Archive for the Engels Category

“A decisive turning point in the crisis of American imperialism” – AIIP is here [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Assassination, Australia, Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Denmark, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Engels, France, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Obama, Pentagon, Police State, south Korea, Taiwan, Torture, Trotsky, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on April 2, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

1 April 2015

Yesterday was the deadline for countries to sign up as founding members of the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It will go down in history as marking a significant defeat for the global foreign policy and strategic objectives of United States imperialism.

Against strenuous opposition from Washington, more than 40 countries have now indicated they want to be part of the AIIB. Major European powers including Britain, France and Germany, as well as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, are on board. Almost all countries in the South East Asian region, which count China as their major trading partner, have also signed up. India is also a signatory, together with Taiwan.

The most significant blow against the US was struck by Britain, its chief European ally, which announced its decision to join on March 12. It opened the floodgates for others to follow, including two key US allies in the Asia-Pacific -— Australia and South Korea. Japan is also reported to be considering joining, possibly as early as June.

The full significance of the US defeat and its far-reaching implications emerge most clearly when viewed from a historical perspective.

One of the chief objections of the Obama administration to the new bank was that it would undermine the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Together with the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944, they constituted central pillars of the global economic order established after World War II by the United States, which played the central role in rebuilding world capitalism following the devastation of the 1920s and 1930s and the wars and revolutionary struggles it produced.

Of course, both of these institutions, together with the Marshall Plan for the restabilisation of war-torn Europe, operated to the economic and strategic benefit of American imperialism.

But while America drew enormous gains from the post-war order, it was not narrowly conceived. There was a recognition in ruling political and economic circles that if American capitalism was to survive, it would have to use the enormous resources at its disposal to ensure the growth and expansion of other capitalist powers, above all, those against which it had fought a bitter and bloody conflict.

Post-war reconstruction enabled the expansion of Germany and turned it once again into the industrial powerhouse of Europe. At the same time, concessions to Japan on the value of its currency -— it was pegged at 360 yen to the dollar -— opened up export markets for its industry. The decision to build trucks and other military equipment in Japan during the Korean War laid the foundations for the development of Japan’s auto industry, as it incorporated, and then developed, the advanced production techniques that had been established in the US.

The industrial and economic capacity of the United States, even when it took reactionary forms as in the case of the Korean War, was utilised to facilitate a new phase of global capitalist expansion—the post-war boom.

What a contrast to the present situation! American capitalism is no longer the industrial powerhouse of the world, ensuring the expansion of the capitalist economy as a whole. Rather, it functions as the global parasite-in-chief, as its rapacious banks, investment houses and hedge funds scour the world for profitable opportunities, engaged not in the production of new wealth, but in the appropriation of wealth produced elsewhere, often via criminal or semi-criminal operations.

In the immediate post-war period, the US was the champion of free trade, recognising that the restrictions and beggar-thy-neighbour policies of the 1930s had produced a disaster. Today, through measures such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and similar arrangements being prepared with regard to Europe, Washington seeks to forge exclusivist agreements aimed at protecting the monopoly position of US corporations. America, Obama has stated, must write the global rules for trade and investment in the 21st century.

American influence in the post-war period was not confined to the immediate economic sphere. Notwithstanding all its contradictory features, American society appeared to have something to offer the world as a whole, which had suffered decades of war, fascism and military forms of rule, along with economic devastation.

Again, the contrast with the present situation could not be starker. American democracy, once held up as a beacon for the rest of the world, is a withered caricature of its former self, no longer capable of concealing the dictatorship of the financial and corporate elites.

Social conditions are characterised by deprivation and state violence, reflected not least in the daily police killings. America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and in Detroit, once the centre of the American industrial economy, paying the highest wages, water shutoffs are being imposed. The US government carries out torture, abductions, assassinations and mass spying on its own people and others around the world. The country is ruled by criminals who cannot be held accountable for their crimes.

In the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the removal from the scene of its global rival, the American ruling class was gripped by the idea that while its economic position had been severely weakened -— the stock market crash of 1987 was a harbinger of things to come -— American hegemony could nevertheless be maintained by military means.

But as Frederick Engels had earlier explained in refuting another exponent of “force theory,” the notion that economic developments—the advance of industry, credit and trade—and the contradictions to which they gave rise could be “blown out of existence” with “Krupp guns and Mauser rifles” was a delusion.

The past 25 years of American foreign policy, based on the use of cruise missiles and drones, combined with invasions and regime-change operations grounded on lies, have produced one debacle after another.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost, as other capitalist powers, great and small, begin to conclude that hitching themselves to the American juggernaut is the surest road to disaster. That is the historic significance of their decision to join the AIIB.

How will American imperialism respond? By increasing its military provocations, threatening to plunge the world once again into war.

Charting the rise of American imperialism in the late 1920s, Leon Trotsky noted that in the period of crisis, its hegemony would operate “more openly and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom,” and that it would attempt to extricate itself from its difficulties and maladies at the expense of its rivals, if necessary by means of war.

However there is another, and, in the final analysis, decisive, aspect to the economic decline of American imperialism, marked so powerfully by the events of yesterday.

For decades, the American working class was disoriented by the idea of a continually rising power -— that America’s “best days” were always ahead. Reality is now coming home with ever-increasing force.

Events are shattering the delusions of the past and will propel the American working class on to the road of revolutionary struggle, creating the conditions for the unification of the international working class in the fight for world socialist revolution.

Nick Beams

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/01/pers-a01.html

90 years after death, Lenin’s contributions appreciated [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-communism, Engels, Lenin, Marx, Russia, USSR on February 11, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Catalinotto on January 31, 2014

Lenin is the recognized leader of the political party that directed the working-class’s seizure of state power in Russia in the fall of 1917. For the first time in history, a subject class was placed at the head of society.

Lenin had built the Bolshevik Party, later the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and he was the architect setting up the framework of the new multinational state of many peoples, stretching from Eastern Europe to Siberia, from the Arctic Sea to Central Asia.

Lenin, whose real name was Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, died from a stroke at the age of 53 on Jan. 21, 1924 — 90 years ago. We know that no revolution can be the work of a single individual. Tens of millions of human beings whose life conditions drive them to understand the need to struggle and sacrifice need to participate and cooperate to bring such a revolution about. More than any other single individual, however, Lenin was responsible for the workers’ victory in Russia.

This revolution and the Soviet state aided, inspired and supported the uprisings that liberated many of the oppressed countries from imperialism and workers from exploitation during the 20th century. The USSR, a product of the 1917 revolution, was the greatest nightmare for the imperialist ruling class. For that reason, the bankers, billionaires and their paid propagandists made the Soviet Union a pariah state and hated Lenin more than any other single individual in history. To this day, he remains the number one historical enemy of the rich.

At the same time, Lenin remains a beacon for those who want to struggle. This is especially true for revolutionaries living in the industrialized and urbanized countries that are part of the imperialist world and where the masses most often live in cities. They want to construct a framework to facilitate a revolution that overthrows capitalism and starts to build a new world where exploitation and inequality are eliminated.

Lenin’s contributions to revolutionary history are rich. Others will undoubtedly make their own additions to the four lessons listed here, which remain essential to carrying out class struggle in the 21st century:

Lenin’s analysis of world imperialism, written during World War I, underlined the inevitability of the drive toward war and conquest growing out of the capitalist system when it had become a worldwide phenomenon.

Lenin’s analysis of the “national question” and how communists should relate to the struggle of peoples and nations for self-determination, including independence, united the communists and the movements for liberation throughout the colonial world.

Lenin’s approach to organizing a working-class party. He outlined this in his 1901 pamphlet, “What Is to Be Done,” and carried it out through the 1917 revolution and beyond. Lenin’s work was specific to the reality of Czarist Russia of that period, but the principles he laid out for creating a party that is an instrument of effective working-class struggle have remained intact since.

Lenin extended Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ analysis of the capitalist state in his work, “State and Revolution,” which he wrote in August and September of 1917 while forced into hiding. The imperialist states have grown even more weaponized and bureaucratic since that day, as have the capitalist states in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This pamphlet has the happiest of endings, as Lenin noted in explaining why he had to stop writing: “It is more pleasant and useful to go through the ‘experience of the revolution’ than to write about it.”

He not only experienced that revolution but led it. It was the major factor in the history of the 20th century until it was reversed in 1989-1991.

To open the study of Lenin in this 90th year after his death, we’d like to call attention to an article written by late-Workers World Party founder Sam Marcy in 1992, which is available online at tinyurl.com/jw8mm6v. This work, written after the disappearance of the Soviet Union, analyzes the enormous problems that the Bolsheviks faced in the period just after the 1917 Revolution. It is a good way to begin to appreciate the contributions of Lenin.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/01/31/90-years-death-lenins-contributions-appreciated/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

“Treat the seven important ideological trends correctly and make innovations in our social sciences independently” – What is ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’? [Xinhua]

Posted in CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), Economic crisis & decline, Engels, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Marx, Reform and opening up, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, U.K., US imperialism, USA on September 28, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Excellent article — with the caveat that it is badly edited, i.e. it is a 2-person interview but at times it’s unclear to whom the various statements should be attributed to. – Zuo Shou

An Interview with Professor Cheng Enfu

Interviewer: Liang Weiguo, Chinese Social Sciences Net (CSSN)

BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhuanet) — [Introduction to the Interviewee] Cheng Enfu, born in Shanghai in 1950, is a professor, PhD candidate supervisor, and representative to the Eleventh National People’s Congress, as well as the director of the Marxist Academy, an affliliate of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

In May 2004, Prof. Cheng gave a lecture in a study meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee presided by Hu Jintao, general secretary. In February 2002, he presented a report on how to reform in a theoretical symposium presided by Jiang Zemin, former general secretary. He has been seen as “one of the representatives of the fourth generation of China’s economists” and “one of the most creative economists in China” by some influential newspapers in China and Japan.

Prof. Cheng is also a member (academician) of CASS, member of the CASS Academic Division Presidium, director of the Academic Division of Marxism Study in CASS, chairman of the World Association of Political Economy (a global academic community), chairman of the Chinese Society for Studies of Foreign Economics, president of the Institute for Studies of Regularities in China’s Economy, and an “Expert of the Marxism Discipline Appraisal Group in the Academic Degree Commission” of the State Council. He enjoys a State Council Special Allowance.

It is the premise of a firm political belief to keep ideologically sober. What ideological trends are there in the ideological realm in China today? What are their key ideas? How to understand and treat them? How to develop the philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics and Chinese style? Liang Weiguo, CSSN reporter, had an interview with Prof. Cheng Enfu recently for the answers to the questions.

* To Resist the negative effects of Neoliberalism on reform *

Interviewer: It is a must to identify the true and the false through comparisons among various ideologies if we want to get clear on what are Marxism, socialism with Chinese characteristics and the socialist core value system. Director Cheng, what ideological trends are there in our society today?

Cheng Enfu: In fact, there are seven important ideological trends in the ideological realm in China today: Neoliberalism, Democratic Socialism, the New Left, Eclectic Marxism, traditional Marxism, Revivalism and Innovative Marxism. By ideological trend, I use it as a neutral concept and various studies of Marxism can also be seen as ideological trends.

In the 1870s, the UK suffered from a serious economic crisis. T.H. Green firstly created a theory which maintained the tradition of UK’s liberalism and implemented state intervention to bring the role of state into full play. After the 1890s, many radical intellectuals — who called themselves “collectivists” — within and outside the Liberal Party contended to build an equal and cooperative new society. “Neoliberalism” was the popular word which represented the theory they held. Could you please give us your understanding of “Neoliberalism”?

Neoliberalism is the ideology, economic theory and policy proposal of the monopolizing capitalist classes. Its theories and policies can be summerized as “four de- or -izations”.

Firstly, Neoliberalism stands for de-regulation of economy. It believes that planning of economy and regulation of distribution by state would ruin economic freedom and kill the enthusiasm of the “economic man”. Only by letting the market run freely can we have the best result.

Secondly, Neoliberalism stands for the privatization of economy. It contends that privatization would become the basis on which the role of market could be brought into full play, and private enterprises are the most efficient ones, and the public resources should be privatized. Neoliberalism tends to reduce public sectors, state-owned sectors and institutions to the minimum, or none.

Thirdly, Neoliberalism stands for the liberalization of economy. It claims that free choice should be the most essential principle of economic and political activities. We should have the right to possess personal property and carry out free trade, consumption and employment. But it denies the free flow of the labor force. The nature of its liberalization of economy is to protect the unfair economic globalization dominated by the US and the unjust old international economic order.

Fourthly, Neoliberalism stands for the personalization of welfare. It stands against building a welfare state and improving the welfare of the laborers. And that is a typical feature of Neoliberalism. However, it has not been clearly stated in the academic circles both in and outside China.

Zhang Weiying and Yao Yang, professors of Peking University, are leading figures of China’s Neoliberalism.

* The diversification of guiding ideologies advocated by Democratic Socialism *

The concept of Democratic Socialism was first put forward in the book “The Preconditions of Socialism” by Eduard Bernstein in 1899. In June 1951, the Socialist International passed the declaration “Aims and Tasks of Democratic Socialism” as its principles when it was founded. It clearly set “Democratic Socialism” as its program and standed openly against the scientific socialism of Marxism. How should we understand Democratic Socialism?

Democratic Socialism is the term to describe the ideological systems of social democratic parties, socialist parties, labor parties and Socialist International. A capitalist reformist ideology has become prevalent in the Western societies since the beginning of the twentieth century. It originates from the right wing of the Socialist International and Bernstein is the founder of the basic thought of “Democratic Socialism”. Nowadays, Democratic Socialism is regarded not only as a theory, but also as a form of practice. The social democratic parties have long been ruling ones or ruling in turns in many western capitalist nations, which generates a profound influence on the changes in the world today.

Firstly, Democratic Socialism is against holding Marxism as the only guiding ideology, proposing a pluralism of world-views and guiding ideologies for the diversity of socialist thoughts and origins. Secondly, Democratic Socialism advocates the multi-party system of the capital class. Social parties under different titles wipe out the working-class nature of their parties and are against the principle of democratic centralism. Thirdly, Democratic Socialism holds that socialism can be realized without changing capitalist private ownership by claiming that the principal structure of the means of production ownership is not the criterion for judging the nature of a society. Fourthly, Democratic Socialism gives up the goal of communism, and proposes to fight for a system with social justice, liberty, democracy and world peace through the bourgeois’ rationality and ethic principles, such as freedom, equality, justice and mutual assistance, etc.

Xie Tao, professor of the Renmin University of China, and Xin Ziling, professor of the National Defense University, are the leading figures of the ideological trend.

* The New Left may easily run to an extreme for its theoretical immaturity *

Since the early 1960s, those who support revolution among college students and young people in China, Japan and US began to form the New Left. When we have a scan on the ideologies of China today, we can see the ideological pattern coming into existence in the mid- 1990s has evolved into a two-side confrontation: one side is liberalism talking to itself and the other the stern New Left. Could you give us more information about the New Left?

The New Left is an loose group of intellectuals, who try to influence academia and politics by catching the eye of the public through their articles in journals or on the internet. Many in the New Left have overseas study experience and some are still living abroad.

The important theoretical battle-field of the New Left is the website “Utopia” (wuyou zhi xiang). Han Deqiang, professor of the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is the leading figure.

* A correct attitude towards Eclectic Marxism *

Engels’ “Anti-Duhring,” “Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy,” and Lenin’s “Materialism and Empirio-criticism” are the essence of the philosophy of Marxism. It is necessary to carefully read them for the reason that it can help us systematically master the fundamental principles of Marxist philosophy and set up a Marxist scientific world-view and life philosophy. We often hear the saying “eclectic Marxism” in our daily life. Could you give us some information about the concept?

The Eclectic Marxism is an ideological trend in China. It is an idea and methodology that doesn’t differentiate the principal and secondary contraditions and juxtapose them, and mechanically mixes totally opposite viewpoints without principle. Some of the eclecticists speak highly of the basic theories of the Western Economics, regarding selfishness as the human nature and fully supporting the hypothesis of economic man for egoism. It also believes that human beings’ selfishness could lead to social collaboration and an increase of public welfare. It lays one-side emphasis on efficiency and completely neglects justice.

Wang Dongjing, professor of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, is the leading figure.

* We should pay attention to the traditional Marxism *

Marxism originated in Western Europe in the 1840s when capitalism has undergone a long development over there. Nowadays, at the moment when we are facing the serious challenges from globalization, what is the inspiration behind the spread and development of Marxism in China in modern time and today? And what is the hard lesson that we could learn from it?

We have to pay attention to the ideological trend of traditional Marxism in China. The positive side of the traditional Marxism is that it forcefully criticized some wrong ideological trends, especially Neoliberalism, Democratic Socialism and Eclectic Marxism. Some of the criticisms, however, are overdone and they are fond of “Great Criticism” (da pipan) and getting serious in terms of lines and principles (shanggangshangxian). Some senior scholars have done more than enough criticism but produced little innovation, due to not following the new resources both from home and abroad. It is wrong of them to approve the key practices during the Cultural Revolution.

The typical media of traditional Marxism is “maoflag net”. Li Cunrui, ex-director of National Statistics Bureau, is the leading figure of the traditional Marxism.

* Revivalism trying to govern the country through such traditions as Confucianism, Buddhism and Taosim [sic] *

Revivalism means to restore the ancient systems, customs and ideas in an attempt to achieve cultural identification or cultural recreation. So how should we view Revivalism? And how should we deal with it?

Revivalism, also called the worship of ancient classics and styles, advocates governing the country with the ideas from such traditions as Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Jiang Qing is regarded as the most eloquent grassroot figure in the mainland. He published Political Confucianism (Sanlian Publishing House, 2003). Deng Xiaojun published Confucianism and Democracy (Sichuan People’s Publishing House, 1995).

* Innovative Marxism promoting the practical development of Marxism *

In October 1938, at the Sixth Party Plenum, Mao Zedong criticized dogmatism and called on the whole Party to lauch a learning campaign, asking all communists with research ability, especially the high-rank cadres of the Party, should study theory, history and current affairs and carry on the precious heritages “from Confucius to Sun Yat-sen,” so as to sinicize Marxism. During the process, Innovative Marxism played an important role. Could you give us more information?

The first leading figures of Innovative Marxism is Liu Guoguang, Special Adviser and former Vice-president of CASS. Me and Fang Keli, chairman of the History of Chinese Philosophy Society, are also the leading figures. In terms of general theory and guiding principles, Innovative Marxism in the academic circle is to keep in high accord with the CPC Central Committee and emphasizes making innovations independently in the teaching and studies in the social sciences in China, stands against rigidly following the “foreign”, “indigeneous” and “Marxist” dogmas. The social sciences in China should advocate the following academic principles and thinking ways: “the world conditions are regarded as background, the national conditions as ground, Marxism as body with the West ideas as references, ancient Chinese learning as our root, so as to synthesize and innovate.” We should take Marxism, Leninism and their sinicized versions as the principal and the dominant to modernize the social sciences in China through innovations, rather than “connecting our trains with international ones by following foreign dogmas” or “return to the ancient by following indigeneous dogmas.”

The journals such as Marxism Study, Review of International Thought (English) and Review of Political Economy in the World, edited by me, are the representative media of Innovative Marxism. Digest of Marxism and the website Academy of Marxism (myy.cass.cn) also reflect the latest theoretical trends of Innovative Marxism.

(Source:Cssn.cn)

(Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s viewpoint. It does not necessarily represent the editorial opinion of Xinhuanet.)

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-09/11/c_131857971.htm

Marx: the return of the giant [The Japan Times Online]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Engels, Germany, Japan, Marx, USSR on July 19, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

July 19, 2012

By MARCELLO MUSTO
Special to The Japan Times

TORONTO — If an author’s eternal youth consists of his capacity to keep stimulating new ideas, then it may be said that Karl Marx has without question remained young.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, conservatives and progressives, liberals and social democrats almost unanimously decreed Marx’s final disappearance, yet his theories have once again become highly topical — with a speed that is in many respects surprising. Since 2008, the ongoing economic crisis and the deep contradictions tearing capitalist society apart have aroused new interest in an author too hastily set aside after 1989, and hundreds of newspapers, magazines and TV or radio stations have featured Marx’s analyses in "Capital" and in the articles he wrote for "The New-York Tribune," while he was observing the panic of 1857, i.e., the first international financial crisis of history.

After 20 years of silence, people in many countries are again writing and talking about Marx. In the English-speaking world, conferences and university courses on his thought are back in fashion. "Capital" is once more a best-seller in Germany, while a manga version of it has been brought out in Japan. In China a huge new edition of his collected works is being published (with translations from German and not, as in the past, from Russian). In Latin America a new demand for Marx has made itself felt among people active in politics…

…To relegate Marx to the position of an embalmed classic suitable only for specialist academic research would be a mistake on a par with his transformation into the doctrinal source of "actually existing socialism." For in reality his analyses are more topical than ever. When Marx wrote "Capital," the capitalist mode of production was still in a relatively early period of its development. Today, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the spread of capitalism to new areas of the planet (first and foremost China[!]), it has become a global system that is invading and shaping all (not only the economic) aspects of human existence. In these conditions, Marx’s ideas are proving to be more fertile than they were in his time…

…After 20 years in which paeans of praise for market society had to face only the vacuity of assorted postmodernisms, the new ability to survey the horizon from the shoulders of a giant such as Marx is a positive development not only for all the scholars interested in a serious understanding of our contemporary society, but also for anyone involved in the political and theoretical quest for a democratic alternative to capitalism.

[Excerpted by Zuo Shou]

Full article link here (The Japan Times Online)

“‘Free trade’ imperialism” – Editorial [Workers World]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Colombia, Engels, Marx, Mexico, Panama, south Korea on October 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Oct 23, 2011

That the U.S. Senate took four years to endorse the “free trade” accords between U.S. imperialism and its vassals in Panama, Colombia and south Korea is no sign there was anything good about these agreements for working people in any of the countries.

A Free Trade Act sounds so harmless. It isn’t. It is not an agreement between peoples to work for their mutual benefit. It’s an agreement among the ruling classes in the countries signing the accord to better exploit the laboring masses, that is, the working class and the individual farmers. It enriches the 1 percent — or maybe the 1 percent of that richest 1 percent — who control areas of trade and finance at the expense of everyone else.

The biggest advantage from these agreements usually goes to the ruling class in the imperialist countries, who gain a commanding foothold in the “developing” countries that they never give up.

Some 163 years ago in the Communist Manifesto Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels called attention to the ability of the capitalist ruling class to use the “cheap prices of commodities” they produce with their developed technology as “the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls” to penetrate any country.

In the current situation, U.S. agricultural technology — agribusiness — can produce many foodstuffs more cheaply than individual peasant farmers can. That’s one reason the south Korean farmers’ organizations have been fighting against the FTA. They know what happened in Mexico after the North American FTA went into effect in 1994. Within a few years the peasants growing corn in Mexico were undersold by U.S. corn and a million farmers were driven off the land.

Desperate to earn a living, many migrated north despite the dangers of the border, where the Senators who voted for NAFTA and for this new law could then insult them, persecute them and oppress them for daring to cross the border to stay alive.

Under the capitalist system — and especially during a capitalist crisis — these FTAs destroy jobs in both the imperialist and the oppressed countries. They drive workers and peasants to despair while a handful of people grow fabulously rich. They are everything that the occupiers of Wall Street are fighting against. And we join with the Occupy forces here as well as the movements in south Korea, Colombia and Panama that condemn this new round of FTAs.

Solidarity between the workers and farmers of all countries! Down with the FTAs!

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2011/editorials/free_trade_imperialism_1027/

EDITORIAL: Revisiting the Berlin Wall – “Thank you GDR” [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, Engels, Fascism, GDR / East Germany, Germany, Marx, NATO, NATO invasion, Nazism, Sudan, USSR, Yugoslavia - former FRY on September 2, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Published Aug 19, 2011

On Aug. 13, the corporate media in imperialist Germany used the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall to propagandize against communism and the German Democratic Republic.

The GDR had built the wall at a time when Germany and Berlin were divided between a capitalist West and a socialist East. After Hitler’s defeat in World War II — largely at the hands of the Soviet Union, which also suffered the greatest casualties from Nazi aggression — the U.S. had poured billions of dollars into West Germany to rebuild capitalism there. West Berlin, where many of the capitalist elite were concentrated, was much richer than East Berlin. Nevertheless, the socialist East offered free education and health care to everyone. The wall was built largely to stem an exodus to the West, known as the “brain drain,” of skilled people educated at the expense of the workers’ state.

There are many in the united Germany of today who are not celebrating the fall of the wall and the GDR. Their voices were heard on Aug. 13 when the non-affiliated Marxist German daily newspaper, Junge Welt, ran a front-page article along with a historical photo of army troops of the GDR defending the Brandenburg Gate, one of the entry points between West and East. The headline read, “At this time, all we can say is: Thank you.”

The article went on to give examples of what the GDR had achieved during the 28 years of the wall — much of which was lost once the socialist state was overthrown and the GDR swallowed by West Germany.

The article thanked the GDR for “28 years of peace in Europe” and “28 years without any German soldiers participating in wars.” The united Germany, as a member of NATO, now has armed forces in Afghanistan, parts of the former Yugoslavia and Sudan, as well as off the coasts of the Horn of Africa and Lebanon.

It also thanked the GDR for 28 years without unemployment, homelessness and soup kitchens and for providing education, child care and health care for all “without a consultation fee or two-tier health care.”

Reflecting popular anger at German capital, it thanked the GDR for “28 years without hedge funds and private equity parasites.”

Germany today, like the rest of the capitalist world, is cutting social programs while unemployment grows, especially in the east where workers used to be guaranteed work under socialism. In the land of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, many now know from bitter experience that capitalism can never bring a better life to the majority of the people.

Article link:

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Editorial: DSK & the IMF [Workers.org]

Posted in Africa, Engels, France, George W. Bush, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Marx, Sarkozy on May 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Published May 25, 2011 3:42 PM

When Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote the “Communist Manifesto,” they derided the capitalist class for accusing communists of advocating “a community of women.” In fact, it was these same moralizing bourgeois moneybags who, “not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.”

What communists want, they explained, is to “do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.”

There was no International Monetary Fund in 1848, when they wrote these lines, and capitalism had not yet pulled the whole world into its mad stampede for profits. But it was well established in Europe, the bourgeoisie having just finally defeated the feudal landowning nobility to become the dominant political class. And its moral hypocrisy was already transparent.

Now, a century and a half later, we have Dominique Strauss-Kahn, just forced to resign as head of the IMF after being arrested on the charge of sexually attacking a young African maid in a posh New York hotel. DSK, as he has become known in the tabloids, was considered a shoo-in to be candidate of the French Socialist Party in the next presidential election there.

Marx and Engels would roll over in their graves to hear that such a bourgeois party dares to call itself socialist.

There has been no trial yet, and almost all the information on this case reported in the press comes from the New York City police – certainly no champions of immigrant women workers, especially from Africa, the most plundered and oppressed continent in the world. So it is right to be wary at this point.

The Murdoch papers are having a field day of anti-French chauvinism, using pejoratives borrowed from the haughty and degrading lexicon of British imperialism to imply that only the French like Strauss-Kahn can be so disgusting. The ongoing Arnold Schwarzenegger “nanny” scandal shoots down that notion. And some French seem to believe that it all may be a plot by the political forces of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a right-winger and friend of George W. Bush who presides over an imperialist power every bit as aggressive as the U.S., especially in Africa.

However, facts are stubborn things and it seems that a lot of them have come out nailing DSK as a sexual predator with women he felt he could dominate. These included professional women under his chain of command at the IMF as well as other service workers similar to the maid at the Sofitel hotel, where he was staying in a $3,000 a day suite of rooms.

Despite all the media craze around this case, there’s a lot that is not being talked about or speculated on. For example, very few point out that the woman in question is a union member whose contract specifies that worker allegations of sexual harassment or violence must be taken seriously and followed up on by management. Would she have dared to speak out otherwise?

But there’s a deeper issue that is completely ignored – and that is the role of the IMF in “raping” poor countries caught in the debt trap. Many books have been written showing that this institution, in the guise of bailing out the economies of countries impoverished by generations of colonial and neocolonial exploitation, in fact forces them deeper in debt by imposing “structural adjustment programs.”

These SAPs undermine local production, force privatization of public firms and services, and terminate subsidies on food and other necessities. As a result, the countries required to impose SAPs in order to get loans – most often so they can pay their “debts” to the imperialist overlords – have seen a sharp decline in health, education and other indices of the health of a society.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, to become head of the IMF, must have had a strong résumé in being able to rationalize in elegant language why it is necessary to treat the people of the global South as expendable objects whose existence is tolerated in order to provide for the comforts and desires of the wealthy elite.

It is not necessary to believe that he raped this woman worker in order to hate him and his kind. But such heinous conduct is certainly consistent with the behavior of so many “great men” produced by this loathsome profit system. With Marx and Engels, we fight for a truly socialist society, freed of the parasitic capitalist class, in which women and workers of all nationalities will no longer be “mere instruments of production.”

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Article link: http://www.workers.org/2011/editorials/dsk_imf_0602/