Romania: PSD government no alternative

Early this year, Revolutionary Socialist Media reported about the demonstrations in Romania against the social democratic government led by Sorin Grindeanu. This pseudo-leftist and member of the corrupt: Social Democratic Party (PSD), was removed in June and replaced by another PSD prime minister called Mihai Tudose. This however has not ended the deep mistrust working class Romanians have towards the social democrats. Only 1/3 of the country came to vote during the last general election. It shows the deep mistrust between ordinary people and the politicians of the ruling class. The lack of a true left-wing anti-capitalist party is also the reason why so few vote. Romanian leftists have been marginalized by a corrupt system that portrays the Ceaușescu period as ”Marxist communist” to discredit the democratic ideas of socialism!

Gifts to the capitalist class are typical of conservative, liberal and social democratic governments. Taxation for the rich has been lowered, while workers are told to pay more. This is how the capitalist state is able to finance its spending, by taking more money from ordinary people and demanding less of the wealthy. Romania is no exception, neoliberalism has created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Before the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, the country was a Stalinist state. Created by the Soviet-Union in the late 1940’s and under control of the Romanian Communist Party. Nicolae Ceaușescu was the last Stalinist leader, who became famous for his cult of personality, nepotism, corruption and nationalist politics. It is very ironic that many who lived under stalinism have positive memories of the Ceaușescu era. Elderly and people in their 60’s speak good of a system that gave them a feeling of belonging. This is lacking in capitalist Romania since 1992, when austerity and mass privatizations led to joblessness and desperation for millions!

In 2015, it was revealed that rural poverty remains a huge problem. ”More than half of all children (51%) under 18 are at risk of poverty, more so than when the Eastern European country joined the EU in 2007” said Eurostat a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Relative poverty means that you are able to survive, but that you lack financial resources to participate in society. 66% of all Romanians have only enough money to keep themselves alive each month. There is very little for entertainment and social activities. People living in the cities are better off as the economy has been growing in the capital of Bucharest. Joining the EU has not ended poverty as revolutionary socialists knew it would not. The social democrats of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) claimed that they wanted increase the middle class, but this has proven to be a propaganda stunt. No Romanian government has ever done anything that would help the poor. Because the capitalist class always dominate politics. This shows why the voter turnout has dropped to 39,44% in 2016. More then 60% of all voters in the country did not choose to vote, proofing the deep mistrust Romanians have towards establishment politicians!

Romanians has two big political parties. The pseudo-leftists of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the nationalist (neo)liberals of the National Liberal Party (PNL). Since 2016, there are two new formations that have won parliamentary seats. One is the Save Romania Union, a liberal centrist party and the only outspoken pro-LGBT party in the country. The other is the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, created in 2015 that mixes populism with (neo)liberalism. Conservatives have united themselves in the People’s Movement Party, also a new party and only three years old. Although the ”Save Romania Union” is supportive of gay rights, it is a capitalist party that supports right-wing economics and is not a force for workers against their capitalist masters!

Politics have been dominated by the PSD and PNL. Both parties however are pro-capitalist and have served only one class. This is why there is little trust in elections and democracy in general. Romanians are looking for a alternative and this is lacking. The only left-wing looking party in Romania is the Romanian Socialist Party, the present name of the old Socialist Alliance Party. These leftist nationalists come from the Socialist Party of Labour, a party founded by the last prime minister of Stalinist Romania in 1990. The Socialist Party of Labour and later Socialist Alliance Party had a positive picture of Romania under the Romanian Communist Party. Because of their support for dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Socialist Party of Labour and Socialist Alliance Party remained marginalized. It never won any seat in parliament and is dominated by people who only know ”socialism” from the days of Ceaușescu. For them the state can solve all problems, which is not what Revolutionary Socialist Media calls socialism!

The leftist nationalists tried to become the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) in 2010. They wanted to continue the line of Ceaușescu’s PCR. However the name change was not accepted by the Bucharest Tribunal and they were forced to keep the name: Socialist Alliance Party. Five years later another leftist party called the Romanian Socialist Party (PSR) dissolved itself. The Socialist Alliance Party decided to take the name of this dissolved socialist party. Since the first PSR was disbanded, the Bucharest Tribunal accepted the name change. The supporters of Ceaușescu are now the Romanian Socialist Party (PSR). The ruling class and their media outlets have always used the pro-Ceaușescu attitude of the Socialist Party of Labour to portray Marxism as a ”totalitarian” idea. They follow the western propaganda myth that communism ruled in Romania, that Ceaușescu was a ”communist dictator”. This has worked as many Romanians (wrongfully) think that socialism is what they had in the past!

Despite being on the left-wing, the leftist nationalist PSR is not a actual anti-capitalist party. They want a classic social democratic model with a strong welfare system, but a capitalist market economy. The PSR does not oppose capitalism, it only wants to limit its greed and power. Thereby they are not Marxist internationalists, more like reformist-leftists in love with Romania. It is sad that the only true leftist party in Romania is a mixture of stalinists, leftist nationalists, classic social democrats and moderate socialists. How do we know that the party is nationalist? We see the Romanian flag at all of their meetings. They display the tricolor always next to their party flag and some-times even the EU flag is seen. This shows that the PSR is not even so anti-EU. Romanian workers need a party that is not nationalist but internationalist. Nationalism is a poison used to divide the working class!

Reducing the flat income tax to 10% is one of the many gifts the social democratic government has for the ruling class in Romania. This means that the government will lose up to three billion euros in income. No genuine leftist government would ever lower taxes for the rich, but in Romania the Social Democratic Party behaves like all establishment parties. Their logic is that with lower income taxes, capitalist companies can raise the salaries of workers. But there is no proof that the owners of businesses will do that. They will use their tax cuts to benefit themselves, not the people they hire to do the work. For workers earning minimum wages the fiscal reforms are just slightly beneficial. They will see their income going up to 250 euros a month. Minimum pensions will also go up to 138 euros. But this cannot end poverty as wages remain too low for millions. Still this is how the PSD wins the vote of the poor. By raising their incomes just a little to secure their votes!

As long as there is no mass party for workers, poor and young, the social democrats can play the leftist card. They are after all the only party portrayed by the capitalist media as left-wing. Despite the fact that the Social Democratic Party is cutting taxes for the rich and supporting neoliberal economics. The Romanian media knows that they need to keep this illusion alive, that the PSD is a ”people’s party” and leftist. Because this is how the capitalists stay in power. Both the national liberals and social democrats are part of the same capitalist coin. They must be rejected and voted out office. A workers party must be created to show the Romanians that there is a alternative to the forces of greed and exploitation.

Only 1/3 of Romania trusts political parties and politicians. 60% of all voters (11 million people) choose not to vote during last elections. Among the elderly and 60+ there is nostalgia for the days when dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu gave people a (false) sense of security, patriotism and the feeling that they were living in a ”socialist nation”. After the Romanian Revolution it was ”everybody for him/herself”. The common good was gone, replaced by individualist greed. Few profited and far too many lost. Although the politicians of PSD and PNL portray their country as modern and developing, Romania is not a model for the future of Europe!

 

More than half of all children (51%) under 18 are at risk of poverty

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Project: Kingdom of Cambodia – FAILED

The western project to create a democratic monarchy in Cambodia has failed. The corrupt regime of Hun Sen has just banned the only opposition party. With the banning of the liberal; Cambodia National Rescue Party, Hun Sen can run unopposed in the 2018 general elections. The monarchy in Cambodia was created as a compromise between the Stalinist: Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party, the monarchist supporters of king Norodom Sihanouk and the United Nations. Hun Sen was already in command of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989) and the State of Cambodia (1989-1993). His Cambodian People’s Party won every election due to their control over the government, media and mass organisations. However in 2013, the Cambodia National Rescue Party won a major victory at the elections. This was a shock for the corrupt party of Hun Sen. Now the Cambodian government has killed off democracy by banning the Cambodia National Rescue Party!

Cambodia or Kampuchea has suffered a lot in the 20th century. It was bombed by the USA during the Vietnam War, bombings with gave rise to a Khmer supremacist group called the Red Khmer or Khmer Rouge in French. A right-wing military coup ended the monarchy and installed a junta in 1970. Five years the country was under the rule of the militarists, until they were overthrown by the guerrilla fighters of the Red Khmer. On the outside, the members of the Communist Party of Kampuchea were typical Stalinist revolutionaries, who (ab)used Marx and Lenin to justify nationalism. Most Asian communist parties played on nationalist feelings to boost their anti-colonial struggles, but the Red Khmer went further. They added Khmer supremacy to a dogmatic Maoist ideology that proclaimed the peasantry as the revolutionary class. Saloth Sar was the man who led the Khmer communist party and wanted to establish a pure agrarian Khmer only nation. Few knew his actual name, to most comrades Saloth was known only as Pol Pot!

With the collapse of the right-wing; Khmer Republic on 17 April 1975, the country came under control of Pol Pot. He hated intellectuals, western technology, ethnic Vietnamese and wanted to restore to old medieval: Khmer Empire. The Red Khmer forced all Cambodians to leave the cities and work as peasants. People with an education were considered ”counterrevolutionaries” and shot. It would take a few months before Pol Pot proclaimed the birth of ”Democratic Kampuchea”. However unlike Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, he choose not to show himself to the public. Most leading members of the Communist Party of Kampuchea did not revealed their names, their were called ”Brothers”’with a number, Pol Pot was called Brother Number One. The whole communist party was known as ”Angkar” to ordinary Cambodians. The ”Brothers” led by Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) were not uneducated. The ”Angkar” was led by middle class Khmer who were educated in France during the 1950’s. These western educated pseudo-revolutionaries closed schools, hospitals and factories, abolishing banking, finance and currency!

”Democratic Kampuchea” was to be a pure agrarian communist society. Build on ethnic nationalism, slave labour and massive exploitation of the peasantry. Pol Pot’s regime was so brutal it killed between one and three million people, 1/3 of Cambodia died between April 1975 and January 1979. The Chinese supported the Red Khmer, because Stalinist Vietnam had sided with the Soviet-Union against the People’s Republic of China. Beijing and Moscow were having major ideological conflicts. Both claimed to be the center of world revolution against capitalism and imperialism. Pol Pot hated the Vietnamese and sided with Mao’s China. He ordered his troops to attack Vietnamese villages on the border, killing thousands of men, woman and children. The raids were of a racist nature as the Red Khmer had indoctrinate their soldiers with a deep hatred of the Vietnamese. Hanoi choose to invade Cambodia in December 1978, they defeated the Red Khmer in just two months. America and Great Britain openly sided with Pol Pot and rejected the invasion. They claimed that the Communist Party of Kampuchea was the rightful ruler of Cambodia, despite the fact that it just murdered around one to three million people. The Vietnamese invasion ended the killings and exposed the regime of the ”Angkar” as a genocide!

The Vietnamese were supported in their invasion by former members of the Red Khmer who broke with Pol Pot. These Cambodians were installed as new leaders of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea. Only the Soviet-Union and its allies choose to recognize the new Stalinist state. China and most western nations refused and started to aid the Red Khmer. Millions of dollars and pounds were donated to the people who had killed 1/3 of their nation. Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher did not care. They supported Pol Pot because he was anti-Soviet and that was enough. At the UN in New York, a Red Khmer official kept the Cambodian seat at the General Assembly of the United Nations. In 1981, the Communist Party of Kampuchea (Red Khmer) officially abandoned communism and renamed itself as Party of Democratic Kampuchea. They joined up with the monarchists led by Norodom Sihanouk and created the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea in 1982!

Hun Sen, the current dictator of Cambodia, belonged to those who broke with Pol Pot. He became a member of the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party, the wing of the Communist Party of Kampuchea that supported the Vietnamese. Hun Sen was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea in 1979. He was not a dogmatic Stalinist and turned out to be very moderate. True power was not yet in reach of Hun Sen, because Heng Samrin was made General Secretary of the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party and Chairman of the People’s Revolutionary Council. However in 1984, the tide was turning. Vietnam’s influence was declining and in a bitter power struggle the General Secretary lost his power. Although the people’s revolutionary party was the only allowed force in the country, it was a rather weak political party. True power was centralized in the office of Prime Minister and Hun Sen made sure that he build a club of loyal henchmen!

As China and Vietnam embraced state-capitalism, the People’s Republic of Kampuchea was to undergo some cosmetic changes. Hun Sen started to rename the country into; State of Cambodia and moved to privatize the economy. Two years later in 1991, the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party ended its Marxist facade and embraced capitalism. It was decided to rename the party into the Cambodian People’s Party. To please the United Nations and to bring Norodom Sihanouk back as king, Hun Sen allowed the UN to control Cambodia for one year. In this year ”free elections” would be held. The monarchists of Sihanouk agreed, Pol Pot rejected the new monarchy. But the Red Khmer lacked the means to keep on fighting. Western supplies had ceased and China no longer supported them. The Cambodian stalinists were the only ones in history who promoted a return to monarchism. People who once hailed Marx and Lenin now hailed the old monarchist traditions and praised the king and his royal family. Just another proof how counterrevolutionary the Stalinist tradition always has been!

The rebuild Kingdom of Cambodia remained at war with the remnants of the Red Khmer. At the end of the 1990’s the Party of Democratic Kampuchea led by a weak Pol Pot was defeated. The man who had murdered 1/3 of Cambodia died on 15 April 1998. By then he no longer commanded the Red Khmer, he was put aside by Brother Number Five called Ta Mok (born Chhit Choeun). This Ta Mok was the last major Red Khmer official who remained free after most leading members had been arrested. In 1999 the Cambodian Royal Army was finally able to capture him. Ta Mok was send to the Military Prosecution Department Detention Facility, but his trial would not take place until 2002. In poor health and suffering from respiratory problems, the last military leader of the Red Khmer died on 21 July 2006 in prison. The last political leader of ”Democratic Kampuchea” (Nuon Chea) was sentenced to life in prison, 21 years after the kingdom was restored!

Unlike most monarchies of the world, the Kingdom of Cambodia has a elected monarchy. The ruling king is elected by parliamentary vote, meaning that the Cambodian People’s Party chooses who is king. The party of dictator Hun Sen (the former communist party) allowed Norodom Sihanouk to become head of state in 1993. True power remained with the office of Prime Minister as it was during the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and State of Cambodia. Hun Sen made sure that Norodom Sihanouk was only a symbolic figurehead. Loved and respected, but with zero political power. King Norodom died in 2004 at the age of 89. His son Sihamoni was then selected by the Cambodian People’s Party to become the next monarch!

Meanwhile the economy was growing very fast. Cambodia got a reputation as a cheap labour nation with a low corporate tax. It resulted in that fact that most means of production are owned by foreigners. Chinese capitalists own 149 major businesses (who make up 64% of the total economy) in the kingdom. The ethnic Khmer ruling class is very weak, they own only 5% of businesses. Korean capitalists are also very active and own 17% of the Cambodian economy. It is ironic that Vietnamese exploiters own very little, despite that Hun Sen is on very friendly terms with the state-capitalist regime in Hanoi. Although the capital of Phnom Penh grew from a poor city in 1993 to a modern looking capital in 2017, poverty is still widespread in rural Cambodia. 33% of all workers in the kingdom earn less then $ 1,60 a day. 14% is living in absolute poverty, that is close to 2,1 million people!

A major opposition party to the ex-Stalinist: Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) was the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). This liberal democratic party was created in 2012 when several liberal groups united into one big party. The CNRP was able to win 44,46% of the total vote during the 2013 parliamentary elections. Although the CPP formed a majority government, the victory of the liberals was seen as a major threat to their rule. Hun Sun understood that many Cambodians had rejected him and his corrupt bureaucrats. This is why he started a campaign to get the CNRP banned. In September 2017, the henchmen of the dictator were able to arrest the leader of the liberals. Two months later the Supreme Court outlawed the Cambodia National Rescue Party, allegedly for being part of a foreign plot to overthrow the Prime Minister!

Revolutionary socialists stand in solidarity with the Cambodian liberals, despite our differences on politics. It is true that the CNRP is pro-capitalist and supports the market economy. Yet it also called for higher wages for both private sector workers and government workers. They demand; free medical care for the poor, equal opportunity of the young to receive quality education and to have employment, universal health care, a referendum for same-sex marriage and an end to the dictatorial way the Cambodian government is enforcing its agenda. Hun Sen and his henchmen realized that this liberal party was winning support and therefore they banned it. It is not surprising that little attention to this fact is seen in the western media. When Venezuela is jailing opposition members there is massive outcry in the media of Europe and America. But when a dictator like Hun Sen is doing the same thing in Cambodia, the media of the western world remains silent. It proofs that the whole project of 1993 has failed. Cambodia under the regime of Hun Sen and the CPP may have moved from a Stalinist state to a capitalist state, the workers remained oppress!

Therefore we call for a massive uprising of workers, youth and peasants against the Cambodian People’s Party. We call for the overthrow of the dictator and his government. A workers party must be build on a socialist program. This is not easy in a semi-plutocracy created by the CPP and the western world. Capitalism rules supreme and the government does not protect the working class against massive exploitation. Despite that the CPP used to be a leftist revolutionary party, it never liberated the workers from oppression. The Communist Party of Kampuchea was a Khmer supremacist party, the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party a Vietnamese puppet and the Cambodian People’s Party is a capitalist nest of class traitors. The legacy of Stalinist betrayal runs deep in Indochina!

ពលករកម្ពុជាអ្នកគ្មានអ្វីដែលត្រូវបាត់បង់ទេ។ អ្នកមានពិភពលោកដើម្បីឈ្នះ!

 

The lies of Project Veritas

Project Veritas is a American right-wing propaganda group, that aims to destroy individuals and organisations with false stories about criminal behavior. Their so called ”undercover” operations are done with the aim to spread lies and misinformation. A victim of Project Veritas was the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which was forced to close in 2010 after conservative ”activist” James O’Keefe had spread a ”false story” about criminal behavior by its workers. The conservative media (Fox News) loved the so called ”revelations” and Republican controlled governments ended funding. ACORN’s did good work for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care and affordable housing. All their work was destroyed by edited ”undercover” videos released by O’Keefe!

James O’Keefe is the guy who started Project Veritas. He calls himself an ”activist” which he is not. O’Keefe is a propagandist for the ruling class, by spreading lies and misinformation. His propaganda is build around pseudo-undercover operations. The so called ”revelations” of Project Veritas always turn out to be selectively edited to misrepresent the context of conversations. O’Keefe wants his audience to believe that the work he is doing is genuine, the problem is that he cannot be trusted as his goal is to mislead people with false stories. Fake news you can call it!

Nobody should be surprised when revolutionary socialists expose Project Veritas as a tool of rich conservatives. They are funded by anonymous donations through ”Donors Trust”, a conservative American nonprofit donor-advised fund. Donald Trump himself also gave money to James O’Keefe in 2015. The Trump Organisation paid over 10.000 dollars to Project Veritas. We all know that Trump is a master of lying and misinformation. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump spread more lies then any other presidential candidate. O’Keefe is like all right-wing nuts, he loves capitalism and the ruling class, he hates the government only when Democrats are in power. This is typical behavior as conservatives are hypocrites when it comes to their anti-government agenda. Now that a far-right billionaire controls the USA, the anti-government rhetoric of right-wing networks like Fox News, melted away. Infowars.com and Breitbart News also turned from anti-government to pro-government, now that the Republicans control the presidency!

In September 2009, O’Keefe and his partner in crime; Hannah Giles, published a pseudo-undercover story on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. They wanted to destroy ACORN, because this organisation helped people to vote. It is a fact that many minorities and black Americans have a low-vote rate. If organisations  like ACORN are able to raise the voter turnout, this would benefit Democrats. Most ethnic minorities and blacks vote for the Democratic Party. If their turnout is higher then Democrats have a bigger chance of beating Republicans. As conservatives and supporters of the Republican Party, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles knew that exposing ACORN with a pseudo-story, would end government funding. So they edited their videos to give viewers the impression that low-ranking workers at ACORN would support prostitution. O’Keefe played the role of the ”pimp” and Giles was the prostitute!

The ”undercover” video was filmed with the clear intention to end public funding of ACORN. Government officials played right into James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles hands. They called for the government to end funding of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. As the video was released, the U.S. Congress quickly voted to freeze federal funding to ACORN. Independent investigators founded out that the pseudo-undercover video had been partially falsified, to create a misleading picture and was selectively edited by James O’Keefe. This would however not save ACRON as it filed for bankruptcy in November 2010. Its workers however were able to form new groups under different names to continue their work to help low and middle income families. One former ACORN worker (who appeared in the edited video) was able to sue James O’Keefe for 100.000 dollars, which the conservative ”activist” was forced to pay!

Despite that he was exposed as a lying son of a bitch, James O’Keefe had served the ruling class very well. ACRON was destroyed, this made him a star among right-wing media networks. O’Keefe was invited on Fox News and praised by propagandists like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Project Veritas was then created by James O’Keefe after he was paid a lot of money by the ruling class to ”expose” more. His next goal were Democratic senators, which O’Keefe wanted to destroy.  In January 2010, the members of Project Veritas entered the office of senator Mary Landrieu under false pretenses. They were dressed as telephone repairmen when they were captured. James O’Keefe got a three year probation, 100 hours of community service and a 1,500 dollar fine. Despite that he was now a convicted criminal, O’Keefe would not end his crusade to spread lies and misinformation!

In 2011, another pseudo-investigation was underway. This time Project Veritas targeted the National Public Radio (NPR). A edited video was released featuring Ronald Schiller, NPR’s senior vice president for fundraising. In the video you see Schiller meeting people who claimed that they were from a Islamic charity group linked tot the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact these ”representatives” were from Project Veritas. They wanted to portray the senior vice president as a corrupt guy, who took money from the Muslim Brotherhood. Later in the video you hear Ronald Schiller saying that the NPR would be better off, win-out public funding. This was edited to give the illusion that the National Public Radio does not need government money. However the raw-video tells the real story. That many local NPR stations would go under if the government would end funding. This was however not included in the video released by Project Veritas!

After the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential elections, James O’Keefe returned to resume his pseudo-undercover work. Now he targeted CNN with videos that showed how news anchors talked negatively about president Trump. Like all of Project Veritas work, the videos were edited to give viewers a wrongful picture. Conservative propaganda networks like Infowars.com, Breitbart News and Fox News all ran the story as truth. They told their viewers to see the ”undercover” work by O’Keefe as genuine. Revolutionary socialists however reject his work as biased and deceptive. The videos released by Project Veritas are all skillfully edited to smear critics of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. James O’Keefe knows this but does not care. Like Joseph Goebbels (Nazi minister of propaganda) he considers himself a crusader against the ”leftist” media of America!

Just recently Project Veritas was exposed by the Washington Post, after they tried to sell a story of a woman that was raped by Republican congressman: Roy Moore. This conservative congressman is in the spotlight, after numerous women claimed that they were assaulted and raped by Moore, when he was in his 30’s. Project Veritas tried to undermine the credibility of these women by creating a fake accusation, which they tried to sell. If the Washington Post had run the story, James O’Keefe would have used the pseudo-accusation to undermine the credibility of the newspaper. However the Washington Post turned out to be clever and was able to expose the woman as a operative for Project Veritas. She was caught at the Project Veritas’ office in Mamaroneck New York, with her car remaining at the office’s parking for more than an hour. James O’Keefe’s sting operation failed and he got severe criticism. This time even conservatives attacked the self-declared ”activist of the right-wing”. The Washington Post meanwhile was praised for they ability to see beyond the deception!

“What [O’Keefe] does isn’t journalism. It’s agitpop [sic], politi-punking, entrapment-entertainment. There is no responsible definition of journalism that includes what he does or how he does it. His success at luring his prey into harming themselves is a measure of how fallible and foolish anyone, including good people, can sometimes be.”

Marty Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

 

James O’Keefe, activist for the ruling class and conservative propagandist!

Mugabe resigned, but regime remains

Dictator Robert Mugabe has resigned, finally. But the regime he build up since 1980 remains. This is why more must be done. Working class people in Zimbabwe now need to demands new elections and vote ZANU-PF out of office. This criminal gang has not only betrayed its socialist ideology back in 1980, it has also been a ruling caste for nepotism, corruption and oppression. ZANU-PF may welcome the removal of the old president, but we know the true power behind the downfall of Mugabe. Emmerson Mnangagwa was the vice president and is now interim-president. His supporters are in control of ZANU-PF, they kicked the Mugabe clan out. Mnangagwa is not a reformer. Under Robert Mugabe he was a brutal bureaucrat, who made sure that internal critics were silenced. Revolutionary socialists call for a workers party to be build. A party that can defeat the pro-capitalist opposition led by the Movement for Democratic Change and the corrupt-nepotist: Zimbabwean African National Union – Patriotic Front!

 

Mnangagwa-Mugabe

Emmerson Mnangagwa, next to a portrait of the man he removed from office.

Mugabe: The End?

Is it over for Robert Mugabe, the 93 year old dictator of Zimbabwe? Because on 15-11-2017, the army of Zimbabwe took control over the country. They raided the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and declared that Mugabe and his family were ‘’safe’’. This could mean that the army has ended the regime of one of the most hypocritical dictatorial leaders of Africa. Mugabe and his Zimbabwean African National Union – Patriotic Front, came to power in 1980. Back then the party was revolutionary leftist on the Stalinist top down model. When that system failed, Mugabe introduced austerity and social cuts. The worst came after 2000, when the economy fully collapsed after years of mismanagement by corrupt ZANU-PF bureaucrats. The old dictator played on systematic oppression to remain in power. His rhetoric is anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist, but the working class of Zimbabwe is oppressed, exploited and enslaved by people like Robert Mugabe and his elitist family!

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a very poor and unequal nation. Poverty and mass inequality are the result of massive government corruption created by the Zimbabwean African National Union – Patriotic Front, the party of Robert Mugabe. Like the African National Congress in South Africa, ZANU-PF started as a national liberation movement against white minority rule. Mugabe used many elements of Maoism in his struggle. This is why the People’s Republic of China was his biggest supporter. The Soviet-Union did not fully supported ZANU, their ideological ally was another liberation movement called the Zimbabwean African People’s Union (ZAPU). It is an irony that Mugabe’s ZANU was a split from the original ZAPU in 1963!

During the 60’s and 70’s both ZANU and ZAPU fought the regime of Ian Smith, the white leader of Rhodesia. At its peak in 1979, white people made up 8% of the population. They however controlled all means of production, all political offices and were in control of the army. The black majority was not allowed to vote nor to keep high functions in the government. This racist mentality came from classic British white supremacy, because Rhodesia used to be British until 1965. White minority rule lasted only 15 years and in 1979, Ian Smith was forced to step down. During the transitional period, the country was named Rhodesia-Zimbabwe. On 18 April 1980, the Republic of Zimbabwe was born with Robert Mugabe as prime minister. His ZANU won 63% of the votes with ZAPU coming second with 24%!

The two national liberation movements could not work together. Sectarian violence soon started between the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANU) and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZAPU). Mugabe’s government favored his own army over that of rival ZAPU and with the conflict against Rhodesia over, thousands of guerrilla fighters were just left alone. Mugabe promised them that they would be integrated into the new Zimbabwean National Army. But ZAPU members claimed that ZANU did not treated them as equals. Angered by the slow process, some ex-guerrilla solders started to attack and murder white people, out of frustration and the fact that Mugabe kept most wealth in white hands. The murder of white farmers led to a exodus of ethnic whites from Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe did little to stop the ethnic violence. He used the terror attacks by the former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army as a excuse to purge his government of ZAPU members!

On 3 January 1983, the Mugabe government started a campaign that would eliminate ZAPU as a political force. In four years the government killed many opposition members mainly from ZAPU. In Zimbabwe this is called Gukurahundi. Responsible for the killings were the soldiers from the Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade, made up of ZANU supporters. At the end of the 1980’s, the Zimbabwean African People’s Union was destroyed. Its remnants agreed on joining with ZANU to form the Zimbabwean African National Union – Patriotic Front. Although Mugabe claimed the ex-ZAPU members would be given equal saying, the new party was in fact just ZANU under a new name!

The politics of the Mugabe government were based on African-socialism. A mixture of social conservatism and Stalinist like bureaucratic top-down management of the economy. Workers were not given any political nor economic control. Although Mugabe created a strong welfare system his governments became famous for wasteful spending. As the 1980’s ended, Zimbabwe was in deep debt. Western capitalists blamed it on socialism and told Mugabe that he must enforce austerity cuts. In 1990 the ruling caste of ZANU-PF agreed that their ”socialist” model failed. Now the government started with austerity and privatizations of state enterprises, many of them sold to top government officials who became the new capitalist class. This led to a series of strikes and demonstrations of workers, who rejected Robert Mugabe as a traitor, which he was. Police brutality was enforced and there were many clashes. By now the political system of Zimbabwe had changed from a parliamentary state to a presidential state. Mugabe became president on 22 December 1987 and introduced a presidential system. Parliament’s powers were reduced and Mugabe took the office of President of the Republic of Zimbabwe!

ZANU-PF needed to keep many ex-members of the former Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army on their side. This is why Mugabe started with massive expropriation of white farmers after the year 2000. These farm-lands were given to many former guerrilla fighters, who lacked any knowledge of farming. It resulted in the fact that the nation was forced to import food, a scandal since Zimbabwe used to be a top producer of grain. Mugabe did not cared that millions were suffering from malnutrition. Zimbabwe is ruled by fear and working class people learned not to speak out against the dicator. Meanwhile the ruling family is enjoying a luxurious life. Grace Mugabe is the (by now former) first lady of the country and an elitist bitch. Robert Mugabe was 40 years old when she was born, which means the two have a huge age gap. Their youngest son loves to spend money and is the face of this elitist family. Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe is 20 years old and not afraid to tell the world that he is a spoiled brat. His mother; Grace, even used planes from Air Zimbabwe to fly her to Paris and London, for shopping trips!

Meanwhile most workers live in poverty. This poverty is unnecessary, but in the Kingdom of Mugabe only the capitalist class and his own family enjoy luxury and wealth. In 2003 over 63% of the country was living in poverty, a huge increase from 1990 when only 25% was regarded as poor. Zimbabwe did not started as a poor country back in 1980. It is made poor because of ZANU-PF, a party is still using anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist rhetoric to claim legitimacy as a revolutionary force. But no worker in Zimbabwe truly believes that the party is socialist or leftist. Political loyalism is the main reason why many former national liberation parties remain in power. Working class people in Africa are very loyal to parties who liberated them from white supremacy. We see the same thing in South Africa and Namibia. Despite that the national liberation parties betrayed socialism and the working class, the majority of people keep voting for these pro-capitalist formations. Why? Because loyalism is a high regard in Africa!

Revolutionary Socialist Media calls on African workers not to vote for either the ANC in South Africa, SWAPO in Namibia and ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe. These political parties may have started out as socialist and revolutionary, but no socialist countries have been build by them. ANC and SWAPO choose not to introduce socialism and ZANU-PF’s version of socialism has no meaning anymore since the 1990’s. Old Mugabe has lost touch with reality. Like all long living dictators this is common. Absolute power always corrupts and Robert Mugabe is a prime example of this. His anti-imperialist rhetoric is a show as Zimbabwe has already moved towards capitalism. The American dollar and European euro are now the country’s currency after the Zimbabwean dollar collapsed in April 2009!

Working class Zimbabweans need a political force that can overthrown the state-bureaucracy of ZANU-PF. They cannot trust pro-capitalist opposition forces like the splintered: Movement for Democracy Change. In the current undemocratic climate there can be no peaceful resistance. Because the police and army have always been used by ZANU-PF and Mugabe to crush any form of opposition. This is why a revolution in Zimbabwe must be ready to use force and violence. It is foolish to think that the caste that kept Robert Mugabe in power for so long will let go of its privileges. Like the Russian ruling class of 1917, who formed the White Armies to destroy the rule of soviets, Mugabe’s circle will use force to defend its wealth. Workers need to unite in a force like the Bolshevik Party of Lenin, who was able to organize and defend the socialist revolution against counterrevolutionary terror!

What will the military do? The last reports indicate that Grace Mugabe has fled and Robert Mugabe is under house arrest. On television the soldiers claim to respect the 93 year old dictator, a man who has destroyed Zimbabwe. Mugabe is the face of inequality, corruption and oppression. He deserves nothing but our rejected and hatred. Revolutionary socialists do not side with the military, because we known that these generals and their officers all benefited from the old dictator. Police and army were always paid good by the Mugabe family. Those who carried out the coup on 15 November 2017, choose to remove the old man and put forward the exiled vice president as interim president. This 75 year old was purged by Robert Mugabe to make room for his wife, to succeed him as president and supreme leader.

It is ironic that the military choose to support former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. A man who was loyal to Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF. It seems more likely that Grace Mugabe organized the downfall of Mnangagwa. With support from ZANU-PF’s youth and woman’s wing, she was planning on becoming the next great leader. Old Robert himself is already losing his mental abilities. This is why he made sure that Grace entered the political arena in 2014. In that year she was put on ZANU-PF’s Politburo. Mnangagwa was removed to make room for Grace Mugabe, but it is now clear that the Zimbabwean National Army did not agreed with this. They feared that with the death of Robert Mugabe, his wife would keep the family in power. The generals might have supported the old man, but to pledge loyalty to Grace Mugabe was a bridge to far for this male chauvinist institution!

Marxists from the Workers And Socialist Party in South Africa call for a socialist Zimbabwe to be build.

Here we publish their positions on the events!

– Reject Mugabe! Reject the generals! No to dictatorship – civilian or military. Demand a trial of Mugabe and his cronies.

– The working class and poor must take the future of Zimbabwean society into their own hands. This demands a government of workers and small farmers. To prepare for this build mass democratic action committees of workers, youth, the unemployed, small traders and small farmers in every area to elect a transitional authority to lay the foundation for elections to a future government of workers and small farmers.

– Such a government must have a program to end low-pay, poverty and unemployment. decisions on the movement of goods, the running of services and other key decisions about the running of society Mass democratic committees of the Zimbabwean workers, small farmers and the poor to take; seize the assets of Mugabe, the generals, Zanu-PF and other regime leaders, placing them under the control of the action committees.

– Defend the people! Action committees to organise accountable and democratically controlled self-defence units to protect protests and activists from regime intimidation and violence; build action committees of rank-and-file police officers, soldiers and air personnel. Elect rank-and-file leaders and spokespeople and take no orders from regime-linked officers! Build links with the action committees of the people for a united struggle.

– No trust in the imperialist dominated anti-working class UN, AU or SADC. Build links with the working class across Southern Africa. Outside of Zimbabwe organise action committees in all Zimbabwean diaspora communities building strong links with local communities and working class and youth organisations. United struggle against xenophobia. Fight for migrants rights. Organise migrant workers in the trade union movement.

– Workers and young people to take the lead in building a mass revolutionary party to struggle for a socialist Zimbabwe.

Emmerson Mnangagwa with his former boss: Robert Mugabe.

Black facing must end

The Dutch right-wing is very angry. Because the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam have ended the black face tradition of Black Pete. This fictional character is part of the Saint Nicolas festival and is portrayed as a clumsy black painted person with black curly hair, bright red lips and golden earrings. The majority of white Dutch don’t understand why Black Pete is racism. They cannot understand why black facing is wrong. It shows the deep ignorance many have in the kingdom. Dutch history portrays their colonialist period as a ”Golden Age” with little attention given to the suffering of the 600.000 black slaves, Dutch ships transported to America. Also there is a wide spread believe that the Netherlands is a ”tolerant” society, free of racism and stigmatization, reality is different. Racism is a problem and many black Dutch have faced rejection as they fight against racial stereotypes like Black Pete.

In 2011, a Dutch man called Quinsy Gario started a small protest against the black faced character called Black Pete, during the arrival of Saint Nicolas. He and his friend were told by police to go away, as the white Dutch felt uneasy with two black guys wearing t-shirts saying: ”Black Pete is Racism”. Gario faced the anger of the majority of the Dutch population. In their world view, Black Pete is part of a ”innocent” children festival. A problem with this excuse is that the festival is designed and executed by adults. Also it does no justice to black children who face racism and rejection based on their skin color. Few to no white Dutch have ever faced racism. But many black or colored Dutch have. We have examples of Turkish and Moroccan Dutch, who are stigmatized as ”Muslim terrorists” and ”criminals”. Even Italian Dutch are called ”Muslims” by ignorant white racists because they have dark hair and a Mediterranean skin color!

In the last six years the movement against black facing is growing. This is why Amsterdam and Rotterdam have now ended the black face tradition. Members of the far-right party: Livable Rotterdam are very angry about this. Like the neo-confederates in America, who love their Confederate battle flag, Livable Rotterdam claims that tradition should not be changed. Two other far-right parties have even called for Black Pete to be protected by the state. Forum for Democracy (FvD) and the Party for Freedom (PVV) belong to the far-right spectrum. While the PVV is based on one personality (Geert Wilders), the FvD is more a classic Dutch nationalist party. With 5000 members and two seats in the Dutch parliament the FvD calls for ethnic nationalism, pseudo-liberal conservatism and white culture to rule supreme!

Still the majority of white Dutch refuse to understand. They hold dogmatically to their own fantasy about a ”innocent children’s festival” under siege by ”angry people”. With angry people they mean black activists who face outright hatred on social media for they stand against Black Pete. It reminds us of those brave Americans who united around Martin Luther King. Back in the 1960’s they too faced racism and rejected by the establishment. Whites in the south of America started to use the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of white supremacy against desegregation. Although the Dutch cannot be called pure racists like those white southerns in the 60’s, they close their eyes to racism. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to Black Pete, even as a white person. Because this character is very loved. To say that it is racist and wrong, means that you can be excluded and isolated. There are many Dutch (both white and black) who don’t dare to speak out!

Why are the Dutch so ignorant? Partly this has to do with their history. Dutch people have never confronted themselves with their colonialist past. Schoolbooks in the Netherlands portray the colonialist period as a ”Golden Age”, when ships of the United Republic of the Seven Provinces made the country rich by trade. They fail to mention that all this wealth was taken by force. Jan Pieterszoon Coen was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies between 1618 and 1623. In only four years, Coen monopolized the trade under the banner of the capitalist; VOC, the Dutch East India Company in Indonesia. He used brutal force in dealing with those natives who refused to sell their products to him. During the Banda massacre in 1621, VOC forces under Coen’s leadership killed 14.000 peasants and allowed 1.000 to live, to become slaves to their white masters. Jan Pieterszoon Coen himself died young, but was hailed as a ”Great Dutch Man” by the republic and the later Kingdom of the Netherlands. Today the butcher of Banda still has statues and name plates, honoring him in his homeland!

There has never been massive public criticism of Dutch colonialism. The only ones who rejected imperialism were revolutionary leftists. Marxists from the Social-Democratic Party (after 1918: Communist Party Holland) were one of the first who called for a independent Indonesia. Dutch liberals, conservatives and anti-revolutionary socialists were furious. They said that if the Netherlands would lose Indonesia (Dutch Indies) then disaster would follow. A popular saying back then was: ”Indië verloren, rampspoed geboren” meaning: ”Indies lost. disaster born” literally. After 1918, the Communist Party Holland became the leading force of Dutch anti-colonialism in the 20’s and 30’s. Still most Dutch were cultural racist and considered European culture to be superior to Asian cultures. The Dutch did not differ much from British, French and German colonialism, who also shared this racist ideology of white cultural supremacy!

After world war two the Dutch government of Catholics and social democrats faced a republican uprising in Indonesia. To defend Dutch colonialism, Willem Drees ordered the Royal Dutch Army to crush the republicans in Indonesia. Four years and 150.000 deaths later, Indonesia became a free republic. The Dutch choose to forget and this is why black facing has never been questioned. Black Dutch who tried to fight against racism often faced outright hatred and deep rejection from white colleges, friends and the establishment. White Dutch created a fictional bubble of a country that does not exist. In this bubble there is no racism and all people are equal and happy. Reality is different. Dutch capitalists discriminate against none-whites and rejection based on heritage is a fact. Young people with a Islamic background often find out that their name is enough not to be given a job. Black people from Suriname also face discrimination on the labour market!

Each year Saint Nicolas comes, with his army of black faced white people. Opposition is however growing and this makes the establishment uncomfortable. Police brutality has increased since 2011 and racist remarks against black activists are no longer exceptional. On Facebook and Twitter there is a wave of hatred going, against people like Quinsy Gario. He recently said that (white) people start to defend Black Pete automatically as soon as he enters a store with Saint Nicolas and Black Pete products. The Dutch political left remains silent. Moderate socialists from the Socialist Party are too afraid to lose voters, so the SP does not comment on Black Pete. The pseudo-leftist; Party of Labour defends black face, so does the Party for Freedom and Democracy (neoliberals of the VVD). Revolutionary socialists stand in solidarity with all those brave black activists who dare to defy the icon. We stand against black facing and reject the fantasy arguments on why Black Pete is not racism!

 

Russian Revolution 1917-2017

The three books called: ”The History of the Russian Revolution” were written by Leon Trotsky in 1930, just one year after his deportation from the Soviet-Union. In three volumes (1040 pages total) Trotsky tells you the story of ”October” as it happened. While Stalin removed Trotsky from Soviet history books, the capitalists of the world claimed that the events of 1917 led directly to stalinism. Trotsky responded to these lies in his book: ”The Revolution Betrayed” (1936) in which he brilliantly showed how the USSR degenerated into a monster, that only dropped its communist facade on 25 December 1991!

Paradise Papers, again we knew

Again we learn about how the superrich try to evade taxes. The Panama Papers showed what revolutionary socialists said for a long time. Capitalists, monarchs, presidents and superrich use tax heavens to evade taxation. After the disclosure of the Panama Papers, revolutionary socialists knew that nothing would change. The ruling class would not change anything that harms their eternal greed. Now a new disclosure and again we learn about famous rich people and their dirty tricks to evade taxes. This new revelations are called the Paradise Papers!

Catalan independence lasted only a weekend

The Catalan Republic, the hope of millions is death. Betrayed by its leaders and now fully under Spanish control from Madrid. Government workers did not resist the hostile takeover and president Carles Puigdemont is said to have fled towards Belgium. His Catalan European Democratic Party has agreed to participate in the Spanish controlled elections of 21 December. Meanwhile Madrid has taken direct control and can now unleash its revenge, on those who supported the declaration of independence. Millions of Catalan workers who hoped for a free Catalonia ended up betrayed by Madrid and those bourgeois nationalists, who remained passive and allowed their young republic to be taken over!

Revolutionary socialists feared this would happen and we were right. Not only the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) is to blame, the Republican Left of Catalonia also gave up the fight. It was a member of this party who dissolved the Catalan parliament on the orders of Madrid. The anti-capitalists of the Popular Unity Candidacy were the only ones left who are still willing to fight. But what can they do? The parliament is dissolved, the president has fled and the Spanish imperialists have taken control. It remains to be see how effective Spanish rule will be until 21 December. One thing is sure, this is a major boost for the anti-independence camp. They can portray the whole declaration of 27 October to be a ”foolish play”!

Catalonia lost is autonomy and its independence, because those who declared it were too cowardly to fight the conservative government in Madrid. Elections in late December can result in a anti-independence victory. Because many pro-independence figures and politicians might be in jail or underground. The Spanish state has already started an investigation into the ”illegal” declaration of independence by Carles Puigdemont. In danger are also members of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and those of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP). Spain can order the dissolution of these parties on the grounds that they stood against the 1978 constitution of the Kingdom of Spain. With the PDeCAT, ERC and CUP banned, the anti-independence camp can easily win the elections. We might see a victory of the Party of the Citizens, a pro-capitalist Spanish-unionist party!

Many pro-independence supporters might experience disillusion and defeatism, now that the Spanish government has taken control of their republic. The unwillingness of Carles Puigdemont to order the Catalan police to defend the republic, proofs why he and his cabinet are not the right politicians for a free Catalonia. Working class Catalonians must build a party of their own. As revolutionary socialists said before, the parties of capitalism have not been able to defend the Catalan Republic. They capitulated as cowards before Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish leader who unleashed police brutality, removed their autonomy, dissolved the Catalan parliament and now has taken direct control. The PDeCAT and ERC may still have this illusion that they can win a majority at the elections in late December. This seems unlikely now that the independence camp has done little to keep Spanish imperialism out!

CUP must build the resistance and fight against the hostile takeover. They must proof to the working class that they are the party that stands for a socialist Catalonia. A Catalan Socialist Republic in opposition to capitalism, the Kingdom of Spain and the European Union. No alliances with PDeCAT and ERC, because the bourgeois nationalists tried and failed. Their Catalan Republic is death and Madrid will not allow it to be rebuild. The only chance of building a independent Catalonia, is to win over a clear majority for independence under socialism. This is the only way Spain can be defeated. It remains to be seen how much freedom CUP is given. As a radical pro-independence party it broke the 1978 monarchist constitution of Spain. The new rulers in Barcelona can order the dissolution of the Popular Unity Candidacy and the confiscation of its assents. All possible under the right-wing regime of Mariano Rajoy!

 

Madrid now controls Catalonia.

For Catalonia, socialism is the only way towards true independence

The new Catalan Republic is deeply divided about independence. This is because many are not sure if their lives will improve as a independent nation. Newspapers of the ruling class and those linked to liberal, conservative and social democratic political parties are very active in creating a very negative picture about a Catalonia free from Spain. Meanwhile the capitalists are already starting a economic boycott and capital flight is in process. Unless the working class takes control away from pro-capitalist figures like Carles Puigdemont, the young republic will be overrun by Spanish imperialism!

Madrid is wasting no time. Article 155 is in force and the Catalan government has been officially dissolved. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont remains very vague as ever and has not shown revolutionary strength. This weakens the pro-independence movement as the opposition to Catalan independence is growing. On 29 October 2017, more then 300.000 marched in Barcelona against the Catalan Republic. These are Catalonians who wish to be part of the Kingdom of Spain. Most of them are working class people, anti-nationalists, liberals, conservatives and social democrats. Revolutionary socialists stand with those who reject Spanish imperialism and the coup carried out by Madrid. This does not mean that we support Puigdemont. We want a Catalonia under control of working class people, not right-wing pro-capitalist nationalists like Puigdemont and his Catalan European Democratic Party!

Monday is the big moment. Then we will see how strong the government workers in Catalonia truly are. Spain has dissolved the government of Carles Puigdemont and appointed Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría as leader of the Catalan region. She is a member of the right-wing: People’s Party (PP), the party that came out of Franco’s fascist supporters mixed with Catholic conservatives and pro-market forces in 1989. The PP is the main party of austerity and the voice of conservatism, catholicism and Spanish nationalism. If government workers of the Catalan Republic are truly loyal to independence they must reject Sáenz de Santamaría and her minions. Meanwhile the anti-independence forces are getting stronger. Fear is what keeps many Catalans from supporting independence. They think that their country is better off inside Spain. These people have zero class consciousness and do not understand, that the act of rebellion against Madrid is part of a revolutionary mood against austerity and capitalism. A capitalist Catalonia is indeed no alternative, therefore only socialism is the way forward!

If the masses do not take power for themselves, then it is possible that the supporters of Puigdemont will capitulate before Sáenz de Santamaría and her master: Mariano Rajoy Brey. The head of the Catalan police has already been fired and the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) remained passive. This is dangerous as 18.000 officers are the only thing that stand between Spain and political power in Catalonia. If the Mossos d’Esquadra does not intervene to save the Catalan Republic, then Puigdemont and many revolutionary leftists inside the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) face arrest and possible long prison sentences. The anti-independence movement is already calling for the arrests of those who declared Catalonia independent!

Workers need to understand that socialism is the way forward. This vital for the survival of the Catalan Republic. A workers party on a socialist party is needed, now more then ever. If Madrid is able to take power, it will destroy the Catalan Republic. New elections under Spanish control will strengthen the anti-independence movement and they might win. Should this scenario happen then the dreams of millions will be shattered. Trade unionists, socialists and activists will be very disillusioned. The anti-independence propaganda will proclaim that Catalonia does not want to be free from Spain and that the forces of ”reason” have won. This outcome is possible as many Catalonians are not supportive of the Catalan Republic, a result of the inability of the pro-independence camp to provide a clear (socialist) alternative to Madrid. Bourgeois nationalists like Puigdemont wrongly think that their Catalan Republic can join the European Union. This has already been rejected as Brussels stand with the Kingdom of Spain. Many opponents also fear a economic crisis as capitalists move businesses away. This fear is justified and can only be countered with socialist politics in favor of workers!

This is why working class people must take power for themselves. Puigdemont and his supporters are loyal to capitalist law, they wish to build a Catalonia that remains part of the neoliberal economy of Europe. Because of this many have already rejected the Catalan European Democratic Party during the last elections in 2015. Back then the bourgeois Catalan nationalists lost -4,8% of their voters. The anti-independence Party of the Citizenry gained a lot of support after that election. They are now the biggest voice of Spanish nationalism against the Catalan Republic. Although far weaker, the People’s Party of Catalonia and the Socialists Party of Catalonia should not be underestimated. These anti-independence Catalonians are able to rally many. This is why the revolutionary independence movement must be ready to defend their republic. Civic disobedience is one thing, but if Spain is using force then violence is the only way to defend independence!

Although Puigdemont  is calling for none-violence, his unwillingness to defend what he just build can lead to ruin for millions. If the Americans had remained pacifist and did not fought the British imperialists, then there would not have been a USA today. The same can be said about Lenin in 1917. If the Bolsheviks had not organized the Red Army to defend the soviets, then the White Armies and their western allies would have triumphed in the Russian civil war. Catalan workers in the government are now in the spot light. Will they defend the Catalan Republic? Or submit to Sáenz de Santamaría? An un-elected official send by Madrid, to take control over all government institutions. Revolutionary socialists advice to openly reject her and anybody send by Spain. Santamaría is not welcome in Catalonia and must be rejected!

The capitalist media of Europe is not positive about the new republic. Most major newspapers side with Madrid and warn Catalonia, that they risk economic downfall if they do not fall back in line of capitalism. This blackmailing is typical and only shows why only a Catalan Socialist Republic has any chance of staying alive. The Popular Unity Candidacy need to push for a socialist program, which is difficult as they are the only ones who are anti-capitalist. The Catalan sections of Podemos and United Left (Spanish Communist Party) do not support independence and have called for dialog with Madrid. Podemos and United Left fail to understand the revolutionary momentum. Their unwillingness to support a socialist Catalonia proofs the ideological weakness of these leftist populist parties!

Article 155 of the Spanish monarchist constitution was written by Franco’s supporters, to prevent Catalonia from ever becoming a independent nation. These conservatives mixed with fascists, catholics and Spanish nationalists wanted a Spain that remained traditionalist. Therefore a kingdom was created with Juan Carlos as the first king. Franco had appointed this Carlos in 1969 as his successor. With the death of the fascist dictator in 1975, Spain became a constitutional kingdom under Juan Carlos. It would take another two years before the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and Spanish Communist Party (PCE) were legalized. The conservative ruling class did not wanted to give freedom of speech to leftists and pro-republicans. After two years of debates and negotiations, the PSOE and PCE agreed on supporting the 1978 constitution. This was a major betrayal of socialist-republican thinking by both the social democrats (PSOE) and stalinists (PCE)!

Catalonia is now at a crossroad. Anti-independence supporters are growing in numbers. Some out of fear for their future, others because they support the crown and the Kingdom of Spain. Young opponents of the Catalan Republic say that they are anti-nationalist and call for unity. It is however not very anti-nationalist to wave with Spanish flags and declaring your loyalist to a king and country that is actively trying to limit democratic rights. Also the pro-independence camp is not nationalist, despite what the capitalist media is saying. Those who support the Catalan Republic do not see themselves superior to Spain, they reject Madrid because of its forced austerity. Opposition to capitalism and its unequal distribution of wealth is a big part of the struggle for independence. Catalonia is said to be this rich region of Spain. In reality, most wealth is centralized in a tiny minority. This elitist minority is living off the work of millions. Almost 20% of all Catalan workers do not earn enough to enjoy what is called the ”good” things in life. 20% is close to 1,5 million people living in relative poverty in ”rich” Catalonia!

What must be done? Revolutionary Socialist Media argues for the complete nationalization of all banks and financial institutions. These must be brought under state-ownership. Then capital flight must be stopped and any company that wants to move out is to be taken over. Workers play a key part here. They must organize the takeover and build their own management. No state bosses are to replace capitalist bosses. Workers can organize and manage themselves. Bureaucratic state control is not the right way. Self management by working people is. Only if the institutions of capitalism are take-over can the Catalan Republic survive. If not then this young state will do down very fast and might not live to see 2018!