Well comrades and what a week this has been in the class struggle, looking at Spain for a moment and we see that the mass demonstrations that began on May 15 pushed by the immense popular sea of red anger over the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) government. These measures are being carried out and implemented, amid widespread stinging hardship and unemployment, levels that reach close to 50 percent among 18 to 25-year-olds.
The protests characterised by a widespread rejection of all the major parties in Spain, the PSOE above all, as well as I am very sorry to say the trade unions, which have done goose egg nothing to oppose the attacks on workers and young people since waxing up a token one-day protest strike on September 29 last year. Neither has the Stalinist-led United Left (IU) benefited from the rising social protests, due to its long history of pushing through cuts wheresoever it has established a base in regional and local authorities.
Barcelona camp has been the second biggest in Spain, after the Puerta del Sol in , and had been occupied ever since the national protests on May 15th. It is said that this camp is good-natured and spirited, a peaceful protest camp, shame on the powers that be then. Madrid
For as I write this post we learn that the authorities have ordered Police to clear the protest camp on the Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, firing rubber bullets at protesters and hitting indiscriminately, the sort of thing that gives the ruling Socialist Party (PSOE) a bad name and clearly cuts it as a lapdog of capitalism.
So when I hear and read these accounts, then I as one single individual understands that reforming or modifying or controlling capitalism can not give us freedom, and no matter what country we live in or where we come from initially. Its basic structure (capital) is designed the world over to overwork and exploit. It exploits all human beings and the world’s natural resources for the short term– in order to accumulate the maximum private wealth and power. It is the very structure which must be removed and replaced by real democracy if we are to stop the market’s blind scramble for “progress” and “growth” and apply conscious social control to our lives, our society our planet.
To be realistic, however, what are the chances of this coming about? The answer – none, if we do nothing. That’s why in my life I have moved along a winding road that say’s I must do something, and on that road I have had to change with what I started out with in the first place and reject reform as the answer to what after all are all our hopes and prayers, for our family, for our friends and for humanity. I have replaced reform with the belief that only revolution and participating in the class war will change our world for the better.
I can of course just imagine how horrified some people will be right now reading about what I am advocating here, class war and revolution, and I can hear them saying how violent is that, well that’s socialism and socialists and others for you, they will doubtless be muttering to one another, but hold on a moment, for I would say to them, ‘before you go off on one, stop and think about this, it is ‘socialists’ more often than not that assert and call for peace every time there is an escalation and a dash off to war in the world. And if you really wish to know, and then I tell you comrades, crime and violence is endemic and constantly present in our society it has a stranglehold on all our lives, even deliberately violent criminals such as the Mafia have homage paid to them by the film and publishing industries. Crime, and particularly armed, violent crime, escalates fairly steadily year by year, prompting the increase before cuts in police numbers and power, the proliferation of security firms, burglar alarms, closed circuit TV systems, metal detectors, and X-ray cameras. Time-locked vaults, armoured vehicles and short-range radio networks supersede or supplement the lock, keys and iron bars of earlier security systems. Prison accommodation, increasingly electronic in its security devices, expands continually but is always overcrowded.
Violence or the threat of violence is built into the foundations of our present social structure. It was established with violence and can only be maintained by it, however respectable it may be made to seem by age or strength.
The Killing of Osama bin Laden
As you may be aware Barack Obama the President of the US paid a state visit to Britain recently, you will also be aware that he has taken the credit for the liquidation of the most wanted man on the planet one Osama bin Laden, and Obama made one big deal of this, for it has to be said election purposes. No matter how repugnant the crimes of Osama bin Laden are or what you feel about him his killing and disposal of must be questioned by us all, Bin Laden was shot dead at a compound near
Islamabad, in a ground operation based on intelligence and monitored by the President. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the operation sent a signal to the Taliban in both US Afghanistan and . Pakistan
"You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process".
“But I have just one question: in light of the execution of Osama bin Laden, is the President of the
still such a good role model for these kids? In a borough (Peckham) where there have been 192 reports of gun crime in the last 12 months, and where “informal justice” reigns, I’m not so sure. The complexities of the War on Terror are lost on primary school children – but most will understand the concept of revenge killings”. United States
And then she makes these observations:
“For youngsters, who don’t follow US politics and who certainly have no understanding of a “state visit”, Obama is now best known for ordering the killing of bin Laden. And there are some who will now admire the
President’s achievement: having his worst enemy killed with a single shot to the face and then buried in the ocean”. US
Parents in the US were told that they can comfort children disturbed by the killing of Osama bin Laden by answering their questions honestly, so said psychology experts as the footage of revellers celebrating bin Laden's death may send a confusing message to children about the morality of killing.
So some food to chew over, especially when you consider that Obama On 2 October 2002, before a few hundred demonstrators gathered at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago, spoke out unequivocally against the invasion of Iraq:
"What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war....What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income.
Presidents have been required, by law, to seek Congressional approval prior to making use of the United States Armed Forces in any action or conflict. Recognising that there are circumstances where such prior approval will be impossible, Congress specified that no approval is required for “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States , its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” However, Barack Obama has now entered the United States Military into an action against United States Libya which lacks either Congressional approval or is a specific threat to the . United States
And just one other point that is worthwhile remembering is that Obama gave support to the Bush administration's pledge (the invasion of
) to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance. Afghanistan
The Wall Street Trillions
Obama has it should not be forgotten, directed by far the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, moving at least $12 trillion to Wall Street. And at the height of his popularity, still riding the crests of post-election euphoria, and under no real pressure from a demoralized Republican Party, Obama eagerly placed Social Security and other entitlements “on the table” for chopping. He endorsed the corporate/Republican line that deficits were the nation’s biggest problem, effectively sentencing the unemployed to damnation and inviting the austerity reign of terror that has descended. And these are just the highlights of Obama’s tenure.
I have given some space here to Obama because it was important to do so in the context of class war and his part in it on the ‘world stage’ as those commentators and cementers of global propaganda love to refer and denote the importance of capitalist leadership by executive governments. One thing is for sure then, and that’s Obama has not been a disappointment to them really. His interventionist foreign policy is anchored close to his predecessors, as seen in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and of course now Libya.
This is indeed a far cry from the call of ‘hope and change’ he advocated when standing for office, meaningless, worthless rhetoric, the language effectively to please or persuade, empty talk!”
Class War not More Evil or Reform
We may have different ways of electing governments around the world but the result is always the same to serve and preserve the capitalist system. In Britain Labour lost the general election just over a year ago now, I do wonder what if they had won and was now carrying out a program of cuts, would we be in a similar situation of loathing New Labour not so dissimilar to the Socialist government in Spain, because it hurts more when you pretend to support workers and fail their expectations, sticking that sharpened knife into the ribcage.
In opposition to Cameron’s coalition Labour has proven ineffective despite what any opinion polls may say. I can’t help thinking that there will be those Labour parliamentarians who are glad they lost now as the economic crises around the world and at home deepens – they believe that they live and survive to win power on another day.
Socialists must reject reform, instead wage a class war and build the real opposition outside of parliament and to some sense and extent that is happening. In it’s infancy, but up and down the country people are coming together in the class war, people from all backgrounds standing up to the cuts and austerity, to the job losses, the unemployment and the new poverty that’s starting to blight the lives of thousands.
What this tells us is that we live in a society of deep class divisions with conflict of economic interests between those who work the productive system and those who own it. This economic conflict can only be reconciled by the relationships of equality and cooperation that would integrate the community in socialism, in order to achieve that we need to revolutionise and throw out the capitalist system.
Whilst it is right to feel outrage at the great class divisions that exist socialists do not come to this question in a negative spirit of class hostility. The aim is to end it. Class conflict has gone on far too long; there has been too much strife and we have to heal the wounds of history through entirely democratic means.
In an earlier post on this thread comrade Chris H asks:
“Yes we have to win those dissuaded or deterred over to socialism, and to show them the inhumanity within capitalism, but how do you keep them to the idea and concept of 'socialism' without the rallying flag of a party, a doctrine or even a community common ground of some sort? Without that focus people have a habit of 'drifting”.
That is a very good point; my own feeling now is I am now warming to the idea of supporting a new workers party that involves all the traditions of the Labour and Radical Movement, as supported by the Socialist Party formally Militant.
I end this post the longest I have ever done for The
Socialist Way; by saying that class society is both morally and materially indefensible. It need not linger on and on as part of an outdated system. An ethical society would be one in which all people would live their lives, free from the disadvantages of under privilege and class injustice. To live in a classless society would be in the interests of all its members. Freedom for every person to develop his or her skills and talents on equal terms could benefit everyone. Equality has the potential to enrich all our lives and would be a basis for a true community of shared interests.
On with the class war!”