Proletarians united

Identity Politics: an ideology of division

It has become clear since the CPGB-ML’s 8th Congress in September that some have been confused about the exact nature of identity politics and why it is we are opposed to it. The use of terms such as ‘LGBT ideology’ has added further confusion: what exactly is it?

First of all we shall deal with the bare bones of the ideology we are pitted against.

In ‘Anarchism or Socialism?’ Comrade Stalin pointed out the petty-bourgeois nature of anarchism, owing to its being founded on the principle condition that the individual must first be emancipated in order to then emancipate the masses. By contrast, we Marxist Leninists hold that the masses must be emancipated before it will be possible to emancipate the individual. The Chinese rendition of the International for example includes a verse that states: “Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all”

This core tenet of anarchism highlights its petty-bourgeois character, and we can see an identical vein of thought running through identity politics. Much like anarchism, identity politics claims a mantle of progressive politics for the oppressed; and much like anarchism, it divides workers along lines determined by the bourgeoisie.

As an example, let us look at the case of black separatism. Black separatism, like all strains of identity politics, deems only its audience – in this case, black people in imperialist countries – to be capable of understanding or entitled to talk about their oppression.

Being the immediate victims of racism, however, does not make them the only victims. As Marx stated in Capital (Volume I): “Labour in the white skin cannot be free if in the black it is branded.” All workers, all victims of capital, are capable, with the help of scientific socialism, of understanding and uniting behind the necessary theory, as well as of implementing the strategy and tactics, of class struggle and class war.

Black separatism does not represent proletarian interests at large, or at all; it represents a minority who hope to do well under the present exploitative conditions. Not only does black separatism deem that only black people are capable of talking about their oppression, it also professes the whole of the white majority to be the exploiters and oppressors of black people. This is clearly anti-proletarian, and devoid of class analysis; instead, it falls into a dualistic dead end, a common current in identity politics, setting black and white proletarians against one another.

Seen in this distorted light, the issue of racism becomes the sole affair of black people; the fact that the fight against racism and oppression is the common cause of all proletarians is forgotten. This dualistic dead end is a painfully common theme amongst the proponents of identity politics, and the approach is strongly endorsed by bourgeois academia because it serves bourgeois interests and keeps the debate about inequality confined to the limits of the present system, under which the problem can, of course, never be solved.

Comrades might well be asking why this has become a problem for our party now? Black separatism has, after all, been around for decades. Our founding members dealt with the issue of black sections in the Socialist Labour Party, and with black separatism in the working-class movement for decades before that. Bourgeois Nationalism or Proletarian Internationalism? by Comrade Harpal Brar quite rightly rails against the black separatism that was infecting the movement back in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

In much the same vein, our late Comrade Iris Cremer said in a speech given in 1972 entitled ‘Feminism – a reactionary ideology’:

“The oppression of women under capitalism is due to the minority capitalist class owning and controlling all the means of social production.

“Various feminism theories, on the other hand, pose:

  1. men as the enemy;
  2. women’s biological function as the enemy;
  3. the family as the enemy; and
  4. patriarchal society as the enemy.

“These theories have in common the fact that they pose men as the enemy and not the capitalist class, and so can never truly liberate women. Worse than this, they leave the real enemy of women unscathed and even enabled to consolidate its position.

“Since women taking up the demands of the feminists can both lead to the alienation of the movement from working-class women who must be the main driving force in a truly revolutionary women’s movement, and they also lead to the setting of women against men, instead of uniting men and women in the struggle against the ruling class which oppresses the majority of both men and women.” (Marxism and the Emancipation of Women, Chapter 9)

We can again see the same issues with feminism as we have explored with black separatism – namely, the division of workers by setting one group against another in typical dualistic fashion under a supposedly progressive banner. And we can see how this is still being used as a tactic to divide workers.

The current we face today, owing to its recent rebranding, and to its being firmly entrenched in academia, may seem superficially to be a different breed, but it faces us with the same fundamental issues.

It is no coincidence that identity politics have come to dominance in an era of reaction after the collapse of the Soviet Union when the proletarian movement in Britain has been at its lowest ebb, and furthermore, is rearing its head in a time of protracted economic crisis. It is no accident that against this backdrop our bourgeois academics are pushing an ideology that encompasses a list of oppressions which somehow misses class exploitation entirely off the list – or, if our oh-so-wise academics are witty, it might be included in the small print at the very end of said list, and even then it is reduced to the dualistic form of workerism.

This ideology, like a cuckoo, has filled a void that once nested class struggle and scientific socialism. Unfortunately, its academic endorsement has created similar issues for our movement as did the previous state sanctioning of Trotskyism or the ‘New Left’, with whom it shares many similarities. However, unlike its predecessors it need not pay even lip service to the class struggle. It has nevertheless imbued a new generation of university-going ‘radicals’ with a faux progressive ideology quite alien to, and extremely chauvinistic towards, the lower strata of the workers.

And thus, the grandiloquent self-professed intellectuals, who find themselves in ever smaller lefty circles, are greeted with open arms by the trots, revisionists and ‘left’ social democrats who no longer have the taste for class struggle. After all, what better distraction and division for proletarians could the bourgeoisie find for them than an ideology with all the aesthetic of revolutionary politics, but little to no class content, and which is often downright hostile to the proletariat in rhetoric?

So, sadly, and inevitably, identity politics have been brought into our midst once more. The marriage of this bourgeois-academic socio-analytical framework with a progressive aesthetic is a huge handicap to our movement. It is quite understandable that many students will join us on the left with such bourgeois prejudices, but equally understandable is that we must root out the rot, for identity politics (or their indistinguishable variants such as ‘intersectionalism’) are incompatible with dialectical and historical materialism – lacking in dialectics, materialism, or historical understanding, and thus in scientific method.

This was evidenced at our congress when a comrade listed various figures to prove that LGBT people suffer a special and entrenched oppression under capitalism. One such figure stated that a high proportion of homeless people happen to be LGBT.

Aside from the fact that sadly the parameters of this study were not given (where did the figures come from? were these young people made homeless specifically because they are LGBT?), what conclusion does such a statistic lead us to? Does there need to be a demand for special laws to be put in place protecting LGBT people from being made homeless? The answer to the problem is the same as for all homeless people; all workers – universal housing, jobs, education and healthcare should be a right, and are in the common interest of the entire proletariat.

This small example highlights the problem with trying to understand an obviously proletarian issue through the fog of identity politics. The same can be said for ‘ableism’. As far as Marxists are concerned, rights and dignity for the disabled is a proletarian issue. Of course we do not decry the struggle of the disabled to improve their material conditions; to fight for greater accessibility to public places and public health, or for access to improved communication and meaningful work.

But we cannot help but point out that this is a class issue. A proletarian cannot afford to be afflicted or born with a disability without risk of falling into wretched conditions. By contrast, a member of the bourgeois class may be afflicted with paraplegia as a result of polio and win a record four presidential elections, as did Franklin D Roosevelt in the USA.

By contrast, our ‘intersectionalist’ opponents would have us believe, in their typical dualistic fashion, that all able-bodied and minded people are somehow the ‘oppressors’ of those who suffer with either a physical or a mental disability. Once more, their fake solutions pit workers against one other and leave the capitalists unscathed.

Now we come to the question of LGBT ideology, which has so confused some comrades within and without the party. ‘LGBT ideology’ is a term we have created, in the absence of a universally recognised name, to apply to those who endorse and proselytise the ideology of identity politics, as elaborated above, to LGBT people, separating their material interests from those of the proletariat at large.

It is our view that LGBT people in Britain suffer from prejudice (a contradiction amongst the masses) as opposed to oppression by the bourgeois state. Once again, the peddlers of identity politics raise this question from one of fighting against such prejudice to an overarching dualism: lesbians, gays and bisexuals, they assert, must be ‘emancipated’ from the ‘oppression’ of heterosexuals, while transsexuals must be emancipated from ‘cis’-gendered people.

This approach enlightens no-one, and is a million miles away from imbuing LGBT workers with an understanding of their duty to unite with the rest of the proletariat.

These examples encapsulate the misleading sophistry of identity politics, their divisive character, and their bourgeois class content. Their forms are legion. Fundamentally, their greatest flaw is that they refuse to analyse social and economic life through the paradigm of class struggle.

Devoid of the context of class exploitation, which is the primary contradiction in capitalist society, and thus failing to frame all other contradictions within this context, identity politics are impotent to offer any real solutions to the issues at hand, merely dividing those who should be uniting. They thus stand in complete contradiction with Marxism Leninism.

Many a self-professed Marxist Leninist will try to marry Marxism Leninism with intersectionalism (the current brand name of identity politics, as endorsed by bourgeois academia). Many of these comrades are subjectively invested in their identities; many have been exposed to identity politics at university or elsewhere before coming to Marxism Leninism, and have brought this liberalism with them.

It is understandable therefore, that some may perceive the subordination of their identities to the class struggle (the fundamental contradiction) as being somehow repellent. Further confusion arises, as mentioned above, because these various contradictions do not appear to be equal.

This is an unfortunate and typical case of language being used unscientifically – the concept of ‘oppression’ is pasted onto every contradiction in our society by identity politics, whilst Marxism Leninism uses such terminology with precise scientific intent. And so many a fresh-faced Marxist Leninist is alarmed to learn that they suffer not from oppression but from prejudice – a contradiction amongst the masses – or (as with ableism) from a class issue, and these comrades cannot help but feel offended by the apparent downgrading of their personal and subjective experience.

To find themselves subject to demands common to the entire proletariat seems a let-down after having had their separate struggles elevated to the pinnacle of importance. Such comrades allow their personal prejudices to lead them into the role of modern-day Bundists, with their Marxism clutched in one hand, and their liberalism clutched in the other.

Our message to these comrades is clear: bourgeois society and the bourgeois state have in the imperialist nations afforded the greatest extent of personal freedoms and liberties for the individual that is possible in economic and social life under capitalism – at the expense of and off the backs of the great toiling masses of the globe. We are quite clear that the collective emancipation of the masses is a prerequisite for the true emancipation of the individual; it is now for us to organise the proletarian masses of all strata and sections under the flag of socialism, under the banner of proletarian internationalism, in the common interest of all working peoples.

Indian Workers in Britain – 50th Anniversary of the IWA (GB)

The Indian Workers Association (Great Britain), has played a significant role in the British working class movement over the last 60 years. The Grenwich & Bexley Heath branch of the Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) held this meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their branch. (1:34)


Harpal Brar, National organiser of the IWA (GB), and chairman of the CPGB-ML gives a landmark speech reflecting on the history of the IWA (GB). The organisation was able, in its time, to organise demonstrations of tens and hundreds of thousands of workers, and regularly held meetings of 4-5,00 members and supporters, throughout the country.

Ghadar Party 100th Anniversary,
Ghadar Party 100th Anniversary,

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USA-ROK joint exercises

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

USA-ROK joint exercises
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.

Park Geun-hye
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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JENGbA Protesters

Joint enterprise challenge in the Supreme Court

JENGbA Crowdfunding
Campaign group JENGbA needs financial help to challenge unjust law.

It was recently announced that the Supreme Court is to look into issues surrounding the notorious joint enterprise law for the first time. This is a law under which many young working-class and ethnic-minority people have been put behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

JENGbA Protesters
JENGbA Protesters

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May 1 – Celebrate International Workers’ Day

Join Red Youth and CPGB-ML comrades to mark International Workers’ Day, on Friday 1st May 11:30am at Clerkenwell Green, to celebrate our proud history of working-class resistance!


May 1st is a significant day for workers across the world. It is a time to celebrate the hard-won victories of workers of all countries in our on-going struggle against exploitation and oppression, and show our continuing dedication to education, organisation, and action.

The working class do not march in protest on May Day, although there is plenty to protest about. Rather, the working class marches to demonstrate the power we have, to seize control of our labour, to oust the parasitic ruling class, and to build a future free from poverty and exploitation.

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


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 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 for more details. And comrades can also pick up a copy from the party school on May 2nd in Southall.

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Shenstone Factory Protest Shows People’s Power!

Support for the activists occupying the Israeli arms factory, UAV Engines in Shenstone, grew throughout the day yesterday. People continued to arrive from across the country, joining protesters who had stayed through the night, to express their outrage and grief at the continued support of  humanitarian crimes against the Palestinian people. Their message was clear: stop exporting arms to aid in genocide, stop supporting an apartheid state, stand up against oppression and injustice in their most barbaric forms.

Protest of Elbit factory continues
Proteters supporting the activiests, shutting down a drone parts factory

Protesters outside the police cordon (a crime scene, making it an arrestable offence to enter for anyone, except of course locals and anyone driving a nice car) kept up the spirits of the occupiers from London Palestine Action on the roof. Chants, drumming, and slogans were heard by the people on the roof, although the police would not let the protest move within sight of the factory.

The police invoked draconian laws recently passed that make being a ‘nuisance’ an arrestable offence, delaying any decision to move the cordon closer to the factory, and maintaining a strong presence throughout the day. Strangely, when the cameras arrived, the police decided to move all of their force out of sight, perhaps to give the impression that a peaceful protest wasn’t being met with over 30 officers armed with pepper spray, batons, and stun guns.

The protesters grew frustrated by the police’s attempts to delay and diffuse the movement, and decided to hold a silent march through the village which was met with support from the local pub and church. Many in the village were previously unaware that military hardware was being manufactured in the factory.

The police deliberately delayed the decision of whether to let the protesters move ahead, which had been demanded early on, in order to proceed onto the roof and arrest the occupiers at approximately 7-8pm. The police did this under the cover of allowing them to use phones to conduct interviews with the BBC and PressTV. Despite being removed from the roof they got the message out to people across the world, and have educated and inspired many not only about what is really happening in the world, but shown them that they are empowered to take action and stand for what is right.

Taking action, from informing the public and staging demonstrations to occupying means of production and denying trade and transport for imperialist wars is not only justified, but our imperative. Our ruling classes wage war in their own interest, oppress workers of all countries, and profit from our suffering. We must take control of our own labour, deny the capitalists the means of oppression, and smash the tools of imperialism.

“Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon-this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution.” – J.V. Stalin, Foundations of Leninism

The CPGB-ML and Red Youth are hosting a public meeting to discuss the bourgeois media lies about what is happening in Gaza and what can be done about it this Friday 8th August at 274 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 0BS at 6:30pm.

You should also join us at the Palestine Solidarity Committe demonstration in London on Saturday 9th August, taking place at 12 noon in front of BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA. Take action! Make a difference!

Read more:

Taking Action For Palestine (Red Youth UK,

Stand with Gaza… Join the axis of resistance! (CPGB-ML, August 2014)

PSC: Palestine Safety-valve Committee? (Proletarian, February 2013)

Taking Action For Palestine

Earlier today activists from London Palestine Action bravely occupied UAV Engines in Shenstone, Staffordshire, owned by Elbit Systems (an Israeli company). UAV Engines produces parts for Israeli drones used in the massacre of Palestinian men, women, and children, as well as to destroy schools and hospitals in Gaza. A contingent from Red Youth are attending in solidarity with the activists and the Palestinian people, and in protest against the Zionist regime.

Red Youth protesting Israeli arms factory
Pro-Palestine protest at an Israeli arms factory shut down by activists

The activists have chained themselves to the roof of the factory, forcing it to stop production and demanding that UK ceases trading arms to Israel, imposes sanctions on Israel, and supports the investigation into human rights abuses in Gaza.

Despite having to keep the operation a secret, as soon as it was announced earlier today people have been travelling from all over the country to show their support. Ordinary people who know they have the ability and the duty to make a difference are arriving from Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, and further afield to protest British involvement in the war crimes perpetrated by Israel.

Despite an overwhelming police response, including countless vans, officers, and a helicopter, the protesters are determined not to let these crimes against humanity go unchallenged. The stony indifference of the ruling class’s lackeys have only fuelled the determination of the protesters to help the activists keep the factory shut, and their servitude to the warmongering, profiteering bosses of this country are as clear as ever.

These is awareness growing amongst the working classes that the media is selling us a cheap fairy tale of good versus evil in the world, that the wars of the ruling class are not their wars, and that there is a world to fight for in which justice and equality can be the norm rather than the exception.

Together, by organising, educating, and taking action we can throw a spanner in the gears of the imperialist war machine. This is the only way the working people of the world can take back their rights, dignity, and redirect the fruits of their labour to the betterment of humanity.

Do something today, share this article, tell someone about the injustices committed by the UK in their name, come to the UAV Engines factory at Shenstone (Lynn Lane, near the train station, WS14 0DH) to support the activists and protest the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children.

The CPGB-ML and Red Youth are hosting a public meeting to discuss the bourgeois media lies about what is happening in Gaza and what can be done about it this Friday 8th August at 274 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 0BS at 6:30pm.

You should also join us at the Palestine Solidarity Committe demonstration in London on Saturday 9th August, taking place at 12 noon in front of BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA. Take action! Make a difference!

Read more here:

Stand with Gaza… Join the axis of resistance! (CPGB-ML, August 2014)

Resistance is the key to defeating zionism (joti2gaza, July 2014)

Palestine: strengthen the axis of resistance! (Proletarian, December 2013)

Over 1,200 dead as IDF rampage through Gaza: Business as usual for Israel


Jot Brar speaks following the London demonstration to oppose the latest atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza. More contributions from the CPGB-ML international solidarity meeting will follow.


Arguably there are no civilians in Israel. It is such a militarised armed camp for the oppression of the Palestinians and facilitating the looting of the Middle East by US, EU, NATO and UK imperialism. Israel has become integral to a colonial system in which the world is dominated by a handful of superrich countries, which have become wealthy by looting resources and exploiting people all over the world.

Britain, the first country to develop capitalism was also the first to grab a modern empire. In the early 20th century, vast oil deposits were discovered under the desert. Suddenly, the rush to secure plentiful and cheap supplies of ‘black gold’ became a key strategic imperative for all imperialists, leading to a cut-throat competition for control of the region.

Zionism and Palestine

Seeing their chance, the early zionists asked Britain’s rulers to let them set up a jewish state in Palestine in exchange for helping to keep the region under British domination.

With Arab nationalism on the rise, the imperialists accepted the offer, looking forward to the creation of a “loyal jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.

And, although British masters were later pushed aside by American ones, a ‘loyal jewish Ulster’ is exactly what Israel has remained to this day.

The zionist stooges who destroy Palestinian homes, drop bombs on Palestinian schools, plough up Palestinian crops and poison Palestinian water are bribed by US and British governments and corporations to do imperialism’s dirty work.

In return for helping corporations like BP and Texaco to carry on looting the oil and dominating the people of the whole Middle East, the zionists are given military support and hardware, financial aid, diplomatic immunity, and a campaign of lies and disinformation in the imperialist-controlled media.

Israel was established in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, and has been illegally occupying further Palestinian lands and displacing and wiping out Palestinian families ever since.

War crimes are a daily event in this, the most militarised state in the world. In fact, rather than viewing Israel as a state with a huge military, it is more helpful to realise that Israel is in fact a massive army base that also happens to have some schools. Israeli children are brought up to be Nazi-like stormtroopers, their heads filled with supremacist hatred of all Arab peoples.

The imperialists made one serious miscalculation, though. It was assumed that in the face of Israel’s might, Palestinians would accept underclass status or leave, but the days when colonialists could evict a people from their land and get away with it were over.

In a century of socialist revolution and national liberation, the racist dismissal of local peoples as ‘uncivilised barbarians’ or merely ‘irrelevant’ was no longer possible.

Instead of politely disappearing, the Palestinians stood their ground – refusing to submit no matter how barbarous their oppressors became. Instead of passively joining the long list of imperialist victims, the Palestinians became a beacon of resistance and an inspiration to oppressed people globally.

Gradually, the wellspring of sympathy that Israel shamelessly exploited following the Nazis’ mass extermination of jews in WW2 has run dry. It is now clear to all that it is the zionists, and not the Palestinians, who stand in the way of peace.

So brazen has its war machine become that, today, Israel is the number one creator of anti-jewish feeling in the world.

So what has all this got to do with workers in Britain?

We need to recognise that the same ruling class that is waging war on our living standards (trying to force us to pay the price of the economic crisis of capitalism) gains much of its power from looting the world. Since oil is such a vital resource, the British state is still one of Israel’s main backers.

It’s in our interest to support the Palestinians against imperialism and zionism. But if we want to give effective solidarity to their struggle, we need to learn from past experience.

A consumer boycott may embarrass to Israel, but British workers can do a lot more, if we are prepared to use our collective power over the country’s economy. British workers need to join this axis of resistance and give full support to all parts of it, taking their place in the unifying and indivisible struggle against imperialism.


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Baseless UN report on human rights in DPRK is a propaganda tool against socialist Korea and China

The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), part of the UN Human Rights Council, released a damning 372-page report on 17 February 2014 alleging “wide-ranging and ongoing crimes against humanity” in the country.

Michael Kirby presenting Report on Human Rights in the DPRK
UN report presented by Michael Kirby urges western intervention against the DPRK.

The report claimed to have supporting documents revealing widespread torture, enslavement, murder and enforced starvation in a system of political prison camps, known as kwanliso.

It also urged the international community to “accept its responsibility to protect the people of the DPRK … because the government has manifestly failed to do so”. In fact, the chairperson, Michael Kirby, an Australian judge, has written to Kim Jong Un stating that he may be held personally responsible and faces referral to the International Criminal Court.

It also recommended introducing further sanctions against the DPRK and increased pressure on China to withdraw its support from its longstanding ally.

International media endorsed the report’s findings and the story occupied the central headlines in newspapers and broadcasts across the world. Commentators, politicians, and academics – promoted as ‘experts’ on the Korean peninsula – compared the situation to that of Nazi Germany and demanded international action.

The reaction has been a stage-managed cacophony of emotive and uninformed propaganda, and it constitutes an extremely serious, imperialist-orchestrated assault on the DPRK’s people and government.

As in the cases of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, the imperialists know that to lay the ground for a genocidal assault, the minds of the people must be conditioned to accept the casualties that will result from such a war as ‘necessary’ – as the ‘lesser evil’.

We note that the ‘report’ is used as the basis for a call for military action against the DPRK. Such a war would not be the first genocide that the USA, clothed in ‘UN’ colours, has committed on the Korean Peninsula. Peace-loving, democratic and progressive people the world over must be mindful of history and guard against this psychological warfare. We have seen just how many lives it costs – and that the cost is also our own freedom.

A careful and critical analysis of the report, which has not been conducted by mainstream academics and journalists, reveals serious concerns with its methodology.

Despite its unanimity, the report does not contain a single piece of evidence taken from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There are no photographs, no video recordings, and no credible documents of evidence of any of the alleged incidents or sites that the report describes.

The report’s findings are based on the testimonies of 80 people – including alleged defectors and ‘experts’ on DPR Korea – at public hearings in Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Washington – the capitals of the very countries that have committed the worst crimes against Korea over the last century and more. The report’s authors also claim to have been informed by ‘secret interviews’ with approximately 240 others.

The important question to ask ourselves is: why has this report been commissioned? We know that imperialism has no interest whatsoever in upholding international law or in protecting the rights of minorities – or even of the masses. Quite the reverse, in fact! There is every reason for us to feel suspicious when the biggest bandits and war criminals on the planet are shouting in a heavily-orchestrated chorus about the ‘crimes’ of their enemies.

And, indeed, there is an established history of slander and falsifications made against socialist, anti-imperialist and non-aligned countries by the so-called ‘international community’ (aka the club of imperialist powers).

Recent history shows us many cases of ‘witness’ and ‘expert’ testimonies claiming to have ‘overwhelming evidence’ of heinous crimes that have been false. In each case, the uncovering of the ‘crime’ has served a propaganda purpose and provided moral justification for an imperialist war crime.

In 1990, in an emotional testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a witness claimed to have seen Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait removing hundreds of babies from incubators – stealing the equipment and watching the children die. The allegation was corroborated by Amnesty International, circulated throughout international media and used as moral justification for the US-led invasion of Iraq in the Gulf war of 1991.

False testimony used to Justify Iraq War - there were no "babies thrown from incubators by Iraqi troops"
False testimony used to justify Iraq war – there were no “babies thrown from incubators by Iraqi troops”.

images bush blair 0908-cia-screwup-on-wmd.jpg_full_600 51YUwL2MuLL._SL500_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

In 1992, however, it was revealed that the witness was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States and a member of ‘Citizens of a Free Kuwait’ – a government propaganda campaign group. An investigative journalist report later found that Iraqi troops had no part in the death of babies in the country.

It was a total fiction; a journalistic crime perpetrated at the behest of the Anglo-American billionaire class, with purely cynical and anti-popular motives from start to finish.

This shameful propaganda practice is hardly without precedent. In 1964, the United States invented the Tonkin Incident to justify going to war with North Vietnam.

In 2002, in the September (‘dodgy’) dossier, Tony Blair claimed that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ capable of being deployed against British bases in Cyprus within 45 minutes. In 2011, the United Nations claimed that Muammar Gaddafi provided ‘viagra-like’ drugs and ordered troops to sexually assault Libyan women.

These accusations were taken up and amplified by the international media and by ‘non-governmental’ agencies such as Amnesty International, and provided moral justifications for war. They were all proven to be completely untrue, but the damage caused was irreversible.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. It is simply ‘routine’ imperialist psy-ops military practice. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Gulf of Tonkin Incident fabricated to 'justify' War against Vietnam
Gulf of Tonkin Incident fabricated to ‘justify’ war against Vietnam.

Indeed, in the Korean peninsula there exists an entire industry of falsification. Stories of crimes against humanity – the more wild and ridiculous the better – are printed as fact. They contain no evidence and rely on information from unverifiable sources.

A central part of this industry of falsification, fantasy and illusion is the use of ‘defectors’ from DPR Korea. It is alleged that there are tens of thousands of defectors – now living in south Korea, Japan, the United States and Europe – although this is incredibly difficult to verify.

Whilst defections do happen in all systems, there has always been a sizeable ethnic Korean population in China, since national borders never conform entirely to the distribution of national-ethnic populations.

Indeed, Koreans, as an oppressed nationality under Japanese occupation between 1905 and 1945, and as one of China’s own many nationalities, were involved from the early stages in the struggles of the Chinese communist party and of the Red Army – the forerunner of today’s People’s Liberation Army.

Koreans fought alongside their Chinese comrades during both the Long March and the anti-fascist war waged to liberate both Manchuria and Korea from the brutal rule of Japanese imperialism. They were fighting heroically against the Japanese long before Pearl Harbour brought the USA into WW2.

There is also a community of more recent economic migrants in the north-eastern provinces of China – drawn in part by the growing Chinese economy and driven to a degree by the effects of the vicious sanctions regime imposed by US imperialism on the DPR Korea, , as well as being the natural result of the regular interchange between the countries.

The authorities in south Korea, along with all sorts of imperialist agencies, have been agitating within these communities and offering huge financial incentives to those willing to publicly allege atrocities committed by the DPRK government. There are a number of examples of high-profile defectors signing publishing deals for books and films and winning celebrity status in south Korea.

Anti-communist propaganda industry grinds on in south Korea, while citizens are imprisoned for speaking out in favour of the communist north

In fact, the first individual to testify at the public hearings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK was Shin Dong Hyuk, the co-author (along with an American ‘ghost writer’) of Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West.

This is an infamous book that contains gripping – though unverified – stories of terror and brutality that would not be out of place in a (needless to say fictional) Hollywood blockbuster. It is without fact or verifiable evidence and has, naturally, been made into a film. Indeed, Shin has changed his story on numerous occasions. As in the heyday of anti-Soviet writing, the burden of proof remains astoundingly low when it comes to anti-communist propaganda!

Lucrative Anti-communist Propaganda Industry in S Korea - Killing the Truth
Lucrative anti-communist propaganda industry in south Korea – killing the truth.

Shin was instructed during the UN public testimony that if he did not have enough time to submit evidence he could instruct the panel to consult his book. When asked why he and his family were imprisoned he said he could not remember, but he thinks his family may have collaborated with ‘the south’ during the war, although, of course, the war ended long before he was born.

There is no way that Shin can prove his lurid claims, but the material incentive for making them is clear. He now divides his time between homes in Seoul and New York and enjoys international stardom.

Shin’s media success encouraged dozens of others to come forward and make all sorts of equally lurid accusations against the DPRK. However, they are finding that the industry is becoming saturated. Once promised thousands of dollars, book and film deals, and celebrity status, ‘defectors’ are now finding that what awaits them is a life of debt, unemployment and exclusion from south Korean society.

So much so, that here has been a change in direction – even recognised by the south Korean government –  as hundreds of people claiming to have suffered ‘terrible abuses’ and to have escaped from the DPRK in fear for their lives are now attempting to re-defect back to the north.

In an interview with Public Radio International, a man who allegedly helped dozens of ‘defectors’ settle in south Korea says that many, including himself, want to return to the DPR Korea. Speaking from Seoul, Son Jeong Hun said that in his experience “eighty out of a hundre defectors want to go back to north Korea”.

The road home, however, is perilous. It was, after all, the US and its south Korean fascist puppets who divided the country, and who built the wall perpetuating that separation. They have made it a crime to speak out in favour of the communist north – and one that is regularly punished by imprisonment.

Indeed, in the very same week that this report was published, a south Korean MP has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sympathising with the north – no outcry from the ‘human rights’ lobby here.

In another interview, one of the ‘double defectors’, as they are dubbed, explained that, after being duped by the offer of large sums of money, she experienced subhuman treatment in the south.

Pak Jong-suk, a double defector, speaks at a press conference in North Korea on June 28 during which she admitted to defecting to the South and lambasted the capitalist system she experienced. Pak said she defected to see her father, who lived in the South, and called her decision “foolish.” [YONHAP]
Pak Jong-Suk, a double defector, speaks at a press conference in north Korea on 28 June, during which she admitted to defecting to the south and lambasted the capitalist system she experienced there. Pak said she defected to see her father, who lived in the south, and called her decision “foolish”. [YONHAP]

It must surely seem peculiar to even the most sceptical observer that hundreds of people who claim to have defected from a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship that is supposed to be committing ‘heinous crimes against humanity’ actively seek to return to that state.

Moreover, it is claimed that many more would return to Pyongyang if it wasn’t for repressive acts of the south Korean authorities. It is illegal for any citizen of south Korea to publicly sympathise with the north and many people have been imprisoned for doing so. Repatriation to the DPRK is, as mentioned above, also criminalised by the repressive south Korean regime.

There is not a single shred of first-hand evidence of crimes against humanity in the DPRK. There are also serious concerns, as detailed in this article, about the credibility of the second and third-hand accounts provided in the report.

It is remarkable that a UN commission has published a report condemning a sovereign state and recommending economic sanctions – and alluding to other interventions – on such flimsy evidence. But that is the reality that socialist, independent and non-aligned states face because they do not bend to the influence of the imperialist states that control the United Nations.

It was, let us not forget, under a UN flag that 4 million Koreans were slaughtered in he US-led genocide between 1950-53.

There is, on the other hand, a huge array of first-hand, independently-verified evidence to prove the claims of atrocities and crimes against humanity committed on the Korean peninsula by imperialism.

International war crimes tribunal charges United States with “criminal and even genocidal conduct”

In 2003, fifty years after the official cessation of the conflict, an international war crimes tribunal sitting in New York found that the United States – supported by British troops – committed atrocities against civilians during the Korean war. Despite the denial of visas to key individuals who wanted to testify, the evidence collected was overwhelming.

In 1950, US-led massacres killed approximately one quarter of the population of Sinchon county – 35,383 people – mostly non-combatants, elderly people, women and children.

US and ROK Massacres - 4.7 million killed during 'Korean War' 1950-53
US and ROK massacres – 4.7 million killed during ‘Korean war’, 1950-53.

In October 1950, US troops forced 900 people into a building and set it alight. In another area, 1,000 women were drowned.

The 2nd Battalion, 7th US Cavalry regiment murdered up to 500 civilian refugees in No Gun Ri that same year.

After the initial attack, the refugees fled into a culvert and a tunnel beneath the bridge. US forces set up machine guns at either end of the culvert and tunnel. For over three entire days the machine gunners killed those who tried to leave, killing, according to the TRCK, an additional 300:xxvii “‘There was a lieutenant screaming like a madman, fire on everything, kill ‘em all,’ recalls 7th Cavalry veteran Joe Jackman. ‘I didn’t know if they were soldiers or what. Kids, there was kids out there, it didn’t matter what it was, eight to 80, blind, crippled or crazy, they shot ‘em all.’”xxviii Soldiers with small arms would, as time passed, approach the culvert to pick off any survivors. A survivor, 12 at the time, said: “The American soldiers played with our lives like boys playing with flies.”xxix Bruce Cumings believes that there was a concerted effort to ensure that there were no surviving witnesses.
After the initial attack, the refugees fled into a culvert and a tunnel beneath the bridge. US forces set up machine guns at either end of the culvert and tunnel. For over three days the machine gunners shot down those who tried to leave, killing, according to the TRCK, an additional 300. “‘There was a lieutenant screaming like a madman, fire on everything, kill ’em all,’ recalls 7th Cavalry veteran Joe Jackman. ‘I didn’t know if they were soldiers or what. Kids, there was kids out there, it didn’t matter what it was, eight to 80, blind, crippled or crazy, they shot ’em all.'” Soldiers with small arms would, as time passed, approach the culvert to pick off any survivors. A survivor, 12 at the time, said: “The American soldiers played with our lives like boys playing with flies.” Bruce Cumings believes that there was a concerted effort to ensure that there were no surviving witnesses.

In 1948, a quarter of the population of Jeju island was exterminated because it did not support the US-backed regime.

a communist revolt on Jeju island off the south coast of the Korean Peninsula, beginning on April 3, 1948. Between 14,000 and 60,000 individuals were killed in fighting between various factions on the island or were executed. The brutal suppression of this rebellion by the South Korean army resulted in many deaths, the destruction of many villages on the island, and more rebellions on the Korean mainland.
A communist revolt on Jeju island off the south coast of the Korean Peninsula, beginning on 3 April 1948. Between 14,000 and 60,000 individuals were killed in fighting between various factions on the island or were executed. The brutal suppression of this rebellion by the south Korean army resulted in many deaths, the destruction of many villages on the island, and more rebellions on the Korean mainland.

The tribunal concluded that, between 25 June 1950 and 17 July 1953, over 4.6 million Koreans perished – including 3 million civilians in the north and 500,00 civilians in the south. The evidence overwhelmingly supported the charge that the United States was guilty of “criminal and even genocidal conduct”.

US ‘war hero’ and ‘democrat’ General Douglas MacArthur boasted of bombing Korea ‘back into the stone age’

A variety of evidence – from eye-witness testimonies to physical documentation – showed “the systematic levelling of most buildings and dwellings by US artillery and aerial bombardment; widespread atrocities committed by US and ROK forces against civilians and prisoners of war; the deliberate destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production; and the  use of illegal weapons and biological and chemical warfare  by the US against the people and the environment of  northern Korea”.

It showed that the US used weapons banned by the articles of war, including bacteriological and chemical weapons. US planes had dropped canisters containing organisms infected with plague, cholera and other epidemic diseases.

We bombed Pyongyang 'back into the stone age' - Boasts US General McArthur
We bombed Pyongyang ‘back into the stone age’, boasted US General McArthur.

Napalm was used by the US military on an industrial scale against the Korean people.

And from Pyongyang to Fallujah, the US has never looked back.


The tribunal also found “gross and systematic violence committed against women in northern and southern Korea, characterised by mass rapes, sexual assaults and murders”.

Furthermore, there is evidence of numerous other atrocities having been committed against Korean civilians by both the US and their south Korean puppets in the decades after the war.

In 1980, the National Security Law was implemented by the US-backed military dictatorship in south Korea and was used to imprison up to 1 million civilians. Following an uprising in which the city of Kwangju was temporarily liberated, up to two thousand demonstrators, including workers and students, were massacred, and thousands more were injured.

The United States has also enforced economic sanctions on the DPRK since the 1950s. This has deprived the country of materials essential for civilian life including petroleum, medicines and a host of technologies to improve urban and rural infrastructure and food production.

Moreover, the artificial partition of Korea deprives the DPRK of much fertile land. This has caused difficulties in the production of food, particularly in periods of natural disasters. The imperialists have then politicised food-aid – withholding vital supplies during periods of crisis unless political demands were met.

History repeats itself – first as tragedy, then as farce

The United Nations, through its Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, is not only falling below international standards of research by promoting unverifiable sources as credible evidence; it is attempting to provide the moral justification for further economic and military intervention against the country.

The language employed – affirming that it is the responsibility of western powers to protect the people of Korea – is reminiscent of the justifications for colonialism, slavery and the genocide of indigenous populations by the imperialist powers.

It is psychotic behaviour to depict one’s victims as perpetrators, but that is the perverse situation on the Korean peninsula.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the victim of mass extermination by imperialist attack in the 1950s and of enforced hardship and attempts at inflicting mass starvation through economic sanctions ever since – is once again being accused of the very crimes that have in fact been perpetrated against its people by a series of colonial overlords and would-be overlords over a period of 100 years.

The most brutal, methodical and destructive occupation of Korea has in fact been led and perpetrated by the hypocritical ringleaders of the UN ‘accusers’ – by US imperialism itself. It would be farcical were it not so deeply offensive.

This report is an orchestrated political assault by an entity that provides the legal and moral framework for imperialism. The great capitalist powers, and in particular the United States, use the United Nations to facilitate their hegemony over Africa, Asia and Latin America. In this, however, they are becoming increasingly frustrated by the rise of China.

The United States committed genocide in Korea to stunt the growth of socialist revolution and to stop the development of socialist and non-aligned countries. Despite the collapse of the USSR, due to the own-goals of Khrushchevite revisionism, it has singularly failed in its primary objective.

The imperialist powers now face an increasingly confident, multipolar world, led by China, and seek to confront this rising tide of political and economic resistance with aggressive economic, political and – frequently – military interventions.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend!

The report is therefore not only an attack on socialist Korea, but also on China and other independent and emerging states.

It is attack also on the discontented working (and increasingly under- and unemployed) people of Europe, Japan and the US.  For our enemy is here at home. The British capitalist may speak our language, but he is most decidedly not our friend. Imperialism is our mortal enemy.

To succumb to the Union Jack-boot, the butcher’s apron and the bowler-hatted marching drum is to lose any chance of building an alternative to the perpetual crisis, slavery and war of our ruling class’s system of wage slavery, hypocrisy, poverty, war and greed.

Despite the emotive and hysterical accusations, it is clear that those who stand against atrocities and crimes against humanity should stand firmly with the DPR Korea and China. Resist the ‘humanitarianism’ of imperialism. Resist the ‘democracy’ espoused by the genocidal maniacs and the free-market fundamentalists; by the servants of ‘the city’, of monopoly capital.

Why is Tony Blair now joining the Sunday Times rich list? As a reward for leading British people by the nose to the high altar of their own exploitation and wage slavery, and cajoling us into complicity in plunder, rape and mass murder in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and around the world.

No price is too high to pay for their profit? We say ‘Enough’!

Fight modern-day slavery; fight imperialism! Defend the DPRK!

No to imperialist war!