reply to JS Daborn

J.S.Daborn J.S.Daborn at sheffield.ac.uk
Fri May 3 04:52:14 MDT 1996


To Richard Broza

A Slow Response from an Internationalist

I am sorry that I was unabvle to at this sation for a few weeks
inorder to reply to the attempt by "Mark" to defend the reactionary
ideas of Joseph Green which I criticised in "A Hasty Response from an
Internationalist".  In fact we seem to have rattled a few <aoist
cages here so that the response is the usual mixture of distortion,
diversion and plain old-fashioned lies.

However Mark's reply does at least have the merit of laying bare the
class distinctions.  This is not a debate within marxism but between
the proletariat and the petty (very petty!) bourgeoisie.  Maoism has
never stood on the terrain of the proletariat but has always based
itself on the peasantry.  It grew as a movement out of the very defeat
of the working class in the 1920s both globally and in particular in
China.  After the massacres of Canton and Shanghai (which, note this
well Mark,  were the sorry  results of the degenerated Comintern's attempt
to support the nationalist Kuomintang of Chiang Kai Shek) the
leadership of the Chinese CP eventually fell to Mao and his peasant
tendency.  Their victory in October 1949 was therefore not a workers
victory but one of an all class nationalist alliance (the bloc of 4
classes).  It was only after the pretensions of Mao in 1954 that the
CCP even claimed to be leading a proletarian revolution.

It is little wonder then that Mark should twist the subject of our
discussion from the working class to the confusionist one, typical of
the petty bourgeoisie of "toilers".  It is entirely logical for the
Communist Voice crew to defend the peasantry (or even the black
bourgeoisie of the ANC in South Africa) because they do not stand on
a proletarian position.  This is why they have never responded to
the promptings of Neil and the LAWV comrades to explain their past
(and, who knows, present?) support for such anti-working class
regimes as Enver Hoxha, Pol Pot etc.  today they hide behinda
caricature of Marxism in order to disguise their anti-proletarian
positions.

All this means that debate with them is useless but there are others
>from the Maoist debacle who may now understand the stupidity and
untenability of the whole Maoist project.  We urge them to read and
study the positions of the Communist Left which does not need to
revise or recant its postions.  More and more the events that unfold
confirm to the long and, at times, heroic struggle our predecessors
have fought against the degneration of revolutionary organisation and
theory over the last seven decades.  First we had to fight against
the degenration of the Comintern towards Stalinism, then we had to
criticise the still-born attempt of Trotsky to voluntaristically
create a Fourth International largely based on reiterating Social
Democratic politics from before World War One and today we are still
fighting against these tendencies attempt to patch up their outworn
theories (largely by pinching bits of our analysis).

 However there is no such attempt being made by Mark since he fails
to recognise that anything new has happened in the world in this
century and thus constantly takes us back to the old worn-out slogans
of the past.  We don't propose to respond to all Mark's assertions
but we do need to be clear about some of the phrases he has seized
upon.  We do not say that only the movment which immediuatley begins
as a struggle for socialism can be supported.  Every revolutionary
movment of the past has begun inside the bourgeois political
framework and it would be a species of idealism for us to take up a
stance which ignored that fact.  Howver this a debate about what is
the communist programme and we must first recognise what that is in
this epoch.  This is why we find that the CVO is on the other side of
the class barrier.  WE can no longer find any progressive national
movment anywhere on the planet.  the local bourgeoisie are tied in to
global capital and imperialism.  Compare the awdry ANC with the
Talian liberation movment of the last century.  The proletariat could
support the latter because it expanded the capitalist framwork and
therefore the growth of their own class.  Today imperialism is not
expanding in the same way (yes there is till economic growth but the
point is that this growth is only achieved at the increased barbarism
of war and famine i.e. we now live in the era when capitalism's own
laws are a fetter on a real growth in the productive forces.  It's
social costs are no longer acceptable and only socialism can break
this mould and create a society which liberates the forces of
production once again).  This once understood we can see that the
so-called liberation movements are simply tools of imperialism (the
ANC could have struggled for ever more if it had not been for
Anglo-American) who cannot deliver anything to the working class.
This is why the working class in fighting oppression has to retain
its own INDEPENDENT organaisation and programme today.  To argue that
the workers should put themselves under the banner of the local
bourgeoisie and then when they ahve helped them to victory they
should start struggling for their own liberation is both pie in
the sky (a never never world if ever there was one) and a betrayal of the
 tasks of communists.

Communism will not be achieved quickly (and in historical time it has
come a long way in a short time - we now know as a class that we
cannot reform the bourgeoisie out of existence, we now know that
natiomalisation is not anti-capitalism but actually helps support
state capitalism, and above all we now know that only the proletariat
through its own political organisations, especially its political
party can only make the revolution).  All the Maoist crap about the
"toilers", about the continued dominance of "feudal relations" in
large parts of the world (where? everywhere but the tiniest enclaves
ares subject to the laws of the global market) are reactionary and intended
to prevent the
formation of an independent working class communist consciousness.

The final defence of aour decadent Maoists for their reactionary
support for the bourgeoisie is to claim that Neil and the Communist
Left are "social imperialists".  This is an amusing smokescreen which
fools no-one (except perhaps their supporters).  The Communist Left
supports onlythe independence of the working class in every struggl;e
and this means wwe reject any support for any local imperialism.  We
did not support Galtieri in the Malvinas issue (although we
campaigned vigorously in factories for the British working class to strike against
the British war machine), we did not support Saddam Hussein in the
Gulf although we denounced the NATO genocide. To do anything else is
to make the working class a hostage to imperialist interests.  There
are are big bourgeoisies and little bourgeoisies who fight over the
spoils of imperialism.  We do not support any of them  but fight for the unity
of the proletariat everywhere.  At the moment this happens only in
pockets but gradually the bourgeoisie is running out of reasons for
marching us off to war.  Only the Left of capital with its talk about
fighting on the side of oppressed nations (as Thatcher and Major also
did
about Kuwait!) provide the new rationale for imeprialist war.  The
leftists are the real social-imperialists!

Thew first task today is to be clear about what is the communist
programme.  This means being clear about where we are in history.
Until the left have a clear analysis of imperialism (which is not
just Amerika) they cannot even begin that task.  The negative tone of
the CVO responses show that they have nothing to offer the working
clas today.  We urge all serious communist to take up the theoretical
acquisitions of the communist left and untiing organisationally
around them.
Jock




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