Category: class struggle
Jack London – What Life Means to Me (1905)
| January 14, 2018 | 6:00 pm | class struggle, Jack London | No comments

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jack London – What Life Means to Me (1905)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/jack-london-what-life-means-to-me-1905.html
Jack London – What Life Means to Me.
Revolution and other Essays.
 
I was born in the working-class. Early I discovered enthusiasm, ambition, and ideals; and to satisfy these became the problem of my child- life. My environment was crude and rough and raw. I had no outlook, but an uplook rather. My place in society was at the bottom. Here life offered nothing but sordidness and wretchedness, both of the flesh and the spirit; for here flesh and spirit were alike starved and tormented.
Above me towered the colossal edifice of society, and to my mind the only way out was up. Into this edifice I early resolved to climb. Up above, men wore black clothes and boiled shirts, and women dressed in beautiful gowns. Also, there were good things to eat, and there was plenty to eat. This much for the flesh. Then there were the things of the spirit. Up above me, I knew, were unselfishnesses of the spirit, clean and noble thinking, keen intellectual living. I knew all this because I read “Seaside Library” novels, in which, with the exception of the villains and adventuresses, all men and women thought beautiful thoughts, spoke a beautiful tongue, and performed glorious deeds. In short, as I accepted the rising of the sun, I accepted that up above me was all that was fine and noble and gracious, all that gave decency and dignity to life, all that made life worth living and that remunerated one for his travail and misery.
 
But it is not particularly easy for one to climb up out of the working- class—especially if he is handicapped by the possession of ideals and illusions. I lived on a ranch in California, and I was hard put to find the ladder whereby to climb. I early inquired the rate of interest on invested money, and worried my child’s brain into an understanding of the virtues and excellencies of that remarkable invention of man, compound interest. Further, I ascertained the current rates of wages for workers of all ages, and the cost of living. From all this data I concluded that if I began immediately and worked and saved until I was fifty years of age, I could then stop working and enter into participation in a fair portion of the delights and goodnesses that would then be open to me higher up in society. Of course, I resolutely determined not to marry, while I quite forgot to consider at all that great rock of disaster in the working-class world—sickness.
 
But the life that was in me demanded more than. a meagre existence of scraping and scrimping. Also, at ten years of age, I became a newsboy on the streets of a city, and found myself with a changed uplook. All about me were still the same sordidness and wretchedness, and up above me was still the same paradise waiting to be gained; but the ladder whereby to climb was a different one. It was now the ladder of business. Why save my earnings and invest in government bonds, when, by buying two newspapers for five cents, with a turn of the wrist I could sell them for ten cents and double my capital—The business ladder was the ladder for me, and I had a vision of myself becoming a baldheaded and successful merchant prince.
 
Alas for visions! When I was sixteen I had already earned the title of “prince.” But this title was given me by a gang of cut-throats and thieves, by whom I was called “The Prince of the Oyster Pirates.” And at that time I had climbed the first rung of the business ladder. I was a capitalist. I owned a boat and a complete oyster-pirating outfit. I had begun to exploit my fellow-creatures. I had a crew of one man. As captain and owner I took two-thirds of the spoils, and gave the crew one-third, though the crew worked just as hard as I did and risked just as much his life and liberty.
 
This one rung was the height I climbed up the business ladder. One night I went on a raid amongst the Chinese fishermen. Ropes and nets were worth dollars and cents. It was robbery, I grant, but it was precisely the spirit of capitalism. The capitalist takes away the possessions of his fellow-creatures by means of a rebate, or of a betrayal of trust, or by the purchase of senators and supreme-court judges. I was merely crude. That was the only difference. I used a gun.
 
But my crew that night was one of those inefficients against whom the capitalist is wont to fulminate, because, forsooth, such inefficients increase expenses and reduce dividends. My crew did both. What of his carelessness he set fire to the big mainsail and totally destroyed it. There weren’t any dividends that night, and the Chinese fishermen were richer by the nets and ropes we did’ not get. I was bankrupt, unable just then to pay sixty-five dollars for a new mainsail. I left my boat at anchor and went off on a bay-pirate boat on a raid up the Sacramento River. While away on this trip, another gang of bay pirates raided my boat. They stole everything, even the anchors; and later on, when I recovered the drifting hulk, I sold it for twenty dollars. I had slipped back the one rung I had climbed, and never again did I attempt the business ladder.
 
From then on I was mercilessly exploited by other capitalists. I had the muscle, and they made money out of it while I made but a very indifferent living out of it. I was a sailor before the mast, a longshoreman, a roustabout; I worked in canneries, and factories, and laundries; I mowed lawns, and cleaned carpets, and washed windows. And I never got the full product of my toil. I looked at the daughter of the cannery owner, in her carriage, and knew that it was my muscle, in part, that helped drag along that carriage on its rubber tires. I looked at the son of the factory owner, going to college, and knew that it was my muscle that helped, in part, to pay for the wine and good fellowship he enjoyed.
 
But I did not resent this. It was all in the game. They were the strong. Very well, I was strong. I would carve my way to a place amongst them and make money out of the muscles of other men. I was not afraid of work. I loved hard- work. I would pitch in and work harder than ever and eventually become a pillar of society.
 
And just then, as luck would have it, I found an employer that was of the same mind. I was willing to work, and he was more than willing that I should work. I thought I was learning a trade. In reality, I had displaced two men. I thought he was making an electrician out of me; as a matter of fact, he was making fifty dollars per month out of me. The two men I had displaced had received forty dollars each per month; I was doing the work of both for thirty dollars per month.
 
This employer worked me nearly to death. A man may love oysters, but too many oysters will disincline him toward that particular diet. And so with me. Too much work sickened me. I did not wish ever to see work again. I fled from work. I became a tramp, begging my way from door to door, wandering over the United States and sweating bloody sweats in slums and prisons.
 
I had been born in the working-class, and I was now, at the age of eighteen, beneath the point at which I had started. I was down in the cellar of society, down in the subterranean depths of misery about which it is neither nice nor proper to speak. I was in the pit, the abyss, the human cesspool, the shambles and the charnel-house of our civilization. This is the part of the edifice of society that society chooses to ignore. Lack of space compels me here to ignore it, and I shall say only that the things I there saw gave me a terrible scare.
 
I was scared into thinking. I saw the naked simplicities of the complicated civilization in which I lived. Life was a matter of food and shelter. In order to get food and shelter men sold things. The merchant sold shoes, the politician sold his manhood, and the representative of the people, with exceptions, of course, sold his trust; while nearly all sold their honor. Women, too, whether on the street or in the holy bond of wedlock, were prone to sell their flesh. All things were commodities, all people bought and sold. The one commodity that labor had to sell was muscle. The honor of labor had no price in the market-place. Labor had muscle, and muscle alone, to sell.
 
But there was a difference, a vital difference. Shoes and trust and honor had a way of renewing themselves. They were imperishable stocks. Muscle, on the other hand, did not renew. As the shoe merchant sold shoes, he continued to replenish his stock. But there was no way of replenishing the laborer’s stock of muscle. The more he sold of his muscle, the less of it remained to him. It was his one commodity, and each day his stock of it diminished. In the end, if he did not die before, he sold out and put up his shutters. He was a muscle bankrupt, and nothing remained to him but to go down into the cellar of society and perish miserably.
 
I learned, further, that brain was likewise a commodity. It, too, was different from muscle. A brain seller was only at his prime when he was fifty or sixty years old, and his wares were fetching higher prices than ever. But a laborer was worked out or broken down at forty-five or fifty. I had been in the cellar of society, and I did not like the place as a habitation. The pipes and drains were unsanitary, and the air was bad to breathe. If I could not live on the parlor floor of society, I could, at any rate, have a try at the attic. It was true, the diet there was slim, but the air at least was pure. So I resolved to sell no more muscle, and to become a vender of brains.
 
Then began a frantic pursuit of knowledge. I returned to California and opened the books. While thus equipping, myself to become a brain merchant, it was inevitable that I should delve into sociology. There I found, in a certain class of books, scientifically formulated, the simple sociological concepts I had already worked out for myself. Other and greater minds, before I was born, had worked out all that I had thought and a vast deal more. I discovered that I was a socialist.
 
The socialists were revolutionists, inasmuch as they struggled to overthrow the society of the present, and out of the material to build the society of the future. I, too, was a socialist and a revolutionist. I joined the groups of working-class and intellectual revolutionists, and for the first time came into intellectual living. Here I found keen-flashing intellects and brilliant wits; for here I met strong and alert-brained, withal horny- handed, members of the working-class; unfrocked preachers too wide in their Christianity for any congregation of Mammon-worshippers; professors broken on the wheel of university subservience to the ruling class and flung out because they were quick with knowledge which they strove to apply to the affairs of mankind.
 
Here I found, also, warm faith in the human, glowing idealism, sweetnesses of unselfishness, renunciation, and martyrdom—all the splendid, stinging things of the spirit. Here life was clean, noble, and alive. Here life rehabilitated itself, became wonderful and glorious; and I was glad to be alive. I was in touch with great souls who exalted flesh and spirit over dollars and cents, and to whom the thin wail of the starved slum child meant more than all the pomp and circumstance of commercial expansion and world empire. All about me were nobleness of purpose and heroism of effort, and my days and nights were sunshine and starshine, all fire and dew, with before my eyes, ever burning and blazing, the Holy Grail, Christ’s own Grail, the warm human, long-suffering and maltreated, but to be rescued and saved at the last.
 
And I, poor foolish I, deemed all this to be a mere foretaste of the delights of living I should find higher above me in society. I had lost many illusions since the day I read “Seaside Library” novels on the California ranch. I was destined to lose many of the illusions I still retained.
 
As a brain merchant I was a success. Society opened its portals to me. I entered right in on the parlor floor, and my disillusionment proceeded rapidly. I sat down to dinner with the masters of society, and with the wives and daughters of the masters of society. The women were gowned beautifully, I admit; but to my naive surprise I discovered that they were of the same clay as all the rest of the women I had known down below in the cellar. “The colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady were sisters under their skins”—and gowns.
 
It was not this, however, so much as their materialism, that shocked me. It is true, these beautifully gowned, beautiful women prattled sweet little ideals and dear little moralities; but in spite of their prattle the dominant key of the life they lived was materialistic. And they were so sentimentally selfish ! They assisted in all kinds of sweet little charities, and informed one of the fact, while all the time the food they ate and the beautiful clothes they wore were bought out of dividends stained with the blood of child labor, and sweated labor, and of prostitution itself. When I mentioned such facts, expecting in my innocence that these sisters of Judy O’Grady would at once strip off their blood-dyed silks and jewels, they became excited and angry, and read me preachments about the lack of thrift, the drink, and the innate depravity that caused all the misery in society’s cellar. When I mentioned that I couldn’t quite see that it was the lack of thrift, the intemperance, and the depravity of a half-starved child of six that made it work twelve hours every night in a Southern cotton mill, these sisters of Judy O’Grady attacked my private life and called me an “agitator”—as though that, forsooth, settled the argument.
 
Nor did I fare better with the masters themselves. I had expected to find men who were clean, noble, and alive, whose ideals were clean, noble, and alive. I went about amongst the men who sat in the high places—the preachers, the politicians, the business men, the professors, and the editors. I ate meat with them, drank wine with them, automobiled with them, and studied them. It is true, I found many that were clean and noble; but with rare exceptions, they were not alive. I do verily believe I could count the exceptions on the fingers of my two hands. Where they were not alive with rottenness, quick with unclean life, they were merely the unburied dead—clean and. noble, like well- preserved mummies, but not alive. In this connection I may especially mention the professors I met, the men who live up to that decadent university ideal, “the passionless pursuit of passionless intelligence.”
 
I met men who invoked the name of the Prince of Peace in their diatribes against war, and who put rifles in the hands of Pinkertons with which to shoot down strikers in their own factories. I met men incoherent with indignation at the brutality of prize-fighting, and who, at the same time, were parties to the adulteration of food that killed each year more babies than even red-handed Herod had killed.
 
I talked in hotels and clubs and homes and Pullmans and steamer- chairs with captains of industry, and marvelled at how little travelled they were in the realm of intellect. On the other hand, I discovered that their intellect, in the business sense, was abnormally developed. Also, I discovered that their morality, where business was concerned, was nil.
 
This delicate, aristocratic-featured gentleman, was a dummy director and a tool of corporations that secretly robbed widows and orphans. This gentleman, who collected fine editions and was an especial patron of literature, paid blackmail to a heavy-jowled, black-browed boss of a municipal machine. This editor, who published patent medicine advertisements and did not dare print the truth in his paper about said patent medicines for fear of losing the advertising, called me a scoundrelly demagogue because I told him that his political economy was antiquated and that his biology was contemporaneous with Pliny.
 
This senator was the tool and the slave, the little puppet of a gross, uneducated machine boss; so was this governor and this supreme court judge; and all three rode on railroad passes. This man, talking soberly and earnestly about the beauties of idealism and the goodness of God, had just betrayed his comrades in a business deal. This man, a pillar of the church and heavy contributor to foreign missions, worked his shop girls ten hours a day on a starvation wage and thereby directly encouraged prostitution. This man, who endowed chairs in universities, perjured himself in courts of law over a matter of dollars and cents. And this railroad magnate broke his word as a gentleman and a Christian when he granted a secret rebate to one of two captains of industry locked together in a struggle to the death.
 
It was the same everywhere, crime and betrayal, betrayal and crime—men who were alive, but who were neither clean nor noble, men who were clean and noble but who were not alive. Then there was a great, hopeless mass, neither noble nor alive, but merely clean. It did not sin positively nor deliberately; but it did sin passively and ignorantly by acquiescing in the current immorality and profiting by it. Had it been noble and alive it would not have been ignorant, and it would have refused to share in the profits of betrayal and crime.
 
I discovered that I did not like to live on the parlor floor of society. Intellectually I was bored. Morally and spiritually I was sickened. I remembered my intellectuals and idealists, my unfrocked preachers, broken professors, and clean-minded, class-conscious workingmen. I remembered my days and nights of sunshine and starshine, where life was all a wild sweet wonder, a spiritual paradise of unselfish adventure and ethical romance. And I saw before me, ever blazing and burning, the Holy Grail.
 
So I went back to the working-class, in which I had been born and where I belonged. I care no longer to climb. The imposing edifice of society above my head holds no delights for me. It is the foundation of the edifice that interests me. There I am content to labor, crowbar in hand, shoulder to shoulder with intellectuals, idealists, and class-conscious workingmen, getting a solid pry now and again and setting the whole edifice rocking. Some day, when we get a few more hands and crowbars to work, we’ll topple it over, along with all its rotten life and unburied dead, its monstrous selfishness and sodden materialism. Then we’ll cleanse the cellar and build a new habitation for mankind, in which there will be no parlor floor, in which all the rooms will be bright and airy, and where the air that is breathed will be clean, noble, and alive.
 
Such is my outlook. I look forward to a time when man shall progress upon something worthier and higher than his stomach, when there will be a finer incentive to impel men to action than the incentive of to-day, which is the incentive of the stomach. I retain my belief in the nobility and excellence of the human. I believe that spiritual sweetness and unselfishness will conquer the gross gluttony of to-day. And last of all, my faith is in the working-class. As some Frenchman has said, “The stairway of time is ever echoing with the wooden shoe going up, the polished boot descending.”
 
Newton, Iowa, 
November, 1905.
 
Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), a giant of american literature, was a novelist, journalist and social activist. Combining his experiences with the study of the “Communist Manifesto”, London became an advocate of socialism and joined the Socialist Labor Party in 1896. He wrote several powerful works about socialism and the rights of the working class, such as “The Iron Heel” and “The People of the Abyss”. 
This is Capitalism #4 – No Money? No Care! Baltimore patient dumped outside in freezing cold!
| January 14, 2018 | 5:55 pm | class struggle, Health Care | No comments

Saturday, January 13, 2018

This is Capitalism #4 – No Money? No Care! Baltimore patient dumped outside in freezing cold!

This is Capitalism No #4
Shocking video shows security guards of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus wheeling a disoriented patient out onto the street in just her gown and dumping her alone at a bus stop in the freezing cold.
This is Capitalism #3 – Two million children are forced to work in Turkey

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This is Capitalism #3 – Two million children are forced to work in Turkey

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/this-is-capitalism-3-two-million.html

According to soL international, the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) protested child labour in front of the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Social Security Institution on January 5. TKP already launched a widespread campaign at the end of 2017, “Child labour must be prohibited”. The recent protest came after the Ministry of Labour and Social Security declared 2018 as “the year of fighting against child labour”.

Revealing the hypocritical stance of the ministry, the TKP members read a press release during the protest. The leaflet also pointed out that the government-imposed workers’ wages are far below the poverty line in the country.
 
TKP: ‘2 MILLION CHILDREN FORCED TO WORK IN TURKEY’
 
“168 millions of child workers are forced to work in the world, in addition to a nearly 800 thousand according to official data. However, it is actually almost 2 million children in Turkey” the statement said, adding that the child workers are everywhere from shopping malls to the textile industry and constructions sites.
 
The statement reminded the official data, according to which, 127 children were killed in 12 years between 2002 and 2014. However, the Workers’ Health and Work Safety Assembly states that at least 300 children were killed as a result of occupational murders in the last 5 years. “Of course, we do not think that such a ministry that lies and falsifies the figures would struggle against child labour,” the TKP statement added.
 
THE ROLE OF THE EU AND FAMOUS TRADEMARKS IN EXPLOITATION
 
TKP pointed out at the role of the European Union in the exploitation of children in Turkey. “Due to the readmission agreement regarding refugees signed between the EU and Turkey, refugee children have been forced to work in agriculture and industry,” the leaflet pointed out.
 
Emphasizing that many worldwide textile brands abuse child force, the statement reminded that such trademarks as Marks & Spencer, Asos, Zara and Mango are known to force Syrian refugee children to work in their branches in Turkey. 
 

ISLAMIST AKP GOVERNMENT USURPS CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO SECULAR EDUCATION

 
TKP also indicated to the role of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). As part of the government-led Islamist social transformation in Turkey, many schools have been turned into religious İmam Hatip schools, violating the children’s right to have a secular education.
 
“Those who abolished the secular education have no right to talk about child labour. Only those who struggle for secular education and the bright future of country have a voice in the struggle against child labour,” the TKP statement said.
 
Saying that they are dedicated to finding a new country where children will live in an egalitarian, peaceful and free society without any exploitation, the TKP members concluded: “Long live the equal, free and bright future of our country!”
This is Capitalism #2 – World’s wealthiest capitalists became 1$ trillion richest in 2017, while 22,000 children die each day due to poverty
| January 7, 2018 | 6:43 pm | class struggle | No comments

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/this-is-capitalism-2-worlds-wealthiest.html

Sunday, January 7, 2018

This is Capitalism #2 – World’s wealthiest capitalists became 1$ trillion richest in 2017, while 22,000 children die each day due to poverty

This is Capitalism No #2
The numbers are revealing. According to Bloomberg Billionares Index, the richest people on earth became $1 trillion richer in 2017, more than four times last year’s gain.
Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos added the most in 2017, a $34.2 billion gain that knocked Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates out of his spot as the world’s richest person in October. Gates, 62, had held the spot since May 2013, and has been donating much of his fortune to charity, including a $4.6 billion pledge he made to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in August. Bezos, whose net worth topped $100 billion at the end of November, currently has a net worth of $99.6 billion compared with $91.3 billion for Gates.
By the end of trading Tuesday, Dec. 26, the 500 billionaires controlled $5.3 trillion, up from $4.4 trillion on Dec. 27, 2016.
The U.S. has the largest presence on the index, with 159 billionaires who added $315 billion, an 18 percent gain that gives them a collective net worth of $2 trillion. Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg had the fourth-largest U.S. dollar increase on the index, adding $22.6 billion, or 45 percent, and filed plans to sell 18 percent of his stake in the social media giant as part of his plan to give away the majority of his $72.6 billion fortune.
At the same time…
Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.
1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.
Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment.
80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.
Sources: UN Development Programme, UNICEF, Oxfam, WHO.
Italy- Communist Party: The time is now!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Italy- Communist Party: The time is now!

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/italy-communist-party-time-is-now.html
The time is now: 
united for the Communist Party.
 
 
Translation: Srećko Vojvodić
 
Just a bit less than a month ago, the Communist Party has announced its intention to participate in political elections 2018. Since that day, we have received hundreds of messages of support, proposals of active and specific help, as well as militant joining of our project. We thank everybody and will keep on connect you these days with our local representatives.
Following the developments of these hours, of the discussion in the communist formations and the choices made by the leadership groups, often despite broad opposition of the base of those parties, we want to make a further appeal to the comrades to take note of the choices made and mobilize to actively support the Communist Party, starting from the campaign for the 2018 elections.
Decisions of the Communist Refoundation (Rifondazione Comunista) and the Italian Communist Party (Partito Comunista Italiano), to join the common list of the left, Power to the People (Potere al Popolo), are proofs that the strategy of these parties is moving in a direction, opposite and irreconcilable to the communist reconstruction. As we have already pointed out several times during last couple of years, the communist question is a question of strategic choice and not of simple unitary proclamations, devoid of ideological clarity and political perspective.
Unitary list of the radical left has as its models Podemos, SYRIZA and post-communist movements. It is firmly anchored in the international reference of the Party of the “European Left”, movement built by Bertinotti, whose purpose is dissolution and transformation of communist parties in generic left forces, which accept the capitalist system and European Union, which, due to its perspective, is directly responsible for the social massacre in Greece. In some cases, even the confusion is such that one even looks at the English Labor Party of Corbyn, in Her Majesty’s opposition!
No communist reconstruction is possible within the furrow of the “European Left”. Everyone in the history of Italian communists who had renounced the symbol of the hammer and sickle, and supported the necessity to build a wider front, from Bolognina onward, moved in the direction of overcoming the communist question, which is the question of workers’ emancipation from capitalist exploitation, and of socialist construction.
Do not be fooled again! Communist reconstruction will not pass by yet another watering down into a common list, one more radical than another only by the choice of institutional parties; today in the Free and Equal (Liberi e Uguali), which have “downloaded” the Brancaccio and which were ready to leave, but which carries the same basic contradictions that are already affecting even the most genuine parts of that movement.
Communist reconstruction goes along another perspective. It goes through choices of those who are carrying forward the process of reconstruction of an autonomous and independent field of communists coherently and against many difficulties.
As we have already declared, we are making the list of the Communist Party open to contributions of all communists who do not want to resign themselves and turn themselves into an umpteenth bankruptcy and renunciation project. Imposed deadlines for list presentation are rigid and the time is short. However, the unitary strengthening of the communist reconstruction process is worth more than anything else. The CP is ready to evaluate in any possible way individual and collective contributions of comrades who want to join and support the communist cause, demonstrating in facts and not in words a real willingness to open a unitary process, in the direction indicated by our Party long time ago.
The time is now: united for the Communist Party.
 
* * * 
Poco meno di un mese fa il Partito Comunista ha annunciato l’intenzione di correre alle elezioni politiche 2018. Da quel giorno abbiamo ricevuto centinaia di messaggi di sostegno, proposte di aiuto attivo e concreto, adesioni militanti al nostro progetto. Ringraziamo tutti e continueremo in questi giorni a mettervi in contatto con i nostri referenti locali.
Seguendo gli sviluppi di queste ore della discussione nelle formazioni comuniste e le scelte operate dai gruppi dirigenti,  spesso nonostante ampie contrarietà della base di quei partiti, vogliamo fare un ulteriore appello ai compagni e alle compagne a prendere atto delle scelte operate e mobilitarsi per sostenere attivamente il Partito Comunista a partire dalla campagna per le elezioni 2018.
La decisione di Rifondazione Comunista e del Partito Comunista Italiano di aderire alla lista comune di sinistra, Potere al Popolo, sono la prova che la strategia di questi partiti si muove in una direzione opposta e inconciliabile rispetto alla ricostruzione comunista. Come più volte abbiamo sostenuto in questi anni, la questione comunista è questione di scelte strategiche, non di semplici proclami unitari, privi di chiarezza ideologica e di prospettiva politica.
La lista unitaria della sinistra radicale ha come propri modelli Podemos, Syriza e i movimenti post-comunisti. E’ saldamente ancorata al riferimento internazionale del Partito della “Sinistra Europea”, movimento costruito da Bertinotti, che sta operando per lo scioglimento e la trasformazione dei partiti comunisti in forze genericamente di sinistra, che accetta il sistema capitalistico, l’Unione Europea, che grazie alla sua prospettiva è direttamente responsabile del massacro sociale in Grecia. In alcuni casi addirittura la confusione è tale che si guarda persino al partito laburista inglese di Corbyn, all’opposizione di sua maestà!
Dentro il solco della “Sinistra Europea” non è possibile alcuna ricostruzione comunista. Chiunque nella storia dei comunisti in Italia abbia rinunciato al simbolo della falce e martello e sostenuto la necessità di costruire fronti più ampi, dalla Bolognina in poi è andato nella direzione del superamento della questione comunista, che è la questione dell’emancipazione dei lavoratori dallo sfruttamento capitalistico e della costruzione del socialismo.
Non fatevi ingannare ancora una volta! La ricostruzione comunista non passerà per l’ennesimo annacquamento in una lista comune, più radicale delle precedenti solo per scelta dei partiti istituzionali, oggi in Liberi e Uguali, che hanno “scaricato” il Brancaccio e quanti erano già pronti a salirvi su, ma che porta le medesime contraddizioni di fondo, che già stanno intaccando le parti più genuine persino di quel movimento.
La ricostruzione comunista passa per un’altra prospettiva. Per le scelte di quanti coerentemente e tra mille difficoltà stanno portando avanti quel processo di ricostruzione di un campo autonomo e indipendente dei comunisti.
Come abbiamo già dichiarato, facciamo della lista del Partito Comunista la lista aperta al contributo di tutti i comunisti che non vogliono rassegnarsi e consegnarsi all’ennesimo progetto fallimentare e rinunciatario. Le scadenze imposte dalla presentazione delle liste sono rigide, il tempo è poco. Ma il rafforzamento unitario del processo di ricostruzione comunista, vale più di tutto. Il PC è pronto a valorizzare in ogni modo possibile i contributi individui e collettivi dei compagni che vorranno unirsi e sostenere la causa comunista, dimostrando nei fatti e non a parole la volontà reale di aprire un processo unitario, nella direzione da tempo indicata dal nostro Partito.
Il tempo è adesso: uniti per il Partito Comunista.
Iran Protests: Statement of the CC of the Tudeh Party of Iran on recent developments

Monday, January 1, 2018

Iran Protests: Statement of the CC of the Tudeh Party of Iran on recent developments

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/iran-protests-statement-of-cc-of-tudeh.html
On the occasion of the recent mass protests in Iran, the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party (حزب تودۀ ایران) issued the following statement:

Dear compatriots,

The politico-economic crisis of the bankrupt theocratic regime of Iran is growing and deepening daily. The impact of this crisis can be observed in the internal regime conflicts and the unprecedented revelations of infighting between powerful factions – revealing the depth of corruption and oppression that prevails in the so-called “exemplary system of the world”.
The spiralling poverty, deprivation, high prices and chronic unemployment – which have ruined the lives of a large portion of the population and in particular the youth, – the extensive and disastrous destruction of the environment, due to the catastrophic policies of the ruling power, and the complete economic bankruptcy of the regime as well as escalation of external pressures on the regime, have altogether created a very critical and explosive situation in our society. The heads of the regime who are living a luxury life with an unprecedented fortune that they have amassed over the last forty years by plundering the national resources and wealth of the nation, ask the people to be patient and tolerate the hardship in order to “guard the Islamic regime” – a regime that has brought nothing to our nation except destruction and cultural, political and economic regress. The current rulers have shown in practice that their only goal and desire is to save the current despotic regime and the absolute rule of the dark-minded clergy over our nation at the cost of any crime and any tragedy.
Recent weeks have witnessed the escalation of discontent and unprecedented protest gatherings of the people in numerous cities, as well as broad and extensive labour protests against high prices, oppression and the injustices perpetrated by governing bodies, from the government and parliament (Majlis) to the Judiciary and the Islamic Guards Corps and the Supreme Religious Leadership all of which protect the interests of the grand capitalists. The escalation in the discontent of the people regarding the existing situation and, more importantly, the readiness and willingness of the enraged and frustrated masses to take on the suppressive apparatus of the regime is an indication of the significant developments in the level of preparedness of the masses in opposing – and waging an open fight against – the rule of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Contrary to the claims of some leaders of the pro-regime reformists that such protests are “conspiracies”, we deeply believe that the majority of the people of our nation are disappointed and frustrated with the slogans of those whose only objectives are to make some cosmetic and minor adjustments to the current regime, and are now demanding fundamental changes in the governance of the country. Today only those who would like to somehow preserve the current disastrous situation fear the escalation and growth of the people’s struggle. The experience of the last two decades and several presidential, parliamentary, and city council elections that were held, and manipulated under the control and direction of the Supreme Leader, has proved that the people are rapidly moving away from the strategy of making a choice between bad and worse, and are no longer willing to submit to the manipulation of their demands by the regime and the pro-regime reformists who by and large play the role of that nation’s power brokers these days. The majority of the people of the homreland today want to put an end to the despotic theocratic regime; to end the oppression and injustice; and bring about the establishment of freedom and social justice. These demands can only be achieved through a joint struggle of all the national and freedom-loving forces without foreign intervention.
Dear compatriots,
At the same time, it should be noted that under the critical conditions of the current dangerous regional tensions, the regional reaction – supported by the Trump administration in the US and the right-wing government of Netanyahu in Israel – is seeking to distinctly impact the developments in our country and to replace the current reactionary regime with another reactionary regime. The support of these forcesi.e. the regional reaction, Trump administration, and the right-wing government of Netanyahu, for the Iranian monarchists and those political groups whose agenda is to cooperate with the most reactionary regimes of the region and to persuade the European states to impose sanctions on Iran’s economy – thereby exacerbating the misery for the destitute and disadvantaged people of our country – and to encourage foreign states to interfere militarily in Iran, leaves no room whatsoever for any optimism regarding the future designs of such “opposition”. The progressive and freedom-loving forces of Iran must increase their presence in the protest movement of the masses – more than ever before – providing proper people-oriented slogans, offering sensible guidance and relying on the legitimate demands of the masses for abolishing the existing suppressive regime and ending the economic deprivation, oppression, injustice and plundering of the natural and human resources of the nation, while avoiding reactionary and divisive slogans. We should not let the past repeat itself whereby the heroic struggle of the nation for freedom, democracy and social justice is hijacked by a bunch of reactionary opportunists who do not believe in the people’s rights or democratic freedoms.
Dear compatriots,
The way to save the country is through a joint and organised mobilisation of all the national, anti-dictatorship and freedom-loving forces to abolish the despotic and anti-people theocratic regime of the Supreme Leadership. Our party has been of the resolute belief that the ruling political regime in Iran – a regime that is based on the rule of one individual as the “representative of God on Earth” who is above and beyond all the laws and executive governing institutions, the legislative, the judiciary and the police and military apparatus – is a regime beyond reform and a people-based democratic regime cannot be created through any reworking of the current system. The solution is to wage a joint and organised struggle of all social layers – from the workers and all working people to the militant youth, student, women and progressive and freedom-loving intellectuals – around popular slogans against the rule of tyranny. The experience of our contemporary history has demonstrated that the peoples of Iran have the ability to convey their voice to the ears of the ruling reaction. Once again, we call upon all the national, progressive and freedom-loving forces of the nation to put aside their theoretical-historic disagreements and mobilise together, alongside the people’s movement to effectively help the struggle – the goal of which is to reject the tyranny and to establish the rule of the people and freedom, peace, sovereignty and social justice.
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
29 December 2017.
Party of Labour of Austria: The new goverment of the capital! – Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Party of Labour of Austria: The new goverment of the capital! – Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/party-of-labour-of-austria-new.html
Statement by the Party of Labour of Austria (PdA) on the formation of the new coalition government of Austria. 
The new government is fixed. The last weeks of coalition negotiations between ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party) and FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) already rudimentarily showed what awaits the working class and the Austrian people. The implementation of the decided measures and reforms would lead to an immediate deterioration of the working and living conditions of the wide majority of the population. The primary goal is to strengthen capital’s position in the country. 
With the 12-hour-working day and the 60-hour-working week – already a reality for quite some time for a lot of workers in several branches – we return to conditions which once seemed to be long ago obsolete. Not only workers’ rights, but also hard-won democratic rights are being threatened. The occupation of ministerial posts, which are supposed to administrate and lead the armed wing of the bourgeois state, by some of the most reactionary members of the bourgeois political personnel of the country, is definitely an alarming development. A main topic of this government, which shall serve as a smoke-grenade for the lamination of the social ferocities, is also the restriction in the refugee-policy. Benefits are to be cut; the human right to shelter is to be largely abolished. Of course, the problems of the labour market are not at all being solved in this way.
As far as international relations are concerned, it becomes obvious that the new government – exactly as all the previous ones – will not only not question Austria’s position in the EU and other imperialist alliances, but will even strive to strengthen it. In the interest of the Austrian and foreign monopoly capital, neutrality has already long ago become an empty shell; now full integration in the military structures of the EU and NATO is impending. The consequences of such a development can only be devastating for the Austrian people and other peoples, as thereby Austria will be involved more and more in the armament plans and the imperialist deployment plans of the “West”. This will also lead to an increase in military spending. 
Resistance against the anti-workers and anti-peoples policies can be waged only from below, from the people themselves. To rely on the bourgeois opposition parties or even to leave them the initiative will lead to defeats and disappointments in the longer term. The recent past showed that. It is also certain that within the framework of contradictions between the bourgeois parties and the different capital-fractions there will be various forces that will attempt to exploit the frustration and anger of the population to serve their interests. The SPÖ (Social Democratic Party of Austria) already attempts to present itself as a “progressive” and “workers-friendly” opposition and alternative, in order to keep the working people trapped within the established system. With its dominance in the trade union and workers’ movement it remains eventually the decisive column of capital it always was, by making in advance every protest and struggle toothless and maintaining parliamentary illusions among the workers. After all, the new government program is basically the continuation of the anti-peoples policy of the SPÖ-ÖVP-governments under aggravated conditions and as the so-called “Plan A” (of SPÖ) already have shown, social democracy set by itself the course to make “compromises” on central questions – such as the flexibilisation of working time –possible. 
However, with rotten compromises, empty promises and false hopes the situation will change only to the worse. Against such practices, it must be sought that the measures and reforms won’t be implemented. This can be achieved only through consistent resistance and actual mass actions. Only if this policy meets determined resistance, can it be prevented. This presupposes that the working people and all affected popular strata become conscious of their own interests and, in order to defend them, organise themselves independently and become themselves active, without becoming the vehicle of bourgeois parties on their way to governmental power. To wait for the election of a new government, which promises a change of policy, can only lead to passivity, impotence and new disappointments. 
Especially the working class must play a leading role in this struggle. For this, it must deprive the employer-friendly forces of “social partnership” of its confidence in trade unions, the workers’ chamber and all mass organisations and take up the struggle together with the forces of class struggle. It takes strong class-oriented trade unions and mass organisations. It takes an alliance with all popular strata in town and country affected by the policies of the governments of capital and monopoly capital, with the working, student and school youth, with a militant women’s movement and a consistent movement against any participation of Austria in imperialist alliances. 
Under these conditions, the Party of Labour of Austria wants with its principles and its political proposition to give an actual alternative and perspective to the people. It is a political party independent from the interests and influence of any fraction of the ruling class and monopoly capital. It feels devoted and obliged only to the working class, the people of Austria and the international solidarity among the workers. It sees as its historical task to help the working people to empower themselves and obtain through their own struggle what they deserve: a life that corresponds to the modern needs and is possible under today’s tremendous development of productive forces; a life without overwork, deprivations, fear of unemployment and poverty; a life beyond lack of medical maintenance and care, education and cultural offers for the wider masses; a life without exploitation, wars and pauperisation.
It is on the side of the working people and not in their place that the PdA and its members commit themselves for these goals.
In order that this system and their representatives tremble with fear of the people and keep their hand off our hard-won rights, we must here and now organise and struggle!
Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Austria
Vienna, 18th December 2017

PdA: Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!
People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz, left,
and Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
Die neue Regierung steht fest. Was die ArbeiterInnenklasse und das österreichische Volk erwartet, haben die letzten Wochen der Koalitionsverhandlungen zwischen ÖVP und FPÖ ansatzweise gezeigt. Die Umsetzung der beschlossenen Maßnahmen und Reformen würde zu einer unmittelbaren Verschlechterung der Arbeits- und Lebensumstände der breiten Mehrheit der Bevölkerung führen. Das wichtigste Ziel ist es, die Position des Kapitals im Land zu stärken. Mit dem 12-Stunden-Arbeitstag und der 60-Stunden-Arbeitswoche – schon seit Längerem eine Realität für viele Werktätige in etlichen Branchen – kehren wir zu Verhältnissen zurück, die man einst als längst überholt betrachtete. Neben den Arbeitsrechten werden auch verstärkt ebenfalls hart erkämpfte demokratische Rechte bedroht. Die Besetzung kritischer Ministerposten, die den bewaffneten Arm des bürgerlichen Staates verwalten und leiten sollen, durch einige der reaktionärsten Mitglieder des bürgerlichen politischen Personals dieses Landes ist definitiv eine alarmierende Entwicklung. Ein Schwerpunkt dieser Regierung, der als Nebelgranate zur Kaschierung der sozialen Grausamkeiten dienen soll, ist auch die Restriktion in der Flüchtlingspolitik. Unterstützungsleistungen sollen gekürzt, das Menschenrecht auf Schutz weitgehend abgeschafft werden. Die Probleme am Arbeitsmarkt werden dadurch freilich überhaupt nicht gelöst. 
Was die internationalen Beziehungen angeht, wird es deutlich, dass die neue Regierung, genau wie alle vorigen, die Position Österreichs in der EU und der anderen imperialistischen Bündnisse nicht nur nicht in Frage stellen, sondern sogar zu stärken trachten wird. Die Neutralität ist schon längst im Interesse des österreichischen und ausländischen Monopolkapitals eine leere Hülle ohne Inhalt, nun droht auch noch die vollkommene Integration in die militärischen Strukturen der EU und der NATO. Die Folgen einer solchen Entwicklung können für das österreichische Volk und die anderen Völker nur verheerend sein, da damit Österreich immer stärker in die Aufrüstungspläne und imperialistischen Aufmarschpläne des „Westens“ hineingezogen wird. Auch wird das zu einer Erhöhung der Ausgaben für das Militär führen. 
Widerstand gegen die arbeiterInnen- und volksfeindliche Politik kann nur von unten, nur vom Volk selbst geleistet werden. Sich auf die bürgerlichen Oppositionsparteien zu verlassen oder ihnen sogar die Initiative zu überlassen, wird längerfristig zu Niederlagen und Enttäuschungen führen. Das hat die jüngere Vergangenheit gezeigt. Was auch sicher ist, ist, dass im Rahmen der Gegensätze zwischen den bürgerlichen Parteien und den verschiedenen Kapitalfraktionen, unterschiedliche Kräfte versuchen werden, den Frust und den Zorn der Bevölkerung in ihrem Interesse auszunutzen. Die SPÖ versucht jetzt schon, sich als “progressive” und “arbeiterfreundliche” Opposition und Alternative aufzustellen, um die Werktätigen innerhalb des bestehenden Systems gefangen zu halten. Mit ihrer Dominanz innerhalb der Gewerkschafts- und ArbeiterInnenbewegung bleibt sie schließlich weiterhin die entscheidende Stütze des Kapitals, die sie immer war, indem sie jeden Protest und Kampf im Vorhinein zahnlos macht und die parlamentarischen Illusionen unter den Werktätigen aufrechterhalten soll. Schließlich wird das neue Regierungsprogramm im Prinzip eine Fortsetzung der volksfeindlichen Politik der SPÖ-ÖVP-Regierungen unter verschärften Verhältnissen sein und wie der sogenannte “Plan A” schon zeigte, hat die Sozialdemokratie von selbst die Weichen gestellt, um bei zentralen Fragen, wie Arbeitszeitflexibilisierung, “Kompromisse” möglich zu machen. 
Mit faulen Kompromissen, leeren Versprechen und falschen Hoffnungen wird sich aber die Lage nur zum Schlechteren ändern. Entgegen solchen Praktiken, muss es darum gehen, dass die Maßnahmen und Reformen der neuen Regierung keine Umsetzung finden. Dies kann nur durch beständigen Widerstand und wirkliche Massenaktionen erreicht werden. Nur wenn diese Politik auf entschlossenen Widerstand stößt, kann sie verhindert werden. Dieser setzt voraus, dass die Werktätigen und alle betroffenen Volkschichten sich ihrer eigenen Interessen bewusst werden und sich zu deren Verteidigung selbstständig organisieren und selbst tätig werden, ohne zum Vehikel bürgerlicher Parteien auf ihrem Weg zur Regierungsmacht zu werden. Auf die Wahl einer neuen Regierung zu warten, die eine andere Politik verspricht, führt zur Passivität und Ohnmacht und zu neuen Enttäuschungen. 
Es ist vor allem die ArbeiterInnenklasse, welche führend in diesem Kampf sein muss. Dazu muss sie den “sozialpartnerschaftlichen”, unternehmerfreundlichen Kräfte in Gewerkschaften, Arbeiterkammer und allen Massenorganisationen ihr Vertrauen entziehen und den Kampf gemeinsam mit den Kräften des Klassenkampfes aufnehmen. Es braucht starke, klassenorientierte Gewerkschaften und Massenorganisationen. Es braucht ein Bündnis mit allen von der Politik der Regierungen des Kapitals und Monopolkapitals betroffenen Volksschichten in Stadt und Land, mit der arbeitenden, studentischen und lernenden Jugend, mit einer kämpferischen Frauenbewegung und einer konsequenten Bewegung gegen jede Beteiligung Österreichs an imperialistischen Bündnissen. 
Die Partei der Arbeit Österreichs möchte mit ihren Grundsätzen und ihrem politischen Angebot in diesem Zusammenhang dem Volk eine tatsächliche Alternative und Perspektive geben. Sie ist eine von den Interessen und dem Einfluss jeglicher Fraktion der herrschenden Klasse und des Monopolkapitals unabhängige politische Partei. Sie fühlt sich nur der ArbeiterInnenklasse und der Bevölkerung Österreichs und der internationalen Solidarität der Werktätigen verbunden und verpflichtet. Sie sieht ihre historische Aufgabe darin, der werktätigen Bevölkerung dazu zu verhelfen, sich selbst zu ermächtigen und über ihren eigenen Kampf das zu bekommen, was ihr zusteht: ein Leben, das den modernen Bedürfnissen entspricht und unter den heutigen riesigen Fortschritten der Produktivkräfte möglich ist. Ein Leben ohne Überarbeitung, Entbehrungen, Angst vor Arbeitslosigkeit und Armut. Ein Leben jenseits von Mängeln an medizinischer Versorgung und Pflege, Bildung und kulturellen Angeboten für die breite Masse. Ein Leben ohne Ausbeutung, Kriege und Elend.
An der Seite der Werktätigen und nicht stellvertretend für sie setzen sich die PdA und ihre Mitglieder für diese Ziele ein.
Damit dieses System und seine Vertreter vor dem Volk zittern und von unseren erkämpften Rechten die Finger lassen, müssen wir uns jetzt und hier organisieren und kämpfen!
Parteivorstand der Partei der Arbeit Österreichs,
Wien, 18. Dezember 2017