1996: Inside Burma, land of fear

21 years ago in 1996, John Pilger made this documentary about Myanmar. Back then the country was ruled by corrupt generals who exploited workers, peasants and poor. Today Myanmar is ruled by people who claimed to stand in opposition to the military junta. After 18 months in power the National League for Democracy has not dared to move against the former members of the criminal: State Peace and Development Council. The NLD is not only protecting the generals, but also is making deals with the capitalist establishment of the world. The same capitalists who kept the old junta in power for 24 years. Like the ANC in South Africa, the NLD in Myanmar turned out to be a traitor to the ideas of socialism and democracy!

 

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Aung San Suu Kyi is a traitor to democracy and human rights

State chancellor: Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar is a traitor to democracy and human rights. She was once hailed as a fighter for free speech in a country ruled by the military. After the criminal junta dissolved itself in 2011, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy was legalized. Aung San Suu Kyi is now in power for 18 months and has done nothing to end the suffering of millions. The biggest issue in Myanmar is the prosecution of the Rohingya. This Islamic people has always been hated and rejected by the Buddhist majority. Suu Kyi should have moved against police and army brutality. Instead she remained silent about the massive human rights abuses carries out by police and army units. It is her government that is killing the Rohingya. Her unwillingness to stand up to these crimes makes Suu Kyi a traitor to democracy and human rights! 

Liberals and social democrats had high hopes for Aung San Suu Kyi. Since 1988, she was the face of ”democratic Burma”. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) was seen as the true representatives of Myanmar as they had won the 1988 elections. However the criminal military rejected the outcome and banned the NLD. The junta then ruled the country for 24 years. They exploited, killed and oppressed anybody who rejected their rule. Ethnic minorities took up arms against the racist politics of the military government which favored the largest ethnic group. Guerrilla warfare has made parts of Myanmar very dangerous. Now in 2017, the government is targeting a unrecognized Islamic minority called the Rohingya. Buddhist supremacists claim that the Islamic Rohingya are in fact Bangladeshi and migrated to Myanmar. Religious intolerance is however the true reason for this hatred, because many Buddhists hate Muslims. The western picture of this ”peaceful” religion is completely smashed, when you look at the Buddhists in Myanmar and their intolerance towards the Rohingya!

The National League for Democracy had the obligation to protect ethnic minorities. Problem is that the majority of NLD voters are ethnic Bamar, who make up 68% of the country. Almost all military officials are Bamar and it is this ethnic group that has ruled the country since its independence. Aung San Suu Kyi knows that by standing up for minorities she would alienate her base (which is Bamar and deeply anti-Muslim). She could also be removed from power by the criminal military who control vital ministries and the police. Therefore Suu Kyi keeps quite and tries to spin her way around international criticism. She does not like it when human rights groups criticize her government’s brutal crackdown of the Rohingya. Suu Kyi is now talking like a true ethnic nationalist, hiding behind the facade of ”fighting terrorism”. She sounds just like general Ni Wen, who founded a Buddhist nationalist regime in the 1970’s!

Revolutionary socialists were already critical in 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi is not a socialist, although the NLD claims to be a democratic socialist (and liberal) party. The State Chancellor made it clear that she supports a capitalist market economy. In her 18 months in power she has lifted many government regulations and made a lot of deals with foreign enterprises. Although workers have the right to form trade unions, this is very dangerous in Myanmar. Because capitalists often hire criminals and assassins to kill off strikers and trade unionists. Workers are also afraid of losing their only source of income and few dare to stand up for their rights!

The Rohingya are denied citizenship under the 1982 Myanmar nationality law. This law was created by the ethnic Bamar nationalist regime of Ne Win. According to Human Rights Watch, the 1982 laws effectively deny to the Rohingya the possibility of acquiring a nationality. This means that over 1 million people in Myanmar are not regarded as citizens. They cannot vote, have no access to government assistance and are often exploited as cheap labour. Revolutionary socialists stand with the Rohingya in solidarity and call for a socialist Myanmar, under the control of working class people from all ethnic groups. We do not trust Aung San Suu Kyi nor her NLD. Back in 2011 we were right to be very critical, now we know the true face of this Noble Prize winner. She is truly a Nelson Mandela. A person who claimed to be a force for democracy and human rights, but who failed to deliver once in power. Like Mandela (and Obama in the USA), Suu Kyi has proven that she is not a leader for genuine change!

Over 400.000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar this year. A result of the brutal ethnic cleansing of villages and towns by the criminal military. The Myanmar state media is calling it ”a fight against terrorism” and claims that the army is ”only” protecting the peoples of Myanmar. We known that this is a lie. The military has been killing innocents long before the so called ”restoration of democracy by the NLD”. In her last speech, the State Chancellor (Suu Kyi) did not even mention the name: Rohingya. She called them ”Muslims” in order to hide the fact that her government is killing a people. For Suu Kyi and the army, the Rohingya are not a people but only ”Muslims” with no history of their own in Myanmar!

What can be done? Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for the following:

  • An end to the racist attacks on ethnic minorities
  • Put sanctions on Myanmar’s government, ban the selling of weapons
  • Myanmar is to be isolated unless the ethnic cleansing stops
  • The Rohingya are to be given equal treatment and citizenship
  • Workers of all ethnic groups need to unite in a party on a true socialist program
  • Build a socialist Myanmar, expropriate the ruling class, the military and all who made their fortunes during the military junta period (1988-2011)!

 

The former icon of human rights, now silent about crimes committed by her own government!

 

Cuba’s past and future

The Republic of Cuba under Fidel Castro was praised by so many leftists. They all saw in the charismatic Castro a true revolutionary figure. Unfortunately too many socialists, communists and progressives ignored the deformed dictatorial system, that masked itself as socialist. The right-wing media loves to expose the top-down dictatorship, which is hypocritical because the same right-wing fully supported the Batista regime that ruled Cuba until 1959. U.S presidents have tried (and failed) to kill Fidel Castro, but in the end capitalism is making a return to the island. Because under Raul Castro the ideas of the Cuban revolution and Che Guevara are losing grounds. Inequality is growing as the Communist Party of Cuba moves to deregulate more sections of the economy!  

In 1994, Cuba started with their ”special period”. This was the result of the collapse of the Soviet-Union, which had supplied the island since the 1960’s. As Russia embraced austerity and capitalist barbarism, Fidel Castro remained committed to Stalinist orthodoxy, meaning total state (bureaucratic) control over the economy. But by 1994, he could no longer hide the fact that the island was in a deep crisis. Fuel shortages led to stagnation as factories were unable to produce goods. Cubans saw their living standards dropping. Boycotted by the capitalist west and abandoned by their allies, Cuba was for the first time completely alone in a capitalist dominated world!

The collapse of cheap oil led also to a rise in hunger. For the first time since 1959, Cubans learned what it was like to have limited amount of food. Starvation was avoided thanks to the fact that Castro forced his bureaucrats (for the first time ever) to think more independently and creatively. In the 1990’s Cubans lost around nine kilograms in average weight. Food shortages were a clear indication of a major crisis. Rebellion however never happened since most Cubans blamed the western trade embargo. Although this played a role the reality was that the centralized economy was unprepared for the sudden withdraw of cheap Soviet oil. Win-out this vital product Cuban society stagnated, which led to shortages in almost any sector!

Washington DC allowed humanitarian aid to be send to Cuba by private groups. However in 1996 with the introduction of the Helms–Burton Act, more restrictions were placed on foreign groups trading with Cuba. The U.S government called this act the ”Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996”. By using the words: ”democratic” and ”solidarity” the Americans hide the real reason for their trade embargo. As said in the act itself: ”This law includes a wide variety of provisions intended to bring about “a peaceful transition to a representative democracy and market economy in Cuba”. Although the USA claims to fight for democracy, their real aim is to restore capitalism on the island. Their Helms–Burton Act was imposed on Cuba to further destabilize Castro’s government and to force capitalist law on him!

Fidel Castro could have embraced a socialist democracy, both in 1959 and after 1991. He could have created a workers state and a democratic economy based on public ownership. But because he was not a Marxist and did not understand socialism, Fidel choose the only model that was called ”Marxist socialism” in 1960, that model was top-down stalinism. Both Raul Castro and Ernesto Guevara also supported the Stalinist system out of idealism. They wrongly believe that this was the right road to communism, which revolutionary socialists always said it was not. Just before Guevara left Cuba he had become disillusioned in the Stalinist system, after a visit to the USSR in 1965. There he saw for the first time the deep gap between communist party bureaucrats and ordinary Soviet workers. It made him critical of a system that he helped to build in Cuba!

As the quality of life went down in the 90’s desperation rose. Socialist idealism died with the reality of growing poverty. Woman who were raised not to sell themselves as lust objects, suddenly realized that prostitution was a way to get dollars (and later euros). Although prostitution is illegal on Cuba, the die-hard reality is that many woman are living with very little income. The average wage is less then 30 dollars a month. As the government started to encourage western tourists to visit the island, prostitution grew. Because those who have access to U.S dollars can live a prosperous life. It is a sad reality that woman have to sell their bodies to obtain western money. The Cuban government is responsible for this, they created the duel economy. A parallel society of Cubans who are wealthier because of their work with tourists. These Cubans have access to dollars, euros and enjoy privileges way above the average worker!

Although sex for money was public knowledge in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the government started to crackdown on prostitutes. After 2007 it became rarer to see them in public. This does not mean that woman no longer sell their bodies. Sex for dollars is still lucrative and since more tourists are coming to Cuba, woman will keep selling themselves out of the need to obtain a good income. Inequality has also grown since Raul Castro became president in 2008. Once a orthodox Stalinist who convinced his brother Fidel to follow Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism), Raul Castro has deregulated many parts of the economy. Although the state is still the owner of most means of production, each year since 2008 has resulted in more market based politics. American capitalists are already owning one factory on Cuba, something which was impossible under Fidel!

The elder Castro died on 25 November 2016, aged 90. Fidel outlived many U.S presidents who had tried to kill him. John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, all presidents who had tried to overthrown him during the Cold War and failed. History could have been very different if the USA had not been so hostile towards Castro in the first months after the revolution. Fidel had said that his revolution was not socialist and that he would not build communism. In fact many fighters of his 26th of July Movement were supporters of a capitalist democracy on Cuba. It was the anticommunist paranoia of U.S president Eisenhower that forced Castro into the Soviet camp. It took almost a whole year before Fidel explained that his revolution was socialist and based on Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism)!

Revolutionary socialists supported the expropriation of capitalists. But we rejected the bureaucratic top-down system that replaced the market economy. Also the banning of opposition newspapers we rejected. Che Guevara and Fidel Castro claimed that the whole opposition was part of the oligarchy and supportive of capitalist rule. This was however not the case. In their black/white thinking Fidel and Che attacked anybody who was not unconditional loyal to the revolution. What made Cuba different from others was the fact that a communist party was absence until 1962. The Integrated Revolutionary Organizations were founded two years after the fall of Batista, they however served as vehicles for the government. In March 1962, Castro fused all supportive groups into what you can call a political party embryo. This party was named the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution renamed Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965. Still the party was not (yet) given a constitutional role to lead the country and the first party congress not held until the late 1970’s!

Unlike the Russian revolution of 1917, the Cuban revolution of 1959 was not led by workers. The Russian soviets (councils) who fought against the White Armies and their capitalist masters were organized by workers. Cuba’s revolution was more peasant based and lacked the support of urban workers. When Batista was overthrown by the guerrilla’s of the 26th of July Movement, workers were not given the political and economic power to rule. Instead Castro used the Batista state bureaucracy. Since only 150 to 500 members of the old ruling class were actual executed for their crimes, it is clear that most government bureaucrats switched allegiance after 1959. Castro never saw the workers as the class which leads the revolution. He never spoke of them as the class that should rule. From 1959 until 2008, Fidel Castro made all political decisions. Others were allowed to voice their opinion, but in the end it was Fidel who said YES or NO. Centralizing all political authority in one leader is however dangerous and not the right way. Castro in his life never understood that the working class is the only force can lead a socialist revolution!

Today it is a fact the 90% of all Cuban peso’s stored by the state bank is owned by only 15% of the total population. Proofing that only a small group of communist party members and those with access to dollars and euros enjoy financial wealth. Raul Castro started with major reforms after 2008. Firing almost 500.000 government employees and relaxing laws on the ownership of houses and small businesses. Still the economy remains handicapped by the trade embargo and the top-down system. Tourism is bringing some money but Cuba is plagued by corruption, low productiveness and very low salaries. As said, 15% of all Cubans own 90% of all money stored in the State Bank of Cuba!

Special Development Zones have been opened like the building of a new port facility in Mariel Bay, financed by investment from Brazilian and Singapore capitalism. Like the Chinese economic zones of the 1980’s, foreign capitalists are free to exploit Cuban workers here. ”Investors” will be given 50 years contracts compared with the current 25 year one. All businesses started in these economic zones will be 100% owned by capitalists outside Cuba. They will be charged no labour or local taxes and granted a 10 year reprieve from paying a 12% tax on profits. This is how Raul Castro slowly moves his country into the market economy, just like Deng Xiaoping did in China. It is ironic that the younger Castro who always rejected capitalist ownership, now enforces politics that favor capitalists over Cuban workers. Revolutionary socialists are however not surprised since all stalinists who once ruled in Eastern Europe, embraced the ”free market” system after 1990. Allies of Fidel Castro in Africa also abandoned socialism in favor of capitalism. Like the MLPA in Angola, which has rewritten its history books and removed any references to Marxism!

Under the cloak of socialism, the government of Cuba will move the country further down the capitalist road. This has to be done slow as the majority of Cubans reject capitalism. So they play the slow evolutionary card, while remaining loyal to the revolution in public. This is why true revolutionaries must raise the alarm. The gains of the Cuban revolution are slowly dying as the market reclaims the island. Cubans who are born after 1994 will only know a society were the government praises socialism yet allows capitalist logic to flourish. Young Cubans already feel little for icons like Guevara and Castro as money making becomes more important then revolutionary idealism. In Asia the next generation already looks beyond the propaganda of the ruling communist parties. Making a lot of money, being entrepreneurial and love your nation are the new dogma’s of China and Vietnam!

U.S president Barack Obama worked more closely with Cuba then any other president. However he was never able to end the trade embargo. Since the far-right Republican Party controlled both the House and Senate, the Democratic president was unable to end the embargo. Obama did however restored diplomatic relations and opened a American embassy on the island. However Donald Trump is not willing to be diplomatic. The far-right billionaire president is more in line with with right-wing Cuban exiles. These exiles left after the revolution and tried to overthrow Castro in 1961. Far-right terrorists belonging to exiled groups also bombed a civilian airliner and carried out terror attacks. The CIA trained and supported these terrorists in murdering supporters of the Cuban revolution!

In the USA, the Cuban exiles form a conservative right-wing ethnic group. Most exiles live in Florida and are a vital voting group for the Republican Party. This is why the ”Grand Old Party” (GOP) always voted against restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba. A hypocritical move because the Republicans supported restoring ties with China and Vietnam after they restored capitalism. It would be no surprise that if Raul Castro would decide to open the Cuban economy right now, the Republican Party would end the trade embargo. Despite that the Cuban exiles are a powerful voting base, the need of capitalists will always come before the need of a small exiled minority. The Republicans also abandoned anticommunist Chinese and Vietnamese groups. Today American conservatives are very ‘supportive of the Asian ”communist” governments who have impose austerity and capitalist barbarism on their countries. The true masters of the GOP will always be the ruling class!

Cuba’s future is grim. Inequality is rising as a result of a growing capitalist mentality. The old rulers around Raul Castro maybe blind to this, but the working class is not. Party bosses keep praising people like Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro, however behind their revolutionary facade lies the iron fact that Stalinist thinking failed. Cubans do not want capitalism or the capitalist mentality enforced by government bureaucrats. They used to be genuine believers in socialism. But now this idealism is slowing fading away as a new generation grows up in a system that is adapting to the demands of the world market. In schools the youth may learn about socialism, but there is a huge difference between what is told and what younger Cuba will experience in the future, when more and more capitalist laws become reality!

 

The right-wing wants war

The political establishment in the USA wants war with North Korea. Why? Because the military sector would get billions in contracts. War means guns and guns means a lot of profit for companies who sell them. Their political puppets inside the Republican Party and Democratic Party have always put war interests ahead of those people who are effected by their weapons. With tensions rising on the Korean peninsula, right-wing conservatives are openly calling for a conflict with the absolute monarchy of Kim Jong Un, the obese dictator of North Korea. These war-hawks have no regard for the millions who could die if a new Korean War brakes out! 

Imperialist wars are always about ownership of land. Old style imperialism conquered nations in the name of colonialism. After 1945, new imperialism took place in the form of economic imperialism. American imperialism played a big role in the creation and arming of far-right regimes. The nationalist dictatorships in Portugal and Spain were welcomed by American presidents, who praised the anticommunist dictators for their pro-western stands. Billions worth of military hardware was shipped to countries who oppressed workers and killed leftists. Dictatorships in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America were all given weapons made in the USA!

Hardcore conservative war-hawks from the Republican Party would love to see a war between the USA and the DPRK. They are pushing that idiot of a president Trump into striking North Korea. These insane people have no regards for the millions of lives that could be lost if there is a war. North Korea has the ability to strike Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Also its agents could strike America, attacking government offices and buildings. But the war-hawks on the far-right don’t care. One of these hawks is Ralph Peters, a Fox News contributor. On national television this crazy person is openly calling for a first strike by the USA against North Korea. Has this Ralph Peters any clue about what would happen if American bombs are dropped on the north? North Koreans have been drilled with this scenario since the last Korean War, when Americans dropped more bombs on Pyongyang then on Berlin and Tokyo during WW2!

Kim Jong Un will strike back and would never surrender his kingdom to any imperialist invasion. Revolutionary socialists fully reject his absolute monarchy, but the North Korean government has the right to defend itself, should the imperialists of the USA and their South Korean allies strike first. The same is said when North Korea would launch the offensive. However this is unlikely since Jong Un is not stupid and knows that he will  go down as the aggressor in history. No, the Kim Dynasty rather plays the martyr card by baiting the USA with propaganda. Crazy people like Ralph Peters are furious that a ”rogue” state is allowed to challenge the ”mighty USA” openly. This is why these war-hawks also called for an invasion of Cuba and they were successful in getting the U.S government to invade Afghanistan and Iraq!

The far-right in the USA is willy and able to go to war over Korea. Their guy in the White House has carried out many pro-capitalist and anti-worker ideas. But Trump is not completely under the control of war-hawks like Ralph Peters. He recently made a deal with Democrats on suspend the debt ceiling for three months. The Republican Party was very angry that their president was making deals with the Democratic Party, which is close to sacrileges. Still this does not excuse all the bad things this president has done since he came into office. Donald Trump has already abandoned his populist mask and has shown to be a typical right-wing leader. Lowering taxes for the rich and destroying social security for the poor. Those workers who voted for him will face this reality!

War-hawks are not exclusively Republican. Hillary Clinton is a typical Democrat who supported the imperialist wars of the USA. She wanted American intervention in Libya, she  called for boots on the ground in Syria. Trump campaigned against her war-hawkish behavior. But as we now know, this was all a lie. Donald Trump is willing to go to war as he is a hypocrite and a flipflopper.  Both  the Democratic Party and Republican Party are the tools of the greedy military industrial complex. Billions of American tax money is wasted on guns, airplanes, ships and tanks. America does not need an army of 1 million soldiers and expensive hard-ware. But the USA is a imperialist superpower and a capitalist state, who’s government stands in the service of the class who owns the means of production. This is why the tax money of workers is wasted!

It is the task of socialists and trade unionists to stand against people like this Ralph Peters who calls for open war between North Korea and the USA. Peters is a true believer in American supremacy over the world and as a true right-winger has no  regard for the lives that will be lost once American planes hit North Korea. The media would also welcome a conflict. During the last invasion of a nation in March 2003, all major television networks were fully supportive of the war. Journalists were almost in bed with soldiers. They reported a propaganda version of the Iraq War. Soldiers were portrayed as hero’s and ”good guys”. Iraqi’s who suffered under the occupation were never seen!

Not only the American media were pro-war, the British BBC was also drumming the war and portrayed it as a ”war of liberation”. We all know that the USA and Great Britain lied to us, Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. Also Iraq would never become a democracy. Today it is still regarded as a dictatorial state by human rights groups. The same is said about the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a reactionary state that bans anything that goes against the political Islam. Western imperialism not only created the mess that is Iraq, it also founded a conservative dictatorship in Afghanistan!

 

Ralph Peters on Fox News, calling for a imperialist attack on North Korea

Scandinavian social democracy

The Scandinavian nations in northern Europe have been called ”socialist” by many bourgeois and right-wing news papers and television programs. Many Americans believe that North Europa is socialist and left-wing. Right-wing groups such as Fox News claim that Denmark, Norway and Sweden have ”socialist” governments. In this socialist report we talk about Scandinavian social democracy and how capitalism was never destroyed in North Europe!

When it comes to Europe, the Americans believe that all Europeans were leftists, either liberal or socialist. But Europe is also conservative and right-wing. True, the northern nations are more progressive then the southern, but that means nothing. What ruled in north Europe was social democracy, a social market economy based on strong state regulation of the free market. Today we only see remnants of social democracy as neoliberalism infiltrated political thinking in Scandinavia. Both right-wing and left-wing parties feel to its propaganda and lies. All major political parties started to support the idea that socialism failed and capitalism won. Austerity cuts were considered ”necessary’ as the ruling class demanded!

After 1945, the social democrats became the ruling parties in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Norwegian: Labour Party won 87 seats out of 120 seats in 1947. It took until 1965 before the Labour Party lost their majority in the Norwegian parliament. The Scandinavian social democrats were supported by reformist socialists and christian democrats. The Danish: Socialist People’s Party was a key supporter of the social democratic governments. In Sweden the communist party played a major role in helping the Social Democratic Party minority governments, this prevented right-wing forces from taking power for many years!

A social market economy means that the state is regulating the economy. While capitalism remains in power, the capitalists were forced to pay high income taxes, fair wages and were bounded by many rules. Unfortunate this also led to the rise of a red tape bureaucracy. Even today many people complain about the inefficiency of the government and all its rules. This is partly what led to the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980’s!

The era of the social market economy was born out of a compromise between capitalists and workers parties (social democrats). The capitalists kept their property and all the wealth, but they were forced to pay their workers a fair wage. Because of higher salaries, the workers could buy more stuff. Soon the capitalists started to realise that a social market economy was also good for business!

But that changed around 1983. The high costs of doing business in Scandinavia led many capitalist companies to search for cheaper nations. China proofed to be a very good place were they could do business. Chinese leader; Deng Xiaoping opened China up to foreign capitalists in special economical zones. In the 90’s many western companies left Europa to hire cheap Chinese workers to do their work. Because of this exodus of capitalists, the social democrats panicked. With the fall of stalinism and the USSR, social democracy and neoliberalism started to work together to attract capitalists back. Workers were told that they had to accept privatisations and deregulations.

Not only social democrats became pro-capitalist, the communists (stalinists) were affected also. The Communist Party of Sweden abandoned communism and became a reformist socialist party called; the Left Party. In Denmark, the right-wing of the Socialist People’s Party became the party’s new leadership. Finally the collapse of stalinism, started a major capitalist propaganda campaign. Capitalist groups and parties called the end of the Soviet-Union, to be the end of class struggle. Many leftists agreed with them and abandoned socialism. In reformist socialist parties, capitalist social democrats took leadership positions, like in the Norwegian: Socialist Left Party!

In Norway the Socialist Left Party was founded as a union between the Communist Party of Norway, the Socialist People’s Party (Norway) and independent socialists. But soon the communists (stalinists) left the union as they opposed the ideal of dissolving their party. The Socialist Left Party became more or less a continuation of the reformist; Socialist People’s Party.

With reformist socialism we mean socialists who praise parlementarism and compromises with the pro-capitalist social democrats. The Norwegian: Socialist Left Party, the Swedish: Left Party and the Danish: Socialist People’s Party have both betrayed socialism by working in capitalist governments. In 2001 the Socialist Left Party won 11% of the votes, but reformist leaders told the media that they would not support a revolutionary socialist program!

As the Norwegian social democratic government became unpopular, so became the Socialist Left Party. The party was divided between the right-wing leadership and its left-wing base. At the elections of 2005 the party lost 3% of the votes, ending with 9% in total. Even the lose of many voters did not keep the leaders of the party from turning more right-wing. The Socialist Left Party joined a coalition of social democrats and agrarian democrats. This so called ”Red Green coalition” formed a capitalist government in 2005.

Workers in Norway felt betrayed by the Socialist Left Party. So they did not vote for them in 2009. The party fell to 6.2% a lose of -3%. In only eight years the Socialist Left Party lost -6% of its voters. After the 2013 parliamentary elections, the reformist socialist party only got 4,1% of the total vote, they had lost another -2,1%. This lose of support should be a warning to all leftists who think that reformism is the solution. The Socialist Left Party followed the reformist line, betraying socialism in favor of moderate leftism and compromises with the establishment. Leftist voters do not like compromises with those who serve the rich and the ruling class!

The Danish: Socialist People’s Party won a huge victory in 2007, at the elections they got 13%. Unfortunate just before the 2011 elections, the party said they wanted to govern under capitalism. The social democrats were supportive, but the social liberals were very sceptical. The left-wing voters were not happy about the idea that a socialist party would govern under capitalism. So the Socialist People’s Party lost 4% of its 2007 voters. But it did not stop the reformist leaders from taking part in the Danish social democratic government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt!

There were many signs that the Socialist People’s Party was moving to the right-wing. In 2008 they voted in favour of the national budget. This was the first time the party had accepted a capitalist budget, that was not leftist and based on social cuts. Revolutionary socialists believe that the Socialist People’s Party did this to please the capitalist media. Our media is portraying politics as a world of ”necessary compromises”. Meaning that all political parties have to compromise in order to bring about a stable government. Media personalities claim that the left-wing should abandon its ”radical anti-capitalism” and join pro-capitalist governments!

In response to the turning of the reformist socialists to the capitalist camp, revolutionary socialists founded a new anti-capitalist leftist movement in the Kingdom of Denmark. The Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) was founded in 1989 as a left-wing alternative to both the social democrats and the reformist socialists of the Socialist People’s Party. But this does not mean that Enhedslisten is not win out its limits. They seem to become more reformist/moderate as they grow. In 2011 they won 6,7% and got more then 3000 new members in just three years!

But the growth also led to debates about the party’s course. Moderate socialists in Enhedslisten want to follow the same disastrous line of the Socialist People’s Party. Meaning accepting capitalist budgets and joining governments with social democrats and reformist socialists. The left-wing is opposed to making compromises with the ruling parties of capitalism, which includes the social democrats and reformist socialists. In 2013 the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) moved to the right as they supported a austerity budget, that robed 40.000 unemployed people of their social benefits. It shows how reformists play a dangerous role in the party’s leadership, by moving yet another leftist force into the establishment camp!

The Norwegian: Red Party seems for many leftists to be a alternative to the capitalist: Labour Party and the reformist: Socialist Left Party. The Red Party was founded in 2007 as a fusion between the Red Electoral Alliance and the Workers Communist Party. The Red Electoral Alliance was formed in 1973 as a front for the radical Norwegian maoists. In 1991 they abandoned marxism leninism, but remained revolutionary socialist. The maoists of the Workers Communist Party were radicals and supported the rule of Mao Zedong in China and Pol Pot in Cambodia. Their party was very secretive and its leaders had absolute control, not only over the party but also over its members private lives. In 2003 two former leaders apologized for the totalitarian culture of the Workers Communists Party. The party then fused with the Red Electoral Alliance to form the current Red Party!

The Communist Party of Sweden abandoned communism after the collapse of stalinism and became the Left Party, a reformist socialist party. In 1996 it added feminism to its reformist leftist ideology. Two years later the party won 12% of the votes but degenerated soon after. The Left Party was win-out a clear socialist program and supported governments led by the pro-capitalistic: Swedish Social Democratic Party. This led to a lose of voters in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The Left Party is now down to 5,6% and lost about 6,4% of voters in twelve years. All because they supported governments that did not worked in favor of Swedish workers!

Right-wing capitalist politics became more common. Both the main capitalists parties and the social democrats were privatizing many state owned enterprises. The markets and capitalists were very happy, yet ordinary people felt the burden. Prices went up as markets were giving more and more control over the economy. Meanwhile the blame for the rise in prices and the destruction of the welfare state was giving to foreigners. Muslims became the scapegoat for the failure of the capitalist government to improve the living standards!

The radical right-wing; Danish People’s Party was able to win the vote of many workers who felt betrayed by the social democrats and reformist socialists. Those workers who vote for the radical; Danish People’s Party feel that the social democrats are too much pro-muslim, they think that Muslims have more rights then Danish citizens. They are poisoned by the capitalist media, who wants to set up workers against themselves. A conflict between the ”blond” Danish worker and the ”dark” muslim worker means no united front against capitalism!

Scandinavian social capitalism is almost death. Sure you will not rot in the street if you lose your job. But there is little happiness for workers in Scandinavia. Social democrats, with the help of reformist socialists and right-wing forces are attacking the living standards. They have destroyed large parts of the welfare state in the name of ”improving the economy”. Many feel betrayed, not only by the social democrats but also by the reformist socialists, who were once champions of workers and poor people. That is why a socialist alternative is needed. Scandinavia was never socialist, never in its history have workers genuinely controlled the means of production. The nature of the Scandinavian societies have always been capitalistic!

The social democrats claim to support the social market economy. But in the last 23 years they have destroyed large parts of their own creation. Why? Because they have capitulated to capitalism. For them the market is God, competition is King. The right-wing is waiting in the shadows for the day that they will have a majority again. Then they can destroy the last remnants of the social capitalist system and introduce the absolute rule of markets and greed in Scandinavia!

 

The Principles of Communism

These questions and answers are written by Friedrich Engels in 1847

— 1 —
What is Communism?

Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.

— 2 —
What is the proletariat?

The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor – hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition. The proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century.[1]

— 3 —
Proletarians, then, have not always existed?

No. There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today; in other words, there have not always been proletarians, any more than there has always been free unbridled competitions.

— 4 —
How did the proletariat originate?

The Proletariat originated in the industrial revolution, which took place in England in the last half of the last (18th) century, and which has since then been repeated in all the civilized countries of the world.

This industrial revolution was precipitated by the discovery of the steam engine, various spinning machines, the mechanical loom, and a whole series of other mechanical devices. These machines, which were very expensive and hence could be bought only by big capitalists, altered the whole mode of production and displaced the former workers, because the machines turned out cheaper and better commodities than the workers could produce with their inefficient spinning wheels and handlooms. The machines delivered industry wholly into the hands of the big capitalists and rendered entirely worthless the meagre property of the workers (tools, looms, etc.). The result was that the capitalists soon had everything in their hands and nothing remained to the workers. This marked the introduction of the factory system into the textile industry.

Once the impulse to the introduction of machinery and the factory system had been given, this system spread quickly to all other branches of industry, especially cloth- and book-printing, pottery, and the metal industries.

Labor was more and more divided among the individual workers so that the worker who previously had done a complete piece of work now did only a part of that piece. This division of labor made it possible to produce things faster and cheaper. It reduced the activity of the individual worker to simple, endlessly repeated mechanical motions which could be performed not only as well but much better by a machine. In this way, all these industries fell, one after another, under the dominance of steam, machinery, and the factory system, just as spinning and weaving had already done.

But at the same time, they also fell into the hands of big capitalists, and their workers were deprived of whatever independence remained to them. Gradually, not only genuine manufacture but also handicrafts came within the province of the factory system as big capitalists increasingly displaced the small master craftsmen by setting up huge workshops, which saved many expenses and permitted an elaborate division of labor.

This is how it has come about that in civilized countries at the present time nearly all kinds of labor are performed in factories – and, in nearly all branches of work, handicrafts and manufacture have been superseded. This process has, to an ever greater degree, ruined the old middle class, especially the small handicraftsmen; it has entirely transformed the condition of the workers; and two new classes have been created which are gradually swallowing up all the others. These are:

(i) The class of big capitalists, who, in all civilized countries, are already in almost exclusive possession of all the means of subsistance and of the instruments (machines, factories) and materials necessary for the production of the means of subsistence. This is the bourgeois class, or the bourgeoisie.

(ii) The class of the wholly propertyless, who are obliged to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in order to get, in exchange, the means of subsistence for their support. This is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat.

— 5 —
Under what conditions does this sale of the
labor of the proletarians to the bourgeoisie take place?

Labor is a commodity, like any other, and its price is therefore determined by exactly the same laws that apply to other commodities. In a regime of big industry or of free competition – as we shall see, the two come to the same thing – the price of a commodity is, on the average, always equal to its cost of production. Hence, the price of labor is also equal to the cost of production of labor.

But, the costs of production of labor consist of precisely the quantity of means of subsistence necessary to enable the worker to continue working, and to prevent the working class from dying out. The worker will therefore get no more for his labor than is necessary for this purpose; the price of labor, or the wage, will, in other words, be the lowest, the minimum, required for the maintenance of life.

However, since business is sometimes better and sometimes worse, it follows that the worker sometimes gets more and sometimes gets less for his commodities. But, again, just as the industrialist, on the average of good times and bad, gets no more and no less for his commodities than what they cost, similarly on the average the worker gets no more and no less than his minimum.

This economic law of wages operates the more strictly the greater the degree to which big industry has taken possession of all branches of production.

— 6 —
What working classes were there before the industrial revolution?

The working classes have always, according to the different stages of development of society, lived in different circumstances and had different relations to the owning and ruling classes.

In antiquity, the workers were the slaves of the owners, just as they still are in many backward countries and even in the southern part of the United States.

In the Middle Ages, they were the serfs of the land-owning nobility, as they still are in Hungary, Poland, and Russia. In the Middle Ages, and indeed right up to the industrial revolution, there were also journeymen in the cities who worked in the service of petty bourgeois masters. Gradually, as manufacture developed, these journeymen became manufacturing workers who were even then employed by larger capitalists.

— 7 —
In what way do proletarians differ from slaves?

The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly.

The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole.

The slave is outside competition; the proletarian is in it and experiences all its vagaries.

The slave counts as a thing, not as a member of society. Thus, the slave can have a better existence than the proletarian, while the proletarian belongs to a higher stage of social development and, himself, stands on a higher social level than the slave.

The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general.

— 8 —
In what way do proletarians differ from serfs?

The serf possesses and uses an instrument of production, a piece of land, in exchange for which he gives up a part of his product or part of the services of his labor.

The proletarian works with the instruments of production of another, for the account of this other, in exchange for a part of the product.

The serf gives up, the proletarian receives. The serf has an assured existence, the proletarian has not. The serf is outside competition, the proletarian is in it.

The serf liberates himself in one of three ways: either he runs away to the city and there becomes a handicraftsman; or, instead of products and services, he gives money to his lord and thereby becomes a free tenant; or he overthrows his feudal lord and himself becomes a property owner. In short, by one route or another, he gets into the owning class and enters into competition. The proletarian liberates himself by abolishing competition, private property, and all class differences.

— 9 —
In what way do proletarians differ from handicraftsmen?

In contrast to the proletarian, the so-called handicraftsman, as he still existed almost everywhere in the past (eighteenth) century and still exists here and there at present, is a proletarian at most temporarily. His goal is to acquire capital himself wherewith to exploit other workers. He can often achieve this goal where guilds still exist or where freedom from guild restrictions has not yet led to the introduction of factory-style methods into the crafts nor yet to fierce competition But as soon as the factory system has been introduced into the crafts and competition flourishes fully, this perspective dwindles away and the handicraftsman becomes more and more a proletarian. The handicraftsman therefore frees himself by becoming either bourgeois or entering the middle class in general, or becoming a proletarian because of competition (as is now more often the case). In which case he can free himself by joining the proletarian movement, i.e., the more or less communist movement. [2]

— 10 —
In what way do proletarians differ from manufacturing workers?

The manufacturing worker of the 16th to the 18th centuries still had, with but few exception, an instrument of production in his own possession – his loom, the family spinning wheel, a little plot of land which he cultivated in his spare time. The proletarian has none of these things.

The manufacturing worker almost always lives in the countryside and in a more or less patriarchal relation to his landlord or employer; the proletarian lives, for the most part, in the city and his relation to his employer is purely a cash relation.

The manufacturing worker is torn out of his patriarchal relation by big industry, loses whatever property he still has, and in this way becomes a proletarian.

 The complete work can be found

HERE

Foreign interventions of the USA

The USA is not a bastion of liberty and democracy. Despite the capitalist propaganda we now know that the criminal CIA has been involved in numerous coups, against governments that were not liked by Washington DC. A relative unknown right-wing coup was the Iranian one, which gave Mohammad Reza Pahlavi absolute power on 19 August 1953. Allen Dulles and president Eisenhower were the key conspirators in destroying the Iranian democracy. CIA boss Dulles also organized the 1954 coup against the government of Guatemala. This triggered the civil war in the ethnic Mayan country. A war which led to the mass murder of 170.000 people, carried out by American trained police and army units of the Guatemala Armed Forces!

The most famous American responsible for imperialist plots to destroy governments not loyal to capitalism was Henry Kissinger. As the 8th National Security Advisor, Kissinger oversaw the 9/11/73 military coup in Chile and agreed on bombing Cambodia. He was also the 56th United States Secretary of State between 1973 and 1977. It was Kissinger who allied the USA with Maoist China against Stalinist Russia, fully exploiting the deep mistrust between the two ”bastions of communism”. Thanks to the diplomatic skills of Kissinger, president Nixon was able to visit China. This was a shock to many dogmatic supporters of Mao, as they were told that Beijing was the centre of ”anti-imperialist struggle against the USA”. China would be a key supporter of western imperialism, supporting anticommunist groups like RENAMO in Angola and even the racist regime in South Africa, all because of its sectarian feud with Moscow. Beijing was willing to support any group that stood against the ”social-imperialists of the USSR”!

On 24 March 1976, the military of Argentina overthrew the government of Isabel Martínez de Perón. Although the coup was planned by the military, the USA gave full political support to the National Reorganization Process the name used by the new leaders for the military dictatorship, that ruled Argentina from 1976 till 1983. A small fish in this anticommunist government was Jorge Zorreguieta. He served as Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for two years in the military junta. Zorreguieta left office before the collapse of the regime and would have remain anonymous if his eldest daughter did not marry the crown prince of the Netherlands in 2002. Maxima Zorreguieta believed that her father knew nothing of the massive human-rights abuses carried out between 1976 and 1983. A Dutch parliamentary inquiry found this to be unlikely. Jorge Zorreguieta responded that the Dutch were blinded by a ”left-wing bias” towards him. Revolutionary socialists are not surprised by his reaction. Zorreguieta may have been a small fish, but he was an anticommunist and in line with the ideology of the military!

Henry Kissinger demanded that Cuba win drew its support for African national liberation forces. Cuban troops were involved in Africa, fighting against groups supported by the USA. The imperialist of the west said that America would not have diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro, unless he abandoned his ‘’communist crusade’’. Naturally Castro refused to bow to Kissinger. Although both men survived the Cold War it was Castro who died first. As of August 2017, Henry Kissinger is still alive at age 94. As a servant of American imperialism, he proved himself to be a cunning man and an enemy of working class people, who struggled against capitalism and colonialism. While democratic rhetoric was coming from the White House, Kissinger was the true face of America. The face of western intervention, the face of supporting right-wing coups, the face of anticommunism!

Journalist and auteur Christopher Hitchens was one of the few who dared to challenge the legacy of Henry Kissinger. In 2001 he wrote the book: The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Hitchens exposed how the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, was responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap and torture. The book was turned into a documentary film which received positive reviews. Naturally the capitalist establishment was not happy. Both Democrats and Republicans keep praising Henry Kissinger. Hillary Clinton called him a ‘’true friend’’!

The tale of the right-wing coup in Iran now public knowledge. But in 1953 few knew that the CIA was behind the overthrow of democratic elected prime minster: Mohammad Mosaddegh. As leader of the National Front, Mosaddegh was elected democratically. But his progressive politics were feared by the reactionary monarchy and Washington DC. When the government started to nationalize the Iranian oil fields, the Americans planned a coup. Key players were corrupt military officials who were bribed. The Central Intelligence Agency paid plotters up to 500 dollar per person, which is close to 4.500 dollar in today’s currency value. CIA director Allen Dulles and president Eisenhower wanted Iran to become an absolute monarchy with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as supreme ruler!

Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown and put under house arrest. 250 Iranians were killed as the army ended democracy. The CIA was not the only one who organized the coup. British SAS agents were also present and worked with the plotters. Why? Because the British had lost ownership of the oil fields. Their capitalists were angry at the loss of ”their property”. So the SAS was participating in the coup that gave absolute power to the Shah of Iran. Allen Dulles realized that armies can be bribed by the USA. So he planned another coup, this time against the government of Guatemala!

President Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemala was loved for his agrarian reforms. However the white establishment did not liked him. Although Árbenz was not ethnic Mayan, he was willing to listen to the native population. 85% of Guatemala is ethnic Mayan, only 15% are decedents from Spanish imperialists and are called whites. José Manuel Fortuny had a great deal of influence on president Árbenz. As leader of the Guatemalan Party of Labour (official communist party) the USA was worried that the Mayan country would ally itself with the USSR. Fortuny was after all a ”dangerous communist” who’s influence ran deep in the government. CIA director Allen Dulles and president Eisenhower decided to replay the tactic they used in Iran. Guatemala had to become an anticommunist regime, one that could be controlled by both capitalist companies and Washington DC. A big supporter of this plan was the United Fruit Company!

It was this criminal capitalist enterprise that lobbied for the right-wing coup of 18 June 1954. Directors of United Fruit claimed that president Jacobo Árbenz was a communist and that he threatened their profits and assets in Guatemala. The CIA selected Carlos Armas to lead 480 bribed soldiers in overthrowing the government. Despite the small size of the plotters, the regular army was unwilling to defend democracy. Why? Because the USA made it very clear that they supported the plotters. Guatemalan officials were too afraid to stand against American imperialism. Carlos Armas was made president and despite that he was a loyal lackey of the west, he only ruled for three years. His government (plagued by corruption and soaring debt) became almost fully dependent on aid from the US. In 1957, Castillo Armas was assassinated by a palace guard with leftist sympathies!

The U.S. government always tries to hide their support for right-wing dictatorships under a façade of democracy. All regimes supported by Washington DC had to look democratic on the outside. This was not always the cause, but it was the preferred method. After all, the USA was regarded as the ‘’bastion of liberty and democracy’’. In Guatemala the façade of democracy was difficult to keep up. Especially after leftist groups started to fight the corrupt government. CIA trained troops showed their brutality by murdering 170.000 ethnic Mayans. The civil war ended in 1996, but little has changed. Massive inequality and abuse of power remain. A result of U.S intervention in Latin America!

In April 1960, the CIA evacuated their political puppet from South Korea. Rhee Syngman had been dictator of the Republic of Korea since 1948. He ruled a totalitarian anticommunist state, which was responsible for the death of 150.000 Koreans. These people were killed at the dawn of the Korean War. Many were political prisoners, held at the famous Bodo League concentration camps. Dictator Rhee had ordered all leftists to be arrested and jailed. 40.000 were arrested in 1948, this number grew to over 150.000. When North Korean troops invaded the south, soldiers from the regular Republic of Korea Army were ordered to kill all political prisoners. Although the Americans knew what happened, they blamed the mass murder on North Korea. Western leaders believed this lie and it would not be until 2005 before South Korea finally took responsibility!

After Rhee Syngman was saved by the United Nations (led by the USA) he was free to rule South Korea unopposed. America demanded however that he kept a façade up. So the dictator made himself leader of the Liberal Party and claimed his nation was FREE KOREA. American propaganda supported this lie just as they supported Chiang-Kai-Shek’s claim that Taiwan was FREE CHINA. Rhee Syngman ruled as absolute autocrat for another 11 years after the end of the Korean War. In April 1960 however the CIA flew him out of the country after students rebelled against his regime. The army opened fire and killed 180 students, this led to massive anger as workers joined the protests. Fearing a potential revolution, the capitalist establishment dropped their old dictator and agreed to many student demands.

The second republic of South Korea was born, but lasted less then a year. Because Washington DC was not willing to accept a democracy in South Korea. With CIA support, Park Chung-hee (former Japanese collaborator and ex-Stalinist turnend anticommunuist) took power. He lay the groundwork for a autocratic military regime that lasted until the late 1980’s. The CIA even trained a clone of itself in South Korea, called the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. As a direct copy of the American CIA, the Korean CIA was build as a tool of the ruling class. It’s main goal was to arrest and torture critics of the Park regime. Ironically, it was the director of the KCIA who murdered dictator Pak on 26 October 1979. Park’s successors renamed the agency to hide its CIA origin. Today the National Intelligence Service (NIS) is still a enemy of democracy. It played a big role in a plot which banned the Unified Progressive Party, the most active critic of the corrupt Park Geun-hye administration. The NIS has been very good at providing the government with so called ”evidence” that this leftist nationalist party was pro-North Korean. A tactic the old KCIA, used to arrest and silence leftist opposition in the 60’s and 70’s!

South Vietnam was a right-wing regime from its birth in 1954 to its death in 1975. The Republic of Vietnam had only one reason to exist and that was to keep capitalist interests save. After the splitting of Vietnam, the south became a typical autocracy with a democratic façade. Ngo Dinh Diem was the first president and like Shee Syngman, a deeply conservative anticommunist. But by 1963, the Americans wanted him gone. His was murdered by the leader of the army and replaced by a military junta. The USA under president Johnson however preferred a democratic façade. So the South Vietnamese junta was replaced by a pseudo-civilian government led by former general: Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. This ex-general even tried to appeal democratic by creating a political party called the National Social Democratic Front. Behind the façade however South Vietnam was a puppet state of the USA. After 1963 the country became more and more dependent on U.S aid!

When the USA pulled out of the Vietnam War, the south was left to fight on its own. Despite massive support in weaponry, it lacked training and moral to effectively fight the Viet-Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. By April 1975, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was short of ammunitions and moral was dropping faster than a bomb. As North Vietnamese soldiers started their final offensive, the southern army collapsed in a matter of months. It was clear that win-out the USA, the whole military of South Vietnam was nothing. Soldiers, officers and generals, all abandoned their posts as Saigon fell!

Losing their ally in south east Asia was not something American imperialism would repeat. Unfortunate for them they would lose another ally very quickly. Because the Imperial State of Iran entered a revolution of its own. Iranians born after 1953 remembered how the CIA and British SAS overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh. Young Iranian students were not only deeply anti-America, but also deeply anti-Shah. They rebelled against the cruel SAVAK, the CIA created secret police of Iran. Driven by religious fundamentalism and anti-imperialism, they called for the overthrow of the Shah. On 8 January 1978, the Iranian revolution began. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi believed he could control the situation by ordering his army to open fire. Over 2.700 demonstrators were killed as they rebelled against the absolute monarchy. A year later in 1979, the Shah was told to leave Iran. In October of that year, Iran became an anti-Western theocracy led by ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini!

On 11 September 1973, the CIA was involved in another coup in Latin America. This time they allied themselves with the armed forces of Chile. The president of this country was a moderate socialist and willing to build socialism by reforming Chilean society. Allende was sympathetic to Fidel Castro, despite the fact that was not a revolutionary socialist. His redistribute of wealth to poorer Chileans was not loved by the capitalist class. They constantly portrayed Allende as a ”dangerous communist”. To stop the leftist direction the president took, the ruling class started to sabotage the economy. The government was unable to stop capital flight, rising unemployment and disinvestment, simply because it allowed private ownership of big business and the financial sector. With help from the U.S government, the capitalists of Chile were able to turn public opinion against the president. A similar situation is happening in Venezuela today!

Revolutionary socialists had warned Salvador Allende about the dangers of keeping capitalism alive. Like Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Chile did not embraced a socialist revolution. Although the social programs were good for workers and the poor, the Chilean economy was still based on the market system. Most means of production remained in private hands and the financial system was not placed under democratic control. Allende’s reformism also made him blind to the fact that the army was deeply anticommunist. The president had this misguided idea that the military would be loyal to democracy. Many on the left wanted the working class armed, but president Allende trusted his generals. Augusto Pinochet was Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army since 22 August 1973 and appointed by the president. Behind Allende’s back, he conspired with the CIA to overthrow him!

The coup happened on 09/11/1973. Soldiers attacked the presidential palace were Salvador Allende could not believe at first that Augusto Pinochet had betray him. However all branches of the armed forces had betrayed democracy on that day. After a few hours of fighting between soldiers and the presidential guards, the air force bombed the palace. This marked the death of Chilean democracy as the building burned. President Allende gave his farewell speech and then committed suicide. He never surrendered his office. General Pinochet installed himself as president of a military junta and started with massive privatizations. His economic politics were based on the ideas of the Chicago Boys a team of free-market economists educated in American universities. As Chile was loyal to capitalist law again, the CIA had destroyed another democracy in Latin America!

 

Turkmenistan: The North Korea of Central Asia

Hidden from the major politics of the world, in Central Asia lies a relative large country. This nation is totally unknown to most people. Like Uzbekistan, the Republic of Turkmenistan has little saying in world politics and imperialist conflicts. The country is relative young as it was founded in 1925 as part of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. Turkmenistan was then called the Turkmen Socialist Soviet Republic or Turkmen SSR. In December 1985, Saparmurat Niyazov was made leader of the Communist Party of Turkmenistan. He was a die-hard Stalinist and supported the August coup of Stalinists against Soviet president Gorbachev. After the failed attempt to save the USSR, Niyazov quickly declared Turkmenistan independent of Moscow and became its first president. In this role he created a country that can be called the North Korea of Central Asia!  

The Khanate of Khiva was the name of the state that ruled parts of modern day Turkmenistan from 1511 to 1917. Like many feudal societies the Khanate was an absolute monarchy. Its monarchs were called Khan’s and they regarded themselves ”superior” to ordinary peasants. The Russian Empire took control over Khiva in 1873, but allowed the Kungrad dynasty to remain in power. Khiva became a protectorate of Saint Petersburg (capital of the empire)!

In February 1917, the last czar was forced to abdicate. A power struggle began between the Provisional Government and local councils (soviets) of workers and peasants. The conflicts led to the second revolution called the October Revolution in November 1917. As the soviets took control of Russia, the Khanate of Khiva faced an uprising of Turkmen tribesman who rebelled against the absolute monarchy of Sayid Abdullah. By the end of 1919, the Red Army of Soviet Russia overthrew the regime of the Khan. On the territory of the former Khanate, a soviet republic was build called the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic. This republic lasted five years before the administration of Joseph Stalin started to divide Central Asia among ethnic lines!

On 13 May 1925, the Turkmen Socialist Soviet Republic was founded with Ashgabat as its capital. As a backward feudal country it was not on the top list for massive industrialisation. Stalin would however relocate many factories and means of production to Central Asia during world war 2. Like all republics of the USSR, Turkmenistan suffered under the regime of the red czar. Hundreds of mosques were destroyed and many deeply religious Muslims were prosecuted by the state-atheist government. Stalin however changed his attitude towards religion during the war. His army started to use Muslim soldiers from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. So he reopened the mosques and allowed Islamic blessings to be given to Red Army soldiers!

In urban areas such as towns and cities, the old way of life changed rapidly. The nomadic lifestyle of many Turkmen ended with Soviet rule. However in rural Turkmenistan, the traditional ways were kept. Despite all the revolutionary propaganda from the communist party and the totalitarian culture it forced down, many farmers remained traditional. Moscow ordered many ethnic Uzbeks and Russians to migrated to the Turkmen SSR. Soon the Russian language and culture were becoming dominate. Administration work was done in Russian and most Turkmen were raised to speak Russian and see Soviet Russia as the ”revolutionary center of the world”. This great Russian chauvinism would remain until Saparmurat Niyazov became president of the Republic of Turkmenistan!

Muhammetnazar Gapurow was the Stalinist boss in town from 1969 until 1985. Under his administration the standards of living both rose and fell. Turkmenistan was relative underdeveloped, its factories were outdated by the 1960’s and were in need of modernisation. Moscow gave little attention to the needs of Turkemenistan. For them it was a far-away republic and unlike the Baltic states not within sight of western propaganda!

Gapurow worked as leader of the local All-Union Leninist Young Communist League in the 1950’s. This was the place were all members of the nomeklatura (name for the elite) started their political career. Corruption, nepotism and bribery is how you got power in Stalinist Turkmenistan. As the 60’s began, Gapurow supported Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. His unconditional loyalty to the big boss in Moscow made him popular with the neostalinists. They made Muhammetnazar Gapurow leader of the Communist Party of Turkmenistan to serve their interests!

When gas and oil was discovered, the Turkmen SSR started a major modernisation program. Factories were overhauled and new buildings were constructed. Workers were given apartments to live in which was a luxury as few had homes with electricity or warm water. However the economy soon faced the limits of its capacity under a bureaucratic top-down system. A planned economy requires democratic participation for workers and consumers. The Soviet economy was neither democratic nor were workers asked to participate in the planning process. Government bureaucrats were in control and they made all economic decisions. Naturally this ineffective way of planning led to mismanagement and stagnation. By the dawn of the 1980s, the living standards were dropping as the economy was stuck in red tape and bureaucrats who cared little for working class needs!

Party boss Gapurow did not cared. Like his master Brezhnev, he lived the life of a small king. His circle of nepotistic friends had the good life, enjoying western (capitalist) products, good homes and a nice car. Gapurow’s family were also given important positions inside the Turkmen SSR, strengthening the big boss. When Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union, he noticed that the ruling caste of Turkmenistan were totally out of touch with reality. So he ordered Gapurow to be replaced by somebody more loyal his Glasnost and Perestroika program. Gorbachev used a cotton-related corruption scandal to force Muhammetnazar Gapurow into retirement!

Saparmurat Niyazov replaced Gapurow. He was however no ally of Gorbachev as the Communist Party of Turkmenistan was among the most most hardline and unreformed party organizations in the Soviet Union. The ruling caste of the communist party was slow to implement Glasnost and Perestroika. Niyazov himself never liked the idea of giving the people freedom to criticize him or his administation. Like all Stalinists he only cared for himself and like his predecessor loved the power and wealth that came with it. Corruption and nepotism did not ended, in fact it kept growing in the Turkmen SSR. In January 1990, Niyazov was ”elected” Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. As general sectary of the communist party he was already de facto leader of Turkmenistan, but as chairman Niyazov also made himself state leader, a position held by a political puppet in the past!

On 19 August 1991, the KGB and Stalinist hardliners tried a coup to prevent the collapse of the USSR. Saparmurat Niyazov supported the coup and the removal of Soviet president Gorbachev. However after 48 hours it became clear that the working class of Moscow rejected the coup. They rose up and demanded the return of Gorbachev. Boris Yeltsin (who was leader of Soviet Russia) used this moment to declare Russia’s independence from the Soviet-Union. Knowing that the Soviet façade was over, Saparmurat Niyazov turned from a hardline Stalinist into a hardcore nationalist. He adopted Turkmen nationalism as his new ideology and Turkmenistan declared its independence on 27 October 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was left with an empty union, betrayed and abandoned by his comrades. However in a final act of poetic justice, his government did what nobody ever held possible. They banned the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union because it had tried to overthrow the Soviet government, how ironic!

1992 in Turkmenistan was a year of rapid changes. All symbols of revolutionary socialism had to be removed and replaced by symbols of Turkmen nationalism. Niyazov wasted no time, he renamed the Communist Party of Turkmenistan into Democratic Party of Turkmenistan. He changed the state symbols and named his country: Republic of Turkmenistan. However very little actually changed in the political field. The single party state was kept, opposition to the new ”democratic” party remained banned. Turkmen KGB officials remained in office and were now called KNB, Committee for National Security. In 2002, this KNB was dissolved. Its members were put to work as part of the Ministry for National Security. This changed little as the Ministry for National Security is just as cruel and dictatorial as the Committee for State Security of the USSR and the Committee for National Security!

In the center of the new regime was ”Great Leader” Saparmurat Niyazov. His self-given title Türkmenbaşy, meaning Head of the Turkmen referred to his position as the founder and president of the Association of Turkmens of the World. Türkmenbaşy wrote a holy book called the Ruhnama (The Book of the Soul). In this book he told the Turkmen people how to live. The book was forced down on all sections of society, from schools to workplaces. Niyazov’s cult of personality grew enormous. As party boss during Soviet times he was powerful, but now Niyazov could play GOD which he did!

On his orders the names of months were changed and named after his family. He also banned the use of lip syncing at public concerts, banished dogs from the capital Ashgabat, outlawed opera, ballet, and circuses in 2001, decreed that men should no longer wear long hair or beards, banned news reporters and anchors from wearing make-up on television. All libraries outside of the capital were closed, Türkmenbaşy believed that the only books Turkmen needed to read were the Quran and his Ruhnama!

Golden statues were constructed for Türkmenbaşy, they are built to always face the sun. Meanwhile the opposition to this Turkmen: Kim Jong Il was prosecuted. The police is using the same brutal methods as used in Soviet times. Any criticism of the ”Great Leader” was enough to be arrested and sentenced to spend years in prison. To benefit from both the west and the east, Turkmenistan remains a strict neutral nation. It benefited from both Russian and American markets and is able to buy products (with American technology) even Iran and North Korea are not allowed to own!

In 2006 the European Commission and the international trade committee of the European Parliament, voted to grant Turkmenistan “most favored nation” trading status with the European Union, widely seen as motivated by interest in natural gas. Because the country has gas, the western world has never been critical about the massive human rights abuses. Turkmenistan is favored by both American and Russian imperialism!

However the President for Life did not have the eternal life. Türkmenbaşy died on 21 December 2006 due to a heart attack. His death day is exactly the same date on which he was declared leader of the Turkmen SSR in 1985, ironic indeed. The presidency went to his prime minister, a guy named: Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. He had been second since March 2001 and leader of the Health Ministry. It was Berdimuhamedow who was forced to close all hospitals and healthcare clinics outside the capital on orders of Türkmenbaşy. The ”Great Leader” only wanted Ashgabat to have access to healthcare!

Berdimuhamedow was a loyal servant, but choose to end the most bizarre aspects of the Niyazov cult of personality after he died, like reopening the closed healthcare clinics outside the capital. Unlike the secret speech of Nikita Khrushchev, there was no massive denunciation of Saparmurat Niyazov. Instead the cult of Türkmenbaşy was slowly replaced by that of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow himself. Many golden statues and monuments to the Niyazov regime can still be seen in Turkmenistan. But they lose value as the current president works hard to build a legacy of his own!

In 11 years since the death of the first dictator, Turkmenistan has reversed many of the decrees carried out by Türkmenbaşy. This does not mean that nepotism or political corruption have been reduced. The family of Berdimuhamedow is profiting massively from the fact that he controls the country. As one of the most dictatorial leaders of the world, Berdimuhamedow hold absolute political power like the Khan’s of the Khanate of Khiva. To fool the Europeans into thinking that he would bring democratic reforms, the dictator ”ended” the single party state and allowed the formation of political parties. The first party registered is the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a capitalist party!

Other formations that make up the rubberstamp parliament are the Organization of Trade Unions of Turkmenistan (only allowed trade union, loyal to the government not workers), Women’s Union of Turkmenistan and the Magtymguly Youth Organisation (former communist youth league). The banned opposition is made up of parties like the Republican Party of Turkmenistan, Communist Party of Turkmanistsan (made up of stalinists who rejected Niyazov’s turn to Turkmen nationalism) and the Turkmen Union of Democratic Forces!

Out of all former Soviet republics, Turkmenistan remains the most dictatorial and oppressive. Niyazov and Berdimuhamedow both showed their true colors when they abandoned their Soviet façade in 1991. Together with other ex-Stalinist scum they deserve our biggest contempt and hatred. The goal of revolutionary socialists is simply, the complete revolutionary overthrow of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. A peaceful revolution would be ideal, but the regime has shown that it does not believe in dialogue. This is why the working class of Turkmenistan need to unite in a workers party with a socialist program. A workers party will be the vanguard in the revolt against the corrupt-nepotistic government. Turkmen workers have suffered long enough. They have nothing to lose and a lot to win!

 

Niyazov (in white) and Berdimuhamedow (on the right).

Venezuela: NO TO THE CAPITALIST CLASS

Venezuela is in a state of violence. The capitalist opposition led by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition is trying to remove president Nicolas Maduro from power. After winning the parliamentary elections in late 2015, MUD won a majority in the Venezuelan parliament. The leftist populist: United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) lost millions of voters, because it failed to build socialism in the nine years that it ruled the country. The opposition is mobilizing its supporters, playing on the desperation of poor working class people as the economy remains in crisis. Maduro’s failure to move his country into a socialist direction is fueling a counterrevolution. Therefore the Boliviarian Revolution is at a crossroad. Its survival will depend on the will of its supporters to build genuine socialism!

Capitalist commentators and news outlets call the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela a ‘’socialist’’ dictatorship. The opposition is already calling Nicolas Maduro a ‘’Cuban communist’’ style dictator. Now it is true that the president has become more authoritarian and the state is using police brutality to silence protestors. However we must not ignore that the opposition is just as violent. They want to return all economic and state power to the capitalist class. This you don’t hear them saying, but MUD is made up of political parties that act as vehicles for the ruling class. Despite 18 years of Chavismo, the government of Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro never abolished capitalism. Their Bolivarian Revolution stagnated with the inability of Hugo Chavez to move beyond a mixture of capitalism with social democracy, leftist populism and state intervention in the economy!

Revolutionary socialists understand that many working class people are very critical of the PSUV and the government. When Hugo Chavez founded the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in 2007, many Marxists hoped it would become a vehicle for workers, poor and youth. However Chavez wanted a political party that worked as his mouthpiece. The PSUV was to be his vehicle, not a worker’s party. Socialist critics of the growing cult of personality were soon confronted by party bureaucrats and expelled because they were critical of the ‘’Great Commander’’. The Democratic Unity Roundtable was founded a year later to unite the antisocialist (and pro-capitalist) opposition to the Chavez government!

Although MUD calls itself ‘’democratic’’ it is not a force for freedom. The opposition has grown more violent since 2016. This is not reported in the western capitalist media, who only portray Maduro’s use of force. Western viewers get a biased picture and will think that Venezuela is led by a ‘’socialist regime’’ that is using police brutality to attack ‘’innocent’’ protestors. Again, nothing is reported on the violence carried out by the supporters of MUD. Out of 108 people killed since the demonstrations began, only 13 were killed by security forces. 20 victims were murdered by the protestors, 8 people died indirectly due to opposition forces blocking streets and harming traffic. 14 were killed due to looting, 3 died as a result of pro-government supporters and 3 were killed by accident. The deaths of the remaining 47 people remain unaccounted for or are disputed!

But is the American and European media saying the only 13 protestors were killed by Maduro’s police forces? No, they say that over 100 people died since the demonstrations began. You get the picture that all victims were killed by the police while demonstrating against Maduro. This is simply not true. Yes, there is police brutality and this must be rejected. Also the actions of the government are ineffective and counterproductive. Worse, Nicolas Maduro is making deals with the capitalist establishment to carry out austerity cuts. Proofing his incompetence and inability to be president of a supposed ‘’socialist’’ country.

In the last 85 days, anti-Maduro mobs have been attacking buildings of the PSUV and supporters of Chavismo. This is also not reported by CNN and other western media outlets. They report stories on government supporters attacking the parliament and the politicians of MUD. Nothing is reported about MUD supporters lynching Chavez supporters in the streets. This is how the capitalist media of America and Europa tries to portray Venezuela as black/white issue. Revolutionary socialists reject the violence of the ruling class and we denounce MUD as a reactionary political force, disguised as a ‘’liberal democratic’’ coalition!

At the same time we give no political support to the government. We are not supporters of Nicolas Maduro nor his ineffective and deeply bureaucratic regime. But we are willing to defend the limited gains of the Chavez era. Because if MUD wins they will privatise wholly or partially the state owned oil company PDVSA, they would destroy labour rights currently enshrined in law, they would privatise social housing (the 1.6 million homes built and delivered by Mision Vivienda), they would privatise state-owned companies and return expropriated factories and landed estates to their former capitalist owners. This is what the opposition wants to do, this is why we must stand with the working class against the pseudo-Democratic Unity Roundtable. It is regrettable that many middle class workers have joined the opposition. They don’t understand how they play right into the hands of the rich and wealthy, who have waited 18 years for a counterrevolution to happen!

Socialists are implacably opposed to the reactionary offensive of the opposition as it represents a mortal threat to the Venezuelan workers and poor as well as to the gains of the Bolivarian revolution.

There are only two options out this hell for workers:

Option 1: A massive adjustment which makes the workers and the poor pay the price. This would involve freeing exchange rates, reducing the budget deficit through cuts and lifting any regulations and protections (workers’ rights, environmental rights, etc.) from the “normal” functioning of capitalism!

Option 2: Abolish the capitalist system by bringing banks, industries and the land into public ownership and democratic control, that is, to make the oligarchy pay. That would not bring the price of oil back up, of course, but at least it would put the country’s resources in the hands of working people!

Revolutionary socialists stand with option 2. But at the present time (July 2017) Nicolas Maduro remains paralyzed and unable to move either forward towards socialism or backward towards capitalism. Some actions made by Maduro seem to follow a path into the direction of option 1. We have seen this behaviour in Cuba too. Raúl Castro could have put the Cuban economy under democratic control of workers. But as leader of a centralized (and privileged) bureaucracy, he would never give away power to the working class. This is why Cuba moves towards option 1, because the Communist Party of Cuba does not want to give up power. It also wishes to embrace the capitalist world market, like China and Vietnam!

Maduro’s government has chosen a policy which does not advance towards socialism but also does not fully allow the functioning of the capitalist market. It makes all sorts of concessions to the capitalists, but these are not enough for them. They want a full return the situation as it was before 1999, before Hugo Chavez. Back then the absolute poverty rate stood at 23% of the total population. 9,5 million Venezeulans were living in shaks and had no access to basic human needs. A very small minority was living in absolute wealth. Enjoying millions in oil profits that were given to them by a corrupt capitalist state. Chavez ended this and the ruling class never forgave him!

The biggest mistake the Bolivarian Revolution made was their believe that they could build a fair and just society under capitalism, with the ruling class ‘’controlled’’ by laws. This proofed to be disastrous because with the economic crisis starting in 2014, the politicians of the ruling class were able to portray themselves as ‘’fighters for the poor and weak’’. Since many social security programs have been stalled or abandoned due to a lack of funds, poverty has been growing. This is exploited by MUD who has won the support of millions. They even won support among leftists who feel disillusioned by the supposed ”failure of socialism”. We must not deny that there is a crisis, that poor people are getting hit the hardest. Maduro cannot wait any longer, either he abandons price controls and returns economic power to the so called ”free market”, or he moves beyond capitalism and the dictatorship of the ruling class. Venezuela has been in a state of limbo far too long!

Meanwhile, oil and corruption have been working hand in hand ever since it was discovered in Venezuela. The government is deeply corrupt and this has not been improved nor destroyed by Chavez. In fact both Chavez and Maduro used corruption to win the support from the army and state bureaucracy. The military is kept loyal with high salaries and certain ‘’benefits’’. Like the privileged members of the Communist Party of Cuba, bureaucrats in Venezuela are also bribed for loyalty to the presidency. MUD calls the government out on this corruption, but we know that it is an empty outcry. Under a full MUD administration corruption will not die out!

Will the PSUV and Maduro be overthrown? Not if the working class comes to its defence. Unless Maduro turns into a socialist direction the future looks very dark for him. A full civil war is possible if some army units decide to join the opposition. To prevent this Venezuela needs a socialist plan out of the crisis. It requires the full expropriation of all millionaires (who fund MUD) and a brake with the capitalist system. The wealth of Venezuela must be fully controlled by revolutionary activists, the workers, the peasants and the poor. No privileges to army officials or government bureaucrats. No compromises with the capitalist class!!

 

Liu Xiaobo 1955-2017

Liu Xiaobo has died in a Chinese hospital. He was one of the most famous dissidents, rejecting the autocracy of the Chinese ”Communist” Party from a liberal democratic perspective. Liu was jailed since 2009, the state declared him ”guilty” of trying to overthrow the government by his writhing. In fact Liu has only called for basic human rights and a China governed by a democracy, instead of a single party state. Although revolutionary socialists disagree with Liu Xiaobo on his support for American imperialism and George W. Bush, we respect him as a fighter for human rights and a China free from this corrupt ”communist” party!

Since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the Chinese ”Communist” Party has moved further to the right-wing. Not only embracing (state)capitalism, but also a very aggressive form of Chinese nationalism. This nationalism is deeply rejected by revolutionary socialists, but also by liberal democrats like Liu Xiaobo. The revolutionary left understands that the Beijing regime needs radical nationalism to hide its betrayal of Marxist principals. Not only has the People’s Republic of China more millionaires then the USA, it has also permitted the new class of super rich to join the Chinese ”Communist” Party. So we have a state party that claims to be loyal to Marxist and Leninist ideas, yet at the same time allows ”patriotic” capitalist exploiters to join them as members. Lenin would call this the ultimate betrayal. Even the Mensheviks did not allow the ruling class from joining their party!

Liu Xiaobo was not a critic of capitalism. He supported the free market as a liberal. Why he choose to support the administration of George W. Bush is unclear. Maybe he remained blinded by the American propaganda about this lie that the USA is the bastion of liberty and freedom in world. Although a liberal democrat, Liu Xiaobo supported the conservative regime of Bush and its criminal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. This shows that Liu was a big lover of westernization. His love for western imperialism may have originate from the natural inability of liberals and conservatives to see beyond their own rhetoric. Americans have this drilled into them. Both those who are liberals and conservatives still have this misguided idea that the USA and the ”Free World” are the beacon of democracy. It is a arrogance that Liu shared in his rejected of the CCP regime!

Revolutionary socialists do support Liu when he stood for workers rights and basic human rights in general. This is what made this man good. He may have had principals that can be rejected and criticized, but unlike Chinese conservatives and even some liberals he defied the ruling party. While many world liberals work with the state-capitalist regime and praise it when Beijing carries out more market based politics, Liu Xiaobo remained a critic. Conservatives in China are not at all interested in human rights. They praise the might of the state and its willingness to become a imperialist superpower. Most of not all members of the Chinese ”Communist” Party can be called conservatives. Remove the red banners, the hammer & sickle and you would see a party that is very close to the American: Republican Party or British: Conservative Party. Especially on the fact that ethnic nationalism is now the dominate ideology of the CCP!

In the 1990’s it was possible for Liu Xiaobo to go into exile. He could have moved to Taiwan, which was undergoing a rapid transformation. But Liu choose to return to the mainland and kept on writing. This was not accepted by the Beijing regime who arrested him again. He was sentenced to three years of forced re-education through labour. In 1996, while he was still imprisoned in the labour camp, Liu married Liu Xia. Because she was the only person from the outside allowed to visit him in prison, she was called his most important link to the outside world. After his release in 1999, Liu could have stopped writing. Agian he choose not to and this angered the regime. For supporting the Charter 08 manifesto of 350 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists, he was arrested again in 2009 and sentenced to spend 11 years in prison!

At his trial Liu Xiaobo said:

China’s political reforms should be gradual, peaceful, orderly and controllable and should be interactive, from above to below and from below to above. This way causes the least cost and leads to the most effective result. I know the basic principles of political change, that orderly and controllable social change is better than one which is chaotic and out of control. The order of a bad government is better than the chaos of anarchy. So I oppose systems of government that are dictatorships or monopolies. This is not ‘inciting subversion of state power’. Opposition is not equivalent to subversion.

Still Liu was found guilty of trying to ”overthrow the state” and got 11 years in prison. The world reacted very sharply but none of the major capitalist powers dared to do anything against the might of capitalist China. Despite criticism and calls for his release, nothing was done as the western world did not want to harm its lucrative business deals with Beijing. In 2010, China was already a world economic power. Most if not all plastic and electronic products are assembled in factories located in the PRC.

For his bravery in rejecting the dictatorship, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Noble Peace Price. Chinese media were ordered not to report this. The CCP regime demanded that all information about Liu was to be censored. However they could not keep the information away from the public. So the Chinese ”Communist” Party started a dirty smear campaign. They claimed that the party made unremitting efforts to promote and safeguard human rights, while Liu was harming the nation with his ”bold and untrue” statements. The international allies of China agreed with the vision of Beijing. Venezuela, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have sided with the PRC against the criticism of the western world!

Revolutionary socialists agree with one criticism of Liu made by the Chinese government. The western world has indeed sensationalized the story of Liu Xiaobo. He was a liberal democrat, a firm supporter of western imperialism and capitalism. This is why he was the perfect person for western media outlets in attacking China. Revolutionary socialists know that since 2010, the Chinese state is also arresting Marxists and trade unionists. But these people are never seen on western television. Especially when we talk about Marxists getting arrested by a government still called ”communist” by media outlets in America and Europe!

Zhang Shujie is another dissent who fled the PRC in 2012. Unlike Liu Xiaobo, Zhang is a Marxist and very critical of capitalism. His story is even more dramatic then that of Liu. He was arrested by the ”People’s Police” because they believed he was linked to the Committee for a Workers International (CWI). After 30 hours of interrogation Zhang agreed on becoming a spy. He was told to infiltrate the socialist group: Socialist Action in Hong-Kong. Should he refuse the police said they would jail him for years like Liu Xiaobo. Zhang Shujie however had no intentions of betraying his socialist principals to a corrupt capitalist state. After he arrived in Hong-Kong he told Socialist Action what Beijing had demanded of him. With the help from Irish socialist: Joe Higgins, Zhang was smuggled out of China and ended up in Sweden. There he got political asylum and was able to tell his story. Although Zhang Shujie was allowed to speak in front of the Swedish parliament, the media of the western world had little interests in his story!

In May 2017 while living in jail, Liu was diagnosed with cancer. At the end of his life the regime he fought against granted him medical parole. They send him to the Shenyang’s First Hospital of China Medical University. There he died on 13 July 2017 at the age of 61. On the early morning of 15 July, Liu’s body was cremated in accordance with the will of his family members and local customs. The first female president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said in a statement: ”Tonight, together with everyone that cares about human rights in China, we mourn the tragic passing of Liu Xiaobo. I want to pay my highest respects to this tireless advocate for human rights. I also wish to express my deepest condolences to his family, particularly Ms. Liu Xia who is currently still under house arrest. In 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At the ceremony, the attention of the whole world was drawn on the empty chair. Sadly, he will never have a chance to claim his seat”