Public Discussion Meeting
A Free Retriever’s Digest and arbeidersstemmen.nl
Saturday 29 February 2020
Utrecht, The Netherlands
The wars in Syria and Libya do not only affect the population of these countries but the workers and jobless proletarians of Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt as well. The consequences are riots and revolts in these countries against the local oppressors and exploiters, sometimes strike movements that can open the perspective of a revolution.
The United States, Russia, Turkey and the countries of the European Union are implied in these wars as well. Sometimes by direct military intervention, more often by supporting local regimes, their oppositions or certain armies and militias. They all fight against each other for the control over the rich oil and gas resources. In addition, we see the attempts to draw profit from the flows of refugees caused by wars and poverty.
The workers, both those at work and the growing army of jobless worldwide, are the first victims of what in fact are wars between imperialist states. They are killed, wounded, traumatized and are left behind totally impoverished.
In the wealthier countries they ‘pay’ for the expenses of the imperialist war with a decline of their wages (at first with regards to the profits, subsequently in absolute terms), allowances, pensions, the degradation of medical and social care, and of education. Certain taxes and dues creep up slowly, work pressure rises, unemployment drops … on paper. Every new generation of youngsters in North Africa and the Middle East (about 30% of the population) serves as foot soldiers and cannon fodder, or rots away in slums. In wealthier countries the reintroduction of the draft service is being prepared; in the Netherlands it has never been abolished, since this year it applies to women as well.
After a brief introduction we discuss about the causes of these wars, their consequences, and in which way these can be put to an end.
The exact modalities are indicated in the attached invitation leaflet
The American assassination of Soleimani, the top general of the feared Iranian Republican Guard, has brought the world closer to major wars. The riots and protests in Lebanon, Iraq and in the second half of November in Iran have been replaced by war campaigns. The earlier protest movement took place in the middle of the world’s energy center, amid increasing military tensions, hidden and open warfare in Syria, Yemen, the Persian Gulf, and a while further, the war for the domination of Libya’s oil wealth.
When the riots crossed borders from Iraq to Iran, the possibility arose that in Iran the struggle would once again pass from the streets to the factories. In this way, the working proletarians would take the lead, just as they did at the end of 2018. The workers can bring to the struggle what is currently lacking, an organization. An organization of struggle run by those fighting themselves, by deciding on their struggle in mass meetings in the factory, or on the streets, by electing delegates to committees and a workers’ council, like at the sugar cane factory Haft Tapeh.
A first internationalist statement against the newly fanning flames of war over Syria has been published on the International Communist Tendency‘s website, which puts the latest maneuver by the Trump-administration, and its apparent complicity with the Erdoğan regime, in the context of global rivalries between the USA and Assad’s Russian patron reemerging as a great power in a regional alliance with Tehran.
About the creation of a Chinese-Russian bloc
The following article attempts to contribute to a discussion on the danger of the present imperialist tensions, conflicts and regional wars escalating into a world war. It criticizes positions taken by some internationalist groups who, while fully acknowledging the historic disintegration of both imperialist blocs of the “Cold War” period, tend to deny the possibility of an effective (counter-) tendency towards the formation of new imperialist blocs in a course towards a third world war, and/or fail to identify the latter.
Against the ICC’s theory of “decomposition, the highest stage of capitalism’s decadence” (1990), the author argues that a tendency towards “re-composition” of imperialist blocs is expressed by the formation of a new anti-US bloc around the axis Moscow-Beijing, strongly involving Iran as a regional power in its stand-off with the USA. It is claimed that this view is compatible with the approach of the question by the ICC’s proclaimed political ancestor, the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) in 1946.
The article highlights some confusion in the joint declaration recently issued by the GCCF and Internationalist Voice, which has been inspired by the particular theory of capitalism’s “decomposition”. Last but not least, it calls for an open discussion at international meetings among “organizations from the communist Left” that need to be “invited on the basis of clear criteria”.
Faced with the escalation of the imperialist tensions over the Persian Gulf area, highlighting the confrontation between the USA, Iran and their respective allies, we adopt a recent update article from the ICT website, followed by a joint declaration by two other proletarian internationalist groups; the ‘Gulf Coast Communist Fraction’ (USA) and ‘Internationalist Voice’.Continue reading “On the escalation of imperialist tensions in the Persian Gulf”
A bloody mess
An actualization by ‘Nuevo Curso’
From the Strait of Hormuz to the South China Sea, the U.S.A. are escalating tensions in the most important imperialist conflict zones, threatening to transform the trade war into a major military war. In the following we present a brief appreciation of this situation by the Spanish blog of the proletarian internationalist group ‘Emancipacion’.
A Press Review on the inter-imperialist standoff about Venezuela
After the fuss about the failed “humanitarian” aid operation, the economic crisis and the boycott by the United States drag on. As usual, the proletarians in particular suffer from a lack of basic necessities and medicines. In this case, they are also called upon to defend the interests of one of the two groups within the ruling class of Venezuela, those around the incumbent president Maduro (supported by the corrupt army summit, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran) and the self-proclaimed interim president Guaidó (supported by entrepreneurs and the US and — in an unprecedented action — the EU). This false choice is fought by (as far as known) all publications that defend the standpoint of proletarian internationalism, that is, those who invoke the Communist Left against both Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’, and against the defense of the Soviet Union by most Trotskyists as a ‘workers state’, despite its ‘degeneration’ and ‘bureaucratization’, later followed by a ‘critical’ defense of the Eastern European ‘popular democracies’ and other ‘socialist’ countries that participated in the Russian bloc.
‘Nuevo Curso’ on the ramifications of an inter-imperialist stand-off
The Spanish media seem to be infected by the triumphalism of the Venezuelan opposition: “In Venezuela there is no risk of a civil war, 90% of the population wants change”, Guaidó said on the cover of ‘El País’. (1) And if we were to take the media’s account seriously, Maduro’s regime would fall under the pressure of the demonstrations and the much awaited, but for the moment unseen, defection of the middle cadres of the army. Is that all? Or are there many things that escape from the media’s framework?
Crisis– Conflicts – Struggles – Populism (I.)
In A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.2#4 (August – September 2018) we have published the introductory section of this article: “Trump and Brexit: A new economic and imperialist orientation?” that sets out the question treated. Hereafter you’ll find the integral article, including its main dish: an introduction into the concept of capitalism’s successive “productive orders”. From this angle of attack reflections are developed on the characteristics of the present period and its perspectives. As the author has revised his overview table of capitalism’s four main productive orders, we include the updated version as an annex.