WW1 ended 100 years ago

On 11 November 1918, 100 years ago the first world war ended. In total over 22 million people lost their lives between 28 July 1914 and 11 November 1918. The war was a bloody feud between imperialists of the same family. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Czar Nicolas II of Russia and King George V of Great Britain were all linked to the British royal house of Queen Victoria. These three imperialists started the conflict and forced millions into their graves. As the ruling class demanded soldiers, leaders of the workers movement betrayed the internationalist ideas of socialism, by calling on workers to fight for their countries. The Social-democratic Party of Germany, the British Labour Party and the French Section of the Workers International sided with the capitalist class in promoting chauvinism and militarism!

World War One could have ended in victories for socialism. This did not happen because the leaders of the workers movement at that time, were reformist and willing to compromise with the capitalist establishment. This is why we now name social democrats to be opponents of socialism. They may look ”red” and use leftist language, but social democracy has always turned on the working class. Before 1914, the name ”social democracy” was a collective term for all leftists. Revolutionaries and moderates were all called social democrats. It was Lenin who choose to use the old name; ”Communist” again, after the first Communist League led by Karl Marx. Those who favored revolutionary socialism started to call themselves communists, while the moderates stayed with the label: social democracy!

There is however a huge difference between social democracy of 1918-1945 and social democracy after 1945. These moderate socialists who rejected the socialist revolution, still held on to a believe that a socialist society was possible in a far distant future. However many moderates started to abandon this view after they entered in coalition governments with capitalist forces. With the Stalinist degeneration of the Communist International, communist parties were told to work with progressive elements of the bourgeoisie. This happened in France and Spain, under the so called ”Popular Front” governments. Neither of these countries became socialist, despite some improvement in the living-standards of workers. Social democracy and stalinism are the direct cause why no revolution against colonialism and capitalism ended in genuine socialism. Social democrats choose to collaborate with the ruling class and stalinists build single party systems with a top-down centralized economy. This model was only abandoned in the late 1980’s, which the ruling class (and social democracy) called the ”failure of socialism” or the ”collapse of communism”!

Back in 1918, the Russian Revolution had scared the ruling class of Europe. German imperialism used their peace treaty with Soviet Russia to move troops to the western front, they hoped to defeat the western allied forces. Imperial Germany was by 1918 on the brink of collapse. Troop moral was low as famine plagued their homeland. It is reported that 763,000 German civilians died from starvation and disease caused by the British blockade up until the end of December 1918. All victims belonged to the working class as the German bourgeoisie kept itself well nourished. Kaiser Wilhelm ordered the ”Kaiserschlacht” the spring offensive of March 1918. The outcome results were only moderate and by August, the allies had recaptured what they lost. Wilhelm was blinded by arrogance and military incompetence. It was field-marshal Paul von Hidenburg who realized in November, that the monarchy and the German Empire was lost. He choose to support the social democratic leader: Friedrich Ebert, to keep his class in power. The Kaiser abducted and left for the Netherlands on 10 November 1918. Next day the German High Command ordered a cease fire and World War One ended!

The peace treaty with Soviet Russia was annulled with the collapse of the empire and the proclamation of the German Republic. Western forces wanted this because they were planning an invasion of revolutionary Russia. Their goal was to support the White Armies and reinstall capitalist rule in the former Czarist empire. Winston Churchill was one of these imperialists who wanted to crush the socialist revolution. In 1919, he ordered 40.000 British troops to fight alongside the anticommunists. Even before the treaty between Imperial Germany and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the British planned to overthrow Lenin and install a pro-western capitalist dictatorship. Since nationalists had taken power in the Caucasus, the British Empire planned on turning these new bourgeois states into ”protectorates” of London. Spy and agent: R. H. Bruce Lockhart tried to overthrow soviet rule in Moscow, with support from the French and British. But his co-conspirators turned out to be double agents, working for Felix Dzerzhinsky of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (secret police). Western imperialism was exposed and Lockhart only saved because of a prisoner exchanged!

100 years after the end of the war, nationalism and far-right populism are winning ground. Again this is because the political left-wing is unable to offer a socialist alternative out of the crisis that capitalism creates. Most European nations lack workers parties that stand for a socialist revolution, those who call themselves ”socialist” or even ”leftist” are often moderate and do not wish to brake with whole system. The old social democratic parties have lost most of their working class electorate, while the far-right is winning workers. They exploit the huge vacuum on the political left with racism and xenophobia towards Syrian refugees. Muslims are stigmatized and discriminated at a rate that is becoming almost equal to the antisemitism of pre-war Europe. Racists and anti-Muslim bigots are hiding their intolerance under a cloak of genuine religious criticism. They claim that they only reject Islam, when in reality they promote an agenda that is based on ethnic hatred. Germany experienced a huge increase in antisemitism after 1918. Far-right nationalists blamed the Jews for the armistice and revolution. The German National People’s Party (1918-1933) was the party of German antisemitism, monarchism and right-wing nationalism, until it was surpassed by a Austrian corporal and his gang of Bavarian thugs!

Despite the horrors of the first world war, the seeds for the second were planted on 28 June 1919. The Treaty of Versailles solely blamed Germany for the conflict. The former empire was forced to pay over 128 million reichsmark, then $31.4 billion or £6.6 billion, roughly equivalent to US $442 billion or UK £284 billion in 2018. Friedrich Ebert accepted German guilt, but he forced workers to pay for it. Because in the 1920’s it was the working class who suffered from the effects of hyper inflation. The newly established Polish state took a huge part of Eastern Prussia. France retook control of Alsace-Lorraine, a region that was annexed by Imperial Germany in 1871. In Africa, all German colonies were transferred to British or French colonial control. The Treaty of Versailles was hated by far-right nationalists and rejected by the revolutionary left. But the social democrats, conservatives and liberals supported it. Since these three had the majority in the Reichstag, the Weimar Republic accepted. Under the terms, the German Army was reduced to 100.000 active soldiers. It was forbidden to own an air-force and its navel fleet was not allowed to extend beyond six pre-dreadnought battleships, six cruisers, twelve destroyers, and twelve torpedo boats!

In 1923, Germany stopped paying money to the allies. In response, France choose to occupy the Rhineland, the most industrial part of the Weimar Republic. French soldiers crossed the border and captured cities like Bonn and Köln. Germany did not offered armed resistance, still over 130 civilians were murdered by the French occupation forces. This happened after the soldiers opened fire on a demonstration against the dismissal of public workers. After the killings, the world turned against France and Germany was viewed more sympathetic. Paris was forced to accept the Dawes Plan which lowered German war payments. In July 1925, French troops were pulled from the Rhineland!

Britain had rejected the invasion because it was ruled by the social democratic: Labour Party in coalition with the Liberal Party. This workers party was moderate and like the Social-democratic Party of Germany, it worked with the liberal bourgeoisie to form a typical capitalist-imperialist government. Ramsay MacDonald was the Labour leader and the first social democratic prime minster of Great Britain. Because he abandoned the idea of socialism in favor of class collaboration, MacDonald is rightfully denounced as a class traitor. His reputation was partly restored by British social democracy after the whole Labour Party turned right-wing and pro-capitalist in the late 1980’s. With the establishment of New Labour by Tony Blair, MacDonald was once again regarded as a ”fine and stable” leader. He can be called the ”Friedrich Ebert” of Britain!

Germany not only lost its colonies, the country was forced to hand over its priced civilian steamships. The USA had interned many German passenger ships after they entered the conflict in 1917. These vessels were then turned into troop transports, carrying soldiers to Europe to fight the nation that had build them.

Famous ocean liners captured by the allies were

  • SS Kronprinz Wilhelm: Build in 1901 and interned in April 1915, taken over in July 1917. Then renamed USS Von Steuben and scrapped in 1923.

  • SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie: Build in 1906 and interned in August 1914. Taken over in July 1917 and renamed USS Mount Vernon (ID-4508). She was used as a troopship until 1920. Stored with the USS Agamemnon for 19 years until scrapped in 1940.

  • SS Kaiser Wilhelm II: Build in 1903 and interned in August 1914. Taken over in August 1917 and renamed USS Agamemnon. She was named USAT Monticello in 1927, but had no active service after the war. USS Agamemnon and the USS Mount Vernon were lying side by side, until both ships were scrapped in 1940.

  • SS Imperator: Build in 1913, pride of the Hamburg America Line. Taken over by the Allied Food Shipping and Finance Agreement and given to the British, who renamed her RMS Berengaria. She was the flagship of the White Star Line until 1934, when she was replaced by the RMS Majestic. In 1938, the Berengaria was sold for scrap.

  • SS Fatherland: Build in 1914, sister to the SS Imperator. She fled to the USA and was seized by the United States Shipping Board in 1917. Renamed USS Leviathan and served as a troop-transport until October 1919. The Leviathan returned to civilian life as flagship of the United States Line. She never made a profit and was put out of service in 1933. After five years inactive, the ship was scrapped.

  • SS Bismarck: Launched in 1914, but not completed until 1922. The ship was given to the White Star Line as a war price, who named her RMS Majestic. The German shipyard-builders however completed her as the SS Bismarck, which forced the British to repaint and remove all German references. She became the flagship of the line in 1934, but was scrapped after a fire destroyed her in 1939.

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    Ex-German steamships stored in the late 1930’s on the Patuxent River, Chesapeake Bay.

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100 years – German revolution

In November 1918, soldiers and workers rose up against the imperial government of Wilhelm, Kaiser of Germany. After four years of brutal war which killed over two million German soldiers, the army of the Kaiser had enough. They looked towards the Social-democratic Party of Germany (SPD) to lead them into revolution. But the revolutionary workers and soldiers were betrayed, because the SPD had abandoned the idea of revolution. By 1918, the social democrats only wanted to reform the capitalist state not abolishing it. They betrayed the ideas of socialism on which the social democratic party was originally build. In the end over 5.000 workers were killed to save German capitalism, this was the first of many betrayals of social democracy in Europe!

The Social-democratic Party of Germany was founded in 1863, as the General German Workers Association. It fused with another socialist party in 1875, to form the Socialist Workers Party of Germany (SAPD). The ruling class of the German-Empire feared the party and its revolutionary potential, so the conservative government of Otto von Bismarck proclaimed the anti-socialist laws. Despite these undemocratic laws the party grew in strength and after Bismarck was fired by Kaiser Wilhelm, the anti-socialist laws were not renewed. In 1890, the SAPD changed its name to Social-democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the present name of the party!

Like many other labour parties, the SPD was instrumental in building personal freedoms in Germany. The ruling class did not liked that, freedom for the individual to reject or criticize the Kaiser, God and Country. German conservatives hated liberal values and emperor Wilhelm (unlike his father) was a conservative monarch. The monarchy wanted to keep themselves in power and used their political puppets to hinder any movement towards liberalization. Inside the SPD a debate grew between revolutionaries and moderates. Those who favored a revolutionary road to socialism faced off against those who wanted to work with the liberal bourgeoisie (ruling class) in building a democratic parliamentary monarchy. The right-wing of the party also became nationalist, rejecting the internationalist values of Marxism!

In August 1914, all political parties in the German Reichstag (parliament) needed to vote on the war credentials of emperor Wilhelm. The Kaiser wanted war and needed the approval of the Reichstag. Inside the SPD the right-wing won the debate and the party became chauvinist. Because of party discipline, all elected members were forced to vote as one. Only one member refused to vote YES, this was Karl Liebknecht. He was the son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, who was a founder of the early Communist League (1847-1852) and a friend of Karl Marx. Karl Liebknecht rejected the nationalist majority as they betrayed the founding principals that workers should never fight other workers. German workers were told by the social-democratic party to be patriotic and join the Imperial Germany Army. For God, Kaiser and Fatherland, the SPD joined the ruling class and their militarism!

Liebknecht was unable to stop the war and for his opposition to German imperialism, he was arrested and forced to join the army. The SPD was not the only European workers party who betrayed its socialist program, by supporting the imperialist war. British and French workers were also told by their labour parties to enlist into their national armies to fight each other. The man in Germany who led the SPD into the war was Friedrich Ebert. This right-wing social democrat had been elected party leader in 1913 and used his position to move the SPD away from international socialism. Ebert is hailed today by the ruling class and social democracy as a true ”democrat” despite his support for the war and his role in destroying the German revolution!

In 1916, the Social-democratic Party of Germany decided to expel all anti-war members, this meant that the left-wing of the party was purged. Karl Liebknecht decided to set up a new anti-militarist revolutionary party called the Spartacus League. His supporters included Rosa Luxemburg, Leo Jogiches, Paul Levi, Ernest Meyer, Franz Mehring and Clara Zetkin. In December 1915, new war credentials had to be approved by the Reichstag again. By now it was clear that the war would not end quickly. The Imperial German Army was stuck in Belgium and fighting a bloody trench-war. This time more SPD representatives rejected the war and for that they were expelled by Friedrich Ebert. With the help from Liebknecht they set up the Independent Social-democratic Party of Germany (USPD). This USPD rejected the nationalist mother-party and called for an end to the fighting. German conservatives and nationalists branded them enemies of the state and many were arrested!

A year later it became clear that the war was going nowhere. Still the Kaiser and his generals believed in victory. Meanwhile the working class was suffering. British ships blocked German harbors preventing food from arriving. Germany could not feed its population on its own. By 1917, shortages were more and more common. The ruling class could keep itself fat, but for ordinary workers the prices for food rose each month. Kaiser Wilhelm agreed in April of that year to transport the leaders of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party from Switzerland to Russia. Although Russian social democracy was also divided between those who supported the war (Mensheviks) and those who opposed it (Bolsheviks), the Kaiser hoped that if the anti-war social democrats could take power, they would end the war on the Eastern Front. Germany needed to move troops towards the west if they wanted to defeat the western allied forces. In April 1917, the Kaiser allowed the Bolsheviks to travel through Germany. A few months later they had won the majority in the Soviet of Petrograd (Russian capital). After the October Revolution, the new socialist government of Vladimir Lenin started peace talks with Imperial Germany!

After the peace talks resulted in a treaty between the German Empire and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Kaiser could transfer troops to the western front. However this did not result in a German victory. By August 1918, the allied offensive had retaken much terrain and the Imperial Germany Army was about to collapse. General field marshal Paul von Hindenburg understood that the war was lost. However he could not persuade the Kaiser from ending the conflict. Wilhelm was an arrogant leader who could not accept defeat. Then on 29 October 1918, German sailors refused the order to sail out. They were the first who rebelled against the Kaiser. Navy units opened fire on the striking sailors, killing 7 and wounding over 25. This was the spark and within days the whole Imperial German Navy rebelled. Sailors lowered the Imperial War Banner and raised the red flag of revolution. By early November the naval port of Kiel was under revolutionary control!

Workers also rebelled as they had enough. Together with soldiers and sailors they set up soviets (revolutionary councils) across Germany. Now the bourgeoisie was in a state of full panic. In desperation they demanded that all German kings abducted which all did by the end of November. To keep the workers in line the SPD was needed to save the capitalist state. Friedrich Ebert knew that his time had come. As the ruling class panicked, he was appointed to become the next head of state. Wilhelm had fled to the Netherlands and Paul von Hindenburg promised to put the army at the disposal of the right-wing social democrat. Meanwhile the Spartacus League led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg demanded a socialist democracy. As the Reichstag was informed about the plan of Liebknecht to proclaim a socialist republic in Germany, SPD representative Philipp Scheidemann decided to proclaim the German Republic from the balcony of the Reichstag. Hours later Karl Liebknecht did proclaim the Free Socialist Republic of Germany!

By 8 November 1918, there were two forces at work. One tried to save the ruling class and the capitalist system, the other tried to overthrow it. The capitalist media portrayed the soviets as ”Jewish Bolsheviks” who had to be crushed. Inside the soviets many representatives from the SPD did their best to sabotage the democratic process. They never believed in a socialist democracy and only got themselves elected to prevent the revolutionary socialists from taking over. Few workers had realized how far the SPD had betrayed them. Many were still under the general idea that the SPD was a workers party, fighting for socialism. After all, they had done so since 1863. The minor Spartacus League lacked the numbers and influence of the larger social-democratic party. Since they were suppressed by the former imperial government, few workers knew of the revolutionary party. Also we must not forget that Karl Liebknecht was not a leader like Vladimir Lenin. The SPD still controlled the majority of support from workers!

Red flags were flying over government buildings in Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Bremen, Chemnitz and Gotha. The former imperial army was ordered to move into these cities and end ”Bolshevik” rule. Many soviets surrendered as the SPD representatives told workers that the future of Germany was in parliamentary democracy. However many soldiers lacked the will to fight actual armed workers. Troop moral was very low and the High Command realized that the army would not crush a revolutionary uprising if this happened. Therefore it was decided to set up far-right paramilitary units called the Free Regiments. These regiments would then be used to destroy those soviets who did not surrendered to Friedrich Ebert and his government in Berlin. However the new head of the German Republic soon had to flee his office after a mob of angry soldiers marched in. They look control of the chancellery and cut off communication. Had these soldiers been under revolutionary leadership then capitalist rule would have ended on 25 December 1918, it did not. They never took the government ministers and allowed for Ebert to resume his work after Christmas!

By now the Spartacus League understood that they needed to be the revolutionary vanguard of the revolution. On 4 January 1919, they renamed themselves into Communist Party of Germany. The new KPD and USPD rallied their supporters to overthrow Ebert and his capitalist government. However it was too late as soldiers loyal to Paul von Hindenburg had entered the capital. In bloody street fights that lasted 11 days, over 3.000 revolutionaries were killed by far-right: Free Regiment units. They captured Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg on 15 January. There was never a order from Ebert to executed the two communist leaders. However the Free Regiments did not care. The KPD leaders were tortured for hours and then executed as ”Jewish Bolshevik rats”. Waldemar Pabst claimed that he killed Liebknecht and Luxemburg. For this crime the far-right murderer was never punished by the Ebert government. With the execution of their top leaders the KPD was weakened, but not yet defeated. Friedrich Ebert may had crushed the socialist revolution, but his new republic would be far from stable!

In the city of Weimar, the SPD and the bourgeoisie founded their parliamentary republic. On paper the state was still called Das Deutsche Reich (the German Realm). In the history books it became known as the Weimar Republic, named after the city. Friedrich Ebert was elected first president. Social democrats and liberals then introduced the black-red-gold banner of 1848 as the new state flag, replacing the black-white-red flag of Imperial Germany. As conservatives and nationalists never accepted democracy in general, they rejected the new Weimar flag. The KPD also refused this republican flag and kept the red banner as their symbol. It is ironic that after 1945, the KPD wanted to use the imperial colors for their Stalinist state, only for Ebert’s son to call for the Weimar flag to be used in East Germany. In the Reichswehr the new colors were never accepted. Army units kept the imperial war flag as their symbol. Merchant ships also kept using the colors of the old German Empire, this meant that the republican colors were only used by the government inside Germany!

On 13 March 1920, the new state faced another crisis. Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Lüttwitz tried overthrow Friedrich Ebert with support from the Reichswehr. Both men were far-right nationalists and hated the Weimar Republic. Ebert called for a general strike as workers refused to accept the far-right. In the Ruhr the KPD and USPD organized an army of 50.000 revolutionary workers to fight the Reichswehr. After only a few days the coup failed, Kapp and Lüttwitz fled. Those who supported them however were not punished. Ebert and his government wanted to forget this incident and did not call for harsh punishment of those soldiers who had tried to destroy the bourgeois-democracy. Angered by this the Red Army of the Ruhr refused to disband. They had defeated many Reichswehr & Free Regiments and soviets had been created to replace bourgeois rule. Berlin ordered the army and far-right to go into the Ruhr and kill off any rebel they could find. Over 1.000 revolutionaries were killed and executed. Again the SPD used the army and far-right to save their capitalist state!

The pro-revolutionary USPD joined with the Communist Party of Germany in December 1920. But a large minority (45%) rejected the fusion as did 3/4 of all elected officials of the USPD. They kept the party alive while the majority entered the communist party. Future KPD leader Ernst Thälmann was a USPD member. The Independent Social-democratic Party of Germany moved to the right by allying itself with the very party they had opposed during the first world war. In July 1922, the SPD en USPD had become friendly and talked about reunification of the two social democratic parties. A small faction refused the merger and kept the party’s name after the USPD merged with the SPD to form the United Social-democratic Party of Germany in September. The old name was restored however in 1924. Under the leadership of Georg Ledebour and Theodor Liebknecht (brother of Karl Liebknecht) the USPD stayed alive until it merged with other leftists in 1931, to form the Socialist Workers Party of Germany. This party tried to bridge the gap between the now Stalinist KPD and openly capitalist SPD!

In 1928, the Stalinist leaders of the Communist International demanded that all communist parties viewed the social democrats as ”social-fascists”. This sectarian position resulted in the fact that no united front against fascism was build until 1932. By the time Stalin called for unity against that Austrian corporal and his far-right Nazi Party it was too late. In March 1933, the Social-democratic Party of Germany was banned and could not operate freely until May 1945. After the war the SPD choose to abandoned Marxist socialism altogether, to show their ultimate loyalty to capitalism. This was done in 1959 when the party adopted a new program, that did not mentioned Marxism anymore. At the end of the 1980’s, the social democratic party accepted neoliberalism and austerity as their new gods!

The KPD degenerated into a Stalinist party and was forced to fuse with the East-German SPD in 1945 to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). From 1948 until 1990, this SED ruled East Germany with an iron fist. Their German Democratic Republic was build on the same parliamentary model as the Weimar Republic. There was nothing socialist about this Stalinist state. Today in 2018, the SPD is still regarded as left-wing by the capitalist media. Some workers still have the illusion that the party is (center) leftist. But even this is not true as in any coalition with the right-wing conservatives, the SPD has acted as a typical bourgeois party. In fact it has never worked to build socialism since that first betrayal in August 1914. The party that was build to lead the German workers into a socialist society betrayed the revolution. Today we see the results of that betrayal as the SPD is neither a workers party nor a socialist party!

 

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More deaths thanks to the right-wing

With far-right ideas becoming more popular, so does the terrorist right-wing. Despite the claims by Fox News and other propagandists of the ruling class, right-wing terrorism is growing. This is because terrorists on the right believe they have the momentum and feel strengthened now that Donald Trump is president of the USA. The capitalist media loves to portray the far-left on equal grounds with the far-right. As if all members of the Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) are as violent and brutal as far-right scum. The numbers however tell the truth. 73% of violent extremist incidents that resulted in deaths since September 2001 were caused by right-wing extremist groups. The latest right-wing mass murder happened in Pittsburgh were Robert Bowers killed 11 people in a Synagogue. Bowers is a antisemitic terrorist and a supporter of Donald Trump, just like Cesar Sayoc. This is the guy who send letter-bombs to Trump critics and had his minivan filled with pro-Trump stickers!

Fox News tried to downplay the right-wing ideas of both terrorists. The far-right propaganda network even tried to portray Cesar Sayoc as a ”leftist conspiracy”. Many Trump supporters are willing to believe this lie, that Sayoc is an operative for the ”liberal elite”. However Robert Bower cannot be downplayed. He is a far-right antisemitic, who blamed Jews for the immigrants trying to enter the USA. This is why Bower opened fire on a Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 innocent Americans. Both men support Donald Trump and his far-right agenda. Despite the attempts by right-wing propagandists to downplay the conservative-nationalist-antisemitic ideas of the suspects, there is no doubt that far-right terror is on the rise thanks to Trump and his statements. However this is not reported on Fox News. They claim that far-left terror is on the rise. These propagandists are told by Rupert Murdoch to spread misinformation and lies. Unlike far-right terrorism, there are very few deaths caused by left-wing terror. Even more Americans got killed by Islamic terrorism, which is a conservative right-wing religious ideology!

The supporters of this idea that left-wing terror equals right-wing terror often use the Stalinist regimes as example. However if we look closely to the actual nature of these regimes we will find out that most deaths caused by Stalin and Mao were caused by starvation due to mismanagement of the economy. Kim Il Sung in North Korea also faced a hunger crisis in 1991 after the USSR collapsed and China demanded market prices for crude oil. North Korean workers starved as the state could no longer supply them with basic food. The same happened in the Stalinist USSR and Maoist China. Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) and Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) caused mass-starvation which resulted in the deaths of millions as the ”Red Emperor” cared very little for the lives of the Chinese peasant and working class. Now it is true that left-wing groups used terror against innocents in the 20th century. The Red Army Faction in Germany, the PFLP in occupied Palestine and the Viet-Cong used terrorism as a weapon. However their victims are nothing compared to the massive loss of human lives thanks to right-wing terror. In Latin America far-right terrorists were trained by the CIA and responsible for 90% of all deaths between 1945 and 1990!

Revolutionary Socialist Media rejects the ruling opinion that the far-left is equally bad as the far-right. We reject the violent methods of some anarchist groups during protests. Property damage however is a far cry from killings, which is what the right-wing is more famous for. 92% of all ideologically motivated homicide incidents committed in the United States from 2007 to 2016, were motivated by right-wing extremism or white supremacy. Even the capitalist media is forced to accept these numbers. The left-wing may cause more property damage, but right-wing thinking is the number 1 reason for mass murder in the USA. Why is there a rise in far-right extremism? Because the ruling class is using fear to divide the working class. White workers are brainwashed by nationalist propagandists who tell them that the Democratic Party is to blame for their poverty. Liberals, progressives, socialists and black activists are portrayed as ”Un-American”. This fear-mongering reminds us of the Red Scares in the 20th century. Back then the ruling class also used fear to misled white workers into hating leftism. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 fueled the hatred. Right-wing conspiracy propagandists like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones portrayed Obama as a demon and a secret Muslim. They planted fear in the minds of people like Cesar Sayoc and Robert Bower!

It is time for American workers to stand up to these far-right terrorists. Racism and fascism must be destroyed and they can be by united action of all workers. Whites, Blacks, Asian and Latino, all must unite against their common enemy: the capitalist class who controls the flow of misinformation and right-wing nationalism. Fascists have always been the storm-troopers of those who own the means of production. The German bourgeoisie in the 1920’s supported Hitler and his Nazi Party, in the hope they could destroy the German left-wing. Italian capitalists supported Benito Mussolini as was the Roman Catholic Church. The same church gave full support to Jozef Tiso, who was a Catholic priest before he became the fascist leader of Slovakia between 1939 and 1945. After the official end of fascism, the western imperialists started to support the far-right regime of Franco in Spain until his death in 1974. The Spanish Führer had killed over 200.000 since 1939. Conservative dictator Marcelo Caetano of Portugal was overthrow in 1974 and the country became a democracy. This democratic revolution was not the work of the west, who had supported Caetano and his predecessor António de Oliveira Salazar. In the 1980’s the USA became the de facto ruler of El Salvador as the CIA controlled its army and far-right paramilitary from 1984 until 1989. The right-wing terror regime of José Napoleón Duarte killed 40.000 people with full support from Ronald Reagan!

In the USA there is a fundamental problem with government officials ignoring the violence and terror from the right-wing. This done deliberately, because the capitalist state looks away when far-right terrorists do their evil. In Germany, there is also an increase in violence due to right-wing hatred. The far-right National-Socialist Underground killed ten people between 2000 and 2007, yet the government was unable to stop them. Why? Because the German state believed that the far-left was far more important to monitor then the far-right. In America the same thing is happening, especially now that Donald Trump is president. A capitalist state will always be biased and less willing to stop right-wing extremism, because the far-right are their shock troops against the left-wing. J. Edgar Hoover abused the Federal Bureau of Investigation to act as the sword and shield of the capitalist class. Hoover used his agency to harass political dissenters and activists. Although he died almost 45 years ago, the FBI is build on his standards and his legacy is still enforced. Off-course the agency will deny that they only look at left-wing groups, but reality remains that government funding for investigation into far-right groups has been diminished, despite the fact that right-wing extremism is the number 1 reason for mass murder!

 

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Research as cloak for mass-murder

There have been many killings in human history, some under the cloak of research. The Nazi’s used prisoners of their concentration-camps for research. Thousands of Jews, Gypsies and others died by the hands of Nazi ”researchers”. Another group of living beings are targeted under the cloak of research. Whales, protected by international law, yet hunted by criminal Japanese whalers on order of the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR). They claim they only hunt because of scientific research, this is allowed under the laws of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Because the laws on whaling allows nations to set their own quota, Japanese whalers have decided to hunt for 1000 whales each year. They mask their ships with IWC emblems and paint the word ”Research” on the sides of their vessels. Their fleet is created not for research, but for commercial whaling!

The Institute of Cetacean Research (日本鯨類研究所) is founded in 1947, as a non-profit research organisation specializing in the ”biological and social sciences” related to whales. Their parent agency is the Japan Fisheries Agency, who represent the fish capitalists of Japan. After the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling in 1986, the ICR was giving the task of hunting whales for the Japanese fish capitalists. Their fleet is made up of six ships. Two harpoon-ships who hunt for whales, one factory ship (mother-ship), two spotter ships and one tanker for refueling!

Every year the fleet of the ICR is leaving Japan to hunt for whales in Antarctica. Their goal is to capture and murder 1000 of them. Although commercial whaling is banned, the weakness in the rules has allowed the ICR to continue whaling under the cloak to research. For almost 20 years, the Japanese were able to get their quota and leave the whale sanctuary with 1000 murdered whales. Greenpeace has protested against this, but the IWC has done nothing to stop the ICR. Although many nations say that Japan is violating the law, nobody took up arms for the whales, not Greenpeace and not the nation of Australia who declared parts of southern Antarctica a sanctuary for whales!

In 2003 the ICR would face its biggest enemy. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, led by Paul Watson decided to disrupt Japanese operations. It began with the Taiji-area dolphin hunts, in which the Japanese would brutally hunt and murder dolphins. Sea Shepherd documented the method used to kill dolphins in the Japanese historic whaling town of Taiji. They say that Japanese fishermen use unnecessarily brutal methods to hunt dolphins. Two years later the crew of the RV Farley Mowat tried to stop the ICR fleet in the Southern Ocean for the first time. During this first battle the Sea Shepherds ”sideswiped” a Japanese ship called the Oriental Bluebird. No damage or injuries were reported. The government of New Zealand were not happy with Paul Watson’s attack and called him a ”rouge pirate”. Watson said he would stop harassing the Japanese, if New Zealand and Australia would enforce the ban of whaling!

Watson founded the Sea Shepherds in 1977 after he was expelled from Greenpeace. He used to be a founding member of that organisation. Unlike Greenpeace, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an organisation of direct action. It will not watch while groups like the ICR violate he banning on commercial whaling. Their tactics are controversial, but Paul Watson said; “I did not establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a protest organization,” “I have not gone to sea over all these years to simply bear witness to the atrocities that whalers continue to inflict upon the most gentle and intelligent beings in the seas. We are sea cops — operating legally under the guidelines of the United Nation’s World Charter for Nature, which allow for the enforcement of international conservation law by non-governmental organizations in international jurisdictions.”

In February 2007, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the the Institute of Cetacean Research fought another battle. Two Sea Shepherd ships attacked one ICR ship as it pursued a group of minke whales. The RV Farley Mowat and MV Robert Hunter (now called MV Steve Irwin) threw smoke bombs on the deck of the ICR vessel as it tried to murder whales. The Japanese fought back and tried to push the MV Robert Hunter into the ice. According to Paul Watson the ICR ship then collided deliberately into the port stern section of the MV Robert Hunter, causing damage to the hull!

A year later the Canadian government was able to capture the RV Farley Mowat, when it tried to film the murder of seals. Canada banned the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from entering the area were the hunters were killing seals. Although the Canadians banned the Sea Shepherds from entering Canadian waters, the RV Farley Mowat did entered and was captured by the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship was impounded and kept by Canada for five years. At the time of its capture the RV Farley Mowat was registered in the Netherlands, so it was a Dutch ship!

Operation Migaloo was the code name for the 2007/2008 operation of the Sea Shepherds to stop the ICR fleet. Captain Paul Watson was in command of the MV Steve Irwin the former MV Robert Hunter, renamed after the death of Steve Irwin an Australian wildlife expert, television personality and conservationist. The MV Steve Irwin was made up of volunteers who supported the direct action methods of Paul Watson. Their main enemy was the mother-ship of the ICR fleet the MV Nisshin Maru. This huge vessel is able to process 10 whales a day and turn them into products for Japanese fish markets. It was this ship the MV Steve Irwin targeted!

While the crew of the RV Steve Irwin was fighting the Japanese, their actions were filmed by Animal Planet for the series; Whale Wars. This show made Paul Watson and his organisation famous. Although governments and Greenpeace criticized the series, Watson used it to further his goals. During Operation Musashi the next year, the Sea Shepherds were unable to prevent the Japanese fleet from killing whales right before their eyes. Learning from the previous year, the ICR prepared their fleet to defend themselves against the Shea Shepherds. A new weapon of the ICR during the 2008/2009 season was a Long Range Acoustic Device or LRAD, a sonic weapon that caused pain to hearing. With their ships covert in nets and armed with sonic weapons, the Japanese were able to withstand the attacks of the Sea Shepherds!

The 2008/2009 season also showed that the ICR was getting more aggressive against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. While passive the first years, the Harpoon ships of the whaling fleet were used to prevent the RV Steve Irwin from attacking the mother-ship. After a long battle with the vessels of the ICR, the Sea Shepherds returned to Australia, were the police seized film material and the ships logs. The Japanese government called upon the government of Australia to prevent what they considered violations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea!

Revolutionary socialists see the battles of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Institute of Cetacean Research as a classic fight between people and capital. The capitalists of the Japanese fish industry use the ICR to murder whales under their cloak of ”scientific research”. Paul Watson and his direct action organisation represent the willingness to fight this injustice, against the might of Japan and the capitalist system and his right-wing politicians. Few people in Japan eat whale meat. Only 5% of the Japanese people are reported to buy products made from whales. Yet these 5% are still a market and many millions are made each year. In 2002 you paid almost 57 dollars for one kilogram of whale meat. We know that in 1997 more then 20 million dollars in profits were made by killing 1000 whales, this was before the Sea Shepherds intervened. Now the profits are much lower, thanks to the heroic actions of Paul Watson and his crew!

 

DolphinsEricChristensen

These dolphins are murdered each year in Japan.

Austerity comes to Turkmenistan

Dictator Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is in trouble. The economy of Turkmenistan is not doing well, there is a shortage of basic goods for over two years now. Turkmenistan is a poor country with 58% of all workers living in poverty. Those who have the luxury of living in the big cities like Aşgabat, Türkmenabat and Daşoguz tend to be better off compared to the rest. Berdimuhamedow however has build a huge cult of personality around-himself. This is not something he created out of nothing. Before taking office in 2006, the country was already having a massive cult around ex-Stalinist tyrant Saparmurat Niyazov. This former Soviet boss created a North Korea style absolute monarchy with himself as Head of the Turkmen (Türkmenbaşy). To keep the people in line, the regime kept some Soviet benefits like free drinking water, free electricity and free gas. However Berdimuhamedow has now decided to end the allotments, which will be a disaster for those who are already living in poverty!

The 1,5 million people living in big cities like Aşgabat (capital) and Türkmenabat are among the top of society. However they make up only 30% of the total population. While the totalitarian regime is able to picture a prosperous Turkmenistan, the reality is far different for workers who’s income is too low to survive each month. With the free allotments to be cut, Berdimuhamedow is risking civil unrest. It also remains the question who advised him to carry out these austerity politics. The USA has been hammering for capitalist reforms since 1991. American diplomats have not been happy that Turkmenistan refused to follow the austerity line of Russia. Despite the fact that the regimes of Niyazov and Berdimuhamedow did not follow the demands of the Washington-consensus, they were regarded as neutral friends. Unlike Iran and North Korea, Turkmenistan has been free to buy western technology. While working class people were subjugated to a brutal totalitarian regime, western business men made lucrative deals with the corrupt ruling caste of the ”Democratic” Party of Turkmenistan, the former Stalinist caste of the Turkmen Socialist Soviet Republic!

The death of Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006 marked the start of a new dawn, the reign of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. This man was vice president under the late Türkmenbaşy since 2001 and already very powerful. Berdimuhamedow slowly ended the cult of personality around his predecessor. Now in 2018, all portraits of  Niyazov have been replaced by those of Berdimuhamedow. There are no references anymore to Niyazov nor his book, the Ruhnama (book of souls). For a few years after the death of the first dictator, the Ruhnama was still mandatory for all children, teenagers and adults in schools. However the book is no longer part of the state propaganda now that the works and writing of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow himself are regarded as canon. While some golden statues of Türkmenbaşy remain, there is little else in Turkmenistan that remembers the years when a former Stalinist bureaucrat transformed a Soviet republic into a totalitarian absolute monarchy. As the dictator ended the free allotments, the people were forced to cheer and praise him. They praised the tyrant as ”Great Protector” while he cut off the last benefits of Soviet Turkmenistan!

There is little to no news in the western media about Turkmenistan. Officially the nation is neutral in regard to the new Cold War between the West and Russia. Both Niyazov and Berdimuhamedow kept Turkmenistan out of any alliance and choose to deal with each country independently. The United States has publicly advocated industrial privatization, market liberalization and fiscal reform. They argue that this is the best way for the country to become wealthy. We know that this is big lie, the Americans do not care about the well-being of working class Turkmen. The only thing these imperialists want is oil and Turkmenistan has oil. Despite state ownership over some means of production, the working class benefited very little. This is because the government is only accountable to the president and the caste of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan. Free water, electricity and gas kept most people out of absolute poverty until now. With the government now forcing people to pay for these basic human needs, it remains to be seen how many can survive on their low incomes!

Revolutionary socialists are calling for a revolutionary overthrow of the corrupt regime. We have zero trust in Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and his Democratic Party of Turkmenistan. Despite the attempts by the dictator to portray himself as a man of the people, the former dentist lacks charisma. He was selected by the party to succeed Niyazov because he was vice president. But he lacks leadership qualities which Berdimuhamedow tries to compensate with bizarre media appearances. The state propaganda has granted him many titles, ”Great Protector” is a new one they gave him after he claimed the economy was going very good and the government no longer needed to give free benefits. Reality is that there is a shortage of flour, sugar, cooking oil, and other items for more than two years now. The austerity of the regime is an act of desperation to keep the economy from collapsing. Despite state ownership in some sectors, the country does not have a fully planned economy. Private companies dominate sectors like agriculture (60%), trade (70%) and transport (56%). Between 2013 and 2016 the government privatized a lot of sectors, giving more power to a privileged bourgeoisie that is growing since 2006!

While Iran Air, Cubana and Air Koryo of North Korea are struggling to find new airplanes, Turkmenistan Airlines has been free to buy western equipment. The state airliner is flying Boeing aircraft like the 717, 777 and 757. Like all former Soviet airliners, Turkmenistan Airlines started with Russian aircraft’s left over from the USSR. Saparmurat Niyazov decided to buy American planes as early as 1992. He bought the Boeing 737-300 to fly on short range routes and the Boeing 757 became his personal aircraft. Remember that Iran Air, Cubana and Air Koryo are not allowed to buy Boeing aircraft because of the trade embargo against these nations. Turkmenistan is a totalitarian dictatorship too, but because of the friendly relationship between Washington DC and Aşgabat (capital), Turkmenistan Airlines was free to buy American technologies. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow bought the Boeing 737-800 and choose the Boeing 777-200LR to be his presidential aircraft. Turkmenistan Airlines now fly’s a fleet of 25 planes, all Boeing. All dictators seem to like western technologies and the USA has a selective policy on which dictator is allowed to enjoy their stuff and which ones don’t!

One thing is clear, the austerity in Turkmenistan will hit many workers. Since the country is a totalitarian right-wing dictatorship, these workers cannot fight back. A revolution is needed to overthrow the regime. This is a difficult thing as Turkmenistan is a isolated country with only 15% of its population having access to the internet, which is heavy censored. Even people who live in the big cities are not aware of the growing economic troubles. The state propaganda is claiming that the country is doing great as new buildings are build each year. These constructions are shown on state television. Almost all cities now have modern international airports, but what the propaganda fails to tell is that only Turkmenistan Airlines is using them. Aeroflot of Russia might fly on the capital, but there are zero international flights to other cities!

Since there are few reliable sources for information, we can only estimate the percentage of people living in poverty. We know that 15% have access to the internet and that 58% of all workers earn a low to very low income. Those who live in the cities and make up 30% of the total population are also the ones who own the majority (79%) of all financial wealth. Austerity will hit those 70% poor people outside the capital and big cities first. They are now forced to pay for drinking water, electricity and gas. We know for sure that absolute poverty will grow as more and more working class families will enter massive debts, due to rising prices on basic needs. But will the regime care? No, the family of the dictator enjoy the lives of royals. They own palaces and have millions to spend. It is said that dictator Niyazov owned almost 3 billion dollars stored in a Foreign Exchange Reserve Fund at Deutsche Bank in Germany. His son Murat loved to gamble and once lost over 20 million U.S dollars in a Turkish casino in Ankara. After refusing to pay the money he lost, Murat Niyazov was arrested by the police. Only after his father paid the money he was set free!

Revolutionary socialists know that a revolution is not a easy thing to build. But if poor workers unite in a movement, they can overthrow Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Unlike Kazakhstan and even Uzbekistan, the army of Turkmenistan is very poorly maintained. Even for Central Asian standards, the Armed Forces are lacking in funding. In 2007, the new dictator reduced the army from 100.000 soldiers to around 22.000. If a rebellion erupts and revolutionaries get the support from a majority of the population, then the regime of Berdimuhamedow is finished. The dictator relies on the backwardness and ignorance of his people. Turkmen workers have never known liberty as they have been oppressed since the dawn of modern history. The Turkmen Socialist Soviet Republic was founded on a feudal people with zero class consciousness. Stalin exploited this and enforced great Russian chauvinism on them!

From the 1930’s until the late 1980’s, all political activities were directed and decided by Moscow. The local Stalinist caste made almost no decisions of its own. Saparmurat Niyazov was installed as local boss in 1985. He rejected the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev and remained a dogmatic Stalinist until the failed coup of 1991. After the USSR collapsed, Niyazov became a right-wing nationalist. He abandoned his Marxist facade in only a few months and removed all indications that Turkmenistan was ever a ”socialist” country. Only one Lenin statue remains in the capital, he is surrounded by the symbols and emblems of a Turkmenistan that has build around the ideas of two men who have kept only one thing from the past: A massive cult of personality!

 

CIA killers

The Central Intelligence Agency was the brutal enforcer of capitalism during the Cold War. Out of all secret services of western nations, the CIA was the most ruthless in enforcing the agenda of American imperialism. In the 1950’s, CIA agents overthrew the democratic governments of Iran and Guatemala, replacing them with corrupt anticommunist regimes. In the name of fighting communism, CIA operatives trained far-right killer commando in Latin America and they armed any dictatorship that said: ”I oppose Moscow”. Today the CIA claims to have rejected ”nation building”, but with Donald Trump and other high ranking American officials talking about regime change, it will surprise no one that the CIA will be used again, to enforce the agenda of imperialism!

In the United States of America, the CIA is seen as a force for good. There are many series and movies about brave CIA agents, fighting against evil terrorists who try to harm innocent Americans. Few series and movies are made over how CIA operatives worked to destroy democracy and human rights. These stories are not about brave agents who risk their lives for democracy and liberty. In fact they tell you about dogmatic anticommunists, who believed that they had the moral right to impose their ideology on other nations. We all know that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) tried to impose its will on many countries. The United States of America (USA) did the same. While the Stalinist Empire (USSR) claimed they were anti-imperialist and fighting for socialism, the Capitalist Empire (USA) claimed that anything leftism would lead to oppression and death. This black-white dogmatism was the core ingredient of the Red Scare, a dictatorial wave of hysteria unleashed by the ruling class to silence leftists in the USA!

One of the first dictatorships supported by the Western World was the Republic of Korea. Founded in 1948, it replaced the short lived People’s Republic of Korea, which was born after independent committees had taken over power from the Japanese. The Americans rejected the committees as they wanted a centralized anticommunist government in the south. They already had their puppet; the old Rhee Syngman, to rule as dictator. In the north the popular committees were allowed only because they were not hostile to the USSR. Over time however the Soviets limited their functions as they too wanted a dictatorial government. Since 1948, around 150.000 South Koreans were jailed for political reasons. The Rhee regime claimed they were all ”communist spies” and the USA believed it. At the start of the Korean War in 1950, CIA agents were witness to a mass execution. To cover up for the fact that over 100.000 to 200.000 civilians were murdered by ROK forces, the CIA decided to put the blame on the Korean People’s Army. It was not until 2005 that the South Korean government told the truth, that they were responsible for the Bodo League massacres in 1950!

After a USA led anticommunist alliance had saved the Republic of Korea, Rhee Syngman remained as totalitarian dictator until a popular revolt by students overthrew him in 1960. Fearing a democratic government, the CIA decided to put the military in power. They flew the old dictator out and told the army to take power. They did and killed off anybody who stood against them. In order to keep their anticommunist junta alive, the South Korean military needed a new security police. The CIA was asked to build up the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). This KCIA was a clone of the American CIA, only minus the democratic legitimacy. Agents of the agency were die-hard anticommunists, trained to hate leftism and anything that would harm the power of the military. They swore loyalty to president Park Chung-hee, a former collaborator of the Japanese. CIA agents trained the KCIA to be a useful tool of repression and fear. Many innocents were tortured by this criminal group, all in the name of fighting communism and North Korea. Park Chung-hee was killed by the director of the KCIA in 1979. It was decided by his successor that the agency was to be renamed into Agency for National Security Planning. After the military allowed (limited) free elections, the secret police of the Republic of Korea was renamed again for a final time in 1999. Today it is called the National Intelligence Service. The agency is still allowed to arrest and jail anybody the government calls ”the enemy”!

The CIA organized the overthrow of the only democratic government in Iran. On 19 August 1953, armed thugs (paid by the CIA) overthrew prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Both the CIA and the British SIS were instrumental in destroying the Iranian democracy. It is ironic to think that the current conflict between Iran and the west would not have happened if Mosaddegh was not removed. Iran would have become a constitutional monarchy with a limited role for the Shah. However the imperialists of the Western World feared the populist politics of the Iranian prime minister. He wanted to nationalize the Iranian oil fields, then under control of American and British oil companies. Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to keep Iranian oil in western hands and decided to destroy the Iranian democracy for it. However back in 1953, the public did not knew that these ”Hero’s of World War Two” were only using democracy as a facade to hide their imperialist plans. Churchill and Eisenhower had build a perfect public image as ”great democrats”. Operation Ajax was the secret name of the coup that installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as absolute ruler. 14 years later; Reza Pahlavi made himself King of Kings, an act that would only increase the hatred many Iranians felt for their absolute monarchy. Meanwhile the CIA was training the Organization of National Intelligence and Security of the Nation (SAVAK)!

Founded in 1957, the SAVAK was the brutal tool of the Iranian absolute monarchy. Until the Islamic Revolution of 1979, SAVAK agents arrested and tortured all opponents of the state. The first agents were trained by a team of five American CIA operatives under the leadership of Norman Schwarzkopf, a former U.S Army general. He organized and paid those who participated in the coup that overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh. Schwarzkopf then started to train security officers to become the Organization of National Intelligence and Security of the Nation in 1958. He died in the same year, however the organization he started would become a feared and hated tool. However the SAVAK could not stop the growing hatred against the monarchy. On 7 January 1978 the uprising began. 2.500 were killed by police and SAVAK units. The Iranian Imperial Army was told not to intervene and the opposition called on them to defect. One voice that united the protests was that of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He was a conservative religious leader who’s anti-imperialism and rejection of western values were seen as revolutionary. Most Iranian opposition forces decided to support him, including large sections of the revolutionary left (which was a costly mistake). A year after the first protests had started, Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile. His Council of the Islamic Revolution took over the functions from the old imperial government, which had collapsed as the Shah fled to Egypt. Khomeini purged the leadership of the SAVAK and killed many high ranking members. However it is said that the organization itself was never fully dissolved. Some say the imperial SAVAK was secretly incorporated into the new Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran!

U.S imperialism suffered a great defeat in the 1970’s. Not only did they lost the Republic of Vietnam in April 1975, they also lost the Imperial State of Iran by 1979. In Latin America however the CIA was also busy training killers and oppressors. A year after they had overthrown Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran, the leftist government of Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala had to go. The USA did not liked the progressive ideas of Árbenz who’s politics came in direct conflict with those of the United Fruit Company (today called: Chiquita Brands International). United Fruit lobbied to have the Guatemalan president removed. Dwight D. Eisenhower once again agreed to have a democratic elected leader removed by a CIA organized coup. The Americans found allies in the conservative officers corps of the Guatemalan Army. Organizer of the coup was John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State (Minister of Foreign Affairs). Dulles and Eisenhower planned the overthrow of Jacobo Árbenz together. They gave the green light on 18 June 1954. Officers stormed the presidential palace and removed Árbenz. Then the army formed a military government with Carlos Castillo Armas as leader. Three years of corruption and wasteful spending brought Guatemala to the brink of destruction. Massive anger led to the rise of leftist resistance groups who challenged the military. With brutal force (and CIA support) over 170.000 ethnic Mayans were murdered by police and government soldiers. This is called the Mayan Genocide, however it is relative unknown outside Guatemala. Carlos Castillo Armas was killed by a palace guard in 1957. After his death the USA demanded a government that kept a democratic facade. Pseudo-elections had to be held to keep the illusion of a democratic Guatemala alive!

In Colombia, the CIA supported the conservative government in their ten year civil war with the liberals and communists between 1948 and 1958. This conflict is known as La Violencia (The Violence). The state was under control of the Colombian Conservative Party, a right-wing party of the ruling class. Liberals had build the Colombian Liberal Party and worked with the Colombian Communist Party. However by 1958 they choose to become part of the National Front with the conservatives. Since the liberals also supported the ruling class, they had no difficulties abandoning the revolutionary struggle against massive inequality caused by capitalist politics. This led to the formation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 1964. With the Cuban revolution fresh and Che Guevara as icon, the guerrilla war began. The CIA went to Colombia in 1959. Its operatives were told to train paramilitary groups independent of the official army. These terror squads would be used to spread fear among the peasant population. The FARC listen only 48 active soldiers at its foundation. With CIA involvement they were forced to flee into the mountains to start their war from there. As with Guatemala, the facade of a democracy was kept. On the outside the Colombian state portrayed itself as democratic, while its right-wing terror groups would murder anybody who claimed to be a leftist. Only anticommunists could speak in public with no fear of getting shot!

In the 1984, the government of president Belisario Betancur tried to make peace with the FARC-EP (”People’s Army” added to the name after 82). A ceasefire was declared that lasted from 1984 until 1987. A leftist nationalist party was set up by the guerrilla’s called the Patriotic Union (UP). However the far-right terror groups would not accept a legal leftist party. In only three years they had murdered over 5.000 party members. FARC-EP leaders decided that the government did not cared for peace as they did nothing to end the murder of UP members. This was true, the Colombian state never wanted peace. They only used the end of the ceasefire in 1987 to portray the guerrilla’s as ”violent Marxists”. This worked very good as many urban workers have been raised to hate the ideas of the FARC-EP (Marxist socialism). Most victims of the Colombian-FARC conflict died not because of the guerrilla’s. 88% were killed by the state security forces, police, army and paramilitary. However the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was guilty of kidnappings and drug-trading. They never understood that class struggle is the way to socialism, not guerrilla war. In 2002, the government of Álvaro Uribe started a brutal crackdown on the guerrilla’s. For his harsh tactics; Uribe was awarded the Freedom Medal by his biggest supporter: George W. Bush. Meanwhile the Colombian army and paramilitary were killing and displacing civilians at random, in their hunt for FARC-EP members. The long conflict finally ended in 2017. However the picture of the brutal and cruel guerrilla’s remains dominate. The ideas of socialism are rejected by a majority of urban workers, who have been raised anticommunist!

On 11 September 1973, the CIA organized the overthrow of Salvador Allende, president of the Republic of Chile. Their right-hand man was Augusto Pinochet, commander of the Chilean Armed Forces and a strong anticommunist. Allende could not see how the right-wing was organizing his downfall due to his reformism. Salvador Allende believed in a evolutionary road to socialism by reforming the state. The ruling class however did not liked that. They sabotaged the economy and when the right-wing in parliament called for the overthrow of the president, the army was ready. Like in all anticommunist coups in Latin America, the CIA played a large role. 9/11/1973 was the day Chilean democracy died for 20 years. The USA rejected any accusation that they were involved, however it was clear that the CIA helped the army and Pinochet to take power. After Allende killed himself in the presidential palace, Augusto Pinochet made himself ruler of a military junta. He was the first dictator that started with economic austerity and deregulation. A golden age began for Chilean capitalists who’s profits and wealth grew very hard. Right-wing economists claimed the Pinochet years to be successful, despite the fact that the Chilean debt rose with 300% between 1973 and 1990. They also ignored the huge inequality and poverty that came as a result of unregulated capitalism. After the end of the military dictatorship in 1990, all civilian governments continued the right-wing economics of Pinochet, who was never convicted for his crimes. Even the socialist party of Salvador Allende betrayed its socialist roots as they accepted neoliberalism under Michelle Bachelet!

El-Salvador was the next Latin American nation to be kept in line of western imperialism. In 1979, a bloody civil war began after two colonels staged a coup and created a right-wing military junta. They were supported by the CIA, who started to train death squads as they had done in Colombia. Two years later the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, launched a nationwide uprising against the terror. Because the guerrilla’s were openly supportive of Cuba and the Soviet-Union, the USA denounced them as ”evil communists” and gave full support to the brutal junta of the two colonels. A year later the junta dissolved itself to set up a democratic facade, by electing Álvaro Magaña to be civilian president. This man was only in power until 1984, when José Napoleón Duarte took office with CIA support. He organized the mass killing of at least 75.000 people. Dictator Duarte was supported by Ronald Reagan, who loved any anticommunist dictator. By the mid 80’s, CIA operatives were running the El-Salvador army and its killer commando’s. In a way the nation had become a satellite state of Washington DC. 71.250 people were murdered by the state and paramilitary in only 8 years. You were executed for having leftist views or because you said something critical of Duarte. Yet the American government portrayed the leftist opposition as ”violent and bloody”. It is estimated that the FMLN guerrilla’s killed 3.750 people (less then 5% of the total deaths). The USA ingnored real killers like Roberto D’Aubuisson. This scum was leader of the far-right: Nationalist Republican Alliance and openly called for mass murder. He led a death-squad who planned and executed the murder of bishop Óscar Romero. Both Duarte and D’Aubuisson died of cancer in the early 1990’s, a final act of irony!

The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America was not the ”good guy” during the Cold War. They were brutal enforces of capitalism who killed many to keep whole nations in line of Washington DC. We all know the crimes of the Committee for State Security of the Soviet-Union (KGB). We know of the Nazi Secret State Police (GESTAPO) and the Ministry for State Security of East Germany (STASI). There are enough books about these criminal organisations. But how many high ranking books are there are about the crimes of the CIA? How many television series and blockbuster movies have been produced by Hollywood about how CIA agents organized genocides and mass-murder? NONE! Because in the western world, the Americans have brainwashed a whole generation with their lies about being the champions of democracy and freedom, which they are NOT!!

 

A more representative emblem for the CIA.

The Soviet Army

From February 1946 until December 1991, the Soviet Army was in a constant state of battle readiness. Soldiers were drilled 24 hours a day to prepare for a possible western invasion that never came. The ruling caste of the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union was so afraid of losing their power and privileges, that they drilled many young males into desperation. Army lives was very different compared to that of a western soldier. Soviet soldiers did not have free time and could only ask for 10 holidays after serving for two years, 730 days uninterrupted. Military life was hard and unforgiving. Junior conscripts could face a brutal system of bullying called dedovshchina. This became serious after 1967, when two types of conscription were in the army at the same time!

Pro-Soviet propagandists portrayed the Soviet Army as a heroic fighting force. Defenders of the motherland against the evil imperialists of the west. In reality the Soviet Army was not an army for workers and peasants, but a force of a parasitical bureaucracy that ruled over the working class. The official name until 1946 was Workers and Peasants Red Army, a name they took in January 1918. Joseph Stalin changed it to Armed Forces of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, a year after the Second World War. By then very little remained of the original Red Army that fought against western imperialism and the White Movement in the Russian civil war. Stalin had reintroduced ranks and typical military uniforms in the 1930’s. There was little difference between the Soviet Army and a typical capitalist army of the west. Officers enjoyed privileges like their western counterparts and generals had a lifestyle far above that of an average Soviet worker. Party membership also granted you special privileges and there were political officers that made sure all soldiers were loyal to ”Marxist-Leninist” dogma. Soviet soldiers left Hungary and Poland in 1991 and 1992. In reunited Germany, the remnants of the Soviet Army remained until 1994. They came as the Workers and Peasant Red Army and left as the Russian Armed Forces, flying the flag of czarism and the very collaborators who fought with Hitler to destroy the USSR!

The transformation of the Red Army into the Soviet Army took almost 20 years. In the end the army that used to be a force for the proletariat became an oppressive tool of the Stalinist ruling caste. Although the name ”Soviet” means ”Council” the USSR simply used the term as a name for all institutions. Stalin also needed to get rid of the old army name that Leon Trotsky had introduced. The restoration of ranks and the officers corps signaled the end of the original Red Army even before the war. Twenty years after the October Revolution, Stalin killed off most commanders who had build the Red Army from scratch in 1918. This meant that the military was in a dysfunctional state when the ”Red Czar” ordered the invasion of Finland and the Baltic states. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were easily overrun because red soldiers were already stationed there. But Finland put up a fight and resisted the Red Army. More then 350.000 red soldiers were killed during the Winter War. Stalin blamed anybody but himself and ordered another major purge. By the time the Germans were mobilizing for their invasion, the Red Army was unprepared and lacking leadership as new commanding officers were still in school!

After the first army purge in 1937 the Soviet-Union lost five marshals, 13 of 15 army commanders, eight of nine admirals, 50 of 57 army corps commanders, 154 out of 186 division commanders, 16 of 16 army commissars, and 25 of 28 army corps commissars. Why did Stalin eliminated the Red Army leadership? For the same reasons he purged the All Union Communist Party and the state bureaucracy. Although the ”Red Czar” was in full control he feared the Old Bolsheviks, comrades of Lenin and Trotsky who were still alive. The army was the base of Leon Trotsky, the exiled revolutionary was its first commander from 1918 until 1925. It was thanks to Trotsky that Soviet Russia won the civil war and was able to form the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in December 1922. Stalin however played a minor role in the planning of the revolution. As People’s Commissar for Nationalities he was tasked to give ethnic minorities the right to speak and write in their native language, free from Russian cultural oppression. Since Stalin was a Russian chauvinist, he did not liked that idea. He wanted to be an army commander and so he participated in civil war. After the Soviet-Polish War of 1921, Stalin left the military and focused on his new position as General Secretary of the communist party. With his rise to power complete by 1927, Stalin feared a possible coup from the army. So he killed off the military leaders who had served under Leon Trotsky. In June 1941, the leadership of the army was in disarray after two major purges!

Fear was part of the military life after the first purge. Soldiers and their commanders were so afraid that they did not spoke out against bad decisions. The most feared were the NKVD political commissars. These henchmen were led by the Heinrich Himmler of the Soviet Union: Lavrentiy Beria, a sexual sadist and rapist. The People’s Commissariat of the Internal Affairs (NKVD) was not build as a secret police force. However it became one in 1934 when all matters of union security were centralized in the organization. Stalin did not liked the first two NKVD leaders, they were purged, expelled and then executed by their own people. Beria was installed as boss in 1938 and he made sure that NKVD troops would have the power to outrank any army commander. By 1941 these units could be identified by their blue hat and trousers. Most red soldiers knew that it was a bad idea to get into a argument with these political commissars. Fear of the NKVD was very common, but their absolute power would also put them at risk once captured by the Wehrmacht. Hitlers famous Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars ordered any captured political commissar to be shot. It is ironic that these henchmen of Stalinist oppression soon became the first victims of the Nazi killing-machine on the Eastern Front!

Stalin realized that this duel leadership between NKVD and regular army commanders made battlefield decisions difficult after the invasion began. So he removed the commissars as co-leaders of the Red Army. They were still positioned in army units but could no longer overrule a military decision. The choice of Stalin to allow actual generals to control the military is what gave him victory in 1945. Hitler never gave his general staff the freedom they wanted. He saw himself as the ultimate war lord, because under his leadership they had conquered most of Europe by 1941. Hitler then made himself supreme commander of the Wehrmacht, which forced his generals to obey any military command the Führer gave. Stalin moved to the background after the disastrous failures of the first months. He became a figurehead and listened to the army reports. But he did not challenged his general staff. With military control reestablished the Red Army started a major offensive and after the victorious battle at Stalingrad, there was nothing to stop them from destroying Nazi Germany!

Soviet propaganda during WW2 was brutal and deeply anti-German. After seeing the horrors of Nazi brutality, many soldiers wanted revenge. The propaganda played on that and reminded the troops that they should feel no sorry for German civilians. As the Red Army crossed into Germany, mass rape of women started. Hate propaganda, personal experiences of suffering at home and an demeaning picture of German women in the Soviet press is what led to the rape. Also we must not forget that talking about sex was taboo in Stalin’s empire. Many young soldiers were in the late teens to early twenties and never had sexual experience nor any sexual education. They raped women from all walks of life. Underage girls, teenagers, adults, elderly, no women was save. It is said that over 2 million German women were raped in the last months of the war. Despite the order of January 1945 not to harm the civilian population, the army leadership was unable to stop the hate feelings and desire for revenge. Only 4.000 officers and regular soldiers were convicted of atrocities committed against German civilians. However the official propaganda never spoke of the mass rape. In the German Democratic Republic, the Red Army was a force of liberation and its soldiers were always the ”good guys”. Women who were raped by them had to keep their mouths shut for almost 40 years!

In 1946 the name of the army was changed from Workers and Peasants Red Army to Armed Forces of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. New uniforms had been introduced in 1943, they resembled the old imperial ones from WW1. Stalin was given a special uniform as Generalissimus of the Soviet Union. However he declined to use the rank and uniform. Despite his cult of personality the ”Red Czar” was not bombastic figure who loved medals, uniforms and titles. Stalin choose to remain a Marshal of the Soviet Union and died as one in March 1953. The highest ranks in the army were among the most privileged elite in the Stalinist caste system. They had access to luxury products like cars and large houses. While average workers in the western world could afford a car and a good home by the 1960’s, most Soviet workers and soldiers were still living by the standards of the 1940’s. Car ownership remained a luxury and many models were based on outdated western designs. It was not until the arrival of the Lada Samara in 1984 that the Soviet car industry started to build more modern looking cars. Still the outdated designs remained in production in Russia until the dawn of the 21 century!

Since conscription was mandatory, many males were forced to serve for three years until 1967. In that year the state introduced a two year conscription. Many of the ”elderly” who were forced to serve the full three years were not happy when the new ones came who had to serve less. A system of bullying started called dedovshchina. The perpetrators are often the ones who are in the last year of service, their victims are the juniors who just started. Those who stand up for themselves are denounced for ”not following tradition” by being ruthlessly exploited. Dedovshchina has survived the collapse of the USSR and in 2006 it was reported that over 300 young soldiers had committed suicide. In 2003 when asked about it, the Russian Armed Forces denied that young conscripts were exploited by senior ones. This system of denial is typical as nobody wanted to admit that the former Soviet Amy was in a deep state of neglect. In 2008 the service period for army conscription was reduced from two years to one year. Major reforms resulted in the removal of the warrant officers and a -75% reduction in the rank of Captain. The officers corps was reduced from 365.000 in 2008 to 220.000 in 2012. Military units were also reduced. Out of 1,890 army units (most from the Soviet period), only 172 remain today!

During the Cold War the Soviet Army was always ready for a potential war. Despite the propaganda from the communist party and their satellites, there was no official NATO plan to invade the USSR and the Eastern Block. The Soviet Army however had one build in 1979, it was called: Seven Days to the River Rhine. In this war scenario the armies of the Warsaw Pact would need seven days to defeat the West-German Army and move up towards the Dutch border. The plan was however a response to a possible nuclear attack by NATO on Poland, which would have killed at least two million people. Since there was no NATO attack plan, the Soviet one was useless. However it is clear that the retaliation strike would have used nuclear weapons on many western-European cities, with the exception of those in France and the UK. Maybe because the Warsaw Pact wanted to avoid hitting countries that own nuclear weapons of their own. The Polish People’s Army was to be the vanguard of the attack. They would have to sacrifice their troops long before any Soviet soldier would participate in the fighting. Warsaw Pact soldiers were kept on high alert for a possible nuclear war, this all ended with the rise of Solidarity Trade Union in Poland and the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989!

In 1956 and 1968, the Soviet Army was used to crush independent governments in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The Hungarian Revolution removed the Stalinist regime of Mátyás Rákosi and was about to build a multiparty democracy under the leadership of Imre Nagy. The ruling caste of the CPSU could not accept an independent Hungary that would leave the Warsaw Pact. Soviet soldiers were misled into thinking they would fight a fascist regime and that the Hungarian workers under the leadership of Janos Kadar had asked for their help. 12 year later another independent government was overthrow by the Soviet monolith. This time the Czechoslovak government wanted to reform their system. Alexander Dubček ended state censorship and started to liberalize Czechoslovakia. Hardcore Stalinist members of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia feared for their privileges and asked Leonid Brezhnev to intervene. This time the whole Warsaw Pact was called to ”save socialism” in Czechoslovakia. However there was no unity. Albania and Romania objected to a military intervention as was Yugoslavia (who was not part of the pact). Brezhnev also wanted to include the National People’s Army of East Germany (NVA) in the invasion. At the last moment the NVA was not used as the USSR feared that German soldiers on Czechoslovak grounds (only 23 years after the war) would be a bad idea. The armies of the Soviet-Union, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria participated in the invasion. There was no resistance from the Czechoslovak People’s Army, yet five soldiers choose to commit suicide. Again the Stalinist propaganda misled the invading soldiers into thinking they came to ”save socialism”!

”Marxist-Leninist” (Stalinist) dogma was enforced. Any soldier who criticized the line of the communist party was punished. From 1946 until 1956, the army portrayed Stalin as the Great Marshal. That they won the Second World War because of actual generals was not told. Stalin was the great Marshal of the Soviet Union, who had saved the motherland from fascism. When Nikita Khrushchev exposed the crimes of the ”Red Czar” he was slowly removed from both civil society as the army. Lenin became the center of the Red Army. His face was painted on many barracks and Lenin statues were build in military bases. The Lenin in stone became the personification of the whole Soviet-Union. It is very ironic since the actual Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov would have rejected statues and the bourgeois nature of the army. Ulyanov differs greatly from the Lenin of the official state propaganda. The first Soviet government led by him in 1917 abolished the Imperial Russian Army, its uniforms and medals. Stalin however reintroduced many elements from the old imperial army in 1943. Medal and orders started to depict czarist and monarchist leaders such as Alexander Nevsky, Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Fyodor Ushakov and Pavel Nakhimov!

Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) hated these figures as they were part of the czarist machine that oppressed the working class. Average soldiers however never knew the actual Lenin. They were raised with great Russian chauvinism (love for Russia and its leaders both present and ancient) and Stalinist dogmatism. The Communist Party of the Soviet-Union (CPSU) was always right and the soldier had to obey the party line. In December 1989 the end came. Soviet soldiers faced for the first time the actual feelings of working class people. Many were shocked by the anti-Soviet protests, they believed that they were liberators, friends and comrades. 40 years of propaganda and lies had them unprepared for the massive wave of nationalism and anticommunism. In 1991 the Soviet Army was moved out of Hungary, the first country that asked them to do so. Soldiers could see how the Lenin in stone was pulled down and how their red stars were removed. Then on 19 August 1991, Stalinist hardliners inside the communist party and the KGB started a coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. For 48 hours there was confusion as army leaders tried to understand what was happening. Despite the return of Gorbachev, the end of the Soviet-Union was clear. Russian president Boris Yeltsin abolished the USSR in December and forced Gorbachev to resign as union president!

In January 1992, the soldiers of the former Soviet Army were still in their barracks in Eastern Europe. Germany had been reunified since October 1990 and the German Democratic Republic was gone. Hungary and Poland had removed all elements of Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism) from their societies. Soviet soldiers also got to meet a system they were told to reject, capitalism. Suddenly they could buy western products only available to their commanders and generals before 1989. While Eastern Europe embraced the dictatorship of greed and exploitation, inside the barracks it seemed that the USSR had not died. Soldiers were still told to parade and to practice. However the propaganda was gone, the communist party was gone. Uncertainty was common as few soldiers knew how to live in a post-Stalinist world. The new Russian Armed Forces were pulled out of Poland in 92. They entered a Russia that was already in a state of chaos. Boris Yeltsin was selling the whole economy to anybody who wanted it. Since few workers and soldiers had any actual money, the ones who became the new capitalists were former CPSU bureaucrats. In 1993 a major constitutional crisis started as Yeltsin wanted more power at the expense of the Supreme Soviet. The representatives barracked themselves in the Russian White House and rejected the president. Soldiers from the army were told to open fire on the building. In violent clashes between the army and supporters of the Supreme Soviet, it is said that over 2.000 were killed!

With the downfall of the Supreme Soviet, Boris Yeltsin introduced the czarist eagle as new emblem of the Russian Federation. The Russian czarist flag was also remodeled and it started to be painted on army vehicles. Suddenly the symbols that were called reactionary and banned for 70 years were put on uniforms. In the year 1994, the last Russian soldiers were now pulled from Germany. Few had any idea what would happen once they returned to the Russian Federation. Actually nobody was ready for them since the country was in the iron grip of Yetsin’s free market fundamentalism. The soldiers paraded for the last time at the Soviet memorial in Berlin’s Treptower Park. By now many understood how difficult life would be in capitalist Russia. It is understandable that few wanted to go home. Life in the Soviet barracks was structured and organized, capitalist Russia was disorganized and chaotic. Once home many soldiers became alcoholics as they tried to forget the suffering under the harsh realities of capitalism. Some were told to fight against their own people in the brutal wars in Chechnya, which killed 14.000 soldiers. After they left the barracks in Hungary, Poland and Germany were left to decay. The new capitalist governments cared nothing for the remnants of the Soviet Army. Today barracks are still around and you can visit them. After 29 years of neglect these empty buildings are a ghostly reminder of an army that is now gone!

They were told to be the vanguard of the working class. The Communist Party of the Soviet-Union drilled them from childhood with militarism, Russian chauvinism and uncritical thinking. As the Stalinist system came down these young soldiers were abandoned by very people that had raised them. From 1991 until 2008, the Russian Armed Forces was in a deep state of neglect. Boris Yeltsin is to blame for this fact as he cared little for the soldiers. It was his successor who started to reorganize things. Vladimir Putin inherited an army that was unsure of itself and its history. The new president started to mix great Russian chauvinism with admiration for what Stalin and his successors did. The Soviet Army became a Russian force in history books, the fight against Hitler and fascism is now a key part of the modern foundation myth. The ”Red Czar” returned as a positive figure in Russia. His face has reappeared while that of Lenin is now gone forever. In 2008 a massive modernization started to keep the army up to date. Today in the year 2018, the Russian Armed Forces has been restored as a functional army. Drilled with Russian nationalism and love for its leaders, the soldiers are once again misled into fighting for a country that is build on exploitation of its working class!

A regime you can call: Czarism with Stalinist characteristics!

Царизм со сталинскими характеристиками

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Swedish far-right wins big

Few people in Sweden would have believed in the 1990’s that the racist Sweden Democrats would become the third largest party in the country. However after almost 20 years of austerity and declining living standards, the far-right is winning more and more support among white-workers. They use fear of Muslims and migration to hide their racism and xenophobia. Social democracy in Sweden is losing its supporters very fast. Although the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden is still the largest party in the Riksdag (parliament), their electoral votes is at a historic low with only 28,4% of all voters voting on the social democrats!

Until the 1990’s, the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden always won more then 40% of the votes. It was a party of power and even got a majority in 1940 and 1968. This allowed the social democrats to form center-leftist governments, which forced capitalism to pay workers fair wages. The Scandinavian welfare model worked for 40 years, until neoliberalism was introduced as the new political dogma of the ruling class. Although many Swedish capitalists tolerated high taxes and social spending at first, they started to demand austerity and deregulation in the late 1980’s, in order to keep the Swedish economy ”competitive”. The main party of austerity is the Moderate Party (ironically named Right-Wing Party until 1969). This conservative party used to rule in the 1970’s as their coalition was able to outnumber the social democrats, greens and communists. However back then the right-wing was not yet willing to destroy the welfare state!

In 1991 this had changed. The Moderate Party accepted the neoliberal model as enforced by Washington and Brussels. Their government was the first who started with the dismantlement of the welfare state. Angered by this the workers voted the conservatives out of office. However by 1996 the social democrats under the leadership of Göran Persson had accepted austerity and neoliberalism. Persson was able to remain prime minister for 10 years, thanks to the support from the ex-communist Left Party and the moderate Green Party. With the official left-wing abandoning socialist principals, working class people felt abandoned by the dawn of the 21st century. In 2005, a far-right leader decided to exploit the frustration of white workers, by turning a hard-core neo-nazi party into a ”acceptable” right-wing populist force. This party is the Sweden Democrats (SD) and until 2005 it was a neo-nazi party. Jimmie Åkesson is the man who abandoned the openly fascist rhetoric for right-wing populism. Åkesson started his far-right career in the Sweden Democratic Youth, the SD youth who openly praised Hitler and the Third Reich. By the year 2000, Jimmie Åkesson was chairman of the youth section and worked his way up the mother party. Five years later he defeated the old neo-nazi leadership and became SD party leader!

It was clear the Swedish workers would never vote for the Sweden Democrats unless they renounced neo-nazism and violence officially. Jimmie Åkesson transformed the face of the SD from a violent party into a ”acceptable” one. To win working class voters, the SD needed a new enemy. Jews and communists were no longer the main enemies of Sweden, now the biggest threat are Muslim migrants. Because of the tolerant migration politics of the social democratic governments, many refugees from the middle east found a new home in Sweden. However because of cuts to social services and growing inequality, the white working class started to believe that the government only cared for minorities and migrants. This view is enforced by politicians like Jimmie Åkesson, who claims that Muslims are criminal and should not be allowed into Sweden. Like all far-right leaders, he hides his racism and hatred of Muslims under a cloak of legitimate criticism of Islam!

Revolutionary socialists understand why the SD has become the thirst largest force in the country. Like Hitler in the 1920’s the Swedish far-right plays on fear and insecurity. The rise of none-white people in a pure white country such as Sweden fuels racism. In the year 2000 there were 250.000 people with an Islamic background (this does not mean that they are all religious) in the kingdom, around 3,5% of the population. However due to the conflicts in the middle east, the number of migrants grew to 800.000 (estimation) by 2018. Integrating these migrants is not easy. Racism, discrimination and low income resulted in relative poverty for many in this rich western country. The generation with an Islamic background now faces outright discrimination and rejection in a society that is marked as ”tolerant and liberal”. This is why youth crime is higher among migrants. The same we see in the USA, were black working class families have a higher crime rate compared to whites. Sweden is experiencing the same problem. Many young Swedish Muslims are frustrated by unemployment, discrimination and stigmatization of their religion. It resulted in an increase of radical Islam, which is then exploited by the far-right as so called ”proof” that Muslims are a danger to democracy!

Migration is why the Sweden Democrats (SD) won the 2018 election. Eight years ago the country was shocked when the SD won their first parliamentary seats. However in the growing Islamophobic atmosphere, the rise of the far-right can be explained. This the ruling class and their political puppets choose to ignore, the fears of the white-working class. It resulted in another SD victory in 2014. Revolutionary socialists have always warned that the rise of the far-right is a direct result of the betrayal of socialist principals by not only the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden, but also by the ex-communist Left Party and Green Party, who have supported social democratic budgets which always cut social spending. Workers who vote on the SD feel betrayed and abandoned by the left-wing. Also they are manipulated into thinking that Muslims are the enemy as Jimmie Åkesson and his far-right thugs claim!

The Socialist Justice Party has criticized the official left-wing for its unwillingness to fight for a socialist alternative. It is sad to hear that the leaders of the Left Party have already said that they would enter a coalition government with the social democrats and greens. We know from the past that this Red-Green Coalition will not change anything fundamental for Swedish workers. The social democrats are just as capitalistic as the conservatives are. This might explain why the Moderate Party lost many voters to the Sweden Democrats. Another party who lost votes was the Green Party, who participated in the last government. Because the Left Party was not part of the coalition it did not lose seats, instead it got extra votes and more seats. However the ex-communists are hardly a socialist alternative with their support for social democratic governments and austerity budgets!

Thanks to 1,100,802 voters, the Sweden Democrats are now the third largest party. It is hard to think that 15 years ago, nobody believed that a neo-nazi party would enter the Riksdag. Despite their cosmetic transformation the SD is still a far-right party, that plays on racism, fear and hatred of Muslims. SD elected officials now wear capitalist business suits like all politicians of the bourgeoisie (including those of the social democratic party). Gone are the Nazi symbols, the Hitler salute and the typical fascist uniforms. At the same time the Socialist Justice Party participated in a few local elections. Unfortunate the revolutionary socialists were unable to keep their seats in some local councils, due to a 3% barrier set up by the big parties to exclude smaller parties. The Socialist Justice Party remains one of the few parties who actually fights for a socialist Sweden. However the party is mostly ignored by the mainstream media, just as Bernie Sanders and many third party candidates are in the USA!

Despite the national victory of the far-right, many young Swedish are willing to fight back. The SD may have won 17,6% of the votes, but 82,4% did not vote for the racist party. Anti-fascism is growing among those who say NO to the racist SD. Because no matter which coalition takes power, the ruling class fuels the fascists. Inequality will not end and migrants will still be discriminated and stigmatized by both the media and politicians of the far-right. Despite their ”democratic” facade, the SD youth is far from being anti-racist. Only three years ago the mother party was forced to distant itself from the Sweden Democratic Youth. It was exposed that the youth section was still a breeding ground for racism, white nationalism and neo-nazism. Jimmie Åkesson decided to set up a new youth club called the Young Swedes SDU, which will only include ”good nationalists” and social-conservatives. It was a pathetic excuse to hide the fact the many were still having neo-nazi ideas. Also the links between the Sweden Democratic Youth and the actual fascist Nordic Resistance Movement proof this!

The rise of Islamic fundamentalism is what fuels the fears and growth of the SD. Islamic reactionaries pray on the Muslim youth and their frustrations in Swedish society. Radical Islam tells them that they must segregate themselves and see all none-Muslims are their enemy. This extremist point of view is becoming more acceptable. It is up to working class people to arm themselves and their children against the poison of white nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism. It remains to be seen which capitalist coalition will govern Sweden. Both conservatives of the Moderate Party and social democrats from the Social Democratic Workers Party of Sweden will not fight for the interests of workers. One way or another, the social democratic model is dying. It has been dismantled by the very people who build it up in the 1940’s. Because of this betrayal, working class Swedish do not support them anymore. Far-right populism now wins big in this ”model- country” for many center-leftists like Bernie Sanders!

 

Naamloos

Far-right youth from the Sweden Democratic Youth. Jimmie Åkesson started as leader of this neo-nazi group.

Howick and Lili

Howick and Lili are two Dutch speaking children. They go to school in the Netherlands and have reached puberty (13 and 12). A time of both mental and physical growth for many children, who enter their teenage years. This normal process for Howick and Lili is disrupted by a right-wing government, who aims to deport them. Why? Because Howick and Lili are regarded as Armenian and not Dutch. Despite that they only speak Dutch and have lived in the Netherlands for 10 years, the government of Mark Rutte is planning to deport them!

The children are what English speaking people would call ”illegals”. They never got a resident permit and after many battles in court, a Dutch judge ordered them to be deported. Their Armenian mother was forced out of the Netherlands in 2017. She now lives in poverty and is suffering from a mental illness. According to the Dutch government however, Armenia is save for Howick and Lili. Revolutionary socialists and children’s rights activists know better. The ex-Soviet republic is deeply corrupt and 1/3 of the Armenian population is living in relative poverty. Another 30.000 do not have a house or a place to call home!

The Netherlands is not this liberal kingdom as it often claims. There is racism and conservatism in Dutch society, especially when it comes to migration and black facing. With the rise of right-wing populism, many white Dutch started to see migrants as unwated. As the official left-wing reduced itself to identity politics, the working class was left to face the effects of austerity with no political representation. All Dutch governments since the 1980’s have carried out cuts in social services. The top income tax for the rich has been reduced dramatically. In 2019, the right-wing government of Mark Rutte plans to abolish the dividend tax. This would cost the state almost two billion euros in income. The Dutch cabinet is made up of conservatives (both Christian conservatives and secular conservatives) and liberals (both neoliberals and social-liberals). Social democracts (PvdA) also worked as henchmen of Mark Rutte between 2012 and 2017!

Deporting children who live in the Netherlands for a long time is no exception. In this the pseudo-liberal kingdom acts more like the government of Donald Trump, who has also started to deport people who have been living in the USA for a long time. The law is clear, because the Armenian mother of Howick and Lili lost her battles in court, she was deported in 2017. Her children stayed, but in a state of fear and panic. They do not master the Armenian language and have no family in the ex-Soviet republic. In all, Howick and Lili are two ordinary Dutch teens, who have lived most of their live in the Netherlands. For right-wing people they are not Dutch. Dutch are only those who are born to native Dutch parents or who have acquired a Dutch passport. Legally the teens are ”foreigners”. But the problem is not their legal position, it is who they are as people. Howick and Lili have no connection to Armenia, they are raised Dutch and do not want to be deported to that country. Despite pleading for help, the state remains consistence. The supporters of the government claim that no exception is to be made, since the court has decided that the children are illegals!

Armenia is not a good country for western teenagers to be deported. The collapse of the Soviet-Union in 1991 resulted in huge poverty. It is said that over 50% of all Armenians were living in relative poverty by 2000. For the Dutch state however, Armenia is save and that is enough. They don’t care about the fact that Howick and Lili have no other relatives in Armenia, they don’t care that the children do not speak Armenian. No, the Dutch government says the country is save and therefore they push towards deportation. Officially the Republic of Armenia claims that 30% of their population is living in relative poverty. However unofficial reports say that the actual percentage is closer to 40% or even higher. The Dutch teens could face poverty after they are abandoned by the Armenian state, like so many children. The country has a corrupt political and economic system. There are few opportunities in capitalist Armenia for those who are send back. Howick and Lili maybe helped by the Armenian state to keep up their appearances, but what happens after the media attention is over? The possibility is very high that they end up dumped by the state!

The Telegraaf newspaper, far-right blog GeenStijl and broadcaster PowNed, all owned by the Telegraaf Media Group (Dutch Fox News) openly support the deportation of the two teenagers from the Netherlands. They side with the government because (like all right-wingers) they are so in love with ”THE LAW”. Yet it was this pseudo-liberal kingdom that allowed Howick and Lili to be raised as western teens for 10 years. The Netherlands educated them, told them to write and speak Dutch. Now after so many years the court has ruled that they must be deported as ”foreigners”. This is why revolutionary socialists are against their planned deportation. Howick and Lili are NOT Armenian, they are Dutch by all accounts. Children rights groups agree, so do many people who know them personally. Their mother cannot take care of them in Armenia. She is traumatized after years of battles and suffers from a mental illness. Her Armenian apartment is an old style Soviet flat with no heater or warm water, no place to raise two teenagers!

Revolutionary Socialist Media is reporting on this story because it shows the cruel face of the Dutch government. Supporters of Rutte may claim that the law is on their side, but the facts remains that two Dutch speaking children (who have been raised in a western democratic culture) are to be put on a plane towards a country that does not take care of its own. Had Howick and Lili been older and familiar with the Armenian language, they could have adapted more easily. Also it could have helped if they had living relatives or a healthy mother, the children have not. Howick and Lili are two freighting teenagers who are about to lose their friends and lives in a stable country!

UPDATE: On Saturday 8 September 2018, the state was about to deport the two teens. In panic they fled the custody of their caretakers and went missing. This forced the Dutch government to rethink their position. Finally it was declared that Howick and Lili could stay in the Netherlands. With this news comes an end to the terrible period that started with the forced deportation of their mother to Armenia last year. Revolutionary socialists say that nobody is illegal and that especially children who are raised in the Netherlands, should never be deported!

 

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School children in support of Howick and Lili

Croatia: Workers reject EU privatizations

In the Republic of Croatia (a former Yugoslav republic), shipyard workers are striking against the planned privatization of the Uljanik shipyards. Croatia has joined the European Union and Brussels demands that the nation privatizes their last state owned enterprises. The right-wing government led by the Croatian Democratic Union is willing to carry out the demands of the EU. Despite this fact, many workers still have illusions that ”their” government would save them. Reality is that all governments of the world support only one class. Uljanik workers will have to understand that their company is not allowed to be state owned, since the European Union is build for capitalist interests only!

The ”official left-wing” is led by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP). Until 3 November 1990, this party was named: League of Communists of Croatia, the ruling party of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. As Yugoslav stalinism (titoism) collapsed after their failed last congress in January 1990, the communist league underwent a ideological transformation. They dropped Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism) and embraced social democracy. This was finalized in November, when the party changed its name to Social Democratic Party of Croatia. Understandably many Croatian workers hated the former stalinists. In the 90’s the new social democratic party was a minor force. This only changed after the effects of unregulated capitalism became feel-able. Croatia suffered like all former Stalinist states as poverty and inequality grew massively. The ex-stalinists returned to government in 2000, in a coalition with the Croatian Social Liberal Party!

Because nothing changed fundamentally for workers under the social democratic-liberal government, the conservatives of the Croatian Democratic Union returned to power in 2003. Again their politics were deeply unpopular and the social democrats won the 2007 election. Yet they were not able to form a coalition, this allowed the conservatives to stay in power as they made a deal with the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and social liberals. In 2010 the social democrats founded the People’s Coalition. Inside are the SDP, HSS and the Croatian Party of Pensioners (HSU). To combat this ”leftist” coalition, the right-wing united themselves in the Patriotic Coalition. Here the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has joined up with seven political parties, who range from nationalists to conservatives and even liberals (both nationalist and social). Until the formation of the Workers Front in 2014, the anti-capitalist left was only represented by elderly supporters of Josip Broz Tito. This is the result of massive anti-socialist propaganda and the fact that the SDP used to promote Stalinist totalitarianism (as part of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia). The generation born after 1990 was raised to think of socialism as something that failed!

Stalinism in Croatia was more tolerant compared to eastern Europe and the USSR. Under the leadership of Tito, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia even allowed workers to control state owned enterprises. However on the political front, workers were not allowed to critize the ruling caste around Tito. Any criticism of the party and government was called ”counter-revolutionary”. Some anti-Stalinist leftists in the west were supportive of Tito when he broke with Stalin in 1948. There were even some revolutionary socialists who had this foolish idea that Tito could turn Yugoslavia into a healthy workers state. This was not the case as ethnic nationalism rose very hard in the late 1980’s. Serbian nationalists took control of the communist league in 1988, which resulted in its collapsed by January 1990. Since the Yugoslav party was federal, its sections formed the new social democratic parties. Social democracy in former Yugoslavia started by people who used to praise Marx and Lenin, only they never understood the true meaning of Marxism. With the collapse of the USSR, these former ”stalinists” (titoists) embraced capitalism and austerity as their new gods!

Today the Social Democratic Party of Croatia is not a leftist party and not a tool for workers in their fight against the EU. The Croatian social democrats told workers to vote YES during the EU referendum of 2012. Only 43% of all voters came to vote, this allowed the YES camp to win and Croatia became a member of the European Union. Those who voted YES may also done so in the hope that EU membership would result in massive investments. This is what the capitalist media promised them, that Croatia would become as wealthy as western Europe. Nothing was said about the forced privatizations and deregulation that is demanded by Brussels. All capitalist political parties supported the YES vote, this included the social democratic SDP, the conservative HDZ and their minor allies. Revolutionary socialists called for a NO vote, but since our voice is marginalized in Croatia, few to nobody knew what the socialist alternative is to the EU. Now we are six years later and the workers at the shipyards in Pula and Rijeka starting to realize what EU membership costs them!

Many trade union leaders were shocked by the militant spirit of the workers. Like in all of Europe, many trade unions lack the will to go on strike. Their reformism led to the believe that they could solve conflicts between capital and labour through negotiations only. When the ruling class refused to talk and started to use classic intimidation, many trade union leaders collapsed and capitulated. This weakness is why many workers don’t trust unions, both in Europe and in America. Croatian workers of the Uljanik shipyard lost trust in their company’s management so quickly that they formed an independent strike committee, it forced the official trade union to enforce workers demands. The local city council refused to speak with the strikers. Proofing how deeply the parties of the bourgeoisie hate militant workers. Both the conservatives and social democrats are tools of those who would profit from the privatization of the shipyards and seaports. Greece was also forced in 2015 to privatize their seaports and airports. Today they are owned by foreign capitalists. There are four state owned shipyards in Croatia. Brussels wants them sold to ”investors” which is what workers reject. They have already experienced six years of partial privatization, which resulted in a higher workload and often delays in payment of wages!

Thanks to the pressure of militant workers, the government of Andrej Plenković has guaranteed that unpaid wages will be paid and the present management of Uljanik has agreed to step down. This is a tremendous result achieved through powerful action. But new state managers will not solve anything. Workers need to control the management of Uljanik themselves. In Yugoslav times, the management of the company was under control of those who work. Workers self-management is needed again. If the capitalist state appoints new managers who have a capitalistic mentality, then conflicts will rise again. Privatization will only result in the replacement of state bosses with capitalist bosses. This is why revolutionary socialists call for workers to elect the management of Uljanik shipyard. All major companies who control the economy of Croatia need to be state owned and managed by workers. For this system to be introduced, a workers party is needed. There are over twenty political parties in the Croatian parliament, all of them support capitalism. But only two out of the twenty are important for the ruling class: the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and the Croatian Democratic Union!

For workers there is only the Workers Front. A small anti-capitalist force set up in 2014 as a political initiative of workers, trade unionists, unemployed and students. Despite being small, the Workers Front is the only political party willing to stand for self-management, direct democracy and genuine socialism. If its members are able to spread their ideas to the brave workers at Uljanik, then the front can become what is lacking in Croatia: A party for the working class, in opposition to the parties of EU austerity and capitalist barbarism!

 

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A poster in support of the strike, by the Workers Front.