Is the Revolution in sight?

Is the Revolution in sight?
looks like the barge may be lifting off a sand bar...

April 13, 2011

Position of KKE on the Webb's platform and the developments in the CPUSA, Athens, 13 April 2011



To the members and cadre of the CPUSA,
To the workers that struggle in the USA
To the communist and workers parties


http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2011/2011-04-13-kke-to-cpusa

Dear comrades,

In February 2011 the chairperson of the CPUSA, Sam Webb, published an article in Political Affairs, the electronic publication of the CPUSA, entitled “A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does”. Even if the specific article is accompanied by an editorial note which claims that “The following article represents the views of its author alone. It doesn't necessarily reflect the official views of any organization or collective.”, it is obvious to us that the public position of the head of a Communist Party concerning such an important issue requires special attention.

On the 16th of February we received a letter from the editorial team of Political Affairs which invited us to send in our opinion.

Our party, after studying this article and the reactions it has provoked within the ranks of communists both in the USA and internationally, considers it necessary to take a public position through this letter, as is required by its responsibility as a part of the international communist movement.

Our assessment is that we are dealing with a comprehensive liquidationist platform of 29 theses which has been placed before the international communist movement and proposes the total revision of the principles and revolutionary traditions of the communist movement.

The KKE, as a section of the international communist movement, considers as its duty the refutation of this platform, which questions the need for the existence of a party of the working class in the USA, and in general is directed against the revolutionary and anti-imperialist movement internationally. The 18th Congress of our party stressed that “The battle against social-democratisation tendencies in Communist Parties – through the intervention of imperialist mechanisms, anti-communism and the bourgeois media – must be fought firmly and consistently by defending the historic role of the working class and its organised vanguard, the principles of Marxism-Leninism and of socialism. This task takes on even greater significance in face of the growing anti-communist offensive in the EU and internationally.”

Dear comrades,

The platform that has been presented today, through the article of the chairperson of the CPUSA, constitutes the culmination of a course of “adjustment” in the last decade as the author himself points out. There have already been developments in this intervening period which communists in Greece, as well as in the USA and other countries have monitored with concern, such as:

* The handing over of the Party’s archives to the imperialists, the bourgeois state of the USA in 2007.
* The closure of the print publication of the newspaper (People’s Weekly World) and the journal Political Affairs, with the simultaneous alteration of its character.
* The organizational shrinkage and dislocation of the party.
* The political “tailing”, behind one of the two pillars of the bourgeois political system of the USA, that is to say behind the Democratic Party.
* The stance in relation to the ambitions of US imperialism ( e.g. rejection of the demand for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq)
* The blocking of the Joint Statement of the Emergency Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in Damascus, because in the final text there was the position for the withdrawal of the imperialist occupation forces from Iraq.
* These elements intensified after the 29th Congress of the CPUSA. It was not by chance that immediately after the congress, an article was published in Political Affairs which called into question not only the need to maintain the name of the party, but the possibility and even the necessity of a Communist Party’s existence in the USA today.

Today the Webb platform comes as the culmination of this course and openly propagandises the abandonment of the Marxist-Leninist worldview, the abolition of democratic centralism, and the undermining of the principles of the party of a new type.

We would like to draw your attention to the following basic aspects of this platform:

* ON THE QUESTION OF THE THEORY OF THE PARTY


It proposes the replacement of our theory by an eclectic hotchpotch which does not go beyond the limits of liberal bourgeois ideology. It attacks Marxism-Leninism directly, which constitutes one of the central laws of the existence and activity of the party of the new type, as V.I.Lenin pointed out “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement… role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.” In this specific platform various extremely old opportunist positions are promoted as new (e.g. Marxism-Leninism is foreign, anti-democratic, it is a distortion of Marxism by Stalin etc.), these are positions which disarm the labour movement and surrender it, without theoretical tools, to the claws of the exploitative system.

* ON THE QUESTION OF THE POLITICAL PROPOSAL OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY:


It promotes the view that there can be solutions in favour of the working class within the framework of capitalism. In this way, it promotes as an alternative solution the line of the so-called “green” capitalist restructurings. In addition, the Webb platform considers the characterisation of the crisis as a capitalist crisis of overproduction insufficient. It distorts the essence of the over-accumulation of capital as it associates it with…. A lack of investment opportunities. It states characteristically: “Short of a new New Green Deal on a global level, it is hard to see where the dynamism for a sustained upswing, let alone a long boom, is going to come from.”

These views recycle social-democratic and opportunist theories on economic recession and development which whitewash capitalism and conceal its class essence, leading the Communist Party to give up on its strategic goal and support political proposals, which have as their goal the acquisition of new super-profits by the capitalists, in the name of “ecology”, at the same time when they are turning nature and natural wealth into commodities, and destroying the planet in various ways.

* THE QUESTION OF THE SOCIALIST PERSPECTIVE:


It renounces the struggle for socialism. The notion of revolution is entirely absent. It proposes an endless process of successive stages, in which the alliances will be formed not on the basis of the criterion of the era and the class interests of the working class. Webb proposes working for “- the balance of forces is to shift in a progressive direction”. This view condemns the party to submit itself to the temporary circumstances and not to work with a strategy for the overthrow of capitalism through the concentration of forces.

Nevertheless, it is obvious to us, that the tactics of a Communist Party must serve its strategy, which is the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of a socialist-communist society. The position of Webb in practice abolishes the strategic goal of the Communist Party, and finally aims to shake the very character of the Communist Party. Socialism is in any case on the agenda, from the moment that we live in the era of imperialism, the highest and final stage of capitalism. The timeliness and necessity of socialism-communism is projected by the impasses of capitalism, the imperialist wars, the economic crises, the huge social, economic, environmental, ecological and other problems which capitalist society gives rise to. A Communist Party must form tactics and alliances which facilitate the concentration of forces, the class unity of the working class and the social alliance with the popular strata, with the aim of maturing the subjective factor for the acquisition of power by the working class, and not to be trapped in alliances and stages, which will lead it to struggle under a “foreign flag” in the logic of managing capitalism.

-ON THE QUESTION OF THE FORMATION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY

The Webb platform proposes moving beyond the Communist Parties. It says that “A party of socialism in the 21st century embraces Marxism, understood as a broad theoretical tradition that reaches beyond the communist movement.” A party that does not struggle for the interests of the working class but “fights for the interests of the entire nation.”

This position denies the necessity of the existence of the Communist Party in the USA and indeed in the entire world. The KKE successfully dealt with similar views, when they emerged in our party 20 years ago under the influence of “Gorbachevist” theories. The communists of Greece fought hard to repel these opportunist views, for the preservation of the KKE, for the preservation and strengthening of its revolutionary, class and internationalist character. Today, 20 years later, the communists not only in Greece but all over the world can judge the positive results that the outcome of this battle had for the KKE. The KKE was able to stand on its feet, to elaborate serious theoretical and political issues, without deviating from the principles of Marxism-Leninism. It approved its new programme and came to important conclusions concerning the causes of the overthrow of socialism, enriching its conception of socialism. It has taken significant initiatives for the unity of the communist movement at a regional and international level. It strengthened its bonds with the working class and the other popular strata. The influence of its positions and its prestige has been strengthened as it plays the leading role in the regrouping and development of the class-oriented labour-trade union movement and in the tough strike mobilizations of the workers in our country.

None of the above would have been achieved, if opportunism had prevailed 20 years ago in the KKE. The KKE would have gone down the road of dissolution and the labour-popular movement would have lost its basic pillar of support.

-ON IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE

The Webb platform renounces the struggle against bourgeois ideology and opportunism. The party which Webb describes surrenders from the ideological struggle. He writes “A party of socialism in the 21st century doesn’t turn – liberals, advocates of identity politics, single issue movements, centrist and progressive leaders of major social organizations, social democrats, community based non-profits, NGOs, unreliable allies, and the “people” (according to some, a classless category concealing class, racial, and gender oppression) – into enemies.”

But can a Communist Party enlighten the working class, the other popular strata, if it does not have an ideological front against views which present capitalism as the only way, which simply promote different types of management of the exploitative system? The answer of the KKE to this is that it is impossible for the struggle of the people to develop without a firm and consistent ideological front against unscientific bourgeois and opportunist theories. This is especially true in today’s conditions, when the role of the various NGOs has become obvious, which are connected financially and in other ways with the imperialist organizations. In conditions when social-democracy has been in government and has demonstrated in practice that is a pillar of support for the bourgeois political system. In these conditions the communists not only must not give up on ideological work and struggle, but they must intensify the struggle even further against these forces.

-ORGANIZATIONAL OPPORTUNISM

Webb rejects the Leninist organization, the organization of the vanguard of the working class which corresponds to the needs of the class struggle for the abolition of exploitation. He rejects the Leninist organization because he rejects the struggle for socialism and has taken sides with the bourgeois class for the perpetuation of capitalism.

And so, a state machine which is both experienced and powerful will be opposed by a “party”, according to him, based on the Internet, with an open door policy for new members as an organizational principle: “Joining should be no more difficult than joining other social organizations”.

Thus we can see that not only does he reject the tried and tested organizational principles of the Communist Party of a new type, which were established in the era of Lenin, but he promotes the idea of a party of an NGO type, which corresponds to the content which he himself proposes and is in the direction of a “Communist Party” assimilated into the bourgeois system, which will work for the salvation and “correction” of capitalism and not for its overthrow.

-A PARTY OF REVOLUTION OR REFORM?

Reform is the answer given by Webb to this fundamental question, which was posed a hundred years ago. His view denies that the party is the vanguard of the working class and subordinates its activity to the lowest level of class consciousness (“A party of socialism in the 21st century takes as its point of departure the issues that masses (relative term) are ready to fight for”). Of course a reformist line is proposed as well as the prioritization of the intervention in the institutions of the bourgeois state. The struggle for reforms within imperialism is acclaimed not only as a “means” buts an end for this “new” party.

In reality, when has the path of reforming the capitalist system ever led to the abolition of the exploitation of man by man and the vindication of the workers’ desires? The “recipe” of reforms has been tested by the peoples through various social-democratic and centre-left governments, which in practice have been proved to be the main vehicles for the imposition of anti-people and anti-worker measures, and as pillars of support for the imperialist organizations and wars.

-“MARXISM”…WITHOUT MARX

Webb calls the class nature of bourgeois democracy into question. As he writes: “What I’m challenging is the notion that everything is subordinate to class and class struggle no matter what the circumstances.” He questions the class nature of the bourgeois state, that is to say the dictatorship of the US monopolies and claims that “Thus the nature of the struggle isn’t simply the people against the state, but the people winning positions and influence in the state and then utilizing them to make changes (within and outside of the state)”.

This is an old opportunist position which Marx had already rejected in his era, and was revived by the bankrupt eurocommunist current. And this alone would be enough for us to come to the conclusion that the “Marxism”, which is mentioned as being the theoretical basis of the “party of the 21st century”, has nothing to do with Marx and his theoretical contribution but aims at its vulgar distortion, the burying of revolutionary theory, and the deception of the workers.

* ILLUSIONS CONCERNING THE ROLE OF THE US GOVERNMENT AND THE MONOPOLIES:


The Webb platform fosters illusions and works for the submission of the people to the government of the USA, that is to say the world’s leading imperialist power: “The point isn’t for the U.S. government to simply to crawl into a national shell, but to reinsert itself into world affairs on the basis of cooperation, peace, equality, and mutual benefits…”

At the same time he fosters illusions concerning a “ humanized” version of the monopolies: “big sections of the transnational corporate class have pulled the plug on the American people, economy, and state…the commitment of major sections of the transnational elite to a people-friendly public sector, a vibrant domestic economy and a modern society has waned…”

As the Chairperson of the CPUSA has given up on a class approach to society, the abovementioned positions are to be expected. These are positions which not only have nothing to do with the history and struggles of the party he represents, but they bear no relation to reality either. The continuing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the new imperialist war in Libya demonstrate what kind of activity the US government has developed outside its “national shell”. And it conducts similar anti-people activity for the defence of the interests of the monopolies inside its own country.

* ESCALATING THE LINE OF “TAILING” CAPITAL AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.


The strengthening of political reaction which is intrinsic to imperialism and is intensifying in the conditions of crisis is interpreted as “ultra-right extremism”. This leads to conclusions which violate the truth and reality, such as “we say too definitively that the independent forces stand no chance whatsoever of taking over the Democratic Party. That still may be the case, but it is a mistake to rule it out completely at this point.” The equation of the working class and its movement with the trade union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO is consistent with the political line of alliance with sections of capital.

* TURNING TO ANTICOMMUNISM


Webb’s article marks an overt siding with the class enemy and a complete alignment with contemporary state-level anticommunism. It calls for “an unequivocal break with Stalin” and lines up with the slanderous assault on socialist construction which offered so much to the Soviet peoples and played the decisive role in the anti-fascist victory of the peoples. In essence, these positions attempt to conceal the reality, the complex problems of the class struggle in the USSR and the tough confrontation of working class power with the bourgeois class in the countryside, the kulaks.

It adopts, in essence, every kind of slanderous simplification of complex problems, such as the sharpening of the class struggle in the USSR. The article goes a step further and joins up with Havel, Walesa and all the reactionary anticommunists of the EU who talk of “crimes against humanity”. It lines up with the tendency that attempts to criminalise the Communist Parties and the defence of socialism: “τo describe these atrocities as a mistake is a mistake – criminal”.

As is well known the opportunist current in Europe that forms the so called Party of the European Left (ELP) holds a similar anti-historical position.

Dear comrades of the CPUSA,

Members, friends and cadre of the CPUSA,

Conscious Workers of the US,

At this very critical moment for your party the KKE calls on you to take into account that the ideological attack against the Party of a New Type focusing on its identity, its character and its organisational principles was unleashed from the very first moment of its existence. The revisionists have always supported the dissolution of the party of the working class; they have always been a pillar of support for the bourgeoisie. The bourgeois class and its supporters understood from the very first moment the role of the party in the political emancipation of the working class and its movement. The ideological attack which was unleashed continues up to the present day as is demonstrated by Webb’s article.

We call on you to take into account the fact that the party can only fulfil the role of the proletarian vanguard on the condition that it is equipped with unity of will, unity of action, and unity of strict discipline. Its internationalist character stems from its nature; it constitutes an integral part of the world communist movement.

Experience confirms and practice which is the yardstick of truth proves that the revolutionary line of struggle not only does not restrict mass work but it reinforces it. It strengthens the expectations of the working people, it provides a way-out and a perspective, it contributes to the change of the correlation of forces. The independent action of the party is a prerequisite for the formation of a policy of alliances that will be subordinated to and serve the strategy for the overthrow of capitalism.

In addition, we consider it necessary to take into account that the necessity of the socialist revolution and the construction of the new communist socio-economic formation is not determined by the correlation of forces, which is shaped at the various historical junctures, but by the historical need to resolve the basic contradiction between capital and labour. The counterrevolutions in the USSR and the other socialist countries have not altered the character of our era which is an era of transition from capitalism to socialism which is timely and necessary as shown by the tragedy of the millions of workers and unemployed who suffer from exploitation and the intensification of the problems that the exploitative system causes.

We believe that the replacement of the principles of Marxism Leninism by revisionist approaches in the name of national peculiarities caused a great deal of damage to the communist movement and continues to do so. No national peculiarity can negate the necessity for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, the necessity for the conquest of political power by the working class, for the socialisation of production and central planning. The economic crisis that broke out in the capitalist world and the intensification of the inter-imperialist contradictions further highlight the timeliness of socialism. Under these conditions the driving back of the new wave of state anticommunism, the defence of the socialism we knew, of its great contribution to the world working class, of the identity and the revolutionary traditions of the communist movement acquire a special importance.

Dear comrades,

Historical experience, the developments themselves have refuted the views that spoke of “the end of history”, the “obsolescence of Marxism-Leninism” and the “end of the Communist Parties”. On the contrary, today there is a stronger need for the existence of Communist Parties that have roots in the working class and the workplaces, which believe in Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. The labour movement must consciously act and rise to the challenge to ensure the existence of a revolutionary party of the working class. This is a crucial duty and a challenge for the most advanced workers and for communists in all the countries of the world and of course above all in the USA.

The consistent confrontation with and rejection of this opportunist-liquidationist platform is a requirement which springs from the historical traditions the labour and communist movement in the USA, it is a condition for the revival of revolutionary communist ideals in the US labour movement and society.

The International Relations Section of the CC of KKE

April 9, 2010

The Diva's Camp: The Appeal of Hillary Clinton, By: Shaun Jacob Halper, Huffington, Re-Posted from: April 8, 2008











The Diva's Camp: The Appeal of Hillary Clinton



Hillary Clinton is possessed by the spirit of Joan Crawford. Like that notorious über-bitch immortalized by Faye Dunaway in the camp classic Mommie Dearest, Hillary bulldozed into a Democratic primary dominated by men and brazenly declared, as any self-respecting diva would: Don't fuck with me fellas! This ain't my first time at the rodeo!

Hillary Dearest doesn't take no for an answer. Melodramatic and megalomaniacal, Hillary, like Joan, is an aging super star whose career is on the wane, but she refuses to exit the stage. I'm not going anywhere, she dishes out defiantly! Like Joan, Hillary will embrace any identity and any performance even if it requires sacrificing her own children (her party) at the altar of winning. And God help anyone who gets in her way: Christina, bring me the ax!

Barack-olytes cannot wrap their minds around HillDiva, who seems more like HillDemon to them. Why, they grumble, hasn't she -- that train wreck with eyebrows -- self-destructed yet? How does an unlikable, shrill, mendacious, and bloodthirsty monster manage to challenge the dignified, mild-mannered, and pure-intentioned Holiest of Demorcratic Holies? How can that woman, who represents nothing and who will say and do anything to win, hold a candle to Him who represents everything? Yes, we can, they marvel, but how can she? When, Andrew Sullivan pleads, will this horror film end?

In fact, however, Hillary is no monster. Sullivan and the Barack-olytes don't get Hillary because they don't get the aesthetic genre she is working in. Hillary Dearest is no horror show -- she is a camp phenomenon and fast on her way to becoming one of this century's greatest camp heroines. Hillary's camp should be taken seriously; it offers a critical alternative to Obama's Romanticism. And many Americans just cannot get enough of her.

Whether as Madame President or Vice President or just former First Lady, HillDiva will enter the Pantheon of Prima Donnas alongside the great gay-male camp icons of yore: Judy Garland, Mae West, the Divine Miss M, Madonna, Cher, Liza, the Joans (Crawford, Collins, and Rivers), Liz, Diana, Tina, Mariah, Beyonce.

Like all of these queen bees before her, HillDiva is continually reinventing herself. With each new hairstyle and each new outfit; with each new rhetorical strategy and each new scandal, we meet a different kind of Hillary. We have comeback Hillary, forgiving Hillary; victimized Hillary; lying Hillary; bellicose Balboa Hillary; Northern Ireland peace-brokering Hillary; vetted Hillary; sarcastic Hillary; survivor Hillary; tearful Hillary; experienced Hillary; Jesus-loving Hillary; vast right-wing conspiracy Hillary; sleep-deprived Hillary; 3am Hillary; feminist Hillary; cackling Hillary; patriotic Hillary; high-road Hillary; kick-him-while-he's-down (or "He wouldn't have been my pastor") Hillary; "Not some little woman standing by my man" Hillary; Bill's Hillary; Chelsea's Hillary; Obama-loving Hillary; "Not as Far as I know" Hillary; "I'm human" Hillary; McCain-loving Hillary; the Hillary I know.

From her burlesque biography to her faux-marriage; from her stylized overemotionality to her pseudo-drag admixture of male and female traits and gestures; from her synthetic stump speeches to her outrageous pronouncements and staged lies; and from her international acclaim to her most recently discovered wealth, Hillary, whether intentionally or not, embraces melodramatic excess at every turn.

Hillary, like camp, always comes back for an encore.

To be sure, Barack-olytes find camp unsettling and it is not difficult to see why. If the appeal of Hillary is the appeal of camp, then surely the appeal of Obama is that of Romanticism. The world according to the gospel of Obama is a world of drama (not melodrama), of spiritualism, of authenticity, of beliefs, of more perfect unions, of the national community, of teleology, and of the serious power of words. For Barack-olytes, the melodrama of camp reeks of heresy and antinomianism. In the context of messianic expectation, there is not much room for laughter.

But camp is (by definition) not purely a laughing matter and Hillary's performances are not just some theatrical joke. Camp loves the artificial, the spectacle, and the ridiculous because it refuses to maintain the illusions of political rhetoric. Camp exposes the masquerade of political theater by flaunting the grandiose pose and the ironic overstatement.

Camp celebrates theatricality because through its showboating excess camp reveals that our dominant cultural narratives -- whether on gender or sexuality; nationalism or politics; religion or society -- are artificial constructions. Through its ridiculous staging and dishonest spectacle, camp undermines the false illusion (upon which political rhetoric depends) that expression is a straightforward vessel which conveys intention. Camp reminds us through its conspicuous duplicity that there is a large gap between feelings and words and that all political rhetoric is just that -- rhetoric.

HillDiva's camp, which is monstrous to some, is a source of comforting laughter for others. When we laugh at her ridiculous and self-destructive performance, we recall that politics is artifice. In a political climate dominated by the audacity of hope, Hillary's camp is refreshing and instructive. Hillary offers no prophetic returns to a pre-Nixonian or pre-Watergate cultural faith in politicians and politics. Hillary will not usher in the End of Days.

Ironically, it is Barack Obama, the harbinger of change, who disseminates a political aesthetic that relishes in the uncritical mythologies of national community and national destiny. Hillary, the so-called establishment candidate, challenges us to remain critical of our political leaders and institutions.

Camp is the lie that tells the truth and Hillary, as a camp heroine, is the liar who breathes veritas.

July 5, 2009

besieged tegucigalpa one day after the 4th of July, a poem by andrew taylor, who is a son of The Americas

where o where
is the brave
the new United
states of the americas?

Sing the evening birds
in Tegucigalpa

cry the workers
of Honduras

shout the women militants

say the officious apprentices and clerks

whisper the old men in corners...

thousands, thousands
marched to greet
the one
they’d elected
people’s president
Zelaya !Zelaya !
Viva Zelaya ! !

thousands, thousands
marched towards Toncontin airport
with a gallant desire

but
cut down
by
the
passionless bullets
triggered by experts,

became blood-baptized fountains,
became the holy martyr-comrades
for the redemption of new Honduras

Zelaya !Zelaya !
Viva Zelaya ! !

O where o where
Is the audacious new brave
president of the United
states of Hope
of Change !?

(hear the world, hear history, it is shouting out...)

and
floating above besieged tegucigalpa

so also sing
the new white robed martyrs
the ecstatic, unconsoled angels
of beseiged tegucigalpa

recently shot dead
hit in the head
by gangster Junta gunfire
from inside the airport
as the people rocked a security fence

the report says
where hope is dying
in tegucigalpa

April 21, 2009

Malaysian socialists: `Unite to turn workers’ frustration into a political struggle for socialism’

By M. Saraswathy

[M. Saraswathy is deputy chairperson of the Socialist Party of Malaysia. She was a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, and held in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12, 2009. Below is M. Saraswathy's speech to the final session of the conference: ``World at a Crossroads -- Fighting for our future''.]

Cuba si! Yankee no! Uh! Ah! Chavez no se va!

Red salute from Malaysia to all friends and comrades!

The Socialist Party of Malaysia thanks the Democratic Socialist Persective, Socialist Alliance and Resistance for inviting us to this valuable World at a Crossroads conference.

One of the most widely known truths today is that capitalism is in deep crisis of its own making . The endless search for greater and greater profits with complete disregard for people and the planet has inevitably resulted in crises which capitalism itself cannot solve.

The clock cannot be turned back on global warming, which has resulted in major changes to temperature and natural phenomena, and which poses a serious threat to future life on Earth.

Capitalism has also created a crisis of resources. The resources of the world are being exhausted and depleted by unplanned production and wasteful exploitation. Peak oil production has been reached and we face the prospect of a world that is short of energy resources.

Currently we are all in the midst of a worldwide economic recession that is entirely created by the capitalist system. Thanks to global capitalism no country in the world is spared. Workers are losing jobs in millions; there is widespread homelessness and misery. The recession has created and is going to create massive poverty. World poverty figures are going to skyrocket.

Of course, the capitalist-run media mourns not the huge suffering of the people but the bankruptcy of financial institutions, the drop in the billions owned by the billionaires, and the billions being pumped in by capitalist governments to save the capitalist system.

The constant warning is that this is going to be the worst economic crisis in 80 years, and even worse than the depression of the 1930s. For us socialists this means a long period of suffering and deprivation for the people, brought about by the ruthless profits-first and greed-driven system.

Hope

But this very bleak period also is a period of great hope, having created the objective conditions necessary for ending capitalism .Widespread unemployment and poverty also means widespread disenchantment and anger. We have the opportunity to create awareness among workers by exposing the capitalist system as a system that rides on the super-exploitation and repression of workers. We have the opportunity now to create awareness about the socialist system. We have the opportunity to empower workers. I think we are all agreed that the objective conditions are ready for a change. But are we ready to use this opportunity to fight for a socialist future?

I would like to propose some actions we should take in order to be able to respond to the crisis of capitalism.

1. Sink our differences

One of the biggest obstacles in the way to a concerted fight against capitalism is factionalism among the left. Many groups seem to be more concerned about the correctness of their ideology and position rather the onslaught of capitalism and how the left will need a joint response to it. There is a need to unite on our similarities as socialists, oppressed by an inhuman system in which the majority remains oppressed, and commit ourselves to struggle for socialism with the working class. There is a need for continuous dialogue over our differences as we work together. There is an urgent need for us to think of the challenges and kind of socialism in the 21st century and how to arrive at it. And to realise that capitalism is still strong and will come back after the recession only because the socialists wasted their opportunity. Human history and the working class will never forgive us if we continue divide ourselves!

2. Venezuela and Latin America

We need to look at Venezuela and Latin America. Non-socialists are achieving what socialists have failed to achieve in decades. Socialism is being introduced in ways never imagined before. What lessons can we learn from Latin America which we can apply in the struggle in our own countries?

3. We have to work

We have to go the ground level and agitate, as Che said. Engage with the working class in struggle, empower them. Gain the democratic space to enhance our struggles. We have to write pamphlets for workers to understand and discuss – to create awareness and urge them into action. We have to harness the anger and frustration of the workers and make people aware that humankind is not doomed to suffer under the capitalism system forever. Socialism doesn't drop from the sky!

As Rosa Luxemburg said, the choice facing humankind is socialism or barbarism. There will be great anger and dissatisfaction with the existing economic system. Our role is to turn this frustration into a political struggle for a socialist society.

Long live socialism!

Working class of the world unite !

Hidup perjuangan! Hidup sosialisma!

Barack Obama: Taking up where Teddy Roosevelt left off?


http://theragblog. blogspot. com/2009/ 04/steve- weissman- obamas-big- stick.html


By Steve Weissman / The Rag Blog / April 17, 2009

In less than hundred days in office, President Barack Obama has already demonstrated his desire to speak softly to all comers, friend or foe, while his proposed military budget shows a determination to carry America’s big stick into far-off trouble spots that most of us don’t know how to spell.


“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed just over a hundred years ago. Unabashedly committed to make America an imperial power, the energetic Roosevelt looked to a strong Navy to enforce the Monroe’s Doctrine’s hold over Latin America and to project the country’s growing power into the far corners of the world.

In less than hundred days in office, President Barack Obama has already demonstrated his desire to speak softly to all comers, friend or foe, while his proposed military budget shows a determination to carry America’s big stick into far-off trouble spots that most of us don’t know how to spell. The budget numbers and choice of weapon systems tell the story. Obama turns out be far more globally ambitious than either his supporters or detractors expected, and far more eager for Washington to remain the world’s policeman, ready, willing, and able to intervene militarily in what the Pentagon calls counter-insurgency and Teddy Roosevelt would have called colonial wars.

As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put it, the Pentagon would retain a hedge against other risks, but the primary goal was to prepare to “fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years to come.”

Up to now, the raw numbers have drawn the most attention, much of it scurrilous or silly. Republican hawks condemn Obama for “gutting the military budget.” Anti-war bloggers defend him for proposing the most military spending in years, an estimated $534 billion or some 4% higher than George W. Bush’s last budget. And, it takes the right-wing libertarians at the Cato Institute to point out that the total military spending – including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other incidentals – amounts to more than $750 billion. According to CATO researcher Benjamin H. Friedman, “That is more than six times what China spends, 10 times what Russia spends and 70 times what Iran, North Korea and Syria spend combined.”

Obama’s choice of which arms to keep – and which to cut – further highlights his global ambitions. He has forced the Pentagon to cut down on overly exquisite and under-performing weapons systems, especially those intended primarily to combat technologically sophisticated opponents, such as Russia and China. The cuts would halt or scale back the F-22 fighter jet, the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic that the Kremlin opposes, non-workable armored vehicles for the Army’s Future Combat Systems, a new communication satellite, the C-17 transport plane, a new generation of stealth destroyers, and new helicopters to rescue downed pilots and for President Obama himself.

In place of these, Obama is boosting proposed expenditures for more boots on the ground and more plentiful, more modular, lower-tech, and somewhat lower-cost arms that make military intervention in colonial wars faster, cheaper, and – he hopes – more effective. Among the keepers:


* Littoral Combat Ships – smaller, high-speed, multi-purpose surface vessels that can operate in shallow water close to shore. The Pentagon will use them to move troops and equipment onto a beach, support Special Forces in commando raids, collect intelligence, perform surveillance and reconnaissance, sweep mines, hunt submarines, and fight pirates.
* F-35 joint-strike fighter planes – high-speed, multi-purpose single-engine jet fighters optimized for air-to-ground rather than air-to-air combat. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps will use as many as 2,443 F-35’s to provide close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense. Allied nations will also use them.
* Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – remotely piloted drones to fly over targeted areas to collect intelligence and fire rockets. The Pentagon and CIA are already using them in Afghanistan and Pakistan, often killing civilians and provoking a militant reaction.


These are the weapons systems Obama wants to help Washington police the world. Whether he gets them, and whether he gets rid of those arms that do little to serve that task, remain to be seen. Each of the wasteful weapons systems has a powerful constituency, including the companies that make them, all the sub-contractors, the unions, the communities in which all of the work is done, and the senators and representatives who feed at the military trough. But, win or lose, Obama’s first military budget reveals his global goals and the technocratic rationality with which he is pursuing them. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud.

[Steve Weissman is a contributor to The Rag Blog. A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France.]

"Raisin in the Sun", poem by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?


Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?