zondag 1 november 2015

Report Syndical Manifestation Brussels (BE)

It surprised even the ABVV- and ACV-syndical bureaucracy: On Wednesday the 7th of October around 100.000 syndical-militants took part in a long prepared national manifestation in Brussels, against the worker-hostile austerity politics of the reactionary government-Michel. 

At first around 70.000 men were expected. Apparently the syndical-bureaucracy thought the enthusiasm of November last year could not be surpassed (also because of the lax mobilization from the side of the syndicates, in particular in the corporations). The protest was aimed against the VAT-increase (from 6 to 21%!), against  the freezing of inflation for wages, against raising the retirement age, to stop the degradation of the social care system, against energy without indexation and, the most important issue at the lack of a tax shift - a higher taxing for the rich. Worth mentioning: Through separate pamphlets the syndicates specifically pointed out to the dockers in the ports, that the manifestation would especially be against the austerity policies of the government and not against the impending abolition of the Major-law (which stipulates that dock work should be performed by licensed dockers), the most profound docker-theme. In short: No riots as last year. More about this later on.      

This day was also a crucial one for the syndicates. To put more pressure on the government and the bosses during the social consultation, this first great manifestation had to be a successful one. After all, if this manifestation would be a flop, then the government and bosses would conclude from this that the preparedness for action amongst the masses would have greatly receded, and thus make them not very willing to do any concessions during the 'social consultation' with the syndicate leaders. 

Also the sustained dent in the joint trade union front between the bosses of the Christian ACV and the socialist FGTB/ABVV the last few months, partly because of personal reasons, didn´t augur well. But despite these obstacles present, the discontent amongst huge parts of the working class in Belgium, in regard to the reactionary government politics, seemed to be so big, that all other disputes were put aside for one moment.   

To get an impression of this militant mass protest, a report follows from several activists of the ACN/AKN, who participated in the manifestation to get a personal imprint of the potential discontent as well as recent developments within the most militant sectors of the working class.

We could describe the usual impression about unionists letting off steam, drinking and banging with pyro-technics through the streets and the syndical bosses with quasi-combative language proclaiming ditto with music, but this is all already known by most activists acquainted with the syndical folklore of our southern neighbors. So we will pass this and immediately skip to the end of the rally on the Zuidlaan. It seems here, on the Zuidlaan, a good tradition is growing, where a colorful mix of unorganized workers, union militants, anarchists and youth from the suburbs, seek the confrontation with the coppers.   

The youth from the suburbs went ahead in the lines to confront the coppers.

When several youths started to defy and attack the coppers, many workers joined their ranks. As a result the situation very quickly escalated. Especially, when shortly after a group of anarchists joined. At the time it escalated, the thoughtfulness of the coppers in such a situation, was striking. They had learned from last years riots. With the idea that it couldn´t again escalate into such a big battle as last year, the police corps of Brussels (police zone Elsène-Centrum, ± 700 man) was reinforced with the 'federals' (15 platoons), as well as with heavy equipment - next to the five water cannons which were operational this day.  

This time the syndical-bureaucracy deployed its own security guards - in close co-operation and with support of the coppers. Task: Keeping the action-prepared syndical basis under control. Dockers who actively engaged in the militant street protest (nevertheless many!) where brought to order (also physical) by the syndical vassals and efforts were made to send them back. "Co-operation pays off. The stewards have done an excellent job. The hotheads this time were mostly anarchists" (De Morgen, 8 oct.)

 Patrick Delrue called “his” dockers to order. Narked his militant coworkers to the coppers. Delrue was leading as a member of the syndicates’ security guards and as a self-proclaimed “deputy sheriff”.

The last was not fully the case. In the forefront many proletarians and youth from this class were still engaged in the fighting, supported in the back by anarchists and the remaining masses of the demonstration, who gave these street fighting men security when they had to fall back after charges or when they had to respite from the many teargas attacks.   

However, after a street fight of about one and a half hour the boulevard was swept clean by the coppers (this time well prepared). The balance on the end of the day: 25 judicial arrests (+ 3 administrative) and eight wounded, including four coppers.  

All of a sudden appearing undercover cops and filming coppers! A display that accurately represented this day.

It’s important to ascertain that the masses this day - one year after the government-Michel took seat - still remain militant. Ditto regarding those who take the lead in militant acts against the state and its armed forces.

But despite the great number of participants the bourgeoisie and its fiduciaries (the government-Michel), were of course not impressed. Union-basher Egbert Lachaert (VLD): "Of course this is a signal; we are however not going to change our policy for less than 1% of the working population?" Another infamous union-basher, Zuhal Demir (N-VA) thought, also judging from the allegedly "low" turnout at the rally, that "people see our policy as justified" (!!) Any further comment is unnecessary.   

Proletarian revolutionaries must take other conclusions from this day. The turn-out seemed to be bigger than expected, despite the (intentional?) moderate mobilization of the unions. This means that there appears to be a growing political awareness amongst the masses and the working class. 

Also in regard to the emotional consciousness and the impressive actions of the 'Lumpenproletariat' and 'casseurs', we only have positive appreciations. All these elements have a great potential to grow in the nearby future, if they are framed into a consistent struggle against the control of the reformed trade union bureaucracy and its "union police" (= the stewards) in the factories and on the streets. The syndical bureaucracy is a stand-in-the-way for the independent movement of the working class in the - ultimately political- mass struggle; only an organized opposition against the union bosses and independent agitation in companies without and against the reformist syndical-bureaucracy, can transform a manifestation like this into an outlet for the discontent and anger amongst workers and the syndical action basis into a truly political mass-struggle - against the government and the bosses. Here lies the duty for us as revolutionaries!     






woensdag 14 oktober 2015

The bankruptcy of the Left and the growth of Front National

Recently the French President Hollande (Parti Socialiste) compared the Front National (under the leadership of Miss Le Pen) with the former Communist Party of France* (PCF). This was meant to embarrass his competitor on the "left", the Front du Gauche (a coalition/alliance of several leftwing parties, among them the PCF). This Party also tries to win the truly left and old-communist voters and tries to withhold them to vote for the PS.  

For once Hollande hit the nail on the head! And how much did Miss Le Pen welcome this comparison!  

 Yes, the new political course of the FN is almost an exact copy of the PCF of the '70's and '80's. Therefore that a large part of the electorate in Northern France, the old-communist voters in the rundown industrial cities - the big losers of the globalization - vote for the FN.  Its economic program is one of economic protectionism**, something the PCF in those days also pursued. (As well as the opposition against homosexuality, which the PCF saw as a negative aspect of capitalism).

The FN and PCF also share their position in regard to the immigration question. In the '80's the PCF came to the conclusion that there was no place in France for the many immigrants, because the country already had 2 million native unemployed. It was the PCF-major of Vitry-sur-Seine in Paris, who personally got behind the wheel of a bulldozer to wreck down an asylum Centre for Malians. Under the leadership of the major from the "Red Banlieues" the PCF demonstrated in front of the house of a Moroccan family which was involved in drugs trade and demanded their departure. They also send an open letter to the Great Mosque in Paris to denote the problems associated with the multicultural society.    

There are also parallels with the new anti-globalist and anti-American course of the FN, to great umbrage of the old Le Pen (who, on an economic level, was a huge proponent of liberalism, this in contradiction to his daughter Marine, who is a convinced adversary of neo-liberalism and the reactionary austerity politics). He and his granddaughter (Marion, a niece of Miss Le Pen) rule in the more conservative South of France, with more rightwing and economic liberal politics.   

President Hollande rightly fears that the political vacuum he leaves behind in France will be filled up by a competitor. A competitor who masters the leftist language more than he or anybody else does. However, this competitor does not come from the 'left', but this time from the 'right'.

So Marine is not only the daughter of Le Pen, but just as well of Georges Marchais.

 * After 1982 the PCF slowly but surely left behind the Marchais-line in favor of a co-operation with the PS and a participation in the Mitterand-government (four and later two minister posts). After Mitterrand´s reactionary turn in 1983 (a turn of 180 degrees from the original common election program), the communist stayed in the government, contributing to the, for the workers, devastating austerity policies of Mitterrand. From this moment on the support of the PCF decreased until the party was put on a sidetrack by Mitterrand. For the many disillusioned PCF-voters of that time the path eventually led them to the FN of Marine Le Pen (usually with the PS as an in between station).

** Protectionism = a system in which the trade and industry from a certain country are protected against competitors from other countries: Prohibition on the import of certain products (closing the borders); regulations on import by imposing maximum quantities or by granting licenses; demanding import duties.



zondag 4 oktober 2015

About 'Islamic State' and US imperialism

The scene currently seems to be in a condition of hopeless confusion: Which position must be taken in regard to the successful advance of the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle-East and its attractive force - especially on youngsters of Islamic origin in the whole of Western-Europe?

Where in the Netherlands only some parts of the anarchist movement have tried to analyze this from their own perspective (see Buiten de Orde #1 and #2/2015), the most part of the (reformist) left is satisfied by putting IS aside as 'fascists' in an Islamic form (so-called 'Islamo-fascists': a term first coined by the 'Anti-Germans' in the wake of Bush his 'War on Terror'). With this they uncritically join the camp of the Kurdish nationalists (as a 'beacon of revolution' in the Middle-East). Only in the anarchist scene some critical remarks are made about the 'basisdemocratic' project in Rojava (Western-Kurdistan).  

However, true revolutionaries clearly take another position in this matter, namely that of military support for IS. A position that demands some further explanation. Why isn't it possible to take a neutral position (a so-called 'third way') or a more pure proletarian position?     

The biggest common denominator within the (reformist) left is its aversion against IS, which is seen as horrible, malignant, and yes, even fascist. In such a way even, that a preference is given to the 'democratic' US imperialism. However, in reality even the most gruesome acts of IS fall into nothingness to the crimes of American and other imperialists, both in number, scale, as well as impact. The traces of blood in the current Middle-East are a direct consequence of a century of divide-and-conquer politics, war and a general economic and social backwardness, caused by the imperialist system. IS itself came forth from the destruction which followed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, as well as from the support the Americans and their allies gave to the reactionary forces, which fought against the ruthless bourgeois-regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  

As long as IS directly attacks the imperialists and those forces which act as their proxies (including the puppet-regime in Baghdad, the murderous Shia militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga in Northern Iraq and the Syrian-Kurdish bourgeois-nationalists), IS has to be supported entirely in a purely military sense. At the same time a firmly oppositional position must be taken against IS its methods and its worldview in a political sense. The overall starting point of true revolutionaries is that a defeat for US imperialism and its mercenaries (proxies) will prevent the imposing of imperialist models in the region. This can only be in the advantage of the proletariat and the oppressed masses of the Middle-East, including the Kurdish masses. Such a defeat could also give the resistance against US imperialism in the United States itself a new impulse. By now the population of the United States is tired of war and many years of economic crisis, as well as the so-called 'recovery' from which the workers did not benefit. As revolutionaries it is our duty to convert the disillusionment and anger among workers in the imperialist metropolises (the United States in particular) into a full scale class struggle against its own capitalist rulers. Precisely because through such a struggle, the proletariat will be won for the program of socialist revolution, in order to destroy the beast of imperialism from the inside out. Such a perspective starts with the insight that US imperialism is the main enemy of the world-proletariat and the oppressed peoples all over the globe. However, it is exactly this that is rejected by the (reformist) left. In order to substantiate its argumentation, the left has time after time given the Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 or the Second World War as examples, where at that time the proletariat took a more "neutral" position. But this example does not make any sense, as we shall explain further below.             
US Marines tear down a statue of Saddam Hussain in Iraq (April, 2003)  

In the case of Iran (1978-1979) it was about a struggle between competing bourgeois forces - the shah versus the Islamists. Each fought for the control over the country in a situation in which the power issue for the proletariat was immediately on the agenda. It was not a situation in which imperialism fought against one or the other party. The First and the Second World War were wars between the imperialists, aimed at the redistribution of the world among the 'superpowers'. In these wars revolutionaries take a different position: namely that of revolutionary defeatism against all warring parties (except those of Worker- and Peasant-States, such as the former Soviet Union during World War II, which had to be defended unconditionally).

And now for the joke of 'Islamo-Fascism'. The reformist left describes IS (just like the Mullahs in Teheran and other Islamic forces such as the Muslim brotherhood) consistently as 'fascists', because according to them they "are the enemies of all socialist movements." However, the same can be said about the bourgeois-nationalists and above all about the imperialists. However they are not marked as 'fascist' by the leftists. In our view IS and other political Islamists are not more or less 'fascist' than all the other reactionary and murderous forces that rule the vast majority of the planet. Indeed: The term 'Islamo-Fascism' was invented as part of the ideological campaign of the 'War on Terror'. It serves as a pretext for leftist liberals to make peace with US imperialism and gives credibility to the 'democratic' varnish of imperialism. By using it as a misguided kind of invective, the left only shows how it is influenced by the 'democratic' pretentions of US imperialism. Even if IS was to represent a fascist power, it would not make a difference to our principled position in regard of the defense of IS against imperialism in a military sense.

  US Torture Prison Guantanamo Bay (Cuba)

And now for our leftist readers: In the prelude of the Second World War in 1938, Trotski had already discussed a hypothetical attack of the 'democratic' British imperialism against Brazil, which was in that time ruled by the fascist Vargas-regime. He said:  

"In this case I would support 'fascist' Brazil against 'democratic' Great-Britain. Why? Because in this conflict between both, it is not about the question 'democracy or fascism'. If England will be victorious, then another fascist will be placed in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil will be double subjected. On the other side, if Brazil will be the victor, it will mean a great impulse for the national and democratic consciousness of the country and it will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas-dictatorship. At the same time the defeat of England will weaken British imperialism and give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. One must really be a total ignorant in order to reduce the antagonisms of military conflicts around the world to the struggle between fascism and democracy."

('Anti-imperialist struggle is the key to Liberation', 23th of September, 1938)   

Now to shed some light on the Kurdish question: The (reformist) left implies that somehow the Kurdish forces are very 'progressive'. However, the fighting in Iraq and Syria has led to sectarian massacres by the hands of all the parties involved. At first instance, we as revolutionaries could not take sides in these kinds of (sectarian) conflicts, until the moment US imperialism directly intervened. Despite the fact that IS has many times showed itself barbaric and ruthless, it does not have a monopoly on these things among the fighting parties in the region. One of the reasons IS got so much support from Sunni Arabs in the first place, was because they themselves had encountered the bloodthirstiness of the Shia and Kurdish militias against their communities – such as the Peshmerga, who participated in the US imperialist attack on Fallujah in 2004. Recently there are reports of Arab inhabitants being driven out from Northern Iraq by the Kurdish YPG - an US ally. The (reformist) left then claimed that our politics towards the Kurds would de facto mean that we would be "overseeing things from the sidelines and applauding" while the "IS fascists" are killing the Kurds. That is ofcourse a completely false assumption! We never doubted the right on self-determination for any community whatsoever. However, what we do oppose is the fact that the Kurdish nationalists act as mercenaries ('proxies') for imperialism.

Peshmerga conquer Tuz Khurmatu with arms provided by the USA 

The left does not challenge the fact that the Kurds fulfill this function; they merely state that they (the Kurds) "don't have any other choice". In reality the Kurdish nationalists have subordinated their justified struggle for the (Kurdish) right on self-determination, to their role as proxies for imperialism. A crime for which the oppressed Kurdish people will pay a high price. By selling their soul to imperialism, as well as to several regional bourgeois-regimes, the Kurdish leaders are very helpful with executing the divide-and-conquer strategies. This will inevitably stoke up sectarian, national and religious tensions and will only serve to strengthen the oppression of the Kurdish masses. As happened so many times before, the assumed Kurdish benefactors have already turned against them. Last month the US imperialists (in exchange for the use of the air force basis Incirlik in Turkey for military operations against IS) gave a green light to the regime in Ankara, to start air raids in Northern-Iraq against an ally of the YPG, namely the 'Workers Party of Kurdistan' (the PKK, which is marked as a 'terrorist organization' by both the US as Turkey). These airstrikes are facilitated with information about PKK bases in Iraq, which is given to Turkey by the US since 2007. The Turkish government also began a campaign of oppression against the domestic opposition, arresting hundreds of Kurds and other activists.           

Turkish Air Force attacks PKK in Syria

The peoples of the Middle-East will not know peace, freedom and social progress until the bourgeois-rule in the region is overthrown by means of socialist revolution. However, this demands first and foremost, for the most implacable opposition against imperialism!




zaterdag 26 september 2015

A 'National' Anti-Capitalism?

This document was originally published as a discussion piece to deepen the debate about a 'national' anti-capitalism in the scene. 

Recently distributed agitprop-material from the comrades from Hessen and aimed at (mostly finance-) capitalism (leading up to the campaign against the ECB) carries the slogan:


But is this truly the case? Can the struggle against capitalism really only be fought 'national', i.e. within a (limited) national context? At first instance we can only reject this proposition. Mainly because we believe that capitalism has long breached this (geographically limited) 'national context' and has become so intertwined with the capitalism of other countries, that the classic nation-state has become passé. However, because the struggle for national liberation and the right of self-determination are essential parts of our worldview, we want to clarify how the term 'national' relates to 'anti-capitalism'.

We have taken note that the comrades of Hessen are oriented on the "left" within the Nationale Widerstand. Ideologically this brings us to the anti-capitalist wing of the movement of Gregor Strasser and Dr. Goebbels during the Kampfzeit. With several quotations from the well-known pamphlet of Dr. Goebbels, Der Nazi-Sozi’ (1930), we will try to clarify our position. The question must be:


An answer to this question can be found among others within the anti-capitalist wing of the German movement of Gregor Strasser and Dr. Goebbels during the 'Kampfzeit' (1919-1933). On the basis of several quotations from the well-known pamphlet 'Der NaziSozi' (1930), written by Dr. Goebbels, we will try to elucidate our position. In this pamphlet Dr. Goebbels examines the question about the position of the nation in relation to internationalism. After he clarified that he wanted to replace the Marxist movement of internationalism by a German socialism, Dr. Goebbels continues by claiming that the enemy (in this case the [Jewish] finance-capital) has long nested themselves in all nations of Europe: "Today there are hardly any national-capitalists in Germany anymore: "Railways, mines, factories, money, gold, the Reichsbank, everything is merged into shares and lies in the treasuries of Jewish banks in London and New York. But shares are worthless, they don't roll over railways, don't provide coals, don’t produce bread or goods and make, nor give money. They are only good for interest." (Dr. Goebbels - ‘Der Nazi-Sozi’, facsimile Hanse Buchwerkstatt 2014, p. 58).

Thereafter Dr. Goebbels concludes that only a truly revolutionary German state, "a government of national labor", can undo all of this. Considering Germany at that time only existed as a Dawes-colony*, there could be no question of national capital. "All is under the control of international bankingsyndicats. It is not national capital that moves international, but international economic hyenas move international together with national capital" (ditto, p.59). Therefore the "struggle against this world power" needed to be international, which meant that "all those movements in those countries", which "struggle in our frontlines", needed to be supported. However, not the "World republic of Socialism” had to be the final goal, but the establishment of new national, socialist states" (ditto, p. 59). So 85 years ago Dr. Goebbels already had recognized that the struggle against global capitalism could only be fought by breaching the limited national context, i.e. 'international'.

Until today nothing has changed! In 1916 Lenin also analyzed that the capitalist nation-state was on retreat, because of the growing unification of the classical (national) industrial-capital on one hand, and the (international) banking and trading capital on the other. In this development (the creation of capitalist monopolies) Lenin saw one of the essential characteristics of imperialism (in his vision 'imperialism' was not just the urge to conquer markets and raw materials anywhere in the world with any means necessary, but FOREMOST the urge TO EXPORT CAPITAL TO ECONOMICALLY UNDERDEVELOPED AREAS (Lenin Werke, Bd 23, p. 102-103)). Friedrich Engels already determined in 1847 (!) that the "grand scale industry", which was created by the world market, interconnected peoples, especially those from the developed parts, to such a degree that every people was dependent on what happened to another people (MEW, Bd 4, p. 374). Therefore he concluded that a (in his vision communist) revolution (or of any other sort) cannot be successful, when it is carried out on merely a limited national scale.

Although our struggle is fought on an international scale, this of course does not mean that the national liberation and the right of self-determination of nations are dead words to us. As Stalin stated during the 19th Party Congress of the CPSU in 1952: "In the past the bourgeoisie was at the head of the nation, it acted out of the name of justice and the independence of the nation, they were at the top of everything. But today nothing is left of 'national principles'. Now the bourgeoisie has sold out justice and the independence of the nation for dollars. The banner of national independence and national sovereignty has been thrown overboard. Undoubtedly, the representatives of the communist and democratic parties will take up this banner, if they want to be the leading force of the nation. Because there is nobody else left who can take it up" (Stalin Werke, Bd 15, p. 393/394). This is a thesis we fully support. We recognize the proletariat as the only force that is able to overthrow world-capitalism, while at the same time being able to keep up the banner of national independence. In this context KPD-leader Thälmann in the '20's already pointed out that the working class does have a fatherland, however, that the nation of the proletarians is fundamentally different than that of the bourgeoisie (Thälmann – Zwei Nationen: Die Nation der Kapitalisten und die Nation der Proletarier).

The current situation in Greece is a good example of the struggle of the masses for a national and social liberation from the dictates of finance-capitalism. However, the SYRIZA-government (which represents a certain fraction of the Greek 'national' bourgeoisie) has sadly capitulated to the dictates of French and German banking-capital. Now it is the task of the Greek working class - unfortunately until now under the inhibitory influence of the outer leftwing of reformism (the KKE and its Union front PAME) - to bring not only the social, but also the NATIONAL liberation to a successful end, since the 'national' bourgeoisie (SYRIZA) so shamefully capitulated to finance-capital. For this it is necessary that the Greek proletariat detaches itself from the baneful influence of the 'extreme Left' (the reformist KKE/PAME) and acts as an independent class-force (i.e. away from any bourgeois hegemony).

Struggle for national liberation - YES, but from the revolutionary perspective of the proletariat. Because: The consistent struggle for the liberation of the nation is these days only possible from the perspective of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat! All incitements to wage the national liberation struggle from another perspective (*namely non-proletarian) are deemed to fail and only serve the interested from the (no longer 'national') bourgeoisie. Our efforts to build an 'international' (i.e. European) anti-capitalist network must be seen in the context of the above mentioned perspective. In this we follow Stalin his definition of the nation (the nation not as a racial community, but as a community which is characterized by linguistic kinship, common geography and space, economy and shared cultural and psychological aspects [Marxismus national Frage und Stalin Werke bd 2, p. 268-272). However, we are not under the illusion that one single nation can be truly free in a further capitalist world. Therefore the militants of the ACN in one capitalist country must be solidary with the anti-capitalist struggle of other militants in their own respective, also capitalist countries. And vice versa.

With this we hope to give a start for a deepening of the debate in the scene concerning a 'national' anti-capitalism.


*Dawes-Plan: In 1924 designed aggressive plan by Charles G. Dawes** in order to capture the payment imposed to the German Reich by the Versailles dictate for reparations after the war. As a consequence Germany was forced to pay between 1 and 2,5 billion Goldmark to the Entente each year for an indefinite period of time. This in return for 800 million Goldmark in foreign loans to restore the market. The Entente also controlled among others the German railways with this plan.
** Dawes, Charles Gates (1865-1951) Architect of the plan which carries his name. Was Vice-President of the USA in 1925-1929. Received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1925 (->because of the Dawes-plan).

donderdag 10 september 2015

Basic knowledge for Activists

The organization of actions is of course not an exact science; it however has to be well thought through. Many elements play a role in organizing a successful action. However, if your plans are good, you have a realistic insight in the means as well as the turn out of the action and if those involved with the action can be trusted, than there is nothing that stands in the way of success. With this article we try to give some advice for activists and try to share our experiences with you.  

"Freedom is the short moment between throwing a rock and the rock hitting its target.” 
- An anonymous activist

Direct Action

Direct action means acting by yourself against injustice and oppression.

It represents a concrete rejection of conventional political actions (such as elections and lobbying), with which we depend on others to accomplish our goals. Many conventional political actions operate on the basis of the acceptance of our own impotence. It makes us think we don't have the right, nor the power, to change something by ourselves. 

The concept of direct action rejects this acceptation of the established order and suggests that we have both the right as well as the power to change the world by ourselves.

Examples of direct actions are blockades, occupations, picket lines, sabotage, lockouts and of course the general strike. Within the community this means organizing our own actions, action groups, independent media and other initiatives in order to meet our social needs. In the cultural sphere we can think about musical resistance and street art (like graffiti).

So direct action is not only a method of protest, but represents the construction of an alternative future by taking our lives back into our own hands, without waiting for approval of politicians or other bureaucrats.


Organizing an action

Make a plan in which you draw out the priorities and goals of your action.

Think well about how you want to share this information. If you act careful and responsible you don't need to worry; share information only within limited circles, with trusted comrades if they necessarily need this information and prevent the use of phones and the internet to discuss sensitive information.

Be very clear from the beginning about the risks of the action and make sure all involved are aware of this. Also think about how your action is going to affect others. If an action will take place during a demonstration or broader protest, think about what the consequences will be for the organization and your fellow protestors.  

Scout the terrain where you want to hold your action in advance and keep track of changes.
Seek for safe ways out and look out for obstacles, potential targets and surveillance cameras.

Collect the required gear which is needed for the action, prepare yourself and dress discrete (so that for instance you can easily disappear in the masses). Discuss in advance with comrades how you will act during emergencies and write down a phone number of an arrest group or lawyer on your arm with marker.

Safety is the key to success during any action. In practice the situation can change quickly and so it’s of great interest to keep track of the developments around you. Keep each other well informed about the situation. When informing comrades give only the information you have and not the conclusions you take from them. This way everybody knows what to expect and panic can be prevented.

Very important is to get away as fast as possible after the action is executed; know when to stop! If you are in a huge group, than blend in with the masses. Assemble on a previously agreed place and look if everybody is there. Make sure arrested comrades are supported and cared for.

Get together afterwards to discuss and analyze the action.

Affinity groups

An affinity group is a small group of militants who get together in order to prepare for a direct action. These groups are organized on an autonomous manner in which everybody shares an equal vote and an equal responsibility within the collective. Sometimes these groups are formed for a specific purpose and sometimes in the prospect of longer campaigns on certain themes. We find the strength of these groups in the things that all members have in common: the thoughts; tactics you want to use; the theme's you want to occupy yourselves with; your skills; or a mix of it all.

Why an affinity group?

Everybody is strongly involved in the group because all participate in the decision-making process and action. It secures that people are determined to get things done.

Another important aspect of these groups is their autonomy. By working together in small groups you are able to find out what is important for you and to put this into practice. Of course these groups can be part of broader networks and campaigns, but first of all you depend on your own group. Ten small groups of ten people can accomplish more than one hundred people acting as one unorganized mass.  

Because affinity groups are able to take decisions about actions and goals, they are able to act fast and creative if the situation changes. This also means an element of surprise for the authorities.

Within the affinity group comrades can watch each others back. Stress, police repression, anxiety, setbacks and doubt can be better discussed in the group instead of being carried by the individual. Also comradeship and cohesion within the group keeps informants, provocateurs and infiltrators out.

How do I start an affinity group?

The absolute basis for an affinity group is comradeship. However, finding friends to go to the pub with is of course easier than to find friends who are prepared to undertake political actions. Sensation seekers, loose cannons and other unreliable clowns only cause problems and therefore have no place within an affinity group. It is of fundamental importance that you only include completely reliable comrades who are prepared to take activism seriously!

When you are able to collect a group of reliable comrades, you can try to expand the group by finding like-minded people. The organization of and participation in events (like manifestations, educational meetings, or a meeting in general) is a good way to find people who are prepared to be committed to the same goals. For affinity groups which have to exist for a long term it is very important to get to know the (new) people involved in the group. Make sure you all follow the same line and let everybody participate within the group.  

The organization of an affinity group    

Affinity groups are based on mutual support and common trust. This is something that has to be worked on. In order to trust each other, you have to get to know each other. Discuss your experiences, concerns, expectations, limits and motivations. Also hang around each other in normal life.

It’s also important for everybody in the group to know what to expect, what the goals are and how these are going to be realized. A common consensus needs to be reached about who does what in the group, how the group operates, how decisions are made, what the group does and how it will act in certain situations. It’s of fundamental importance that all are on the same page, understand the consensus and act accordingly.

On this foundation, consensus plans can be made. This means working out a strategy or action together. Put your goals on paper and think well how to realize them. Do research, choose targets and determine which tactics will be most effective to achieve your goals.

When it is time for action, it is important to keep on checking if all in the group are ok. Follow the previous made consensus and NEVER leave comrades behind!

Take time after the action to discuss it and analyze it.
Ask what everybody thinks, what goals are reached, learn from mistakes and discuss how to use these lessons during future actions.  

The Arrest *

* Some sections are left out because they relate to the specific Dutch law-system.

If you participate in protests or direct actions on a regular basis, one way or another you will get into contact with the cops. However, it is important to realize that you also have certain rights the cops have to concede.

An arrest is a temporary detention as a consequence of a legal offence or to restore public order (for example during a protest). You do however have several rights during an arrest.

Police questioning  

At all costs keep silent; this is the absolute rule of thumb if you are arrested. But whether you talk or not, it is always good to know in advance how a police questioning will go. A warned activist counts for two.

Remain silent!

If you are arrested (together with others) during an illegal demonstration, a sabotage action, a small riot or another legal offence of a minor nature, keeping silent is the golden rule. It will in most cases prevent prosecution because the cops will not bother to trace evidence if all remain silent. With heavier offences it is wise to consult a lawyer, however remaining silent is and stays the golden rule, especially if other comrades are involved!

A good detective will always try to create a good working atmosphere: the cop will try to build a good working relation with the suspect in order to have a 'good conversation'. In general this means the questioning will have an easy start. The situation the suspect is in will be explained and the cop will ask how this makes the suspect feel. The answer will contain emotions and the copper will discuss these emotions in order to make the suspect more at ease, so that he/she will be more willing to talk with the detective.         

At the same time this gives the cop the advantage to see how the suspect is feeling. Is he/she tense, nervous, sad or aggressive? On the basis of this the cop will determine his questioning strategy. After this start a more business-oriented approach is taken. By taking in consideration how the other is telling something, one can learn much of the message he/she is unconsciously giving. It’s not only about what the suspect is saying, but also about what body language the suspect gives (facial expressions, eye contact, posture, etc.). The same form is used to influence the suspect: the cop will first take a unstring position to show that he is open for what the suspect has to tell. However, be very aware: all this is merely a play to enforce an incriminating statement, remain silent!

By asking questions the cop will stimulate the suspect to give as much information as possible. In general a technical distinction is made between open and closed questions. Closed questions can only be answered with yes or no. This kind of questions is usually avoided. Open questions however will advance the conversation and give the detective more clues for new questions. So the more the suspect speaks the more information he shares with the cops. 

If the suspect gives contradictory statements the cop will apply confrontation. If the statement of the suspect contradicts technical clues then confrontation is the legal mean of pressure of the detective. If this confrontation is well done, the mental pressure with the suspect will increase, especially if he/she is detained for a longer period of time. 

Tactical clues

The biggest weapon in the hands of the detective is the technical clues that incriminate the suspect. A tactical clue is for example an eyewitness who has claimed to note your license plate. But many tactical clues can be hit out of the hands of the detective by keeping enough escape routes for yourself.

Therefore the cop will increase the relative value of the tactical clue by sealing up these escape routes. This is called 'surrounding of tactical clues'. Surrounding is the structure of questions based on the occasion of a clue, to prevent later escapes by the suspect. The cop will seal up any escape route by letting the suspect per tactical clue confirm or exclude relations, so that in a later confrontation with the tactical clue the suspect becomes stuck in the web of relations.

For instance in the previous example about the eyewitness who has seen your license plate, the detective will first make the suspect acknowledge the relation between him and the car. This way you cannot say on a later occasion that it was not you who has driven the car, but somebody else. Next the detective will aim at the relation with the place and time of the crime. 

During the practical exercise of surrounding the cop has the following points of attention: funneling and observe. Funneling is the questioning from general towards specific. The cop will do this because he doesn't want you to know which specific information (in relation to the tactical clue) he wants to get. He will not give this information and thus uses open questions in order to get the answers he needs. He will ask for as much details as possible. One or more times he will summarize the information given by the suspect and ask for confirmation, this is the observation. Each observation is meant to close down an escape route. 

To get back to the example, the detective will first ask general questions about car trips, to slowly but surely funnel towards your use of the car, ending in the observation by letting you confirm you never lend your car to others.


The detective will only start the confrontation once all available clues are surrounded, because during the confrontation the cop will show which tactical clues he has, which he will only do once the suspect has no escapes anymore. The most important goal of confrontation is to build up pressure in order to force a confession. It’s heavy to get confronted with your own contradictory statements, because it’s impossible to question the reliability of that source (yourself).


The detective will look for leaking signals the suspect gives unconsciously. These signals can tell if the suspect tells the truth or not. Non-vocal signals are: sweating (starts on the upper lip and forehead), a dry mouth (ask for something to drink), (much) smoking, blushing, ticks in the face, many times touching the head, the nose, mouth and ears, tapping hands and feet, playing around with objects, avoiding eye contact, flexing muscles, thickening of veins, farting, burping and a rigid position.

Vocal signals are: repeating that the truth is spoken ('I swear, really, to tell you the truth'), replay of the ball ('then how did it happen'), avoiding certain themes ('cannot remember this, no comment'), short answers, volume of the voice, speed of speaking, trembling of the voice, stuttering, hesitation, fall back on dialect and short denials ('it wasn't me, no absolutely not').    

During a confrontation with leaking signals it’s mostly about the difference between what the suspect says and the signals he shows. Other signals are confession signals from which the cop knows that the suspect is ready to confess. This can be long pauses, asking for a pen and paper or asking for the height of the sentence.

General method

With the general method the detective wants to minimalize resistance, surrounding clues, confronting and enforcing during questioning, in order to get the suspect to make a closing confession.

First the detective will try to surround the clues. After this a relatively light confrontation will follow, while allowing the suspect to correct himself without too much loss of face. When the suspect corrects himself the detective will enforce this for instance by saying: 'Thanks for clearing this up'. These enforcements are used to get the suspect to correct his story during the later heavier confrontation. During this the cop will see to it that the suspect gets enough time to change his statement and to 'recover' from the former confrontation. 

This to keep a good working relation, because the detective will slowly but surely increase the confrontations. He builds confrontations in heaviness, time and frequency. During this he rewards the suspect every time he changes his statement. This method ensures that the suspect and detective together work towards a closed confession.

So also here the golden rule is: call upon your right to remain silent and minimize proof!

The intelligence services

In the Netherlands there are different intelligence services: the Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD) and the Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (MIVD). There is also the Regionale Inlichtingen Dienst (RID), which collects intelligence for both the police and the AIVD on a regional level. The first two can only collect information, while the latter also enjoys investigative powers. As political activists we are mostly confronted with the AIVD and RID.

The AIVD has four main tasks:  

Conducting research into organizations and persons who are suspected to be a threat for the democratic legal order, the safety of the state or other weighty interests of the state; conducting security researches into candidates for confidentiality; promoting security measures, to secure government and corporate life, that are of upmost importance for the maintenance of social life; conducting research into other countries.

In practice this usually results into an unexpected visit by AIVD or RID agents at your home, work and/or an unsolicited visit to direct family members to ask several questions. By conversations and building contacts these intelligence services try to get their information. They are always well-informed about your personal situation. Sometimes money is offered to get information as an infiltrator for the AIVD.

It stands to reason that you don't have any interest in a 'nice chit chat' with the AIVD, so refuse to talk with them and be very assiduous! Always be aware of infiltrators who are willing to sell their own comrades out to the intelligence services and provocateurs who try to create divisiveness in the group. Avert infiltrators, provocateurs and other traitors at any cost from your group!

Handling the Media

The media can be a powerful weapon in the political struggle because it offers an opportunity to send your political message to a huge audience.

Still there is enough reason to be reticent in regard of reporters. These days the media is not so much about content, but mostly about serving some sensation to the viewer or listener. So keep in mind the media first of all tries to put you into a certain corner, trying to portray you as the stereotype 'extremist'. By doing so they eagerly cut and paste to steer the interview towards a certain direction and to put matters out of context.

Eloquence and a substantiated consistent story are of huge importance during an interview. Take this in regard when you choose a spokesman for your group or action.

It’s also desirable to make certain agreements with the reporter and to put these on paper. Within this arrangement you can think about a deal which offers you a possibility to look into a publication before it is published or make clear agreements on anonymity. However, in practice most reporters will not agree with this, which makes it important to weigh the benefits against the cons, before accepting an interview. 

Press release

To get attention for a certain action or protest in most cases you will have to send out a press release to the editorial offices of several media.

A press release must have news content and must be understandable without the head and subhead. Always keep a press release short and succinctly, only put in the most important information and keep it concise. Questions such as "Who?", "Where?", "When?" and "Why?" need to be answered by the press release. Don't forget to add a name (or a pseudonym) and (prepaid) phone number, in case the press wants to contact you for further questions or verification. 

The contact information of the editorial office is usually found on their websites or publications. 

The interview

Prepare yourself well for the interview. Make sure you have a consistent and strong story.

Don't get distracted during the interview and if necessary refuse to answer irrelevant questions. Keep in mind only a fraction of the interview is really published or aired. So keep your answers short and brief and do not swerve to far away from the theme, so you can clearly make your point.

If you are with multiple people then make clear agreements among each other about the message you want to bring and about who is the spokesman telling the story.

Practical tips

1. Think about what you take with you to protests and actions depending on the situation. For instance take water and headwear with you on a hot summer day. Take with you enough (cash) money for emergencies. If you suspect police repression, make sure you have disguises (such as scarves), a gasmask, sunglasses, a first aid kit or saline to neutralize pepperspray. Also think about what you DON'T want to bring with you. Sharp objects (such as a dart or stanleyknife) or pyrotechnics can be easily seen as weapons by the cops during a demonstration, which can lead to an arrest or prosecution. So, check your pockets before you leave.  

2. How do you communicate?
Do you and your comrades hear your mobile phone during a protest or is it better to use visual signals? Write down important phone numbers, like the arrest support group, comrades or a lawyer with a marker on your arm. If you go to a foreign country check if your mobile phone also works across the border and make sure you have enough credit. Watch your comrades at all times and abandon no one. Take into account that the cops can confiscate your phone and therefore all information that is on it.   

3. Keep track of the situation around you. Actions are situations that change swiftly and rarely go as planned. The cops use different tactics to keep order during large manifestations. A well-known tactic is breaking up a large group of people into smaller ones to surround them and isolate them. If you are in such an isolated group, prepare for hours of waiting or an arrest. So keep track of the cops and always try to be one step ahead. Make sure that during deployment of dogs and horses that you go out of their way calmly and avoid eye contact.

4. If you organize an action think about the mobilization. Make a realistic estimate about the number of people you can mobilize. During secret actions you must think on how you inform your comrades without the cops or other unwanted guests finding out. During public actions you must make sure everybody knows about this action, for instance by building a website, use of social media or chain mails. Don't underestimate the importance of mobilization. An action can prevail or fall by it.   

5. Bring solidarity into practice, it is our most important weapon. Be constructive with criticism on other individuals or groups; attack no one personally. Don’t bring people into danger that didn't choose for it. Respect your co-activists and support anyone who needs it (for instance share water and medical supplies). Always be vigilant and think clear: so never show up to an action drunk. Act conscientiously.

6. Be creative and let your imagination run free. Act on what is relevant in society. Protest and provoke at will. Adapt your actions to the means you have at your exposal. With minimal means such as a spray can, a printer or a bucket of glue you can make a good start, as long as you have a good strategy at hand. 

Hopefully this article provided you with some new ideas and insights. However, activism is not a matter of theory but of practice! It’s a constant learning process in which we must look critically to ourselves as well as our activism. We must learn from our mistakes.

Direct actions offer a solution for a rebellious generation confronted with the empty existence of the modern consumer society. It enables us to take our faith firmly back into our own hands by defying the status quo.

So share this article among comrades and get into action!

maandag 31 augustus 2015

Is Russia imperialist?

The criteria used to suggest that Russia would be 'imperialist' are exclusively of a military nature; namely the fact the country has possession of nuclear arms and waged two ruthless wars against Chechnya. But military forces and aggression are not necessarily that which defines a country as imperialist.

Like Lenin already stated "imperialism is capitalism on that stage of development, in which the dominion of the monopolies and finance capitalism comes about, the export of capital has received a huge significance, the division of the world between international trusts has begun, and the partition of the entire territories of the globe between the biggest capitalist powers has been completed" (Imperialism as highest stage - 1916 - p 109-110). The dominion over the entire world by a handful of imperialists forms the biggest obstacle for the economic development and social progress of the less developed nations. The constant struggle of the imperialist powers to get access to markets, resources and cheap labour, leads towards a continuous return of imperialist wars in order to create assets and to protect it abroad.    

Russia, after the Soviet-Union, has never intervened outside the territory of the former Soviet-Union, except a very limited intervention in former Yugoslavia halfway the '90's, when the Russians acted as 'good cops' for the NATO. Moscow has waged two ruthless wars in Chechnya to squash the right on self-determination (the right of secession) of the oppressed Chechens (a right which we support by the way). However, more not-imperialist countries oppress minorities within their state-borders, for example the Tamils in Myanmar (Burma). Russia also fought for South-Ossetia during a war against Georgia; a country which is supported by the USA. During this war between two non-imperialist capitalist countries in 2008 only revolutionary defeatism was the correct position: The class interests of both the workers of Georgia as well as those of Russia had an interest in the overthrow of their own respective capitalist rulers by a socialist revolution.

Resurrected after the capitalist contra-revolution of 1991-1992, Russia after the Soviet-Union represents a historical unique and unknown phenomenon. Because the Russian industrial development primary took place in the collectivized economy of a workers state, contemporary Russia does not entirely fit the profile of the long established capitalist countries. The Russian economy, strengthened by the high prices for fossil fuels during most part of the last decennium, has largely recovered from the black hole it fell in after the capitalist 'shock-therapy' of the '90's. However, it does not have the economy of an imperialist power. Russia's new capitalist rulers have a large industrial basis and a huge infrastructure in a country with vast natural resources. However, her industry is significantly short in comparison to other developed capitalist countries in regard to technics and product quality. No branch of the Russian industrial production can compete with that of the international market, except its arnament industry (which is largely inherited from the Soviet Union). In contradiction to the imperialist countries, which are characterized by the export of capital, Russia exports natural resources, not capital. Russia's economy strongly depends on its oil- and gas sectors, which in 2013 was responsible for 16% of the GNP, 52% of the federal Government revenue and over 70% of the export. What must go through for 'investments' across borders, usually takes shape as flight of capital to imperialist centers or tax paradises.

Parts of the ruling class of the BRD seek for an alliance with Russia in an effort to realize that what they see as Germany's 'natural' role as ruler over Eurasia. But 'Atlanticists' such as Chancellor Angela Merkel do take a less bellicose attitude towards Russia than Washington does. However, until today the rulers of the USA and BRD have maintained their alliance to reduce or minimize Russian influence in the other countries of the former Soviet-Union. As a consequence the by the BRD dominated EU together with Washington have maintained their sanctions against Russia because of Russia's actions in Ukraine.  

The existing imperialists, with the USA on the forefront, keep on repulsing Russia out of their club. The imperialist NATO-alliance is extended to and with Eastern Europe (in the case of Estonia and Latvia right up to Russia's borders), the USA intensifies the spread of tanks and other heavy material in the region and for the first time since the end of the Cold War, NATO discusses a strengthening of its nuclear deterrents. US-imperialism also has sponsored colour 'revolutions' to install pro-Washington regimes in different former Republics of the Soviet-Union. The by the USA supported coup in Ukraine last year, which led to the installation of a fascist infected and extremely anti-Russian regime, is the most recent example. 
If we call upon all soldiers of all belligerents in Ukraine to 'turn their rifles around' against their own capitalist rulers: i.e. should our position be one of revolutionary defeatism? This was Lenin his position during the First World War, an inter-imperialist war, fought for the redistribution of the world among the imperialist powers. 

In sharp contrast the current conflict in Ukraine is the direct result of US-imperialist machinations; a civil war. Activists in the Eastern part of the country, which is ethnic mixed, but mostly speaks Russian, insurrected, because the ultra-nationalist regime threatened their national rights. The Kyev regime reacted with the mobilization of the army and neo-Nazist voluntary battalions - that bombarded cities, kill innocent civilians, destroy hospitals and industrial installations. It must be emphasized that although the rebels in Eastern Ukraine are supported by Russia, Moscow is not interested to annex Eastern Ukraine. In contradiction to the repeated assertions of Kyev and its imperialist patrons, that the Russian army invaded, Putin has clearly avoided a direct war with the Kyev-regime. 

Revolutionary socialists must take a clear position in this conflict: The interests of the working class - in Ukraine, Russia and on a global scale - lie in the defense of the population of Eastern Ukraine and their right on national self-determination. The fact that from a military position we are on the side of the 'pro-Russian' forces in Eastern Ukraine, does not mean we support the leaders of the nationalist rebellions or the Putin-regime (in no way, shape or form). Our defense of the people of Eastern Ukraine, is located in the extension of the approach of Lenin, who emphasized that the right on self-determination is essential for the suppression of national antagonism, thus opening the conditions in which the workers of different nations will get a chance to see that their 'own' capitalist ruling class is the enemy, not each other. 


Succesfull Anticapitalist Demonstration in Waren-Münitz (East Germany)

A great action which can be preamble for a new revolutionary spirit in the autonomous NS-movement in Germany

Last Saturday, 22th of August, the AN and Unabhängige Kamerad-schaften, among them AG Nord-Ost, Nationale Sozialisten Müritz and the Kollektiv 56 marched on the streets in the city of Waren-Müritz (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) for a loud and clear anti-capitalist protest. Around one hundred persons (mostly from the region itself) followed the call, which had "Stop exploitation - Defeat Capitalism!" as its slogan. Among them also several comrades, who participated on behalf of the ACN/AKN. Their report:

Around noon a Black Block - not seen for a long time in the BRD - (the slogans on the banners also pointed out a sincere anti-capitalist mindset) marched towards the city centre. Directly behind the Black Block a sound truck followed, from which the crew intercepted the intermittent silences with a heavy dose of NSHC and NS-rap music, a convenient way to reach out to the audience (especially the youth). We noticed straight away the discipline of the participants of the demonstration. All of them stuck to the political theme of the demonstration, also in regard to the slogans. (Mainly <<A-Anti-Anticapitalista>>, <<Wer hat uns verraten? Sozialdemokraten!>>, <<DGB: Arbeiterverräter!>>, <<Arbeit, Freiheit, Recht und Brot! Nationaler Sozialismus bis in den Tod!>> was called). Also the smoke- and alcohol prohibition was strictly followed. The environment was also held into account with regard to trash. (This is quite different in West-Germany!)

Halfway during the manifestation an interim meeting was held in the workers neighborhood Papenburg, characterized by its typical DDR-Plattenbau. Speakers of the AN, Unabhängige Kameradschaften and NPD sought contact with the locals. The most remarkable was made by comrade MZ. In his speech he gave a passionate plea for an united anti-capitalist front from both the 'left' and 'right', in which he frequently fell back on the revolutionary rhetoric of the Kampfzeit. Quotation: "Both these energies (those of 'socialism' and 'nationalism') should not clash with each other, but need to merge together (fuse)." To the leftwing he called to fight together (from both the 'left' and 'right') against the system (in a so-called pincer-movement). Also he recognized the bourgeois class-state in his speech, as well as the necessity 'to engage into the class struggle (from the side of the exploited and the oppressed). In a link to Dr. Goebbels he ended with:  ,,Durch den Klassenkampf hin zur Volksgemeinschaft!”[1] It goes without saying that these kinds of statements are exceptional within both the very reactionary ‘Nationaler Widerstand’ and also within the 'Autonomous Nationalism' of the BRD. One can imagine hearing these kind of revolutionary statements were quite a relief to us!

Until the end not much of the counter-mobilization the Antifa had announced was to be seen. Some doubtful elements did their best to hiss the anti-capitalist demonstrators by means of a 'colorful' parade, whistles and a single banner. We'd like to remember these Gütmenschen (and the present Antifa) to the well-known statement of Max Horkheimer: He who does not speak about capitalism, is to remain silent about fascism!" Because: Antifascism is before all anticapitalism! Fascism is merely a symptom of the disease, which is called capitalism. Who wants to fight fascism, needs to fight first and foremost capitalism: without capitalism, there is no fascism!

The atmosphere of the almost four hours long demonstration was very militant, it made a militant impression, the anti-capitalist was profoundly there, while the enthusiasm of the protestors remained to the end. Internally some critical comments were made: - (In general) too little activists to create a Black Block at any circumstance - A more suited place for an anti-capitalist demonstration (than Waren-Münitz). Further: To realize a truly anti-capitalist character during future demonstrations it is essential that party-political influences are consistently excluded, including the physical presence of NPD-bosses. The propagated revolutionary direction clashes with the still remaining influences of parliamentarism and party politics. Capitalism cannot be destroyed within a parliamentary context. Therefore 'democratic' reformism needs to be fought at all times. Also it uncritically following of the ridiculous order of the coppers to remain silent during the passing of some kind of event in the city centre should also be viewed in the same context. Rightly, this led to some discontent and disagreements between the chanting comrades and the bosses who tried to forbid them to do so.  Widerstand lässt sich nicht verbieten!?' Or does it? 

Apart from these negatives, we first of all need to see this day as a test-case for future demonstrations with the same revolutionary direction. We have every confidence that this AN-movement in the near future will develop itself further in a consistent anti-capitalist sense and militant manner.


dinsdag 14 juli 2015

The betrayal of SYRIZA

Although the article posted below is somewhat dated, it´s still very relevant since Tsipras has sold out the Greek people and surrendered themselves to their creditors. Once again it becomes evident that capitalism cannot be reformed from the inside out. 

Short after the convincing election victory of Syriza in Greece last January, it seemed that for some this new political party really represented the ability to achieve a social revolution through the ballot boxes. These people were truly convinced that Syriza would be able to reform capitalism from the inside out in a democratic manner.    

However, after several weeks of negotiations Syriza has already betrayed the trust of its support. Yanis Varoufakis already put all his beautiful electoral promises aside and is now insisting on a continuation of the austerity policy, Greece its relations with the European Union and of the negotiations with its creditors. The complete surrender of Syriza to the Troika last week, reminds us once more that these kind of reformist thesis are nothing more than misleading illusions. Capitalism simply cannot be reformed from the inside out.      

It is impossible to use the political channels of the bourgeoisie to get into power and then try to make an end to austerity within this bourgeois dictatorship. Syriza doesn´t have any power outside the constitutional validity of the bourgeoisie. Now the Troika is tightening the screws, Syriza has no other choice than to follow the path paved by its predecessor PASOK. It’s the unwillingness to finally break with the reformism of its bourgeois ideology, which makes Syriza completely ineffectual to seriously challenge capitalism.      

Despite the betrayal of the reformist politics of political parties such as Syriza, it still finds much support in great segments of the left movement. Of course the cosmopolitan dogma which rejects socialism in one country at all costs leaves no other possibility than reformism: This because a truly revolutionary break of Greece from EU imperialism will inevitably lead to socialism in one country. Therefore the only thing these cosmopolitans have to offer is walking the reformist path, in the vain hope that in the future similar small steps would be made by other countries on a global scale, which at some point miraculously will turn into a global insurgency. It’s clear that these kind of irrational cosmopolitan dogmas are not going to save the Greek people from the crisis. Therefore the Greek people can only benefit from a revolutionary nationalism, which is the only thing able to liberate them from the iron grip of EU imperialism.    

Syriza now has become the executing power of the policy imposed by the Troika to the Greek people and fulfills a clear contra-revolutionary role. Again it seems the reformist ideologues behind the left facade mainly pursue a neoliberal agenda. However, not all is lost. If the electoral victory of Syriza shows us one thing, it’s the fact that anti-capitalist themes find broad sentiments among the Greek people. Hopefully this complete surrender of Syriza to the Troika, will lead towards a new awareness among the working masses that no real revolutionary subversion can be realized through democratic reforms inside a bourgeois dictatorship. Capitalism cannot be reformed from the inside out, only the complete elimination of the capitalist system can bring forth such a revolutionary subversion.  

zondag 12 juli 2015

Against Western decadence - The concept of Eurasia

Today the term 'Eurasia' seems to arise again. Although the movement has been familiar with this concept for a longer period of time, and has propagated it here and there, it was recently used by the Russian president Putin. Deservedly? 

An exploration through the past of this idea will make clear what this concept means and to what degree national-revolutionaries can benefit from it. 

The origin of the 'Eurasian' idea 

Russia always had trouble being recognized as a European country by the West. In his time Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725) already fought for a place for Russia in Europe. However, time after time the West judged that Russia in basis would be 'Asian' and therefore could not be a part of Europe. The term 'Eurasia' would arise much later, around 1921.

When the October revolution of 1917 eradicated old feudal Russia, dozens of petit-bourgeois intellectuals (ethnologists, linguists, historians, theologians, philosophers, jurists, etc.) went in exile to foreign countries as a part of the Eurasian movement. (Their theoretical enchiridion was bundled under the title “Der Aufbruch nach Osten”). To understand the concept of Eurasia we first need to look to one of the pioneers of this movement.  Nikolaj Trubetzkoj, a linguist born in 1890, was one of its founders (read his many times cited work "Europa und die Menschheit").

If we pick up the links of the West to Peter the Great and his recognition of Russia, we grasp the spirit of the Eurasian idea. In his East-orientation, Trubetzkoj suggests it was not the Kyev-Russian which founded the Russian empire, but the Mongol empire of Dzjengis Khan, and the preceding period the Tartars ruled. It was they who defined the meaning of 'Russia'. Primal-father Khan would have realized the territorial unity for the sovereign territory "Eurasia".

The "civilized' West that considered itself superior and tried to dominate non-European peoples, had to be fought with its own developed cultural aspects, the own conscious backwardness had to develop itself forward. East and West needed to measure themselves to each other.    

The future of Russia was not meant as world leader, but that of a vanguard against Europe. This was only possible if Russia hooked on to the liberation movements of the colonial peoples, thus disconnecting itself from the European oppressor, with which Russia had nothing in common.

The conservative author Konstantin Leontjew (1831-1891) can be considered another founder of the Eurasian idea with his position in regard of the Slavs, who's Russian culture needed to be protected against Europe by a clear border (a real wall) between East and West.

The most important difference between the Eurasian ideas and those of Leontjew, is that the latter didn't really reject European culture, but merely its bourgeoisation and democratization, which followed after the French revolution. For Leontjew the old feudal aristocratic Europe was still the greatest example.

The later Eurasian movement saw the civil war, the revolution and the fall of the Tsar as positive developments. They did not entirely reject the Bolshevists, nor the ideas of the uprising Italian fascism. Both were seen as positive developments because of the anti-parliamentary and anti-democratic thoughts.

However, an important obstruction for the Eurasian movement remained the glorification of the own nation under fascism and the imitation of the Western bourgeois culture in the shape of the proletarian culture amongst the Bolshevists. Therefore the "Eurasianists" always wanted to exterminate the ruling Bolshevik Party in the Soviet Union; the hegemony of Marxism had to be replaced by that of Eurasia.

The dead of Trubetzkoj in 1938 led to the disintegration of the Eurasian movement. (He died after a fatal interrogatory by the Gestapo because of the putative criticism on the racial laws of the Nazi’s after the 'Anschluss' of Austria).

The development of the contemporary Eurasian idea

It would take more than 50 years before the Eurasian idea experienced a renaissance. The collapse of the Soviet Union during the Gorbatsjov-era heralded a new phase in the search for a new Russian identity. This identity was formulated by Alexander Dugin (born in 1962), a renewed Eurasian idea. These far right ideas seem to miss the mark with their 'Third Way' concept.  

The most important difference between the original concept and that of Dugin is once more a disagreement about the defining of East and West.

Where the original Eurasianists held an isolationist approach, the new Eurasianists have an expansionist agenda. Between West- and East-Europa "only hostility, hatred, ruthless struggle with or without rules, the struggle for the destruction until the last drop of blood, exists. Between them lie mountains of corpses... Who will have the last word? .... This the war will decide, the 'Father of all things', says Elementy, a magazine associated with Dugin.

The difference between the old and the new idea is that Dugin wants to start an offensive of conquest from the East towards the West, whereas the classic Eurasian idea wanted to liberate itself from the West to live independently next to it.

Today also Putin speaks of Eurasia, be it with an even bigger emphasis on the Great-Russian thought. Putin´s concept of Eurasia is a Russian nationalist idea, a greater Russia. It’s not about a united Asia of peoples and its shared (and Dugins) worldview. It’s only about a reaction of might, not a heterogeneous Eastern block against the EU and USA.  

Although we national-revolutionaries don't feel much relationship with the new Eurasian concept, we certainly must see the classical concept of Eurasia as an ally. This because:

1) It represents an anti-parliamentary and anti-Tsarist ideology;

2) It defends isolationism against the bourgeois West and wants to unite the peoples of Asia;

3) (Again) it supports Russia in a liberation struggle against European oppression

4) It wants a revolution which is not specifically party-bolshevist nor specifically fascist;

5) Of course next to this, the chauvinist ideas of Dugin and Putin in regard of a Russian imperia need to be rejected.

So if such a Eurasian movement is developing in Russia or abroad, it would do well by searching a close cooperation with the workers movement, to rid itself of its (petit-) bourgeois roots in order to become truly revolutionary.

Then the national-revolutionaries will join them in the Eastern camp and help them against the bourgeois democracy and the imperialist West as its brothers of arms!