is driving masses of working people further into poverty. Hence, the orchestrated attempted colour revolution in Hong Kong today, using black shirted pro-US separatists and/or revanchist pro-UK colonial footmen – and women.

Democracy?

The Western corporate media endlessly drone that “pro-democracy” protests are occurring weekly in Hong Kong. Hardly. Democracy in the abstract is a totally meaningless concept, unless it is connected with the political aims of a particular class. The politics and the class character of all movements must be analysed carefully – but the West’s paid scribes have no interest in doing so. This is because the class character of the separatist rioters in Hong Kong is clearly pro-capitalist and anti-socialist. The separatists sometimes claim left cover even while agitating for capitalism. For example, the separatists claim that Hong Trade Unions are supporting their movement. But there are two Trade Union bodies in Hong Kong. One is the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU) – which has strongly opposed the often violent protests. It is the largest body of Unions, and 251 of its affiliated Unions have campaigned against the separatists’ call for a general strike.[3] On the other hand, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) has backed the anti-China protests, but they represent a much smaller body of workers, and only have 61 affiliated Unions.[4] They have joined with the bogus “Civil Human Rights Front” which co-ordinates the anti-Beijing demonstrations. However, it is no exaggeration to describe the HKCTU as “CIA Unions”, for there is evidence that they receive funding from the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED),[5] the public relations arm of the CIA.

NED funding of “democracy activists” gives the game away wholesale. The US imperialist state is never interested in “democracy” or “human rights”, even in the most nebulous sense. They are about protecting and maintaining the interests of US based capital, regardless of the human cost anywhere on the planet. Aside from yellow “Unions”, the NED admits to spending $400 000 in funding for “democracy” advocates just in the year 2018.[6] There is little doubt that this has ended up in the hands of the right-wing “Civil Human Rights Front” directing the ugly and often violent anti-China demonstrations. What’s more, the dangerous targeting of those suspected of backing the Hong Kong police or China, even the elderly, is a sure sign that the separatists’ aims are not pure.

Central leaders of the separatists have been caught openly colluding with the US state department, who are essentially their benefactors. Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were photographed literally meeting with US embassy staff at the height of the protests.[7] Soon after, Nathan Law revealed that he was leaving Hong Kong, to study at the prestigious Yale University in the US.[8] Joshua Wong was the noted head of the “Demosisto” party which launched in 2016 in Hong Kong, when Mr Wong was then 19 years of age, and with little or no political experience. Given that Mr Wong was at that time too young to run for office in Hong Kong, it is apparent that the Western corporate media did not wish to admit that the Demosisto “party” was patently another front funded by the NED.[9]

“Independence” – code for capitalism

The other fraudulent claim about the separatist protests is that they are a legitimate move for independence. As in so many other “independence” claims – such as the one in Tibet – in reality the call for independence is a rallying cry for counter-revolution. In other words, those in favour of “independence” in Tibet or Hong Kong are in fact protagonists for capitalism, who aim to break away from the socialism the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has created. In Hong Kong, this is masked by the yet more fraudulent call for “universal suffrage”. Here the call is for separate electoral and political laws to mainland China – to which Hong Kong is in the process of being integrated. Hong Kong certainly did have separate political reality to mainland China when operated by British imperialism until the handover in 1997. During this time, there were no elections, no elected government, no right to a minimum wage, no right to decent housing or healthcare and definitively no freedom of the press or freedom of speech.[10] This was capitalism, British imperial style. And yet some of the separatists today wave the Union Jack!

If it ever were to occur, an “independent” Hong Kong would be entirely dependent on the US and the UK – precisely what the right wing separatists desire. But it is a pipe dream that the PRC will give up on Hong Kong, especially after the completion of the high-speed rail link from West Kowloon to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, which opened on September 23, 2018. It links Hong Kong with 44 mainland China rail stations, and is part of the largest high speed rail link in the world.[11] For a road link, try the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge, the longest sea-spanning bridge in the world, built at a cost of 20 billion dollars.[12] Together, the high speed rail link and the mega-bridge will permanently connect Hong Kong to mainland China, irrespective of the reactionary desires of Hong Kong separatists and their imperial backers. The deep state operatives of the US and the UK know this, which is why they pin their hopes on triggering anti-socialist political unrest, which they hope will politically destabilise Hong Kong, and then spread into mainland China.

Who holds power in the PRC?

In referring to the PRC’s socialism, we do not infer that there are no concerns or political problems for Chinese workers. The PRC is socialist to the extent that there is a predominantly nationalised and planned economy, which is underpinned by a workers state which was the vital gain of the 1949 socialist revolution. The PRC is socialist insofar as the key state apparatus – the police, the courts, the civil service, the armed forces – uphold and defend the working class rule which emerged out of the victorious revolution led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Workers in China hold state power and economic power – yet political power remains elusive. For now, political power is exercised by a conservative and nationalist caste, inside and outside the CPC. This caste blocks workers from exerting political decision making power, in relation to domestic and international matters.

At the same time, Chinese workers benefit from the gains of socialism in China, and not only economically. Additionally, workers internationally benefit from the gargantuan economic power of the PRC, which even props up and drives economic growth in its trading partners – including Australia. Without trade from China, Australia’s capitalist recession would be much worse than it is now. Workers in South East Asia also benefit from the planned extension of further trade and integration with the PRC – which results in the US state department frantically attempting to fund “opposition” parties in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, amongst others. What drives the huge economic growth in China – which has averaged 9% per year, every year, for 30 years – is the fact that the major means of production in China are state owned or majority state owned. They do not have to run at a profit. The PRC government can use them to build the economy by providing employment for workers – something for which no capitalist enterprise could ever exist.

The CPC is politically based on distortions of “Marxism-Leninism”, the twin pillars of which are the mistaken theories of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence”. Yet the very disturbances we see in Hong Kong over the last three months are another reminder of the falsity of these theories, which have little in common with Marxism or Leninism. Under the theory of “socialism in one country”, it is posited that a workers state can arrive at an agreement with imperialism that they should be left alone, to build “their own” socialism, while the imperialists continue building capitalism in their country.

Marx and Lenin, had they lived, would have scoffed at the very suggestion that imperialism could be trusted at any time, let alone be trusted to leave you alone for years or decades. Capitalism must expand or die, and it cannot expand sufficiently within the borders of “their own” countries. Capitalism cannot expand within its own borders, mainly because it cannot raise the standard of living of “its own” workers beyond a certain level. Competition for an adequate rate of profit means they must drive down wages, not raise them. Hence they constantly seek new fields of capital plunder overseas. If any government resists, they must be subverted, undermined or overthrown – via imperialism.

Defend the PRC

The imperialists know that they cannot overthrow the PRC directly, due to its huge population, and also because the PRC retains a necessary nuclear defence. As remote as the possibility seems, imperialism must try regardless. Funding and backing pro-capitalist dissidents in Hong Kong is just one strategy they employ – making a mockery of the theory of “peaceful coexistence”. The imperialists will not, and cannot, think of peacefully existing with a socialist state. In fact, as we know, ANY state – not just a workers state, which does not sufficiently bow to the will of Washington, can expect to be targeted for regime change sooner or later. The vast and relentless funding of “democracy” activists in Hong Kong by the governments of the US and the UK will not stop until real workers power is extended from the mainland. Standing in the way of this, however, is the distorted “Marxism-Leninism” of the CPC.

Despite this, workers in China and Hong Kong and internationally, have a vital stake in defending the PRC against the reactionary intrigues of Western imperialism. The Western media is currently in a frenzy, whipping up anti-China hysteria to an extremely dangerous level. It is becoming clear that Washington, London and Canberra are preparing us for a catastrophic war with Red China. The only disagreement amongst the capitalist ruling classes is when to begin. To do this though, they need to saturate the working class with any and all anti-socialist propaganda they can muster. If this is carried on at fever pitch for a number of years, there may be little working class resistance to the launch of what could be “mutually assured destruction”.

Workers in Australia and internationally need to insure that imperialist propaganda, and their preparations for war, fall flat. This should be done by exposing the hypocrisy of the US flag waving separatists in Hong Kong, defending the PRC against “our own” ruling class, and by striving to forge working class parties based on genuine Leninism – true internationalism. The defence of the PRC workers state must be linked to our struggles for our own workers state, as the first step towards a classless socialist society.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

www.redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/24/tiananmen-redux-west-pushing-baba-beijing-to-send-pla-into-hong-kong-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190724/ (17-08-2019)

[2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8555142/Wikileaks-no-bloodshed-inside-Tiananmen-Square-cables-claim.html (17-08-2019)

[3] http://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/8/17/hong-kong-protests-are-attack-socialism?fbclid=IwAR2tVik0YpoOqgXaBdOsfYW8ljNjbDXuaCavox0XTIv1eb57srN8aE7SFcA (21-08-2019)

[4] Ibid, 3.

[5] https://www.mintpressnews.com/hong-kong-protests/259202/ (21-08-2019)

[6] https://www.ned.org/region/asia/hong-kong-china-2018/?fbclid=IwAR1PzFM6XJXl_aQPilORsVyep2F3Vjsx-pahxdCzIR3mWFo5sl3h0fqpv6Y (21-08-2019)

[7] https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-08/U-S-organization-accused-of-funding-violent-HK-protesters-IZmV4qHTWg/index.html (21-08-2019)

[8] https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-16/Leader-of-violent-protests-leaves-HK-for-U-S–Jd91H7TJLi/index.html (21-08-2019)

[9] https://journal-neo.org/2016/04/18/hong-kong-gets-new-us-backed-party/ (21-08-2019)

[10] https://www.workers.org/2019/08/16/whats-behind-hong-kong-protests/ (21-08-2019)

[11] https://multimedia.scmp.com/native/infographics/article/2172120/high-speed-rail/ (24-08-2019)

[12] https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/hong-kong-zhuhai-macau-bridge-travel-tips/index.html (24-08-2019)

A Real Climate Strike Means Class Against Class

Logo for the Global Climate Strike. http://www.globalclimatestrike.net

A Real Climate Strike Means Class Against Class

14-08-2019 – On September 20, young students will walk out of class, encouraging older workers to walk out of work and join them, in an inspiring continuation of the worldwide movement for urgent action on the increasingly dire warnings of climate collapse. Following the lead of Greta Thunberg, these climate strikers will send a message to all governments that they cannot be ignored any longer. Or so we are told. As in all things political, however, the truth lies somewhat beneath appearances. In this case, the ugly truth is one which should be repellent to workers with elementary class awareness.

The September 20 strikes are being primarily organised by SS4C (School Strike for Climate). Who are they? The real organisers are hidden, because if they were honest about who they were, they may not be welcomed. SS4C hide their tracks very well, so definite proof is hard to come by. But one glance at the politics they are trying to shoehorn everyone into coming behind reveals, within a few degrees of accuracy, forces whose ultimate aim are seats in parliament, not “climate action”.

Circle of reaction

Three organisations are key to understanding the dark forces behind the September 20 walkouts. SS4C is one, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC – or “Baby GetUp!”) is another, and the other is the Australian Labor Party (ALP). In reality, the first two are trustees of the ALP, the allegedly moderate front of capital in the wide brown land. When questioned, SS4C/AYCC deny their connections to the ALP – yet they remain in plain sight. SS4C have even altered their demands in a vain attempt to claw back their federal election defeat in May by the Liberal National Party (LNP), an election which should have been a shoe-in for the ALP.[1] The federal election swung to the LNP largely on the basis of regional Queensland, where sky-high unemployment led some workers to view that the ALP would stop the construction of the Adani mega coal mine, leading to the end of desperately needed flow on jobs. In reality, the ALP was never opposed to Adani, but had to equivocate in the face of the Stop Adani campaign.[2]

The parliamentary fixation of SS4C is plain to see. They speak of “our” [!] politicians, and “politicians can show they care” [!] by meeting our demands.[3] To say this is parliamentary cretinism is an understatement. Workers should be aware that capitalist parliaments are the key institution used by the ruling class to fool the masses into believing that there is some institution which represents them, albeit with some limitations they admit. The Australian federal parliament, like all parliaments under bourgeois democracy, is a den of corruption and deceit. Moreover, it is a class weapon brandished by the corporate elite against the workers and the poor. It cannot be used as a staging post for climate action any more than it can be used to advance housing for the homeless. For SS4C and AYCC, on the other hand, parliament is their holy grail, and their universal solution – for their own careers.

Perhaps the greatest crime of SS4C and AYCC is their deceitful use of young people to advance the careers of (ALP) Members of Parliament. The young primary and secondary school students are wise enough to understand the eminent danger that global warming poses, and they indeed should be congratulated for taking a brave stand, in some cases resisting principals and school authorities. Yet without sufficient political experience, which can only be gained over some years, these young people cannot be expected to see through the Machiavellian scheming of the SS4C/AYCC agents. They cannot be expected to understand that the AYCC’s raison d’etre is not climate action per se, but to be a youth front for the ALP, and thus for the very profit system which imperils human civilisation.

Dishonest climate campaign

SS4C proffer their campaign descriptors as “school student led, decentralised, grassroots, non-partisan, inclusive, non-violent, mission focussed, ambitious, creative”.[4] The only one of these that has a partial ring of truth is “inclusive”, in that all are invited to take part in the climate strike. This is the reason why workers can attend, stop work, and encourage Union members and officials to do likewise. Yet it must be with the aim of undermining and eroding SS4C/AYCC leadership – which, if left unchallenged, will lead the climate movement into parliamentary paralysis. It is false to claim that school students are leading this movement – the AYCC does the work on the ground. Decentralisation is fallacious – the ALP knows that every campaign must have a centralised leadership. Grassroots is mendacious – as politicians are anything but. Non-partisan is a furphy – they are non-partisan only towards the ALP and perhaps the Greens. Left parties are only welcome IF they politically submit to liberalism. The non-violent moniker is a pledge of fealty to the police forces of the capitalist state. In short, SS4C operate on a pack of half-truths.

Moreover, SS4C submit three demands: 1. No new coal, oil or gas projects, including the Adani mine. 2. 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030. 3. Fund a just transition & job creation for all fossil fuel industry workers.[5]  These demands are pitifully moderate, and could just as easily be asked of the ALP – and this is the giveaway that that is the aim. Consciously, there is zero in these demands which would even eat into the profits of capital, let alone threaten their existence. In practice though, workers should not oppose demands 1 and 3. Demand 2, on the other hand is problematic. IF it demanded 100% zero carbon energy generation, it would be rational. However, the 100% renewable energy demand remains seriously impractical if it was actually possible, and if nuclear power was excluded.[6]  It is a sop to the mistaken environmental movement whose anti-nuclear stance has effectively accelerated the burning of coal since the 1970s. There is evidence that some fossil fuel corporations have funded the anti-nuclear movement in order to ensure zero carbon nuclear fission does not replace them.[7]

The fraud of Greta Thunberg

As we have written previously,[8] the aura around Greta Thunberg is fraudulent. Greta Thunberg the brand is backed by some of the largest corporate players on the planet, and hence focuses on politicians not doing the right thing. This lets the corporations – and the capitalist system – off the hook. Raising no objections to capitalism leads to advocacy of the worst excesses of imperialism, which Greta displayed in spades when she tweeted, “Let Russia and Hong Kong strike for climate”.[9] Here is prima facie evidence that Greta is the anointed figurehead of what is essentially a pro-war “climate” movement. The US Empire is currently up to its eyeballs in hybrid war provocations for regime change against Russia and the People’s Republic of China, which are the harbinger of a nuclear holocaust arguably far more dangerous than extinction through ecological malfunction. Washington has already waged proxy wars against Russia in the Ukraine (by arming Nazis)[10], and against Syria (by arming Al Qaeda).[11] Washington is currently waging an attempted war to dismantle China through direct funding to “NGOs” who employ thousands of violent pro-capitalist Hong Kong yahoos, under the ruse of “independence”.[12]

In fact, the reality that the climate strikers never refer to Pentagon launched imperialist provocations and actual and potential wars is revealing. One could plausibly argue that the climate strike movement is thus not really about the urging of governments to seriously address anthropogenic global warming. It is more about aiding and assisting the First World governments of the US, Europe and Australia in regaining their credibility with “their own” people – by making at least cosmetic efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The climate strike leaders, from Greta Thunberg to SS4C to AYCC, ultimately desire the restitution of imperialist liberal democracy in the eyes of working people. And what better way to do this than by shepherding workers behind a US/EU launched war of “democratic” imperialism against the “totalitarian” states of Russia and China?

Left parties alibi climate parliamentarism

Some Australian left parties help build what they see as climate activism, without pausing to consider its content. While they may grumble about the SS4C climate movement needing more pro-worker positions, they effectively only call for a slightly more progressive movement. The Socialist Alliance appears to have few grumbles at all, and reproduce press statements from SS4C verbatim.[13] They are joined as disciples of Greta Thunberg by Socialist Alternative, who likewise endorse and take part in the “new activism” of Extinction Rebellion (XR).[14] Although XR are not organising the September 20 strikes, XR’s class basis of petty-bourgeois radicalism[15] dovetails squarely with the classical reformism of SS4C and AYCC. Solidarity correctly highlight the beginnings of some trade unions endorsing and taking part in the September 20 walkouts.[16] Yet there is no mention from them of the dangers of workers and their Unions obediently mobilising once again behind the abject parliamentarism of the SS4C/AYCC leadership of the climate strike.

After the disaster of the “Change the Rules” campaign, which saw Unions mobilise for two years in support of a failed attempt to elect an ultra-conservative ALP to federal government, one would think some lessons about electoral campaigns masked as movements might be learned. Yet the link between the parliamentarism of SS4C/AYCC, imperialist war and the misguided left are apparent. Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative and Solidarity are strident opponents of Russia and China, as are SS4C/AYCC, as is the Australian ruling class. These left parties do not imagine themselves to be parliamentarists, even while marching in lock step with capital’s hand-picked parliamentarist lieutenants.

Climate struggle is class struggle

The assault on the climactic conditions necessary for human survival is one more assault on the living and working conditions of the masses. While the industrial revolution was necessary to prepare mass production, the private capital which fostered it was never going to be able to regulate itself to any degree of environmental sustainability. For that, private capital must become social capital. In other words, the major means of production must pass from private hands into those of the working people who set it in motion. Yet even though climate science is issuing more and more shrill warnings almost on a daily basis, the climate crisis in itself cannot be separated from the struggle for working class emancipation.

Finance capital is plunging human civilisation into a double-barrelled Armageddon – the slaughter of imperialist war and imminent climate collapse. The parliaments that defend finance capital – and therefore facilitate climate destruction – cannot change their course. In the course of their struggle for decent working and living conditions, and for a safe climate, working people do not directly confront the ruling class itself. Workers instead confront the agents of finance capital within the (sometimes contrived) social movements. Through all manner of subterfuge, these agents attempt to herd workers and youth back into a purely lobbyist perspective. They attempt to paint begging for different policies from politicians who have diametrically opposed material interests, as “radical climate action”. It is a very small step from rehabilitating a capitalist parliament in this way, to a blanket endorsement of imperialist wars against an “other” – be it Russia, China, or whoever. There is little doubt that this is the aim of SS4C and AYCC, who drag along the moderate left parties behind them.

Thus, for the September 20 climate strike and beyond, working people and leftists need to participate with the express aim of breaking workers away from the political designs of the pro-ALP, pro-imperialist leadership which will not and cannot provide even the first steps towards a safe climate – or a safe world. Rather, what is required is a fight for demands such as: the expropriation of the major means of production, transport, banking and finance which could be administered by workers’ committees in the interests of working people. A left-wing climate movement should demand elected workers’ councils to administer a socialised and planned economy. Here, the leadership of a Marxist vanguard party is crucial. The horrors of potential climate incineration, imperialist war and wage slavery can only begin to be addressed through workers’ rule in the transition from the profit system to human liberation.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://redfireonline.com/2019/05/19/liberalism-at-a-dead-end-alp-loses-the-unlosable-election/ (10-08-2019)

[2] https://overland.org.au/2019/06/why-adani-happened/ (10-08-2019)

[3] https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/about (10-08-2019)

[4] Ibid, 3.

[5] Ibid. 4.

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117304495 (11-08-2019)

[7] https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2016/07/13/are-fossil-fuel-interests-bankrolling-the-anti-nuclear-energy-movement/#4bef933d7453 (11-08-2019)

[8] https://redfireonline.com/2019/03/13/for-real-climate-action-expropriate-capital/ (11-08-2019)

[9] https://twitter.com/gretathunberg/status/1128344612186279937?lang=en (11-08-2019)

[10] https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/17/blowback-us-funded-ukraine-neo-nazis-mentor-us-white-supremacists/ (11-08-2019)

[11] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/cihan-celik/us-turkey-realize-al-qaeda-threat-in-syria–a-bit-late-61834 (11-08-2019)

[12] https://www.mintpressnews.com/hong-kong-protests/259202/ (11-08-2019)

[13] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/why-school-climate-strikers-are-demanding-just-transition-and-job-creation (11-08-2019)

[14] https://redflag.org.au/node/6855 (11-08-2019)

[15] https://redfireonline.com/2019/08/07/whats-wrong-with-extinction-rebellion/ (11-08-2019)

[16] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/workers-and-unions-organise-to-join-climate-strike/ (11-08-2019)