We need a new Marxist left. The one we have is largely degenerate.
What other conclusion can we draw from the following:
At the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts conference on 28-29 January, members of the SWP, Counterfire and Socialist Action voted against a motion opposing war and sanctions on Iran — originally proposed by Counterfire members — because their motion had been amended to include the words:
“The war waged by the tyrannical, misogynist, homophobic, anti-working class regime against Iranian student activists and trade unionists, women and LGBT people.”
And, “To make links with left-wing Iranian student organisations and Iranian trade unionist and socialist groups, and reaffirm our solidarity with them against both war and the regime led by Ahmadinejad.”
In other words the motion was opposed because it now contained criticism of the Iranian regime.
The mover, a member of the AWL, made it plain that the AWL opposed war and sanctions and the amended motion included all of that opposition! So why did these “Marxists” vote against this amendment?
These socialist groups are not simple opponents of war. No, in any conflict between the Western powers — or the specially hated Israel — and a state such as Iran, Libya or Syria, they are supporters of those fighting the West. But they are never brave enough to say so, explicitly and clearly.
These “Marxists” back regional imperialisms like Iran, which not only oppresses Kurds, Baluchis, and Azerbaijanis within Iran itself, but also has its mucky hands in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and western Afghanistan. They feel unable to allow criticism of the states they support.
So the British ‘Marxists’’ support for ultra-reactionary Iran seeps out — in this case in an opposition to an amendment criticising Iran.
It doesn’t matter how reactionary the state is. How much worse can a regime get than the Syrian state which bombs its own cities with mortars and tank fire? Or the Iranian state which hangs opponents from cranes in public squares? The British “left” lines up with any opponent of the West.
Nor does it matter what the conflict is about. In the case of Iran the British left is, not just opposing the big power military threats of the US and its allies. It is in fact, weighing in for the right of the fascistic Iranian state to develop nuclear weapons.
Now the former SWP leader, Counterfire member, and Stop the War convenor, Lindsey German has backed the “right” of (non-Western) Russia and China to oppose a UN resolution opposing the repression in Syria. Quoted in the Morning Star she said they “had been absolutely within their rights to veto the resolution.”
At the same time Russia was using its veto the Syrian regime was massacring scores of its own people in Homs.
And German adds: “The question of what goes on in Syria must be for the Syrian people.” The problem, of course, is that the Syrian people are not free to choose. They are fighting for the right to choose – and we should back them!
The Star continues to explain away: “The reason the resolution was vetoed is because of the previous resolution regarding Libya which was not supposed to be about regime change but turned out to be exactly that.” As if Russia and China are champions of democratic transparency!
German continued: “Every Western intervention in the Middle East has been disastrous and Syria would be no different.”
Still avoiding any criticism of the Syrian murderers, German ignores the concrete progress that has been made in Libya — the ousting of a murderous regime — as a result of a anti-regime uprising aided by Western bombing.
The root of the problem is that these “leftists” have lost any sense of what they are for.
We must return liberty and freedom to the heart and soul of the Marxist project.