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[사회주의자 통신 2호] 사회주의 당 건설의 역사와 ‘비판의 자유’에 대한 교훈

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사노위 서울지역위원회 온라인 정치신문 <사회주의자 통신> 2호가 발간되었습니다.

첨부파일이 올라 가지 못하는 경우에는 아래 주소를 클릭하여 Pdf파일을 내려 받기 하시면 읽을 수 있습니다.
http://www.lanchester.co.kr/img/ssotong_2ho.pdf

 


 

사용자 삽입 이미지

 

 

 

 

사회주의 당 건설의 역사와 ‘비판의 자유’에 대한 교훈

- 이탈리아 공산당과 그람시의 교훈

 

-사노위 강령실무위원 이형로

 

 


 

‘신질서’와 ‘공장평의회운동’으로 잘 알려진 이탈리아의 혁명가 안토니오 그람시가 PCI(이탈리아 공산당)에서 스탈린의 정책을 이식하는 핵심인물이었다는 사실은 우리에게 거의 알려져 있지 않다. 게다가 그 핵심 조치가 바로 트로츠키에 우호적이었던 보르디가 경향의 글을 삭제시키고, 결국 당의 공식 매체에서 출판 금지시키는‘언론통제’였다는 무거운 사실을 그 후예들이 알지 못하거나 가볍게 여기고 있는 것 같아 이글을 시작한다.

 

이탈리아 공산당의 창건과 혁명분파 구성에 머뭇거린 ‘신질서’그룹

1892년Genoa에 의해 창건된 PSI(이탈리아사회당)는 개량주의 세력의 지배아래 1917년 전까지는 맑스주의 혁명적 원칙을 고수하는 진정한 좌파 세력을 형성하지 못하고 있었다. 하지만 1917년로마대회 이후‘비타협적 혁명분파’가 형성되기 시작했는데, “전쟁 후 평화적인 삶”이라는 당내 개량주의 다수파의 주장에 대항하여 아직 소수였지만 혁명분파는 “노동자계급 스스로의 독재를 세우기 위하여 모든 나라에 프롤레타리아의 권리를...”, “정치적 영역뿐 아니라, 자본가에 대한 사회주의적 몰수를 통하여 모든 부르주아 기구에 대한 투쟁을...”이라는 강령을 방어했다. 당시 보르디가가 주도했던 혁명분파는 당의 분리를 원하지 않았는데, 위와 같은 혁명적 강령으로 당의 다수를 획득하는 것이 가능하다고 생각했기 때문이다. 하지만1920년 3월 토리노에서 열흘 동안 총파업이 일어났을 때, 주류 법적노조의 지원을 받는 PSI(이탈리아사회당)는 전혀 움직이지 않았고, 결국 노동자계급을 배신했다.

 

1919년 5월1일 그람시, 톨리아티, 타스카는 신질서(L'Ordine Nuovo)의 창간호를 발간하였고, 당시 파업이 일어난 지역인 PSI의 토리노그룹은 보르디가가 이끌고 있었다. 그런데 그람시는 레닌과 De Leon의 혁명적 쌩디칼리즘을 묘하게 섞어 “노조주의가 공장평의회와 소비에트로 대체되어야 한다”고 주장한 반면, 보르디가는 핵심문제를 혁명당의 부재라고 보았다. 보르디가도 물론 평의회를 지지했지만, 평의회가 “공산주의당 지역단위”의 기반 위에 형성될 때 비로소 혁명적 내용을 획득할 수 있다고 주장하면서 신질서와 논쟁했다. 그런데 정작 보르디가가 신질서와 논쟁한 이유는 이론적 문제를 떠나 신질서 그룹이 개량주의 극대주의자, 중앙파와 선을 긋고 스스로 혁명분파로 구성하는 것을 주저했기 때문이었다. 당의 다수파인 개량주의 세력이 노동자계급의 투쟁에서 배신을 하거나 당의 구조가 혁명적 강령을 실천할 구조가 갖춰져 있지 않을 경우, 혁명적 원칙을 방어하고 개량주의 세력에 넘어간 노동자계급을 혁명 강령으로 비틀어 빼내오기 위해서는, 당내 기반과 일부 건강한 인자들을 포기하더라도 그들과 분명하게 선을 긋고 단절하는 것은 혁명조직의 원칙이자 노동자 계급에 대한 신뢰를 지키는 일이다. 당시의 신질서 그룹은 혁명당의 역할과 혁명 강령의 실천적 의미를 소홀히 인식한 결과 개량주자들과의 단절을 주저했던 것이다.

 

결국 1920년대 말신질서 그룹은 보르디가 분파로 움직이게 된다. 9월의 공장점거투쟁 실패가 “경제관리”와 “노동자 통제”이론에 대한 심각한 타격을 입혔기 때문이다. 그것은 결정적으로 보르디가가 강조했던 “공장점거 투쟁이라는 혁명적 사건이 그 운동을 지지하고 지도할 공산당이 부재했기 때문에 실패했다”는 것이 증명된 것이었다. 그래서 11월 밀라노에서 “통일공산주의분파”가 형성되었고, 1921년 1월21일 드디어 Imola대회에서 코민테른의 지부인 PCI(이탈리아공산당)이 창건된다. 분파들은 해소하여 신당에 결합했고, 당 대회의 안건에는 “혁명 중에 일어난 평의회는 그의 다수가 공산당에 의해 획득되었을 때 혁명적일 수 있고, 그렇지 않을 경우 혁명투쟁에 대한 심각한 위험이 될 수 있다”는 것도 포함되어 있었다. 대중의 직접행동의 자발성과 혁명 강령에 입각한 의식성을 혁명적으로 이해 한 위의 테제는 우리에게도 여전히 유효하다.

 

 

‘스탈린정책’을 이식한 그람시와 ‘비판의 자유’를 방어하지 못한 혁명 좌파

그람시는 혁명분파 구성에 주저하긴 했지만 PCI를 창당하는 데 일정정도 기여했고, 1922년부터 1924년까지는 모스크바와 빈에서 코민테른을 위해 활동했다. 당시 소련에서는 사회주의를 건설하기 위해서는 어떠한 정책이 수립되어야 하는가와, 서유럽에서 사회주의자와 새로운 공산당 사이의 관계에 관해 논쟁이 진행되고 있었다. 1924년이탈리아 의회에 선출되어 이탈리아로 돌아온 그는 당의 지도권을 확보하고, PCI를 창당 초기의 분파주의 경향으로부터 대중운동에 뿌리박은 대중정당으로 전환시키기 위한 투쟁을 전개했는데, 이러한 당 노선을 두고 보르디가 경향과 심각한 갈등을 빚게 된다. 왜냐하면 당시 이탈리아는 이미 파시스트운동의 발전이 당 운동의 행동적 제약을 가져왔고, 모든 투쟁은 방어적 수준에 머물렀고, 대중들의 경제투쟁조차 광범위하게 줄어든 상태였기 때문에, 대중정당 노선은 보르디가 에게는 혁명적 원칙을 포기하는 것으로밖에 보이지 않았다.

 

당시 코민테른과 그람시는 이탈리아에서 PSI(이탈리아사회당)와 PCI(이탈리아공산당)가 통합하여 대중정당을 만들기를 원했지만, 보르디가는 무솔리니와“평화협정”을 맺는 “중립주의”정책을 채택한 PSI와는 동맹을 맺을 수 없었고, 강령적으로도 프롤레타리아의 무장을 통한 혁명투쟁 노선을 갖고 있지 않거나 사실상 폐기해버린 정치세력들과의 “통일전선”을 거부하는 노선을 강력히 밀고 나갔다. 결국 통일전선 문제는 보르디가 지도부와 코민테른 사이의 대립을 가져온다. 당시의 코민테른 3차 대회는 모든 나라에 통일전선 전술의 적용을 명령했는데, PCI는 4차 대회에서 오히려 이것에 반대하는 선언을 한다. 1924년 5월 Como에서의 PCI대회에서 보르디가 등이 제안한 테제인 프롤레타리아 독재, 무장투쟁 노선(프롤레타리아독재냐 부르주아지독재냐)을 절대다수로 수용한 것이다.

 

그래서 다음해인 1925년은 본격적으로 보르디가 경향과 코민테른의 러시아 지도부의 전쟁이 일어난 중요한 해이다. 또한 1925년은 트로츠키의 좌익반대파와 러시아공산당 및 코민테른이 대립한 시기였다. 1925년 3월-4월 코민테른 확대집행위원회는 PCI 3차 대회의 의제에 대한 보르디가 경향을 강제로 삭제·제거했고, 트로츠키에 우호적인 보르디가의 글(“트로츠키 문제”)의 출판을 금지시켰다. 결국 코민테른의 스탈린 정책을 PCI에 이식시키기 위해 그람시는 혁명적 좌파들의 입을 막음으로써 다수의 당원들과 분리시키려 했고, 코민테른 안에 이미 뿌리내리고 있던 강압적 관료주의(스탈린주의)를 이용하여 혁명분파들을 차례로 축출하는 변절의 길을 걷게 된 것이다.

 

또한 그것이 참혹한 스탈린주의의 잉태였던 것을 미처 깨닫지 못했던 혁명적 좌파들은, 그해 4월 보르디가의 동료이자 훗날 보르디가 경향을 극복하고 혁명분파의 다수파를 차지한 데이먼 등을 통해 조정을 위한 위원회를 만들었다. 하지만 이조차도 그람시는 “조직화된 분파”라고 위원회를 비난하면서 격렬하게 공격했고, 그를 추종하는 다수의 맹목적 조직보존주의자들의 축출의 위협 아래 “위원회”는 결국 해산해야 했다. 그것은 다수파로서의 이탈리아 좌파의 종말의 시작이었다. 그 후 당을 장악한 그람시의 지도력(대중정당 노선) 아래 당은 12.000명에서 30.000명의 전투파로 증가했다. 그런데 당시의 신규 당원들은 젊은 노동자와 농민이 다수였고, 낮은 수준의 강령의 승인은 정치의식의 하락을 가져왔고, 정치적 미숙함과 무능력은 당을 급속도로 변질시켰다. 정치의식이 균질화되지 않은 미성숙한 다수에게 조직보존주의, 양적 팽창주의 노선을 강제하는 것과 사상투쟁의 자유마저 제한하는 것은, 원칙적으로 사상투쟁과 혁명적 실천을 통해 다수를 획득해나가고자 하는 혁명적 좌파들에게는 치명적인 상황을 초래했다. 혁명조직의 기본 운영원리이자 혁명가들의 가장 강력한 무기인 ‘사상투쟁의 자유’를 방어하고 그것의 박탈에 대해 끝까지 저항하고 투쟁했어야 하는 공산주의자들의 생존원칙이 안타깝게도 무겁게 인식되지 않았던 것이다. 다시 말해 움트고 있던 스탈린주의에 대한 거부원칙이 이탈리아 좌파에게는 아직 정립되어 있지 않았던 것이다.

 

결국1926년 리옹대회에서 보르디가 경향은 완전히 제거되었고, 소수파로 전락한 좌파는 유명한 “리옹테제”를 제출한다. 이는 망명중의 혁명적공산주의자들의 지향점이 되어, 2차 대전 중에도 활동의 지침이 되었고, 결정적으로 68혁명이후 전 세계에 흩어져 있던 혁명적 좌파들의 부활을 돕는다. 이 테제는 그람시의 정치를 크로체와 베르그송의 사이비-맑스주의의 혼합이라 규정하고 강력하게 비난한다. 그리고 반파시스트 당과의 동맹과 “노동자연방공화국”을 맑스주의의 포기라고 하면서 비판한다. 또한, 권위에 복종하는 자발성을 대체하는 어떠한 규율도 거부한다. 이것은 인터내셔널의 당들이 스탈린의 코민테른에 복종하는 퇴행의 위험성을 미리 경고했던 것이다. 하지만 안타깝게도 이러한 경고는 머지않아 현실이 되었고, 코민테른의 결정적 타락과 세계적으로 혁명적 공산주의 세력에게 기나긴 죽음의 시대를 가져다주었다.

 

혁명적 분파운동과 당 건설 운동의 역사적 교훈

PCI에서 축출당한 보르디가는 1926년 2월-3월 6차 코민테른 확대집행위원회에 마지막으로 참여했는데 트로츠키와 장시간 토론할 기회를 가졌다. 위원회의 참여는 “일국사회주의”에 대한 트로츠키의 투쟁에 이탈리아 좌파의 연대를 보이기 위한 것이었다. 여기서 보르디가는 극단적 개입의 형태로 가장 맹렬하게 스탈린을 공격했다. 그는 당시를“분파의 역사는 레닌의 역사이다”라고 회상했다. 이것이 코민테른 내에서의 이태리 좌파의 마지막 투쟁이었고, 그 이후는 트로츠키주의자들의 저항, 그리고 스탈린의 이탈리아에서 있었던 것보다 더 잔혹한 숙청과 살해의 역사였다. 1927년 12월 스탈린은 일국사회주의를 선언한 러시아 공산당 15차 대회에서 트로츠키를 축출했다. 또한 혁명과 관계된 모든 사진과 기록들에서 트로츠키의 흔적을 지워나갔고, 수많은 공산주의자들과 혁명적노동자계급을 추방하고 살해했다.

 

이탈리아에서는1926년파시스트 정부의 정당금지령에 따라 PCI는 해산 당했고, 그해 11월 그람시는 체포되어 20년형을 선고받았다. 또한 혁명적 좌파와 결별한 당은 이미 혁명성과 전투성을 모두 잃은 채 파시스트의 탄압 하에 조직적 활동이 끊어지게 된다. 그리고 2차 대전 이후 모스크바로 망명했다 귀국한 톨리아티의 대중정당형 의회주의 노선을 채택하면서, 스탈린주의에서 사민주의까지 혼재된 다원주의의 길로 접어든다. 또한 톨리아티의 사후에는 러시아파와 이탈리아파로 양분, 유로코뮤니즘과 민족 공산주의 노선 등으로 혼란을 겪다가 결국 소련 붕괴 후 완전한 사민주의좌파 정당으로 몰락하고 만다. 이것이 바로 파시즘과 통일전선의 반혁명적 성격을 명확히 하지 못해 파시스트에게 길을 열어주고, 프롤레타리아 독재라는 혁명노선을 굳건히 하지 못해 전투력을 잃은 변절된 PCI의 비극이었고, 그람시가 주도한 스탈린주의 공산당의 실패였다.

 

보르디가 또한 1926년 말 파시스트에 의해 체포되어 3년간 추방되었다. 당시 해외로 망명한 이탈리아 좌파는 유럽에서 투쟁을 계속했지만, 보르디가는 점점 정치적 삶으로부터 거리를 두고 혁명운동에서 멀어져 간다. 하지만 보르디가를 극복한 그의 동지 데이먼과 후배 혁명가들은 파시즘 하에서도 전쟁 중에도 수백 명이 분명하게 살아남아 여러 공장과 거리에서 목숨을 건 선전활동을 해나갔으며, 혁명적 분파활동의 원칙과 실천적 경험들로 인해 전쟁이 끝나기 전 독자적인 국제공산주의당(PcInt)을 건설하기에 이른다. 수백으로 시작한 당원들이 수천으로 증가하는 데에는 채 몇 년이 걸리지 않았고, 이것은 대중적 노선이 아닌 혁명적 원칙과 혁명 강령을 전투적 노동자계급에게 굳건히 뿌리내린 결과였다.

 

그리고 1920년대 타락해가는 코민테른과 스탈린에 대항해 이탈리아 좌파와 트로츠키가 함께 싸웠던 혁명적 전통은, 80년이 넘게 흐른 오늘날 새로운 혁명적 인터내셔널 창출을 향한 중요한 밑거름이 되고 있다. 또한, 2011년 한국의 사회주의자 재판에 항의해 뉴욕에서 벌어진 국제주의자들의 항의시위도 이들의 후예들이며, 이러한 국제주의는 우리에게 원칙만이 아니라 즉시 실천해야 할 지침으로 인식해야 한다.

 

나는 개인적으로 그람시나 보르디가 중 어느 누구도 전폭적으로 지지하지 않는다. 하지만 공산주의 당 운동의 역사적 순간에 이들이 각자 서있었던 정치적 위치와 역할에 대해 명확한 원칙을 갖고 평가하면서 역사적 교훈을 계승할 뿐이다. 첫째, 혁명적 분파 활동 없이 혁명당 건설과 혁명적 원칙의 방어는 불가능하며, 모든 분파활동은 끊임없이 외부의 노동자계급을 향해야 한다. 둘째, 혁명 강령 없이 혁명당 건설은 불가능하며, 혁명 강령은 실천적으로 승인할 때 혁명성을 보장한다. 스탈린도 그람시도 강령을 승인했지만, 자신들의 목적을 위해 원칙을 저버리고 강령의 수준을 낮춤으로써 비극의 시작을 알렸다. 셋째, 혁명 강령은 계급투쟁과 공산주의 운동의 발전과 함께 살아 움직이며 끊임없이 발전해나가는 것이지 절대불변의 진리가 아니다. 그래서 혁명적이지 않은 낡은 강령을 단호하게 배격하는 것이야말로 혁명조직과 혁명운동의 시작이다. 넷째, 혁명가들의 가장 큰 사상적 실천적 무기인 혁명 강령을 방어하기 위해서는 무엇보다 제한 없는 사상투쟁의 자유를 쟁취해야 한다. 그 어떠한 명분으로도 조직적 이해관계로도 사상투쟁의 자유가 침해당해서는 안 된다. 사상투쟁은 살아 움직이며 상호 침투하는 과정이며, 혁명적 행동을 강제하는 의식적 행위이며, 노동자계급이 부르주아 이데올로기를 버리고 혁명의식을 체득하는데 있어 필수요소이기 때문에 자본가들보다 훨씬 광범위하고 공개적으로 열려 있어야 한다.

 

마지막으로 이탈리아 당 운동의 역사를 보면서 한국의 당 건설 운동의 주체들에게 묻고 싶다. 동지들이 서 있는 역사적 정치적 위치는 어디이며, 단지 먼저 시작했을 뿐인 아무런 특권이 없는 동지들이 대체 누구를 위한 누구에 의한 당 건설을 하려는 것이며, 무엇을 움켜쥐고 달려가고 있는가?

 

그리고 당 추진위를 향한 강령투쟁에 사활을 걸어야 할 사노위에 요청한다. 사노위는 남은 기간 한국의 노동자계급과 우리 스스로에게 약속한 당 추진위를 향한 강령투쟁에 전념해야 한다. 이를 위해 다음과 같이 제안한다.

 

첫째, 강령초안제출과 강령토론이 공개적으로 진행되는 4월30일 이후에는, 강령채택을 위한 과도적 조직체계로 즉각 전환해야 한다. 과도적 조직체계란 강령채택 조건 창출을 위한 중립적인 조직 관리체계를 의미한다. 이것은 내용적으로는 모든 강령초안이 동일한 조건 속에서 조직내외로 확장해 나갈 수 있는 체계를 의미한다. 따라서 중집, 중앙위, 지역위 ,분회, 언론 등 모든 기구와 조직의 근간은 강령채택을 위한 과도적(임시)체계로 전환하며, 총회를 통해 위임받은 관리기구(대리인)는 철저한 중립성을 유지해야 한다. 이것은 조직이 당 추진위로 상승하기 위한 이행체제이며, 아래로부터 강령을 결의하고 조직 활동의 질적인 상승을 강제하는 체제이다.

 

둘째, 강령투쟁을 통해 혁명적 강령이 채택되고 당 추진위로의 이행이 순조롭게 진행된다면, 사노위는 즉각 종료하고, 당 추진위(준비모임)로 전환해야 한다. 만일 강령투쟁에서 사노위 전체를 견인하지 못한다 해도, 당건설 경로와 사노위 이후 진로(연장포함)는 위와 같은 강령채택 체계를 충실히 수행한 후, 조직이행과정의 결과물을 바탕으로 새롭게 논의해야 한다.

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북아프리카, 근동 및 중동에 무슨일이 일어나고 있는가?

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    2011/04/16 22:32
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    2011/04/17 11:57
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사용자 삽입 이미지

 

북아프리카, 근동 및 중동에 무슨일이 일어나고 있는가?

(북아프리카와 근동 및 중동의 사건에 관한 토론을 위하여 참고할 점들)

 

 

 
 

중동과 북아프리카에서 현재 일어나고 있는 사건들은 역사적인 의미를 갖는 것으로서, 그 결과들은 현재 분명한 예측이 어렵다. 그러나 이 사건들에  관한 토론은 중요하며 이를 통해 혁명가들은 일관성있는 분석틀을 발전시켜 나갈 수 있을 것이다. 다음 사항들은 결코 그러한 틀 자체도 아니고 그렇다고 현상황의 상세한 서술도 아니며,  단지 논쟁을 고무자극하는 것을 목표로하는 기본적인 참고점들이다.

 

 

1. 1848년이나1917-1919년 이후 우리는 그렇게 광범위하고 동시다발적인 반란의 물결을 보지 못했다. 그 움직임의 진원지는 북아프리카(튀니지, 이집트  및 리비아, 그리고 알제리와 모로코)에 있었는데,  가자지구, 요르단, 이라크 이란 예맨, 바레인 및 사우디 아라비아에서 반정부 시위가 발생한 한편, 일련의 다른 억압된 아랍국가들, 특히 시리아에서 높은 경보가 울리고 있다. 중국의 스탈린주의적 체제에 대해서도 마찬가지이다. 이러한 항의의 메아리는 수단, 탄자니아, 짐바브웨, 스와질란드 등과 같이 아프리카의 다른 부분들에서도 울려퍼진다. 이러한 반란들의 반향은 크로아티아에서 경제위기의 영향과 부패한 정부에 대항한 시위에서도, 영국 학생시위의 플랭카드와 슬로건에서도 그리고 위스콘신에서 노동자투쟁에서도 느껴질 수 있으며, 다른 여러나라들에서도 확실히 그러하다. 이것은 그 모든 움직임들이 아랍세계의 그것들과 똑같다라고 말하는 것이이 아니다. 그 내용면에서도 요구사항들의 측면에서도, 지배계급의 반응에 있어서도. 하지만 그 현상 전체를 놓고 이야기할 있는 그러한 일련의 공통점들이 분명 존재한다.

 

 

2. 이러한 사건들이 일어나고 있는 역사적인 맥락은 다음과 같다:

 

-  깊고 참으로 자본주의 역사상 가장 심각한 경제위기, 이로 인해 아랍국가들의 취약한 경제는  특히 심각하게 타격을 받았고, 이미 수백만이 비참한 가난 속으로 빠져들고 있으며,  상황이 더 악화되리라는 전망만이 앞에 놓여 있다. 많은 '노쇠해가는' 중심부 국가들과는 반대로 인구의 대부분을 차지하는 젊은 층은 무수한 젊은 전문 및 비전문인력의 실업과 전망부재로 특히 심하게 타격을 받았다. 모든 경우에서 이러한 운동의 최전선에  젊은 층이 서 있다.

 

-   그 지역의 모든 정부들의 견딜 수 없이 부패하고 억압적인 본질. 비밀경찰과 군대의 잔인한 행동이 오랫동안 국민들을 파편화하고 강압할 수 있었던 반면,  국가의 바로 그러한 무기들, 즉 원자화와 공포는  이제 함께 모여 공동으로 저항하려는 국민들의 의지를 일반화하는데 기여했다. 이는 예를 들어 특히 이집트에서 매우 분명했다. 무바라크가 진압군과 사복경찰들을 타흐리르 광장을 점령한 사람들에게 테러를 가하도록 보냈을 때,  이러한 도발은 사람들이 스스로를 방어하려는 결의를 더욱 강화시켜  훨씬 더 많은 사람들이 항의시위에 동참하도록 만들었다.  이와 마찬가지로, 대부분의 사람들이 매일 생존을 위해 안간힘을 쓰는 동안 엄청난 사적인 부를 축적한 집권층의 탐욕과 치솟는 부정부패는 국민들이 두려움을 떨쳐버리자마자 반항의 불꽃을 더욱 더 불붙혔다.

 

-   많은 시위참가자들이 언급하는 이러한 갑작스런 공포의 상실은 국지적 지역적인 수준에서 변화들의 산물일뿐만  아니라, 국제적 수준에서 증대하는 불만과 명백한 계급투쟁의 기후의 산물이기도 하다. 경제위기에 직면하여 모든 곳에서, 착취당하고 억압받는 사람들은 자신들에게 강요되는 희생을 제공하는 것을 점점 덜 달갑게 여기고 있다. 여기서 다시, 새로운 세대의 역할이 결정적으로 되었고 이런 의미에서  2년전 그리스에서 있었던 젊은이들의 반항, 영국과 이태리에서의 학생투쟁, 프랑스에서의 연금개혁 반대투쟁등도 „아랍“세계에 그 영향을 남긴 것이다. 특히, 지배계급으로서는 기존 관계들에 대항한 투쟁들에 대해 지속적인 보도통제를 하기 더 힘든 패이스북과 트위터 시대에.

 

 

3. 이러한 운동들의 계급적 성격은  단일하지 않고 각 나라마다 그리고 각 단계에 따라서 상이하다. 하지만 대체로 비착취계급의 운동들로서, 국가에 대항한 사회반란으로서 규정될 수 있다.  노동자계급은 일반적으로 이 반란들을 이끌지는 않았지만 확실히 상당한 존재성을 드러내고  영향력을 발휘했다. 이는 운동에 의해서 제시된 그리고, 알제리에서의 파업들그리고 특히 이집트에서의 주요 파업물결들과 같은 그런 경우들에서는,  노동자투쟁의 특정한 발전에 의해 제시된  조직화의 방법들과 형태들 모두에 의해서 확인될 수 있다.  한편 이집트에서의 파업들은 무바라크를 폐기한다는 결정에 핵심적인 요소의 하나였다(이점에 대해서는 우리 의 다른 기사들을 참조바람). 이 나라들의 대부분에서는 노동자계급이 유일한 피억압 계급은 아니다. 농민층과  훨씬 더 오래된 생산양식들로부터 유래한 다른 계층들은 비록 매우 파편화되고 또 수십년간의 자본주의의 쇠락을 통해 파괴되었을 지라도 여전히 그 나라에서 큰 무게를 갖고 있다. 반면 반란들의 중심이 되고 있는 도시들에서는 노동자계급화의 길에 들어 있긴 하지만 여전히 자체의  특수성을 가진 다수의 중산층 그리고 일부는 노동자 또 일부는 소상인과  더 룸펜화된 인자들로 이뤄진 대다수  슬램거주자들과 나란히 노동자계급이 존재한다. 가장 집중되고 경험많은 노동자계급이 있는 이집트에서조차도, 타흐리르 광장의 목격자들에 따르면, 시위는 그 체제 상위계층을 제외한 '모든 계급들’을 결집했다. 다른 나라들에서는 비노동자 계급들의 비중이 중심부 국가들의 주요 투쟁들에서보다 훨씬 더 높았다.

 

4. 이러한 반란들의 계급적 성격을 파악하려는 노력 속에서 그래서 우리는 다음과 같은 대칭적인 오류들 두가지를 피해야만 한다. 즉, 한편으로는 운동 속의 모든 대중들을 노동자계급과 무조건 동일시하는 것(국제공산주의그룹 Groupe Communiste Internationaliste의 가장 특징적인 입장) 그리고 다른 한편으로는 그러한 폭동들에서 긍정적인 점들 중 분명하게 노동자 계급적이 아닌 모든 것을 거부하는 것. 여기서 제기된 문제는 1970년대 말 이란의 사건과 같은 이전의 사건들을 되짚어보게 한다. 그 당시에 우리는 한동안 노동자계급이 선두적인 역할을 가정할 수 있었던 하지만  결국 이슬람주의자들에 의해 운동이 전복되는 것을  막기에는 불충분했던 그러한  대중반란을 목격했다. 더 역사적인 수준에서, 노동자계급과  좀 더 일반적인 사회폭동들 사이의 관계 문제는 또한 과도기에서의 국가의 문제이기도 하다. 이 문제는 모든 비착취계급들의 운동에서 그렇지만 노동계급이 그 계급자치성을 유지할 필요성에 직면하여 생겨난다.

 

5. 러시아혁명에서 소비에트 형식은 노동자계급에 의해 생겨났지만 모든 피억압자들에게 조직화의 모델을 제공했다. 비례감각을 잃지 않고도 -  왜냐하면 우리는 여전히 노동자계급이 다른 계층들에게 분명한 정치적 지도력을 제공할 수 있는 혁명적인 상황과는 한참 멀리 떨어져 있기에 - 우리는 노동자계급의 투쟁방법들이 아랍세계의 사회반란들에 영향을 주었음을 볼 수 있다:

 

-  자기조직화의 경향 속에서, 이는 국민들에 대항해 범죄갱단들을 풀어놓은  이집트정부의 전술에 대응해서 출현한 이웃보호위원회에서 가장 분명하게 나타났다. 타흐리르 광장에서의 몇몇 대중집회들의 '파견위원’ 구조 속에서. 그리고 집단적인 토론과 결정과정 전체에서;

 

-   대규모의 결집와 조직화의 중심점을 제공하기 위해서,  보통이라면 국가에 의해 통제되는 공간을 점거한 점에 있어서;

 

-  정부가 출동시킨 경찰과 깡패들에 대항해 대대적인 자위단의 필요성을 의식했지만 그와 동시에, 폭력과 파괴와 약탈 그 자체는 거부한 점에 있어서;

 

-  기독교도와 회교도사이, 시아파와 수니파 사이, 신앙인과 비신앙인 사이, 그리고 남자와 여자 사이의 분열등, 정부에 의해 냉소적으로 조작된 종파주의와 기타의 분열들을 극복하려는 신중한 노력들 속에서;

 

-  일반 병사들과의 우애를 이뤄내려는 수많은 노력들 속에서.               

 

이러한 경향들이 노동자계급의 오랜 투쟁전통을 지닌 이집트에서 가장 강력하게 발전한 것은 결코 우연이 아닌데,  이집트의 노동자계급은 운동의 결정적인 단계에서 하나의 독자적인 세력으로 출현하여, 2006-7년의 그것과 같이 미래의 대대적 파업의 '맹아들’로서 간주될 수 있는 일련의 투쟁들을 전개했다. 이때 대대적 파업의 가장 중요한 많은 특징들 갖고 있었다. 즉, 한 부문에서 다른 부문들로의 파업과 요구사항들의 자연발생적인 확장, 어용노조에 대한 비타협적인 거부와 자기조직화의 특정 경향들,  경제적 요구와 정치적 요구를 함께 제기한 것. 여기서, 억압받고 착취당하는 사람들의 옹호자로 앞에 나서 새로운 사회의 전망을 제시할 노동자 계급의 역량을 대략 볼 수 있다.

 

6. 이 모든 경험들은 진정한 혁명의식의 발전에 있어서 중요한 단계들이다. 그러나 그 방향으로의 길은 여전히 길고 수많은 명백한 환상들과 이념적 취약성들이 걸림돌로 놓여 있다:

 

-  특히 민주주의에 대한 환상들,  이러한 환상들은 군사독재와 부패한  군주들이 조합되어 지배하는 나라들에서 특히 강력한데, 이곳에서는 비밀경찰이 편재하고 반체제 인사들에 대한 체포, 고문 처형이 일상화되어 있다. 그러한 환상들은 민주주의적 ‚반대파’가  국가 관리를 위한 대안적인 팀으로 부상할 기회를 제공한다. 이집트의 엘 바라데이와 무슬림형제들, 튀니지의 과도기정부 '리비아의 국민회의' 등과 같이. 이집트에서는 군대를  '국민의 편’이라고 여기는 환상들이 특히 강하데, 타흐리르 광장의 시위대에 대한 군대의 최근의 진압행동들은 확실히 소수의 일부가 이점에 대해 반추하도록 만들것이다. 이집트에서 민주주의의 신화의 중요한 한 측면은 독립노동조합에 대한 요구인데, 확실히 이러한 조합들은 불신임당한 공식 노조들의 해체를 상당히 정당하게 요구하는 대부분의 전투적 노동자들의 다수를 포함한다;

 

-  민족주의와 애국주의의 환상들, 이는 이집트와 튀니지에서  '혁명들’의 상징으로 국기를,  또는 리비아에서처럼, 가다피의 지배에 반대하는 모든 이들의 상징으로서 옛 왕국 깃발을  채택한 점에서 보여진다. 또한, 이집트에서 무수한 깃발들에서  무바라크를 시오니즘의 앞잡이로 낙인찍는 것은 이스라엘/팔레스타인 문제가 계급투쟁의 주의를 전환시켜  제국주의적 충돌로 향하게 하는 중요한 지렛대로 남아 있음을 보여준다.  그런데 팔레스타인문제를 제기하려는 관심이 그리 느껴지지 않는데, 왜냐하면 지배계급은 지금까지 팔레스타인의 고통을 그들이 자기 국민들에게 부과한 고통들로부터 주의를 돌리는 방법으로 사용해 왔기 때문이다. 그리고 다른 나라의 국기들이 그 나라의 폭동에 대한 연대의 표시로 흔들어졌던  것에서 확실히 어느 정도의 국제주의적인 요소가  있었다. ‚아랍’ 세계와 그 너머를 가로지르는 폭동의 규모는 국제주의의 물질적인 현실성을 보여주는 것이지만, 애국주의 이데올로기는 매우 적응력있는 것으로서, 이러한 사건들에서 우리는 그것이 어떻게 더 대중적이고 민주적인 형식으로 변모할 수 있는지를 목격하고 있다.

 

-  종교에 대한 환상들, 이는 공개적인 기도를 빈번히 이용한 점과  반란의 조직화 장소로서 회교사원을 사용한 점에서 보여진다. 리비아에서는 훨씬 더 특별하게 이슬람주의 그룹들 (가다피가 주장하듯이 알카이다에 연결된 것이라기 보다는 오히려 자생적인 그룹들)이 반란에서 초기부터 중요한 역할을 한 것은 명백하다. 이는 부족적 충성심의 역할과 더불어 리비아 노동자계급의 상대적인 허약성과 그 나라 및 그 국가구조의 후진성을 반영한다. 그런데, 빈 라든 변종의 과격 이슬람주의가 ‚무슬림국가들’에서 대중들의 비참에 대한 해답이라 자처하는 점을 볼 때, 튀니지와 이집트에서의 반란들과  심지어 리비아 그리고  예맨과 바레인과 같은 걸프 국가들에서의 반란들 조차도, 작은 테러리스트 세포들을 통한  실천과 유해한 종파적 이데올로기를 가진 지하드 그룹들은  운동들의 대대적인 성격과  종파주의적 분열들을 극복하려는 진정한 노력들에 의해 거의 전적으로 주변화되어버렸음을 보여준다. 

 

 

7. 북아프리카와 중동에서의 현상황은 여전히 진행중의 상태에 있다.  (중략)

 

가다피 세력이 다시 승세를 보이기 시작하자 비행금지지역을 설정하거나 직접적인 군사적 개입의 다른 형식들을 사용할 것에 대한 목소리가 높아졌다. 그런데 이 글을 쓰는 시점에는 EU와 NATO사이에 깊은 분열이 존재하는 것같은데, 영국과 프랑스는 매우 강력하게 군사적 행동을 선호하고 미국과 독일은 매우 주저하고 있다. 오바마 행정부는 물론 군사적 개입에 원칙적으로 반대하지는 않지만 아랍세계에서 벌써 또 다른 골치거리에 빠져들 위험에 노출되길 바라지는 않을 것이다. 세계 부르조아지의 어떤 부분들은 대량 테러라는 가다피의 ‚저주’가 그 지역 전역에서 더 이상의 다른 소요를 막는 한 방법일지 궁금해할 수도 있다. 하지만  리비아의 사건들과  진정 그 지역의 전체 상황전개가  세계부르조아지의 기괴한 위선을 폭로했다는 이 사실 한가지만은 분명하다. 가다피의 리비아를 국제 테러리즘의 온상(이는 사실 맞는 말이었다)이라고 수년간 비난했으면서, 2006년 가디파의 심경변화와  대량살상무기폐기 결심은 사담 후세인의 소위 대량살상무기에 대한 그들의 자세를 정당화하기 위해 씨름하고 있던 미국과 영국같은 나라들의 지도자들의 가슴을 따뜻하게 만들었다. 토니 블레어는 특히 어제의 ‚미친 테러리스트 리더’를 당장 껴안았다. 단지 몇년이 지난 지금 가다피는 다시 미친 테러리스트 리더이고 그를 지지했던 자들은 급히 다투어  자신들과 그 사이의 거리를 두어야만 한다. 그리고 이것은 같은 이야기의 다른 한 판본에 불과하다. 거의 모든 최근의 또는 현재의 ‚아랍 독재자들’은 미국과 다른 열강들이라는 든든한 뒷배경을 즐겼고 이 나라들은  지금까지는  튀니지, 이집트, 바레인 또는 사우디 민중들의 ‚민주적 열망’에 조금도  관심을 보이지 않았다. 가격폭등과 생필품의 품귀에 의해 자극된, 그리고 어떤 경우들에서는 폭력적으로 진압된, 이라키 쿠르디스탄의 현지배자들을 포함해 미국이 내세운 이라크정부에 대항한 거리 시위들의 발생은 더욱이‚민주주의적 서방’에 의해 제조된 공허한 약속들을 드러낸다.

 

10. 크로아티아의 어떤 국제주의 아나키스트들 (자그래브와 기타지역에서 진행중인 시위에 참여하기 전까지는 적어도)은 libcom.org에 개입해서, 아랍세계의 사건들은 마치 1989년 동구에서의 사건들의 재연처럼 보이며, 그 당시에 모든 변화열망은 ‚민주주의’라는 용어로 탈선되었고 이는 노동자계급에게 결코 아무것도 가져다 주지 않았다고 주장했다. 이는 이번의 새로운 운동 내부에 존재하는 민주주의의 신비화들의 명백한 위력을 놓고 볼때 매우 정당한 걱정이지만 이 두  역사적 순간들 사이의 본질적인 차이를 놓치고 있다. 무엇보다도 세계 규모에서 계급역량의 외형 수준에서. 동구권의 몰락당시 서방의 노동자 계급은 정치적 수준에서 발전할 수 없었던 투쟁기의 한계에 도달하고 있었고, 공산주의의 죽음과 계급투쟁의 종말에 관한 부수적인 켐페인을 거느린 동구블록 붕괴 그리고 자신의 계급 지대 위에서 대응함에 있어 동구지역 노동자계급의 무능력은 그래서 노동자 계급이 국제적으로 장기간 후퇴에 빠지는 것을 도왔다. 그와 동시에, 비록 스탈린주의 체제들 자체가 사실상 세계경제위기의 희생자들일 지라도, 이는 그 당시 분명하지 않았고 서구 경제에게는 세계자본주의에게 밝은 미래가 열리고 있다는 인상을 제공하는 작전을 펴기에 충분한 여유공간이 있었다. 자본주의 위기의 진정으로 총체적인 성격이 지금처럼 명백히 드러난 적이 결코 없었는데, 이것은 모든 곳의 노동자들이  그들 모두가 본질적으로는 실업, 물가등귀, 이 세체하에서의 전망부재라는 동일한 문제들에 직면해 있다는 것을 더 쉽게 이해할 수 있게 만든다.  그리고 지난 7-8년에 걸쳐 우리는 전세계에서 노동자 투쟁의 느리지만 진정한 부활을 경험하고 있는데, 이러한 투쟁들은 80년대와 90년대의 후퇴로 인해 상처를 덜 받은 프롤레타리아의 새세대에 의해 주도되며 이러한 부활로 인해 정치의식화된 증가되는 소수를 다시 전세계적 규모로 출현하고 있다. 이러한 심오한 차이들로 볼때, 아랍세계에서의 사건들이 중심부 국가들의 계급투쟁에 부정적인 영향을 끼치기 보다는 오히려 그 미래의 발전을 강화시킬 실질적 가능성이 존재한다.

 

-  대대적이고 불법적인 거리행동의 힘을, 세계 지배자들의 평정을 뒤흔드는 능력을 재확인함으로써;

 

-  획일적이고 생각없는 광신도 무리로서의 ‚아랍인’에 관한 부르조아의 선전을 파괴함으로써 그리고 이지역 대중들의 토론하고 반성하고 스스로 조직하는 능력을 보여줌으로써;

 

-  아랍세계를 향한  곡절을 통해 그 타산성과 무자비함이 돋보이기게 된 중심국가들의 리더들의 신빙성을 더욱 더 침식함으로써;

 

이들 및 기타의 다른 요소들은 처음에는 중심부 국가들의 노동자들 다수보다는 정치의식화된 소수에게 훨씬 더 명백할 것이지만 장기적으로는 국가와 대륙의 경계를 넘어선 계급투쟁의 진정한 단일화에 기여할 것이다. 하지만 이 어떤 것도, ‚민주주의’와 ‚독립노동조합’의 기쁨들을 수년간 경험하고, 그 역사적 정치적 전통들이 넓지는 않을 지언정 깊이 뿌리내려 있으며,  세계제국주의체제의 심장부에 집중되어 있는 선진국 노동자계급의 책임을 경감시키지는 않는다. 북아프리카와 중동에서 노동자계급이 민주주의의 환상들과 단절하고 무산자 민중을 위해 뚜렷한 길을 제시할 수 있는 능력은 여전히, 중심부 국가 노동자들이 자기조직화되고 정치화된 프롤레타리아 투쟁의 분명한 예를 제공할 수 있는 능력에 근본적으로 달려있다. 

 

 

ICC, 2011년 3월 11일.                                           

 

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[폭거] '비판의 자유'가 목졸림 당했다

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Say NO! to all varieties of Stalinism!
 

사용자 삽입 이미지

 

 사회주의 조직이라는 곳에서 사회주의 조직운동의 가장 기본인 '비판의 자유'가 목졸림 당했다. 이 땅의 스탈린주의를 거부하는 모든 혁명적 사회주의자들,  사회주의 ABC를 제대로 알고 실천하는  모든 동지들,  그리고 노동자민주주의를 방어하는 모든 전투적 노동자들과 함께 반드시 제자리로 돌려놓을 것을 다짐한다.

 

그리고,  비판의 자유를 억압하는 것이 무엇인지도 모른채,  사회주의자들에게 얼마나 치명적이고 무서운 일인지도 깨닫지 못한채 저질러버린(조직의 일부 사업내용을 비판하는 표현에 대해 조직을 부정하는 행위였다고  자신들이 일방적으로  판단하고 제재를 가하는),   폐쇄적이고 관료적인 써클주의 운동의 피폭을 받은  폭거의 주도자들과 그들의 뒷 배경에 일단 무거운 애도를 표한다.

 

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일본의 지진, 쓰나미 그리고 최악의 핵사고 : 자본주의는 공포물!!

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Earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear accidents in Japan: capitalism is a horror show

 

by ICC

 

 

"Fear the worst!" That's the message now splashed across newspaper front pages, in all the media, and on the lips of the world's leaders too. But it can't get any worse! Because from the earthquake, to the tsunami and then the nuclear accidents, and it's not finished there, it means the current predicament of the Japanese population is horrific. And because now there are millions of people on the planet living under the Sword of Damocles of the nuclear cloud released by the reactors at Fukushima. This time round, it is not a poor country like Haiti and Indonesia that is being hit hard but the heart of one of the most industrialised countries of the world, one that specialises in cutting-edge technologies.
It's a country that has first-hand experience of the devastating effects of nuclear energy, having suffered the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.


Capitalism makes humanity more vulnerable to natural disasters


Once again, the madness of capitalism and irresponsibility of the bourgeoisie has become front page news. Only now is the world finding out that millions of people have been crammed into wooden houses, along coastal shores, permanently threatened by the risk of earthquakes and giant waves that can consume all before them. And this in a country that's the world's third largest economic power!
As if this were not enough, they have also built nuclear power stations, which are all real time bombs, at the mercy of the earthquakes and the tsunamis. Most of Japan's nuclear power plants were built 40 years ago, not only in densely populated areas but also near the coast. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to flooding. Thus, of the 55 Japanese reactors spread over 17 sites, 11 have been affected by the disaster. As a direct consequence, the population is already exposed to radiation levels that have officially[1] risen to more than 40 times the norm as far away as in Tokyo, 250 km from Fukushima, a radiation level which the Japanese government nonetheless declared to be of “no risk”! And it’s not only nuclear power stations that have been hit but also petrochemical plants built by the coast, and some of these have set on fire, which will only make the disaster worse and add to the existing ecological catastrophe.

 

The bourgeoisie is still trying to make us believe that it is all the fault of nature, that we cannot predict the power of earthquakes and the magnitude of tsunamis. This is true. But what is most striking is how capitalism, after two hundred years in which it has produced phenomenal scientific knowledge and technical know-how that could be used to prevent this kind of disaster constantly increases the monstrous danger to humanity. The capitalist world of today has enormous technological machinery but is not able to use it to benefit humanity, as it is only concerned with the profits of capital... to the detriment of our livelihoods.
Since the Kobe earthquake disaster in 1995, the Japanese government has, for example, developed a policy of constructing earthquake resistant buildings that have withstood the quake, but which are intended to house the very rich or to serve as city office blocks.

 

The bourgeoisie tells big lies


Today, comparisons abound with previous major nuclear accidents, especially with the melt-down of the reactor at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979. Officially no-one died in that one. In comparison, all the political leaders are saying that the current disaster is not "for now" as serious an incident as the explosion of the Chernobyl power plant in 1986. Should we be reassured by these outrageously optimistic remarks? How do we assess the real danger to the populations of Japan, Asia, Russia, the Americas… and the world? The answer leaves us in no doubt: the consequences will be dramatic in every sense. There is already major nuclear pollution in Japan and the TEPCO officials who operate the Japanese nuclear plants can only deal with the risk of an explosion by fiddling with the problem day by day and shamelessly exposing hundreds of employees and fire-fighters to fatal levels of radiation. Here we see the fundamentaldifference between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. On the one hand there is a ruling class that has no hesitation in sending ‘its’ people to their deaths and, more generally still, endangering the lives of tens of millions of people in the name of its sacrosanct profits. On the other hand, there are workers ready to sacrifice their lives and to suffer the slow and unbearable agony of exposure to radiation on humanity's behalf.Today, the impotence of the bourgeoisie is such that after a week of desperate attempts to cool the damaged reactor, its specialists are forced to play the sorcerer's apprentice, trying to reconnect the different systems for cooling the reactor's core onto the electricity network. Nobody knows if this will work: either the pumps work properly and succeed in cooling the reactor, or the cables and equipment are damaged which could create short-circuits, fires and... explosions! The only solution then will be to cover the core of the reactor with sand and concrete, like... Chernobyl.[2] Faced with such atrocities now and in the future, our exploiters will always respond in the same way: with lies!


In 1979, Washington lied about the radioactive effects of the meltdown of the core of the reactor, while still evacuating 140,000 people; if no actual deaths were reported, the cancers still multiplied one hundredfold in the population, something which the U.S. government never wanted to acknowledge.

With regard to Chernobyl, when the problems mounted with the plant and its maintenance, the Russian government hid the urgency of the situation for weeks. Only after the reactor exploded and an immense nuclear cloud was dispersed miles up in the air and thousands of miles around did the world come to see the magnitude of the disaster. But this kind of behaviour is not just peculiar to Stalinism. The western officials behaved exactly the same. At the time, the French government excelled itself with a whopping great lie about this cloud coming to a full stop right at the western border of France! Another interesting fact, even today, is that the WHO (World Health Organisation), no doubt colluding with the IAEA (International Agency for Atomic Energy), produced a derisory and even laughable review of the Chernobyl explosion: 50 people dead, 9 children deaths from cancer, and a possible 4,000 more cancer fatalities! In fact, according to a study by the New York Science Academy, 985,000 people perished due to this nuclear accident.[3] And today these very same agencies are responsible for producing a run-down on the situation at Fukushima and informing us of the risks! How, after that, are they at all believable? For example, what is going to become of those they call "the liquidators" (those who are now dealing with the emergency) at Fukushima when we know that at Chernobyl "of the 830,000 liquidators brought onto the site after the event, between 112,000 and 125,000 are dead."[4] Even today, the bourgeoisie tries to hide the fact that this reactor is still highly dangerous as there is still an urgent necessity to continue enclosing the reactor core under more and more new layers of concrete, just as it hides the fact that there have been no less than 200 incidents at the Fukushima power stations during the past ten years!


All countries lie about the dangers from nuclear power! The French State expresses unerring confidence that the 58 nuclear reactors of L'Hexagone, the company in charge, are perfectly safe, when most of these power stations are either in seismic zones, or in coastal areas, or on rivers vulnerable to flooding. During the stormy weather of 1999, when gales inflicted serious damage across France and left 88 dead in Europe, the power station at Blaye, near Bordeaux, was flooded and this nearly caused the melt-down of a reactor. Few people knew about it. And then there's the power station at Fessenheim that was so obsolescent that it had to close-down for a few years. But by using replacement parts (many of which aren't the approved standard), it is somehow still in operation, and no doubt the maintenance staff will suffer the consequences of exposure to the radiation. That’s what they mean by "being in control" and “transparency”!
 

From the beginning of the earthquake in Japan, on Friday, March 11th, the media advisedly reassured us that the Japanese nuclear power stations were among the "safest" in the world. Two days later it contradicted itself and recalled that the company, TEPCO, which manages the power stations in Japan, had already hidden incidents of nuclear radiation leaks. How can it be that the power stations in France, where "in the space of ten years, the number of minor incidents and faults at nuclear sites has doubled"[5], like they have elsewhere in the world, "are any "safer"? In no way at all. "Around 20% of the 440 commercial reactors in operation worldwide are located in areas of ‘significant seismic activity’, according to the WNA, World Nuclear Association, a grouping of industrialists. Some of the 62 reactors under construction are also in areas of seismic risk, just like many of the 500 other projects especially in countries with emerging economies. Several nuclear power stations - including the four reactors at Fukushima damaged by the tsunami on March 11th - are on or near the ‘Ring of Fire’, a 40,000 km arc of tectonic faults around the Pacific."[6]
 

Thus, reliable information "suggests that radioactive elements are more and more around us. For example, while plutonium did not exist naturally before 1945, we are now finding it in the milk teeth of British children."[7], and this despite the fact that Britain has ended its commercial nuclear programme.

Capitalism is pushing mankind towards more and more disasters
 

And Japan is not just suffering from the nuclear catastrophe but from another humanitarian disaster too. Thus, the world's third largest economic power has been plunged into crisis, unprecedented since the Second World War, in the space of a few hours. The same terrifying ingredients are present: massive destruction, tens of thousands dead and to top it off, radiation, like that from the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.


Millions of people in north-eastern Japan are having to live without electricity, without drinking water, with diminishing supplies of food, supplies which may already be contaminated. 600,000 people have been uprooted by the tsunami that has devastated entire towns close to the Pacific Ocean, and have been left destitute, out in the cold and the snow. Contrary to what the Japanese government says – it has continued to downplay the seriousness of the situation, and the numbers affected, providing small details of the increase in people dead, day after day - we can already, without hesitation, begin to count the deaths in the tens of thousands for the country as a whole. The sea is continually depositing dead bodies along the shores. This against a backdrop of massive destruction of homes, buildings, infrastructure, hospitals, schools, etc.
 

Villages, buildings, trains and even entire towns were swept away by the power of the tsunami that struck the north-eastern coast of Japan. For some towns, located in what are usually narrow valleys like at Minamisanriku, at least half the 17,000 people were swept away and perished. With the warning given by the government of only 30 minutes, the roads were quickly congested, putting the "laggards" at the mercy of the waves.


The population has been saluted by all the Western media for its "exemplary courage" and "discipline", and has been called on by the Japanese Prime Minister to "rebuild the country from scratch", i.e. in plain language, the working class of this country must now expect fresh hardship, increased exploitation and worsening poverty. Admittedly, all this fits in nicely with the propaganda abouta servile population that exercises with the company boss in the mornings, who are silent and submissive, and who remain quite stoical and carry on as normal while the buildings are crashing down on top of them. For sure, the Japanese population is extraordinarily courageous, but the reality is completely at odds with the "stoicism" described in the papers. Apart from the hundreds of thousands who packed into gyms and other communal areas, and whose anger rose to a fever pitch and rightly so, hundreds of thousands of others tried to flee, including a growing number of the around 38 million people in Tokyo and its suburbs. And those who remained, did not do it to brave the dangers but because they had no choice. With no money, where can you go? And who's going to take you in? In every sense, being an ‘environmental refugee’ isn't acceptable in the eyes of the bourgeoisie. About 50 million people are forced to migrate every year for reasons connected to the environment but they have no status under the UN Convention, even if they are victims of a disaster, be it "nuclear" or whatever. Clearly, the Japanese with no money who wants to try to escape the nuclear disaster, or simply to relocate elsewhere in the world, is going to be denied the ‘right of asylum’ all round the world.


This insane system of exploitation is moribund and shows itself to be more barbaric with every passing day. Although immense knowledge and enormous technological power has been acquired by mankind, the bourgeoisie is incapable of putting it to work for the good of humanity, to protect us all against natural disasters. Instead of this, capitalism is a destructive force, not just here and there, but all over the world.
 

"We have no other choice, faced with this capitalist hell: it's Socialism or Barbarism. We must fight it or die"[8].


Mulan 19/3/11

 


[1]And experience shows that we can't give much credit to the official figures in general and to those concerned with nuclear especially: lies, manipulation, under-estimation of the dangers are here the golden rule for every country.

[2]As Le Canard Enchaîné reported on March 16th 2011, the current disaster was even predicted: “the eight German engineers from Areva who worked on site at the Fukushima nuclear power station 1, weren't mad (…) surprised by the earthquake 'when the number 4 reactor block was fully operational' on Friday evening (March 11th), they were sent awa to safety 40 miles from the nuclear power station” and then “taken to Frankfurt on Sunday March 13th”.

 

[3] Source: ‘Troublante discrétion de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé’, Le Monde, 19 March.

[8] The remarks made by someone in one of our forums in France during the discussion of this disaster:http://fr.internationalism.org/forum/312/tibo/4593/seisme-au-japon

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

리비아의 위기 : 제국주의자들이 '민주주의'를 가장한 새로운 폭격을 준비하다!

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리비아의 위기 : 제국주의자들이 '민주주의'를 가장한 새로운 폭격을 준비하다!


*제국주의가 말하는  민주주의는 노동자민주주의와는 상관없는 서구 부르주아 민주주의의 강요일 뿐이다.
*또한, 반제국주의 투쟁을 위해 독재자를 옹호.방어하는 것이야말로 노동자국제주의를 민족주의 수준으로 타락시키는 반노동자계급적 사상들이다.

*제국주의 전쟁으로 고통받고 죽음당하는 프롤레타리아계급을  제국주의와  독재자로부터 방어하라!!!

*제국주의자들의 탐욕에 찬 폭탄세례가 아닌, 프롤레타리아계급의 국제적 연대와  무장투쟁으로 독재자와 제국주의를  타도하고  프롤레타리아권력 쟁취하자!!!

The Libyan Crisis: Imperialism Prepares New “Democratic” Bombs

http://www.leftcom.org/files/images/1966-01-01-vietnam-napalm.preview.jpg

The world capitalist crisis is hitting the peripheral economies of the Middle East and those strategies linked to oil and gas production. It has moved masses of the dispossessed to action and unleashed competition between the various international imperialist line ups. France and Britain are already ready to intervene whilst the small Italian imperialism prepares to take on a major role in the operation making military bases available and mobilising all necessary air and naval forces.

 

 

Even if it is still early to take a definite position of the Libyan events because the situation is still moving and thus nothing definite has been decided except Western imperialism’s escalation towards military intervention camouflaged as a humanitarian mission. The Colonel’s days may be numbered but his strenuous defence characterised by the need to reconquer lost territory, above all oil areas continues, notwithstanding the fact that the international capitalist community has put in the field all its weapons, from the legal (International Criminal Court) to the economic: embargoes, economic sanctions and freezing of assets held abroad and finally UN Resolution 1973 which imposes a “no-fly zone” over all Libya. This is the premises for a possible future full-scale military intervention whether by air or sea or on the ground depending on the tactical demands of military coordination.

Nonetheless we can make three immediate observations.

 

The first is that the revolt in Benghazi and other cities of Cyrenaica, as in some places south of Tripoli has broken Gaddafi’s enforced balance between his own tribe and the other Libyan tribes who for 40 years have been forced to submit to the political and economic dictatorship of the Colonel.
At the bottom of this are the never satisfied demands for autonomy of the tribal bourgeoisie of Cyrenaica and the Fezzan and, not least, the chance to autonomously control the oil revenues which until a few weeks ago were the prerogative of the “Green” dictator. It is no accident that the first protest moves took place in the East of the country where a provisional government has already arisen. It has the task of controlling the oilfields and guaranteeing the use and exploitation of them for Western clients.
The previous balance of power in the country was based on force. Gaddafi and his sons had absolute control of the army, the police, and the air force. They did not just control, but owned, the oil wells through the private management of national companies for gas and oil. This gave to the chief tribes, allied or submissive some crumbs from the already mentioned revenues according to their political value or their potential danger in the terms of (non) alignment in any struggle over the power of the “rais” himself. With this mould now broken, the bigger tribes like the Warfalla, who control a vast territory to the south of Tripoli, have mobilised against the regime. In 1993,in the middle of the international embargo against the Tripoli Government imposed after the Lockerbie bombing, the Warfalla had already attempted a coup d’état. Gaddafi brutally repressed it with dozens publically hanged and more than 2000 arrested. The Zuwayya who live in the central region between Tripoli and Benghazi, the Misurata and the Abu Llail, who control the area of pipelines in the eastern part of Cyrenaica have taken the initiative to ride the tiger of popular protest in an attempt to end a game that has been going on for 40 years. All the major tribes have small armies and a limited number of light weapons. In the initial period of the revolt they attacked barracks and weapons dumps. In the present state of things the Libyan revolt appears to be a tribal civil war, in other words between bourgeois factions for the political and economic domination of the country, the second oil exporting nation in Africa after Nigeria, and the twelfth in global terms.

 

The second observation regards the possible fracture of the present balance on the Middle Eastern energy fronts with all the consequences that would bring. It is not for nothing that the USA, with the support of France and Britain, proposed the UN resolution, with the aim of ensuring that events in Libya were not left to themselves with all the dangers that would entail. The imperialist preoccupation is not only about the future destiny of Libyan oil and gas, important if not decisive though they are in the international energy balance, they are also worried about the extension of the crisis to the Arabian peninsula. The winds of revolt are blowing through Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, which all surround the south-east and south-west of Saudi Arabia, or rather the biggest oil producer in the world and the main supplier of the USA. If Riyadh were also to enter the eye of the storm it would lead to new positions being taken, to new military manoeuvres no longer contained by psychological deterrence or by creating “no fly zones” which for the moment allows air attacks to disrupt Gaddafi’s militias in order to convince them to listen to more pacific counsel. There is no joking when it comes to ensuring energy supplies from the Middle East. US imperialism has already produced two wars which have not yet ended, is strenuously battling for control of the trade and transport routes for black gold from Central Asia to the Mediterranean coast. A similar critical situation in the Arabian ports is already setting the weapons of war twitching. For now the United States is watching carefully to see what will happen … China too, already present in Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Chad, would not be certain to just look on. All of this in the face of hundreds of thousands of refugees – victims of the nasty internal bourgeois quarrels and international imperialist games – about which they sing the usual litany of lamentation whilst doing nothing in terms of mere humanitarian aid.

 

 

The third observation concerns the delay and lack of unanimity over the launch of resolution 1973. Out of the 15 members of the UN Security Council 10 voted in favour with five abstentions, comprising China, Russia, India, Brazil and Germany. This is no accident. It is not only the 1.5million barrels of oil from Libya per day that is at stake. It is also the role of France and Italy in the Mediterranean basin, the ambitions of Anglo-Saxon imperialism to play a role of control and domination, and the entire question of the Middle East and its energy supplies. In Bahrain, a small country but rich in oil, there is a civil war between the Sunnis (30% of the population who hold power and benefit from the oil income) and the Shiites (70%) who don’t get a penny from the oil payments. Sunni and Shia who in fact should go under their real name: a bourgeoisie of Sunni religious persuasion and a Shiite religious community who are fighting for political power, primarily determined by the economic situation. Behind this bourgeois line-up are the two imperialisms of the area: Shiite Iran and Wahabist-Sunni Saudi Arabia which, amidst a deafening international silence, has initiated a full-blown military invasion of Bahrain in order to guarantee a key anti-Iranian political ally. Even in Qatar the same scenario is being repeated, only this time the imperialist architects are Turkey and Iran.

All this is in the context of yet more tension. In Yemen Saleh has not hesitated to fire on the crowd with dozens killed. In Oman the situation remains edgy. In Saudi Arabia itself anti-Saud feeling is strong and insistent.

 

 

Within this framework it is natural for the respective imperialist fronts to act in defence of their own immediate and future interests. USA, Britain, France on one side. Russia, China, India, Germany and Brazil on the other. The prize is energy supplies amounting to 65% of the world’s needs. This underlines how there is another aspect to the Libyan question. For US imperialism (but not only the US) the major preoccupation is Riyadh: its capacity to resist, its oil, and world energy stability. Washington’s plan is to give NATO — fronted by the Europeans, with France and Britain in the front line — the task of controlling Gaddafi while the energy is reserved for whatever Arab front the situation eventually throws up.

 

As for the working masses of Libya, so long as they remain integrated in the tribal set-up, or take up the demands for freedom and democracy called for by the bourgeois opposition against the tyrant, there is no possibility of emancipation. Freedom and democracy at most would mean new, stronger political and ideological fetters, so that the same process of subjection and exploitation would carry on as it was before. It would not question the prime motor of this crisis: the settling of scores between the bourgeois tribes which have sprung up, or the alarming volatility of increasingly-voracious imperialism. In other words if they do not question the economic system which goes under the name of capitalism the merry-go-round of domestic and international interests will continue to turn with its macabre burden of crisis, civil war and imperialist arrogance.

 

The same thing applies to all the rest of the turmoil in the region. If the struggles limit themselves to the ‘conquest’ of democracy it means the end of any possibility of their developing an anti-capitalist agenda. It would signify the victory of this or that bourgeois faction in tow behind one of the fronts of international imperialism. Either a sign of a revival of class struggle will erupt on the Middle Eastern political scene in the form of a revolutionary political vanguard, or everything will go back to what it was before. Or almost, in a bloodbath, as in the usual imperialist script.

 

FD, 19 March 2011
진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

사회주의자 통신 1호

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사노위 서울지역위원회가 발행하는 온라인 신문 <사회주의자 통신> 창간호를 발행하였습니다.

 

PDF파일을 열어 보실 수 있는 프로그램이 설치 되어 있다면 아래 링크를 클릭하거나

 

첨부된 pdf파일을 내려 받기 하시면 읽으실 수 있습니다.

 

동지들의 많은 관심 부탁합니다.

 

 

 http://swc.jinbo.net/seoultong/ssotong.pdf

 

 

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

중동에서 대체 무슨일이 일어나고 있나?

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What is happening in the Middle East?

 

 

 

 

The current events in the Middle East and North Africa are of historic importance, the consequences of which have yet to be entirely clear. Nevertheless, it is important to develop a discussion about them that will enable revolutionaries to elaborate a coherent framework of analysis. The points that follow are neither that framework in itself, still less a detailed description of what has been taking place, but simply some basic reference points aimed at stimulating the debate.  

 

1. Not since 1848 or 1917-19 have we seen such a widespread, simultaneous tide of revolt. While the epicentre of the movement has been in North Africa (Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, but also Algeria and Morocco), protests against the existing regimes have broken out in Gaza, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi, while a number of other repressive Arab states, notably Syria, have been on high alert. The same goes for the Stalinist regime in China. There are also clear echoes of the protests in the rest of Africa: Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland.... We can also see the direct impact of the revolts in the demonstrations against government corruption and the effects of the economic crisis in Croatia, in the banners and slogans of student demonstrations in the UK and workers’ struggles in Wisconsin, and no doubt in many other countries as well. This is not to say that all these movements in the Arab world are identical, either in their class content, their demands, or in the response of the ruling class, but there are evidently a number of common features which make it possible to talk about the phenomenon as a whole.

 

2. The historical context in which these events are unfolding are the following:

  • a profound economic crisis, the most severe in the history of capitalism, which has hit the weaker economies of the Arab world with particular force, and which is already plunging millions into abject poverty, with the prospect of even worse conditions ahead. The youth, which, in contrast to many of the ‘ageing’ central countries, makes up a very large percentage of the total population, has been hit especially hard, with unemployment and the lack of any visible future the lot of educated and uneducated young people alike. In every case, it has been the young people who have been in the forefront of these movements;
  • the unbearably corrupt and repressive nature of all the regimes in the region. While for a long time the ruthless activity of the secret police or the armed forces has kept the population in a state of atomisation and fear, these very weapons of the state have now served to generalise the will to gather together and resist. This was very clear in Egypt, for example, when Mubarak dispatched his army of thugs and policemen in civilian clothes to terrorise the masses holding Tahrir Square: these provocations merely strengthened the latter’s resolve to defend themselves and drew thousands more into the protests. Similarly, the outrageous corruption and greed of the ruling cliques, who have amassed huge private fortunes while the vast majority struggled to survive from day to day, further fuelled the flames of rebellion once people had begun to overcome their fears;
  • this sudden loss of fear, commented on by many of the participants, is a product not only of changes at the local and regional level, but also of a climate of growing discontent and overt class struggle at the international level. Everywhere, faced with the economic crisis, the exploited and the oppressed have been increasingly unwilling to make the sacrifices demanded of them. Here again, the role played by the new generation has been essential, and in this sense the youth rebellion in Greece two years ago, the student struggles in the UK and Italy, the fight against pension reforms in France have also had their impact in the ‘Arab’ world, especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter when it is much harder for the bourgeoisie to maintain a consistent black-out of struggles against the status quo. 
  •  

3. The class nature of these movements is not uniform and varies from country to country and according to different phases. On the whole, however, we can characterise them as movements of the non-exploiting classes, social revolts against the state. The working class has, in general, not been in the leadership of these rebellions but it has certainly had a significant presence and influence which can be discerned both in the methods and forms of organisation thrown up by the movement and, in certain cases, by the specific development of workers’ struggles, such as the strikes in Algeria and above all the major wave of strikes in Egypt which were a key factor in the decision to dump Mubarak (and which we have written about in these pages). In the majority of these countries, the proletariat is not the only oppressed class. The peasantry, and other strata deriving from even older modes of production, although largely fragmented and ruined by decades of capitalist decline, still have a weight in the rural areas, while in the cities, where the revolts have always been centred, the working class exists alongside a large middle class which is on the road towards proletarianisation but still has its specific features, and a mass of slum dwellers who are made up partly of proletarians and partly of small traders and more lumpenised elements. Even in Egypt, which has the most concentrated and experienced working class, eyewitnesses in Tahrir Square emphasised that the protests had mobilised ‘all classes’, with the exception of the upper echelons of the regime. In other countries the weight of the non-proletarian strata has been much stronger than it has been in the majority of struggles in the central countries. 

 

4. In trying to understand the class nature of these rebellions, we therefore have to avoid two symmetrical errors: on the one hand, a blanket identification of all the masses in movement with the proletariat (a position most characteristic of the Groupe Communiste Internationaliste), and on the other hand a rejection of anything positive in revolts which are not explicitly working class. The question posed here takes us back to previous events, such as those in Iran at the end of the 1970s, where again we saw a popular revolt in which, for a while, the working class was able to assume a leading role, though this in the end was not sufficient to prevent the recuperation of the movement by the Islamists. At a more historical level, the problem of the relationship between the working class and more general social revolts is also the problem of the state in the period of transition, which emerges from the movement of all the non-exploiting classes but in the face of which the working class needs to maintain its class autonomy.   

 

5. In the Russian revolution, the soviet form was engendered by the working class but it also provided a model of organisation for all the oppressed. Without losing a sense of proportion – because we are still a long way from a revolutionary situation in which the working class is able to provide clear political leadership to the other strata – we can see that working class methods of struggle have had an impact on the social revolts in the Arab world:

  • in tendencies towards self-organisation, which appeared most clearly in the neighbourhood protection committees that emerged as a response to the Egyptian regime’s tactic of unleashing criminal gangs against the population, in the ‘delegate’ structure of some of the massive meetings in Tahrir Square, in the whole process of collective discussion and decision making;
  • in the seizing of spaces normally controlled by the state to provide a central focus for assembling and organising on a massive scale; 
  • in a conscious assumption of the necessity for massive self-defence against the thugs and police dispatched by the regimes, but at the same time a rejection of violence, destruction and looting for their own sake; 
  • in deliberate efforts to overcome sectarian and other divisions which have been cynically manipulated by the regimes: divisions between Christian and Muslim, Shia and Sunni, religious and secular, men and women;           
  • in the numerous attempts to fraternise with the rank and file soldiers.

 

It is no accident that these tendencies developed most strongly in Egypt where the working class has a long tradition of struggle and which, at a crucial stage in the movement, emerged as a distinct force, engaging in a wave of struggles which, like those in 2006-7, can be seen as ‘germs’ of the future mass strike, containing many of its most important characteristics: the spontaneous extension of strikes and demands from one sector to another, the intransigent rejection of state trade unions and certain tendencies towards self-organisation, the raising of both economic and political demands. Here we see, in outline, the capacity of the working class to come forward as the tribune of all the oppressed and exploited and offer the perspective of a new society.

 

6. All these experiences are important stepping stones towards the development of a genuinely revolutionary consciousness. But the road in that direction is still a long one, and is obstructed by many and obvious illusions and ideological weaknesses:

  • illusions, above all, in democracy, which are extremely strong in countries which have been governed by a combination of military tyrants and corrupt monarchies, where the secret police is omnipresent and the arrest, torture and execution of dissidents is commonplace. These illusions provide an opening for the democratic ‘opposition’ to come forward as an alternative team for managing the state: El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Transition Government in Tunisia, the National Council in Libya... In Egypt, illusions in the army as being ‘with the people’ are particularly strong, although recent repressive actions by the army against demonstrators in Tahrir Square will certainly lead to reflection on the part of a minority.   An important aspect of the democratic myth in Egypt is the demand for independent trade unions, which no doubt involves many of the most militant workers who have quite rightly called for the dissolution of the discredited official unions;
  • illusions in nationalism and patriotism, exhibited in the very widespread adoption of the national flag as the symbol of the ‘revolutions’ in Egypt and Tunisia, or, as in Libya, of the old monarchist flag as an emblem of all those opposed to Gaddafi’s rule. Again, the branding of Mubarak as an agent of Zionism on a number of banners in Egypt shows that the question of Israel/Palestine remains as a potential lever for diverting class conflict towards imperialist conflict. That said, there was little interest in raising the Palestinian question, given the fact that the ruling class has so long used the sufferings of the Palestinians as a way of diverting attention from the sufferings they imposed on their own populations; and there was surely an element of internationalism in the waving of the flags of other countries as an expression of solidarity with their rebellions. The sheer extent of the revolts across the ‘Arab’ world and beyond is a  demonstration of the material reality of internationalism, but patriotic ideology is very adaptable and in these events we are seeing how it can morph into more popular and democratic forms;
  • illusions in religion, with the frequent use of public prayers and the use of the Mosque as an organising centre for rebellion. In Libya, there is evidence that more specifically Islamist groups (home-grown rather than linked to al Qaida as Gaddafi claims) played a significant role in the revolt from the beginning.  This, together with the role of tribal loyalties, is a reflection of the relative weakness of the Libyan working class and the backwardness of the country and its state structures. However, given the extent to which radical Islamism of the Bin Laden variety  has posed itself as the answer to the misery of the masses in the ‘Muslim lands’, the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, and even in Libya and the Gulf states like Yemen and Bahrain have shown that the Jihadi groups, with their practice of small terrorist cells and their noxious sectarian ideologies, have been almost entirely marginalised by the massive character of the movements and their genuine efforts to overcome sectarian divisions. 

 

7. The current situation in North Africa and the Middle East is still in a state of constant flux. At the time of writing there are expectations of protests in Riyadh, even though the Saudi regime has already decreed that all demonstrations are contrary to sharia law. In Egypt and Tunisia, where the ‘revolution’ has supposedly triumphed already, there are continuous clashes between protestors and the now ‘democratic’ state, which is administered by more or less the same forces who ran the show before the ‘dictators’ departed. The strike wave in Egypt, which quickly won many of its demands, seems to have abated. But neither the workers’ struggle nor the wider social movement have suffered any set-back in those countries, and there are signs of a widespread discussion and reflection going on, certainly in Egypt. However, events in Libya have taken a very different turn. What appears to have begun as a genuine revolt from below, with unarmed civilians courageously storming military barracks and torching the HQ of the so-called Peoples’ Committees, especially in the east of the country, has been rapidly transformed into a full-scale and very bloody ‘civil war’ between bourgeois fractions, with the imperialist powers hovering over the carnage. In marxist terms, in fact, this is an instance of the transformation of an incipient civil war – in its real sense of a direct and violent confrontation between the classes – into an imperialist war. The historical example of Spain – despite considerable differences in the global balance of class forces, and in the fact that the initial revolt against Franco’s coup was unmistakeably proletarian in nature – shows how the national and international bourgeoisie can indeed intervene in such situations to both pursue its factional, national and imperialist rivalries and to crush all possibility of social revolt. 

 

8. The background to this turn of events in Libya is the extreme backwardness of Libyan capitalism, which has been ruled for over 40 years by the Gaddafi clique predominantly through the terror apparatus directly under his command. This structure mitigated against the development of the army as a force capable of putting the national interest above the interest of a particular leader or faction, as we saw in Tunisia and Egypt. At the same time, the country is torn by regional and tribal divisions and these have played a key role in determining support or opposition to Gaddafi. A ‘national’ form of Islamism also seems to have been a factor in the revolt from the beginning, although the rebellion was originally more general and social rather than being merely tribal or Islamic. The principal industry in Libya is oil and the turmoil there has had a very severe effect on world oil prices. But a large part of the workforce employed in the oil industry are immigrants from Europe, the rest of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa; and although there were early reports of strikes in this sector, the massive exodus of ‘foreign’ workers is a clear sign that they see little to identify with in a ‘revolution’ bearing aloft the national flag. In fact there have been reports of persecution of black workers at the hands of ‘rebel’ forces, since there were widespread rumours that some of the mercenaries hired by the regime to crush the protests were recruited in black African states, thereby casting suspicion on all black immigrants. The weakness of the working class in Libya is thus a crucial element in the negative development of the situation there.

 

9. Clear evidence that the ‘rebellion’ has become a war between bourgeois camps is provided by the very hasty desertion of the Gaddafi regime by numerous high-ranking officials, including foreign ambassadors, army and police officers and civil servants. The military commanders in particular have come to the fore in the ‘regularisation’ of the anti-Gaddafi armed forces. But perhaps the most striking sign of this change is the decision of most of the ‘international community’ to rally to the side of the ‘rebels’. The Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi, has already been recognised by France as the voice of the new Libya., and a small scale military intervention has already taken shape in the sending of ‘advisers’ to aid the anti-Gaddafi forces. Having already intervened diplomatically to accelerate the departure of Ben Ali and Mubarak, the US, Britain and others were emboldened by the wobbling of the Gaddafi regime at the beginning: William Hague, for example, prematurely announced that Gaddafi was on his way to Venezuela. As Gaddafi’s forces started to regain the upper hand, talk grew louder of imposing a No Fly zone or using other forms of direct military intervention. At the time of writing, however, there seem to be deep divisions within the EU and NATO, with Britain and France most strongly in favour of military action and the US and Germany most reluctant. The Obama administration is not opposed to military intervention on principle, of course, but it will not relish exposing itself to the danger of being drawn into yet another intractable mess in the Arab world. It may also be the case that some parts of the world bourgeoisie are wondering whether Gaddafi’s ‘cure’ of mass terror may be a way of discouraging further unrest throughout the region. One thing is certain however: the Libyan events, and indeed the whole development of the situation in the region, have revealed the grotesque hypocrisy of the world bourgeoisie. Having for years vilified Gaddafi’s Libya as a hotbed of international terrorism (which it was, of course), Gaddafi’s recent change of heart and decision to jettison his weapons of mass destruction in 2006 warmed the hearts of the leaders of countries like the US and Britain which were struggling to justify their stance over Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMDs. Tony Blair in particular showed indecent haste in embracing yesterday’s ‘mad terrorist leader’. Only a few years later, Gaddafi is again a mad terrorist leader and those who supported him have to scramble no less hastily to distance themselves from him. And this is only one version of the same story: nearly all the recent or current ‘Arab dictators’ have enjoyed the loyal backing of the US and other powers, who have up till now shown very little interest in the ‘democratic aspirations’ of the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain or Saudi. The outbreak of street protests, provoked by price rises and shortages of basic necessities and in some cases violently repressed, against the US-imposed government of Iraq, including the current rulers of Iraqi Kurdistan, further exposes the empty promises manufactured by the ‘democratic west’.      

     

10. Certain internationalist anarchists in Croatia (at least before they began to take part in the protests going on in Zagreb and elsewhere) intervened on libcom.org to argue that the events in the Arab world looked to them like a rerun of the events in eastern Europe in 1989, in which all aspirations for change were sidetracked into the terminus of ‘democracy’, and which brought absolutely nothing for the working class. A very legitimate concern, given the evident strength of democratic mystifications within this new movement, but missing the essential difference between the two historic moments, above all at the level of the configuration of class forces on a world scale. At the time of the collapse of the eastern bloc, the working class in the west was reaching the limits of a period of struggles which had not been able to develop at the political level; the collapse of the bloc, with its attendant campaigns about the death of communism and the end of class struggle, and the inability of the working class of the east to respond on its own class terrain, thus helped to plunge the working class internationally into a long retreat. At the same time, although the Stalinist regimes were in reality victims of the world economic crisis, this was far from obvious at the time, and there was still enough room for manoeuvre in the western economies to fuel the impression that a bright new dawn for global capitalism was opening up. The situation today is very different. The truly global nature of the capitalist crisis has never been more apparent, making it much easier for proletarians everywhere to understand that, in essence, they are all faced with same problems: unemployment, rising prices, a lack of any future under the system. And over the past seven or eight years we have been seeing a slow but genuine revival of workers’ struggles across the world, struggles usually led by a new generation of proletarians which is less scarred by the set-backs of the 80s and 90s, and which is giving rise to a growing minority of politicised elements, again on a global scale. Given these profound differences, there is a real possibility that the events in the Arab world, far from having a negative impact on the class struggle in the central countries, will feed into its future development

 

- by reaffirming the power of massive and illegal action on the streets, its capacity to shake the composure of the rulers of the earth;

- by destroying bourgeois propaganda about ‘the Arabs’ as a uniform mass of unthinking fanatics and showing the capacity of the masses in these regions to discuss, reflect, and organise themselves;   

- by further undermining the credibility of the leaders of the central countries whose venality and lack of scruple has been highlighted by their twists and turns towards the Arab world.    These and other elements will initially be much more evident to the politicised minority than the majority of workers in the central countries, but in the long run they will contribute to the real unification of the class struggle across national and continental boundaries. None of this, however, lessens the responsibility of the working class in the advanced countries, who have had years of experience of the delights of ‘democracy’ and ‘independent trade unionism’, whose historic political traditions are deeply if not yet widely entrenched, and who are concentrated at the heart of the world imperialist system. The capacity of the working class in North Africa and the Middle East to break with democratic illusions and provide a distinct way forward for the disinherited mass of the population is still fundamentally conditioned by the ability of workers in the central countries to provide them with a clear example of self-organised and politicised proletarian struggle.     

ICC, 11th

March 2011

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

우리의 대안은 자본주의 체제에 저항하는 것이다 !

Our alternative : resist the capitalist regime!

 

Student Protesters in UK
Egyptian Protesters

As the government rains attack after attack on our living standards – whether through cuts in health, education, benefits and local services, through redundancies in both the private and public sector, through tuition fee increases or the abolition of EMA, or through the steadily rising price of basic necessities – the TUC has for months now been telling us to fix our gaze on the Big Demo on the 26th March. The bosses of the trade unions have argued that a very large turn-out on the day will send a clear message to the Lib-Con government, which will start carrying out its spending review at the beginning of April, involving even more savage cuts than the ones we have seen already. It will show that more and more working and unemployed people, students and pensioners, in short, a growing part of the working class, are opposed to the government’s programme of cuts and are looking for an “alternative”.

 

And there’s no doubt that people are increasingly fed up with the argument that we have no choice but to submit to the blind laws of a crisis-torn economic system. No choice but to accept the tough medicine that the politicians assure us will, at some point in the future, make everything all right again. There’s also no doubt that a growing number of people are not content to sit at home and moan about it, but want to go out on the street, encounter others who feel the same way, and form themselves into a force that can make the powerful of the world take notice. This is what was so inspiring about the unruly student demonstrations and occupations in the UK at the end of last year; this is why the enormous revolts that are spreading throughout North Africa and the Middle East are such a hopeful sign.

 

But if these movements tell us anything, it’s that effective action, action that can actually force the ruling powers to back down and make concessions, doesn’t come about when people tamely follow the orders of professional ‘opposition’ leaders, whether people like El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or the TUC and the Labour Party in the UK. It comes about when people begin to act and think for themselves, on a massive scale – like the huge crowds who began to organise themselves in Tahrir Square, like the tens of thousands of Egyptian workers who spontaneously came out on strike to raise their own demands, like the students here who found new and inventive ways of countering police repression, like the school kids who joined the student movement without waiting for an endless round of union ballots…..

 

The TUC and the Labour Party, as well as the numerous ‘left wing’ groups who act as their scouts, are there to keep protest and rebellion inside limits that are acceptable to the status quo. The TUC didn’t say very much in the period from 1997 to 2010 while its Labour friends launched a vast array attacks on workers’ living standards, attacks that the present government is just continuing and accelerating. That’s because the social situation was different – there was less danger that people would resist. Now that this danger is growing, the ‘official’ opposition is stepping in with its expertise in controlling mass movements and keeping them respectable. The trade unions do this on a daily basis by handcuffing workers to the legal rigmarole of balloting and the avoidance of ‘secondary’ action. And now, with March 26, they are doing it on a national scale: one big march from A to B, and we can all go home. And during the march itself the TUC will be working directly with Scotland Yard to ensure that the day goes entirely to their jointly agreed plans.

 

True, some of the more radical trade unions and political groups call for more than a one-off march: they want the TUC to ‘coordinate strike action’, even call a ‘general strike’. But these approaches just reinforce the idea that the best we can hope for is to get the official opposition to act more effectively on our behalf, rather than organising and spreading the struggle ourselves.      

 

If there is to be a real opposition to the ruling class and its assault on our lives, it’s not going to be content with one big demo: it has to be part of a much wider movement of strikes, occupations, demonstrations and other actions, controlled directly through mass meetings and willing to defy laws aimed at rendering resistance passive and divided.

 

And when we are taking part in demonstrations, whether local rallies or big national marches, let’s use them to make links between different centres of resistance, different sectors of the working class. Let’s organise our own street meetings where instead of listening to celebrity speakers we can freely exchange experiences from our own struggles and prepare for the battles of the future. Let all those who stand for independent, self-organised workers’ struggles use them as an opportunity to meet up and decide on how to connect to wider numbers of their class.

 

And let’s also use such occasions to challenge not only the deadening methods advocated by the official opposition, but also the false perspective they offer us for the future. The TUC ‘alternative’ of ‘jobs, growth, justice’, for example, is completely misleading: this system is in an irreversible crisis and can’t guarantee anyone’s job; even if was possible without vast increases in state debt, capitalist growth can only be based on increasing workers’ exploitation and further despoiling the environment; and a society based on the exploitation of one class by another can never achieve justice. In sum: inside of capitalism, there is no ‘alternative’ except increasing austerity and barbarism. The only real alternative is to fight against this regime of capitalism and in doing so prepare the ground for a total transformation of society. 

 

WR 5/3/11

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

Appeal for Korean Internationalists

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Appeal for Korean Internationalists

 

사노련 재판에 앞서 열린 기자회견
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the appeal to the international working class launched to assist the 8 accused members of the Socialist Workers League of Korea in January (see side panel) we have received the following news of the outcome.

 

The judge sentenced as follows;

  1. Oh Se-cheol, Yang Hyo-sik, Yang Joon-seok and Choi Young-ik : imprisonment of 1 1/2 years, but conditional delay of imprisonment for 3 years for violation of National Security Law, and a fine of 500,000 won ($500)each for violation of Assembly-Demonstration Law.
  2. Park Joon-seon, Jeong Won-hyun, Nam-goong Won and Oh Min-gyu : imprisonment of 1 year, but conditional delay of imprisonment for 2 years for violation of National Security Law, and fine of 500,000 won each for violation of Assembly-Demonstration Law.
  3.  

The meaning of the decision is as follows:

  1. The SWLK (Socialist Workers League of Korea) is judged to be an organization for propaganda and agitation for national disturbances, violating Article 7 of the National Security Law. It shows the political nature of Korean judicial branch, which is a part of state apparatus serving for the capitalist class.
  2. The conditional delay of imprisonment can be recognized as the result of Korean and international protest movement. The conditional respite for 3 years means that the imprisonment is suspended for 3 years on the condition of that there will be no other sentence for another crime, and after 3 years the validity of imprisonment sentence expires. But if there is another sentence during the next 3 years, imprisonment from this sentence will follow independently of any imprisonment for further convictions. So, the conditional respite of imprisonment is only a bit better than immediate imprisonment.
  3. We, the 8 accused will appeal this sentence to the high court.

 

    We will live and act confidently as revolutionary socialists without regard to the political oppression of the Korean state apparatus.

Thank you to all socialists and workers in the world who supported the judicial struggle of Korean socialists.

Please transmit our gratitude to the comrades of the world.

 

Now the appeal is asking for money to help pay the fines (1000 won = $1) and legal costs of the accused comrades. Money can be sent via the ICT paypal account but it would be better if it was sent to the paypal account of Loren Goldner at lrgoldner@yahoo.com

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크

(카다피와 차베스는 절친..) a friend in need is a friend indeed…

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"나의 적(敵)의 적은  나의 친구이고, 나를 절실히 필요로 하는 친구가 정말 친구다" 라는 따위의 외교정책은 사회주의 외교정책이 할짓이 아니다. 사회주의를 참칭하는 차베스여!

 

 

a friend in need is a friend indeed…

 

 

David Broder’s thoughts on the cosy ruling-class ties being pulled apart by the Middle East uprising

 

Like many of the great revolutions in history, the current wave of democratic uprisings surprised all the intelligence experts and media pundits. Not only has the hated NUS chief Aaron Porter been displaced in a palace coup, but so too have dictators such as Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.

This element of surprise in the Arab revolt has left many of the great and good caught with their pants down. If dictators are falling, it’s not the right ones, and the changed situation has left some cosy friendships rather exposed.

 

 

Neocons versus democracy

 

An article in today’s Times argued that the current democratic movement is a vindication of the ‘domino effect’ strategy for the war on Iraq (topple Saddam and other populations will struggle for democracy too): a view recently trailed in the Washington Post by Project For A New American Century ideologue Elliott Abrams.

Sadly this analysis has been rather undermined by the public statements on current events by the architects of the war, for example Tony Blair’s description of Hosni Mubarak (“Immensely courageous and a force for good”) or the views of Paul Wolfowitz (“It is wrong to say that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought to promote democracy… but once those regimes were removed we could not reimpose dictators”.)

 

Indeed, the currently-most-high-profile target of protest, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, was until recently held up as the model of a ‘convert’ rogue state, a pariah brought in from the cold. His 2003 decision to scrap Libyan WMD was itself used as a justification for the war in Iraq, showing that Western pressure works. He became respectable again, meeting with leaders such as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy. The now ‘anti-terrorist’ Gaddafi won further plaudits by building a string of detention centres along the country’s northern coast, the ‘front line’ of Fortress Europe’s battle to exclude ‘illegals’ migrating north across Africa. Last year’s release of Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi was no doubt in part a reward for Libya’s ‘good behaviour’.

The régime also sank roots in the UK establishment. My own university, London School of Economics, today announced the end of a programme in collaboration with the ‘Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation’, until now defended as “an NGO committed to the promotion of civil society and the development of democracy”. The university retracted this vile cant “in view of the highly distressing news from Libya over the weekend of 19-20 February”, as if this repression marked some sudden change of heart. Did these experts of political analysis not know of the 1996 prisoner massacre, which saw 1,000 deaths, or of Gaddafi’s personal attendance at his opponents’ executions? LSE went so far as to give the bloodsoaked dictator a platform: this lecture, by video link, took place just three months ago.

 

David Cameron has had to defend the UK’s record collaboration with the Libyan régime, to the point of selling it weapons. He advocates ‘peaceful reform’ only once the Arab crowd have already made a radical rupture a reality in the streets;  and elsewhere in the region blissful ignorance and arms trading can continue apace. They fear change more than they do the ‘calm’ of populations held in silence by terror. Still today the Saudi monarchy, the US’s most important Arab ally, goes unquestioned. Indeed, any other stance might somewhat torpedo Cameron’s current ‘trade mission’ around the Middle East, a whistle-stop tour of the region with former PM John Major in order to… sell weapons.

 

 

Formula 1

 

This morning at work I noticed a publication Computer Weekly, whose front page bore an image of protesting Egyptians and the headline ‘Will Egypt turmoil spark IT outsourcing crisis?’. Perhaps this glaring lack of perspective was connected with the fact that the magazine’s cellophane wrapper had as yet not been troubled by man or beast.

 

Recent debates over the fate of the planned Bahrain Grand Prix showed similar disregard for the gravity of events. Readers commenting on Formula 1 websites such as crash.net were split roughly half-and-half between those who advocated that the race be boycotted, and those who said it should be cancelled anyway because the track is “boring”.

 

Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone pointed to the hypocrisy of those who called for the motor racing circus to repudiate Bahrain only now that protests have broken out: “It seems as if people thought it was democratic a few weeks ago”. The implication was that at least he was standing by the dictator he had long supported, which hardly did him much credit.

 

The sport has strong commercial links with Gulf dictatorships, such as the Bahrain royal family’s part-ownership of the McLaren team (drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were thus barred from commenting on the matter). Moreover, recent races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi offered the spectacle of BBC journalists bowing and scraping before the desert kingdoms’ rulers – “thanks for putting on this lovely event”… never mind the brutal conditions of the pan-Asian migrant workforce who labour to build the tracks.

Many F1 personalities insisted on the need to “stay out of politics”, even though the desire to suppress protest before the race, a monument to the régime’s vanity, certainly did weigh on the Crown Prince’s mind. In fact, far from being apolitical, the sport has a long track record of association with far-right régimes: in the 1930s it was heavily based on Italy and Germany. Moreover, not only was the previous head of the motor racing governing body Max Mosley – son of blackshirt leader Oswald – but his predecessor Jean-Marie Balestre was a member of the Waffen SS.

 

 

Hugo Chávez

 

The Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is a rather odd addition to the ranks of Formula 1 sponsors, although Hugo Chávez has been keen to champion a new driver from the country, Pastor Maldonado. This move is somewhat surprising given that in 2009 on live TV Chávez ordered troops to occupy two golf courses, on the basis that the gentle pastime is “a bourgeois sport”.

But unlike the Grand Prix set, who have now abandoned the Bahrain race, Chávez is no mere fair-weather friend of Arab tyrants. The International of authoritarians sitting on lakes of oil is closer-knit than that.

 

Of course, as yet we do not know if William Hague’s claim that Colonel Gaddafi has fled to Venezuela is true. But what do we know? First and foremost, that Chávez has repeatedly and unequivocally voiced support for authoritarian and far-right régimes, and that Gaddafi stands prominently among these.

 

In September 2009 Gaddafi visited Chávez in Caracas (at the same time as Robert Mugabe) and signed a series of bilateral military and trade accords. Chávez presented Gaddafi with a sword supposedly used by Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar, and sealed a pact establishing Libya as his primary ally in the Middle East. The Venezuelan ambassador in Tripoli justified this alliance: “Libya is the gateway to Africa for us because it is a country well-known for its socialist policies that plays an important and strategic role for us.”

Perhaps all this was just an opportunist show of defiance: a finger in the eye of the United States. Maybe it was a gaffe. But if he offers refuge to the Libyan dictator as he is chased out by the just wrath of the people, then Chávez will show himself to be worse even than just a confused anti-imperialist, but as providing sanctuary for one of the world’s most reviled tyrants. ‘My enemy’s enemy is my friend’ plus ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’ does not a socialist foreign policy make.

진보블로그 공감 버튼트위터로 리트윗하기페이스북에 공유하기딜리셔스에 북마크