AUKUS: Another Preparation for Imperialist War

Statement and Analysis by the Internationalist Communists Oceania (September 22, 2021)

In the following we adopt the first statement by the ICT’s affiliates in Australia and Oceania on the overturning of imperialist alliances that has recently been manifested by the strategic agreement of the USA, Australia and the UK (dubbed ‘AUKUS’).

This US initiative, coming to the fore only weeks after their rout from Afghanistan, unmistakably steps up war preparations against the Chinese-Russian axis in the Indo-Pacific region (specifically focusing on the Chinese Sea), while keeping out the continental European and Canadian ‘NATO allies’ in the western hemisphere, France in the first place, that saw a substantial military-industrial contract with Australia on the production of submarines go up in smoke.

The exacerbation of inter-imperialist rivalries and conflicts on an ever larger scale puts the question of militarism and war high on the agenda again, and demands a clear and strong response by all groups and individuals defending proletarian internationalism.

The Editor, October 2, 2021.

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20 Years Since the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

A statement by ‘Il Partito Comunista’ (Florence) / ‘The Communist Party’

This month marks twenty years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The workers of the United States can expect a flood of patriotic drivel to mark the anniversary. Indeed, September 11 remembrance is a cottage industry in the United States, encompassing everyone from the media personalities who drone on about the tragedy every year to the sensitive entrepreneurs who sell 9/11 mementos to tourists in New York City. One only needs to spend a few minutes at the World Trade Center Memorial in Manhattan to experience this ghoulish, sanctimonious, for-profit remembrance.

This twisted form of national memory obscures the real meaning of the attacks. The events of September 11 were of great world-historical significance. This fact is especially clear on their twentieth anniversary, as the United States’ occupation of Afghanistan crumbles in front of our eyes. The September 11 attacks represented the first obvious crack in United States imperial power after the end of the Cold War. It has continued to disintegrate in the two decades since, and now nears collapse.

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The US Rout from Afghanistan

Statements and analyses from internationalist sources

The announced withdrawal by the USA and its allies from Afghanistan after 20 years of direct military presence has led to a takeover of the country by the Taliban with unprecedented speed in the last few weeks and days, leading, among others, to dramatic and chaotic scenes of mass flights that are presently reported in the world’s media by the hour. This blog post references and documents (first) statements by internationalist groups and circles on these events and their wider implications and significance. Continue to read an updated list of statements and analyses.

The editor, August 16, 2021.

Last updated: September 9, 2021.

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The Intifada of Class Unity or that of the Sacred Union?

A further Statement by Circolo Internazionalista (May 24, 2021)

«It is still too early to draw up an exhaustive balance sheet of recent events in Palestine, however, it is already possible to sketch an outline.

Since the U.S. of the Trump administration recognized the Israeli claim to Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state three years ago, the maneuvers and prodigious actions of the Israeli bourgeoisie to annex East Jerusalem have had a marked increase: new and massive settlements of Israeli settlers around areas inhabited by Palestinians; daily provocations, insults, assaults by far-right groups claiming to want to “purify” East Jerusalem of “Arabs” and their mosques, including Al-Aqsa; deliberations by Israeli courts rediscovering Jewish “property rights” on land on which 27 Palestinian families have been settled for more than 60 years and ruling on their eviction; and, most recently, the provocative closure by Israeli police of access to Muslim prayer sites during Ramadan. It is very probable that with the intensification of these bullying actions, which could not fail to trigger a reaction from the Palestinians, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to divert public opinion and the “opposition” parties in Israel from their difficulties, recomposing them under the sacred union for the defense against the historic “external enemy”. In this, Netanyahu’s game was completely successful. All he had to do was wait.» Continue reading “The Intifada of Class Unity or that of the Sacred Union?”

Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel

Demonstrating for calm and coexistence at the Oranim junction in south Jerusalem, May 13, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

Arbeidersstemmen (‘Worker’s Voices’), Amsterdam, May 25, 2021.

With hope and expectation, workers around the world have received the news on the joint demonstrations on bridges and traffic junctions of Arab and Israeli speakers. During the mutual bombings and pogroms back and forth, they protested hand in hand, as neighbors and fellow workers against terror and war.

After the armistice, by their participation in mass peace demonstrations, they expressed the fear that the powers on both sides of the borders speak of peace, but in reality are already preparing the next war. War preparations that require further intensification of the exploitation of all workers: border-crossing labor, digging tunnels, building missiles, surplus labor for the development and purchase of weapons systems. All this in addition to passing the costs of war and reconstruction on to the working and poor. Both the State of Israel, the PLO State in the West Bank and the Hamas State in Gaza feel empowered in their war efforts by the massive support of “their” populations blinded by nationalism. Without exception, these three states will continue to direct the terror of extremist militias and gangs against any resistance to the war preparations and intensified exploitation, even if this resistance invokes the “peace” and the “right of self-determination” as articulated by the leaders of the peace movement. Continue reading “Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel”

The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse

‘Circolo internazionalista’ on the proletarian perspective in the Middle East

Among the statements that have come to our attention on the latest escalation in the barbaric ‘Israeli-Palestinian’ conflict issued by a diversity of groups who lay claim to proletarian internationalism, we want to highlight one for its focus on an aspect of the situation that crucially differs from the previous rounds or ‘cycles’ in this seemingly perpetual imperialist stand-off: the mobilization of Arab Israelis, including strikes and demonstrations, not only in solidarity against the brutal maneuvers of the Israeli state in East Jerusalem, on the West Bank and against the Gaza strip, but also in defense to state sponsored repression and terrorism directed against themselves in the heart of the country.

The following article by the Internationalist Circle – “workers’ coalition” from Rome (Italy) on what may be regarded as a key factor to ending the bloody impasse: the refusal to follow any of the nationalist flags and the search for proletarian solidarity across religious, ethnic and national divides, has been written on the eve of the US-sponsored “truce” of Friday 21st.

The editor

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‘The economic necessity of imperialism’ (Anton Pannekoek, 1916)

From: ‘De Nieuwe Tijd’ (Vol.21 #5, May 5, 1916)

By way of an introduction

For a critique of the theory of the decadence of capitalism, Pannekoek is important because he has always opposed the view that capitalism would automatically and irreparably collapse. In “The Economic Necessity of Imperialism” (1916) he summarizes his critique of Luxemburg’s underpinning of the saturation of the markets at the hand of Marx’s reproduction diagrams. We will not go into this further, but do point out that the ICC’s theory of decadence relies on Luxemburg’s argument. Further, Pannekoek has taken down the tendency of the rate of profit to fall as a theoretical underpinning of Grossman’s and Mattick’s crises theory as well. Instead of an automatic and irreparable collapse of capitalism and an economic necessity of imperialism, Pannekoek argues that the periodic crises arise from the imbalance between economic factors inherent in capitalism. Instead of an economic necessity of imperialism, he posits a social and political necessity that follows from the power of big capital. Only at the margins of his reflections Pannekoek speaks of an end to capitalism in a then – in 1916 and 1946 respectively – distant future: through the exhaustion of the “material” conditions for the expansion of production. In 1916 these are “unlimited quantities” of raw materials in nature; in 1946 he already speaks of “the raw adventurous methods of capital – which on all continents are in the process of destroying the fertility of the earth”. Not unimportant, and even highly topical in the light of the current environmental and health crises. The second material condition mentioned by Pannekoek that capitalism would no longer be able to fulfill, is that of a labor force in “sufficient” quantities to expand production.
F.C., January 2021

(Last edited: March 15, 2021)

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The Tormented Land of the Cedars

G. Fontana (I.O.D.) on the Beirut explosion of August 4

The huge explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and caused hundreds of victims is only one of the last episodes of the permanent imperialist war. A war fueled by the contradictions of the capitalist mode of production, which has in fact turned the cedar country into a theater of death.

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Capitalism, Wars and Epidemics (III)

4. The destruction of health systems and of the ecosystem. The commodification of the world (Completed)

The outbreak of a violent pandemic, like Covid-19, has seemed to suddenly fall from the sky, like an umpteenth plague of Egypt. The U.S. economy seemed to be thriving, and unemployment was at a low ebb. Virtually everyone (except the homeless or the countless precarious workers) was going from home to work every day, hoping that everything would go well in the best possible of all capitalist worlds.

Contents:

a) New pandemics taking advantage of a capitalist health system adrift (page 2)
b) The agriculture of death: Toxic nutrition, health scourges of “obese capital” (page 3)
c) Commodification, the permanent war of capital against nature (page 4)

Newly added sections: b) and c)
Last updated: December 16, 2020.

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Capitalism, Wars and Epidemics (II)

The second part of this contribution opens with a historical sketch of wars and epidemics from capitalism’s early expansion since the turn of the 16th Century: the discovery of the “West Indies” and the ensuing conquest of the Americas by Europe’s incipient colonialism, as well as its  expansion to Africa and the “East Indies”, until the era of modern imperialism, since the First World War. It focuses on the ‘natural’ spread of lethal diseases and epidemics as a consequence of the interaction of hitherto physically separated populations across continents, under the conditions of a merciless exploitation of slave and forced labor.

It continues by developing on biological warfare that only became systematically developed in the context of modern imperialism by all major rivaling powers, alongside chemical and – after WW-2 – in addition to nuclear warfare. Military-scientific programs for ‘weaponizing’ a diversity of biological agents (bacteria and viruses, like for instance anthrax, botulinum, plague or Ebola) and the yet limited attempts at “testing” and “applying” them in war conflicts are briefly reviewed, including the telling example of the Aun sect in Japan (formally a non-state actor).

This part concludes with some theses for discussion, and a brief rejection of the speculation that the present Covid-19 pandemic would have originated from Chinese military laboratory experiments.

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