Basics of Political Economy – A talk by Harpal Brar, Birmingham 1996

Red Youth reproduce on Proletarian Radio this short but informative talk given by comrade Harpal Brar at a meeting of British workers and communists in 1996 on the topic of political economy. We do so to aid the study of political economy which is ongoing around the country in red youth and CPGB-ML study groups at the moment.

The crises of 1997 and 2001 brought untold misery to millions of people who suffer in the ‘real’ capitalist economy – the economy of factory closures, foreclosed mortgages and pension fund losses. There is no doubt that the present crisis is the most acute and destructive in the history of capitalism.

One need but consider the fate of young working-class couples who have just scrambled onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder, only to have their feet kicked out from under them by negative equity. Or consider those workers who have seen their final salary pensions melt before their eyes, after the two previous outbreaks of market turmoil convinced the bourgeoisie that this was yet another aspect of ‘welfare capitalism’ that needed ditching in the battle to protect their profits.

If capitalism cannot resurrect demand through building the debt mountain higher, it must instead try to tackle the other end of the overproduction crisis: it must trash the very productive forces it has brought into being in the first place, thus revealing itself as the real enemy of all social progress.

However, making people homeless, stealing their jobs, robbing their pensions and imposing below-inflation wage deals, whilst perhaps saving the bourgeois hide for a while, can in the long run only stoke up yet worse crises of overproduction, as effective demand is further undermined by the further impoverishment of the masses.

Whether the lords of high finance can postpone for a few more years the decisive crash of the world financial system is beyond scientific prediction. What is clear however is that every ‘smart’ move capitalism makes to save itself from its own insoluble contradictions only succeeds in further tightening the noose of history around its throat.

Even in the midst of the miseries such crises inflict, let the proletariat rejoice in this knowledge and organise to overthrow this decadent, parasitic system once and for all!

Successful pickets of RBS and NatWest

#BankXitComrades from Red Youth helped to organise CPGB-ML pickets in London and Birmingham yesterday in protest of attempts by NatWest bank to shut the account of broadcaster Russia Today. Such a move is not only a serious infringement on the limited press freedoms which exist in bourgeois society, it is also part and parcel of the propaganda war being waged against Russia in preparation of further armed conflict.

The wars that have been waged around the world by British and US imperialism are not justifable wars – they are wars for domination, for profit, and for oil. The growing popularity of RT poses a threat to the continued campaign to paint Russia as a threat to peace. The BBC and the corporate media are constantly attempting to prepare British people for a military confrontation with Russia, which would be catastrophic for British workers. We must not allow such blatant bias and propaganda to go unchallenged, and we must fight the interference of NatWest in the affairs of Russia Today which operates legally and fairly in the UK.

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Korea: no game! Tensions escalate as USA and South Korea threaten war with the North

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The USA and South Korea stage regular military exercises on the DPRK’s border

In the wake of joint military exercises (Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom-Guardian) staged by the United States of America and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) on the border of the DPR Korea (North Korea), clearly designed to threaten and sabotage any peace talks, the South has resumed broadcasting propaganda across the demilitarised zone.

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye (daughter of Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a military coup)

Understandably this bizarre approach to “building trust” between the Koreas by President Park Geun-hye has not been taken lightly in the North.

South Korean demands that the DPRK disarm, anti-DPRK propaganda, and ‘defensive’ military drills with the USA (whose nearest border is some 7400km away) mirrors common tactics of provocation and psychological military operations that prelude the invasion of sovereign nations – and show who is really the aggressor in the current ‘stand-off’.

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J. V. Stalin’s Foundations of Leninism republished and on sale for May 1st!

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Having republished J. V. Stalin’s classic pamphlet Foundations of Leninism the CPGB-ML has organised a print run of The History of the CPSU(b) – Short Course. These books are now on sale via the party ebay account. Candidate and full-members of the CPGB-ML and Red Youth are requested to order their copies through sales@cpgb-ml.org where they will be due a discount. All others who wish to purchase the books may do so via ebay. Prices:

History of the CPSU(b) – £10 (£5 to members) + p&p

Foundations of Leninism – £5 (£3 to members) + p&p

Copies will also be on sale from the CPGB-ML contingent at this years May Day demonstration which assembles in Clerkenwell, London at 12noon. Check out http://www.londonmayday.org/ for more details. And comrades can also pick up a copy from the party school on May 2nd in Southall.

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Lets learn the true history of the GDR!

The CPGB-ML encourages all it’s branches and groups to engage in study and to learn from the study each  one of us undertakes in the spirit of the Red Youth motto each one, teach one! Across the country our members make presentations to modest sized meetings of Party comrades, Proletarian subscribers and friends to open up discussion about the history of our movement and the lessons for today. Unlike the Troto-revisionist parties, we have no “big-guns” on full time salaries who tour the country promoting their latest academic work on some obscure philosophical issue. Our comrades are all encouraged to be free-thinkers, enquring and studious and to work together to come to a Marxist understanding on important issues which have practical implications for our work today. Many comrades are enrolled on a cadre development programme which guides their study in the basics of Marxism-Leninism and gives them practical support in learning to make presentations and lead study circles.

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Why I Joined Red Youth

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Another contribution of one of our newer members, explaining why they joined. This time from a comrade from the South East.


On the 26th of July, 2014, at the annual anti-imperialist barbecue, I joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
I inhabit a conservative town in a reactionary corner of south-eastern England, and know of no other communists nearby. I might easily have grown to maturity as another reactionary – why then did I come to the CPGB-ML?

I first encountered Marxism at the age of eleven years, shortly after entering secondary school, when, quite by chance, I encountered Friedrich Engels’ profound work The Principles of Communism on the internet. Gripped by that work, I have educated myself ever since that day on the workings and relations of society and have become firmly convinced that Marxism-Leninism is the only correct and scientific expression of the accumulated experience and class interests of the exploited working class, the proletariat. I have, therefore, long recognised the practical need for a sincere Communist Party armed with the advanced theory of Marxism-Leninism. However, there is in Great Britain today a plethora of different groups and ‘parties’ calling themselves communist, and therefore there was a large amount of material to sift through. While researching communist organisations in this country, I encountered, to name but a few, the Communist Party of Britain, the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and the odious Socialist Workers’ Party. What I found greatly disturbed me, for it seemed that all the parties and organisations I came across, particularly the Communist Party of Britain which advocates the absurd and revisionist notion of a parliamentary road to Socialism, were completely divorced from the real nature of society in this country, and thus could not know the genuine interests and tasks of the working class and its movement.

I was greatly relieved and inspired when I discovered that there was one organisation, one party, which cut through the thick layers of pseudo-socialist and revisionist rubbish, which was unrelenting in its fight against opportunism, and which was clearly and obviously acquainted with the objective reality of modern Britain and the true interests of the working class – this was, of course, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
Over time, I studied the material of this Party, reading Lalkar, Proletarian, the books of Comrade Chairman Harpal Brar et al, etc. and became convinced that the theory and general line of the CPGB-ML were correct. However, one question remained: an advanced theory is all well and good, but as Stalin said, revolutionary theory “becomes sterile if not accompanied by revolutionary practice.” Indeed, all Marxist-Leninists, unlike the revisionists, Trotskyites, social democrats and the like, know that correct theory comes and can only come from practice, from accumulated historical experience and practice as it is now. So then, was this Party an active one?

Clearly, the communists are up against the odds in their work of attempting to build a genuinely revolutionary Marxist organisation in the United Kingdom. The super-profits plundered from the oppressed countries through merciless imperialist exploitation make it possible for the ruling class of this country to bribe significant sections of the working class, to bind them materially to capitalism. This phenomena of the embourgeoisification of workers was first observed by Marx and Engels in England towards the end of the nineteenth century, and the theory and practice regarding it was formulated and systematised by Comrade Lenin in such works as Imperialism and the Split in Socialism, in which he noted that it was basically this embourgeoisified section of the working class which provided the social and economic basis of opportunism and revisionism. Indeed, since Lenin’s day, as imperialism has become ever more decadent and moribund, this labour aristocracy, as it was called, has only grown, its influence has only increased and become more pervasive, and it is aided in its deception of the working class and its movement by decades of relentless and shameless social democracy and Khrushchevite revisionism. We see, then, that to build a sincerely and thoroughly anti-revisionist, anti-imperialist, revolutionary Communist Party in the conditions which exist in the United Kingdom is no easy task, and the Communists attempting it are faced with an enormous task.

With the above taken into account, the CPGB-ML is indeed incredibly active in its work. Day by day the party is growing in number, and having attended party meetings and talked to party comrades myself I can testify for the fact that it is the only communist party in the country which is really attracting active support from real British workers and a not insignificant number of young people. Increasingly, sincere Comrades from other organisations, realising that their own groupings have been castrated and robbed of their revolutionary heart by social democracy, Trotskyism and revisionism and opportunism of various kinds, are defecting to the CPGB-ML, which is the only party consciously striving to create and develop conscious links with the masses, which it does by selling its newspapers and journals, attending protests and demonstrations, issuing leaflets, conducting workers’ educational programmes, and, simply but effectively, talking to the masses, actually learning from them, as well as through various other activities.

Surely, the party can only intensify its work and spread its influence, and surely as the crisis of capitalism develops, as the British working class its jolted from hardship to hardship by its despotic imperialist rulers, the Marxist movement can only develop, grow, and spread, so that we may reasonably speak of having active cells and cadre in all corners of the country, ready to make their contributions with all their zeal and effort to the cause of the proletarian revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat and communism.
So then, we may say, backed by the experience of the struggle of the proletariat and the truth of Marxism-Leninism, that this Party is the only thoroughly and consistently anti-imperialist, anti-revisionist and politically active communist organisation existing in Great Britain, it is the party of British socialism, and it is for all these reasons that I have joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

Long Live the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)!

Death to Capitalist-Imperialism! 

7th Congress of the CPGB-ML a great success

The 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) was held over two days, 8-9 November in London. The Congress marked the occasion of the 97th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution with a public celebration in the evening which was addressed by the Ambassador of the DPR Korea, comrade Hyon Hak Bong, and comrade Jorge Luis Garcia from the Cuban Embassy. Joti Brar from the Proletarian editorial board spoke first and the evening finished with a rousing speech from comrade Harpal Brar.

The 7th Congress received the reports of the various party committee’s and discussed a number of significant issue’s such as rising nationalism, deepening crisis and the class composition of British society in the 21st century. Congress also endorsed a number of documents which will be made public in due course, and announced the publication of a new book on the history of the first imperialist World War. Congress noted the continuing growth and development of our party nationally, pledged to continue to support and promote our youth and cadres in their ongoing ideological development, and recognised the leading role young communists play in the leadership of our Party.

The 7th Congress was attended by many working class red youth’s, all of whom are active members of the party and youth section and many of which lead our party branches and organisations in their various cities and regions. All the comrades demonstrated their commitment to the Party, their class and the ideology of Marxism Leninism.

Here’s some photo’s for those comrades who were unable to attend (we missed you greatly) taken during the speeches, contributions and discussion and a couple from the evening celebration. Red Youth has pledged to continue the work in the regions, to build up the party branches and ensure we are able to hold even more Marxist Leninist educational classes, discussion groups, public meetings and events in all corners of Britain in 2015!

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Imperialism and its Modern-Day Agents in the Working Class Movement

CPB general secretary Robert Griffiths last week made what should, but do not, read as surprising words. This self-proclaimed ‘communist’ took to Facebook to praise former deputy prime minister John Prescott, or as he is known these days ‘Baron Prescott, of Kingston upon Hull in the County of East Yorkshire‘. The reason: Prescott referred to Israeli atrocities in Gaza as “a war crime”.

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So for Griffiths the crimes committed against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are either forgiven or forgotten. And that Prescott was a faithful lackey of the arch-Zionist Tony Blair is also either forgiven or forgotten.

He may be condemning Israeli war crimes today, but while in government Blair, Prescott & co were nothing but one of Israel’s most faithful friends. For example, following the second Intifada, Blair praised the “restraint” shown by the butcher Sharon. Similarly when Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, Prescott while still deputy PM was presented with another opportunity to oppose Israeli war crimes. At no point did he stand up to Blair and Labour’s Zionist policy, instead he helped implement it.

Let us be clear: even if Prescott has found a conscience over the crimes of Zionism, one war criminal’s condemnation of another war criminal is a hollow condemnation. He may well mourn the blood on the hands of the Zionist entity, but he never once so much as moved his own hands to prevent the spilling of the blood of the children of Iraq and Afghanistan.

When Iraq was the issue of the day it was in Griffiths and co’s interest to ‘oppose’ the war, while in practice supporting the architects of the war – the Labour Party. Today there is no political gain to be had for speaking out for the people of Iraq but seemingly it is politically safe for Griffiths to praise a criminal in that imperialist war. It is much more important to be seen as supporting Palestine, while again in practice supporting imperialism, in the shape of the Labour Party. But this “support” of Palestine, is also to use Palestine.

For Griffith’s comment is two pronged: firstly a poor attempt to find some nominally left figures in the Labour Party, to give some shred of credence to his party’s policy of attempting to push one capitalist party to end capitalism.

Secondly, he does criticise the silence of the current shadow cabinet. With the CPB congress around the corner the issue of “re-establishing a mass party of labour” is on the cards. Here ‘communists’ will debate whether to continue supporting the imperialist Labour Party or create a new social democratic party, or in other words yet another capitalist party tasked with ending capitalism. Griffiths is in the camp of the latter and his comment further alludes to this fact. And in all this Palestine is merely an issue used to further his new-party agenda.

Finally, for the CPB leadership John Prescott may represent a good working class old Labour man. To us he represents the very worst of our class: a class traitor and instrument of imperialism with the blood of the men, women and children of Iraq and Afghanistan on his hands.

Protests outside the BBC in Bristol

Comrades from the CPGB-ML joined others from Bristol PSC and Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine  to protest against the despicable and biased media coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza by the BBC. In this short video comrades explain the importance of such demonstrations and Giles Shorter of Bristol CPGB-ML explains the reasons why we must condemn imperialism’s meddling in the Ukraine and Palestine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYQAFDNXDg&feature=player_embedded

Shameful spectacle from space

Of all the stars and objects in the heavens, planet earth is by far the most beautiful. Abundant with life and capable of providing enough for all her inhabitants, man and beast, our human civilisation should by now have broken the bonds of class society and be well on the way to unlocking the limitless potential and creativity of all our children. Instead, imperialism’s destructive power is visible from space; and our garden of Eden is a frightful paradise lost. It’s no coincidence that such bestiality and wickedness has befallen our world since the collapse of the once glorious Soviet Union. No amount of tears or regret will resurrect that socialist bulwark to imperialism and war, but it’s name is showered in glory and calls out to us today, across the lost years since its demise, with a message about the kind of world we’re capable of building. Only by a resolute struggle against opportunism in the labour movement and a consistent, practical application of the teachings of Marxism Leninism, will we be able to get humanity back onto the path of progress and make up for these years groping in the darkness. Workers have the power to do something about the desperate situation in Gaza – our collective power can make a difference; without shells to fire and the guns to fire them, without the media voice and peddling of the corporate lies Israeli Zionism would be strangled in its lair.

The following article depicting the bombardment of  Gaza by the Zionists is taken from RT.com:

Astronaut photographs Gaza offensive from space

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A German astronaut managed to capture the Gaza war zone from space while aboard the International Space Station. He called it his “saddest photo yet.”

Alexander Gerst, a German flight engineer, geophysicist and volcanologist, spread the news with a short tweet on Wednesday, as the ISS was on a flyby over Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The image went viral.

My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israelpic.twitter.com/jNGWxHilSy
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) July 23, 2014

One can clearly see the spots in which the yellowish glow of exploding targets is more prominent than elsewhere.

“From the International Space Station we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over Gaza and Israel,” He wrote on his Facebook fan page late last night, with a German translation underneath.

The ESA astronaut is currently on the 57th day of his mission, together with Russian commander Maksim Surayev and American engineer Reid Wiseman.

Israel is currently in the midst of an all-out assault on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip – an operation that has recently gone into a new phase, as escalating hostilities and ground warfare bring the death toll to 700.

There are casualties on both sides, but the overwhelming majority is Palestinian, 80 percent of them civilians, according to a recent UN report.

THIS WEEKEND – come and meet cpgb-ml comrades outside the Israeli embassy from 11am and then join us in Southall from 1pm until late

11am – Support the demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy:

National Demonstration Saturday 26 July
Assemble 12 noon, Israeli Embassy, London.
March to rally in Parliament Square

1pm – Support the international celebration of anti-imperialist resistance and solidarity

Saklatvala Hall, Dominion Road, Southall, UB2 5AA

A social event to celebrate two important anniversaries in the revolutionary calendar:
– the victory of the Fatherland Liberation War in Korea
– the storming of the Moncada Barracks in Cuba.
This year we will also be marking the 10th anniversary of our party’s founding!
An excellent event for bringing friends and family and friends to enjoy a mix of inspiring speeches and informal socialising with like-minded comrades.
Alongside representatives from fraternal embassies, come and hear RT journalist Marcel Cartier report back from his recent trips to Ukraine and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
All welcome, including kids.

Contact: rango@cpgb-ml.org
Map: click here