Comrade Joti interviewed by Caleb Maupin

‘The fundamental contradiction in the world today is between imperialism and the oppressed countries.’

In this wide-ranging interview, New York-based independent journalist and political commentator Caleb Maupin talks to Communist party vice-chair Joti Brar.

On the Communist party : 00.00
“Our alphabet soup name is the result of a historical situation.”

On anti-imperialism : 01.50
“The fundamental contradiction in the world today is between imperialism and the oppressed countries.”

On free Libya’s achievements : 05.26
“The people of Libya had a very civilised, dignified life, and were even able to offer support to many other countries that were fighting imperialism.”

On supporting China : 07.55
China is not aggressing or looting anybody; it offers friendly terms of trade and has helped many poor countries develop and build essential infrastructure.”

On China’s social system : 10.49
“The market is always a danger to a socialist society. Commodity relations and a capitalist class are bound to undermine socialism; the two cannot but come into contradiction. In the end, one class or another has to win – either the workers are in charge or the bourgeoisie is in charge.”

On Jeremy Corbyn : 12.13
Corbyn is not a Marxist. He only seems dangerous to the ruling class because of the economic crisis, which make even his mild reforms unaffordable. Austerity is not a policy of the nasty party, it’s an economic necessity for the ruling class because of the crisis.”

On resisting austerity : 14.03
“It’s a question of class forces. When we gained the welfare state after the second world war, the British working-class movement was strong; there was a huge communist movement here and worldwide and our rulers were terrified of revolution. It was a peace deal.”

On claims of resurgent fascism in Britain and the USA : 15.35
Fascism, communism, socialism, imperialsm … a real socialist has to treat these words scientifically. In our view the election of Trump and the Brexit vote are both products of the crisis, reflecting the anger and disenfranchisement of workers.”

On anti-immigrant sentiment : 17.35
“Workers have been told for so long that the reason that their jobs are going is that immigrants come and take them. The reality is that even without any immigrants coming here, capital is being exported to where wages are lower, regulation is less and taxes are lower. Capital goes wherever it can make the most profit; it doesn’t care about the devastation it leaves behind.”

On disillusionment with the status quo : 19.00
“The lessons of decades of austerity and war from both parties are slowly coming home to workers. Brexit is giving them a fantastic education in just how much of a sham our democracy really is.”

On divisions within the ruling class : 21.20
“They are arguing about how to survive the crisis – through more aggressive war and expansion or through tarrifs and protectionism. In the end, neither side has a formula that works, because the problem is capitalist overproduction.”

On the democracy of the Brexit referendum : 24.30
“That referendum was the first time in my life where I’ve had an actual say in something. It was a yes-no question that really affected something meaningful, and every single vote counted.”

On the anger that drove the Brexit vote : 25.52
“Ten percent of workers in Britain now are what they call ‘food insecure‘. That is a shocking, shocking statistic in a country like ours.”

On what is driving poverty levels in Britain : 26.30
“Austerity and the destruction of the welfare state … and the fact that jobs now are overwhelmingly minimum-wage on zero-hour contracts.”

On the transgender debate : 27.46
“We’re not against individuals, but we are opposed to the ideology that’s being pushed on people that says: ‘You are what you think you are.’ This is total idealism, in the philosophical sense. As Marxists, we have to uphold material reality.”

On intolerance in ‘left’ circles : 33.00
“What this atmosphere does is stop people from expressing differing views, and that’s very useful for imperialism, especially when it’s promoting identity politics, which aim to divert and divide workers.”

On Trotskyism : 36.45
“Fundamentally, Trotskyism is an imperialist ideology … Trotskyists can always find a left-sounding justification for supporting imperialism against the oppressed.”

On workers’ unity : 38.30
“You can’t put hundreds of thousands of people together in one organisation and expect them to agree with each other on everything. You have to learn how to work together despite disagreements; how to be in a minority.”

On the achievements of socialism and the reason for all the lies : 40.20
Josef Stalin is held up as the ultimate bogeyman because he was in the leading position in the country that did the most to prove what socialism is capable of. He is uniquely associated with the period of Soviet socialist construction, and there’s nothing like it in all of human history … Our rulers are terrified we will find out that the workers can do without capitalists.”

On classical music and the arts : 45.45
“Classical music is a high achiervement of humanity, and we should cherish it … The Bolsheviks were fantastic at understanding that. They truly democratised the arts, opening them up to wide participation and audience and making the content relevant to working people’s struggle for a better society.”

On standing in elections : 53.10
“We take the Leninist view that elections won’t get us to power, but they are a useful platform for talking to people about politics, and also for exposing the workings of Parliament.”


This video was originally posted on Caleb’s YouTube channel, which we highly recommend to all our readers.