Month: December, 2013
Socialism as discussed in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (Third edition, 1979)
| December 28, 2013 | 10:34 pm | Action | No comments

(Volume 24, page 231)200px-Hammer_and_sickle_svg

SOCIALISM. (1) the first stage of the Communist formation. The economic basis of socialism is social ownership of the means of production; it’s political basis is the power of the toiling masses under the leadership of the working class, headed by the Marxist-Leninist party. Socialism is a social structure that precludes the exploitation of man by man and develops in conformity with a plan, with the objectives of improving the well-being of the people and comprehensively developing every member of society.

(2) scientific socialism, the doctrine that reveals the historical necessity for the establishment of socialism and shows the way for its gradual transformation into communism; part of the Marxist-Leninist theory.

(Volume 24, page 233)

Sociopolitical system. The socialist sociopolitical system is characterized by the establishment and development of the socialist state and by the existence of two friendly classes-the working class and the cooperative (kolkhoz) peasantry, as well as the popular intelligentsia, under the leadership of the working class and its vanguard, the Marxist-Leninist party. Under socialism, profound economic transformations result in the abolition of exploiting classes and strata. Society is entirely made up of working people, and there is a continuous increase in the proportion of the working class in the population…

The most important changes in the sociopolitical structure of socialism are associated with the development of the socialist state. The victory of the socialist revolution leads to the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a necessary condition for the construction of socialism. The dictatorship of the proletariat strives to suppress and abolish the exploiting classes. But its chief goals are the organization of socialist construction, the creation of a socialist society, and ensuring the complete, final victory of socialism. The exploiting classes in the cities and the countryside are abolished during the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. With the strengthening of socialist economic forms and the sociopolitical alliance of the working class, the cooperative (kolkhoz) peasantry, and the intelligentsia, the dictatorship of the proletariat exhausts its functions in the country’s domestic affairs, and the proletarian state gradually becomes the socialist state of all the people. This process is completed with the transition to the stage of developed socialism.

In all socialist countries the state, as the political organization of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, has the same character and functions. However, the socialist state (the dictatorship of the proletariat) may assume various forms, depending on historical conditions, the specific correlation of class forces in a particular country, and national traditions. Forms of popular representation, as well as the forms of state organization, may vary. (For example, a federative structure is characteristic of a number of countries.) Within a system of political forces there may be a one-party system or a multiparty system based on a United popular front. The form of government in the Soviet Union is the Soviets of People’s Deputies, and in the majority of other socialist countries, the People’s democracy.

In the sociopolitical system of socialism the working class plays a leading role assigned to it not merely on the basis of numerical significance, which varies, depending on the level of economic development and the pace of the scientific and technological revolution. The working class has always been the main productive force in society. It’s revolutionary character, discipline, organization, and collectivism have determined its leadership position in the system of socialist social relations. The foundation for the political structure of socialist society is the alliance of the working class and the cooperative (kolkhoz) peasantry.

The growth of productive forces and agriculture, the rising cultural level in the countryside, and the reorganization of the village way of life result in changes in the social makeup and psychology of the peasantry, which exhibits more and more traits in common with those of the working class. Under socialism, the intelligentsia grows rapidly, owing to a continuous influx of members of the working class and peasantry. The socialist intelligentsia is a social stratum which, by virtue of its social character, constitutes an integral part of socialist society. The consistent obliteration of the differences between the working class, the peasantry, and the intelligentsia is an objective, law like regularity of the development of socialism.

An important role in the sociopolitical life of socialist society is played by the principle of the equal rights of nations and nationalities, and their constant rapprochement, based on a common economic life, the mutual enrichment of cultures, the strengthening of a single Marxist-Leninist ideology, and the consistent application of the Leninist national policy. Political equality between nations is guaranteed, and the remnants of economic and cultural inequality inherited from the previous regime are completely eliminated (see NATIONAL QUESTION). During the period of socialist construction and the Soviet Union a new historical community, the Soviet people, took shape, and new, harmonious relations develop between classes and social groups and between nations and nationalities.

In socialist society, democratic principles constitute the foundation for the development of political structures. Socialist democracy includes political freedoms, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to elect plenipotentiary representatives and to be elected to such positions. Among the social rights ensured by socialist democracy are the right to work, vacations, free education and medical services, old-age pensions, and sickness and disability pensions. In addition, socialist democracy guarantees the equal rights of all nations and nationalities and the equal rights of men and women in all spheres of political, economic and cultural life. Socialist democracy has decisive advantages over bourgeois democracy: it not only proclaims the rights of the working people but also guarantees that these rights are realized. Socialism protects the freedom of the individual, especially freedom from exploitation.

The Marxist-Leninist party is the guiding and leading force in socialist society. Marxist-Leninist parties unite the advanced, most conscious part of the working class, the cooperative (kolkhoz) peasantry, and the intelligentsia. Moreover, the Marxist-Leninist parties direct all the productive activity of the people, and land and organized, planned, and scientific foundation to the people struggle to build socialism and communism. The party carries out its leadership role through state bodies, the trade unions, and use and other mass organizations.

Volume 20 (page 344-345)Worker and Collective Farm Woman

Socialism. The political economy of socialism-part of the political economy of the commonest mode of production and general-deals with the study of the production relations of the multi sector economy of the transition period between capitalism and socialism. It discloses the laws of development of social production and inherent in the first phase of the commonest mode of production (the system of socialist production relations, the operation of economic laws, and the application of these laws and the planned management of the national economy). Moreover, the political economy of socialism investigates the specific ways in which these economic laws are manifested at a particular stage in the development of socialism. The building of a developed socialist society and the USSR-a society developing on its own bases and characterized by the high level of maturity in the material and technical basis and in the system of production relations-creates the conditions for the more thorough and consistent study and utilization of the advantages of socialism. The maturity of socialist production relations (their achievement of the highest level of development) is an important precondition for making a more profound analysis of their essence and of the forms in which they are manifested.

In the political economy of socialism the main objects of investigation are production relations under socialism and, above all, the social ownership of the means of production, which underlies socialist production relations and characterizes the mode of appropriation of material and cultural values in the interest of the toiling masses. In the USSR and other socialist countries there are two forms of socialist public property: state property and cooperative property.

The predominance of socialist public ownership, which serves as the basis for the creation of interests shared by all the people, determines the direction in which socialist production develops, and subordination to the aims of satisfying the material and cultural needs of the people more and more fully and comprehensively developing all members of society. These phenomena and goals are expressed as the fundamental economic law of socialism.

Social ownership of the means of production also creates the conditions for the rise and operation of the planned proportional development of the national economy. This law necessitates and makes possible the coordinated functioning of society, the prediction of the results of its functioning, and the planned management of social production, which includes the conscious elaboration of the goals of economic development and the means of achieving them.

The political economy of socialism studies the specific features of the ways in which the economic laws characteristic of some or all socioeconomic formations operate under socialist conditions. Among these laws are the law of economies of time, the law of increasing requirements, and the law of the more rapid growth of the production of the means of production.

Of importance in the political economy of socialism is the study of commodity-money relations and the economic laws inherent in them, including the law of value and the laws of monetary circulation. Commodity-money relations have a new, socialist content during the first phase of communist society. The socialist state uses commodity-money relations, in conformity with a plan, and all phases and stages of expanded socialist reproduction, both within the national economy and an economic relations between countries in the world socialist system. The planned utilization of the categories of commodity production is the basis for economic accounting.

The political economy of socialism studies the categories and laws characteristic of social reproduction in general and its particular spheres (production, distribution, exchange, and consumption). At the present stage of socialist construction, special attention is paid to analyzing the interconnections between subdivision I (the production of the means of production) and subdivision II (the production of consumer goods) and the relations between the extensive and intensive factors in economic growth. In addition, the emphasis is placed on analyzing the problems of increasing the efficiency of production and of the entire economy on the basis of more rapid scientific and technological progress, improving the organization of production, and improving management and planning techniques throughout the economic mechanism. The political economy of socialism elucidates the socioeconomic aspects of the modern scientific and technological revolution under socialist conditions.

The planned management of the national economy under socialism is based on the knowledge and use of a system of objective economic laws, which provide for organic unity between theory and practice and for the elaboration of a scientific foundation for the economic policies of the party and the state.

The political economy of socialism studies the system of the planned management of the socialist economy-a system that organically combines targets assigned by planning bodies with other economic levers for influencing production, including prices, credit, wages and profits. The comprehensive study of the management of social production is made possible by close cooperation among specialists in economics and other sciences, such as law and sociology.

With the establishment of socialist property, the state is transformed into a body that regulates the development of the economy in conformity with a plan. The political economy of socialism studies the economic role and function of the state and the forms and methods of socialist economic management.

The formation of the world socialist economy results in the creation of a new sphere of production relations-international socialist economic relations. The political economy of socialism has been substantially enriched by the study of international socialist economic relations and the laws characteristic of them, as well as by the study of socialist economic integration and the internationalization of production.

In addition to political economy, a highly ramified system of economic sciences has developed: Gen. economics, which covers national economic planning, the theory of economic management, and statistics; functional economics, which includes financing credit, labor economics, and price formation; and the economics of sectors, which focuses on industry, agriculture, and transportation, for example. The political economy of socialism constitutes the theoretical and methodological foundation for the entire system of economic sciences. Each economic science can only develop successfully if it is based on the theoretical conclusions and foundations of Marxist-Leninist political economy. Socialist political economy is, in turn, enriched by the factual material accumulated as the various economic sciences developed.

The practical function of the political economy of socialism is to elaborate scientific principles for economic policies and for the planned management of the national economy. As science penetrates the essence of socialist production relations and laws more deeply and reveals their operation as a system more fully, political economy achieves greater success in collaborating scientific principles. The political economy of socialism also performs important ideological functions. One of the primary means by which the communist world view is formed, it arms the toiling people with knowledge of the fundamental distinctive features of the socialist economic system and its advantages over the capitalist system. Moreover, the political economy of socialism provides a clear orientation and the welter of events of economic and political life, and it inspires confidence in the inevitable tryouts of communism. The study of socialist political economy occupies a central place in the economic education of the toiling people. The practical and ideological functions of the political economy of socialism constitute an organic whole and are complementary.

Because of the important and ever increasing role of political economy and socialist and communist construction, its further development is a means of continual interest to the CPSU. The party focuses the attention of economic scholars on the elaboration of the most efficient forms and methods for utilizing objective economic laws and the planned management of the national economy. In addition, the party encourages economic scholars to concentrate on improving long-term planning, on accelerating scientific and technological progress, on intensifying and maximizing the efficiency of social production, and on solving the most important problems in the development of socialist economic integration.

Why folgers is not the best part of waking up!
| December 17, 2013 | 10:51 pm | Action | No comments

Check out this article:

http://front.moveon.org/why-folgers-is-not-the-best-part-of-waking-up/#.UrEmxnux5aQ

Central Labor Council Breakfast Builds Support for Single Payer, HR 676
| December 17, 2013 | 8:31 pm | Action | No comments

U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D MI), chief sponsor of HR 676, was honored
at a December 6th Labor Breakfast co-hosted by the New York City Central
Labor Council and the Progressive Democrats of America in celebration of
the endorsement by the 1.3 million member NYC CLC of HR 676, Expanded and
Improved Medicare for All.

Congressman Conyers told of the energy that the endorsement of HR 676 by
the NYC CLC brings to the movement of healthcare for all, reports Robert
Score, Recording-Corresponding Secretary of IATSE Local One. Score has
played a leadership role in advancing HR 676 within New York labor and in
union locals across the country.

NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez, a member of IBEW Local 3, delivered the
opening remarks. He said that the forces within the industrial-insurance
complex, although powerful, must be confronted before the working class
families of our country are completely decimated by the ever increasing
costs of health care. He spoke of the necessity for all working people,
union and non-union, to have proper healthcare.

Stephen Shaff spoke on behalf of PDA, and special guest television
broadcaster Phil Donohue, introduced Congressman John Conyers who has
sponsored HR 676 in every Congress since 2003. The legislation currently
has a total of 54 co-sponsors, the most recent being Rep. Betty McCollum
of Minnesota who has signed on for the first time even though she is in
her 4th term.

Conyers noted that four days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was
assassinated in 1968, he introduced a bill to make King’s birthday a
national holiday.

“It took 15 years before Congress joined with me to make Dr. King’s
birthday a national legal holiday. So I’m in this for the long run,” said
Congressman Conyers.

HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a
greatly improved Medicare to everyone residing in the U. S.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including
prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and
preventive care, emergency services, dental (including oral surgery,
periodontics, endodontics), mental health, home health, physical therapy,
rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care and
correction, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable
medical equipment, palliative care, podiatric care, and long term care.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of
billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the
private health insurance industry and HMOs.

In the current Congress, HR 676 has 54 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.

HR 676 has been endorsed by 609 union organizations including 146 Central
Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 44 state AFL-CIO’s (KY, PA, CT,
OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO, MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX,
IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI, MT, NE, NJ, NY, NV,
MA, RI, NH, ID & NM).

For further information, a list of union endorsers, or a sample
endorsement resolution, contact:

Kay Tillow
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551

Email: nursenpo@aol.com
http://unionsforsinglepayer.org

12/16/13

Support Houston Janitors!
| December 12, 2013 | 9:48 pm | Action | No comments

Check out this link and sign the petition to support Houston Janitors

http://tx.seiu.org/page/s/stand-with-houston-janitors-demand-good-jobs

Janitors fight for justice (September 29, 2011)

Janitors fight for justice (September 29, 2011)

Janitors in Houston march for justice (July 15, 2012)

Janitors in Houston march for justice (July 15, 2012)

MESSAGE FROM UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS (12/9/2013)
| December 12, 2013 | 8:20 pm | Action | No comments

The situation in Ukraine now is out of control.

Some minutes ago, Ukrainian fascists from the ‘Svoboda’ party destroyed Lenin’s monument in the centre of Kiev.

Now, at 19.00 Kiev time, crowds of opposition in the city centre are saying that their next target will be the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich. They are calling for the arrest of the Ukrainian government.

There is a strong chance that we will now see a state of emergency in Ukraine.

The fascists have also called for the destruction of the CPU office and expressed a desire to kill all of our employees.

That is why I and my comrades will defend our holy house.

Thank you for your solidarity.
Anatolii Sokoliuk

(Head of the foreign affairs department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine)

On the Death of Nelson Mandela
| December 11, 2013 | 9:00 pm | Action | No comments

By George Greene

All the bourgeois press has been crying crocodile tears over the death of Nelson Mandela, the long-time leader of the South African National Congress (ANC) and first president of post-apartheid South Africa. But they mostly neglect to mention that Mandela was arrested in 1962 based on intelligence information from an agent of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency inside the ANC, that the ANC was considered a terrorist organization, and that the U.S. government had to grant a waiver for him to come to the U.S. for the first time in 1990, when he was given a hero’s welcome in the streets of Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York and elsewhere in New York and around the country. They also did not like the fact that South Africa’s liberation was aided by other anti-imperialist and revolutionary countries, such as Libya under Muammar Gadhafi and Cuba under Fidel Castro, aid that Mandela continued to extol during his visit to the U.S.

While they hypocritically decry Mandela’s 27 years in prison, they do not mention such political prisoners in the U.S. as Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has already spent 32 years in prison, Leonard Peltier now imprisoned for 37 years, Oscar Lopez Rivera imprisoned for 32 year, Affia Siddiqui, captured in Pakistan in 2003 and kidnapped to the U.S. where she is serving a sentence of 86 years, David Gilbert imprisoned for 32 years, or Lynne Stewart who has already served over 4 years of a 10 year sentence.

The bourgeois press also praised Mandela for “peacefully freeing” South Africa from white minority rule, while condemning President Mugabe of Zimbabwe who not only freed his country from white minority rule through armed struggle, but went on, at the end of the 20-year period mandated by the British-imposed Lancaster Agreement, to take over white-owned plantations and divide them up among landless African peasants. For this Zimbabwe has been placed under sanctions by the U.S. and Western Europe, and Mugabe himself has been demonized by the bourgeois press and its Trotskyite hangers-on.

In 1993, at the end of the apartheid era, Mandela together with F.W. de Klerk, the last apartheid president of South Africa, was given the Nobel Peace Prize. In a similar action, in 1973, after the conclusion of the Peace Accords on Vietnam, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to both Le Duc Tho, the chief negotiator for the Democratic Republic of [North] Vietnam, and Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State and one of the chief architects of that imperialist war. But, unlike Mandela, Le Duc Tho declined to accept the prize.

There are further reasons why the bourgeois press praises Mandela and the ANC government. The agreements ending apartheid in South Africa, accepted by the ANC, included clauses saying that the major corporations in that country, owned by white South Africans and British and U.S. capitalists, could not be nationalized. At best, a few members of the African elite were put on the Boards of Directors of these corporations (similarly to allowing token representatives of unions on the Boards of Directors of U.S. corporations, such as Doug Fraser, then head of the UAW, who served on Chrysler’s Board of Directors). In doing this they violated the provisions of the Freedom Charter, adopted by the ANC in 1955, which stated: “The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;” and that “Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger.” (See http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=72)

The fact that there has been no genuine change in white imperialist property relations in South Africa has led to the continuing poverty of the African masses, which has led to increasing revolts in recent years, especially among the miners.

The ANC, while it played the largest role in the fight against white minority rule, was never the only liberation movement. One cannot forget the Black Consciousness Movement, founded by Steve Biko, who was killed in prison in 1977 by the apartheid regime, or the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania. In the late 1920s and 1930s, the South African Communist Party (SACP), under the influence of the Comintern, took up a revolutionary position, calling for an “independent native [Black] South African republic as a stage towards a workers’ and peasants’ republic with full, equal rights for all races.” (See the Resolution of the Comintern on the South African Question, at www.RedStarPublishers.org/sacp1928.doc. )  However, for decades the SACP, following the Khrushchevite line of “peaceful transition,” has become a thoroughly revisionist party that has abandoned any fight against the imperialist bourgeoisie in South Africa.

The gains of bourgeois democracy, in oppressed nations as well as in imperialist countries, are important to the working class because they clear the way for the further development of the class struggle, as Lenin frequently pointed out. This is clearly seen in the Black liberation movement in the U.S. Here, it was particularly after the formal defeat of Jim Crow with the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, that the movement moved beyond the demand for peaceful reforms. It was the Harlem rebellion of 1964, the rebellions in Detroit and Watts in 1967, and the hundreds of rebellions that broke out throughout the country after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that marked the high-points of the movement here.

The petty-bourgeois left in the U.S., including the anti-imperialist left, confines itself to praising Mandela, while making no criticism of the accommodations made by him and the ANC with the white-led ruling class there. This is another example of their failure to provide any leadership in training proletarian and anti-imperialist revolutionaries in understanding current events along the road to a socialist revolution in the United States.

Honduras’ Libre Party says election was stolen
| December 11, 2013 | 7:56 pm | Action | No comments

By W. T. Whitney Jr. December 1, 2013

For months prior to the Honduran presidential elections of November 24, polls favored Libre party candidate Xiomara Castro. One week later the Supreme Election Tribunal (TSE) had named right wing National Party candidate Juan Hernandez as the winner and a large Libre Party march through Tegucigalpa was protesting election fraud. A day later, on December 2, the Libre Party demanded a vote recount.

By then, Libre Party adherents, the Anti-corruption Party, and even the center – right Liberal Party had joined in charging fraud. What happened, some said, was an electoral coup to match the military coup that removed the progressive President Manuel Zelaya from power in 2009.

The National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) took shape amidst street demonstrations protesting Zelaya’s ouster. The FNRP eventually formed the Liberty and Refoundation Party, known as Libre, whose just – completed campaign advanced a social democratic and anti-imperialist program. Presidential candidate Xiomara Castro – ex-president Zelaya’s wife – gained 28.8 percent of the recent vote, far below the National Party’s 36.8 percent result.

The Anti-Corruption Party’s presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla secured 13.5 percent of the votes. The combined totals of that party and the Libre Party account for 42.3 percent of all votes. Second round voting is not part of Honduras’ electoral system.

At a press conference on November 29, the Libre Party released its own vote tally. The party’s election observers at the polls had received 14,593 out of 16,135 copies of sheets showing voting results. Comparison of that data with figures posted on the TSE website demonstrated 82,301 excess votes assigned to the National Party and 55,720 taken away from the Libre Party. Reportedly, “at least 2,805 sets of certified voting documents were neither transmitted to the political parties nor made public by the TSE.”

While demanding a TSE vote recount, Libre Party Lawyer Ricci Moncada charged “that on the night of November 24, the TSE removed from the system more than 20 percent of the voting documents sent for further examination due to bar code irregularities” Reporting to the press on November 29, Xiomara Castro declared Libre would not recognize the TSE results. She indicated the votes of 883,140 electors were invalid because of fraud.

Libre partisans described National Party promotion of voter abstention through offers of commercial discounts and cell phones, medical supplies and food. The votes of dead people were cast and live voters were blocked because records showed them to be dead.

The elections played out amidst repression and fear. Reportedly, an antiterrorist law and militarization of the streets facilitated the imposition of electoral fraud. Assailants killed four Libre Party activists during the voting and subsequently. TSE president David Matamoros released a voting report accompanied by a text message warning that “soldiers and police are already ready in case of any protest.”

Three weeks prior to the elections, U.S. ambassador Lisa Kubiske advised Hondurans, “to think hard about which candidate will create more jobs and an atmosphere in which the private sector feels confident about investing.” Afterwards she expressed gratification for a “fiesta of electoral democracy.”

European Union electoral observers judged the voting to be “transparent.” Speaking to a reporter, however, dissenting observer Leo Gabriel of Austria suggested his fellow observers had been pressured. The EU wanted to project a favorable image of Honduras, he alleged, especially in the wake of new EU trade agreements with Central American nations. And, “I can attest to countless inconsistencies in the electoral process…. there was a huge mess at the voting stations, where the hidden alliance between the small parties and the National Party led to the buying and selling of votes.” Spanish judge Baltazar Garzón, another international observer, declared, “We all unanimously established that there were clear indications of manipulation and electoral fraud.”

News sources offered little indication as to the Libre Party’s future direction. Responding to the likelihood of a stolen election, Party leaders issued militant declarations of returning to street demonstrations. That rhetoric has quieted. One commentator explained that the leadership “assumes as valid the idea that dominant sectors manage protests.” Within the Party, that approach, if it exists, may not be universally accepted, and the possibility thus emerges of division within Libre Party ranks.

The theory is that Libre Party caution relates to support received from big business interests, notably from Adolfo Facussé, President of the National Association of Manufacturers. Facussé backed the coup against President Zelaya. His is a powerful, landowning family with far-reaching commercial enterprises.

The Libre Party broke the monopoly on political power the National and Liberal Parties had enjoyed for decades. It elected 39 deputies to the Congress. They and 13 deputies from the Anti-Corruption Party constitute a voting bloc larger than the National Party bench. And there is “a great discontent and a social wakening among youth, workers, and small farmers protesting daily against electoral fraud under the auspices of the FNRP.”