Category: political struggle
German Elections 2017: Declaration by the German Communist Party on the results of the Bundestag elections

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

German Elections 2017: Declaration by the German Communist Party on the results of the Bundestag elections
On the occasion of the 24th of September elections in Germany, the German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei) issued the following statement:
The result of the election represents a shift to the right with all dangers entailed with it. The AfD is a racist, nationalist force, a hinge to the frank Fascists, becoming the third-strongest party in the Bundestag with 13 percents. It is the strongest Party in Saxony and the second strongest in all East Germany. CDU, SPD, Green and Left Party lost voters to the AfD.
The 13 percent of votes for the AfD correlate to the results of the so-called “Sinus” studies, which since the 1980s show that 13 percent of the (West) German population have a “coherent right-wing world view”. Accidentally or not? Anyway, the “submarine” named “Neo-fascism”, once in the sixties in the form of the NPD, unignorable came out again.
The election results of CDU and SPD are on the lowest level ever. The traditional social-democracy is in a deep crisis. The FDP was able to establish itself again with those who are on the winners’ side of redistribution from the bottom up. The Greens maintained their results. “Die Linke” has achieved a small plus, but its loss of votes and meaning in its former home countries – on the territory of the GDR – continues. It lost about 500,000 votes to the AfD. The much too early self-determination on an alliance with the SPD and the Greens without clarification of the “red lines” or the most important essentials of such an alliance promoted the loss of profile and reputation, especially in the political conscious left-wing electoral potential.
If a coalition of CDU, FDP and Greens actually is going to form the government, this will, above all under the the pressure from the right by the AFD, be an intensification of the aggressive, social-mossback course of German imperialism.
The SPD, which is with Agenda 2010 and Hartz-IV responsible for the social descent of masses and enabled the deployments of wars of German imperialism, gives no reason of hope for a real opposition policy. At least not for an opposition policy against war and social cutting, as urgently needed.
The result of the election expresses, above all, the great inconsistency in mass consciousness, but also in class consciousness. Many people, especially in the deindustrialized eastern parts of Germany, are rightly concerned about their social perspective and the security of their life situation. This uncertainty has brought non-voters back to the polls. They wanted to reject the policy of the great coalition of the CDU and the SPD. They have refused this policy. They believed in the false and demagogic promises and slogans. By choosing the AfD, which makes no secret of the fact that it stands for a social-reactionary, splittic, racist course, they chose a “way out”, which will soon be directed against themselves. 
The left forces in Germany were not able to give convincing answers to the legitimate perspectives of fear. We remain at the same time on the position that perspectives of fear are not racism, but can become the breeding ground for racism if there are no comprehensible paths for successful struggles for peace, social rights and democracy. This requirement results for all the left from this election result. 
The result of the DKP with 11,713 votes is very low and not satisfying for us. It is also the receipt for the fact that we did not take part in a Bundestag election campaign on our own since 1989. Our run on the Bundestag election was right, not because we were hoping for election returns, but because we strengthened the DKP and made its substances more well-known. We have carried “red on the road” and will continue to do so. In the medium and long term, this is the right way to change mass and class consciousness and link it to the right opponent. 
The DKP will therefore continue to be on the road with its action program for peace, work, solidarity, and show where the money for education and a health care system that does not make the patient and the employee sick is to take from: from the military budget and the super rich. It will continue to fight for disarmament, the end of all foreign operations of the Bundeswehr and for peace with Russia. It will continue to fight for the reduction of working hours with full pay and staff compensation and job creation in the public sector. 
The DKP will continue to name monopoly capital as the main antagonist and call for joint struggle – knowing that change will be achieved on the road and not with the ballot. Let‘s fight for common interests regardless of worldview, age, origin, and gender – in short, solidarity – is what the rulers are most afraid of. Solidarity is our asset – on strike, the prevention of a foreclosure in the neighborhood or a blockade of neo-fascist demonstration. Solidarity is also our asset to the AfD. 
CC of the German Communist Party (DKP).
Essen, Germany.
The 12 cartoons censored by the EU Parliament as politically “controversial”
| September 20, 2017 | 9:30 pm | political struggle | No comments

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The 12 cartoons censored by the EU Parliament as politically “controversial”
Last week, the EU Parliament rejected 12 caricatures by Greek artists for a Brussels exhibition as “inflammatory” cartoons mocking EU leaders and their policies allegedly go against “European values.” 
The exhibition, featuring work from both French and Greek cartoonists, was due to be unveiled at the European Parliament in Brussels on September 25 as part of the year marking 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. However, after evaluating the work for offensive content, Liberal Democrats’ MEP Catherine Bearder rejected 12 of the 28 submissions from Greek artists. From their side, organizers denounced it as an act of “violent censorship.”
Below, you can see the cartoons (caricatures) which were rejected by the EU’s “politically correct” censorship:
The blackboard reads: “Geneva Treaty 1951-2016”. A pupil asks: “Sir, can we have a new Geneva
or Nurenberg must occur first again?”
“We want Europe, no matter if we eat rocks”
Greece yells “HELP!”
“A zombie lies beneath Europe”
RESPONSE TO: Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
| September 14, 2017 | 8:29 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments
By A. Shaw
So, according to the article, there are already about 20 apparent “Dems” or DP candidates positioning for 2020.
Some “sizzle” while others “fall on the road.”
At this time, Sanders sizzles in first place with 28% of likely voters in all social classes and race/nationality.
Biden sizzles with 17%.
Warren sizzles with 12%
The remaining 17 or so DP candidates don’t sizzle.
 They fall on the road.
Ideologically, Sanders strives to represent chiefly the liberal sectors of working and middle classes. He is not indifferent to the interests of the capitalist class, but the interests of millionaires are not his primary concern.
Biden primarily wants to represent the center and liberal sectors of the bourgeoisie, the rest of society is not his primary concern.
Warren strives primarily to represent the liberal sector of the middle class. Still, she has a real interest in other classes, especially the workers
With the exception of Sanders, this field of DP candidates accepts the flawed principle that reality is whatever story is prominently and consistently reported in the capitalist [or cappie] media. So, this field hustles for coverage in the cappie press.
Thus, if propaganda appears in non-cappie outlets, it isn’t real. If the story appears in the a cappie outlet but it’s buried in back pages, it isn’t real due to the lack of prominence. If the story appears one day but vanishes the next, it isn’t real due to lack of consistency.
The tactic of most of candidates in the DP field is to get coverage in the cappie press, then use the coverage to reach out to sectors of social classes  that may effect the candidate’s campaign favorably or unfavorably.
In 2016, Trump showed how to use the social media with full force.
In 2016, Sanders showed a little bit how to use the campaign’s media for propaganda as well as fundraising.
Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
| September 14, 2017 | 8:26 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments

Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020

Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
© Greg Nash

Several potential Democratic presidential candidates have seen their stock fall since the beginning of the year, while others have risen.

Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.) has seen rivals jump on to his single-payer health-care bill, while former Vice President Joe Biden is preparing a major book tour through key swing states.

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.) have both generated headlines as Democratic opponents of President Trump who have been “shushed” by Republican lawmakers.

With so many Democrats fighting for attention, other rising stars seen as potential players in 2020, most notably Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), have been crowded out of the spotlight.

And third-tier potential Democratic candidates such as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio), Seth Moulton (Mass.) and Rep. John Delaney (Md.), who has announced he is running for president, are yet to be taken seriously.

“You almost never hear their names come up in conversation, and when they do it’s almost met with a grin like, ‘Yeah, OK, that will never happen,’ ” said one top Democratic consultant. “There’s just no buzz around any of them, and you need some buzz.”

Gillibrand did win some attention by being the only senator to oppose Defense Secretary James Mattisnomination, and she has also earned some headlines with choice four-letter words about President Trump.

“If we are not helping people, we should go the f— home,” she said in June at the Personal Democracy Forum at New York University.

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone ran a piece with a headline that said Gillibrand was outsmarting Trump.

Klobuchar, for her part, is liked in Washington for her policy chops and an understated and underrated sense of humor.

Yet she risks getting overlooked by another potential candidate from Minnesota: Sen. Al Franken, who received good press for a book tour and raised questions during Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing that led the former Alabama senator to recuse himself from the Justice Depatment’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

While Gillibrand stood to the side of Sanders as he offered his single-payer bill on Wednesday, Klobuchar, who is not a co-sponsor of the legislation, was giving a speech about Russia on the Senate floor.

Klobuchar’s office did not comment for this story.

It’s very early, with more than two years to go before the Iowa caucuses. Still, strategists say there’s a risk of being drowned out early in the “invisible campaign,” which is preceding what is expected to be a crowded Democratic race.

“In a field where 20-something people may show up in Iowa at the state fair, you really need to be in the top five,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. “If you’re in the top five, you’re in a good place to wage an incredible campaign.”

Polls consistently show the same front-runners.

A Zogby Analytics online survey conducted this month shows Sanders with a sizable lead among likely voters at 28 percent. Biden came in second at 17 percent. Warren came in third at 12 percent.

A poll conducted in June for Morning Consult and Politico showed that 74 percent of Democrats viewed Biden favorably, followed by Warren at 51 percent.

At the same time, the party has been craving “fresh blood”— Democrats who haven’t been on the scene and don’t have years of baggage weighing them down in a presidential campaign.

That desire could help potential candidates such as Gillibrand, Klobuchar or even Ryan, though they have plenty of competition in that space.

Harris, a new rising star on the scene, gained national attention when she was shushed by Republican senators in Senate Intelligence Committee hearings.

And Warren, who, like Sanders, has an established base of support but who would be a new candidate for president, gave the liberal base a battle cry with the “she persisted” line coined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Candidates do face the risk of peaking too soon, says Democratic strategist Jim Manley.

At times in 2014 and 2015, it was Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) who seemed like the Republican senator to watch for in 2016. Then he faded.

“Cycle after cycle, there’s always someone who is the flavor of the month,” Manley said.

Still, Democratic strategist David Wade, who served as a longtime senior aide to John Kerry, emphasized that candidates with an eye on 2020 should “always place a premium on patience and purpose.”

“Good candidates get their moment to audition on the national stage, and it takes patience because you can’t force the moment,” Wade said. “But it also demands purpose. Purpose is knowing what your candidate’s profile is and what lane they occupy.”

In the years before the 2004 Democratic primaries ultimately won by Kerry, “multiple candidates had their moment in the sun, and many melted,” Wade said.

To be competitive and stand out, lawmakers can develop an agenda, fill a federal war chest and travel the country building a fundraising network that can be transferred to a presidential campaign.

And with the fight over nominations and the contentious Trump agenda, lawmakers with the right speeches and tactics are uniquely positioned to break through quickly.

“I think it’s too early to discount people’s chances,” said Grant Reeher, the director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. “I think the candidates that we’re thinking about for 2020 aren’t people we’re thinking about right now.”

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

The move by top Democrats sets up a stark contrast between themselves and Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 election.

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Recognizing that the politics of health care are rapidly changing in the United States, a growing list of potential 2020 Democratic nominees are lining up in support of a new single-payer health care plan.

The bill, set to be officially proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, is quickly winning the support of key Democrats – mostly notably those considering challenging Donald Trump in the next presidential election.

According to a new report from The Hill, citing Mic, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest possible 2020 candidate to throw her support behind the measure. She is reportedly expected to announce her support of the plan soon.

The report also highlighted more key Democratic figures supporting the proposal: “Gillibrand joins other possible 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls in supporting the bill, including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).”

“Health care should be a right, it should never be a privilege. We should have Medicare for all in this country,” the New York senator said, according to CNN.

The Democratic push for a health care system that covers all Americans comes as Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are moving in the opposite direction, trying but so far failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

A slew of CBO estimates this year found that GOP plans would result in more than 20 million Americans losing their health coverage.

Trump’s efforts have energized health care activists to push for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system to build on the successes of Obamacare and expand coverage even further.

Public opinion is on the Democrats’ side, too, with a summer Pew poll showing that a majority of the country – 60 percent – believe the federal government should guarantee coverage to all Americans.

The move by a growing number of Democrats to embrace single-payer sets up a stark contrast between themselves and Donald Trump.

Do the American people want a president who works tirelessly to take health insurance away from millions of Americans as Donald Trump has, or do they want leaders who believe that health care in the United States is a right for all, not a privilege for the few?

The American people increasingly believe the latter.

LIVE: Thomas Frank on Clinton’s Attack on Sanders

Ukraine’s Continuing Descent Into a Swamp of Fascism and Ultra-Nationalism
| September 5, 2017 | 12:24 pm | Fascist terrorism, political struggle, Russia, Ukraine | No comments
Открытие  памятника С. Бандере во Львове

Ukraine’s Continuing Descent Into a Swamp of Fascism and Ultra-Nationalism

© Sputnik/ Miroslav Luzhetskiy

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John Wight

The recent abduction of Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova in Kiev and her subsequent deportation by the country’s state security service (SBU), on allegations of “smearing” Ukraine, is yet more evidence of the turmoil that has engulfed the country in the wake of the coup which toppled its last legitimately democratically-elected government in 2014.

According to a 2016 report compiled by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young, Ukraine tops the European corruption league, and is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, based on the perception of its citizens in a wide-ranging poll. It is an onerous title the country has held each year since the so-called Euromaidan movement toppled the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych with the active support of Washington and its European allies.

People will recall that one of the main justifications for forcing the Ukrainian president from office back in 2014 was his alleged corruption, with claims that he’d been engaged in the widespread mismanagement of government funds and the disbursement of bribes. Yet corruption at the highest levels of power in Ukraine was endemic prior to Yanukovych’s election to the presidency in 2010, while remaining endemic since his forced departure.

A conflict that has slipped off the radar of the mainstream media continues in eastern Ukraine at significant human and humanitarian cost. In April 2017 the European Commission revealed the extent of the cost paid by those Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country, who have steadfastly refused to recognize the writ of a government that came to power with the active and violent support of avowed neo-Nazis and fascists.

In a conflict in which 9,900 people have been killed and 23,246 injured, the EU Commission report reveals that an estimated 3.8 million people in eastern Ukraine are in need of humanitarian aid. We’ve learned that “damage to housing and critical civilian infrastructures, particularly water supply and electricity systems is increasing. Conflict affected resident population and internally displaced persons (IDPs) face difficult access to health care and other essential services, socio-economic exclusion, loss of income and livelihood and suffer from psychological distress.”

These are the bitter fruits of a conflict that the West helped to bring about with the opportunistic and reckless support for violent demonstrators, many of them neo-Nazis, in a part of the world where the scars of the Second World War remain deep and raw over 70 years on.

Indeed, today, more than anywhere in Europe, including Germany, the past and the present have merged to produce not so much historical amnesia but an outbreak of historical revisionism when it comes to the Nazi invasion and occupation of Ukraine (when it was part of the Soviet Union), and the ensuing atrocities and orgy of murder unleashed by the SS with the participation of Ukrainian auxiliaries.

In an wide-ranging interview with the UK Morning Star newspaper, Petro Symonenko, leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, points out that “right across Ukraine there is…a war between the ideologists of Hitler and the Nazi collaborators of the OUN, and the anti-fascists, whose leaders have always been Communists.” Moreover Symonenko identifies the role of the coup government’s Institute of National Memory in ‘falsifying history and promoting neonazism (sic) as state ideology.”

What he is referring to with regard to the Kiev’s Institute of National Memory is a campaign it is engaged in to rewrite the history of the Second World War, while sanctioning the eradication of monuments and statues commemorating the role of the Red Army in liberating Ukraine from the scourge of fascism at enormous human cost. It comes as part of a narrative in which all things Russian are deemed abhorrent and evil, an “eternal enemy and aggressor”, regardless of the indisputable ethnic and cultural bonds both countries share, stretching all the way back to the 9th century and the Kievan Rus Federation out of which both Russia and Ukraine emerged.

The idea that a historical figure such as Stepan Bandera, the famed (infamous) Ukrainian nationalist who actively colluded and collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation of Ukraine, is now venerated and lauded as a patriot in anti-Russian parts of the country is surely offensive, when considering the indisputable barbarity that was visited on countless millions throughout the Soviet Union and elsewhere in service to their monstrous creed and ideology.

Yet this is western Ukraine today, a repository of ultra nationalism and fascism, driven by an irrational desire to destroy and substitute an alternative history for actual history.

In supporting the 2014 coup in western Ukraine, and thereby precipitating a civil war, the West created a monster. For not only has the result been civil war, it has plunged relations between Russia and Washington to the lowest point since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when the world came the closest it ever has to nuclear Armageddon.

Today, three years after the coup in Kiev, there are thousands of NATO troops on Russia’s border, along with aircraft and a missile defense shield in Romania. Cynics among us may be tempted to speculate that this was part of the script all along, given Russia’s recovery and emergence as a strategic counterweight to Western hegemony in recent years. But whatever the motives the catastrophic outcome cannot be denied.

It is something to ponder that whereas during the Second World War Russia and the West were united in a common struggle to defeat fascism, in the second decade of the 21st century the West is supporting a country that, though not governed by fascists, is undeniably infested by a recrudescence of fascism.

“As crimes pile up,” Brecht reminds us, “they become invisible.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik. 

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.