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Monday, August 19, 2019

What the Russian Revolution achieved and why it degenerated

The following article does a good job of analyzing the fall of the Soviet Union and the western reaction to that until it starts to blame much of the fall of the Soviet Union on Joseph Stalin. In actuality it as Stalin who industrialized and modernized the Soviet Union. That’s not to say he did nothing to inflate the Soviet Unions Bureaucracy or to over look his purges. Alan Woods writes this article from a largely Trotskyist view. But much of the rest of this was very good at pointing out the levels of deceit needed by western pundits and writers to smear communist leaders and their achievements. He points to some interesting statistics that show that the Soviet Union had accomplished a lot, economically. Woods points out that the Soviet Union was way ahead of the US in starting a space program. How many other countries in the world could put together a functioning space program?
The fall of the Soviet Union needs to be carefully analyzed. This article is a good step in that direction. Although there parts of this I disagree with, it is worth reading for those things Woods got right. There are probably many reason the Soviet Union deteriorated and finally collapses.  The Third world movements, of which were never specifically pro-Soviet, have completely died out. Apparently these countries were more dependent on the Soviet Union (many indirectly) than we all realized. I have never been a pro-Soviet leftist activist, but I now realized how much we lost when the Soviet Union fell. I have already written on the fall of the Cold war and how we are not better off with out it; Are we really better off without a Cold War? Part 1 and Part 2.
-SJ Otto

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. The apologists of capitalism, and their faithful echoes in the labour movement, try to comfort themselves with the thought that the collapse of the USSR signified the demise of socialism. But what failed in Russia was not socialism but a caricature of socialism. Contrary to the oft-repeated slanders, the Stalinist regime was the antithesis of the democratic regime established by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
"No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the Russian Revolution is one of the greatest events in human history, and the rule of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon of worldwide importance." John Reed, 1st January 1919. (J. Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World, p. 13.)
The collapse of the USSR was presented by the defenders of capitalism as the equivalent of the final victory of the “free market economy” over “Communism”. A quarter of a century ago it produced a wave of euphoria in the bourgeoisie and its apologists. They spoke of the end of socialism, the end of communism and even the end of history and ever since then we have witnessed an unprecedented ideological offensive against the ideas of Marxism on a world scale. This irrational exuberance knew no bounds.
[Follow our 1917 anniversary campaign on Twitter and Facebook, and also consider buying a copy of the newly released and updated book Russia: From Revolution to Counter-Revolution]
The then American President George Bush triumphantly announced the creation of a "New World Order" under the domination of US imperialism. "The Soviet Union is no more," wrote Martin McCauley. "The great experiment has failed... Marxism in practice has failed everywhere. There is no Marxist economic model capable of competing with capitalism." (M. McCauley, The Soviet Union 1917-1991, pp. XV and 378) "We Won!" exclaimed the editorial of The Wall Street Journal (24/5/89). It was at this point that Francis Fukuyama udder his notorious prediction: "The period of post-history has arrived... Liberal democracy has triumphed, and mankind has reached its highest wisdom. History has come to an end."

Twenty-five years later, not one stone upon another remains of these foolish illusions. Capitalism has entered into the most serious crisis since the Great Depression. Millions are faced with a future of unemployment, poverty, cuts and austerity. Wars and conflicts ravage the entire planet, the very future of which is placed in jeopardy by the depredations wreaked by the uncontrolled market economy. Now in the cold light of day those triumphalist proclamations sound ironic. The global crisis of capitalism and its effects have falsified those confident predictions. All the lavish promises of milk and honey by the Western leaders that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union have evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove.
America’s dream of world domination lies buried beneath the smoking ruins of Aleppo. All the triumphalist pronouncements of the bourgeois strategists have been falsified. History has returned with a vengeance. The same Western observers who exaggerated every defect of the Soviet economy are now struggling desperately to explain the manifest failure of the market economy. Now there is only economic collapse, political instability, uncertainty, wars and conflict. The earlier euphoria has given way to the blackest pessimism.
It is for this very reason that the centenary of the Russian Revolution will inevitably be the occasion for an intensification of the vicious anti-Communist campaign. The reason for this is not difficult to understand. The worldwide crisis of capitalism is giving rise to a general questioning of the “market economy”. There is a revival of interest in Marxist ideas, which is alarming the bourgeoisie. The new campaign of slanders is a reflection not of confidence but of fear.

Fear of revolution

History shows that it is not sufficient for the ruling class to defeat a revolution. It is necessary to cover it with slanders, blacken the name of its leaders, and surround it with a cloud of malice and suspicion so that not even the memory of it will remain to inspire the new generations. There is nothing new in this. In the 19th century when the historian Thomas Carlyle was writing a book about Oliver Cromwell he said that before he could begin he had to rescue Cromwell’s body from under a mountain of dead dogs.
After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, all the memories of Cromwell and the English bourgeois revolution had to be erased from the collective memory. The restored monarchy of Charles II officially dated its reign from the 30th January 1649, the date of the execution of Charles I, and all references to the republic and its revolutionary deeds were to be obliterated. The upstart Charles II was so carried away by the spirit of spite, hatred and revenge, that he went so far as to dig up Oliver Cromwell's corpse, which was then subjected to a public hanging at Tyburn.
The same malice and spite born of fear is what motivates the present efforts to deny the gains and revolutionary significance of the Russian Revolution and blacken the memory of its leaders. The systematic falsification of history now being undertaken by the bourgeoisie, although somewhat more subtle than the posthumous lynchings of the English monarchists, is in no way morally superior to them. Ultimately it will prove no more effective. The locomotive of human progress is truth, not lies. And the truth will not remain buried for all time.
For the best part of three generations, the apologists of capitalism vented their spleen against the Soviet Union. No effort or expense has been spared in the attempt to blacken the image of the October Revolution and the nationalised planned economy that issued from it. In this campaign, the crimes of Stalinism came in very handy. The trick was to identify socialism and communism with the bureaucratic totalitarian regime which arose from the isolation of the revolution in a backward country.
The hatred of the Soviet Union shared by all those whose careers, salaries and profits derived from the existing order based on rent, interest and profit, is not hard to understand. It had nothing to do with the totalitarian regime of Stalin. The same "friends of democracy" had no scruples about praising dictatorial regimes when it suited their interests to do so. The "democratic" British ruling class was quite happy to see Hitler coming to power, as long as he put down the German workers and directed his attentions to the East.
Winston Churchill and other representatives of the British ruling class expressed their fervent admiration for Mussolini and Franco, right up to 1939. In the period after 1945, the Western "democracies", in the first instance the USA, actively backed every monstrous dictatorship, From Somoza to Pinochet, from the Argentine junta to the Indonesian butcher Suharto who climbed to power over the corpses of a million people with the active support of the CIA. The leaders of the Western democracies grovel before the blood-soaked regime of Saudi Arabia that tortures, murders, flogs and crucifies its own citizens. The list of these barbarities is endless.
From the standpoint of imperialism, such regimes are perfectly acceptable, provided they based themselves on private ownership of the land, banks and big monopolies. Their implacable hostility to the Soviet Union was not, then, based on any love of freedom, but on naked class interest. They hated the USSR, not for what was bad in it, but precisely for what was positive and progressive. They objected, not to Stalin's dictatorship (on the contrary, the crimes of Stalinism suited them very well as a convenient means of blackening the name of socialism in the West), but to the nationalised property forms which were all that remained of the gains of October.
This rewriting of history reminds one forcibly of the old methods of the Stalinist bureaucracy which placed history on its head, turned leading figures into non-persons, or demonised them, as in the case of Leon Trotsky, and generally maintained that black was white. The present writings of the enemies of socialism are no different, except that they slander Lenin with the same blind hatred and spitefulness that the Stalinists reserved for Trotsky.
Some of the worst cases of this kind are to be found in Russia. This is not surprising, for two different reasons: firstly, these people have been raised in the Stalinist school of falsification, which based itself on the principle that truth was only an instrument in the service of the ruling elite. The professors, economists and historians were, with a few honourable exceptions, accustomed to adapt their writings to the current "Line". The same intellectuals who sang the praises of Trotsky, the founder of the Red Army and leader of the October Revolution, a few years later had no qualms about denouncing him as an agent of Hitler. The same writers who fawned on Joseph Stalin the great Leader and Teacher soon jumped the other way when Nikita Khrushchev discovered the "personality cult". Habits die hard. The methods of intellectual prostitution are the same. Only the Master has changed.
There is also another quite separate reason. Many of the capitalists in Russia not long ago carried a Communist Party card in their pocket and spoke in the name of "socialism". In fact, they had nothing to do with socialism, communism or the working class. They were part of a parasitic ruling caste which lived a life of luxury on the backs of the Soviet workers. Now, with the same cynicism that has always characterised these elements, they have openly gone over to capitalism. But this miraculous transformation cannot be consummated so easily. These people feel a compelling need to justify their apostasy by heaping curses on what they professed to believe in only yesterday. By these means they try to throw dust in the eyes of the masses, while salving their own consciences – always supposing that they possess such a thing. Even the worst scoundrel likes to find some justification for his actions.

What the Revolution achieved

The regime established by the October Revolution was neither totalitarian nor bureaucratic, but the most democratic regime yet seen on earth. The October Revolution radically abolished private ownership of the means of production. For the first time in history, the viability of a nationalised planned economy was demonstrated, not in theory but in practice. Over one-sixth of the earth's surface, in a gigantic, unprecedented experiment, it was proved that it was possible to run society without capitalists, landowners and moneylenders.
Nowadays, it is fashionable to belittle the results achieved, or even to deny them altogether. Yet the slightest consideration of the facts leads us to a very different conclusion. Despite all the problems, deficiencies and crimes (which, incidentally, the history of capitalism furnishes us in great abundance), the most astonishing advances were achieved by the nationalised planned economy in the Soviet Union in what was, historically speaking, a remarkably short space of time. This is what provoked the fear and loathing which characterised the attitude of the ruling classes of the West. This is what compels them even now to indulge in the most shameless and unprecedented lies and calumnies (of course, always under the guise of the most exquisite "academic objectivity") about the past.
The bourgeois have to bury once and for all the ideals of the October Revolution. Consequently, the collapse of the USSR was the signal for an avalanche of propaganda against the achievements of the planned economies of Russia and Eastern Europe. This ideological offensive by the strategists of Capital against "communism" was a calculated attempt to deny the historical conquests that issued from the Revolution. For these ladies and gentlemen ever since 1917 the Russian Revolution was a historical aberration. For them, there can only possibly be one form of society. Capitalism in their eyes had always existed and would continue to do so. Therefore, there could never be any talk of gains from the nationalised planned economy. The Soviet statistics are said to be simply exaggerations or falsehoods.
"Figures can't lie, but liars can figure." All the colossal advances in literacy, health, social provision, were hidden by a Niagara of lies and distortions aimed at obliterating the genuine achievements of the past. All the shortcomings of Soviet life – and there were many – have been systematically blown up out of all proportion and used to "prove" there is no alternative to capitalism. Rather than advance, there was decline, they now say. Rather than progress, there was regression. "It has been claimed that the USSR in the eighties was as far behind the United States as was the Russian Empire in 1913," writes economic historian, Alec Nove, who concludes that "statistical revisions have had a political role in de-legitimising the Soviet regime..." (Alec Nove, An Economic History of the USSR, p. 438)
Against this unprecedented campaign of lies and slander, it is essential that we put the record straight. We do not wish to overburden the reader with statistics. However, it is necessary to demonstrate beyond any doubt the tremendous successes of the planned economy. Despite the monstrous crimes of the bureaucracy, the unprecedented advances of the Soviet Union represent not only a historic achievement, but are, above all, a glimpse of the enormous possibilities inherent in a nationalised planned economy, especially if it were run on democratic lines. They stand out in complete contrast to the crisis of the productive forces of capitalism on a world scale today.

Unprecedented advance

The October revolution of 1917 brought about the greatest advance of the productive forces of any country in history. Before the revolution in czarist Russia was an extremely backward, semi-feudal economy with a predominantly illiterate population. Out of a total population of 150 million people there were only approximately four million industrial workers. That means it was far more backward than Pakistan at the present time.
Under frightful conditions of economic, social and cultural backwardness, the regime of workers' democracy established by Lenin and Trotsky began the titanic task of dragging Russia out of backwardness on the basis of a nationalised planned economy. The results have no precedent in economic history. Within the space of two decades Russia had established a powerful industrial base, developed industry, science and technology and abolished illiteracy. It achieved remarkable advances in the fields of health, culture and education. This was at a time when the Western world was in the grip of mass unemployment and economic collapse in the Great Depression.
The viability of the new productive system was put to a severe test in 1941-45, when the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany with all the combined resources of Europe at its disposal. Despite the loss of 27 million lives, the USSR succeeded in defeating Hitler, and went on, after 1945, to reconstruct its shattered economy in a remarkably short space of time, transforming itself into the world's second power.
Such astonishing advances in a country must give us pause for thought. One can sympathise with the ideals of the Bolshevik Revolution, or oppose them, but such a remarkable transformation in such a short space of time demands the attention of thinking people everywhere.
In a period of 50 years, the USSR increased its gross domestic product nine times over. Despite the terrible destruction of the Second World War, it increased its GDP five times over from 1945 to 1979. In 1950, the GDP of the USSR was only 33 per cent that of the USA. By 1979, it was already 58 per cent. By the late 1970s, the Soviet Union was a formidable industrial power, which in absolute terms had already overtaken the rest of the world in a whole series of key sectors. The USSR was the world's second biggest industrial producer after the USA and was the biggest producer of oil, steel, cement, asbestos, tractors, and many machine tools.
Nor is the full extent of the achievement expressed in these figures. All this was achieved virtually without unemployment or inflation. Unemployment like that in the West was unknown in the Soviet Union. In fact, it was legally a crime. (Ironically, this law still remains on the statute books today, although it means nothing.) There might be examples of cases arising from bungling or individuals who came into conflict with the authorities being deprived of their jobs. But such phenomena did not flow from the nature of a nationalised planned economy, and need not have existed. They had nothing in common with either the cyclical unemployment of capitalism or the organic cancer which now affects the whole of the Western world and which currently condemns 35 million people in the OECD countries to a life of enforced idleness.
For the rest click here.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

US- Speak out against Omar and Tlaib’s blocked trip to Israel

We all know who President Donald Trump likes to support, his allies, including Israel. Trump is an authoritarian kind of leader and he likes other authoritarian leaders, such as himself, and such as Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korean leader Kim Jong-un (김정은). Although he hates socialism, he seems to like such authoritarian leaders. The only thing they have in common is there love of political power.
So it is not surprising that he encouraged Benjamin Netanyah בִּנְיָמִין נְתַנְיָהו)ּ)
to block Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s visits to Israel this weekend. We have to wonder what is the worst that can happen? Well they might visit the
“Impact of Israeli settlements on Bedouins in east Jerusalem, a U.N. briefing on the effects of U.S.humanitarian aid cuts, hold a video conference with Gaza youth and tour the West Bank city of Hebron with Israeli military veterans.”

And despite what the Israeli officials claimed:

“U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota disputes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 's claim that she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan didn't ask to meet with Israeli government or opposition officials before he barred them from visiting Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank next week.”

So a country that claims to be “westernized” which ordinarily would include supporting freedom of speech and the freedom to travel is just not what we are seeing here. We are seeing the kind of authoritarian rule we expect from an authoritarian, near fascist ruler such as Netanyahu.
We all need to speck out against this gross injustice.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

US- If they want our organs after we are dead, they can fix up our health care system first!

I recently got my drivers license renewed. As usual, I was asked if I waned to be an organ donor. For years I have put yes to being an organ donor. This year was different. I said no. My reason is simple. I’m tired of living in a country where I can’t get the health care I need because of cost. There are a lot of people in this country who don’t seem to have a problems affording health care. Some have insurance through their work. Others can actually afford expensive health care.
My feelings are that my organs will not go to those people who can afford the healthcare I can’t afford. People as I, need to start finding ways to get back at those who have kept us poorer folks from getting health care. When I die my organs will go with me and anyone who needs them can just die. I know people in my income bracket will not be able to afford my organs anyway. Those who can afford my organs can just die as far as I’m concerned. Poor folks like me have few options to fight against those who think a national health care plan is too radical for them.
So I’m encouraging everyone who needs health care and is sick and tired of living in a country where we can’t afford it, should deny the use of their organs. It is time to with hold our organs until we get the change we need. We must constantly find new ways to fight against the system that denies us health care. Every other country has a system to make sure every citizen can afford health care. Any way that us poorer folks can find to monkey wrench the system we should take action. Resistance is one of the few tools we have to fight back.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

US- Portland, OR is the center of a clash between militias of the far-right and Antifa

By SJ Otto
Last year I as in Portland Oregon and I noticed the local news papers had written about the fights between far right-wing groups and the Antifa. There seemed to be a small but steady group of Antifa and they made themselves known to the city rulers.
One article I read was about the town council moving a city council meeting because Antifa had threatened to disrupt it. Both sides accused each other of being unreasonable. The city refuse to meet and discuss anything with Antifa. And Antifa was adamant that their rights of free speech were being violated.
A year later, the city still has far right activists fighting it out with Antifa. According to Yahoo News:

"PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police are mobilizing to prevent clashes between out-of-state far-right groups planning a rally here and the homegrown anti-fascists who oppose them as America's culture wars seep into this progressive haven.
Saturday's rally — and the violence it may bring — are a relatively new reality here, as an informal coalition of white nationalists, white supremacists and extreme-right militias hones its focus on Oregon's largest city as a stand-in for everything it feels is wrong with the U.S. At the top of that list are the masked and black-clad anti-fascists who turn out to violently oppose right-wing demonstrators as soon as they set foot in town.
"It's Portlandia, and in the public mind it represents everything these (far-right) groups are against," said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. "It's progressive, and even more offensive to them, it's progressive white people who should be on these guys' side."

The far right groups seem to go by various names, including Proud Boy, who made their appearance recently and Patriot Prayer, the name of a group from last year. The opposition on the left is almost always Antifa— short for Anti-fascists. There are a lot of left-wing and progressive groups in Portland. But most of these groups have chosen to ignore the far right militias Antifa is usually about the only group that fights against them.  Some progressives have condemned Antifa for their actions. Other groups just ignore the whole thing. A few cooperate, at leas on some issues.
These conflicts affect a lot of activities in the city. As an example a 5k race, that is planned for August 17, has been moved. Whether the people in Portland like it or not, this battle is set to take place in their community. As stated above, far right groups have focused on Portland because it is a progressive and left oriented town. Therefore it represents all the things that right-wing groups hate.
Whether local activist like it or not, Antifa is probably taking action that might prevent the right-wing militias from just taking over the town and its various institutions. Most Antifa groups or influenced by anarchist philosophy and ideology. For that reason many Marxists don't like them. But as Marxists we need to be looking for ways we can attack the capitalist system we live under. Some of Antifa's tactics might be useful to Marxist organizations. As with anarchist, Marxists need a certain level of militancy. We can't just play it safe. We may need to get our hands dirty from time to time.
At the very least we should not take a position of antagonism or opposition to the Antifa. They do lack discipline and they avoid organization. Still we gain more from them than we may lose by letting them take on the far right militias. Those militias should not get a free ride in any town. They need to be exposed by those who oppose them. Most of all they need to BE OPPOSED.
As the Antifa use various methods of political struggle we can learn from them, both their mistakes and those methods of action that do work. Antifa is doing us a favor by taking on the militias.  

Portland Rallies Extremes Converge

FILE - In this Aug. 4, 2018, file photo, counter-protesters prepare to clash with Patriot Prayer protesters during a rally in Portland, Ore. Portland police are mobilizing in hopes of avoiding clashes between out-of-state hate groups planning a rally Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, and homegrown anti-fascists who say they’ll come out to oppose them. Since President Donald Trump’s election, Portland has become a political arena for far-right and far-left groups to face off. (AP Photo/John Rudoff, File)

Monday, August 12, 2019

US and imperialist scavengers of Europe relentlessly attack Maduro of Venezuela—progressive activists defend him

By SJ Otto
While US and western European governments have relentlessly attacked the Venezuelan government of  Nicolás Maduro, people throughout the world are rejecting the phony human rights campaign against his government.
According to Liberation News:

“With Trump’s Aug. 6 announcement of a total U.S. economic blockade of Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro is calling on people worldwide to stand with Venezuela on Saturday, Aug. 10, with solidarity rallies.
Massive marches in Venezuela will be held the same day to denounce the most severe economic attack yet.”

While the US tries to make it look like the campaign against Maduro is about human rights, it is really about politics and economics. The US and its western lackeys are making up phony charges of human rights violations when in fact this is about restoring capitalism and overturning socialist government.
An example of a phony human rights campaign is Tamara Sujú, the executive director of the Casla Institute and a Juan Guaidó supporter. She is trying to bring Maduro up on charges that he has had prisoners in his jails tortured, including the use of water boarding, to the International Criminal Court (ICC). If she as really concerned about human rights she would bring up charges for the government of Colombia where the government there has tolerated the assassinations of leftist politicians for many years.
Also the ICC is just a tool for wealthy industrialized governments to attack poor third world underdeveloped countries. No one will ever put the US on trial for the water boarding which the CIA has done on prisoners of war.
One thing we don’t hear about in the US mainstream press is the treatment, by the government of Maduro for Venezuela’s poor. They are taken care of and they have the food that they need. Once again from Liberation News:

“Each month, Venezuelan households receive at their homes a substantial food box containing nonperishable foods. Chicken, meat, eggs and other proteins are also provided in additional deliveries. The people in the neighborhood communes and communal councils are the guarantors of the food delivery.
CLAP was instituted by Maduro in 2015 to overcome the U.S. and Venezuelan elites’ economic war and assure that the most vulnerable people receive food at highly subsidized prices. For instance, in May the CLAP food boxes were costing a nominal price of about 2,800 Bolivares (Bs) versus the estimated 178,000 Bs to purchase the same food in a private market. At that time, roughly 4,000 Bs were equivalent to one U.S. dollar.”

If Maduro is overthrown all those poor people will once again be ignored and neglected as they had been for centuries before the Bolivarian Revolution.
So far Maduro has resisted US efforts to overthrow him and restore the capitalist system. Cuba and other progressive governments, such as Nicaragua and Bolivia have defended Maduro. Activist here in the US need to do our part to defend the Maduro government. And many people here have answered the call.  Poor people’s government—socialism needs to be defended and this is a crucial struggle. We can’t afford to loose this.
While President Donald Trump is the obvious villain in this struggle, he is not alone. It should be pointed out that Trump has the backing of all Republicans and most Democrats. So this is not an issue that is being debated in congress, with the exception of just a few Democrats such as Ilhan Omar. She has taken a lot of flack for her opinions and she deserves to be supported. We must all do our part.

Friday, August 09, 2019

India- A major leftist campaign is countering the growing fascism of the government

By Harsh Thakor 

With the repealing of acts 370 and 35 A ,a new epoch has been written in the history of Indian proto- fascism of the Saffron Hindutva variety and has paved the way for it to reach its boiling point. Whatever remnants of parliamentary democracy remaining in Kashmir have been crushed to the dust. Nevertheless many parts of India still reverberate the echoes of resistance with Punjab leading the road. No democratic procedure or norms were followed in revoking the laws .No member of the Kashmir Constituent assembly was consulted or had its approval which was unconstitutional. It is not an attack only on the people of Kashmir but an attack on the democratic rights of the minorities in India a s a whole and on the federal structure of India. The people of Kashmir are facing tyranny as never before toady with total curfew and suspension under section 144 of all liberties and media communication. Such an act of the BJP is a perfect illustration of how it is removing every needle in the haystack to permeate Hindutva in every sphere of society and bang every possible nail in the coffin to beak the backbone of constitutional democracy. Fascism has reached a crescendo as never before since 1947 with such a ban.
Nehru had signed a plebiscite to withdraw Indian troops in 1952 adhering to leader Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah only wanted the protection of the Indian army from Pakistani tribal invaders and was assure that the Indian troops would vacate in 1952.
For decades the people of Kashmir even under Congress rule were subjugated to untold humiliation through regular army or police patrols and attacks on activists demanding self -determination. I remember how from 1990 itself great repression was unleashed from the time of Janata Dal rule itself and then the Congress. Even when returning to power in 2004-14 the Congress endorsed all attacks on the Kashmiri right to self-determination.
Committee of Democratic Rights Organizations states "Article 370 clearly states that this article can only cease to be operative based on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of Kashmir. As the Constituent Assembly of Kashmir ceased it exist in 1957, Article 370 came to be considered as a permanent part of the Constitution, which was supported by multiple judgments of the Supreme Court. The BJP government has committed multiple frauds on the Constitution by its Presidential Order, which purports to amend Article 367, and unrelated section of the Constitution, by adding a new clause which redefines the Constituent Assembly of the state at its Legislative Assembly."

Quoting part of article in online journal Peoples Review "Article 370 of the Indian Constitution had allowed Jammu & Kashmir to enjoy autonomy, although cosmetic, to have its own Constitution, flag and penal code within the Union of India. The Article 370 was the foundation of the Article of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, the former monarch of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, in October 1947, through which India became the custodian of the autonomous state, responsible for its defense, foreign affairs and communications. The Indian government under Lord Mountbatten promised the Maharaja a plebiscite in the future to determine whether the people of Kashmir want to live in Indian Union, merge with Pakistan or secede as an independent nation.

Through the Article 35A, which was adopted due to Article 370 and the Instrument of Accession, the Constitution Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir, which was later named the legislative assembly, enjoyed the exclusive rights to define who is a “permanent resident”. Alike many inner-line permits required to travel in India’s northeastern parts, alike the restriction imposed on purchase of land and property by outsiders in hill states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, the Article 35A guarded the state from influx of outsiders.

The state of Punjab has been engulfed with a series of demonstrations lighting the spark of resistance against the repealing of laws 370 and 35.Groups belonging to all sections of the revolutionary camp vociferously condemning the robbing of Kashmir people of their just right to self-determination and summed up the fascist nature of the repealing of such acts. With meticulous precision and clarity they narrated the history of Kashmir from 1947 explaining how morally it was not an integral part of India or Pakistan. Nehru had signed a plebiscite to withdraw Indian troops in 1952 adhering to leader Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah only wanted the protection of the Indian army from Pakistani tribal invaders and was assure that the Indian troops would vacate in 1952. Slogans were raised highlighting how fascist such abolition was and for re-instating the laws as well as against Hindutva fascism as a whole. Such an act of the BJP is a perfect illustration of how it is removing every needle in the haystack to permeate Hindutva in every sphere of society and bang every possible nail in the coffin to beak the backbone of constitutional democracy. Fascism has reached a crescendo as never before since 1947 with such a ban.

The most significant protest was the joint demonstration in Sangrur by Lok Sangram Manch, Revolutionary Peoples Front and Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee. Here speakers emphasized that it was emergency declared in Kashmir and paving the way for India becoming a fascist state. Around 100 persons attended it Addressed by Lal Singh Golwala, Sukhwinder Kaur and Gurmukh Singh. Gurmukh Singh summed up why it was just like declaring emergency. Golwala spoke about how this was violation of the treaty of Secession for the Kashmiri people completely betraying promises given to them.

The largest student demonstration took place by a joint front in Punjabi University representing many section of the revolutionary camp like PSU,PSU(Lalkaar), AISA, SFS, SFI etc. Around 150 persons attended it.

Lok Morcha Punjab held a protest in Bathinda of around 50 persons. On August 7th.which boosted the morale of democratic forces being a democratic revolutionary platform.

Kisan Morcha held a protest in Longowal village in Sangrur on 7th August of around 200 people.which include a cycle rally and sit in.Joined by Pendu Mazdoor union. Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union, Bhagat Singh Association. Very impressive enthusiasm by the peasantry and youth here.

Punjab Radical Students Union organized a protest rally outside Ranbir college in Sangrur on 6th August of about 50 persons .Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union also held a protest which was disrupted by the police in the same area.

C.P.I.(M.L.)New Democracy organized a protest in Sangrur on 6th August of about 100 people.Punjab Students Union protested in -Ropar Nangal,Guru Nanak college road,Brijindra College Faridkot,-,Fazilka college.Around 25-50 persons attended these meetings but most attentive and intense response with untold determination.

Punjab Students Union(Shaheed Randhawa) led a protest meeting on August 6th in Gudda village in Bathinda of about 50 people .

Democratic Students Organization organized a march in Patiala as well as Students for Society in campus pockets..

Punjabi Revolutionary journal Surkh Leeh has put up several posts narrating the historical aspect of the movement of Kashmiri people to secede and analytically covered the fascist nature of the scrapping of the acts.

Even if numbers were not so large qualitatively they were very effective in illuminating the torch of liberation from the darkness of fascsim unleashed on the people of Kashmir.The strong mass political movement had a strong bearing on the impact and success of youth protests in Punjab.Great emphasis was laid on creating political conscious ness on the aspect of Kashmir in relation to aspect of fascism overall.

In Mumbai the traditional left parties and Ambedkarist groups organized a demonstration of around 300 persons at Azad Maidan condemning the fascist oppression in Kashmir and vociferously defended Pandit Nehru keeping clause 370 even if he did not withdraw the army. Thus left parties differentiated between the fascist nature of the Bharatiya Janat Party in contrast to the neo-liberal policies of Nehru. There was a significant counter exchange between a participant and an observer with the latter ultimately coming to some understanding of the reality. Generally the crowds were impartial and willing to give the speakers a hearing, which is positive, in one of the most communalized bastions of our country which is Mumbai.

In Telengana activists of Virasam, Communist Party India Marxist-Leninist (CPIML -New Democracy) and C.P.I.(M.L.) protected but hundreds were taken into police custody.

In Delhi left parties and mass organizations launched a strong protest. Statements have been issue by C.P.I.(M.L) New Democracy, C..P.I.(M.L.), C.P.I.M.L.(Red Star), Lok Morcha, Punjab and many other left groups. Very significant to se such unanimity in condemning the communal Fascism by BJP in Kashmir. which is instrumental in building the broader movement against Fascism. Two joint public meetings in protest of 3 Marxist Leninist groups is planned in Kolkata later this month. The Democratic Students Union is also holding a public meeting today on College campus while a public meting of several groups is being held at the press club.

Significant that now we face a different situation than under Oppressive Congress regimes with Fascism formalized under the BJP. There was strong military repression under the past Congress regimes on the Kashmiri people with no moral autonomy given as promised but remnants of neo-liberalism still remained which have been totally crushed to the ground now. Revolutionary forces have to devise a strategy to counter this which is most challenging when Communal and chauvinistic hysteria has deeply penetrated and poisoned the minds of the Indian masses at a height never reached before.


By Harsh Thakor 

On June 15th 4 participants of the revolutionary dalit agricultural labour movement were brutally assaulted by a sarpanch and policeman in village of Meemsa in Sangrur. Punjab Radical Student Union leader Rashpinder Jimmy along with three other leaders were coming to Jakhla village on June 15 night, when accused sarpanch of Meemsa village Sukhvir Singh along with around 29 other persons attacked them over the auction of a common village land.The three other injured include Pargat Singh from Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Baljit Singh from Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union and Manjit Singh from PRSU. It was a perfect illustration of how semi-feudal casteist repression is part and parcel of the agenda and sytem of the rulers to patronize goonda elements to suppress pro-dalit struggles.

The attack was in the background of a most qualitative organized movement of the landless dalit community to win their 1/3rd panchayat right by Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union.For a considerable period the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union has lit the torch in the struggle of emancipating the landless dalit agicultural labour from opression.Distribution of panchayt was implemented in many villages with propaganda launched in over 50 villages spreading engulfing Sangrur,Dhuri and Suman vilages.Around 106 acres of land have been distributed amongts the landless dalits through captures.Even other general demands were raised like employment for not less than 100 days.5 marlas to be awarded to every dalit family,charges to be dropped on dalit activists framed,surplus land distributed as promised in land ceilings act which prevented any individual from owning more than a certain limit etc.In may instances the KPMU resisted organized attacks of upper caste elements with goondas and connivance of the administration on dalits.It also led organized protests for land to be auctioned to dalits at substantially lesser rates .Last July in Jhandu village in Sangrur it won a victory in getting land auctioned at a substantially cheaper rate.A major resistance protest was also held in Khandka and similar protests in other region condemning attacks on activists by upper caste landlords .KPMU also organized maha panchayats or conferences in 2017 and 2018 raising political demands of dalit community.It placed considerable emphasis on combating goondaism.

A protracted resistance or anti repression movement has been launched by the Meemsa anti-repression joint action committee comprising 17 organizations in Punjab. A major protest conference was launched in Sangrur comprising 1500 people on July 24th.The Action Committee finally said that if justice was not implemented within five days (because already the case has been too high), the action committee would prolong the resistance Its demads were to

1.Arrest the culprits,

2.Suspend Sarpanch Village Meemsa and panchayat secretary jagjit singh joga from positions.

3.Cancel the false cross case on leaders,

4.Cancel Fir 140 filed on  meemsa village leader paramjeet kaur and baljit singh.

On July 24th a big conference was organized by the joint front in Sangrur where they demanded that all those guilty of participating in the attack on June 15th should be brought to the book under law 307..Leaders also participated from other groups like Revolutionary Peoples Front, Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee, Punjab Khet Mazdoor union, BKU(Ugrahan),Kirti Kisan Union,BKU (Dakauanda) etc. This unified approach was very positive where groups from varying trends in the revolutionary camp protested thus enabling greater fusion within the general democratic movement. Prominent spokesmen were KPMU secretary Lakhi Longowal, KPMU president Sanjeev Mintu, KPMU district secretary Baljit Singh,ZPSC convenor Mukesh Mulaudh, KPMU President Zora Nasrali, BKU(Ugragahn) president Joginder Ugrahan and BKU Dakaunda secretray Buta Singh Burgil.Also revolutionary spokesman from Lok Sangram Manch ,Revolutionary peoples Front etc.

Some days ago activists of Krantikari Pendu Mazdor Union faced another attack at a bus stand on its activists at Kuthala vilage.

A delegation of activists met the district police chief who promised to arrest all the culprits .The action committee chairman Lakhi Longowal mentioned that only one culprit ,Aka Kalu was arrested but the rest were still scot free. No action was taken against Sarpanch Sukbir Singh .

Due to the sharp struggle done by the anti-Repression Action Committee it was decided that the sarpanch of the meemsa, Sukhbir Singh, Kala Jagjit Singh, panchyat secretary Avtar Singh,, Gurpreet Singh aka, and others should be arrested by the police. The police promised to implement the law 307 to bring justice to the culprits. Action Committee's chairman lakhvir singh longowal said that those who attacked the public democratic leaders have been accused of attacks on public democratic leaders on the morning of July 30, and one of the accused during the raid in the village on July 30 Aka kalu has been arrested but the police who are not serious about arresting the rest of the accused.

Two major meetings were held on the issue on August 2nd and August 5th explaining the nexus between the upper caste landlords and the administration and the partisan nature of ruling classes in protecting criminal elements. Around 200 persons attended them with KPMU district leader Baljit Singh,the main speaker as well as secretary Lakhvir Singh. Both had immense qualitative value in building the tempo of struggle for justice by educating dalit community. Activists were often threatened by gangs of upper caste landlord elements of facing dire consequences it thy persisted with their struggle. In defiance the KPMU cadre pledged to combat such threats meted out and to counter-attack if again attacked. This revealed the determination of the organization to fight to the last tooth to win justice.The organization also feels the necessity of neutralizing or winning over elements of the landed peasantry to the side of the dalits and thus effectively intervene in the current struggle.

A major conference is planned mobilzing forces from all over the district in Meemsa on August 2oth .This will be an event of great importance to the overall land movement of dalits in Punjab and repression against it.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

US arrogance failed to bully Maduro out of Venezuela

The US under President Donald Trump, has worked hard to try and remove President Nicolás Maduro, of Venezuela, and replace him with a puppet regime under the leadership of  Juan Guaidó. Guaidó has never been elected president. Originally Maduro was elected president several years ago.
Several months ago, Trump tried to foment a coup, hoping he could persuade the military into rebelling against Maduro. So far it has not worked.
To punish Maduro and all of Venezuela, trump put sanctions on the country, trying to choke Maduro's socialist regime. Trump hates socialism and seems to believe he can overthrow the regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, with sanctions being his main weapon.
Now, according to Vox news:

"President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Monday that freezes and blocks the transfer of all Venezuelan government property and assets in the United States; importantly, the sanctions apply not only to Maduro’s government but also to any US individuals or entities that try to do business with it."

This whole policy is nothing more than pure arrogance on the part of the US. The US has no right or authority to demand that an elected president of a country resign or step down. Much of this is just prejudice against country for not embracing capitalism. I have just returned from a trip to Cuba where I saw first hand a socialist and Marxist country. That system worked, despite having an embargo against it, which is nothing more than an attempt to economically strangle that nation. The US, under Trump, wants the world to believe that socialism doesn't work and socialism has ruined the economy in both Venezuela and Cuba. But the truth is the sanctions have prevented both countries from getting badly needed foods and medicines. The results of these sanctions and or an embargo punish the average citizens. They are the ones who can't get the food or medicines they need. These people go without their needs met due to The US' attempt to end these non-capitalist systems.
It should be pointed out that Trump has the backing of all Republicans and most Democrats. So this is not an issue that is being debated in congress, with the exception of just a few Democrats such as Ilhan Omar.
US imperialism is alive and operating in all of Latin America. The CIA, in recent years, has helped right-wing pro-US governments getting elected to replace the governments that were more nationalistic, trying to gain control of their own resources.
This arrogance is mainly to protect greedy $millionaires and $billionaires such as Trump, as well as other well paid journalists, pundits and politicians who profit well off of the capitalist system, at the expense of many working poor people. I have seen socialism at work in Cuba. The main opposition to it is by greedy wealthy people who believe they deserve privileges that socialist countries don't grant them. In other words this is never been about human rights. It is about political leaders who believe they have a right to be rich and greedy.
An irony here is that some government experts don't think these new sanctions will do much good. According to The Guardian:

"The time for dialogue is over. Now is the time for action,” Bolton declared, spurning Norway-sponsored negotiations that have been taking place between representatives of Maduro and his US-backed challenger, Juan Guaidó.
But experts questioned the impact and wisdom of the measures, which Maduro’s administration and its Russian backers branded “economic terrorism”.
Some fear the latest sanctions will further aggravate an already dire humanitarian situation which has already forced millions to flee Venezuela, while others believe they will alienate Guaidó’s European backers who believe a negotiated solution is possible.
Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at the Chatham House thinktank, said Trump’s latest gambit was designed to achieve nothing but Maduro’s immediate downfall.
“This is intended to bring this government to its knees and to bring in Guaidó. That’s it … But it will not work. It will actually make Maduro’s government what it always wanted to be: a martyr,” Sabatini said.
Farid Kahhat, a professor of international relations at Lima’s Catholic University, said that while Maduro was to blame for Venezuela’s economic meltdown, “what the US is doing is making things worse – at least in the near future”.

Trumps' attempts at regime change may not work after all. Stamping out socialism is turning out to be harder than Trump thought it would be. Trumps efforts deserve to fail. The US has no business deciding who can and should run the nations in Latin America. A triumph for socialism is a triumph for poor and working people. Such people deserve to win, especially after years, decades and centuries of being servants of the wealthy minorities.  

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Red Salute to Revolutionary Martyr Com. Linganna!

Technically the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was founded on 21 September 2004, through the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) People's War (People's War Group), and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI).  As we can see from this statement, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) still works on their own and puts out statements on their own. -SJ Otto

Leader of the Godavari Valley Resistance Movement and a member of Telengana State Committee & North East Telengana Regional Committee and Kothagudem District Secretary of CPI (ML)-New Democracy, Com. Linganna was martyred today, the 31st of July 2019. He was killed by police in the forest near village Rolagadda in Gondala mandal of Kothagudem district.
Police in Telengana has launched a serious offensive against the revolutionary movement, CPI (ML)-New Democracy in particular. TRS State Govt. in conducting serious offensive against tribals to forcibly dispossess them from their podu lands which they have been cultivating for decades, even for generations. CPI (ML)-New Democracy is in the forefront of this struggle and hence, KCR Govt. is targeting CPI (ML)-New Democracy in its attack. Com. Linganna was one of the main organizers of tribals and other traditional forest dwellers and has been organizing their resistance against the Govt. offensive. Targeting of Com. Linganna and other CPI (ML)-ND cadres is a calculated move of the Govt. This is part of the fascist drive of the Govt. targeting tribals and the organizations defending their rights.
A large posse of police in four batches had launched an offensive against Party activists today. They surrounded a team of Party activists led by Com. Linganna.
Com. Linganna, one of the principal leaders of the resistance movement and of the Party, has been a consistent adherent of revolutionary mass line. He has been an epitome of Party discipline and revolutionary commitment. He staunchly defended people’s right to resist and fiercely opposed revisionist and rightist trends as well as ultra-left trend in the revolutionary movement. Consistently in practice of revolutionary struggle, he was very articulate in his opinions and clear in his vision about the revolutionary movement. His martyrdom is a glorious addition to those who offered supreme sacrifice in the course of revolutionary movement and a big loss to the Party and the revolutionary movement at present.
Born in a tribal family in Rolgadda village in Gundala mandal, Com. Linganna got associated with the revolutionary movement from an early age. He never hesitated to take difficult tasks demanding sacrifice, offering supreme sacrifice in the process. His life has been one of simplicity, commitment and sacrifice. He had revolutionary daring and astuteness in full measure. Whenever the revolutionary movement placed any arduous task before the Party, Com. Linganna had been among the first to offer himself for the same. He lived and ultimately died for the people and the revolutionary movement.
Com. Linganna lived all his life for the people and gave his life for the cause of the people. He has given the supreme sacrifice for the revolutionary movement. Central Committee of CPI (ML)-New Democracy pays its homage to the revolutionary memory of Com. Linganna and vows to carry revolutionary movement to victory, the unfinished task bequeathed to us by Com. Linganna. We grieve his loss and vow to convert this loss into strength.
Central Committee of CPI (ML)-New Democracy calls upon all Party Committees to observe martyrdom of Com. Linganna, to pledge to devote themselves to the task of intensifying revolutionary movement. CPI (ML)-New Democracy calls upon all Party Committees to build a strong protest movement against fascist repression being launched against the revolutionary leaders and cadres.  CPI (ML)-New Democracy also calls upon the tribals and other traditional forest dwellers to intensify their struggle for the defense of their lands and means of livelihood which are being attacked by the Govt.
Central Committee
CPI (ML)-New Democracy

Friday, August 02, 2019

Invitation to participate in a Joint Maoist Declaration for next May Day

From Maoistroad, - maoistroad info also for social internationalist blog/site:

On the basis of the MAY DAY Joint Declaration 2019

All parties and organisations that have signed this declaration are INVITED
to the preparatory meeting IC - in Italy January 2020 - first week
All parties and organisations that have not signed, but they can be partecipate if they ask with a letter

All parties and organisations invited or that ask the partecipation will receive official invitation in next months

...In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Third International, let us organize a
preparatory meeting this year, to reach this International Conference...

all parties and organisations that have signed this declaration are INVITED
to the preparatory meeting IC - in Italy January 2020

Committee for Building the Maoist Communist Party, Galicia, Spanish State
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist)
Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist – Leninist
Democracy and Class Struggle, British State
Elkadehin Party , Tunisie
Maoist Communist Party of France
Maoist Communist Party – Italy
Maoist Communist Party Manipur
Maoist Revolutionary League – Sri Lanka
New communist party - Tunisia ( under foundation)
Red Youth of Germany
Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR-RCP Canada)
Union Obrera Comunista (MLM) – Colombia
Workers Voice – Malaysia

From last May:
From Maoist_Road:
Maoist Communist Party Manipur published a new statement appreciating the initiative of both May Day Joint statements. It was largely circulated in local news papers of Manipur. MCPM published this statement in Manipuri language and translated by media peoples so some terminology may not be in proper manner and some sentences omitted. But we hope you will understand the essence of the statement. Here I am adding some statement which they omitted in their news paper.
Recalling the significance of the May, Maoist Communist Party Manipur, an armed rebel group operating in the region today said that fifteen Maoist parties from all over the world have released a joint statement, giving the message of revolution to the people on occasion of the May Day.

For the entire statement click here.