Servants of Two Masters

Stalinism and the New Cold War between Imperialist Great Powers in East and West

A Pamphlet (with 10 Tables) by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 10 July 2021, www.thecommunists.net

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Contents

Introduction

 

1. The New Inter-Imperialist Cold War

 

2. A View on the Military Strength of the Great Powers

 

3. The Main Point of both Statements: Siding with Chinese and Russian Imperialism

 

4. Stalinist Fantasies Shredded in the Light of Reality: The Rise of Chinese Imperialism

 

5. The KKE’s “criticism” and its fraternal bonds with the Chinese CP

 

6. Beside the Servants of Assad the Butcher - Who Signed the KKE-initiated Joint Statement?

 

7. The Xi Fan Club: Signatories of the CPUSA-initiated Joint Statement

 

8. The Concept of Multilateralism and Peaceful Coexistence: A Reactionary Illusion

 

9. “Socialism in One Country”: The Historical Roots of the Stalinist Concept of “Peaceful Coexistence

 

10. Serving Two Masters: The Eastern Imperialists as well as Sectors of the Domestic Bourgeoisie

 

11. A Note on the tight-lipped “Trotskyists” (CWI, IMT, ISA)

 

12. Conclusions

 

 

 

* * * * *



Introduction

 

Since early July, two Joint Statements on the new inter-imperialist Cold War are circulating which have already been signed by a number of Stalinist and ex-Stalinist parties. While these are not the first statements from such forces on the recent acceleration of the rivalry between the Great Powers, both statements are highly remarkable – both because of its contents and because of their signatories. [1]

 

Without doubt, these two statements have been provoked by the recent escalation of the Cold War between the imperialist Great Powers – between the Western imperialists (U.S., Western Europe and Japan), on one hand, and China and Russia, on the other hand. Naturally, the relationship between the states within in these two camps are not without conflicting interests and frictions. But at the moment – and for the foreseeable future – the main axis of the inter-imperialist rivalry is between these two camps. [2]

 

Before we present the main ideas of these Stalinist statements and discuss their problems, we shall start with an overview of the Marxist analysis of Great Power rivalry, its nature and its role in world politics. In addition, we will give a summary of the revolutionary program on this issue.

 

We urge all revolutionaries to discuss our conclusions. We consider agreement on the programmatic response to the inter-imperialist rivalry as crucial for Marxists as this is a key issue of world politics in the current period. We are glad that our Argentinean comrades in Convergencia Socialista – with whom the RCIT is in a Liaison Committee as a framework to move towards revolutionary unity – take the same principled and anti-imperialist approach.

 

1. The New Inter-Imperialist Cold War

 

The RCIT has shown in its works that this process of accelerating rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers is driven, to name the most fundamental factor, by the decay of capitalism which has provoked economic depression and destabilization of the global political order. [3] As a result of this we experience since some time the decline of the long-time hegemon of the imperialism – the U.S. In parallel, new Great Powers emerged – first and foremost China [4] and Russia. [5]

 

As the process of capitalist decay is accelerating, so is the decline of the U.S. as well as the rivalry between all Great Powers. As a result, a new Cold War between the imperialist camps started in the last years. It is inevitable, as we have seen in the last weeks with the shooting incident in the Black Sea, that such an escalation will sooner or later result in a full-fledged inter-imperialist war. [6]

 

In fact, leading representatives of the U.S. “Military-Industrial Complex”, like Admiral James G. Stavridis, author of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” – have publicly predicted such a war between Great Powers in the not too distanced future. [7] The global arms race, the increasing number of so-called “Freedom of Navigation Operations” by Western powers, where their navy enter maritime territory controlled by their rivals, the increasingly aggressive claims of Russia and China to exclusively control certain seas (e.g. Russia’s claim to control access to the Azov Sea or China’s claim to the South China Sea (or East Sea as Vietnam calls it) – all these steps are destinated to provoke military clashes. [8]

 

America’s rivals seem not to be too much worried about such prospects. After the latest skirmish in the Black Sea between the British HMS Defender and Russian forces, Russia’s President Putin remarked in an interview “that even if Russia had sunk the British warship, “those who did this” wouldn’t have gone to war as they’d know “they could not win a war like that” against Russia.[9]

 

And China’s governments – in the words of Wu Qian, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defense – made clear that a declaration of independence by Taiwan “means war”. The Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of the Beijing regime, added pointedly in an editorial: “Taiwan and the US should be sent a message: Do not misjudge or underestimate the Chinese mainland’s determination and will to defend its territorial integrity and to severely punish the reckless acts of “Taiwan independence” forces. If the island of Taiwan and the US regard the previous US administration’s last-minute acts as a new starting point of their ties and continue to promote “Taiwan independence,” it is predictable that military conflicts will be triggered across the Taiwan Straits. (…) The mainland has abundant power to do so. The 1.4 billion Chinese people are especially united in defending their territorial integrity. “Taiwan independence” means war – this is not only the declaration of the People’s Liberation Army, but also the common attitude of all Chinese people.[10]

 

2. A View on the Military Strength of the Great Powers

 

These are not empty threats as these imperialists know that they are capable to deliver strikes and counter-strikes against their rivals. As one can see from the Table 1-3, the U.S. was and remains the largest military power, but Russia is not far behind and China is catching up. The renowned Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) observes: “Chinese spending has risen for 26 consecutive years – the longest streak of uninterrupted increases by any country in the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database.[11]

 

 

Table 1. World Nuclear Forces, 2020 [12]

 

Country                                Deployed Warheads        Other Warheads               Total Inventory

 

USA                                      1,800                                     3,750                                     5,550

 

Russia                                  1,625                                     4,630                                     6,255

 

UK                                         120                                          105                                        225

 

France                                  280                                           10                                         290

 

China                                                                               350                                          350

 

 

 

Table 2. The U.S. and China as the World’s largest Military Spenders [13]

 

                                Military Spending            Growth of Military Spending

 

                               in 2020 (in $Billion)         2011-2020 (in %)

 

U.S.                        $778 Billion                         -10%

 

China                    $252 Billion                         +76%

 

 

 

Table 3. The World’s 10 Top Exporters of Weapons, 2016-20 [14]

 

Rank                      Exporter                               Global Share (%)

 

1                             U.S.                                       37%

 

2                             Russia                                  20%

 

3                             France                                  8.2%

 

4                             Germany                             5.5%

 

5                             China                                    5.2%

 

 

These developments reflect well the general dynamic of the imperialist powers which the RCIT has pointed out repeatedly. U.S. imperialism is still a mighty force but basically it lives off its past successes. As the past hegemon of the global order (the self-proclaimed “World's Policeman”), it is hopelessly overstretched. The recent dramatic turn in the foreign policy of Washington – the hasty retreat from Afghanistan (another “Saigon moment[15]), withdrawal of most forces from the Middle East and Somalia so that it can focus its forces combating the rise of China – reflects the deep problems and contradictions of U.S. imperialism.

 

In other words, we live in a historic period which is dominated by wars and revolutions (and, consequently, also counterrevolutions). The issues of militarism, chauvinism and inter-imperialist wars are among the key questions of this period. It is impossible for Marxists to find a correct orientation without understanding the imperialist nature of all Great Powers (i.e. both those in the West as well as those in the East) and, following from this, the reactionary character of any conflict between these states.

 

As the RCIT has elaborated in its works, the only legitimate program of Marxists on this issue is the strategy of Revolutionary Defeatism as it has been advocated by Lenin and the Bolsheviks. This is the only program which allows socialists to take a consistent anti-imperialist and internationalist line towards Great Power rivalry. It includes consistent opposition against all imperialist Great Powers, i.e. against the U.S., China, Western Europe, Russia and Japan.

 

In these states, socialists are obliged to denounce all forms of militarism, chauvinism as well as sanctions and punitive tariffs. They must not lend support in any such measures either by their own ruling class or by a rivaling imperialist bourgeoisie. Based on the communists’ famous principle “the main enemy is at home“, revolutionaries aim to utilize any conflict in order to weaken and eventually overthrow the ruling class (or, to use Lenin’s words, to work towards the “transformation of the imperialist war into civil war”).

 

Following from this, authentic Marxists must energetically oppose those “progressive” forces which support in any way their own or any other imperialist Great Power. Revolutionaries recognize such forces as social-imperialist lackeys and combat their influence within the workers and popular mass organizations. [16]

 

3. The Main Point of both Statements: Siding with Chinese and Russian Imperialism

 

Let us now deal with the main points of the two recently published Stalinist statements. One has been initiated by Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) and signed by 31 parties, the other by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) which has been signed by 43 parties. (See the respective footnotes for a list of these parties)

 

The main parts of the CPUSA-initiated statement are: “The US, the de-facto leader of the NATO alliance has made it clear that its interests lie in igniting a “new Cold War” centered around anti-Chinese and anti-communist propaganda. This is a threat to all workers around the world. Since the infamous “Pivot to Asia” under President Barack Obama, it has been clear that the US capitalist elite has seen the rising successes and power of the People’s Republic of China as a threat to its unipolar, neoliberal world order. During the administration of Donald Trump, the US government became increasingly aggressive in its anti-China and anti-socialist policies and many began to talk about a “new Cold War”. (…) Why does the world’s largest country lifting itself out of poverty constitute a security threat to the NATO powers? The answer is that it doesn’t. It does however constitute a threat to US hegemony and capitalist’s profits. Both China and its strategic ally Russia, find themselves surrounded on all sides by hundreds of US and NATO military bases. Despite promises to not expand in to Eastern Europe, NATO has continuously expanded closer and closer to Russia’s borders and is aiding anti-Russian, fascist forces in Ukraine while using economic sanctions to punish the people of Russia. The world cannot be allowed to descend into another anti-communist Cold War.[17]

 

The main parts of the KKE-initiated statement are: “The Communist and Workers’ Parties declare loud and clear that they denounce the aggressive plans of the imperialist organization of NATO, which are being escalated following its recent Summit. (…) Thus, “NATO 2030” constitutes the escalation of aggression, a preparation for war, and a proof of fierce competition with Russia and China. The military encirclement of Russia, the targeting of China and Iran, the announcement about a nuclear first strike, and the giant exercise “DEFENDER-Europe 21” refute any bogus claims about “the peace and security of the peoples”. The workers and the other popular strata are not in need of a so-called “new Cold War”, nor any imperialist plans, interventions, and wars in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, the Caucasus region, the Black Sea, the Southeast Mediterranean, the Middle East, and elsewhere. (…) They have the power to fight against the dangerous plans and to strengthen the struggle in every country against NATO and any kind of imperialist plans that massacre the peoples; against military bases and any kind of weapons of mass destruction possessed by the imperialists.” [18]

 

While the two statements have some different nuances (with which we will deal below), they share the main point: the Cold War does not have an inter-imperialist character. There is only one imperialist camp which is NATO, i.e. the North American and Western European Great Powers. These are, according to the Stalinist Joint Statements, the sole responsible forces for militarism and the imperialist war drive. In contrast, China and Russia are not characterized as “imperialist”, quite the opposite, one of the two statements is full of praise for Beijing’s ruling class. The conclusion of these two statements is pretty obvious: as only one camp (the Western powers) is imperialist, the Stalinists advocate support for the other, supposedly anti-imperialist (or at least “non-imperialist”) camp, i.e. for China and Russia.

 

As the reader can see, the CPUSA-initiated statement is particularly outspoken in its appraisal of China (and Russia). NATO’s aggression against China is characterized not only as “imperialist” but also as “anti-communist” and “anti-socialist”. Likewise, according to the Stalinists, China’s rise “constitute a threat to the “unipolar, neoliberal world order” as well as to “capitalist’s profits.

 

These are laughable claims! China is a “socialist” or “communist” country by name only. In fact, it is a capitalist state with a strong monopoly bourgeoisie. As we have analyzed China’s capitalism in much detail in several works (see the references in the respective footnote), we limit ourselves at this place to point to a few facts which demolish the myth about “socialism” in China.

4. Stalinist Fantasies Shredded in the Light of Reality: The Rise of Chinese Imperialism

 

As a matter of fact, social inequality in China has dramatically accelerated since the introduction of the market reforms. Today, according to the World Inequality Report 2018, the share of total national income accounted for by the top 10% earners is 41% in China – larger than in imperialist Europe (37%). [19]

 

According to the latest issue of the China-based Hurun Global Rich List, China had the largest share of “known” global billionaires. (See Table 4) We see the same picture when it comes to the globally leading capitalist corporations. According to the latest issue of Fortune Global 500, China has become No. 1 also in this category. (See Table 5) [20]

 

 

Table 4. China and U.S. Lead the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 [21]

 

                                2021                      Share of “Known” Global Billionaires 2021

 

China                   1058                       32.8%

 

U.S.                        696                        21.6%

 

 

 

Table 5. Top 10 Countries with the Ranking of Fortune Global 500 Companies (2020) [22]

 

Rank                     Country                                                               Companies                          Share(in%)

 

1                             China (without Taiwan)                                  124                                         24.8%

 

2                             United States                                                     121                                         24.2%

 

3                             Japan                                                                     53                                           10.6%

 

4                             France                                                                   31                                           6.2%

 

5                             Germany                                                              27                                           5.4%

 

 

Hence, respected institutions both in China as well as in the West recognize that China is home of a large number of capitalist monopolies as well as billionaires. So, if there exists “socialism” in China, it is only “socialism” for the rich, but not for the popular masses!

 

How on earth can the Stalinists fantasize about the idea that China would constitute a “threat to capitalist’s profits”?! Well, the Chinese monopolies might constitute a threat to the profits of the U.S. corporations … because the make so much profits themselves!

 

The Stalinists’ assertions that China constitutes a threat to the “unipolar, neoliberal world order” reflects another myth. As a matter of fact, there exists no “unipolar world order”. There was a, historically short, period from 1991 until the late 2000 in which such an “unipolar world order” existed as the U.S. was the absolute hegemon. Between 1945 and 1991, world politics was shaped by the Cold War between the Western imperialists and the Soviet Union (and other Stalinist bureaucratic workers states). However, in general, modern capitalism is characterized by the existence of several Great Powers which stand in rivalry to each other.

 

In any case, with the rise of China (and also Russia), there exists no “unipolar world order” any longer – at least not in our universe! Table 6 and 7 demonstrate the massive shift of economic power from the old imperialist states towards China which has taken place since the beginning of this century.

 

 

Table 6. Share of U.S., Western Europe and China in Global Industrial Production, 2000 and 2015 [23]

 

                                                Share in Global Industrial Production

 

                                                               2000                      2015

 

U.S.                                                       25.1%                    17.7%

 

Western Europe                                12.1%                    9.2%

 

China                                                    6.5%                      23.6%

 

 

 

Table 7. Share of U.S. and China in World Trade, 2001 and 2016 [24]

 

                                               Share in World Trade

 

                                               2001                      2016

 

U.S.                                        15.1%                    11.4%

 

China                                      4.0%                     11.5%

 

 

 

According to latest figures, China’s lead in terms of world manufacturing – the heart of global capitalist value production – has increased even more. Today it accounts for 28.7% of global manufacturing output. The U.S. ranks as second with 16.8%. (See Table 8)

 

 

 

Table 8. Top 10 Countries by Share of Global Manufacturing Output in 2019 [25]

 

                                               Share in Global Manufacturing Output

 

China                                    28.7%

 

U.S.                                       16.8%

 

Japan                                     7.5%

 

Germany                              5.3%

 

India                                      3.1%

 

South Korea                        3.0%

 

Italy                                       2.1%

 

France                                  1.9%

 

UK                                         1.8%

 

Indonesia                            1.6%

 

 

 

Likewise, China has established itself as the leading nation in world trade. In Table 9 we see that China’s share in world exports (14.7%) is much larger than that of the No. 2, the U.S. (8.1%). This is even more the case if one adds the figure for Hong Kong to China’s.

 

 

 

Table 9. Top Countries by Share of World Exports in 2020 [26]

 

Share of global exports of goods (%), leading economies, 2020

 

China (incl. Hong Kong)                               14.7% (17.8%)

 

USA                                                                       8.1%

 

Germany                                                             7.8%

 

Netherlands                                                      3.8%

 

Japan                                                                   3.6%

 

South Korea                                                      2.9%

 

France                                                                 2.8%

 

Italy                                                                       2.8%

 

Belgium                                                               2.4%

 

 

Neither can one speak about a “unipolar world order” in world politics. Look at the growing influence of China and Russia in most regions of the world. In some cases, Russia has even sent its military (Syria) or its mercenaries (Libya) abroad in order to support its allies.

 

The other characterization of the world order – “neoliberal” – is also increasingly wrong. China never followed a neoliberal conception in its policy. Neither did Russia. Both have been rather characterized by a regime of state-capitalist regulation. However, as we have analyzed in more detail in our book on the COVID-19 Counterrevolution, there has been a decisive shift recently also in the Western imperialist countries where governments are turning away from neo-liberalism and towards more state-capitalist, Keynesian intervention. [27] Even U.S. President Biden tries to implement massive public infrastructure programs. As Marxists have explained again and again, neoliberalism was always only one of several options of capitalist policy. Other models with more state-capitalist intervention have existed throughout the history of modern capitalism (see e.g. state-capitalist interventions in the fascist states in the 1930s, the U.S. New Deal in the same period, the Keynesian policy in the West after World War II until the early 1970s).

 

It is characteristic for various reformists, Stalinists and Castro-Chavistas to identify only “neoliberalism” as the enemy of the working class. This shall help to avoid fighting for any authentic anti-capitalist policy and, at the same time, to justify their policy of supporting one of the other, supposedly “anti-neoliberal” faction of the bourgeoisie. In this context, it is worth drawing attention to following sentences in the CPUSA-initiated statement: “Some might have hoped that with the election of a new president, the US might become less hostile towards The People’s Republic of China (PRC), but they would now be greatly disappointed. In many ways, the foreign policy of the Biden presidency has amped up the hostility towards China and its largest strategic ally, Russia.” This is unintended mockery of itself since the CPUSA has been among those forces which enthusiastically campaigned for voting for Biden at the last Presidential election!

 

5. The KKE’s “criticism” and its fraternal bonds with the Chinese CP

 

The KKE-initiated statement is more cautious in praising China’s “socialism”. This is not caused by any anti-imperialist principle on the part of the KKE leadership. In fact, as we have pointed out in the past, bourgeois social-patriotism is deeply entrenched in the political DNA of the KKE. Despite characterizing Greece as an imperialist country, the KKE – via its General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas – announced at a public rally in 2018: “We communists will, as we have always done in our century-long history, stand in the front row defending our territorial integrity and our sovereign rights. We are doing this so that any foreign intruder who dares to attack Greece will be annihilated.[28]

 

Hence, the KKE’s critical stand towards China is not based on an anti-imperialism program but rather, as we have noted in the past, on its practical, first-hand experience with Chinese capitalists. After COSCO, one of China’s big state-owned corporations, took over parts of the Port of Piraeus, its managers swiftly took action to ban all trade union activities. As PAME – the Stalinist trade union current – has strong roots among the dockers, it was heavily affected by this brutal capitalist measures.

 

However, such “differences” do not stop the KKE leadership to invite delegations of the Chinese Communist Party to the “International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties”. These are the annual international conferences of Stalinist parties which have been initiated by the KKE and which has led to the formation of the loose international network called SolidNet. [29] So, we see, the KKE leadership might criticize the CCP but it still considers it as a fraternal party and not, as Marxists do, as an enemy of the working class. [30]

 

6. Beside the Servants of Assad the Butcher - Who Signed the KKE-initiated Joint Statement?

 

The significance of the two statements does not only lie in its contents but also in its signatories. Here, the following facts are worth noting. First, as we already suggested above, one should not overstate the relevance of the different nuances in the two statements as they share the exclusive opposition against the Western imperialist powers. This common basic character of these statements becomes also evident from the very fact that 12 parties have signed both the one and the other. (See the list of signatories in the relevant footnote.)

 

There are several remarkable features about the list of signatories. Let us first turn to the KKE-initiated statement. Among the signatories are only few sizeable parties. These are, in addition to the KKE itself, the Communist Party of Bohemia &Moravia (KSCM) which got more than 10% at elections at nearly all national elections in the past three decades.

 

Other parties are smaller in the electoral fields but still play a certain role in the domestic labor movement. Among those are the Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP). While this party is smaller than the bourgeois-patriotic KPRF of Gennady Zyuganov, still it has some forces. However, as we showed in our book on Great Power rivalry, this party takes a social-patriotic stand in defense of its imperialist “fatherland”. [31]

 

Another noteworthy force is the Communist Party of Britain (CPB). While it does not play any role in electoral politics, it has some influence in the workers movement via its daily paper “Morning Star” as well as via its prominent role in the “Stop the War” alliance. However, as we demonstrated in another essay recently, this party is a prime example for Stalinism at its worst. It is an unashamed admirer of Chinese imperialism as well as of the notorious tyranny of Assad the butcher. [32]

 

This brings us to the two last noteworthy signatories, two parties whose very presence alone make plain the pro-Russian social-imperialist character of the KKE-initiated Joint Statement: the Syrian Communist Party and the Syrian Communist Party – unified. As it is well-known these two parties have been part of the Assad regime for many years which acts as a puppet of Russian imperialism. Hence, they are accomplice of the genocidal war against the Syrian people. [33] Make no mistake, any statement which bears the signatories of such Syrian “Communist” Parties has the putrid smell of tested servants of a butcher regime and its master Putin!

7. The Xi Fan Club: Signatories of the CPUSA-initiated Joint Statement

 

The list of signatories of the CPUSA-initiated statement is even more interesting. The CPUSA itself is not a particular relevant party but it is a dedicated cheerleader of the Stalinist-capitalist regime in Beijing. Not long ago, John Bachtell, the party’s Chairman, wrote a most shameless eulogy: “The CPC is a deeply revolutionary party, creatively applying Marxism to the Chinese reality. Their approach is pragmatic, fact based, self-critical, and self-reforming. Far from building a capitalist economy, the CPC is charting a path in the context of China’s realities, guiding the country to achieve a modern socialist society under extraordinary difficult conditions and not without many problems, mistakes and shortcomings, one with ‘Chinese characteristics.’” [34]

 

However, there are other, more significant signatories of this unashamed pro-China Joint Statement. The above-mentioned KSCM is among them as it signed both statements. The Tudeh Party of Iran – a prominent party of the past (it supported the Khomeini dictatorship in the first period) – is one of them. The Italian Party of the Communist Refoundation is another light of the past. In the 1990s and 2000s it was twice part of the neo-liberal Prodi government before it collapsed and lost its seats in parliament. In this period, it was a leading force of the European Left – a Europe-wide association of mostly ex-Stalinist, now “left” social democratic parties.

 

Two other, and more significant, parties are the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB). Both have been part of the popular front alliance around Lula’s PT. The PCdoB, the larger of the two, was part of the former government and still has seats in national and regional parliaments.

 

The signature of the small German Communist Party (DKP) is not particularly noteworthy. In contrast, the support by the French Communist Party (PCF) as well as by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) is indeed very interesting. This is the case for several reasons. First, both are sizeable parties with a presence in national and regional parliaments as well as a number of mayors. The PCF was part of the Mitterand government in the early 1980s and of the Jospin government in 1997-2002. It also supported the Hollande government in 2012-17. The Spanish PCE is even part of the current government of Prime Minister Sanchez.

 

Secondly, their signatures are remarkable as both parties are members of the European Left (EL). In fact, they belong to the most important forces within the EL – alongside SYRIZA in Greece and the German LINKE. Normally, such EL forces don’t act in common with KKE-affiliated parties. As it is known, the KKE calls SYRIZA a traitor party as it implemented in its years as governmental party (2015-19) the devastating austerity packages which resulted from the imperialist EU-Memorandum.

 

Finally, the signatures of the PCF and the PCE are also interesting as these are governmental parties – in past or present – of countries which belong to the imperialist NATO alliance. These facts alone, by the way, demonstrate that these Stalinist parties are not “anti-imperialist” in any way. As we have pointed out in past works, the PCF was part of the Jospin government which participated in the NATO war against Serbia in 1999 as well as in the imperialist invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. [35] In 2013, the PCF only half-heartedly opposed the French military intervention in France. [36] Likewise, it failed to oppose the participation of French forces in Iraq as part of the so-called Anti-ISIS-Coalition. [37]

 

The PCE, being part of the Sanchez government since January 2020, has been fully committed to the bonapartist Lockdown policy, including the deployment to the army on the streets in order to impose mass curfews (under the pretext of the pandemic). [38]

 

8. The Concept of Multilateralism and Peaceful Coexistence: A Reactionary Illusion

 

Before we discuss the meaning of the list of signatory parties and what it tells us about their class character, we want to deal with a central political conception of Stalinism which is relevant for the issue under discussion. As we pointed out above, a key argument of their support for China and Russia is the critique of the “unipolar world order”. As we already explained, such a world order does not exist anymore in reality. However, what is of interest for us at this point is the question what is the alternative concept of the Stalinists?

 

The key words of their alternative are “multilateralism” and “peaceful coexistence”. The former concept simply means that instead of one absolute hegemon there should be several powers which treat each other as equals. The later concept means that these powers should co-exist without conflicts and wars.

 

Both concepts lack any basis in the real world which is the world of capitalism and its inner contradictions. Capitalism is characterized, by its very nature, by competition between different capitalists and by rivalry between different powers. It has always been like this, and it could not have been otherwise. Britain vs. Russia, Britain vs. France, France vs. Germany, Russia vs. Japan, the U.S. vs. Spain etc. – they all waged war against each other and all of them were involved in the two World Wars in the first half of the 20th century.

 

When World War II resulted a) in the absolute hegemony of U.S. imperialism among the capitalist states and b) by the expansion of Stalinism, the age of Cold War began. This reduced the inter-imperialist conflicts to a certain degree, but only because they were superseded by the conflict between imperialism and deformed workers states. This conflict resulted, among others, in the Korean War 1950-53 and the Vietnam War 1965-75 and provoked several times the actual danger of a nuclear war (e.g. the so-called “Cuba crisis” in 1962 or the escalation in the first half of the 1980s). Finally, the rule of the Stalinist bureaucracies in the USSR and Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989-91. Well, the concept of “peaceful coexistence” did not produce particularly successful results for Stalinism!

 

In summary, in periods when several capitalist Great Powers played a strong role in world politics (i.e. without an absolute hegemon subordinating the others), major wars were the inevitable results. In short, “multilateralism” can not but result in war. And the “peaceful coexistence” between imperialist and (degenerated) workers states is neither peaceful nor can they coexist for long.

 

How could, theoretically, look a “multilateral world order” look like today? Should there be an enlarged UN Security Council composed, for example, by the G20 states? Hence, such a council would not only include the Great Powers but also other states like South Korea, India, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, etc. But why should the ruling classes of these states be able, or even willing, to create a peaceful world?! Capitalism is in decay, the world economy – the basis for the corporations’ profits – is oscillating between depression and stagnation, the climate change provokes repeated catastrophes, etc. – how could it be otherwise than that the corporations intensify their competition and that the states accelerate their rivalry?!

 

Some Stalinists might object that all tensions are caused by the aggressive foreign policy of U.S. imperialism. No doubt, Washington pursues an expansionist foreign policy. But it is totally illegitimate for a Marxist to assume only one imperialist state or even one capitalist state is aggressive, and all other imperialist and capitalist states have no expansionist goals. Just look back to various events in world politics in the last few years and one will see that the clash of interest between various states results in tensions, trade wars, threat of wars or actual wars. Let us refer to the sanctions between the US. and the EU [39], the trade war between Japan and South Korea [40], the threat of war between China and India in 2017 as well as in 2020 [41], the war threats between Egypt and Ethiopia, the invasion of Saudi Arabia and UAE in Yemen since 2015 [42], the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020 [43], the civil wars in Syria and Libya [44] (with the participation of foreign actors), the tensions in the South China Sea between China, on one hand, and its neighbors like Vietnam or the Philippines on the other hand, etc. No, the ruling classes of all these states defend their own capitalist interests when they are in conflict with another state; they do not simply defend the interests of Washington or of any other foreign power.

 

In short, a world order where the U.S. is no longer the absolute hegemon but only one of several Great Powers is definitely not more peaceful! It is only the stage of open rivalry between the Great Powers, the intermediary stage between unilateralism and World War III!

 

To put it more generally: whenever, in the history of class societies, did Empires exist peacefully side by side without tensions, conflicts and ultimately wars?! And all this is even more the case in the epoch of imperialism, i.e. the epoch of capitalism in decay! Let us note in passing that in the last epoch of capitalism contradictions between the classes and states are evolving – and clashing – with much faster speed than in any other historical epoch before. The whole Marxist analysis of the epoch of monopoly capitalism and imperialism is based on the understanding that the contradictions between classes and states inevitable accelerate because the capitalist system is in decline.

 

No, the concept of “multilateralism” is nothing but a diplomatic cover for the desire of China and Russia to be treated as Great Powers “equal” to the U.S. And the phrase of “peaceful coexistence” is for the simpletons in the Stalinist, pacifist and liberal camp. Objectively, i.e. irrespective of their subjective intentions, the advocates of a “multilateral world order” and “peaceful coexistence” are servants of Chinese and Russian imperialism. Their Joint Statements are nothing but an expression of pro-Eastern social-imperialism, laced with pacifism and hypocrisy.

 

9. “Socialism in One Country”: The Historical Roots of the Stalinist Concept of “Peaceful Coexistence

 

The concepts of “multilateralism” and “peaceful coexistence” are not new. They were created by the Stalinist bureaucracy in the late 1920s and early 1930s and were the result of the famous opportunist theory of Socialism in One Country”. As this theory has been dealt with by Marxists in various works, we limit ourselves at this point to a very short characterization. [45] The Stalinist theory of “Socialism in One Country” erroneously assumes that socialism – i.e. a society in which wealth of the people is growing and results in the reduction of labor time and in which classes and the state are successively withering away – could be established within the boundaries of one country. As Trotsky and other Marxists pointed out repeatedly this is an illusion because of the international nature of the productive forces. Confined to a single country they could develop only in a limited way and definitely not surpass the advanced capitalist countries. The collapse of various Stalinist workers states after a long period of economic stagnation was a powerful confirmation of Trotsky’s theory. Furthermore, the Stalinist theory is based on the illusion that capitalist and workers states could peacefully coexist side-by-side despite the fact that they represented fundamentally antagonistic class interests.

 

Trotsky and his supporters – from the beginning of the Left Opposition constituted in 1923 against the Stalinist bureaucracy which later became the Fourth International by 1938 – argued that Marxists must not orientate to build socialism in national isolation but rather as part of an international strategy of permanent revolution. Since stagnation and bureaucratic dictatorship are inevitable if the revolution remains confined to a single country (or a group of countries), Trotskyists advocate a strategy which focused on aiding the international class struggle in order to expand the revolutionary process. Naturally, this does not exclude periods of retreat and even isolation. But the building of socialism in one country must be always subordinated to the strategy of advancing the world revolution and not the other way around, as the Stalinists did: subordinating the international class struggle to the interests of the bureaucratic caste ruling in one (or several) countries. [46]

 

In his famous book on permanent revolution, Trotsky formulated the essential internationalist character of the proletarian strategy like this: “The international character of the socialist revolution, which constitutes the third aspect of the theory of the permanent revolution, flows from the present state of economy and the social structure of humanity. Internationalism is no abstract principle but a theoretical and political reflection of the character of world economy, of the world development of productive forces and the world scale of the class struggle. The socialist revolution begins on national foundations – but it cannot be completed within these foundations. The maintenance of the proletarian revolution within a national framework can only be a provisional state of affairs, even though, as the experience of the Soviet Union shows, one of long duration. In an isolated proletarian dictatorship, the internal and external contradictions grow inevitably along with the successes achieved. If it remains isolated, the proletarian state must finally fall victim to these contradictions. The way out for it lies only in the victory of the proletariat of the advanced countries. Viewed from this standpoint, a national revolution is not a self-contained whole; it is only a link in the international chain. The international revolution constitutes a permanent process, despite temporary declines and ebbs.“ [47]

 

These ideas were a continuation of Lenin’s own understanding which he explained numerous times in the years before his death. Trotsky had published a number of such statements by Lenin in an appendix to his “History of the Russian Revolution“. [48] Here is just one, from a speech in 1906, which shows how early Lenin understood already the necessity to fight for an internationalist perspective of the revolution: „If we mean a real, fully effective, economic guarantee against restoration, that is, a guarantee that would create the economic conditions precluding restoration, then we shall have to say: the only guarantee against restoration is a socialist revolution in the West. There can be no other guarantee in the real and full sense of the term. (…) I would formulate this proposition as follows: the Russian revolution can achieve victory by its own efforts, but it cannot possibly hold and consolidate its gains by its own strength. It cannot do this unless there is a socialist revolution in the West. (…) After the complete victory of the democratic revolution the small proprietor will inevitably turn against the proletariat; and the sooner the common enemies of the proletariat and of the small proprietors, such as the capitalists, the landlords, the financial bourgeoisie, and so forth are overthrown, the sooner will this happen. Our democratic republic has no other reserve than the socialist proletariat in the West. [49]

 

Already in December 1927, at the 15th Congress of the Communist Party when the bureaucracy expelled Trotsky’s Left Opposition, Stalin claimed that that peaceful coexistence of the USSR with capitalist countries would be possible. “Therefore, the maintenance of peaceful relations with the capitalist countries is an obligatory task for us. Our relations with the capitalist countries are based on the assumption that the co-existence of two opposite systems is possible. Practice has fully confirmed this.[50]

 

A few years later, Stalin repeated this concept in an interview with an American journalist. “Stalin gave a popular explanation of the policy as the Soviet Union saw it, in November 1930, to Mr. Walter Duranty, the American journalist: 'Duranty: You see no reason why the capitalist and Communist systems should not exist side by side without fighting? Stalin: They have not fought for ten years, which means they can coexist. We don't want to fight, and some of their people don’t either.[51]

 

Such an approach was only logical from the point of view of the Stalinist bureaucracy. If it was possible to build “socialism in one country”, the task was to ensure that foreign powers do not interfere and disturb this process. Hence, such a conservative concept could not orientate towards expanding the revolutionary process but rather towards appeasing the capitalist powers and towards utilizing the international class struggle in order to aid such goal.

 

The concept of “peaceful coexistence” (sometimes also called “collective security”) was further developed and put into practice in 1934, when the USSR joined the League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations). One year later, Moscow and Paris concluded the famous Stalin-Laval Pact which represented an alliance of the Stalinist bureaucracy with French imperialism.

 

At that time, Stalin renewed advocacy of his illusionary concept of “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism. He said in an interview: “Howard: Do you view as compatible the coincidental development of American democracy and the Soviet system? Stalin: American democracy and the Soviet system may peacefully exist side by side and compete with each other. But one cannot evolve into the other. The Soviet system will not evolve into American democracy, or vice versa. We can peacefully exist side by side if we do not find fault with each other over every trifling matter.[52]

 

Consequently, the Communist International became a social-patriotic force and the PCF voted in the French parliament, for the first time, for the governments’ military budget. As the Trotsky noted at that time, this alliance meant that the Communist International had been transformed by the mid-1930s into a reformist force and a servant of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

 

As it is well known, joining the League of Nations and concluding alliances with imperialist Great Powers didn’t help the Soviet Union to avoid war. As French imperialism, “surprisingly”, continued a foreign policy based on imperialist interests and didn’t bring any positive results for Moscow, the Kremlin switched alliance in August 1939 and signed the notorious Hitler-Stalin Pact. Again “surprisingly”, Hitler did not loyally adhere to the pact and invaded the USSR in June 1941. As a result, Moscow again turned to the Western imperialists. This alliance ended when Washington declared the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.

 

All these alliances were not strictly limited to trade agreements or military arrangements (which in itself would not have been illegitimate for a workers state). However, these treaties rather had the character of strategic and political alliances. In France, the PCF became supporters of the capitalist government and voted for the military budget. When Stalin switched his alliance, the Communist parties followed suit. During the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the Comintern denounced “plutocratic” Western imperialism and praised the “peace-loving” foreign policy of Nazi-Germany. When Hitler was no longer a “peace-lover” – i.e. when he did not only invade Poland, Norway, Yugoslavia, etc. but also the Soviet Union – Moscow was forced to make another turn. From 1941, Britain and U.S. were not characterized as imperialist powers but as “anti-fascist democracies”. The Communist Parties were instructed to unconditionally support them and to strictly oppose all forms of class struggle against them. Hence, the CP of India denounced the popular uprising against the British colonial administration in August 1942. And the British CP opposed all workers strikes at that time as such would “only serve Hitler”.

 

In the years 1945-47, Communist Parties participated in Popular Front governments in France, Italy and Austria – jointly with conservative and social democratic parties. Their role at that time was a decisive aid for the national bourgeoisie as they were key to disarm the partisans, to utilize the trade unions as instruments to suppress militant strikes, or to pacify insurrections of the colonial people (e.g. in Algeria in May 1945 or in Indochina). This role was essential for the imperialist bourgeoisie to overcome the revolutionary crisis at the end of World War II and to consolidate capitalism. Once the Stalinists had fulfilled their role, they were unceremoniously kicked out of the coalition governments. In those cases, were communist partisans refused to surrender to the Western imperialists (like in Greece), they were denounced and betrayed by the Stalinist bureaucracy.

 

It is ironically that Stalin continued advocating the concept of “peaceful coexistence” … only a few months before the beginning of the imperialist Cold War against the USSR! “Again on 21 December 1946, when Elliott Roosevelt asked Stalin whether he believed it possible for the U.S.A. to live peaceably side by side with 'a Communistic form of Government like the Soviet Union' without mutual interference, Stalin replied that it was not only possible, but vise and entirely within the bounds of realization'. When Henry Wallace sent him an open letter giving proposals for a settlement of American-Soviet differences, Stalin (17 May 1948) urged its acceptance as a basis for agreement, adding that, despite the differences in economic systems and ideologies, 'the coexistence of these systems and the peaceful settlement of differences between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. are not only possible but absolutely necessary in the interests of the universal peace'.[53]

 

With the beginning of the Cold War in 1947, the Stalinist bureaucracy was forced – against their will – to confront imperialism. However, Stalin still claimed that “peaceful coexistence” with capitalism was possible. Such, he said, in the midst of the Korea War. “In a reply to fifty American editors, published on 2 April 1952 - they had asked him: 'On what basis is the coexistence of capitalism and Communism possible?' - Stalin said: The peaceful coexistence of capitalism and Communism is fully possible given the mutual desire to co-operate, readiness to perform obligations which have been assumed, observance of the principle of equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States.' It was also in the presence of Stalin that Georgi Malenkov, in his report at the Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (5 October 1952). had reaffirmed the Soviet attitude to the U.S.A., Britain, France, and other bourgeois States. 'The U.S.S.R. is still ready to co-operate with these States with a view to promoting adherence to peaceful international standards and ensuring a lasting and durable peace.' This was 'based on the premise that the peaceful coexistence and co-operation of capitalism and Communism are quite possible, provided there is a mutual desire to co-operate, readiness to carry out commitments and adherence to the principle of equal rights and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States'. Mr Malenkov set out a programme of practical steps for co-operation, to which we shall return later.[54]

 

Later, Khrushchev and then Brezhnev would put even more emphasis of the need for “peaceful coexistence”. All these repeated statements about “peaceful coexistence” between capitalism and socialism made very clear that the ruling bureaucracy – starting with Stalin himself – had no intention to advance the world revolution but was rather interested in keeping power within their states. At the same time, the bureaucrats were determined to brutally defend their power against their own working class striving for freedom (e.g. in Eastern Germany 1953, Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968 and in Poland 1980-81).

 

In the end, the Stalinist bureaucracy – having both trying to appease imperialism by its conservative foreign policy as well as suppressing its working class – crumbled and was left to the dustbin of history.

 

10. Serving Two Masters: The Eastern Imperialists as well as Sectors of the Domestic Bourgeoisie

 

No doubt, many activists in Stalinist parties imagine that siding with China and Russia in the Cold War against the Western imperialists or even praising China as a “socialist country” represents a stance of anti-imperialism. As a matter of fact, this is a dangerous delusion. It has happened on various occasions in the history of the workers movement that self-proclaimed Marxists supported an imperialist power in the name of “democracy” or “socialism”. During World War I, socialists in Germany, Britain, France, Russia and other Great Powers rallied to their own ruling class … in the name of “defending the interests of the working class”. Some supported foreign Great Powers. [55] In the 1930s and 1940s, social democrats, Stalinists and centrists advocated support for Western imperialism in the name of “anti-fascism”. German and Austrian reformists became supporters of American and British imperialism against “their fatherland”. Indian Stalinists called the workers and peasants … to join the British army and to serve their colonial masters (except in the period 1939-41 when Britain was the “main enemy”, and Nazi-Germany was an “peace-loving” ally).

 

All these acts of betrayal, of serving the class enemy were committed in the name of “socialism”. In fact, this was the most gross violation of fundamental teachings of the Marxist classics. Lenin and Trotsky characterized such policy of class collaboration with the domestic or foreign ruling class as “social-imperialism”, i.e. a policy which is “socialist” in words and imperialist in deeds.

 

As we have pointed out in our works, siding directly or indirectly with Russia and China in the Cold War with the Western Great Powers is paramount to pro-Eastern social-imperialism. It is a continuation of the policy of reformism in World War I and of social democracy, Stalinism and centrism in World War II.

 

In contrast, Marxists have to defend the independent and international interests of the workers and oppressed. Neither supporting the U.S., Western Europe or Japan, nor China and Russia. Mobilizing against chauvinism and militarism of each and every Great Power. Supporting the liberation struggles of oppressed people – both against Western as well as against Eastern imperialist or their proxies. Utilizing all difficulties of the ruling class in order to advance the revolutionary struggle so that the workers and oppressed can ultimately overthrow it. Fighting against all bourgeois agents inside the workers and popular movement who are serving this or that Great Power. These are, in a very summarized version, the principles of authentic anti-imperialism.

 

We do not intend to deal in more detail with the Stalinists’ politics of pro-Eastern social-imperialism at this point as we done so already in other works. At this place we want to draw attention to a related issue which can be easily overlooked. The Stalinists in Russia, China, Syria and other countries allied with Beijing and Moscow are vulgar social-imperialists, serving their ruling class. In the case of Stalinists in Western countries, things are different. Here these forces are rather “inverted social-imperialists” – as Lenin and Trotsky pointed out. [56] In other words, they do not serve the domestic but a foreign imperialist bourgeoise.

 

What we want to point out at this place is the following. As we said, the Stalinists outside the Russian-Chinese sphere of influence are “inverted social-imperialist” serving the ruling class in Beijing and Moscow. But this is not all. They are also serving the interests of sections of their own, domestic bourgeoisie. Let us briefly explain this in more detail.

 

As it is well known, sections of the European bourgeoisie, of the capitalist class in Brazil, South Africa, India, Japan, and many other countries have close business relations with China and, to a considerable lesser degree, with Russia. Even in the U.S. there is a not too small section of the monopoly bourgeoisie which wishes a continuation of the “good old days” when close and uninterrupted trade relations existed with China. Large sectors of the capitalist class in important semi-colonial countries like Brazil, Argentina, South- and South-East Asian countries, Turkey, South Africa, etc. view Chinese investment and trade as decisive for their prospects. European corporations consider the Chinese market as the most important since it is still expanding (in contrast to North America and Europe). This is bolstered by the fact that China has now surpassed the U.S. as the most important trading partner for the EU. (See Table 10)

 

Table 10. Total Goods: Top Trading Partners of the European Union in 2020 [57]

 

Ranking                                                                                                             In Million Euro                Share (in %)

 

                                External EU Trade with the World                           3,646,078                             100.0

 

1                             China                                                                                   586,737                              16.1

 

2                             USA                                                                                      556,230                              15.3

 

3                             United Kingdom                                                              444,966                                12.2

 

4                             Switzerland                                                                       250,967                                  6.9

 

5                             Russia                                                                                 174,014                                  4.8

 

 

 

This becomes particularly evident if one looks at the response of many states to the well-known Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) of Chinese imperialism – Beijing’s version of the Marshall Plan, so to say. As it is known numerous countries of the South on all continents have joined the BRI initiative. However, in the last years a number of members states of the European Union has also started participating in the BRI. Among these are not only all Eastern European states but also others like Italy, Austria, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. [58]

 

Here is not the place to analyze all features of the BRI project. For the topic under discussion, it is sufficient to note that large sectors of the bourgeoisie in the semi-colonial countries and also in imperialist states which are in a political alliance with U.S. imperialism – like Japan, South Korea or in Western Europe – have no desire to rupture relations with China (and Russia). The reason for this is neither any anti-imperialist ideas or because of any loyalty towards Beijing but simply because of their own business interests. They can make a good buck by joining large China-led infrastructure projects, by exporting goods to China or importing such from there, by getting Chinese corporations on board as shareholders etc. As we did show above in Table 8 and 9, China is the world’s leading producer and exporter of commodities. Not many capitalists can afford to ignore such an economic power.

 

Hence it is not surprising that leaders of West European imperialism try to find a balance between putting pressure on China via a pro-U.S. aggressive foreign policy, on one hand, and deepening economic relations with Beijing, on the other hand. The current negotiations in the European Parliament and between EU governments about the EU-China investment agreement are a good example form this. While a number of parliamentary deputies oppose this treaty, Merkel and Macron work hard to push it through. Likewise, the leading European Great Powers have joined the US in criticizing China for human rights violation at the latest G7 summit. They also supported Biden’s initiative for a rival infrastructure program to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and agreed to establish a trade and technology council at the subsequent EU-US summit. However, only weeks later, Merkel said she was “willing to actively study and join” China’s own Support for Africa’s Development Partnership Initiative, which seeks to deepen Beijing’s involvement in Africa. [59]

 

In other words, large sectors of Europe’s monopoly capital as well as many capitalists in countries of the South have a direct interest to oppose Washington’s push for a new Cold War. This does not necessarily mean that they would join the China camp. But at least they prefer to remain neutral and do not wish to offend Beijing.

 

For all these reasons, we have to state that while the characterization of the Stalinist, Bolivarian and left-populist forces as pro-Eastern social-imperialist is fully valid, it is not complete. These forces are not only pro-Eastern social-imperialist but also, at the same time, defenders of the interests of a sector of the domestic monopoly bourgeoisie. In short, they serve not one but two capitalist masters!

 

It is this dual role which explains what, at a first glance, seems to be a contradiction. How can parties in a NATO country – like the French PCF or the Spanish PCE – which have been proven loyal governmental parties for the domestic monopoly bourgeoisie, sign an undisguised pro-Chinese statement? The explanation is simple. Sizeable sectors of the imperialist bourgeois of these European countries oppose the U.S. Cold War drive and wish to keep close relations – at least on an economic level – with Beijing.

 

In short, the Stalinist, Bolivarian and left-populist parties in Europe and other pro-Western countries in the South are both – inverted social-imperialist (towards Beijing and Moscow) as well as social-patriots (towards their own bourgeoisie).

 

This is, by the way, an important change in the role of these Stalinist parties compared with the past. In the period of the imperialist Cold War of the West against the USSR and its allies, the Stalinist parties in NATO and pro-Western countries did not follow a social-imperialist policy when they sided with Moscow. They rather defended, albeit in a reformist way, degenerated workers states against the imperialist aggression.

 

Today the situation is completely different. There exist no degenerated workers states any more in the world. China and Russia are not “socialist” but thoroughly capitalist, in fact they have become imperialist Great Powers. Hence, the Stalinist parties are no longer loyal to post-capitalist states (i.e. siding with more progressive force than the imperialist bourgeoisie). Instead, they have degenerated into direct agents of other imperialist Great Powers.

 

11. A Note on the tight-lipped “Trotskyists” (CWI, IMT, ISA)

 

At the end of this essay, we wish to add a brief note on some pseudo-Trotskyist international organization. We talk about the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), led by Peter Taaffe, the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), led by Alan Woods, and the Internationalist Socialist Alternative (ISA) which has SA in the U.S. as the strongest section. They all come from the same tradition, the so-called Militant tradition associated with the name of its founder, Ted Grant. Originally, they were all part of the same international tendency – the CWI. However, the IMT was expelled in 1992 and the ISA is the result of another split of the CWI in 2019.

 

It is not possible to criticize the statements of these three organizations for their position on the recent shooting incident between UK and Russia in the Black Sea. It is not possible to do so because none of have published a single document on this important event!

 

Such silence is highly remarkable for three reasons. First, this has been an important event which was widely reported in world media. Second, these organizations are “directly” involved in this conflict since two of them have their “mother sections” in Britain and the third (ISA) has also a sizeable presence in this country. In addition, two of them (IMT and ISA) have also sections in Russia. Thirdly, these are not small sects but organizations with money and a full-time apparatus which are publishing article and statements on their websites on a daily basis.

 

So how can such strange silence be explained? As it can not be because of lack of resources, the reason can only be found in the political fundament of these organizations. And indeed, as the RCIT has demonstrated in various documents, the Grantite tradition never understood the Marxist analysis of imperialism, nor did they accept the program of anti-imperialism and revolutionary defeatism.

 

In 1982, when all were united in the CWI, they refused to call for the defeat of British imperialism in its war of aggression against Argentina. [60] Nor did they do so in later wars against people of the South (Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003). [61] The IMT’s leader Alan Woods even claims wrongly that Lenin would have corrected his program of “revolutionary defeatism” (i.e. that he would have had dropping slogans like “the defeat of your own government is the lesser evil” and “transformation of the imperialist war into civil war”). [62] Such an opportunist softening of the Marxist program of anti-imperialism goes hand in hand with the arch-revisionist conception that a peaceful road to socialism is possible. [63] And since a number of years, they advocate the slogan of a “socialist Israel” on the side of a “socialist Palestine” (CWI, ISA) resp. the slogan of a “Jewish homeland” on the side of a “Palestinian homeland”. In other words, they shamefully adapt to settler-colonialist Zionism and its “achievements” against the Palestinian population. [64]

 

Not only do these forces opportunistically adapt to social-imperialism – be it in the Western metropolises or in Israel. At least the CWI as well as the IMT are also confused – to use a polite formulation – when it comes to the class characterization of China and Russia. As we did show in our book on Great Power rivalry, the CWI and the IMT refuse to characterize the Eastern powers as imperialist. [65]

 

Given such deep-seating tradition of adaption to British social-imperialism as well as theoretical confusion concerning the class character of Russia and China, it is hardly surprising that these organizations prefer to remain silent on such confrontations between Great Powers as the recent one in the Black Sea. This is certainly politically less risky for them than to stick their neck out.

 

12. Conclusions

 

Let us conclude in the form of a few theses which, so it seems to us, shall summarize the main ideas of this essay.

 

1.            China (and Russia) are no “anti-imperialist”, “progressive”, let alone “socialist” states. They are rather imperialist Great Powers which play an important role in the capitalist world economy respectively in world politics.

 

2.            Hence, the new Cold War is not a conflict between reactionary, imperialist powers, on one side, and “progressive” forces on the other side. It is rather the result of the acceleration of the rivalry between several imperialist Great Powers (U.S., China, EU, Russia, and Japan).

 

3.            The two Joint Statements, signed by numerous Stalinist parties, are directed only against the Western imperialist powers. They don’t raise any opposition against China and Russia and one of these statements even suggests that China would be a “socialist” country.

 

4.            Marxists therefore sharply denounce these statements and characterize them as declaration of social-imperialist support for China and Russia.

 

5.            The Stalinist concepts of “multilateralism” and “peaceful “coexistence” are a reactionary illusion. There never has been and there never can be a peaceful, stable global order led by several Great Powers in the period of capitalist decay. There can be no “peaceful “coexistence” – monopolies are inevitable competing against each other for a larger share of the profit mass, and Great Powers are rivalling against each other for more global influence at the cost of others.

 

6.            The Stalinists, Castro-Chavistas and left-populists who side with China and Russia have a dual character as they serve two capitalist masters. Evidently, they are pro-Eastern social-imperialists, agents of the ruling class in Beijing and Moscow. At the same time, they also objectively defend the interests of sectors of the domestic bourgeoisie which have a strong interest in opposing Washington’s Cold War and in keeping friendly relations with the world’s largest producer of capitalist value as well as trade.

 

7.            In contrast, revolutionaries have to oppose all imperialist Great Powers – those in the West as well as those in the East. They are obliged to denounce all forms of militarism, chauvinism as well as sanctions and punitive tariffs. They must not lend support in any form either to their own ruling class or to rivaling imperialist bourgeoisie. Based on the communists’ famous principle “the main enemy is at home“, revolutionaries aim to utilize any conflict in order to weaken and eventually overthrow the ruling class.

 

8.            The struggle against imperialist war and militarism is not an issue separated from other issues of the class struggle. “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means” as Lenin liked to quote Clausewitz. Hence, the most effective struggle against war is the struggle today against each and every ruling class as well as against all Great Powers in order to weaken and eventually overthrow them. Consequently, socialists have to support the liberation struggles of oppressed people against Great Powers resp. their proxies – again the uprisings both against Western as well as against Eastern powers.

 

9.            Following from this, authentic Marxists must energetically oppose those “progressive” forces which support in any way their own or any other imperialist Great Power. Revolutionaries recognize such forces as social-imperialist lackeys and combat their influence within the workers and popular mass organizations.

 

10.          From this follows that it is crucial for Marxists to build a Revolutionary World Party – a party which can organize the international struggle of the workers vanguard against all Great Powers and against all ruling classes. In order to advance the process of building such a body, revolutionaries need to unite as soon as possible in an international organization which is based on program of class independence, anti-imperialism and socialist world revolution.

 

Workers and Oppressed: Fight all Great Powers in East and West!

 

Join the RCIT!

 

 

 

 

 



[1] On two statements on the new Cold War which have been published earlier this year see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: One-sided and Naïve … at Best! A joint call by the friends of Chinese imperialism and the daydreamers of well-meaning global capitalism, 31 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/joint-call-by-friends-of-chinese-imperialism-and-the-daydreamers/; by the same author: Stalinist and “Trotskyist” Supporters of Chinese Imperialism under the Fig-Leaf of “Anti-Imperialism”. A commentary on the statement “No to U.S. war threats against China!” by the “United National Antiwar Coalition” in the U.S., 4 April 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/stalinist-and-trotskyist-supporters-of-chinese-imperialism-under-the-fig-leaf-of-anti-imperialism/

[2] See on this our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/. See also our numerous documents on the Global Trade War which have been collected at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/. Our latest pamphlet on this issue is by Michael Pröbsting: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues, 23 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/us-china-alaska-meeting-shows-continuation-of-inter-imperialist-cold-war/

[3] The RCIT has published several works which discuss the current historic period of capitalist decay in more detail. See e.g. chapter 2-5 and 14 in Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/; see also a pamphlets by the same author: The Catastrophic Failure of the Theory of “Catastrophism”. On the Marxist Theory of Capitalist Breakdown and its Misinterpretation by the Partido Obrero (Argentina) and its “Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International”, 27 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-catastrophic-failure-of-the-theory-of-catastrophism/; furthermore we refer to the annual World Perspectives documents which the RCIT has published in the past years: RCIT. In particular see chapter II of World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase, 23 January 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/.

[4] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in China. See on this e.g. our above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also by the same author an essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4; How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism-2/; Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism/. See many more RCIT documents at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[5] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in Russia and its rise to an imperialist power. See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Russia and China: Neither Capitalist nor Great Powers? A Reply to the PO/CRFI and their Revisionist Whitewashing of Chinese and Russian imperialism, 28 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/russia-and-china-neither-capitalist-nor-great-powers-reply-to-po-crfi/; see also several pamphlets by the same author: The Catastrophic Failure of the Theory of “Catastrophism”. On the Marxist Theory of Capitalist Breakdown and its Misinterpretation by the Partido Obrero (Argentina) and its “Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International”, 27 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-catastrophic-failure-of-the-theory-of-catastrophism/; Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/. See various other RCIT documents on this issue at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/

[6] For the RCIT’s analysis of the skirmish in the Black Sea see the following documents: RCIT: Russia Fires Warning Shots against UK Warship in the Black Sea. Down with Cold Warmongering! No support for any imperialist Great Power – neither UK, US nor Russia! 24 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/russia-fires-warning-shots-against-uk-warship-in-black-sea/; Michael Pröbsting: “Next Time We Will Bomb the Target”. Shooting incident in Black Sea between UK and Russia shows that capitalism in decay is stumbling towards war, 24 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/russia-uk-next-time-we-will-bomb-the-target/; Laurence Humphries: Skirmish in Black Sea: Imperialist Patriotism in the UK, 27 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/imperialist-patriotism-in-uk-on-skirmish-in-black-sea/; Michael Pröbsting: Examples of Pro-Russian Social-Imperialism. British Stalinism and the misnamed “World Socialist Web Site” on the shooting incident in the Black Sea between UK and Russia, 28 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/examples-of-pro-russian-social-imperialism/

[7] Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis: 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, New York, Penguin Press, 2021

[8] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: “Maritime Freedom” – A Keyword of the U.S./NATO Warmongers. A leading representative of the U.S. Navy outlines a militaristic strategy against Russia and China, 5 July 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/maritime-freedom-a-keyword-of-the-u-s-nato-warmongers/

[9] Quoted in an article by the former Indian diplomat MK Bhadrakumar: Anglo-American tripwire traps Russian bear, July 4, 2021 https://asiatimes.com/2021/07/anglo-american-tripwire-traps-russian-bear/

[10] Global Times: ‘Taiwan independence’ means war not empty threat, Editorial, Jan 29, 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1214369.shtml

[11] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2021. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, pp. 12-13

[12] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2021. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, p. 17

[13] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2021. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, p. 12

[14] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2021. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, p. 15

[15] See e.g. RCIT: Afghanistan: Good Riddance, Yankees! The Meaning of the U.S. Retreat from Afghanistan and its Consequences for the inter-imperialist Cold War with China, 17 April 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/afghanistan-good-riddance-yankees/

[16] For our programmatic approach on inter-imperialist conflicts see e.g. RCIT: Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States, 8 September 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-revolutionary-defeatism-in-imperialist-states/; see also chapters XVI to XX in the above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also the German-language essay by the same author: Lenin, die Bolschewiki und ihr Kampf gegen den imperialistischen Krieg. „Umwandlung des imperialistischen Krieges in den Bürgerkrieg“, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/lenin-und-der-imperialistische-krieg/

[17] Joint Statement (initiated by the CP USA): The Communist and Workers’ Parties Condemn NATO’s Cold War Rhetoric, 29.6.2021, http://www.solidnet.org/article/CP-USA-JOINT-STATEMENT-THE-COMMUNIST-AND-WORKERS-PARTIES-CONDEMN-NATOS-COLD-WAR-RHETORIC/; SolidNet Parties signing: Communist Party of Albania, Communist Party of Australia, Democratic Progressive Tribune-Bahrain, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Brazilian Communist Party, Communist Party of Brazil, New Communist Party of Britain, Columbian Communist Party, Socialist Workers’ Party of Croatia, Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Communist Party of Denmark, Communist Party in Denmark, Communist Party of Finland, French Communist Party, German Communist Party, Hungarian Workers’ Party, Tudeh Party of Iran, Communist Party of Kurdistan-Iraq, Communist Party of Ireland, Workers’ Party of Ireland, Party of the Communist Refoundation, Socialist Party of Lithuania, Communist Party of Norway, Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930), Communist Party of Spain, Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, Communist Party of Ukraine, Communist Party USA; Other Parties Signing, Communist Party of Aotearoa, Galizan People's Union-UPG, Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Proletariat Schweiz

[18] Joint Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties (initiated by CP of Greece): The peoples must strengthen the struggle against NATO and imperialist plans, 7/1/2021,http://www.solidnet.org/article/CP-of-Greece-Joint-Statement-of-Communist-and-Workers-Parties-The-peoples-must-strengthen-the-struggle-against-NATO-and-imperialist-plans/; SolidNet Parties signing: Communist Party of Albania, Armenian Communist Party, Party of Labour of Austria, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Belgium, Communist Party of Britain, Communist Party of Bulgaria, Party of the Bulgarian Communists, Socialist Workers' Party of Croatia, Communist Party of Bohemia &Moravia, Communist Party of Finland, Communist Party of Greece, Hungarian Workers' Party, Communist Party of Kurdistan-Iraq, Tudeh Party of Iran, Workers' Party of Ireland, Socialist movement of Kazakhstan, Communist Party of Mexico, New Communist Party of the Netherlands, Communist Party of Norway, Communist Party of Pakistan, Philippine Communist Party (PKP 1930), Communist Party of Poland, Russian Communist Workers Party - CPSU, New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, Communists of Serbia, Communist Party of the Workers of Spain, Communist Party of Sri Lanka , Communist Party of Swaziland, Communist Party of Sweden, Communist Party of Turkey, Syrian Communist Party, Syrian Communist Party - unified, Communist Party of Ukraine, Union of Communists of Ukraine, , Other Parties signing, Communist Worker’s Party of Finland, COMMUNISTS Revolutionary Party (France), National Association of Communists of France, Pole of Communist Revival in France, Communist Front (Italy), Swiss Communist Party, Party of Communists USA

[19] Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman: World Inequality Report 2018, p. 9

[20] We have dealt with the increasing number of monopoly capitalists and corporations in China in various works. See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China is Definitely the Place where You Want to Be (If You are a Billionaire). Following the Latest Report of the Hurun Global Rich List, 8.3.2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-is-definitely-the-place-where-you-want-to-be-if-you-are-a-billionaire/; by the same author: China passes the US on Global Business Ranking for the first time. New data on global corporations reflects China’s rise as an imperialist Great Power, 23 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-another-so-called-success-of-the-stalinist-capitalist-regime/

[21] Hurun Global Rich List 2021, 2.3.2021, https://www.hurun.net/en-US/Info/Detail?num=LWAS8B997XUP

[22] Fortune Global 500, August 2020, https://fortune.com/global500/ (the figures for the share is our calculation)

[23] Hong Kong Trade Development Council (2017) Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, https://hkmb.hktdc.com/en/1X0ABHUR/hktdc-research/Changing-Global-Production-Landscape-and-Asia%E2%80%99s-Flourishing-Supply-Chain

[24] Hong Kong Trade Development Council (2017) Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, https://hkmb.hktdc.com/en/1X0ABHUR/hktdc-research/Changing-Global-Production-Landscape-and-Asia%E2%80%99s-Flourishing-Supply-Chain

[25] Felix Richter: These are the top 10 manufacturing countries in the world, World Economic Forum, 25.2.2020, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/countries-manufacturing-trade-exports-economics/; output measured on a value-added basis in current U.S. dollars.

[26] Alessandro Nicita and Carlos Razo: China: The rise of a trade titan, UNCTAD, 27 April 2021, https://unctad.org/news/china-rise-trade-titan

[27] See Chapter II in our book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution – What It Is and How to Fight It, RCIT Books, Vienna 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-covid-19-global-counterrevolution/

[28] For more “patriotic” statements of the KKE with sources see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Stalinist Chauvinism: The Example of the Greek KKE. Is “Defending the Sovereign Rights of Greece” against Turkey and Macedonia Legitimate? Marxist Internationalism versus Bourgeois Social-Chauvinism, 12 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-greek-kke-and-stalinist-chauvinism/. For a critical analysis of the KKE see also the book by Michael Pröbsting: Greece: A Modern Semi-Colony. The Contradictory Development of Greek Capitalism, Its Failed Attempts to Become a Minor Imperialist Power, and Its Present Situation as an Advanced Semi-Colonial Country with Some Specific Features (chapter IV.4 Excurse: The KKE and the Class Character of Greece), https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/greece-semi-colony/

[29] Wikipedia: International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Meeting_of_Communist_and_Workers%27_Parties. We note that, with two exceptions, delegations of the CCP participated in all annual conferences since 2007.

[30] We have dealt with the CCP on numerous occasions. Our latest article is by Michael Pröbsting: Where are the Workers in the Chinese “Communist” Party? Some interesting findings on the CCP’s class composition according to an official report of the party’s Organization Department, 21 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/where-are-the-workers-in-the-chinese-communist-party/

[31] On the RKRP see e.g. Chapter VIII and XXIV in the above-mentioned book Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry.

[32] Michael Pröbsting: Examples of Pro-Russian Social-Imperialism. British Stalinism and the misnamed “World Socialist Web Site” on the shooting incident in the Black Sea between UK and Russia, 28 June 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/examples-of-pro-russian-social-imperialism/

[33] The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on the Syrian Revolution that can be accessed on a special sub-section of this website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. In particular we refer readers to the RCIT call Save the Syrian Revolution!. https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/call-save-the-syrian-revolution/; see also two pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/; Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syria-great-power-rivalry-and-the-failure-of-the-left/. See also by the same author: A Revealing Statistic about Who is Responsible for Killing Civilians in Syria. The latest findings of the Syrian Network for Human Rights for the period from March 2011 to June 2021, 2 July 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/revealing-statistic-about-who-is-responsible-for-killing-civilians-in-syria/

[34] John Bachtell: A new era for building socialism with ‘Chinese characteristics’, June 14, 2018, http://www.cpusa.org/article/a-new-era-for-building-socialism-with-chinese-characteristics/

[35] S e.g. Chapter 13 in the book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/.

[36] See e.g. RCIT: Down with France’s Colonial War in Mali! Solidarity with the Resistance! Let’s transform Mali into another Afghanistan for imperialism! 19.1.2013, https://rcitarchive.wordpress.com/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/no-to-france-s-war-in-mali/

[37] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: France: “Communist” Party fails to Vote in Parliament against Imperialist War in Iraq! 15.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/french-pcf-iraq-war/

[38] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution; COVID-19 and the Lockdown Left: The Example of PODEMOS and Stalinism in Spain, 24 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-lockdown-left-podemos-and-stalinism-in-spain/

[39] See on this e.g. the above-mentioned pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues.

[40] See on this e.g. RCIT: Down with the Imperialist Trade War between Japan and South Korea! Down with all chauvinist boycott campaigns! Class War instead of Trade War! 19 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/trade-war-between-japan-and-south-korea/

[41] See on this e.g. RCIT: China-India Border Conflict: Down with Chauvinist Warmongering on Both Sides! Support the national rights of the Kashmiri and the Nepalese people! 28 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-india-border-conflict-down-with-chauvinist-warmongering-on-both-sides/; Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? 18 August 2017, Revolutionary Communism No. 71, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/

[42] See on this e.g. RCIT: Yemen: Another Humiliating Blow for the Saudi Aggressors! Yemeni popular resistance eliminates three pro-Saudi military brigades, 02.10.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-another-humiliating-blow-for-the-saudi-aggressors/

[43] See on this e.g. RCIT: Armenia-Azerbaijan: A New War in the South Caucasus. Reactionary regimes in crisis wage a chauvinist war against each other. Russia’s intervention would transform it into an imperialist war. 30 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/new-war-in-the-south-caucasus/

[44] See on this e.g. RCIT: Egypt’s Dictator Sisi Threatens to Invade Libya. Defeat the counterrevolutionary bandit Haftar and the powers behind him! 24 June 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-s-dictator-sisi-threatens-to-invade-libya/

[45] See e.g. Leon Trotsky: The Third International After Lenin. The Draft Program of the Communist International: A Criticism of Fundamentals (1928), Pathfinder Press, New York 1970; see also by the same author: The Revolution Betrayed (1936), Pathfinder Press 1972; see also Michael Pröbsting: Capitalism Today and the Law of Uneven Development: The Marxist Tradition and its Application in the Present Historic Period, in: Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory, Vol. 44, Issue 4, 2016, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03017605.2016.1236483

[46] On Stalinism see e.g. the book published by our predecessor organization League for the Revolutionary Communist International: The Degenerated Revolution: The Origin and Nature of the Stalinist States, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/stalinism-and-the-degeneration-of-the-revolution/; see also Chapter II in Michael Pröbsting: Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism, August 2013, RCIT Books, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/cuba-s-revolution-sold-out/

[47] Leon Trotsky: The Permanent Revolution (1929), Pathfinder Press, New York 1969, p. 133

[48] See Leon Trotsky: History of the Russian Revolution (1932), Haymarket Books, Chicago 2008, Appendix II: (Socialism in a Separate Country), pp. 890-913

[49] V. I. Lenin: Speech in Reply to the Debate on the Agrarian Question (Speech at the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. April 10 (23) - April 25 (May 8), 1906); in: LCW Vol. 10, p. 280

[50] J. V. Stalin: Political Report of the Central Committee at the Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.), (December 1927), in: J. V. Stalin Works Vol. 10, August-December 1927, p. 296

[51] Quoted in Andrew Rothstein: Peaceful Coexistence, Penguin Books, Aylesbury and London 1955, p. 43. Since this book has been written by Stalinist supporter of the USSR who advocates the concept of “peaceful coexistence” and since this book has been written in 1955, there is no reason to doubt the accurate presentation of the Stalin quotes. Let us note in passing that historians have to use such sources as the Stalinist bureaucracy never published the complete works of Stalin. The last official volume ends in 1934. (Some Maoists published an additional but very incomplete volume in the 1970s, covering the years 1934-40.) Furthermore, even these works are incomplete. Numerous embarrassing statements of Stalin were left out. The bureaucrats could not solve the problem that people who were praised by Stalin in a public speech in one year, were killed in the next year for being a “fascist agent of Hitler”. Likewise, what to do with articles praising the anti-fascist democracy of France when they were following with appraisals of “peace-loving” Hitler-Germany, which were later, again, superseded with public speeches about the ever-lasting friendship between the USSR and British, which were later …. The only possible solution to the eclectic zigzags was … to stop the publication of Stalin works. Finally, since the Soviet bureaucracy later distanced itself from Stalin and the “period of the personality cult”, they had an additional reason to let Stalin’s “works” (if one shall use such a polite word) remain buried. By the way: the same is true with the works of Mao Zedong. Despite the fact that he was a leader of the CCP from the later 1920s onwards and a leader of the Chinese state until his death in 1976, … there exist only five volumes of Selected Works! Did the Chinese state not have the resources to publish the complete works of its founder? Was Mao not important enough for such an effort? Well, draw your own conclusions!

[52] Interview Between J. Stalin and Roy Howard (March 1, 1936), in: J. V. Stalin Works Vol. 14, 1934-40, p. 144

[53] Quoted in Andrew Rothstein: Peaceful Coexistence, Penguin Books, Aylesbury and London 1955, p. 49

[54] Quoted in Andrew Rothstein: Peaceful Coexistence, Penguin Books, Aylesbury and London 1955, p. 50

[55] We have dealt with this in more detail in our above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also the above-mentioned pamphlet Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism.

[56] See e.g. from a resolution of the 1936 world congress of the Trotskyists: The German Stalinists in emigration have become inverted social-patriots, transforming themselves from nationalist champions against the Versailles Peace Treaty to defenders of the status quo created by this very same treaty. It follows from the present position of the German Stalinist that they will transform themselves into real social-patriots as soon as the fascist dictatorship in Germany is replaces by another type of bourgeois regime.” (The Evolution of the Comintern. Resolution of the First Conference for the Fourth International in July 1936, in: Documents of the Fourth International, New York 1973, p. 127)

[57] European Commission: European Union, Trade in goods with China, 2 June 2021, p. 9

[58] Chris Devonshire-Ellis: European Union Member States Who Joined China’s Belt And Road Initiative Are Seeing Their Exports Rise Faster By Nearly 5% More Than Those Who Have Not, Nov 20, 2020, https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2020/11/20/european-union-member-states-who-joined-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-are-seeing-their-exports-rise-faster-by-nearly-5-more-than-those-who-have-not/

[59] Finbarr Bermingham: Xi Jinping, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron throw support behind EU-China investment deal, Beijing says, 5 Jul, 2021 https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3139925/xi-jinping-angela-merkel-and-emmanuel-macron-throw-support?utm_source=rss_feed

[60] See on this e.g. chapter 13 in our above-mentioned book The Great Robbery of the South.

[61] Ibid

[62] See on this e.g. Chapter XXVIII in the above-mentioned book Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry.

[63] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Five days that shook Britain but didn’t wake up the left. The bankruptcy of the left during the August uprising of the oppressed in Britain: Its features, its roots and the way forward, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 1, pp. 30-31 (September 2011), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/britain-left-and-the-uprising/sp-and-committee-for-a-workersinternational

[64] On the RCIT’s critique of the CWI reactionary support for an Israeli state see Yossi Schwarz: Occupied Palestine / Israel: Dead End for the Two-State Solution. The Palestinian Liberation Struggle and the CWI’s Centrist Adaptation to Zionism, 12.11.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/palestine-and-cwi/; Michael Pröbsting: The CWI’s “Socialist” Zionism and the Palestinian Liberation Struggle. A Reply from the RCIT, 15.9.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/cwi-and-israel/

[65] A leader of the IMT once wrote us and protested against our criticism. He referred to an article in which they indeed called China “imperialist”. However, this was rather an eclectic gaffe as in all central documents (like their annual world perspectives), the IMT calls only the Western Great Powers as “imperialist” but not their Eastern rivals.

 

Siervos de dos amos

El estalinismo y la nueva guerra fría entre las grandes potencias imperialistas de Oriente y Occidente

Un folleto (con 10 tablas) de Michael Pröbsting, Secretario Internacional de la Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCRI), 10 de julio de 2021, www.thecommunists.net

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Contenido

 

Introducción

1. La nueva guerra fría interimperialista

2. Opinión sobre la fuerza militar de las grandes potencias

3. El punto principal de ambas declaraciones: ponerse del lado del imperialismo chino y ruso

 

4. Fantasías estalinistas destrozadas a la luz de la realidad: el auge del imperialismo chino

5. La "crítica" del KKE y sus lazos fraternos con el PC chino

6. Junto a los sirvientes de Assad el carnicero: ¿quién firmó la declaración conjunta iniciada por el KKE?

 

7. El club de fans de Xi: signatarios de la declaración conjunta iniciada por CPUSA

8. El concepto de multilateralismo y convivencia pacífica: una ilusión reaccionaria

9. "Socialismo en un solo país": las raíces históricas del concepto estalinista de "convivencia pacífica"

 

10. Al servicio de dos amos: los imperialistas orientales y los sectores de la burguesía doméstica

11. Una nota sobre los "trotskistas" de labios cerrados (CWI, IMT, ISA)

12. Conclusiones

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

PARTE 1

 

Introducción

 

Desde principios de julio, circulan dos Declaraciones Conjuntas sobre la nueva Guerra Fría interimperialista que ya han sido firmadas por varios partidos estalinistas y ex estalinistas. Si bien estas no son las primeras declaraciones de tales fuerzas sobre la reciente aceleración de la rivalidad entre las grandes potencias, ambas declaraciones son muy notables, tanto por su contenido como por sus signatarios. [1]

 

Sin duda, estas dos declaraciones han sido provocadas por la reciente escalada de la Guerra Fría entre las Grandes Potencias imperialistas, entre los imperialistas occidentales (EE.UU., Europa Occidental y Japón), por un lado, y China y Rusia, por el otro. Naturalmente, la relación entre los estados dentro de estos dos campos no está exenta de conflictos de intereses y fricciones. Pero en este momento, y en el futuro previsible, el eje principal de la rivalidad interimperialista es entre estos dos campos. [2]

 

Antes de presentar las ideas principales de estas declaraciones estalinistas y discutir sus problemas, comenzaremos con una descripción general del análisis marxista de la rivalidad entre las grandes potencias, su naturaleza y su papel en la política mundial. Además, daremos un resumen del programa revolucionario sobre este tema.

 

Instamos a todos los revolucionarios a discutir nuestras conclusiones. Consideramos que el acuerdo sobre la respuesta programática a la rivalidad interimperialista es crucial para los marxistas, ya que este es un tema clave de la política mundial en el período actual. Nos alegra que nuestros compañeros argentinos de Convergencia Socialista, con quienes la CCRI está en un Comité de Enlace como marco para avanzar hacia la unidad revolucionaria, adopten el mismo enfoque antiimperialista y de principios.

 

1. La nueva guerra fría interimperialista

 

La CCRI ha demostrado en sus trabajos que este proceso de rivalidad acelerada entre las grandes potencias imperialistas está impulsado, por nombrar el factor más fundamental, por la decadencia del capitalismo que ha provocado depresión económica y desestabilización del orden político global. [3] Como resultado de esto, experimentamos desde hace algún tiempo el declive del hegemón del imperialismo desde hace mucho tiempo: los Estados Unidos. Paralelamente, surgieron nuevas grandes potencias, en primer lugar, China [4] y Rusia. [5]

 

A medida que se acelera el proceso de decadencia capitalista, también se acelera la decadencia de Estados Unidos y la rivalidad entre todas las grandes potencias. Como resultado, una nueva Guerra Fría entre los campos imperialistas comenzó en los últimos años. Es inevitable, como hemos visto en las últimas semanas con el incidente de los disparos en el Mar Negro, que tal escalada, tarde o temprano, resultará en una guerra interimperialista en toda regla. [6]

 

De hecho, los principales representantes del "Complejo Militar-Industrial" de Estados Unidos, como el almirante James G. Stavridis, autor de "2034: Una novela de la próxima guerra mundial", han predicho públicamente una guerra de este tipo entre las grandes potencias en un contexto no muy distante. futuro. [7] La carrera armamentista mundial, el creciente número de las llamadas "Operaciones de Libertad de Navegación" por parte de las potencias occidentales, donde su armada ingresa a territorio marítimo controlado por sus rivales, las demandas cada vez más agresivas de Rusia y China de controlar exclusivamente ciertos mares ( por ejemplo, el reclamo de Rusia de controlar el acceso al Mar de Azov o el reclamo de China sobre el Mar de China Meridional (o el Mar del Este como lo llama Vietnam) - todos estos pasos están destinados a provocar enfrentamientos militares. [8]

 

Los rivales de Estados Unidos no parecen estar demasiado preocupados por tales perspectivas. Después de la última escaramuza en el Mar Negro entre el HMS Defender británico y las fuerzas rusas, el presidente de Rusia, Putin, comentó en una entrevista "que incluso si Rusia hubiera hundido el buque de guerra británico, "los que hicieron esto" no habrían ido a la guerra, ya que Sabría que “no podrían ganar una guerra como esa” contra Rusia.” [9]

 

Y los gobiernos de China, en palabras de Wu Qian, portavoz del Ministerio de Defensa Nacional de China, dejaron en claro que una declaración de independencia de Taiwán “significa guerra”. The Global Times, el portavoz en inglés del régimen de Beijing, agregó intencionadamente en un editorial: “Se debe enviar un mensaje a Taiwán y Estados Unidos: no juzguen mal ni subestimen la determinación y voluntad de China continental de defender su integridad territorial y de castigar severamente los actos imprudentes de las fuerzas de la “independencia de Taiwán”. Si la isla de Taiwán y los EE. UU. Consideran los actos de