The left as it is called today is in support of Islam. This is amazing and absurd. Marx made it very clear that Islam was anti-humanitarian.


All of the left of today are working to promote the Islam Jihad. This is used by the capitalist system to cast a slur and a doubt upon socialism and Marxism, also on Trotskyism and on Leninism.


There are thus two sides. There is the betrayal of the left of today in backing clerical fascism, such as backing the clerical fascists in Iran, and their backers in Hizbullah, Hamas and Fatah.


And secondly there is the use that is being made of this backing by the left of clerical Fascism by the capitalist class and the capitalist state. It is a very old tactic by capitalism and Imperialism.



The question is how far these left backers of clerical fascism, in other words backers of Islam, are actually agents and in the pay of a capitalist class and system which is in ever deeper crisis. Some are, the majority are  not, just they are gripped by the reactionary ideology which Richard Landes refers to as “lying narratives” centred on the “Palestinians”.


There is only one way to find out, and that is to build the alternative in themarxistblog and be totally on guard against these most likely paid provocateurs of the capitalist system. That is agents provocateur of the capitalist system inside the workers movement. BUILD THE ALTERNATIVE







Sean Matgamna

Sean Matgamna examines the prospects of the Arab Revolution, and compares it to certain events in recent history.


BEGINS HERE…The Arab revolution, the inspiring mass popular movement for freedom and democracy, sweeping across the Middle East might be compared to the “Springtime of the Peoples”, in 1848, when mass popular revolution spread from France to Germany, then to other countries, such as Hungary and Italy.


Most of them were quickly defeated.


Today the nearest modern equivalent — so far — is the collapse of East European and Russian Stalinism, in 1989-91. A tremendous mass movement demanding and embodying “democracy” and demanding “western standards” swept from country to country and finally to Russia, Stalinism’s heartland.


European Stalinism which had seemed solid, congealed, immovable faded to next to nothing in a very short time. As many of the Arab regimes seem to be doing.


There is something else that, in its early stage, also had much in common with the Arab revolution now: the Iranian revolution of 1978-9. There too a tremendous mass movement brought down the autocratic regime of the crowned king, the Shah.


The great and for now unanswerable question hanging over the Middle East is whether the Arab revolution of 2011 will culminate in the East European model, the established if flawed bourgeois democratic regimes, or the Iranian.


In Iran — which, though Muslim, is not Arab — the great mass movement in which workers struck, and set up factory councils; and in which women played an important part, quickly led to mass-based Islamist totalitarianism — a clerical-fascist regime that has been in power now for a third of a century.


In terms of the treatment of women and levels of repression, that regime has been worse than the Shah’s. It was not something imposed on the people, a contending political movement that overthrew and suppressed those who made the 1978-9 revolution. It was there in the revolutionary movement all along.


Its proponents had led the revolution. They had talked of “democracy”, denounced the Shah’s “repressions” and led many in Iran, as well as outside it, to think they were against repression per se. They talked of “democracy” which was understood in the west in terms of bourgeois-democracy, but by which they meant their own theocratic rule, backed by mass popular support.


In power, they quickly repressed all those who objected to the imposition of a Sharia-based regime in place of the modernising dictatorship of the Shah.


Right now, conditions and forces, and therefore likely results, despite the common cry for democracy and dignity and an end to corruption, vary greatly from country to country.


Compared to the outcome in the fall of Stalinism, the differences between now and then are instructive. Most of the people of Eastern Europe and Russia were very hostile to Stalinism. Even the ruling class had lost all belief in their own system. In Romania, some miners at first rallied to the old regime, but mostly the working class was very hostile to the old system too.


They had as their ideal the freedom and plenty they thought they saw in Western Europe and America. The nationalism of different identities played a large part, but there were no aspirant Stalinist or fascist, or clerical-fascist movements preparing an alternative to the ruling Stalinists — or to bourgeois democracy. Western Europe and US democracy and liberty was their model and goal against the old regimes. Intellectuals influenced by the West were politically and intellectually dominant. The churches offered no other system or goal.


In the Arab world now vast numbers of young people see on the internet and on the satellite TV stations the ideal they want. But what “democracy” means in these countries is undefined and has different dormant meanings. Islamist movements are powerful — movements which politically as well as religiously demand the remodelling of society according to Sharia law. The age-old mix of custom and religion demands the subordination and suppression of women. With them, religion is also a political programme.


Despite the near-uncritical accord in the Western media that these are “democratic” movement, it is impossible that political Islam is in these societies as insignificant as it seems now, where the cry for “freedom” and “democracy” seems to unite the people. Within that cry there are many different definitions of democracy. The Islamists are for “freedom” now, but they mean freedom for their religion. And to deny freedom to sin against Allah. By “democracy”, they mean freedom for their “majority” to impose their ideas on society.


When the most powerful mass movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, says that it no longer aspires to control Egypt, only political fools will take their word for it.


The outcome of the Arab spring will be shaped by the interaction and conflict of political-social movements. Central is the fact that the old states, and the old army regimes — in Egypt, for example — remain in being. In that conflict Islamist politics have a tremendous advantages. The Shia have clerical hierarchies that can — as in Iran — function as a powerful political party, (as the Catholic churches sometimes did in Europe).


They can harness the rural population, including the rural poor. They can gain strength, as they already do, from those disoriented by the “Western values” and the dislocation and by horrors of that capitalist system which accompany bourgeois “democracy” and “liberty”.


Their medievalist criticism of modern bourgeois society can win support for an Islamist political programme.


It is here a variant of what Marx and Engels called “reactionary socialism” — the desire to go back from an existing bourgeois system to an idealised Middle Ages and beyond. It can and does amalgamate Islamist criticism of Western society and its sinful systems with “anti-imperialism” — an anti-imperialism as reactionary as its “alternative to capitalism”.


By contrast, the labour movements in Egypt and elsewhere, are weak, and qualitatively more so than the forces of Islamist reaction now being unleashed.


Socialism is what it is everywhere — weak and still trying to get its political bearings. The idea that in the Middle East the “masses” can quickly become socialist, unleash a “process of permanent revolution”, and offer a socialist alternative can not but function in socialist observers to dissolve political standards, critical faculties and sober political judgment — and replace them with open-mouthed credulity and naivety towards political Islam.


During the Iranian Revolution, 1978-9, the left took that attitude — in different degrees, but all of us to some degree.


We must critically assess what is happening, and do everything we properly can to encourage and help the labour movements and, though they are far from identical, the socialists in the Arab countries. We have a right to allow ourselves to be inspired. We do not have a right to switch our political minds off. END QUOTE


COMMENT BY themarxistblog


There are many key paragraphs in the above but I will chose one for special attention, but choosing one does not mean that others are not representative of the atrocious politics of Matgamma, especially where he clearly departs from the views of Trotsky and does not defend the Russian Revolution, and gains of the Russian Revolution, despite the betrayals to those gains by Stalin and Stalinism.


The paragraph I chose for special attention is where Matgamma says that Khomeini was “worse” than the Shah, as if it was a popularity stakes. No the forces of Fascist Clericalism were the exact opposite of the secularism of the Shah (I can only conjecture as to why the capitalist west was backing Khomeini. Perhaps they want the billions of poor to be shackled by Islam and especially the 50 per cent, the women, to be shackled by Islam.


For a socialist there was a choice, and between Khomeini and the Shah the Shah had to be defended because the Shah represented secularism. Does that mean uncritical support of the Shah. No! It meant keeping the Islamist Fascists out of power and a defence of the Shah meat a defence in those conditions of defence against Sharia. That is all. That is what Matgamma did not get:


In terms of the treatment of women and levels of repression, that regime has been worse than the Shah’s. It was not something imposed on the people, a contending political movement that overthrew and suppressed those who made the 1978-9 revolution. It was there in the revolutionary movement all along.


Is this splitting of hairs? No, because in 2011 Matgamma did not defend Mubarak either, nor Gadhafi, nor Ben Ali, nor Gaghbo who is now in the Hague, and so on.


Facilitators of the Jihad…





How not to build against EDL

Submitted on 22 May, 2013 – 18:36

Ed Whitby, Newcastle AWL

The racist English Defence League are marching in Newcastle on 25 May against plans to open an Islamic faith school.

Workers’ Liberty Newcastle is taking part in the counterprotests, to help our city’s Muslim community defend themselves against racist harassment by the EDL. (We oppose all religious schools – Christian, Muslim or whatever – but that is hardly the issue here.)

The Socialist Workers Party has initiated a counter-protest, working with local community leaders from the West End, including Labour councillor Dipu Ahad, as well as local trade unions including the CPB-led Trades Council – under the banner “NE Unites Against the EDL”.

Below is a report from Newcastle supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group/Fight Racism Fight Imperialism, about their exclusion from this campaign.

Workers’ Liberty has many criticisms of the SWP’s approach to fighting fascism (eg see here), and of FRFI’s attitude to working with right-wing/bureaucratic labour movement representatives (see here). But in the face of the threat from the far right, we would want to work with both to defend our communities from attack.

In February activists from Workers’ Liberty, FRFI, the SWP, the Socialist Party and the Labour Party, as well as many non-aligned activists, worked together to build a 2,000-strong anti-cuts demonstration in Newcastle. We did not hide our differences, but worked together in the class struggle while disagreeing and criticising each other.

This time, in initiating “NE Unites Against the EDL”, the SWP have organised closed meetings which exclude many other left-wing activists. Workers’ Liberty members and supporters received no invites, despite playing an important role in local trade union, student and anti-cuts organisations which could build the anti-EDL mobilisation. And, following that, we were told we were banned from planning meetings, with no explanation, and removed from Facebook events simply for asking questions.

And FRFI comrades were treated worse still. As explained in their statement, RCG members were threatened and bullied by an SWP organiser and another Trades Council representative, made worse by the use of sexist language.

These things, which should be totally unknown in our movement, are clearly intended to help enforce the SWP’s desire to exclude other socialists from the campaign. Clearly planning for anti-fascist activism requires a certain degree of caution and security, but it seems clear this is nothing to do with that. A serious working-class fightback against racism and fascism cannot be built on that basis: the SWP’s antics have undermined the fight against the EDL.

Sexism is something that the left should be leading the fight on. In the past macho posturing and patronising women has been only too common in the fight against racism and fascism. This behaviour should be condemned by any socialist or labour movement body. It leads to many women and others feeling the left and labour movement are not a place for them. We should fight this. It is especially shocking that this appears acceptable to the SWP after the debates in the party in recent months.

We say this as people who, as explained above, disagree with the RCG’s absolutist attitude to working with bureaucratic Labour Party and trade union leaders. Preventing Labour councillors etc from speaking in all circumstances can alienate trade unionists, Labour Party members and other working-class people who we have to win over.

None of that justifies the shameful behaviour of the SWP and its allies. We demand they stop wrecking the anti-fascist movement. We demand they hold to account members accused of sexism and aggressive behaviour.

Open criticism and honest debate is part of the socialist tradition which the SWP claims to stand in. It is also an essential part of fighting the far right. We will be mobilising on 25 June in that spirit – the demand for real debate in our movement, combined with unity in action against the common enemy.

Statement from Revolutionary Communist Group / FRFI

FRFI in Newcastle has a record of fighting fascism in unity with other forces, including standing with Newcastle Occupy when it was attacked by drunken EDL thugs in 2011. Yet on 7 May, Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) District Organiser Yunus Bakhsh launched a vicious, sexist attack on Newcastle FRFI supporters when they attempted to join a planning meeting of Newcastle Unites against the EDL. Focusing his vitriol on a female comrade, Dionne, Bakhsh did what the SWP does more and more often today: defend Labour Party officials no matter how appalling their anti-working class record.

Newcastle Unites against the EDL is a coalition of Labour councillors, the SWP/Unite against Fascism and local trade union leaders, set up to counter a national EDL demonstration in Newcastle on 25 May against the proposed conversion of a building into an Islamic faith school. However, while posing as democrats, Newcastle Unites has met in secret, making it clear that it does not want to include those with a real record of fighting fascism. The SWP has been policing this, ensuring that there is no challenge to the Labour councillors involved who only two months ago voted unanimously for £100m cuts to local services.

Having found out that Newcastle Unites was meeting on 7 May in the TUC Centre against Unemployment, three FRFI supporters including Dionne tried to gain entry. Bakhsh immediately confronted them saying there had been a vote at a previous meeting to exclude FRFI because, along with others, its supporters had heckled Labour MP Grahame Morris for his support for Britain’s wars when he spoke at the 2012 May Day rally. When Dionne challenged Bakhsh, he went ballistic, screaming ‘I am not going to listen to politics from someone who doesn’t know shit’, and stood in front of her gesticulating wildly. When Dionne demanded he back off, he got in her face and threatened her: ‘What are you going to do about it, love?’

Bakhsh was not alone. James Simpkin, Secretary of Newcastle TUC, was also involved, telling the FRFI comrade ‘I’ve got the keys to the building, I run the building, and I am telling you to get out’. A female comrade from the Socialist Party arrived at this point and argued that it was wrong to exclude FRFI. Bakhsh turned on her saying that if she didn’t like it she could get out, and if the Socialist Party kept criticising Labour they too would be kicked out. An Asian supporter of FRFI, who pointed out that he was a target of the EDL and yet was being excluded from the meeting, was simply ignored.

As Dionne turned to leave, Simpkin grabbed her by the upper arm and attempted to shove her out of the building – a common assault. Once she was outside Simpkin shouted at her to move away from the door. When she refused he said ‘Go away little girl, or I’ll call the police’ before slamming the door. Several minutes later, as Dionne was talking to an independent anti-fascist, Simpkin walked up behind her and blasted an air-horn directly into her left ear, before laughing and returning inside. The confrontation was observed by Labour councillor Dipu Ahad, the public face of Newcastle Unites. He did nothing: he needs the support of the likes of Bakhsh, the SWP and Simpkin to protect him against criticism for voting for the council cuts.

The stance of Newcastle Unites in excluding those with a record of fighting fascism because they are against the rotten politics of the Labour Party is gross sectarianism. The sexist, bullying behaviour of Bakhsh and Simpkin in defending this is contemptible. FRFI demands a full apology from both.



A small workers statist minority left to join the International Socialist Group in 1992, arguing that the AWL was wrong to support the ban on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the coup attempt of 1991.[3] Subsequently, the AWL adopted a number of other positions associated with Third Camp socialism.’_Liberty






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