For the defeat of Imperialism in the Middle East

Sunday, 23 February 2020 12:24

For the defeat of Imperialism in the Middle East

Stop USA’s war machinery

 COR Argentina - January 2020

Thursday 2nd January at dawn. Assassin drones sent by Trump under the advise of the Yankee military high command shoot on the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who dies along with several collaborators. Soleimani was in Baghdad and was executed with no previous trial, like many others under imperialist fire. But in this case, we are talking about an officer of a foreign State and within the territory of another State –in the papers independent, although it is clear that the occupation of Irak on behalf of the Yankees has never ceased.

Trump hesitates. His policy was to withdraw the American troop out of the Middle East, including Afghanistan and Iraq. He wants to take advantage of the fact that the USA don’t depend so much on the oil of the region, thanks to the “fracking revolution” within their own territory and an eventual “recovery" of Venezuela. But the high commands of the Pentagon convince him of responding to the attack on the American Embassy in Iraq, that took place the last day of 2019. This attack had peculiarities: it was a popular demonstration against the American presence in Iraq. Trump accepts that its necessary to respond and orders the assassination of the Iranian General. It is an act of war against another State, outside any umbrella of imperialist international legality. It is a brutal demonstration of force on behalf of the imperialist Power that leads the world.

But the killing actually shows the weakness of the US. Of course, not from the military point of view, where its supremacy is uncontestable, at least in the mid-term. It is a weakness of its position in the State system, configured as superstructure of global capitalism. It is a structural weakness, due to the deepening of imperialist decomposition, and it’s as well determined by the dangerous cracking of the postwar balance. The attack against Soleimani was not included in any action plan. The events that happened later show it. The Iraqi Parliament voted a request for the Prime Minister “in charge” (a definition itself) Adel Abdul Mahdi –that had given up the job under the pressure of the popular demonstrations in November- to start the process of American troops out of the country. The high command of American forces in Iraq answered in a letter that they would get out, but they requested that they did it in order. Then the Pentagon discredited they command “in the field”, denying any initiative of troops withdrawal. Of course, that withdrawal would ultimately configure a resounding victory for Iran and a huge defeat for the USA.


Mass processes


The American weakness doesn’t contradict the weakness of the Iranian government itself. Obviously, it is a semi-colony that cannot confront imperialism in an open war. But this weakness also finds its roots in the situation of national sub-bourgeoisies within the capitalist crisis, who receive the pressure of imperialist aggressions, on the one hand, and, on the other, of mass mobilizations –that in Iran took were very strong in November, in the frame of a regional process that also crosses Lebanon, Iraq and, at the same time, there are class struggle processes going on in Latin America and the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Africa, Europe, etc.

The element of mass processes is qualitative to analyze the ongoing conflict. If we go back to the previous processes (2010-2011) that took place in the region after the economic outburst of 2008, with the downfall of many dictators that governed their countries with iron fist (Ben Ali in Tunisia, Gaddafi in Libya, Mubarak in Egypt) we may see how those processes leaded to several failed way outs –from the coup in Egypt to the Tunisian semi-democratic semi-Bonapartism. But what predominated was the decomposition of the States in their most brutal way: civil war in Syria and the upsurge of ISIS, an actual anti-State. This decomposition blocked out the paths for mass processes through cooptation by counterrevolutionary bourgeois or petty bourgeois leaderships. Once again, the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat has appeared as the crisis of humanity. The confusion of aims of the new generation of fighters in this crisis situation determines the tortuous element of the process.

Now, the upraise of ISIS and the civil war in Syria forced imperialism to agree with old enemies in order to try to stop the threat of this monstrosity, against the very idea of nation-State, that is the form of class domination of the bourgeoisie. So, the anti-ISIS fronts and the compromises with Russia (and Iran) are born to limit this. In the middle, there are other very important events like the failed coup in Turkey and the development of autonomic experiences in Kurdistan, which we will not deal with in this article. It is important to underline that the current stationing of American troops in Iraq happened under the pretext of this war against ISIS. In 2019 imperialist forces announce the end of ISIS. But with its defeat, any of the contradictions in the region have been closed and this is proved by this current military escalation with Iran.




A lot has been said about this term to describe Iran’s policy in the region in the last years. Superficially, it is described as an asymmetric war policy between a military weak State and the main world Power, only considering the field of tactics. Vietnamization so understood would be the use of guerrilla war or “proxy” confrontation (through others). Without denying this tactic element, Soleimani was the General in charge of a more complex challenge: to unify the different ethnic and religious factions in Iraq and, in a more general way, of the whole region with the only aim of freeing it from the “great Satan" that is America. In fact, that is the official line that Iran has made public with the declarations of Ayatollah Jamenei. So we are talking about a policy that aims to give a national liberation goal to the religious movements by building up the so called “resistance front", that includes Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and other bourgeois or petty bourgeois groupings. This policy on behalf of Soleimani, and its relative success, could be one of the most important motives for his assassination, above all, taking into account the immediate cause that lead to it was the demonstration against the American Embassy in Baghdad, that made the American administration evacuate its diplomatic staff. Now, the Iranian’s government policy does not aim national liberation of the peoples of the Middle East, but rather the strengthening of a semi State able to bargain with imperialism, using as cannon fodder the heroic resistances of Palestine and Iraq, and supporting without hesitations one of the main war criminals in the region, Al Assad, only after Trump, Obama and the Israeli  governments. The negotiations for the nuclear plan are a good example of the class character and the counterrevolutionary nature of this policy.

The quagmire in Iraq resounds like the situation in Vietnam, that is real. As we said before, even with a Trump administration looking forward to leave the occupation behind, it can´t be done now, nor any way put can be found to withdraw without that being understood as a huge defeat for imperialism. Therefore, now it is possible that the ongoing conflict continues to escalate. Specially now, after the first Iranian response, that consisted in a bombing of two military bases in Iraq on Janury 8th, that although quite limited were still a humiliation for the US. Trumps response has limited to minimize the damage caused by these bombardments and to announce new economic sanctions; while he asks the rest of the imperialist Powers to commit to isolate Iran and abandon the nuclear agreement by imposing sanctions, and request the NATO a more active intervention in the region.


Uncertain scenario


A lot has been said about the American domestic front as a reason for the attack. We mean the consideration regarding the impeachment process against Trump and the presidential elections. Although this might have an influence, the strategic elements (or of weakness of this strategy) we believe are more important so as to develop a characterization of the possible new war of American imperialism. And here there exists a determining factor of the so-called domestic front, which is the inability of the imperialist State to win over a solid social base –in which the labor aristocracy must play a role- to launch a large-scale military offensive. We think that the conquest of such a social base, which was one of Trump’s aims, has not been achieved, as we can see in the development of a variety of labor conflicts in industry, services and public workers, and as it is also shown by demonstrations against an intervention in Iran that took place the first weekend of January, immediately after Soleimani’s killing, in many cities of the US. For the time being the demonstrations have not been massive, but they open the possibility of the development of a mobilization against a greater imperialist intervention.

Another important factor are the economic consequences of the war, that could accelerate the entrance in a recession of the global economy, which has been forecasted and, up to now, is being retarded. Geopolitical instability has shaken financial and commodity markets. This instability becomes uncertainty and it is pointed put by the withdrawal of some NATO allies of their troops in Iraq, the European lack of definition in face of the events and even Israeli hesitations towards the assassination of Soleimani. If for some time we have been assessing the contradictions of Trump’s policy at implementing a turn of imperialist policy, today come up some doubts about the possibility of a failure that leads the cracking of the postwar balance to a much more chaotic world situation.


Out imperialism of the Middle East


Iraq has been military occupied for the last 17 years. Palestine, since 1948, by the Israeli creature that responds to the imperialist needs of control over the Middle East. Imperialist plundering of the region has been going on for a long time, but the ongoing imperialist decomposition, worsened by the global crisis, accelerates the situation of unbalance of the system of States and the decomposition of the nation-State. In face of this, mass responses have not missed. They have come out in a spontaneous way and with confusion of aims, which allowed counterrevolutionary leaderships to lead the different national processes to dead ends. But imperialism has not been able to close the crisis and, therefore, the processes open up again placing before revolutionaries the main challenge to intervene decisively in them, so as to draw lessons from the previous defeats and make them useful to develop a transitional program between the current capitalist decomposition and the socialist future of humanity. The centrality of the working class in these processes is marked by the need to dispute bourgeois and petty bourgeois leaderships the leading role against imperialism. For that, internationalist policy and leadership are needed, working for the unity of the proletariat of the region, centered in the oil workers, along with the working class of the imperialist countries, especially the USA. Therefore, it is necessary that revolutionaries fight for the American and European unions to declare the stoppage of the imperialist war machinery, by occupying factories and blocking the supply of troops established in the region and Israel. In the Latin American countries, besides developing street demonstrations and denounce the complicity of Fernández, Bolsonaro, Piñera and other sepoys, we must propose the stoppage of imperialist industries against the intervention in the Middle East. This struggle is linked to the fight against the IMF’s reforms that those governments intend to apply in our region. We must develop the organization and the struggle to force all the imperialist troops to withdraw from the Middle East and the other semicolonial countries. For the military defeat of the US in Iraq and Iran. For the destruction of Israel. For a Federation of Socialist Republics in the Middle East. For the reconstruction of the IV International.

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  • Let’s Organize a working-class response to the NATO-Russia conflict

    February 24, 2022

    Putin's government carried out a military action called "special military operation" in Ukraine, claiming a defense in the pro-Russian region of Donbass. Russia bombed military and strategic targets in Ukraine and threatens with an invasion of its troops from different flanks into a besieged Ukraine.

    Putin justifies the attack by saying that he seeks to guarantee the independence of the self-proclaimed "people's republics" of Donetsk and Lugansk, which for the last 8 years have been attacked by the Ukrainian army. In this way it is trying to destabilize the Ukrainian government, which is a NATO ally.

    The response of US imperialism and the EU is greater economic sanctions so that Putin desists from his warlike advance. On the other hand, China is trying to balance this situation of chaos.

    Faced with this scenario, revolutionaries must intervene by proposing a workers' solution to the crisis that has opened up, to intervene independently in a world situation marked by the economic crisis and accelerated by the pandemic. We must agitate among the workers as a whole that this is not our war, that it is totally contrary to the historical interests of the proletariat. The interests pursued by NATO and imperialism are those of assimilating the former workers' states as a semi-colony. On the side of Putin's government, they seek to sustain a restorationist bureaucracy at the service of a proto-bourgeoisie that is not willing, in its transition to capitalism, to be a plain semi-colony.

    The "severe economic sanctions" posed by imperialism will be paid for at the cost of greater exploitation of our class, not only in its own countries, but of the plundering of the semicolonies. That is why we must unite the workers against the governments in office and prevent, with workers' methods, the military machine from being set in motion to defend imperialist interests. In the region in conflict, we must seek unity between the Ukrainian and Russian proletariat to stop the capitalist restoration in course, expropriate the proto-bourgeoisie and complete the revolutionary tasks that were left unfinished. This, starting from recovering the most advanced lessons of the revolutionary process of October, such as the formation of federations as the state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, lessons that -not by chance- both, imperialism and Putin and the Russian restorationists hate and want to erase from history.

    This conflict is taking place in the midst of a decomposition of imperialism and a process of assimilation of the former workers' states. American imperialism is trying to recover world hegemony, showing its historical weakness, while the bureaucracies in command of the former workers' states of Russia and China are trying to maintain the place conquered within the capitalist system in crisis.

    Those of us who claim to be revolutionary Marxists make an urgent call on the currents that still uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat to an International Conference to discuss a common internationalist program and actions. 


    COR Chile - LOI Brasil - COR Argentina

  • New Zionist colonialist offensive

    Full support to the Palestinian struggle

    The Zionist bombardments of the Gaza Strip launched by Netanyahu and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) on Tuesday May 11th and Wednesday May 12th are the most recent acts of an escalation in the Zionist offensive to definitively strip the Palestinians of their right to national self-determination. For imperialism and Israel, the surprise was the capacity of Hamas to respond to the provocations with attacks on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, something that had not happened for years. The launching of rockets whose offensive capacity is tiny compared to the firepower of the Israeli air force, far from what the Zionist propaganda portrays, is simply a response to the new colonialist offensive of Zionism.



    Immediate causes


    The elements of the conjuncture that ignited the clashes are related to a series of provocations mounted by the Israeli entity and by Zionist ultra-right movements. On Monday 5/10, the Israeli Supreme Court was to rule on a lawsuit to evict Palestinian inhabitants of the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, in East Jerusalem. In the end, the court did not issue its decision on that day, but that fact evoked the metaphor of the dispossession of a people from its territory, surprisingly inciting celebratory mobilizations, since every May 10 Zionism "celebrates" its occupation of East Jerusalem in the so-called 6-day war of 1967. This year, the mobilization was organized by the ultra-right and was intended to intimidate not only the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city, but also to outrage Muslim religious temples. The Zionist security forces, for their part, exerted pressure on the Palestinian population by restricting the possibility of gathering around the temples, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the grounds of anti-COVID health measures. Of course, while declaiming that the Israeli population has already reached herd immunity thanks to the mass vaccination supported by the Zionists and imperialism, we can ask ourselves... how many Palestinians have been vaccinated? Yet another metaphor of this rotten system. However, the provocations didn’t remain unanswered: the Palestinians confronted the security forces in the old city of Jerusalem, the ultra-right march had to be diverted by the authorities, and in the face of the repression of the Palestinian demonstrations, the armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad began the rocket attack on Jerusalem, which continued the following day on the economic capital, the "invulnerable" Tel Aviv, putting the Israeli "iron dome" anti-projectile shield to test.


    After the rockets were launched, the IDF advanced and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, with clashes also occurring in the West Bank (western bank of the Jordan River) and, another new development, clashes within Israel itself in cities with large Arab populations such as Lod. Over time, demonstrations in support of the Palestinians have spread to other cities in the Arab world, such as Amman (Jordan) and Beirut (Lebanon), and even to London, Chicago and other European and US cities. At the time of writing, Israeli bombardments and the launching of rockets from the Palestinian side continue, with a toll of at least 65 Palestinians, among them 14 children, and 7 Israelis dead (El País, 5/12) and hundreds of wounded.


    To complete the picture, it’s also necessary to take into account the political crises affecting both Israel and the PA. Israel is coming from 4 failed elections, which have so far failed to establish a government majority within its parliamentary system, although they have registered a shift to the right and extreme right of the possible coalitions, pressuring the government to a hard line, more and more prone to complete the ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile, Abbas of the Fatah movement, the current "virtual" president of a PA without territorial control, decided to postpone the PA elections, triggering a crisis with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is estimated to be in a position to win those elections.


    War in Palestinian territory


    It’s necessary to remember that before the Zionist occupation, which began before the creation of Israel, the territory where the Zionist enclave and the semi-occupied Palestinian territories are located today, was the historic Palestine. After the partition, as it was literally called by the UN, Israel not only evicted the Palestinian inhabitants that populated its "half", but has been engaged in annexing the rest of the territory. In the 1967 war, it invaded East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, along with the Golan Heights (Syria) and the Sinai (Egypt). After various peace agreements, from Camp David to Oslo, the project of US imperialism was to try to negotiate a status quo by creating a phantom Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern, under Israeli tutelage, what would be a future Palestinian state in the first 3 territories. It should be noted that the Gaza Strip, on the one hand, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem, on the other, have no territorial continuity whatsoever: the Israeli territory separates them. This fraud of a plan, which later acquired the name of road map, was not even carried out, with the hard wing of Zionism advancing the colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem through the movement of settlers and the establishment of checkpoints. Today, 220,000 Zionist settlers have taken up residence in the "Palestinian part" of Jerusalem, claiming the right to "return" to pre-partition lands, a right they deny to Palestinians not only from the semi-occupied territories, but from refugee camps in Arab countries and those who emigrated to the rest of the world.


    Under Donald Trump’s administration, Netanyahu and Israel achieved a major breakthrough which was the recognition of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital, with the US establishing its embassy in the city. This changed the status and showed an even more open turn of imperialism in favor of Zionism and blocked any attempt to negotiate any kind of peace agreement. This line was followed by several Arab countries, such as Morocco and several states of the Persian Gulf, and also had an important support in the dictatorship of General Al-Sisi in Egypt, which sealed the western border to the Gaza Strip, the only Palestinian territory where the Israeli security forces have no control, although it’s actually an open-air prison besieged by Zionist planes, which today unload their bombs on the population.


    Today, there’s a great mystery regarding Joe Biden's plan for the region. While discursively he has shown himself to be tending to a greater balance in an attempt to resume negotiations, the current conflict is a litmus test of his ability to discipline the extreme Zionist wing and at the same time try to liquidate through negotiations the Palestinian national liberation aspirations under the permanent imperialist tutelage of the PA or any other artifact that serves those ends. The breakdown of the post-war institutions, which in fact created Israel (UN), is the structural problem it faces in providing any way out for the problem.


    For the defeat of Israel


    The proletariat of the whole world and its vanguard must be clear that this is not a confrontation "of centuries" (Zionism began to colonize Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century and Israel was created in 1948) between two peoples but a struggle between an oppressed nation and the establishment of an imperialist enclave in the heart of the Middle East to control its strategic interests and oil. Zionism is a reactionary ideology and movement, which postulated a reactionary way out for the Jewish people, persecuted for centuries, based on the colonization of a territory inhabited by another people and to defend the interests of imperialism. For this reason, we say that Israel is not even a bourgeois state properly speaking, but an imperialist spawn created at the moment of its greatest decomposition. The revolutionaries and the vanguard of the working class must intervene in this conflict on the side of the Palestinians, with actions that affect imperialism and its military machine in production, such as the stoppage in the imperialist industries and the blockade of the transports destined to or coming from Israel. We must support all the mobilizations for the end of the Israeli bombings, for the end of the blockade of Gaza and for the withdrawal of the checkpoints and colonies from Jerusalem and the West Bank. The workers of the countries of the region, first of all their central battalions of the oil branch, hold the key to advance in the expulsion of imperialism from Syria, Iraq, Libya and, of course, Palestine, fighting against the Arab bourgeois governments that are accomplices and partners of imperialism. They have a great ally in, and must seek the support of, the workers movement of Europe and the US, who suffer the attacks of imperialism to unload its crisis and the costs of the pandemic.



    For the destruction of the State of Israel!

    For a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East and the Maghreb!


    (first published in Spanish on May 13th)

  • USA: First measures of the new administration

    Joe Biden finally assumed the presidency on Wednesday, January 20th. In the midst of a pompous show of Hollywood and music industry stars, which failed to hide the militarization of the protocol act with the presence of 25,000 members of the National Guard, Biden and his vice Kamala Harris were sworn into office. The challenges of the new administration are enormous: after the failure of previous administrations, it will try to reverse the decline of US hegemony in its role as the world's leading imperialist power. We should not forget that Biden was part of the Obama administration as vice-president, and previously, from the Senate, he supported Bush Jr.'s warmongering and other imperialist adventures of both parties. The situation is urgent, so the first measures are aimed at curbing the economic crisis accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to bring the health situation under a minimum control and continue with the stimulus policies. All this, in the midst of the deterioration of relations with the rest of the world determined by the economic antagonisms established by the crisis and by Trump's erratic foreign policy and, most recently, in the urgency of facing an unprecedented crisis of the institutions of imperialist democracy left by 2020 and the occupation of the Capitol on 1/6.


    Pandemic and economic crisis

    The curve that the imperialists are looking at is not so much that of contagions and deaths due to COVID-19, but that of the variation of GDP and the employment of workforce. The recovery, after the abrupt fall between February and April 2020, started relatively strong, but has been moderating until reaching a quasi-plateau. GDP growth in the last quarter of 2020 barely exceeded 1%. The country has recovered just over half of the 22 million nonfarm jobs lost between February and April 2020. The latest January number yields the creation of a meager 49,000 new jobs, and a downward revision to the previous 3 months' data. The balance sheet for the Trump era as a whole shows a red of 2,100,000 jobs lost since he took office in early 2017 (Washington Post, 2/6/2021).


    (See chart 1)


    Equally alarming is the accumulation of debt that has been recorded as a result of the imperialist policies to try to find a way out of the 2008 crisis, which has been raised to the nth power with the stimulus policies implemented by the various imperialist states to face the pandemic and through the mechanism of the private financial system, leading to twin bubbles between stocks and official debt. The tendency to weaken the dollar, expressed in the rise of the so-called commodities (generic goods used as raw materials and traded in bulk as metals, oil and grains) and of the money-metals (gold and silver), is another face of this crisis of indebtedness as well as of the deterioration of the world hegemony of American imperialism.

    To size up the problem, a Bankia study from last December indicates that "according to a recent report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF), global public and private sector debt grew by $15 trillion, to a total of $277 trillion in 2020, the highest since the beginning of the historical series. As a percentage of GDP, the IIF projects global debt to jump to 365% this year, up from 320% at the end of 2019 and 315% five years earlier." It continues, "Of particular note is the US, which implemented a fiscal stimulus package of 13% of GDP, as well as the availability of multiple corporate credit windows from the Fed. The country accounted for about half of the debt increase in the group of developed countries, with the government debt ratio at around 125% of GDP, levels not seen since World War II."


    (See chart 2)


    Among Biden's first measures the continuity of these fiscal and monetary stimulus policies, with a new $1.9 billion stimulus plan for coronavirus assistance stands out. The package was enabled with the approval of the budget in the Senate on Friday 2/5, the first legislative initiative of the new legislature, which included the tie-breaking vote of the Vice-President (after the elections, the Senate was formed 50/50 by representatives of the DP and the RP). The difference is that Biden intends to give this stimulus by combining it with an aggressive health policy, ranging from the ridiculous "100 days of face mask" which he launched as one of his first presidential executive orders, to the massive vaccination plan, which is at the same time a big wink to the pharmaceutical industry, one of the main imperialist lobbies.


    Foreign policy

    In this field, there’s a continuity in the aggressive line towards China, which the Democrats had already launched with their "Asian pivot" under Obama. There is a "state agreement" between both parties and the entire imperialist establishment on the need to advance on China, the differences have to do with the how. Trump's trade war based on tariffs to negotiate foreign trade agreements has not been positively assed by the bourgeoisie, which is betting on an even harsher policy, which includes an offensive on third semi-colonial countries, to displace the influence that China has been winning through finances and infrastructure projects (new silk road). The policy towards Latin America maintains its hostility towards Venezuela and a carrot and stick policy to support the restorationist measures in Cuba, while seeking to discipline the entire region through a greater influence of the IMF (Chile, Argentina, Ecuador). As for the Middle East, it’s a more difficult tangle to untangle, but for the moment Biden has suspended the policy of withdrawal that Trump had been implementing. This can be seen in the re-evaluation of the line towards the Israeli enclave (which was strongly supported by Trump in the last 4 years), which tends to lean again on alliances with other bourgeois factions in the region, reviving Obama's policy, while supporting, veiled or not, Israel's reactionary offensives on Syria and Palestinian territory. So is the security policy towards Europe based on NATO. Closely related to the latter is the major offensive towards the Russian government, to which Biden came out to exert strong pressure due to the Navalni case. Many definitions are lacking in relation to foreign policy in Asia, although the coup d'état in Myanmar/Burma has accelerated the confrontation between the Sino-Russian bloc with the US and its allies in the UN.

    In general terms, we maintain that the multilateralism that Biden is rehearsing by going back on all Trump's measures of rupture with the post-war international institutions such as the WHO, the Paris agreement, the questioning of the WTO, lacks for the moment a strategic axis. It’s impossible to turn back history, even less so when the accelerating effects of the decomposition of imperialism since 2008 have continued their sapping work, and continue to do so to date. In any case, although the advance on the assimilation of the former workers' states -above all China, and to a lesser extent Russi- and the establishment of a new capital-labor relations to increase the rate of exploitation trying to reverse the fall in the rate of profit are general aims, they appear as unresolved tasks that U.S. imperialism must face if it intends to stop its own fall. These are not easy tasks and it faces the resistance of the anti-imperialist struggles of the working class and the oppressed peoples who have been shaking the planet, from Tunisia, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, India and Lebanon, passing through Belarus, France and Italy, to Chile and all Latin America.


    The boiler

    The erosion of the institutions of imperialist democracy, mirror of the bourgeois and petty bourgeois sectors, of the semicolonies and of the former workers states that undertake the program of assimilation as their own under the garb of the promises of bourgeois democracy, is the main concern for Biden and his new administration. He must face the impeachment of Trump under this optic, which is not simple, but even more serious is the problem of the deterioration of the powers of the State and the relationship of the military-bureaucratic apparatus with the masses in the midst of the prevailing crisis and social decomposition. For the moment, the first measure has been to advance in the anti-terrorist agenda, with the support of the Republicans, something that should not surprise us since it was Bush (Jr.) who initiated this policy after the attack on the twin towers. The advance in the repressive policy of the State seems to be the way out, confirming that the Bonapartist tendencies generated by the immanent dynamics of capitalism are deployed over the personalities of the personages of capital. The fact that the first measures have been taken through decrees (executive orders), something that attracted the attention of Biden's staunchest supporters, goes in the same direction. And the fact is that the institutional recomposition of imperialist democracy cannot go through any other path, contrary to the illusions of the so-called progressives, the supposed left wing of the DP. As Engels indicated in his letter to Marx of April 13, 1866, "... Bonapartism is after all the real religion of the modern bourgeoisie". And the last 4 years of Trump's government in the US have served to expose the character of that imperialist democracy managed by an elite, which reassured many because "it was not going to let Trump do whatever". Bonapartism does not mean personal rule, although it can take that form. We take here another quote from Engels: "... in the modern Bonapartist monarchy the real governing power lies in the hands of a special caste of army officers and state officials.... The independence of this caste, which appears to occupy a position outside and, so to speak, above society, gives the state the semblance of independence in relation to society" (F. Engels, The housing question). Let us recall that, in the political theory of the enlightenment that underlies the American constitution, the President fulfills this role of monarch.

    After the counterrevolutionary action of January 6th, an important part of the centrist left at the international level has fallen into the error of focusing the tactics on the need to confront fascism, coups or proto-fascism embodied in the pro-Trump forces: this is a serious mistake because the greatest danger is the way in which the forces of the political elite, which directs the apparatus of the Yankee State, will use the events to rearrange its structures in search of a bestial offensive against the working class and the oppressed peoples of the planet. Any anti-fascist united front or similar with sectors of the bourgeoisie is nothing more than a capitulation to the class enemy.

    The challenge of rebuilding the institutions also implies facing the political and social polarization that has its origin in the economic-social bases, collapsed by the capitalist crisis. To this end, Biden's stimulus plan includes an increase in the minimum wage and a check of US$ 1,400 per person, which still generates debate between the government and big business, as well as within the divided Democratic Party (DP). These concessions are not only the result of the impulse of a sort of faded neo-Keynesianism, but are a response to a series of struggles that the American working class has been sustaining. The reasons are plentiful, all related to the deterioration of living conditions since the 2008 crisis and the recession generated by the pandemic: for health and safety conditions in the workplace, for wages, for unionization in companies and unorganized industries and companies. The large mobilizations against the police and racism after the assassination of George Floyd also had an important influence, especially in manufacturing industries where African-American and Latino workers are prevalent.

    The last months of 2020, the influence of the reformist/counter-revolutionary leaderships of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the so-called progressives of the DP leaded these movements behind the electoral campaign, attributing to their main figures (Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar) who serve as the left wing of the ruling bloc in the House of Representatives of Congress (lower house), the victory in the Midwestern states reversing the results of 2016. In terms of class struggle, this led to the apparent paradox that while the right wing of the Democratic party, with Biden at the lead, won the presidency and the reactionary supporters of Trumpism showed muscle in the streets, its maximum expression being the 1/6 capitol takeover, while the anti-police and working-class movements turned to electoral expectations. This should not be seen as a snapshot: at the beginning of 2021, things have changed and we are witnessing new and important strikes, such as that of the workers of the fruit and vegetable market of New York, who through a strike of a little less than a week achieved a wage increase (although not of U$S 1/hour as they demanded) and stopped the employers' intention to increase the cost for health care. Union organizing processes are also taking place in companies such as Amazon and the German auto parts company Borgers in Ohio, and an important struggle against the return to on-site classes without adequate health and safety measures in several states.


    Leadership question

    It’s possible that the rank and file workers who are part of these conflicts may consider that Trump's exit from the government poses better conditions for struggle, but the vanguard should not be fooled by the DSA and other counterrevolutionary leaderships that offer as an orientation to "dispute" the Democratic government from within, pressing on the one hand for greater concessions from Biden, while on the other they defend a united front against fascism and the extreme right, putting emphasis on the institutional recomposition under a supposedly democratic prism. This is a deadly trap for the proletariat and the impoverished mass sectors, for the youth, minorities and immigrants in the US. The vanguard of our class must face the struggle to break the tutelage of that political elite of imperialist democracy in putrefaction over the North-American proletariat, tutelage exercised through the DP and the trade union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO. The challenge is to conquer class independence on the basis of a workers' program of a way out of the crisis and of a revolutionary leadership that confronts the State and proposes strategic unity with the oppressed peoples of the world behind the banner of the anti-imperialist struggle. It will be a decisive step in the reconstruction of the Fourth International and its North American section. With this aim, we propose to the revolutionary currents that defend the program of the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world level that we promote in common an international conference for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution.


    COR Chile - LOI Brasil - COR Argentina

  • Imperialist democracy, a cracked shell

    Statement of the TRFI

    Imperialist democracy, a cracked shell


    The assault on the Capitol in Washington, the seat of the US Congress, on Wednesday January 6th, shook the elite who run the most powerful capitalist country on the planet to its core. The institutional corrosion that has been going on for several decades, but which accelerated after the crisis of 2008, is taking a new leap.


    The events of January 6th were a counter-revolutionary action, carried out by parastatal groups but encouraged by the head of the imperialist State itself, Trump, and with the complicity of the police and other regular forces of repression. A farce of the "march on Rome," which was not intended to seize power in a kind of self-coup, but to carry out a demonstration of forces to mark territory for the establishment that leads imperialist democracy, beginning with the elite of the Republican Party itself, who had just broken up with Trump by refusing to reject Biden's certification as the elected president by mandate of the electoral college. It is clear that, after losing the second round to elect the two Senators of the state of Georgia, and therefore the control of both legislative chambers, the action of the Trump movement on Wednesday January 6th, has demolished what was left of the RP, one of the two pillars of imperialist democracy. We had already commented on our aftermath of the presidential elections that the high voter turnout left the Democratic Party in crisis as well, since US democracy is designed as an elite system: the seizure of the Capitol was a direct action, weapons in hand, against this elite. And it was promoted by the movement that brought Trump to power in 2016, based on petty-bourgeois and underclass sectors and whose precedent was the Tea Party. A clearly reactionary movement, that is fed by the failure of imperialism to give the masses a way out in view of the depth of its historic crisis, which accelerated in 2008 and deepened even more in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and the entry into a new recession.


    But we must not forget that last year a movement of the opposite sign also came on stage, which questioned what we saw again on Wednesday: the role of the forces of repression, in particular the police, as pillars of the imperialist State. Although without succeeding in defeating these forces, which is very difficult without a determined intervention by the industrial proletariat, the relationship of the masses with the forces of repression and of the class sectors with the State, covered by the thin veil of imperialist democracy, has been completely exposed. The Trumpist gangs broke up a little more that shell of the dictatorship of capital which is bourgeois democracy. And now, the problem of the imperialist leadership in crisis is how to solve that issue, beyond the disciplinary measures that Democrats and Republicans will try to impose to try to recompose this idea of democracy that served, we must not forget, as the ideology par excellence to sustain the dominant role of US imperialism in the world, justifying all kinds of interventions in Latin America and lately the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria or the drive given to the reactionary offensives of Israel.


    The tasks that Biden has to tackle are arduous and we may workout various hypotheses of how the inner struggle is to be developed within both imperialist parties and further developments of the Trumpist movement itself. But, without a doubt, the biggest part of the US business community, which, through its bosses' syndicates for now, are the only element that has managed to discipline Trump within a very limited institutional order, are the ones who impose the agenda. Their goal is to redefine the capital-labor relationship by discharging a heavier load of the crisis on the backs of the working class, including the health care debacle in which the country is immersed and the so-called "concessions" (understood to be from the unions to the companies) to recover the rate of profit at the expense of working conditions and workers' wages. And a much more interventionist line in foreign policy, both elements putting in the center the relationship with the armed and auxiliary forces that we indicated above.


    We must follow the pulse of these developments, but without a doubt it is very important to have in mind that to characterize Wednesday's action as a coup or self-coup, or frivolously characterize these counter-revolutionary elements as fascism without any further assessment that make up Trumpism, carries within it the fundamental error of, next to a program of defense of democracy, keeping the proletariat and the sectors of the masses that expressed themselves in the streets against the murder of Floyd and other African-Americans, tied to the imperialist leadership of the DP. There, Bernie Sanders and the DSA are playing a devastating role. On the contrary, the democratic character of the struggle is its anti-imperialist content, a struggle that we must withstand in the semi-colonies whose presidents have come out to support their new master Biden, except for the grotesque case of Bolsonaro, not because of champions of democracy but because of lackey's servility.


    We revolutionaries must fight for the proletariat in the US to recover its unions from the counter-revolutionary leaderships of the Trumkas and other bureaucrats. The task is to confront its own imperialist State by supporting the national liberation struggle of the workers and semi-colonial peoples throughout the world. Fighting also against the consequences of poor health conditions in the workplaces in the midst of the pandemic, against layoffs, unemployment and wage cuts and take off of conquests based on a program of transition and, taking up again the best traditions of the US working class: factory occupations (sit-down strikes), self-defense picket lines and strikes. These will not be merely economic struggles, since the dynamic posed by the situation makes it necessary, from the very first minute, to raise the problem of armaments, of how to disarm the enemy and confront the bourgeois State. From the TRFI we are struggling dauntlessly to contribute to build a Revolutionary Workers' Party in the US, which will be one of the pillar sections of the reconstructed Fourth International. We insist on the urgency of organizing an International Conference for the reconstruction of the Fourth International, in which the currents that defend the program of the dictatorship of the proletariat will set in motion the gigantic task of beginning to settle the crisis of revolutionary leadership of our class.


    COR Chile – LOI Brasil – COR Argentina

  • War between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh


    The dispute over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, or Upper Karabakh, between Azerbaijan and the Armenian independentists who control the area has triggered a war that has blown two ceasefires since it began on 27 September.


    The current territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the southern Caucasus were part of the tsarist empire and were incorporated into the USSR after the October revolution. The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh maintained a special status within the Soviet federation, as an autonomous territory with an Armenian majority integrated into the territory of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. The break-up of the USSR led to a confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan from 1988 onwards, and after its fall a bloody war began which, following the intervention of Russia and imperialism, ended in a precarious ceasefire in 1994. Azerbaijan is an oil and gas extraction power, linked to Turkey by language and history. Armenia is a small mountainous country of just over 3 million inhabitants, whose industrialization advanced with its integration into the USSR and then fell back abruptly with its fall, and receives large remittances from the so-called diaspora, some 10 million Armenians who live outside this republic, after being expelled from eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, through the genocide of over a million people.


    The social basis of disorder


    What characterizes the present historical period is, on the one hand, a tortuous process of assimilation of the former laboring states to the capitalist system and, on the other hand, the advance of imperialist decomposition that at the same time determines the difficulties to complete this assimilation. This is exacerbated by the disorientation of the US imperialism, which has not had any coherent policy in the region and is rather plunged into its own internal economic and social crisis and electoral dispute. On the other hand, the EU, which was the supra-state structure that was supposed to organize the assimilation of the former workers' states of Eastern Europe, is, on the contrary, immersed in the negotiation of the exit of one of its main partners with Brexit. And it has been paralyzed in its policy for its south-eastern border, because of divided positions on its relationship with Turkey, whose bourgeoisie defined to stop fighting for the entry into the European bloc (which led to a coup attempt in 2016). This division is exposed by the different positions in relation to the Turkish advance in the hydrocarbon prospections in the Eastern Mediterranean, its policy in Cyprus, its interventions in Libya and Syria and finally its position of open support to the Azeri government in the current war in High Karabakh. While the French President, Macron, is trying to lead a policy of more confrontation with the Turkish Erdogan government, with the support of the right-wing Greek government, Merkel and the German government prefer a policy of appeasement. However, it is necessary to say that the obstacles for the assimilation of the former Soviet states are not given by a flaw in the foreign policy, but by the tearing apart of the European imperialist project in its material capitalist bases, especially since the outbreak of the crisis in 2008. Today, we can speak of a new crisis that is a continuation of that, but not a linear one, exacerbated by the pandemic and by the disastrous consequences of the destruction of workers' conquests of the previous decades, which the European imperialist bourgeoisie used under the banner of austerity to try to find a bourgeois way out.


    Before this imperialist decomposition and the erratic foreign policy of the metropolitan states, the Turkish bourgeoisie tries to design its own road map as a regional power, what could be called an "operetta empire" with totally semi-colonial bases, not less brutal and murderous. In its turn, the Bonapartism of the Russian proto-bourgeoisie led by Putin must face the contradictions that burst in the borders of its state rule, as it is the case of the crisis in Belarus, the semi-insurrection in Kyrgyzstan and the war we refer to in this note. Here, we find it interesting to take up Leon Trotsky's hypothesis in relation to capitalist restoration, which proposed that the counter-revolutionary leadership that would lead the restoration processes, in its contradiction of not being able to conform in class, would generate, in its relation to the tendential laws of the world economy, a capitalist chaos. In this case, it extends to the periphery of the former USSR, where sectors coming from the state bureaucracy and the petty bourgeoisie of these countries are pushing for territorial control under the guise of arguments of international law and nationalist ideologies in an attempt to establish new, undoubtedly semi-colonial states, seeking a balance between the different surrounding international forces (both Armenia and Azerbaijan belong to countless post-war international coalitions) in a period of capitalist decline and, therefore, of the decline of the state form of bourgeois domination, the nation state.


    The truncated experience of the USSR


    In the face of the current war, which already counts dozens of deaths, hundreds of refugees and the bombing of major cities in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, some groups and intellectuals are proposing a return to the "cosmopolitan and internationalist values" of the Soviet state as a solution for achieving peace between peoples. The Marxist basis of the revolutionary program, which led the Bolsheviks to seize power and develop the experience of the USSR as a state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, denies that a program is based on ideologies. Because it is the social being that determines the consciousness and not the other way around. The problem of the national minorities who were trapped in the then called "prison of the peoples", the Tsarist empire, was taken very seriously by Lenin. These oppressed nations were living under conditions of backward economic and social development. The appeal of the communists, materialized in the Congresses of the Third International, was to integrate into a Federation of Socialist Republics in a revolutionary alliance with the Russian proletariat in order to overcome this backwardness through socialist forms of economic and social organization, by compressing the historical stages. The transition from capitalism to socialism under the leadership of the proletariat through its dictatorship, these were the material bases that would allow the democratic reorganization of the peoples within the federation. A socialist future would pose new problems, but it would undoubtedly make it possible to liquidate the fratricidal struggles sown by backwardness and the subsequent needs for territorialization of profit typical of capitalism.


    In fact, the experience of the USSR enabled the Caucasian nations to live together and achieve relative industrial development. However, the experience was truncated by the bureaucratic counter-revolution led by Stalin, who established the rule of this caste over the proletariat and national minorities in the USSR, strengthening the state apparatus instead of laying the social foundations for its extinction. The passage of the bureaucracy into the ranks of the open capitalist restoration in the early 1990s liberated all the centrifugal tendencies of capital, leading to wars like the one in the Balkans, and this process will continue to develop for a certain period of time, the duration of which we cannot define a priori, as we cannot find a stable capitalist way out given imperialist decomposition. And neither a progressive way out, given the crisis of revolutionary leadership. This conditionality will be determined, in turn, not by "values and ideals" to the taste of the nostalgic, but by class struggle, by the clash between the proletarian forces of the world revolution and the bourgeois counter-revolution. "To define the Soviet regime as transitional, or intermediate, means to abandon such finished social categories as capitalism (and therewith "state capitalism") and also socialism. But besides being completely inadequate in itself, such a definition is capable of producing the mistaken idea that from the present Soviet regime only a transition to socialism is possible. In reality a backslide to capitalism is wholly possible. [...] Doctrinaires will doubtless not be satisfied with this hypothetical definition. They would like categorical formulae; yes-yes, and no-no. In our analysis, we have above all avoided doing violence to dynamic social formations which have no precedent and have no analogies. The scientific task, as well as the political, is not to give a finished definition to an unfinished process, but to follow all its stages, separate its progressive from its reactionary tendencies, expose their mutual relations, foresee possible variants of development, and find in this foresight a basis for action.". (L. Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed)


    We revolutionaries are opposed to the fratricidal war between Armenians and Azeris, which is led by the sectors that want to create small vassal states of imperialism in the region. It is part of the general militarism to which the Bonapartist tendencies around the world in the face of bourgeois decay are leading. We are fighting for a workers' solution, based on a program of expropriation of the expropriators, the defeat of the proto-bourgeoisies that run the republics of the former Soviet Union and for a Socialist Federation of the Caucasus. The Russian working class is called upon to support the Azeri, Armenian and Georgian workers in this task, starting with the paralysis of the arms and military equipment factories and their transport, intended to arm both sides for the benefit of Putin and his acolytes. We also call on the workers of Turkey, the European countries and the USA to labor actions against the intervention of their bourgeois states in the region, which as it was shown in Kosovo, only serves to increase the massacres and hardships of the workers and poor people. Once again, and in an increasingly urgent manner, we call on all the revolutionary currents that defend the historical necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat and fight for the reconstruction of the Fourth International to promote an International Conference.

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