Category: Imperialism
U.S. Communists Oppose Move of Embassy to Jerusalem; Call for Immediate Recognition of Independent Palestinian State by U.N.

The Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) condemns and vehemently opposes the unilateral decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision by Trump is not supported by the vast majority of the American people, and has been roundly condemned around the world. The Turkish Party of Labor, or Emek Partisi (EMEP) described the move as a provocative act. PCUSA believes that we in the US bear a special and urgent responsibility to fight this cataclysmic move with all the political and economic might we can muster. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) struggle must intensify in every trade union, community organization and political formation.

In the US, writing for the organization Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbi Alissa Wise pointed out the danger of the Trump decision: “There’s a reason the status of Jerusalem hasn’t been determined yet – it’s at the core of the struggle against permanent Israeli domination and Palestinian dispossession. [And] we have to take the initiative and start conversations not just about what happened today, but what’s been happening for the last 70 years and more.”

 In Italy, the Unione Sindicale di Base (USB) said: “The decision of the current U.S. President to transfer his embassy to Jerusalem reiterates, in a very delicate phrase of political and military tension in the Middle East, the war choices adopted by this administration in every geopolitical scenario, from Latin America up to the Far East.”

From Cyprus, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), representing a neighboring country in the region of Palestine and Israel warned, “[T]his provocative decision constitutes a flagrant violation of the Palestinian people’s national rights and represents support for the Israeli occupation, threatening to undermine the possibility of a two-state solution and to provoke new conflicts both in Jerusalem and in Palestine, and more broadly throughout the region.”

Reaction to the Trump decision inside Israel was swift: Trump is a crazy pyromaniac capable of setting the entire region ablaze with his madness,” stated the leader of the Joint List, Members of Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh. “If there is one thing that the past few days have proved, it’s that the US shouldn’t remain the sponsor for discussions between Israel and the Palestinians,” Odeh added. “If the Israeli government wishes for the world to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israel’s capital, all it needs to do is recognize East Jerusalem as the capital city of Palestine.”

It is the responsibility of every Communist and peace loving person to stand on the side of peace. It is the responsibility of every Communist Party to organize for peace and to stand together alongside those forces fighting for peace. The PCUSA, therefore, without reservation or hesitation, condemns the Trump decision and its imperialist, war making intentions. In the words of the Spanish republic fighting fascism in 1936: THEY SHALL NOT PASS!

“Eradicating the Bacillus”

– by Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Eradicating the Bacillus”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Eradicating the Bacillus”
In the US, the last few months have seen a host of celebratory salutes to, tributes to, and commentaries on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Serious research and thought were reflected in many, reminding us of both the sacrifices and achievements made by the workers of many nationalities who established the first sustained workers’ state, the USSR. Authors and speakers touched on many aspects of the Revolution and its rich legacy of fighting for socialism and ending imperialism.
Needless to say, little (or none?) of the victories of twentieth century socialism spawned by the Russian Revolution found its way into the monopoly media; the fete for the Bolshevik Revolution was held on alternative websites, by small circulation journals, and in small meeting halls and venues. This would neither surprise nor disappoint Vladimir Lenin; rather, it would conjure memories of the difficult and stubborn work of the small, often disputatious Russian Social Democratic Party in the years leading up to the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that the mainstream capitalist media had no commentary on the Russian Revolution. They did.
And it was relentlessly and uniformly negative. No warm words of any kind were spared for Russian workers of 1917 and their cause. In fact, in a year when the media and its wealthy and powerful collaborators decided to resurrect the spectre of Soviet Russia in a new, hysterical anti-Russia campaign, moguls mounted a lurid, anti-Communist campaign unseen since the Cold War.
The New York Times unleashed their rabid neo-McCarthyite commentator (Communism Through Rose-Colored Glasses), Bret Stephens, to spew his venom and unsparingly and gratuitously denounce anyone that he could even remotely connect with the Revolution, from those wearing “Lenin or Mao T-shirts” to Lillian Hellman. Progressives, Jeremy Corbyn, and, predictably, Bernie Sanders are condemned, part of the “bacillus” yet to be “eradicated,” to reference his clumsy, vulgar paraphrase of Winston Churchill. They, like any of us who find any merit at all in the Soviet experience, are “fools, fanatics, or cynics.”
Then there was the nutty Masha Gessen– the favorite of NPR’s resident bootlicker to wealthy patrons, Scott Simon– who analyzes the Soviet experience in a strange brew of mysticism and psycho-babble. Even The Wall Street Journal reviewer of her new book (The Future is History) concedes that she “puts forth a[n]… argument full of psychospeak about ‘energies’ and an entire society succumbing to depression.” He goes on: “She begins with the dubious assertion that one of Soviet society’s decisive troubles derived from the state prohibition against sociology and psychoanalysis, which meant the society ‘had been forbidden to know itself.’”
“Dubious” assertion? Or whacky assertion?
But Gessen will always be remembered for embracing the term “Homo Sovieticus,” a term that will undoubtedly prove attractive to those mindlessly active in the twitter universe.
For reviewing Gessen’s book, reviewer Stephen Kotkin had the favor returned with a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal of his book, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941. Joshua Rubenstein– himself the author of another catalogue of Stalin’s evil, The Last Days of Stalin— engages the usual verbal histrionics: “despotism,” “violent and catastrophic,” “ruthlessness and paranoia,” “draconian,” “remarkable cruelty,” “calamitous,” “crimes,” “ideological fanaticism.” These, and other shrill descriptions, pile up in a mere ten paragraphs. Rubenstein clearly reveals his anti-Soviet bias when he describes Soviet aid and assistance to the elected Spanish anti-fascist government in 1936 as an “intervention.” The interveners were the Italian and German fascists; the Soviets were, unlike the Western “democracies,” the only opponents of intervention.
Kotkin’s service to the WSJ and the anti-Soviet cause were rewarded with a long op-ed piece in the Journal in the weekend Review section (November 4-5, 2017). The Princeton and Stanford professor tackled the topic, The Communist Century, with great vigor. He sets the tone with the dramatic claim that …communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.”
The victims-of-Communism numbers game was elaborated and popularized by Robert Conquest, a writer whose career overlapped on numerous occasions with the Cold War propaganda efforts of the UK Information Research Department, the US CIA, and the CIA’s publishing fronts. Conquest owned the estimate of 20 million deaths from the Soviet purges of the late 1930s. At the height of the Cold War, this astounding figure met no resistance from “scholars” at elite universities. Indeed, every schoolgirl and schoolboy in the crazed, rabid 1950s “knew” of the tens of millions of victims of Stalin’s purges.
Unfortunately for Conquest (though he never acknowledged it) and the many lemming-like academic experts, the post-Soviet archives revealed that his numbers were vastly inflated. In fact, they had no relationship whatsoever to the actualities of that nonetheless tragic period.
Kotkin’s claimed 65 million victims of Communist misdeeds should, accordingly, be taken with less than a grain of salt, though it is curiously and mysteriously well below the endorsed estimate of his mentor, Martin Malia. Malia, the author of the preface to the infamous Black Book of Communism (1994), endorsed that sensationalized book’s claim that 94 million lives were lost to Communism. Some contributors to the Black Book retracted this claim, noting that it was arrived at by an obsession with approaching the magic number of 100 million victims. They subsequently “negotiated” (or manufactured) a tally between 65 and 93 million. Such is the “rigor” of Soviet scholarship at elite universities.
Kotkin, like most other anti-Communist crusaders, gives away the numbers endgame, the purpose behind blaming uncountable victims upon Communism. For the arch-enemies of Communism like Conquest and the participants in the Black Book, it is imperative that Communism be perceived as equally evil with or more evil than Nazism and fascism. This charge of moral equivalence is targeted at the liberals who might view Communism as a benign ally in the defense of liberal values or social reforms. No one has done more to promote this false equivalency than Yale professor Timothy Snyder with his shoddy, ideologically driven book, Bloodlands.
Of course, the Washington Post also has its resident guardians of anti-Soviet dogma in Marc Thiessen and the incomparable Anne Applebaum. Applebaum has enjoyed a meteoric career from graduate student to journalist covering Eastern European affairs to the widely acknowledged leader of anti-Soviet witch-hunters. Her marriage to an equally anti-Communist Polish journalist-turned-politician further strengthened her role as the hardest charging of the hard-charging professional anti-Communists. Her consistent work denouncing everything Soviet has earned her a place on the ruling class Council of Foreign Relations and the CIA’s “active measure,” the National Endowment for Democracy.
She “celebrated” the Bolshevik Revolution on November 6 with a several-thousand-word Washington Post essay raising the feverish alarm of a return of Bolshevism (100 years later, Bolshevism is back. And we should be worried.) Applebaum repeats a favorite theme of the new generation of virulent anti-Communists: the events of November 1917 were a coup d’etat and not a revolution. Of course, this claim is hard to square with another favorite theme– the Bolsheviks numbered only two to ten thousand followers. How do you reconcile such a tiny group “overthrowing” the government and the security forces of the fourth most populated empire in the world?
The Bolsheviks lied. Lenin was a liar. Trotsky was a liar. “So were his comrades. The Bolsheviks lied about the past… and they lied about the future, too. All through the spring and summer of 1917, Trotsky and Lenin repeatedly made promises that would never be kept.” Further, Lenin’s henchmen used the “tactics of psychological warfare that would later become their trademark” to mesmerize the population. That same easily charmed population was to later fight for socialism against counter-revolutionary domestic reaction and foreign intervention in a bloody five-year war (1917-1922), the same supposedly easily tricked population that laid down their arms and refused to fight for the Czar or his “democratic” successors. This neat picture of perfidy surely exposes a belief in both superhuman, mystical powers possessed by Lenin and an utter contempt for the integrity and intelligence of the Russian masses.
But it is not really the historical Bolsheviks who are Applebaum’s target, but today’s “neo-Bolsheviks.”
And who are the “neo-Bolsheviks”?
For Ms. Applebaum, they are everyone politically outside of her comfortable, insular world of manners and upper-middle class conservatism. First and foremost, she elects to smear the social democrats in Spain and Greece, along with Jeremy Corbyn, who may consider “bringing back nationalization.” Similarly, their US counterparts “on the fringes of the Democratic Party” (Bernie Sanders!) are condemned because they embrace “a dark, negative version of American history” and “spurn basic patriotism and support America’s opponents, whether in Russia or the Middle East.” (Sadly, my social democratic friends will likely not allow these ravings to shake their confidence in Applebaum’s equally inane pronouncements on Communism.)
But the “neo-Bolsheviks” exist on the right as well! She identifies them as those rightists who “scorn Christian Democracy, which had its political base in the church and sought to bring morality back to politics…” “If some of what these extremists [on the right] say is to be taken seriously, their endgame– the destruction of the existing political order, possibly including the U.S. Constitution– is one that the Bolsheviks would have understood.” In Applebaum’s bizarre world, there are Bolsheviks of both the left and right lurking under our beds! Safety is only found in the bosom of Christian democracy, that post-war artifact cobbled together by the Western powers to counter the parliamentary rise of Communism.
The anti-Communist graffiti artists, the professional defacers of the Soviet legacy, are legion. Books and commentaries by others, like Victor Sebestyen, Serhii Plokhy, Douglas Smith, Svetlana Alexievich, Amy Knight, and Catherine Merridale, join the authors reviewed here in churning out new grist for the anti-Communist, anti-Soviet mill.
With many Soviet sources now available, the practice of Cold War defamation has become a riskier business, an enterprise possibly bringing embarrassment to the most outrageous fabricators. Accordingly, the most sophisticated among the new generation of Cold Warriors have turned in a new direction: the 1930s famines in then Soviet Ukraine. With little risk of exposure and eager cooperation from the virulently anti-Communist, extreme nationalists now installed to govern Ukraine, they have started a new victim-numbers race to rally the cause of anti-Communism, a new narrative of Red wickedness.
Applebaum is right about one thing. There is evil in the air.
But it is the vicious slander of everything Red, especially the legacy of the Soviet Union.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
zzsblogml@gmail.com
European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU
| November 30, 2017 | 8:52 pm | Analysis, Imperialism, Party Voices | No comments

Friday, December 1, 2017

European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/european-communist-initiative-on.html
The EU, the NATO and the bourgeois governments of their member-states are engaged in an escalating arms race and in the development of military plans and preparations, which pose a serious danger for the peoples.
These developments reflect the contradictions among the governments within the EU and NATO as well as their contradictions with other imperialist centers and rival powers which are focused on the control of hydrocarbons and energy pipelines in the Middle East, in Northern Africa, in Eastern Mediterranean and other regions.
This process, which concerns the capitalist profits and the division of the market shares, poses a great danger for people’s peace and security, although it is carried out allegedly in the name of the peoples. The EU, as an imperialist union, is reinforcing its militarization. Guided by its “Global Strategy” and the White Paper on Defense it has established the European Defense Union and the related Fund while at the same time it has reinforced the systematic supervision of the promotion of armaments by the member-states through the Coordinated Annual Review on Defense (CARD).
In the same framework, the EU is promoting military forces and formations aiming at the creation of an “EU army” such as the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the battle groups, the inter-groups either in competition with the US and NATO, or in cooperation with them, serving in each case the interests of the European monopolies.
In view of these dangerous developments the peoples must be organized and prepared, they must be vigilant and strengthen their struggle against the adventurous military plans, the interventions and the wars of the bourgeois governments and the imperialist organizations such as the EU and NATO.
The European Communist Initiative:
-Calls on the peoples to condemn the bourgeois governments of their countries which promote the reinforcement of armaments, the upgrading, the extension and the increase of US, NATO and EU military bases in their countries as well as the various concessions to them for the implementation of the imperialist plans against the peoples.
-To strengthen the struggle against the EU, the NATO and all imperialist alliances.
-We struggle for the right of the peoples to choose independently their own path of development, including the right to disengage from the EU and NATO. We intensify our struggle for socialism which is necessary and timely.
Buffalo Soldiers Go To Africa | Black Agenda Report
| November 28, 2017 | 8:05 pm | Africa, Analysis, Imperialism | No comments

https://blackagendareport.com/buffalo-soldiers-go-africa

Buffalo Soldiers Go To Africa | Black Agenda Report

Buffalo Soldiers Go To Africa

08 Nov 2017
Buffalo Soldiers Go To Africa
Buffalo Soldiers Go To Africa

“The last thing any African in the US wants or needs is the prospect of death in pursuit of a corporate agenda in Africa.”

In black barbershops across the U.S. where old school brothers talk trash about sports and beg young bloods to either comb or shave the tops of their nappy fades, there may be little knowledge of goings-on in Africa. There is however concern and bewilderment in those shops about the death of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in Niger last month.

America’s African community is drenched with its own blood, spilled during military conflicts instigated by an empire that uses soldiers drawn from the ranks of the poor and communities of color as cannon fodder. Like the Buffalo Soldiers who were ordered to kill Indians, Johnson is but the latest to be used and killed for an agenda his people did not set. In 1965 almost 25 percent of those who died in combat in Vietnam were African-descended soldiers. In 2003 blacks accounted for nearly 20 percent of deaths in Iraq. But the poignancy and special tragedy of Johnson’s death is that it occurred in Africa, the young man’s ancestral homeland. Not only is this fact not lost on the brothers in the barbershop, the Pentagon must also have long been concerned about the implications of sending latter-day Buffalo Soldiers to Africa.

“The first person appointed to head AFRICOM was Kip Ward, a black man.”

When U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established nearly a decade ago, the optics of the U.S. expanding its military presence in Africa must certainly have been a primary concern. Consider the evidence. The first person appointed to head AFRICOM was Kip Ward, a black man. Also, there were determined but unsuccessful efforts made to persuade any country to host AFRICOM headquarters in Africa rather than its ultimate location in Germany. Finally, the unstated objective of AFRICOM appears to be avoidance of U.S. casualties by training and directing Africa’s armies to act as proxies that carry out combat missions to ensure that Africa remains stable and conducive to the exploitative operations of major western corporations. For that reason great care has been taken to ensure that AFRICOM is not perceived as paternalistic. Specifically, the military forces of African countries are referred to as “partners” to incorrectly imply an equal relationship between the U.S. and African governments.

The nightmare scenario for AFRICOM is that U.S. soldiers of African descent and the communities from whence they come will not only see through the illusion and become aware of how they are being used as pawns, but they will also sympathize and empathize with some of the people who have been targeted by AFRICOM operations. For example, in the early years of the 21st Century when militant activists in Nigeria fought against environmental catastrophes caused by western oil corporations by sabotaging oil company operations and driving down profits, the creation of AFRICOM followed in short order. Because Africans everywhere can understand real people who struggle against oil companies and other multi-national corporations, AFRICOM obfuscates its true aims and claims that it is fighting only “terrorists.”

“The nightmare scenario for AFRICOM is that U.S. soldiers of African descent sympathize and empathize with some of the people who have been targeted by AFRICOM operations.”

As AFRICOM has increased the presence of U.S. military forces in impoverished and exploited regions of Africa, it has likely made areas that had little to no terrorist activity increasingly attractive territories for terrorist recruitment. Be it al-Qaeda, ISIS or some other group, some experts believe it is much easier when U.S. soldiers are actually lurking nearby for terrorist groups to persuade poor communities that the source of their misery is the U.S. This was the last lesson that Sgt. Johnson and three other U.S. soldiers learned when, according to reports, non-combatant villagers likely set them up for the attack that ended their lives.

While AFRICOM might point to the killings of the four soldiers as another justification for its construction of a major drone base in Niger, others can, with good reason, suggest that fighting terrorists for the sake of fighting terrorists is not the primary purpose of that base. The base is located in Agadez, which is a few hours away from the town of Arlit, where French companies conduct major uranium mining operations. France is the United States’ primary partner in imperialist crime in Africa, and logic suggests the drone base is to protect uranium mining operations and not Africa’s people from terrorists. This means that if Sgt. Johnson’s mission was to build support among the locals for the drone base it is likely that he tragically gave his life for imperialist access to Africa’s uranium.

“The drone base is to protect uranium mining operations and not Africa’s people from terrorists.”

America’s African community has the capacity to resist the U.S. militarization of Africa by simply refusing to participate. Between the years 2000 and 2007 black enlistment in the U.S. military declined by 58 percent. The military’s own studies showed that the unpopularity of the Iraq war was the primary reason for this development. One young would-be recruit referenced the Hurricane Katrina disaster and said: “Why should we go over there and help [Iraqis] when the [U.S. government] can’t help us over here?” He added that the war is unnecessary. “It’s not our war. We got our own war here, just staying alive.”

The war to stay alive in America has not abated, and the last thing any African in the U.S. wants or needs is the prospect of death in pursuit of a corporate agenda in Africa. Building greater awareness of AFRICOM’s reality will ultimately cause young Africans born and living in the U.S. to decline invitations to follow the tragic path walked by Sgt. La David T. Johnson.

Mark P. Fancher is an attorney who periodically writes for Black Agenda Report. He can be contacted at mfancher(at)comcast.net.

“Imperialists Out of Greece!”: The 18th Congress of EEDYE to be held on 2-3 December in Athens
| November 28, 2017 | 7:40 pm | Greece, Imperialism | No comments

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

“Imperialists Out of Greece!”: The 18th Congress of EEDYE to be held on 2-3 December in Athens

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/imperialists-out-of-greece-18th.html
Archive Photo: From an EEDYE rally.
The 18th Congress of the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of December in Athens. The Congress will be hosted at the City Hall of Haidari, west of Athens.
For the preparation of the Congress, local peace committees across the country held meetings, discussed and organised the future activities of the antiimperialist movement.
The EEDYE fights against the installation and operation of foreign military bases in the country, demanding all the NATO-EU bases, corps and military facilities of imperialists in Greece to shut down. EEDYE has underlined the dangerous role of the US-NATO military base in Souda, Crete, as well as the possible transference of nuclear weapons to the Air base of Araksos in Peloponnese.
Regarding the base in Souda, EEDYE has mentioned that “the base has fulfilled and fulfills a special mission to the imperialist wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, in the recent US missile attack against the Syrian people. The US-NATO staff has congratulated the governments of ND and PASOK, the SYRIZA-ANEL government on their anti-people’s deicisions and has states that this base is a determinant factor in the preparation and conduct of imperialist wars”.
The Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace, founded in 1955, is moving towards her 18th Congress with the slogans for the “Strengthening of the antiimperialist struggle against US-NATO-EU”, the “strengthening of the efforts to close the base of Souda and all foreign bases in Greece” as well as the “disengagement of the country from NATO and the EU, with the people being masters in their homeland”.
Below, you can read a leaflet of EEDYE, presenting a map of Greece with NATO & EU bases, corps and military facilities.
Inescapable Contradictions

Inescapable Contradictions

– from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Marxists favor the term “contradiction.”

A discussion of “contradiction” as a Marxist technical term can become quite tangled and obscure, particularly when the discussion proceeds to Hegelian philosophy. But some clear and simple things can be said about contradictions without delving deeply:
  • Marxists use the term to indicate a conflict between elements, social forms, forces, processes, or ideas that expresses a fundamental opposition rather than a conflict that arises by accident or happenstance.
  • Contradictions are not resolvable without an equally fundamental or qualitative change in the antagonists or their relations (Mao Zedong, in his writings, chooses to allow for conflicts [“contradictions”] that are non-antagonistic as well).
Thus, the conflict between dominating and dominated social classes (the capitalists and the working class, for example) represents a contradiction since opposition is fundamental to the nature of the classes and cannot be resolved without a radical and qualitative change in their relations. The dominated class must become dominant or it must eliminate the relationship of domination.
In Marxist revolutionary theory, the class contradiction is the most important contradiction, the contradiction that informs social analysis and socialist strategy.
But other contradictions exist in capitalist society, in politics, in economics, in culture, in foreign policy, and in virtually every aspect of life under capitalism. When class contradictions become particularly acute, they manifest in the sharpening of contradictions in every other aspect of the dominant social form. When the contradictions, the underlying conflicts, result in dysfunctionality, Marxists recognize a systemic crisis.
Contradictions Abound!
Today, in the US, in the wake of the greatest economic downturn since the Crash of 1929, contradictions are found in every aspect of public life. The increasingly apparent class contradiction is exemplified by growing inequality, poverty, and social chaos. The explosive opioid epidemic (recognized only because it has crossed the racial and class “railroad tracks”) generates initiatives from all factions of bourgeois politics. Pundits cry out for punitive action or enhanced social service support, sometimes both. But they fail to locate the causes of the epidemic, causes that are located under the surface of bourgeois society. They fail to recognize that desperate acts accompany desperate circumstances. Wherever poverty and social alienation increase, anti-social, harmful behavior rises as well.
The contradiction between a brutal, uncaring, social regimen and the most fragile, the most marginalized people is as old as class society and the thirst for wealth. The economic ravage of the small towns and cities scattered across the Midwest attest to this contradiction. Capitalists exploited the workers for their labor until they could wring no further profit; then they tossed them aside and left them with no good jobs and no hope. Crime and other destructive behaviors will only increase, unless the contradiction is resolved with a departure from the profit-based system, an alternative profoundly alien to the two major political parties.
They, too, are fraught with contradictions. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties score low in poll approval (see, for example, CNN Poll: Views of DemocraticParty hit lowest mark in 25 years); since 2008, both have failed to advance their programs even when enjoying complete legislative and executive dominance (2009-2010, 2017-); and both parties are afflicted with dissension and division.
The fundamental contradiction in US politics arises from the fact that the two dominant political organizations, the Democratic and Republican Parties, are capitalist parties, yet they pretend to represent the interests of the 70-80% of the US population that have nothing in common with the capitalist class and its loyal servants. While the two parties have skillfully posed as popular while unerringly serving elites, the economic crisis, endless wars, and growing inequality have unmasked their duplicity.
Consequently, factions have broken out in both parties. The Republicans have sought to contain the nativists and racists, the religious zealots, and the isolationists and nationalists within the party while maintaining a corporate agenda. The Democrats have similarly attempted to hold the social liberals, the neo-New Dealers, the social democrats, the environmentalists, and the minorities in a party fundamentally wedded to promoting capitalism and market solutions. Neither strategy can escape the contradictions inherent in a system of two capitalist parties.
The Tea Party movement, Trump, and the Bannonites threaten to shatter the Republican Party. The slick corporate Republicans have lost their magic, unloading vitriol on the vulgar, crass Trump, who deviates from the corporate consensus. The Republican infighting exposes the damage in the party.
The Democrats are exposed as well by the fissure between the Sanders followers and those who are so fearful of working people and wholly beholden to Wall Street and corporate money that they can’t even co-exist with Sanders’ mild reformism. The schism is so great that fundraising has nearly collapsed. And the revelations of DNC collusion with Clinton’s campaign confirmed by Donna Brazile, a long-time ranking insider, demonstrate the rigid, undemocratic nature of the organization. The fact that Brazile also improperly fed debate questions to Clinton only serves to highlight the corruption of the Party and its leaders.
While both Parties are expert at diversion and deflection, the depth of the political crisis, the sharpness of the contradictions, have generated levels of hypocrisy and hysteria unseen since the height of the Cold War. After the debacle of the Clinton Presidential campaign, the Democrats, in collusion with many elements of the security services and most of the monopoly media, mounted a shrill anti-Russia campaign. Crudely, they have relied on the emotional remnants of anti-Sovietism to lodge a host of unsubstantiated charges and a campaign of guilt-by-association. To anyone awake over the last half century or so, the charge of “meddling in the US election” is laughable for its hypocrisy. Have we forgotten Radio Free Europe or Radio Marti? Or a host of other examples?
The high flyers of the stock market– the social media giants– added ridiculous claims of Russian sneakiness to appease the powerful investigative committees and deflect from their own profitable, but vile and socially harmful content.
Reminiscent of the worst days of the so-called McCarthy era, the targeted party– in this case the Republicans– recoiled from the struggle for truth and tried to out-slander the Democrats. Today, they are ranting about an obscure, meaningless uranium deal swung by the Democrats with the wicked Russians.
The first fruits of the farcical Mueller Russian fishing expedition– the Manafort indictment– say nothing about Russia and everything about the corruption infecting US political practices. At best, we will discover that Ukrainian and Russian capitalists are just as corrupt as our own.
Other cracks in capitalist institutions signal intractable contradictions. Both the widespread charges of sexual impropriety in the entertainment industry and the tensions between the players and owners in professional football are symptoms of weaknesses in two of capitalism’s most effective instruments of consensus. Both sports and entertainment are critical mechanisms of distraction that dilute political engagement.
The ever-expanding charges of sexual abuse within the giant entertainment monopolies are spreading to other workplaces, like the government and the news media. While the media are aggressively pursuing the prominent actors, directors, producers, government officials, and other high profile suspects, they wittingly ignore the contradiction that underlies these offenses. In most cases, the malignant behavior grows out of the power asymmetry of employer to employee. Invariably, in these instances, the employee’s reluctance to resist, to come forward, to fight back springs from the fear of retaliation, loss of employment, blacklisting, etc. In other words, it is not akin to other sexual abuses that come from misuse of physical power. Instead, these crimes are possible because of economic power, the power afforded by capitalist economic relations. Indeed, these crimes and similar exercises of employer power exist in many more workplaces and far beyond the world of celebrities. Of course, the corporate media are unwilling to explore the general question of employer abuse that extends beyond celebrities to millions of powerless victims.
Similarly, the conflict over standing for the national anthem is a battle between employees– admittedly among the highest paid in the world– and their employers, the owners of the professional football teams. When Houston Texans owner Robert C. McNair called the players “inmates” it was a not too subtle, vulgar reminder to the players that they are subservient to the owners. What emerged as a legitimate protest against the blacklisting of quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been reshaped by management into a battle over workplace rights and the terms and conditions of employment, a fundamental class contradiction.
Who Rules the World?
As long as capitalism has existed in its mature, monopoly form, it has demonstrated an inherent, relentless global predatory tendency, a form of exploitation that Lenin dubbed “imperialism.” For most of the twentieth century, imperialist governments were obsessed with smashing the leading anti-imperialist force, the socialist countries, while, at the same time, maintaining– often with force– colonial and neo-colonial relations with other nations and nation-states. Thus, the leading contradiction of that era was the opposition between the socialist community, along with its allies in the national liberation movements, and its capitalist adversaries (most often led by the US) and their military blocs (NATO, SEATO, etc.). In mid-century, the capitalist offensive took the virulent form of fascism.
With the demise of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the socialist community, the US and its most powerful allies declared global victory. Far too much of the unanchored left accepted this declaration, failing to see the various and varied resistance to US and capitalist hegemony springing up throughout the world as fundamentally and objectively anti-imperialist. Far too many disillusioned leftists retreated to vague, moralistic, and decidedly class-blind notions of human rights or humanitarianism, a “leftism” that squared all too neatly and conveniently with the decidedly self-serving concept of “humanitarian interventionism” concocted by the ideologues of imperialism.
But what many foresaw as an “American 21st Century” proved to be an illusion. The basic contradiction between the US and anti-imperialist forces of resistance and independence and the historic contradiction between US imperialism and its imperialist rivals operate as profoundly as they have at any time in the history of imperialism. The dream of “Pax Americana” dissolved before endless wars and aggressions and the emergence of renewed, new, and undaunted oppositional centers of power.
The long-standing Israeli-US strategy of goading and supporting anti-secular, anti-socialist, and anti-democratic movements in emerging nations, especially in predominantly Islamic nations, has failed, even backfired. Though recruited to stifle anti-capitalist movements, these politically backward forces have turned on their masters to stand against occupation and aggression.
The imperialist reaction to these developments has left failed states, environmental disaster, economic chaos, and disastrous conflict in its wake.
In addition, US and NATO destruction has generated a refugee crisis of monumental proportions, flooding the European Union with immigrants and fueling both a surge of anti-immigrant sentiment and the ensuing growth of nationalist politics. Anti-EU and anti-US sentiment grow accordingly.
While the US has not lost its ability to wreak havoc and destruction, it has clearly failed to secure the stability that it had long sought in order to cement the global capitalist order.
Indeed, there are significant sectors of the ruling class that now benefit from the chaos. The military-industrial sector is undergoing a dramatic revival of production and arms sales thanks to the fear and chaos stoked since the end of the Cold War, particularly with newly invented fears of Russian design and aggression along with constantly rising tensions.
The US energy sector, revitalized by new technologies, is now looking to wrestle markets from their traditional suppliers. Many of the sanctions against Russia and the isolation of Qatar and Iran are about capturing natural gas markets in Europe. In this regard, US capitalism benefits from instability and hostility in the Middle East and Africa, where volatility in energy production can only redound to the more stable US suppliers, protected by US military might. The conflict in Nigeria, continued chaos in Libya, the tension between former Iraqi and Kurdish allies, the confounding and disruptive moves by the traditionally staid Saudis, the destabilizing of Venezuela, and, of course, the sanction war with Russia all advantage US energy production.
This contradiction between the post-Cold War avuncular role of the US in guaranteeing the pathways toward global corporate profits and the contrary role of accepting a multi-polar world and forging US policy solely to advantage US capitalism is intensifying. It is a product of the failure of the US to impose what Kautsky (1914) called “ultra-imperialism,” the illusion of collaborative imperialism.
By employing the Marxist conceptual tool of “contradiction,” we are afforded a coherent picture of the crisis facing the capitalist order, particularly in the US. The picture is revealed to be one impervious to the theoretical programs (or anti-programs) favored by the social democrats or anarchists who dominate the US left (and much of the European left). Without a revolutionary left, the forthcoming debates will only be between defending the idealized “peaceful” global order of a stable, regulated capitalism or those salvaging an inward-looking, vulgar nationalism; it will only be between those dreaming of a mythical kingdom of class harmony with a generous net to capture the most disadvantaged and those leaving fate to market forces. All are roads that have long proved to be dead ends.
The intensifying contradictions of capitalism call for another option: a revolutionary movement for socialism.
Greg Godels
zzsblogml@gmail.com
Communist Party of Greece: Strongly condemns EU’s sanctions against Venezuela

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Communist Party of Greece: Strongly condemns EU’s sanctions against Venezuela

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/communist-party-of-greece-strongly.html
The Press Office of the Central Committee of the KKE issued a statement on the sanctions adopted by the European Union against Venezuela. The statement is as follows:
 
“The KKE denounces the unacceptable decision of the EU Foreign Ministers to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela. This decision is directed against the people of Venezuela and demonstrates once again the antipopular-reactionary character of the European Union, as well as the tactic of interfering in the internal affairs of other states, which has often taken a form of intervention, even with military means.
 
The government of SYRIZA-ANEL has enormous responsibilities regarding this event, because it turns out that this decision of the EU Foreign Ministers was taken unanimously. It seems that the full alignment of the government with the imperialist plans of US-NATO and the EU is taking place at all levels.”