The Trotskyists hear the call to imperialist war, and answer: ready to serve!

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The uncompromising defence of internationalism and its age-old watchword: "The workers have no homeland", is more than ever the key to the proletariat's struggle, a class barrier between the working class and the bourgeoisie.

Many groups on the left of the bourgeoisie's political apparatus, Trotskyist, anarchist, Maoist, etc, have for decades prided themselves on being the defenders of the interests of working class in its struggle against capitalism. While the death toll in the war between Israel and Hamas continues to rise, their pseudo-internationalism has once more proven to be nothing more than a bluff and a sham! As the IDF answers the limitless savagery of Hamas with a deluge of fire, all of their political positions are directed towards the same result: to push the workers into taking sides, supporting one imperialist camp against another. Put simply, they are nothing more than the stooges of nationalism.

Trotskyism is nationalism, always and forever!

Some leftists around the world have had no hesitation in glorifying the despicable acts of Hamas after their savage attack on 7 October. The French neo-Maoists of the Ligue de la Jeunesse Révolutionnaire (LJR) headlined: "The deluge of Al Aqsa is a glorious beacon in the night of imperialism". The height of war-mongering ignominy! The same goes for the Spanish Trotskyist group El Militant-Izquierda Revolucionaria, which had no hesitation in triumphantly brandishing the "right of the Palestinian people to arm itself in self-defence" in order to show its support for the atrocities committed by Hamas, which is a band of gangsters and murderers! It's the same in Great Britain, where the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party shamelessly issued its war cry: "the Palestinian people have every right to respond, as they see fit, to the violence of the Israeli state".

But behind this coterie of shameless warmongers, other leftist groups, in a perfect division of the ideological dirty work, have promoted much more devious forms of nationalism.

In some other Trotskyist groups, the language is a little more subtle but the logic is the same. Behind the "resolutely internationalist" slogans of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), the defence of one imperialist camp against another is unwavering. They persist with their putrid nationalism: "for decades (as the LCR did before it ), the NPA has defended the case that, like other peoples of the world, the Palestinians have national and democratic rights, recognised by the UN". These "rights" are those of the nation and its state (whether democratic or not), expressions par excellence of the dictatorship of the ruling class, which for well over fifty years has foisted this ideology on the Palestinian proletariat and the population in general, with the aim of recruiting them as cannon fodder for its imperialist ambitions.

Palestinian nationalism, whether it presents itself as "marxist", "secular" or "Islamist", has always put itself at the service of the imperialist forces at work in the region. Hamas is, in fact, a clique at the head of a state, a faction of the Palestinian bourgeoisie which exploits and imposes its dictatorship on the population of Gaza, on the Palestinian proletariat. It treats its workers just like any other capitalist regime. One of the greatest ironies of this nightmare is that Hamas largely owes its existence to Israel, which initially encouraged its development as a counterweight to the PLO.

Defenders of barbarism... but democratically!

Révolution Permanente (RP), an organisation that split from the NPA and which is now developing links with other Trotskyist groups in Europe, such as Klasse gegen Klasse in Germany, is back with another layer of staggeringly outrageous misinformation: "Hamas's adventurism, atrocities and massacres against civilians are the height of the impasse it represents for the Palestinian cause, because it has no real social and democratic programme [...]. And yet Hamas, unlike Daesh and Al Qaeda, has a popular base, even though the absence of elections and any democratic framework [...] makes it impossible to measure exactly the degree of support for Hamas in Gaza and elsewhere in the territories".

What shameless hypocrisy to get people to accept the unacceptable and justify the barbaric massacres of Hamas! Popular support? Would Hamas' atrocities be more legitimate if they had been sanctioned by elections? Was it on the basis of its "popular support" that in September 2006, a few months after it came to power, massive strikes and demonstrations were organised, demanding that the Hamas government settle several months' unpaid wages?

This is a fine illustration of democratic mystification! Under cover of a "critical" discourse, the war-mongers of the NPA use the "democratic label" to better justify the massacres perpetrated by the soldiers of an imperialist camp. The ignominy of Trotskyist propaganda knows no bounds and often turns into something unsustainable. But the savagery and atrocities of this conflict are such that they sometimes embarrass some of these groups, leading them into distancing themselves a little from what their "comrades" are saying.

Such expressions of radical contortion are to be found in one of the most devious of Trotskyist groups, an expert in doublespeak and evasions, the inimitable French Trotskyist organisation Lutte Ouvrière (LO), which recently published an article highly critical of the NPA and Révolution Permanente. LO criticises them for an overly outrageous nationalist discourse that fails to perceive "the class and bourgeois nature of Hamas, and its nationalist and reactionary policy [...]. To describe Hamas as the 'main organisation of the Palestinian resistance' is a misuse of language, not to say a con".

What’s going on?! So LO is ready to denounce the barbarity of all bourgeois factions and abandon its logic of defending "national liberation struggles"?... Surely not! "If some of the Palestinian masses trust Hamas, it certainly doesn't trust them [...] Hamas acts and makes decisions beyond the control of the Palestinian population and the poorest. Its methods are not designed to enable those in revolt to become conscious of their power, to organise themselves and to have a political education. The attack on 7 October was launched by its leadership without any control or discussion". Clearly, the undemocratic savagery of Hamas has "disappointed" LO, nothing less!

Ah, if only "democratic discussions" had taken place before 7 October to plan the Hamas attack, the atrocities might have had a more presentable profile, according to LO. In the realm of the sordid, the "subtle", Lutte Ouvrière dethrones the most outrageous Trotskyist groups to sell its own nationalist and war-mongering garbage.

What is the perspective for the working class according to Trotskyism?

Let's hear from Révolution Permanente once more: "In future, we must not think of the mobilisation against the war, the struggle for Palestinian national liberation and the perspective of proletarian revolution as separate paths. On the contrary, they can and must support each other". At least that has the merit of being clear!

Not only must the Palestinian proletariat continue to serve as cannon fodder for the nationalist cause of its bourgeoisie, but more broadly the proletarian struggle must "sustain" and nourish the national liberation struggles. The Trotskyists' shoddy internationalism had been thrown out of the window a long time ago, but now they are openly assuming their role as recruiting sergeants for the national cause.

Whatever the convoluted contortions of the Trotskyist organisations, they remain unwavering recruiters for the bourgeoisie in its national confrontations.

During the Second World War, Trotskyism definitively passed into the camp of the bourgeoisie by contributing to the enlistment of the proletariat in the war against fascism. Since then, these bourgeois groups have methodically incited workers throughout the world to choose one imperialist camp against another. During the Cold War, they confirmed their unconditional support for the USSR and its so-called "national liberation struggles" (Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, etc.) against the United States. During the war in Iraq, they determined that the "right side" was... "the side of the Iraqi people against the Anglo-American aggressors"!

More recently, several Trotskyist groups have repeatedly denounced "Putin's Russia" in the war in Ukraine, calling on the "Ukrainian people" to be resigned to being massacred in the trenches. Other Trotskyist groups, like LO, faithful to its dogma of a Russia that is not imperialist, do not hesitate to subtly support Putin by suggesting that the only imperialism worth denouncing is that of NATO and Biden.

Trotskyism, because it is a bourgeois ideology, inevitably pushes the working class into the arms of so-called national liberation struggles - in reality, the defence of one imperialist camp against another, the camp of the "victim" against the "aggressors", the camp of democracy against fascism, the camp of the "poor countries" against the "rich countries", previously the camp of the "Soviet socialist fatherland" against Western imperialism, etc.

There is no solution to the endless bloodshed in the Middle East and throughout the world outside the international class struggle and the world proletarian revolution. All forms of nationalism, all its defenders, including the most radical, are the mortal enemies of the working class and its revolutionary perspective.

Stopio, 5 December 2023



Middle East war