Category Archives: Africa

Capitalism Creates the Refugee Catastrophe

The capitalists constantly create the conditions that brutalize the working class and then consistently blame the victims for the very same conditions that capitalism creates. The bosses’ media is blaring about the “migrant crisis” that is affecting Europe now. This is the height of hypocrisy. How many migrants would there be if the US and its allies had not bombed the snot out of Iraq, overthrown Gadhafi in Libya, armed and funded fascists in Syria to fight the fascist regime, or facilitated the war in Yemen? This crisis is primarily the consequences of the inter-imperialist rivalry that has been ongoing since “the end of history” and the rise of a new American century after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Libya has two governments that are both squabbling over billions of dollars in international funds while religious death cult fascists brutalize the working class, with their rage primarily falling upon women and gays. As gay men are thrown off of buildings and young teenage and younger girls are sold into sex slavery or given as prizes to fascist death cultists, the US drops bombs on more and more cities. Turkey has begun a bombing campaign against the only force that was actually stopping the death cultists because they considered them a useful enemy.

A drowned 3 year old boy on a beach has clarified the cost that the working class has been paying for the imperialist’s wars. It is a rich man’s war for oil routes, but it is being paid for with the blood of workers in Syria and Iraq. The false consciousness of religion is being used to create the quasi-national identities that are now dissolving the borders of the post-WWI Sykes-Picot agreement. Workers desperate for a better world or just sick of the degeneration of capitalism’s decay, are now being led to die in a death cult that wants to impose a brutal feudalistic social structure on the whole world.

Russia continues to play chess as the US plays checkers. They have now upped the ante by playing a card from the US’s deck of bringing in more weapons in troops “to fight terrorism.” This causes quite the conundrum for the US and its allies as Russia has more of a legal right to be in Syria than they do since Assad’s brutal regime is technically the legitimate government. Russia is also pointing out the obvious fact that Syria’s army is the only force on the ground actually fighting the Saudi and Turkey backed death cults of al-Qaeda as well ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). This gigantic cluster fuck of death is the choice that capitalism gives to the working class: the brutal fascists of Assad and Hezbollah or the brutal fascists in the death cults of al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al Nusrah et al and ISIS.

So, what does the working class do – stay and die or flee? If they flee, then they are a catastrophe for the European leaders who want to fling bombs and now worry about the consequences. If they stay, then they are being constantly attacked by one side or the other. The hypocritical racists in Hungary and elsewhere point out that the influx of refugees to their respective nations might change their culture since they are a “Christian Nation”.   The irony that they are turning their back on Christian charity is lost on them. Religion is an effective tool for the ruling class as it consistently gets good people to do horrible things to other people in the name of some deity. Communism will eventually flush religion down the toilet of history.

Workers in the Levant and North Africa need to build the PLP there so that we can have real choice, not between thugs, butchers, dictators, death cults, or the lies of democracy. Watching the re-alignment that is now occurring as Egypt is rebuilding ties with Syria’s embattled Russian aligned regime in order to get help to battle ISIS in the Sinai and Islamic unrest has spread to Tajikistan, Greece may move closer to the Russian sphere of influence, and Turkey is impaled on the horns of a dilemma clearly illustrates the need for communist revolution to ensure that the capitalists are unable to keep brutalizing the working class. What is Israel going to do if they can’t wantonly bomb Syria at their leisure due to Russian interceptors? Russia will not surrender a valuable pipeline transit point that their base at Tartus protects.

Each intensification of the conflict in the Levant keeps sending more and more workers running. Each worker that flees Assad’s barrel bombs, Islamic State’s chemical warfare or brutality, or US bombs is now considered part of a crisis. Each time that national identity is intoned to protect a population in one geographic location from those fleeing another location due to war, famine, or any other violence that can be directly attributed to imperialism, the working class is further divided. Our enemy is not the families fleeing imperialism’s murderous geopolitical machinations; it is the capitalist class. We need to destroy them and all of their borders with communist revolution.

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50 Years Strong! Long live the PLP!

From South Carolina to the Middle East, capitalism keeps killing the working class. From bombs falling on Shia to bullets blasting their way into the back of another unarmed Black worker being fired out of the gun of a KKKop, the violence of this economic system continues to brutalize the working class.

Every bomb that falls in Syria or Iraq as the jihadist fascists fight the imperialist puppet fascists and workers keep getting slaughtered is a testament to the need for Progressive Labor Party’s egalitarian vision of Communism. 50 years ago, the international Communist movement appeared to be unstoppable. There were no suicide bombers or Jihadists in the Middle East because there was a powerful Communist movement that inspired the working class with a secular humanist vision grounded in the need to improve our society to benefit everyone. The essence though, was that that movement was flawed due to it being based on maintaining capitalist economic and social relationships.

PLP was born out of breaking with the old CP-USA. The CP was Communist in name only because they had abandoned fighting for Communism by then. By breaking with the CP, PLP was then able to continue the fight against revisionism as an integral part of the fight for Communism. Half a century later and Stalin’s warning of the dark ages of human history should the Communist Movement fail have now come true. The worst part is that these are still the good old days. Nobody has fired off the nukes yet, people are still eating, and the first world countries can still live in the bubbles of safety that come at the expense of the rest of the world’s billions of workers remaining in oppressive exploitation at the behest of profit.

China is now the most oppressive regime in the world. It is wantonly destroying the environment in our already damaged oceans by building landing strips on top of corral reefs in the South China Sea in order to impose their imperialistic aims on The Evil Empire. The US Evil Empire is worried about this strategy, as it will be able to deny them from their pivot to Asia. It looks like the US’s pivot to Asia is going as well as their last two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only war the US has been successfully winning has been the class war they are waging as pigs are free to kill and deport Black and undocumented workers, hospitals are closed and schools are being redesigned to meet the needs of the imperialists. Two years ago, many workers died in a factory fire in Bangladesh, yet the factories are still unsafe and still making vast profits for the bosses. The working class in the US and all over the world is under attack by capitalism.

Half a century ago, the world was divided into two camps, Soviet Imperialism crept under the guise of Communism – even though millions of workers were inspired by Communist ideas, The USSR used them to advance their imperialist aims. Today, the world is still divided by inter-imperialist rivalry and they have no scruples in what fascist groups they use. The Evil Empire uses Nazis in Ukraine and Jihadists in Syria, Iraq, and China to challenge Russian and Chinese imperialism.

In order for a ruling class to build imperialism abroad, they must build fascism at home even more intensely. These fascist attacks in the US use the tried and true strategy of divide and conquer in order to attack the working class as a whole. The fascist attack on education was first done in New York City, and then spread to the mostly white upstate area. It is now affecting them. The attacks on Black workers help to set up the attacks on White workers because “labor in the White skin will never be free so long as Labor in the Black skin is in chains.” Walter Lamer Scott was another victim of the racism that capitalism needs in order to maintain itself. The racist pig Michael Slager who murdered him is on charges of murder, but how many other racist murders have happened since? How many more will happen? It is not just one cop doing the killing, but the system of capitalism requiring the force and terror of the state in order to protect its profit system.

PLP has broken with the Old Communist Movement’s (OCM) focus on reformism, vanguardism, and the two stage theory. Though PLP will always fight to alleviate the burden of wage slavery and the inherent injustice under capitalism, we are clear that this is part of the uncompromising struggle for Communism. We know that capitalism can never be reformed to meet the needs of the working class just as slaves could never run the plantations in order to get rid of slavery. PLP is a mass party dedicated to relying on and trusting the working class. The OCM didn’t believe that the masses could grasp the ideas of Communism and fight for it directly. We do. We know that the working class has built this world and will rebuild a better world. We know that the working class is at its best under Communist leadership. We know that one Party dedicated to creating one world of the working class is what’s needed. Finally, PLP has negated the struggle for socialism. Socialism is just another form of capitalism. Egalitarian profit-based wage slavery can never emancipate the working class. The same ideological superstructure is necessary in order to maintain an economic base predicated upon systemic inequality.

Communism is the answer to the problems wracking the world today. From the way that homosexuals are treated all over the world, to the racist attacks happening in South Africa as one group of workers uses nationalism and racism to attack another group, to racist pigs blasting our working class brothers and sisters on the streets of the US, to fascists massacring villages and rewarding themselves with young girls as sex slaves, the world needs an answer that is based on a scientific understanding of necessity rejecting racism, sexism, and nationalism. We need to organize based on class, the relationship to production, and fight for Communism. In order to do that, we must build PLP wherever we are so that the next 50 years will see victory for the world’s working class. PLP started with less than 20 dedicated revolutionaries in a room of a seedy hotel and has now spread to over 20 countries on 4 continents. We can’t be stopped and we won’t stop until we have ultimately emancipated the working class from all forms of slavery. PLP fighting for Communism is the only hope for mankind.

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Why isn’t the Saudi led Coalition attacking Al Qaeda or ISIS?

The working class is bearing the brunt of the major capitalist’s imperialist ambitions. From Ukraine, to Nigeria, to Yemen, and to Syria, the proxy wars being waged by the big terrorists using small time terrorists and religion as a tool are slaughtering workers on three continents.

The big terrorists and terrorist financiers in Saudi Arabia are now launching an all out air raid and have amassed over 150,000 soldiers on the border to attack the al-Houthi rebels that have control now of parts of Yemen. With 3.75 million barrels of oil a day passing through Bab-el-Mandeb every day at a value of over $217 million dollars, using the close of market on 3/27/15 value of $57.89 a barrel of crude, it goes without saying that the real enemy to the big terrorists isn’t the small time terrorists of Al Qaeda in the
Yemen
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or the ISIS franchises looking to massacre whole villages and already responsible for bombing hundreds of innocent working class men, women, and children.

The imperialist big terrorists in the US and their brutes in Israel may be at odds right now over what to do about Iran, a part of the Russia and Chinese imperialist bloc, but that won’t interfere with a massive invasion potentially taking place just south of Israel’s pond. So, with fascists in AQAP getting caches of arms from taking over military bases and ISIS terror bombing workers, the murderous Saudi bosses determined that the real threat to their hegemony are the Iranian proxy Shia Houthis! The Saudi rulers didn’t get their forces together when thousands of workers in Syrian and Iraq were murdered, thrown in mass graves, and had their daughters as young as 12 given as sex slave rewards to and gang raped by ISIS holy warriors.

This leaves the major question on the table: Why is it that the Saudi led coalition is neither targeting AQAP nor ISIS? Why? Simple. In appearance, though they lend lip service against AQAP an ISIS, in essence, they are not opposed to that particular group of fascists. There are many rich Saudis who funnel money and support to Al Qaeda all over the world and there are many Salafists who see the Sunni jihadist fascists as a positive development, a bulwark, against Iranian expansionism.

We are now seeing another massive number of innocent workers getting ready to die on the grand chessboard of inter-imperialist rivalry as the US empire tries to cling onto power against the rising powers of China, Russia, and Iran. They would rather have their own bogeyman of ISIS that conveniently controls vast tracts of oil in the Levant, an area of the world that the US has attempted to control at the cost of over 2 million dead workers and untold destruction over the past 10 years. Defeating ISIS is a convenient rational that feeds the narrative of humanitarian imperialism that the US likes to justify its exceptionalism with. The US wants the oil that defeating ISIS would give them control of. It isn’t ISIS that the US wants to defeat with their neocolonial Iraqi forces, so much that they don’t want Iran, through proxy Shia militias, defeating them.

It will be the working class who suffer and die as one fascist dictator gets pushed out of Idlib by the fascists in Al Qaeda in Syria. It will be workers who die as bombs fall on poverty stricken and water starved cities in Yemen. It will be workers who die as they are ordered to kill other workers to benefit the capitalists who enrich themselves each and every day that big oil poisons our planet. And it will continue to be workers who die until it is the capitalists who finally pay when The Progressive Labor Party leads a Communist revolution that destroys profit once and for all, the primary reason for all of these proxy wars.

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South Africa’s Workers lead the way!

The working class in South Africa continues to be a model for how the working class should take on the organized violence that is the capitalist’s state.  The rules of the game in South Africa’s labour market have changed and the new players are workers fighting back and refusing to back down or rely on the SACP (South Africa’s Communist Party)  and its union.  The state constantly tries the justify the way that they monopolize the use of force.  They have church’s and reporter’s mouthing the lie that only the cops and courts who keep the proletariat in chains should be allowed to hurt or kill anyone.

The Organized workers will use violence to defend themselves from the organized force of the state.  Workers all over the world should be emboldened by the working class in South Africa.  The working class in South Africa needs the revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party.  Without PLP’s Communist organization and leadership, today’s heroic reform struggles will not break capitalism’s chains.  

The bosses’ mouthpieces ignore the fact that the working class in South Africa is slowly being murdered day after day by international capitalism’s need to keep wages at near starvation levels.  The grueling work of mining and other jobs Mirroring the role of being a Black President, Jacob Zuma, like Barracks O-bomb them in the US, is trying to mislead the working class using the lies of nationalism and all class unity.  

Update: South Africa’s union of local government workers are planning a national strike that could take place as early as this week, a spokesman said Oct. 8, Reuters reported The government’s workers are now showing their class allegiance.

Workers Murdered in South Africa

The Massacre in South Africa

 

The massacre in South Africa is a testament to what happens when a Communist Party betrays the working class. The South African Communist Party (SACP) was a Communist party at the forefront of the struggle against racism. The practice and experience of the SACP helped for us in the PLP to develop our own line and practice on racism.

 

But here we are, 30 dead workers gunned down by Black and White cops echoing the Apartheid era’s War Dogs’ crimes against humanity. This is what the multi-racial struggle against racism has created in South Africa, a black president apologizing for the dead workers while a woman of Indian descent apologizes for the cops who she says were defending themselves as they attempted to break the picket lines.  The state is not pointing out the fact that it supports the capitalist class that owns the means of production and exploits the working class.  None of the spokespeople who are part of the ideological superstructure – the academics, the politicians, the church leaders – none  of them are supporting the worker’s right to arm themselves and fight for their economic interests against the violence of the state.

 

30 dead workers. This is the real price of Platinum, the tech metal that’s so valuable to industry now. The class struggle transcends race and nationalism. The ruling class can use racism or multi-racial unity to preserve its rule and profits. They can survive any catostrophe and crises except Communist revolution.

 

This brings us to the real tragedy — the betrayal of the SACP. They joined the ANC as part of the struggle against apartheid and have now become a part of the ruling class institutional power structure. They are misleaders of the working class.  There are some revolutionary elements in South Africa and radical workers who are willing to fight against the state and the needs of international capitalism to extract Platinum from the mines, and they need to join the PLP and build us in South Africa.

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MAY DAY!!! Fight For Communism!

May Day’s Communist Roots Belie Rulers’ Reform Sham

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 11:56AM

May Day has always had two sides to it: one that demands reforms, and the revolutionary side that organizes to destroy capitalism. May Day commemorates a massive strike wave in the U.S., and the particular battle in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in 1886. The movement’s leaders demanded an 8-hour day, but also advocated the “abolition of the wage system.” Six of them were hung by the rulers for their allegiance to the working class and defiance of capitalism. Then and now the capitalists feared this revolutionary side to May Day.

In 1848, Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto, “A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of Communism.” By 1886, the rulers of Chicago saw this specter. “The newspapers and industrialists were increasingly declaring that May 1, 1886 was in reality the date for a Communist working-class insurrection modeled on the Paris Commune. According to Melville E. Stone, Head of the Chicago Daily News…a ‘repetition of the Paris Communal riots was freely predicted’ for May 1, 1886” (Page 90, “Labor’s Untold Story,” Boyer and Morais).

In December 1886, San Francisco transit workers joined this rising strike wave. They demanded a workday reduction from 13-15 hours to 12 hours (then 7 days a week), and for a pay increase from $2.25 to $2.50 a day. “Strike-breakers were hired, and there was a great deal of violence. Cars were damaged, strike-breakers were beaten, and one person was killed.” Newspapers reported eight instances of the use of dynamite by the striking workers. In March 1887, the Governor signed a bill “limiting gripmen, drivers, and conductors to a 12-hour day.” (“Transit In San Francisco” published by SF MUNI RR Communications Department.)

In the 1880’s the early leaders of the American Federation of Labor were somewhat radical — it was actually an AFL delegate’s report to the Marxist-led International Workingmen’s Association that led to the call for the first May Day.

But by the 1920’s the pro-capitalist AFL leadership, fearing the growth of communist ideas in the working class, collaborated with the U.S. government to subvert May Day. At the 1928 AFL Convention, the Executive Council supported a Congressional resolution to make May 1 “Child Health Day.” They said, “May 1 will no longer be known as either strike day or communist labor day.”

The revolutionary side of May Day dominated when the communist movement was strong. During the peak of the communist organizing of the CIO’s industrial unions in the 1930’s and ‘40s, May Day was celebrated in the U.S. As many as 250,000 would march to New York’s Union Square. However, with the advent of the Cold War, and U.S. imperialism’s launching of a worldwide anti-communist offensive, the bosses’ government in Washington helped oust communists from union leadership by making it illegal for them to hold union office. With the triumph of business unionism and anti-communism, organized labor discarded May Day and recognized Labor Day in September.

However, in 1971 PLP resurrected the annual May Day march from its abandonment by the old U.S. Communist Party. PLP has marched in many cities every year since.

From the Haymarket battle in 1886, revolutionary workers spread May Day around the globe. But history is written by the conquerors, and many workers born here know nothing of the contribution that the U.S. working class, with the support of the international working class and communist movement, made to the development of this revolutionary holiday. Today May Day is the official Labor Day in most countries, but the leadership of these marches demand reforms, and stress the “common goals” of labor and capital.

PLP has learned from the triumphs of the communist movement in the USSR and China, and from their failure to fight directly for communism. We advocate “Abolish the Wage System” as part of changing the relationship of workers and work in a new communist society.

The abolition of money, of production for sale and profit and of the wage system is absolutely necessary to establish communism. When the international working class wins and holds control over all economic, political and cultural institutions of society, it will unleash a creative power that will propel the human race to its highest accomplishments in all fields of endeavor. We call this the dictatorship of the proletariat. We need a mass revolutionary communist party to achieve this. The capitalists will use every means — including mass, fascist terror and war — to prevent it.

For the last several years some groups now want to “Reclaim May Day.” They want to reform the “evils” of capitalism, but disconnect May Day from its communist roots. PLP seeks to keep May Day as a revolutionary international working-class holiday; to advance and popularize communist production for need as the future of the human race; to develop a strong and healthy class hatred that will destroy wage slavery and fascism everywhere.

Long live the 1st of May, the revolutionary, international, working class holiday! Fight for communism!

plp.org

INTER-IMPERIALIST RIVALRY

ROGRESSIVE LABOR PARTY VIEWPOINT

In the decades since the defeat of the first communist revolutions, the major imperialist powers have sharpened their attacks on each other. This rivalry between imperialists underlies and drives world events and will do so until the working class, under communist leadership, again takes the world stage to fight exploitation and racism and make revolution.

Capitalism

Capitalist society is an unstable tension between two great opposed social classes: the tiny capitalist class that owns everything important and runs the government and the huge international working class, whose members survive by selling their labor to a capitalist for a wage. Capitalists and workers constantly struggle over wage and social benefits versus profits; they are locked together in a class society until revolution destroys the bosses. This fundamental tension between unity and conflict in a class society is a contradiction, a unity of opposites that is by its very nature unstable.

Contradictions don’t stay the same. They drive development, turn one thing into another, and get resolved. The contradiction in our class society gets on the side of unity in boss-worker relations, if workers are willing to take the class struggle only so far, if our unified ability to struggle is blunted and diverted by racist ideology or other pro-boss ideas. In that case capitalist society continues with all its horrors, because workers, however reluctantly, still accept capitalism because they feel they simply aren’t strong enough to “fight city hall” or have no vision of an alternative to the capitalist snake pit.

The contradiction can get resolved on the side of the workers, on the side of conflict in boss-worker relations, with revolution to abolish the class of bosses, the racist divisions among the workers, and the entire exploitative system.

Today, unity between the two opposed classes prevails and capitalism continues despite its constant wars, racism, financial crises, and all our efforts for change. But conflict between the two classes will re-emerge and sharpen. Workers with communist leadership can resolve the contradiction in favor of the working class and all humanity by abolishing capital itself and its many harsh conditions including poverty, racism, brutality, and war for profit, as our predecessors did for many decades in the Russian and Chinese revolutions.

Communist Revolution: Resolve the Contradiction

Communist revolution means that we workers form a new kind of government and use our new state power to abolish the capitalist class, the wage-and-profit system, and all aspects of racism, from material differences to ideology. Revolution abolishes capitalists and transforms the working class from the slaves to a wage into the creative producers of all social value building a new society of egalitarian communist sharing where all can contribute mightily to each other.

It may seem that capitalism will go on forever and survive every crisis. But the secret of class contradiction is that its resolution depends mainly not on the capitalist class but on us, the working class. The capitalist class is dominant now, but the working class, and only our class, does have the ability to break their grip and transform society. We do have a future without capitalism, “a world to win.” We will have to pass through the fires of war and revolution to get there. We will have to make conflict with the bosses primary over unity with them. But if we succeed in winning millions of workers to this communist vision, we will have that future.

Imperialist Bosses Fight among Themselves

Right now we are a long way from our revolutionary goal because the working class is weak and disarmed, having lost much of its communist leadership and party organization when the Soviet and Chinese revolutions turned back to capitalism. The basic overall contradiction in capitalist society—bosses v. workers—has temporarily faded as the main thing driving world events. Now, the battle among the imperialists for profit and power (using workers for cannon fodder in their wars) has become the main contradiction in the world. Capitalists always compete (GM fights Ford). But what is really determining events now is the contradiction between the major capitalist countries (Ford/U.S. fight Toyota/Japan). That is inter-imperialist rivalry. Major capitalist powers became imperialists over 100 years ago as they extended their power and control far beyond their own national borders seeking profits, markets, and sites for investment, dividing up the entire world into competing spheres of interest. They used to call these zones their colonies and empires (British, French, Japanese, or Russian). Now imperialists dominate whole economies and governments without making them into colonies, but it’s the same thing: the biggest capitalists use their corporations, armies, and governments to win away from other capitalists as much of the world’s resources, markets, and labor as they can. Workers won’t remain quiet forever, but for now, the battle among imperialists conditions all world events.

Inter-Imperialist Rivalry Means World War

Imperialists try to limit their conflicts to economics and politics (e.g., through the UN and bilateral negotiations), but military conflict—all-out war to resolve their differences and redivide the world—is on the rise. The many wars being fought today mean that the major imperialists are more and more resorting to military means to secure their empires. It is likely that there will be a world-wide war with major groups of imperialists and their allies on opposing sides, just as happened in the 20th century. Such a third world war would end with yet another capitalist “new world order” if we workers fail to rearm ourselves with the international revolutionary communist party, PLP. But, if workers build the PLP internationally, a third world war will also see another great wave of the communist revolutionary movement, ending capitalism altogether. The end of the story of inter-imperialist rivalry therefore depends on us, on the working class rising again, restoring the primacy of that main contradiction in capitalist class society—workers’ conflict with bosses—and resolving it by revolution.

The World of Imperialism—and How to Change It

The U.S. has been top dog among imperialists since they came out stronger than the others after World War II, and since communist anti-imperialism ended with Russia and China’s return to capitalism. By 1999 the U.S. ruling class faced the fact that they were declining relative to their major rivals. The bipartisan Hart-Rudman Commission that year foresaw a 9/11-type attack and advised the ruling class to use it to build patriotism and support for permanent war and a centralized police state. The U.S. military budget, with 700 bases in 130 countries, is still more than that of the rest of the world combined. But though still top dog militarily, the U.S. is weakening rapidly, its military forces stretched thin without a draft and its economic power being challenged throughout the globe by the EU, China, Russia, Japan, and lesser opponents including Iran and Venezuela. The EU and NATO are no longer automatic supporters of U.S. imperialism. China and Russia have formed an alliance called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which in 2001 linked them to four Central Asian states (and more in line to join), challenging U.S. and its allies’ power in the oil-rich region. Capitalist states including Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, and Pakistan, can now try to play one imperialist power or alliance off against another to their own advantage. Venezuela is beginning to sell more oil to China instead of to the U.S., and the EU, Japan, and China are rapidly increasing investment in South America at the expense of U.S. market share. Not so long ago, the U.S. might already have invaded Venezuela or changed its regime as they used to do all over South America as they did in Chile in 1973, for example, but they simply cannot take military action yet against Iran or Venezuela because they are too weak. Australia withdrew its tiny military support of the U.S. in Iraq and is growing ever more closely tied to China economically. South Africa has increased ties to China and India at the expense of the U.S. and the EU. Pakistan no longer automatically dances to the tune of the U.S. military. Saudi Arabia refuses to help out the U.S. by increasing oil supplies. This brief glance yields the same picture as our look at the major imperialists: an unstable, shifting, dangerous moment in history, when the U.S. is being driven back and will have to take desperate drastic action to stay on top.

The capitalist future is bleak, especially for the international working class, which suffers the brunt of war, racism, and economic crisis. So we return to the burning need of the moment. We must strengthen the working class side of the class contradiction by joining and building the PLP, fighting racism, struggling against the bosses, and heating the class struggle to a white hot intensity so that we can overthrow capitalism and create a communist world that meets the needs of our class.

Contact the Progressive Labor Party at desafio.challenge@gmail.com,

http://www.plp.org

PO Box 808, Brooklyn, NY 11202

718.630.9440.

Humanitarian Imperialism in Uganda

The US is taking virtually the same paternalistic posture towards Africa that Victorian Britain did. Imperialist Britain was so racist that they considered their mass murdering attacks that colonized the  African and Indian peoples to be a civilizing force.  The US, like Victorian Britain before it, doesn’t care about bringing democracy or values, it only cares about padding its pockets and selling the war to its working class.  The savage truth is that wherever there is a direct clash between US and Russian/Chinese imperialist interests, a “humanitarian crisis” occurs there. Yet, capitalism itself is a humanitarian crisis. How many workers in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are killed by US drones and cluster bombs? Or directly by US soldiers having a bad day?  Who has killed more children, a Ugandan strong man or Obama?

Though once of great concern to governments in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, primarily Uganda, the LRA exists today as a low-level insurgency. The LRA is estimated to have only 200-300 fighters, and the group sustains itself by recruiting child soldiers during unsophisticated raids with machetes on villages in northwestern Uganda and the nearby corners of South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

The Joseph Kony campaign media blitz that was all over Facebook has already drummed up the popular support needed by US imperialism to invade a nation that has “Newly discovered oil reserves around Uganda’s Lake Albert”.  Yup, billions of barrels of oil that is just now starting to be tapped.  You could already see the dollar signs flashing on the little black and green hearts of the world’s capitalists.

“Stratfor believed that the United States had exaggerated the threat posed by the LRA.” Why would the Kony 2012 video go so viral so quickly? If the united states didn’t need a humanitarian cover to gloss over their insatiable lust for oil and resources.  Obama, willing servant of US capitalists, and bosses are no strangers to using Ugandan workers in their imperialist wars. As they used Ugandans in their wars of conquest at only a fraction of the cost that they paid to US soldiers to do the same potentially lethal jobs.

Though Kony is a terrible human being who deserves to die at the hands of the working class he exploits, how is he any worse than the US’ personal thug Haitian President Martelly who attacked his own college students in their university, smashed whatever he couldn’t steal, and basically destroyed their ability to get an education as he instilled the kind of fascist terror that the racist US bosses call business as usual in Haiti. 

The US fascist attack on workers closes hospitals, creates homeless workers, cuts to Medicaid, attacks special need children, yet they have the absolute hypocrisy to point the finger at small time dictators like Assad and patsies like Joseph Kony!  Yes, they are terrible bad people, but the only reason that they are targets by the US is because they’re somebody else’s terrible bad people.  Super thug Rahm Emanual is basically assaulting students’ educations in Chicago, US capitalists are plotting how to close more hospitals and limit health care (see the letters section in the 3/14/2012 Challenge), European capitalists are destroying whole lives in Europe, and yet we’re supposed to only concentrate on one particular bad guy?  The whole system of capitalism has to go, root and branch.

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2011: Crisis-driven Bosses Attack, But Class Struggle Alive and Well

The events of 2011 served to remind us of two important aspects of capitalist society. First, the bosses of the world, caught in a sharpening struggle against their rivals and a spreading financial crisis, always have their knives out to assault the working class. Attacks intensified against our jobs, education, health, homes and families. The myths of democracy, fairness and opportunity for workers were exposed by a worldwide reality: we live under the bosses’ dictatorship. The past year made clear that regardless of national boundaries, no matter the “race” or gender of the boss, the ruling class will eagerly consign workers to hell on earth for the smallest gain in profit.

The ultimate expression of the boss’s callousness to sacrifice the lives of workers is imperialist war, of which there was no shortage in 2011. The U.S., still the main capitalist power in the world, continued its racist massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in hopes of securing the Middle East’s oil and natural gas. Without the growth of a new worldwide communist movement, the prospects for 2012 and beyond are not much better.

While the U.S. remains the dominant power, other rivals, most prominently China, are gaining power — militarily, economically and politically. This challenge does not go unnoticed by the U.S. ruling class. The recent announcement by President Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize winner) that U.S. Marines will be stationed in northern Australia, alongside the recent diplomatic overtures to Myanmar, which borders China, signal a future where direct military conflict between the U.S. and China will be increasingly likely.

But the deadly maneuvering of the ruling class is only one side of the story of 2011. The second lesson, clearly visible from a quick look back through the pages of any of the bosses’ newspapers, is that workers are not meekly accepting these attacks. Class struggle is alive and well.  The list of places where large-scale rebellion rocked the bosses this past year is a long one: Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Syria, the U.S., and more.

To advance the cause of communist revolution, the international Progressive Labor Party has joined and led some of these militant struggles. In the pages of CHALLENGE, these battles and many other reports of class struggle were presented with a communist analysis.  If we are ever to defeat the murderous bosses and end their reign of terror, the working class must transform these narrow reform struggles into a fight for the working class to take state power — a fight for communist revolution.

The International PLP Advances

In New York City, the working class took on the racist Department of Education and its plan to impose Jim Crow-style segregation at the John Jay Campus high schools. In Israel/Palestine, a Summer Project participated in the fight against racist evictions and the housing shortage gripping workers there. In Haiti, we struggled to help rebuild a shattered society with communist principles of international solidarity and equality.

PL’s Summer Project in Haiti included a “Freedom School” for the discussion of communist principles. “Serve the working class” became more than a motto; it was put into practice when Party members created a clinic to serve the medical needs for Haitians in tent camps. The racist health care system was also a focus for comrades in the U.S. In New York we fought against the racist closing of Brookdale Hospital. Comrades and friends in Philadelphia fought to prevent the firing of a trusted hospital coworker. In Chicago, where hospital bosses tried to give patients a death sentence by transferring them to a decrepit facility, PL and others fought back.

Chicago was also the battleground for the heroic efforts of students and parents (primarily mothers), supported by the Party, to prevent the racist closing of the Whittier School library. Providing an example for the Occupy movement to follow, the parents (primarily mothers) and students at this majority Latino school, supported by the Party, seized the building and renamed it “La Casita.” For nearly a month, they held off the racist dogs of the Chicago Department of Education from carrying out their plan. Our comrades helped in many ways, from medical care to overnight guard duty. All the while they pointed out that whether we won or lost this particular battle, the bosses would still have state power. Our job is to fight not only “our” bosses, but bosses everywhere.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, communists infused labor struggles in garment factories and universities with a vision of a society based on need rather than profit. In Mexico, where flooding threatened to destroy a community of 200,000 people, the Party explained that if our communist predecessors in the Soviet Union could move entire factories over the Ural mountains in three months during World War II, we could protect their city — if we had state power.

In these places and others around the world, CHALLENGE was ever-present. It consistently hammered home the point that it is only when we take on capitalism itself — when we transform battles against corrupt dictators, greedy bankers and fascist school boards into a world-wide communist movement — will we achieve workers’ liberation.

Arab Spring and Wall Street Occupy Working Class’s Imagination

Perhaps the most significant expressions of working-class fight-back were the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East, collectively dubbed the Arab Spring, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement, a worldwide rage at the inequality of wealth that is the hallmark of capitalism.

The Arab Spring began with a rebellion in Tunisia that followed the self-immolation of a desperate young worker. But the uprising was fueled by a 13% official unemployment rate (about 30% for youth), skyrocketing prices for food, and political corruption. Similarly, in Egypt, while the bourgeois media focused on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the struggle for “democracy,” the real battles were over rampant unemployment and the price of food. Strikes at Egypt’s textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector, banks, ports and the Suez Canal are the primary source of revolutionary optimism.

Workers throughout the world cheered on scenes from Tunisia and Tahrir Square, which makes the outcome of these battles all the more painful. In Egypt, ruthless dictator Hosni Mubarak was first replaced by a ruthless military and now in addition by the even more ruthless Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists (see CHALLENGE, 10/19). In Tunisia, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and elections were held in October, but unemployment still crushes the youth there. This is the essence of reform struggles. However militant it may be, any struggle that fails to attack the entire capitalist system will simply replace one set of bosses with another. For workers, the promise of a new society has been met with the reality of continued joblessness and misery.

Nonetheless, the international working class proudly looked on as workers in Tahrir Square held up signs reading, “We are all Wisconsin,” a reference to the 100,000-strong protest against the attack on public sector workers in that state. Months before anyone occupied a park near Wall Street, thousands of workers occupied the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

Just as in Cairo, however, the brave workers of Wisconsin have been misled, this time into backing electoral politics and the Democratic Party. In the midst of this struggle, the Party brought forward the idea that both the fascist Governor Scott Walker and the supposedly “heroic” Democrats were all defenders of capitalism — and were all therefore enemies of the working class. This communist idea attracted many workers in Wisconsin and around the world.

In September, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement began in New York City before spreading to more than 1,500 cities worldwide. OWS captured the attention of workers who were tired of seeing banks get trillions of dollars in bailouts while education, transportation, health care, wages and jobs are slashed. One chant especially reflected this anger: “Banks got bailed out; We got sold out!” Throughout 2011, the Party participated in many of these occupations, picket lines, schools, churches and job sites, armed with leaflets and CHALLENGE.

PLP continues to strive to replace the dead-end reform tactics of the old communist movement with the fight for revolutionary communism for billions of workers in the world.

May Day

This past year was the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune, the first time workers took control of the state. In this spirit, we celebrated May Day with marches, dinners and songs. From Colombia to El Salvador, in Los Angeles and New York, in Haiti and Palestine, we raised the red flag honoring our revolutionary ancestors. This year our May Day celebrations grew in size and better reflected the international character of the working class.

Turning Fascist Oppression into Communist Organizing

The working class continues to suffer from the racist exploitation and oppression that capitalism requires. In their increasingly desperate competition for dominance, the various national ruling classes outdo one another in making workers homeless, sick, maimed or killed in pursuit of profit. Frantic about “sovereign debt,” collapsing banks, currency disasters (notably the euro) and the industrial crisis of overproduction, the world’s bosses are peeling back their thin masks of “democracy” to reveal the bloody maw of a fascist monster. Meanwhile, the fight over Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and natural gas appears to be careening toward broader military conflicts.

As we move into 2012, the battles against our capitalist enemies will continue to rage. The workers of the world will continue to fight back, in ways large and small. Everything we do as workers and communists counts: every march or picket line or discussion strengthened by  communist ideas, every time we help another worker and demonstrate how we can build a society without the parasitic bosses. By doing these things and more, the Party will help the working class move closer to ushering in a classless society that produces for need, not profit. Communist ideas are essential for this crucial advance. A mass, international, revolutionary party is necessary to lead the way. PL is that party. Now is the time to join!

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While Workers Lack Leadership and 50,000 Die: Battle for Libya’s Oil Heats Up Inter-Imperialist Rivalry

The Libyan civil war has heated up the rivalry among the world’s imperialists, as U.S., British, French, Italian, Russian, and Chinese rulers jockey for access to the country’s oil and gas riches. What Obama hails as Libya’s “liberation” from dictator Muammar Qaddafi is in fact a bid to recolonize it into a Western protectorate. And if Libya unravels, U.S. rulers are preparing for an invasion.

Rebel Racism Rampant

Obama called Libya’s NATO-backed rebels “courageous.” For our class, however, there are no heroes in this civil war. Nobody is fighting for workers. All sides represent oil-thirsty capitalists and stand guilty of atrocities.

Both Qaddafi’s forces and the rebels have executed handcuffed prisoners. Racist rebels massacred scores of black migrant workers and recently jailed hundreds more as alleged Qaddafi mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa. NATO bombers under overall U.S. command wiped out 85 civilians in one August raid. “An estimated 50,000 people have been killed in Libya since the start of the uprising, according to the rebels’ military leadership” (Independent, London, 8/31).

Libya’s Den-of-Thieves ‘Saviors’ Include Anti-U.S. al Qaeda Allies

But while the triumphant U.S., British, and French imperialists vie for Libya’s energy riches, they’re having trouble patching together a viable local government. Tribes and regions within Libya are also competing for their own shares of the oil profits, thus weakening the new, supposedly ruling National Transitional Council (NTC). “Already council members have fallen into dispute over the $65 billion Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund” (Bloomberg News, 9/1).

In addition, Obama & Co.’s opportunistic reliance on radical Islamists to do their dirty work poses still worse threats to the U.S. ruling class. The London Independent noted (8/28): “The rebel military commander behind the successful assault on Tripoli had fought in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban and was an Islamist terror suspect interrogated by the CIA. Abdelhakim Belhadj, the newly appointed commander of the Tripoli Military Council, is a former emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) — banned by Britain and the U.S. as a terrorist organisation after the 9/11 attacks.” In power, radical Islamists could steer Libya closer to an anti-U.S. Iran or help destabilize Saudi Arabia (the cornerstone of oil-based U.S. imperialism), a long-time goal of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

Stratfor, a Texas think-tank named for the “strategic forecasting” it sells to U.S. businesses, thinks Libya could soon tear wide open. “This jihadist element of the rebel coalition appears to have reared its head recently with the assassination of former NTC military head Abdel Fattah Younis in late July….Between the seizure of former Qaddafi arms depots and the arms provided to the rebels by outside powers, Libya is awash with weapons. If the NTC fractures like past rebel coalitions, it could set the stage for a long and bloody civil war — and provide an excellent opportunity to jihadist elements” (Stratfor, 8/24).

With Eyes on Libya’s Oil Prize, U.S. Rulers Have Invasion Plan

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the U.S. rulers’ leading foreign policy factory, foresees GIs in Libya: “Obama may need to reconsider his assertion that there would not be any American boots on the ground” (London Financial Times, 8/22). The CFR’s “Contingency Planning Memorandum No.12: Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya,” released in August and bankrolled by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, gave more specifics:

“If initial efforts to avert violent instability in Libya fail, the international community would have three broad response options: humanitarian relief…limited military intervention…full-scale occupation. Various operational configurations for armed intervention are conceivable — including unilateral U.S. action (our emphasis, Ed.) a coalition of the willing without UN mandate, and a fully sanctioned international force led by NATO.”

Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron bombarded Libya and sent in special forces assassins, invoking a “responsibility to protect” Libyan citizens. But the civilian casualties resulting from 8,000 NATO airstrikes and the disgusting scramble for war spoils prove the humanitarian motive false.

On September 1, Sarkozy and Cameron chaired a 60-nation “Friends of Libya” gathering in Paris. Hillary Clinton stood in for Obama. Everyone knew the agenda. “The glittering prize is Libya’s 1.6 million barrels per day output of high quality crude….Projecting into the future, analysts believe that has reserves to sustain its previous level of production for 80 years”  (OilPrice.com, 8/24).

Obama’s ‘Coalition of the Drilling’

“Who will eventually control this asset, with oil prices currently at roughly $84 a barrel, generating an income of more than $12.6 million per day? Italy’s ENI? France’s Total? Britain’s BP? U.S. companies?” (OilPrice.com). That’s the 4.6-billion-dollar-a-year question.

Obama and his murderous coalition of the drilling imagine that they’ve scored a major coup against imperialist rivals China and Russia. Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libya’s “rebel” Arabian Gulf Oil Company, proclaimed in gratitude for NATO’s slaughter: “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and U.K. companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil [which took no military or diplomatic action against Qaddafi]” Asia Times, 8/25). And Business Week (8/24) predicts triple profits for Western firms under Libya’s new management, “a split of 70 percent of revenue for the government and 30 percent for oil companies, as opposed to the current 90-10 ratio.”

But meanwhile, rising imperialists are joining together to challenge the traditional capitalist powers centered in NATO: the U.S., Britain, France and Germany. BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — represents a coalition seeking a larger portion of the world capitalist pie, which can only come from taking resources and exploitable workers away from the more established powers. This growing inter-imperialist rivalry will inevitably lead to regional and eventually world war.

China’s Bosses May Trump Obama’s Bombing Coalition in Libya Oil Grab

 “But it is too early to count China out from the race….The crystal ball is murky indeed, but when the uprising against Qaddafi began six months ago, about 36,000 Chinese were in Libya working on 50 projects” (OilPrice.com). And Chinese rulers have “deeper pockets than all their competitors.”

Suppose China does win energy concessions in Libya. The range of its potential military confrontations with its chief imperialist rival, the U.S., will then stretch from the Mediterranean through Suez to the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, the South China Sea and Taiwan, all the way to the mid-Pacific. The U.S. Navy is pointedly expanding its already massive base on Guam.

China’s rulers, who already field the world’s largest land army, have been building up their blue water navy and their stockpile of non-nuclear ballistic missiles, threatening U.S. domination of the Pacific and Indian oceans (see article, page 5). China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, with more to come. The New York Times Op-Ed page (9/5) warned that planned Pentagon spending cuts — a reflection of divisions in the U.S. ruling class — could give China the ability to deal “a knockout blow to [U.S.] forward forces” and to erode U.S. security guarantees to China’s neighbors.

Many working-class Libyans sincerely believed they were combatting Qaddafi’s tyranny. But because they lacked communist leadership and goals, the struggle long ago became a classic inter-imperialist battle for territory and resources. Instead of Qaddafi’s brutal reign, Libya’s workers will be suffering the so-called Western “democracy” which exploits their labor and rains bombs down on them to guarantee ruling-class profits.

The end of oil wars like Libya’s can come only after the working class seizes power in a revolution that destroys the profit system. This will be a true, lasting, fundamental change in class rule. It constitutes the Progressive Labor Party’s ultimate aim.

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