WA Delegate: None.
Embassies: The Internationale, The Red Fleet, Antifa, CRFI, Free Palestine, and 27 others.Communist International, The International Brigades, United Socialist Republics, Socialist, International trotskyist alliance, Angola, Leninist Russia, Alliance of Socialist States, Fourth International, Luanda, Workers Revolutionary Party, Marxist Workers League, Aontacht, Argentina, Lenins Bolsheviks, Paris Commune, Stalingrad, Leon Trotsky, Permanent Revolution, Trotsky League, Marxism, Marxists Internet Archive, The 4th international, Socialist Equality Party, ICFI, Karl Marx, and CPPI headquarters.
4th International contains 4 nations.
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The Largest Public Sector in 4th International
Nations ranked highly have relatively large governments and offer the most extensive public services.
As a region, 4th International is ranked 3,509th in the world for Largest Public Sector.
|1.||The Bolshevik-Leninist of Commander Leon Trotsky||Democratic Socialists||“For Unification under Banner of 4th International”|
|2.||The Permanent Revolution of Aris Velouchiotis||Left-wing Utopia||“Varkiza End! Civil War Continue!”|
|3.||The Bolshevik Communist of Chen Duxiu||Liberal Democratic Socialists||“Literary Revolution!”|
|4.||The American Trotskyist of James Cannon||Left-wing Utopia||“Trotsky: the Revolutionary in the declining Revolution!”|
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4th International Regional Message Board
Erdogan and Mursi, stop shielding Israel!
November 22, 2012
The aggression by the Zionist Israeli state on Gaza that lasted for ten days has, for the moment, been stopped as a result of a cease-fire. However, underlying problem have not gone away and pose threats for the future. The peoples of Turkey and of the Arab countries should grasp the essence of the problem, adopt a more active stand against Zionist Israel and reject the hypocrisy of their own governments.
Israel stopped not by hypocritical diplomacy but by the resistance!
The wave of attacks that started when Israel assassinated Ahmad Jabari, the operational commander of Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al Qassam Brigades, along with 12 people, including an infant, ended on the evening of 21 November 2012 with a cease-fire. As a result of the Zionist attacks, 161 people were killed, of which 42 children, and 1222 people injured.
The brutality of the aggression by Israel is clear for all to see. It has led to justified outrage around the world. However, unless the anger is accompanied by a clear vision of the political reality behind the aggression, it will merely serve to soothe consciences, without bringing a palpable benefit to either the Palestinians or to the oppressed peoples of the region.
No right to self-defence for Israel!
Under no circumstances can there be talk of the right to self-defence for Israel. Israel is a racist and religious state that has, from the very beginning, based its existence on Zionist ideology and fought for the cleansing of Arabs from Palestine. That is why it constantly attacks the peoples of the region, starting of course with the Palestinians.
Moreover, the target of the rocket attack that was the excuse for the wave of Israeli assaults this time round was a military jeep and it injured four soldiers. In other words, it was directed at a military target. Not one single Israeli had lost their lives under rocket fire so far this year until Israel started its onslaught. Since 2004, rocket fire, about which Israel has made so much fuss, has killed no more than a score of Israelis.
The aggressive policies of Israel are being supported, financed, and defended by US imperialism. When the aggression on Gaza started, the United States, the strongest force behind Israel in the region, declared high and loud that it upheld the “right to self-defence” of Israel. Despite a show of concern for humanitarian aspects, European imperialism has also supported Israel and upheld the “right to self-defence” on the part of the Zionist state.
Friends of the US cannot be friends of Palestine
The continued existence of the pirate-like Zionist state of Israel on Palestinian territory does not rely solely on its own fire power and the imperialist support behind it, but to the complicity and hypocrisy of collaborationist Arab states as well. The fact that Turkey is a strategic ally of US imperialism, however sour Turko-Israeli relations may be at the moment, also contributes to the impunity with which Israel commits its crimes. For it is a fact that one cannot make friends with the US and with Palestine at the same time.
The concern shown by the powers of the region, first and foremost Egypt and Turkey, in this most recent episode, the rebuke by Erdogan directed at Israel and the visit paid by 11 foreign ministers of the Arab states together with that of Turkey to Gaza, do not change the fact that these states have, through their collaborationism, always been the covert de facto sponsors of the Zionist state of Israel.
Fear of Israel silences, fear of revolution makes one talk
There is no doubt that, compared to the silent complicity of the past, the visit to Gaza is a step forward, a show of ownership of Gaza. However, it would be utterly naive to attribute it to this or that leader’s courage or good will. After the Arab revolution brought down two dictators (Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt) who had closely collaborated with Israel, the cost of remaining silent in the face of blatant Israeli aggression has become prohibitive. These regimes are scared of the impact of the Arab masses up in anger all over the Muslim world. There used to be a time when one paid a price only for standing up to Israel and the leadership of these countries were dead scared of the Zionist state and the US. Now is the time when they are also scared of their own peoples. It is this fear that propels them to take action.
The hypocritical diplomacy of cease-fire
They now take action but in a miserable, hypocritical and faint-hearted manner. On the day the foreign ministers of the Arab League and Turkey visited Gaza, precisely at the moment when they are there, the Israeli war machine murdered 27 Palestinians. With the US and the EU behind it, the Zionist state defies the whole world. The political outcome has not been the raising of the voices of the Arab states and Turkey, but the acceleration of cease-fire diplomacy.
The political significance of this cease-fire should be grasped clearly. It is true that the people of Gaza are satisfied, for they have lost 161 of their own, including a commander, in the space of eight days. Who will not feel contentment when the descent of death from the heavens is arrested? But this should not make us forget the hypocrisy of those like Erdogan and Mursi, who step forth victoriously, waiting for a display of gratitude on the part of the Palestinian people. Once again, they have intervened in a fight to hold the arm of the victim.
Israel has been stopped by the resistance of the Palestinian people
Israel’s foreign minister Lieberman boasts for having done a tremendous job. No! They have made a cowardly aggression on the people of Gaza and the people of Gaza, preferring to die standing rather than to live on their knees, have responded to them in kind!
What has dissuaded Israel from launching a ground assault and made them opt for a cease-fire is the resistance displayed by Gaza. It is the fact that the so-called Iron Dome, the air defence system installed by Israel, has not been able to destroy half the rockets fired from Gaza. It is the impact of the texting of resistance messages to the cell phones of Israeli soliders by the youth of Gaza, which acted to bring down morale in the Israeli army. It is the courage and resolve of the Gaza fighters, who saw in a prospective ground assault an opportunity to capture Israeli soldiers.
Iran has declared that it has sent arms to Gaza and that these have reached their destiny. The Fajr rockets that Hamas fires on Israel are made in Iran. A ground war increased the prospect of fraternisation between the Sunni and Shi’a forces that had been made enemies to each other as a result of the divisive policies reactionary states pursued in and around Syria. And the memory of the beating suffered by Israel at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 is still fresh.
Egypt should open the Rafah gate! Turkey should stop shielding Israel!
The true political meaning of cease-fire diplomacy appears clearly in the light of all this. The governments of Egypt and Turkey now pose as heroes. Of these, Turkey is a shield that protects Israel not only against Iran through the missile shield established in Malatya in the eastern part of the country only several years ago, but also against Hezbollah through its contingent in the UNIFIL forces of the United Nations stationed in Lebanon. Erdogan is right to characterise Israel as “a terrorist state”. But the same Erdogan acts and will act as a shield for Israel as long as Turkish troops serve in the UNIFIL and the missile shield remains where it is.
Mursi, for his part, has been carried to power on the wave of the Arab revolution that has brought down Mubarak. Mursi ought to break with the collaborationist Arab states, in particular with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which, along with Turkey, have been acting to provoke dissension between the Sunni and the Shi’a. For they are enemies of the revolution, allies of imperialism, and shields for Israel. Otherwise, having increasingly frozen the revolution so far, Mursi will shortly have passed to the other side of the barricades against the revolution.
Yaskut yaskut the Zionist state of Israel!
The Turkish foreign minister Davutoglu has once again made clear the official position of the Turkish state by claiming that this problem will not have been solved until “an independent state of Palestine has been established with its capital in East Jerusalem”. He wishes the Arab states, Egypt and Hamas, which he wants to bring under his control, to share this political stance. This is a reactionary policy. It is a policy that legitimises the piracy of the state of Israel in the territory of Palestine, starting with Jerusalem/al Quds. A Palestine on the separate bantustan-like territories of the West Bank and Gaza, divided by Zionist settlements, will be stillborn. To defend this kind of Palestine does not imply standing for an “independent Palestine” but celebrating Zionist Israel! The road to freedom is closed for Palestine as long as the Zionist state of Israel has not been brought down!
Withdraw Turkish troops from the UNIFIL!
Turkey, close down the missile shield in Malatya!
Egypt, open the Rafah Gate for assistance to the people of Gaza! End the criminal blockade of Gaza!
Arm the people of Gaza for defence against the Zionist death machine!
Tear down the Camp David Agreement!
Down with Zionist Israel! Forward to a United, secular, and socialist Palestine that brings together the Arab and the Jew on the historic territory of Palestine!
22 November 2012
Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP)
Sri Lankan unions prepare political trap for plantation workers
By W.A. Sunil
6 December 2012
Mano Ganeshan, the leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF) and its trade union wing the Democratic Workers Congress (DWC), announced recently that he would initiate the formation of a new trade union federation of plantation workers (TUFPW) in Sri Lanka.
The TUFPW’s aim is supposedly to “safeguard” and “fight for” the rights of plantation workers “from government ally, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), traditionally the biggest union among plantation workers, and Lanka Jaathika Estate Workers Union, the trade union wing of the opposition United National Party.”
The real purpose is the opposite. The TUFPW is being formed not to fight for the interests of plantation workers, but to establish a new mechanism to
prevent the development of a working class movement against the companies and the government.
An explosive situation is already developing among the plantation workers, due to their soaring cost of living and oppressive working conditions. Next April the existing collective agreement between the trade unions and plantation companies expires. Many workers are already bitter about the previous sell-out agreement imposed by the CWC—with the assistance of all of the other plantation unions, including the DWC.
Under these conditions, Ganeshan is preparing a new political trap for workers. He and his DWC are joined by unions that also have a long and treacherous history. These include the Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) and National Union of Workers (NUW), which also function as political parties and are part of the ruling coalition government.
As such these organisations are directly politically responsible for President Mahinda Rajapakse’s austerity measures, including cuts to social spending and price hikes on basic items such as food, fuel and transport. Every section of the working class has been hard hit by inflation.
Ganeshan told the media that the new union federation would be “a clear challenge” to the CWC and that his federation “would deal with the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon from a position of strength in negotiating a new wage for plantation workers.”
In response, CWC leader Mutthu Sivalingam, who is also a government minister, said that his union constituted the majority of plantation workers and declared that “if anyone believes they can challenge the CWC let them try.”
The comment is not just a challenge, but a threat. The CWC has previously used physical violence, and collaborated with the police, not only against its rivals, but against any opposition by plantation workers.
However, the new TUFPW is no alternative for workers. Ganeshan is seeking to exploit the hostility of plantation workers, not to fight for better wages and conditions, but to boost the standing of his union body with employers as an instrument for policing workers.
Like the CWC, Ganeshan is mired in communal politics that is used to drive a wedge between Tamil and Sinhala workers. While he now declares his opposition to the CWC, his DPF formed an electoral bloc with the CWC and the Upcountry People’s Front in elections this year for the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council. Ganeshan declared that “electing a Tamil representative” would help Tamil workers. As a result, two CWC members were elected who have voted for the government’s policies, including its attacks on workers.
Workers should study the record of Ganeshan’s DWC and the other unions that have joined the TUFPW. While the CWC, Lanka Jaathika Estate Workers Union, and the Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre have colluded with the government to reach sell-out deals with employers, the DWC, NUW and UPF have postured as critics in order to better suppress angry workers.
In 2006, half a million plantation workers went on strike for two weeks for higher wages. After the CWC and associated unions signed an agreement for a combined daily wage of 290 rupees ($US2.25), tens of thousands of workers protested on the streets against the deal and denouncing the signatory unions.
The DWC, NUW and UPF, along with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led All Ceylon Plantation Workers Union (ACPWU), claimed to oppose the agreement and promised to fight for its cancellation. Two weeks later, these unions shut down any action. The police issued arrest notices against dozens of workers for attacking a CWC office. The unions did nothing to defend workers, advising them instead to rely on the police.
In September 2009, amid a campaign for higher pay, the CWC and its allies signed a collective agreement for a 405-rupee daily wage. Amid bitter opposition by workers, the DWC, NUW and UPF called a press conference and again promised “tougher action”, but only after the traditional Deepavali festival on October 17. A week later they fell in behind the signatory unions.
In 2011, the unions were nervous about any campaign for higher pay, fearing it would quickly slip out of their control. The union leaders were well aware that the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt had resonated with workers in Sri Lanka. CWC leader Sivalingam advised the unions “to finish the matter immediately” and agreed to a 515-rupees daily wage.
The DWC, NUW, UPF and ACPWU held no strikes or protests, but called for a go-slow campaign to let off steam among the workers. At the same time, these unions shamelessly appealed to the government to “intervene and give a reasonable salary for plantation workers.” But Rajapakse backed the deal and the unions caved in.
It is already clear that employers will bitterly resist any significant pay rise next year. The Sri Lankan tea industry has been hard hit by the world economic slump, amid greater competition from other tea producing countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
The Plantation Association of Ceylon (PAC) warned recently that Ceylon Tea “may be ousted from its position as the premium global tea.” As in every other industry, the PAC is seeking to place new burdens on workers, calling for a “surge in productivity” to reduce “labor costs [that] account for about 70 percent of total manufacturing costs.”
Ganeshan has already expressed his willingness to collaborate with employers, saying that TUFPW “would act collectively with the Employers’ Federation on matters relating to workers.” This is a clear signal that the TUFPW will betray any struggle by workers that is left in its hands.
To oppose the ongoing attacks on living and working conditions requires a unified struggle of plantation workers with the rest of the working class. Unification does not mean alliances of trade unions that function as the agents of government and the employers, but rather the building of an independent movement of workers. The Socialist Equality Party calls for a rebellion against all the trade unions and for the formation of independent action committees to wage a political struggle against employers and the government.
Such a fight can only be based on a socialist and internationalist program and the rejection of all forms of communalism and nationalism. Decent wages and conditions for all workers will be won in the political struggle for a workers’ and peasants’ government to implement socialist policies as part of the fight for socialism in South Asia and internationally. That is the revolutionary perspective for which the Socialist Equality Party fights.
US-backed Muslim Brotherhood unleashes bloody crackdown in Cairo
By Johannes Stern
6 December 2012
Muslim Brotherhood (MB) forces supporting Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi are carrying out a bloody crackdown in Cairo. Amid intensifying mass protests in the past two weeks against Mursi, the Islamists are mobilizing their forces to try to crush strikes and protests.
In scenes recalling the “Battle of the Camels”—when then-President Hosni Mubarak’s thugs attacked protesting workers and youth on Tahrir Square in the initial days of the Egyptian Revolution last year—MB cadres together with forces of the Salafist Call and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya assaulted a sit-in of several hundred peaceful protesters in front of the presidential palace in Heliopolis in Cairo.
The sit-in began after hundreds of thousands of workers and youth protested, demanding the ouster of Mursi and the cancellation of Mursi’s presidential decree, granting himself dictatorial powers, on Tuesday night. It was one of the largest mass protests against the MB and Mursi since Mursi’s power grab two weeks ago.
According to eye-witnesses, thousands of Islamists stormed the sit-in Wednesday afternoon. They destroyed tents, attacked participants with rocks and sticks, and shouted: “The people support the president’s decisions”, “Long live President Mursi,” and “We will cleanse the palace.”
In the evening and throughout the night, the Islamists intensified their attacks on protesters.
The Islamists erected metal barricades to block off workers and youth marching to the presidential palace. They cooperated closely with the Central Security Forces (CSF). Ahram Online reported that “Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters are standing right before the palace, and there are two rows of Central Security Forces in front of them.”
CSF units attacked anti-Mursi protesters at Roxy Square, in Kahlifa El-Maamoun Street, and in other locations close to the palace with tear gas and rubber bullets. Reportedly live ammunition was also fired.
Protesters hurled back stones at the security forces and the Islamist thugs, shouting: “Down, down Mohamed Mursi,” and “The people want the fall of the regime.”
Imams incited the Islamist crowd to use the utmost violence against protesters: “Chase them and catch them in the name of God.” MB members and their Islamist allies chased protesters through the streets, beat them, and threatened everyone they caught using knives and other weapons.
Writing for Ahram Online, Ahmed Feteha explained how Mahmoud Nabil, 24, had his arm broken by pro-Mursi thugs. “He said that he approached a bearded man supporting President Morsi and told him that what he and his colleagues were doing is unacceptable. The bearded man, according to the victim, threw him on the ground, and then another man used a hammer to break his arm.”
As of this writing, hundreds of protesters were reportedly injured and at least four people killed. The dead include Mirna Emad, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and Taha Magdy of the Revolutionary Socialists (RS).
The brutal crackdown is accompanied by a vicious propaganda campaign by the state-controlled media and the Islamists. On Wednesday the Islamist groups issued a statement accusing protesters of “sabotaging” the country and threatening that “non-peaceful protests are an offense to Egypt.”
When MB militias brutally assaulted protesters, Essam al-Erian, the deputy head of the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), incited violence against them.
He said that what is happening at the presidential palace is “not clashes between supporters and opponents, but rather skirmishes between the guardians of legitimacy and the revolution against the counterrevolutionary attempts to topple legitimacy. There are thugs who want to depose the elected president.” Erian called upon citizens to “besiege those thugs and expose the third party, and those firing live ammunition.”
Mursi is unleashing this wave of repression with the full support of the US government and its European allies. They have hailed Mursi for his reliability during last month’s brutal Israeli onslaught against Gaza and the suppression of the Palestinians and given him a blank check for the repression his regime is now unleashing.
After Mursi worked to isolate the Gaza Strip during the offensive, the New York Times wrote that Obama felt he had a “connection” with Mursi developed over six phone calls. It added that Obama had decided to “invest heavily” in Mursi.
In an official statement, British Foreign Secretary William Hague also signaled his support for Mursi. He said, “The UK remains committed to supporting Egypt’s political transition and strengthening democracy. We are in close contact with both the Egyptian authorities and leaders of the opposition.”
On Tuesday Essam al-Haddad, Mursi’s assistant for foreign affairs and member of the MB’s Guidance Bureau, met on Tuesday in Washington with US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. The US embassy in Cairo issued a statement on Wednesday on its Facebook page saying: “The two officials reaffirmed the strategic relationship between the United States and Egypt.”
After Washington’s long-time stooge Mubarak was ousted in mass working class protests last year, US imperialism sees the Islamists as its new ally in Egypt and entire Middle East to defend American strategic and economic interests. The MB’s backers in the US see the Islamists as the ruling class’s best hope to suppress the revolutionary optimism in the working class created by Mubarak’s ouster last year, and also to intensify the US war drive against Syria and Iran, which Mursi supports.
Before the protests, Egypt’s new Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah ordered investigations of the main figures of the liberal and secular opposition. The leaders of National Salvation Front (NSF)—the liberal leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nasserite Hamdeen Sabahi, former Mubarak regime official Amr Moussa and Sayed Al-Badawi, the head of the liberal Wafd party—are accused of inciting the overthrow of the regime as part of a “Zionist plot.”
The Mursi regime’s invocations of a Zionist plot are a cynical and absurd attempt to mobilize the most backward elements of Egyptian society against protesters and the working class. It recalls the propaganda of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, who also sought to portray the mass protests against his rule as an Israeli and American conspiracy. In reality, just like his predecessor Mubarak, Mursi is backed by the US and works out his reactionary policies in close discussions with Washington and the Israeli state.
In fact, contrary to the bulk of the protesters, the NSF is not calling for the overthrow of Mursi. On Wednesday they issued a statement demanding the reversal of Mursi’s constitutional declaration and a new Constituent Assembly to redraft the constitution. As the Islamists launched their brutal attack on the protesters, the NSF called for a press conference declaring itself to be “ready for real dialogue to sort out this situation.”
The NSF speaks for sections of the Egyptian ruling elite who are in conflict with Mursi over the distribution of power and wealth inside the Egyptian state machine. However, their main fear is a revolutionary movement of the working class; the more the threat of a renewed mass uprising grows, the more they look for a compromise with Mursi. Last week thousands of textile workers marched in the industrial city of Mahalla al-Kubra against Mursi, and on Wednesday, striking doctors issued a statement objecting to Mursi’s constitution.
Report details massive growth of social inequality across US
By Nick Barrickman
24 December 2012
A recent three-part investigative series by Reuters details the massive growth of social inequality in the United States. “The Unequal State of America,” largely based on US Census data spanning the last two decades on income distribution, access to education and poverty levels, paints a bleak picture of American life.
The report highlights conditions of the populations in Indiana, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Drawing wider conclusions, the report notes that “inequality has risen not just in plutocratic hubs such as Wall Street and Silicon Valley, but also in virtually every corner of the world’s richest nation.”
The report also documents disparities in broader detail:
* Since 1989, inequality has grown in 49 of 50 states.
* 28 states saw inequality increase simultaneously by measurements of education, income, and poverty.
* In all states, the top quintile of the population benefited the most generously, seeing a 12 percent income boost on average.
The nation’s capital
The report focuses on the District of Columbia in relation to income disparity. Washington, D.C. is home to some of the starkest social inequality on the planet, with one-third of the residents in the impoverished Ward 8—and over one half of its children—living in poverty, while the average income of the bottom fifth of the population is less than $10,000 yearly. In contrast to this, the average wealth of the city’s top 5 percent is over $500,000, an almost 54 to 1 ratio, up from 39 to 1 in 1990.
Of chief responsibility for this state of affairs, the report notes, are the policies adopted by the federal government in recent decades. Though the DC region is home to only 2 percent of the nation’s population, 15 percent of all federal procurement spending is funneled back into the region, most of which is sourced to private contracting firms connected to the Department of Homeland Security as well as various law firms and lobbying groups.
Highlighting the growth of corporate influence is the growth of “organizations with a political presence,” another term for lobbyists, holding offices in the district—rising from 7,000 offices in 1981 to over 14,000 in 2006.
As a product of the tax cuts enacted under the Bush administration, many government players were able to drastically increase their own personal worth, a trend that has continued under the Obama administration.
According to the report, federal employees making over $100,000 in the region have increased by a third to over 20 percent of the workforce since 1990, while those making less than that have disappeared due to a “hollowing out” of the middle earners. This has come during a general elimination of “blue collar” government jobs in the district. As a result, now more than 50 percent of all federal jobs in the city have salaries higher than $100,000, while lower wage jobs are sourced to temp agencies providing little stability for workers.
Likewise, data on Massachusetts, the site of the oldest public school system in the country and home to some of the most prestigious universities, reveals stark indices of inequality. Since 1989, the income for the state’s top 20 percent grew by nearly a fifth while the living standards for every other quintile fell, with the bottom 20 percent of the population absorbing a 9 percent loss of their income value. Massachusetts is now the seventh most unequal state in the country in terms of income, according to the report.
Massachusetts has continued to witness a growth of inequality related to education. Despite the growing need for advanced degrees to meet the requirements of the workforce, these have become more difficult to obtain. A recent study released by the U.S. College Board found that both public and private institutions in the state cost a quarter more than do institutions elsewhere in the US.
Jobs offering decent wages for less-skilled labor have plummeted in number in Massachusetts. Reuters cites a Georgetown University study that notes that since the recession of 2007 nearly 6 million jobs deemed fit for high school graduates were lost, while over 2 million jobs requiring college degrees have been added.
Indiana, which has adopted some of the most draconian measures to date for screening applicants for government assistance, is next. The state was one of the first to adopt “welfare reform” in the mid-1990s, under which welfare applicants are required to show they are searching for work in order to receive a cash benefit.
Indiana has taken this process a step further by adding an outright limit of 24 months on how long one may be in such a program, as well as requiring beneficiaries to begin doing community service work within the first six weeks of participating. In a particularly cruel move, women who become pregnant while receiving services will receive no added increase in benefits to help care for their children.
This process has been replicated nationally, with only 1.4 percent of the population receiving cash aid, down two-thirds since 1996, the year President Bill Clinton enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, aimed at “ending welfare as we know it.”
The report also states that although Medicaid funding has increased threefold since 1990, its actual value per recipient has declined 12 percent in that time period. In Indiana, one of the stipulations for a person receiving such assistance is that they must be subsisting at 24 percent, less than one-quarter, of the state’s official poverty threshold. Similarly, the state refuses to provide coverage to adults without children.
The data on Indiana is particularly significant due to its former position as a center for manufacturing in the Midwest. According to the Institute for Working Families, today more than two-thirds of jobs in Indiana pay less than $45,000 a year.
The restoration of a dictatorship
by Araz Bağban (*)
12. Dec 2012
The new constitution submitted to referendum by Mohammed Morsi, the president of Egypt elected with the support of the Freedom and Justice party, i.e. the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in addition to its properties of attacking working class achievements as well as women’s and minorities’ rights, is preparing the legal ground for the Brotherhood to seize the whole political power in the country. The powers proposed for the president in the constitution, not subject to any supervision, are leading Egypt towards dictatorship. This picture in Egypt is perhaps not precisely the same with what happened in Iran after the 1979 revolution, but by looking at Iran we can clearly see how the restoration of a dictatorship took place. The only important difference might be that the people of Egypt have detected the prospect of such a restoration and are trying to defend the achievements of the revolution without any hesitation. Although the continuous protests of religious minorities and women (despite all the attempts of the supporters of president Morsi such as sexual harassment and physical assaults) as well as those of political organizations forced the president to make concessions on the content of the constitutional declaration related to the powers granted to the president, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have gone on to complete the constitutional referendum, denying any delay requested by protesters and opposition.
Morsi gave the oversight of the security of the referendum to the army by allowing the army to arrest protesters. As a response to this unnamed state of emergency-like situation the masses chanted “we are not afraid, we will not surrender, because we are used to plastic bullets”. In another attempt Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood tried to reduce the protests to anti-religious rallies, and the conflict to one between the religious and the secular. The attempt was not too effective because of the presence of many religious people and also some clerics from Al Azhar University in the protests. The people of Egypt have shown that they are eager to defend the achievements of the 2011 revolution, but let us remember what happens if there is not such a resistance on the basis of the restoration of the dictatorship in the Iranian experience after the 1979 revolution.
On another 11th of February but in 1979, the Iranian revolution declared its victory. There was an important difference from the Egyptian revolution: the presence of a charismatic leader. Although the revolution was the result of a permanent struggle of the masses and also of political organizations, the achievements of the revolution were amassed in the hands of this leader. In the early days of the revolution Khomeini, the charismatic leader of the revolution, was claiming that he would secure all the rights and freedoms, but it only took a few months to explore his real face and aim and the political line he represented.
Only two months after the revolution a referendum took place asking people to choose between the new system and the old, but without defining the new system or giving any details. Before going to referendum and just after the revolution Khomeini ordered to remove and cancel the law protecting the family. According to this law men were not allowed to choose a second wife until they have permission from their first wife and also a woman had the right to divorce in case her husband was marrying a second wife. This law was canceled only two weeks after the 11th of February. On March 9, the women’s right to judge was removed and on March 11 the Hijab (the head and body covering in Islamic fashion) became compulsory. Women organized the largest protest by women in the history of Iran on March 8 against the orders of Khomeini. Tehran hosted a weak of rallies and protests, regarding which the progressive forces and the intellectuals remained silent.
In a two-choice referendum of accepting the new regime of the Islamic Republic or the old regime of the Shah, having already overthrown the old regime, the people naturally were obliged to accept the new form of the state. A major feature of this referendum was the lack of transparency about the details of the new form of the state, i.e. the Islamic Republic. Khomeini defined the Islamic republic as a state in which all would enjoy their rights. The prime minster of the interim government responsible for organizing the referendum said, in response to a question of a journalist asking “what is the Islamic Republic?”, “it is a nice thing”. He also added that women’s rights shall be secured under the new regime. People voted in the referendum in favor of the Islamic Republic whereas they didn’t know what it really was. According to the official records, 98% of the electorate participated in the referendum and 99% of them said “yes” to the Islamic Republic.
The dictatorship was going to be built step by step but there was no serious objection to it. Leftist organizations, which called the March 8 movement a petty-bourgeois demand, boycotted the referendum because of the Islamic Republic’s undefined character. The boycott was not supported by all leftist organizations and the Tudeh Party (the Iranian communist party) supported the new form of the state. The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a radical Islamist organization conditionally accepted the Islamic Republic and declared that if the people’s interests are secured in the future they will support the new regime unconditionally, otherwise they will cut their support completely. The Islamist liberals inside the interim government under the leadership of the prime minister defended the idea of a republic without any qualifications, but gave support to the Islamic Republic after Khomeini’s rigid reaction of “only Islamic Republic, no more, no less”. The referendum didn’t face any mass opposition and because of that the new regime’s supporters called the opposition “the 2%”. It is true that organizing the masses against such a charismatic leader would not be easy, but the only chance to move the people had already been lost during the March 8 incident.
To restore the dictatorship there was another step to be taken and it was going to be done through the new constitution. The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (Velayat-e Faghih) was the messenger of the new dictatorship. The constitution giving all the political power to the religious leader of the Islamic Republic was submitted to the referendum on November 1979. Before the referendum Iran again experienced another important development. Ethnic minorities having found their hopes crushed in the new state put up resistance. The Kurdish people rose with a demand for autonomy for the Kurdistani region in Iran. The centralist government in Tehran interpreted it as an attack on Iranian unity and immediately attacked Kurdistan using the new army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. A long war started in Kurdistan during which some of the leftist organizations gave their support to the struggle of the Kurdish people. After the March 8 women’s rallies against the regime’s reactionary decisions, the Kurdish uprising was the most important development in the early stages of restoration of the dictatorship in Iran.
With such a background people voted in the constitutional referendum. For the second time the people accepted the new regime changes with a huge percentage. Most of the leftist organizations again boycotted the referendum and found it anti-democratic, but Tudeh Party and the majority wing of the Iranian People’s Fedai Guerrillas gave their full support to the constitution. The organization of the People’s Mujahedin this time cut their support as they mentioned in the last referendum. But the only severe objection came from another ethnic region, Azerbaijan, and mainly from its largest city Tabriz. Surprisingly a conservative party called the Muslim People’s Party, followers of a secular religious leader, raised against the Velayet-e Faghih, but the uprising was harshly suppressed by the so-called revolutionary army.
The post-constitution period is the elimination of the opposition from society. The elimination took place step by step, first by exterminating the opposition that publicly declared its objection against the new dictatorship and then by cleaning the post-revolutionary society from the new regime’s genuine supporters but potential opposition movements, such as the Tudeh Party. The organized actions of some political parties and organizations, even relatively vast armed struggles, couldn’t find mass support and they were suppressed in a bloody way.
There are very similar aspects in the restoration of the dictatorship in Iran and Egypt, but as we mentioned before with a very important difference. The people of Egypt are opposing this restoration in the way they started the revolution on January 25, 2011. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood first attacked women and their rights. They even took this attack to the demonstrations using the same method (sexual harassment and physical assault against women) that Mubarak used during the revolutionary demonstrations to keep women away from Tahrir Square and demonstrations elsewhere. In the constitution, the law of protecting family unity is an attack on women’s rights and leaves them with no protection. The definition of Judaism and Christianity as the only religious minorities is also an attack on other communities with different beliefs.
With this constitution prepared and submitted to referendum, if the Muslim Brotherhood had not met a serious opposition, they would bring a more reactionary constitution. It is obvious that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood will move to attain all they have lost against the mass resistance in the constitutional process. Consequently, any break in the will and resistance of the people will take Egypt to a state of a new reactionary dictatorship.
*Iranian political activist
Declaration of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party
No temporizing, no liquidation! Solve the Kurdish question!
The disclosure of the fact that the MIT  Undersecretary Hakan Fidan has been carrying out talks with Öcalan, as well as the visit to Öcalan by Ahmet Türk, Co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), and Ayla Akat Ata, MP for the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) , have generated the hope in the country that the bloodletting can be stopped this time around and that the Kurdish question can be resolved. However, if one were to lend an ear to the spokespeople of the AKP government, all that is envisaged would turn out to be the “disarming of the PKK”. If we are told that this kind of language is utilised so as to appease the reaction coming from the so-called nationalists, then the question to be asked becomes how the next step will be taken. One cannot solve the Kurdish question by deceiving a section of the population! On the other hand, the proposals of the Kurdish side are clear. The protocols of Ocalan have been in the hands of the government since August 2009. Yet not one single proposal by the government to the Kurds has been disclosed. And not only have the government’s proposals not been disclosed to the public, neither have they been to the Kurdish side, as the leaders of the Kurdish movement themselves have made clear.
Everything indicates that this new initiative by the government either aims to liquidate the Kurdish movement while pretending to solve the Kurdish question, as was the case in the so-called policy of “overture” in 2009, or to temporize and play for time, as was the case in 2011, when the government wished to make it to the general elections without any major bumps on the road. Behind the current initiative probably lie the following factors: First, the Kurdish rank and file or even the Kurdish MP’s of the AKP itself have made it clear that serious malaise has been created in the Kurdish population due to the policies pursued by the government, in particular the arrogance displayed in the wake of the Roboski massacre  or the plans of the government concerning the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the BDP MP’s. The AKP leadership wishes to be able to say “we did try, but they refused” and thus diffuse this malaise. Secondly, the developments in Syria have demonstrated that, having ignored the real character of the Kurdish question, i.e. the fact that it is an international question extended over four different territories in four different countries, the Turkish state has now got itself into a quandary. At present, a new autonomous region has emerged in Syrian Kurdistan, “Rojava” in Kurdish political terminology, under the hegemony of a party close to the Kurdish movement in Turkey. This autonomous region forms an immense obstacle in the way of Turkey’s Syria policy. From this angle, the neutralisation of the Kurdish movement in Turkey is very important for a prospective war between Turkey and Syria. Thirdly, the experience of 2012 has taught Tayyip Erdogan that he will not be able to keep the Kurdish question in the freezer until he has reshaped the constitution along the lines of a presidential system in 2013 and been elected president in 2014. Rather than procrastinate until late 2013 and take a risk when the presidential election is already on the agenda, Erdogan wants to reduce the impact of the Kurdish movement now to avoid headaches at the last moment. Finally, the sacking of close to a thousand workers by Tofaş  on the first day of the new year has shown that 2013 will be a year of economic crisis and the occupation of Şişecam  has indicated the potential for fightback on the part of the working class. The government may be manoeuvring so as to appease the Kurdish movement on the eve of a tough struggle with the working class.
For all these reasons, the sections of the Turkish working class and labouring masses who wish to see the Kurdish question resolved on the basis of the principles of freedom should approach the process that has been initiated with great circumspection. The fact that Tayyip Erdogan is seeking support from the MHP  electorate for purposes of revising the constitution and being elected president renders the probability of his settlement for a solution that would seriously meet the demands of the Kurdish people. The AKP government has still not learned to take up the Kurdish question in a serious manner.
One measure of the seriousness of the initiative would be the participation of all the components of the Kurdish movement in the negotiations. As everyone admits, Ocalan is not the sole representative of the Kurdish movement. As the MIT chief himself has expressed in no unclear terms, there are other centres of power, those in Kandil , Europe  and the BDP/DTK . In Kandil alone, as the MIT chief has himself pointed out, the organisation includes not only the Kurds of Turkey, but also those of Iran, Iraq, and Syria as well. To imagine that Ocalan, imprisoned for the last 14 years, can act as sole decision-maker would be a clear indication that the government is playing for time, even if the movement concedes that he is the “chief negotiator”. Anyway, both Kandil and Europe have immediately refused in unambiguous terms the conduct of the negotiations in this manner. If a minimally meaningful negotiation process is to be conducted, then it is indispensible that Ocalan be granted the freedom of movement and of contact. No one can negotiate from a position of captivity! It cannot be expected that someone who is captive should be able to conduct a healthy process of negotiations in such a position, however great the confidence of the people in him may be. Ocalan should immediately be granted the freedom of movement and contact as a preliminary step in the process.
The substance of the talks between the state and Ocalan so far has remained undisclosed. But the fact that spokespeople for the AKP government and its ideologues cast the question with the lightness of “disarming the PKK” implies an unacceptable orientation. Whoever evades the truth that the question of the PKK cannot be divorced from the Kurdish question is ultimately contributing to the bloodletting and to the loss of life of young people on both sides. The negotiations should definitely involve a free status of self-rule for the Kurds in accordance with their choice. As Selahattin Demirtaş  said in his speech in Roboski on 28 December , this could be an autonomous Kurdistan, a federated Kurdistan, or an independent Kurdistan. Whatever it is, the question of this status must be on the table of negotiations. The minimal condition for a solution to the Kurdish question is the granting of a status to the Kurds under which they can live freely.
Once that is put on the agenda, the assumption on the necessity of disarming loses its raison d’être. To ask the Kurdish movement to disarm is an orientation that would have adverse consequences when considered in the light of the totality of Kurdish territories and the context of the Middle East as a whole. Set against the situation in the whole of Kurdistan, this implies leaving Barzani  as the only armed force. This will clear the way to the liquidation of the Kurdish movement in Turkey not only militarily, but also politically. The Middle East has become an arena for settling all kinds of accounts. There is a race to arm for all forces in the Middle East. The military power of the pro-imperialist or Salafi forces, whether under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army or otherwise, is but a striking instance of this trend. Kurdistan occupies a central space in the Middle East, at the point of intersection of four important states. Thus, to demand that the Kurdish movement of Turkey disarm vis-a-vis Barzani, who is totally subjugated to US imperialism, is to play into the hands of imperialism and push towards a balance of forces more favourable for it, both at the level of Kurdistan and in the Middle East at large. All the anti-imperialist forces of Turkey should be against this pro-imperialist step. What should instead be done is to equip the Kurdish entity to be defined by the new status with a security force.
The Turkish working class has no interests that clash with those of the Kurdish people. The established order oppresses them both. The emancipation of one will, if anything, clear the way for the emancipation of the other.
No captive negotiator! Freedom of movement and contact to Ocalan!
A free status to the Kurdish people!
Democratic autonomy needs security!
Make peace with the Kurds, make war with the US!
7 January 2013
Central Committee of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP)
 Turkish intelligence
 DTK and BDP are bot Kurdish legal instituitons
 Assassination by Turkish fighter jets of 34, mostly children, Kurdish civilians in December 2011
 A major car producer owned by the biggest holding company of Turkey.
 A major glass manufacturer owned by the biggest bank of Turkey
 Nationalist Action Party, fascist
 The military headquarters of the PKK on the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq
 The diplomatic arm of the movement
 The legal insititutions of the Kurdish movement inside Turkey
 Co-chair of the BDP, the Kurdish party in parliament
 Anniversary of the bombing to death of the 34 Kurdish civilians
 President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdish entity inside federal Iraq
Jan 18, 2013
Declaration of the CRFI on the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution
Forward to permanent revolution in Egypt!
Down with the Morsi government!
For workers’ power!
Two years ago, in the wake of the revolutionary uprising in Tunisia in December 2010- January 2011, on the 25th of January 2011, the Egyptian people rose in rage against the 30-year dictatorship that had been ruling the country under the iron fist of Hosni Mubarak. For 18 days they fought for bread, jobs, freedom, and dignity. They occupied Tahrir Square, that aptly named square, whose name, “Emancipation” in Arabic, later resounded throughout the world symbolising the struggle of the masses everywhere. They fought the “Battle of the Camel” against the hired thugs of the regime, the notorious “Baltadji”. From 7 February on the working class staged a strong strike movement in industry, in transportation, in the docks of the Suez Canal and elsewhere. The system now had to sacrifice the dictator. Mubarak came tumbling down. The Egyptian masses thus proved to the world that the will power and courage of ordinary people, if they come together in their millions, will overcome the mightiest dictatorship.
After Tunisia, which initiated the revolutionary Arab Spring, it was Egypt, because of its centrality in the entire Arab world, that gave an impetus to the revolutionary tide, which engulfed the Middle East and North Africa, from Morocco to Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen, and became a source of inspiration to movements struggling for bread, social justice and freedom around the world. The Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI) salutes the dedication, courage and perseverance of the workers, youth and the impoverished but proud Egyptian masses that went into the mighty struggle that toppled Mubarak and changed History.
The Egyptian revolution is not confined to those 18 days: the entire year of 2011 was the scene of very strong mass movements and feverish working class activity. The mass movement had as its clear purpose the demise of the rule of the military. “Yaskut yaskut hukm ul askar!” , i.e. “Down with military rule!” was the major slogan of all demonstrations and Field Marshall Tantavi, head of the Supreme Military Council, had become the new target of the movement.
The emergence of the Popular Committees in workers’ and popular neighbourhoods following the departure of Mubarak is a clear sign of popular self-organization, the creation of grassroots organs of struggle, which, even though in an embryonic form, showed the possibility of being transformed into genuine organs of power of the masses themselves. The bourgeois state apparatus saw the danger, and it tried, in some cases successfully, either to co-opt the popular committees or to reduce them into NGOs, neutralizing their revolutionary potential. The revival and expansion of the popular committees depends on the central role that has to be occupied by the working class itself, and its demands for the rejection of neoliberalism and of the draconian IMF measures, for bread and jobs, for repudiation of the foreign debt, nationalizations without compensation and under workers control of all the enterprises privatized by the Mubarak regime’s kleptocracy.
The popular demand for a genuine Constituent Assembly was hijacked by the regime, in collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood. The card of bourgeois parliamentarianism was used against the revolution. Despite the energetic action displayed throughout the year 2011 by the masses, the second wave of the revolution in November 2011 was distinct from the rest not only in its dimensions, but also because it defied the norms of parliamentary democracy that both liberal and Islamic forces wish to impose against the Egyptian revolution. It will be remembered that the roar and thunder of the November days struck only a week before the first free parliamentary elections that the country was going to have in decades. The November days of 2011 showed once again in action that the dynamic of the Egyptian revolution is by no means confined to the straitjacket of parliamentary democracy, but stretches towards the taking of power by the masses themselves.
With parliamentary elections over and with the Islamists seemingly safely in power, the “international community” of capitalist thieves and the Egyptian bourgeoisie sighed with relief, imagining that the people had finally retired to their homes. Revolution was over. The only job to attend to was to harness the Muslim Brotherhood to the twin tasks of further deepening the insertion of Egyptian capitalism into the international division of labour and the preservation of the pro-imperialist order in the Middle East, to start with Egypt’s indispensable role since the Camp David accords of 1978 as the guarantor of Israel’s security. This Hillary Clinton tried to do by creating a historic peace between the military and the Brotherhood. The collaboration between US imperialism and the Muslim Brotherhood was demonstrated both in the civil war in Syria as well as in the role of Morsi to establish a ceasefire during the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people besieged in Gaza against the new Zionist aggression
The presidential elections of May and June 2012, with Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood elected, seemed to confirm the relation of forces born of the parliamentary elections. However, disappointment waited in store for the imperialists. First, Morsi manoeuvred to win the heart of the masses by bowing to their central demand since the fall of Mubarak: he dismissed Field Marshall Tantavi and company. Then, through the notorious Constitutional Declaration of 22 November 2012, he turned around and appropriated the same kind of dictatorial powers amassed in the past by the presidents of the hated military regime. This unleashed the third wave of the Egyptian revolution and brought to an end all illusion that the revolution had ended and the masses had finally returned home.
The gigantic mass movement that the Constitutional Declaration put into motion led to four days of demonstrations in Tahrir Square, accompanied by action in other cities, the eviction of the local administrative ruler from the city of Mahalla, a workers’ stronghold, and culminated in something that had not been seen even in the heyday of the revolution in early 2011: the siege of the Presidential Palace, with thousands and tens of thousands demanding day in and day out nothing less than the demise of Morsi.
Morsi had to make an apparent provisional retreat in relation to the Constitutional Declaration of 22 November, and he was obliged to “freeze” temporarily the austerity plan agreed in return for a loan by the IMF, out of fear that these anti-popular measures, particularly the raising of food prices, would provoke uncontrollable social explosions, with the working class at the head of the popular rebellion.
To think that the constitutional referendum of mid-December has solved the problems of Egypt’s ruling classes would be folly. The new constitution totally lacks legitimacy, as it was approved by a “majority” of 20 per cent of the relevant population! Only one third of the electorate participated in the voting. Out of the 50 plus million eligible voters, the constitution was voted in by merely 10 million! 2013 takes over the unresolved problems of the earlier phases of the revolution in an environment in which the Egyptian economy is crumbling, with the Egyptian pound falling headlong and an IMF stand-by programme promising the working class and the masses of the poor and unemployed still more economic hardship.
And this working class has played an immensely important role in the revolution. The revolution was prepared by the actions of the different sections of the working class that staged strikes on an ever increasing scale from 2004 on. The industrial city of Mahalla became a symbol in its own right concerning workers’ struggle in Egypt before the revolution. The revolution itself was marked by a movement towards breaking the grip of the official unions, with scores of new unions being formed during the first wave of the revolution. This activity on the part of the working class continued after the heady days of the revolution subsided. Feverish activity on the part of workers of all sectors, from industrial workers to employees of urban transportation systems, from teachers to health workers have marked these two years, with 2012 even surpassing the level of 2011. Two independent labour confederations were formed in opposition to the official one that has had the monopoly of trade union organising in the country since 1957. These two confederations have organised up to three million workers in the space of two years alone, in opposition to the bloated 3.8 million membership of the official confederation. It is this working class that is going to have to suffer the austerity that the IMF and the new bourgeois government of Egypt in Islamic garb will try to push down its throat. The stage is set for a mighty clash, this time in clearer terms, between the new regime and the working class. The dynamics of permanent revolution of the Egyptian revolution will be based on the socio-economic struggle of the working class and the labouring masses.
The Islamist political forces, both the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the ultra-conservative Salafists who are financed by the Saudi pro-imperialist monarchy, advocate openly the “free market” economy no less than the capitalist liberals. Not a common “Salvation Front”, in the name of “democracy,” is possible, as the liberals in alliance with global capital, will try to impose, if it would be permitted to them, the same IMF-EU imposed programme of misery against the already impoverished masses. From the other side, no accommodation with the “free marketers” of the Brotherhood or the Salafists, in the name of the opposition to the ancien régime is possible or desirable. It will sign the death warrant for the revolution. The left Nasserists of Sabbahi, by trying an electoral bloc with the Islamists in the parliamentary elections of 2011 and then turning around and joining hands now with bourgeois liberals like El Baradei and former Mubarak henchmen like Amr Moussa in the so-called National Salvation Front, have demonstrated the limitations of the historically exhausted left nationalism itself.
Unfortunately , most of the dispersed groups of the Left turn to the traps of these kinds of political alliances and class collaboration , leaving the majority of the militant vanguard of the youth and of the working class trapped in isolation and marginality. But this vanguard is the vanguard of the revolution itself. On it, the future depends. Many left-wing parties exist, but most of them have remained aloof to the rank and file workers’ movement, pursued incorrect tactics, tail-ended the different wings of the bourgeois leadership, wavering between the Islamist camp and the forces of the ancien régime on different occasions. Most importantly, they have not followed a clear strategic line of creating a strong vanguard party that will provide for the independence of the working class from all bourgeois forces and make it possible to win other oppressed and exploited classes and strata to working class hegemony. What is urgently needed in Egypt is a working class party firmly rooted in the revolutionary Marxist tradition and progressively winning over the vanguard sections of the Egyptian working class through its policies responding to the needs of the revolution. The Egyptian revolution has suffered too long from the absence of such a party.
The Egyptian revolution has not yet achieved the tasks it has set itself. The ancien régime has been overturned in favour of a transitional regime that concedes to the masses limited political freedoms, although state repression, the detention of political prisoners and torture are still going on. Real freedom and dignity would be achieved together with the bread and the jobs, which are still out of reach! Not only that, but the Morsi government and Islamists in general are trying to hijack a revolution that is not their making, advancing their own Islamist agenda as proved by the constitution they promulgated and working hand in glove with elements of the former regime and the old state apparatus, still in place, in order to bring, in the name of the interests of the bourgeoisie, the impetus of the revolution to a halt.
It is the real masters of the Mubaraks and the Morsis that the working masses should now go after: the Egyptian capitalist class and, behind it and ruling over it as well, the bourgeois imperialist order. Only if it sheds its narrowly political forms and assumes a class-based revolutionary outlook, in other words only if it grows into a permanent revolution, will the Egyptian revolution triumph in the real sense of the term. The vanguard forces of the working class face the task of forming a revolutionary party, amassing the different classes and strata yearning for Tahrir, i.e. emancipation, around the working class and take power. Only then will the memory of the thousands of martyrs that have given their lives for the revolution be served.
The Egyptian revolution is at this point of history central to world revolution. Not only because the masses, from Athens and Madrid to Wall Street, have been inspired by the revolutionary power of the days and nights of Tahrir, something that electrifies the imagination of all exploited and oppressed. But also because it is the vanguard column of a whole wave of revolutionary struggles in the Arab world and of class struggle to the death in the countries of Southern Europe, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal to begin with.
This new situation is one of the direct results of the greatest global capitalist crisis the world has witnessed since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Capitalism has once again shown that it cannot, in a historical sense, promise the working masses anything but unemployment, misery and war. Manifestations of this descent into barbarism are the imperialist war aggressions in Libya and now in Mali, as well as the continuing threats of military intervention by Turkey and other powers supported by imperialism in Syria and for a Zionist attack against Iran.
The Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International stresses the urgency of the current situation. It has called already for an International Conference concerning the crisis in Europe, for next June 2013, in Italy. An integral part of its preparation and for its prospects is to organize an International Meeting of the militant forces in the Mediterranean region, both in Europe and the Middle East to discuss on the interconnected crises and struggles in Europe and in the Middle East and to elaborate a common plan of actions.
It is high time to throw off the yoke of capitalism and build in its place a classless society that unites all the peoples of the world in brotherhood. Only then will exploitation and oppression be removed from the face of the earth. In such a world, the architectural relics of capitalism, Wall Street and the City of London and their likes, will become so many historic sites to be contemplated by the curious visitor, quite in the same manner as the Pharaonic pyramids serve the visitors of today.
The Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International stands in complete solidarity with the Egyptian revolution. It appeals to the revolutionary currents and militants tempered by the mass revolutionary action of these two years to turn their faces to the internationalist traditions of Marxism and join hands in building a revolutionary workers’ International, a world party. This alone will provide the necessary instrument for us to complete the victory of the revolution, not only in Egypt, but in the Arab world and the world at large.
Forward to permanent revolution in Egypt!
Down with the Morsi government! For a workers government supported by the popular masses in the cities and the countryside! For workers’ power!
Spread the revolution to all countries of the Middle East and North Africa!
Solidarity between the Egyptian revolution and class struggles in southern Europe!
Down with imperialism and Zionism! For a free, united, socialist Palestine, where both Palestinian Arabs and Jews could live together in peace, justice, and equality!
For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East and North Africa!
The Coordination for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI)
Jan 27, 2013
China’s NPC installs new leadership
By John Chan
18 March 2013
China’s National Peoples Congress (NPC) concluded yesterday after completing the once-in-a-decade leadership transition that began with last year’s Chinese Communist Party congress. CCP general secretary Xi Jinping was formally endorsed as the president of China, replacing Hu Jintao, and Li Keqiang was installed as Chinese premier, replacing Wen Jiabao.
The two top leaders indicated, in broad terms, the policy agenda of the new leadership, which confronts a slowing economy and deepening social crisis at home, and increasingly aggressive diplomatic, trade and strategic moves by the US and its allies abroad.
The openly pro-market Li outlined the economic policy. He had collaborated with the World Bank to produce last year’s China 2030 report—a blueprint for vast economic restructuring to expand the role of private capital, sharply reduce the role of the state in the economy and demand higher productivity from workers.
At his first press conference yesterday, Li talked of a “hand” mistakenly attached to the state that needed to be returned to the market. “It’s about cutting power, it’s a self-imposed revolution,” he declared. “It will be very painful and even feel like cutting one’s wrist.”
Knowing that a new wave of market “reform” will provoke opposition, particularly from the working class, Li admitted that the government was heading into “unchartered waters”. He warned: “We may also have to confront some protracted problems. This is because we will have to shake up vested interests.”
While Xi and Li are at one on the economic restructuring, Li represents sections of the bureaucracy and business elite who are more closely connected to, and dependent upon, American markets and corporations. He urged Washington to recognise that the two countries had more “common interests” than rivalry. “Conflicts between big powers are not inevitable,” Li argued.
Nevertheless, Xi, as president and military commander-in-chief, is in charge of foreign policy and has set a more aggressive tone. In his first speech at the NPC, Xi immediately made an appeal to Chinese nationalism, calling for “arduous efforts for the continued realisation of the great renaissance of the Chinese nation and the Chinese dream.”
“Chinese Dream” was the title of a book by a military academic, Colonel Liu Mingfu, who called for the building of a defence force to match that of the US. The book was withdrawn over three years ago due to a fear of damaging relations with the US. However, since Xi was installed at last November’s 18th party congress, “Chinese Dream” has become his main political slogan, and the book has been re-released. During the NPC, Xi twice called for the armed forces to be prepared for “winning any war”.
Xi’s foreign policy orientation was expressed by the fact that he chose Russia as the destination for his first major visit. He has reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that his presidency would make the development of a “comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia” a “priority”. Both countries are facing strategic encirclement by the US, ranging from threats to topple the Syrian regime to the expansion of the US “missile shield” to undermine China’s and Russia’s nuclear deterrence.
Xi has also directed a more confrontational policy toward Japan in the heated dispute over the Diaoyu islands (known as Senkaku in Japan) in the East China Sea. In recent months, Chinese maritime policing vessels and aircraft have been dispatched to challenge Japanese control of the rocky outposts.
The “Chinese Dream” slogan also echoes the well-known “American Dream” catch cry in the heartland of world capitalism. Xi is appealing for the support of the emerging middle classes who view their interests as bound up with the continuing expansion of Chinese capitalism and its transformation into a supposed land of unlimited opportunity.
Xi and Li both belong to a generation of CCP leaders whose adult life has been shaped entirely by the past 30 years of capitalist restoration, begun under Deng Xiaoping in 1978.
Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxung, was a major figure in Deng’s so-called “capitalist roader” faction. After Mao’s death and the coming to power of Deng, Xi senior was allocated the task of launching the first “Special Economic Zone” in Shenzhen during 1980, opening up the region as a cheap labour platform for foreign investment.
Because of his background, Xi is regarded as a “princeling”, the most hated social type in China today. Many children of former senior CCP leaders have accumulated huge fortunes by using their political connections to collude corruptly with the business world. Last year, an investigative report by Bloomberg found that Xi’s extended family owned at least $376 million in corporate assets.
The richest 90 NPC delegates are reportedly each worth an average of $US1.1 billion—making the NPC by the far the wealthiest “parliament” in the world. These billionaires backed Xi’s rise to power, including those who owed their fortunes to his free market policy in several coastal provinces during the 1990s and 2000s when he was a provincial party secretary. They are clearly confident that Xi will use his position as head of the military and the police state apparatus to defend their interests and suppress any opposition from the working class.
Xi’s foreign policy also represents the corporate interests of this social layer. Behind the criticisms by Chinese officials in recent years of the “unfair” global order led by the US, are the desires of this new elite to take a greater slice of the wealth owned by the Western bourgeoisie, rather than receive only small profit margins as cheap labour providers.
The “Chinese Dream” will quickly turn into a nightmare for the Chinese workers and small farmers. Xi’s more assertive diplomacy will only heighten the danger of war with Japan, and above all, the US. At home, pro-market restructuring will seek to make the wages of Chinese workers “competitive” with those in other cheap labour platforms, such as India and Vietnam, thus deepening their already unbearable poverty.
French government law increases worker exploitation
By Pierre Mabut
13 April 2013
On Tuesday, the French Socialist Party government obtained passage of an anti-worker parliamentary bill that attacks workplace rights, jobs and wages. The law passed with 250 deputies voting in favour and 26 voting against, including six Socialist Party (PS) deputies. The main bourgeois opposition UMP (Movement for a Popular Unity) abstained along with the Ecology Party, which is part of the government.
Falsely labelled the Security of Employment bill, it is better known as the flexibility of labour agreement based on an agreement between employers and unions on January 11. It is designed to make French industry more competitive on the world market by cutting labour costs, through greater exploitation and wage cuts. The French trade deficit reached €67.45 billion (US$88.5 billion) in 2012.
The agreement negotiated by the French Democratic Labour Confederation (CFDT), French Christian Labour Confederation (CFTC) and CGC (representing middle managers and technicians) handed the employers the right to introduce short-time working with the consequent reduction in wages and/or increase of the working week, with no wage adjustment for a period of up to two years. Workers can be instructed to move to other operating posts within factories or moved to other geographical locations on pain of being fired.
At the heart of the new law is an outright attack on the labour code, rendering workers’ rights and the obligations of employers contained in individual work contracts meaningless. President François Hollande has called it “a success for social dialogue”. The “success” for trade union functionaries is measured by several seats on the supervisory board of directors in companies of over 5,000 employees.
The General Labour Confederation (CGT), and the Force Ouvrière (Workers Force) unions mounted a day of national protests while the bill was being passed in the National Assembly. Few were called out on strike.
Rallies throughout the country attracted a small turnouts, with barely a few thousand showing up in Paris. Workers are becoming indifferent and contemptuous of militant talk from the unions while they implement the government’s austerity measures in practise.
A pathetic appeal by the CGT and FO, supported by the FSU public sector and Solidaire unions, was hoisted on a huge banner outside the National Assembly, which stated: “Ladies and gentlemen of parliament, do not vote for this unfair reform”. Within the context of the French Republic rocked by tax fraud scandals, and anger in the working class over job losses, this mild rebuke is tantamount to ongoing support for the PS government and to preventing its fall.
The statement by Force Ouvrière leader Jean-Claude Mailly the previous day about a probable total boycott by workers of the protest sought to blame workers for not taking to the streets. He claimed workers did not understand the dangers the new law posed for them, stating: “I do not say that tomorrow there will be hundreds of thousands of workers in the streets because these [laws] are complicated subjects”—in other words, too technical for workers to grasp.
The real reason for workers’ mistrust of the union bureaucracy is not hard to find. The previous protest by the CGT and FO against the “flexibility” law on March 5 attracted 200,000 throughout France, itself a low turnout. The next day, the FO national union bureaucracy agreed to a “competitive and flexibility” deal for all the Renault automobile plants. This involves a freeze on wages for 2013 and an increase of 6.5 percent in unpaid working time, plus 8,000 job losses.
Over 300 hundred workers at the PSA Peugeot Citroën plant at Aulnay have been on strike for three months against their layoffs, but the unions led by the CGT have consciously isolated their struggle, aided by the Lutte Ouvrière leader at the plant, Jean-Pierre Mercier.
The CGT leader Thierry Lepaon, close to the Stalinist French Communist Party, termed the Security of Employment law as “securing layoffs and not employment”. However, Lepaon’s remedy is even worse. At the CGT 50th congress in Toulouse last month, he heaped praise on US President Barack Obama and the US trade unions for “saving” jobs at General Motors and having seats on the board of directors since 2009. He viewed this as a positive effect of “state intervention”, which “our comrades at the Florange steel works didn’t have.” Lepaon knows the results of Obama’s intervention in the auto industry, with dozens of plant closures and tens of thousands of layoffs linked to 50 percent wage cuts for new hires. Lepaon’s speech in Toulouse got an 85.1 percent approval from congress delegates, which confirms the anti-working class nature of the unions.
The “opposition” of the CGT and FO to the government’s law on “flexibility” is the window dressing that hides its support for French capitalism and its Socialist Party government. While workers are coming to realise this line-up of forces against its interests, the pseudo-left parties of the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party) and Lutte Ouvrière, which supported the fraudulent protest of the CGT and FO, are the rotting pillars of the unions and government.
April 7th 2013
Aikamme kansannousut ja kapitalismi
Kansannousut Argentiinasta Etelä-Eurooppaan, Lähi-itään ja edelleen Latinalaiseen Amerikkaan – yksi sykli sulkeutuu ja uusi on orastamassa
Nykyinen kapitalismin maailmanlaajuinen kriisi teki tuloaan 1990 –luvun loppupuolella. Muutamassa vuodessa kriisi levisi epidemian tavoin ympäri maailmaa; Kaukoitä, Venäjä, Brasilia ja Argentiina. Samanaikaisesti puhkesi epävakautta poliittisella tasolla. Argentiinan vararikko johti kansannousuun, joka kaatoi viisi presidenttiä. Maassa vallitsi pitkään kansannousun jälkeen kaksoisvalta. Kansan toimesta esiintyi tehdasvaltauksia, markettien ”ryöstelyä” ja elintarvikkeiden jakoa. Työttömien piqueteros-liike valtasi valtateitä estääkseen sillä tavalla ulkomaankauppaa. Sen jälkeen kansainvälisen poliittisen ja taloudellisen tilanteen vaikutuksesta Kapitalismi Argentiinassa onnistui stabilisoitumaan muutamaksi vuodeksi. Kapitalismin maailmanlaajuiselta romahdukselta vältyttiin luomalla uusia kuplia ja fiktiivisiä arvoja taloudessa. Siihen vaikutti myös yhtäältä Kiina-ilmiö ja toisaalta Latinalaisessa Amerikassa sovelletut reformit.
Tänä päivänä Etelä-Euroopassa –muttei ainoastaan siellä– ollaan samassa tilassa, missä Argentiina oli 2000 –luvun alussa. Samanaikaisesti monet ilmaisimet kertovat, että Argentiinan kymmenen vuoden takaista konkurssia ei ole siivottu. Silloin jättivelkoihin hajonnut yhteiskunnan kudos hajoaa nyt uudelleen. Historian ivana ja paradoksina on otettava reformistisen vasemmiston vaatimus ottaa Euroopan maissakin käyttöön Argentiinan malli kriisistä poispääsemiseksi. Sopisi kysyä, mitkä olivat kansainvälisten olosuhteiden lisäksi paikalliset toimenpiteet, jotka vakaannuttivat Argentiinan, ja mitä ne tarkoittivat kansalle?
Kriisin puhjettua suljettiin välittömästi pankit muutamaksi päiväksi ja devalvoitiin rahan arvo niin että sen suhde dollariin 1:1 muuttui 1:3. Työttömyys räjähti käsiin ja maa julistautui maksukyvyttömäksi. Tämän sotkun jälkeen maailmanpankki ja sen kaltaiset suuret velkojat saivat kokonaisuudessaan rahansa takaisin.
Velkojista pienimmät saivat vain murusia, 30 prosenttia velkakirjojensa nimellisarvosta. Suurin osa lainoittajista (97%) suostui tähän järjestelyyn koska oli parempi saada vähän kuin ei mitään. Kourallinen hedge fund –rahastoista ei kuitenkaan suostunut parturointiin ja ne vaativat koko summan oikeuden kautta. Näin tapahtuu siitä huolimatta, että kyseiset rahastot olivat aikanaan ostaneet velkakirjojaan pilkkahintaan. Yksi niistä on NML Capital, jonka johdossa istuu USA:n republikaanisen presidenttiehdokkaan, Mitt Romneyn ystävä monimiljardööri Paul Singer.
2002-2012: yksi sykli sulkeutui. Uusi on orastamassa globaalikapinoiden dynamiikalla varustettuna
Marraskuussa newyorkilainen oikeusistunto tuomitsi Argentiinan valtion maksamaan NML Capital –rahastolle 1,3 miljardia dollaria. Tämä on pieni summa valtion 80 miljardin tai julkisen sektorin 190 miljardin dollarin velasta, mutta se on ennakkotapaus. USA on päättänyt hyökätä Argentiinaa vastaan silläkin hinnalla, että tämä menisi saman tien konkurssiin uudestaan. Enää ei pelätä, että kriisi voi siirtyä Yhdysvaltoihin, sillä se on jo siellä syvällä kansantalouden rakenteissa. Fich alensi Argentiinan luottoluokitusta viidellä pykälällä ja nyt maa on vain kahden askeleen päässä maksukyvyttömyystilasta ja uudesta vararikosta. Äskettäin Ghanassa pakkolunastettiin argentiinalainen laiva ilmeisesti amerikkalaisen hedge funds –rahaston ”käskystä”. Tämä on ehdottomasti vielä yksi merkki julistamattoman kauppasodan orastamisesta.
Kaadettuaan ja vaihdettuaan viisi presidenttiä vuoden sisällä, Argentiinan kansa lopulta valitsi Nestor Kirchnerin presidentiksi. Sen ajan vallitsevien olosuhteiden sisällä Kirchner onnistui muutamaksi vuodeksi vakauttamaan olosuhteet. Tähän vaikutti elintason pudottaminen, velan osittainen anteeksianto, eräiden energiayhtiöiden kansallistaminen ja Kiina-ilmiö, joka elvytti maailmanlaajuisesti globaalikapitalismia. Vasemmistoperonisti Nestor Kirchner hallitsi vuosina 2003-2007. Jo aikaisemmin koetun hallitsemattomuuden pelossa Kirchner päätti hallita maata kuin nykyinen Bonaparte. Vuonna 2007 Kirchner siirtyi vaimonsa tukijoukkoihin tavoitteenaan ottaa Putinin tavoin vastaan valtakapula vaimoltaan seuraavien vaalien jälkeen. Symbolinen sattuma on se, että ennen sitä Nestor ehti kuolla. Cristina –vaimo voitti toisen kerran vaalit 2011 ja pysyy muodollisesti vallassa vuoteen 2015 asti. Ensi vuoden parlamenttivaaleissa hän toivoo saavansa riittävän enemmistön taakseen (2/3 kansanedustajista) pystyäkseen Chavesin tavoin muuttamaan perustuslakia pystyäkseen osallistumaan vaaleihin kahta kertaa useammin.
Cristina takertuu valtaan niin kauan, kun hänen maansa työväenluokka ei kaada häntä. Prosessit tällaisen näköalan toteuttamiseksi häämöttävät jo tänään. Ensimmäinen onnistunut yleislakko kymmenen vuoden jälkeen on pidetty viime vuoden lopussa. Tähän asti Kirchneriä fanaattisesti tukeneet ammattiliitot olivat tällä kertaa Cristinan vastaisten barrikadien etulinjassa. Junat ja bussit jäivät kulkematta ja pankit pysyivät suljettuina. Roskat ”koristelivat” katuja ja sairaalat hoitivat vain hätätapauksia. Työssäoleva, työtön ja opiskeleva nuoriso olivat tulilinjalla. Taisteluiden mobilisoivana tekijänä toimii korkea inflaatio, joka virallisesti on 10 %, mutta todellisuudessa 25 prosentin luokkaa. Peson hinta virallisesti on 21/100 $:sta ja mustassa pörssissä alle 10 senttiä. Yhdistettynä tämä talouden ongelmien ratkaisemattomuuteen sekä globaaliin lamaan, on perusteltua ajatella, että uusi argentinazo on orastamassa; tällä kertaa muuallakin kuin Argentiinassa, koska kapitalismi on vararikon partaalla niin maailmanlaajuisesti kuin Latinalaisessa Amerikassakin.
Euroopassa EU:n toimet ovat kapitalismin saattohoitoa, eutanasiaa
Euroopan keskuspankin pääjohtaja Mario Draghi sanoo saksalaislehti Der Spiegelin haastattelussa, että euromaat voivat saada suvereniteettiaan takaisin vain syventämällä integraatiotaan. Hänen mukaansa useat maat eivät ymmärrä, että ne ovat jo menettäneet suvereniteettinsa kauan sitten (Taloussanomat 29.10.2012). Ristiriitaisia ovat myös BKT:ta laskevat leikkaukset, ja velan kasvu suhteessa BKT:seen, velan lyhentämisestä huolimatta. Merkel ehdottaa leikkausstrategioita koko EU:n alueelle 130 miljardia euroa vuosina 2013 – 2020.
Kapitalismin globaali systeemikriisi järisyttää viisi vuotta poliittisia järjestelmiä, kaataa hallituksia ja saa toisia umpikujaan. Liikehdintä kyseenalaistaa hallitsevan eliitin poliittista hegemoniaa, alkaen ensimmäiseksi Etelä-Euroopasta. Vallassa oleva eliitti ei voi jatkaa entisellä tavalla. Tämä asettaa objektiivisesti päiväjärjestykseen kysymyksen poliittisesta vallasta, siis siitä, että mitkä ovat ne voimat ja liittolaissuhteet, jotka voisivat saada yhteiskunnan pois umpikujasta? Kriisi maksatetaan ihmisjoukolla, joka ei suostu tähän rooliin. Iskut palautuvat kuin bumerangi horjuvan kapitalismin isännöitsijöille. Kreikka on silta Lähi-idän ja Euroopan liikehdinnän välillä.
Kapitalismia piinaavat myös uusliberalistisen ajan kansainväliset vitsaukset, eli fiktiivisen pääoman hillitön ja räjähdysmäinen kasvu. Viisi vuotta kriisin alkamisesta ja neljä Lehman Brothers–pankin konkurssista uusi jättiläiskupla on muodostunut ja uhkaa koska tahansa romuttaa järjestelmän raunioidensa alle. Uusi 500 biljoonan dollarin kupla jakautuu seuraavasti: 184 biljoonaa dollaria sijaitsee Euroopassa, 161 biljoonaa USA:ssa ja loput ympäri maailmaa. Ne ovat pankkijärjestelmän toimesta myytyjä johdannaisia. Kyse on uudesta fiktiivisen pääoman ”sukupolvesta”. Niiden summien takeeksi pankeissa on tallennettu vain 3,2 biljoonaa euroa todellista rahaa.
Kreikka pidetään hengissä, jotta Italia ja Espanja saisivat vielä vähän aikaa hengittää. Kreikassa kriisilääkkeet ovat tuplanneet valtiovelan sadan miljardin euron parturoinnista huolimatta. ”Tervehdyttävät uudistukset” ovat singonneet työttömyyden 26 ja nuorisotyöttömyyden 58 prosenttiin. Bruttokansantuote laskee joka vuosi useamman prosentin. Kuluneena vuonna bkt laski 7,2 prosenttia, mikä on euroalueen suurin pudotus. Tätä on jatkunut neljä vuotta. Liikkeitä suljetaan massiivisesti, sairaaloita ja kouluja suljetaan, asunnottomuus yleistyy, ihmisiä on vailla ruokaa ja lääkkeitä. Samanaikaisesti tämä on kulta-aikaa rikollisuudelle ja natsioikeiston nousulle. Kreikassa on humanitaarinen hätä.
Vuosi 2012 jää maailmanhistoriaan siitä, että yksi maa teki konkurssin kaksi kertaa vuoden sisällä – kerran helmikuussa ja toisen kerran joulukuussa – ja kolme kertaa 16 kuukauden sisällä. Viimeisessä konkurssissa S&P laski Kreikan luottoluokituksen ”selective default” pohjanoteeraukseen. Ensimmäinen konkurssi tuli vuonna 2011 sen seurauksena, että luvattu PSI (velanleikkuu yksityisiltä velkakirjojen omistajilta) ei toteutunut. Tämä tapahtui kesken hallituksen riemuitsemista, että tällä tavoin ”vältymme konkurssilta” ja ”laitamme tynnyrille pohjan”. Huolimatta kahdesta konkurssista ja velan osittaisesta anteeksiannosta, Kreikan valtiovelka ei edelleenkään ole kestävällä tasolla. Velan ja korkojen parturointi aiheuttaa suuria sosiaalisia ongelmia. Helmikuussa käynnistyivät CDS –vakuutuspaperit. Nyt vuorossa on troikan omistuksessakin olevien velkapapereiden parturointi (OSI = official sector involvement”). Se tapahtuu viimeistään Saksan vaalien jälkeen.
Toistaiseksi Kreikkaa tuetaan lainaamalla sille yli 50 miljardia €. Summa käytetään pankkien tukemiseen, jotta nämä ostaisivat vanhoja valtion velkakirjojaan takaisin. Valtio velkaantuu tässä prosessissa entisestään. Takaisinoston prosessissa velkakirjojen tarjonnan on oltava suuri, muuten niiden hinta karkaa käsistä. Tämä tekisi toisen yksityisten omistamien velkakirjojen parturoinnin välttämättömäksi (PSI-2 = private sector involvement). Siinä tapauksessa edessä on vielä yksi lisävararikko, järjestyksessä neljäs. Velanleikkuun yksityisiltä on tapahduttava vapaaehtoisella tasolla. Suuri kysymysmerkki tässä on miten saisi ”hedge funds” –rahastot suostumaan vapaaehtoisen parturoimiseen. Todennäköisesti siinä käy samalla tavalla kuin edellisenä kautena Argentiinassa. Näin ollaan samoissa kuopissa ajankohtana, jolloin Argentiina on palaamassa sinne takaisin.
Espanja on julistautumattomassa konkurssitilassa. Maalle annetaan avustuksia tipoittain toivossa, että tämä ei pyytäisi niitä ääneen. Mikäli päätettäisiin sovittaa Espanjalle Kreikan (2,7% euroalueen BKT:sta) pelastusoperaatioita, euroalue olisi historiaa. Jos Espanja on liian suuri pelastettavaksi, Italia on mahdotonta pelastaa. Pelkästään valtionvelkaa Italialla on lähes kaksi biljoonaa euroa (2000 miljardia), mikä on neljännes koko euroalueen velasta. Sen lisäksi Italia on euroalueen kolmanneksi suurin talous. Isku viimeksi mainittuihin kahteen maahan riippuu siitä, milloin markkinat päättävät nostaa korkoa tarjoamilleen lainoille. Se taasen usein riippuu pelkästään psykologisista syistä. Pankkivalvonta ja liittovaltioistuminen voivat lepyttää markkinoita joksikin lyhyeksi aikaa, mutta eivät ratkaise kapitalismin systeemiristiriitoja.
Aikamme liikehdintöjen alkuna ovat toimineet Kreikan joulukuun 2008 tapahtumat. Toista kuukautta kestänyt nuorisokapina näytti silloin hallitsevalle eliitille, ettei ole valmis asettamaan päätään vadille pääoman voittojen turvaamiseksi. Nyt neljä vuotta myöhemmin Kreikan poliittinen kenttä on hajalla, samaten kuin koko yhteiskunta. Taistelujen on vielä kohdistuttava äärioikeiston uhkaa vastaan. Nuorison liikehdintä ei voi yksin paljon saavuttaa, ilman että se löytää yhteissävelet työssä olevan ja työttömän kansan kanssa. Poliittinen yleislakko avaisi tietä sosialistisen vaihtoehdon ehdottamiselle. Myös Italiassa ja Espanjassa työväenluokka on näyttelemässä merkittävää roolia siinä, että tähänastinen vastarinta (esim. indignados liike) muuttuu hyökkäysliikkeeksi, aalloksi, jonka tavoite ei ole vain torjua taantumuksen pimeät projektit, vaan myös rakentaa yhteiskuntaa oman ohjelmansa pohjalta.
Arabikevään toinen erä
Laajasti arabimaailmassa levinneen vallankumouksen ensimmäinen vaihe alkoi vähän yli kaksi vuotta sitten. Sen puhkeaminen ja leviäminen säikäytti niin länsimaailmaa kuin sionismiakin. Se sai aikaan diktaattoreiden kaatamisia ja pakotti imperialismin liittoutumaan entisten vihollistensa, islamistien kanssa yhtäältä hillitäkseen massojen kansannousua ja toisaalta perustaakseen uusia tasapainoja alueella, jolla arabikevään jälkeen kaikki vanha status quo oli vaakalaudalla.
Mitä ensimmäinen vaihe ei onnistunut saavuttaa oli se, että diktaattoreiden mukana olisivat menneet myös diktatuurit. Ben Alin tilalle tuli islamistinen Ennahda –puolue ja Mubarakin tilalle muslimiveljeskunta. Libyassa imperialismi joutui turvautumaan al Qaidan apuun, ei Gaddafia vastaan vaan sitä uhannutta Tripolin kansaa vastaan. Bahrainissa ja Jemenissä vallankumous tukahdutettiin ja Syyriassa kaikki on vielä auki. Kapinoita käynnistäneet syyt ovat kuitenkin vielä ratkaisemattomia. Tämä pakottaa ihmisjoukkoja nousemaan uudestaan uusia hallitsijoita vastaan alkaen arabimaailman tärkeimmästä maasta, Egyptistä.
Ben Alin kaataminen Tunisiassa oli kaksi vuotta sitten suhteellisen helppoa. Jatkuvat mielenosoitukset pakottivat demaridiktaattorin ottamaan vaimonsa ja lähtemään muutaman kultaharkkotonnin kanssa Saudi- Arabiaan. Egyptissä islamistit nousivat valtaan vaaleilla kymmenen kuukautta vallankumouksen puhkeamisen jälkeen. Kairossa vallitsivat katutaistelut, Tahrir–aukion valtaus, loputon kyynelkaasuhyökkäys ja ammuskelut. Mubarakin väistyttyä, yhteiskunnassa vallitsi armeijan mielivalta ja odotus, että mielialat rauhoittuisivat. Vaaliuurnat julistivat muslimiveljeskunnan marginaalienemmistöllä voittajaksi. Veljeskunta ei osallistunut Mubarakin vastaiseen taisteluun, vaan vanhana ja järjestäytyneenä puolueena se tuli ”perimään kruunun” vanhalta ”viholliseltaan”.
Arabikevään ensimmäisen vaiheen aikana Libanonissa vallitsi näennäinen tyyneys. Samanlainen tilanne vallitsi Iranissa, jossa nähtiin shiialaisen Bahrainin kapinassa mahdollisuuksia päästä siellä olevasta amerikkalaisten tukikohdasta eroon. Hisbollah kannatti jopa suoremmin kansannousuja niin kauan kun nämä olivat omasta pihasta kauempana. Alussa kapinoita kannatti jopa Turkki, joka uusottomaanioppinsa mukaisesti, näki mahdollisuuden esiintyä alueellisia konflikteja sovittelevana hegemonisena voimana.
Libyassa länsimailla ei ollut varaa laittaa kaikkia munia ystävänsä Gaddafin korille. Tilanteeseen puututtiin sotilaallisesti tukeakseen omia Bengasin liittolaisia kaikkia muita vastaan. Israelin pyynnöstä samanlaista interventiota ei käytetty Syyriassa vaikka Assadin oman kansan teurastus oli paljon Gaddafin lahtausta pahempi. Vanhan Ariel Sharonin sanonnan mukaan, ”Assad is the devil we know – Assad on piru, jonka tunnemme”. Assadin seuraajat saattaisivat vaatia Golanin kukkulat takaisin. Pitkään kestänyt sisällissota tyrannia vastaan on aiheuttanut muutoksia voimasuhteissakin. Turkki tukee osaa kapinoitsijoista ja jopa osallistuu terroriin omalla armeijalla Syyrian rajojen sisällä. Se halua näin vaikuttaa tapauksessa, jossa voisi syntyä de facto itsenäinen kurdinalue Pohjois-Syyriassa ja -Irakissa. Iran tukee myös aseellisesti Assadia, sillä teokraattinen klikki siellä tietää, että al-Assadin jälkeen tulee omakin vuoro. Hisbollah on myös hiirenhiljaa, ja huolehtii vain siitä, että konflikti ei siirry omalle maalle.
Saudit ja Persianlahden valtiot tukevat rahallisesti ja aseellisesti islamistijärjestöjä. Bahrainin ja Jemenin teurastuksista vaienneet länsimaiden mediat korostavat Assadin murhia ja vaativat länsimaita puuttumaan konkreettisemmin tilanteeseen. Israel uhkaa pakottaa uusia tasapainoja väkipakolla. Sionismi haluaa eskaloida sotaa ympäri Lähi-itää. Siihen tarvitaan Yhdysvaltain apua. Samalla sionismi haluaa antaa viestin Mursia uhkaaville joukoille Egyptissä, ja Assadin tilalle tuleville syyrialaisille. Sionismin tavoitteisiin kuuluu myös kosto hisbollahille vuosien takaisesta Israelin tappiosta. Lopulta tähtäimessä on Jordanian kehdossaan orastava kapina, sekä sota Irania vastaan.
Obaman tuen lisäksi, Israel tarvitsee myös Turkin kaveruutta. USA:n valvonnan ulkopuolella olevat al Qaidan joukot Syyriassa voisivat olla lopullinen sisällissodan voittaja. Niin tai näin Venäjä joutuisi purkamaan tukikohtansa pois Syyriasta. Venäjän historiallinen ystävä Kypros on konkurssitilassa. Maata on kuritettu, kiristetty ja uhkailtu. Turkki kurkottelee Kyproksen kaasuesiintymiin, ja solmii rauhansopimuksen omien kurdien kanssa, mikä voi kääntää Turkin aggressiivisuuden lännen suuntaan. Kypros on selkä seinää vasten mm. sen vuoksi, ettei se uskaltaisi tarjota turvasatamaa venäläisille sotalaivoille Assadin kaatumisen jälkeen. Samanaikaisesti Obama matkusti Israeliin, jossa taivutti Netanjahua soittamaan Turkin pääministerille ja pyytämään häneltä anteeksi Mavi Marmara –laivan välikohtauksesta toukokuussa 2010. Israel lupasi vielä maksaa Turkille korvauksia siitä, että välikohtaus vaati kuolinuhreja.
Maaliskuusta elokuuhun 2011 niin USA kuin Erdoganin AKP yrittivät neuvoa Assadia, miten tämä voisi lepyttää kapinallisia. Turkin porvariston rooli Lähi-idässä on erittäin taantumuksellinen. Maa on rakentamassa sunnien akselin, joka koostuu Turkista, Saudi-Arabiasta ja Qatarista. Siihen on houkuteltu muslimiveljeskunta ja Hamas. Akseli vastustaa shiiamuslimien (Nasralla, Assad, Maliki ja Ahmadinejad) akselia, ja toimii vastapainona sille. Turkki rahoittaa, kouluttaa ja tukee Syyrian oppositiota. Tähtäimessä ei ole vain Assad, mutta samalla Rojava, itsenäinen Kurdistan Koillis-Syyriassa. Shiia-akseli näyttää anti-imperialistiselta ja antisionistiselta, mutta se pohjautuu kapitalismin perustalle ja siksi on mahdotonta tarjota omien kansalaistensa vaatimuksiin muuta kuin tukahduttamista. Neuvottelut Fatahin ja Hamasin välillä eivät ole edistyksellisiä, sikäli kun altistuvat imperialismin manöövereihin. Alueella on taisteltava vasemmistolaisesta vaihtoehdosta, siis imperialismin ja sionismin vastaisesta ei-uskonnollisesta linjasta. Rojavan valtio on tunnustettava heti.
Kaikki tasapainot Lähi-idässä ovat edelleenkin järkkyneitä. Uudet vallanpitäjät (islamistit) eivät pystyneet perustamaan uutta stabiliteettia. Arabikevään toinen vaihe on jo puhjennut Egyptissä ja pian leviää kaikkialle arabimaailmassa. Vastakkain siinä tällä kertaa ovat maallistunut työväenluokka ja lännen tukema islamismi. Tämän kädenväännön tuloksesta riippuu arabikevään jatkoprosessit ja jopa lopullinen kohtalo. On syytä uskoa, että niin kauan kun ensimmäiseen vaiheeseen johtaneet syyt on ratkaisematta, ihmiset eivät lakkaa taistelemasta. Menetettävää on vain sillä, joka ei taistele. Tämä pätee samalla tavalla Lähi-idässa, Etelä-Euroopassa tai Latinalaisessa Amerikassa. Syyt kapinoiden taustalla ovat kaikkialla samat. Kapitalismin globaali luonne huolehtii siitä, että historiallinen vastustajansakin taistelee globaalilla tasolla; jopa samanaikaisesti joka paikassa. Syiksi voi mainita: yhä kasvava työttömyys, elintarvikkeiden kallis hinta, polttoainepula, korruptio ja epäluottamus kaikkia vanhoja vallanpitäjiä kohtaan.
Jatkuvat taloudelliset ja poliittiset kriisit johtuvat kapitalismin haaksirikosta tämän ollessa rappiovaiheessa. Kaksi vuosikymmentä Neuvostoliiton luhistumisen ja kapitalismin restauroimisen jälkeen, sekä Kiinan integroiduttua maailman markkinoihin, euroalueen hajoamisen riski ja kriisi Yhdysvalloissa uhkaavat kapitalismin olemassaoloa maailmanlaajuisesti. Euroopassa harjoitetaan ankaraa matokuuria, kurjistuminen yleistyy muuallakin kuin eteläisellä osalla. Yhdysvaltain talous on jyrkänteen reunalla ja tämä tietää uusia kapinoita ja kansannousuja ei vain periferiassa vaan kapitalismin sydämessä. Tästä hallitseva luokka on hyvin tietoinen. Kaikkien imperialismin interventioiden taustalla on kuvio siitä, että ohessa kuvailtu näköala toteutuu pian.
Kaikki yhteiskunnalliset valtaluokat potevat hallitsemiskyvyttömyyden tautia. Reilun kahden vuoden aikana kapinat ovat kaataneet 26 hallitusta ja kokonaisia järjestelmiä. Kapitalismin hajoamisen tendenssi on tämän kriisin olemuksen ytimessä. Olennainen osa tästä todellisuudesta on se, että massat yhä enemmän omaksuvat offensiivisia asenteita opettelemalla tällä tavalla toimimaan historian subjektina. Argentiinan ensimmäisen kapinan yhteydessä kapitalismia pelastanut Kiina on nyt osa kriisiä. Sen vuoksi Kiinassa kapinoita puhkeaa kuin sieniä sateella, tuhansia joka vuosi.
Kriisin universaalisuus ja opetukset jatkuvista kapinoista antavat toivon ja optimismin, että ihmisjoukot onnistuvat rakentamaan tarvittavat vallankumoukselliset mekanismit onnistuakseen toimimaan kapitalismin ja koko epäinhimillisen luokkayhteiskunnan haudankaivajina.
- Dimitris Mizaras -
Kirjoitettu: Apr 7, 2013