XXIII. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Pro-Western Social-Imperialists





In this chapter we will discuss the strategies which various left-wing forces are offering in response to the accelerating Great Power rivalry. Before doing this we will briefly summarize the main conclusions of the previous chapters in which we elaborated the strategy of revolutionary defeatism in the present period.




General Introductory Remarks




The preconditions for any meaningful working class internationalism in the era of Great Power rivalry are:


a) the recognition of the existence of these imperialist powers (i.e. that the U.S., the EU, Japan as well as Russia and China are such) and, consequential,


b) that socialists must stand in intransigent and consistent anti-imperialist opposition against all Great Powers.


Hence, socialists must not choose a “lesser evil” in conflicts between the Great Powers (or their proxies) but must take a defeatist position against all of them. (The main enemy is at home!, “Transform the imperialist war into civil war”)


Such categorical rejection of siding with any Great Power remains purely negative and platonic, if it is not combined with active support for the struggles of the workers and oppressed against the ruling class in all these countries as well as for the liberation struggles of oppressed peoples attacked by any of these Great Powers (or their proxies). Examples for such are national liberation struggles like those in Afghanistan against the U.S., in Syria against Russia and its marionette Assad, in Yemen against the Saudi-led (and Western-backed) coalition, of the Palestinian people against Israel or of the Uighur people against China. It also includes support for democratic struggles like those in Egypt against the military dictatorship of General Sisi or of the Kashmiri people against the Indian occupation. And it includes the defense of countries like North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela against the aggression of the U.S.


Furthermore, the consistent struggle for full equality of migrants in imperialist countries as well as for open borders for refugees is also part of such a consistent anti-imperialist strategy.


Without such a combined strategy of anti-imperialism and pro-liberationism, of opposition against all Great Powers and support for all liberation struggles of the workers and oppressed, without such a combined program it is impossible to pursue a Marxist line in the present historic period.


Unfortunately, such a program of revolutionary defeatism is partially or completely rejected by most left-reformist and centrist forces. We have already discussed and criticized in previous chapters how these organizations fail to grasp the character of the new imperialist giants Russia and China and the consequences of this for the accelerating Great Power rivalry. Below we will deal with the consequences which these parties and organizations draw from their analyses for their tactics in the major struggles of the present period.


Basically we can classify the following currents among the left-reformist and centrist forces:


1. Openly pro-Western social-imperialists


2. Openly pro-Eastern social-imperialists


3. Deniers of Russia’s and China’s imperialist character but hesitant to draw the conclusions


4. Eclectic Social-Pacifists


Irrespective of their varying alliances and tactical differences, the pro-Western and the pro-Eastern social-imperialists share the same political and social-economic physiognomy. They have the same social-historic class basis as well as the same strategic outlook. In most cases these forces represent bourgeois workers parties, based on a reformist program. In some cases, they are bourgeois-populist formations like the Russian KPRF or simply parties representing the ruling state machinery like the “Communist” Parties in China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.


These parties are usually well integrated in the political superstructure of the capitalist system – either by repeated participation in national or regional governments (in bourgeois democratic countries), by regular parliamentary representation, by integration in the trade union bureaucracy, etc. or simply by dominating it as the single existing, ruling party (in dictatorships).


In dictatorships like China, Cuba or Vietnam, these “Communist” parties simple represent the alliance between the state bureaucracy and the emerging bourgeoisie. In countries where the reformist forces are not long-standing ruling parties, they usually have their social basis in the labor aristocracy (i.e. the most privileged strata of the working class) and sectors of the middle class. They adapt to (a wing of) the bourgeoisie – either of their own imperialist country or of an imperialist rival.


The relationship of reformism, social-imperialism and labor aristocracy is a long-standing one and has already been emphasized by Lenin.


What is the economic substance of defencism in the war of 1914-15? The bourgeoisie of all the big powers are waging the war to divide and exploit the world, and oppress other nations. A few crumbs of the bourgeoisie’s huge profits may come the way of the small group of labour bureaucrats, labour aristocrats, and petty-bourgeois fellow-travellers. Social-chauvinism and opportunism have the same class basis, namely, the alliance of a small section of privileged workers with “their” national bourgeoisie against the working-class masses; the alliance between the lackeys of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie against the class the latter is exploiting. Opportunism and social-chauvinism have the same political content, namely, class collaboration, repudiation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, repudiation of revolutionary action, unconditional acceptance of bourgeois legality, confidence in the bourgeoisie and lack of confidence in the proletariat. Social-chauvinism is the direct continuation and consummation of British liberal-labour politics, of Millerandism and Bernsteinism.[1]


Today, with the much deeper integration of reformist parties in the bourgeois system, including their regular participation in regional and national governments, these social-imperialist tendencies have a much stronger, solid economic and political foundation. [2]


There is no Chinese Wall (pun intended) between the pro-Western and the pro-Eastern social-imperialists. They adapt to (wings of) the bourgeoisie of different national powers. But as it is well known, imperialist powers are alternating conflicts with collaboration between each other. Furthermore, the bourgeoisie of a given country is not a monolithic class but has different factions. Among them are often sectors which, at least for a certain period, rather favor collaboration with another power instead of confrontation.


This is particularly true given the fact that there exist sectors inside the ruling class (and even more so among the middle class) in the European Union and Japan which sympathize with a more “independent” global policy of their states, i.e. one which is independent of U.S. imperialism and which strives for more collaboration with Russia and China.


Hence, it is not surprising that there are contacts and sometimes cooperation between the parties of the pro-Western and the pro-Eastern camp. See e.g. the friendly relations and cooperation between the pro-Western social-imperialists of PEL, of pro-Eastern Stalinist parties, various centrists and the Kurdish YPG which is serving as proxies for U.S. imperialism in Syria.


Furthermore, reformist bureaucracies can swap the master which they are serving. The history of social democracy is full of such contradictions. Let us not forget that the social democratic parties in Western Europe in the 1920s and 1930s were part of the same organization (the Second International). However they were aligned with factions of their respective national bourgeoisie which often had hostile relations with each other (e.g. Germany vs. France or Britain). There were also periods in which such parties had close relations with U.S. imperialism. Naturally, this resulted sometimes in sharp ruptures between each other.


In this chapter we will deal with pro-Western social-imperialists. We characterize those reformist forces as openly pro-Western social-imperialists which side with “their” Western imperialist fatherland and support in words and deeds the political and economic interests of “their” bourgeoisie. As the most important parties of this current we can identify the left-reformist parties united in the Party of the European Left (PEL) as well as the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). The main parties of PEL are the Parti Communiste Français (France), die LINKE (Germany), and SYRIZA (Greece). [3] All these parties were former Stalinist forces which have meanwhile transformed into neo-social democratic parties.




The Party of the European Left (PEL)




As we have already elaborated in a number of documents, the member parties of PEL are thoroughly reformist, pro-Western social-imperialist formations. [4] Let us demonstrate this with several examples. In the years 1997-2002, the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) was part of the Jospin government which actively participated in the NATO wars against Serbia in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2001. Its member party in Italy at that time – the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista of Fausto Bertinotti – supported the neoliberal government of Romano Prodi in 1996-98 and joined a second Prodi government in 2006-08. In this role it voted for the Italian participation in the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan as well as for sending troops to Lebanon. The German LINKE did not participate in national governments until now (despite much desire of the party leadership) but it joined several regional coalition governments implementing neoliberal austerity policy.


SYRIZA heads the Greek government since January 2015 in alliance with the extreme right-wing party ANEL. In the past four years, it has implemented the EU-dictated austerity programs more successfully than any of its conservative or social democratic predecessors. In the Council of the European Union SYRIZA leader and Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras backed all decisions of EU imperialism including various sanctions against Russia.


Important member parties of PEL have also a shameful record of supporting the imperialist war-drive (under the pretext of the “war on terror”) against the oppressed peoples in the Middle East and in Africa. They entertained close relations with the Iraqi Communist Party, which supported the US occupation of Iraq since 2003 and participated in various colonial administrations of the country. The PCF – as well as the Front de Gauche of Jean-Luc Mélenchon – – expressed in their public statements that they “share the goals of the Mali government to defeat the Jihadist terrorists in the North”. [5] When the social democratic government decided to send French troops to Mali, the PCF as well as Mélenchon fully supported this decision. It only criticized that such an intervention should have been mandated by the United Nations. PCF parliamentary deputy André Chassaigne stated: “An international intervention was urgent and necessary to stop the offensive of the Islamist fanatics.” The same position was expressed by François Asensi, a deputy of Mélenchon’s FdG: “The position of the Left Front’s deputies, both Communist and Republican, is clear: abandoning the Malian people to the barbarism of the fanatics would have been a political error and a moral sin. Non-intervention would have been the worst act of cowardice.[6]


After the attack on the racist magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015 the PCF and Mélenchon’s FdG praised this Islamophobic rag as “progressive”. They joined the reactionary “Je Suis Charlie” campaign and called to participate in the pro-imperialist demonstration for “national unity” in Paris on 11 January – a globally televised march led by, among others, the heads of the Western imperialist governments including the war-criminal and President of Israel Benjamin Netanjahu. They even failed to vote in parliament on 13 January against the extension of France’s military intervention in Iraq! [7]


After the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, the PCF again joined the “Union Nationale”. All their deputies voted for the state of emergency and, later, for its extension for three month! [8] It is hardly surprising that this social-chauvinist party also supports the ban of hijab and burka for Muslim women. [9]


The same social-chauvinistic spirit is behind the position of Sahra Wagenknecht and her aufstehen initiative. Wagenknecht is the leader of the parliamentary faction of the German LINKE. She openly denounces the slogan for “open borders” as “quixotic”, criticizes the conservative government of Angela Merkel for letting so many male refugees in the country in 2015 and attacks – similar to the right-wing racists and Zionists – Muslim migrants for not “integrating themselves in the society”. [10]




Islamophobia: the new Anti-Semitism of the 21st Century




At this point we want to briefly draw attention to the fact, largely ignored by many “leftists”, that imperialist Islamophobia is the new Anti-Semitism of the 21st century. While the Great Powers stand in rivalry against each other on numerous issues, they totally agree on one thing: discrimination and oppression of Muslim minorities. Naturally, they do so for political and not for religious reason. One of Washington’s key allies in the Middle East is the Wahhabite Kingdom in Saudi Arabia and one of Moscow’s key allies is the theocratic regime of Iran as well as the butcher Kadyrov in Chechnya. [11] But they preach and utilize hatred against Muslim minorities and Muslim people for several reasons:


i) in order to oppress and super-exploit migrants as cheap labor forces in imperialist countries;


ii) to oppress Muslim national minorities (e.g. Chechens and other Caucasian people, Uyghurs, etc.);


iii) to legitimize support for “secular” dictatorships like those of Assad, General Sisi, in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, etc.;


iv) to legitimize imperialist wars and interventions in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, Niger, etc.


For these reasons, we consider the approach towards imperialist Islamophobia one of the most important tests for the so-called “left”. Making any kind of concession to this plague – whether on domestic issues concerning migrants or national minorities, or on foreign policy issues like military interventions in Muslim countries or on the approach towards Zionist Israel and the Palestinian liberation struggle – is unmistakable evidence of social-chauvinism and capitulation to imperialism. Unfortunately, the whole recent history of numerous reformist and centrist parties demonstrates that most of them have shamefully failed this test!


Such social-chauvinist policy is put into practice by SYRIZA – Greece’s ruling party and one of the major forces of PEL. It bears full co-responsibility for the EU imperialist assault on refugees as it agrees on all the anti-migrant programs in the Council of the European Union and implements them loyally (Frontex program, etc.). It is a long-standing Marxist truth that, as Lenin liked to say, „men must not be judged by their words, however, but by their deeds.[12] Judged by their deeds, the PEL has nothing to do with anti-imperialism and internationalist solidarity for migrants and refugees!


Another expression of the PEL’s deep-seated social-chauvinism is its support for the Zionist state Israel. Leading figures of PEL have repeatedly expressed their support for this colonial settler state. Gregor Gysi, a long-standing standing leader of the German LINKE and currently President of the PEL, repeatedly stressed that his party stands for “Solidarity with Israel”. In a speech he characterized “the solidarity with Israel as a well-founded moral element for the German reason of state”. [13]


During the Gaza war in 2008/09, the chairman of the LINKE in Berlin, Klaus Lederer, joined a demonstration with the slogan “Support Israel - Operation Cast-Lead“ and was – alongside with politicians from the other bourgeois parties – one of the main speakers. The German LINKE even goes so far as to denounce any support for a one-state solution in Palestine as well as calls to boycott Israeli commodities or the participation in Gaza solidarity convoys. It even associates such activities with “Anti-Semitism”. It also declares support for such positions as incompatible with membership in the parliamentary group! These positions were adopted in 2011 unanimously by the leadership, respectively the parliamentary group, of the LINKE! [14] As we have reported, the Austrian Communist Party, also a member of PEL, has repeatedly slandered the RCIT Section as “Anti-Semitic”. It even expelled it from its public events because of our consistent Anti-Zionist position and the consequential support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. [15]


In the light of the acceleration of Great Power rivalry, the PEL leadership supports the formation of the imperialist EU as an independent power: “The individual nation states must stop allowing themselves to be played off against each other by corporations and banks. Countries such as Ireland must no longer be allowed to attract investors by cutting their taxes and lowering social and environmental standards. We’ll be able to do next to nothing to prevent such imbalances if we continue to oppose each other as nation states – which is why we need to embrace European integration. By themselves, individual nation states will never be able to effectively respond to a trade war with the US. Here, we need to see a united response from the European Union. Of course, I am aware of the sad state that some parts of this European Union are in. But the European economy, the environmental challenges faced by Europe, the prevention of war on this continent, and ultimately, the social question and young people in particular, who are increasingly embracing a European identity – they all call for European integration, and not its opposite.[16]


Of course, the PEL combines such support for imperialist military intervention in Africa or the Middle East, for Israel, or for the declaration of the state of emergency with endless invocations of pacifism, the “importance of the United Nations”, of “the need for peaceful solutions”, etc. [17] Such phrase-mongering is partly rooted in the decades-long petty-bourgeois pacifist tradition of these forces as (ex-)Stalinist opposition parties and partly in the fact that they are advocating a different foreign policy to the EU. They adapt to that wing of the European monopoly bourgeoisie which desires an independent position of Washington. Naturally, as an independent Great Power (i.e. without the U.S. military support), the EU would be politically and military much weaker. As such a weakened imperialist bloc, the EU must strive not for short-term confrontation with other rivals but rather for cooperation and “pacifist” relations with them.




The Japanese Communist Party




The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) has never been part of a coalition government. It is a sizeable ex-Stalinist, social democratic opposition party which has officially about 300,000 member and 20,000 branches across the country. At the elections for the House of Representatives in the 2017, the JCP received 4.4 million votes, or 7.91%. And in the 2016 election for the House of Councilors, the party got 6.02 million votes, or 10.74%. [18]


A crucial programmatic feature of the JCP since the beginning of its legal existence in 1945 is the denial of the imperialist character of Japan. While the party accepts that Japan has been an imperialist power before 1945, it claims that a fundamental change has taken place since then. Already in a programmatic declaration adopted at the Plenum of the Central Committee held in August 1948, the JCP defined as its goals the reclaiming of Japan’s status as an independent (i.e. independent imperialist) state. It called for “Japan's right to self-defence“, the “reversion to Japan of islands which nationally and historically belong to it” as well for a “guarantee for independence of the Japanese economy“:


2. Independence: the complete recovery of sovereignty. (No obligation s hall be borne that will infringe upon sovereignty). 3. Territory: the reversion to Japan of islands which are to originally belong to Japan nationally and historically. (...) 5. Denunciation of war and right to self-defence: the denunciation of war; opposition to any condition which might involve Japan into an international dispute and the approval of Japan's right to self-defence. 6. Economy: guarantee for independence of the Japanese economy and improvement of the people's life and the formation of equal economic relations with every country of the world.[19]


In a draft program published by the JCP’s leadership in September 1957 (and later adopted at a congress), the following characterization was given: "It is U.S. imperialism and Japanese monopoly capital, which is in subordinate allied relations with the former, that basically rule Japan today. While being a highly developed capitalist country, Japan has become a virtually dependent country semi-occupied by U.S. imperialism." [20] The party concluded from this that the main goal is a “people's democratic revolution” which main tasks is, among others, the achievement of “complete independence of the nation”. Inner-party opponents, “like Shojiro Kasuga, Tomochika Naito and others who regarded Japan as a basically independent imperialist power” were denounced as “revisionists” and consequently expelled. [21]


The JCP upholds this position until the present day – more than 70 years after the end of World War II – when Japan has become one of the strongest imperialist powers in the global economy! In its program, adopted in 2004, the JCP gives the following characterization of Japan:


Although Japan is a highly developed capitalist country, it is virtually a dependent country, with an important part of its land, military matters and other affairs of state being controlled by the United States. (…) The United States still retains significant power over Japan's military and diplomatic affairs, and constantly uses its enormous power to interfere with Japan's economic affairs. In the United Nations and in other international forums, Japanese government representatives often play the role of spokespersons for the U.S. government. Japan-U.S. relationship is not one of an equal rights alliance. The present state of Japan is marked by its state subordination to the United States, which is extraordinary not only among the developed capitalist countries but in international relations of the present-day world, in which colonization is history. The U.S. domination of Japan clearly has an imperialistic character because it tramples on Japan's sovereignty and independence in the interests of U.S. world strategy and U.S. monopoly capitalism.[22]


From this follows the programmatic tasks of the JCP which effectively is the creation of an independent (of course, “peaceful”) imperialist state:


A change Japanese society needs at present is a democratic revolution instead of a socialist revolution. It is a revolution that puts an end to Japan's extraordinary subordination to the United States and the tyrannical rule of large corporations and business circles, a revolution that secures Japan's genuine independence and carries out democratic reforms in politics, the economy, and society. Although these are democratic reforms realizable within the framework of capitalism, their full-fledged achievement can be made possible through a transfer of state power to the forces that represent the fundamental interests of the Japanese people from those representing Japan's monopoly capitalism and subordinate to the United States. Success in achieving this democratic change will help solve problems that cause the people to suffer and pave the way for building an independent, democratic, and peaceful Japan that safeguards the fundamental interests of the majority of the people.


According to the JCP program, such an independent imperialist Japan would abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty … and continue cooperation with U.S. imperialism “on an equal footing”! “Japan will conclude a friendship treaty with the United States on an equal footing. Unjustifiable U.S. intervention will be rejected also in economic affairs, so as to establish independence in all fields, including finance, foreign exchange, and trade.


While the JCP, as all left-reformist parties, preaches pacifism and praises the United Nations [23], it also indicates in its program its willingness to support the imperialist “war on terror”: “Oppose both indiscriminate terrorist attacks that victimize the general public and retaliatory war, and work to heighten international calls and increase common action for eradicating terrorism.” Likewise, the JCP’s leader Shii Kazuo called “the global community” (i.e. the imperialist Great Powers dominating the UN Security Council) to join forces “to eliminate terrorism”: “He (Shii, Ed.) goes on to emphasize the need for the global community to unite in efforts to eliminate terrorism from around the world.[24]




JCP: Advisor for an Alternative Strategy for Japanese Imperialism




Such a support for an independent imperialist Japan is reflected in social-imperialist positions on central issues in the current period. In a programmatic statement, published in September 2000, the JCP declared once more its will to work towards a peaceful world and the disbandment of the army … albeit with two crucial qualifications. First such a pacifist scenario should only be desired “on condition that stable peace in Asia is maintained firmly, and that public consensus has matured on the complete implementation of the Constitution's Article 9.” Since “stable peace” can not and will not exist in a world dominated by imperialist powers (and certainly does not exist given the rivalry between the U.S., China, Japan and India for hegemony in East and South Asia) and since “public consensus” means that also the reactionary forces of Japanese monopoly capital would have to agree to disarmament (which, of course, they never will), such a pacifist future is postponed to a very distanced future.


The most important statement of the whole declaration however is the very last sentence: “It will be natural for us to make use of the existing SDF, if the situation demands it, to assure the people's safety.[25] This means nothing else but the JCP’s support for the deployment of Japan’s imperialist army “if the situation demands it”.


In effect, the JCP acts as an advisor for Japanese imperialism to “emancipate” itself from its subordinated role to U.S. imperialism. Another example for this is the JCP’s criticism of the Abe government for not joining the China-dominated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which was founded in 2015 as an alternative imperialist financial institution. The JCP’s leader Shii Kazuo demanded “that the Japanese government join the planned new global investment bank with its focus on Asia [in reaction to] the government decision to not become a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.[26] Grotesquely, the JCP leadership justifies this proposal by claiming that “the AIIB represents a move to explore an alternative international economic order displacing the current order centering on the major economic powers.” Obviously, they have not heard about the fact the China itself has become already a “major economic power”. Of course, in reality this is all nothing but hypocritical phrase-mongering obscuring the JCP’s concept to offer a strategy for independent Japanese imperialism.


Another example for the JCP’s social-imperialist role as advisor for Japan to act as a Great Power is its criticism of the conservative Abe government for not negotiating hard enough with the Trump Administration in the recent tariff conflict: “The JCP strongly opposes the bilateral trade negotiations between Japan and the U.S. that sell out Japan’s economic sovereignty to the U.S..[27]


Furthermore, the JCP also continues to call for the return of respectively for defending various islands which Japan has conquered in its history. Such it demands in its 2004 program “the return to Japan of the Chishima (Kurile) Islands as well as the Habomai Islands and Shikotan Island, which are historically part of Japan.” (These islands have been controlled by the USSR resp. Russia since 1945. [28]) Likewise they insist on Japan’s right to control the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands which were handed over to Japan by U.S. imperialism in 1972. However, these islands are also claimed by China and, as a result, there have been heated tensions between the two powers in 2012. [29] However, the social-imperialist JCP has strongly defended Japan’s claims from 1972 until today. [30]


The JCP has the same social-patriotic position when it comes to Japans claims over the Dokdo/Takeshima Island. These islands were robbed by Japanese imperialism from Korea in 1905 and are also claimed since long by South Korea. [31]


However, an even worse example for the JCP’s social-imperialism has been its full and unconditional support for the Great Power’s aggression against North Korea when the later dared to make nuclear and missiles tests during the last years. [32] Instead of supporting this small country against the pressure of the biggest imperialist powers (the U.S. with the support of Japan and even the tacit support of China and Russia), instead of defending North Korea’s right to obtain some nuclear missiles so that it can defend itself against the imperialist aggression, instead of all this, the social-imperialist JCP issued a series of hostile statements. It “strongly condemns North Korea’s reckless action. (...) The JCP strongly demands that North Korea comply with the UNSC resolutions and stop engaging in any further military provocations.[33] It even goes so far to demand explicitly the implementation of the hunger blockade against North Korea calling for “the strict implementation of increased economic sanctions against the country.” [34]


In summary, both the PEL as well as the JCP are staunch pro-Western social-imperialist parties. They advocate an alternative policy for European respectively Japanese imperialism (for independence from the U.S., for cooperation with Russia and China) instead of a socialist program in the interest of the working class. They combine such a social-imperialist program with pacifist phrase-mongering.


[1] V.I.Lenin: Opportunism and Collapse of Second International (1915), in: LCW 22, p. 112

[2] For a more detailed analysis of reformism today see Michael Pröbsting: Marxism and the United Front Tactic Today. The Struggle for Proletarian Hegemony in the Liberation Movement in Semi-Colonial and Imperialist Countries in the present Period, RCIT Books, Vienna 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/

[3] There has been a split recently in the PEL. Mélenchon‘s La France insoumise, PODEMOS in Spain, Bloco de Esquerda (Portugal), the Red-Green Alliance (Denmark), the Left Party (Sweden) and the Left Alliance (Finland) have founded a new movement called “Maintenant le peuple” (“Now the people). This new alliance will stand as a separate list at the EU elections in May 2019. Furthermore, a split is also looming in the German LINKE as Sarah Wagenknecht has launched their initiative aufstehen. However, until now the political differences between MLP and PEL are focused on the MLP’s critique of SYRIZA’s pro-austerity policy as well as PEL’s critique of the MLP’s adaption to populism. Pro-PEL forces also attack Mélenchon and Wagenknecht for their adaption to social-chauvinism (e.g. rejection of “open borders” for refugees). Indeed, as we will show below, Wagenknecht stands for reactionary positions on the issue of migration. Nevertheless, this is a ridiculous battle amongst hypocritical bandits. True, Mélenchon and Wagenknecht openly express social-chauvinist positions. However, SYRIZA, one of the main forces of PEL and the governing party in Greece, is implementing since years an arch-reactionary social-chauvinist program as it is participating in the imperialist Frontex regimes of the EU! Likewise, it has formed a coalition government with the extreme right-wing party ANEL. Given the bureaucratic nature of the split – in reality, the main issue are the number of seats both sides hope to win at the upcoming European elections – it is not clear until now if there are relevant consequences of this split for the specific character of their social-imperialist orientation. Consequently, it is not possible to take the issue of the PEL’s split into consideration in this book. (For more information on the split see e.g. Angelina Giannopoulou: The Party of the European Left, Diem25 and the transnational campaign of Jean-Luc Mélenchon towards the European Elections in 2019, transform europe! 2018; Cécile Barbière: La France Insoumise wants to turn European elections into anti-Macron referendum, 3. Okt. 2018, https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/news/la-france-insoumise-wants-to-turn-european-elections-into-anti-macron-referendum/; Steffen Vogel: Linke Sammlungsbewegung: Falsches Vorbild Mélenchon, aus: »Blätter« 3/2018, https://www.blaetter.de/archiv/jahrgaenge/2018/maerz/linke-sammlungsbewegung-falsches-vorbild-melenchon; Jürgen Meyer: »Maintenant le Peuple« (MLP, Jetzt das Volk): Spaltung der Europäischen Linken oder neue linke Sammlungsbewegung? 12. Juli 2018 http://internetz-zeitung.eu/index.php/4839-%C2%BBmaintenant-le-peuple%C2%AB-mlp,-jetzt-das-volk-spaltung-der-europ%C3%A4ischen-linken-oder-neue-linke-sammlungsbewegung )

[4] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, Chapter 13

[5] See PCF: L‘ intervention militaire française comporte de grands risques de guerre (12.1.2013), http://www.pcf.fr/33977; PCF: C’est le Mali qu’il faut reconstruire, (11.1.2013), http://www.pcf.fr/33940

[6] Quoted in Don Franks: Mali invaded in new ‘scramble for Africa’, February 2, 2013, https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/mali-invaded-in-new-scramble-for-africa/. The same quote is reproduced in Kumaran Ira: French Left Front promotes war in Mali, WSWS, 22 January 2013, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/22/left-j22.html as well as in CoReP: Down with the French imperialist intervention in Mali, http://www.revolution-socialiste.info/CoRePCCItMaliEV.htm; see also L’intervention jugée nécessaire par les députés, 16 Janvier, 2013, https://www.humanite.fr/politique/l-intervention-jugee-necessaire-par-les-deputes-513009 and Raoul Rigault: Why French troops are in Mali and why the French Communist Party supports the war, 26 February 2013 https://www.marxist.com/why-french-troops-are-in-mali-and-why-the-french-supports-the-war.htm

[7] See on this e.g. RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; Michael Pröbsting: France: “Communist” Party fails to Vote in Parliament against Imperialist War in Iraq! 15.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/french-pcf-iraq-war/; Michael Pröbsting: After the Paris Attack: Socialists must Join Hands with Muslim People Against Imperialism and Racism! Reformist and Centrist Forces try to derail the Workers Movement by Failing to Stand up for Solidarity with the Muslims and Against Imperialist War-Mongering! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-defend-muslims/; Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/racist-charlie-hebdo/

[8] See e.g. RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! Stop France’s and other Imperialist Powers’ Warmongering! No Mobilization of the Army inside France! Defend the Muslim Peoples against Chauvinist Hatemongering and State Repression! 14.11.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/; RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/

[9] See on this e.g. RKO BEFREIUNG: Austria: Islamophobic Racism on the Rise! Solidarity with the Muslim Brothers and Sisters! No to the Closure of 7 Mosques and the Expulsion of 40 Imams and their Families! 8. June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/islamophobic-racism-on-the-rise-in-austria/; Almedina Gunić: Gegen das Verhüllungsverbot! Für Religionsfreiheit und Frauenrechte! Kampf dem islamophoben Rassismus und der Diskriminierung muslimischer Frauen! https://www.rkob.net/aktuell/kurzmeldungen/kurzmeldungen-september-1/; see also Yossi Schwartz: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism, 16 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-semitism-and-anti-zionism/

[10] See e.g. "Offene Grenzen für alle - das ist weltfremd", Interview mit Sahra Wagenknecht, erschienen im FOCUS am 10.02.2018, https://www.sahra-wagenknecht.de/de/article/2713.offene-grenzen-f%C3%BCr-alle-das-ist-weltfremd.html

[11] On Kadyrov’s formal adaption to Islamism and, at the same time, serving as Putin’s local dictator against the Chechen people see e.g. Fred Weir: Kremlin frets as Russia's once restive Islamist region takes up political Islam. Strongman Ramzan Kadyrov was installed by Putin to squelch Chechnya's Islamist insurrection. But Kadyrov's adoption of sharia and political Islam in the region is challenging Russia's secular constitutional order, September 20, 2017 https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2017/0920/Kremlin-frets-as-Russia-s-once-restive-Islamist-region-takes-up-political-Islam

[12] V. I. Lenin: German and Non-German Chauvinism (1916); in: LCW 22, p. 183

[13] Gregor Gysi: Die Haltung der deutschen Linken zum Staat Israel, Vortrag von Dr. Gregor Gysi auf einer Veranstaltung „60 Jahre Israel“ der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung am 14.4.2008, http://www.juedische.at/TCgi/_v2/TCgi.cgi?target=home&Param_Kat=3&Param_RB=33&Param_Red=9722

[14] See LINKE weist Antisemitismus-Vorwürfe zurück. Der Parteivorstand der LINKEN hat am 21. Mai 2011 ohne Gegenstimmen die folgende Erklärung verabschiedet: http://www.die-linke.de/partei/organe/parteivorstand/parteivorstand20102012/beschluesse/linkeweistantisemitismusvorwuerfezurueck/; Parliamentary Group of the LINKE: Entschieden gegen Antisemitismus, 8. Juni 2011, http://www.die-linke.de/nc/dielinke/nachrichten/detail/artikel/entschieden-gegen-antisemitismus

[15] On the state repression against the Austrian section of the RCIT as well as the smear campaign and physical attacks by various “left-wing” forces see e.g. the following reports (which include links to more reports): RKOB: Public Prosecution Department in Vienna Stops Investigation against Michael Pröbsting, 09.02.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/investigation-vs-proebsting-stopped/; RKOB: Austria: Right-Wing Party Opens Parliamentary Inquiry against the RCIT Section. Biggest Opposition Party smears the Trotskyists for alleged “Left-Wing Extremism”, “Antisemitism” and “Radical Islamism” and asks the Federal Ministry of the Interior to officially investigate them, 29.01.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/parliamentary-inquiry-against-rcit-section/; RCIT: Stop Judicial Prosecution for Solidarity with Palestine! A Call to the Austrian State to Drop Its Charges against Michael Pröbsting! https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/solidarity-proebsting/; RKOB: Austria: “Left-Wing” Zionists Attack Arab Migrants at Demonstration in Solidarity with Refugees! Report (with Pictures and Videos) from the anti-racist Demonstration on 26 November in Vienna by the Austrian Section of the RCIT, 27.11.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/zionists-attack-rcit-austria/; RKOB: KPÖ schließt RKOB aus und macht den Weg frei für Frauenschläger der Anti-Nationalen Szene. Wiederholter körperlicher Angriff auf Genossin Gunić am Volksstimmefest, Bericht der Revolutionär-Kommunistischen Organisation BEFREIUNG zum Volksstimmefest 2016, 05.09.2016, https://www.rkob.net/wer-wir-sind-1/rkob-aktiv-bei/bericht-vs-fest-2016/; Report on May Day 2016 in Austria: Joint Resistance against Racist Attacks. Forceful, militant, internationalist demonstration despite racist attacks, Report (with Pictures and Videos) on the multinational, internationalist demonstration in Vienna marking May Day 2016 organized by the Revolutionary Communist Organization LIBERATION, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/report-may-day-2016-in-austria/; RCIT: Victory! The Charge against RKOB Spokesperson and Palestine Solidarity Activist Johannes Wiener has been dropped! 10.1.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/solidarity-with-wiener-won/

[16] An Internationalist Answer, Speech by Gregor Gysi, President of the European Left, held at the Federal Party Congress in Leipzig, 9 June 2018, on the dispute on refugees and migration, https://www.transform-network.net/blog/article/an-internationalist-answer/

[17] The Marxists began to fight against such illusions in international courts of arbitration already before World War One. Unfortunately, the reformists still have not learned anything from this! (See on this e.g. Annelis Laschitza: Zur Rolle des Zentrismus 1911/12. Ein Beitrag über den Zusammenhang von Imperialismus und Opportunismus, in: Fritz Klein (Ed.): Studien zum deutschen Imperialismus vor 1914, Berlin 1976)

[18] What is the JCP? A Profile of the Japanese Communist Party (November, 2017), https://www.jcp.or.jp/english/2011what_jcp.html

[19] Central Committee of the Communist Party of Japan: The Fifty Years of the Communist Party of Japan, published by the Publication Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Japan, Tokyo 1973, p. 106

[20] The Fifty Years of the Communist Party of Japan, p. 136

[21] On the history of the Japanese Communist Party see also Hans Modrow, Manfred Sohn: Vor dem großen Sprung? Überblick über die Politik der Japanischen Kommunistischen Partei, GNN-Verlag, Schkeuditz 2000

[22] Program of the Japanese Communist Party, adopted on January 17, 2004 at the JCP 23rd Congress, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/23rd_congress/program.html

[23] See e.g. the JCP’s enthusiastic support for the noncommittal and meaningless calls of the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons: JCP Chair Shii issues statement to welcome the nuclear weapons ban treaty, July 9, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/07/20170709jcp-chair-shii-issues-statement.html and Shii issues statement welcoming draft N-ban treaty, May 24, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/05/20170524shii-issues-statement.html

[25] JCP's view on relationship between Constitution's Article 9 and the Self-Defense Forces, September 30 2000, https://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_weekly/e000930_03.html

[26] Not too late for Japan to join AIIB: Shii, April 2, 2015 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2015/04/20150402i.html

[27] JCP opposes the Japan-U.S. trade negotiations which disregards Japan’s economic sovereignty, September 28, 2018, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2018/09/20180928-jcp-opposes-the-japan-us-trade.html

[28] We note in passing that the JCP already demanded the handing over of these islands since 1945, i.e. in a time when the Soviet Union was a Degenerated Workers State (or a “socialist country” as the JCP even claimed). In other words, it was such a social-chauvinistic party that it put the “national rights” of Japanese imperialism higher than that of a foreign “socialist country”! Their understanding of “socialism in one country” meant that they were first Japanese patriots and only secondly “socialists”!

[29] Michael Pröbsting: No to chauvinist war-mongering by Japanese and Chinese imperialism! 23.9.2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/no-war-between-china-and-japan/

[30] 1972, when US imperialism handed the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands over to Japan, the JCP on 31.3.1972 issued a statement, “The Senkaku Islands – Japanese Territory”, to state its position: “The Okinawa Legislature, in the March 3 plenary session resolved that ‘It is clear that the Senkakus are Japanese territory and there is no room for dispute over their territorial right’. The opinion of our party is that this claim is correct. We would again like to make clear our party's view on the Senkakus question. For some time now our party has carried out investigations and studied the historical background and relations under international-law in connection with this. Our investigations have made it clear that the Senkakus are Japan's territory.” (The Senkaku Islands--Japanese Territory. Press Conference by Tomio Nishizawa, JCP Standing Presidium Member, Akahata, 31.3.1972; http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/feature_articles/index.php?id=34) It reiterated this position in a statement in 2010: “Even with historical documents made available after the publication of the statement, no finding which makes it necessary for the JCP to revise this view has been introduced. Under international law, a country can exclusively exercise its sovereignty within its territorial waters. Therefore, it is a matter of course for the Japan Coast Guard to crack down on illegal operations of foreign ships.” (How to solve the issue of the Senkaku Islands: Japan justifiably claims sovereignty; 20.9.2010, http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/feature_articles/index.php?id=34; www.japan-press.co.jp is the website of the JCP paper Japan Weekly Press) And again, in the midst of an escalation with China, the reformist JCP insisted on 21.8.2012: “Regarding the Senkaku Islands, Ichida referred to the JCP’s 2010 statement which made clear that Japan’s possession of the islands is legitimate based on history and international law.” (Calm diplomatic efforts needed to solve territorial issues: JCP Ichida; 21.8.2012, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_2012/20120821_04.html)

[31] The JCP’s leadership stated in 1977: “… the JCP in 1977 expressed its view that Japan has the historical legitimacy to claim Japan’s sovereignty over Tkashima Island” (Takeshima issue should be solved through diplomacy: JCP chair; August 11, 2012, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_2012/20120811_01.html) This viewpoint was repeated in August 2012: “Regarding Takeshima Island, Ichida referred to the JCP’s 1977 statement which stated that Japan has historical grounds to claim its sovereignty over the island.” (Calm diplomatic efforts needed to solve territorial issues: JCP Ichida; August 21, 2012, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_2012/20120821_04.html)

[32] See the RCIT: Has the Trump-Kim Summit Opened the Road to Peace in East Asia? 14.06.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/has-the-trump-kim-summit-opened-the-road-to-peace-in-east-asia/; RCIT: North Korea: Stop the American Warmongers! Defend North Korea against the Madman of US Imperialism! Down with the imperialist sanctions against North Korea! No political support for the Stalinist Kim Regime! 11 August 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/stop-us-madman-threatening-north-korea/; RCIT: US Sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea are an Economic Declaration of War, 30 July 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/us-sanctions-vs-russia-iran-north-korea/; RCIT: North Korea: Stop the War Mongering of US Imperialism! 4 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/us-aggression-vs-north-korea/; RCIT: New Imperialist Threats in East Asia: Hands off North Korea! 12.3.2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/defend-north-korea/; RCIT: No War against North Korea! Call for Protests on the Day when a War starts! 6.4.2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/no-war-against-north-korea/; Michael Pröbsting: US Aggression against North Korea: The CWI's "Socialist" Pacifism, 12.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/cwi-and-north-korea/.

On the issue of capitalist restoration in North Korea we refer readers to several essays which we have published recently: Michael Pröbsting: Has Capitalist Restoration in North Korea Crossed the Rubicon or Not? Reply to a Polemic of Władza Rad (Poland), 15 July 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/has-capitalist-restoration-in-north-korea-crossed-the-rubicon-or-not/; Michael Pröbsting: In What Sense Can One Speak of Capitalist Restoration in North Korea? Reply to Several Objections Raised by the Polish Comrades of “Władza Rad”, 21 June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/north-korea-and-the-marxist-theory-of-capitalist-restoration/; Michael Pröbsting: Again on Capitalist Restoration in North Korea, 12 June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/again-on-capitalist-restoration-in-north-korea/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, Chapter VI. The Korean Peninsula: Imperialist Aggression, Capitalist Restoration and Revolutionary Defensism, pp. 95-105, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/

[33] Kazuo Shii: JCP strongly condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and again calls for immediate direct talks to overcome the current crisis, November 29, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/11/20171129-jcp-strongly-condemns-north-koreas.html. The same position is expressed in various other statements. See e.g. JCP condemns North Korea’s nuclear test and again calls for direct talks to defuse current crisis, September 4, 2017, http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/09/20170904-jcp-condemns-north-koreas-nuclear.html; Shii issues statement protesting against N. Korea’s ballistic missile launch, May 22, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/05/20170522shii-issues-statement.html; Shii protests North Korea’s missile launch, February 14, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/02/20170214-shii-protests-north-koreas.html; Shii welcomes new UNSC sanctions on North Korea, March 4, 2016 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2016/03/20160304-shii-welcomes-new-unsc-sanctions-on-north-korea.html

[34] Shii issues statement condemning N. Korea’s missile launch, August 30, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/08/20170830-shii-issues-statement.html; the same formulation is repeated in Shii explains to press JCP proposal on North Korea issue, February 20, 2017 http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jcpcc/blog/2017/02/20170220-shii-explains-to-press.html