CPB sowing illusions about imperialism
On the 22 November 2004, the revisionist daily paper, the Morning Star, published an article by a leading member of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Kate Hudson, who is also the Chairwoman of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The article starts by announcing that the re-election of President Bush in the USA was a “disaster” and that an “emboldened” George Bush would now be “an even greater threat to the world”. If Ms Hudson really believes this to be true it would show an incredible lack of political perception and commonsense on her part. Most people, who don’t think of themselves as politically aware let alone communists, recognise that American foreign policy would remain unchanged whether Bush, Kerry or, for that matter, anyone else had ‘won’ the US Presidency and that the attack on Fallujah would have gone ahead with the same viciousness, brutality and ferocity under a Kerry administration as it did under Bush. We live in a class society under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (democracy if you will, it means the same thing) and the interests of that class alone are paramount for whichever leader, or indeed party, that is elected/selected to office within that dictatorship. This does not, of course, absolve individuals of the crimes that they are party to; they are willing puppets of imperialism. But it must, nevertheless, be recognised that it is the needs and wants of imperialism that dictate the policies of whatever leader/party under the present system.
She carries on in the same vein “The Bush victory means that more and more wars will be on the agenda. And Blair’s recent statements while in the US give every indication that our government will be following the US lead.” Again we have the class war, the antagonistic contradictions within imperialism, reduced to personalities. Imperialism, to apply this warped logic, is not a bad thing in itself, it is just powerful individuals within that system that make evil and nasty decisions. Let us be quite clear, the system of imperialism cannot but lead to wars and the dominant section of the ruling bourgeoisie in Britain (there is another section that sees Britain’s imperialist interests best served by the EU as opposed to the US) will continue supporting US imperialism whenever it thinks it sees a way out of its crisis by doing so.
To grasp this, an understanding of imperialism is required. Anyone interested in the subject would do well to refer to Lenin’s book, Imperialism – the Highest Stage of Capitalism or Imperialism – Decadent, Parasitic, Moribund Capitalism by Harpal Brar. For the purposes of this short article we shall take one quote from Lenin’s work Imperialism and the Split in Socialism for a brief definition of imperialism:
“Imperialism is a special historical stage of capitalism. Its special character is threefold: imperialism is 1) monopoly capitalism; 2) parasitic, or decaying capitalism; 3) moribund capitalism. The substitution of monopoly for free competition is the fundamental economic feature, the quintessence of imperialism. Monopoly manifests itself in five main forms: 1) cartels, syndicates and trusts; the concentration of production having reached the stage which gives rise to these monopolistic combinations of capitalists; 2) the monopolistic position of big banks: three to five gigantic banks manipulate the whole economic life of America, France, Germany; 3) usurpation of the sources of raw material by the trusts and the financial oligarchy (finance capital is monopolistic industrial capital merged with bank capital); 4) the (economic) partition of the world among the international cartels has begun. The international cartels which dominate the whole market, dividing it ‘amicably’ among themselves – until war brings about a redistribution – already number over one hundred! The export of capital, a specifically characteristic phenomenon distinct from export of commodities under non-monopoly capitalism, is closely bound up with the economic and territorial political partition of the world; 5) the territorial partition of the world (colonies) is completed”
The partition of the world having been completed, the only way to expand for the imperialists is to take what (under imperialist logic) belongs to another imperialist power. Thus, imperialists, who are all in crisis, will seek to allay that crisis by preying upon each other once they have brought back under control those states which have struggled to either free themselves fully or partially from the imperialist’s grip.
Joseph Stalin (whose very name in anathema to the revisionists of the CPB) had this to say in his pamphlet Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR:
“…the struggle of the capitalist countries for markets and their desire to crush their competitors proved to be stronger than the contradictions between the capitalist camp and the socialist camp.
“What guarantee is there, then, that Germany and Japan will not rise to their feet again, will not attempt to break out of American bondage and live their own independent lives? I think there is no such guarantee.
“But it follows from this that the inevitability of wars between capitalist countries remains in force.
“It is said that Lenin’s thesis that imperialism inevitably generates war must now be regarded as obsolete, since powerful popular forces have come forward today in defence of peace and against another world war. That is not true.
“The object of the present-day peace movement is to rouse the masses of the people to fight for the preservation of peace and for the prevention of another world war. Consequently, the aim of this movement is not to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism – it confines itself to the democratic aim of preserving peace. In this respect, the present-day peace movement differs from the movement at the time of the First World War for the conversion of the imperialist war into civil war, since the latter movement went farther and pursued socialist aims.
“It is possible that in a definite conjuncture of circumstances the fight for peace will develop here or there into a fight for socialism. But then it will no longer be the present-day peace movement; it will be a movement for the overthrow of capitalism.
“What is most likely is that the present-day peace movement, as a movement for the preservation of peace, will, if it succeeds, result in preventing a particular war, in its temporary postponement, in the temporary preservation of a particular peace, in the resignation of a bellicose government and its supersession by another that is prepared temporarily to keep the peace. That, of course, will be good. Even very good. But, all the same, it will not be enough to eliminate the inevitability of wars between capitalist countries generally. It will not be enough, because, for all the successes of the peace movement, imperialism will remain, continue in force – and, consequently, the inevitability of wars will also continue in force.
“To eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism.”
This was written at a time when the socialist camp was much larger and stronger and still it was recognised that without an assault on, and overthrow of, imperialism the inevitability of wars could not be removed. Yet today, with a much reduced and weakened socialist camp we have Ms Hudson telling us that all we need is “…to bring about a change in the attitudes and policies of political bodies and institutions.” Which ‘political bodies and institutions’ does she have in mind? The Government? The British Parliament perhaps? Or maybe she is thinking of that faithful servant of British imperialism, the Labour Party who recently voted to support the continued Anglo-American occupation and pillage of Iraq? She doesn’t enlighten us on this unfortunately. However, she goes on “But that itself requires a changed popular understanding of the threats that we face – of the terrible danger from nuclear weapons and above all, from their use. And it requires a massive public demand for their abolition. Without this change in public attitude we cannot be successful.” Most people already understand that nuclear weapons, especially if used, are dangerous, but what must be combated in the working class is the belief that British imperialism’s needs are our own and that British imperialism is a force for good in the world. Nuclear weapons, like any other technology are neutral; it is in the hands of the imperialists (and their puppets) who rob, starve and work to death millions throughout the world that they really become terrifying. It is these weapons of imperialism that must be targeted for abolition as without them the imperialists lose their main instrument to threaten the world.
Ignoring the reality that surrounds us every day she states: “We must shift people from the idea that security is based on missiles and war-fighting capacity to the idea that security is based on voluntary and co-operative peace, mutual respect and a fair sharing of resources – genuine human security, not ‘peace’ enforced through the barrel of a gun.” One has to wonder how muddled a person has to be to write such nonsense. We live in a world where imperialism is the dominant political system. It is based on exploitation, greed and war. In such a system the only security does come from ‘missiles and war-fighting capacity’!
Why does Ms Hudson think the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has not been attacked by the imperialist blood-suckers? Because the DPRK can defend itself, it has the capability to hit back and defeat imperialism. For our part, we support the DPRK having whatever weapons it deems necessary to both defend itself, and to deter attacks from imperialism. Why was Iraq invaded? Precisely because the imperialists knew that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, although thanks to the bravery, ingenuity and sacrifice of the Iraqi resistance the imperialists will be defeated there as well.
It is worth noting that the Morning Star and the CPB also support and put forward the views of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions and the Iraqi Communist Party, both of which oppose the resistance and support the Allawi puppet government. This is nothing but support for imperialism by the CPB and the Morning Star. Ms Hudson finishes the article with a call for the unity of the broadest sections of society for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, still without targeting the imperialists that bully the world and treating those who only seek protect themselves as equal to the imperialists, and a call to recognise that “To change hearts and minds, we must intervene at every level of society and politics – through Parliament, parties, trade unions and local government, through street stalls, petitions, letters and local meetings, through demonstrations, blockades, vigils and non-violent direct action and through education, websites, schools, prayers and cultural events.” Everything except explaining to people the workings of imperialism and how it is the cause of war and all other sorrows of humanity, everything except how to remove imperialism through the socialist revolution. The CPB and the Morning Star cannot any longer be treated as communists with some mistaken ideas. On the Labour Party and Iraq, amongst other issues, despite their claims to the contrary, they stand out fully as supporters of imperialism whose intention is to misdirect workers into going around and around in circles until despair and the mistaken belief in the invincibility of imperialism takes them away from any form of revolutionary struggle.