Monday, November 12, 2018

The Debate - Saudi War on Yemen (The Battle of Hudaydah)

Karen Nussbaum: Class Consciousness in the USA ?

If Class Consciousness underlies developments  in USA that would be the best news - a class wave not a blue wave - class is more fundamental and calls for a radical to revolutionary transformation in USA not the demo republican merry go round..

Israel-Gaza violence: "We are on the precipice of another conflict"

This was an Israeli provocation we do not agree with the commentator on French TV - it is part of US Israeli  Gaza to Gulf conflict against Iran with has been ratcheted up in tandem with Gulf developments.

Rogue States : USA and Israel endangering world peace provoking Iran

Banks in Iran have started sending letters to their branches, informing them that they will be cut off from the international financial messaging system SWIFT starting Monday.

Being cut off from SWIFT makes it difficult for Iran to get paid for exports and to pay for imports.
SWIFT’s chief executive Gottfried Leibbrandt had earlier confirmed the messaging service will start disconnecting some Iranian banks. Last week, the Belgium-based organization announced that it would be suspending some unspecified Iranian banks’ access to its messaging system.

Following US warnings dissuading port operators from allowing Iranian tankers to dock, Iran’s top brass pushed back by reiterating that its navy is ready to protect ships against any threats.
Iran’s military is “prepared today as in the past” to protect against “any threats,” and to ensure the safe passage of Iranian oil tankers, Rear-Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a deputy commander of the regular armed forces, said on Monday, Iranian news agency ISNA reports.

He stressed that any “hindrances” to Iran’s right to use international waterways “would be clearly unacceptable.”

The comments come a week after the United States unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Tehran’s oil, shipping and banking industries. Although it’s unclear whether other nations will abide by Washington’s diktats, US officials have hinted that Iranian ships will no longer be welcome in international waters.

A botched Israeli undercover mission killed at least seven Palestinians and an Israeli officer in the Gaza Strip, authorities said Monday.

Israeli officers used a civilian vehicle to sneak into Gaza for an intelligence-gathering mission. 

The forces assassinated one of Hamas' commanders, fatally shooting him before fleeing. Hamas fighters caught up with the vehicle and killed one of the undercover officers

Soft Target Gaza TV Station bombed by Israel - this will not have a good ending -from Straits of Hormuz to Gaza things are about to blow - if they have not already blown

A New Era Dawns in Cuba; Meanwhile Russia Renews Her Special Relationship

Sunday, November 11, 2018

How U.S Will Start Iran War Revealed by Jimmy Dore

Iran's President: Washington failed to cut oil sales - Pompeo makes Iran Starvation Threat

No satisfied withe the starvation in Yemen Pompeo makes threat to starve Iran - where is the outrage at this remark ?

Let's remember the victims of the British Army - Remembrance Day 2018

The late World War 1 Veteran Harry Patch said it all War is organised Murder - and the murder takes part in all armies including the British - if we are serious about ending war we need to end capitalism - we have known that for a 100 years but failed to do it - after the next war we may not have the chance for change - it may just be slow planetary death.

Against Illusions: Imperialism and War and the Grand Illusion of Peace

Norman Angell's Great Illusion of 1909 that Oligarchs and capitalism would bring peace - Angell argued that war between industrial countries was futile because conquest did not pay - it has echoes today.

Capitalism and its final Imperialist form means War as Lenin clearly pointed out in 1916 in his study Imperialism as reality hit home in 1914 -1918 and the Great Illusion was destroyed.

2018 - Now is a Great Time to be a Communist - Declaration of the Launch of the Proletarian Left

Democracy and Class Struggle  remembers the German Student Movement of the 1960's in Heidelberg and Stuttgart and how they inspired the current Editor Of  Democracy and Class Struggle - we take inspiration from Germany again today from comrades in their latest text.

101 years ago today amidst the bloodshed of the First World War and as most of the world was chocked in the chains of colonialism, Lenin’s Bolsheviks lead the October Revolution establishing for the first time the dictatorship of the proletariat, thereby launching a revolutionary wave that would define the 20th century. 

However, in the years leading up to this revolution, it seemed as if everything was going wrong for the working class. 

The Second International at the head of the worker’s movement had taken the path of opportunism and ultimately pro-war chauvinism.

Those who stayed true to Marxism and internationalism were ridiculed and said to be insignificant. 

However, it was exactly these conditions that made evident the collapse of the Second International and the utter bankruptcy of social democracy. 

This combined with the effort to redivide the world between imperialist powers in the World War set the conditions for the victory of the proletariat in Russia.

Similarly brutal conditions set the stage for the next world-historic revolution: the Chinese Revolution. 

After having their base areas decimated and facing seemingly inevitable defeat, the People’s Liberation Army under the leadership of Mao Zedong undertook the Long March to evade the Kuomintang and establish a new base area in a distant corner of the country. 

From there they carried through the protracted people’s war with a comparatively small force, building it up until they defeated not only the Kuomintang and their imperialist backers, but also the Japanese fascist invaders. 

After the victory of the PLA and establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the red flag flew over an additional 600 million people and the proletariat ruled one third of the globe.

Not only do these world-historic revolutions prove that any protracted struggle by the revolutionary armed masses cannot lose, but also that they thrive in the most difficult and violent conditions.

Imperialism today is quickly rebuilding these conditions for its own demise. 

What is required is that we act correctly upon these conditions to make them revolutionary, which means organising and acting as communists. 

Many well-intended leftists seem to have a backwards  understanding of this and see the imperialist mobilisation for World War, the fascisation of the state, the generalisation of surveillance, and the developing global ecological catastrophe as reasons to regress to the right and stay within the comfortable bounds of movementism, legalism and opportunism. 

They do not realise that their incorrect ideas are transferring the right-wing upsurge into the Left and leading the working class and all of humanity to catastrophe.

In today’s early stages of renewed inter-imperialist conflict, the imperialists seem unbeatable, but they are tiny and weak compared to the masses. 

Even the mighty US military has a laughable record of failure in most of its imperialist interventions since the Korean War. 

This combined with today’s unprecedented concentration of wealth, ecological catastrophe, anti-war sentiment, mass migration, modern communication and accumulated lessons of the proletarian struggle produce prime conditions for communist work. 

Now is not the time to retreat, but to attack. 

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Bourgeois “democracy” today offers the masses two choices: neoliberalism or fascism. 

For decades, conservatives, liberals and social democrats alike have supported neoliberalism and the wretched world they helped create is used to funnel people into the fascist camp. Neoliberalism and fascism are the two hands of the imperialist bourgeoisie used to exploit and manipulate the people. It is time to break both of these hands and cut off the head. But how?

The principal task of communists in the FRG today is to show the masses that there is another way and to lead them along it. This way is the rise to power of the proletariat and it can only be developed and carried through with the leadership of a genuinely revolutionary communist party. 

Our first priority is the construction of this party in collaboration with all revolutionary forces in this country. We will not waste our time with anti-communist “leftists”, stubborn old revisionists, dishonest “comrades”, poser crews preoccupied with looking as radical as possible, and other lost opportunists. 

We are also finished with the same old movementist losing strategy of just organising demonstrations to “raise awareness”, maybe doing some social work, sponsoring whatever union struggles spontaneously emerge, voting for “the lesser evil” every few years, and then repeating this same cycle hoping each time that the result will be anything else than more gains for the fascists. 

Our goal is to develop new communist mass work that integrates the masses into combative proletarian organisations to serve the revolution, a revolution that will be the violent overthrow of one class by another and will mark the end of the FRG. Principal in this development is the question of political line. 

Only by combining honest internal debate and struggle on the lessons of the communist movement with parallel mass work informing us on the correct theory and practice for today can we begin to develop a a correct line for the communist party that will bury German imperialism for good. 

Political line is no abstract topic, but rather the fundamental principles that guide our short-term and long-term plans

We do not expect to settle all political questions from the beginning, but a certain level of ideological clarity and agreement must be achieved to not fall apart and avoid the pitfalls of opportunism and revisionism that ultimately uphold capitalism and imperialism.

We, the Proletarian Left, have recognised the necessity of communism and call on all genuine communists in this country to join with us in the effort to develop the communist movement in the FRG and particularly in the South-West. 

Although we are mostly Maoists, we see it as absolutely necessary to work with all genuine communists and revolutionaries. We trust that as long we develop together through rigorous internal struggle and anchor ourselves in the masses, we cannot go astray and the red line will advance.

Now is a great time to be a communist!

Build the Communist Party!

All power to the proletariat!

The Proletarian Left


Imperialism Economic or Military is War - OCML Voie Prolétarienne

The presence of Trump at the Remembrance Day ceremonies has rightly unleashed a storm of anger and protest. 

With his economic ultraliberalism, persecuting migrants, sexism and racism, sweeping away the already scant environmental measures in place and his aggressive international warmongering, the US President is the very portrait of a new world order ruled exclusively by the law of the jungle.

But Trump is by no means alone. He stands alongside Putin, representing the rise of renewed Russian imperial in Syria and Africa. 

There’s Netanyahu, the butcher of the Palestinian people and the prison screw of Gaza, representing the Zionist State, the spearhead of Western imperialism in the Near East. 

Then there’s Merkel and of course Macron, those Western imperialists who face off their competitors with protected economic zones crumbling under the weight of the globalised monopolies and the sale of arms to areas within their sphere of influence.

France, with its government and its multinationals, is one of the world’s leading arms dealers. And more than anywhere else, they are not held accountable for these sales. 

All the more worrying when France sells arms to the fascist regime of Saudi Arabia used to bomb and starve the children of Yemen, a war waged by the coalition of the reactionary Arab monarchies with the blessing of Western powers.

France continues to play at policing its erstwhile colonies, never failing to support the brutal murderers in power such as Biya in Cameroon and Sassou-Ngesso in the Congo, and having previously supplied the genocidal murderers in Rwanda with arms, they are now arming the militia in the Central African Republic, etc. 

Yes, Trump is waging a war against the peoples, but Macron is no better.

Only Xi Jinping is missing, the President of imperialist China stealing a march on his competitors in Latin America, Asia and Africa, vying as a direct rival to the USA.

Trump is war, that much is clear. But so too are Putin, Macron and all the rest.

Faced with a global crisis, an environmental crisis and the risk of a new financial crash like that of ten years ago, imperialism tends to toughen economic liberalism and all-out economic war.

Whatever strategies are rolled out by the imperialist powers (liberalisation, protectionism by word or deed, warmongering and military interventions, etc.), for everyone it will be a question of surviving or redefining one’s position in an increasingly fierce worldwide economic war.

Imperialism always means war everywhere just as surely as clouds bring rain.

Our arm is international solidarity, the joint struggle against the economic, social and environmental “catastrophe of Capitalism”. Solidarity with the Brazilian, Italian, Russian and American antifascists, support for the Chinese workers on strike against monopolies, support for the peoples of Africa, Latin America and Asia against imperialist looting, wherever it may come from.

Down with Trump, Poutine, Netanyahu and their cronies !

Against imperialism, Long live unity between the workers and the peoples of the World !

Macron, you’re our enemy here !

OCML Voie Prolétarienne, 8 November 2018


Imperialist War - Trotsky's Opportunism Revealed by Lenin : "The Defeat of One's Own Government in the Imperialist War by V. I. LENIN (Jul 26, 1915)

Our Comrades have recently had the opportunity to expose Trotskyist lies about the Second World War  especially the period between 1939 - 1941

Imperialist War is an achilles heel of Trotskyism amd Lenin exposed the reactionary high flown phraselogy of Trotsky on Imperialist War during the First World War and it is time we learned the lessons of history

During a reactionary war a revolutionary class cannot but desire the defeat of its government.

This is axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless satellites of the social-chauvinists. 

Among the former, for instance, is Semkovsky of the Organising Committee (No. 2 of its Izvestia), and among the latter, Trotsky and Bukvoyed,[2] and Kautsky in Germany. 

To desire Russia’s defeat, Trotsky writes, is “an uncalled-for and absolutely unjustifiable concession to the political methodology of social-patriotism, which would replace the revolutionary struggle against the war and the conditions causing it, with an orientation—highly arbitrary in the present conditions—towards the lesser evil” (Nashe Slovo No. 105).

This is an instance of high-flown phraseology with which Trotsky always justifies opportunism

A “revolutionary struggle against the war” is merely an empty and meaning less exclamation, something at which the heroes of the Second International excel, unless it means revolutionary action against one’s own government even in wartime. 

One has only to do some thinking in order to understand this. Wartime revolutionary action against one’s own government indubitably means, not only desiring its defeat, but really facilitating such a defeat. ("Discerning reader”: note that this does not mean “blowing up bridges”, organising unsuccessful strikes in the war industries, and ·in general helping the government defeat the revolutionaries.)

The phrase-bandying Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue. 

It seems to him that to desire Russia’s defeat means desiring the victory of Germany. (Bukvoyed and Semkovsky give more direct expression to the “thought”, or rather want of thought, which they share with Trotsky.) But Trotsky regards this as the “methodology of social-patriotism"! To help people that are unable to think for themselves, the Berne resolution (Sotsial Demokrat No. 40)[1] made it clear, that in all imperialist countries the proletariat must now desire the defeat of its own government. 

Bukvoyed and Trotsky preferred to avoid this truth, while Semkovsky (an opportunist who is more useful to the working class than all the others, thanks to his naively frank reiteration of bourgeois wisdom) blurted out the following: “This is nonsense, because either Germany or Russia can win” (Izvestia No. 2).

Take the example of the Paris Commune. France was defeated by Germany but the workers were defeated by Bismarck and Thiers!

Had Bukvoyed and Trotsky done a little thinking, they would have realised that they have adopted the viewpoint on the war held by governments and the bourgeoisie, i.e., that they cringe to the “political methodology of social-patriotism”, to use Trotsky’s pretentious language.

A revolution in wartime means civil war; the conversion of a war between governments into a civil war is, on the one hand, facilitated by military reverses ("defeats") of governments; on the other hand, one cannot actually strive for such a conversion without thereby facilitating defeat.

The reason why the chauvinists (including the Organising Committee and the Chkheidze group) repudiate the defeat “slogan” is that this slogan alone implies a consistent call for revolutionary action against one’s own government in wartime. Without such action, millions of ultra-revolutionary phrases such as a war against “the war and the conditions, etc." are not worth a brass farthing.

Anyone who would in all earnest refute the “slogan” of defeat for one’s own government in the imperialist war should prove one of three things: (1) that the war of 1914-15 is not reactionary, or (2) that a revolution stemming from that war is impossible, or (3) that co-ordination and mutual aid are possible between revolutionary movements in all the   belligerent countries. The third point is particularly important to Russia, a most backward country, where an immediate socialist revolution is impossible. That is why the Russian Social-Democrats had to be the first to advance the “theory and practice” of the defeat “slogan”. The tsarist government was perfectly right in asserting that the agitation conducted by the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group in the Duma—the sole instance in the International, not only of parliamentary opposition but of genuine revolutionary anti-government agitation among the masses—that this agitation has weakened Russia’s “military might” and is likely to lead to its defeat. This is a fact to which it is foolish to close one’s eyes.

The opponents of the defeat slogan are simply afraid of themselves when they refuse to recognise the very obvious fact of the inseparable link between revolutionary agitation against the government and helping bring about its defeat.

Are co-ordination and mutual aid possible between the Russian movement, which is revolutionary in the bourgeois- democratic sense, and th  socialist movement in the West? No socialist who has publicly spoken on the matter during the last decade has doubted this, the movement among the Austrian proletariat after October 17, 1905,[3] actually proving it possible.

Ask any Social-Democrat who calls himself an internationalist whether or not he approves of an understanding between the Social-Democrats of the various belligerent countries on joint revolutionary action against all belligerent governments. Many of them will reply that it is impossible, as Kautsky has done (Die Neue Zeit, October 2, 1914), thereby fully proving his social-chauvinism. This, on the one hand, is a deliberate and vicious lie, which clashes with the generally known facts and the Basle Manifesto. On the other hand, if it were true, the opportunists would be quite right in many respects!

Many will voice their approval of such an understanding. To this we shall say: if this approval is not hypocritical, it is ridiculous to think that, in wartime and for the conduct of a war, some “formal” understanding is necessary, such as the election of representatives, the arrangement of a meeting, the signing of an agreement, and the choice of the day   and hour! Only the Semkovskys are capable of thinking so. An understanding on revolutionary action even in a single country, to say nothing of a number of countries, can be achieved only by the force of the example of serious revolutionary action, by launching such action and developing it. However, such action cannot be launched without desiring the defeat of the government, and without contributing to such a defeat. The conversion of the imperialist war into a civil war cannot be “made”, any more than a revolution can be “made”. It develops out of a number of diverse phenomena, aspects, features, characteristics and consequences of the imperialist war. That development is impossible without a series of military reverses and defeats of governments that receive blows from their own oppressed classes.

To repudiate the defeat slogan means allowing one’s revolutionary ardour to degenerate into an empty phrase, or sheer hypocrisy.

What is the substitute proposed for the defeat slogan? It is that of “neither victory nor defeat” (Semkovsky in Izvestia No. 2; also the entire Organising Committee in No. 1). This, however, is nothing but a paraphrase of the “defence of the fatherland” slogan. It means shifting the issue to the level of a war between governments (who, according to the content of this slogan, are to keep to their old stand, “retain their positions"), and not to the level of the struggle of the oppressed classes against their governments! It means justifying the chauvinism of all the imperialist nations, whose bourgeoisie are always ready to say—and do say to the people—that they are “only” fighting “against defeat”. “The significance of our August 4 vote was that we are not for war but against defeat," David, a leader of the opportunists, writes in his book. The Organising Committee, together with Bukvoyed and Trotsky, stand on fully the same ground as David when they defend the “neither-victory nor-defeat” slogan.

On closer examination, this slogan will be found to mean a “class truce”, the renunciation of the class struggle by the oppressed classes in all belligerent countries, since the class struggle is impossible without dealing blows at one’s “own” bourgeoisie, one’s “own” government, whereas dealing a   blow at one’s own government in wartime is (for Bukvoyed’s information) high treason, means contributing to the defeat of one’s own country. Those who accept the “neither victory-nor-defeat” slogan can only be hypocritically in favour of the class struggle, of “disrupting the class truce”; in practice, such people are renouncing an independent proletarian policy because they subordinate the proletariat of all belligerent countries to the absolutely bourgeois task of safeguarding the imperialist governments against defeat. The only policy of actual, not verbal disruption of the “class truce”, of acceptance of the class struggle, is for the proletariat to take advantage of the difficulties experienced by its government and its bourgeoisie in order to overthrow them. This, however, cannot be achieved or striven for, without desiring the defeat of one’s own government and without contributing to that defeat.

When, before the war, the Italian Social-Democrats raised the question of a mass strike, the bourgeoisie replied, no doubt correctly from their own point of view, that this would be high treason, and that Social-Democrats would be dealt with as traitors. That is true, just as it is true that fraternisation in the trenches is high treason. Those who write against “high treason”, as Bukvoyed does, or against the “disintegration of Russia”, as Semkovsky does, are adopting the bourgeois, not the proletarian point of view. A proletarian cannot deal a class blow at his government or hold out (in fact) a hand to his brother, the proletarian of the “foreign” country which is at war with “our side”, without committing “high treason”, without contributing to the defeat, to the disintegration of his “own”, imperialist “Great” Power.

Whoever is in favour of the slogan of “neither victory nor defeat” is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; at best he is a conciliatory petty bourgeois but in any case he is an -enemy to proletarian policy, a partisan of the existing ·governments, of the present-day ruling classes.

Let us look at the question from yet another angle. The war cannot but evoke among the masses the most turbulent sentiments, which upset the usual sluggish state of mass mentality. Revolutionary tactics are impossible if they are not adjusted to these new turbulent sentiments.

What are the main currents of these turbulent sentiments? They are: (1) Horror and despair. Hence, a growth of religious feeling. Again the churches are crowded, the reactionaries joyfully declare. “Wherever there is suffering there is religion," says the arch-reactionary Barr s. He is right, too. (2) Hatred of the “enemy”, a sentiment that is carefully fostered by the bourgeoisie (not so much by the priests), arid is of economic and political value only to the bourgeoisie. (3) Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie—the sentiment of all class-conscious workers who understand, on the one hand, that war is a “continuation of the politics” of imperialism, which they counter by a “continuation” of their hatred of their class enemy, and, on the other hand, that “a war against war” is a banal phrase unless it means a revolution against their own government. Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie cannot be aroused unless their defeat is desired; one cannot be a sincere opponent of a civil (i.e., class) truce without arousing hatred of one’s own government and bourgeoisie!

Those who stand for the “neither-victory-nor-defeat” slogan are in fact on the side of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists, for they do not believe in the possibility of inter national revolutionary action by the working class against their own governments, and do not wish to help develop such action, which, though undoubtedly difficult, is the only task worthy of a proletarian, the only socialist task. It is the proletariat in the most backward of the belligerent. Great Powers which, through the medium of their party, have had to adopt—especially in view of the shameful treachery of the German and French Social-Democrats— revolutionary tactics that are quite unfeasible unless they “contribute to the defeat” of their own government, but which alone lead to a European revolution, to the permanent peace of socialism, to the liberation of humanity from the horrors, misery, savagery and brutality now prevailing.


[1] See p. 163 of this volume.—Ed.

[2] Bukvoyed-D. Ryazanov.

[3] This refers to the tsar’s manifesto promulgated on October 17 (30), 1905. It promised "civil liberties" and a “legislative Duma”. The manifesto was a concession wrested from the tsarist regime by the revolution, but that concession by no means decided the fate of the revolution as the liberals and Mensheviks claimed, The Bolsheviks exposed the real meaning of the Manifesto and called upon the masses to continue the struggle and overthrow the autocracy.

The first Russian revolution exerted a great revolutionising influence on the working-class movement in other countries, in particular in Austria-Hungary. Lenin pointed out that the news about the tsar’s concession and his manifesto, with its promise of “liberties”, “played a decisive part in the final victory of universal suffrage in Austria”.

Mass demonstrations took place in Vienna and other industrial cities in Austria-Hungary. In Prague barricades were put up. As a result, universal suffrage was introduced in Austria.

Yemen's Ansarullah forces make gains in Hudaydah



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thomas Frank: We're All In Kansas Now, Toto!

Down with the Corporate Demo Republican Duopoly - time for Democracy in America in 2018 - mass movements needed to destroy Proto Fascism.

The Economy is not Trump's Strength it will prove his achilles heel - 2020 will be bottom of the next recession - which is already in the making, 

Ten Lies Told About World War 1 by Dominic Alexander

Celebrating the Working Class Ending World War 1

  1. The war was fought in defence of democracy
    This is contradicted by the basic facts. Germany had universal manhood suffrage while in Britain, including Ireland, some 40% of men still did not qualify for the vote. In Germany also, there were attempts to justify the war on the grounds that it was being fought to defend civilised values against a repressive, militaristic state, in the form of Russian autocracy.
  2. Britain went to war due to a treaty obligation to defend the neutrality of BelgiumThere was no clear and accepted obligation on Britain to do this, and, in fact, before the Belgian issue appeared, the war party in the cabinet was already pushing for British intervention on the entirely different ground that there were naval obligations to France. These obligations had been developed in secret arrangements between the military of both countries, and were never subject to any kind of democratic accountability. The Germans even offered guarantees over Belgian integrity, which the British government refused to consider at all.
  3. German aggression was the driving force for warHowever aggressive the German leadership may have been in 1914, the British establishment was at least as determined to take the opportunity to go to war with its imperial rival. At one point the Foreign Office even seized on imaginary German incursions into France to justify a British declaration of war on Germany. The declaration letter had to be retrieved from the German ambassador and rewritten when it was discovered that the stories were false. The enthusiasm of the British ruling class for war undermines any justification for it based on German aggression.
  4. Germany had started a naval arms race with BritainImperialist competition between the two states over markets and resources preceded the arms race in the fifteen years before the war. Britain’s naval power was the vital element in its ability to restrict German access to markets and resources across the world. Unless Britain was willing to allow Germany to expand economically, the logic of capitalist competition meant that Germany was bound to challenge British naval supremacy. The latent violence of the leading imperial nation is always the context for aggressive challenges to the status quo on the part of rising powers.
  5. German imperialism was uniquely vicious and had to be challengedThe atrocities committed against the Herrero people in Namibia were indeed terrible crimes, but were hardly unique compared to the horrors committed by all those involved in the rubber industry in the Belgian Congo, to take but one example. Also, European opinion had only a few years before 1914 been horrified by the brutality of another colonial power when it was engaged in ruthlessly expanding its dominance over independent states in Africa. This was Britain in its wars of aggression against the Boer states in South Africa, during which concentration camps were first used in order to control a civilian population.
  6. Public opinion was united in favour of the war, as shown by images of cheering crowds in 1914It is now usually admitted that the degree of enthusiasm for the war was strictly limited, and the evidence is that the crowds who gathered at the outbreak of war were by no means united in martial enthusiasm. In fact sizeable and widespread anti-war demonstrations occurred in both Britain and Germany. Had the leaderships of Labour and Socialist parties across Europe not caved into demands to support their national ruling classes in going to war, it is quite possible that the conflict could have been stopped in its tracks.
  7. The morale of British troops fighting on the Western Front remained intact to the end of the warWhile Britain may not have suffered quite the same scale of mutinies as in the German and French armies, at times there were whole stretches of the front where troops became so unreliable that generals did not dare order them into combat. The evidence for widespread cynicism about war strategies, contempt for the military leadership, and grave doubts about the purpose of the war, cannot be wished away by the revisionists. In so far as soldiers carried on willingly fighting the war, the explanation needs to be sought in the habituation to obedience, as well as the threat of court-martial executions. There is no need to invoke either fervid nationalism or any kind of deep psychological blood-lust as explanations.
  8. The military leadership, notably General Haig, was not a bunch of incompetent ‘donkeys’Attempts to rehabilitate the likes of General Haig founder on some of the basic facts about the tactics he relentlessly employed. Repeated infantry attacks on opposing trenches consistently failed to gain any clear advantage, while causing colossal casualties. On the first day of the battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, 57,000 troops out of 120,000 were killed or wounded. Despite continuing carnage on an incredible scale, Haig carried on ordering further attacks. When any hope of a breakthrough against the German lines was clearly lost, the purpose of the battle was shifted to attrition pure and simple. The plan now was to kill more German troops than the British lost. Since there was no way of reliably measuring the casualties on the other side, Haig relied on estimating it through the losses of his own side. On this basis he began to be angered when the army suffered too few losses, as when he complained that one division in September had lost under a thousand men. There can be no defence for this kind of disregard of human life.
  9. The end of the war saw the triumph of liberal capitalism, against collapsing autocratic EmpiresIn fact all states involved in the war were deeply destabilised. Even the United States, whose involvement was the most limited, experienced the ‘Red Summer’ of 1919, with unprecedented labour revolts, such as the Seattle general strike, alongside savage repression of socialists and black Americans. Britain saw the beginning of the Irish war of independence, and increasing unrest in India, which marks, in effect, the point at which the Empire began to unravel. Domestically, there was also a wave of radical working-class unrest, particularly in the ‘Red Clydeside’, which culminated in troops being sent into Glasgow to impose martial law.
  10. Despite the slaughter and destruction, the war was worthwhileThe war opened up a period of endemic economic dislocation, and outright crisis. In Britain there was a decade of industrial decline and high unemployment even before the Great Depression. In effect, it was only the Second World War which brought the major capitalist powers out of the slump. The First World War saw the point at which capitalism became addicted to war and to a permanent arms economy. The war demonstrated the capacity of capitalism to create industrialised waste, carnage and destruction on a colossal scale. The remembrance of the war is appropriately a time for mourning the horror, the loss and the waste of it all, but it should also provoke a determination to resist our rulers’ insistence on promoting war to further their interests. War can achieve nothing other than to create the conditions for further wars.
Popular opinion has, ever since its ending, remembered the First World War as a time of horrendous and futile misery and slaughter, as epitomising political and military leaders’ incompetence and callous disregard for human life. That popular judgement, which has helped turn common opinion against war in general, was correct, and we must not let the war mongers dismiss this instance of the wisdom of ordinary people.


Two Koreas to complete disarmament of guard posts in DMZ

Friday, November 9, 2018

Remembering Len Wincott and 13 Years of Mutiny in the Royal Navy and Marines : January 13th 1919 the Kilbride hoists the Red Flag at Milford Haven

The Working Class Ends the First World War started by the Capitalist Class

 On January 13, 1919 there was a mutiny on the patrol boat 'Kilbride' at Milford Haven in Wales , where the red flag was hoisted.

The 6th Battalion of the Royal Marines, formed in the summer of 1919 at a time of unrest over demobilisation, were originally intended to police Schleswig Holstein. 

But, at short notice, the Battalion had been diverted to cover the evacuation of Murmansk. 

They were sent to the Lake Onega region, a further 300 miles south of Kem. 

In August 1919 two companies refused duty: 90 men were tried and found guilty ofmutiny by a court martial. 

Thirteen men were sentenced to death and others to up to 5 years imprisonment.

None of the death sentences were actually carried out. The 90 mutineers were shipped to Bodmin prison, where they continued their resistance to arbitrary authority. 

In December 1918 some Marines had been involved in a mutiny inside Bodmin prison which had resulted in three death sentences, later commuted to five years penal servitude.) 

Continued resistance paid off. The ninety men arrested after the Murmansk incident had their sentences reduced as follows: the 13 sentenced to death were commuted to five years, but 12 were released after only one year, and the other after two years. 

Twenty men, originally given 5 years, were released after six months. 51 men sentenced to two years were also released within six months.

In recognition of the fact that their officers had acted contrary to Army instructions in employing young and inexperienced lads at the front, the remainder of those arrested were either released or had their sentences commuted to 6 months. 

Following the announcement, nineteen of these acts of 'clemency' the First Lord of the Admiralty told the Commons that 'bad leadership' was a factor behind the mutiny. 

He even hinted at the possibility of disciplinary measures being taken against several officers.

Many other mutinies occurred in North Russia. 

One took place in the 13th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, which ended with death sentences being passed on two sergeants whilst the other mutineers were cowed by White Russian machine gunners called in by the English officers.


In September 1931, as part of its attempts to deal with the Great Depression, the new National Government launched cuts to public spending. Navy spending cuts were translated into a 10% pay cut (matching 10% cuts across the board for public sector workers).

However, the cuts were not applied equally to all ranks. Sailors of the Atlantic Fleet, arriving at Invergordon (on the Cromarty Firth in Scotland) in the afternoon of Friday 11 September, learned about the cuts from newspaper reports.

Wincott - then a 24-year-old able seaman serving on the Norfolk, organized meetings which prevented the cruiser from moving for two days.[2]
The mutiny lasted two days (15–16 September 1931). Wincott, with another able seaman - Fred Copeman - became a member of the Norfolk's strike committee. Although the mutiny was entirely peaceful, the Royal Navy imprisoned dozens of the ringleaders and dismissed hundreds more, Wincott among them.[3]

Democracy and Class Struggle remembers the solidiers and sailors during and after the First World War who raised the Red Flag of rebellion, many of these activities and incidents are not in naval or regimental histories. 

In fact in no histories at all.

We have found this when looking at rebellions within Welsh Regiments on the Western Front has well as one rebellion at Porthcawl in Wales by conscripted Miners.

Many were simply shot dead and have no memorial beacuse of their opposition to Imperialist War.

Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

History of British Imperialist Army since 1944

The slaughter of World War One would only be ended some four years later by the wave of military mutinies and revolution that swept across Europe

Celebrating the Workers Ending the First World War not the Capitalists who caused it

Democracy and Class Struggle on November 11th honours the miltant working class struggle of those who brought the First World War to an end.

 We salute our working class brothers in Kiel and Wilhemshaven in Germany who raised the  Red Flag , we are proud that the  Red Flag was hoisted on the patrol ship Kilbride at Milford Haven in our country Wales and for French comrades of the Black Sea Fleet raising the red flag of solidarity with our Russian brothers and sisters.

A magnificent demonstration of what Chairman Mao Zedong reminds us that people and the people alone are the motive force of history.

Despite November 11th being the last day of the war, on many parts of the Western Front fighting continued as normal. This meant, of course, that casualties occurred even as the people of Paris, London and New York were celebrating the end of the fighting.

The slaughter of World War One would only be ended some four years later by the wave of military mutinies and revolution that swept across Europe. 

By 1918 even the establishment in London feared revolution, as Adam Hochschild revealed 

"At times the writers of these confidential Weekly Intelligence Summaries sounded as if they, like the Bolsheviks, expected revolution to sweep across Europe. 

“There is scarcely a community or group of people in England now,” reported a gloomy officer of the London District Command in early 1918,

 “among whom the principles of Socialism and extreme democratic control are not beginning to be listened to with ever increasing eagerness. . . . There is no gathering of working people in the country which is not disposed to regard Capitalism as a proven failure. 

Of preparations being taken against a possible revolution in Britian Hochschild adds "Four Royal Navy battleships, for example, were stationed in the Thames estuary, for no visible military purpose. 

Still more revealing, at the beginning of 1918 there were roughly 1.5 million soldiers in Britain itself. 

After taking into account troops in Ireland, in training, recovering from wounds, underage for overseas service, or serving in antiaircraft units, Millman calculates that this still left 175,000 fully trained extra troops on army bases at home. 

Contingency deployment plans showed them being sent, if need be, to districts adjacent to, but not actually within, areas of trade union militancy, such as Scotland’s River Clyde. 

Millman suggests that this would have put soldiers close enough to be rushed in for strikebreaking duties, but not so close that, when off duty, they could mingle at local pubs or soccer fields with the very people whose strikes they were breaking, who might remind them of the old socialist saying that a bayonet was a weapon with a worker at each end. 

In July 1918, a month of many strikes, the boundaries of British military command districts were redrawn to coincide with those of national police districts. 

The authorities secretly drew up lists of people who, when the order was given, were to be imprisoned."

To End All Wars: A Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War

13 years of Mutiny in British Navy to Invergordon in 1931 

Mutiny in the German Navy at Kiel and Wilhemshaven 

The Socialist Republic of Wilhelmshaven by Ernst Schneider

Celebrating the Workers Ending the First World War not the Capitalists who caused it

AT THE END of October 1918, there was a spate of cases of insubordination and disobedience among the sailors at the base of the North Sea Fleet, and an outburst appeared inevitable.

Warships of all classes and types were alongside the docks and quays of Wilhelmshaven. Major ships including the battleship Baden and the battle cruiser Hindenburg, were ready for action and awaiting orders from the chief of the Fleet. Ships anchored outside the docks and in the river Jade - the cruiser squadron, torpedo boat and destroyer flotillas - were also ready for action.

Rumours circulated to the effect that it had been decided to engage the enemy in a final encounter, in which the German Fleet would triumph or die for the glory of the "Kaiser and the Fatherland".

The sailors of the Fleet had their own views on the "Glory of the Fatherland", when they met they saluted one another with a "Long live Liebknecht". The crews of the ships moored at the quayside were to be found most of the time, not on board, but in the workshops and large lavatories ashore. 

Officers, contrary to custom, carried revolvers, and ordered the men to return to their ships. 

The men obeyed, but meanwhile, others had left their ships and swelled the number ashore. 

The situation was favourable, the Committee passed the message: "Guarded meeting after dark at the New Soldiers' Cemetery. 

Send delegate from every unit."

According to the rules of the secret organisation, delegates had to proceed to the meeting alone or at most in pairs, and at suitable distances so as not to attract attention. 

The meeting took place, and showed how general was the response to the call of the Committee. The meeting place was guarded by sailors. Those present, stood, knelt, or sat between the graves. 

There was no time for discussion or speeches. The names of the ships moored in the harbour and river were called out, and out of the dark the almost invisible delegates just answered "Here". One comrade spoke, briefly but firmly. "The time has come. It is now or never. A

ct carefully but resolutely. Seize officers and occupants. Occupy the signalling stations first. When control has been gained, hoist the red flag in the maintop or gaff. 

Up for the red dawn of a new day!"

In accordance with the rules of the organisation, all had to stay in their places for ten minutes after the speaker had left. Fortunately, it was a dark night.

On their return to their ships and barracks some of the comrades heard the heavy tramp of marching troops.

Shots were fired, and the cry went up, "down with the war". The sound of marching came from sailors some 300 in number - under arrest, who were being taken under escort to the train to the prison Oslebshausen near Bremen. 

They were warmly cheered by the passing sailors. When a dozen or so sailors were passing the building of the Admiralty, they noticed that the guard house was occupied by soldiers from a town, Marksen, in East Friesland.

It was a machine-gun detachment. The sailors without hesitation carried out an attack, and in a moment had captured fifteen machine-guns. The commandeer of the detachment, an old sergeant-major, after a short palaver, declared himself in solidarity with the sailors. 

The sailors then marched to Door A of the Imperial shipyard, and upon reaching the watch, found it already in the hands of the revolutionaries. Continuing towards the battleship Baden, it was seen that the small units had also been taken over by the revolutionary sailors. On board the Baden they elected a new commander. He was a member of the committee.

By this time the dawn had come. Shots were heard on board a small light cruiser lying in dry dock, and the white ensign was seen to be still flying in the maintop. After a struggle of about an hour, every ship except the Hindenburg was in the hands of the revolutionaries. From the Hindenburg the white ensign still flew. The commander of the Baden signalled "Surrender or we shoot." A struggle was observed on board the Hindenburg and a detachment of stokers and firemen of the Baden prepared to board the Hindenburg and give a hand.

But before they reached their destination, the white eagle ensign was hauled down and the red flag hoisted. At the same time, a signal was received from the cruiser squadron that there too, the revolutionaries had gained the upper hand.
At the orders of the Committee, a mass meeting was held outside the building of the Admiralty.

A great crowd of 20,000 attended and later marched round the naval base, headed by the15th Torpedo Half-Flotilla.

A comrade announced that all the commanders and admirals of the North Sea Fleet had been deposed and as long as they kept to their quarters, they would suffer no harm, but if they moved, they would be dealt with.

Three of four commanders entered the Admiralty building and informed the Admiral what had happened. His Excellency answered regretfully, that he could not do anything for the moment. He was informed that for the moment nothing would happen to him if he remained quiet and stayed at home.

By this time, the crowds of war workers were streaming into the streets. It is regretted to have to state the fact that sections of the workers were still waiting for a call from their anti-revolutionary leaders, and had to be "forced to be free".

Their behaviour, as also was their leaders' and the bulk of "the white collar proletarians" was consciously - or unconsciously - reactionary during this period. Events moved quickly.

Big demonstrations took place and processions converged at the training ground. After speeches and reports on the events, elections of workers' and sailors' councils were held. Every ship had its council and delegate. The same was done for each factory and town district.

That evening a meeting of the delegates took place, which constituted itself as the Revolutionary Government.

A council of twenty-one sailors was elected, which was, so to speak, the Administrative Government. This in its turn elected a body of five members with executive powers.

But when the first meeting of this council of five took place, it transpired that four of the members were not revolutionary socialists. 

The fifth member told the others that the revolution could not be made by namby-pamby revolutionaries, and that he could not successfully work with them. Circumstances however, allowed them to carry on for some time.

In fact, there was from the beginning, two governments in Wilhelmshaven, the Council of Five, with its headquarters in the Officers Casino, and the Revolutionary Committee, backed by the revolutionary socialist seamen with headquarters on board the Baden and in the "Thousand Man Barracks.

The following anecdotes about two of the members of the Council of Five will serve as an indication of the calibre of the majority of the Council.

A naval stoker, who spoke like a lay preacher, but was of questionable character, and was associated in some way or another with the Admiralty and other authorities of the Imperial regime, and also in close connection with Ebert, Noske, Scheidemann etc., who, on November 4, 1918, when the revolutionary sailors stormed the shipyard barracks, begged his fellow stokers to barricade the main gates.

They told him - with a kick - to behave himself. When the gates were then smashed in, he straightened himself, jumped to the entrance, and shouted with a theatrical gesture: "Der Freiheit eine Gasse" [A path for freedom - a quotation from a poem on the death of Arnold Winkelried.]

This man styled himself - under instruction from his imperial masters - President of Oldenburg, East Friesland and Wilhelmshaven, but in practice he kept very much in the background.

Another actor, an even more pitiable member of the Council of Five whose surname was unfortunately the same as the author's - tried to make friends with the reactionary army of officers who were then approaching to attack Wilhelmshaven, and had for this purpose large posters printed and put up during the street fighting, which read: "I am not the Spartakist Ernst - who is the leader of the Revolutionary Committee, and I have nothing to do with his communistic arrangements. 

My name is Joseph -, and I am a Social Democrat."

This Joseph was punished on the spot by working-class women, who drove him out of Wilhelmshaven with broomsticks. 

And like the Joseph of the Bible, he fled to another land - in this instance, Russia - and became a wealthy merchant.