Joint Statement: Escalation of Imperialist Tensions - Capitalism Means War!

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Joint Statement: Escalation of Imperialist Tensions - Capitalism Means War!
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Due to the rise of imperialist tensions between Iranian and American gangsters, recommends re-reading the joint statement.

Joint Statement: Escalation of Imperialist Tensions - Capitalism Means War!

                                             Gulf Coast Communist Fraction

                                                  Internationalist Voice

                                                       Download as PDF

In recent months, we witnessed the rise of imperialist tensions between Iranian and American gangsters in the Persian Gulf region. On the one hand, the US announced that it has received clear evidence that Iran is preparing itself to attack US forces in the Middle East. The US has been sending out USS Abraham Lincoln and at the same time deploying several B-52 bombers (the most feared bomber of history) in Qatar, sending new troops to the area and ... on the other hand we witnessed numerous attacks in the region. Attacking Katyusha near the US embassy in the protected and green area in Baghdad, a mortar attack on the al-Balad Air Base, and American forces stationed for training Iraqi forces, an attack on Katyusha in western Basra, which houses international oil companies. There is sabotage on four ships in Fujairah port, an attack on two tankers in the Oman Sea, and this list was completed by shooting down a super-advanced US spy Drone by Iran on June 20 2019.

Both Trump and supreme leader of the Islamic bourgeois have emphasized that no war will take shape (notably with Trump’s decision to call off a strike). However, the irrefutable fact is that war is not the decision of the ignorant leaders, but the last resort of capitalism for its crisis. The economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s was the rebuilding of World War II devastation. The Metropolitan Capital first attempts to transfer the consequences of the crisis to peripheral capitalism or to rivals, and in the next step, it will resort to its last solution (warfare). Since conditions are not currently available for the global war, wars take the form of regional wars. All this is due to the fact that the working class retreats as a global class of its class identity.

Following the victory of democracy over state capitalism, the US was no longer able to apply its hegemony as it had during the Cold War. Therefore, it launched the wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and so on, in order to preserve its hegemony in the new world order and to weaken its rivals. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsula is moving in this direction. The US departure from JCPOA is in keeping with its desire to preserve its hegemony, which is further underlined as the US re-emphasizes and reminds its rivals the European Union, China and Russia of its hegemony.

The confrontation and warfare between large and small gangsters is rooted in the upside-down capitalist system. In the era of capitalist decadence, the era of imperialism, the era of crisis and war, the effect of this rivalry between gangsters is to weaken each other. The bourgeoisie, through the fragmentation of our class and by encircling us with national borders, has persuaded us to line up behind them under the headings of America first, Iran first, France first, Russia first, China first, thus enabling them to continue to rule us. Of greater importance than a national identity is the fundamental property that is common across the globe, a common property of capitalist barbarism, that is, we belong to the working class and our property is being exploited and the production of surplus value is being extracted for capital accumulation. We belong to the exploited camp, we are siblings, whether we are in Tehran, in New York, in Jerusalem or in London. Our enemy is the bourgeoisie in our home.

This is why we condemn leftists (the left wing of capital) who cannot help but support national factions in imperialist conflicts under the guise of proletarian interests. We proletarian communists have nothing in common with those of the leftist milieu who participate in activist social events rallying in support of the Iranian bourgeoisie in the name of farcical “anti-imperialism.” There is no “anti-imperialist” underdog that can undermine the capitalist order in the epoch of imperialism as a world system.

Only the intensification of the class struggle can bring about an improvement in our living conditions and, by expanding the class struggle to other countries, can challenge the capitalist system. Only the advancement of the working class towards a communist revolution aimed at pulling down the miserable system of capitalism will deliver a world without imperialist tensions and without its wars around the world; a world free of nuclear weapons. This would be a world without war, class and wage slavery; a world that humanity deserves.

Down with the war!

Down with capitalism!

Long live the class struggle from Tehran to Jerusalem, from London to New York!


Gulf Coast Communist Fraction

Internationalist Voice

22 June 2019

Gulf Coast Communist Fraction:

Internationalist Voice:


I agree with the joint

I agree with the joint statement and its sentiments and welcome its expression as an intervention of the communist left. It denounces all sides while emphasising capitalism's intrinsic and irrational drive to war.  There's also a clear denunciation of the left of capital's "anti-imperialist underdog".

The difficulties in reading US foreign policy are fundamentally linked to the difficulties facing US imperialism and Trump and his team represent this. There's been a classic squeeze on Iran by the US which could be seen as a forerunner to a shooting war. As the text says, the Iranian bourgeoisie has responded in its own way through rockets in Iraq, mines in the Straits of Hormuz and shooting down the drone just to indicate to the US its ability to target various areas. The situation is not without its dangers and in the meantime the class struggle likely becomes weaker due to the strengthening of nationalism.

While, generally speaking, the proletariat is divided by nationalism and overwhelmed by democracy in the main centres and is in a generally weakened position, it is not ready to bear the sacrifices of war which means that these explosions are restricted to the peripheral countries during this impasse.

A couple of points for discussion and clarification:
- the text talks about the "victory of democracy over state capitalism" (collapse of the eastern bloc). It was rather the victory of one superior form of state capitalism over another much more inefficient effort. Like the tendency to imperialist war, state capitalism has been a development of the whole of the system since the First World War, expressed during the war, relaxed just afterwards and back with a vengence in the 1930's.
- the text reinforces the position that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were military-strategic in order to defend US hegemony  both in the face of its "allies" and "adversaries". Though economics play a part the weight of these wars came from the imperialist necessities of the United States. So I very much agree with that. But just a point here; it didn't launch a war in the Balkans - that was precipitated directly by the centrifugal tendencies in the US bloc. Germany, through political, diplomatic and military means, kicked-off the war in the volatile ex-Yugoslavia and immediately the French, British and Russians got involved and turned it into a conflagration which the US had to deal with.


Iran has no choice but to be

Iran has no choice but to be able to respond to the current crisis by war

In the case of this writing,

In the case of this writing, two issues attracted my point: one is about state capitalism and the next, centrifugal tendencies in the US bloc

My question is this: I know icc has different concept of state capitalism. The wiew of Marxist-Humanist tendency with ict is about state capitalism is one?

You can further explain the concept of centrifugal tendency in the US bloc and the origin of this concept?

I don't know what's meant by

I don't know what's meant by the "Marxist Humanist Tendency" but on state capitalism and and centrifugal tendencies in the western bloc, the first is an expression of capitalist decadence and the second an expression of its decomposition.

The development of state capitalism, already a tendency of its ascendent phase, became a dominating characteristic of capitalism up to, during and just after the First World War. The system "relaxed" somewhat after that with a return to "laissez-faire" but this short-lived experiment ended with a bang by the end of the 1920's with the developments in "Soviet" Russia, expressions of fascism and the strengthening of the state and its control in all the major democracies. The decadence of capitalism demands instruments at the highest level that are able to deal with the contradictions that are piling up and the all-powerful state was it.  Everything, more or less, has to be controlled at the economic, military and social levels - as far as the latter is concerned the full integration of the trade unions into the state is an integral part of this process. None of this is a "rational" process but an "expression of an element of decay" (ICC Platform), a sort of adaption to its decay and deepening it still further.

The question of centrifugal tendencies in the western bloc is the other side of the collapse of the east and the "Soviet Union" in that this tendency of "each for themselves" is nevertheless a global one going in the same direction. The wars in the Gulf and Afghanistan underline this development after the collapse of the eastern bloc and so do the USA's attempts to maintain its domination over its "partners" through displays of overwhelming force.

The joint statement above raises the question of the war in the Balkans and this is a good example of these centrifugal tendencies at work very quickly after the collapse of the Russian bloc. Just a few years prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia there were significant strikes gaining ground across the country involving many workers from many different sectors which also tended, given their rigid Stalinist structures, to come up against the unions. The movement was stopped dead as the country fell to pieces not as a "natural" consequence (partly that) but as part of an imperialist free-for-all. Germany interferred first, then to counter it, Britain, France and Russia defending their own interests with the US coming in later and even China getting involved. These tendencies and their consequences underlined and strengthened the irrationality of the system giving a further impulse to its decomposition.

The ICC's 14th Congress Text, "Resolution on the International Situation, 2002" examines elements of both these issues.


The Issue of Centrifugal Tendencies

As I understand the ICC's position....

The division of the world under the hegemony of two imperialist blocs (western and eastern) was eclipsed with the disintegration, under the pressure of social decomposition and imperialist pressure, of the Stalinist bloc in 1989 and subsequently. As we know, The Wall came down, the 'Soviet Union' collapsed and individual nation states in its orbit claimed their 'independence' (Poland, Hungary, etc, etc). This did not occur at once, nor without a struggle, but it was the 'centrifugal tendency' ripping apart the bloc.

So what happened to the western bloc? With a different dynamic, and with alternate expressions, the same thing. 

Those countries (France, Britain, Germany, etc), each with their own imperialist appetites (which never disappeared), that were once sheltered behind the US shield (and had been since the end of WW2) in the face of the (very real) Soviet 'threat' had less and less reason to support the US's imperialist aims after 1989. This is the epoch of 'every many for himself', and of attempts by the US to halt this tendency and preserve its position as 'world cop'.

It was to counter this centrifugal tendency of 'every man for himself' that the US first invited Saddam's Iraq to invade Kuwait (1990), and then, having done so, obliged its allies to form a 'coalition' to invade Iraq (forcing France, Germany and Britain, among others, to tow the US line and pay for the slaughter into the bargain - 1991). 

This, however did not halt the centrifugal tendency. Indeed, as Baboon says above, the encouragement given by German imperialism to the independence claims of Croatia (Germany seeking, eventually, outlets to the Adriatic and the Black Sea) was at the heart of the destabilisation of Yugoslavia and the origins of the Balkans war (1991). This was a destabilisation of the former US bloc, not a ploy by it. The 2nd Gulf War (post 9-11, 2001) saw far fewer allies join or support the US.

For further reading, see Theses on Decomposition, reproduced just after 9/11 here:


Due to the rise of imperialist tensions between Iranian and Amer

Due to the rise of imperialist tensions between Iranian and American gangsters, recommends re-reading the joint statement.

Internationalist Voice

Given what he is it was a

Given what he is it was a stupid move of the Iranian bourgeoisie to call Trump impotent over what he could do to respond to siege of the Kirkuk fortress. Apparantly the Pentagon gave him a list of possible options which included the most extreme one of taking out Soleimani (one of the main architects of Iranian expansion and coordinator of the repression in Iraq and Iran). Again, apparantly, the military didn't think he would pick this one but given his ego, and the fact he was locked in with his immediate clique, he chose the most extreme. His warning to take out fifty-odd sites in the face of (too much) Iranian retaliation also looks to be one the most extreme responses and should be taken seriously.

The Iranians have been rattled by the protests which have undermined their power in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon and are now contemplating their reponse. They've shut down their Oslo connection to the US and now there appears to be no communication facility at all between the two countries. Despite the Iranian "miscalculation" in directly calling into question Trump's masculinity, the situation was already fraught with the dangers of incidents getting out of control.

There was never a question of the US "abandoning" the Middle East but the pivot to Asia was very real. As Iranian imperialism has strengthened in the region the US has weakened. But the US maintains veritable fortresses throughout the Middle East and these are backed up by air power. They are also targets if it comes to a war of missiles. If that's the case then that would strengthen moves towards all-out war between the US and Iran and massive US troop deployments. That doesn't seem a likely perspective at the moment.

Isis, al-Qaida and its variants will undoubtedly be regrouping and strengthening and China will not be unhappy to see the US further bogged down in endless skirmishes in the Middle East.

The ICT (on libcom) has posed the question of a two-bloc confrontation and all out war over Iran but this seems even more unlikely particularly given the centrifugal tendencies that dominate in international relations.

It looks like Tehran has

It looks like Tehran has heeded Trump's 50-site retaliation warning to its drone retaliation which the US president would have executed, in the main, with more planned strikes if the situation escalated. The day after the US drone strikes, Lebanon's boss of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrullah, said Iran's retaliation should be the removal of the 6000-odd US forces from Iraq. By the following day, the regime in Tehran agreed with the Nasrullah line and kept away from any response that would cause US casualties; in fact they warned the US of the coming "retribution" through intermediataries in Iraq.

If the aim of the Trump administration was to make the Middle East and the world safer for the US military and interests then that has clearly failed. It has also failed to bend the Iranian state to its will. This skirmish has shown the further weakening of the US and the strengthening of the Iranian Republic. The latter's regime was shaken by the protests in Lebanon and both Iraq and Iran, particularly its Shi'a base in Iraq. The action by Trump has effectively killed protest against the Iranian regime (which was beginning to be a great concern and met with great repression that was piling up further problems for the regime) and undoubtedly strengthened Tehran's grip in both Iran and Iraq. There have been some small Sunni-related protests in Iraq supportive of the US assassinations  and while he was reporting live from Baghdad on BBCTV on Tuesday, a large crowd of protesters marched past M.E. reporter Jeremy Bowen shouting "Neither the USA or Iran!" But, overwhelmingly, Iranian imperialism has been strengthened; the Al Quds force strengthened, the protests quelled and a powerful surge in nationalism has taken place that goes beyond just a Shia identity. The butcher Soleimani has rendered one last notable and long-term service to Iranian imperialism with his demise. And so has Trump with his deadly antics.

That Iran pulled back and baulked at causing US lives to be lost is not to suggest that there won't be attacks on US interests from Iranian-backed militias - in fact they are almost guaranteed and, given Trump and his anti-Iran coterie, could result in serious flare-ups at any time. Though John Bolton's gone, Trump is surrounded by anti-Iranian hawks who will continue with the idea of "regime change" though they've just effectively ruled it out. Vice President Mike Pence is now accusing Iran of being involved in the Twin Towers atrocity. The US bombing of Iranian nuclear workings could well happen further down the road. Getting US troops out of Iraq would be a big plus for the Iranian regime and the letter from General W. H. Seely, US overlord of Iraqi operations offering to accede to Iraqi requests to pull out his troops, shows the confusion that reigns in the US military at the moment. Confusion and bewilderment about Trump's actions was expressed within the US military.

I think that the ICT posing the possibility of world war three shows how weak their grip is on their overall analysis of the international situation and their complete underestimation of what happened in 1989 and what its consequences were. The Germans and French are openly scornful about Trump and his clique and even Downing Street, which desperately needs the US president on-side, has joined European criticism. There doesn't seem much chance of European or other countries sending troops to Iraq - as Trump has suggested and his comments about Nato have left wounds. It's difficult to see why Russia and China would want to engage in world war with the US when the basis for it doesn't exist at this time and while the US, as strong as it is, is doing a decent job of undermining its own strength. There are at least a number of holes in the ICT's analysis if they see the possibility of a world war over Iran looming on the horizon.