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!

 

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CIA killers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A more representative emblem for the CIA.

The Soviet Army

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A regime you can call: Czarism with Stalinist characteristics!

Царизм со сталинскими характеристиками

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Swedish far-right wins big

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Howick and Lili

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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School children in support of Howick and Lili

Croatia: Workers reject EU privatizations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Solidarity with the Jasic Technology factory workers

Revolutionary Socialist Media gives full support to the striking workers at the Jasic Technology factory in Shenzhen China. Class struggle is growing now that Chinese workers dare to fight back against the capitalist class and their supporters in the Chinese ‘’Communist’’ Party (CCP). The reaction from Xi Jinping is what we expected. The police arrested many strike leaders, among them is Shen Mengyu. She was eating diner when the regimes security forces took her by force into an unmarked car. Nobody has heard from Shen since 11 August. What makes her special is that Shen is a Maoist, a supporter of Mao Zedong and a critic of the CCP regime. Her arrest shows that even supporters of Mao are not free to criticize the state-capitalist government!

It all started in July this year, when 1.000 workers of the Jasic Technology factory in Shenzhen decided to set up an independent trade union. Free trade unions are not allowed in the People’s Republic of China. All workers are required to join the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. 300 million Chinese are members, but this ‘’trade union federation’’ is a state controlled entity. It works to keep the workers in line with the state-capitalist politics of the Chinese ‘’Communist’’ Party. A trade union leader does not answer to the workers, but to the capitalist boss/state manager of his/her place of work. It is his/her job to direct the orders from the top to the workers at the bottom. Because Chinese workers are not free to choose their own leaders, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions is rejected by the International Trade Union Confederation as as tool of the Chinese working class!

The workers in Shenzhen said NO to their official union ‘’representatives’’ and decided to set up a free trade union. This is not what the bosses of the Jasic Technology factory wish to see. So they asked for government help. It turns out that Jasic Technology has a close relationship with local ‘’communist’’ party leaders in the Pingshan district of Shenzhen. The regime reacted swiftly and arrested key strike leaders such as Shen Mengyu and Xiao Hu. This is why Revolutionary Socialist Media gives full attention to the brave strike. Because the world capitalist media ignores the struggle of Chinese workers completely. They rather focus on ‘’communist’’ leader Xi Jinping and how ‘’communist’’ China actually is. Workers at Jasic Technology know better. Like the millions who work for low wages, they know that their country is not socialist. A true socialist China would give political and economic to the working class. However the CCP regime is not Marxist, it is state-capitalist and works very hard to support local capitalists like those of the Jasic Technology factory in supressing workers’ rights!

Chinaworker.info reported that the owner of Jasic Technology is a CCP member and delegate at Shenzhen People’s Congress, the local chapter of the pseudo-parliament of China. The owner is not the only one who is both a CCP member and a delegate. Jasic’s personal manager is also part of the CCP bureaucracy, both are delegates in the Shenzhen People’s Congress. This exposes the close connection between the Chinese ‘’Communist’’ Party and local capitalists in China. 30 workers have been detained since the strike started in July. 17 remain arrested as of 23 August 2018. Those who have been released report of violence and torture by the security police. Again this is no surprise. The security police is a brutal tool of the state-capitalist regime and has no regard for the democratic rights of workers. Their agents are hard-core nationalists, drilled to be uncritical supporters of the government. This is why RSM has often compared the current People’s Republic of China to the old nationalist regime of Chiang-Kai-Shek. As the CCP turned to the right-wing, it became ideological close to the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party). It is ironic to see that the Chinese ‘’Communist’’ Party has become what it fought against, in the Chinese civil war of 1927-1949!

Revolutionary Socialist Media supports the demands of Chinaworker.info and calls for the release of Shen Mengyu and Xiao Hu. We demand free and independent trade unions for workers and a socialist China under management of its working class, not a corrupt state-capitalist single party system. Western governments will not be our allies. They are puppets of capitalists like the owners of Jasic Technology. Solidarity must come from workers themselves. Because western countries have huge economic interests in China. They know that their donors are exploiting millions of Chinese to enrich themselves. This is why the European Union and the United States will never do anything for the oppressed. Their interests are capitalist interests and do not serve the needs of ordinary people. The brave strike in Shenzhen proofs that class struggle is building. Xi Jinping cannot hide the fact that his regime is not as stable has he wants others to think. Chinese workers will fight and if united by a true Marxist leadership, they could overthrow the CCP and the rotten capitalist system it supports!

 

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Rising costs of living

As Trump lowers the taxes on the super rich in the USA, European governments are rising taxes on working class families. The Netherlands has increased its sale tax of products from 19% to 21% in recent years. Next year the right-wing government of Mark Rutte will raise the lowest tax tariff on essential products, from 6% to 9%. This austerity measure will force working class families to spend another 300 euros a year extra on basic human needs. Meanwhile, profits have been huge for those who own our economy. The Irish budget airliner; Ryanair, reported to have made one billion euros in profits. Still the airliner is one of the worst in Europe, when it comes to fair wages. Its pilots are not allowed to form unions and the management of Ryanair is operating under a totalitarian culture!

Capitalist inequality is causing anger and conflict. The problem remains that many workers do not understand that capitalism is the cause. Many are blaming migrants, the political establishment and even leftists. Now it is true that the (capitalist) political establishment is working very hard to serve the ruling class. But working class people must understand that their enemy is the capitalist class as a collective. Under the influence of right-wing populists, migrant workers and leftists are blamed for the rising costs of living. The reality is that neither migrants nor leftists control the economy of this world, capitalists however due. They control what is produced and claim all the profits working class people create. Also the ruling class owns and controls the media and what is reported. Socialist mass-media does not exist, there are no television networks promoting genuine socialism (a workers democracy) in America, Europe, Africa and Asia!

Why are wages stagnating in the USA? Partly because of the low trade union work. American workers have been drilled by the right-wing, not to join trade unions and fight for their salaries. A divided working class can be much easier controlled then a unified one. American workers have been told that unions only work in the interests of those at the top. This is why revolutionary socialists demand that trade union officials are paid only the average wage of a worker in their branch. Capitalists like Donald Trump always said that unions harm business. Owners don’t like paying fair wages, because they want to keep all the money for themselves. This is why unions are needed, because win-out them most workers would be defenseless against the might of the ruling class. Class struggle is what caused a rise in salaries and wealth. The right-wing may deny this, but it is true. In the late 1970’s, a major offensive started to destroy trade unionism. Republicans and Democrats have worked side by side to accomplish this. Now only 7% of all workers in the private sector are unionized!

The offensive to weaken class struggle is also happening in Europe. With the betrayal of social democracy, many unions lost the support of working class people. Social democrats have enjoyed almost unlimited support from trade unions, many of them are union leaders. Since many social democrats now support austerity and capitalist barbarism, it is understandable that fewer workers join unions that are dominated by members of (right-wing) social democratic parties. Revolutionary socialists also think that the unwillingness of union leaders to fight for workers’ rights is causing a decline in membership. It is ironic that the International Monetary Fund has concluded that the stagnation of American wages is a direct result of the drop in trade union membership. The absence of a workers party on a socialist program might also explain this. American workers do not have a political force of their own. To strengthen the movement towards socialism, working class people need organizations that fights for their interests. Trade unions and a workers party are vital to build a socialist future!

It is said that the market can plan and produce anything way better then society. That is what Fox News is broadcasting each day. The right-wing propaganda network is famous for spreading the ideology and line of the Republican Party. Donald Trump is praised by many on the network for his capitalist politics that favor the 1%. Because those you see on Fox News are rich and part of the establishment. Like Trump they own millions of U.S dollars. This is why they are on the side of the far-right president and hail the tax cuts on the rich. Anchors like Sean Hannity do not know what it is like, to live on an income that is less than 30.000 U.S dollars a year. Another country that is experiencing a economic crisis is Turkey. The Turkish lira (currency) is in a downfall, losing almost 10% of its value. Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded with nationalist rhetoric and blames others. The right-wing leader destroyed the last remnants of Turkish democracy by creating an atmosphere of fear. By 2018, freedom of speech has been fully eliminated. Only supporters of Turkish nationalism and the conservative AK Party are allowed to speak out. Erdogan has not only created a Russian style presidential dictatorship, he is also bringing economic ruin to Turkey!

Ten years after the economic crisis of 2008, capitalism has not solved anything. It has forced workers to pay for the crisis they created. The ruling class claims that all must suffer when in reality only one class truly is hurt. Yes, new jobs are created. But these are low-paid jobs with no real hope of a decent living. Americans and European workers now starting to face conditions that are normal in eastern Europe. Capitalism there created so much inequality that many have tried to flee to ”wealthier” western European nations. Eastern Europeans who tried to build up a new live in the west face racism, discrimination and outright rejection by working class people, who have been misled and brainwashed into thinking that job-loss is the fault of the migrant worker from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Poland. In the absence of genuine socialist parties, right-wing populists with their pseudo-anti-establishment rhetoric, have won many votes from workers. However the capitalist system cannot hide its failure to provide. Wages are stagnating and the cost of living is rising. Western Europeans will realize this too. Greeks are among the first who now experience mass poverty. 60% of all Greek workers face financial difficulty thanks to the austerity regime of Alexis Tsipras. Behind them are the Spanish, who’s social democratic minority government will not change anything regarding the absolute rule of capitalism!

Despite the betrayal of social democracy and the collapse of Stalinist ”communism”, the workers movement can fight back. Its only needs to look beyond those who still support either the social democratic parties or the (now deeply reformist) communist parties. Genuine socialism is not about more government and less market (social democracy) or an absolute state monolith controlled by an elitist caste. Only in Russia are the communist parties stupid enough to glorify the Stalinist period. Workers do not win anything when old Stalinist dinosaurs like Gennady Zyuganov stand proudly next to oligarch boss; Vladimir Putin in singing the nationalist Russian anthem. In the Czech Republic the communist party openly support a capitalist government and in Nepal the newly NCP is ruling like a typical bourgeois political party. It proofs that we cannot trust any communist party that still calls itself Marxist-Leninist. Because this only shows that they are willing to work with the ruling class. Revolutionary socialists call for the formation of parties that can remove capitalism and replace it with actual democratic socialism, not social democracy. Democracy in the economy means a system of decentralized planning. This can be done by nationalizing the top 500 companies that control the wealth of each country. You be surprised how much wealth is controlled by so few capitalist enterprises!

 

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Last days of Assange?

The days of relative freedom for Julian Assange might be over. President Lenin Moreno and the PAIS Alliance in Ecuador have moved to the right-wing and now wish to undue the populist changes carried out by Rafael Correa (called the Chavez of Ecuador). It is reported that Moreno is willing to expel Julian Assange from his embassy in London. The founder of Wikileaks was given protection here under the previous Ecuadorian government. However Correa is now a wanted man as right-wing forces took over the PAIS Alliance. In May 2017, Lenin Moreno won the presidency and made clear that he was a typical capitalist president. Relationships with the USA were also improved as Ecuador agreed on buying U.S made military hardware in June 2018! 

Lenin Moreno is named after Vladimir Lenin by his Marxist parents. However the actions of Moreno proof that he does not support socialism. This also counts for the PAIS Alliance, which is moving to the right-wing. Under Rafael Correa the party was supportive of what it called ”socialism in the 21st century”. Now the PAIS Alliance is talking about ”social democracy for the 21st century”. The official right-wing in Ecuador can be very happy. Conservatives who are united in the ”Creating Opportunities” (CREO) party welcome the abandonment of socialist ideas by the PAIS Alliance. The last elections were good for the conservatives. They won more seats and although CREO lost the presidential election, they have positioned themselves as the main opposition party. In parliament, the PAIS Alliance is still enjoying a majority. This is because the working class of Ecuador trusted them over the right-wing CREO. But this trust can end by this move to the right!

Julian Assange is living in the London embassy of Ecuador since August 2012. The founder of Wikileaks is regarded as a obstacle by Moreno, who wishes to improve relationships with the USA. It is therefore very possible that Assange is sacrificed. Let us not forget that America wishes to jail him, because Wikileaks exposed the war-crimes of American imperialism in Iraq. It was Wikileaks who showed the world how a American helicopter opened fire on a civilians in Baghdad, killing innocent Iraq’s like Namir Noor-Eldeen, a photographer. After the first attack, the Americans opened fire on a civilian car that tried to get the wounded to a hospital. The video of the attack was leaked by Wikileaks thanks to Chelsea Manning, a U.S Army soldier. Washington DC was not happy with the leaks and Manning was arrested and jailed until 2017. Revolutionary socialists have supported both Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Despite that Sweden dropped the sexual assault charges, Assange still fears that Sweden will extradite him to the USA. The British could also do this, since the right-wing government of Theresa May is allied to the far-right presidency of Donald Trump, who has shown to have a total disregard for the rule of law!

2018 might be the year in which Ecuador expels Assange from its embassy. This despite the fact that he has the Ecuadorian nationality and is a citizen of the Republic of Ecuador. Revolutionary socialists know that president Moreno is not a leftist. Therefore we are concerned that Assange might be in serious trouble. Wikileaks exposes the cruel reality that is the capitalist system and how those who benefit from it, choose to ignore the law. American and European imperialism hate whistle-blowers. Every capitalist boss does not like it when a worker expose his/her dirty secrets. In both the west and east, state governments serve their ruling classes in suppressing whistle-blowers. Even ”democratic” western countries have little to no protection for people who wish to expose the true face of capitalism. Wikileaks is one way to show the world why we must abolish capitalism and replace it with genuine democratic socialism. Revolutionary Socialist Media therefore supports whistle-blowers, because they are our moral compass. Win-out them many dirty secrets of the ruling class will forever be unknown. We know that there must be many more things capitalism does not want the proletariat to see.

Hero’s like Julian Assange need our protection and support.

 

UN Panel Rules That Wikileaks Founder Is Arbitrarily Detained

Julian Assange is living in the Ecuadorian embassy for six years now!

The betrayal of the African liberation parties

Africa has undergo economic growth. By opening up their markets to western capitalists, some African nations have indeed grown. But the cost is terrible, mass inequality is the result of deregulation and privatizations, yet the ones in power are those who claimed to be anti-capitalist in the 1960’s/1970’s. From the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola to the Mozambique Liberation Front, the African National Congress (South Africa) and the Party of the Revolution (Tanzania). All of them once claimed to stand for a system of socialism and rejected the western capitalist model. By 2018 however, all of them betrayed their socialist ideology and now embrace neoliberalism and capitalism. In a way they are the parties of the ruling class, which makes them right-wing!

African workers have been betrayed by parties like MPLA (Angola), FRELIMO (Mozambique), ANC (South Africa) and CCM (Tanzania). The president of Angola until last year was José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled from 1979 to 2017. Because of massive fraud the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) is able to win all elections. Angola is not a democracy, despite the changes of 1992 which allowed for a multiparty democracy to be build. The ex-Stalinist MPLA however never intended to play fair or democratic. Their members have used the state to intimidate and imprison democracy activists and those critical of MPLA rule. Between 1956 and 1991, the party was loyal to Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism). It fought a brutal civil war with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which was supported by the United States for its anticommunism. As the end of stalinism came closer, the MPLA abandoned its socialist facade and embraced ”social democracy” (officially) as its new ideology. All references to Marx and Lenin were silently removed from the party’s history books. President José Eduardo dos Santos then embraced the IMF and the World Bank. Next to being the absolute ruler he is also a capitalist exploiter, owning a lot of companies who grew very fast in the 1990’s as a result of economic liberalization. Working class Angolans however suffer poverty. 68% is reported to be living below the poverty line of less then two dollars a day!

The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola today plays on populism and its role as a national liberation party to stay in power. They also use fear and intimidation as weapons against any criticism. Anybody who does not support the MPLA is called a ”traitor” and will find it difficult to find work. In 2017, the president announced that he would resign as state leader. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço was selected by him to be the next Angolan president. However this does not mean that Angola is free from Santos, as he remains chairman of the MPLA . Also his children are holding vital government positions, making the Santos family very powerful. This nepotism is very common in Africa. The new president is educated in the USSR. He used to study at the Lenin Higher Academy, where he furthered his military training and completed a master’s degree in Historical Sciences. Despite calling himself a loyal ”Marxist-Leninist”, João Lourenço today is a typical corrupt capitalist leader. It proofs the complete betrayal of socialist principals by the MPLA. During the civil war with UNITA, the People’s Republic of Angola was supported by Fidel Castro. It is ironic that the Cubans ordered many of their soldiers to fight and die for a party that betrayed Marxism as soon as the Cold War was over. After the Angolan stalinists became ”social democrats” (in name only) they renamed the nation into Republic of Angola and removed all socialist references from the constitution. Today only the flag and emblem are remnants of what the MPLA claimed to support, a socialist Angola!

Socialism plays no role in Angola. It never has in the period of the people’s republic and certainly does not today, in the era of Angolan capitalism. Despite the massive socialist propaganda in the past against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the MPLA today is a corrupt bourgosie party. They support only themselves and the new capitalist class, which is made up of people like José Eduardo dos Santos and João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço. All genuine socialists must fully reject the MPLA as a party of class traitors. However the former class enemy of this national liberation party is now suddenly very friendly. The criminal USA (who provided arms to the anticommunists of UNITA) is now supportive of the Angolan government. They dumped the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola as soon as the MPLA embraced capitalism and austerity. Because of its massive human rights abuses, the Angolan government under Santos hired a U.S company to lobby inside American politics. 675,000 dollars were paid each year to Samuels International Associates starting in 2008. In return this company would improve Angola’s global image and facilitate meetings with senior U.S. officials. This is how the corrupt MPLA got America on its side, by paying money to lobbyists. Revolutionary socialists are not surprised. Until 1991, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola relied on the USSR for weapons and financial support. After the Stalinist empire collapsed, they needed new allies. The IMF was to be that new ally and José Eduardo dos Santos was willing to betray the whole ideology on which the struggle against colonialism and imperialism was based on!

Another class traitor in line is Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique between 1986 and 2005. Like that corrupt scum in Angola, Chissano hails from a party much like the MPLA. Mozambique and Angola used to be Portuguese colonies until 1975. The national liberation parties had to fight almost 20 years to gain independence. In the 1950’s, Portugal was a right-wing dictatorship (supported by the USA). It was led by António de Oliveira Salazar. This far-right conservative dictator had much in common with Franco, but he was less a fascist. Unlike fascism in Italy or nazism in Germany, Salazar was a traditionalist, who supported the Portuguese capitalist class and loved the Catholic Church. Between 1932 and 1975, the regime he founded was named Estado Novo (New State). However after Salazar died in 1968, the Estado Novo started to crumble. On 25 April 1975, the Portuguese army staged a coup and ended the legacy of Salazar. Socialism could have been build as the military was not hostile to this idea. However both the socialist party and communist party were too sectarian. The socialists refused to carry out a revolution and the communists saw themselves as the only genuine revolutionary force. Angola and Mozambique were given their independence. The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) founded the People’s Republic of Mozambique, a Stalinist single party state!

Like many African stalinists, FRELIMO believed that they could build socialism in one country. Those who criticized their brutal methods were arrested and jailed as ”counterrevolutionaries”. Over 300.000 white Portuguese left the country as they feared the revolutionary politics of FRELIMO. This resulted in the fact that Mozambique lost the only group of people who had any knowledge on how to run a nation. The black working class was backward and not educated by the whites. FRELIMO knew how to fight a guerrilla war, but its members were not intellectuals who could teach. Their incompetence and mismanagement of the economy alienated many workers and peasants. It resulted in the formation of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). This anticommunist resistance movement received public and military support from the two biggest racist nations of Africa: South Africa and Rhodesia. These white supremacist countries supported RENAMO because of its anticommunism. Those who fought for the Mozambican National Resistance did not seem to care that they got their weapons from regimes that regarded blacks as inferior. Meanwhile the civil war between communists and anticommunists was brutal, over 500.000 are reported to have died between 1975 and 1990. Both FRELIMO and RENAMO committed massive crimes like mass killing, rape and mutilation of non-combatants during terrorist raids on villages and towns, the use of child soldiers, forced labour and sexual violence!

In 1986, the plane of FRELIMO leader Samora Machel crashed. Machel was the first president of Mozambique and a strong believer in Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism). His death resulted in the rise of Joaquim Chissano, who was willing to betray the Marxist-Leninist line of the party. By the late 1980’s, Chissano and the Mozambique Liberation Front came to see the ideas of Marx and Lenin as ”outdated for the contemporary world”. With the collapse of the Soviet-Union and the end of Apartheid on the horizon, FRELIMO and RENAMO agreed on ending the civil war. A new constitution removed all socialist references. The People’s Republic Mozambique was to become the Republic of Mozambique. At the same time the Mozambique Liberation Front started to rewrite its own history books. Their struggle against Portuguese colonialism was already heavily mythologized, now the party’s leadership wanted all memories of Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism) gone. The new history of FRELIMO told of a national liberation party that fought the Portuguese and gave Mozambique its independence, the whole part about socialism was scrapped. Joaquim Chissano then made ”social democracy” (officially) the new ideology on paper. Because by 1990, FRELIMO had capitulated to international capitalism. Chissano was supported by Margret Thatcher and the western imperialist world for his rejection of communist ideas!

FRELIMO won the first multiparty elections in 1994. However like Angola, the nation has not become a true democracy. This is because the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front keeps up a facade, elections are not fair. Mozambique is however more free compared to Angola. Still this has not resulted in a stable political climate. Chissano left the office of president in 2005. He had finished his work of transforming his nation from a Stalinist state into a capitalist one. For revolutionary socialists there is no doubt, Chissano is a class traitor like Santos of Angola. In 2016, FRELIMO and RENAMO resumed their conflict. 3.000 people fled the country as members of both parties started to fight each other once again. 200 have been killed and 15.000 displaced. In May 2018, Afonso Dhlakama died. He was the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) since 1979 and the official opposition face. Ossufo Momad (his successor) went into hiding as he fears for his life. Meanwhile the country is led by Filipe Nyusi. He was elected president in 2015. Nyusi is a typical capitalist president, despite coming from a (former) leftist party!

Most western people know very little about Angola and Mozambique. This is because the media of America and Europe gave very little attention to the struggle against Portuguese colonialism and the civil wars. However in South Africa there was much more media attention. This was thanks to Nelson Mandela, the icon of the struggle against Apartheid and leader of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela used to be a socialist. However by the time he was released by the racist South African government in 1990, he had converted to capitalism. The victory of the ANC at the 1994 elections did not end the massive inequality or poverty among the majority of black workers. Worse, the Mandela period (1994-1998) changed almost nothing for the average black worker. Still they idealized him as their liberator, but only for the period in which he was jailed. Nelson Mandela does not deserve their respect for what he failed to do as president of South Africa. His unwillingness to build socialism resulted in the fact that most whites kept all the wealth of the country. The Freedom Charter of 1955 clearly said that: ”The People Shall Share In The Country’s Wealth”. This included: The banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole. Mandela simply choose to ignore these vital ideas. Why? Because that was the deal he made with the whites in 1990 to get out of jail!

The ANC today is a corrupt capitalist party. However unlike the MPLA and FRELIMO it was never Marxist-Leninist (Stalinist). The official South African Communist Party (SACP) is part of a ANC led political alliance called the Tripartite Alliance. Together with the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the SACP is little more then a puppet of the African National Congress. The communist party itself does not run in elections. This show that the South African stalinists are nothing more then reformist idiots who remain loyal to a party that has betrayed socialism since 1990. Despite that Mandela stood next to the hammer and sickle banner, he did not end the capitalist system and not transferred the wealth to the majority of the people. Nelson Mandela is by all account a class traitor and Revolutionary Socialist Media will say this openly and loud. After the icon of anti-Apartheid went into retirement, the ANC choose right-wing Thabo Mbeki to be the next leader. Mbeki was able to create a black capitalist class next to the white ruling class. However black workers remained poor and backward. Thabo Mbeki did not cared. He wanted to serve a new class of black capitalists. Inequality was now very high after Mbeki left office in 2008. Voter loyalism is why the ANC is still winning elections, despite the fact that they are not a party of the working class. Meanwhile the liberals of the Democratic Alliance are winning more black votes, especially from those who are part of the new black bourgeoisie!

”Chama Cha Mapinduzi” is Swahili and stands for: Party of the Revolution (CCM). It is the name of the ruling party of Tanzania. Originally it supported African-socialism, which difference from Marxist-socialism. Julius Nyerere was one of the most important African-socialist leaders. He developed an ideology called Ujamaa. After Tanzania (first named Tanganyika) became independent of Great Britain in 1961, Nyerere wanted to turn the nation into an African-socialist state based on his ideology. The problem with all African-socialists was that they were top-down thinkers. Their ideas were contradicting each other. On paper they promised democratic rights, yet at the same time arrested anybody who pointed out flaws in their system. Julius Nyerere was dictatorial and forced Ujamaa down on the working class of Tanzania. The Arusha Declaration of 1967 marked the start of his grand plan. Nyerere’s revolutionary transformation failed miserably because economic output was low. Despite huge gains on the social front, economic growth was not achieved. Also Tanzania was not self-relined as the CCM had championed. Because the president wanted to build the nation on his ideas, he banned anything that was not in line. Soul music, western films and magazines, miniskirts and tight trousers were all banned in Nyerere’s Tanzania!

African-socialism failed because like stalinism it was top-down, bureaucratic centralist, authoritarian and based on a single party system. Revolutionary socialists understand that people like Julius Nyerere were idealists and more dreamers then actual thinkers. They failed to understand that socialism cannot be build by a small minority. It can only be constructed in a democratic environment with free speech and participation from the working class in planning and production. African-socialists centralized all power in the government, which became a center for corruption, nepotism and elitism. Working class Tanzanians had no means to oppose it, since the government would silence them if they spoke out. By the late 1980’s it was clear that Ujamaa had failed. The Party of the Revolution (CCM) started to think that ”socialism” as a system could not work. Under the influence of neoliberals like Thatcher and Reagan, the party made plans to abandon the ideology of its founder. They did not have to wait long. President Nyerere left his office on 5 November 1985. Disillusioned by the failures of Ujamaa, he choose to retire. The CCM elected Ali Hassan Mwinyi as their new president. This president started to reverse the collectivist ideas of Nyerere. Mwinyi also introduced a multiparty system, although the Party of the Revolution would remain power due to its control over the media and state. After ten years Mwinyi had dismantled the Ujamaa system and turned Tanzania into a capitalist nation. Privileged CCM leaders could now become capitalists and exploit the very people they once claimed to liberate from exploitation!

The CCM continued its market reforms right into the 21st century. Benjamin Mkapa was elected as successor to Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Mkapa claimed to be a supporter of Nyerere, but once in power he kept the austerity of Mwinyi going. In this he was praised by the IMF and World Bank, who were very positive about economic liberalization in Tanzania. Working class people did not benefit as you might know by now. Capitalism only gave wealth to a (very small) minority and foreign capitalists. Mkapa was elected on a anti-corruption platform. He turned out to be a hypocrite, by now we now that this former president was deeply corrupt himself. President Mkapa loved to spend government money. He bought a private jet for 15 million British pounds (19 million U.S dollars) and wasted 30 million pounds on needless military hardware. Let us not forget that the national average income is around 1.100 U.S dollars a year. After he left the office of president in 2005, the state went after Mkapa for corruption charges. As president he had privatized the Kiwira Coal Mine, which the former president bought himself. The Kiwira Coal Mine made Benjamin Mkapa a very rich person in Tanzania!

Today the people and political parties who once claimed to be socialist are now capitalistic. They are class traitors and deserve to be removed. Unfortunate they are all still in power. From the CCM in Tanzania to the ANC in South Africa, FRELIMO in Mozambique and the MPLA in Angola. These former liberation parties now the parties of capitalist exploiters. They can rewrite their history books and ignore what they used to say in the 1970’s, Revolutionary Socialist Media does not forget. We will expose them and call upon the working class of Africa to overthrow them in socialist revolutions. The African continent is the richest part of this planet. Its workers do not deserve to be so poor and backward. It is however up to them to make a difference. They have nothing to lose but their chains!

 

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