Month: December, 2017
Dimitris Koutsoumbas: We draw conclusions, we become stronger – ДИМИТРИС КУЦУМБАС (КПГ): ИЗВЛЕКАЕМ УРОКИ, СТАНОВИМСЯ СИЛЬНЕЕ

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dimitris Koutsoumbas: We draw conclusions, we become stronger – ДИМИТРИС КУЦУМБАС (КПГ): ИЗВЛЕКАЕМ УРОКИ, СТАНОВИМСЯ СИЛЬНЕЕ
It is with particular joy that I address via the pages of the historical newspaper “Sovetskaya Rossiya” the workers of Russia, of the country where the “ice broke”, as Lenin said, where “the way has been shown” as regards the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the construction of the new socialist-communist society. 
The consequences of the counterrevolution and the overthrow of socialism did not cloud the eyes, mind and judgment of the communists of Greece, the KKE. Indeed on the 28th of December 1991, a few hours after the red flag was taken down from the Kremlin, Rizospastis, the journalistic organ of the CC of the KKE, wrote on its historic front page: “Comrades, hold the flag high! Hope is to be found in the struggles of the peoples”! 
In 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, was marked by the multifaceted activity of our party. Our party is one of the fruits of the revolutionary flame of October. 
In our country hundreds of significant political and cultural activities in honour of the Socialist Revolution were carried out. 
At the same time, we sought through our political and ideological activity, as well as our activity inside the trade unions and other mass popular organizations, defending the just cause of the working class, the other poor strata against the anti-people political line, to highlight the need for workers’ power, which is the only real alternative to capitalist barbarity. 
The communists of Greece fought to organize the struggle of the working class against the bourgeois government of the “new” social-democracy SYRiZA, which governs for the last 3 years with the support if a rightwing party, ANEL and with the backing of the EU, NATO, USA. 
In difficult conditions of high unemployment caused by the capitalist crisis, the intensification of employer intimidation in the workplaces, government-state repression and undermining of the right to strike, the communists strived as best they could to organize major workers’ struggles, demonstrations, nationwide strikes. 
This struggle, beyond the various gains achieved by the workers in some sectors, such as in construction, in shipbuilding and repair and elsewhere, further strengthened the positions of the communists, of the class-oriented forces as a whole that struggle in the ranks of the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME).The class-oriented forces won over new forces. Today it is the second force in the trade union movement and the best organized. 
In addition, the communists also actively mobilize amongst the poor farmers, who in 2017 had blocked the country’s highways at 100 points for 40 days, struggling against the political line of the government and EU, which is driving them to ruin. 
The same is true as regards the struggles of the petty bourgeois urban strata, the self-employed, and also the struggles of the women and youth with a working class-popular background. 
It is no accident that KNE over the last 4 years has won the second position nationally in the elections for the student unions, with over 20%. 
The communists, either in the Greek Parliament (the KKE has 15 MPs), or in the European Parliament (where we have 2 MEPs), or in the ranks of the thousands of people who have demonstrated many times for the workers’-people’s rights, as well as outside the NATO bases and command centres, with a consistent stance against imperialist wars, against Greece’s participation in them, against the transformation of our country into a launching pad for the promotion of the plans of the USA, NATO, EU in the Middle East, in Africa, in Ukraine, in the Black Sea and elsewhere. They took a position in favour of the country’s disengagement from the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU, from all imperialist alliances, something that can only be guaranteed by workers’ governance in Greece. Just as only workers’ power can put an end to the anti-worker anti-people measures, socializing the means of production, with scientific planning of the economy and workers’ control. 
The 20th Congress of our party, which was held at the end of March 2017, engaged with question of how our party will become more effective in its activity. We set the bar even higher at this Congress. We set as an immediate task the strengthening of the KKE so that our party becomes more capable as a party of social revolution to realize its historical vanguard role. A party capable of leading the struggle of the working class and the entire people for the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement, the promotion of the Social Alliance in an anti-capitalist anti-monopoly direction, against imperialist wars, for workers’ power. 
Because we know very well that the October Revolution was not an “accident of history” or a “disastrous coup” of the Bolsheviks, as the bourgeois say and write, or an “immature and premature” revolution as every kind of renegade, opportunist and adventurist says and writes. 
The October Revolution was a climactic world-historic event which signaled the beginning of an era in which the working class became the protagonist in the developments and pushed the wheel of history forwards, taking power and organizing new socialist communist relations of production, reshaping society as a whole. 
This assessment is also valid today when we see capitalism in its imperialist stage dominant globally, as whatever socialist relations survive in some countries are remnants of the first attempt to construct socialism that began in 1917 and continued in various countries throughout the 20th century. 
However, socialism continues to be as timely and necessary as ever in the history of humanity. And this, like the socialist character of the revolution in our era, does not depend on the contingent correlation of forces, but it emerges from the impasses of capitalism, the fact that the material preconditions for the passage to a new society have matured. 
Today the inter-imperialist antagonisms have sharpened even further. The major contradictions over the division of the markets, the control of the natural resources, the transport routes for energy and commodities, geopolitical control. New alliances and blocs of forces are being created, increasing the danger of military conflicts. 
In the framework of these conflicts, the international communist movement, each communist party must form its own line of battle. A line for the overthrow of the imperialist barbarity that brings economic crises, poverty, unemployment and wars or “peace” with a gun to the people’s head. And this must be done by studying historical experience, rejecting mistaken analyses of previous decades that led revolutionary forces in society to passivity, ineffectiveness and confusion. 
As the experience of October and the entire course of the revolutionary labour movement internationally demonstrated, there is no room for any cooperation-alliance with the bourgeois class as a whole or any of its sections in the name of defending bourgeois democracy, of “humanizing capitalism”, of some intermediate stage to socialism or with the argument of avoiding some “extreme pro-war forces”. 
The bourgeoisie and the bourgeois power undermine and suppress workers’ and people’s rights, achievements. In their “peaceful conditions” they prepare wars. Τhe consolidation of the anti-capitalist-antimonopoly struggle, of the struggle for socialism requires the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers and the self-employed craftsmen. 
The line of social democracy since the beginning of the previous century until today has completely failed, it has caused great damage, it led to the defeat of the revolutionary communist movement, it assimilated working masses in the capitalist exploitative system; it led militant, progressive forces in favour of social development to be disarmed. This, like the irreplaceable role of the CP emerges from our theory, which is Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. 
Socialist construction as the first immature phase of the communist society highlighted the scientific laws that the revolutionary vanguard must be aware of and not violate so as to eradicate consciously and methodically the seeds of counterrevolution. More specifically, the theory and practical implementation of “market socialism” is disastrous for socialist construction, something that happened gradually in the USSR via the opportunist sliding over a period of time beginning in 1956 and violently manifesting itself in 1991, with the complete dissolution of the USSR and CPSU. 
Historical experience has demonstrated that the problems that arose in the course of socialist construction were mistakenly interpreted as inherent weaknesses of central planning. The solution was sought in the expansion of market, which was a step backwards, instead of taking a step forward expanding and strengthening the socialist-communist relations of production. 
Today, drawing the correct conclusions from our history, we become stronger. We are better ideologically and politically equipped for the class battles that we are waging and we will wage in the future. Our weapon is proletarian internationalism, our joint struggle, our class and comradely solidarity which is necessary against national isolationism and imperialist cosmopolitanism. 
The KKE, which in 2018 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation, will follow the CPRF in hosting the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties . We will seek with the 20th International Meeting that will be held in Athens, as well as with other forms, to contribute so that the international communist movement, which today is divided and faces major difficulties, to take steps towards its revolutionary regroupment, because this is its only positive prospect. 
We wish the readers of “Sovetskaya Rossiya” health and strength for the new struggles of 2018. Our future is not capitalism, but the new world of socialist revolutions, of socialist-communist construction. 
Best wishes to all!
Published 28/12/2017.
* * * 
Я с особой радостью обращаюсь со страниц исторической газеты «Советская Россия» к трудящимся России – страны, которая сломала лед, как говорил Ленин, показала дорогу революционного свержения капитализма и строительства нового, социалистического-коммунистического общества.
То, что произошло в результате контрреволюционных процессов, не затмило глаза, ум коммунистов Греции, Коммунистической партии Греции. 
Даже в день, когда спускался красный флаг над Кремлем, 28 декабря 1991 года, на первой странице «Ризоспастиса» – печатного органа ЦК КПГ, был напечатан призыв: «Товарищи, выше флаг! Надежда – в борьбе народов!» 
2017 год – год 100-летия Великой Октябрьской социалистической революции – вооружил нашу партию богатым опытом деятельности. Наша партия также является плодом революционного пламени Октября. 
В нашей стране были проведены сотни важных политических и культурных мероприятий в честь Социалистической революции.
В то же время мы старались с помощью нашей идеологической и политической деятельности, деятельности в профсоюзах и других массовых народных организациях, защищая права рабочего класса, других бедных слоев населения от антинародной политики, показать необходимость завоевания власти трудящимися, которая является единственной реальной противостоящей силой капиталистическому варварству. 
Коммунисты Греции организовали борьбу рабочего класса против «нового» социал-демократического буржуазного правительства СИРИЗА, которое находится у власти 3 года в коалиции с правой партией АНЭЛ, имея поддержку капитала, ЕС, НАТО, США. 
В сложных условиях сохраняющейся высокой безработицы, вызванной капиталистическим кризисом, когда усиливаются работодательский террор на рабочих местах, репрессии со стороны государства и правительства и ущемляются права на забастовку, коммунисты отдают все свои силы для организации борьбы трудящихся, акций протеста, забастовок во всегреческом масштабе. 
Эта борьба, помимо отдельных успехов, достигнутых трудящимися в некоторых отраслях (строительной, судостроительной и др.), еще больше укрепила позиции коммунистов, в целом классовых сил, борющихся в рядах Всегреческого боевого фронта (ПАМЕ). Классовые силы окрепли. Сегодня они являются второй силой в профсоюзном движении и самыми хорошо организованными. 
Кроме того, коммунисты также активно действуют среди бедных крестьян, которые в 2017 году в течение 40 дней перекрывали центральные автомагистрали страны в 100 точках, выступая против политики правительства и ЕС, ведущей их к разорению. 
Такую же работу ведут коммунисты, участвуя в борьбе средних слоев населения города, самозанятых, а также женщин и молодежи из рабочего класса. 
Неслучайно Коммунистическая молодежь Греции в последние 4 года занимает второе место и набирает более чем 20% во всей стране на выборах в студенческих профсоюзах. 
Коммунисты, находясь в парламенте Греции (КПГ насчитывает 15 депутатов), в Европейском парламенте (имеет 2 евродепутатов) или в рядах демонстрантов, неоднократно протестующих против ущемления прав народа, а также у стен натовских военных баз и штабов, последовательно выступали против империалистических войн, против участия Греции в них, против превращения нашей страны в плацдарм для продвижения планов США, НАТО, ЕС на Ближнем Востоке, в Африке, на Украине, в Черном море и в других регионах. Они выступают за выход страны из империалистических союзов – НАТО и ЕС, из любого другого империалистического союза, а это может гарантировать только рабочее правление в Греции. Только рабочая власть может гарантировать, что обобществление средств производства, централизованное планирование и рабочий контроль могут стать «надгробным камнем» для антирабочих, антинародных мер. 
Вопрос о том, как сделать деятельность нашей партии более результативной, также рассматривался на состоявшемся в марте 2017 года XX съезде КПГ, на котором мы подняли планку еще выше. Мы поставили перед собой задачу укрепить КПГ, чтобы наша партия как партия социального низвержения стала способной выполнить свою историческую, авангардную роль. Чтобы она была способна возглавить борьбу рабочего класса и всего народа за реорганизацию рабочего профсоюзного движения, развитие социального союза в антикапиталистическом, антимонополистическом направлении, против империалистической войны, за рабочую власть. 
Нам очень хорошо известно, что Октябрьская революция не была ни драмой истории, ни переворотом большевиков, как говорит и пишет буржуазия, не была ни незрелой, ни преждевременной, как говорят и пишут всевозможные ренегаты, оппортунисты-авантюристы.
Октябрьская революция явилась вершинным, всемирно-историческим событием, ознаменовавшим начало новой эпохи, в которой рабочий класс стал главным героем событий и повернул колесо истории, захватив власть и установив новые коммунистические производственные отношения, изменив все общество. 
Эта оценка и сегодня соответствует действительности, мы видим, что капитализм, находящийся на империалистической стадии, господствует во всем мире, так как социалистические отношения, сохраняющиеся еще в некоторых странах, являются всего лишь остатками первой попытки социалистического строительства, которое началось в 1917 году и продолжалось в различных странах на протяжении всего XX века. 
Впрочем, социализм продолжает оставаться актуальным и необходимым как никогда в истории человечества. Необходимость и актуальность социализма, социалистический характер революции не зависят от расклада сил в определенный момент, а вытекают из тупиков капиталистического способа производства, из того факта, что созрели материальные предпосылки для перехода к новому обществу. 
Сегодня обостряются межимпериалистические противоречия: большие противоречия вокруг раздела рынков, контроля над природными ресурсами, путями транспортировки энергии и товаров, геополитического контроля. Создаются новые союзы и блоки держав, приводящие к созданию коалиций и антикоалиций, растет угроза военных конфликтов.
Международное коммунистическое движение и каждая компартия в частности не должны бездействовать в этих столкновениях. Они должны разработать собственную линию борьбы. Линию на свержение империалистического варварства, приводящего к экономическим кризисам, бедности, безработице, войнам или к «миру» с пистолетом у виска народов. Это должно произойти при исследовании исторического опыта, сознательном отказе от ошибочных разработок предыдущих десятилетий, которые, помимо безрезультатности, привели революционные силы общества к разоружению и большему бездействию.
Как, впрочем, показал и опыт Октября, а также весь ход мирового революционного рабочего движения, уже нет места для сотрудничества, для союза с буржуазией в целом или с какой-то ее частью во имя защиты буржуазной демократии или «очеловечивания» капитализма, во имя некой промежуточной стадии между капитализмом и социализмом или во избежание некоторых сил, которые ратуют за войну.
Буржуазия и ее власть подрывают и ущемляют права трудящихся, народа, лишают народ завоеваний, готовят войны, подписывая «мирные договоры». Союз рабочего класса с бедным крестьянством и самозанятыми производителями является перспективой для усиления антикапиталистической, антимонополистической борьбы, за социализм. 
Линия социал-демократии с начала прошлого века и до наших дней потерпела фиаско, причинила большой вред, привела к поражению революционное коммунистическое движение, способствовала приспособлению рабочих к капиталистической эксплуататорской системе, разоружила боевые, прогрессивные силы социального развития. Вот почему коммунисты на вопрос: «Реформа или революция?» – отвечают «Революция», так как ни один орган буржуазной власти не может стать гуманным. Это, как и незаменимая роль компартии, вытекает из нашей теории – из марксизма-ленинизма и пролетарского интернационализма. 
Строительство социализма как первой незрелой фазы коммунистического общества показало, какие закономерности должен знать революционный авангард и не нарушать их, чтобы искоренять сознательно и планомерно ростки контрреволюции. Более конкретно – пагубной для социалистического строительства является теория и практика «рыночного социализма». Все это внедрилось в СССР постепенно, посредством медленного скатывания к оппортунизму, начиная с 1956 года, и его последствия резко проявились в 1991 году и ознаменовались окончательным распадом СССР и КПСС. 
Исторический опыт показывает нам, что проблемы, возникшие в процессе социалистического строительства, ошибочно трактовались как недостатки централизованного планирования. Решение искали в возврате назад, в расширении рынка, а не в движении вперед, в расширении и укреплении социалистических, коммунистических производственных отношений. 
Сегодня, делая правильные выводы из нашей истории, мы становимся более сильными. Лучше вооружаемся идеологически и политически для ведения классовой борьбы сегодня и в будущем. 
Наше оружие – пролетарский интернационализм, наша общая борьба, классовая и товарищеская солидарность, необходимая против национальной изоляции и против империалистического космополитизма. 
KПГ, которая в 2018 году отметит свой 100-летний юбилей, получила после КПРФ право на проведение следующей Международной встречи коммунистических и рабочих партий. Мы постараемся, чтобы 20-я Международная встреча, которая состоится в Афинах, а также другие виды деятельности внесли вклад в развитие международного коммунистического движения, которое сегодня является раздробленным и сталкивается с большими трудностями, чтобы оно сделало шаги в направлении революционной реорганизации, так как только в этом перспективы его развития. 
Желаем читателям «Советской России» здоровья и боевых успехов в 2018. Наше будущее – не капитализм, а новый мир социалистических революций и строительства социалистического, коммунистического общества. 
Я желаю всем хорошего Нового года!
Опубликована 28.12.2017 -
59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution: Message of the CC of the KKE to the Communist Party of Cuba
worker | December 29, 2017 | 7:51 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Communist Party of Cuba, Cuba, Donald Trump, Imperialism, USSR | Comments closed

Friday, December 29, 2017

59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution: Message of the CC of the KKE to the Communist Party of Cuba
On the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) send to the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) the following message:
Athens, 29 December 2017.
Dear comrades,
we are delivering to you our comradely regards for the 59th anniversary of the victory of the Revolution in Cuba which created the first free territory in the american continent, liberated from imperialist repression and capitalist exploitation.
The KKE over time has practically expressed its internationalist solidarity with the Revolution and the people of Cuba. We condemn the measures and the anti-cuban rhetoric of the Trump government and criticize the insidious undermining policy of the EU. We support the struggle of your people for the removal of the criminal blockade of the USA, for the closure of the american base of Guantanamo, for the respect of the cuban people’s sovereign right to determine its own future.
Cuba, with the benefit of socialist construction, the aid of the USSR and the socialist countries and the internationalist solidarity of the world’s people, resisted the attacks of imperialism, having unprecedented achievements by the standards of the region’s countries and beyond.
The victory of the Cuban Revolution consisted a source of inspiration for the oppressed of the whole world. It confirmed the viability of marxism-leninism, of the revolutionary struggle and proletarian internationalism against defeatism and subjection to the negative correlation of force, against parliamentary and reformist illusions which were tormenting the labour movement. It (Cuban Revolution) will always remain in the heart of the working class and the people who are struggling for their liberation from capitalist exploitation and imperialist barbarity.
The Central Committee of the KKE”.
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
Economic Nationalism: What It Means
worker | December 28, 2017 | 7:31 pm | Analysis, Economy | Comments closed

– from Greg Godels is available at:

Economic Nationalism: What it Means

In the throes of the 2007-2008 economic collapse, I projected that the global economy would be irrevocably and qualitatively marred by the unfolding events. I foresaw a shift in the structure of international relations, a shift away from the so-called “globalization” interlude. Writing in November of 2008:

The economic crisis has reversed the post-Soviet process of international integration – so-called “globalization.” As with the Great Depression, the economic crisis strikes different economies in different ways. Despite efforts to integrate the world economies, the international division of labor and the differing levels of development foreclose a unified solution to economic distress. The weak efforts at joint action, the conferences, the summits, etc. cannot succeed simply because every nation has different interests and problems, a condition that will only become more acute as the crisis mounts.
A crisis of the severity of 2007-2008 understandably challenges some earlier verities, but more importantly, it renders some economic roads now impassable. My view was that the era of completely open, free, and secure international exchange fueling dramatic growth in trade was not a new stage of capitalism– as many wished to argue– but a phase created by politically contingent factors and spurred by the intensified international competition of the last thirty years of the twentieth century. Moreover, that phase– unhelpfully called “globalization”– was both fortuitous and disastrous for the fate of capitalism. I elaborated on this further in April of 2009:
To simplify greatly, a healthy, expanding capitalist order tends to promote intervals of global cooperation – enforced by a hegemonic power – and trade expansion, while a wounded, shrinking capitalist order tends towards autarky and economic nationalism. The Great Depression was a clear example of heightened nationalism and economic self-absorption. Most commentators acknowledge this fact, but attribute it to the predilections of national leaders. It was said that Roosevelt “sabotaged” the London Economic Conference, for example. Earlier, he said: “Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound economy.” It is my contention, and I believe essential to a Marxist understanding, that Roosevelt’s reaction was an expression of the logic of capitalism under stress; the structural development that led to intense nationalism throughout Europe, especially in Germany and Italy, and ultimately to war.
The stress of the 2007-2008 economic collapse created “centrifugal forces,” forces pulling apart the institutions, the regulations, and the commitment to an open, unified, and universal global marketplace. In its place would come a growing national partisanship, a commitment to winning-against-adversaries, rather than partnership. This process of “de-globalizing,” of going it alone would gain against both the process and ideology of economic integration.
I believe these projections have been borne out. My February, 2017 article New Developments in Political Economy: The Demise of “Globalization”, makes the case that the trade internationalism of the post-Soviet era is in profound decline. Moreover, emergent and growing nationalism enjoys its vitality from the reaction to the failure of the global order. Events in the months since the article appear only to underscore that claim.
Rising Economic Nationalism
President Trump has substantially called the World Trade Organization (WTO) irrelevant to US trade policies. But skepticism about the WTO precedes his political rise as a nationalist. The once heralded WTO Doha (Doha Development Agenda) was mired in dispute and ineffectiveness from its inception in 2001 and especially after 2008. The annual number of WTO trade disputes has more than doubled since 2008 even though trade growth has been tepid (below global GDP growth for the last 3 years), a sure sign of growing protectionist sentiments. The recent December 10-13 meeting of the WTO was largely a failure. “The trade body’s 164 members didn’t reach full consensus on any of the major objectives it had set itself before the meeting,” in the words of Bloomberg’s Bryce Baschuk and Charlie Devereux, with the EU blaming failure on “destructive behavior by several large countries.”
But the European Union (EU) is itself enduring a burst of economic nationalism. While the popular press and liberal pundits stress the role of xenophobia in Brexit, the economic ills that fueled the growth of nationalism in the UK vote against EU membership are largely neglected. Also, the breadth of the rejection of open market policies throughout the EU are largely missed.
A recent The Wall Street Journal article (12-14-17) affirms my projections made in 2008 and 2009 for the EU:
The financial crisis that erupted in 2008 caused a drop in trade between EU countries, with little rebound since beyond precrisis levels. As Europe’s swoon dragged on, many politicians strove to prop up their economies with fixes that prioritized domestic markets over the EU. (The EU, a Disciple of Free Trade, is Erecting Barriers)
The WSJ author, Valentina Pop, choses the example of Emmanuel Macron, the new French President, to highlight the trend in the EU. Macron ran for office as a passionate advocate for Europeanism and free markets. Nonetheless, he nationalized a shipyard to block its purchase by an Italian firm, he supports limiting foreign employment, and he “gutted” dairy imports from EU countries. Further evidence for the retreat from border-free markets and the embrace of nationalism comes from the growth of trade barriers: legal actions against violators of the EU market openness more than tripled last year.
Earlier this year, the European commission moved legally against Romania and Hungary and, in June, against Poland over economic disputes.
Nothing shows the fraying of the one-global-market consensus and the turn to economic nationalism more than the dispute escalating between the US and Canada and waged though their corporate surrogates, Bombardier and Boeing. Boeing lodged a complaint against Canadian aircraft firm Bombardier with the US Commerce Department. With typical US arrogance, Commerce slapped a 300% tariff on Bombardier planes sold in the US.
Indignantly, the Canadian government cancelled its plan to purchase $5.2 billion of new Boeing fighters to supplement its existing Boeing fighter jets. Instead, it will accept bids in 2019 for a purchase of 88 new fighters, but with the pointed caveat that any bidder causing injury to Canada’s interests would be disadvantaged, a not very subtle slap at Boeing.
Further, as Canada grows increasingly unhappy with renegotiations over NAFTA, the government has turned to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to craft an alternative free-trade agreement (Canadian merchandise exports to the PRC have more than doubled since 2007). Clearly, one of history’s oldest and most intimate trading partnerships is under increasing stress from economic nationalism.
Elsewhere, I have demonstrated the qualitative changes in global energy markets, along with the dramatic intensification of competition and associated hostilities. The shifting energy alliances, the swings in market share, and the political instabilities that are commonplace have spurred the turn to economic nationalism.
What does it Mean?
The hasty conclusion that expansion of global markets along with universal homage to a new global community constituted an irreversible change in capitalist relations is now thoroughly discredited by the realities of imperialist aggression and economic crisis. In fact, the “globalization” moment coincided with the vast inclusion of new economies – the former socialist community – and the absolute hegemony of a capitalist power – the US. History has known other moments, but theorists – including many on the left – were too awed by capitalist triumphalism, drawn to knee jerk anti-Communism, and desirous of facile answers to recognize this continuity with the logic of state-monopoly capitalism. Well before World War I, a similar moment occurred with the massive expansion of markets under the global hegemony of the British Empire, a period followed by economic decline spurring extreme nationalism.
As I stress in the above passage, written in 2009, the normal course of global economic relations in the era of state monopoly capitalism is intense competition, pressure on profitability, accumulation crises, rising nationalism, and conflict. This is the norm in the age of imperialism. This is the logic of late capitalism.
Appearances may suggest to some a different narrative– enduring prosperity in the mid-twentieth century, peace guaranteed by economic internationalism at the turn of the new century– but the reality is different, far different. Reality is imposed by crisis. And the upheaval of 2007-2008 exposed the reality of fierce competition and national self-interest.
For some, the rise of nationalism is strictly a political phenomenon anchored in demagogy and ignorance; they see no linkage with the course of capitalism. But the economic base for this phenomenon cannot be denied. Liberal markets produced the crisis and the resulting human suffering sparked a political response.
And ruling classes, faced with pressure on profits from increasingly desperate and cut-throat competition in the unprecedented slow-growth recovery, are inexorably driven towards economic nationalism. While economic nationalism is a natural fit with the far right’s ultra-patriotism, it attracts centrist forces as well. Elements of the US trade union movement and Democratic industrial state politicians have warmed to economic nationalism since the days of bashing Japanese imports. Liberal Senators like Sherrod Brown have quietly worked with President Trump around overturning trade deals like NAFTA– “strange bedfellows” in the words of The Wall Street Journal.
We do not have to press the parallel too hard to recognize that the economic nationalism of today threatens to spark disastrous wars, as did the rabid economic nationalism of the European powers in the prelude to World War I (and World War II). As in both eras, hostility and tensions are smoldering. And as in that era, war promises to follow, with devastation well beyond the comprehension of a complacent, self-absorbed population. The threat of general war, nuclear war, is possibly greater than any time in my lifetime, excepting the early Cold War years of General Curtis “Dr. Strangelove” LeMay and the US nuclear monopoly.
While extreme right nationalism is a serious political danger, the rise of economic nationalism, a growing policy consensus with capitalist rulers, threatens the very existence of millions, if not the planet.
Greg Godels
Comment by the KKE on Macedonia name dispute: “An end must be put to the irredentist propaganda”
worker | December 28, 2017 | 7:18 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Syriza | Comments closed

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Comment by the KKE on Macedonia name dispute: “An end must be put to the irredentist propaganda”
Commenting on the recent revival of the public discussion* concerning the name dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece said the following:
“The revival of the nomenclature for the Skopje issue and the political-point aspirations developed by all sides, must not hide that a basic common pursuit, both of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and the other parties, is that the solution (whatever it is) must be linked to the accession of the neighboring country to NATO and the EU, which were and continue being the basic factors of instability, wars and border-changing in the Balkans and the broader region. 
The KKE, contrary to the other parties including SYRIZA – formerly Synaspismos which was participating in the nationalist demonstrations- is the only party which, for years, has a clear position: In a negotiation seeking a commonly accepted solution, the inclusion, in any way, of the name “Macedonia” and any derivatives of it, must be accepted only as a geographic designation. An end must be put to the irredendist propaganda and a common recognition of the inviolability of the borders, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the two parties.”
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
* News article by the bourgeois (right-wing) “Kathimerini” newspaper.
Behind Hollywood’s glamour: Shocking images of poverty and homelessness in downtown Los Angeles
worker | December 27, 2017 | 7:41 pm | Poverty in the USA | Comments closed

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Behind Hollywood’s glamour: Shocking images of poverty and homelessness in downtown Los Angeles
Tents of homeless people in
downtown Los Angeles, California.
  • Capitalism Exposed in L.A. 
  • What lies behind the glamorous showcase of the United States’ second largest city?  
  • Rubbish bags piled up by the pavements and littered across streets. Tents erected in clusters where people have camped down for the night. Dozens of directionless residents congregating by the roadside and wandering into the road.  
  • This is what Christmas Day looked like for thousands of homeless people in the dark and dingy underbelly of Downtown Los Angeles this year.  
  • Shot on 5th Street, 6th Steet and San Pedro in the Skid Row district, a video captures life in one of the city’s most notorious homeless hotspots. This area of LA’s central business zone is considered to be one of the most dangerous places to live in the city. Rubbish bags litter the streets and tents have been erected to shelter residents – including women and children.
  • Rising cost of living in California is also forcing middle class residents to live in their cars in affluent areas. A lucky few will find food and somewhere warm to sleep at shelters and rescue missions. But many are left to navigate the industrial sprawl and smoke alone.
  • Watch the video:


Party of Labour of Austria: The new goverment of the capital! – Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!
worker | December 27, 2017 | 7:37 pm | Austria, class struggle, Party of Labour of Austria (Partei der Arbeit Austria - PdA) | Comments closed

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Party of Labour of Austria: The new goverment of the capital! – Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!
Statement by the Party of Labour of Austria (PdA) on the formation of the new coalition government of Austria. 
The new government is fixed. The last weeks of coalition negotiations between ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party) and FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) already rudimentarily showed what awaits the working class and the Austrian people. The implementation of the decided measures and reforms would lead to an immediate deterioration of the working and living conditions of the wide majority of the population. The primary goal is to strengthen capital’s position in the country. 
With the 12-hour-working day and the 60-hour-working week – already a reality for quite some time for a lot of workers in several branches – we return to conditions which once seemed to be long ago obsolete. Not only workers’ rights, but also hard-won democratic rights are being threatened. The occupation of ministerial posts, which are supposed to administrate and lead the armed wing of the bourgeois state, by some of the most reactionary members of the bourgeois political personnel of the country, is definitely an alarming development. A main topic of this government, which shall serve as a smoke-grenade for the lamination of the social ferocities, is also the restriction in the refugee-policy. Benefits are to be cut; the human right to shelter is to be largely abolished. Of course, the problems of the labour market are not at all being solved in this way.
As far as international relations are concerned, it becomes obvious that the new government – exactly as all the previous ones – will not only not question Austria’s position in the EU and other imperialist alliances, but will even strive to strengthen it. In the interest of the Austrian and foreign monopoly capital, neutrality has already long ago become an empty shell; now full integration in the military structures of the EU and NATO is impending. The consequences of such a development can only be devastating for the Austrian people and other peoples, as thereby Austria will be involved more and more in the armament plans and the imperialist deployment plans of the “West”. This will also lead to an increase in military spending. 
Resistance against the anti-workers and anti-peoples policies can be waged only from below, from the people themselves. To rely on the bourgeois opposition parties or even to leave them the initiative will lead to defeats and disappointments in the longer term. The recent past showed that. It is also certain that within the framework of contradictions between the bourgeois parties and the different capital-fractions there will be various forces that will attempt to exploit the frustration and anger of the population to serve their interests. The SPÖ (Social Democratic Party of Austria) already attempts to present itself as a “progressive” and “workers-friendly” opposition and alternative, in order to keep the working people trapped within the established system. With its dominance in the trade union and workers’ movement it remains eventually the decisive column of capital it always was, by making in advance every protest and struggle toothless and maintaining parliamentary illusions among the workers. After all, the new government program is basically the continuation of the anti-peoples policy of the SPÖ-ÖVP-governments under aggravated conditions and as the so-called “Plan A” (of SPÖ) already have shown, social democracy set by itself the course to make “compromises” on central questions – such as the flexibilisation of working time –possible. 
However, with rotten compromises, empty promises and false hopes the situation will change only to the worse. Against such practices, it must be sought that the measures and reforms won’t be implemented. This can be achieved only through consistent resistance and actual mass actions. Only if this policy meets determined resistance, can it be prevented. This presupposes that the working people and all affected popular strata become conscious of their own interests and, in order to defend them, organise themselves independently and become themselves active, without becoming the vehicle of bourgeois parties on their way to governmental power. To wait for the election of a new government, which promises a change of policy, can only lead to passivity, impotence and new disappointments. 
Especially the working class must play a leading role in this struggle. For this, it must deprive the employer-friendly forces of “social partnership” of its confidence in trade unions, the workers’ chamber and all mass organisations and take up the struggle together with the forces of class struggle. It takes strong class-oriented trade unions and mass organisations. It takes an alliance with all popular strata in town and country affected by the policies of the governments of capital and monopoly capital, with the working, student and school youth, with a militant women’s movement and a consistent movement against any participation of Austria in imperialist alliances. 
Under these conditions, the Party of Labour of Austria wants with its principles and its political proposition to give an actual alternative and perspective to the people. It is a political party independent from the interests and influence of any fraction of the ruling class and monopoly capital. It feels devoted and obliged only to the working class, the people of Austria and the international solidarity among the workers. It sees as its historical task to help the working people to empower themselves and obtain through their own struggle what they deserve: a life that corresponds to the modern needs and is possible under today’s tremendous development of productive forces; a life without overwork, deprivations, fear of unemployment and poverty; a life beyond lack of medical maintenance and care, education and cultural offers for the wider masses; a life without exploitation, wars and pauperisation.
It is on the side of the working people and not in their place that the PdA and its members commit themselves for these goals.
In order that this system and their representatives tremble with fear of the people and keep their hand off our hard-won rights, we must here and now organise and struggle!
Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Austria
Vienna, 18th December 2017

PdA: Die neue Regierung des Kapitals!
People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz, left,
and Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
Die neue Regierung steht fest. Was die ArbeiterInnenklasse und das österreichische Volk erwartet, haben die letzten Wochen der Koalitionsverhandlungen zwischen ÖVP und FPÖ ansatzweise gezeigt. Die Umsetzung der beschlossenen Maßnahmen und Reformen würde zu einer unmittelbaren Verschlechterung der Arbeits- und Lebensumstände der breiten Mehrheit der Bevölkerung führen. Das wichtigste Ziel ist es, die Position des Kapitals im Land zu stärken. Mit dem 12-Stunden-Arbeitstag und der 60-Stunden-Arbeitswoche – schon seit Längerem eine Realität für viele Werktätige in etlichen Branchen – kehren wir zu Verhältnissen zurück, die man einst als längst überholt betrachtete. Neben den Arbeitsrechten werden auch verstärkt ebenfalls hart erkämpfte demokratische Rechte bedroht. Die Besetzung kritischer Ministerposten, die den bewaffneten Arm des bürgerlichen Staates verwalten und leiten sollen, durch einige der reaktionärsten Mitglieder des bürgerlichen politischen Personals dieses Landes ist definitiv eine alarmierende Entwicklung. Ein Schwerpunkt dieser Regierung, der als Nebelgranate zur Kaschierung der sozialen Grausamkeiten dienen soll, ist auch die Restriktion in der Flüchtlingspolitik. Unterstützungsleistungen sollen gekürzt, das Menschenrecht auf Schutz weitgehend abgeschafft werden. Die Probleme am Arbeitsmarkt werden dadurch freilich überhaupt nicht gelöst. 
Was die internationalen Beziehungen angeht, wird es deutlich, dass die neue Regierung, genau wie alle vorigen, die Position Österreichs in der EU und der anderen imperialistischen Bündnisse nicht nur nicht in Frage stellen, sondern sogar zu stärken trachten wird. Die Neutralität ist schon längst im Interesse des österreichischen und ausländischen Monopolkapitals eine leere Hülle ohne Inhalt, nun droht auch noch die vollkommene Integration in die militärischen Strukturen der EU und der NATO. Die Folgen einer solchen Entwicklung können für das österreichische Volk und die anderen Völker nur verheerend sein, da damit Österreich immer stärker in die Aufrüstungspläne und imperialistischen Aufmarschpläne des „Westens“ hineingezogen wird. Auch wird das zu einer Erhöhung der Ausgaben für das Militär führen. 
Widerstand gegen die arbeiterInnen- und volksfeindliche Politik kann nur von unten, nur vom Volk selbst geleistet werden. Sich auf die bürgerlichen Oppositionsparteien zu verlassen oder ihnen sogar die Initiative zu überlassen, wird längerfristig zu Niederlagen und Enttäuschungen führen. Das hat die jüngere Vergangenheit gezeigt. Was auch sicher ist, ist, dass im Rahmen der Gegensätze zwischen den bürgerlichen Parteien und den verschiedenen Kapitalfraktionen, unterschiedliche Kräfte versuchen werden, den Frust und den Zorn der Bevölkerung in ihrem Interesse auszunutzen. Die SPÖ versucht jetzt schon, sich als “progressive” und “arbeiterfreundliche” Opposition und Alternative aufzustellen, um die Werktätigen innerhalb des bestehenden Systems gefangen zu halten. Mit ihrer Dominanz innerhalb der Gewerkschafts- und ArbeiterInnenbewegung bleibt sie schließlich weiterhin die entscheidende Stütze des Kapitals, die sie immer war, indem sie jeden Protest und Kampf im Vorhinein zahnlos macht und die parlamentarischen Illusionen unter den Werktätigen aufrechterhalten soll. Schließlich wird das neue Regierungsprogramm im Prinzip eine Fortsetzung der volksfeindlichen Politik der SPÖ-ÖVP-Regierungen unter verschärften Verhältnissen sein und wie der sogenannte “Plan A” schon zeigte, hat die Sozialdemokratie von selbst die Weichen gestellt, um bei zentralen Fragen, wie Arbeitszeitflexibilisierung, “Kompromisse” möglich zu machen. 
Mit faulen Kompromissen, leeren Versprechen und falschen Hoffnungen wird sich aber die Lage nur zum Schlechteren ändern. Entgegen solchen Praktiken, muss es darum gehen, dass die Maßnahmen und Reformen der neuen Regierung keine Umsetzung finden. Dies kann nur durch beständigen Widerstand und wirkliche Massenaktionen erreicht werden. Nur wenn diese Politik auf entschlossenen Widerstand stößt, kann sie verhindert werden. Dieser setzt voraus, dass die Werktätigen und alle betroffenen Volkschichten sich ihrer eigenen Interessen bewusst werden und sich zu deren Verteidigung selbstständig organisieren und selbst tätig werden, ohne zum Vehikel bürgerlicher Parteien auf ihrem Weg zur Regierungsmacht zu werden. Auf die Wahl einer neuen Regierung zu warten, die eine andere Politik verspricht, führt zur Passivität und Ohnmacht und zu neuen Enttäuschungen. 
Es ist vor allem die ArbeiterInnenklasse, welche führend in diesem Kampf sein muss. Dazu muss sie den “sozialpartnerschaftlichen”, unternehmerfreundlichen Kräfte in Gewerkschaften, Arbeiterkammer und allen Massenorganisationen ihr Vertrauen entziehen und den Kampf gemeinsam mit den Kräften des Klassenkampfes aufnehmen. Es braucht starke, klassenorientierte Gewerkschaften und Massenorganisationen. Es braucht ein Bündnis mit allen von der Politik der Regierungen des Kapitals und Monopolkapitals betroffenen Volksschichten in Stadt und Land, mit der arbeitenden, studentischen und lernenden Jugend, mit einer kämpferischen Frauenbewegung und einer konsequenten Bewegung gegen jede Beteiligung Österreichs an imperialistischen Bündnissen. 
Die Partei der Arbeit Österreichs möchte mit ihren Grundsätzen und ihrem politischen Angebot in diesem Zusammenhang dem Volk eine tatsächliche Alternative und Perspektive geben. Sie ist eine von den Interessen und dem Einfluss jeglicher Fraktion der herrschenden Klasse und des Monopolkapitals unabhängige politische Partei. Sie fühlt sich nur der ArbeiterInnenklasse und der Bevölkerung Österreichs und der internationalen Solidarität der Werktätigen verbunden und verpflichtet. Sie sieht ihre historische Aufgabe darin, der werktätigen Bevölkerung dazu zu verhelfen, sich selbst zu ermächtigen und über ihren eigenen Kampf das zu bekommen, was ihr zusteht: ein Leben, das den modernen Bedürfnissen entspricht und unter den heutigen riesigen Fortschritten der Produktivkräfte möglich ist. Ein Leben ohne Überarbeitung, Entbehrungen, Angst vor Arbeitslosigkeit und Armut. Ein Leben jenseits von Mängeln an medizinischer Versorgung und Pflege, Bildung und kulturellen Angeboten für die breite Masse. Ein Leben ohne Ausbeutung, Kriege und Elend.
An der Seite der Werktätigen und nicht stellvertretend für sie setzen sich die PdA und ihre Mitglieder für diese Ziele ein.
Damit dieses System und seine Vertreter vor dem Volk zittern und von unseren erkämpften Rechten die Finger lassen, müssen wir uns jetzt und hier organisieren und kämpfen!
Parteivorstand der Partei der Arbeit Österreichs,
Wien, 18. Dezember 2017
Venezuela: Libertad para el joven comunista Alí Jiménez – Solidarity with Venezuelan communists!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Venezuela: Libertad para el joven comunista Alí Jiménez – Solidarity with Venezuelan communists!
Through a statement, the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) has strongly denounced the arrest and detention by police authorities at San Juan de los Morros, of Alí Jiménez, member of the National Directorate of the Communist Youth of Venezuela (Juventud Comunista de Venezuela). 
PCV demands from the government of Nicolas Maduro the immediate release of the young communist, as long as Jiménez’s guilt has not been proved and points out that behind the detention of JCV’s cadre are reasons related to political retaliation. 
Jiménez was arrested on December 21st in the city of San Juan de los Morros, at the state of Guarico, when he was trying to intercede for local residents who were protesting. 
Below, you can read the statement of the Political Bureau of the CC of the Communist Party of Venezuela in spanish language: 
El Buró Político del Partido Comunista de Venezuela (PCV), al reiterar la demanda de la inmediata libertad del camarada Alí Jiménez, miembro del Consejo Central de la Juventud Comunista de Venezuela (JCV), denuncia que su detención se ha mantenido sin ninguna demostración de hecho punible, postergando su libertad como una mera acción de retaliación política e intento de “disciplinar” a las masas y al movimiento popular revolucionario, para que no se atreva a demandar derechos ni a movilizarse denunciando las inconsecuencias, entregas y traiciones que se producen desde el propio seno de la dirección nacional del gobierno y del proceso.
Es sintomático que, mientras se encarcela injusta e ilegalmente a un militante comunista y otros ocho vecinas y vecinos de la comunidad donde habita el camarada Alí, el gobierno del Presidente Nicolás Maduro deja en libertad negociada a través de “Pacto de Santo Domingo”, a relevantes personeros de la derecha fascista y proimperialista venezolana.
Oscar Figuera.
Secretario General del Comité Central del PCV.