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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Sobibor revolt: "You must tell the world what happened in this place"

 Philip Bialowitz, who died on 6 August 2016, was the last known survivor among the prisoners at Sobibor, a concentration camp in Poland where the Nazis murdered more than 200,000 people, almost all Jews. He was saved from extermination in 1943, at the age of barely 18, by the only successful revolt and mass escape at a Nazi death camp. In his book about that rebellion, it is clear that he and the other survivors, and millions of other Jews as well, would not have lived if it had not been for the then-socialist Soviet Union and its Red Army. That fact was glaringly absent from his obituaries in The New York Times and Der Spiegel, among the only major news media that reported his death, because it doesn't fit the narrative about World War 2 and communism promoted by the US and its present-day allies.

The anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews) of the Nazis resonates in the rabidly anti-immigrant rants considered legitimate in today's political debates. During most of their first decade in power in Germany, starting in 1933, the Nazis' anti-Jewish rhetoric turned into concrete actions step by step, not all at once. Most people did not realize – or did not want to believe – where the random cutting off of Orthodox Jewish men's beards in the street and the destruction of Jewish-owned stores would lead. It was not until a Nazi party conference held amidst a world war that was beginning to go badly for Germany, at the end of 1942, that they decided to carry out the "final solution" of the "Jewish problem" – to murder all of Europe's Jews.

The Nazis had needed a quick victory over the Soviet Union. They conceived of that as the first step in their push to overcome the inferior position in the feasting on the world's peoples that rival powers had imposed on Germany after its defeat in World War 1. Germany defined its war aims as the defeat of "Jewish-Bolshevik" enemies. The US and Great Britain were eager to see Germany exhaust itself in bringing down socialism ("Bolshevism") in the USSR. They cared little about the extermination of the Jews and refused to do anything to stop it, even though, as Bialowitz points out, they knew what was happening in the camps where people were being gassed to death.

Bialowitz writes in his memoirs, "Had the Allied forces [the US and Britain] simply bombed the railroad tracks that brought millions of people to the gas chambers, they could have saved many of those people. I and other prisoners of these camps prayed that the passing warplanes would drop bombs directly on top of us. We felt that even if we were killed, our deaths would not have been in vain because at least the gas chambers would have been destroyed."

To kill millions of Jews, the Nazis could not rely on force alone. They had to fool people and make use of their victims' established social relations, habits and thinking. They appointed Jews considered community leaders to run the ghettos where Jews were imprisoned, and used Jewish kapo who worked with them to whip other prisoners to enforce their rules. They constantly held out the hope that they would spare the lives of Jews who cooperated with them (they virtually never did). Bialowitz describes the train-loads of Jews from Holland brought to Sobibor. They were fed well on the way and on their arrival asked to fill out reassuring postcards to their families back home. Then they were stripped naked and marched into gas chambers they were told were showers. They strongly suspected they would be killed, but held on to just a little hope – and so did not want to risk almost certain death by trying to fight well-armed guards with their bare hands.

The threat of death was not enough to control everyone. Torture was necessary as well as a pleasure for the SS officers (Nazi special police) who ran the camps, along with local help (or, in the case of Sobibor, prisoners of war from the Soviet Union who agreed to become Nazi stooges and received special training as guards). But even that was not enough. Bialowitz emphasizes the importance of the system of collective punishment. Sometimes a few prisoners on a work detail were able to run away. But if there was an organized escape, the prisoners left behind would be tortured and murdered for failing to stop them.

Trains carrying one to three thousand Jews, mainly from Poland, would arrive at Sobibor several times a week. Because he was a healthy teenager and worked with his brother in the camp pharmacy, Bialowitz was one of the few prisoners not murdered immediately. He writes of a growing conviction among this group that they had to revolt. The dim prospect of survival offered by revolt was the only hope they had, but they also felt the need to die for a purpose, striking whatever blows they could at the SS and the Nazi killing machine. Yet at the same time, the bonds these prisoners forged with each other made Bialowitz and others unwilling to be responsible for the retaliation inflicted on everyone if anyone attempted to escape.

A few dozen men and women prisoners, mainly youth, decided that they had to come up with a plan to free everyone at once. They had reason to believe the Nazis planned to close down the camp, and they knew they would all be killed. They began meeting secretly, led by an older prisoner named Leon Feldhendler. They hoped that partisans, especially guerrilla fighters under the leadership of the Red Army (not all partisans cared for Jews), would attack the camp, but it was surrounded by minefields. Bialowitz's brother began accumulating morphine so that women prisoners working in the kitchens could poison the several dozen SS officers running the camp, hopefully all at once.

Then what he describes as "a miracle" happened: dozens of Jewish Red Army soldiers who had been captured by the Germans were brought to the camp to be exterminated. Their leader, a lieutenant named Alexander "Sasha" Pechersky, was a dedicated revolutionary. He had been captured and escaped before. He told the prisoners about the Soviet victory in the battle of Stalingrad – a turning point in the war – and successful sabotage and hit-and-run actions by partisans. This Red Army officer, the prisoners' leader and the others formulated a plan they thought might succeed. The Red Army soldiers did what they could to train others how to fight, and were ready to play the central role in the fighting themselves.

The SS had assigned these prisoners jobs like searching the luggage or clothes of the murdered to collect valuables for the German war effort. The conspirators assigned people in their own ranks to lure SS officers into a workshop, by appointment one by one, with the promise of giving them a luxury item like a coat or boots. Then other prisoners would stab the man to death with work tools and take his weapons. Prison workers would bang their tools to muffle the noise. They managed to steal a few guns and grenades in advance. Women working in the German quarters stole ammunition.

The plan was to accumulate weapons and when they were ready, cut the communications wires. Then they would march to the main gate pretending to be a work detail. The prisoners from the Red Army would use their Russian skills to tell the Russians guarding the gate that the Soviet Union was winning the war, so they had better stop working for the Nazis. Maybe some would join the rebels. But no matter what, they would shoot their way out. The road beyond the gate was the only way to avoid the minefields. Everyone in that part of the camp – about 650 people at any one time – would get out.

They had killed quite a few SS officers and seized side arms and a few automatic weapons when an SS officer raised the alarm. The conspirators and other prisoners assembled. The two leaders "jump on a table at the front of the yard and call out to everyone: 'Brothers! The moment of destiny has come. Most of the Germans have been killed. Let us rise and destroy this place. We have little chance of surviving, but at least we will die fighting with honour. If anyone survives, bear witness to what happened here. Tell the world about this place!'"

All of the prisoners are in the yard. One group rushes to the main gate, another to the armoury. The main SS officer emerges from his quarters and begins firing at close range, killing people by the dozens. Many prisoners are stunned. Hundreds head for the fence, a triple row of barbed wire, and bring it down with ladders they had prepared as a backup in case the gate were no longer an option.

Under machine-gun fire, they run through the minefields. Many are blown up, especially those in the front who make it possible for those behind them to get through. About half of them make it to the surrounding dense forest where the camp was hidden. But eventually, most of the escapees are captured by SS search parties.

For the survivors, there is another kind of minefield – anti-Semitic Polish farmers, partisans and hoodlums. A group of escapees including Bialowitz and his brother are taken in by a Catholic farm family willing to help them despite the peril to themselves – the Nazis executed at least 704 people in Poland for helping Jews, Bialowitz writes. After months in hiding, they emerge to find the Nazis are retreating, but the anti-German authorities who begin setting up a state will not protect Jews. They are rescued by advancing Red Army soldiers. Meanwhile, Pechersky and other comrades join pro-Soviet partisans and later rejoin the Red Army.

Ten women and 48 men in the breakout are known to have survived the war. All the prisoners who didn't join the breakout were killed. The author ended up in the US, where he became a dentist. Although he later devoted himself to "telling the world what happened in this place" and considered it his duty to warn "Never again" to genocide, his vision was clouded by his support for Israel, whose ethnic cleansing and other crimes against the Palestinians he passes over in silence in this book. His vision centred on being a fighter for what he considered his people, unlike some Holocaust survivors whose "Never again" has been directed at all injustice. As a life-long right-wing Zionist, he was not disposed to look kindly at the Soviet Union. This actually lends credence to his positive account of the role of the USSR and its Red Army.

Though only a dozen or so SS officers were killed, the top Nazi leadership was so shaken by the success of the Sobibor uprising that within days they had the entire camp dismantled and the ruins hidden under earth or asphalt. About a year later, hundreds of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the biggest death camp, took up axes and rocks, fought their tormentors and destroyed a gas chamber and crematorium before they were killed. In the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw where the Nazis kept many thousands of people walled in until they could be transported to a death camp, the population revolted, led by communists and other resistance fighters, and tied down the SS and German troops for a month during a crucial period in the war.

All this time, the Western powers continued to do little or nothing to help those being slaughtered. A US-British summit conference in April 1943 to discuss the situation of Jewish refugees did not even discuss the fact that both countries were limiting the number of asylum seekers they would let in. A prominent envoy for pro-British resistance forces in Poland was so bitterly disappointed that he committed suicide in protest. In deciding that they could do little for refugees and nothing for the Jews in the death camps, because, they said, that would hinder their war effort, the American and British leaders revealed the reactionary nature of the war they were fighting against imperialist rivals. The fact that the US went on to play a key role in the establishment of the state of Israel simply reflects the continuity of what drove and still drives all the imperialist powers: their own imperialist interests. Israel was to become key to US domination of the Middle East.

The global system of capitalism-imperialism that produced the genocide of the Jews is the same system we face today. Once the dominant forces in a society declare that some people's lives are not as important as others, once this becomes widely accepted, even if not by everyone, once such positions become a core component in uniting a nation around its imperialist ruling class, a certain logic has been established and the doors to hell are flung open. When police remove a Moslem woman's head scarf in France, that symbolic, legally accepted action has the same racist content as Nazis cutting off Jewish men's beards and the illegal arson attacks on refugee centres all over Europe today. The massive police murder of Black and other people in the streets of the US must be understood as the result of political policy that Black lives do not matter, because the killers are so seldom punished. Where, in conditions of acute social crisis, could that logic lead?

While it would be wrong to think that all the main Western political parties represent the same political programme, still, to one extent or another, and in various forms, potentially genocidal ideas – that the desired way of life of people of one nation or real or imagined ethnicity is endangered by the presence of others – are deeply embedded in Western so-called mainstream political discourse. Consider the fact that immigrants, fleeing wars and other nightmares that these imperialist countries and the workings of their system have brought about, are drowning by the thousands in the Mediterranean. No government considers this anything more than an annoying political problem. It's not considered absolutely intolerable, an emergency that demands an immediate solution. The September 2016 UN General Assembly Conference issued a declaration of promises to "protect the human rights of refugees" but took no serious steps to save lives, either of people at risk in their home countries or those threatened by drowning. It was held under different circumstances than the 1943 conference that decided not to help endangered Jews, but ultimately how different was it morally?

As Bialowitz says, speaking of his family members, those Jews in Poland who made it to the Red Army's lines were saved. In the course of World War 2, the Red Army saved the lives of 1.5 million of the 4 million Jews in German-occupied or invaded territory, according to the historian Arno Mayer. Unlike the other main countries fighting in World War 2, the Soviet Union was socialist then, not imperialist, as it became when capitalism was basically restored in the mid-1950s.

The story of Sobibor and its context, the contrasting way the imperialist powers and the socialist Soviet Union looked at Jews in World War 2, is an example of two very different and opposing social systems and moral outlooks. In the face of the already unacceptable horrors of today's world, and the potential for even greater horrors that today's dominant social system holds, it shows we don't have to accept the way the world is.

(A Promise at Sobibor, Philip "Fiszel" Bialowitz with Joseph Bialowitz, University of Wisconsin Press, 2010. Also, the 1987 British film Escape from Sobibor, available on line and in DVD. Arno Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken, Pantheon, 1988. Also see AWTWNS, 31 January 2005.)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Communist Blog Network- solidarity in support with the struggle of teachers in Mexico

A Google translation from Spanish to English;
In case you did not already know what the priorities of capitalist governments, the Mexican has not walked with squeamishness to launch the police to repress teachers in Oaxaca, since the beginning of protests against the education reform government of Peña Nieto . 
It is normal and says a lot about a government (and so do all those who represent the interests of parasitic capitalist minority) who prefer their police rather than their teachers, though, and because of this, the first not stand, nor much less for their education, culture and, of course, for their willingness to learn and cultivate.Teachers, however, represent the struggle for improving the education of children and youth in the country and, therefore, the prospect of a better and fairer future (ie more likely that the fight against widespread exploitation).
Repressing the aspirations of freedom, public education, projects to make more responsible and capable of independent thinking workers, it is a necessity for large companies and their puppet governments can not avoid, because it is in direct contradiction to the maintenance their unjust and criminal privileges.
Recently, the education secretary, Sergeant Aurelio Nuño Mayer, in a meeting with 110 representatives of private schools of basic education hypocritically said he was happy to have studied in an educational system inspired by the Freinet school. Hypocritically we emphasize, since the new educational system that defends implement Aurelio Nuño is the very antithesis of social proposal, political and pedagogical of Celestin Freinet (1974), who identified that "the decline and death of the school are the result of the formidable development of capitalism ... a new order must necessarily correspond to a new orientation of the proletarian school. "
Aurelio Nuño Mayer, as the Mexican government continues to simulate the tactics of dialogue and submit to the CNTE (National Coordinator of Education Workers) as red, violent, uncompromising and quarrelsome. At the same time it says dialogue threat and apply repressive measures, such as separations produced against dissidents 1906 teachers teaching in the states of Oaxaca (1239), Chiapas (570), Michoacan (80) and Guerrero (17).
The means of propaganda, in the same hands that the government try to criminalize representing culture, education and justice, publishing similar news, and regular media propaganda of the ruling class, the "civilized "policemen clash against" radical teachers "is just another example of the rottenness of the system.
Enough to have half a brain and a minimum of sensitivity and humanity to know that the reality is quite different from what we sell: teachers, educated, trained and aspirations of a more equal and less unjust world, where everyone has the right to quality education without having to buy based on how much money is available, they are beaten by the security forces of the state, cloaca where capital tends to locate the flotsam and jetsam of society, people capable of any exchange of the crumbs they throw their masters.
Culture against brutality, against indifference education, civilization against barbarism. Mobsters and big criminals who run our governments and put and take away our leaders obviously prefer the latter.
In Mexico already they demonstrated in September 2014, with the notorious massacre  of normalistas, where 43 of them were kidnapped and disappeared by police and paramilitaries, all under the responsibility of the government, and continue to show up today with the wild repression of teachers and educators. And possibly while they leave, they will continue to do so, because they, the capitalist class and its government, know very well what their side and who are their enemies, and that culture can be a very dangerous weapon in the hands of those they have with their work privileges, workers.
The government does not care at all the lives lost, political prisoners, street protests and critical mass of researchers and experts in pedagogy. What really concerned about is promoting the business of the bourgeoisie, consider the textbooks of the big publishers (even if they are poorly made and have little use) as mandatory monitoring in class and implement programs and plans away study interests students, the school community and the people. The imposition disguised with fake dialogue, they want to cover their repressive acts by creating a new "historical truth" similar to that of the 43 missing students Ayotzinapa Nochixtlán. In any case they want a thorough analysis of the educational model of the SEP is made and that society be involved in its preparation.
The working class can only emancipate themselves through knowledge, education, self - improvement in the fight to dominate the culture, represented by the protagonist of Tempering Steel, Nikolai Ostrovsky, who embodies the words Lenin wrote in the  Tasks Youth Communist :

 "To conclude that it can be a communist without having assimilated the knowledge accumulated by humanity, would be making a huge mistake. Itwould be wrong to think that just knowing the communist slogans, the conclusions of communist science, without having assimilated the sum of knowledge which is a consequence communism. Marxism is an example of how communism has resulted from the sum of knowledge acquired by humanity ".
Communist Blogs Network sympathizes with Mexican teachers, who represent the culture that must be the necessary cement with which the class struggle mix, engine history, germ and trampoline every Communist lovers. RBC is without doubt strongly on the side of teachers, their struggle, their struggle for the education of the working class and, therefore, their organization, their mobilization and justified rebellion against exploitation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons"

From World Can't Wait:

Curt  Wechsler of writes today:

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons," wrote Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead. The cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment — torture — inflicted on disfranchised subjects, from Pelican Bay in California to Bagram, Afghanistan, must not only end; the presumption of American immunity to international law must be repudiated. Dismantling of U.S. torture camps can't wait. And that is up to us.

On  New Year’s Eve 2011, President Obama signed an appropriations bill into law that effectively reneged on his election promise to close Guantanamo. The duties he assumed as Commander-in-Chief, "to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," are not supposed to be negotiable. Journalist Andy Worthington notes Obama's failure to effect closure, even though he had the means to do so.

The human cost of this failure has been documented. The New York Times maintains a docket of the roughly 780 men detained at Guantanamo over the years, nine of whom died while in custody. A new book by Jeffrey Kaye, Cover-up at Guantanamo, explores the circumstances of three suspicious deaths. His Guantanamo Truth website contains documentary material for Naval Criminal Investigation Service reports on Abdul Rahman Al Amri, Mohammed Salih Al Hanashi and Adnan Farhan Abd Latif "suicides."

Monday, September 26, 2016

PERU: The historic speech of Comrade President Gonzalo

From Bright Future/ Luminoso futuro:
A Google Translation:

"So, things, think of the danger that the nation, the country can be divided, that the nation is at risk, want to dismember it, they want to divide it, who wants to do that? As always, imperialism, those who exploit, those who rule. what should we do? what ?. well now up appropriate that we push the popular Liberation Movement and that we develop it in people's war because the people, always the people who has defended the country, who have defended the nation. it is form the People's Liberation Front, to form and develop from Guerrilla Army a People's Liberation Army that's what corresponding! and we will do us! and so are you doing and that what we do! you. will witness gentlemen. "
(The Speech by President Gonzalo, 1992)
In celebration of the XXIV anniversary of Speech by President Gonzalo, full of optimism that belongs to our class, we express our communist greetings to all international proletariat, the oppressed peoples and communists and revolutionaries of the world. We call the communists of the world to take up the masterful Speech of our Great Leadership as a combat weapon, to study and implement the issues raised in this speech - as well as other contributions of Chairman Gonzalo - to assume the role of the Communist Parties: to initiate and develop people 's war in each country to democratic, socialist and cultural revolutions until our final goal Communism, and take urgent tasks in the current situation; directing the wars of national liberation, converting the unjust wars in just wars, and forge the Parties to develop the world people 's war against the imperialist world war and not lay down their arms until communism never. We salute all militants, combatants and heroic masses who are giving their lives in the people 's wars and armed struggles under the red flag of Maoism in Peru, India, the Philippines, Turkey and elsewhere. Also, we reaffirm REQUIRE PUBLIC PRESENTATION LIVE AND DIRECT THE CHAIRMAN GONZALO AND THAT ALLOW YOU TO DECIDE! And our call to unmask and crush the plans and hoaxes of imperialism, reaction and revisionism of defaming and murder our headquarters.  
President Gonzalo raised in the speech: "Today reality is one, the same contenders of the First and Second World War, are generating are preparing a new Third World War" . Today we see that the process of redivision of the world is already underway, and that all the imperialists - in the midst of his increasingly heightened conflict - collude in their general counterrevolutionary offensive to desperately try to prevent their exploitation and their genocidal wars of prey generate more resistance, more revolution. So the hegemonic superpower Yankee and European powers, Russian imperialism and Chinese imperialism used all kinds of national, religious and social contradictions to put masses against masses, to manipulate national liberation movements like chess pieces to create " guerrilla movements that are usurped by the superpowers or powers to become occupation forces and dominate them " (international line, PCP 1988).   
In short, they need the imperialist bloodsuckers, now in its general and final crisis, to make these counterrevolutionary objectives is to prevent the proletariat through its Communist Parties assume the leadership of the national liberation struggles. It is a reactionary task that after all means to fight the ideology of the proletariat Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism; prevent Maoism pass to lead the new great wave of world proletarian revolution. Hence the necessity of imperialism and reaction to spread revisionism - and especially a new revisionism under the heading of "Maoism" - to undermine the International Communist Movement and the Communist Parties. Hence the need to attack the Communist Party of Peru and Leadership Chairman Gonzalo with the old revisionists tales of the "cult of personality", "dogmatism" etc.
See for example as US imperialism is striving to rein in the development and triumph of the people's wars in India, Nepal and the Philippines, strategic areas allowing you to watch his back to advance on China and Russia. See how the US imperialists, Russian, European and Chinese handled States and bourgeois and feudal armed movements in the Middle East and throughout the third world to carry out their war-sharing, and like groups led by revisionism end up being used by one or the other superpower or imperialist power like the Kurds in Iraq and Syria; the imperialists need to control weight mass organizations and avert the triumph of the revolution.
In the imperialist countries the reactionary states now increasingly applied fascism and have all kinds of groups and fascist, racist, social-chauvinists and revisionists to reinforce the imperialist rear depending on the division of the world parties; intensifying repression against the proletariat is rising in heroic struggles - as now in Paris against the reactionary labor law - calling for the direction you need. There too, the imperialists are desperately seeking to prevent Communist Parties are rebuilt and militarize to lead the struggles start depending on the people's war, and there also spread all kinds of revisionism and parliamentary cretinism for this purpose.  
Take into account the provisions of the International Date Line of our Party in 1988 to apply to the current situation:
"The need to see the contradictions serves to analyze the world situation and define its strategy and tactics and within strategic and conflict zones. Today the hottest spots are Southeast Asia where the struggle in Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea is a point focus of immense strategic region of Asia, a region of high concentration of masses for example India that if they had sufficiently developed Communist Parties serve mightily to the advancement of the revolution. Middle East, high oil center, where there is also an acute contest between the superpowers and powers linked to the question of the near East and to nationalist and even reactionary movements. South Africa where there are guerrilla movements that are usurped by the superpowers or powers to become occupation forces and dominate them . Latin America, important struggles in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador) and the explosiveness of the Antilles (Haiti, etc.). And the people 's war in Peru, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought fighting for an authentic democratic revolution without submitting to any superpower or power. And Europe where persistent anti - imperialists military actions are developed, being necessary to study the ideology and politics that sustains them , the class to which they serve, its connection with the ideology of the proletariat and its role in the world proletarian revolution, as its position on modern revisionism; movements that express the existence of a revolutionary situation in uneven development in Europe. In any of these spots could jump the spark to an imperialist world war is on, a situation that will occur when the strategic superiority of one of the superpowers is defined , so it is increasingly urgent and imperative to have communist parties based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and forgings and popular war through their militarization. Strategically define the zones of primary and secondary importance to the world revolution is key to establishing the role to be fulfilled by each region and each party in the world revolution. " (International Line, PCP 1988) [The italics] 
Faced with all this, the Communists of the world must be firm in uphold, defend and apply our universal ideology Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and combat revisionism relentlessly to ensure the hegemony of the proletariat as the leading cultural kind of democratic revolutions, socialist and. We call on all Communist Parties to combat revisionism as the main danger, and see that it is precisely the revisionism that spread capitulation, which wants to sell the revolution for a mess of pottage, leading to the degeneration of the parties. Crush positions and revisionist lines, raise your head against each jump on the revolutionary road, it is essential to build the Party, the Army and the United Front - with complete ideological independence, political and economic - and to initiate and develop people 's war. And as for the front, we reaffirm that should be a front for the People 's War, a front of classes, and "We are absolutely opposed to the revisionist theory applied in Central America, and want to spread to other parts of 'all are revolutionary ',' all are Marxists', 'no need for the Communist Party to lead', 'just enough to unite all and based on a front to lead a revolution', that is the negation of Marxism, is the negation of Marx, is denial of Lenin, is the negation of Chairman Mao " (the interview with President Gonzalo)  
We greet you once again to our class international proletariat and the Communist Parties and revolutionary organizations who today celebrate together with us the anniversary of the masterful Speech of our Great Leadership Chairman Gonzalo, and we reaffirm our commitment to implement it as a weapon:
"Enough of imperialist exploitation! We must kill them! We are the third world and the third world is the base of the world proletarian revolution, on one condition, that the Communist Parties brandish and lead. It's what to do! "



Peru People 's Movement September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Ten Big Lies of Parliamentarism

The following article is origionally in Portugese. I used Google Tralator to read it. I’m posting the first paragraph in English. I am reposting a larger part of it here in Spanish, along with a link to the origional page. I like this article because it helps explains how parliamentary democracy is phony. I’m not against democracy or elections. Elections have their place. But to insist that these elections actually result in democracy is a pipe dream. Democracy implies that people are deciding who their leaders are and making major decisions about their destiny. National political elections don’t do that at all.
The choices given to the voters are those of political parties influenced by corporate interests and not the interests of the people they are supposed to represent. In the US we have two parties. While they have their differences they are extremely limited choices. The voter is a mere spectator and not really a participant in the process of choicing leadership.
Even worse, elections are a tool of minipulation. They present a false sense of empowerment when they are used to solicit approval of political choices that are not up to the voter. Democracy in western countries are more of a deception. - សតិវអតុ 
So I like to post arguments against the illusion of western democracy:  

“The Ten Big Lies of parliamentarism”

....In this article imos point algumhas great bourgeois lies about "democracy" and eleiçons that not even the most radical reform of any parliament will dare to publicly expose much less counter. It dumha sum of commonplaces that sostenhem bourgeois thought from liberalism. Some clichés that dominate the reformists, who justify and tamém, sound base that turns them into useful tools for our enemy, the political power of the Spanish oligarchy and the Galician bourgeoisie, the Spanish State.....


Neste artigo imos assinalar algumhas grandes mentiras burguesas sobre a “democracia” e as eleiçons, que nem sequer o mais radical reformista de qualquer parlamento se atreverá a expor publicamente e muito menos contrariar. Trata-se dumha soma de lugares comuns que sostenhem o pensamento burguês desde o liberalismo. Uns lugares comuns que dominam aos reformistas, que os justificam e, tamém, som a base que os transforma em instrumentos úteis para o nosso inimigo, o poder político da oligarquia espanhola e da burguesia galega, o Estado Espanhol.
Marx ensinou-nos o importante feito de que nom só as pessoas, mas tamém as instituiçons e as organizaçons tenhem um carácter de classe; aliás, as próprias ideias e posiçons tenhem um carácter de classe. Nos tópicos que repetem as pessoas, ainda pertencentes a diferentes classes sociais, repetindo as mesmas ideias da burguesia, vemos tamém a evidência de que só o proletariado consciente pode ter independência política numha sociedade capitalista moderna como a galega.
Nas ideias burguesas sobre o mundo, as pessoas, a democracia, a policia, etc; está o poder político da classe dominante. A maioria dos obreiros dumha sociedade capitalista repete de maneira espontânea as ideias burguesas. Podem falar sobre a palavra “democracia” da mesma maneira que é pronunciada polos deputados (tamém da esquerda do sistema político burguês) com grandes vozes. Uns deputados que desde o mais podre oportunismo se podem chamar mesmo de “comunistas”. Nada mais afastado da realidade: som parte substancial do mesmo sistema.
Tanto fai como seja o nome dum determinado partido (BNG, FPG, MGS, ISCA, PCPE, PCE), nengum destes entrará a fazer umha crítica científica às próprias ideias burguesas, que som precisamente a essência da hegemonia política da burguesia (no nosso caso da oligarquia espanhola e da burguesia galega). Debulhemos estes lugares comuns, co intuito de favorecer o esclarecimento desta questom no seio da vanguarda na Galiza, aproveitando a enésima cita eleitoral.
Primeira mentira: “Os votos som importantes, transcendentais, conscientes e definitórios. Os votantes sabem o que defenderám os deputados, conhecem a quem votam e conhecem o seu programa”.
Pola cabeça de todas as votantes passou algumha vez a ideia de que o seu voto individual “nom vale nada”. Fixo falta muita propaganda para ocultar este pensamento espontâneo do povo.
A lógica do parlamentarismo é o intento de que participe o suficiente número de pessoas numhas determinadas votaçons. Nom busca que as pessoas sejam donas das suas vidas, que tenham consciência do mundo, nem nada parecido. O que se lhe pede ao cidadao é que vote, que depois eles já se ocuparám do demais. Esta é a razom de que o voto seja secreto. Porque o segredo (neste contexto) é o mesmo que anónimo e anónimo (como todos sabemos) é o mesmo que sem responsabilidade. O estado burguês nom quer um voto informado, consciente, responsável do presente e do futuro, nom. Os estados burgueses dizem-lhe aos seus cidadaos que nom se preocupem com os complicados problemas que tenhem que solucionar os membros eleitos das instituiçons do estado, porque estes membros em longas jornadas esgotadoras resolverám os problemas e criarám um futuro ideal para todas. De maneira que para esta lógica o voto secreto, o anonimato, a irresponsabilidade que está associada ao anonimato, som a única opçom possível. Frente a esta está a opçom da repressom massiva sobre a povoaçom. Opçom muito pior, menos prática, mais custosa, e por isso sempre desaconselhável salvo necessidade.
Numhas eleiçons aos parlamentos (sejam estatais ou autonómicos) muitos votantes nom conhecem nem os nomes das pessoas que se apresentam pola sua circunscripçom, nem o seu programa eleitoral. Aliás resulta que os programas eleitorais realmente nom som mais que umha lista (mais ou menos longa) de generalidades sem concretar, polo que nom clarifica que farám os representantes na realidade da organizaçom dos aparatos do estado.
Segunda mentira: “O que afirma a maioria é o justo e o verdadeiro”.
Sem dúvida que a errada ideia de que o que defende a maioria é a verdade ademais de ser a opçom justa, tem detrás o poder político da burguesia. Mas naturalmente, na prática, a burguesia nom tem nengum problema em ir nom só contra os interesses da maioria, mas em ir contra a opiniom da maioria da povoaçom. É precisamente esta ideia de justeza e verdade da maioria um dos alicerces da esquerda, que se combina (sem soluçom de continuidade) com o despreço para cos votantes que nom lhe derom o seu voto. Os votantes nom som mais que as vítimas da sociedade capitalista aos que o revisionismo acaba por achacar e responsabilizar de todos os males dumha sociedade capitalista. O revisionismo fai desta maneira um inestimável serviço à oligarquia, desde o momento em que culpam a umha suposta “vontade popular”, duns males que som o simples resultado da própria lógica dumha sociedade capitalista.
Terceira mentira: “Se nom utilizas os parlamentos e os meios de comunicaçom burgueses é impossível chegar e influenciar as massas”.

For the rest click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Full solidarity with the rebellion in Charlotte!

I haven't had time to write my own piece on this so I am borrowing from Workers World.  Even though they are another party with a different ideology, I agree in general with what they are saying. - សតិវអតុ 

Police and National Guard Out of Charlotte and Black & Brown communities! Full amnesty for all arrestees! Smash racist police terror and the capitalist system into the ground!

Sept. 22 — The revolutionary socialist Workers World Party presidential campaign of Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly expresses our full and complete solidarity with the uprising that broke out Sept. 20 in Charlotte, N.C. — the Wall Street of the South.
The heroic Black and Brown youth on the front lines of this tremendous and growing rebellion are inaugurating a new period of heightened struggle against the police war on Black and Brown people and the intolerable conditions imposed on oppressed communities in the belly of the beast. It is right to rebel!
At the time of this writing the rebellion is entering its third day after the city has been rocked by thousands taking to the streets, shutting down highways and expressing the righteous anger in response to the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott.
For the rest click here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Empire's Religion: Arundhati Roy Confronts the Tyranny of the Free Market

We need to remember that the US and all its imperialist allies are dedicated to the so called "free market." That is the system that allows upper class, wealthy elites (the 1 percent) to dominate the entire political system. The US political system really does resemble an actual democracy, on the surface, if it actually consisted of "one man- one vote." Instead it is "one dollar- one vote." profeteers and pirates use their money to buy their political decisions- as the system has been designed to do. And a non "free market' system is not tollerated. Any person or group that promotes anything else is first demonized and then attempts are made to liquidate them or it.
- សតិវអតុ 

This is from Common Dreams:

Perhaps the most revealing words on the topic of globalization in recent years came not from the pen of Thomas Piketty, nor were they written by Robert Reich or Joseph Stiglitz or Paul Krugman — rather, they can be found in the pages of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, written by the notorious New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
"The hidden hand of the market," Friedman notes in a particularly telling fragment, "will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglass, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps."
Friedman isn't known for his subtlety or sincerity, but the above passage strikes at a crucial truth. So much so, in fact, that Arundhati Roy christened it "the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalization that I have read."
Roy first made waves internationally with her novel The God of Small Things, published in 1997 — it was an instant hit, selling millions of copies and propelling the relatively obscure writer into stardom. The fame, as she would later recount, was overwhelming; her picture appeared in prominent magazines and she was sought out by mainstream outlets as an established literary voice.

For the rest click here.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Syria ceasefire: a plan for more war

From A World to Win News Service:
If ever a country needed an end to a war, it is Syria, so ravaged that its domestic population has dropped from 22 to 17 million in a few years, with more than a quarter of a million dead, the rest forced abroad. But whether the cease-fire in Syria that began 12 September holds or not, it is unlikely to bring peace. In fact, that is not the purpose. 

The most basic facts should make that plain. The cease-fire was arranged by the U.S. and Russia, with the backing of the UK, France, Turkey (which recently sent in a tank task force to carve out its own piece of Syria) and apparently Iran. These are precisely the powers whose intervention fuelled the Syrian civil war to the murderous level it has reached today. 

The conflict over Syria, especially in terms of the U.S. and Russia, but also Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – and France and the UK, never entirely in synch with their U.S. rival/partners – has never been simply over Syria itself but is part of much wider regional rivalries. None of these powers has given up the reactionary strategic goals and rivalry that have driven their criminal conduct so far. While they seem to have reached an agreement, for now, maybe, each of them is seeking to further those goals through this agreement and beyond – through diplomacy and war, one after the other or simultaneously, as developments require.

Whether or not the agreement works, the measures it explicitly spells out would actually facilitate even more foreign military intervention. The plan calls for a week-long ceasefire, to be followed by a phase in which the U.S. and Russia would set up a joint military command to coordinate and step up an air war against the specific Islamist groups said to be this agreement's target, Daesh (also called the Islamic State or ISIS) and Jabhat Fatah al-Shams, formerly known as al-Nusra. Just look at the photos of dead and wounded children we've had to look at for the last few weeks. The last thing the Syrian people need is more bombing. Although both the U.S. and Russia claim that their air attacks kill few or no civilians, each has exposed the other as a liar.

It's extremely telling that the Syrian army would be largely sidelined by this agreement, since toppling or defending Assad was the pretext for the U.S. and Russia's role in the carnage. While the Assad regime is a vicious enemy of the Syrian people, U.S. and Russian intervention has never been most basically for or against Assad, but part of a many-sided and inhuman brawl over who is going to dominate Syria and, just as importantly, deny that domination to its rivals. 

A 5 July statement by Amnesty International explains the course of this civil war, speaking specifically of Aleppo (Syria's largest city) and Idleb (in the northwest), but taking these two cities as "an informative case study": "After pro-reform protests that started in Syria in early 2011 grew in scale and frequency there, Syrian government forces responded by attacking protesters, as they did elsewhere, with live ammunition. As a result, in 2012 armed opposition groups were formed in both governates with the purpose of expelling government forces. Some of these groups, composed predominantly of Syrian nationals, gained increasing control of large area of Allepo city, Idleb city and surrounding areas between 2012 and 2015, and have remained in power there today with the support of governments such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the USA. In doing so, they set up administrative and quasi-judicial institutions. Residents in Aleppo and Idleb governates at first celebrated the effective end of Syrian government rule, hoping that the armed opposition groups would implement the rule of law. However, the hopes of many have faded away as armed opposition groups have resorted to the rule of the gun to impose their own version of order."

In truth, as AI goes on to explain, these groups have implemented a "rule of law": Sharia, strict Islamic law. Al Nusra, affiliated with the jihadi Al-Qaeda, steadily bulldozed its way to dominance over other Islamist and pro-U.S. (and pro-French) groups, with the backing of the U.S., Turkey and the Gulf states (even as each of these countries also tried to organize armed forces under their more direct command). Then they found themselves confronted by the explosive growth of Daesh, in which Islamic fundamentalism combined with military expertise of forces from the old Saddam Hussein regime, trained in fighting conventional warfare with modern weapons. The men who founded Daesh came together in U.S. prison camps. Whatever other factors are involved, without the U.S.'s efforts to bring Iraq under its control, first by toppling Saddam (using lies about "weapons of mass destruction"), and then by backing Shia reactionaries (linked to Iran – which shows how tightly rivalry and complicity are intertwined here) who responded to religious war against Shias with more religious war against Sunnis and the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and other cities.

The rise of Daesh has been a problem for the U.S., even though there has been conflict within U.S. ruling class policy circles over whether to focus on fighting Assad or Daesh. But no one in Washington seems to be saying, "Well, we tore apart Iraq and that was a disaster, even from our point of view, and now we're tearing apart Syria, and that's not working out for us – all this is turbocharging Islamic fundamentalism, so maybe we should just go home." They can't "go home", because the rivalry between the imperialist powers and other reactionaries is so intense and the strategic stakes are so high. The more their intervention has created problems for them (the indescribable suffering of the masses of people doesn't enter into their calculations), the more they step up their intervention. As Patrick Cockburn wrote in The Independent (12 September 2016), "A feature of the war in Syria and Iraq is that the anti-ISIS and anti-Nusra armies – the YPG [Syrian Kurdish forces], Syrian Army, Iraqi Army and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga – all rely on foreign air forces. This makes it difficult for them to go against whatever their foreign allies want them to do politically." 

We could speculate about exactly how this current cease-fire fits into the interests and plans of these monsters. For Russia, if this manoeuvre works, it could be a big step forward because it would mean the U.S. and other countries have to recognize Moscow as an essential player in the Middle East, one that the West cannot afford to keep out, which has been their policy so far. That's probably why the U.S. was so reluctant to accept this deal, and one reason it may fail (certainly there will be fighting within Washington circles about whether this is a good or bad idea). But the U.S. might see this agreement as offering a possibility of relief from what has become an intractable contradiction: the more it does every dirty thing in its power to topple Assad (and keep Russia, as well as Iran, at bay in the region), the more it fuels Daesh, which has made itself a bigger problem than Assad. 

The last five years of atrocities in Syria have been driven by both the general clash between the Western imperialists and their political systems and ideology and Islamic fundamentalism, and the particular and often competing interests of imperialist powers and reactionary foreign states in Syria. This dynamic and the constantly shifting alliances that emerge from it are a main factor in the lack of clear sides in this civil war. It seems most likely that war will continue until one of them is able to impose its will by force, defeating some rivals on the battlefield and obliging other rivals to accept its dominance. Worst of all, no force has emerged that could fight for and unite a growing number of people around a way forward other than Islamism or naked subjugation to imperialism. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

China’s people don’t share Western hate of Mao

In the West Mao Zedong is treated as a mass murdering monster, just like Adolf Hitler, by many, if not most, journalists, scholars and pundits. They constantly amass new statistics that prove that Mao killed 10s of millions of people.  Since he died and especially since the end of the Cold War, there has been a consistent campaign to discredit Mao. But if their analysis is right, why are a lot of the Chinese citizens, especially those who lived under Mao, remembering him fondly?
As an example consider these quotes from The Telegraph:

"Mao is a god in the East," said Chen Min, a 23-year-old nurse who works at a hospital in Changsha, the nearest major city.
"My grandmother was here in Shaoshan for the 100th anniversary, when they installed the giant bronze statue in the main square. It was winter, but she said the flowers along the road bloomed as the statue was driven by."
Even those old enough to remember the bad old days find it perfectly possible to continue to worship Mao, whose policies led directly to the death of tens of millions of Chinese.
"Mao liberated China. You cannot blame him for things like the Cultural Revolution or those other miserable times. He did not cause them himself," said Yang Biqiu, an 83-year-old visitor.
Indeed the depth of feeling stirred up by the anniversary is enough to concern the authorities, who have been monitoring internet chat rooms used by Maoists and tapping their mobile phones.
"All of our phones are being monitored," said Tang Jinbo, a 53-year-old former worker in a pharmaceutical firm who is one of a group of hundreds of Mao supporters that travelled to Shaoshan.
"In the city of Xi'an they are not allowed to celebrate the anniversary. Why should we be controlled? We only used government websites to post comments and meet," she complained.…

The article goes on to explain that Mao’s picture and name is everywhere. People name their kids after him. Restaurants have his picture on the wall and they often name dishes after him or his deeds, such as the Longest March. But as with almost all articles written in the West, there is that constant reminder that Western journalists consider him a mass murderer:

“Even those old enough to remember the bad old days find it perfectly possible to continue to worship Mao, whose policies led directly to the death of tens of millions of Chinese.”

But Western journalists have had to admit that Mao still has popularity in China. Another look at Mao is from The New York Times:

Yet 45 years ago, on May 16, 1966, this same man began the Cultural Revolution, an orgy of political violence that killed perhaps two million Chinese.
Mao’s preeminence in China is linked to his role in founding the People’s Republic in 1949. Yet his controversial political legacy, of which the Cultural Revolution is just one example, is growing more, not less, disputed, with time.
At stake is nothing less than long-stalled political reform, say some Chinese analysts and retired Communist Party officials.
“An honest, earnest, serious assessment of Mao based on facts” is “necessary,” Yawei Liu, director of the Carter Center’s China Program in Atlanta, said in an e-mail.

The following is repeated over and over by Western Journalists and pundits:

Mao’s legacy overshadows China to this day, so “without such a thorough verdict, it would be hard for China to launch meaningful political reform,” Mr. Liu said.

What can be noticed in this quote is the importance of “meaningful political reform.” What Western journalists, politicians and pundits want to see from China is a capitalist-style-free market and crass consumerism. Such capitalist values are the most important thing to Western journalists.
Freedom and democracy are a far secondary value to the Western journalist and pundits. They wonder how anyone can be happy without a life full of technological toys, cars, iphones and a deluge of crass consumerism. The US system only works when commercials are attacking people through TV, bill boards, computers and just about every type of media.
In the West, a political system needs to be integrated and controlled by pirates, profiteers and hucksters of all types.  
What they can’t tolerate is fairness between the classes, a society that focuses more on the needs of ALL its citizens and the basics for all people, such as free medical care and education, as well as everyone having a house and job. In the capitalist West, nothing is more important than corporate profits. They can’t tolerate a leader who believes people are more important than profits. That is why they can’t tolerate Mao.
The Cultural Revolution is portrayed by journalists as unpopular. It May have been such. But the Western press NEVER EVER explains its purpose. It is always described as some kind of purge by Mao. The goal of advancing communism or creating culture to honor those classes at the bottom of Chinese society is never mentioned. There were some political struggles and that could resemble a purge, but the Cultural Revolution was way more than that.

As for people being killed, consider Abraham Lincoln. He presided over the bloodiest war in American history. He violated people’s rights. Yet we don’t go around calling him a mass murderer. His is considered a hero here in the US.[1]
Mao’s politics, his writings, his philosophy is never discussed in any of these articles. That is always left out. There are organizations all over the world that follow Mao’s ideas and they rarely if ever, get any press.

This site is an example of the politics of Mao being a used as a major political force. After reading most of Mao’s works I have to wonder how other people can really believe they understand political power and its relations to politics. Some of the most successful guerrilla armies in the world have been influenced by Mao, especially both in South America and Asia. Some of us believe that Mao’s works are the most important political writings of the 20th century. And that has less to do with the simple leadership of the man.
Western journalists and pundits can sit around and complain all they want, but the Chinese realize the founder of their society was not a maniacal monster or simple mass murderer. Many people in other parts of Asia and elsewhere know it also.
- សតិវអតុ