Communist Menace Just Silly Children Who Need to Grow up

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LONDON – Following the military defeat of ISIS leader Owen Smith by guerrilla forces under the leadership of John McDonnell and composed primarily of Red London and Worker’s Spatula cadres, the latter have returned to their journalistic duties.

Among the surprises which met our English correspondents in their return to civilian life was the fact that the Welsh socialist group which may or may not still be known as Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr has yet to drive out British colonial rule through a Popple’s Wor, and the Scottish are still dragging their feet on secession as well.

So it looks like it’s up to England to save the day AGAIN.

However, communists in the UK can expect a bitter struggle within and beyond Corbyn’s anti-austerity political campaigns, not least because the communists are a dangerous element whose fanatical ideas could lead to the deaths of millions in Britain, and also because they are a marginal and infantile trend who will soon come to terms with the real world, grow up, and become Blairites themselves.

Yes, sources across the UK political spectrum, from the Tories to the Red Tories, agree that communists are all just idiotic student union members looking for attention that must not be taken seriously. Moreover, it is agreed that they constitute a real threat to the Labour Party and Britain that must be stopped.

“This is hardly a surprising development,” said UK politics analyst and Trotskyite extraordinaire Richard Seymour, when pressed for comment. “It’s well known that anything left of bourgeois centre in the UK is both a threat to our very way of life and also a passing fad barely worth a mention. Having Red London running about, waving red flags and singing about red flags and that, it’s definitely an issue for people who understand how much they alienate the entire population of Britain except a ragtag gang of student losers, and also understand that they will one day topple the British state and have us all killed for being revisionists or reactionaries of one sort or another.

“One needn’t look to the murderous hordes of Stalinists who control Wales and parts of London to see evidence of this fact: One need merely take note of Corbyn himself, whose fanatical support drowns out the need to discuss his troublesome lack of popularity which renders him fundamentally unelectable.

“This trend shows little chance of decline. I personally have been told to join the SWP three times today.”

As of press time, a group calling itself “the Red Hand of Blair” has claimed responsibility for a car bomb in Brighton which claimed the lives of several known Corbynite figures. The statement reads, in part: “We have been forced to take up arms to defend the fundamental moderation of the Labour Party from the unelectable views endorsed by the electorate. Dialectics, innit.”

TKP/ML Doing Pretty Good, Report Other Groups in Turkey

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İSTANBUL/STEMBOL – An informal survey of various communists in Istanbul confirms that TKP/ML, the illegal Marxist-Leninist and/or Maoist party founded by İbrahim Kaypakkaya (following a split with Doğu Perinçek for being just the worst kind of revisionist) is “not doing half-bad lately, actually”.

“I don’t just mean that compared to the arch-sectarian RIM cultists in MKP, either,” said a representative of the DKP, speaking on condition of mentioning how fashionable his trainers looked. “They’re genuinely making good moves in Istanbul lately. Despite their wacky ‘People’s War’ in Dersim making them look like they’re still all kırdan şehre, I guess they are actually trying to reestablish relevance among the urban proletariat.

“Good for them” he concluded.

“The new songs are quite good, much better than ours,” confessed a representative of the MLKP, speaking through her Circassian-Turkish interpreter. “Not that it matters, since we can listen to anything the Kurds put out, but I’ll listen to that one about the homeland being a sea of blood. Goddamn Maoists know how to sing a tune, you know?”

Even cadres from the Marxist-Leninist-Lukácsist party TÖPG were complimentary: “If I was going to join an illegal party, it wouldn’t be my first choice,” said Fatma Kübra, one of their top cadres in Hatay. “But it also wouldn’t be my last choice? İbo was certainly more handsome than Deniz and Mahir. If I had to be waving around some dead man’s face for the rest of my life, I’d prefer it was him.”

“But Mao was quite ugly,” she added. “So that’s a minus. This is but one of many reasons why our party-initiative doesn’t have a bunch of dead men’s faces on flags.”

Not all Turkish communists agreed that the partisan forces of Comrade İbo were on the right track again. One of Worker’s Spatula’s own central committee members and proper EMEP man if ever there was one, [REDACTED], insisted that those elements impressed by the worker-peasant army were “betraying their petty bourgeois mentality” through their “fetishisation” of “this narodnik cult”.

DSİP cadres were similarly dismissive: “I don’t see how anyone can respect parties like that that hide behind the successes of an allied left group, in this case the Kurdish movement,” explained one “Levent Saygun”. “Unrelated, if you’re off to London, can you tell Callinicos his cheque was late again?”

Stefan Engel, who has been too busy with organisational details of this year’s ICOR Oktoberfest celebration in Bezirk Suhl, did finally pick up his phone to give his feedback on TKP/ML’s progress: “You know I’ve always liked them, I’ve always had faith they would do well in terms of… just a second… ARE THOSE SAUSAGES HALAL?… Yes, sorry. The issue is, they won’t join ICOR. I invited them, trust me. I invite them once a year. But they won’t join unless we explicitly take the line of Mao over Hoxha, which… I’m with the Kurds on this, in Turkey, you want to be on good terms with Hoxhaists.”

UPDATE: They fucked it all up again.

Tom Watson to Speak at CPGB-ML Event

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LONDON – As the urban guerrilla campaign led by Red London and English Worker’s Spatula correspondents in defence of the Corbyn leadership draws closer and closer to victory, Corbyn’s enemies are trying ever more creative methods to outmanoeuvre the insane communist bent on the destruction of all that Britain holds dear.

“We’re very excited to announce that Comrade Tom Watson will be speaking at a fundraising night for CPGB-ML at the DPRK embassy,” announced Harpal Brar. “Tom Watson has been a great aid to us in exposing the dark reality of Trotskyites supporting Corbyn, and as we know, the principal task of revolutionaries is to crush Trotskyism, wherever it shows its face.”

“I think it’s great,” said Red Youth Chairman and membership Michael Hughes. “I’m glad we’re finally taking the initiative to unite with others to crush the fascist Trotskyite menace once and for all. I’ve been saying we should do this for years. Personally, I cross picket lines all the time just to see the look on the fucking Trots’ faces when I do it.”

Although Watson and the CPGB-ML are united in their hatred of Corbyn and their belief that their conception of “the Trots” are “behind” him, it is not at all clear that British Trotskyists themselves actually support Corbyn in any meaningful way. While groups like the SWP have come out in favour of Corbyn against Smith, they have failed to join Red London in armed struggle to defend his leadership, preferring to walk up to the trenches to sell newspapers and recruit people to the SWP:

“Excuse me, would you like to hear the Socialist Workers Party’s position on Corbyn? We think it’s very exciting to see young people so enthusiastic about fighting the Labour Right, and we want to explain how organisation is really the key to bringing that fight to its logical conclusion,” explained the SWP newspaper salesman as bullets whizzed overhead.

“Yeah, no, I’m just a bit busy right now, actually”, replied the masked woman returning fire at Jack Straw. “Could you come back later?”

“Oh yes, I will do,” said the newspaper salesman as he scurried out of the trench and into a nearby bus shelter.

The Spartacist League, for its part, has come out in favour of Owen Smith, reasoning that “Although we don’t ordinarily support anyone in Labour, it was nice to see him defend international socialism against the Stalinist Corbyn’s proposal for ‘Socialism in One Country’.”

A grouping of former members of the now-dissolved “Permanent Revolution” tendency have likewise offered Owen Smith “critical support” on the grounds that “We had one meeting with him which was quite fruitful, he seemed very enthusiastic about the idea of building a Seventh International together with us. We hope Owen Smith will do for British Trotskyism what Hugo Chávez did for Venezuelan Trotskyism.”

Kılıçdaroğlu’s Name Quietly Removed from Kill Lists of Illegal Groups

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İSTANBUL – Following a speech delivered by CHP Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at the “Rally for Democracy and the Martyrs”, in which Kılıçdaroğlu articulated a great many positive views, including support for democratic institutions that would not exclude the Kurdish Movement or others from political discourse, Kılıçdaroğlu’s name was quietly removed from the “kill lists” of several illegal groups operating within the borders of the Turkish Republic.

“I mean, fuck him, but also, you know, not bad” explained a spokesman for the illegal Devrimci Komünarlar Partisi (DKP). “Now we feel even worse about making fun of communists who attended his rallies to try to win people over to our cause. Could we have been ultra-left? No, obviously our line is always 100% correct. But maybe we should be more quiet about our totally correct views on the CHP.”

“When Kandil said that we were entering a tactical alliance with the CHP, I didn’t realise this meant they would actually say some things we agree with now. I thought we were just going to glare nervously at one another while shouting ambiguous anti-AKP slogans. But, I guess if he doesn’t come to power and kill a bunch of our people, we’ll let Kılıçdaroğlu live,” said a spokeswoman for the MLKP.

Reactions from within the CHP are similarly mixed. “Does he want a split?” asked İzmir MP Selin Sayek Böke angrily to our local correspondent. “He thinks he can just promote women’s equality and a democracy that includes the Mountain Turks? Not on my watch. I’d rather rot in a fascist theocracy with Erdoğan as caliph than put up with this.

“Democracy schmemocracy” she concluded.

UPDATE: The DHKP-C has announced that they have added Kılıçdaroğlu to their kill list. DSİP likewise has formed an armed “Permanent Revolutionary Propaganda” wing, whose task is to assassinate Kılıçdaroğlu “and other fascists who oppose Erdoğan, our democratically elected leader, whether we like it or not.”

US Anarchists and Liberals Celebrate Murray Bookchin, Leader of the Kurdish People

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NEW YORK – This weekend, at an anarchist collective in Queens known as “the Headquarters”, a free event commemorating Murray Bookchin will reportedly take place. The event is being organised in collaboration with various liberal and anarchist-dominated student groups throughout the tri-state area to express their admiration for the work of Bookchin and their solidarity with the Kurdish struggle which he sacrificed so much to lead.

A statement read:

“Who is Murray Bookchin? He was born to a modest Kurdish family in New York, the son of Russian Kurdish immigrants. Through his sheer love of freedom and force of will, he singlehandedly transformed his party, the PKK, and the entire Kurdish struggle from evil Stalinists to ecological-feminist anarchists. It was Bookchin’s brave efforts that brought the movement to the heights of revolutionary success it enjoys today, and it is safe to say that he is also the individual who did the most in the fight against ISIS. A real American hero, we invite you all to join us in celebrating the life of Murray Bookchin.”

Reactions from Kurdistan ranged from anger to astonishment. KCK co-chair Cemil Bayık sighed when confronted with the statement during an interview with Med-Nûçe TV. He slid forward on his traditional plastic chair and shook his head in despair. “I don’t know why I even bother giving all these interviews if Bookchin’s just going to get all the credit.” he lamented.

Meanwhile, in Wan, a Kurdish activist named Rojda spoke with our correspondent over qaçax çay: “Who? Bûkşîn? Who’s that?”

A spokesperson for the UK SWP responded to our correspondent’s request for a comment thus: “See, this is why you can’t trust the Kurds. They were all Stalinists, well, I mean, they’re still all Stalinists, but some kind of mad anarcho-Stalinists. Also, they’re objectively agents of US and Russian imperialism. They’re agents of Russian imperialism because they insist that ISIS, and not Assad, is the primary contradiction in Syria. Ridiculous. They’re agents of US imperialism because they have objectively done nothing to challenge US hegemony. If they were serious, they would read Tony Cliff and Callinicos, cut out all this business of leading the broad Kurdish masses and focus on polite and legal organisation of unionised industrial workers, and of course, declare the primary contradiction in Syria and Turkey to be Islamophobia. Maybe then they could earn our respect, and we might even consider them for IST membership. But in the meantime, I’m sorry, we just don’t take them seriously.”

Responses were also obtained from parties that haven’t lost the plot entirely. Our correspondent in Santiago de Chile enquired with local PC(AC) activists if there was a similar movement to commemorate Bookchin as a revolutionary leader whose work was now manifested in Rojava. “What? No.” snorted one young man with hippie-length hair. “Not that I like our anarchists, but I think they make them a special class of stupid in gringo countries.”

MLPD leader and standing German national weightlifting champion Stefan Engel send us a short message via WhatsApp stating: “ICOR is, as you know, organising solidarity brigades to Kobanê to assist in the reconstruction of the city. I will now propose a motion for sending intellectual solidarity brigades to the US to explain to the people there what’s going on in the world.” He concluded the message by adding 3 beer emojis, which presumably means that he was on or had just completed his third beer.

Sectarian Disputes within Turkish Trotskyism: AKP State to Prosecute Tariq Ali

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ANKARA – Turkish courts have made the decision to prosecute Onur Erem after Erem published an interview with well-known international Trotskyist commentator Tariq Ali after Ali called Erdoğan a “tin-pot dictator”. Future investigation of Ali is possible, but clearly the importance of this case lies not in the legal questions, but in the power struggle within Turkish Trotskyism.

Assessments of the situation from the various sides of this struggle were ready at hand. Erdoğan himself mentioned the case of Tariq Ali at the G-20 meeting in Antalya. In his speech Erdogan suggested that the recent terror in Europe was a result of “capitalism’s greed” and proceeded to denounce Ali as a traitor to permanent revolution. He said: “Look at this person. What does he want? Who does he think he is? Look at the world situation today. Mursi and I were carrying the flag of permanent revolution together, but now Mursi has been brought down by the Stalinist Sisi. Yes, Sisi! Yes, so I am the last one standing, surrounded by enemies.

“I thought Ali was on our side in this. After all, he is a Muslim, and therefore a Turk. We are both Turkish Trotskyists and therefore naturally comrades and brothers. But clearly, his class background as the son of a rich Pakistani family led him to betray our movement.” The chairman of Turkey’s biggest holding by far, Ali Koç, rushed to the assistance of his leader: “Capitalism creates poverty and terror. It has to go. Degenerate bourgeois like Tariq Ali will go down together with capitalism.”

Reactions within Turkey were mixed. Turkish IST affiliate DSİP issued a statement saying: “We understand that Ali is not a supporter of our sister party in the UK, the SWP, which already makes him suspect. However, we did not think he would go as far as denouncing our president as a dictator, which would put him in the same category as Stalin and therefore completely unacceptable. We call on Ali to renounce his statement. If he does, we hope that our president will reconsider his intentions, as the movement for permanent revolution should not be split in such dire times.“

A protest note came from the HDK in a joint statement: “Seriously? We say things much worse on a daily basis, providing a much deeper understanding of the AKP regime. Why give such importance to Tariq Ali? By this standard, thousands, if not millions of members of the various organisations which make up the HDK should’ve been arrested in the past few months.”

A short message to Ali was sent from the KCK in the Qandil Mountains: “Heval Tariq, please ignore all the slander and attacks. We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if we had listened to the naysaying of our enemies. We see that you are serious, so we invite you to join our ranks to take up the armed struggle. We leave it up to you whether you would prefer to fight against ISIS or the Turkish state.”

One of the first international reactions came from Alexis Tsipras, a columnist for a pro-AKP newspaper who splits his free time between his hobbies of being Prime Minister of Greece and being the chief critic of the Prime Minister of Greece: “I really think this is not the time for this. As I recently wrote in one of my columns, we have to cooperate on the central issues of our time. I would be willing to mediate between the two camps. I recommend as a compromise that Erdoğan will condemn his own policies, while Tariq Ali will come to Turkey and encourage Turkish citizens to vote for the AKP.”

Workers’ Liberty Condemns Palestinian Assault on Israeli Rights

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LONDON – Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has surprised absolutely no one by responding to a recent increase in Israeli settler and military assaults on the occupied Palestinians with a condemnation of the latter for “supporting Hamas” and “denying the Jewish people their divinely promised homeland”.

“Hamas is anti-Semitic, and you’re anti-Semitic too,” Sean Harrison, a representative of Workers’ Liberty informed Worker’s Spatula during an interview earlier today. “Arabs need to stop being such Nazi Islamists, they’re trampling on Israel’s right to self-determination. And as for you lot, Worker’s Spatula supports the SSNP, isn’t it? You’re all National Bolsheviks. That’s what I read on Twitter, anyway.

“Israel has a right to defend itself from Stalinist Arab civilians. All Arabs are Stalinists, except Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, but they’re Cliffites, which is even worse, because they hate Jews. Tony Cliff was a self-hating Jew.”

“The only nice Arabs are the FSA, of course, they’re secular democrats fighting for genuine democracy, unlike those filthy Palestinians. You can tell because their enemies are Arabs and not Jews.”

Harrison insisted we publish all their statements, in the hopes that Palestinians living under the boot of the occupying Israeli state could “understand our true internationalist analysis and cease their chauvinistic oppression of Israel. The Arabs must learn to seek peace and stop provoking Israel like the warmongering jihadists they are.”

“We and the Israelis teach our workers to love, the Arabs teach their workers to hate,” he concluded.

SWP Releases Statement Calling for Morrissey’s Death

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LONDON – British IST affiliate Socialist Workers’ Party has shocked their Egyptian sister party, Revolutionary Socialists, by calling for the speedy execution of Morrissey.

“Morrissey is actually a counter-revolutionary, merely posing as a critic of the establishment, with his petty-bourgeois idealism and his empty words. We demand that the Egyptian state quickly chop his ugly head off, before any more Egyptian Trotskyists are tricked into supporting his dangerous rhetoric.”

Revolutionary Socialists, contrary to the reputation of IST affiliates to slavishly follow orders from London, issued this fierce response:

“Our message to Callinicos, you donkey: Morrissey is still the only democratic leader of the Egyptian people, ever. Every other leader of the Egyptians, from Nasser to Sisi, have all been Stalinists. We will never abandon Morrissey, even if the rest of the IST does. To die by his side? Well, the pleasure, the privilege, is ours.”

The Spartacist League of Britain, known in very hip circles for their artisanal paper, Workers Hammer [a name clearly chosen to capitalise on the popularity of Worker’s Spatula – WS], pointed out in a lengthy rant that “the Cliffites” had until recently supported Morrissey’s presidency, disrupted an SWP “Kill Morrissey” rally in order to demand an explanation.

“We, the Spartacist League of Britain, are the only real communists in Britain, and indeed, the world!” screamed the leader of the Spart gang, Linda Harris, through a megaphone. “We never supported Morrissey or any other popular leader ever! That’s how you know we’re pure! But still, these pseudo-revolutionaries should have to explain to the working class their unprincipled and opportunistic zigzags! Why are you all such fucking shits?”

An unfazed Callinicos quickly regained control of the rally, taking hold of an even larger and less bureaucratic megaphone, to respond: “You lot support ISIS.”

After the rally, a member of the SWP agreed to speak with Worker’s Spatula on condition of anonymity. “We did support Morrissey, we did zigzag, the Sparts are right on this one.”

“The thing is, we really liked his early work, back under Mubarak, with the Smiths.”

Image credit: “gleepii” on Reddit.

Austrian Left Announces New Strategy to Combat Right­-wing Surge

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VIENNA – After alarming election results which saw the fascist Freedom Party (FPÖ) gain over 30% in regional elections and with more such results to come, Austrian leftists and left­ liberals have shown remarkable unity and announced a new common strategy on how to combat the FPÖ. Despite their unity they could not agree on holding a joint press conference, and each major element of the struggle held their own.

The Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) held their press conference at the notoriously haughty and expensive Cafe Landtmann, which they regularly use, i.e. To hold press conferences costing 50,000 Euros for a couple of hours in order to announce their intensified struggle against economic inequality. Chancellor Werner Faymann and Michael Häupl, the mayor of Vienna, appeared together for this landmark statement. Häupl stated that because of the immense importance he had stayed completely sober leading up to the press conference at 10 a.m., adding that he intended to stay sober throughout the event and asked everyone to show solidarity with him throughout this great sacrifice. Faymann then elaborated on the new strategy:

“Obviously, they are on the rise and we keep losing votes. It is only a matter of time before they take power. After every election we tell ourselves and the people that we have to communicate better. Our political strategists have now arrived at the conclusion that the problem might not be communication after all. Thus, we, as the ruling party of Austria, are going to dissolve the Austrian state and integrate it into Germany. We already have so many German refugees here who come to work because of low wages in Germany, or because their secondary school grades were insufficient to attend university there, so it won’t make a huge difference. Thus, we will prevent the right­wing takeover of Austria, and I will be an Austrian hero. Just as we still celebrate Kurt Schuschnigg, pretending that he sought to save Austria from Nazi Germany, while he and his party did everything they could to eliminate every serious resistance beforehand. We believe, because of that the the ÖVP [the conservative Austrian People’s Party that still celebrates the heritage of the Austrofascist dictator Dollfuß and his successor Schuschnigg – WS] will be on our side as well.”

The Green Party held their very own brunch press conference at a posh café in the 7th district. Chairwoman Eva Glawischnig stated: “For years we have been telling the people who are voting for the FPÖ that they are stupid and uneducated. Yet, they still continue to vote for them. I don’t know what else to do, so we convened with the SPÖ and agreed that we will dissolve Austria. I am very happy about that for our party, as this will finally allow us to eliminate every modest left element still existing within our party and become the party for the liberal bourgeoisie and the rich with some ecological consciousness like the German Green Party have already accomplished. As a part of Germany, we can finally also participate in wars around the globe – I am already checking the maps, do you have any suggestion for countries to bomb?” Julian Schmid, the youngest and sexiest MP, added: “I participated in the student occupation of the University of Vienna and in other extremist ultra­left activities. Trust me, that’s nothing for me. In the Green Party I can travel across Austria and take selfies with beautiful women everywhere. Obviously everyone loves me, because I am just so handsome. If we integrate into Germany, I can expand my radius and travel all over Germany as well. I am very excited.”

The KPÖ issued its statement at Café Siebenstern at 7 p.m., in order to cover up for the fact that they were already drunk in the morning. Didi Zach stated: “We were always in favor of ‘Greater Germany’, as this is clearly what the old Stalinist KPÖ opposed so fiercely. Thus it can’t be all bad, right?” He then proceeded to empty his pint all at once and refused to comment further.

A spokesperson of the KPÖ youth organisation continued to discuss their take on the issue: “It’s actually quite brilliant you see. We all know that the FPÖ is undecided on the national question for Austria. They pretend to be Austrian patriots, but a considerable part of their cadres think there is no Austrian nation and we are all Germans. Now they have to take a stance, and it will considerably weaken them in any event.” Asked about his stance he clarified that the KPÖ youth was “in full support of ‘Greater Germany'”:

“You know, many of us are anti-Germans. So if we’re part of Germany, we can support Israel even more ferociously and have a bulletproof leftist façade. In fact, I would love to see the Netherlands integrated as well, so we would have a strong ally in our fight for the legalisation of marijuana.”

IST affiliate Neue Linkswende staged a rally in a cultural centre run by the ATİB, an organisation directly governed by the Turkish Presidency for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), and therefore the AKP government of Turkey. A spokesperson for the organisation read the following statement:

“First of all, we would like to thank the Turkish state and President Erdoğan for the great opportunity to speak here. We have been warning for years about the FPÖ. It was literally the only thing we were doing, besides supporting various Islamist movements in Austria and around the globe. Many said they were annoyed by our liberal one-note politics, but now they see we were right. It’s not like we’re completely happy with being German now, but we are in critical support of the initiative.”

“We didn’t like Merkel’s latest turn regarding Assad, as there can be no justification for speaking with a brutal dictator instead of the Syrian revolution that incorporates committed democrats like the Nusra Front, Ahrar ash-Sham, and ISIS. So that’s a little bit problematic, but it clearly enjoys the support of bourgeois democrats, which is all that matters.”

“Anyway, at least you can’t run around freely propagating the terrorist PKK in Germany, like in treasonous Austria, which doesn’t defend national unity in Turkey like we do. So we’re obviously in favour of that. Also, being in Germany, we can now merge with our German sister party Marx21 and become a member of Die Linke. That’s really great. I read on Wikipedia that Marx21 has about 400 members – it sounds a little bit exaggerated to me, but with us joining it would be around 420 people, bringing us one step closer to permanent revolution.”

IMCWP affiliate Partei der Arbeit (Party of Labour) issued a written statement on their homepage in response to those declarations. “We’re doing our best to continue our further descent into irrelevance. But once again it seems we are the only ones, like the old KPÖ, who seriously defend the independent Austrian nation and thus these idiots force us to become somewhat relevant again. As we are clearly not prepared for that, we suspect that this is a reactionary imperialist plot to eliminate us completely.”

There were no international reactions on this important discussion. None.

Pope Declares US Left “Opportunists”

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PHILADELPHIA – Pope Francis, better known by his real name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, continues to excite the toiling masses across the globe, including his compatriot Lionel Messi. Opinion polls have suggested that a new international led by the two Argentines would be embraced by the majority of the workers of the world. At present, Pope Francis is visiting the US to meet with the faithful, Roman Catholics and NAMBLA members alike. The first demonstration of his enormous influence and power came when John Boehner resigned as the Republican speaker for Congress as a result of the pope’s mere presence in Congress, his resignation letter accusing congress of having been transformed into a tool for “papists”.

Pope Francis, leader of one of the world’s most notoriously conservative and reactionary institutions, has spent much of his papacy attempting to maintain the relevance of the church in the increasingly left-leaning political status quo of Latin America today. A few critical statements about inequality and the obvious problems of capitalism, however, have caused him to be viewed as a modern day Che Guevara by the majority of US pundits. Indeed, even much of the US “left” is unable to cope with the ferocity of Pope Francis’s mild statements: A joint statement of Bernie Sanders, Cornel West, the CPUSA and the Working Families Party denounced the pope’s “ultra-leftism” and “adventurism”. The pope has responded to these accusations in an interview with Max Ajl published at Jacobin. He referred to the US left as “petty bourgeois hacks”, “opportunists”, “bleeding-heart liberals” and “objective agents of US imperialism.”

Additionally, Bernie Sanders went on record individually to state: “Given that he is the pope, of course I respect him. I respect all unelected heads of state, from China to Saudi Arabia. It is the elected communist dictators like Chavez that are the real evil today. But popes used to stand against such people, like during the Cold War. That’s the sort of Catholic Church the American people miss.”

Unsurprisingly, the dispute has provoked numerous responses from the US and abroad: Jeremy Corbyn, who was attending an anti-pig-fucking rally organised together with various animal rights groups and Muslim civil society organisations in the UK, gave a short speech in which he said: “People compare me to Sanders, you know. They’re all idiots. Obviously, I am not a big fan of the papacy, but I recognise when I am able to cooperate on certain issues. And if I were to come into conflict with him, I would hope it’s because the bloody pope was the opportunist, not me.”

The ISO published an editorial in Socialist Worker which concluded thus: “We really appreciate many things the pope has said. He is clearly more progressive on many issues than the majority of the US left. However, the fact that the Vatican is clearly a Stalinist state if ever there was one prevents us from any alliance with this bonapartist dictator.”

“Also, he speaks Spanish. That’s the language of Mercader.”

Bob Avakian reportedly enquired into a possible public debate with the pope on the topic of “People’s War and Revolution”, but a papal representative replied with a polite explanatory note stating that “the pope is not impressed with the New Synthesis”.

Alexis Tsipras, recently re-elected as Prime Minister of what remains of Greece, held a spontaneous speech at his local taverna in which he claimed: “If we were not an Orthodox country, I would immediately integrate our territory into the Vatican. Or at least appoint Pope Francis as my finance minister. Look at that, he just goes to the US congress and people there listen to him. Not like that bald traitor I appointed first, even I didn’t listen to him.”