In December a 14 year old cadre of Red Youth took on his school’s Amnesty International group. We published his excellent letter online: A christmas letter to Amnesty International. In response we received a number of questions from others who were interested in the role of Amnesty International in their school. Our comrade has replied to a number of these questions, and we reproduce the excellent reply below [with names removed] in the hope that this will contribute to the debate around what constitutes our attitude to Amnesty International and at the same time explain our Marxist Leninist position on a number of familiar questions.
Dear XXXX XXXX,
Thank you for showing an interest in the CPGB-ML. I understand they have forwarded a letter of mine which I wrote to the Amnesty International club in my own School. Incidentally and importantly, I am still waiting for a reply from them.
I would like to answer, as a fellow school student, the questions you raised with the CPGB-ML. However, beforehand let me stress that the points which you have made are very important and insightful and give rise to the key and broader considerations at hand.
Your first question:
“The CPGB-ML has taken the stance of supporting ‘anti imperialist’
states such as the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China all of which have
according to many Western states and most human rights groups have
appalling records on human rights and other political freedoms. Does
the CPGB-ML feel these human rights abuses are falsified claims by the
West, claims that are put out of context or justifiable evils?”
Obviously, we believe these countries have significant human rights achievements and the western narrative is intentionally designed to mislead. In making this claim, there is no denial that miscarriages of justice do occur, as in any society with a class system. As Karl Marx explained it is class conflict which determines the social and political structures which prevail in society. In which case, only with the abolition of classes will it be possible to have a society without exploitation, inequality and injustices, the kind of ‘perfect’ society you allude to in your question.
However, it was Lenin who showed that in the current epoch capitalism has now swallowed up the globe and that the powerful imperialist states had divided the world into areas of domination and influence in order to exploit the resources and people of the weaker countries. This world system on the one hand is the main obstacle to development and economic progress for the oppressed nations of the world whose resources and people are exploited by the hegemonic nations whilst on the other hand it is the cause of war as they fight each other over the division of the world and violently repress the attempts by the poorer ones to break out from this system. The consequences including the obscene inequality witnessed in the distribution of the world’s economic output and quality of life, as well as the suffering caused by modern wars are the greatest denials of human rights. It is in this context that we judge the role of countries like the former Soviet Union, the former peoples democracies of Eastern Europe, Zimbabwe, Cuba, China, Vietnam, the DPRK, Syria, Iran and previously Libya etc. These are countries that have broken the chain of Imperialism, providing the bulk of humanity with the prospect of a decent life, once the preserve only of the fortunate classes in the more powerful richer nations.
As you have not raised any particular examples in your question, it is difficult to address any particular abuse of human rights you might have in mind. However, what one can say about the listed societies is the needs of the ordinary working people determine the way the society is governed. This can be contrasted with capitalist countries where the primary concern is the right to private property, private profit, the capitalists to exploit the workers and most importantly, for big powerful countries to be able to oppress and plunder the rest of the world including launching unprovoked wars of aggression against smaller countries with much less sophisticated military means to defend themselves.
Further, as the capitalist elite in these more powerful and richer countries survives by exploiting most of humanity, countries which refuse to submit are a big problem for them. It should come as no surprise therefore that the mass media which is controlled by the capitalists should demonise the alternative to their domination. Below is a link to a video which is presented by an ex CIA Economic Hit man who explains very clearly and simply the stages in how the US intelligence forces plot to change or control an independently governed nation.
Additionally, the worst human rights abuses are within western countries and those that they control. The list of injustices is endless as my letter to Amnesty International indicates. However, western countries would have you believe that human rights abuse only happen elsewhere. Are not some of the worst breaches of human rights mass unemployment, denial of a free comprehensive and higher education, the denial of affordable and adequate healthcare and security in old age or when sick or disabled, the denial of equal opportunities for women, national/ethnic minorities, the denial of personal security and protection from police brutality? However, it is in capitalist countries that we witness such human rights abuse as the capitalists seek to place the increasing burden of the economic crisis of the capitalist system on the backs of the workers. The mind boggles when we hear the representatives of the capitalist class explain that the capitalist system can no longer afford these rights for the people, but continue to increase the assets of the ruling rich minority whilst wasting the potential contribution of millions of abled bodied workers who instead remain idle and jobless.
I think it’s also worth noting that the countries you refer to have to remain very vigilant in defending their independence, dignity and freedom from oppression from the big and powerful capitalist countries. Is this freedom not precious to them and should they not come down heavily on those who would jeopardise this, including those individuals that would sell out their country’s independence for their own personal gain?
Taking your second question:
“The CPGB-ML are famous amongst the left wing and trade union
movement for their attitude and relationship with the beliefs of
Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung and other Anti revisionist leaders. These
men, like the previously mentioned nations, have claims of human
rights abuses with their name. Does the CPGB-ML believe that the
claimed deaths that happened under Stalin’s reign, such as Holodomor,
are propaganda from the USA etc?”
Of course during WW2 Stalin was a hero not only to the people of the Soviet Union but to the workers throughout the world as the leader in the struggle of humanity to crush fascism. After the war much of the Nazi propaganda was taken up by Imperialism which of course was seriously weakened by the victory of the Red army. The vile and deceitful falsifications of history and the massive campaigns to deceive the workers in the imperialist countries is not only to be expected but is proof of the authenticity of the socialist and people centred nature of the Soviet Union. For why else was Imperialism forced to take a social democratic turn to stave off revolution in the imperialist heartland? Revolution had brought the workers to power in the socialist countries and at any cost this had to be prevented in the imperialist countries even if it meant making massive concessions at the time, of course with every intention of reversal as soon as the situation allowed or necessitated. So Stalin is demonised because he was a genuine leader of the workers who lead his nation into building a powerful socialist country very successfully and against all the odds. Such was its strength and success, it took over thirty years to dismantle.
The Holodomore myth is simply an extension of the Nazi policy of Lebensraum, whereby large parts of the western Soviet union were to be claimed by the Nazis. The German people were to be fed a barrage of lies about the region so that they should be seen as the rightful owners whose current residents would be only too grateful for the Nazi control. Of course in the very first days of the invasion as the entries in the diaries of senior German officers makes clear the reality could hardly have been more different. 90% of German combat fatalities in WW2 occurred fighting Russia. The Russian defeat of the Nazis is recognised as the greatest military achievement in history (MacArthur). This is the clearest evidence I can provide you with in rebutting the disgraceful slanders against the Soviet union and its leaders taken up by imperialism after the war in order to launch the Cold War.
Of course much has been written about the collectivisation of agriculture in the Soviet Union but if the claims of mass starvation leading to the deaths of millions are true then why is it that the photographs used to prove its existence are frauds and all are from the famine that happened during the war of intervention after 1918 when the new workers state was attacked by 11 imperialist powers? A famous book was written about this scandal by Douglas Tottle in 1987 called Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard, which explains in great detail how this lie started and what actually happened in the Ukraine at the time but is ignored by western media. It should also be made very clear that collectivisation was very popular amongst most of the people who pursued it very robustly but was vigorously resisted by those that had most to lose. The Kulaks resisted violently and selfishly often destroying rather than sharing. However, the policy proved a great success and there has never been famine in the Soviet Union since though this was a frequent occurrence before the 1917 revolution. It also enabled the country to industrialise rapidly as the extra grain could be sold to earn vital capital. Without the policy the country would never have been strong enough to defeat the Nazis and so comprehensively and in so doing save humanity from the awful scourge of fascism.
Taking your third question:
“The CPGB-ML has taken an admittedly unpopular stance on the Arab
Spring revolutions in Syria and Libya. Why did CPGB-ML side with the
forces of Colonel Gaddafi and Bashar Al-Assad against the
revolutionaries? Does the CPGB-ML feel it is better to have a flawed,
non Marxist, anti imperialist state rather than a pro Western
democracy with links to the USA?”
Because Libya was and Syria is not led by puppets of western imperialism, it is to be expected that their systems would be demonised in preparation for military targeting. It’s noteworthy that Libya in 2010 received various UN accolades for its human rights record, namely for educational, gender, ethnic minority and health policies as well as for achievements for social provision and its magnificent infrastructural projects, such as the Sahara aquifers. These human rights achievements were heavily targeted during the destruction of Libya. Ironically, Libya’s prison population was only 12,500 when the country was attacked (which ranks very average as a percentage of the population compared with other countries-unlike the USA which has the highest).
Under foreign pressure, various terrorist prisoners were released who then in cahoots with various western intelligence organisations began a violent campaign in eastern Libya, centred in the city of Benghazi, publically attacking, lynching and beheading public officials and officers, particularly dark skinned ones. Using propaganda techniques reminiscent of the style of Joseph Goebels, the notorious NAZI propagandist, the western mass media then depicted the resulting attempts by the Libyan government in restoring order, albeit very successfully, as a ‘ruthless crack-down on peaceful protesters”. Indeed, how could Al Qaida linked terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, be in any way considered progressive or revolutionary? These throwbacks are fighting not to liberate their people from slavery, but to try and bring back the slave owners grip to the liberated zones.
Under the camouflage of the Arab spring, where genuine public protests in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and the gulf monarchies are aimed at removing western puppet governments, the UN caved into western pressure authorising a no fly zone resolution over Libya. NATO countries then cynically exploited this far in access of the spirit of its wording so allowing thousands of NATO proxies and mercenaries in the region to descend on Libya under the protection of a massive NATO carpet bombing campaign in order to remove the legitimate government of the country, resulting in the deaths of up to a hundred thousand Libyans including its leaders and their families. Colonel Gaddafi, labelled as a ‘ruthless dictator’ at the time, was lynched and raped in full view of the world’s public as a warning to all those others who should dare to stand up to the NATO powers. As a consequence, abuse of human rights in Libya now is systemic as tens of thousands of innocent civilians languish in the prisons of terrorist gangs, for no other reason than the colour of their skin or their former public service. Such is the level of instability and lacking of rule of law, that even the US ambassador and staff were murdered in full public view.
Indeed, the war was many years in the making, being a pre-planned, organised mission of western imperialism. At a democratic election gathering in 2002, 4 star US Genera, Wesley Clark, described the contents of an extremely classified document which stated that the United States and its allies would use the 9/11 Terror attacks as a pretext for attacking a list of countries which currently were not controlled by US imperialism including both Libya and Syria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Iran. (see this link)
Following the complete disregard for international law in the utter destruction of a sovereign country and the removing of its legitimate government as in the case with Libya, both Russia and China at the UN security council have remained firm in upholding the rule of law so averting a similar catastrophe in Syria.
Therefore, the CPGB-ML, far from being unpopular in its stand on the Arab Spring revolutions, is in good company with those that wish to uphold the rule of law, opposing the highest of all crimes, an unprovoked war of aggression (Nuremburg). We are very proud to have consistently upheld this position throughout the developments in the Middle-East, probably the only organisation on the so called left to have done so. With regards to Gaddafi and Assad not being Marxists, as already explained, the class position is determined by the correct stand against imperialism. The first task of the revolution is the removing of imperialism from the country enabling it to adopt policies to promote the welfare of its citizens at home and pursue an independent foreign policy abroad. Is it not our internationalist duty to support the leaders of such countries whether they are Marxist or not in achieving these goals? I therefore strongly urge you to examine these achievements in relation to these countries which of course have had no air time whatsoever in the western mass media but are well known to the citizens of these countries. It is no surprise that the first country for Mandela to visit after his release from prison was Libya to thank Gaddafi for his support for the liberation struggle in South Africa. Nor should it be a surprise that it was and still is Syria that provides sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians seeking refuge from Zionist eviction and for some 2 million plus Iraqi refugees who were displaced during the genocidal war of aggression against Iraq.
Taking your Fourth Question:
“What is the CPGB-ML’s position on Amnesty International and other
human rights organisations?”
I will try to briefly summarise the party’s line on Amnesty International, but I would recommend reading my letter which was written to the Amnesty International group at my own school.
Amnesty is, and always will be, a tool of the imperialist nations which, I have said before, commit the worst human rights abuses. Instead, it masquerades purposely as a human rights protector and deliberately points its longest finger at the nations which actually try to improve human rights, such as China, Cuba, the DPRK , Libya and Syria. Syria, the nation which is in the firing line of imperialism, is at the forefront of Amnesty’s ‘mission’ to improve “human rights”. Is this a coincidence? Of course not.
“We have the names of over 29,000 people killed since the crackdown on peaceful protests first began in Syria, in March 2011. But we believe the total figure is far higher, and the UN has claimed it is as high as 60,000.” quote Amnesty International (Stop the killing: Take action now!) This one paragraph released on Amnesty’s website sums the organisation up as a bias, lying and pro-war organisation.
So, our position on Amnesty International is very clear. It was set up purely to hoodwink the masses of western countries into believing that the wars perpetrated by western imperialism are carried out to promote human rights and fight humanitarian abuses but it is in fact the opposite which is the truth. Amnesty was introduced by CIA officials and ex US politicians as a key propaganda weapon.
I would be very interested in any responses that you might have to this letter and suggest that we maintain our discourse and continue with our debate.