The Third International after Lenin

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A note on Paris attacks: an attack on all workers

Posted for information purposes.

.... [Daesh] has started another front of battle, against the ordinary people of Russia and France. The military involvement of those states in Syria is only an excuse. The action is aimed not at easing oppression, but at provoking polarisation and repression which will drive new recruits towards the jihadi-terrorists.

The most effective fighters against Daesh in Syria and Iraq have been the relatively secular-Muslim Kurdish forces. The US and its allies have given them dribs and drabs of aid, but no more.

The US and its allies remain leagued with the Turkish regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which has often turned a blind eye to Daesh activities because it hopes they may weaken the Kurds and the Assad regime. Whenever Erdoğan has felt compelled to take some action against Daesh, he has simultaneously attacked the Kurds.

The US and its allies also remain leagued with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the other Gulf states, which are responsibility for funding the Sunni-sectarian trend of the Syrian resistance, out of which Daesh has nourished itself.

Their operational aim in Syria and Iraq now is just to keep the conflict continuing and contained, and ensure no side gains a decisive advantage, with the hope that after some duration of bloodshed all sides will be weakened enough for them to preside over a compromise deal acceptable to all the strong states in the area.

Solidarity with the victims of Daesh terror, and effective action to cut the roots of this gang, must therefore be through the independent and democratic struggles of the international working class, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist, and other - and not through any sort of common front with big-power governments, let alone with the attacks on civil rights which they are now likely to pursue.

We recall today what we wrote in September 2011, after Al Qaeda made the attack on New York which served the Paris and Sinai attackers as their model.

"Such people are enemies for the working class and the labour movement as much as the US government is [or the French government]. In fact, more so. Modern capitalism includes profiteering, exploitation, and imperialism, but it also includes the elements of civilisation, technology and culture which make it possible for us to build socialism out of it".

We recalled the words of Lenin, the great Marxist advocate of revolutionary struggle against imperialism:

"Imperialism is as much our mortal enemy as is capitalism. That is so. No Marxist will forget, however, that capitalism is progressive compared with feudalism, and that imperialism is progressive compared with pre-monopoly capitalism. Hence, it is not every struggle against imperialism that we should support. We will not support a struggle of the reactionary classes against imperialism".

We recalled, also: "Fascism recruits mass support from people who have been disappointed, ruined and oppressed, and often think they are combatting 'finance capital'; that does not make it any the less vile. The same goes for Islamic fundamentalist militarism".

We continued: "The US government will respond to the New York massacre with bombing raids abroad and a clampdown at home. Its aim will be to make a show of retaliation and retribution. It will not and cannot mend the conditions which gave rise to this atrocity, conditions which the US government itself, capitalist and imperialist, has helped to shape. Probably ordinary working people who live in [target areas] will be the victims...

"Civil rights will come under attack both in the US and in other countries... These blows at civil rights will do far more to hamper the labour movement, the only force which can remake the world so as to end such atrocities, than to stop the killers. Repression may well increase support for the most desperate and dehumanised groups.

"The first, and still the most-suffering, victims of Islamic fundamentalist militarism are the people, mostly Muslim, of the countries where the Islamists are powerful.

"Refugees seeking asylum in Britain do not in any way share blame for the New York massacre. In fact, many of them are refugees because they are fleeing Islamic-fundamentalist governments...

"We must remake the world. We must remake it on the basis of the solidarity, democracy and spirit of equality which are as much part of human nature as the rage and despair which must have motivated the attackers...

"That is the battle to which we must rededicate ourselves. That is the battle in the name of which we will oppose all moves by the governments of the big powers to make spectacular retaliation or to restrict civil rights."

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