The results of the British general election have caused a substantial upset in the bourgeois and liberal media. Journalists and pundits by the dozen have been compelled to issue grovelling apologies for their rank dismissal of Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and his policies as reflected in Labour’s manifesto. They have been joined by many of the parliamentary Labour Party who – now returned to the Commons with enhanced majorities – owe their livelihoods and careers to a man who, for months and years, they have excoriated.
In many cases these new confessions of faith are designed to serve a double purpose. To deflect the anger of those hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members – joined in the last few days by near another 200,000 – and to give them enough wriggle room to subvert the party programme and, in particular, to dilute Corbyn’s commitment to respect the referendum result on leaving the EU.
To this sorry crowd of penitents we must shortly expect the author/s of a recent piece in the otherwise quite illuminating website In defence of Communism. It is worth reading their offering in full but for the purposes of polemic I will précis it.
Labour and Tory are two versions of bourgeois management. The Labour Party of Corbyn is a thoroughly bourgeois party serving the the capitalist system, fully committed to promoting capitalist profit. With either with Labour or Tories the bourgeoisie will manage to safeguard its interests in the Brexit process.
Time to take stock. The main party of Britain’s bourgeoisie has lost its parliamentary majority and remains irremediably split over the main question which preoccupies the ruling class. The inner-party division directly reflects the divergent interests over membership of the EU. This clash is the foundation of the political crisis and directly led to the defenestration of the previous Tory leadership of Cameron and Osbourne. The ‘austerity’ strategy of reducing public spending and squeezing wages – in line with the policy imperatives of the Lisbon Treaty and the obligations of EU membership – is now seen to have failed even in its own terms with the public debt ballooning under the Tory and Lib Dem stewardship of the economy.
A political crisis is always a crisis of hegemony. In Britain’s case this is not one of domination over the state apparatus but of ideological hegemony. It is important not to overstate the case. The ruling class is the ruling class because of its ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange and is a long way from losing control over the the main instruments for securing consent to its rule including the media and the repressive apparatus. The challenge is to the way its has ruled and to its stewardship.
“History is full of examples of politico-economic elites who equate any challenge to their privileged social order as a challenge to all social order, an invitation to chaos and perdition…” The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti
For Donald Trump, Parenti’s insight is emphatically and relentlessly demonstrated. The months since Trump’s inauguration have brought a ceaseless attack from his political adversaries. More significantly, a broad section of the ruling class has unleashed the barking dogs of the media and pressed the military and the security services to guide Trump back to the aptly named ‘swamp,’ the morass of mainstream politics. The rulers saw “chaos and perdition” in the Trump electoral campaign and the first period of his administration.
Macron and ‘What People’?
First of all, Macron received only 46% of the actual vote. Over 54% of eligible French voters either abstained, spoiled their ballots or voted for Marine Le Pen, the nationalist populist. In other words, 26 million voters rejected or ignored Macron’s candidacy versus 20.6 million voters who endorsed him. This was despite an unremitting push for Macron from the entire French and European mass media, all of the major political parties and the vast majority of academics, journalists, publishers, undertakers and doormen.
In a few weeks, the legislative elections will complete the reconstituted political situation that resulted from this presidential campaign. It is essential we learn the first urgent lessons.
Workers, public services, local communities, will need MPs that support them, listen to them and help them rebuild.
Ana Belén Montes gave classified information to Cuba for 17 years before her arrest in 2001 for espionage. Pleading guilty, she avoided conviction for treason, which carries the death sentence. She is called “the most dangerous spy you’ve never heard of.”¹ She deserves to be known now.
Her story shows the personal cost of some truths. I don’t mean suffering endured in prison, predictable result of breaking US law. I mean the cost of believing, as US citizen and government employee, truths about US state terror, supported by evidence. The truths are well-known, or at least readily available. But they’re not easily believed, even when known to be true.
One hundred and one years ago on the 12th of May 1916 a man, whose principles and teachings still guide the leftist youth of Ireland, was executed by firing squad. If the British authorities and the Irish bourgeois of the time thought that his execution would be the end of his ability to cause trouble for the establishment… how wrong they were.
One hundred and one years later the ideals, teachings, and actions of James Connolly still inspire and instruct young leftists across the length and breadth of Ireland and further afield. We continue to draw strength from his example as we challenge the status quo and play our diligent part in organising the resistance alongside our comrades in the Communist Party of Ireland.
Unleashed on 17 July 1936 by a military coup against the democratically elected government of the Second Republic, the Spanish civil war was a rehearsal for the second world war. The British, French and American governments stood aside and permitted General Francisco Franco, with the substantial aid of Hitler and Mussolini, to defeat the republic. To this day, the war is remembered by many as “the last great cause”, the war of the volunteers of the International Brigades, of the bombing of Guernica and of the mini-civil war within the civil war fought in Barcelona as CNT anarchists and the Poum’s quasi-Trotskyists battled forces of the Catalan government, the Generalitat, backed by the communists of the PSUC.
Eighty years ago this week, the Ramblas of Barcelona echoed with gunfire. Much of what happened on the streets during the May days is well known thanks to George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, but not why it happened. Herbert Matthews, the great New York Times correspondent, summed up the consequent problem: “The book did more to blacken the loyalist cause than any work written by enemies of the Second Republic.” This is unfortunate since, for many thousands of people, Homage to Catalonia is the only book on the Spanish civil war that they will ever read.
A short briefing on the Presidential Elections currently undergoing in the Islamic Republic of Iran
30 April 2017
The presidential elections in Iran are due to take place on 19 May. Already there is a lot of
speculation about the possible outcomes of the election and its impact on the future course of
Iranian politics. In this briefing, which will form the first of a number between now and after the
publication of the final election results, the Tudeh Party of Iran will provide its information, analysis
and observations on the process and political context of the election for the next president in
the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Communist Party of Venezuela
PATRIOTIC AND ANTIIMPEREALIST CALL
The PCV calls for the widest possible unity of antiimperialist action to defeat the
destabilization and planned coup d’état.