Trump loves Saudi-Arabia

Trump is one the move and his first nation of visit is the: REACTIONARY TERROR FOUNDING THEOCRACY OF MEDIEVAL MONARCHISTS called: The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia. Out of all nations Trump choose this Arab kingdom led by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. There is however a business reason why the far-right president visits the absolute monarchy. The Saudi’s are buying 100 billion dollars worth of U.S made weapons. Also they plan to invest in the USA, especially in Trump’s daughter Ivanka. She is setting up new businesses with Saudi money. This is so ironic because 11 months ago, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for taking millions in donations from the Saudi royal family. Yes, the Arab kingdom wanted Clinton not Trump. Because back then Trump played the populist, the anti-establishment figure. Now the Saudi’s know it was all an act, Donald Trump is their ally and uncritical like all U.S presidents!  

When Barack Obama visited the absolute Islamic monarchy, he bowed to the Saudi king. Conservatives were outraged and attacked the president on Fox News, Breibart and Infowars.com. They called him a ”coward” and a ”servant of Islam”. Now Donald Trump has done the same thing and many conservative websites remain either silent or try to downplay the fact, that their leader bowed to the Saudi king. The hypocrisy of far-right conservatives proofs how much they hatred Obama and his administration. Trump shows that he is not that macho male chauvinist, conservatives think he is. He remains a capitalist and secures a major trade deal with the reactionary islamists. America is selling over 100 billion dollars worth of military hardware to Saudi-Arabia. In return the oil rich theocracy is ”investing” their billions in America and in Ivanka Trump!

Nothing critical has been said about the fact that Saudi-Arabia is a deeply undemocratic country. A medieval theocracy run on the same ideology as the Islamic State, the terrorist group that has spread death and destruction in Iraq and Syria. Although Saudi-Arabia claims to be an enemy of IS, they share the same ideology. The only reason why Islamic State rejects Saudi-Arabia is because of the absolute (and deeply corrupt) monarchy. IS wishes to build a caliphate of Islam, they reject a monarchist system. They also know that behind the mask of Wahhabism, Saudi-Arabia’s kings and princes do not have a Islamic lifestyle. They drink alcohol, have wild parties with nude woman and consider themselves holier then the holy book of Islam. On the outside the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia portrays itself as a Islamic nation, but the laws of the Koran are often ignored for personal greed!

Wahhabism is a deeply sectarian ideology, it rejects any other interpretation of Islam. Shia-Islam is hated the most by the supporters of Wahhabism. In Saudi-Arabia it is forbidden to be a Shia-Muslim. Those who dare to be Shia face discrimination, expulsion, arrest and even execution. Last year in January, the kingdom executed: Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. This Shia clerk was calling for free elections in the absolute monarchy. The government arrested him which led to massive protests by Shia youth. After clashes with the police, Al-Nimr was sentenced to death. In January 2016, he and 40 others were murdered. This caused a diplomatic conflict between the (Shia) Islamic Republic of Iran and the kingdom. Iran remains deeply hostile to the Saudi regime!

Woman are regarded as lesser to men. Not only are females forced to cover themselves in public, they also need a male guarding at their side. This system is supported by some conservative woman too, who praise their enslavement to male chauvinism and dominance. In 2017, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud relaxed some laws on male guardianship. Woman no longer need a male while dealing with officials and medical professionals. However on many other fronts, woman are still forced to have a male at their side!

The death penalty is brutally enforced in the kingdom!

Saudi-Arabia is killing people for things like:

  • Rejecting religion
  • Rejecting the absolute monarchy
  • Converting from Islam to any other religion
  • Adultery
  • Sorcery (they believe in witchcraft too)
  • Homosexuality (including lesbianism)
  • Treason
  • Blasphemy
  • Waging war on God (militant atheism)
  • Fornication (killing none married couples for love in public)

The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is murdering people for exact the same reason as the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia. But the imperialists of the USA never had any problems with these facts. They have armed the Saudi state with modern American made weapons. Tanks, planes and machine guns, used to suppress anybody who dares to stand against king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his 2.000 male family members. It is true that the Saudi Royal Family has over 15.000 members. But only 2.000 can be called extremely rich (multi-billionaires). These male members control all the oil profits. They are the ruling class of the kingdom and are positioned on all important positions in the government!

American presidents have praised the Saudi’s for their uncritical support of U.S imperialism. The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia remains a loyal ally of the Americans against Iran, Russia and China. In the cold war, the theocracy played on anticommunism and was supplied with a lot of material from the USA. Thanks to billions in oil money, the kingdom was able to build a modern infrastructure. Although many western people think every Arab in the kingdom is wealthy, this is not the cause. In fact the wages for ordinary workers are much lower then in the USA. Workers in Saudi-Arabia do not have access to the oil wealth, that money is owned by the 2.000 male members of the royal family. On average a worker earns around 35.000 U.S dollars a year. But they do have the luxury of subsidized fuel, as car gas is very cheap. Only Venezuela is more cheaper in gas prices!

George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump, all have danced with the princes and kings. All have bowed their heads to this criminal kingdom and received awards and luxurious items. Michelle Obama was given a huge diamond and Ivanka Trump is getting donations in the millions. 11 months ago, the far-right billionaire that is her father attacked Hillary Clinton. The candidate of the Democratic Party was given millions in donations by the Saudi Royal Family. Trump was not happy that Saudi money was given to his political opponent. He demanded that Clinton rejected it as Saudi-Arabia was a evil nation that oppresses woman and kills gays. Trump was not wrong on this fact, but 11 months later, President Trump bows to the same people he rejected. It proofs again how little is left of the populist of 2016. Donald Trump is not the anti-establishment guy. He is the establishment!

Meanwhile the Saudi Air Force keeps bombing Yemen with American made planes. 10.000 civilians have been murdered since the civil war broke out in the Republic of Yemen in 2015. Unlike the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, this one remains largely ignored by the world capitalist media. Yemen is divided between a Sunni-Islamic government (supported by Saudi-Arabia and the USA) a Shia-Islamic: Revolutionary Committee also called ”Houthis rebels” (supported by Iran) and a radical Sunni-Islamist group called: Partisans of Sharia. The official government has lost control of the capital and relies on Saudi air support to attack the Shia-Islamic ”rebels”. The Partisans of Sharia have abused the situation and established a Islamic theocracy in 1/3 of the country. They control some towns and coastal regions to the south.

A big European supplier of guns to the conflict is the Federal Republic of Germany. The western world is arming the reactionary theocracy to destroy their political/religious enemies in Yemen. The fact that over 10.000 civilians died proof that the Saudi’s have little care for human life. Their pilots are raised with religious sectarianism and hatred of Shia-Muslims. They gladly bomb Shia homes as they are told. In the Yemen civil war, western made bombs kill thousands of innocents. The Saudi’s bomb anything that they call a target. In two years, the air force of the medieval kingdom has killed around 10.000 civilians. Despite protests from civil activists and human-rights groups, Donald Trump has given the green light to supply the absolute monarchy with new military hardware!

Revolutionary socialists call for the overthrow of the Saudi Royal Family. The whole rotten monarchy must be replaced by a socialist workers democracy. The billions in oil profits belong to the whole population, not to 2.000 corrupt male members of one family. Trump and the western world are responsible for keeping this regime in place. They arm it, they supply it, they keep the regime in power. If Saudi-Arabia would be under a full trade embargo like Cuba, it would soon lose its grip on its population. Many young Arabs are already rejecting the dogmatic ideology of Wahhabism. Behind the walls of religious obedience a underground youth culture is growing. A new generation may look conservative and loyal, but like the woman of Saudi-Arabia they too want to be free from the dogma’s of religious conservatism!

 

Trump bows his head to be given a golden Saudi necklace.

Green Youth kicked out of Austrian mother party

The Green Youth of Austria has been kicked out of their mother party. Austrian greens are united in what they call: The Greens – The Green Alternative, a party that abandoned many core leftist ideas over the last 25 years. Its youth had been critical of the moderate course, which was not liked by the pro-capitalist party-leaders. One of the propaganda slogans of the Austrian greens has been that they are ”basic democratic and anti-bureaucratic”. With the purge of its youth section, The Greens have proven to the bourgeoisie that they are capable to silence dissident voices, just like any other establishment party!

The expulsion of the youth wing reminds us of the witch hunts inside the communist parties in the late 1920’s. Back then the Stalinist leadership of the Communist International, demanded that all critics of marxism-leninism (stalinism) to be purged. Stalin also wanted all supporters of Leon Trotsky removed, because they were most critical of his bureaucratic counterrevolution. In Britain the Labour Party started a similar witch hunt against revolutionary socialists in the 1980’s, who operated inside the former workers party. The Stalinist communist parties and the right-wing of the Labour Party were successful in removing critical leftists from their ranks.

In Austria, the greens were united in 1993. The current party was founded after two leftist formation joined forces. Current Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen, was the party leader and also a moderate politician. Under his leadership the party moved away from a activist party into a party of the establishment. In his youth Van der Bellen was a ”arrogant anti-capitalist” as he called himself. As he grew older he changed his views and embraced liberalism.  Today Van der Bellen is a typical capitalist president, who serves the interests of the Austrian ruling class. His party never entered a coalition government, this is why the greens were able to play on some popular leftist issues. Unlike the Social-democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), The Greens have not yet lost their electorate. Revolutionary socialists however noticed that the pro-capitalist leadership of The Greens, would abandon many leftist ideas just to prove to the media that they can govern under capitalism!

Young Greens were the youth section of The Greens since 2010. Their slogans are ecology, feminism, anti-fascism, egalitarianism, non-violence, self-determination and basic democracy. Many young members were very critical of their mother party, who had embraced the idea that you cannot change the system, let alone the ruling class. The youth leadership was less critical then most members, however the fact that they tried to turn the mother party to the left was not tolerated. The party-leaders wanted a centrist green party that promotes eco-capitalism (which is incompatible). Revolutionary socialists had abandoned the idea that the greens in Austria could return to their original anti-capitalist roots. Like the social democrats, the greens have embraced too many bourgeois ideas. They are not a radical party, but a moderate party with some ecological ideas, ideas that do not challenge capitalist dominance at all!

Now outside their mother party, the Young Greens of Austria need a new direction. Revolutionary socialists of the Socialist Left Party (SLP) call for the formation of a new workers party. The Young Greens could participate in the building of this new party for working class Austrians. All green activists, anti-capitalists and ecological socialists are welcomed to join the debates of the SLP to build this new leftist force. Because Austria is in need of a workers party. The social-democratic party and the greens have proven to the proletariat that they are not on their side. Social democrats have worked with conservatives too many times to be called leftists. The Young Socialists (JUSO) of the SPÖ are also more on the left. But unlike the young greens. the young social democrats never dare to stand against the SPÖ. They may speak the leftist language, yet when it comes to elections the JUSO always sided with the party leaders, who are pro-capitalist. The Young Greens were not afraid to stand against their right-wing dominated green party and because of that they were expelled!

 

No human is illegal. The Young Greens reject the hatred against immigrants.

South Korean elections

South Koreans choose their new president and Moon Jae-in claims victory. The last president (conservative) was kicked out of office, due to a massive corruption scandal. This is not uncommon as many politicians in South Korea are corrupt and serve the capitalist class. Capitalist newspapers give only attention to the candidates of the bourgeoisie. Millionaires and high ranking politicians are given preferential treatment. The South Korean election system works very much like the American one. Big money is deeply involved in politics, in the Republic of Korea!

Politics and alliances change very rapidly in South Korea. The liberals and conservatives change their names so often it is hard for an outsider to keep up. Conservatives are in 2017 united in the Liberty Korean Party previously known as the New Frontier Party and Grand National Party. The liberals belong to the Democratic Party today. In the past their names were Together Democratic Party and New Politics Alliance for Democracy. This change in names is happening very fast. Until the impeachment and arrest of president Park Geun-hye, the conservatives dominated South Korean politics. Now the parliament is divided between conservative loyalists who still support the former president, the main conservative party, the liberal party and a liberal split party called the People’s Party!

The progressive candidate for the office of president was Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party. This small progressive party is the only leftist voice in a right-wing dominated parliament. Because the liberals in South Korea are as pro-capitalist as the conservatives. The Justice Party is not a socialist party, but a social democratic one. It does not argue for socialism, nor does it wish to abolish the corrupt capitalist system. In 1985, Sim Sang-jung was a fugitive and on the most wanted list. As a labour activist and fighter against the anticommunist military junta, she was wanted for instigating strikes. After democracy was established in the 1990’s (not thanks to the USA) she worked in many leftist parties. Eventually Sim became a member of the New Progressive Party which fused into the Justice Party!

Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party is said to becomes the new president. The liberals are seen as anti-corrupt, which is laughable. Only because they reject the hard-line conservatives does not make them less capitalistic or less corrupt. In fact the liberal party has its own history of political corruption. This is because all major politicians in the south have their rich donors. These rich Koreans are often needed to give politicians support in the media. A candidate like Sim Sang-jung is not supported by the ruling class, because she is critical of big money in politics. Also we must not forget that conservatives and liberals are serving the same class. Workers who vote on either of them can not expect politics that favor the working class!

Many promises are made. Moon said he would fight against the power of the wealthy Korean families who own most enterprises in the south. These are populist words because no South Korean president has ever dared to challenge the greedy capitalist families. Moon Jae-in own Democratic Party is living off donations from wealthy liberals just as the Democrats in the USA do. Revolutionary socialists don’t expect a course change. But maybe the new liberal president will be less confrontational and less of a hardliner towards North Korea. Park Geun-hye was very much against Kim Jong Un and choose harsh language over diplomacy. She turned out to be a corrupt bitch, we were not surprised. Geun-hye is the daughter of dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea from 1963 until his murder in 1979. As a young woman, Geun-hye was the first lady of the anticommunist republic, because he mother was already death. South Korea under her father was a totalitarian anticommunist republic. A republic that played on anticommunism to arrest and silence leftists and trade unionists. These critics of the Park regime were spied on by the criminal Korean Central Intelligence Agency, a direct clone of the CIA!

Like in the USA, elections in South Korea are too plutocratic. If all candidates would be given the same amount of media attention, then true leftists could make a point. But in capitalist Korea, the money goes to those who are loyal to the establishment. Like in America were the Democratic Party (neoliberals) and Republican Party (far-right conservatives) hold all political power. They control the elections, the polls and are the parties of Wall Street, the capitalist center of the world. South Korea does have one true socialist party. A small anti-capitalist force known as the Labor Party. Founded in July 2013, this party aims to replace the plutocratic establishment with a socialist democracy. At the moment however the Labor Party is not yet a force for working class people. This is because the Justice Party is portrayed by the media as the most leftist of all Korean political parties. The party of Sim Sang-jung is indeed progressive, but they are not anti-capitalist. Their aim is to reform capitalism, which revolutionary socialists believe cannot be done!

The new South Korean president is facing a growing crisis. Two narcissistic leaders face each other and between them lies South Korea. Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un use war rhetoric and play a dangerous game. Trump’s armada is closing in on paranoid North Korea and Kim Jong Un claims he is ready to attack the ”puppet” state of America (South Korea). At home the power of the ruling class remains absolute. The sinking of the MS Sewol in April 2014 proofed again how weak government regulations are enforced, to protect people against the greed of capitalist enterprises. South Korea has safety laws and regulations, but they are often ignored as government bureaucrats are too close to the big business families. Economic corruption is a problem and South Korean ranks 53 on the Corruption Perceptions Index. Will Moon Jae-in be able to change the south? He claims so, but we heard this ”CHANGE” talk before in 2008. The guy who claimed he would bring change stayed in power for 8 years and turned out to be a Uncle Tom for capitalism!

One thing the new liberal president could do is to end internet censorship. South Korea is censoring websites that are deemed ”pro-North Korean”. Conservative newspapers and groups have successfully lobbied to censor blogs and websites that talk about North Korea. Their intolerance is legendary as seen in the past, when the Republic of Korea (under control of dictatorial conservatives) was a totalitarian right-wing dictatorship. In the western world, South Korea is seen as a bastion of democracy against ”totalitarian communism”, which is false since the DPRK dropped communism officially in 2009. But the reality is that political free speech is still limited. You are not allowed to reject the Republic of Korea and its institutions. You are not allowed to call yourself a communist in the open.

A leftist nationalist party was banned not so long ago, because it exposed Park Chung-hee as a Japanese soldier (collaborator). This brought great shame to the presidency of his daughter. Under her administration the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) was banned, because the government said the leftist nationalists were ”pro-North Korean”. This is how the conservatives were able to ban leftists from the political playground before the 1990’s. They simply said that any critic was pro-North Korean, this resulted in arrest and torture of those called ”enemies of democracy”. The Unified Progressive Party was not pro-North Korea, however it was deeply anti-USA and rejected American troops on Korean soil. It was a party of activists who were anti-imperialist. Leftist nationalists in the past have been pro-DPRK, but the UPP was never a party that hailed the Juche system of North Korea. Still the presidency of Park Geun-hye used the old pro-North Korean trick and banned the UPP. President Moon Jae-in would do good by rehabilitate the members of this leftist nationalist party. Despite their Korean nationalism, the UPP has the right to exist in a liberal democracy!

 

Moon Jae-in claims victory.

The free market destorys Alitalia

The Italian airliner Alitalia is about to go bankrupt again. This is not the first time the airliner went into financial problems. Back in 2008, the old Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane was declared bankrupt. A new airliner under the name Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana was founded by a bailout of the Italian government. However the big liner cannot make a profit. Since its foundation Alitalia has been losing money each year. At fault is the management and the fact that cow cost carriers have conquered the Italian airline market. Ryanair and Vueling have outmaneuvered the national airline of Italy and now bankruptcy is imminent yet again!

Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane first started with flying in 1946 after world war 2. Its first name was Aerolinee Italiane Internazional, the name Alitalia was introduced a year later in 1947. Like Sabena of Belgium, Alitalia was never a profitable airliner. By capitalist standards the company should have been bankrupted a long time ago. But Alitalia was the face of Italy and the government decided to intervene every time. Capitalist commentators claim that workers and the government are to blame for the financial troubles. Labour unions have bravely fought against the decisions of the management to cut wages and fire workers. Revolutionary socialists always stood with the workers of Alitalia, who are not to blame for the fact that the management is unable to make the company profitable!

Many Italians will be shocked when their airliner will go bankrupt. But this is not something which comes unexpectedly. Alitalia suffers from killing competition by low cost airliners like Ryanair and Vueling. Airliners who operate much cheaper because they enforce totalitarian control over their workers. We all know how Ryanair forces its pilots to fly with just enough fuel to make it from point A to point B. Wages at these low cost carriers are much lower then those of Alitalia. This is why tickets are much cheaper. In the past the government granted loans and capital injections to prevent a bankruptcy. But the European Union forbade Italy from helping their doomed airliner. Their logic is simple: If Alitalia cannot survive in a free market, then it should go down. This is the same EU that enforced brutal austerity on the people of Greece!

Revolutionary socialists see a bigger picture. We reject capital injections or nationalizations under capitalism. We do not want Italians to pay for the loses of one company only to see it privatized again. Our alternative is to nationalize Alitalia under socialism. This means complete expropriation of the owners and no privatization in the future. This will be rejected by the EU, who will never agree to any state owned airliner. In a capitalist economy it would also not be possible to do this. Therefore Italy needs socialism!

Capitalist competition is not healthy and in the end it destroys those who cannot survive. This killer logic is what happened to famous airliners like Pan American Airlines, Sabena and Swissair. Supporters of the free market claim that because of competition the prices for flying are now much lower. Indeed, but at what cost? There are over 11.000 people working for Alitalia. If the company goes bankrupt these workers will be on the streets. Capitalist commentators say that the pilots, flight attendants and workers should then accept cuts to their income and pensions. Because that will keep the airline ”healthy”. So in order to save their jobs, they need to accept the same work conditions as those who work for low cost carriers like Ryanair. Let us remind you how greedy and capitalistic the management of Ryanair is. Pilots are forced to fly with a minimum of fuel and flight attendants are told to pay for their own uniforms. There is also a culture of fear were bosses use intimidation against those workers who are critical!

In 2008, Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane went bankrupt after losing money for years. Because the government had kept a big share in the airline, prime minster Silvo Berlusconi decided to save the image of Italy, by selling parts of the company to his wealthy cronies. A group of rich capitalists was enticed into taking over the healthy portions of Alitalia, leaving its debts to the Italian taxpayers. After the government paid millions of euros, a new company was set up called Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana. Many hoped that this fresh start would be positive. Arab carrier Etihad Airways paid a lot of money to get 49% of all the shares. In the end they were very disappointing that the workers of Alitalia rejected the austerity package. Since trade unions are not free in the United Arab Emirates, the owners of Etihad are not used that working class people stand up against labor cuts and worsening work conditions.

Alitalia has another competitor, railroads. Two years ago a super-fast rail system opened between Milan and Rome. The capitalists who own these rail roads offer seats at the same prices of the low cost carriers. In a nation were the average income is 1.700 euros a month before taxes, it is no surprise that many choose cheaper ways of travel. It is a sad reality that the free market has destroyed Alitalia. 11.000 workers will soon face the streets if the company is not saved. This time there is no hope of government intervention as the European Union forbids any capital injection!

Are consumers to blame? They are the ones who choose to fly with Ryanair and Vueling instead of Alitalia. Revolutionary Socialist Media thinks not. The unregulated capitalist system is to blame. In the past, many state owned airliners had a monopoly on flights. Pan American Airlines was able to stay in the air because the airline market in the USA was regulated, until Jimmy Carter came with the deregulation act of 1978. Exposure to competition led to heavy losses and conflicts with labor unions for a number of carriers. Between 1978 and mid-2001, eight major carriers (including famous names like Eastern, Midway, Braniff, Pan Am, Continental, Northwest Airlines, and TWA) and more than 100 smaller airlines went bankrupt or were liquidated!

The establishment media in both Italy and the European Union will put all the blame on pilots and workers. They refused austerity, they refused pay cuts and are to blame for the collapse of Alitalia. Working class people at the company however are not to blame. We say that the capitalist system is responsible. The system of unregulated capitalism that allows for this madness. Ryanair and Vueling are not Italian airliners, Ryanair is Irish and Vueling is Spanish. But because of the free market economy in the European Union, these low cost liners are able to compete in any EU country. Revolutionary socialists reject this common market idea as not all European nations are equal in labour costs nor in social security. Nationalists would call for protectionism, a system that protects indigenous businesses against foreign competition. The far-right National Front in France is very much in favor of protectionism. Silvo Berlusconi also played on protectionist feelings during his times as prime minister!

In the end the only class who wins is the capitalist class. Workers lose far more then just a job. The owners of Alitalia are not poor, Etihad Airways is a company that is cheating the market because it has access to subsidized oil. While carriers like Alitalia have to pay market prices for their jet fuel, Etihad Airways is given subsidized fuel by the government of the United Arab Emirates. Also the companies from the middle east operate on slave labor. Many Indian workers from India work for airliners like Etihad Airways on very low wages. Although billions of euros are made, Indian workers are paid on salaries common in India. Two years ago, many capitalists in the United Arab Emirates complained about the rise in labor costs. Workers from India were given an increase in their salary at home. This meant that Arab businesses who hire Indians had to pay this increases too. An average income of 1.200 ED (Emirati Dirham) was normal, but now the Arab capitalists had to pay over 1.600 ED a month if they hire a worker from India. For the record: 1.600 ED equals 400 euros or 430 U.S dollars!

Capitalist logic is simple. There is no room for Alitalia in a European market dominated by low cost carriers and three major airlines. Because we have now:

  1. Air France/KLM – A company that owns Air France and Dutch Royal Airlines (KLM)
  2. The International Airlines Group which owns British Airways, Vueling and Iberia of Spain
  3. The Lufthansa Group that owns Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austria Airlines, Brussels Airlines and many charter airliners like Eurowings and Edelweiss Air.

This is the result of unregulated capitalism. Today there are only three major airlines left in Europe. These three dominate the market and it becomes more difficult for others to compete with them. At the same time, the low cost carriers keep growing. Ryanair is no longer a small Irish carrier. It has grown to 384 airplanes with 192 destinations. The Spanish Vueling has over 108 planes, the same amount as Alitania. Although the EU claims to protect ”free and fair competition” we all know that behind our backs, price fixing is done. Because it is the nature of capitalists to get richer and richer at the expense of others. Air France/KLM, International Airlines Group and Lufthansa Group are not even to blame for their greedy nature. We cannot expect from them to behave like human beings. Because the drive for profiteering will always come before the interests of the people who work at these enterprises!

Soon another symbol of the European airlines industry will fade away. Americans seen it too with the demise of airliners like Pan American Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Trans World Airlines. Those who cannot compete on the market are doomed to die. The brave workers of Alitalia who always fought for their jobs and wages, will in the end lose the battle. Because in a system build for competition and greed, they must either obey the rules of the market (accept austerity, lower wages and higher work load) or lose their jobs. This is why revolutionary socialists stand for a different economic system. A socialist system based on planning of the economy for people and not for the sharks of corporate Europe and the world capitalist class!

 

A sad end for the Italian airliner

French first round

The first round of the French presidential elections have been won by a neoliberal and a far-right nationalist. Emmanuel Macron and Marline Le Pen will face each other in the final battle of the French presidency. Macron is a former right-wing member of the Socialist Party (PS), who broke with the social democrats. Le Pen is the leader of the far-right: National Front, a xenophobic nationalist party that plays on the fear of foreigners (Muslims). The final round will be between this right-wing ex-social democrat and the leader of French nationalism. Revolutionary socialists will not support either of them. We call for massive rejection of both Macron’s neoliberalism and Le Pen’s ethnic nationalism!

What makes this first round special is that the candidates of the big two failed to get into the second round. Traditionally a social democratic candidate from the Socialist Party (PS) faces a conservative candidate from the Republicans, the new name of the former Union for a Popular Movement since 2015. French conservatives have the tendency to change their name when they become too unpopular. Unlike the social democrats, there have been many parties that served as a vehicle for the French ruling class. It is true that both the Socialist Party and the current Republicans are seen as the parties of the bourgeoisie. That neither of their candidates made it into the final round, proofs the deep distrust voters have towards establishment politicians!

Emmanuel Macron maybe the next president of France. Why? Because the defeated social democrats will call for a vote on him. All anti-nationalist French parties will call for a vote on this former minister in the government of president Hollande. Macron openly says he supports the dictatorship of capitalism, the free trade deals with America and Canada and he loves the European Union. His victory can be explained by the fact that he is seen as a outsider and not part of the rotten political establishment, which is ironic because he supported the politics of the ruling class. The political left-wing in this election was deeply divided between three leftist candidates. Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Left Party is the most popular, but his ideas are not true socialist. Although progressive and classic social democratic, he does not call for a socialist republic in France. The other two leftist candidates are more revolutionary in nature. But the radical left has been marginalized because of their inability to unite in a party for working class people. Still the campaign of Mélenchon was powerful enough to give him more votes compared to the candidate of the PS!

Philippe Poutou of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) and Nathalie Arthaud of Workers Struggle (LO) are called the hard left. The NPA was born in 2009 in a attempt to unite the revolutionary left into a stronger force. This project unfortunate failed as no clear program was drafted. Many revolutionaries who joined the NPA started to leave in bitter disillusion over the inability of the leadership to build a socialist alternative. Poutou is a good working class politician and would have been a true socialist president. But there is no real working class party behind him. The NPA is in fact the old Revolutionary Communist League under a new name!

Nathalie Arthau of Workers Struggle (LO) is running for the second time. Her political party maybe revolutionary socialist, but it is rather small and sectarian in nature. Both the NPA and LO failed to address new layers of workers and young people for revolutionary socialism. Only Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s moderate socialist program was able to rally working class voters. But in the end it was not enough. This however does not mean that there is no potential for a socialist alternative. Mélenchon won 19,6% of the votes, the best result for a true leftist candidate in France. Had his program been more radical socialist and if the NPA and LO had called for a united vote on him, he could have entered the final round against Emmanuel Macron. With clear leftist rhetoric against the babarity that is capitalism, Jean-Luc Mélenchon would have defeated the former PS minister. Then France would have a true leftist president!

Marine Le Pen is the leader of the far-right National Front. She stands on ethnic nationalism, rejection of minorities (Muslims) and false populism. Like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or Donald Trump in the USA, Le Pen plays on the fear of radical Islamism. Her solutions are simple, discrimination and limit democratic rights for Muslims. Her far-right party wants to attack workers with a Islamic background and their religion, all in the name of ”protecting French secularism”. Radical Islam grows because of racism towards working class Muslims. Many young people with parents from the middle east, feel that they are not wanted in their own country. Seeing the rejection of French society because they are Muslim, they are easy prey for radical Islamist forces. These forces work on the internet, spreading Jihad and hatred of the western world. Their propaganda works because of people like Marine Le Pen, who openly call for more discrimination against Muslims!

At the same time Le Pen wants to whitewash the crimes of France. She does not want to accept that her almighty French Republic was a brutal imperialist state. That it took African and Asian lands by force. No, Marine Le Pen loves the old French empires. She recently said that France was not to blame for the what happened on ”Vel d’Hiv”. This name stands for the date on which French police forces started with mass arrests of Jews in occupied Paris, code named: Opération Vent printanier. The police officers were working for the French government in Vichy, the collaborationist regime set up in 1940. Until the 1990’s, many political leaders refused to accept that France was to blame. It does not hide that the mass arrests were conducted by police and government officials of the French Republic!

In radical Islam, many Muslim youth are finding an identity. French society failed them and so they turn inward towards religious extremism. Islamism is a cancer that spreads because of racism by right-wing governments and populists like Trump, Wilders and Le Pen. It draws on young people who feel rejected by western societies because of their skin color and religion. Poverty is also a major reason why radical Islam is finding new prey. Many workers from Algeria and Tunisia are living in poor neighborhoods and are struggling against rising poverty. Revolutionary socialists have called for unity of all workers from both Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular backgrounds. This unity grows more difficult now that right-wing nationalism grows among ethnic white French. It is true that there is outright rejection of the Socialist Party and Republicans. But voting for people like Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen, will not improve the living-standards of working class families.

The next round will be a battle between hardcore nationalism and the none-nationalist capitalist establishment. Marine Le Pen will abuse the massive anger of poor white workers to distract them from her own pro-capitalist ideology. Yes, the National Front might oppose neoliberalism and international capitalism, but they love French capitalists and wish to protect French capitalism against ”foreign multinationals”. Also we must not forget that in the 1980’s, the nationalists were promoters of neoliberalism under Marine’s father. Jean Marie Le Pen called for privatizations and deregulation to fight what he called the ”communist danger” from both the Socialist Party and French Communist Party. Today the National Front is calling for protectionism!

Political leftist parties like the Left Party, French Communist Party (PCF), the New Anticapitalist Party and Workers Struggle have failed to rally working class people to their side. The Left Party and PCF are in fact too moderate and lack a clear revolutionary ideology. They even have called on workers to vote for PS candidates in the second round of the presidential elections. Will the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the communist party now rally behind Emmanuel Macron? Will they call for a vote on a right-wing neoliberal who openly expresses his love for capitalism and trade deals like TTIP and CETA? The National Front is not loved by the capitalist establishment for their protectionism and nationalism. So it become more and more clear that with the support from moderate socialists, social democrats, conservatives, neoliberals and establishment figures, Macron has a clear shot at the presidency. But Marline Le Pen can still defeat him if she is able to win working class voters!

Whatever president is elected, he or she will not serve the working class. Capitalism will not be limited or harmed. This is why the struggle against must not stop at the ballot. Protests and strikes against austerity and capitalist barbarism need to continue. In the end what truly matters is that French workers need a party for themselves that fights for a society in which political and economic power does not lay with a small minority of capitalists. Anti-capitalism used to be very strong in France. But because the radical left-wing failed to unite, they were easy defeated by social democracy and conservatism. The PS could play on its former status as a workers party. This is why social democracy remained strong in France. Had the French Communist Party not degenerated into this moderate socialist clubhouse, it could have out-rivaled the Socialist Party as it once did!

 

The outcome of the first round.

Bill O’Reilly IS GONE!!

Bill O’Reilly is gone, fired from Fox News. The master of conservative propaganda has been defeated. This happened after he was accused of sexual harassment by at least seven women who worked for him or who appeared on his show. By April 2017, 21st Century Fox and O’Reilly had paid out more than $13 million to settle lawsuits brought by five of these women. Although Fox always defended their rich white male chauvinists, they were now in a corner. Faced with another harassment scandal, Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing network choose to play it save. Bill will not return after his ”holiday”. His program ”The O’Reilly Factor” was renamed ”The Factor” with a blond woman replacing Bill O’Reilly, on 19 April 2017 as host!

This date will be remembered for a long time. Bill O’Reilly has been brought down by woman, the very people he always believed he could control and own. A white male chauvinist, O’Reilly even used racial language against a black worker. She was called ”hot chocolate” by the now ex-host. 13 million U.S dollars were paid to seven woman who had brought charges against Bill. Although he never appeared in court, it is now more then clear that Bill O’Reilly behaved like a true sexist. He saw himself as invincible as he was protected by Roger Ailes, the former chairman of Fox News. Both Bill and Roger are dirty old males, who see females as something they can own. Although they are millionaires and supported by chauvinists like Donald Trump, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly lost the fight. Both are now fired and removed from Fox News!

 

Henk Sneevliet: Dutch working class hero

On 13 April 1942, Henk Sneevliet and seven leaders of the Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg Front were executed by the German occupation forces in Leusden, the Netherlands. Sneevliet led the revolutionary socialists in the fight against both the reformist social democratic camp, the totalitarian Stalinist camp and the German occupation. He gave his life for the ideas of genuine socialism while fighting against Dutch colonialism and German Nazism. Henk Sneevliet is relative unknown in the Netherlands, but in China he played a major role in the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1921. If he would be alive today we can bet that Sneevliet would lead the charge against the conservative-nationalist regime of Xi Jinping!

Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie (Henk) Sneevliet was born on 13 April 1883 in Rotterdam, his father was a cigar maker. Young Henk moved to Zutphen and started working for the NS, the National Railways of the Netherlands. He became a member of the Social Democratic Workers Party (SDAP) as well as the Netherlands Association of Railway and Tramway Employees (NV) in 1902. As a very active socialist he was the first member of the SDAP who got elected in the city council of Zwolle. Capitalist politicians were not happy with the revolutionary Sneevliet, who challenged their right-wing positions and exposed their true allegiance. Henk correctly saw how capitalism brought poverty to the Netherlands. Liberals and conservatives were working together to serve the interests of big business. Many Dutch workers had to struggle to survive and poverty was high around 1900!

Because the SDAP was too moderate and unwilling to support a proletarian revolution, Henk left the Social Democratic Workers Party in 1911. He joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) a party founded by supporters of Karl Marx, who were expelled from the reformist SDAP. By 1913, Sneevliet moved to Dutch Indies a colony today known as Indonesia. Here the revolutionary socialists was very active in building the Indonesian workers movement. Dutch colonial officials were again not happy with this ”troublemaker” who called for Indonesian independence and revolutionary socialism. In May of 1914, Henk Sneevliet and his supporters founded the Indies Social Democratic Association, the forerunner of the Communist Party of Indonesia!

By 1917 the socialist revolution destroyed the old Russian Empire. Revolutionary uprisings were happening across Europe. In Dutch Indies, the revolutionary socialists called for a workers uprising and the building of a socialist democracy. Militant workers rose up, soldiers and sailors revolted in the Surabaya naval base of the archipelago. They formed workers & soldiers councils and took control. The Dutch imperialists reacted quickly and were able to crush the uprising. Dutch imperialism remained master of Indonesia for another 38 years. The Indies Social Democratic Association was banned, its leaders were sentenced to 40 years in prison. Henk Sneevliet got deported from the colony and never returned!

Back in the Netherlands, Sneevliet’s old SDP had changed name into the Communist Party Holland. The party was now a member of the Communist International. At the second congress of the international, Henk Sneevliet represented the Communist Party of Indonesia under the name Maring. It would be this name under which the Chinese would get to know him. Because at the request of Vladimir Lenin, the Dutch revolutionary was send to China to help various communist groups uniting into one party. Sneevliet was present at the founding congress of the Communist Party of China in July 1921. Although the current leaders of the people’s republic in Beijing praise Sneevliet as a ”founding father”, we revolutionary socialists know that he would have rejected and hated the current leaders of the Chinese communist party!

Henk was not a Stalinist and became very critical of the Soviet-Union after Lenin died in January 1924. Soon conflicts arose between the growing pro-Stalin party leadership and the rebel Sneevliet. Two years after the death of Lenin, Henk Sneevliet broke with the Communist Party Holland (CPH) and left. This was a surprise since the stalinists did not expelled him, he choose to walk away. Not only did Henk broke with the communist party, he also broke with the Communist International. By 1928, he was isolated and many would have abandoned revolutionary politics. But not Henk Sneevliet, he organized the anti-Stalinist left-wing and was able to build his own political party!

In 1929 the stalinists were in complete control of the Communist International and had expelled most critical communists. In the Netherlands many who were expelled from the CPH joined up with Sneevliet. The groups were originally called Revolutionary Socialist Committees, who were soon organized into the Revolutionary Socialist Union. What all these groups shared was the rejected of social democracy and stalinism. They had no love for the pro-capitalist leaders of the Social Democratic Workers Party and the dictatorial leadership of the Communist Party Holland. Henk was the manager and soon central leader of all anti-Stalinist communists. As a great speaker he could rally many revolutionaries to the side of Marxist socialism. The party bosses of both the social democratic party and communist party hated him and started to spread lies and misinformation. The communist party members even claimed that Henk was a secret fascist!

Finally the Revolutionary Socialist Union was transformed from a loose union of different groups into a Leninist style party, called the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). Henk Sneevliet’s work paid off and in 1933, he was elected into the Dutch parliament. This was possible because he supported the mutiny of Dutch sailors on the HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën. After the Dutch government decided to use brutal force to end the mutiny, Sneevliet was jailed because he supported the sailors. In jail he was portrait by the RSP as a martyr of the free word against the militarist Dutch government. Two years later the Independent Socialist Party fused with the RSP to form the Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party (RSAP)!

Although the party seemed united, inside there was a growing debate about the structure. Many independent socialists did not liked the Leninist party structure, others did not like the personality of Henk Sneevliet who demanded a lot from party members. After the Dutch government banned civil servants from joining radical leftist parties, the RSAP lost the support from many government workers. At the 1937 elections, the party was unable to keep its seat and Sneevliet became a member of the Amsterdam city council. Although he was sympathetic towards Leon Trotsky, both men were too dogmatic to work alongside each other. Trotsky was very critical of the Spanish; Workers Party of Marxist Unification, which Sneevliet fully supported. Also by 1938, Sneevliet had grown so anti-USSR that he no longer called for unconditional support for the Soviet-Union. Trotsky on the other hand always demanded from his supporters that they stood by the planned economy of the USSR!

Trotsky and Sneevliet broke with each other and the RSAP did not joined the Communist Fourth International. Instead the party became a part of the International Bureau of Revolutionary Socialist Unity along with the Independent Labour Party (Britain) and the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) of Spain. Fighting against both social democracy, stalinism and capitalism meant that they small RSAP was very isolated in both Dutch politics and international ones. The political sectarianism was high in the Netherlands before the war. People of different religions and political ideologies looked down on each other. Each had their own organisations, newspapers, radio shows and parties. Sneevliet and the Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party were true outsiders and hated by social democrats, stalinists, capitalists, liberals, conservatives and fascists!

In the 1930’s, it was the RSAP who foresaw the dangers of fascism. They were very critical of Adolf Hitler and the Dutch government was not happy that revolutionary socialists openly insulted a friendly head of state. Queen Wilhelmina even send her congratulations to the Führer on his birthdays. The Dutch police was told to arrest RSAP members who were too antifascist. After the Germans invaded Poland, Henk Sneevliet prepared for a possible invasion in the Netherlands. Unlike the SDAP and CPH, the RSAP was ready to work underground. This happened on May 10 of 1940. German troops conquered the Netherlands in less then five days. The Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party was dissolved on the first day of war and replaced by the Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg Front!

Henk Sneevliet and seven others made up the resistance leadership. They were the first socialist group who organized a anti-German newspaper called Spartakus. For two years the MLLF created illegal newspapers and called on Dutch workers to fight back. Unfortunate the resistance leadership was betrayed in April 1942. This was not uncommon as many Dutch were betrayed by fellow countrymen for money. Sneevliet and the seven MLLF leaders were brought before a German court and sentenced to be shot. On the last day of their heroic life, the men came together for a final cigar. Then they sang The Internationale proudly, showing to their captors that their death would not end the struggle of the Dutch proletariat against the Nazi occupation!

The last to be shot was Sneevliet himself. He died a proud revolutionary socialist, never a slave to Stalin and a uncompromising fighter against Hitler. Although German bullets killed him, his ideas live on on the hears and minds of all revolutionary socialists. Today the Netherlands is unaware that they had a brave man like Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie. Even the Indonesian workers do not know him. This is because the Communist Party of Indonesia removed him from the party’s records. After the Indonesian communists were massacred by Suharto in the 60’s, the legacy of Sneevliet faded away. In China, the man known only as Maring was unknown until the Communist Party of China decided to name him, at their 90th anniversary in 2011. We can say for certain that he would not be happy about this. As a enemy of stalinism and capitalism, Henk would have called on Chinese workers to rise up against the very party he helped to found in 1921!

It is a sad reality that none of the communist parties Henk Sneevliet co-founded was able to lead their proletariat into building socialism. The Communist Party of the Netherlands dissolved itself in 1991, Jakarta still bans the Communist Party of Indonesia and the Communist Party of China has betrayed revolutionary socialism. 100 years after the Russian revolution which inspired Sneevliet to build the communist parties of Indonesia and China, it is time for workers of these nations to complete the job. Although Henk is death, many can learn from his experiences. New socialists have the potential of building parties of working class people in opposition to the barbarity that is the capitalist system. The capitalist world may think that they are supreme, but Lenin showed this is a facade. Capitalism can be defeated and replaced by a society not run for greed and exploitation!

This is why we honor people like Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie. Workers from both the Netherlands, Indonesia and China will forever be linked to this man. The son of a cigar maker from Rotterdam. Who rejected the reformist road of social democracy, who stood against Stalinist totalitarianism and who died while resistance Nazism. Revolutionary Socialist Media will always honor Henk Sneevliet, Dutch working class hero and fighter for workers of all lands!

亨德利库斯·约瑟夫斯·弗朗西乌斯·玛丽·斯内夫利特

1883-1942

Sneevliet supported the mutiny of Dutch sailors on the HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën

War Lord: Donald Trump

Many who voted for Donald Trump were misled into thinking he would not intervene in other nations. That he would not bomb Syria or tries to confront Russia. But this is exactly what Trump has done. His office gave the order to destroy a Syrian air force base, after the Al-Assad regime used chemical weapons against its civilians. Many right-wing war-hawks salute the president for his bold decision. But those who always said that Trump is not like Hillary Clinton (who loves interventions), are now left with the iron fact that their president is just like Obama when it comes to war. Military industrial capitalists and their puppets in the U.S government can be very happy. Because more bombs means more profits from them!

With no approval from congress, the president of the USA attacked a foreign nation. This proofs how much Donald Trump likes to play cowboy. But for the Syrian regime this attack on their air force base is a declaration of war. How would the USA respond if a nation like Mexico would suddenly bomb one major U.S air force base? But American imperialism thinks it cannot be defeated. The arrogance of Trump and the military industrial complex, only proof that the far-right president is just as war-hawkish as the previous presidents. Like Bush and Obama, Trump is a president that will resort to death and destruction to bring massive profits for military capitalist companies!

Trump played the populist during the 2016 presidential election. He was able to beat Hillary Clinton by winning more electoral college votes. However Trump lost the popular vote as Clinton got over three million more voters then he. Many feared the war rhetoric that Hillary showed in March 2003. She also loved the bombings of Libya in 2011 and would have loved an intervention in the Syrian civil war, against dictator Bashar Al-Assad and his Russian allies. Trump seemed to reject this war-hawkish strategy, but now he choose to become just like that. Russia is indeed not happy with this attack on a Syrian air force base. But the sectarian rebels love it, they praise the attack of Trump on their enemy!

Revolutionary socialists have always rejected bombs on Syria. We rejected the 2003 invasion of Iraq, we stood against the bombing of Libya and we reject any intervention in the Syrian civil war. It is true that the Ba’ath regime in Damascus is guilty of massive war crimes. But it is not up to a cowboy like Donald Trump to decide which dictator is bombed and which one is praised. Because the Americans love dictatorships that ally themselves with western imperialism. Like the Arab golf emirates, reactionary absolute monarchies that exploit Indian workers and enslave woman from Indonesia. Another friend of Washington DC is the Islamic State of Saudi-Arabia. This nation brutally enforces Sunni-Islamism also called Wahhabism, the same ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria which the USA fights against!

The attack on Syria is said to be a retaliation after the Syrian government used poison gas against a town. More then 70 people were poisoned to death including many children. Those who defend the attack say that Trump wanted to show Al-Assad that he cannot murder his own people. Yet at the same time, hundreds of innocents have been murdered by American drones since Donald Trump became president. These victims are not shown on television nor are reported in the news. Bush and Obama were also masters of killing innocents. George W. Bush began the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, wars which have killed almost 600.000 people. Since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, over 268,000 people have died including combatants. The total number of civilian deaths in Iraq is close to 180.000!

In the USA, Trump has exposed himself as a president of the rich, the capitalists and the establishment. Despite his populist rhetoric back in 2016, the true line of the president is that of supporting his rich donors and the class he originates from. Trump’s cabinet is made up of rich people, who are deeply conservative and supportive of the 1%. The Trump administration has already sold out privacy on the internet. This means that internet providers are now free to sell user information to anybody. Also the Keystone pipe line is now build, despite protests from native Americans. Working class people who voted for the far-right president will soon realize that this bombastic pseudo-populist abused their anger. Because Trump is not an outsider nor a alternative to the rotten political system. He belongs to those people who control capitalist politicians like Hillary Clinton!

The far-right billionaire is only in power for 4 months, but has already shown to be a danger to working class Americans. Therefore Socialist Alternative calls for massive resistance to Trump and the Republican Party. At the same time we reject this idea that the Democratic Party can be reformed into a social democratic people’s party. Many on the American left (including the Democratic Socialists of America) have this misguided idea that they can reform this liberal conservative party. Democrats have never been leftist, they always supported capitalist positions and imperialist interventions. Let us not forget that Hillary Clinton supported the wars that led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Clinton and her Democratic Party saluted George W. Bush and praised dictatorships that allied themselves with the USA!

As Socialist Alternative noted, the new administration is deeply reactionary and also very authoritarian. Donald Trump has purged many top ranking officials, replacing them with loyal puppets of his own. Trump does not like facts so he is quoting far-right media outlets like Breitbart News and Infowars.com, who are famous for spreading ”alternative facts” (misinformation). A big supporter of the current president is Alex Johns, the guy who believes in space aliens and every conspiracy theory on the planet. Johns hated the previous Obama administration and claimed it was ”demonic” and ”evil”. His pseudo-opposition to American imperialism ended when Trump entered the oval office. Now the guy who claimed to stand against the establishment (and space aliens) is defending the billionaire president and his authoritarianism!

Supporters of Hillary Clinton always claimed that Trump and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin were close friends. After losing the 2016 elections, the Democrats started to spread the idea that Russia helped Trump. Also a hack in the Democratic National Committee was blamed on Russian hacks, although Wikileaks clearly indicated that the leak did not originate from Moscow. Somebody in the DNC leaked information to Wikileaks. Still the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party: MSNBC, reported wild stories about ”Russian intervention in American elections”. Even today people like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have this delusion that Donald Trump was made president because Vladimir Putin wanted it so!

They are however completely right when they attack Trump on his lies and broken promises. Maddow and Olbermann may have it wrong on this DNC leak, but they are right on the very nature of the Trump administration. An administration that is harmful to America as the recent attack on Syria proofs. Dictator Putin was not happy that Trump attacked his fellow dictator Bashar Al-Assad. To proof that Russia is serious about defending the Ba’ath regime, a cruiser has been send to the Syrian Arab Republic. If this cruiser is told to attack American missiles it could start a conflict between the USA and the Russian Federation. Trump’s cowboy attack is another proof that this president is totally incompetent as he did not even asked for permission to attack a foreign country. No, in the mind of Donald Trump,he hold the absolute power and as a capitalist exploiter, he is used to have absolute power in the Trump Organisation!

On the economy, many regulations that protect workers, nature and minorities are under attack. Trump has already relax environment regulations which prohibit the dump of toxic wastes. Now it has become easier for capitalists to pollute nature, thanks to that billionaire scumbag in the White House. The famous Mexican Wall will be build and paid for by American tax payers, not Mexicans. Also the construction of this new ”Berlin Wall” means that many Americans are forced out of their homes. Trump wants to build his wall over many houses. The costs of building his Great Wall will be around 25 billion U.S dollars. Money that Americans could use on healthcare is instead wasted on building a needless wall between the USA and Mexico!

Four months after The Donald took office, it has become clear that he is a right-wing president. A bombastic cowboy who only serves one class. Revolutionary socialists keep calling for the formation of a workers party. We cannot trust the Democrats as they have proven to be supporters of capitalism, imperialism and the establishment. Workers need representatives who support their struggles and live on a average salary. People like Kshama Sawant from Seattle proof that socialists can get elected. She has defeated twice the candidates of the Democratic Party. If working class Americans had a nation wide party which selects people like Sawant, the power structure of the Democrats and Republicans can be destroyed. Although these two capitalist parties seem powerful and huge, they can be defeated!

Meanwhile the imperialist powers of the world at closing in on each other. It seems we are back to 1900, when the planet was divided between growing empires. Although the old colonialists are long gone, new imperialist regimes emerge who serve their capitalist master at any cost. As of 2017 we have:

  1. The United States of America, which can be seen as the old empire desperately holding on to its status as the ”only superpower”.
  2. The Russian Federation, growing in strength to regain its status as world superpower!
  3. The People’s Republic of China, a country that has embraced nationalism and imperialism to compete with America and Russia!
  4. The European Union, the first imperialist continent and still a powerful economic union that tries to compete with America, Russia and China

Workers have nothing to gain by supporting any of them. American, Russian, Chinese and European workers are just pawns for the leaders of these imperialist states. Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping and the EU leaders are not serving ordinary people. To be a nationalist and support one of them out of hatred for the others is foolish. There are many leftists who in their hatred of western imperialism, praise the regimes in Moscow and Beijing. These anti-imperialists do not understand that Russian and Chinese imperialism is just as brutal and cruel as American/European imperialism. Putin and Xi Jinping control conservative regimes that reject workers rights, woman rights, LGBT+ rights and basic democratic ideas!

Big winners of a potential war between the superpowers will be the arms industry. Capitalist scum who in the USA are getting rich by selling expensive weapons to the U.S government. In Russia and China most military contractors are not privately owned. But in Europe and America, the industry for military hardware is privately owned. Every war which includes the EU and the USA, means that these private arms capitalists get richer. Now that Trump has attacked Syria, many military contractors dream about more attacks and maybe a full intervention of the U.S army in the Syrian civil war. We revolutionary socialists do not oppose factories who make military products. However we want these enterprises to be owned by society and under democratic control of workers!

What would happen if Trump orders more missile strikes? What if they hit Russian personal or Iranian troops helping the Syrian regime? It is no secret that Bashar Al-Assad is supported by Shia-Islamic fundamentalists from Iran. If these Iranians are killed in a American air strike, this could be seen as a declaration of war. Donald Trump’s actions are dangerous and must be condemned by all people. Revolutionary Socialist Media therefore agrees with the demands of the Committee for a Workers International. We say:

  • Stop Trump’s attacks on Syria – Oppose all outside powers’ interference in the region
  • End war and terror in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East
  • No to racism and scapegoating of immigrants and refugees
  • For workers’ unity and socialism

 

War Lord: Donald Trump

MS Sewol back from the grave

April 2014, the South Korean ferry: MS Sewol sinks after a sharp turn which led to heavy list. The ferry was out of balance due to illegal modifications made by her greedy capitalist owners, the Cheonghaejin Marine Company (went bankrupt after the sinking). Because of the corrupt nature of South Korea, the authorities look the other way when the ship was modified to accommodate more passengers and cargo. Although the MS Sewol took a long time to sink, the heavy list made it impossible to lower lifeboats. Out of 476 passengers, only 172 were able to escape. Most died because the crew told them to stay in their cabins. Many of the victims were teenagers, children on a school-trip. Now after lying on the seafloor for almost three years, the wreck of the MS Sewol has been raised to the surface!

The story of this Korean: Titanic is sad and clear proof that unregulated capitalism is a serious danger to human life. South Korea has modern safety laws and officials to enforce them. But political and corporate corruption is high. The Republic of Korea is a flawed democracy and many laws to protect workers and consumers, are often ignored by capitalists and government officials. Owners of big enterprises are able to bypass safety laws in order to increase their drive for profits. We all know stories of shopping malls collapsing because the builders failed to build a strong structure, all in the name of saving costs. People who protest against the danger of putting profits over people’s lives, are often intimidated or sacked. The Cheonghaejin Marine Company cared little for the lives of 476 passengers, when they (illegally) modified the MS Sewol to increase its profitability!

Disaster happened on 16 April 2014. The (out of balance) MS Sewol was traveling to Jeju Island. This was her 242 trip to the island and this time she was commanded by 69-year-old Captain Lee Joon-seok, who had been brought in as a replacement for the regular captain. The ship’s crew was never trained for an emergency, the safety budget from the Cheonghaejin Marine Company was only $2, which they used to buy a paper certificate. Out of 33 crew members, 19 were part-timers and not regular on the ship. On 16 April 2014, captain Lee Joon-seok was not on the bridge. The ferry was commanded by third mate Park Han-kyul and controlled by helmsman Cho Joon-k!

Prior to departure, the MS Sewol was modified to carry more cargo and passengers. This made the ferry out of balance and at risk of capsizing. Still the MS Sewol past safety inspections of the Korean Register of Shipping. This was possible because false documents had been provided. That the Cheonghaejin Marine Company was able to falsify documents shows criminal intent as they knew that they were doing wrong. In total, the MS Sewol was too heavy and in danger of capsizing if a turn was carried out too sharp!

Captain Shin who commanded the ferry on regular routes knew of this problem. But when he tried to warn his capitalist bosses they treated to fire him. On the last journey of the MS Sewol, Shin was replaced by Lee Joon-seok. Shin’s full name was not shown as in South Korea many capitalists work together to attack whistle-blowers. Captain Shin would be out of work in a matter of moments, if his full name would be revealed. Since the capitalist state works in favor of corrupt companies like Cheonghaejin, it is no surprise that Shin wanted to stay partly anonymous!

At 8:46 a.m on 16 April, helmsmen Cho Joon-ki was ordered to change course. He complied by turning the ship. This sharp maneuver however led the unbalanced  ship to turn sharply to port.  By 8:49 the MS Sewol was listing 20% towards the port-side, this caused all cargo and on board materials to fall towards the left-side. Now the ship was doomed, at 8:50 a.m less then five minutes after the unfortunate sharp turn, the MS Sewol was death in the water. The list was now 30% which made walking impossible. Passengers were then told by captain Lee Joon-seok and his bridge officers to stay in their cabins. Meanwhile the MS Sewol was making water as she slowly started to capsize. Two minutes after the engines were stopped, the captain called for help.  The communications between the ship and shore lasted almost 20 minutes. By 9:15 a.m the list reached 50% and there was still no general evacuation order!

Rescue boats and helicopters were speeding towards the doomed ship. The South Korean coast guard made its way to the MS Sewol. When their boats reached her, they found no people in the water. Those who managed to reached the upper decks were standing on the ship’s side, waiting for helicopter rescue. While 172 passengers were making their escape, the rest remained below deck. Korean society demands obedience to those in command. Most teenagers believed in what the captain said, that it was too dangerous to move around. While the MS Sewol was slowing sinking, they stayed and waited for help that never came.  At 9:23 a.m the coast guard told the sinking ferry to equip the passengers with lifebelts. The bridge responded that the intercom had failed and that they were still decided what to do. It would take another seven minutes before Lee Joon-seok gave the order to abandon ship. However with the intercom out of order and most crew members untrained to help others, no attempts were made to save the children trapped in their cabins!

Contact with the MS Sewol was lost around 9:38 a.m. Those who made it outside were jumping overboard, to be picked up by rescue boats. Helicopters were able to save some who got outside on the starboard side. Captain Lee Joon-seok and his officers were saved at 9:48 a.m from the bridge. Because of the sudden list, the captain was unable to get into uniform. He was saved with no pants on. The MS Sewol capsized and to the horror of some rescue boats, they could see people trapped behind the windows. It took two hours and 30 minutes before the whole ship was submerged. We can only imaging the final moments of those 295 people as they drowned to death. South Korea and the whole world was in deep shock!

The sinking of this ferry was a capitalist crime. A crime which can only happen when a government puts the freedom of capitalists before the safety of its people. It was only after the sinking that it was found out, that the modifications to the MS Sewol were made illegally and that documents had been falsified by the Cheonghaejin Marine Company. Yoo Byung-eun was the company’s president and biggest shareholder. After the tragedy he want into hiding and was found death, he had killed himself. Captain Lee Joon-seok and many officers were blamed for the fact that they kept passengers inside the ship. Out of 33 crew members, only three choose to stay behind and help passengers. Park Ji-young, Jeong Hyun-seon and Kim Ki-woong are called hero’s as they remained on the ferry. These three brave crew members died in the sinking while their captain and officers saved themselves. On 11 November 2014, the Gwangju District Court found Captain Lee Jun-seok guilty of negligence and he was sentenced to 36 years imprisonment. Because of his age, he will likely die in prison!

Anger and deep sadness led to a rise in protests against the conservative government. It marked the start of the end for South Korean president Park Geun-hye. The first female leader was soon facing massive protests as a corruption scandal surfaced in 2016. Park was impeached by the National Assembly on 9 December 2016 and the Constitutional Court removed her from the presidency in March of 2017. The MS Sewol disaster was a major blow for Korean conservatives. Yet the corrupt culture of South Korea did not die. Capitalism is still powerful and despite protests and demands for change, nothing has been done fundamentally. The south of Korea remains a flawed democracy, that fails to protect working class people and their families from capitalist greed. Danwon High School in the city of Ansan lost almost all of its students. Only 75 out of 325 survived the sinking. When the school reopened most class rooms were turned into memorial shrines for the victims!

Three years after the sinking, the wreck of the MS Sewol is lifted from its grave. The ship was lying on its side as it was raised. The majority of victims were recovered by navy divers before the wreck was raised, only 10 remain missing. It is hoped their bodies will be found inside the wreck once it reaches shore. The Cheonghaejin Marine Company went out of business in late 2014. Many high ranking bosses were arrested and charged with corruption. The disaster also led to a final tragic death. Among the 172 survivors was the vice principal of Danwon High School. He could not live with the fact that most of his pupils died on 16 April 2014. He had organized the school trip, he organized the teenagers on board the MS Sewol. Suffering from survivors guilt and deep depression, the poor man killed himself two days after the sinking. In his wallet the police found the following note: ”Surviving alone is too painful when 200 lives are unaccounted for … I take full responsibility” His final wish was to be cremated and his ashes to be scattered over the wreck site!

Korean workers need to understand that capitalist politics led to this tragedy. Had the ship not been illegally modified to carry more cargo and passengers, there would not have been an unbalance. Furthermore if regulations were enforced as they should have been, the MS Sewol would have seen allowed to travel. Yet she made over 200 trips while being out of balance. Because government officials and companies were so linked to each other, many regulations are often not enforced. Bureaucrats do not wish to hinder the operations of capitalists in their eternal quest for profits. Capitalist greed killed these 295 people on 16 April 2014. The wreck of the ship is a eternal warning to South Korea. This is the result of greed and profiteering. To end it, workers need to brake with both conservative and liberal politicians. They need to build their own independent party of working class people!

This is not easy as South Korean society is dominated by corrupt big companies who control not only politicians, but also the media and influence many trade unions. The undemocratic: National Security Law, makes it easy for the capitalist government to ban political parties, which they did in the case of the Unified Progressive Party. The Republic of Korea therefore remains a deeply flawed nation and it is up to socialists, trade unionists and genuine leftists to fight for a different Korea. The political right-wing is strong as liberals and conservatives enjoy unlimited support from the ruling class. But workers are the pillar on which they stand. If this pillar decides to walk away, the whole rotten capitalist system will collapse!

 

The wreck of the MS Sewol in March 2017 after it laid under water for three years!

Flawed democracies

The USA, Japan and South Korea, nations the western media loves to call ”democratic and free”. In reality they are not full democracies. On paper their appear fully free, yet in practice there are major flaws as these nations do not meet all criteria to be called full democracies. Out of 167 nations, only 19 are called full democracies by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit. It is ironic that many nations who follow the so called ”western model” are not listed as fully democratic. Instead they are indexed as flawed, revolutionary socialists understand why this is the case!

It comes to no surprise to read that Scandinavia and Iceland are at the top of the full democracy index. These nations were the only ones on planet Earth who were modeled on social democracy, the center-leftist ideology. Social democracy puts a great deal on social services to working class people and it was the main ideology of workers parties. Before the 1980’s, social democracy was still a socialist ideology and many social democrats believed in a moderate evolutionary road to a socialist society. In Scandinavia, the labour parties got the support from the proletariat and were able to build strong welfare states. This made Norway, Sweden and Denmark not only fully democratic, but also more equal in wealth distribution!

Canada, Ireland and Switzerland are also high on the full democracies list. The only Latin American nation to reach the full democracy status is Uruguay and Mauritius is the only African nation to be called a full democracy. Britain stands at number 16 and Spain is number 17. The United States of America is not listed as a full democracy, in fact it is a flawed democracy indexed at number 21. In the flawed democracy list are also many nations few would think as flawed. But when you look closely you might not be surprised. France and Italy may have fair and free elections, but like the USA and many other so called ”democratic” nations, they have an underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics and issues in the functioning of governance!

What criteria are used to measure countries? The Economist Intelligence Unit is using the following definition:

Full democracies are nations where civil liberties and basic political freedoms are not only respected, but also reinforced by a political culture conducive to the thriving of democratic principles. These nations have a valid system of governmental checks and balances, independent judiciary whose decisions are enforced, governments which function adequately, and media which is diverse and independent. These nations have only limited problems in democratic functioning

Flawed democracies are nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honored but may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement). Nonetheless, these nations have significant faults in other democratic aspects, including underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance

Hybrid regimes are nations where consequential irregularities exist in elections regularly preventing them from being fair and free. These nations commonly have governments which apply pressure on political opponents, non independent judiciaries, widespread corruption, harassment and pressure placed on the media, anemic rule of law, and more pronounced faults than flawed democracies in the realms of underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance

Authoritarian regimes are nations where political pluralism has vanished or is extremely limited. These nations are often absolute dictatorships, may have some conventional institutions of democracy- but with meager significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace, elections- if they take place- are not fair and free, the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime, the judiciary is not independent, and the presence of omnipresent censorship and suppression of governmental criticism!

The USA and their friends boost about being the ”Free World”, while in reality the ”land of the free and the home of the brave” is not even a full democracy as categorized by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Let us look at the other friends of the United States of America, a flawed democracy!

  1. Japan: FLAWED
  2. South Korea: FLAWED
  3. Italy: FLAWED
  4. Israel: FLAWED
  5. Indonesia: FLAWED
  6. Guatemala: HYBRID
  7. Georgia: HYBRID
  8. Ukraine: HYBRID
  9. Turkey: HYBRID (soon to be AUTHORITARIAN)
  10. Afghanistan: AUTHORITARIAN
  11. United Arab Emirates: AUTHORITARIAN
  12. Saudi Arabia: AUTHORITARIAN
  13. Iraq: AUTHORITARIAN

These 13 nations are very close to Washington DC and have sided with the so called ”FREE WORLD”. American presidents praised the political systems of these nations, especially when they used to be ex-Soviet. Billions of dollars are still given to the governments of Afghanistan, the Arab emirates and Saudi Arabia, deeply authoritarian countries. This money is then used to suppress critics and to keep the local capitalist class in power. In flawed democracies opposition to the ruling class is allowed and permitted, but those with money make sure that their politicians are always given the most media attention. This is why Bernie Sanders was unable to defeat Hillary Clinton, as the whole political system of the USA favored a right-wing Democratic candidate!

China and Russia do not need to be exposed for being AUTHORITARIAN. We all know that the Kremlin and Beijing are dictatorial in nature. Russia under Vladimir Putin has grown into a conservative dictatorship and China has always been conservative. Political conservatism is a huge part of the Communist Party of China. This was also common among other ”people’s republics”. Few Chinese workers believe that their nation is genuine socialist. Only brainwashed nationalists and members of the new rich are positive about the current politics of the state-capitalist regime!

South Korea is a typical flawed democracy. Its first female president has recently been removed for corruption. This is not uncommon as her father used to be the anticommunist dictator of South Korea in the 60’s and 70’s, until he was assassinated by his own secret service. South Korean democracy is deeply flawed, many politicians only serve their own interests. Both liberals and conservatives are on the payroll of big business. The lasted political scandal exposed that high ranking officials were bribed by enterprises like Samsung. This corruption is also possible because the ruling class of South Korea uses the fear of ”communist” North Korea, to stigmatize the political left-wing. Revolutionary leftists have faced arrests, intimidation and jail time, for rejecting the capitalist system. South Korea has a law called the National Security Law, which allows the government to arrest people based on their political ideology. Not so long ago the conservatives used this law to disband a leftist nationalist party, which they called: ”Pro-North Korean”

Guatemala is called the backyard of Washington DC. In this Latin American nation, the Americans intervene since 1960. The CIA supported numerous corrupt regimes, who only cared about themselves. American weapons were used oppress the Mayan peasant population. In response to the dictatorial way of life, many leftist groups rallied together to fight the government and its American allies. The civil war lasted for 36 years in which the anticommunists and their CIA allies, started a brutal crackdown of ethnic Mayan peasants, who make up 85% of Guatemala. Suspected rebels and their sympathizers were brutally tortured and then executed. 150.000 died in what is now called the Guatemalan genocide or Mayan genocide. Few in the western world are aware of this crime. Because the conflict in Guatemala was given almost no media attention!

As capitalism keeps its iron grip on the world, workers and poor need to understand that this system does not serve their interests. What we need is are workers parties on genuine socialist programs to combat both the remnants of stalinism and capitalistic ideologies such as social democracy. The political left-wing is still in a paralyzed state, unable to fight for a alternative to the barbaric capitalist system. Social democratic parties have turned massively to the right and many moderate socialists balance between accepting capitalism and rejecting it. The flawed democracies of the western world are not offering the solutions working class people need. Capitalist democracy is only democracy for the rich. Therefore we need socialist democracy, a democracy from the bottom up under workers management and control!