Elections and Democracy: The future of humanity will not be decided through the ballot box

According to a substantial number of politicians and media outlets, one of the most positive outcomes of the recent British election was the fact that Labour’s surprising revival was largely based on a kind of upsurge of young people, breaking with habits of apathy or cynicism towards “politics” and seeing the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn as offering a real alternative, hope for a more equal and fairer society.

Reply to the Communist League of Tampa: Why communists oppose participation in bourgeois elections

We are publishing here a critique of the article ‘Towards a communist electoral strategy’ which recently appeared on the website of the Communist League of Tampa (in Florida, USA). We have already published previous correspondence between ourselves and the CLT, in which we welcomed their recognition of the necessity for a world communist party, while also highlighting some of the key differences between our Current and the CLT regarding the conception of the ‘mass party’, the question of whether the communist party takes power, and the relevance of the old social democratic programmes to the communist project today. With the publication of the article ‘Towards a communist electoral strategy’ by Donald Parkinson, these differences seem to have widened, or at least become clearer. A comparable process seems to be underway in the relationship between the Tampa group and its Miami affiliate, which has now changed its name to the Workers’ Offensive Group and has adopted a statement of positions which are much more in line with those of the communist left. At the same time, the Miami group has declared that it wants to maintain the discussion with the group in Tampa. We support this decision and want the discussion between ourselves and Tampa to continue as well: hence the present contribution, which we hope will stimulate a response from the Tampa group and others.

The birth of totalitarian democracy

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country"

The NSA scandal

The revelations about the extent of cyber-surveillance by the capitalist state – the result of the whistleblowing by former National Security Agency operative Edward Snowden – have been piling up in the last few weeks. All the major internet servers, search engines and communication programmes – Windows, Google, Yahoo, Skype, etc etc – are more than willing to put any information required by the state in the hands of the NSA or other state surveillance bodies. Emails, phone calls, encryption codes – none of it is private; and the technology of surveillance is so sophisticated that even without the compliance of these corporations the American state can tap almost any form of electronic communication, whenever and wherever it wants.

Campaigns against "Negationism": Allies and Nazis Jointly Responsible for the Holocaust

The world’s leading heads of state have have been celebrating, in their own hypocritical manner, the liberation of the few thousand survivors of the Auschwitz death camp by the Red Army in January 1945. The main event was at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, and was dominated by the presence of Vladimir Putin who gave a version of the Holocaust that was so slanted against the role of Poland that the Polish president had already decided to boycott the august gathering. But while the spokesmen for “western democracy” may criticise Putin’s neo-Stalinist rewriting of history, we do not forget that it was these same western democracies which knowingly covered up the industrial massacre of Jews, gypsies and other undesirables in the Nazi concentration camps, did nothing to stop it while it was going on, and only came out into the open about it at the end of the war, using it as an ideological justification for the imperialist war of 1939-45 and an alibi for their own “crimes against humanity”, such as the obliteration of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in Hamburg, Dresden or Hiroshima.  

The idea that the Second World War was a necessary and just war is an article of faith in this society and the unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust have been instrumentalised to put this beyond question, not only by the right and centre of bourgeois politics, but also – and above all -by the left and extreme left who are the specialist exponents of the ideology of anti-fascism. It was only a handful of internationalist communists who, during the war, denounced the entire conflict as a war no less imperialist than the one that preceded it in 1914-18, and who called for the international struggle of the working class against both camps. And it was these same currents who, in the wake of the war, exposed the manipulation of the death camps as an alibi for democratic imperialism, as in the pamphlet Auschwitz, the Grand Alibi, published in 1960 by the Bordigist International Communist Party. This text has been vilified from right to left as a founding text of Holocaust denial or “negationism”– a complete lie, because it is quite demonstrably an attempt to provide a marxist explanation for the Holocaust, locating it as a direct product of capitalist society.

The article that follows, “Campaigns against negationism, Allies and Nazis  jointly responsible for the Holocaust” first published in International Review 89 in 1997 was a response to a particularly virulent campaign against the internationalist tradition of the communist left in general and the Bordigists’ pamphlet in particular.

Ukraine: the authoritarian prison and the trap of democracy

The “Orange revolution” in the Ukraine was given extensive media coverage in the West. The events appeared to possess all the ingredients of a political thriller: on one side, an utterly corrupt Stalinist mafia, in all probability guilty of the grotesque murder of a journalist who seems to have inquired too closely into its business; on the other, Yushchenko, the heroic defender of democracy, his face ravaged by the poison of a bungled KGB assassination with the beautiful Yulia Timoshenko at his side, the very symbol of youth and hope for the future - but as this article shows, the "democratic revolution" was born of a ruthless struggle between cliques of the ruling class.

In government or in opposition, the ‘Left’ against the working class

It only needs a brief glance to show that while the political crisis of the bourgeoisie really is developing, the left’s coming to power hasn’t been verified, or rather, over the last year the left has been systematically pushed away from power in most European countries. We only have to look at the examples of Portugal, Italy, Spain, the Scandinavian countries,

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