Monthly Archives: February 2011

PL’ers Bring Red Ideas:Wisconsin Workers in Class War vs. Bosses’ Attacks

MADISON, WISCONSIN, February 25 — Tens of thousands of workers flooded and encircled the State Capitol building here in a continuing protest against Governor Walker’s wage- and benefit-cutting proposals hitting State workers which would deny them collective bargaining rights and effectively bust their unions. The bill has already passed the State Assembly.

The exhilarating demonstrations included teachers, students, plumbers, postal and iron workers, firefighters, state workers and their supporters — black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American, women and men, young and old, able-bodied and in wheelchairs. The multi-racial crowds were joined by workers from Chicago, Iowa, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota and Texas. Entire families participated along with sign-wearing dogs with “Tax the Rich!” posters. Over half the signs were hand-made, reflecting the rank-and-file nature of the protestors.

The militant workers slept overnight in the State House, packing the 4-story structure solid, hanging banners over the upper floors while thousands more rallied outside. The crowd of 10,000 protestors on February 14 grew to 70,000 within four days.

The demonstrators’ militancy has inspired workers worldwide. They cheered the picture of a worker from Egypt holding a sign in Cairo’s Tahrir Square proclaiming, “Egypt Supports Wisconsin Workers!”

This attack on government workers is a part of the assault on workers internationally as the world’s capitalists try to “solve” their general crisis on the backs of the working class, with racist unemployment mounting into the tens of millions; wage-cutting; pension reductions; slashing health care; and home foreclosures throwing even more workers into homelessness.

This onslaught falls especially heavy on black, Latino and Asian workers who, because of the system’s racism, suffer double rates of unemployment, home foreclosures and healthcare cuts, but inevitably affects the rest of the working class. Racism splits and weakens our entire class in our efforts to fight the bosses.

U.S. rulers use the trillions of dollars stolen from the working class in this crisis to finance their imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and interventions in Somalia, Yemen and the rest of the Middle East. They are in a death fight with their competitors in Europe, Russia, China and Japan to preserve their control of oil and its distribution, without which their profit-driven societies and armies cannot function.

PLP members and friends from Chicago and Minnesota joined the demonstration and held a bullhorn rally adjacent to the line of workers marching around the Capitol building. They distributed 220 CHALLENGES and 1,700 leaflets, emphasizing that it was a communist paper and that workers need a communist revolution. They were greeted with a markedly positive response. One teacher reacted to our call for a widespread strike saying she thought “the whole country should be shut down!”

A high school teacher asked for extra PLP flyers to take back to her co-workers and willingly gave her contact information as did a Chicago librarian on the bus to Madison after taking our literature and hearing us speak at the rally. PL’ers led mini-rallies and discussed the Party’s ideas with protesting workers. Many conversations centered on the role of the Democratic legislators who have put themselves in the leadership of the struggle.

While the workers rightly resist the bosses’ assault, they unfortunately fall into the trap laid by their union misleaders who say we must rely on the Democrats to “fight the Republican onslaught.” These labor fakers have already agreed to cut pensions and benefits when actually workers should be fighting to maintain and raise them as food and gas prices skyrocket.

The Democrats have brought us Obama who has appointed all the bankers who helped create the economic crisis to run the economy. That’s like allowing the fox to guard the chicken coop. While the Republicans want to smash the unions altogether, the Democrats think the working class can more easily be controlled by using the union “leaders” to divert workers’ militancy into voting for them.

Well, the Democrats won the 2006 and 2008 elections, and look where that brought us. This is the old shell game, with the G.O.P. playing “bad cop” and the Democrats playing “good cop.” They both represent different sections of the same ruling class which owns and runs the country.

The Governor claims he has to cut state workers’ wages and benefits and destroy their unions in order to “solve” the state budget “deficit” of $137 million. In serving the capitalist class (as do all politicians), Walker buries the fact that the entire “deficit” was caused by Wall Street’s bankers who created the real estate bubble that crashed the economy in the first place, and which reduced government revenues, now labeled a “deficit.”

The capitalists’ drive for maximum profits grows out of their need to compete against each other to stay afloat. It is inherent in capitalism and will press the bosses to push the workers against the wall with wage and budget cuts and mass racist layoffs. PLP says, “Make the bosses take the losses!”

The rulers, led by Obama, say the economic crisis can only be “solved” by everyone “sharing the sacrifice.” This “sharing” has Wall Street’s biggest investment house, Goldman Sachs, issuing its brokers $16 billion in bonuses while 33 million U.S. workers — and hundreds of millions worldwide — walk the streets jobless. Their record profits are a result of stealing most of the value produced by the working class without whose labor society could not function.

Meanwhile, the bosses’ media tells us government workers are the cause of their banker-created “deficit” and tries to set them apart from the millions of private-sector workers who are told that the government workers are “getting fat” off the backs of the rest of the working class. But instead of forcing government workers “down to the level of non-government workers” — a difference which is a statistical fraud — workers must unite to fight for all workers to resist the attack on our living standards and take back what the bosses are stealing from our entire class.

This ruling class divide-and-conquer tactic must be exposed. It was the solidarity of the working class in the Great Depression during which a mass movement of the employed and unemployed, led by communists, organized the industrial unions, won the 8-hour day, unemployment insurance and Social Security. And in fact, it was that mass class struggle in which the workers fought in the streets against the bosses’ state apparatus — the police, the National Guard, the Army and the courts — that created what the bosses call “the American standard of living.”

Unfortunately those same communists who led that struggle fell prey to the idea of supporting the “liberal” Democrats who posed as the “lesser evil” against the “reactionary” Republicans.

PLP says we must unite our class in militant struggle against the entire ruling class, represented by their servants among the Democrats and Republicans.  We must fight not for the crumbs they dole out to us — which they then take back every chance they get — but fight to destroy their entire profit system, the cause of all workers’ misery.

PL’ers must immerse ourselves in all these class struggles, including organizing and leading them — which we are doing in many areas — and turn them into “schools for communism”: using them as opportunities to win workers to the understanding that only a communist-led workers’ revolution will solve the problems created by capitalism. Building the PLP in these class wars is the road to creating a society run by and for the working class.

 

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The anti-government worker campaign in Wisconsin is being financed by the billionaire Koch brothers whose money helped elect the Governor leading the charge and whose legislation will give the Koch’s a possible stranglehold on Wisconsin’s state-owned utility system.

Under the headline, “Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Budget Dispute,” the NY Times reported (2/22) that a “non-profit” group “created and financed…by the secretive…Charles and David Koch….was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.” Furthermore, “the Koch brothers are using their money to create a façade of grass-roots support for their favorite causes.”

While Walker has lumped the cuts on state workers’ benefits with destroying their collective bargaining rights, the unions and the Democrats have said they will agree to the cuts as long as the bargaining rights are retained. They will then claim that as a “victory” if Walker agrees to such a “compromise” in order to get Senate Bill 11 passed. But well-hidden in that Bill is Section 44 that says the State “may sell any state-owned heating, cooling and power plant…with or without solicitation of bids for any amount” that the State “determines to be in the best interests of the state.”

That would enable Walker to sell the state-owned utility system to the Koch brothers “for pennies on the dollar.”  Website: http://mother jones.com/mojo/2011/Wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

The Koch’s already own a 4,000-mile pipeline system all across Wisconsin as well as Flint Hills Resources (a leading refining and chemical company whose products are distributed through Koch’s pipelines) and the C. Reiss Coal Company, a leading supplier of coal used to generate power.

Combine that with control of the state’s utility system and the Koch’s will have achieved a virtual monopoly on Wisconsin’s gas, oil and electric power.

Should all this transpire, they will also have spread anti-working-class lies, slashed workers’ benefits and reaped a fortune of profits on the backs of all government and non-government workers in the state.

Capitalism is wonderful — for the bosses.

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Workers’ Power the Answer: Imperialists Who Rule Haiti Rule the World

(Editor’s note: PLP members protested at the Haitian Consulate in NYC. A speech there led to the following article.)

NEW YORK CITY, February 4 — Workers joined together in front of the Haitian consulate to support working brothers and sisters in Haiti, who are also out in the streets organizing.  Their demands are for food, clean water, jobs, housing, schools, health care in the middle of a UN-caused cholera epidemic, the end of police brutality, and the withdrawal of MINUSTAH (the UN Mission)from their country. Workers in the U.S. raised a crucial question: Does government, represented by the consulate they stood in front of, actually rule Haiti?

Who Rules Haiti?

The major imperialists like the U.S., France and Canada, also known as “donors”;

The International Financial Institutions (IFI) like the World Bank, the IMF, and the Inter-American Development Bank;

The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), co-chaired by Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive and dominated by bankers, who direct reconstruction policies and funding for Haiti;

The notorious NGOs, the “non-governmental institutions” who supply services the state cannot supply and who therefore are the state in its social service function.

The big imperialists, the IFIs, the IHRC, and the NGOs rule Haiti together with the complicity of the small but vicious Haitian capitalist ruling class — the “Six Families.”  This political reality mirrors the age-old economic exploitation of Haitian workers and farmers by the same combination of imperialists and their lacky rulers.

Who Rules Education?

Education is a great example of how these imperialist and “local” bosses rule. In Haiti, 10% of the schools are public and more than a million children (in a total population of about 10 million) are shunned from schools completely. PLP’s friends in Haiti, among left-wing trade unionists and students, have made free universal public schools their main mass campaign. IHRC’s plan is to turn education reconstruction policy over to the Inter-American Development Bank, who turned to the “recovery” superintendent of schools in New Orleans, Paul Vallas, to run the program.

Just like the U.S. bosses in New Orleans tried to smash the teachers’ union by converting public schools into charter schools after hurricane Katrina, Haiti’s rulers plan “public/private partnership” schools. This will amount to donor-fund subsidies to the private managers who run 90% of Haiti’s existing schools.

If one reduces the question “who rules Haiti” down to “who runs education policy” in this time of genocidal social crisis, it is easy to trace the network of power from the New Orleans schools superintendent to the international bankers.  Following right along, the leading candidate for Haitian president, Madame Manigat, has made this “reconstruction” of education her big campaign issue, after a big boost to the national police.

Who Rules the World?

Who rules Haiti, Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan…the world?  It’s apparent who sits for the moment, and who will likely follow them, in the offices of Préval, Mubarak, Ben Ali, Netanyahu, Maliki, Karzai, and Zardari.  Sometimes these local stewards of capitalist power show their teeth to the imperialists; the U.S. is having serious trouble imposing its will on most of them.  But it is imperialism — one rival imperialist power or the other, as they face each other armed to the teeth for their next war — that prevails in the world today. That is the systematic power network we, the working class, are up against.

What can we hope to do against those who rule the world today for the profit system? There is a potential network of power in the unused power of the world’s working class, in an organized anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist mass movement in the world which has been at a very low ebb, but whose soldiers have fought on in Haiti, in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Israel, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan. Mass popular uprisings in Egypt capture headlines today and show us a very tiny measure of the power of an aroused working class, but they don’t take aim at the profit system.

Our hope lies in a more deeply-organized movement led by PLP to smash the rulers, a global movement of proletarian internationalism, with a vision of reconstruction in which workers’ power can unleash workers’ creativity to make a society that is actually a human society, as opposed to the history of class societies that our species has had to endure up to now.

Smash Imperialism, Power to the Workers!

The heroic fighters of Tahrir Square in Cairo fought off two days of armed attacks by Mubarak’s thugs while the army looked on. Their focus only on Mubarak is a huge weakness because capitalism never has and never will bring real democracy to workers.  But let us join with them and all rebels against the anti-human capitalist system, and try to work with them to solve together the burning problem of power in the imperialist era.

Let us join with our friends organizing in Haiti, in Israel, in Pakistan.  Let us learn from each other answers to the key political question, the question of who holds power and how; how it is much more than a Mubarak or a Préval, even a Bush or an Obama.  Let us challenge capitalist power with workers’ power.  We can only do it internationally in the age of imperialism, we can only do it together across all the bosses’ borders and turf wars in one united, organized, international movement. We will fight on, for the vision of workers meeting their needs without the existence of bosses. The workers are many, the capitalists are few.

Protest Bosses’ Back-Breaking Response to NY Blizzard

NEW YORK CITY, February — I work in a medical center in the New York City area. Two years ago the maintenance and cleaning workers, were given unsatisfactory evaluations. We organized three demonstrations in the entrances and protested at the human resources office, without the help of the union which disagreed with the struggle. Although it was a small struggle, we showed strength and unity. The bosses changed the evaluations to “satisfactory.”

When the Blizzard of 2010 hit in December, the workers who do outside maintenance worked day and night for three days straight to clean the snow. We had told the bosses that the snow removal machines needed to be fixed. When the storm came we had only a small snow plow that barely worked, and soon broke down completely. From then on the work had to be completed manually, which was a backbreaking and exhausting job. There were only five workers and they were overwhelmed removing all the snow from blocks of sidewalks, entrances, driveways, and parking lots.

The bosses blamed the workers for not having removed the snow before Monday morning’s work day began. The truth is that the only ones to blame were the bosses for not having the needed machinery and for the cuts in personnel (many have been fired and others have retired without being replaced).

After the snowstorm, all the workers had to take days off because they were sick, with pain in their arms and legs. The salt used to clean off the snow burned our hands since we weren’t given adequate gloves for this work. The little sleep we did get during those three days was taken sitting in hard-backed chairs. The bosses want robots that never tire and never complain.

This is no different from what happened to the sanitation workers in NYC. Mayor Bloomberg tried to blame them for the disastrously slow clean-up when in reality the only ones to blame were the bosses who have cut more than 400 sanitation workers.

When the vice-president from our section was complaining about the “inefficiency,” a worker with 20 years service said that if he wanted to blame someone he needed to blame the director of the department because he hadn´t done what was needed to bring in more workers and to fix the snow plows.

Because of this he was sent to human relations where he was obligated by the union and the bosses to sign an “agreement” where he promises not to show this kind of “disrespect” to the bosses, or his contract will be terminated. He will not be able to complain or speak up for a year because of what he said in front of the other workers which the boss called “insubordinate.”

This is how capitalists discipline workers, creating a climate of fear and putting us in a position of extreme submission. This is part of how fascism develops in the workplace. The sanctioning of this worker is an attack on all of us.

The bosses act as if this center is their own private plantation. They constantly violate the union contract. They do all of this with the help of the union hacks who are constantly telling us that workers are getting fired so it is best to be careful and stay quiet.

Though the bosses are only small-time administrators, they want us to believe the contrary. They carry out the cuts demanded by the major capitalists who want to place the economic crisis they created on the workers´ shoulders. They cry that they have no money, while spending trillions on their wars for world domination.

We workers must learn from our past struggles. We see how the cuts in personnel affect us. There are already rumors that there won´t be a contract settlement this year and therefore there won´t be a salary increase. We have to organize more protests because the problems in this department will surely get worse. We have to link up with those fighting against school closures and against threatened closings of 10 more hospitals in New York City (eight have closed in the city since 2007).

We must link up with struggles of workers around the country and the world. This will expand our outlook and give us enormous strength. The capitalist system is not able to solve the problems we workers have. The only solution is a communist revolution to create our own system, where workers’ needs, not bosses’ profits, are put first.

‘Honest Abe’ Lincoln Was Viciously Pro-Slavery

Lerone Bennett, Jr.’s book, “Forced Into Glory” (1999), convincingly documents how most historical accounts have wrongly described Abraham Lincoln as a fighter against slavery. His work also shows that Lincoln was intensely reactionary, making decisions which, contrary to legend, returned many blacks to slavery.

Bennett insists that Lincoln had a life-long commitment to racism. In 1853, as one of 11 managers of the Illinois State Colonization Society, he advocated colonization of all blacks to Central or South America. In 1857 he urged the Illinois legislature to appropriate money for colonization. Three months after signing the Emancipation Proclamation, he sent 450 blacks to an island off the coast of Haiti where 100 died within a year. In April 1865, Lincoln summoned General Benjamin Butler to the White House about the “possibility of sending the Blacks away.”

Bennett documents consistency, from Lincoln’s 1836 vote against black suffrage to his 1865 support of the Louisiana constitution which gave the vote to Confederate veterans but not to black veterans of the U.S. Army.

In 1847, as an attorney representing a slave-owner, he asked two judges to send a black mother and her four children back into slavery. The white judges rejected Lincoln’s plea and freed the family. Lincoln’s law partner, William Herendon, took cases of slaves, but Lincoln never did.

Bennett challenges those who excuse Lincoln’s attitude, saying the few exceptions in the racist climate of the 19th century are out-spoken abolitionists like Wendell Phillips or the militant John Brown. But men like Lyman Trumbull, a known opponent of the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act, were elected to the Senate over Lincoln. In 1853, 22 Illinois legislators stood against the Negro Exclusion Law, but not Lincoln. Members of Lincoln’s cabinet spoke out for Negro suffrage. Politicians from Mid-West states led the fight against Negro exclusion and black laws. Other politicians took stands for instant emancipation, confiscation of rebels’ land and for use of black soldiers.

Bennett critiques the Gettysburg Address for avoiding pressing issues of the day. The lynchings and burnings of blacks in NYC that very year weren’t mentioned. Lincoln never uttered the words Confederate, South or slave.

Bennett describes how each of three drafts of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation reacted to a more progressive Congress. Congressman Daniel Gott called for a ban on the slave trade in the nation’s capital. Lincoln then wrote his first draft, a bill for gradual and compensated emancipation in D.C., stating that all persons now within said District lawfully held as slaves should remain such.

In September 1861, Lincoln revoked General Fremont’s blanket emancipation of all the slaves in Missouri. Intense criticism caused him to write his second “emancipation” draft, proposing gradual emancipation but total compensation for slave-owners in Delaware, with two timetables for ending slavery: 1893 and 1914!

In 1862, when General Hunter decreed that all slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida should be freed, Lincoln revoked it, re-enslaving one million people! Criticism was again levied at Lincoln, so Congress urgently signed the Second Confiscation Act saying that all rebel property, including slaves even 1,000 miles from a battlefield, could be seized. Lincoln countered on July 22, allowing 60 days warning for the South, and only for gradual, compensated confiscation.

That July, Congress also authorized the use of black soldiers. Lincoln told a delegation of Midwesterners in August that he would rather resign than use black soldiers to kill white men.

Ultimately, the Proclamation “enslaved and/or continued to enslave over half a million slaves, more than it ever freed,” because there was no power to effectively free slaves in rebel states. The border states, with an additional 556,540 slaves, were excluded because they weren’t in rebellion. Also excluded were large sections of Tennessee, Louisiana and Virginia controlled by federal troops — 396,863 slaves — some already wage workers. In January, 1863, slaves totaled four million. By February 1865, two months before the war ended, 3,800,000 blacks were still enslaved.

What did Lincoln do on race issues? He volunteered three times for the war to ethnically cleanse Illinois of Indians. He maintained the brutal treatment of black soldiers and their unequal pay. When William Walker, a black soldier, protested, Lincoln condemned him to the firing squad. He made sure 38 Indians hung for rebelling against his administration’s genocidal strategy. But when Confederates massacred hundreds of blacks, women and children at Fort Pillow, Lincoln did nothing.

Bennett’s work is well-researched and relentlessly exposes Lincoln’s reactionary policies. He also directs sharp criticism at modern biographers for perpetuating the racist hypocrisy of Lincoln’s heroic image as “the freer of slaves.”

 

‘Honest Abe’ Lincoln Was Viciously Pro-Slavery

Lerone Bennett, Jr.’s book, “Forced Into Glory” (1999), convincingly documents how most historical accounts have wrongly described Abraham Lincoln as a fighter against slavery. His work also shows that Lincoln was intensely reactionary, making decisions which, contrary to legend, returned many blacks to slavery.

Bennett insists that Lincoln had a life-long commitment to racism. In 1853, as one of 11 managers of the Illinois State Colonization Society, he advocated colonization of all blacks to Central or South America. In 1857 he urged the Illinois legislature to appropriate money for colonization. Three months after signing the Emancipation Proclamation, he sent 450 blacks to an island off the coast of Haiti where 100 died within a year. In April 1865, Lincoln summoned General Benjamin Butler to the White House about the “possibility of sending the Blacks away.”

Bennett documents consistency, from Lincoln’s 1836 vote against black suffrage to his 1865 support of the Louisiana constitution which gave the vote to Confederate veterans but not to black veterans of the U.S. Army.

In 1847, as an attorney representing a slave-owner, he asked two judges to send a black mother and her four children back into slavery. The white judges rejected Lincoln’s plea and freed the family. Lincoln’s law partner, William Herendon, took cases of slaves, but Lincoln never did.

Bennett challenges those who excuse Lincoln’s attitude, saying the few exceptions in the racist climate of the 19th century are out-spoken abolitionists like Wendell Phillips or the militant John Brown. But men like Lyman Trumbull, a known opponent of the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act, were elected to the Senate over Lincoln. In 1853, 22 Illinois legislators stood against the Negro Exclusion Law, but not Lincoln. Members of Lincoln’s cabinet spoke out for Negro suffrage. Politicians from Mid-West states led the fight against Negro exclusion and black laws. Other politicians took stands for instant emancipation, confiscation of rebels’ land and for use of black soldiers.

Bennett critiques the Gettysburg Address for avoiding pressing issues of the day. The lynchings and burnings of blacks in NYC that very year weren’t mentioned. Lincoln never uttered the words Confederate, South or slave.

Bennett describes how each of three drafts of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation reacted to a more progressive Congress. Congressman Daniel Gott called for a ban on the slave trade in the nation’s capital. Lincoln then wrote his first draft, a bill for gradual and compensated emancipation in D.C., stating that all persons now within said District lawfully held as slaves should remain such.

In September 1861, Lincoln revoked General Fremont’s blanket emancipation of all the slaves in Missouri. Intense criticism caused him to write his second “emancipation” draft, proposing gradual emancipation but total compensation for slave-owners in Delaware, with two timetables for ending slavery: 1893 and 1914!

In 1862, when General Hunter decreed that all slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida should be freed, Lincoln revoked it, re-enslaving one million people! Criticism was again levied at Lincoln, so Congress urgently signed the Second Confiscation Act saying that all rebel property, including slaves even 1,000 miles from a battlefield, could be seized. Lincoln countered on July 22, allowing 60 days warning for the South, and only for gradual, compensated confiscation.

That July, Congress also authorized the use of black soldiers. Lincoln told a delegation of Midwesterners in August that he would rather resign than use black soldiers to kill white men.

Ultimately, the Proclamation “enslaved and/or continued to enslave over half a million slaves, more than it ever freed,” because there was no power to effectively free slaves in rebel states. The border states, with an additional 556,540 slaves, were excluded because they weren’t in rebellion. Also excluded were large sections of Tennessee, Louisiana and Virginia controlled by federal troops — 396,863 slaves — some already wage workers. In January, 1863, slaves totaled four million. By February 1865, two months before the war ended, 3,800,000 blacks were still enslaved.

What did Lincoln do on race issues? He volunteered three times for the war to ethnically cleanse Illinois of Indians. He maintained the brutal treatment of black soldiers and their unequal pay. When William Walker, a black soldier, protested, Lincoln condemned him to the firing squad. He made sure 38 Indians hung for rebelling against his administration’s genocidal strategy. But when Confederates massacred hundreds of blacks, women and children at Fort Pillow, Lincoln did nothing.

Bennett’s work is well-researched and relentlessly exposes Lincoln’s reactionary policies. He also directs sharp criticism at modern biographers for perpetuating the racist hypocrisy of Lincoln’s heroic image as “the freer of slaves.”

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Obama, U.S. Rulers Push Pacifism to Derail Workers’ Rebellion

U.S. rulers are pushing two big lies about dictator Mubarak’s ouster and the mass protests that forced it. First, Obama and the bosses’ media try to mislead workers into thinking that large numbers of unarmed protesters demanding elections can produce a “revolution” against fascist oppression. But an election installing another group of pro-capitalist politicians is not a revolution, which only results from a fundamental change in class rule. It occurs when the oppressed working class overthrows the oppressor capitalist class and its state.

Secondly, elite analysts offer capitalist audiences groundless reassurances of Egyptian “stability.” The pundits say — while ignoring workers’ fight-backs — that continuing military control there means business as usual in the greater Middle East, the oil-rich cornerstone of U.S. imperialism. Both falsehoods hold grave consequences for workers.

Mass Murderer Obama, Rulers’ Media Praise Peaceful Protest, Steer  Workers Down Political Dead-End

Just after Mubarak fled, hypocrite-in-chief Obama, dripping with the blood of workers from Iraq to Afghanistan to Pakistan, compared protesters in Egypt to Ghandi’s and Martin Luther King’s movements. “In Egypt,” said Obama, “it was the moral force of nonviolence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.” News broadcasts depicted crowds in Tahir Square exulting in “newfound freedom” and then dutifully tidying up afterwards.

There was almost a total blackout on strikes and mass violence against the police and government (see front-page article). Many of these strikes are continuing.

But Obama & Co. deliberately distort history. Whenever workers have significantly “bent the arc” of capitalist misery, it’s been through mass strikes and violent rebellions, not pacifism. King’s “turn-the-other-cheek” stance didn’t rid the U.S. of racism. Black rebellions in scores of cities across the U.S. that fought the military, not non-violence, won jobs for black workers in the basic industries. The “illegal” strike and rebellion of black Memphis sanitation workers, not King’s pacifism (he fled the city when workers marched) was the crucial factor in whatever was won. The communist-led sit-down strikes and mass movement of the unemployed in the U.S. that also fought the military in the Great Depression are what won the 8-hour day and unemployment insurance.

In India today, the working-class grandchildren of Gandhi’s pacifist followers are among the most exploited, poverty-stricken workers on the planet. Progress for the working class comes only with militant strikes and violent rebellions.

Lasting Change Requires Armed Revolution

But as long as capitalism is in control, even these advances are ground down by the inherent workings of the profit system. Only armed revolution of millions of workers led by a communist party can bring lasting change. It is just such a party that is missing in Egypt and Tunisia today.

The greatest working-class triumphs of the 20th Century were the revolutions in Russia and China. In the name of communism, armies of workers overthrew their capitalist exploiters. In both countries, our class made huge strides in every conceivable living standard and became the main force in smashing the Nazis and Japanese fascists.

Unfortunately, however, the Russian and Chinese parties practiced socialism which retained toxic capitalist elements, like nationalism — “sharing” power (in China) with local bosses — and a wage system (in both countries) which produced differentials among workers and an elite class of managers and cultural professionals. All this led eventually to complete restoration of the profit system in both countries.

However, Cairo’s demonstrators, lacking  working-class consciousness, did not aim to overthrow the system that leaves half the working class jobless amid skyrocketing food prices and resulting profits. Stratfor, an outfit that “provides strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs,” noted (2/11/2011) that, “The end of President Hosni Mubarak’s reign over Egypt is more of a military succession than a popular revolution.” The military has just announced a ban on all union meetings and strikes.

As of this writing, power rests with General Omar Suleiman. “Head of the country’s feared security agency, Suleiman, was nicknamed the CIA’s man in Cairo,” reports the Brisbane, Australia Times (2/13/2011), “because of his close relationship with the U.S. on its so-called extraordinary rendition program — kidnapping suspected terrorists and taking them to a third country for interrogation and torture.”

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), U.S. rulers’ top Rockefeller-funded foreign policy factory, comforted its business-class readers with an article titled, “Mubarakism Without Mubarak.” It said events in Egypt were “the culmination of the slow-motion coup and the return of the somewhat austere military authoritarianism of decades past.” (CFR website, 2/11/2011).

On one hand, the CFR warned of potential future uprisings in Egypt. But its main thrust was that Egyptian fascists, who have served U.S. imperialism so well since the 1979 Egypt-Israel treaty, remain in power and should continue to get their yearly $1.5-$2 billion in U.S. aid.

No Egypt Victory for U.S. Imperialism; Pressure for Wider Wars Intensifies

But, while U.S. rulers’ media congratulate Obama for skillful bullet-dodging in the Mubarak affair, there are still plenty of loaded guns aimed at U.S. imperialism. A big one may very well be in Egypt itself, which (presumably) must now hold elections. The nation’s best organized political group is the pro-Iran, anti-U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. (Such elections produced anti-U.S. exploiter-leaders in Gaza and Lebanon.)

Washington’s best hope in Egypt is probable candidate Mohamed ElBaradei, who, though born in Egypt, hasn’t lived there for years, and thus has scant popular backing. His service to the U.S. empire as the UN’s nuclear watchdog lies in exposing Iran’s weapon program while stalling an Israeli attack on it, for which the U.S. is presently ill-prepared.

For this, ElBaradei won a Nobel “Peace” Prize from a Norwegian government committee, dominated by a major oil company (Statoil) active worldwide and a highly-modern military allied staunchly to the U.S.

However, as Anthony Cordesman, a major strategist for the U.S. war machine at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes:

“Whatever new government comes to power has less than a 50 percent chance of surviving for two years…. This…poses a long-term challenge for the U.S. that goes far beyond who in the military has power in the first phase of change following Mubarak’s departure. Egypt controls a critical global trade route in the Suez Canal. The security of the Canal and its pipeline has a major impact on energy prices and the world economy. Egypt is key to the Arab-Israeli peace and stability in the region, U.S. military overflights and staging, and the struggle against extremism. In short, Egypt is a vital U.S. national security interest — in fact, a far more vital interest than Afghanistan or Pakistan.”

Capitalism Cannot Solve Workers’ Problems

Coming from Cordesman — who, as General McChrystal’s advisor, got Obama to vastly increase Afghanistan-Pakistan death squads and drone terror attacks — this last sentence declares Egypt a U.S. war zone. But an even larger danger of war, which the rulers hesitate to mention, lies just across the Red Sea. “A revolt in Saudi Arabia…is looking increasingly possible given the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.” (Boston Globe, 2/13/2011)

Capitalism cannot solve the problems of the workers in Egypt, of mass unemployment (intrinsic to the profit system) and raging price increases. Only a movement like our Party’s can lead to a real revolution that smashes the capitalist state and system and puts the working class in power. The kind of anti-racist, pro-working-class struggles reported in CHALLENGE of U.S. students, parents and teachers, of transit and hospital workers, of rebels in Haiti, of garment workers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, of teachers in Mexico — in which the PLP is being built — is the path to follow.

Exxon Man Gives Mubarak His Marching Orders

Frank Wisner, Jr., Obama’s emissary-extraordinary to Cairo in the Mubarak mess, sports sterling imperialist credentials. Retired as a lifelong diplomat, Wisner now works for the Washington law firm Patton Boggs, which counts Exxon Mobil as its biggest client. Patton Boggs, by dragging out the Exxon Valdez case for decades, has made a mockery of legal judgments against the company.

Wisner’s father, a founding spook of the CIA, helped engineer the 1952 CIA coup that installed the murderous pro-U.S. shah as Iran’s dictator.

The recent official White House version says Wisner urged Mubarak to stay on. But facts are more stubborn than press releases. Actually, reports the Washington Post (2/1/11), Wisner visited Mubarak in late January, “When it was time to give Egypt’s embattled leader a gentle nudge….Within 24 hours of Wisner’s private chat with the Egyptian president, Mubarak had announced on state television that he would step down at the end of his current term.” Mubarak held out for a week or so, threw a last-ditch tantrum, but then did the Exxon-CIA man’s bidding and resigned.

Egypt’s Workers Expose ‘Non-Violent’ Lies with: MASSIVE STRIKE WAVE! Needs Mass Communist Leadership

What the rulers portrayed as a non-violent “revolution” in Egypt was far from the truth.

“It’s happening people….It’s happening….The working class has entered the arena with full force today.”

That’s how one blogger described the strike of Cairo’s transit workers as they shut six garages: Nasr Station, Fateh Station, Ter’a Station, Amiriya Station, Mezzalat Station, Sawwah Station, just days before Mubarak’s fall. That was the end of public bus service in Cairo under the hated torturer’s regime.

The strike-wave that eventually sent Mubarak packing did not fall from the sky. Since 2004, more than 2,000,000 Egyptian workers have gone on strike and protested for higher pay, especially to fight privatization.

In Mubarak’s final days, tens of thousands of workers from Cairo to Alexandria to the Suez Canal were on strike. More than 6,000 workers for the Suez Canal Authority staged a sit-down strike at the international waterway. Al Jazeera reported more than 20,000 factory workers on strike.

In Mahallah, 24,000 textile workers walked out demanding raises and in solidarity with the protesters in Tahrir Square. Striking telecommunication workers attended mass protests in Cairo’s Ramses Square. Workers struck some military equipment factories, owned by the army. Subway, postal and Egypt Airline workers walked out. Laid-off workers at the Alexandria Library demanded their jobs back. Hospital workers at the Al Azhar University hospitals walked out. Temporary and contract workers demanded permanent jobs.

These were all wildcat, “illegal” strikes, as much against the leaders of the official government-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation as against the bosses and Mubarak himself.

The NY Times (2/9) reported, “In Helwan, 6,000 workers at the Misr Helwan Spinning and Weaving Company went on strike….More than 2,000 workers from the Sigma pharmaceutical company in Quesna began a strike while about 5,000 unemployed youths stormed a government building in Aswan, demanding the dismissal of the governor. Postal workers protested in shifts. In Cairo, sanitation workers demonstrated outside their headquarters.”

Riot police killed five people and wounded more than 100 during protests in El Kharga, 375 miles south of Cairo. Protesters responded by burning police stations and other government buildings. In Asyut, protesters blocked a railway line. Protesters in Port Said, a city of 600,000 at the mouth of the Suez Canal, set fire to a government building when local officials ignored demands for better housing.

There are many lessons to be learned from the fall of Mubarak. One is the power of the workers to cast the deciding vote as to the direction and success or failure of any uprising or rebellion. We work among many of these same groups of workers. We are building a mass base for communist revolution.

Egypt shows that things can change very fast. It should encourage us to work harder in these very difficult times so when our opportunity comes, we will be able to fight for the leadership of the movement and lead the working class to power with communist revolution. That will not happen this time around in Egypt as Mubarak is replaced by the same butchers and torturers who have surrounded him for 30 years.JWhat the rulers portrayed as a non-violent “revolution” in Egypt was far from the truth.

“It’s happening people….It’s happening….The working class has entered the arena with full force today.”

That’s how one blogger described the strike of Cairo’s transit workers as they shut six garages: Nasr Station, Fateh Station, Ter’a Station, Amiriya Station, Mezzalat Station, Sawwah Station, just days before Mubarak’s fall. That was the end of public bus service in Cairo under the hated torturer’s regime.

The strike-wave that eventually sent Mubarak packing did not fall from the sky. Since 2004, more than 2,000,000 Egyptian workers have gone on strike and protested for higher pay, especially to fight privatization.

In Mubarak’s final days, tens of thousands of workers from Cairo to Alexandria to the Suez Canal were on strike. More than 6,000 workers for the Suez Canal Authority staged a sit-down strike at the international waterway. Al Jazeera reported more than 20,000 factory workers on strike.

In Mahallah, 24,000 textile workers walked out demanding raises and in solidarity with the protesters in Tahrir Square. Striking telecommunication workers attended mass protests in Cairo’s Ramses Square. Workers struck some military equipment factories, owned by the army. Subway, postal and Egypt Airline workers walked out. Laid-off workers at the Alexandria Library demanded their jobs back. Hospital workers at the Al Azhar University hospitals walked out. Temporary and contract workers demanded permanent jobs.

These were all wildcat, “illegal” strikes, as much against the leaders of the official government-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation as against the bosses and Mubarak himself.

The NY Times (2/9) reported, “In Helwan, 6,000 workers at the Misr Helwan Spinning and Weaving Company went on strike….More than 2,000 workers from the Sigma pharmaceutical company in Quesna began a strike while about 5,000 unemployed youths stormed a government building in Aswan, demanding the dismissal of the governor. Postal workers protested in shifts. In Cairo, sanitation workers demonstrated outside their headquarters.”

Riot police killed five people and wounded more than 100 during protests in El Kharga, 375 miles south of Cairo. Protesters responded by burning police stations and other government buildings. In Asyut, protesters blocked a railway line. Protesters in Port Said, a city of 600,000 at the mouth of the Suez Canal, set fire to a government building when local officials ignored demands for better housing.

There are many lessons to be learned from the fall of Mubarak. One is the power of the workers to cast the deciding vote as to the direction and success or failure of any uprising or rebellion. We work among many of these same groups of workers. We are building a mass base for communist revolution.

Egypt shows that things can change very fast. It should encourage us to work harder in these very difficult times so when our opportunity comes, we will be able to fight for the leadership of the movement and lead the working class to power with communist revolution. That will not happen this time around in Egypt as Mubarak is replaced by the same butchers and torturers who have surrounded him for 30 years.

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