I hate to cite negative content, but see for example:
overcoming hope » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:11 pm wrote:
"a history of 9/11 conspiracism..."
What is going on here? Is this real life? Are you for real? incredible
American Dream » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:28 am wrote:
I hate to cite negative content, but see for example:
The WWP And Fascists
The reactionary positions of the WWP include the party forging ties with hardline Russian Stalinist parties in the 90s, the most prominent one being the Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP) [archive] as notes Kevin Coogan. The WWP’s newspaper ran an article by Victor Tyulkin, the RKRP’s leader and Secretary of its Central Committee on September 3, 1992. Tyulkin and Victor Anpilov, another RKRP member as well as member of the executive committee of the Working Russia group, sent birthday wishes to Sam Marcy which were republished on the WWP’s newspaper in 1996. The WWP even contrasted the RKRP more favorably to the KPRF [archive] on its publication.
The RKRP however is a “left fascist” organization of the same Red-Brown tendency as the KPRF, being extremely homophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Black, and being described by the International Solidarity with Workers in Russia as a “pseudo-Communist anti-Semitic organization” [archive], due to which the RKRP’s invitation to take part in 2001 protests in Genoa by alter-globalization movement ATTAC was revoked after Russian labor activists informed the organizers of the RKRP’s fascist nature. Victor Anpilov, who had himself taken part in the red-brown debacle against Yeltsin as an ally of the National Salvation Front in front of the Russian White House in 1993, later left the RKRP and his Labor Russia party allied with the National Bolshevik Party of Eduard Limonov [archive] in a voting bloc in 1997 [archive], yet kept on being praised by the WWP’s paper until at least 2002 in an article where National Bolshevik Party leader Eduard Limonov is also described as one of many anti-capitalist political prisoners [archive], and Kevin Coogan suggests why the WWP did not devote more extensive coverage of the RKRP was because it would alienate the WWP’s rank and file members.
Tyulkin went on to merge his RKRP with the Russian Communist Party/Revolutionary Party of Communists (RPK) in 2001, forming the RKRP-RPK, which in 2012 became the Russian Communist Workers’ Party of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (RKRP-CPSU). The RKRP-CPSU became one of the constituents of the Russian United Labor Front (ROT Front), with Tyulkin as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the ROT Front [archive]. In 2011, the ROT Front joined with a number of red-brown Stalinist parties and The Other Russia (the National-Bolshevik party formed in 2010 by Eduard Limonov after the dissolution of the coalition with Garry Kasparov of the same name) in an alliance that its participants intended to be a new National Salvation Front. I could not find out whether Tyulkin’s ROT Front and the WWP have any sort of collaboration, though it received coverage from the WWP during the 2016 Russian elections [archive], and before this in 2014 along with the RKRP and the Left Front (see below) in the context of the crisis in Ukraine [archive], weeks after the WWP posted on its website a joint statement by the RKRP, Limonov’s The Other Russia, Kagarlitsky’s Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, the Vanguard of the Red Youth and the Left Front [archive]. WWP member Greg Butterfield posted [archive] the translation of a declaration of Tyulkin on his Red Star Over Donbass blog in 2017, and the Fuck Yeah Marxism-Leninism blog run by Butterfield [archive] reshares interviews given by Anpilov [archive] to the WWP in the 1990s [archive], and posts pictures of rallies of the ROT Front [archive] and the United Communist Party [archive] until up to January 2018.
More recently, the WWP has been involved as of at least 2014 with the organization Borotba, a Stalinist organization formed by a former member of the RKRP [archive] and Sergey Kirchuk, from various Ukrainian Stalinist groups. Borotba has been on record for trying to cannibalize direct action by Anarchists and attacking anti-authoritarian leftists by falsely labeling them as members of far-right group Right Sector while having itself worked with far-right groups associated with Right Sector before the Euromaidan protests, after which it aligned itself with Novorossiya [archive].
Like the RKRP, Borotba has been extremely racist, homophobic and associates with far-right groups like Slavic Unity and Rodina. Borotba routinely publishes anti-Semitic imagery and its leadership is close to anti-Semite Israel Shamir while its ranks include Aleksey Bluminov, who had worked with Svoboda and the PSPU. Borotba has itself cooperated with the PSPU and far-right anti-Semitic group Oplot while attacking left-wing members of the Maidan (note that the Maidan itself was a heterogeneous movement – Anton Shekhovtsov has explained how phony “Antifascist” organizations set up by allies of Viktor Yanukovuch have slandered it by falsely labeling the whole of the movement as fascist for the purpose of propaganda, though other Ukrainian revolutionary leftists who advocated for participation in demonstrations against the curtailing of civil rights by Yanukovych’s government discouraged participation in the Euromaidan itself), leading many members of the Ukrainian Left (which has condemned the far-right elements within the Maidan protests) to openly condemn it.
Aleksey Albu, a member of Borotba, fled to Crimea in 2014 and set up a “Committee for the Liberation of Odessa” [archive] with Vadim Savenko and Aleksandr Vasilyev of Rodina and and Dmitry Odinov of neo-Nazi organization Slavic Unity, itself a branch of Barkashov’s Russian National Unity of which Gubarev was once a member, and which has cooperated with Dugin’s Eurasian Movement. That same year, representatives of Borotba were present at a pro-Donbass rally in Moscow which was also attended by representatives of The Other Russia [archive] (Limonov became a supporter of Putin after the 2014 crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement in the war Syria [archive]). In December 2014, the International Action Center wrote an open letter to the Novorossiyan authorities in support of Borotba members, and among the signatories [archive] were Cynthia McKinney, Greg Butterfield from the WWP and Joe Lombardo from the United Anti-War Coalition, while Die Linke distanced itself from Borotba after its fascist nature was revealed that same year.
Another example of Stalinists working with fascism is when Antiimperialistische Aktion, a German “anti-imp” group, collaborated [archive] with an organization which calls itself the “International Anti-Fascist Committee” to organize “International Anti-Fascist Conferences”. A closer look at the website of the “International Anti-Fascist Committee’s website (which features a Saint George’s ribbon, a military award during the Russian Empire under the Tsar) shows Soros conspiracy theories [archive] and support for Donald Trump [archive] as well as claims the West wants to balkanize Syria quoting Michel Chossudovsky [archive], which clearly establishes this organization was not anti-fascist, but instead is a fascist organization of the red-brown type which weaponizes phony “anti-fascist” rhetoric in the service of fascism in the same fashion as Dugin does...
It is not surprising then that the Workers World Party has supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the fascist-approved referendum used to legitimize it [archive] (even as Crimean left-wing antifascist activists opposed to the Russian occupation have been imprisoned by the Russian state on false charges of belonging to Right Sector), and openly aligned itself with Novorossiya, published translations of Aleksey Albu [archive] in 2016 and quoted the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa on its website [archive] while repeating Russian state media narrative of a “Kiev putsch junta” opposed to “anti-fascists in the Donbass”, even as Anarchists in Ukraine opposed to the US-supported Poroshenko government paint a different picture, fighting against Nazis in Kiev, condemning the leaders of Novorossiya as Russian fascists whose fake calls to fight fascism echo those of Dugin and Limonov and condemning the right-wing elements of Euromaidan, the Kiev government’s alliance with fascists and the fascist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (a position also expressed by Russian Anarchists, who condemned the war in the Donbass as being fought by fascists on both sides and a way for Putin to divert attention from the economic crisis in Russia). Which means that is is not a surprise either then that SSNP flags and Saint George’s ribbons are appearing at protests organized by groups like the WWP and Code Pink. This is not isolated to American Stalinists, with some Spanish leftists having claimed to have fought side by side with Nazis for Russia in Ukraine.
Multiple Workers World Party articles have quoted Fort Russ (example 1 [archive], example 2 [archive], example 3 [archive], example 4 [archive], example 5 [archive]), a pro-Novorossiya website on whose front page are links to multiple National Bolshevik websites and, listed on the “Fraternal Sites” section, are linked [archive] Aleksandr Dugin’s think tank Arktogaia and Open Revolt, the website of National-Bolshevik and Eurasianist group New Resistance.
The WWP has been quoting Michel Chossudovsky since the 90s [archive] to defend Milosevic [archive], and acknowledged [archive] being reshared [archive] by the Centre of Research on Globalization, and Chossudovsky worked together with the WWP to defend Slobodan Milosevic [archive]. Sara Flounders (who is also a member of the International Committee for the Defence of Slobodan Milosevic) was listed by the Centre as one of its writers [archive]. Chossudovsky himself was one of the signatories of the founding charter of the ANSWER coalition when it was initially founded by the WWP. In 2013, Chossudovsky was a speaker [archive] at a conference [archive] in North Korea [archive] which included Ramsey Clark, Brian Becker and former WWP member Kiyul Chung...
The WWP appears to have had a working relationship with the Syrian regime before the beginning of the Arab Spring, with its newspaper reporting [archive] in 2008 that WWP articles were translated and published on Tishreen, a newspaper owned by the Syrian state, and al-Ba’ath, a newspaper published by the Ba’ath Party in Syria.
When the protest movement first started in 2011, WWP therefore used Global Research conspiracies [archive] claiming the Syrian protest movement was the result of an “organized insurrection of armed gangs”, and has since used Global Research as source on Syria while WWP members’ articles have been posted on Global Research. The WWP had also previously quoted neo-fascists Thierry [archive] Meyssan’s [archive] and Mahdi Nazemroaya’s [archive] “reporting” for Global Research [archive] as source on the 2011 war in Libya. The WWP’s 2012 discussion concerning Syria was co-chaired by Sara Flounders and involved Ramsey Clark and Lizzie Phelan [archive], all three of whom have worked with fascists, as well as Ben Becker of the ANSWER Coalition.
The Taylor Report, a radio show by an employee of Ramsey Clark [archive] and which once provided a platform to war criminal Charles Taylor, has hosted crypto-fascist McKinney [archive] and fascist Nazemroaya [archive] since 2011 and Clark and Nazemroaya were hosted together on the Taylor Report in July 2013 [archive]. Predictably, it was the same Clark who has numerous fascist ties who arranged for the WWP’s first delegation to Syria [archive] two months later, which included:
Ramsey Clark himself
Dedon Kamathi of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party
Johnny Achi of Arab Americans 4 Syria
John Parker of the IAC
Ramsey Clark led a 2015 delegation to the Assad regime [archive], along with Sara Flounders, as well as Cynthia McKinney (who had publicized her meeting with Dieudonné the previous year), Lamont Lilly from the WWP’s youth organization FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) and Eva Bartlett (who had been on the show of Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett the previous year). Their report, also curiously published on Dissident Voice [archive], praises the Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, who met with David Duke in 2005 [archive], and Bouthaina Shaaban, the advisor to Bashar al-Assad, who herself addressed the Schiller Institute in June 2016 [archive] at the invitation of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a year after a LaRouche delegation had gone to Syria and met her and Prime Minister Wail al-Halki [archive].
Syria: the alt-left and other lesser known extremisms
These two memes have uncertain origins, yet are commonly used by both the alt-left and the alt-right, along with terms such as “shitlib” which seems to have more clearly originated in conservative circles but is also used as an insult by the alt-left
STRATEGIC SHIFTS FOR LEAGUE OF THE SOUTH AS NATIONAL CONFERENCE APPROACHES
League of the South President Michael Hill had announced such a new direction as early as the group’s 2003 national conference:“As a prelude to independence, which is still our ultimate goal…the League is going to dedicate itself now to the preservation and advancement of our people and our place. And as a result we’re going to start protesting in the streets against… immigration…against all the injustices against our people.” APPLAUSE “And if you’re not ready for the fight, you can leave now. otherwise you better put on your fighting shoes, because we are no longer simply going to identify the problem, we’re going to attack it…If you wanna do something, I’d love for you to go kick the enemy around a little bit and then come to me and say ‘look what we’ve done’ instead of coming and saying ‘may we do this?’ In other words, I want you to show some individual initiative…But let me tell you this, I could not wait for this year’s conference to get up and be able to tell you of this new direction we’re gonna take. And it’s gonna scare some people off, but we are going to get in the face of our enemies. And we are going to apply the Nathan Bedford Forest strategy.”
The last sentence refers to the Reconstruction-era leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
League of the South President Michael Hill
In line with this direction, in 2015 the group held 27 rallies, some targeting immigrants and promoting secession, but most centered on defense of Confederate symbols. Subsequently, the group promoted a Secession Petition; sponsored a Tallahassee, Florida billboard declaring “Secede;” demonstrated against U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) support for amnesty for undocumented immigrants; issued statement’s defending anti-gay bigot Phil Robertson and calling for a boycott of A&E for suspending his Duck Dynasty reality TV show; and held anti-immigrant demonstrations in Tennessee and Georgia, among other activities.
The group’s on-street efforts have been met with an online indication of its following. As of late 2017 the national group had some 7,441 Facebook “likes” while 21 state and sub-state chapters had gained a total of 11,636 “likes.”
In 2016, Michael Hill took League activism to a new level, helping form the white nationalist coalition known as the Nationalist Front. The League of the South joined with the National Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Worker Party and Vanguard America – all national socialist organizations.
Through this coalitional alliance, the League of the South played a lead role in the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – an event that saw James Alex Fields, once photographed in Vanguard America garb, charged with second degree murder for allegedly driving his vehicle into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters and killing Heather Heyer. The group also organized a follow-up “White Lives Matter” rally with its Nationalist Front allies in Shelbyville, Tennessee in October 2017.
The League’s move toward activism pressed Michael Hill to explain these changes to members. In an August 2017 statement on working with “hard right groups in the Nationalist Front which are not Southern in character or by geography,” Hill stressed that “Just because we lend some support to one another in areas of common interest does not necessarily mean that we endorse them or their particular beliefs, nor they us or ours…Open cooperation with other groups on the hard right can be to our benefit, and we shall continue to pursue those opportunities to cooperate with them.”
Accompanying its rising activism, the League of the South underwent an ideological radicalization – i.e., became more openly racist and anti-Semitic. As Hill explained in an April 2018 “note to my critics,”“Yes, we have radicalized by openly and directly addressing the Negro (and general dark-skinned) Question and the Jew Question. We are de facto and openly professed White/Southern nationalists, meaning that we seek to restore the South to the dominance of the White man and to make it our own ethnostate for our posterity. And because most Southerners (particularly evangelical Christians) are still reluctant to take to the streets to defend their civilization, we have made alliances with other radicals who are willing to stand with us in public.”
Unlike his days as a national socialist “mainstreamer,” David Duke had stressed the need for such an ideological radicalization – particularly the importance of open anti-Semitism – in the lead up to his appearance at a joint American Freedom Party (AFP)-Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) conference held near Burns, Tennessee on June 15-17. Duke had also pressed this point at the League’s 2017 national conference. The League of the South’s Michael Hill spoke at AFP-CCC conference and several League members were reported in attendance. AFP director James Edwards is scheduled to speak at the upcoming League of the South event along with a host of regional League leaders.
From Secession to the Whole White World
In recent years, the League of the South also transformed from a strictly secessionist organization to a group that seeks to join league with a transnational white nationalism that aims to claim the south, the United States and Europe for white people. By all evidence, this change has been influenced by the League’s relationship with longtime national socialist David Duke as well as its interactions with a new crop of white nationalist organizations.
Duke spoke at the League’s 2017 conference and an April 2018 League event “honoring” the former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader. He is also slated to speak at the group’s upcoming conference.
SOME NUGGET QUOTES FROM DUGIN'S
FOUNDATIONS OF GEOPOLITICS
Translations courtesy of Branko Malić of the Kali Tribune from the Serbian edition:
…It is also important (...) to enforce the role of "sacrificial lamb" on Turkey, because the interests of that nation in the Caucuses and Central Asia should not be taken into consideration at all. Moreover, it should probably be good to support Kurdish separatism in that country
~ Aleksandr Dugin, THE FOUNDATIONS OF GEOPOLITICS, Serbian edition, page 214.
"Above all stands the Orthodox self-consciousness of the Nation as a Church, then the wholeness and unity of Russian ethnic organism consisting not only of presently existing demographics, but also of ancestors and future generations and, only as the last of all, the survival of concrete person as an autonomous particle (...) The people should be inseminated with an idea that every family, by bearing a Russian child, participates in the National Mystery (...) The children should be understood as national property, as the physical expression of the inner energy of Great People. The Russian child should primarily be understood as a Russian and only secondarily as a child
~ Aleksandr Dugin, THE FOUNDATIONS OF GEOPOLITICS, 5.2. Russian nationalism - Ethnic demography and the Empire, Serbian edition, pg. 223 - 224
The Eurasian project (..) presupposes Eurasian expansion into Central America in order to divorce it from the control of the North (...) as well as inciting all kinds of instability inside the borders of USA (here the political forces of Afroamerican racists can be relied upon)
~ Aleksandr Dugin, Elements of Geopolitics, 4.5. The Empire of many Empires, pg. 218
American Dream » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:39 pm wrote:http://onepeoplesproject.com/roguesgallery/2015/11/04/alexandr-dugin/ALEXANDR DUGIN
NAME:Alexandr Gelyevich Dugin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ге́льевич Ду́гин)
HOME BASE: Moscow, Russia
DOB: January 7, 1962
In Oct 2014, the white supremacist National Policy Institute attempted to hold a conference in Budapest, Hungary in the latest effort by paleoconservatives in America to unite with fascists in other parts of the world that have seen a little more success than they ever could stateside. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t come without the usual opposition, and that meant the conference location getting raided by Hungarian police and the conference itself shut down – or at least sent away to an undisclosed location. NPI leader Dick Spencer ended up getting detained for that weekend by authorities, eventually deported and banned from entering much of Europe for the next three years. Meanwhile the Hungarian white nationalist Jobbik party and British white nationalist publisher Arktos pulled back their support before the conference, and other like-minded foreigners were either being told to stay home or were sent back to their countries if they showed up at the airport. One of those people that was denied a visa by the Hungarian government was a Russian nationalist so-called “philosopher” named Alexandr Dugin, and his “philosophy” has made room for such gems from him such as “If we want to liberate ourselves from the West, it is needed to liberate ourselves from textbooks on physics and chemistry,” and that the entire Internet needs to be banned “because it gives nobody anything good.”
This is the kind of thing you should expect from a guy who is cheerleading a “conservative revolution” in Russia that wipe out all vestiges of liberalism in that nation and return Russia to the totalitarianism the world complained about with the Soviet Union. Dugin apparently thinks however that the only problem with that was that the USSR chose the platform of Communism to work from, as opposed to Fascism, more to the point his preferred brand of Fascism called Eurasianism. And make no bones about it, that’s exactly what he is about. While saying he is against “biological racism”, he has written in the past that in his preferred make up of Eurasia that “wherever there is a single drop of Aryan (Slavic, Turkic, Caucasian, European) blood, there is a chance for racial awakening, for the rebirth of the primordial Aryan conscience.”
As Russia and the Ukraine go to war over Ukraine’s effort to become an independent nation, Dugin is right there trying to keep the Ukraine part of Russia, corresponding with the loyalists in Ukraine, building alliances in the European Union between right and left parties to influence EU policy in the region and being the author behind the annexation of the internationally recognized Ukraninan territory of Crimea by the Russian Federation. A professor in the Department of Sociology of International Relations of Moscow State University until 2014, he lost his job when the Russian government started to soften their position on the Ukraine conflict.
Born in Moscow, Dugin was an anti-communist writer in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. He once embarked on a military career and enrolled in the Moscow Aviation Institute, but after authorities learned of his association with far right circles – even translating into Russian Pagan Imperialism by the neo-fascist (although he might say otherwise) philosopher Julius Evola – They arrested and eventually canned him. He worked as a street sweeper and journalist until things started to fall apart with the Soviet Union, and then he jumped into politics. He joined the anti-Semitic group Pamyat, who believed, among other things, that the so-called “Zionist Occupational Government” (ZOG) was running Russia into the ground. He left Pamyat because of he considered its low intellectual level, and eventually started a book publishing company and also went on to help found the National Bolshevik Party (NBP) in 1993. Considering them not to be as right-wing as he liked, Dugin led some other hardliners to split off and form the National Bolshevik Front (NBF). He later split from this and started to associate with other circles, including Vladamir Putin’s, and he has been encouraging him to find alternatives to a relationship with America. He particularly pushes a Eurasian alternative that would solidify the bonds of European and Asian nations and become a rival to the United States whom he believes is pushing a worldwide hegemony through its involvement in world affairs, particularly the Middle East.
Continues at: http://onepeoplesproject.com/roguesgall ... ndr-dugin/
Left nationalism: A history of the disease
Another guiding principle of national liberation supporters is anti-imperialism. It comes in at least two versions: first of all, related to the paragraph above, a certain number of socialists believes that national independence predetermines a “left“ economic policy of the newly established state which can, finally free of the bondage imposed upon it by the old exploiting (“imperial“) seat of power, start implementing progressive economic reforms for the good of the people. In this case, not only national liberation movements are supported but also all kinds of nationalist and isolationist parties intent on pushing their state’s economies away from the western sphere of influence. It should be mentioned, though, that in some cases such movements fulfilled their promises and had, for instance, nationalized important segments of the economy; but this raises another question — is nationalization really a measure socialists should support in and of itself?12
In an even worse form this tactic includes supporting parties and movements with a protectionist political platform, i.e., those in favor of larger subsidies to domestic entrepreneurs (in order for them to be more competitive on the global market) or state-sponsored rejection of foreign investment in the economy, usually under the mask of patriotism. Some good examples of this would include the national-nepotist regimes of Franjo Tuđman and Slobodan Milošević in Croatia and Serbia respectively,13 which are still being praised by local leftists using similar rhetoric. Looking closer in time, this line of argumentation was used by the right-wing, but also by parts of the “soft left,” during the Brexit campaign. Still, the question of why socialists should care more about “home-grown“ capitalists than about “foreign“ ones (that is, why should we care about them at all) remains unanswered.
Another, more ideologically burdened version of anti-imperialism, can easily be explained by the childish maxim “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which is then used as basis for giving out support to all sorts of nationalist and fundamentalist movements. This tactic is mainly justified by the idea that “a blow to imperialism is a blow to capitalism,” while only western (European and American) imperialism tends to be considered the enemy and Russian and Chinese neoimperialism are given a free pass or even considered to be a positive process. So nominally internationalist political organizations end up supporting, for example, all three or four sides in the Yugoslav Wars,14 Russian neofascists in Ukraine and even Hamas, Hezbollah and, believe it or not, groups as reactionary as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.15
A silver lining is that groups upholding these positions are small sects whose only purpose is preserving the “correct line,” made up and fossilized in the 1970s at the latest, without any real-life impact on the working class. Is it even worth talking about “critical support“ for some African Islamist militia when that support is being given by a grouplet of half a dozen American students with internet access? A somewhat bigger problem arises when the entire Left starts begging their own respective states for military intervention in support of a certain nationalist gang, thus putting aside the interests of workers in a given country in exchange for vague promises of democracy and decentralization.16 Their states are more than willing to appease them — after all, it’s not often that the left shares a common interest with imperialism coming from their own country. Still, a sad fact remains that most socialist organizations keep taking sides in ethnic conflicts, mostly just for the sake of conducting pathetic internet fights with other useless sects with a different stance regarding the given bloodbath.
At this moment, we should present an alternative. Most leftists will by this point start making reflexive reactions to the text above: “you are supporting imperialism,” “should people facing death just accept their fate?,” “[insert ethnic militia] is the lesser evil,” “you’re a small group and you talk down to us?“ etc. We can just laugh off the accusation for supporting imperialism. If it is capable to do so, the working class should fight against their own state’s imperialism (to quote German communist Karl Liebknecht — “the main enemy is at home“): historically, and even recently,17 that was a common occurrence, but foiling the plans of your “domestic“ capitalists is not the same as supporting the invaded nation’s ruling class. The task of communists is to encourage such workplace struggles instead of vainly rallying to support foreign, often autocratic regimes. When it comes to other common critiques, the size of our group(s) is precisely reason why we understand that our support for any nationalist movement is of no value either for them or for the working class as a whole. In short, while we are small in numbers, our support is meaningless; if, as communists, we become somewhat influential in the workers’ movement, then our support for nationalist gangs becomes equal to treason both of socialism and of the interests of workers themselves. Syrian Kurds will defeat ISIS with or without our nominal support; equally so, they will — or maybe they will not — establish another generic ethnically cleansed (quasi-)state forced to operate by the laws of market and capital.
League Of The South Reaches Out To ‘Russian Friends’
Michael Hill speaks with a WWLTV reporter at Confederate monuments rally (Image from WWLTV May 17, 2017 broadcast)
Amid the controversy over President Trump’s recent summit with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the neo-Confederate League of the South announced this week that it will soon be introducing a Russian language section to its website.“To our Russian friends,” a missive on the League’s website, is signed by Michael Hill, the group’s president. An excerpt:We understand that the Russian people and Southerners are natural allies in blood, culture, and religion. As fellow Whites of northern European extraction, we come from the same general gene pool. As inheritors of the European cultural tradition, we share similar values, customs, and ways of life. And as Christians, we worship the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and our common faith binds us as brothers and sisters.
We Southerners believe in societies based on real, organic factors such as shared blood, culture, and religion, and all that stems naturally from these salient factors in the human experience. As fellow White Christians who are grounded in the sublime traditions of our common European cultural heritage, we believe that the Russian people and the Southern people are natural allies against the destructive and impersonal impulses of globalism.
Hill, who teaches that the defeat of Nazi Germany was “an unmitigated disaster for Western Christian civilization,” warned in this week’s post that there are “forces that would like to pit us against one another.” He signs off with, “May the God of our Fathers bless our efforts to preserve our peoples and their shared faith and culture.”
Alt-Right leaders and white nationalists adore Russia’s Vladimir Putin, much as American Religious Right leaders do. As Casey Michel noted in a RWW report last year, Richard Spencer has called Russia the “most powerful white power in the world.” Matthew Heimbach, leader of the now-disbanded white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party, called Putin “the leader of the free world.” Former KKK leader David Duke, who was a speaker at this year’s League of the South conference, has said he believes Russia holds the “key to white survival.”
Putin has supported right-wing nationalist movements across Europe. In 2015, Jared Taylor, the American proponent of “race realism,” took part in a conference in St. Petersburg that gathered activists from Europe’s far right. There Taylor declared the United States “the greatest enemy of tradition everywhere.” Also in attendance was former KKK lawyer Sam Dickson, who praised Putin’s efforts to preserve “[the white] race and civilization.”
Hill’s recent letter to the Russian people is not his first. In the fall of 2016, he published an open letter to the Russian Federation, which declared in part:We traditional Southerners look upon the people of Russia as fellow white Christians who are seeking to protect themselves and their national interests from the corrupt and diabolical forces of globalism. We want no part of a war with the Russian Federation instigated by the USA/NATO alliance, the heart of the globalist cabal. …
For over two decades, The League of the South has opposed the infernal machinations of The American Empire. We still seek our independence from it for the survival and well-being of our people–the Southern nation.
We encourage the Russian Federation to discern that Washington, DC, with each passing day, becomes more and more disconnected from the people over whom they rule with an iron hand. The Southern people are not your enemy; on the contrary, as fellow Christians and traditionalists, we seek friendship and peace with the Russian people and their leaders in hopes that the true interests of both can be served by opposing the immoral globalist order.
Neo-Confederates reach out to their ‘Russian friends’ in new project
Once again, racist secessionists are looking to Moscow for succor.
JUL 20, 2018
RACIST NEO-CONFEDERATES ARE LOOKING FOR HELP FROM THEIR 'RUSSIAN FRIENDS' YET AGAIN.
In late 2014, before Russian hackers had stolen emails from Hillary Clinton or accused Russian agents had met with Republican higher-ups, a small conference gathered in Moscow’s Izmailovo Alfa Hotel.
Organized by a group called the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), the one-day conference was, according to a press release, dedicated to the “struggle for independence and creation of new sovereign geopolitical entities on the map of the world.”
The 2014 gathering was the first of what would become an annual affair for AGMR. The group went on to host a series of conferences that would, in time, attract both Kremlin funding and secessionists from states like Texas, California, and Hawaii — and, this week, help spark the newest plea for help from neo-Confederates in the United States.
The 2014 event was small, and generated almost no press coverage, but it did attract the participation of one of the best-known neo-Confederate groups extant: the League of the South. Described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a group dedicated to reforming the Confederacy, the League of the South envisioned a new country in the American South that would be dominated by “white Christians.”
While the group’s president, Michael Hill, was unable to attend the 2014 event in Moscow in person — this was two years before AGMR, with Kremlin backing, could afford to help individuals from the Texas Nationalist Movement and Yes California groups travel to Moscow — he managed to Skype into the conference. Hill’s talk centered on some of his favorite, fascistic points: the “independence of the Southern people,” the “South’s identity as an historic ‘blood and soil’ nation.”
As Hill later wrote, his talk “was very well received (through a translator) by the largely Russian audience.”
The invitation for Hill to speak marks one of the earliest instances of interest in Russia in stoking secessionists — and white supremacist — movements across the U.S. It would set the tone for things like the opening of a “California Embassy” in Moscow or the “Heart of Texas” Facebook page, which advocated Texas secession.
Why did the Workers World Party attend a conference with neo-confederate secessionists?
Why did Marxist-Leninist organisation Workers World Party send delegates to an international conference that included the League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement?
In 2014, the Workers World Party reported on their website: "Moscow conference stands with Novorossiya, Palestine and Black America", in an article written by Bill Dores. Bill Dores has been a member of the Workers World Party since at least 1992.
The article describes the conference (archived), organized by the Anti-Globalisation Movement of Russia” as such:A conference on the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multipolar World was held in Moscow on Dec. 13, hosted by the Anti-Globalization Movement (AGM) of Russia. The conference brought together activists from Novorossiya (Donetsk and Lugansk), TransDniester, Iran, Syria, the Serb Republic, Italy, the United States and several regions of the Russian Federation. The conference was opened by AGM President Alexander Ionov. Other speakers included Oleg Tsarev, the speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia, and Alexander Kofman, the minister of foreign affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Among the U.S. delegates were five representatives of the United National Antiwar Coalition, including Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report, Joe Iosbaker of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, women’s rights activist Maureen Hannah, Bill Dores of the International Action Center and UNAC Co-Coordinator Joe Lombardo, all of whom addressed the conference. Major themes of the discussion were the U.S.-backed war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine; the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet Union and economic war against Russia, Venezuela and Iran; and the ongoing uprising against racism and police brutality in the United States.
Some US delegates to the conference who aren't mentioned on the Workers World Party's report were from the League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement.
Here's how the League of the South described their contribution (archived):Dr. Michael Hill, President of The League of the South, spoke (by Skype) at the Anti-Globalist Movement’s international conference in Moscow (Russian Federation) on Saturday, 13 December. The main theme of the conference was “The Right of People for Self-Determination and Constructing a Multipolar World.”
Hill discussed The League of the South and its goal of the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people and how the South’s identity as an historic “blood and soil” nation conflicts with the current globalist agenda of the USA regime. He emphasized the importance of The League’s work not only in preserving a particular people living on a particular land, but also its direct Southern nationalist challenge to the political, economic, and financial engine of globalism—the Washington, DC/European Union alliance.
You might think after this experience a principled communist organisation would disassociate from any such conferences in the future, but in 2015 they sent youth delegates to be hosted by the Anti-Globalisation Movement again.Our host during our stay in Moscow was Alexander Ionov, president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia. This is not a homogenous organization representing one ideological current. Some of its members subscribe to Korean socialism and some are “Putinists,” that is, champions of the Russian president, among other tendencies. The underlying current among the membership is staunch opposition to Western imperialism and the belief that all nations have the right to self-determination.
On the wall in the group’s office are framed photographs of Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, Kim Il Sung of socialist Korea, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara of Cuba, Moammar Gadhafi of Libya and Omar Torrijos of Panama — all political leaders that U.S. imperialism has demonized.
In 2016, ABC News reported that a representative of the Texas Nationalist Movement had attended the conference again.
The WWP has maintained links with Russian third-positionist groups since the '90s, for example this article from the year 2000 detailing links with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP), through to carrying an obituary for Victor Anpilov in 2018 and describing National Bolshevik Party co-founder Eduard Limonov as an 'anti-capitalist political prisoner' in 2002.
Most of the information here was culled from An Investigation into Red/Brown Aliances but the reports from the organizations in attendance were re-checked from their own websites and are linked directly or via archive websites here.
Most of the Left was wildly euphoric about the early resistance in Iraq and the outpouring of mass global anti-war sentiment. Triumphal statements about the emergence of a new movement for social justice were the common currency of left-wing discourse. Larry Wing of “War Times” exulted that, “Most important of all, and underlying all the other developments, is the emergence of a new superpower: the world’s people. As one we rose up on Feb. 15 to smite the empire. Antiwar sentiment is so great in most countries that even most reactionary leaders dare not cross us.” Tom Hayden, not to be outdone, proclaimed, “There is rising a new movement in the world. It is bigger than the movement of the 1960s.” “A global anti-war movement unlike anything that has existed for three decades — that is, since the close of the Vietnam War,” trumpeted International A.N.S.W.E.R. According to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, “The issue of the war and Bush military policy is beginning to coalesce an incredibly wide range of social forces: anti-globalization, anti-capitalists, labor, national movements, students, greens, liberals, anarchists, etc., etc. This movement is beginning to reflect, in embryonic form, the coalition of social forces that can ultimately transform society.”
Yes, but transform it in what direction?
Can it really be that leftists didn’t notice the actual politics of the forces leading the armed struggle against the Western imperialists in Iraq? Has the Left somehow missed the virulent global opposition to the Iraq war that comes from the Right? Can it be unaware that the “incredibly wide range of social forces” opposing the Bush and Blair regimes’ war includes millions of right-wing political Islamists, Baath Party torturers, reactionary Japanese nationalists, Hindu fascists, dozens of right-wing dictators, former heads of the CIA and NSA, the Pope, capitalists in every country, conservative Republicans, antisemitic Russian nationalists, Pat Buchanan, the hard right British National Party, generals and admirals, David Duke, and most neo-nazi organizations worldwide?
For some time after the anglo-american invasion, it was difficult to find mention—let alone serious analysis—of the role of right-wing religious fundamentalism, antisemitism, fascism and reactionary populism among the global forces opposing the invasion and occupation. In fact, the Left usually spoke and acted as if there were one big progressive anti-intervention coalition on the rise. There seemed to be an assumption that the Left was the natural vanguard of these forces. This assumption was—is—as false as it is dangerous.
With the passage of time and events in Iraq, this delusional attitude has become less and less rational. But that hasn’t provoked any self-criticism. Most of the Left still tries to downplay or evade the whole uncomfortable issue of right-wing anti-imperialism, hoping it will go away by itself. In fact some leftists have adopted an even more reprehensible course: They have decided to participate in an open alliance with the fundamentalists. These “super” anti-imperialists demand “unconditional support” for the “resistance,” and consider anyone uncomfortable with this formula to be liberal and chauvinist.
It’s as if the tragedies in Iran and Afghanistan had never happened. Once again, the Left is pushing women’s freedom to the sidelines, supposedly in the name of anti-imperialism. Once again, “politics” is being twisted into a struggle between imperialist men and “anti-imperialist” men—even if those “anti-imperialist” men enslave women.
It’s now glaringly obvious that right-wing Islamist fundamentalism has become a major actor in world politics; that fact puts the pathological denial among leftists into stark relief. But we should be clear that Islamist radicalism is only one version of the right-wing “anti-imperialism” in motion today. It might be most accurate to say that right-wing Islamist insurgency is the leading edge of a worldwide phenomenon. Right wing populism, with fascist elements contending for vanguard leadership, is coming to life in country after country. Including much closer to home than Iraq.
Militant right-wing “anti imperialism” is growing in the U.S. White supremacists and fascists like Louis Beam, Matt Hale and Tom Metzger hate the neo-cons and Bush; they despise globalization’s New World Order. Therefore they study Left-led movements, coopt their language and even try to attract the activists working within them. They reason that, as Beam writes, “The New American Patriot will be neither left nor right, just a freeman fighting for liberty…The new politics of America is liberty from the NWO [New World Order] Police State and nothing more.”
Many neo-fascists and Christian fundamentalists loudly “support” Palestinian struggle against Israel, and Left activists in the solidarity movement find that they are forced to weed antisemites out of web forums and events. Organizers against the Patriot Acts are consciously building a coalition between the Left and Right. “Third Position” neo-fascists in Europe and North America actively petition Leftists and progressives to a join in a common platform opposing U.S. interventionism and hegemony in the world. Today, just as in Mussolini and Hitler’s time, many fascists claim a “spiritual kinship” to the natural world and claim to “defend” it. (“Ecology is for Aryans too,” says Tom Metzger.) Criticisms of the New World Order and its negative effects on the domestic social contract in the metropolis now crop up everywhere on the Right; they sometimes sound indistinguishable from Left anti-globalization arguments.
Remarkably, some of the hard Right’s leadership is even moderating its public positions on race in order to pave the way for potential “anti-capitalist” alliances with non-white movements. Perhaps the races should be separate, they say, but we should all unite against the common enemy—global capital. James Porazzo, head of the neo-nazi skinhead group the American Front, argues for a program of “White autonomy, Black autonomy, Brown autonomy and death to the current twisted system. The only other obvious route would be an eventual winner take all race war: I don’t think anyone with any sense would want that.”
A critique of Fourth Worldism
No more Negative Ned. Instead of critiquing Leftist practice and politics as I often do, I’m writing about something positive and hopeful this essay. To develop some PMA. I wrote a stupider version of this critique many years ago, from which I split off my July 17, 2017, piece called “San Cristobal and Zomia, an exercise in fantasy.” And like that essay, this commentary is not an official MRR column. It’s not Hooligan canon, but apocrypha.
Lenin formulated his theory of imperialism in 1900 which differentiates the world capitalist economy into the capitalist national centers of European empire and their exploited colonial periphery. In a Marxist anti-imperialist context, French social scientist Alfred Sauvy coined the term Third World in 1952 as an analog to the Third Estate of the French Revolution. Also jumping off from Leninist anti-imperialism, Mao propounded his Three Worlds Theory by 1974 in which the First World is the developed capitalist nations, the Second World is the socialist nations posing as an international alternative, and the Third World is the orthodox category of undeveloped, underdeveloped and developing nations. Starting in 1974, Immanuel Wallerstein charted the differentiation of the present world capitalist economy via the consolidation of nation-states and national economies into the fully developed core region, an undeveloped, underdeveloped and developing exploited periphery, and a semi-peripheral region in between. These tripartite schemas imply a fourth geographic tier, a Fourth World in Maoism and an outer periphery in the case of Wallerstein encompassing the marginal territories and peoples incapable of consolidating viable nation-states and national economies.
The left communist critique of Third World national liberation struggles—socialist or not—is that they substitute group identity for class struggle, to the benefit of entrenched local elites. The unity and emancipation of the national, racial, or ethnic group in question is elevated above the unity and emancipation of the international working class, to the advantage of that group’s ruling class and the preservation of capital. State power replaces workers power, national self-determination replaces class self-emancipation, and anti-imperialism replaces anti-capitalism.
I grew familiar with this International Communist Current-based critique during the Vietnam War. While I was impressed with the argument’s uncompromising purity I was also troubled by its lack of nuance and flexibility. Yes, the Vietnamese Communist Party was relentlessly centralizing, eventually purging and absorbing the broader, more populist Viet Cong. In the name of national unity, Communist Vietnam regularly suppressed and liquidated political dissidents (Trotskyists, anarchists), ethnic minorities (Hmong, Montagnards), and religious groups (Catholics, Buddhists). And both the NLF and NVA thought nothing of sacrificing vast numbers of Vietnamese civilians to achieve their military goals. But this was in the face of the United States, the world’s greatest military and economic superpower, which was more than willing to bomb Vietnam back to the stone age, slaughter millions of Vietnamese, pave the country over and convert it into a parking lot for capital, all in the name of “liberal democracy.” Some respect was due the Vietnamese people for their audacity and courage.
The Leninist Third World and Maoist Three Worlds of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s has since transmogrified into a neo-Marxist dependency analysis of Global North versus Global South. From Old Left to New Left, and particularly through the anti-Vietnam War movements and the New Communist Movement, support for national self-determination became a movement unto itself called Third Worldism. Comprised of developing nations emerging from the decolonization wave after the second World War, Third Worldism sought independence from and neutrality between the US/USSR superpower rivalry, a Nonaligned Movement intent not just on international political unity but also a vanguard role for autonomous socialism. In turn, the overlapping politics of Leninist Third World, Maoist Three Worlds, and non-aligned Third Worldism entered American anarchism after 1968, so much so that by the founding of Love and Rage circa 1989, national liberation struggles were critically embraced by a growing number of left anarchists. By 1996 and L&R’s demise, they had pioneered an uncritical acceptance of Chiapas, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and what would become the next wave of Third World national liberation struggles.
Alternately, embracing a schematic “quadrium quid” (fourth something) has given rise to a socialism that seeks to defend “indigenous peoples, stateless ethnicities and localist/autonomist political models—the ‘Fourth World’” against the ravages of capitalism and the nation-state. [Bill Weinberg, CounterVortex] This category includes hunter-gatherer, nomadic, pastoral, and certain subsistence farming peoples living outside the modern industrial system, various sub-populations excluded socially from the present international order, and minority populations residing in First World countries with Third World living standards. Socialist Fourth Worldism champions “secular, progressive anti-imperialist forces” around the globe and therefore supports libertarian socialist national liberation struggles, indigenous secessionist movements, and non-state resistance movements for local autonomy all fighting against the current world order.
Fourth Worldism has its problems, like Third Worldism, starting with its uncomfortable proximity to Fascism. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy proclaimed solidarity with “proletarian nations” against “bourgeois nations,” post war neo-fascism defended a “third way” beyond capitalism and Marxism, and Keith Preston’s white nationalist fascism calls itself pan-secessionism. The negative territory where Third World and Fourth World overlap brings to mind Robert Kaplan’s dystopian realpolitik in his essay The Coming Anarchy, which he subtitled ““how scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet” and which augers the rapid disintegration of existing nation-states. Gone are dreams of world revolution and socialist internationalism, replaced by the nightmare of ever-increasing fragmentation and powerlessness in the face of world capitalism. Or as Nicole Aschoff paraphrased in Jacobin #19 when critiquing “the small-scale, community-based models pushed by many international NGOs, who increasingly work hand-in-glove with multinational corporations and project the interests of Northern governments,” small is not necessarily beautiful.
Third World national liberation struggles also have fraught relationships with imperialism. Returning to Vietnam, the country was a client state of the Soviet Union, practices an Indochinese-wide imperialism, and often views its highland Fourth World peoples as threats. And Fourth World struggles have sometimes been allied with imperialism in response to repressive national liberation struggles—Montagnards in Vietnam, Hmong in Laos, Miskito in Nicaragua, ronda compesina in Peru, etc. Even contradictions between the EZLN and the Lacandons in Chiapas represent this conflict.
I’m dubious that a Maoist Third World will eventually rise up, surround, and overwhelm the capitalist First World in a town vs country struggle analogy, much less the possibility of some decentralized people’s war of global liberation against what Subcomandante Marcos (Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente/Subcomandante Galeano) called neoliberalism’s and globalization’s Fourth World War: It is not only in the mountains of southeastern Mexico that neoliberalism is being resisted. In other regions of Mexico, in Latin America, in the United States and in Canada, in the Europe of the Maastricht Treaty, in Africa, in Asia, and in Oceania, pockets of resistance are multiplying. Each has its own history, its specificities, its similarities, its demands, its struggles, its successes. If humanity wants to survive and improve, its only hope resides in these pockets made up of the excluded, the left-for-dead, the ‘disposable.’ But there is a positive territory where Third and Fourth Worlds overlap. Marcos comes out of the Latin American politics of indigenismo with an indigenous Marxism—an indigenous politics of the poor and working class—although he himself realizes that any Fourth World liberation will be piecemeal, if it happens at all. In my estimation such a liberation movement is, at best, a desperate rear-guard action hoping for mere survival in a world where capitalism threatens extinction and the nation-state portends annihilation. The EZLN’s practice of horizontal autonomy, mutual aid, indigenous Mayan leadership, women’s independence, and mandar obedeciendo in Chiapas are exemplary and inspirational, but remain largely curtailed.
The EZLN originated from the Ejército Insurgente Mexicano (Mexican Insurgent Army) and César Germán Yáñez Muñoz’s Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional (Forces of National Liberation) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Both the EIM and the FLN were orthodox Marxist-Leninist guerrilla forces of a decidedly Guevaraist bent that experienced ideological and organizational changes as they skirmished unsuccessfully against the Mexican state. The EZLN’s theory and practice evolved from decades of struggle—both social and armed—with Marcos being the Zapatista’s most prominent but by no means its sole leader. The situation of Kurdish Rojava is related but different, starting with Abdullah Öcalan’s Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). The PKK was rabidly Marxist-Leninist to the point of Stalinism/Maoism, with Öcalan creating a cult of personality around himself that would have made Stalin envious. Indeed, Stalin and Öcalan both favored the adoring nickname “uncle.” Öcalan and the PKK have been accused of engaging in intense ideological conflict, and at times open warfare against Kurdish tribal, right-wing, moderate, and Marxist elements. In becoming a paramilitary group, the PKK not only spearheaded integrating women into its guerrilla forces, it pioneered the use of female suicide bombers. As a founding member of the ultra-Maoist Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) the PKK advocated for a scorched earth “people’s war” strategy that rivaled Peru’s Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso in its violence.
The de facto autonomous region of Rojava in northern Syria is comprised of three self-governing Kurdish cantons (Afrin, Jazira, and Kobanî); defended in large part by the PKK-affiliated People’s Defense Units (YPG/J); and conferred by fiat with democratic confederalist politics by Chairman Öcalan. Democratic confederalism is the contrasting paradigm of the oppressed people. Democratic confederalism is a non-state social paradigm. It is not controlled by a state. At the same time, democratic confederalism is the cultural organizational blueprint of a democratic nation. Democratic confederalism is based on grassroots participation. Its decision making processes lie with the communities. Higher levels only serve the coordination and implementation of the will of the communities that send their delegates to the general assemblies. Originally derived from Murray Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism, democratic confederalism may have been bestowed upon Rojava by democratic centralist diktat. But Rojava and the YPG/J remain intimately entwined with the political fights between a myriad Kurdish parties, not to mention the overall nationalist struggle for a greater Kurdistan.
Both the ostensibly libertarian socialist political systems of Chiapas and Rojava champion women’s liberation, bottom-up autonomy, and assembly-style popular democracy. The EZLN’s socialism developed organically and gradually while the YPG/J’s was imposed almost overnight by decree. And whereas the EZLN/Chiapas struggle remains localized and contained, thus tending toward anarchism, the YPG/Rojava struggle continues to extend regionally and nationally, thus tending toward the nation-state. Both the EZLN and currently the PKK/YPG unequivocally reject Leninism, though neither are explicitly anarchist. The putative synthesis of Third World with Fourth World, of anarchism with libertarian Marxism being pioneered in Chiapas and Rojava are admirable and potentially far reaching. Whether they are capable of winning remains to be seen.
What Happened to Revolutionary Socialism?
BY OAKLANDSOCIALIST ON AUGUST 29, 2018 •
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez with right winger Margaret Hoover on “Firing Line”
Revolution and counter-revolution in Syria today
Take the issue of international working class solidarity: Today, with attacks on economic and political refugees going on throughout the world – from Greece and Italy to the US to Nicaragua and Brazil – such solidarity is more important than ever. And since Syrian refugees have borne the brunt of these attacks more than any others, it’s also necessary to understand what’s happening inside Syria. Yet what is the attitude of many socialists?
The Putin/Assad attack on the Syrian people. Some “socialists” support this counter revolution.
Rather than seeing that what’s happened in Syria is a counter-revolution, all too many socialists combine the failure to see the role and the experiences of the working class of Syria and a failure to simply investigate the facts. Instead, they hold the simplistic view that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. They either overtly or covertly support the counter revolution orchestrated by Assad, Putin and Rouhani. If they’d bother to actually investigate, they’d have discovered that, in actuality, US imperialism has been supporting Assad for years now! (See, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org) But actually investigating the facts isn’t necessary for them. Who needs facts when we have our world view, is their attitude.
Crisis of US capitalism and Trump
Domestically, they tend to take the same approach when it comes to the crisis of US capitalism in terms of its mainstream having lost control over its presidency. This loss of control is reflected in the unrelenting attacks on Trump in the capitalist media. “Treason” says John Brennan, former CIA director of Trump. “Enemy of the people,” says long time top Republican strategist Max Boot of Trump. On and on it goes in unprecedented attacks not from the left, but from the capitalist mainstream.
And what is the response from socialists?
“We don’t doubt that (Trump and Putin) may have collaborated,” comments one such socialist. “We just don’t care”. “All our elections are hacked by our enemies. Nothing different happened,” commented another. “What does it matter if America lost control of it’s president,” asked another. “You’re suggesting that collusion amongst oligarchs is going to lead to anything different than we’ve had for 200 years?” asks still another.
It’s hard to know even where to begin with such an attitude. On the one side, it shows the same mistaken approach as the “New Left” of the 1970s. How do revolutions develop if not often from a crisis at the top? But also, how do counter-revolutions develop? What was the forewarning of the counter revolutions like that in Chile in 1973 that led Pinochet to power or that in Iran in 1979 that led the mullahs to power?
One-man rule in US?
Is it irrelevant to what is happening in the US? What do we make of the opinion piece in the New York Times of July 18, 2018, that said we are about to see “martial law” here? Where, after all, is Trump headed but towards one-man rule? No, it’s not already determined. Not by far, but don’t these outlines have to be understood?
Not according to some socialists. “I think maybe instead of being concerned for the fate of bourgeois democracy you should be looking at ways to use this crisis to catapult the working class into power,” wrote one would-be revolutionary. As if the grounds on which we tread – the actual conditions in which we live and organize – don’t matter!
Support Syrian counter-revolution?
This is the same method which is used for overt or covert support for the counter revolution in Syria, starting with the refusal to investigate simple fact. Because the former and the present US presidents have criticized Assad, it is accepted without question that what’s happening there is an attempt at US-inspired “regime change”. In actual fact, US imperialism has been supporting Assad for years. (See this article and this web site.) Those who adopt that position also in effect operate on the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Therefore, they think, we should support Russian imperialism in its rivalry with US imperialism. But in the context of the Syrian revolution, this amounts to reversion to the old Stalinist view that the working class in countries like Syria are not the subjects of history; instead they are just pawns in the game of geopolitics, according to this view.
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