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Capitalism Kills, Socialism Heals | Black Agenda Report

24 Jun

by Danny Haiphong

Death is a for-profit enterprise. In defense of capitalism, the ruling classes are prepared to kill on a staggering scale. “It is estimated that since World War II, US wars have murdered between 20-30 million people worldwide.” The rich wage economic and political warfare against public health systems in every country under their control. In contrast, Cuban “life expectancy has gone up decades” since the 1959 revolution.

 

Source: Capitalism Kills, Socialism Heals | Black Agenda Report

 

Capitalism Kills, Socialism Heals

by Danny Haiphong

“Now is the time to spread knowledge of the healing properties of socialism far and wide to prepare the oppressed for the long struggle ahead.”

The success of Jeremy Corbyn in the recent UK elections sent another shockwave through the crisis-ridden system of capitalism. Labour’s insurgent left-wing candidate rallied millions to vote against austerity and war, two fundamental pillars of global capitalist catastrophe. The tone of the election sounded familiar to struggling people in the US. Bernie Sanders, while no anti-imperialist, appealed to the material decline of the US working class imposed by the same forces fueling Corbyn’s popularity. Capitalism is on the ropes, and the only possible way to stop the murderous system is to replace it altogether with socialism.

Capitalism kills, plain and simple. The system kills in many different forms. The subtle forms fall in the realm of profit accumulation. Numerous stressors inevitably arise from the exploitation of poor and working people. Pain accumulates and take years off of the lives of workers. The decline in life expectancy in the US is a significant indicator of the unbearable character of the system

“Workers are forced to think about cost first and care second when ill.”

Healthcare is another example. As many as 600,000 workers in the US file for bankruptcy due to medical debt each year. Even more avoid healthcare for chronic conditions and pass away from treatable causes. The corporate healthcare system in the US serves profits first and people last. So workers are forced to think about cost first and care second when ill. It should come as no surprise then that capitalism in the UK, which is undergoing a privatization process of its own, is currently in crisis. The National Health Service (NHS) has been in danger of being engulfed by this process, with Corbyn’s success a strong indication of mass resistance against the idea of healthcare as private enterprise.

Corporate healthcare is just a symptom of a system that feeds off of the exploitation of the laboring classes to enrich the ruling class. Racism emerges from this condition to provide a material incentive for a cross-class alliance of “white people” whose sole purpose is to terrorize Black people, indigenous people, and anyone deemed outside of the spectrum of whiteness. Black Americans in particular have a net-worth of near-zero and possess an unemployment rate double that of whites. Access to a quality public education is out of reach for majority Black cities facing a complete siege from the charter school privatization movement.

“Black Americans in particular have a net-worth of near-zero and possess an unemployment rate double that of whites.”

Privatization, wage decline, and the continued mass looting of the poor are the slow killers of capitalism. However, they could not persist were it not for state violence and war. State violence under 21st century capitalism has two components. On the one hand, the corporate media aligns with the state to inflict psychological violence on the people by promoting ruling class lies and half-truths. On the other, the capitalist state utilizes its police, military, and security forces to repress and discourage insurrection. That is why the US has become home to 2.3 million mostly Black and poor prisoners in a period where Black Americans and poor people generally have lost enormous economic ground since the 2008 crisis.

The same goes for the capitalist state’s international dealings. In order to forge economic dominance beyond nation-state borders, the US and Western orbit of capitalism has pursued an ever expanding regime of war around the world. The US in particular spends more on the military than the next eight nations combined. US arms flow to Saudi Arabia to murder thousands of Yemeni people and to proxies in Syria conducting sectarian mass slaughter on civilians. US military forces occupy lands in every part of the planet, enforcing sanctions and preparing the way for a World War with China, Russia, and whoever decides to allythemselves with these emerging superpowers.

“The US has become home to 2.3 million mostly Black and poor prisoners in a period where Black Americans and poor people generally have lost enormous economic ground since the 2008 crisis.”

The result has been the loss of millions of lives. It is estimated that since World War II, US wars have murdered between 20-30 million people worldwide. This is not to mention that state sanctioned murder isn’t limited to capitalism’s quest for global expansion. In the US, a Black person is killed every 28 hours by law enforcement. That doesn’t include the poor whites, indigenous peoples, and Latino identified peoples also harassed and terrorized by the police. The frequency of state-inflicted terror provides a material basis for solidarity between the victims of capitalism in the US and abroad.

The only system capable of supporting such solidarity is socialism. Socialism, when defined in a revolutionary manner, can heal the wounds of the mass graves laid by the capitalist system. In Cuba, a nearly six-decade old socialist revolution has vastly improved the lives of the people. Child malnutrition is non-existent. The infant mortality rate is lower than in many locations in the US. Life expectancy has gone up decades since 1959. It was the overthrow of neo-colonialism and a transition to a planned economy controlled by peasants and workers that made it all possible.

Cuba is but one example. Socialism was a thriving system in the 20th century. Colonized peoples from Vietnam to Algeria took up arms against global capitalism to chart their own course of history. Many of the success stories would not have been possible without direct aid from the Soviet Union and China. Key gains in the fields of women’s rights, education, healthcare, and industry raised the standards of living for millions of dispossessed people. Socialist movements provided the main impetus for US-led global capitalism to wage a campaign of endless war in the name of “anti-communism.”

“Nationalized industry allowed the Syrian and Libyan governments to protect the rights of the people and wrestle with colonial underdevelopment free from foreign domination.”

Recent events in Syria and Libya show that the campaign has yet to cease. Both countries possessed some of the highest standards of living in the Middle East and Africa prior to 2011. Education was free from early childhood to university level. Strong state subsidies existed in all sectors of society. Nationalized industry allowed the Syrian and Libyan governments to protect the rights of the people and wrestle with colonial underdevelopment free from foreign domination. The US-led overthrow of the Libyan Jamahiriya in March of 2011 and the continued war on Syria has set both nations back immensely, with millions of lives lost or displaced in the process.

The record is clear. Capitalism kills, but socialism heals. The crisis of capitalism that is rocking the US and Western spheres of influence has led to political instability in the centers of empire. A large number of workers, poor people, and especially youth are fed up with the conditions of the system. Now is the time to spread knowledge of the healing properties of socialism far and wide to prepare the oppressed for the long struggle ahead. As history demonstrates, the fight for socialism is a fight for life.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area.Hecanbereachedatwakeupriseup1990@gmail.com 

Earth  First – Serve the People – Defend the Planet at all costs and by any means necessary

Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues | Black Agenda Report

23 Jun

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Add the name of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman from Seattle, to the list of victims of the U.S. State. Her name will soon move down the column, since killer cops “are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.” Killing Black people comes easily, especially at this stage of capitalism in which their labor is no longer needed.

Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

“Our lives, concerns, perspectives, history and desires for the future are of no concern to the rulers of this state and for vast numbers of ordinary whites.”

Before we can even process the acquittal of the murders of Philado Castile, we hear about another murder of a black person by the police occupation forces. This time the victim, Charleena Lyles, is a black woman who was also five months pregnant.

Again, there is anger, confusion and calls for justice from the black community of Seattle, where the latest killing took place. Many might remember that it was in Seattle where two members of the local black community attempted to call out the racist and hypocritical liberal white community during a visit by Bernie Sanders. The black activists were subsequently shouted down by a majority of Bernie’s supporters. One of the issues that the activists wanted to raise was the repressive, heavy-handed tactics of the Seattle Police Department.

Some have argued that this rash of killings of black people caught on video or reported by dozens of witnesses is nothing new, that the images of police choking, shooting and beating poor black and working-class people is now more visible because of technological innovations that make it easier to capture these images. They are partially right.

“The settler-colonial, capitalist, white supremacist state and society is the enemy of black people and most oppressed people in the world.”

As an internal colony in what some refer to as a prison house of nations that characterizes the U.S. nation state, black communities are separated into enclaves of economic exploitation and social degradation by visible and often invisible social and economic processes. The police have played the role not of protectors of the unrealized human rights of black people but as occupation forces. In those occupied zones of repression, everyone knows that the police operate from a different script than the ones presented in the cop shows that permeate popular entertainment culture in the U.S. In those shows, the police are presented as heroic forces battling the forces of evil, which sometimes causes them to see the law and the rights of individuals as impediments. For many viewers, brutality and other practices is forgiven and even supported because the police are supposedly dealing with the evil, irrational forces that lurk in the bowels of the barrios and ghettos in the imagination of the public.

It was perfectly plausible for far too many white people in the U.S. that a wounded Mike Brown, already shot and running away from Darin Wilson, the cop who would eventually murdered Michael, would then turn around and run back at Wilson, who claimed he had no other choice but to engulf Michael in a hail of bullets, killing this “demon” as Wilson described him. And unfortunately, many whites will find a way to understand how Charleena, who called the police herself to report a burglary, would then find herself dead at the hands of the police she called.

“The logic of neoliberal capitalism has transformed our communities and peoples into a sector of the U.S. population that is no longer needed.”

But the psychopathology of white supremacy is not the focus here. We have commented on that issue on numerous occasions. The concern is with some black people who have not grasped the new conditions that we find ourselves in—that black people don’t understand that there will never be justice as defined by the cessation of these kinds of killings. Why? Because incarceration, police killings, beatings, charging our children as adults and locking them away for decades, all of these are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.

In other words, if Black people really want this to stop we have to come to the difficult conclusion, for some, that the settler-colonial, capitalist, white supremacist state and society is the enemy of black people and most oppressed people in the world. Difficult for many because it means that Black people can no longer deny the fact that we are not equal members of this society, that we are seen as the enemy and that our lives, concerns, perspectives, history and desires for the future are of no concern to the rulers of this state and for vast numbers of ordinary whites.

That is why Charleena Lyles joins Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and Philando Castile, just a few of the names of our people victimized in the prime of their lives by the protectors of white power wearing police uniforms.

She will not be the last.

“Black communities are separated into enclaves of economic exploitation and social degradation by visible and often invisible social and economic processes.”

The logic of neoliberal capitalism has transformed our communities and peoples into a sector of the U.S. population that is no longer needed. This new reality, buttressed by white supremacist ideology that is unable to see the equal value of non-European (white) life, has created a precarious situation for black people, more precarious than any other period in U.S. history.

African (Black) people are a peaceful people and believe in justice. But there can be no peace without justice. For as long as our people are under attack, as long as our fundamental collective human rights are not recognized, as long as we don’t have the ability to determine our own collective fate, we will resist, we will fight, and we will create the conditions to make sure that the war being waged against us will not continue to be a one- sided conflict.

The essence of the People(s)-Centered Human Rights framework is that the oppressed have a right to right to resist, the right to self-determination, and the right to use whatever means necessary to protect and realize their fundamental rights.

Charleena, we will say your name and the names of all who have fallen as we deliver the final death-blow against this organized barbarism known as the U.S.

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine. His latest publications include contributions to Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence(Counterpunch Books, 2014), Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA (HarperCollins, 2014) and Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral ( CODESRIA, 2013). He can be reached at www.AjamuBaraka.com

BecomeUngovernable  The “Rigged System” holds no future for the 99% – but a Revolution does – Earth  First – Serve the People – Defend the Planet at all costs and by any means necessary Old African saying: A hill of ants can eat a lion. – beungovernable.com

 

Source: Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues | Black Agenda Report

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