Tag Archives: economic crisis

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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Capitalism Continues to Brutalize the Working Class

Capitalism knows no bounds when it comes to hypocrisy. They lament the ruins at Palmyra that are thousands of years old and were under a severe attack by the Islamic State, yet how many tears do they shed for the thousands of migrants and refugees caused by the proxy wars raging in the Levant? The rotten fascist ideology of Islamic jihadism is spreading in Tunisia and caused promising young men to embrace it as if there was ever some kind of liberation in the mental slavery of the opiate of religion. Neither Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, nor any religion will ever liberate the working class with their anti-scientific modality of thought.

In 2011, when the world stood up and saw dictatorial structures around the Middle East topple after a young man lit himself on fire due to state repression in Tunisia, there was a lot of hope. When the strongman Mubarak was toppled in Egypt, many other well meaning people were inspired by the uprising, but The Progressive Labor Party was very clear that this was not going to be a step towards any kind of liberation for the working class. Some people even started calling it the “Jasmine Revolution” due to it aligning itself with moderate Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and lacking Communist politics. PLP was very clear that these movements were not revolutionary at all and would lead to disillusionment and dead ends for the massive protests, as they did not attack capitalism as the root problem, but, instead, fought for reforms.

PLP does not criticize these movements because we are full of doom and gloom and want to just be able to say, “I told you so” when the movements fail. It would be great if there was an easier way to get to Communism, but, as the old movements showed us, there are no shortcuts on the road to successful revolution. The impoverished masses of workers around the world are looking for answers to get out of the terrible lives and exploitation that capitalism dishes out to us daily. As they look for it, they can go either to the right or to the left. Without an armed and Communist led mass movement, there are many members of the working class that believe the fascist lies of the Jihadist movement.

So, the ruling class sheds its crocodile tears for the ruins of Palmyra and tries to talk about their KKKops getting shot, but they never mention that in 2014, 51 KKKops were killed vs. 1,100 citizens that were killed by the KKKops. The direct repression the killer kkkops dish out primarily to the Black and Hispanic sections of the working class. The working class is angry, but that anger will just be like the peasant rebellions under feudalism: raging fires out of control that do not systemically challenge the ruling class. Though the working class is angry, they can be mislead.

The PLP will continue to build an international Communist movement against racism and sexism. We will continue to build the Party regardless of the conditions that we have to live within. We are one Party that is organizing against nationalism, against oil wars, against the false consciousness and promises of religion, and against the economic system that needs the brutal exploitation of the great many in order to enrich the lives of the very few.

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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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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.

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Capitalist Crises: Boom for Bosses, Bust for Workers

The bosses’ media has pointed fingers at various causes of the current economic crisis: seedy mortgage brokers, “deadbeat” homebuyers, “stupid” investment bankers, greedy and arrogant CEOs, Ponzi schemers like Madoff, and now AIG executive bonuses. They claim the root cause is the “subprime mortgage” fiasco, the housing market collapse, the financial industry crisis and the freezing of credit. Except for workers trying to keep and/or buy homes, all the above characters are part of the problem. And all of the above crises have contributed to what increasingly looks like a Depression,

But all these explanations don’t really explain what’s at the heart of this worldwide debacle for capitalism: fundamental laws governing the inner workings of the system itself. Over 140 years ago after decades of struggle by workers against capitalist exploitation, Karl Marx, in his work “Capital,” revealed important laws of capitalist development. In that and other important works, Marx described two: the tendency of the overall rate of profit to fall, and the occurrence of periodic crises of overproduction as the necessary result of a competitive and unplanned system of production. Communists say that only revolution to overthrow capitalism can end this system’s “boom-and-bust” nature.

Real Wages Falling Since ‘73

The rate of return on capitalist investment (rate of profit) in the “developed” economies (U.S., France, Britain, Germany, etc.) has been falling since the end of the 1960s (see interview with Robert Brenner in “Asia-Pacific Journal,” 2/7/09). This happened despite the fall in real wages since 1973, which should have caused the rate of profit to increase. The profit rate fell because emerging capitalist economies in Europe and Asia began producing “the same goods that were already being produced by the earlier developers, only cheaper.”

Bosses in the more developed economies tried to hold on to their dominant positions by pouring money into new technology. However, this only made the problem worse, for two reasons. Firstly, more high-tech upgrades led to even greater overcapacity in industry, with goods flooding the world market. Secondly, the higher the percentage of total capital invested in plant and machinery, the further the rate of return on capital investment tends to fall. Profit can only be made off of human labor power, not from machinery (see box).

As their economic position worsened, U.S. and Western European bosses cut real wages, increasing racist exploitation to attack ALL workers. They used their control of the government to cut back “social wages”, i.e. social service benefits for workers paid for from taxes. But these attacks on their income meant workers were less able afford the products that the bosses had to sell in order to realize their profits.

Fed’s Policy Led to Toxic Assets

The solution? The U.S. bosses’ state, particularly the Federal Reserve, encouraged the massive use of public and private credit. Government budget deficits increased dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, the Fed deliberately kept interest rates very low. This induced a huge increase in private borrowing and encouraged investment in financial assets like stocks, bonds and more exotic instruments like bundles of mortgages (see CHALLENGE, 12/08). Prices of these assets soared. In addition, workers bought more and different products using borrowed money, credit cards and refinanced mortgages.

A succession of asset “bubbles” — first the dot com/technology stock market “bubble” of the late 1990s, then the housing and credit “bubbles” of the 2000s —  were basically speculation sanctioned by the government and Fed. But these bubbles only temporarily postponed the day of reckoning. Again, only labor creates actual value under capitalism, not writings on pieces of paper, or computer entries. The huge increase in speculative investment pulled U.S. and other “developed” capitalisms further away from the labor-created method of wealth accumulation.

Thus, the two laws of capitalism revealed by Marx interact with each other. Both contribute to the inevitability of crises as long as capitalism exists. It’s the anarchy of capitalist production and the system’s competitive nature that generate these built-in problems, which are always taken out on the backs of the working class. Communism, a planned, cooperative system of production based on our class’s needs, not bosses’ profits, would abolish these capitalist relations.

The above Brenner interview estimates that capitalism can solve the global economic crisis without major imperialist wars, including World War III. He argues that “[t]he world’s elites want more than anything to sustain the current globalizing order, and the U.S. is key to that.” The Russian revolutionary Lenin wrote that inevitably rival imperialist powers settle their economic competition by war. This is proven by the history of capitalism — one war after another, and now world wars.

Bosses’ Solution for Disputes: War

Thus, thinking the bosses can peacefully solve their disputes produces deadly consequences. Rising rivals of U.S. imperialism like Russia, China and their allies will not, and cannot, stop short of trying to take down the top dog. The fight to control oil and to use that control to keep or gain number-one status continues. Wider war plans are being prepared right now.

Meanwhile, the bosses are casting the weight of the economic crisis onto us. As we unite unemployed and employed to fight these attacks, remember: the bosses need our labor, but we don’t need the bosses or their crisis-ridden, exploitative system. The working class under the leadership of a mass PLP will put an end to this sordid chapter in the history of humanity.

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No Debate About Bosses’ Crisis Causing Cuts

BROOKLYN, NY, January 9 — During a high school debate tournament here, a “speakout” of over 100 students and teachers was organized against the budget cuts. While awaiting the final awards ceremony, debaters described how the budget cuts affected them and their schools. Usually this time is spent just hanging out but coaches city-wide responded well to PL’s call to push debate from talk to action.

Initially it seemed interest in the speakout would be low, but as the ball got rolling and some stated they lacked books in class and others stated that they had no lunchrooms, a hush fell on the room. Scores of teens listened intently to each other, and applauded more vigorously than for awards later on. Many made direct connections to the war in Iraq.

A PLP’er and debater attributed the budget cuts to capitalism, accusing the bosses’ government of shelling out $700 billion to save Wall Street and then attacking workers by making us pay by cutting our school and hospital budgets and laying us off. She also advocated organizing fight-backs and described a walk-out the year before on May Day against budget cuts and the immigration raids.

Another ex-debater, now a college student, championed the need to fight racism and other divisions existing under this system. She focused on the importance of shaking hands after a debate round, remembering that we are one community, not each other’s enemy.

Then teachers spoke up, relating the hardships in their schools caused by the cuts and being inspired by students taking a stand at this speakout. Others declared that more than a speakout was needed, calling for actions and demonstrations against the budget cuts and environmental injustice, a topic relevant to this year’s debate.
The speakout must have hit a nerve because at the end the leader of the debate organization said that while our talking about issues was good, we need to complain to our political leaders, especially now with Obama’s election. He said that he kept hearing students blame “them” (the government) for these problems. We in PLP applaud the indictments of the rulers by the youth at the tournament but this “leader” advanced  his rotten liberal line — “we all need to take responsibility” for a degraded environment, racism and a collapsing economy.

He didn’t want us joining together and proposing action to find a solution. It was good to see him exposed in his closing remarks; the applause for him was minimal.

After the tournament, students and teachers showed their openness to communist ideas, taking over 100 CHALLENGES. Some coaches have also agreed to take subscriptions and use them with their debate teams.
The bosses’ economic crisis and Mid-East invasions will intensify in the immediate future. Today’s debaters will be tomorrow’s national service “volunteers” and draftees. We must continue to organize workers and youth to reject liberal misleaders who try to deflect our righteous anger away from the billionaires, their politicians and their system and to win them to embrace the communist PLP.

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FIGHT VS. BOSSES’ RACIST UNEMPLOYMENT

“Our future is looking bleak, to say the least!” email from a Chicago Ford Worker.
For two consecutive weeks, more than 500,000 workers made new claims for unemployment insurance. The UN’s International Labor Organization estimates that the current crisis will increase the unemployment lines by tens of millions worldwide. This will be a terrible strain for the hundreds of millions deeply affected by this crisis.

Galveston, Texas has gone through many hurricanes and always recovered. Not this time. The workers and jobs are gone, people’s lives devastated. The University of Texas is laying off 3,800 workers at the University of Texas Medical Branch. The layoffs will destroy what was one the country’s premier hospitals and Galveston’s largest employer. Renown for its trauma unit, the hospital served mainly working-class patients, and was an economic center on the island. While a shrunken hospital will continue to operate, it will in all likelihood never return to what it was.

“Karen H. Sexton, vice president for hospitals and clinics was caught in a trap…acknowledged the cutbacks might be permanent. ‘We know we have to be a lot smaller now.’” (NYT 11/14/08)
Like in New Orleans before it, Galveston’s workers are scattered to the wind with no shot at recovery. We cannot take this lying down, not again, because much more is still to come as the bosses “solve” their crisis on the backs of the working class.

We must learn to respond to these attacks and fight back. There is much we can do. Whether we are in unions or not, we can set up unemployment committees to keep laid-off workers in the struggle and united with their brothers and sisters at work. We can fight to make every part-time worker a full-timer and organize factory committees, union or not, to fight evictions and make sure no co-worker is homeless.

We can move evicted families back into their homes and organize to defend them from a return visit by the sheriffs. In the high schools and colleges, students and teachers can do the same. We can participate in community centers and churches that organize soup kitchens and food pantries.

These centers and struggles can become schools for communism as we engage volunteers and those in need of assistance in political discussion about the nature of the profit system and the need to destroy it.  We can expand the circulation of CHALLENGE and make our paper the flag of those fighting back. We can build the PLP out of these struggles.

No worker, woman or man, black, Latino or white, immigrant or citizen, will escape the growing depression. Racist unemployment, which is double for black workers than for white (and four times higher for black youth), will soar as wages and services collapse. These are not only racist attacks in terms of those workers losing their jobs, but also for those most affected by service cuts. About two-thirds of the unemployed receive no benefits. Chicago’s Cook County Health Bureau,which closed half the clinics for uninsured workers and slashed 2,000 jobs in 2007, is destroying another 500 jobs on January 1. Billionaire NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg just ordered the closing of all free city-run children’s dental clinics and is laying off 5,000 workers.

Smash Racist Unemployment With Communist Revolution

The real unemployment numbers are twice as high as those reported when you figure in the under-employed, 2.4 million mainly 70% black and Latin in jail, and 12 million undocumented workers and youth facing racist detention camps and deportations just for looking for work. “And as bad as these numbers are, they may look good a year from now because things are going to get much worse,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at California State University. (Detroit Free Press, 11/14)

All the politicians, policy-makers and pundits are calling this the most serious crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. That crisis led to Hitler and the growth of fascism in much of the world, and World War II. It also led to the Chinese Revolution and the dramatic growth of the world communist movement, which ultimately crumbled under the weight of its own internal weaknesses and mistakes. The current crisis is pushing the world closer to World War III. What we do or don’t do will largely determine whether or not we are on the road to revolution. We must fight back.

The racist rulers will use Obama to try to buy time and win millions of black, Latino and white youth to invade Afghanistan and Pakistan. We can do better at leading our friends and CHALLENGE readers into the class war, and turn every battle, large and small, into a school for communist revolution. As Karl Marx said, “The point is not just to understand the world. The point is to change it.”

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U.S. Rulers’ Biggest Bailout Scheme: Global War

U.S. capitalists are finding it extraordinarily difficult to organize their way out of the worsening global economic crisis they created. The most powerful sections of the ruling class are beginning to assert themselves by either taking over smaller, failing banks and companies or eliminating them. This will enable the top financiers to control the entire banking system and enforce their long-term strategy of fascism at home and war abroad to protect their oil empire. All the out-of-control profiteers seeking short-term gains are now being disciplined, to follow the top guns or fall by the wayside.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson’s original bailout bill couldn’t make it through a rebellious Congress and the remake failed to inspire investors and contributed to Wall Street’s worst week since 1933. “Some $8.4 trillion has been lost from US stock markets in the past year.” (Times of London, 10/12/08)

Another failed cure was Paulson’s decision to let Lehman Brothers go under. Rather than cleanse the investment banking system, the move worsened the situation. Wall Street investment giants Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have all had to find new ways to exist.

Even a massive bailout from Washington may not save General Motors as an independent company, it having launched merger talks with Ford and Chrysler. Tens of thousands of auto jobs are at risk, on top of the 750,000 jobs lost overall this year.

MEGA-MONEY BOYS SOROS, BUFFETT, BLOOMBERG TAKE CHARGE

But economic chaos and destruction represent only one side of the coin. While the bosses appear to be losing control, the biggest U.S. capitalists, those with major stakes in U.S. imperialism, are in fact tightening their economic and political grip. Billionaire George Soros — who bankrolls anti-Russian regimes in Eastern Europe and urges anti-China “intervention” in Tibet and Darfur — helped steer a big shift in the bailout policy.

The New York Times reported (10/12): “Two weeks after persuading Congress to let it spend $700 billion to buy distressed securities tied to mortgages, the Bush administration has put that idea aside in favor of a new approach that would have the government inject capital directly into the nation’s banks — in effect, partially nationalizing the industry.”

On Oct. 1st, Soros had written in London’s Financial Times, “Instead of just purchasing troubled assets the bulk of the funds ought to be used to recapitalize the banking system.” Nationalizing the banks helps imperialists like Soros & Co. control capital and channel it to their own, increasingly military, needs to maintain U.S. rulers’ super-power status. That the Soros position prevailed over both Bush and the Congress reveals the true nature of state power. As Lenin said ninety years ago, politicians are ruled by finance capital.
Financier Warren Buffett, Forbes Magazine’s “Richest Man on the Planet,” is another master of U.S. capitalism’s rapidly evolving new universe. Buffett, an ally of the Rockefeller-led Eastern Establishment, has a big say in who survives the current carnage. He just threw multi-billion-dollar lifelines to two of U.S. imperialism’s flagships, worldwide deal-maker Goldman Sachs and arms maker General Electric.

Known for having a long-term outlook, Buffett recently invested heavily in U.S. railroads. Though not very lucrative at present, Buffett’s railroads will prove indispensible in mobilizing for global war and are beginning large-scale infrastructure rebuilding. Without an efficient rail system, it becomes very difficult to move large number of troops, supplies and weapons coast to coast.

Buffett is also the largest single owner of Wells Fargo, which bested Citigroup in its attempt to seize Wachovia, saddled with toxic subprime mortgages.

Wall Street darling Bloomberg’s bid for a currently illegal third term as New York mayor serves the same imperialist capital-concentrating purpose. On October 2, thirty ruling class big shots published an Open Letter in the NY Times urging lawmakers to “extend term limits [to three terms] in order to give New Yorkers the opportunity for whomever [sic] they think can do the best job during these tough economic times, including our current mayor.”

The signers included ultra-imperialists like David Rockefeller and his war criminal henchman Henry Kissinger. Others were J.P. Morgan Chase chief James Dimon, Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein, and financier Wilbur Ross. The latter is bent on safeguarding U.S. industries like coal, steel, and textiles, all crucial to the manufacture of weapons, tanks, warplanes, troop uniforms and gear, and all the other ingredients of modern warfare.

GLOBAL WAR: OBAMA, MCCAIN AGREE ON GOAL, DIFFER ON APPROACH

Stopgap measures like bailouts, buy-ups, and partial nationalization can only bring a mix of successes and setbacks to U.S. rulers. Their imperialist wing, however, eyes the Big Bailout, top-to-bottom militarization for global war with rivals like Russia and China. Liberal Robert Reich, Clinton’s Labor Secretary, let that cat out of the bag in an October 9 NY Times column.

Encouraging broad federal spending to counter the current crisis, Reich said, “the government will probably have to run deficits to keep the economy going anywhere near capacity, a lesson the nation learned when mobilization for World War II finally lifted us out of the Great Depression.” That’s when the mass unemployment of the 1930’s — 17 million jobless in a 50-million workforce — was “solved” by drafting 14 million into the military.

Candidate Obama vows to put millions to work —in low-wage jobs— in New Deal-style programs to rebuild strategic infrastructure. His call to reinvigorate the nation economically serves the rulers’ war agenda even better than McCain’s openly militarist appeal.

The rulers well know that most U.S. workers and GIs in World War II did not back the McCain-like, patriotic, right-wing “America First” line. Opposed to Hitler’s fascism, they bought into “The American Way of Life,” Roosevelt’s promise of state-sponsored post-war prosperity. This built the illusion that “reformed” capitalism can guarantee a decent life and tie workers to the profit system. Obama hopes to revive that illusion.

Neither economic crisis nor voting can eliminate the class dictatorship finance capitalists blatantly flaunt every day. Only communist revolution can because it abolishes profits, bosses and their wage slavery system and puts the workers in control of state power, guaranteeing our class — which produces all value — will share the fruits of our labors.

The profit system’s crisis, with its wholesale attack on workers’ wages, pensions, housing and healthcare, its racist super-exploitation of black and Latino workers, opens up limitless opportunities for communists to expose the anti-working-class nature of capitalism.

However, no matter how low capitalism sinks, it will not topple itself as long as the bosses hold their ace-in-the-hole — state power. That’s why the revolutionary communist PLP must be built and win workers to bury capitalism in the garbage heap of history.

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