Communist Worker

Archive of Communist Workers Group of Aoteaora/New Zealand up to 2006

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Review of China Mieville’s: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

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Living Marxism

OCTOBERCommenting on the many works on the Russian Revolution, China Mieville describes his book as: “… a short introduction for those curious about an astonishing story, eager to be caught up in the revolution’s rhythms. Because here it is precisely as a story that I have tried to tell it.”  This captures the purpose but also the vivacity of the book which is like a beautifully written film-script told by invoking the living flesh and blood individuals and life and death events that made 1917 such a world-historic year 100 years ago. Mieville tells the ‘strange story’ well but leaves himself open to criticism that he blames the Bolsheviks for ‘mistakes and crimes’ (such as the ‘one party state’, War Communism, censorship, ‘one-person management’, and Kronstadt). Not as necessary means to an end (desiderata), but the result of ‘weakness’. That these ‘failures and crimes’ were explained at the time as…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:33 pm

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Hands Off Aleppo: Victory to the Syrian Revolution!

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Living Marxism

syria-peace-plan

While the breaking of the siege of Aleppo is a victory for the revolution, its fate is up in the air because its defence has been weakened by Operation Euphrates Shield which has diverted troops away from its defence. Aleppo is at risk because parts of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) have been redirected to support Turkey’s intervention in the North which has the backing so far of both Russia and U.S. Now the proposed ceasefire is designed to isolate and smash the revolution in Aleppo.

The primary objective of the U.S. and Russia is to destroy the Syrian revolution which is a force for reviving the Arab Revolution. The war against Islamic State is a mere pretext to destroy the FSA fighters and the YPG fighters and stopping them from creating Arab, Kurd and Turkmen autonomous regions in the North. That, not a tame bourgeois Kurdistan at the beckoning…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm

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China and the Socialist Future

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Living Marxism

image Yeu Yuen Shoe Strike (Nike Adidas) over unpaid pensions 2014

Class Struggle in China

China’s current role as the world’s leading industrial nation is the result of its unique history as an former empire, a British colony, a ‘socialist’ republic and today, a new imperialist power. It is the most dynamic capitalist society today having emerged out of a centralised bureaucratic state ‘socialism’. This makes China’s role in the world unique but not exceptional. While China is recognised as being a ‘leader’ in growth, in consumption, and in new technology, to keep this leadership it cannot jump over the capitalist laws of history.

China’s slowdown proves that it not immune to these laws. It is not a panacea for global capitalism’s decline. China is now facing its own capitalist crisis of overproduction which it cannot resolve without attacking the 1 billion Chinese workers. And despite its past defeats those workers…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:29 pm

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Reply to RCIT on Permanent Revolution, Bourgeois Democracy and Social Imperialism

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Living Marxism

Introduction

The RCIT (Revolutionary Communist International Tendency), in response to our article ‘Russia, China and the Unfinished Permanent Revolution”, claims that we, the Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC), don’t understand Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. On the contrary we do understand it and apply it as he did himself. It is the RCIT that tries to turn Permanent Revolution into a pseudo-Trotskyist cover for its adaptation to social imperialism. Social Imperialism is the democratic petty bourgeois policy that imperialism can be progressive if reformed by the mobilisation of the proletariat. We will show that beginning with its semi-Cliffite method, the RCIT’s fetishism of bourgeois democracy is a chronic form of centrism, in reality objectively part of the permanent counter-revolution which we as revolutionaries are pledged to expose and defeat.

The RCIT’s main argument against the LCC is that we are ultra-lefts who claim that “nothing can change in any…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:28 pm

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Russia, China, and the Unfinished Permanent Revolution

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Living Marxism

Facing a chronic global crisis of capitalism and intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry between the US and China blocs, the most urgent task facing revolutionaries today is to provide program for a new Trotskyist international that can lead workers in the struggle to defeat nationalism and imperialism and to the victorious socialist revolution. At a public meeting in London on 11 April 2015 the question of Russia and China as imperialist powers is being debated by the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International (LCFI) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT). We of the Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC) argue that the centrist method of both tendencies cannot provide the answers workers need. We argue that both the LCFI and RCIT revise Lenin on imperialism and nationalism. In summary, both turn Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution into a petty bourgeois program adapting to bourgeois democracy.

Centrism and Social Imperialism

Centrism as we…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:27 pm

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Declaration of the Proletarian Faction

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Living Marxism

This statement contains the main arguments of the Proletarian Faction formed within Workers Power NZ, a section of the League for a Revolutionary Communist International (LRCI), in July 1995. It documents the development an a factional struggle over the reversion to right-centrism of the LRCI on the question of capitalist restoration, Bosnia etc. Fundamentally the struggle revealed a divergence in method between our conception of dialectics and the League’s impressionism.

Introduction

Like the rest of the post-war Trotskyist left, the LRCI has failed to break decisively from centrism. “Centrism is the name applied to that policy which is opportunist in substance and which seeks to appear as revolutionary in form. Opportunism consists of a passive adaptation to the ruling class and its regime, to that which already exists, including, or course, the state boundaries. Centrism shares completely this fundamental trait of opportunism, but in adapting itself to the dissatisfied workers…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:26 pm

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BRICS around the neck of the proletariat

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Living Marxism

 brics-summit

The Sixth BRICS Summit meeting held in Brazil was held in July. The occasion was one of wheeling and dealing between the two big BRICS bloc leaders and their Latin American supporters looking to set up an alternative to the traditional US dominance of the continent and an alternative to US global financial hegemony. The leaders also took time out to test the loyalty of US allies in the EU facing US-dictated sanctions on Russia that will cost the EU economies $billions. Putin used the FIFA World Cup to meet Merkel and discuss Ukraine. No doubt Russia is motivated to strengthen its push into Latin America as a reprisal to the US determination to push NATO right up against its borders. Not content to put pressure on the US bloc in Europe and Asia, Putin’s deal to write off most of Cuba’s debt and reopen a former Soviet spy…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:25 pm

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Why are Russia and China imperialist powers and not capitalist semi-colonies?

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Living Marxism

 

Developing Lenin and Trotsky on post-soviet Russia and China

There are big debates going on about whether Russia and China are imperialist powers today. This arises when it becomes obvious that the major local and regional wars around the globe, such as in Ukraine, are in reality proxy wars between the established imperialist powers led by the US, and the upstarts, Russia and China. With the rapid rise of inter-imperialist rivalry between the US and China led blocs this question has become urgent since it involves a policy of defeat for both sides if they are imperialist or the defence of Russia and/or China if they are not. Unlike much of the left that thinks that the old debates of the workers states are no longer important today, we argue here that the fundamental differences that arose over the workers states nearly a century ago carry over into the…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:24 pm

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Cuba Sold Out

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Living Marxism

Xi Jinping Raul Castro

    Then Vice-President Xi Jinping and Raul Castro, Havana, June 5, 2011  (photo: Forbes)

 

In April 2011 in “Cuba for Sale” we reviewed the situation in Cuba following the 6th Congress of the CPC and the Guidelines which it adopted. We concluded that Raul Castro was taking Cuba down the ‘China Road’ to state capitalism. We did not think then that Cuba had reached the point of restoring capitalism. We were wrong. We predicted that Cuba was moving towards ‘market socialism’ and on the way meeting Venezuelan ‘state capitalism’. Today looking back after two years we think Cuba had already reached the point of restoring capitalism. We missed the significance of the 6th Congress in committing Cuba to a state capitalist ‘strategic partnership’ with Chinese imperialism. Cuba’s fate has always hinged on the revolution in Latin America. In the last decade the revolution has been strangled by…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:21 pm

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China/US Rivalry for Asia-Pacific

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Living Marxism

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China-AircraftCarrier2

US imperialism as the dominant world power is under threat. The global crisis of falling profits has hit the US and EU economy hard and the great recession must become a great depression to restore profits. As a result US rivalry with other imperialist countries is hotting up as they all compete with one another to increase their ‘spheres of influence’ and their super-profits. The US now faces China and Russia as new, expansionary imperialist powers. The main threat to US imperialism comes from China rising as we have argued for some time. China/US rivalry is the driving force behind global geopolitics today. Grasping this reality is the starting point for Marxist revolutionaries.

China is now the second largest global economy though still lagging well behind the USA. Yet it is overtaking the US at about 8% a year while the US economy lags between 1 or 2%. The US…

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Written by raved

September 11, 2018 at 11:17 pm

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