Yellow hi-viz jacket movement

They have become a symbol of resistance. Yellow hi-viz jackets used by angry workers who demonstrate in France against the high cost of living and growing poverty. The capitalist establishment tries to portray them as ‘’violent’’ and even far-right. Although some are using violence and far-right rhetoric, the fast majority of these yellow hi-viz jacket protesters are fighting against the inequality of capitalism!

This mass revolt from below is not organized by any major political party nor trade union. Worse, the top of the French trade union leadership has denounced the yellow hi-viz jacket protesters as violent scum, ignoring the legitimate grievances of the masses who come together under this symbol. The Egyptian dictatorship under El-Sisi has understood this. They banned the use of yellow hi-viz jackets by none-security forces. It shows how much fear a organized group of people can bring to dictators and capitalists!

Egypt is a disguised military dicatorship. Despite the civilian outlook, it is the military who is in control. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the second Mubarak, ruling the Arab Republic of Egypt since 2014. He won the recent election due to massive overwhelming obstacles and violations made by the elections committee. True opposition is not allowed in Egypt and the regime fears what is happening in France with the yellow hi-viz jacket movement. This is why Abdel Fattah el-Sisi banned the selling of the hi-viz jackets for all none-security personal!

Revolutionary socialists believe that the only force that can lead a decisive and lasting victory over the capitalist system is the working class with revolutionary leadership. These factors are missing in the yellow hi-viz jacket movement. Despite the calls for strikes and mass action, the French political left-wing is not offering a socialist alternative. Jean-Luc Melenchon calls for revolution, but does not say what that means. Revolution is a big word and can even be used for counterrevolution as we have seen between 1989 and 1991, when the Stalinist monolith in eastern Europe and the USSR was replaced by regimes of austerity!

It is clear that neither the neoliberal ”Socialist” Party (PS) nor the French Communist Party (PCF) can control the yellow hi-viz jacket movement. In 1968 it was the PCF who prevented a revolutionary change in France. Stalinist leaders saved the capitalist system that year, by not moving beyond the famous protests and strikes against the conservative regime of Charles de Gaulle. The PS has already been discredited as a left-wing party for their pro-capitalist administration under François Hollande (2012-2017). Social democracy betrayed the French workers over and over again!

Jean-Luc Melenchon won seven million votes in the last election. However his ”La France Insoumise” is based on left-wing populism and does not offer a clear brake with the capitalist system. In his propaganda, Melenchon calls for a new republic. A social-republic for the people, however with no clear indication if this would be a capitalist state or a socialist one. Does Melenchon want a social democratic republic with a lot of regulation under capitalism? Or a socialist republic with working class people controlling both the state and the economy? We think that social democracy is not the solution for both France and the world!

Spokespeople for the yellow hi-viz jacket movement, like Benjamin Cauchy say that the the people are not satisfied with crumbs, they want the baguette. We go further by saying why not the full bakery? A fundamental system change is needed. President Emmanuel Macron may sacrifice his prime minister, he might even be forced to resign, new elections may be called. But any government which stays in charge of a capitalist economy where the means of production are in the hands of private owners, will return to make the workers and poor pay for their crisis!

There is a very good reason why the right-wing is in control of this world and it is because of the failure of the left-wing to build socialism. Social democracy and stalinism betrayed us, the social democratic and communist parties are no longer mass parties. Right-wing populists are winning the proletarian vote because their anti-establishment rhetoric is more believable. Some leftists like Jean-Luc Melenchon try to counter this rightist populism with leftist populism. Although this may give leftists some popularity, a true alternative is not provided. We revolutionary socialists say that the left-wing will never return to power unless it brakes with the idea that capitalism can be reformed!

Some revolutionary leftists criticize the yellow hi-viz jacket movement for its rightist populism and racism. Many French workers oppose migrant workers because they are led to believe that they come to steal their work. This divide and rule tactic is used by the capitalist media to divide workers, when in reality it is the capitalists who exploit workers. They own the media and broadcast poison propaganda to fuel racism. Again it is the failure of the French and European left-wing to unite all workers against their common enemy. Worse, there are leftists like those from the Dutch: Socialist Party, who openly reject migrant workers, by using the same racist logic as the far-right!

However to would be wrong to denounce the whole movement. Because it is clearly aimed at the inequality and suffering of working class people. Revolutionary socialists are supportive of demands that help workers, while rejecting the anti-migrant rhetoric of some yellow hi-viz jacket supporters. To overthrow the French government, mass mobilization is needed in all sectors of society. Since this is lacking it will not defeat president Macron. What is needed is a government of workers and poor. A socialist government that would nationalize the big banks and top companies, the CAC 40, which form the basis of French capitalism (and where the friends of Macron get their easy wealth from). The famous French line: Equality, Liberty and Fraternity can only be secured on the basis of democratic socialism!

 

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George H.W. Bush was a war-criminal

George H.W Bush, the father of George W. Bush was also a U.S president, who should be called a war-criminal. This Bush ruled the U.S Empire from 1989 until 1993. Under his watch the Stalinist world collapsed as western imperialism proclaimed itself to be the winner of the Cold War. George H.W Bush died on 30 November 2018 at the age of 94, he was the longest living American president as they keep the title, even after their administration is over. While the western media portray him as a moderate Republican and a relative ”good” president, Revolutionary Socialist Media exposes how this man caused the deaths of many innocent Iraq’s. It was George H.W Bush who defended the dictatorial monarchy of Kuwait and restored it after Iraq was defeated. Despite all the victorious propaganda in the 1990’s, the U.S Empire still did not care about actual democracy and freedom! 

Former American president George H.W Bush died on 30 November 2018, he was 94 years old. Some say that you shall not speak ill about the death. Revolutionary Socialist Media agrees with this if the deceased person is not responsible for mass-killing and massive human rights violations. George H.W Bush may have only been president for four years, but he is to blame for death and destruction in countries like Panama and Iraq. The western world under Bush was in a triumphed mood when stalinism started to crack in 1989, the year in which Ronald Reagan was replaced. Stalinist countries all abandoned their Marxist facade and it was Bush who claimed victory as ”Leader of the Free World”!

1991 must have been a great year for the president. All European ”people’s republics” were gone, replaced by capitalist austerity regimes loyal to American imperialism. The Soviet-Union was dissolved on 25 December 1991, which was the start signal for a massive propaganda campaign against the ideas of socialism. Due to the capitulation of the social democratic left and the disintegration of the Stalinist left, most world governments embraced the concept of: The Market is God, competition is King!

As vice president to Ronald Reagan from 1981 until 1989, George H.W Bush tasted power and he wanted it after Reagan’s time was up. He was aware of the undemocratic actions of the Reagan administrations and as vice-president fully supported them. From 1976 until 1977, Bush was also director of the CIA under the administration of Gerald Ford. He knew all the dirty things the agency had done to serve western imperialism. Operation Condor was fully supported by George H.W Bush. This Latin American operation of the CIA was about supporting political repression and state terror, to keep Latin-America under control of Washington DC!

Early in the 1970’s, it was Bush who got a position in China were he worked as a unofficial representative of the U.S government. Back then, he was not allowed to be an ambassador, but Bush played that role anyway. His work in the People’s Republic of China resulted in the fact that president Nixon decided to accept Mao Zedong as leader of China, while dumping Chiang-Kai-Shek who led Taiwan (nationalist China). Because of the popularity of Reagan, George H.W Bush won the 1988 presidential election. His opponent: Michael Dukakis, could not offer a genuine alternative to the popular vice president of Ronald Reagan!

The first war crime of American imperialism under President George H.W Bush was the illegal invasion of Panama in December 1989. This small Central American nation had been a loyal puppet of Washington DC for many years. Manuel Noriega was the CIA’s man in the country and with American support he made himself dictator. Panama was from 1968–1989 controlled by a military junta, which appointed the president who himself had little power. The CIA helped Noriega to become military leader on 12 August 1983. Unlike other absolute rulers, Manuel Noriega stayed in the shadows and allowed his puppet-presidents to be the face of the military dictatorship!

The USA supported him because he was anticommunist and against left-wing groups fighting in Central America against other puppets of Washington DC. Panama was used by the CIA to train the Contras, a right-wing terrorist group who fought against the left-wing government of Nicaragua. Noriega played a key role in supplying these terrorists with U.S dollars and guns. He made a fortune for himself as a drug dealer and arms smuggler. Ronald Reagan did not care about the corrupt leader and his massive abuse of power, nor did his vice president (Mr. Bush) between 1981 and 1988!

With the Cold War coming to an end, the USA suddenly decided that a democratic facade was a better PR image for the Republic of Panama. Manuel Noriega was ordered by George H.W Bush to resign in favor of a civilian leader, who would support the interests of imperialism. Noriega refused to abandon power, he dared to say no right into the face of the people who had given him his personal kingdom in 1983. Bush then turned on his former ally and proclaimed that the USA would ”liberate” Panama from its dictator. A facade since the Americans wanted a government that was loyal to them. Manuel Noriega had turned on the empire and the Empire was about to Strike Back!

On 20 December 1989, 27.000 American soldiers invaded the Republic of Panama. The fighting lasted 1 month, 1 week and 4 days. In the end they captured Noriega and he was trialed in the USA for racketeering, drug smuggling and money laundering. After 17 years the ex-dictator was extradited to France, who sentenced him to another 7 years in prison. Manuel Noriega returned to Panama in 2011, there he was jailed for a final time. In prison he died of a brain tumor in 2017 at the age of 83. 250 soldiers of Panama died during the invasion. 23 U.S soldiers were killed and for what? To remove a dictator the USA had installed in 1983??

500 civilians died due to urban fighting according to the United Nations. Guillermo Endara was selected by George H.W Bush to become the civilian president of Panama. Although Endara opposed the invasion he agreed because Bush said that the alternative would be a long occupation by U.S soldiers. Endara proceeded to carry out the demands of American imperialism. His privatization policy made those with economic power very wealthy and the economy grew for them. But working class people suffered as unemployment rose very sharp. By 1994, over 19% of all workers in Panama did not have work which meant absolute poverty as the country had no social security system to protect the unemployed!

Guillermo Endara’s refusal to help the poor was reinforced by his unwillingness to donate over 125.000 U.S dollars, he had won during a lottery. Bush was happy that Panama was loyal again and he turned to face another old friend of the USA. Saddam Hussein (the dictator of Iraq) had waged a bloody war with Islamic Iran, thanks to massive support from the USA. America gave him several billion dollars in economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence and special operations training. This however ended when their Iraqi friend turned on another Arab ally of American imperialism: the monarchy of Kuwait!

The State of Kuwait is not a liberal democracy. Despite the parliamentary monarchist constitution of 1961, political parties remain banned in the tiny Arab nation. Like Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait is only rich because of oil. This is what Saddam Hussein wanted to control, however the House of Al Sabah had allied themselves with America and they knew they were protected. The USA needs Arab oil and George H.W Bush would not allow anybody to endanger the flow of the black gold to the western world. The Americans had made a deal with Kuwait to keep the oil price super low. This is why the Iraqi’s were forced to keep their oil price low too, otherwise nobody would buy from them!

Saddam Hussein had a huge army to keep up. This army needed money and since Iraq is also depended on the selling of oil, Hussein asked if Kuwait could raise their prices. The kingdom refused as they had promised George H.W Bush to keep the oil prices very low. On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded the State of Kuwait. The battle lasted only two days, after which Iraq annexed the nation as a province of the Iraqi Republic. Bush could not accept what his friend in Baghdad had done. A huge campaign of misinformation was set up to portray the invaders as barbarians, who murdered babies!

President Bush then rallied 35 countries against Saddam Hussein to ”liberate” Kuwait. Part of this coalition was Syria, who was governed by the same political party as Iraq was. The Arab-Socialist Ba’ath Party used to rule in both nations. However in the 1960’s, the party split into a Iraqi based party and a Syrian based party. 14.500 Syrian soldiers participated in Operation Desert Storm, the code name of the attack. The first Gulf War lasted 6 months, 3 weeks and 5 days. It resulted in the destruction of the Iraqi and Kuwaiti infrastructures. American planes bombed Iraq massively, killing 3,664 civilians. The most famous terror attack was the Amiriyah shelter bombing. 400 were murdered there when the U.S Air Force bombed the shelter, with the full intention to spread fear and terror!

As the army of Hussein fled back towards the Iraqi border, the USA decided to decimate it. On the famous highway of death over 6.000 soldiers were killed in air-raids and 1.600 vehicles got destroyed. As the remains of the Iraqi army fled, the coalition choose not to invade and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Iraq was still needed as buffer zone. George H.W Bush knew that the Shia-Muslims are the majority in Iraq and a democratic government would result in a Shia majority. Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim and his dictatorship favored the Sunni-Muslim minority!

The real crime of Bush was not the death of 3,664 Iraqi civilians nor the 6.000 soldiers killed on the highway of death. It was the economic embargo he installed on Iraq. United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 called for harsh sanctions, these were kept after Kuwait was liberated under the pretense that Iraq was keeping Weapons of Mass Destruction. Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Ba’ath Party cared nothing for the lives of working class people. Between 1991 and 2003 they lived in absolute luxury while workers were suffering from hyperinflation, widespread poverty and malnutrition!

George H.W Bush claimed it was all the fault of Saddam Hussein. But we know today that Ba’athist Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. So the sanctions were totally unjust as they killed those who were not in a position to oppose the dictator. The Iraqi government claimed that 500.000 children died between 1991 and 2003. But today it is estimated that these numbers were manipulated. Still it is fair to say that Bush and Clinton cared not for the suffering in Iraq. It was the son of Bush who would finish what George H.W did not in 1991. After the second Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was removed and a Shia dominated government came to power!

As the first term of George H.W Bush came to an end, he hoped for a second round as president. Despite his victories in Panama and Kuwait, Bush lost the support of many working class America due to massive job loses in the early 90’s. On 3 November 1992, George H.W Bush lost to Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party. A reason for his defeat may have been James Stockdale, who ran as a independent against Bush. This Texas populist won 18,9% of the votes which split the conservatives in two. Stockdale was the first right-wing populist who claimed to stand against the two parties of the establishment. Donald Trump used the same right-wing populism as the Republican candidate in 2016, to defeat Hillary Clinton!

What also played against George H.W Bush were the economic politics of the man he served as vice president in the 80’s. Ronald Reagan gave many tax cuts to the rich and was then forced to raise taxes on workers, to keep the federal state from going bankrupt. Bush failed to protect American jobs as production work was shifted to cheap labour countries such as ”communist” China. Bill Clinton became the next president of the USA and it was not until the year 2001, that the Bush family would return to the White House. Clinton however would not brake with the neoliberal model started by Reagan. Like Bush before him, Bill Clinton trusted in the market to regulate itself, a fatal mistake which lay the seeds for the economic crisis of 2007/2008!

President George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. He outnumbered his father as a major war-criminal, but this not how both men are remembered in the capitalist media. Despite their flaws, they are regarded as ”good people” by western leaders. After George H.W Bush died on 30 November 2018, the capitalist media of many countries called him a ”moderate leader” and a ”good person”. Nothing is said about the lies he spread to gain support for his illegal wars. George H.W Bush was not a good guy, he was a typical imperialist president who is responsible for death and destruction. He was the first Bush, the first who did bad and should be remembered as a lying war-criminal!

 

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The Occupation of the American Mind

Over the past few years, Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world — except the United States. The Occupation of the American Mind takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S.

The Yemen Civil War

The Saudi Royal Family is still getting their U.S guns to wage a bloody war in Yemen. Donald Trump knows that the crown prince of Saudi-Arabia gave the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi. But the far-right president cares more about that 100 billion dollar trade deal which he singed with Mohammed bin Salman, the true power behind the Saudi throne and government. Salman ordered the execution and now tries to cover his tracks by claiming his agents went rogue. Khashoggi was brutally murdered by Saudi operatives inside their embassy in Turkey. With billions worth of American weapons, the Saudi regime has participated in the Yemen civil war, fighting on the side of the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Over 60.000 have died as a result of the fighting and more then 80.000 children died due to famine and a lack of food. Yemen’s economy has completely collapsed and with no food coming the people starve to death. All possible because of foreign intervention in Yemen!

The Yemeni Civil War began in 2015, a result of the inability of its ruling class to govern. Yemen was a right-wing dictatorship under Ali Abdullah Saleh. This tyrant was already leader of the Yemeni Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1978 until 1990. After the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) fused with the north, Ali Abdullah Saleh remained supreme leader by ignoring the reunification pact he made with the southern Yemeni Socialist Party, who had ruled South Yemen!

Dictator Saleh was a supporter of U.S imperialism. This is why the USA never criticized him. He was welcomed by American presidents and seen as a typical Arab leader, who was friendly to the interests of the USA. By 1995, the Republic of Yemen started with austerity measures as demanded by the IMF. Ten years later the government wanted to abolish the subsidies on gas and oil. However massive protests of ordinary workers made sure that the government did not do that!

Ali Abdullah Saleh managed to stay in power by being reelected each time. These elections were manipulated to favor his political party: the General People’s Congress (GCP). This right-wing party was founded in 1982, to serve as the political vehicle of the president. Their main ideology is Arab-nationalism, which they never enforced as Saleh was far more interested in ruling unopposed in Yemen. The party ruled in a authoritarian way by suppressing anybody who stood against then. Former stalinists of the Yemeni Socialist Party used to rule in the south, but were marginalized in reunited Yemen by the GPC and Saleh!

In the 33 years that he was in power in both the north (since 1978) and the whole nation (since  1990), the dictator enriched himself with billions. Saleh’s net worth was estimated to be between 32 and 64 billion dollars stored in banks across the world, especially in Europe. The president was the richest man in the country, while 23% of the population was living in absolute poverty in 2011. With the collapse of the economy, state and infrastructure, absolute poverty has now increased to 75%!

On 27 January 2011, massive protests started against the dictator and his GPC. By March over 2.000 Yemeni’s were brutally murdered by security forces. As with other Arab doctors, Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to give up on 33 years of absolute power. It was not until April that Saleh understood that if he did not stepped down, a civil war would start between the army and protests. He choose the road of abdication and this prevented the civil war from starting in 2011. Vice president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi assumed the office of president and called for elections!

This Hadi used to serve the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen), until he fled to the north after failed power-struggle in the Stalinist state. In the north he joined the General People’s Congress and became a supporter of Saleh. For his loyalty, the dictator rewarded Hadi with the position of vice president in 1994, which he kept until April 2011. The opposition made the big mistake of trusting this former southern leader. They selected him as their candidate as did the GPC. This meant that the presidential election in February 2012 only had one candidate: Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi!

Newly elected president Hadi wanted massive reforms. Both the USA and Saudi-Arabia favored a decentralized federation of the country. However this would mean that most of the wealth would end up in the richest parts of the country, leaving the poorer ones with little wealth. Also America and Saudi-Arabia had interests of their own as they wanted Yemeni oil. The country’s main export product is crude oil, over 70% of its national income comes directly from the selling of oil!

President Hadi agreed with the decentralize federal plan, but the pro-Iranian Ansar Allah group was very much against it. The Ansar Allah or ”Supporters of God” are a Shia-Islamic organisation that started to operate illegally in the 90’s. They became an armed group in 2004 and grew massively in support among Shia-Muslims, who make up 43% of the total population. Hadi’s reforms failed to materialize. After two years of fruitless talks, Ansar Allah forces took control over the capital Sana, with support from those still loyal to former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. The former president had rejected the federal plan and made a pact with Ansar Allah!

The fall of Sana marked the start of the Yemeni Civil War. However unlike the Syrian Civil War, this war is not reported massively in the western media. Why is that? Maybe because Saudi-Arabia is using American/European weapons to wage a genocide. Also due to the blocking of borders, no food and medical supplies can enter the nation. This leaves Yemen with nothing to feed its population. Since 2015, over 80.000 children have died because of a lack of food and medicine. Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are responsible for that. They are fighting a proxy war in Yemen, arming the pro-Hadi forces against Ansar Allah!

The General People’s Congress has split over the civil war. Elements loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi support him, while elements loyal to Ansar Allah support them. In the western media, the Shia-Islamic group is named: Houthi movement, named after Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. This Shia-Islamist led Ansar Allah until he was killed in 2004. Revolutionary Socialist Media will however use the name ”Ansar Allah” as this remains the official name of the group!

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have send parts of their air forces to fight in Yemen. These western made fighters have bombed targets with no regard for human live. It is reported that many civilians have been killed by bombs from Saudi and UAE planes. Almost 13.000 civilians have died since the civil war began in 2015. A majority of these deaths are because of Saudi/UAE bombings. How cruel these deaths are, they are nothing compared to the 80.000 death children who did not have to die. Dying because of a lack of food and medicine is more then war, it is a genocide!

Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates know that Yemen is suffering due to their blockade. But they don’t care. The reactionary monarchs care little for human life as their murder of Jamal Khashoggi proofs. This is why the western media stays silent on the Yemeni Civil War. Because western allies are killing children and innocents with western bombs. If the west would know this, they might be outrage and protests. However this is not the case, the Syrian Civil War is given preferential treatment!

Jama’at Ansar al-Shari’a or Partisans of Sharia is a Islamist group in Yemen. They were founded in 2011 and call for a Islamic Emirate to be build. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Yemen Province is also active, but they are a minor force and do not make up the majority of Islamic fighters. This ”honor” is given to the Partisans of Sharia who have around 7.000 armed fighters. As of late 2018, the country that was the Republic of Yemen is now divided in four sections. The north-west is under control of the Supreme Political Council, the political wing of Ansar Allah and the pro-Shia wing of the General People’s Congress!

The area loyal to president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi is also split. Between them lies a part of Yemen that came under the control of the Southern Transitional Council. Formed in May 2017, this council is build around former supporters of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. Since 2009, the southern movement is fighting to restore the state that was South Yemen. They are separatists who rejected the rule of both Ali Abdullah Saleh and Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. In January 2018, the southern separatists drove forces loyal to Hadi out of the city of Aden. This forced president Hadi to flee to Saudi-Arabia were he is kept under house arrest!

For ex-dictator Saleh, the civil war ended his life. On 28 November 2017, the former leader abandoned his pact with Ansar Allah and a armed struggle broke out in the capital of Sana, between forces loyal to Saleh and those of Ansar Allah. The battle lasted for six days. It is unknown how many died, but we know that a sniper killed Ali Abdullah Saleh on 4 December 2017 as he tried to flee. After the death of their leader, the pro-Saleh troops fled the capital. Ansar Allah captured 700 of them and it is reported they were executed along with civilians loyal the former dictator. With the death of Saleh, his faction has been eliminated from the civil war!

It is ironic that the man who lasted for 33 years died at the hands of a sniper. Had he not broken his pact with the Shia-Muslims, Saleh might still be alive today. However their pact was tactical and there was friction since 2012. Both groups were suspicious of each other and sharing little ideological ground. Saleh was a more secular man, while Ansar Allah is Shia-Islamist and deeply anti-western, anti-secular and antisemitic!

With Ali Abdullah Saleh death and Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi under house arrest in Saudi-Arabia, the battlefield is commanded by new leaders. The Supreme Political Council (Ansar Allah & GPC) selected Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour to be their prime minister. This Habtour is a member of the General People’s Congress and a figure in Yemeni politics since 1995. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar is the vice president and leader of the pro-Hadi government supported by Saudi-Arabia. The Southern Transitional Council selected major-general: Aidarus al-Zoubaidi to be their president. This military man used to support Hadi, until the southern movement split with his government and took control of Aden in early 2018!

The Islamic forces control some coastal towns, but they are a minor player in the civil war. As of late November 2018, Saudi-Arabia is the biggest ally of the Hadi government. With over 100.000 Saudi troops in Yemen, it is clear that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is playing a big game. His intervention army is supplied by the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Spain, Brazil and Finland. Germany stopped selling arms after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which is a pure hypocritical move. Berlin did not care that 13.000 Yemeni civilians died because of their guns, but after one journalist is killed they suddenly stop selling arms?

Western imperialism does not care that their bombs and guns are responsible for death and destruction in Yemen. Saudi-Arabia is nothing win-out western money. Their armed forces is made up 100% western planes and western technology. Donald Trump sold over 100 billion dollars worth of weaponry to Saudi-Arabia. He knows that this absolute monarchy is a brutal dictatorship and famous for killing critics such as Jamal Khashoggi. But the far-right American president does not care. Trump is a capitalist, who loves profits above all!

The military industrial complex in the USA is a billion dollar industry, who’s capitalists belong to the 1%. In 2019, the military budget for the U.S Armed Forces will be 716 billion dollars. All this money is spend on planes, guns, ships and tanks meant to wage imperialist wars, not to protect the American people. The USA does not need an army of 1 million soldiers. It already has a population that is armed with guns. Why need a professional army when there are more guns then people in the ”land of the free and the home of the brave”?

Revolutionary socialists denounce all factions in the Yemeni Civil War. Neither the Hadi government nor the Supreme Political Council (Ansar Allah & GPC) can offer any alternative for the millions who suffer from hunger and diseases. Only a mass party on a socialist program can unite all workers no matter their religious background. Ansar Allah and Hadi are enforcing religious sectarianism and try to split people based on religion. The southern separatists play on false nostalgia for a Stalinist state, that was also unstable as fighting was common in the Yemeni Socialist Party!

We say:

  • No to Saudi/UAE intervention in Yemen
  • No to systematic hunger and suffering because of the Saudi blockade
  • No trust in Ansar Allah or any faction of the General People’s Congress
  • Stop the selling of weapons to Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
  • All foreign armies out of Yemen
  • All power to democratic elected councils of workers and poor
  • For a socialist Yemen as part of a socialist federation of the middle east

 

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Dutch racism rules supreme

The facade is gone, the so-called liberal kingdom has exposed itself as unwilling to fight racism and black face. Black activists and white Dutch who reject the black face character of Black Pete now know that their freedom of speech is limited. Far-right hooligans, racist politicians and the majority of white Dutch society have done their best to silence criticism of Black Pete. With racist remarks, intimidation and outright threats, many demonstrations against black face had to be cancelled. The right-wing Telegraaf paper ran a nationalist article by far-right ”journalists” who claim that George Sorros and Jews are behind the activists of Kick Out Zwarte Piet, the black activist group that stands against the racist caricature. It is no surprise that the far-right feels save to spread their poison of racism, antisemitism and hatred of left-wing activism, now that they found white society on their side!

Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) is founded by Dutch activists who decided to protest peacefully against Black Pete. This character was introduced to the Saint Nicolas festival in 1850 as a black servant. Back then all blacks were servants to white Dutch and Black Pete was portrayed as all black people were, with thick black skin, big red lips, black curly hair and typical African golden earrings. His classic behavior was clumsy and stupid, which was funny for white people. Again this was no coincident, black face comedy was popular and Black Pete was the funny black guy who helped Saint Nicolas, the white Catholic bishop. The Netherlands had some minor protests against black face, but few blacks and ever fewer whites openly dared to stand against the popular icon. It was not until 2011 that the debate started and racism grew massively!

If you are a black Dutch and you stand against Black Pete, you will face racism, hostility and hate. White Dutch who stand with blacks against black face also face hate mails and rejection by Dutch society. Because you are not allowed to stand against Black Pete, just as southern Americans are not allowed to rejected the flag of the Confederate States of America. White Americans in the south use the excuse that their ”rebel-flag” stands for tradition and heritage. White Dutch who defend Black Pete do the same and claim ”tradition” and ”heritage”, as excuse for painting themselves black each year. Because the behavior of Black Pete has changed, the white majority do not see the character as racist. The classic behavior of a clumsy and stupid servant has now been replaced by Pete’s who have normal intelligence. In the past, Black Pete would threaten ”naughty” children with the sack and birching. Since the 1990’s this practice has been removed from the festival and children are not longer told that if they don’t behave, Black Pete will put them in the sack!

What made the debate so poisonous is the hostile reaction from white Dutch towards those black Dutch who want a festival for all children. Because studies have indicated that black face can have a negative impact on black children. Black Pete is played by white people and because of black face history, many black Dutch feel uncomfortable. Calling blacks to be Black Pete’s is not uncommon. The guy who started the first public anti-Pete protest in 2011, only did so because his mother was called; ”the Black Pete of her work”. Children of Suriname or Antillean origin also face this racism at school, when they are bullied as little Black Pete’s. Despite studies and even the UN calling for a Pete that is not based on racism, the vast majority of Dutch dogmatic refuse to change the appearance of ”their” icon. Again, the Dutch do not want to change as they see no racism in Black Pete. The story told to children is that he is only thick black because he comes through the chimney every night. This does not explain why Black Pete has thick red lips, black curly hair and golden earrings, all used in the 19th and 20th century to stereotype black people as inferior to whites!

KOZP does not call for violence, however the far-right does. In November 2017 they blocked a highway to prevent activists from demonstrating during the arrival of Saint Nicolas in Dokkum, Friesland (Northern Netherlands). 34 men and women used their cars to block the highway and prevent the bus from reaching the city. The social democratic (Party of Labour) mayor of Dokkum then banned the protest and gave the far-right their victory. The Dutch court sentenced those 34 people for ”hindering free speech” and gave them community service. In solidarity, white Dutch donated over 200.000 euro’s to pay for the court costs the 34 convicts were forced to pay. For the white establishment they are regarded as hero’s, because these men and women stopped KOZP from ”disrupting” (as they claim) the Saint Nicolas festival in Dokkum. Guilty however is also the social democratic mayor who first allowed protests against Black Pete, but choose to ban it after the incident on the highway. Dokkum experienced a traditional Saint Nicolas festival with black faced people, while those who rejected this caricature were banned from saying so!

In 2018, the far-right used football hooligans and threats of fiscal violence. Again they were successful as KOZP had to call off many demonstrations. Right-wing newspapers again called victory. In those cities that did allow protest against Black Pete, KOZP was told to demonstrate in zones far away from the actual festival. It would be like telling Martin Luther King that he was not allowed to march in any southern city and only in rural zones with nobody to seem him. This is what the local governments and police have done to Kick Out Zwarte Piet. There are many similarities between the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and the protests against Black Pete. The outright hatred and rejection of the white establishment is the same. White Dutch who express solidarity with KOZP are regarded as traitors and face rejection by friends, family and college’s. This is why only a minority dares to stand against black face in the Netherlands. Now that the far-right has the support from the public, they feel save to use violent means to stop any anti-racist march. The black activists are getting zero support from elected officials. Right-wing parties openly hate them and the Dutch left-wing stays silent out of political opportunism and fear of losing voters!

The Netherlands has three left-wing parties officially. Neither of them are revolutionary and none are truly socialist. The Party of Labour (PvdA) used to be the main force of social democracy. However after the 2017 election the PvdA was reduced to a minor party, after enforcing brutal austerity with the (neo)liberals of Mark Rutte between 2012 and 2017. It is the Socialist Party that is now the biggest party on the left, but with only 14 seats out of 150 they are still small. The SP stays silent on the topic of Black Pete, because the moderate socialists know that their electorate is in favor of the character. Revolutionary socialists fully criticize this opportunism of the Socialist Party. Many workers with a none-white background have never voted for the SP, because of the party’s weak anti-racist stand. GreenLeft is the last party that claims to be leftist. Like the PvdA and SP, GreenLeft has embraced the capitalist system and the racism it produces. Still the greens are the only ones who have been willing to debate with black activists, making them a target for outright hatred on social media!

In the Telegraaf newspaper, the antisemitic far-right has published a vulgar article claiming that George Sorros is behind Kick Out Zwarte Piet. Sorros is a liberal billionaire who has funded many project that the far-right hates. In parliament, the chief propagandist for the racist: Party for Freedom (PVV): Martin Bosma, claimed that the PvdA, Sorros and ”losers” stood behind the protests against Black Pete. Another nationalist politician called Thierry Baudet, defended a violent far-right mob as ”civil defense against foreign hordes” (refugees fleeing war and fundamentalism). Wierd Duk, a far-right Telegraaf ”journalist”, then wrote a conspiracy article that linked George Sorros and the PvdA to KOZP. Using the language of the Nazi’s, they see one big conspiracy the far-right calls ”Cultural-Marxism (which is equal to what Hitler called Cultural-Bolshevism). Claiming that Jews wish to destroy western culture is as old as antisemitism. This is why we reject not only the anti-refugee bigotry of people like Bosma, but we also stand against antisemitic lies that Jews control the world wealth. In reality there are Jewish capitalists who exploit Jewish workers. There are Christian capitalists exploiting Christian workers and finally there are Muslim capitalists (like those Saudi killers) who exploit millions of Muslim workers!

The sad reality remains that this pseudo-liberal kingdom is not at all tolerant and free towards those who reject black face. What we have see is racism and hatred towards activists who call for a Saint Nicolas festival for all children. For now the character of Black Pete will remain, because the white majority does not care about racism. In their minds the Kingdom of the Netherlands has overcome discrimination and rejection based on skin color, so white Dutch think. In reality there is racism towards workers with a none-white background. Muslims maybe the group that is most discriminated on the labour market, followed by black Dutch who have their origins in Suriname and the former Netherlands Antilles (dissolved in 2010). Revolutionary socialists call for solidarity with KOZP and all who stand again the injustice spread by the far-right and tolerated by the establishment!

 

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Far-right football hooligans painted their children black to fight KOZP.

WW1 ended 100 years ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Famous ocean liners captured by the allies were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

100 years – German revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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More deaths thanks to the right-wing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Research as cloak for mass-murder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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These dolphins are murdered each year in Japan.

Austerity comes to Turkmenistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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