cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBritain: Boris Johnson Determined to Impose a No Deal Brexit


For resistance on the streets and a general strike to bring down this reactionary government!


By Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain, 13 August 2019,




Boris Johnson who has succeeded Theresa May as Prime Minister and Tory leader has revenged himself on his opponents. He has sacked half the cabinet and appointed leading Brexiteers to important cabinet positions – including Dominic Raab as Foreign secretary and Priti Patel as Home Secretary. His government majority is down to one after the result of the Brecon and Radnor By-election where the sitting Tory was defeated by the Liberal democrats supporting a remain position. Politics in Britain is dominated by clear divisions between Brexit or Remain.


Dominic Raab, Johnson’s Foreign Secretary, has stated it will be easier to negotiate with the EU after No deal on the 31st October thereby rejecting the EU’s withdrawal proposals agreed with Teresa May.


“Dominic Raab has claimed Britain will be in a better position to negotiate a “good deal” with the European Union if it crashes out of the bloc before the end of October. The foreign secretary believes a no-deal scenario could provide more leverage in the context of a free trade agreement and resolve long-standing issues such as the Irish backstop”. [1]




The Threat to the Union




Johnson and the Brexiteers by proceeding on a course to crash out of the EU without an agreement threaten the United Kingdom. The Act of Settlement of 1701 established a union with Scotland, the other two nations of Wales and Northern Ireland became part of Britain later under devolved powers as did Scotland. Northern Ireland with the Good Friday agreement is now a power sharing authority with Britain temporarily suspended with direct rule from Westminster. All three countries voted with a majority to remain within the European Union in the 2016 Referendum.


Johnson has no mandate to enforce a no deal Brexit in those countries and faces massive opposition to his no deal scenario. Johnson has recently visited all these countries. He desperately needs the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, a right wing racist party in Northern Ireland, to have a majority in Parliament. Most of the Brexiteers want to reject the Backstop – a limited customs union agreed in the Good Friday agreement but opposed vehemently by the Brexiteers and the DUP.


“Boris Johnson has said it is up to the EU to compromise to avoid a no-deal Brexit, after his demands for the backstop to be scrapped were met with a flat refusal from the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Vardakas. In comments that showed he is preparing to blame the EU if the UK ends up leaving without a deal, Johnson said he was not aiming for a no-deal Brexit but the situation was “very much up to our friends and partners across the Channel .A spokesman for Varadkar said: “The Taoiseach emphasized to the prime minister that the backstop was necessary as a consequence of decisions taken in the UK and by the UK government. “Noting that the Brexit negotiations take place between the UK and the EU, the Taoiseach explained that the EU was united in its view that the withdrawal agreement could not be reopened”. [2]


Boris Johnson is facing the situation of the breakup of the Union. The Backstop or limited customs union if dead will mean a reversion to a hard border between England and Ireland an EU state and problems this will cause problems for the British bourgeoisie as well as the Irish bourgeoisie.


In Northern Ireland Sinn Fein, which is part of the power sharing government with the DUP and a petit bourgeoisie party, has stated that if a no deal proceeds on the 31st October the Northern Ireland electorate should have a ballot to decide on reunification of Ireland as the Irish electorate did not vote for Brexit but the opposite to remain the EU.


“It would be “unthinkable” if a no-deal Brexit was not followed by a poll on Irish reunification, the leader of Sinn Fein has warned Boris Johnson, also telling the prime minister that no one believed he was impartial on Northern Ireland. In the longer term, we have advised him that constitutional change is in the air. He can’t say that he hasn’t been told,” Mary Lou McDonald said after meeting Johnson at Stormont on Wednesday morning any Brexit but particularly no deal, “represents in anybody’s language a dramatic change of circumstances on this island, and … it would be unthinkable in those circumstances that people would not to be given the opportunity to decide on our future together”, McDonald said”. [3]




A Second Referendum in Scotland over Independence




Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister in Scotland, is opposed to a no deal scenario and wants a close relationship with the European capitalists and bourgeoisie. After Boris Johnson visited Scotland she told him that Scotland voted for a Remain position opposed to the Brexit position advocated by Johnson and his supporters. It is the ruling class in the upper echelons of the SNP who believe a second referendum is the only way to be part of the European Union and break away from Britain.


“Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon has written to Boris Johnson to tell him that she is “looking forward” to discussing with him her proposals for a second independence referendum. Using her first letter to the new prime minister to remind him of Scottish government analysis which found that a no-deal Brexit could cost 100,000 jobs across Scotland, she writes: “Given your public comments about leaving the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, “come what may” and “do or die it is now – more than ever – essential that in Scotland we have an alternative option. Stating that her government would continue the parliamentary progress of legislation to enable a second referendum on independence, which Sturgeon has indicated she would like to hold before 2021, she tells Johnson: “The right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future is a basic democratic principle that must be respected.” [4]


Sturgeon’s real reason is the survival of the capitalist class in Scotland and for that purpose she needs Scotland as an independent country within in the European Union. Her bleeding heart about Scottish jobs is so much window dressing and not to be believed.


Under such circumstances such a second referendum on independence in fact becomes a referendum about membership in Britain or in the European Union. In other words, it would be a referendum about membership in one or another imperialist state. Marxists can not support any of these two options. During the first referendum in 2014 there existed arguments to lend critical support for independence given the significant support this option had among the politically active sectors of the working class. However, as things are today, we would under such circumstances not advocate neither “independence” (i.e. membership in the EU) nor remaining in the United Kingdom.




A General Election is imminent




Boris Johnson faces a number of obstacles but he could still remain as Prime Minister even if a no confidence motion was successful. Johnson has very close relations with Nigel Farage. Farage is the leader of the Brexit party which counts racists and fascists amongst their members responsible for assaults and physical attacks against migrants and Muslims in Britain. We have fixed term parliaments and as Teresa May found out to her costs this is a parliament supporting the remain position.


Johnson’s government is Islamophobic and racist creating concentration camps like Belmarsh and Yarlswood where many migrants and refugees are incarcerated without trial or due process. The Immigration Service and the Home Office secretly locks migrants and refugees away removes their visas and then deports them back to countries where they are likely to be executed or shot.


If Johnson fails to get the support from parliament he may call a snap General Election. The main opposition party, the Labour Party, is riven by being a split Party between the neoliberal Blairite wing led by Tom Watson, the deputy leader, and Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is a left reformist leader who remains a hostage to the right wing and is unable to break out of the noose they have put around him. At all costs Watson and his cronies must stop Corbyn remaining leader and for an election under his leadership. The PLP is composed of careerists and opportunist former Blairites who favour alliances with the SNP, Liberal Democrats and other bourgeois capitalist parties. This is why they have witch-hunted Corbyn’s supporters with the absurd accusation of “anti-Semitism” and got many either suspended or expelled from the Labour Party. Socialism is anathema to these Blairites. They need to turn the party into a fully acceptable instrument for the ruling class.


“The aim of the Zionists and Blairites is to use antisemitism as a weapon to drive out all pro-Corbyn supporters and socialists in the Labour party and turn the Labour party once more into a pro-capitalist and pro-austerity party tied to British imperialism. Anti-Semitism is a red herring used by the pro-imperialists in the Labour party like Blair, Watson and others to prevent the election of a Corbyn-led anti-austerity government. The Blairites and Zionists have strong connections with Mossad, the secret intelligence service of the Israeli state, and are determined to purge the Labour party of socialists and anyone who criticises Zionism or the state of Israel”. [5]


The Blairites know that with trigger ballots their days as MP’s are over. Their main task is to form alliances with Anti-Brexit Tories the SNP and the Liberal Democrats to form a possible National government but at all costs stop the election of a Corbyn-led government. John McDonnell has stated that to prevent a hard Brexit that Jeremy Corbyn should form a caretaker government and call on Her Majesty the Queen to install Corbyn as ca caretaker Prime Minister.


“John McDonnell has doubled down on his pledge that Labour would reject a government of national unity and instead would push for Jeremy Corbyn to form a government or for a general election, in a move that appeared to stymie plans being prepared by Tory rebels. McDonnell told audience at an Edinburgh festival fringe event that it would be unsustainable for Boris Johnson to remain as prime minister if he no longer had a Commons majority. The shadow chancellor said that if the Conservative leader failed to quit he would not “want to drag the Queen into this but [he] would be sending Jeremy Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace to say ‘we’re taking over’”. [6]




Neither Remain or Brexit! For Revolutionary Defeatism!




The RCIT has stated on previous occasions that Brexit is a reflection of the global crisis of capitalism as well as of the accelerating rivalry between imperialist states.


“The upcoming elections in the European Union take place in a climate of crisis and decay. The looming next Great Recession has already resulted in the decline of industrial production in Germany and Italy. The never-ending Brexit crisis is a direct expression of the conflict between warring camps of the ruling classes of Europe”. [7]


Revolutionaries should help the workers vanguard not to follow any bourgeois imperialist camp. No support for an independent imperialist national state (Brexit) nor for staying within the imperialist European Union (Remain). We advocate instead a revolutionary defeatist position against both bourgeois imperialist options. We call socialists to campaign for abstention in any referendum on EU membership and for independent and international class struggle.


In this period of great changes, conflicts and immense revolutionary possibilities the RCIT in Britain calls for maximum unity of revolutionary activists. The RCIT believes that this can only be done with a daring perspective for revolutionary change.


The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands.


* Expel Tom Watson and his gang of wreckers from the Labour Party. Close down all disciplinary procedures and committees and reinstate all socialists expelled back into membership of the Labour Party. Critical support for a Corbyn-led Labour Party in case of general elections!


* For Open Borders – no immigration controls! Migrants and refugees to speak their own language and wear their own dress and practice their own religion. No to Islamophobia and racism. For armed defence guards to protect communities threatened with fascist or police provocation.


* For a Free Red Palestine from the River to the Sea.


* For a general strike and to bring down this reactionary and racist government.


* No to Remain or Brexit. Abstention in case of a new referendum on EU membership.


* For a Revolutionary Workers Government. For a United Socialist States of Europe. Build the 5th International. Join the RCIT in Britain.






















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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngPuerto Rico: US Colony in Revolt!


To Hell with All of the Corrupted Capitalist Politicians! For a Workers and Popular Government!


By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 12 August 2019,




Last week the former governor of Puerto Rico Rosselló was forced to step down following weeks of massive anti-government protests. Protests were sparked by the release of private chat messages that exposed Rosselló and 11 top aides and Cabinet members exchanging profanity-laced, homophobic and misogynistic messages.


On July 21, 2019 Rosselló was forced to relinquish his role as president of one of the two main political parties in Puerto Rico and vowed not to seek reelection in 2020. But that was not enough for many Puerto Ricans. On July 22 hundreds of thousands paralyzed the capital, marching to call for the governor’s immediate resignation.


During some of the protests, people chanted “Ricky resign and bring the board with you!” referring to the fiscal oversight board established by Congress to manage the island’s horrible debt. Since its inception, Puerto Ricans have denounced the austerity measures imposed by the board — which is comprised of un-elected officials appointed by the White House.


Puerto Rico’s unbeloved Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez Garced was sworn in Wednesday afternoon as the third governor that island has had in less than a week. This is a reflection of the crisis of the junta serving US imperialism, facing the popular uprising.


Hours earlier, the highest court declared unconstitutional the governorship of former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s handpicked successor Pedro Pierluisi on grounds he had not been confirmed as secretary of state by both chambers of the legislature.


The Supreme Court decision in defense of the local capitalist system is not what the protesters demand. The decision is like replacing cholera with syphilis. Ricardo Rosselló’ was forced to resign because protesters have voiced opposition to him to Vázquez and Pierluisi.


The hated corrupted Pierluisi said on leaving that it is a time when we must all unite for Puerto Rico, leaving behind, ideological or personal agendas.


Vázquez said last Wednesday said in the statement released via Twitter that she respect the court ruling. Yes she respects the court acting for the ruling Junta but she has no respect for the majority of the Puerto Ricans still suffering from the effects of the, Hurricane Maria that violently hit the island in September 2017.


In April this year US President Trump lashed out at Puerto Rico’s local lawmakers as grossly incompetent. Trump was reacting after the US Senate blocked billions of dollars in disaster aid for Midwestern states, in part because Democrats said a proposed $600 million in nutritional assistance to Puerto Rico fell short of its needs.


Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess — nothing works,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He also stated, incorrectly, that Puerto Rico had received $91 billion in aid from the federal government. In fact, the $91 billion is the budget estimates of how much the island could receive over the next two decades.


At that time Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico, the loyal servant responded to Trump, said: “Mr. President, once again, we are not your adversaries, we are your citizens”. (1)


Trump has been widely criticized as too slow to help the devastated island. Aides and allies said that Trump had vented privately that Puerto Ricans had complained too much, and he had also noted privately that Hurricane Maria, which 3000 people as a result of the storm and its effects, was not as bad as Hurricane Katrina, in which 1,833 — were killed. Trump also implied that Puerto Rico was not part of the United States, noting that local elected officials “only take from USA.” Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, seemed to underscore the view in the White House that Puerto Ricans were not Americans when he twice referred to the island as “that country” during an appearance on MSNBC.


For weeks, Mr. Rosselló has asked the White House for a private meeting with Mr. Trump to lay out the island’s case for why it desperately needs federal funds for rebuilding after Hurricane Maria. But Mr. Rosselló’s request has gone unanswered, and he has tried instead to communicate with the president publicly, saying in cable news interviews, in official appearances and on Twitter that he fears Mr. Trump has been misled about Puerto Rico’s needs.




Puerto Rico: an American Colony




On the eve of the Spanish-American war in 1898, Puerto Rico was in the process of becoming a sovereign and independent nation for the first time in its history since it was “discovered” by the Spanish in 1493. Before it was able to become an independent state, the American Navy bombarded the capital city of San Juan, exiling the Spanish leadership from the island, and imposed the American dominance.


The American imperialists invented a new term, “estado libre asociado” (freely associated state), in order to justify the colonial dominance over Puerto Rico. Cases like Puerto Rico are known as the “Insular Cases”, i.e. territories of the United States that are nevertheless not considered to be “part” of the United States.


To justify the colonization of Porto Rico the people of Porto Rico were described as savages and cannibals. For example William B. Bate, former U.S. Senator for Tennessee and a major general of the Confederacy said: “Masses of mongrels,” “peoples incapable of self-government,” “savages addicted to head-hunting and cannibalism.” (2)


In the 1930s the movement for national independence was crashed by the US federal government through overt censorship and the repeated jailing of revolutionary leaders, like Pedro Albizu Campo who was jailed in 1936 for organizing Puerto Rican workers. (3)


Nelson A Denis in his book “War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony“ documented the murdering, torturing, and imprisoning Puerto Rican patriots who demanded and fought for Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination. The leader of the independence movement, Pedro Albizu Campos, was imprisoned, tortured, and subjected to lethal radiation poisoning in his prison cell.


From the 1930s through the 1990s, the FBI kept secret files on over 100,000 Puerto Ricans. These files were known as “carpetas.


As Nelson Denis wrote: “The carpetas were given additional teeth by Public Law 53, which became known as La Ley de la Mordaz (the Law of the Muzzle). For 10 years, from 1948 through 1957, Law 53 made it a felony to say a word, sing a song or whistle a tune about independence. If you sang La Borinqueña, or owned a Puerto Rican flag, you could be imprisoned for 10 years. Today, many people complain about “government intrusion” into our private lives, as if it were something new. But it is not new. Puerto Ricans suffered all of this, and much worse.








The political system of the island since the 1950s has been wholly determined by the question of the legal status of Puerto Rico. The two biggest parties of the island, the PNP and the PPD, share different views of what our relationship to the mainland United States ought to be. One party favors statehood, while the other favors the continued existence of the ethically repugnant colonial status. Puerto Rico’s colonial status means islanders pay every federal tax except for the federal income tax. Those who criticize Puerto Rico as “enjoying the benefits of being American without paying the same taxes as everyone else” completely miss or ignore the basic fact that Puerto Rico does not enjoy any sort of congressional representation. Puerto Ricans who live in the island are also blocked from voting in presidential elections. (4)


The RCIT supports the right of self- determination of the Puerto Ricans. However to escape the US domination it is necessary to free the workers and the poor from the grip of the two capitalist parties and form a revolutionary workers party fighting for a workers and oppressed government as part of a world socialist revolution. Such a party will appeal to the workers and the oppressed in all the world and most importantly in the USA to prevent an invasion of the Island.






1) Michael Burke: Puerto Rico’s governor to Trump: ‘We are not your adversaries, we are your citizens’, 04/02/2019,


2) Andrés RuizPuerto Rico: The Last Colony Oct 5, 2017


3) Becky Little: Puerto Rico’s Complicated History with the United States, 22.09.2017


4) Andrés Ruiz Puerto Rico: The Last Colony




* * * * *




We refer readers also to other articles of the RCIT on the United States:


Yossi Schwartz: United States: The Need for a Labor Party, 23 July 2019,


Yossi Schwartz: The Racists Who Attack Rashida Tlaib, 15.05.2019,


Robert Gibbs: USA: War rages on the Southern Border, U.S. Correspondent, 05 February 2019,


Robert Gibbs: The USA as a Settler Nation, 27 January 2019,


Yossi Schwartz: Massacres, Plundering and Land Grabbing: The Similarity and Dissimilarity between the U.S. and Israel, 27.11.2018,


RCIT: Central America / Mexico / U.S.: Solidarity with the Migrants’ Caravan! 01.11.2018,


Michael Pröbsting: US Presidential Election: The Victory of Donald Trump is a Historical Turning Point, 09.November 2016,


Adam Beltz and Nina Gunić: US: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin — For a Revolutionary Black Liberation Movement! 13.12.2014,




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Modi Has Transformed Kashmir into a Huge Concentration Camp


A brief commentary by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the RCIT, 14 August 2019,




The worst thing in politics is to deny the truth. The truth is that the government of India, the world largest “democracy” (as we are told by some fools), has transformed Kashmir into a huge concentration camp. People’s homes have become their barracks which they are not allowed to leave. They are forced to starve and to live in complete isolation cut off from the world. If they look out of their windows they see streets full of heavily armed soldiers and razor wire.


No one should have any doubt: Modi is determined to implement an “Israeli” policy in Kashmir. He is determined to silence, humiliate, subjugate and finally expel the Muslim population in the region. He wants the Hinduization of Kashmir.


Modi is implementing his barbarous policy in open daylight. Everyone can see it and everyone recognizes it. But what is the world doing? In the “best case” some misnamed “world leaders” mutter a few concerns. Beside this, “the show must go on”. What a powerful lesson about the cynical nature and the greed for profit of the Great Powers which are dominating the world!


However, every pupil learns in school a basic law of physics: Pressure creates counter-pressure. Can any serious person imagine that the heroic people of Kashmir will condone their extinction?! They did already prove their thirst for liberation when they scarified up to 100,000 martyrs in the uprising which started in 1988 against an overly powerful enemy!


Can anyone imagine that the defenders of justice and freedom around the world, all the righteous people – Muslim and Non-Muslim –will tolerate this barbarous act?! Modi and his fanatical henchmen might not be aware of it but as a matter of fact they have a target on their head from now on for the rest of their life.


Even the all-powerful Hitler had to learn this the hard way. Despite all his genocidal bigotry, the heroic Jews rose up in the Warsaw Ghetto, the oppressed people fought back and finally his Empire of horror was crushed. In the end he saw no alternative but to hide in his bunker in Berlin and to hold a gun to his head. Mr. Modi, start looking out for your own bunker!


Let us say it loud and clear: Kashmir is our second Palestine! Their liberation is our liberation!


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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngIndia: Defend the Kashmiri People against Modi’s “Israel-Style” Attack!


India’s ultra-chauvinist BJP government abolishes decades-old autonomy rights of Muslim-majority province


Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 6 August 2019,




  1. The extreme right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have launched an unprecedented and historic attack on the oppressed people of Kashmir. Modi revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution on 5 August by presidential order. The law confers special rights to permanent residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It forbids outsiders from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs, or winning education scholarships in the region. In addition, the government has also decided to split the state into two federal territories, one formed by Jammu and Kashmir, and the other consisting of the enclave of Ladakh. Now that Kashmir’s special status has been repealed, this will legally allow Indian chauvinists to systematically buy up land and settle outsiders in this region and initiate a demographic transformation of the area from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.


  1. Being fully aware that this decision must inevitably provoke a major uprising of the Kashmiri people and an international outcry of protest, the Modi government has launched a brutal preemptive strike against the people of the region. “As per the order there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed,” the state government ordered for Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, and surrounding areas. “There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order.” Private mobile networks, Internet services, and telephone landlines were cut; with only the one government-owned mobile network remaining operational. A number of prominent politicians in Kashmir were either arrested or put under house arrest. New Delhi has also deployed at least 10,000 additional troops within the last 10 days and a further 70,000 soldiers have been dispatched.


  1. In just a few hours following the Indian government’s announcement, spontaneous protests erupted. In Islamabad, Hyderabad, Karachi and various other cities of Pakistan, demonstrations and public meetings were held in solidarity with the brothers and sisters of Indian-occupied Kashmir. In Lahore, one of the largest cities of Pakistan, the All Pakistan Workers Confederation organized a demonstration. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir – the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir – a general strike has been staged on 6 August in solidarity with the brothers and sisters. Former chief ministers of Indian-Occupied Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, denounced Modi’s decision saying “Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy … It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent.” Hours later, they were arrested by the Indian police. Reflecting the international outcry, particularly in the Muslim world, an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Kashmir-focused wing has been called for 6 August. There can be no doubt that Modi’s historic attack on the Kashmiri people will provoke a new uprising as well as increasing military tensions and the risk of a war with Pakistan.


  1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and its members and supporters in South Asia express their full and unconditional solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir that are experiencing a historic assault on their existence. No one should be under any illusion: Modi’s revocation of Article 370 is designed to be the beginning of an “Israeli solution” of Kashmir, the only state in India with a Muslim majority. This means that the BJP’s goal is to systematically settle Hindu chauvinists in Kashmir and to expel Muslim people from the region – similar to the Zionists’ policy against the native Arab population in historic Palestine. The purpose of such a Hindu chauvinist policy of ethnic cleansing is to transform the Muslim people of Kashmir into a minority in their own state.


  1. The RCIT and its Pakistani section have always given unconditional support to the liberation struggle of the Kashmiri people. Their land is divided and occupied by three powers – India, Pakistan, and China. The majority of the 14 million people live under Indian occupation; most of the rest live under Pakistani occupation. The people of Kashmir have always strived for an independent state. Since the beginning of the popular uprising in 1989 in the Indian-occupied part of Kashmir, nearly 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed by Indian security forces. In addition, nearly 10,000 women have been gang raped by marauding bands of Indian soldiers. Before the latest escalation, the Indian state had already stationed about 750,000 soldiers and police forces in Kashmir. This is an area that has a population of only 8 million. This means that there is almost one Indian soldier for every ten Kashmiris!


  1. We call on the Indian workers movement and the left to mobilize against the ultra-chauvinist attack by the Modi government. An attack against the Kashmiri people is an attack on the democratic rights of all peoples in India. If Modi wins this battle his ultra-reactionary government will be strengthened in its struggle against the entire working class and oppressed of India. We appeal to the Indian left not to fall into the social-patriotic trap of “condemning the terrorism” in case of legitimate armed attacks by Kashmiri resistance forces against the Indian occupation (as it tragically happened in February this year after the Pulwama attack).


  1. We reemphasize our support for the resistance struggle of the Kashmiri people in all forms against the Indian occupation. In our opinion, the most promising road to freedom is the organized mass struggle of the workers, poor, and youth. No one should trust the empty rhetoric of the bourgeois governments of Pakistan and other Muslim countries. It should be remembered how they have all payed court to the Chinese Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship and denied its brutal oppression of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang / East Turkestan! Alternately, it is urgent to build an international solidarity movement of workers and popular mass organizations in support of the Kashmiri people.


  1. The RCIT and its members and supporters in South Asia reiterate their support for the struggle of the Kashmiri people for national independence. Such a free and independent Kashmir should be a country controlled by the workers and peasants and not by a small clique of capitalists and landowners. This is why we fight for an independent socialist Kashmir, i.e. a free, united and red Kashmir! As Marxists we combine such a slogan with the perspective of a socialist federation of South Asia. We call on revolutionaries of the entire sub-continent to join us in the struggle to build a revolutionary party in Kashmir, Pakistan, India, and internationally. Only such a party can lead the liberation struggle of the working class and the oppressed people to victory!




International Bureau of the RCIT




* * * * *




We refer reader also to other statements of the RCIT on this issue:


RCIT: India-Pakistan: Defeat the War Mongers! Free Kashmir! 27 February 2019,


Michael Pröbsting: Kashmir: Social-Patriotism among the Indian Left. On the opportunistic adaptation of various “Stalinists”, “Trotskyists” and “Maoists” to the chauvinistic wave in the wake of the latest conflict between India and Pakistan, 02 March 2019,


After the Killing of Burhan Wani: Long Live the Kashmiri Intifada! Organize the Workers’ and Popular Struggle to End the Indian Occupation! For a Free, United and Red Kashmir!, 21.07.2016,


RWO: Pakistan – Prospects for revolutionary class struggle (2102),


Resolution on the Kashmir Question (2010),


Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? (Chapter V) August 2017, Revolutionary Communism No. 71,




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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngSemi-Colonial Intermediate Powers and the Theory of Sub-Imperialism


A contribution to an ongoing debate amongst Marxists and a proposal to tackle a theoretical problem


By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 1 August 2019,




Lenin once noted “that the role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.[1] In order to fulfil such a role Marxists have to constantly review their theoretical arsenal and, if necessary, develop it further.


In the recent period, the theory of sub-imperialism has become increasingly fashionable among Marxists. The notion of “sub-imperialist” has been used to characterize such diverse various states as China, Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa, Iran, Greece and Turkey.


The RCIT considers this theory of sub-imperialism as mistaken and incompatible with Marxist theory as articulated by V. I. Lenin. We have discussed this theory and elaborated our critique in various documents. [2] We have also demonstrated in a number of special studies that countries like China and Russia are imperialist Great Powers. [3] We have also alternately shown that the countries in question are semi-colonial states (albeit often with peculiar features). [4]




Brief summary of the main defects and dangers of the theory of sub-imperialism




Leaving aside its methodological flaws, the theory of sub-imperialism suggests that states (like China and Russia) are qualitatively weaker than and, consequently, subordinate to imperialist Great Powers. Such a conclusion has always been essential to the theory of sub-imperialism as it was developed by its originator, the Brazilian socialist, Ruy Mauro Marini. He insisted that “[t]he tensions which arise among these various integrationist centers cannot today, as they did in the past, reach open hostilities, and must remain within the framework of antagonistic cooperation.[5] Or, to put it in the words of another author standing in the tradition of Marini: “Antagonistic cooperation means that a sub-imperialist country never leaves the state of a dependent economy. It is not an imperialist country: ‘Without being able to question imperialist dominion itself (otherwise it would mean questioning capitalism itself) the national bourgeoisie can only bargain for better relations within its subordinate status – better prices, better agreements, the appropriate areas for exploitation, etc.’.[6]


In short, such a theory is incapable of understanding the role of China and Russia as imperialist rivals that have emerged to challenge the U.S. status as long-time world hegemon. Worse, it encounters obvious difficulties when confrontations between these rival Great Powers actually occur (in contrast to their own theory). Such theories misdirect socialists into siding with the “sub-imperialist” camp (i.e. China and Russia) – a consequence that immediately becomes a social-patriotic capitulation to an imperialist power.


We are aware, and appreciate, that not all supporters of the theory of sub-imperialism draw such tactical conclusions for the class struggle. But we think that such dangerous and wrong-headed conclusions are implicit.


In the case of countries that are actually semi-colonies, the theory of sub-imperialism negates their relationship of subordination and super-exploitation by imperialism. From this it follows (and this is the most important issue in the whole debate) that such a theory can mislead supporters into abandoning the defense of such “sub-imperialist” (actually semi-colonial) countries against imperialist aggression.


We have seen this in the case of the British Socialist Workers Party and its affiliates in the International Socialist Tendency (SWP/IST). This centrist current, known as “Cliffites” (after their founder, Tony Cliff) has argued that many countries in the South have actually become “sub-imperialist” states. Alex Callinicos, their leading theoretician, characterized in 1991 the following countries as “sub-imperialist”: “Israel, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Turkey (…) India, Vietnam, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil and Argentina.” [7] One can easily imagine that he could continue adding to this hodge-podge list, nearly three decades later.


This crude theory was used by the Cliffite SWP/IST to refuse support for a supposed “sub-imperialist” country when it faced aggression by an imperialist Great Power. This was the case in 1982 when Britain attacked Argentina in the Malvinas War. [8] The Cliffites used their version of sub-imperialism to justify their neutral position when the actual duty of anti-imperialist Marxists was to side with Argentina and advocate the defeat of the British: “It was neither an anti-colonial struggle nor a struggle between oppressed and oppressor nations. The contending parties were an emergent capitalist country with regional and continental imperialist features, and a longstanding imperialist power which, though in marked decline, is still a powerful force. There was not a progressive and a reactionary camp.[9]


The same approach inevitably led to a similar, treacherous position of neutrality in the instance of US aggression against Iraq in 1990/91 and 2003 or during the present imperialist provocations with Iran. [10]


A similar and very actual example is the approach taken by sections of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) which currently experiences a devastating split into three parts. Its U.S. section, Socialist Alternative, recently published an article on the accelerating conflict between Washington and Teheran and the threat of war in the Middle East. In this article, the CWI characterizes not only the U.S. as “imperialist” but also Iran. “While the Iranian government is responding to threats from U.S. imperialism, Iran also plays a regional imperialist role in the Middle East.” [11] While the CWI correctly opposes the warmongering by the Trump Administration and the sanctions imposed against Iran, it refuses to say a single word about the necessity for socialists to defend the Middle Eastern country against the U.S. in any military confrontation.


Not only this, the CWI goes even further and opposes military armament of Iran: “Nor do we support Iran developing nuclear weapons.” As is well known, opposition to developing nuclear weapons by Iran is one of the key demands of US as well as Israeli imperialism.


In short, here is another example of a centrist organization which invents the label “imperialist” (“sub” or “regional”) in order to justify its refusal to defend a semi-colonial country against the aggression of an imperialist Great Power.




Approximation to the problem




There are a number of Marxists who sympathize with the theory of sub-imperialism but refrain from drawing such treacherous conclusions. With such comrades we wish to enter a dialogue.


In this essay we will not repeat our arguments against the theory of sub-imperialism. We would like to discuss, however, a proposal for a new category that may better characterize rising semi-colonial states.


First, it’s essential to differentiate between China and Russia and countries with significantly different histories and attributes. In the case of the former, it’s undisputable that China and Russia have become rivals to the Western Great Powers. In fact, there are adherents to the theory of sub-imperialism who accept this fact and who also agree that this challenge from China and Russia does not possess a “progressive” nature. Such an approach implies that Marxists not only do not side with one camp or another but also take a revolutionary defeatist position against all Great Powers. We consider agreement on this point as fundamental. With this presumption as a foundation we can progress to the further challenge of theoretical analysis and related conceptual categories.


It is helpful in this regard to probe the specifics of Iran, India, and Greece. In the case of Iran it plays the role of a regional power. This is evident from the political influence it has exercised in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. In the case of India it is clear that this state – based, at the very least, on the sheer size of its population in relation to its South Asian neighbors – is a factor in regional and even global politics. In the case of Greece we have seen a significant penetration of Greek capital into several poor countries of the Balkans. The supporters of the theory of sub-imperialism see a basis in such countries for that conception. [12]


We think that these thinkers overestimate the “imperialist” features of these countries and underestimate their profoundly semi-colonial status. This contradiction deserves further examination.




On some requirements of dialectical categories




Theoretical clarity is an essential precondition for Marxists, not only in general matters of philosophy but in politics quite specifically. A Marxist category must help in clarifying a given phenomenon and address potential confusion.


The purpose of a category, from the standpoint of the materialist dialectic, is to serve as a “reflection of real things” as Abram Deborin, the leading Marxist Soviet philosopher in the 1920s (before Stalin’s purge) accurately formulated it. [13] This means viewing “things” not as static and isolated from each other, but as things in relation to each other and, as result of that interaction, things in their movement, in their development. This is what Engels meant when he wrote in Anti-Dühring: “Dialectics, on the other hand, comprehends things and their representations, ideas, in their essential connection, concatenation, motion, origin, and ending. Such processes as those mentioned above are, therefore, so many corroborations of its own method of procedure[14]


Furthermore, a category must encapsulate the essence of a matter without negating its particularity, i.e. it should identify the main character of a given phenomenon as well as specific features (the “concrete totality, the unity of the universal and the particular” as Deborin puts it). [15]


Such specific features must include contradictory elements, not only for principal reasons (“the thinking of contradiction is the essential moment of the Notion” as Hegel wrote [16]) but also because only such a reflection of the contradictory nature of a given phenomenon can aid revolutionaries in grasping its specific nature and its possible process of development (as Lenin emphasized, development is based on “the unity and struggle of opposites[17]).


This brief summary of the requirements of notions for Marxists should help us to understand that the category of “sub-imperialism” frustrates the development of truth. It suggests that such states are qualitatively weaker than and subordinate to the imperialist Great Powers. This is a fundamentally wrong characterization when we take China and Russia (and their relationship with the old imperialist powers). Or it suggests that the respective countries are primarily not oppressed and super-exploited by imperialism but rather primarily themselves oppressors and exploiters of other countries. This, again, is misleading if we talk about position of countries like Greece, Turkey, India, Brazil, etc…. from a global point of view.




Proposal of new category




The RCIT has always emphasized the importance of understanding the dialectical and contradictory nature of political and economic developments. We have done so when we differentiated between new, emerging imperialist powers (like China and Russia) that have been, because of their late-coming status, more backward in their general capitalist development than the old imperialist powers of the West. [18] We also differentiated “between advanced or industrialized semi-colonies such as Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Iran or Thailand on one hand and poorer or semi-industrialized semi-colonies like Bolivia, Peru, the Sub-Saharan African countries (except South Africa), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia etc.[19]


We dealt with the contradictory nature of India and Iran by characterising them as non-imperialist or semi-colonial regional powers. [20]


We have always attempted to dialectically identify and conceptualize the peculiar, contradictory nature of states. [21] It seems to us that the category of advanced or industrialized semi-colonies is appropriate and identifies the relative degree of capitalist development for a country like Greece or Iran. However, it is not sufficient as it does not deal with the regional and international relevance of such countries. The category of non-imperialist or semi-colonial regional powers is more useful for such a purpose and we will continue using it where it applies.


However, it might be useful to introduce, in addition, the category of semi-colonial intermediate powers for specific states like India or Iran. Such a notion points out that these states wield an influence in global politics that has not only regional but also international significance. The reasons for this can include control over important raw materials (oil and gas in the case of Iran), size in terms of population (India), geographic location (Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, India is centrally located in the Asian-Pacific region which in turn has become the most important part of the world economy), etc.


It seems to us that the notion of semi-colonial intermediate powers could be a useful addition to the theoretical arsenal of Marxism. It dialectically grasps – as a “moving category[22] – both the determining class character of such states (i.e. that they remain semi-colonies) and, at the same time, it identifies a relative strength that enables them to play an influential role in regional and world politics.


The case of Iran demonstrates how important it is to insist on the continued characterization of such countries as semi-colonies. This country is strongly dependent on the export of oil and gas and is easily subject to economic pressure.


In the case of India its non-imperialist nature is underscored by the fact that Indian capital has not been able to play any significant role as a foreign investor in the neighbouring countries of South Asia. This is not only the case with Pakistan (which is not surprising given their historically hostile relationship) [23] It is also illustrative that Indian capital in neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka amounts to only a paltry 1% and 4% of total foreign investment. [24]


Greece is a different case. While it is a relevant factor in regional politics in the Eastern Mediterranean, its significance in world politics is certainly smaller than that of Iran or India. On the other hand, Greek capital has successfully penetrated several smaller Balkan countries and plays a significant role in their economies.


What arguments could be put forward in opposition to the category semi-colonial intermediate powers? One could say that the words “intermediate power” are purely descriptive. However, we think that such a criticism would be misplaced as we add the notion “semi-colonial” which is a clear and precise class characterization. Furthermore descriptions are not implicitly wrong. Another, well known, Marxist category used by Lenin and Trotsky, namely “imperialist Great Powers”, contains the very same combination of class characterization, “imperialist”, as well as the descriptor, “Great Powers”.


One could also say that it is self-contradictory to characterize a state on one hand as a semi-colony and on the other hand as a power. However, we think that such a criticism is also without merit. Marxists have been always aware that even the bourgeoisie of a semi-colonial state can act as an aggressor and oppress (or attempt to oppress) other peoples. A few of many examples of this would include Greece’s historic policy of ethnic cleansing against Macedonians and Turks, Turkey’s policies against the Kurds, the oppression of Eritrea by the Ethiopian state until 1991, the historic oppression of the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia, the oppression of national minorities in Iran, the oppression of the indigenous peoples in various Latin American countries, the oppression of the Amazigh (Berbers) in North Africa, the discrimination of the Somali Bantu community in Somalia, etc.


As Trotsky emphasized, “the bourgeoisie of colonial and semi-colonial countries is a semi-ruling, semi-oppressed class.[25] Hence the semi-colonial bourgeoisie always tries to increase their profits and to consolidate their power. This includes, necessarily, their attempts to oppress other peoples. The difference from imperialist powers is not that the semi-colonial bourgeoisie does not desire to oppress other peoples but rather that it possesses much less means and power to implement such goals.


Marxists have always defended such national and religious minorities against the bourgeoisie in semi-colonial states. It is not necessary to invent such categories as “sub-imperialist” in order to provide a theoretical basis for such an anti-chauvinist approach. Support for national liberation and opposition against reactionary chauvinism are a sufficient basis in order to implement such a policy of proletarian internationalism.


Finally, let us also briefly deal with a possible analogy in defense of the theory of sub-imperialism. Could one not say that the category of sub-imperialist states is the equivalent to the category of the petty-bourgeoisie in the field of international politics? As is well known the petty bourgeoisie is a third class, in addition to the two main classes in capitalist society – the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Might the sub-imperialist states not also be a legitimate conception on the premise that there is also a third type of state in the field of world relations between countries – that is, in addition to imperialist and semi-colonial states?


We think that such an analogy is not useful as these two phenomena – petty bourgeoisie and “sub-imperialist” states cannot be compared with each other. First, the petty bourgeoisie is a class that historically stems from pre-capitalist social formations and the formative period of capitalism. The so-called sub-imperialist states are, according to their theoreticians, exactly the opposite – they are a new phenomenon stemming from the epoch of parasitic, decaying, and overripe capitalism.


Secondly, and related to this, the petty bourgeoisie is a historically outlived class that is declining in size and significance (albeit this is, naturally, not a linear process without contradictions). It continues to function in niche areas of capitalist production. The “sub-imperialist” states, according to their theoreticians, are the opposite. They are a new phenomenon that is spreading and increasing in significance, taking more and more an active and important place in the world capitalist system.


Thirdly, capitalism is an economic system based on a specific form of exploitation of the laboring class by the class that owns the means of production (i.e. the bourgeoisie). Marx emphasized this numerous times: “The essential difference between the various economic forms of society, between, for instance, a society based on slave labour, and one based on wage labour, lies only in the mode in which this surplus labour is in each case extracted from the actual producer, the labourer.[26]


The classic petty bourgeoisie is the class of small owners of private means of production with no or hardly any employed wage laborers. They primarily do not life from the exploitation of the labor power of another class (i.e. the proletariat) but rather of their “self-exploitation”. This is exactly what differentiates the petty bourgeoisie from the bourgeoisie.


Hence we see again that the petty bourgeoisie cannot be used as an analogy to the “sub-imperialist” states. According to the defenders of this conception, it is exactly the ability to exploit other countries that differentiates “sub-imperialist” from semi-colonial states, i.e. to extract a surplus value from these countries. [27]


In this context, what may emerge from the networking of the sub-imperialist elites, as witnessed in the BRICS bloc in its initial formation period, is an agenda that more systematically confirms super-exploitative practices within their hinterlands. Just as the political carving of Africa in Berlin at the 1884-85 conference hosted by Bismarck drew the continent’s irrational boundaries mainly in order to benefit extractive enterprises – mining houses and plantations as well as construction firms associated with England, France, Portugal, Belgium and Germany – BRICS appears to follow colonial and neo-colonial tracks. Identifying port, bridge, road, rail, hydropower and other infrastructure projects in the same image, the BRICS 2013 Durban summit had as its aim the continent’s economic carve-up, unburdened – now as then – by what would be derided as ‘Western’ concerns about democracy and human rights.[28]


In summary, we think that it would be utterly wrong to justify the theory of sub-imperialism by viewing such “sub-imperialist” states as a kind of petty bourgeoisie on the stage of world relations between states.


We rather think that the dialectical conception of semi-colonial intermediate powers avoids the shortfalls of the theory of sub-imperialism as the latter lacks a dialectic approach but rather adheres to the Anglo-Saxon defects of “crawling empiricism” (Deborin).




Consequences for tactic




Let us conclude this essay by briefly discussing the consequences in the field of revolutionary, class struggle tactics.


As we have stated many times, Marxists subscribe to the principle that in a conflict between imperialist powers and a semi-colonial country, they have to side with the later. This can mean defending it in a war (e.g. Iran against the US), fighting against sanctions directed against such a country, supporting specific demands that counter the attempts of imperialists to strangle this country (e.g. the EU Memorandum against Greece, Greece membership in the EU), etc.


Of course, as we have also elaborated, such a conflict can take the character of a proxy conflict where the semi-colonial country involved acts objectively as the proxy of an imperialist power. This was the case during the standoff between India and China in the Himalayas in summer 2017. In that situation Delhi operated as a proxy of U.S. imperialism against China. In such cases, revolutionaries cannot lend support to the proxy nation but have to take a defeatist position on both sides. [29]


It is also clear that in cases where such a semi-colonial intermediate powers acts as an oppressor against weaker semi-colonial countries or oppressed people, revolutionaries must defend the later. The RCIT has always defended the Syrian people against Iran and its proxies or Macedonia against Greece. [30]


It is crucial to always make a concrete analysis in such conflicts in order to exercise correct tactics. Revolutionaries must analyze each conflict in its concrete totality, its various (and varying) factors, and their relationship to each other. This is required in elaborating the correct tactical conclusions. As we said somewhere else: “This is why a conflict or war has to be studied in all its aspects, with the general, fundamental, as well as its secondary, particular, characteristics. Such an approach must follow Lenin’s dialectical method to study a thing or a process ‘from appearance to essence and from less profound to more profound essence.’” [31]


In summary, we think that the category of semi-colonial intermediate powers can aid Marxists to better grasp the contradictory nature of states like Iran and India and to develop the necessary tactics appropriate to the class struggle.




[1] V. I. Lenin: What Is To Be Done? (1902), in: LCW Vol. 5, p. 370

[2] See e.g. chapter IV. The Marxist Criteria for an Imperialist Great Power in our recently published book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019,

[3] On the RCIT’s analysis of China and Russia as emerging imperialist powers see the extensive literature mentioned in the special sub-section on our website: In particular we refer readers to the above mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4,; Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism, August 2014,; Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, March 2014, Special Issue of Revolutionary Communism No. 21 (March 2014),

[4] See e.g. on India our pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? August 2017, Revolutionary Communism No. 71, (chapter V); on Iran: RCIT: Iran: Down with Trump’s Sanctions and Military Threats! But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran! 11 May 2019,; on Greece see our book by Michael Pröbsting: Greece: A Modern Semi-Colony. The Contradictory Development of Greek Capitalism, Its Failed Attempts to Become a Minor Imperialist Power, and Its Present Situation as an Advanced Semi-Colonial Country with Some Specific Features, RCIT Books, Vienna 2015,; On the RCIT’s analysis of Turkey as an advanced semi-colony see: Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (Chapter V), RCIT Books, Vienna 2018,; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, (chapter 9); on Brazil see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry (pp. 151-152).

[5] Ruy Mauro Marini: Brazilian “Interdependence” and Imperialist Integration, in: Monthly Review Vol. 17, No. 7 (December 1965), p. 12. See also Ruy Mauro Marini: Brazilian Sub-Imperialism, in: Monthly Review Vol. 23, No. 9 (February 1972)

[6] Mathias Luce: Sub-imperialism, the highest stage of dependent capitalism, in: Patrick Bond and Ana Garcia (Ed.): BRICS. An Anti-Capitalist Critique, Pluto Press, London 2015, p. 39. Luce states elsewhere in the same essay: “The socio-economic formations that ascend to the sub-imperialist condition succeed in displacing the very conditions of dependent capitalism in a way that ensures expanded reproduction and mitigates the effects of dependency through forms that are specific to the pattern of capital reproduction and a policy of antagonistic cooperation with dominant imperialism in different situations; they claim relative autonomy for the sub-imperialist state without, however, questioning the framework of dependency.” (p. 29).

Adrián Sotelo Valencia, another supporter of Marini’s concept, argues in a recently published book in the same spirit: “To understand sub-imperialism Marini used a concept he called antagonistic cooperation. The term reflects the relationship between an imperialist country (the United States) and a sub-imperialist country (Brazil), in which there is a degree of conflict between powerful national bourgeoisies but without leading to a breakdown in relations or open confrontation. Instead inter-bourgeois cooperation and collaboration prove more the rule than the exception in relations between sub-imperialist bourgeoisies and their counterparts in the US and other dominant centres of power.” (Adrián Sotelo Valencia: Sub-Imperialism Revisited. Dependency Theory in the Thought of Ruy Mauro Marini, Brill, Leiden, Boston 2017, pp. 76-77). See also: “Antagonistic cooperation does not mean that a country might at some point end or overcome its relationship of structural dependency on the dominant centre. As Marini noted, ‘Reproducing on a global scale the antagonistic cooperation practised internally, these regimes become extremely dependent on their hegemonic centre – the United States – whilst continually clashing with it as they seek to reap greater rewards from the restructuring processes they are immersed in.’” (p. 80)

[7] See Alex Callinicos: Marxism and Imperialism today, in: A. Callinicos, J. Rees, C Harman & M. Haynes: Marxism and the New Imperialism, Bookmarks, London 1994, p. 45

[8] For the position of our movement on this war see e.g. Workers Power (Britain): Arguments on the Malvinas (1982), See also our book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, (chapter 12 and 13).

[9] See Alex Callinicos: Marxism and Imperialism today, pp. 50-51

[10] For the RCIT’s position, and the respective literature, on these wars against Iraq at that time see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South (chapter 12 and 13). For our approach to the current tensions in the Persian Gulf see e.g. RCIT: Strait of Hormuz: Escalating Tensions between the US/UK and Iran. Drive the Great Powers out of the Middle East! But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran! 22 July 2019,

[11] George Martin Fell Brown: No to War in the Middle East – U.S. and Iran Plunge into Conflict, June 29, 2019 The article has also been republished by the Australian section of the CWI,

[12] Lenin once noted that “theoretical work only supplies answers to the problems raised by practical work.“ (V.I.Lenin: What the “Friends of the People” are and how they fight the Social-Democrats. (A Reply to Articles in Russkoye Bogatstvo Opposing the Marxists)), in: LCW Vol. 1, pp. 297-298) Indeed, while we think that the supporters of the theory of sub-imperialism are mistaken, we do not deny that they give an answer to a burning issue of world politics.

[13] Abram Deborin: Lenin als revolutionärer Dialektiker (1925), in: Nikolai Bucharin/Abram Deborin: Kontroversen über dialektischen und mechanistischen Materialismus, Frankfurt a.M. 1974, p. 53 (our translation). Abram Deborin was the brilliant and leading figure of the dialectical materialist school in the USSR in the 1920s. Unfortunately while there exist numerous works of this great Marxist philosopher in Russian language and also a considerable amount in German language, the weakness of Marxism in the Anglo-Saxon world in the 1920s has resulted in the situation that hardly anything of his works at that time has been translated into English language. Some useful quotes and summaries of Deborin’s views in English language can be found in the following books: David Joravsky: Soviet Marxism and Natural Science 1917-1932, Routledge, New York 1961/2009; David Bakhurst: Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet philosophy: From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1991; Helena Sheehan: Marxism and the Philosophy of Science, Humanities Press International, New Jersey 1985.

[14] Friedrich Engels: Anti-Dühring. Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science, in: MECW Vol. 25, p. 23. In another classic work on Marxist philosophy Engels wrote: „The great basic thought that the world is not to be comprehended as a complex of readymade things, but as a complex of processes, in which the things apparently stable no less than their mind images in our heads, the concepts, go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away, in which, in spite of all seeming accidentally and of all temporary retrogression, a progressive development asserts itself in the end — this great fundamental thought has, especially since the time of Hegel, so thoroughly permeated ordinary consciousness that in this generality it is now scarcely ever contradicted.“ (Friedrich Engels: Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (1886); in: MECW 26, p. 384) Engels based this important insight on Hegel’s elaborations on dialectics. In his “Science of Logic”, Hegel stated: „It is of the greatest importance to perceive and to bear in mind this nature of the reflective determinations we have just considered, namely, that their truth consists only in their relation to one another, that therefore each in its very Notion contains the other; without this knowledge, not a single step can really be taken in philosophy.“ (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Science of Logic, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd, New York 1969, p. 438)

[15] Abram Deborin: Materialistische Dialektik und Naturwissenschaft (1925), in: Unter dem Banner des Marxismus 1. Jahrgang 1925/26, Verlag für Literatur und Politik, Wien, p. 452 (our translation)

[16] Lenin highlighted this phrase in his Philosophical Notebook. (V.I. Lenin: Conspectus of Hegel’s Book the Science of Logic (1914); in: LCW 38, p. 227)

[17]The unity (coincidence, identity, equal action) of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute. (…) Development is the “struggle” of opposites.“ (V.I. Lenin: On the Question of Dialectics (1915); in: LCW 38, p.358)

[18] See on this e.g. chapter II in Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 25, August 2014,

[19] Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, p. 228. Large parts of chapter 9 of this book discuss this issue.

[20] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences; RCIT: Iran: Down with Trump’s Sanctions and Military Threats! But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran! 11 May 2019,

[21] The Marxist philosopher Ivan K. Luppol, another leading theoretician of the Soviet Deborin School in the 1920s, once noted that an important task of the materialistic dialectic is to “look for the unity in diversity but also for the diversity in the unity” (Iwan K. Luppol: Lenin und die Philosophie. Zur Frage des Verhältnisses der Philosophie zur Revolution, Verlag für Literatur und. Politik, Wien 1929, p. 72; our translation). This is exactly a crucial challenge for Marxists in elaborating categories which shall identify the contradictory nature of political and economic phenomena!

[22] Iwan K. Luppol: Lenin und die Philosophie, p. 98 (our translation)

[23] See on this e.g. RCIT: India-Pakistan: Defeat the War Mongers! Free Kashmir! 27 February 2019,; Michael Pröbsting: Kashmir: Social-Patriotism Among the Indian Left. On the opportunistic adaptation of various “Stalinists”, “Trotskyists” and “Maoists” to the chauvinistic wave in the wake of the latest conflict between India and Pakistan, 02 March 2019,

[24] Sanjay Kathuria (Ed.): A Glass Half Full. The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia, World Bank 2018, p. 57

[25] Leon Trotsky: Not a Workers’ and Not a Bourgeois State? (1937); in: Writings of Leon Trotsky, 1937-38, Pathfinder Press, p. 70

[26] Karl Marx: Capital, Volume One, in: MECW Vol. 35, pp. 226-227

[27] With such an approach, the supporters of the theory of sub-imperialism claim to relate to Lenin’s theory of imperialism. As is well known an essential element of Lenin’s theory is his concept of super-exploitation, i.e. the extraction of a profit above the average. “Because monopoly yields superprofits, i.e., a surplus of profits over and above the capitalist profits that are normal and customary all over the world.“ (V. I. Lenin: Imperialism and the Split in Socialism (1916); in: LCW Vol. 23, pp.114-115)

[28] Patrick Bond: BRICS and the sub-imperial location, in: Patrick Bond and Ana Garcia (Ed.): BRICS. An Anti-Capitalist Critique, p. 24

[29] See on this our pamphlet mentioned above by Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict.

[30] As we elaborated in chapter II of our book World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, there can be a number of cases in which revolutionaries have to side with one semi-colonial country against another because of the concrete character of the conflict. Hence, the RCIT defend the Yemeni people against the Saudi aggression, Qatar against the Saudi blockade and the Somali people against the Ethiopia-led AMISOM occupation forces.

[31] Michael Pröbsting: Dialectics and Wars in the Present Period. Preface to Rudolf Klement’s Principles and Tactics in War, June 2017,


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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngChina: Solidarity with the General Strike in Hong Kong!


For an international solidarity movement as the Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing prepares a brutal crackdown!


Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 01 August 2019,




  1. The democratic mass struggle in Hong Kong is moving towards a denouement. The organizers of the mass movement and several trade unions – the Confederation of Trade Unions; unions of teachers, civil servants, airline and banking workers, etc. – are calling for a general strike on Monday, 5 August with parallel rallies at seven different points throughout the city. This will be the highpoint in the more than two-month wave of actions of Hong Kong’s workers and youth against the extradition bill and the authoritarian Lam Administration.


  1. These actions are in response to the accelerating state repression against the, mostly young, activists. Forty-three of them have been formally charged with rioting, an offence punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment. However, given the massive support for the protests by the vast majority of the population, the Lam Administration has increasingly lost control. The brutal attack on demonstrators by an armed mob of Triad gangsters on 21 July, undoubtedly instigated and bankrolled by the regime in Beijing, reflects the inability of the Hong Kong police to bring the situation under control. In fact, dual power is fast emerging.


  1. The Stalinist-capitalist regime in Beijing increasingly fears the consequences of these developments. This is not only due to the political and economic importance of Hong Kong but also because they fear that “the virus of unrest” could inspire dissatisfied Chinese workers, students, and peasants throughout the mainland. Hence, the regime has begun to denounce the mass protests as “instigated by Taiwan and the US”. Beijing’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, urged the US on 24 July to “retract its black hand from Hong Kong”. General Chen Daoxiang, the commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) Hong Kong garrison, warned that the army is “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” (South China Morning Post: Chinese army’s Hong Kong chief says troops are ready to protect nation’s sovereignty, 01.08.2019) In fact, there exists a plan for the seven-step implementation of a PLA military intervention that would formally take place under the command of the region’s police commanders (Asia Times: PLA’s Hong Kong deployment plan revealed, 31.07.2019) Hong Kong’s PLA garrison, currently 6,000 soldiers stationed in barracks, released a video on 31 July on its Sina Weibo account showing footage of “anti-riot” exercises. The martial propaganda video presenting trigger-happy soldiers preparing for the massacre of their own people can be viewed at: (Global Times: Violence in HK touches bottom line, ‘intolerable’: PLA commander, 31.07.2019; Reuters: China’s Hong Kong PLA garrison releases video with scenes of ‘anti-riot’ operations, 01.08.2019)


  1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly welcomes the decision of the organizers to call a general strike. Only the most reactionary lackeys of the Beijing regime can deny the heroic idealism of the tens of thousands of young activists who courageously combat the attacks on democratic rights. There can be no doubt that the movement has made important advances in its level of consciousness. This is expressed in the increasingly popular slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times!” This popular uprising has become a focal point of the world situation as it takes place in a key city of one of the two most important Great Powers. If the spark were to jump to the Chinese mainland and instigate a mass revolt of the workers and youth, this would transform the world situation with a single stroke!


  1. However, it would be foolish to ignore the challenges and dangers. Tempus fugit. The regime in Beijing is strongly pushing for a prompt and violent suppression of the mass protests (preferably by the Hong Kong forces alone, but with PLA forces if necessary). Memories of the bloody massacre on Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989 with several thousand killed reverberate! (This event was a decisive stroke in the counterrevolution that opened the road to capitalist restoration in the immediate following years!) It is urgent that the mass movement overcomes any local centeredness and actively raises the banner of democracy, not only for Hong Kong, but for the whole of China! This could easily be expressed in a companion slogan, “Liberate China, the revolution of our times!” Such an orientation must also include solidarity with the brutally oppressed national minority of the Muslim Uyghurs.


  1. Hopes for any serious support from rival Great Powers are completely misplaced. In fact, the raisings the British or the U.S. flag by a few isolated activists are nothing but stupid provocations that are grist for the mill of Beijing’s chauvinist propaganda. This is compounded by the fact that positive references towards these two states are entirely misplaced when their inept, reactionary, and hair brained leaders provoke only feelings of cultural superiority among ordinary Chinese people!


  1. The general strike will be an important first step. Since the regime, however, must escalate repression in response, the movement must anticipate this and deepen the rhythm of its activities. It will be necessary to organize an indefinite general strike to countermand the extradition law and boot the Lam Administration. Furthermore, it is crucial to organize mass democratic assemblies in the workplaces, neighborhoods, and universities to broaden a discussion of the demands and tactics of the struggle and to elect delegates for a coordinating body of the entire movement. Likewise, workers and youth need an independent political body, i.e. a Workers Party, that is independent of the native as well as any foreign capitalist class.


  1. It is extremely urgent to build an international movement in solidaity with the people’s rebellion in Hong Kong! The RCIT calls on workers and popular mass organizations around the world to rally in support of their brothers and sisters! We strongly denounce the Stalinists that slander the protests in Hong Kong as “CIA plots”. Naturally, any international solidarity movement must oppose the anti-Chinese chauvinism of Western rivals. Likewise, it must denounce any imperialist sanctions against China as these do not serve the democratic struggle but only the chauvinist agenda of Great Power rivalry. Such sanctions will also help the Beijing regime to rally expressions of Chinese chauvinism and portray the suppression of the Hong Kong protests as flag waving “patriotic duty.”


  1. The RCIT calls on activists to join us in building a revolutionary party, both in China and globally, based on an international and socialist perspective!


* Kill the extradition bill! Defeat the Administration of Carrie Lam!


* Down with the Pseudo-“Communist“ Capitalist Dictatorship in Beijing!


* For a Workers and Poor Peasants Republic in China! For a Socialist Federation in East Asia as a first step to a socialist world!




International Bureau of the RCIT




* * * * *




The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on China that can be accessed on our website at as well as at


In particular we refer to:


RCIT: China: Long Live the Popular Uprising in Hong Kong! After protestors storm the parliament: general strike against the extradition bill and the Lam Administration! 03 July 2019,


RCIT: China: Mass Protests against Reactionary “Extradition Law” in Hong Kong. For an indefinite general strike to kill the bill and to bring down the Administration of Carrie Lam! 18 June 2019,


RCIT: China: Down with the Pseudo-“Communist“ Capitalist Dictatorship! No to any imperialist Great Power – U.S., China, Japan, Russia or the European Union! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Republic!


Michael Pröbsting: China: Defend the Muslim Uyghurs against Oppression! 18.10.2018,


RCIT: Hong Kong/China: Long Live the Anti-Government Protests! For a General Strike against Police Repression and for Democratic Rights! Down with the Reactionary CCP Dictatorship! 2.10.2014,


Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019,


Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4,






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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngZimbabwe: Neoliberal Austerity means Misery for the Popular Masses


But also better life for the middle class and prosperity for the comprador bourgeoisie


By Daud Sibanda, Correspondent in Zimbabwe, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 25 July 2019,




History has taught us and the world over that neoliberal policies do not work for the poor but for the rich. What it does is that it widens the inequality gap between the poor and the rich. At the same time, it places the middle class in a better position and leaves them temporarily well off but not rich.


This vicious cycle repeats itself all over again endlessly with no permanent solution to the inherent problems and contradictions of system of capitalism. Capitalism only creates temporary reliefs and in the process creates new major complex problems.


In Zimbabwe we have seen financial and fiscal authorities/technocrats failing to learn from history and falling for the same trappings of the past mistakes made by their predecessors. It has been tried several times before to implement these neoliberal policies to no avail, without any positive results but only negative ones.


Currently we have seen the financial gurus, the so called technocrats adopting these neoliberal policies in the form of Zimbabwe is open for business, austerity for prosperity and a wholesome of other fiscal policies that have only aggravated the already bad economic situation and state we are in. This mess has just gotten messy, these are just but fancy changed names and nothing new. Churning one blueprint after another has become the norm especially in Africa, blueprints that don’t address the real fundamental problems on the ground but issues to do with serving the interests of imperialists elsewhere and a few comprador bourgeoisie classes.


Unfortunately, poor people are the most exposed and affected by these measures. Fuel has been increased twice, and we are experiencing a runaway inflation rate, ballooning by each day/month. The annual inflation rate hit 175 percent in June. (1)


Power load shedding and frequent water cuts have become daily food and a normal trend. Zimbabwe is generating less than half of its peak winter electricity demand. Its largest hydropower plant, Kariba, is operating at low capacity – officially due to a drought but in fact because of corruption and state incompetence. (2)


Prices of basic commodities are skyrocketing without any remorse or arrest measures in sight. Because of these measures the poor people can no longer afford a decent meal and can no longer afford decent transport to work. The state, despite increasing the fuel prices and leaving the people at the mercy of the cartel vultures, has introduced only a temporary relief in the form of cheap public transport. However, this is not enough to cater for the large numbers of the working people. Hence people shove and push to board these buses and some even get into the bus via windows. This is what the poor of people Zimbabwe have been reduced to – barbaric animals.


It is high time for socialists to organize and to fight against these never-ending series of neoliberal attacks!












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