Category Archives: China

Hurricane Katrina Was the Disaster It Was Due to Capitalism!

10 years ago, the Progressive Labor Party organized to send many people to the flood ravaged disaster in New Orleans. Challenge was quite clear to point out that the tragedy was far less a natural disaster as a disaster caused by capitalism. Due to the racist manner in which the levies were constructed, the lack of any kind of response, the callous racism showed to the Black working class as the flood waters rose and police officers shot at Black workers fleeing their homes and trying to cross a bridge, PLP condemned the racist capitalist system guilty for being the primary cause in the crime in perpetuating the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.

Here is what Challenge wrote 10 years ago, right after the flood destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers, killed over a thousand, and, still 10 years later, over a hundred thousand Black workers have yet to return to New Orleans. The racist US ruling class used the tragedy of Katrina as an opportunity to fire all of the teachers in New Orleans. A whole generation of children had their educations disrupted as part of the greater proof that the capitalists don’t care about meeting the needs of the working class.   They only care about meeting their own needs.

From the fascism forming in Ferguson and all over the US, to Obama’s crocodile tears as he continues to perpetuate the racism that is the cornerstone of US imperialism, to the intensifying inter-imperialist crisis fueling the massive numbers of refugees fleeing the violence that capitalism causes, the working class is crying out for Communism.  Join and help build the PLP so that we can end this dark night of capitalism once and for all.

10 years ago:

SEIZE THE MOMENT!
Millions See Racist Killer Nature of Capitalism

Every so often a rare moment occurs that exposes the racist and brutal nature of the profit system. And in that moment, millions can see the nature of the beast and can be won to a more revolutionary communist outlook. This is such a moment. The rulers are losing a war in Iraq, about 20,000 industrial workers are on strike against Boeing and Northwest Airlines, and the ruling class has turned a hurricane into genocide of black and poor workers in New Orleans. Under different objective conditions, and with a mass PLP base among workers, soldiers and youth, such a moment could spark the armed struggle for the seizure of power.
Those objective conditions are not here yet, and we are a long way from having the mass base for PLP we require. Nevertheless, it is our job to seize this moment and advance the forces of revolution.

From Baghdad to New Orleans, capitalism stands exposed as a mass racist murderer for all to see. From Bush, to the head of FEMA, to the Governor of Louisiana, to the black Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, capitalism has failed. The number of dead — mostly black workers, children and the elderly — will dwarf the number of GI’s killed in Iraq or civilians killed on 9/11.

The racist rulers, especially the liberals like the NY Times, are crying crocodile tears and will try to use this moment to fight for an even bigger army to wage more wars, so the National Guard can be used to protect the rulers’ property and impose martial law at home, and for a larger, more efficient police-state Homeland Security Agency. They will use this disaster of their own making to try to put the White House back under the control of the biggest bosses and curb the neo-cons. We must expose their murderous deception and point out that the Democrats supported all the budget cuts and have said little to nothing in this crisis.

The industrial strikes have a special significance,particularly Boeing. When we say that billions are going to the war in Iraq and Homeland Security, much of it goes to Boeing, a major racist war-maker and strike breaker. The war, the strikes and the mass murder are all intimately tied together. What’s more, PLP has built a base among Boeing workers over decades, and we can advance the revolutionary movement and recruit to the PLP out of this strike.

And not just at Boeing, but everywhere we have a base, we must seize the moment. PLP in Texas is actively taking part in the resettlement of victims from New Orleans, struggling with victims and care-givers alike to build a mass PLP. Postal workers in Chicago are holding a fund raiser in their union hall, while struggling to bring more workers into the Party. This moment can be one of increased revolutionary opportunities, but they will not happen spontaneously, we must work hard and seize them.

Every Party member and club should be involved in some kind of relief effort for the victims of New Orleans, while mapping out a plan to more aggressively build the Party. We should be fighting in the unions, on campus and in the communities and barracks, to march on Washington against the war and racist mass murder at home on September 24 in Washington D.C, L.A. and the Bay Area in California, to organize relief efforts for the flood victims, to support the Boeing and Northwest strikers, to sharpen the class struggle where we are and to build a mass international PLP. This moment will not last, but if we seize it, we can be stronger than we were when it arrived.

PL Volunteers Help Victims of Katrina and Racist Negligence by Rulers
Report from Texas

PLP members and friends are working on storm relief in Texas cities. In a major city near Louisiana, PLP has met many people fleeing New Orleans who blame the rich and government officials on all levels for the disaster that has killed their relatives and forced them into refugee camps across Texas. Multi-racial groups and families are fleeing on foot, pulling shopping carts and hitchhiking to get out after all so-called relief efforts failed or never even got started. Even the medical personnel from Louisiana hospitals are now fleeing on foot. People managing to get out on organized bus caravans move from checkpoint to checkpoint at evacuation centers in Texas which are barely operational.

Tens of thousands of working people are volunteering to help the refugees, inundating organizations like Salvation Army and Red Cross, which are barely able to organize anything, yet are doing a hundred times more than the government agencies like FEMA and Homeland Security. Many of the volunteers met by PL members are veterans of the two Iraq wars, often injured and disabled themselves. Most everyone agrees that the oil war in Iraq has sucked up all the funds that should have paid for relief.

The volunteer efforts are a lesson in the possibilities for communist revolution by the working class. Friends of PLP have called across the state to organize help at Red Cross sites and consider whether or not to go to Louisiana. The thousands of people working in food warehouses and shelters are almost entirely self-organized. The working people show up to volunteer and organize themselves, often fighting off the bureaucrats who do nothing but go to press conferences to announce relief efforts which don’t even exist. Many volunteers, including PLP members, have taken matters into their own hands, picking up refugees stranded by the freeways, searching for victims whose medications have run out and getting them hospital care, and much more.

PLP school teachers in Texas will have (or will propose to have) refugee children in their classes and are discussing how to work with fellow teachers and PTAs to meet these families and build an understanding of how racism, imperialist war and the capitalist system itself, caused this disaster.

The ongoing Katrina crisis is showing the working class what capitalist “democracy” is worth. People are relying on themselves and the goodness of their class brothers and sisters for anything that is positive. A terrible problem is that PLP is so small. It is difficult to reach thousands with our message that communist revolution is the only long-run solution. People fleeing Louisiana and Mississippi, and the volunteers helping them, all can see the problems. They also sense that the only real help is to organize from below, for working people to help working people. But only a rapidly growing PLP can show people that the way to prevent U.S. rulers from continuing their system and its attacks on working people is to get rid of the rich altogether. Only PLP can explain the need to destroy the capitalists who try to stay on top of their European and Asian competitors by endless wars, financed by racist attacks against poor people at home.

Victims of Katrina Treated Like Prisoners

Hundreds of cots not even inches from each other are the living arrangements for New Orleans evacuees in this large Texas city. Although hurricane victims are now getting shelter, food and health care from thousands of volunteers in a show of mass multi-racial and class solidarity, many explain that the events in New Orleans were caused by the government officials who quit offering public services of any kind long ago. (PLP members doing volunteer work are carrying pencils and notebooks to exchange contact information with other volunteers and flood victims. This often requires asking for relatives’ phone numbers from flood victims who have no phone and no homes left in Louisiana and Mississippi.)
Many of the people that fled New Orleans have told PL volunteers helping at evacuation centers that they are being treated like prisoners, endlessly passed from one police checkpoint to another. At a San Antonio relief center people had to get on and off buses several different times before reaching the main registration. In another city, lawyers reported that hundreds of police were awaiting the evacuees, planning to interrogate and search them in a facility without any outside observers.

It is starting to look like there will be up to 500,000 people sent to different closed military bases and other sites around the U.S. and will live in what will become refugee camps under martial law.

While the rulers’ economic analysts focused first on the disruptions to the U.S. oil supply and its effect on U.S. competitiveness, these geniuses have now realized that the workers who ship, load and unload most of the U.S. agricultural crop that comes down the Mississippi to the Port of New Orleans, are gone. There are no houses, no transportation, no facilities at all left to support the workers that keep U.S. produce moving to make profits for giant corporate agriculture. The bosses are worried that this will cause a crisis as the harvest advances over the next several weeks.

Although this is not spontaneously producing conscious revolutionary communists, it is becoming easier to talk to people about the need for PL’s politics and organization. The breakdown in federal and local government services, as money is siphoned off to imperialist war, shows that increasingly, only the police (who are deserting and committing suicide in New Orleans) and the military physically keep the bosses in power. If PLP can win workers to revolutionary ideology and commitment, the bosses’ ideological hold on the workers will be in jeopardy. PLP-led volunteers can win our brother and sister storm victims to take matters into our own hands for the long run, while helping to provide immediate relief efforts. When workers see that the same enemy that invaded and occupies Iraqi has attacked the New Orleans black working class flood victims, great advances will become possible.

Black Cops and Officials Also Very Racist

One port/railroad worker, whose job ended when his tractor cab got stuck on a median he couldn’t see in two feet of water, explained that the cops and jails in New Orleans are the most racist in the nation. This black worker explained that the black officials and cops treat black working people as bad, or worse, than the racist bosses who run New Orleans. To this worker, the rotten treatment of the working people in New Orleans, which led to their complete abandonment to the hurricane and flood, was completely based on the profit system and its need to suck profits from workers of all races. He explained that if you were a black worker in New Orleans who sounded like you knew what was going on, you were surely going to jail whether you were accosted by a black or white cop.
Several disabled vets from New Orleans explained to PLP that the government has “subcontracted” away government services for everything the past several years, that new pumps to drain the water had never been made operational, that the explanation on TV that water made the pumps quit was a lie, and that one levee might have been broken on purpose so that higher income neighborhoods would be spared.

The “subcontracting,” which is a way government officials get out of their responsibilities, such as opening private jails, make the subcontractors rich. Meanwhile the services supposedly to be provided are not really given. This is happening in a big way today — a city official in Texas announced that FEMA (part of Homeland Security) was “subcontracting” the management of the disaster relief effort for the entire city to private companies like Halliburton. This means that in this city people who don’t know anything about disaster management and who haven’t even worked on it for the past week will now be in charge.

Texas Comrade

UNDER COMMUNISM: How would disasters from hurricanes like Katrina be avoided?

The short answer: Prevention. Under communism the working class would have the power to slow the global warming that causes more violent hurricanes. Global warming may be partly natural, but it is greatly worsened by industrial and transportation pollution that exists under capitalism, because corporate profits, rather than human needs, rule.
Second, since earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes happen, a working-class state could avoid building new cities in danger spots, and could relocate existing ones, like San Francisco and New Orleans. For example, during World War II the Soviet Union mobilized the working class to move entire cities and industrial plants east of the Ural Mountains, beyond the reach of the Nazi armies. And they succeeded, despite the devastating winters and numerous acts of sabotage by Nazi sympathizers.

New Orleans (NO) borders and lies below the level of Lake Pontchartrain. The PLP would mobilize and organize the NO working class to build a new city away from the danger spot and move the households. But before evacuating NO, the Party would have led the workers in shoring up levees, in case a hurricane struck during the building and relocation process.

Since hurricanes give several days’ warning, if there was no time to shore up the levees the city would be evacuated immediately. In contrast to the rich black NO mayor’s departure and call to evacuate — meaningless for people without vehicles or money for food and lodging, particularly the poor black population — the Party would provide adequate transportation to carry everyone out of the city safely and immediately. As during World War II, attempts at capitalist sabotage would be dealt with mercilessly.

The population outside NO would be called upon to take people into their homes on a short-term basis. Racism would be fought vigorously, not only to eliminate any hesitation in this effort but to unify the working class around this goal. Meanwhile longer-term housing would be constructed by as many workers as the job required, so that people could be housed during clean-up of the city, pending the much longer-term effort of permanent relocation.

Food, water, clothing, sanitary supplies and medicines would continually be imported in plentiful supply and distributed to the neediest first. Peoples’ former occupations would necessarily be interrupted, but clean-up and relocation would require so much effort that no one would be idle.

No income would be lost, because there would be no income under communism. Guided by the communist principle — from each according to commitment, to each according to need — all necessities of life would be provided free, and money would be abolished. Unemployment would be history.

The Party and the workers would struggle with anyone refusing to participate, and the Party would guarantee prevention of interference, including possible imprisonment, and, in cases of deliberate sabotage, execution.

In these processes the Party would first mobilize workers by calling on them to participate and then would organize participants to carry out the necessary coordination of effort and division of labor. In contrast to the armed cops and Guardsmen currently in NO, whose first job is to protect the property of the rich, the Party and each of its hundreds of thousands of members would have a base among her/his fellow workers and neighbors and be known and trusted. If the Party had a large enough presence already in NO and the U.S., this kind of leadership could have organized rescue efforts from the flood and the gathering and distribution of food, water, diapers, medical care, as well as portable toilets and bathing facilities.

The key elements of communist leadership in times of disaster are mobilization, organization, coordination of the vast majority of workers and the disciplining of internal and external enemies of the working class. Over the long term, including the present, the key element of Party leadership has been and continues to be the struggle to arm the international working class with an understanding of communist theory and practice that will enable the workers to rule the world. The distribution of CHALLENGE plays a crucial role in that effort.

The task at hand for the working class of all nations is to organize, with Party leadership, its own hurricane to drown the capitalist ruling classes. Under the distant future of communism, with capitalists out of the picture, the working class will survive future hurricanes, tsunamis and volcanoes with minimal disruption in our lives.

In future issues we will discuss the way that workers in revolutionary China were mobilized by the Communist Party to eliminate public health scourges, like syphilis and parasitic infections.

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Syriza and Syria Show The Working Class Needs the PLP

Well, it didn’t take long for Syriza to betray the working class now did it? We in the PLP said from the beginning that Syriza would betray the working class.  It didn’t take too long for us to be proved correct yet again.  We have consistently said that in order to defend the working class, reform needs to take a backseat to revolution. Since Syriza did not ever point out that the reason that austerity is destroying the standard of living in Greece and many other places is due to capitalism nor did they say that they were going to fight for communism. Basically, the dictates of capital are destroying the reforms that the working class in Greece won after many long struggles. The needs of the working class are now being disintegrated by the need for the big money capitalists of the Troika to increase their profit margins and fatten their wallets.

Tsipras has decided to quit Syriza in order to force an election and not have to be beholden to the promises that he made in order to get elected the first time. The KKE (Greek “Communist” Party) dropped revolution as a force for change long ago. It pushes the ballot box as a source of change. We say “Don’t Vote – revolt!” Elections are a method for the ruling class to maintain their state power and keep the working class subjected to capitalism. The working class needs to dump all of the bosses’ politicians and pick up the red flag of PLP. There is no answer for the working class’ problems in any of the charlatans capitalism parades as answers for the problems it creates.

The Syrian Civil War (SCW) has taken an interesting turn as it now looks like the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) is now about to take Zabadani, have started a massive offensive on the Latakia plains, and has halted ISIL’s attack. In response to the success of the SAA, Israel has begun to bomb regime forces. Israel was caught patching up and sending Jihadi fighters and now has begun to bomb those who it identifies as its real enemies.

PLP has consistently pointed out that the SCW has been a proxy war being fought for by The US/Saudi/UK imperialist bloc against the Russia/China/Iran imperialist bloc. The recent counter attack and victories of the Butcher Assad’s forces against the foreign backed fascists has been causing the Western imperialists to consider negotiating. Regardless of what the imperialists decide, it will still be the working class in Syria and the greater Levant who will continue to suffer due to the non-stop pipeline wars. Absurdities such as the moderate rebels in The Islamic Front saying they’ll allow democracy as long as it’s under Sharia or the US funded, armed and trained Division 30 saying that fighters in Al Qaeda were its brothers are rife throughout this prelude to World War III taking place in Syria.  One would think that the US would have learned about using Jihadist fascists as its storm troopers, but its recent experience in Afghanistan doesn’t mean that it has to learn its lesson for Syria.

Revisionist groups, the so-called “left”, lacking scruples, principles, and dialectical materialism, have been stumbling all over themselves trying to figure out who to support in the SCW. The Guardian supported Jabhat al Nusrah. PLP has continued to point out that all of the factions are not going to emancipate the working class in the Levant – including the new darlings of the revisionists, the Kurdish People’s Defense Forces (YPG).  Though it is commendable that they have been able to fight the Islamic State and that they have men and women fighting alongside each other, they are not a revolutionary force.  The YPG and, by political association, the PKK, though they have imbibed Anarchism and synthesized some populist socialism into their lines, are not ever going to be able to organize a communist society. They do not have a communist line, nor are they fighting for a communist world. Though they have stopped paying lip service to an independent Kurdish state, they still maintain many aspects of the nationalism that helped doom the old communist movement.

The answer to the inter-imperialist proxy struggle of fascist against fascist in Syria and the farce of voting in Greece is to build the PLP. Only we can lead the working class out of these dark ages of human history. This dark night will have its red dawn of communist revolution. The working class will rise again.

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It’s Memorial Day!

It’s Memorial Day: a day to ponder the effects of the virally exceptionalist form of Imperialism the USA unleashes daily on the international working class. In a nutshell, the US basically believes that they are the exception to every rule in their pursuit of profit at the world’s expense and to crush their rivals, it is really the working class that suffers. Take Syria for example: exactly what is the US failed strategy in the Levant against Islamic State? At first, if one were to listen to the bourgeoisie’s media, one would think that the US and its allies are against Islamic State. But, that is appearance vs. essence. The internal aspect of a contradiction is its primary focus.

The internal motor of world history right now is Interimperialist rivalry. In the context of the Levant, it is between Iranian hegemony vs. US, EU, Saudi, Turkish, and Israeli imperialist and hegemonic designs. The vast amount of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean are now virtually monopolized by Israel – except for the Alawite Coast of Syria. As discussed in earlier blogs, Lebanon basically absconded their rights to this natural gas, but Syria did not. Saudi Arabia and Turkey, though in a bit of a contradiction themselves as to who will be the real regional Islamic power, the loosey goosey liberal Islam of Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party or the Feudal Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, both want to dominate the oil and geostrategically rich Middle East. So, this leaves the beleaguered fascists, the Assad government and his Hezbollah Allies, to fight against the fascists in Al-Qaida, Islamic State, and an alphabet soup of other Jihadist groups all hell bent on worshiping their god of death, destruction, bigotry, and misogyny. It’s fascist vs. fascist and hundreds of thousands of our working class brothers and sisters are dead while millions have lost their homes and are displaced.

So, how does the US tie into all of this? Simple really: ISIS and Al-Qaida are being treated like a US asset against the Assad regime while a terrorist threat in the rest of the world. Qatar’s, an ally of the US, Al Jazeera, a news source many are turning to since they know they can’t trust the Western Media, supports Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaiada franchise in Syria. When groups like Al Qaiada are in Syria, Al Jazeera and the rest of the bosses’ media apparatus refer to them as “rebels”, yet when they are anywhere else in the world, they are referred to as “terrorists”. The levels of hypocrisy go even deeper. The extravagant press campain about the fall of Palmyra may be the preparation of public opinion for a true military engagement against Dash (ISIS). Public opinion has already begun to shift towards a military operation against Islamic State; they are being seen as something worth fighting against, and this shift will be useful to the US imperialists who need troops on the ground in the Middle East. The campaign can echo what happened in Nigeria where Boko Haram went from being a massive threat to virtually extinct once the military commander was elected president. How fast can the US and allies wipe up the ISIS mess? Or, will the Frankenstein monster of Jihadism return like it has in Afghanistan? Or, is Jihadism currently in Afghanistan in order to justify the US troops still in that geographically important pipeline transit route?

The failed US campaign in Iraq against ISIS is due to the fact that they only want to fight them in Iraq. They want ISIS to topple the mostly secular fascist Assad regime, and so consider them much like an asset in Syria. They bomb them in Iraq and target infrastructure and depots in Syria. Like a good attack dog on a leash, Israel doesn’t open fire on Al Qaiada footsteps away from their borders, but bombs Hezbollah miles away. They claim it is to keep them from getting missiles. Regardless, of how the excuses of the imperialists and their regional thugs, the US and Israel respectively, the point is that ISIS has virtual free reign in Syria to heal up, reinforce, and resupply. Basically, ISIS isn’t playing nice. If they had just caused havoc and destruction in Syria, then it is doubtful any bombs would have actually fallen on them.

In a further show of completely murderous hypocrisy, and never letting a good failed strategy completely fail, “… in a move that could mark an expansion of U.S. involvement in the conflict, Turkey said it and the United States had agreed in principle to give air support to some forces from Syria’s mainstream opposition.” This paragraph, buried in the article, brings up two questions: 1.) what “mainstream opposition” and 2.) who are they going to bomb?

There is no “mainstream opposition” in Syria, that’s as much of a myth as democracy. This is such propagandistic language: mainstream means the majority or middle. The mainstream opposition in Syria is composed of a bunch of fascists bent on terrorism. The group with a democratic aspiration was defeated and basically used as an arms depot by ISIS. They really existed only on paper and in the imagination of the bosses, because “no such ‘moderate’ rebel movement ever existed – at least not in any significant numbers – that reality is ignored by all the ‘smart people’ of Washington. It is simply too good a talking point (to be read as absolute lie constantly pushed by the lying bosses’ media) to surrender. The truth is that Obama was right when he told New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in August 2014 that the notion of a “moderate” rebel force that could achieve much was ‘always … a fantasy.'”

Turkey and Saudi Arabia both want a staunchly Sunni regime in Syria to stop Iranian Shia hegemony. So on top of the everyday physical violence of any dictatorship or government under capitalism, the working class in the Levant will also have to suffer under the particularly oppressive brain-deadening violence of the false consciousness of religion. And, while the bosses’ media weeps crocodile tears for the ruins of Palmyra and the soon to be extinct Northern Bald Ibis, hundreds of women, children, and men were just execution style murdered in the streets by ISIS and had their bodies left out as a warning Michael Brown style. Again, these fascists are only a problem when they get in the way of where the bosses would like to spend their vacations touring or impeding their oilfields, pipelines, and acquisition of profit.

Secondly, whom are they going to bomb? Is this a declaration of war against the tottering Assad regime? Will Iran and Russia watch their client state get smashed by this consortium? Will China let this occur when they have so much at stake? When Libya was overrun by fascists, they were forced out, and this will happen again if a US client state takes over. China may be downplaying this in the current press, but they are not going to be happy to lose access to pipelines, natural gas reserves, and oil. Russia will not peacefully surrender their base at Tartus; it’s too important to them. Russia has designs on that area of the world as well, and their side of this Syrian mess of a contradiction needs to be examined as well.

To the north of Turkey, in the Black Sea, Russia wants to begin construction on the Turkish Stream pipeline. Though this is a geographically different area, it is still intertwined with the interimperialist proxy war occurring in the Levant.
Proposed Turkish and South Stream Pipelines

The key to reading this map of the Turkish stream pipeline is recognizing the importance of Crimea. Bulgaria and Russia have been playing nice, even though Romania has been leaning towards the US, EU, UK axis. The fact that Russia is beginning this project alone is the bribe to Turkey. If Turkey wants the vast natural gas that it hungers for, it can throw in the investment that they promised and “wet their beaks” in the profit. If they don’t cough up the cash, then Russia can build the pipeline in the waters off of the recently annexed Crimea and directly into the very small nodal point, bordering Romania, Turkey, and Bulgaria, so that it ends up in its final destination of Bulgaria. The amount of profit that this pipeline will create, as it will provide gas to Europe and knock out Ukraine as a transit state as well as cutting it off from trillions of dollars that it otherwise would have gotten from owning Crimea, clearly functions as a pretty sweet bribe to Turkey.

Turkey may bite. If they do, what will Russia ask of them vis a vis Assad’s regime in Syria? Will it come with a base or some military agreements? Either way, this pipeline is a direct confrontation to the designs of US and European imperialism: Politically, Turkish Stream is highly unpopular in Europe. The Europeans are making every effort possible to develop alternatives, such as the Trans-Anatolian, Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Caspian pipelines, which could transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe. Companies in Europe are throwing their support and finances behind some of these other projects.

This Memorial Day, a phony bosses’ holiday celebrating their conquests and recognizing the militarism that drives their machine of exploitation abroad alongside intensifying racist oppression within their own borders, let’s remember why the bosses sent our working class children to die for profit. Let’s watch these “Masters of war who build to destroy” and remember why it is that we fight for Communism. Let’s steel ourselves for the long struggle ahead in this darkest of dark ages of human history and know that a Communist revolution, a dawn, will happen. The Progressive Labor Party is the organization that will lead the working class to Communist Revolution so that we will have world that meets our needs, not one whose vision of death and destruction in the name of profit is murdering us.

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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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A Typhoon Destroys the Philippines

 

As capitalism continues to destroy the Earth’s environment, the working class continues to suffer. Over 10,000 dead workers in the Philippines, and the survivors scrounging for food, desperate for help, are a sight that we’ve seen before way too often: Natural disasters’ destruction exponentially increased due to the inequalities of capitalism. Nature will have disasters and will whip up superstorms, but it is the racist systemic inequality of the profit system that causes so many to die and the survivors to be in such a desperate situation. How many of those that were the most affected came from the working class and how many came from the Philippines’ local bourgeoisie?

Some might question the validity of blaming Capitalism’s overconsumption and placing of profits before the environment, yet capitalism’s wanton destruction has significantly contributed to the superstorms. Let’s not forget that the largest polluter is the U.S. military. The U.S. military pollutes the planet with its radioactive depleted uranium bombs and uses vast amounts of petroleum — think how many gallons it takes to move a battleship just one mile! This pollution causes greenhouse gasses and global warming.

This same U.S. military has been trying to engage with Asia and encircle China strategically. There is potentially more oil in The East China Sea than the Middle East. Now, it may not be as easy to acquire, and profitable, as the light sweet crude in Libya just bubbling below the surface, but China is hungry for oil and the U.S. has no intention of letting a major rival have unfettered access to development. The U.S. is sending 9 warships, one being an aircraft carrier, to the strategic area of the Philippines. Once they are there, there’s little chance that those imperialist parasites are leaving. The U.S. didn’t want to leave in the late 19th century when they inflicted genocide on the workers there. The U.S. has a long history of imperialist brutality on the workers in the Philippines, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they took advantage of the devastation to improve their geo-strategic position.

Problems with access to areas affected by the typhoon should not be a bother to a super power that’s had a decade of experience fighting in harsh mountainous conditions. How many high tech stealth helicopters do the U.S. bosses have that can drop on a dime? The desperate workers in there are not their priority. Killing and slaughtering families by remote control is their priority. Wars for oil and domination are their priorities. Where’s the profit in mobilizing millions and millions of workers and shipping them to the to help those affected?

Under communism, the world’s working class would directly organize to meet the needs of those affected by the disaster. Instead of the priority being the continuation of wars without end, there would be help provided, not just amphibious warships and aircraft carriers! A massive rebuilding effort would accompany the massive supplies of food that would be freely given to the affected workers, not the cash loans the World Bank (WB) is hungering to lend the workers in the Philippines. The WB claims it is looking to make only a modest profit from the massive amount of rebuilding that’s going to be needed. Whatever they claim, even if they give the money away, it will not emancipate the working class; it will possibly rebuild some of the houses, but what about the next greenhouse gas accelerated superstorm?

The Philippines has revisionist parties that have been fighting for various strains of socialism for decades. Hundreds of thousands have grasped the ideas of Marxism and the need for revolution. They need Communism. There is a long Red tradition in the Philippines, from the Huks up until today. The only way of truly rebuilding in the Philippines is to build The Progressive Labor Party there. The masses of workers joining PLP will be a superstorm for capitalism sweeping away exploitation and its irrational destruction away with it. The struggle for Communism is paramount to ending the misery and desperation of workers in the Philippines and all over the world. 

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Capitalism is so broken it can’t be fixed

Capitalism is so broken it can’t be fixed is the headline from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.  The bosses’ pundit Paul B. Farrell, no friend of Communism, is pointing out that nothing that the bosses are currently trying to do can solve the broken system of capitalism.  He even points out that the inter-imperialist rivalry that PLP has correctly pointed out as the primary contradiction determining world events is an important determinant.  He points out that what Marx called the tendency for the capitalists to hoard their capital as they search for maximum profitability is also a major facet of broken capitalism.  The capitalists hoard their “capital” that  “sits unused on the balance sheets of corporations, and languishes inert in private equity funds.”’ because they use it to speculate, generating Abstract and Fictitious Capital to generate their profit returns as opposed to investing it in infrastructure and other elements of Concrete Capital that are actually needed to support their place as the world’s hegemon.  In other words, the US bourgeoisie use their money to make money not the roads, rails, and factories that are needed to make actual products and preserve their level of production.  This tendency of capital is mitigated by attacking the working class to extract more profit and, as Lenin pointed out in Imperialism, exporting capital to other undeveloped areas of the globe in order to produce at the highest profit possible.  The problem of exporting capital is that other capitalists in other countries want to do this as well.

 

The ruling class has to protect their economic investment, and they use the working class to fight their wars.  The workers who have been part of the economic draft to become US soldiers are now having Moral Injuries that tear their psyches apart.  They have nightmares and have trouble living with themselves because of the atrocities that they do for the sake of profit based on the timeworn lies of god and country. “ A moral injury tortures the conscience; symptoms include deep shame, guilt and rage. It’s not a medical problem, and it’s unclear how to treat it, says retired Col. Elspeth Ritchie, former psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general.”

Ritchie’s comments echo the torturers in Franz Fanon’s Wretched Of The Earth who felt uncomfortable psychological trauma from brutalizing the guerillas and didn’t want to stop torturing and killing, but wanted their psyches to be healed nonetheless.  The way to treat these nightmares is to stop these imperialist oil and resource wars and begin a rectification campaign where the US imperialists and the soldiers who killed on their behalf apologize and rebuild.  This will never ever happen under capitalism.  Only a Communist revolution can begin the healing process and rectification necessary for those who are guilty of the most brutal crimes against humanity in the name of profit can heal themselves. 

 

So while the working class soldiers live with guilt, the professional mercenary scum in Blackwater get all of their charges completely dropped.  Poof.  Vanished. It cost them a few million, made some rich people a bit richer, and reaffirmed that the US needs their thugs to kill kill kill!  The war on the black and Hispanic working class under the veneer of the war on drugs continues unabated with felonies handed out like party favors, yet when the thugs who murder and kill for the bosses get tried in their courts, the capitalists use their courts to preserve their power.

 

Meanwhile, in the Syrian arena, the Free Syrian Army, stooges of US Imperialism, have begun to bomb Hezbollah, stooges of Russian and Chinese imperialism and Iranian hegemony, in Beirut and Lebanon. The escalation of this war threatens the stability of the whole Levant, yet the US looks on with delight as they can get profitable pipelines and check their rivals.  The “Arab Spring” has turned into the Winter of Jihadism and reaction as Islamic Parties and other reactionary groups have filled the power vacuum that deposing dictators creates.  Without a Communist Party ready to seize state power and begin the revolutionary transformation of society under the dictatorship of the working class, there can be no fundamental systemic change.  Capitalism is fundamentally broken when it comes to meeting the needs of the working class.  It needs to go. 

 

The working class is trapped in the prison of false consciousness.  For example, thousands of workers in Bangladesh are fighting for false consciousness as they attack the police and rally in defense of Islam.  They are angry at “atheist blogs”.  This reactionary rally is a tragedy for the working class as religion is a weapon that the ruling class uses to divide the working class and get us to pay attention to the next world instead of this one.  The working class is divided by race, class, gender, and cultural structures such as religion – Christian vs Jew, Sunni vs Shiite, Muslim vs Hindu, etc.  The list goes on and on and on.  Communism is needed to wash away all of the social constructs that act as the bars in the prison of false consciousness that we live in.  The friends of PLP in Bangladesh will continue to struggle against the violent reactionaries and continue to organize for a revolution that will end the ability for religious leaders to command thousands of workers to kill. 

 

The fact that Capitalism is broken is inaccurate though.  Capitalism is working fine.  It is making the wealthy wealthier, concentrating power in fewer and fewer hands, facilitating the growth of fascism as the bosses need to prevent their power from flowing out of their hands and into the hands of their rivals.  Capitalism works for the capitalists.  They can maintain their state power through any natural or economic disaster.  Capitalism is a resilient system with only one fatal weakness – Communist revolution.  A Communist Party of millions, armed with Red ideas, Dialectics, and the determination to wipe capitalism off of the world once and for all is the only that thing that will break capitalism.  Capitalism will not end because of some massive crisis.  No, only we, the working class under the leadership of PLP, can end it.      

 

 

 

 

 

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Students, Parents, Teachers Unite: Fight Fascist Attacks in U.S. Education

The bosses’ assault against students and teachers in the United States has reached epic proportions. The capitalists are using standardized curricula and tests to assert more direct control over what is taught. They are attacking wages and conditions for school workers even as they blame teachers for the system’s decay. In large and overcrowded urban districts, where student populations are predominantly black and Latino, dress codes, rigid discipline, and metal detectors are the norm. Students are treated like criminals, with no time off for good behavior.

These racist attacks serve two related purposes for the ruling class. First, they enable the bosses to lay an ideological foundation for intensified fascism. Second, they make it easier to intimidate and militarize youth for the inevitable broader wars against the bosses’ surging imperialist rivals, such as China. The U.S. rulers need to use the schools to protect their profits and shore up their dominant — but declining — position in an increasingly competitive world economy.

Trillions for War, Zero for Schools

In the current period, the bosses’ economic crisis and the trillions sunk into Afghanistan and Iraq have led to a wave of racist budget cuts and layoffs in public schools throughout the U.S. The results have been devastating. In New York City — the graduation rate hovers around 60 percent — and most graduates require remedial work before they can take college-level courses. In Philadelphia, where the schools had floundered under state stewardship for nearly a decade, district officials estimated it would take until the year 2123 to get all students up to grade level in reading and math. In February, after decades of local mismanagement, the state board of education revoked its accreditation for the entire Kansas City, Missouri school system. Even by the bosses’ own low standards, the public schools are broken.

To distract workers from the real causes of why and how schools are designed to fail, the capitalists push one reform after another. Supported by billionaires like Bill Gates and Eli Broad, these range from the small-school movement to the charter school phenomenon to the bosses’ current vogue, an all-out emphasis on “teacher quality.” By using data-driven teacher evaluations, the bosses claim to have found an objective way to improve substandard schools and weed out unqualified instructors.

Useless Tests A Bosses’ Tool

In fact, these evaluations are based significantly on student performance in standardized testing, where the margin of error is so high that they are statistically useless. But as a political tool for the bosses, the evaluations are invaluable. They give the rulers easy scapegoats for the failure of their schools: “bad teachers” and the unions that “protect” them.

Many of the headlines in the teacher-bashing campaign have been seized by Republicans like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or by capitalists like David and Charles Koch. But the main leadership for this attack comes from the dominant liberal wing of U.S. finance capitalism and its loyal servants: mainstream media like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and the Democratic administration of Barack (“Race to the Top”) Obama.

These rulers do have disagreements. Some of their factions on the right, like the Koch brothers, advocate the gutting of collective bargaining rights and even the abolishing of unions altogether. More dangerous, however, are the liberals who want to use the unions to mislead teachers into thinking their interests are best served by the latest reform. Both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, the major teacher unions — containing 30 percent of U.S. union members — have willingly collaborated with the bosses in the new evaluation systems. The leaders of these organizations are loyal to the bosses, not to the workers. More insidious are new reformist groups like Educators for Excellence, which has enlisted broad support among young teachers in its reactionary fight against tenure.

In any case, the political fallout is the same. Under increased pressure, teachers tend to become more controllable. Some workers get caught up in the blame game, with teachers blaming students and parents blaming teachers when the evaluation numbers fall short.

In a desperate effort by principals and teachers to keep their jobs, some schools focus their attention on students who are relatively close to grade level, triaging the ones who are further behind. As one New York City high school guidance counselor recently told the school’s staff, “Don’t waste your time on them.” The children he was throwing overboard amounted to nearly one-fourth of the student population!

As always, the school reform’s primary targets — and victims — are the students.

There never was a “golden age” of U.S. public education. While government funding has fluctuated over the past century, the schools’ purpose was always to reinforce capitalist values and the profit system. The overwhelming majority of children are trained for low-paying, subordinate tasks in the rulers’ factories, infrastructure, support services, and military. More than ever, U.S. capitalism requires a politically reliable, highly regimented education system to feed a military that will secure its threatened interests worldwide. It’s no coincidence that Obama’s education reform agenda includes the re-opening of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs at a number of colleges.

To meet the rulers’ needs, the schools infect children with capitalist ideology: racism, sexism, individualism, and incessant competition for the best grades and test scores and then jobs, all against a backdrop of extreme racist and sexist inequalities. Rigid discipline and arbitrary rules nurture passive followers. Gross distortions of history — the “bravery” and “heroism” of genocidal monster Christopher Columbus, the “compassion” of white supremacist Abraham Lincoln — rob students of the ability to understand the world. Regimented teaching-to-the-test saps their creativity and analytical thinking. Daily doses of anti-communism steer them away from the one force that can change the world to meet the needs of the working class.

Graduating to Communism

If the situation sounds bleak, it’s crucial to point out that it’s only one side of the story. As the bosses make their plans, so too must the workers. In New York, for example, masses of furious parents, teachers, and students have routinely disrupted the Panel for Educational Policy (the rubber-stamp body that does Mayor Bloomberg’s bidding) with standing-room-only crowds and deafening chants. Rising anger among teachers has led to fresh attempts to form a serious opposition caucus to the sellout union leadership in New York.

But while this anger itself is positive, and the Party must be immersed in these struggles, no reform will help students get the learning they need. It’s our job to point to the systemic failures of education under capitalism and to win teachers, students and parents to fight for communism and join PLP. To truly educate our children, we must abolish the profit system. We need to create a new society to serve the needs of workers, not the tiny, parasitic minority of bosses. Forward to May Day!

****

Obama Rescues Bosses’ Profits

The bosses’ attack against teachers has a precedent in their systematic dismantling of the standard of living of industrial workers in steel and auto, which was won through generations of class struggle. As in the schools, this attack was carried out with the express support of the leadership of the unions.

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama claimed victory for “rescuing” the auto industry: “We got workers and automakers to settle their differences.” What he really meant was that the bosses forced the workers to accept a two-tier wage system, with new hires making $14 an hour, or half the wages of their previous hires. This give-back was achieved with the active support of the United Auto Workers union leadership. For the bosses, “settling differences” always means protecting bosses’ profits and attacking workers.

www.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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