Category: Imperialism
The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same
| December 19, 2017 | 8:43 pm | Africa, class struggle, Imperialism, Kwame Nkrumah | No comments

The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same

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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same

Some fifty years ago, ruling elites throughout the capitalist world settled into their overstuffed chairs and poured drinks to celebrate victory over the aspirations for independence held dear by formerly colonial peoples. In one case– Ghana– a popular leader, a venerated leader of African independence and African unity– was deposed in a 1966 coup sponsored by foreign powers and carried out by national traitors. In the other case– Guyana– the most popular political party for decades, the most determined advocate for independence, was subverted and defeated in the rigged elections prior to the 1966 granting of formal independence.

Both Ghana and Guyana were long subjected to colonial rule, Ghana as part of Britain’s African colonial possessions and Guyana as part of the British empire’s Caribbean colonies. As pressures for independence mounted after the Second World War, both countries spawned dedicated and diligent leaders who had earned the trust of the people. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Cheddi Jagan and his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had led their respective country’s fight for independence from the beginning, suffering imprisonment, threats, and trials.
Nkrumah and Jagan shared another characteristic as well, a characteristic that made them the pressing target of imperialism: a vision of social development outside of the confinement of capitalism. They knew that centuries of capitalist exploitation proved that escaping colonial domination would require a parallel break with capitalism and its institutions. In fact, Nkrumah wrote a pioneering work on the inevitable economic subjugation of newly liberated peoples who chose to continue on the capitalist road, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. Kwame Nkrumah’s work was both brilliant in its application of Marxism and prescient in anticipating the lingering dependency of the former colonies that choose to remain tangled in the capitalist web.
Dark Days in Ghana
In his 1968 book (Dark Days in Ghana) recounting the circumstances of the coup, Nkrumah noted that many forces were arrayed against his programs from the day of formal independence in 1957. Nonetheless, he and his party were able to implement initiatives to rapidly bring social, cultural, and educational achievements to a high level. By 1961, technical and secondary school enrollment had increased 437.8% and university students 478.8% from pre-independence. In the same period, hospital beds had increased 159.9% and doctors and dentists by 220.5%. Roads increased around 50%, telephones 245.2%, and electrical power generated 38.4%. Ghana had achieved the highest per capita standard of living and highest literacy rate in Africa. And Ghana’s Seven Year Plan was to create a dramatic increase in industry, building upon the increased electrification flowing from the country’s massive Volta dam project.
But Ghana could only move forward if it escaped the raw material trap that nearly all former colonies suffered as the legacy of colonialism and dependency. For Cuba, it was sugar cane, for Chile it was copper, for Guyana, it was bauxite, and for Ghana it was cocoa. Today, of course in Venezuela it is oil. In every case, the colony existed in the past only as a supplier of inexpensive raw materials for the industries of the European colonizers.
In the late 1950s the international price of cocoa rose inordinately. Nkrumah’s party shrewdly taxed the growers to utilize the surplus for social advancement, stabilizing the cost of food and other consumer goods, and supporting the diversification of the Ghanaian economy. But by 1965 the price had collapsed, thus fueling the popular discontent sparked by the enemies of socialism. Raw material prices in the international market became a weapon against socialist development. The parallel with modern day Venezuela, the collapse of oil prices, and the escalation of opposition on all fronts cannot be missed. The economic hardships in Ghana were skillfully transformed into violence. In Nkrumah’s words:
An all-out offensive is being waged against the progressive, independent states. Where the more subtle methods of economic pressure and political subversion have failed to achieve the desired result, there has been a resort to violence in order to promote a change of regime and prepare the way for the establishment of a puppet government.
In addition to manipulating the price of cocoa exports (and Ghana’s import prices of finished goods necessary for industrialization), “..imperialism withheld investment and credit guarantees from potential investors, put pressure on existing providers of credit to the Ghanaian economy, and negated applications for loans made by Ghana to American-dominated financial institutions such as the I.M.F.”
By way of self-criticism, Nkrumah reflects:
We expected opposition to our development plans from the relics of the old “opposition”, from the Anglophile intellectuals and professional elite, and of course from neo-colonists… What we did not perhaps anticipate sufficiently was the backsliding of some of our own party members… who for reasons of personal ambition, and because they only paid lip-service to socialism, sought to destroy the Party.
Corruption proved to be a major problem in Ghana, as it does in every former colony, every emerging nation. The lack of robust democratic institutions– denied by colonial and neo-colonial domination– inevitably produces a corrosive contempt for the common good. Nor do the colonial masters leave proper mechanisms for reining in corruption after they reluctantly accepted independence. Countries like Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina that choose the path of national independence are plagued by this conundrum.
Of course, it is the security services of the imperialist countries that plant the seeds of reaction, nourish the seeds, and organize the harvest. In Ghana, they stirred secessionist sentiments of people in Ashanti, Togoland, and the Northern region. Previously, they had used the secessionist forces in Katanga to destabilize Congo and overthrow the patriot Patrice Lumumba. In our time, ethnic and religious differences were stoked in the former Yugoslavia and throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Libya, and Syria to destabilize independent governments.
And the monopoly media in the capitalist countries unified around the joint themes that Nkrumah was an unpopular “dictator” and his government was entirely too close to the socialist countries, particularly the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the coup, a sham event was contrived to demonstrate Nkrumah’s unpopularity.
Much publicity was given in the imperialist press and on T.V., to the pulling down of the statue of myself in front of the National Assembly building in Accra. It was made to appear as angry crowds had torn the statue from its pedestal…But it was not for nothing that no photographs could be produced to show the actual pulling down of the statue… In fact when the statue was pulled down… no unauthorized person was allowed into the area. All those who were there at the time were those brought in by the military… Even the jubilant imperialist press evidently saw nothing strange in publishing photographs of bewildered toddlers, tears running down their checks sitting on a headless statue, while the same imperialist press extolled what it described as a “most popular coup”.
One cannot miss the parallel, thirty-seven years later, with the contrived, but dramatic overturning of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square, a staged media extravaganza engineered by US authorities to demonstrate Saddam’s unpopularity.
In retrospect, Nkrumah asserts:
In fact, the fault was that, from the very circumstances in which we found ourselves, we were unable to introduce more “dangerous ideas”… What went wrong in Ghana was not that we attempted to have friendly relations with the countries of the socialist world but that we maintained too friendly relations with the countries of the western bloc.
The champions of national independence, especially the advocates for socialism need to heed this lesson, embracing those “dangerous ideas” that drive the revolutionary process forward, strengthening the hand of the revolutionaries and weakening the hand of the opposition. Backtracking and accommodation are not options.
The West on Trial
If Nkrumah’s Ghana is an example of the engineered coup sponsored by imperialism and its toadies, if the 1966 coup is a repeat of Iran in 1953 and a precursor of Chile in 1973, then the rigged election in Guyana was the prototype for the so-called “color revolutions” sponsored by the US and its allies in the period since the demise of European socialism.
As the leading figure in the post-war independence struggle of what was then the colony known as British Guiana, Cheddi Jagan soon realized that aspirations for independence were thwarted not only by the British administration, but more decisively by the US government. After his party’s sweeping victory in the 1953 House of Assembly elections, the British sent troops and suspended the colonial constitution out of hysterical fear of a Marxist takeover.
Writing in his post-mortem account, The West on Trial: The Fight for Guyana’s Freedom, Jagan noted: “…the main cause, I believe, for the suspension of our constitution was pressure from the government of the United States… We were not surprised, therefore that the US government gave its blessing to the British gunboat diplomacy… Ostensibly, the United States was urging the colonial powers to grant independence to colonial territories. But in reality, the independence was nothing more than the nominal transfer of powers to those who either conformed or showed signs of conforming to US policies.”
From the 1961 elections, where Jagan’s PPP won its third consecutive election, gaining 20 of 35 seats, until formal independence on May 26, 1966, the US poured millions of dollars into every imaginable plan to erode the popular support of the PPP. The opposition promised huge investments and loans that would be forthcoming with a pro-capitalist government. The opposition boycotted or refused to collaborate with any and all development programs or social measures, including a budget.
The capitalist media echoed the opposition with a shrill anti-Communist campaign. “All of this was written at a time when it is alleged that we had destroyed the freedom of the press! We did not own our own daily newspaper to counter the distortions and lies of the press. This is a problem which confronts all national governments interested in change,” Jagan remarked.
Violence was sparked and fanned by the opposition, loudly labelling the PPP “authoritarian.” Racialism between African-origin and Indian-origin Guyanese was stoked. The US labor movement’s infamous AIFLD (a collaboration with the CIA) fomented strikes built upon lies and distortions.
Well-connected US columnist Drew Pearson, writing in March of 1964 explained the US involvement:
The United States permitted Cuba to go Communist purely through default and diplomatic bungling. The problem now is to look ahead and make sure we don’t make the same mistake again… in British Guiana, President Kennedy, having been badly burnt in the Bay of Pigs operations, did look ahead.
Though it was not published at the time, this was the secret reason why Kennedy took his trip to England in the summer of 1963… [It was] only because of Kennedy’s haunting worry that British Guiana would get its independence in July, 1963, and set up another Communist government under the guidance of Fidel Castro.
…[T]he main thing they agreed on was that the British would refuse to grant independence to Guiana because of the general strike against pro-Communist Prime Minister, Cheddi Jagan.
The strike was secretly inspired by a combination of US Central Intelligence money and British intelligence. [A]nother Communist government at the bottom of the one-time American lake has been temporarily stopped.
Pearson acknowledges the massive and determined campaign of destabilization that culminated in a US-sponsored coalition of US-friendly parties edging out the PPP in a calculated, delayed independence. The orchestrated campaign of rumor, lies, and promises was whipped into a powerful counterforce to a popular, independent government. In this regard, Guyana was not different from the many so-called “color revolutions” that are brought to a boil by heavily foreign-funded, non-government organizations. The Defunct AIFLD has been supplanted by Solidarity Center, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Republican and Democratic Institutes, and myriad other acronymic NGOs that serve US foreign policy in a government-funded, surreptitiously government-funded, or privately funded fashion. Their footprints are all over Georgia, Ukraine, and a host of other countries targeted by US foreign policy.
Lessons from the Past
It should be crystal clear that there is nothing new in the meddling of the US and its allies (and other imperialist centers) in the trajectory of smaller, less powerful countries; neo-colonialism and imperialism are the dominant forms of late monopoly capitalism. Nkrumah details twenty interventions in the affairs of African states alone between December 1962 and March 1967. From the Greek war of national liberation in the aftermath of the Nazi defeat to the latest CIA move, the latest sanction, the latest military threat, the US, in particular, has been promoting and forcing dependency at the expense of the national sovereignty of the peoples.
But lessons can be drawn from the long, difficult struggle for national independence, a history of great sacrifice, fierce and selfless battle, but treachery as well. Nkrumah was right: The only absolute guarantee of national independence is to break the chains to capitalism, to choose the path to socialism. Among the best examples of success are the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), Cuba, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), all small nations defying the most lethal power ever assembled. When faced with the full brunt of imperialist aggression, the three governments found resolve from their faith in working people, their confidence that working people would unite and fight for a clear, radical vision of social justice, and their refusal to retreat even an inch from principle.
Moreover, borrowing Nkrumah’s words, it is necessary to embrace and press “dangerous ideas,” most necessarily, the idea of command of the state by the agents of change; independence is not possible with the enemies of independence nested in the state.
Nkrumah prefaced his book with excerpts from a letter to him from Richard Wright, the expatriate US author. Wright’s complex, often contradictory relations with progressive movements did not deter him from writing with a feverish intensity:
I say to you publicly and frankly. The burden of suffering that must be borne, impose it upon one generation!  …Be merciful by being stern! If I lived under your regime, I’d ask for this hardness, this coldness…
Make no mistake, Kwame, they are going to come at you with words about democracy; you are going to be pinned to the wall and warned about decency; plump-faced men will mumble academic phrases about “sound” development; men of the cloth will speak unctuously of values and standards; in short, a barrage of concentrated arguments will be hurled at you to persuade you to temper the pace and drive of your movement…
And as you launch your bold programmes, as you call on your people for sacrifices, you can be confident that there are free men beyond the continent of Africa who see deeply enough into life to know and understand what you must do, what you must impose…
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Greg Godels
zzsblogml@gmail.com
Statement of the KKE on International Migrants Day – بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمهاجر

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Statement of the KKE on International Migrants Day – بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمهاجر

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/statement-of-kke-on-international.html
On the occasion of International Migrants Day, the KKE expresses its solidarity and support for the refugees and economic migrants living in our country, as well as Greek immigrants living and working abroad. It calls upon them to organize and struggle in the ranks of the class-oriented labour movement to join with the KKE:
– Defending and expanding their labour, social and democratic rights

– Asserting their right to go to any country they choose – against the decisions and the agreements of the capitalist states, the EU, NATO

– Demanding decent housing, food, healthcare at the premises and structures that house refugees and immigrants so as not to risk dying from the cold for as long as they remain in Greece. For their children to go to school.
– Not to be threatened by the minions of the bosses and the system; i.e.; the Golden Dawn forces and other fascist racists when they go or return from a long workday, such as the case of the immigrants at Aspropyrgos and Menidi, or when they are in the ‘hospitality’ compounds, such as with the family of the small Afghan Amir.
– To be free of the system of exploitation, from imperialist wars and poverty, which massacre the people, plunging them into misery, forcing them into mass immigration, to become refugees. 
This year’s Migrants Day finds the people confronted with even greater risks of war breaking out in old and new arenas of monopoly competition. The EU, the US, NATO and other capitalist powers are intensifying preparations for imperialist wars and interventions. US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is directed against the rights of the Palestinian people and pours yet more oil on the fire of the rivalries of the imperialists in the region. The Greek government, like the EU, has tremendous responsibilities as it increases its military, political and economic cooperation with Israel that murders the Palestinian people, and has not formally recognized the Palestinian state, despite the decision made by the Greek Parliament to do so. It provides bases for NATO and the United States and actively participates in and facilitates imperialist plans. It is jointly responsible for the increased risks posed to the Greek people and other peoples. 
The EU is revealing more and more clearly its real face towards the peoples, especially towards refugees and immigrants. Tusk’s proposals to abolish this remaining measure of the allocation of refugees to EU member states is not a sign of discord. It is a confirmation of the EU’s policy of entrapping refugees in Greece, of funding slave auctions in Libya and drowning immigrants in the Mediterranean. Gate controls at German airports for passengers coming from Greece are not an exception; they are an application of the Schengen Agreement. With the Schengen and Dublin Agreements, the EU Border Guard, and the additional measures of putting people on file, all show that the EU and its member States only want capital and its services to circulate freely; they want ‘selective’ groups of workers to pass the border, cheap labour without rights, in order to increase the profits of the business groups. 
The Greek government, which does not even guarantee the protection of the lives of the refugees on the islands’ miserable hotspots, bears enormous responsibilities because it supports this policy. It enforces the totally unacceptable EU-Turkey agreement that has double-locked refugees on the islands and strikes deals with the Turkish government making the agreement even more barbaric. It is readying fast track expulsions into the hell of imperialist war. In the name of ‘a more rapid asylum procedure’, it is formulating amendments that will strike the final blow to the right to asylum. 
It has delayed organizing the education of refugee children for yet another year. At the same time, it refuses to solve the problems with the Greek schools for the children of Greek immigrants abroad. 
It does not provide long-term free residence permits for the thousands of migrants living and working in our country in a number of industries and businesses under a regime of sheer exploitation. It does not provide simple and free procedures for those who are entitled to and wish to acquire Greek citizenship. 
At this time, the workers’ struggle in each country is becoming more and more necessary and timely to overthrow capitalist barbarism and build a new socialist society where workers will take the means of production into their hands and work them in a way designed to serve their own needs. The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia opened this path 100 years ago, proving that capitalism may be strong but it is not invincible.
* * * 
بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمهاجر
يعرب الحزب الشيوعي اليوناني عن تضامنه ودعمه للاجئين والمهاجرين الاقتصاديين الذين يعيشون في اليونان و مع المهاجرين اليونانيين الذين يعيشون ويعملون في الخارج، بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمهاجر. ويدعوهم إلى الانتظام ضمن صفوف  الحركة العمالية ذات التوجه الطبقي  والكفاح من خلالها و لمواكبة الحزب الشيوعي اليوناني من أجل:
– الدفاع عن حقوقهم العمالية والاجتماعية والديمقراطية وتوسيعها.
–        المطالبة – ضد قرارات واتفاقات الدول الرأسمالية، والاتحاد الأوروبي، وحلف شمال الأطلسي – بحقهم في الذهاب إلى البلد الذي يريدونه.
–         ظروف سكن لائق، و تغذية، و صحة، ضمن البنى التي تستضيف اللاجئين والمهاجرين، لكي لا يكونوا عرضة لخطر الموت من البرد على مدى فترة بقائهم في اليونان. و لتمكين أطفالهم من الذهاب إلى المدرسة.
–         و أن لا يتعرضوا للخطر الناجم عن نشاط أزلام أرباب العمل والنظام، أي فاشيي منظمة الفجر الذهبي وغيرهم من العنصريين الفاشيين عند ذهاب المهاجرين أو عودة من العمل، على غرار ما يتعرض     له المهاجرون في اسبروبيرغوس و مينيذي، أو عندما يتواجدون في بنى الاستضافة مثل أسرة الفتى اﻷفغاني، أمير.
–         للتخلص من نظام الاستغلال والحروب الامبريالية والفقر، التي تذبح الشعوب وتغرقها في البؤس، و تدفعها نحو النزوح  و اللجوء والهجرة الجماعية.
و يلاقي يوم المهاجر هذا العام، الشعوب و هي في مواجهة مخاطر أكبر متعلقة باندلاع حروب في بؤر مزاحمات للاحتكارات، قديمة و جديدة. هذا و تقوم القوى الرأسمالية للاتحاد الأوروبي والولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الأطلسي و غيرها، بتكثيف استعداداتها للحروب الإمبريالية والتدخلات. حيث يقوم اعتراف الولايات المتحدة بالقدس عاصمة لإسرائيل ضد حق الشعب الفلسطيني، بصب مزيد من الزيت على نار المزاحمات الامبريالية الجارية في المنطقة. و تقع مسؤوليات هائلة على الحكومة اليونانية، كما و على الاتحاد الأوروبي، لأنهما يزيدان من تعاونهما العسكري و السياسي والاقتصادي مع إسرائيل، التي تقتل الشعب الفلسطيني، و نظرا لعدم اعتراف الحكومة رسميا بالدولة الفلسطينية، على الرغم من وجود قرارا من البرلمان اليوناني ينص على ذلك. كما و تقوم الحكومة بمنح قواعد عسكرية لحلف شمال الأطلسي والولايات المتحدة، وتشارك بنشاط في المخططات الإمبريالية و تقدم التسهيلات لها. وهي مسؤولة بنحو مشترك عن زيادة المخاطر التي يتعرض لها الشعب اليوناني والشعوب الأخرى.
ويظهر الاتحاد الأوروبي بشكل أوضح وجهه الحقيقي نحو الشعوب، ولا سيما تجاه اللاجئين والمهاجرين. حيث ليست مقترحات توسك بإلغاء المقياس المتبقي لتوزيع اللاجئين في الدول الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي، عبارة عن صوت منعزل. بل هي عبارة عن تأكيد على سياسة الاتحاد الأوروبي التي تحتجز اللاجئين في اليونان، و تمول سوق الرقيق في ليبيا و تغرق المهاجرين في البحر المتوسط. و ليست عمليات تفتيش الركاب القادمين من اليونان في المطارات الألمانية عبارة عن استثناء، بل هي تطبيق إجرائي لمعاهدة شنغن. حيث تثبت تدابير المرقبة الاضافية وفق  شنغن ودبلن وحرس الحدود الأوروبية، أن الاتحاد الاوروبي يريد حرية حركة رؤوس الأموال والخدمات بين الدول الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي، و عبوراً انتقائياً لعمال شديدي الرخص  دون حقوق،  من أجل زيادة أرباح المجموعات الاقتصادية.
و تقع مسؤوليات هائلة على الحكومة اليونانية، التي لا تضمن حتى حياة اللاجئين في النقاط الساخنة البائسة على الجزر، و ذلك  لأنها تدعم هذه السياسة. و تطبق الاتفاق غير المقبول بين الاتحاد الاوربى وتركيا الذى يحتجز اللاجئين بنحو مزدوج في الجزر و تقوم بالمساومة مع الحكومة التركية لجعل هذا الاتفاق أكثر بربرية. و تقوم بإعداد عمليات ترحيل على وجه السرعة نحو جهنم الحرب الإمبريالية. بذريعة التسريع في البت بإجراءات اللجوء، و تقوم باﻹعداد لتغييرات من شأنها أن تعطي الضربة النهائية لحق اللجوء.
وهي تؤخر سنة أخرى تنظيم تعليم أطفال اللاجئين. وفي الوقت نفسه، ترفض حل مشاكل المدارس اليونانية لأطفال المهاجرين اليونانيين في الخارج.
و لا توفر تصاريح إقامة طويلة الأجل وغير مدفوعة الأجر لآلاف المهاجرين الذين يعيشون ويعملون في بلدنا، في عدد من القطاعات والشركات، في ظل نظام استغلال شديد. وهي لا توفر إجراءات بسيطة ومجانية لمن يستحقون الجنسية اليونانية ويريدون الحصول عليها.
حيث يغدو صراع العمال الموحد في الوقت الحاضر، أكثر راهنية و ضرورية في كل بلد من اجل  إسقاط الهمجية الرأسمالية وبناء مجتمع اشتراكي جديد، حيث يستحوذ العمال على وسائل الإنتاج و سيشغلونها بنحو مخطط من اجل خدمة حاجاتهم. إن ثورة أكتوبر الاشتراكية العظمى، دشنت في روسيا هذا الطريق قبل 100 عام، و اثبتت أن الرأسمالية يمكن أن تكون قوية ولكنها قابلة للهزيمة.
EU Parliament awards the 2017 Sakharov Prize to the reactionary right-wing Venezuelan opposition

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

EU Parliament awards the 2017 Sakharov Prize to the reactionary right-wing Venezuelan opposition

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/eu-parliament-awards-sakharov-prize-to.html
The reactionary, pro-U.S. opposition of Venezuela has been awarded by the EU Parliament with the Sahkarov Prize 2017. On the occasion of this shameful and outrageous act, the Communist Party of Greece group in the Europarliament made the following comments:
 
The European Parliament group of the KKE condemns the provocative act of the European Parliament to award the so-called Sakharov Prize to the reactionary opposition of Venezuela, the antigovernmental protests of which express sections of the capital with powerful relations with the USA and the EU, thus promoting the imperialist plans to this country and the broader region.
This “prize”, which is recognized and praised by all the wings of the bourgeois political spectrum- European People’s Party, Social Democrats, Liberals, Greens and GUE – New Democracy, SYRIZA, PASOK, Potami- has been proved a timeless tool of open imperialist interventions by the EU. Among those who have bee “honored” with this award are… prominent anticommunists, persons and organisations distinguished for their undermining action against the people, for their multipurpose interconnections with business groups, imperialist centers and their security centers, epsecially of the USA, the EU and bourgeois governments of the member-states. 
 
This year’s “award” choice marks the EU’s pursuit to strengthen the position of the monopoly groups that serves in the broader region of Central and South America. The European Parliament, like previous ones with respective actions about Libya, Ukraine, Syria, etc, systematically paves the way for the imperialist military interventionso of the EU, alongside her allies, the USA and NATO.
 
The KKE neither recognizes nor legitimizes this inter-state union of the capital and her bodies to proclaim themselves as supposed guardians of the popular freedoms, supporters of reactionary mechanisms of the capital and institutions of imposing “democratic values”. Our Party has, timely and documented, positioned itself about the developments in Venezuela and spoke about the sharpened problems generated by the capitalist way of development against the working class and the popular strata. 
 
The KKE constantly and over time condemns every foreign imperialist interventions. It stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and supports their inalienable right to choose their own way of development, against every kind of antipeople policy, in order, through their organised struggle,to be relieved from the yoke of capitalist exploitation, taking in their own hands the authority and the wealth they produce. 
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
When Donald Trump Falsifies History
| December 11, 2017 | 7:18 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Imperialism, Russia, socialism, UK | No comments

Monday, December 11, 2017

When Donald Trump Falsifies History

A response to U.S. President Trump’s blatant falsification of historical events.
 
By Nikos Mottas.


Donald Trump seems to have his own version of history. A version that falsifies completely the real historical events. The tycoon- turned President of the USA- decided to demonstrate his ignorance (or, perhaps, ability to distort history) during a Republican Party’s rally in Pensacola, Florida on December 8th. 

 
What did Trump say? Among others, the U.S. President said the following“We are the nation that dug out the Panama Canal, won two world wars, put a man on the moon and brought communism to its knees”.
Apparently, Trump thought that he addresses a crowd of illiterate idiots who were cheering at his moronic proclamations. But, unfortunately for Trump, not everyone is ignorant of historical events.
 
1. The U.S. didn’t win two world wars. The First World War (WW1) began in 1914 and ended in 1918. The United States entered the war just a year before the end, in 1917. Britain, France and Russia were the major countries which bore the burden of war, while the U.S. claimed some victories over the heavily damaged German army when the later were unable to provide enough arms or food to their troops. 
 
As for the Second World War (WW2), Trump is falsifying the historical truth too. Because, it was the Soviet Union – the Red Army and the people of the USSR- which actually defeated the Nazis. Someone must inform Trump about the epic battle of Stalingrad. Someone must tell him about the conquer of Berlin by the soldiers of the Red Army. 
 
The United States’ government had declared war against Nazi Germany in 1941, but it didn’t actively involved in warfare until 1944. The focus of the U.S. was on the Pacific Front, against the Japanese. By the time of the so-called “D-Day”, the Red Army had already won major battles against the Nazis, bringing the frontline close to Berlin.

The Soviet Union paid the highest price in casualties- more than 24 million people (troops and civilians) died during WW2. The respective casualties for the U.S. were approximately 420,000 people. Is Mr. Trump or any of his supporters aware of that? 

2. The U.S. President said that his country “put a man on the moon”. Indeed, astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. However, the first person to journey into outer space wasn’t an American, but a Soviet, Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin’s spacecraft “Vostok” completed an orbit on the Earth on April 12, 1961.

Someone must inform President Trump- in case he doesn’t know- that the world’s first artificial satellite was “Sputnik-1” which was launched on October 4, 1957.

3. Donald Trump also said that the U.S. “brought communism to its knees”. This is a major argument frequently used by the various apologists of capitalism, especially after the counter-revolutionary events of 1989-1991. Trump repeats this convenient- for imperialism- narrative about the supposed “triumph” of capitalism over socialism. However, the reality is far from the grandiose nonsense expressed by Mr. Trump and his like-minded.

Socialism didn’t “collapse”; it was the opportunist counter-revolution that prevailed in the USSR and the socialist countries in Eastern Europe in the end of 1980s. The counter-revolution consistued the last act of a process which led to the distortion of the revolutionary character of the Communist Party, the strengthening of social inequalities and ultimately to social regression. The roots of the reasons which led to the victory of the counter-revolution in the USSR goes back to the decisions of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. 

International imperialism played its own role in the long-term strengthening and promotion of the the counter-revolutionary forces, but it wasn’t an imperialist intervention that led to the overthrow of Socialism. The truth exists in the various deviations from the laws of socialist construction and the weaknesses in solving existing issues of Socialism with capitalist tools, which led to the prevalence of counter-revolution. 

 
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.