Tag Archives: socialist

UK; Student activists condemn police spying on protest groups

Socialist Students, one of the organisations at the heart of the 2010 student movement against tuition fees, has strongly condemned recent revelations about police surveillance of political campaigns and student activists. Students from the group, who are involved in organising against cuts, fees and privatisation on campuses, have said it ‘makes a mockery’ of the democratic right to protest in Britain.  This comes a day following a student demonstration against the closure of the University of London Union, which saw a large and heavy handed police presence prevent students from entering their own campus and, following which, the president of the students’ union has been arrested.

Edmund Schluessel, Socialist Students member and NUS National Executive Councillor said:

“The videos released give categorical evidence that the police targeted groups on a political basis, including those involved in peaceful protest. This follows several revelations of police surveillance of activists, which included systematic infiltration of groups like Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) during the 1990s.The huge student movement of 2010 broke the consensus and in many ways humiliated the police. These are outrageous attacks on basic democratic freedoms and the right to protest. These surveillance techniques, coupled with heavy handed and often violent policing, are designed to limit the effectiveness of protests and intimidate demonstrators. Protest is increasingly becoming a criminalised act. Alongside this, anti-trade union laws are making strike action increasingly difficult to organise legally. Clearly, there is a deep seated fear at the heart of the establishment about the potential momentum that campaigns like these could gain. As brutal austerity intensifies and Cameron declares its permanency, it is vital that we defend the right to protest.”

Socialist Students is campaigning defend the right to protest. They plan to link up with other groups, such as YRE, to build the fight for democratic rights.

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A republican socialist critique of capitalism

I am not an academic and I am not a writer and don’t claim to be. I am a political activist in prison. Through three years of absence from political activity I felt like I needed to do something. And the only thing I can do is try and write. I don’t have any access to proper documents and statistics that would be needed to write a proper critique of capitalism. So I have made the most out of what little I could get my hands on. I got all the information from newspapers, magazines, booklets and some books.
1. Capitalism

Capitalism is based on profit. Creating profit is the sole motive of capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system, involving the production of goods and services sold to a wide range of consumers.
“We live under the domination of capitalist production, in which a large, ever-increasing class of owns the means of production- the tools, machines and means of subsistence- in return for wages” – Frederick Engels
Those who own capital and who are trying to create profit forum a ruling class while the rest of the population make up a class of waged workers.
The capitalist class or bourgeoisie, own the means of production (factories, machines, etc) and distribution (shops, banks, etc). Workers work for them to earn a wage. The capitalist needs the worker, the work needs the capitalist. Although capitalist and worker are dependent on each other, the dependency is highly unbalanced. The relationship between the capitalist and worker is an exploitative one, since the worker has little or no control over their labour and employers are able to generate profit by appropriating the product of the workers labour.
“Wages are the sum of money paid by the capitalist for a particular labour time or for a particular output of labours….
Labour power is therefore, a commodity which its possessor, the wage worker sells to capital. Why does he sell? In order to live.”
In order for people to live they have to work. If they don’t, they will have no money. The capitalist needs workers to work on whatever it may be the capitalist wants built or produced. Whatever is built or produced, the capitalist will sell the product for the sole purpose of making a profit. The capitalist will pay the worker a wage for the workers labour. The capitalist in a sense buys the workers labour off him. If the worker works in a factory making doors, he may get £500 a week from his employer for his “labour-time” for the weeks work. In that week the worker may have made 50 doors. The capitalist sells the doors for £300 each. The capitalist has received £15,000 for the doors. He then has to pay the worker £500 for the workers “labour-time”. The capitalist then has to pay out a £5000 for wood, materials and wear and tear of machines and tools. The capitalist is left with £9,500 profit. This profit is called “surplus value”. It cost £5000 for the materials to make the doors, so there was £10,000 worth of “labour-time” put into making the doors. But the worker only got £500 for working the week. £500 would only be a few hours “labour-time”. So why did the worker only get £500 for working for the week? Because the capitalist owns the factory and the tools and materials. The capitalist profits because he owns the means of production.

Capitalists have to compete with each other to sell their products. In order to survive they have to provide products cheaply and efficiently as possible. They do this by buying materials and labour as cheap as possible. In some cases they may go to a poor country and set up their business. The capitalist will make more of a profit setting up a factory in India, than he would by setting up in Ireland. Big capitalist companies and corporations like Nike, Coca Cola, etc do this.
Capitalism can also create racism. For example in Ireland during the “Celtic Tiger” years, there were a lot of immigrants coming into the country trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Capitalists took advantage of these immigrants. They were getting paid low wages and working long hours. The immigrants didn’t have a choice. For them it was starve or work. Some immigrants were getting hired over Irish workers, because of this. This is one of the ways how bosses and capitalists can keep workers wages low and keep them low. This is how people end up living in poverty or become at risk of living in poverty. The bosses and capitalists try their best to keep wages low as possible while at the same time trying to get as much work as possible from the worker.

2. Imperialism

As capitalism has developed over the last three hundred years, free competition, which is a major factor of capitalism, makes production more concentrated and this leads to “monopoly capitalism”. This means that fewer capitalists have taken more of the market in which the product is sold. One example of this is supermarket chains like Spar. There use to be small corners shops in every town in Ireland, now the small family owned shops have to close down because the new supermarkets like Spar or Tesco get most of the customers because the supermarkets sell more products and sell products at a lower price. Another example is, let’s say fifty years ago there were one hundred companies selling a certain product. As time goes on some of the companies will develop the product cheaper than some of the other companies, and because the companies make the product cheaper they will knock the other companies out of the market and get more of a profit since there product sold more, because it is produced cheaper and more efficiently.
Capitalism at its highest form is called “imperialism”. This type of capitalism involves massive companies, corporations and banks. Some have so much wealth and power they can influence countries. For example the Shell Company has taken over oil and gas fields in different countries all over the globe including Ireland. The profit that is created from the selling of the oil and gas is kept by the Shell Company, instead of the country where the oil and gas came from.
Another example of imperialism is the I.M.F. The I.M.F gives loans to some countries knowing perfectly well that the country won’t be able to pay the loan back to the I.M.F. So then the country has to sell off its assets and resources so it can pay the I.M.F back. In the Free State of Ireland the E.U and I.M.F have given loans to the government. The government is not using the loans to help the people of the Free State, but is using the loans to pay European banks back debts that the banks of the Free State own. This debt is private debt, not public debt. This means private individuals created the debt and not the people of the Free State. So why is the government paying back a debt that the public of the Free State did not create? I will try to answer this question later on.
As part of conditions the EU and IMF gave to the Free State government for the loan, the government had to cut public wages, social benefits, education and health care. The government are “considering the potential for asset disposals in the public sector, including commercial state bodies in view of the indebtedness of the state”. The Government is considering the sale of state owned companies. All of these state owned companies are critical and profitable to the people of the Free State. The money that is created by these state owned company’s goes back into the country. Public services have been cut, housing, social welfare, education and health care. Taxes have increased. All of this is because the I.M.F and E.U. dictated it. The Free State is living in an I.M.F and E.U. dictatorship. The I.M.F and E.U tell the Government if they don’t make these cuts they will not give the government loans.
This has been happing to countries all over the word. Ireland has still not seen the worst of it yet. Imperialism is the reason why there are famines in Africa and it is the reason why African countries are so poor. Africa is a poor content, not because there is no wealth but because of imperialism, different banks, corporations and companies suck all the wealth out for themselves like a vampire. What happened recently in South Africa, workers protesting for better pay got murdered by the police. Who owned the mine where the protests were happing? It is owned by a British company. This is another example of how imperialism works. Set up a company and pay the workers pittance and take all the wealth generated from the natural resources out of the country. Imperialism takes all resources and raw materials out of countries.
It happens in South America, Africa, middle east, it happens all over the world. The reason there is so much wealth in the US, Britain and some European countries is because the rest of the world is poor. This does not mean that everyone in these countries is rich. Only a fraction of the population of these countries is rich. With the recent and ongoing revolutions in the Middle East, you can be sure the US; British, European imperialism will be licking their lips, hoping that the new governments will be foolish enough to accept “help” from them. The imperialists call this “help”, “finical aid”.

“Global capitalism today is barbarism for huge sections of humanity, condemned to hunger, homelessness, perpetual war, and occupation. But the other side of globalization, the struggle for social justice, can also be seen: in the rebellion against neo-liberalism in Latin America; in the mass May Day protests of immigrant workers in cities across the United States; in the continuing Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation; in the growing anti war sentiment of US soldiers who return “home to find need and misery while billions are heaped up in the hands of a few capitalists.” And this is Luxemborg’s most important lesson for today: “In this moment lunacy and war orgies, only the resolute will to struggle of the working masses, their capacity and readiness for powerful mass actions, can maintain world peace and push away the menacing world conflagration.” – Helen Scott

3. War
War is an indispensable feature of capitalist development. The US, Britain and some EU countries owe the rise of their capitalist development to wars, economic and military.
“As long as there were countries marked by internal political division or economic isolation that had to be destroyed, militarism played a revolutionary role, considered from the view of capitalism”. –Rosa Luxemburg
All modern wars have been fought only for finical gain. In Libya the resent revolution there was fought by the Libyan people for genuine reasons, but the British and French states helped the rebels not because they felt sorry for the people of Libya. They helped the rebels with military aid, Special Forces units and air support because Libya has lots of oil fields.
Since the overthrow of Gadaffi’s regime the N.A.T.O imperialist backed militias are largely out of control robbing, murdering and torturing people. There are 8,000 people still missing and 8,000 government supporters are in prison run by militias, many have been murdered.
“On 2 March the UN International Commission of inquiry on Libya published its second report. There is no mention of the former Libya government planning to massacre civilians, no evidence of ‘what may amount to crimes against humanity’, used by N.A.T.O to justify its attack”.
IN Syria it is the imperialist strategy to destabilise the government and replace it with the Syrian National Council and Free Syrian Army. For the Syrian people this means enforced poverty and Deepening sectarian division. The Free Syrian Army is sponsored by the US, British and French imperialists. US, British and French special forces have been deployed to train and arm the Free Syrian Army with high-tech arms and equipment.

“No more than 30 per cent of the people are involved in the resistance. The other 70 per cent, if not actually with the regime, are silent, because it is not convincing to them, and especially after what happened in Iraq and Libya. These people want reforms, but not at any price. Fighting on the side of imperialism is not how the Syrian people will free themselves from bourgeois oppression of the Ba’athist government.”
The only thing stopping a full scale invasion in Syria from imperialism is Russia and China.

There is Al Qaeda affiliated groups fighting alongside the Free Syrian Army and they are also being armed by the imperialist countries. It is an old tactic used by imperialist countries. It was a tactic used in Vietnam, the US armed South Vietnam. When South Vietnamese could not stop the communist guerrillas the US actually invaded the country. The US also armed Afghan fighters in the war against the Soviets. From the second half of the 20th century to now, the imperialist countries has armed, trained and gave financial support to lots of “terrorist” organizations for the soul reason of destroying regimes that don’t suit them. This is the way most wars are fought in modern times. Instead of countries invading other countries, now imperialist countries will try to ether bankrupt countries through the use of loans or if that fails they will finance groups in the countries so the groups can take power. All this so the imperialist country can have influence and take the resources and wealth from the country. But if an imperialist country actual invades another country, when the imperialist army has taken over they will set up a government, the government will consist of people from the invaded country. This government would be set up to administer the regime that will put the imperialist country’s wants first and not their own actual country. This has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Our peoples suffer the painful pressure of foreign bases established on their territories, or they have to carry the heavy burdens of foreign debts of incredible size. The story of these throwbacks is well known to all of us. Puppet governments weakened by long struggles for liberation or the operation of the laws of the capitalist market have allowed treaties that threaten our internal stability and jeopardize our future. Now is the time to throw off, the yoke, to force renegotiation of oppression foreign debts, and to force the imperialists to abandon their bases of aggression” -Che Guevara

5. The State
The state is an organization of the ruling class. The ruling class keeps power over the other classes with the use of the state. The state keeps order with the use of police, courts, prisons, prison officers and army. The ruling class claims that it holds society together with its position by putting across that it does not rule as a class, but is the defender of the common good. But in reality the general interest of the state is the intervention in social life and control over society. In the north and south of Ireland there are two parliaments. These parliaments are set up to give the impression of democracy. Lenin explains best the reason for parliaments.
“To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and oppress the people through parliament-this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary – constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics”
People may be able to vote for whoever they want that is running in an election, but whatever party wins power of government will put the interests of the bourgeoisie before the other classes. In the Free State this has been proven, with all the different budget cuts in social welfare, education, health care, and housing. All the cuts hit the most vulnerable in society. The bourgeoisie has not been hit at all, while everyone else suffers, the people that all ready suffer the most, have to suffer more. And for what reason? So the rich stay rich. This has happened in most European states.
The idea of parliament in the state is for parliament to hold the interests of the whole society equally. But what parliament in a capitalist society does is puts the interests of capital first. In the society in which we live the institute of parliament is democratic in form, it is in reality an instrument of the ruling class.
In times of revolution, when the ruling class thinks it is going to lose power of the state they will adopt extra means of defence. In Chile in the early 1970s a coalition of socialists and communists fought for political power in an election and Salvador Allende the leader of the coalition won presidency. The coalition tried to implement a program of nothing less than the abolition of monopoly capitalism and imperialism in Chile. The coalition was democratically voted by the people. The bourgeoisie and US imperialism was not happy with this situation, so with the help of US imperialism the Chilean bourgeoisie over-throw the government and set up a dictatorship.
In the North of Ireland the British used Loyalist and SAS death squads to keep power. The British used them to assonate political activists and murder innocent people. They purposely murder innocent people so it would sicken the population and turn them against war. This tactic worked. And by assassinating key political activists the political movements fell apart. And by the murder of innocent people it put pressure on the movements. It led to the fragmented movements to give up.
This proves that the ruling class will resort to any means to keep power. Even the murder of innocent people. The history of Ireland proves this, because the history of Ireland is drenched in the blood of its people.
In the Free State the police can arrest and hold someone for 48 hours questioning before they ether release, charge or bring before the special criminal court. The special criminal court is a non jury court with three judges. And a person can be convicted of IRA membership without the police actually having evidence, once the superintendent believes the person is a member of an illegal organization. And in the case of a person charged with another type of offence it is deemed ok for the police to falsify evidence or make false statements because even if the police are caught out in court by the defendants lawyer the judge can chose whether to take it into account, but in most cases the judge does not take it into account. If this happened in another court the case would be thrown out and there could be some type of criminal investigation into police and court corruption. The Free State government broth these laws out for the soul porpoise to protect British imperialism.
“The state is an organ of class domination, an organ of the oppression of one class by another….”
In many countries all over the world, over the last sixty years there have been many revolutions and national liberation struggles. Most of these struggles were against ether US or British imperialism. The British and the US have perfected the use of paramilitary death squads. They have been used to deadly effect in South America, Africa and across Europe. They were even used in the US. The Black Panther Party was organized to defend and help the African-American community. The US government was threatened by the African-American community trying to organise themselves in a revolutionary movement. The FBI (another state agency) was sent in to smash the movement. Death squads were also used to assassinate activists. Many of the BPP were killed or imprisoned for alleged crimes. The BPP were fighting for basic human rights, employment, decent houses, decent education, free health care, an end to police brutality, food, clothing and justice.

There is no reforming the corrupt bourgeois state. The only answer is to create a new system, where it puts people first and not the creation of wealth. This system is called socialism and the only way to reach this goal is through proletarian revolution. But this revolution will have to be permanent, until the people of the world are liberated from exploitation and oppression.

“how close and bright would the future appear if two, three, many Vietnams flowered on the face of the globe, with their quota of death and their immense tragedies, with their daily heroism, with their repeated blows against imperialism, forcing it to disperse its forces under the lash of the growing hatred of the peoples of the world.
And if we were all capable of uniting in order to give our blows greater solidity and certainty, so that the aid of all kinds to the peoples in struggle was even more effective – how great the future would be, and how near!
If we, on a small point on the map of the world, fulfil our duty and place at the disposal of the struggle whatever little we are able to give – our lives, our sacrifice – it can happen that one of these days we will draw our last breath on a bit of earth not our own, yet already ours, watered with our blood. Let it be known that we have measured the scope of our acts and that we consider ourselves no more than a part of the great army of the proletariat. But we feel proud at having learned from the Cuban revolution and from its great main leader the great lesson to be drawn from its position in this part of the world: “Of what difference are the dangers to a manor a man or a people, or the sacrifices they make, when what is at stake is the destiny of humanity?”
Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism and a call for the unity of the peoples against the great enemy of the human race: the United States of North America.
Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear, if another hand reaches out to take up our arms, and other men come forward to join in our funeral dirge with the rattling of machine guns and with new cries of battle and victory”.
-Che Guevara

6. Poverty in the Free State.

Poverty is created as a direct result of the inequality that is generated from capitalism.

“People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and other resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society”

This is the Free State Governments definition of poverty in its “National Action Plan for social Inclusion”.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word poverty; “being poor”.

Poverty can become a reality for people who don’t have enough money to do the things that most people in Ireland take for granted. Poverty can be when you don’t have enough money to feed your family, or you can’t cloth yourself or your kids, heat the house, or can’t pay the bills.

Poverty is more than not having the money to buy material things. It can be also mean that you don’t have the money for social activities.

Who is affected by Poverty?

Poverty in the Free State is measured by the Central Statistics Office.
There are two measurements, consistent poverty and at risk of poverty.

Poverty in Ireland 2009

Consistent Poverty 5.5% 233,192 people

At Risk of Poverty 14.1% 579,819 people

In the Free State at risk of poverty or income poverty, means having an income that is below 60% of the mid-point on the scale of income. In 2009, that was an income of below 231.20 euro’s a week for an adult.

Consistent Poverty means having an income below 60% of the mid-point on the scale of incomes in Ireland and also experiencing enforced deprivation. This means not being able to afford basic necessities such as new cloths, no money to buy food or being able to pay the bills.

Some people are at a higher risk of poverty: lone parents, the unemployed, people with disabilities and older people. These people have to survive from social welfare payments.

At risk of Consistent
Poverty Poverty

Total Population 14.1% 5.5%

Lone parents 35.5% 16.6%
Unemployed 24.8% 11.5%
Ill or Disabled people 21.7% 8.8%
Children (0-17) 18.6% 8.7%
Older people (65-74) 8.9% 1.3%
Older people (75+) 16.6% 0.9%

(These were in 2009, the percentages has got bigger since then)

Lone Parents
Lone Parents are an over whelming female category. On average they are among the poorest group in contemporary society.

Unemployed
More and more people becoming unemployed because of the grave economic situation. Building sites, Factory’s, Shops, etc are closing down making people become unemployed. And lots of civil Servants are becoming unemployed because of the savage budget cuts in public services.

Older people
When a person stops paid work because of retirement it results in a loss of income that many cause a significant drop in an older person’s standard of living. The ability to build up a personal pension during working life is one of the key determinants of income inequality between pensioners.

There are also households where both parents work. But the money they earn goes to pay the mortgage, bank loans and bills.47% of householders, more than 1.5 million people and left with 100 euro’s or less at the end of each month after paying essential bills.

Results of poverty

• Mental illness (including drugs and alcohol addiction)
• Life expectancy and infant mortality
• Obesity
• Children’s educational performance
• Teenage births
• Crime
• Imprisonment rates

Poverty generated from inequality is connected with life expectancy, poor self-reported health, A.I.D.s and depression.

Children that live in poverty are more at risk to mental illness, than children who don’t live in poverty. Some children will be severely depressed, suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and some will have an eating disorder.

And for adults living in poverty will have more of chance of suffering from a mental illness. Some will have suffered from a neurotic disorder a psychotic disorder, or addicted to alcohol or drugs.

“So why do more people tend to have mental health problems if they live in poverty? The society that we live in places a high value on acquiring money and possessions, looking good in the eyes of others and wanting to be famous. These kinds of values place us at higher risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorders”.

People that live in poverty will have a lower life expectancy than people that don’t live in poverty. People who live in poverty will have a higher chance of becoming obese because they don’t have the money to buy proper healthy food, they are more inclined to buy more junk food because it is cheaper and you can feed more people with it.

Crime is a social phenomenon caused by poverty. Most prisoners in Free State Jails were living in poverty or were at risk of living in poverty. A study of social background of prisoners in Mountjoy Prison found that “56% of prisoners came from districts in Dublin characterised by high levels of economic deprivation. 80% of these in the study had left school before the age of 16 and there were high levels of exposure to adversity including low parental employment and personal employment, and high levels of personal heroin use. The numbers of people appearing before the district Court who receive custodial sentences is very highly linked to areas of deprivation”.

Social Exclusion
Social exclusion refers to ways in which individuals may become cut off from involvement in the wider society. For instance, people who live in dilapidated housing estates, flats, apartments, with poor schools and few employment opportunities in the area, may effectively be denied opportunities for self improvement that most people in society have.

There are instances in which individuals are excluded through decisions which lie outside their own control. Banks might refuse to grant a current account or credit cards to individuals living in a certain postal code area. Insurance companies might reject an application for a policy on the basis of an applicant’s personal history. An employee made redundant later in life may be refused further jobs on the basis of his or her age, where that live, and criminal record.

Types of social exclusion:

• Labour market exclusion Working provides an income.

• Service exclusion
Lack of access to basic services in the home, such as power and water, for example transport, shops, financial services and education.

Why there is poverty

“The gap between Irelands rich and poor is at its greatest in 30 years and is continued to widen. A policy briefing by social Justice Ireland shows that the income of Ireland’s poorest households fell by over 18% in a single year, which the income of the richest rose by 4%.
The report suggests that the top 10% of the population receives almost 14 times more disposable income. In comparison, the poorest is experiencing the worst income distribution over the past 30 years.”

The above quote was on Teletext on the 16 July 2012

“The problem in rich countries are not caused by the society not being rich enough (or even by being too rich) but by the scale of material differences between people within each society being too big. What matters is where we stand in relation to others in our own society.”

-The Spirit Level, Why Equality is better for everyone. By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

“The evidence shows that reducing inequality is the best way of improving the quality of the social environment, and so the real quality of life, for all of us.”

-The Spirit Level, Why Equality is better for everyone.
By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

There is an elite at the top of society who are staying rich even though the state is in a massive recession and some of them are getting richer.
In 2009 alone in the Free State the number of rich people grew by 10%, with an additional 1,800 Irish people becoming millionaires. The number of millionaires in the Free State increased from 16,300 in 2008 to 18,100.
Not all of this elite class are business men, bankers or developers. There are some millionaire civil servants these are secretaries general of the 16 different Government Departments.

“While all Secretaries General took a voluntary pay cut of an average of 14,000 euro’s late last year as part of a salary cap of 200,00euros, they still earn more than five times the average industrial wage.”

-This quote was taken from the Irish Daily Star

The politicians in Leinster house and in the Seanaid are part of the elite class. They also get paid in the 100,000s Euro’s plus expenses every year.

Mean while there are more and more people falling under the poverty line. There is up to 5000 people sleeping rough, there are 100,000 families on housing waiting list but yet there is 350,000 empty properties scattered around the country.
If there are a tiny percentage of people getting richer why then is there a large percentage of people getting poorer?
It’s not because there is not enough wealth in the country, it’s because of the way the wealth is distributed.
All of the budget cuts so far have only hit the average person. Most people’s weekly wage has got smaller; there are schools and hospitals getting closed. Social welfare has been cut this includes old people, children, unemployed, the sick, single parent families.

7. The Cure for Capitalism

Since capitalism is a system the only cure is to create a new system, and that system is socialism. Socialism is a political and economic system. The socialist system is based on collective ownership of the means of production and distribution. This means the economy will be socially owned and controlled democratically in order to meet the needs of all people. Socialism abolishes capitalism and labour as a commodity. The wealth that is created in society will be spread out more evenly. Instead of a minority owning the wealth, it will be put into the use of human need. There will be no exploitation of workers because there will be no bourgeoisie or capitalist class, all classes will be abolished “the exploitation of man by man will have become impossible”. They will be abolished because the workers will be in control of the means of production and distribution. The Capitalist class will be suppressed by the proletariat; since the bourgeoisie uses the state to keep power the proletariat will take state power from the bourgeoisie and use it to suppress the bourgeoisie. The only way this can happen is through a proletarian revolution.
To free themselves from exploitation and oppression the people must overthrow the bourgeoisie. The people need to take over the state and turn the means of production and distribution into state property. By the fact that the workers have taken state power and political power, the old bourgeois state is now a workers state. Since the means of production and distribution have been taken off the bourgeoisie and controlled by the workers state, the wealth that is produced from the workers and the means of production and distribution will be spread out more evenly over society. For example the wealth could go towards things like healthcare, housing, education and many other things that will make life better for everyone and not just a minority.
Just because a state is a workers state does not mean that it is a socialist state. There needs to be true democracy, “proletarian democracy” also, to make the state socialist. This type of democracy includes everyone. Everyone can take active participation in all the political and social processes if they wish. “Socialism guaranties all citizens the basic rights and freedom of organization, speech, thought, press, movement, residence, conscience and religion, full trade union rights for all workers including the right to strike and one person one vote in free and democratic elections”.

The spider and the fly

This was written by Wilhelm Liebknecht for German workers and was based on a well known children’s tale.

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The Spider and the Fly

You all know him, that pot-bellied insect with the hairy sticky body, who lurks in dark places, as far as possible from the light of day, and spins his deadly web in which the poor careless or thoughtless Fly is caught and killed. That ugly monster with round glassy eyes and crooked spindly forelegs so handy for seizing and choking his victim is the Spider.

There he is, cold and still, lying in his corner, or fiendishly weaving his deadly thread to trap and truss the feeble Fly without compunction. The repulsive creature takes pains, often-infinite pains, to perfect his web down to the last thread, so that his prey shall never escape. He will first spin one thread, then two and three – and more and more. He crosses and recrosses the threads so that even in their death throes his victims will not tear the web or scarcely make it quiver.

At last the web is ready, the trap is set, there is no escape – the Spider retreats into his lair and waits for an artless Fly, impelled by hunger, to approach in search of food.

He does not have to wait long until the Fly comes by. And as the poor thing is looking here and there, she runs right into the outstretched threads, is terrified, gets tangled up, tries to hold on, and that is the end.

As soon as the Spider sees his victim caught, he leaves his hide-out and slowly advances towards his prey with hungry eyes and grasping tentacles. There is no need to hurry, the awful creature knows full well that once caught the luckless insect cannot escape. He comes nearer and nearer, sizes up his victim with his bulging lackluster eyes and drives it mad. The Fly is atremble with fear as she sees the looming danger, tries to break free from the sticky threads, tries hard to escape, and is exhausting herself in her desperate attempts.

But her efforts are wasted, her exertions in vain. She gets more and more entangled in the web, and the Spider comes closer and closer. She finds herself entwined by more and more threads, enmeshed in more and more nets with every movement she makes to extricate herself from the cobweb, whose slender yet so effective meshes have trapped her. Finally, breathless and exhausted, all resistance gone, she is at the mercy of her enemy, her conqueror, the horrible Spider!

Then the awful creature reaches out his hairy tentacles, seizes and locks the Fly in his deadly embrace. Next, he begins to bite the trembling body of his feeble prey, once, twice, thrice, any number of times, all depending on his lust and appetite. When he has for the moment quenched his thirst for blood, he leaves her half-dead. Then he comes back and sucks once more; he goes back and forth until the luckless Fly is fully devoured, until he has drained her body of all blood and nourishing juices. And it takes a long, often a very long time, before the poor insect is quite dead.

The bloodthirsty vampire will not give up as long as he can detect a flicker of life in his victim’s body. He inhales her life, saps her strength, drinks her blood, and only lets her alone when nothing, nothing at all is left to take.

The poor dead Fly, sucked dry and lighter than a feather, is then cast from the web. The first gust of wind carries her off and all is over.

The Spider, however, returns to his lair, sated and content; he is pleased with himself and the world, happy in the knowledge that decent people are still able to get on in the world.

You, workers of town and country, are the Fly that is sucked dry and killed, the Fly that is devoured and on whose blood others live! You oppressed peoples, you intellectuals, you industrial workers, you trembling young maidens and weak downtrodden women who dare not stand up for your rights, you luckless victims of the war lords, in a word, all of you who are poor and exploited, you who are thrown out when nothing is left to suck from your veins, you who are the producers of all wealth, the heart, the brain, the vital force of the nation, and you who are granted nothing but the right obediently and quietly to die a miserable death in some corner, while your blood, your sweat, your toil, your thoughts, your life are used to make big and strong those who are your bosses and oppressors: the repulsive Spiders.

The Spider is the boss, the moneybags, the exploiter, the speculator, the capitalist, the seducer, the high clergy, the parasite of every sort, the despot under whom we suffer, the maker of the bad, oppressive laws, the tyrant that enslaves us. The Spider is everyone who lives at the people’s expense, who tramples us underfoot, who scoffs at our suffering and our vain efforts.

The Fly is the poor worker who has to submit to all the draconic laws the employer may wish to pass, because the unfortunate man is without means and has to provide for himself and his family. The Spider is the big factory-owner who earns 6 to 8 marks a day on each of his workers, yet dares, nay condescends, mercifully to allow them a starvation wage of 2 to 3 marks for 12 to 14 hours of work.

The Fly is the miner who sacrifices his life in the foul air of the pit to extract from the earth treasures he is not to enjoy; the Spider is Mr. Shareholder whose shares double and treble in value, yet who is never satisfied, who wants even higher dividends, who robs the workers of the fruits of their labor, and who, should they dare to demand even the slightest wage increase, calls in the army to give the “mutineers” a taste of shot.

The Fly is the child who at the most tender age has to slave in the factory and workshop, and at home, to help make ends meet; the Spider is not the poor parents whom want compels to sacrifice their children; it is today’s vile conditions which make an iron rule of these perversions of natural feelings, this destruction of one’s own family.

The Fly is the respectable daughter of the people, who seeks to earn an honest living, but cannot find work if she does not submit to the lustful desires of the factory boss or director, who abuses her, and later – often with a child on the way – heartlessly and callously throws her out to avoid a “scandal.” The Spider is the young fop, the idle loafer of a “good” family, who gaily seduces innocent maidens and drags them down to the gutter, who considers it an honor to have dishonored as many young women as possible.

The Fly is you, hard-working ploughman, you who tills the soil for the rich landowner, who sows the grain you do not reap, who grows the food you do not taste. The Spider is the land baron who makes his poor tenants, serfs and day-laborers work without a moment’s respite, so that he himself can lead a life of idleness, ease and splendor, the land baron who raises rents every year and depresses the price of honest work.

The Fly is all of us poor and simple people, who have for ages trembled on the altar steps, who have bowed to the clerical curse, who have fought and enslaved one another for the greater glory and amusement of the Church, who have bent our backs and knees, who have let our oppressors enjoy the fruits of their injustice, because we were spiritually crippled by the enervating influence of their religious teaching. The Spider is the black-frocked priest with his hypocritical and lustful look, who befuddles the simple minds of his flock with his degrading teaching and cultivates a spirit of submissiveness and servitude, which poisons souls and ruins whole nations, as in the case of Poland.

In a word, the Fly is the oppressed, the enslaved, the exploited, while the Spider is the vile speculator or lawless despot by whatever name he goes.

The Spider once used to spin his web from the big castles and manors, today he prefers to establish himself in the big industrial centers, in the rich quarters of the blessed of our time. You find him mostly in the factory towns, though he also nests in the country and in the small towns, he is wherever exploitation flourishes, wherever the worker, the propertyless proletarian, the small craftsman, the day-laborer and the debt-burdened small peasant are mercilessly exposed to the unbridled greed of speculators.

Wherever it may be, in town or country, you will see the poor insects vainly struggling in the web of their enemies; you will see them tiring themselves out, drying up and dying.

What terrible tragedies have been enacted over the centuries in this battle between the weak and timid Fly and the cruel and bloodthirsty Spider! It is a monstrous tale of woe. So why tell it again? What’s past is past, let us speak of the present and the future.

Let us take a closer look at today’s struggle between the Spider and the Fly, let us be aware of the situation as it is, let us Flies realise exactly what traps our enemies are again laying for us, let us see through their tricks and, above all, let us be united, we, who alone are too weak to break the webs that entangle us. Let us break the chains that fetter us, let us drive our enemies from their hide-outs, let us throw the bright light of reason everywhere, so that never again will the vile creature be able to do his murderous handiwork in the dark!

Oh Flies, if you wanted to, if you really wanted to, you could be invincible! True, the Spiders are still strong today, but they are few. Even if you Flies are quite insignificant and without influence, your numbers are legion, you are life itself, you are the world – if you really wanted to. If you only united, you would at one blow of your wings tear apart all the threads, sweep away all the cobwebs that ensnare you today, that make you writhe and die of starvation. You could banish poverty and slavery – if you really wanted to.

So learn to want!

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Y’know what really f***s me off?

By Leon J Williams

When Americans talk about politics. There are cries of Obama is a Communist/Socialist because of the health care plan or Obama is a dictator, he will take our liberty/freedom with gun control etc.

Americans on Europe; Europe is Socialist, that’s why their economy is so bad etc.

I mean are these people fucking morons? Obama is at best centralist and Europe is also generally centralist also the EU has a bigger GDP than the US!

F*** off!

Sparticists uprising

By George Volkov

karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

 

 

On the 15th January 1919, the freikorps, a right-wing, nationalist paramilitary group, made up of ex-great war soldiers, murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, by beating them too the floor with rifle butts, shooting them in the head, and finally, throwing their bodies in the freezing landwehr canal.
Post war Germany was disastrous: money had to be spent instantly as it was constantly loosing value, wheelbarrows of money were needed to buy bread, and the allies still demanded their £6,600,000,000 reparations.

The government was weak, and the army was reduced to 100,000 men. The main industrial areas were given independence, which meant Germany’s economy couldn’t recover. It had lost vast amounts of it coal, and 15% of its arable land. It was no surprise that when Germany couldn’t pay it’s second reparation payment, and France invaded the Ruhr, that the workers went on strike, with signs of ‘no French or dogs’ on cafés. They were hailed as heroes, but by doing this, the German economy got much worse.

I hope you enjoyed the background information. I also hope the verbosity of this article has not bored you. This is where we get to the main point of this article: the Sparticists.
The Spartacists were actually founded in the summer of 1915 when both Luxemburg and Liebknecht left the SDP because of the party’s support for Germany’s participation in the First World War. The SDP were the social democracy party, the name for socialists around the globe. The social-democrats abandoned revolution, in favour of reforms, abandoning Marxism, and in a sense, socialism, becoming tools of the bourgeoisie, no longer friends of the proletariat.
In December 1918, some of the Spartacists – including Luxemburg and Liebknecht – founded the German Communist Party. Luxemburg had written numerous pamphlets about Lenin and how his leadership of the Russian Revolution would be of such great value to Russia.

While her political philosophy may well have merited such pamphlets, many Germans (and Europeans in general) were terrified of the ‘Red Plague’ in Russia and the adoption of the name ‘communist’ was looked upon with distrust. Many soldiers had returned from the war fronts massively disillusioned with the German government and hugely suspicious of anything or anyone that had left-wing political beliefs, ven the SDP, which can be compared to labour in the UK, or the democrats in the US. Many who had quit the German Army joined the right wing Freikorps. These would have been battle-hardened men who had been subjected to military discipline.

The leaders of the Spartacus League, Luxemburg and Liebknecht (I hope I have not repeated myself too much), were dissatisfied with the actions of the post-war SPD government. The SPD government had compromised with the conservative military and right-wing militias, promising reform rather than revolution in return for their support and aid in returning the country to the semblance of order. Alongside protesting workers, Liebknecht and Luxemburg led the Spartacist Uprising in an attempt to overthrow the government on the 1st of January, 1919.
Barricades were erected, newspaper offices were seized, printing revolutionary paper, such as ‘red flag’, workers armed themselves, hoping to save Germany through socialism! Unfortunately, the SDP enlisted the help of the Freikorps, who brutally put down the revolution, arresting Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg on the 15th of January, beating them with rifle butts, shooting them in the heads, and throwing Rosa Luxemburg in the Landwehr canal.
Every year, German socialists and communists still go to Luxemburg’s and Liebknecht’s grave, on the 15th of January, which shows that they are still important in politics today, and soon, they may be as important as they were in wartime, and post-war Germany.
They died, as all Marxists should, after attempting to make the world a better, fairer, more equal place.

Would you believe me if I told you Cuba is better than America?

By George Volkov

Fidel 80 yearsViva Fidel

Cuba, whilst being blockaded in an attempt to starve them into allowing the US to exploit it’s people again, still provides more for it’s people than the US.
In this short piece of writing, i am going to present to you facts, not opinions, because what can prove something more than a fact?
Castro became prime minister in 1959, after overthrowing General Batista, who gained power in a military coup.
In 1960, the Cuban government introduces aggressive economic reforms: American-owned businesses come under state control and the economy becomes centrally planned, this, along with the landowners having their land given to the peasants who have worked on it their whole lives, gets large amounts of support.

With the lowest unemployment rate, which is at 1% and the highest literacy rate in the world at 99%, not to mention some of the best and most humanitarian doctors to ever walk the earth, Cuba would be a great country to live in. Unfortunately, due the US blockade, and the fact very few countries want to anger uncle sam, Cuba is still very much under-developed.

Most of the Cubans who left were the rich ones, the exploiters, or as we leftists call them, the bourgeoisie. This would explain why the Cuban-American population is so well off. When Cuba is at its worst everyone still gets their food, water, and healthcare when America is at its best 40,000 people still die a year from not having healthcare.

Why do the US want Castro out so badly?
The US fear Castro, he has made socialism look successful, a rare case when “socialist leaders” actually turn out to be socialists. The fact they have tried to starve Cuba, invade Cuba, and assassinate Castro, (638 ways, according to a channel 4 documentary), shows they really don’t like how well Cuba is doing.
Yes, the US claim Castro is a dictator, and that is why they want him gone, the real reason is he kicked US business out of Cuba, so it could benefit the people of Cuba, not the American government and fat cats.

And if the US are so bothered about dictators, why did they give Pinochet bombers and munitions to take over from the democratically elected Marxist Salvador Allende, via a coup d’état?
With the US foreign policy, you can see a pattern.
Will it make us money? Do they oppose the US? Did they stop us gaining money at the expense of others?
Are they socialist or communist?

If the answer is yes, then the US will to something, whether it be the CIA training and arming rebels (Nicaragua, Afghanistan, which didn’t backfire at all…), assassinations, or starting a coup (Guatemala, Chile).

In cuba, if you have cancer, you can’t get medicine to treat it. Why? The blockade. You can’t even get painkillers imported, for a headache. This is the inhumanity of the US embargo. It criticises Castro because Cuba does not have the same standard of living as the west, yet it is the cause of the problem. It’s like a slave owner, beating his slave, then berating the slave for not working as well. The US is clearly attempting to discredit Castro for the conditions it is creating itself.

And for the “Cuba was better before Castro” argument: Kennedy admitted, after trying to invade Cuba, and assassinate Castro many times, that Cuba is better off under Castro than it was under Batista.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Until the Eternal Victory!