Solidarity with Catalonia

Revolutionary socialists stand in solidarity with the people of Catalonia, who struggle against the austerity regime in Madrid. For years the Spanish government has enforced neoliberal politics on the country. Catalan separatists have therefore called for a independent republic to be build. The Kingdom of Spain not only rejects this idea, it is also using police brutality to prevent Catalonia from becoming a independent state. Spain is led by a right-wing conservative government, however not only the conservative party is supportive of undemocratic methods. Social democrats from the Spanish Socialist Workers Party have joined the Spanish nationalist camp and support the conservatives in removing the autonomy of Catalonia! 

The PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) is one of the biggest class traitors in Europe. Together with the British Labour Party, the PSOE betrayed the ideas of socialism in the late 1970’s when it renounced Marx. Its members supported the 1978 Spanish constitution, which turned the former fascist state into a monarchy. This monarchy was build by the supporters of dictator Franco, who needed to keep elements of the old conservative caste intact. PSOE support for the Kingdom of Spain was vital in restoring ”democracy” as they called it. Luckily for the ruling class the social democrats supported their side and did not called for the restoration of the Republic of Spain (1931-1939)!

Spain lacks a true workers party on a socialist program. The United Left coalition around the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) is weak and never got more then 10% of the total vote. This is because the communist party has not put socialism forward as a alternative. Their propaganda is too moderate, calling for a republic build on social justice instead of a Spanish Socialist Workers Republic. Also the PSOE was able to portray itself as a ”democratic socialist” party and the PCE as a ”totalitarian-communist” party. This social democratic propaganda is strengthen by the fact that the PCE remains loyal to Stalinist thinking. The Spanish Communist Party stands in full solidarity with the single party dictatorship in Cuba and is on friendly therms with state-capitalist regimes in Vietnam, China and Laos. The fact that the PCE is friends with dictatorial parties makes the PSOE’s propaganda more believable!

A leftist populist party called Podemos grew as a result of the deep mistrust of Spanish workers towards their rotten political system. Podemos is seen as something new and  it was able to win a lot of votes. However the limits of this leftist populist party lay in its ideology. Is Podemos an anti-capitalist force for socialism? Or just a party that wants to stay inside the current political and economic systems? As of 2017 the once small party has grown into a force of 450.000. It has over 4 x more members then the United Left coalition. One of its role models is the former Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in Greece. Podemos has looked towards Greece as a model for the future. This is very dangerous as the Greek leftist populists of SYRIZA not only abandoned the struggle against capitalism, they capitulated before the European Union and are now enforcing austerity and cuts to social services. SYRIZA has ceased to be a force for working class people. The same can be said about the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Also a role model for many inside Podemos. Venezuela is not to be called a positive model as it never moved beyond capitalism!

There are two leftist separatist forces in Catalnia, the Republican Left of Catalonia (moderates) and the Popular Unity Candidacy (revolutionaries). The United and Alternative Left is the Catalan section of the United Left coalition around the PCE. Members of the Catalan United Left section have not yet called for a independent Catalonia, they do however not support the brutal nationalist politics of the conservative government. Social democrats of the Socialist Party of Catalonia think otherwise. They side with their mother-party (PSOE) in calling for the elimination of the current Catalan government. Catalan conservatives who support the Kingdom of Spain are rather weak. The biggest opponents of a independent Catalonia comes from the Party of the Citizenry!

Liberals of Catalonia are not supportive of Catalan independence, so they side with the conservative government in Madrid. The Party of the Citizenry is not only pro-Spain it also is fully supportive of neoliberalism and therefore the European Union. Their support for Brussels and its common capitalist economy is reflected in their motto: “Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future”. Catalonia is however not governed by revolutionary separatists. The bulk of Catalan civic-nationalism comes from moderate separatists. They are led by Carles Puigdemont, the former director of the Catalan News Agency. Puigdemont claims to stand for a independent republic, but has not yet dared to declare independence. Fear of capital flight and economic sabotage might hinder his dream of building a Catalonia free from Madrid. As a supporter of capitalism, Puigdemont knows that the Catalan ruling class does not like independence. They want their link with Spain for business reasons!

Revolutionary socialists support a independent Catalonia, but only if this republic becomes socialist. A capitalist Catalonia is not alternative to a Catalonia inside the Kingdom of Spain. Also we must not forget that a Republic of Catalonia will not automatically become a member of the EU. Spain will use its veto to prevent this. Therefore there is no future under capitalism. Puigdemont is not a socialist and not the right man. Revolutionary socialists call for mass strikes and mobilization of workers. The struggle for national liberation in Catalonia must be linked to the socialist transformation of society. A socialist Catalonia can become a role model for a socialist Spain. As both working classes will learn that it is they who are the masters of their own labour and fruits!

The European Union supports the dictatorial methods of the conservative government in Madrid. We are not surprised, despite all their talks about human rights and freedom, the EU only cares about its capitalist class. The business elite is not happy that the growing separatist mood is turning more and more revolutionary and anti-capitalist. European leaders stand with Madrid which has surprised many inside Catalonia. They had hoped for EU support against police brutality and the undemocratic attacks on their autonomy. Workers need to understand the true nature of the EU. This European Union is not build for common people, not build for ethnic minorities seeking independence from big capitalist states like Spain. The EU is build for the ruling class, to make it stronger and more competitive!

United Left in Spain has remained at the side lines in the Catalan conflict. It does not support the actions of the government, yet it also does not side with the people of Catalonia who call for independence. Alberto Garzón called for negotiations, but how can the Catalan workers negotiate with a government that is destroying their democratic rights? The Spanish government uses the 1978 constitution as a shield and says that no region is allowed to leave the Kingdom of Spain. The current Royal Constitution bans separatism, a fail-save build in by Franco’s fascists. Madrid has the means to arrest any member of the Catalan government (including Carles Puigdemont) and send them to jail for at least 30 years. Liberals, conservatives and social democrats now use article 155 to disband the government of Puigdemont. He is to be replaced by an unelected puppet from Madrid as president of Catalonia!

Two pro-independence politicians have already been arrested by the Spanish police in Catalonia. Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart were jailed for organizing the Catalan working class. The two had spoken out against police brutality and the undemocratic attacks of Madrid against their homeland. For their political views the Spanish state arrested Sánchez and Cuixart. If Carles Puigdemont capitulates before the Kingdom of Spain, he will give its reactionary government a free pass to arrest more supporters of independence. Puigdemont must declare a Catalan republic and be ready to defend it. He already has a police force of 18.000 officers. These can be used to disarm the Spanish National Police. Should Spain send its army then war is unavoidable. Great Britain also tried to destroy the republican revolutionaries in America in the 18th century and failed. If the working class unites for a independent and socialist republic it has the means to win. Spanish workers are not the enemy here. The enemy are those chauvinist nationalists of the People’s Party (conservatives), the Spanish ”Socialist Workers” Party (social democrats) and the Party of the Citizenry (liberals)!

Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for mass action. Strikes and civil disobedient. Madrid should fear the might of the Catalan working class. If they want a war, they can have it. If they destroy democracy, Catalan workers will defend their democracy. Violence is not what we like, but should our rights be taken away then violence is justified. If Spanish police officers are told to keep Catalonia in line, then they are the enemy. Pacifism sounds great, but it will not help you if the enemy is using full force to enslave you. Working class people must push for independence and a socialist system. For this to work we need a political party on a revolutionary program. A party that calls for a socialist Catalonia, free from the dictatorial Spanish government and its neoliberal supporters inside the European Union. A Socialist Republic of Catalonia is possible and can be build. The working class has the power and the will. It only needs to organize and unite!!

Update: On 27 October 2017, the parliament of Catalonia declared itself independent from the Kingdom of Spain. Madrid will now enforce article 155 to remove the Catalan government and install pro-Spanish puppets in Catalonia. This must be prevented, working class people need to defend their republic, with force if needed!!

Socialist Catalonia is the only way for working class people!

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Islamic State is losing its capital

Thanks to Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian unity, the terrorist group that calls itself: Islamic State is losing the war. Soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have almost cleared the city of Raqqa from its grip. Raqqa in Syria is regarded as the capital city of the reactionary group, that follows a far-right Islamic ideology called Wahhabism. Islamic State rose in 2013 as a result of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars. It defeated the Iraqi army and took control of Mosul and western Iraq. The Syrian city of Raqqa was the prime capital until SDF forces started with the liberation. By 15 October 2017 only a small pocket in the city center remains under IS control!

Western commentators remain rather silent about a important fact. The fact that win-out the ideology of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the SDF would never have been founded. Because the main bulk of the SDF is made up by Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This militia was formed in 2004 as the armed wing of the Kurdish: Democratic Union Party, which is the main party of Syrian Kurds. The YPG is build on the same principals as the People’s Defense Forces (HPG) in Turkey, the fighting force of the PKK. This is why the conservative dictatorship of Ergodan is not happy that the YPG is winning in Syria. Ankara is called the Syrian Kurds ”terrorists” and puts them on equal level with Islamic State. Why? Because the Turkish government is ethnic nationalist and does not recognizes the Kurdish people. For the nationalists who rule the Turkish Republic all people must think Turkish, speak Turkish and think Turkish. This is the main reason why the Kurdistan Workers Party took up arms in 1984. Because the Turks systematic oppress any ethnic minority, from Armenians to Kurds!

The Syrian civil war is marked by religious sectarianism. Most rebels who fight the government are Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist. Government forces are led by Shia-Islamic leaders from the Alawite tribe. The Syrian Ba’ath Party is supported by both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Lebanese: Party of God (Hezbollah). Iran and Hezbollah are Shia-Islamic fundamentalist and support Bashar Assad because his tribe is also Shia-Muslim. The rebels who fight the Ba’ath government are supported by Sunni-Islamic regimes like Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In this mix of fundamentalism and religious intolerance, the western world is unsure who they should support. Revolutionary socialists see only one group that needs support and that is the Syrian Democratic Forces. This secular coalition was created by the YPG to unite both Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian militias!

Turkey is the main reason why support for the SDF remains minimal. Ankara is part of NATO and a important ally of American imperialism. Washington DC cannot lose Turkish support and therefore turns a blind eye to the crimes Erdogan is committing against his own people. By now Turkey is only a democracy in name. The state has silent almost all critical newspapers and jailed leftist opposition politicians. It is clear that Erdogan is building a conservative dictatorship that is using the Turkish-Kurdish conflict to silence all internal opposition. Some brave man and woman from western countries have not waited and traveled to Syria to join the YPG. They are a strange mixture of leftists, anti-capitalists, anarchists, communists, adventurers and idealists. What they all share however is the desire to fight Islamic State and its terrorists who kill innocents. That foreigners join the YPG is not hailed by Ankara as the Turks consider anybody who fights for the Kurds a ”terrorist”!

The battle for Raqqa started on 4 June 2017. 35.000 SDF forces attacked the capital city of IS which is defended by 4.000 fighters. Although the terrorists are at a disadvantage they are masters of bobby traps and are using the local population as a shield. The city was completely encircled at the end of June, preventing any IS militant from escaping. Then a brutal city battle started which is not over yet. SDF forces have to fight house by house to defeat the Islamic State. 50% of Raqqa has been destroyed and over 1.000 civilians have died. 10.000 were forced to flee the city when the fighting began. It is reported that 1.300 IS militants have been killed and another 1.200 surrendered. The remaining 1.500 defenders are holding up in the city center and are cut off. It remains to be seen how long they will keep up the fight!

Islamic State is known for enslaving women and using them as sex objects. The Yazidi were targeted by the brutality of the reactionary Islamists, because their religion is not pure Sunni-Islam. Yazidi combine aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For this they are hated by IS who decided to kill the men and enslave the females. After the YPG/SDF liberated the Yazidi women they were trained to fight back. The Êzîdxan Women’s Units was founded in 2015 to protect the Yazidi community against attacks from IS. Now this all women militia is fighting alongside the YPG in Raqqa against the terrorists who once enslaved them. Thanks to the leftist ideology of the YPG and their support for female soldiers, women of the Yazidi are now fighters. Ready to destroy Islamic State and its reactionary leaders!

After the liberation of Mosul by Iraqi forces in July 2017, the so called ”Caliphate” has lost all major cities. What remains are a few towns in south east Syria. The Iraqi border town of Al-Qa’im is now the capital of the Islamic State. Al-Qa’im has around 150.000 people and is under IS control since August 2014. The struggle to liberate this last bastion of Islamic fundamentalism will be difficult as many towns lay between SDF force and the Syrian-Iraqi border. Al-Qa’im may have to wait until mid to late 2018 before it can be liberated. It is not the numbers that is preventing a quick victory, it is the lack of weapons and ammunition. SDF forces take most of their armament from death IS militants. Syrian Democratic Forces leaders have often asked for more guns from the west, but Washington DC and Brussels are not willing to fully aid the only group capable of defeating IS. We know why and who is preventing massive western support for the SDF. Turkey is the rotten reason why NATO is not fully helping the armed forces of the Federation of Northern Syria!

Update: 17 October 2017, the capital of Islamic State has fallen. The Syrian Democratic Forces are now in full control of Raqqa. Three years of terror and oppression are over for the people of this city!

Che Guevara, 50 years after his murder

Ernesto Che Guevara was murdered by Bolivian soldiers on 9 October 1967. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his execution. Revolutionaries around the world were inspired by the idealism and courage of this Argentinean doctor, who struggled to free the world from imperialism and capitalism. Although Cuba was freed, Guevara failed in Congo and Bolivia. Western imperialism was happy when the icon of the Cuban revolution was killed in 1967. Although they were able to murder Che the imperialists will never be able to destroy his ideas. Revolutionary Socialist Media honors the man who gave his life for the revolution. Despite his political mistakes Ernesto Che Guevara was a true believer in a socialist world!

Most people on this world know the name Che Guevara. He will forever be remembered as a fighter for the poor and the enemy of injustice. The capitalist class hated him and has exploited his face for commercial gains. Millions of t-shirts have been printed with his picture on them. Posters and flags have been produced, all with that famous photograph of Che at the La Coubre memorial service in 1960. The man behind the icon was relative simple. A doctor of Argentinian origin who had travelled a lot in the 1950’s. With his friend Alberto Granado the young Ernesto made a tour of Latin America by motorcycle. Both friends witnessed the cruel reality that was the capitalist system. Ernesto became convinced that only a revolution could destroy the inequality that he witnessed!

In 1954 Ernesto Guevara was in Guatemala. This Mayan country was about to become a CIA puppet as the military turned on its democratic president. Operation PBSUCCESS was carried out by right-wing military officials and CIA agents. Guevara witnessed the destruction of the Guatemalan democracy and the installation of a corrupt anticommunist government. He wanted to fight the junta with members of the Communist Youth. But the youth league was not well organized and Ernesto was very frustrated by their weak leadership. He returned to his work as a doctor but was targeted by the junta for his revolutionary believes. Guevara fled into the Argentinean embassy and was able to reach Mexico. His experiences in Guatemala made him to see the USA as force for imperialism. A power that hides behind their pseudo-democratic façade to impose the will of its capitalist class on Latin America!

After reaching Mexico Guevara joined a small group of Cuban exiles. Ernsto was introduced to Fidel Castro by Raul Castro, the younger brother. Raul Castro was also a revolutionary communist like Che while Fidel was not yet a supporter of Marxist socialism. Raul used to be a member of the socialist youth organisation of the Popular Socialist Party (PSP) in Cuba. This pro-Moscow party was the official communist party on the island. It supported Fulgencio Batista in the 1940 presidential election. Batista was pro-USA and a supporter of capitalism, still the Popular Socialist Party choose to support him only for his pro-union positions. It shows the complete failure of the Cuban Stalinists to put forward a candidate that stood for a socialist Cuba. The PSP was outlawed in the 1950’s by the very person they used to support!

In 1952 Batista staged a coup with the backing from the Cuban Armed Force. He installed himself as a corrupt capitalist dictator in the service of the ruling class and the USA. A year later the Castro brothers led a raid on the Moncada Barracks. The attack failed and Fidel with his brother Raul were jailed. Prison would improve their reputation. Many Cubans became very sympathetic to the charismatic student-lawyer Fidel, who was very good at speaking in public. In jail he used his time to prepare a speech entitled: ”History Will Absolve Me”. This speech was over four hours long and would be the first of many written by Fidel. After serving 22 months the Castro brothers were released and moved to Mexico. There they plotted a new revolution with supporters from Latin America. It was here that Ernesto Guevara joined the 26th of July Movement!

On the 26th of November 1956, the small guerrilla army led by Fidel Castro arrived in Cuba. Out of 82 fighters only 22 would be able to escape government attacks. Castro regrouped in the Sierra Maestra mountains where he linked up with local anti-Batista fighters who joined him. Ernesto was the doctor of the guerrilla’s but he did more than just healing the sick. Guevara set up factories to make grenades, built ovens to bake bread, taught new recruits about tactics and organized schools to teach. By 1957 it was made public that Fidel Castro was alive and the leader of the Cuban guerrilla’s. People now knew that there was fighting opposition. Capitalists and rich Cubans remained supportive of Batista, who trusted that his army would destroy any opposition. The Cuban Armed Forces had over 37.000 soldiers, but the military was plagued with corruption and mismanagement. Batista had neglected the army and the fighting moral was low because of it. Although they won the Battle of Las Mercedes it was a Pyrrhic victory. Guerilla fighters won a decisive battle at Yaguajay in December 1958, it turned the tide of the conflict!

By now Ernesto Guevara was known by many as Che Guevara. He was in command during the Battle of Santa Clara. At this last battle of the Cuban revolution an army of 3.000 regular Cuban soldiers was defeated by 340 guerrilla’s led by Che. With this total victory the Batista regime collapsed and all soldiers surrendered. Guevara led the final move into Havana where he was greeted as a liberator. On the 1th of January 1959, dictator Batista fled Cuba. He went into exile and taking along a personal fortune of more than 300 million dollars. Supporters of the dictator also fled and took with them a lot of money. It remains unknown how many were killed under Batista between 1952 and 1959. The maximum number is set at 20.000. After the removal of the hated dictator, Fidel Castro allowed Manuel Urrutia Lleó to become President of Cuba. This liberal minded politician was living in the USA and a strong opponent of Batista. The new president would only be in office for a few months. Because Urrutia was a deep anticommunist and not loved by working class Cubans. In July 1959 prime minister Fidel Castro removed Urrutia and replaced him with Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado!

Che was made commander of the La Cabaña prison fortress. Here the revolutionary government had put all high ranking Cubans who were loyal to the previous Batista dictatorship. The anticommunist account of Che is that of a brutal commander. A sadist who loved to murder ”helpless” people. Western propaganda has been very good at demonizing Guevara for his role as commander of the La Cabaña prison fortress. It is ironic how western media outlets fully ignore the fact that many of these executed were brutal people. Most belonged to the cruel: Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities, the secret police of the Batista regime. Historic scholars agree that those executed were probably guilty as accused. However this is not what you will read in stories about Che in capitalist newspapers. They will always return to his role as commander of the La Cabaña prison fortress to prove that Ernesto Guevera was a ”brutal killer” when in fact the Revolutionary Tribunals ordered the executions!

The next job for Guevara was that of economic minister under Fidel Castro’s government. He tried to build a new kind of worker. One that is fully selfless and dedicated to building socialism. Che idealism was so great that he made himself an example and worked long hours. A mistake of him was his believe that all Cubans should work like him. His demands were harsh and it led to high numbers of absenteeism. Like most revolutionary leaders at that time Guevara followed the Stalinist model. A top down system based on bureaucratic enforcement of economic planning. Workers were forced to meet demands set out by the government. Those who did not meet their quota were punished by cuts to their salary. Workers had no political and no economic control, this is why there was low productivity. Che blamed this on the capitalist mentality but it was his own inability to see that you cannot build socialism on a centralized model, with a top-down command. Also at the political front there was no mass workers party!

Fidel Castro had united all of his supporters (including the Popular Socialist Party) into the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution in 1962. Three years later the name was changed to Communist Party of Cuba. Still it would take another ten years before the first party congress was held. In the 60’s political power in Cuba lay with Fidel Castro and his supporters from the 26th of July Movement. Communist party membership remained low and would not rise until the late 1970’s. Osvaldo Dorticós remained president of the state until 1976. In that year the office of president and prime minister was abolished and replaced by a council of state. Fidel Castro took the title of President of the State Council. Also a new constitution was created that made the Communist Party of Cuba the ”highest leading force of Cuban society”. The Stalinist government tried to hide the single party state by banning any political party from promoting candidates for elections. Not even the communist party is allowed to do that. However because the elections are controlled by members of the party critics of the government are always excluded!

Che did not participate in the fighting during the Bay of Pigs invasion. However as head of the Instruction Department of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Guevara was credited with training 200.000 militia men and woman. In April 1961 the old ineffective Cuban Army was transformed into a well trained organisation. Armed with Soviet T-34 tanks it was able to stand up to the failed attempt of U.S imperialism to remove the revolutionary government. Just like in Guatemala Che understood that the USA was trying to impose its will on Cuba. He wasted no time and trained many soldiers personally. Thanks to his training the troops were ready on 17 April 1961 to defend the island. During the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later Guevara was furious when the Soviets choose to withdraw. He realized that Cuba had become a pawn in the Cold War and started to grow critical of Soviet foreign politics. This is what may have led to arguments with Fidel Castro who could not tolerate criticism of his biggest international supporter!

In 1964 Ernesto Guevara had become the face of the Cuban revolution. He was a revolutionary statesman who gave strong anti-American speeches in the UN. His criticism of the USA was completely right as we know how hypocrite the Americans are. He exposed how imperialism loved to play the cards of democracy and liberty, but is always silent when the cards should apply to their own allies. Criticism of human rights abuses were only directed against ”communist” countries. Crimes of capitalist regimes supported by Washington DC were suppressed and never talked about. Che Guevara understood the hypocrisy of the western world and exposed it. He fully rejected the Apartheid regime in South Africa and how this racist state was kept alive thanks to American and European support. Che rightfully said regarding the oppression of black South Africans:

Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men—how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?

When the Soviet leadership tried to limit confrontations with the western world, Che Guevara became more and more critical of Moscow. In one of his last public speeches he criticized the Soviet-Union for its political line to peaceful co-exist with the United States. By November 1964 he had grown also critical of the Stalinist planning system. Maybe he started to realize his own mistakes in Cuba? We do know that Fidel Castro was not happy with Che’s public criticism of Moscow. After he returned to Cuba he was no longer welcomed at the Havana Airport by crowds. Instead it was always Fidel, Raul and other big guns welcoming him home. It must have been clear to him that the Castro brothers were following the pragmatic line set out by the Kremlin. Ernesto choose to leave Cuba to help other revolutionaries fighting capitalism and imperialism!

In early 1965 Guevara was fighting in Congo against the pro-western regime of Joseph Kasavubu. His ally was Laurent-Désiré Kabila a self-declared Marxist and guerrilla leader. Che was supported by 100 Afro-Cubans who were send by Castro to help him. Although the Africans had great admiration for this ”white” man who treated them equal, Che grew very disillusioned in the African mentality. They lacked discipline and were not die-hard fighters ready to give their lives in combat. Guevara also did not believed that Kabila was a true revolutionary. He was proven to be right as Laurent-Désiré Kabila would abandon Marxism as soon as he became president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. Weakened by dysentery and very sick, Che wanted to stay and die in the Congo. But his fellow Cubans were able to convince him to leave the country. He considered his time in Congo a failure as he was not able to organize a proper guerrilla force!

Nobody knew were the face of the Cuban revolution was in 1966. In Cuba it was Fidel Castro who was running the show, but where was Ernesto Che Guevara? It turned out that he had entered Bolivia, to help local guerrilla fighters in their struggle against the anticommunist regime of René Barrientos and Alfredo Ovando Candía. Bolivia was ruled by these co-dictators and supported by the USA. Che Guevara helped to build the National Liberation Army of Bolivia. This guerrilla force was made up of 29 Bolivians, 25 Cubans and one East German born woman called Tamara Bunke. Although it was a small army it was heavily armed and able to carry out attacks. However Che’s group lacked the popular support he had in Cuba. Peasants turned out to be traitors by informing the Bolivian government. On 31 August 1967 Tamara Bunke was killed with a large part of Guevara’s forces. By now it was clear that he was a fugitive, running from the Bolivian Special Forces who were ordered to bring Ernesto Guevara down!

Che’s location was compromised on 7 October, he was surrounded by 1.800 soldiers of the Bolivian Army. Despite a heroic fight the icon of the Cuban revolution was hit and captured. Tied up and put into a local schoolhouse Guevara remained defiant, even spat in the face of Bolivian Rear Admiral Ugarteche shortly before his execution. On 9 October 1967 the two Bolivian dictators ordered the death of Ernesto Che Guevara. The Americans wanted him alive to be interrogated, however the Bolivian wanted the icon of world revolution death. Mario Terán was the young soldier ordered to kill Che. He aimed his American made M1 rifle and shot Guevara nine times, five times in the legs, once in the right shoulder and arm, once in the chest and finally in the throat. The corpse of Ernesto was put up for all to see. He was photographed by journalists to be shown to the world. Only 5 out of 54 guerrilla’s who joined Che in Bolivia were able to return to Cuba. They were welcomed as hero’s by Fidel Castro who praised Ernesto Guevara as a martyr for socialism!

The remains of Guevara were buried in a unmarked grave somewhere in Bolivia. It would take 30 years before his skeleton was recovered. His hands had been cut off and remain missing till this day. On 17 October 1997 Guevara’s remains with those of six of his fellow comrades were laid to rest with military honors, in a specially built mausoleum in the Cuban city of Santa Clara. After the election of Evo Morales as president, Guevara became a icon of progressive Bolivia. Although capitalism is not abolished and socialism is not build by Morales, the poor are given more rights and Che is now regarded as a national hero!

Ernesto Che Guevara failed in his mission to defeat imperialism in Congo and Bolvia. Had he lived today he would be furious at the regime of Raul Castro which has introduced numerous capitalist laws. Slowly the market economy is returning the island. This is something Guevara would have rejected fully. Che however lacked a clear understanding of revolutionary socialism. His flaws lay in his wrongly held view that guerrilla struggle is the best way to destroy imperialism. Also his Stalinist top-down methods in Cuba did not work. You cannot demand that workers follow your line win-out given them any control over work and government. Revolutionary Cuba made huge improvements for ordinary people, but all these gains are now in danger of being destroyed. Capitalism is returning and Cuban workers need to fight back. Che would have rejected the current Communist Party of Cuba. Especially when he would see how workers are exploited by joined venture enterprises between the bureaucratic state and foreign capitalists!

 

The village were Ernesto Guevara was murdered. Now a memorial to him.

 

Far-right back in Germany

For the first time since the end of the second world war have the forces of fascism returned to the German parliament. Members of the ”Alternative for Germany” have won over 13% of the votes and will enter the Bundestag. The AfD is a far-right neofascist party with over 50% of its members supporting fascist-nationalist ideas. Originally the party was not meant to be like this, it was supposed to be a national-conservative party to the right of the Christian Democratic Union. However many new AfD members who joined were fascist and they soon outnumbered the conservatives. Now the ”Alternative for Germany” is not only a anti-woman, anti-Muslim and anti-homosexual party, it is also a political force with over 93 members in parliament!

Not all AfD members are supporters of the far-right. The original founders were right-wing conservatives who broke with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Angela Merkel. These conservatives rejected the tolerance of the German government towards Syrian refugees. Merkel had said that Germany would welcome Syrians fleeing war and poverty. The right-wing was angry about this and fueled the growing xenophobia to build the ”Alternative for Germany”. What these anti-refugee conservatives failed to see was that many far-right people joined their new party. The AfD filled up with hateful fascists, dogmatic nationalists, neonazi’s and anti-Muslim bigots. Conservatives ended up as a minority in their own party. In total more then 35.000 people joined the AfD in four years after it was founded. Many of them have a deep hatred for refugees, leftists, woman, homosexuals and democracy in general. These fascists blame the inequality and poverty of millions on people who did not create them. This is the role fascists always played. Blaming minorities, leftists, trade unionists and migrants for the failures of capitalism!

Frauke Petry was co-founder and co-leader of the ”Alternative for Germany” until 26 September 2017. She was not happy about the fact that fascists took control of her party. After her conservatives failed to stop the far-right from taken over the party, Petry refused to join the AfD parliamentary group. This does not mean that Frauke Petry is a good politician. She holds reactionary views about society, woman and migrants. Also Petry was critical about the national Holocaust memorial in Berlin, she called it a ”monument of shame”. Revolutionary socialists do not like her, but we welcome a divided AfD. Let the national-conservatives fight with fascists, it will weaken the far-right. Frauke Petry choose to leave her creation after the 2017 election. She may have wanted a more anti-immigrant clone of the CDU, instead Petry co-founded a fascist monster that has 93 members elected into the Bundestag!

The far-right AfD scores very good in East Germany. Here many working class people are still very angry about losing the social safety nets of the former German Democratic Republic. AfD voters in the east are mostly white males who lost their stable lives after 1990. The 90’s for them was a hell as they were forced to adapt to a capitalist economy. Unable to compete and to think capitalistic many lost their jobs and pensions. The lose of income and social security created a very large group of Germans who felt that they were the true losers of German reunification. The former Party of Democratic Socialism (ex-Stalinist party) used to be very strong among this voter group!

However the rise of Islamic migrants and refugees has created a rift between white male voters and the political left-wing. Under the false assumption that leftists only support migrants and refugees, white male voters decided to turn towards the far-right AfD. Why? Because the fascists claim to stand for German interests, for white people. Many middle aged males in East Germany feel that migrates are getting too much, so they blame them for their own misfortunes. The real enemy however is capitalism which is fully supported by the AfD. White workers who voted on the ”Alternative for Germany” did this to punish Angela Merkel, but they fail to understand how elitist and pro-establishment the AfD is. You can compare it to Donald Trump. The current American president is very similar to the far-right: ”Alternative for Germany”!

What is now needed? The German left-wing must organize the resistance. Against the neoliberal government of Merkel and the fascist AfD. Working class Germans need to realize that the ”Alternative for Germany” does not fight for workers interests. They wish to divide and conquer. The fascists favor a restoration of ethnic German nationalism (Deutschland Über Alles). They love militarism and want to restore forced conscription into the army. Like American conservatives the AfD calls for ”family values” meaning opposition to woman rights (like abortion), rejection of homosexuality and a ban on same-sex marriage. German woman are told to accept traditional roles in society. It comes to no surprise that this far-right party openly and fully rejects feminism!

There is only one political party in Germany that stands on the left-wing spectrum. This party called: ”The Left” and was founded 10 years ago after a fusion of leftist social democrats with ex-stalinists turned moderate socialists. The Left is a party in constant struggle between a moderate leadership and a growing revolutionary base. Moderates include people like Gregor Gysi, the last leader of the Stalinist: Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Gysi reformed the SED and changed its name to Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). This PDS was for 15 years the party of East Germans and rejected the neoliberal austerity wave of the 90’s. Capitalist politicians stigmatized Gysi and his supporters for the fact that they used to be Stalinist. Also there was a strong pro-GDR wing inside the PDS. This wing was called the Communist Platform and called for defense of ”socialist countries” and the former German Democratic Republic. After the fusion of PDS and the Vote Alternative Social Justice (WASG) into The Left, moderate socialists were strengthen by the arrival of Oskar Lafontaine, who was the former leader of the Social-democratic Party of Germany (SPD) between 1995 and 1999!

Revolutionary socialists inside The Left are united in several factions. A big one is the Revolutionary Left, a group of anti-capitalist socialists. This faction is supported by Socialist Alternative (SAV) German section of the Committee for a Workers International. SAV was founded in the 1990’s when a group of revolutionary socialists abandoned the SPD, the social democratic party. They no longer believed that social democracy was a vehicle for workers and their families. In the 90’s SAV was called Socialist Alternative – Forward, the name Forward came from their Marxist newspaper which was sold inside the SPD until they left. Socialist Alternative dropped the name ”Forward” in the early 2000 as they renamed their newspaper!

Since the year 2010 there is a shift in votes for The Left. The Party of Democratic Socialism was a East German party. Winning between 10% to 20% of the total votes in the former GDR. It was very weak in West-Germany were leftist voters felt unease to vote on a party that spoke positive about the GDR and tolerated pro-Stalinist opinions. After the fusion in 2007, The Left’s base of support shifted. Many voters from the east started to lose trust in the former PDS. This was because Gregor Gysi’s party participated in local governments with the SPD and Greens. It angered many East Germans and led to the general idea that The Left was no alternative to the parties of austerity. In Berlin were the old PDS once won 22% of the vote in 2001, more then -12% decided not to vote on The Left!

Younger people are instrumental in building The Left in west German states. Thanks to them the party is now more accepted by West German leftists. Young socialists have build sections in big cities like Hamburg and Frankfurt. Leading the opposition against austerity it is thanks to them that The Left was able to remain stable after the elections of 24 September 2017. Had the party remained a pure East German part it would have lost voters to the far-right AfD. Many capitalist commentators claimed that this would happen. They predicated a lose for The Left in East Germany. This turned out to be true, however because of the growing support for The Left in western German states the party won a few seats instead of losing!

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has remained the biggest political party in the Bundestag. She will form the next neoliberal government with either the market fundamentalists of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) or the pro-capitalist Alliance 90/The Greens. The greens in Germany started as a leftist environment party in opposition to many capitalist elements. However by the late 1990’s the Alliance 90/The Greens moved to the right-wing, by participating in the first cabinet of Gerhard Schröder. This SPD chancellor remained loyal to the austerity model build by CDU/FDP politicians. Today the German green party is a typical liberal-capitalist party with some environment issues, nothing radical however. This is why the Alliance 90/The Greens could participate in the next cabinet of Merkel. The market fundamentalists of the FDP have worked with the CDU in many governments. They are regarded as natural allies of the conservative: Christian Democratic Union!

The days of stability in Germany are over. With the victory of the AfD a new chapter of German politics is beginning. It is clear that the far-right has been strengthen because of the Syrian civil war. There are now over 360.000 Syrians in Germany, this includes both Arabs, Kurds and Assyrians. Fascists play on the popular myth that the German government cares more about these ”Muslims” then their own white German people. They abuse the deep inequality, the poverty among white working class Germans and the fact that the political parties of capitalism neglected these people for over 30 years. Many ethnic white Germans are angry and they right to be. However blaming their troubles on Syrian refugees is unacceptable. Syrians are victims of a war started by a dictator who carried out western austerity plans in the early 2000’s. Bashar Assad has privatized and deregulated huge sections of the Syrian economy, after he succeeded his father in the year 2000. Bashar is western educated and a guy who was loved by the western capitalst class for his pro-capitalist viewpoints.

We must also not forget that many western guns (including those Made in Germany) were delivered to sectarian rebel groups. The European Union and the United States of America claimed they were arming ”moderate” rebels when in reality their guns ended up in the hands of radical Islamic forces. These terrorists then started killing innocents, which led to a mass exodus of four millions Syrians. Now in late 2017 the civil war is a dirty sectarian conflict. The Islamic State is pushed back by the only none-sectarian fighting force in Syria. But the rebel islamists and the dictatorial Syrian Ba’ath government remain. Refugees will not return to their homeland for a long time. The ”Alternative for Germany” has no empathy and wants to close the border. Those 360.000 Syrians inside Germany cannot expect any understanding from this far-right fascist party. It is up to The Left to mobilize the working class against the next capitalist government and the AfD!

 

1996: Inside Burma, land of fear

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Cuba’s past and future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The right-wing wants war

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Scandinavian social democracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Principles of Communism

These questions and answers are written by Friedrich Engels in 1847

— 1 —
What is Communism?

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

— 2 —
What is the proletariat?

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

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

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

— 4 —
How did the proletariat originate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The complete work can be found

HERE