Tag Archives: Barack Obama

World War Due to Syria?

If there is one thing that the civil war in Syria has shown the world is that when the bosses have a disagreement, it is the workers who do the dying. For a quick rundown of who is fighting whom in Syria, click on this link.

572e69131

Hundreds of thousands of workers in Syria have been murdered by the bosses’ bombs, due to their rotten ideology, their sectarian divisions manufactured by their borders, and the millions of bullets that they have made billions in selling. PLP has pointed out that this civil war in Syria has been a proxy war between the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and other Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) nations in order to loosen Russia’s natural gas grip over Europe, control the natural gas mega field in the Eastern Mediterranean, and block Iran’s influence in the area. The millions of refugees created by this imperialist adventure are now being used as a political lever by Turkey as Erdogan does his best Gollum impersonation over his precious neo-Ottoman empire expansion into Syria using hoards and hoards of Islamist, mostly Al Qaeda aligned, rebel groups. He is tired of his nation being the ottoman of Europe.

maxresdefault

 

Over 60% of Europe’s natural gas market is dominated by Russia, and the US is desperate to break this stranglehold that keeps them from absolute economic sanctions against Russia. This civil war is a classic example of category of dialectical imperialism known as appearance and essence. It appears to be, and is manipulated to look like by the bosses’ media, a civil war between a tin pot dictator and rebels trying to overthrow him, but it is really an imperialist proxy war between different major nations that is now spinning out of control.

 

Basically, the US supported Kurdish and Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are now getting Russian Close Air Support (CAS) to fight the CIA vetted and armed moderate opposition that are also tactically aligned with both Al Qaeda and Turkey after the Assad Regime seized territory in northern Syria to cut off the supply lines that the CIA and Turkey were using to pump weapons and jihadis into the conflict. Turkey played a dangerous game and is now in the process of losing it. The worst moment in the history of France was when Germany formed out of the Germanic tribes that Europe had enjoyed using mercenaries in their militaries since the Roman Empire. When Germany rose, it was an existential threat to the social order where England and France’s military might vied to be the preeminent power in Northern Europe.

 

As Germany rose, it challenged the already divided world and its ambitions led to the conflagration that was supposed to be the Great War to end all wars, but is now just reduced to World War I. Turkey is now staring down that historical moment. An autonomous Kurdish zone, colloquially known as “Rojava”, has formed just south of Turkey’s border as the leftist People’s Protection Units (YPG), the group that is the heart of the SDF, whipped the snot out of the Daesh (Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL) fascists who were hoping to massacre them. Though there are progressive aspects of the YPG that PLP does support such as fighting against patriarchy, they are not Communist and will not be able to sustain a revolution that will transform social relationships through the transformation of the economic relationships. The YPG illustrates the contradiction that unless there is a proper political line fighting directly for Communism, they will eventually end up back in the pit of capitalist ideology and relationships. Just as the PLP did not unreservedly support the brave workers who fought imperialism in Vietnam, we will not uncritically support the YPG and their Rojava project. We will point out that their struggle is just as doomed to the quagmire of capitalism as Vietnam’s left-led struggle National Liberation.

 

rojava.jpg

As Kurdish Rojava rises to their southern border, Turkey sees them as more of a threat than the Daesh’s genocidal death cult and has actually embedded their special forces in with the Jihadi groups now infiltrating into Northern Syria as they are just wantonly firing artillery into the Kurdish controlled areas as the Kurds are fighting the “moderate” CIA vetted rebels that have no problem wiping out whole villages of Shia and Al Awari that don’t worship their deity the way that they want to in the name of their Sunni sectarianism.

 

We are at a historical moment now where the imperialists can either take their losses and leave Syria to a Russian victory – a Russian victory that is going to allow them to take on the mantle of being the army that has defeated Jihadi forces in the Middle East, that has helped to shove a massive thorn into the side of Turkey, and that will allow for them to keep an expanding military presence in an area of the world that is strategically vital to the US’s empire. Turkey and SA have threatened to invade Syria to ostensibly fight Daesh, but this excuse will be a military excursion in order to keep Rojava from uniting across the entirety of Turkey’s border. The US has been arming and funding the YPG in their fight against the Daesh death cult, now Russia is providing CAS, and the regime’s forces are not engaging them as they have worked out some type of de facto non-aggression pact.

 

When the “Arab Spring” happened, PLP pointed out that none of the groups fighting against their own tin pot dictators had the correct political line of fighting directly for communism and that the struggle would be hijacked. Well, once again we were right as the struggle in Syria led to the rebels making tactical alliances with Islamicists that have now rendered any secular struggle within the Western-backed rebels impotent. Since the rebellion in Syria did not have the correct goals at the outset, it’s now fully apparent that they have betrayed the working class in Syria and now Turkey is trying to stave off the endgame of them being crushed. They have been complaining about being abandoned by their Western backers like the US, but they have also aligned themselves with groups like Jabhat al Nusra, al Qaeda in Syria.

 

The Western backed rebels aren’t the first group of rebels trying to overthrow a tyrant that became tyrants as they made opportunist errors based on their incorrect political line. They made a deal with the devil, and now they are paying the price as they have basically not only lost the rebellion, but, even more importantly for a rebellion, they have lost the support of the people. Masses of workers are now meeting their former tyrant’s forces that are aligned with that despot Putin in Russia as well as the oppressive fascists in Iran with massive celebrations in the street. They are full of joy at being liberated from the liberators by their former exploiters!

 

PLP will continue to maintain a principled left position and will not be opportunist. We recognize the historical moment that is now occurring within Syria. We see the balance of forces moving in the direction opposed to the dominant US Empire and allies. We know that the US needs to create a Sunni state to block Iran’s influence and to eject Russia’s growing military might out of the area.

 

Turkey wants to expand, and as it expands, since it is a member of NATO, US power is also expanded. The issue now occurring is that Turkey has now overplayed its hand. It is now firing artillery into SDF controlled Syria, has tens of thousands of troops along the Syrian border ready to invade, and does not want the US armed and backed SDF to wipe out the US armed and backed rebels and Daesh that now control its southern border. The US is caught as two of the sides that they have supported in Syria are now at war, so they may be able to pull out some kind of diplomatic victory, but Turkey has gone all in on toppling Assad’s regime. If Turkey is unable to topple Assad, that’s bad, but if they not only don’t topple Assad, but are then stuck with a Kurdish autonomous zone along their southern border while they continue to fight a war with the secessionist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in their south then it can be easy to foresee a time when Syria facilitates the Kurds in their armed struggle against Turkey.  This would be a catastrophe for Turkey and entail a major rollback of NATO, and by association, US power in the geostrategic region.

 

Turkey is now trying to get the US to say that the YPG is a terrorist organization just like the PKK is. It would not have been prudent, to say the least, if the US had admitted to arming, funding, and providing CAS to a terrorist organization, so they have officially said that the YPG are not a terrorist organization – much to the chagrin of their NATO ally. Turkey considers the revisionist YPG to be more of a danger than Daesh’s genocidal death cult!

 

It is historical moments like this where seemingly small wars can turn into massive world wars as imperialist rivals have the choice of either throwing in their hands and letting their rivals take all of the chips or doubling down and entering the fray themselves. Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and, most importantly, Russia have said that if Turkey or SA were to invade it would be a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and they would be going home in body bags. This is not an empty threat. Turkey shot down a Russian plane that was bombing its Islamist proxy forces in northern Syria, and Russia has not forgotten. It will, in all probability, attack any columns of troops entering into Syria. Turkey may not be able to invoke the NATO defensive pact since it would be an offensive operation. SA would use an army made up of many of its allies including Pakistan and Indonesia, who, ironically, have both said that they don’t want to invade, but may be obligated to due to signed defense pacts. If Russia were to vaporize the Turkish troops that invaded, this could be quite the spark.

 

The bosses are seeing the weakness the US has right now, a weakness where they don’t have the mass army that they need to confront their current world rivals, don’t have the patriotism necessary to induce their army to fight, and, most importantly, don’t have their own ruling class unity won to the necessary economic sacrifices necessary for such a massive war.

 

Aspirant warmongers like Bernie Sanders would prove to be quite the boon to the US ruling class as he already is saying that he wants the rich to pay more taxes. He or Hillary would be just what the dominant liberal wing of the US ruling class needs to convince its working class to wage a really big war. So, whichever Repubulocrat or Demopublican, Trump or Sanders, that wins the US presidential election will have to carry out the needs of a US empire in decline. PLP knows that imperialist bloodbaths have lead to Communist revolution in the past and knows that, as we continue to build in over 25 countries on 5 continents, we have a world to win and nothing to lose but our chains. The bosses will attempt to destroy this world, but workers built it, run it, and can build it again even better. We know that this capitalist system will not last forever. The bosses can keep conspiring again and again, but only a Communist revolution led by PLP can end these wars once and for all.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Capitalism’s Stage of Post-Neo-Imperialism Brings Death to Our Class

Imperialism takes several forms. Each form, like fascism, is particular to capitalism and flows as a process from one step to another. Dialectical Materialism always stresses that though contradiction and change exist in all things, change is uneven, advances, retreats, and the object can shift forms relative to the situation. The basic aspect of Imperialism is capital looking for a new area to valorize itself, and this area is either thoroughly undeveloped or already partitioned off by a set of bosses. The world today is completely divided up between two concretizing imperialist blocs, and there are several countries that are trying to sit on the fence and play one imperialist off against another.

The imperialist blocs are the US led bloc versus the Russia and China bloc. With basic, also known as “Classic”, Imperialism , the imperialist country sends in troops and dominates the sphere of influence that they have carved out. The US attempted to do this in Iraq in the early 2000’s. They failed. Iran was the victor of that war. A second stage of Imperialism is Neo-Imperialism . Neo-Imperialism is the use of direct and direct economic means to dominate and control either a client state, subordinate state, or a sphere of influence, Saudi Arabia, the former status of Yemen, and Western Ukraine, for example. Now, in the heart of, according to Obama, the success story in the war on terrorism, we are seeing a new stage fully birthed, Post-Neo-Imperialism .

Post-Neo-Imperialism is the stage of Imperialism where the imperialists just say, “fuck it” and blow up the whole thing. It’s the equivalent to kicking the table over as the game of chess is a loss. Post-Neo-Imperialism functions as a rational irrationality, count on capitalism to use a chaotic contradiction as a reinforcement of order, due to the fact that the imperialist then portrays themselves as in bringing order. This is a reflection of the game that the US has been playing with their Humanitarian Imperialism. Their Humanitarian Imperialism is now going to be fueling their Post-Neo-Imperialistic de facto support of the bombing, death, and destruction that is going to be ravaging the water starved working class in Yemen.

The US is already going about arming its terrorist hordes as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took over a city in Yemen, raided it for military vehicles, arms, cash, and freed their commander and hundreds of others from the local prison. The Security forces conveniently retreat, not even firing a shot, the terrorists take all the cash, guns, and weapons they want, and then hand wringing is done as the bosses say, “’tis a shame; what could we do?”. This pattern of the terrorists raiding US bases to arm themselves or being armed by US client states parallels what happened in Iraq, as the Islamic State was able to get massive weapons, and is now causing untold destruction all over the geostrategically important oil rich Middle East.

What Yemen has also shown the world in a shocking way is how China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was able to get in to Aden and out for two rescue operations. The PLAN was able to surprise the world with their capability. This is a show of force that reverberates back to the artificial reefs they are building in the South China see on and around the contested atolls and islands in the South China sea that they are claiming as their own territory. Challenge has reported many times what it means to the US if they have the capability of a blue water navy capable of projecting force, a strategic loss in terms of military domination.

The Deal With Iran

With the US now reacting in the Middle East, the new deal with Iran is another aspect of how the bosses maintain their empire. When the bosses can not outright destroy their enemy, they then move on to “let’s make a deal”. The joint statement specified several key points:

Natanz will be the only facility allowed to carry out uranium enrichment, and the deeply buried Fordow enrichment site will be converted into a nuclear research facility.
Iran would be allowed to continue enrichment in limited amounts, with all spent fuel shipped out of the country.
The Arak heavy water reactor that is still under construction will be redesigned so that no plutonium is produced at this site.
All three of these sites would come under heavy inspection.
Notably, there was no mention of the Parchin military facility, where Iran has been suspected of engaging in nuclear weapons research. Iran has publicly insisted that it would not subject its military facilities to inspection, though it is unclear what has been conceded to assuage concerns about the activity at this facility.
The cessation of sanctions and rapprochement with Iran can be seen as a way of peeling off Iran from the Russia China bloc. Since, the lifting of U.S. sanctions will have to entail the president relying on his executive power to suspend sanctions through his waiver authority for consecutive 120-day periods. There is no limit to how many times he extends the waiver period. So, basically every 4 months The Executive Branch will erode The Legislative branch in the US’s inexorable move to the centralization of state needed to institute the disciplining of the ruling class that fascism’s tight ship requires. The main Imperialist wing of the US ruling class can no longer trust its own ruling class to support the wars that preserve the primacy of its empire.

Arguably, the greatest defeat the Chinese Communist Party was dealt was when the ruling class in China, faced with their doom at the hands of a Communist led working class coming for them, said let’s make a deal and joined the Party. They got a star on the flag, a seat at the table, the preservation of their wealth and entitlement, and, worst of all, began the rapid devolution of the Chinese Communist Revolution.

The US ruling class is pissing off their thugs in Israel and Saudi Arabia as they get ready to loosen the economic shackles on Iran in the hopes of wetting their beaks on the lucrative pipeline deals that hundreds of thousands of workers have been slaughtered in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere over. We have yet to see how this contradiction will resolve, but right now, the US is taking it for granted that racist fascist Netanyahu will not rain death. Time will tell.

Either way, the bosses are planning on bringing death, ironically around the Easter holiday that celebrates death. Well, the working class will be the one to rise as The Progressive Labor Party continues to grow and organize around the world. Durruti was wrong when he poetically said that we “carry a new world in our hearts”, because we don’t. Our heart is a figment of imagination. It pumps blood. We don’t carry anything in our hearts. We carry a new world in our hands. It was, as Engels poetically said, our hands that made our minds. It was our hands that made this world. The hands of the working class build everything on this planet, and we will rebuild. Workers have built this world once, and as the bosses try to tear it down and bring death, chaos, terror, false promises in the guise of religion, racism, nationalism, sexism, and the horror of the daily struggle to put food and clean water in our bodies, we have the hope that we can make a better world with our hands. We can work together under a Communist economic system where our hands collectively rebuild from the ashes. This Easter, as the bosses both celebrate and rain death on us workers all over the world, know that the real rebirth will be our class, with our hands, using our minds to make a world that will meet all of our needs. That is the vision of The PLP.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Syriza Illustrates Why Elections Don’t Seize State Power

Syriza is the new left wing coalition that just won the elections in Greece on a smorgasbord of promises and hope that mirrors the facade parade of Obama’s campaigns. They are reformers, not revolutionaries, yet they are the darlings of the left now. Obama was the singing altar boy of the liberals and phony left just as Syriza is the hallmark of the established left in Greece. Syriza winning the election is not a win for the working class. It will be another win for capitalism that will lead to greater exploitation, misery, and a further extending of capital’s rule over the working class.

Syriza came to power saying that the Troika’s, European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), destruction of the Greek economy on the back of the working class needs to end. PLP agrees with this point, but we also point out that in order for it to end, capitalism itself needs to end. There is no way to end the misery of the working class under capitalism. Even if some members of the working class can have their misery alleviated, it will come at the expense of other members of the working class. Furthermore, any concessions that a ruling class makes at any time will be taken back again at a later date.

Reforms are a dead end of capitalism. The Troika siphoning off vast amounts of working class wealth to pay off debts that the ruling class created and ensure the profits of the various capitalist investors is part and parcel of capitalism. The international market and the need for capital invested from one area into another, what Lenin termed Imperialism, is of paramount importance. The capital that the ruling classes of the EU funneled into Greece needs to be valorized — regardless of the needs of the working class.
The working class has not taken state power in Greece. They have just won elections and already had to form a coalition with virulently racist fascists. Communists fight racism. Any who say that they are revolutionaries and don’t fight racism are lying. There were a multitude of groups that Syriza could have formed a coalition with, yet they chose right wing racists.

Syriza may be able to renegotiate the terms of debt placed upon the wage slaves in Greece, but they have to cough up their pound of flesh to the Troika’s usury one way or another. They are now pandering to Russia a little and seeing if they can get some relief that way, not a bad idea in the current climate where Russia was just downgraded to almost junk bond status and may have to cut budgets. Even with the downgrading and budget cuts, investing in Greek markets may help Russia increase profit, acquire more assets, and get access to the Mediterranean.

Even with threatening to go to their imperialist rivals, demanding renegotiation of debt, and promising the working class in Greece the moon, Greece is not a socialist, let alone a communist, economy. The working class does not have state power, and they are not transforming the economic basis of society in order to transform all of society. What will happen is that the revisionist left in Greece will end up breaking their promises, shed some crocodile tears, wring their hands, point fingers, and lament as they betray the working class. R. Palme Dutt pointed out they before fascism can rise, a last great hope for democracy must fail; Syriza may be the fail that will usher in even more fascism into Greece where the Neo-nazi Golden Dawn Party gained in the elections.

The working class can either move to the right or to the left. Syriza, at best, will renegotiate the bonds of the Troika’s domination, maybe even ape India by playing off one imperialist rival against another, but will ultimately end up betraying the working class into the waiting arms of one profit seeking group of bosses or another. Either way Syriza falls, the working class will lose if they follow the phony left down dead ends. Our friends in Greece must continue to build PLP so that the road to communist revolution is followed even in this darkest night of capitalism.

Tagged , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Libya Invasion Exposes Obama’s Turn to Fascism, Dogfight in U.S. Ruling Class

Centralization of power — military, political and economic — is a hallmark of fascism, the deadly necessary tool capitalists employ when they can no longer hide behind the façade of “democracy.” Obama’s Libya power grab reflects desperate efforts by the dominant — but embattled — imperialist wing of U.S. bosses to retain its grip on foreign policy. One aim of fascism is for the dominant capitalists — who must protect the long-range survival of their system — to discipline those bosses who are only out for immediate profits and disregard how negatively that might impact the system in the long run.

But Obama’s masters have a big problem. The U.S. is a big country, made up of many competing capitalists with competing interests. All employ politicians in Washington. The biggest bosses, such as the Rockefeller-bloc — owners of imperialist firms like Exxon, JP Morgan and GE — require the U.S. war machine to guard and help expand their far-flung operations. Liberal Democrats, including Obama, as well as a number of interventionist Republicans, serve them.

War-maker Obama Must Skirt Polarized, Partisan Congress

Seeking to turn part of the Arab Spring into a Khadafy-free oil free-for-all on behalf of Big Oil, U.S.-led NATO has conducted over 4,300 air strikes so far in Libya. One, on June 17, killed seven civilians. Yet Obama insists this bloodshed does not amount to “hostilities” under the War Powers Act and thus needs no Congressional consent.

In 1973, when their Vietnam genocide was failing and masses of workers and GI’s were turning against this imperialist invasion, U.S. rulers cooked up this Act in order to blame the war on Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon personally rather than on U.S. bosses’ need to counter their then rising state capitalist rivals in the Soviet Union and China. The Act’s purpose was also to put a “democratic” face on future U.S. wars by demanding Congress approve a president’s military action within 90 days. After all, the bosses’ Big Lie goes, Congress “represents the whole nation,” even though it is mostly a ruling class rubber stamp. But today Obama claims a license to kill without a thumbs-up from either Senate or House.

Oil-based Domestic Splits Sharpening

But some businesses, like Koch Oil, have primarily a short-range, domestic focus. Koch’s main push today is to build a pipeline from Canada’s burgeoning oil and gas tar fields that will connect with its existing Minnesota line. It runs through the district that Koch-backed, Tea Party presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann represents on Capitol Hill. Opposing Obama’s War Powers move, she told ABC News (6/19/11) the U.S. has “no vital national interest” in Libya. In addition, smaller business owners, seeking tax relief as a way out of the current recession, bankrolled successful anti-Obama, Tea Party candidates for Congress in 2011.

Obama also faces less ideologically consistent Republican opportunists, like front-runner Mitt Romney, trying to cash in on mass anti-war sentiment. His calls for “bringing the troops home,” designed to defeat Obama, echo Obama’s own fake 2008 campaign “peace” appeals aimed at Bush, Jr., designed to capitalize on mass disgust with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

U.S.-led Alliances Faltering

However much they need it, the main, imperialist U.S. rulers have been unable — since 1941 — to unite Congress to declare war. Similar dysfunction besets them internationally. Retiring Pentagon chief Robert Gates spent a good deal of his worldwide farewell tour berating NATO “allies” for not ponying up in troops, money or supplies. Germany, for example, chiefly dependent on Russian energy, is sitting out the mainly U.S., British and French slaughter in Libya. Washington’s NATO funding, moaned Gates in a recent speech in Belgium, has soared from a one-half to three-quarters share.

As for Libya in particular, Gates said, “While every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated at all, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission.” (Defense Department, 6/10/11) And Gates wasn’t even talking about potentially necessary invasions of Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia — in the latter’s case to protect Exxon’s oil — in which “allies” have divergent oil and gas interests and therefore different levels of loyalty to Washington.

But U.S. Rulers’ Need for World War Persists

A week later in Singapore, however, formerly pessimistic Gates chirped merrily in a veiled way about a possible allied World War III victory over potential imperialist enemies: “[W]hen America is willing to lead the way; when we meet our commitments and stand with our allies, even in troubling times; when we prepare for threats that are on the ground and on the horizon, and even beyond the horizon; and when we make the necessary sacrifices and take the necessary risks to defend our values and our interests — then great things are possible, and even probable for our country, this region, and the world.” Who might be “on or beyond the horizon” but Chinese and Russian imperialists?

To survive amid intensifying rivalry, U.S. capitalists will do what they can and must to keep profits flowing. This mean widening wars of every kind, accompanied by an increasing police-state crackdown in the U.S. A principal face of fascism is evident in U.S. bosses’ need to intensify the squeeze on U.S. workers to pay for these wars through wage-cuts and speed-up, employing less workers to produce more; through huge budget cuts in social services; through fending off possible resistance by the tens of millions of unemployed; through the maintenance of racism in all these areas to extract super-profits from black, Latino and immigrant workers; and through the exploitation of workers worldwide to keep U.S. capitalism afloat.

The international working class’s survival, then, depends on building one united international communist party — PLP — that can function under conditions of war and fascism with the aim of overthrowing the murdering billionaire class. It is towards this goal that PLP members throughout the world must build our Party in every area of class struggle in which we are involved.

Tagged , ,

Murderers Without Borders Imperialists Cloak Libyan Oil Grab with Phony ‘Humanitarianism’

Obama’s invasion of oil-rich Libya marks U.S. imperialists’ first major use of their phony “Responsibility To Protect” (RTP) excuse for waging wider wars. The RTP doctrine, adopted at a 2005 UN summit, despite China’s and Russia’s objections, eliminates capitalist national borders as obstacles to imperialist intervention. The invaders have only to assert that they’re “rescuing the locals.”

Bombing and missile raids by the U.S. (with junior partner Britain and temporary ally France) supposedly aim at saving Libya’s citizens from dictator Qaddafi, under RTP. But the wave of Mideast rebellions made U.S. rulers and their imperialist allies shaky over maintaining the oil deals they’ve made with each other and Qaddafi over past years.

Obama was very ready to allot hundreds of millions for this latest war while cutting billions from education and social service budgets, causing massive layoffs of teachers and other government workers. The initial U.S. Navy attack with 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles alone cost nearly $100 million. As of March 29, the Pentagon had spent $550 million in the first ten days.

The upsurge that spread from Tunisia to Algeria to Egypt, where thousands of workers struck for higher wages and against mass unemployment as they did in Iraq — and continues to spread throughout the region — made the oil-thirsty imperialists nervous. Therefore, the U.S.-led campaign focused on protecting the Libyan assets of oil giants Exxon Mobil, Marathon, and Occidental (U.S.); BP (U.K.); and Total (French). At this writing, NATO air strikes were helping pro-U.S. rebels seize two oil refineries and a strategic export terminal. On March 27, they captured two oil-export ports.

Of course, the U.S. chose not to “rescue” protestors in Bahrain, the base of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, and allowed its government and invading Saudi troops to kill hundreds to ward off any rebellion that might eventually threaten Saudi’s oil fields, the world’s largest.

In a March 24 article, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), U.S. imperialism’s top think-tank — bankrolled by Exxon Mobil-JP Morgan Chase — trumpets U.S.-led killing in Libya as “A New Lease on Life for Humanitarianism.” Its author, war criminal Stewart Patrick, who helped shape Afghan strategy in Bush, Jr.’s State Department, called RTP, as executed in Libya, the “biggest challenge to state sovereignty in three and a half centuries.”

Patrick was referring to Obama’s effective trashing of the long-lived 17th century Treaties of Westphalia. Those Treaties had enshrined the existence of capitalist nation states and defined invasion — the rulers’ ultimate means of sorting out differences — as war.

But today, after the demise of the old communist movement, U.S. bosses, though in decline, temporarily enjoy unequaled ability to project military force anywhere on earth. So Obama & Co. claim the RTP right to selectively invade any country, cloaked as “saviors” rather than aggressors. Patrick writes, “it [RTP] makes a state’s presumed right of non-intervention contingent on its ability and willingness to protect its citizens and threatens collective, timely, and decisive action if it does not.”

Liberal Rulers’ ‘Responsibility To
Protect’ = License to Invade and Kill

In addition to the elite, Rockefeller-backed CFR, the lethal, hypocritical “responsibility-to-protect” pretext has a champion in Human Rights Watch.  HRW, a mass organization founded and funded by billionaire swindler and Rockefeller ally George Soros, lures well-meaning people to liberal causes that aid U.S. imperialism. In a March 25 web article praising both the Libyan invasion and RTP, Human Rights Watch approved killing civilians:

“Opposing forces may attack a military target that is making use of human shields, but it is still obligated to determine whether the attack is proportionate — that is, that the expected loss of civilian life and property is not greater than the anticipated military advantage of the attack.” Oil facilities, presumably, meet the callous cost-benefit test. HRW also urges U.S. “humanitarian intervention” in Ivory Coast’s violent presidental dispute in which China and the Western imperialists back opposing sides.

U.S. Bosses in War Policy Disarray: Isolationist Tea Partiers vs. World War III Imperialists

But not all U.S. capitalists embrace Obama’s North African foray. In fact, fearing opposition from forces lacking imperialist interests (personified by Tea Partiers), Obama did not consult Congress before raining missiles on Tripoli.  More importantly, to some power brokers within the dominant imperialist wing of U.S. rulers, Libya pales beside bigger worries:

“We clearly have much more vital interests to protect in Yemen and Bahrain [neighbors of the U.S. oil empire’s cornerstone Saudi Arabia — Ed.]” says Rockefeller Brothers Fund trustee and former State Department planner Nicholas Burns. (Boston Globe, 3/22/11) But, says Burns. “We have no choice now but to lead in order to save Libya from its dictator and to redeem U.S. power, credibility, and purpose in the Middle East.”

Richard Haass, CFR president and advisor to mass murderer of Iraq War I, Colin Powell, looks even farther down the road to his masters’ ultimate requirements. On Libya, he expressed doubts (CFR website, 3/21/11) about “committing the United States to another costly foreign intervention at a moment we owe it to ourselves…to get our economic and military houses in order so we can meet our obligations at home and be prepared to meet true wars of necessity (North Korea for one) if and when they arise?” Haass speaks not so indirectly about U.S. imperialists’ needs to militarize the nation for all-out war with China (North Korea’s enabler).

Supporting oil-thirsty Pentagon-backed Libyan rebel leaders as “freedom fighters” — however courageous the rank and file is — leads down a political dead end. Rather workers must build for the ultimate destruction of the profit system that constantly produces regional resource wars, like Libya, as preludes to global inter-imperialist conflict.

That’s why PL’ers and our supporters must expose the racist exploitative profit system and its oppression at every turn, in factories and unions, among GI’s and in schools, churches and all mass organizations. More important, we must up the ante of the class struggle in these areas, escalating and leading the anti-racist fights against the ruling class and its lackey politicians.

Consequently, as the class struggle intensifies, the rulers will strike back with their state power (as they’re doing in the Mideast and in Wisconsin). This can be used still further to turn the class struggle into a “school for communism.” This means winning workers and their allies to see that the system cannot be reformed and to understand that building PLP and it’s goal of organizing a communist revolution — that will end the capitalists’ deadly dogfights and put the working class in power — is the only road to follow.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama’s Big Beginning:

Wider War, Billion$ to Banks, Jobs Down, Rising Racism, Foreclosures – All in 100 Days!

Millions of workers supported Obama, wanting real change: jobs, an end to the imperialist wars, and, importantly, a victory against racism. However, Obama’s first 100 days hasn’t been the “change” from the Bush administration workers expected.

The day Obama was inaugurated, home foreclosures and racist unemployment were at their highest pace since the 1930s. Defenders of Obama claimed that he ‘inherited’ these crises from the Bush administration. Throughout the Bush years, CHALLENGE argued that the real problem “isn’t Bush, it’s capitalism.” It doesn’t matter which president is in office; the ruling class sets the agenda.

Instead of bailing out the working class, Obama gutted the auto workers’ contract, gave billions to his ruling-class buddies and called on workers to sacrifice for the “good of the country.” On April 27, Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in the presence of Senator Kennedy and former President Clinton. This will triple the number of U.S. youth volunteering for AmeriCorps, create four new national service corps (three focused on youth) and turn September 11 into a National Day of Service. The building of this volunteer corps takes people’s desire to serve the working class and directs it into service for the needs of the bosses. It will create a free army that can be mobilized as the wars waged by the rulers expand. It is a partial realization of the Hart-Rudman Commission’s report that outline the ruling-class’s plans for confronting rising imperialist rivals like Russia and China, and securing long-term global military superiority.

Obama’s true class loyalties were foreshadowed by his reaction to the Israeli genocide in Gaza. During Bush’s last months, Obama was more than willing to accuse Bush of “mishandling” the economy, and yet didn’t say a word about the thousands of men, women, and children being killed and maimed. His only remark was “we only have one president at a time.” Even Ben Cohen, liberal columnist and staunch Obama supporter, commented that Obama’s “silence was deafening” (Huffington Post, 12/29). When Israel destroyed a U.N. school and murdered at least 40 Palestinian refugees, Obama turned a blind eye.

Millions of workers expected and hoped that the Obama administration would improve workers’ lives. Obama staffed his administration with bank executives, former Clinton advisors like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and known torturers like General McChrystal, now in charge in Afghanistan. The Obama-led government passed a $787 billion “stimulus” package, secured a bank bailout and nationalized the auto industry. Obama’s priority has been saving the capitalists. He has no intention of stopping the foreclosures that are leaving thousands of families homeless with each passing week nor of fixing the racist unemployment that grows with each passing month.

As a presidential candidate, Obama promised to bring all combat troops back from Iraq by May 20, 2010. This gave him an edge among workers over Clinton or McCain, who admitted U.S. involvement in the Middle East may stretch a century or more. On February 27, President Obama changed his promise. By December, he plans to remove only two of the fourteen brigades, leaving a so-called residual force of around 50,000 troops. Those remaining beyond the Bush-brokered “Status of Forces Agreement” with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi government will be merely renamed “advisory training brigades.”

Meanwhile, Obama continues authorizing the massive bombing campaign over Afghanistan and missile strikes onto villages in Pakistan. The makers of these weapons, arms industry giants such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon have a strong voice in the Obama administration through William J. Lynn III, former Raytheon lobbyist and Obama’s new Undersecretary of Defense, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, one of their favorite campaign contribution recipients. The arms industry is intertwined with the very megabanks like J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup whose former executives now advise Obama’s administration.

Obama, just like Bush before him, has shown his willingness to serve the bankers and bosses at the expense of the working class. No matter how much we hope for change, the capitalists will never allow a president who isn’t loyal to them to occupy the White House. Voting will never bring about a society that truly serves the needs of the workers of the world. Only communist revolution can do that.

Tagged , ,

OBAMA: NEW CEO FOR U.S. IMPERIALI$M

PrintThe expanding “war on terror,” the stock market crash, mass racist unemployment and home foreclosures, police terror, fascist immigration raids and racist budget cuts are all built into the racist profit system. These are the issues that moved millions to respond to Barack Obama’s call for “CHANGE.”

But Obama isn’t offering anything new, except a liberal face in the White House. His cabinet and top advisors are mostly Clinton and Carter re-treads with decades of loyal service to Chase, Citibank and Exxon-Mobil. His National Security Advisor is mass murderer General James Jones who led the saturation bombing of Yugoslavia, killing thousands.

Every president is a defender of capitalism, a system composed of two classes: the bosses who own everything and profit off the backs of the overwhelming majority, and the working class, who only own our labor power and produce all value, including the profits of the bosses.

The government is run by this ruling class, which makes Obama the new CEO for U.S. imperialism.
The bankers and billionaires comprising the U.S. ruling class will continue spilling rivers of blood to maintain their control of Mid-East oil and their rank as the top imperialist power. While they try to secure a permanent presence in Iraq, they will escalate the war to Afghanistan, Pakistan and, if necessary, Iran.

‘NATIONAL SERVICE’ — A BACK-DOOR DRAFT TO SUPPLY CANNON FODDER FOR THE BOSSES’ OIL WARS

One of Obama’s main goals is winning millions of youth, especially black youth, to wrap themselves in the American flag and fight for U.S. imperialism in these oil wars. Right now, amid this emerging Depression (see page 5), millions of black and Latino workers and youth as well as workers in general are becoming fed up with the effects of a racist profit system gone wild. So Obama’s job is to win them back with his all-class unity — “we all have to pull together and sacrifice” to save the system — which masks his role as the bosses’ servant. The rulers’ National Service scam is designed to get millions, especially youth, to work for low, or no, wages, as volunteers “to support America,” particularly in the military.

Obama, Bush and McCain all fell in line and supported the $700 billion bailout of the bankers and Wall Street parasites while millions swell the unemployment lines. Racist misery is built into the profit system.  Black workers suffer twice the unemployment rate of white workers (four times the rate for black youth). In Detroit, Milwaukee and Buffalo, over 50% of black males, age 16-64, are unemployed. Millions more are either under-employed or have given up looking for work. Twelve million undocumented workers and youth face racist detention camps and deportations just for looking for work.

Obama will now preside over the world’s largest prison population, 2.4 million, 70% black and Latin males. Hardly a black or Latino family in the U.S. doesn’t know someone who’s either in jail, on probation or parole. This result of racist police terror rivals the old South Africa apartheid system.

One of Obama’s mentors, Chicago’s Mayor Daley, rose to power as a State’s Attorney prosecuting black workers and youth who “confessed” to crimes they never committed while being tortured in Chicago police stations. The prison doors will not swing open on Obama’s watch. The victims of racist police terror will not be sent home to their families.

The change we need won’t come from reshuffling capitalist politicians and bureaucrats no matter how “smart” they appear. We need mass actions and a mass movement, not to “fix” capitalism but to smash it. We need to turn every attack into an opportunity to build a mass revolutionary communist PLP that can ultimately lead the working class to power and to a world based on meeting the needs of the international working class.

FIGHT BACK!

• IN THE FACTORIES AND UNIONS. Oppose every plant closing; organize strikes and plant occupations, like the 240 Latino and black workers at Republic Windows did in Chicago last month. Learn from the striking UAW workers at American Axle in Detroit, Seattle’s Boeing workers and Stella D’Oro workers in the Bronx. Show solidarity with rebelling students and workers in Greece, throughout Europe and China who fought fascist conditions this year. Build unemployment committees on our jobs and in our unions to unite laid-off workers with their still-employed brothers and sisters.

• IN THE COMMUNITIES. Organize factory, union and neighborhood committees to fight evictions and immigration raids. Work in community centers and church soup kitchens and food pantries, talking to volunteers and those in need about the racist profit system and the need to destroy it.

• IN THE SCHOOLS. Fight budget cuts, racist testing, militarization and fascist conditions.

• IN THE MILITARY. Bring the fight against imperialist war and racist police terror in all these organizations to show how the only way out of this endless and escalating war on terror is to win soldiers and sailors to rebel against the brass and overthrow the capitalist war-makers.

The more we do, the more we can expand the circulation of CHALLENGE. The more we expand the readership of CHALLENGE, the more we can do in the class struggle.

The nature of the capitalist beast will not change because a liberal face is in the White House. He won’t bring peace, full employment or freedom for immigrant workers or to workers jailed by this criminal INjustice system
Yet, in the absence of a mass revolutionary movement, millions of potential revolutionaries hold out hope. Many illusions must be shattered. We have a big job before us. Let’s engage the enemy everywhere we can, and use every battle to build the revolutionary communist PLP.

IS THIS THE RACISM WE CAN EXPECT FROM OBAMA?

  • When Chicago’s Cook County Health Bureau closed half the clinics used by predominantly black and Latino uninsured workers, slashing 2,000 jobs in 2007 — and just destroyed another 500 jobs on January 1 — not a word of protest came from Obama as clinics closed in his South Side neighborhood.
  • Obama was directly involved in the destruction of Chicago Housing Authority projects on the West Side, displacing tens of thousands of black working-class tenants. The Boston Globe reported (6/27/08): Chicago’s “Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator…[was] subsidized by the federal government….But it’s not safe to live there….Collapsed roofs and fire damage….Mice….Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks….
  • “Thousands of apartments across Chicago…built with [government]…subsidies — including several hundred in Obama’s former district — deteriorated so completely that they were no longer inhabitable.
  • “Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters….[who] profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
  • “As a state senator…[Obama] co-authored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers….He…campaigned on a promise to create [a]…Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year….
  • “Grove Parc…[symbolized] giving public subsidies to private companies…an approach strongly backed by Obama….”
  • Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is Shaun Donovan who, as NYC Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), laundered public-housing renovation funds through private not-for-profit social service agencies to evade paying union wages. Donovan used HPD low-income housing funding to bring racist gentrification to Central Harlem, replacing long-time African-American, African immigrant and Latino working-class residents with luxury housing for affluent professionals and business owners. This is the guy Obama has picked to set national housing policy!
Tagged , , , , ,

NATIONAL SERVICE: OBAMA’S SCHEME TO DRAFT YOUTH FOR BOSSES’ WARS

Last June at Columbia University, President-Elect Barack Obama said  that he would make plans for the American people to recognize an “obligation” for military service. “If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some.” The ruling class has never forgiven the Bush administration’s failure to successfully use the 9/11 attacks to recruit more young workers, especially black and Latin, to be patriotic Americans willing to fight in its military.

The Obama administration has promised not to make the same mistake. With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq burning, the economic meltdown and rising unemployment and the rise of new imperialist rivals, time is running out for the U.S. ruling class to try to maintain its position as top imperialist power. As future White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel has stated: “Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste . . . They are opportunities to do big things.” (Boston Globe, 11.30.08)

One “big thing” they’re attempting is to recruit young workers and students to National Service. This includes plans to expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 and double the size of the Peace Corps. These programs under the guise of promoting community service domestically and internationally have been used as a way to stop rebellions and support U.S. imperialist attacks on workers around the world.

They are also proposing that all middle and high school students do at least 50 hours of community service a year, giving a tax incentive of up $4,000 a year in “exchange for 100 hours of public service.” College students would do 100 hours of public service in exchange for tuition decreases,  making “a college education affordable.” (Obama’s website).

This service would help meet dire needs of the ruling class:
In order to rebuild a rapidly disintegrating infrastructure, it will create low-wage jobs –– many of them non-union –– thereby lowering the wages of the entire working class

  1. More bodies in military uniform. (See CHALLENGE, 12/10)
  2. Win workers and youth to U.S. nationalism
  3. Clean up the image of the U.S. around the world as the country that spreads “democracy.”

RULERS TURN WORKERS’ COLLECTIVITY ON ITS HEAD FOR THEIR NEEDS

In the absence of a mass communist movement capable of winning thousands of workers to revolutionary ideas, the bosses can twist working-class collectivity into support for capitalism. Many people volunteered during events like 9/11, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, proving that workers have a willingness to help others and oppose, at some level, the “everyone-for-themselves” mentality of capitalism. A 2006 UCLA study found that 86% of incoming college freshmen — most of whom are now presumably college juniors thinking about post-college employment –– volunteered at least occasionally during high school and 70% did so at least once a week (Washington Post, 11/24/08). The communist PLP aims to take this collective feeling and use it as part of organizing a society based on production for the good of the whole of society.

On the other hand, the bosses’ intentions with community and national service is similar to the Nazis’ call for National Socialism by recruiting young and old to “do what they can” for the sake of the country (i.e., the ruling class). The Obama administration wants to acclimate the U.S. population to the idea of “service” and “sacrifice.” These ideas will be used to convince workers and students to make the deadly error of allying with their class enemies and fighting for U.S. imperialism.

Work Within, Not on the Outside

We can turn Obama and the Democrats’ idea of community and national service on its head by buildng communist ideas within their various “Corps.” That means distributing CHALLENGE and always fighting for service for the working class — organizing against the bosses and for the real interests of the workers. We need to fight against workers getting laid off from their jobs, getting their pensions and homes ripped away from them by the greed of capitalism. We need to fight every attack against immigrant workers, like the murder of Marcelo Lucero in Long Island, by capitalist-inspired racism. We need to fight for communism to get rid of racism, sexism, nationalism and imperialist war. These are our working-class’ calls to service.

The mass unemployment hitting the U.S. and the world will draw many workers to the option of national service. Sooner rather than later this option will become mandatory as inter-imperialist rivalry sharpens and the eventuality of war is clearer. Members and friends of the communist Progressive Labor Party must organize with workers to build class struggle against the bosses — taking the lead in strikes, marches and rallies. We need to build a base of rank-and-file workers to recruit for communist revolution.

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: