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Trump is a Criminal, But the Democrats Belong to the Same Mafia

15 Jan

Glen Ford, BAR executive editor 09 Jan 2020

 

Trump is a Criminal, But the Democrats Belong to the Same Mafia

 

The Republicans and Democrats are united under the American imperial banner, and only differ on details of strategy to maintain Washington’s global domination.

None can be free of the scourge of war – the ultimate crime against humanity, from which all others flow – while the warmakers are in power in the Citadel of Capital.”

The grievously wronged Iranians have apparently fired a purposely harmless salvo of missiles into several U.S.-occupied bases in Iraq to avenge last Friday ’s U.S. drone assassination of Revolutionary Guards commander Qassi Suleimani. Although the Fars news agency  claimed, for Iranian popular consumption, that “at least 80 US armed personnel have been killed and around 200 others wounded,” American and other NATO forces in Iraq report no casualties, giving Trump an opportunity to claim victory and back off from further aggressions. Trump followed the Iranian lead, holding a press conference  to dance away from continued armed hostilities, on Wednesday.

Since there is no “peace party” with any influence on governance in the United States, a U.S. retreat from Armageddon is the most that the world can hope for, in the near term. Trump’s mafia-style hit on the revered Iranian general – yet another Nuremburg-level U.S. crime against peace and humanity, for which death by hanging is the historical punishment – seemed designed to set the stage for a reprise of George Bush’s 2003 “Shock and Awe” demonstration of U.S. imperial firepower, this time with an orange tinge.

“A U.S. retreat from Armageddon is the most that the world can hope for, in the near term.”

 

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Iranian national pride required a pantomimed military response, but the U.S. has provoked a far worse punishment by the Iraqis, on whose territory Suleimani was ambushed. The Iraqi parliament swiftly voted 170-0 to kick the 5,000 US troops out of their country, an exodus that would render Washington’s foothold in neighboring Syria untenable, thus sealing the fate of the remaining U.S.-backed al-Qaida “rebels” holed up in Idlib province and hastening the demise of ISIS forces currently shielded from Russian air attack by U.S. firepower. Donald Trump, who (correctly, but incoherently) charged Barack Obama with “founding ” ISIS, may well have fast-forwarded the definitive end of the U.S.-Islamic jihadist presence in Syria and Iraq.

Not that this was Trump’s intention. The Republicans and Democrats are united under the American imperial banner, and only differ on details of strategy to maintain Washington’s global domination. As BAR contributing editor Danny Haiphong writes, “There may be two political parties in the United States, but there is only one ruling class agenda.”

“Trump may well have fast-forwarded the definitive end of the U.S.-Islamic jihadist presence in Syria and Iraq.”

Yet there is a profound split in the U.S. ruling class – not about the necessity to preserve the empire, on which there is no debate among the rulers, but over how Washington should manage relations with its junior imperial partners in Europe and elsewhere, and over the modalities of One Percent governance within the United States. On foreign policy, the Democrats have since 2016 positioned themselves as the more aggressive War Party, constantly goading Trump to attack Russia and its Syrian ally and to “stand up” to North Korea, to prove he is not a “dupe” of Vladimir Putin. As the party of Barack Obama, the previous Super-Sanctioner of rebellious nations, the Democrats are vicious in maligning Venezuela. And as the party of Hillary Clinton (“We came, We saw, He died – Ha Ha Ha.”), the Democrats have killed hundreds of thousands in U.S.-directed and financed jihadist wars in Libya and Syria. They are the puppeteers and paymasters of terror on a scale that Donald Trump has yet to match, an orgy of sectarian beheadings, torture, rape and mass murder that Trump’s assassination of General Suleimani may inadvertently bring to a close, with U.S. ouster from the region.

 

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“The Democrats have killed hundreds of thousands in U.S.-directed and financed jihadist wars in Libya and Syria.”

At home, the Democrats have spent the last three years constructing a New Cold War censorship of the Left, starting with Black Agenda Report and other radical web sites targeted only weeks after the 2016 election. As Black Alliance for Peace  national organizer (and BAR editor) Ajamu Baraka writes, the Democratic “opposition,” including the Democrat-leaning corporate media, is not anti-war – it’s anti-Trump. The Democrats, like their corporate and banking masters, are determined to preserve the neoliberal economic order – the global Race to the Bottom in which U.S. workers compete with super-exploited workers in the developing world. The only difference is that the Democrats would “integrate” the management of this dwindling wage economy through a policy of racial and ethnic “diversity.” Same downward destination, but with multi-colored overseers. Same police occupation of Black communities, and same racialized gaps in earnings and wealth for the masses of Blacks and browns – but rewards aplenty for the misleadership classes of the oppressed, whose job is to keep the social peace while oligarchs swallow society whole, as senior columnist Margaret Kimberley explains in this issue of BAR. Most of the Congressional Black Caucus joined other Democrats in awarding Trump yet another record-breaking military budget. Seventy-five percent of the Black Caucus voted to make police a protected class and assault on cops a federal crime, in 2018. Eighty-percent of the Black Caucus voted to keep the Pentagon’s 1033 program funneling military weapons and gear to local police departments, five years ago – and the Caucus has become even more reactionary and treacherous, since then.

“The Democrats would ‘integrate’ the management of this dwindling wage economy through a policy of racial and ethnic ‘diversity.’”

 

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Although many of the issues have changed since Malcolm X’s day, Blacks remain locked into much the same power relationships as half a century ago. Malcolm’s “foxes” and “wolves” are still on the prowl:

“The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the ‘smiling’ fox. One is a wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.” — Malcolm X, 1963

There is one big difference in the political landscape, 57 years after Malcolm spoke those words. The “Black Misleadership Class” – a term coined at BAR and its predecessor, The Black Commentator – now plays a pivotal role in the electoral workings of the Democratic half of the corporate duopoly system of governance. As I explained, two years ago, the Black misleaders are:

“…those Black political forces that emerged at the end of the Sixties, eager to join the corporate and duopoly political (mostly Democrat) ranks, and to sell out the interests of the overwhelmingly working class Black masses in the process. It is both an actual and aspirational class, which ultimately sees its interests as tied to those of U.S. imperialism and its ruling circles. It seeks representation in the halls of corporate power, and dreads social transformation, which would upset the class’s carefully cultivated relationships with Power.”

“Malcolm’s ‘foxes’ and ‘wolves’ are still on the prowl.”

Blacks are still at the bottom, and racing deeper into the abyss. But an opportunistic sliver of the Black population has aligned with banksters and oligarchs in Democratic boardrooms. They join with corporate Democrats in screaming that Trump is the existential threat – not U.S. imperial wars, in which most Democrats are complicit; not the Race to the Bottom, which is as much a Democrat as Republican project; not the Mass Black Incarceration State, which is mainly enforced by urban Democratic regimes of all colors; and not capitalism, a system that was born, like the white settler United States, itself, in Native genocide and Black chattel slavery.

The Black Misleadership Class has no solidarity with anyone. They are hustlers, who have hijacked the aspirations of a proud, brave and independent-minded people – a people that have historically sought social justice and peace for not only themselves, but all mankind. That people needs a new party, with themselves in the leadership, a party that will Fight the Power. There is a world of allies out there, sharing the same aspirations. But none can be free of the scourge of war – the ultimate crime against humanity, from which all others flow – while the warmakers are in power in the Citadel of Capital.

 

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A redistribution of Wealth and Power is coming by Policy or by Pitchfork.  New & Used Revolutionary & Progressive Books, 60s-70s Memorabilia – Opposition Bookstore – https://www.facebook.com/Fahrenheit451bookstore/

 

The key to unlock all of our chains is right here, in the belly of the beast.

Power to the People!

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Noam Chomsky: The Relentless Class War; Capitalism: The Systematic Poverty and Exploitation of Human Beings! No War but Class War!

20 May

Jan Nederveen Pieterse in conversation with Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher and political commentator. Chomsky is Emeritus professor of linguistics at MIT. Jan Nederveen Pieterse is professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Series: “Carsey-Wolf Center” [5/2014] [Humanities] [Show ID: 28120] (Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/)

 

Capitalism: The Systematic Poverty and Exploitation of Human Beings by Finian Cunningham

“Crises are essential to the reproduction of capitalism. It is in the course of crises that the instabilities of capitalism are confronted, reshaped and re-engineered to create a new version of what capitalism is about”. That was an excerpt from the prologue of David Harvey’s forthcoming book, ‘Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism’, to be published by Profile Books in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US (April 2014). http://roarmag.org/2014/03/david-harvey-seventeen-contradictions

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The Changing Face of Labor by Rivera Sun by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad Popular Resistance April 18, 2014

Depending on one’s proximity to wage and workplace issues, the term Labor Movement may conjure up images of 19th century Wobblies with rolled-up shirtsleeves, Detroit autoworkers, or Walmart strikers. The face of labor evolves through the decades and with each change in the workplace, our identity as a populace of laborers has shifted.

 

 

Inequality and the Inevitable Collapse: The Common Sense Solution–Sharing by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles Writer, Dandelion Salad London, England April 18, 2014

Depending on who you listen to and how it is defined, worldwide income and wealth inequality is either more acute than it has ever been, or the gap between the rich and the rest is narrowing. The numbers may be distorted by conflicting statistics but what is indisputable is the shadow of extreme poverty that billions are living under, the economic induced anxiety millions more face every day, and the fact that the rich continue to get richer. Of the 7.2 billion people in the world, around half are living on less than $2.00 a day  ̶ that’s the official barrier to the land of poverty set by the World Bank. Most of these people are to be found in the slums or villages of India, China, and the shantytowns and rural settlements of Sub-Saharan Africa, where 48% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day. [World Bank 2010]

 

 

Bernie Sanders: Inequality–A Threat to American Democracy

Bernie Sanders on Mar 27, 2014 Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks on the Senate floor about skyrocketing income and wealth inequality and the destruction of the middle class

 

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The Oppressed 99.9% Have Had Enough by Graham Peebles by Graham Peebles Writer, Dandelion Salad Rajasthan, India February 16, 2014

You can see it glistening in colours red, white and blue, smell its choking fumes through the fogs of ambition and greed and mac-taste its convenient food; fast and furious, no time to waste, to pause, to question and wonder. Market fundamentalism pervades all areas of contemporary civilization, has saturated every corner of the world, and created what Pope Francis recently described as the “Globalisation of Indifference”, a world in which “we have become used to the suffering of others. It doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t interest us. It’s not our business” [The Guardian[i]]. This extreme model of capitalism places profit, not people at the centre of everything. The wellbeing of human beings has become secondary to the aim of maximizing returns no matter the costs, human or environmental, remorselessly pursued by corporate governments and their multi-national bedmates.

One of the major “trends of globalization” is what P. Sainath[ii] calls “corporate globalism”. Today’s world is “marked by the collapse of restraint on corporate power, in every continent.” This is borne out by the fact that over half of “the world’s 100 wealthiest bodies are corporations” [Global Issues[iii]]. Organizations with enormous political influence who own media groups, essential utilities – water, electricity and gas, telephone and Internet companies – and control transportation systems. They are the major donors to political campaigns, they finance development projects and fund think tanks, they are the mining giants clearing indigenous people from ancestral land in search of minerals; and are the driving force behind the commodification of everything and everyone everywhere. They jangle the corporate politicians in their silk-lined pockets, influence policy and determine elections.

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Yue Yuen: wildcat strikes and labor struggles in China; Five Inspiring Struggles to Celebrate over the May Day Weekend!

3 May

The mass strike at the Yue Yuen factory shows how China’s workers are increasingly relying on autonomous and horizontal structures of labor resistance.

 

 

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INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY 2014:

Five Inspiring Struggles to Celebrate on May Day

1. Hotel Bauen and workplace recuperation in Argentina
By Marina Sitrin

Despite being under constant threat of eviction by the state, the recuperated Hotel Bauen in Buenos Aires remains a shining example of workers’ control.

When a factory near Thessaloniki was abandoned by its owners in May 2011, the workers decided to occupy it and resume production under workers’ control.

2. Vio.Me: workers’ control in the Greek crisis
By Theodoros Karyotis

When the big multinational Unilever shut down a tea processing plant in the south of France, the workers reacted immediately by occupying their factory.

3. Workers’ control at Fralib: the brand with the Elephant
By Dario Azzellini

Laid off and unpaid, the workers of Bosnia’s privatized factories decided to take matters into their own hands and rise up against their government.

4. Tuzla: the workers’ revolt that spawned a Bosnian Spring
By Chiara Milan

5. Yue Yuen: wildcat strikes and labor struggles in China
By Michael Caster

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In China, the Communist Party (CCP) and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) promote and protect workers’ rights. In reality, however, elite interests most often prevail, submerging workers’ rights in the tide of global capitalism. The response has been increasing civil resistance. According to one study, there were 1.171 strikes and labor protests between June 2011 and the end of 2013, and much of April 2014 was marked by one of the largest episodes of resistance in modern Chinese labor history.

On Monday, April 14, 2014, 10.000 workers at the Yue Yuen Dongguan shoe factory took to the streets in protest of the company’s ongoing failure to pay its 70.000 employees their full social security and housing allowance. Worker grievances also included the thousands of fraudulent contracts they had been forced to sign, which prevented their children from enrolling in local schools, forcing them to pay for migrant worker children’s schools. These are common grievances among China’s some 250 million migrant workers.

The strikes, which had been intermittent since April 5, came to their first crescendo that Monday as hundreds of riot police swarmed the crowd. Despite the show of force and minimal arrests, the workers were undaunted, and by the following week the demonstrators numbered around 40.000. Government censors instructed domestic media to delete content related to the incident.

The strike at Yue Yuen, the largest sports shoe manufacturer in the world, supplying Adidas, Nike, Puma, Crocs and others, was supported by labor rights organizations, such as the Shenzhen-based Chunfeng Labor Justice Service Department. Meanwhile, union presence was minuscule. That substantive union support was conspicuously absent in one of the largest labor rights demonstrations in modern China is telling.

China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong rights organization, quoted one striking worker: “I personally have not seen any union staff, although I heard that they have issued a comment, which no one gives damn about… They are now giving us instructions, but where the hell were they when the company violated our rights?! I have worked at Yue Yuen for almost two decades, and I don’t even know who our union president is.”

The ACFTU is the largest trade union in the world, with around 239 million members according to 2010 figures. However, the legitimacy of the ACFTU as a representative of workers’ rights has been tarnished by perennial subordination to the interests of the CCP. There is a regulation that party officials must approve all union chairs and the CCP’s position on labor rights is clear.

On March 27, 2001, when it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), China issued a reservation to Article 8.1(a), the right to form and freely join trade unions, that its application must be consistent with the Chinese Constitution and other domestic laws. The word union does not appear in the Chinese Constitution. Furthermore, China has continually failed to ratify fundamental International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions CO87, The Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize and CO98, The Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.

For these reasons China’s workers have increasingly been relying on autonomous structures of labor resistance organized horizontally within or between small groups of factories with support from independent labor rights organizations and third parties. Students in the nearby city of Guangzhou, for example, left posters outside of Nike stores in solidarity with the striking workers.

After several weeks of demonstrations, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labor and Social Security acknowledged that Yue Yuen had been underpaying its workers and noted that the department had ordered the factory to comply.

Still, we must not forget that China is increasingly outsourcing cheap labor to countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. While victories for individual factories are milestones in the Chinese labor movement, until the engines of global capitalism come to a halt the same exploitive practices will continue in their voracious race to the bottom.

After all, following the initial outbreak of demonstrations at Yue Yuen, Adidas moved a bulk of its orders to other suppliers. This move earned the company criticism from the International Union League for Brand Responsibility, which, as a reminder that the struggle for workers’ rights is universal, responded by organizing solidarity protests at Adidas and Nike stores from Hong Kong to Istanbul and Los Angeles.

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