Social Decomposition

The Duterte regime has been in power for more than one year now. Since Duterte’s election more than 13,000 (mostly poor people) have been being killed by the state police in his “war on drugs”.

Despite these widespread killings, there are no massive and widespread condemnation and protests among the poor people, even by the victims’ families and relatives. Instead apathy and fear prevail. A significant portion of the population, even among the poor, felt “relieved” that these “outcasts”, “evils” of society have been eliminated. Even though it is accepted that there are many innocent victims, there is a significant acceptance among the population that this is “justified collateral damage” for the interest of a general cleansing. And the (admittedly manipulated) surveys by bourgeois institutions claim that Duterte enjoys “excellent trust ratings”.

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On Sept. 7, the Moon Jae‐In government and the United States coercively deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) on Sungju-gun Sogong‐ri against most of the Korean people’s opposition including the residents. The deployment of the THAAD in South Korea does not contribute to a resolution of issues on nuclear weapon of North Korea and the peace of East Asia. It is just a hypocritical security game. It is not only a programme heightening the threat of war for the sake of US imperialist force but also a scheme to assign South Korea at the front of imperialist war.

We once again confirm that the purpose of North Korea's nuclear weapons development is a genocidal massacre against civilians, especially the working class, even though North Korea insists that the nuclear weapon is a guarantee of its regime. In addition, we never forget that the only force using the nuclear weapons which slaughtered civilians indiscriminately in the war was US imperialism. History has shown that the two systems, which are different in the Korean peninsula, are the same in terms of the exploitation of the working class and are the absolute enemy of the working class. Workers should not take either side.

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Imperialism on the Korean Peninsula

With the threats to attack the US Pacific island of Guam or targets on the American continent, with missiles flying over Japan, and the threat to defend itself with nuclear weapons in case of a US attack, the showdown between North Korea and the US has reached a new stage. The US threatens to respond with their whole arsenal of military, economic and political weapons: President Trump talks about visiting North Korea with “fire and fury” if the US or any of its allies are attacked by the regime.  The risk of the use of nuclear weapons puts the stakes much higher than ever before and poses a direct threat to some of the biggest metropoles of Asia – Seoul, Tokyo, etc. The recent military steps by the US and its allies South Korea and Japan (in particular the installation of the new THAAD missile systems in South Korea) have sharpened the confrontation between the US and China and pulled other countries even more into this maelstrom. 

How can we explain these events in Korea and what do they mean for humanity?

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In October 1917, after three years of unspeakable carnage on the battlefields, a beacon of hope in the fog of war: the Russian workers, having overthrown the Tsar in February, now deposed the bourgeois Provisional Government which had replaced him but which insisted on carrying on with the war “until victory”. The Soviets (workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ councils), with the Bolshevik party at the fore, called for an immediate end to the war and appealed to the workers of the world to follow their revolutionary example.

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Debate with the PCI

In Le Proletaire number 519, the publication of the Parti Communiste Internationale (PCI), there's a critique of our article "Attacks in Paris, down with terrorism! Down with war! Down with capitalism!"

We want to support the PCI in making this polemic. Such polemics within the revolutionary milieu have always been the life-blood of revolutionary combat. Too infrequent today, they are nonetheless precious, notably between organisations which defend the principles of the communist left. Such attempts are indispensable for political clarification.

In that spirit, we are responding the PCI critique here.

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Democratic Illusions

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.

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UK General Election

The general election on 8 June gave the UK a hung parliament. The Conservative Party were 8 seats short of the majority Theresa May had hoped to increase. This meant the possibility of a new election before the end of Brexit negotiations and further instability. This is a failure for Mrs May, and leaves her in office as Prime Minister only on sufferance until the Tory Party grandees feel it is opportune to oust her.

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Grenfell Tower

The survivors of the Grenfell fire, those who live in its shadow, those who live in similar towers elsewhere, those who came to manifest their solidarity, whose anger drove them to occupy Kensington town hall and march to Downing Street, were perfectly clear that this horror was no abstract “tragedy”, still less an Act of God, but as one makeshift banner put it, “a crime on the poor”, an issue of class made even more obvious by the fact that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea typifies the obscene contrasts in wealth that mark this social order, summarising them in the very visible and tangible form of the “housing question”.

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US policy in the Middle East

In the week just after mid-May, there were three particular events in the Middle East: the first was an incident involving an attack by US fighter jets on an Iranian-backed militia in south-eastern Syria fighting for Assad; a general election in Iran; and President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. The context for these events, which mean a deepening of tensions and greater military dangers for the world, is the tendency for centrifugal forces to increasingly dominate over relatively stable blocs and alliances, and how this takes place in a world where American power is increasingly resented and weakening.

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Terrorism and the Working Class

According to today’s pseudo-revolutionaries on the left, behind the religious slogans of al-Qaida or Isis terrorists, we are witnessing the same old struggle against national oppression that the Fenians were engaged in, and today’s marxists should therefore offer support for such movements, even if they distance themselves from their religious ideology and from their terrorist methods.

But the murderous means used by groups like Isis and their sympathisers are entirely consistent with their aims – which is not to overturn oppression but to substitute one form of oppression for another, and to ‘win’ at any cost in the gruesome battle between the one set of imperialist powers and another set (such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar, for example) which backs them up. And their ‘ultimate’ ideal – the global Caliphate – even if it is as unrealisable as Hitler’s Thousand-Year Reich, is no less an imperialist venture, demanding well-tried imperialist measures of slaughter and conquest.

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